The Endurance ship and Aztec masks: top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2022 (photo)
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Among the researchers' finds are portraits of the Ptolemaic period, the ship of the legendary Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, and even the oldest bas-relief in the world.< /p> Related video
2022 was rich in archaeological finds. In particular, scientists were surprised by the incredible collection of bronze statues found in the thermal waters and precious beads, the most important archaeological find in England since the discovery of the famous Sutton Hoo burial site in 1939. In addition, archaeologists have discovered the sunken ship of a real Antarctic explorer, despite the fact that sea ice impeded the search. HeritageDaily decided to share the most popular finds.
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Bronze statue collection
In thermal baths in Tuscany, on a hill city of San Casciano dei Bagni, dozens of bronze statues from ancient Roman times were discovered this year. According to archaeologists, such a discovery is extremely rare.
Scientists suggest that the good condition of the artifacts, which are 2300 years old, is due to hot water from thermal springs. Probably, the statues served as a decoration of the sanctuary.
In total, the team of archaeologists managed to find 24 large statues and several small ones. They were then taken to the restoration laboratory in Grosseto.
The ship of the legendary Antarctic explorer
In March, researchers discovered the wreck of Ernst Shackleton's expedition ship, the Endurance, which is surprisingly well preserved. The discovery came 100 years after the explorer's death.
The condition of the ship surprised scientists, said polar geographer John Shears, leader of the Endurance 2022 expedition. His search was greatly complicated by the blocking sea ice and the fact that it was extremely difficult to find the right place – the ice moved the ship for a long distance.
The catastrophe itself occurred due to the unsuccessfully chosen time for the start of the expedition in 1914, since already in October of that year the ice bound the ship. Therefore, holes formed in the ship's hull, and the next year the ship sank.
The most interesting thing is that all members of the expedition managed to survive.
After examining the artifact, the researchers concluded that the characters are an example of a proto-Basque language. It was previously believed that the Vascon tribes did not have their own script, since there was no evidence to the contrary.
4 words consisting of 40 characters are written on the hand, however, scientists were able to identify only one – sorioneku, which is the predecessor of the Bak word zorioneko and means “luck”.
Excavations at the Templo Mayor
At the excavations of the Templo Mayor, the center of the Aztec temple complex in Mexico City, excavations have been underway for several years, which bring interesting finds.
This complex developed for about 200 years until it was destroyed by the Spaniards in 1521. It consisted of two temples, five platforms and auxiliary buildings.
Recently, archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropological History found another artifacts sacrificed to the gods near the temple. Among them are masks, headdresses, scepters, pectorals, darts, figurines, earrings, jugs, numerous wooden items and many other items.
As a result of a new study, scientists have found that the stone from which the figurine is carved comes from Northern Italy. The figurine itself was found by archaeologist Josef Szombati in Austria, back in 1908.
The oldest bas-relief in the world
An interesting bas-relief was discovered in the southeast of Turkey, in the region of Urfa. It belongs to the Neolithic era and is believed to be about 11 thousand years old.
The bas-relief is about 0.9 meters wide and about 3.7 meters long. It depicts two men, one of whom holds his genitals in his hands, as well as animals.
Scientists have not been able to figure out what exactly the author of the bas-relief wanted to show, but according to Eilema Ozdogan, from Istanbul University, archaeologists can find other drawings that will complement the “story”. Excavations are still ongoing.
Portraits of the ancient kingdom
Archaeologists continue excavations in the Egyptian city of Fayum and find incredible artifacts from ancient civilizations. Searches have been conducted at the Garza site since 2016. It was here at the end of the last season that a large burial structure was discovered, in which artifacts were found. Fayum portraits were found among them.
These portraits are a kind of naturalistic pictorial portrait on wooden boards attached to upper-class mummies from Roman Egypt. They belong to the tradition of painting on wood, one of the most respected in antiquity.
These are the first artifacts of this type discovered for a long time. The last time portraits from this period were found was back in the 1910s.
Comb with ancient inscription
In the city of Lachish, once the second most important in the kingdom of Judah, the comb with the oldest known offering was discovered.
Although the comb was discovered in 2017, the engraving was noticed only last year. The find has a size of 3.5 cm by 2.5 cm. After analysis, scientists confirmed that the Canaanite writing was on the comb. This alphabet was invented about 3800 years ago.
The inscription on the bone comb says: “May this comb eradicate the lice from the hair and beard.” It has lost teeth, but remnants indicate that it once had several wide teeth for combing. Also 14 narrow teeth on the other side – they were used to remove lice.
A large amount of religious symbolism indicates that she was a respected Christian leader, challenging previous suggestions that such positions then around 630-670. AD occupied almost exclusively by men.
The necklace with which she was buried is the most exquisite and expensive found in the UK. It consists of 30 gold and silver details, as well as semi-precious stones. A rectangular pendant with a cross motif forms the centerpiece of the necklace and is inlaid with red garnets set in gold.
The great wealth and historical significance lead some experts to argue that the piece is the most important archaeological find in England since the discovery of the famous Sutton Hoo burial site in 1939.
Lost Indian temples
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) researchers have discovered temples, Buddhist structures and caves in Bandhavgarh Forest Reserve, located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh, India.
Scientists completed the first of three phases of excavations at the Tala Range in May -June 2022. At the next stages, the Hitouli and Magadhi ranges will be explored.
The greatest value for science is 24 inscriptions dating from the 2nd-5th centuries of our era, some of them mention the names of Pavata, Vejabharada and Sepatanaairika. The inscriptions also name important kings such as Maharaja Sri Bhimsena, Maharaja Potasiri and Maharaja Bhattadeva.