iowaarchaeology:

Now Available!  Exploring Glenwood Archaeology
Learn about the ancient agriculturalists who built earthlodges in the Loess Hills along the Missouri River. This Discovery Trunk contains a variety of stone, bone, and shell tools that showed their ingenuity with technology, a mortar and pestle for children to grind corn on, a replica Glenwood pottery vessel, books of many reading levels, a binder full of academic lessons that adhere to state and national standards, and so much more!  Thanks to an IOWA DOT Transportation Enhancement grant, we have multiple Glenwood trunks to share, and several will be making their way to a permanent home-base in western Iowa for better accessibility.  Teachers, stay tuned for details on a free workshop in western Iowa where you can learn more about these trunks! 
http://discover.research.uiowa.edu/exploring-glenwood-archaeology
We’ll be featuring a different Discovery Trunk every Thursday.  There are several more to come!
Did you know that our Discovery Trunks are available to educators across Iowa?  Because of recent grants, there is now NO CHARGE for checking them out! 
You can browse the trunks on the Dare to Discover website and reserve them using the online form.

Some fantastic free archaeology teaching resources for Iowa educators, definitely worth a signal boost! 

iowaarchaeology:

Now Available!  Exploring Glenwood Archaeology

Learn about the ancient agriculturalists who built earthlodges in the Loess Hills along the Missouri River. This Discovery Trunk contains a variety of stone, bone, and shell tools that showed their ingenuity with technology, a mortar and pestle for children to grind corn on, a replica Glenwood pottery vessel, books of many reading levels, a binder full of academic lessons that adhere to state and national standards, and so much more!  Thanks to an IOWA DOT Transportation Enhancement grant, we have multiple Glenwood trunks to share, and several will be making their way to a permanent home-base in western Iowa for better accessibility.  Teachers, stay tuned for details on a free workshop in western Iowa where you can learn more about these trunks! 

http://discover.research.uiowa.edu/exploring-glenwood-archaeology

We’ll be featuring a different Discovery Trunk every Thursday.  There are several more to come!

Did you know that our Discovery Trunks are available to educators across Iowa?  Because of recent grants, there is now NO CHARGE for checking them out! 

You can browse the trunks on the Dare to Discover website and reserve them using the online form.

Some fantastic free archaeology teaching resources for Iowa educators, definitely worth a signal boost! 

Section from the Lachish relief: a stone panel from the South-West Palace of Sennacherib (no.10). Nineveh, northern Iraq, Neo-Assyrian, dates to about 700-681 BC.
This relief tells the story of the siege and capture of the city of Lachish in 701 BC.

Having been exiled from their city, the people of Lachish move through the countryside to be resettled elsewhere in the Assyrian Empire. Below them high officials and foreigners are being tortured and executed. 

It is likely that they are being flayed (skinned) alive.

The foreigners are possibly officers from Nubia. The Nubians were seen as sharing responsibility for the rebellion. Much of Egypt at this time was ruled by a line of kings from Nubia (the Twenty-fifth Dynasty) who were keen to interfere in the politics of the Levant, to contain the threat of Assyrian expansion. (BM)

Courtesy & currently located at the British Museum, London. Photo taken by Chris Phillips.

Section from the Lachish relief: a stone panel from the South-West Palace of Sennacherib (no.10). Nineveh, northern Iraq, Neo-Assyrian, dates to about 700-681 BC.

This relief tells the story of the siege and capture of the city of Lachish in 701 BC.

Having been exiled from their city, the people of Lachish move through the countryside to be resettled elsewhere in the Assyrian Empire. Below them high officials and foreigners are being tortured and executed. 

It is likely that they are being flayed (skinned) alive.

The foreigners are possibly officers from Nubia. The Nubians were seen as sharing responsibility for the rebellion. Much of Egypt at this time was ruled by a line of kings from Nubia (the Twenty-fifth Dynasty) who were keen to interfere in the politics of the Levant, to contain the threat of Assyrian expansion. (BM)

Courtesy & currently located at the British Museum, London. Photo taken by Chris Phillips.

The pyramid texts of Teti I’s pyramid.

Teti I (2345–2333 BCE) was the first king of Egypt’s 6th dynasty, and was buried at Saqqara. Preserved within his pyramid are some excellent examples of pyramid texts. Pyramid texts are ancient religious texts from Egypt’s Old Kingdom, and are possibly the oldest known religious texts in the world.

