Limestone is a sedimentary rock, composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate, about 10% of sedimentary rocks are limestones. The solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes, most cave systems are through limestone bedrock. The first geologist to distinguish limestone from dolomite was Belsazar Hacquet in 1778, like most other sedimentary rocks, most limestone is composed of grains. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of organisms such as coral or foraminifera. Other carbonate grains comprising limestones are ooids, peloids and these organisms secrete shells made of aragonite or calcite, and leave these shells behind when they die. Limestone often contains variable amounts of silica in the form of chert or siliceous skeletal fragment, some limestones do not consist of grains at all, and are formed completely by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite, i. e. travertine.
Secondary calcite may be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters and this produces speleothems, such as stalagmites and stalactites. Another form taken by calcite is oolitic limestone, which can be recognized by its granular appearance, the primary source of the calcite in limestone is most commonly marine organisms. Some of these organisms can construct mounds of rock known as reefs, below about 3,000 meters, water pressure and temperature conditions cause the dissolution of calcite to increase nonlinearly, so limestone typically does not form in deeper waters. Limestones may form in lacustrine and evaporite depositional environments, calcite can be dissolved or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors, including the water temperature, pH, and dissolved ion concentrations. Calcite exhibits a characteristic called retrograde solubility, in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. Impurities will cause limestones to exhibit different colors, especially with weathered surfaces, Limestone may be crystalline, granular, or massive, depending on the method of formation.
Crystals of calcite, dolomite or barite may line small cavities in the rock, when conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together, or it can fill fractures. Travertine is a banded, compact variety of limestone formed along streams, particularly there are waterfalls. Calcium carbonate is deposited where evaporation of the leaves a solution supersaturated with the chemical constituents of calcite. Tufa, a porous or cellular variety of travertine, is found near waterfalls, coquina is a poorly consolidated limestone composed of pieces of coral or shells. During regional metamorphism that occurs during the building process, limestone recrystallizes into marble
A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. The word megalithic describes structures made of large stones without the use of mortar or concrete. For periods, the monolith, with an overlapping meaning, is more likely to be used. The word megalith comes from the Ancient Greek μέγας and λίθος, megalith denotes an item consisting of rock hewn in definite shapes for special purposes. It has been used to describe buildings built by people from parts of the world living in many different periods. A variety of stones are seen as megaliths, with the most widely known megaliths not being sepulchral. The construction of these took place mainly in the Neolithic and continued into the Chalcolithic. At a number of sites in eastern Turkey, large ceremonial complexes from the 9th millennium BC have been discovered and they belong to the incipient phases of agriculture and animal husbandry. Large circular structures involving carved megalithic orthostats are a feature, e. g.
at Nevalı Çori. Although these structures are the most ancient megalithic structures known so far, at Göbekli Tepe, four stone circles have been excavated from an estimated 20. Some measure up to 30 metres across, as well as human figures, the stones carry a variety of carved reliefs depicting boars, lions, birds and scorpions. Dolmens and standing stones have been found in areas of the Middle East starting at the Turkish border in the north of Syria close to Aleppo. They can be encountered in Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, the largest concentration can be found in southern Syria and along the Jordan Rift Valley, however they are being threatened with destruction. They date from the late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age, megaliths have been found on Kharg Island and pirazmian in Iran, at Barda Balka in Iraq, and at Jaintapur in Bangladesh. A semicircular arrangement of megaliths was found in Israel at Atlit Yam and it is a very early example, dating from the 7th millennium BC. The most concentrated occurrence of dolmens in particular is in an area on both sides of the Jordan Rift Valley, with greater predominance on the eastern side.
