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Tag Archives: bronze age

Bronze Age Siberian “Birdman” wore a collar of beaks and skulls

Bronze Age Siberian ‘Birdman’ wore a collar of beaks and skulls

Archaeologists have unearthed a Bronze Age skeleton that was buried with an unusual garment: a collar or headdress made of dozens of bird beaks and skulls.

The so-called birdman’s remains, which date to about 5,000 years ago, were discovered at the Ust-Tartas dig site in Siberia’s Novosibirsk region, The Siberian Times reported .

The collar of beaks and skulls may have been a protective garment like armor, or may have been worn for rituals, Kobeleva said. While the birds have not yet been identified, they were likely large shore birds, such as herons or cranes , according to The Times.

Archaeologists still don’t know exactly how the skulls and beaks were attached to each other or to a piece of fabric, as the scientists have not yet detected any holes drilled into the bones so they could be stitched together, The Times reported.

And the “birdman” had company; the archaeologists discovered a two-tiered grave nearby. An upper layer held the bodies of two children, who were approximately 5 and 10 years old when they died. On the lower level — and underneath a wooden divider — was the skeleton of an adult male.

A number of artifacts were buried with the man. One object the researchers found near the skull was a type of mask made of two bronze hemispheres with circular eyeholes, and a bronze crosspiece, according to The Times. Polished stones near the body were thought to be ceremonial, suggesting that this individual — along with the beak-wearing birdman — conducted rituals for his Bronze Age group.

“Both men must have carried special roles in the society,” Kobeleva told The Times.

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Bronze Age Palace & Royal Burial Unearthed in Spain

Bronze Age Palace & Royal Burial Unearthed in Spain

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

 

(Courtesy the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

BARCELONA, SPAIN—Science Daily reports that an audience hall has been found in the Bronze Age palace at La Almoloya, located in southeastern Spain. Archaeologists Vicente Lull, Cristina Huete, Rafael Micó, and Roberto Risch of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona suggest that the hall is the oldest-known building constructed specifically for political use in continental Europe. It features a ceremonial fireplace and a podium, and benches lining its walls would have seated 64 people. Other buildings at the site are well-constructed with eight to twelve rooms in each residence. Some of the stucco-covered walls were decorated with geometric and naturalistic motifs in what has been dubbed the Argaric style. A tomb discovered near the political hall contained the remains of a man and a woman, whose skull was encircled with a silver diadem. She had also been buried with four ear dilators, two of silver and two of gold. Rings, earrings, and bracelets made of silver were among the grave goods. Other items include a bronze dagger held together with silver nails, and a small ceramic cup decorated with silver rims.  To read about Bronze Age shipwrecks, see ARCHAEOLOGY’s “Cape Gelidonya and Uluburun.”

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Cold War images spill new secrets: Lost cities

Cold War images spill new secrets: Lost cities

coronoa atlas.jpg

An image from the website.CORONA.CAST.UARK.EDU

The Middle East is home to 4,500 archaeological sites, or so we thought. An in-depth review of Cold War-era photos taken by spy satellites has pulled back the veil on as many as 10,000 more lost cities, roads, and other ruins in the region.

As Gizmodo reports, CORONA served as the code name for America’s first use of photographic spy satellites, and was in operation from 1960 to 1972.

Its name lives on in the new CORONA Atlas of the Middle East, which made its debut Thursday at the annual gathering of the Society for American Archaeology and revealed “completely unknown” sites via some of the 188,000 declassified photos taken during the mission’s final five years, reports National Geographic.

Archaeologist Jesse Casana of the University of Arkansas describes some of the sites as “gigantic,” with two sprawling over more than 123 acres; Casana suspects the largest, which appear to include aged walls and citadels, were Bronze Age cities.

And as he explains, the photos’ age matters. Though current satellites produce images superior to these grainy decades-old ones, “we can’t see a site that someone has covered up with a building,” and the fact that they were taken before cities like Iraq’s Mosul and Jordan’s Amman swelled makes them invaluable.

The CORONA site explains that the mission’s satellites snapped images “of most of the Earth’s surface” (images whose film strips were, in a great detail noted byNational Geographic, sent back to Earth via parachute-topped buckets) and archaeologists plan to also review areas like Africa and China.

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