Showing posts with label Archeology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Archeology. Show all posts

Researchers Discover Two Hidden Chambers Inside Egypt's Great Pyramid

It seems the discoveries just keep coming in Egypt, a civilization thousands of years old with plenty of monuments to prove it. Researchers in Cairo now say that they have discovered "cavities" inside one of the most well known and iconic structures on Earth – the Great Pyramid itself.

The discovery was made using imaging technology called muography. This technique uses special equipment to analyze radioactive particles known as muons. Analysts can detect where the particles are most dense or least dense to help create an image of the interior of spaces. In this way, it works much like ground penetrating radar, providing a map of the interior of the pyramid itself. 

According to reports, the team conducting the study says that they are "now able to confirm the existence of a ‘void’ hidden behind the North Face, that could have the form of at least one corridor going inside the Great Pyramid.” The team added that “The precise shape, size, and exact position of this void is now under further investigation. It should be done with the help of 12 new Muon Emulsion plates that are installed in the descending corridor, and will be collected by the end of October 2016.”

The same researchers say that they have also located a second "void" in the structure that is located behind the descending corridor inside the pyramid as well. This corridor is the one that leads directly down into the structure to the tomb of the pharaoh Khufu, who had the pyramid constructed as his burial chamber some 4500 years ago. 

What does all of this mean? We'll just have to wait for further information to know for sure, but it could confirm the existence of hidden chambers inside the Great Pyramid. What those chambers could contain would be open to speculation of course, but anyone who has ever been inside these structures can tell you that they are unimpressive other than from an architectural/construction sense. Unlike the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the walls are not covered in hieroglyphs or painted in ornamental styles. Instead, they are bare, smooth, and colorless. The corridor and chambers are relatively small, and even a bit claustrophobic. But, it is possible that important items for Khufu were stashed in these spaces to prevent them from being looted by thieves.

Of course, it is also hard to get too excited about these "discoveries" considering the hype that was made last year about possibly finding the tomb of Nefertiti hidden inside that of the boy-king Tut. Those claims later seemed to have been proved false, although archaeologists continue to research the findings. Will this be a similar story? If these chambers inside the Pyramid are real, will they hold anything of value? Or are they just part of how the structure was made? It will likely be months before we know for sure, but it is definitely intriguing to think about. 

New Monument Discovered in the Ancient City of Petra

Archaeologists and researchers using satellite imagery and drones have reportedly uncovered a new monument in the ancient city of Petra in Jordan. This structure is said to be massive in size, and unlike anything else found at the site before. It also hints at possible other discoveries yet to be made.

The new find was identified by archaeologists Sarah Parcak and Christopher Tuttle, who used a variety of high tech tools to locate and unearth it. The new structure is said to be roughly 184-by-161-feet (about 56-by-49-meters) in dimension, which makes it about the same length as an Olympic size swimming pool, and twice as wide. It is a large platform that surrounds a smaller platform which was once paved with flagstones. A series of pillars lined the outside, with a massive staircase on the interior.

What exactly this platform was used for remains unclear, and it doesn't match anything else that has been seen inside Petra so far. But, the ancient city is massive in size and scope, covering 102 square miles (264 sq. km), with the main city center covering about 2.3 square miles (6 sq. km). Many people who have not visited the site often believe that Petra is only made up of the Treasury, the iconic building that is seen in so many photos and movies. But the site is sprawling, with hundreds of buildings and structures spread out across the area.

Speculation on the newly found platform leads researchers to believe that it was a public building of some kind, but its exact use remains a mystery. It is thought that when it was intact, it was the second highest structure in the city, which was abandoned in the 7th century, and revealed to the outside world when it was located by explorer Johann Burckhardt in 1812.

This is another great example of an amazing discovery found in a place that we thought we already knew very well and had explored top to bottom. Petra is visited by millions of travelers every year, and it continues to amaze even in the 21st century. But it is even more fascinating to think that we are still finding new things there, and it makes you wonder what else is at the site, waiting to be uncovered.

Nefertiti's Tomb Not Found in King Tut's Tomb After All

One of the more fascinating stories that we've been following over the past year was the possibility of hidden chambers inside King Tut's tomb in Egypt. The story first broke when an archeologist by the name of Nicholas Reeves proposed the theory that such hidden rooms might exist after making laser scans of Tut's burial chambers. He then postulated that those hidden areas could belong to the lost queen of Nefertiti, who was Tut's step mother and may have ruled Egypt before him.

