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4,400-Year-Old Egyptian Tomb Discovered


Egyptian archaeologists unearthed a well-preserved 4,400-year-old tomb from Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty, a prosperous era where pharaohs ruled, palaces were erected and pyramids were built.

The tomb was discovered in Giza’s western cemetery by a team of Egyptian archaeologists at the helm of Mostafa Waziri, the secretary general of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany said that the tomb belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to the goddess of fertility Hathor. Female priests were not common in ancient Egypt.

al-Enany told reporters during a press conference on Saturday that the cemetery where the tomb was found is home to the graves of other official figures from the Old Kingdom’s Fifth Dynasty, which spanned from 2465 BC to 2323 BC.

Hetpet’s name and various titles are engraved inside the tomb, alongside paintings and other artifacts including a purification basin.

“The tomb is in very good condition,” Waziri told the Agence France-Presse. ” The paintings show scenes of music and dance. “

Global Warming Reveals Ancient Artifacts


Archeologists have found artifacts dating back to more than 6,000 years and these articles are emerging from the ice in the mountains of Norway as a result of global warming.

Over the last decade, a team of international archeologists have been working in the Jotunheimen mountains of Oppland County in the south of Norway.  The team researchers who represent Norwegian and British universities have now recovered more than 2,000 articles including clothing from the Iron Age and the Bronze Age and ancient reindeer-hunting equipment.  The experts believe that some of their discoveries date back to 4,000 BC and report that the articles are perfectly preserved.

The new report which was created under the project name, “Secrets of the Ice” was published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. The research gave the project the name “Secrets of the Ice” as they believe that the ice has in a way acted as a “time machine” and preserved the artifacts perfectly.  The researchers are also surprised by the fact that the artifacts show a possible increase in activity in the period known as the Late Antique Little Ice Age (c. 536 to 660 AD) during which time population size had dropped due to lower temperatures (cooling) and agricultural activities had fallen as a result of it. However, it is quite plausible that mountain hunting increased to supplement failing agricultural harvests due to low temperatures.

The archeologists have also reported finding artifacts dating to the eighth to 10th centuries AD, probably reflecting increased population, mobility and trade – just before and during the Viking Age, when outward expansion was also characteristic of Scandinavia.

The researchers believe that the artifacts have been found because some of the ice in the high mountains of Oppland has now melted back to levels last seen 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. And this is obviously attributed to the impact of global warming.

Revealing Face of Ancient Queen


Last month, the National Geographic reported that scientists have used 3D technology to reconstruct the face of a “Huarmey Queen” centuries after the noblewoman lived and died in Peru.  The reconstruction of the queen’s face is based on her 1,200-year-old remains. It took specialist Oscar Nilsson 220 hours to complete the project. 

The scientists report that the Queen’s skull after removal from the tomb was scanned and a 3-D model was printed to serve as the basis for the reconstruction. They then inserted pegs in the skull to represent facial tissue depth. It is important to know that tissue depth is determined by age, gender, build, and other factors.  They then modeled the facial muscles with clay. The scientists had also discovered copies of golden ear spools in the tomb which were then inserted in the ears.  Additional clay was then used to model fat and skin on top of the facial muscles. In addition, for authenticity, the reconstructed face was then even surrounded by hair from an elderly Andean woman, which was purchased at wig-supply market in Peru.

This project display that some 1,200 years ago, a wealthy noblewoman, who was at least 60 years old, was laid to rest in Peru and as all noble families did at the time she was richly provisioned for eternity with jewelry, flasks, and weaving tools made of gold in her tomb.

The tomb had been discovered by archeologists, led by Peruvian archeologist Roberto Pimentel Nita and National Geographic grantee Milosz Giersz in 2012.  The tomb El Castillo de Huarmey had been completely untouched. The hillside site was once a large temple complex for the Wari culture, which dominated the region centuries before the more famous Inca according to National Geographic. The tomb which seemed to have escaped the looters contains the remains of 58 noblewomen, including four queens or princesses.  The archeologists report that one of these women, nicknamed the Huarmey Queen, was buried in particular splendor. Her body was found in its own private chamber, and it was surrounded with jewelry and other luxuries, including gold ear flares, a copper ceremonial axe, and a silver goblet. 

