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Old 08-07-2010, 12:21 PM   #26
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Frederick, MD Archaeologists continue to investigate mystery building

The State Highway Administration archaeological team continued peeling back layers of the unknown structure they uncovered near I-70.

Working all day Thursday to take the building apart stone by massive stone by Friday, the crew was still stumped.

"I have some inkling that we might be getting close," said SHA archaeologist Lisa Kraus. "But I'm not 100 percent certain."

Documentation sent to about 20 field experts yielded no results; the more than 15 hypotheses the crew and local residents have suggested have also been disproved by the evidence.

The mysterious iron door, still the only opening found in the entire structure, needs to be dusted and further examined for markings that may explain more about the building's purpose.

The work that was put into building the structure seemed too painstaking in an era without heavy machinery, Kraus said.

"It's still perplexing to some extent," the archaeologist said. Though frustrating, Kraus said her work is more fun when there's an unanswered question.

According to Kraus, crews removed about 3 million pounds of dirt from the site.

The complete article here : The Frederick News-Post
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:27 PM   #27
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What's up with all these fascinating archeological stories happening in Maryland?

Right in my backyard.


I'm definitely intrigued by this building in Frederick. Keep us updated on that, if you would.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:47 PM   #28
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Pay attention Ancient Alien proponents and opponents.

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Following in the footsteps of Howard Carter and Abbot and Costello, a specialized robot will penetrate deeper into the Great Pyramid of Giza than ever before. The robot, part of a years long exploration called the Djedi Project, will explore a shaft inaccessible to a previous robot, unlocking a room that has remain sealed for 4,500 years.

The robot explorer, built by researchers at the Leeds University, England, in collaboration with French aviation company Dessault and British robotics company Scoutek, will incorporate a small fiber optic camera for looking around corners, an ultrasonic probe for testing the quality of the rock and a releasable mini-robot that can fit through spaces as small as 0.7 inches in diameter. Additionally, the robot uses special nylon and carbon fiber wheels that won't deface the pyramid's sensitive rock.

The complete article...
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:52 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rocket Surgeon
Pay attention Ancient Alien proponents and opponents.



The complete article...


Two words, Iron Bolt Doctor: copper fittings!

Looking forward to seeing what they find.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:21 PM   #30
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In 'Canyon of the Crescent Moon,' 2,000-Year-Old Paintings Re-Emerge


At a cave complex in Beidha, nicknamed "Little Petra", about three miles from the rock carved city of Petra, ancient wall paintings are being restored.

The antiquities department has announced the discovery of an ancient city to the north of the famed city, and is working to restore 2,000-year-old Hellenistic-style wall paintings found there.

Conservation experts almost gave up when they first saw the severely damaged wall paintings they had come to rescue in the ancient city of Petra, cloaked for centuries in grimy soot from bedouin camp fires, the blackened murals appeared beyond repair.

But three years of restoration revealed intricate and brightly-colored artwork, and some of the very few surviving examples of 2,000-year-old Hellenistic wall painting.

Some hope the Petra paintings will help to fill some of the gaps in art historians' knowledge of the transition from Greek to Roman paintings.

"The paintings show a lot of external influences from the ancient world and are as good as, or better than, some of the Roman paintings you see, for example at Pompei," Rickerby said.

"This has immense art-historical importance, reflecting a synthesis of Hellenistic-Roman cultural influences," he added.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:33 PM   #31
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Eleutherna, Crete

Ancient Greek grave yields gold-covered skeleton

Greek archaeologists have uncovered an ancient skeleton covered with gold in a grave on the southern island of Crete.

Excavator Nicholas Stampolidis says the grave dating to the 7th century B.C. contained more than 3,000 pieces of gold foil. The tiny ornaments, up to 1.5 inches long, had been sewn onto a lavish robe or shroud that has almost completely rotted away, and initially wrapped the body of a woman.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:43 PM   #32
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Ancient Greek grave yields gold-covered skeleton

Greek archaeologists have uncovered an ancient skeleton covered with gold in a grave on the southern island of Crete.

