Archaeology Facts Behind Alexander’s Isthmus Wednesday, Jan 21 2009 

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Alexander’s Isthmus • Tyre, Lebanon

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There is no shortage of stories about Alexander the Great’s military accomplishments. One of them, his 332 B.C. conquering of the seemingly impenetrable Phoenician island fortress of Tyre, was revised a bit this year. History tells us that Alexander, after laying siege to the massive fort for seven months, made his final assault by having his engineers build a half-mile causeway connecting the island to the mainland–a stunning feat.

But a study published in May posits that Alexander got assistance from a submerged sandbar, so he crossed water only a yard or two deep. Geoarchaeologist Nick Marriner, of France’s National Center of Scientific Research, and his colleagues also theorize that the bridge or causeway that Alexander’s army built altered coastal currents and the flow of sand, helping permanently join the island of Tyre with the mainland. It’s always fascinating when archaeology and other forms of science can be applied to the historical record. In this case, geoarchaeology explains not only how Alexander made his assault, but also how he actually reshaped Lebanon’s coastline.

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Discovery of the Greater Angkor, Cambodia Saturday, Jan 10 2009 

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This computer reconstruction of Angkor Wat is based in part on a new map of the site and the vast urban landscape that surrounded it.

The capital of a Khmer state that flourished between the ninth and fifteenth centuries, Cambodia’s Angkor is one of the most intensively studied sites in the world. But it continues to inspire more questions than answers, the most fundamental being why the sophisticated Khmer Empire collapsed. In 2007, research into the mysteries of the world’s largest preindustrial city reached a milestone with the completion of a 10-year mapping project, which yielded clues suggesting that the sprawling metropolis may have collapsed under self-induced environmental pressures related to overpopulation and deforestation.

“Angkor was a vast inhabited landscape…larger than anything previously known,” says Damian Evans, deputy director of the Greater Angkor Project (GAP) and lead author of the group’s findings. Their map covers more than 1,100 square miles, detailing thousands of features that were part of an elaborate irrigation system.

The GAP team combined previously existing ground surveys, aerial photos, and radar remote-sensing data provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to create the comprehensive map. It shows an urban center surrounded by dispersed agricultural villages, local temples, and small reservoirs. The team found evidence of silted canals and breached waterworks that suggest the people of Angkor were eventually unable to maintain the vast irrigation system because of erosion and increased flooding. The map also shows the metropolis extended miles beyond the ruins within today’s Angkor Archaeological Park. “Extremely valuable archaeological material stretches far beyond the World Heritage zone,” Evans says.

Archaeology Discovery of Lismullin Henge Wednesday, Nov 12 2008 

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Early last year, archaeologists working on the route of a controversial highway near the village of Lismullin, Ireland, stumbled across a vast Iron Age ceremonial enclosure, or henge, surrounded by two concentric walls. The 2,000-year-old site is just over a mile from the Hill of Tara, traditional seat of the ancient Irish kings and site of St. Patrick’s conversion of the Irish to Christianity in the fifth century A.D. The discovery of the massive henge, measuring more than 260 feet in diameter, confirms the long-held belief that the area around the hill contains a rich complex of monuments.

The extraordinary amount of archaeological remains on the Hill of Tara–burial mounds, religious enclosures, stone structures, and rock art dating from the third millennium b.c. to the twelfth century A.D.–makes it Ireland’s most spiritually and archaeologically significant site. Construction of the new M3 highway, meant to ease traffic congestion around Dublin, threatens not only the Hill of Tara’s timeless quality, but also newly discovered archaeological sites in the surrounding valley.

Lismullin, seen at right in an aerial shot taken during excavations, and other sites that stand in the way of the new road are now approved for destruction. Although archaeologists and concerned Irish politicians are rallying support worldwide for the protection of the Hill of Tara, the iconic site remains in great peril. At press time, the European Commission had initiated legal action against the Irish government over the M3, charging Ireland with failing to protect its own heritage.

