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Questions tagged [archaeology]

For questions about the study of the physical remains of humans and human activity.

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Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century?

Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century? Glass windows frequently appear in gothic architecture since 11th century but why Medieval Islamic architecture lack ...
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86 views

History of the Ruins near Chagyl in Turkmenistan

In the Balkan Region of Turkmenistan, there is a small (possibly abandoned) modern village built on top of what looks to be some sort of ancient ruins near the remote town of Chagyl. (Some of the ...
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1answer
259 views

What's the most elaborate ancient mechanism?

I'm playing the latest installment of the Tomb Raider, where you uncover secrets of ancient Incas and Maya. The game is full of huge stone doors that open only when you go through an elaborate ...
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1answer
132 views

Formation of underground layers of Rome

I have recently came across several news articles (for example) from various decades, talking about existing underground structures in the city of Rome, which used to be above ground at some point of ...
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2answers
234 views

What are the ruins in Turkey near Kömürcü Köyü?

I am curious and I would like to know what the ruins are near Kömürcü Köyü in Turkey (38°15'27.8"N 34°33'05.5"E | 38.257711,34.551535)? I tried to search but I found nothing. It looks like ancient ...
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164 views

In view of the widespread use of the term “Semitic”, which groups of people are classified as being of Hamitic ethnicity? [closed]

I am aware of the curse of Ham. It is a myth deriving from Abrahamic religions. It was used as moral justification by European and Arab slave traders. The etymology of the word Ham is associated ...
4
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1answer
254 views

How objective are books like “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”? How are they “proven”?

How objective are books like "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind"? How are they "proven"? How can one assess the objectivity of historical literature? Why is it still not subjective, if not even ...
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1answer
110 views

How many people were there in a average Magdalenian group? (And what about Gravettian groups?)

The book "The Creation of Inequality" (Marcus & Fannery, 2012) says the Magdalenian groups were much larger than the Gravettian groups but doesn't provide a clear number (or I did not find them). ...
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2answers
664 views

How do we know that prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies were egalitarian?

In the Wikipedia article on Patriarchy it says: Anthropological, archaeological, and evolutionary psychological evidence suggests that most prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies were relatively ...
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1answer
134 views

is Ubaid 0 actually related to Eridu and Ubaid I-IV?

Most sources state 5400 B.C. as the beginning of the Ubaid period. The Ubaid period is further divided by them into Ubaid I-IV. Wikipedia lists Tel El Oueili (6500 B.C.) as "Ubaid 0", thus placing the ...
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Are there any underground cities known except those found in Cappadocia?

I've recently read the story about the discovery of the underground city of Derinkuyu. Now I'm a bit curious if there are other similar archaeological discoveries: I mean something we could really ...
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An ancient altar with petroglyphs at the foot of Jabal Maqla--Is it Mt. Sinai?

Lately there has been an increasing awareness among biblical scholars that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia and not in the Sinai peninsula as has been previously thought. Jabal Maqla (or Jabal Al Lawz as the ...
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What is the oldest known depiction of Isis with wings?

Some of the oldest known references to the goddess Isis are inscriptions, like the Pyramid texts. However, I have been interested in the visual depictions of the Egyptian gods and how they change ...
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115 views

Are there any archeological finds or primary source drawings of the Chinese bamboo-copter or rotary fans?

Bamboo-copter was a toy in China, dated to 400 BC. A Rotary Fan also existed in China around 180 AD. I'm interested in both of those things, as they work on the exact same principle. Do we have any ...
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96 views

Pyramidal marae on one of the Pacific islands

About 10 years ago I saw some information on the Web that an ancient pyramid-like structure (marae) existed on one of the Pacific islands, but was demolished in the end of 19th century. There was even ...
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0answers
86 views

Where do archaeological layers keep accumulating from? [closed]

People always seem to be digging up stuff from below the ground - artifacts, buildings and entire cities. Often they are below a current city. My question is - where do the layers covering the stuff ...
3
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1answer
158 views

What was Mohenjo-Daro's “lower town”?

