среда, 22 января 2020 г.

First results from the Dark Energy Survey


The Dark Energy Survey (DES) program uses the patterns of cosmic structure as seen in the spatial distribution of hundreds of millions of galaxies to reveal the nature of "dark energy," the source of cosmic acceleration. Since it began in 2013, DES has mapped over 10 percent of the sky with a digital camera containing 570 million pixels and five optical filters that provide galaxy colors to estimates redshift distances. CfA astronomers are part of a team of over 400 scientists in seven countries working on DES, and last year it released the first set of data.

First results from the Dark Energy Survey
The Dark Energy Survey uses the Blanco 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile,
 seen here. A paper analyzing the first data release finds that cosmic voids have environments whose properties are
 in good agreement with models, being relatively simple and with emitted light that scales linearly with mass
[Credit: Reidar Hahn/Fermilab]
Cosmic voids occupy most of the volume of the universe. Unlike clusters of galaxies and other dense structures which are strongly affected by gravitational effects, not to mention processes associated with galaxy formation, these voids are the most underdense regions of the universe and have relatively simple dynamics. This makes them particularly straightforward probes for constraining cosmological parameters.

CfA astronomer David James is a member of the DES Collaboration and one of the co-authors on a new paper analyzing the first data release, with the aim of describing the relationship between the mass and light around cosmic voids.


The scientists use statistical modeling to analyze both the 2-D distribution of galaxies and their 3-D distribution, the latter obtained from calculating galaxy distances from their photometrically determined redshifts.

They find the two methods agree well with each other, and with models in which the physics of void environments is very simple, and in which the amount of emitted light scales directly with the mass.

Voids with diameters between about one hundred and six hundred million light-years fit well enough to enable tests of the mass-light relationship to better than ten percent. With future observations, the improved statistics should enable useful new consistency tests of gravity and General Relativity and dark-matter scenarios.

The findings are published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Source: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics [January 18, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

2nd century aqueduct unearthed in Artashat, Armenia


Archaeologists have discovered a 2nd century aqueduct during excavations in Artashat, a town in the province of Ararat 30 km southeast of Yerevan.

2nd century aqueduct unearthed in Artashat, Armenia
View of the site [Credit: Panorama.am]
The water bridge was constructed sometime between 114-117, according to Pavel Avetisyan – the Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences. He said the finding is a “huge water supply structure”.

“We have unearthed the foundations of this aqueduct. 20 foundations were unearthed in one kilometer territory”, Avetisyan said.


He said studies will actively continue in 2020 to understand what has been preserved and what can be excavated in the “legendary capital city of Artashat”. Founded by King Artashes I in 176 BC, Artashat served as the capital of the Kingdom of Armenia from 185 BC until 120 AD.

Moreover, experts have revealed that several massive royal palace buildings have been recorded in what near the highway leading to Khor Virap outside Artashat. The foundations of these structures have been preserved and are currently on lands that is privately owned. Avetisyan said they will work in this direction also.

Author: Stepan Kocharyan | Source: ArmenPress [January 15, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Peru to deport tourists over Machu Picchu damage


Five tourists arrested for damaging Peru's iconic Machu Picchu site will be deported to Bolivia later on Wednesday, police said.

Peru to deport tourists over Machu Picchu damage
The Machu Picchu complex, the Inca fortress enclaved in the south eastern Andes
of Peru, near Cuzco [Credit: Cris Bouroncle/AFP]
A sixth was released from custody and ordered to remain in Machu Picchu pending trial after paying bail of $910.

The six tourists -- four men and two women -- were arrested for damaging Peru's "cultural heritage" after being found in a restricted area of the Temple of the Sun on Sunday.


They were also suspected of defecating inside the 600-year-old temple, an important edifice in the Inca sanctuary.

"We've got the order. Today the five foreign tourists will be expelled," Cusco police official Edward Delgado told AFP.

"We're going to take them by road to the city of Desaguadero, on the border with Bolivia."

Peru to deport tourists over Machu Picchu damage
A stone block that fell from a wall in Machu Picchu's Temple of the Sun was chipped
after hitting the ground, officials said [Credit: AFP]
The border town, a nine-hour drive away, is the nearest frontier point to the southern Cusco region where Machu Picchu is located.

The sixth tourist, 28-year-old Nahuel Gomez, must sign at a local court every 10 days while awaiting trial.


He admitted to removing a stone slab from a temple wall that was chipped when it fell to the ground, causing a crack in the floor.

He could face four years in prison if found guilty of damaging Peru's cultural heritage.

Several parts of the semicircular Temple of the Sun are off limits to tourists for preservation reasons.

Peru to deport tourists over Machu Picchu damage
Peruvian policeman shows a rock dislodged by a group of foreign tourists when trespassing to the ancient
Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, Peru, on January 12, 2020 [Credit: AFP]
Worshippers at the temple would make offerings to the sun, which was considered the most important deity in the Inca empire as well as other pre-Inca civilizations in the Andean region.

The group -- made up of a Chilean, two Argentines, two Brazilians, including one of the women, and a French woman -- allegedly entered the Inca sanctuary on Saturday and hid on site so they could spend the night there -- which is prohibited.


A source with the public prosecutor's office told AFP that Nahuel admitted to the damage but said "it wasn't intentional, he only leant against the wall."

The Machu Picchu complex -- which includes three distinct areas for agriculture, housing and religious ceremonies -- is the most iconic site from the Inca empire, which ruled over a large swath of western South America for 100 years before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

Machu Picchu, which means "old mountain" in the Quechua language indigenous to the area, is at the top of a lush mountain and was built during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1471).

Source: AFP [January 15, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

2020 January 22 The Hyades Star Cluster Image Credit &...



2020 January 22

The Hyades Star Cluster
Image Credit & Copyright: Jose Mtanous

Explanation: It is the closest cluster of stars to the Sun. The Hyades open cluster is bright enough to have been remarked on even thousands of years ago, yet is not as bright or compact as the nearby Pleiades (M45) star cluster. Pictured here is a particularly deep image of the Hyades which has brings out vivid star colors and faint coincidental nebulas. The brightest star in the field is yellow Aldebaran, the eye of the bull toward the constellation of Taurus. Aldebaran, at 65 light-years away, is now known to be unrelated to the Hyades cluster, which lies about 150 light-years away. The central Hyades stars are spread out over about 15 light-years. Formed about 625 million years ago, the Hyades likely shares a common origin with the Beehive cluster (M44), a naked-eye open star cluster toward the constellation of Cancer, based on M44’s motion through space and remarkably similar age.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200122.html



* This article was originally published here

Neolithic pottery sherds found in Moscow


Russian archaeologists have stumbled upon a rare discovery during excavations in downtown Moscow, finding shards of moulded ceramic vessels decorated with ornaments characteristic of later stages of the Neolithic period’s Lyalovo culture (4,000-3,000 BC). The fascinating relics of the past unearthed on the grounds of the former Moscow Orphanage reveal that a campsite inhabited by ancient fishermen could have existed there, the press service for Moscow’s Department of Cultural Heritage told TASS on Thursday.

Neolithic pottery sherds found in Moscow
Credit: RIA News
"The discovered ceramic pieces can indicate that a camp of ancient fishermen could have been here long ago. Experts are now looking into this theory," the press service quoted the department’s head Alexei Yemelyanov as saying.


It is pointed out that the fragments were discovered in sedimentary layers formed in repeated Moskva River overflows. "It is premature to make judgements whether the materials are of local decent or were washed ashore by the water," the press service added.

Neolithic pottery sherds found in Moscow
Neolithic pottery sherds found in Moscow
Credit: RIA News


Yemelyanov underscored that archaeologists had been working at the Moscow Orphanage excavation site since November 2019, discovering more than 900 artefacts dating back to the period between the 12th and 20th centuries — cosmetics jars, horseshoes, stove tiles, bullets, arrowhead, baptismal crosses and other objects.

According to the data available on Moscow’s mayor and government website, the Moscow Orphanage or Foundling Home was established on September 1, 1763 by Russian Empress Catherine the Great. The building is included in the list of cultural heritage sites of federal importance. The architectural ensemble will be renovated in the coming years, while scientists are studying the historic buildings, premises and the adjacent grounds. Architect Karl Blank drafted the master plan for the building that took almost two centuries to be completed.

Source: TASS [January 14, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Pieces Of A Metal Grille From An Ornate Cupboard Door (2nd Century CE), Newstead, National Museum of...

Pieces Of A Metal Grille From An Ornate Cupboard Door (2nd Century CE), Newstead, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, December 2019.



* This article was originally published here

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?


The British Museum has over 50,000 artefacts from Egypt, most of which were acquired during the colonial era. Throngs of tourists jostle for place outside the vast chamber that is the Egyptian sculpture gallery at the British Museum, eagerly elbowing others out of the way to be first through the doors at 10am on Friday morning.

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
The British Museum has the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts outside of Egypt
[Credit: Getty Images]
Tour leaders have their flags hoisted high and are chattering softly into their microphones, leading their followers through the gallery and inevitably crowding around the iconic Rosetta Stone.

The Egyptian section of the British Museum is incredibly popular, and is visited by the largest proportion of the six million visitors the institution receives every year. But more and more visitors are asking questions about how these objects arrived here, and why they remain.

A growing number of visitors are aware of the debates surrounding the Museum regarding the origins of these objects, and calls for their repatriation have recently been amplified.

It was one of the issues that Ahdaf Soueif, the prominent Egyptian novelist, who resigned as a trustee of the British Museum, cited as her unhappiness with the way the Museum has addressed questions about its colonial identity.


Today's perspective of history is very reductive, says Dr Neal Spencer, the Keeper of the Nile Valley and Mediterranean Collections at the British Museum, and is emblematic of the information age we live in. He blames social media for turning the issue of repatriation of cultural heritage into black or white arguments.

"I think particularly in the media and social media, there's the sense that everything in the British Museum is stolen; there's actually a very complex array of ways that things came into the British Museum."

The repatriation of heritage has been making headlines over the last several months, a debate that was rekindled when French President Emmanuel Macron announced last November that France would return objects that were taken from their colonies in Africa.

Culturally significant items from hundreds of communities around the world today line the shelves of the British Museum, the most visible legacy of a brutal colonial past showcased by the display of foreign heritage as trophies in a collection.

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
Credit: Getty Images
The British Museum is far from alone in this, but it is the best known such collection in Britain, and arguably in the Western world. It contains over eight million objects, of which some 80,000 (1 percent) are on permanent display. A significant proportion of these come from Egypt.

Historically coveted by both Asian and European powers, Egypt's geographic position made it desirable to would-be conquerors. Its indigenous culture, religion, and civilisation have been the subject of much speculation for hundreds of years.

Having either been home to, or dominated by the Greeks, the Romans, the Umayyads, the Fatimids, the Abbasids, the Mamelukes, the Ayyubids, the Ottomans, the French and the English, precious items have been moved around the region for centuries.

The French and English occupation of the country began the modern wave of interest in Egyptian antiquities that led to several expeditions to unearth the country's secrets. While there is no doubt that some of the most significant studies were done by these international archaeological teams and expanded our understanding of this ancient civilisation, it also led to the removal of thousands of objects from the country that have found their way into Western museums.

Boasting the largest collection of Egyptian objects outside of Egypt, the British Museum is home to more than 50,000 Egyptian artefacts, including the Rosetta Stone, a 5000-year-old mummy, and sculptures of Ramses II.

By far the most popular part of the British Museum, Spencer says, is that it draws the majority of the six million visitors to the institution each year. Diving into the data on these objects reveals several significant stories.

The British Museum was founded in 1753 and opened to the public in 1759. There were already a small number of Egyptian antiquities in the collection then, and that has since grown to hold more than 50,000 objects.

The dates of acquisition were available for around 38,000 objects (70 percent of the collection), and give very useful overview on the growth of the Egyptian collection.

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
Credit: Al Araby
The vast majority of Egyptian antiquities that arrived in the Museum came when Egypt was a British colony from 1882 to 1956, which is when more than a third of the items were registered.

Apart from the obvious inference that European agents stole the items they fancied (like they did in India, Ethiopia, and in most other colonised countries), it reflects the growing interest in exploring Egypt.

Hundreds of archaeologists, explorers and adventurers from across Europe travelled to Egypt during this period, and new discoveries were carted back home to either be studied, sold, or to form part of their own collections.

The greatest number of acquisitions were made in the first decade of the 20th century, when 7,406 objects were acquired by the British Museum between 1900 and 1910. In 1904, 2,160 items were received alone, which was the largest acquisition of Egyptian objects.


The French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette contributed most of the objects to the Museum in this period. As the founder of the museum in Bulaq in Cairo (the precursor of today's Egyptian Museum), it is strange that over a thousand of the objects he excavated ended up in different museums in London just 23 years after his death.

The largest number of Egyptian objects were acquired through Rev. Greville John Chester, a British clergyman, collector and author. Chester devoted the latter part of his life to travelling around Egypt and the Levant, and "collected many antiquities in his almost annual travels, including some major pieces" for the British Museum and other such museums, according to the Museum's website.

The second biggest chunk of the collection came from the Egypt Exploration Fund, a fund that was created to explore, survey, and excavate antiquities in Egypt. The British Museum is a major sponsor, according to Spencer, which is why it received tens of thousands of objects over the past two and a half centuries.

The vagaries of the activities of people and organisations like Rev. John Greville Chester and the Egypt Exploration Fund is why there is so much scepticism surrounding the British Museum's collection.

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
Credit: EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga
The conditions under which objects were removed from Egypt (and other parts of the world) have never been made clear, which has led many to believe that they were taken illegally.

Objects from Egypt undoubtedly arrived under various legal circumstances, sometimes taking several stops along the way as part of other collections. Some were taken with prior permission and others were gifts, but it is hard to argue that this could be the case for anything more than a fraction of the items that were taken under colonial rule.

Colonisers, and especially the British, have a history of picking up anything they thought was valuable, like the ring and sword of Tipu Sultan from India or the Parthenon friezes from Greece. While not explicitly stated, it is hard to believe that the majority of these items weren't stolen, or at least taken without prior permission of any authority.

It is important to remember that the British Museum was founded during a time of colonisation, when the colonisers undoubtedly looted and pillaged indigenous societies. And the stealing continues today, with smugglers selling Egyptian heritage overseas because it is so highly prized by museums and collections alike.

In July this year, the auction house Christie's announced that they were auctioning a bust of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, which the Egyptian government first requested to be returned to Egypt, and then decided to sue the auction house as it believes the bust is stolen property.

Also this year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York returned a golden coffin to Cairo once US investigators determined it was a stolen artefact.

But often, museums do not or cannot disclose whether an object was acquired legally. The difficulty arises with the British Museum as well, as it is impossible to differentiate between the items that were acquired legally and illegally.

This has led some activists to view the entire collection as "stolen", stating that the burden of proof is on the Museum to prove it's legality.

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
Credit: Getty Images
The outspoken archaeologist and former minister of antiquities for Egypt, Dr Zahi Hawass, has long called for the repatriation of stolen heritage. He accuses Western museums of continuing their imperialistic practices by purchasing stolen artefacts and refusing to return them to their country of origin.

Hawass has claimed that 60 percent of Egyptian objects were taken out of the country illegally, and has asked for them to be returned, along with five iconic pieces, including the Rosetta Stone from the British Museum.

At the same time, he does acknowledge that many Egyptian objects did leave the country legally, and he does not ask for those to be returned.

"You have to know that antiquities were sold in Egypt until 1983. They could be taken out to the country, [and so] many objects left Egypt legally. Also, the foreign expeditions working in Egypt take 50 percent of what they discover."


Proponents of the Museum further argue that antiquities – whether stolen or not – should remain in the Museum simple because it is better equipped to study, conserve, and display delicate antiquities, they claim. Hawass calls this a "bullshit" argument, summarily dismissing them.

"Egypt has as good and better museums like anywhere else in the world," he says, and asserts that the Grand Museum in Giza, due to open next year, will be better than most Western museums.

Others say that this line of reasoning further propagates the racist idea that Western culture is stronger and better than any others.

"[It is a] patronising and arrogant idea that somehow the British Museum is better placed to tell the stories of these objects," said Danny Chivers, an environmental writer, consultant and activist with BP or Not BP.

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
Credit: Getty Images
"The communities from where these objects came are in a far better position to tell the real stories of these objects and artefacts, and do so in a way that isn't using the weird, rose-tinted vision of the British Empire."

The events of the last several months following President Macron's pledge to return stolen African artefacts have brought this issue back in the public eye, but it did not seem to have a major effect at the British Museum.

Soueif's resignation in July this year was another alarm bell that should alert the curators and trustees that this is one issue that they will find very hard to ride through.

As one of the leading cultural institutions in the world, the Museum has not taken any concrete steps to address the questions surrounding the legitimacy of its collection.

Or perhaps their actions simply haven't become widespread knowledge, argues Spencer. While he acknowledges that these are important questions, he says that the British Museum works with foreign indigenous cultures to better understand parts of the collection, provides the infrastructure for communities to launch their own heritage centres like in Sudan, and runs an international training programme that brings together a network of curators, archaeologists, historians and scholars.

"I think we are engaging with [the question of repatriation], and we spend a lot of time thinking about it, how we deal with it, how we work together with different countries and institutions, and perhaps that hasn't necessarily had the public profile it needs to, and that's something we're looking at."

He does not, however, think the Museum has a moral responsibility to return objects to their cultural homelands.

"We're very open to lending objects, including on long term loans. I mean, they don't have to be for three months exhibition. […] there are objects that we have on loan elsewhere around the world that have been there for years and years and years."

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
Credit: British Museum
He also adds that there is a piece of legislation preventing the British Museum from returning any objects. The British Museum Act of 1963 forbids the Museum from removing any object in its collection, except in a few very select cases.

"The legal basis for the British Museum means objects can't be disposed of or be removed from the collection," says Spencer. "What we can do is lend objects, and we lend 5,000 objects a year around the UK and around the world.

"[The collection] is not owned by the government, nor is it owned by the British Museum. It's owned by the public, it's held in trust by the trustees of the British Museum."

Hawass claims to have asked the Museum to borrow the Rosetta Stone for the opening of the Grand Museum, but never received a reply. Spencer contradicts this claim, and says that the Museum has never had any requests from Egypt for Egyptian objects on loan.


All of these arguments have made repatriation an increasingly polarising conversation, especially online, when it is in fact full of caveats and nuances that need to be considered.

There is no doubt that the British Museum does a fantastic job of showcasing and preserving heritage in context with the wider history of our world, but at the same time, it displays its objects like trophies from vanquished enemies.

So where do we go from here? Perhaps Ahdaf Soueif's reasons for resigning from the Board point us in the right direction.

"On the issue of restitution," she says, "there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution, it has to be a case-by-case deliberation, and the 'solutions' stretch across the whole spectrum – from the object remaining where it is in the 'colonial' museum but is provided with an appropriate context, to the object returning to the location where it was made – with lots of varied possibilities in between."

Should the British Museum return its Egyptian collection?
Credit: British Museum
She also argues that a "global conversation" needs to be encouraged not just about the ownership of cultural property, but about the power dynamic between the global north and the global south and how it affects this question of heritage.

"It's a conversation that needs to be entered into with an open mind and with a will to explore the past and the future."

Spencer is aware that the Museum needs to do more, and is optimistic it can address these concerns adequately. He is cognizant of the need to decolonise the collection, and implied that the issues will be addressed when the institution re-displays in entire collection over the next two decades or so, a project in which the Museum "very much want[s] to involve people from around the world."

