Here is a rundown of the news stories from the past week and anniversaries of important events from the coming week. As always, most of the news stories come from http://www.ablogabouthistory.com/. I highly recommend checking it out to keep updated on news regarding history.
- Chinese Archaeologists have discovered a tomb dating back 2500 years that may have belonged to one of the warlords of the Eastern Zhou Period(770-256BCE). The tomb was discovered in January in Shandong Province and several bronze weapons, jade jewelry and ritual utensils have been found. The remains of the warlord archaeologists presume was buried there have yet to be found. The tomb was found on a steep hill, which was unusual given that warlords tended to be buried on mountains. The unique aspects of this tomb may shed more light on an extremely chaotic period in Chinese history. Source: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-04/24/content_15126480.htm
- The Temple of Hathor, on the island of Philae in Upper Egypt is due to be opened this month after a program to restore the long deteriorated temple. The temple was originally built by King Ptolemy VI and expanded under Ptolemy VII and the Roman Emperors Augustus and Tiberius. That the site has been restored, its blocks had been deteriorated and the walls cracked, points to the ability of workers and archaeologists to restore and reinforce ancient buildings, even when they are pretty poor shape. Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/9/40/40238/Heritage/Ancient-Egypt/Philaes-Hathor-temple-gets-facelift-in-advance-of-.aspx
- Evidence has been uncovered from the remains of a large, sunken, Roman vessel, found six months ago near the shore of Marausa Lido, contains evidence of Roman smuggling activities. The vessel dates from the 3rd century CE and primarily contains jars, which have been perfectly preserved, of walnuts, figs, olives, wine, oil and fish sauce. Also found on the ship were a bunch of terracotta tubes, pointed at one end, which were used by builders to reinforce vaulted ceilings. These fictile tubes were approximately a quarter of the cost in North Africa than they were in Rome and were likely smuggled by sailors looking to pad their small pay. This vessel is in pieces but when the pieces are assembled it will be the most complete Roman ship ever discovered. Archaeologists in Salerno are expecting it to be restored and on displayed within 2 years. More importantly this discovery sheds more light on both commerce in the Roman world, and smuggling activities which is one of many activities which are not well recorded in ancient sources. Source: http://news.discovery.com/history/roman-shipwreck-smuggling-120425.html
- In an excavation beginning in 2010, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a small temple in the mountains between Ilia and Messinia in Greece, across from the famous temple of Epicurean Apollo. The temple dates from the 6th century BCE and seems to have been demolished and some point to make way for a larger temple. Various pieces from the temple, including its triglyphs, and items dedicated to the god of the temple, including bronze figure of a naked man holding a spear, and some sharp iron weapons. Tools used to build a small temple were also found. It is unclear exactly what god the temple was dedicated too, but presumably it was a deity that was involved war in some way. Source: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2012/04/24/ancient-temple-discovered-in-messinia/
- Archaeologists working on the Struma Highway in Bulgaria have found a Necropolis dating back approximately 2800 years. Archaeologists are apparently perplexed at the size of the site and the amount of time it was in use, although there are two ancient settlements that have been found in the region. source: http://www.sofiaecho.com/2012/05/02/1818561_archaeology-ancient-necropolis-found-in-path-of-bulgarias-struma-motorway
- In excavations in Jerusalem a building has been discovered below the base of an ancient drainage channel near the Western Wall of Temple Mount. It is the closest building to the First Temple that has thus far been uncovered. Among the discoveries was a personal seal of a semi-precious stone marked with Lematanyahu Ben Ho, meaning ‘belonging to matanyahu ben ho’. The rest of the inscription has been erased. Such personal seals were common during the First Temple Period. Source: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/History/Early+History+-+Archaeology/Hebrew_seal_Matanyahu_uncovered_Jerusalem_1-May-2012.htm
Archeologist are so stumped about the recent finding of three “V” shapes carved into the floor of stone caves that they went to Facebook for suggestions. The City of David archeology team posted on their Facebook page asking their fans to offer suggestions of what the markings mean. Matti Friedman of The Washington Post explains a few of the possible explanations.
