Archeology - exploring the past with modern technology | DW History DocumentaryMay 01, 2020
technical technological advancement is so rapid that it is almost impossible to keep up in the space of a lifetime Rancic we have discovered thousands of new sites from a variety of different periods Duncan seeing the data allows us to sharpen the focus of our research and pinpoint exactly where Carrying out the excavation in
technologysometimes assumes the form of an old-fashioned handcart as archaeologists root and Roseanne shoot set up their equipment in a meadow their nearby colleagues are preparing a device that appears to be more high-tech apparatus geomagnetic is so heavy it has to be towed by a vehicle both devices do the same thing only this one is bigger and can survey a wider area a group of german and irish archaeologists have gathered at the old church on display at century sites XV steeped in mysticism, but the ruin of the church is almost young compared to the ancient monuments that dot the environs northwest of Dublin.
Screen Hill is opposite the islands. cultural treasure. The hill of Tara. home to giant megalithic tombs unique monuments built around 3000 BC. by people who left nothing but their graves a digital reconstruction gives an impression of the interiors of the tombs many built in alignment with astronomical events archaeologists dragged the sensors across the meadow to determine what lies beneath the surface of this device it's 2 meters wide and equipped with five sensors you can cover two to three hectors a day with the device like this so it's a quick way to collect and assess archaeological data equipped with 16 sensors the magnetometer of your colleagues it's even more effective in gathering archaeological evidence so we have to be careful here because if we swap the wires the sensors will transmit the wrong positions that's why we do a final check to see that everything is working so the state test will give you say that the team is looking for traces of ancient life underground without the intervention of a shovel it is a non-invasive technique called prospecting now they are connecting the geomagnetic device to the computer the computer has the task of recording all the measurement data and showing us where we have than to survey even when driving across terrain Invictus hangs forward to survey in the middle the 16-sensor device is used to take geomagnetic measurements of the ground I really wonder what we were finding mysterious the landscape harbors a
historythat began thousands of years ago archaeologists job description demands knowledge of not only
technologyand today it helps if they don't mind being followed by curious horses we don't know exactly what year the church was founded and we also want to know a bit more about the earlier history to the oldest
documentarysources because we have some references say that from the 8th century to the 10th century referring to the screen hill as a burial place which is called the cross shows us our exact position with the help of GPS data the archaeologists can steer their vehicle across the meadow with the precision they need to generate a complete image of the ground the sensors trailing behind their vehicle measure the Earth's magnetic field which lies underground as an invisible veil the presence of walls or graves alters the pattern of magnetism in the ground and that is exactly what the sensors can measure the computer records these disturbances to reveal a long forgotten structure a shadow from the past 1,700 kilometers further east in berlin a different kind is being worked on of digital
archeologyin the virtual reality studio of game developer Thomas Bremer it looks like a game but it's not the game the designers are working with berlin archaeologist Kai kuhlmeier
moderntechnology meets ancient history their cooperation has produced some amazing discoveries , for example, the Hittites had an unusual reading technique this left to right this right to left this left to right this again right to left and then back again yes like wavy lines that's amazing The archaeologists they are anchored in past centuries and that applies to their methodology for the rapid development of computer technology in general but also a virtual archeology is still something that we have yet to understand and when I tell people that I am working with a designer of games, they are just closed because the game technology sounds very frivolous, but in fact this work is the opposite, it looks like a video game, but in fact it is a very accurate copy of a real temple is the temple of the weather god of Aleppo a Of the most important deities of the ancient Middle East, the oldest parts of the temple date from the third millennium BC.
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archeology exploring the past with modern technology dw history documentary...
