Audio News for August 20th to August 26th, 2001.
Welcome to the Audio News from Archaeologica! I’m Claire Britton-Warren and these are the headlines in archaeological and historical news from August 20th through August 26th, 2001.
From Egypt, a 15-foot abandoned Pharaonic statue found a new home this week in the Obelisk Museum of Cairo. The statue from a Red Mountain quarry was moved to the grounds of a hospital 15 years ago for unknown reasons. Officials stated it was difficult to say whom the piece represented, but a local newspaper said it was the likeness of Ramses II.
In London, the battle over the Elgin Marbles continues. The Government of Greece made an offer to loan Britain recently discovered treasures in exchange of ‘borrowing’ the sculptures. The British Museum said it had not heard the offer and it was up to the government to decide. The government also stated it had not heard an offer, but it was up to the museum to decide. As the drive to return the Marbles escalates, Greece is building a $58 million museum to house the 2,500-year-old pieces removed by Lord Elgin in 1799.
A wall in the Old City of Jerusalem is reported to be collapsing. The wall, is holding up one end of a Mosque compound. A huge 35-foot wide bulge is in a retaining wall on the hilltop complex. The structure was built around the 8th century on top of King Herod’s wall from the era of the Second Jewish Temple of 2,000 years ago. An anonymous antiquities official stated that test had been conducted, but the results would not be known for about two months.
Original Headline: Archaeological dig uncovers reminders of traditional Squaxin tribal life
In the northwestern United States, a dig has revealed the daily life of the Squaxin Tribe of over 500 years ago. The excavation is a collaboration between tribal members, college students and faculty. A year round village was discovered along with cedar bark baskets, black oyster jewelry and an elk/deer butchering/processing center. Tribal experts are calling the finds and important look into the heritage of the area. Artifacts will be displayed in a new museum and research center expected to open soon.
A Polish Archaeologist announced this week that he discovered an Aztec temple dedicated to the Aztec god of rain and fertility. The temple is located at an elevation of 14,100 feet on a mountain in Central Mexico. Dating from the 15th century, the ruins were found to be in good shape. Pieces of pottery and stone tools were also found on the site. Rituals to Tlaloc the god were carried out in the high mountains, as they were believed to be the house of the god.
From Italy came an announcement that an international team of scientists will launch an expedition to look for the mythical El Dorado. Two years in planning and using state of the art technology, exploration will probably being in the jungle of Madre de Dios (madray-dee-dee-os) in Peru. El Dorado is the secret city in which Incas sought refuge from Spanish Invaders of the 16th Century.
A stained glass image thought to be Lady Godiva is being displayed for the first time in 500 years. The 14th century piece was found in the ruins of a Benedictine abbey in Coventry. Godiva was the 11th century Anglo-Saxon princess that rode naked through the streets for the promise of reduced taxes. In addition to the stained glass, the exhibit also includes seven stone heads from the 14th century.
Farmers in eastern China recently found a Han Dynasty jar containing 10,310 bronze coins dating back 2,000 years ago. Experts describe the coins as well designed and finely minted with the lettering still very visible on their faces. The importance of the discovery is the jar contained coins of literally every Han dynasty emperor ranging over a 350-year period. This offers a unique insight into the politics, economy and culture of the period.
A Japanese team working at Saqqara has unearthed a plaque dating back to the 18th Pharaonic Dynasty of the New Kingdom. Made of limestone, the relief shows King Thutmose IV wearing his Blue Crown holding a captive in his left hand and a dagger in his right. Thutmose’s cartouche is engraved in front of the king’s face along with a line in hieroglyphics reading: “The King God who gives perpetual life like Ra.”
A team of divers will depart for the south Pacific in an effort to locate remains of Amelia Earhart. The group has spent 12 years attempting to trace down the wreckage. They believe the answer is in satellite images of a rust colored object on a coral reef off the Island of Nikumaroro. Earhart disappeared without a trace in 1937 during an effort to fly around the world. The expedition is anticipated to arrive on the island at the end of the month.
In the United States, pipeline construction in Florida has turned up prehistoric native American artifacts dating back to approximately 4,000 years ago. Researchers have found a lithic scatter site containing stone fragments and flakes from a tool making process. The ancient people of the area used a flint like rock to fashion drills and spear heads from other types of stone and deer antlers. Further excavation will be done to see if the site contains more evidence of the early cultures.
In Scotland, researchers are asking for an oil-drilling platform to help solve an ancient mystery. Experts believe the remains of a stone and wood structure buried in a riverbank are those of the Stirling Bridge. The bridge is the site where the army of Sir William “Braveheart” Wallace defeated the English army in 1297. Previous attempts to reach the bridge failed due to the river’s currents. Fund raising continues for the hiring of the drilling derrick.
Finally, from Cambodia, a research team discovered a stone pillar in the Angkor ruins. The square pillar, dating back to the 12th century, is decorated with 1,000 small engravings of the Buddhist deity Kannon. Unearthing a large number of Buddhist carvings in these ruins is considered very rare. Experts are calling it a prized historical find that points to the development of the religion in the region at the time.
That wraps up the news for this week!
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I’m Claire Britton-Warren and I’ll see you next week!