Bonus Blog

I believe that there were a few sites and context that we talked about that were either very interesting, important, capitivizing, and exciting.  The one that I thought was most important, was the Egyptians.  The Egyptian sites that we talked about were absolutly breath taking.  The things that we have discovered at Egyptian sites were ones that we marvel at.  The reason is because they were doing things that no one thought would be possible for such an ancient and old civilization.  They were able to preserve bodies so well, that we are able to look at and detect what was the cause of their deaths, how they’re skeletal structure looked, even facial features.  This is astounding for two reasons.  First is that this is a body that is thousands and thousands of years old.  Secondly, the fact that they were able to preserve a body for that long for being an ancient race is insane.  They also built monuments structures, that even today, are some of the most renown sites in the world.  The pyramid of Kuufu, which is referred to as “The Great Pyramid” is one of the most visited sites in the entire world.  Its a structure that has an entrance that is 17 meters off the ground.  The structure itself is over 450 feet tall, and this is a structure that was build over four thousand years ago, and still stands tall today.  This is only one of many other pyramids that were built in Egypt.  Another interesting thing about the Egyptian site is how intrigued people have been throughout history about its existence.  Travelers, and even crusaders would stop by this site during the Holy Wars to bestow their eyes upon the amazing pyramids and Ghaza strip.  Napoleon was so intrigued by ancient Egypt that he wanted to take it over, and actually went to war for it.  There are also huge crypts, and burials that have been discovered over the past few centuries.  Huge crypts filled with gold and treasures and ancient artifacts, that were held dear to the ancient Egyptian rulers.  There have been countless movies based on these sites, the culture of America has had many egyptian references whether it be using the Mummy as a monster, or using the ancient pyramids as part of a conspiracy theory.  I hope that we are able to preserve this site for our future generations, and so that our kids can marvel at the ancient structures just like I have.

What about Sudan?

For my topic, I decided to go with an article I found on the New York Times website. It  starts off talking about the significance of the Sudans s site and how we view it.  Today, many people view Sudan as kind of a scary place.  A place of war, distruction, and drought, but it actually holds a lot of rich history, one that archaeologist marvel at.  The ancient kingdoms of Kush and Nubia are from the Sudan areas, and these kingdoms rivaled the greatest including the Greek, Egyptians, and even Romans.  A large reason you never hear about these sites is because of the overshadowing of the egyptian sites.

Archaeologist believe that these sites are very important, because it provides crucial information about the history of Africa.  Many archaeologist have been excavating sites like Nuri and Bijrawiya.  In sites like these, they were able to actually uncover more pyramids than the egypt sites.  Even in just one site in Northern-Sudan, they were able to uncover 35 pyramids over the past 4 years.  A man by the name of Charles Bonnet has been excavating Dukki Gel for over 44 years in Sudan.  The town of Dukki Gel was flourishing in around 1500 BC.  Here, they also discovered a large quantity of statues.   The statues reflected black pharaohs of the time DUkki Gel was up.  Around 750 BC, Kingdom of Kush was actually a really strong military power.  They were even really able to rule over the Egyptians and Palestinians.  Ancient Meroe, which was actually a capital in the Kingdom of Kush.  Here, they flourished in the art of Iron smelting, and earning.  It earned its nickname “the Birmingham of Africa”.  Women ruled this city, and they were called Kandake.

This site, and many others in Sudan are facing many troubles.  They are having issues protecting their sites, and has been ransacked by the gold rush.  This is huge, because while all of these people go to these sites and lands to find gold, they a lot of the time will run into ancient artifacts and relics.  This is horrible  because it removes the artifact from the site it was at, losing its context.   There was actually a story recently, where a man was trying to smuggle a statue.  These excavations are also losing a lot of funding, and are running low on money.  However, in Febuary The government was able to fund 27 new archaeological excavations in Sudan.  A huge reason behind this funding was for the hope of future tourist rates to rise due to the arhcaeological discoveries.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/world/africa/in-sudan-archaeologists-unearth-ancient-kingdoms.html?pagewanted=2&ref=archaeologyandanthropology

Ancient Chemical Warfare In Roman Times

The Romans created a great garrison in early AD after conquering the Dura-Europos.  This garrison was massive, and was created to withstand a siege attack.  Around 256 AD, the Sasanian Persians attacked the Roman garrison.  There was no written ancient texts about this siege, but was uncovered after excavating the site in the 1920’s, and then again renewed recently.  In the excavation they discovered a pile of twenty Roman soldiers, that were in a peculiar position, which aroused curiosity to how the Roman Soldiers came to their demise.

When the Persians attacked and sieged the garrison, they used many tactics including mining which the Roman’s attempted to “counter-mine” and in one of these small dwellings was where the Roman’s bodies were discovered.  In these dwellings is where the archaeologists discovered that the Romans were clearly losing the struggle, by which the Persians used the pile of bodies to block the countermine, and set fire to them to collapse the walls and to make wall sapping easier for the Persians.  After surveying the tunnel, they discovered traces of bitumen and sulpher crystals, which were ignited.  When these components were ignited, they created a toxic gas, which choked its victims.  This is how the archaeologist concluded the death of the 20 Romans, and discovered the first use of chemical warfare.

