Friday, February 05, 2016

Legal bid fails to rebury remains of 2,500 year old tattooed 'ice princess'


After archeologists dug up the ancient mummy - preserved in permafrost - natural disasters were unleashed in Siberia, court told.


A mannequin - an exact replica - is displayed in the museum but on 'special occasions' VIPs would be 'provided the opportunities to see the real mummy'. Picture: Autotravel.ru

An appeal will be launched after a court this week rejected a demand by the the leader of the Teles ethnic group in the Altai Mountains to order the reburial of the world famous tattooed remains of 'Princess Ukok', dug from her tomb in 1993 by leading Russian archeologists.

A court in Gorno-Altaisk rejected his lawsuit, allowing the relic to remain in the care of the National Museum in the city, capital of the Altai Republic.


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DNA evidence uncovers major upheaval in Europe near end of last Ice Age

A photograph of les Closeaux at Rueil-Malmaison, Paris Basin, France. Credit: L. Lang

DNA evidence lifted from the ancient bones and teeth of people who lived in Europe from the Late Pleistocene to the early Holocene—spanning almost 30,000 years of European prehistory—has offered some surprises, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Feb. 4, 2016. Perhaps most notably, the evidence shows a major shift in the population around 14,500 years ago, during a period of severe climatic instability.

"We uncovered a completely unknown chapter of human history: a major population turnover in Europe at the end of the last Ice Age," says leading author Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany.


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Historic church discovered in Turkey’s Nevşehir ‘could change history of Orthodoxy’


Another historical church has been discovered underground during excavations in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, with experts saying the frescoes inside could change the history of Orthodoxy

 

Yet another historical church has been unearthed in the Cappadocia region of Central Anatolia and experts are excited about its frescoes, which depict scenes hitherto unseen.

 The church was uncovered by archeologists during excavation and cleaning work in an underground city discovered as part of the Nevşehir Castle Urban Transformation Project, implemented by the Nevşehir Municipality and Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKI). 

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Humans evolved by sharing technology and culture


Blombos Cave in South Africa has given us vast knowledge about our early ancestors. In 2015, four open access articles, with research finds from Blombos as a starting point, have been published in the journal PLOS ONE. 


Humans evolved by sharing technology and culture This image shows Blombos Cave, South Africa [Credit: University of Bergen] 

"We are looking mainly at the part of South Africa where Blombos Cave is situated. We sought to find out how groups moved across the landscape and how they interacted," says Christopher S. Henshilwood, Professor at the University of Bergen (UiB) and University of the Witwatersrand and one of the authors of the articles.

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Europe’s First Modern Humans May Have Been Replaced


TÜBINGEN, GERMANY—A new genetic study suggests that some 50,000 years ago, all non-Africans dispersed rapidly from a single population, and that around 14,500 years ago, there was a major turnover of the population in Europe. Researchers reconstructed the mitochondrial genomes of 35 hunter-gatherers who lived in Italy, Germany, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, and Romania between 35,000 and 7,000 years ago.

The mitochondrial DNA of three of these individuals, who lived in what is now Belgium and France more than 25,000 years ago, belonged to haplogroup M. Haplogroup M is now very common in Asian, Australasian, and Native American populations, but had not been found in Europe, leading to the argument for multiple migrations. “When the Last Glacial Maximum began around 25,000 years ago, hunter-gatherer populations retreated south to a number of putative refugia, and the consequent genetic bottleneck probably resulted in the loss of this haplogroup,” Cosimo Posth of the University of Tübingen said in a press release


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From genes to latrines: Vikings and their worms provide clues to emphysema


In a paper published today in Nature: Scientific Reports a group of researchers led by LSTM have found that the key to an inherited deficiency, predisposing people to emphysema and other lung conditions, could lie in their Viking roots.
Archaeological excavations of Viking latrine pits in Denmark have revealed that these populations suffered massive worm infestations (link is external). The way that their genes developed to protect their vital organs from disease caused by worms has become the inherited trait which can now lead to lung disease in smokers. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema affect over 300 million people, or nearly 5% of the global population. The only inherited risk factor is alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency, and this risk is compounded if individuals smoke tobacco.

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Viking 'sunstones' put to the test


Ancient records tell us that the intrepid Viking seafarers who discovered Iceland, Greenland and eventually North America navigated using landmarks, birds and whales, and little else. There's little doubt that Viking sailors would also have used the positions of stars at night and the sun during the daytime, and archaeologists have discovered what appears to be a kind of Viking navigational sundial. But without magnetic compasses, like all ancient sailors they would have struggled to find their way once the clouds came over. 


