According to reports from the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, serious damage to elements of the outer boundary of the world famous Nazca lines has been caused by heavy machinery belonging to a quarry firm removing limestone from the area.
The damaged lines are located near the Panamericana Sur Highway and an adjacent area has also been affected. There are hundreds if not thousands of these lines and trapezoids on the Nazca plain with many of the most famous geogylphs such as the spider, hummingbird and monkey, etc. all undamaged.Nazca lines. Image: Wikimedia Commons Irreparable damage
So far, irreparable damage has been done to a number of lines up to 150 metres in length, along with the total loss of a trapezoid almost 60 metres long.
Archaeological assessments carried out over four months ago warned that damage to the lines would continue with the effect being a serious alteration to the cultural landscape.
The report noted this archaeological area is situated within a reserve and should therefore fall under the legal framework for protection and conservation of the cultural heritage of the nation.
“The limestone firm responsible has not been sanctioned or supervised by the authorities of the Regional Directorate of Culture of Ica, despite being in this great archaeological reserve,” said Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre, director of research at Ojos de Condor, according to reporting by Peru This Week. It was considered unlikely the Peruvian government would be able to act on this serious damage to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Source: El Comercio
- Read the article in Spanish from El Comercio: http://elcomercio.pe/actualidad/1549876/noticia-empresa-extraccion-cal-destruye-zona-arqueologica-nasca_1
El Comercio. Several lines at Nazca suffer irreparable damage . Past Horizons. April 09, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/several-lines-at-nazca-suffer-irreparable-damage For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
In what is now called Iraq some five thousand years ago some of the earliest civilisations were born. It is the land of great cities such as Ur and Babylon, home to the Sumerians, who are credited with one of the earliest formal scripts as well as organised and controlled urban living, and the later Babylonians, whose trading and military skills forged a mighty empire.The early stages of excavation on the ancient settlement mound of Tell Khaiber. Image: Stuart Campbell Beneath the arid sands of Iraq
Priceless information about mankind’s past still lies concealed beneath the landscape in the ‘tells’ – earth mounds – that are the remains of ancient towns and villages.
Iraq has a proud tradition of valuing and researching this unique heritage, but war has taken its toll. The image of the country’s ancient heritage has now sadly become associated with looting and destruction. Local experts have been working in isolation, struggling to stop pillaging, with little opportunity to benefit from interaction with the global community. But the time has come, where at last it is becoming possible to move forwards once more.A new age of discovery Clay plaque, 9cm high showing a worshipper wearing a long robe with fringe down the front. Image: Stuart Campbell
The Ur Region Archaeology Project has put together a team of Iraqi and international expertise to begin a new age of discovery, using the latest techniques to unveil and interpret a shared heritage.
The team, directed by Professor Stuart Campbell, Dr Jane Moon and Robert Killick, has already discovered a remarkable new structure. First spotted from satellite remote sensed images, the building complex is thought to be an administrative centre serving one of the world’s earliest cities.
After carrying out geophysical survey and trial excavations at the site of Tell Khaiber the team confirmed that the size of the complex measured around 80 metres square – roughly the size of a football pitch. It is made up of an arrangement of rooms around a large courtyard and lies only 20km from Ur itself.
The team contain the first British archaeologists to excavate in Southern Iraq since the late 1980s, working close to the ancient city of Ur, where Sir Leonard Woolley discovered the fabulous ‘Royal Tombs’ in the 1920s.
Professor Campbell said: “This is a breathtaking find and we feel privileged to be the first to work at this important site. The surrounding countryside, now arid and desolate, was the birthplace of cities and of civilization about 5,000 years ago and home to the Sumerians and the later Babylonians.”
One of the most striking finds at the site to date, is a clay plaque, 9cm high, showing a worshipper approaching a sacred place. He is wearing a long robe with fringe down the front opening.
“It has been off-limits to international archaeologists for many decades so the opportunity of re-engaging with the study of the earliest cities is a truly exciting one,” said Professor Campbell.
The team provisionally date the site to around 2,000 BC, the time of the sack of the city and the fall of the last Sumerian royal dynasty, based on the finds recovered and suggest the structure is probably connected to the administration of Ur.A wider study
The team aim to analyse plant and animal remains found at the site to help reconstruct environmental and economic conditions in the region 4,000 years ago.
Marshy conditions are thought to have prevailed, with the head of the Gulf being much further north, so that maritime trading was possible in order to obtain vital natural resources from India and the Arabian peninsula.
Professor Campbell who has now returned from Iraq, added: “As well as offering unparalleled opportunities for redeveloping research in one of the most important areas of archaeology in the world, the project is also building partnerships with local practitioners and institutions.
“The aim is to help rebuild capacity in archaeological expertise and heritage management, working alongside members of Iraq’s State Board for Antiquities and Heritage, and to address the 20-year isolation from the international community.”
Source: University of Manchester
University of Manchester. Ur Project confirms massive building complex in southern Iraq. Past Horizons. April 08, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/ur-project-confirms-massive-building-complex-in-southern-iraq For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
The Djehuty Project, led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered on the hill of Dra Abu el-Naga in Luxor (ancient Thebes), the burials of four individuals belonging to the elite of the 17th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, who lived about 3,550 years ago.
These findings, discovered during the 12th campaign of archaeological excavations, shed light on a little-known historical period in which Thebes becomes the capital of the kingdom and the empire’s foundations become established with the dominance of Egypt over Palestine and Syria to the north, and over Nubia to the south.Pieces of Intefmose’s obelisk. Image: CSIC
The project is led by the CSIC researcher José Manuel Galán, from the Institute of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (ILC), and funded by Unión Fenosa Gas and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.
The 17th Dynasty belongs to the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt (between 1800 and 1550 BC), characterized by the hegemony of rulers of Syrian-Palestinian origin settled in the eastern Delta. This is a period of great political complexity in which the monarchy did not control all the territory and the real power was in the hands of local rulers.Intefmose and Ahhotep
The owner of one of the tombs was called Intefmose, to whom the three inscriptions found inside (one of them accompanied by a portrait in relief) call “son of the king”. Galán states: “We believe that Intefmose could be the son of Sobekemsaf, one of the first kings of the 17th Dynasty, about whom we barely have historical information“.
The tomb of Intefmose consists of a small chapel built with adobe bricks, erected in front of a shaft-grave (about seven metres deep) that leads to a burial chamber. Through a hole in the back of this room, there is access to the burial chamber of a second tomb discovered by archaeologists during this campaign.
