Archaeologists first had to remove soil that had accumulated during nearby excavations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. To their surprise, they found a wealth of ancient material in these deposits, including fragments of frescoes, broken artifacts, and architectural decorations that had been disregarded by previous excavators. After the subsequent removal of the ashen volcanic layers, parts of an ancient street as well as several buildings and a garden were brought to light for the first time in almost 2,000 years. The entranceway to one partially excavated house exposed the remains of a well-preserved fresco that features a pair of dolphins painted on a dark red background.
CURRENT EDITION FEATURES
Westminster Abbey’s Hidden History
Far above the royal pomp and circumstance, archaeologists unexpectedly discover seven centuries of England’s past
The City at the Beginning of the World
The only Maya city with an urban grid may embody a creation myth
Haiti’s Royal Past
An early 19th-century palace is a reminder of the ambitious monarchy that rose from the ashes of the Haitian Revolution
An ancient Peruvian city stood at the crossroads of technologies
An Etruscan Family Story
Surprising evidence of daily life and of one of Rome’s greatest conflicts is found in a wealthy residence in Tuscany
Ancient Athens’ Other Cemetery
Excavations at Phaleron, a vast Archaic burial ground, are poised to tell the story of the city before the age of democracy
Photos: (top) Amphoras and loom weights (left) and fresco fragments (right)
(above) Newly excavated area abutting previously excavated building, Pompeii, Italy
courtesy Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei
MONGOLIA: The Dongoin Shiree steppe in eastern Mongolia contains a unique 8th-century funerary monument that suggests the region was an important power center during the Second Turkic Khaganate. A stone sarcophagus was placed at the center of an earthen mound and surrounded by 14 stone pillars inscribed with Turkic runes. They comprise one of the largest collections of Turkic inscriptions ever found in Mongolia. One passage reveals that the deceased individual was an important and highranking official during the reign of Bilge Khagan (r. 716–734).
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To celebrate the 270th anniversary of Pompeii’s discovery, authorities have revealed the latest finds unearthed in the famous ancient Roman city. The current excavations, which are part of the largest exploration of new material since World War II, took place in a 1,200-square-yard strip along the northern border of the site, where the unexcavated and excavated parts of the city abut. Although there is a moratorium on any digging in roughly one-third of the site that remains buried from the A.D. 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the current project is part of essential conservation work aimed at stabilizing high earthen sections of the unexcavated city that are susceptible to collapse.
FURTHER READING ON THE SUBJECT:
Lost City Revealed Under Centuries of Jungle Growth (National Geographic)
A hundred ancient Maya buildings detected under Guatemala rain forest.
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In this talk, Dr. Michael Callaghan and Dr. Brigitte Kovacevich, discuss the latest insights into the dawn of Preclassic Maya civilization from the perspective of the site of Holtun, Guatemala. Recent excavations reveal the importance of ritual and potential conflict in the establishment of Holtun as a Preclassic-period urban center. Highlighting entombed temples with painted walls, monumental stucco masks, writing, graffiti, and early burials Callaghan and Kovacevich present a model for Holtun’s founding emphasizing early community worship that quickly transforms into ruler-focused ritual.
By JASON URBANUS | Friday, June 08, 2018
ARCHAEOLOGY MAGAZINE NEWS
Artifacts, hieroglyphs, architecture, and art have allowed archaeologists to reconstruct the lifeways and worldview of the Classic period Maya who inhabited the tropical lowlands of Mesoamerica from AD 250-900. However, the story of Classic Maya civilization begins almost one thousand years earlier in a shadowy and poorly understood past. The Preclassic period began around 1000 BC and witnessed the advent of Classic Maya architecture, material culture, writing, and worldview.
Dr. Brigitte Kovacevich in a looters' tunnel inside a pyramid at the Head of Stone site.
Photograph: Michael G. Callaghan, National Geographic
September 15, 2018 Dr. Michael Callaghan and Dr. Brigitte Kovacevich
“The Naked and the Dead: Ritual and Warfare at the Dawn of Maya Civilization in Holtun, Guatemala”
BAHAMAS: Researchers mapped the genome of an ancient Taino woman using DNA from one of her teeth. She was buried 1,000 years ago at a site called Preacher’s Cave on the island of Eleuthera. Her genome indicates that she is most closely related to present-day Arawakan speakers in northern South America, where her ancestors likely originated. But the study revealed that she is also partly related to some modern Puerto Ricans, underscoring the continuity there between the modern population and their precontact ancestors.
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