Decorated Stone Age Clothing Studied

Archaeology News - March 9, 2017

PESSAC, FRANCE—The International Business Times reports that Aurélie Zemour of Bordeaux Montaigne University and her colleagues examined traces of the 7,000-year-old clothing of a man whose burial was unearthed in southern France in the 1970s. Both ends of the skeletal remains had been damaged by disturbance in the modern and medieval eras. “But the materials worn by the dead here are obvious and ornaments are visible,” Zemour said. “The burial is exceptional.” The cloth of the man’s jacket or tunic did not survive, but the researchers were able to see that it had been embroidered with 158 Columbella rustica shells. The shells had been arranged in patterns, with the conical shells either pointed all up, pointed all down, or up and down in alternating pairs. Sixteen canine teeth from red deer had also been sewn to the garment at chest level. Chemical analysis of the teeth indicates they may have been painted red. For more, go to “World's Oldest Pants.”

Categories: Blog

Search for Maritime Silk Road’s Starting Point Continues

Archaeology News - March 9, 2017

HEBEI PROVINCE, CHINA—Xinhua reports that archaeologists with the State Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection Center and Huanghua City Museum will continue to look for evidence that the starting point of the ancient maritime Silk Road was located in what is now northern China’s port city of Huanghua. “The ongoing excavation is to determine the functions of the port ruins’ different zones,” explained Lei Jianhong of the Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics. Previous excavations near the ruins of the ancient town of Haifeng have uncovered traces of an ancient port, including a river, a layer of coal ash, roads, and trampled earth. Archaeologists have also recovered large amounts of different styles of porcelain from north and south China, suggesting that Haifeng had been a center for the porcelain trade as early as the Jin Dynasty (A.D. 1115–1234). For more, go to “Letter from China: Tomb Raider Chronicles.”

Categories: Blog

Toppled Statues Discovered at Luxor Temple

Archaeology News - March 9, 2017

LUXOR, EGYPT—Ahram Online reports that a black granite statue of Amenhotep III has been unearthed at the pharaoh's temple, which is located on Luxor’s West Bank. “It is a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian sculpture: extremely well carved and perfectly polished,” said Hourig Sourouzian, director of the Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project. The statue depicts the king as a young man and is thought to have been commissioned early in his reign. Once it has been conserved, that statue and a similar one discovered in 2009 will be returned to the temple site for display. The excavation team has also recovered 66 parts of statues representing the powerful lion-headed goddess Sekhmet. All of the sculptures, which had been toppled by an earthquake, were uncovered while the researchers were looking for the remains of a wall that separated the temple’s Peristyle Court and Hypostyle Hall. For more on archaeology of Egypt, go to “Royal Gams.”

Categories: Blog

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