Category Archives: UAE

The secret of the mummy in the Crystal coffin found in a garage in San Francisco

The secret of the mummy in the Crystal coffin found in a garage in San Francisco

The secret of the mummy in the Crystal coffin found in a garage in San Francisco

Mysterious mummies are a symbol of ancient lost times, which we often associate with Egypt and other ancient civilizations. Therefore, the discovery of a coffin made of crystal with the body of a girl come from under the floor of a garage in San Francisco is absolutely shocking.

In 2016, while remodeling an old garage in San Francisco, California, workers found a strange object that, upon closer inspection, turned out to be a child’s coffin with an extraordinary design.

Rusted bolts held a metal object together that resembled a large shaped casket, and it was only by unscrewing the bolts that it was possible to identify what it was. Bolts fixed a sheet of metal that covered two windows made of thick glass. Looking inside the box, the workers were taken aback — inside lay the body of a small blonde girl, almost untouched by decay.

The discovery of an old coffin containing the body of a child terrified the people of San Francisco and perplexed scientists. It took them a long time to figure out the mystery of an unusual burial.

Coffin inside lay the body of a blond girl dressed in a lace dress. Her hair was decorated with lavender petals, and on her chest lay a wreath in the form of a cross of blue bindweeds. In her hands, she held a large purple nightshade flower.

There were no details inside the coffin that would help identify the body.  The body was examined, described, and photographed, after which the experts drew up a protocol, placed the metal coffin containing the child in a wooden box, and… handed it over to the garage owner.

According to the law, if the corpse is not a criminal and the relatives are unknown, the burial duties are assigned to the owner of the land where the body was discovered.

During the paperwork, the police gave the deceased the name Eva. And the mistress of the garage, where they found the burial, named the child Miranda.

But how did the coffin with the little dead girl end up under the garage? This was not a surprising occurrence given that the structure stood on the grounds of Odd Fellows Cemetery, San Francisco’s largest cemetery.

When the rapidly growing metropolis came close to the extreme graves, a large city churchyard was closed for burials in 1890.

When the cemetery started to negatively impact the neighborhood over time, it was decided to close it down in 1923. Most of the remains were exhumed and buried in common graves, while some of the bodies were taken by relatives for reburial. The coffin with the girl was obviously forgotten in the confusion and remained in the ground, which was handed over to developers.

Tissue and hair samples were taken from the deceased girl for DNA analysis. Erica Karner was busy burying Eva-Miranda while the examination was taking place. The girl’s body began to decompose after the airtight coffin was opened. It was impossible to delay the burial.

Tissue analysis revealed that the baby’s mother was born in the British Isles. Even more interesting were the results of the hair study.

“Hair DNA analysis showed that the child had a protein deficiency and severe malnutrition.

And experts said that most likely this arose due to some kind of illness or due to the amount of medication that the child used,” the lawyer said.

Volunteers explored the city archives. They found a record of the burial of a two-year-old girl who died due to severe exhaustion. Her name is Edith Howard Cook. The child died in October 1876.

The parents’ names were Horatio Nelson and Edith Skaufi Cook. Scientists have even found living relatives of the “girl from the crystal coffin.”

Thus, volunteers and scientists were able to solve the mystery surrounding the mysterious burial and give the girl’s name back who passed away nearly 150 years ago.

Sleeping Beauty.

Parents often embalmed their dead children’s bodies centuries ago. The famous mummy of a child is kept in Palermo’s Capuchin catacombs. Rosalia Lombardo, the daughter of a Sicilian official, died of pneumonia in 1920. The girl’s body was so well preserved that she was nicknamed “Sleeping Beauty”

The Mystery Of The Modern “London Hammer” Found Encased In Ancient Rock

The Mystery Of The Modern “London Hammer” Found Encased In Ancient Rock

While walking along Red Creek, London, Texas, in June 1936, Emma Zadie Hahn and her husband Max Edmond Hahn made an unusual discovery: a piece of wood poking out of what appeared to be an ancient rock formation.

