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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology news updates
    Posted: 18-Mar-2017 at 15:31

Mysterious pyramid-shaped tomb discovered under Chinese construction site


Chinese archaeologist investigates a tomb in the shape of a pyramid

A mysterious pyramid-shaped tomb has been uncovered by archaeologists under a construction site in China.

The structure was discovered in a chamber alongside a similar cylinder-shaped coffin in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. 

Experts believe the chamber is a burial site, and could hail from the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), China’s so-called “golden age”. 

Who was buried there and why remains a mystery, though the site is currently under investigation, reports the Dail Mail.

Chinese media have nicknamed it the “pyramid of Zhengzhou”, though at six feet tall it is unlikely to draw as many tourists as the real things in Egypt.

The area used to be a village, reports local media, but work was underway to build a new residential compound when the discovery was made. 

The chamber, which is 30 metres long and eight metres wide, was described by a local as “truly magical”.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” he added.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/pyramid-tomb-mysterious-china-construction-site-archaeologist-zhengzhou-henan-province-han-dynasty-a7633821.html




Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 18-Mar-2017 at 15:41
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2017 at 16:31
The brickwork is similar to the way a kiln was built in that era, the layout is similar as well.

"Arguing with someone who hates you or your ideas, is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what move you make, your opponent will walk all over the board and scramble the pieces".
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2017 at 23:48
...and religion is the same.Smile
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Apr-2017 at 21:21
ASU student finds clues to ancient funerary customs in broken pieces of stone
Arizona State University archaeology student Claudine Gravel-Miguel went into her field of study 10 years ago simply for love of travel. Now, after falling in love with the science as well, her research has taken her to the Caverna delle Arene Candide in Italy, where she made a surprising discovery that is changing the way scientists look at human culture in the Paleolithic.

Gravel-Miguel, a doctoral student in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, freely admits that she initially chose to study archaeology because she wanted a job that would let her see new places. But after her first class, it was questions about people — past and present — that soon captured her interest.

Her research focuses on using new tools like computational modeling to see how climate change and geography impacted prehistoric human mobility and social networks. Although that's not as effused with Hollywood glam, Gravel-Miguel argues that this is the reality of 21st-century archaeology.

“It may be cliché, but I think there is still a misconception that archaeologists do all their work in the field,” she said. “One of the first things I tell people when I talk about my work is that most of us spend more time in the lab and on computers than out on the terrain.”

This ability to bring new perspectives to old archaeological puzzles is exactly what led Gravel-Miguel to a recent, groundbreaking discovery in the Caverna delle Arene Candide.

This site, a cave high up a limestone cliff, was made famous in the 1940s when researchers found the remains of around 20 hunter-gatherers who were buried there 13,000–11,000 years ago. Throughout decades of excavation, archaeologists have found (and mostly ignored) pieces of small oblong-shaped stones. But Gravel-Miguel and the site director, Julien Riel-Salvatore, noticed that the stones were out of place in the cave — they had smooth surfaces like river rocks and all shared the same long, flat shape.

When she expressed interest in these peculiar stones, Riel-Salvatore encouraged her to investigate them further.

“The pebble project actually almost fell in my lap,” she said. “To be honest, I thought it would be a very simple study.”

Gravel-Miguel and her team quickly deduced that the hunter-gatherers had looked for and specifically chosen these stones from nearby beaches. However, microscopic analysis also revealed that the stones held traces of ochre, a red pigment frequently used by prehistoric people to paint the bodies of the deceased.

So why were the majority of these stone application tools carefully selected, only to wind up broken in a cave some distance away? In her recently published paper, Gravel-Miguel proposes that people smashed them intentionally after use.

“One would have had to handle the pebble by wrapping the hand around it, which should have prevented a break along the short axis,” she said. “Therefore, the shape and use wear of the piece tell us that the pebbles were not likely broken by accident while they were being used.”

The intention behind the breaks suggests it was likely part of a ritual act that symbolically killed the stones’ power over the dead. Such practice has been documented in the Neolithic, but never before in the Paleolithic, making this case the oldest example ever recorded.

Additionally, Gravel-Miguel found that each broken stone the team excavated had pieces missing from its fragments. She found only two refitting parts, but these gave her a clue about the fate of the other absent pieces.

“The two pieces of one refitted pebble have very different patinas,” she explained. “One is red and the other white. This shows that the two pieces were not discarded in the same place after the break, which suggests that the break may have had some meaning and that some of the pieces may have been curated.”

In her paper, Gravel-Miguel uses this data to support a hypothesis that one piece of each stone was left at the cave, while another was taken by a loved one as a way to remember and connect with the dead.

“This research reveals a new dimension of the burial rituals that took place this far back in time and strengthens our assumption that death has always been a very important component in the life of the living,” she said.

One of the next steps for this project is to expand research into other nearby archaeological sites from the same time period. This will help the team figure out if the practice of stone-smashing and fragment-keeping is something that was done locally by one group, or something that was part of a broader culture shared throughout the region.

Gravel-Miguel has also been left curious about whether the ritually broken stones were deposited as grave goods — that is, intentionally placed in the burial — or if they were just tossed away after the ritual. To find out, she will need to go back to the artifact collection of the archaeologist who excavated the site in the 1940s.

“There’s a lot more work to be done on this topic. It’s exciting,” she said.

http://https://asunow.asu.edu/20170407-discoveries-love-and-death-paleolithic-asu-archaeology-student



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 10-Apr-2017 at 21:24
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  Quote Aeoli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Jul-2017 at 10:11
The Ancient city Aphrodisias got into UNESCO list.

It is known with this two remainds


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Aug-2017 at 18:28
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Aug-2017 at 09:44
Alani, nothing posted
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Aug-2017 at 14:13
Originally posted by red clay

Alani, nothing posted


That's strange. It might be a browser thing as it's still working for me here. Never mind, here's the title and link.

We're getting closer than ever to reading the mysterious Herculaneum scrolls


Link to copy to your browser :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYvTUXFBdFo



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 11-Aug-2017 at 14:23
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Nov-2017 at 16:28

Accidental archaeology: Roman ruins found under ‘illegally’ demolished house in Plovdiv


Ruins of part of a Roman neighbourhood have been found after what is alleged to have been the illegal demolition of a house in Bulgaria’s second city Plovdiv.

