“When the invaders came, Cappadocians knew where to hide: underground, in one of the 250 subterranean safe havens they had carved from pliable volcanic ash rock called tuff.
Now a housing construction project may have unearthed the biggest hiding place ever found in Cappadocia, a region of central Turkey famous for the otherworldly chimney houses, cave churches, and underground cities its residents carved for millennia.
Discovered beneath a Byzantine-era hilltop castle in Nevsehir, the provincial capital, the site dates back at least to early Byzantine times.
It is still largely unexplored, but initial studies suggest its size and features may rival those of Derinkuyu, the largest excavated underground city in Cappadocia, which could house 20,000 people.”
“The second season of fieldwork of the Polish archaeological project in Gebelein in southern Egypt has begun. The place was a very important centre in the history of ancient Egypt, but researchers still know little about it.
During last year’s work, many monuments were discovered that allow scientists to fill blank spots in the history of the pharaohs. These include inscriptions, tombs of dignitaries and places of worship carved in the rocks.
A characteristic feature of the landscape in Gebelein are two limestone rocks that tower over the Nile and the surrounding desert.
‘At the dawn of the history of ancient Egypt this was an administrative centre, very well positioned strategically and in terms of natural resources.’
‘There are signs that we are studying the capital of one of the proto-states, of which the Egyptian state emerged at the turn of the fourth and third millennia BC’- told PAP the project leader, Wojciech Ejsmond from the University of Warsaw.”
[These Polish archaeologists are doing excellent and urgently needed work on this early period of Egyptian history. The whole Gebelein area is under threat from agricultural and urban development. Well worth reading the whole story – Ed.]
“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group began bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq on Thursday, the government said, in the jihadists’ latest attack on the country’s historical heritage.
ISIS ‘assaulted the historic city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy vehicles’, the tourism and antiquities ministry said on an official Facebook page.
An Iraqi antiquities official confirmed the news, saying the destruction began after noon prayers on Thursday and that trucks that may have been used to haul away artefacts had also been spotted at the site.
Nimrud, which was founded in the 13th century BC, lies on the Tigris around 30 kilometres (18 miles) southeast of Mosul, Iraq’s second city and the main hub of IS in the country.
The destruction at Nimrud, one of the jewels of the Assyrian era, came a week after the jihadist group released a video showing militants armed with sledgehammersand jackhammers smashing priceless ancient artefacts at the Mosul museum.”
[Information we have suggests that the bulldozing of Nimrud was done to cover up the sytematic theft of portable antiquities that were looted to be sold on the black market by the so-called Islamic State to raise funds for their organisation – Ed.]
[This is yet another great exclusive story from National Geographic – but you wouldn’t expect anything less from them. There are some really great photos of the expedition and the unique discoveries that are a “MUST SEE”. You’ll be very disappointed if you don’t visit their website – Ed.]
[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]
Part of the Antikythera Mechanism
Antikythera Mechanism Research Project
2000-year-old analog computer recreated
More Antikythera Mechanism Information & Commentary: