вторник, 28 января 2020 г.

2020 January 28 Star Formation in the Tadpole Nebula Image...



2020 January 28

Star Formation in the Tadpole Nebula
Image Credit: WISE, IRSA, NASA; Processing & Copyright: Francesco Antonucci

Explanation: What’s all of the commotion in the Tadpole Nebula? Star formation. Dusty emission in the Tadpole Nebula, IC 410, lies about 12,000 light-years away in the northern constellation of the Charioteer (Auriga). The cloud of glowing gas is over 100 light-years across, sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from embedded open star cluster NGC 1893. Formed in the interstellar cloud a mere 4 million years ago, bright newly formed cluster stars are seen all around the star-forming nebula. Notable near the image center are two relatively dense streamers of material trailing away from the nebula’s central regions. Potentially sites of ongoing star formation in IC 410, these cosmic tadpole shapes are about 10 light-years long. The featured image was taken in infrared light by NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap200128.html



* This article was originally published here

Buttony 1c Prehistoric Rock Art, Wooller, Northumberland, 25.1.20.

Buttony 1c Prehistoric Rock Art, Wooller, Northumberland, 25.1.20.



* This article was originally published here

Buttony 5 Prehistoric Rock Art, Doddington, Northumberland, 25.1.20.

Buttony 5 Prehistoric Rock Art, Doddington, Northumberland, 25.1.20.



* This article was originally published here

Buttony 4 Prehistoric Rock Art, Doddington, Northumberland, 25.1.20.

Buttony 4 Prehistoric Rock Art, Doddington, Northumberland, 25.1.20.



* This article was originally published here

Excavations at ancient sanctuary in Jordan Valley offer glimpse into area’s religious past


During the ninth season of excavation at Tell Damiyah (Damiyah Hill) in the central Jordan Valley, a joint project of the Yarmouk University and the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, a team of researchers uncovered three additional rooms of a religious complex dating to around 700 BC, a Dutch scholar said.

Excavations at ancient sanctuary in Jordan Valley offer glimpse into area’s religious past
The archaeological research at the Tell Damiyah site is directed by Dr Lucas Petit, Head of Collections and Research
 Department at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, and Dr Zeidan Kafafi, professor of archaeology
 at Yarmouk University, Jordan. The main objective is to reconstruct the occupational history of the site
from 1400 to 500 BC [Credit: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden]
“Finds of previous seasons, such as clay statues and figurines, have astonished the world since in-situ religious contexts are extremely rare in the southern Levant,” said archaeologist Lucas Petit, adding that the discovery of non-local objects in and around the complex suggests that the sanctuary was used by local as well as international people.


Travellers and traders were welcomed at Tell Damiyah seemingly independent of their cultural and religious background, Petit continued, adding that nothing inside the sanctuary gives a clue about the type of deities that were worshipped.

Excavations at ancient sanctuary in Jordan Valley offer glimpse into area’s religious past
Erwin and Martijn Kanters scan one of the storage rooms
[Credit: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden]
“Taking into account that during the Iron Age II [1000-550 BC], religion in this area changed gradually from polytheism to monotheism, we consider Tell Damiyah a very liberal place of worship,” the scholar said.

He added that during the previous season, the team uncovered two rooms of the complex, which contained storage jars filled with burnt food products including barley and wheat.

Excavations at ancient sanctuary in Jordan Valley offer glimpse into area’s religious past
Clay statue of a female figure with traces of paint
[Credit: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden]
“Since the settlement is very small and only partly inhabited, these food supplies support our idea that Damiyah was a kind of caravanserai [a roadside inn where caravaners could rest] with a sanctuary,” the scholar added.


He also noted that inscriptions found at Tell Mazar, which is close to Tell Damiyah, can be dated to the 6th century  BC, the Persian period (5th century BC) and the early Hellenistic period (4th-3rd century BC).

Excavations at ancient sanctuary in Jordan Valley offer glimpse into area’s religious past
The team of researchers from Yarmouk University and the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities
working at Tell Damiyah in the central Jordan Valley [Credit: Lucas Petit]
“Not all inscriptions were found in a good context, and the texts have suffered severe degeneration. It is therefore difficult to use those texts for understanding the area or for constructing its history,” Petit said, adding that both the content as well as the script are nonetheless a significant addition to the relatively small corpus of inscriptions from the central Jordan Valley.

