Audio News for September 10th to September 16th, 2001.
Welcome to the Audio News from Archaeologica! I’m Claire Britton-Warren and these are the headlines in archaeological and historical news from September 10th through September 16th, 2001.
From India, a temple cave believed to be 1,500 years old has been discovered. The complex contains three chambers and a 15 foot statue in the main cave. Described as having a knot of hair on the head, a cobra around its neck and a hump thought once to be a trident, the statute is being identified as Shiva. The cave is located near the Amarnath cave in Kashmir. Amarnath is the site of an annual Hindu pilgrimage.
An 11th century mural was found this week in a Tibetan Monastery. Covering walls on two stories of the ancient temple it contains a Buddha image framed with clouds, foliage, animals, mountains and rivers. Located 270 miles west of Lhasa, the monastery was built in 1073 AD and is thought to be the birth place of Sagyapa (Stripped Sect) of Tibetan Buddhism.
Scientists in Australia have ‘unwrapped’ the head of an Egyptian mummy without removing it from its sarcophagus. Using a CT (computer tomography) scan to create a 3D image and feeding measurements from the image into software called Cranid, a probable geographic origin of the skull was produced. In this case, the mummy Jeni, was probably an Egyptian female. Modern application of this science could assist in forensic investigations.
In Greece, seven marble statuettes were stolen from the tomb of Eurydice. Dating from the 4th century and measuring less than one foot tall, the theft occurred after an evening guard shift had been cancelled due to staff shortages. Officials stated that the field of investigation is narrow and the pieces could not be sold because they are well-known. Eurydice was the grandmother of Alexander the Great.
From Yemen, a business man has unearthed a rare manuscript of ancient scripture. During demolition of his old home in preparation to build a new one, the document was found by chance along with a container of gold ornaments. Written in ancient Hebrew on pages made from the skin of a gazelle, the text is encased in a wooden cover. Speculation is that the manuscript is 1,800 to 2,000 years old.
Original Headline: Phoenician archeological site discovered in northern Morocco
In Morocco a Phoenician era site has been discovered. The site is divided into two areas, one being a maritime trade center and the other a mixture of various items. Dating back to between the 7th and 5th centuries BC, this is the oldest site to be found in Morocco. Research in the region is a join venture between the Mohammedia and the Italian Casino University.
A British team has recently uncovered 19 Bronze Age tombs in the Sidon region of Lebanon. The tombs are dated to 4,000 to 2,000 BC and are the first to be found in area. Due to their uniqueness, experts are saying the find could ‘rewrite and restore the knowledge of the history of Sidon. Digging at this site has intensified over the past month because of the number of discoveries.
In Egypt, two new significant finds were made at Saqqara. The name of Khufu was found engraved on a base of what once was a Sphinx in a 26th Dynasty tomb. The name was found in a cartouche preceded by the title, ‘King of Upper and Lower Egypt’. Khufu was a fourth Dynasty Pharaoh. Also found was a tomb containing magnificent statutes including one of the goddess Sekhmet made of burned red clay.
Original Headline: Wreck carving 'amazes' divers
Off the coast of England, divers have located what they believe to be a piece of one of Lord Nelson’s ships. Amateur divers thought they had found a wooden warrior, and but it turned out to be an undiscovered section of the stern of the HMS Colossus. The Colossus went down in the Battle of the Nile in 1798. The piece has been recovered awaiting future preservation efforts.
Original Headline: 3,000-Year-Old Tombs Found in South China City
Another cluster of tombs from the Shang Dynasty has been found in the southern China province of Guangdong. The underground tombs contained stone tools, copper axes, jade spears and ceramic pots. Experts suspect the area was for persons of high status. The Shang Dynasty ran from the 16th century BC to the 11 Century BC.
In Bahrain, excavations on an ancient marketplace have resumed at Khamis. The newest areas of investigation will include a mound thought to be part of a fort, a series of canals used to channel water around the city and stone walls built by a legendary 17thcentury Vizir. Researchers are trying to build a representation of the daily life during the shaping years of Islam, from about 620AD forward.
Original Headline: Tuscany's Excalibur is the real thing, say scientists
From Rome a sword plunged into a rock by a Tuscan knight has been authenticated, lending to Italy’s version of Excalibur. A nobleman supposedly split the stone with his sword in 1180 after renouncing war to become a hermit. Only the hilt and a portion of the blade protrude from the hill. Experts have dated the composition of the metal and the style to be consistent with the time and the legend. Beneath the sword radar imaging has revealed a cavity thought to be a burial access, possibly containing the knights body.
That wraps up the news for this week!
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I’m Claire Britton-Warren and I’ll see you next week!