What are some recent discoveries in Archaeology?

New discoveries in Egypt 2022

3 days ago, April 25, 2022, an Egyptian archaeological mission, working in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, announced that they had unearthed the remains of a temple dedicated to the god Zeus-Kasios in Tell al-Farma, near the historic city of Pelisium, east of the Nileu2019s eastern mouth in the Mediterranean.

Granite blocks are inscribed with Greek texts.

Source: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

,Source: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

,The templeu2019s location.

Source: Google Maps.

,This trace had been missing for more than 100 years when a French archaeologist, Jean Cleu2019dat, revealed, in 1910, a group of granite blocks inscribed with ancient Greek texts indicating the presence of a temple in that region, but he was unable to find it at that time.

,The original inscribed block discovered by Clu00e9dat, along with another newly dug granite block complement each other and indicate that Emperor Hadrian (117u2013138) ordered new additions to the Temple of Zeus-Kasios, and Titus Flavius Titianus, procurator of Alexandria, did the job.

Lost golden city found in Egypt

I have been to Luxor and, as far as I know, no treasure was found there.

If someone knows better, please correct me.

The temple at Karnak is located in Luxor and it is well worth seeing.

,On the other hand, just across the Nile River from Luxor is the Valley of the Kings where many Pharos were buried.

One was the famous King Tut, His tomb contained a vast treasure.

You can visit his tomb but the treasure is located in the city of Cairo in the National Museum.

Lost city found 2022

Mumbai tops the list of most forgetful cities, followed by Delhi NCR, Lucknow and Kolkata.

,I also had experience of smart phone, dropped from pant pocket, while going in taxi.

Good thing is it is recovered.

I am avoiding keeping phone in pant pocket later.

,In a hurry people forget some items, though not included in list of Uber, Umberilla is one.

Now people use rain coat.

Scientists found this in Egypt and we need to worry

We know nothing.

We know everything.

This will be a long post.

,But first, a single gold star for anyone who can pronounce both u2018omicronu2019 and u2018Gautengu2019 correctly (Answer at the end).

,We know nothingNobody knows whether omicronu2014the official WHO designation, after the Greek letter u03bf, otherwise B.

1.

1.

529, or u2018VUI-21NOV-01u2019u2014is even a threat.

We just donu2019t know.

Yet.

To behave completely rationally we at least need to know:,Whether itu2019s more dangerous than delta,Whether it can out-compete delta,Whether it causes more re-infection, more quickly,Whether it causes more vaccine breakthroughs than delta does,How well it spreads.

,All of these will take time to work outu2014weeks to months.

It may be a false alarm, or it may be really nasty.

We just donu2019t know.

We canu2019t be u2018completely rationalu2019.

But in another sense, we know pretty much everything about omicron.

,We know everythingItu2019s also obvious that we know the entire sequence of omicron.

We know that it has a multitude of worrisome spike mutations: A67V, u039469-70, T95I, G142D/u0394143-145, u0394211/L212I, ins214EPE, G339D, S371L, S373P, S375F, K417N, N440K, G446S, S477N, T478K, E484A, Q493K, G496S, Q498R, N501Y, Y505H, T547K, D614G, H655Y, N679K, P681H, N764K, D796Y, N856K, Q954H, N969K, L981F.

,Some of these have already been seen in other variants, and found to make the virus more resistant to antibodies, and more prone to spread faster by binding more tightly to the ACE2 receptor, and get into cells more easily by tweaking the furin cleavage site.

(Omicron seems to have three such furin-related tweaks).

,We know that it has a deletion in the nsp6 peptide (u0394105u20137) that appears to interfere with our natural defences (interferons).

We know that the nucleocapsid has that worrying R203K mutation.

It may even mess with T-cell immunity too.

The damn virus is a hive of mutations.

And thereu2019s the problem immediately.

Itu2019s likely that pretty much all of these mutations interact in subtle ways, both with one another and with the host.

And with his/her environment.

For example, the key mutant in delta seems to be P681Ru2014but omicron has P681H, which previously has been out-competed by delta.

,Just because we know pretty much every molecular detail of the virusu2014and can even build pretty pictures of how this affects its shapeu2014doesnu2019t help us much.

Letu2019s look at some examples of our ignorance, and partial knowledge.

,What we think we knowThe graphic above is from a rather good article on the new variant from the Financial Times.

You can see that, compared with previous spikes, the current increase in COVID-19 cases in South Africa is minute.