The second tomb belongs to the high-level official Ahhotep, also called “spokesman of Nekhen”, city better-know as the Greek toponym Hierakonpolis. In the burial chamber, archaeologists found (as part of the grave goods) three clay funerary figurines (shabtis), painted and with the name of the deceased written on the front.
Galán adds: “Two of these shabtis were found inside of both small clay sarcophagi, decorated with an inscription on the sides and on the top. The third one was wrapped in nine linen fabrics, as if it was a real mummy, and each of the fabrics had traces of writing in black ink. These figurines have a very original and naïve style, which provides them a special charm and a unique character“.Intact coffin of a boy that lived about 3.550 years ago. Image: CSIC
In addition, during this archaeological campaign, Galán and his team unearthed the intact coffin of a boy that lived about 3,550 years ago, as well as a set of shabtis and funerary linens of another child, prince Ahmose-Sapair, who lived during the transition from the 17th to the 18th Dynasty.Tribute of Djehuty to the 17th Dynasty
This series of findings confirm, according to Galán and his team, that the Dra Abu el-Naga hill, on the northern edge of the necropolis of ancient Thebes, was the cemetery of the Royal Family of the 17th and early 18th Dynasties, as well as of their main courtiers. Recent findings help to contextualize the work done during previous campaigns in the tombs of Djehuty, supervisor of the Treasure of Queen Hatshepsut (ca 1470 BC), and Hery, a courtier who lived about 50 years before the said royal scribe.
The head of the Djehuty Project concludes: “Unlike what the rest of courtiers of his time did, around 1470 BC, Djehuty did not place his tomb in the surrounding area of Deir el-Bahari, where the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut was erected, but he chose the hill of Dra Abu el-Naga for his eternal rest, half a kilometre further to the north, because that’s where the members of the 17th Dynasty were buried“.
In a fragmented political context, the 17th Dynasty, native to Thebes, the most important southern city, led the reconquest and expulsion of northern rulers (called “Hyksos”), unified the country, and contributed to the germ of a new historical stage in Egypt, the New Empire, the time of the great kings who would forge the Egyptian Empire from its new capital, Thebes.
Source: Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)More Information
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Discovery of 17th Dynasty Ancient Egyptian elite. Past Horizons. April 08, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/discovery-of-17th-dynasty-ancient-egyptian-elite For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
Babylon was one of the glories of the ancient world, its walls and mythic hanging gardens listed among the Seven Wonders.
Founded about 4,000 years ago, the ancient city was the capital of 10 dynasties in Mesopotamia, considered one of the earliest cradles of civilization and the birthplace of writing and literature.
But following years of plunder, neglect and conflict, the Babylon of today scarcely conjures that illustrious history.
In recent years, the Iraqi authorities have reopened Babylon to tourists, hoping that one day the site will draw visitors from all over the globe. But despite the site’s remarkable archaeological value and impressive views, it is drawing only a smattering of tourists, drawn by a curious mix of ancient and more recent history.
Read more about this story on edition.cnn.com
Over four millennia ago, the fortress town of Gonur-Tepe might have been a rare advanced civilisation before it was buried for centuries under the dust of the Kara Kum desert in remote western Turkmenistan.
After being uncovered by Soviet archaeologists in the last century, Gonur-Tepe, once home to thousands of people and the centre of a thriving region, is gradually revealing its mysteries with new artefacts being uncovered on every summer dig.
The scale of the huge complex which spans some 30 hectares can only be properly appreciated from the air, from where the former buildings look like a maze in the desert surrounded by vast walls.
Just 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the celebrated ancient city of Merv outside the modern city of Mary, the ruins of Gonur-Tepe are an indication of the archaeological riches of Turkmenistan, one of the most isolated countries in the world.
Read the full story on www.france24.com
The British Museum is currently presenting a major exhibition on the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the first ever held on these important cities at the British Museum, and the first such major exhibition in London for almost 40 years.
The result of a close collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of Naples and Pompeii, over 250 fascinating objects, both recent discoveries and celebrated finds from earlier excavations have been brought together to tell the tale of these doomed Roman towns. Many of these objects have never before been seen outside Italy and the unique focus looks at the heart of people’s lives in Pompeii and Herculaneum, from the bustling street to the intimate spaces of a Roman home, the heart of people’s lives in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Pompeii and Herculaneum, two cities on the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, were buried by a catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in just 24 hours in AD 79. This event ended the life of the cities but at the same time preserved the them, their rediscovery providing an unparalleled glimpse into the daily life of the Roman Empire. There they remained until rediscovery by archaeologists just over 1,600 years later.Preserved under ash
Owing to their different locations Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried in different ways and this has affected the preservation of materials at each site. Herculaneum was a small seaside town whereas Pompeii was the industrial hub of the region. Work continues at both sites and recent excavations at Herculaneum have uncovered beautiful and fascinating artefacts.
These include treasures many of which will be displayed to the public for the first time, such as finely sculpted marble reliefs, intricately carved ivory panels and fascinating objects found in one of the main drains of the city.Portrait of baker Terentius Neo and his wife. Pompeii, AD 55–79. © DeAgostini/SuperStock.
The exhibition will give visitors a taste of daily life, from the bustling street to the family home. The domestic space is the essential context for people’s lives, and allows us to get closer to the Romans themselves. This exhibition will explore the lives of individuals in Roman society, not the classic figures of films and television, such as emperors, gladiators and legionaries, but businessmen, powerful women, freed slaves and children. One stunning example of this material is a beautiful wall painting from Pompeii showing the baker Terentius Neo and his wife, holding writing materials, to prove that they are literate and cultured. Importantly their pose and presentation suggests they are equal partners, in business and in life.
The emphasis on a domestic context also helps transform museum artefacts into everyday possessions. Six pieces of wooden furniture will be lent from Herculaneum by the Archaeological Superintendency of Naples and Pompeii. These items were carbonized by the high temperatures of the ash that engulfed the city and are extremely rare finds that would not have survived at Pompeii – showing the importance of combining evidence from the two cities. The furniture includes a linen chest, an inlaid stool and even a garden bench. Perhaps the most astonishing and moving piece is a baby’s crib that still rocks on its curved runners.
The exhibition will include casts from in and around Pompeii of some of the victims of the eruption. A family of two adults and their children are huddled together under the stairs of their villa. The most famous of the casts on display is of a dog, fixed forever at the moment of its death as the volcano submerged the cities.
