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July/August 2009 www.archaeology.

org A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America July/August 2014


Scotland: Hard Times in the Highlands
World of the
Aztecs
Sites
Under
Mexico City 5
PLUS:
Video Game Graveyard,
Neolithic Magic Wand,
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Report, The Lizard Diet
Egypts
Lost
Dynasty
Tomb
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Hands
A Viking
Chiefs
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26 Under Mexico City
Beneath the capitals busy streets,
archaeologists are discovering the
buried world of the Aztecs
BY ROGER ATWOOD
34 Revisiting the Gokstad
More than a century after Norways
Gokstad ship burial was first
excavated, scientists are examining
the remains of the Viking chieftain
buried inside and learning the truth
about how he lived and died
BY JASON URBANUS
39 Te Tomb of the Silver
Hands
Long-buried evidence of an Etruscan
noble family
BY MARCO MEROLA
44 Telling a Dierent Story
Archaeologists are revealing the dark
past of one of the Cold Wars most
celebrated sites
BY ANDREW CURRY
49 Egypts Forgotten Dynasty
Excavations at the ancient city of
Abydos have revealed the tomb of a
previously unknown pharaoh and
evidence of a long-lost royal lineage
BY MARY BETH GRIGGS
CONTENTS
JULY/AUGUST 2014
VOLUME 67, NUMBER 4
features
50 At Abydos, a team led by Penn
Museum Egyptologist Josef Wenger
excavates the tomb of the previously
unknown pharaoh Woseribre Senebkay.
1
Cover: Head made of stone, shell, and
obsidian found in the excavations of the
Templo Mayor in the Aztec capital of
Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City
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departments
More from this Issue To see more images of
the tombs at the Etruscan necropolis of Vulci, go to
www.archaeology.org/silverhands
Interactive Digs Read about the latest discoveries
at the Minoan site of Zominthos in central Crete and at
Johnsons Island, a Civil War site in Ohio.
on the web www.archaeology.org
Archaeological News Each day, we bring
you headlines from around the world. And sign up
for our e-Update so you dont miss a thing.
Stay in Touch Visit Facebook and like
Archaeology or follow us on Twitter at
@archaeologymag.
4 Editors Letter
6 Letters
Chinese gambling in the Old West, dont take a
musket to a rie ght, and ancient Egyptian tax havens
8 From the President
11 From the Trenches
Unearthing E.T.s lost legacy, a daring Civil War
steamship, how Neanderthals really differed from
modern humans, and the skinny on an ancient
wrestling match
24 World Roundup
Scurvy in Columbus rst colony, the Near Eastern
lizard diet, a medieval Christian tattoo in Sudan, and
how nice weather helped Genghis Khan
55 Letter from Scotland
Were the residents of a Scottish hillside immoral
squatters or hard-working farmers?
68 Artifact
A 10,000-year-old wand offers a new look at the
faces of the Neolithic
18
3
T
he streets, businesses, and residences of teeming Mexico City, one of the most
densely populated urban centers on the planet, barely conceal evidence of the
city's complex past. In \nder Mexico City" page 26, contributing editor Roger
Atwood shares how archaeologists are uncovering evidence of the precolonial period when
the Aztecs ruled ancient Mexico. Here, he writes oI nve oI the city's most signincant Aztec
sites and oers important insights into their stunningly violent culture.
We think of Egypt as having been dominated by
enormous pharaonic realms. But in 1997, scholar Kim
Ryholt proposed that there might have been a smaller
Egyptian kingdom that lasted for a short period between
1650 and 1600 B.C. In Lgypt's Forgotten Lynasty" page
49, journalist Mary Beth Criggs shows that by tracing
evidence from papyrus fragments and tying it to recent
excavations, researchers have indeed found evidence of a
longlost royal lineage whose role, in its day, was anything
but insignincant.
The ancient tombs of Vulci, some 75 miles to the north
oI Rome, were once considered a mustsee Ior nineteenth
century travelers on a Crand Tour oI Lurope. At a certain
point, the travelers stopped coming, and the tombs were
lost as vegetation took over. In The Tomb of the Silver
Hands" page 39, journalist Marco Merola covers archae
ologist Carlo Casi's search Ior the lost tombs oI Vulci and his surprising nnds.
Contributing editor Andrew Curry writes of new evidence that is being discovered in
Berlin at the Iormer TempelhoI Airport. In Telling a Lierent Story" page 44, we learn
that this airneld, long associated with the Berlin AirliItwhen the Allies ew in supplies
in denance oI a Soviet blockadehad a darker past. Archaeologists are now uncovering
evidence that, during World War II, people were transported there from all over Europe
and Iorcibly set to work Ior azi Cermany's war machine.
Upon excavation in 1880, a large earthen mound on the western shores of Norways
OsloIjord, long reIerred to locally as the King's Hill," became one oI the most important
Viking discoveries ever made. amed Ior the Iarm on which it was Iound, the Cokstad ship
burial contained not only artifacts, but also the remains of a Viking chieftain. Archaeologist
]ason \rbanus brings us Revisiting the Cokstad" page 34, the story oI the reexamination
oI the boat and its occupant, using twentynrstcentury scientinc methodologies. Much
more is now being learned about the Viking warriors life and, possibly, his last battle.
And don't miss this month's lead story in From the Trenches" page 11, which shows
just how quickly our present becomes the past!
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 4
EDITORS LETTER
Editor in Chief
Claudia Valentino
Executive Editor Deputy Editor
Jarrett A. Lobell Samir S. Patel
Online Editor
Eric A. Powell
Editorial Assistant
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Creative Director
Richard Bleiweiss
Contributing Editors
Roger Atwood, Paul Bahn, Bob Brier,
Andrew Curry, Blake Edgar, Brian Fagan,
David Freidel, Tom Gidwitz, Andrew Lawler,
Stephen H. Lekson, Jerald T. Milanich,
Jennifer Pinkowski, Heather Pringle,
Angela M. H. Schuster, Neil Asher Silberman,
Julian Smith, Zach Zorich
Correspondents
Athens: Yannis N. Stavrakakis
Bangkok: Karen Coates
Islamabad: Massoud Ansari
Israel: Mati Milstein
Naples: Marco Merola
Paris: Bernadette Arnaud
Rome: Roberto Bartoloni,
Giovanni Lattanzi
Washington, D.C.: Sandra Scham
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Summer Reading
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 6
LETTERS
Game Night in Chinatown
I was particularly interested in Samir
S. Patels Americas Chinatowns in
the May/June 2014 issue, but what
really struck home for me was the
picture of the gambling pieces on page
41. I believe these socalled gambling
pieces are actually playing pieces from
the ancient Chinese game oI \echi,
which is called Go in the Western
world. We members of the American
Co Association are always on the look
out for the earliest evidence for Go in
the United States and North America.
I would be very interested in nnding
a precise date when these pieces were
used by the Chinese community in the
British Columbia camp.
Samuel E. Zimmerman
American Go Association.
Lancaster, PA
Archaeologist Douglas Ross responds:
Those gaming pieces were very likely used
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mon on Chinese sites overseas. This type of
black and white glass gaming piece was
also used in other games such as Fan Tan,
or as gambling tokens, so they cannot be
exclusively associated with Go alone. The
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WH[W LQ ZKLFK WKH\ ZHUH XVHG VR DUFKDHROR
gists tend to simply refer to them as glass
gaming pieces. Dating is nearly impossible
because they were used for such a long time
and, in fact, they turn up on Chinese sites
from the 1850s right through the 1930s
and beyond.
Gun Fight
I believe the weapons mentioned by
Eric A. Powell in Searching for the
Comanche Lmpire" May/]une 2014
were muskets rather than ries. The
dierence is rather more Iundamental
than the dierence between a major
league baseball and a beer league
softball.
Steve List
Bristol, PA
Family Reunion
I just received my May/]une issue and
was pleasantly surprised to nnd my
sixth greatgrandIather mentioned
in the article City Garden. Andris
Souplis was born in 1634 and came to
America in 1682, when the spelling
was changed from Souplis to either
Supple or Supplee. He is buried in
Gloria Dei churchyard cemetery,
although his grave is not marked.
Phyllis Supplee Jensen
Winslow, AZ
Earning Potential
In the fascinating article Messengers to
the Cods" March/April 2014, research
ers hypothesize that the proliferation of
mummined animal votive oerings
following the collapse of Egypts New
Kingdom was due to increased income
Ior average Lgyptians. They suggest
that this was thanks to the absence of
a centralized taxing authority, as well as
increased personal devotions without
a pharaoh to represent the people to
the gods. Might it also be possible that
the temples encouraged this practice
to replace income after losing subsidies
from a central government?
Susan Weikel Morrison
Fresno, CA
Brooklyn Museums Edward Bleiberg
responds:
Temples were mostly supported by the land
that they owned, most of which was nearby,
although sometimes temples also owned land
in other parts of Egypt. There really was
no state subsidy to temples apart from their
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tant as intermediaries between the people and
the gods. When this link was lost for many
Egyptians in the Third Intermediate Period,
votive animal mummies may have created a
way for ordinary people to petition the gods
more directly. Once this link was established,
later rulers continued to support the practice
of using votive animal mummies.
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 8
FROM THE PRESIDENT Ancnznoroorczr
Iwsarauan of Axnnrcz
Located at Boston University
OFFICERS
President
Andrew Moore
First Vice President
Jodi Magness
Vice President for Outreach and Education
Pamela Russell
Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs
Carla Antonaccio
Vice President for Professional Responsibilities
Laetitia La Follette
Treasurer
David Ackert
Vice President for Societies
Thomas Morton
Executive Director
Ann Benbow
Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Quinlan
GOVERNING BOARD
Susan Alcock
Barbara Barletta
Andrea Berlin
David Boochever
Bruce Campbell
Derek Counts
Julie Herzig Desnick
Sheila Dillon, ex officio
Michael Galaty
Ronald Greenberg
Michael Hoff
Jeffrey Lamia
Lynne Lancaster
Becky Lao
Deborah Lehr
Robert Littman
Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis
Maria Papaioannou
J. Theodore Pea
Eleanor Powers
Paul Rissman
Robert Rothberg
David Seigle
Chen Shen
Monica Smith
Charles Steinmetz
Claudia Valentino, ex officio
Michael Wiseman
Past President
Elizabeth Bartman
Trustees Emeriti
Brian Heidtke
Norma Kershaw
Charles S. La Follette
Legal Counsel
Mitchell Eitel, Esq.
Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP
Ancnznoroorczr Iwsarauan of Axnnrcz
656 Beacon Street t Boston, MA 02215-2006
www.archaeological.org
Archaeology from the Sea
Andrew Moore
President, Archaeological Institute of America
M
ariners in the past led a perilous existence, sailing in treacherous waters with
only simple instruments to aid in navigation, with no communication possible
with those left behind. All too often voyages ended in disaster as ships foundered
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contained community, and, when conditions of preservation are good, archaeologists can
reconstruct past worlds, sometimes more completely than may be possible on land.
Oceangoing vessels were frequently engaged
in trade, and their excavated cargoes offer
unique clues as to how regions across the globe
were connected. The Bronze Age shipwreck
at Uluburun off the rocky south coast of
Turkey, dating to about 1300 B.C., contained
copper and tin ingots, timber, ivory, glass,
beads, bronze tools and weapons, pottery, and
many other artifacts. These raw materials and
objects would have been taken aboard at ports
around the eastern Mediterranean, in the Nile delta, along the Levant coast, and at Cyprus.
Archaeologists had long thought that the Bronze Age cultures in those places were distinct
entities that owed little to each other, but the Uluburun wreck has effectively demonstrated
that they were regularly in touch through maritime trade.
Closer to our own time, the Mary Rose, flagship of King Henry VIII of England, sank
in 1545 off Portsmouth Harbor as the British fleet was about to engage an approaching
French armada. This vessel and its contents are remarkably well preserved. From the wreck
and from the artifacts recovered, including weapons ranging from longbows and arrows
to cannons and shot, we gain a picture of maritime warfare in transition from the Middle
Ages to the modern era, and of the crew members daily lives.