C. with viewing software the operator can make the sun rise and stage allowing a view of the complex in changing daylight, the viewer has an idea of the size and proportion of the space, providing this damage, although in reality we are not standing in this temple, we can judge and see things very differently than we would on a normal computer monitor. Good morning, am I at the counter? Yes, just the fact that I can stand here and, for example, bend down and get a three-dimensional view of the object is something that I cannot do on a normal computer monitor at all Aleppo in Syria the temple was located in the heart of the city in 2012 the medieval citadel the rebels hiding inside used the citadel to fire on government troops the result 5000 years of history turned to dust in a brutal civil war in early 2011 the temple was still intact hi col The Meyers team from Berlin was on location to scan the complex security in the country that still seemed so stable that the professor not only brought his students, but also took his little daughter on the trip under Amelia, you'll see another representation of the weather. god riding his chariot here he has presented his combat ready what is this that is the symbol of god and that is a mace initially it was purely research but the data required new meaning through the ravages of the syrian civil war we had an unimaginably large amount but when the Civil War broke out and we couldn't get there anymore we were left wondering what we do now sounds almost cynical now but we were in an ideal position we were the only team of Near Eastern archaeologists to have 3D scanned everything it was a good turn of events fortune in the midst of terrible misfortune is younggook the temple was badly damaged in the war but at least its memory has been preserved digitally the scanned data is so accurate that the inscriptions are even more legible in virtual reality than in real life that's him being hobbin at the top when i learned to dig i had a paper and a pencil that's mom that was it today we can use a scanner which is much more accurate than any reproduction on the sheet of paper of course it also gives rise to new fields of inquiry and we can see you know olive harvesting at home this is car generating exact copies is a field that is also of interest to maritime archaeologists around the world measuring and marking shipwrecks underwater is one of the most demanding and arduous tasks and Conditions are not always as good as here in the Baltic Sea on the German island of Rügen only exceptional shipwrecks like the 14th century Bremen COG one of the world's largest ship finds took 18 years of expensive conservation work to salvage and restore restore it to its full glory learn more about this merchant ship from 1380 archaeologists created a digital model of the kaga building a ship like this is very special everything on the ship is interconnected if you move one part just 2 centimeters it distorts the entire shape of the ship ship, so the computer gives you an overview, this is not a 23-meter-long ship, you don't have to search the entire ship for the place responsible for the deformation, but you can clearly see how each step you das affects the entire structure and checks if a given step has changed the overall shape the technology allowed researchers, for example, to find out how the COG was navigated without having to submerge it in the water there is a wreck on rügen that is not worth it recovering, but it is nonetheless of interest to archaeologists, so what is special about this find is that it dates to the mid or even early 16th century, a period in which very few ships have been found and there is evidence that the word may have come from manual Strange codes are or sandbox dams.
Even today certain details of the ship can be rendered more clearly if they are copied by hand underwater, but the main work is done by a special camera. It takes hundreds of images that are then used to generate a 3D. computer model of the wreck while the wood has been perfectly preserved in the nutrient poor water of the Baltic the current has eroded the platform to the ground dive because visibility is poor but you can create a model like this even if you have visibility of only 30 centimeters, you just have to take enough photos to overlap, then you are looking at something that no one has ever seen in that shape or form eg the ballast stones from the frigates still lying on the ship's floor without them, the ship could not have carried its cargo of heavy cannons one of the most spectacular exhibits in the Berlin Museum of Islamic Art's collection goes unnoticed by visitors, but the digital world comes to its rescue Kai Col's latest project Myers is the richly carved wooden dome that originally stood in the nasstrac palaces of the world famous Alhambra in Granada Spain in Berlin the dome is forced to lead a timid existence for conservation reasons the dome is very poorly lit here in Berlin, visitors cannot appreciate it because they could miss the light conditions in the Alhambra.
Our goal is to virtually recreate those lighting conditions to allow visitors both here at the Berlin museum and visitors to the Alhambra an experience of the dome in its original context in an invasion context like Italy in 1891 the banker our territory In Grenaa the Spanish authorities granted him permission to move the dome to Germany. He had acquired a small palace in the Alhambra from a Spanish opera singer and later bequeathed it to the Spanish state, but he decided to keep the dome for a while as it decorated his villa in berlin before donating it to the museum the dome was originally painted and gilded it is made of cedar and poplar wood and consists of dozens of pieces a stellar ornament of heavenly beauty one of the most important prehistoric landscapes in the world stands at a bend in the islands in the river Boyne northwest of Dublin the passage graves of Newgrange Daffy and Nath were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 the central Neolithic mouth mound has a circumference of 275 meters and is surrounded by 20 smaller graves The meaning of numerous engraved stones remains a mystery.