I was reading about Mohenjo-daro sites in current day Pakistan. The text talked about something called "lower town". What is lower town in that context? "Kalibangan is situated on the left bank of ...
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2answers
170 views

What is the use of vinegar as a component in ancient ink receipes?

Quite some receipes of old (pre-iron-gall) ink seem to include vinegar. It is of pale colour though, and it may or may not be corrosive to the paper. Whats it's use?
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162 views

What kind of gas caused the end of excavations/tunneling of the “villa of the papyrii” in the 18th century?

The reason why excavations of the Villa of the papyrii in Herculaneum had to end is usually cited to be "gas invading the tunnels". That is a common problem in coal mining. However, volcanic deposits, ...
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1answer
707 views

Are there known completely sealed chambers in Egyptian pyramids?

According to new measurements, there likely is a large hidden chamber in the Great Pyramid (Paper). There is already speculation about its contents, with people looking at religious sources the ...
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93 views

Are there “Sumerian” figurines from the Uruk and Ubaid periods?

There are distinctive Sumerian figurines from the Early Dynastic period. One of the early arguments for indigenous Sumerians was that these figurines were also in the Jemdet Nasr, Uruk, and Ubaid ...
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1answer
115 views

Does Winckler's explanation of Semitic migrations have any merit?

Hugo Winckler's 1907 History of Babylon and Assyria, says something along these lines: Semitic people originated in the Arabian Peninsula. All Semitic migrations were caused by overpopulation. Syria ...
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2answers
195 views

What's the significance of “Sprinkler” (bottle)

Wikimedia Commons lists a few bottles named "Sprinkler" (Islamic, 17th–18th century). What was the use of this kind of bottle? By searching on Google for "sprinkler bottle" I got some similar looking ...
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1answer
125 views

What's the significance of “Splashware”?

I've found at Wikimedia Commons a few dishes labeled as "Splashware". Imitation Splashware in fact. It seems to be related to archaeology, so I hope this is the right place to ask the question (...
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1answer
197 views

Is there still controversy among historians and archaeologists about the exact date of the Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD?

Fresh fruit, olives, and vegetables in the shops are typical of October, and conversely the summer fruit that would have been typical of August was already being sold in dried, or conserved form. The ...
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2answers
3k views

When did nonporous ceramic become widespread?

Nonporous ceramic (glazed earthenware, stoneware and porcelain) has the advantage that it doesn't absorb water and today it's vastly predominant. Since pottery manufacturing started with earthenware ...
2
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1answer
234 views

The history of toys: Who invented the first porcelain dolls?

I've been reading about the history of toys online, as part of a personal project. One thing that surprised me was that every article I've found lists porcelain toys as having been invented by ...
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1answer
79 views

Is a “buckle plate” the same thing as a “buckle chape”?

Many archaeological items are labeled as "buckle plate" - is that the same thing as a "buckle chape" (the last photo in this article)?
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3answers
808 views

Is there a difference between “post-medieval” and “modern”?

Is there a difference between "post-medieval" and "modern"? Many of the items in the UK's Portable Antiquities Scheme mention "post-medieval or modern period" and even "post-medieval or early modern ...
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2answers
109 views

What is the definition, usage, and etymology of “Sandy ware”?

Wikipedia has the category "Sandy ware in the Portable Antiquities Scheme" Is it a kind of pottery? Or a type of coating for pottery? That's what I would understand from this page. What would it have ...
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4k views

Was the Earth's sea-level significantly lower in ancient times? [closed]

A lot of times, ancient artifacts or even whole ancient civilizations are found buried very deep into the ground surface of the earth. Entire civilizations that had high buildings have been found ...
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1answer
249 views

How can we make claims of ancient alcohol consumption based on chemical analysis of remains?

Inspired by this question: Did early northern Europeans drink alcohol? and Wikipedia articles, I had to wonder... How can the presence of alcohol in ancient pots support a conclusion that it was ...
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1answer
168 views

Why is the writing on the Vindolanda plates changing when exposed to air?

