I decided to write my blog about recent archaeological discoveries of the past 5 years because in class we discussed that there is still new discoveries in archaeology. A wooden stick from Border Cave in South Africa was discovered that dated back 24,000 years. The wooden stick contained the earliest evidence of humans using poison. Though the stick was found in 1980 it was not until recently that the poison was discovered. It is suggested that that stick was used to apply poison to arrow heads.
A collection of seventy-five sandal nails led German archaeologists to the identification of a Roman military camp near Hermeskeil in Germany. A team of archaeologists uncovered the main gate of the camp, stones that were used as pavement, and many sandal nails that were scattered on the ground. The marks on the nails were a distinct type that was used by the army, verifying that it was indeed a military camp. Portions of pottery that were found date the camp to around the 50’s B.C. The time period of the camp and the Caesarean style sandals suggests that the camp was set up by Caesar’s legions.
In 2014, An Alexander the Great Era tomb was discovered. The tomb was discovered in Amphipolis, an ancient city in Greece. State archaeologists broke through the entrance of a burial mound which is the largest of its kind in the Greek Empire. Inside: broken sphinxes, two statues, a mosaic floor, and some skeletons were discovered.
In 2012 the skeleton of King Richard III of Britain was discovered under a parking lot. There was a mitochondria DNA match between the skeleton and his two living relatives, confirming the identity of the skeleton. His spine was examined and it was discovered that he suffered from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. After an autopsy it was discovered that the king most likely died from two wounds on the back of his skull in battle.
At the port of Urla, an underwater archaeological site in Turkey, a sunken ship was excavated. This ship was believed to have been four thousand years old. It is the oldest known shipwreck in the Mediterranean and one of the oldest shipwrecks in the world. The port was a Greek settlement and it sunk from a natural disaster in the 8th century which was most likely an earthquake. Many other ships have also been found in Urla that range from the 2nd century to the Ottoman period. Finding a ship from 2,000 BC though is very rare which is why this discovery is such a milestone.