Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

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RTH10260
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Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

#1

Post by RTH10260 »

Let' have a special thread for the very ancient stuff.



;) where Sterngard will especially feel at home

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RTH10260
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Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

#2

Post by RTH10260 »

Giant marble pyramid-shaped island complex rising from sea uncovered, revealing secrets of ancient Greece’s origins
Exclusive: Thousands of years of history being unlocked in the Aegean isles which could provide groundbreaking knowledge of ancient civilisations

David Keys Archaeology Correspondent
Tuesday 9 July 2019 17:45

Excavations on a tiny island in the Aegean Sea – 125 miles southeast of Athens – are revealing the earliest truly monumental complex of buildings ever unearthed anywhere in the Greek world.

Dating back 4,600 years, the site may also have been part of the inspiration for a key aspect of Greek religion – the idea that mountain tops were the dwelling places of the gods.

The complex – on a mountain peak-shaped islet off the coast of the Aegean island of Keros (part of the Cyclades archipelago) – is totally changing archaeologists’ understanding of prehistoric Greece.

Until now, nobody had realised the true scale of the complex – and the gargantuan effort that had gone into constructing it.

Archaeologists now believe that, in order to construct the complex, early Bronze Age Greeks embarked on at least 3,500 maritime voyages to transport between 7,000 and 10,000 tonnes of shining white marble from one Aegean island to another.

Each return voyage would have required up to 24 crew members to paddle for around five hours.

“It is by far the largest prehistoric marine transport operation that has ever come to light anywhere in the world,” said Dr Julian Whitewright, a leading maritime archaeologist at the University of Southampton.

“It demonstrates quite clearly just how important, and integral to their culture, seafaring was to these early Bronze Age Aegean people.”

The voyages – totalling around 45,000 miles – allowed the architects to construct what is thought to have been a huge religious sanctuary consisting of up to 60 marble buildings, which were constructed specifically to glisten in the sun.

What’s more, the architects “terra-formed” the pyramid-shaped island “mini-mountain”, known in recent centuries as Dhaskalio (possibly just meaning “islet”), to create around 1,000m of artificial terracing, arranged in six “steps” on its steep slopes.

These roughly six-metre wide terraces appear to have been built specifically to accommodate all the buildings. The summit itself was not initially built on – but instead had a small, probably sacred, open area where votive offerings may have been deposited.

“Our investigation has been transforming our understanding of early Bronze Age Cycladic culture and suggests that these very early Greeks were organisationally, technically and politically much more advanced than previously thought,” said the project’s co-director Michael Boyd, of Cambridge University’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Nothing like this monumental complex has ever been found from this period in or around Greece before.

Although the current archaeological investigations on Dhaskalio have been going on for the past four years, it’s only more detailed examination of the resultant data over the past 12 months that has revealed the true scale of the complex, and the transport logistics and construction work associated with it.

But the remarkable nature of the site does fit into a much more widely dispersed series of monumental construction traditions from western Europe and the Middle East.

Intriguingly, it was built within 100 years or so of the creation of Stonehenge, the first Egyptian pyramids, the great cities of the Indus Valley and the first known Mesopotamian kingdoms.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 97666.html
Note: article presents also an unrelated video clip about new discoveries in Egypt.

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NotaPerson
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Re: Archaeology

#3

Post by NotaPerson »

Glad to see this thread, as stories like that fascinate me.

I've been reading up on the Etruscans lately. They inhabited central Italy before the Romans conquered them. I'm planning to visit some Etruscan sites next spring - mostly tombs, but also the "Etruscan Pyramid" I just learned about a few months ago...

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/etr ... id-bomarzo
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RTH10260
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Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

#4

Post by RTH10260 »

500-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered in Baltic Sea Looks ‘Like it Sank Yesterday’
July 23, 2019 by Mike Schuler

An international team of scientists have announced the discovery of the remains of a 500-year-old ship that remains pristinely intact in the cold, dark depths of the Baltic Sea.

Scientists say the shipwreck is perhaps the best preserved shipwreck of its period yet to be discovered.

It was first detected in 2009 by the Swedish Maritime Administration using state-of-the-art sonar. For years it went unexplored until earlier this year when, as part of work carried out by survey specialists MMT, the wreck was identified as having great archaeological and historical significance.

Further inspection of the wreck was led by Dr. Rodrigo Pacheco-Ruiz, MMT’s maritime archaeologist and deep sea archaeological expert together with the Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA) at the University of Southampton, Deep Sea Productions and the Maritime Archaeology Research Institute of Södertörn University (MARIS).