The ruins are thought likely to be homes that were on the outskirts of Philippopolis, as the 7000-year-old city was known during Roman times.

The site is very close to the city walls of Roman-era Plovdiv.

Plovdiv website podtepeto.com said that just a few years ago, an early Christian tomb with impressive frescoes was found a few metres from the location where the demolished house was.

According to podtepeto, the demolition of the house at the corner of Plovdiv’s Tsar Assen and GM Dimitrov streets was illegal because it was subject to a cultural preservation order.

The owner was fined 5000 leva (about 2500 euro) and ordered to preserve what was left of the house, but currently the only relic of the building is one corner and two windows.

Activities at the site have been suspended pending inspection by archaeologists.

http://sofiaglobe.com/2017/11/12/accidental-archaeology-roman-ruins-found-under-illegally-demolished-house-in-plovdiv2/



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 20-Nov-2017 at 16:30
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Nov-2017 at 17:39



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 23-Nov-2017 at 17:41
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Apr-2018 at 15:20

Genetics of the modern heirs of the Incas sheds new light about their origins and lineages

UNIVERSIDAD DE SAN MARTIN DE PORRES–A multinational South American team from Peru, Brasil and Bolivia led by the Universidad de San Martin de Porres at Lima, Peru, published the first genetic study on the modern descendants of the imperial Inca lineages in the journal Molecular Genetics and Genomics. This work supported by funds from the Genographic Project (Geno 2.0), shows new insights about Inca origins and lineages.

The Inka people arrived and in the Cusco valley and in a few centuries they built the Tawantinsuyu, the largest empire in the Americas. The Tawantinsuyu was the cultural climax of 6,000 years of Central Andes civilizations overlapping the modern countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, the South of Colombia and the North of Argentina and Chile. In contrast with the richness of archeological and cultural evidence, pre Columbian history vanishes in time as it intermingles with myths due to the lack of writing systems before the arrival of the European chroniclers. Very little is known about Inca origins and some genetic information could help reconstruct part of their history. Unfortunately the mummies and bodily remains of the Inca emperors, worshiped as gods, were burned and buried in unknown locations due to religious and political persecution by the Christian conquistadors and inquisitors, so no direct material remains to study their DNA. “Thus for now, only the genetic analysis of modern families of Inca descent could provide some clues about their ancestors” remarks geneticist Jose Sandoval, first author, working at Universidad de San Martin de Porres at Lima, Peru.

There were two foundational myths for the origin of the Incas before they established in Cusco valley to build their capital city. One is that Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, considered children of the Sun God and founder parents of the civilization, came from Lake Titicaca about 500 km southwards from the border of North Bolivia and South Peru, more or less the same region where the Tiwanaku empire existed a few centuries before. The second myth narrates that four Ayar brothers, with divine powers, came out from the caves inside of a hill in the area of Paccarictambo, 50 km south of Cusco and only one of them, Manco, arrived in the Cusco valley. Concerning the succession of the rulers (between 12 to 14), most chroniclers mention only one patrilineal heritage, however other authors think that it was a complex selection of military and administrative skills not necessarily electing the son of a previous Inca. “A unique patrilineal cluster would be expected in the first case. In the second case, two or more patrilineal patterns will be evident” says geneticist Ricardo Fujita, senior author, also at Universidad de San Martin de Porres”. The research team included historian Ronald Elward, who studied documentation of twelve Inca noble families and followed up from the conquista times to their contemporary descendants. “Most of them still living in the towns of San Sebastian and San Jeronimo, Cusco, Peru, at present, are probably the most homogeneous group of Inca lineage” says Elward.

Markers for Y chromosome and mtDNA were used for the genetic analysis of these families and compared with a database for 2400 native individuals from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Brazil. “The results show distinctive patrilineal origins to two founder individuals who lived between 1000 to 1500 AD, a period between the decline of former Tiwanaku (south) and Wari (north) contemporary empires, and the rise of the Inca empire a few centuries later” says geneticist Fabricio Santos from the Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais at Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The first patrilineal haplotype named AWKI-1 (awki means crown prince in quechua language) is found in the putative families descending from 2 earlier Incas Yahuar Huacac and Viracocha. The same pattern of the Inca descendants was also found in individuals living south to Cusco, mainly in Aymaras of Peru and Bolivia. The second patrilineal haplotype named AWKI-2 was found in one descendant of a more recent Inca, Huayna Capac, father of the two brothers (Huascar and Atahualpa) who were fighting a fraternal war over the empire at the arrival of the conquistadors. “AWKI-2 is also found in dozens of individuals from different locations in the Andes and occasionally in the Amazon, suggesting a populational expansion” says Dr. Santos.

“In addition to San Sebastian and San Jeronimo, most locations of AWKI-1, AWKI-2 were southwards to Cusco including the basin of lake Titicaca and neighboring Paccarictambo, in agreement with the two foundational myths of the Incas” says Ricardo Fujita, “probably two pictures at different times of the same journey with final destination Cusco” adds Fujita. “It is also remarkable that in these contemporary Inca nobility families there is a continuity since pre-Columbian times” says Ronald Elward. The analysis of their mtDNA suggested a highly varied matrilineal marker whose counterparts are found all over the Andes reflecting a high genetic flow. “This probably reflects the political alliances by arranged marriages between Cusco nobility and daughters of lords of kingdoms and chiefdoms all over the empire” states Jose Sandoval.

This work is the continuation of several studies performed by the team to reconstruct South American history by genetics and also funded by a previous grant of the Genographic Project(Geno 1.0) led in South America by Fabricio Santos. Two published works included the unique ancient roots of the Uros, people from the Floating Islands of the Lake Titicaca and the Quechwa-Lamistas in Peruvian Amazon.Modern Uros are Aymara speaking people that some have thought to be people from the Aymara ethnia who profited tourism by living on the floating islands. However the team showed that they were genetically isolated people who had lost their original Uro language, shifting to the more widely used Aymara language. On the other hand the Kechwa-Lamista are Amazonian people who speak the Andean Quechua language and they were presumed descendants of Andeans Chancas, former enemies of the Incas, and were chased by them towards the Amazon. DNA showed that they are actually descendants of linguistically different Amazonian people who were gathered by Catholic missions and were taught the Quechua language (learn by the missionaries at the Andes) for a better evangelization.

