Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "cave"

Archaeologists excavating in the ancient Ophel area near the Temple Mount (or Haram Ash-Sharif) of Jerusalem have uncovered a plaster-lined cave with an associated system of subterranean tunnels that may tell a story about life there when the Romans besieged the city during the First Jewish Revolt in 70 CE. 

Under the overall direction of Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University, excavators removed uncounted bucket-loads of dirt and rock fill from the cave, discovering in the process that its walls had been lined with a layer of plaster. This, along with the cave’s apparent connection to a structure dated to the First Temple period (10th to 6th centuries BCE) above it which featured water channels for directing water into the cave, told the archaeologists that they were actually exploring what was originally an ancient water cistern. Read more.

Archaeologists might have finally found the cave of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, whose solitary 18-year stay on a tiny island off the California coast inspired the children’s classic “Island of the Blue Dolphins.”

"The cave had been completely buried under several meters of sand. It is quite large and would have made a very comfortable home, especially in inclement weather," Navy archaeologist Steven Schwartz said at the California Islands Symposium last week in Ventura.

One of the most famous people associated with the Channel Islands, the Lone Woman belonged to the Nicoleno, a Native American tribe who lived on the remote wind-blasted island of San Nicolas off the Southern California coast.

The tribe was decimated in 1814 by sea otter hunters from Alaska. By 1835, less than a dozen Nicolenos lived on the island. At that time, the Santa Barbara Mission arranged a rescue operation which brought to the mainland all Nicoleños but the Lone Woman. Read more.

BAC KAN - Traces of prehistoric man have been found at the Na Mo Cave in the northern province of Bac Kan.

Members of the Viet Nam Archaeological Institute and the Bac Kan Museum have been excavating the area for possible prehistoric remains since early June.

Na Mo Cave is situated in Na Ca Hamlet, Huong Ne Commune, Ngan Son District. The 15m high and 500m wide cave is in the side of the limestone mountain and looks out over a large river valley. Most of the surface of the cave can get sunlight, making it favourable for habitation.

Stone artefacts dating from 20,000 to 10,000BC have been found in the cave, including simple working tools made from pebbles found in the river nearby. They have characteristics of tools dating back to the Hoa Binh Culture.

Archaeologists have also found pottery objects made by hand and decorated with designs. Traces of cooking fires were also found, along with thick coal seams and burned red soil. A large quantity of animal teeth and bones and the snail and oyster shells were also discovered. Read more.

An archeologist says tests show Aboriginal rock art in an Outback cave was made 28,000 years ago, making it the oldest in Australia and among the oldest in the world, the Associated Press reported.

The dating of one of the thousands of images in the rock shelter known as Nawarla Gabarnmang will be published in the next edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

University of Southern Queensland archeologist Bryce Barker said Monday, June 18 that the rock art was made with charcoal, so radiocarbon dating could be used to determine its age.

Most rock art is made with mineral paint, so its age cannot be accurately measured.

Australian National University archeologist Sally May, who is not involved with Barker’s research, described his find as “incredibly significant.” (source)

Archaeologists believe they have uncovered the remains of the earliest stringed instrument to be found so far in western Europe.

The small burnt and broken piece of carved piece of wood was found during an excavation in a cave on Skye.

Archaeologists said it was likely to be part of the bridge of a lyre dating to more than 2,300 years ago.

Music archaeologist Dr Graeme Lawson said the discovery marked a “step change” in music history.

The Cambridge-based expert said: “It pushes the history of complex music back more than a thousand years, into our darkest pre-history.

"And not only the history of music but more specifically of song and poetry, because that’s what such instruments were very often used for.

"The earliest known lyres date from about 5,000 years ago, in what is now Iraq, and these were already complicated and finely-made structures. Read more.

COMSTOCK — On the wall of a limestone cave above the Rio Grande, at about the time the pyramids were rising in ancient Egypt, a nomadic people painted fantastic scenes of human and animal figures, leaving a story that resists modern interpretation.

Pausing at one of the compositions, archaeologist Amanda Castañeda pointed out details, lost to the untrained eye, in a faint humanoid figure.

“This dates to about 4,000 years ago. What’s interesting about this guy is that his atlatl (throwing stick) is backwards and his wrist has a crazy decoration. The more you look, the more you see,” she said.

Across the broad stone canvas were dozens of surreal and distorted figures of humans, deer, rabbits and felines, as well as others aptly classified as “enigmatics,” simply because they remain inscrutable. Read more.

Hades wasn’t the happiest place, the Department of Motor Vehicles of the ancient Greek afterlife.

There, in a gloomy underworld, departed heroes such as Achilles gathered mostly to grouse about their boredom, and await the verdict of the judges of the dead.

"I would rather be a paid servant in a poor man’s house and be above ground than king of kings among the dead," said Achilles, the greatest of Greek heroes,commenting on the scenery, according to the ancient poem, The Odyssey. (Tough break for Achilles, but perhaps he was later cheered to learn that Brad Pittwould play him in the 2004 filmTroy. )

But for archaeologists, a Greek cave that has sparked comparisons to Hades looks more like heaven. Overlooking a quiet Greek bay, Alepotrypa Cavecontains the remains of a Stone Age village, burials, a lake and an amphitheater-sized final chamber that saw blazing rituals take place more than 5,000 years ago. All of it was sealed from the world until modern times, and scholars are only now reporting what lies within. Read more.