The year 2017 proved to be exceptionally good for the fields of archaeology and anthropology. There had been immense discoveries throughout the world, and some of them stood as a way to know deeply about the happenings of the past. Take a glimpse of the important excavations of this year:
Giant statue excavated from Cairo
This year Egypt has witnessed some of the major archaeological discoveries that include a Roman-era tomb found near the town of Minya, three ancient graves near Samalut, and a tomb near the Valley of the Kings belonging to a goldsmith named Amenemhat that contained hundreds of artifacts. But the most headline-gearing discovery was that of the giant statue unearthed in March from the Cairo suburb of Mataria. Initially, archaeologists found the torso of the statue and later found the head from another excavation in the nearby area. Two months later, they discovered the pedestal and two toes of the giant statue. Based on the size of the head and torso, the whole statue should be around nine meters tall. What made the discovery particularly fascinating is that, initially, experts said that the statue belongs to the period of Ramses the Great as it was located near the ruins of his temple. However, a subsequent research proved that it has engraving with the inscription “Neb Aa” that suggest it to belong from the era of Pharaoh Psamtek I of the 26th Dynasty. This makes the discovery the largest ancient statue ever found in Egypt.
No ecocide on Easter Island
Historians have successfully found the truth behind the destruction of Easter Island. While in the past, it was believed that the Rapa Nui ( inhabitants of Easter Island) caused their own demise through warfare and deforestation, the recent studies show that it was due to some communicable diseases that caused mass death and reduced the population of the island from tens of thousands to just a couple of thousand. The new genetic study also suggest that the South Americans made contact with the Rapa Nui centuries before Europeans. And, South American slave raids introduced diseases that actually caused the population to dwindle.
Human skeleton found from Antikythera site
On 31st August this year, archaeologists have discovered a human skeleton buried under a half metre pottery of sherds near the Greek Island of Antikythera. Scientists are now studying the DNA of the skeleton remains to know about the people of the first century BC. In the year 1900, the remains of the famous Antikythera ship of the first century B.C. was dug from this site. The ship was found to be used for astrological studies to predict eclipses and study the motion of the Sun, Moon, and planets in the sky.
Remains of a female Viking warrior
In the 1800s, archaeologists discovered a 10th-century grave at the settlement of Birka on Bjorko island. The tomb was assumed to belong to a warrior. While earlier the warrior was supposed to be male, but recently a group of researchers from the Stockholm University studied the skeleton remains of the body and found that the grave belongs to a female as it lacked Y chromosomes. This makes it clear that women used to take part in wars back in the tenth century and they even hold eminent positions in the army.
The city of Alexander the Great
Paleontologists have discovered a lost city assumed to be founded by Alexander the Great in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Located in the Qalatga Darband settlement, the city is believed to belong to the first and second centuries BC and was an important meeting point between the eastern and western parts of Alexander's empire.
These discoveries have set a way to dive into mysteries of the past. If you loved reading this blog, then share these facts with your friends and family.
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