Category Archives: ASIA

Monumental Neolithic Tomb Discovered in Saudi Arabia

Monumental Neolithic Tomb Discovered in Saudi Arabia

According to a statement released by Taylor & Francis, the remains of a dog and 11 people have been found in a monumental tomb near the archaeological site of Al-Ula, which is located in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

The discovery came from one of the projects in the large-scale archaeological surveys and excavations of the region commissioned by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU).

The researchers found the dog’s bones in a burial site that is one of the earliest monumental tombs identified in the Arabian Peninsula, roughly contemporary with such tombs already dated further north in the Levant.

This burial site in a badlands area of AlUla in north-west Saudi Arabia is currently rare for Neolithic-Chalcolithic Arabia in being built above-ground and meant to be visually prominent.

Evidence shows the earliest use of the tomb was circa 4300 BCE and received burials for at least 600 years during the Neolithic-Chalcolithic era – an indication that the inhabitants may have had a shared memory of people, places, and the connection between them.

“What we are finding will revolutionize how we view periods like the Neolithic in the Middle East. To have that kind of memory, that people may have known for hundreds of years where their kin was buried – that’s unheard of in this period in this region,” said Melissa Kennedy, assistant director of the Aerial Archaeology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (AAKSAU) – AlUla project.

“AlUla is at a point where we’re going to begin to realize how important it was to the development of mankind across the Middle East,” said the AAKSAU director, Hugh Thomas.

This is the earliest evidence of a domesticated dog in the Arabian Peninsula by a margin of circa 1,000 years.

The findings are published in the Journal of Field Archaeology.

The project team, with Saudi and international members, focused its efforts on two above-ground burial sites dating to the 5th and 4th millennia BCE and located 130 kilometers apart, one in volcanic uplands and the other in arid badlands. The sites were above ground, which is unique for that period of Arabian history, and were positioned for maximum visibility.

The research team detected the sites by using satellite imagery and then by aerial photography from a helicopter. Ground fieldwork began in late 2018.

It was in the volcanic uplands site that 26 fragments of a single dog’s bones were found, alongside bones from 11 humans – six adults, an adolescent, and four children.

The dog’s bones showed signs of arthritis, which suggests the animal lived with the humans into its middle or old age. After assembling the bones, the team then had to determine that they were from a dog and not from a similar animal such as a desert wolf.

The team’s zooarchaeologist, Laura Strolin, was able to show it was indeed a dog by analyzing one bone in particular, from the animal’s left front leg. The breadth of this bone was 21.0 mm, which is in the range of other ancient Middle Eastern dogs. In comparison, the wolves of that time and place had a breadth of 24.7 to 26 mm for the same bone.

The dog’s bones were dated between circa 4200 and 4000 BCE.

Rock art found in the region indicates that the Neolithic inhabitants used dogs when hunting ibex, and other animals.

The fieldwork uncovered other noteworthy artifacts, including a leaf-shaped mother-of-pearl pendant at the volcanic uplands site and a carnelian bead found at the arid badlands site.

The researchers expect more findings in the future as a result of the massive survey from the air and on the ground, and multiple targeted excavations in the AlUla region undertaken by the AAKSAU and other teams, which are operating under the auspices of the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU). The AAKSAU team is led by researchers from the University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia.

The researchers note that AlUla is a largely unexplored area located in a part of the world that has a fertile archaeological heritage of recognized global value.

“This article from RCU’s work at AlUla establishes benchmarks. There is much more to come as we reveal the depth and breadth of the area’s archaeological heritage,” said Rebecca Foote, Director of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Research for RCU.

Mother Found Still Cradling Baby After 4,800 Years

Mother Found Still Cradling Baby After 4,800 Years

It is a fitting discovery as Mother’s Day approaches. Archaeologists have uncovered the ancient remains of a young mother and an infant child locked in a 4,800-year-old embrace. The remarkable find was among 48 sets of remains unearthed from graves in Taiwan, including the fossils of five children.