The story goes that ten-ish years later, their son, who was clearly born with the merest hint of curiosity that they lacked, smashed open the rock to see what was inside. What he found was a hammer. Where it gets weirder is that it was clearly a modern(ish) hammer.

The hammer attracted the unhelpful attention of Young Earth Creationist Carl Baugh, who claimed that the rock around the hammer was from the Cretaceous period.

When they split it open, this is what they found.

This would mean that whoever dropped the hammer of 19th-century design did so while (e.g.) running away from a triceratops.

For Baugh, who was himself incorrect, this was evidence that evolution theory was incorrect.

“If the artifact is truly from the Cretaceous time frame, where does this leave evolutionary theory, since man was not supposed to have evolved for another 100-million years or so?” Baugh asked. “If the artifact is relatively recent, that means that the Cretaceous Hensell Sand formation from which it came is relatively young… Again, where does that leave evolutionary theory with its traditional dates for the Cretaceous formations?”

The answer, of course, was that the hammer was modern, but it had become encased in the rock by geological processes not known to Baugh.

“The stone is real, and it looks impressive to someone unfamiliar with geological processes.

How could a modern artifact be stuck in Ordovician rock?” investigator Glen J. Kuban asked in a 1997 paper on the hammer, published in Paleo.

“The answer is that the concretion itself is not Ordovician.

Minerals in solution can harden around an intrusive object dropped in a crack or simply left on the ground if the source rock (in this case, reportedly Ordovician) is chemically soluble.”

While an extremely cool find, the rock formation is not as ancient as it appears.

Likely, a miner dropped the hammer a century ago, or perhaps a touch earlier, after which the rock formed around it. It was not, repeat, not, proof of The Flintstones.

A Christian monastery, possibly pre-dating Islam, found in UAE

A Christian monastery, possibly pre-dating Islam, found in UAE

A Christian monastery, possibly pre-dating Islam, found in UAE

A Christian monastery has been discovered on the island of Siniyah off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), possibly dating back to the years before the spread of Islam to the Arabian Peninsula.

Archaeologists have discovered similar churches and monasteries in Iran and other Persian Gulf countries. Early churches and monasteries are thought to have spread from the Persian Gulf to the coasts of modern-day Oman and all the way to India.

The Siniyah Island monastery, part of the sand-dune sheikhdom of Umm al-Quwain, sheds new light on the history of early Christianity along the Persian Gulf’s shores.

The monastery is located on Siniyah Island, a barrier island protecting the Khor al-Beida marshlands in Umm al-Quwain, an emirate along the Persian Gulf coast about 30 miles northeast of Dubai. Carbon dating of samples found in the monastery’s foundation dates between 534 and 656.

It marks the second such monastery found in the Emirates, dating back as many as 1,400 years — long before its desert expanses gave birth to a thriving oil industry which led to a unified nation home to the high-rise towers of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Scholars believe the two monasteries were lost to history as Christians gradually converted to Islam as Islam became more prevalent in the region.

Observers visit an ancient Christian monastery on Siniyah Island in the United Arab Emirates on Thursday.

For Timothy Power, an associate professor of archaeology at the United Arab Emirates University who helped investigate the newly discovered monastery, the UAE today is a “melting pot of nations.”

“The fact that something similar was happening here 1,000 years ago is really remarkable, and this is a story that deserves to be told,” he said.

The floor plan of the monastery on Siniyah Island suggests that early Christians may have prayed inside a single-aisle church there. Rooms within appear to hold a baptismal font, as well as an oven for baking bread or wafers for communion rites. Additionally, an altar and a setup for communion wine were probably located in a nave.

Next to the monastery is a second structure with four rooms arranged around a courtyard, which could have been the home of an abbot or a bishop in the early church.

Archaeologists discovered the first Christian monastery in the UAE in the early 1990s on Sir Bani Yas Island, which is now a nature preserve and home to luxury hotels off the coast of Abu Dhabi, near the Saudi border. It dates back to the same period as the new find in Umm al-Quwain.

