13 New Archaeological Discoveries in the Middle East
From an ancient warrior discovered in a Greek town to archaeologists using the latest technology to reveal a anciet city!
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6. The Mask of Pan
Archaeologists unearthed a giant bronze mask of the ancient god Pan at the site of ancient Sussita in 2015. Bronze masks of such size depicting gods are extremely rare to find as most ancient masks of gods are typically much smaller. Further excavation at the site done this year revealed more details as to the mask’s use. A large gate unearthed at the location leads experts to theorize that the mask must have been affixed to a wall and that the compound could have been a sanctuary in honor of the god.
5. Ancient Governor’s Palace
Four archaeologists uncovered parts of a Neo-Assyrian governor’s palace that were found to be 2,800 years old in 2008. The foursome revealed the palace amongst the ruins on Ziyaret Tepe in southeast Turkey. Parts of the courtyard area contained graves within which various bronze vessels, stone and ivory receptacles, seals and beads were found. The team also unearthed a clay writing tablet on which a Cambridge University archaeologist found a previously undiscovered language that an unknown people from the mountains of Western Iran likely spoke.
4. King David’s Palace
Israeli archaeologists uncovered a huge palace and storeroom that they believe may have belonged to the man who Goliath. The collaborative excavation project took place at Khirbet Qeiyafa, which is around 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem, and spanned seven years. If the palace does indeed belong to the ancient king, it will reinforce the Bible’s suggestion that David was an extraordinary leader and not the small chieftain that some believe him to be. Authorities also discovered a pot at the site, and the inscriptions on it were translated in 2015 to reveal the name of one of King David’s, Ishboshet. While Ishboshet didn’t necessarily own the pot, it shows that the name, which was previously only found in the Bible, existed in the early Israelite period.
3. The Burial Box Bust
Archaeologists or historians studying old items usually inform the Israel Antiquities Authority of new ancient discoveries. It was the police, however, who told the Authority of the discovery of 11 ancient burial boxes that are approximately 2,300 years old. Authorities arrested four suspects with the loot in Jerusalem in early 2014. The IAA already has over 1,000 of these old boxes in its possession, but each one is uniquely important and revealing. Authorities believe the thieves either stole the treasure from an ancient cave or stumbled upon them during a construction project.
2. 3,300 Year Old Coffin
The IAA was excavating near Tel Shadud before the installation of a natural gas pipeline in 2014 when they found a fascinating and unique cylindrical clay coffin surrounded by pottery, tableware, cultic vessels and animal bones. The skeleton of an adult found inside the coffin was buried alongside pottery, a bronze dagger, and a bronze bowl. The rare casket was the first of it’s kind discovered in half a century. The value of the coffin in ancient times points to the fact that the person buried within it must have been a very influential person and a member of high society. A scarab, encased in gold and attached to a ring was also found. Inscribed on the scarab was the name of Pharaoh Seti l who ruled Egypt in the thirteenth century B.C. The find points to Egypt’s influence and control of the area in ancient times.
1. The Treasure of Nimrud
Nimrud is an ancient Assyrian city located in Northern Iraq. Archaeologists discovered tombs full of the gold of Assyrian queens within the old town in the late 1980’s. The trove of treasure, which was thought to be around 2700 years old, was taken to the Baghdad Museum. When Saddam Hussein fell out of power people assumed that looters would take the treasures. Luckily a team found the treasures safely hidden in the Central Bank of Iraq. While experts consider the treasures every bit as important and magnificent as the treasures discovered in King Tut’s tomb, they aren’t as widely known because they have never been displayed to the public for an extensive amount of time. Recently Isis, who has taken over the area in which Nimrud lies, has threatened to destroy the site and its remaining treasures. Luckily, many of the most coveted items were previously moved by authorities to other locations.