The mother is seen looking towards the child

Researchers were stunned to discover the maternal moment, and they say these Stone Age relics are the earliest sign of human activity found in central Taiwan.

Preserved for nearly 5,000 years, the skeleton found in the Taichung area shows a young mother gazing down at the baby cradled in her arms.

Researchers turned to carbon dating to determine the ages of the fossils, which they traced back to the Neolithic Age, a period within the Stone Age.

Excavation began in May 2014 and took a year for archaeologists to complete. But of all the remains found in the ancient graves, one pair set stood out from the rest.

‘When it was unearthed, all of the archaeologists and staff members were shocked.

‘Why? Because the mother was looking down at the baby in her hands,’ said Chu Whei-lee, a curator in the Anthropology Department at Taiwan’s National Museum of Natural Science.

According to the researchers’ measurements, the mother was just 160 cm tall, or 5 foot 2 inches. The infant in her arms is 50 cm tall – just over a foot-and-a-half.

Archaeologists say they have discovered the earliest trace of human activity in central Taiwan among graves from 4,800 years ago

This breathtaking discovery came as a surprise to the researchers on sight, but it isn’t the first of its kind.

In the past, archaeologists have dug up remains of similar moments which have been preserved for thousands of years.

Notably, Chinese archaeologists unearthed the interlocked skeletons of a mother and child last year from an Early Bronze Age archaeological site branded the ‘Pompeii of the East, the People’s Daily Online reported.

The mother is thought to have been trying to protect her child during a powerful earthquake that hit Qinghai province, central China, in about 2,000 BC.

Experts speculated that the site was hit by an earthquake and flooding of the Yellow River.

Photographs of the skeletal remains show the mother looking up above as she kneels on the floor, with her arms around her young child. Archaeologists say they believe her child was a boy.

Japan’s Ancient Underwater “Pyramid” Mystifies Scholars

Japan’s Ancient Underwater “Pyramid” Mystifies Scholars

Submerged stone structures lying just below the waters off Yonaguni Jima are actually the ruins of a Japanese Atlantis—an ancient city sunk by an earthquake about 2,000 years ago. That’s the belief of Masaaki Kimura, a marine geologist at the University of the Ryukyus in Japan who has been diving at the site to measure and map its formations for more than 15 years. Each time he returns to the dive boat, Kimura said, he is more convinced than ever that below him rest the remains of a 5,000-year-old city.

“The largest structure looks like a complicated, monolithic, stepped pyramid that rises from a depth of 25 meters [82 feet],” said Kimura, who presented his latest theories about the site at a scientific conference in June. But like other stories of sunken cities, Kimura’s claims have attracted controversy.

“I’m not convinced that any of the major features or structures are manmade steps or terraces, but that they’re all-natural,” said Robert Schoch, a professor of science and mathematics at Boston University who has dived at the site.

These 10,000-Year-Old Sunken Ancient Ruins in Japan Remain a Huge Mystery

“It’s basic geology and classic stratigraphy for sandstones, which tend to break along planes and give you these very straight edges, particularly in an area with lots of faults and tectonic activity.”

And neither the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs nor the government of Okinawa Prefecture recognize the remains off Yonaguni as important cultural property, said agency spokesperson Emiko Ishida. Neither of the government groups has carried out research or preservation work on the sites, she added, instead of leaving any such efforts to professors and other interested individuals.

Ruins Point

Yonaguni Jima is an island that lies near the southern tip of Japan’s Ryukyu archipelago, about 75 miles (120 kilometres) off the eastern coast of Taiwan (see map). A local diver first noticed the Yonaguni formations in 1986, after which a promontory on the island was unofficially renamed Iseki Hanto or Ruins Point.

The district of Yonaguni officially owns the formations, and tourists and researchers can freely dive at the site. Some experts believe that the structures could be all that’s left of Mu, a fabled Pacific civilization rumoured to have vanished beneath the waves. On hearing about the find, Kimura said, his initial impression was that the formations could be natural. But he changed his mind after his first dive.

