Month: January 2012

Prehistoric Lake Dwellings in Switzerland

Swissinfo–a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation–published this curious article about ancient lake settlements in November 2011. It was in 1854 when the first Swiss “lake-dweller” village was discovered outside Zurich, and since then over fifty more have been uncovered. Dating from roughly 5.000 to 500 BCE, these villages provide archaeologists a glimpse into the lives of prehistoric peoples during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Please click here to read more about these unique settlements.

Fortuitous Discoveries in Istanbul, Turkey

Many of readers might be aware that Turkey has suffered a devastating drought this year. Turkey’s bad weather has, however, made an archaeologist’s dream. Recently, a long forgotten sea wall has been revealed just outside of Istanbul, in Bathonea. Once a port, complimenting the great nexus of Constantinople, Bathonea’s treasures are quickly being uncovered, surprising even the most learned of historians. Please access this article from the New York Times by clicking here.

Ancient Sites–For Rent in Greece

France24 has recently reported that the Greek government has decided to allow many of its famed archaeological sites–like the Parthenon–to be made available for “commercial” use by companies, private institutions, and other organizations. The decision, made by the Greek Ministry of Cultural Affairs, has been met with disgust and confusion by scholars and archaeologists. Please read this article by clicking here.

Ancient “Modernism” in Greco-Roman Egypt

In the February 2012 edition of Smithsonian Magazine, there is an excellent article on the beautiful “Fayum portraits,” dating from the Greco-Roman period of Egyptian history (c. 332 BCE–642 CE). Discovered between 1887 and 1889 CE, by the British archaeologist W. M. Flinders Petrie, these portraits are arguably some of the most exquisite portraits in the history of art. To read more about these portraits, please click here to read and access this article. Be sure to follow the links to view the gallery of accompanying images!

Popcorn is older than we thought….

While corn was first domesticated in the valleys of central Mexico thousands of years ago, scientists and archaeologists now believe that popcorn originated from ancient Peru. According to a recent report from National Geographic, popcorn is over two thousand years old! Please click here to read the article in full.

Did the Sumerians brew beer or not?

Our history books inform us that the ancient Sumerians from the Fertile Crescent were the first to brew alcoholic beverages. Is this true though? Or did the Sumerians merely brew a very “low-alcoholic” drink?  The writers at Deutsche Welle review the evidence and make a judgment. Please click here to read this report.

Anglo-Saxon Gold

As the Romans retreated from Britain at the dawn of the fifth century CE, various Germanic tribes invaded and subdued the Romanized Celtic inhabitants. Following conquest, they left behind impressive barrows in addition to hoards of gold, silver, and other precious metals. Recently, National Geographic Magazine featured an article on the spectacular discovery of a hoard of gold in Staffordshire. Yet a mystery remains: no one knows who buried it or why it was buried in the first place. Please click here to read this compelling article.