In 1686, La Belle, FDSWDLQHG E\ ZRXOGEH )UHQFK FRORQLVW 5REHUW GH /D 6DOOH VDQN LQ
a bay just off the Texas shore. The passengers and crew of La Belle had hoped to found
a colony on the Gulf Coast, an attempt that was thwarted by this disaster. The brass
cannons, and boxes of muskets, shot, and gunpowder onboard were needed for defense
in hostile territory. Carpentry tools, rope, trade beads, religious paraphernalia, and food
remains document many aspects of life in the planned settlement. La Belle was recovered
in an exemplary excavation by the staff of the Texas Historical Commission in 19961997,
yielding more than one million artifacts. The surviving timbers of the ship, now being
conserved for display, illuminate the shipbuilding techniques of the period.
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other times through conflict. They demonstrate how technological advancement can expand
the boundaries of human possibility. And they transform our understanding of key episodes
in the human past, even as they bring the lost worlds of our forebears vividly into the present.
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DISCOVER...
. . . how you can create your legacy with the
Archaeological Institute of America
L-R: Eric Blind with Ellen and Charles S. La Follette in
the archaeology lab in San Franciscos Presidio.
For Charles S. La Follette, creating a personal
legacy through a planned gift in his will was a
natural extension of his involvement with the
Archaeological Institute of America and his
commitment to archaeological research and
education. I joined the Norton Society to help
the AIA continue its wonderful archaeological
programs for generations to come, says Charles.
With his bequest, he is confdent that AIA will
continue to provide professional archaeologists
with resources critical to their work and lifelong
learning opportunities for everyone.
Te Charles Eliot Norton Society honors friends of archaeology who have named the
AIA as a benefciary of their retirement plan, insurance policy, will, or other estate gift.
We would be delighted to include you in this special group of
benefactors. For more information, please complete the attached card
and return to AIA or call 617.353.8709 or visit
www.archaeological.org/giving/norton
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LATE-BREAKING NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE WORLD OF ARCHAEOLOGY
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www.archaeology.org 11
FROM THE TRENCHES
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 12
The tiny Caribbean island of Aruba
is an ideal beach vacation spot, but
tourists who venture away from the
shore are in for a treat as well.
Arikok National Park features an
astonishing array of rock art made
by the islands first inhabitants, the
Caqueto people, who belonged to
the Arawakan language family. More
than a thousand years ago, they
canoed to the island from
northwestern Venezuela.
Early European accounts
describe Aruba as an island of
giants, as the Caqueto were
relatively tall. The Spanish were the
first Europeans to colonize the
island, followed by the Dutch, who,
in the seventeenth century, made
Aruba part of the Dutch West India
Company, and have governed it ever
since. While there are no longer full-
blooded Caqueto, vestiges of their
heritage remain.
The rock art of the Caqueto
people, according to archaeologist
Harold Kelly of the National
Archaeological Museum Aruba,
includes geometric, zoomorphic,
and anthropomorphic motifs in red,
white, brown, and black. The art at
one site, Cunucu Arikok, stands out
for its complexity, variety, and
quantity. The combination of white
and red colors in a single depiction
is something that is not only unique
for rock art of
Aruba, says Kelly,
but also the rest of
the Caribbean, as
far as we know.
The site
Cunucu Arikok is lo-
cated on a farm that
has been partially
restored to the time
when agriculture was
a large part of Aru-
bas economy. Beans,
corn, millet, peanuts,
and cucumbers were
once cultivated at the
site, which also has
cactus hedges and stone walls to pro-
tect those crops from livestock. Trails
lead to the Caqueto rock art, including
drawings of marine animals and birds
that are visible on overhanging rocks
just off the trail near the parking lot.
More elaborate anthropomorphic
designs can be found a short walk
away, on the Cunucu Arikok dolerite
rock formation within Arikok National
Park. There, several complex human
gures can be found among dozens
of other works, including dynamic
depictions of shamans carrying out
rituals and, according to Kelly, going
on mystical journeys. One of these is
depicted in the unique red-and-white
palette, with a gure intertwined with
geometric patterns. The works are
stunners both for their artistic merit
and the insight they provide about the
Caqueto belief system. Maps, guides,
and educational activities are all avail-
able at the parks visitor center.
While youre there
If you need a break from Arubas white
sand and blue sea, the park also of-
fers hiking trails, unique wildlife, and
Conchi, also known as the Natural
Pool, a remote tidal pool surrounded
by jagged volcanic rock. The National
Archaeological Museum Aruba, located
in a historic home in downtown Oran-
jestad, chronicles the islands history,
from 2500 B.C. to the recent past. The
capital is also a great place to sample
Arubas unique cuisine, which incorpo-
rates Caribbean, Spanish, and Dutch
inuences.
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FROM THE TRENCHES
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www.archaeology.org
17
1-800-552-4575 www.farhorizons.com
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JOURney into the heart of History
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UNDISCOVERED EGYPT
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Path of the Trail of Tears, Eastern
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FROM THE TRENCHES
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2014 TRAVEL ADVENTURES
The Ancient Maya
Discover the Past, Share the Adventure
Scholar: Dr. Christopher Powell
December 716
An adventure of historic proportion is waiting
for youat two living-history museums
that explore Americas beginnings. Board
replicas of colonial ships. Grind corn in a
Powhatan Indian village. Try on English armor
inside a palisaded fort. Then, join
Continental Army soldiers at
their encampment
IRU D UVWKDQG
look at the
Revolutions end.
Dont forget your
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the history here
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Make Room for the
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Save 20% with a combination ticket
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 20
FROM THE TRENCHES
Egyptian Style in Ancient Canaan
C
onstruction oI a natural gas pipeline near Tel Shadud,
Israel, led to the discovery oI a rare 3,300yearold clay
co n surrounded by pots, bronze artiIacts, and animal
bones. The nnds suggest Lgyptian burial rites: The co n's
sculpted lid is Lgyptian in style, the vessels would have held
oerings Ior the gods, and a gold scarab ring in the co n bears
the name oI the pharaoh Seti I, who conquered the region in
the thirteenth century %& Perhaps the remains belonged to
strong inuence over the
Canaanite upper class at
the time.
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www.archaeology.org
21
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WORLD ROUNDUP
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 24
IRELAND: Steps and niches for candles or lanterns
cut into the rocky coast near Baltimore, County Cork,
may point to a hive of pirates and smugglers. The area
was host to a pirate alliance that was defeated by a
Dutch fleet in 1614. Underwater archaeologists hope
that the rocky steps, one set of which leads to a cavern
accessible by water (perfect for illicit activity), indicate
that pirate ships, and perhaps the entire alliance fleet,
might be in nearby waters.
CHILE: Inca and Chinchorro mummies have long shown
evidence of exposure to naturally occurring arsenic.
Scientists applied sophisticated optical tests to hair
from a 1,000- to 1,500-year-old mummy to determine
how she had been exposed to the toxic element.
Arsenic suffused the hair all the way through, indicating
it had been ingested in contaminated groundwater,
rather than deposited from surrounding soil after burial. Groundwater
in some parts of the Atacama Desert is still tainted with arsenic today.
SAUDI ARABIA:
According to historical
sources, people have
long eaten Arabian
spiny-tailed lizards.
According to tradition,
Muhammad did not eat them himself, but
did not condemn the practice. At the site
of al-Yamma, archaeologists uncovered
remains of lizards among those of other
food animals, and at least one bone has a cut
mark. The lizard bones appear in early layers
(4th to 7th century, before and just after the
establishment of Islam) and continue to the
18th century. The reptiles remain a source
of protein and fat in some parts of the harsh
desert today.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC:
La Isabela was the first
permanent, non-Viking
European colony in the
New World. Founded
in 1494 by Christopher
Columbus and more than
1,000 settlers, the town
was haunted by sickness
and death. Twenty-seven skeletons excavated
from the site in the 1980s and 1990s were
recently reexamined and showed that most
were afflicted with severe scurvy, caused by
vitamin C deficiency. The resulting fatigue
and pain likely contributed to the colonys
dismal prospectsit lasted just four years.
MEXICO: Plant scientists
have used four approaches
ecological, linguistic, genetic,
and archaeologicalto zero in
on the home region of the first
domesticated chili peppers. All
lines of evidence, including the
range of Proto-Otomanguean,
the oldest language thought
to have a word for chili
peppers, and the oldest known
archaeological pepper remains,
converge on north- and central-
eastern Mexico. No wonder the
mole sauce in Puebla is so good.
25
By Samir S. Patel
www.archaeology.org
VANUATU: Most of what is known
about the Lapita, the culture that
colonized the remote South Pacific
3,000 years ago, comes from pots.
Human remains are rare. Researchers
have conducted isotopic studies on
remains from the largest known Lapita cemetery68 burialsfor
insight into their diet. They found that it was some time before
crops were established as a significant part of the menu. The
earliest colonists relied instead on a foragers diet of fish, turtles,
fruit bats, and free-range but domesticated pigs and chickens.
DENMARK: Digs
in Odense have
exposed the
towns medieval
historyand
bouquet. Among
the finds are
a barrel-lined well connected to a building
thought to have been a brewery. Wood at
the site, including two more barrels that had
been used as latrines, is well preserved. The
privies are going to be troves of information on
medieval diet, hygiene, and health. According to
archaeologists, they also preserve the smell of
the Middle Ages.
SUDAN: A
female mummy
discovered
in 2005 and
recently studied
in detail has
a tattoo
exceedingly
rare for the
period (A.D.
700), for its
subject matter, and for its placement.
The mark is a monogram that spells
out the name Michael in ancient
Greek, a reference to the Biblical
archangel. Also, the tattoo is high on
the womans inner thigh, suggesting
that it was not readily visible. Curators
suspect it may have been considered
somehow protective.
MONGOLIA:
Adverse climate
changes are
often cited in
the declines of
civilizations
see the Indus,
Ancestral Pueblo, Bronze Age
Mesopotamia, Classic Maya, Tang
Dynasty, and more. Surely good
weather also made a mark on
history. According to a study of tree
rings in gnarled, ancient Siberian
pines, Mongolia was pleasant
warm and wetfrom 1211 to 1230,
coinciding with the rise of Genghis
Khan. More rain would have meant
more grass, which meant more
livestock, wealth, and warhorses
the engines of the Mongol army.
KAZAKHSTAN: Bands of nomadic herders were
stepping stones for the spread of crops between
opposite ends of Asia 5,000 years agothe seeds of
what would become the Silk Road. Archaeobotanical
analysis at their seasonal camps shows that the
pastoralists had access to both wheat from Central
and Southwest Asia and millet from East Asia. The
seeds were found only among cremation burials, so
they might have served some ritual purpose. The
nomads own agricultural tradition appears to have
started 1,500 years later.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 26
1524 map of Mexico City
www.archaeology.org 27
I
N 1519, THE SPANISH conquistador Hernn Corts
and 400 of his men marched into the Aztec capital of
Tenochtitlan and knew at once they were in a strange
and wondrous place. Even before their arrival, the
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Spaniards to be the deity Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent,
returning to Tenochtitlan from the east, or he may have thought
he was receiving emissaries from a friendly state. According to
their own accounts, as the Spaniards
began to explore the city, they found
temples soaked with blood and human
hearts being burned in ceramic braziers.
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tillo, that the scene brought to mind a
Castilian slaughterhouse.
Yet what made an even greater
impression was Tenochtitlans bustle
and press. Streets were so crowded that
WKH 6SDQLDUGV FRXOG EDUHO\ W WKURXJK
them. And the hubbub of the main
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ing everything from beans to furniture
to live deer, could be heard miles away.
Among us there were soldiers who
had been in many parts of the world,
in Constantinople and all of Italy and
Rome, wrote Daz. Never had they
seen a square that compared so well, so
orderly and wide, and so full of people,
as that one.
