Archive for November, 2009

A mosaic was discovered in Israel 13 years ago at Lod south of Tel Aviv. It was situated under a modern asphalt road. It was then dated to the Roman Period about 1700 years ago.

 

It was a rather large mosaic 180 square meters (215 square yards) and it had once belonged to a Roman villa. It is one of the most well-preserved mosaics in Israel. 13 years ago the archaeologists only had a weekend to do some work. There was no funding at that time to preserve the mosaic so it was covered again in waiting for the funds to pick it up and preserve it.

 

It took 13 years but just a while ago the Israel Antiquities Authority granted money. Now the mosaic is being disassembled to transport it to restoration departments.

 

The mosaic is very beautiful and consists of scenes with fish, exotic animals, birds and merchant vessels and now archaeologists have discovered what probably is an imprint of sandals and feet.

 

“Beneath a piece on which vine leaves are depicted, we discovered that the mosaic’s builders incised lines that indicate where the tesserae (mosaic tiles) should be set,” said Jacques Neguer, head of the Israel Antiquities Authority conservation department. “Afterwards, while cleaning the layer, we found the imprints of feet and sandals.”

The petrified sandal prints that accompany the mosaic ranged in size, suggesting that children might have been at the site.

According to Neguer, the concentration of foot and sandal prints indicate that builders packed the mortar in place with their feet.

“The footprints are scientific material to be studied by anthropologists and archaeologists, but for conservators, they are a symbol of continuity,” Neguer told Discovery News. “Some 1,700 years ago, the mosaic-makers walked on the same bedding mortar we are working on today.”

At least one imprint of a sole resembled a modern sandal, he added.

“Looks like little has changed in the fashion world. However, scientific investigations are yet to be carried on the prints,” Neguer said.

According to Andre Veldmeijer, an archaeologist who specializes in ancient Egyptian leatherwork, footwear and cordage, it is not possible to say what a sandal looked like on the basis of prints.

“Imprints can only tell what kind of shape the sandal was and perhaps, if the print is really good, if it was made of vegetable fiber or not,” Veldmeijer told Discovery News.

The foot prints will be removed for conservation and exhibited with the mosaic flooring at a museum in Lod. A part of the mosaic will be displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art next year.

 

It is an exciting find which hopefully will reveal more information as how mosaic was made and the work behind it mixing the mortar etc.

 

Picture taken from Discovery News.

 

Read more here

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This blog is alive! I have been super busy with things irl but I’m working on a schedule and there will be time for the blog. Maybe not every single day but at least a few times a week. I’m really sorry for the long time not updating but at least now I’m back and the blog will get attention it deserves. And I would like to say a big thank you to all of you who have continued to visit the blog . But now over to something different.

Is the end of the World coming 2012?

The short answer is NO! By now some of you might have seen the movie 2012. The Maya calendar is said to show that the World/Earth would be destroyed in either 21 or 23 of December 2012. Is this true?

No it isn’t. As an archaeologist and scientist I want to see real information and facts from people who have researched the subject. And no, I don’t look at some superstitious peoples research, it should be made in a scientific way. So let’s look at it from a scientific point of view. First let us look at the dates. Both the 21st and 23d of December is occurring. Ok, but if the Maya indians would have predicted the end of the world shouldn’t they have come up with only one date not two? If they would have said two dates how sure could they really be that it will happen in the first place?

So let us look at the Maya calendar itself. I will skip all the technical and mathematic stuff of which consists of to make it readable today. You can check my links to read more.

To my help I look at research from the FAMSI which is Foundation for the advancement of Mesoamerican studies. It shows there is nothing in Maya, Aztec or in any Mesoamerican ancient prophecy that talk about the world coming to an end in 2012. The notion of a “Great Cycle” which some people refer to today is a completely modern invention.

The only thing that will happen in 2012 is that the known Maya calendar stops, it ends nothing more. Just for a calendar ends the world doesn’t end. I mean most of you probably have a calendar. Think if it would be mass hysteria every year just because your calendar stops and you have to get a new one, quite ridiculous  They didn’t think the world will end in any way. The Maya actually takes about our distant FUTURE instead. In the famous town Palenque there are inscriptions that say in 4772 AD people will be celebrating the coronation of the great king Pakal!

Of course the Earth will end sometime when the Sun will grow to a red giant and then collapse and burn out but that won’t happen for several billion years. But what would happen if we found some Maya inscription that would say that the world would end in 2012 would it happen.

Would it happen then? No not likely. Humans have during all time periods predicted the end of the world. Closest example for us was the year 2000 AD. A new millienium, people thought Jesus would come back, the was the end of the world, all the computers would crash and the internet would go down.

But not much happened and the world went on. It would be the same even if we would find an inscription.

Ok so the Maya calendar doesn’t say the end will world. What about things from outer space, meteorites and other things that could destroy the world.

For an answer I took some help from NASA. People often talk about a planet named Nibiru which would collide with the earth or that a solar flare will toast the planet and other things some seen in 2012. But it won’t happen, there are no planets or anything on collision course with the Earth that could destroy it in 2012.

“I don’t have anything against the movie. It’s the way it’s been marketed and the way it exploits people’s fears,” NASA scientist David Morrison at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., told Discovery News.Scientific misinformation about 2012 has been ramping up for a few years, with more than 200 books and 1,000 Web sites purporting to explain various doomsday scenarios. Sony Pictures is behind a particularly viral campaign to build publicity for its apocalyptic movie “2012,” The company has set up an interlinked family of Web sites and Facebook pages to infuse a sense of reality to its fictional work. The lead character in the film, played by actor John Cusack, for example, is the faux author of a faux book about a murder, conspiracy and disaster aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, which, coincidentally, is poised for launch on a space station construction mission the weekend the movie debuted. The fictional fiction, named “Farewell, Atlantis,” has a Web site, a Facebook page to follow “author appearances,” fans and friends, a faux publisher with a faux Web site, a faux press release and endorsements from the very real son of the late Carl Sagan. There’s also a fake institute that presumably dispenses “real” science supporting the movie’s claims, as well as a fake news website that distributes fake press releases about a fake aerospace company winning government contracts.

 

Warren Betts, owner of a California-based publicity firm that peddles real science stories tied to movies, says the type of marketing campaign Sony is executing for “2012” is nothing new.

“It’s been done before,” said Betts, citing the 1999 horror movie “The Blair Witch Project,” a story about a group of amateur documentary film-makers who have a really bad couple of days in the woods.

“Some people went to that movie and they thought it was reality, that it was an actual documentary,” Betts said.

Morrison says Sony has crossed a line with promoting “2012.”

“I think people are really, really worried about the world coming to an end Kids are contemplating suicide. Adults tell me they can’t sleep and can’t stop crying. There are people who are really, really scared,” he said.

“People are very gullible,” he added. “It a sad testimonial that you need NASA to tell you the world’s not going to end.”

So to summarise, no the world will not end in 2012 because of a Maya calendar says so (which it doesn’t) or anything of significant size form space would hit the earth which it won’t according to NASA.

Have you seen the movie 2012 if so what did you think? Did you belivie that a Maya calender was dooming the earth or did you know the real information behind it? Let me know, post in the comments section :D.

To read more look here about the Maya Calender and here for what NASA says.

 

On Monday it will be more updates on the blog and some news!