rhamphotheca

rhamphotheca:

Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?

Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey’s stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization

by Andrew Curry

Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.

The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it’s the site of the world’s oldest temple.

Beyond, on the hillside, are four other rings of partially excavated pillars. Each ring has a roughly similar layout: in the center are two large stone T-shaped pillars encircled by slightly smaller stones facing inward. The tallest pillars tower 16 feet and, Schmidt says, weigh between seven and ten tons…

(read more: Smithsonian Magazine)

photos by Berthold Steinhilber; Illustration by Fernando Baptista

ancientart

ancientart:

A brief look at the prehistoric rock art of Laas Geel, Somaliland (East Africa).

Despite already being known to the local inhabitants of the area for centuries, the art was ‘discovered’ by a team of French archaeologists carrying out an archaeological survey in northern Somalia in 2002, thus only recently gaining international recognition. 

Laas Geel is one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in the Horn of Africa, and contains some of the earliest known cave paintings in the region. These paintings are estimated to date to between 9,000-3,000 BCE, and are incredibly preserved considering this.

The artworks, painted in the distinctive Ethiopian-Arabian style, depict predominantly wild animals, decorated cows, and herders, the latter believed to have been the creators of the paintings. Note the herd of cows shown in the first photo, the ceremonial cow shown in the seventh, and the herder shown aside the cow in the final photograph. 

Photos taken by joepyrek.

Recommended reading: Grenier L., P. Antoniotti, G. Hamon, and D. Happe. “Laas Geel (Somaliland): 5000 year-old paintings captured in 3D.” International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Volume XL-5/W2 (2013): 283-288.

ancientpeoples
ancientpeoples:

Faience vessel in the form of Eros riding a duck
Probably made in Egypt
c.300-250 BC
Said to be from Tanagra, Greece
This jug is the finest faience vessel surviving from the Hellenistic world. It takes the form of Eros, the Greek god of love, clinging to the neck of a duck on whose back he is riding.
The combination of traditional Egyptian techniques with a purely Greek theme is characteristic of the products of the faience industry at Alexandria. The court of the Ptolemies (the Hellenistic Greek rulers of Egypt) at Alexandria was a great artistic centre. It became the focus for cultural exchange between the Greek and Egyptian worlds and their distinctive artistic traditions.
Source: British Museum 

ancientpeoples:

Faience vessel in the form of Eros riding a duck

Probably made in Egypt

c.300-250 BC

Said to be from Tanagra, Greece

This jug is the finest faience vessel surviving from the Hellenistic world. It takes the form of Eros, the Greek god of love, clinging to the neck of a duck on whose back he is riding.

The combination of traditional Egyptian techniques with a purely Greek theme is characteristic of the products of the faience industry at Alexandria. The court of the Ptolemies (the Hellenistic Greek rulers of Egypt) at Alexandria was a great artistic centre. It became the focus for cultural exchange between the Greek and Egyptian worlds and their distinctive artistic traditions.

Source: British Museum 

todayinhistory

todayinhistory:

July 24th 1911: Bingham at Machu Picchu

On this day in 1911, American historian Hiram Bingham III with his Peruvian guides arrived at the Inca site of Machu Picchu in the mountains of Peru. Machu Picchu is a 15th Century Inca estate built for emperor Pachacuti which was abandoned as a result of the Spanish conquest. The site lay largely undisturbed for hundreds of years, with only locals knowing of its existence. However, with Bingham’s arrival at the site it became known to the wider world and was studied scientifically; he is thus attributed with ‘re-discovering’ the erroneously called ‘Lost City of the Incas’. Bingham took artefacts from the site to Yale University for examination and only recently has the university agreed to return them to Peru. In the years since Bingham’s expedition, his grandoise claims of how he trekked through wilderness to find the ‘lost city’ have been discredited and instead it has been stressed how the site was accessible and well known to locals. However he is still renowned as the man who introduced the world to this spectacular sight. Restoration work began soon after Bingham’s expedition and the site has since become a major tourist attraction.

archaeologicalnews

archaeologicalnews:

An ancient inscription discovered on a 14th century church in Spain’s Galicia region has been identified as Gaelic; the first written evidence of the northern region’s Irish and Scottish heritage.

For centuries it has gone unnoticed, weathered by Galicia’s incessant drizzle but still visible…