The spells (or “utterances”) written are primarily concerned with protecting the remains of the king, reanimating his body after death, and aiding him in ascending to the heavens.

The following is a translated section from the pyramid texts of Teti I’s pyramid (‘Utterance 373’ via: Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, vol 1):

"Oho! Oho! Rise up, O Teti!

Take your head, collect your bones,

Gather your limbs, shake the earth from your flesh!

Take your bread that rots not, your beer that sours not,

Stand at the gates that bar the common people!

The gatekeeper comes out to you, he grasps your hand,

Takes you into heaven, to your father Geb.

He rejoices at your coming, gives you his hands,

Kisses you, caresses you,

Sets you before the spirits, the imperishable stars…”

Photos courtesy & taken by kairoinfo4u.

The archaeological site of Arikamedu, Puducherry, India.

Examples of artifacts found at Arikamedu include this piece of Roman pottery, and this piece of grey pottery with engravings.

Sir Mortimer Wheeler’s choice of sites to excavate in the Indian subcontinent was determined by his primary concern, i.e. to establish a chronological sequence for the subcontinent and to link developments in its cultural history with the Graeco-Roman world. […] It was here that pottery of Mediterranean inspiration had been found and led Wheeler to excavate the site, which he later termed an Indo-Roman trading station.

[…A] Myth debunked by the recent excavations is the identification of the site as an Indo-Roman trading station. It has been argued that the evidence for a Roman presence at Arikamedu was only circumstantial. More significantly, the archaeological record has confirmed that Arikamedu occupied a nodal position in the inland, coastal, and trans-oceanic networks. The site continued in the ‘post-Roman trade’ period, i.e. from the third to the seventh centuries CE, though the nature of the site changed over time.

Photos courtesy & taken by Nshivaa. The quoted segment is from page 127 of The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia, edited by Himanshu Prabha Ray, which I would recommend for further reading on the subject.

Phoenician or Carthaginian glass head pendants.

The first dates to the 5th century BCE, the second to the mid 4th–3rd century BCE, the third to ca. 450–300 BCE, and the fourth to the 5th century BCE.

Courtesy & currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, via their online collections. In the order of their shown photos, the accession numbers for the artifacts are: 81.10.151, 17.194.720, 06.1126, and 81.10.150.

A quick look at: Pulque in Mesoamerica.
“In daily life and ceremonies, pulque (a fermented cactus drink) was poured from clay pots or containers which had the image of the god with an elegant bi-conical cup. The affect of drunkenness can be seen in this anthropomorphic sculpture where the eyes are represented with red shells." (NMOA)
Used as an intoxicating ritual sacred drink, pulque was consumed by priests, scattered on the ground, and was offered to the gods to drink. It appears to have also been associated with some forms of sacrifice, a sculpture at El Tajín shows a figure conducting a bloodletting-sacrifice, and adding his blood to the pulque. The intoxication it caused helped people in experiencing an altered state of being, which was done to aid their communication with the supernatural. 
The use of pulque also appears to have been used in the Day of the Dead festivities. Bernardino de Sahagún (1499-1590), sometimes referred to as the “first anthropologist”, spent over 50 years studying Aztec beliefs, culture and history. He conducted interviews with Aztec elders and other survivors of the war against Tenochtitlan. The following section from one of his accounts:

They also used to place the image of the dead on those grass wreaths. Then at dawn they put these images in their shrines, on top of beds or reed mace, sedge, or rush. Once the images were placed there, they offered them food, tamales, and gruel, or a stew made of chicken or dog’s meat. […] And the rich sang and drank pulque in honor of these gods and their dead, while the poor offered them only food. (via: Davíd Carrasco’s Religions of Mesoamerica: Second Edition)

Artifact shown courtesy & currently located at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico. Photo taken by Travis S.

A quick look at: Pulque in Mesoamerica.

In daily life and ceremonies, pulque (a fermented cactus drink) was poured from clay pots or containers which had the image of the god with an elegant bi-conical cup. The affect of drunkenness can be seen in this anthropomorphic sculpture where the eyes are represented with red shells." (NMOA)

Used as an intoxicating ritual sacred drink, pulque was consumed by priests, scattered on the ground, and was offered to the gods to drink. It appears to have also been associated with some forms of sacrifice, a sculpture at El Tajín shows a figure conducting a bloodletting-sacrifice, and adding his blood to the pulque. The intoxication it caused helped people in experiencing an altered state of being, which was done to aid their communication with the supernatural. 

