Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Archaeology Today

Take a look at the eyes of the large statue found in Turkey. Remind you of anything?
How about the Moai of Easter Island? Were you thinking gray aliens?


Archeologists Unearth Extraordinary Human Sculpture in Turkey   Science Daily - July 30, 2012

A beautiful and colossal human sculpture is one of the latest cultural treasures unearthed by an international team at the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) excavation site in southeastern Turkey. A large semi-circular column base, ornately decorated on one side, was also discovered. Both pieces are from a monumental gate complex that provided access to the upper citadel of Kunulua, capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina (ca. 1000-738 BC).

Warrior King Statue Discovered in Ancient Mediterranean City   Live Science - July 30, 2012
A newly discovered statue of a curly-haired man gripping a spear and a sheath of wheat once guarded the upper citadel of an ancient kingdom's capital. The enormous sculpture, which is intact from about the waist up, stands almost 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall, suggesting that its full height with legs would have been between 11 and 13 feet (3.5 to 4 m). Alongside the statue, archaeologists found another carving, a semicircular column base bearing the images of a sphinx and a winged bull. The pieces date back to about 1000 B.C. to 738 B.C. and belong to the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina in what is now southeastern Turkey. They were found at what would have been a gate to the upper citadel of the capital, Kunulua. An international team of archaeologists on the Tayinat Archaeological Project are excavating the ruins.


Tomb of Mayan Prince Discovered in Jungle Ruins   Live Science - July 30, 2012

Excavators have uncovered what they believe to be the 1,300-year-old remains of a Mayan prince entombed within a royal complex of the ancient city of Uxul, located in Mexico near the Guatemalan border. The fossilized man, who researchers estimate was between 20 and 25 when he died, was found lying on his back, with his arms folded inside a tomb 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) below the floor in a building within the city's royal complex. When the researchers first slipped a camera into the tomb to peek at what was inside they saw ceramics at the feet of the skeleton, said Kai Delvendahl, field director for the project with the University of Bonn.


Oldest Poison Pushes Back Ancient Civilization 20,000 Years   Live Science - July 30, 2012

The late Stone Age may have had an earlier start in Africa than previously thought - by some 20,000 years. new analysis of artifacts from a cave in South Africa reveals that the residents were carving bone tools, using pigments, making beads and even using poison 44,000 years ago. These sorts of artifacts had previously been linked to the San culture, which was thought to have emerged around 20,000 years ago. "Our research proves that the Later Stone Age emerged in South Africa far earlier than has been believed and occurred at about the same time as the arrival of modern humans in Europe," study researcher Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, said in a statement.

Later Stone Age Got Earlier Start in South Africa Than Thought   Science Daily - July 30, 2012
The Later Stone Age emerged in South Africa more than 20,000 years earlier than previously believed - about the same time humans were migrating from Africa to the European continent, says a new international study led by the University of Colorado Boulder. The study shows the onset of the Later Stone Age in South Africa likely began some 44,000 to 42,000 years ago, said Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and lead study author. The new dates are based on the use of precisely calibrated radiocarbon dates linked to organic artifacts found at Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains on the border of South Africa and Swaziland containing evidence of hominid occupation going back 200,000 years.