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21 September 2017

At https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/60-ancient-shipwre… … some sixty ancient ship wrecks have been discovered at the bottom of the Black Sea – including galleys from the Roman empire period, Byzantine and Ottoman empires too. They were found by robotic submarines along the Bulgarian coastline – preserved intact by anoxic conditions (which is why robotic craft were used in the first instance as the deep water is lethal to humans). Many of the boats have features only known from drawings or written descriptions but never seen until now. Even carvings on the wooden vessels have survived in pristine condition. Even rope was found preserved on a 2000 year old boat. The project is the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (mentioned a couple of times in earlier posts here) and is an international team led by Southampton University maritime archaeologists. It is, in effect, a museum of prehistoric boats. The scientists were followed by film makers for most of 3 years and a documentary film will eventually be forthcoming.

At he same web site, https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/how-teotihuacans-u… … an article in Open Archaeology is on pre-Aztec central America. A map has been produced mapping the ancient city of Teotihuacan, comparing the later Aztec city with its forerunner. Teotihuacan was at its height in the early centuries AD – the contemporary of Rome and significantly at greatest expansion in the Roman Warm Period. It is however unclear who the builders were and what relationship they had with the later inhabitants of the Aztec city. It is also unclear why the city was subsequently abandoned – although climate change has been blamed. Teotihuacan may never have had a ballcourt – or a palace of the kind normally found in American city design and planned layouts. It did have apartment compounds – of a luxury nature rather than tenements inhabited by the poor. The Aztecs clearly drew inspiration from Teotihuacan for their capital, Tenochtitlan.

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