Archaeology – November/December 2008 Highlights

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ON THE COVER…..THE WORLD’S FIRST TEMPLE

A 25-acre arrangement of stone circles at a site in southeastern Turkey is evidence of the oldest man-made place of worship, built by Neolithic people some 12,000 years ago. The site is believed to have been the spiritual center of a nomadic people. Pg. 22.

http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/turkey.html

WITCHES OF CORNWALL

In the far southwest of the British Isles, Cornwall is renowned for its wild and remote countryside, steeped in a history of folklore and magic. Still, archaeologist Jacqui Wood was stunned when she uncovered macabre evidence for witchcraft dating back to the 15th century. Pg. 42.

http://www.archaeology.org/0811/etc/witches.html

FIGHTING WITH JAGUARS, BLEEDING FOR RAIN

Ritual boxing in the highlands of central Mexico may have its roots in ancient gladiatorial combat in which the loser was sacrificed to the rain god. Pg. 46.

http://www.archaeology.org/0811/etc/boxing.html

Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/ArchaeologyTV

THE GLADIATOR DIET

Believe it or not, Roman gladiators were fatties, bulked up by a vegetarian diet rich in carbohydrates for added protection in the arena. Lean gladiators would have quickly become dead meat, having given a rather poor show. Pg. 28.

http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/gladiator.html

EGYPT'S FRONTIER OASIS

A remote area 125 miles west of Luxor, continually occupied throughout Egyptian history, has yielded an extraordinary array of sites, including prehistoric rock art, Neolithic encampments, pharaonic monuments, Roman settlements, and the stars of the Kharga Oasis – five unique Roman forts. Pg. 36.

http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/egypt.html

CITY BENEATH THE MOUNDS

A magnetometer survey charts the great Mississippian center of Etowah in northwestern Georgia and finds evidence of buildings that would never have been found without extensive excavation. Pg. 31.

http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/etowah.html

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Shelley Kapitulik
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