They occur first and foremost on the Golan Heights, the Hauran, and in Jordan, in Saudi Arabia, only very few dolmen have been identified so far in the Hejaz. They seem, however, to re-emerge in Yemen in small numbers, the standing stone has a very ancient tradition in the Middle East, dating back from Mesopotamian times
The Locmariaquer megaliths are a complex of Neolithic constructions in Locmariaquer, Brittany. The broken menhir was erected around 4700 BC, at the time as another 18 blocks nearby. Measuring 20.60 metres, with a weight of 330 tonnes, worked over its entire surface, the monument bears a sculpture representing a hatchet-plough. Unfortunately today this is seriously eroded and very difficult to see and it is not known what caused the menhir to topple and break into the four pieces that are now seen. At one time it was believed that the stone had never stood upright, the most popular theory is that the stone was deliberately pulled down and broken. Certainly other menhirs that accompanied it were removed and reused in the construction of tombs, however, in recent years, some archaeologists have favoured the explanation of an earthquake or tremor, and this theory is supported by a computer model. The Table des Marchands is a large dolmen containing a number of decorations, the main capstone of the chamber includes a large carving on its underside depicting an axe, and part of a carved depiction of a plough, apparently pulled by oxen.
This fragment indicates that the capstone was originally part of the broken menhir, other parts were used in the tumulus and in the nearby dolmen of Gavrinis, on a nearby island. The stone at the back of the chamber contained an engraved stele with whorls, the dolmen was fully exposed and above ground until it was excavated and rebuilt inside a cairn in 1993, reconstructing its original appearance and protecting its contents. The Er-Grah tumulus is 140 metres long and it was probably originally constructed in the fifth millennium BC as a cairn, which was extended in both directions. A pavement surrounded the stepped structure, the capstone indicates that the monument was completed at around 3,300 BC. Radiocarbon determinations suggest a date in the sixth and early fifth millennium BC
Zorats Karer, called Karahunj, Qarahunj or Carahunge and Carenish is a prehistoric archaeological site near the town of Sisian in the Syunik Province of Armenia. It is referred to in international tourist lore as the Armenian Stonehenge. It is located on a promontory near Sisian. The name Carahunge is interpreted as deriving from two Armenian words, meaning stone, and hunge or hoonch, meaning sound, thus the name Carahunge means Speaking Stones. In 2004, the site was named the Karahunj Observatory. Carahunge is known in local lore as Zorats Karer, Dik-dik Karer, the Carahunge Monument consists of the following parts, the central circle, the north arm, the south arm, N-E alley, the chord and separate standing stones. The site is rich with stone settings, burial cists and standing stones - Menhirs, the heights of the stones range from 0.5 to 3 m and weight up to 10 tons. They are basalt stones, eroded by time and covered with moss, the inside surface of holes preserved much better. There are broken and unnumbered stones.
About 80 of the feature a circular hole, although only 37 of the stones. They have been of interest to Russian and Armenian archaeoastronomers who have suggested that the stones could have been used for astronomical observation. Seventeen of the stones were associated with observations of sunrise or sunset at the solstices and equinoxes, this must remain conjectural as the holes are relatively unweathered and may not even be prehistoric in origin. The astronomical significance of megalithic structures at Zorats Karer was first explored by Armenian archaeologist Onik Khnkikyan in 1984, investigation by radiophysicist Paris Herouni and his research team during 1994-2001 led them to the now disputed conclusion that Carahunge is the worlds oldest astronomical observatory. In a letter to Herouni, Professor Hawkins confirmed his Armenian colleague’s similar conclusions about Zorats Karer, stating, in particular, “I admire the precise calculations you have made. I am most impressed with the work you have done.
They identified the site as a necropolis dating mainly from the Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age, archaeoastronomer Clive Ruggles wrote that Inevitably there have been other claims—more speculative and less supportable—relating to the astronomical significance of the site. One is that it can be dated to the sixth millennium BCE and direct comparisons with Stonehenge. Armenian biologist and mathematician Vachagan Vahradyan has recently developed the hypothesis about the astronomical function of this archaeological complex
Occasionally, a piece of broken pottery may be referred to as a shard. While the spelling shard is generally reserved for referring to fragments of glass vessels, the etymology is connected with the idea of breakage, from Old English sceard, related to Old Norse skarth and Middle High German scharte, notch. A sherd or potsherd that has been used by having writing painted or inscribed on it can be more referred to as an ostracon. The analysis of sherds is widely used by archaeologists to date sites and develop chronologies, due to their characteristics and high resistance to natural. Some characteristics of sherds useful to archaeologists include temper and these characteristics can be used to determine the kinds of resources and technologies used at the site. Archaeologists often classify sherds by the part of the vessel from which the sherd came. For example, sherds may be categorized as rim sherds, body sherds, rim sherds are fragments of a vessels rim, while base sherds are fragments of the vessels base.