“This ship is contemporary to the times of Christopher Columbus and Leonardo Da Vinci, yet it demonstrates a remarkable level of preservation after five hundred years at the bottom of the sea, thanks to the cold, brackish waters of the Baltic,” said Dr Pacheco-Ruiz, who is also a Visiting Fellow in Maritime Archaeology at Southampton.

“It’s almost like it sank yesterday – masts in place and hull intact. Still on the main deck is an incredibly rare find – the tender boat, used to ferry crew to and from the ship, leaning against the main mast. It’s a truly astonishing sight,” he added.


https://gcaptain.com/500-year-old-shipw ... yesterday/

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Hurtzi
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Re: Archaeology

#5

Post by Hurtzi »

RTH10260 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:59 am
Giant marble pyramid-shaped island complex rising from sea uncovered, revealing secrets of ancient Greece’s origins
Exclusive: Thousands of years of history being unlocked in the Aegean isles which could provide groundbreaking knowledge of ancient civilisations

David Keys Archaeology Correspondent
Tuesday 9 July 2019 17:45

Excavations on a tiny island in the Aegean Sea – 125 miles southeast of Athens – are revealing the earliest truly monumental complex of buildings ever unearthed anywhere in the Greek world.

Dating back 4,600 years, the site may also have been part of the inspiration for a key aspect of Greek religion – the idea that mountain tops were the dwelling places of the gods.

The complex – on a mountain peak-shaped islet off the coast of the Aegean island of Keros (part of the Cyclades archipelago) – is totally changing archaeologists’ understanding of prehistoric Greece.

Until now, nobody had realised the true scale of the complex – and the gargantuan effort that had gone into constructing it.

Archaeologists now believe that, in order to construct the complex, early Bronze Age Greeks embarked on at least 3,500 maritime voyages to transport between 7,000 and 10,000 tonnes of shining white marble from one Aegean island to another.

Each return voyage would have required up to 24 crew members to paddle for around five hours.

“It is by far the largest prehistoric marine transport operation that has ever come to light anywhere in the world,” said Dr Julian Whitewright, a leading maritime archaeologist at the University of Southampton.

“It demonstrates quite clearly just how important, and integral to their culture, seafaring was to these early Bronze Age Aegean people.”

The voyages – totalling around 45,000 miles – allowed the architects to construct what is thought to have been a huge religious sanctuary consisting of up to 60 marble buildings, which were constructed specifically to glisten in the sun.

What’s more, the architects “terra-formed” the pyramid-shaped island “mini-mountain”, known in recent centuries as Dhaskalio (possibly just meaning “islet”), to create around 1,000m of artificial terracing, arranged in six “steps” on its steep slopes.

These roughly six-metre wide terraces appear to have been built specifically to accommodate all the buildings. The summit itself was not initially built on – but instead had a small, probably sacred, open area where votive offerings may have been deposited.

“Our investigation has been transforming our understanding of early Bronze Age Cycladic culture and suggests that these very early Greeks were organisationally, technically and politically much more advanced than previously thought,” said the project’s co-director Michael Boyd, of Cambridge University’s McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Nothing like this monumental complex has ever been found from this period in or around Greece before.

Although the current archaeological investigations on Dhaskalio have been going on for the past four years, it’s only more detailed examination of the resultant data over the past 12 months that has revealed the true scale of the complex, and the transport logistics and construction work associated with it.

But the remarkable nature of the site does fit into a much more widely dispersed series of monumental construction traditions from western Europe and the Middle East.

Intriguingly, it was built within 100 years or so of the creation of Stonehenge, the first Egyptian pyramids, the great cities of the Indus Valley and the first known Mesopotamian kingdoms.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 97666.html
Note: article presents also an unrelated video clip about new discoveries in Egypt.
This

https://maps.app.goo.gl/Cdfsd1oJYixRLiZk7

is Dhaskalio.
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Re: Archaeology

#6

Post by NotaPerson »

Pompeii archaeologists uncover 'sorcerer's treasure trove'
Archaeologists working in the buried Roman city of Pompeii say they have uncovered a "sorcerer's treasure trove" of artefacts, including good-luck charms, mirrors and glass beads.

Most of the items would have belonged to women, said Massimo Osanna, director of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii.

A room with the bodies of 10 victims, including women and children, was excavated in the same house.

Pompeii was engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mt Vesuvius in AD 79.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49325627

Much more, including pics, at the link.
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Re: Archaeology

#7

Post by Sluffy1 »

The face of our oldest direct ancestor has been revealed for the first time, with scientists calling the 3.8-million-year-old ape-like hominin an “icon of human evolution”.

The adult male – known as MRD – was from a species known as Australopithecus anamensis who roamed Ethiopia’s highlands millions of years ago. He is an ancestor of “Lucy”, one of the world’s most famous fossils who lived in the same area 3.2 million years ago.

