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Secrets in the Sands

23 December 2020

Hidden in the  sands of Arabia are archaeological surprises. See www.arabnews.com/node/1779861/saudi-arabia … and these include ancient stone carvings and evidence of a land that once was greener, wetter, and occupied extensively by humans. Salma Hawsawi, a professor of ancient history at the King Saud University, says the peninsular lay at a crossroads of human comings and goings. In the first millennium BC the southern region prospered, one kingdom after another. These included the famous Shebam Qataban, Himyar, Awan and Hadramaut etc. In the north and NW there were the Dadan or Dedan, lihyan, Nabatea, Palmyra, Tayma and Qedar. In the east lay Dilmun and Magan, Gerrha and Thaj and in central Arabia lay Al-Magar, Qaryat and Al Faw. In effect, most of the archaeology belongs to these Iron Age kingdoms but there is evidence of the Bronze Age. It just needs to come to light.

However, the biggest archaeology story this week comes from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-food-south-asia-revealed-east.html … food links with South Asia go back as early as 3000 yeas ago, at the beginnings of the Iron age. Turmeric and bananas were on the menu in the Mediterranean world – such as he Levant. Even in the Bronze ages there is evidence of long distance trade which included food – and exotic spices. The discovery came through the analysis  of food residues in teeth and pottery containers. Fruits and spices as well as food had reached the Levant in the LB era. One might suspect a connection with the Phoenicians

Meanwhile, over at www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9079251/ … which was also sent in by Gary. Here we have the discovery by remote sensing technology of 60 Roman military camps strung out across norhern Iberia, set up during the Roman conquest of the Iberian peninsular. The prize the Romans sought was gold and tin, and other metals. It also eliminated a potential enemy he says, and spread the boundary of the empire as far as the Atlantic coast. The Roamn expansion took place between 200BC and AD19 – first taking over southern Arabia and gradually, the more rugged north.

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