miércoles, 21 de julio de 2010

6000 year old statue discovered in Jordanian desert

Photo: Department of Antiquities Director General Ziad Al Saad holds the 6,000-year-old basalt statuette ‘Dalish’ (Photo by Taylor Luck).

The discovery of a 6,000-year-old statue in the Northern Badia sheds new light on a little-known ancient bedouin civilisation that once thrived in the region, according to archaeologists.

The discovery of a small basalt statue, announced by the Department of Antiquities (DoA) on Tuesday, dates back to the Late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age, between 5,500 and 6,000 years ago.

The 35-centimetre-high statuette, nicknamed “Dalish”, was recently uncovered by a joint Jordanian-German team near the Jordan-Saudi border, some 130 kilometres east of Al Jafr, according to the DoA.

The statue, which has a long nose and a bearded, abstract face, adorned a burial cairn, a mound of stones marking a burial site from the Late Chalcolithic era. Experts believe that hundreds of such burials were left behind by the nomadic and semi-nomadic prehistoric communities that once roamed the eastern desert... Jordantimes.com / Traductor

Hallan una estatua de hace 6.000 años en el desierto oriental de Jordania

Ammán, 21 jul (EFE).- Un equipo arqueológico jordano-alemán ha descubierto una estatua en el desierto oriental de Jordania que data de hace 6.000 años, anunció hoy el Departamento de Antigüedades.

La institución jordana explicó en un comunicado que el hallazgo arroja nueva luz sobre una civilización beduina antigua y poco conocida que floreció en el desierto situado entre Jordania, Irak y Arabia Saudí.

La estatua, de 35 centímetros de altura y apodada "Dalish", fue descubierta recientemente cerca de la frontera con Arabia Saudí por un equipo dirigido por Hans Georg Gebel, de la Universidad Libre de Berlín, y Hamzeh Mahasneh, de la Universidad Mutah de Jordania.

"Dalish", que tiene una nariz alargada y barba, adornaba un montículo de piedras que marca un lugar de enterramiento de la época calcolítica, según la nota.

Los expertos creen que cientos de este tipo de enterramientos fueron construidos por las comunidades prehistóricas nómadas y seminómadas que una vez habitaron el desierto oriental.

El director general del Departamento de Antigüedades jordano, Ziyad al Saad, calificó el hallazgo, en declaraciones a los periodistas, de "descubrimiento importante".

"Hay nuevos hallazgos a diario, pero uno como éste es importante y nos da más información sobre nuestra cultura e historia", agregó.

El equipo jordano-alemán ha trabajado durante cuatro años en el área de Hamad, una zona nororiental del desierto, en el que hay innumerables tumbas y otros restos de la antigua civilización beduina. EFE

Stone Age Carving: Ancient Dildo?

Photo: A phallic carving out of antler bone dating from the Stone Age, discovered recently in Sweden. Peter Zetterlund, Swedish National Heritage Board/Livescience.

Last week, an excavation in Sweden turned up an object that bears the unmistakable look of a penis carved out of antler bone. Though scientists can't be sure exactly what this tool was used for, it's hard not to leap to conclusions...

"Without doubt anyone alive at the time of its making would have seen the penile similarities just as easily as we do today," wrote Swedish archaeologist Martin Rundkvist on his blog, Aardvarchaeology...

The carved bone was unearthed at a Mesolithic site in Motala, Sweden, that is rich with ancient artifacts from between 4,000 to 6,000 B.C. The area's unique features may have allowed bone artifacts, which usually get destroyed over the millennia, to survive.

"It's an organic object, that's why it's special," Gruber told LiveScience. "Normally when we excavate early Mesolithic sites we never get the organic material. But this site where we're excavating now is along the shoreline. The preservation is very good here – it's been lying in the bottom sediments and clay layers of the river, and it's been well preserved there."

The dildo-like object is about 4 inches (10.5 cm) long and 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter... Livescience.com / Traductor

Photo: This bone carving from Stone Age Sweden could be an ancient dildo, scientists say. Then again, it might just be a carving tool. Peter Zetterlund, Swedish National Heritage Board/Livescience.