Fuel was added to the fire last fall when it was announced that ground penetrating radar has been used at the ancient site, and those scans had revealed that there indeed blank spaces hidden behind Tut's walls. This seemed to show that Reeve's theories were proving accurate, and that archaeologists were on the verge of making a major discovery.

But now it has been revealed that those scans may not have been accurate at all, and that there really isn't anything hidden in Tut's tomb as first thought. A second scan of the tomb, funded by National Geographic earlier this year, reportedly found no evidence of hidden chambers. Furthermore, there are Egyptologists who are claiming that the Egyptian government is suppressing the news as long as they can in order to maintain the illusion that a discovery may be imminent for as long as possible. The idea of finding Nefertiti's remains was seen as a major find, and could potentially be a boost to the country's flagging tourism sector.

Apparently, Nat Geo's second scanning operation is wrapped up in non-disclosure agreement, which means no one can officially confirm the story at this time. We'll have to wait for the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities to make a statement before we know for sure, but those close to the story say that Egyptian officials are in a bit of a panic over the lack of a new discovery and are looking for alternate opinions and evidence before proceeding.

This story made headlines just a few months ago, but now seems to be completely without merit. That's a bit depressing considering how much hype surrounded the potential discovery. Hopefully we'll get the real story soon so we can either move ahead with learning more about what's in Tut's tomb, or put in behind us altogether.

Did Canadian Teen Really Discover a Lost Mayan City?

We have an update today on that fascinating story that I posted yesterday about a 15-year old Canadian boy who claimed to have discovered a lost Mayan city in the Yucatan Peninsula. It seems that experts are poking holes in the young man's theories, saying that he didn't find a missing city at all, but instead spotted an overgrown agricultural field instead.

The original story was that school boy William Gadoury noticed that Mayan cities were located on a map in the same shape as several constellations in the sky. Looking at old star maps, the then overlaid the constellations on terrestrial maps and noticed that there were locations where cities should have lined up with the stars, but there were no known settlements there. So, William broke out Google Earth and started pouring over the images in search of manmade structures, discovering what looked like the remnants of a prior civilization.

Naturally, the story has struck a chord with the public, many of whom have been fascinated by this narrative, while also wondering why no one else had noticed this placement of Mayan cities in the past. Well, it turns out that there may be some basic issues with the teenager's general premise, as National Geographic explains, and the structures that he spotted in the satellite images may not be as old as he suspects or possibly not even man-made at all.

Archaeologist Ivan Šprajc says that the square shape spotted on the map is really an abandoned field that probably isn't any more than 20 or 30 years old. He also says that other potential structures are most likely natural shapes, and include a clearing in the jungle, which probably doesn't have anything to do with a lost Mayan city. 

As I mentioned in my original story yesterday, the only real way to confirm the existence of a lost city is to send a team of archaeologists out to examine the site. Considering the skepticism that is being raised from others in the field, it seems unlikely that that will happen soon. Of course, there are some who believe that trained archaeologists have also been caught with egg on their face by being upstaged by a teenager, so they have reason to cast doubt on his findings. Only time will tell at this point. 

15-Year Old Canadian Boy Discovers Lost City in Mexico

A 15-year old boy from Quebec is making headlines today for discovering a lost Mayan city in Mexico. The boy used knowledge of ancient astronomy and Google Earth to locate what appears to be remnants of the civilization that thrived across Central America 2000 years ago. 

While looking at maps of the locations of Mayan cities, William Gadoury learned that those cities lined up with the constellations in the sky as they appeared when the Mayan civilization was flourishing. Using that knowledge, he then began searching satellite imagery on Google Earth looking for structures in specific locations, discovering that one city that should have lined up with a specific star was missing. But after careful examination of a spot in the Yucatan Peninsula, he was able to identify what appears to be man-made object hidden under the dense jungle there.

The actual existence of the lost city has yet to be confirmed on the ground, but other researchers are hailing the discovery as a significant one, and are giving William the credit. Experts say that it appears that there are quite a few man-made structures hidden under a thick canopy of vegetation, including buildings, a road, a town square, and possibly even a pyramid. 

