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Monday, 30 December 2013

Archaeological & Historical Discoveries of 2013

Beyond all the transparency being made visible in the realms of "government" and finance, there have been some awesome new discoveries in the arena of archaeology.   This year has led to all sorts of interesting discoveries in the areas of history and archaeology, some of them truly astounding.  When I started pulling together the links for this article though I had to giggle as there are several "top 10" lists, and virtually none of them were even remotely the same, lol.  Below I've posted two of the "Top 10" lists of Archaeological discoveries in 2013. 

Besides those two lists, there were several discoveries made that seemed far more important  and astounding to me.  Such as the discovery of an ancient pyramid in Ecuador that virtually no one knows about, and was barely noted by any media outlets- including those in Ecuador!

Have explorers in Ecuador found ‘Lost City of Giants'?

Pyramid8
Last year, a team of explorers and researchers discovered what they believed to be an ancient pyramid complex in a remote area of the Ecuador Amazonian jungle, one not known to the general public internationally or even within the country.  Bruce Fenton, author and researcher, has completed an analysis of the findings, and believes the complex may be the ‘Lost City of the Giants’.

At the discovered site there is one extremely large pyramidal type structure of approximately 80 metres square base and 80 metres height, with steeply inclined walls. This structure is made up of irregular shaped large cut stone blocks, each currently calculated to be approximately 2 tonnes in weight; many hundreds of such blocks make up the walls of the building.

The top appears to be a flat area suspected to have been a platform used by priests in either ceremonies or possibly sacrifices. Scattered around the area are a great many artefacts of stone and pottery. Many of these objects appear to be stone tools that could have been used either in mining or refining some kind of metal ore. The style of the buildings and the objects found all suggest an unknown pre-Inca culture. However, further investigation is needed to establish the facts, which Fenton and a team plan to conduct in the near future.

Amongst these tools are some that would be extremely difficult for a normal size human being to use in any practical fashion, which has led Fenton to suspect that this is one of the legendary lost cities of the giants, well known in local Ecuadorian legends about the Amazonian area.  Such places generate great fear among the members of today’s jungle tribes as they are believed to be protected either by spirit guardians or by beings not of this world.

- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-mysterious-phenomena/have-explorers-ecuador-found-lost-city-giants-00962#sthash.tIY7TbcZ.dpuf

Have explorers in Ecuador found ‘Lost City of Giants'?

Last year, a team of explorers and researchers discovered what they believed to be an ancient pyramid complex in a remote area of the Ecuador Amazonian jungle, one not known to the general public internationally or even within the country.  Bruce Fenton, author and researcher, has completed an analysis of the findings, and believes the complex may be the ‘Lost City of the Giants’.
At the discovered site there is one extremely large pyramidal type structure of approximately 80 metres square base and 80 metres height, with steeply inclined walls. This structure is made up of irregular shaped large cut stone blocks, each currently calculated to be approximately 2 tonnes in weight; many hundreds of such blocks make up the walls of the building.
The top appears to be a flat area suspected to have been a platform used by priests in either ceremonies or possibly sacrifices. Scattered around the area are a great many artefacts of stone and pottery. Many of these objects appear to be stone tools that could have been used either in mining or refining some kind of metal ore. The style of the buildings and the objects found all suggest an unknown pre-Inca culture. However, further investigation is needed to establish the facts, which Fenton and a team plan to conduct in the near future.
Amongst these tools are some that would be extremely difficult for a normal size human being to use in any practical fashion, which has led Fenton to suspect that this is one of the legendary lost cities of the giants, well known in local Ecuadorian legends about the Amazonian area.  Such places generate great fear among the members of today’s jungle tribes as they are believed to be protected either by spirit guardians or by beings not of this world.
- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-mysterious-phenomena/have-explorers-ecuador-found-lost-city-giants-00962#sthash.tIY7TbcZ.dpuf

Here is a link to a short video of some of the excavation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tTPCJJAldw&feature=c4-overview&list=UUJ-jJ00tgFlY3UHOScHreHw