Five hundred years later, Mexico
Beneath the capitals busy streets, archaeologists are
discovering the buried world of the Aztecs
by R A
Citys main plaza still teems with shoppers and street hawkers,
while, only a block away, archaeologists are carefully digging up
the remains of the city Corts and his men wondered at. Today
DUFKDHRORJ\ LV KDSSHQLQJ HYHU\ZKHUH LQ 0H[LFR &LW\MXVW
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are going on beneath the rubble of buildings destroyed in the
citys 1985 HDUWKTXDNH 7KHUHV D VLWH ORFDWHG LQ D VXEZD\ VWD
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Cathedral. When city workers repave
a street, archaeologists stand by to
retrieve ceramic sherds, bones, and
other artifacts that appear from under
the asphalt. Excavation sites are often
so close to modern infrastructure that
archaeologists have to take care not to
XQGHUPLQH PRGHUQ EXLOGLQJ IRXQGD
tions. Researchers regularly contend
with a bewildering network of sewers,
pipes, and subway lines. And because
WKH $]WHF FDSLWDO ZDV EXLOW RQ D OOHG
in lake bed, they often have to pump
ZDWHU RXW ZKHQ WKHVH DUHDV RRG
In 1978, workers laying electrical
cables accidentally discovered the
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ple, two blocks from the citys central
square, Zcalo. In 2011 D PDMRU FHU
emonial cache was discovered under
the Plaza Manuel Gamio. Since these
VHUHQGLSLWRXV QGV RQJRLQJ H[FDYDWLRQ
and research by the National Institute
of Anthropology and Historys Urban
Under
Mexico City
Templo Mayor, 1978
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 28
$UFKDHRORJ\ 3URJUDP 3$8 KDYH FKDQJHG RXU XQGHUVWDQG
LQJ RI $]WHF VRFLHW\ ([FDYDWLRQV DW YH VLWHV LQ SDUWLFXODU DOO
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lize our understanding of daily life, worship, and governance
during the height of Aztec rule.
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shocked the Spaniards were not conceived as public horror or
punishment, but rather as reenactments of Aztec societys own
creation. Archaeologists have excavated stone carvings with
GHSLFWLRQV RI YLROHQW P\WKV VRPH IHDWXULQJ SHRSOH EHLQJ GLV
membered or thrown from great heights. And human remains
subsequently uncovered show similar wounds, suggesting
that the myths were played out atop the temples with actual
people. According to Ral Barrera, PAU director, The Aztecs
PDWHULDOL]HG WKHLU EHOLHIV DERXW FUHDWLRQ SHU
forming them at the Templo Mayor. In ways
barely intuited by the Spaniards or even by
modern historians until recently, the Aztecs,
also known as the Mexica, believed that the
fate of the world rested on what happened
on the towering heights of their temples.
The Templo Mayor was their holiest place,
but, more than that, it was the center of the
Mexica universe. It was from there that they
made contact with the divine world and with
WKH XQGHUZRUOG VD\V (GXDUGR 0DWRV 0RF
tezuma, archaeologist and professor emeritus
at the Templo Mayor Museum.
Throughout downtown Mexico City,
archaeologists have found some 40,000
artifacts, including mirrors made of shiny
REVLGLDQ 3DFLF WXUWOH VKHOOV WKDW ZHUH PXFK
SUL]HG E\ WKH $]WHFV DQG SUHFLRXV MDGHDQG
turquoise masks, all of which attest to the
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VKHOOV IURP WKH 3DFLF &DULEEHDQ VKDUN WHHWK
MDGH IURP VRXWKHUQ 0H[LFRKDYH JLYHQ
researchers a richer understanding of the
prosperity of trade ties forged by the Aztecs
XQGHU WKH HPSHURU 0RFWH]XPDV HUFH SUH
decessor, Ahutzotl, who ruled from 1486 to
1502. He added lands as far away as Chiapas
WR WKH FLW\V VSKHUH RI LQXHQFH FRQTXHUHG
ULFK FDFDRSURGXFLQJ DUHDV DQG RSHQHG XS
trade ties with both coasts. Tribute poured in
from vassal states.
Although much has been learned about the
Aztecs, the question of how this formidable
empire fell to the Spaniards in only a few
ZHHNV RI JKWLQJ FRQWLQXHV WR YH[ KLVWRULDQV
and excavations in their capital have added
little information to the debate. Despite
new research highlighting the possible role
of disease brought by Europeans, Mexican
archaeologists believe the key factor was the resentment the
Aztecs neighbors felt toward them. The Spaniards were
joined by thousands of indigenous people who were enemies
of the Aztecs. Why? Because they were sick of paying tribute.
They saw Corts as their salvation, says Matos Moctezuma.
But before the Aztecs collapse, Moctezuma and Corts shared
a brief moment of friendship. Daz wrote: Moctezuma took
&RUWpV E\ WKH KDQG DQG WROG KLP WR JD]H RYHU KLV JUHDW FLW\
and the many others all around the lake. He then invited
Corts to climb the Templo Mayor to get a better view. Within
two years of that moment, Moctezumas great city was gone .
2QO\ QRZ DUH DUFKDHRORJLVWV OHDUQLQJ KRZ PXFK RI LW DFWXDOO\
survived and is sitting beneath the paving stones and buildings
that make up Mexico City today.
Aztec Codex, 1519
Skull Wall, Templo Mayor
www.archaeology.org 29
Win Tenochtitlan in 1519, the
Aztec capitals main shrine stood
150 feet high. Little still stands of
that building today because the
Spaniards demolished it and used
of each successive ruler building his own temple on top of the
previous one.
Since the early 1980s, archaeologists have been delving into
those earlier layers, gaining a look at how the Aztecs worshipped
decades before the conquest. Because these remains had
been buried since the 1400s, they are giving researchers an
unprecedented look at classical Aztec society. One of the
rst artifacts they excavated was a monumental stone disk
dating from an early phase of the temples construction,
around 1400, depicting the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui,
a gure from the Aztec creation myth. In the legend, the
goddess was decapitated and dismembered at the hands
of her brother Huitzilopochtli as punishment for disrespect-
ing their pregnant mother. Archaeologists have concluded
from the chopped-off human limbs and heads excavated
near the temples base that the grisly scene was reenacted
regularly at Huitzilopochtlis altar on the summit. Rows of
skulls made of stone and stucco, still visible today, had their
counterparts in actual skulls excavated nearby.
The carnal nature of Aztec worship has long intrigued
researchers, in part because its focus on blood-drenched
sacrice in the public square had few parallels in other
Mesoamerican societies. Scholars suggest that the elites
may have felt insecure in their power, and responded with
these grandiose, intimidating rituals. You get a sense of
who ran society and how they made themselves loom
large over it, monumentalizing themselves, and how they
expressed power with these acts, says Harvard University
historian David Carrasco. Sacrice was also closely linked
to warfarethe victims were mostly battleeld captives
Mayor. At that time, the neighborhood around the buried ruins
had few houses and a reputation for bad omens and ill spirits,
likely a remnant of the sites bloody history, says archaeologist
Ral Barrera.
Templo Mayor, Center of Aztec Life and Religion
Templo Mayor and (right) disk
depicting moon goddess
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 30
Plaza Manuel Gamio, A Ritual Center in the Shadow of the High Temple
reigned from 1440 to 1469, the skulls had been placed side by
side on a stake and displayed publicly in a structure known as a
tzompantli, or skull banner. Botanical remains demonstrated
that the skulls had once been adorned with delicate cornflowers,
cotton blossoms, and cactus thorns. Laboratory tests concluded
that the five skulls belonged to three women and two men,
all young adults whose skulls were perforated postmortem.
Analysis of the isotopic content of their teeth indicates that three
of them had spent their childhoods far from the Aztec capital,
probably in southern Mexico, suggesting they were migrants to
the city or prisoners of war.
Nearby, researchers found a statuette of a seated woman
made entirely of copal, an intensely aromatic tree resin that,
more than 500 years later in the PAU laboratory, still emits the
sweet, eucalyptus-like aroma that perfumed the dead. And a few
feet away, in a contemporaneous deposit, archaeologists found
47 sahumadores, or clay incense pots, all meticulously arranged
in rows and showing signs of intensive use. The long, protruding
handles of some pots contained tiny pellets that, when the pots
were moved, made a sound like a rattlesnake. Aztec priests are
believed to have packed these incense pots with coal, copal,
and other aromatic substances for use in ceremonies that filled
the senses and masked the odor of death. They used incense
to sweeten the air, but also to purify the space and please the
gods, says Lorena Vzquez, a PAU archaeologist. According
to Vzquez, the pots also held some kind of protein, possibly
human blood.
A more grisly find awaited archaeologists a few feet away
the skulls, jawbones, and vertebrae of about 500 people,
including at least 10 children, in two tightly packed deposits.
Before they were buried under an altar, the bones had been
painstakingly prepared. They were stripped of their flesh and,
judging from weathering stains, dried outdoors before burial,
says Mara Garca Velasco, a PAU conservator. These people
werent thrown there like garbage, she explains. They were
treated carefully, as befitting a ceremonial burial. Surprisingly,
Velasco adds, none of the skeletons analyzed thus far shows
any sign of major trauma. PAU director Ral Barrera believes
that all the remains were buried at roughly the same time, and
that they were all related to a single ceremonial
event. Since both the human remains and the
sahumadores were found under a stone-and-
stucco floor, the event may have been a closure
ceremony in which a part of the temple was built
over and buried.
Looming over the deposit was a 40-foot-wide
circular platform carved with stone serpent heads,
their mouths agape. Historical sources speak of
the platform, or cuauhxicalco, as the place where
the remains of the Aztec rulers were publicly
cremated. Their ashes were then placed in
ceramic urns and buried. A few feet away from the cuauhxicalco,
Barrera found the withered trunk of an oak tree that grew in
a kind of large flowerpot.
Spanish accounts mention
ceremonial trees planted
near the Templo Mayor
festooned with strips
of colorful paper, and,
according to Barrera, this
was surely an example.
Taken together, the bones,
the tree trunk, the serpents
heads, and the thousands of
smaller artifacts that have
been found are creating a
rich picture of ceremonial
life in the Aztec heyday.
Incense pot
Perforated skull
Cremation platform
Copal
figurine
www.archaeology.org 31
I
n 1985, an earthquake measuring 8.1 on the Richter scale killed
some 10,000 people and destroyed or compromised thousands
of buildings in Mexico City. Some of those buildings happened
to have been standing over Aztec civic and holy sites. More than
two decades later, after workers demolished a building rendered
structurally unsound by the quake, archaeologists dug down and
found the ruins of an elite school near the Templo Mayor. Known
as the Calmcac, which in the Nahuatl language spoken by the
Aztecs means school, the complex was where Aztec nobility
sent their children to be trained in war and worship. The schools
proximity to the Templo Mayor shows the elites concern for
educating young men for power, says Harvard historian David
Carrasco. The emperor Moctezuma II himself was a graduate.
An enormous structure in antiquity, even larger than the
Templo Mayor, the school had a courtyard whose roof was
adorned with a row of spiral ornaments representing snails,
which were associated with the rain god Tlaloc. Spanish
colonial-era drawings had suggested these adornments were
small, even dainty, decorative touches. But when archaeologists
discovered them, the ornaments actually stood a monumental
eight feet tall and must have been visible from all over Tenoch-
titlan. Of the seven found by archaeologist Ral Barrera, all
had been removed in antiquity from their rooftop perches and
laid below a oor. By the time the Spaniards arrived, they had
been replaced with similar ornaments that the Spaniards later
destroyed, of which no traces have been found. Since their
rediscovery, the Calmcac roof ornaments have become one
of the most distinctive motifs of ancient Mexico.
Excavation at the Calmcac proved difcult. Eigh-
teen feet beneath the city, the site continually ooded
and had to have water pumped out, a problem that
speaks to the citys unusual geography. Tenochtitlan
was built on a group of marshy islands in the center
of Lake Tezcoco. These were gradually lled in with
lines of tree trunks and soil using an ancient land-
reclamation technique similar to that employed in
Tenochtitlans contemporary city, Venice. As in Ven-
ice, canals crisscrossed the city. Archaeologists have
found traces of some of them, as well as a pier that
jutted into the lake in antiquity. Lake Tezcoco has been
almost completely lled in over the centuries, but the
soil underneath the city remains porous and damp,
like gelatin, says archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moct-
ezuma. Although the city has been gradually settling
at a rate of up to 20 feet per century into the lake bed,
not so the Templo Mayor, which was built on sturdy
landll. It is therefore sinking at a much slower pace,
causing it to gradually rise relative to its surround-
ings such that it will, eventually, regain the 150-foot
height it had in antiquity.
