archeology

Giovanni Battista Belzoni and the Egyptian Adventure

Giovanni Battista Belzoni and the Egyptian Adventure

On March 2, 1818, Prolific Italian explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni – also known as ‘The Great Belzoni‘ – discovered the burial chamber of Pharaoh Khafra in the 2nd of the large pyramid‘s of Giza. But, like in all the other burial chambers in the great pyramids, the sarcophagus was empty. Belzoni was born in Padua, Italy, as the son of a barber. At the age of 16, he moved to Rome in…
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The Sky Disc of Nebra

The Sky Disc of Nebra

On February 23, 2002, the state archaeologist Harald Meller succeeded to acquire the now famous Nebra Sky Disc in a police-led sting operation in Basel, Switzerland. The Nebra Sky Disc is a Bronze age artifact shaped like a disk with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols, representing a map of the sky. The disk weighs about 2,3 kg and consists of bronze as well as an alloy made of copper…
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The Prophet of Modern Archeology – Joachim Winckelmann

The Prophet of Modern Archeology – Joachim Winckelmann

Johann Joachim Winckelmann against a classical landscape On December 9, 1717, German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann was born. Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories of style on a large, systematic basis to the history of art. Joachim Winckelmann grew up in a poor family, but was highly supported by his blind school teacher, who let the young boy live with him.…
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Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Robert Koldewey(1855 – 1925) On September 10, 1855, famous German architect and self-trained archeologal historian Robert Johann Koldewey was born. He is best known for his discovery of the ancient city of Babylon in modern day Iraq, where he excavated the foundations of the ziggurat Marduk, and the famous Ishtar Gate. Robert Koldewey studied architecture, archeology, and art history in Berlin, Munich and Vienna but dropped out without graduating. Koldewey left for…
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Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

Facade of Al Khazneh, Petra, JordanImage: Bernard Gagnon On August 22, 1812, Swiss traveller and orientalist Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, in the disguise of an arab traveller discovered the ruins of the ancient city of Petra, one of the most compelling archaeological sites in existence, in today’s Jordan. Petra is located east of the Arabah, half way between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea. Its location caused several religious rumors, fact…
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At the Beginning was a Bet – Georg Friedrich Grotefend and the Cuneiform

At the Beginning was a Bet – Georg Friedrich Grotefend and the Cuneiform

Georg Friedrich Grotefend (1775-1853) On June 9, 1775, German epigraphist and philologist Georg Friedrich Grotefend was born. Although most of you will probably never heard of him, he is well known for his contributions toward the decipherment of cuneiform. Do you know cuneiform? It is the name of the old writing of Mesopotamia and its roots date back to the time of the origins of civilization, when also Egyptian hieroglyphs were invented. But,…
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Cracking the Code – Champollion and the Rosetta Stone

Cracking the Code – Champollion and the Rosetta Stone

On July 15, 1799 in the Egyptian village of Rosetta  Pierre-François Bouchard, Captain of the French expedition army on Napoleon‘s Egyptian Campaign discovered an unimpressive black stone with some written inscriptions on it. But this black stone, later referred to as the Rosetta Stone, should become the central key to deciphering the long lost secret of the Egyptian hieroglyphics. By the end of the 6th century AD, by the time of the fall…
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