Welcome to Sott.net
Fri, 29 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Secret History
Map

Info

Ancient Hellenistic Harbor Found in Israel

Ancient Ruins1
© Kobi Sharvit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
A member of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority standing on the ancient quay that was exposed in Akko. In the middle of the picture one can see the floor of the quay, built of large dressed stones.
The remains of a magnificent ancient harbor have emerged from a dig in Akko (Acre), a city at the northern tip of Haifa Bay in Israel.

Dating back to the Hellenistic period (third-second centuries BC), the port was Israel's largest and most important at the time.

Archaeologists at the Israel Antiquities Authority made the discovery as they unearthed large mooring stones that were incorporated in the quay. They were used to secure sailing vessels that anchored in the harbor about 2,300 years ago.

In some of the stones the archaeologists found a hole for inserting a wooden pole - - probably for mooring and/or dragging the boat.

This was most likely a military harbor, according to Kobi Sharvit, director of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority,

"A find was uncovered recently that suggests we are excavating part of the military port of Akko. We are talking about an impressive section of stone pavement about 8 meters long by about 5 meters wide," Sharvit said.

Delineated on both sides by two impressive stone walls built in the Phoenician manner, the floor sloped slightly toward the south. The archaeologists found a small amount of stone collapse in its center.

Bomb

Ye olde stink bomb: 400-year-old pottery relic found in castle ruins was a smelly secret weapon used to see off the enemy by letting off noxious fumes

Image
© BNPS
Some were used as just incendiary weapons but very few survived because they were destroyed once they were launched
It looks innocent enough. An ancient piece of pottery, in pretty good condition aside from a few cracks here and there.

However, this artefact is causing somewhat of a stink in archeological circles.

It was assumed this ancient relic was a piece of tableware when it was unearthed at a ruined castle 25 years ago. However, it has emerged it is a 17th century stink bomb used to clear rooms during raids.

For years, experts wrongly-assumed the pot was used to store olive oil. But when a picture of it was posted on Facebook a Dutch archeologist identified it as a 400-year-old 'stankpotten' - a stink bomb.

With fuses attached to them, these bombs were often filled with substances including charcoal, sulphur and pepper seeds and exploded as they smashed.

They filled rooms with noxious smells and smoke, clearing them immediately - exactly the same principle used by the SAS when they stormed the Iranian Embassy in 1980.

The bomb - found at Corfe Castle in Dorset - dates back to the Civil War, when Cromwell's Parliamentarian forces attacked the fortress that was a royalist stronghold.

Info

Three Kingdoms' Tomb Holding Warrior Discovered

Chinese Tmb
© Chinese Archaeology
This tomb was uncovered recently in Xiangyang China.

About 1,800 years ago, at a time when China was breaking apart into three warring kingdoms, a warrior was laid to rest.

Buried in a tomb with domed roofs, along with his wife, he was about 45 years old when he died. Their skeletal remains were found inside two wooden coffins that had rotted away. Archaeologists don't know their names but, based on the tomb design and grave goods, they believe he was a general who had served one or more of the country's warring lords, perhaps Cao Cao and his son Cao Pi.

His tomb was discovered in Xiangyang, a city that, in the time of the Three Kingdoms, was of great strategic importance. Rescue excavations started in October 2008 and now the discovery is detailed in the most recent edition of the journal Chinese Archaeology. (The report had appeared earlier, in Chinese, in the journal Wenwu.)

The rescue operation, carried out by the Xiangyang Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, uncovered many treasures in the tomb. One of the biggest finds was a life-size bronze horse, the largest ever found in China.It measures 5.3 feet long and by 5.3 feet tall (163 cm by 163 cm). "The horse figurine is in standing posture, has erected ears, protruded eyes, opened mouth, long and broad neck, upright mane and drooped tail," writes archaeologist Liu Jiangsheng.

Sherlock

Archaeologists uncover largest ancient dam built by Maya in Central America

For four months out of every year in the ancient Mayan city of Tikal, the skies dried up and no rain fell. Nevertheless, this metropolis in what is now Guatemala became a bustling hub of as many as 80,000 residents by A.D. 700. Now, researchers have found that the residents of Tikal hung on to their civilization for more than 1,000 years thanks to a surprisingly sustainable system of water delivery.

