300 ft Wall in Bolivia has over 5000 Dinosaur Footprints

Believe it or not, Cal Orko is situated entirely within a limestone quarry owned by FANCESA, Bolivia’s National Cement Factory. Located in the ‘El Molino’ formation, the sight of heavy mining machinery (one could argue they are today’s ‘land giants’) set against a backdrop of 68 million-year-old dinosaur footprints (Earth’s prehistoric ‘land giants’) creates an intriguing parallel.

Further up the hill is Parque Cretácico. Opened in 2006, the dinosaur museum features 24 life-sized dinosaur replicas, various exhibitions, and a viewing platform 150 meters (~500 ft) from the rock face. It’s from this vantage point that you truly grasp the sheer scale and magnitude of Cal Orko.

Located 5 km (3 miles) from downtown Sucre, Bolivia is Cal Orko, an imposing limestone slab 1.5 km (0.9 miles) long and over 100 meters high (328 ft). On this steep face (inclination of 72 degrees), visitors can peer through time to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth over 68 million years ago.

At Cal Orko you will find 462 distinct dinosaur tracks from at least 8 different species, totaling an incredible 5,055 individual dinosaur footprints. So how do thousands of dinosaur footprints come to be, on a seemingly vertical rock face hundreds of feet high? You’ll have to scroll down to find out.

“It was unique climate fluctuations that made the region a palaeontological honey pot. The creatures’ feet sank into the soft shoreline in warm damp weather, leaving marks that were solidified by later periods of drought. Wet weather then returned, sealing the prints below mud and sediment. The wet-dry pattern was repeated seven times, preserving multiple layers of prints. The cherry on the cake was added when tectonic activity pushed the flat ground up to a brilliant viewing angle – as if nature was aware of its tourism potential.”

Cal Orko is one of the few locations in the world where you will find a concentration of footprints from a wide variety of dinosaurs that lived at the end of the Cretaceous period. The sheer size, geological significance, biodiversity and social behaviour that can be studied here makes Cal Orko a special place.

Take the trail of Johnny Walker for example. Johnny Walker was the name given to a baby Tyrannosaurus rex whose 367 meter (~1200 ft) path can be traced and observed here.

Stunning 2200-Year-Old Mosaics Discovered in Ancient Greek City

Three new mosaics were recently discovered in the ancient Greek city of Zeugma, which is located in the present-day province of Gaziantep in southern Turkey. The incredibly well-preserved mosaics date back to 2nd century BC.

Zeugma was considered one of the most important centers of the Eastern Roman Empire and the ancient city has provided a treasure trove of discoveries with 2000-3000 houses in remarkably good condition. Excavations at Zeugma started in 2007 and continue to this day.

Up until 2000 the ancient city was completely submerged underwater until a project to excavate the area received funding from a number of sources. There are still many areas of Zeugma—a city once home to nearly 80,000 inhabitants—left to excavate, including 25 houses still underwater. It’s exciting to think of what other discoveries remain to be found.

Sophisticated defense system found in Biblical-era mining camp

MEGAN GANNON LIVESCIENCE.COM

Archaeologists in Israel say they’ve discovered elements of a sophisticated gatehouse at a mining camp that dates back to the biblical era of King David and King Solomon in the 10th century B.C.

Recent excavations at the hilltop copper-smelting factory known as Slaves’ Hill in the Timna Valley have revealed a fortified gatehouse with donkey stables. The archaeologists, led by Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University, think these features show that this Iron Age settlement had a highly organized defense system and depended on an impressive network of long-distance trade.

The vast copper deposits in the southern Levant have been exploited by humans for hundreds of years. This particular camp was first identified in the 1930s by the famous American biblical archaeologist Nelson Glueck. He called it Slaves’ Hill, theorizing that the massive walls that surrounded the perimeter were meant to keep enslaved laborers from escaping into the desert.

[The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]

Previous research by Ben-Yosef’s team, however, found that the laborers did not have a typical slave’s diet; instead, the metalworkers ate good cuts of meat, pistachios and fish imported from the Mediterranean, suggesting they had a rather high status and were valued for their craft.

For the newest study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Ben-Yosef and his colleagues focused on the only entrance to the mining camp and the end of the steep path to the top of the mesa. Excavations in 2014 revealed a prominent gatehouse with two rooms on each side of the main passageway that led through the camp’s walls. The gatehouse probably would have been a prominent landmark in the area, serving an important administrative —and defensive —function: to control and track the flow of goods and people into and out of the camp, the researchers said.

“While there is no explicit description of ‘King Solomon’s mines’ in the Old Testament, there are references to military conflicts between Israel and the Edomites in the Arava Valley,” Ben-Yosef said in a statement.

The Bible describes a battle between the Edomites, a seminomadic tribal confederacy, and King David’s army in the Arabah (also spelled Arava) Valley. The historical accuracy of this account is debated, but the discovery of elements of a sophisticated fortification at Slaves’ Hill suggests that copper might have been the resource at stake during military struggles in the region, Ben-Yosef said.

“Copper was a rare product and very challenging to produce,” Ben-Yosef said. “Because copper -- like oil today, perhaps -- was the most coveted commodity, it landed at the very heart of military conflicts. The discovery of the fortification indicates a period of serious instability and military threats at that time in the region.”

The researchers also found intact dung piles outside both rooms of the gatehouse and interpreted those areas as donkey stables. The researchers even investigated the contents of the dung, which revealed that the donkeys were not fed straw but hay and grape pomace (the skins, pulp and stems of grapes), likely delivered from the Mediterranean region, hundreds of miles away.

