A 2,200-year-old inscription discovered in Southern India

A 2,200-year-old inscription discovered in Southern India

In unveiling the forgotten but glorious history of India’s Telangana state which was a part of Asmaka Mahajanapada, the predecessor to an Empire, researchers found an inscription on a rock in Maltumeda village in Nagireddipet Mandal in Kamareddy district written in Ashokan Brahmi script from the 2nd century BC.

This is believed to be older than Dulikatta, Kotilingala, and other inscriptions, which belong to 1st century AD.

A team, comprising MA Srinivasan, a research scholar from Osmania University working on Buddhist archaeology in Telangana, Y Bhanu Murthy, former chief caretaker, Telangana Heritage Department, and B Shankar Reddy, an avid enthusiast of archaeology and surveyor by profession, discovered a label inscription (minor inscription) consisting of five letters in Brahmi script and Prakrit, the language of that period in the village.

Researchers found an inscription written in Ashokan Brahmi script of 2nd century BC on a rock in Maltummeda village of Nagireddipet mandal in Kamareddy district.

The inscription, ‘Madhavachanda’, is on a big boulder on a small hillock on the south of the village, around 500 meters away from the Manjeera river. It was read and certified by the Director, Epigraphy, at the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in Mysore confirming that the latest finding could be the earliest inscription in Telangana to date.

Another significant aspect is that this strengthens the significance of archaeological sites like Bodhan and Kondapur, which are on the Manjeera-Godavari valley, through which the genesis and growth of the Satavahana Empire can be traced.

Mid-Godavari – The cradle of Telangana’s civilization

“Telangana is a part of Asmaka Mahajanapada that spread from north to south of Telangana, with mid-Godavari as its core area.

We have recorded evidence that kingdoms and civilizations flourished in those times from Asmaka Mahajanapada,” Srinivasan told ‘Telangana Today’. He pointed that no one bothered about the antiquity of Telangana after its merger with Andhra Pradesh and for decades, the concentration was more on Amaravati and Andhra Pradesh.

Rewriting of the Telangana history started only during the last one or two decades. Many researchers wrote about many areas and a lot of evidence was brought out, he added.

The team, which was scouting for early historic sites of ancient Telangana in the Manjeera valley, came to know that there were rock paintings in Maltummeda.

“This confirmed that there were habitations since the Neolithic period in that area. We hoped that we might find evidence of the Satavahana period such as bricks,” he said.

“Shankar Reddy found the rock inscription and informed us. We cleaned it suspecting that someone in the recent past may have made that carving on the rock.

We realized that there were five letters. We took the photographs and sent it to the ASI in Mysore and they confirmed that it was a 2nd century BC inscription,” Y Bhanu Murthy added. The team of enthusiasts frequently visited another site in Demikalam, 10 km from Maltummeda, where there is a cave temple.

What is more significant is that the ASI in Mysore has confirmed that the inscription was 2nd century Brahmi, Ashokan Brahmi to be more specific.

This is Brahmi of Ashoka times and the style is similar to that of rock carvings of Ashoka times. “We don’t understand much of what the inscription is trying to convey. Is Madhavachanda a name of a person or a location? Which religion did he belong to? Or is he saying it is my hillock? We don’t know, we must also search literary text to understand the context of Madhavachanda.

Definitely, it was the early Satavahana period. Satavahanas ruled between 220 BC and 225 AD for nearly 445 years.

The team members said the ASI must take care of the site to protect and estampage the inscriptions to make a replica of it to preserve and publish it. They hoped that the ASI would build a shed or fencing to protect the inscription from direct contact of visitors.

Textile treasure trove shows Importance of fashion to Ancient Britons

Textile treasure trove shows Importance of fashion to Ancient Britons

Notable archeological evidence from the site of a prehistoric settlement in the eastern part of England, suggests that Bronze Age Britons had a liking for high-end fashion. Excavations, 30 miles north-west of Cambridge, have unearthed the earliest examples of superfine textiles ever found in Britain. They are also among the most finely-made Bronze Age fabrics ever discovered in Europe as a whole – and are of huge international significance.

