Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

January 1, 2017 by  
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On the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia rest the remarkable ruins of Nan Madol, the only ancient city ever constructed on top of a coral reef . Referred to as an ” engineering marvel ” by the Smithsonian and nicknamed the “Venice of the Pacific,” this series of over 90 artificial islets could have once housed around 1,000 people. Although the Saudeleur built the city around 1200 AD, it wasn’t until earlier this year Nan Madol was finally named a World Heritage Site . Nan Madol flourished sometime during the 13th to 17th centuries AD as a spiritual and political center for the Saudeleur. Little remains of the intriguing ancient civilization – no art or carvings – other than marvelous ruins atop the coral reef. Oral history says the Saudeleur came to Pohnpei as foreigners in 1100 and ended up ruling the island, with Nan Madol as their dynastic seat. The city also served as a temple for the god the nobility worshiped. Related: Lasers reveal ancient Cambodian cities hidden by jungle near Angkor Wat The Saudeleur utilized columnar basalt, a kind of volcanic rock, to build the impressive city on a foundation of coral – and as the building materials are so heavy, no one has yet figured out how they accomplished the feat. The heaviest pillars weigh around 100,000 pounds. The walls surrounding the island’s largest structure, a royal temple called Nandauwas, are 25 feet high. The enduring stability of the remains is also something of a mystery. According to the National Park Service , “The Pohnpeians, who had neither binding agents like concrete nor modern diving equipment, sank the heavy stones into the lagoon using an unknown method. The building remains and canals are stable enough that even after centuries of abandonment visitors can still tour Nan Madol by boat.” Earlier in 2016, the World Heritage Committee added Nan Madol to both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger, underlining the need to protect the fascinating site from unchecked mangrove growth and waterway siltation. Nan Madol is Micronesia’s first World Heritage Site. Via Smithsonian.com , Metropolitan Museum of Art , and National Park Service Images via Stephanie Batzer on Flickr ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ), Stefan Krasowski on Flickr , and Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind

Secret tunnel sealed 1,800 years ago offers clues to mysterious ancient city in Mexico

July 4, 2016 by  
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The ancient city of Teotihuacán northeast of Mexico City in Mexico holds more mysteries than answers. Archaeologists can only guess where the people who built the city came from, what religion they practiced, and why they abandoned the city. But the recent archaeological discovery of a tunnel under one of the city’s pyramids , the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, which was sealed off around 1,800 years ago , may give us a few more clues about who inhabited and built the baffling city. Archaeologist Sergio Gómez, who works for the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico, has worked in the area for around 30 years. He describes himself as someone more intimately acquainted with Teotihuacán than most other humans alive. But he had no idea there was anything under the Temple of the Plumed Serpent until a rainstorm struck the area in 2003. Related: Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’ That’s when Gómez noticed a sinkhole that had opened near the base of the pyramid. Colleagues lowered him into the sinkhole and his feet touched bottom in what looked like a tunnel made by humans. Gómez finally gained approval from the government to start digging in 2009. The tunnel appears to have been sealed off with boulders on purpose close to 1,800 years ago. Gómez thought perhaps whoever sealed the tunnel meant for it to remain closed forever. His teams have worked carefully to uncover a wide array of artifacts, from human skin to boxes containing beetle wings to jaguar bones to elegantly carved statues. The tunnel is a thrilling discovery, and Gómez’s teams will keep working to probably uncover even more treasures. Gómez told Smithsonian Magazine, “The number of artifacts we’ve uncovered…you could spend a whole career evaluating the contents.” Perhaps as far back as 400 BC, people settled in Teotihuacán, but residents probably built the metropolis, including pyraminds and broad boulevards, around 100 A.D. Around 750 A.D. Teotihuacán was abandoned. The Aztecs didn’t find the city until sometime in the 1300s, and in their language, Nahuatl, Teotihuacán means “the place where men become gods,” adding another layer of mystery. Via Smithsonian Magazine Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Secret tunnel sealed 1,800 years ago offers clues to mysterious ancient city in Mexico

Old slaughterhouse in Madrid is turned into an incubator for creative startups

July 4, 2016 by  
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Built in the early 20th century, the Matadero Madrid served as a slaughterhouse and livestock market until it fell into disuse near the end of the century. The building was renovated several times under different leadership until Madrid’s City Council decided to allocate the space for sociocultural purposes. OSS’ intervention, completed in 2014, turned the complex into a creative startup hub for the extremely low budget of 105 Euros per square meter in a little under a month. Related: Renovated Paris Rail Station Will House 1000 Start-Ups! Factoría Cultural houses 120 workspaces across two floors—the architects constructed the second 85-square-meter floor using local pine lumber and multi-wall polycarbonate —outfitted with custom-designed furniture also made with untreated pinewood. LED ceiling lamps that splay out from overhead were made from waste wood. “Factoría Cultural is a reversible architecture work, which empowers, with no side effect, the visual and technical virtues of the existing El Matadero Madrid, an industrial architectural heritage site,” write the architects. “It is a space that requires minimal maintenance and, in the event Factoría’s activity ceases, it can be removed without waste.” + Office for Strategic Spaces Images by Simona Rota