Once the remains of the Calmcac were stabilized,
archaeologists discovered walls and wide staircases,
some with ancient footprints still in their stucco sur-
faces. They also uncovered dozens of artifacts that
hint at student life in A.D. 1500, including well-worn
ceramic plates, a clay spoon, and int and obsidian
knives that probably had both practical and ceremo-
nial uses. PAU director Ral Barrera has excavated only
a small corner of the ancient school because most
of it remains beneath busy Donceles Street and its
taco stands and cantinas. Digging any further would
endanger those buildings foundations, he explains,
and then, instead of us excavating, someone would
have to come excavate us.
Calmcac, School of the Ancient Elite
Spiral roof decoration
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 32
A
rchaeological sites in Mexico City have street addresses,
not GPS coordinates, as sites tend to elsewhere. At this
particular address, behind the green door, next to the Calmcac,
archaeologists uncovered the Temple of Ehcatl-Quetzalcoatl, a
structure dating from about 1450. The temple, whose distinctive,
round shape was described by Spanish priest Bernardino de
Sahagn, was located about 80 feet north of where Spanish
colonial maps had originally shown it to be. Ehcatl was a
wind god sometimes depicted as a version of Quetzalcoatl, the
feathered serpent who had already been worshipped in central
Mexico for more than 1,000 years by the time Tenochtitlan was
founded in 1325. In fact, snake imagery abounded at the temple
in antiquity. Spanish chroniclers described the building as having
a conical roof made of straw, resembling a coiled snake. To enter,
worshippers passed through a stone arch carved to resemble a
snakes mouth, complete with fangs. The Spaniards associated
serpents with the Garden of Eden story, regarding the reptiles
as evil, and usually destroyed snake images wherever they saw
them. But, if the temples snake arch wasnt destroyed by the
Spaniards, it may still lie buried beneath a row of buildings
behind the Metropolitan Cathedral, awaiting discovery.
Excavation has shown that the Guatemala Street temple
was bordered by a long outer wall, which the modern street
directly above it follows exactly. This is no coincidence, but
rather evidence that the Spaniards stuck closely to the original
Aztec urban grid when they built their own city on the ruins
of Tenochtitlan. Modern avenues also run along the same lines
as causeways that once connected the ancient island city to
the mainland.
16 Guatemala Street, Temple of Ehcatl-Quetzalcoatl
Guatemala Street
Temple of Ehcatl-Quetzalcoatl
www.archaeology.org 33
A
half-hour walk
north of the Tem-
plo Mayor, Tlatelolco
was a rival Aztec city
until it was absorbed
into Tenochtitlan in
1473. Recent excava-
tions have shown that
Tlatelolcos ceremo-
nial complex was once
almost as large and
impressive as that of
the main Aztec capital,
although at the time of
the Spanish conquest,
the city was known
mostly for its thriving
market. Tlatelolco was
the nal redoubt of the
Aztec emperor Cuauh-
tmoc before he was
captured by Corts in
August 1521. Corts later released Cuauhtmoc and allowed him
to continue to rule but, fearing a conspiracy, had him executed
in 1525. He was the last Aztec ruler.
Just over a decade ago, archaeologists made an intriguing
discovery at Tlatelolco. Beneath a colonial church erected over
Aztec foundations, they found a seven-foot-deep, 26-foot-
wide basin that had been built on Cuauhtmocs orders.
Known as a caja de agua, or water box, the basin was fed
with water from Chapultepec Hill, some four miles away. A
system of aqueducts ensured the citys supply of potable
water, as lake water was not suitable for drinking. This cistern
was, perhaps, the last example of Aztec civic construction.
On the basins walls, archaeologists discovered murals, once
brightly colored but now faded with age. Painted just as the
Spaniards were consolidating their power, the frescoes are a
unique hybrid of Aztec and Spanish themes. They show scenes
of canoes on a lake, people shing, ducks, reeds, water lilies,
frogs, herons, and jaguars. In one scene, a sherman casts a net
while, at his feet, a coiled snake tries to eat a frog. Snakes and
frogs had deep symbolic associations for the Aztecs, and were
depicted in the basin in a naturalistic, European manner. These
murals were painted at the moment of the conquest. In a way,
they show the encounter of the European and Mexican cul-
tures, says archaeologist Salvador Guilliem. Tlatelolco, where
the Aztec world made its last stand, was thus also the scene
of one of the initial artistic expressions of modern Mexico. Q
Roger Atwood is a contributing editor at Archaeology.
Tlatelolco, Last City of the Aztecs
Jaguar fresco
Aztec foundations and colonial church
Now located in the Viking Ship Museum
in Oslo, the Gokstad ship once sheltered
the remains of a late-ninth-century local
chieftain. The vessel is part of one of the
largest and best-preserved Viking ship
burials ever uncovered.
Revisiting the Gok
More than a century after Norways Gokstad ship burial
was rst excavated, scientists are examining the remains
of the Viking chieftain buried inside and learning the truth
about how he lived and died
by J U
visiting the Gokstad
W
ITHIN NORWAYS VESTFOLD, along the western shores of the Oslofjord, a team
of excavators burrows into the side of a large earthen mound. The barrow lies
approximately 1,700 feet from the shore, protruding from a woodless plain.
Armed with shovels, the diggers tunnel away with a determined resolve to reach
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 36
I
N JANUARY OF 1880, word reached the Antiquarian Society
in Oslo about an amateur archaeological dig occurring 75
miles to the south, outside the town of Sandefjord. Two
EURWKHUV VRQV RI WKH RZQHU RI WKH ODUJH *RNVWDG IDUP KDG
begun treasure hunting on their fathers property. Their target
was a 165E\140IRRW PRXQG NQRZQ ORFDOO\ DV WKH .RQJVKDX
gen PHDQLQJ .LQJV +LOO DV OHJHQG WROG RI D IDPRXV NLQJ DQG
and reduced in size by centuries of plowing,
the hill still stood a formidable 15 feet high.
The following month, an emissary from the
Antiquarian Society arrived. Archaeologist
Nicolay Nicolaysen immediately suspended
situation. He soon determined that the
site had great archaeological potential, and
EHJDQ D VWDWHVSRQVRUHG H[FDYDWLRQ ODWHU
WKDW VSULQJ ,W WRRN 1LFROD\VHQV WHDP RQO\
two days to prove his suspicions correct
from the ground.
Despite the plundering more than a
millenium before, the collection of artifacts
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archaeological discoveries ever made. In
addition to the enormous wooden ship,
which measures 76 by 17.5 feet and was
adorned with 32 DOWHUQDWLQJ EODFN DQG \HO
low shields, three smaller vessels had been buried nearby. Inside
a burial chamber behind the ships mast, a chieftain had been
interred surrounded by an impressive assemblage of objects,
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equipment, and a gaming board and horn gaming pieces, all
intended to provide comfort and entertainment as he made
the voyage into the afterlife.
The archaeologists also discovered the remains of 12 horses,
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+RZHYHU WKH ODFN RI DQ\ SHUVRQDO MHZHOU\ RU ZHDSRQU\ ZDV
initially puzzling, as was the condition of the body itself. Only
a handful of bones remained, and it eventually became clear
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5HFHQW GHQGURFKURQRORJLFDO DQDO\VLV KDV GDWHG WKH *RN
stad burial to between A.D. 895 and 905. The same analysis
shows that the vessel itself predates the burial by as much as
half a century, having certainly been used for trade, raiding, or
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$OWKRXJK QRW SOHQWLIXO HYLGHQFH IRU WKH EXULDO RI ODUJH 9LNLQJ
ships has been found throughout northern Europe. Over the
last 150 \HDUV QRWDEOH H[DPSOHV KDYH EHHQ XQFRYHUHG LQ 6ZH
GHQ 'HQPDUN DQG WKH %ULWLVK ,VOHV EXW WKH PRVW UHPDUNDEOH
DQG EHVW SUHVHUYHG RI WKHVH VKLSV LQFOXGLQJ WKH *RNVWDG KDYH
been discovered in southeastern Norway.
*LYHQ WKH H[WHQVLYH ODERU DQG UHVRXUFHV UHTXLUHG IRU WKH
construction of such a ship, intentionally burying it would
have been a tremendous testimonial to the deceaseds wealth
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ships was partly a symbolic gesture, representing the souls
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During Nicolaysens excavation of the ship
The Gokstad ship burial was first discovered by amateurs
in 1880 and then excavated by Norwegian archaeologist
Nicolay Nicolaysen.
www.archaeology.org 37
shoulder blade, a fragment of an upper arm bone, and two
VNXOO IUDJPHQWV $V HDUO\ DV 1882, anatomist Jacob Heiberg
concluded that the individual was between 50 and 70 years
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ERQHV EHORQJHG WR D ORFDO 9LNLQJ NLQJ 2ODY *HLUVWDGDOY ZKR
historical sources record as dying around A.D. 840 from a foot
infection. In 1928 WKH VNHOHWRQ ZDV VHDOHG LQVLGH D OHDG FRQ
DQG UHEXULHG LQ WKH *RNVWDG PRXQG 7KH VWRQH VDUFRSKDJXV
FRQWDLQLQJ WKH FDVNHW ERUH WKH LQVFULSWLRQ ,Q WKLV FRQ 2ODY
*HLUVWDGDOYV ERQHV ZHUH SODFHG DQHZ
7KH VNHOHWRQ UHPDLQHG LQWHUUHG LQ WKH UHFRQVWUXFWHG
mound on the original site until 2007 ZKHQ 3HU +ROFN
professor emeritus from the Department of Anatomy at the
University of Oslo, led a team of scientists urging that the
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trapped damaging moisture. I expressed my concern about
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completely. I also pointed out that the former examinations
had not mentioned several sorts of pathology at all, and no
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The exhumation allowed for a modern forensic inves
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UHDVRQ IRU WKH EUHDNLQ ZDV PRUH VLQLVWHU WKDQ D VLPSOH GHVLUH
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To access the burial chamber, the ancient raiders dug exten
sive trenches measuring about 60 feet long, 15 feet deep, and
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WLYH PLVVLRQ REVFXUHG E\ WKH FRYHU RI GDUNQHVV EXW UDWKHU ZDV
a deliberate and highly visible act. Fortunately, the intruders
left behind evidence of their conduct, in the form of a dozen
wooden spades. Using new, nondestructive techniques of den
drochronological analysis, researchers from the Museum of
Cultural History at the University of Oslo dated these artifacts,
SRWHQWLDOO\ LGHQWLI\LQJ WKH FXOSULWV 7KH HYLGHQFH VKRZV WKDW
WKH EUHDNLQ RI WKH *RNVWDG PRXQG RFFXUUHG EHWZHHQ A.D.
950 and 1000. In conjunction with other dendrochronological
data from sites including the Oseberg ship burial, which had
been discovered in the early twentieth century some 15 miles
away, archaeologists concluded that during the tenth century, a
V\VWHPDWLF FDPSDLJQ RI PRXQGEUHDNLQJ ZDV GLUHFWHG WRZDUG
the monumental burials of eastern Norway. And that the man
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As the Dane sought to extend his power over the region
in the second half of the tenth century, he aimed to under
mine the authority of the local ruling dynasties. Because
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authority of these dynasties, both symbolically and physically,
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ing the previous rulers remains, memory of him could be
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dismembered, his valuables plundered, and the symbolic transi
tion of power was complete.
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ARLY EXAMINATIONS OF THE *RNVWDG FKLHIWDLQ QHYHU
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OLNH RU KRZ KH GLHG :KHQ 1LFROD\VHQ GLVFRYHUHG WKH
body in 1880 KH IRXQG RQO\ D KDQGIXO RI EURNHQ ERQHV IURP
WKH RULJLQDO VNHOHWRQ LQFOXGLQJ SLHFHV RI IRXU OHJ ERQHV D
Although most of the Gokstad chieftains skeleton was
destroyed in antiquity, scholars have studied the remaining leg
bones and skull fragments to learn what he may have looked
like and how he died.
In 2007, researchers exhumed the Gokstad chieftains skeleton
and removed it from the potentially damaging lead coffin in
which it had been reburied in 1928, providing the opportunity
to use modern forensic techniques to examine his remains.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 38
although the injury had occurred several years before his death
and was partially healed when he died.
