End of Year Recap: Archeology News April 2009

In some cultures, a female ruler was not unheard of, while others have scoffed at the idea of a woman running the government of an ancient civilization. However, information has recently arisen in April 2009 that the ancient land of Israel may have had a female king. This article will also discuss information regarding ancient languages and details concerning the Dark Ages.

Who is the ‘Mistress Of The Lionesses’?

Legend states that all of the esteemed rulers of Canaan (the ancient land of Israel) were men. However, a dig conducted by Tel Aviv University archaeologists at Tel Beth-Shemesh has revealed potential evidence that suggests a mysterious female ruler may have had a hand in history.  According to the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, an unusual ceramic plaque was uncovered, which depicted a goddess in female dress. This has led researchers to believe that a female ‘king’ may have ruled the city at one time. If proven true, she would have been the only known female ruler of the region.

Dressed in the same manner as royal male figures and deities, the woman has a female hairstyle and is holding lotus flowers in her bent arms , a sign of a woman. Historian believe they have found a plaque paying homage to the ‘ Mistress of the Lionesses,’ thought to be a female Canaanite ruler who is described as sending letters to the Pharaoh in Egypt that alerted him to the fact that her kingdom was undergoing unsettlement and destruction.

Unlocking Ancient Languages

With the help of the Rosetta Stone, 19th century scholars were able to decipher symbols left behind by an ancient civilization. The secret of Egyptian hieroglyphics may have been unlocked, but other ancient artifacts around the world are left a mystery. Researchers are interested in learning how to make sense of a language associated with the people that once inhabited the Indus valley on what is now known as the present-day border situated between Pakistan and India.

While some experts aren’t quite sure if the symbols represent a language at all, others would like to learn more about the meaning behind pictograms found in the region. This involves using computer science techniques to solve ancient riddles. At the University of Washington, computers have been analyzing the Indus script, in hopes of finding a pattern that links the scripts to other nonlinguistic systems.

Deciphering the Dark Ages

In Turkey, an impressively well-preserved monumental temple thought to date back to the days of King Solomon during the 10th and 9th centuries BC, has been uncovered. Scientists are hopeful that they will learn more about the time period known as the Dark Ages. As excavations on the site will continue, scientists wish to learn about the time period where Tayinat served as the capital of a powerful kingdom called the ‘Land of Palastin.’ Evidence suggests that the early Iron Age settlement at Tayinat has strong cultural ties to foreign settlers hailing from the Aegean world , known as the traditional homeland of the Sea Peoples.