Image
© University of Cincinnati researchers
These are veneer stones of the dam identified by the UC researchers. What was once thought to be a sluice is outlined in red and is now filled with slump-down debris.
The water needs of Tikal were met by a series of paved reservoirs that held rainwater during the 8-month-long wet season for use during dry periods, archeologists report Monday (July 16) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This early plumbing system was surprisingly resilient, seeing the city through times of both plenty and drought.

"These people were able to use their land and water resources in a sustainable manner for as long as 1,500 years without significant interruption," said study researcher Vernon Scarborough, an anthropologist at the University of Cincinnati.

Attention

French demand Crown Jewels from the Queen to compensate for 1499 murder of Edward Plantagenet

  • French city of Angers in Loire Valley provided some of the greatest monarchs in British history
  • When Edward Plantagenet was murdered in Tower of London in 1499 house's legitimate male line came to an end
  • City believes it is owed an apology - and 513 years' worth of compensation
  • Sum would amount to billions in today's currency, but city is prepared to accept the coronation jewels
Image
© unknown
The French city of Angers, France, have said they want to be compensated for the 'murder' of Edward Plantagenet

A French city which produced 14 English kings is demanding the Crown Jewels as compensation from the Queen for the murder of its last pretender to the throne.

Angers, which is in the Loire Valley west of Paris, was once the capital of the Anjou province and the House of Plantagenet.

It ruled England from 1154 until 1485, providing some of the greatest monarchs in British history, including Richard the Lionheart and Henry V.

Butterfly

Stone Age Fashionistas: World's Oldest Purse Found

stone age purse dog teeth
© Klaus Bentele, LDA Halle
The find is studded With a hundred dog teeth. "It seems to have been very fashionable at the time."
The world's oldest purse may have been found in Germany - and its owner apparently had a sharp sense of Stone Age style.

Excavators at a site near Leipzig uncovered more than a hundred dog teeth arranged close together in a grave dated to between 2,500 and 2,200 B.C.

According to archaeologist Susanne Friederich, the teeth were likely decorations for the outer flap of a handbag.

"Over the years the leather or fabric disappeared, and all that's left is the teeth. They're all pointing in the same direction, so it looks a lot like a modern handbag flap," said Friederich, of the Sachsen-Anhalt State Archaeology and Preservation Office.

The dog teeth were found during excavations of the 250-acre (100-hectare) Profen site, which is slated to become an open-pit coal mine in 2015.

So far the project has uncovered evidence of Stone and Bronze Age settlements, including more than 300 graves, hundreds of stone tools, spear points, ceramic vessels, bone buttons, and an amber necklace.

Thousands of finds from later periods - including the grave of a woman buried with a pound (half a kilogram) of gold jewellry around 50 B.C. - have also turned up.

Info

Alexander The Not so Great: History Through Persian Eyes

Alexander the Great
© BBC
Circa 330 BC, Alexander the Great King of Macedonia, on his horse Boucephalus.
Alexander the Great is portrayed as a legendary conqueror and military leader in Greek-influenced Western history books but his legacy looks very different from a Persian perspective.

Any visitor of the spectacular ruins of Persepolis - the site of the ceremonial capital of the ancient Persian Achaemenid empire, will be told three facts: it was built by Darius the Great, embellished by his son Xerxes, and destroyed by that man, Alexander.

That man Alexander, would be the Alexander the Great, feted in Western culture as the conqueror of the Persian Empire and one of the great military geniuses of history.

Indeed, reading some Western history books one might be forgiven for thinking that the Persians existed to be conquered by Alexander.

A more inquisitive mind might discover that the Persians had twice before been defeated by the Greeks during two ill-fated invasions, by Darius the Great in 490BC and then his son, Xerxes, in 480BC - for which Alexander's assault was a justified retaliation.

But seen through Persian eyes, Alexander is far from "Great".

He razed Persepolis to the ground following a night of drunken excess at the goading of a Greek courtesan, ostensibly in revenge for the burning of the Acropolis by the Persian ruler Xerxes.