It is still not known who this woman was. Giresz’s team has carefully examined the skeleton and found that like many of the site’s noblewomen, the Huarmey Queen spent most of her time sitting, though she used her upper body extensively—the skeletal calling cards of a life spent weaving. 

Her expertise likely explains her elite status. According to the National Geographic, among the Wari and other Andean cultures of the time, textiles were considered more valuable than gold or silver, reflective of the immense time they took to make. Giersz says that ancient textiles found elsewhere in Peru may have taken two to three generations to weave.

Interestingly, the noblewoman was missing some of her teeth which is consistent with the decay that comes with regularly drinking chicha, a sugary, corn-based alcoholic beverage that only the Wari elite were allowed to drink, according to the archeologists.


The Ochre Crayon Was Discovered Near An Ancient Lake


Archaeologists say they may have discovered one of the earliest examples of a ‘crayon’ — possibly used by our ancestors 10,000 years ago for applying colour to their animal skins or for artwork.

The ochre crayon was discovered near an ancient lake, now blanketed in peat, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire. An ochre pebble was found at another site on the opposite side of the lake.

The pebble had a heavily striated surface that is likely to have been scraped to produce a red pigment powder. The crayon measures 22mm long and 7mm wide.

Ochre is an important mineral pigment used by prehistoric hunter-gatherers across the globe. The latest finds suggest people collected ochre and processed it in different ways during the Mesolithic period.

The ochre objects were studied as part of an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Departments of Archaeology and Physics at the University of York, using state-of-the-art techniques to establish their composition.

The artifacts were found at Seamer Carr and Flixton School House. Both sites are situated in a landscape rich in prehistory, including one of the most famous Mesolithic sites in Europe, Star Carr.

Groundwork Prior to Reconstruction of Stoa of Philip V on Delos is Complete


All the preparatory work before reconstruction begins on a major ancient public building on the island of Delos has been completed, the ministry of Culture announced on Thursday.

The reconstruction of the marble Stoa of Philip V is being funded by the Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Foundation at a total cost of 550,000 euros, and the work will be undertaken by the Ephorate of Antiquities of the Cycladic Islands.

The Stoa of Philip II, one of the first monuments that the visitor to the archaeological site of Delos meets, is located south of the temple of the Sanctuary of Apollo and, along with the South Stoa, defines the Sacred Way, which ends in the Propylaea. The 11,000-square-meter building, which is to be restored, is built entirely of marble and was erected at the end of the 3rd century / early 2nd cent. B.C. A few years later it was extended across the west and along to the north. Nowadays the building is preserved only at the foundation level, but a scattered array of ancient architectural members is preserved, which allows and encourages its restoration. Thus, this important patronage of the King of Macedonia on the Holy Island of Apollo will be able to be restored using a large percentage of his original material.

The first phase of the works took place in the middle of the summer and involved cleaning inside the building, its extension and the surrounding area, work required first to capture the existing state of the monument and to gather the architectural members belonging to the monument. Numerous identification, counting and cataloging of the ancient members within the building’s outline and extension were also made, and the architectural members to be used in the restoration began to be designed.

During the second phase of the works, in the middle of autumn, the dense vegetation in the inaccessible marshy area to the west of the Stoa, 600 sq. Meters. where, according to archival material, at the beginning of the 19th century many architectural members of the building and its extension were deposited. The image of the scattered ancient material after the cleansing was impressive, as the number of members reached 1,000, of which around 900 were architectural members of the Stoa. The laborious work of methodical hauling, matching and temporary sorting by type was carried out by qualified personnel using a large telescopic crane that arrived on the island with an open-air ferry from Paros.

In December, the third phase of the works, during which they were discovered (through dense vegetation), were identified and recorded the remaining unregistered architectural members (approx. 300) located in two other areas near the port. At the same time, the three-dimensional mapping of the broken architectural members to be used in the restoration to build the supplements began.