Viking 'sunstones' put to the test Leif Erikson discovers America 
[Credit: Christian Krogh/WikiCommons] 

However, there are also several reports in Nordic sagas and other sources of a sólarsteinn "sunstone". The literature doesn't say what this was used for but it has sparked decades of research examining if this might be a reference to a more intriguing form of navigational tool.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Headteacher mocked on Twitter for claiming evolution is not a fact


Richard Dawkins weighs in on social media debate after Christina Wilkinson said there was ‘more evidence that Bible is true’


Christina Wilkinson, who runs a Church of England school, sparked a social media row with her remarks. Photograph: St Andrew’s C of E primary

A primary school headteacher has been mocked on Twitter after claiming that evolution was “a theory” and there was “more evidence that the Bible is true”.

Christina Wilkinson, of St Andrew’s Church of England school in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, made the remarks in a tweet responding to London headteacher Tom Sherrington, who urged teachers to stick to science when teaching the origins of life.

Wilkinson wrote: “Evolution is not a fact. That’s why it’s called a theory! There’s more evidence that the Bible is true.”

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Rome's lonely Pyramid of Cestius gets a new lease of life


Eternal City’s only surviving pyramid dating from conquest of Egypt looks to attract more visitors after extensive clean-up funded by Japanese patron

The Pyramid of Cestius in Rome is the city’s only such monument. Photograph: Domenico Stinellis/AP

Rome’s only surviving pyramid from ancient times is being put in the spotlight after a Japanese clothing magnate helped pay for an ambitious cleanup.

Archaeologists are eager to show off the monument, constructed around 2,000 years ago as the burial tomb for a Roman praetor, or magistrate, named Caius Cestius.

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Roman fresco hidden beneath the streets of London uncovered by archaeologists


MOLA archaeological conservator, Luisa Duarte, with one of sixteen sections of a beautifully decorated collapsed Roman wall © MOLA

An ornate fresco that once adorned the residence of a wealthy Roman citizen has been discovered by archaeologists at 21 Lime Street, in London. Archaeologists from MOLA uncovered the fresco six metres below street level, whilst undertaking fieldwork for a new office development. Dating to the late 1st century AD, and the first decades of London, it is one of the earliest surviving frescos from Roman Britain.

Thanks to a huge Roman construction project, the fate of this rare wall painting was literally sealed in the ground. In AD 100, construction of the 2nd Forum Basilica, the main civic centre for the city and the largest Roman building ever built north of the Alps, began. In advance of construction of the Forum the area was flattened. The painted wall was deliberately toppled and the Forum immediately built over it, incredibly preserving the fresco for nearly 2000 years.

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Kilnwood, Vicarage Hill


This report has been reproduced by TimeTeign to help enhance our understanding of the early occupation and history of Kingsteignton during the early/late Bronze Age and into the Roman occupation around this hill-site. The report itself was made in relation to the construction of forty (40) dwellings on the Kilnwood estate, on Vicarage Hill, Kingsteignton, Devon, has been approved and passed by Steve Reed, at Devon County Council. 

The site is situated to the southeast of the historic core of Kingsteignton within an area that was covered by the former mediaeval field systems. Remnants of these survived as parts of the existing field system and as previously-recorded lynchets to east and southeast of the site.
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Bärenkult und Schamanenzauber


Bärenkult und Schamanenzauber: Rituale Früher Jäger
5.12.2015 - 28.3.2016
Archäologische Museum Frankfurt 

Warum hat man Bären feierlich bestattet?
Weshalb tanzten Schamanen mit einem Hirschgeweih auf dem Kopf?
In welchen Zauberwelten weilten sie bei ihren Séancen?
Und wozu dienten Äxte und Stäbe, die wie Köpfe von Elchkühen gestaltet waren?

Bärenzeremoniell, Hirschtanz sowie Ren- und Elchkult waren religiös-schamanische Rituale zahlreicher indigener Jägervölker im Norden Skandinaviens und Sibiriens. Mit Faszination und Abscheu begegneten Geistliche und Reisende des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts diesen Praktiken. Sie verdammten sie als „erschröcklichen Abgötterej vnnd verehrung der Teuffel". Dahinter stand jedoch eine urtümliche Vorstellungswelt und Religiosität, die in der Lebensform archaischer Jäger-Fischer-Sammler-Kulturen wurzelte.