Body sherds are fragments of ceramic that are not identified as rim sherds or base sherds, other categories might include fragments of handles or lids. While all types of sherds carry valuable information, rim sherds, Anna O. Ceramics for the Archaeologist
Saint George Redoubt
Saint George Redoubt is a redoubt in Birżebbuġa, Malta. It was built in 1714–1716 by the Order of Saint John as one of a series of fortifications around the Maltese Islands. Today, the still exists and is in good condition. Saint George Redoubt was built in 1714–1716 as part of the first building programme of coastal batteries in Malta, the redoubt was built on the site of a cemetery. It incorporated the Chapel of St. George, which had built in 1683 on the site of an earlier chapel. Apart from being the only Hospitaller redoubt incorporating a church, St. George Redoubt is unusual since it has a semi-circular shape, the semi-circular platform is ringed by a low parapet. The walls linking the redoubt to the church are pierced by loopholes, while the doorway had a ditch. Sometime after 1741, two fougasses were excavated behind the redoubt and they are now located within private houses. Today, the chapel and redoubt are managed by the Missionary Society of Saint Paul and they are both in good condition, and are listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.
National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands
Filitosa is a megalithic site in southern Corsica, France. The period of occupation spans from the end of the Neolithic era and it is located on a hill, overlooking the Taravo valley. The site was discovered in 1946 by the owner of the land, systematic excavations started in 1954 by Roger Grosjean. Finds of arrow heads and pottery date earliest inhabitation to 3300 BC, around 1500 BC, 2-3 metre menhirs were erected. They have been carved with representations of human faces, Roger Grosjean thought the menhirs may have been erected to ward off an invasion of a group of people called the Torréens. However this was unsuccessful, the menhirs were cast down, broken up, the Torréens built circular stone structures on the site, known as torri, which may have been used as temples. The torri are remarkably well preserved and this theory had been disputed by works of F. De Lanfranchi, M. C. Weiss and Gabriel Camps. In total, about twenty menhirs of various times were counted in Filitosa and they constitute approximately half of the total staff of these monuments in Corsica.
The site of Filitosa is approached down a track through an ancient olive grove, the first monument to be seen is a rock overhang and surrounding wall. Then the visitor comes upon the central monument, various hut platforms are all around, and the track leads a further 50m to the Western Monument or torri. From there, one can enjoy a view down the hill to an alignment of five megaliths. Behind the olive tree is the quarry, where the megaliths were extracted from
Margaret Alice Murray was an Anglo-Indian Egyptologist, anthropologist and folklorist. The first woman to be appointed as a lecturer in archaeology in the United Kingdom and she served as President of the Folklore Society from 1953 to 1955, and published widely over the course of her career. Born to a wealthy middle-class English family in Calcutta, British India, recognising that British Egyptomania reflected the existence of a widespread public interest in Ancient Egypt, Murray wrote several books on Egyptology targeted at a general audience. Murray became involved in the first-wave feminist movement, joining the Womens Social and Political Union. Although academically discredited, the theory gained widespread attention and proved a significant influence on the new religious movement of Wicca. From 1921 to 1931 Murray undertook excavations of sites on Malta and Minorca. Awarded an honorary doctorate in 1927, she was appointed assistant professor in 1928 and that year she visited Palestine to aid Petries excavation of Tall al-Ajjul and in 1937 she led a small excavation at Petra in Jordan.
