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  Archaeology
 
Tiny new species of human unearthed

The remains of a tiny and hitherto unknown species of human that lived as recently as 13,000 years ago have been discovered on an Indonesian island. The discovery has been heralded as the most important palaeoanthropological find for 50 years, and has radically altered the accepted picture of human evolution. The skull and bones of one adult female, and fragments from up to six other specimens, were found in the Liang Bua limestone caves on Flores Island, which lies at...

Archeology in Lithuania

The first cultural relics found on the territory of Lithuania are dated 10,000 BC. It was then that suitable conditions for people to settle down first appeared. The earliest settlements in Lithuania date back to the Paleolithic period and are usually found on high river terraces, most often on confluences of two rivers and their sunny northern banks. Mesolithic settlements (8,000 - 4,000 BC) are found in similar locations but closer to forests (either pine-woods which provided easier access to...

Ancient Egyptian Chambers Explored

One of the mysteries of Egypt's Great Pyramid deepened early last September when archaeologists penetrated a 4,500-year-old blocked shaft only to find another stone blocking their way. During Pyramids Live: Secret Chambers Revealed, presented by the National Geographic Channel, Egyptologist Zahi Hawass used a robot to peer into a narrow shaft that opens into the queen's chamber of the Great Pyramid. Within the shaft Hawass found another stone block, possibly a door. "What we have seen tonight is totally unique...

The Seven Wonders: The Great Pyramid of Giza

Contrary to the common belief, only the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), not all three Great Pyramids, is on top of the list of Wonders. The monument was built by the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty around the year 2560 BC to serve as a tomb when he dies. The tradition of pyramid building started in Ancient Egypt as a sophistication of the idea of a mastaba or "platform" covering the royal tomb. Later, several stacked mastabas were...

The Seven Wonders: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

"The Hanging Garden has plants cultivated above ground level, and the roots of the trees are embedded in an upper terrace rather than in the earth. The whole mass is supported on stone columns... Streams of water emerging from elevated sources flow down sloping channels... These waters irrigate the whole garden saturating the roots of plants and keeping the whole area moist. Hence the grass is permanently green and the leaves of trees grow firmly attached to supple branches... This...

The Seven Wonders: The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Is it simply a temple? How could it take its place among other unique structures such as the Pyramid, the Hanging Gardens, and the Colossus of Rhodes? For the people who actually visited it, the answer was simple. It was not just a temple... It was the most beautiful structure on earth... It was built in honor of the Greek goddess of hunting, wild nature, and fertility. That was the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

The Seven Wonders: The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Similar to the Great Pyramid, we are now visiting the burial place of an ancient king. Yet the Mausoleum is different - so different from the Pyramid that it earned its reputation - and a spot within the list - for other reasons. Geographically, it is closer to the Temple of Artemis... And it was the beauty of the tomb rather than its size that fascinated its visitors for years.

The Seven Wonders: The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

The ancient Greek calendar starts in 776 BC, for the Olympic games are believed to have started that year. The magnificent temple of Zeus was designed by the architect Libon and was built around 450 BC. Under the growing power of ancient Greece, the simple Doric-style temple seemed too mundane, and modifications were needed. The solution: A majestic statue. The Athenian sculptor Pheidias was assigned for the "sacred" task, reminiscent of Michelangelo's paintings at the Sistine Chapel. For the years...

The Seven Wonders: The Colossus of Rhodes

Throughout most of its history, ancient Greece was comprised of city-states which had limited power beyond their boundary. On the small island of Rhodes were three of these: Ialysos, Kamiros, and Lindos. In 408 BC, the cities united to form one territory, with a unified capital, Rhodes. The city thrived commercially and had strong economic ties with their main ally, Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt. In 305 BC, the Antigonids of Macedonia who were also rivals of the Ptolemies, besieged...

The Seven Wonders: The Lighthouse of Alexandria

Sostratus, the son of Dexiphanes, the Cnidian, dedicated this to the Saviour Gods, on behalf of those who sail the seas. (Dedicatory inscription of the Lighthouse) Of the six vanished Wonders, the Lighthouse of Alexandria was the last to disappear. Therefore we have adequately accurate knowledge of its location and appearance. Ancient accounts such as those by Strabo and Pliny the Elder give us a brief description of the "tower" and the magnificent white marble cover. They tell us...

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