Tag Archives: ruins
Archaeologists use drones to study Peru’s ruins
By Megan Gannon
Published August 26, 2013
Luis Jaime Castillo, a Peruvian archaeologist with Lima’s Catholic University and an incoming deputy culture minister, flies a drone over the archaeological site of Cerro Chepen in Trujillo August 3, 2013. (REUTERS)
To get a bird’s-eye view of ancient sites, archaeologists often turn to planes, helicopters and even hot air balloons. But today researchers have access to more agile and less expensive technology to map, explore and protect archaeological treasures: tiny airborne drones.
In Peru — the home of Machu Picchu and other amazing ruins — the government is planning to purchase several drones to quickly and cheaply conduct archaeological surveys in areas targeted for building or development, according to Reuters.
Archaeologists working in the country have already been using small flying robots to study ancient sites, including the colonial Andean town Machu Llacta, and the San José de Moro burial grounds, which contain the tombs of Moche priestesses. Some researchers have even built their own drones for less than $2,000, Reuters reported.
“It’s like having a scalpel instead of a club,” Jeffrey Quilter, an archaeologist at Harvard University, told the news agency. “You can control it to a very fine degree. You can go up 3 meters and photograph a room, 300 meters and photograph a site, or you can go up 3,000 meters and photograph the entire valley.”
Cheap and effective drones could be a boon for Peru’s culture ministry, which has a modest budget and is tasked with protecting more than 13,000 archaeological sites that are threatened by looters, squatters and illegal mining, according to Reuters.
Elsewhere robots have enabled archaeological discovery. A remote-controlled robot the size of a lawn mower recently found burial chambers inside the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, an ancient pyramid in Mexico. And in Russia, researchers used a miniature airborne drone to capture images that could be used to create a 3-D model of an ancient burial mound.
Italian photographer Eric Lusito visited and photographed abandoned Cold War Soviet Union military bases. It is strange for a child of the Cold War to see in my own lifetime such a change in world fortunes and tensions. A welcome sight. For more information, see the link at the bottom. Each has a description in the full article, including air bases, early radar warning sites, missiles sites, a tracking station for Sputnik, and a base in Mongolia that once created a city of over 300,000 where fewer than 30,000 live now.
“These sites of power… are mostly doomed to disappear in the course of time.”
Like an archaeologist entering the ancient tombs of pharaohs for the first time. That’s how Italian photographer Eric Lusito describes visiting these abandoned Soviet military sites; places that have been brought to ruin, but which remain – and contain – fascinating relics of their now-collapsed empire. “I had the feeling of discovering a new world,” Lusito tells us. “But one that was already starting to disappear.” Even the Cyrillic alphabet appeared to him like ancient hieroglyphs, before he had any clue about how to decipher it.
Yet, language aside, it was Lusito’s intention that his pictures spark people’s imagination. “The ruins and images have the power to let everyone build their own stories,” he says. These haunting photographs, which have so brilliantly captured the crumbling shells of buildings against their stark landscapes, are certainly evocative enough to make us wonder about the people who inhabited them. Wonder – and then some.
Read more at http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-haunting-photographs-abandoned-soviet-military-bases-0?image=0#6hsvVM48LCEvrDuL.99
Heracleion Photos: Lost Egyptian City Revealed After 1,200 Years Under Sea
Posted: 04/29/2013 3:44 pm EDT | Updated: 05/01/2013 11:40 am EDT
Known as Heracleion to the ancient Greeks and Thonis to the ancient Eygptians, thecity was rediscovered in 2000 by French underwater archaeologist Dr. Franck Goddioand a team from the European Institute for Underwater Acheology (IEASM) after a four-year geophysical survey. The ruins of the lost city were found 30 feet under the surface of the Mediterranean Sea in Aboukir Bay, near Alexandria.
A new documentary highlights the major discoveries that have been unearthed at Thonis-Heracleion during a 13-year excavation. Exciting archeological finds help describe an ancient city that was not only a vital international trade hub but possibly an important religious center. The television crew used archeological survey data to construct a computer model of the city (below).
Heracleion Photos: Lost Egyptian City Artifacts Unearthed After 1,200 Years Under Sea
So far, 64 ancient shipwrecks and more than 700 anchors have been unearthed from the mud of the bay, the news outlet notes. Other findings include gold coins, weights from Athens (which have never before been found at an Egyptian site) and giant tablets inscribed in ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian. Researchers think that these artifacts point to the city’s prominence as a bustling trade hub.