“In some cases Genetics shows us something different than the official history. What is not written or badly written in historical records, can be revealed by what is written in our DNA. ” concludes Ricardo Fujita. “This study is just the tip of the iceberg in trying to solve part of several enigmas of one of the most remarkable civilizations. The DNA of one Inca monarch’s bodily remains or of one direct descendant who lived at the beginning of the Spanish colonization could give more certainty about the Inca lineage, and our team is looking forward to it” declares Jose Sandoval.

http://https://popular-archaeology.com/article/genetics-of-the-modern-heirs-of-the-incas-sheds-new-light-about-their-origins-and-lineages/



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 08-Apr-2018 at 15:21
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-May-2018 at 14:03

Hiker finds 1,000-year-old piece of pottery on Arizona Strip

When a hiker came across a small but intact piece of pottery in January along a dusty trail in the Arizona Strip desert south of St. George, he carefully concealed the pot in place and contacted the Bureau of Land Management.

The hiker, Colorado resident Randy Langstraat, described the pot and its location, pointing BLM archaeologist Sarah Page to the area, where she found it undisturbed and in near-perfect condition.

As it turns out, the pot could be more than 1,000 years old, dated to the Ancestral Puebloan people who lived in the region between AD 1050 and 1250. It is now slated to be put on display at the BLM’s St. George office, the agency announced Monday.

MORE: Dinosaur tracks at Utah park dislodged, thrown into lake

The most intact pot has an effigy handle that appears to depict an animal, possibly a deer or bighorn sheep. The ears or horns have broken off, making an exact description difficult.

The piece falls into a category local archaeologists call North Creek Corrugated, which dates to the Late Pueblo II period, according to an analysis conducted by archaeologist David Van Alfen.

Archaeologists praised Langstraat for taking the appropriate steps to protect the pot, which was found in an area frequented by people and at risk of being removed or broken.

Removing a piece of pottery or any cultural resource, be it an arrowhead or a dinosaur fossil, is generally illegal on publicly owned state and federal lands in Utah. Scientists recommend that anyone who comes across something of interest let them know so it can be examined.

“While the BLM is tasked to protect these resources, we need everyone’s help to do so,” Page, the BLM archaeologist, said in an email. “Mr. Langstraat did the right thing by reporting the discovery of the pot to the BLM and by leaving it in place. Just like Mr. Langstraat, everyone can help to protect our Nation’s fascinating past. We hope that others will follow his example and respect our past.”

The Arizona Strip’s long history

About 11,000 cataloged archaeological sites have been recorded along the Arizona Strip. They include pit houses, stone tools, corn husks, woven baskets, rock art, arrowheads and other artifacts scientists use to learn more about the history of people in the area.

The first recorded instances of people in the area date back to 12,000 years, with the Ancestral Puebloans occupying the southern part of the Colorado Plateau from about 600 B.C. to AD 1300, according to the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah.

They farmed corn, squash and other food along the region’s waterways in a comparatively “rural” development related to the societies that built the iconic settlements at Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon in the Four Corners area.

The southern Paiute moved in around the year 1200, farming, hunting, gathering and largely thriving until Mormon settlers arrived in the mid-19th century.

http://https://www.thespectrum.com/story/news/2018/05/07/hiker-finds-ancestral-puebloan-anasazi-pot-archaeology/587147002/



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 20-May-2018 at 14:05
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2018 at 20:22

Soldiers find skeleton of Saxon warrior on Salisbury Plain
Afghanistan war veterans helping out with archaeological dig on military grounds found scores of Saxon burials complete with weapons and jewellery.

On the last day of an excavation by soldiers within the military training lands on Salisbury Plain, they found a comrade in arms: the grave of a 6th century Saxon warrior, buried with his spear by his side and his sword in his arms.

His bones and possessions, which included a handsome belt buckle, a knife and tweezers, were remarkably well preserved despite his grave lying under a military trackway on which tanks and massive military vehicles have been trundling across the plain. Pattern welded swords, high status objects, are rarely found intact: his was lifted in one piece, complete with traces of its wood and leather scabbard.

The soldiers were very moved by the discovery of a man they felt would have shared some of their experiences. They joined the excavation at Barrow Clump as part of Operation Nightingale, an initiative to help the recovery of veterans of recent conflicts, particularly Afghanistan, by involving them in archaeology. The scheme, working with Wessex Archaeology, has been so successful that several of the veterans have retrained as professional archaeologists.

“It was a classic last day of the dig find – there was such a buzz across the site, the soldiers definitely had a sense of kinship,” Richard Osgood, senior archaeologist with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation said. “I have to admit I also thought ‘there goes my budget’ – there was quite a tricky conversation afterwards with the MoD because of the sudden increase in conservation costs.”

The finds have been taken for further study and conservation work at Wessex Archaeology, and will eventually be given to the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes.

Barrow Clump has a remarkably long history of human activity. The Bronze Age burial mound built on an even older Neolithic settlement, was reused as an Anglo-Saxon cemetery. It had already been damaged by ploughing, but permission to excavate a listed site was granted because of damage by more recent trouble makers – badgers which were burrowing out the entire site, and kicking out human bones as they dug.

This year’s excavation was just beside the burial mound – “the badgers are happily back in residence in the barrow now” Osgood said – carried out in scorching heat and clay as hard as concrete, to investigate the extent of the cemetery, and the condition of any archaeology under the trackway.

The three week excavation uncovered scores of Saxon burials, men around the edge of the site, women and children in the centre, with grave goods including weapons and jewellery. They included a man with a less well preserved sword, and a little girl buried with a large amber bead. One of the graves held a young boy buried curled as if in sleep, one of the few without any grave goods.

The splendidly armed warrior was found when a metal detector being used for a last sweep of the site on the final afternoon gave an unusually strong signal.

The archaeology, Osgood said, was generally better preserved than in the ploughed fields outside the army lands. “We found one grave directly below the track, and the skull, only five centimetres down, hadn’t even been cracked – so from a curatorial point of view that was very reassuring.