“The food suggests special treatment and care, in accordance with the key role of the donkeys in the copper production and in trade in a logistically challenging region,” Ben-Yosef said.

The dung also appeared to be deliberately piled against a wall of the gatehouse, suggesting it might have been collected and used as fuel for the copper-smelting furnaces, the researchers wrote.

Negev fort from time of David and Solomon unearthed

Gary Willig - ARUTZ SHEVA, Inside Israel

 

Examination and dating of animal remains show that Timna Valley fort dates to reign of Kings David and Solomon.

Archaeologists in the Negev are unraveling the history of a military complex which dates from the time of King David and King Solomon, Fox News reported.

The gatehouse complex, located in the Timna Valley in Southern Israel, was unearthed in 2014 and dates to the 10th century B.C.E. Recent analysis of the ancient site's excavatede donkey stables have helped archaeologists unravel what life was like there approximately 3,000 years ago.

Animal bones and dung are well-preserved in the desert climate. "When we uncovered the stables, the material was so well preserved and ‘fresh’ that we could not believe it is 3,000 years old,” Erez Ben-Yosef of Tel Aviv University’s Institute of Archaeology, one of the excavation leaders, told FoxNews.com. "Only when the dates came back from the lab were we reassured that indeed these were the remains of stables and other artifacts from the time of David and Solomon.”

Examination of the animal remains determined that they were fed with hay and the remains of grapes which would have been brought from the Mediterranean coast, hundreds of miles away. The animals at the fort were also used to aid in copper production.

The fort was designed to defend ancient Israel against invasion, according to a report in the The Journal of Archaeological Science. It contained a sophisticated defense system and trade links. “The evidence demonstrates long-distance connections with the Mediterranean region,” Ben-Yosef said.

Pile of Skeletons Found Inside 2,400-Year-Old Tomb in Iraq

By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor

A tomb in northern Iraq held a pile of skeletons, including those dating back 2,400 years and more recent burials (shown here). The white dust is from the excavation of more recent burials.

A 2,400-year-old tomb filled with the skeletons of at least six people has been discovered in northern Iraq. Among the artifacts found in the tomb is a bracelet decorated with images of two snake heads peering at each other.

The tomb was constructed toward the end, or just after, the time of the Achaemenid Empire (550 to 330 B.C.), an empire in the Middle East that was conquered by Alexander the Great in a series of campaigns, according to the archaeologists, led by Michael Danti, a professor at Boston University. The excavation results were presented by Kyra Kaercher and Katie Downey, graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and The Ohio State University, respectively, in November 2016 at the American Schools of Oriental Research's annual meeting.

"The snake-headed bracelet was very popular in Achaemenid times," and helped date the tomb, the team of archaeologists told Live Science in an email. [In Photos: Ancient City Discovered in Iraq]

It's difficult for archaeologists to tell exactly how many people were originally buried in the tomb, as some of the skeletons were found in a jumbled state. That disarray indicates that someone had entered, and possibly robbed, the tomb in ancient times, the researchers noted.

Inside the tomb, the archaeologists also found a pair of bronze earrings and the remains of at least 48 pottery vessels, five of which were still intact.

"There were five complete vessels found in the tomb: one bridge-spouted jar, three pitchers and one miniature jar. They were all found near the heads of skeletons," the archaeologists wrote.

 

These intact jars that were found near the heads of skulls in the tomb in Iraq and date back around 2,400 years.

This tomb probably didn't belong to noblemen or wealthy individuals. "Based on the ceramics found and the limited amount of metal and other objects, these people were probably from a more modest background," the archaeologists wrote. The archaeologists aren't sure yet whether the people were related to one another.

Archaeologists found that sometime between 400 and 1,300 years ago, the tomb, originally the home of the six-plus skeletons found, was reused, and at least five more people (probably more) were buried there. The heads of those skeletons, which were separated from the older bones by a layer of soil, were found facing west. The archaeologists did not find any artifacts dating to the more recent burials.

"Based on the lack of artifacts found with the skeletons and their locations … the tomb reuse probably dates to the Early or Middle Islamic period [eighth to 17th century A.D.], but without artifacts or carbon samples, this cannot be proved," the archaeologists told Live Science.

The researchers cautioned, however, that the time period for the more recent burials "does not mean these are Islamic burials," they wrote. "Historically, in this region, various religious groups have lived together, including Muslims, Christians, Yazidis, Zoroastrians and many others."

The tomb was excavated in the summer of 2013, after construction workers who were widening a road discovered it. Numerous archaeologists have told Live Science over the past few years that preservation is critical for the survival of heritage in northern Iraq.

Islamic State group (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) militants destroyed, damaged and looted many heritage sites after they conquered part of northern Iraq during a military campaign in the spring and summer of 2014. This particular tomb was not in an area they took over. At present, ISIS still controls part of Mosul and a few small cities, towns and rural areas in northern Iraq.

Numerous archaeologists have also told Live Science over the past few years that during the rule of Saddam Hussein, archaeologists had little access to parts of northern Iraq and that a number of sites are in desperate need of conservation. Moreover, as construction projects (such as the road widening that led to the discovery of this tomb) take place, new archaeological sites will be discovered.

A 2,400-year-old bronze bracelet with two snakes facing each other was also found in the Iraq tomb.