“I think it’s very difficult to explain away their origin as being purely natural, because of the vast amount of evidence of man’s influence on the structures,” he said.

As teams of expert divers fanned out from the south coast of Okinawa using grid-search patterns, they found five sub surface archaeological sites near three offshore islands. The locations vary at depths from 100 to only 20 feet.

For example, Kimura said, he has identified quarry marks in the stone, rudimentary characters etched onto carved faces, and rocks sculpted into the likenesses of animals.

“The characters and animal monuments in the water, which I have been able to partially recover in my laboratory, suggest the culture comes from the Asian continent,” he said.

“One example I have described as an underwater sphinx resembles a Chinese or ancient Okinawan king.” Whoever created the city, most of it apparently sank in one of the huge seismic events that this part of the Pacific Rim is famous for, Kimura said.

The world’s largest recorded tsunami struck Yonaguni Jima in April 1771 with an estimated height of more than 131 feet (40 meters), he noted, so such a fate might also have befallen the ancient civilization. Kimura said he has identified ten structures off Yonaguni and a further five related structures off the main island of Okinawa. In total, the ruins cover an area spanning 984 feet by 492 feet (300 meters by 150 meters).

The structures include the ruins of a castle, a triumphal arch, five temples, and at least one large stadium, all of which are connected by roads and water channels and are partly shielded by what could be huge retaining walls. Kimura believes the ruins date back to at least 5,000 years, based on the dates of stalactites found inside underwater caves that he says sank with the city.

And structures similar to the ruins sitting on the nearby coast have yielded charcoal dated to 1,600 years ago—a possible indication of ancient human inhabitants, Kimura added. But more direct evidence of human involvement with the site has been harder to come by.

“Pottery and wood do not last on the bottom of the ocean, but we are interested in further research on a relief at the site that is apparently painted and resembles a cow,” Kimura said.

“We want to determine the makeup of the paint. I would also like to carry out subsurface research.”

Natural Forces

Toru Ouchi, an associate professor of seismology at Kobe University, supports Kimura’s hypothesis. Ouchi said that he has never seen tectonic activity having such an effect on a landscape either above or below the water.

“I’ve dived there as well and touched the pyramid,” he said. “What Professor Kimura says is not exaggerated at all. It’s easy to tell that those relics were not caused by earthquakes.”

Boston University‘s Schoch, meanwhile, is just as certain that the Yonaguni formations are natural. He suggests that holes in the rock, which Kimura believes were used to support posts, were merely created by underwater eddies scouring at depressions. Lines of smaller holes were formed by marine creatures exploiting a seam in the rock, he said.

“The first time I dived there, I knew it was not artificial,” Schoch said. “It’s not as regular as many people claim, and the right angles and symmetry don’t add up in many places.”

He emphasizes that he is not accusing anyone of deliberately falsifying evidence. But many of the photos tend to give a perfect view of the site, making the lines look as regular as possible, he said.

Natural Formations

Schoch also says he has seen what Kimura believes to be renderings of animals and human faces at the site. “Professor Kimura says he has seen some kind of writing or images, but they are just scratched on a rock that is natural,” he said.

“He interprets them as being manmade, but I don’t know where he’s coming from.”

But Kimura is undeterred by critics, adding that the new governor of Okinawa Prefecture and officials from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization have recently expressed interest in verifying the site.

“The best way to get a definitive answer about their origins is to keep going back and collecting more evidence,” he continued.

“If I’d not had a chance to see these structures for myself, I might be skeptical as well.”

The 2,50-year-old rug is a wonderful reflection of the Advanced Culture of the Pazyryk Nomads

The 2,50-year-old rug is a wonderful reflection of the Advanced Culture of the Pazyryk Nomads

In 1948, Altai Mountains excavated the oldest hand-knotted oriental rug. It was discovered in the grave of the prince of Altai near Pazyryk, 5400 feet above sea level, and clearly shows how well hand-knotted rugs were produced thousands of years ago.