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Old slaughterhouse in Madrid is turned into an incubator for creative startups

Lasers reveal ancient Cambodian cities hidden by jungle near Angkor Wat

June 13, 2016 by  
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In a thrilling new discovery, archaeologists used laser imaging technology to reveal ancient cities hidden by jungle in Cambodia. The LiDAR data provides information on waterways, iron smelting locations, and even another temple, Preah Khan. The discovery reveals that the cities near Angkor Wat were much larger than previously thought. Angkor Wat was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire in the early to middle 1100s, and it was part of one of the biggest ancient cities . Archaeologists suspected there had to be more to the area, and research has been underway for several years. The new data appears to confirm these suspicions. Related: Archaeologists find 2,150-year-old Petra monument ‘hiding in plain sight’ Archaeologist Damian Evans said to AFP, “The LiDAR quite suddenly revealed an entire cityscape there with astonishing complexity. It turned out we’d been walking and flying right over the top of this stuff for ten years and not even noticing it because of the vegetation. What we had was basically a scatter of disconnected points on the map denoting temple sites. Now it’s like having a detailed street map of the entire city.” Back in 2012, scans revealed an ancient temple city close to Angkor Wat called Mahendraparvata, and the new scans will assist archaeologists on the ground as they continue to explore that area. It had been difficult for archaeologists to determine the extent of this area because the empire constructed many of the ancient buildings with wood that’s since rotted. Made of stone , the temples endure. Archaeologists saw evidence of both Hinduism and Buddhism in the temples; both religions were part of the Khmer Empire during different time periods. A spokesperson from the government authority in charge of Angkor Wat said they aimed to research further to build on the exciting discoveries. Via Phys.org Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Lasers reveal ancient Cambodian cities hidden by jungle near Angkor Wat

State-of-the-art power plant in Dsseldorf doubles as an observation tower

June 13, 2016 by  
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The structure is not a simple power plant, but a landmark that dominates the southwestern boundary of the city. Thanks to its modular construction, the power plant can adjust to various functions. Its largest frame element envelops the existing smokestack-the highest point of the building complex. Related: Dubai to build the world’s biggest concentrated solar power plant Situated approximately 45 meters (148 feet) above ground level, a viewing platform offers views of the rest of the plant and the city center through a glass facade . The rhythm of the facade and the modular construction are best observed at night. + kadawittfeldarchitektur Via Yanko Design

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State-of-the-art power plant in Dsseldorf doubles as an observation tower

ISIS claims it will not destroy ancient architecture in Palmyra

May 28, 2015 by  
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As violence escalates in the  ISIS -occupied city of Palmyra in Syria, the Islamic State group claims they will not bulldoze the ancient city’s architectural wonders. The group released a video on YouTube this week, showing the buildings intact, and the accompanying audio states that ISIS “will not destroy them,” but instead will target historic statues they believe were “worshiped by heretics” in the past. The video comes just before the group is said to have executed twenty people in front of a crowd at a Roman theater in Palmyra. Read the rest of ISIS claims it will not destroy ancient architecture in Palmyra Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: destruction of artifacts , eco design , green design , ISIS , Islamic State , Palmyra , sustainable design

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ISIS claims it will not destroy ancient architecture in Palmyra

Man rebuilds the ancient city of Pompeii with 190,000 LEGO bricks!

January 27, 2015 by  
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Ryan McNaught, aka, The Brickman , was recently commissioned by the Nicholson Museum in Sydney, Australia to recreate the ancient city of Pompeii entirely from LEGO bricks ! The exhibit, now on display in the museum, shows how Pompeii looked at the moment of destruction in A.D 79, how it looked when it was discovered in the 1700′s, and how it looks today. Read the rest of Man rebuilds the ancient city of Pompeii with 190,000 LEGO bricks! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: ancient pompeii , building pompeii out of legos , lego , Lego bricks , lego building , lego museum piece , lego pompeii , pompeii , Pompeii legos , the brickman

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Man rebuilds the ancient city of Pompeii with 190,000 LEGO bricks!

Tiny, beautifully detailed children’s playhouse is made from locally milled spruce in Finland

January 27, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Tiny, beautifully detailed children’s playhouse is made from locally milled spruce in Finland Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Anna and Eugeni Bach , Anna Bach , Bach architects , children playhouse , double height room , Eugeni Bach , Finland , Finnish barn , Finnish construction , locally sourced spruce , modular architecture , modular playhouse , modules , patina , playhouse , spruce , traditional construction techniques , window hatches

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Tiny, beautifully detailed children’s playhouse is made from locally milled spruce in Finland

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