In Autumn 2019, researchers at the excavation site at Tell Damiyah discovered four sherds with inscriptions, very comparable to those discovered at Tell Mazar, both in terms of inscriptions and date. Research on these objects is ongoing, the archaeologist added.

Author: Saeb Rawashdeh | Source: The Jordan Times [January 20, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Buttony 3 Prehistoric Rock Art, Doddington, Northumberland, 25.1.20.

Buttony 3 Prehistoric Rock Art, Doddington, Northumberland, 25.1.20.



* This article was originally published here

Malta Survey Project finds ancient farm complex under Bidnija fields


A Ground Penetrating Radar installed during studies carried out in the Malta Survey Project discovered the presence of extensive buried structures in a number of Bidnija fields, believed to be those of a farm complex, or villa rustica, of Roman date. This discovery involved the joint effort of the University of Malta, the University of Ghent (Belgium) and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage between 2008 and 2012.

Malta Survey Project finds ancient farm complex under Bidnija fields
Fieldwalkers collecting artefacts from the surface of a Bidnija field
[Credit: Nicholas Vella, University of Malta]
The Olea Project, as it is being called, was presented by Prof Nicholas Vella from the Department of Classics and Archaeology at UM and David Cardona, Senior Curator of Phoenician and Roman Sites at Heritage Malta.


In this respect, a trilateral agreement between the University of Malta, Heritage Malta and the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage was recently signed as a sign of collaboration in the study and conservation of a rural site in Bidnija with significant archaeological potential.

The Malta Survey Project was carried out to understand long-term development and exploitation of Malta’s countryside in ancient times – mainly through a field walking technique in which teams of archaeologists walked across open areas and fields, collecting artefacts, such as pottery fragments, from the surface.

Malta Survey Project finds ancient farm complex under Bidnija fields
Limestone vat, probably of Roman date in a field in Bidnija
[Credit: Nicholas Vella, University of Malta]
Until 2012, more than 60,000 artefacts consisting of fragments of pottery, worked stone, tile, marble, plaster, and glass were catalogued. ‘Hotspots’ with high artefact densities were identified in three fields situated around the Bidnija olive grove containing trees that are at least 1800-years-old. The remains of the farm complex lie below one of these fields. Preliminary studies have also indicated another buried structure in the vicinity which seems to be a sizeable underground cistern.

For many years, this area has been known for the presence of archaeological remains, including a stone vat that was probably meant for storing olive oil. Similar vats were discovered at the well-known Roman villa site of San Pawl Milqi located just half a kilometre away from Bidnija, above the village of Burmarrad.

The Lands Authority has now transferred the title of lease of the Bidnija site to Heritage Malta in order to protect the buried archaeological remains and the olive grove, and to facilitate research as part of the Olea project.

Malta Survey Project finds ancient farm complex under Bidnija fields
1,800-year-old olive grove in Bidnija [Credit: Nicholas Vella,
University of Malta]
University of Malta Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella, commended this agreement and said that such a project epitomises what universities should be doing; engaging with their partners in society and with important national agencies in order to generate knowledge.


He also noted the introduction of a modest sum in this year’s national budget dedicated to academic research at the University of Malta. In an area dominated for so long by foreigners, he insisted that it was due time for local scholars to assert a national research agenda independently whilst drawing up external collaboration when this is required.

Joseph Magro Conti, Superintendent of Cultural Heritage, welcomed this unprecedented agreement where the three entities are pooling resources to address research questions about an archaeological landscape. He declared that such projects will lead to a better working relationship between the entities. He also advocated the setting up of a formal research agenda so that the respective entities could work towards convergent aims, objectives and deliverables in a systematic manner.

Malta Survey Project finds ancient farm complex under Bidnija fields
An archaeologist doing ground-penetrating radar runs
[Credit: Nicholas Vella, University of Malta]
Heritage Malta CEO, Noel Zammit, explained that the Agency’s mission is to ensure that those elements of cultural heritage entrusted to it are protected and made accessible to the public. However, the real added value of this mission is the ability to do research and produce information about Malta’s cultural heritage that is disseminated to society in a timely manner. He explained that such collaborations with other entities are the way forward and more resources should be invested in support of such worthy initiatives.

