Audio News for September 2nd to September 8th
Welcome to the Audio News from Archaeologica! I'm Claire Britton-Warren
and these are the headlines in archaeological and historical news from
September 2nd to September 8th.
New finds raise questions about ancient Illinois
In the United States, archaeologists have unearthed an unusual
900-year-old village near the well-known Cahokia (cah-HOE-kee-ah)
mounds. Until recently, experts believed the large Cahokian
(cah-HOE-kee-en ) civilization settled only on the floodplains and
villages spread out in a free form fashion. This newest find of a "ridge
sitting" village has four linear sides and a rigid orientation of
buildings that contained 75 small rectangular houses that lined the
sides, and the four giant temples. In the center of each temple, they
found the holes that once held large pole roof supports. The temples had huge vaulted ceilings and thatched roofs, and some temple "ritual
debris," including a figurine -- fire-splintered into as many as 2,000
pieces. Researchers feel that it was a farming village, and an
administrative outpost where a top official and civil servants oversaw
farming and the community. The evidence of authority makes Cahokia look
more like a centralized civilization and less like a loose gathering of
Native American Indians. Cahokia (cah-HOE-keeah) appeared quickly and
grew from 1,000 to 10,000 people in a matter of 50 years, then just as
quickly vanished, leaving only traces of its 12th-century magnificence.
Australia helps Iran study Elamite sites
From Iran, a joint effort between the University of Sydney and Iran is
coming together in the hopes of unearthing archaeological information on
the ancient Elamite (E-le-MITE) civilization. A new five-year agreement
would see the excavation of rich, newly identified sites in what is now
Western Iran. "We plan to undertake a range of analytical work on
metals, ceramics, starch residues and plant remains, and to employ the
latest techniques of underwater archaeology," said professor Potts of
the University of Sydney. The plan is to investigate Elam (E-lem) at its
height, between 2000 BC and 1000 BC. In addition, the project will look
at a number of potentially important religious, political, and trade
sites. Library research, in Southwest Iran, shows that Elamite
(E-le-MITE) sites of this period have never been excavated. The area and
its Elamite (E-le-MITE) people are referred to in Mesopotamian texts but
are yet to be researched in depth.
Early church in Jordan confirms Byzantine link
In southern Jordan, sections of a church dating to the Byzantine era
have been uncovered. Dating to between AD 400 and 600, a large mosaic
floor, altar and pillars have been revealed. The church's discovery,
located 93 miles south of Amman, Jordan's capital hypothetically means
that all of Jordan was part of the Byzantine empire, contrary to
previous belief that it was only the northern part of the country.
Several churches believed to date to the Byzantine era have been
unearthed in northern and central Jordan, which lies at a crossroad to
the Holy Land. The Byzantine rulers, operating from Constantinople, were
the direct inheritors to the Roman Empire, which ruled during the early
days of the Christian era. Territory under the Byzantine dominion
included Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula, including Macedonia and
Greece. The main language was Greek and the predominant religion was
Orthodox Christianity. The Byzantine Empire fell to invading Turks in 1453.
Ancient stone rescued from building renovation
In Scotland, a kitchen renovation has turned up a rare carved stone that
reveals new evidence on the beginnings of Christianity in the area. The
9th-century stone is believed to be a grave marker for an early
religious figure from Iona. It measures one and a half feet by six and a
half feet, and has intricate carvings of biblical figures with
traditional Pictish symbols. It is the first Pictish stone to be found
in the last 130 years. It is thought that the stone may have previously
been incorporated into a building on the site, as it was covered in
plaster when it was discovered. The stone may have ties to the area
where it was found, which is called Kilduncan, after Saint Duncan. As a
local archaeologist explained: "This is of unquestionable importance. It
is at the traditional time when Pictish state was waning. The word 'kil'
means church. So this would mean Church of Duncan. Markers like this
were rare and meant the person who died was very important." The stone,
which was purchased from the home-owners who found it, will be displayed
at St Andrews Museum.
Archeologists unearth monumental stones at Buddhist temple
Our final story is from Java, where archeologists have unearthed seven
menhir (MEN-hir) at a temple some 15 miles southeast of the capital of
Bandung (BAN-doong). Experts stated the findings will help trace the
historical background of the temple. Many people consider the site to be
a sacred place, and bring empty bottles to fill with water from the
spring there. Menhir (MEN-hir ) are upright monumental stones,
symbolizing men, that are often found in Hindu temples. Also found at
the site was a temple column that was more primitive than those of other
Javanese temples. Based on this temple column, the construction date for
the temple is estimated as between the second and seventh centuries
A.D., making it older than any other temple in Java. This calls into
question a theory that Hinduism spread from the eastern part of Java to
the west, which was based on the presence of more Hindu temples in the
east than in West Java.
That wraps up the news for this week!
For more stories and daily news updates, visit Archaeologica on the
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I'm Claire Britton-Warren and I'll see you next week!