Somehow the chieftains true cause of death had been missed.
Says Holck, The Iormer examination oI the skeleton did not
comment on the chieItain's Iatal injuries." In his recent study,
Holck was able to better detail extensive wounds that were
almost certainly received in battle, and to identify the injuries
that the Cokstad chieItain could not have survived. The results
tell a more vicious story than had been previously written. He
certainly did suer a violent death," Holck says. The man had
been severely slashed in both legs, likely by two individuals using
dierent types oI weapons. A distinct cut Irom a thinbladed
weapon, such as a sword, was evident along his left shinbone.
Although scholars cannot yet connect the burial
contrasted with the earlier conclusions. Most importantly,
the new examination oered clues as to what the Cokstad
chieItain may have looked like and how he died. One oI the
nrst things that Holck noticed was the man's abnormally large
stature. Using the surviving long bones as a guide, he estimated
that the Cokstad chieItain was nearly six Ieet tall, almost halI
a Ioot taller than the average ninthcentury Viking. The lack
of wear on his joints indicated that he was probably in his 40s
when he died, younger than previously thought. Although
most oI the chieItain's skull was missing, making it impossible
to reconstruct his Iacial Ieatures, Holck's close examination
oI an Xray oI one oI the skull Iragments has provided some
details of the mans physical characteristics. For example, the
abnormal massiveness oI his skeleton was in accor
dance with acromegaly, a syndrome which appears
due to a hypophyseal pituitary gland tumor in
adult age," says Holck. He would have had a big
and coarselimbed body, enlarged nose, ears, and
toneless voice.
strength, limited motor skills, and Irequent
migraines. These symptoms, especially the
constant headaches, may have made him ill
tempered," says Holck, which certainly was a
bad situation at that time!" Holck also noted that
damage and Iractures oI the leIt leg, likely Irom
a bad fall. This may have caused him to limp,
New investigations identified serious injuries the Viking suffered in the battle that killed him. (Left to right) A knife cut to the
inside of the right femur, a deep gash to the left tibia, and an ax cut to the right fibula.
Ornate gilt bronze and lead medallions, once
Long-buried evidence of an Etruscan noble family
by M M
THE TOMB
OF THE
SILVER
HANDS
I
N THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, the ancient
tombs of Vulci, some 75 miles northwest
of Rome and 25 miles west of Viterbo,
were a stop on travelers Grand Tour of
Europe. Since the late eighteenth cen
WXU\ ZKHQ WKH UVW RFLDO H[FDYDWLRQV
were undertaken on the orders of Cardinal Gug
lielmo Pallotta, numerous burials, ranging from
the simple to the spectacular, had been found in
the area. In the Necropoli dellOsteria, roughly
translated as the Necropolis of the Pub, travel
ers encountered impressively built and richly
decorated burials dating from the seventh to
fourth centuries B.C. belonging to the Etruscan
culture that had once inhabited the region. Some
of the tombs had evocative names given to them
in contemporary times in order to attract more
visitors. There was the Tomb of the Sun and the
Moon, the Tomb of the Inlaid Ceiling, and the
Tomb of the Panathenaica, named after the sacred
athletic and literary games held every four years in
Athens to celebrate the goddess Athena.
Despite their popularity 150 years ago, how
ever, the tombs were abandoned as a tourist
destination and, ultimately, lost. The Tomb of
the Sun and the Moon was the most important
IXQHUDU\ FRPSOH[ LQ WKH DUHD DQG ZH NQRZ WKH
area was open for visitors until the middle of the
nineteenth century, says archaeologist Carlo
Casi, who manages the Vulci archaeological park
on behalf of the local archaeological superinten
dency of Etruria Meridionale. But since then it
has literally been swallowed up by nature.
Three years ago, Casi and his team set out to
rediscover the Tomb of the Sun and the Moon using
topographic maps of the area, some of which were
drawn in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately,
ZH ZHUHQW DEOH WR QG WKH WRPE DJDLQ SUREDEO\
because the people who drew the maps of the area
made some errors in locating it, says Casi. But
www.archaeology.org 39
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 40
as is often the case in archaeology,
although they began looking for
one thing, Casi and his team found
something else entirely: more than
twenty small graves and tombs and
WZR ODUJHU IXQHUDU\ FRPSOH[HV WKH
most spectacular of which, both in
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RI WKH 6LOYHU +DQGVULYDOV DQ\WKLQJ
found previously at the site.
O
N A WINTRY DAY IN 2012,
Casi and his team were digging a 30IRRWORQJ FRU
ULGRU (YHQWXDOO\ WKHLU H[FDYDWLRQV OHG WKHP VWUDLJKW
into a large tomb with three separate chambers. Based on
its size and its location within the
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tain other rich Etruscan burials,
they believed the tomb must have
EHORQJHG WR D QREOH (WUXVFDQ IDP
ily. One room on the right side of
the corridor, which they called Chamber C, was completely
empty, having been, like so many Etruscan tombs, ransacked
by looters either in antiquity or more recently. But the other
In one of the tombs chambers,
archaeologists uncovered several
small cups, as well as large storage
jars called pithoi.
Archaeologists working in a
large necropolis 75 miles from
Rome recently discovered the
impressive tomb of an Etruscan
noble family dating to the 7th
century B.C.
www.archaeology.org 41
two rooms, Chamber A in the center and Chamber B on the
left, were full of artifacts: large storage jars called pithoi, cups,
DQG H[DPSOHV RI bucchero, a distinctive, shiny black type of pot
tery made by the Etruscans beginning in the seventh century
B.C. In Chamber B, Casis team also uncovered the remains of
a chariot wheel and bronze horse harnesses.
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In Chamber A, excavators discovered a pair of finely made
silver hands (above, right) that once belonged to a type of
wooden funerary dummy and, in Chamber B, examples of a
distinctively Etruscan fine pottery called bucchero (right).
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 42
DOVR IRXQG LURQ DQG EURQ]H EXODH OLWWOH JROG EDOOV SLHFHV RI
faience, and amber and bone beads that likely were once part
of several very fancy necklaces.
:KHQ &DVL DQG KLV WHDP FRPSOHWHG ODVW VHDVRQV H[FDYDWLRQ
they took the artifacts from the tomb to a restoration and con
servation laboratory in Montalto di Castro, near Vulci. There
conservators cleaned and restored the iron, bronze, and gold
jewelry, horse trappings, pieces of the chariot, and, of course,
the silver hands. According to Teresa Carta, who is in charge
RI WKH ODE WKH VLOYHU KDQGV DUH D XQLTXH QG $OWKRXJK RWKHU
hands had once been part of a sphyrelaton, a kind of wooden
funerary dummy that represented the dead and guarded his or
her soul after the body had been cremated, says Casi. Most
often the dummy represented a warrior or a nobleman, but in
WKLV FDVH WKH JXUH ZDV SUREDEO\ D ZRPDQ &DVL WKLQNV WKLV
may demonstrate that the Etruscans granted equal status to
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hands on the ground, the archaeologists also recovered some
purple threads that they believe were used to tie gold studs to
a brightly colored garment that once clothed the dummy. They
The silver hands were taken to a nearby laboratory. There (top row, left to right) researchers X-rayed them, fit the pieces of the
right hand back together, and (bottom row, left to right) carefully cleaned the more intact left hand. The result: two completely
restored and conserved hands.
www.archaeology.org 43
H[DPSOHV RI IXQHUDU\ GXPPLHV KDQGV KDYH
been discovered in Vulci, and in the town
of Pescia Romana near Viterbo, these
were rough and made of bronze, never
DQ\WKLQJ DV UHQHG DV WKHVH &DUWD VD\V
&DVL KRSHV WR UHVXPH H[FDYDWLRQV LQ
the necropolis in the near future and
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0\ GUHDP ZRXOG EH WR QG WKH WRPEV
of people who had business relationships
with this noble family, says Casi. That
might be the only chance we have to
know more about this powerful woman
and her relatives. Q
Marco Merola is a freelance journalist
living in Rome. For more images, go to
www.archaeology.org/silverhands
Chamber B also contained the remains of a
chariot, including at least one wheel (left),
and hundreds of small pieces of bronze
(below) that once were part of the vehicle
and its trappings. These are now being
painstakingly pieced together.
T
ODAY, MOST BERLINERS remember the citys
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World War II Berlin Airlift, when tons of vital
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of the Soviet blockade. But until a recent
archaeological excavation, a darker side of
Tempelhofs history had been almost forgotten: In the early
days of the Nazi regime, a corner of the airport served as one
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1945 WKRXVDQGV RI PHQ DQG ZRPHQSDUW RI D YDVW V\VWHP RI
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 44
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Since Tempelhof closed in 2008, it has been turned into
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part in revitalizing the citys center. On a sweltering Friday in
August 2013, Reinhard Bernbeck, head of the Institute for
Near Eastern Archaeology at the Free University of Berlin,
stood on the grass between a pair of baseball diamonds built
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rushed along the Columbiadamm, the street that runs past
TELLING A
DIFFERENT STORY
www.archaeology.org 45
WKH LQQHUFLW\ DLUSRUWV QRUWKHUQ SHULSKHU\ $ IHZ KXQGUHG
yards to the west, the airports taxiway and terminal building
shimmered in the sun. Directly in front of Bernbeck was a
trench, 200 feet long and about 10 feet wide, revealing a very
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Archaeologists are revealing
the dark past of one of the Cold
Wars most celebrated sites
by A C
the outlines of concrete foundations and a single strand of
taut barbed wire, its ends disappearing into the soil on either
side of the trench, were all that remained of a double row of
more than a dozen wooden barracks. Since 2011, Bernbeck
and archaeologist Susan Pollock of the Free University of
Berlin and Binghamton University have been using histori
cal documents, blueprints, and wartime aerial photography
to locate and excavate whats left of this barracks complex.
It is believed to have housed the workers who were forced
to build some of Nazi Germanys most fearsome weapons.
Three years after World War II ended, residents of Berlin anxiously
watch the arrival of a plane (left) carrying much-needed supplies
to Tempelhof Airport. Archaeologists have excavated a part of the
now-closed airport (right), uncovering evidence of a forced-labor
camp that existed there throughout the course of the war.
46
about concentrating too many foreigners in cities, or assigning
them to the German armaments industry, for fear of sabotage.
But need soon outstripped these concerns, and Iorced labor
ers were to be Iound everywhere: tidying up o ces, working
Ior the post o ce and the subway system, in stores and on
assembly lines, and even in German churches as gravediggers.
Says Bremberger, Who else would clean the streets or take
away corpses after bombings?
V
ERY SOON AFTER the war began, the departure of
millions of German men for the front created a labor
shortage, sending German employers scrambling for
workers. When all the men went to the front, the Germans
needed a labor force and had a choice between women and
Ioreigners," Bernbeck says. Ideologically, Cerman women
were out of the question. Instead, Germany turned to
recently conquered territories and immediately put in place
to compensate aging survivors.
As the Wehrmacht pushed
east and west across Europe, the
system continued to grow. Ini
During the war, forced laborers built and repaired the German aircraft manufacturer Weserflugs war planes, including the infamous
Stuka dive-bombers, in Tempelhofs hangars.
www.archaeology.org 47
show the presence of larger numbers of personal objects in
the barracks where French workers lived. One area had a high
concentration of locks and keys, leading Pollock to believe
that its French inhabitants might have had footlockers or
cupboards in which to keep their belongings. French forced
laborers were much better treated than Eastern Europeans
and were permitted to keep things under lock and key, she
says.Depending on where people fell on the ladder of racial
VXSHULRULW\ WKHLU WUHDWPHQW FRXOG EH YHU\ GLHUHQW 6HYHUDO
barracks in the center of the camp housed Soviet men. These
were surrounded by an extra ring of barbed wire, bearing out
the Nazis loathing for Soviets and other Eastern Europeans,
whom they considered racially inferior.
