EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Science
ARCHAEOLOGY

ARCHAEOLOGY September - October 2016

ARCHAEOLOGY magazine offers readers incisive reporting, vivid storytelling, compelling photography – and the latest news from around the globe – all devoted to exploring the world’s ancient past. Whether reporting from a dive on an Arctic shipwreck, trekking through Afghanistan, or digging just beneath Beirut, ARCHAEOLOGY’s editors and writers bring readers the science, and the magic, of archaeological discovery.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Archaeological Institute of America
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
roman holiday

This issue’s feature, “Romans on the Bay of Naples” (page 26), provides us not only with our cover, but offers more wonderful photos and engaging text by ArchAeology’s Naples correspondent, Marco Merola, about a sumptuous seaside villa on the Amalfi Coast. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 buried a number of these villas, including this one and its extraordinary frescoes, which are now being restored some 30 feet below the town of Positano. As the Games of the XXXI Olympiad come to a close, you’ll be ready for “A New View of the Birthplace of the Olympics” (page 50), by executive editor Jarrett A. Lobell. Here, Lobell covers the innovative work of archaeologist Phil Sapirstein at the Temple of Hera at Olympia. Few of the building’s columns, erected around…

2 min.
celebrations

This year we celebrate two important anniversaries in American archaeology: the centenary of the founding of the National Park Service, and the half-century of heritage conservation that has followed the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. Both represent key efforts to preserve the best of the past for future generations. Everyone knows that the National Park Service is the custodian of iconic wild places: Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and other awe-inspiring natural wonders. Fewer people are aware that the Park Service also cares for 40 major archaeological sites. Most of these are classified as national monuments. One of the first such sites to be preserved was Casa Grande Ruins in Arizona. Others include Bandelier and Aztec Ruins in New Mexico. Mesa Verde is one of the few archaeological sites designated…

3 min.
letters

Suggestions for the Scythians I was so pleased to receive my July/August 2016 issue today with the article on the most recent dig of Scythian artifacts (“Rites of the Scythians”). I noticed in looking at the large vessel with the griffins attacking the stag that the garland trim around the top edge resembles mistletoe, Viscum album abietis or possibly album, which has leaves in opposite pairs, leathery textured, with white berries. What gives it away is the tied bow on the stem. The tree is bare. It is winter. Mistletoe had a sacred significance to the pagan world (which carried over into Christianity and Christmas traditions). I believe the picture symbolizes the dying of the old year and/or the dying of the sun. Michel Bernstein Los Angeles, CA ARCHAEOLOGY welcomes mail from readers.…

3 min.
piecing together a plan of ancient rome

For the past several hundred years, historians and archaeologists have been doggedly working to solve one of the world’s largest jigsaw puzzles: the Forma Urbis Romae. Sometimes known as the Severan Marble Plan, the Forma was an enormous marble map of ancient Rome created between the years A.D. 203 and 211. Beginning in the fifth century, as the map fell into disuse, it was broken up into thousands of pieces, which were subsequently scattered throughout the city. Scholars have been retrieving the map’s fragments from locations around Rome and attempting to determine their original positions for the past 500 years. Reassembling the map is slow, painstaking work, further complicated by the fact that thousands of fragments are still missing. However, authorities from the Capitoline and Vatican museums in Rome recently…

2 min.
off the grid

In 1620, Spanish Franciscan missionaries arrived in what is now known as the Salinas area of New Mexico, southeast of Albuquerque, then a Native American community and trading hub populated by the Tompiro and Tiwa Pueblo Indians. It is easy to see why the site appealed to the Spanish—both missionaries and traders—as the trade conducted there provided access to the Plains peoples, such as Apaches, and valuable bison hides. Spanish dreams of wealth in Salinas never materialized, and in the face of tribal conflict, drought, and famine, the pueblo and missions were abandoned in the 1670s. The spectacular ruins that remain today are an interesting combination of traditional Native American pueblos and Spanish mission architecture. According to Jake Ivey, a historian of Spanish architecture and former National Park Service archaeologist,…

1 min.
gimme middle paleolithic shelter

In 1990, cavers in southwestern France reopened a cave that had long ago been closed off by a landslide. More than 350 yards inside the feature, which they named Bruniquel, they found strange constructions made from broken stalagmites. A new study of these structures shows they were built 176,000 years ago, a time when Neanderthals were the only hominins living in Europe. That places these among the oldest structures made by humans anywhere in the world, and the only known surviving ones made by Neanderthals. In the cave, stalagmite fragments were arranged into six structures, some vaguely oval-shaped and others more like free-standing walls. Each of them had been charred by fire. This is also the first evidence of Neanderthals living (or at least spending a lot of time) deep…