Friday, 1 December 2017

Discovery of 7000-Year-Old Egyptian City

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered the ruins of an ancient city and an adjoining cemetery that date back 7000 years to 5,316 BC. According to a statement by the antiquities ministry, the site can be traced back to Egypt's First Dynasty.

The find was made in the province of Sohag, and is situated 400 meters away from the King Seti I Temple at Abydos city, Egypt Independent reported.

Remains of huts, stone tools and pottery have been found. The cemetery features 15 large graves, which according to Hany Aboul Azm, the head of the Central Administration of Upper Egypt Antiquities, could have belonged to high-ranking officials.

The discovery is of particular significance because it could provide insight on Abydos, one of Ancient Egypt's oldest cities. Based on earlier research, Abydos is considered to have been the capital of ancient Egypt towards the end of the Predynastic Period — the time before recorded history from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic Age.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Archaeologists uncover ancient Viking camp from the 870s in village of Repton

A Viking camp that dates back to the 870s has been been unearthed by archeologists in the small village of Repton in Derbyshire. The new discoveries were located at a campsite in the village, which has been known about since the 1970s.

Techniques including ground penetrating radar were used to reveal evidence for workshops and ship repairs over a much larger area. A team from the University of Bristol also discovered structures, dating from the winter of 873-874, such as paths and possible temporary buildings.

Excavations showed these to be gravel platforms that may have held temporary timber structures or tents. There were fragments of Saxon millstones and a cross fragment from the monastery, as well as broken pieces of weaponry including fragments of battle-axes and arrows.

Evidence for metal working was discovered, as well as a substantial number of nails, the archaeologists said. Two of the nails had roves, a particular feature of Viking ship nails, as well as several lead gaming pieces. These were similar to those found in large numbers at the camp in Torksey, Lincolnshire, and appear to be connected to the early Viking armies.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Hidden passageway discovered under ancient Mayan temple

Archaeologists believe they have found a hidden passageway beneath a 1,000-year-old Mayan temple. The experts discovered the tunnel under the Kulkulcan pyramid, which is part of the Chichen Itza archaeological site in Yucatan, Mexico.

They think it could lead to a natural, water-filled sinkhole known as a cenote, which was discovered beneath the temple in 2015. Cenotes are formed when limestone bedrock collapses, exposing the groundwater beneath.

Some of them are thought to have been used by the ancient Mayans for human sacrifices. Previous expeditions have found human bones in other cenotes beneath Chichen Itza. The passageway was discovered by a team from the Great Mayan Aquifer Project, led by the underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda.

His team discovered the potential entrance in a smaller burial chamber known as the ossuary and have been exploring the area for the last six months. They believe it may have been sealed up by the Mayans.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Nazca Lines: New Giant Geoglyph of Orca Whale Discovered in Peru

A massive "drawing" of a killer whale has been found in the legendary Nazca Lines of Peru. It could be the oldest image ever recorded at the site.

In 2013, scientists found what they believed to be an enormous depiction of a sea creature roughly 250 miles south of Lima. Researchers from the Commission for Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK) of the German Archaeological Institute collaborated on the project with other partners, including members from the Instituto Andino de Estudios Arqueológicos (INDEA). After years of analysis, restoration work, and debate, they’ve confirmed it’s an orca.

"Perhaps it is the oldest geo-glyph of the Nasca era," Markus Reindel, archaeologist from KAAK and head of the Nasca Palpa project, told the German newspaper Welt.

The geoglyph is approximately 200 feet long. There are roughly 1,500 others in the region, most of them dating from 200 B.C. to 600 A.D. In addition to its potential to be even older, the orca raises several immediate questions, like why a sea mammal was being depicted in the middle of the Peruvian desert. The geoglyph also featured mysterious symbols and a “trophy head,” which archaeologists theorize might mean the image had a religious purpose.

Monday, 20 November 2017

The Secret Hidden Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Egypt

You may think that the Great Pyramid of Egypt has given up all of its secrets but there are a number of clues and peculiarities that point to a secret door inside the King’s Chamber. In actual fact, another door has to exist because without it, it would have been impossible to seal up.

There is a 2 cm difference between the floor levels of the kings chamber and the entrance corridor into it, the latter being lower. Also, the cross-sectional area of the corridor between the Grand Gallery and the portcullis chamber is smaller than that of the corridor between the portcullis chamber and the king’s chamber. So, to put it in basic terms, the block that sealed the King’s chamber could only have been pushed into place from inside of the chamber. The block that sealed the entrance to the king’s chamber therefore never passed through the portcullis chamber.

Due to the difference in the floor level, if any thieves reached the back of this block, via the connecting chambers, they would have to smash through it to gain entrance. That’s what happened more than a thousand years ago when Al-Ma’mun broke into the King’s Chamber in 850 AD and until recently the smashed block remained inside the King’s Chamber. Where it is now is anybody’s guess.

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Origins of Ancient Egypt: Prehistoric Petroglyphs and Nabta Playa

When we think of ancient Egypt, we often think of the most iconic aspects of their culture, such as the pyramids, but many people don’t know that Egypt has a far more ancient history, which is sadly unprotected by authorities. I am talking about a specific outcrop of ancient rock art in Western Egypt that is thought to be up to 12,000 years old, and clearly shows glimpses of the origins of dynastic Egyptian history.

Not many people know of its existence, but the specific rock face is covered in pre-dynastic imagery, but because the site is not protected by authorities, it has been scrawled over with modern graffiti and, if this is allowed to continue, soon the most ancient of ancient Egyptian history will be lost forever. The petroglyphs show the earliest depictions of pharaonic dress… There are dogs or jackals, which could be linked to the origins of The Sphinx, which many believe was originally a representation of Anubis, the jackal god. And finally, there is an amazing depiction of the Hathorian cow, an image that became so iconic in later Egyptian religion and culture.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Who Really Built Machu Picchu? A Lost Ancient Civilisation

We have all seen pictures of the breathtaking ancient site of Machu Picchu, and some of us have been lucky enough to visit and cross off the experience from our bucket list.

Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Peru, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a royal estate or sacred religious site for Inca leaders, whose civilisation was virtually wiped out by Spanish Invaders in the 16th century.

For hundreds of years, until the American archaeologist, Hiram Bingham stumbled upon it in 1911, the abandoned citadel’s existence was a secret known only to those living in the area.

Machu Picchu stretches over an impressive 5-mile distance, featuring more than 3,000 stone steps that link its many different levels. Today, hundreds of thousands of people visit the site every year, braving crowds and potential landslides to see the breath-taking site of the sun setting over the towering stone monuments and marvel at the mysterious splendour of one of the world’s most famous manmade wonders. But what do we actually know about it?