Posts Tagged ‘Archeology’

Cat Discovers Ancient Roman Tomb

November 1, 2012

Cat Discovers Ancient Roman Tomb

Mirko Curti’s cat was still pussyfooting around his Rome neighborhood at 10:00 PM. Mr. Curti and a friend ran down Via di Pietralata after it and followed kitty into a grotto, where they found a 2,000-year-old tomb piled with bones. Good thing the pet wasn’t a bone-chewing puppy. The tomb is said to date from between the 1st century BC and 2nd centuries AD.

More:

“Cat discovers 2,000-year-old Roman catacomb,” Tom Kington, The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mona Lisa Identified?

July 19, 2012

Mona Lisa Identified?
Investigators excavating the site of Sant’Orsola convent in Florence have found a skeleton they believe might be that of Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, subject of the most famous portrait in the world, DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. Of course, they found one at that site last year that turned out to be someone else.

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Easter Island Today

July 7, 2012

Easter Island Today

The moai of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are large stone sculptures, heads and torsos carved of hardened volcanic ash. The average size of the stone figures is 13 feet tall and 14 tons, but some are even bigger, up to 72 feet tall, 150 tons. There are 887 moai on the island, 288 of them standing on their stone foundations at locations around Rapa Nui. They were carved and sited between 1250 and 1500 when there were no draft animals or wheels on the island. So how did they get to their locations? Some island residents say they walked, and some scholars think they’re right, in a way.

The statues didn’t walk themselves, say archeologists Terry Hunt, Carl Lipo, and Sergio Rapu; they were “walked” by teams of men using ropes to move them in a rocking motion, moving them to locations up to 11 miles from the stone quarry.

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Egyptian Singer Discovered

January 17, 2012

Egyptian Singer Discovered

The tomb of an early chick singer female vocalist has been discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.  University of Basel archeologists found the remains of the chanteuse in a coffin identifying her as Nehmes Bastet, singer of the god Amun Re. Her vocal gifts were discovered after an exhaustive kingdom-wide talent search conducted by her father, the high priest of Amun Re.

Nehmes Bastet performed in the 22nd Dynasty, about 3000 years ago, before MP3s or even CDs, so forget about streaming audio. We cannot, however, rule out an appearance on this season’s Saturday Night Live.

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Creationists Find Cave Painting of Dinosaur

March 28, 2011

Creationists Finds Cave Painting of Dinosaur

Creationists now claim a cave painting at Utah’s Kachina Bridge formation in south-eastern Utah proves that dinosaurs and humans co-existed. They are probably relying on the famed Biblical commentary “Alley Oop of Moo” rather than the conventional paleontological record.

More:

“Creationists Find Cave Painting of Dinosaur,” Maureen O’Connor, Gawker

 “Debunking the ‘Dinosaurs’ of Kachina Bridge,” Brian Switek, Dinosaur Tracking, Smithsonian blog

 “‘Proof of Creation’ Dino Drawing Just a Mud Stain,” Eric Niiler, Discovery News

 

Image (“New Discoveries at Lascaux”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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The Mystery of Easter Island

November 16, 2009

The Mystery of Easter Island

Everybody knows that the inhabitants of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) dissappeared. Where did they go? Disneyworld? Abducted by space aliens? Did the inhabitants de-forest their island and starve themselves out? Maybe after they made those big stone heads (moai) they got creeped out by them and just split.

Or maybe it was the rats. Could rats have eaten the island’s palm trees and starved out the population? Terry L. Hunt proposed this, and German ecologists Andreas Mieth and Hans-Rudolf Bork think this was a contributing factor, along with the “slash-and-burn” agriculture practiced on Rapa Nui, which is too small for this type of practice to be sustainable. Or maybe the effort of constructing the huge stone shrines destroyed the Island’s resources.

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