– Terrestrial Archaeology, Marine Archaeology & Astro-Archaeology – News Headlines Archive – September 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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“Israeli lifeguards plunged into the Mediterranean sea this month on an unusual rescue mission: To pull out an ancient ship’s anchor.
Lifeguard Avi Afia first spotted the tip of the anchor on a daily swim five years ago. It was peeking out from the sandy ocean floor about 150 feet (60 meters) from the coast.
It wasn’t until this month that the sands shifted to reveal the treasure in its entirety: A nearly 7-foot (2.1 meter), 650-pound (300 kilogram) iron anchor, probably a spare in the belly of a Byzantine ship that crashed and sank in a storm about 1,700 years ago, said archaeologist Jacob Sharvit of Israel’s Antiquities Authority.”
“Often referred to as a south-east Asian version of Stonehenge, the Plain of Jars is one of the most enigmatic sights on Earth. Shrouded in both mystery and myth, this place has fascinated archaeologists and scientists ever since its discovery in the 1930s.
Thousands of giant stone jars are scattered around the Xieng Khouang plain in Laos and form one of the most bizarre archaeological collections, appearing in clusters and ranging from a single jar to several hundred, on the lower foothills surrounding the central plain and upland valleys.
Excavation by Lao and Japanese archaeologists in the intervening years has supported the conclusion that these were funeral megaliths, with the discovery of human remains, burial goods and ceramics found in association with the stone jars.
The Plain of Jars is dated to the Iron Age (500 BCE to 500 CE) and is one of the most fascinating and important sites for studying Southeast Asian prehistory.”
“A 1,400-year-old funeral chamber was found by chance in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, authorities said.
The chamber, regarded as an elite burial place and dating between A.D. 600 and A.D. 900, was found by locals in the village of Chilacachapa, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said late Wednesday.
Locals intended to bring down a dry stone wall that risked collapse when they came upon the tomb.”
“They lived in cells barely big enough to turn around in and usually fought until they died. This was the lot of those at a sensational scientific discovery unveiled Monday: The well-preserved ruins of a gladiator school in Austria.
The Carnuntum ruins are part of a city of 50,000 people 28 miles (45 kilometers) east of Vienna that flourished about 1,700 years ago, a major military and trade outpost linking the far-flung Roman empire’s Asian boundaries to its central and northern European lands.
Mapped out by radar, the ruins of the gladiator school remain underground. Yet officials say the find rivals the famous Ludus Magnus — the largest of the gladiatorial training schools in Rome — in its structure.
And they say the Austrian site is even more detailed than the well-known Roman ruin, down to the remains of a thick wooden post in the middle of the training area, a mock enemy that young, desperate gladiators hacked away at centuries ago.”
“A well that was once used for supplying water to the local population. The inner boundary walls of the well are made of brick and reflect the architectural ingenuity of Harappa.
The Indus Civilisation is thought to be more advanced than many of the civilisations that came after it.
Even 5,000 years later, these Bronze Age bricks have not eroded. In 1986, the first systematic, multi-disciplinary excavations were started by the Harappa Archaeological Project (HARP), under the direction of George F Dales and J Mark Kenoyer, according to the official website for Harappa. These excavations have continued almost every year since then.
This area is thought to have been used for bathing and washing. Made somewhere around 2,600 BC, the sophistication of the drainage system reflects how advanced the Indus Civilisation was.”
[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.”