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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Calixtlahuaca - Tour of Ancient world

Name:    Calixtlahuaca
Continent:    THE AMERICAS
Alt Name:     -
Country:    Mexico
Period:    Aztec
Sub-Region:    -
Date:  
   -
City/Town:    Toluca
Figure:     -
Resorts:    Toluca, Mexico City,

Calixtlahuaca history...
Calixtlahuaca near Toluca in Mexico is a well-preserved Aztec archaeological site which was once a thriving city originally home to the Matlatzinca people – the people of the Toluca Valley. The Calixtlahuaca site has a series of fascinating and impressive structures, not least of which are its vast pyramid-like temples.

Calixtlahuaca Pics...

 Temple 3 at Calixtlahuaca

 Dawn at Calixtlahuaca

 Ehécatl Temple, east stairway, first sun rays

 Monument 4, Cross Altar or Tzompantli

 East-West Orientation between the Tzompantli and Monument 4

 Monuments 5 and 6 before restoration

 Monuments 5 and 6, restored, as they look today.

 Panteon three Petrolgyphs

 Basement perimeter wall detail

 Basement perimeter wall, two constructive stages can be seen

 Residential area, Temple and stairways in the background

 Structure 17, adobe wall

 Struct. 17 - Residential Complex

 Internal Private Patio

 Structure 17 floor detail, stucco over gravel

 Structure 17, “K” stair

 ”Probe” the far back on top, first stage, the second below, the third and last in front.

 Structure 17, slope-panel

Parrish, Sacrificial Stone

Calixtlahuaca (from the Nahuatl, where calli means "house", and ixtlahuatl means "prairie" or "plains", hence the translation would be "house in the prairie")  is a Postclassic period Mesoamerican archaeological site, located near the present-day city of Toluca in the State of Mexico. Known originally as "Matlatzinco", this urban settlement was a powerful capital whose kings controlled a large territory in the Toluca Valley.

Archaeologist José García Payón excavated the monumental architecture at Calixtlahuaca in the 1930s and restored a number of temples and other buildings. Most notable are Structure 3, a circular temple dedicated to the Aztec wind god Ehecatl, and Structure 17, a large royal “palace”. The architecture and stone sculpture at the site is similar to that of other Middle to Late Postclassic period (AD 1100-1520) Aztec sites in central Mexico.
In 1930, the site had an extension of 144 hectares, today it only has 116.Between 1988 and 1998, some projects have been implemented to preserve and protect the site contents. These projects included drainage requirements, leveling of some areas, signaling, site regulations, and protection against urban growth.
In 1998, archeologist Jorge Villanueva Villalpando restored the south wall of the eastern facade of Building III, which was damaged by constant and strong storms.
In 2002 Dr. Michael E. Smith initiated a new research project at Calixtlahuaca. This project was sponsored by Arizona State University and the National Science Foundation, and fieldwork began in 2006 with a full-coverage intensive survey of the site. In 2007 a series of houses and terraces were excavated, revealing the form of life of the inhabitants of Calixtlahuaca for the first time.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Cahuachi - Tour of Ancient world

Name:    Cahuachi
Continent:    THE AMERICAS
Alt Name:     -
Country:    Peru
Period:    Pre-Inca
Sub-Region:    -
Date:    1000BC - 501BC
City/Town:    Nazca
Figure:     -
Resorts:    Nazca, Ica, Cuzco,

Cahuachi history
Cahuachi is believed to have been a pilgrimage site of the Nazca people. Still an active archeological site, Cahuachi is dominated by several adobe pyramids made of sand and clay as well as having a graveyard.
Little is known about Cahuachi, but as it overlooked the Nazca Lines, it is thought to have been a ceremonial site. Another site at Cahuachi is known as Estaquería, which archeologists believed was used for mummification purposes. A general Nazca tour which includes Cahuachi and other sites takes approximately 3 hours.
Cahuachi, in Peru, was a major ceremonial center of the Nazca culture, based from 1 CE to about 500 CE in the coastal area of the Central Andes. It overlooked some of the Nazca lines. The Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orefici has been excavating at the site for the past few decades. The site contains over 40 mounds topped with adobe structures. The huge architectural complex covers 0.6 sq. miles (1.5 km2). The American archeologist Helaine Silverman has also conducted long term, multi-stage research and written about the full context of Nazca society at Cahuachi, published in a lengthy study in 1993.
Scholars once thought the site was the capital of the Nazca state but have determined that the permanent population was quite small. They believe that it was a pilgrimage center, whose population increased greatly in relation to major ceremonial events. New research has suggested that 40 of the mounds were natural hills modified to appear as artificial constructions. Support for the pilgrimage theory comes from archaeological evidence of sparse population at Cahuachi, the spatial patterning of the site, and ethnographic evidence from the Virgin of Yauca pilgrimage in the nearby Ica Valley.
Looting is the greatest problem facing the site today. Most of the burial sites surrounding Cahuachi were not known until recently and are tempting targets for looters.