History of Tools Used by Ancient Chimpanzee Wednesday, Oct 29 2008 

Ancient Chimpanzee Nutcrackers • Taï forest, Ivory Coast

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Archaeologists led by Julio Mercader of the University of Calgary have uncovered the first known ancient chimpanzee archaeological site, a grouping of stone hammers that were used by apes 4,300 years ago to smash open nuts. By analyzing pollen grains embedded in the stones, the team was able to identify five species of nuts the tools were used to open, four of which are not eaten by humans. The discovery shows that stone tool use is not a behavior that chimpanzees learned recently by watching the farmers who live in the area, as some skeptics believe. Mercader thinks that humans and chimpanzees may have inherited stone tool use from an ancestral species of ape that lived as long as 14 million years ago.

Although using a big rock to smash open a nut may seem like a simple task, Mercader sees the stones as clues to much more complex behavior. “There is clear evidence that chimpanzees understand what raw materials they need,” he says, pointing out that the apes prefer specific, durable types of stone, such as quartzite or granite. Knowing where to find the stones also requires planning and a good memory in a thick jungle where visibility is only about 40 feet.

The number of behaviors that are uniquely human has been steadily dwindling as scientists learn more about our primate cousins, but producing cutting tools still seems to be beyond the abilities of chimpanzees living in the wild.

“If you go to a nut-cracking site today, you would find there are flakes that come off of the hammers,” Mercader says. “What we haven’t seen is a chimp picking up any of those by-products and using them.”

Discovery of the Early Squash Seeds from Peru Tuesday, Oct 21 2008 

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New research favors the idea that agriculture began in the New World shortly after it first appeared in the Old World. Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University has the squash seeds to prove it.

Found in buried house floors in the northern Andean Ñanchoc Valley, the seeds were discovered near other floral remains, including peanut shells, quinoa grains, and cotton bolls, as well as stone hoes, grinding stones, plots for planting, and small-scale canals for irrigation. With accelerated mass spectrometry, Dillehay’s team dated the remains to between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, with the 10,000-year-old cultivated squash seeds being the oldest. Similarly old evidence of other species of squash has also been found in Mexico and Ecuador.

Across the world, in the Fertile Crescent, the domestication of rye, wheat, and barley between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago helped mark the transition from nomadic lifestyles to sedentary agricultural communities that would lead to more complex societies. Plant cultivation appears to have played a similarly central role in the tropical dry forest of the Ñanchoc Valley. Over several thousand years, the people settled down, planted more, managed their water supply, and built ritual mounds–steps toward the more advanced Andean cultures to come. According to Dillehay, “Not only do people domesticate plants, but the plants in some ways domesticate people.”

Facts Behind the Discovery of New Dates for Clovis Sites Thursday, Oct 16 2008 

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New radiocarbon dates kept the controversy over the peopling of the Americas simmering in 2007. An analysis of dates for the best-documented Clovis sites suggests the culture arose later and was shorter-lived than once thought, a finding that some say deals a blow to the “Clovis first” theories that maintain the big-game-hunting people were the first immigrants to the New World. Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans, and Thomas Stafford of Stafford Research Laboratories in Colorado, used modern radiocarbon methods to re-date more than 20 previously known Clovis sites which had been dated with older, less precise techniques. All of the sites now seem to fall between 13,050 to 12,800 years ago. Most archaeologists still believe the Clovis people inhabited North America for at least 500 years, starting about 13,300 years ago.

Waters and Stafford contend this new 250-year window for Clovis in America is too brief for any founding population of hunter-gatherers to have dispersed across the Americas. Instead, they argue, such tightly spaced dates reflect the spread of Clovis technology and its signature fluted points through a preexisting population. But in a letter to Science, more than a dozen prominent archaeologists, including some who are open to the notion of a pre-Clovis culture in the Americas, insist there is no basis for Waters and Stafford’s theory that technology may have spread more swiftly across the continent than humans themselves. What’s really needed, they say, is more rigorous dating of all Paleolithic sites in the Americas.

“We’ll be happy to date any Clovis site anyone wants,” says Waters. “But the idea that Clovis was first just doesn’t make any sense. Unless they had a time machine, there isn’t any way for them to have spread across two continents that fast.”

Facts And Theories of Nebo-Sarsekim Cuneiform Tablet Tuesday, Oct 14 2008 

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Last June, Austrian Assyriologist Michael Jursa was doing what he has done since 1991, poring over the more than 100,000 undeciphered cuneiform tablets in the British Museum. But while analyzing records from the Babylonian city of Sippar, he made a startling discovery with Biblical implications. It came in the unlikely form of a tablet noting a one-and-a-half pound gold donation to a temple made by an official, or “chief eunuch,” Nebo-Sarsekim.

