Archaeologists Uncover Hundreds of Mysterious Orbs in Ancient Temple
In news that will likely delight Apollo 11 deniers, Roswell frequenters, and Illuminati enthusiasts alike, archaeologists have discovered hundreds of mysterious, once-metallic spheres buried deep beneath an ancient pyramid in Mexico City. And we have absolutely no idea what they’re for.
Described by Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico’s National Anthropology and History Institute, as an “unprecedented discovery,” the orbs have called one of the most important temples in an ancient, pre-Hispanic city home for the past 1,800 years.
Well, got me, I can’t make heads nor tails out of the photos.
Archaeologists say the Indus civilization wasn’t nearly as peaceful as popularly thought
They lived in well-planned cities, made exquisite jewelry, and enjoyed the ancient world’s best plumbing. But the people of the sophisticated Indus civilization—which flourished four millennia ago in what is now Pakistan and western India—remain tantalizingly mysterious.
Unable to decipher the Indus script, archaeologists have pored over beads, slivers of pottery, and other artifacts for insights into one of the world’s first city-building cultures.
Now scientists are turning to long-silent witnesses: human bones. In two new studies of skeletons from Indus cemeteries, researchers have found intriguing clues to the makeup of one city’s population—and hints that the society there was not as peaceful as it has been portrayed.
That was the main thrust of the article, but it also hints at some for of matrilocality since foreign men were often found next to native Harappan women. They try to make this into a ‘powerful women’ interpretation, but it could just as easily represent foreigners coming into the major metropolis to make money and taking locals for wives.
300 B.C. Mexican temple hints at human sacrifice
A newly discovered temple complex in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, reveals hints of a specialized hierarchy of priests — who may have committed human sacrifice.
The evidence of such sacrifice is far from conclusive, but researchers did uncover a human tooth and part of what may be a human limb bone from a temple room scattered with animal sacrifice remains and obsidian blades. The temple dates back to 300 B.C. or so, when it was in use by the Zapotec civilization of what is now Oaxaca.
Meh. Only a couple of bits of human skeletal material that could really have been brought in by a number of vectors.
Well, one: Four-thousand year old gold-adorned skeleton found near Windsor
Windsor may have been popular with royalty rather earlier than generally thought.
Archaeologists, excavating near the Royal Borough, have discovered the 4400 year old gold-adorned skeleton of an upper class woman who was almost certainly a member of the local ruling elite.
She is the earliest known woman adorned with such treasures ever found in Britain.
Couple of photos of “artist’s reconstructions” and one of some of the loot. The reconstructions are. . .a little weird. . . .
Iron Age graveyard throws lights on enigmatic Gauls
“This graveyard is exceptional in more ways than one,” says the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), which excavates sites of potential interest before the bulldozers are allowed in.
The jewellery suggests that the dead were buried between 325 and 260 BC, in a period known as La Tene. Another clue may come from analysis of the scabbards, whose decoration changed according to military fashion. Designs in this period typically had two open-mouthed dragons facing each other, with their bodies curled.
I don’t know about any of you, but I have. . complicated. . . memories of La Tene fibulae as they’re called. They were a classic example of archaeometry, whacking away at variation in some artifact type until you find patterns. I think a lot of grad and undergrad students in the late 1970s and early 1980s were given La Tene brooch data to use in factor analysis, principle components, etc.
Also known as segmented sleep; recall this post:
Until the close of the early modern era, Western Europeans on most evenings experienced two major intervals of sleep bridged by up to an hour or more of quiet wakefulness. In the absence of fuller descriptions, fragments in several languages that I have surveyed survive in sources ranging from depositions and diaries to imaginative literature. From these shards of information, we can piece together the essential features of this puzzling pattern of repose. The initial interval of slumber was usually referred to as “first sleep,” or, less often, “first nap” or “dead sleep.
Which by coincidence I just came across while reading Wuthering Heights:
About the middle of the night, I was wakened from my first nap by Mrs. Linton gliding into my chamber, taking a seat at my bedside, and pulling me by the hair to rouse me.
That’s the first I’ve seen it mentioned in any old literature.
As I note in that previous post, I’ve been having a similar pattern for a while now, waking up about four hours later. I seem to be a walking, talking barely-sleeping anachronism. . . . .
Well, body anyway: A medieval murder mystery: Archaeologists uncover body of teenage girl among 4,000 artefacts which have been preserved beneath the soil for 600 years
For the last ten months excavators have been amassing numerous items taken from the site, which will now be preserved and hopefully one day displayed to the public.
. . .
The body of the woman, who it is thought died around the 15th or 16th Century, was in her late teens when she met her fate. Because she was not buried in either a recognised graveyard or in a traditional manner it has led archaeologists to consider foul play.
Sadly, not much on the remains, other than the sex and a bit of the context.
Archaeologists Find Earliest Evidence of Humans Cooking With Fire
Like many archaeological discoveries, this one was accidental. Researchers weren’t looking for signs of prehistoric fire; they were trying to determine the age of sediments in a section of the cave where other researchers had found primitive stone tools. In the process, the team unearthed what appeared to be the remains of campfires from a million years ago — 200,000 years older than any other firm evidence of human-controlled fire. Their findings also fanned the flames of a decade-old debate over the influence of fire, particularly cooking, on the evolution of our species’s relatively capacious brains.
Archaeologists shine new light on Easter Island statue
A team of archaeologists from the University of Southampton have used the latest in digital imaging technology to record and analyse carvings on the Easter Island statue Hoa Hakananai’a. Ads by Google Underwater Welding Course – Become a Globally Marketable Underwater Welder in Just 7 Months – DiversInstitute.edu James Miles, Hembo Pagi and Dr Graeme Earl from the Archaeological Computing Research Group at the University of Southampton teamed up with archaeologist and editor of British Archaeology Mike Pitts to examine the statue at the Wellcome Trust Gallery in the British Museum, London. Dr Earl explains: “The Hoa Hakananai’a statue has rarely been studied at first hand by archaeologists, but developments in digital imaging technology have now allowed us to examine it in unprecedented detail.”
Couple of techniques I’d never heard of to read the inscriptions (or at least render them clearer). Wish some of these were relatively cheep and portable so I could use them to read inscriptions in my cemetery. . . .
Unearthed Scots find gives insight into Battle of Flodden
A crown shaped livery badge, thought to have been worn by a soldier in the personal retinue of King James IV, was discovered by archaeologists during a survey of the site of the Battle of Flodden.
The badge, which is believed to have been buried for five centuries, is made of copper alloy and appears to have been snapped off a hat band. Its design includes the Fleur de Lys with jewels and diamonds, elements which were part of the Scottish crown in 1513.
The Battle of Flodden was a turning point in UK history and set the stage for the subsequent Union of the Crowns between Scotland and England.
By which I mean this.