Posts Tagged: archaeology

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Foundation plaques B (photo 1) and A (photo 2), dating to the early 4th century BCE. Both these plaques of hammered gold have been inscribed in Old Persian, and are from Iran during the Achaemenid period.

Artefacts courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, USA. Photos taken by Daderot via the Wiki Commons.

Source: ancientart



The field of archaeoastronomy is evolving say researchers seeking a closer relationship between astronomy and archaeology

The merging of astronomical techniques with the archaeological study of ancient man-made features in the landscape could prove Neolithic and Bronze Age people were acute astronomical observers, according to researchers.

Dubbed archaeoastronomy, the developing and sometimes maligned field takes a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring a range of theories about the astronomical alignment of standing stones and megalithic structures.

Some of these theories were highlighted recently at the 2014 National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth. Read more.

Source: archaeologicalnews


Carved in the 4th century CE and looted by Italian soldiers in 1937, the Obelisk of Axum stood in Rome’s Piazza di Porta Capena until its return to Ethiopia in 2008.

(via architectureofdoom)

Source: trythewine
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Andy’s Seven Wonders of the World

(via kantpunch)

Source: chrisprattawesomesource
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They did it, they fucking did it.



holy shit!

can someone explain this to me

Thirty years ago a legendary ET game came to fruition, so awful that as the tale told, all unsold copies of it were buried in a pit in New Mexico. A documentary film crew has just unearthed the stash, proving the legend true.


(via anarchoveganism)

Source: mrdappersden
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Vasily Klyukin

The Winged Victory Of Samothrace Could One Day Dominate Your City’s Skyline

post modernist architecture is fucked up and rude

(via notsufferingfrominsanity)



A quick look at: Baal, the Canaanite god of fertility and rain, whom is known at Ugarit as “the Rider of Clouds” -which is where this artifact of him was found.

Baal is actually a title meaning master or lord. There was a large number of local Baals, such as Baal-hamon (Cant 8:11), Baal-gad (Josh 11:17), and Baal-zephon (Exod 14:2).

Of these Baals was the “Great Baal,” or “the Rider of Clouds.” Baal was the son of El (the Father of the gods) and brother of Yam-Nahar (god of the rivers and seas). He is a fertility god, who represents the beneficial aspects of water as rain. Baal worship likely included a number of rituals, such as a ritual dance which involved participants limping around the altar (1 Kgs 18:26).

According to Ugaritic texts there were two stories which played a particularly significant role in shaping Canaanite thought about Baal:

These were the stories of Baal and Yamm, the Sea, and Baal and Mot, Death. In these accounts Baal is featured as a god who faced extremely powerful destructive forces, confronted the challenge at hand, appeared to be near defeat at the heart of the confrontation, but in the end emerged victorious.

The story of Baal’s encounter with the dragon, Yamm, highlights Baal’s role as a god who confronted and defeated the monster who was the source of chaos. […] The story of Baal’s encounter with Mot, Death, highlights Baal’s role as a god of fertility. The story features the cycle the Canaanites believed Baal passed through each year. In the encounter Baal was defeated by Mot, sent to the underworld -the realm of the dead- and eventually reappeared victorious over Mot. (Mills & Bullard 1990)

The shown artifact is courtesy & currently located at the Louvre, France. Bronze, dates to the 14th-12th centuries BCE, and was found in Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit). Photo taken by JastrowWhen writing up this post the Mercer Dictionary of the Bible (1990) by Watson E. Mills & Roger Aubrey Bullard was of great use.

Source: ancientart
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The Temple of Seti I at Abydos, Egypt.

This temple consists of seven sanctuaries lined up in a row, each of which are dedicated to a different deity (the southernmost of these honours 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Seti I himself). The purpose for the construction of this building was to act as a funerary shrine for Seti I, as confirmed by the name of the building: "The house of millions of years of the King Men-Ma’at-Re [Seti I], who is contented at Abydos." Although he was actually buried in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, Seti followed the royal tradition of constructing a second funerary complex at Abydos -the cult centre of the Egyptian god Osiris.

The bas-reliefs of this temple are some of the best persevered from ancient Egypt, and many retain the original paint work. A classical, traditional style is evoked by the raised relief decoration carved under Seti I on fine white limestone.

From north to south, the temple is dedicated to the following Egyptian deities: Horus, Isis, Osiris, Amen-Re, Re-Horakhty, and Ptah. Seti restoring the worship of the traditional gods of Egypt after the Amarna period could explain this combined dedication. The aftermath of the Amarna period is also reflected in the "king’s gallery". This is a rather selective list of legitimate pharaohs from Egyptian history, with the names of Akhenaten, Smenkhkare and Tutankhamen excluded -as though erasing their reigns from recorded history.

The first photo was taken by Irene Soto, and the rest by Kyera Giannini, all courtesy the New York University Institute for the Study of the Ancient World via Flickr. When writing up this post, Kathryn A. Bard’s Encyclopaedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (2005) was of use.

Source: ancientart


The Babylonian king Hammurabi, as shown standing next to Mesopotamian deity Shamash on the Law Code of Hammurabi. This scene portrays the king receiving his investiture. 

Following the collapse of the Third Dynasty of Ur around 2000 BC, Mesopotamia was split into a number of small city states. Of these was Babylon, which rose to importance for the first time under Amorite ruler Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC).

The British Museum elaborates:

For the first twenty-eight years of his reign, Hammurabi governed his small kingdom and built up alliances. From 1764 he defeated the king of Elam in south-western Iran, and during the next two years conquered the most powerful states to the south and west. Finally, in 1761, he turned his attention to Upper Mesopotamia and his former ally Mari.

During the last ten years of his reign Hammurabi concentrated on the administration of his huge empire. After his death in 1750 BC his empire fragmented, and in 1595 BC Babylon was captured by the Hittites from central Turkey.

One particularly notable archaeological find dating from his reign is the Law Code of Hammurabi (see the full artifact here). This stele was erected by Hammurabi during the 18th century BC, dates back earlier than even the Biblical laws, and is the most complete legal compendium of Antiquity. This remarkable artifact is significant not just for its legal content, but also for what light it sheds on the economy, religion, society, and history of this period.

Here are some examples of the laws (Harper translation):

  • 14. If a man steal a man’s son, who is a minor, he shall be put to death.
  • 54. If he be not able to restore the grain, they shall sell him and his goods, and the farmer whose grain the water has carried away shall share (the results of the sale).
  • 127. If a man point the finger at a priestess or the wife of another and cannot justify it, they shall drag that man before the judges and they shall brand his forehead.
  • 173. If that woman bear children to her later husband into whose house she has entered and later on that woman die, the former and the later children shall divide her dowry.
  • 240. If a boat under way strike a ferryboat (or, boat at anchor), and sink it, the owner of the boat whose boat was sunk shall make declaration in the presence of god of everything that was lost in his boat and (the owner) of (the vessel) under way which sank the ferryboat shall replace his boat and whatever was lost.
  • 282. If a male slave say to his master: “Thou art not my master,” his master shall prove him to be his slave and shall cut off his ear.

Artifact courtesy & currently located at the Louvre, France. Photo taken by Mbzt.

Source: ancientart