The Pazyryk carpet was woven in the 5th century B.C., making it approximately 2,500 years old, according to radiocarbon dating.

The advanced weaving techniques and the sophisticated design and construction, used in this rug, suggest the art of carpet weaving to go back much further than the 5th century B.C.. to be at least 4000 years old. Today the rug is in the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, Russia.

Detail of the Pazyryk carpet from a replica in the Carpet Museum of Iran

When the prince of Altai died, he was buried in a grave mound with many of his prized possessions, including the Pazryk Carpet. Unfortunately, soon after, the grave mound was robbed of its prized possessions, with the exception of the rug.

The rug was semi-frozen because the thieves did not bother to cover up the hole they had dug to retrieve the items, rendering the hole exposed to the elements within the tomb.

The combination of low temperature and precipitation within the tomb subsequently froze the carpet, and preserved it in a thick sheet of ice, protecting it for twenty-five centuries. This somewhat ironic story is the reason that the Pazyryk rug still exists today.

Although it was found in a Scythian burial mound, most experts attribute the Pazyryk rug to Persia.

Pazyryk horseman. Circa 300 BCE. Detail from a carpet in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

Its design is in the same style as the sculptures of Persepolis, The outer of the two principal border bands is decorated with a line of horsemen: seven on each side, twenty-eight in number — a figure which corresponds to the number of males who carried the throne of Xerxes to Perspolis. Some are mounted, while others walk beside their horses. In the inner principal band, there is a line of six elks on each side.

The extra figures inside the elks are depicting the inwards and the vertebra of the elk, all parts in real positions with nearly clinical precision:

1. The heart, just above the front legs (a yellow framed red sphere, black contoured).

2. The aorta (a long red protuberance on the heart).

3. The maw, on the right-hand side of the sphere (a large yellow area with a widening upwards on the end).

4. The intestine, in the rear end (a yellow square surrounded by a light blue and a yellow bow).

5. Possibly the urethra, on the upper part of the right hind leg (a yellow line with a black point), better to see on some others deer on the border.

6. The vertebra, directly below the brown back contour (an alternating black-white chain).

Atlit Yam, a 9,000-year-old underground megalithic settlement

Atlit Yam, a 9,000-year-old underground megalithic settlement

On the Levantine coast, Atlit-Yam offers the earliest known evidence for an agro-pastoral-marine subsistence system. The site of Atlit Yam has been carbon-dated to be between 8,900 and 8,300 years old (calibrated dates) and belongs to the final Pre-Pottery Neolithic B period.

Atlit Yam is an ancient submerged Neolithic village off the coast of Atlit, Israel

It is currently 8-12 meters (25-40 feet) below sea level in the Bay of Atlit, near the mouth of the Oren river on the Carmel coast. It covers an area of ca. 40,000 square meters (10 acres).

Underwater excavations have uncovered rectangular houses and a well. The site was covered by the eustatic rise of sea levels after the end of the Ice age. It is assumed that the contemporary coastline was about 1 km (a half-mile) west of the present coast.

Piles of fish ready for trade or storage have led scientists to conclude that the village was abandoned suddenly. An Italian study led by Maria Pareschi of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Pisa indicates that a volcanic collapse of the eastern flank of Mount Etna 8,500 years ago would likely have caused a 10-story (40 m or 130 ft) tsunami to engulf some Mediterranean coastal cities within hours.

Some scientists point to the apparent abandonment of Atlit Yam around the same time as further evidence that such a tsunami did indeed occur.

Submerged settlements and shipwrecks have been found on the Carmel coast since 1960, in the wake of large-scale sand quarrying. In 1984, marine archaeologist Ehud Galili spotted ancient remains whilst surveying the area for shipwrecks.

Remains of rectangular houses and hearth-places have been found, along with a well that currently lies 10.5 m (35 ft) below sea level, constructed of dry-stone walling, with a diameter of 1.5 m (5 ft) and a depth of 5.5 m (20 ft) lower. The fill contained flints, artifacts of ground stone, and bone and animal bones in two separate layers.

