Pyramids of Giza and King Tut

There is not one site that I think is more important than another. I believe all of the ruins and different archaeological sites are very important in a variety of ways. One of the most interesting topics to me was the Pyramids of Giza and King Tut. This was most interesting to me because I have always been interested in ancient Egypt and I have always wanted to travel there one day. I learned the basics of Egypt, the pyramids and King Tut when I was in elementary school, but I never got to learn the in depth details about every little thing you can learn about Egypt. This is why I really enjoyed taking Archaeology 264 and getting to learn all about the different cultures and places and see how they are all different.

I thought it was really interesting learning about the sphinx and why it doesn’t have a nose. I also thought it was really interesting how the three Pyramids of Giza line up with the stars in the Orion’s belt, and the sphinx is actually a representation of the constellation of Leo. I never knew King Tut had a name other than Tut, and how long it was. I also never knew that Tut, or Tutankhamun changed his name. I think it is really interesting how West Egypt was the land of the dead and East Egypt is the land of living and they correlated it with how the sun dies in the west and is born in the east. I also cant believe that when Tut’s tomb was discovered the guy who discovered his tomb, Howard Carter, pulled off his head. It surprises me how some people are not careful with ancient objects. Howard Carter also discovered the only undisturbed tomb in the Valley of the Kings. I think it is really interesting that when Kings were mummified and put in a sarcophagus, the whole entire sarcophagus is made of solid gold. The outer sarcophagus is coated with offerings and pomegranate leaves and was made of gold and semi precious stone. There are 3 layers in the sarcophagus. Within the 3rd layer of the sarcophagus is the mummy itself, and again is solid gold. I think it is also very interesting how King Tut’s death was unexpected. I remember learning in Elementary school that King Tut died at a very young age but we never learned that he only ruled for 5 years and that when his mummy was discovered there was an injury on the back of his skull. There was talk that Tut was murdered by getting bashed in the back of the head. There was also a fracture in one of his legs that may have resulted in his death. I think that everything about Egypt is very interesting and im glad that I got to learn so in depth about all of the different pharaohs and dynasties and everything about ancient Egypt.

Cango Caves

I have always been very interested in Africa. After learning about the Great Zimbabwe, I was quite eager to learn more about Africa. I came across the Cango Caves. The Cango Caves are located in Precambrian Limestones at the foothills of the Swartberg range near Oudtshoorn in the western cape of South Africa. People from all over come to see these wonderful caves. The extensive system of tunnels and chambers go on for over four kilometers. However, only a quarter of the four kilometers is open for people to see. Although this cave is open to visitors, there is more than one section to the caves that took millions of years to form one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Only the main sections of these caves are available to explore. This cave is one of the countries finest and most popular tourist caves.

These caves started to form approximately 20 million years ago, when the water level dropped to a very high extent that the ground water could potentially seep into the limestone. When this happened, cavities were formed and they filled with water. Rivers formed on the surface and cut into the limestone allowing them to reach the water level. Because of this, the water flowed out about 4 million years ago. Then the cave when exposed to the air for the first time and formations started to form.

For a very long time, humans didn’t even know about these caves. Animals were the only ones living in them. Then 10,000 years ago, the Khoisan used the entrance area of the cave as a shelter, but they didn’t explore and they didn’t stay. Professor A.J.H. Goodwin excavated these caves in 1930. He found many stone artifacts and other cultural material. This was evidence that there had been people living here during the middle and late Stone Ages. However, the caves were discovered in 1780 by a herder names Klaas Windvogel, who stumbled across them when he lost his cattle. He left the caves and retrieved help from a Mr. Barend Oppel, and Jacobus Van Zyl. They all entered the cave together in July 1780. There is a chamber that was named Van Zyl Hall in his honor. This was the first chamber he was lowered down into, and he estimated it to be 5 miles long, 3 miles wide and 1 mile high. But his calculations happened to be very incorrect.

The Cango Caves are a series of dripstone caverns that open into enormous halls of towering stalagmite formations. The main chambers in the Cango Caves contain countless dripstone formations, and Van Zyl’s hall. This chamber is called Cango 1 and it is a very enormous chamber. Cango 2, 3, 4, and 5 were also discovered between 1972 and 1975. One of the main attractions at the Cango Caves is Cleopatra’s Needle. It stands 9 meters high and is at least 150,000 years old. There are little chambers at the end of the caves beyond others reach that are very interesting. It has a steep latter and a small hole that you would have to crawl to get to. This cave is unbelievably beautiful and I am very glad I stumbled across it.

The Legend of the Stonehenge

Being one of the most famous sited in the world, I was very fascinated in the Stonehenge. scientists and historians are still unable to come to a solid theory of when, why, who and how the rock structures were built, however there have been many theories. Today scientists analyze these rocks using radiocarbon dating and other techniques. People reject the earlier stories of the Stonehenge.

