Richard Miles: A Graphic History

RICHARD MILES: A GRAPHIC HISTORY

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Ancient Worlds - BBC Two 

Episode 5 “The Republic of Virtue”

The Via Appia (Appian Way) is one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads. It was built in 312 B.C. by Appius Claudius Caecus and it stretched from Rome to -modern day- Brindisi (Latin Brundisium), in southeast Italy. Its total length was more than 350 miles/563 km.

Roman roads and especially the Via Appia were extremely important to Rome. It allowed trade and access to the east, specifically Greece. It was also used as a main route for military supplies.

Since it was forbidden to bury the dead in the city proper, many were buried along the roads leading out of Rome. Important citizens built tombs for themselves or for their whole family. Their shapes varied from a tumulus or a pyramid to a small temple. The Via Appia was lined with such monuments and many of them are still visible today.

Many parts of the original road beyond Rome’s environs have been preserved, and some are now used by cars.

PART I

Via Appia, Italy

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Archaeology: A Secret History - BBC Four 

Episode 1 “In the Beginning”

In August 1856, The Neandertal, (also called the Neander Valley) a small valley in western Germany, became famous for the discovery of Neanderthal 1, the first specimen of Homo neanderthalensis to be found.

Remains of bones were discovered by quarry workers. They thought they had found the remains of a bear, but it soon became clear that they were far, far more important. The naturalist Johann Carl Fuhlrott recognized the bones for what they were: the remains of a previously unknown type of human. But Fuhlrott’s scientific contemporaries challenged his theory; the skull was thought to be a pathologically deformed skull of a modern human. Only at the end of the 19th century, the theory of prehistoric people was confirmed by further studies and introduced the term Homo neanderthalensis.

The geological age of Neanderthal 1 is around 42.000 years.

Dr. Ralf W. Schmitz, from the LVR-Landesmuseum Bonn Museum, where the remains are exhibited, shows dr. Miles the skull -it is possible to see very clearly arterial impressions of the brain.

LVR-Landesmuseum Bonn -Rhineland Regional Museum of Archaeology, Art and Art History- Bonn, Germany

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Ancient Worlds - BBC Two 

Episode 1 “Come Together”

Tell Brak, the largest ancient site in the Euphrates valley in Northern Mesopotamia (Northeastern Syria today).

The site was occupied between the 6th and 2nd millennia BC, being successively rebuilt by following generations. Tell Brak is an incredibly rich site. Even today ceramic fragments, broken pottery are very easy to find.

Archaeologists have found so many Bevelled-Rimmed Bowls (BRB) that they have had to rebury most of those found after logging and measuring to free up space in their store room. These bowls date from the 4th millennium BC and they’ve been found in their thousands at sites from Turkey to Syria, from Iran to Iraq.

Archaeologists speculate that the ubiquitous bowls formed part of a centralised rationing system. One theory is that this is a ration bowl issued by some kind of central authority to its workers, holding a standard measure of grain.

Dr. Richard Miles excavates a bevel-rimmed bowl from the wall of an ancient building at the site of Tell Brak.

PART III

Tell Brak, Al-Hasakah Governorate, Syria.

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