Source: University of Malta [January 21, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Strong Room, Roman Headquarters, Corbridge Roman Town, Hadrian’s Wall, 26.1.20.

Strong Room, Roman Headquarters, Corbridge Roman Town, Hadrian’s Wall, 26.1.20.



* This article was originally published here

For Hottest Planet, a Major Meltdown, Study Shows

Artist's rendering of a "hot Jupiter" called KELT-9b, the hottest known exoplanet - so hot, a new paper finds, that even molecules in its atmosphere are torn to shreds. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech› Larger view

Massive gas giants called "hot Jupiters" - planets that orbit too close to their stars to sustain life - are some of the strangest worlds found beyond our solar system. New observations show that the hottest of them all is stranger still, prone to planetwide meltdowns so severe they tear apart the molecules that make up its atmosphere.

Called KELT-9b, the planet is an ultra-hot Jupiter, one of several varieties of exoplanets - planets around other stars - found in our galaxy. It weighs in at nearly three times the mass of our own Jupiter and orbits a star some 670 light-years away. With a surface temperature of 7,800 degrees Fahrenheit (4,300 degrees Celsius) - hotter than some stars - this planet is the hottest found so far.

Now, a team of astronomers using NASA's Spitzer space telescope has found evidence that the heat is too much even for molecules to remain intact. Molecules of hydrogen gas are likely ripped apart on the dayside of KELT-9b, unable to re-form until their disjointed atoms flow around to the planet's nightside.

Though still extremely hot, the nightside's slight cooling is enough to allow hydrogen gas molecules to reform - that is, until they flow back to the dayside, where they're torn apart all over again.

"This kind of planet is so extreme in temperature, it is a bit separate from a lot of other exoplanets," said Megan Mansfield, a graduate student at the University of Chicago and lead author of a new paper revealing these findings. "There are some other hot Jupiters and ultra-hot Jupiters that are not quite as hot but still warm enough that this effect should be taking place."

The findings, published in Astrophysical Journal Letters, showcase the rising sophistication of the technology and analysis needed to probe these very distant worlds. Science is just beginning to peer into the atmospheres of exoplanets, examining the molecular meltdowns of the hottest and brightest.

KELT-9b will stay firmly categorized among the uninhabitable worlds. Astronomers became aware of its extremely hostile environment in 2017, when it was first detected using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) system - a combined effort involving observations from two robotic telescopes, one in southern Arizona and one in South Africa.

In the Astrophysical Journal Letters study, the science team used the Spitzer space telescope to parse temperature profiles from this infernal giant. Spitzer, which makes observations in infrared light, can measure subtle variations in heat. Repeated over many hours, these observations allow Spitzer to capture changes in the atmosphere as the planet presents itself in phases while orbiting the star. Different halves of the planet roll into view as it orbits around its star.

That allowed the team to catch a glimpse of the difference between KELT-9b's dayside and its "night." In this case, the planet orbits its star so tightly that a "year" - once around the star - takes only 1 1/2 days. That means the planet is tidally locked, presenting one face to its star for all time (as our Moon presents only one face to Earth). On the far side of KELT-9b, nighttime lasts forever.

But gases and heat flow from one side to the other. A big question for researchers trying to understand exoplanet atmospheres is how radiation and flow balance each other out.

Computer models are major tools in such investigations, showing how these atmospheres are likely to behave in different temperatures. The best fit for the data from KELT-9b was a model that included hydrogen molecules being torn apart and reassembled, a process known as dissociation and recombination.

"If you don't account for hydrogen dissociation, you get really fast winds of [37 miles or] 60 kilometers per second," Mansfield said. "That's probably not likely."

KELT-9b turns out not to have huge temperature differences between its day- and nightsides, suggesting heat flow from one to the other. And the "hot spot" on the dayside, which is supposed to be directly under this planet's star, was shifted away from its expected position. Scientists don't know why - yet another mystery to be solved on this strange, hot planet.

