Tag Archives | Archaeology

Newly-Discovered Canals Were Used in Construction of Angkor Wat

Picture: Louis Delaporte (PD)

Via NewScientist:

Looks like the builders of Angkor Wat may have taken a short cut transporting the materials used in the construction of the temple. Newly-discovered traces of a series of long-gone canals may have halved the distance it took to transport massive blocks of sandstone from quarries at Mount Kulen.

The sandstone blocks each weigh up to 1.5 tonnes and originate from quarries at Mount Kulen. It was thought they were taken 35 kilometres along a canal to Tonlé Sap Lake, rafted another 35 km along the lake, then taken up the Siem Reap River for 15 km, against the current.

Thinking this was unlikely, Etsuo Uchida and Ichita Shimoda of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, used satellite images to search for a shortcut. The canals they discovered led from the foot of Mount Kulen to Angkor – a gentle 34-km route, as opposed to the arduous 90-km trek previously suggested.

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Archaeology Being Undermined By Fake Fossils Of Imaginary Animals

Could your favorite ancient animal species not be real? Via the Archaeology News Network:

Fake fossils are duping scientists and museums, a senior paleontologist has warned, after a scholar was forced to retract a controversial essay that stated the cheetah originated in China.

According to Li Chun, associate researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, counterfeits are now widespread and have become a serious risk to genuine study projects. “I believe many scholars are victims of fake fossils,” he said, before estimating that more than 80 percent of marine reptile specimens on display in Chinese museums “have been altered or artificially combined to varying degrees”.

Li’s alert follows the debunking last month of an essay co-authored by Huang Ji, a Chinese scientist, and Danish researcher Per Christiansen in 2008 about an alleged new species of cheetah.

“Probably to make it appear more complete, thus enhancing its commercial value, Chinese fossil dealers makes numerous fake fossils.

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1970’s Era S&M Dungeon Unearthed in Kentucky

Picture: Yice (CC)

Aren’t archaeology and “history” fascinating?

I don’t see how the identity of the owners is going to remain secret for long, though, as property tax assessments are part of the public record.  Keep an eye out for some interesting revelations about Grammie and Gramps in the coming months.  From Joe Arnold of WHAS11:

LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) — The mystery of an underground sadomasochism club continued to unravel on Tuesday after WHAS11 News aired images of what work crews discovered during Whiskey Row stabilization efforts.

Judging by the state of decay in the collapsing buildings, demolition crews had estimated the club dated to the 1970’s, but e-mails and posts to WHAS11’s Facebook and Twitter accounts reflect a  more recent sadistic history.

Click here to see pictures from inside.

A former founding member told WHAS11 that LATEX, short for Louisville Area Trust EXchange, was in operation in the mid to late 1990’s with close to 1,000 dues paying members.

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DisinfoCast with Matt Staggs: Episode 15: Lost Mayan Technology with James O’Kon

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ArchaeoEngineer James A. O'Kon, the author of The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology is here to discuss some of the astonishing discoveries he's made while researching the technological innovations of the Mayan culture. O'Kon, who has spent years in the field, has uncovered evidence of Mayan suspension bridges, concret manufacturing and more. Prepare to have everything you think you know about this ancient civilization challenged.
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Fabled Lost City Discovered In Jungles Of Honduras?

The true adventure will begin soon when some brave souls attempt to enter Ciudad Blanca on foot, opening themselves up to deadly curses. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Since Spanish explorer Herman Cortes first noted the existence of Ciudad Blanca, the White City, in 1526, archaeologists, explorers and treasure hunters have been searching for the site, reputed to contain vast wealth. Many have claimed to find it, including the CIA’s Theodore Morde, who based the bizarre travelogue “Lost City of the Monkey God” on it. None of those claims have held water, however, and contemporary archaeologists are not even sure the city ever existed.

But now a team, using laser-based light detection and ranging (LIDAR) from a survey plane, have found the ruins of an ancient city deep in Honduras’ Mosquito Coast region and hidden by centuries of jungle growth.

Ciudad Blanca plays a central role in many Central American stories and mythology.

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Mysterious 450-Million-Year-Old Sea Monster Fossil Baffles Scientists

monsterKing of the jellyfish? Or a giant, living, underwater doormat? Whatever your worst nightmare is, this ancient sea-bound entity could be it. LiveScience reports:
A mysterious fossil that has evoked images of a sea monster roaming the shallow waters of prehistoric Ohio [has] scientists stumped as to what kind of creature it was. One thing is sure: The enigmatic "blob" — discovered in elliptical pieces that, when fitted together, extended about 7 feet long, was once alive. The team, along with the fossil hunter who discovered the 450-million-year-old specimen, suggest a range of possibilities: a type of huge algae or microbial mat, or even a member of the cnidarian family, which includes jellyfish (though scientists concede the jellyfish idea is highly unlikely).
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America’s Ancient ‘Ten Commandments’ Rock: The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

10 Commandment RockThis is a strange bit of disputed archaeology. Check it out over the web and Wikipedia does have a good description:

The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is a large boulder on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Albuquerque, that bears a very regular inscription carved into a flat panel. The stone is also known as the Los Lunas Mystery Stone or Commandment Rock. The inscription is interpreted to be an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments in a form of Paleo-Hebrew. A letter group resembling the tetragrammaton YHWH, or “Yahweh,” makes four appearances. The stone is controversial in that some claim the inscription is Pre-Columbian, and therefore proof of early Semitic contact with the Americas.

The first recorded mention of the stone is in 1933, when professor Frank Hibben, an archaeologist from the University of New Mexico, saw it.

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Oldest Known “Beds” Had Insect Repellent

No MosquitosInsects have bugged human beings for a long time. Via Discover:

In a South African cave, researchers have uncovered traces of the oldest known human bedding, 77,000-year-old mats made of grasses, leaves, and other plant material. While it’s not especially surprising that early humans would have found a way to improve the cold, generally unpleasant experience of sleeping on a cave floor, archaeologists know little about our ancestors’ sleeping habits and habitats.

Using scanning electron microscopy, the researchers identified several species of local rushes and grasses that made up the bulk of the mattress, as well as leaves of the Cryptocarya woodii tree. These leaves contain chemical compounds that repel mosquitoes, lice, and other insects, suggesting that the cave’s ancient residents protected their bedding with natural insecticide.

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Alien Skeleton Unearthed In Peru?

alienA mummified skeleton with huge eye sockets and triangular head almost as large as its body has been discovered in Peru, and at least some scientists (of indeterminate repute?) believe it to be “extraterrestrial,” writes io9:

Behold a giant-headed alien mummy that turned up in Peru. Stare into the all-knowing eye sockets of an alien that somehow wound up on Earth many years ago, and was mummified by the locals. But what was is it doing here?

Website RPP is claiming that Renato Davila Riquelme, an anthropologist working at the Privado Ritos Andinos museum in Cusco, has discovered remains of something that isn’t human. Measuring at 20 inches tall, the tiny remains were originally believed to be that of a child, but Spanish and Russian doctors disagree, saying:

“It has a non-human appearance because the head is triangular and big, almost the same size as the body. At first we believed it to be a child’s body until Spanish and Russian doctors came and confirmed that, yes, it’s an extraterrestrial being.”

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