Posted on December 23, 2015 by Deus Nexus Leave a comment
From: Ancient Origins
2015 was another great year for archaeological and historical research. Amazing discoveries were made all over the world and provided more windows into the lives of our ancestors. Studies that intertwined myths and legends with science created spectacular results, and showed us how the past and present continue to be connected. This year, the Top Ten list of Historical and Archaeological Discoveries is based on the articles that Ancient Origins’ readers chose to view time and again.
Mesoamericans could create liquid mercury by heating mercury ore, known as cinnabar. They used it to decorate jade objects and color the bodies of their royalty. Traces of mercury have been found at three other sites, two Maya and one Olmec, around Central America, but none in such large quantities as that discovered beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent.
10. The Mummified Monk Inside a Buddha Statue
9. Scientists Believe They Have Found the Origins of the Unique Basque Culture
The results of DNA analysis suggest that prehistoric Iberian farmers are the closest match to the modern Basques. This new information contradicts the previously held belief that the Basque ancestors we earlier groups of pre-agricultural hunter gatherers. Furthermore, the scientists claim that the ancient ancestors to the Basques arrived in the region, mixed with some other farmers and hunter gatherers…and then were isolated.
8. Ultraviolet Light Reveals Hidden Text in Ancient Book of Arthurian Stories
A man who owned the book in the 16th century, probably Jaspar Gryffyth, erased verse, doodles, and marginalia that had been added to the manuscript over the centuries as it changed hands. Using photo-editing software and ultraviolet light to examine the vellum pages, the scholars revealed poetry that is unknown in the Welsh canon. The poems are fragmentary, but they hope with further analysis they can read the text, which they think is the ending of a poem on a preceding page and a new poem at the bottom of the page.
7. Unlooted Etruscan Tomb Complete with Sarcophagi and Treasures Unearthed in Italy
The marble sarcophagus contained a male skeleton and bears a long inscription, including the name “Lars”, which may refer to the individual inside the coffin. The sarcophagus covered with plaster also contained an inscription, however, the coffin was damaged in a collapse that occurred in antiquity and the inscription is now in thousands of fragments. Nevertheless, the sarcophagus remains sealed and archaeologists expect to find another skeleton inside.
6. Tomb of Previously Unknown Queen in Egypt
The tomb belongs to a wife of Neferefre who was named Khentakawess III. Two previous queens of Neferefre with the same name had already been identified, but a third queen was not known about. Al-Damaty said it was the “first time we have discovered the name of this queen who had been unknown before the discovery of her tomb”. He added that her name and rank had been inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb. Archaeologists found around 30 utensils, 24 made of limestone and four of copper, inside Khentakawess III’s tomb.
5. 4,000-year-old Ancient Egyptian Manuscript Measuring More Than 8ft
The manuscript measures 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) in length, making it the longest text ever found. “Taking into account that it was written on both sides, we have more than 5 meters (16.4 feet) of texts and drawings, making this the longest leather roll from ancient Egypt.” The text is adorned with high-quality colorful drawings of divine and supernatural beings.
The ancient text, which dates from the late Old Kingdom to the early Middle Kingdom (2300 – 2000 BC), is a religious manuscript and contains spells that would most likely have been recited by a priest, and an illustrated composition of temple rituals that would have also been adapted for funerary use.
4. Mercury River under Pyramid of the Sun, Mexico
3. Urban Myth Confirmed True as Archaeologists Discover Hidden Tunnels in Mexico
The tunnels were well-used. “Churches were communicating in secret alleys, there is a network of the main monasteries, from Santo Domingo, San Agustin, La Merced to San Javier.” said Sergio Vergara Bermejo. The tunnels were also used during the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when Mexican troops faced the French army and were victorious.
The plan is to transform the newly-discovered subterranean world into a tourist attraction so visitors can learn more about the stories and legends of this historic city. However, for now, the exact location of the tunnels is being kept secret.
2. Megalithic Superhenge
The row of megalithic stones formed the southern arm of a c-shaped ritual enclosure, which faced directly towards the River Avon, the rest of which was made up of an artificially scarped natural elevation in the ground. The monument was later converted from a c-shaped to a roughly circular enclosure, now known as Durrington Walls – Britain’s largest pre-historic henge, roughly 12 times the size of Stonehenge itself. “The presence of what appear to be stones, surrounding the site of one of the largest Neolithic settlements in Europe adds a whole new chapter to the Stonehenge story.”
1. Mythical Tomb of Osiris, God of the Dead, in Egypt
“The symbolism of Osiris is very evident here, since all the elements recalling the mythical Osiris tomb are present, a big staircase 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) long with a 4 meter (13.1 feet) high ceiling at the bottom leading to the Netherworld and another one leading directly to the Osiris statue, which is therefore at a higher level and ideally isolated on ‘his island.’” Alvarez Sosa explained that the tomb is of “great importance” because “the burial chambers contain dead who slept their eternal sleep under the god of the dead, Osiris.”
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