 The teenager has named the city K'aak Chi, which means "Mouth of Fire," and he will present his findings at a scientific gathering in Brazil next year. Meanwhile, archaeologists are already applying his technique of matching star charts to maps in hopes of finding other lost cities as well. 

This is another amazing story that reminds us that there are some things that are still hidden away from us, even in the 21st century. It's hard not to be impressed with this young man and his ingenuity. It's a wonder that no one else has discovered the connection between the stars and the Mayan cities before. 

Hidden Chambers Confirmed in King Tut's Tomb

One of the more interesting stories in archaeology that we've been following over the past several months is the possibility of hidden chambers existing inside King Tut's tomb. The theory that such chambers might existed started with British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves, who has been studying the tomb for decades. He believes that the hidden chambers may be a second tomb, possibly containing the remains of the lost Egyptian queen Nefertiti.

Last fall, a team of researchers entered Tut's tomb and used gourd penetrating radar to scan the walls in two locations that Reeves identified as being possible entryways to hidden rooms. Yesterday, the results of those scans was revealed at long last, and it is now looking like his theories may be true, at least in part.

Yesterday, the Egyptian antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty, held a press conference in Cairo to announce the findings. He told those in attendance that the radar scans not only confirm the existence of the two hidden chambers, but also revealed that those rooms contain items that are made of both metal and organic materials. That would be consistent with what you would expect to find in another tomb, although it remains to be seen whether or not the remains of Nefertiti.

Eldamaty says that “It could be the discovery of the century,” although he refused to speculate too much on what might be found inside. Another radar scan is scheduled to take place in a couple of week to take a closer look at the interior of the chambers and give archaeologists an idea of how to proceed with potentially opening them.

As you can imagine, working with such an ancient monument requires delicate, painstaking techniques, and at this point there is no plan to start the process of opening the new chambers. That will likely come in time, after researchers have further studied the make up of the rooms. What lies behind those walls remains a mystery for now, but it could be treasures on par with what were originally discovered in Tut's tomb, or it could be something else entirely. We'll just have to be patient to see what more mysteries will be revealed.

Excavation of Lost City Begins in Honduras

Last February a team of explorers and archaeologists traveled deep into the jungles of Honduras in search of a lost city. They had spotted what looked like the remains of ancient structures on satellite photos back in 2012, and after months of planning had finally set off to find what could be an important  archaeological site. They spent days in the dense rainforest, facing numerous challenges that include picking up a nasty local parasite that left their health in jeopardy. But at long last they found the site they were looking for, and their hard work seemed justified.

But exhausted, low on supplies, and in failing health, they were forced to retreat. The plan was to return with more supplies and better equipment to begin excavation of the site. They team of researchers kept the location of the ruins hidden, and the Honduran government dispatched a military detail to guard it day and night to ensure that it remained undisturbed until a proper archaeological dig could begin.

Last week the team of explorers who discovered the hidden city returned at long last, and the excavation is now underway. According to National Geographic, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was on hand this past Tuesday to remove the first stone sculpture from its ancient resting place, even as other archaeologists uncovered other artifacts all around him.

According to Nat Geo, the ancient relic that Hernández uncovered is an impressive piece. It is described as a jar that has been carved out of basalt, and painted ornamentally. The sides of the container show two animals, one of which is believed to be a vulture that is commonly seen in the area. The artifact is one of 52 that were originally found at the foot of an earthen pyramid that is just one small part of a larger city that mostly remains covered by the dense jungle.

The lost city, which is in the Valley of the Jaguars in Honduras, is believed to be between 500 and 800 years old, but who built it remains a mystery. The fact that it is in such a remote area, far from almost any other signs of human habitation, is also interesting. The archeologists hope to learn more about the civilization that lived there as they uncover the artifacts that they left behind.

Using the same satellite imagery that was used to locate this site, the research team believes it has found a second, even larger city nearby. No one has visited that location yet however, although a preliminary scouting mission is expected to take place next week. That place could hold even more clues about this mysterious civilization that was living in this remote region of Honduras.

These stories continue to fascinate me. I personally can't wait to hear more about what these archeologists find in the jungle. I also can't help but wonder what else is out there, just waiting for us to find it. Are there sites as impressive as Machu Picchu or Chichen Itza that have yet to be identified? I'd like to think there are, and that they hold important clues about the people that inhabited the Americas hundreds of years ago.

This story is also a good reminder of why exploration is still important, even in the 21st century.

