W6 Archaeology in the News Post

The article I read was about the discovery of a burial site on the island of Cyprus. The burial has been dated to about three thousand five hundred years ago. The burial was discovered in an area that has been exposed by erosion. Before the digging began the team performed a geophysical survey using different technologies including radar. The survey revealed one hundred pits, including wells and offering pits as well as the burial. During the survey the team was intrigued by one pit that was larger than the others. Excavation of this pit led to the discovery of seventeen sets of human remains, eight children and nine adults. The family seems to have been quite wealthy, based on the artifacts recovered from the burial and an adjacent offering pit. Among the artifacts recovered were some Egyptian scarab figures that included an inscription that allowed the team to link them to Pharaoh Thutmosis III. There were also many intact pieces of pottery from Syria, Mesopotamia, and Greece, and many pieces of gold jewelry. The find helps archaeologists to see how the wealthy members of Cypriot society lived at the time and also shows how far the trading networks of the time extended.

Source: 3,500- year-old Grave Filled with Exotic Valuables Found in Cyprus

Haaretz 8/9/16

4 thoughts on “W6 Archaeology in the News Post

  1. Scott, this is super interesting! It’s crazy that something this massive and significant has remained unearthed for this long. Obviously these burial pits came from a culturally sophisticated group of people. The layers of pits suggest a great deal of planning and preparation went into the design and placement of the individuals. The evidence of offering pits and pits that differed in sizes, points towards a relatively complex group. The creation of social classes is one of the tell signs for advancement of a society. The artifacts found with the bodies are from distant places, a trade system also points toward the classification of statehood.

  2. Scott, it is good to see that we can relate our knowledge on surveying and the techniques involved to this article. It is also interesting to note that this excavation was done on one burial, of over a hundred other pits and wells that the survey revealed. I would imagine that there are many reasons why one would excavate one pit over another; depth, size, proximity, and much more. The large amounts of artifacts found from different origins, such as Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Greece, signals a significant amount of trading that occurred, which is remarkable considering how long ago the site was occupied.

  3. This is a great post, thank you for sharing. The first thing I was struck by was how many artifacts from Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia and Greece were present. Very impressive to see how far they were able to get goods from. I was also really struck by how many burials they recovered at the site. Given the sheer number and the size of the site, it really is remarkable that they were able to remain hidden for so long. This is an example of how erosion plays a major role in what is being discovered and recovered. Much like our video we watched on the sites within the Grand Canyon. Thank you again for sharing!

  4. I find it extremely interesting how natural causes such as erosion can uncover many sites for archaeologists. One of my biggest questions about this article is how did this family seem to have things from Syria, Greece, and Mesopotamia? They must have been quite wealthy to have these things brought to them at that point in time. Just like you mentioned in your post, it does show how far trading at that time had expanded. I wonder if the jewelry was in tact. I also would like to know what else archaeologists learned from this excavation. Great post! Hopefully our questions will be answered in the near future.

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