Audio News for June 4th to June 10th, 2001.
Welcome to the Audio News from Archaeologica! I’m Claire Britton-Warren and this is the news archaeological excavations around the world from June 4th through June 10th, 2001.
On Monday, June 4th, The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities announced a discovery from the Ptolemaic era that was made at Dhabaa on the northwest coast. The remains of olive and grape presses which are said to testify that Egypt had a big market in the exportation of these products during that period. The find also indicates that the area had many factories, presses and plantations of olives and grapes. Appropriations have been approved to continue excavating the area.
Also on Monday, in Scotland, it was reported that a complete 124 piece necklace dating back 4,000 years was found in what is believed to be Scotland’s earliest family grave. The necklace was comprised of coal and jett, skillfully crafted, drilled using sand and increasing in size from back to front. This item was found in a child’s grave with her remains and a food vessel. Thought to be worn by the child, it is the first of its kind to be found intact in Scotland.
Across the world in East Pilbara, Australia, a large collection of rock engravings has been found that might be the world’s largest concentration of Ice Age art. Dating to more than 26,000 years old, these may very well be older than any found in the Americas or Africa, although older rock art does occur in Asia. What do the engravings mean? Archaeologists were quoted as saying they believe they might show the “camp places of the people up in the sky-the people who look down and see the carvings”, as all the engravings point upward into the sky.
On Tuesday, June 5th in Greece at the site of a controversial water sports center for the 2004 Olympics, an ancient building’s remains have been found which have been tentatively dated to the fourth century BC. A wall, found near a perimeter fence, is located five kilometers (3 miles) from the village of Marathon and may have no effect on the already on going dispute, that the area was the location of the final stages of the 490 BC Battle of Marathon. Officials plan to move the fence to protect the wall, which is believed to have run along the ancient road from Marathon to Rhamnous.
Experts in Spain were examining the 13th century mummy remains of King Jaime the first when they were surprised to find two skulls, with similar holes in them, within the wrappings!! DNA tests are being done to determine the correct head of the late king of Valencia who apparently believed that two heads are better than one!
On Wednesday, June 6th, A theory was made public that the mummy of Queen Nefertiti, wife of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten, may have been looking archaeologists in the eye for more than a century! The mummy of a woman found in 1898 holds a striking resemblance the famous Queen. Nefertiti was thought to have died around 1336BC at the age of 28 or 29. The woman’s mummy, named as Egyptian Museum 61070, but commonly called, The Elder Woman, was once thought to be that of Queen Tiye who was over 40 when she died. Current dental and skeletal studies show this mummy was around 29 years of age. The mummy’s face shows features resembling those on the bust of Nefertiti at the Egyptian Museum. The investigation is continuing on Elder Woman’s mummy and Archaeologica will keep you posted as this story develops.
Original Headline: Pilgrimage Route Uncovered at South America's Lake Titicaca
On the same day In South America, a pilgrimage route was found at Lake Titicaca. Two islands that lie in the lake, the Islands of the Sun and Moon, straddle the borders of Peru and Bolivia. Studies conducted at the islands uncovered shrines pre-dating the Incans to approximately 500BC. Mapping of the area’s ruins, show a pilgrimage route that led from the mainland to the islands where the shrines are located. It is thought that people would travel long leaving offerings at dozens of sites. These islands were important enough, even in the Inca world, that the Incan Kings would travel to the Lake to pay homage. The shrines thought to be as important as Machu Picchu and preservation efforts are on going.
On Thursday, June 7th, the burial of a 14th century Prince has been found in northeast Russia. Restoration work was being done on the frescoes in a church that had been built in 1198 when the Prince’s stone sarcophagus was found. The tomb dates back to 1322. Due to the environment of the area and that it had remained sealed, the contents are in good condition. This is the second such find in the area. The first was another tomb, in which a fragment of a prince’s shirt was found with an unusual scene – the ascension of Alexander of Macedonia. This fragment is currently being restored.
Also on Thursday, it was reported that great treasures were being brought up from beneath the waters of the Mediterranean at the site of the ancient Egyptian port city of Heracleion. Heracleion was sent into the sea by an earthquake around 1,000 years ago. Amongst the items brought up, was a stelae that was broken into 15 pieces. When put together, the stelae weighed 10 tons and measured 20 feet by 10 feet! Three large statues were also excavated, one of a pharaoh, one of a queen and another of a river god. The stela and statues were taken to a laboratory in Alexandria for further study and preservation. Heralkeion’s city structures still lay preserved in the Mediterranean waters. Among these structures are temples and a colosseum!