Conversely, Murrays work in folkloristics and the history of witchcraft has been academically discredited, the influence of her witch-cult theory in both religion and literature has been examined by various scholars, and she herself has been dubbed the Grandmother of Wicca. Margaret Murray was born on 13 July 1863 in Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, James Murray, born in India of English descent, was a businessman and manager of the Serampore paper mills who was thrice elected President of the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce. His wife, had moved to India from Britain in 1857 to work as a missionary, preaching Christianity and she continued with this work after marrying James and giving birth to her two daughters. During her childhood, Murray never received an education. In 1870, Margaret and her sister Mary were sent to Britain, there moving in with their uncle John, a vicar, in 1873, the girls mother arrived in Europe and took them with her to Bonn in Germany, where they both became fluent in German.
In 1875 they returned to Calcutta, staying there till 1877 and they moved with their parents back to England, where they settled in Sydenham, South London. There, they spent much time visiting The Crystal Palace, while their father worked at his firms London office, in 1880, they returned to Calcutta, where Margaret remained for the next seven years. In 1887, she returned to England, moving to Rugby, here she took up employment as a social worker dealing with local underprivileged people. When her father retired and moved to England, she moved into his house in Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, in 1893 she travelled to Madras, Tamil Nadu, where her sister had moved to with her new husband. Encouraged by her mother and sister, Murray decided to enroll at the newly opened department of Egyptology at University College London in Bloomsbury, Murray began her studies at UCL at age 30 in January 1894, as part of a class composed largely of other women and older men. There, she took courses in the Ancient Egyptian and Coptic languages which were taught by Francis Llewellyn Griffith, Murray soon got to know Petrie, becoming his copyist and illustrator and producing the drawings for the published report on his excavations at Qift, Koptos
Sacred pit of Garlo
The Sacred pit of Garlo is an archaeological site located near the village of Garlo in Pernik District, Bulgaria. It was excavated in 1972 by Professor Dr. Dimitrina Mitova-Dzhonova, Professor Dzhonova dates the pit around the 11th century BC and relates the site to the sacred pits found within the remains of the Nuragic civilization in Sardinia. The sacred pit was constructed in a little valley lined with many springs in prehistoric times, the southern part of the pit is dug in the ground. Seven meters long corridor with thirteen stone steps leads into a domed room at the center over the source there is a well with a depth of 5 meters. Outside Sardinia such sites are excavated in Crimean Peninsula Crimea and Palestine, the sacred pit is a sophisticated device, established entirely underground. The long axis of the well is oriented North-South bit it was constructed on the slope of a hill. The entrance to the chamber is located on the east side of the device. It represents a stair of 24 stairs 1.1 m wide, the first nine stairs are in open air, the next 15 are underground.
The stair leads to an underground vaulted round circular chamber with 4.2 m. diameter, on the top of the vault there is a circular hole to the sky. The opening is 2.3 m. wide, the underground stair joins the vaulted chamber by an arched gate 2.4 m high. The construction is almost identical to the Funtana Coberta from Ballao in Sardinia Directly above the temple an ancient sanctuary of the sun was organised, today the rock massif and the terrain of the sanctuary are covered by young forest. According to the memories of the residents in the surrounding rocks were carved signs. How did the construction of the sacred megalithic facility and the religious complex built in the Village of Garlo remains an open question for modern historians. According to Professor Mitova-Dzhonova in the pit at Garlo was worshiped ancient deities of water
Caruana originally made headlines in 2006 when he claimed that a statue of the Virgin Mary in his home was weeping blood and oozing oil. The blood was identified as Angeliks own and the oil as burnt cooking oil, the Borġ in-Nadur site sometimes receives more than 200 visitors, and Caruana has a number of followers who circulate his messages through newsletters and the internet. In January 2016, the Church decreed that Caruanas messages were not divine in nature, in January and April 2006, Caruana reported that a statue of the Virgin Mary in his house in Birżebbuġa was issuing tears of blood. Mrs. Caruana had felt so drawn towards the statue while it was on display in a Birzebbuga pet shop, three days later, on the 23rd January, tears of a red liquid oozed from the statue. Apparitions began to more regularly, although without any pattern. Starting in December 2006, Caruana was reporting weekly apparitions on a hill at Borġ in-Nadur, which he described as the special place Mother Mary has chosen for the apparitions.
