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Recent Discoveries in Archeology , November 2008

Jerusalem marks the location where a gold earring dating back 2,000 years has been uncovered in of all places , right under a parking lot situated next to the wall of the old city of Jerusalem. The age of the object is said to trace back to the time of Christ (during the Roman period). In this article, you will learn more about this recent archeological discovery and an ancient Mayan find.  

A Really Old Earring”¦

Interestingly, the earring mentioned above was discovered in a Byzantine structure that was constructed several centuries after the earring was created. The reason behind this , it is thought to have been passed down throughout the generations. The earring consists of two drop pieces with a sizable pearl surrounded in gold. Each drop is made with an emerald and a pearl set within gold.

Researchers believe that the earring must have belonged to an elite member of Jerusalem and that the “average” person would not own such a thing. The level of preservation of the earring has brought in many comments, as it is well kept. Another detail that has been causing excitement for such a find is that it is quite rare to locate a piece of craftsmanship from the Roman days that are planted in Jerusalem. In the past, the Roman Empire destroyed the city in the first century A.D.

Additionally, finding jewelry that is well preserved in Jerusalem is quite a feat. History tells us that precious metals were often transferred into the market or melted down when cities have been taken over. In the end, archeologists have received a glimpse into the past of a woman that lived in the ancient past.

An Ancient Mayan Find

If you follow the legends that surround the ancient Mayan belief of the afterlife, then you’d imagine the dead traveling through rivers of blood, sharp knives, jaguars, and bats whizzing overhead. It was referred to a ‘highway through hell’ and a scholar is now claiming to have uncovered a series of caves that may have very well served as a location where ancient Mayans believed this fateful journey was to take place.

With the help of a testimony lost over the years, a Mexican archeologist has come upon a network consisting of chambers, temples, and roads laid underground , covered by farms and jungle of the Yucatan peninsula. His find suggests that the Mayans may have tried to recreate the journey to the underworld, which is also known as Xibalba , illustrated in the ancient mythological text of Popol Vuh and other records.

University of Yucatan archaeologist Guillermo de Anda stated that the place was filled with fear, coldness, and danger. The state capital of the Yucatan (Merida) is home to what seems like the stages that one was expected to encounter when journeying to the underworld. Amongst the archeological population, it is known that caves serve as a sacred place for Mayans, where structures were often built in some.

However, this particular find is special to De Anda because it was like following a treasure map and actually locating something at the end of the adventure. By using historical documents, his team was able to find and connect the series of scared caves mentioned. The concept that they served as the ” Mayan road to the afterworld” became apparent to them.