Posts Tagged ‘Archaeology’

The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the oldest narrative works known to man, dating back to as early as 2100BC and the Third Dynasty of Ur, in Mesopotamia.  It tells the story of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu, who became his friend.

The Epic was rediscovered in 1853, in he palace library of Ashurbanipal, a 7th century BC king of Assyria, though there are still missing fragments of the tale.

The recent invasion of Iraq, and the looting that followed, saw a cuneiform clay tablet turn up for sale at the Sulaymaniah Museum in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where it was purchased for $800.  The tablet was a fragment of Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh and contained 20 lines never seen before of the Epic.

It is cool to think that even after all this time we can discover new storied from the past and that there might be more out there, hidden under sands or lost in jungles, as long as they aren’t destroyed first.

 

As a history buff, this is the kind of thing I find interesting – beneath the Sea of Galilee in Israel, a massive, mysterious stone structure has been found, and no one is exactly sure as to its purpose.

It is also big – 70 metres across and 10 metres high. It was first spotted by sonar scan in 2003, and even a dive on the site hasn’t really worked out much about it, who made it, its age or purpose.

The full write up is available in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

As a writer, I like scattering such unknowns around my worlds, random monuments to past ages and cultures that remain mysterious and unexplained.

Richard III Found

Posted: February 5, 2013 in History
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Arcaheologists have confirmed that a skeleton which was found under a council car park last year in Leicester, does indeed belong to Richard III, the last Plantagenet king of England, and the last English king to die in battle.

Following the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, the decisive battle at the end of the War of the Roses beyween the houses of Lancaster and York, in which he was slain, his body was buried at Greyfriars Church, and then subsequently lost to history, until last year.  DNA tests on a descendent of his sister have now proven the skeleton as being that of Richard III.

Where he will be reburied is still being decided.

Paging Dr Jones

Posted: January 10, 2013 in History
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Here is one for Indiana Jones – the tomb of the first Chinese Emperor, Quin Shi Huang.  His tomb is reported to be filled with treasure – and booby traps to keep looters of bay.  Which causes a problem for any archaeologists wanting to have a look in it.  Unless they are Doctor Jones.

The Chinese government is yet to decide if it will allow excavation.