Staunen erweckt jedoch nicht nur die weite Verbreitung dieser Kulte über die gesamte zirkumpolare Zone, sondern noch mehr ihr unergründliches Alter. Denn die Verehrung von Bären und Geweihträgern, verbunden mit schamanischen Ritualen, ist schon für die Altsteinzeit überliefert, dem Auftreten des modernen Menschen in Europa vor etwa 40 000 Jahren und noch darüber hinaus. In den religiösen Phänomenen neuzeitlicher Ethnien der nördlichen Hemisphäre werden somit Züge einer menschlichen „Urreligion" sichtbar.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The discovery of an ornate Roman fresco revealed


An ornate fresco that once adorned the residence of a wealthy Roman citizen has been discovered by a team of our archaeologists at 21 Lime Street, in London. We uncovered the fresco six metres below street level, whilst undertaking archaeological fieldwork for a new office development. Dating to the late 1st century AD, and the first decades of London, it is one of the earliest surviving frescos from Roman Britain.

Roman building boom

Thanks to a huge Roman construction project, the fate of this rare wall painting was literally sealed in the ground. In AD 100, construction of the 2nd Forum Basilica, the main civic centre for the city and the largest Roman building ever built north of the Alps, began. In advance of construction of the Forum the area was flattened. The painted wall was deliberately toppled and the Forum immediately built over it, incredibly preserving the fresco for nearly 2000 years.


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Stash of Roman coins found at UK building site


A groundwork contractor stumbled across 1,700-year-old Roman coins when he was working in Yeovil. 


Stash of Roman coins found at UK building site Selection of Roman coins discovered at the Yeovil building site [Credit: Central Somerset Gazette] 

Mark Copsey, who had been working on a building site for under a week, went to reverse the bulldozer he was driving and saw something strange in the soil, an inquest heard. 

"I was stripping sub soil and I looked behind and noticed a green cloth," he said. 

Mr Copsey got out of the bulldozer to investigate and discovered a broken pot and some coins on March 20, 2013.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Turtle soup, perchance? Prehistoric humans had a penchant for tortoises

New discovery at excavation of Qesem Cave reveals tortoises played a supplementary role in the diets of early humans 400,000 years ago



Grilled, boiled or salted? Turtles, or tortoises, are rarely consumed today, but a select few cultures, primarily those in East Asia, still consider turtle soup, made from the flesh of the turtle, a delicacy.
According to a new discovery at Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv, the site of many major findings from the late Lower Paleolithic period, they are not alone in their penchant for tortoise. Tel Aviv University researchers, in collaboration with scholars from Spain and Germany, have uncovered evidence of turtle specimens at the 400,000-year-old site, indicating that early man enjoyed eating turtles in addition to large game and vegetal material. 
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Study suggests how modern humans drove Neanderthals to extinction


A study* published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests how Neanderthals could have been driven to extinction by competition with modern humans. Archaeologists have hypothesized that competition between Neanderthals and modern humans led to the former’s extinction because modern humans had a more advanced culture than Neanderthals, giving modern humans a competitive edge. Marcus Feldman and colleagues tested the plausibility of this hypothesis using a model of interspecies competition that incorporates differences in the competing species’ levels of cultural development. 

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ARCHAEOLOGISTS LONG UNDERESTIMATED EARLY HOMININS


Hominins of the Lower Paleolithic are much more like modern humans than was previously thought. By 300,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis in Schöningen used highly sophisticated weapons and tools. The hominins at Schöningen lived in social groups that practiced coordinated group hunting, a division of labor, and were able to communication about the past, present and future. These are cultural traits that archaeologists typically attribute to modern humans. The excavations in the open-cast coal mine in Schöningen running from 1994 until today show that we have long underestimated the cultural capacities of Homo heidelbergensis. Schöningen is a key site for documenting both a high resolution record of past climatic change and how hominins lived in northern Europe during the Ice Age. Since 2008 Professor Nicholas Conard and Dr. Jordi Serangeli of the University of Tübingen have led the excavations with a major international research team in close cooperation with the Cultural Heritage Office of Lower Saxony.

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Monday, February 01, 2016

New Website for the Bayeux Tapestry


As this year is the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Archaeology in Europe has created a new website featuring the Bayeux Tapestry.