Detail of preserved Bronze Age textile made from plant fibres

Up to now, researchers from the University of Cambridge have found more than 100 fragments of textile unspun processed fibre and textile yarn at the site. Some of the yarn is of superfine quality – with some threads being just 100 microns (1/10 of a millimetre) in diameter, while some of the fabrics themselves are so finely woven that they have 28 threads per centimetre, fine even by modern standards. It’s likely that some of the fragments of textile are from items of clothing.

Originally, some of the textiles must have been of very substantial size – because they had been folded, in some cases in up to 10 layers. If made to be worn, these folded fabrics may well have been large garments, potentially, capes, cloaks – or even large drapes, perhaps similar to those known from elsewhere in the ancient (and sometimes modern) worlds – the ancient Greek chiton, the Roman toga and the Indian sari. A drape folded into 10 layers for temporary storage would have served as a substantial garment – potentially up to 3 metres square (i.e. 9 square metre).

Most of the superfine fabrics from the site – Must Farm near Whittlesea, Cambridgeshire – were made of linen. When the village was flourishing around 3,000 years ago, textile manufacture seems to have been a key craft practiced there. Hundreds – possibly thousands – of flax seeds have so far been found on the site (some of which had been stored in containers). Flax is the crop that produces the fibres used in linen production.

Amber bead and others found in situ

What’s more, the presence on the site of unspun processed fibre, yarn, and finished textiles all strongly suggests that the village was involved not only in using textiles but also in manufacturing them. Timber fragments with delicate carpentry, found during the Historic-England-funded excavation may well be the remains of looms. Indeed fired clay loom weights have been unearthed there.

The archaeologists have also discovered that Bronze Age Britons also had a penchant for a different type of fabric – made of processed nettle stems (from a locally available non-stinging subspecies of nettle – today known as fen nettles). Unlike flax, nettles grew wild and therefore did not need to be cultivated. What’s more, well-made nettle textile was often particularly fine and silky.

But nettles may well have had additional benefits – at least in the eyes of the users of the fabrics.

In traditional ancient folklore, nettles of various types were often regarded as having magical powers. They were seen as being able to protect both humans and animals from sorcery and witchcraft. What’s more, garments made of nettles were therefore sometimes seen as protecting their wearers from evil. Indeed one of Europe’s most famous folktales – the Wild Swans (written by Hans Christian Andersen, but thought to be based on traditional folk stories) – reveals how shirts, made of nettle yarn, enabled their wearers to break a witch’s spell.

So far no evidence of any extensive patterns or coloured dyes have been found on any of the linen and nettle yarn textile fragments – although the edge of one piece of fabric (perhaps part of a shawl or cape) seems to have been decorated with fringes, rows of knots, and strips featuring different styles of weave. Certainly, dying the linen would have presented substantial technical difficulties – but bleaching it would have been much less challenging. It is therefore very likely that the naturally light brown linen was bleached to achieve a creamy white or possibly even dazzlingly pure white appearance. Basic bleaching of the fabric might well have been achieved with the use of a mixture of urine and milk or by simply laying out the fabrics on wet grass on a succession of sunny days. The village appears to have been very prosperous, yet tragically short-lived.

As well as making (and presumably using) ultra-fine fabrics, at least some of the inhabitants wore exotic jewellery made of blue, black, yellow and green glass manufactured in the eastern Mediterranean region – probably in what is now the Syria or Turkey.

They lived in large well-built houses and had a wide range of tools and other possessions. So far, around 50 bronze axes, sickles, spears, swords, razors, hammers, tweezers, and awls have been found along with some 60 wooden buckets, platters, and troughs as well as around 60 well preserved ceramic bowls, mugs and storage jars. Dug-out canoes and two wooden wheels have also been unearthed.

But the archaeological evidence suggests that this thriving and prosperous settlement was probably attacked, burnt, and destroyed by its enemies less than a year after it was built.

