With over 25,000 Iron Age graveyards and burial mounds, 1,140 megalithic structures of all sizes, and about 2,500 large rune stones, Sweden is an archaeologist's paradise.
David Connolly's insight:
James Blake Wiener of the Ancient History Encyclopedia speaks to Dr. Martin Rundkvist, a Swedish archaeologist, about his most recent work in attempting to locate a Geatish mead-hall in the archaeologically rich province of Östergötland. With humor and insight, Rundkvist shares his thoughts and enthusiasm.
As part of a pilot case study for my PhD I have been putting together a series or aerial photographs focused on some local Hillforts. I was recently assisted with a Historic Scotland Sponsorship Award which has enabled me in incorporate some photography from somewhat higher altitudes than I am used to - with the hire of a Cessna 172 light aircraft. For this brief flight I picked a morning shortly after some heavy snowfall and, ably assisted by photographer Kieran Duncan, set off on a route which tied in various sites.
This April, National Geographic explorers and other experts in five of the world's oldest civilizations will gather in Guatemala to discuss how the past can be a window to the future.
At least five distinct times in world history, human beings created a unique writing system that allowed them to organize their thoughts and record and transmit information like never before: the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Chinese, People of the Indus Valley, and the Maya. They each spread to inspire more written systems (for example the Latin alphabet we use comes from Phonecian, which stems ultimately from Egyptian).
An Irish historian planned to spend six weeks organizing Jackie Clarke’s collection of more than 100,000 items documenting Ireland’s struggle to free itself of English rule, but eight years later, she’s still at it.
During the 2013 season of the Valley of the Kings Project carried out by University of Basel, Prof. Susanne Bickel’s team have found a number of exciting artefacts including what they suspect to be one of the oldest portable sundials in the area between tombs KV 29 and 61.
joint expedition of scientists led by Chapurukha M. Kusimba of The Field Museum and Sloan R. Williams of the University of Illinois at Chicago has unearthed a 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda that shows trade existed between China and east Africa decades before European explorers set sail and changed the map of the world.
By Owen JarusLiveScience A newly deciphered Egyptian text, dating back almost 1,200 years, tells part of the crucifixion story of Jesus with apocryphal plot twists, some of which have never been seen before.
The 2013 Academy Awards were, as always, as much about making appearances as about making films, as red carpet watchers noted fashion trends and faux pas. Both Jessica Chastain and Naomi Watts wore Armani, although fortunately not the same dress. And Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway switched from Valentino to a controversial pale pink Prada at the last minute because her original dress looked too much like someone else's. Of course, no actress would be caught dead wearing the same style 2 years in a row. A new study of ancient beaded jewelry from a South African cave finds that ancient humans were no different, avoiding outdated styles as early as 75,000 years ago.
Personal ornaments, often in the form of beads worn as necklaces or bracelets, are considered by archaeologists as a key sign of sophisticated symbolic behavior, communicating either membership in a group or individual identity. Such ornaments are ubiquitous in so-called Upper Paleolithic sites in Europe beginning about 40,000 years ago, where they were made from many different materials—animal and human teeth, bone and ivory, stone, and mollusk shells—and often varied widely among regions and sites.
Will there be any efforts to restore the Badami Trikutalaya and the inscriptions that look pale on the white-washed walls?
(This is the first of a two-part article that speaks about the Chalukyan temples and their architecture, found mostly in and around Karnataka)
The ancient name of Badami was – Badami. Vatapi was the Sanskrit name that the Chalukyas gave it, when they ruled over the area. Dr. Silakant Pathar, whose D. Litt thesis was ‘Badami- A cultural study,’ says the Chalukyas changed many Kannada names into Sanskrit. For example, Kisuvolal (red town) became Raktapura.
Archaeologist Dr. A. Sundara, who surveyed 2,000 villages in Maharashtra and Karnataka, when he was with the Archeological Survey of India, has an interesting interpretation about how the association of the area with the asura Vatapi might have come about.
David Connolly's insight:
Part of a new article on the temple architecture in India
A new scientific study of rock art in the Kimberley aims to clarify the history of human settlement in Australia.
Throughout northern Australia there is rock art of the most breathtaking kind: animals and people and designs painted in vibrant ochre. So how long have Australians been painting like this? And what can the oldest paintings tells us about our forerunners, the very first Australians?
Dr June Ross is one of Australia's leading experts on rock art. She taught one of the few rock art courses in Australia, at the University of New England, and she's published extensively in the field. And she's involved in several different field work projects.
A three year examination of astronomical alignments found in the buildings of Mesoamerican cities has demonstrated the basis of some pre-Columbian rituals.
Archaeologist Francisco Sánchez Nava, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), together with archaeoastronomer Ivan Sprajc, from the Centre of Scientific Research of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, jointly developed the project “The Archaeo-astronomical Properties of Architecture and Urbanism in Mesoamerica”.
The Kansas Historical Society, Kansas Anthropological Association, Ellis County Historical Society, and Fort Hays State University Department of History and Department of Geosciences are teaming up to sponsor the 2013 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school, June 1-16, 2013.
The site of Billy Dixon’s trading post (14EL311) south of Hays in Ellis County has been selected for investigation. Components will include a block excavation of dugouts and other features, survey of a segment of the Smoky Hill Trail, an artifact processing lab, classes, and associated programs.
Archaeologists working on the UK’s largest infrastructure project – Crossrail – have discovered a lost burial ground in central London which may have been created as a result of the outbreak of plague in the 14th century.
As the Syrian crisis enters its third year, an end to the violence in the country is nowhere to be seen. The world has become accustomed to rising death tolls and reports of shelling and destruction. However, another threat looms in Syria, and this time it is targeting its cultural heritage.
Palmyra, one of the oldest cities in the country, has been subjected to intermittent shelling by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
The ruins of the city, which is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, date back thousands of years. “Bombs and rockets come in all directions,” eyewitnesses said.
Assad forces have struck the Roman Temple of Bel – built in 43 A.C. – and damaged its northern wall, eyewitnesses said, adding portions and stones of the wall have been destroyed.
It had the potential to be another Afghanistan Buddha disaster, recalling the Taliban’s destruction of two ancient statues that had stood for centuries in this country’s west: A buried Buddhist city lost to time was about to be obliterated by what promised to be one of the largest copper mines in the world.
Now, however, thanks to delays in construction of the massive mine and a hefty influx of cash from the World Bank, the 1.5-square-mile Mes Aynak complex is an archaeological triumph – though bittersweet.
Researchers performing CT scans of 137 mummies from across four continents showed evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries, in one third of those examined, including those from ancient people believed to have healthier lifestyles than most of us have today.
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