The two early human species co-existed for 100,000 years, which rewrites previous research suggesting the older species gave way to the younger one. The earlier group – which MRD comes from – is the oldest known species that is unambiguously part of the human evolutionary tree.
The 3.8m-year-old face of our oldest ancestor
Image
The 3.8-million-year-old cranium was almost completely preserved meaning scientists could identify never-before-seen facial features (reconstruction, pictured)
Image
Scientists already knew that Australopithecus anamensis (pictured, reconstruction) existed as bones of around 20 individuals have been discovered in Kenya and Ethiopia
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/scie ... 82106.html

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Re: Archaeology

#8

Post by PaulG »

I wonder about the eyes. They've given him small irises with lots of white visible. Primates seem to have larger irises.

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Re: Archaeology

#9

Post by NotaPerson »

Pompeii dig unearths fighting fresco in 'gladiators' tavern'
A well-preserved fresco depicting fighting gladiators has been unearthed by archaeologists in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.

The scene is of the end of a fight between two types of gladiator – a murmillo and a Thracian – where one wins and the other succumbs. The two types were distinguished by their armour and weapons.

It is the latest discovery in Regio V, a 21.8-hectare (54-acre) site to the north of the archaeological park that is yet to open to the public.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... RbVdnI6u9I
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Re: Archaeology

#10

Post by Notorial Dissent »

They are lovely too by the way. Hope to see more of them soon.
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Re: Archaeology

#11

Post by NotaPerson »

'As the ancient Egyptians left them': Archaeologists uncover more than 20 sealed coffins
Archaeologists have uncovered a "huge cache" of more than 20 sealed coffins in the city of Luxor, according to Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities.
The seemingly well-preserved sarcophagi were discovered "as the ancient Egyptians left them," said an official press statement highlighting their intact engravings and surviving coloration.

Found in Al-Assasif, an ancient necropolis on the west bank of Nile, the coffins were spread out over two levels of a large tomb. The site once formed part of the ancient city of Thebes, the ruins of which are found in present-day Luxor.
https://www.cnn.com/style/article/luxor ... index.html

Some fascinating pics at the link.
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Re: Archaeology

#12

Post by tencats »

Were other humans the first victims of the sixth mass extinction?
November 21, 2019 https://theconversation.com/were-other- ... ion-126638
Nine human species walked the Earth 300,000 years ago. Now there is just one. The Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, were stocky hunters adapted to Europe’s cold steppes. The related Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus lived in Indonesia, and Homo rhodesiensis in central Africa.

Several short, small-brained species survived alongside them: Homo naledi in South Africa, Homo luzonensis in the Philippines, Homo floresiensis (“hobbits”) in Indonesia, and the mysterious Red Deer Cave People in China. Given how quickly we’re discovering new species, more are likely waiting to be found.

By 10,000 years ago, they were all gone. The disappearance of these other species resembles a mass extinction. But there’s no obvious environmental catastrophe – volcanic eruptions, climate change, asteroid impact – driving it. Instead, the extinctions’ timing suggests they were caused by the spread of a new species, evolving 260,000-350,000 years ago in Southern Africa: Homo sapiens.

Image
https://images.theconversation.com/file ... 0&fit=clip

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#13

Post by Sterngard Friegen »

And now homo sapiens sapiens is trying to make itself extinct as well.

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Re: Archaeology

#14

Post by ZekeB »

Silly people. Don’t they know the world is only 6000 years old?
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Re: Archaeology

#15

Post by neonzx »

ZekeB wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:05 am
Silly people. Don’t they know the world is only 6000 years old?
Yes, back when we rode dinosaurs.
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Re: Archaeology

#16

Post by RoadScholar »

Anyone who thinks the world portrayed in Bladerunner is an impossibly exaggerated outcome hasn't been paying attention.
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Re: Archaeology

#17

Post by Maybenaut »

RoadScholar wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:57 am
Anyone who thinks the world portrayed in Bladerunner is an impossibly exaggerated outcome hasn't been paying attention.
If I could afford a real snake, do you think I’d be working in a dump like this?
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Re: Archaeology

#18

Post by Sam the Centipede »

tencats wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:13 pm
Were other humans the first victims of the sixth mass extinction?
November 21, 2019 https://theconversation.com/were-other- ... ion-126638
By 10,000 years ago, they were all gone. The disappearance of these other species resembles a mass extinction. But there’s no obvious environmental catastrophe – volcanic eruptions, climate change, asteroid impact – driving it. Instead, the extinctions’ timing suggests they were caused by the spread of a new species, evolving 260,000-350,000 years ago in Southern Africa: Homo sapiens.
"Suggests" is doing a lot of work there! There's recent work suggesting (!) that neanderthals in Europe were in serious decline thousands of years before early modern humans reached Europe. Populations were small, inbreeding might have been a problem, and communities might have been too small and isolated to effectively hunt, find mates, care for young, etc.

