Archeology In The News

The weekend and the virus stuff is still hanging around so why not pass the time with IST (an FYI blog)……this time it is the archeology that has made the news.

Let me start with a popular sage…..the War with Troy…..we all know this story…..after ten years the Greeks leave a giant horse as a tribute with soldiers hidden inside….and the rest is history….or is it?

One reason the Trojan War has struck such a chord is that, besides being an excellent story, it has long been suspected to have actually happened.

In antiquity, even respected historians were willing to believe that this war actually happened. In the second half of the 5th Century BC, Herodotus, the so-called ‘Father of History’, placed the Trojan War almost 800 years before his own time. Eratosthenes, a mathematician, was more specific, dating the war at 1184/3 BC. Modern scholars, however, have tended to be more sceptical. Did the Trojan War happen at all?

Seems that all the “facts” about indigenous peoples of North America may be wrong……

Archaeologists estimate when a given indigenous settlement was active based on the absence or presence of certain types of European trade goods, such as metal and glass beads. It was always approximate, but became the conventional history.

Since the first known commercial fur trading missions were in the 1580s, archaeologists date initial regular appearances of scattered European goods to 1580-1600. They call these two decades Glass Bead Period 1. We know some trade occurred before that, though, since indigenous people Cartier met in the 1530s had previously encountered Europeans, and were ready to trade with him.

There is some new info on the ancient trade route known as the “Silk Road”……

Our little band of backpackers was searching for something to excite our domed-out senses. When we hit the panoramic desert, the horizon flattened. Slowly, the three austere mountain fortresses of Ayaz Kala rose from the badlands in the distance, wild protrusions from history’s depths. They’d been abandoned in the seventh century A.D. after more than a millennium of sporadic inhabitation.

In the roughly 1,200 years before their rediscovery by Soviet archaeologists, they’d towered above a people forsaken by the erratic, ever-shifting waters of the Amu Darya. These and other kalas, desert fortresses dotted across the northwest of Uzbekistan, are the last remnants of Khorezm, an ancient civilization that flourished for a millennium in the Amu Darya’s delta, between the sands of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum. This was the deep history we’d missed in the medieval cities, clues left by a mysterious civilization most of us had never heard of. And the fortresses at Ayaz Kala are the most extreme example, the most remote and rugged structures built by the Khorezmians. In winter, they are covered in ice and snow, battered by cold desert winds. In summer, temperatures reach into the high nineties. The winds blow on, and the fortresses stand still.

Some new info about the Fall of Rome and the empire…..

An ancient graveyard containing dozens of skeletons with deformed elongated skulls is showing how people lived during the trouble and turmoil sparked by the Fall of Rome.

Known as the cemetery of Mözs-Icsei-dűlő, the fifth-century CE burial ground can be found in present-day Hungary. The site was first excavated in the 1960s, followed by later digs throughout the 1990s, which revealed the skeletal remains of at least 96 people. Archaeologists from Curt-Engelhorn-Center for Archaeometry in Germany and Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary have recently used isotope analysis and biological anthropology techniques to get deeper insights into the dozens of lives laid to rest here.

Reports in the world of Archeology that have been overshadowed by the fight against the Covid-19 beast…..but now you know.

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