Posts Tagged ‘archaeology’

Devastating volcanoes wiped out the Neanderthals [Mad Archaeology]

07 Oct
The ultimate fate of the Neanderthals remains a major mystery. We know they went extinct, but why did they die out when our ancestors thrived? New evidence suggests massive, deadly volcanoes killed off the Neanderthals while completely sparing our ancestors. More »

Found: Stonehenge’s Second Henge

22 Jul

Archaeologists have found something at Stonehenge that is so exceptional that they’re calling it the most exciting find there in fifty years: a second, Neolithic henge.

The new "henge" – which means a circular monument dating to Neolithic and Bronze Ages – is situated about 900m (2,950ft) from the giant stones on Salisbury Plain.

Images show it has two entrances on the north-east and south-west sides and inside the circle is a burial mound on top which appeared much later, Professor Gaffney said.

"You seem to have a large-ditched feature, but it seems to be made of individual scoops rather than just a straight trench," he said.

"When we looked a bit more closely, we then realised there was a ring of pits about a metre wide going all the way around the edge.

"When you see that as an archaeologist, you just looked at it and thought, ‘that’s a henge monument’ – it’s a timber equivalent to Stonehenge.



Oldest Written Document Discovered in Jerusalem

12 Jul

Archaeologists have dated this clay fragment, found in Jerusalem, to the 14th Century B.C. It’s the oldest known example of written language:

The fragment that has been found is 2×2.8 centimeters in size and one centimeter thick. Dated to the 14th century B.C.E., it appears to have been part of a tablet and contains cuneiform symbols in ancient Akkadian (the lingua franca of that era).

The words the symbols form are not significant in themselves, but what is significant is that the script is of a very high level, testifying to the fact that it was written by a highly skilled scribe that in all likelihood prepared tablets for the royal household of the time, said Prof. Wayne Horowitz , a scholar of Assyriology at the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology.

Link via reddit | Photo: Hebrew University photo/Sasson Tiram