Ten Most Amazing Archaeological Discoveries of 2013

This year has seen some incredible discoveries in the field of archaeology – from ancient myths proven true, to evidence of ancient technology, and findings that have solved enduring mysteries, such as the death of Tutankhamun.  Here we present what we believe are the top ten archaeological discoveries of 2013, excluding those relating to human origins which will be announced tomorrow.
10. Complete Remains of 2,500-Year-Old Chariot and Two Horses Found in Bulgaria
Archaeologists uncovered the incredible remains of a complete Thracian carriage and two horses that appear to have been buried upright. The horses and carriage were found in a Thracian tomb along with other artefacts in the village of Svestari in north-east Bulgaria. The carriage, complete with two wheels, seat and boot, has been dated to 2,500-years-old and is thought to have belonged to Thracian nobility, judging by the imported goods found in nearby graves. Sadly, it appears that the chariot was placed in a narrow hole with a sloping side to allow horses, decorated with elaborate harnesses, to pull it into its final resting place, after which they were killed. Experts reached this conclusion after noticing that the horses were still attached to their harnesses and to the carriage. The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe who were known to be fierce warriors and horse-breeders who established a powerful kingdom in the fifth century BC.
9. Archaeologists Discover the Guardians of the ‘Gates of Hell’
In March of this year, a group of archaeologists in Turkey made a spectacular discovery – the ‘Gate to Hell’, also known as Pluto’s Gate, which was known in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition as the portal to the underworld. Now archaeologists have recovered two unique marble statues which acted as guardians for a deadly cave. One depicts a snake, a clear symbol of the underworld, the other shows Kerberos, or Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of hell in the Greek mythology.  The ‘Gate to Hell’ which marked the entrance to a cave in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis was, according to ancient accounts, “full of a vapour so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death,” wrote the Greek geographer Strabo (64 BC – 24 AD). According to Francesco D'Andria, professor of classic archaeology, who led the team that made the discovery back in March, these descriptions were accurate. D’Andria threw some sparrows into the cave and they “immediately breathed their last breath and fell”. The cave was described in historic sources as filled with lethal mephitic vapours and this appears to be true. It is no wonder the cave was provided with guardians to warn off any unsuspecting visitors.
8. Ancient Philosophical Writings Found Hidden Beneath Medieval Text
A group of scientists and historians made an incredible discovery relating to some writings made on parchments that were produced in medieval times. Using cutting-edge technology, the researchers found that the parchment had once contained ancient philosophical writings that had later been washed off and over-written. Using multispectral imaging, scientists were able to recover the original text, shedding new light on the history of philosophical education in the late antiquity. The uppermost layer of text dates to the thirteenth century and comprises the Prophetic Books of the Greek Old Testament. However, through an amazing stroke of luck, it was discovered that beneath this text there had originally been some writing by the well-known ancient Greek writer, Euripides, and an unknown ancient commentary on Aristotle, which dated back to the fifth century. “The discovery of this work is of inestimable value for the history of philosophical education in the late antiquity”, said the discoverer of the manuscript, Dr. Chiara Faraggiana di Sarzana from Bologna University. The research being undertaken, named the Palamedes Project, aims to create a critical edition of the two important manuscripts featuring the newly discovered and unexplored Greek texts, made readable using the latest forms of technology.
7. Archaeologists May Have Found the Tomb of the ‘God King’
King Antiochus 1, ruler of Commagene from 70 BC to 36BC, an ancient Armenian kingdom, was a most unusual king. He claimed descent from Greek conqueror Alexander the Great on his mother’s side, and from the Persian King Darius the Great on his father’s side. But what was particularly salient about this king was his unerring pride and his over-extended ego.  Antiochus 1 claimed he had a special relationship with the gods and instituted a royal cult with the clear intention of being worshipped as a god after his death. He commissioned the construction of a magnificent religious sanctuary on Mount Nemrut (Nemrud Dagi), a 2,100 metre high mountain where people could come and pray to him.  Antiochus wanted his sanctuary to be in a high and holy place, close to the gods in order to be in rank with them, and high enough that the whole kingdom could see it and remember him. At the peak of the Mount, workers constructed a pyramid-like tomb where King Antiochus requested to be preserved for all eternity. An inscription refers to the summit as a sacred resting place where Antiochus, the ‘god king’ would be laid to rest and his soul would join those of other deities in the celestial realm.  Little had been recovered or excavated from the great mound atop Mount Nemrut until recently when a group of archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar to examine the site.  They discovered a pyramidal-shaped chamber with a box-like object (about 6 foot long) in the centre. Could this be the sarcophagus and final resting place of Antiochus the god king? It seems highly likely. Archaeologists are now waiting in anticipation for permission from Turkish authorities to excavate the site.
6. Amazing Discovery Reveals How China’s Forbidden City was Built
The translation of a 500-year-old document has answered one of the greatest mysteries surrounding the Forbidden City in Beijing, China – how the ancient people managed to transport stones weighing more than 330 tonnes over 70 kilometres. Until now it was believed that they were transported on wheels, however, the ancient document has shown that this was not the case at all. The Forbidden City is the imperial palace that was once home to the emperors of China during the final two imperial dynasties, the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty. Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2.  Vast numbers of huge stones were mined and transported there for its construction, the heaviest of which weigh more than 220 tonnes and would have weighed more than 330 tonnes before they fragmented. The ancient text revealed that the giant stones were slid from a quarry 70 kilometres away on specially constructed sledges, dragged over slippery paths of wet ice by a team of men over 28 days. The workers dug wells every 500 metres to get water to pour on the ice to lubricate it, which made it easier to slide the rocks.
