Science Podcasts

Naked Archaeology episode

Thu, 16th Sep 2010

Maya burial and abandonment

Maya Mask (c) Wolfgang Sauber

This month we explore the dramatic burial of an El Zotz Maya king; he was seemingly interred with the remains of six sacrificed children. Also under the spotlight is the abandoment of the site if Kiuic, a mysterious Maya city which was deserted in the midst of construction. Plus, in Backyard Archaeology Tom Birch investigates a huge Roman mining settlement in Austria.

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In this edition of Naked Archaeology


  • Mayan mask, from the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City (c) Wolfgang Sauber (User:Xenophon)

    01:57 - Child sacrifice in a Mayan tomb?

    A newly discovered Mayan tomb from the 4th Century AD in Guatemala has a King and six children buried inside. Were the children a human sacrifice?

  • Neolithic arrowhead (c) Didier Descouens

    10:06 - Earliest evidence of the bow-and-arrow found in South Africa

    Stone-tipped arrows thought to be 64,000 years old have been found in the Sibundu Cave in South Africa. Lyn Wadley & Marlize Lombard from the University of Johannesburg led the team which analysed the stone tools microscopically to see whether they were from spears or arrows.

  • Roman centurion helmet (c) MatthiasKabel

    14:05 - Ornate 1st Century Roman helmet found in Cumbria

    Ornate 1st Century Roman helmet found in Cumbria. Found in over 30 pieces, it had to be painstakingly put back together. It would have been plated in tin and beautifully decorated, so it was likely intended for ornamental purposes rather than fighting.

  • Mayan Acropolis (c) Axcordion

    16:22 - Why did the Mayans leave?

    The Mayan ruins of Kiuic were built around 880AD. But mid-way through construction, the semi-finished building projects were completely abandoned. This suggests the Mayan people left Kiuic in a hurry. The question is, why? George Bey is trying to find out...

  • Copper mine (c) Reinhard Jahn, Mannheim

    24:50 - Ancient mining

    A site in southern Austria is home to one of the worlds most ancient mines. This is the location of the famous Ferrum Noricum, where iron ore was extracted thousands of years ago. Dr. Brigitte Cech, from University College London, has been excavating the site to find out about a...



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