Traces of a square-shaped building have been detected under the Main Plaza at Monte Albán with the use of ground-penetrating radar, electrical resistance, and gradiometery. Each side of the newly detected structure measures about 60 feet long, and more than three feet thick. A Zapotec site in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca, Monte Albán was established around 500 BCE and collapsed around 850 CE. It is estimated that the plaza was in use for about 1,000 years before the collapse. Which makes the existence of a building under the plaza rather interesting...

Ancient Kitchen Excavated in Turkey

A 2,400-year-old house, with a kitchen and a neighboring room containing mirrors, ornaments, loom weights, and fragrance containers, has been unearthed at the site of the ancient Lycian city of Patara. The house contained a large number of kitchen items, and a hairpin. The archaeologist speculated that the house's contents indicated the owner was Greek in origin. Patara is being excavated because it was the capital of the Lycian Union in Anatolia. This institution was the first democratic union known, a league of Lycian cities, rather like the Swiss Federation today. The Lycians were not Greek, but respected by them, with their own writing and proud history. After Anatolia was conquered by Alexander the Great, it is known that he placed a garrison by the city. The soldiers brought their families who required housing other than barracks. Hence, why the Greek-like artifacts in the two rooms can be connected to the ancient records, and may indicate a Greek family.

New DNA Analysis of Ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egyptians shared little DNA with sub-Saharan Africans. A recent study looked at the genomes of ancient Egyptians from the New Kingdom through the Roman era, and found their DNA was most closely related to Near East. Modern Egyptians are more related to sub-Saharan Africans than their ancient counterparts: the ancient samples were 6 to 15%, modern samples 14 to 21%. This suggests population movements post-Roman era. One particularly well-preserved DNA sample was even tested for physical characteristics, and suggested a lighter skin pigmentation, dark-colored eyes, and lactose intolerance.

Can you guess what this is?

Answer: a bronze blade to be attached to a chariot wheel! For cutting your enemies off at the knee, and keeping enemies from getting too close to the chariot. From China during the warring states period, found in a mausoleum containing 38 chariots! Based on when the deceased passed, this blade was crafted around 433 BCE.

Buddhism's Sacred Trees

Trees are a re-occurring motif in the life of Siddhartha Gautama, according to the beliefs of the religion he founded. His mother, Maya, went into labor while traveling through Lumbini and held a branch of a sal tree for support while giving birth. A fig tree (bodhi) shaded Siddhartha while he achieved enlightenment at Bodh Gaya. And as the end of his life approached, the Buddha lay down between two sal trees in Kushinagar, as he passed from this world. Tree shrines exist at most major Buddhist sites. At Lumbini, for instance, a living descendent of the sacred bodhi tree grows alongside the temple at Bodh Gaya.

Who Contributed To The Achaemenid/Persian Empire?

Each bust comes from an Achaemenid/Persian relief, which is a pretty neat way of visualizing who made up their empire, or was in contact with them.

What Is This Used For?

It's not just pretty -- its for drinking out of! Known as a rhyton, this particular example is in the form of a goat's head. It was found at Ecbatana, the one-time capital of Iran's Achaemenid Empire.

These bronze bells were laid to rest in 433 BCE. They were placed carefully in their proper arrangement so they could peal forever for Marquis Yi of the state of Zeng(China was in the Warring States period at the time and had many competing small nations). Marquis Yi was also buried with 21 young women, bronze weapons, and what seems to be the remains of a chariot.

Megalith Cist Burials Found in Southern India

  Archaeologists have uncovered a total of 250 cairn circles in southern India’s trade and industrial center of Kodumanal, which was inhabited from the 400s through first century B.C.E. The cairn circles were made of giant rocks or megaliths. Most of the cairn circles were around rectangular chambers built of megaliths, which in turn contained burial cists and three or four bowls or pots. The pottery was likely for offerings placed outside the burial cists, showing a belief system that included something after death. An impressive ten pots and bowls were recently unearthed in a larger circle made of boulders and rectangular-shaped cists made of stone slabs, surrounding a three-chambered burial. This larger, more complex burial might have been intended for someone important in the community.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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