Stone Age Inns to be Examined by French Archaeologists

French archaeologists have applied to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Arts to excavate an area in the Black Sea province of Samsun’s Tekkeköy district where a number of Stone Age inns were uncovered.

According to a scientific study, the inns were used by Stone Age people who lived between 60,000 and 10,000 BC and their presence has attracted archaeologists and tourists alike.

“The area of the inns was desolate but it was very important for the world. This is an area of 3,060 square meters, where the first of mankind had live.” Said Hayati Tekin, mayor of Tekkeköy. “After the cleaning, many inns came out. There were three buildings used as homes before, around the inns. These houses are turned into museums of eras.”

Landscaping work carried out with the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism by the Samsun Museum Directory has been undertaken in order to transform the houses, inns and surrounding grounds into a museum and picnic area and it has since been attracting tourists from around the world.

Once French archaeologists are given permission to excavate, work will begin immediately but could take as long as 30 to 50 years to uncover all the area has to offer and enlighten the history of mankind.

Mystery Settlers Reached ‘Step to Americas’ Before Vikings

New research published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews has found that the Faroes islands, the first stepping stones for Europeans as they explored across the Atlantic to ultimately land in the Americas, were colonized up to 500 years before the large-scale Viking colonisation.

The Faroes are located halfway between Norway and Iceland and it was believed that the Vikings were the first to land on the isles in the ninth century when they first set out from the Scottish archipelago of the Shetlands and which eventually culminated in the European discovery of continental North America in the 11 th century.

Now, scientists have discovered firm archaeological evidence “for the human colonization of the Faroes by people some 300 to 500 years before the large-scale Viking colonization of the ninth century, although we don’t yet know who these people were or where they came from,” said Mike Church, an environmental archaeologist at the Durham University in England.

The research took place at an archaeological site of Á Sondum on the island of Sandoy. The investigation revealed an extensive windblown sand deposit containing patches of burnt peat ash from human activity. This ash contained barley grains burnt in domestic hearths, which carbon dating showed was pre-Viking. Barley is not indigenous to the Faroes, so it must have been either grown or brought to the islands by humans.

“This is the first archaeological evidence that proves there were humans there at the Faroes prior to the big Viking colonization event,” Church said.

However, who these colonizers were and what they were doing there remains a mystery. Possibilities include religious hermits from Ireland, late-Iron Age colonists from Scotland or pre-Viking explorers from Scandinavia. Unfortunately, the large scale Viking colonization would have destroyed most of the archaeological evidence for earlier settlement, making it very difficult to get to the bottom of the mystery.

The new research challenges the scale, timing and nature of human settlement of the wider North Atlantic region and has implications for surrounding areas which may also have been colonized prior to the Vikings.

Remarkable 3,000-year-old Subterranean Tunnels Discovered in Jerusalem

Last month we reported on the massive network of underground tunnels which are scattered throughout Europe and explored myths and legends from around the world that present stories of mysterious subterranean cities and tunnels. We also wrote about the many places in which incredible discoveries of underground networks have been uncovered. Now, in another remarkable finding, archaeologists have found a system of subterranean caverns under Jerusalem which date back to at least the First Temple period between 10 th and 6 th centuries BC.

Archaeologists were digging in the ancient Ophel area near Temple Mount when they discovered a cave filled with loads of dirt and rock. After removing piles of rubble, they were astounded to find that the cave appeared to link to a system of tunnels, which were clearly man-made – the walls were layered in plaster, chisel marks could still be seen carved into the rock, and holes where candles would have been replaced, still showing burn marks on the rock, had remained intact.

The cave also appeared to be linked to a structure featuring water channels dating to the First Temple period, which suggest that at one point in time, the tunnels may have formed part of an ancient water cistern which would have served Jerusalem’s royalty for collecting and storing water. But that was not all it was used for.

Evidence of use as a passageway for people associated with the period of time just following Herod the Great was also found. Archaeologists discovered that some walls had been constructed after the cistern had lost its use for water and were high enough and large enough to move individuals from one location to another.

Historians have suggested that these tunnels are what were referred to by the Jewish historian Josephus in his writing, The Jewish War, where he spoke of the creation of subterranean caverns used by the inhabitants of the city to hide or escape from Roman soldiers as the city was besieged during the First Jewish Revolt in 70 AD. Sadly, their efforts were in vain as they were eventually discovered by their Roman pursuers and captured.

The Ophel excavation work continues to try to build a more accurate picture of the history and purpose of the mysterious underground network and the secrets that lie hidden in the cold, dark walls that lie below the ancient city of Jerusalem.

The Mysterious Gardens of Babylon may not have been in Babylon at All!

According to new research, the legendary Gardens of Babylon , famous for being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, may not have been in Babylon at all, but rather 340 miles north of that location in Nineveh, on the Tigris River, Iraq.

The fabled gardens were attributed to the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled between 605 and 562 BC. He is reported to have constructed the gardens to please his homesick wife Amytis of Media, who longed for the plants of her homeland. The gardens were said to have been destroyed by several earthquakes after the 2nd century BC. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are documented by ancient Greek and Roman writers, however, no definitive archaeological evidence concerning their whereabouts has yet been found

Stephanie Dalley, an Oxford University Assyriologist, whose book ‘The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon’ will be published later this Summer, has claimed that early references to the gardens were translated incorrectly, leading to the belief that they were located in Babylon. Dalley also states that Nebuchadrezzar never mentions gardens, despite many extant inscriptions boasting of his accomplishments in Babylon.

Dalley believes that the gardens were attributed to Sennacherib, an Assyrian king who ruled from 704-681 BC and who made Nineveh his capital. Sennacherib is said to have created a massive system of waterworks and left a number of inscriptions boasting of his irrigation and garden-building abilities. “The inscriptions of Sennacherib in particular refer proudly to his great network of canals, and often describe them in the context of luxurious gardens and parks,” says Jason Ur, an anthropological archeologist at Harvard University.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of proving Dalley’s theory remains remote considering that its proposed location, next to Mosul, is an area of continuing violence between the Sunni minority and the Shiite-led government of Iraq, rendering archaeological work impossible.

Archaeological Find Suggests Ancient Israel’s Capital Was Burned

An archaeological dig has uncovered what appears to be evidence that Shiloh, the ancient capital of Israel that was once the site where the Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant could be found, was destroyed, at least in part, by fire.

Excavators working in Tel Shiloh, the site of the ancient city, have uncovered the remains of a broken clay pitcher which was found lying in a layer of reddish ash, Tazpit News Agency reports. The finding leads them to believe the city was burned after 369 years of being the nation’s religious center. The pitcher is suspected to be from around 1050 B.C. – the time the events described in the biblical book of 1 Samuel would have likely occurred.

Read full article here.