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Sandstone statues found at Angkor Archaeological Park

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According to a press announcement by the APSARA National Authority, archaeologists have discovered six sandstone statues during restoration works at the Ta Prohm temple complex in Cambodia’s Angkor Archaeological Park.

Ta Prohm, also called Rajavihara, is a temple founded by Jayavarman VII, the first king devoted to Buddhism within the Khmer Empire.

During his 37-year reign, Jayavarman initiated an extensive construction program that encompassed public infrastructure as well as the creation of monuments.

Jayavarman commissioned the construction of Ta Prohm in the late 12th and early 13th century AD as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery in the plan of a typical “flat” Khmer temple, as opposed to a temple-pyramid or temple-mountain.

Image Credit : APSARA National Authority

Following the collapse of the Khmer Empire around the 15th century AD, the temple was abandoned and reclaimed by nature. In 2000, portions of the “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” 2001 movie were filmed on location at Ta Prohm.

Recent restoration works of the temple have led to the discovery of six sandstone statues under a platform at Ta Prohm’s south gateway.

Neth Simon, from the Department of Preservation of Temples and Archaeology of the APSARA Authority, said: “The statues were found buried under the rubble of the southern gate of Ta Prohm.”

Two of the statues depiect Buddha sheltered by a naga (serpent), while one statue features Avalokitesvara (a bodhisattva known as “the lord who looks down” and “Lord of the World”). Additionally, two damaged statues were discovered, along with an architectural pediment adorned with carvings of Buddha.

Header Image Credit : APSARA National Authority

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am

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Excavations in the Umm Al Quwain area of the UAE have revealed 6th century ruins that could be the lost city of Tu’am.

The ruins are situated on Al Sinniyah Island, part of a collection of small islands on the western part of the Khor Al Bidiyah peninsula.

Previous studies on the island have revealed a pearling village and monastery, which has been the focus of the latest season of excavations.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a larger settlement, with the earliest signs of occupation dating back to the 4th century AD and peaking in the 5th or 6th century.

The team uncovered traces of large semi-urbanised tenement buildings measuring 30 square metres, which are tightly packed around narrow walkways. According to the researchers, the settlement could be the lost city of Tu’am as described in Ancient Arab texts.

Tu’am was a regional capital on the Gulf coast that was famed for its pearl fishing industry and trade in precious gems.

The population went into decline following a plague and regional tensions, and subsequently was abandoned. Mass graves in the vicinity support the historical account of plague, as the skeletal remains show no evidence of trauma or a violent death.

“Our archaeological work has discovered the largest settlement by far ever found on the Gulf coast of the Emirates,” said Prof Tim Power of UAE University.

“And it’s exactly the right period for the city described in the early Islamic geographical sources. It’s clearly a really important place. No one has ever found it.”

Professor Power explained that while they have not found irrefutable evidence (such as an inscription bearing the town’s name), no other major settlements from this period have been discovered on the coast, strengthening the argument that the settlement is Tu’am. “It’s a process of elimination,” he explained.

Header Image Credit : Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology

Sources : NUAE

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

New findings in North America’s first city

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Cahokia was the largest urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, a mound-building pre-Columbian civilisation that emerged in the Midwestern, Eastern, and South-eastern United States.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the city was founded around AD 1050 along the banks of the Mississippi River, located near present-day St. Louis, Missouri.

The city covered an area between six to nine square miles (notably larger than many contemporary European cities such as London) and was home to up to 20,000 inhabitants at its peak.

Following the tradition of the Mississippian culture, the people of Cahokia constructed large earthen mounds – ranging from raised platforms, conical, and ridge-top designs – involving the movement of 55 million cubic feet of earth over a period that lasted several decades.

The largest mound is known as “Monks Mound,” named after a group of Trappist monks, which rises to a height of 290 metres and was once the tallest building construction in North America.

Image Credit : MattGush – iStock

Archaeologists and students from Saint Louis University (SLU) have recently conducted a series of excavations on the western periphery of the Cahokia Mounds.

The team unearthed 900-year-old ceramics, microdrills, structures, and wall trenches dating from around AD 1100 to 1200, during the Sterling Phase of the Mississippian Period. According to the archaeologists, the finds offer new insights into a crucial period in the chiefdom’s development, coinciding with Cahokia’s rapid population growth.

The excavations follow an aerial survey by SLU and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to determine whether further mounds or archaeological features lie within the acres of thick forests and swampy land near the site’s main complex.

Header Image Credit : Alamy

Sources : KSDK

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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