New Thoughts on the Migration Out of Africa and Into Arabia

New Thoughts on the Migration Out of Africa and Into Arabia

An international team of researchers from the Sharjah Archaeology Authority/United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Universities of Tübingen and Freiburg as well as Oxford Brookes/England led by Dr. Knut Bretzke from the University of Tübingen and Prof. Dr. Frank Preusser from the Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Freiburg has uncovered startlingly new results that show Palaeolithic humans repeatedly occupied the rock shelter site of Jebel Faya in Southern Arabia between 210,000 and 120,000 years ago; shattering previously held ideas about when, and how, humans first moved into Arabia from Africa.

The researchers have published their findings in the current issue of Scientific Reports.

Jebel Faya, located in Sharjah, UAE, is one of the most important Palaeolithic sites in Arabia. In 2009 excavations revealed human occupation dating back to 125,000 years ago making it the then oldest known human site in Arabia.

New Thoughts on the Migration Out of Africa and Into Arabia
Excavations at Jebel Faya Rock Shelter, UAE.

New archaeological data from Jebel Faya, published in Scientific Reports, indicate that human settlement in Southern Arabia occurred under an unexpected range of climatic conditions and significantly earlier than previously thought.

Humans were not dependent on favourable climatic conditions

Previously it has been argued that Arabia was closed to prehistoric humans during dry climate phases and that humans had to wait for periods of more wet climatic conditions in order to expand into the region.

The new results contradict this view and show humans were far more adaptable than previously thought and not reliant on extended periods of favourable climate conditions to thrive.

Using a cutting-edge range of archaeological, palaeoclimatological and dating techniques, the team were able to reconstruct four distinct phases of human occupation between 210-120,000 years ago.

Crucially this demonstrates that humans occupied the site during dry and wetter climate events – challenging previous ideas about when humans could and could not occupy Arabian sites during the Palaeolithic and opening up the possibility that Arabia may yet yield more evidence of the human journey out of Africa during drier phases.

Re-evaluate interactions between humans and the environment

Dr. Knut Bretzke commented: “Most exciting for me personally is that our data provide the first evidence for human occupation of Arabia about 170,000 years ago. This period is traditionally thought to be characterized by extremely dry conditions that must have prevented human presence in Arabia.

We think that the unique interplay of human behavioural flexibility, the mosaic landscapes of South-East Arabia and the occurrence of brief spells of more humid conditions enabled the survival of these early human groups.

To study the details of this interplay and the evolution of the human-environment interdependencies, Jebel Faya and its surroundings are the key area and I am convinced that more surprises will come.”

Prof. Adrian Parker, Oxford Brookes University, who led the reconstruction of the palaeoenvironments, noted that “Our data challenges previous assumptions that human occupation in Arabia was only confined to well-defined wetter climate phases.

Understanding the environmental context is paramount when evaluating human occupation. Well constrained evidence in Arabia is still limited and the complex interrelationships between humans, climate, and environment need careful re-evaluation especially in the light of our findings”.

Luminescence dating elementary for archaeological research

The Freiburg geologist Frank Preusser, who dated the phases of human occupation, said: “The fact that luminescence dating allows determining the time of the last daylight exposure of quartz grains embedded in sediment

layers has revolutionised archaeological research. The study from Jebel Faya is another milestone in enlightening the complex history of our species.”

1,000-Year-Old Silver Coins Unearthed in the United Arab Emirates

1,000-Year-Old Silver Coins Unearthed in the United Arab Emirates

Ancient silver dirham coins minted one millennium ago in Morocco, Persia, Al-Rai, the Khorasan region, Armenia and Transoxiana have been discovered in Sharjah.

A team from Sharjah Archaeology Authority made the discovery in the central region of the emirate. The Islamic coins were stored in an Abbasid-style pot dating back to the 9th or 10th century AD.

This proves the early presence of the Abbasid dynasty in the region, said Dr Sabah Aboud Jasim, director-general of the Sharjah Archaeology Authority.

