The events of July 16th – 22nd 1994, when the remnants of a fragmenting comet, P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, bombarded the
surface of Jupiter causing fireballs many times the size of our own planet, were an abrupt wake-up call even for those
who were aware of them. The historical sciences generally, and archæology in particular, have collectively painted
a picture of the past as if our planet ‘stands alone in empty space’. Nothing could be further from reality. Our restless planet exists in a solar system that has had a very dynamic history over the past 20,000 years or so and it is only from this wider solar system perspective that the true history of human civilisation can ever
be fully understood. Therefore, The Morien Institute archive contains information from many disciplines
some news sources require registration but this is usually free
“For a century, archeologists have been looking for a gate through a wall built by the Vikings in northern Europe.
This summer, it was found. Researchers now believe the extensive barrier was built to protect an important trading route.
Their attacks out of nowhere in rapid longboats have led many to call Vikings the inventors of the Blitzkrieg. ‘Like wild hornets’, reads an ancient description, the Vikings would plunder monasteries and entire cities from Ireland to Spain.
The fact that the Vikings, who have since found their place as droll comic book characters, were also avid masons is slightly less well known.”
“Workers at a housing project in Sheshatshiu, central Labrador, have uncovered 3,000-year-old artifacts, including tools and weapons.
What started as a housing development has evolved into an archaeological dig.
‘It’s a very important time period. It’s the time period that’s the least studied in Newfoundland and Labrador archeology, so its going to hopefully fill in a lot of gaps and help to answer a lot of questions.’, said archeologist Scott Neilson, one of the project’s leaders.”
Academic archaeologists and historians are publicly confident that they understand all aspects of prehistory. When and where the first settled communities appeared. When and where agriculture began. And they paint a picture of a gradual development from small hunter-gather tribal groups to the eventual cities of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
But numerous discoveries being made all over the world are questioning established wisdom. The 12,000-year-old megalithic complex at Göbekli Tepe is just one of them …
There are many more short Flash Videos about Göbekli Tepe in many languages on the YouTube site. Just click on any of those above to access them …
News Headlines Digest Period Ending Sunday August 22 2010
“In a small clearing amid the trees, divers from the University of Miami and the Florida Aquarium prepare for what could be a history-changing mission. They’re about to plunge into Little Salt Spring.
a UM diver holdong one of the artifacts discovered during the Little Salt Spring underwater archaeological expedition
University of Miami / WTSP 10 Connect
This small circle of water near North Port holds clues to what was happening in Florida 10,000 years ago. ‘This would have been a kind of an oasis at the end of the last ice age’, says UM archaeologist John Gifford. ‘Animals would have been attracted here by the water.’
In years past, divers have discovered bones from animals long gone. ‘This is a giant tortoise. It’s extinct today’, says spring site manager Steve Koski, while holding a large piece of shell.”
“Swelling floodwaters are causing damage to important historical sites in Pakistan, including registered world heritage sites. Locals at risk include three United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites: Moenjodaro, Takht-i-Bahi, and Thatta.
UNESCO grandly describes Moenjodaro as ‘an immense urban center built of baked bricks dating back to the 3rd millennium B.C.’ The site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.
Moenjodaro is the earliest planned city known, with a complete water supply and sewerage system described in detail in a UNESCO video.”
“A large cache of ancient stone statues outnumbering the Qin Terracotta Warriors was found in the depths of the Nanling Mountains located in Dao County of Yongzhou City, according to the Xiang Gan Yue Gui Archeology Summit Forum held in Yongzhou, Hunan Province on Aug. 17.
Tang Zhongyong, director of the Dao County Administrative Office, said the group of stone statues can be called another wonder of the world. There are a large number of stone statues, unique technologies, a long history as well as abundant content.
There are over 5,000 vivid stone statues at the site, covering an area of 15,000 square meters. They are statues of civil officials, military officers, pregnant women and all kinds of common soldiers and their height varies from 30 to 100 centimeters.”
“An extremely rare 2200-year old gold coin was uncovered recently in the excavations of the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota at Tell Kedesh in Israel near its Lebanese border. The coin, which apparently served ritual purposes, depicts a queen — apparently Arsinoë II — wife of her brother Ptolemy II
The coin is 2,200 years old and was minted in Alexandria, Egypt in 191 BCE by Ptolemy V and bears the name of the wife of Ptolemy II, Arsinoe
EPA / Sue Webb / Israeli Antiquities Authority
The coin was minted in Alexandria by Ptolemy V in 191 BCE and bears the name of the wife of Ptolemy II, Arsinoë Philadephus II.