Excavator Nicholas Stampolidis says the grave dating to the 7th century B.C. contained more than 3,000 pieces of gold foil. The tiny ornaments, up to 1.5 inches long, had been sewn onto a lavish robe or shroud that has almost completely rotted away, and initially wrapped the body of a woman.

A Greek El Dorado.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:32 AM   #33
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Giant archaeological trove found in Google Earth

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Almost two thousand potential archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia have been discovered from an office chair in Perth, Australia, thanks to high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth.

"I've never been to Saudi Arabia," says David Kennedy from the University of Western Australia, Australia. "It's not the easiest country to break into."

Instead Kennedy scanned 1240 square kilometres in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth. From their birds-eye view he found 1977 potential archaeological sites, including 1082 "pendants" - ancient tear-drop shaped tombs made of stone.

According to Kennedy, aerial photography of Saudi Arabia is not made available to most archaeologists, and it's difficult, if not impossible, to fly over the nation. "But, Google Earth can outflank them," he says.

Kennedy confirmed that the sites were vestiges of an ancient life - rather than vegetation or shadow - by asking a friend in Saudi Arabia, who is not an archaeologist, to drive out to two of the sites and photograph them.

Ground views confirmed what Kennedy was seeing on Google

By comparing the images with structures that Kennedy has seen in Jordan, he believes the sites may be up to 9000 years old, but ground verification is needed. "Just from Google Earth it's impossible to know whether we have found a Bedouin structure that was made 150 years ago, or 10,000 years ago," he says.

Since Google Earth was launched five years ago, the field of "armchair archaeology" has blossomed. And it's been harder for archaeologists to get out of the office, since Spot Image started providing Google Earth with 2.5-metre resolution imagery taken from the SPOT 5 satellite.

In 2008 researchers from Melbourne, Australia, found 463 potential sites in the Registan desert in Afghanistan using the desktop computer program.


Journal Reference: Journal of Archaeological Science,

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Old 08-24-2011, 03:20 PM   #34
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...more like the Jewish Belloq!

'Jewish Indiana Jones' charged in New York Torah scandal

Court says the 50-year-old Menachem Youlus carried out fraud from at least 2004 through 2010, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars through the "Save a Torah" charity he co-founded in 2004 as a nonprofit organization.

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A Jewish charity co-founder who claimed he crisscrossed the globe rescuing Torahs as a "Jewish Indiana Jones" surrendered Wednesday to face mail and wire fraud charges after authorities said he duped benefactors by fabricating dramatic stories about sometimes dangerous trips, including to concentration camp sites in Poland and Germany.

Menachem Youlus, who owns the Jewish Bookstore in Wheaton, Maryland, was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court in Manhattan.

The court papers said the 50-year-old Youlus carried out the fraud from at least 2004 through last year, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars through the "Save a Torah" charity he co-founded in 2004 as a nonprofit organization.

It said he passed off Torahs he bought from U.S. Torah dealers to synagogues and congregations nationwide, sometimes at inflated rates.

It said he received nearly a third of $1.2 million collected by the group, spending some of it on private school tuition for his children and on personal expenses, including meals and health care. The publicly stated mission of the charity was to locate and acquire Torahs that survived the Holocaust or had been taken from Jewish communities worldwide and repair them so they could be used in communities that need them.

According to a criminal complaint prepared by U.S. Postal Inspector Greg Ghiozzi, an application by "Save a Torah" to become a charity listed on the federal government's campaign to encourage donations by federal employees boasted that Youlus had been "dubbed as the present day Jewish 'Indiana Jones.' He has been beaten up, thrown in jail, and gone $175,000 into debt, to bring these holy scrolls out of less-than-friendly places, back to safety and a new life."

