Entering the ruins was a disappointment. If the Mosquitia jungle were superimposed on Times Square, the foliage would be so thick that you would have no inkling you were in the midst of a city. Even standing at the base of an earthen pyramid in the central plaza of T1, surrounded by earthworks, terracing, and mounds, I had not the slightest idea that this was the main public space of what had once been a thriving city of thousands. Only through technology did we know our location in the ruins. — the New Yorker
Douglas Preston discusses exploring an ancient city left untouched in the jungles of Honduras and rediscovered with LIDAR technology. The city was abandoned around 1500, devastated not by direct contact with Europeans but rather with the diseases they carried:This inferno of contagion destroyed...
Roughly one thousand years ago, a civilization in what is now known as the Brailizan Amazon constructed what appears to be an astronomical observation structure that, thanks to its inadvertent discovery by a tree-razing cattle ranch foreman in the 1990s, has been dubbed the area's "Stonehenge."...
Each generation likes to think it is unique, or at least living on the cutting-edge; but archaeologists have long known that history has a way of repeating itself. Although North America is often considered to be part of the "New World," inhabitations on this continent date back millennia. In this...
ISIS forces have retaken the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria, according to Syrian government media, the ISIS media wing and a human rights monitor. [...]
ISIS first seized control of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in May 2015. Syrian government forces recaptured it in March this year. [...]
ISIS demolished many of the city's ancient treasures, including the 1,800-year-old Arch of Triumph and the nearly 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin, as well as the Temple of Bel. — CNN
Palmyra previously in the Archinect news:Palmyra after ISIS: a first look at the level of destructionISIS militants have reportedly blown up Palmyra's Arch of TriumphISIS attacks second ancient Palmyra temple this monthISIS blows up 2,000-year-old Baalshamin temple in PalmyraISIS beheads leading...
Once, twice, three times a pyramid: thanks to non-invasive scanning, archaeologists have determined that "El Castilo," also known as the Kukulkan pyramid in Chichen Itza, has two other pyramids inside of it. As The Guardian explains:"A 10-metre-tall pyramid was found within another 20-metre...
One of the tallest surviving structures from the ancient world has been totally destroyed by Isil extremists at Nimrud, the former capital of Assyria, which was captured by Iraqi government forces on 13 November. The ziggurat, which was nearly 2,900 years old, was obliterated. Only the largest Egyptian pyramids are higher than Middle Eastern ziggurats and central American step pyramids.
[...] incidents represent “the worst damage that Isil has inflicted on Iraqi archaeology”. — theartnewspaper.com
An older satellite photo from August 31, 2016 shows the Ziggurat and Temple of Ishtar still intact. Image via ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives Facebook page.Related stories in the Archinect news:Destruction of Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery by ISIS militants went unreported for...
In ‘A World of Fragile Parts’, La Biennale di Venezia and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) explore the threats facing the preservation of global heritage sites and how the production of copies can aid in the preservation of cultural artifacts.
Ecological uncertainty, violent attacks, and the increasing demands of tourism are just a few of the factors putting global heritage sites and cultural artifacts at risk of destruction and loss. — #NEWPALMYRA
For the Venice Biennale exhibit "A World of Fragile Parts," the digital archaeology project #NEWPALMYRA made a chrome version of a capital from the recently-destroyed city of Palmyra. Now, anyone can download the 3D model and print it, use it in a model of their own, or simply spin it...
Archaeologists in Cambodia have found multiple, previously undocumented medieval cities not far from the ancient temple city of Angkor Wat...Some experts believe that the recently analysed data – captured in 2015 during the most extensive airborne study ever undertaken by an archaeological project, covering 734 sq miles (1,901 sq km) – shows that the colossal, densely populated cities would have constituted the largest empire on earth at the time of its peak in the 12th century. — The Guardian
“That survey uncovered an array of discoveries, including elaborate water systems that were built hundreds of years before historians believed the technology existed. The findings are expected to challenge theories on how the Khmer empire developed, dominated the region, and declined around the...
