Forgotten ancient city recently found in Ethiopia offers new insight into country’s history

June 20, 2017 by  
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Archaeological research in Ethiopia has largely centered around early humans , but there’s more to the country’s past than just our origins. Researchers recently found an ancient city at Harlaa, Eastern Ethiopia, that offers clues into the early days of international trade between the 10th and early 15th centuries. Legends has it the city was once the home of giants. Archaeological work has been lacking around Harlaa, where University of Exeter researchers, working with archaeologists from Leuven and Addis Ababa , recently uncovered the forgotten city. But local farmers, who had found pottery and even Chinese coins, suspected there may be more to find in the area. The massive size of some of the building stones for the city – which is around 1,640 feet by 3,280 feet big – led to stories it had once been populated by giants. Related: Research suggests humans emerged 2.8M years ago amid major climate change event Giants didn’t live there, according to Timothy Insoll, professor in the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the university. But the area was home to a wealth of archaeological treasures. Researchers uncovered a 12th century mosque as well as indications of Islamic burials. They found glass vessel pieces, beads, and imported cowry shells. They unearthed pottery that came from faraway places like China, the Maldives, Madagascar, and Yemen. They also discovered silver and bronze coins that came from Egypt in the 13th century. Insoll said in a statement, “This discovery revolutionizes our understanding of trade in an archaeologically neglected part of Ethiopia…The city was a rich, cosmopolitan center for jewelry-making and pieces were then taken to be sold around the region and beyond. Residents of Harlaa were a mixed community of foreigners and local people who traded with others in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and possibly as far away as the Arabian Gulf.” Archaeologists partnered with the local community to excavate the area over two years. So far they’ve dug down around eight feet, and plan to continue the work next year. Many findings will be displayed in a heritage center operated by locals for a new source of income. Some pieces will go to Ethiopia’s national museum in Addis Ababa. Via the University of Exeter Images courtesy of Tim Insoll

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Forgotten ancient city recently found in Ethiopia offers new insight into country’s history

14,000-year-old animal paintings discovered in underground Spanish cave

June 14, 2016 by  
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Archaeologist Deigo Garate made the amazing find nearly 1,000 feet underground in the northern Spanish cave . No one had excavated the area that deeply yet, even though Garate has spent ten years searching Basque Country caves and Atxurra has been known for over 80 years. He told The Local , “It is an exceptional find, the equivalent of discovering a lost Picasso.” Related: 5.5-million-year-old cave holds prehistoric secrets few people have ever seen The paintings were found in excellent condition, with charcoal and flint tools nearby. One depiction features a bison being hunted and pierced with over twenty spears – the most detailed, speared bison depiction in all of Europe. The Atxurra discovery could also be hold the record for most animal figures in all of Basque Country. Garate says, “Without doubt it is the most important discovery of my career.” Via Hyperallergenic Images via Bizkaia Provincial Council

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14,000-year-old animal paintings discovered in underground Spanish cave

World’s highest and longest glass bridge in China whacked with a sledgehammer

June 14, 2016 by  
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The world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge is expected to open in next month in central China . The glass walkway spans some 1,400 feet—over a quarter of a mile—across the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon  in one of the country’s most pristine national parks. Before opening day, though, bridge officials hope to reassure people about its safety. To prove the bridge is strong enough to hold hundreds of visitors at a time, they invited BBC Click’s Dan Simmons to visit the bridge, and take a few swings at one of its glass panels with a sledgehammer . Of course, it was all captured on video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guWLBG-htrU Residents and visitors to China have reason to be a little nervous about glass-bottomed bridges. Last fall, another glass bridge in China cracked just two weeks after celebrating its grand opening. A visitor dropped a mug on the walkway, causing the glass to shatter and become unstable. The bridge had to be evacuated immediately and was closed for lengthy repairs. Related: World’s tallest and longest glass bridge announced for China’s Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon The new bridge in Zhangjiajie is engineered to withstand a beating, though. Each segment of the bridge is composed of three layers of ultra-strong glass. It’s so strong, in fact, that it can survive a dozen or more swings of a giant sledgehammer. Simmons was tapped to perform the test on a duplicate pane of glass, the same kind used in the bridge itself, elevated on a platform midway across the bridge. With cameras rolling and the bridge’s manager looking on with encouragement, Simmons’ first blow shattered the top layer of glass . Much like a fractured windshield, the glass fragments were held together within the frame. Simmons hit the glass again and again, putting all his weight behind each swing of the sledgehammer, but the bottom two layers of the glass showed little sign of damage, and the glass platform remained stable as Simmons and the bridge president stood on top of it. Given the sledgehammer test results, would you feel safe walking across a quarter-mile bridge with nothing but a few layers of glass between you and the nearly 1,000-foot drop to the canyon floor? Via BBC Images via BBC (via screenshot)

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World’s highest and longest glass bridge in China whacked with a sledgehammer

Francesca Pastine Carves Artforum Magazines to Make Amazing Sculptural Topographies

January 7, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Francesca Pastine Carves Artforum Magazines to Make Amazing Sculptural Topographies Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: artforum , artforum excavation series , California College of the Arts , francesca pastine , issue , magazine , publication , San Francisco , topography , xacto

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Francesca Pastine Carves Artforum Magazines to Make Amazing Sculptural Topographies

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