"In the case of Papyri [...]deterioration of the fibre and fading of the writing occurs, if at all, only over a very considerable period of time. This is not true of the writing-tablets which have ...
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1answer
209 views

Major power shift in Gaul circa 350 B.C

I realize this is a little before history and therefore interpretive. I recall reading something about a shift that took place in Gaul, some time before the Romans came there. It may have been around ...
10
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1answer
291 views

Are any archeological remains found from the Yellow Sea, China

During the last ice age when the sea level was lower, much of the continental shelf was exposed. For example, the North Sea was previously a low-lying region which is called "Doggerland". There are ...
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1answer
290 views

Average height of a Roman fortlet

I'm wondering if anyone knows where someone has recorded the 'average' height of a Roman fortlet in Britain (Scotland specifically), or some information on the ranges to which they were built? I'm ...
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1answer
94 views

Why is (the best) soot to be taken from glassmakers, according to Diocorides' “Materia Medica”?

"Fuligio pictoria [soot] that the painters use is taken from the glassmakers, as that is the best." (Diocorides, De Materia Medica 5-182) http://www.cancerlynx.com/BOOKFIVEWINES.PDF While glassmaking ...
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1answer
739 views

DNA results of Amarna dead?

In the Egyptian city of Amarna, archaeological expeditions have revealed numerous graves of people who appear to have worked very hard while being malnourished. One recent article on the subject says ...
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1answer
127 views

When is the first time any variation of the name Misraim is used to refer to Egypt?

I asked a question here previously related to this, and I would like to be more specific in this question. There are numerous ancient records such as the Ugaritic tablets, the Assyrian & ...
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1answer
165 views

Who built this monument in Hatra?

Here is an image: (image source) From what i have read, the Romans never conquered Hatra yet the monuments are disinctly Hellenistic in design. Was it built by the Seleucids?
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1answer
159 views

What is the oldest archaeological source which mentions a name of a specific place?

What is the oldest archaeological source which mentions a name of a specific place? Out of curiosity, what is that place name and what does the name mean?
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3answers
709 views

Where can I find reliable primary sources written by Ancient Egyptian laborers?

I am working on a Year 12 New Kingdom Pharaoh assignment. I have chosen Ramesses II and must determine if he was an effective king. I have decided that he was, but now I just have to provide the ...
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5answers
4k views

Why were there no agricultural, city-state forming civilizations in the Ice Age?

In spite of various fringe historians claiming to have found remains of Ice Age civilizations on lost continents, Atlantis and what not, there is - to the best of my knowledge - no tangible evidence ...
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1answer
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If archaeology shows that people abandoned the ancient Trojan region around the 6th century BC, why do we have so few written evidences of that?

My professor told us that people lived around the location of ancient Troy up to the beginning of the 6th century BC and moved away mostly because they couldn't deal with prices in Neorion Harbour. ...
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1answer
230 views

What are the dimensions of this pomerium marker?

The pomerium of Vespasian from 75AD (pictured below) was moved to Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome in the 20th century. What are its dimensions, and what is its height, measuring from street level to ...
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159 views

What sources could Tacitus or Appian have used that have since been lost?

I was fascinated by the announcement of the 'virtual unrolling' of a fire-burned scroll in En-Gedi that has been analysed and found to be part of the book of Leviticus. As the Guardian noted, the ...
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3answers
220 views

What are early archeological clues of humans boiling food?

Over the course of my life I have seen several large, dangerous fires. Unfortunate animals often perish in these. Especially slower ones, such as turtles. Surely, it can not have been difficult for ...
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4answers
459 views

How do I differentiate ancient ceramic from today's junk?

I've been to London's River Thames, a famous place where it is relatively easy to find ceramics and other relics of the past. I found something but I have no idea how to distinguish ancient stuff ...
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2answers
212 views

What was the name of the father of Mesha, king of Moab?

In English translations of the Mesha Stele, the opening words are "I am Mesha son of Chemosh-melekh, king of Moab the Dibonite". However, the truth is that the actual text of the Stele (rendered in ...
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1answer
468 views

Did some Roman/Pompeiian houses have atria for slaves?

According to Wikipedia (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_the_Vettii) the House of the Vettii brothers had two atria, one specifically for slaves. Servants' quarters are to one side off the ...