Monday, 12 May 2014

How Did Archaeology First Start

Welcome back my fellow learners. Today we are going to learn about how archaeology first came into being. Archaeology has been around for centuries, but modern man only became interested in it for looting and monetary purposes. One of the most notorious digs was of course Tutankhamun (better known as King Tut). This dig was plagued by tragedy right from the start, and the more superstitious countrymen swore it was because the tomb was cursed.

By the time the 14th century rolled around, the intellectuals in Italy were getting fascinated by the relics of bygone eras. My bloodthirsty Romans, had the greatest of all ruins, of which medieval pilgrims have long since marvelled at (like there was any other choice). Romans walking the streets were happy to give misinformation on sites and statues, however, the Renaissance era, scholars began excavate, and determine statues and buildings that has long since amazed travellers. However, sad but true, much has been lost forever. When a gentleman known as Poggio Bracciolini and his friend climbed up Capitoline Hill in 1430, the view that was spread before them was just desert, the ancient forum was now only populated by pigs, deer, and crops of vegetables. However, when the end of the 15th century arrived, Roman scholars had already catalogued sites of several thought to be lost buildings, scribbled arduously in notebooks compiling data, and thus started to build back up this once thought to be lost city.

Giovanni de Matociis also called Giovanni Mansionario due to his official status in the cathedral of Verona, used the very literature rich library there to great effect. He proved to his colleagues that there indeed been two Plinys, the elder that wrote the Natural History, and the younger who noted the death of the elder death when Vesuvius erupted. His skills in erudition served him well when writing his colossal Historia imperialis, which was a biographical compilation that first started with Augustus. He showed an interest in trying to recapture Roman times in three dimensions, as is clearly depicted by his stiff but fascinating drawings of emperors' heads, and Roman circus.

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