Thursday, December 4, 2014

(Related Update): Top archaeology finds of 2013

Related update:  Well, the DNA testing is in, and it turns out that the bones discovered beneath a parking lot in England are indeed those of King Richard III.  From a Fox News story:
Scientists say there is "overwhelming evidence" that a skeleton found under a parking lot is that of England's King Richard III, but their DNA testing also has raised questions about the nobility of some of his royal successors.
The bones of the 15th-century king were dug up in the city of Leicester in 2012, and experts have published initial data suggesting they belong to Richard, including an analysis of his curved spine and the injuries that killed him.  Richard was the last English monarch to die on a battlefield, in 1485.
There's some interesting commentary about the failure of the DNA testing to match other ancestors of Richard, thus raising some intriguing possibilities.  Click here to read the story.

Original post 12/15/13:  The more my knowledge of history grows, the more interested I become in the ability of archaeology to shed light on humanity's past.  A great example of this can be found in the Archaeological Institute of America's magazine Archaeology entitled, "Top 10 Discoveries of 2013".  Here's the opening two paragraphs as an enticement:
The most celebrated archaeology story in recent memory is the 2013 confirmation that bones thought to belong to King Richard III, found beneath a parking lot in Leicester, were, in fact, those of the infamous English monarch. Naturally, it leads our Top 10 Discoveries of 2013.

But a discovery needn’t involve a historical figure whose life was dramatized by no less a personage than Shakespeare in order to make the cut. In archaeological hot spots such as Egypt and Rome, the news was every bit as exciting. On the coast of the Red Sea, archaeologists uncovered Egpyt’s oldest port. And just 20 miles outside Rome, the discovery of that city’s first monumental architecture—the iconic building style so tightly associated with the ancient Romans—was announced.
Each of the 10 discoveries is fascinating and worth the time!  Check them out here.