Bernbeck and Pollocks work is also illuminating how
some of the forced laborers may have died. As the war
turned against Germany, and Allied bombers ranged deeper
and deeper into German airspace, workers at Tempelhof
were at particular risk. Living at Tempelhof, you would be
in constant danger from bombing raids, tortured by a fear
you wouldnt make it, says Pollock. While most of Berlins
population was protected by underground bomb shelters
and aboveground concrete bunkers, often built by forced
laborers, those living at Tempelhof had to take shelter in Split
terschutzgraben. These shrapnel trenches were essentially
FRQFUHWHUHLQIRUFHG GLWFKHV WKDW PLJKW SURWHFW SHRSOH O\LQJ
LQVLGH IURP \LQJ PHWDO EXW QRW IURP GLUHFW KLWV
The Tempelhof Splitterschutzgraben were narrow, just six
IHHW GHHS DQG QRW QHDUO\ ODUJH HQRXJK WR W DOO WKH ODERU FDPSV
inhabitants easily. Yet despite the trenches small size, they have
yielded a surprising number of artifacts, most of which were
found jammed in the cracks between the concrete slabs that
OLQHG WKH ERWWRP RI WKH DLUUDLG WUHQFKHV RU EXULHG XQGHUQHDWK
the slabs edges. Unlike the utilitarian objects uncovered in and
around the barracks, those from the trenches are largely of a
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local movie theaters or bus stations and taken to Germany.
Over the course of the war in Europe, a span of nearly six
years, Germany imported between eight and 10 million forced
laborers. By 1944, an eighth of Berlins population of four mil
lion was comprised of forced laborers. Late in the war, trains that
VHQW -HZV DQG RWKHU XQGHVLUDEOHV WR FRQFHQWUDWLRQ DQG H[WHU
mination camps in the east were loaded with men and women
from Poland and the Soviet Union on the return journey.
N
OT LONG AFTER the war began in 1939, and for nearly
four years, Tempelhof served as a factory site for
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laborers to install radar and repair planes.
The Tempelhof barracks being excavated were home to
nearly 2,000 forced laborers, mostly from Poland, France,
DQG WKH 6RYLHW 8QLRQ (DUO\ DQDO\VLV RI WKH QGV LV VKRZLQJ
how these airport workers may have been part of the life
of the city, and is contradicting the claim, common in the
decades after the war, that the average German wasnt aware
of the crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime. For example,
the team has uncovered precision tools from local Berlin
manufacturers and broken bottle tops from milk and beer
bottles, which may help trace the relationship between the
camp and its surroundings. Bottle tops and such show you
KRZ FRQQHFWHG WKH FDPS ZDV WR WKH ORFDO FRPPXQLW\ZKHUH
else were they getting supplies and food? Bernbeck asks.
There was a whole network of camps woven throughout
Berlin, thousands of them. That means theres no way Berlin
ers didnt know what was going on.
The Tempelhof excavations are also demonstrating that
GLHUHQW QDWLRQDOLWLHV ZHUH QRW WUHDWHG HTXDOO\VRPH ZHUH
accorded more privileges than others. Early analysis seems to
Locks, keys, bottle tops, and cutlery are beginning to tell the story
of how Tempelhofs laborers experienced their day-to-day life.
Concrete-reinforced ditches were the only protection the laborers
had from the Allied bombs that rained down on Berlin.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 48
had supported some of the barracks, they found that they
were mostly made of wood, rather than sturdier concrete,
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EDWKURRPV ZHUH WKH RQO\ DUHDV ZLWK FRQFUHWH IRXQGDWLRQV
By the spring of 1945, the barracks were no longer standing,
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there was an attempt to keep building these Stukas until
literally the last days, says Pollock, and in the last gasps of
the war there were still forced laborers living in the airport.
In May 1945, Berlin surrendered, and after a few months of
6RYLHW RFFXSDWLRQ FRQWURO RI 7HPSHOKRI $LUSRUW ZDV WUDQV
ferred to the U.S. Army. Whatever remained of the barracks
was quickly cleared as the Americans raced to get the facility
back up and running. Rubble and airplane parts were bulldozed
WR WKH QRUWK HGJH RI WKH DLUSRUW FRYHULQJ WKH FDPSV IRXQGD
tions, then slowly cleared away.
Today, even as developers rush to build around the former
airport, Bernbeck and Pollock hope to continue their work.
They want to add more to the history of Tempelhof so that
its full complexity can be understood. And they hope that
the site will no longer be known only as a Cold War symbol
B.C. Q
didnt survive, Pollock says.
In fact, the barracks complex
was hit by a bomb and burned,
DQ HYHQW VKRZQ LQ DHULDO SKRWR
graphs taken at the time, which
T
empelhof s dark history actually began more than a
decade before the start of World War II. A military
prison on the site was shuttered in 1928 when the
area was turned into an airport. When the Nazis took power
YH \HDUV ODWHU RQH RI WKH SULVRQ EXLOGLQJV ZDV UHRSHQHG
as Konzentrationlager Columbia, Concentration Camp
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were kept here for one to three weeks and tortured, says
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L]H WKH RSSRVLWLRQ LQ %HUOLQ )RU PRUH R FLDO LQWHUURJDWLRQV
prisoners might be bused to the Gestapo headquarters, then
brought back at night.
In 1936, Concentration Camp Columbia, which was close
to central Berlin, and thus to public scrutiny, was shut once
again and its remaining prisoners moved to a new camp on
the edge of the city called Sachsenhausen. Two years later,
Columbia was razed. With this rare opportunity to work on
D NQRZQ FRQFHQWUDWLRQ FDPS VLWH DUFKDHRORJLVWV 6XVDQ 3RO
lock and Reinhard Bernbeck had hoped to uncover evidence
of the camp facility in a narrow trench they opened near the
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faintest traces of the prisons foundations. Disturbed soil and
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WLRQ ZHUH DOO WKDW ZDV OHIW 7KH 1D]LV UHPRYHG WKH EXLOGLQJ
down to the foundations, and beyond. Everything was dug out
of the ground, Bernbeck says. We think there was a reason
IRU WKLVWR UHPRYH WKH WUDFHV RI LWV H[LVWHQFH
Secret History
Archaeologists have found a few personal items, including
handmade ID tags and rosary beads (above), in and around
the ditches in which the laborers sheltered during bombing
raids. Theyve also uncovered items, such as dog tags (below),
left behind by U.S. GIs working to get Tempelhof functioning
again after the war.
Excavations at the ancient city of Abydos have revealed the tomb of a
previously unknown pharaoh and evidence of a long-lost royal lineage
by Mznv Bnrn Gnroos
The sun-disc and goose in this hieroglyphic
inscription found in a recently discovered tomb in
Abydos, Egypt, together mean Son of Ra. The
hieroglyphs in the oval frame spell the name of a
newly identified pharaoh, Woseribre Senebkay.
Egypts
Forgotten Dynasty
50
E
GYPTOLOGISTS HAVE LONG believed that around
3,600 years ago, power in Egypt was divided
between two rival dynasties. To the north, ruling
the Nile delta from approximately 1650 to 1550
B.C. ZHUH WKH +\NVRV 6HPLWLFVSHDNLQJ ZDU
riors who invaded Egypt from Lebanon. To the
south, a royal Egyptian line based in Thebes and known as the
16th Dynasty came to the fore to counter the foreigners. But
this understanding was challenged in 1997, when University of
Copenhagen Egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposed that the two
A team led by Penn Museum archaeologist Josef
Wenger excavates the burial chamber of the
pharaoh Senebkay, thought to be one of the first
kings of the Abydos Dynasty.
The Turin King List, a fragmentary 13th-century B.C. papyrus
listing pharaohs chronologically, has several entries that
Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has identified as belonging to the
long-forgotten Abydos Dynasty.
51
dynasties shared the stage with a third, which
rose to power temporarily in Abydos.
One of the largest cities in ancient Egypt
and home of the Osiris cult, Abydos is situated
between the Nile delta and Thebes. After the
Hyksos invasion, it would have been left in a
power vacuum. Ryholt proposed that the local
nobility, uneasy that no divine king ruled the
countrys most important religious center and
unwilling to submit to a foreign power, took
matters into their own hands and established
an independent, local dynasty.
Ryholt developed his theory after seeing frag
ments of a stela at Abydos that referenced three
pharaohs who werent recorded anywhere else in
Egypt. At the same time, he was studying the Turin
.LQJ /LVW D IUDJPHQWDU\ WKLUWHHQWKFHQWXU\ B.C.
papyrus that contains a chronological list of Egyp
WLDQ UXOHUV 2Q WKH SDS\UXV KH LGHQWLHG HQWULHV
for 15 kings who followed the 16th Dynasty, but
whose names vanished from later royal lists. Ryholt
thought the names on the Turin List and the stela
FRXOG EH WKH RQO\ WUDFHV OHIW RI D VKRUWOLYHG G\QDVW\
that ruled Abydos from about 1650 to 1600 B.C.
A painted scene in the newly discovered tomb of the pharaoh Senebkay depicts the goddesses Neith
and Nut. Faded blue hieroglyphs are visible throughout the panel.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 52
VXFK DV FHGDU WKDW ZHUH QHFHVVDU\ WR RXWW WKHLU
tombs in the proper style. Both, in fact, were
forced to steal from the neighboring necropolis
to furnish their burials. Inside the unnamed
pharaohs tomb, Wegner discovered a 60WRQ
red quartzite sarcophagus chamber that had
originally belonged to a pharaoh named Sobek
hotep, possibly Sobekhotep I, who ruled Egypt
around 1780 B.C. In Senebkays tomb, Wegner
found a gilded cedar chest from Sobekhoteps
burial that still had his name inscribed on the
side. Other signs, such as the humble mud brick
and paint that were used to decorate Senebkays
tomb, point to the limited resources of the
$E\GRV NLQJV 7KH GLVFRYHU\ FRQUPV WKDW
the dynasty was relatively poor if not impoverished, Ryholt
says. Still, in a troubled time, these pharaohs managed to keep
WKH RFH RI GLYLQH NLQJVKLS DOLYH DW (J\SWV PRVW LPSRUWDQW
ritual center, no small achievement.
+DYLQJ XQHDUWKHG WKH UVW SK\VLFDO HYLGHQFH IRU WKH VWULY
ing pharaohs of Abydos, Wegner and his team plan to return
to the site this summer and continue excavating the royal
necropolis, where more evidence of the mysterious dynasty
may still be waiting to be discovered. Q
Mary Beth Griggs is a freelance science journalist based in New York.
His theory helped explain why, after the Hyk
sos conquered the north, they had no known con
frontations with the Theban kings for at least two
decades. If the two rival powers were physically
separated by a third, reasoned Ryholt, no imme
diate clash would be possible until the power of
the Abydos Dynasty waned. Still, some experts
had their doubts and argued that the names he
LGHQWLHG FRXOG KDYH EHORQJHG WR 7KHEDQ NLQJV
Ryholt himself remained cautious. It was all very
tentative, and it certainly wasnt a given, he says
of his theory. But this winter, archaeologists led by
Penn Museum Egyptologist Josef Wenger made
an unexpected discovery at Abydos that proves
Ryholt is correct.
Digging near a royal necropolis known to
hold the remains of 12th and 13th Dynasty kings,
who ruled from ca. 1900 to 1650 B.C., the team
unearthed a limestone tomb containing the skel
etal remains of a previously unknown pharaoh.
7H[WV LQ WKH EXULDO FKDPEHU LGHQWLHG KLP DV
Woseribre Senebkay. Two of the fragmentary
names at the head of the group on the Turin
List begin with Woser, leading Wegner to the
conclusion that his team had found one of the
earliest kings of the Abydos Dynasty. Near Senebkays tomb they
XQHDUWKHG DQRWKHU UR\DO EXULDO RI D VWLOOXQNQRZQ SKDUDRK ZKR
Wegner suspects also belonged to the dynasty.
The state of Senebkays tomb, and that of the unnamed
pharaoh, speaks volumes about the Abydos Dynastys urge to
prove itself in the shadow of two more powerful dynasties.
Both kings were buried near the tombs of earlier pharaohs
who ruled all of Egypt. They appended their royal necropolis
to these earlier, symbolically important kings. Wegner says.
The Abydos pharaohs likely aspired to the luxurious afterlife
RI WKHLU SUHGHFHVVRUV EXW WKH\ FRXOGQW DRUG LPSRUWHG JRRGV
The imposing sarcophagus chamber of Sobekhotep, perhaps Sobekhotep I,
who ruled ca. 1780 B.C., was found near Senebkays tomb, and was probably
reused by a later pharaoh of the Abydos Dynasty.