News Media Contact

Calla Cofield
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
626-808-2469
calla.e.cofield@jpl.nasa.gov

Written by Pat Brennan





* 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

Gold Roman Ring found at Corbridge Roman Town with Greek Openwork Inscription stating ‘The...

Gold Roman Ring found at Corbridge Roman Town with Greek Openwork Inscription stating ‘The Love Token of Polemius’, Corbridge Roman Town, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 26.1.20.



* This article was originally published here

Human-caused biodiversity decline started millions of years ago


The human-caused biodiversity decline started much earlier than researchers used to believe. According to a new study published in the scientific journal Ecology Letters the process was not started by our own species but by some of our ancestors.

Human-caused biodiversity decline started millions of years ago
Dinofelis, painting by Mauricio Antón. The picture shows a saber-toothed cat Dinofelis eating
while one of our ancestors are watching. Dinofelis has been considered a predator that our
ancestors were greatly fearing. But new research suggests that it was human ancestors that
may have caused the eventual extinction of the species along with other major predators
[Credit: University of Gothenburg]
The work was done by an international team of scientists from Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The researchers point out in the study that the ongoing biological diversity crisis is not a new phenomenon, but represents an acceleration of a process that human ancestors began millions of years ago.


"The extinctions that we see in the fossils are often explained as the results of climatic changes but the changes in Africa within the last few million years were relative minor and our analyses show that climatic changes were not the main cause of the observed extinctions," explains Søren Faurby, researcher at Gothenburg University and the main author of the study.

"Our analyzes show that the best explanation for the extinction of carnivores in East Africa is instead that they are caused by direct competition for food with our extinct ancestors," adds Daniele Silvestro, computational biologist and co-author of the study.

Carnivores disappeared

Our ancestors have been common throughout eastern Africa for several million years and during this time there were multiple extinctions according to Lars Werdelin, co-author and expert on African fossils.

"By investigating the African fossils, we can see a drastic reduction in the number of large carnivores, a decrease that started about 4 million years ago. About the same time, our ancestors may have started using a new technology to get food called kleptoparasitism," he explains.

Kleptoparasitism means stealing recently killed animals from other predators. For example, when a lion steals a dead antelope from a cheetah.


The researchers are now proposing, based on fossil evidence, that human ancestors stole recently killed animals from other predators. This would lead to starvation of the individual animals and over time to extinction of their entire species.

"This may be the reason why most large carnivores in Africa have developed strategies to defend their prey. For example, by picking up the prey in a tree that we see leopards doing. Other carnivores have instead evolved social behavior as we see in lions, who among other things work together to defend their prey," explains Søren Faurby

Humans today affect the world and the species that live in it more than ever before.

"But this does not mean that we previously lived in harmony with nature. Monopolization of resources is a skill we and our ancestors have had for millions of years, but only now are we able to understand and change our behavior and strive for a sustainable future. 'If you are very strong, you must also be very kind'," concludes Søren Faurby and quotes Astrid Lindgrens book about Pippi Longstocking.

Source: University of Gothenburg [January 17, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon


In 2019, fieldwork in Old Sikyon was carried out from late June to the end of July and included archaeological excavations, a geoarchaeological survey and the study of architectural spolia.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
Drone picture of Trench 3A from southeast with the ‘Heroon’ and its surroundings
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
The excavations concentrated on six trenches in four different fields, four of which had already been started during previous seasons. In Field 3 north-east of the supposed city centre, the excavation of a late Classical building was continued in order to reveal a room to its full depth as well as part of its surroundings. The partly underground rectangular room (6.30 x 4.40 m) was made of walls of monumental blocks on two sides and of walls of mixed material on its two other sides and was originally covered with a tiled roof. Stairs led down into it from its north-eastern corner and maybe also from its south-western corner.


In direct contact with the bottom of the north, west and east walls, three Archaic graves (ca. 610-555 BC) cut into the bedrock were revealed. They contained multiple burials (men, women and children) and were marked by particular stones, but only one of them featured grave goods, including nine aryballoi and one askos (small vases) in the form of a hare dated to the early to middle Corinthian period. The building had at least two different construction phases and went probably out of use in the 2nd half of the 4th cent. BC, perhaps in connection with the destruction of the city in the year 303 BC.