He believes the dead came from a settlement in the valley below: “It’s that Saxon thing of looking up the hill and knowing your ancestors are up there on a site that was already ancient and special.”

http://https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jul/25/soldiers-find-skeleton-of-saxon-warrior-on-salisbury-plain



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 02-Aug-2018 at 20:25
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2018 at 16:30

DECLINE OF BULGARIAN, BYZANTINE EMPIRES BEFORE OTTOMAN CONQUEST REVEALED BY TATAR PLUNDER TREASURE POT FROM BLACK SEA FORTRESS KALIAKRA


The contents of the gold and silver treasure pot of plunder of a Tatar (Mongol) leader from ca. 1400, which has recently been
 discovered in Bulgaria’s Kaliakara Cape Fortress on the Black Sea coast, is a true testimony to the decline of the medieval Bulgarian
 Empire and the Byzantine Empire before the Ottoman conquest.

In this specific find, the decline of the empires of Bulgaria and Byzantium in the Late Middle Ages is evidenced primarily from the really meager silver and gold content in the coins of the Bulgarian Tsars and Byzantine Emperors found in the treasure pot whose contents were seemingly plundered during the last Balkan invasion of the Tatars (Mongols).

The clay treasure pot , which was founded on August 17, 2018, in the Kaliakra Fortress, contains 957 archaeological artifacts from the 14th century, including 28 gold coins, 873 silver coins, 11 gold appliques and buckles, 11 gold earrings, 2 rings, one of which is gold, four beads made of gold and precious stones, and 28 silver and bronze buttons.

The archaeological artifacts are believed to have been looted by a Tatar (Mongol) leader from Aktav’s Tatars who were the last wave of Mongol invasions in medieval Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula, and were eventually subjugated by the Ottomans ca. 1400.

The Kaliakara Cape Fortress in Northeast Bulgaria has been a major stronghold throughout all historical periods ever since the Ancient Thracians first inhabited the site in the 4th century BC.

Today, it is one of Bulgaria’s best known cultural attractions in combination with the beautiful Black Sea coast scenery, and is attracting a growing number of local and foreign tourists.

In 2017, in the Kaliakra Fortress the archaeologists discovered a nephrite 14th century amulet buckle from Chinain the very same medieval building where the clay pot treasure of Tatar plunder has now been discovered.

In much of the 14th century, the Kaliakra Fortress was part of the Dobrudzha Despotate (also known as the Principality of Karvuna), one of the rump states of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1396/1422) during the decades-long campaign of the Ottoman Turks invading from the southeast to conquer Bulgaria, Byzantium, and all other Balkan and European states in their way.

As Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander (r. 1331-1371 AD) lost his two eldest sons – Ivan in 1349 AD and Mihail in 1355 AD – in battles with the Ottoman Turks, he failed to prevent a number of Bulgarian feudal lords seceding, including the rulers of the Dobrudzha Despotate in the east.

On top of that, Tsar Ivan Alexander divided the remainder of the Second Bulgarian Empire between his two surviving sons. His third son Ivan Sratsimir (r. 1371-1396) received the smaller so called Vidin Tsardom, with the Danube city of Bdin (Vidin) as its capital, and his fourth son Ivan Shishman (r. 1371-1395) received the rest, the so called Tarnovo Tsardom, with the capital proper of Tarnovgrad (today’s Veliko Tarnovo).

Just two decades later all Bulgarian lands, disunited and even warring among themselves, fell prey to the invading Ottoman Turks, ushering Bulgaria into five centuries known as the Ottoman Yoke (1396-1878/1912), and signifying a practically irreversible loss of its former great power status.

Bulgaria’s National Museum of History in Sofia, whose Director, archaeologist Boni Petrunova, has discovered the treasure pot of Tatar plunder in the fortress on the Black Sea cape of Kaliakra, has reminded that one of the late medieval chronicles narrates how in 1399 Tatars from the horde of their leader Aktav attacked the cities along what is today Bulgaria’s northern Black Sea coast (i.e. the Black Sea coast between the Balkan Mountains and today’s border with Romania), include Varna (ancient Odessos).

Aktav himself became known as the “Dobrudzha Tatar", and his horde, the Aktav Tatars, were subjugated with great effort by the Ottoman Turks.

Eventually, the Ottomans managed to defeat the Aktav Tatars and in 1401 resettled them in various parts of today’s Bulgaria such as Provadiya and Rusocastro.

In its original announcement of the discovery of the 14th century treasure pot of Tatar plunder, the National Museum of History in Sofia said that 60% of all coins found in the treasure pot are silver Ottoman coins known as akce.

They were mostly minted by Ottoman Sultan (“emir" prior to 1394) Bayezid I (r. 1389-1402 AD), with some minted by his predecessor, Murad I (r. 1361 – 1389).

The Museum has now announced details about the rest of the coins in the Tatar booty from the Black Sea coast which were minted by the Second Bulgarian Empire, its successors, the Tarnovo Tsardom and the Vidin Tsardom, the Byzantine Empire as well as by Venice, which is known to have traded with the ports of the Dobrudzha Despotate in the 14th century and before that.

“The second largest group of coins [in the Tatar plunder treasure pot], which is made up of Bulgarian silver aspers (asprons) minted by Tsar Ivan Alexander (r. 1331 – 1371), has been an extremely pleasant surprise," Bulgaria’s National Museum of History says.

The silver coins (asprons or aspers) of the last relatively strong ruler of the Second Bulgarian Empire are about 25% of all coins found in the treasure pot with Tatar booty.

“The coins are well preserved but their quality was compromised at the time when they were hidden," the Museum says.

“In the “Tatar Plunder" treasure we find the smallest coins of this Bulgarian ruler in terms of diameter and weight of 0.5 – 0.6 grams," it adds.

“The [14th century] crisis in the Second Bulgarian Empire was best felt through the currency. For us as researchers, this data is very valuable," the National Museum of History in Sofia states.

It adds that the Tatar plunder treasure pot also contains Bulgarian coins minted after the death of Tsar Ivan Alexander, i.e. under Tsar Ivan Shishman and his downsized Tarnovo Tsardom, which were even minted outside the capital of Tarnovgrad (today’s Veliko Tarnovo).

Another interesting fact is the presence of a total of nine coins minted by Ivan Alexander’s other son, Tsar Ivan Sratsimir (r. 1371 – 1396) in his own rump state, the Vidin Tsardom in the west.

“The sample of these coins is small, only 9 of them, and they also demonstrate this effect of inflation in which the diameter and weight of the coins was reduced," the Museum says.

“Th[ese coins] are a great example of how the Bulgarian coins participated in a common trade flow, and how they were used in [business] interactions in large commercial centers such as Kaliakra which served hundreds of trade deals," it elaborates.