The Website gives details of the history of the Tapestry and provides detailed images of the entire tapestry.

There is also a section on the Battle of Hastings and the recent work by Time Team to locate the battle site.


You may also be interested in the EMAS Archaeological Site Tour: “Landscape of the Bayeux Tapestry





Decapitated Gladiators Reveal Roman Empire's Genetic Influence


These decapitated remains found in York belonged to a male who may have been a Retiarii gladiator, who fought with a net and spear or trident.

DNA from seven decapitated skeletons thought to be gladiators is helping researchers unravel the gruesome origins of the ancient remains. The new findings suggest that the Roman Empire's genetic impact on Britain may not have been as large as researchers had thought.
The headless skeletons were excavated between 2004 and 2005 from a Roman burial site in Driffield Terrace in York, England, the archaeologists said. Around the time the bodies were buried, between the second and fourth centuries A.D., the area that's now York was the Roman Empire's capital of northern Britain, called Eboracum. The cemetery where the bodies were discovered was located in a prominent area, near a main road that led out of the city, according to the researchers.
Most of the skeletons found at this site were of males younger than 45 who were taller than average and showed evidence of trauma, such as cuts to their arms and fingers, the archaeologists said. Famously, the majority of them had been decapitated. These standout traits led some experts to suggest that this was a burial site for gladiators. However, it is also possible that these men were in the military, which, in Roman times, had a minimum height requirement, the researchers said. [See Photos of the Decapitated Gladiator Skeletons]
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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Digger driver wins share of 3,339 Roman coins he found levelling a hockey pitch


Mark Copsey, 44, is entitled to a third of their worth after they were declared treasure under the Treasure Act

Roman coins found by bulldozer driver Mark Copsey while working on a Yeovil Recreation Ground in Somerset Photo: British Museum/SWNS

A JCB driver who dug up 3,000 rare Roman coins which he put in a carrier bag will be able to keep the cash despite colleagues claiming it was a team find.
Mark Copsey, 44, was levelling a recreation ground for a hockey pitch when he spotted something in the soil.
He found a collection of 3,339 silver coins carrying depictions of an elephant and a hippopotamus buried around 270AD.
Mr Copsey immediately scooped them up and put them in a plastic carrier bag - and an inquest has ruled he will now be entitled to a third of their value.
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Sicily the superpower: British Museum revisits island's golden ages


New exhibition will explore periods under Norman and Greek rule when island was one of Europe’s most enlightened cultures

 A gold libation bowl (600-800BC) decorated with bulls, an enamelled casket lid (1250-1300AD) and three ivory chess pieces (1100-1200AD). 
Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

In 1066 the Normans were not just conquering grey, cold England. They were also in sunny, fertile Sicily creating what became one of the most enlightened cultures in Europe.
The little known story of the other Norman conquest is to be told in an exhibition exploring 4,000 years of history on the island of Sicily, the British Museumannounced on Thursday.
More than 200 objects will be brought together to prove there is a lot more to Sicily than lemons and the mafia. The show’s main focus will be on two major eras: Greek rule after the 7th century BC and Norman rule from the end of the 11th century.
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Archaeologists uncover surprising secret in Bristol Cathedral’s first dig for more than 150 years


For centuries historians have known the peculiar story of Bristol Cathedral's nave, but now it's been backed up by the first archaeological dig inside the cathedral for 150 years. David Clensy reports
I FIND Dr Kevin Blockley in Bristol Cathedral's north transept, kneeling in the shadow of the great wooden Bishop's throne. His head is lost inside a hole in the floor where a few of the Victorian flagstones have been lifted.
The trowel in his hand is brushing gently at a small stone vault that has been revealed beneath the red-brown earth.
At just a metre in length, it is clearly the grave of a child, but which young soul found his or her final resting place in this prestigious spot, a few yards from the high altar, is likely to forever remain a mystery.
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Excavation Reveals Significant Statuettes at Archaeological Site of Aptera


A very important find was unearthed at the archaeological site of Aptera, Chania on Crete, Greece.
Two small sized sculptures (approx 0.54cm height), one of Artemis made of copper and a second of her brother Apollo made of marble. The statue of Artemis, guardian goddess of Aptera, is in excellent condition and was standing on a square copper base. She is wearing a short chiton, or tunic, and is ready to shoot her arrow. The preservation of the white material used for the iris of her eyes is spectacular.
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Roman-Byzantine grave unearthed on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue


Archaeologists have uncovered a Roman-Byzantine grave underneath Istanbul’s famous İstiklal Avenue, providing evidence of human activity in one of the city’s most important areas at a date earlier than previously thought.

