Thursday, April 11, 2019

Archeologists believe Norway find is rare Viking ship burial

This handout picture released on March 25, 2019 by Vestfold Fylkeskommune shows Funnplass, 
where a ship's grave probably originated from the Viking Age has been discovered on a plain among the burial mounds in Borreparken in Vestfold, eastern Norway

Archeologists believe they have found a rare Viking ship burial site in a region of Norway known for its Viking-era treasures, Norwegian officials said Monday.

Using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), experts found a ship-shaped anomaly near other Viking burial mounds in the Borre Park in Vestfold county, southeast of Oslo.

"The GPR data clearly show the shape of a ship, and we can see weak traces of a circular depression around the vessel. This could point to the existence of a mound that was later removed," Terje Gansum, leader of the department for cultural heritage management in Vestfold county, said in a statement.

He said researchers would carry out further investigations to try and assess the size of the preserved find.

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Stone Circles Ringed House That May Have Belonged to the Neolithic 'One Percent'

The Avebury henge consists of at least two stone circles enclosed within a larger stone circle.
Credit: Kevin Standage/Shutterstock

The massive and ancient stone circles around Stonehenge and Avebury in southern England may have all started with the commemoration of a single Neolithic house that probably belonged to an elite family, archaeologists now say.

Using ground-penetrating radar, the researchers found that the monumental stone circles of Avebury, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Stonehenge, were centered on an early Neolithic habitation, with the concentric stone circles and large earthen embankment being built around it probably centuries later.

They say the Neolithic house at Avebury was built sometime after 3700 B.C. — but centuries before the creation of the larger rings of stone at Avebury and the megalithic monument at Stonehenge, which research shows were built after 3000 B.C.

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Woolly mammoth mystery solved? Study reveals shocking details about prehistoric creature


A new study suggests that woolly mammoths and mankind's ancestors, the Neanderthals, may have shared genetic traits.

Extinct for thousands of years, the woolly mammoth continues to fascinate humanity, as the prospect of eventually reviving the species is pondered among the scientific community. Now, a new study suggests that the giant creatures and mankind's ancestors, the Neanderthals, may have shared genetic traits.

The study, published by researchers at Tel Aviv University, suggests that because of their shared geography, mammoths and Neanderthals likely had similar molecular characteristics that allowed them to adapt to their harsh environmental surroundings.

"Neanderthals and mammoths lived together in Europe during the Ice Age. The evidence suggests that Neanderthals hunted and ate mammoths for tens of thousands of years and were actually physically dependent on calories extracted from mammoths for their successful adaptation," said professor Ran Barkai in a statement.

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Stonehenge tunnel: Row over building clause in deeds

Campaigners say the deeds prevent work close to the stones

Plans for a controversial road tunnel near Stonehenge could be blocked because of conditions in the ancient monument's deeds.

The government wants to build a 1.9 mile (3km) tunnel past the Neolithic stone circle.

But when the monument was gifted to the nation by Sir Cecil Chubb in 1918 its deeds contained conditions.

Highways England said it believed the proposed tunnel did not fall within the covenant's boundary.

The issue was raised during a Planning Inspectorate preliminary meeting into the application to build the tunnel past the stones.

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Von den Kelten bis zum Mittelalter: Eisenverhüttung im Siegerland


Vor über 2.000 Jahren war das Siegerland eine blühende Region für Eisenproduktion. In den bislang größten bekannten Verhüttungsöfen ihrer Epoche in Europa gewannen keltische Hüttenleute große Mengen an Stahl. Archäologen gelang in Siegen nun ein Nachweis dieser bisher für die Eisenzeit in Mitteleuropa einzigartigen großen Zahl an Werkstätten zur Eisenverarbeitung.

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World-renowned Ring of Brodgar stone circle vandalised in Orkney


The Ring of Brodgar originally comprised 60 stones, of which 36 survive. 
Photograph: Murdo Macleod/The Guardian

Graffiti engraved on a stone at Neolithic monument that is part of world heritage site

A world-renowned stone circle in Orkney, which is more than 4,000 years old, has been vandalised.

Damage to the Ring of Brodgar includes graffiti that has been engraved into one of the stones at the Neolithic site near Stenness. It is believed to have been caused sometime between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Insp David Hall from Police Scotland said: “The stones at the Ring of Brodgar are priceless historical artefacts and the damage caused cannot simply be estimated in monetary terms.

“For someone to damage them in this way is a particularly mindless act. I would urge anyone who has visited the area over the last weekend to think back and if they believe they may have seen something suspicious, even if it didn’t seem of much note at the time, to let us know.