I don't know. But there seems to be a lot of conjecture about human origins that is based on thin and flimsy evidence.

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Re: Archaeology

#19

Post by John Thomas8 »

Found out about Doggerland from Time Team, rather interesting. (Wiki)


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Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

#20

Post by RTH10260 »

Beyond the pail: Stone Age well is world’s oldest wooden structure
Mark Bridge, History Correspondent
Tuesday February 04 2020, 12.01am GMT, The Times

A 7,300-year-old well unearthed by construction workers is the oldest wooden structure ever discovered, according to archaeologists who say it provides evidence of our Stone Age forebears’ technical skill.

The well, consisting of four corner posts and rows of planks lining a square shaft, was found during work on a motorway near Ostrov in the Czech Republic. The oak timbers were in excellent condition due to the waterlogged ground, with marks from the makers’ stone tools visible.

Researchers used the tree rings visible in cut sections of the wood to date most of the timbers to between 5,259BC and 5,255BC — more than 2,600 years before the pyramids at Giza.

The archaeologists believe it is the oldest reliably dated wooden structure in the world.



paywall https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news ... -7ldrhw255
Image

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Sam the Centipede
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Re: Archaeology

#21

Post by Sam the Centipede »

Here's as link to a non-paywalled report of the Ostrov well on Newsweek's site: ANCIENT WELL FOUND TO BE OVER 7,000 YEARS OLD, MAKING IT THE OLDEST WOODEN STRUCTURE EVER DISCOVERED

Other reports are around but I suspect they all will say pretty much the same things.

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RTH10260
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Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

#22

Post by RTH10260 »

H/T to the Centipede, Newsweek has some other interesting articles on archeology linked into that page. I am always amazed what they find in Egypt on ancient stuff.

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Re: Archaeology

#23

Post by Sam the Centipede »

RTH10260 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:06 am
H/T to the Centipede, Newsweek has some other interesting articles on archeology linked into that page. I am always amazed what they find in Egypt on ancient stuff.
I know little of Ancient Egyptian history but I find it amazing how so much is known of a lot of phaoronic history, dynasties, monument builders etc. because the Egyptians were so keen on writing stuff down in hieroglyphics, and, of course, the arid conditions aid preservation. I wonder how far knowledge would have progressed by now without the Rosetta Stone facilitating the interpretation of hieroglyphics? And the Egyptians' art helps as it often depicts everyday activities.

By comparison, the history of European areas, the names of leaders, the social structures, in the centuries during and after the decline of the Roman Empire is very patchy, with huge areas of uncertainty and ignorance.

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Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

#24

Post by RTH10260 »

Man finds 3,400-year-old Egyptian anchor during his morning swim

Harry Sherrin
7 February 2020, 14:54

Rafi Bahalul was taking a morning swim off the shores of Atlit, Israel, when he spotted hieroglyphs in the seabed.

"I saw it, kept on swimming for a few meters, then realized what I had seen and dived down to touch it," Bahalul told Haaretz. "It was like entering an Egyptian temple at the bottom of the Mediterranean."

Bahalul had discovered a 3,400-year-old Egyptian stone anchor, confirmed by Jacob Sharvit, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority's maritime archaeology unit.
:snippity:
Shirly Ben Dor Evian, curator of Emoglyphs, said the stone would have initially been part of a larger, ornate wall relief. Repurposed as an anchor, it was cut from the relief and drilled with a hole to attach a rope.



https://abcnews.go.com/International/ma ... d=68820677

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RTH10260
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Archaeology, palaeontology and other ancient things

#25

Post by RTH10260 »

Farmer discovers new Tyrannosaur species, one of the oldest of its kind ever found

By Ashley Strickland, CNN
Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT) February 10, 2020

(CNN)Tyrannosaurus rex, the king of the dinosaurs, has gained a new family member.

The fragments of a fossilized skull belonging to a previously unknown species of tyrannosaur were found in southern Alberta, Canada. And it's all thanks to John De Groot, a farmer and palaeontology enthusiast who found the fossil, according to a release from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, where the fossils will be displayed later this year.

This is the first new tyrannosaur found in Canada in 50 years and one of the oldest tyrannosaur species found in North America. And researchers believe that Thanatotheristes degrootorum lived about 2.5 million years before its close relative, Tyrannosaurus rex.


https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/10/worl ... index.html

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