The grave was unearthed during the restoration of the historic Casa Garibaldi building on the avenue when a worker discovered a 1,600- to 1800-year-old skull eight meters under the surface. 

Archaeologists from the Istanbul Archeology Museum subsequently arrived and conducted excavations in the area. 


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Discovering a Roman Imperial Winery at Vagnari (Italy)


Vagnari is situated in the Basentello river valley, just east of the Apennines in Puglia (ancient Apulia), and about 12 km west of the Iron Age town of Botromagno (next to modern Gravina).

After the Roman conquest of south-east Italy in the early third century B.C., Rome had direct links to the region by one of its main roads, the Via Appia. Pre-Roman settlements, such as Botromagno, went into decline from this time, and its land may have been confiscated by the Romans. After the conquest, wealthy Romans of the senatorial class appropriated tracts of Apulian land, and emperors later followed suit, acquiring properties and developing imperial business assets here.

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As the Arctic Erodes, Archaeologists Are Racing to Protect Ancient Treasures


Once locked in frozen Alaskan dirt, Iñupiat artifacts are being lost to the sea, sometimes faster than scientists can find them


An arch made from a bowhead whale jaw stands over traditional whaling boats in Barrow, Alaska. (Patrick J. Endres/AlaskaPhotoGraphics/Corbis)

A headless body, stretched out along the beach, appears through the smudged window of our ATV as we sail across the sand. There’s a windy lawlessness up here along the Chukchi Sea; I’m reassured by the rifle lashed to the lead ATV in the caravan. The archaeologist at the helm passes the decaying creature without pause. Anne Jensen has seen many headless walruses before—this one was likely already dead when it washed ashore and was relieved of its tusks. Jensen’s not worried about poachers; the rifle is for polar bears—the Arctic’s fiercest of predators. And Jensen seems entirely capable of staying calm and slamming a bullet into one.

We’re just south of Barrow, Alaska, heading to an archaeological site at a place called Walakpa Bay. It’s a grassy coastline that’s been occupied by semi-nomadic native Alaskans for at least 4,000 years. Their story, told in material remains, is scattered across the landscape we traverse at 60 kilometers per hour, past flocks of ducks and eroding bluffs.

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No fairy tale: Origins of some famous stories go back thousands of years


Statistical analysis of language evolution helps estimate storytelling dates

ONCE UPON A TIME  Some folktales such as “Rumpelstiltskin” (left) and “Beauty and the Beast” (right) may have been told in some form for thousands of years, statistical analysis shows.

“Beauty and the Beast” is practically “a tale as old as time.” So are a few other folktales, new research shows.
Statistical ties between a set of folktales and languages from parts of Europe and Asia have helped researchers date the origins of some stories to thousands of years ago. The roots of the oldest one — a folktale called “The Smith and the Devil” — stretch back to the Bronze Age. The findings, reported January 20 in Royal Society Open Science, may dispel the thought that some well-known folktales such as “Rumpelstiltskin” and “Beauty and the Beast” are recent inventions.
“These stories are far older than the first literary evidence for them,” says coauthor Jamie Tehrani, an anthropologist at Durham University in England.  
When linguists study a language’s evolution, they trace grammatical and phonetical structure through time. “What we were interested in doing is seeing if you could do that for other elements of culture,” Tehrani says.

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Medieval burial ground found under UK car park


Archaeologists have discovered a mass grave containing more than 300 skeletons - under a car park. The first discoveries were made two years ago during routine archaeological surveys as the ground was assessed for development into affordable homes - but it was initially thought there were only 20 bodies buried. 


Human skull discovered during Godalming drainage hole work  [Credit: Surrey History Centre] Work to transform the car park, in Godalming, Surrey, into 14 new-builds was put on hold and the findings were carefully excavated in June 2014. 

They were taken to Surrey History Centre to be examined - where experts discovered the remains of more than 300 individuals.