Source: British Museum
British Museum. Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Past Horizons. April 06, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/life-and-death-in-pompeii-and-herculaneum For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
Bennachie Landscapes’ project is helping bind together a community that surrounds the north east Scottish mountain of Bennachie. The archaeological investigations are being conducted by the University of Aberdeen along with the Bailies of Bennachie, a local community group.
They are examining the settlement which was inhabited by a band of 19th century squatters who set up a community on the foot of the North-East’s most famous peak and once the source of much local debate, but surprisingly little is known about the these Bennachie Colonists.Recording the houses of the Colonists. Image: B. Foster A people of dubious morals
Described in accounts at the time as possessing dubious morals and backwards ways, the archaeological dig, aims to provide a more balanced assessment about how the community lived.
The ‘commonty’ (common land) of Bennachie was settled by these people sometime between 1801 and the 1830s.
“They weren’t popular with some people because they were effectively living rent-free on ground that was supposed to be communal”, said University of Aberdeen archaeologist Dr Jeff Oliver, who is coordinating the dig.
“Accounts describe them as a marginal community ‘on the edge’ scratching a living from the slope of Bennachie – a harsh, nutrient impoverished landscape. Eventually they became associated with a story of resistance against the local lairds who eventually seized the commonty for themselves in 1859 using the courts in London. After this the colonists effectively became tenants.
The first anecdotes of the colonists were told in Alexander Inkson McConnochie’s book, Bennachie, and in it the colonists were painted as a set of rather odd set of characters with dubious morals and backward ways.
Dr Jeff Oliver continues,“Our working theory is they received a lot of bad press from some of the neighbouring locals – and all sorts of slanderous things were said about them, probably because they weren’t initially paying rent. However what may be more accurate is that they were very similar to other agricultural communities of the time and this study will help to provide a more nuanced assessment of this.”A growing respect
Their dubious reputation slowly shifted to one of admiration and respect.
“The Bennachie colonists are a particularly fascinating group because there is a reasonably good archive of information written by various historical commentators – but of course not by the settlers themselves – so working closely with our community collaborators is a big part of our work and we will be comparing the written accounts with what the archaeology reveals.” explained Oliver.
The known story of Bennachie is short but fascinating, with the first colonists related to the Esson family, setting up home around 1800; by 1850 there were about 55 people. The colony broke down slowly after the commonty was divided in 1859 by the neighbouring estates. The colony went to Leslie of Balquhain who charged rents and was responsible for evicting many tenants for refusing to pay rent. And there were apparently on-going tensions between the group and the surrounding estates. In one story the local henchman of the Balquhain estate are said to have come and burned one of the crofters out of his house.
Most of the colonists were gone by the 1870s, with the notable exception of dyker George Esson, who lived on the hill until his death in the 1930s.19th century map of the area A peoples past
Working with the Bailies of Bennachie, the University of Aberdeen team is undertaking surveys and excavations of the colony site to provide a ‘micro history’ of life on the hill.
“The conflict between tenants and landlords and people being removed from their land is an important theme in 18th and 19th century Scottish history,” explained Dr Oliver. “Our work at Bennachie provides an important and new connection to this because we know much less about these kinds of tensions within the northeast.
The research is especially important because it is being carried out with the local community. An important part of the project is engaging members of the public who are passionate about history and about archaeology.
What the group hope to achieve is to take archaeology out of the ivory tower and make it more accessible to others.
Anybody wishing to become practically involved in ‘Bennachie Landscapes’ can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: University of Aberdeen
- Bailies of Bennachie web site: http://www.bailiesofbennachie.co.uk/bennachie-landscapes/
- Bogdan,N Q, Dransart, P Z, Upson-Smith, T and Trigg, J 2000 Bennachie Colony House Excavation 1999 An Extended Interim Report, Lampeter: SEPP
- Fagen, J. “Echoes of the Bennachie Colonists”, Leopard Magazine 2009
- An easy-going trail through Scots pine woodland which passes the remains of houses of the Bennachie Colony – Forestry Commission
University of Aberdeen. The Bennachie colonists rise again. Past Horizons. April 2nd, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/the-bennachie-colonists-rise-again For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
The rise of crowdfunding in the United Kingdom has taken another step forward as UK-based DigVentures launches the world’s first archaeology crowdfunding platform.
DigVentures was started in 2012 as a response to the dwindling of traditional sources of funding for archaeology. The organisation’s ‘social contract archaeology’ model is a whole new way of funding archaeology, which puts the public in the driver’s seat as both the funders, as well as the participants in excavations.
Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular way of funding projects through multiple, often small, ‘grass roots’ investments, helping to finance innovative projects from widgets to movies, music, public spaces and even medical care. This alternative funding model appears to be here to stay, with estimates predicting it to be a $6bn worldwide industry in 2013.Platform specifically for archaeology and heritage
Crowdfunding has historically been associated with generalist platforms like Kickstarter and Indie-go-go. However, now, for the first time, archaeologists have access to a crowdfunding platform specifically designed to meet not only their funding needs, but also provide consultancy on how to build and sustain a successful crowdfunding campaign.
According to the managing director of Dig Ventures, Lisa Westcott Wilkins,”Crowdfunding is a perfect solution for archaeological projects that need funding, but that are also committed to sustainability. Raising funds through our platform isn’t just a quick fix – it will put projects directly in touch with an international community of interested consumers.”Lisa Wescott Wilkins.
And it isn’t just about the money. A crowdfunding platform aimed specifically at archaeology and heritage makes sense, because, as Westcott Wilkins says “Kickstarter and the other big sites operate on volume. With so many products on the big sites site vying for attention, it can be difficult to break through and get the profile your project deserves.
“We think that offering a niche service is absolutely the best way forward – after all, we understand the product, we have years of experience doing it ourselves, plus the necessary strategic expertise to help projects build and market themselves better, with a focus on sustainability.
“We have discovered through our own successful work that crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are extremely powerful, and empowering, community-building and engagement tools – which is just as important to what we do as the funding.”Bronze Age site of Flag Fen
DigVentures ran the world’s first-ever successfully crowdfunded and crowdsourced archaeological dig in 2012 on the Bronze Age site of Flag Fen, near Peterborough in the UK. This innovative project raised over £27,000 in just three months, involved over 250 people from 11 different countries as both digital and excavation participants. And the team is doing it again, with the first project on their new platform, ‘Saints & Secrets: the Lost History of Leiston Abbey’ already over 50 per cent funded just two weeks after launching.