At a 2004 Torah dedication, Youlus wrote: "I guess you could call me the Jewish Indiana Jones," the complaint said, referencing the action-adventure hero played by Harrison Ford in the 1981 Stephen Spielberg classic "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

But Ghiozzi wrote that his investigation of Youlus' globe-trotting found no facts to support claims that Youlus rescued the "Auschwitz Torah" in Poland from inside a metal box that he located and unearthed in 2004 using a metal detector.
There was also no evidence that he discovered a Torah in 2002 that had been hidden during World War II under the floor of a barracks at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, Ghiozzi wrote.

The postal inspector wrote that a review of travel records showed that Youlus never traveled to Poland in 2004, making only a two-week trip to Israel, and that he didn't travel internationally from early 2001 to August 2004, when he claimed to have made the trip to Germany.

Ghiozzi said a historian at the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Museum told him Youlus' claims were impossible because the barracks was completely destroyed by the British Army several weeks after the camp was liberated at the end of World War II.

"Youlus told fabricated, untrue accounts of having 'rescued' Torahs that had been lost or hidden during the Holocaust and other times of Jewish persecution around the world, and then used those fabricated accounts as a platform for soliciting contributions to 'Save a Torah,"' Ghiozzi said.

It wasn't immediately clear who would represent Youlus when he appeared Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:15 AM   #35
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Dig The Swiss / Petra Connection

Funny thing about Basel: The city is at the tri-point of the Swiss/French/German borders and I've heard that it is/was a hot-spot for buying & selling archaeological artifacts on the black market! Belloq might have been there a couple of times!

---
Posted on Oct 7, 2012 - 15:09
by Christian Walther in Petra, swissinfo.ch

Discovering Petra - The Wonder in the Desert
---
Exactly 200 years ago, the remarkable cliff city of Petra in present-day Jordan was rediscovered by Basel native Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. To mark the occasion, swissinfo.ch paid a visit to Swiss archaeologists working in Petra.

The treasury, treasure house, the castle of the Pharaoh, or simply: the gate. The monumental edifice, constructed at the end of a long, narrow canyon, casts a spell over everyone who visits the ancient city of Petra. Even today, no one knows why, or in whose honour, this door was hewn out of the cliff. Thus the many names.

"The Bedouins who settled here several hundred years ago couldn’t imagine how people who lived in tents, like them, could build something so magnificent out of stone,“ says Swiss Ueli Bellwald, who has been working in Petra for 20 years. “The nearest major construction are the pyramids of Giza near Cairo. The Bedouins therefore assumed that this building was also created by the pharaohs, and that they had hidden treasure here.”

City of the Nabataeans
So far, no treasure has been discovered. The tourists come anyway - a million of them in 2010.

Petra is considered one of the largest and most fascinating archaeological cities in the world. Its architects, the Nabataeans, were rich. They traded in the luxury goods of antiquity: incense and myrrh from the Arabian peninsula, spices from India, silk from China. Fortunately for them, Petra was a hub of transportation, passed by all caravans before they transported their valuable goods to the Mediterranean port of Gaza or further in the direction of Europe.

The gate described above is just one of thousands of chambers hewn out of the cliffs. Not all are as artfully decorated or as big as the treasury, but the ancient city holds an almost mystical fascination for visitors. That also has to do with the fact that Petra is car-free - visitors are transported through the city by camels, mules, or horses. In order to truly see Petra, travellers must set aside several days.

Sheikh Ibrahim
Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, who was from Basel, is considered the founder of local tourism in Petra. He is almost a national hero in Jordan, according to Bellwald.

Burckhardt studied in Leipzig and Göttingen before heading to England in 1806. At Cambridge he learned Arabian and took courses in medicine, archaeology and minerology. The African Association, a sort of think tank comprising influential men of the British upper class, gave him a mandate to explore the headwaters of the Niger.

To prepare for his long journey, Burckhardt lived for almost three years in the Syrian city of Aleppo. He claimed to be an Indian businessman, called himself Sheikh Ibrahim, studied the Koran and, among other texts, translated Daniel Defoe’s adventure novel Robinson Crusoe into Arabic.

