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Iranian site holds clues to amcient war

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posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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This is a very interesting story.




3,000-Year-Old Golden Bowl Hides a Grisly Archaeological Tale

LiveScience.com

by Megan Gannon, News Editor 8 hours ago

In 1958, archaeologists were digging through the ruins of a burned Iron Age citadel called Hasanlu in northwestern Iran when they pulled a spectacular, albeit crushed, golden bowl from the layers of destruction.


The 3,000-year-old bowl became an object of fascination once word got to the press. The next year, it graced the pages of Life magazine in a full-color spread alongside an article about the discoveries at Hasanlu.


But the story behind the prized find is less glossy. The bowl was uncovered just beyond the fingertips of a dead soldier and two of his comrades, who were crushed under bricks and burned building material around 800 B.C. Scholars have debated whether these three men were defenders of the citadel or enemy invaders running off with looted treasures. A new interpretation suggests the soldiers were no heroes.


Hasanlu is sometimes described as the Pompeii of the ancient Near East, because of its so-called "burn layer," which contains more than 200 bodies preserved in ash and rubble, explained Michael Danti, an archaeologist at Boston University. The archaeological evidence provides a rather disturbing snapshot of the closing hours of the siege of the citadel. [Preserved Pompeii: See Images of a City in Ash]


Located on the shores of Lake Urmia, Hasanlu seems to have been first occupied about 8,000 years ago. But by the ninth or 10th century B.C., there was a bustling, fortified town at the site.









Within the town's walls were houses, treasuries, horse stables, military arsenals and temples, many of which had towers or multiple stories. The mudbrick architecture likely resembled the adobe buildings of the American Southwest, but many roofs, floors and structural supports at Hasanlu consisted of timber and reed matting — all of which would have been tinder in a blaze, Danti said.


Other central details about life at Hasanlu are less clear. Archaeologists don't know the ethnicity of the people who lived there or what language they spoke.


"Despite the really rich material record, they didn't really find any indigenous writing at all," Danti said.


The burn layer at Hasanlu suggests a surprise attack destroyed the citadel. Archaeologists who excavated the site in the 1950s, '60s and '70s found corpses that were beheaded and others that were missing hands. Danti said he has seen a fairly clear example of a person who was cut in half. [8 Other Grisly Archaeological Discoveries]


"The students that were working there would have nightmares at night, because they were spending hours and hours out there excavating murder victims," Danti told Live Science. Many of the victims were women and children. And in mass graves on top of the burned layer, excavators found the remains of people who tended to be very young or old and seemed to have suffered fatal, blunt-force trauma head wounds. These victims likely survived the initial attack only to be killed when their captors realized they would be of little use as slaves, Danti said.


"This was warfare that was designed to wipe out people's identity and terrify people into submission," Danti said.


Danti, who has been piecing together a history of the site from excavation archives as part of a larger, more daunting project, published a study on Hasanlu in the September 2014 issue of the journal Antiquity. The site was primarily excavated between 1956 and 1977 under the direction of Robert H. Dyson, who led a team from the University of Pennsylvania, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Archaeological Service of Iran. Because of security pressures and the overwhelming amount of material found at the site, the pace of their work was often hurried, and their record-keeping methods were not always meticulous. Some artifacts were pulled from the ground before they were documented or photographed in situ. There are no photographs of the gold bowl before it was taken out of the ground, for example.






In revisiting Hasanlu, Danti has taken a closer look at the three warriors. He said it seems likely they were climbing up a wooden staircase inside of a home when the building collapsed. The men fell through what was probably a waste-disposal chute and were buried by debris. Besides the gold bowl, there are other treasures scattered around their bodies, including textiles, fancy armored belts, metal vessels and delicately carved cylinder seals.


The outfits and weapons of the warriors look like standardized military equipment, Danti said. The men wore crested helmets with earflaps, and they carried spiked maces. They appear to have been well-prepared for battle.


"I doubt these men were rescuing a valued bowl and many other fine objects with little hope of egress as the citadel burned and its remaining occupants were slaughtered or taken captive," Danti wrote in his conclusion.


Danti's interpretation supports a hypothesis that the warriors hailed from the Urartu kingdom that grew out of an area in modern-day Turkey. Historical texts indicate the ancient Urartu kingdom was expanding into the region around Hasanlu during the Iron Age through a brutal military campaign. Sometime after the citadel was abandoned, an Urartian fortification wall was built on top of the ruins of Hasanlu.


Still, Danti said he hopes other researchers will test his hypothesis and perform bioarchaeological analyses on the skeletons of both the warriors and the slain people who lived at Hasanlu. Diet and drinking water leave telltale biomarkers in a person's skeleton, and a bone analysis could help confirm where the warriors came from, and whether they died trying to protect or steal the town's riches.




www.yahoo.com...



