Tag Archives | ancient ruins

Key Mayan Temple Tikal Irreparably Damaged By Tourists Celebrating The Apocalypse

December 21 did provide a minor doomsday of sorts for the Mayans, as a priceless temple was overrun and desecrated by hordes. The Telegraph reports:

Tourists flocking to Guatemala for “end of the world” parties have damaged an ancient stone temple at Tikal, the largest archeological site and urban centre of the Mayan civilisation. More than 7,000 people visited Tikal on Friday to see native Mayan priests hold a colourful ceremony and light fires as the sun emerged to mark the new era.

“Sadly, many tourists climbed Temple II and caused damage,” said Osvaldo Gomez, a technical adviser at the site, located 340 miles north of Guatemala City. “We are fine with the celebration, but (the tourists) should be more aware because this is a (UNESCO) World Heritage Site,” he told local media. Gomez did not specify what was done, [but] did say it was forbidden to climb the stairs at the site and indicated that the damage was irreparable.

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5,000-Year-Old, Giant Elk-Shaped Structure Discovered In Russia

Ancient stone strangeness via NBC News:

A huge geoglyph in the shape of an elk or deer discovered in Russia may predate Peru’s famous Nazca Lines by thousands of years. The style of stone-working called lithic chipping used on one artifact dates it to the Neolithic and Eneolithic (sixth to third millennia B.C.).

The animal-shaped stone structure, located near Lake Zjuratkul in the Ural Mountains, north of Kazakhstan, has an elongated muzzle, four legs and two antlers. The animal stretches for about 900 feet at its farthest points (northwest to southeast), the researchers estimate, equivalent to two American football fields.

Fieldwork carried out this past summer has shed more light on the glyph’s composition and date, suggesting it may be the product of a “megalithic culture,” researchers say. A man named Alexander Shestakov first discovered the glyphs using satellite images. He alerted researchers, who sent out a hydroplane and paraglider to survey the giant structure.

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2,300-Year-Old Towers May Be The Peruvian Stonehenge

The Daily Grail on the meaning of a mysterious, ancient marvel sitting in the South American desert:

In the coastal desert of Peru lies a strange structure consisting of what appears to be a fort atop a hill, but with a vertebrae-like line of 13 towers constructed on a raised area to its south-east.

The fort is odd from a military point of view because it would have been almost impossible to defend: it has numerous entrances and no source of water inside. Then there are the towers, which are several hundred metres from the hilltop fort, lie in a straight line and serve no discernible defensive role.

So archaeologists put forward a new interpretation…the site may have been a place of worship and a solar observatory, like Stonehenge, rather than a fort. Their main evidence was that the towers line up with the sunrise on important dates such as summer and winter solstice.

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Plants That Point To Hidden Ruins

photogravure1BLDG BLOG delves into the beauty of how plant life can reflect what is buried in the earth below, and could even be used to find the location of hidden treasure:

I absolutely love stories like this, and I swoon a little bit when I read them; it turns out that “plants growing over old sites of human habitation have a different chemistry from their neighbors, and these differences can reveal the location of buried ruins.”

The brief article goes on to tell the story of two archaeologists, who, in collecting plants in Greenland, made the chemical discovery: “Some of their samples were unusually rich in nitrogen-15, and subsequent digs revealed that these plants had been growing above long-abandoned Norse farmsteads.”

The idea that your garden could be more like an indicator landscape for lost archaeological sites—that, below the flowers, informing their very chemistry, perhaps even subtly altering their shapes and colors, are the traces of abandoned architecture—is absolutely unbelievable.

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Egyptian Pyramids Found By Infrared Satellite Images

Gizah Pyramids. Photo: Ricardo Liberato (CC)

Gizah Pyramids. Photo: Ricardo Liberato (CC)

Not only were pyramids found, but an entire city-scape could be seen, fit with various buildings and roads. Frances Cronin of BBC News reports:

Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt.

More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings.

Initial excavations have already confirmed some of the findings, including two suspected pyramids.

The work has been pioneered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham by US Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak.

She says she was amazed at how much she and her team has found.

“We were very intensely doing this research for over a year. I could see the data as it was emerging, but for me the “Aha!” moment was when I could step back and look at everything that we’d found and I couldn’t believe we could locate so many sites all over Egypt.

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Has Atlantis Finally Been Found?

Atlantis_map_KampanakisBBC reports:

A scientist says he may have found remains of the lost city of Atlantis.

Satellite photos of southern Spain reveal features on the ground appearing to match descriptions made by Greek scholar Plato of the fabled utopia.

Dr Rainer Kuehne thinks the “island” of Atlantis simply referred to a region of the southern Spanish coast destroyed by a flood between 800 BC and 500 BC.

The research has been reported as an ongoing project in the online edition of the journal Antiquity.

Satellite photos of a salt marsh region known as Marisma de Hinojos near the city of Cadiz show two rectangular structures in the mud and parts of concentric rings that may once have surrounded them.

[Continues at BBC]

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Dry Summer Weather Reveals Lost ‘Cropmarks’

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Photo from English Heritage

Summers with dry weather seems uncommon in England, but this summer the dry agricultural fields revealed new marks depicting buried features from the past. BBC News reports:

Hundreds of ancient sites have been discovered by aerial surveys, thanks to a dry start to the summer, English Heritage has said.

The surveys show marks made when crops growing over buried features develop at a different rate from those nearby.

The newly-discovered Roman and prehistoric settlements include a site near Bradford Abbas, Dorset.

The Roman camp was revealed in June after three sides became visible in sun-parched fields of barley.

The lightly-built defensive enclosure would have provided basic protection for Roman soldiers while on manoeuvres in the first century AD and is one of only four discovered in the south west of England, English Heritage said.

Continues at BBC

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