The upper layer contained partly articulated animal bones, which were presumably thrown in after the well went out of use. Other round structures at the site may also be wells. Galili believes that the water in the wells gradually became contaminated with seawater, forcing the inhabitants to abandon their homes.

A stone semicircle, containing seven 600 kg (1,300 lb) megaliths, has been found. The stones have cup marks carved into them and are arranged around a freshwater spring, which suggests that they may have been used for a water ritual.

Top: A diver examines megaliths at Atlit Yam. Bottom: Artist’s reconstruction of stone formation

Ten flexed burials have been discovered, both inside the houses and in their vicinity.

The skeletons of a woman and child, found in 2008, have revealed the earliest known cases of tuberculosis. Bonefish hooks and piles of fish bones ready for trade or storage point to the importance of marine resources.

The men are also thought to have dived for seafood as four skeletons have been found with ear damage, probably caused by diving in cold water. Anthropomorphic stone stelae have been found. The lithics include arrowheads, sickle blades, and axes.

An excavation was mounted by the University of Haifa on Oct 1, 1987. A complete human burial was discovered under 10m of water on Oct. 4th with the skeleton oriented in a fetal position on the right side in an excellent state of preservation. Subsequent carbon dating of plant material recovered from the burial placed the age of the site at 8000 +-200 years.

Animal bones and plant remains have also been preserved. Animal bones come mainly from wild species. The plant remains to include wild grape, poppy, and caraway seeds.

Granary weevils indicate the presence of stored grain. Pollen analysis and the remains of marsh plants indicate the local presence of swamps.

17th-Century Gold Bracelet Unearthed in India

17th-Century Gold Bracelet Unearthed in India

In the hilltop complex in Mahad, nearly 160kilometers from Mumbai, the India Archeological Survey, and the Raigad Development Authority (RDA) organize excavations.

Following the news of the finding of a gold bracelet, Shri Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, a descendent of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, visited the fort and had a closer look at the artifact.

“This will help us understand the lifestyle, culture, and architecture of the time period contemporary to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I would like to appreciate ASI for their efforts on Raigad excavation and conservation work,” said Sambhaji Chhatrapati, who belongs to the royal family of Kolhapur and a President-nominated Rajya Sabha member.

“A gold ornament (gold bangle) was discovered during excavation. It is possible that such invaluable objects can be found during future excavation,” said Sambhaji Chhatrapati, the chairperson of RDA.

“Till date, many ornaments, vessels, contemporary things used in construction, coins etc has been discovered through excavation,” he said.

In 1674, Shivaji Maharaj made Raigad Fort his capital.

Earlier known as Rairi, Shivaji Maharaj seized the fort from Chandraraoji More, the king of Jawli and a descendant of Chandragupta Maurya, in 1656. For over a decade, it was renovated and strengthened. The villages of Pachad and Raigadwadi are located at the base of the fort.

After the death of Shivaji and thereafter the killing of his son Sambhajil Maharaj in 1689, the fort was captured by Mughals under Aurangzeb, and in 1818, it was the target of an armed expedition of the British East India Company.

Located 820 meters (2,700 feet) above sea level in the Sahyadri mountain ranges, the fort can be accessed by a single pathway comprising 1737 steps.

Surrounded by deep green valleys, the fort has several gateways that enthrall its visitors, namely, the Mena Darwaja, Nagarkhana Darwaja, Palkhi Darwaja, and the majestic Maha Darwaja which is the main entrance to the imperial structure.

There are 21 villages around the Raigad Fort.

The Fort stands as a silent reminder of Maharashtra’s glorious past though the sound of trumpets and drums or the clang of clashing swords and shields are heard no more at this historic monument, which is identified as ‘durgaraj’ (king of forts).

The Britishers had named it “Gibraltar of the East” as the well-fortified structure atop the hill was extremely difficult to access, leave alone conquer. Various landmarks have lent it the credo of ‘Shiva-teerth’.

