Weekly Roundup of Archaeology and History November 10-17

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are some posts I enjoyed this week:

Earliest winemaking, now 6,000 years ago in Georgia (no not that Georgia), the Republic of Georgia. Neolithic agricultural knowledge and the development of pottery for fermentation containers seems to have combined with Eurasian native grapes to make wine. This beats the previous “earliest wine” in the Zagros mountains of Iran by about 1000 years. Click here for Archaeology News Network “Archaeologists Find Earliest Evidence Of Winemaking”

“Using numbers scrawled by Bronze Age merchants on 4,000-year-old clay tablets, a historian and three economists have developed a novel way to pinpoint the locations of lost cities of the ancient world”—fr the Washington Post. They use the 23,000 or so cuneiform tablets found at the site of Kanesh (central modern Turkey) and a lot of math and diagrams to figure out probable range of locations. This may not sound like a big deal, but given the vast written cuneiform records we have of the Hittite Empire that mention cities and the large number of discovered archaeological sites with no name attached, it’d be a big boon to be able to connect the dots and attach ancient names to archaeological sites. That way we’d know, from the letters and records, who ruled there, what the administrative issues and battles etc were. Combining historical records with archaeological for several Hittite cities would be grand. This project worked only with Assyrian Colony records, before the main Hittite Empire period, but as a technique it could certainly be applied more widely, although the records of the Assyrian Colony regularly note distances and costs that made these calculations possible. Most other later correspondence doesn’t have this single-minded trade concern. Click here for  the Washington Post “Ancient data, modern math and the hunt for 11 lost cities of the Bronze Age”


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