The work for the restoration of the Lodge of Philip II is expected to continue at an intensive pace in 2018, aiming at upgrading the special and sensitive area of Delos with the rendering of the third dimension to a remarkable monument of antiquity.

Last Remaining Fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls


More than 60 years after their discovery, Israeli experts have finally figured out the contents of one of the last two undeciphered fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Scientists at Haifa University reconstructed 60 tiny fragments that were part of six different scrolls.
What they discovered after they put it all together was a unique 364-day calendar used by a Jewish sect living during the Second Temple time.
“Most Jews used a calendar that is similar to the one used today,” Dr. Eshbal Ratzon of Haifa University told Israel’s Haaretz newspaper. “The sect used a calendar that is almost based on a solar year, comprising 364 days.”
Notes on the fragments show the sect even gave names to the days marking the four seasons. The days were referred to by the word “Tekufah” which in Hebrew means “period.”
“This term is familiar from the later Rabbinical literature and from mosaics dating to the Talmudic period, and we could have assumed that it would also be used with this meaning in the scrolls, but this is the first time it has been revealed,” remarked professor Jonatan Ben-Dov, who helped Ratzon decipher the ancient texts.
Some of the fragments were so tiny, measuring approximately 0.155 sq inches.
“This is the most important archaeological find ever made in Israel,” Ratzon said. “This is literature from the Second Temple period, and that’s rare.”
The scrolls, which date back almost 2,000 years, were part of 900 ancient Jewish manuscripts discovered in the Qumran caves near the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956.
Ratzon and fellow scientist Ben-Dov, who teaches at the Bible Department at Haifa University, said they also discovered fascinating comments in the margins of the scrolls.
“What’s nice is that these comments were hints that helped me figure out the puzzle,” exclaimed Ratzon.
He believes the notes were made by a scribe as changes were being made to the ancient documents.
Razton added that the scribe’s annotations “showed me how to assemble the scroll”.
Ratson and Ben-Dov said they spent over a year reassembling the 60 fragments, most of which were written in Hebrew.
Now, only one more known scroll remains untranslated.

Oldest Buddhist Stele Discovered in Tibet


A ninth-century Purang stele – the official term for an upright stone slab with engravings – is believed to be the oldest in the Tibet Autonomous Region, according the archaeologists in the region.

Shargan Wangdue, of the Tibet Cultural Relics Protection Institute, said the stele was discovered in Ngari Prefecture in northern part of Tibet.

The stele, 1.85 meters tall, is inscribed with the image of a standing Buddha.

On its left side are 24 lines of old Tibetan language. On its right side are 19 lines of buddhist prayers.

Most scholars agree that the stele was set up in 826 or 838, during the period of Tubo kingdom.

“This stele shows Buddhism was already being practiced during the Tubo period in western part of Ngari,” Shargan Wangdue asserted.

Swiss archaeologist discovers the earliest tomb of a Scythian prince


Deep in a swamp in the Russian republic of Tuva, SNSF-funded archaeologist Gino Caspari has discovered an undisturbed Scythian burial mound. All the evidence suggests that this is not only the largest Scythian princely tomb in South Siberia, but also the earliest — and that it may be harbouring some outstandingly well-preserved treasures.

Gino Caspari made the most significant find in his career to date not with a shovel, but at a computer. A recipient of Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) funding, archaeologist Caspari discovered a circular structure on high-resolution satellite images of the Uyuk River valley (Siberia) on his computer screen. An initial trial dig carried out this summer by the Bern University scientist together with the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Hermitage Museum confirmed his suspicion: the structure is a kurgan, a Scythian princely tomb.

World Tourism hits 7-year high record in 2017 led by arrivals to Med destinations


The number of global tourists increased 7 % in 2017, the biggest increase in seven years led by Europe with the lure of the Mediterranean’s sea and sun, the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced Monday.

The sharp rise was mostly due to the economic recovery around the world, it added.

International tourist arrivals increased by a remarkable 7% in 2017 to reach a total of 1.32 billion, the source pointed out.