This is a very dynamic period in that part of the world. What I found most interesting, is that there was mo indigenous writing.




posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 02:50 PM
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Wow.

Are you for real?

First complaint is about your misspelling in your title.

Then you only have one comment but there is a misspelling in your comment.

WTH?



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 02:53 PM
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Interesting, in all of my historical readings, never came across that place before, always something new to learn! many thanks.



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: boogeywoogey
Wow, tough crowd.

Thank you OP for the thread, I found it to be interesting.



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

Just replying to a thread is adding criticisim not allowed?



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 03:05 PM
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originally posted by: boogeywoogey
Wow.

Are you for real?

First complaint is about your misspelling in your title.

Then you only have one comment but there is a misspelling in your comment.

WTH?


As far as I know, this is not the "complaint" forum.

(On Topic) Thanks! I didn't know of this, either!
Very interesting.

S & F OP



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 03:06 PM
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Interesting find

Site where you can see the bowl and its decoration (in Persian)

Scroll down to the bottom to see a color photograph.
edit on 9/9/14 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 04:18 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

I always wonder about the writing question. If they wrote only on a form of paper, it either burned to ashes, or it quickly disintegrated.

At some point, smarter human cultures realized if they wanted their writing to stand the test of time, they had to carve it in stone. Literally.

That's why I take it with a grain of salt when I hear, "They had no form of writing." (I always finish that sentence in my head with "...that survived.")



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 04:24 PM
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originally posted by: boogeywoogey
Wow.

Are you for real?

First complaint is about your misspelling in your title.

Then you only have one comment but there is a misspelling in your comment.

WTH?


WTH is your problem newbie? We all know amcient means older than ancient!


I liked the thread. Seems like karma got those soldiers eh OP?



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 04:30 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

thank you for bringing this to ats , i had never heard about this place before it goes to show how brutal the ancient world was

s& f



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: boogeywoogey

Not everyone here is an Enlgish
as fist language speeker. I'm not saying it is sew in this case, but as a knew member it might pay too kepe that in miyund.
Do ewe have anythink to add about the actshual topick?

Thanks punk, what a fascinating story, and cheers for the additional link, Hans.



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 04:49 PM
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This was very interesting! Love these sort of topics, and I wish there were more of them!



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 05:27 PM
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Thank you very much for drawing attention to this very fascinating arch-dig. Neat-o...war, murder, massacres, surprise invasive attacks, looting, rape and slavery!

What more can one ask for in regards to human history? It has everything.... heh.

And as far as the peanut gallery ... I knew what you meant and didn't think it necessary to boost my own ego by 'nik pissing' your spelling errors... especially as I couldn't begin to make myself understood in your native language... even if it IS English... I can barely make it work in English and I've been trying for more than four decades.



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 05:31 PM
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originally posted by: Hanslune
Interesting find

Site where you can see the bowl and its decoration (in Persian)

Scroll down to the bottom to see a color photograph.


Nice Hans,
Thanks for the link.



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

I remember this site specifically because of the bowl. I was however not aware of the backstory involved so to have that additional perspective gives the whole picture a rounder, more full feel. Thanks for the info.



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 06:47 PM
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a reply to: boogeywoogey

People do make mistakes you know.

Interesting stuff, though to be honest I had read the title as "Iranian site holds clue to ancient atomic war."

Ha! I was waiting for you to mention radioactivity, I'm way too tired....



posted on Sep, 9 2014 @ 08:16 PM
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The guy with the sheep looks like the bald sumerian priests... the winged sun discs and leg musculature reminds me of assyrian carvings...


but spoked wheel chariots, cattle herding, horned helmets, and swastikas, it must be an indo-european culture




posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 04:45 AM
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originally posted by: boogeywoogey
Wow.

Are you for real?

First complaint is about your misspelling in your title.

Then you only have one comment but there is a misspelling in your comment.

WTH?


This is a great thread pal and your going on about a misplaced letter?

Have you had your ip banned by that other site so you decide to come here and be a ass instead? You won't get very far with that bs on this site mate

To the OP great reading mate, sounds like that part of the world hasn't really evolved much other the years and are still as barbaric now as then



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 08:01 AM
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The bowl is depicting a story much older than 3000 years. Atleast 5000 by my research. Not sure if they are recalling an older time - or if this is a relic from that period.



posted on Sep, 10 2014 @ 04:04 PM
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originally posted by: 131415
The bowl is depicting a story much older than 3000 years. Atleast 5000 by my research. Not sure if they are recalling an older time - or if this is a relic from that period.


Tell us if you would how you guesstimated that age of 'at least 5000.



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