5. Extensive Ancient Underground Network Discovered Across Europe
Archaeologists uncovered thousands of Stone Age underground tunnels, stretching across Europe, perplexing researchers as to their original purpose. German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch, in his book ‘Secrets of the Underground Door to an Ancient World’ revealed that tunnels were dug under literally hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe and the fact that so many tunnels have survived 12,000 years indicates that the original network must have been huge. Across Europe there were thousands of them - from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean. The tunnels are quite small, measuring only 70cm in width, which is just enough for a person to crawl through. In some places there are small rooms, storage chambers and seating areas.   The discovery of a vast network of tunnels indicates that Stone Age humans were not just spending their days hunting and gathering.  However, the real purpose of the tunnels is still a matter of speculation. Some experts believe they were a way of protecting man from predators while others believe they were a way for people to travel safely, sheltered from harsh weather conditions or even wars and violence. However, at this stage scientists are only able to guess, as the tunnels have not yet revealed all their secrets of the past.
4. 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows Romans Used Nanotechnology
The mystery surrounding a 1,600-year-old jade-green Roman chalice and why it appears red when lit from behind has been solved by scientists who discovered that it appears to contain nanoparticles of silver and gold.  The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s. They could not work out why the cup appeared jade green when lit from the front but blood red when lit from behind. The mystery was solved when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometres in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the previous metals suggests that the Romans had perfected the use of nanoparticles.  Now it seems that the super-sensitive technology used by the Romans might help diagnose human disease or pinpoint biohazards at security checkpoints.
3. Laser Technology Revealed Surprising New Features of Angkor
Utilising the latest cutting-edge technology, archaeologists studying Angkor Wat in northwestern Cambodia made some surprising new findings, most significantly that the ancient Khmer Empire capital was much larger than previously thought. Angkor, the famous capital of southeast Asia’s largest ancient empire, has been intensively studied by archaeologists over the decades, so much so that it was not thought that there was much left to find. But latest research has shown that the ancient city had many more secrets to reveal. A research team applied high-tech LiDAR scanning to gain a visual representation of the landscape of Angkor Wat below the heavily forested areas. What they found was remarkable. They discovered that the city extends for 35 square kilometres, rather than the 9 kilometres that had previously been mapped from the ground, and they found that Angkor was an incredibly well thought out city . The streets ran in a grid exactly east/west or north/south. Each city block was measured exactly 100 meters by 100 meters, with 4 dwellings and 4 rectangular ponds, each pond located north-east of each dwelling. The dwellings, elevated on earthen mounds, were higher than the surrounding rice fields, presumably so they wouldn’t flood during the rainy season. The roads were likewise elevated. Other peculiar findings include a series of features which appear to be embankments, but layered out in a spiral pattern. At this stage it is unclear exactly what they were used for.
2. Incredible Discovery Reveals Birthplace of Buddha
In what will become one of the most significant discoveries in Nepal in decades, archaeologists have found the birthplace of Buddha and therefore the origins of Buddhism. This is the first ever archaeological finding directly linked to the life of Buddha. The ground-breaking discovery was made following excavations within the sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has long been believed to be the birthplace of Buddha.  Under a series of brick temples, the research team found a 6th century BC timber structure with an open space in the centre, which links to the nativity story of Buddha. Even more surprising was evidence of tree roots and a tree shrine, which supports Buddhist ‘mythology’ that the birth took place under a tree. Buddhist tradition maintained that Queen Maya Devi, the mother of Buddha, gave birth to him while holding on to the branch of a tree within the Lumbini Garden.  Now researchers firmly believe that the open space in the centre of the timber structure contained the very tree that Queen Maya Devi clung onto as Guatama Buddha entered the world.
1. Mystery of King Tutankhamun’s Death Solved After More than 3,000 Years
It is one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world – how the Egyptian boy pharaoh Tutankhamun died. Theories have ranged from a violent murder to leprosy and even a snake bite. But now, 91 years after his discovery and 3,336 years since his death, a surprising new analysis on Tutankhamun’s remains revealed just what it was that killed the boy king, the 11th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt.  The remarkable new analysis revealed substantial evidence that suggests the pharaoh died after being struck by a speeding chariot, and that a hasty embalming process caused his mummified body to spontaneously combust in his sarcophagus. Tests revealed that Tutankhamun’s flesh had been burnt and chemical tests revealed that this occurred while he was  sealed inside his coffin. Researchers discovered that embalming oils combined with oxygen and linen caused a chemical reaction which "cooked" the king's body at temperatures of more than 200C. Dr Chris Naunton said: "The charring and possibility that a botched mummification led the body spontaneously combusting shortly after burial was entirely unexpected, something of a revelation."
By April Holloway
- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/ten-most-amazing-archaeological-discoveries-2013-001177#sthash.WqseDGYe.dpuf


