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Since ancient times, both the most humble men and the wisest philosophers have at some point wondered about themselves, and almost instinctively: “Who are we from, where we come from and where we go?”
These questions have led the human to take different directions in order to find answers to concerns about his identity, origin and future as a species. One of these paths has been archaeology, which has been dedicated to unearthing the secrets hidden for millennia, under layers of forgetfulness.
Thus, contemporary man has been able to find historical remains in which to read the steps of his ancient ancestors, and to understand a little more the second question of this philosophical question: where we come from.
On this occasion we want to present a look at three archaeological discoveries, of the most important that have taken place in recent centuries, and that caused scientists to change a lot of their thinking about ancient societies, their legacies and levels of civilization. Here are three of humanity’s most important archaeological discoveries:
Nineveh or Asurbanipal Library
According to the scientists, prehistory ended, to give way to history, when humanity achieved the development of writing, for from that moment it was possible to leave record of the events. This finding is precisely this, because with it archaeologists and scientists were able to access the oldest written records, known to date.
The find was made in 1847, by a young traveller fond of archaeology, named Austen Henry Layard, who inside the palace of King Asurbanipal – located in the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, north of Mesopotania – began the path that would lead to the discovery of what is today considered the largest and oldest cuneiform writing collection on the planet.
According to archaeologists, this library was initiated by King Sargon II during the years of his term, which apparently took place during the years 722 and 705 BC. There is also evidence that it was continued by King Asurbanipal, who during his reign, which elapsed during 669 and 627 BC, devoted himself to expanding it, including several texts dedicated to knowledge, bringing together more than twenty-two thousand clay tablets , inscribed with cuneiform traits, and contentivized of all the knowledge that had until that time, being in its time one of the most appreciated enclosures of wisdom.
Although much of its contents were destroyed by the Babylonians, during the takeover of Nineveh in 612 BC, a significant part of his books was saved, including treatises on Religion, Science, Books of Magic , Grammar, Dictionaries, Official Lists of Cities, as well as books of Art, History and Literature, such as the Poem of Gilgamesh, considered to be the oldest narrative work of humanity, known so far by man. Thus, the discovery of the Asurbanipal Library becomes one of the main archaeological finds made so far.
L’Anse-aux-Méduses or the Jellyfish Cove
Perhaps one of the traits that gives the greatest importance to an archaeological find is its ability to rewrite history. One of these invaluable discoveries is the discovery of a Viking settlement, found in Canada in 1960 by Norwegian archaeologist Anne Stine and her husband, researcher Helge Ingstad, who with it dismantled the historical belief that Christopher Columbus and the Spaniards were the first foreign civilization to reach America.
Although schools and books of basic history continue to be taught that it was the Genoese captain, with the support of the kingdom of Castile, who set the first foot in America by the Europeans, these Norwegian researchers were able to find the remains of a settlement located in Newfoundland, Canada, which consisted of eight buildings dating from approximately the 11th century. Among them, three served for housing, three for warehouses and one for sawmill.
They were also able to find various Viking instrumentals as well as sewing elements, which also demonstrates the presence of women within this small village, which is believed to have been abandoned by weather conditions or perhaps by armed clashes with the native inhabitants of these lands.
In this way, L’Anse-aux-Méduses or the Jellyfish Cove, as it was called by these researchers this Viking settlement is one of the most important archaeological finds of humanity, as it came to counter act on a history sustained by almost five hundred years, demonstrating that the Vikings anticipated almost four centuries the Spaniards in traveling to and settling in America, even if they have not deployed the force that the Spaniards printed in conquering their lands and their inhabitants.
Gobelki Tepe: the oldest place of religious worship
Another of the archaeological finds that has come to change the perception of the current man about the ancient man is The Old Man, which is until now the oldest place of religious worship on the planet, whose construction – located near the city of Sanliurfa, in Turkey- dates back approximately twelve thousand years ago, or in historical times of the precambrian Neolithic period.
As expressed by archaeologists, who for more than twenty years have been engaged in the excavation of this shrine, which was apparently used for generations, the Gobelki Tepe is built by monolithic buildings up to thirty meters high, which reveals a tremendous level of organization and planning by this civilization, which until now was inconceivable to scientists.
Also on some of these rocks are carved in relief animal figures, such as snakes, insects, foxes, bulls, wild boars, lions, gazelles, which shows that this area was at some point less arid than it is today.
The figure of vultures is also quite repeated, so archaeologists have come to think that it may be an outdoor burial site. Despite the hypotheses, the G.B.I. Tepe is one of the largest archaeological finds to date because it came to change forever our way of seeing the humans who inhabited the Stone Age.
Image source: historiayarqueología.com
August 31, 2019