– Terrestrial Archaeology, Marine Archaeology & Astro-Archaeology – News Headlines Archive – January 2011 – new archaeological discoveries on land and underwater – with emphasis on the ancient sciences reflected in astro-archaeology and archaeoastronomy from new discoveries revealing its practice in ancient societies under ancient skies
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 resilient 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
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Due to the continuing spinal problems of our Web Editor updates for the News pages and SkyWatch Calendar will be sporadic for the next few months until we can find a permanent replacement. We are looking for someone based in NW England We apologise for any inconvenience …
News Headlines Digest Period Ending Monday January 31 2011
“The 1,200-year-old tomb of a ruler of the pre-Incan Sican culture was found recently in Peru’s Lambayaque region, the director of the Las Ventanas archaeological dig announced on Wednesday.
‘It’s an individual seated on a litter, a funerary bundle, in which has been found in situ a crown, a mask and a series of objects that accompany him’, Carlos Elera told Efe from Lambayeque.
One of the most interesting objects found is a bottle representing the funerary bundle that it accompanies, since both are facing toward the southwest corner of the temple, which represents ‘a noteworthy symbolic connection’, the scientist said.”
“Workers in Abu Yasseen village in Sharqiya Governorate found three pharaonic coffins and other artefacts while digging as part of a sewage project in the village.
Eye witnesses said two of the coffins were smashed. The antiquities were transferred to the governorate capital Zagazig, where they will be examined by experts. Guards imposed security around the coffins and the area where they were found.
Clashes erupted when workers demanded a share of their discovery while antiquities authority employees were transferring the artefacts.”
“There have been a lot of things said about the Amazon: That it was a vast virgin jungle, that its only inhabitants were hunter-gatherers and that the rain forest was too hostile to have ever supported big civilizations.
But increasingly, archaeologists say they are discovering the Amazon was home to large, even advanced civilizations before the Europeans arrived.
Using ground-penetrating radar and other technologies, archaeologists are increasingly excavating causeways, moats and other manmade works. That has prompted archaeologists like the Brazilian Eduardo Neves to rethink what the Amazon looked like before the Europeans arrived.
The new thinking has given much more credence to the reports the Spanish explorers penned in the early 1500s. They had written about finding cities gleaming white.”
“South Cadbury Castle is well known for its suspected association with King Arthur as the site of his infamous castle, Camelot.
Excavations have shown that the site was indeed strengthened in the period formally known as the Dark Ages, at the time of the legendary Arthur. However, there is one question that remains an enigma – why was the site abandoned?
There is no archaeological evidence that shows there was destruction or an invasion at the site of South Cadbury at the beginning of the sixth century – it simply went out of use.
Its abandonment is perplexing for it was strengthened and inhabited in the fifth century as evidenced by the pottery sherds, but by the early sixth century it was uninhabited.
South Cadbury has undergone some extensive excavations, especially by Alcock (1965-1970), who tells us ‘On the basis of archaeological evidence – and there is no other – the Cadbury II occupation had come to an end before 600AD’ (Alcock 1005, 152).”
“New research by an international team of scholars shows early human colonization of Eastern Polynesia took place much faster and more recently than previously established.
The study was based on an analysis of the validity of more than 1,400 radiocarbon dates from 47 islands in the region collected from their own and other researchers’ published studies.
Polynesian ancestors settled in Samoa around 800 B.C., then much later moved to colonize the region in two distinct phases—earliest in the central Society Islands between A.D. 1025 and 1120, four centuries later than previously assumed.
Then, between 70 and 265 years later, dispersal continued in one major ‘pulse’ to all remaining islands including New Zealand, Hawai`i and Easter Island (Rapa Nui) between A.D. 1190 and 1290.
The timing and sequence of this remarkable event has been highly debated and poorly resolved, precluding the understanding of cultural and ecological change that followed.”
“Archaeologists have unveiled the treasures of a 2,600-year-old Celtic tomb containing a wealth of art in Germany.
An ancient hill fort at Heuneburg found the 13-by-16-foot burial chamber in an excellent state of preservation and still containing gold and amber jewellery placed there seven years before the birth of Christ.
The jewellery allowed archaeologists to pinpoint a precise date – the first time they’ve been able to do so with early Celtic remains.”
[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