Persians also condemn him for the widespread destruction he is thought to have encouraged to cultural and religious sites throughout the empire.

The emblems of Zoroastrianism - the ancient religion of the Iranians - were attacked and destroyed. For the Zoroastrian priesthood in particular - the Magi - the destruction of their temples was nothing short of a calamity.

Question

Ancient Pre-Inca Tomb Found in Northern Peru

Ancient Tomb
© AFP/BRUNING MUSEUM/File
Archeologists have discovered a tomb about 1,200 years old, from the pre-Inca Sican era, in northern Peru.
Lima - Archeologists said Friday they have discovered a tomb about 1,200 years old, from the pre-Inca Sican era, in northern Peru.

Human remains and jewelry were found July 4 along with the tomb, likely that of a member of the aristocracy of the Sican or Lambayeque elite, head researcher Carlos Wester La Torre told AFP.

A gold earflap, a silver-plated crown, and some 120 silver and copper ornaments that served as emblems of power, along with 116 pieces of pottery and seashells were found in the tomb.

The tomb was located in a burial chamber some six meters (20 feet) deep in the Chotuna-Chornancap sanctuary near Chiclayo, at the same location where the remains of a Sican priestess were found in October.

"This discovery is very important because we now know one of the elite classes of Lambayeque culture," said Wester La Torre, speaking from Chiclayo, capital of the Lambayeque region.

The Sican culture, also referred to as the Lambayeque culture, worshipped the Sican Lord. It emerged between 700 and 750 AD, remaining in force until 1375, reaching its high point between 900 and 1100.

At that time, there were about seven to eight "Sican lords" representing heavenly powers on Earth, complete with masked face, upturned eyes and pointed ears.

Magnify

Early Human Ancestor, Australopithecus Sediba, Fossils Discovered in Rock

Image
© University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
This is the tooth of a hominid embedded in a rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of "Karabo", the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa Site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009.
Scientists from the Wits Institute for Human Evolution based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg have just announced the discovery of a large rock containing significant parts of a skeleton of an early human ancestor. The skeleton is believed to be the remains of 'Karabo', the type skeleton of Australopithecus sediba, discovered at the Malapa Site in the Cradle of Humankind in 2009.

Professor Lee Berger, a Reader in Palaeoanthropology and the Public Understanding of Science at the Wits Institute for Human Evolution, will make the announcement at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum in Shanghai, China on 13 July 2012.

"We have discovered parts of a jaw and critical aspects of the body including what appear to be a complete femur (thigh bone), ribs, vertebrae and other important limb elements, some never before seen in such completeness in the human fossil record," says Berger. "This discovery will almost certainly make Karabo the most complete early human ancestor skeleton ever discovered. We are obviously quite excited as it appears that we now have some of the most critical and complete remains of the skeleton, albeit encased in solid rock. It's a big day for us as a team and for our field as a whole."

Info

Identity of First Americans Questioned

Ancient Tools
© Jim Barlow
Displayed in the hand of University of Oregon archaeologist Dennis Jenkins are three bases for Western Stemmed projectiles from the Paisley Caves in Oregon. The bases date to some 13,000 years ago.
Ancient stone projectile points discovered in a Central Oregon cave complex have cast new light on the identity of the first Americans.

While scientists agree they crossed the Bering Strait during an ice age, no one knows the identity of the first people to spread across the North American continent.

For some time, these first Americans were believed to have belong to a single group, called the Clovis culture, named for the New Mexican site where their distinctive, 13,000-year-old projectile points were first found.

However, some have questioned this theory, and these newly discovered projectile points, the sort of stone tips added to spears, appear to add weight to these questions.

These stone points, a type known as Western Stemmed points, are narrower and lack the distinctive flute, or shallow groove, found on Clovis points. Researchers believe the two types of points represent different technologies, produced by different cultures.

"This brings into focus the concept that other people or perhaps even multiple waves of people bringing other technologies were certainly involved in the first colonization [of the Americas]," said researcher Dennis Jenkins, an archaeologist at the University of Oregon, in a podcast issued by the journal Science, where the work is published.