I find archaeology to be a particularly interesting science, changing the way we perceive the past. I personally keep an eye on anything in the Levant, and will post interesting findings. Feel free to post other archaeological information
I'll start with an unusual recent find--a huge, previously unknown complex near the city of Ur. It's also notable as one of the first major discoveries in Iraq since the war. It's also another ancient structure unearthed thanks to satellite imagery
BAGHDAD — British archaeologists said Thursday they have unearthed a sprawling complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, home of the biblical Abraham.
The structure, thought to be about 4,000 years old, probably served as an administrative center for Ur, around the time Abraham would have lived there before leaving for Canaan, according to the Bible.
... “This is a breathtaking find,” Campbell said, because of its unusually large size — roughly the size of a football pitch, or about 80 meters (260 feet) on each side. The archaeologist said complexes of this size and age were rare.
“It appears that it is some sort of public building. It might be an administrative building, it might have religious connections or controlling goods to the city of Ur,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview from the U.K.
Interesting stuff. It's amazing what we can learn from simply looking at the past. Though I must say I feel bad for all the people who got into archaeology after watching Indiana Jones. Not really a shining example of what it is all about.
An enormous quarry from the time of the Second Temple (first century CE) was exposed in recent weeks in excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out prior to the paving of Highway 21 by the Moriah Company. A 2,000 year old key, pick axes, severance wedges etc are also among the artifacts uncovered during the course of the excavation.
Love that you posted this, having studied Anthropology and done my share of archaeology courses, but some will not agree with you with it being a "science". Personally think it is though not in the math, physics way of course.
Re-Creating the Original Colors of Treasured Ivory Carvings from the Ancient Past
The fabled ivory carvings from the ancient Phoenician city of Arslan Tash -- literally meaning "Stone Lion" -- may appear a dull monochrome in museums today, but they glittered with brilliant blue, red, gold and other colors 2,800 years ago, a new study has confirmed after decades of speculation. It appears in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry.
Some 1,000 years ago, the Vikings set off on a voyage to Notre Dame Bay in modern-day Newfoundland, Canada, new evidence suggests.
The journey would have taken the Vikings, also called the Norse, from L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the same island to a densely populated part of Newfoundland and may have led to the first contact between Europeans and the indigenous people of the New World.
"This area of Notre Dame Bay was as good a candidate as any for that first contact between the Old World and the New World, and that's kind of an exciting thing," said Kevin Smith, deputy director and chief curator of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University.
Evidence of the voyage was discovered by a combination of archaeological excavation and chemical analysis of two jasper artifacts that the Norse used to light fires. The analysis, presented at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Honolulu, suggests the jasper used in the artifacts came from the area of Notre Dame Bay. [See Images of the Viking Voyage Discovery]
Spindle-shaped inclusions in three-billion-year-old rocks are microfossils of plankton that probably inhabited the oceans around the globe during that time, according to an international team of researchers.
The shores of the Sea of Galilee, located in the North of Israel, are home to a number of significant archaeological sites. Now researchers from Tel Aviv University have found an ancient structure deep beneath the waves as well.
Researchers stumbled upon a cone-shaped monument, approximately 230 feet in diameter, 39 feet high, and weighing an estimated 60,000 tons, while conducting a geophysical survey on the southern Sea of Galilee, reports Prof. Shmulik Marco of TAU's Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences. The team also included TAU Profs. Zvi Ben-Avraham and Moshe Reshef, and TAU alumni Dr. Gideon Tibor of the Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute.
Initial findings indicate that the structure was built on dry land approximately 6,000 years ago, and later submerged under the water. Prof. Marco calls it an impressive feat, noting that the stones, which comprise the structure, were probably brought from more than a mile away and arranged according to a specific construction plan.
"When I realized the significance of the pillar, I told my boss who spoke with the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA)," Tropper, who works at the educational field school at Kibbutz Kfar Etzion, told FoxNews.com. "The IAA then told him, 'that's great, now shut up.'"
Tropper may have stumbled across further proof of the real-life world behind the Biblical stories related in the Old Testament. The 2,800-year-old stone pillar could help locate those legends on a map, archaeologists say, and connect the modern country of Israel with the historical roots of Judaism.
But due to the complexities of Arab-Israeli relations, the find is being ignored, experts say, hushed up to avoid a major political battle over centuries of debate concerning who has the more legitimate claim to the Holy Land.
Politics - ancient and now - may delay exploration.
About 1,800 years ago, the road was one of two imperial arteries that connected Jerusalem to the ancient coastal city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv. A well-preserved section of the path was exposed in northern Jerusalem during an excavation ahead of the installation of a drainage pipe, excavators say.
The Antiquities Authority on Thursday unearthed for the first time a small 2,000-yearold cistern near the Western Wall that connects an archeological find with the famine that occurred during the Roman siege of Jerusalem during that era.
The cistern – found near Robinson’s Arch in a drainage channel from the Shiloah Pool in the City of David – contained three intact cooking pots and a small ceramic oil lamp.
According to Eli Shukron, the excavations director for the Antiquities Authority, the discovery is unprecedented.
“The complete cooking pots and ceramic oil lamp indicate that the people went down into the cistern where they secretly ate the food that was contained in the pots, without anyone seeing them,” he said. “This is consistent with the account provided by Josephus.”
In his book The Jewish War that describes the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, the Jewish scholar Josephus detailed the resulting hunger that ensued.
In his account, Josephus, also known as Yosef ben Matityahu, wrote of Jewish rebels who sought food in the homes of other starving Jews confined to the city. Fearing these rebels would steal their food, many Jews used cisterns to conceal their meager provisions, and later ate in hidden places within their homes.