Thanks to the efforts of a vigilant retired professor, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has managed to salvage a part of India’s numismatic history dating back to the 8 Century A.D. from the seemingly all-consuming sweep of urbanization.
Last month, the ASI excavated remains of a rectangular structure considered to be a mint of 8 Century vintage after a brief exploratory survey yielded 31 pieces of terracotta coin moulds for casting coins of King Mihira Bhoja, the ruler of the Pratihara dynasty between 836 and 885 A.D.
The exploratory survey was carried out after a retired professor of Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, Manmohan Kumar, informed ASI about ancient mounds at Bohar Majra village in the district running the risk of being levelled as part of the building of new colonies in the area by the Haryana Urban Development Authority. Read more.
Since their discoveries, the ancient Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, those hapless victims of the Mt. Vesuvius eruptions of AD 79, have captured the public’s imagination and have thus commanded the attention of both the academic community and the general public. The recent exhibition at the British Museum that highlighted Pompeii and Herculaneum, coupled with the release of the major motion picture, Pompeii, have popularized the ancient cities all the more.
There is, however, another story along the northern slopes of Vesuvius that tells of a people who lived and died on the “other side” of the better-known setting. Archaeologists have recently uncovered evidence of the people who lived and died on what has been termed “the dark side of Vesuvius”, the northern slopes of the volcano and the adjoining ancient territories of Nola and Neapolis. Read more.
Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, began excavations in Metsamor, one of the most famous archaeological sites near Yerevan, told PAP Krzysztof Jakubiak, the project leader.
Last season, the archaeologists opened two trenches, where the work will be continued this year. The first one at the citadel, where they captured part of the street, which was the central artery of the fortified stronghold. The exposed layers have been dated to the period from Middle to Late Bronze Age. In later times, this street had ceased to be an important route, and the entire inner area of the citadel was rebuilt. Read more.
Archaeologists have continued work on a Late Iron Age/Early Roman period necropolis, with a fourth excavation conducted at the site in Central France. In total, 74 graves have been uncovered, including 31 new inhumations.
The area, on the outskirts of the historic town of Esvres-sur-Indre is increasingly under pressure for housing and this expansion is providing an opportunity to study the burial ground in great detail.
The necropolis itself has been known since 1909 after the publication of a preliminary study carried out at the time of the planting of a vineyard.
The site has been shown to represent part of a larger funerary area; in 1999 a group of 29 burials were excavated at Vaugrignon, 300 metres to the west. Read more.
A Spanish-Italian team carrying out routine excavation work on Luxor’s west bank has stumbled upon what is believed to be the tomb of Maayi, a top governmental official in the 18th dynasty.
Egypt’s antiquities minister Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online that the tomb was accidentally found by the excavation team via a hole in the wall of tomb number TT109, in the Sheikh Abdel-Gournah area.
Paintings on the tomb’s walls show Maayi in different positions with family members, offering details on his daily life and family relations. Read more.
Italy says it will unblock 2m euros (£1.6m) in emergency funding to save the ancient city of Pompeii, after flooding caused walls to collapse.
A number of structures, including the Temple of Venus and Roma, were damaged by heavy rainfall on Sunday and Monday.
The decay prompted calls for action from the European Union and the United Nations.
The site, where volcanic ash smothered a Roman city in AD79, has suffered slow degradation for many years.
It is one of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures. Read more.
For nearly 40 years, University of Florida archaeologists have been excavating wooden barrel wells, rosary beads, pottery shards and iron nails dating back more than 400 years at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine.
On Tuesday, the park’s owners decided to donate those artifacts — 97,000 of them estimated to be worth around $3.5 million — to the Florida Museum of Natural History for permanent safekeeping, and for easy access to researchers and students.
"If we kept the artifacts at the park, they would become ornaments stored away in a drawer," John Fraser, the park’s manager and grandson of owner Walter Fraser, said in a news release. Read more.
The decline of Bronze-Age civilizations in Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia has been attributed to a long-term drought that began around 2000 bc. Now palaeoclimatologists propose that a similar fate was followed by the enigmatic Indus Valley Civilization, at about the same time. Based on isotope data from the sediment of an ancient lake, the researchers suggest that the monsoon cycle, which is vital to the livelihood of all of South Asia, essentially stopped there for as long as two centuries.
The Indus Valley, in present Pakistan and northwest India, was home to a civilization also known as the Harappan Civilization. It was characterized by large, well-planned cities with advanced municipal sanitation systems and a script that has never been deciphered. But the Harappans seemed to slowly lose their urban cohesion, and their cities were gradually abandoned. Read more.