Many stories and legends are associated with the huge mounds. They are said to be the birthplace of heroes. The hidden abodes of elves and kings. The mound tombs of Newgrange. Darth and Mouth are located. within sight of each other it has long been standard practice in archeology to use drones to get an overview of the landscape drones collect data to build digital terrain models on the computer sites with churches dating back to the Middle Ages often have In an older heritage, unseen underground evil rulers seeking to exert a political, military or religious controller for a territory would occupy any location that held particular significance, so we use these ancient sites as a starting point because it is easy to imagine that with the Christianization these ancient sites were chosen as places to build churches and, in fact, when the time comes to evaluate the data from their geomagnetic survey, archaeologists discover round structures that appear to predate the small medieval village; they may be traces of circular tombs enclosing burial mounds or they could be round. house in their distribution these objects make no reference to this trench complex so it can be assumed that they date from another period the discovery of unexcavated hidden relics is based on technology that originated from military applications that Tim Takeo physically from certain geophysical methods They are based on measuring differences in the Earth's magnetic field The technology comes from hunting for submarines that could be located underwater because they created disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field This is a method we now use in a modified form in archeology Watson axel Paz Lucien E is surrounded by traces of In the past, his work focuses on the Globet mountain plateau near Frankfurt, which was first settled thousands of years ago.
In particular, the Celts left their mark on the area. Today, it is known that the plateau was surrounded by a magnificent wall. fortification the slopeit was quite steep rather it was designed to signal the power and splendor of the Celtic princes began here in the so-called Neolithic with the appearance of the first farmers and herdsmen in the Vetta region the first settlement above Here, the Mitchellsburg culture had no walls. Development continued until the late Bronze Age and into the early Iron Age, around 500 BC. The aerial photo taken in 1988 opened the door to one of the most spectacular archaeological discoveries in Germany.
Archaeologists have been using aerial photography for decades to identify structures in the ground, but this method only returns results after long dry spells, each one here in the field. here you can see a darker structure relatively clearly in the grain, indicating that the grain is getting more moisture in this particular location, so it can be assumed that there is a ditch there that holds moisture better there is a place where the grave of a celtic prince was discovered deep in the field at the foot of the urgh globe the corresponding burial mound had been excavated long ago the massive hill has since been rebuilt and a museum set up behind the hill a life size was found a sandstone figure near the tomb the figure was endowed with chains and decorative rings lay in a ditch along with fragments of other statues the celtic prince is crowned with a strange headdress a gold chain was found in the prince's grave the figure of stone was depicted wearing the exact same chain the stone warrior prince of glaub egg is likely to look exactly like a person who lived more than 2,500 years ago the body in the tomb was found wearing the same strange headdress as the one who crowns the stone figure in the following years aerial archeology has advanced even further we are moving out of the cluster in addition to classical aerial archeology now done digitally we also have other computer-assisted methods of non-destructive testing to obtain information on archaeological remains and, subsequently, Often seen becoming the most important of these methods is lidar scanning the scanner is installed on an aircraft and examines the landscape below lidar scanning was originally used by surveyors but for archaeologists the data has proven to be a quantum leap In the know, even if lidar terrain models seem a bit off at first glance, what makes lidar scanning so invaluable is the methods ability to remove tree and vegetation noise from the data.
Levin knows that diluted ground-penetrating radar shoots electromagnetic pulses down to the ground from planes and sometimes helicopters. any underground structure and the difference in laser return times makes it possible to create a 3D image of the terrain also works in the forest because enough laser light can penetrate through the trees to achieve a relatively accurate surface image even in the forest at this image may follow the course of the Roman Lemus the border between the Roman Empire and unoccupied regions this here may have been a watchtower and here in the woods the remains of a burial mound field this here could theoretically be a burial mound that was opened in the past I guess it would be sometime in the 18th century at the time people usually entered from the top we call it a funnel so they dug a funnel into the mound to extract grave goods or skeletons and whatever What was left was these small holes at the top of the mound these faint traces indicate that's what happened here axial passes Lucian discovered a large burial mound very close to the grave of the celtic prince a small dot on the scanner image not visible as a grave in the middle of the forest multiple layers of our past lie beneath the ground we walk on we simply cannot see it digital archeology makes the invisible visible in ireland the number of monuments discovered has increased a hundredfold using
modernmethods One particularly spectacular prospecting example is the Hill of Tara, the mysterious national treasure, it was the seat of Irish kings and pagan priests at the height of their power, the Hill of Tara exudes an air of magic in Ireland way back in the day XIX century.