“At first I was just pleased to have found a reference to the title ‘chief eunuch,’ as these officials are mentioned very rarely in the sources,” says Jursa. “Then it suddenly came to me that this text was very close chronologically to an episode narrated in Jeremiah 39 in which Nebo-Sarsekim is mentioned, and that I might actually have found the very man. So then I got quite excited and instantly went and checked (and double-checked) the exact spelling of the name in the Hebrew Bible and saw that it matched what I had found in the Babylonian text!”

The tablet is dated 595 B.C., the ninth year of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign. The Book of Jeremiah relates that after Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem in 587 B.C., he committed the prophet Jeremiah to Nebo-Sarsekim’s care.

“It is so incredibly rare to find people appearing in the Bible, who are not kings, mentioned elsewhere,” says Jursa. “Something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date, is quite extraordinary.”

Discovery of Solar Observatory at Peru Friday, Oct 10 2008 

Solar Observatory at Peru

Travelers have noticed the 13 stone towers rising over Peru’s coastal desert since at least the nineteenth century. But researchers only last year discovered the structures’ purpose: they make up a sophisticated solar observatory, one of the earliest known in the Americas.

Iván Ghezzi of Peru’s National Institute of Culture and Clive Ruggles of the University of Leicester showed that the arc of the 13 Towers of Chankillo, built by a still unnamed culture, corresponds almost exactly to the rising and setting sun’s range of movement over a year. On the December 15 solstice, for example, the sun would have risen directly over the southernmost tower, when viewed from the west. Wooden lintels embedded in the towers date to about 300 B.C.

Tracking the sun’s progress would have helped Chankillo’s builders time the planting of their crops. But the towers were probably also meant to express rulers’ mystical kinship with the sun, and their ability to influence its movement. “If you were just measuring seasons, there would be no need to make such great structures,” says Ghezzi. “The idea was to transmit a political and ideological message about a ruler’s close relationship with the sun.” An enormous, circular “fortress” near the towers may have played a role in the display.

Archaeology Facts of Bible Prophecy Thursday, Oct 9 2008 

Calls have recently been made for a predictions registry, a means by which we might hold modern-day prognosticators accountable for their predictions. Those who build a strong track record of specific and correct predictions concerning the future would establish greater credibility than those who maintain a poor record. Over time, the world would be able to identify which voices should be given the most weight when making decisions concerning the future. This is a great idea, and if we are objective in setting up our predictions registry, the source which ranks as the #1 most reliable repository of information concerning the future is clear. That source is the Bible.

Although billions of people quote, read, and study the Bible every year, most of the world remains ignorant of the staggering number of specific prophecies found in the Bible. More than 25% of the Bible is prophecy. And every prophecy except those concerning the “last days” and the millennial kingdom that will follow have been precisely fulfilled with 100% accuracy. Some of these prophecies, such as Jeremiah’s claim that Israel would be taken into captivity for a period of 70 years by the Babylonians, were written decades before fulfillment. Others, such as Ezekiel’s forecast of the exact year in which Israel would be re-established as a nation, were written 2,500 years before fulfillment.

Yet despite the millions of people who attend church and synagogue every week and the existence of countless books on the subject, most people are simply unaware of these prophecies. They feverishly search through the writings of Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, the Koran, and countless other sources in hopes of finding a profound truth or revelation concerning the future, only to be disappointed. Yet, the most credible source of information on future events, the Bible, somehow escapes notice. In addition, I remain boggled by the number of educated and intelligent people who, without investigation, dismiss the validity of these amazing biblical prophecies, despite mountains of historical data, archaeological evidence, and the staggering mathematical probability of their occurrence merely being the result of chance.