Pics of  Cahuachi...







Monday, 23 March 2015

Caesarea - Tour of Ancient world

Name:    Caesarea
Continent:    MIDDLE-EAST
Alt Name:    Caesarea Maritima
Country:    Israel
Period:    Ancient Rome
Sub-Region:    -
Date:    100BC - 1BC
City/Town:    Sdot Yam
Figure:     -
Resorts:    Sdot Yam, Hadera,



Caesarea history
Caesarea or “Keysarya” was an Ancient Roman city which is now a large archaeological site in Israel. It is believed that the city of Caesarea was initially founded atop the ruins of Straton's Tower, a third century BC Phoenician port city.
Conquered by King Alexander Jannaeus of the Hasmonean Kingdom in 90 BC, Caesarea’s population remained under local control until it was taken by the Romans in 63 BC. It was King Herod the Great who named the city Caesarea – after Augustus Caesar - and who endowed it with the majority of its great public buildings, infrastructure and monuments from 22 BC. Caesarea became a thriving commercial hub which hosted sporting events and which flourished further under the Byzantines. It was conquered by Crusaders in the eleventh century and its Crusader defences were erected in 1251 under French King Louis IX.
Today, Caesarea offers so much to see, including a large amphitheatre overlooking the ocean and an extensive labyrinth of ruins. Some of the most imposing remains at Caesarea are its Crusader fortifications.
Nearby, visitors can also explore the stunning remains of the Caesarea Aqueduct. Unless willing to hike for quite a while, it’s best to drive to this site. Overall, a trip to Caesarea can last anywhere from one to three hours and makes for a truly excellent day out. This site also features as one of our Top Ten Tourist Attractions in Israel.

Modern town of Caesarea

Caesarea (Hebrew: קֵיסָרְיָה; Arabic: قيسارية‎, Qaysaria; Greek: Καισάρεια) is a town in Israel located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa (45 km), on the Israeli coastal plain near the city of Hadera. Modern Caesarea as of December 2007 had a population of 4,500 people. It is the only Israeli locality managed by a private organization, the Caesarea Development Corporation, and also one of the most populous localities not recognized as a local council. It lies under the jurisdiction of the Hof HaCarmel Regional Council.
The town was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE as the port city Caesarea Maritima. It served as an administrative center of Judaea Province of the Roman Empire, and later the capital of the Byzantine Palaestina Prima province during the classic period. Following the Muslim conquest in the 7th century, the city had an Arab majority until Crusader renovation, but was again abandoned after the Mamluk conquest. It was populated in 1884 by Bosniak immigrants, who settled in a small fishing village. In 1940, kibbutz Sdot Yam was established next to the village. In February 1948 the village was conquered by a Palmach unit commanded by Yitzhak Rabin, its people already having fled following an attack by the Stern Gang. In 1952, a Jewish town of Caesarea was established near the ruins of the old city, which were made into the national park of Caesarea Maritima.

 A portion of the Crusader walls and moat still standing today

 The Bosnian Mosque at Qisarya

 Dan Hotel

 Caesarea aqueduct

 Caesarea school

 The Ralli Museum in Caesarea

The Roman theatre
History

Antiquity
Caesarea is believed to have been built on the ruins of Stratonospyrgos (Straton's Tower), founded by Straton I of Sidon, and was likely an agricultural storehouse in its earliest configuration. In 90 BCE, Alexander Jannaeus captured Straton's Tower as part of his policy of developing the shipbuilding industry and enlarging the Hasmonean kingdom. Straton's Tower remained a Jewish city for two generations, until the area became dominated by the Roman in 63 BCE, when the Romans declared it an autonomous city. The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod the Great, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus.
In 22 BCE, Herod began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings. Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions in its theatre overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Caesarea also flourished during the Byzantine period. In the 3rd century, Jewish sages exempted the city from Jewish law, or Halakha, as by this time the majority of the inhabitants were non-Jewish. The city was chiefly a commercial centre relying on trade.

Middle Ages
The area was only seriously farmed during the Rashidun Caliphate period, apparently until the Crusader conquest in the eleventh century. Over time, the farms were buried under the sands shifting along the shores of the Mediterranean.
According to Andrew Petersen, a Great Mosque was seen there in 439 A.H. (1047 C.E.) by Nasir-i-Khusraw. This was converted into the church of St. Peter in Crusader times. A wall which may belong to this building has been identified in modern times.
In 1251, Louis IX of France fortified the city, ordering the construction of high walls (parts of which are still standing) and a deep moat. However, strong walls could not keep out the sultan Baybars, who ordered his troops to scale the walls in several places simultaneously, enabling them to penetrate the city. During the Mamluk era, the ruins of Caesarea Maritima by the Crusader fortress near Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast lay uninhabited.