The Irish would gather here and swear a saint they swore not to rest until the land had won its independence and there was a reason they did it here today self proclaimed druids inhabit the area at night you can hear them play their harps Christians built a church here Ruth posing and Roseann shot systematically striding across the meadow on the expansive plateau with their magnetometer here on Terra it's a sure bet they'll find something interesting and they do the digital data shows numerous circles below the surface tomb mounds or maybe meeting sites when we started to investigate Tired, there were about twenty five known monuments, these monuments are visible, but through geophysical survey we know that there are more than hundred monuments, many of which cannot be seen on the surface, they are Buried below the surface, ancient maps can yield clues to vanished structures. the terah people lived thousands of years before the invention of writing they recorded their history in the ground and created sacred landscapes that just need to be deciphered a deep channel in the plateau was probably once a processional route is clearly visible on lidar scanning leads directly into the inner sanctum the Ratner II a large complex of circular walls is in fact a processional path and I believe this is the route the king-elect would take on his way to the top of the hill of tara to be inaugurated to the left and to To the right of the processional route, walls were built to direct the March as a look at key monuments.
Interestingly, there are a number of lagoons along the banks where you can see very significant monuments and, in particular, burrow amendments so that prehistoric builders seem to have known all about visual effects, but they also display an infinite number of things. What I personally find particularly attractive is that up here you have a wide view of the landscape that surrounds the city and there are similar monuments on many of these mountains and hills that are not in the abundance we find on Otara Hill which is really unique but there are also monuments Individuals who may ultimately have a common reference point Ward's Hill is another site that harbors a mysterious shrine Dublin students are digging their way up the hill at precisely defined points according to legend Halloween originated on Ward's Hill , a pagan fire festival on the night of October 31, and indeed the students find a large number of animal bones, an indication that the people here may have gathered for large celebrations with copious amounts of food The Irish Archaeologist Stephen Davis has inspected the hill, but couldn't find anything with geomagnetics.
He has a simple explanation. One of the problems with using magnetic scanning here, which is what we could use, of course, the rest is all of this. burning hot you've seen behind you there's all this hot burning it's very magnetic just because it's burned so everything really lights up and you can't see anything at all so with ground resistance in this case to that we can look at this big mound behind us here we actually define it as a stone wall which is actually what we're digging out now in this case that's why we're digging here we've dug a little section into the side of this mound with the stone room in the center geoelectrical surveys measure the resistance of the ground and create images of underground structures only now can researchers identify the various walls and trenches in the complex where rituals were actually held and large bonfires lit here during the The night of October 31, the archaeological clues were able to confirm the theory is that the Lehrer Bernie is fine, so the fire in a place before what happened here is falling in on itself and this extends to here.
They have a fire festival here now but there is supposed to be a fire festival going back almost as far back as the I&A there are a lot of evil references to preachers and druids gathering here and lighting a big fire but those references would be several hundred years after that would have happened, so we always treat them with some skepticism, but we are finding a lot of evidence of fire. here so who knows apart from the tombs and ritual sites the people who built this complex have left only one thing behind the bodies of their slain kings the bog bodies are on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, the graves and their dead are the only testimony of the first Irish people who did not have a written language such as tara a processional route can be distinguished in the digital data of ward hill a path that is no longer visible in the meadows the same was the case with the Celts cemetery on the ERG globe here not only the burial mound has been reconstructed but also the processional route leading up the hill was flanked by deep trenches and was originally much longer this is clear from the digital data a geomagnetic study has revealed the roads In addition, today it is known that the road was bordered by a high wall up to 12 meters wide at the base.
Visitors could only see the mound after turning the corner. The researchers believe that the hill was even whitewashed like in Ireland. The structures here were designed. taking into account the images and others aligned astronomically, it is not a path that marks a path from A to B, it is aligned with the main lunar stopover of the south, an astronomical phenomenon that occurs every 18.6 years, so it was possible to devise units of time without a calendar without a Watch for a longer period of time. Well, it's your nest. The Alhambra of Granada. There are few places in Europe that attract so many tourists every day.
