The Etruscan civilization flourished in central Italy around the 6th century BC before the rise of the Roman Empire. Known for high art and high living, some say the Etruscans were influential in molding Roman and western civilization, however it has always been an enigma on where the Etruscans originally came from. DNA evidence
has probably solved the mystery
, confirming what Greek historian Herodotus first said over 2,500 years ago.
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 24, 2007 -
The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo
in Peru may be the Western Hemisphere's oldest known full-service
solar observatory, showing evidence of early, sophisticated Sun cults
, according to archaeoastronomy
professor Clive Ruggles
. The 2,300-year-old complex featured 13 towers running north to south along a ridge and spread across 980 feet to form a toothed horizon that spans the solar arc
. Last year, another ancient observatory was discovered in Peru by Robert Benfer
. The Temple of the Fox
is 4,200 years old, making it 1,900 years older
than the Chankillo site, but wasn't a complete calendar.
posted by homunculus
on Mar 3, 2007 -
The Perfume of Garbage: an archaeology of the world trade centers (pdf).
What do the the godfather
, a leading post-modern
), and a "space archaeologist"(cf. space junk)
think about the WTC? Obviously as a ruin and as an archaeological site - but much more. An intriguing analysis placing the WTC ruins into archaeological context, and, most particularly, responding to the Smithsonian's exhibition
of artifacts from the events of September 11, 2001. Also, a commentary
(pdf) responding to garbage, space and the WTC. And yes, garbology goes well beyond Mick Jagger ephemera.
posted by Rumple
on Nov 5, 2006 -
The images on the ceramics
were thought to be mythical narratives
the priestly class
used to underscore
its coercive power. Without proper archaeological evidence, the representations were too horrific to take literally. They depicted gruesome scenes
: captives skinned alive, drained of blood (which was drunk by priests in front of them), throats slit, bodies decapitated and left to the vultures, bones meticulously defleshed and hung from ropes.
Unfortunately for the victims, these bloody rites actually happened
. They took place in an otherwise vibrant and highly advanced culture, a culture renowned for its artists
and builders. These were a people who developed advanced agricultural knowledge, extremely sophisticated metallurgy
, and built the largest pre-Columbian adobe structure in the Americas
. Because they had no written language, though, it is by their ceramics that we
know them best.
posted by crumbly
on Jan 25, 2006 -
Iraq is full of fabled ancient ruins
, many in bad shape
, but which still fire the imagination. Some highlights: Ur
, birthplace of Abraham
, still contained many beautiful artifacts
when it was last excavated in the 1920s. Then there is vanished Cunaxa
, near Baghdad's airport, where the Ten Thousand, a group of Greek mercenaries, fought their way back to Greece in a 1,000 mile, two-year-long retreat described by Xenophon
in the Anabasis
(and which served as the inspiration for cult films/games
and bad science fiction
alike). The ruins of the city of Nineveh
were discovered in the 19th century just across the river from Mosul, containing art
confirming elements of the Biblical account of the conquests of King Sennacherib. Most famously, the ruins of Babylon (not much to look at
, the best bit
being in Berlin) have seen much abuse, from Saddam's awful rebuilding of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar
to reports of recent damage by coalition troops
posted by blahblahblah
on Jan 11, 2006 -
A rose red city half as old as time
, which means "stone" in Greek, is perhaps the most spectacular
ancient city remaining in the modern world. The city was the capital of the Nabateans - Arabs who dominated the lands of Jordan during pre-Roman times - and they carved this wonderland
of temples, tombs and elaborate buildings out of solid rock nearly 3000 years ago. By the end of the Byzantine Empire (circa A.D. 700), the once dignified and gracious buildings in the center of town had deteriorated to near ruins. For centuries, Petra fell into the mists of legend, its existence a guarded secret known only to the local Bedouins and Arab tradesmen. Finally, in 1812, a young Swiss explorer and convert to Islam named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
heard locals speaking of a "lost city"
hidden in the mountains of Wadi Mousa. Burckhardt disguised himself as a pilgrim seeking to make a sacrifice at the tomb of Aaron. He managed to bluff his way through successfully, and the secret of Petra
was revealed to the modern Western world.