The fort has attained the status of a holy shrine for the devotees of Lord Shiva as hundreds and thousands of people visit the fort every day not alone for its heritage character and its being a specimen of perfect defense architecture but also for being the seat of their role model, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who is well known for valor, courage, administrative acumen, benevolence, and patriotism.

The ancient helmet was worn by a soldier in the Greek-Persian wars found in Israel

The ancient helmet was worn by a soldier in the Greek-Persian wars found in Israel

A well-preserved Greek ancient helmet near the Israeli city of Haifa was discovered in 2007 by the crew of a dutch ship crossing the Mediterranean Sea. As required by local law, the dredging vessel’s owner promptly handed the find over to archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

Now, reports the Greek City Times, researchers have offered new insights on the object, which is the only intact helmet of its kind found along Israel’s coast.

Crafted in the sixth century B.C., the Corinthian armour was likely used during the Persian Wars, which pitted Greek city-states against the Persian Empire in a series of clashes between 492 and 449 B.C.

The ancient helmet was worn by a soldier in the Greek-Persian wars found in Israel
This bronze helmet was likely worn by a soldier fighting in the Greek-Persian wars.

“[It] probably belonged to a Greek warrior stationed on one of the warships of the Greek fleet that participated in the naval conflict against the Persians who ruled the country at the time,” says Kobi Sharvit, director of the IAA’s Marine Archaeology Unit, in a statement.

After spending 2,600 years on the seafloor, the helmet’s cracked surface is heavily rusted. But scholars could still discern a delicate, peacock-like pattern above its eyeholes. This unique design helped archaeologists determine that craftsmen made the armour in the Greek city-state of Corinth.

According to Ancient Origin’s Nathan Falde, metalworkers would have fashioned the piece to fit tightly around the head of a particular person—but not so tightly that it couldn’t be swiftly and safely removed in the heat of battle.

“The helmet was expertly fabricated from a single sheet of bronze by means of heating and hammering,” notes the statement. “This technique made it possible to reduce its weight without diminishing its capacity for protecting the head of a warrior.”

As Owen Jarus wrote for Live Science in 2012, archaeologists excavated a similar helmet near the Italian island of Giglio, which is about 1,500 miles from where the crew found the recently analyzed artefact, during the 1950s.

That headgear—also around 2,600 years old—helped modern scholars determine when craftspeople manufactured the Haifa Bay armour.

Depiction of Greek hoplite and Persian warrior fighting during the Persian Wars

Experts speculate that the headpiece’s owner was a wealthy individual, as most soldiers wouldn’t have been able to afford such elaborate gear.

“The gilding and figural ornaments make this one of the most ornate pieces of early Greek armour discovered,” wrote Sharvit and scholar John Hale in a research summary quoted by UPI.

One theory raised by researchers speculates that the helmet belonged to a mercenary who fought alongside the Egyptian Pharaoh Necho II, per the Express’ Sebastian Kettley.

Another explanation posits that a Greek soldier stationed in the Mediterranean donned the headpiece, only to drop it into the water or lose it when his ship sank.

Though archaeologists aren’t sure exactly who owned the artefact, they do know that the warrior sailed the seas at a time when Persia controlled much of the Middle East.

As Live Science’s Jarus explains in a more recent article, the Persians attempted to invade Greece around 490 B.C. but were defeated near Athens during the Battle of Marathon.

A second attack by the Persians culminated in the Battle of Thermopylae, which saw a heavily outnumbered group of Spartans led by King Leonidas mount a doomed last stand against Xerxes’ Persian forces. (The 480 B.C. clash is heavily dramatized in the film 300.) But while Thermopylae ended in a Greek loss, the tides of war soon turned, with the Greeks forcing the Persians out of the region the following year.

In the decades after the Persians’ failed invasions, the Greek military continued the fight by campaigning against enemy troops stationed in the eastern Mediterranean. 

Ancient Origins notes that the helmet’s owner was likely active during this later phase of the war—“when the Persians were often on the defensive” rather than offensive—and may have served on either a patrol ship or a battleship.

