Weekends and I choose stuff that is not a big headline generator….since I like history and archeology I want to share some of the stuff that has come to light recently….
We are discovering that the Maya were a lot more widespread than first believed….these fascinating people are coming into better understanding…..
Maya civilization was no mere collection of city states using slash-and-burn farming—that we learned earlier this year. Now archaeologists are looking deeper into an airborne survey that revealed a formidable civilization double the size of medieval England at its peak 1,200 years ago, Ars Technica reports. The survey, which used LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to peek beneath the jungle foliage, revealed some 61,000 buildings, draining canals, fortresses, and roads across roughly 828 square miles. What archaeologists are saying about those details in Science:
- Population: About 7 million to 11 million people populated the central Maya Lowlands—an area including some of Belize, Guatemala, and Yucatan—between 650 and 800 CE, the Late Classic Period. How did researchers crunch that number? By counting the structures per square mile and estimating how many were houses. Big cities like Tikal likely had hundreds of people per square mile, per Discovery.
- Farming: A huge agricultural effort was needed to keep all those mouths fed, LiveScience notes. Imagine a complex grid of channels providing flood control and irrigation, with grids up to six feet wide and 20 inches deep, some stretching over half a mile. Still, densely populated cities like Naachtun and Tikal had to import food from other Maya kingdoms to survive.
- Causeways: In earlier Maya times, from 1000 to 250 BCE, cities were linked by elevated roads or causeways up to 65 feet wide and up to 13 miles in length—but they fell into disuse when so-called Preclassic cities were abandoned. Yet their faded ghost outlines are visible on the LIDAR.
- Fortresses: Mayans built more of them than expected in the Late Classic Period, and sophisticated ones, too. One has walls over 25 feet high and an Olympic-pool-size reservoir: “In other words, this place was ready for a siege,” says Ithaca College archaeologist Tom Garrison. “That is not really the type of conflict that we think about for the ancient Maya.”
- Overall: “Seen as a whole, terraces and irrigation channels, reservoirs, fortifications, and causeways reveal an astonishing amount of land modification done by the Maya over their entire landscape on a scale previously unimaginable,” a Tulane researcher says in a statement.
The iconic sphinx has been a lonely monument to the early Egyptians and today it is not as lonely as it was in the past…..
Egypt says archaeologists have discovered a statue of a lion’s body and a human head in the southern city of Aswan. Per the AP, the Antiquities Ministry says the sphinx made of sandstone was found in the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater. Mostafa Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the statue probably dates back to the Ptolemaic time. The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for some 300 years—from around 320BC to about 30BC. Egypt hopes such discoveries will spur tourism, partially driven by antiquities sightseeing, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising. (Another recent discovery in Egypt predates this one’s origins by thousands of years.)
Since I can remember some archeologists have wanted to proven the Exodus and so far nothing….but a new site has been found and the attempt to prove continues…..
Ancient ruins found in the Israeli wilderness could solve the biblical mystery of the Exodus, archaeologists claim.
According to the Bible, Moses liberated the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and led them through the wilderness of Sinai, before they crossed the River Jordan into the promised land of Canaan.
Yet no historical basis for the legend exists, and experts generally agree the Israelites were in fact native to Canaan – an ancient region covering modern day Israel.
Personally, I think that the Israelites were just an off-shoot of the Canaanites and were in the region always since it is proven that the Egyptians have been proven to have not employed slaves…..but that is just me…..