The name Stonehenge is believed to be of Saxon Origin. Stonehenge is located on fairly flat land known as Salisbury Plain. Stonehenge is different fron many other of the stone circles in Western Britain because many of the stones are trimmed into rectilinear forms. Another interesting thing about Stonehenge is the sheer size of the stones. Some of these stones are among the largest ancient structures still standing in the British Isles. The circle of the stones lying on the outer circle of Stonehenge is calles “The Outer Sarsen Circle.” This circle is composed of 30 square upright stones make of Sarsen–a type of sandstone. Each stone is approximately 13 1/2 feet above the ground, and is about 7 feet wide and 3 3/4 feet thick. The Outer Bluestone Circle lies in the Sasen Circle and contains 60 Bluestone rocks, composed of igneous rock called Bluestone. Bluestone has a bluish coloring. The inner Sarsen Trilithons are arranged in a horseshoe shape and are composed of 5 independent Trilithons. The Inner Bluestone Circle is another horseshoe shaped and has 19 Bluestones. The Alter Stone is a big rectangular piece of gray sandstone. The Alter Stone is now snapped in two. The name “Alter Stone” refers to the theory that the Druids used the Stonehenge and a temple, and the large stone in the middle was the Alter.

During the Medieval era, Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a book. This book was called ” The History of The Kings of Britain. The story began in Britain. New British King Vortigern has seized the throne. He met with the Saxon King Hengist because Saxons were a threat. At this meeting the Saxons murdered 460 British Lords. Vortigern was captured and released, then fled to Wales and built a tower on Mount Snowdon.Then Aurelius Ambrosius, the rightful Brisitsh King, burns Vortigern in his tower. Now there is a battle between Aurelius and The Saxons. British win. Aurelius decides to set up a memorial to the Mt. Amesbury Massacre. Aurelius is then told of a great stone structure located in Ireland. This was the structure of the Stonehenge. These stones were taken and set up at the massacre site in the exact same formation. Aurelius was supposedly buried there when he died, as well as Uther Pendragon who succeeded him.

Blog post #2

I remember at a very young age I learned all about the pyramids and Pharaohs. I especially remember learning about King Tut. I didn’t know his full name was Tutankhamun. I think it’s really interesting how his name was previously Tutankhaten, but he changed it. I was very interested in these topics even at a young age. Being so young, my classes did not go into much detail.

I never knew how King Tut was found. I thought it was very interesting how Howard Carter excavated King Tut’s tomb, and I never knew that he accidentally pulled off King Tut’s skull. I always thought that mummies were just in the sarcophagus itself. I did not know that there were three layers in the sarcophagus until the mummy itself. I never knew how intricate the sarcophagus’ were, and I can even imagine how much gold was used for the whole entire thing to be solid gold.

When I was younger I would always watch movies about mummies and the mummy curse. I believed the myths. Then I learned that the newspapers created these myths because they couldn’t find anything out about the pyramids. I think that’s pretty crazy and I cant imagine how they got away with it and got people to believe it.

After this lecture in class I was very interested in King Tut and I wanted to learn more. I think it’s really interesting how he died at such a young age and his cause of death is a complete mystery. I thought it was really weird how he didn’t make an impact at all, and if Carter did not excavate King Tut’s tomb he wouldn’t even be as known as he is now. One thing I learned while I was trying to learn more about Tut is that his original name, Tutankhaten, means “living image of Aten.” Tutankhamun, Tuts name when he changed it, means “living image of Amun.” Tut took the throne at the age of 9 or 10, I cant even image being so young and having to take throne. I also didn’t know that when Tut became king he married his half sister—Ankhesenpaaten. Tut and his wife had two daughters, but both of them died still in the womb. One of the daughters dies at 5 or 6 months of pregnancy, and the other died at 9 months. I think everything we’ve learned in class has been incredibly interesting and I cannot wait to learn more.

Archaeology

This is my first semester at Michigan State. When i attended orientation I was not planning on taking an anthropology class. I actually was not interested in taking any science classes. There wasn’t a very wide selection of classes to take, which is why im in all science classes. I wasn’t sure how well this class would go for me and to be honest i wasn’t quite sure what we’d be learning about.

When i walked into the first class I was nervous. By the end of class I was really interested. I also realized that all of my classes are related in some way. I didn’t realize I would be learning about ancient artifacts and mayan landmarks.

I went to Mexico my senior year of high school. At this time i didnt know much about mayan landmarks and i especially didnt know about the ruins anywhere. I got the opportunity to go to Tulum. This was definitely the coolest thing ive ever done. I never realized these towers and buildings existed, and being able to walk around and look at them close up was definitely an experience. Something that many people do not realize is that the ruins are not destroyed from human destruction but actually destroyed by natural causes and the environment around it.

Tulum is a very interesting Mayan landmark. The earliest date liften from the site is A.D. 564, and the first european settlers to see Tulum was in 1518. It was a sea side trading port. One thing i remember learning about Tulum was that mayans would put their children in this weird wood contraption. There would be two blocks of wood nailed together at an angle. This would flatten the childrens forehead. They would have to wear these for i believe the first 18 months of life. This contraption made it so Mayans had distinct flat foreheads. This was common for the higher class mayans. Another thing they used to do to their children was to cross their eyes. Mayans would dangle objects in newborns eyes until they were permanently cross eyed. Mayans wanted to enhance their childrens beauty.

At first i was really upset about my classes. After learning a little about archaeology, i can see myself learning more and doing a lot more with in later in college.