The coins from the Tatar plunder treasure pot discovered in the Kaliakra Cape Fortress, however, also testify to the decline of whatever was left of the Byzantine Empire, technically the Eastern Roman Empire, in the period before it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks.

“Of course, invariably, in these types of large treasures [coin hoards] discovered on [Bulgaria’s Black Sea] coast, it is logical to find currency from the Byzantine Empire," the National Museum of History in Sofia notes.

It reveals that the Kaliakra treasure pot contains a total of 20 hyperpyrons, late Byzantine gold coins, some of the last gold coins minted by Byzantium.

However, the gold Byzantine coins in question demonstrate signs of coin debasement, i.e. reducing the gold content while still circulating them at face value, including through coin clipping (the shaving of metal from the coin’s circumference).

“The [Byzantine gold coins in question] were clipped so much, and with such a reduced gold content that it is even hard to identify them," the Museum explains.

Nonetheless, the numismatists have been able to determine that the Byzantine gold coins from the Tatar plunder treasure pot found in the Kaliakra Fortress were minted by Byzantine Emperors John V Palaeologus (r. 1341 – 1376; 1379 – 1390 / 1391) and his regent, Byzantine Empress consort Anna (Giovanna) of Savoy (r. 1341 – 1347); Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzenus (Kantakouzenos, Cantacuzene) (r. 1347 – 1354), at first also a regent of John V Palaeologus; and by Emperors Andronicus II Palaeologus (r. 1282 – 1328) and Andronicus III Palaeologus (r. 1328 – 1341).

In addition to the debased late Byzantine gold coins, including through clipping, the treasure pot from the Kaliakra Fortress also contains several stavratons (stauratons) – a silver coin used in the last century of the existence of Byzantine Empire before it was irrevocably conquered by the Ottomans.

“After the minting of gold coins was terminated for good, the Byzantine [capital] Constantinople shifted to a silver standard. The highest face value because half a silver hyperpyron, a large silver coin called stavraton (stauraton) and its smaller nominals. The find from Kaliakra also contains several of these rare samples," Bulgaria’s National Museum of History explains.

The 14th century Tatar booty treasure pot from Bulgaria’s Cape Kaliakra also contains 8 gold coins minted by the Republic of Venice, a major trading partner of the Second Bulgarian Empire as well as Byzantium.

The Venetian gold coins in question are known as gold ducats or sequins (zecchino d’oro). They weigh 3.5 grams (0.12 oz), and are made of extremely high-quality 23.5-karat gold.

The Republic of Venice gold coins in question were minted at the time of Doge Andrea Dandolo (in office 1342 – 1354) and Doge Marco Cornaro (in office 1365 – 1367).

The Venetian gold ducats are especially notable because they are a rather rare find as far as Bulgaria’s territory is concerned.

The treasure pot from the Kaliakra Fortress also contains coins from Wallachia, the principality north of the Danube allied with the Second Bulgarian Empire at the time, with inscriptions in Bulgarian, and a single Tatar (Mongol) coin.

“Of course, Wallachian coins and a Tatar coin are also present but these are part of the invariable money flow needed for the markets in those times to operate," the Museum says.

“This small [treasure pot] vessel gathered a variety of gold and silver coins and artifacts. The treasure stands out with its glamor but it is also captivating because of the amount and variety of data that it has to offer," the National Museum of History in Sofia concludes.

“This [discovery] is like we’ve received an SMS Text message from the 14th century," archaeologist Boni Petrunova has told a news conference in the Black Sea town of Kavarna which is located near the Kaliakra Cape Fortress.

“This is a huge find which is yet to be carefully and thoroughly processed in order to derive from it all the scientific data that we can," she adds, as cited by local news site Kavarna Dnes.

She points out the value of the golden earrings found in the Tatar plunder treasure pot.

“They are jewelry works of the highest class, of the type that have been found only around Veliko Tarnovo," Petrunova stresses, referring to Tarnovgrad, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire.

“This means that the Dobrudzha Despotate was no less rich than the Tarnovo Tsardom and the Vidin Tsardom," she adds, referring to the three largest rump states that succeeded the Second Bulgarian Empire after the death of Tsar Ivan Alexander in 1371.

Petrunova has also revealed more details about how the Tatar plunder treasure pot has been discovered on the Kaliakra Cape Fortress on the Black Sea coast – to some extent by accident, as it turns out.

“During this year’s 15th consecutive archaeological season, we decided to work in what we have codenamed Sector 83 [of the Kaliakra Fortress]. Its discovery was by accident, we had intended to work on other sections of Kaliakra’s inner city. However, [a few years ago] a concerned visitor told us that a skull had been exposed on the eastern coast of the fortress. We went to check it out, and thus in 2014, we discovered a representative necropolis. In some of the graves, there were gold coins placed on the eyes of those who were buried. It turned out that we had stumbled upon one of the numerous rich necropolises at Kaliakra, which gave us a reason to expand our research," explains Petrunova who became the Director of the National Museum of History in Sofia over the past winter.

In 2017 and then again in 2018, the archaeological team continued the research of a late medieval building erected on top of the medieval Christian graves which has been dubbed “the Tatar house" by Petrunova. The treasure pot of Tatar plunder has been found underneath the stone slabs covering the floor.

The archaeologists believe that the home on top of the necropolis was owned by a Tatar chieftain and was built in a hasty fashion. And underneath the necropolis, the researchers reached Late Antiquity structures from the 5th – 6th century AD.

“The discovered treasure is not made up of family jewels. Rather, it is booty from military looting collected over a brief period of time," Petrunova says.

“Some of the most interesting items from the treasure pot are the Venetian ducats. They have rarely been found in Bulgaria, for example, around Veliki Preslav (capital of the First Bulgarian Empire in the 10th century)," she adds.

In the same building, in 2014 – 2016, the archaeological team discovered a hoard of 26 “mangars" – petty copper coins – minted by Ottoman ruler Bayezid I, as well as the silver casing of a medieval book, and in 2017, also there the archaeologists discovered a nephrite 14th century amulet buckle from China.