Raksha Dave, Field School Manager at Dig Ventures and former Time Team archaeologist, adds “We hear from people every day, from all over the world, who want to have a go at digging on an archaeological site, or just being a part of fantastic research. Our platform will help them find projects that need support, and also need diggers, researchers, and all sorts of other help.”Facing a harsh reality Raksha Dave.
Archaeology in the UK faces a harsh financial reality, with budget cuts biting deeper and local authority budgets increasingly constricted, commercial archaeology tied to a sluggish construction market and universities adjusting to decreasing applications and cuts to research funding. Says Westcott Wilkins, “Crowdfunding isn’t the only answer, it isn’t right for every project and it certainly can’t stand alone. But it can be part of a set of creative solutions, and DigVentures wants to work alongside organisations like the HLF who are committed to promoting greater sustainability and visibility in archaeology and heritage. We’re in this for the long haul.”
Source: Dig Ventures
- Crowdfunding platform - The platform is open and ready to accept applications from all types of archaeology and heritage projects. The DigVentures crowdfunding platform is a benefits-based, ‘keep it all’ model, which means that upon completion of a campaign, project creators will receive all of the money that has been raised, even if they have not reached their goal. It’s free to apply, and project backers are not charged. DV charges project creators 4% of the amount raised when projects reach their funding target.
- Saints & Secrets: the Lost History of Leiston Abbey - The DV-hosted excavation will run from 2nd July – 14th July at Leiston Abbey in Suffolk. Registration is open until 10th June and places are still available. You must be 17 years or older to dig, or 15 -16 years if accompanied at all times by a parent or guardian who is also a registered participant.
Dig Ventures. Crowdfunding the past: is this the future of archaeology?. Past Horizons. April 05, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/crowdfunding-the-past-is-this-the-future-of-archaeology For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
The reefs surrounding the Gilbert Islands (Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific), like many other island locations throughout the world, have undergone rapid and intensive environmental changes over the past 100 years.
One such change has been the reduction of the number of shark species present in their waters, even though sharks play an important part in the economy and culture of the Gilbertese.
Detail of FMNH 99071 showing the teeth of Carcharhinus obscurus attached using braided cord. (Credit: Drew J, Philipp C, Westneat MW
Two species of sharks previously unreported in both the historic records or contemporary studies were discovered in a new analysis of weapons made from shark teeth used by 19th century islanders. The find was reported in a study published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Joshua Drew from Columbia University and colleagues from the Field Museum of Natural History.
Using the novel data source of shark tooth weapons of the Gilbertese Islanders housed in natural history museums, they were able to show that two species of shark, the Spot-tail (Carcharhinus sorrah) and the Dusky (C. obscurus), were both present in the islands during the last half of the 19th century but not reported in any historical literature or contemporary ichthyological surveys of the region.Analysed 120 weapons
For the current study, the researchers analysed a collection of 120 of these weapons from the Field Museum of Natural History, including some that resemble clubs, daggers, lances, spears and swords. They identified eight species of sharks based on the teeth used in these weapons, two of which have never been reported from these waters, in either historical surveys or contemporary analysis. Both these species are currently common in other areas, so while it is possible that they may still be living undiscovered in the GIlberts, it is more likely that the local populations have been driven to extinction.Gilbertese shark tooth weapon (FMNH 99071). (Credit: Drew J, Philipp C, Westneat MW (2013)
Given the importance of these species to the ecology of the Gilbert Island reefs and to the culture of the Gilbertese people, documenting the shifts in fauna represents an important step toward restoring the ecological and cultural diversity of the area.
The combined data from weapons, literature, and museum collections shows how an increase in the diversity of sampling allows us to better explore the oceans.Carcharhinus obscurus , via Wikimedia Commons
Source: PLOSoneMore Information
- Drew J, Philipp C, Westneat MW (2013) Shark Tooth Weapons from the 19th Century Reflect Shifting Baselines in Central Pacific Predator Assemblies. PLoS ONE 8(4): e59855. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059855
PLOSone. Shark tooth weapons reveal lost species. Past Horizons. April 05 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/shark-tooth-weapons-reveal-lost-species For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
PAPA International offers a brief history of aerial photography, from the first time a camera took flight, until it developed into a business, with very practical applications.
The first known aerial photograph was taken in 1858 by French photographer and balloonist, Gaspar Felix Tournachon, known as “Nadar”. In 1855 he had patented the idea of using aerial photographs in mapmaking and surveying, but it took him 3 years of experimenting before he successfully produced the very first aerial photograph. It was a view of the French village of Petit-Becetre taken from a tethered hot-air balloon, 80 meters above the ground. This was no mean feat, given the complexity of the early collodion photographic process, which required a complete darkroom to be carried in the basket of the balloon!
Unfortunately, Nadar’s earliest photographs no longer survive, and the oldest aerial photograph known to be still in existence is James Wallace Black’s image of Boston from a hot-air balloon, taken in 1860. Following the development of the dry-plate process, it was no longer necessary carry so much equipment, and the first free flight balloon photo mission was carried out by Triboulet over Paris in 1879.
PAPA International, The Professional Aerial Photographers’ Association, is a professional trade organization, whose members are aerial photographers throughout the world.Read on and learn about what happened next – papainternational.org
Friday 5 April 2013, marks the 90th anniversary of the death of the Egyptologist Lord Canarvon and the start of the mysterious curse of Tutankhamen, but author and University of Manchester Egyptologist Dr Joyce Tyldesley points out the real story is far from sinister.
She argues that an exclusive media deal coupled with the subsequent reliance on non-expert comment helped fuel rumours of a curse. Although she also notes that the curse of Tutankhamen is now far more famous than both the original Egyptian king and the men who first unearthed his treasure laden tomb.
It was in November 1922 when the Egyptologist Howard Carter and his team, including Lord Carnarvon, first entered the tomb of Tutankhamen. Their discovery received worldwide media attention, but an exclusive deal with The Times left scores of journalists sitting in the dust outside with nothing to see and no one to interview.
