Selinunte: Site of ancient massacre yields the secrets of a lost Greek city
“Selinunte is the only classical Greek city where the entire metropolis is still preserved, mainly buried under sand and earth. It therefore gives us a unique opportunity to discover how an ancient Greek city functioned,” said Professor Martin Bentz of the University of Bonn, Director of the major current excavation at Selinunte.
Excavations at the site are now uncovering pottery kilns and workshops complete with pottery-making equipment and even the pigments used to paint the pots.
Classic case of sudden abandonment, it appears, though not from a natural disaster so things weren’t destroyed like in Pompeii, but things were also left to the elements. The advantage is that you can see what the city was like at that moment, how many rooms and structures were being used, what were they being used for, etc. Didn’t say how many skeletons were recovered though, which would be a great demographic study, as well as pathological.
Anthropologist offers possible explanation for collapse of ancient city of Teotihuacan
Linda Manzanilla, an anthropologist with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México has published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offering a possible explanation for the collapse of the early central Mexican city of Teotihuacan—she believes it was due to clashes between groups with differing economic interests.
The ruins of Teotihuacan can be seen today at a location approximately 30 miles northeast of modern Mexico City, and offer testament to the flourishing metropolis that once was home to approximately 125,000 people, making it the most populous city in the pre-Columbia Americas. The city got its start around 100 BCE, but was completely decimated by the eighth century. Why it collapsed has been a subject of debate among historians and anthropologists for several years. In this new effort, Manzanilla suggests it was not drought or invaders that brought down the great city, but internal strife among its inhabitants.
Actually, I don’t have a while to say about this.
Snow fills abandoned Rolling Acres Mall
Just a series of photos, most are of the same couple of locations. According to Wikipedia most of it closed in 2008, although some portions of it are still occupied by a couple of businesses. Be interesting to see what sort of wildlife has taken up residence. Since parts of it are open you’d think birds would take the opportunity to nest inside; rats might not as there wouldn’t be a food source within.
Australian archaeologists seek to solve mystery of the lost city of Zagora
BEFORE the first ancient Olympics, as Homer was writing his Iliad, there was a bustling early Iron Age city in Greece. And then it all but disappeared.
Australian archaeologists will try to solve the ancient mystery of why the city was abandoned and whether a lack of fresh water was the cause.
. . .
They are curious about whether hydrology might have something to do with the abandonment of the settlement that had been growing at an extraordinary rate.
“One of the ideas we are investigating is whether there has been an earthquake because the ground rock is layers of schist and marble, and marble can be permeated by water but schist can’t.
“If there was a shifting of the layers because of earthquake the water courses could have been altered and the site that was once able to have water may suddenly run dry.”
That’s a pretty clever idea, although one presumes they don’t need 50 people just to do GPR. . . .
Archaeologists find evidence of Highland Clearance violence
A smashed pot uncovered at the site of an 1800s longhouse could be evidence of a potentially violent eviction, archaeologists have suggested.
Hundreds of the homes were abandoned during the Highland Clearances, when families were moved off land to make way for large-scale sheep production.
Thatched roofs of longhouses were set on fire and walls toppled to prevent people from moving back into them.
They say “violence” but it’s mostly just forced abandonment. Not sure I buy the evidence for it in this case. . .seems to me it could be quite a while between the two events (broken pot and wall collapse) but there might be something not in the artlcle.
Akra, a recently discovered site near the Black Sea, is being billed as the Bulgarian Herculaneum. Different time period, different culture, and different demise, but I think the link to Herculaneum is intended to imply that it is another well-preserved site that was part of the Byzantine empire & abandoned in haste during battle. Part of the site (fortress) lies underwater, with the remainder of the site currently on land. It sounds like an awesome excavation:
Dimitrov told 24 Chassa that the finds included several fully preserved vessels, clay amphorae, lamps, gorgeous tiny glass cups, along with a number of ceramic fragments, which will be restored. The items were made at the time by craftsmen in northern Africa and then taken to Akin by ships.
Thought I’d link this blog. It kind of feeds into the occasional theme of abandonment I have around here and also my usual Car Lust gig. I like it, more so because he’s an observer rather than a collector, at least for these purposes. I especially like how he puts vintage ads in with the photos of the wrecks (which they are, really, even if not in an accident) to remind us that these were once new and shiny and people bought them and were proud to drive them around. Definitely worth perusing if you like old cars.
So I need to enlist the help of the ArchaeoBlog. . .minions? Nah, we’ll call them shock troops. I’m working on a post over at Car Lust to look at what’s happened to various auto dealerships that have been closed. It’s going to be a follow-on post to one about old auto factories that have since been abandoned. Some of both will have obviously been re-purposed into something else, either with all new buildings or the same buildings, while others might have been taken over from a different manufacturer or simply abandoned and awaiting new owners. Either way, I want to see ‘em.
Photos are valuable, but not absolutely necessary if you have a good story or description of one. Hmmmmm. . . where to send. Here:
– Post on ArchaeoBlog’s Facebook page
– Post comment here
– Mail to archaeoblog at acagle dot net
This time of a Chinese theme park. In Florida. (it’s this one)
Doesn’t really seem creepy to me, but I wasn’t there.