“We have also called the Tatar plunder hoard Ali Baba’s treasure because gold and silver coins and jewels kept popping up as we were digging," Petrunova says, as she elaborates on her main hypothesis about the treasure pot’s origin,

“In 1393, the Tatars [from the Golden Horder] suffered a horrendous defeat by [the] Mongols [of Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur, also known as Tamerlan (r. 1370 – 1405), who dreamed of resurrecting the Mongon Empire of Genghiz Khan (r. 1206 – 1227)]. That pushed them out of the steppes, they fled south of the Danube and started plundering all of Northern Dobrudzha (i.e. the region between the Danube and the Black Sea). It is known with certainty that they conquered Varna and looted it. There is no way they might have missed Kaliakra. Apparently, some of their more prominent chieftains settled in the inner city of Kaliakra, built a house, not a very refined one, which I refer to as “the Tatar house", and gathered there his booty. However, in 1399, the Tatars were chased away from all of Northern Dobrudzhe [by the Ottoman Turks] and resettled in various places. That was probably when the Tatar house was burned down, and its owner, as he was about to flee, lifted up one of the floor slabs, and hid the treasure pot, most likely hoping to come back one day and collect it," the lead archaeologist elaborates.

The hypothesis about the hasty escape of a Tatar chieftain is also supported by the fact that the silver and bronze buttons found in the treasure pot in Kaliakra were put in there together with threads, which means that they were cut or ripped off in a hurry.

The Tatar plunder treasure pot from Bulgaria’s Black Sea Kaliakra Fortress is to be researched for at least a year before it is exhibited for the public.

“What makes this find of really great value is the fact that the treasure is a combination of various items. Archaeologists usually find “uniform" treasures consisting only of coins, or only of jewels, or only of gold items, or only of silver items, whereas here we have a great variety of artifacts discovered together," says archaeologist Rosen Peevski.

The first exhibition of the Tatar plunder treasure pot from the Kaliakra Cape Fortress will most probably be in the nearest Black Sea town of Kavarna.

Until then, the Kavarna Museum of History will improve substantially its security and procure new exhibition equipment, its Director Penko Georgiev has vowed.

Summer 2018 saw the 15th consecutive season of archaeological excavations in Bulgaria’s Kaliakra Cape Fortress on the Black Sea coast.

The digs have been funded by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Culture, the National Museum of History in Sofia, and Kavarna Municipality, and have been carried out by archaeologists from the National Museum of History and the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia, archaeology graduates from Plovdiv University “St. Paisiy Hilendarski" and Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski, and archaeology students from New Bulgarian University in Sofia and Shumen University “Bishop Konstantin Preslavski".

Check out the original story about the discovery of the Tatar plunder treasure pot from Kaliakra:

Gold, Silver Treasure Pot with Tatar Leader’s Plunder Discovered in Kaliakra Fortress on Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast

Also check out this story about a treasure pot discovery, an Ancient Roman one from Serdica (today’s Sofia):

Archaeologists Discover Treasure of Silver Roman Coins during Excavations of Ancient Serdica in Bulgaria’s Capital Sofia

Learn more about the history of the Kaliakra Cape Fortress in the Background Infonotes below!

Background Infonotes:

The Kaliakra Fortress is located on Cape Kaliakra on the Black Sea coast in Northeast Bulgaria (the region known as Dobrudzha). Cape Kaliakra is a 2 km long narrow headland towering about 70 meters above the sea level. The Kaliakra Fortress is part of the Kaliakra Archaeological Preserve, whereas the cape, the coast, and their hinterland are a nature preserve, home to rare birds and fish. It is located in Kavarna Municipality, near the towns of Kavarna, Balgarevo, and Sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas).

The earliest traces of human settlement on the territory of Cape Kaliakra and the Kaliakra Fortress date back to the 4th century BC when the region was inhabited by the Ancient Thracian tribe Tirizi or Tirici, a subgroup of the Getae (Gets); respectively, the earliest known name of the settlement was Tirizis (Tirissa in Latin). The name “Kaliakra" is believed to come from the Byzantine period and is translated from Greek as meaning “beautiful headland" (or “beautiful fortress").

Ancient Greek geographer Strabo (64 BC – ca. 24 AD) wrote that Kaliakra was the capital of Lysimachus (r. 306-281 BC), one of Alexander I the Great’s generals, and one of his diadochi (successors) who became King of Macedon, Thrace, and Asia Minor, and used the caves of Cape Kaliakra to hide treasures that he amassed during the campaigns against Persia.

The first fortifications on Cape Kaliakra were built by the Ancient Thracians, with a second fortress wall added during the Hellenistic Period (3rd-1st century BC). Another expansion of the Kaliakra Fortress was made during the Roman Period. By the middle of the 4th century AD, the fortress already had an inner and outer city, with round fortress towers built in 341-342 AD. A third and stiller outer fortress wall was built in the second half of the 4th century AD. It was 10 meters tall about almost 3 meters wide.

According to 6th century AD Byzantine geographer Hierocles (author of the Synecdemus), in the 5th-6th century, the Kaliakra Fortress was a major stronghold of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire against the barbarian peoples invading from the north.

In 513 AD, Kaliakra was the site of a battle between the forces of Byzantine general Vitalian (d. 520), a native of the city of Zaldapa (in today’s Krushari Municipality in Northeast Bulgaria) and Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I Dicorus (r. 491-518 AD). Vitalian’s rebellion grew into a 5-year civil war.

At the end of the 7th century, the region of the Kaliakra Fortress was conquered by the First Bulgarian Empire (632/680-1018 AD). Sources from the 10th century mention the fortress with the Slavic name Tetrasida.

The earliest Western European source to mention the Kaliakra Fortress is a map by Italian cartographer Petrus Visconte from 1318 AD. The city of the Kaliakra Fortress saw its height in the second half of the 14th century, the same period that saw the demise of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396)

Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Alexander (r. 1331-1371 AD) lost his two eldest sons (Ivan in 1349 AD and Mihail in 1355 AD) in battles with the Ottoman Turks, failed to prevent a number of Bulgarian feudal lords from seceding, and on top of that divided the remainder of the Second Bulgarian Empire between his two surviving sons.

His third son Ivan Sratsimir (r. 1371-1396) received the smaller so called Vidin Tsardom, with the Danube city of Bdin (Vidin) as its capital, and his fourth son Ivan Shishman (r. 1371-1395) received the rest, the so called Tarnovo Tsardom, with the capital proper of Tarnovgrad (today’s Veliko Tarnovo).