Consequently newspapers turned to all sorts of “experts” to comment on the tomb, including popular fiction authors like Arthur Conan Doyle. Most prominent of all was the popular novelist Marie Corelli, whose comments regarding the health of Lord Carnarvon helped to ignite rumours of a curse.The curse begins George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at Howard Carter’s home on the Theban west bank [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsIn a report in The Express on 24 March 1923 about Lord Carnarvon’s health Marie Corelli wrote: “I cannot but think that some risks are run by breaking into the last rest of a king of Egypt whose tomb is specially and solemnly guarded, and robbing him of possessions. This is why I ask: was it a mosquito bite that has so seriously infected Lord Canarvon?”
When, just a few days later Lord Carnarvon succumbed to his illness, Marie Corelli was hailed as a clairvoyant and a legend was born.
Dr Tyldesley remarks: “Finally the world’s press had a story they could publish without deferring to The Times; a human tragedy far more compelling than the disappointingly slow-moving events at the tomb. As with all celebrity deaths, the story rapidly gathered its own momentum and soon there were reports of sinister goings on. At the very moment of Carnarvon’s death all the lights in Cairo had been mysteriously extinguished and at his English home Carnarvon’s dog, Susie, let out a great howl and died.”
However, as Dr Tyldesley makes clear in her book, ‘Tutankhamen’s Curse: The Developing History of an Egyptian king’, a power cut in Cairo is far from unusual and given the time differences rather than dying simultaneously, Susie actually died four hours after her master.
But never letting the facts get in the way of a good story the press continued with the line that Carnarvon had succumbed to an ancient curse. It was Marie Corelli again who brought this to life with her phrase “death comes on wings to he who enters the tomb of a Pharaoh” and it was soon accepted that this or a slight variation was carved either over the entrance to Tutankhamen’s tomb or somewhere inside it.
However no evidence of this inscription has ever been found and Dr Tyldesley says it’s highly unlikely Tutankhamen would have felt the need to have one inscribed on his tomb.
“In a land where only about 5% of the population was literate it seems unlikely that those tempted to rob could actually read any warning. Instead it was widely accepted that the dead had the power to interfere with the living.”Not letting facts get in the way of a good story
But the absence of any concrete proof did nothing to quell the rumours. As the years went on more deaths were attributed to the curse including Prince Ali Kemal Fahmy Bey who had visited the tomb – he was shot by his wife in 1923, Georges Bénédite the Head of the Department of Antiquities at the Louvre Museum who died in 1926 after seeing the tomb and in 1934 Albert Lythgoe the Egyptologist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York who had seen the open sarcophagus of Tutankhamen a decade before.
Right up until the 1970s deaths were being ascribed to the curse including among the flight crew that brought Tutankhamen’s 1972 exhibition to London.
However, Howard Carter himself found it necessary time and time again to report that Tutankhamen’s tomb contained no biological booby traps, poisons or curse. In fact, of those who had first crept into the Burial Chamber, only Lord Canarvon had died prematurely.
It’s widely believed that Lord Canarvon died from blood poisoning after accidently cutting a mosquito bite whilst shaving. He was after all 57 years old at a time when the average male life expectancy at birth in the UK was just that. His health had also been severely weakened by a near-fatal car crash in Germany in 1901.
Other popular theories include the suggestion that Carnarvon might have been infected by a bite from a mosquito which had itself been contaminated by drinking Tutankhamen’s embalming fluids. This was first put forward by the Daily Mail and gained in popularity when the mummy’s autopsy revealed the scar on Tutankhamen’s face which was widely accepted as a mosquito bite linking Tutankhamen to Carnarvon. Unfortunately this theory doesn’t stand up as there were no mosquitoes in the dry Valley of the Kings before the Aswan dam was built in the 1960s.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the first to suggest that poisonous spores may have been included in the tomb. But this seems extremely unlikely given that ancient Egyptian medicine did not understand the causes of illnesses and sicknesses were attributed to malevolent spirits.
A suggestion he could have been poisoned by inhaling ancient and toxic bat guano that was heaped on the tomb floor can be ruled out as no bats had penetrated the sealed tomb.
And finally, the idea that Carnarvon might have been killed by radiation within the tombs has become increasingly popular. However, there is no evidence to support this theory.
So why has the concept of Tutankhamen’s curse persisted? Dr Tyldesley concludes:
“It’s a testament to the popularity of the occult that the modern legend of Tutankhamen’s curse continues to be believed even today. However, it’s not really surprising that this aspect of the story has lasted. Given the choice between focussing on the pretty average life of King Tut, a tomb they weren’t allowed to see and a relatively uneventful death, journalists can’t be blamed for wanting to write about a mysterious ancient curse; no matter how unlikely its existence really is.”
Deaths popularly attributed to Tutankhamun’s ‘curse’:
- Lord Carnarvon, financial backer of the excavation team who was present at the tomb’s opening, died on April 5, 1923 after a mosquito bite became infected; he died 4 months, and 7 days after the opening of the tomb.
- George Jay Gould I, a visitor to the tomb, died in the French Riviera on May 16, 1923 after he developed a fever following his visit.
- Egypt’s Prince Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey died July 10, 1923: shot dead by his wife.
- Colonel The Hon. Aubrey Herbert, MP, Carnarvon’s half-brother, became completely blind and died 26 September 1923 from blood poisoning related to a dental procedure intended to restore his eyesight.
- Woolf Joel, a South African millionaire and visitor to the tomb, died November 13, 1923: shot dead in Johannesburg by blackmailer Baron Kurt von Veltheim whose real name was Karl Frederic Moritz Kurtze.
- Sir Archibald Douglas-Reid, a radiologist who x-rayed Tutankhamun’s mummy, died January 15, 1924 from a mysterious illness.
- Sir Lee Stack, Governor-General of Sudan, died November 19, 1924: assassinated while driving through Cairo.
- A. C. Mace, a member of Carter’s excavation team, died in 1928 from arsenic poisoning
- The Hon. Mervyn Herbert, Carnarvon’s half brother and the aforementioned Aubrey Herbert’s full brother, died May 26, 1929, reportedly from “malarial pneumonia”.
- Captain The Hon. Richard Bethell, Carter’s personal secretary, died November 15, 1929: found smothered in his bed.
- Richard Luttrell Pilkington Bethell, 3rd Baron Westbury, father of the above, died February 20, 1930; he supposedly threw himself off his seventh floor apartment.
- Howard Carter opened the tomb on February 16, 1923, and died well over a decade later on March 2, 1939; however, some have still attributed his death to the ‘curse’.
