Weekly Roundup of Archaeology and History Sept 2-8

Here are some posts I enjoyed this week:

1910 postcard of Elefis Bay and Salamis

1910 postcard of Elefis Bay and Salamis

The Battle of Salamis, in which the Athenians and other Greek city-states defeated the Persians with their fleet and “saved democracy” (if we want to be overly simplistic), is memorable for many reasons. This victory did lead the Athenians to develop a rather over blown view of themselves and a domineering empire, but it was a grand moment. Now archaeological exploration is searching out the shipwrecks and the fortifications etc around Salamis and the bay. Early days still, mostly very cool scanning to identify what’s under the seabed far enough down to be classical period. Click here for Archaeology News Network “Completion of second phase of underwater research at Ambelakia in Salamis”

 

Leif Ericson from a 1908 book by Mary MacGregor: Stories of the Vikings

Leif Ericson from a 1908 book by Mary MacGregor: Stories of the Vikings

Brewing beer the Viking way. That is throw in glowing hot stones into the wooden pot to cook your beer. Thick deposits of cracked stones puzzled archaeologists in Norway, but not any more. The farmers, interestingly enough, knew what all the piles of stones were from and told said archaeologists. Cultural memory can be pretty long lasting. These are Iron Age stones for the beer  (before iron pots were common, hence the wooden pots and the need for stones). Apparently you can still get “stone-brewed” beer in Norway. Ever had it? Click here for Archaeology News Network “Brewing Viking Beer — With Stones”

In Jordan on the Dead Sea at the ancient site of Machaerus, a ritual bath and fortress of Herod are being uncovered. Ritual baths had to hold 83 gallons of water to meet religious specifications, so this is a pretty large find with 12 steps going down into the bath and a reserve pool to feed it when the water went low. This site was destroyed by the Romans and then rebuilt by Herod. It has Herod’s signature giant size. It was positioned as a watch point so that warnings of invaders from the east could be sent to Jerusalem. Click here for Archaeology News Network “Monumental ritual bath unearthed at King Herod’s Palace in Jordan”

I love this story. Volunteer archaeologists in Berkshire England, at it since 2011, uncovered an extraordinary Roman mosaic. Whoever owned this villa wanted to show off his knowledge of Greek myths and commissioned them to be displayed on his floor to entertain and impress his guests. Among others, Hercules killing a centaur and Bellerophon riding winged Pegasus taking down the fire-breathing Chimera. It dates to 4th C AD. Click here for Archaeology News Network “Rare Roman mosaic with Greek mythology scenes found in England”


Comments

Weekly Roundup of Archaeology and History Sept 2-8 — 2 Comments

  1. Judith, I am thrilled to find your postings. I love ancient history and their fabulous buildings, art, stories, and how we humans have basically not changed much! I would love to get your postings, and read the previous ones. I am of the mind that so much of past history is over thought, and common sense is not used by the archeologists in trying to decipher the meanings in their discoveries. Like the story about the Viking beer, lol.. looking forward to your posts!!

    • Just email subscribe on the homepage and my posts will arrive once a week. Sometimes I have a midweek post if I add a review or something like that.

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