Dust To Dust

My weekend is progressing well….I have left the mundane crap (especially the crap about attacks because None are serious…they just want to hear themselves talk) and have done what I truly enjoy…..history and archeology…..

When I was in the Middle East working I had the chance to visit Petra in Jordan…..most people that have not been to the site think that it is this structure….

It is called the “treasury” and has been in many movies and TV shows….but the site is an entire complex…not limited to this one structure……

File:Urn Tomb, Petra 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

There is so much more to Petra than the one icon building and it seems that my friend Sarah Parcak may have found even more to the site…..

The sandstone Monastery and Treasury Building of Petra, carved by the Nabataeans nearly 2,000 years ago, astonish hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit southern Jordan each year. Unbeknownst to them, another enormous monument has been “hiding in plain sight” half a mile away. Satellite and drone imagery and ground surveys have revealed a platform as long as an Olympic-size swimming pool and twice as wide buried beneath the sand at the World Heritage site, reports National Geographic. Inside sat a smaller platform that would have housed a 28-by-28-foot building facing a staircase that study author Christopher Tuttle calls “fascinating,” per the Guardian; the staircase is atypical in that it does not face the heart of Petra. “I find it interesting that such a monumental feature doesn’t have a visible relationship to the city,” he says.

He says archaeologists previously suspected something was at the location of his find, but “the structure’s sides resembled terrace walls common to the city” and so were seemingly ignored. Pottery found on the surface suggests the structure may date to about 150BC—or Petra’s first glory age, per the BBC. Many of Petra’s most iconic structures were built later, from the end of the first century BC to the second century AD. The city was eventually abandoned in the seventh century AD, rediscovered in 1812, and named one of the 7 new wonders of the world in 2007. No excavations are scheduled, but co-author Sarah Parcak notes satellite surveys of sites elsewhere in the world are underway. Expect “some pretty amazing discoveries over the next year,” she says.

It is a fascinating site to visit…I recommend it if one ever gets the chance…..you will not be disappointed.

There is more archeology…..this time in Southeast Asia….Cambodia to be exact…..

All is not as it has seemed in Cambodia, according to new research published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Using aerial scanning technology that determines precise elevation points beneath even dense jungle foliage, archaeologists say they have uncovered multiple metropolises between 900 and 1,400 years old that might have made up the largest empire on the planet at the time, reports the Guardian. The findings also upend a key chapter in the history of Southeast Asia. Historians have long thought that the city of Angkor was abandoned in the 15th century amid a Siamese attack and occupation, but the research finds no evidence to suggest that a million people uprooted themselves in a mass migration, reports Cambodia Daily. Instead, it appears that the population remained and thrived, boasting complex waterway systems that emerged centuries earlier than thought.

“What we had was basically a scatter of disconnected points on the map denoting temple sites,” lead archaeologist Damian Evans of Australia tells AFP. “Now it’s like having a detailed street map of the entire city.” He says more maps will be published in the months ahead, but his second round of scans, which were taken in 2015 after the first round in 2012, has his peers abuzz. “It is as if a bright light has been switched on to illuminate the previous dark veil that covered these great sites,” says New Zealand archaeologist Charles Higham. “It is wonderful to be alive as these new discoveries are being made.” The technology, called Lidar, forms a 3D model of any stark changes in ground height. The maps illustrate just how extensively developed the area was around Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

And that is your archeological round-up for June 2016…..