News from Egypt I Ancient trade-route stopover point discovered
A team of Egyptian excavators have recently uncovered the remains of stables, barracks and storehouses at Tel Al Sabha, 88 kilometres southeast of Al Arish. This once acted as a stopover point on the ancient trade route that linked Arabia with Gaza and Arish.
The route was in use between 200 BC and 50 AD, said Dr Zahi Hawas, secretary-general of the Supreme Council for Antiquities (SCA). He explained that several routes serving military, trade and religious purposes crossed Sinai in order to link Egypt with Sham and Hijaz. The oldest of these routes was the old military road known as Horus.
News from Egypt II Tête-à-tête with the French explorers
Today at sunset Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Secretary-General Zahi Hawass, French Cultural Attaché Denis Louche and senior French and Egyptian officials and archaeologists are schudled to attend the opening of the special exhibition “Champollion, Legrain… Treading the Land of Egypt” at the centennial hall of the Egyptian Museum.
The exhibition has come to Cairo after six months in the capital of the French Alps, Grenoble, where it marked the centenary of Egyptologist George Legrain’s famous discovery of the Karnak Cachet. It also coincides with the ninth International Congress of Egyptologists.
During construction of the new Aliağa customs building, two sarcophagi containing gold necklaces from the Hellenistic period, dating back to 500-400 B.C., were found.
Local Aliağa administrator Emir Osman Bulgurlu stated that archeologists were drafting a report on the find and depending on the outcome they would know whether the area would be considered a third degree historic and natural protection site. He added that the findings would be delivered to the İzmir Archaeology Museum Directorate.
Aliağa Mayor Tansu Kaya said they were waiting for a positive Cabinet decision indicating that construction could proceed.
That’s the whole thing.
Biblical Archaeology update Cashbox: An ossuary supposedly linked to Jesus was a windfall for a Canadian museum. Now Israel has declared it a fake and jailed its promoter, and the museum has some explaining to do.
The man accused of standing at the centre of the greatest forgery ring of our time, perhaps all time, doesn’t appear to be holding up so well. In books and movies, criminal masterminds — the label Israeli police are freely applying to Oded Golan — are effortlessly suave, or carelessly brutal, confident in the extreme. In real life, this 54-year-old antiquities collector seems as brittle as the Bible-era vases and figurines that fill the display cases in his otherwise modest Tel Aviv apartment. On the white message board in his kitchen, a female friend has left a long list of life instructions: “Go to bed on time. Try to get 8 hours of sleep. Don’t be nervous. Drive carefully, do up your seatbelt. Don’t eat too much chocolate or cheese. You should smile at least 15 times a day.” Everything will be fine, it concludes.
Long review of the events surrounding the James ossuary.
A mammoth discovery Construction crew unearths apparent mammoth bones near Selah
A construction crew has unearthed what appear to be mammoth bones at least 10,000 years old north of this central Washington town and northeast of Yakima, the company owner says.
Gary Fife of Selah said he and his crew were on lunch while building a private road about three weeks ago when he noticed some large bones protruding from an embankment near where they had been digging.
At the request of the property owner, an archaeologist from Seattle made some initial tests which indicated the bones probably belong to a species of mammoth, Fife said.
Not sure how big of a find this is. In the news footage we saw there were only a couple of bone fragments, about enough to fill a standard shovel. We’ll have to wait to see if more of the skeleton turns up.
The University of South Carolina is planning a major archaeological conference on the heels of findings at a dig in Allendale County that suggest humans may have arrived in North America earlier than previously thought.
Professor Al Goodyear said the Oct. 26-29 conference will include discussion of the controversy over when humans first arrived on the continent. But its primary topic is Clovis culture in the Southeast.
Tsunami update Look what the tsunami’s dragged in
Cataclysmic waves caused historic losses on Asian shores on Boxing Day, but Indian archaeologists are crediting the tsunami for a monumental find. The sea has given back relics which were lost for centuries.
The tsunami’s mighty backwash has shifted thousands of tonnes of sand to unearth a pair of elaborately carved stone lions, the guardians of an ancient port city less than a kilometre off the coast of Tamil Nadu.
The two-metre-high statues, each hewn from a single piece of granite, appear breathtakingly lifelike. One great cat sits up alert while the other is poised to pounce.
Nothing really new here, just a short review of various tsunami/archaeology stories.
Really, we do more than just wander Wandering among the ruins
As the weather warms up, archaeologists come out to raise awareness about Arizona and its heritage.
During March, Arizona State Parks has been featuring more than 100 prehistoric and historic sites, tours, exhibits, hikes, open houses, lectures and demonstrations and other activities throughout the state, including a Children’s Rock Art Exhibit in the West Valley.
Some sites are being destroyed by looting and new developments, and this event is one way to raise awareness.
Jim Paquette thinks it’s important for Upper Peninsula residents to know the history of the region and its people, especially since the people date back 11,000 years.
Paquette explained his archeological findings over the last 20 years in a slide presentation titled, “My Search for Early Man in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” sponsored by the Forsyth Township Historical Society Wednesday.
Paquette – a Negaunee resident, 1974 graduate of Northern Michigan University and employee of Cleveland Cliffs Inc. – has been excavating local prehistoric American Indian sites since 1984 and his efforts have resulted in evidence of the earliest occupation in the U.P.
Treasure! Gibraltar clash over £2bn treasure
The Strait of Gibraltar has been the scene of numerous skirmishes between the British and Spanish navies, and now the two nations are sparring again – this time over the wreck of an English warship packed to the gunwales with treasure.
HMS Sussex has lain undisturbed on the seabed for more than 300 years, but since researchers discovered the ship was carrying billions of pounds of English gold and silver, it has become the focus of a bitter dispute as the Spanish authorities try to frustrate the attempts of a private company to locate it and start salvage work on behalf of Britain.
International law gives UK authorities jurisdiction over the wrecks of British ships wherever they might lie, and this month the UK government gave permission to an American exploration company, Odyssey Marine Exploration, to salvage the Sussex.
Archaeoastronomy update Scientists Study Anasazi Calender
Don Smith, College of Eastern Utah, San Juan branch: “I think we’re becoming more aware that those people were far more familiar with astronomy, science and possibly math than we give them credit for.”
In a secluded ravine near Blanding, scientists and researchers gather to watch mysterious images forming right before their eyes.
Although the rite of Spring, at least on our calendar, slipped in here yesterday almost unnoticed, it’s literally in your face in this strange little canyon.
We think the “science and possibly math” might be stretching it a bit, as these require symbolic representation and rule-based reasoning that is pretty much absent from the material remains (and who knows what was going on inside their heads). Empirical generalization along with trial-and-error engineering can go a long way towards accomplishing the same goals, and persistence and ingenuity is what we really don’t give ancient people enough credit for.