Original Headline: Great lost city of ancient Egypt revealed
On Friday, June 8th An update was reported on the June 7thstory of the lost city of Heracleion-the large black granite slab brought up has confirmed that the site is infact Heracleion as scientists and archaeologists believed Inscriptions suggest that archaeologist have found the great temple of the city, which was purportedly visited by Paris and Helen of Troy. This port was Egypt’s main port and custom post before Alexandria was founded in 331BC. The last line in the inscription is an imperial order to levy taxes on Greek Imports and that the slab was to be placed at Heracleion. Apart from naming the slab’s placement, it is identical to a slab found over a century ago, now in the Cairo Museum. The Stela of Naukratis has the same inscription, of the edict in the name of the Pharaoh Nektanebos I. Discovery of twin stelae is rare in Egyptian archaeology. Experts are quoted as saying that it will take months to read this new stele, but is will probably yield a lot of information about this period of history.
Original Headline: Egypt: New Pharaonic Village Discovered in Athar Al-Bwayb Offers A New Surprise, Egypt Antiquity News
And still in Egypt, north of Cairo, a large portion of a Pharaonic village was found. The buildings of the village were constructed of mud brick and date between 1070 BC and 650BC. Last year, a team of archaeologists had found a village at this location. This current find, is beneath the first village and was found to be in good condition. Some of the items found were a rattle made of bronze depicting the Goddess Hathor, that used in religious ceremonies. Also found was part of a religious crown, specifically made to be used by the Pharaohs. The crown was also made of bronze with a sun disk painted red. This is an important archaeological area, as in ancient times, it was the location of the 16th and 17thnomes, or territories, of Lower Egypt which is the same area that the old kingdom city of Mendes was found.
On Saturday, June 9th Berlin’s Pergamon Museum and the Greek Prime Minister made public an agreement to return architectural fragments from a 4thcentury BC monument in Olympia. These will be used in a partial restoration of Philippeion which was built honoring the family of Alexander the Great and commemorating King Philip of Macedonia’s victory of the Athenians and Thebans in 338 BC. The marble and poros pieces from this structure, which was started by King Philip and probably finished by Alexander, have been held under agreement by the German Museum since 1898. These pieces also include some of the building’s steps, fragmentary capitals and a couple of marble lion head water spouts. The restoration is intended to be completed before the 2004 Olympics.
Also on Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico, two oil companies announced they found a long lost WWII German U-boat submarine! The U-166 was discovered in 5,000 feet of water, about 45 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River. Near this wreckage is the US WWII passenger-freighter, the SS Robert E Lee, which was sunk by the U-166. The Lee’s location has been known for sometime. The location of the sub, which sunk during a US attack with all 52 members, has been a mystery for nearly 60 years until current technology allowed for a dive this deep.
Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado has revealed new secrets in the aftermath of last year’s wild fires. Archaeologists report finding a previously unknown kiva, two dwellings of 20 to 30 rooms each and a large reservoir at the Morefield campground. Over on the Wetherill Mesa at least 40 dams were found where previous surveys had located only six. Such discoveries are crucial as they indicate that far more people occupied the area than previously thought, possibly increasing the estimated population by 10,000 or more. Experts say they are seeing evidence that life was difficult in the ruins towards the late 1200’s. The, related to modern Pueblo tribes, lived in this area through the 13thcentury. Their disappearance is still considered a mystery.
Original Headline: Egypt: Establishing the National Museum of Alexandria in the Bassili Pasha Palace, Egypt Antiquity News
On Sunday, June 10th The Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt reported that they are now taking bids for the restoration of the Bassili Pasha Palace. The Palace is to be turned into the National Museum of Alexandria, which will present the different ages of Egyptian occupation in the area. Artifacts will be displayed from the Pharaonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras. Plans are to show these pieces using the most modern technologies available including auditory headphones which will provide descriptions of the artifacts in 16 different languages. The Palace, belonged to Asad Bassili Pasha, was built in 1925 and consists of four floors and an underground shelter that was used in air raids during the war. The museum is scheduled to open next year.
That’s it for the headlines in archaeological news this week! Be sure to join us next week for more exciting finds!
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Thank you for joining us for the Audio News from Archaeologica. I’m Claire Britton-Warren and I’ll be back next week with more updates from around the world. See you next week!