Friday, August 18, 2006

Mehregan Persian Festival slated for Sept 9 and 10 in Costa Mesa

The 11th Annual Mehregan Festival is planned for Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10 at the Orange County Fair & Expo Center in Costa Mesa, CA. This annual Persian event attracts thousands of people to Orange County, CA. It is the largest Iranian-American gathering in the United States.

Come and enjoy ancestral Dances, Persian Customs, Arts and Crafts, Ancient Sports, Live Musical Performances, and taste the exotic Persian food.
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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gold and Silver knives and ritual vessels as well as Trojan patterned pottery found in Bulgarian field

Novonite: A field in central Bulgaria believed to be a Thracian hotspot for bringing gifts for the gods has delighted archeologists once again.

A gold plate, silver and bronze ritual knives, and two fine silver vessels are among the latest findings at the site near Dabene, it was announced on Monday.

Archeologists have also come across a clay vessel with rich diaper decoration, which is typical for ancient Troy, the National Museum of History revealed.

Over the past weekend, at the same spot near Dabene a team discovered 545 gold items, including a unique, perfectly-preserved dagger.
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Friday, August 04, 2006

Greek archaeologists confirm authenticity of 'Theseus Ring'

Greek archaeologists confirm authenticity of 'Theseus Ring': "The long-lost 'Theseus Ring,' a gold ring found in the Plaka district of Athens in the 1950s and generally dismissed as a fake, has been identified by Greek archaeologists as a genuine 15th century BC artifact, reports said Wednesday.

The Greek press had reported the discovery of a gold signet ring, with dimensions 2.7 x 1.8 cm dating from the Minoan period, and the National Archaeological Museum wanted to purchase it for 75,000 euros from the woman who owned it.

There was a huge debate about its authenticity until a panel of experts from the Culture Ministry declared the piece to be genuine.

The ring, which depicts a bull-leaping scene, is believed to come from the area of Anafiotika in the Athens ancient city centre of Plaka. The scene also includes a lion to the left and a tree to the right."
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Hidden Archimedes texts revealed by X-ray fluoresence

BBC NEWS : "A series of hidden texts written by the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes are being revealed by US scientists.

Until now, the pages have remained obscured by paintings and texts laid down on top of the original writings.

Using a non-destructive technique known as X-ray fluorescence, the researchers are able to peer through these later additions to read the underlying text.

The goatskin parchment records key details of Archimedes' work, considered the foundation of modern mathematics.

The writings include the only Greek version of On Floating Bodies known to exist, and the only surviving ancient copies of The Method of Mechanical Theorems and the Stomachion."
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Strontium analyses reveals ancient Wari took noncombatant trophy heads

"The Wari were notably violent. Unearthed stone iconography, for example, depicts Wari warriors carrying or wearing decapitated heads. They were known to eat the bodies of vanquished enemy warriors.

In 2001, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found direct evidence of the Wari's grisly ways: 21 trophy heads buried at a site called Conchopata near the city of Ayacucho in southern Peru. The heads had been severed, the brains scooped out and holes drilled through the crania and jawbones.

But the skulls were not solely those of enemy warriors killed in battle. Many, in fact, belonged to women, children and old people. Scientists didn't know what to make of the discovery. Was this evidence of a more benevolent side to the Wari? Did they, like other early cultures, practice some kind of ancestor veneration? Were these skulls the cherished remains of Wari mothers and daughters, sons and grandparents?

"It's been a huge debate," said Tiffiny Tung, a member of the North Carolina research team and now at Vanderbilt University. "Where did the Wari get their heads?"

Recently, a different group of scientists came up with a possible answer by measuring levels of a trace element in the skulls and in guinea pigs living in the region. Strontium is a radioactive alkaline earth metal found in rocks and soils, and by extension in plants and animals living in the region.

Kelly Knudson, director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University, looked at the ratio of two isotopes or forms of strontium found in the trophy skulls and in nontrophy skulls recovered in the same area. Because geologists did not have strontium isotope measurements for Conchopata bedrock, they used measurements taken from native guinea pigs.

In the skulls, Knudson and colleagues measured strontium isotope ratios in tooth enamel and in bone. The isotope ratio in tooth enamel remains constant throughout life, a reflection of where the person originates. The ratio in bone changes constantly, reflecting a person's recent history (for example, diet).
All the strontium isotope ratios detected in the nontrophy heads were similar, suggesting that their owners had all eaten food from the same geographic region throughout their lives. The trophy heads, however, displayed much more variability in their strontium isotope ratios. Those ratios also differed markedly from measurements in the Conchopata guinea pigs.

Such diversity, says Knudson, suggests the original owners of the trophy heads were not locals or cherished ancestors, but rather luckless victims of Wari raids upon enemy communities. The Wari took the heads of enemy warriors, but apparently considered skulls of all ages and genders to be trophy material."
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Radar surveys suggest another tomb in the Valley of Kings : "Another unopened tomb may lie hidden next to King Tut's burial chambers, archaeologists report.

In an in interview with Archaeology Magazine, archaeologist Nicholas Reeves of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project (ARTP), reveals that radar surveys suggest an undiscovered burial shaft, similar to a burial cache opened earlier this year dubbed KV 63, lies buried about 50 feet north of King Tut's tomb.

'My aim in posting our data was not to claim a prize for discovering the next Tutankhamun. It was to alert people to the immense potential the Valley of the Kings still holds, despite two centuries of serious archaeological abuse,' Reeves says. The newly reported find, tentatively 'KV64', may contain more burial materials from Tut's tomb, or perhaps the burial"
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