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 اكتشافات أثرية في العام 2022 infographic
Graphic pinpoints the best archaeological news stories from 2022.

نهاية العام

اكتشافات أثرية في العام 2022

By Jordi Bou

December 31, 2022 - The world’s most notable archaeological discoveries in 2022 include new insights into the Venus of Willendorf and the mummy of Pharaoh Amenhotep I, the oldest Buddhist temple, the earliest notation from the Mayan calendar, the oldest surviving drinking straws and the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s famous ship, Endurance.

Archaeological highlights of the year feature the following finds:

1. AUSTRIA: New 3D imaging of the famous Venus of Willendorf reveals that the stone used to carve the 30,000-year-old statue originated from the Italian Alps. Scientists speculate the Gravettians – an Upper Paleolithic hunter-gather culture – carried the statue more than 900km while migrating north to Austria, where it was discovered in 1908.

2. EGYPT: Pharaoh Amenhotep I, one of the last remaining unwrapped royal Egyptian mummies, is digitally unwrapped using non-invasive CT scanning. The images reveal remarkably detailed information about the ancient ruler, including his age, height and facial shape.

3. GUATEMALA: An image of a deer’s head discovered at the base of a pyramid in the ancient city of San Bartolo is the earliest known notation from the 260-day Maya ritual calendar, still in use today. The “7 Deer” glyph represents a date and was painted around 250 BC as part of a mural decorating one of the pyramid’s interior walls.

4. PAKISTAN: A temple found in the Swat Valley and dating back to the second half of the 2nd century BC, is believed to be one of the oldest known Buddhist temples. The discovery sheds new light on the spread of Buddhism in the ancient Gandhara region, which was conquered by Alexander the Great and gave rise to a blending of Buddhist belief and Greek art.

5. PERU: The mummy of a high-status craftsman, along with exquisitely-wrought gold and silver jewellery and the remains of six other people, is found in a 1,300-year-old tomb in Peru. The unique find – the first of non-warrior artisans – belongs to the Wari Empire, a pre-Inca civilization that flourished in modern-day Peru.

6. ANTARCTICA: The wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s famous ship “Endurance” is found 107 years after it sank during his ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole. The ship, wonderfully preserved, remains at a depth of 3,000 metres in the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula.

7. JORDAN: A 9,000-year-old shrine at a remote Neolithic site in Jordan’s eastern desert is one of the earliest ritual complexes ever unearthed. The shrine was discovered near a network of “desert kites” or mass traps consisting of two or more long stone walls, believed to have been used to corral wild gazelles for slaughter.

8. RUSSIA: A set of gold and silver tubes dating to around 5,500 years ago and unearthed from Maikop kurgan, a Bronze Age burial mound in North Caucasus, could be the world’s oldest surviving drinking straws, experts claim. It had been thought that the tubes were sceptres, or perhaps poles for a canopy. But scientists now say they were probably straws for drinking beer from a shared pot.

PUBLISHED: 16/12/2022; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, Saleem, Hawass; Ca’ Foscari University of Venice; Heather Hurst, David Stuart;
Viktor Trifonov; Miłosz Giersz; South Eastern Badia Archaeological Project; State Library of New South Wales