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Friday, December 23, 2011

Archaeology News: December 23, 2011

In a suburb of Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, there is a tomb complex that archaeologists found in 2007 with 14 separate units. Unfortunately, the researchers were not the first to discover the site. Over time, some significant findings have come out of the site.

A section of wall from Vietnam’s Thang Long Imperial Citadel was excavated at a construction site in Ha Noi. It will soon be covered with a road.

On this momentous occasion the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed his pleasure to be present on this event to commemorate and celebrate the 150th year of the Archaeological Survey of India. He said that this historic institution has made an outstanding contribution to revealing our country’s rich historical and cultural heritage and protecting it for our posterity.

Legends of lost treasures are spurring unemployed Greeks to dig for gold. “People who look for gold are maniacs, they never give up until they find something. It’s like gambling,” said one retired treasure hunter.

A 1,700-year-old curse tablet discovered in Antioch in the 1930s has been fully translated by Alexander Hollmann of the University of Washington. Written in Greek, the curse asks the god of the Old Testament to afflict a green grocer named Babylas.

A skeleton, a Civil War uniform button, and a bullet were unearthed at a construction site in Tennessee in 2009. Archaeologists think the young man had European and American Indian ancestors, and that he may have died during troop movements or during a skirmish, since no other burials have been found in the area.

Archaeologist Garrett W. Silliman is looking for artifacts at the site of the nineteenth-century Pace House in Vinings, Georgia because members of the Vinings Historic Preservation Society want to know if the sign on the property carries the correct information about the home’s Civil War history. “Part of our mission is to educate the public,” explained executive director Gillian Greer.

A study of teeth taken from a cemetery of mass graves in Rio de Janeiro shows that enslaved Africans imported to Brazil originated from a much wider geographical area than previous thought. The cemetery was in use from 1760 to 1830.

Voicing his opposition to the often haphazard and mindless urbanization taking place in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said even the country's archaeological heritage is being threatened. "The pressures of urbanization and population growth are now threatening our historic monuments everywhere in the country.

Archaeological zone 9UN367 at Track Rock Gap, near Georgia’s highest mountain, Brasstown Bald, is a half mile (800 m) square and rises 700 feet (213 m) in elevation up a steep mountainside. Visible are at least 154 stone masonry walls for agricultural terraces, plus evidence of a sophisticated irrigation system and ruins of several other stone structures.

Archaeologists on Thursday were assessing the damage after one of the pillars in the garden of an ancient Roman home collapsed at Pompeii. Police were also called to investigate the collapse of the pillar at Pompeii which was part of an external pergola at the house of Loreius Tiburtinus in the centre of the popular tourist site.

Most archaeologists can remember the specific moment when they fell in love with history and the process of archaeological discovery. Hebrew University archaeologist Eilat Mazar’s pivotal moment came very early in her career; she was a young girl when she accompanied her grandfather, famed Israeli archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, to his excavation near the Temple Mount. She later participated in excavations in the City of David and has, most recently, been credited with discovering a Jerusalem wall built by King Solomon. This wall from the time of King Solomon is considered to be one of her most notable achievements, though she has also made substantial headway in her excavation of the Ophel in Jerusalem, the area adjacent to the City of David where the wall was discovered.

Audio: Bones and the Bronze Age - Domestication Stratified--If you spend enough time in Serbia and with Zulu women in Africa, maybe you too can understand bones that come out of the ground in Israel. Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Manitoba, Canada, Haskel Greenfield shares his delightful route of discovery learning how man developed a relationship with animals, using technology to see what implements are used on bones. Professor Haskel Greenfield is an archaeologist whose research focuses on the evolution of early agricultural and complex societies in the Old World.

Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah and some of her colleagues in Jerusalem archaeology discovered just that when they undertook an excavation at the edge of the Western Wall plaza, across from the Temple Mount and Judaism’s holiest site. In addition to uncovering evidence in this excavation of quarries and structures and inscribed seals from the First Temple period in Jerusalem, archaeology has shed light on the fascinating period of Aelia Capitolina, as Jerusalem was called when the city was under Roman rule starting in the second century C.E.


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