During a vision on February 28,2007 on Borg in-Nadur Hill, the public messages Caruana gives on Borġ in-Nadur Hill are now recorded live by the priests accompanying him, and are read out to an audience. All the messages are posted to an official website. Lengthy messages start out with My dear children where Caruana greets the listeners as the Virgin Marys children, in 2010, Caruana was directed by the Virgin Mary to travel to Gozo, Maltas sister island where he described further apparitions from her at a site in Xewkija. Caruana was escorted from the venue by Vatican security, archangel Uriel is a guardian angel who Caruana describes as being visible only to him. Caruana has spoken of how the angel can transport his soul to different places, on a particular occasion, Caruana described how his soul was transported over five hundred miles to Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Uriel reportedly ministers the Eucharist to Caruana, several witnesses have reported the Eucharist appearing out of nowhere, with Caruana receiving it in his hands and subsequent Holy Communion.
Caruana talks of communing with souls from Purgatory, who ask for intercession so that they might be transferred to heaven. The visits from the souls in Purgatory include a re-visitation at the time of their entrance in heaven, Caruana considers it important to pray for the departed. St. Francis of Assisi has appeared in Caruanas visions, Caruana believes that the Virgin Mary has told him that one day he will demonstrate visible stigmata of these injuries. Caruana has described several demonic attacks on his person, and has experienced three visions of Hell, within the flames and among the people Caruana perceived many devils that had the shape of humans and animals, who began to mock the people while hovering above them. Hayden reported Caruana as asking Why is it Lady that you are now showing me hell, Caruana experienced a similar vision in July 2008, causing him to weep, and request a sign from the Virgin Mary. He reported her reply as a request that she would only issue such a sign following sufficient conversion and he has spoken of the dangers of drug abuse, which cause those around the abuser to suffer, and which he describes as a means of Satanic rule
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing, according to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems.
The overall period is characterized by use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques, tin must be mined and smelted separately, added to molten copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
Gavrinis is a small island, situated in the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany, France. It contains the Gavrinis tomb, a megalithic monument notable for its abundance of art in the European Neolithic. Administratively, it is part of the commune of Larmor-Baden, reachable by boat from the town of Larmor-Baden, the island of Gavrinis is uninhabited. Located near the opening of Morbihan Gulf to the Atlantic Ocean and its highest point dominates much of the surrounding area. The name Gavrinis is popularly believed to be derived from the Breton words gavr and enez and this is probably a false etymology. In documents dating to 1184 and 1202, the island is named as Guirv Enes and Guerg Enes, the old Breton word Guerg is not related to gavr, but to parallels like Gaul gwery, or Old Irish ferg, signifying wrath. At the time of its construction, c.3500 BC, the rich internal decorations make Gavrinis one of the major treasuries of European megalithic art. The tomb is remarkable for the care taken in its construction, the first excavations took place in 1835, when the internal chamber was discovered.
Further research was undertaken by the archaeologist Zacharie Le Rouzic who began work around 1930. Further works took place in the 1960s and 1970s, charles-Tanguy Leroux, former Director of Breton Antiquities, undertook studies and consolidation works in the 1980s. Further excavation is in the planning stages, the tomb was built relatively late within the French megalithic sequence. Its use ceased around 3000 BC, at that time, the light wooden structures cladding its entrance were burnt, after which part of the mound collapsed and blocking the passage. A layer of windblown sand transformed the monument into a simple hillock, the stone mound has a diameter of about 50m. The mass of forming the cairn is internally structured by a series of walls. It is an example of Neolithic dry stone architecture. The mound covers a single rectangular slab-built burial chamber, located at the centre of the mound, the chamber is built of about 50 carefully placed slabs. The biggest of these is the slab which weighs nearly 17 tons.
Such simple dolmen-type chambers, reached by passages, were common in Brittany between 4500 and 3000 BC