Provided by The National Ancient coins from the Abbasid dynasty were discovered in pottery by a team from Sharjah Archaeology Authority.

The Abbasid Caliphate was the third such to succeed the Prophet, Mohammed.

The rare coins bear the iconography of five caliphs, who were the chief Muslim leaders from the period, including Abu Jaafar Al Mansour, Mohamed Al Mahdi, Haroun Al Rashid, Mohamed Al Amin and Abu Jaafar Abdullah Al Maamoun.

The haul includes a silver dirham-link coin of Lady Zubaida, also known as Umm Jaafar, the wife of Caliph Haroun Al Rashid, as well as a copper Abbasid fils coin was also found.

The coins were minted in several geographical and administrative areas in the late 8th to early 9th century AD, or 154-199 AH of the Hijri period in the Islamic calendar.

The discovery documents a pivotal period in the history of Sharjah and the UAE during the Abbasid dynasty and highlights the commercial activity taking place in the UAE and in Sharjah’s central region.

The coins, which travelled along several important trade routes to the Arabian Gulf and the UAE, confirm that the region was an important trading centre during that period.

This find is one of many made in recent months in the area. In February, archaeologists at Sharjah Archaeology Authority unearthed a treasure trove of 409 coins in Mleiha.

Many discoveries made in the area are now on display in the Mleiha Archaeological Centre, which opened to visitors in 2016 and charts the region’s history back to the Stone Age.

Sharjah Ruler visits Sharjah Archaeology Authority – in pictures

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, was briefed on the latest archaeological discoveries found by historians working in the central region of the emirate.
Sheikh Dr Sultan is shown a priceless Roman key found by archaeologists.
Thirty two swords dating back to the third or second century BC were found in Mleiha.
1,000-Year-Old Silver Coins Unearthed in the United Arab Emirates
A treasure trove of 409 coins was unearthed in February in Mleiha, a hugely significant find.
Sheikh Dr Sultan was shown priceless artefacts found at Mleiha in Sharjah.

Long Lost Early Colonial Fort Discovered in Maryland

Long Lost Early Colonial Fort Discovered in Maryland

According to a Washington Post report, archaeologist Travis Parno, archaeological geophysicist Tim Horsley, and their colleagues at Historic St. Mary’s City announced the discovery of the undisturbed outline of the palisaded fort at St. Mary’s, which was erected in southern Maryland by English colonists in 1634.  Maryland archaeologist Travis Parno was at a board game convention in Philadelphia, sitting at a table surrounded by thousands of other enthusiasts when he got a text message. He was supposed to be on vacation, taking a break from his search for the legendary fort at St. Mary’s, the first permanent English settlement in Maryland and one of the earliest in what would become the United States.

Back at St. Mary’s, archaeological geophysicist Tim Horsley had been scanning a site a half-mile from St. Mary’s River with ground-penetrating radar that could detect the outlines of ancient buildings. The text message interrupting Parno’s vacation was from Horsley. It said: “I think we found it.”

On Monday, Historic St. Mary’s City announced that Parno, director of research for the organization, and Horsley had indeed found the outlines of the palisaded fort that was erected in Southern Maryland by white settlers in 1634. Horsley’s scans had revealed the imprint of post holes that formed a large rectangle with a semicircular bastion at one corner. The scans also showed evidence of what appeared to be dwellings inside the fort, including several that may have been Native American. Excavation later turned up evidence of the brick cellar of a guardhouse or storehouse, the trigger guard for a musket, and a quartzite arrowhead that was 4,500 years old.

Dig on the site of the original fort at St. Mary’s.
Recreation of a 17th century building at Historic St. Mary’s City.

“This is our moment,” Parno said. “This is the earliest colonial archaeological site in Maryland. This is it.”

William M. Kelso, the archaeologist who in 1994 discovered the lost fort at Jamestown, Va., said the discovery is “extremely significant because St. Mary’s is sort of a sister colony … [and] it’s another page to the story, to chapter one.”

