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Just Archaeology- 19

28 Dec

Continuing to mine stories at http://www.archaeologica.org/NewsPage.htm

#1. http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2015/12/13/archaeologists-discover-3000-year-old-ancient-thracian-necropolis-with-gold-finds-during-rescue-digs-near-bulgarias-dragoman/

An Ancient Thracian necropolis which is more than 3,000 years old, and contains golddecorations has been discovered by archaeologists during rescueexcavations in WesternBulgaria.

The rescue digs near the town of Chukovezer, Dragoman Municipality, located to the west of Sofia, near Bulgaria’s borderwith Serbia, are being conducted because of the construction of the Bulgaria-Serbia Gas Interconnector, a long-anticipated natural gas pipeline.

The newly discovered Ancient Thracian necropolis dates back to 1400-1000 BC, lead archaeologistAssist. Prof. Dr. Borislav Borislavov from the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences has told Offnews.

#2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2015/12/08/this-one-bone-provides-the-only-skeletal-evidence-for-crucifixion-in-the-ancient-world/

The Romans practiced crucifixion – literally, “fixed to a cross” – for nearly a millennium. It was a public, painful, and slow form of execution, and used as a way to deter future crimes and humiliate the dying person. Since it was done to thousands of people and involved nails, you’d probably assume we have skeletal evidence of crucifixion.  But there’s only one, single bony example of Roman crucifixion, and even that is still heavily debated by experts.

Crucifixion seems to have originated in Persia, but the Romans created the practice as we think of it today, employing either a crux immissa (similar to the Christian cross) or a crux commissa (a T-shaped cross) made up of an upright post and a crossbar.  Generally, the upright post was erected first, and the victim was tied or nailed to the crossbar and then hoisted up.  There was usually an inscription nailed above the victim, noting his particular crime, and sometimes victims got a wooden support to sit or stand on. But Seneca, the Roman philosopher, wrote in 40AD that the process of crucifying someone varied greatly: “I see crosses there, not just of one kind but made in different ways: some have their victims with their head down to the ground, some impale their private parts, others stretch out their arms.”

When nails were involved, they were long and square (about 15cm long and 1cm thick) and were driven into the victim’s wrists or forearms to fix him to the crossbar.  Once the crossbar was in place, the feet may be nailed to either side of the upright or crossed.  In the first case, nails would have been driven through the heel bones, and in the second case, one nail would have been hammered through the metatarsals in the middle of the foot.  To hasten death, the victim sometimes had his legs broken (crurifragium); the resulting compound fracture of the shin bones may have resulted in hemorrhage and fat embolisms, not to mention significant pain, causing earlier death.

#3. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/12052798/Dog-has-been-mans-best-friend-for-33000-years-DNA-study-finds.html?

Man’s best friend came about after generations of wolves scavenged alongside humans more than 33,000 years ago in south east Asia, according to new research.

Dogs became self-domesticated as they slowly evolved from wolves who joined humans in the hunt, according to the first study of dog genomes.

And it shows that the first domesticated dogs came about 33,000 years ago and migrated to Europe, rather than descending from domesticated European wolves 10,000 years ago as had previously been thought.

Scientists have long puzzled over how man’s best friend came into existence but there is conflicting evidence on when and where wild wolves were first tamed.

Scientists think that they have to pronounce judgment before anyone knows anything. Scientists are usually the last to know and they are generally wrong.

#4. http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/12/16/archaeologist-claims-to-have-unlocked-phaistos-disk-mystery/

The goddess of love, the Minoan Astarte, is the key figure that unlocks the mystery of the Phaistos Disk, according to linguist, archaeologist and coordinator of the program Erasmus of Crete Technological Institute; Gareth Owens.

Speaking to the ANA – MPA news agency, Owens said that after new data found in his research, his theory has changed slightly compared to the position he had expressed about a year ago. The focus is no longer the “pregnant mother”, as originally estimated, but a “pregnant goddess” that takes shape in the face of Astarte, the goddess of love.

“There is no doubt that we are talking about a religious text. This is clear from a comparison made with other religious words from other inscriptions from the holy mountains of Crete. We have words that are exactly the same,” Owens said and added, “I suspect that the Phaistos Disc is a hymn before Astarte, the goddess of love. Words such as those mentioned on the disk have been found on Minoan offerings and as with today’s offerings, people pray when they are troubled, because of health problems or personal reasons. Man doesn’t change, after all.”

We do not even know if those pictures are an actual language or not so this decipherment is not so clear or true. I doubt it is a religious text.

