During the war between Marcus Aurelius and the Parthians (the years 162-66) the Great Pestilence not only devastated the Romans, it threw the economy of the Parthian Empire into decline. While the Roman Empire was busy with German intrusions, plague and a rapid turnover in emperors, the Parthian Empire disintegrated. The Parthians no longer ruled in Persia. They now ruled only in Mesopotamia. And, in Persia, nobles and villagers sought protection from roaming bands of brigands and the small armies of local despots. Continue reading Ardashir Conquers and the Persians, to CE 241
An excerpted interview with Mark Lehner
NOVA: Tell us about your current excavation at Giza. Does it stem from a desire to define who built the pyramids and how they were built?
LEHNER: I started asking new questions. Not who built the Sphinx, and how were the pyramids built, but where are all the people? It seemed to me that 200 years of Egyptology had focused on pyramids, tombs and temples, and hieroglyphic inscriptions, and understandably so. Once you could read those things, my God, they were speaking to you in every tomb and temple wall. But if in fact as Herodotus said, there were 100,000 people—Herodotus the Greek, who wrote about 450 B.C.—if it took 100,000 people to build the great pyramid, I started thinking, having started to do some reading in anthropology, my God, that would be a super city in the third millennium B.C. Where is the city? How were they fed? How were they housed? Now Egyptologists have more sober estimates of some 20,000, 30,000, but even that would be a colossal city. So I started saying, well, we must be missing a whole component of the Giza Plateau, namely the people who built it, the evidence of their infrastructure. But it was the geology or the geomorphology, the shape of the landscape, that gave me the clues. Continue reading The Dig On Pyramids
by Mark Lehner
Our 1997 excavation season of the Koch-Ludwig Giza Plateau Mapping Project drew to a close on March 29, 1997. For a very successful season, we are grateful to Dr. Ali Hassan, President of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and Dr. Zahi Hawass, Director General of Giza and Saqqara, for their cooperation in making our work possible. We thank Mr. Sabry Abd al-Aziz, Director of Giza for his kind assistance. We are grateful to Mr. Mansour Radwan, Senior Inspector, and to Mr. Ashraf Mahmoud, who represented the Supreme Council of Antiquities at the excavation site. We would like to thank Mr. Hisham Nasser and Ms. Abir Sayed who served as our inspectors in the storeroom. We would also like to thank the American Research Center in Egypt, especially Amira Khattab and Amir Hassan.
Continue reading Report of Egypt Pyramids
more Terracotta Army Pictures
The Terracotta Army Museum lie 1.5 km east to the Tomb of Qin First Emperor.
The Terracotta Army figures lie underground for more than 2000 years. In 1974, farmers digging a well about 1500 meters east of the tomb uncovered one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. The firstly discovered site of Terracotta Army was named Vault One. In 1976, the other two vaults were uncovered 20-25 meter close to the Vault One, and were named Vault Two and Vault Three respectively. Excavation of the underground vaults of earth and timber revealed thousands of life – sized Terracotta Army in battle formation – a whole army which would accompany its emperor into immortality. The excavation was a real big shock to the whole world – the vaults are so big, the figures are so vivid and the number of the figure is so incredible! Continue reading Terracotta Army
Primary Author: Robert A. Guisepi
Portions of this work Contributed By:
F. Roy Willis of the University of California
1980 and 2003
* The History of Ancient Sumeria including its cities, kings and religions
Now, I swear by the sun god Utu on this very day — and my younger brothers shall be witness of it in foreign lands where the sons of Sumer are not known, where people do not have the use of paved roads, where they have no access to the written word — that I, the firstborn son, am a fashioner of words, a composer of songs, a composer of words, and that they will recite my songs as heavenly writings, and that they will bow down before my words……
King Shulgi (c. 2100 BC) on the future of Sumerian literature.
Mesopotamia: The First Civilization
Authorities do not all agree about the definition of civilization. Most accept the view that “a civilization is a culture which has attained a degree of complexity usually characterized by urban life.” In other words, a civilization is a culture capable of sustaining a substantial number of specialists to cope with the economic, social, political, and religious needs of a populous society. Other characteristics usually present in a civilization include a system of writing to keep records, monumental architecture in place of simple buildings, and an art that is no longer merely decorative, like that on Neolithic pottery, but representative of people and their activities. All these characteristics of civilization first appeared in Mesopotamia.
The Geography Of Mesopotamia Continue reading Sumeria, Ancient Sumeria (Sumer), A history of Ancient Sumer Including its Contributions