Bulgarian boyar Balik (r. ca. 1337-1366 AD), a powerful feudal lord, acquired independence from the Bulgarian Tsars setting up the so called Dobrudzha Despotate, also known as the Principality of Karvuna, in the region of Dobrudzha, today’s Northeast Bulgaria and Southeast Romania, which included the city and fortress of Kaliakra. He was succeeded by his co-ruler and brother, Despot Dobrotitsa (r. 1347-1385 AD).

The Dobrudzha Despotate itself was destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1388 AD. The name of the region of Dobrudzha is believed to have stemmed from the Turkish pronunciation of the name of Despot Debrotitsa.

The Despots of the Principality of Karvuna were the first Bulgarian rulers to build a major (Black Sea) navy.

Wallachian Voivode Mircea the Elder, whose documents were written in Bulgarian, in the Bulgaric (Cyrillic) alphabet, was first an ally of the Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Shishman, with whose aid he even came to control briefly parts of the Dobrudzha Despotate, styling himself “master of Silistra and the lands of Despot Dobrotitsa" in 1390-1391. He regained the region around Kaliakra in 1402 but lost it again to the Ottoman Turks in 1403.

In 1444, the crusaders of Vladislav (Wladyslaw) III Jagello, also known as Varnenchik, King of Poland and Hungary, camped near the Kaliakra Fortress during his second campaigns against the Ottoman Empire (a few decades after it had conquered the Second Bulgarian Empire), shortly before the Battle of Varna.

The Kaliakra Fortress and Cape Kaliakra are also known as the site of the largest naval battle to ever take place in the Black Sea – the Battle of Cape Kaliakra in the summer of 1791. It was the last naval battle of the Russian-Turkish War of 1787-1792, in which the Russian Navy under Admiral Fyodor Ushakov won a victory against the Ottoman Navy led by Hussein Pasha.

During the period of the Ottoman Empire, a place at the Kaliakra Cape connected with the legend of St. Nicholas (see below) is believed to have been the site of a dervish monastery keeping the relics of Muslim Bektashi Saint Sari Saltik.

The first modern lighthouse on Cape Kaliakra was built in 1866 by the Compagnie des Phares de l’Empire Ottomane; the present lighthouse was erected in 1901, during the period of the Third Bulgarian Tsardom (1878-1946).

Cape Kaliakra and the fortress are connected with a lot of legends. The most famous is the one about the 40 Bulgarian maidens who tied their hair together, and committed suicide by jumping into the Black Sea off the 70-meter-tall cliffs in order to avoid being captured and raped by the Ottomans. An obelisk called “The Gate of the Forty Maidens" has been erected at the entrance of the cape in dedication of this legend.

According to another major legend, Cape Kaliakra was created by God in order to rescue St. Nicholas from the Ottomans by extending the ground under his feet while he was running from them. He was eventually caught, and a chapel exists today on the alleged spot of his capture.

A third major legend about Kaliakra has it that Lysimachus perished there with his entire fleet, having escaped there with the treasure of Alexander the Great.

The archaeological excavations on Cape Kaliakra have also revealed ancient and Early Christian necropolises.

The Late Antiquity fortress on Cape Kaliakra had a territory of about 250 decares (app. 62 acres). The third and outermost fortress wall is 1.25 km away from the end of the cape, and is 422 meters long; it had 5 fortress towers. The middle fortress wall is located 400 meters away, and is 162 meters long, and also had a moat. The innermost fortress wall is located 325 meters away from the middle wall, and is 30 meters long.

http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2018/09/03/decline-of-bulgarian-byzantine-empires-before-ottoman-conquest-revealed-by-tatar-plunder-treasure-pot-from-black-sea-fortress-kaliakra/




Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 07-Sep-2018 at 16:43
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Maya ritual cave ‘untouched’ for 1,000 years stuns archaeologists

Exploration of Balamku (Cave of the Jaguar God) reveals ancient religious practices—and may hold clues to the rise and fall of the Maya empire.


Archaeologists hunting for a sacred well beneath the ancient Maya city of Chichén Itzá on

 Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula have accidentally discovered a trove of more than 150 

ritual objects—untouched for more than a thousand years—in a series of cave chambers

 that may hold clues to the rise and fall of the ancient Maya. The discovery of the cave

 system, known as Balamku or “Jaguar God,” was announced by Mexico’s

 National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in a press conference held today in 

Mexico City.

After its initial discovery by farmers in 1966, Balamku was visited by archaeologist

 Víctor Segovia Pinto, who wrote up a report noting the presence of an extensive 

amount of archaeological material. But instead of excavating the site, Segovia then

 directed the farmers to seal up the entrance, and all records of the discovery of the cave seemed to vanish.

Balamku remained sealed for more than 50 years, until it was reopened in 2018 by

 National Geographic Explorer Guillermo de Anda and his team of investigators from the

 Great Maya Aquifer Project during their search for the water table beneath Chichén Itzá.

 Exploration of the system was funded in part by a grant from the National Geographic

 Society.

De Anda recalls pulling himself on his stomach through the tight tunnels of Balamku

 for hours before his headlamp illuminated something entirely unexpected: A cascade

 of offerings left by the ancient residents of Chichén Itzá, so perfectly preserved and 

untouched that stalagmites had formed around the incense burners, vases, decorated

 plates, and other objects in the cavern.


“I couldn’t speak, I started to cry. I’ve analyzed human remains in [Chichén Itzá’s]

 Sacred Cenote, but nothing compares to the sensation I had entering, alone, for the

 first time in that cave,” says de Anda, who is an investigator with INAH and director

 of the Great Maya Aquifer Project, which seeks to explore, understand, and protect 

the aquifer of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.

“You almost feel the presence of the Maya who deposited these things in there,” he adds.

An unprecedented second chance

To access just the first of seven ritual offering chambers identified so far within 

Balamku, archaeologists must crawl flat on their stomachs through hundreds of

 feet of tortuously narrow passages. In the original report on the cave (recently located

 by archaeologist and GAM investigator James Brady of California State University,

 Los Angeles), Segovia identified 155 artifacts, some with faces of Toltec rain god Tláloc,

 and others with markings of the sacred ceiba tree, a potent representation of the Maya

 universe. In comparison, the nearby cave of Balankanché, a ritual site excavated in 1959,

 contains just 70 of these objects.