Source: University of Manchester
- “The Mummy’s Curse: Mummymania in the English-speaking World”, Jasmine Day, 2006, Routledge
- Egyptology Online @ Manchester
University of Manchester. Curse of Tutankhamen – 90 years on. Past Horizons. April 05, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/curse-of-tutankhamen-90-years-on For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
Archaeologists digging near a spa in southern Israel have uncovered Byzantine-era remains that include a large wine-press and a unique clay lantern decorated with crosses looking like a miniature church
The stone remnants of what must have been a significant wine-making apparatus include compartments for storing grapes, a treading floor, and pits for collecting liquid, all spread over an area of more than 100 yards. It would have been in use about 1,500 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Thursday.Read more on www.timesofisrael.com
Indigenous people that lived in southeastern Brazil in the late 1800s shared some genetic sequences with Polynesians, an analysis of their remains shows. The finding offers some support for the possibility that Pacific islanders traded with South America thousands of years ago, but researchers say that the distinctive DNA sequences, or haplogroups, may have entered the genomes of the native Brazilians through the slave trade during the nineteenth century.
Most scientists agree that humans arrived in the Americas between 15,000 and 20,000 years ago, probably via the Bering land bridge linking northeastern Asia with what is now Alaska.
But the precise timing and the number of ‘migration waves’ is unclear, owing largely to variations in early Americans’ physical features, says Sérgio Pena, a molecular geneticist at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.Read the full article on nature.com
By Fernando Contreras Rodrigo and Cristina Bravo Asensio
The archaeological site of Sanisera is located on the northern coast of Menorca, three kilometres south of the Cape of Cavalleria, in the port of Sanitja and within the territory of Santa Teresa.Aerial view of the port of Sanitja and location of archaeological site. Image: The Sanisera Field School
Ongoing archaeological excavations have shown that Roman Sanisera was occupied in the Late Republican period and throughout the Early Empire period. Its population prospered from the 4th century AD and especially during the Vandal occupation and beginning of Byzantine rule. Later, from the 7th century AD Sanisera gradually decayed until it became de-populated around the beginning of the 9th century AD.
In the early Eighties excavations were carried out in the central part of the city and during this time, several burials and the remains of an Early Christian basilica were found. In the mid nineties several systematic surveys identified six necropolii containing cist tombs, which surround the perimeter of the city and may date from between the 4th to the 6th centuries AD.
The most recent excavations took place between 2008 and 2012 in an area to the west of the Port of Sanitja and very close to the shoreline, successfully locating two previously unknown buildings (10 & 11).
Building 10 is a rectilinear structure with a total floor space of approximately 600 m². It is made up of 18 rooms, including two kitchens (with a preserved hearth and in situ millstone as well as three cisterns), a metal foundry (with a small circular furnace and several pits), bedrooms (with small corner hearths) and even a latrine.
This building seems to have been built and occupied during the Late Empire period as an extension of the urban planning of Sanisera towards its northern limits.Incense burner of Tanit – Enamelled Belt buckle – Sestertius of Empress Sabina
Some interesting finds from the land levelling layer includes a Punic-Ebussitan incense burner which represents the goddess Tanit and from the latest period of occupation, Islamic green glaze ceramics and two silver coins (dírhams) dating to 812 and 825.Ivory sheet with a central cross design – Silver dirham (AD 825)
The second structure (Building 11), located at the south eastern portion of the excavated area has a semicircular apse on its western end, giving it a basilica like layout. Both the stratigraphic sequence along with the artefacts found within the structure shows an occupation span very similar to that of Building 10. However, it appears that this structure, unlike Building 10, has been remodelled six times over several centuries and has had various uses.
The phases that have been analysed in depth are its last three; those dating from the middle of the 3rd century AD until the end of the port of Sanitja’s occupation in the 9th century AD. In its fourth phase in the Late Empire period (middle of the 3rd century AD and during most of the 4th century AD) this structure seems to have functioned as a house and had incorporated part of the earlier walls into its design. In its final pre- Islamic phase as the city was losing its importance (between the early 7th until 9th century AD) it also functioned as a dwelling. However, it is its penultimate phase that is the most interesting.Early Christian basilica of Sanisera (5th and 6th centuries AD) Religious function
The building undertook a major transformation during Sanitja’s period of prosperity (during the Vandal occupation and beginning of Byzantine rule in Menorca) and took on a basilical layout.
The stratigraphic sequence revealed pottery and 32 Vandal coins, all of which helped establish occupation from the mid 5th to mid 6th century AD.
Its re-modelling involved the construction of some new walls and blocking up of old entrances. However, it also incorporated parts of the pre-existing structure and was transformed into a basilica composed of five separate rooms which related to a flagstone paved central nave and an apse at the west end (Room 10), two side naves that shared similar dimensions (Rooms11&12) and two other spaces (Rooms 13&14) to the east.
The usual layout for a Christian basilica places the apse at the eastern end, but more unusually this one is on the west. However, there are many examples that do not follow the standard model, including the Spanish basilicas of Begastri, San Vicente Martir (Córdoba) or Marialba (Léon), all of them following a north-south orientation.A baptistry
Room 11 of the basilica contains some interesting features which indicate that it performed a special function. Its entrance way is monumental (the largest in the whole building) and is made up of large squared sandstone blocks of a higher quality than anywhere else in the structure.
The wall on its northern side contains painted wall plaster in red and yellow ochre hues and along with further evidence of paint work in Room 13, this is the only decoration that has been found.
The third important feature of this room is a centrally located rectangular pit that follows a north-south orientation and is crossed by a second shorter pit oriented east-west. This feature is considered to be the baptismal font.Baptismal font located in the centre of Room 11 – (sketch of layout) Ecclesiastical complex
The initial hypothesis is that both buildings belonged to the same ecclesiastical complex and consisted of a building for religious worship along with an associated ecclesiastical community house and pilgrim’s refuge. It is also thought that there is a connection with the funerary complex (Necropolis 04), located just 65 metres to the west, but outside the city limits. In 2012 excavations began at this site and so far a total of 15 tombs have been studied, all of them containing an average of 4 – 5 individuals.
The Early Christian basilica that was excavated in the eighties and the six Late Roman necropolii which surround the port city are also interesting elements that highlight the “sacred” nature of Sanitja in times when pilgrimage routes could have existed to the island of Menorca.
Ecclesiastical complexes proliferated in different areas of the Mediterranean between the 5th and 6th centuries AD, and many of them show clear similarities to the one at the port of Sanitja. After the Fall of Rome the church was becoming increasingly powerful and pilgrimage started to play an important function in Early Christian life.
