Top Ten Builds by the Ancients that Were Exposed in 2015: Stone Circles, Architecture, Petroglyphs, Fortresses and More
Excavations carried out at Geval Castle in Central Anatolia, Turkey, revealed a secret tunnel that had been built by the Hittites about 4,000 years ago. Around 150 meters (492 feet) of the tunnel, which had been closed off with a vault, have been investigated so far. The secret tunnel was used all the way through to the Seljuk era (11th – 12th century AD). It establishes a connection with the outside of the castle and “It is closed with a vault and looks like a part of the land. But when you go deeper, you understand that it is a tunnel. The first examples of secret tunnels go back to the Hittites.” Excavations at Geval Castle will resume in May 2016.
In the fifth or sixth century AD, Picts on the eastern Scotland coast set up a fort on a stone outcrop just offshore, possibly to hold sway over the seas. The ancient people had a reputation for ferocity and were one reason the Romans never established a lasting presence in what is now Scotland.
The fort on what is called a “sea stack” may have been one of a series of forts along the coast. This particular fort, near Stonehaven, may have been a precursor to medieval Dunnottar Castle, just a few hundred meters (yards) away, on a headland onshore. The fort was inhabited for extended periods.
Researchers from the University of Yamagata in Japan spotted 24 previously unknown geoglyphs in Peru’s famous Nazca Plateau, adding to the collection of hundreds of symbols and shapes that are carved across the Nazca landscape. It is believed that the newly-discovered geoglyphs are older than the hummingbird and monkey symbols – the most famous of all the Nazca lines.
The geoglyphs are located approximately 1.5km (0.5 miles) north of the town of Nazca, on the southern coast of Peru. Most of them are heavily eroded making their shapes difficult to make out – although many appear to represent llamas or geometric shapes. They range in size from 5 meters (16ft) to 20 meters (65ft) in length. They are believed to be among the oldest found at the site, having been dated to between 400 BC and 200 BC. They were identified using 3D scanning equipment.
2. Startling New Evidence Suggests Stonehenge was First Built in Wales then Transported and Reconstructed 500 Years Later in England
Archaeologists found the exact holes in a rocky outcrop in Wales from where the bluestones found at Stonehenge originated, revealing that they were quarried 500 years before they were assembled into the famous stone circle that still stands today in Wiltshire, England. The dramatic discovery suggests that the ancient monument was first erected in Wales and later dismantled, transported, and reassembled over 140 miles (225.3 km) away in Salisbury Plain.
The holes were dated to 3,400 BC at Craig Rhos-y-felin and 3,200 BC at Carn Goedeg. However, the bluestones were not assembled at Stonehenge until 2,900 BC, which raises the question as to why they were quarried centuries before their use in the famous stone monument in Wiltshire, England.
“It could have taken those Neolithic stone-draggers nearly 500 years to get them to Stonehenge, but that’s pretty improbable in my view,” Prof Mike Parker Pearson, director of the project, said. “It’s more likely that the stones were first used in a local monument, somewhere near the quarries, that was then dismantled and dragged off to Wiltshire.”
The research team have begun carrying out geophysical surveys, trial excavations, and aerial photographic analyses in the area between the two quarries in Wales to identify the area where a Stonehenge-like stone circle was originally assembled. They have hinted at the fact that they might already have found a promising location and that a big discovery may follow in 2016.
According to Manetho, an ancient Egyptian historian and priest of the 3rd century BC, Memphis once carried the name Ineb-hedj, meaning ‘White Walls’. Some historians maintain that the city was named by the founder of Memphis, pharaoh Menes, who built a fortress of white walls. Others suggest the city was named after the pharaoh’s palace, which would have been built of white-washed brick, while another theory is that the white walls refer to the enormous walls around the Temple of Ptah, the largest and most important temple in ancient Memphis.