Archaeologists have uncovered a significant treasure consisting of 200 bronze coins and various items of gold, silver and bronze jewellery, which were buried by citizens of a town under siege by the Roman army nearly 2,000 years ago.
Live Science reports the valuables were found beneath an ancient fortress in the Crimean settlement of Artezia, in modern day Ukraine.
Scientists think wealthy locals buried the treasure in an effort to hide it from the attacking Romans.
"It was obvious for the people that they were going to die shortly," wrote Nikolai Vinokurov, a professor at Moscow State Pedagogical University
Think of it as the earliest version of the Facebook wall post: Ancient Pompeii residents revealed their social networks through graffiti on actual walls.
Now, a new analysis of some of these scribbled messages reveals the walls of the wealthy were highly sought after, especially for political candidates hoping to drum up votes. The findings suggest that Pompeii homeowners may have had some control over who got artistic on their walls, said study researcher Eeva-Maria Viitanen, an archaeologist at the University of Helsinki.
David Connolly's insight:
Another grand article from Stephanie Pappas and LiveScience
Since 2004, a local Nepali community group, an American volunteer tourism NGO and an Anglo-Nepali architectural/engineering firm have been working together to restore the Chhairo Gompa, an historic Buddhist monastery located along the ancient salt trading route in the Lower Mustang region of Nepal’s Himalayas.
At an altitude of 2,680 metres, the Chhairo Gompa sits in a juniper grove on the eastern bank of the Kali Gandaki River near the tiny village of Chhairo. For at least 300 years through the middle of the 20th century, Chhairo Gompa flourished, serving as a monastic centre for Buddhist learning and art as well as the religious centre for the local ethnic Thakali community. Local belief holds that Chhairo Gompa, also known as Sanga Choling, was established in the 8th Century by the Tibetan Lama Sangye, but its origins are uncertain. Its existence in the early 1800s is confirmed by royal edicts issued by Bhimsen Thapa, Prime Minister of Nepal from 1806 to 1837.
On the eve of an unimaginably long walk – one that starts in Africa, winds through the Middle East, across Asia, hops over to Alaska, goes down the western United States, then Central and South America and ends in Chile – one question nagged journalist Paul Salopek: Should he take his house keys?
Salopek on Thursday departed a small Ethiopian village and took the first steps of a planned 21,000-mile (34,000-kilometer) walk that will cross some 30 borders, where he will encounter dozens of languages and scores of ethnic groups. The 50-year-old's quest is to retrace man's first migration from Africa across the world in a go-slow journey that will force him to immerse himself in a variety of cultures so he can tell a global mosaic of people stories.
The Ethiopia-to-Chile walk – which took human ancestors some 50,000 years to make – is called Out of Eden and is sponsored by National Geographic, the Knight Foundation and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, the American plans to write one major article a year with periodic updates every 100 miles or so.
David Connolly's insight:
Walk on! still... seven years is better than 50,000!
The clapper bridge Tarr Steps in Exmoor, Somerset, is the latest landmark to be hit by the weeks of downpours after its cables were snapped by trees being swept downstream.
The River Barle in Somerset swelled so much that it destroyed the ‘Tarr Steps’ – a Grade I listed ancient monument formed of massive stones weighing up to two tons apiece. The slabs, some measuring 8ft long, were swept away as downed trees crashed into them.
Local resident Martin Hesp said: ‘I have lived in the area for over 50 years and I have never seen anything like this before.
As I consider the settler history of the state of Colorado, I am frustrated with the continued glorification of early settlers and perpetuation of the grand narrative in dominant literature, especially in reference to the Sand Creek Massacre.
The excellent condition of a newly discovered 13th-century chapel has stirred hopes among archaeologists that an entire city may be largely intact underground.
After some 800 years as an important pilgrimage site in the Byzantine Empire it vanished — buried under 18 feet of mud from the rampaging Myros River.
But now, 700 years later, Myra is reappearing.
Archaeologists first detected the ancient city in 2009 using ground-penetrating radar that revealed anomalies whose shape and size suggested walls and buildings. Over the next two years they excavated a small, stunning 13th-century chapel sealed in an uncanny state of preservation. Carved out of one wall is a cross that, when sunlit, beams its shape onto the altar.
When Charles Darwin first sketched how species evolved by natural selection, he drew what looked like a tree. The diagram started at a central point with a common ancestor, then the lines spread apart as organisms evolved and separated into distinct species.
In the 175 years since, scientists have come to agree that Darwin’s original drawing is a bit simplistic, given that multiple species mix and interbreed in ways he didn’t consider possible (though you can’t fault the guy for not getting the most important scientific theory of all time exactly right the first time). Using a tree-like structure is a great way to show the history of the evolution of a species, or its phylogeny. But it’s not so great for showing the population history of groups within a single species, such as humans, who can move around and interbreed with each other.
David Connolly's insight:
If you try to make a tree of population histories within a species, there’s always the possibility that you’ve got genes flowing from one branch to another,
When you pass the sign that says “Welcome to Khajuraho,” you enter a different land. The roads become broad and smooth. Lush lawns and tall green trees line up on both sides of the street.
And, most strikingly, sex and eroticism are no longer taboo. Khajuraho – which is at the heart of Madhya Pradesh, a state called the “Heart of India” — is famous for its 1,000-year-old temples full of highly detailed erotic art and stone carvings, which draw millions of visitors each year.
David Connolly's insight:
The most magnificent temple in this complex is the Lakshmana Temple
For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century. But archaeologists now believe that economic and identity issues, rather than starvation and disease, drove them back to their ancestral homes.
On Sept. 14, 1408, Thorstein Olafsson and Sigrid Björnsdottir were married. The ceremony took place in a church on Hvalsey Fjord in Greenland that was only five meters (about 16 feet) tall.
The Diyala Database, for the first time, publishes all archaeological materials from the Diyala Expedition, one of the most important excavation projects ever undertaken in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).
The current version of this database, using OracleTM as a backend, represents a partial release of these data. Future releases will add and update object descriptions and provide new interfaces with additional links to site photographs, field notes, diary entries, and architectural plans.
Mayan astronomers accurately mapped the movements of heavenly bodies.
A new book, "Astronomy in the Maya Codices" (American Philosophical Society, 2011), which was awarded the Osterbrock Book Prize for historical astronomy here at the American Astronomical Society conference Monday (Jan. 7), details a series of impressive observations made by Mayan astronomers pre-16th century.
Anthropologist husband-wife team, Harvey and Victoria Bricker have devoted their lives to understanding the pre-Columbian Maya and how they understood the world around them. The Brickers conducted most of their work by translating complex hieroglyphics to see what Mayan scribes felt was most important to record on parchment.
In collaboration with the National University of Mexico, a team of Spanish researchers has analysed for the first time remains of cosmetics in the graves of prehispanic civilisations on the American continent. In the case of the Teotihuacans, these cosmetics were used as part of the after-death ritual to honour their city’s most important people.
A research team from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Valencia has studied various funerary samples found in urns in the Teotihuacan archaeological site (Mexico) that date from between 200 and 500 AD.
The scientists have been researching Mayan wall paintings in Mexico and Guatemala since 2006. Published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, this project came about after contact on various occasions with other researchers in the area, namely the National University of Mexico, who wanted to know the composition and function of the cosmetics found in pots.
Migaloo is a rescue dog with a special talent. Her owner, Australian dog owner Gary Jackson, trained this black lab-Mastiff mix to become the first “Archeology Dog”, able to sniff out bones that are hundreds of years old.
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