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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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9
votes
2answers
861 views

What does BPE/PE in some archaeology journals stand for?

Apparently, this is an acronym for reckoning time period instead of using the usual BC-AD or BCE-CE. The journal I am referring to is archeo sciences. Here's a snippet of the article: I've looked ...
8
votes
2answers
321 views

How do archaeologists date cave paintings?

Imagine I get hold on 15000 yr old pigments and I draw an iguana next to a bison at "Altamira Caves"... how does one know that that drawing wasn't made 15000 years back? Would people then start saying ...
11
votes
1answer
482 views

Has Mohenjo-daro been reconstructed?

What is the extent of current knowledge on the physical structure of the city of Mohenjo Daro? Have all possible roads and buildings (possibly in 3d) been reconstructed? Do we completely know the ...
7
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1answer
286 views

Are there any archeological finds or primary source drawings of the Chinese “blade shaped” 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 ...
42
votes
3answers
8k views

Earliest evidence of objects intended for future archaeologists?

In modern times, it is not unusual for people to wonder what, if anything, will archeologists of the future (human or otherwise) will learn about our civilization from various artifacts we leave ...
5
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2answers
433 views

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 ...
12
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1answer
286 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 ...
3
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1answer
227 views

Has the drought also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland?

I was wondering whether the drought has also revealed ancient structures in France as it did in Ireland (see the BBC article Dry weather reveals ancient site in Meath's Boyne Valley). I searched the ...
5
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1answer
100 views

Are “I, II, III, …” versions of archaeological versioning of layers unique to Troy?

When reading about archaeological research on Troy, one can see that archeologists distinguish between different discrete numbered layers (Troy I => Troy IX). Is that a standard approach in ...
6
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1answer
268 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 ...
2
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4answers
327 views

Troy: How could a city be built on top of an older one?

As far as I know, archaeological excavation discovered several layers of the city of Troy, each one built on top of the ruins of the older ones. I just can imagine how that might have happened. One ...
13
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1answer
583 views

What is known about the Ubaid lizard-people figurines?

I find the Ubaid lizard-people figurines visually captivating. But for obvious reasons it's difficult to search for information about them online without wading chest deep through pages of ancient ...
-1
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2answers
361 views

Why do very old arts (paintings, sculptures) look pretty inaccurate and abstract? [closed]

I have been looking at arts from different archeological periods (40000BC up to now). One pattern that I noticed consistently when looking at arts from different periods is that the accuracy of such ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

How can a megalith be dated via the C14 method?

Technically this is pre-history, but maybe someone can answer this. I was listening to a podcast about the spread of megalithic structures in Europe. A modern basis of research on this is the dating ...
10
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1answer
293 views

Have any artifacts or archaeological remains from the White Ship disaster of 1120 ever been recovered?

After the White Ship disaster, which claimed the lives of all on board (except one), including William Adeline, the heir to the English throne, England was plunged into a civil war known as the ...
11
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2answers
355 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 ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Why do people still leave flowers at the Temple of Julius Caesar?

I visited Rome recently and did an audio tour through the Colosseum and Roman Forum archeological sites. In the Roman Forum there is the remains of the Temple of Caesar, where Julius Caesar was ...
15
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3answers
712 views

Authenticity of the Russian birch bark manuscripts

More than 1000 birch bark manuscripts have been found in Novgorod and other Russian cities in last 50 years. Many of them stayed in the soil for more than 700 years. In the same time, no special ...
5
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0answers
93 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 ...
-1
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1answer
277 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 ...
12
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1answer
851 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 ...
5
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3answers
719 views

What caused women to lose their access to resources and become a part of men's possessions with the start of the agriculture era?

I'm reading the book SEX AT DAWN: the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality, the book suggests that in prehistoric times, when homo sapiens were just foraging on the earth, the relation between men ...
7
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3answers
243 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 ...
8
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2answers
268 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
263 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 ...
1
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2answers
189 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 ...
30
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3answers
2k views

What is the historical basis for the Exodus?

As a sideline to the question How Long Did the Belief in the Egyptian Sun God Ra Last?, the comments have become a long discussion on the historicity of the Exodus. Rather than have pages of comments ...
4
votes
1answer
292 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
127 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). ...
15
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2answers
787 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
751 views

Differences between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the books of Moses [closed]

On Wikipedia, I read that the texts from Exodus in the Dead Sea scrolls contain some differences from the canonical version. However, I couldn't find them online. Can someone give me a few examples?
3
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1answer
169 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 ...
21
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4answers
4k views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
578 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
82 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
250 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
179 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?
3
votes
0answers
111 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
329 views

Are parts of the Sphinx older than 5000 years?

Are parts of the Great Sphinx of Giza more than 5000 years old? There was a controversy about this question 15 years ago on which I didn't find anything to conclusively prove or debunk it.
2
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0answers
92 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 ...
0
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2answers
213 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?
5
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1answer
208 views

Copper and Bronze Age Burials in Western Europe

Can anyone estimate the number of high-prestige burials that have been found in France, Spain or Portugal which date from, say, 3000 BC to 1000 BC? For example, supposing that there were 2000 persons ...
3
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
7
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0answers
453 views

Could depicted items (brooch, urn, key) really be 3000 years old?

My father, who died a few years ago, has left the depicted items to me. Apparently he found them as fragments near a local hill. He had the items dated by some authority and according to that source ...
7
votes
2answers
421 views

Tarim Mummies origins and theories separating fact from fiction

Is there any conclusive evidence of where the Tarim Mummies originate from? What were these "westerners" doing in China? The theories I have heard are that they are the forebearers of the Kazaks or ...
21
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5answers
22k views

Did Antarctica remain entirely unvisited by humans until the early 19th century?

Antarctica today is covered permanently by thick layers of ice, making it extremely inhospitable to humans. And, unlike the Arctic regions, it had no indigenous population of humans when modern man ...
1
vote
1answer
206 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, ...
12
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2answers
558 views

Ancient statue I found near my place

I have found an ancient statue covered in the ground. I am from Haifa, Israel. There are no old buildings nearby. Here is its photo; I don't know what it is! I would like to know what period this ...
1
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0answers
102 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 ...
3
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1answer
135 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 ...