In the five houses excavated so far, the population seems to have fled or been captured or killed, leaving all their possessions behind – meals half eaten, salted or dried meat still hanging in the rafters, garments neatly folded on or around well-made wooden furniture.

“It’s a bit like discovering the Marie Celeste. Everything is exactly as it was left. Only the inhabitants are missing,” said the director of the excavation, Mark Knight of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

“This site is providing the modern world with an image of daily life in the British Bronze Age that was until now beyond our dreams. It is only the very specific and unusual circumstances of the destruction of the settlement that has, paradoxically, allowed so much of it to be preserved intact,” he said.

Because the village had been set alight, large numbers of wooden, textile and other artefacts were charred – and because the houses were built on wooden stilts in a river (flanked by marchland), everything ultimately ended up underwater, where it was subsequently covered with silt and mud.

This rare combination of charring and waterlogging and natural burial under sediment has been responsible for the extraordinarily high levels of preservation.

Most of the artefacts have been found inside the settlement’s houses. So far, five of these large 6-8 metre diameter structures have been found at the site. Again, because of charring and subsequent waterlogging, around half of all the wall, roof and other timbers from these buildings have been preserved.

The excavation is being directed by archaeologist Mark Knight of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, with textile research being carried out by a textile specialist, Dr Susanna Harris of the University of Glasgow. Because of its national and international importance, the entire project is being funded to the tune of £1.4 million by Historic England and the owner of the site, one of the UK’s major brick-making companies – Forterra.

The finds include the largest group of prehistoric textiles ever discovered in Britain – and the largest collection of complete bronze, wooden and ceramic artefacts ever found in a British Bronze Age settlement.

oldest evidence of life on land found in 3.48 billion-year-old Australian rocks

Oldest evidence of life on land found in 3.48 billion-year-old Australian rocks

Whether you are looking at an actual fossil or crinkles in the rock itself can be hard to tell in the search for the earliest life on earth. The discovery of 3.5 billion – year – old fossils in the Australian desert in the 1980s has long shadowed these doubts Now, scientists think they ended up putting the matter to bed

The Dresser formation in the Pilbara Craton contains evidence of ancient hot spring activity.

In ancient fossilized microbe formations called stromatolites, found in the Dresser Formation fossil site of the Pilbara region, researchers have finally detected traces of organic matter.

“This is an exciting discovery – for the first time, we’re able to show the world that these stromatolites are definitive evidence for the earliest life on Earth,” said geologist Raphael Baumgartner of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia.

You may remember the time scientists claimed to have found 3.7 billion-year-old fossils in Greenland. Later research determined that these fossils were just plain old rocks, and the crown was returned to the Pilbara fossils.

But, although everyone was pretty sure the Pilbara fossils were the real deal, it hadn’t actually been conclusively proven. They had the shape and structure of microbial stromatolites, but no evidence of organic matter to back it up.

There’s more riding on this than a tiara and a sash reading “Oldest fossils.” It’s deeply relevant to one of the fundamental questions about our very existence: When and how did life develop on this sloshy blue marble?

So, Baumgartner and his team went digging. Not literally, though; they analyzed previously drilled core samples from deep underground, below where the rocks could have been affected by the weather. This means these samples were much better preserved than those from the surface; in their paper, the team said the preservation was “exceptional”.

Spherical bubbles preserved in 3.48 billion-year-old rocks in the Dresser Formation in the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia provide evidence for early life having lived in ancient hot springs on land.
Microbial evidence from Dresser formation hot spring

The researchers analyzed the samples in thin slices using multiple techniques, including scanning electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy; energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy; nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry; and stable carbon isotope analysis. 

If that seems like overkill, well, it’s not really. If one of those lines of inquiry showed a positive result and the rest didn’t, it would mean much shakier ground for drawing a conclusion. But things looked good across the board.