29 December, 2013
Amazing discoveries 2013

Ten Most Amazing Archaeological Discoveries of 2013


This year has seen some incredible discoveries in the field of archaeology – from ancient myths proven true, to evidence of ancient technology, and findings that have solved enduring mysteries, such as the death of Tutankhamun.  Here we present what we believe are the top ten archaeological discoveries of 2013, excluding those relating to human origins which will be announced tomorrow.

10. Complete Remains of 2,500-Year-Old Chariot and Two Horses Found in Bulgaria

Archaeologists uncovered the incredible remains of a complete Thracian carriage and two horses that appear to have been buried upright. The horses and carriage were found in a Thracian tomb along with other artefacts in the village of Svestari in north-east Bulgaria. The carriage, complete with two wheels, seat and boot, has been dated to 2,500-years-old and is thought to have belonged to Thracian nobility, judging by the imported goods found in nearby graves. Sadly, it appears that the chariot was placed in a narrow hole with a sloping side to allow horses, decorated with elaborate harnesses, to pull it into its final resting place, after which they were killed. Experts reached this conclusion after noticing that the horses were still attached to their harnesses and to the carriage. The Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting a large area in Central and Southeastern Europe who were known to be fierce warriors and horse-breeders who established a powerful kingdom in the fifth century BC.

9. Archaeologists Discover the Guardians of the ‘Gates of Hell’

In March of this year, a group of archaeologists in Turkey made a spectacular discovery – the ‘Gate to Hell’, also known as Pluto’s Gate, which was known in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition as the portal to the underworld. Now archaeologists have recovered two unique marble statues which acted as guardians for a deadly cave. One depicts a snake, a clear symbol of the underworld, the other shows Kerberos, or Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of hell in the Greek mythology.  The ‘Gate to Hell’ which marked the entrance to a cave in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis was, according to ancient accounts, “full of a vapour so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death,” wrote the Greek geographer Strabo (64 BC – 24 AD). According to Francesco D'Andria, professor of classic archaeology, who led the team that made the discovery back in March, these descriptions were accurate. D’Andria threw some sparrows into the cave and they “immediately breathed their last breath and fell”. The cave was described in historic sources as filled with lethal mephitic vapours and this appears to be true. It is no wonder the cave was provided with guardians to warn off any unsuspecting visitors.