7 Important Archeological Discoveries Made in 2015

We continue are look back at 2015 today with an interesting article from National Geographic that takes a look at the seven most important archeological discoveries of the year, some of which were quite important in expanding what we know about our own history, and the world around us.

Tops on the list is an item that I've mentioned a couple of times on The Adventure Blog, which is the potential discovery of hidden chambers inside King Tut's tomb in Egypt. It is believed that those chambers could actually lead to the burial site of Queen Nefertiti, who was an influential figure in Egyptian history, but whose final resting place has remained a mystery. Ground penetrating radar has uncovered what could be passages that lead to unopened chambers, which could hold treasures to rival the boy-king himself.

Other major archeological discoveries made in the past year include a lost civilization that was uncovered in the Honduran rainforest, the un-looted grave of a wealthy Greek warrior, and a vast treasure hidden inside a sunken Spanish galleon. Each of these discoveries have given us a look into our past, revealing a bit about our history and culture that helps us to learn more about where we came from a civilization, and how our ancestors lived.

I always enjoy these types of year-end wrap ups, as they are a good reminder of all of the things we are still discovering in various part of the world. It makes you wonder what else is still out there, waiting to be found, and what pieces of the puzzle they can provide in help us to better understand man's journey across our planet. 2015 was a good year for archeologists, and something tells me 2016 could be just as important.

Scans Suggest Hidden Chambers and Passages in King Tut's Tomb

Back in August, I posted a story about an archaeologist who had proposed a theory that there may be hidden chambers inside King Tut's tomb, and that those chambers could in fact lead to the final resting spot of Nefertiti, one of Egypt's most well known female historical figures, whose burial site has never been found. Now, just a few short months later, researchers are saying that they believe that these secret passages may indeed exist, and could contain treasures that go well beyond those found in the boy-king's burial chamber.

Last week, archaeologists took ground penetrating radar into the tomb of Tutankhamen in attempt to peer beyond the existing walls in search of hidden passages behind two panels that may be secret doors. On Saturday, they announced their findings, which look very promising. So promising in fact, that Egyptian antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty now says that there is about a 90% chance that another chamber sits hidden behind the north wall of Tut's tomb, and that there is evidence of another hidden doorway along the west wall as well.

The results of the radar scans lend credence to the theory that was put forth in July by British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves. He spotted the potential hidden chambers while reviewing the physical layout of the tomb, and extrapolated that the area beyond could be the resting place of Nefertiti, who was the Tut's mother in law. Since than, others have physically examined the tomb as well, and found evidence to support Reeves' theory. The radar scans were simply the next step in looking for further clues, and were necessary before any kind of excavation could potentially begin.

Reeves, who has been studying Tut's tomb for more than 30 years, says that he first got the idea that more hidden chambers could exist when he looked at laser scans that were made of the burial chamber back in 2009. They showed structural differences that weren't readily apparent thanks to the paint and other decorations that are a part of the walls. He also says that he believes most of the artifacts found in Tut's tomb were actually originally made for someone else. Most likely a woman.

He has further postulated that Nefertiti didn't just pass out of history when her husband – a powerful pharaoh named Akhenaten – died, but instead ascended to the throne herself. Reeves says he thinks she changed her name to Smenkhkare, and much like Hatshepsut, the female-pharaoh that proceeded her, ruled the country for a time.

Whether or not the hidden chambers do exist, and what treasures they might hold, is likely to remain a mystery for a bit longer. It'll take some time before a team of archaeologists can carefully remove the sections of the wall that cover the secret passages, as they'll go to great lengths to not damage the existing site. That will be painstaking work for sure, but once completed it could reveal a piece of hidden history that will be fascinating to behold.

For now, we'll just have to wait patiently for more news. If there are hidden chambers behind the walls of Tut's tomb, they have been locked away for more than 3400 years. They can wait just a bit longer to be revealed to the world.

Is the Search for Nefertiti Nearly Over?

The Egyptian queen Nefertiti has long been held in high regard by historians, Egyptologists, and archaeologists alike. Legendary her for her beauty, Nefertiti was the wife of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled the country from 17 years. During their reign, Egypt shifted from a pantheon of gods, to the worship of a single god, bringing monotheism to the Egyptian people for the first time.

