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失踪的波斯人在非洲发现  

2010-10-31 17:23:23|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The remains of a legendary 50,000-strong army which was swallowed up in a cataclysmic sandstorm in the Sahara Desert 2,500 years ago are believed to have been found.

Italian archaeologists Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni, twin brothers, have discovered bronze weapons and hundreds of human bones which they reckon are the remains of the lost army of Persian King Cambyses II.

According to the Greek historian Herodotus (484-425 BC), Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, sent the soldiers from Thebes to attack the Oasis of Siwa in 525BC.

Their mission was to destroy the oracle at the Temple of Amun after the priests there refused to legitimise his claim to Egypt.

A mass grave of hundreds of bleached bones and skulls believed to be Cambyses' lost army

The mass grave of hundreds of bleached bones and skulls is believed to be remains of Cambyses' legendary 50,000-strong army which was swallowed up in a cataclysmic sandstorm

An image shows the supposed destruction of Cambyses' Army by a sandstorm

This artist's impression depicts the devastating sandstorm bearing down on the doomed army

Enlarge cambyses

Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, sent the soldiers from Thebes to attack the Oasis of Siwa in 525BC

Oracles were places where divine advice or prophecy was sought and the ancient Egyptians held them to be manifestations of the gods that could see into the future. They were often consulted before big decisions.

Two centuries after the soldiers disappeared, Alexander the Great made his own pilgrimage there in 332BC before he began his conquest of Persia. His historians claimed that the oracle then confirmed he was the divine son of Zeus, the Greek god equated with Amun, and the legitimate pharaoh of Egypt.

 

Because of the lack of any archaeological evidence historians had come to dismiss the tale of Cambyses' lost army as legend.

Among those to have searched for the army is Count László Almásy (on whom the novel The English Patient was based). 

After walking for seven days in the desert, the army was said to have arrived at an 'oasis', which historians believe was El-Kharga, 120 miles west of the Nile in the Libyan Desert. After they left, a great sandstorm sprung up and they were never seen again.

Herodotus (484-425BC) wrote 'a wind arose from the south, strong and deadly, bringing with it vast columns of whirling sand, which entirely covered up the troops and caused them wholly to disappear'.

Dario Del Bufalo, a member of the Castiglioni expedition from the University of Lecce in Italy, told Discovery News: ‘We have found the first archaeological evidence of a story reported by the Greek historian Herodotus.’

Enlarge Ancient_Persia_Map_3.jpg
Hundreds of broken water pots were found by the Italian archaeologists

Hundreds of broken water pots were found by the Italian archaeologists

Alexander The Great - Battle of Issus 333BC

Two centuries after Cambyses' soldiers had set out to destroy the temple, Alexander the Great made his own pilgrimage there before he began his conquest of Persia

The Castiglioni brothers are already famous for their discovery 20 years ago of the city of pharaohs the 'city of gold' Berenike Panchrysos which was quoted by Pliny the Elder in his 'Naturalis Historia'.

Alfredo Castiglioni told Discovery News that the discovery was the result of 13 years of research and five expeditions to the desert.

While working close to Siwa the team of researchers noticed a half-buried pot and some human remains. 

Then the brothers spotted a rock 114ft long and 6ft in height which could have been used as a shelter by the army. Such rock formations occur in the desert, but this was the only one in a large area.

'Its size and shape made it the perfect refuge in a sandstorm,' Mr Castiglioni said.

It was there that a bronze dagger and several arrow tips were found.

'We are talking of small items, but they are extremely important as they are the first Achaemenid objects, thus dating to Cambyses' time, which have emerged from the desert sands in a location quite close to Siwa.'

The brothers studied ancient maps and came to the conclusion that the army did not take the caravan route most archaeologists believe they used.

'Since the 19th century, many archaeologists and explorers have searched for the lost army along that route. They found nothing. We hypothesised a different itinerary, coming from south,' added Mr Castiglioni.

Twin brothers Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni uncover the historic remains with the help of a metal detector

Voyage of discovery: Twin brothers Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni at work in the Sahara Desert

Relics of ancient warfare, including this bronze dagger dating to Cambyses' time

This bronze dagger dating from King Cambyses' time is one of the stunning finds made by the researchers


The Temple of Amun which Cambyses' army had set out to destroy because priests there refused to legitimise his claim to Egypt

The Temple of Amun which Cambyses' army had set out to destroy because priests there refused to legitimise his claim to Egypt



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1226500/Is-lost-Persian-army-Compelling-remains-uncovered-Sahara-Desert.html#ixzz13vWHMDdL
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