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'New species of human' found in cave throws doubt over evolution theories

Key site: Callao Cave on Luzon island in the Philippines, where fossils of Homo luzonensis were found. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

A previously unknown species of human that lived at the same time our ancient ancestors were colonising Europe has been discovered in the Philippines.
Bones and teeth of the "hominin" were found in Callao Cave on Luzon, the largest island in the Asian archipelago. They contain a mixture of old and new features that have excited scientists and threaten to overturn accepted theories of human evolution.
Hominins are members of the human family tree more closely related to one another than to apes.
Today, only one species of this group remains, Homo sapiens, to which everyone on Earth belongs.
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New species of ancient human discovered in Philippines cave

Callao cave, where the fossils of Homo luzonensis were discovered. 
Photograph: Quincy/Alamy

Homo luzonensis fossils found in Luzon island cave, dating back up to 67,000 years
A new species of ancient human, thought to have been under 4ft tall and adapted to climbing trees, has been discovered in the Philippines, providing a twist in the story of human evolution.

The specimen, named Homo luzonensis, was excavated from Callao cave on Luzon island in the northern Philippines and has been dated to 50,000-67,000 years ago – when our own ancestors and the Neanderthals were spreading across Europe and into Asia.

Florent Détroit, of the Natural History Museum in Paris and the paper’s first author, said the discovery provided the latest challenge to the fairly straightforward prevalent narrative of human evolution.

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Thursday, April 04, 2019

A 5,000-year-old barley grain discovered in Finland

Researchers determined the age of millennia-old barley grains using radiocarbon dating 
[Credit: Santeri Vanhanen]

On the basis of prior research, representatives of the Pitted Ware Culture from the Stone Age have been known as hard-core sealers, or even Inuits of the Baltic Sea. Now, researchers have discovered barley and wheat grains in areas previously inhabited by this culture, leading to the conclusion that the Pitted Ware Culture adopted agriculture on a small scale.

A study carried out in cooperation with parties representing the discipline of archaeology and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Helsinki, as well as Swedish operators in the field of archaeology (The Archaeologists, a governmental consultant agency, and Arkeologikonsult, a business), found grains of barley and wheat in Pitted Ware settlements on Finland's Aland Islands and in the region of modern Stockholm.

The age of the grains was ascertained using radiocarbon dating. Based on the results, the grains originated in the period of the Pitted Ware culture, thus being approximately 4,300-5,300 years old. In addition to the cereal grains, the plant remnants found in the sites included hazelnut shells, apple seeds, tuberous roots of lesser celandine and rose hips.

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Climate change drove some Neanderthals to cannibalism

File photo - Hyperrealistic face of a neanderthal male is displayed in a cave in the new Neanderthal Museum in the northern Croatian town of Krapina Feb. 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Nikola Solic)

Six Neanderthals who lived in what is now France were eaten by their fellow Neanderthals some 100,000 years ago, according to gruesome evidence of the cannibalistic event discovered by scientists in a cave in the 1990s.

Now, researchers may have figured out why the Neanderthals, including two children, became victims of cannibalism: global warming.

While prior studies have interpreted Neanderthal remains to find proof of cannibalistic behavior, this is the first study to offer clues as to what may have led Neanderthals to become cannibals. Scientists found that rapid shifts in local ecosystems as the planet warmed may have extinguished the animal species that Neanderthals ate, forcing them to look elsewhere to fill their bellies. 

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Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Neolithic Britons travelled across country for regular mass national feasts 4,500 years ago, new research claims

Feasts were held at ritual sites, including Avebury ( English Heritage )

Findings suggest prehistoric tribes may have established cultural and political bonds – and an early national identity – long before previously believed

New scientific discoveries are set to dramatically transform our understanding of prehistoric Britain.

A study of Stonehenge-era archaeological material from large-scale ceremonial feasts is revealing that neolithic Britain was, in key respects, much more interconnected and unified than previously thought.

The evidence reveals that people from virtually every part of the country came together to participate in major, almost certainly politico-religious, ceremonies.

Some participants travelled hundreds of miles from Scotland, northeast England, the midlands and Wales to significant ritual locations in what are now Wiltshire and Dorset.

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Norway finds another Viking ship


The fields and forests of Borre in Vestfold run along the west side of the Oslo Fjord, in a county that has produced Norway’s other famed Viking ships. 
PHOTO: Vestfold fylkeskommune


On an open field along the Oslo Fjord, among grave mounds from the Viking Age, archaeologists have found what they believe is another buried Viking ship. The discovery was made with the help of georadar that shows a ship-shaped object.

The ship’s form was actually first spotted nearly two years ago, but many examinations were needed in order to confirm that it’s another Viking ship. Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s government minister in charge of climate and the environment, announced the discovery on Monday along with the local Vestfold County Governor Rune Hogsnes.

“It’s not every day we find a new Viking ship, so this is really exciting,” Hogsnes told reporters at a press conference Monday morning. “For us locals it’s no surprise. A lot of treasures from the Viking times are hidden under the turf in our county.”

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Pompeii ‘fast food’ bar unearthed in ancient city after 2,000 years

Dozens of thermopolia, or snack bars, have been found across Pompeii.
Photograph: Massimo Ossana/Instagram

Thermopolia used by poorer residents with few cooking facilities, archaeologists say

A well-preserved frescoed “fast food” counter is among the latest discoveries unearthed by archaeologists in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii.