The team’s analyses revealed that the stromatolites are predominantly made up of a mineral called pyrite, riddled with nanoscopic pores. And in the pyrite are inclusions of nitrogen-bearing organic material, as well as strands and filaments of organic matter that closely resemble the remnants of biofilms formed by microbe colonies.

“The organic matter that we found preserved within pyrite of the stromatolites is exciting – we’re looking at exceptionally preserved coherent filaments and strands that are typically remains of microbial biofilms,” Baumgartner said.

“I was pretty surprised – we never expected to find this level of evidence before I started this project.”

Previously, a different team of UNSW researchers found evidence of 3.48 billion-year-old microbes in hot spring deposits in the Pilbara.

An Australian Geographic segment on Karijini National Park.
Two hikers gaze at the rock formations in Dales Gorge at Karijini National Park in Pilbara, western Australia.

Because those deposits are about the same age as the crust of Mars, it’s thought that they could tell us how to find potential fossils on Mars – especially since there’s evidence the Red Planet once had hot springs too.

Indeed, NASA has been investigating the Pilbara to try to learn the possible geological signatures that could indicate the presence of stromatolites.

“Understanding where life could have emerged is really important in order to understand our ancestry,” Baumgartner said. “And from there, it could help us understand where else life could have occurred – for example, where it was kick-started on other planets.”

Serbian Roman Artifact Vanishes 24 Hours After Discovery

Serbian Roman Artifact Vanishes 24 Hours After Discovery

A just recently excavated ancient Serbian Roman artifact, a stone piece covered with etched Latin text, has actually been taken just 24 hours after it was found. The unusual Roman artifact was found on July 10, 2020, throughout roadway building works resulting in the Vinča landfill site.

Side of the stolen Serbian Roman artifact showing the Roman inscription. 

According to a report on Archaeology News Network among the roadway, employees notified the National Museum in Belgrade about the amazing finding, nevertheless, when a museum archaeologist got to the site the next early morning the Serbian Roman artifact had actually disappeared without a trace.

Serbian Roman Artifact and The Lost Life Of A Roman Authorities

The museum archaeologists understood the Serbian Roman artifact belonged to a marble monolith dating to the second-century which one side on the artifact portrayed 2 feet using shoes that belonged to a previous sculpture.

The opposite, nevertheless, was engraved with 15 lines of Latin text explaining in information the life and times of a high-ranking Roman military authority who, according to the National Museum in Belgrade, “led various military detachments against the Dacians and served in three legions.”

The majority of the contemporary state of Serbia belonged to the Roman Empire for about 600 years, from the first century BC up until the arrival of the Slavs in the Balkans throughout the sixth-century.

This ancient monolith might have been a substantial addition to the recognized ancient history of Serbia since it likewise supplied brand-new proof about a war in the location of Singidunum or ancient Belgrade.

Stolen Artifact an Example of Daring, Swift Archaeological Theft

Prior to the stone piece inexplicably vanished the museum personnel had actually notified the landfill management group that due to its size and weight the stone was going to be raised by a crane and thoroughly moved to the National Museum in Belgrade.

A museum representative stated in a news release that historical items found in the area of the Republic of Serbia “belong to the Republic of Serbia by law.” And they likewise stated the “epigraphic monument” had actually been formally taped which an administrative treatment had actually been actioned to recover and restore it.

And this implies that the event is being dealt with as a case of “aggravated theft” and criminal charges have actually been raised versus the unidentified lawbreaker( s).

How in the world, in 2020, can such a logistically complex outdoor criminal activity happen and be successful? I imply it’s not like the artifact was a golden ring or a silver bracelet that a solo lawbreaker might simply conceal in their pocket.

To have actually moved such a large stone, a whole group of males with heavy building devices would have been needed. And this is more than likely precisely what occurred: a criminal gang more than likely settled the best individuals at the site, handled to get the things into a truck, and after that rapidly vanished to offer the stone to the greatest bidder on the dark side.

However as bad as this all noises, it worsens, since this kind of daytime break-in is prevalent in Serbia.