8. Ancient Philosophical Writings Found Hidden Beneath Medieval Text

A group of scientists and historians made an incredible discovery relating to some writings made on parchments that were produced in medieval times. Using cutting-edge technology, the researchers found that the parchment had once contained ancient philosophical writings that had later been washed off and over-written. Using multispectral imaging, scientists were able to recover the original text, shedding new light on the history of philosophical education in the late antiquity. The uppermost layer of text dates to the thirteenth century and comprises the Prophetic Books of the Greek Old Testament. However, through an amazing stroke of luck, it was discovered that beneath this text there had originally been some writing by the well-known ancient Greek writer, Euripides, and an unknown ancient commentary on Aristotle, which dated back to the fifth century. “The discovery of this work is of inestimable value for the history of philosophical education in the late antiquity”, said the discoverer of the manuscript, Dr. Chiara Faraggiana di Sarzana from Bologna University. The research being undertaken, named the Palamedes Project, aims to create a critical edition of the two important manuscripts featuring the newly discovered and unexplored Greek texts, made readable using the latest forms of technology.

7. Archaeologists May Have Found the Tomb of the ‘God King’

King Antiochus 1, ruler of Commagene from 70 BC to 36BC, an ancient Armenian kingdom, was a most unusual king. He claimed descent from Greek conqueror Alexander the Great on his mother’s side, and from the Persian King Darius the Great on his father’s side. But what was particularly salient about this king was his unerring pride and his over-extended ego.  Antiochus 1 claimed he had a special relationship with the gods and instituted a royal cult with the clear intention of being worshipped as a god after his death. He commissioned the construction of a magnificent religious sanctuary on Mount Nemrut (Nemrud Dagi), a 2,100 metre high mountain where people could come and pray to him.  Antiochus wanted his sanctuary to be in a high and holy place, close to the gods in order to be in rank with them, and high enough that the whole kingdom could see it and remember him. At the peak of the Mount, workers constructed a pyramid-like tomb where King Antiochus requested to be preserved for all eternity. An inscription refers to the summit as a sacred resting place where Antiochus, the ‘god king’ would be laid to rest and his soul would join those of other deities in the celestial realm.  Little had been recovered or excavated from the great mound atop Mount Nemrut until recently when a group of archaeologists used ground-penetrating radar to examine the site.  They discovered a pyramidal-shaped chamber with a box-like object (about 6 foot long) in the centre. Could this be the sarcophagus and final resting place of Antiochus the god king? It seems highly likely. Archaeologists are now waiting in anticipation for permission from Turkish authorities to excavate the site.

6. Amazing Discovery Reveals How China’s Forbidden City was Built

The translation of a 500-year-old document has answered one of the greatest mysteries surrounding the Forbidden City in Beijing, China – how the ancient people managed to transport stones weighing more than 330 tonnes over 70 kilometres. Until now it was believed that they were transported on wheels, however, the ancient document has shown that this was not the case at all. The Forbidden City is the imperial palace that was once home to the emperors of China during the final two imperial dynasties, the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty. Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2.  Vast numbers of huge stones were mined and transported there for its construction, the heaviest of which weigh more than 220 tonnes and would have weighed more than 330 tonnes before they fragmented. The ancient text revealed that the giant stones were slid from a quarry 70 kilometres away on specially constructed sledges, dragged over slippery paths of wet ice by a team of men over 28 days. The workers dug wells every 500 metres to get water to pour on the ice to lubricate it, which made it easier to slide the rocks.

5. Extensive Ancient Underground Network Discovered Across Europe

Archaeologists uncovered thousands of Stone Age underground tunnels, stretching across Europe, perplexing researchers as to their original purpose. German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch, in his book ‘Secrets of the Underground Door to an Ancient World’ revealed that tunnels were dug under literally hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe and the fact that so many tunnels have survived 12,000 years indicates that the original network must have been huge. Across Europe there were thousands of them - from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean. The tunnels are quite small, measuring only 70cm in width, which is just enough for a person to crawl through. In some places there are small rooms, storage chambers and seating areas.   The discovery of a vast network of tunnels indicates that Stone Age humans were not just spending their days hunting and gathering.  However, the real purpose of the tunnels is still a matter of speculation. Some experts believe they were a way of protecting man from predators while others believe they were a way for people to travel safely, sheltered from harsh weather conditions or even wars and violence. However, at this stage scientists are only able to guess, as the tunnels have not yet revealed all their secrets of the past.

