Archaeology News for the Week of July 7th, 2013

July 7th, 2013

Lost cities

Over the past few months, a spate of reports has emerged about the discoveries of several so-called lost cities — most notably Ciudad Blanca in Honduras, Heracleion off the coast of Egypt and Chactun in Mexico. Much of this is due to technological advances: satellite imagery, aerial photography and Google Earth have all aided in the detection of heretofore unseen archaeological sites. No technology, however, approaches the impact of lidar, a light-and-radar machine that can pierce through the thickest, highest forests and vegetation within minutes and has only recently been used in the hunt for lost cities. It was lidar that led explorers to what they call Ciudad Blanca. (New York Post)

Mexican researchers extract intact DNA from Palenque’s Red Queen

The osseous remains of the Red Queen, the enigmatic character from Lakamha, “Place of the big waters”, today known as Palenque, in Chiapas, are being scientifically analyzed in order to date the burial in a more precise manner. It is still unknown as to whether the Red Queen was the wife of the celebrated dignitary Pakal II or if she was a ruler of that ancient Mayan metropolis. (Archaeology News Network)

5,000-year-old pyramid destroyed in Lima

Archaeologists blame two building companies for destroying part of ancient pyramid in the Lima district of San Martin de Porres. The pyramid El Paraiso, located near the river Chillon, is one of the oldest structures constructed in the Americas, made up of 12 pyramids and covering over 64 hectares. (Peru This Week)

Georgia’s rich maritime history largely unknown

he wind and the waves peeled back layers of Cumberland Island sand last December to reveal a piece of history: the wooden bones of a long-lost cargo ship. Archaeologists surmised from the gunnel and wooden nails that the 100-foot-long vessel was at least 150 years old, possibly a blockade runner used during the Civil War to transport guns, food and soldiers past Union forces. (Savannah Now)

Scientists want to study Bulls Scarp, ocean-bottom archaeological site that was Ice Age coast

Anyone who stood on a rock ledge a few hundred feet above an ocean-swept river delta could have watched for walruses or whales among the icebergs and searched for woolly mammoths tracking across the barren savannah behind. And those people might well have left traces — thousands of years ago, about 60 miles from Charleston, offshore. Bulls Scarp could be the most fascinating and important archaeological site waiting to be surveyed in the region. There’s just one little problem: That Ice Age rock ledge is under about 140 feet of seawater (The Post and Courier)