Biblical prophecies can be divided into the following three categories:

Fulfilled Bible Prophecies

A number of prophecies found in the Bible have already been fulfilled. For instance, in the Book of Daniel, the prophet Daniel identifies the ascendance and succession of world empires that would be established throughout history, from the time he spoke until the end of the age. He even identifies the breakup of the Greek Empire into four separate kingdoms following the death of Alexander the Great. These prophecies are so detailed, that until recently, many historians were convinced the Book of Daniel was written after these events occurred. However, recent archaeological discoveries have unearthed copies of the Book of Daniel that pre-date the aforementioned events. Examples of other Bible prophecies fulfilled include:

1) The Babylonian captivity

2) The exact length of the Babylonian captivity

3) The end of the Babylonian captivity at the hands of a Persian king named Cyrus

4) The prophecies of the “suffering Messiah”

5) The destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70

6) The disbursement of Israel among the nations (the Diaspora)

7) The gradual re-gathering of Israel as a nation

8) The re-establishment of Israel as a nation in a single day

9) Israel as a “burdensome stone” among the nations during the last days

Messianic Bible Prophecies

The Old Testament contained dozens of specific prophecies concerning the coming of a great Messiah, the Savior of Israel. Each prophecy, with the exception of those which allude to the Second Coming, were fulfilled by one historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth. The prophecies include such details as the Messiah’s birthplace, his family lineage, and the exact year in which he would arrive at the Temple and “appear to be killed.” The majority of the Old Testament pointed toward the coming of the Messiah, and this site maintains a comprehensive list of prophecies concerning the first coming of a “suffering Messiah”. Each and every one of those prophecies was fulfilled by the life of Jesus.

Unfulfilled Bible Prophecies

Only those Bible prophecies concerning the end times, the Second Coming, and the subsequent millennial kingdom of Christ have yet to be fulfilled. According to the Bible, several events will signal the “end times” or the “last days,” a period of time which immediately precedes the Second Coming of Christ. The key events to look for are:

1) General Signs of the Times

2) The Re-establishment of Israel as an Independent Nation

3) The War of Gog/Magog

4) The Rapture

5) Revival of the Roman Empire

6) The Rise of a Global Dictator

7) The Revival of Babylon as a Great City

8) The Appearance of Two Supernatural Witnesses

9) A Great Rebellion Against God

It’s my hope that this site will raise awareness of the existence of Bible prophecy so that others may investigate the evidence for themselves. This is important because if one acknowledges the accuracy of Bible prophecy, then as yet unfulfilled prophecies take on a much more significant meaning.

The Bible clearly tells us what will happen in the end times. In so doing, the Bible clearly tells us what will happen in your future. How can I be so sure? Because Jesus Christ tells us the generation which witnesses the re-establishment of Israel as an independent nation will not pass away until “all these things are fulfilled” (a reference to the “end of days” and the Second Coming). The exact dates on which they will be fulfilled are not yet known, but given the Bible’s track record, it’s reasonable to assume each and every prophecy will be fulfilled to the letter. This is a good thing, because when Christ returns, all the evils of this world will melt away in his presence. So if you see the aforementioned events taking place, remember this invitation from Jesus, the invitation he extends to all, when he says, “stand straight and look up, for your salvation is near!” Luke 21:28 (NLT)

Discovery of the Underwater City of Egypt Tuesday, Oct 7 2008 

The scientists have found the proofs that on the place of the city Alexandria founded by Alexander Macedonian, even 700 years before that existed a large city. Before this moment it was considered that on the place of Alexandria was located a small fishermen village Rakotis. But the archaeological dig, held on the bottom of the Alexandria port, have shown that the size of the city was way bigger than the scientists have assumed.

At the moment the scientists are trying to find out the size of the discovered city. The dating by the radioactive carbon has helped to ascertain the approximate age of the ancient city: 1000 years BC.

“Such a thing often happens in science. The most interesting thing is that we weren’t searching for an ancient city”,- said Jean-Daniel Stanley from the Washington museum of natural history. Making the archaeological digs, the scientists were trying to find the answer to the question why have the Greek and Roman buildings sunk and in the end they have found the objects which refer to the earlier period.

J-D Stanley hopes that the research of Rakotis will be as much exciting as the discovery of the ruins of such ancient cities like Heraclion, Kanopus and Menotice near Alexandria in 1996.

Muhammed Abdel-Maksud, the expert on Alexandria from the Council on the antiquity of Egypt has reported that the discovery of Rakotis is only the beginning. “There are proofs that already in times of Pharaohs at this place was located a flourishing city, but for the moment it is early to talk about this. We are working on it”, – added M. Abdel-Maksud.

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