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Number of skeletons discovered in Godalming car park rises to 300


The number of skeletons excavated from a former car park has risen to 300, although experts have yet to confirm from which century they date.
Archaeologists are asking for more time to analyse the rising number of remains and 65 other findings such as animal bones, flintwork and fragments of medieval and post medieval pottery, which were previously discovered at the Station Road site in Godalmingnearly three years ago.
The discoveries were initially brought to light in March 2013 when routine archaeological surveys were carried out for the current development ground for affordable homes.
Work to create the 14 new-builds came to an abrupt halt and the findings were later removed ‘successfully’ in June 2014 before being taken to Surrey History Centre to be examined.
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Statues depicting Artemis and Apollo found in Crete


A very important find was unearthed at the archaeological site of Aptera, Chania on the Greek island of Crete. 


Bronze statue depicting Artemis [Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture] 

Two small sized sculptures (approx 0.54cm height), one of Artemis made of copper and a second of her brother Apollo made of marble. 

The statue of Artemis, guardian goddess of Aptera, is in excellent condition and was standing on a square copper base. 

She is wearing a short chiton, or tunic, and is ready to shoot her arrow. Extremely spectacular is the preservation of the white material used for the iris of her eyes.

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Un sanctuaire gallo-romain à Marne-la-Vallée


En 2013, un vaste diagnostic archéologique (110 ha) a été mené sur l'emprise du projet d’un centre de villégiature conçu par Euro Disney et le groupe Pierres et Vacances-Center Parcs. Dans l'angle nord-ouest du diagnostic, Alain Berga et son équipe ont mis au jour de longs fossés qui ont livré un important mobilier archéologique gallo-romain auquel étaient mêlés des ossements humains brûlés. Ces indices laissaient présager la présence d'une nécropole. C'est donc dans ce secteur, sur une superficie d'un hectare, qu'une fouille a été menée. 

Trois enclos et un temple
Le terrain à fouiller était recouvert par un épais remblai composé de boues de station d'épuration et de terres rapportées pouvant atteindre un mètre d'épaisseur. Situé en contrebas du chantier, il recevait toutes les eaux d'écoulement des alentours.


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Uncovering the Culture of Bronze Age Logboats


The advent of metal tools created demand for a European trade network—and boats to deliver the goods.

When people first took to the water, it’s likely they did so in boats carved from the trunks of large trees. The first “logboats” are thought to predate both pottery and agriculture by thousands of years. Their invention opened up new lands to settlement and made long distance travel easier, but during the Bronze Age, which lasted from roughly 2000 to 500 BCE in Northern Europe, logboats began to change. According to archaeologist Ole Thirup Kastholm, of Denmark’s Roskilde Museum, the changing boat designs were a symptom—and reflection—of the broader cultural transformations that were sweeping across the continent.  
During the Bronze Age, early European societies were beginning to exchange goods and ideas across the continent. Fueled by a demand for tin and copper—the base metals needed to smelt bronze—massive trade networks began to grow. “Some trading networks went as far as from the North to the Mediterranean,” says Kastholm.
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Huge collection of medieval documents discovered in Gniezno

Part of the document Łaskarz of Sarnowa, rector of a church in Broniszew with a visible seal of the clergyman depicting the coat of arms Godziemba; paper, 210x177 mm. Photo by Jakub Łukaszewski

About 1500 documents, showing the functioning of Gniezno ecclesiastical court in the medieval period, have been discovered in one of the rooms of the Cathedral of Gniezno.
"Thus, the Gniezno archive became the holder of one of the largest collections of medieval paper documents. Next to Gdańsk and Wrocław - it is the third such collection in the country" - explained Jakub Łukaszewski from the Institute of History of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

Documents are now in the Archives of the Archdiocese of Gniezno, where they will be inventoried. Director of the Archives, Fr. Dr. Michał Sołomieniuk explained that until 1998 the seat of the archive was in the cathedral. From there, the documents were moved to the new premises. The so-called dirty file storage remained in the cathedral.

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Danes discover 9,000-year-old skeletons with a strange history

Skeletons were taken apart and the bones buried in different locations 
(photo: University of Copenhagen)

Danish archaeologists have unearthed a burial site in an ancient town in southern Jordan that suggests the dead were not buried until they had decomposed to skeletal remains. The skeletons were then dismantled and bones of similar types were buried together
“It might sound a bit like something from a splatter movie,”  Moritz Kinzel, a researcher at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies at the University of Copenhagen, told Videnskab.
“The body parts have been sorted and buried in collective graves, where we find the specific categories of bones together.”
Large numbers of children
Danish researchers are still in the process of excavating the site, called Shkārat Msaied. So far they have found the skeletons of more than 70 people.
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Evidence of a prehistoric massacre extends the history of warfare


Skeletal remains of a group of foragers massacred around 10,000 years ago on the shores of a lagoon is unique evidence of a violent encounter between clashing groups of ancient hunter-gatherers, and suggests the “presence of warfare” in late Stone Age foraging societies.

