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Trending Archaeology Today 07/28/17 – #TheHistoryHeretic Reports

 

Scientists Analyze Ancient Canaanite DNA\

HINXTON, ENGLAND—According to a report in Science News, researchers led by Marc Haber of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute mapped the genomes of five 3,700-year-old Canaanite skeletons uncovered in Sidon, Lebanon, and compared the results with other ancient and modern populations.

Little is known about the Canaanites, who left few written records. Scholars have had to rely upon second-hand accounts written by ancient Hebrew, Egyptian, and Greek sources for historical information on the origins and supposed demise of the Canaanites. The results of the DNA study suggest that the Canaanites descended from early farmers who settled in the Levant some 10,000 years ago, and migrants from Iran who arrived between 6,600 and 3,550 years ago.

The spread of the Akkadian Empire between 4,400 and 4,200 years ago could account for the large contribution of migrants from the east to Canaanite ancestry. In fact, a similar mixture of genes has been found in ancient skeletons unearthed in Jordan. The researchers also found that modern Lebanese people received about 93 percent of their DNA from the ancient Canaanites. The remaining seven percent likely came from Eurasians who arrived in the Levant some 3,700 to 2,200 years ago.

Revealing Discoveries of Rare Ivory and Unique Gold Coin from Byzantine Bulgarian Fortress

An extremely rare find of an ivory icon has been made just a few days after a unique Byzantine gold coin dating back to Emperor Phocas’ reign (602-610 AD) was uncovered during excavation works at Rusokastro Fortress, which is located on a hill near Zhelyazovo village, in Burgas district in southeastern Bulgaria.

Emperor’s Ivory?

Milen Nikolov, head of the Regional History Museum in Bourgas, said of the ivory find was, “much more valuable than gold in the Middle Ages”, as reported by Sofiaglobe. The extreme value of the piece and where it was found leads the archaeologists to conclude that the icon was a possession of one of the emperors who had occupied the fortress over the centuries.

“Historically, it is definitely the place where Tsar Ivan Alexander, Emperor Andronik III Paleologus, and probably King Todor Svetoslav Terter resided’, Nikolov informed Sofiaglobe.

Only one other such ivory icon has been discovered in Bulgaria by archaeologists and that was over a century ago making this an extremely rare find. The valuable ivory piece is yet to be dated but probably dates from after the building of the palace in the 14th century.

Monumental Tomb Discovered Near Pompeii

NAPLES, ITALY—A monumental tomb with a long funerary epigraph describing the life of the deceased has been discovered in Porta Stabia, according to a report in ANSAmed.

The inscription is missing the man’s name, but it says he was a duoviro, or Pompeii city magistrate, and describes his coming of age, his wedding, and his sponsorship of banquets and games. The inscription also contains information about an armed brawl at a gladiator show in Pompeii in 59 B.C., in which the tomb’s occupant may have been killed. We know from an account left by the Roman historian Tacitus that after a Senate investiga

tion into the brawl, ordered by Emperor Nero, that the residents of Pompeii were forbidden to hold gladiator games for ten years, and those who organized the games and incited the clash were exiled. Pompeii’s general director, Massimo Osanna, said the newly found inscription complements the account left by Tacitus and mentions that some of the city’s magistrates were also exiled.

 

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#TheHistoryHeretic Reports: Archaeologists Return to Legendary Birthplace of King Arthur

Archaeologists are back at the legendary birthplace of King Arthur.

Last summer, researchers discovered traces of early medieval life at Tintagel in Cornwall, on England’s southwest coast, where the legendary British monarch was said to have been born.Now, they’ve returned to the site for another round of digging, to further explore buried buildings dated from the fifth to the seventh centuries.

The striking ruins of a 13th-century castle still stand on the Tintagel headland, but the site’s history stretches back further, to the centuries after the end of Roman rule. It was during this time that King Arthur is said to have fought the invading Saxons. Tintagel is the birthplace of Arthur, according to a 12th-century writer named Geoffrey of Monmouth, who popularized legends about the king and the wizard Merlin. Still, there’s no airtight historic evidence that Arthur existed.

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Trending Archaeology Headlines for 07/25/17 $100m Nazi Gold Found w #TheHistoryHeretic #JovanHuttonPulitzer

18th-Century Plague Victims Unearthed

POZNAŃ, POLAND—The remains of three people who may have died during an early eighteenth-century epidemic have been unearthed at the site of a medieval cemetery in west-central Poland, according to a report in Science & Scholarship in Poland. A silver coin helped archaeologists date the burials. “The medieval graves are dug deep beneath the surface of the earth, so it was a surprise to discover three skeletons above them,” said archaeologist Pawel Pawlak. As many as eight or nine thousand people, or 65 percent of the population of Poznań, are thought to have died of the plague in 1709. “The residents of Poznań had to deal with the burials of their loved ones themselves,” Pawlak explained. The bodies are thought to have been buried in a garden near a house. One of the bodies, which appears to have belonged to an elderly woman, had been placed in a pine coffin, and the other two were probably just wrapped in shrouds. Among the medieval burials in the cemetery, Pawlak’s team also found the remains of a man who may have been executed and quartered before he was hastily buried in a pit.