One can only hope that the Museum takes the criticism it has received from inside and outside its walls to make a genuine effort to decolonise its collection.


The repatriation debate is in many ways a microcosm of the power dynamics between the colonised world and the colonisers, one where the global north has rarely taken responsibility for its actions that destroyed the lives of millions around the world.

Countries that were ravaged by colonisation have begun understanding the significance of the heritage they have lost, and are asking for it to be returned to its geographical homeland.

After destroying the lives and breaking the economies of places like Egypt, the least the UK and other former colonisers can do to atone for their deeds is to have this conversation, decolonise their collections and return stolen property.

The British Museum has the opportunity to lead the way in this regard. As one of the most powerful cultural institutions, it has the resources to find the right balance between returning objects and continuing to be a world class museum.

Governments, experts and academics are slowly coming to terms with this; Britain and the British Museum must follow suit, or be left behind.

Author: Ali Abbas Ahmadi | Source: The New Arab [December 31, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Holy Island Coastline and Iron Age Hill Fort Periphery, Holy Island, Anglesey, North Wales, 19.1.20.

Holy Island Coastline and Iron Age Hill Fort Periphery, Holy Island, Anglesey, North Wales, 19.1.20.



* This article was originally published here

4,500-year-old baby bottles discovered in eastern Turkey


Archaeologists have discovered ancient baby bottles dating back to 2500 B.C. during excavations at Norik Mound in Turkey's eastern Bingöl province.

4,500-year-old baby bottles discovered in eastern Turkey
Credit: IHA
The discovery was made at the early Bronze Age settlement in Murat village in Bingöl's Solhan district, Ihlas News Agency (IHA) reported Sunday. Archaeologists found three artifacts with spouts identified as baby bottles made out of clay. The bottles had single handles and could hold approximately 50 to 150 milligrams of liquid, the report said.


The excavations were carried out under the coordination of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Elazığ Museum Director Ziya Kılınç and with the consultation of Fırat University's Archaeology Department Dean Abdulkadir Özdemir. Kılınç noted that archaeologists had successfully unearthed 46 sections of the 100-square-meter settlement.

4,500-year-old baby bottles discovered in eastern Turkey
Credit: IHA
"All objects found in the settlement were transferred to our museum after being recorded," Kılınç said, adding that they had identified 124 objects in total. He continued by saying that the oldest artifacts had only been unearthed after archaeologists finally reached the lowest layer of the mound.


Kılınç noted that the baby bottles constituted the most interesting find, adding that similar bottles dating back 2,000 years had been discovered two years ago in the western province of Çanakkale. He referred to the rare artifacts as "valuable items" for the Elazığ Museum.

4,500-year-old baby bottles discovered in eastern Turkey
Credit: IHA
Around 600 artifacts from various periods discovered at the mound have been added to the museum inventory in total, according to Kılınç, who noted the unearthing of a total of five different layers from the Middle Byzantine period, the Islamic era, the time of the Urartian civilization, the Iron Age and the early Bronze Age.

Kılınç praised the archaeologists for their meticulous work in excavating these ancient artifacts and ensuring their transfer to the museum with minimal damage.

The excavations in Bingöl were initially launched in April 2019. Archaeologists previously unearthed samples of grain at the site, which showed that the mound was the earliest agricultural settlement in the area.

Source: Daily Sabah [January 13, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Tre'r Ceiri Iron Age Hill Fort, Llyn Peninsula, North Wales, January 2020.

Tre'r Ceiri Iron Age Hill Fort, Llyn Peninsula, North Wales, January 2020.



* This article was originally published here

New finds at Peru's Sechin archaeological site


Archaeological excavations at Sechin complex in Casma have led to the discovery of five conical adobes, which are at least 4,000 years old.

New finds at Peru's Sechin archaeological site
Credit: Andina
Archaeologist Monica Suarez, coordinator at Sechin Archaeological Project, explained that this is the earliest recorded evidence of this type of adobe at monumental sites in the coastal area of the South American country.


