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World Roundup Volume 58 Number 5, September/October 2005

Africa

Egypt
French archaeologists hailed a limestone statue of a pharaoh from the 13th Dynasty (1781-1650 B.C.) as one of the most significant recent discoveries from their excavations at the royal city of Karnak. Believed to portray Neferhotep I, the figure is one half of a double statue that archaeologists believe depicts two images of the same pharaoh holding hands. The second half of the statue remains buried and will be excavated next year.

Asia & the Pacific

China
The country's earliest human sacrificial site has been found in Hunan Province. The 7,000-year-old cult site near Hongjiang City contained an altar with in situ human remains. A separate site for animal sacrifice, containing the remains of deer, tortoises, and pigs, was found nearby.
[image][LARGER IMAGE] (Photos.com)

India
Archaeologists working near the city of Raipur announced the discovery of a 15-square-mile complex containing more than 200 Buddhist, Jain, and Shiva temples from the sixth and seventh centuries A.D. While the temple complex is the largest yet found from the period, archaeologists are most intrigued by the erotic animal portraits found carved in stone at the site, calling them "the rarest of carvings seen in archaeology."

India
Archaeologists trying to reconstruct the original water system around the Taj Mahal unexpectedly discovered a structure adjoining the famous seventeenth-century monument. Preliminary investigations suggest that the building, on the bank of the Yamuna River, was a rest house for travelers.
[image][LARGER IMAGE] (Photos.com)

Saipan
Human remains without arm and leg bones have been turning up during sewer-line excavations, and archaeologists suspect the absent limbs were fashioned into the lethal Chamorro spearheads so feared by Spanish colonists. More than 40 sets of remains, tentatively dated to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with missing longbones have been discovered since last year, leading researchers to believe they have located a Chamorro village.

Central America

Guatemala
Close on the discovery of the richly appointed tomb of a woman who ruled the Maya center of Waka' in the seventh or eighth century A.D., researchers have uncovered an unusual fourth-century burial containing the bodies of two sacrificed high-status women, one of whom was pregnant. Archaeologist David Friedel suspects they may have been sacrificed in a dedication ceremony or following a power struggle in an attempt to wipe out the previously ruling bloodline. This jade diadem fragment is one of the many impressive artifacts found in the royal tomb.
[image][LARGER IMAGE] (© David Lee/Proyecto Arqueológico Waka')

Europe

Gibraltar
Calling it their most important urban find in several years, Gibraltar Museum archaeologists announced the discovery of the Gate of Grenada, the main entrance to the city during the fourteenth century, when the rock was under North African rule. Describing the well-preserved pillar bases that once formed the gate as "of a scale comparable to the Alhambra itself," the archaeologists said the find revealed the important connection between Gibraltar and Grenada at the time.

United Kingdom
Fashion victims? Archaeologists are snickering at the recent find of a Roman razor handle in the shape of a man's leg clad in a thick sock and sandal. The copper handle was one of several objects found in the River Tees in northern England and demonstrates that the Romans held steadfastly to their beloved footwear despite the bitter weather of the empire's northern frontier.
[image][LARGER IMAGE] (P. Walton)

United Kingdom
Cesspits show that medieval Glaswegians ate more healthfully than their modern counterparts, and now local officials are hoping to use the archaeological evidence to help tackle the obesity epidemic among the city's chip-loving citizens. Large amounts of plant and fish remains and smaller quantities of animal bones have been found during excavations, and these finds will be highlighted on the city's new Medieval Trail, to run from Glasgow Cathedral to the River Clyde.

North America

Arizona
While politicians were busy fighting over a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter in Mesa this spring, archaeologists at the 240-acre development site were excavating one of the largest Hohokam canal systems ever discovered in the region. The 20 canals, estimated to have been built as early as A.D. 600, are up to 45 feet wide and 16 feet deep. Six pit houses were also found at the site.

Mexico
See "
Insider: Fantastic Footprints."

* For more news, see "From the Trenches."

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© 2005 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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