Joy & Adventure- Archaeology
We bring you gold, mold, soil & spoil. It isn’t Indiana Jones, but it’s interesting nevertheless.
Antikythera Mechanism: Sheltering from a storm in 1900, sponge divers discovered a wreck dating from the 1st century BC and discovered many artifacts including this: world’s oldest analogue computer. The instrument appears to have been designed to predict astronomical movements and eclipses. It had 30 bronze gears in a complex mechanism and astronomical inscriptions as well as a timetable for events including the Olympics. It is displayed at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Dead Sea Scrolls: Found in various caves at Qumran, Israel, over the decade from 1946. These parchments proved to be highly significant to biblical scholars. There were about 1000 different texts found in the caves during this period. They date back to 2nd century BC and were thousand years older than any Hebrew text found at that point.
Villa of the Papyri: was an ancient Roman villa in Herculaneum- an ancient town in what is now Ercolano, southern Italy. It is still the oldest intact library from Antiquity. The villa was first excavated in 1750, using a technique called ‘Multi-Spectral Imagery’ and the scrolls can be read.
The Narmer Palette: This slab of Basalt has been referred to as ‘first historical document in the world’. It shows the pharaoh, Narmer, ordering the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. It has survived for over 5000 years in perfect condition and is part of the permanent collection of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Dresden Codex: is a Mayan book, which is believed to be the oldest surviving book written in the Americas, dating to the 11th century. It contains 78 pages with decorative board covers on the front and the back. It is displayed in the museum of Saxon State Library, Dresden, Germany.
Catalhoyuk: is in the Anatolia area of modern Turkey. This Neolithic site dates from 6500 BC, it then had a population of 6000 and many consider it as the first actual city. This site was first excavated in 1958 and it revealed 18 successive layers of buildings signifying various stages of settlement and eras of history.
Ljubijana Marshes Wheel: a 5100 year old wheel was discovered here, which was complete with an axle rotated with it and is by far the oldest ash wood wheel find. Though this incredible discovery was not made until 2002, the Ljubljana Marshes were found to contain pile dwellings- a special form of dwellings in areas with lakes and Marshes. Since 2011, the site has been protected as UNESCO World Heritage site.
Areni-1 shoe: In 2008, a 5500 year old leather shoe was discovered in Areni 1 cave, Armenia. It is the oldest known leather shoe. It was found in excellent condition, even the shoe laces were still in near perfect condition. The oldest wine-making site was also found near the area and in the same cave, storage containers were discovered with well-preserved edible plants such as apricots and Reed Skirt was also discovered and is believed to be the oldest skirt and the oldest reed article ever discovered.
Hohle Fels Caves, Germany: has yielded number of important archaeological finds from the Upper Paleolithic. This UNESCO world heritage site contained oldest musical instruments ever discovered such as flutes and drums. The flutes made of bone and ivory is at least 35,000 years old.
Abauntz Cave, Spain: a 14,000 year old item was discovered that was unique to the time frame- Oldest map in the world. It was etched into a stone tablet, five inches tall, seven inches wide and only one inch thick which allowed the tablet light enough to carry if necessary. Researchers claimed that the map matched the surrounding geography perfectly.
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