Nefertiti reigned alongside her husband and she had unprecedented power as compared to most women. Ancient Egypt was a patriarchal society, and while women were generally held in high regard, the seldom were allowed to rule the country. But Nefertiti was an exception to that rule, and as queen she curried great favor with the king and his court.

But what exactly happened to this powerful woman remains a mystery. Whether she died before her husband or out lived him seems to be a matter of debate, but there did seem to be a concerted attempt to erase her from Egyptian history at one point, which makes it difficult to surmise what became of her. For centuries historians and archaeologists have tried to discover Nefertiti's fate, and while there are plenty of theories, there has been little hard evidence to go on. Her tomb has never been found, and there seems to be little trace of her final resting place – something that is quite odd for a person of her stature.

That might be changing however, as a new theory put fourth by a British archaeologist working at the University of Arizona may finally uncover her tomb at long last. Nicholas Reeves says that by studying digital scans of the tomb of King Tut, he may have found two previously undiscovered "ghost doors" which may lead to another burial chamber beyond.

Tut would have been the next king to succeed Akhenaten, and since he only lived to be about 17 years old, his burial chamber wasn't quite prepared yet at the time of his death. Reeves believes that Tut was placed in a tomb that was originally built for a queen, and that it was hastily walled up to make room for the boy-king instead.

Reeves points to a number of clues to back up his hypothesis. For starters, Tut's tomb was far smaller than was appropriate for a pharaoh, and some of the items found resting with him came from an older era. Both are indications that the tomb may have been previously used for someone else. The design and size of the tomb indicate that it was perhaps meant for a queen of the 18th Dynasty, of which Nefertiti was the last great one.

Reeves' theory has garnered a great deal of buzz within the archaeology community. His logic is sound, and there are indications of possible hidden chambers off of Tut's tomb. But it will take some time to confirm whether or not they do exist. Researchers will likely take ground penetrating radar into the tomb to see if there are indeed chambers on the other side of the walls. If they are found, it will take even longer to excavate them, as the process will likely be painstakingly slow so as to not damage the chamber. So,while the final resting place of Nefertiti may be close at hand, it could be years before we know if Reeve is correct. Still, it is an interesting theory to say the least, and it could give us more insight into what became of the legendary queen who remains an enduring enigma even into the 21st century.

Archaeologists Discover 3 Million Year Old Tools that Pre-Date Man

I love stories that show us that we don't know as much about our planet as we think we do. Earlier this week it was revealed that archaeologists have discovered ancient tools in Kenya that date back more than 3.3 million years. That's amazing of course, but what is even more mind blowing is the fact that these artifacts actually pre-date man, indicating that another species once inhabited the Earth that possessed the knowledge and ability to create and use tools too.

This discovery turns some preconceived notions about early man on its ear. While we have seen apes and monkeys use tools to solve problems and acquire food, it has been widely assumed that one of the things that separated humans – those species designated as Homo Sapiens and Homo Erectus for instance – is our ability to make and use crude tools to our advantage. These latest findings date back to a time before and of those early humans walked the Earth, making us expand our thoughts on what other species were capable of, and change some theories as to why Homo Sapiens grew to be the dominant species on the planet.

Until now, the oldest stone tools found have dated back about 2.6 million years. Those artifacts were also found in Kenya, and included axes made out of volcanic stone that were used for hunting. But this new find predates those instruments by as much as 700,000 years.

Just who made these tools remains a bit of a mystery. There are some researchers who believe that they were made by an as-yet unknown species that we haven't discovered yet. Others are attributing them to a species early man known as Kenyanthropus. Back in 1999, a skull belonging to this species was discovered not far from the site where these tools were uncovered. It too dated back 3.3 million years.

The Live Science article that I linked to above has more information about how these tools were discovered, and what the region of Kenya was like back when those who made them still lived there. The instruments were found in the badlands located in the northeast section of the country, which is now very dry and arid. That helps to preserve the artifacts found there. But when those tools were being used, it was a forested area with plenty of shrub plants, making it a good place for animals to live and graze too.

This is fascinating stuff, and I love that we're still continuing to uncover these discoveries.

