🧐 ROTA #11: Hunting pits, ancient statues, and Petra's irrigation system
Folks, we broke 100 subscribers! I can’t tell you how excited I was to see that number hit triple-digits. As always, thank you so much for being a part of this, I really appreciate you all.
One more little tidbit: I’ve decided to rename the the newsletter. I feel like “Rhythm of the Ancients” is just a bit… much. It’s long and prone to spelling errors. Next week’s issue will come from the “Ancient Beat”, so keep an eye out for that. What do you think of the name change - upgrade or downgrade?
Ok, enough of that. Here’s the latest ancient news 👇
🗞 Ancient Beat
Stonehenge: Archaeologists unearth 10,000-year-old hunting pits — Researchers have found thousands of pits (though another source said 400) near Stonehenge. They are thought to have been hunting pits, and date as far back as 8200 BCE. According to archaeologist Dr. Nick Snashall, “The discovery of the largest known Early Mesolithic pit in north-west Europe shows this was a special place for hunter-gatherer communities thousands of years before the first stones were erected.”
Iron Age subterranean complex discovered beneath Turkish home — A recent study examined a panel of carvings discovered in an underground complex in Turkey in 2017. The panel shows a procession of eight Assyrian gods, including the “earliest-known regional attestation of Atargatis, the principal goddess of Syria c. 300 BC–AD 200.” Interestingly, the inscriptions give the Aramaic names of the gods — “It’s primarily Aramaic symbolism that we find, melded with Assyrian style,” says philologist Selim Ferruh Adalı. The complex and carvings date back to the 1st millennium BCE, and both seem to be unfinished.
Indus Valley Civilization Site Investigated in Northern India — A 7,000-year-old village called Rakhigarhi is being excavated in northern India. It has straight streets, drainage, garbage containers, and multi-story houses. Discoveries include a 5,000-year-old jewelry workshop, complete with copper, gold, beads, and more.
Tamils knew use of iron 4,000 years ago, archaeological findings show — Carbon dating of artifacts indicates that Tamils began using iron about 4,200 years ago. This pushes the regional use of iron back by 600-700 years.
Two More “Giants” Discovered in Sardinia — Two large statues depicting boxers have been found in the necropolis at Cabras in Sardinia. The statues are made of limestone and would have stood more than six feet tall. They are thought to have been carved 3,000 years ago. These statues are not alone — fragments of more than 40 similar statues had previously been found.
Ship Graffiti at Zanzibar Fort Recorded — Ancient graffiti has been found on the ramparts of Zanzibar Fort in Tanzania. The carvings all portray ships, like a European-style three-masted frigate, Arab dhows, and an East African mtepe. They are thought to have been carved by soldiers on guard duty. Apparently ship graffiti was a widespread practice within Omani military buildings.
Mislabeled for a Century, Mysterious Mummy Reclassified as Sacred Ibis — A small mummy labeled as a hawk has been sitting at Cornell University for nearly 100 years. But scans have now shown that it is actually an “African sacred ibis”. The ibis is, of course, associated with the Egyptian god, Thoth. They were sacrificed by the millions in tribute.
Russian forces reportedly stole priceless Scythian treasures from Ukrainian museum — 2,300-year-old Scythian artifacts at the Melitopol Museum of Local History in Ukraine have reportedly been stolen by Russian soldiers. This includes at least 198 gold items, as well as coins, weapons, and more.
Remains of Aztec dwelling and floating gardens unearthed in Mexico City — An 800-year-old Aztec dwelling was uncovered in Mexico City. Dating to the late Postclassic period (1200-1521 CE) it is 4,300 square feet. The team also found other things, including what seems to be an unfinished statue of a man in a loin cloth throwing something. They believe the statue may have been hidden intentionally from the Spanish.
❤️ Recommended Content
This video details the Beng Mealea Temple in Cambodia. It is a 12th century sandstone Hindu temple with Buddhist motifs. Now ruinous, nature is quickly reclaiming it, adding to the mystique.
According to this article, a company called Morning Star and His Friends LLC purchased a property with 1000-year-old cave art in Missouri. “Morning Star” is the name given to one of the figures in the cave art. Apparently, there is no accessible information about who owns the company, no phone number, etc. The Osage Nation had hoped to purchase the land to protect it, and called it “truly heartbreaking.”
This article details Petra’s advanced irrigation system, which we would be “hard-pressed to do” today. It includes hilltop reservoirs which capture and store winter rain, hundreds of miles of perfectly-angled channels, terracotta pipes, and cisterns where the water was stored in Petra. According to researchers, it would have provided 12 million gallons of water per day.
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