The fossilised bones of a group of prehistoric hunter-gatherers who were massacred around 10,000 years ago have been unearthed 30 km west of Lake Turkana, Kenya, at a place called Nataruk.
Researchers from Cambridge University’sLeverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies (LCHES) found the partial remains of 27 individuals, including at least eight women and six children.
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Neolithic Megalithic Tomb in Spain Comprehensively Examined for the First Time: a Community in Life and Death

Reconstruction of the original appearance of the megalithic mound.

People of the Neolithic age around 6,000 years ago were closely connected both in life and death. This became evident in a detailed archaeological and anthropological of a collective grave containing 50 bodies near Burgos, northern Spain. In the pioneering study, researchers used a whole array of modern methods to examine the way of life in the region at that time. Published in the academic journal PLOS ONE, the research was conducted by anthropologists at the University of Basel and archaeologists from the University of Valladolid.
The collective graves of the Neolithic period were made mostly of stone and were large enough to hold many bodies in a communal space. The megalithic tomb in Alto de Reinoso, Burgos differs from this in only one respect: the burial chamber had originally been made from wood over which a stone mound was erected afterwards. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the tomb was used by a community living between 3700 and 3600 AD and spanning about three to four generations. At least 47 bodies have been found. “While the lower layer has been relatively well preserved, numerous disturbances have been observed in the upper layers such as missing skulls, which could be due to a certain kind of ancestral worship,” says Prof. Manuel Rojo Guerra, from the University of Valladolid, Spain.
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Roman artefacts unearthed by roadworks in UK


Archaeologists at a major project to upgrade the A1 to a motorway in North Yorkshire have uncovered several significant discoveries. The discoveries include a rare Roman brooch from Eastern Europe and a miniature sword. 


Pottery was found alongside human remains near Catterick  [Credit: Highways England] 

An archaeological team of around 60 people have been working along the A1 between Leeming Bar and Barton for 2 years as part of a Highways England scheme to install an extra lane in each direction and improve the route to motorway standards. 

During that time, archaeologists have uncovered more than 177,000 artefacts and sieved more than 50 tonnes of sediment samples. They have found numerous artefacts dating between the Middle Stone age, Iron Age and Roman period. 

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Origins of York's decapitated Romans traced by genome technology


Scientists reveal that headless men believed to be gladiators have descendants in Wales – and one hailed from Middle East


 The Roman skeletons were found at Driffield Terrace in York with their skulls placed between their legs, at their feet or on their chests. 
Photograph: York Archaeological Trust

The origins of a group of men whose decapitated corpses were discovered in aRoman cemetery in York have been traced through genome technology. It has been revealed that one man came from as far away as modern Syria or Palestine, and that the descendants of others now live in Wales.
The 1,800-year-old skeletons of more than 80 individuals, all aged under 45 when they died, have been puzzling archaeologists since they were excavated more than a decade ago by the York Archaeological Trust. The men – many of whom were taller than average and well built – may have been gladiators, soldiers or criminals whose violent deaths were arena entertainment.
The graveyard was discovered beneath gardens at Driffield Terrace, on land that would have been on the edge of the Roman city. The site is believed to be aspecial burial place for people who fought as gladiators or died in the arena.
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Bones of Thomas Becket to return to Canterbury – via Hungary


Relics which escaped Reformation and became a symbol of resistance to Communism return to site of murder after 800 years in gesture of unity between Anglicans and Catholics



A fragment of bone believed to come from the body of Thomas Becket is to return to England from Hungary for the first time in more than 800 years in a vivid symbol of reconciliation between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
The relic, held in the Basilica of Esztergom, the country’s most important Catholic church, is to form the centrepiece of an elaborate week-long “pilgrimage” to London and Canterbury involving the Hungarian President János Áder, and top-level clerics from the two churches.
It will be reunited temporarily with a handful of other relics revered for their associations with the murdered archbishop as it travels from his birthplace on Cheapside in the City of London to the site of his murder in Canterbury Cathedral.
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