(ORDO NEWS) — Every year dozens of new artifacts of the ancient world fall into the hands of scientists, but few are capable of causing a sensation. Among them: a thousand-year-old Mayan treasure in Mexico, untouched Egyptian tombs, Sarmatian gold and ships of the ancient Greeks that sank in the Black Sea.
Archaeological finds allow you to touch the antiquity and shed light on mysteries that have remained unsolved for thousands of years. Some discoveries belong to professional archaeologists, others – to ordinary people who accidentally came face to face with history.
Sarmatian gold, Russia
In May, archaeologists discovered in the Astrakhan region an ancient burial mound with gold and silver Sarmatian jewelry. According to experts, the burials are more than 2 thousand years old. The territories that now belong to the south of Russia, in the IV century BC, belonged to nomadic tribes. In addition to jewelry, many of which have no analogues, a collection of daggers, elements of horse harness, household items and the remains of Iranian-speaking nomads were found in the Astrakhan barrow.
Archaeologists believe that they stumbled upon the royal mound, which was partially looted in ancient times. Among the finds is the grave of the Sarmatian leader with a rich burial inventory. The treasure was found two thousand years ago by accident. In the spring, a farmer from the village of Nikolskoye, Rustam Mudaev, turned to the Astrakhan State Museum. He said that while digging near his house, he came across a bronze bowler hat – this was the reason for organizing an archaeological expedition.
Gladiator School, Vienna
Near Vienna, geophysicists and archaeologists have found the largest gladiatorial school outside Rome. To do this, scientists did not even have to take shovels in their hands: the complex was discovered using remote sensing, after which 3D visualizers carried out a virtual reconstruction of buildings based on radar data. For 19 thousand sq. m there is a round arena, wooden stands, Roman baths, a campus for wild animals, buildings with small rooms and a common hall with a heated floor system. Some of the elements in gladiatorial schools have never been encountered before. The excavations have not yet begun.
Sunken flotilla, Black Sea
In 2015, dozens of sunken ships from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires were found in the waters of the Fourni archipelago. Researchers discovered the ships by accident during an expedition off the coast of Bulgaria. The main feature of the finds is their excellent preservation. It is explained by the unique conditions of the Black Sea: at a depth of more than 150 meters, there is neither light nor oxygen. Thanks to this, the tree practically does not decompose in the Black Sea waters.
An international team of marine archaeologists has counted over 60 ships and continues to conduct underwater excavations. The most interesting example is a Greek merchant ship that sank during a storm almost 2.5 thousand years ago. He still has masts, steering wheel, rowing benches and passenger equipment. Previously, such vessels were known only from drawings on ancient Greek pottery. Scientists will leave the ship lying at the bottom so as not to damage it.
In the fall of 2017, German archaeologists reported a surprising find that could force anthropologists to rethink theories about human origins. In the dry bed of the Rhine, a team of researchers found specimens of human teeth. It was possible to establish that the age of the fossils is about 9.7 million years. Due to the rechecking of the data, the news of the find was postponed for a year. The examination confirmed: the found teeth are indeed several million years older than all the others found in Europe or Asia ever before. The head of the group of archaeologists, Herbert Lutz, believes that they may have belonged to Australopithecus.
Temple ruins, Persian Gulf
In November 2018, a Polish-Kuwaiti group of archaeologists discovered the oldest temple in the Persian Gulf. The building is located in the north of Kuwait in the Al-Sujida Desert. According to experts, the construction is more than 7 thousand years old. The leader of the expedition, Professor Piotr Bilinski of the University of Warsaw, describes the temple as a rectangular building with a niche in the wall, in which the remains of a furnace with ash have been preserved. Once the temple was surrounded by a circular wall, typical of religious buildings.
Scientists call the find sensational, since the second oldest temple in the region is at least 2.5 thousand years younger than this one. According to Bilinski, the found building was built in the traditions of the mysterious ubaid civilization – the predecessors of the Sumerians. They settled in Mesopotamia and influenced neighboring regions. Archaeologists have found an analogue of a village square near the temple.
Mayan treasure, Mexico
Archaeologists from the Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico (INAH) have discovered the treasures of the Mayan civilization. About 150 ritual artifacts have remained intact for over a thousand years. They were kept in one of the Balmaku caves on the Yucatan Peninsula. These are mainly ceramic vessels with images of gods. Locals found the treasure cave back in 1966, but an archaeologist who arrived there ordered to seal the entrance. This time, the researchers came to her while studying the sacrificial well of the Maya Indians. The rediscovered Balmaku Cave will help shed light on the history of the creation and fall of the ancient city of Chichen Itza.
Ritual burial of children, Peru
In the spring of 2018, archaeologists found the largest children’s burial in the northwestern part of Peru. During a ritual sacrifice in the middle of the 15th century, more than 140 children and 200 baby lamas were killed here. Scientists believe that in this way the Chimu Indians wanted to appease the gods after prolonged rains and severe floods. Archaeologists found a ritual knife of an unusual shape not far from the excavation site, in the vicinity of the ancient capital Chan Chan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DNA examination showed that children aged 5-14 years were healthy, had no physical abnormalities and came from different parts of the ancient state. The adults prepared them for the ritual: they painted their faces with red cinnabar and put cotton bandages on their heads. According to archaeologists, they have never encountered anything like this before: children, along with llamas, are buried on a low cliff by the ocean in a strictly defined order.
First images of dogs, Saudi Arabia
The age of the rock carvings found in the mountains in northwestern Saudi Arabia, scientists estimate at 8 thousand years. They depict 349 dogs: some hunt gazelles and mountain goats, others walk on leashes tied to their owners’ waists. According to experts, these are the earliest images of dogs. The new archaeological find confirms research according to which people in the area domesticated animals and engaged in cattle breeding 7-8 thousand years ago. The animals in the pictures resemble modern Canaanite dogs. At the same time, 349 animals depicted have individual features: different colors, spots and dots on the coat.
Viking ship, Norway
In February, archaeologists found a twenty-meter Viking ship in northeastern Norway. High-resolution georadar helped to notice the unusual object, which recorded an underground ship-shaped anomaly. The ancient ship is located only half a meter from the surface – in a round empty space from which the soil has been extracted. It is assumed that this is the so-called ship of the dead. The Vikings often used funerary boats to bury their leaders.
Three well-preserved similar vessels were found earlier. However, the Norwegians are in no hurry to excavate. To begin with, they plan to develop a digital map of the mound and organize several studies to assess the state of the thousand-year-old artifact. In addition to the boat itself, employees of the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research have discovered eight previously unknown mounds. According to them, only noble Vikings can be buried near the ship.
Untouched tomb, Egypt
In the fall of 2018, Egyptian researchers found a well-preserved tomb of the high priest Wataye, which is more than 4.4 thousand years old. The tomb is located near Cairo in the village of Sakkara. It is decorated with colored hieroglyphs, statues of pharaohs and frescoes depicting the late high priest and his family. The height of the tomb is 3 m, length is about 10 m.
Now experts continue to conduct excavations, decipher numerous inscriptions and examine artifacts. According to the Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities of Egypt, Mostafa Vaziri, this discovery is “one of a kind in recent decades.”
Contact us: [email protected]