Extinct Human Relative Detected in Saliva

BUFFALO, NEW YORK—According to a report in The International Business Times, researchers led by Omer Gokcumen of the University at Buffalo say they detected a “ghost” species of ancient hominin while they were studying a protein that occurs in saliva and its influence on the bacteria in the human mouth. To study the protein, known as MUC7, the researchers examined the MUC7 gene in more than 2,500 modern human genomes. The researchers say a version of the gene found in people living in sub-Saharan Africa was “wildly different” from those found in other modern humans. Gokcumen explained that even the MUC7 genes from Neanderthal and Denisovan samples were closer to those of other modern human populations than the sub-Saharan variant. He thinks the variation may have been introduced to the population by an as-yet-undiscovered hominin that lived as recently as 150,000 years ago, based upon gene mutation rates.

British treasure hunters find chest that could contain Nazi gold worth £100m in sunken cargo ship

British treasure hunters are seeking permission to recover a mysterious chest from a German ship’s watery grave amid claims that it could contain £100m worth of Nazi gold.

The box was found by UK-based Advanced Marine Services inside the post room of the SS Minden at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean off Iceland.

 

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Archaeology Stories Trending 07/24/17 w #TheHistoryHeretic #JovanHuttonPulitzer

Mayan Finally Decoded?

Today, there are over six million people that speak a language that evolved out of the Maya civilization, which inhabited parts of what are now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador for over 3,000 years. However, while spoken languages have been largely retained, the written language has not been so fortunate. Although hieroglyphs are preserved across hundreds of ancient sites, all texts except three Mayan codices were destroyed during the Spanish conquest in the 16 th century, taking with them the keys to unlocking their ancient hieroglyphic script.

Viking Church?

At the edge of the world lies the last trace of Viking Christianity. Urnes Stave Church (c. 1130 AD) stands tall in Sognefjord in the west of Norway, yet it represents as much of an end as it does a new beginning. The church at Urnes is one of the last surviving examples of early Christian Scandinavia architecture, a rather lonely survivor which once had over 1300 siblings. Inspired primarily by the shipbuilding designs and pre-Christian mythology of the Viking culture, the northern architects of Urnes incorporated elements of Celtic and early Romanesque art.  Interestingly, the method by which the Norsemen viewed these exterior artistic styles was due to those very same Viking ship

Ancient Maya Cave of Sacrifice?

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Natural Monument, or the “Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre,” in Belize is where archaeologists have uncovered evidence of human sacrifice rituals dating back to 3rd century AD. According to the Belize Audubon Society, the ancient Maya people believed that caves were home to gods who controlled agriculture and rain. The Maya saw caves as portals to the underworld, referred to as “Xibalba,” which translates to “the place of fear or fright.” They often believed that evil spirits, demons, and monsters were guarding the underworld, and therefore only elites and priests would be permitted access to the cave; no commoners were allowed. And yet in modern times the cave is open to any tourist willing to plunge into the underworld.

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#TheHistoryHeretic Reports: Hidden trove of Nazi artifacts found in Argentina – #JovanHuttonPulitzer 

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — In a hidden room in a house near Argentina’s capital, police believe they have found the biggest collection of Nazi artifacts in the country’s history, including a bust relief of Adolf Hitler, magnifying glasses inside elegant boxes with swastikas and even a macabre medical device used to measure head size.

Some 75 objects were found in a collector’s home in Beccar, a suburb north of Buenos Aires, and authorities say they suspect they are originals that belonged to high-ranking Nazis in Germany during World War II.

“Our first investigations indicate that these are original pieces,” Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told The Associated Press on Monday, saying that some pieces were accompanied by old photographs. “This is a way to commercialize them, showing that they were used by the horror, by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects.”

Among the disturbing items were toys that Bullrich said would have been used to indoctrinate children, a large statue of the Nazi Eagle above a swastika, a Nazi hourglass and a box of harmonicas.

Police say one of the most-compelling pieces of evidence of the historical importance of the find is a photo negative of Hitler holding a magnifying glass similar to those found in the boxes.

“We have turned to historians and they’ve told us it is the original magnifying glass” that Hitler was using, said Nestor Roncaglia, head of Argentina’s federal police. “We are reaching out to international experts to deepen” the investigation.

The photograph was not released to the public, but was shown to The Associated Press on the condition that it not be published.

 

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Source: Hidden trove of Nazi artifacts found in Argentina Authorities suspect the objects belonged to high-ranking Nazis who fled to the country after World War II. Discovered in secret room in collector’s house »

#TheHistoryHeretic Reports – History Headlines for 06/13/17

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