posted by amro
on Jan 3, 2006 -
The Portable Antiquities Scheme
is a voluntary effort to record archeological objects found by the U.K. public. Searchable database
of finds from the Paleolithic, through Roman times, up to the 18th-century. With images
, and an accompanying website for kids
posted by steef
on Nov 18, 2005 -
According to the BBC, hobbits may not
posted by 31d1
on Sep 22, 2005 -
(wmv,08:45) about recent Thracian
tomb excavations in Bulgaria. With over 15000 mounds unexplored in the region it is a race against the mafia to uncover the golden treasure.
posted by stbalbach
on Sep 5, 2005 -
'...Today, such famous sites as the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the ziggurat at Ur, the temple precinct at Babylon, and a ninth-century spiral minaret at Samarra have been scarred by violence, while equally important ancient sites, particularly in the southern provinces, are being ravaged by looters who work day and night to fuel an international art market hungry for antiquities. Historic districts in urban areas have also suffered from vandalism, looting, and artillery fire. In response to such widespread damage and continuing threats to our collective cultural heritage and the significance of the sites at risk, World Monument Fund
has taken the unprecedented step of including the entire country of Iraq
on its 2006 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites
.'The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology
The Smash of Civilizations
posted by y2karl
on Jul 8, 2005 -
Archaeologist Finds 'Oldest Porn Statue
Article claims that "until now, the oldest representations of sexual scenes were frescos from about 2,000 years ago"
posted by dfowler
on Apr 8, 2005 -
The damage wrought by the construction of an American military base in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon must rank as one of the most reckless acts of cultural vandalism in recent memory. And all the more so because it was unnecessary and avoidable... but given that it was, the US authorities were very aware of the warnings of archaeologists of the historic importance of the site. Yet, as a report by Dr John Curtis of the British Museum makes clear, they seem to have ignored the warnings. Dr Curtis claimed that in the early days after the war a military presence served a valuable purpose in preventing the site from being looted. But that, he said, did not stop "substantial" damage being done to the site afterwards not just to individual buildings such as the Ishtar Gate, "one of the most famous monuments from antiquity", but also on an estimated 300,000 square metres which had been flattened and covered in gravel, mostly imported from elsewhere. This was done to provide helicopter landing places and parking lots for heavy vehicles that should not have been allowed there in the first place...Cultural vandalism
. Months of war that ruined centuries of history
. American graffiti
posted by y2karl
on Jan 15, 2005 -
"Researchers have discovered the hidden laboratory
used by Leonardo da Vinci for studies of flight and other pioneering scientific work in previously sealed rooms at a monastery next to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, in the heart of Florence."
posted by ScottUltra
on Jan 13, 2005 -
Excavation for the Hood Canal Bridge near Seattle has unearthed a huge prehistoric Indian village and alienated tribal spiritual leaders.
posted by xowie
on Nov 21, 2004 -
, a site for kids devoted to the archeological excavations of the remains of a Neolithic town in central Turkey.
A great introduction for all ages to this important city, with activities
, quicktime tours
to more in depth resources.
posted by thatwhichfalls
on Oct 19, 2004 -
Greenham Common History.
'Greenham Common - a name linked world-wide with the awesome potential of nuclear deterrence and the protest movement it gave rise to. But there is a bigger story; here we explore the history of one thousand acres of open land near Newbury in Berkshire. ' (via
posted by plep
on Oct 17, 2004 -
Protecting the Cradle
Kirkuk Air Base -- US Army Colonel works with Iraqi archaeological officials to protect nearby ancient sites.
Meanwhile at more secluded mounds, looters continue to plunder the sites and to erase the tangible record of the world's earliest civilizations. "When you come here at night, it looks like a city, there are so many lights," [Archaeological official Abdul-Amir] Hamdani said, looking out over the arid scrubland where thieves swarm after dark.
posted by mcgraw
on May 25, 2004 -