"So far, they have been found at archaeological sites dated to the Formative Period, such as Sechin Alto, Sechin Bajo, La Cantina in Casma and Punkuri in Nepeña," the researcher told Andina news agency.

According to Suarez, the adobes filled an 11-step structure. Some handprints are found on the bricks and are believed to belong to the manufacturers.

New finds at Peru's Sechin archaeological site
Credit: Andina
As with the other discoveries in the area, the adobes have been collected to be analyzed. Their final destination will be the Regional Museum of Casma "Max Uhle."


"We are very proud and excited because the valuable evidences we are discovering —as part of this first stage— will allow us to reconsider the hypothesis about the emergence of ceremonial architecture in Pre-Columbian America," the archaeologist commented.

"Likewise, this will help us understand Sechin in the context of Early Formative Period societies," she added.

Surez disclosed that the second stage of excavation works will be carried out by the middle of this year.

Source: Andina [January 17, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Sword Hilt, (Eigg, 8th or 9th Century CE), National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, December 2019.

Sword Hilt, (Eigg, 8th or 9th Century CE), National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, December 2019.



* This article was originally published here

'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki


The colonization of the northern Aegean by settlers from the Cyclades, soon before the mid-7th cent. BC, is one of the many fascinating chapters of the Archaic Greek colonization.

'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

The new temporary exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki offers through 478 artifacts a unique journey to the past. By sailing the sea routes through which the colonists travelled from the South to the North, the visitor has the opportunity to discover:

- What motivated islanders from the Cyclades to found colonies at strategic points in the northern Aegean?

- What were the relations between the locals and the colonists?


- Which were the peculiar and which were the common characteristics of the metropolises and their colonies?

- What kind of products travelled from and towards the new colonial markets?

- What impact the colonies had on the political, economical and cultural life of the regions they were founded?

'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Inscribed capital, Paros, 525-500 BC [Credit: © Hellenic 
Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Marble head of god Helios, Sani, late 4th-early 3rd c. BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Torso of a kouros Sanctuary of Apollo, Despotiko, Paros, 575-550 BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Marble disc with inscription in a Cycladic alphabet Akanthos, late 6th – early 5th cent. BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Necklace with the gold amulets from a child’s burial, Akanthos, 4th c. BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
Τhe installation is hosted in two interconnected halls of the Museum:

The first one is dedicated to the metropolis Andros, which, in collaboration with the Chalkidians, founded colonies in the eastern Chalkidike and the Strymonic Golf. The exhibition continues with its four ‘daughters’, Akanthos, Sani on the Akte, Stageira and Argilos.


At the second hall, the metropolis Paros and its colony Thasos as well as three of Thasos’ colonies on the opposite coast, Neapolis, Oisyme and Galepsos, are presented.

Mythological references, literary and epigraphic testimonies, historical and archaeological data but also intriguing results of anthropological and archaeobotanical studies contribute to the presentation of these cities.

'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Krater shaped skyphos, Zagora, Andros, 925-850 BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Amphora with painted decoration Paroikia cemetary, Paros, late 8th c. BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Klazomenean amphora, Akanthos, 550-525 BC 
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Cycladic plate depicting Bellerophon and Chimera, Artemisio, Thasos, Mid-7th c. BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]
'From South to North: Cycladic Colonies in the Northern Aegean' at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Incised representation of a ship on the handle of a column krater, Argilos, 580-560 BC
[Credit: © Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports]


Personalities, such as Archilochos the Parian and Aristotle the Stagirite come to life at the curatorial narratives, whereas the past meets the present through stories about erotic jealousy, unfortunate or premature deaths, valuable charms against evil, cookery and delicate surgical operations.

Children will find at the exhibition three spots especially designed for them. Prepis, a cute small monkey inspired from a clay figurine of the exhibition, guides the young visitors, teaches them how to write in the colonists’ alphabet, proposes to them ancient cooking recipes and trains them in the pentathlon.

The exhibition opened to the public on 12 July 2019 and runs to 31 August 2020. Throughout its duration, educational programmes and guided tours will be held.

Source: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki [October 20, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

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