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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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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
21
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5answers
5k 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 ...
20
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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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
15
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2answers
821 views

Which undeciphered writing system has the largest corpus of text?

Dozens of ancient writing systems are still undeciphered. My question is: Which of them has the largest number of known inscriptions (and might thus be most accessible to future decipherment, though ...
14
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1answer
903 views

Are there examples of well known medieval battles with very little archaeological evidence?

When I was researching the history of The Battle of Kulikovo (битва на Куликовом поле), I was struck by the seemingly complete dearth of available archaeological evidence at the site of the battle (...
13
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2answers
1k views

Evidence of diets that were exclusively vegetarian

What evidence, provided by archaeological anthropology, is there in regards to diets that were exclusively vegetarian by choice from Ancient history (4th millennium BC) to Classical antiquity (5th ...
13
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1answer
582 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 ...
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 ...
12
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1answer
766 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
11
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2answers
507 views

Did iron age Britons still use the “ritual” sites built by their neolithic predecessors?

Pre-Roman sites in Britain get lumped together as "ancient", but in reality they span a good couple of thousand years between the neolithic and the iron age. That made me wonder whether there was any ...
11
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2answers
335 views

How much of the *Iliad* was confirmed scientifically?

Obviously, one of the central facts of Homer's Iliad was confirmed when archaeologists found Troy. But were there any other details of Iliad (such as existance of Atreidae dynasty, Agamemnon actually ...
11
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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 ...
11
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4answers
701 views

Does the Kimmirut find indicate pre-Viking Europeans traveling to Baffin Island?

A 2008 article from the Nunatsiaq News claimed there was new evidence of European contact with the Canadian Arctic, saying things like: Dating of some yarn and other artifacts, presumed to be left ...
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 ...
10
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3answers
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 ...
10
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2answers
3k views

What were the insignia of the Western Roman Empire and what happened to them?

When Romulus Augustus was deposed by Odoacer, it is said that the "Imperial Insignia" was sent to Constantinople. I always wondered what kind of object(s) this was and if it survived in any form. If ...
10
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1answer
292 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 ...
9
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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
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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 ...
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 ...
8
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1answer
549 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 ...
8
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1answer
298 views

Has the strength of the historical-archaeological method ever been tested experimentally?

Historians routinely draw quite far-reaching conclusions about all aspects of society from archaeological artifacts and textual documents that – naturally – represent only a minuscule fraction of all ...
7
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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 ...
7
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3answers
858 views

Plagues in Pre-European Americas?

Are there any historical accounts that those living in the Americas encountered a plague or plagues that proved to be as devastating on the population as that of the Bubonic (black) plague in Europe? ...
7
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3answers
242 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
6
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4answers
476 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 ...
6
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2answers
339 views

How do archaeologists prove that two settlements belonged to the same civilization?

Suppose I found two different settlements named A and B. These settlements are located near the river X. The distance between A and B is so that it would take at least M months of continuous travel to ...
6
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4answers
389 views

Use of lead sheets in reconstruction of late medieval tower?

I guess it's more of an archaeology question, but this is the closest forum I could find. So, we stopped at Gardiki Castle, Corfu, Greece, built in the late Byzantine era in the 13th century, and ...
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 ...
6
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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.
6
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1answer
134 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 & ...
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 ...
5
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
5
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2answers
249 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
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1answer
386 views

Who was the shepherd that discovered the Gobekli Tepe? [closed]

I was watching a National Geographic documentary about the famous "Göbekli Tepe". In many of the articles and in the documentary - they say it was discovered by "a shepherd" or "the shepherd" or "the ...
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 ...
4
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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 ...