An argument between Germany and Turkey about ancient treasures is escalating. Turkey wants its treasures back, but German archaeologists say Turkish sites are being exploited for tourism.
Archaeology often has a lot to do with politics - the current argument between Germany and Turkey is a prime example. Hermann Parzinger, head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, last December accused Turkey of displaying "almost chauvinistic behavior." In reply, the Turkish culture minister Ömer Celik told German news magazine "Der Spiegel" that he demanded an apology, and he asked for five ancient objects to be returned that are currently shown in museums in Berlin. He claims they were taken out of Turkey illegally. Parzinger rejects any accusations of illegality for three of these objects: In December 2012, he said that the torso of the Fisherman of Aphrodisias, the sarcophagus from the Haci Ibrahim Veli tomb and a 13th-century prayer niche were all acquired legally.
But "legal" is a fluid concept in the world of archaeology. The export of ancient treasures from the Ottoman Empire has been prohibited by law since 1884. At the same time though, it wasn't unusual to share the treasures discovered in excavations with teams from abroad. Special permission was often given to take objects out of the country, and there was a flourishing black market. The issue is often less a matter of legality than of morality.
But it is clear that political confrontation and rigid demands don't help anybody, including Turkey. The habit of reclaiming archaeological finds could come back to haunt Istanbul if Lebanon decides to ask for the return of the famous sarcophagus of Alexander. It was taken to Istanbul's Archaeological Museum in 1887, during the time of the Ottoman Empire.
A set of petroglyphs including one which depicts a priest or “wise man” has been recorded by archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). These rock cut images were found on the slopes of Cerro del Bonnet in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
The pecked stone petroglyphs are thought to be about 500 years old and were discovered in January 2013 by members of the local farming community.
Archaeologists working at the ancient city of Harappa have uncovered evidence of immigration but also great violence.
They lived in well-planned cities, made exquisite jewelry, and enjoyed the ancient world's best plumbing. But the people of the sophisticatedIndus civilization—which flourished four millennia ago in what is now Pakistan and western India—remain tantalizingly mysterious.
Unable to decipher theIndus script, archaeologists have pored over beads, slivers of pottery, andother 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.
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Understanding the landscape of the past relies upon more than just the study of data from a single information source. A team of scientists from Ghent University have taken a novel approach that combines the latest geophysical techniques, landscape and soil analysis and limited archaeological excavation to help unravel a more complete picture of human landscape interactions.
Egyptian youths protested Monday at a key historic site, demanding that authorities put a stop to looting and construction that threatens one of the nation's oldest pyramids and burial grounds.
Illegal construction of a new cemetery has been going on for months in part of a 4,500-year-old pharaonic necropolis. The expansion has encroached on the largely unexplored complex of Dahshour, where Pharaoh Sneferu experimented with the first smooth-sided pyramids that his son Khufu, also known as Cheops, employed at the more famous Giza Plateau nearby, when he built the Great Pyramid.
Authorities issued an order in January to remove the construction equipment, instructing the Interior Ministry's police to implement it, but no action has been taken.
Also, a security vacuum that followed Egypt's 2011 popular uprising has encouraged looters to step up their illegal digs, clashing with guards at the site.
On Monday, dozens of young protesters at the site about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Cairo held up a sign that read: "God does not bless a nation that gives up its heritage.
Douglas Owsley, the division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, presented a forensic analysis of 17th-century human remains proving that survival cannibalism took place in historic Jamestown.
The findings answer a long-standing question among historians about the occurrence of cannibalism at Jamestown during the deadly winter of 1609–1610 known as the “starving time”—a period during which about 80 percent of the colonists died. The announcement was made with chief archaeologist William Kelso from the Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Preservation Virginia, and historian James Horn, vice president of research and historical interpretation at Colonial Williamsburg; each expert provided context about the discovery and the history of the site.
Bosnia are keen on getting all three points on their next World Cup 2014 qualifying encounter against Greece as the Dragons are eying to create a gap with their opponent in the current standings. Safet Susic's men are topping their group on ...
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