The discovery of a mass baby grave under a Roman bathhouse in Ashkelon, Israel

The discovery of a mass baby grave under a Roman bathhouse in Ashkelon, Israel

In the seaport of Ashkelon, along the coast of the Israeli Mediterranean coast, archaeologist Ross Voss made a bizarre discovery, while exploring one of the sewers of the area, he found a significant amount of bones.  At first, the bones were accepted to be chicken bones. Later, it was found that the bones were that of human.

Remains of Roman bathhouse in Israel

Newborn child bones from the Roman period. With the remaining parts adding up to in excess of 100 children, it was the biggest disclosure of babies remains to date.

Why were these roman babies killed?

As curious as you are, so was the Archaeologist while he found out the bones of the newborns. Voss took the remaining parts to forensic anthropologist Professor Patrician Smith. Smith analyzed the baby remains and established that there was no indication of the chances of survival of the babies longer than a week before being killed.

She used a technique of forensic testing that enabled her to confirm that none of the newborn children was healthy when they died.

During the era of Romans, it was normal for babies to be murdered as a type of birth control. It wasn’t a crime, as babies were seen as being ‘not completely human.

As a rule, a Roman lady who did not need an infant would take part in the act of “exposure” as she would desert the newborn child, either to be found and taken care of by another person or to die.

As per the convictions at the time, it was up to the gods to decide if the newborn child would be saved or not.

According to Roman mythology, the most popular record of close child murder, in which Romulus and Remus, two newborn children of the war god, Mars, were surrendered in the forested areas yet were raised by wolves and later established the city of Rome.

The most famous account of attempted infanticide, in which babies were left exposed to the elements, is the story of Romulus and Remus

Research showed that the newborn children at Ashkelon did not seem to have been “exposed”. Rather, it shows up they were deliberately murdered. One piece of information into the purpose behind their murder lies in the area of the bodies.

Investigations uncovered that the sewer where the remaining parts were found was straight underneath a previous bathhouse. It is conceivable that the babies were born to prostitutes or workers who worked at the bathhouse. However, this remains a mystery as there is no additional information on this theory.

While Ashkelon bathhouse was not the only place the bodies of the Roman infants were found.

Hambleden(the site of a former Roman villa) mass killing

In 1912, Alfred Heneage Cocks, the guardian of the Buckinghamshire County Museum in England, made a stunning disclosure. While driving an unearthing in Hambleden, Cocks revealed the remains of 103 people.

Of those 103 people, 97 were newborn children, 3 were children, and 3 were adults. While this frightful find delivers inquiries of how and why these babies had been slaughtered, Cocks neglected to conduct any further examination with regards to the roots of the bodies.

Hambleden – site of mass baby grave, Buckinghamshire, England.

Jill Eyers, archaeologist and director of Chiltern Archeology in England, found the remaining in a historical centre file, the bones spent near a century in 35 little boxes intended to hold free cigarettes and shotgun cartridges, each container sufficiently enormous to hold the total skeleton of one baby.

“It was quite heart-rending, really, to open all these little cigarette boxes and find babies inside,” said Eyers.

Then he chose to look into the reason for the mass killing. People believed that the Hambleden site is another area where prostitutes would give birth to an unwanted child that was consequently murdered. The site was not a region of poverty, so an absence of resource couldn’t clarify the mass executing.

There were additionally no recorded diseases in the region at the time that could represent the huge volume of death. People believe that the main sensible clarification is that the site once housed a brothel.

Because of the absence of birth control at that time, there were restricted choices for the who needed to abstain from having a baby or bringing up the child. So, child murder may have been the main decision they trusted they had.

Dr Simon Mays, a skeletal biologist at English Heritage, has examined the Hambleden Roman infant bones

However, the reasons for the death may be any, but the mass graves of newborn child remains are genuinely heartbreaking. The history behind the roman era living is a big mystery. In time, it is trusted that we may discover more responses to precisely how and why these newborns were killed.