Much has been made of the so-called 2012 Mayan apocalypse. But for the real Maya people, the end of the world came slowly and timed with historic droughts.
A new, ultra-detailed climate record from a cave in Belize reveals Classic Maya civilization collapsed over centuries as rain dried up, disrupting agriculture and causing instability that led to wars and the crumbling of large cities. A final major drought after the political collapse of the Maya may be what kept the civilization from bouncing back.
After nearly a century away, Harvard archaeology has returned to Iraq.
Jason Ur, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, earlier this year launched a five-year archaeological project — the first such Harvard-led endeavor in the war-torn nation since the early 1930s — to scour a 3,200-square-kilometer area around Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, for signs of ancient cities and towns, canals, and roads.
Already, Ur said, the effort is paying massive dividends — with some 1,200 potential sites identified in just a few months, and potentially thousands more in the coming years.
“What we’re finding is that this is, hands down, the richest archaeological landscape in the Middle East,” Ur said. “Due to the history of conflict and ethnic strife in this region, there was no work done in this area at all, so it really is a tabula rasa, so it’s a very exciting time.”
Unfortunately, he said, that blank slate is quickly being erased by development.
Volunteer science divers with the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) are helping Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary unlock the mystery of an early 20th century shipwreck off Key Largo, Fla. Underwater surveys and research conducted this week will build upon past studies and bring maritime archaeologists a step closer to naming the wreckage.
The shallow coral reefs of the Florida Keys have claimed countless ships over the centuries, and contributed to a once-thriving salvaging industry. The mystery wreck rests amid the reef known as “The Elbow” and is joined in close proximity by two known shipwrecks – the USS Arkansas and City of Washington.
Starting early next year, workers with heavy machinery will begin constructing an eight-lane highway across the small country's oldest surviving major cemetery, overriding the objections of nature lovers and heritage buffs.
Looking into belief systems is instrumental in discovering the collective unconscious of a group, that is, the underlying values of a culture: their uncertainties, fears, ambitions, motivations and morals.
A centuries-old gymnasium in Muğla’s ancient city of Stratonikeia will be revived for visitors via 3D technology. The 265-meter long historic sports facility is a magnificent sight for an ancient city, according to Pamukkale university academics
The world’s largest marble city, the ancient city of Stratonikeia in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Yatağan district, is home to a 2,200-year-old gymnasium, which is being revived with 3D technology to enhance visitors’ experiences.
Minister Simon Corbell's claim (''Heritage protection is just a facade'', November 17, p3) that the Law Court building has no heritage listing, even though it was included in the former Register of the National Estate, highlights a national crisis concerning Australian heritage protection. This has resulted from a serious dumbing down in the conservation process due to discreditable Commonwealth decisions. Whether properties concern indigenous, natural or built-environment values, the unsuspecting public is faced with the defacement or destruction of places which, by due process, have been declared significant.
This minimisation of heritage warrants exposure. Between 1976 and 2000, the Australian Heritage Commission included some 14,000 places around the continent in the RNE. About half of this total was published in 1981. Then prime minister Malcolm Fraser introduced The Heritage of Australia with these positive words - ''to make sure that the National Estate is looked after in the way it deserves … although the Register of the National Estate still continues as a vast and ongoing undertaking''.
The camp which is shown in Roy’s Military Antiquities is on the right bank of the Stobilee Burn 570 metres NW of Cleghorn Mill where the road from Castledykes to Carluke and Bothwellhaugh crossed the Mouse Water.
The camp itself amounts to 46.7 acres(18.9 hectares) which would have accommodated a force of about twelve thousand men (two legions). The camp is shaped like a parallelogram and well suited to the topography of the area.
There are indications from an examination of Google Earth of a small fortlet on the high ground to the North.
Even as anthropologists and archaeologists continue to puzzle over the eclipse of the Mayan empire, the Maya themselves are still here, with estimated 6.2million living in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
A vast urn-burial site has been found at Mandapam village, near Aarpakkam intersection, about 14 km from Kancheepuram.
The importance of the site, archaeologists say, is that it belongs to a period earlier than the Megalithic Age or Iron Age in Tamil Nadu.
They estimate that the site is datable to 1,800 BCE to 1,500 BCE, that is, 3,800 to 3,500 years before the present.
The site, however, has been ravaged by quarrying for blue-metal. Earth-movers have sliced the big urns and smashed into pieces ritual pottery, bowls and terracotta plates inside the urns.
Quarrying has reduced the site to small lakes with deposits of blue metal jutting out and broken urns protruding in places. A stone-crushing machine is filling the air with dust.
Villager P. Mani, who discovered the site, reported it to V. Arasu, Head of the Department of Tamil, University of Madras, and S. Elango, lecturer in Tamil, Madras University. Dr. Elango, who visited the site a few times, said the flat/conical bottomed urns were buried only one or two feet below the soil surface. While some had ritual pottery and terracotta plates inside, others were empty. There were disintegrated human bones in several urns. More importantly, there were no cairn circles on the surface of the graves to mark them. There were no graffiti marks on the urns.
I am not sure that I will ever look at a piece of opal the same way again, after a patient at UCLH told me that the piece they were holding reminded them of jellied eel. Apparently, the opal looked, felt and even smelled like a slithery, slimy eel. I’ve heard of flint axe heads that look like poached flathead, amazonite that feels like soap and, eerie faces hidden in the sides of smoky quartz. But, this obviously takes things to a new level.
Fascinating use of objects and collections in a new and exciting way!
“Trent University has been conducting archaeological research in the Maya lowlands, especially Belize, since the 1970s,” reports Dr. Paul Healy, professor of Anthropology and Archaeology. “We’ve offered students truly rare opportunities almost annually to participate in Maya research at 1000 year-old sites such as Pacbitun, Caledonia, Caracol, Cahal Pech, and for the past 15 years, at Minanha, under the direction of Dr. Gyles Iannone.”
We have several professors [Drs. Haines, Iannone, and Healy] who are each conducting research involving Trent students at different locales in Belize. It's almost unique in the world to have this faculty strength, and it means that Trent is not only exceptional for the breadth and depth of its research expertise in Maya archaeology in Canada, but on an international level as well.”
“It’s an experience that you can’t put a value on,” says undergraduate student Amanda Sinclair. Ms. Sinclair was the first Trent student from the Oshawa campus to join the student team led by Dr. Helen Haines at the site of Ka’Kabish, Belize. For Ms. Sinclair, the hands-on experience is essential.
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