After reading this article, I was very intrigued.  I looked at the use chemical warfare, and would only think about modern times, and would believe that the first use of chemical warfare would be mustard gas which was introduced in World War 1.  I was stunned to learn that it was actually first used over eighteen hundred years before that.  It really speaks volumes to how well developed the Persian Empire was.  Not only that, but the way that they were able to apply the use of it in battle was very pro founding because of how strategical it was used.  Maybe they were able to use this strategy in other ways that we have not yet discovered, which I’m very excited to hear about if any new news come out.  We can’t just look at these ancient armies as just sword slashing, catapult shooting cultures anymore, but those that also applied science to their strategies and warfare.  The dominance of the Persian army may have even been supported by such modern uses as this one, which would explain a lot about how they were able to conquered almost the entire world.

If you want to check out more information, heres the article that I got this from!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114075921.htm

The Top Ten Theories about the Lost City of Atlantis

In class, we talked about different ideas of  what the Lost City of Atlantis is or was, and also what became of it and how it became of it.  Atlantis was an idea that was first written down over two thousand years ago by the Greek philosopher Plato.  Scholars have been at it for years arguing whether or not this place even exists.  In class, however, we learned that most likely the place Plato talked about was more of a logical idea of a perfect civilization.

10.  Accounts of Atlantis Were Just a Story

The tenth top theory is the idea that the story Plato wrote was just for entertainment.  Scientists also say he wrote it also to warn people about turning their backs on the gods.  The scientists use the reference of Platos account on Atlantis, when he talks about how the Greek God Posideon was given the islands of Atlantis.  I find this theory to be one of the few that are very plausible because of the culture of ancient Greece.  People in these times were very paranoid about the wrath of the gods, and I believe that Plato just wrote this to inspire or scare people into keeping their faith with the ancient greek gods.

9. Atlantis was fictional, however the world wide deluge is fact

This theory takes in account and comments on Platos statements on the almost the entire world being destroyed, except for a small population of people.  They believe that there was a massive flood that devastated the earth, and people began to migrate and spread out from this “Atlantis” location.  Plato stated that this event happened thousands of years before his time, which would have put it around the time of the ending of the Ice Age. I believe that this is a huge part of the theory that makes it somewhat credible.

8. Atlantis was a continent that was sunken by natural disasters

We actually talked about this theory in class.  Ignatius Donnelly wrote a book that talked about what happened to this ancient technological marvel of a city, that suddenly sunk from massive flooding.  He also assumed that the Atlantic Ocean was 100 feet or less deep.  However today, we have discovered that there are depths reaching almost 5 miles deep.

7. Plato referred to an Ancient Greek City that was wiped out by volcanic explosion

Around 1600BC there was a giant volcanic explosion that was in the middle of many cities, including coastal cities.  Scientists believe that Plato was referring to the city in an idealistic manner.  I look at this as possible because Plato referrs to the god’s wrath which was what sunk/destroyed Atlantis, and perhaps this is what he was talking about.

The rest of the theories are pretty extreme, and I’ll write about #1 because I find it to be the one that I’ve never really heard of.

1. Atlantis is in the Bahamas 

Apparently many believe that Atlantis was in the Bahamas.  Here, they believe that many of the coastline has “street” like pathways, and roads that appear to be man made.  However, scientists have evaluated these and concluded that they’re just natural formations.

 

Personally, I only believe in #10, because I’m a logical person and to me that was the most logical.  Plato was a philosopher, and I believe he was just trying to explain the idea behind the perfect civilization.

 

Where Man Domesticated

Over 11,000 years ago, around the years 9600 B.C, the human race first began domesticating their crops and animals.  These traces of our past are found in Turkey.  They contain evidence of traces of history that are the pivot point in the human diet, and started the farming revolution.  This ancient city is called Sanliurfa, and this is where man took a turning point into an advance revolution.

A german archaelogists in 1994 was strolling through the cite of Senliurfa, discovered a small hill that he believed to have been man made.  When he was going through the area, he was discovering dozens and dozens of arrowheads.  Schmidt was then taken to the only tree located on this hill, and this is where he discovered rocks.  Not only were they rocks, but they were man made, ancient rocks created by the original people of Sanliurfa thousands and thousands of years ago.  This was found to be one of the most ancient sites ever found.

This site, and these rocks and man made creations were to have been said not possible to be made, however this evidence now demolishes all of those impossibilities.  This spot indicates that hunter-gatherer generation started even earlier then we once thought.  After taking a closer look, and analyzing the man-made stones, they discovered that they were resembling human-like features, which some people believe to be mystical beings that were once beloved.

This site is said to be as monumental as the pyramids itself.  Not because of the beauty or the look of the site, but because of the message that comes from it.  How monumental would a site be if it was found to be the first place man started to create things like carved art made out of stone, or herding animals and creating farms?  What about the findings of possible cooking of pasta noodles or even oven chips?  These are the first steps to the revolution that has led to what human kind is today.