40

Coins, dedications, and other 'ritual' objects have been buried in the foundations of buildings since prehistory. The function of these artefacts is unclear, but they do not appear to have been placed there for future generations. What you are looking for is usually called a 'time-capsule', and as the Wikipedia article observes: A time capsule is a ...


32

The beginnings of human Civilization by-and-large are coincident with the start of our current interglacial period, known as the Holocene at roughly 10,000BC. At the start of it, worldwide sea levels were about 60m lower than today (and that was down from more than 120 at the glacial maximum 10,000 years prior). They rose quite rapidly after that, to nearly ...


27

Porcelain originates in China. They were able to reach the 1,200C needed to vitrify pottery as far back as the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 CE) and there was much earlier proto-porcelain (it had been around since 1,000BCE). Based on this, it's reasonable to infer that nonporous ceramic was relatively widespread in ancient China. Chinaware then slowly made its ...


24

We can be fairly certain that humans did not live on Antarctica, the continent, before the 20th century. Since about 15 Ma, the continent has been mostly covered with ice. Ref: Trewby, Mary, ed. Antarctica: An Encyclopedia from Abbott Ice Shelf to Zooplankton. Firefly Books. ISBN 1-55297-590-8. Intermittent warm periods allowed Nothofagus shrubs to ...


22

The claim that prehistoric hunter gatherers were egalitarian is mostly supported by: analogy to some modern or historic hunter-gatherer societies lack of monumental buildings in the archeological record same for elaborate graves hunter-gatherers can only possess as much as they can carry so little chance to ammass possessions. A recent example for this ...


20

The ancient Sumerians and Babylonians, from about 3000 BC on, used to bury clay tablets in the foundations of their temples and other major buildings giving the name of the king who founded the temple and threatening to curse anyone who might in the future destroy the building. These inscriptions were not addressed to their contemporaries (they were buried ...


18

This is a marble plinth or capital for a decorative column, likely of Classical Roman origin - the harpies and the immodesty of the subjects particularly give it away. There was a major Roman city nearby at Caesarea. It will be impossible to give you more information over the internet - your best bet would be to report its discovery to the Antiquities ...


17

Most likely because they never had it to start with. There are two big problems with this portion of the book's thesis: I see no evidence whatsoever put forth in the above text supporting the assertion that human women were socially equal or superior prior to the agricultural revolution. Such evidence should not be hard to come by, simply by talking with ...


17

There are a few underground cities that I can think of, some may fit your requirements better than others. If you consider tunneling into rocks, then Petra would be a very large city that was built into the cliffs and ground. If you are only considering cities that are entirely under the ground, Naours France has an underground city that was built in an ...


15

(Most of what I'm writing is a summary of "After the Ice: A global human history 20,000-5,000 BC" by Steven Mithen - published 2003 so it's pretty up to date as an overview of what is known). It is indeed tied to the end of the last ice age. All the sites known from the ice age and immediately afterwards are temporary hunter gatherer camps. In the middle ...


14

That is a really good question. The truth is that evidence for any sort of "cultural continuity" is scant. One word of caution though. I generally hesitate to use the word "ritual" in an archaeological context. Too often, the word has been used as a synonym for "I don't know", or, as Paul Bahn put it: Ritual - All-purpose explanation used where nothing ...


13

For reference, here is the official classification from Wikipedia of the conditions necessary for a "pleasant" Antarctic day: Condition 3 Windspeed below 48 knots (55 miles per hour) Visibility greater than 1/4 of a mile (402 meters) Wind chill above −75 °F (−60 °C) Description: Pleasant conditions; all outside travel is permitted. Condition 3 ...


13

The imperial regalia of Rome were not a single thing but a collection of various objects carried in tow during processions of the emperor. The main items were various lances and spears along with a standard, which was an embroidered banner surmounted by a gold eagle. The emperor also carried a scepter. The regalia of the Byzantines were all probably lost if ...


12

I'll summarize what the Jewish Study Bible, 2nd edition says about the subject. This material is from the introduction to Exodus and two essays: "The Religion of the Bible" and "Archeology and the Hebrew Bible". Positive evidence: We know that Semites of similar ethnicity to the Hebrews had for centuries migrated to Egypt in search of food and water during ...


