ANTH Research Publications

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    An archaeomagnetic study of the Ishtar Gate, Babylon
    (Public Library of Science, 2024-01) Chiara, Anita Di; Tauxe, Lisa; Gries, Helen; Helwing, Barbara; Howland, Matthew D.; Ben-Yosef, Erez
    Data from the marriage of paleomagnetism and archaeology (archaeomagnetism) are the backbone of attempts to create geomagnetic field models for ancient times. Paleointensity experimental design has been the focus of intensive efforts and the requirements and shortcomings are increasingly well understood. Some archaeological materials have excellent age control from inscriptions, which can be tied to a given decade or even a specific year in some cases. In this study, we analyzed fired mud bricks used for the construction of the Ishtar Gate, the entrance complex to the ancient city of Babylon in Southern Mesopotamia. We were able to extract reliable intensity data from all three phases of the gate, the earliest of which includes bricks inscribed with the name of King Nebuchadnezzar II (605 to 562 BCE). These results (1) add high quality intensity data to a region relatively unexplored so far (Southern Mesopotamia), (2) contribute to a better understanding of paleosecular variation in this region, and the development of an archaeomagnetic dating reference for one of the key regions in the history of human civilizations; (3) demonstrate the potential of inscribed bricks (glazed and unglazed), a common material in ancient Mesopotamia, to archaeomagnetic studies; and (4) suggest that the gate complex was constructed some time after the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem, and that there were no substantial chronological gaps in the construction of each consecutive phase. The best fit of our data (averaging 136±2.1 ZAm2) with those of the reference curve (the Levantine Archaeomagnetic Curve) is 569 BCE
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    Exploring geomagnetic variations in ancient Mesopotamia: Archaeomagnetic study of inscribed bricks from the 3rd-1st millennia BCE
    (National Academy of Sciences, 2023-12) Howland, Matthew D.; Tauxe, Lisa; Gordin, Shai; Altaweel, Mark; Cych, Brendan; Ben-Yosef, Erez
    This study presents 32 high-resolution geomagnetic intensity data points from Mesopotamia, spanning the 3rd to the 1st millennia BCE. These data contribute to rectifying geographic disparities in the resolution of the global archaeointensity curve that have hampered our understanding of geomagnetic field dynamics and the viability of applying archaeomagnetism as a method of absolute dating of archaeological objects. A lack of precise and well-dated intensity data in the region has also limited our ability to identify short-term fluctuations in the geomagnetic field, such as the Levantine Iron Age geomagnetic Anomaly (LIAA), a period of high field intensity from ca. 1050 to 550 BCE. This phenomenon has hitherto not been well-demonstrated in Mesopotamia, contrary to predictions from regional geomagnetic models. To address these issues, this study presents precise archaeomagnetic results from 32 inscribed baked bricks, tightly dated to the reigns of 12 Mesopotamian kings through interpretation of their inscriptions. Results confirm the presence of the high field values of the LIAA in Mesopotamia during the first millennium BCE and drastically increase the resolution of the archaeointensity curve for the 3rd-1st millennia BCE. This research establishes a baseline for the use of archaeomagnetic analysis as an absolute dating technique for archaeological materials from Mesopotamia.
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    The Oldest Maps of the Great Plains
    (University of Nebraska Press, 2023-06-01) Blakeslee. Donald J.
    This essay discusses maps that reflect two very different traditions of cartography. Both, however, derive from the expedition to the Great Plains led by Juan de Oñate in 1601. Archaeological evidence that confirms the location of the Native settlement called Etzanoa, which is shown on both maps, allows revision of prior interpretations of both. That process sheds new light on an old story about a city of gold.
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    The Roger Mills expansion project: An archaeological investigation
    (Wichita State University, 1990-11-01) Hughes, David T.
    Archaeological investigations of a 150 foot right of way in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma produced information on 13 previously unrecorded sites and isolates in Texas and 31 sites and isolates in Oklahoma. The majority are indeterminate prehistoric sites with only three attributable to Woodland or Late Prehistoric (Neolndian) occupations. Construction of the pipeline, subject to the recommendations in this report for avoidance, will result in no effect to any of these sites and there will be no loss to the archaeological or cultural resource base from installation of the pipeline as discussed in this investigation and as shown on maps provided by ENRON on June 15, 1990.
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    Archeological survey of the proposed El Dorado Wastewater Treatment Plant, Butler County, Kansas
    (Wichita State University, 2005-06-08) Hughes, David T.; Blakeslee, Donald J.; Hughes-Jones, A. Alicia
    Pursuant to an agreement between the City of El Dorado, Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A., and Wichita State University for the performance of a cultural resources investigation of the area of impact of the City's planned wastewater treatment plant expansion, David T. Hughes led faculty and student volunteers in pedestrian surveys and subsurface investigations from March 8 to April 4, 2005. Five previously recorded sites were relocated and three new sites identified. Preliminary assessment confirmed surface expressions of Archaic components previously described (Padgett and Blakeslee 1982). Subsurface investigations indicate that sites 14BU1532, 14BU1531, and 14BU519 have buried components at depths from 3 5 cm to a little more than 1 meter below ground surface that can yield data supplementary to the previous evaluations. The recommendation is that excavations to determine the horizontal and vertical extent of these sites and to recover data valuable to completing the Archaic sequence in the Walnut River Valley be conducted.