On the base of the uncovered remains including the large amounts of pottery and various figurines found within this room, it can be interpreted as a sort of Heroon, where an ancestors’ cult and maybe also the veneration of chthonic deities were practiced. South of this room, a grave of the 5th cent. BC was uncovered, which contained as the only grave goods the remains of the shoes of the deceased, in the form of two iron frames, which originally were nailed to wooden soles.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
Grave from the 5th cent. BC next to the ‘Heroon’ in Trench 3A, with remains
of the shoes of the deceased [Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
In Field 7 further to the northeast in the outskirts of the city, a Classical or Early Hellenistic grave monument (ca. 350-300 BC) was further revealed (Trench 7C). Its architectural front of 4,60 m length was oriented along a road on its northern side. Only the lowest course over the foundation is preserved consisting of large limestone blocks connected by Z-clamps and featuring a cyma reversa.

On the western and eastern sides, two symmetrically placed blocks mark the limits of the monument. Two stone cist graves with a single burial of a grown-up in each were excavated within the monument, yielding rich and well-preserved grave goods: fine drinking cups, lidded lekanis bowls, miniature vases, lamps, a silver coin and iron strigiles.

In a higher level, the burned remains of a grave ritual were found, including dozens of fragments of human and animal figurines and numerous shapes (e.g. bowls, plates and pouring vessels) of a special type of red-slipped pottery stamped with a characteristic egg decoration. This type of pottery was probably produced locally between 340 and 275 BC. Just next to the monument, a deposit from the 5th cent. BC including six Attic lekythoi (one of which white-ground) and a kotyle was revealed, indicating the funeral use of this area at least from this time onwards.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
The grave monument from the late Classical or early Hellenistic period in Trench 7C
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
50 m northwest of this grave monument in an area outside the borders of the settlement, Classical building remains were found (Trench 7A), which, judging from the resistivity survey, could belong to a large building complex of ca. 18 x 20 m. A large room (2.50 x 2.50 m) and an adjacent smaller, corridor-like storage room (ca. 2.90 x 0.90 m) were completely revealed, while another room to the south was only partly excavated. On the base of many large fragments of storage vessels, the few fragments of fine-ware pottery, loom weights and coins might indicate an extra-urban workshop or agricultural context.

In Field 8 in the south-eastern part of the town, a new trench was opened on top of a large positive linear anomaly found with geomagnetic prospection, which could have indicated the trace of the city wall. Instead, part of a monumental late Classical building and in direct connection with it an early Hellenistic grave covered with tiles were excavated. The building might have had a public, cultic or funeral function.

Directly southeast of it, a four-sided floor-like surface was probably used for workshop activities. In the early Byzantine period, the area was used in an agricultural context, which is indicated by a large pithos with a preserved diameter of 1.40 m set up in an (indoor or outdoor) area bordered by walls. Also the large amount of burnt olive stones found in the corresponding layers and a large olive press in the neighbouring field indicate the production of olive oil.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
Remains of a grave ritual in Trench 7C with burned figurines and pottery
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
Private house remains from the 2nd half of the 4th cent. BC found in 2018 in Field 9 (Trench 9A) in the core of the city were further investigated this year. It was revealed that the walls of this habitation context were dug into a large floor from a slightly earlier phase and that floors of stamped earth belong to the phase of the walls.


Remains of earlier constructions were not found in this trench. An extension of the trench to the west (after a gap of 3 m due to a modern water pipe) yielded the continuation of the building complex in several walls belonging to different construction phases, which witness of continued domestic activity including reuse and rebuilding trough a longer period of time.

Another trench (9B) was opened on the south-western end of the same field and revealed the first archaic construction remains ever found in the area of Old Sikyon. The four Archaic walls are arranged around an area which could have formed a courtyard. In the Classical period, more walls and a drain made of roof-tiles were constructed, which were covered in the late Classical/early Hellenistic period again by a larger drain carefully made of Π-shaped stone blocks.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
Drone picture of Trench 7B with Classical building remains
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
In the eastern part of the trench, a boulder was installed earlier in the Classical period and surrounded by miniature vessels dating mainly to the 5th cent. BC, which indicates cultic activity. In the Hellenistic period the Π-shaped drain and its surroundings were covered and two perpendicular walls decorated with red- and yellow-painted stucco with a mortared pebble floor between them were installed. This representative private room indicates the sporadically continued use of the area for habitation also after the destruction of the old city.

