Archaeology 2016: The Year of Strange Finds Continues
by Amy Lignor
There have been years and then there have been years, but when it comes to finding amazing, odd, and even unexplainable discoveries, 2016 is right up there with the 1947 Roswell incident – something so great that still remains a subject of conversation, conviction, and contention almost 70 years later.
Take just last week, for instance. Spanish archaeologists actually discovered a millennia-old mummy when working in the Egyptian town of Luxor. You’ve certainly heard of the area before. After all, we’re talking about the site of the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, referred to as the “world’s greatest open-air museum,” seeing as that the ruins of famous and infamous temples are available for one and all to view. This latest mummy discovered was in just about the best condition it could possibly have been.
In a tomb dating from between 1075-664 BC, on the west bank of the Nile, this particular find was in a bright colored sarcophagus made of wood, buried very near to a temple that was part of the era when the Warrior King Tut III reigned. Bound with linen and stuck together with plaster, the mummy was most likely a servant to the royal household. Decorated with colorful religious symbols, like the goddess Isis, this latest mummy is a true sight that has archaeologists buzzing.
But that’s not the only area where the “dead” seem to be rising from their graves in 2016. In Russia, two citizens of Kokorya (not archaeologists) stumbled across a wooden coffin, complete with pockets for holding different kinds of arrows, as well as other weaponry. The artifacts were found in a hole in a cliff, including two decorative bone plaques, silk ribbons, a leather strap, and birch bark linings for a saddle. Judging by the shape of the arrow heads, it seems that the owner was a true warrior. A surprise find, a team of archaeologists is planning to investigate the burial site.
Not to be left out, Italy had their own discovery of a man, yet not exactly buried in warrior or noble fashion. In Milan, the remains of a still-shackled man were discovered in a 2,500-year-old Etruscan necropolis. The place has yielded other normal burials, yet this man was between twenty and thirty years of age when he died and, because of the finds, most likely was a slave who worked in maritime activities, or in the local iron mines. Bound with irons on his legs, it was evident he wore a heavy iron collar around his neck. Being called “The Tomb of the Silver Hands,” investigations will continue.
There was also “odd” in 2016 that had nothing to do with the dead. London may have had the most interesting, seeing as that they were recently excavating the Curtain Theater (Shakespeare’s realm), when they uncovered a rectangular stage approximately 45 feet long, built over a passageway with doors set at either end. Not only is this an archaeological find, but also a mystical one with questions attached to it. Everyone believed that the early Elizabethan theater was a polygonal structure, but the more they excavate, the more they reveal that Shakespeare and other playwrights of the time may have been writing plays to act out on this kind of stage, which means a complete change in the history of entertainment, as well as architecture. Not only that, but they have uncovered green-glazed money boxes that held entrance fees; glass beads and pins that may have come from the actors’ costumes; along with drinking vessels and clay pipes that can also be dated back to a time when actors spoke words that would, in our day, turn to legend.
In 2017, these slightly “odd” discoveries will reveal even more to the world. And one of the strangest will be solving the puzzle of what is “pinging” from the depths of the water in Canada. With no identifiable source, this sound has been heard throughout the past few months in the Fury and Hecla Strait, a channel of water in the Nunavut region of Canada. And although no solution or reason has been found, it will be interesting to see exactly what awaits our prying eyes “down below.”
2016 has yielded such utterly unique entertainment that 2017 should include a whole lot of exploration. Oh to be Indiana Jones right now!
Source: Baret News