Posts Tagged With: archeology

UPDATE!!…..Battle-Bruised Skeleton May Be King Richard III



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A human skeleton with a cleaved skull discovered beneath a parking lot in England may belong to King Richard III, researchers announced today (Sept. 12), though they have a long way to go in analyzing the bones to determine the identity.

The researchers note they are not saying they have found King Richard III’s remains, but that they are moving into the next phase of their search, from the field to the laboratory.

“[W]e are clearly very excited, but the University now must subject the findings to rigorous analysis. DNA analysis will take up to 12 weeks,” Richard Taylor, the director of corporate affairs at the University of Leicester, told reporters this morning, as recorded in a tweet.

The remains were hidden within the choir of a medieval church known as Greyfriars, where the English monarch was thought to be buried. Though the location of this church had been lost, historical records suggested Richard III was buried there upon his death in battle in 1485.

Two skeletons were discovered: a female skeleton that was broken apart at the joints was discovered in what is believed to be the Presbytery of the lost Church; the other skeleton, which appears to be an adult male, was found in the church choir and shows signs of trauma to the skull and back before death, which would be consistent with a battle injury, the researchers said. [See images of the Richard III discoveries]

“A bladed implement appears to have cleaved part of the rear of the skull,” according to a University of Leicester statement.

In addition, a barbed metal arrowhead was lodged between the vertebrae of the male skeleton’s upper back, Taylor said, adding that the spinal abnormalities suggest the individual had severe scoliosis, though was not a hunchback, as he was portrayed by Shakespeare in the play of the king’s name.

Even so, the scoliosis seen in the skeleton would’ve made the man’s right shoulder appear visibly higher than the left one. “This is consistent with contemporary accounts of Richard’s appearance,” according to the university statement.

University of Leicester archaeologists began excavating the parking lot of the Leicester City Council building on Aug. 25, in search of the church and the king’s remains. Since then, they have turned up the Franciscan friary, a 17th-century garden thought to hold a memorial to the king and various other artifacts.

On Aug. 31, the dig team applied to the Ministry of Justice for permission to begin exhuming the two skeletons, a process that began on Sept. 4.

“We are hopeful that we will recover DNA from the skeleton,” University of Leicester geneticist Turi King said at the briefing, as recorded in a tweet by the university.

The king’s tales

King Richard III ruled for England two years, from 1483 to 1485, before dying in the Battle of Bosworth Field, part of the War of the Roses, an English civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

A century later, William Shakespeare penned “Richard III,” a play about the tragic king — the last English king to die in battle.

The king seemed to have his own following. “Richard III is a charismatic figure who attracts tremendous interest, partly because he has been so much maligned in past centuries, and partly because he occupies a pivotal place in English history,” Philippa Langley, a representative of the Richard III society, said in a statement.

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Heavenly Egyptian Charm Found in Israeli City…….


A rare scarab amulet newly unearthed in Tel Aviv reveals the ancient Egyptian presence in this modern Israeli city.

Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv, have long uncovered evidence of Egyptian influence. Now, researchers have learned that a gateway belonging to an Egyptian fortification in Jaffa was destroyed and rebuilt at least four times. They have also found the scarab, which bears the cartouche of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who ruled from 1390 to 1353 B.C. Scarabs were common charms in ancient Egypt, representing the journey of the sun across the sky and the cycle of life.

Jaffa was the site of major trading activity since the second millennium B.C. Excavations in the 1950s uncovered the Egyptian fortification, which dates back to the dynasty of Ramses II between 1279 and 1213 B.C. Mud brick architecture and household pottery also point to Egyptian influence, according to researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany and the University of California, Los Angeles, who have been conducting new explorations at the site.

Jaffa has long been a crossroads for international influence. The city is also the site of a rare marble slab from the era of the Crusades. The slab, which dates back 800 years, bears an inscription in unusual Arabic script referring to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. Frederick II led the Sixth Crusade in 1228 in an effort to conquer the Holy Land, and managed to gain the territory through diplomacy instead of violence.

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First Temple-Era Reservoir Found in Jerusalem…..



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The 10th-century B.C. reservoir may have been used by pilgrims coming to the Temple Mount.
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Archaeologists have found an ancient water reservoir in Jerusalem that may have been used by pilgrims coming to the Temple Mount, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced.

The IAA said the cistern could have held 66,000 gallons (250 cubic meters) of water; it likely dates back to the era of the First Temple, which, according to the Hebrew Bible, was constructed by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. and then destroyed 400 years later.
Israeli archaeologists believe the reservoir served the general public in the ancient city, but say its location hints at a role in the religious life of Jerusalem.
“Presumably the large water reservoir, which is situated near the Temple Mount, was used for the everyday activities of the Temple Mount itself and also by the pilgrims who went up to the Temple and required water for bathing and drinking,” Tvika Tsuk, chief archaeologist of Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority, said in a statement.

Excavation director Eli Shukron, with the IAA, said the reservoir also sheds new light on the extent of the public water system in Jerusalem hundreds of years ago.

“It is now absolutely clear that the Jerusalem’s water consumption during the First Temple period was not solely based on the output of the Gihon Spring, but that it also relied on public reservoirs,” Shukron said in a statement. The Gihon Spring was the main source of water for the city.
The reservoir was exposed during excavations on a massive drainage channel dating to the Second Temple period, according to the IAA. When that channel was constructed, its builders had to remove or cut through existing rock-hewn structures along the route, such as this reservoir.

Archaeologists with the IAA said they were able to estimate the age of the cistern based on signatures in its plaster treatment and its similarities with other First Temple reservoirs at sites such as Tel Be’er Sheva, Tel Arad and Tel Bet Shemesh.

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Mass Sacrifice Found Near Aztec Temple



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Sixteen feet (five meters) below street level in Mexico City, archaeologists have found a jumble of 1,789 bones from children, teenagers, and adults along with the complete skeleton of a young woman.

The burial, dating to the 1480s, lies at the foot of the main temple in the sacred ceremonial precinct of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, founded by the Aztecs in 1325. The Aztecs dominated central Mexico until falling to Spanish conquistadores in 1521.

Although several burials with multiple remains have been uncovered previously in this precinct, this is the first that includes human bones from such a wide span of ages.

The discovery offers a rare opportunity to study Aztec funerary rituals and religious beliefs. Few burials from that culture have come to light, most likely because they lie beneath modern buildings.

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Maya Prince’s Tomb Found With Rare Drinking Vessel…..


 

Excavating a remote Maya palace in the ruined city of Uxul, archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered the ancient tomb of a young prince—and a rare artifact.

The floor of an entrance building within Uxul’s 11-building royal complex concealed the entrance to the small chamber, which held the remains of the 20- to 25-year-old man and nine ceramic objects.

On one cup, “there was a simple message … in elegantly modeled hieroglyphics that read: ‘[This is] the cup of the young man/prince,'” team member Nikolai Grube, an anthropologist at Germany’s University of Bonn, said in a late-July statement.

Another cup bears a date, which Grube and colleague Kai Delvendahl interpret to mean the year A.D. 711, giving some indication as to when the prince lived and died.

It’s common for Maya artifacts to refer to their owners, Grube said. But all previous princely drinking vessels have been excavated “illegally, without controlled excavation, by looters. This is the first time we have found such a vessel in an archaeological context.”

The Maya civilization sprawled across much of modern-day Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. Around A.D. 900 the so-called Classic era of the Maya Empire came to a close after a series of droughts and perhaps political strife.
Despite its obvious archaeological attractions, the small tomb at Uxul (ooh-SHOOL) is noticeably lacking in jade jewelry—suggesting the prince was not in line for the throne, experts say.

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