This strong momentum is forecast to continue in 2018 at a rate of 4% to 5%.

Led by Mediterranean destinations, Europe showed extraordinary results for such a large and rather mature region, with 8% more international arrivals than in 2016. Africa consolidated its 2016 rebound with an 8% increase. Asia and the Pacific recorded 6% growth, the Middle East 5% and the Americas 3%.

The year was characterized by sustained growth in many destinations and a firm recovery in those that suffered decreases in previous years, UNWTO said. Results were partly shaped by the global economic upswing and the robust outbound demand from many traditional and emerging source markets, particularly a rebound in tourism spending from Brazil and the Russian Federation after a few years of declines.

Crocodiles, giant vipers, side-necked turtles and Komodo dragon ‘cousins’ lived in Ancient Greece


A team of scientists from the universities of Torino and Frieburg, headed by Greek paleontologist Giorgos Georgalis announced that crocodiles, cobras and giant Komodo-dragon-sized lizards called varanids once walked the banks of the Axios River and lived on the Greek island of Evia between nine and 18 million years ago, according to recent findings from the study of the fossil record, ANA reports.
The experts examined a number of fossilized crocodile teeth found in Aliveri in Evia by a team from Utrecht University and Georgalis, who published a paper on the fossils in “Historical Biology”, stressed that these are some of the oldest crocodile fossils ever found in Greece while The same area yielded fossils of chameleons that are unique in Greece, as well as snakes, lizards, turtles and frogs.
Georgios Georgalis is a researcher who studies fossil finds of reptiles particularly from the Aegean region (Greece and the western part of Turkey). He has a rather diverse topic since he does comparative analysis of recent and extinct specimens which belong to three large reptile groups: lizards, snakes and turtles. Before his stay at the Hungarian Natural History Museum within the Synthesys program, he also visited the Herpetological Collections of the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid and the Natural History Museum in Vienna to examine skeletons of extant snakes.
He has managed to discover a new species of turtle, which was named Nostimochelone lampra. This species was a so- called side-necked (Pleurodira) turtle. The peculiarity of the finding is that the side-necked turtles group is only inhabiting the Southern hemisphere today, and became extinct from the European continent a long time ago, however, the fossil of Nostimochelone lampra was found in an 18 million year old sediment in western Greece.
“There was a very warm climate in the area at that time, you see, with a very strong watery element, while it most likely resembled a jungle,” Georgalis said to ANA.
On the contrary, the area around the Axios River, resembled a savannah and was inhabited by cobras and giant lizards similar to the present-day Komodo dragon about nine million years ago.
Their fossils were discovered a few years back in Nea Mesimvria and were stored at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) geology department but were only recently identified. The findings were presented in a paper published by the “Swiss Journal of Geosciences” by Georgalis, Jean-Claude Rage from Paris University, Louis de Bonis (Poitier University) and Giorgos Kougos at AUTH.
“We identified approximately 10 fossils and recognised a small snake, a large lizard, a cobra and a varanid that then made up the reptile fauna of the region,” Georgalis told the ANA. He noted that these were the first fossils of lizards and snakes identified around the Axios River area, where scientists had so far identified mainly mammalian fossils, such as the ape Ouranopithecus macedoniensis, lions, hyenas and antilope.
Georgalis clarified that fossil reptiles in Greece have not been thoroughly studied, even though they are found in many places in the country and their study would help enhance understanding of the evolution of snakes and lizards in Europe, as well as the paleogeography and paleoclimate of the region.
He states that his most intresting discovery was a fossil of the 4 million year old giant viper, (Laophiscrotaloides) which was excavated near the city of Thessaloniki. This enormous creature was probably the biggest viper of all time. It had been discovered previously and for the first time by the world famous palaeontologist Richard Owen in the 19thcentury. His material unfortunately got lost and there was not any trace of this mysterious giant viper for a long time. The rediscovery of the new finding from the same locality proves that the giant viper really existed. The new vertebra provides valuable information about the taxonomic status and size of this bizarre, enigmatic snake.

As reported on Tornos News