Archaeologists had been seeking the St. Mary’s fort since the 1930s. The site today is in an empty meadow where the wind blows off the river and the shadows of soaring turkey buzzards drift over the landscape. It is owned by Historic St. Mary’s City and is about the size of a football field. Much like the famous Jamestown fort, which marked the first permanent English settlement in what would become the United States, its exact location had been lost. The original 150 colonists, including many English Catholics fleeing Protestant persecution back home, had arrived at St. Mary’s on two ships, the Ark and the Dove, in late March 1634, Parno said.

Modern recreation of the Dove.

They were preceded by the English settlers at such places as Jamestown in 1607, Plymouth in 1620, and Massachusetts Bay in 1630. The Maryland group included a Jesuit priest, Father Andrew White; the colony’s first governor, Leonard Calvert; and Mathias de Sousa, an indentured servant of African and Portuguese descent who later served in the legislative assembly of freemen.

“I found a most convenient harbor, and the pleasant country lying on each side of it,” Calvert wrote to his business partner, Richard Lechford, on May 30, 1634.

“On the east side of it we have seated ourselves, within one-half mile of the river,” he wrote. They had erected “a pallizado of one hundred and twenty yards square” with four bastions equipped with small artillery pieces.

The palisade was probably 12- to 14-feet high.

White reported: “Our Towne we call St. Maries … [It] abounds not alone with profit but also with pleasure.”

But like Jamestown, the settlement at St. Mary’s was later abandoned. The capital moved to Annapolis in the 1690s, and the site was left undisturbed and ripe for archaeology. St. Mary’s has produced stunning archaeological finds in the past. It was Maryland’s first capital and home to the first State House. In 1990, experts exhumed three lead-lined coffins containing the remains of Maryland colonial governor Philip Calvert, who died in 1683, his first wife, Anne, and Calvert’s 6-month-old son. Anne’s coffin contained sprigs of the memorial herb rosemary, bits of a silk ribbon that may have been used to bind her wrists for burial — and much of her hair. The baby had suffered from the childhood disease rickets and probably scurvy.

Calvert family coffins discovered in 1990.

The search for the fort had continued through the 1980s and ’90s with inconclusive results. The quest was put on hold for many years as St. Mary’s focused on other projects. Parno resumed the hunt in 2017, and his find was deemed conclusive in late 2019. The plan had been to announce the discovery last year, but the coronavirus pandemic brought that to a halt. Last summer, though, using coronavirus safety protocols, Parno was able to return to the site and uncover the top of what may be the cellar of a building inside the fort.

Parno noted that the site marks not only a turning point in Maryland’s colonial history. It also marked a massive moment of change for the native peoples of this region,” he said.

“Archaeology in this area shows us people have been here for at least 10,000 years. White wrote that the colonists, “to avoid all occasion of dislike, and colour of wrong,” purchased from the local Yaocomaco Indians the land for 30 miles around, paying with axes, hoes, cloth, and hatchets. The Yaocomaco Indians tolerated the newcomers, he wrote, because the Indians had enemies: The “Sasquasahannockes … [who] come sometimes upon them, and waste and spoile them and their country.”

And the archaeology hinted that the fort may have been built around several existing native dwellings, Parno said.

The Yaocomaco people lived on both sides of the St. Mary’s River. The arrangement was that they would be allowed to stay on the east side with the colonists until the Indians’ crops there were harvested. Then they would move to the west side.

“Some few Indians are here to stay by us till next yeare,” Father White wrote. “Then the land is wholy to be ours alone.”

It’s not clear if, for a time, the colonists and the Yaocomaco lived together in the fort, according to the Historic St. Mary’s City website. “But it is likely that their residences were … in relative proximity to one another.” And an Indian dwelling that had been vacated would have provided good shelter for weary colonists.

“You come off this ship after months, and you need a place to lay your head, and you want something that’s covered and warm,” Parno said.