Researchers have also uncovered a variety of religious artifacts in the sunken city, including 16-foot stone sculptures thought to have adorned the city’s central temple and limestone sarcophagi that are believed to have contained mummified animals.
For more photos, visit Goddio’s Heracleion website.
Experts have marveled at the variety of artifacts found and have been equally impressed by how well preserved they are.
“The archaeological evidence is simply overwhelming,” Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe, a University of Oxford archeologist taking part in the excavation, said in a press release obtained by The Huffington Post. “By lying untouched and protected by sand on the sea floor for centuries they are brilliantly preserved.”
A panel of experts presented their findings at an Oxford University conference on the Thonis-Heracleion excavation earlier this year.
But despite all the excitement over the excavation, one mystery about Thonis-Heracleion remains largely unsolved: Why exactly did it sink? Goddio’s team suggests the weight of large buildings on the region’s water-logged clay and sand soil may have caused the city to sink in the wake of an earthquake.
Ciudad Blanca, Legendary Lost City, Possibly Found In Honduran Rain Forest
Posted: 05/15/2013 1:51 pm EDT | Updated: 05/16/2013 1:24 pm EDT
Published: 05/15/2013 09:00 AM EDT on LiveScience
New images of a possible lost city hidden by Honduran rain forests show what might be the building foundations and mounds of Ciudad Blanca, a never-confirmed legendary metropolis.
Archaeologists and filmmakers Steven Elkins and Bill Benenson announced last year that they had discovered possible ruins in Honduras’ Mosquitia region using lidar, or light detection and ranging. Essentially, slow-flying planes send constant laser pulses groundward as they pass over the rain forest, imaging the topography below the thick forest canopy.
What the archaeologists found — and what the new images reveal — are features that could be ancient ruins, including canals, roads, building foundations and terraced agricultural land. The University of Houston archaeologists who led the expedition will reveal their new images and discuss them today (May 15) at the American Geophysical Union Meeting of the Americas in Cancun.
Square structures may mark the foundations of ancient buildings in the Honduran rainforest.
Ciudad Blanca, or “The White City,” has been a legend since the days of the conquistadors, who believed the Mosquitia rain forests hid a metropolis full of gold and searched for it in the 1500s. Throughout the 1900s, archaeologists documented mounds and other signs of ancient civilization in the Mosquitias region, but the shining golden city of legend has yet to make an appearance.
Whether or not the lidar-weilding archaeologists have discovered the same city the conquistadors were looking for is up for debate, but the images suggest some signs of an ancient lost civilization.
“We use lidar to pinpoint where human structures are by looking for linear shapes and rectangles,” Colorado State University research Stephen Leisz, who uses lidar in Mexico, said in a statement. “Nature doesn’t work in straight lines.”
The archaeologists plan to get their feet on the ground this year to investigate the mysterious features seen in the new images.
This example of Haikyoist photography is reposted from the blog at:
And I am feeling so inspired, I think I might have to photograph it and become a certified Haikyoist.
No-I didn’t know what was either. Basically, it is someone who explores and photographs abandoned properties. But this is no ordinary haunted house style-stuff. Instead, Haikyoists like Michael John Grist explore the forgotten places. This is a hobby I can completely understand, although I’m not sure I can even describe what makes it so compelling. It’s a gut thing.
Here’s how Grist defines Haikyo. “Haikyo’ is a Japanese word that simply means ruin, or abandonment. They’re the places that fell between the cracks; the old mining town in the mountains that died when the copper seams ran dry, the outlandish theme park that failed when the Bubble burst, the US Air Force Base abandoned to nature’s brambles.” (via)
Part of Haikyo, at least according to Grist, is the interaction between spaces abandoned by people, and what happens, naturally, as they are reclaimed by the world around them. I know it’s much more than just the fact that I am visiting Nara in a month that makes me so drawn to Grist’s Nara Dreamland series.
Grist says that “Nara Dreamland is the epitome of many haikyo dreams; an abandoned theme park with all its roller-coasters and rides still standing…Nara Dreamland opened in 1961, inspired by Disneyland in California. For 45 years its central fantasy castle, massive wooden rollercoaster Aska, and corkscrewing Screwcoaster pulled in the big crowds. By then though it was outdated, and dying a slow death as Universal Studios Japan (built 2001) in nearby Osaka sucked all the oxygen out of the business. It closed its doors permanently in 2006.” (via)
Why do I want one of these cable cars for my house?
Grist spends time in other Japanese haunts too, and there is plenty to see in hisRuins Gallery.
An abandoned Jungle Theme Park in Izu.
In fact, it’s difficult to not show you more and more and more.