Tag Archives: Archaeology

The Pyramids Few Tourists Have Seen (BBC)

9 Apr
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Image source: Vivien Cumming (BBC)

Unlike Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza, most of Meroe‘s pyramids are slightly smaller, with steeper sides, narrower bases and adjoining offering temples. Check out the images and information from this article to find out where you can see these pyramids…not in Egypt!

Archaeologists Uncover Another Branch of the Silk Road

29 Mar

Famous for facilitating an incredible exchange of culture and goods between the East and the West, the ancient Silk Road is thought to have meandered across long horizontal distances in mountain foothills and the lowlands of the Gobi Desert. But new archaeological evidence hidden in a lofty tomb reveals that it also ventured into the high altitudes of Tibet—a previously unknown arm of the trade route. Read this Scientific American article to learn more about this discovery. 

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SOURCE: “EARLIEST TEA AS EVIDENCE FOR ONE BRANCH OF THE SILK ROAD ACROSS THE TIBETAN PLATEAU,” BY HOUYUAN LU ET AL., IN SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, VOL. 6, ARTICLE NO. 18955; JANUARY 7, 2016; Map by Mapping Specialists

Breaking News: New Species of Ancient Human Discovered in South Africa

10 Sep

The timing of the end of our early humans unit coincides with the news of the discovery of ancient skeletons in Africa. This story is all over the news and social media. I have included some videos from the news and some articles with images.  Scientists have discovered a new human-like species in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa. The discovery of 15 partial skeletons is the largest single discovery of its type in Africa. The researchers claim that the discovery will change ideas about our human ancestors.

Image source: OCTOBER 2015 ISSUE OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Image source: OCTOBER 2015 ISSUE OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.
Photo by Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Image source: National Geographic

Image source: National Geographic

Please comment and write about anything interesting you read or heard and/or one wondering or question you might have about this discovery. Here are some articles with further stories and images:

National Public Radio

National Geographic

BBC

HuffPost Tech UK

Cave Art & Early Human Culture

24 Aug

We are learning about early human culture and the development of art. There are many examples of ancient cave paintings, particularly in France and Spain. Watch the video clip and also check out website for the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France (also mentioned in pages 6-7 in your textbook). Click ‘visit the cave’ to enter this cool website that features some really amazing early art.  Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Most scholars had assumed these ancient artists were predominantly men, so the finding overturned decades of beliefs.

Think about: What does this art tell us about early humans?  

News: Cave Paintings in Indonesia Redraw Picture of Earliest Art

9 Oct

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Great timing! Here is a story that Mrs. Hall and Mr. Hoover shared with me. According to this National Geographic article, a “hand painted in an Indonesian cave dates to at least 39,900 years ago, making it among the oldest such images in the world, archaeologists reported Wednesday in a study that rewrites the history of art.The discovery on the island of Sulawesi vastly expands the geography of the first cave artists, who were long thought to have appeared in prehistoric Europe around that time.  This BBC article features a short video on the caves. Click on the map below to enlarge, and you will see where Sulawesi is located in Indonesia.

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Cave Paintings and Prehistoric Art

25 Sep
In Chapter 2, we are learning about Early Human Culture and the development of art. There are many examples of ancient cave paintings, particularly in France and Spain. Watch the playlist and also check out website for the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France (also mentioned in pages 6-7 in your textbook). Click ‘visit the cave’ to enter this cool website that features some really amazing early art. Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Here is a link with other examples of cave paintings around the world. The Bradshaw Foundation also features good information on cave art around the world.
What does this art tell us about early humans?  Where are some of the places where prehistoric art or cave art has been found (see Bradshaw Foundation link and other links in this post).

 

 

History is Cool!

10 Sep
Source: G. Hartwig/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Source: G. Hartwig/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Here is a really cool article I saw on National Public Radio (NPR) about a ship that was lost more than 160 years ago. It was recently discovered by Canadian archaeologists. Click on the link to read the story.

Archaeologists and Artifacts

25 Aug

This playlist features information on archaeologists, artifacts and a nice video by Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
Comment: What do archaeologists do? After reading sections 1 – 2 (‘Finding Clues to the Past’ and ‘The Search for Early Humans’) tell us why you think studying early people is so hard for archaeologists. Tell us something new you learned from any of these video clips?

20 Awe-Inspiring Ruins from the World’s Greatest Civilizations

12 May
Photo Credit: agap/Shutterstock

Photo Credit: agap/Shutterstock

“All over the globe, from Italy to Zimbabwe, civilizations have left behind impressive monuments and structures that attest to their former glory. Appearing in literature, songs, and films, these mystical sculptures, sacred religious sites, royal palaces, fortifications, ancient centers of commerce, ports, and tombs are all we have left of some of history’s most illustrious societies. While some sites were lost for centuries, engulfed by overgrown jungles, others never fell out of use. Either way, these 20 awe-inspiring places are sure to inspire travelers looking for adventure and a connection to the past.” – by Laura Itzkowtiz
Click on the link and check out this slide show. It’s hard to pick 20 places, and I am sure some should be added or are missing from this list. Have you been to any of these places? 

How Egyptians Moved Massive Pyramid Stones

3 May
Drawing of a wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep, a semi-feudal ruler of an Ancient Egyptian province, 1880 BC. A person standing at the front of the sled is pouring water onto the sand.

Drawing of a wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep, a semi-feudal ruler of an Ancient Egyptian province, 1880 BC. A person standing at the front of the sled is pouring water onto the sand.

No, aliens did not build the pyramids!  The truth, researchers at the University of Amsterdam announced this week in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, may actually be quite simple. It has long been believed that Egyptians used wooden sleds to haul the stone, but until now it hasn’t been entirely understood how they overcame the problem of friction. It amounts to nothing more, scientists say, than a “clever trick.” Read this article to learn and learn more about this clever trick.

Qin Dynasty, Great Wall of China, Terra Cotta Warriors

21 Apr
Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of China and its long and vivid history, the Great Wall of China actually consists of numerous walls and fortifications, many running parallel to each other. Originally conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (c. 259-210 B.C.) in the third century B.C. as a means of preventing incursions from barbarian nomads into the Chinese Empire, the wall is one of the most extensive construction projects ever completed. Watch the videos clips of the Great Wall  on the History Channel link! They are very good.

Journey of an Artifact

5 Sep
Here is an interesting video created by the Florida Public Archaeology Network.  Below are some images distinguishing (or showing) the differences between artifacts and fossils, something we reviewed in our most recent lesson.  An artifact is a human-made object, and fossils are remains of early life preserved in the ground (skulls, teeth, bones).

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Space archaeologist unlocks secrets of ancient civilizations (CNN)

2 Sep
(CNN) — In Egypt’s northern Delta, Sarah Parcak is on the hunt to unearth ancient settlements, pyramids and tombs lost in the sands of time.  Rather than digging through the dirt in a dusty trench, trowel in hand, the Egyptologist has turned her eyes to the stars.  Sarah Parcak is a space archaeologist who uses satellites, initially designed for use by the military, to identify potential sub-surface remains.  To read the rest of this article and watch the short video, click HERE.

Archaeologists

29 Aug
In Chapter 1, lesson 3, we are learning about how archaeologists study the past. This short video gives a description of the job of an archaeologist and an anthropologist.  You can also watch this New York Times  slideshow of archaeologists excavating (digging) up the remains of Ardipithecus ramidus (Ardi).  Finally, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City has a GREAT link on archaeology with fun activities, videos, and games.  Explore these links to learn more!

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