Side of the stolen Serbian Roman artifact showing the sandal-covered feet in the upper right.

Serbia: An Area With Excessive Unguarded Treasure

A 2016 paper ” Historical Break-ins of Antiques in Serbia” released by a group of researchers from the Institute of Archaeology, Belgrade, Serbia, specifies that the area of Serbia is a target for historical crooks since it has actually been house to lots of particular cultures throughout the past: “from European prehistory, Roman civilization, Byzantine and Serbian Medieval art up to the present day.”

What this implies is that Serbia has countless “unguarded” historical sites and middle ages abbeys representing the nation’s “material, cultural and spiritual past.” And with the majority of sites being mainly unguarded, it is not unexpected that criminal gangs tear the landscape apart in Serbia.

However, contributing to the large weight of untouched sites is the issue of simply how important even the tiniest Serbian artifacts can be.

An example of an unlawful historical excavation in Serbia was the discovery of the “Golden Avar Belt Buckle,” which was found with a metal detector at a depth of about 2 meters in the town of Divoš, near Sremska Mitrovica (Sirmium). This single palm-sized things was approximated to be worth “around one million euros.”

Thankfully when it comes to the taken belt buckle,” МUP RS “, the Serbian department for combating the mob, detained the primary criminal and his accomplices, who were all charged with a 3 year suspended sentence for contravening the unlawful trade act, which restricts unapproved historical excavations. Ideally, the just recently taken stone Roman artifact and those who took it will quickly be discovered.

Pits of Skulls Found in Shimao: China’s Neolithic City of Mystery

Pits of Skulls Found in Shimao: China’s Neolithic City of Mystery

The villagers of China’s dusty Loess Plateau believed for decades that the crumbling rocks near their homes were from China’s Great Wall, which was very common along the area.

As large numbers of jade pieces shaped into disks, blades and scepters were found by locals and looters, suspicions grew as jade was only available at about 1000 miles away from the area and wasn’t even a feature of the Great Wall.

When a team of Chinese archaeologists came to investigate the rubbles, they started unearthing the area and found that the stones weren’t a part of the Great Wall but were the ruins of a magnificent fortress city.

5: jade items found at East Gate; 7: jade and metal bracelets with a human arm bone found in a burial; 8: stone human head; 9: Shimao ceramics.

The digging had revealed a 230 feet high pyramid surrounded by more than six miles of protective walls and an inner sanctum containing jade artifacts, painted murals, and gruesome evidence of human sacrifice.

Before the excavations were suspended earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the archaeologists had dug up 70 stunning stone sculptures which were figurines of monsters, serpents, and half-human beasts resembling Bronze Age iconography of China.

Block carved with humanoid deity. Southern retaining wall, upper citadel, Shimao, Shenmu county, Shaanxi province, China.

The site has been named Shimao (original name undetermined) and carbon dating of its parts date back to around 4,300 years ago i.e. 2,000 years before the oldest section of the Great Wall. As it seems, Shimao flourished for nearly half a millennium in that remote region, and then suddenly, it disappeared.

Aerial photo of Shimao’s East Gate. A: U-shaped screen; B: gate tower; C: L-shaped wall; D: bastion; E: corner tower.

Shimao now is the largest known Neolithic settlement in China and none of the ancient Chinese texts mentions a city residing so far north of the “cradle of Chinese Civilization”. It had an expanse of 1000 acre and is larger than the Central Park of New York City. Its art and technology had influenced the northern regions and the future dynasties of China.

Along with other discoveries at prehistoric sites, Shimao is forcing historians to rethink the origin of the Chinese civilization.

According to the leader of the dig at Shimao, “Shimao is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of this century.”

Shimao’s step pyramid.

Designed for danger, Shimao was built on a conflict zone i.e. a borderland dominated by warfare between farmers of the central plains and herdsmen of the northern steppe. To protect themselves from violent attacks, the Shimao people constructed their 20-tiered pyramid on the highest of the northern hills.