The use of pulque also appears to have been used in the Day of the Dead festivities. Bernardino de Sahagún (1499-1590), sometimes referred to as the “first anthropologist”, spent over 50 years studying Aztec beliefs, culture and history. He conducted interviews with Aztec elders and other survivors of the war against Tenochtitlan. The following section from one of his accounts:

They also used to place the image of the dead on those grass wreaths. Then at dawn they put these images in their shrines, on top of beds or reed mace, sedge, or rush. Once the images were placed there, they offered them food, tamales, and gruel, or a stew made of chicken or dog’s meat. […] And the rich sang and drank pulque in honor of these gods and their dead, while the poor offered them only food. (via: Davíd Carrasco’s Religions of Mesoamerica: Second Edition)

Artifact shown courtesy & currently located at the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico. Photo taken by Travis S.

The horned altar of Tel Be’er Sheva

The archaeological site of Tel Be’er Sheva in Israel is thought to be the biblical town of Beersheba. Beersheba symbolized the Land of Israel’s southern boundary.

As shown in the second photograph, a large horned altar was rediscovered at the site, which has now been reconstructed. This altar is viewed as evidence for the existence of a cult center or temple in the city, which was dismantled during the late 8th century BCE.

This find is significant, as it has been interpreted as evidence for the reforms of King Hezekiah, and his suppression of shrines outside of Jerusalem. This is described in 2 Kings 18: "He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles."

Photos courtesy & taken by Derek Winterburn.

A funerary stela with a boy standing in a niche, found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. This artifact dates to the 4th-5th centuries CE.
This boy holds a bunch of grapes and a dove. His head and hands have been repainted and recut in modern times, the colouring on the robe however, is original. To observe this more closely, check out this image the museum provides.
Artifact courtesy & currently located at the Brooklyn Museum, via their online collections. Accession Number: 58.129.

A funerary stela with a boy standing in a niche, found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. This artifact dates to the 4th-5th centuries CE.

This boy holds a bunch of grapes and a dove. His head and hands have been repainted and recut in modern times, the colouring on the robe however, is original. To observe this more closely, check out this image the museum provides.

Artifact courtesy & currently located at the Brooklyn Museum, via their online collectionsAccession Number: 58.129.

Hellenistic gold wreath, dates to about 350-300 BC, from the Dardanelles, modern Turkey. GR 1908.4-14.1.
Two cicadas and a bee nestle among the oak-leaves

This naturalistic wreath of oak-leaves and acorns is supported on two golden branches that are now reinforced by a modern copper core. At the back the branches end in obliquely cut end-plates, at the front they are held together by a split pin fastener concealed by a golden bee. Each branch bears six sprays with eight leaves and seven or eight acorns, as well as a cicada. Additionally, about a dozen single leaves are attached directly to each branch.
Gold wreaths were made in imitation of various leaves, including oak, olive, ivy, vine, laurel and myrtle. Most of these trees or plants have associations with various deities; for example, the oak was sacred to Zeus.
Wreaths were left in burials in Macedonia, southern Italy, Asia Minor and the North Pontic area from the fourth century onwards. This wreath is said to have come from a tomb somewhere on the Dardanelles. Despite their obvious fragility, the Greek orator Demosthenes (384-322 BC) writes that gold wreaths were worn for certain religious ceremonies. The inventories of Greek temples and sanctuaries also show that large numbers of gold wreaths were left as dedications. The dedicators might be individuals (including men, women, foreigners or officials at the end of a term of office), or states or foreign powers.

Courtesy & currently located at the British Museum, London. Photo taken by Sam Teigen.

Hellenistic gold wreath, dates to about 350-300 BC, from the Dardanelles, modern Turkey. GR 1908.4-14.1.

Two cicadas and a bee nestle among the oak-leaves

This naturalistic wreath of oak-leaves and acorns is supported on two golden branches that are now reinforced by a modern copper core. At the back the branches end in obliquely cut end-plates, at the front they are held together by a split pin fastener concealed by a golden bee. Each branch bears six sprays with eight leaves and seven or eight acorns, as well as a cicada. Additionally, about a dozen single leaves are attached directly to each branch.

