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the kitchen of Midas...feast
| Fifty years
ago, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
began excavations at the ancient Phrygian capital of Gordion
in central Turkey.
Within six years, the expedition had made one of the most spectacular archaeological
discoveries of the 20th century.
A drilling rig was used to bore deeply into the mound. Some 40 meters below the upper surface, the team was rewardedthe discovery of a chamber, 5 by 6 meters in area. The excavators dug a horizontal trench into the side of the mound, then tunneled through a double wall of tree logs and timbers to reach the inner chamber, the earliest known intact wooden structure in the world.
The preservation of the tomb's ancient organic materials, which generally degrade and rapidly disappear, was remarkable. Although the body of the king had disintegrated, patterns of purple and brown dyes were seen on the textile bedding when the tomb was first opened. (Indigo blue was confirmed as one of the dyes by Dr. Patrick McGovern and his laboratory in the Penn Museum.)