Mysterious stone carvings made thousands of years ago and recently uncovered in an excavation underneath Jerusalem have archaeologists stumped.
Israeli diggers who uncovered a complex of rooms carved into the bedrock in the oldest section of the city recently found the markings: Three “V’’ shapes cut next to each other into the limestone floor of one of the rooms, about 2 inches (5 centimeters) deep and 20 inches (50 centimeters) long. There were no finds to offer any clues pointing to the identity of who made them or what purpose they served.
The archaeologists in charge of the dig know so little that they have been unable even to posit a theory about their nature, said Eli Shukron, one of the two directors of the dig.
“The markings are very strange, and very intriguing. I’ve never seen anything like them,” Shukron said.
Read the rest of the article at Archaeologists stumped by ancient markings found under Jerusalem – The Washington Post.
The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the Temple Mount. The construction of the Western Wall began with King Herod and was believed to be completed in his lifetime, but new archeological evidence suggests that it was in fact not completed until the reign of Herod’s great-grandson Agrippa II. Haaretz Daily Newspaper reports on the findings that lead to these conclusions.
Recent archeological excavations in Jerusalem show that, contrary to popular understanding, King Herod was not solely responsible for constructing the Western Wall.
Israel’s Antiques Authority announced Wednesday that the discovery of a mikveh (ritual bath) alongside Jerusalem’s ancient drainage channel challenges the conventional archaeological perception that Herod built the wall in its entirety, saying it is now evident that construction was completed at least 20 years after Herod’s death (believed to be in 4 BCE).
Read the rest of the article at Excavations reveal King Herod didn’t complete construction of Jerusalem’s Western Wall – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News.
There is no other city in the world that has been fought over throughout the past 3,000 years. Jerusalem is like no other city, it is the holy city for three faiths and the scene of constant struggles between Israel and Palestine. Author Simon Sebag Montefiore tackles the subject of Jerusalem by looking at it as a biography. His new book, reads more like an adventure novel than a history textbook as Jonathan Rosen explores in his review for the New York Times.
“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,” declares the Psalmist, “may my right hand forget its cunning.” He neglects to mention that remembering Jerusalem is no picnic either. In “Jerusalem: The Biography,” Simon Sebag Montefiore unleashes so many kings, killers, prophets, pretenders, caliphs and crusaders, all surfing an ocean of blood, that the reader may begin to long for redemption, not from the book, which is impossible to put down, but from history itself.
Open “Jerusalem” at random, like a Bible, and discover something gruesome: on Page 4, Roman soldiers are crucifying 500 Jews a day in the run-up to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70; on Page 75, Alexander Jannaeus, a much-loathed Jewish king of the first century B.C., after slaughtering 50,000 of his own people, celebrates his victory “by cavorting with his concubines at a feast while watching 800 rebels being crucified around the hills.” Crucifixion was so common in the ancient world, Montefiore notes in one of his many fascinating asides, that Jews and gentiles alike had taken to wearing nails from victims as charms, anticipating what became a Christian tradition. And when the population dwindled — as after the First Crusade, which like a neutron bomb eliminated the infidels but preserved the holy places — you could always dash across the Jordan, like Baldwin the crusader king in 1115, and bring back “poverty-stricken Syrian and Armenian Christians, whom he invited to settle in Jerusalem, ancestors of today’s Palestinian Christians.”
Jerusalem is a city that likes to think of itself as the center of the world and as larger than life. Starting in 2013, it will be larger than life – and 3D – at movie theaters in 35 countries.
Swooping over the Old City, with bird’s eye views in eyepopping 3D projected onto a giant screen, JERUSALEM: IMAX 3D is not your typical documentary about Israel’s ancient capital.
The trailer for the movie is true to IMAX form: stunning panoramas, vivid colors, “very visceral and emotive” as producer and writer Daniel Ferguson puts it.
Story by Melanie Lidman – The Jerusalem Post