Gold wreaths were made in imitation of various leaves, including oak, olive, ivy, vine, laurel and myrtle. Most of these trees or plants have associations with various deities; for example, the oak was sacred to Zeus.

Wreaths were left in burials in Macedonia, southern Italy, Asia Minor and the North Pontic area from the fourth century onwards. This wreath is said to have come from a tomb somewhere on the Dardanelles. Despite their obvious fragility, the Greek orator Demosthenes (384-322 BC) writes that gold wreaths were worn for certain religious ceremonies. The inventories of Greek temples and sanctuaries also show that large numbers of gold wreaths were left as dedications. The dedicators might be individuals (including men, women, foreigners or officials at the end of a term of office), or states or foreign powers.

Courtesy & currently located at the British Museum, London. Photo taken by Sam Teigen.

Roman tombstone, which reads in Latin:
REBVRRVS FR(i)A/TTON(i)S f(ilius) EQVES AL(a)/ FR(ON)T(ONIANA)
(Tombstone of Reburrus, son of Friatto, horseman of the Ala Frontoniana…)
Reburrus was of German descent and served in an auxialiary unit of the Roman Army. In the 1st century the Ala Frontoniana was stationed first in Bonn, then in the area of Moers-Asberg. Reburrus is depicted as a victor over the Germans.
Photo taken at the Archaeological Park Xanten by Ad Meskens via the Wiki Commons.

Roman tombstone, which reads in Latin:

REBVRRVS FR(i)A/TTON(i)S f(ilius) EQVES AL(a)/ FR(ON)T(ONIANA)

(Tombstone of Reburrus, son of Friatto, horseman of the Ala Frontoniana…)

Reburrus was of German descent and served in an auxialiary unit of the Roman Army. In the 1st century the Ala Frontoniana was stationed first in Bonn, then in the area of Moers-Asberg. Reburrus is depicted as a victor over the Germans.

Photo taken at the Archaeological Park Xanten by Ad Meskens via the Wiki Commons.

Seeing as today is Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought it were only appropriate to do an Irish-themed post. So today I will be looking at the Ballynoe Stone Circle in Ballynoe, County Down, Northern Ireland.
Thought to date to the Neolithic or early Bronze Age, this complex monument is over 33m in diameter, and some of the stones used are over 2m high. 
Although this monument was excavated in the late 1930s, the understanding and interpretation of it has remained difficult. It appears to have been built and used over a considerable amount of time, but we are not sure which parts were built first, and which were later additions. The excavation work done on the site focused on the mound inside the circle, which had been built over an earlier stone cairn.
At the eastern end of the cairn the burnt bones of an adult male were found. At the opposite end, a much more complex stone feature was discovered, and was divided into three compartments. This section contained the burnt remains of two, possible female, adults.
Pottery fragments from this site suggests that at least some of this monument dates to the Neolithic period. The presence of stone cists and cremation burials show that at some point this site was used for burial, likely in the early Bronze Age.
Photo taken by Philip Hay. Information from the sign next to site provided by the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency was of use when writing up this post.

Seeing as today is Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought it were only appropriate to do an Irish-themed post. So today I will be looking at the Ballynoe Stone Circle in Ballynoe, County Down, Northern Ireland.

Thought to date to the Neolithic or early Bronze Age, this complex monument is over 33m in diameter, and some of the stones used are over 2m high. 

Although this monument was excavated in the late 1930s, the understanding and interpretation of it has remained difficult. It appears to have been built and used over a considerable amount of time, but we are not sure which parts were built first, and which were later additions. The excavation work done on the site focused on the mound inside the circle, which had been built over an earlier stone cairn.

At the eastern end of the cairn the burnt bones of an adult male were found. At the opposite end, a much more complex stone feature was discovered, and was divided into three compartments. This section contained the burnt remains of two, possible female, adults.

Pottery fragments from this site suggests that at least some of this monument dates to the Neolithic period. The presence of stone cists and cremation burials show that at some point this site was used for burial, likely in the early Bronze Age.

Photo taken by Philip Hay. Information from the sign next to site provided by the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency was of use when writing up this post.