Video: Defined by the Line - Fighting to Protect the Bears Ears in Utah

This short film is brought to us by the fine folks at Patagonia and the Bears Ears Coalition, a group that was formed to protect a region in the state of Utah that holds particular cultural and historical significance. The site, which features breathtaking landscapes, is also home to Native American dwellings and artwork that date back as much as 12,000 years. The video below gives us a glimpse of that place, and the efforts of climber Josh Ewing to try to save it from careless visitors and oil drilling on nearby lands. The 7+ minute documentary is filled with gorgeous landscapes and amazing archeological sites that have to be seen to be believed. The video is worth watching for the eye-candy alone, but the message it conveys is an important one too.

Defined by the Line: A Film About the Fight to Protect Bears Ears from Patagonia on Vimeo.

Lost City Discovered in Honduras

A team of researchers and archaeologists emerged from the rainforests of Honduras last week bearing amazing news. The group has discovered an ancient lost city that belonged to a civilization that thrived a thousand years ago, then suddenly vanished altogether. The city is believed to be the legendary "White City" or the "City of the Monkey God," which is only referred to in old tales. In fact the civilization lived in parallel with the Maya for a time, but so little is known about them that the people don't even have an official name.

Apparently the city was completely abandoned by the people that inhabited it centuries ago. As a result, archaeologists now get a peek at what day-to-day life was like there. Although the structures are mostly covered in overgrowth and sediment, there were reportedly as many as 52 artifacts that were visible upon first survey. Those included statues, monuments, ceremonial seats, and other finely crated items.

The exact location of the site has not been revealed so as to protect it from looters, but we do know that it is in a remote area of the rainforest in a valley known as La Mosquitia. The region is dominated by swamps, rivers, and mountains, making it very difficult to pass through. The explorers who discovered it documented their findings, but mostly left it undisturbed until they can return with a proper team to begin further excavation.

The White City or Ciudad Blanca has been the stuff of legends for centuries. The indigenous people who live in the area have told tales of large white structures that stuck out of the rainforest for ages. It was believed that the city served as a place of refuge from invading Spanish conquistadors, and some of say that there is a large monkey statue hidden somewhere inside the city. A number of explorers have gone in search of the place in the past, including American explorer Theodore Morde, who claimed to have discovered the city back in 1940, although he committed suicide before he could confirm the location.

The outline of the city was first discovered back in 2012 by an arial laser-mapping system. The site was believed to be over a mile in length, and contained elements consistent with manmade structures hidden under the jungle. It has taken until now for a team to actually go and visit the place however and confirm the existence of the lost city.

There is no word yet on when another team of archaeologists will return to the White City, but with this amazing discovery, you can bet it won't be too long before actual excavation operations will begin.

Archeologists Uncover "Huge" Structure in Israel that Predates the Pyramids

Archaeology fascinates me. I love the fact that we're still uncovering hidden things from our past, and learning about early civilizations. That's why this story caught my attention when I came across it yesterday. It seems that archaeologists working in Israel have unearthed a massive structure near the Sea of Galilee that is is believed to have been built sometime between 3050 BC and 2650 BC. That would make it older than the Great Pyramids in Egypt, and even Stonehenge in the U.K.

 The structure was previously mistaken for a defensive wall of some sort, although no settlement was known to have existed in that part of the country. It is immense in size, stretching for 150 metes (492 ft), and has a volume that is said to be roughly 14,000 cubic meters (500,000 cubic ft). It is believed to have been a standing monument of some type, although what it was used for remains a bit of a mystery. Researchers speculate that it was used as a landmark built to "mark possession or assert authority."

The crescent shaped structure may have been built by a local chieftain in the Mesopotamian civilization. Its shape could have held some significance within the lunar cycle, or  it could have also been a monument built to Sin, the culture's moon god. The closest settlement is a town called Bet Yerah, which translates to "House of the Moon God." It is just 29km (18 miles) away, which is about a days walk for ancient travelers. There is some speculation that the monument was built to mark the borders of the city's territory, and to potentially ward off would-be invaders.

The age of the structure was determined by dating fragments of pottery that were found at the site. The monument is so old, that it actually predates the Old Testament, and provides clues about life in the region that is often referred to as the "Cradle of Civilization." Researchers say the site would have required a massive amount of labor to build. They estimate that it would have taken between 35,000 and 50,000 days working days to construct the monument, which translates to a team of 200 people working for roughly five months straight just to achieve the lower end of that estimate. In an agrarian society dependent on food production, that would have been incredibly tough.

Reading a story like this one, it makes you wonder what else is out there, just waiting for us to stumble across it.