Archaeology Weekly Roundup!

Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia (AFP/File, Hassan Ammar)

Dating back to the second century BC, the Nabataean archaeological site, also known as Madain Saleh, has long been hidden from foreign visitors in this ultra-conservative kingdom that rarely opens up to tourists. But now the largest and best preserved site of the Nabataean civilisation south of Petra in Jordan is the first Saudi archaeological site to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and increasingly seeing tourists.

Around 2,100 years ago, at a time when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of Greek kings, a young wealthy man from Thebes was nearing the end of his life. Rather than age, he  may have succumbed to a sinus infection caused by a mouthful of cavities and other tooth ailments.

A Supreme Court decision on a copyright that arose from reselling international textbooks might determine whether US-based museums and arts institutions can continue exhibiting, lending, or selling foreign-made, copyrighted artwork.

The Neolithic temple complex of the Ness of Brodgar, its size, complexity and sophistication have left archaeologists desperately struggling to find superlatives to describe the wonders they found there. “We have discovered a Neolithic temple complex that is without parallel in western Europe.”

Mexican archaeologists say they have determined that the ancient Mayas built watchtower-style structures atop the ceremonial ball court at the temples of Chichen Itza to observe the equinoxes and solstices, and that the discovery adds to understanding of  the ball game.

Two ancient Roman shipwrecks, complete with their cargo, have been discovered by Italian archaeologists off the coast of Turkey near the the ancient Roman city of Elaiussa Sebaste.

Listen to ASOR member and BU professor Michael Danti’s interview about the ongoing damage to Syria’s archaeological and cultural heritage.

The Lozoya River Valley, in Spain is proving to be a trove of Neanderthal finds, including teeth, the remains of fires and animal bones. One of the sites under investigation may also contains remains of a Neanderthal burial.

Ban Non Wat, or “Village of the Temple Mound”, is a village in central Thailand located near the city of Phimai and beneath the surface near Ban Non Wat rest remains of thousands of years of history, much of it long pre-dating the majestic Angkor temple structures and other architectural and artistic marvels of the Khmer Empire (such as that of Angkor Wat) that came to dominate the area and much of Southeast Asia by 900 A.D.

For some of the coins found at ed-Dur in the UAE, it is a name that is causing the greatest debate. The coins have an Aramaic name on them,  “‘Abi’el’, the daughter of so and so,” and some suggest the city may have been ruled by a woman.

A corroded uniform button found in the mud off the St. Augustine Beach pier could be the “smoking gun” that leads to identifying a mystery shipwreck. The corroded button bears the number 74 which means it came off a 74th Regiment British Army uniform of Cambell’s Highlanders, assembled in Scotland in 1777 to fight rebels in North America.

The ancient city of Rhizon (modern Risan in Montenegro), was an Illyrian stronghold which functioned as a successful trading center and archaeological excavations have now uncovered two coin hoards and many other exciting finds.

A well-preserved mammoth that may have been killed by Ice Age humans has been found in the permafrost of northern Siberia and is already enabling new discoveries about mammoths.

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Remember to check out our cultural heritage month posts!

From Destruction to Archaeology: the significance of “Operation Anchor” for the Cultural Heritage of Jaffa.
Archaeology and Community: Experiences in the Azraq Oasis
WikiLoot, crowdsourcing against the illicit antiquities trade
Protecting, Preserving, and Presenting Cultural Heritage in Petra: The Temple of the Winged Lions Cultural Resource Management Initiative
Protecting Archaeological Sites in Conflict Zones: What Is to be Done in Syria?


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