Only 5,000 visitors are allowed into the castle. Tickets sell out weeks in advance. Keuchel Maya feels privileged. to work here kuhlmeier and his team have been working for days in the Palacio del parral the villa that belonged to a sultan then an opera singer and then a German banker from Berlin it was here that our Fond tour winner removed the decorative dome in 1891 was replaced by a poor copy. It really is a great feeling to be able to get a feel for the domes, the original settings, the scents, the views through the windows, it all makes for a completely different experience than standing in a museum and looking. in a dimly lit room, every detail of the camera is carefully documented with a high-performance scanner watching the long drives to hear that one can't help but wonder why Berlin doesn't return the dome to its original home, as archaeologists call it. thus considerations a previously missing historical gherkin the dome was brought to berlin legally there is no doubt now it has its own history and that history includes that of its previous owner the german banker who bought it and brought it to germany incorporated it into his own villa there and then through a detour it arrived at the Berlin Museum this story belongs to the provenance of the objects cannot be ignored let's see me disappear digital reconstruction reveals the lost splendor of the Chamber the original dome housed in the museum in Berlin has been integrated into this virtual reality experience, the dome of this chamber was one of the oldest components of the Alhambra, probably carved around 1320, if the dome were still in place the tower chamber is too small to accommodate the 5000 daily visitors to the alhambra, no one would. i ever caught a glimpse of a tub in places where the walls are too high for the scanner another method is used photogrammetry a 3d model is generated using thousands of overlapping photos in principle i think its a good idea to upload 3d images of these objects to the internet because that way everyone can access them, so snail feeding on the island Scientists are one step ahead Many scanned objects have already been published on the Internet before the German archaeologists returned home.
They take some soil samples. It is a cheap substitute for a dig that researchers are in. i doubt an area dotted with prehistoric burial mounds and medieval farmhouses an electrical cable runs underground through a small medieval settlement geomagnetic data helps archaeologists avoid hitting an electrical cable instead of a medieval ditch that's the big difference today in the ideal scenario I already know a hell of a lot about the site before I start my excavation and that allows me to plan my excavation very precisely, excavation areas are generally much smaller than they used to be because I just don't have to search as much as earlier when archaeologists are drilling at a site they suspect harbors a waste pit like modern dumpsters their historical predecessorsthey say a lot about the living conditions of the people who lived here the team can tell right away that their technicians hit the right spot we see pretty good here is the lowest layer we still had in the drill head and it contains coal , so we already know we're in the middle of the occupation layer, but I can't say I'm surprised because I already knew from the geomagnetic data that there's a structure here that we've already been able to classify quite accurately if we hadn't found it, it would be an indication that we were wrong in our measurements, but it was accurate.
We collected a lot of information without digging our shovel into the ground, and what's particularly satisfying is what we found in the core sample, namely carbon through radiocarbon dating. We'll be able to establish how old this charcoal is, which doesn't mean we'll know how old the trenches are, but that's how we proceed step by step, and of course when the botanists examine the charcoal for us, we'll know what kind of trees were burned. here. The soil samples undergo further testing in Frankfurt. The small parts. coal from the historic waste pit are treated with the same love and care as any old pottery shards.
Finally, the soil is pulsed with X-rays to break down its chemical components. The Knut Raz man is looking for a very specific item. a human being excretes about a kilogram of phosphorus per year in cattle it's about 8 kilograms if we have a lot of phosphorus it's likely coming from human and animal feces so it's an early indicator of the amount of time that this place was settled was this settlement used for a short time or longer the greater the phosphorus impact the greater the probability that the settlement was used for a long time with its high-tech equipment archaeologists have pointed out many places where they could dig but they don't because digging destroys the traces that hold the promise of key insights with future methods not yet developed we take responsibility archeology is a finite field sites do not grow back and things that have been excavated are lost to research sadly this is an inherent part of the archaeological dig in Nairobi Suba dissolves it comes in your hand digital archeology is the future of historical research but even today we can't do everything on a computer we stand here in the landscape and feel what it has uniquely we see the Hill of Tara we see the topography we get a holistic sense of place it is not possible to reproduce that in a virtual world technology provides us with useful tools but archaeologists still have to do field work
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