A press release statement was released by Dr. Donald T. Ariel, head of the Coin Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority ‘This is an amazing numismatic find. The coin is beautiful and in excellent preservation. It is the heaviest gold coin with the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found in an excavation in Israel.’ The coin weighs almost one ounce (27.71 grams), while most ancient gold coins weighed 4.5 grams.”
“Fossilized bones scarred by hack marks reveal that our human ancestors were using stone tools and eating meat from large mammals nearly a million years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study that pushes back both of these human activities to roughly 3.4 million years ago.
The first known human ancestor tool wielder and meat lover was Australopithecus afarensis, according to the study, published in the latest issue of Nature.
This species, whose most famous representative is the skeleton ‘Lucy’, was slender, toothy and small-brained.
‘By pushing the date for tool use and meat eating in our lineage back by around 1 million years, our finds show that tool use and meat eating was not unique to (the genus) Homo, a widely accepted notion in our field’ , co-author Zeresenay Alemseged told Discovery News.”
“Just outside Bhubaneswar, around 2,000 years ago, stood one of old India’s biggest cities. When they chanced upon Sisupalgarh, excavators could only gape in astonishment at its modern ways
Sisupalgarh sounds like a happening settlement by historic standards: a sprawling urban settlement that housed 20,000-25,000 people, street-linking gateways, pillared meeting halls, water storage systems and disposable vessels for daily use.
In one of the richest hauls for archaeologists in the country in recent times, a 12-member Indo-American expert team discovered the remains of a city from the early historic period in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar two years ago.
The team, comprising representatives from Deccan College, Pune, and the University of California, in collaboration with the ASI, had conducted surface excavations at the fortified site first reported by Prof B Lal in 1948.”
“ONE of the chariots found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun travelled to New York last week to meet up with other relics of the golden boy king at the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition.
‘This is the first time that the chariot has travelled outside Egypt’, Zahi Hawass, secretary- general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), told Al-Ahram Weekly.
The chariot is unique and stands out among the five other chariots found among what Howard Carter called the ‘wonderful things’ that made up Tutankhamun’s burial equipment.”
“After eight months of excavation, archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History(INAH) have located, 12 meters below , the entrance to the tunnel leading to a series of galleries beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, in the Archaeologcial Area of Teotihuacan, where the remains of rulers of the ancient city could have been deposited.
In a tour made by to site today with the media, archaeologist Sergio Chavez Gomez, director of the Tlalocan Project went below the ground and announced the advances in the systematic exploration undertaken by the INAH of the underground conduit, which was closed for about 1,800 years by the inhabitants of Teotihuacan themselves and where no one has gone in since then.
INAH specialists hope to enter the tunnel in a couple of months and will be the first to enter after hundreds of years since it was closed.”
“U.S. and Guatemalan archaeologists have found an unusually well-preserved burial chamber that they believe is the tomb of the founder of a Maya dynasty, a find that promises new information about the empire’s formative period.
Archaeologist Stephen Houston of Brown University said the tomb was so tightly sealed that the team found remains of textiles, wood carvings and other organic objects that normally disappear in the humid tropics.
Even after 1,600 years, the smell of decay was still present when the team broke through the walls of the tomb, Houston said.”
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.
The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.
In 2006 the journal “Nature” published a letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon – as seen from the Earth: – Ed]
More news stories and websites about The Antikythera mechanism
“The first great discovery in underwater archaeology yielded not only a fine collection of art treasures but also the most enigmatic, most complicated piece of scientific machinery known from antiquity.”
“The complete works of antiquity’s great geometer appear here in a highly accessible English translation by a distinguished scholar.
Remarkable for his range of thought and his mastery of treatment, Archimedes addressed such topics as the famous problems of the ratio of the areas of a cylinder and an inscribed sphere; the measurement of a circle; the properties of conoids, spheroids, and spirals; and the quadrature of the parabola.
This edition offers an informative introduction with many valuable insights into the ancient mathematician’s life and thought as well as the views of his contemporaries. Modern mathematicians, physicists, science historians, and logicians will find this volume a source of timeless fascination. Unabridged reprint of the classic 1897 edition, with supplement of 1912.”