But thereu2019s another way of looking at the same data :,When we look at the change in cases, the curve is screaming up in a way we pretty much havenu2019t seen before.

So which is the u2018rightu2019 curve? Both are, and neither is.

Everything depends on context.

,The virus does seem to be spreading like crazy in the Gauteng province of South Africa (half of the pronunciation challenge above) but there are several possible explanations:,This is just a flash in the pan.

It may settle.

,The virus is seriously out-competing delta.

Thatu2019s a worry.

,The virus canu2019t really out-compete delta, but it can re-infect people whou2019ve had delta when this has settled.

,The virus can infect vaccinated people freely, and cause symptomatic disease.

,Our data are wrong.

,All are possibilitiesu2014even combinations of the above.

,Why worry, then?Rabid anti-vaxxers whou2019ve reached this point will of course be scoffing loudly as they leave.

Or theyu2019ll say something like u201cSee, another reason not to get vaccinatedu201d.

* But there are several reasons to be concerned.

,Seasoned virologists are worried.

Even the normally sluggish WHO has been goaded into calling this a u2018variant of concernu2019.

,This is because of the above, apparent rapid spread, and,Because of all of those mutations.

Many are known to be marks of badness in other variantsu2014promoting virus proliferation, spread, and antibody resistance.

,We should have learnt by now that wringing your hands and waiting for u2018definitive proofu2019 is not the smartest way to react to a virus that has the potential to spread exponentially.

Especially if itu2019s nastier than past variants.

Nor is turning your back on your own people and hoping everything will go awayu2014look at India, with delta.

,What then should we do? What are we doing?,Donu2019t panic^u2020 Needless to say, leaders of state around the world are panicking.

The UK, which has spectacularly fucked up almost every aspect of its response over the past two years, has treated South Africa like a pariah nation, and closed its borders with lightning speed.

As have many other countries around the world.

,This may buy them some time, but if omicron is a threat, itu2019ll still reach them.

Oh! It already has.

Itu2019s in Hong Kong.

And Egypt.

And now Israel.

And Belgium.

What should we be doing?Of course we need to be vigilant for the new variant.

Of course we need to do all of those good, solid epidemiological things we should be doing already: masking to protect others, self-isolating and getting tested, contact-tracing, and listening to our local epidemiologists.

Andu2014almost needless to sayu2014getting vaccinated.

And not rioting in the streets about our god-given right to be an idiot.

,And of course, most countries around the world will continue to do these things badly.

Those few countries like New Zealand, who havenu2019t killed large numbers of their own people yet, may well take further strain, but they will at least be better placed not to completely stuff things up if this new variant turns out to be especially nasty.

They have reasonable measures in place.

,And of course we need to get the science right, and answer all of those questions at the start.

But thereu2019s something far more important that we should be doing.

What is it?,Learning.

Here are the things we havenu2019t learnt:,That this is an international plague, so we need a solid international effort.

Not lip service.

,That we should have put particular effort into getting vaccines into other countriesu2014especially in developing nations, which otherwise become variant-developing nations.

,That trying to u2018live with the virusu2019 may be more than a bit silly.

With every new waveu2014sometimes even before every new waveu2014we have convinced ourselves that we can happily let a few people die, often those at the margins, so we can u201ckeep our economies openu201d.

,That there is no u2018normalu2019 to u2018go back tou2019.

The old gluttony must go.

We need to re-fashion our entire world economy, to support those who are crushed by pandemics like this.

Otherwise, they will rise up and crush us in turn.

Together with the new variants grown in their bosom.

,That this is not a war.

The virus is not a military power, to be fought on the battlefield.

Our real enemy is ourselvesu2014and the virus is simply exposing our weaknesses.

,Jacinda Ardern, the PM of New Zealand pretty much summed it up, when everyone else was talking about the u2018battleu2019 or u2018waru2019 against COVID-19.

What did she say?,u201cBe kindu201d This may sound kind of silly, until youu2019ve thought it through.

You may then realise that this tiny phrase best summarises the way to manage this entire pandemicu2014together with another phrase Iu2019ll quote at the end.

,A predictionu2014and some pronunciationWith COVID-19, predictions are usually unwise.

But I donu2019t think Iu2019m sticking my neck out when I predict that we wonu2019t learn the above lessons.

So newer, nastier variants will continue to arise, even if this one isnu2019t particularly bad.

,And as for the pronunciation:,Gauteng is pronounced /xau028au02c8tu025bu014b/.

This is a Tswana word, and the initial G is pronounced something like the u2018chu2019 in the Scottish word u2018lochu2019.