On the way to Petra
In 1812, Burckhardt set off in the direction of Palestine. As he travelled east of the Dead Sea, there were increasing signs of a large, ancient city in the area. "I was especially eager to visit Wadi Musa, the valley of Moses, whose historical sites locals had spoken of with great admiration,” Burckhardt wrote in his journal.

But the Bedouins greeted him with mistrust. Foreigners, they believed, were searching for treasure to steal. So, Burckhardt used a ruse in order to get to Petra. He hired a guide to take him to the grave of Aaron, brother of Moses, where he planned, according to Muslim tradition, to honour Aaron by sacrificing a goat. The trick worked, and Burckhardt became the first European in almost 1000 years for whom the road to Petra was opened.

Water in the desert
Today’s visitors to Petra travel in more comfort. For more than 200 kilometres, the road leads straight through the desert. Then, gradually, the scenery changes. Single stands of trees, terraced fields with olive trees, even flowers become visible. Wadi Musa, at the end of which Petra lies, is a fertile valley. Most of the rain falls in winter and spring. The difficulty lies in collecting and channeling the rainwater.

"It’s similar to the situation we have in the mountains,“ explains Bellwald. "When it rains, the water primarily falls on rock. It can’t seep down anywhere and within minutes it has built up into a huge wave that destroys everything that stands in its way. In order to deal with this situation, the Nabataeans built dams. A unique system in antiquity.”

With the help of local workers, Bellwald has reconstructed the irrigation system of the Nabataeans. The most noticeable feature is the canals with overflow basins which can be seen on either side of the canyon. The numerous dams, large and small, lie in the craggy side valleys and are off limits to tourists.

Swiss in Petra
Bellwald is not the only Swiss in Petra. The Nabataean villa Ez Zantur was excavated by researchers from Basel University, and parts of its ornamental inner rooms were reconstructed. And on one of the highest hills ringing Petra, the Basler Stephan Schmid and his students from Humboldt University in Berlin are hard at work. In 2004, Schmid discovered foundations which have since taken on the form of a palace with baths in the style of the Greeks and Romans.

A palace on a mountain where there’s no wood or water?

"Yes,” says Schmid. “Every branch that was burned had to be carried up from far away. Kind of mad. The person who lived here must have had the power, the means and the influence to ensure that this building was built and maintained.” He theorizes that the palace was the Nabataeans‘ answer to the rock fortress Masada in present-day Israel.

The first Swiss visitor, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, never lived to learn that the city he discovered was actually the ancient city of Petra. In 1817, at the age of 33, he died in Cairo of an intestinal disease. His travelogues didn’t appear until after his death, and when they did, it created quite a storm. "Everyone wanted to travel to the Orient,” recounts Bellwald. "And, like Burckhardt, they dressed up as Bedouins."
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Christian Walther :

A palace on a mountain where there’s no wood or water?

"Yes,” says Schmid. “Every branch that was burned had to be carried up from far away. Kind of mad. The person who lived here must have had the power, the means and the influence to ensure that this building was built and maintained.” He theorizes that the palace was the Nabataeans‘ answer to the rock fortress Masada in present-day Israel."

Like other grand buildings...maybe built for God.


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AIM Newswire — November 3, 2012

BALI, Indonesia – A structure that is believed to be the remains of an ancient Hindu temple, according to an archaeologist, has been unearthed in the famous Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Local archaeologist Wayan Swantika said that the workers digging a drainage basin last week in eastern Denpasar, Bali’s capital, at first discovered a large stone about 3 feet underground.

Since the discovery of the stone, excavation teams have since uncovered a 62-yard structure that is believed to be the temple’s foundation.

The discovery is still under analysis, but due to the shape and material characteristics, Swantika is confident that it was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. He also added that it is also thought to be the largest ancient temple ever discovered in Bali.
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