In the classical age, from the eighth century B.C. to the sixth century A.D., Roman ports dominated the coasts along the Mediterranean Sea. The Roman Empire—which was known for trading everything from perfumes to papyrus to purple dye—revolutionized trade routes on both land and water before its infamous fall in the fifth century. Recently, volunteer divers with the University of Cyprus’s underwater archaeological research team came face-to-face with a fragment of Rome’s maritime trading history when they discovered an ancient shipwreck filled with imported cargo near the resort town of Protaras.
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Trigonometry, the study of the lengths and angles of triangles, sends most modern high schoolers scurrying to their cellphones to look up angles, sines, and cosines. Now, a fresh look at a 3700-year-old clay tablet suggests that Babylonian mathematicians not only developed the first trig table, beating the Greeks to the punch by more than 1000 years, but that they also figured out an entirely new way to look at the subject. However, other experts on the clay tablet, known as Plimpton 322 (P322), say the new work is speculative at best.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A 1,500-year-old mosaic floor with a Greek inscription has been uncovered during works to install communications cables in Jerusalem’s Old City – a rare discovery of an ancient relic and an historic document in one.
The inscription cites 6th-century Roman emperor Justinian as well as Constantine, who served as abbot of a church founded by Justinian in Jerusalem. Archaeologists believe it will help them to understand Justinian’s building projects in the city.
A 10th-Century Viking fortress has been discovered by archaeologists in Denmark. The circular structure was found at Borgring, to the west of the country, in 2014, but now new tests have revealed it was likely to have been built by King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson. The structure was built in a perfect circle and is the fifth Viking castle to be discovered in the country since the 1930s.