One day this month, tiny pink flags marking the outline of the fort fluttered in the breeze as Parno’s team methodically scraped away soil at the site. After Horsley’s scan found the fort’s outline in 2018, Parno said he verified it with excavation in 2019. He found that there had been a three-foot-deep trench where the colonists had stood the timbers for the palisade. Inside the trench, the wood had left telltale stains in the soil. “It was clear as day,” Parno said.

Long Lost Early Colonial Fort Discovered in Maryland
A conjectural drawing of the 1634 fort at the St. Mary’s settlement in Maryland.

But he had been surprised when the work revealed that the outline of the fort didn’t match Calvert’s 1634 description of it. Instead of the large square palisade with bastions at the four corners that Calvert described, the team found a smaller, rectangular fort with one bastion. The discrepancy may be because Calvert was describing plans for the fort before it was completed, according to Historic St. Mary’s.

As Parno walked the site this month, fellow archaeologist Stephanie Stevens paused with her shovel. She had done archaeology at the site in 2017. “We had always heard about: ‘There’s this fort somewhere, but we don’t know where it is.’ All these different things,” she said.

Then one-day Parno summoned the team, showed the scan of the fort’s outline, and said, “We found it.”

Archaeologist Travis Parno at his dig on the site of the original fort at St. Mary’s.

“That was amazing,” she said.

8,000-Year-Old Pearl, Found In Abu Dhabi, Is World’s Oldest.

8,000-Year-Old Pearl, Found In Abu Dhabi, Is World’s Oldest.

An 8,000-year-old pearl that archaeologists say is the worlds oldest will be displayed in Abu Dhabi, according to authorities who said Sunday it is proof the objects have been traded since Neolithic times.

Dubbed the ‘Abu Dhabi Pearl’, it was found in layers carbon-dated to 5800-5600 BCE, during the Neolithic period.

This finding proves that pearls and oysters have been used in the UAE nearly 8,000 years ago and is the first confirmed evidence of pearling discovered anywhere in the world.

The small pearl was found in the floor of a room during excavations at Marawah Island

The Abu Dhabi Pearl, on loan from the Zayed National Museum collection, will feature in the special exhibition 10,000 Years of Luxury, taking place at Louvre Abu Dhabi from October 30, 2019, to February 18, 2020.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The Abu Dhabi Pearl is a stunning find, testimony to the ancient origins of our engagement with the sea.

The discovery of the oldest pearl in the world in Abu Dhabi makes it clear that so much of our recent economic and cultural history has deep roots that stretch back to the dawn of prehistory.

Marawah Island is one of our most valuable archaeological sites, and excavations continue in the hope of discovering even more evidence of how our ancestors lived, worked and thrived.”

Prior to the Abu Dhabi Pearl discovery, the earliest known pearl in the UAE was uncovered at a Neolithic site in Umm al-Quwain.

Ancient pearls from the same time have also been found at a Neolithic cemetery close to Jebel Buhais in the emirate of Sharjah. The carbon dating indicates that Abu Dhabi Pearl is older than both these discoveries.

Aside from the priceless Abu Dhabi Pearl, significant finds from the Marawah site have included an imported ceramic vase, beautifully worked flint arrowheads and shell and stone beads.

Numerous painted plaster vessel fragments were also discovered and represent the earliest known decorative art yet discovered in the UAE. At the beginning of 2020, a major new excavation will take place at the site to further uncover its secrets.

Experts have suggested that ancient pearls were possibly traded with Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) in exchange for highly-decorated ceramics and other goods. Pearls were also likely worn as jewellery by the local population, as indicated by the finds at Jebel Buhais in Sharjah.

The art of pearling required in-depth knowledge of pearl beds and their locations and expert seafaring skills.

Once these were mastered by the ancient inhabitants of Marawah, pearling was to remain a mainstay of the UAE’s economy for millennia.

The Venetian jewel merchant Gasparo Balbi, who travelled through the region, mentions the islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi as a source of pearls in the 16th century. The industry flourished until the 1930s.