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Sealed Jars of Wine From 5,000 Years Ago Uncovered in Egyptian Queen’s Tomb

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Sealed jars of wine from 5,000 years ago have been uncovered amongst the grave goods found in an Egyptian Queen’s tomb.

The stash once belonging to Queen Meret-Neith in Abydos, from 3,000 BC, and is one of the oldest ever.

Researchers from the University of Vienna say she was the most powerful woman in the period and possibly the first female pharaoh of ancient Egypt.

Queen Meret-Neith was the only woman to have her own monumental tomb in Egypt’s first royal cemetery at Abydos.

Although her true identity remains a mystery the excavation revealed hundreds of jars of wine, some still sealed, buried with her.

Meret-Neith’s monumental tomb complex in the Abydos desert, which includes the tombs of 41 courtiers and servants in addition to her own burial chamber, was built of unbaked mud bricks, clay and wood.

In addition, inscriptions testify that Queen Meret-Neith was responsible for central government offices such as the treasury, which supports the idea of her special historical significance.

Archaeologist Professor Christiana Köhler from the University of Vienna said that a lot of the finds are undergoing analysis to reveal their secrets.

“The wine was no longer liquid and we can’t tell if it was red or white,” she said. “We found a lot of organic residue, grape seeds and crystals, possibly tartar and all of this is currently being scientifically analyzed.

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Newly Discovered Rock Art Panels Depict How Ancient Ancestors Envisioned Creation and Adapted to Change

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Australia’s vast wildernesses are famous for many things, but rock art, specifically one of the largest concentrations of rock art known in the world, isn’t typically one of them.

West Arnhem Land in the Queensland Peninsula hosts an incredible painted record of Man’s relation to his planet, its changes, challenges, and bounty, but a completely new rock art style covering 4,000 years of history shows Aboriginal Australians adapting to the transformation of Arnhem land into the lush riverine environment it is today.

The total collection of painted rock art in West Arnhem Land has been dated to a span of 30,000 years, stretching from just a few centuries ago to back within the last ice age. However, the period between 8,000 BCE and 4,000 BCE was seemingly absent from the variety of images painted onto the sandstone.

Now, the Bininj, Mawng, and Amurdak Aboriginal people teamed up with archaeologists led by Paul Tacon of Griffith University to finally isolate the works from this hidden period. They show a land in flux, where sea level rise meant the coasts retreated backward 150 feet per year, where mangrove forests came to dominate the near-shore landscape, and increased rainfall fed already swollen rivers.

Using the local Mawng People’s language, one of Tacon’s Bininj Aboriginal collaborators has dubbed the new rock art style the Maliwawa Style. After 8 years of field surveying and work, the team has documented 572 Maliwawa paintings and is ready to share their story with the world.

“It was really exciting to find previously undocumented shelters with lots of Maliwawa figures on walls and ceilings, sometimes in scenes,” Tacon told Archaeology Magazine, where a reader can read their feature piece on the topic. “When we saw these paintings for the first time, there was a rush of adrenaline, much excitement, cheering, and lots of shouts to each other.”

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5,000 Year-Old Tavern Found in Iraq

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It doesn’t get much older than Sumeria, but even the modern concept of going out to eat was already established 1,000 years before the Great Pyramids were built.

In the ancient Near Eastern city-state of Lagash, the foundations of a tavern were recently found by archaeologists that included an open-air sitting area, and a kitchen complete with a clay oven, clay chiller, and ancient crockery.

One of the oldest areas in Ancient Mesopotamia, Lagash was already inhabited in the fifth millennium BCE. Today it’s located on a mound 4,000 yards in length and 2,000 yards in width.

A joint project of the Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum, Cambridge University and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in Baghdad has renewed work at this critically important settlement as recently as 2019.

Using new magnetometry techniques and sedimentary analysis, the renewed work is taking a different approach to archaeology compared to past excavations of the city.

“It’s not like old-time archaeology in Iraq,” says Zaid Alrawi, project manager for the Lagash project at the Penn Museum, in the statement. “We’re not going after big mounds expecting to find an old temple. We use our techniques and then, based on scientific priority, go after what we think will yield important information to close knowledge gaps in the field.”

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