February 09, 2005

More News About The Third Bamiyan Buddha

I've written about the Bamiyan Buddhas on my blog before. You remember the two giant Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan? It's long been rumored that a third one, reclining and much larger than the other two, is buried somewhere in the vicinity of the two that were destroyed. Archeologists are looking for it now.

Posted on February 9, 2005 at 07:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

January 20, 2005

Forgery Found In Popular Antiquities Exhibition

Forgery Found In Popular Antiquities Exhibition

"The small ivory pomegranate ornament touted as probably the only discovered archeological evidence of Solomon’s Temple, and which was featured at the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition that was in Canada for 10 months, is a forgery, the Israel Museum said."

Posted on January 20, 2005 at 04:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Army Base Has "Damaged Babylon"

Army Base "Has Damaged Babylon"

A double fortified wall enclosed the city, protecting it from attack

Coalition forces in Iraq have caused irreparable damage to the ancient city of Babylon, the British Museum says.

Sandbags have been filled with precious archaeological fragments and 2,600 year old paving stones have been crushed by tanks, a museum report claims.

The US Army says the troops based in the city, some 50 miles (80km) south of Baghdad, are well aware of its historical significance.

Babylon's Hanging Gardens were among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


The legendary gardens featured water diverted from mountain streams cascading down artificial hills built upon stone vaults.

American troops occupied the site in April 2003, initially to protect it from looters and vandals.

John Curtis, author of the museum's report, said this was "tantamount to establishing a military camp around Stonehenge".

"About 300,000 square metres of the surface of the site has been flattened and covered with compacted gravel and sometimes chemically treated," he said.

"This will contaminate the archaeological record of the site."

He added: "I noted about 12 trenches, one of them 170m long, which had been dug through the archaeological deposits."

Mr Curtis, who is curator of the museum's Near East department, also found evidence of fuel leaks.


But US military spokesman Lt Col Steven Boylan said the base, which has around 6,000 troops under Police command, is needed to "further defeat terrorists and insurgents".

He told BBC Newshour: "Any of the excavations or earth work that we have done in order to do our operations ... was done in consultation with the Babylon museum director and an archaeologist."

At the height of its power, Babylon was an awe-inspiring sight, with two sets of fortified walls surrounding massive palaces and religious buildings.

It became one of the most important cities in Mesopotamia, one of the cradles of human civilisation.

Iraq is home to 10,000 archaeological sites.

Posted on January 20, 2005 at 04:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

October 06, 2004

Genghis Khan

The mausoleum of Genghis Khan located in eastern Mongolia.

Posted on October 6, 2004 at 08:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 09, 2004

Tourists Defacing Megaliths Aren't Stonehenge's Only Problem

Burial sites at Stonehenge threatened by -- badgers.

Posted on August 9, 2004 at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

July 29, 2004

I Bet They Had Some Cool Happy Hours

An ancient brewery has been discovered on a mountaintop in Peru. The brewery, which is more than 1,000 years old, was used to make chicha, "a fermented beverage similar to beer that played an important role in ritual feasting and drinking during Peru's first empire."

Posted on July 29, 2004 at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 15, 2004

The Search for the Third Bamiyan Buddha

I've mentioned the possible existence of a third Bamiyan Buddha in a previous post on my old blog. Most people are familiar with the other two famous Bamiyan Buddhas. They were very tall, ancient statues that were destroyed by the Taliban for being idolatrous. An old legend has hinted at the existence of a third reclining Buddha that is said to be even more majestic than the two that had been destroyed.

Today, teams of Japanese and French archeologists are in Afghanistan, hunting for that third Buddha. I would love to be able to go on that trip. I'd probably hang out with the French team. That would be a great way to kick-start my French. With a little time, I would not have much difficulty hanging out with the Japanese. I just bought some CD's to learn Japanese. It's not easy, but I have always had a knack for picking up languages.

It would probably be a good idea for me to learn Arabic, too, if I ever decide to join that team in the future (assuming they don't find the Buddha this time around), or if I ever go the Middle East to participate in other digs. Upyernoz is the only person I know who is currently studying Arabic. He also just saw a midnight-movie showing of "Bubba Ho-tep" in a movie theatre full of college students. That must have been one hell of a good time.

Posted on May 15, 2004 at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

May 06, 2004

Queen's Tomb Discovered In Mayan Ruins In Guatemala

I think it would be fun to go on one of these digs. The exercise is more than welcome, too.

Queen's Tomb Discovered In Mayan Ruins In Guatemala

"Archaeologists say they've discovered the skeleton of a Mayan queen in a 1,200-year-old tomb in Guatemala.

The experts said the woman appears to have been a powerful leader of a city that may have been home to tens of thousands of people at its peak.

Her bones were found on a raised platform, with evidence of riches scattered around her body.

The discovery was made in February in northwestern Guatemala by a team sponsored by Southern Methodist University.

The find is only now being made public."

Posted on May 6, 2004 at 05:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 27, 2004

Does Cyprus Hold The Key To Atlantis?

Hunt for Atlantis Leads Researcher to Cyprus

U. S. researcher Robert Sarmast told Reuters that "the east Mediterranean island (Cyprus) is actually the pinnacle of the long-lost city and the rest of it is about one mile below sea level. Using deep sea maps and clues found in Plato, Sarmast said he has discovered a sunken rectangular land mass stretching northeast from Cyprus toward Syria. "We are going to sail 70 miles offshore Cyprus, directly over the spot where we believe Atlantis City lays submerged and waiting to be discovered," he said.

Another popular theory is that Thera, off the coast of Crete, is what remains of Atlantis.

You can blame Plato for bringing up Atlantis. His description of the location of Atlantis may be found in his work, "Timaeus and Critias." It reads as follows: "There was an island opposite the strait which you call the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar), an island larger than Libya (Africa) and Asia combined; from it travellers could in those days reach the other islands, and from them the whole opposite continent which surrounds what can truly be called the ocean. For the sea within the strait we were talking about is like a lake with a narrow entrance (the Mediterranean sea); the outer ocean is the real ocean and the land which entirely surrounds it is properly termed continent."

Posted on April 27, 2004 at 05:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

April 20, 2004

Titanic In The News Again

Press Release: "Explorer who discovered Titanic returns with National Geographic Channel on urgent mission to investigate endangered wreck." Thankfully, Leo DiCaprio's endangered career is not slated for further exploration.

Posted on April 20, 2004 at 08:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)