12

Ceramic glaze became "prevalent" in Islamic art about the 8th century CE. It also became popular in China and Japan through the introduction of "colored" glazes in the 6th to 8th centuries CE. So I would say 8th century CE, or slightly before. The caveat is that Europe at the time was in the Dark Ages (except for certain parts, such as Spain), so this idea ...


11

That article seems to be about the North Tombs cemetery, which was excavated as part of the Amarna Project in 2015. Like you, I'm really looking forward to the publication of the DNA data. However, it's still a bit early to expect publication of all the details from the 2015 excavations. When they are available we should be able to read copies on the Amarna ...


11

Dating in its origins from the 2 millenium BCE and still inhabited by up to 40 million people today: The first type of yaodong were underground dwellings that date back to the 2nd millennium BC, China's Bronze Age, and according to Chinese tradition, the Xia Dynasty. Chinese scholars generally believe that this type of habitat has developed mainly from ...


11

There are many theories & interpretations, but relatively little evidence to support most of them. Of course, there are no written sources from the Ubaid period to support them. You are absolutely right that there hasn't been a great deal of published material on the subject. However, a good, and relatively recent (2006), paper on the subject is A ...


10

Yes a buried piece of wood, or other biological tissue, could survive for thousands of years without decomposing with appropriate environmental conditions. While the conditions for this are rather specific; an anaerobic and antiseptic environment or at least one which limits microbial growth. These conditions can be found in quite few situations; tar pits, ...


10

Nushabad in Iran was apparently used to avoid Mongol invasions (13th Century), but is perhaps older as artefacts from earlier periods have been found within. It is not clear how long people stayed down there, but there is an extensive ventilation system to allow fresh air within the underground city.


10

According to the chronicler Orderic Vitalis (1075 – c. 1142), most of the royal treasure was recovered: The dwellers on the coast, as soon as they ascertained that the reports of the disaster was well founded, dragged to the shore the wreck of the ship, with the whole of the royal treasure; and almost all that was in the vessel, the crew and ...


9

In the story of the Trojan War, if not necessarily in the text of Homer's Iliad, Agamemnon's wife Clytemnestra learns of the fall of Troy via a relay of fire beacons. In Aeschylus' Agamemnon, she's said to have received the news in Mycenae (approximately 400 miles away) the very same night that Troy fell, and Aeschylus describes the path of the transmitted ...


8

It is quite possible to examine diet through archeological means (composition of bones and teeth). However, I don't know that anybody has done a systematic study of such records with an eye towards looking for vegetarianism. The one piece of similar information I am aware of is that teeth of hunter-gatherers are often discernible at a glance, due to the ...


8

Perhaps the story of Odoacer is not quite the right place in which to look for a description of the insignia as they only appear there briefly for metonymycal purposes. However, something can be done from other sources. Jewelry One kind of insignia is the obvious - a crown. Another, less obvious, is a special kind of brooch. Or at least so claims Ann ...


8

How many stones high are the pyramids of Giza? Which pyramid at Giza? They're all different. The simple answer is Cheops is now 201 and was originally about 210, but it doesn't mean what you think it means. The layer heights were not consistent, their heights were not precise, the slopes of different pyramids were not consistent, and what we see today is ...


8

Several factors will have to come together: They look at patterns in the artifacts. How do they build their houses, make their tools, etc.? When many techniques match, they're assumed to be the same culture. Consider the Beaker Culture. Just one technique could be coincidence, but if many techniques match there seems to be a common culture. They detect ...


8

Start with whether or not the book gets the basic facts correct. Not the most obvious ones, but the more subtler ones. If those are correct, then one can start to presume a basic competence, and understanding, by the author. For this book, a pdf file exists online. I started reading, and before finishing the first page I found two glaring errors: ...


7

Even in England, where given the size of the country and the number of battles you can't help tripping over them, the site of a few very important ones are missing or wrong. Bosworth field, the end of the War of the Roses is certainly commemorated in the wrong place. The site of Boudica's defeat is unknown.


7

tl;dr That's a really good question, and even just a few years ago we didn't really have anything approaching a conclusive answer. However, an analysis of mitochondrial DNA extracted from human remains recovered from the Xiaohe cemetery was published in 2015, and we now know that the answer is complicated, but that most of the early populations probably ...


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