It’s visible from every part of the city and is half the height of the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt built around the same time. Its base, however, is four times larger and the Shimao elites resided at the topmost tier of the pyramid which had a 20-acre palatial complex with amenities.

The pyramid was surrounded by embryonic urban designs and inner and outer perimeter walls. More than 70 small satellite stone towns have also been discovered in the Shimao orbit.

The defense system of civilization is as fascinating as its infrastructure and huge fortifications. However, the most terrible discovery was from underneath the city’s eastern wall which had 80 human skulls clustered in six pits without the skeletons that represent traditions of human sacrifice in this astonishing prehistoric town.

A pit of skulls unearthed at Shimao.

8,000 years old Fluted Stone Tools Found in Southern Arabia

8,000 years old Fluted Stone Tools Found in Southern Arabia

Cosmos Magazine reports that 8,000-year-old fluted arrowheads have been uncovered in Yemen and in Oman.

Excavation work at the Manayzah site in Yemen.

Chipping off flakes from stone to shape it is a highly skilled process that had been previously thought to be limited to toolmakers who lived in North America between 13,000 and 10,000 years ago

Throughout southern Arabia, neolithic toolmakers have developed complex stone weapons designed to be practical and to demonstrate their artistic skills.

About 8,000 years ago spearheads and arrowheads were created using fluting, a process first used in North America thousands of years earlier – but there was a difference.

In North America, almost all fluting on projectile points was done near the base, so the implementation could be attached with string to the arrow or spear shaft. However, some Arabian points had fluting that appeared to have no practical purpose, such as near the tip.

“Of course, we can’t say for sure, but we think this was a way for skilled toolmakers to signal something to others, perhaps that one is a good hunter… or dexterous with one’s hands,” says anthropologist Joy McCorriston from Ohio State University (OSU), US, co-author of a paper in the journal PLOS ONE.

“It showed one was good at what one did. This could improve one’s social standing in the community.”

Researchers from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, and OSU studied projectile points from two archaeological sites: Manayzah, in Yemen, and Ad-Dahariz, in Oman.

Finding fluted points outside of North America was an important discovery, said CNRS’s Rémy Crassard, the study’s lead author.

“These fluted points were, until recently, unknown elsewhere on the planet,” he says. “This was until the early 2000s, when the first isolated examples of these objects were recognized in Yemen, and more recently in Oman.”

The discovery provides one of the best examples of “independent invention” across continents, says Michael Petraglia, from the Max Planck Institute.

“Given their age, and the fact that the fluted points from America and Arabia are separated by thousands of kilometers, there is no possible cultural connection between them,” he says.

“This is a clear and excellent example of cultural convergence, or independent invention, in human history.”

Fluting involves a highly skilled process of chipping off flakes from stone to create a distinctive channel.

As part of their study, the researchers had a master technician in flintknapping – the shaping of stones – attempt to create projectile points in a way similar to how researchers believe the ancient Arabians did.

“He made hundreds of attempts to learn how to do this. It is difficult and a flintknapper breaks a lot of these points trying to learn how to do it right,” McCorriston says.

Tourist Damages A Valuable Italian Sculpture And Just Walks Away

Tourist Damages A Valuable Italian Sculpture And Just Walks Away

The Austrian 50-year-old man who broke three toes of a statue in the 19th century while posing for a picture has been identified by the Italian police.

On July 31 in the Hipsoteca Museum in Possagno Northern Italy, the 200-year-old plaster cast model of Antonio Canova’s statue of Paolina Bonaparte was damaged.

The tourist’s name has not been released yet, but surveillance camera footage shows him laying on the statue to pose for a photo. When the man stands up to walk away, it appears he gets rid of the damages, or toes, and walks away.

Antonio Canova self portrait, 1790.

Canova carved the now damaged piece of art from a marble statue that is currently housed in the Borghese Gallery in Rome. The sculptor lived from 1757-1822 and was famous for his marble statues.