Source: Sanisera Field SchoolBibliography
- ALCAIDE, S. 2011: Arquitectura Cristiana Balear en la Antigüedad Tardía (Tesis Doctoral). Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica. Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Tarragona.
- ALONSO, A.1983: “Las Estancias Absidiadas en las Villae Romanas de Extremadura”, Nora: Revista de arte, geografía e historia, 4, 199-206.
- CASANOVAS, M. A. 2005: Historia de Menorca. Palma de Mallorca.
- CABALLERO, L.; ULBERT, T.1975: La Basílica Paleocristiana de Casa Herrera en las cercanías de Mérida (Badajoz), Madrid.
- CHAVARRÍA, A. 2007: El final de las Villae en Hispania. (Siglos IV-VII d.C.), Bibliothèque de l’Antiquité Tardive, Turnhout.
- MAROT, T. 1997: “Aproximación a la circulación monetaria en la península ibérica y las islas baleares durante los siglos V y VI: la incidencia de las emisiones vándalas y bizantinas”, Revue Numismatique, Volumen 6, Número 152, 157 – 190.
- SÁNCHEZ, I. 2009: “Arquitectura sacra de época tardía en Hispalis. Algunas reflexiones”, Archivo Español de Arqueología, Vol. 28, 255-274.
- VIZCAÍNO, J. 2009: La Presencia Bizantina en Hispania (Siglos VI-VII). La Documentación Arqueológica, Murcia.
- Archaeology Digs 2013. The Sanisera Field School offers 16 different courses in Europe focusing on the survey and excavation of the Roman city of Sanisera, bioarchaeology and maritime archaeology. Students gain fieldwork experience in both archaeology and biological anthropology.
Sanisera Field School. Excavating an Early Christian basilica at Sanisera. Past Horizons. April 04, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/Excavating an Early Christian basilica at Sanisera For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
David Lentz from the University of Cincinnati focuses on Cerén, a farming village that was smothered under several metres of volcanic ash in the late sixth century.
Lentz will present his research, “The Lost World of the Zapotitan Valley: Cerén and its Paleoecological Context,” at the 78th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, held on 3-7 April 2013 in Honolulu. More than 3,000 scientists from around the world attend the event to learn about research covering a broad range of topics and time periods.
Cerén, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Joya de Cerén, was discovered in El Salvador in the late 1970s when a governmental construction project unearthed what turned out to be ancient ceramic pottery and other clay structures. The initial archaeological excavation was directed by Payson Sheets, a faculty member at the University of Colorado and a friend of Lentz.Ridged and furrowed land, believed to be a maize field. Photo provided by David Lentz, University of Cincinnati. Remarkably well preserved
Cerén is sometimes called “the Pompeii of Central America,” and much like that doomed ancient Roman city, the wreckage of Cerén was remarkably well preserved by its volcanic burial shroud.
“What this meant for me, is this site had all these plant remains lying on the ground,” Lentz says. “Not only do we find these plant remains well preserved, but we find them where the people left them more than a thousand years ago, and that is really extraordinary.”
Lentz specializes in paleoethnobotany and often in his work – including at other Maya sites – he’s left to interpret complex meaning from splinters of charred wood and hard nut fragments. The Mayas’ tropical environment, which isn’t conducive to preserving plant remains, doesn’t make things any easier.
But the situation was different at Cerén. The village’s sudden and complete ruin sealed it under layers of preservative ash. So Lentz’s research there is still challenging but in an unfamiliar way.
“It was tricky because we kept encountering things we’d never encountered before at a Maya site,” Lentz says. “They were just invisible because of the lack of preservation.”
A few examples of what Lentz and his team have discovered at Cerén:
- Large quantities of a root crop (malanga, a relative of taro) that previously had not been associated with Maya agriculture. They found another “invisible” crop of manioc alongside the more anticipated fields of maize, and they found grasses no longer in existence on the modern-day El Salvador landscape.
- The first discovery of a Maya kitchen, complete with intensively planted household garden. “We could tell what was planted around the houses,” Lentz says. “This is fabulous because people have long debated how the Maya did all this. Now we have a real example.”
- A household with more than 70 ceramic pots, many used to store beans, peppers and other plant matter. Having that many vessels in one home was an unusual discovery for what is thought to be a small, farming village.
- Large plots of neatly rowed land, evidence of ridge and furrow agriculture. Lentz also posits that the people of Cerén surrounded their homes with orchard trees. These discoveries seemingly debunk the common theory that the Maya employed a slash-and-burn agriculture method.
- A raised, paved pathway called a “sacbe,” which was used by the Maya for ceremonial and commercial purposes. Lentz plans additional research on the sacbe to see what other significant discoveries could be made by following the path.
From these new discoveries come many lessons, a lot of them ecological. Lentz has studied how the Mayas effectively implemented systems of agriculture and arboriculture. He is intrigued by what made these methods successful, considering the Maya population was much denser than what exists on the modern landscape.What is thought to be a Maya shaman’s house at Cerén. Photo provided by David Lentz, University of Cincinnati.
His findings at Cerén give him new pieces to plug into the Maya puzzle. Furthermore, they help us understand how humankind affects the natural world.
“Cerén is regarded internationally as one of the treasures of the world,” Lentz says. “What’s been found there gives you a real idea of what things were like in the past and how humans have modified things. I think what we’re learning there is revolutionising our concept of the ancient past in Mesoamerica.”
Source: The University of CincinnatiMore Information
The University of Cincinnati. Volcanic burial ground allows detailed insight into Maya crops. Past Horizons. April 03, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/volcanic-burial-ground-allows-detailed-insight-into-maya-crops For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
In the middle of the Bronze Age, around 1000 BCE, the quantity of metal artefacts traded in the Baltic Sea region increased dramatically. Around that same time, a new type of monument appeared along the coasts; stones set on edge and arranged in the form of ships, built by the maritime culture involved in that same metal trade.A wide maritime network
These Bronze Age maritime groups were part of a network that extended across large parts of northern Europe and with links further to the south: a network maintained due to the increasing dependence on bronze and other important raw materials as a means of social status and cultural dependency.
Archaeologists have long assumed that bronze was imported to Scandinavia from the south, and recent analyses has now confirmed this hypothesis. However, the people who conducted the trade and formed the networks are rarely addressed, not to mention the locations of where they met.
