🧐 Ancient Beat #92: Traps, temples, and a valley of lost cities
Hey everyone, welcome to issue #92 of Ancient Beat.
How about that title? I think I just named the next Indiana Jones movie. 😂
Here’s the latest ancient news. 👇
🗞 Ancient News: Top 5
Valley of Lost Cities That Flourished 2,000 Years Ago Found in Amazon — Archaeologists have discovered a network of ancient cities in the Amazon, inhabited by the Upano people around 500 BCE to 300-600 CE. Utilizing LiDAR, the team uncovered over 6,000 earthen mounds arranged in geometric patterns, residential and ceremonial buildings, extensive roadways, and agricultural fields covering 230 square miles. This significant find, suggesting a complex society of up to 30,000 inhabitants, challenges previous perceptions of the Amazon as a sparsely populated wilderness.
Cult Mentality: Monumental Discovery in Italy — A large Roman temple dating to the 4th century CE was discovered in Spello, Italy. This temple, believed to be from the time of Emperor Constantine (ruled 306 to 337 CE), offers significant insights into the transition from pagan gods to Christianity within the Roman Empire. It is a rare physical manifestation of late 'imperial cult practice' under Christian rulers, showing a gradual change that challenges previous assumptions about the rapidity of this transition. The temple was found thanks to a rescript from Constantine that granted permission to the people of Spello to celebrate a religious festival in their hometown (instead of traveling) as long as they erected a temple to his divine ancestors. According to Douglas Boin, “We are on the cusp of giving people a very visible piece of evidence that really upends the neat and tidy ways people think about big moments of cultural change. Cultural changes are never as big as we think they are when living through them, and there's a lot of gray area in between people's customs and the broader society and culture. And a lot of those can be left out of the story. So to have this temple potentially be a temple dedicated to Constantine's divine ancestors as a way to worship the emperor in an increasingly Christian world at the time, it's so weird and I love that we can bring it to light.”
Signs of Hunter-Gatherer Life Examined in Britain — Mesolithic-era footprints and fish traps were found in Britain's Severn Estuary. The 7,000-year-old traps, constructed from willow stems and wooden stakes, reflect sophisticated fishing techniques. The hundreds of footprints, including those of small children, appear to travel between possible campsites and the traps.
Vast Fortification Enclosing Walled Oasis Dating Back 4,000 Years in North-Western Arabia – Unearthed — Archaeologists discovered a vast 4,000-year-old fortification in northwestern Arabia, enclosing the Khaybar Oasis. The structure, originally 9 miles long, encircled a territory of nearly 1,100 hectares and is the second largest in Saudi Arabia. This major discovery highlights the strategic importance of the oasis as well, as the social complexity of cultures in pre-Islamic periods.
Abandoned Wells Hid Record Books from 1,700 Years Ago. See Ancient Finds from China — We covered bamboo slips last week, and here we are again. In the ancient city of Dutou, archaeologists discovered two ancient wells containing over 10,000 bamboo slips dating back 1,700 years. These slips, used for writing before paper, held records of taxes, household registration, and farmland, essentially serving as the city's official record books. Some slips were also used like business cards, with names and titles for socializing. Other finds at the site include residential ruins and tombs. Dutou was a powerful city from the Han Dynasty until the Six Dynasties period.
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