The tomb of Senebkay was constructed of
locally available mudbrick, in stark contrast to
the lavish tombs of pharaohs who preceded
the relatively poor Abydos Dynasty.
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Living on the Edge
Were the residents of a Scottish hillside immoral squatters
or hard-working farmers?
by Kate Ravilious
LETTER FROM SCOTLAND
www.archaeology.org 55
University of Aberdeen excavations
in the hills of Bennachie are revealing
the daily struggles of an unusual
19th-century peasant community.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 56
oI Aberdeen. The land is marginal
and windswept and would have been
covered in scrub and small trees at
that time. \ater runo down the hill
side was a huge issue. It was hardly an
ideal place to set up a smallholding."
Lespite these challenges, at its peak
in the 1850s, the hillside supported a
colony oI some 70 settlers10 Iami
lieswho came Irom all over Scotland
to try to make an independent living.
Since the early eighteenth century
Scotland had been undergoing what
was known as improvement." BeIore
then, landless peasants were able to
support themselves by Iarming small
plots oI land as tenants oI wealthy
landowners. But those landowners
were determined to bring Scotland
into the modern age by transition
ing Irom arable and mixed Iarm
ing, which supported a large tenant
population, to sheep Iarming, which
was proving more prontable. History
records brutal evictions and Iorced
emigration oI the surplus Iarmers as
aristocratic landowners instituted an
agricultural and social revolution.
Many people who were cleared
o their land emigrated to orth
America, Australia, and ew Zealand.
Among those who could not emigrate
or chose to stay, some toiled on the
new sheep Iarms. Others were tasked
with Iarming marginal land in new
croIting townships." And a large
proportion became migrants, per
petually traveling around the country
in search oI work. They constructed
temporary dwellings Irom turI
and heather thatch and moved on
when work dried up. Some oI these
landless people
could Iorm a set
tled community.
People arrived
here from all
over the north
and east of
to have left a mark. And
a rare mark it is. Histori
cally, there are no other
colonies known in Scot
land quite like this one.
Seldom do such marginal
ized people leave much in
the archaeological record.
To some extent, the story
ized people everywherean impor
tant story rarely preserved or told.
The daily struggles oI the Ben
nachie community were recorded
in census records, diaries, and Iarm
accounts, but these sources came
Irom outside the community. For the
most part, the people who lived here
provided very little in the way oI writ
ten evidence about their own lives.
By digging their homesteads we are
beginning to give these people a voice
and paint a more nuanced picture oI
rural liIe in Scotland at this time,"
says Oliver, who is leading the Ben
nachie excavations.
Beginning in 2011, Oliver and his
team, which includes a local conser
vation society called the Bailies oI
Bennachie, carried out systematic
test pitting across the site. Luring
summer 2013 they carried out their
nrst Iullscale dig, opening trenches
at two oI the homes. One oI these
was Shepherd's Lodge"the Iormer
residence oI Alexander Littlejohn and
his wiIe, Llisabeth. Littlejohn, a local,
was one oI the Iounders oI the colony,
but this did not protect him
One of the peaks of the Bennachie range is Mither Tap, which has the remains of an
Iron Age fort on its peak.
Pottery fragments foun d in shovel
tests at Bennachie reveal that, though
neighbors thought them backward,
the settlers appreciated craftsmanship
and utility.
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 58
were remarkably scant and oI the
meanest description. The only window
it had was on the skylight principle, a
hole through the apex oI the rooI serv
ing the combined purpose oI window
and lum chimney. Meeting with
rather indierent reception Irom these
mountaineers we understood we were
no altogether welcome guest."
Historian ]ames Allan wrote an
essay in 1927 that describes liIe on
Bennachie as technologically behind
the times. In the Leeside Field," he
writes that their houses were simi
lar to his Iather's, stone clay with a
thatched rooI oI broom and heather.
He continues to say that the land was
not drained with tiles, a more con
temporary practice, but that this was
done with ridges and Iurrows, which
decreased the land's productivity. Fur
thermore, he concludes that modern
reaping machines were impossible to
use on such an uneven surIace.
Historical sources about the
colony paint a picture oI a society liv
ing on the edge: at best as 'squatters'
oI 'limited intelligence' scratching
an existence Irom poorquality agri
cultural soils. At worst, as licentious
and morally reprehensible," says Oli
ver. Indeed, Littlejohn's third child,
Llisabeth Littlejohn, is mentioned
scornIully in the parish records on
numerous occasions Ior her extra
marital relationships and illegitimate
children. A typical record Irom the
Chapel oI Carioch KirkSession
reads, compeared Robert Minty,
Irom Laviot and Llisabeth Littlejohn
Irom Benochie...by which it appeared
they were guilty oI the sin oI Iornica
tion and their decisions oI absolution.
The Session aIter deliberation on this
case resolved to rebuke them and
dismiss them Irom censure which
was accordingly done." Such behavior
probably wasn't unusual, but it might
have been more remarked upon in
parish records because oI prejudices
about the colony people. The mortal
sins oI the colonists have long since
been washed Irom the soil, but a
little digging has provided a wealth oI
inIormation on other aspects oI their
lives, including the quality oI their
homes and farmsteads.
T
oday all that remains oI Shep
herd's Lodge are tumbledown
stone walls. It appears to have
been a long, thin building, consisting
oI a singleroom dwelling approxi
mately 30 by 15 Ieet, possibly parti
tioned by curtains and three adjoin
ing enclosures roughly 15 by 15 feet
each, most likely animal sheds and
a cart house. The Iallen stone sug
gests that the house had gable ends
and halIheight stone walls, probably
topped with turI and rooIed with
thatch. The house, barns, and wall
systems are well built and must have
taken a huge number oI person hours
to construct," says Aoilne Could, \ni
versity oI Aberdeen archaeologist and
site director at Shepherd's Lodge. A
cart track runs in Iront oI the house
and a patchwork oI small nelds cov
ers the slope below. A kitchen garden,
known locally as a kaleyard," wraps
around the back, resplendent today
with wildcherry trees, most likely
descendants oI ones planted by the
Littlejohns.
To the side of the house lies one
oI the best preserved, and most
important, elements oI Shepherd's
Lodgethe well. A careIully con
structed stone alcove, three Ieet high
and two Ieet across, is set into the
hillside, with an arched rooI to pro
tect the well's water Irom debris, as
well as agstones in Iront to prevent
the ground Irom becoming a muddy
mess. It is much more than just a
hole in the ground, and demonstrates
good knowledge oI hygiene and
The sturdy, protected well of Shepherds
Lodge reflects then-modern ideas of
hygiene and construction, ideas that
were not attributed to the Bennachie
settlers in their time.
This photomosaic depicts the layout of Shepherds
Lodge, the home from which Alexander Littlejohn
and his family were evicted in 1878.
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 60
improvementera ideassomething
that these so called 'mountain people'
were not supposed to know about,"
says Could.
ArtiIacts have been thin on the
ground, but the Iew that have been
Iound speak oI a Iamily that appreci
ated craItsmanship, despite economic
hardship. \e might expect them to
have the 'cheapest' oI everything, but
that isn't the case," says Could. The
archaeologists Iound Iragments oI
willowpattern pottery, transIerprinted
ware, and, perhaps most surprising oI
all, giltedged china. Although they
may not have been able to aord Iull
sets, they still had one or two pieces oI
Iancy tableware," says Could. Personal
nnds include a glazed clay marble,
which was probably a toy oI one oI the
Littlejohn children, and a broken clay
pipestem with tooth marks in the end.
\e can probably narrow it down to
just one or two Littlejohns who might
have smoked that pipe," says Could.
Lownhill Irom the house, a network oI
sturdy dry stone walls and deep ditches
demarcate the nelds and signiIy com
munal work. The sheer level oI work
involved in making these agricultural
improvements couldn't have been
carried out by the Shepherd's Lodge
residents aloneit must have been a
community eort," explains Could.
And details oI the walls, such as but
tress structures, careIully positioned so
that hurdles could be attached to create
sheep pens, reveal that the colonists
were able Iarmers.
Soil samples gathered Irom a
nearby farmstead in 2012 connrm that
they embraced thenmodern ideas
to maximize the productivity oI the
land. In an untended state, the slopes
oI Bennachie are not well suited Ior
Iarming: A thin layer oI topsoil above
compact glacial till prevents good
drainage. But on tended parts oI the
slope, the soil reveals the measures
the colonists took to improve their
nelds. \e can see that they removed
stones, constructed drainage ditches
and subterranean neld drains, plowed
in glacial till to improve soil depth
and drainage, and fertilized by adding
domestic waste," says Karen Milek,
geoarchaeologist at the \niversity oI
Aberdeen. They must have invested a
great deal oI time and labor to build up
their kaleyards and nelds in this way."
Lespite the Iundamental poverty
oI the land, the Bennachie colonists
appear to have, Ior a time, maintained
a reasonable living. However, things
went dramatically downhill during the
latter halI oI the nineteenth century.
One oI the triggers Ior the downturn
was a controversial appropriation oI
the common land by wealthy local
landowners in 1859, who wanted to
rid themselves of the troublesome
settlers, ensure their own claims to
the land, and start making money by
planting trees Ior lumber. Suddenly
all the colonists became tenants and
either had to pay rent or be Iorced
o," explains Oliver. OIten landlords
wasted no time making the land
prontable. As soon as people were
evicted, the landowners started to
plant trees." But occasionally a newly
empty croIt was rented again, as in
the case oI Hillside, home oI either
the Christies or Coopers, and one oI
the best plots on the hill.
I
n 1860, new paying tenants moved
into Hillside]ohn McLon
ald and his daughter Margaret,
originally Irom Sutherland in the Iar
north. They were some oI the last
settlers to arrive at the colony, and
most likely they would have heard
about the colony by word oI mouth,"
says Oliver. Lxcavations at Hillside in
2013 revealed that the McLonalds
may have been a cut above the other
colonists. Inside the house, which
measures 35 by 15 feet, Oliver and
his colleagues uncovered a cobbled
oor and a wellpreserved hearth sur
rounded by agstones. By contrast,
Shepherd's Lodge had a beatenearth
oor and only a small nreplace in a
niche in the wall. Meanwhile, shards oI
thin Victorian glass were Iound in two
places at Hillside, suggesting the croIt
had multiple windowsa luxury. And
at the back oI the croIt it seems that
the McLonalds constructed a rather
sophisticated dump.
A shallow dishshaped area, 20
Ieet in diameter, is covered in tightly
packed cobbles. Stones run around
the outside and at one side there is a
little ramp. A lot oI eort must have
gone into making this beautiful mid
den, and someone was very proud
oI their handiwork," says Oliver.
Analysis of the midden is ongoing,
but the assumption is that it was used
as a place to heap animal manure
and household waste to create Iertil
izer. The Iact that the midden is at
the back oI the house is very much
FRQWLQXHG RQ SDJH 64
The ruins of Hillside, another Bennachie dwelling, reveal a home that was among
the most sophisticated in the township.
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Photo Credits
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Courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority, Photo:
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Nacional de Antropologa e Historia, Programa
de Arqueologa Urbana.; 32Roger Atwood
(2); 33Roger Atwood, Courtesy Salvador
Guilliem Arroyo, Director Proyecto Tlatelolco;
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(2); 42Marco Merola (all); 43Marco Merola
(all); 44-45Copyright Bettman/Corbis, Courtesy
Landesdenkmalamt Berlin, Photographer: Jan
Trenner; 46 Courtesy Landesdenkmalamt
Berlin, Photographer: Jessica Meyer; 47Courtesy
Landesdenkmalamt Berlin, Photographer: Jan
Trenner, Courtesy Landesdenkmalamt Berlin,
Photographer: Jessica Meyer; 48Courtesy
Landesdenkmalamt Berlin, Photographer: Jessica
Meyer (3); 49Courtesy Jennifer Wegner, Penn
Museum; 50Josef Wegner, Penn Museum,
Jennifer Wegner, Penn Museum, De Agostini
Picture Library/The Bridgeman Art Library; 52
Josef Wegner, Penn Museum (2); 55Photo: Jeff
Oliver, University of Aberdeen; 56Photo: Leaf
Gould,University of Aberdeen, Photo: Jeff Oliver,
University of Aberdeen (3); 58Courtesy Oskar
Sveinbjarnarson, Photo: Jeff Oliver, University of
Aberdeen; 60Photo: Jeff Oliver, University of
Aberdeen; 64Photo: Jeff Oliver, University of
Aberdeen; 68Courtesy L.C. Tiera
www.archaeology.org 63
The latest in the series of
ARCHAEOLOGYS
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Visit www.archaeology.org/sacredplaces
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Some of the most moving and
impressive places ever created by
humans were built because people
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larger than themselves. This Special
Collectors Edition of ARCHAEOLOGY,
takes readers on an image-lled
journey to the globes most storied
ancient ritual sites.