“Balamku appears to be the ‘mother’ of Balankanché,” says de Anda. “I don’t want to

 say that quantity is more important than information, but when you see that there

 are many, many offerings in a cave that is also much more difficult to access, this tells

 us something.”

Why Segovia would decide to seal up such a phenomenal discovery is still a matter of

 debate. But in doing so, he inadvertently provided researchers with an unprecedented

 “second chance” to answer some of the most perplexing questions that continue to stir

 controversy among Mayanists today, such as such as the level of contact and influence

 exchanged between different Mesoamerican cultures, and what was going on in the

 Maya world prior to the fall of Chichén Itzá.

http://https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/03/maya-ritual-balamku-cave-stuns-archaeologists/





Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 11-Mar-2019 at 23:35
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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2019 at 13:56
The latest results of the new LIDAR mapping project, indicate some 60,000 previously unknown Mayan structures.

The estimate is that it will take the next 100 years to examine them all.
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People I have had problems to open this forum till my last post in December..Who did block me?
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Or you just open it today forum&site again?Regards!Smile
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No one blocked you. The site was only out for 3 days, and that was 2 weeks ago.
Good to see you back.
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18 Skeletons, 3 Buttons and a Revolutionary War Mystery

The human remains and three coat buttons discovered in Lake George, N.Y., during the construction of a three-family home suggest the site was a burial ground for soldiers.

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. — It was not the first time the archaeologist had received this type of call.

“There have been some human bones unearthed,” Chris Hatin, an investigator with the Warren County sheriff’s office, said in a voice mail message to Dr. David Starbuck in early February.

“I’ve been told you have some experience with this. If you can give me a call back, I’d certainly appreciate it.”

Dr. Starbuck did call back. The bones, centuries old and fragile, offered clues that eventually led to the skeletal remains of at least 18 humans — and with them a Revolutionary War-era mystery.

Over the next week, Dr. Starbuck and about 20 other archaeologists gently extracted the bones from 11 graves discovered in a pit that was being dug to pour the foundation for a new three-family home in Lake George, N.Y.

Three Revolutionary War coat buttons with an insignia that Dr. Starbuck said matches those worn by the First Battalion of Pennsylvania were among the artifacts pulled from the frozen earth.

The buttons, Dr. Starbuck said, hint at the likelihood the site may have been a burial ground for Revolutionary War solders who had been housed in crude smallpox hospitals nearby. Both are mentioned in war records, but their exact locations in Lake George had never been discovered.

“The common goal was to rescue these human remains,” Dr. Starbuck said of the dig that was complicated by a snowstorm, “and also maybe to try to learn something about them.”

A Lake George official said the town is looking at ways to acquire the Courtland Street site, with an eye toward preserving it.

“This find in this community adds just one more layer of context,” said Michael Borgos, a lawyer for the property owners.

“To stand here and look out at the lake and think of the bateaux heading north for attack, and the lake covered with war machinery and the men who fought and died out here at the edge of the wilderness — it gives you a real sense of place.”

Lake George, a summertime magnet for tourists about 200 miles north of New York City, is better known in history books for its battles in the 1750s during the French and Indian War than for its link to the Revolutionary War. History buffs know of its recreated Fort William Henry, the site of a siege depicted at the climax of James Fenimore Cooper’s “The Last of the Mohicans.”

But the village was also an important location during the Revolutionary War. It saw little fighting, but the land at the southern end of the lake became a repository for soldiers who had been stationed at nearby Fort Ticonderoga and points north who had fallen ill, primarily from smallpox, Dr. Starbuck, an archaeology professor at New Hampshire’s Plymouth State University who has written several books on the history of the region, said.

The village had the largest concentration of smallpox patients in America — between 2,000 and 3,000 — in 1776, according to Dr. Starbuck.

Historians believe hundreds and possibly thousands of soldiers from the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War are buried in the village of Lake George.

Eighteen years ago, Dr. Starbuck helped analyze a skeleton unearthed not far from the recent discovery. Those remains — determined to be that of a young man whose skull showed evidence of being scalped — were eventually reinterred at the Fort William Henry cemetery.

The archaeologists who descended on the .61-acre Courtland Street plot came from three separate New York State agencies, and were led by Lisa Anderson, a bioarchaeologist with the New York State Museum.

In addition to a few skulls, arm bones, numerous pelvises and femurs, along with the coat buttons, the investigators found fragments of coffin wood and coffin nails. Everything was delivered to the New York State Museum in Albany for analysis.

On Tuesday, Ms. Anderson said testing had identified remains from 13 individuals in 11 graves. The remains of at least five other people were discovered nearby.

Seven of the skeletons found are believed to have been adults older than 20, according to a preliminary skeletal analysis of the fusing of bones that occurs in adulthood. Six are thought to have been younger than 20 when they died, and the age of the other five people is unclear, Ms. Anderson said.

Of the numerous coffin nails uncovered, the ones not corroded beyond recognition appear to have been hand wrought, Ms. Anderson said. Finding machine-cut nails would have suggested they were from after 1790, according to Dr. Starbuck, though he cautioned that hand-wrought nails were used into the 1800s.

Ms. Anderson said the full analysis, to radiocarbon date the wood and the bones, to piece together as many of the skeletons as possible and to study the health of those buried could take as long as two years.

The parcel of land, owned by developers Danna and Ruben Ellsworth, sits about 400 yards from Fort William Henry, which was replicated in the 1950s mostly on its original footprint. The Courtland Street land is uphill from the fort and has views of the southern end of the lake. When the Ellsworths bought the land, it held a handful of small vacation cabins that were set on blocks, not dug foundations, according to Mr. Borgos, the Ellsworths’ lawyer.

The discovery of the remains has not completely upended construction plans. The Ellsworths plan to go ahead with the construction of one home on recently poured foundation, but will hold off on building the second three-family home that was slated to go next to it, Mr. Borgos said.

One common sentiment among Lake George residents is a desire to reinter the remains within the village. And if there are additional indications that the skeletons were soldiers, residents said, they will be given the full ceremonial honors they likely did not get at the time of their deaths.

“We like ceremonies around here,” said Margy Mannix, Lake George’s municipal historian, adding that she hopes a more complete story of who they were and how they died can eventually be told. “They will definitely get one.”

http://https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/26/nyregion/lake-george-bones-found.html




Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 29-Mar-2019 at 08:21
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