Every time something is discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, the whispers begin. Is it the queen? Has she finally been found? They’re asking about Nefertiti, the legendary beauty who was married to one of ancient Egypt’s strangest pharaohs. Her burial site has never been found, and its location is one of the enduring mysteries in Egyptology.

The buzz is now as loud as ever, as scans of King Tut’s tomb indicate there may be hidden chambers behind sections of walls. Questions have inevitably arisen about possible links to Nefertiti, and whether archaeologists will peek behind the walls to find room after room filled with the dazzling grave goods of the long-lost queen.

The Volnoe Delo Oleg Deripaska Foundation, one of the largest private charities in Russia, has announced that Russian archaeologists working at the site of the ancient Greek city of Phanagoria near the Black Sea have discovered traces of a violent coup at the site, which at one time was the capital of the Kingdom of Bosporus in the 5th-4th century BC.

Following the Foundation-supported 12th archaeological season at the site of ancient Phanagoria, archaeologists reached ancient layers dating back to the 6th-5th century BC. They unearthed fragments of a city destroyed by a massive fire in 480-470 BC. It matches historic chronicles about power transition in the Kingdom of Bosporus when a Thracian dynasty of Spartocids deposed the ruling Archaeanactids dynasty in the 5th century BC.

 

It may not have been a coup.

 

#7. http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/dec/21/egyptian-pharaoh-tutankhamuns-wet-nurse-might-have-been-his-sister

 

Archaeologists believe Maia, Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s wet nurse, may have actually been his sister Meritaten.

On Sunday, Egyptian officials and French archaeologist Alain Zivie unveiled Maia’s tomb to journalists ahead of its opening to the public next month.

The tomb was discovered by Zivie in 1996 in Saqqara, a necropolis about 20km (12 miles) south of Cairo.

Maia was the wet nurse of Tutankhamun, whose mummy was found in 1922 by renowned British Egyptologist Howard Carter in the Valley of Kings in Luxor along with a treasure trove of thousands of objects.

DNA tests have proven that the pharaoh Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamun. The identity of his mother has long been a mystery, although she is not believed to be Akhenaten’s Queen Nefertiti. Some theories suggest the boy king’s mother was one of his aunts.

 

Sigh…

 

#8. http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2015/12/21/thracologists-discover-ancient-thracian-rock-step-pyramid-in-eastern-rhodope-mountains-in-southern-bulgaria/

 

n Ancient Thracian rock step pyramid with a rock sun temple dating back to 2500 BC has been identified in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains in Southern Bulgaria by an expedition of historians and thracologists.

The Thracian pyramid in question was shaped out of the natural rocks in the mountain near the town of Kovil, Krumovgrad Municipality, Kardzhali District.

It is about 15 meters tall, and consists of five stepped terraces, with the sun temple hacked into the rocks inside it, according to Prof. Vasil Markov, a historian specializing in the civilization ofAncient Thrace.

#9. http://www.livescience.com/53167-rattles-found-in-prehistoric-infant-grave.html

 

Tiny figurines that may have been used as rattling toys or charms to ward off evil spirits were discovered in the grave of an infant dating back 4,500 years, archaeologists say.

The burial was discovered on the northwest shore of Lake Itkul in the Minusinsk basinin Russia. The infant’s remains, which were found in what appears to be a birchbark cradle, suggest he or she was less than a year old at death. On the infant’s chest, archaeologists found “eight miniature horn figurines representing humanlike characters and heads of birds, elk, boar and a carnivore,”wrote archaeologists Andrey Polyakov and Yury Esin, in an article published recently in the journal Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia.

 

Or the child was buried with its favorite toy. Archaeologists drive me crazy sometimes.

 

#10 http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/History-mystery-Gold-tool-discovered-in-cemetery-structure-leaves-archaeologists-stumped-438035

The Antiquities Authority turned to the public Tuesday to understand the purpose for a mysterious artifact that was discovered in an old building in a Jerusalem cemetery.

Several months ago, a maintenance worker for the cemetery noticed an abandoned package inside an old structure on the grounds. In accordance with security protocol, the worker immediately alerted police forces in the area who carried out a controlled explosion within the building to eliminate any possible threat from the package.

The damage caused to the structure revealed a gold-colored object which was turned over to the authority for study.

At 8.5 kg., the IAA has been stumped by the gold object, having never seen anything of the like in the past. The object has since been taken in for testing and analysis by experts who tried to understand the use and purpose of the item.

 

Of course they are stumped, modern researchers do not give the ancients credit for anything.

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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in academics, archaeology, education, General Life, Genetics, history, science

 

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