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Ancient stuff

By RT | August 17, 2010

I love hearing . It amazes me how long sites are excavated to figure out the amazing to the mundane, because even the mundane findings can lead to knowledge about how folks lived centuries ago.

A huge quantity of olive stones on an ancient shipwreck more than 2,000 years old has provided valuable insight into the diet of sailors in the ancient world, researchers in Cyprus said Thursday.

The shipwreck, dating from around 400 B.C. and laden mainly with wine amphorae from the Aegean island of Chios and other north Aegean islands, was discovered deep under the sea off Cyprus’s southern coast.

Excavation on the site, which started in November 2007, has determined that the ship was a merchant vessel of the late classical period.

“An interesting piece of evidence that gives us information on the conditions under which the sailors of antiquity lived, are the large numbers of olive pips that were found during excavation, since these pips must have been part of the crew’s food supply,” Cyprus’s antiquities department said in a news release Thursday.

The excavation is shedding light on seafaring in Cyprus in antiquity, commerce between the island and the Aegean and the sizes of the period’s cargo ships, it said.

Olives and olive oil are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and their consumption over hundreds of years has been well documented.

Because of recent construction in Europe and the Mediterranean, a lot of new discoveries have been made. For me, at least, it has been very exicting. (Am I the only person who buried things to excavate them and thought it was fun?)

No word on if they found the remains of an albatross.

What? You thought I’d just show you a story about ancient mariners without blessing you with Iron Maiden’s (couldn’t find a full-length live version…more fun) ? What kind of an English teacher would that make me?

Topics: Coolness!, | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Ancient stuff”

  1. bob (either orr) Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Don’t know what kind of English teacher that’d make you, but you’d have been better served with the “Albatross” sketch by Monty Python.

  2. RT Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    You do realize that at the end of the albatross sketch a man asks a police if he’d like to go back to his place, don’t you? It also has nothing to do with the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The song is a series of excerpted and paraphrased portions of the poem. The music also follows the mood of the poem. (And the kids like it.) :)

  3. Ingineer66 Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I never buried things just to dig them up again. But I liked finding buried stuff from previous owners of the house I grew up in. And I like reading about and visiting historic sites to learn about how people lived their day to day lives.

  4. Robert B. Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    You would have enjoyed this one in 2004. I did.

  5. RT Says:
    August 18th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Robert B.
    That’s really neat. It is amazing that even now, when folks think we know where and what everything is, folks are still finding things never discovered.

    That’s a solid fish. (Enjoyed the photos, too.)