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Amrit or Amrith (Arabic: عمريت), also known as Marathos or Marathus (Ancient Greek: Μάραθος), was an ancient Phoenician city located near Tartus in Syria. Founded in the third millennium BC and abandoned during the second century BC, the city's Phoenician ruins have been preserved in their entirety without extensive remodeling by later generations.
One of the most important excavations at Amrit was the Phoenician temple, commonly referred to the "ma'abed," dedicated to the god Melqart of Tyre and Eshmun. The colonnaded temple, excavated between 1955 and 1957, consists of a large court cut out of rock measuring 47 × 49 metres (154 × 161 ft) and over 3 metres (9.8 ft) deep, surrounded by a covered portico. In the center of the court a well-preserved cube-shaped cella stands. The open-air courtyard was filled with the waters of a local, traditionally sacred spring, a unique feature of this site. The temple—which was dated to the late 4th century BC, a period following the Persian expansion into Syria—shows major Achaemenid influence in its layout and decoration. According to Dutch archaeologist, Peter Akkermans, the temple is the "best-preserved monumental structure from the Phoenician homeland."
A second temple, described by visitors to the site in 1743 and 1860 and thought to have disappeared, was later discovered by the Syrian archaeological mission near the Nahr al-Kuble spring.
In a suburb of Mexico City sits a circular pyramid, partially covered by a lava field from the Xitle volcano. The pyramid of Cuicuilco rises to no more than 18 metres in height, though measures 120 metres in diameter. Excavated for the first time by Mexican archaeologist Manuel Gamio in 1917, the original height is estimated to have been 27 metres. Gamio discovered four galleries and a central staircase that went to the summit. The site was been dated to the 1st century AD, and is believed to have been the oldest pyramid structure in the New World – predating Teotihuacan, north of Mexico City. Cuicuilco may also have been the oldest city in the Valley of Mexico and was roughly contemporary with, and possibly interacting with, the Olmec civilisation of the Gulf Coast. This already makes it highly important.
Still, it is not a true pyramid, being rather a truncated conical mound, with a clay-and-rubble core faced with river boulders and basalt slabs. But despite not adhering to the “true” pyramid shape, it nevertheless is as controversial – if not more so – than several other true pyramids...
Though recognised as “the oldest”, a central question was “how old”? National Geographic discussed Cuicuilco in 1923 (no. 44). In the 1922, Byron Cummings of the University of Arizona became interested in the structure when he learned that a geologist named George E. Hyde had estimated the age of the flow, the Pedregal lava flow, as being 7000 years old. This resulted in an obvious contradiction: how could a pyramid be 5000 years younger than the lava covering it?
The fortified temple at Chankillo
A line of 2,300-year-old stone towers north of Lima, Peru, form the oldest known solar observatory in the Americas, a team of archaeologists has found. The discovery that the line of stone markers tracks the sun's progress across the sky also suggests that sophisticated sun worship may have thrived in the region nearly two millennia prior to the famous sun cults of the Incas, the team says.
Known as the Thirteen Towers of Chankillo, the structures sit atop a low ridge in north coastal Peru, part of a ceremonial complex dating to the 4th century B.C. Ranging from 2 to 6 meters high, the towers form a toothed horizon along the ridge. The 4-square-kilometer site also contains multiple structures and plazas, including two structures that precisely flank the towers to the east and west. Earlier excavations uncovered pottery, shells and stone fragments littering the site around one of the structures.
Huaca de la Luna
The Huacas de Moche site is located 4 km outside the modern city of Trujillo, near the mouth of the Moche River valley. The Huaca de la Luna, though it is the smaller of the two huacas at the site, has yielded the most archaeological information. The Huaca del Sol was partially destroyed and looted by Spanish conquistadors in the 17th century, while the Huaca de la Luna was left relatively untouched. Archeologists believe that the Huaca del Sol may have served for administrative, military, and residential functions, as well as a burial mound for the Moche elite. The Huaca de la Luna served primarily a ceremonial and religious function, though it contains burials as well.
Today the Huaca de la Luna is colored the soft brown of its adobe brickwork. At the time of construction, it was decorated in registers of murals which were painted in black, bright red, sky blue, white, and yellow. The sun and weather has since utterly faded these murals away. Inside the Huaca are other murals created in earlier phases of construction. Many of these depict a deity now known as Ayapec. Ayapec is a pre-Quechua word translating as all knowing. "Wrinkle-Face" is the name given to another deity by the later Inca because of the deity's appearance.
Altun-Ha means "stone water" - is located approximately 30 miles north of Belize City. This ceremonial center, located six miles from the sea, was important as a trading center and as a link between the coast and the settlements of the interior. Within the central portion of the site there are more than 500 structures. The entire city covered some 1.8 square miles and contains around 250 to 300 mounds that have never been excavated. Population estimates for Altun Ha at its peak are 9,000 to 12,000. Also, a treasure of over 300 jade objects was found there, including the ornately carved head of Kinisch Ahau, the Mayan Sun God. This head, weighing 9 3/4 pounds and measuring nearly 6 inches from the base of the crown, is believed to be the largest Maya jade carving in existence. Caracol means "conch shell" or "snail", is located south of San Ignacio, in the Cayo district. Though only considered to be a simple Mayan ceremonial center when discovered in 1938, it was later found to be one of the largest sites in all the Maya World. The center of the site has about 20 major plazas and the pyramid, the Canaa, meaning "sky palace", which rises 140 ft and is the tallest man-made structure in Belize.
The mountain lies 40 km (25 mi) north of Kahta, near Adıyaman. In 62 BC, King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountain top a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues 8–9 m (26–30 ft) high of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian, and Iranian gods, such as Vahagn-Hercules, Aramazd-Zeus or Oromasdes (associated with the Iranian god Ahura Mazda), Bakht-Tyche, and Mihr-Apollo-Mithras. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site.
The pattern of damage to the heads (notably to noses) suggests that they were deliberately damaged as a result of iconoclasm. The statues have not been restored to their original positions. The site also preserves stone slabs with bas-relief figures that are thought to have formed a large frieze. These slabs display the ancestors of Antiochus, who included Armenian, Greek and Persians.
The same statues and ancestors found throughout the site can also be found on the tumulus at the site, which is 49 m (161 ft) tall and 152 m (499 ft) in diameter. It is possible that the tumulus was build to protect a tomb from tomb-robbers since any excavation would quickly fill with loose rock. The statues appear to have Greek-style facial features, but Armenian clothing and hair-styling.
originally posted by: Byrd
We should mount an expedition!