Archaeology Weekly Roundup! 1-5-13

Archaeologists who have completed the excavation of a 900-seat arts center under one of Rome’s busiest roundabouts are calling it the most important Roman discovery in 80 years.

A temple and sacred vessels from Biblical times have been discovered at Tel Motza. The finds, dated to the early monarchic period and including pottery figurines of men and horses, provide rare testimony of a ritual cult in the Jerusalem region at the beginning of the period of the monarchy.

Some marine archaeologists think ancient artifacts resembling the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient bronze clockwork astronomical calculator, may rest amid the larger-than-expected Roman shipwreck that yielded the device in 1901.

A polychromatic stucco mural, referring to one of the oldest Mayan dynasties of the important city of Dzibanché, Mexico, is one of the latest findings which reveals that the city was inhabited well into the 13th century CE, and centuries after it was believed the cities of the Lowlands were completely abandoned during the “Maya collapse“.

Archaeology’s taking to the air. Researchers spent a month this summer testing a semi-autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle—basically a semi-autonomous drone—high in the Andes in Peru, to map a site.

Archaeologists are studying the ruins of a buried Christian empire in the highlands of Yemen, set up by ancient Ethiopian conquerors. The sites have sparked a number of questions about the early history of Islam. 

Much has been made of our ancestors “coming down out of the trees,” and many researchers view terrestrial bipedalism as the hallmark of “humanness.” However, a team of anthropologists argue that being bipedal doesn’t necessarily negate being an effective tree climber, and thus human ancestors may not have given up the trees.

A 1,400 year old Kofun-period warrior, still dressed in his lamellar suit of armor, was unearthed at the Harunayama Futatsudake excavation site. The warrior, together with an infant, were probably killed and buried during a volcanic eruption, archaeologists believe.

A marble sculptured head of Artemis from the fourth century BC has been uncovered in the ancient city of Alabanda as the archeological excavations there come to a close.

A team of archaeologists at the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in Oman managed to unearth an archaeological site dated to 2000 BCE.

Traces of a huge water supply system and parallel ground wall from the time of the Ly dynasty have been unearthed at the former Thang Long Imperial Citadel in downtown Hanoi, archaeologists have announced.

Here’s an interesting article on Gobëkli Tepe, in eastern Turkey, which, at 11,000 years old, is the oldest monument ever found, yet was only discovered a decade ago. It may also be the site of humans’ first efforts at farming.


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