4. 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows Romans Used Nanotechnology

The mystery surrounding a 1,600-year-old jade-green Roman chalice and why it appears red when lit from behind has been solved by scientists who discovered that it appears to contain nanoparticles of silver and gold.  The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s. They could not work out why the cup appeared jade green when lit from the front but blood red when lit from behind. The mystery was solved when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometres in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the previous metals suggests that the Romans had perfected the use of nanoparticles.  Now it seems that the super-sensitive technology used by the Romans might help diagnose human disease or pinpoint biohazards at security checkpoints.

3. Laser Technology Revealed Surprising New Features of Angkor

Utilising the latest cutting-edge technology, archaeologists studying Angkor Wat in northwestern Cambodia made some surprising new findings, most significantly that the ancient Khmer Empire capital was much larger than previously thought. Angkor, the famous capital of southeast Asia’s largest ancient empire, has been intensively studied by archaeologists over the decades, so much so that it was not thought that there was much left to find. But latest research has shown that the ancient city had many more secrets to reveal. A research team applied high-tech LiDAR scanning to gain a visual representation of the landscape of Angkor Wat below the heavily forested areas. What they found was remarkable. They discovered that the city extends for 35 square kilometres, rather than the 9 kilometres that had previously been mapped from the ground, and they found that Angkor was an incredibly well thought out city . The streets ran in a grid exactly east/west or north/south. Each city block was measured exactly 100 meters by 100 meters, with 4 dwellings and 4 rectangular ponds, each pond located north-east of each dwelling. The dwellings, elevated on earthen mounds, were higher than the surrounding rice fields, presumably so they wouldn’t flood during the rainy season. The roads were likewise elevated. Other peculiar findings include a series of features which appear to be embankments, but layered out in a spiral pattern. At this stage it is unclear exactly what they were used for.

2. Incredible Discovery Reveals Birthplace of Buddha

In what will become one of the most significant discoveries in Nepal in decades, archaeologists have found the birthplace of Buddha and therefore the origins of Buddhism. This is the first ever archaeological finding directly linked to the life of Buddha. The ground-breaking discovery was made following excavations within the sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has long been believed to be the birthplace of Buddha.  Under a series of brick temples, the research team found a 6th century BC timber structure with an open space in the centre, which links to the nativity story of Buddha. Even more surprising was evidence of tree roots and a tree shrine, which supports Buddhist ‘mythology’ that the birth took place under a tree. Buddhist tradition maintained that Queen Maya Devi, the mother of Buddha, gave birth to him while holding on to the branch of a tree within the Lumbini Garden.  Now researchers firmly believe that the open space in the centre of the timber structure contained the very tree that Queen Maya Devi clung onto as Guatama Buddha entered the world.

1. Mystery of King Tutankhamun’s Death Solved After More than 3,000 Years

It is one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world – how the Egyptian boy pharaoh Tutankhamun died. Theories have ranged from a violent murder to leprosy and even a snake bite. But now, 91 years after his discovery and 3,336 years since his death, a surprising new analysis on Tutankhamun’s remains revealed just what it was that killed the boy king, the 11th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt.  The remarkable new analysis revealed substantial evidence that suggests the pharaoh died after being struck by a speeding chariot, and that a hasty embalming process caused his mummified body to spontaneously combust in his sarcophagus. Tests revealed that Tutankhamun’s flesh had been burnt and chemical tests revealed that this occurred while he was  sealed inside his coffin. Researchers discovered that embalming oils combined with oxygen and linen caused a chemical reaction which "cooked" the king's body at temperatures of more than 200C. Dr Chris Naunton said: "The charring and possibility that a botched mummification led the body spontaneously combusting shortly after burial was entirely unexpected, something of a revelation."