,Omicron is a bit of a bugger, because English-speakers and Americans pronounce it differently.

If you go to the Oxford learneru2019s dictionary you can see that the English way is /u0259u028au02c8mau026akru0252n/, but Americans will replace the u2018aiu2019 sound with u0259 schwa: /u0251u02d0mu0259kru0251u02d0n/.

Letu2019s not start a war hereu2014either is OK.

^u2021Kia kaha.

,My 2c, Dr Jo.

,,* Interestingly enough, anti-vaxxers who have done their u2018own researchu2019, of course trying to find confirmation of their beliefs, may not realise that mutants are usually more resistant to convalescent serum (what some would call u2018naturalu2019 infection) than is the case after double vaccination, where the immune response has been tuned to confer robust immunity to the spike protein.

So if a virus is vaccine resistant, despite misleading and incorrect data from e.

g.

Israel, itu2019s more likely to set you up for re-infection too.

,^u2020 It is said that despite its many glaring (and occasionally fatal) inaccuracies, the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy itself has outsold the Encyclopedia Galactica because it is slightly cheaper, and because it has the words DONT PANIC in large, friendly letters on the cover.

^u2021But hands up those who say u2018my mu0259croscopeu2019 or u201910 mu0259cronsu2019? Ah.

:)

Egypt discovery

u201cAlready madeu201d in what sense? Clearly, thereu2019s some latency between finding something and announcing it.

I donu2019t doubt that thereu2019s a gap of at least weeks and quite possibly months between the initial discovery and the announcement.

Opening up a site of that size and figuring out what youu2019ve got takes time, as does getting that kind of photography done and making related political decisions and logistical arrangements for making announcements (and, it must be said, making arrangements for security at the site).

,That said, I donu2019t doubt that the ministry of antiquities is making these kinds of announcements as quickly as they can.

Egyptu2019s tourist industry has taken some serious hits over the past several years, and the government wants to get word of notable finds out.

They do not, I think, have an extensive backlog of unannounced sites to be trotted out in case of emergency.

Theyu2019ve been in a foreign currency emergency for years.

This is a relatively recent find.

Egypts new discovery is challenging our history

This answer is a little long, so please bear with me.

The Mahabharata depicts an advanced ancient civilisation.

An era with fantastic weapons such as the Bhrahmastra which were as powerful as modern day nukes and other modern technologies like cloning, surrogacy and long distance telecast.

Its hard to imagine that a civilisation this awesome could have existed so long ago.

,We have always been told that the Mahabharata is fiction.

And the reason that most people give for it is that there is no solid archaeological proof if it ever happened.

,Well okay.

,Lets have a look at this man.

,Heu2019s Alexander The Great.

A man whose great conquests we all have read about in our History books.

,Guess what? There is absolutely no archaeological proof that he existed!,Thatu2019s not in your history books.

,Everything that we know about this man comes from the writings of three Historians Strabo, Arrian and Plutarch who lived 150u2013400 years after Alexanderu2019s death.

But Alexander is not mythology heu2019s history.

,,I am not going to give you answers but a few thoughts which i hope will challenge you to think about what this all means.

,Before we get back to the Mahabharata lets go to another part of the world.

,EGYPTThis is the Great Sphinx of Giza.

We have been told that this great monument was built by Pharoah Khaffre in 2500 BC.

And for a lot of time this was accepted history.

,In the 1990s Dr.

Robert Schoch a professor of geology at the university of Boston came along to the scene and asked the Egyptologist a very interesting question.

,He asked, u201cHow do you know that the Sphinx was built in 2500 BC.

u201d,Well the fascinating answer was, u2018We actually donu2019t know, we think that it was built in 2500 BC.

Because we cannot date stoneu2019.

,Robert Schoch being a scientist was not satisfied by this answer and he went on to do some tests which later shocked the world.

,His test showed that the erosion that one can see on the sphinx and on the walls of the enclosure surrounding the Sphinx were caused by heavy rainfall.

And we know for a fact that it has not rained heavy in Egypt since after 6000 BC.

,Which meant that the Sphinx could not have been built in 2500 BC it has to be older than 6000 BC.

Probably 8000 or even 10000BC, we canu2019t say.

,And an even bigger question then is who built it as we were all cave men and cave women in those times.

We were using sticks and stone tools.

We didnu2019t have the technology and the science to build a monumental structure like this.

,Yet somebody did.

,There are so many other such unexplained structures.

,One of which for example is The Stone Henge in the United Kingdom.