‘One reason why the meeting places of the Bronze Age are not discussed very often is that we have been unable to find them. Which is in contrast to the trading centres of the [later] Viking Age, which have been easy to locate due to the wealth of archaeological material that was left behind,’ says the author of the thesis Joakim Wehlin from the University of Gothenburg and Gotland University.
In his thesis, Wehlin analysed the entirety of archaeological material from the stone ships and also the placement of these monuments within the landscape of Gotland. The thesis offers a new and extensive account of the stone ships and suggests that the importance of the Baltic Sea during the Scandinavian Bronze Age, not least as a waterway, has been underestimated in previous research.
The stone ships can be found across the whole Baltic Sea region; especially on the larger islands with a significant cluster on Gotland. The ships have long been thought to have served as graves and for this reason they have been viewed as vessels intended to take the deceased into the afterlife.Skeppssättning (Stone ship), Gnisvärd, Gotland Image: Roine Johansson (Flickr, used under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) The site as a meeting place
‘My study shows a different picture,“ says Wehlin
“It seems the whole body was typically not buried within the ship, and a significant percentage of stone ships have no graves within them at all. Instead, they sometimes show remains of other types of activities. So with the absence of the dead, the traces of the living begin to appear.’
Wehlin suggests that the stone ships and the activities that may have taken place around them point to a people who were focused on maritime trade and connections. Details in the ship monuments indicate that they were built not so much as spectral ships, but as representations of real vessels.
Wehlin feels that the stone ships can even give clues about the ship-building techniques and structural dimensions and this provides further insight into the ships that sailed the Baltic Sea during the Bronze Age.
This period in prehistory shows the ship as a dominant element of the visual culture; carved in stone, decorated on bronze artefacts or built as stone constructions. The ships visualised in different media seem to refer to factual ships and the variety could indicate different functional ships.Early trading ports
Using terrain analysis, Wehlin has located what he feels are a number of potential meeting places – which could even be described as early trading ports.
In one part of the study area in the north-east of Gotland the water system consists of the Hörsne River which later becomes the Gothem River (the largest river in Gotland). The river runs north-east through the wetlands of Lina bog, and continues to its mouth at Åminne and the Bay of Vitviken into the Baltic Sea.
The Lina bog was – prior to the draining campaign in 1947 – the largest on Gotland. This area appears as a maritime landscape with a large inland wetland, bogs, river-systems, river-mouth, coast and sea situated within a rich Bronze Age landscape. The area might well have been important as a communication hub between the east and west coast one that continued into historic times.
Wehlin believes that it is no coincidence that one of the largest clusters of ship settings, almost 15 % of the total number of such monuments, appears in this region.
He suggests that people who were part of a maritime institution; boat builders, seafarers, people with knowledge and skills required for overseas journeys, such as navigation, trade etc., might have had a special place in the society. If so, they may be connected to the ship setting tradition. These features can be seen as a primary instrument for collective identification, akin to the rock-carving sites in Bohuslän. The burials that are present near these sites become secondary activities related to the power of place.
Source: University of GothenburgMore Information
- Approaching the Gotlandic Bronze Age from Sea. Future possibilities from a maritime perspective by Joakim Wehlin,
- Published in: Martinsson-Wallin, H. (2010). Baltic Prehistoric Interactions and Transformations: The Neolithic to the Bronze Age. Gotland University Press 5. s. 89-109. Bronze Age Gotland
University of Gothenburg. Investigating Bronze Age stone ships on Gotland. Past Horizons. April 01, 2013, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/investigating-bronze-age-stone-ships-on-gotland For Archaeology News – Archaeology Research – Archaeology Press Releases
The monastery attracted so many students and monks from around greater India that its administration built an annex to house the seekers of enlightenment coming to meditate there, archaeologists at Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) have discovered.
Another notable finding was that the main compound of the monastery, located in present-day Badal Pur, is at least 300 years older than archaeologists previously estimated. The main compound, which consists of 55 “monk cells”, was excavated between 2005 and 2012.
See on tribune.com.pk
Initial funding has been secured for an ambitious archaeological project to uncover a lost 17th century town in Northern Ireland.
The site beside Dunluce Castle (above) on the scenic Causeway Coast has been hailed as potentially the region’s own “little Pompeii”.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has now provided more than £300,000 for an excavation project and signalled the potential for a total package of £4 million.
The ruins of the castle have stood on the rocky coastal outcrop near Bushmills in north Antrim for centuries but it was only four years ago that archaeologists re-discovered a lost settlement beside the landmark.
Established in 1608 by the first Earl of Antrim, Randal MacDonnell, the town was destroyed in the uprising of 1641 and was eventually abandoned in 1680.Read more about this fascinating project on belfasttelegraph.co.uk
Preservation of a body is an interesting phenomenon, whether it be the evanescent embalming at a funeral home to prevent the body from decaying at the wake, or preservation for hundreds of years as is the case with Rosalia Lombardo in the Palermo catacombs.
Embalming is a three-fold process of sanitation, presentation and presentation. While the process has ancient roots and is found throughout the world, the modern technique was not possible until the Civil War, when the high number of bodies needing to be shipped over distances necessitated research and led to Dr. Thomas Holmes discovering a method of arterial preservation.
This was later improved in 1867, the August Wilhelm von Hofmann discovered formaldehyde. Primarily it involves the replacement of fluids and blood with chemicals to prevent putrefaction.
Displaying the Famous Political Dead – Katy MeyersRead the full article on bonesdontlie.wordpress.com
The Sasanian Persian siege that destroyed Roman-held Dura-Europos, Syria, ca. 256 C.E. left some of the best evidence ever recovered for the nature and practices of ancient warfare.
Perhaps the most dramatic of the archaeological deposits, excavated in the early 1930s, were those resulting from the mining duel around Tower 19 on the city’s western wall, during which at least 19 Roman soldiers and one Sasanian became entombed.
Recent reanalysis of the excavation archive suggested that the mine evidence still held one unrecognized deadly secret: the Roman soldiers who perished there had not, as Robert du Mesnil du Buisson (the original excavator) believed, died by the sword or by fire but had been deliberately gassed by the Sasanian attackers.
This article discusses the implications of this conclusion for our understanding of early Sasanian military capabilities and reviews the question of possible re-excavation in search of the casualties of Tower 19, whose remains were neither studied nor retained.
| American Journal of ArchaeologyRead the full free article from 2011 here on www.ajaonline.org
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