By April Holloway
- See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-general/ten-most-amazing-archaeological-discoveries-2013-001177#sthash.WqseDGYe.dpuf



Top 10 archaeological discoveries for 2013

1 : University of Leicester announces discovery of King Richard III


The University of Leicester today confirms (Monday, Feb 4) that it has discovered the remains of King Richard III.
At a specially convened media conference, experts from across the University unanimously identified the remains discovered in Leicester city centre as being those of the last Plantagenet king who died in 1485.
Rigorous scientific investigations confirmed the strong circumstantial evidence that the skeleton found at the site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester was indeed that of King Richard III. Find out more

2 : Pristine Roman sculp​ture discovered by ​archaeologists​


Archaeologists have discovered an extraordinary Roman sculpture in the form of an eagle firmly grasping a writhing serpent in its beak.
The find was uncovered on a site in the City of London, ahead of development of a 16 storey 291 bed hotel by Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP) and its development partners Endurance Land. The team from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) were at first hesitant to announce the discovery and to proclaim its Roman origins, owing to its almost unbelievable condition. Find out more

3 : Archaeologists discover largest, oldest palatial wine cellar


3,700 year-old store room held 2,000 liters of strong, sweet wine. Would you drink wine flavored with mint, honey and a dash of psychotropic resins? Ancient Canaanites did more than 3,000 years ago.
Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest — and largest — ancient wine cellar in the Near East, containing forty jars, each of which would have held fifty liters of strong, sweet wine. The cellar was discovered in the ruined palace of a sprawling Canaanite city in northern Israel, called Tel Kabri. The site dates to about 1,700 B.C. and isn’t far from many of Israel’s modern-day wineries. Find out more

4 : The discovery of an early henge at Norton, Hertfordshire by local archaeologists


The story begins in 1936. Major Allen, a pioneer of aerial photography in Britain, flew over a field to the east of the young Letchworth Garden City and spotted a large ring in the crop, which he duly photographed.
Like so many such cropmarks in North Hertfordshire, it was long assumed to be the traces of a ditch that would have formed a quarry for material to make an earlier Bronze Age burial mound. Excavations by community archaeologists have now revealed an early henge monument in North Hertfordshire, England. Find out more

5 : Early Roman period mansion discovered by archaeologists


In excavating sites in a long-inhabited urban area like Jerusalem, archaeologists are accustomed to noting complexity in their finds — how various occupying civilizations layer over one another during the site’s continuous use over millennia.
But when an area has also been abandoned for intermittent periods, paradoxically there may be even richer finds uncovered, as some layers have been buried and remainundisturbed by development.
Such appears be the case at an archaeological dig on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion, conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where the 2013 excavations have revealed the well-preserved lower levels of what the archaeological team believes is an Early Roman period mansion(first century CE), possibly belonging to a member of the Jewish ruling priestly caste. Find out more

6 : Archaeologists discover the 4,000 year old tomb of a doctor at Abusir


Czech Archaeologists excavating at Abusir have discovered a 4,000 year old tomb of what is believed to be a high status doctor to the Pharaohs.
Abusir is an extensive necropolis from the old Kingdom close to the vicinity of modern Cairo. Found several kilometers north of Saqqara, it severed as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient capital city of Memphis. Find out more

7 : Archaeologists discover 6000-year-old ‘halls of the dead’ in UK


The remains of two large 6000-year-old halls, each buried within a prehistoric burial mound, have been discovered by archaeologists from The University of Manchester and Herefordshire Council – in a UK first. Find out more

8 : 14th Century burial ground discovered in central London


Archaeologists working on the UK’s largest infrastructure project, Crossrail, have discovered an historical burial ground in central London.
Thirteen skeletons have been uncovered lying in two carefully laid out rows on the edge of Charterhouse Square at Farringdon, and are believed to be up to 660 years old.
Historical records reference a burial ground in the Farringdon area that opened during the Black Death Plague in 1348. The limited written records suggest up to 50,000 people may have been buried in less than three years in the hastily established cemetery, with the burial ground used up until the 1500s. Find out more

9 : 1,500 Year Old Mosaic discovered At Kibbutz Bet Qama


A spectacular colorful mosaic dating to the Byzantine period (4th–6th centuries CE) was exposed in recent weeks in the fields of Kibbutz Bet Qama, in the B’nei Shimon regional council.
The mosaic was discovered within the framework of an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out prior to the construction of an interchange between Ma’ahaz and Devira Junction, undertaken and funded by the Cross-Israel Highway Company. Find out more

10 : Archaeologists unearth more than 300 prehistoric clay figurines in Greece.


Archaeologists from the University of Southampton studying a Neolithic archaeological site in central Greece have helped unearth over 300 clay figurines, one of the highest density for such finds in south-eastern Europe. Find out more

read more: http://www.heritagedaily.com/2013/12/top-10-archaeological-discoveries-for-2013/100570






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