,A structural marvel which is believed to be made in 2400 BC, in which slabs of stone weighing approximately 70 tonnes were lifted 30 feet into the air and interlocked with each other using complex engineering techniques that we use even today.

Its a structure building which was nearly impossible with the tools they had available in those times.

,,Some very interesting theories explaining these structures were advanced a few decades back.

One of the pioneers in this is a man named Graham Hancock who after years of research with his team came forward with a theory saying that an ancient global civilisation with advance science and technology existed and was wiped out by a global flood nearly 12000 years ago.

,Recently a lot of evidence supporting this theory has come up.

,Now we know that at 10900 BC a comet shattered into fragments and hit the earth the earth at various points which is now known as the Younger Dryas .

During that time the earth had started recovering from the last ice age.

When the comet fell global temperatures all over the world increased, ice caps melted and the sea levels rose causing a global flood.

Further volcanoes erupted, ash filled the atmosphere and temperatures dropped drastically for another 1300 years.

,One of the biggest mysteries till had been how did all of these animals go extinct at the exact same time in North America.

This perhaps is the answer.

,Another fascinating discovery was made in 2008 by an archaeological team working in a cave in Denisova.

They discovered a tooth, a big tooth the surface area of which is thrice of that of a human tooth.

The scientists felt that a tooth this big could only be of an animal, so they sent it for DNA testing.

,The results were shocking.

,On DNA testing they found out that the tooth belonged to a human species.

They were called not Homo Sapiens but Homo Sapien Denisova.

We had discovered a human species we didnu2019t know had existed before.

,Over the past 10 years extensive research has been conducted in which many new discoveries have been made.

,The first is that all the people living today in the geographical area covered by the green line have Denisovan DNA.

About 2.

4 percent of their DNA is Denisovan.

,Strangely however, DNA evidences also suggest that at some point, the Denisovans must have interbred as with an as yet unknown and undiscovered species of human beings.

,The second discovery is this beautiful bracelet which is about 30000 years old and was built by the Denisovans.

,Lets not dwell in the beauty of the bracelet and focus on that small hole.

It is exactly 1mm in diameter.

The scientists who conducted physical tests on this hole say that it could have been made u2018only by a high speed drillu2019, or else the stone would have shattered.

,,So even 30 to 40 thousand years ago there were people who had some technology that we donu2019t know about.

Maybe they had the technology described in the Mahabharata as well.

It is very ignorant of us to dismiss such historic texts as myth.

,There are still mysteries out there waiting to be discovered if only we are curious and brave enough to challenge our existing beliefs.

,Perhaps a day will come when the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata wonu2019t be fiction but history.

When was the lost golden city discovered

Oh my.

,Even in the 21st century when people thought that on the surface of planet Earth,most things had been discovered.

,Turns out that still isnu2019t the case.

,It feels good something like this is happening in my lifetime.

,Gives me a u201cfeelu201d on how the people of old felt when major discoveries were made in their lifetime.

,Just my own personal opinion.

a 3,000-year-old lost golden city has been unearthed in egypt

the site was uncovered near Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings.

,Items of jewellery such as rings have been unearthed, along with coloured pottery vessels, scarab beetle amulets and mud bricks bearing the seals of Amenhotep III,the find was the largest ancient city, known as Aten, ever uncovered in Egypt.

,The city dates to the reign of Amenhotep III, one of Egypts most powerful pharaohs, who ruled from 1391 to 1353 BC.

,seven months after the dig started, several areas or neighbourhoods have been uncovered, including a bakery, an administrative district and a residential area.

,3,400 years ago, a contentious ancient Egyptian king abandoned his name, his religion, and his capital in Thebes (modern Luxor).

Archaeologists know what happened next: The pharaoh Akhenaten built the short-lived city of Akhetaten, where he ruled alongside his wife, Nefertiti and worshipped the sun.

,Though the size of the city has yet to be determined, its date is clear thanks to hieroglyphics on a variety of items.

A vessel containing two gallons of boiled meat was inscribed with the year 37u2014the time of Amenhotep III and Akhenatenu2019s speculated father-son reign.

Scarabs, bricks, vessels, and more bear Amenhotep IIIu2019s royal seal.

,The city appears to have been reused by Tutankhamun, who ditched Akhetaten during his reign but established a new capital at Memphis.

who later inherited the throne when he married Tutu2019s widow, seems to have used it, too.

Four distinct settlement layers at the site show eras of use all the way into the Coptic Byzantine era of the third through seventh centuries A.

D.