3D documentation of the excavations was applied again by Toke Hansen (Museum of South-Eastern Denmark). For large-scale archaeobotanical studies, a particularly high number of 290 soil samples were collected and processed this year. In addition to that, samples for starch analysis were collected, particularly fragments from cooking and storage vessels, in order to investigate their content.

The 2019 field season was exceptionally rich in finds, many of excellent character, which were again processed at the Ephorate’s depot at Archaia Sikyona/Vasiliko. From Trench 3A particularly the Archaic grave goods have to be emphasized, but also the iron shoe frames as a special find. Furthermore, this trench yielded a high number of complete or partly complete vessels of all types, ranging from transport amphorae, vessels used for preparation and cooking of food and drinking cups in particular.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
Part of a monumental building from the late Classical period in Trench 8A
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
From Trench 7A, the high amounts of storage vessels stand out, while the late Classical grave goods of Trench 7C along with the Attic lekythoi and the remains of a ritual pyre represent particularly excellent material, providing a proof for the existence of an independent and high-quality Sikyonian pottery production.

The grave goods from Trench 8A form an interesting Hellenistic ensemble. Trench 9B yielded a few fragments of Helladic pottery and many impressive fine-ware fragments from the Geometric, Archaic and Classical periods, indicating continuous activity in this area over a long period.

Also in terms of coins, the season was particularly yielding. They were studied again by Michael Ierardi (Bridgewater State University). All in all, 24 coins were found, most of which are from Sikyon (one from the 5th cent. BC and five to six from the 4th c. BC), others from other Greek states including Corinth, Salamis (Cyprus), Mykonos and Syracuse.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
Removal of the large Byzantine pithos from Trench 8A
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
The stone objects were again studied by Pernille Foss (University of Copenhagen), some skeletons were investigated by Mette Arenfeldt (Museum of Southern Jutland) and the conservation of the most important finds was, as in previous years, taken over by the conservator Angeliki Kandri. In the framework of a Master’s thesis, Melanie Nguyen (University of Regensburg) studied the spolia from the former church of Agia Varvara in the southwest of the study area.


The geoarchaeological survey was continued by Chris Hayward (University of Edinburgh), who identified more rock varieties used in excavated structures and undertook further systematic surveys of exposures of bedrock within the Sikyonia to identify the types and exploitable volumes of construction stone available and traces of ancient quarrying. The results suggest that the high-quality oolitic limestone used in Old Sikyon originated from Corinthian, rather than Sikyonian sources, while calcarenite suitable for ashlar masonry is present near to the city’s location and plentiful supplies of conglomerate and local calcarenites were available for rubble construction.

The results of the 2019 campaign greatly enhance our knowledge of the private architecture of different phases of Old Sikyon including home decor and storage facilities, and of workshop arrangements. Moreover, a great range of important information about burial rites and practices over time, grave rituals, ancestors’ cult and burial monuments was collected.

2019 excavation results at ancient Greek city of Sikyon
Drone picture of Trench 9A with domestic structures
[Credit: Hellenic Ministry of Culture]
After the results of the 2019 season and the range of information gained in the field seasons of the first phase of the project, it would be particularly desirable to continue the research in Old Sikyon in a second project phase, in order to clarify the remaining important questions of topography, which concern the different parts of fortification, the more detailed form of the harbour and the harbour town and the inner organisation of the city including the city centre and the street grid, in order to gain a more thorough insight into Old Sikyon’s material culture, including the famous Sikyonian sculpture and local pottery, and in order to investigate the social and cultural practices of life in the old city over time.

The rich material collected in the field seasons 2015-2019 represents an excellent base for such studies, but needs to be complemented for both, a broader overview and a deeper insight.

Credit: Danish Institute at Athens [January 21, 2020]



* This article was originally published here

Featured

UFO sighting in Odessa UA НЛО шар плазмы UFO sighting in Odessa UA, white orb An unusual-looking object appeared suddenly in the sky at...

Popular