Ottoman period
In 1664, a settlement is mentioned consisting of 100 Moroccan families, and 7–8 Jewish ones. In the 18th century it again declined.
In 1806, the German explorer Seetzen saw "Káisserérie" as a ruin occupied by some poor fishermen and their families.
Caesarea lay in ruins until the nineteenth century, when the village of Qisarya (Arabic: قيسارية‎, the Arabic name for Caesarea) was established in 1884 by Bushnaks (Bosniaks) – immigrants from Bosnia, who built a small fishing village on the ruins of the Crusader fortress on the coast.
Petersen, visiting the place in 1992, writes that the nineteenth-century houses were built in blocks, generally one story high (with the exception of the house of the governor.) Some houses on the western side of the village, near the sea, have survived. There were a number of mosques in the village in the nineteenth century, but only one ("The Bosnian mosque") has survived. This mosque, located at the southern end of the city, next to the harbour, is described as a simple stone building with a red-tiled roof and a cylindrical minaret. It was used (in 1992) as a restaurant and as a gift shop.

British Mandate
The Jewish kibbutz of Sdot Yam was established 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) south of the Arab town in 1940. The Arab village declined in economic importance and many of Qisarya's Arab inhabitants left in the mid-1940s, when the British extended the Palestine Railways which bypassed the shallow-draft port. Qisarya had a population of 960 in 1945, with Qisarya's population composition 930 Muslims and 30 Christians in 1945. In 1944/45 a total of 18 dunums of Arab village land was used for citrus and bananas, 1,020 dunums were used for cereals, while 108 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.
The Civil War began on 30 November 1947. In December 1947 a village notable Tawfiq Kadkuda approached local Jews in an effort to establish a non-belligerency agreement. The 31 January 1948 Stern Gang attack on a bus leaving Qisarya, killed 2 and injuring 6 people, precipitated an evacuation of most of the population, who fled to nearby al-Tantura. The Haganah then occupied the village because the land was owned by Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, but, fearing that the British would force them to leave, decided to demolish the houses. This was done on February 19–20, after the remaining residents were expelled and the houses were looted. According to Benny Morris, the expulsion of the population had more to do with illegal Jewish immigration than the ongoing civil war. In the same month the 'Arab al Sufsafi and Saidun Bedouin, who inhabited the dunes between Qisarya and Pardes left the area. Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi described the village remains in 1992: "Most of the houses have been demolished. The site has been excavated in recent years, largely by Italian, American, and Israeli teams, and turned into a tourist area. Most of the few remaining houses are now restaurants, and the village mosque has been converted into a bar."

State of Israel
After the establishment of the state, the Rothschild family agreed to transfer most of its land holdings to the new state. A different arrangement was reached for the 35,000 dunams of land the family owned in and around modern Caesarea: after turning over the land to the state, it was leased back (for a period of 200 years) to a new charitable foundation. In his will, Edmond James de Rothschild stipulated that this foundation would further education, arts and culture, and welfare in Israel. The Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Foundation was formed and run based on the funds generated by the sale of Caesarea land which the Foundation is responsible for maintaining. The Foundation is owned half by the Rothschild Family, and half by the State of Israel.
The Foundation established the Caesarea Edmond Benjamin de Rothschild Development Corporation Ltd. (CDC) in 1952 to act as its operations arm. The company transfers all profits from the development of Caesarea to the Foundation, which in turn contributes to organizations that advance higher education and culture across Israel.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Caerwent Roman Town - Tour of Ancient world

Name:    Caerwent Roman Town
Continent:    EUROPE
Alt Name:     -
Country:    United Kingdom
Period:    Ancient Rome
Sub-Region:    Northern Europe
Date:    100AD - 199AD
City/Town:    Caerwent
Figure:     -
Resorts: 
   Caerwent, Wales,

Caerwent Roman Town history
Caerwent Roman Town is the name of the collection of Roman ruins which formed part of the once buzzing Roman settlement of Venta Silurum.
Probably founded in the first century AD, Venta Silurum reached its peak in the second century and was home to a range of buildings and facilities. From the remains of houses, a temple and an amphitheatre to its impressive 17-feet high defensive walls, Caerwent Roman Town has much to offer.
There are information panels along the way and pre-booked guided tours are available on certain days.

 Roman building foundations and the tower of the parish church at Caerwent

 Near infra-red kite aerial photo of the north wall of Caerwent

 Northgate Inn pub sign


Caerwent is a village and community in Monmouthshire, Wales. It is located about five miles west of Chepstow and eleven miles east of Newport, and was originally founded by the Romans as the market town of Venta Silurum, an important settlement of the Brythonic Silures tribe. The modern village is built around the Roman ruins, which are some of the best-preserved in Europe. It remained prominent through the Roman era and Early Middle Ages as the site of a road crossing between several important civic centres.