From Perus Machu Picchu, which
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to the Roman Forum, which blended
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get an intimate look at the spiri-
tual practices of the worlds great
cultures. From the Giant Buddha of
Leshan in China, to Turkeys stunning
Byzantine cathedral, Hagia Sophia,
we learn that people located ritual
centers in places in the landscape
they clearly deemed sacred.
Spanning nearly 5,000 years of
human worship and devotion,
SACRED PLACES is a special issue
you simply mustnt miss!
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014 64
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FRQWLQXHG IURP SDJH 60
Textile and metal fragments at Hillside
may be the remains of a trunk left
behind during one of the settlements
forced evictions.
EXCAVATE, EDUCATE, ADVOCATE www.archaeological.org
AIA Announces Winners of 2014 Cotsen Excavation Grants
65
W
iiii.x I.ixsox, Associate
Curator of Eurasian Anthro-
pology at the Field Museum
of Natural Iistory in Chicago, and
Darian Marie Totten, Assistant Irofes-
sor in the Department of Classics at
Davidson College in Davidson, North
Carolina, are the winners of the 2014
Cotsen Excavation Grants. Each will
receive an award of $25,000 to support
their excavations and research.
Iarkinson was awarded the Cotsen
Grant for mid-career project direc-
tors to support the nal season of a
multiyear project in Diros Bay on the
Mani Ieninsula of the southern Greek
mainland. Te 2014 eld season will
focus on the Neolithic settlement of
Ksagounaki Iromontory, located just
outside the entrance to Alepotrypa
Cave. Together, Ksagounaki and Ale-
potrypa formed the largest agricultural
settlement in the region at the end of
the Neolithic Ieriod. Iarkinson and
his colleagues Anastasia Iapathana-
siou (Ephoreia of Ialeoanthropology
and Speleology for Southern Greece),
Michael Galaty (Mississippi State Uni-
versity), and Giorgos Iapathanasso-
poulos (Greek Ministry of Culture,
retired) are exploring how early agri-
cultural villages such as Ksagounaki
grew and expanded in the Neolithic.
Understanding the dynamics of village
organization in southern Greece will
enable them to better understand the
cultural background of the important
political and economic transformations
that occurred during the subsequent
Bronze Age, which eventually paved
the way for the emergence of the Myce-
naean states.
Te grant for rst-time project direc-
tors was awarded to Darian Marie Tot-
ten for the Salapia Exploration Iroject.
Totten and her colleagues Roberto
Goredo and Giovanni de Venuto of
the University of Foggia will examine
the complex environmental and human
history of the coastal lagoon of Lago
di Salpi, on the Adriatic coast of Italy.
Vhile the precarious and changeable
coastal landscape posed challenges to
habitation during the Roman, Late
Antique, and Medieval periods, it also
oered benets, such as a natural har-
bor and productive salt pans. Tottens
research program includes two excava-
tions, one at Salapia and the other at San
Vito, and a rigorous geomorphological
study of the lagoon environment. Te
excavation at Salapia, an ancient urban
center and port, will oer insights into
the inner workings of a Mediterranean
trading center, while work at San Vito,
a coastal villa on the southeastern side
of the lagoon, will oer a rural counter-
point to Salapia.
Cotsen Grants are made possible
through the generous support of
Lloyd E. Cotsen, former AIA Board
Member and chairman of the Cotsen
Foundation for the ART of TEACI-
ING and the Cotsen Foundation for
Academic Research. Two grants of
$25,000 each are available annually,
with one providing seed money to an
archaeologist organizing his or her rst
excavation, and the other assisting a
mid-career archaeologist moving for-
ward with an excavation in progress.
Te next deadline to apply for the Cot-
sen Excavation Grants is November 1,
2014. To read more about the Cotsen
Excavation Grant and other AIA
grants and fellowships, please visit
www.archaeological.org/grants.
(Left to right) Parkinson and Galaty, codirectors of the
project in Diros Bay, Greece; a view of the promontory that
will be the focus of the 2014 season in Diros Bay; Totten,
codirector of the Salapia Exploration Project
66
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A
IA L S, spread
across the United States, Can-
ada, and Europe, oer inter-
esting, informative, and innovative
archaeological programming to their
communities. Each year, through the
Societies eorts, thousands of people
have opportunities to experience
archaeology rsthand right in their
own backyards. Since 1997, the AIA
has supported the programs oered
by Local Societies through the Soci-
ety Outreach Grant Program. To
date the AIA has awarded almost
$120,000 to more than 80 programs.
Winners in the last round of grants
(fall 2013) were:
AIA Akron-Kent Local Society
for A Taste of Ancient Greece and
Rome: A symposium in the classi-
cal sense, the program included a
banquet, entertainment, and short
lectures. By hosting and publiciz-
ing events like these, the Society
maximizes its exposure to the wider
community in Akron, Kent, and
neighboring areas and promotes
membership in the AIA while pro-
viding participants with an enjoy-
able and entertaining educational
experience.
AIA Central Arizona Local Soci-
ety for Apples + Archaeology: Tis
innovative and dynamic public out-
reach program, now in its fth year,
was created to connect faculty mem-
bers from local colleges and uni-
versities with K12 educators and
students in the metropolitan Phoenix
area. Faculty members present lec-
tures and creative projects to diverse
groups of students across the Valley
of the Sun.
AIA Houston Local Society for
an Educational Residency on Texas
Archaeology: Te Local Society part-
nered with educators and archaeolo-
gists from the Shumla Archeological
Research & Education Center to pres-
ent a week of events focused on the
history of Paleolithic Texas at several
local elementary and middle schools.
AIA Milwaukee Local Society for
its Fifth Annual Milwaukee Archaeol-
ogy Fair: Te two-day fair included
two dozen presentations and displays
featuring archaeology and culture from
Wisconsin and around the world.
Programs included ancient games,
a name that myth challenge, and
opportunities to learn about ota-
tion, Inca mummies, and writing
systems. Also on hand in full regalia
were reenactors representing Roman
legionaries, Celtic warriors, Greek
hoplites, and Renaissance knights.
AIA Rochester Local Society for
Classroom Visit with Alex the Archae-
ologist: As a pre-visit supplement
to Passport to the Past, the most
popular school tour oered at the
Memorial Art Gallery, area teachers
could invite Alex the Archaeologist
to visit their classroom. Alex present-
ed an interactive, illustrated talk on
the basics of archaeology, conducted
a sample excavation, and provided an
object-based hands-on activity for
the students.
AIA Stanford Local Society for
Archaeology MemoryHeritage Pres-
ervation: In an eort to preserve the
history of archaeology, the program
invited archaeologists to answer a
set of questions and relate personal
experiences, anecdotes from the eld,
recollections of mentors and archae-
ologists from previous generations,
and advice for future generations.
AIA Staten Island Local Society
for Staten Island Archaeology Fair: A
joint eort between the Society and
Wagner College, the fair featured
informative, fun, and interactive pro-
grams presented by archaeologists,
historians, museum educators, and
interpreters from organizations in the
greater New York City area.
AIA Toronto Local Society for
Archaeology Student Publication Work-
shop: Students presenting papers at
the workshop had the opportunity to
practice their presentation skills, see
their work in a professional context,
and receive valuable critiques and
advice in a supportive setting that
promoted dialogue and interaction.
To learn more about these and other
Local Society programs and the grant
program, please visit archaeological.org/
societies.
Society Outreach Grant Winners
Each year AIA Local Societies offer a variety of pro-
grams including (top to bottom) an Archaeology Fair
in Houston, Ancient Toolmaking in Western Illinois,
A Day in the Field in Western Massachusetts, and
Classics Day in Lubbock.
call: 8007486262 web site: www.aiatours.org email: aia@studytours.org
IRAN GYPT JUNI SI A ] ORDAN SCOTL AND IREL AND
I TALY IRANCE SPAI N CROATI A CYPRUS GREECE
JURKEY MEXI CO GUATEMAL A CUBA IERU o MORE
Journey Down the Ganges:
Indias Holiest River
February 10 - 23, 2015
aboard an elegant riverboat
with 28 staterooms
ARTIFACT
68 ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2014
T
here are moments in history when major cultural shifts occur, and these
are often accompanied by dramatic changes in the way artists choose to
depict humans. One such moment occurred in the early Neolithic period. At
the site of Tell Qarassa, in what is now Syria, archaeologists have found an
extraordinary example of artistic expression created at the time when the regions inhabitants
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Archaeological Tours
led by noted scholars
Invites You to Journey Back in Time
Journey back in time with us. Weve been taking curious travelers on fascinating historical study tours for the
past 39 years. Each tour is led by a noted scholar whose knowledge and enthusiasm brings history to life and adds
a memorable perspective to your journey. Every one of our 37 tours features superb itineraries, unsurpassed service and
our time-tested commitment to excellence. No wonder so many of our clients choose to travel with us again and again.
For more information, please visit www.archaeologicaltrs.com, e-mail archtours@aol.com, call 212-986-3054,
toll-free 866-740-5130. Or write to Archaeological Tours, 271 Madison Avenue, Suite 904, New York, NY 10016.
And see history our way.
2014-2015 tours: Gujarat India Ireland Northern Chile & Easter Island Israel Turkey Peru Sicily & Southern Italy
Central Asia Ghana, Togo & Benin North India Korea Maya Mexico Japan Great Museums: Paris ...and more
Caves and Castles (14 days)
Explore the Paleolithic cave art of northern
Spain and southwestern France with Prof.
Roy Larick, Cleveland State U. Highlights
include Atapuerca, the caves of Tito Bustillo,
El Castillo, Gargas, Altamira II, Le Mas
dAzil, Lascaux II, Pech Merle and Bilbaos
Guggenheim Museum. During our five-day
stay in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac we will visit the
Dordogne Valleys castles and medieval
villages. By good fortune, these sites are
found in an area of fabulous food and wine.
Southern India (23 Days)
Visit eight UNESCO World
Heritage Sites including the
rock-cut cave temples at Ellora
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Vijayanagara ruins at Hampi with Prof.
Kathleen Cummings, U. of Alabama. We
also see the temples and palaces of Trichy,
Madurai and Mysore. After viewing the
wildlife at Periyar Lake, we will cruise
the backwaters of Kerala to Cochin. We
will attend classical dance performances,
explore bazaars and sample exotic foods.
Sri Lanka (17 days)
Travel this mystical Buddhist kingdom
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ies. Colorful
Sri Lankan culture
and history.
Khmer Kingdoms (23 days)
Myanmar, Thailand, Laos &
Cambodia
Study the history and beauty of these four
countries with Prof. Richard Cooler,
Northern Illinois U. Beginning in Myanmar,
visits include the ancient royal cities,
pagodas and golden temples in Yangon,
Mandalay and Pagan. We continue to
remote northeastern Thailand and Laoss
magnificent 7th-century Khmer temples
at Wat Phou. The tour ends in Cambodia,
where we will visit its capital and spend
five days at Angkor Wat. Our tour will be
enhanced by traditional music and dance
performances.
Northern Chile & Easter Island
(15 days)
plus an Optional 5-day Patagonia
Extension
Discover the enigmatic giant statues on
Easter Island and the mysterious geoglyphs
of northern Chile with Dr. Jo Anne Van
Tilburg, U. of California and Prof. Calogero
Santoro, U. of Trapac. This unusual tour
will take us to pre-Inca fortresses, fine
museums and the lovely colonial city of
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