Police report the man was with a group of eight Austrian tourists but strayed away from his friends to get a photo of himself “sprawled over the statue.”

Investigators say there could be further damage to the base of the sculpture that the museum experts still have to ascertain, but as of now, only three broken toes from the statue’s right foot are notably damaged.

President of the Antonio Canova Foundation, Vittorio Sgarbi, wrote in a Facebook post that he has asked police for “clarity and rigor.” He wrote that the tourist must not “remain unpunished and return to his homeland. The scarring of a Canova is unacceptable.”

The museum posted about the incident on Facebook, explaining that the room guard noticed the damage and declared an emergency situation immediately.

Image of the damaged Italian sculpture model from the Carabinieri police.

The man responsible for the damage was identified because of coronavirus measures, which required visitors to leave their personal information for eventual contact tracing if an outbreak were tied to the museum.

When police reached out to a woman who signed in on behalf of herself and her husband, the woman burst into tears and admitted her husband was the toe breaker, according to a press release from Treviso Carabinieri.

The husband later confessed and repented for the “stupid move,” as stated in the release. Charges have not been pressed. A court in Treviso is still deciding on legal actions.

This toe-breaker is not the first person to damage a valuable piece of artwork in an attempt to get a selfie. In 2018, a woman knocked over and damaged two artworks in an attempt to get a selfie, one by Francisco Goya and the other by Salvador Dali, at a gallery in Russia.

The Museum recently affected by the Austrian tourist concluded the Facebook post on the matter with the following statement.

“We reiterate that our heritage must be protected: adopting responsible behavior within the Museum while respecting the works and goods preserved in it is not only a civic duty, but a sign of respect for what our history and culture testify and that must be proudly handed down to future generations.”

The thankfully intact marble sculpture of Paolina Bonaparte Borghese as ‘Venus Victrix’ by Antonio Canova, in the Galleria Borghese, Rome.

Middle Paleolithic Site Discovered in Southern Israel

Middle Paleolithic Site Discovered in Southern Israel

A mid paleolithic flint knapping site that occurs between 250,000-50,000 years ago has been found in recent excavations undertaken by the Israel Antiquities Authority, in conjunction with local youth in Dimona, in preparation for construction of solar energy, funded by the electricity company.

The youth from the city who were interested in the exploration as a summer work during the economically challenging period of the COVID-19 helped discover the unusual prehistoric site.

The site near Dimona was newly found to be small. Prehistoric human beings apparently came here and made their tools from the abundant natural flint they made

The site here is unique because of the flint knapping technology, known as ‘Nubian Levallois,’ which originated in Africa.

Researchers trace the path of this technology to understand the migration routes of modern humans from Africa to the rest of the world, about 100,000 years ago.

According to the excavation directors, the prehistory researchers Talia Abulafia and Maya Oron from the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is the first evidence of a ‘Nubian’ flint industry in an archeological excavation in Israel.

The knapped flint artifacts remained right in the first place where the humans sat and created the tools. This manufacturing is identified with modern human populations who lived in East Africa 150-100 thousand years ago and migrated from there around the world.

In the last decade, quite a few Nubian sites have been discovered in the Arabian Peninsula. This has led many scholars to claim that modern humans left Africa through the Arabian Peninsula.

The Dimona site appears to present the northernmost example of Nubian flint output found in situ, thus marking the migration route: from Africa to Saudi Arabia, and from there, perhaps, to the Negev.

The excavation took place while dealing with the challenges presented by COVID-19, which affect the health and economy of Israeli citizens in general, and the residents of Dimona in particular.

According to Svetlana Talis, Northern Negev District Archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Dimona is one of the most severely affected towns in the second wave of the Corona outbreak and was even on the verge of lockdown.

After wondering what to do about summer holidays, local youths from Dimona came to the excavation to work and help their families, and to uncover a site of particular importance.

All of this is part of a project promoted and directed by the Israel Antiquities Authority in recent years, which seeks to bring our youth closer to their cultural heritage.”

All In One Magazine