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TOPIC: Ancient Settlements


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Posts: 131433
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Tulor
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Deep within the wind-swept Atacama desert in northern Chile, the remnants of a forgotten civilisation rise from the sand.
At first the ruins are barely visible, just small ridges that cast short shadows. But where the sand has been stripped away, circular clay structures can be clearly seen.
These are the 3,000-year-old remains of Tulor, one of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic villages in South America.
The ruins consist of low two-room houses, a cemetery and stables. They were inhabited as far back as 800 BC, more than 2,000 years before the European conquest of the continent and many centuries before the Incas and the Aztecs built their empires in Peru and Mexico.
Archaeologists say Tulor's inhabitants raised cattle, grew maize by the side of a river and had trading relationships with communities as far away as present-day Ecuador and Brazil.
But a natural climate change around 300 AD caused the river dried up and within a few hundred years, the village was abandoned.
Once deserted, the sand moved in. It covered the village in dunes, protecting it for nearly three millennia until it was discovered and partially unearthed in 1958.

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Latitude: 22°58'5.85"S Longitude: 68°14'32.94"W


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RE: Ancient Settlements
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Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 120,000-year-old Stone Age hunting camp in a coal mine in Germany. It is a find of great European importance, researchers say.
Open-cast coal mines may get a bad press, but in Germany they're still big business -- the country is the world's largest producer of lignite, or brown coal. Now another advantage of open-cast mines has been discovered -- they can conceal a rich seam of archaeological sites.
Archaeologists have found the remains of a 120,000-year-old Stone Age hunting camp in an open-cast lignite mine near Inden in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

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Zazacatla
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A 2,500-year-old city influenced by the Olmecs, often referred to as the "mother culture" of Mesoamerica, has been discovered hundreds of miles away from the Olmecs' Gulf coast territory, archaeologists said.
The remains of Zazacatla are providing insight into the early arrival of advanced civilizations in central Mexico, while also providing lessons about the risks to ruins posed by modern development that now cover much of the ancient city.
Archaeologist Giselle Canto said Wednesday that two statues and architectural details at the site, 25 miles south of Mexico City, indicate that the inhabitants of Zazacatla adopted Olmec styles when they changed from a simple, egalitarian society to a more complex, hierarchical one.
Zazacatla covered less than one square mile between 800 B.C. and 500 B.C. But much of it has been covered by housing and commercial development extending from Cuernavaca, a city popular with tourists just seven miles north.
Since excavation of Zazacatla began last year, archaeologists have unearthed six buildings, and two sculptures of what appear to be Olmec-style priests. The sculptures appear to have headdresses portraying the jaguar, which the Olmecs revered, and other symbols of status and authority.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Tell Hamoukar
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Archaeologists tend to uncover puzzling questions along with ancient artefacts, and so it was when a team from the University of Chicago discovered a long-vanished city, virtually 6,000 years old, in eastern Syria.
The problem was the city wasn't where it should have been.

"A hundred years of scholarship taught that urban life began further south, in Mesopotamia" - Clemens Reichel of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, referring to the ancient name for Iraq.

And unlike the cities in that area, Hamoukar isn't on a waterway.
Now Reichel thinks he's found a critical piece of the puzzle: obsidian. Though thousands of years old, the piece of shiny volcanic rock he held up in his office earlier this month still held an edge that felt sharp enough to shave with.

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Latitude: 36°48'39.52"N Longitude: 41°57'16.84"E

Hamoukar

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Posts: 131433
Date:
Tell Aswad
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Archaeologists said Sunday they had uncovered decorated human skulls dating back as long as 9,500 years ago from a burial site near the Syrian capital Damascus.

"The human skulls date back between 9,500 and 9,000 years ago, (on which) lifelike faces were modelled with clay earth ... then coloured to accentuate the features" - Danielle Stordeur, head of the joint French-Syrian archaeological mission behind the discovery.

Located at a burial site near a prehistoric village, the five skulls were found earlier this month in a pit resting against one another, underneath the remains of an infant.
The French archaeologist described as “extraordinary” the find at the Neolithic site of Tell Aswad, at Jaidet Al Khass village, 35 kilometres from Damascus.

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Latitude: 33.42749 Longitude: 36.56103

Tell Aswad lies on a tributary of the Balikh River about 22 kilometres south of Tell Abyad in the Syrian Jazirah. The site is roughly oval in shape with two high points at either end. It was discovered by Mallowan who excavated on the higher summit in 1938. He found traces of Halaf Culture occupation but surmised that much of the mound consisted of Neolithic remains

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Posts: 131433
Date:
Ancient Settlements
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Australian researchers studying declassified spy satellite images have found widespread remains of ancient human settlements dating back 130,000 years in Syria.
The photographs were taken by United States military surveillance satellites operating under the CIA and defence-led Corona program in the late 1960s.

The team of researchers travelled to the Euphrates River Valley in April and June and searched sites they had painstakingly identified using the images, which were only declassified in the late 1990s.
Group leader Mandy Mottram, a PhD student at the Australian National University's School of Archaeology and Anthropology, said the evidence of human life found in the area included a hilltop Byzantine basilica, a 24 hectare fortified town dating to the Early Bronze Age, Early Islamic pottery factories and a hilltop complex of megalithic tombs.
Ms Mottram said the researchers' trained eyes could spot small changes in the landscape, such as a different soil colour, that could indicate a former human settlement.
The images are particularly valuable because they show the landscape prior to its present rapid agricultural development.

"It's the guide for us to go out and have a look in that specific area. It's been actually really brilliantly helpful for us. We've had a really, really high strike rate, I would say about 95 per cent" - Ms Mandy Mottram.

Some of the artefacts found could dramatically change the way historians think of the area's early inhabitants.
For example, contrary to a common belief that rural civilisations were experiencing economic and social decline from the mid-6th century, the team found evidence of widespread prosperity including many settlements and large quantities of pottery.
The researchers hope to establish the first complete record of human occupation in the area, beginning with the arrival from Africa of early human groups up to one million years ago.
They have already found tools from the Middle Palaeolithic period that are between 130,000 and 40,000 years old, and could have been made by either Neanderthals or early modern humans, as well as a few Acheulian tools that could date back several hundred thousand years.
The group was still analysing images of the items and structures they found and hoped to return to Syria next April if they secured funding.

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