[...] the stalagmite rings were older than any known cave painting. It also meant that they couldn’t have been the work of Homo sapiens. Their builders must have been the only early humans in the south of France at the time: Neanderthals.
The discovery suggested that Neanderthals were more sophisticated than anyone had given them credit for. They wielded fire, ventured deep underground, and shaped the subterranean rock into complex constructions. — theatlantic.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:The Age of the Anthropocene: a change as big as "the end of the last ice age"A Man Renovating His Home Discovered A Tunnel... To A Massive Underground CityMassive tomb complex unearthed in Beijing suburb
Concern is growing over the threat to the Roman antiquities of Sabratha after Isil supporters temporarily occupied the Libyan town. [...]
After the recent destruction of antiquities by Isil extremists in Iraq (Mosul, Nineveh, Nimrud and Hatra) and Syria (Palmyra), there is great concern about Libya. Sabratha, a Unesco World Heritage Site, was a Phoenician trading centre in the fifth-century BC and later became an important Roman port. — theartnewspaper.com
Previously in the Archinect news:The new Monument Men: with 3D cameras and GPS data against cultural annihilation in Syria and beyondISIS militants have reportedly blown up Palmyra's Arch of TriumphISIS blows up 2,000-year-old Baalshamin temple in PalmyraISIS beheads leading archaeologist in Palmyra
The [British] museum announced a six-month show that will tell the remarkable story of two lost cities at the mouth of the Nile – Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus – which by the 8th-century AD had been swallowed completely by the sea. [...]
the loans will range from the enormous, a 5.4-metre-high granite statue of the Nile flood god Hapi, to the domestic. [...]
It represents Egypt’s first major loan of antiquities since the country’s revolution in 2011... — theguardian.com
That’s why a team from the Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA) is turning to the next best option—using technology to protect cultural heritage.
Founded in 2012 by Roger Michel, IDA is a joint effort between Harvard University and Oxford University to create an open-source database of high-resolution images and three-dimensional graphics of things like paper and papyrus documents, epigraphs and small artifacts.
Work on what IDA has named the Million Image Database began in early 2015. — newsweek.com
The photo shows the Baal Shamin temple prior to its destruction. Volunteers of the Institute for Digital Archaeology were able to digitally archive the 2,000-year-old structure for the Million Image Database project just in time before ISIS fighters seized control of Palmyra's historic...
Islamic State militants in northern Syria have blown up another monument in the ancient city of Palmyra, officials and local sources say.
The Arch of Triumph was "pulverised" by the militants who control the city, a Palmyra activist told AFP news agency.
It is thought to have been built about 2,000 years ago.
IS fighters have already destroyed two ancient temples at the site, described by Unesco as one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. — bbc.com
Previously in the Archinect news:ISIS attacks second ancient Palmyra temple this monthISIS blows up 2,000-year-old Baalshamin temple in PalmyraISIS beheads leading archaeologist in PalmyraISIL destroys ancient mausoleums in historic Palmyra
Islamic State has destroyed part of another ancient temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra, according to activists on social media and a group monitoring the conflict, this time targeting the Temple of Bel. [...]
It is the second temple that Islamic State has attacked in Palmyra this month. On 25 August, the group detonated explosives in the ancient Baal Shamin temple, an act that the cultural agency Unesco has called a war crime aimed at wiping out a symbol of Syria’s diverse cultural heritage. — theguardian.com
Islamic State blew up the ancient temple of Baal Shamin in the Unesco-listed Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s antiquities chief has said. [...]
Baal Shamin was built in 17AD and it was expanded under the reign of Roman emperor Hadrian in 130AD. Known as the Pearl of the Desert, Palmyra, which means City of Palms, is a well-preserved oasis 130 miles north-east of Damascus. — theguardian.com
Reports of the destruction of the Unesco-listed Baalshamin temple surfaced only days after the news broke that ISIS militants had beheaded Khaled Al-Asaad, a leading Syrian archaeologist and unrivaled Palmyra expert.Meanwhile destruction in the name of so called "cultural cleansing" is also...
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