History
 
Roman times
It was founded by the Romans in AD 75 as Venta Silurum, a market town for the defeated Silures tribe. This is confirmed by inscriptions on the "Civitas Silurum" stone, now on display in the parish church. Large sections of the Roman town walls are still in place, rising up to 5 metres high in places. Historian John Newman has described the walls as "easily the most impressive town defence to survive from Roman Britain, and in its freedom from later rebuilding one of the most perfectly preserved in Northern Europe." In 1881 a portion of a highly intricate coloured floor mosaic or tessellated pavement, depicting different types of fish, were unearthed during excavations in the garden of a cottage.
Excavations in 1971 dated the north-west polygonal angle-tower to the mid-300s. Further excavations were carried out in 2008 by Wessex Archaeology as part of the Channel 4 TV programme Time Team. Modern houses are built on top of part of the old Roman market place. The ruins of several Roman buildings are still visible, including the foundations of a 4th-century Roman temple. The fact that most of the houses lacked mosaic or hypocaust-heated floors, however, suggests that despite its size, Caerwent never achieved the cultural level of other Romano-British tribal capitals.
Early Christian times
Caerwent was a centre for the Kingdom of Gwent after the Roman occupation. The name Caerwent translates from Welsh as "fort of Gwent", and the name Gwent derives from the Roman name Venta (Silurum). The English town name of Winchester has a parallel derivation, ultimately from the combination of the Latin words Venta, in that case, Venta Belgarum, and castra.
Caerwent remained an important centre, where the road between Gloucester and Caerleon met the north-south road from Shrewsbury, via Monmouth and Trellech, to the sea at Portskewett. Excavations at Caerwent have revealed remains and everyday objects from the post-Roman period. Metalwork, including elaborate penannular brooches and fastening pins, have been dated to the 5th-7th centuries. A large number of Christian burials, some stone-lined, dating from between the 4th and 9th centuries have also been discovered, both around the town's East Gate and close to the parish church. It has been suggested that it may have been the birthplace of St. Patrick.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Byblos - Tour of Ancient world

Name:    Byblos
Continent:    MIDDLE-EAST
Alt Name:    Jbail
Country:    Lebanon
Period:    The Phoenicians
Sub-Region:    -
Date:     -
City/Town:    Byblos
Figure:     -
Resorts:    Byblos,


Byblos history
Byblos (Jbail) in Lebanon is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, as attested by the incredibly diverse ages of its ruins. Thought to have first inhabited sometime around the fifth millennium BC, Byblos began as a Neolithic village of fisherman.
Over time, Byblos would, amongst other things, become a Phoenician trading hub called Gublu, be taken by Alexander the Great in 333BC, be ruled by the Greeks (this as when it acquired its current name) and then fall to Pompey, becoming a Roman city in the 1st century BC. Byblos began to decline under the Byzantines, who took it in 399AD.
Today, Byblos bears the marks of all of these civilisations. Stone Age, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age dwelling sit side by side with a royal Phoenician necropolis and Roman sites such as a theatre, a road and nympheum. There is also a 12th century Crusader Castle, a reminder of when Byblos was conquered in 1104.
In addition to its fascinating ruins, Byblos is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its contribution to modern language. In particular, Byblos is connected with the Phoenicians' development of the predecessor of our alphabet. There’s plenty to see at Byblos, some in its main archaeological site, other elements dotted around its medieval town centre.

 Byblos Port

 The old souk in Byblos, Lebanon

 Old City of Byblos

 Byblos

 Terracotta jug from Byblos (now in the Louvre), Late Bronze Age (1600–1200 BC)

 The Medieval Church of St. John in Byblos, Lebanon

 Beach volleyball on Byblos's shore

Traditional Lebanese house overlooking the Mediterranean sea, Byblos. This house is within the antiquities complex and illustrates the modern ground level with respect to excavations

 
 Crusader Fort

 Museum inside the Crusader Castle in Byblos, Lebanon

 Byblos Historic Quarter

 Sultan Abdul Majid mosque in Byblos, Lebanon

 Byblos public beach

Image gallery













Byblos, in Arabic Jubayl (Arabic: جبيل‎  Lebanese [ʒbejl]), is a Mediterranean city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate, Lebanon. It is believed to have been occupied first between 8800 and 7000 BC,[1] and according to fragments attributed to the semi-legendary pre-Homeric Phoenician priest Sanchuniathon, it was built by Cronus as the first city in Phoenicia.[2] It is one of the cities suggested as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and the site has been continuously inhabited since 5000 BC.[3] It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



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