The 150 or so thermopolia, or snack bars, dotted across the city were mostly used by the poorer residents, who rarely had cooking facilities in their home, to grab a snack or drink. Typical menus included coarse bread with salty fish, baked cheese, lentils and spicy wine.

An image of the 2,000-year old relic, found in Regio V, a 21.8-hectare (54-acre) site to the north of the archaeological park, was shared on Instagram by Massimo Ossana, the site’s outgoing superintendent.

“A thermopolium has been brought back to light, with its beautiful frescoed counter,” he wrote.

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LES ARCHÉOLOGUES DE L’INRAP DÉCOUVRENT UNE TOMBE ÉTRUSQUE EN HYPOGÉE À ALERIA–LAMAJONE


Une équipe d’archéologues de l’Inrap fouille actuellement une exceptionnelle sépulture étrusque à Aleria-Lamajone (Haute-Corse). Menée sur prescription de l’État (DRAC Corse), cette fouille a mis en évidence deux tronçons de voies et une nécropole étrusque et romaine. La découverte, parmi les sépultures, d’une tombe étrusque en hypogée creusée dans la roche, a entraîné la publication d’un arrêté complémentaire de prescription de fouilles.

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Ancient teeth hint at mysterious human relative

The gorges of Guizhou Province glimmer in the sunlight in China. Fossil teeth found in this province suggest that millions of years ago, a cave here was home to a mysterious branch of the human family tree.
PHOTOGRAPH BY NOVARC IMAGES/ ALAMY

The find adds to a growing number of fossils from China that don't fit neatly in the existing human family tree.

FOUR TEETH FOUND in a cave in the Tongzi county of southern China have scientists scratching their heads.

In 1972 and 1983, researchers extracted the roughly 200,000-year-old teeth from the silty sediments of the Yanhui cave floor, initially labeling them as Homo erectus, the upright-walking hominins thought to be the first to leave Africa. Later analysis suggested they didn't quite fit with Homo erectus, but that's where the story paused for nearly two decades.

Now, a study published in the Journal of Human Evolution takes a fresh look at these ancient teeth, using modern methods to examine the curious remains. The new analysis excludes the possibility that the teeth could come from Homo erectus or the more advanced Neanderthals, but the elusive owner remains unknown.

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Concerns mount over plans for two-mile road tunnel past Stonehenge

Stonehenge lies within 165 metres of the A303, a key transport link for people travelling to and from England’s south-west. Photograph: Sam Frost/The Guardian

Highways England claims scheme will improve travel and visits to site but many oppose it

Environmentalists, archaeologists, residents and druids have expressed deep concerns about a controversial scheme to build a road tunnel through the Stonehenge landscape as the £1.6bn project reaches a key milestone.

A six-month long examination of the scheme that will consider issues ranging from the impact on precious archaeological remains to how it may affect endangered birdlife and the darkness of the night sky begins on Wednesday.

At a packed preliminary meeting at Salisbury racecourse on Tuesday, there were protests about the scheme, which some have branded vandalism. More than 2,000 people, many of them opposed, have said they want to make submissions and hundreds want to give evidence in person over the next six months.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Mary Rose crew 'was from Mediterranean and North Africa'

The Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard houses a cross section of the ship's hull as well as thousands of artefacts, including weapons and jewellery
STEPHEN FOOTE

The crew on board the sunken Henry VIII ship the Mary Rose was from the Mediterranean, North Africa and beyond, researchers have found.

Bone structure and DNA of 10 skeletons found on board were analysed by team at Cardiff and Portsmouth universities.

They said four of the skeletons were of southern European heritage, and one seems to have hailed from Morocco or Algeria.

The findings cast fresh light on the ethnic makeup of Tudor Britain.
The Mary Rose sank in 1545 in the Solent during a naval battle with the French, with the loss of between 400 and 600 lives.

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Archaeologists discovered a flintstone workshop of Neanderthals in the southern Poland; it is approx. 60,000 years old


Researchers discovered a flint workshop of Neanderthals in Pietraszyno (Silesia). According to scientists, it is the first such large workshop in Central Europe that was not located in a cave. So far, researchers have counted 17,000 stone products created 60 thousand years ago.

Neandertals (Homo neanderthalensis) were very close relatives of contemporary man (Homo sapiens). They probably appeared in Poland approximately 300,000 years ago. The oldest stone tools they used, discovered on the Vistula, are over 200,000 years old, and the remains are over 100,000 years old.

"On the bank of the river in Pietraszyno, we discovered an unprecedented amount of flint products - 17,000 - abandoned by Neanderthals approximately 60,000 years ago" - says Dr. Andrzej Wiśniewski from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Wrocław. Since 2018, the researcher has been conducting joint excavations with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig in the framework of a National Science Centre project. In his opinion, this is the first such large Neandertal workshop discovered in Central Europe that was not located in a cave.

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Ancient switch to soft food gave us an overbite—and the ability to pronounce ‘f’s and ‘v’s

An ancient woman from Romania shows an edgeto-edge bite (left). A Bronze Age man from Austria had a slight overbite (right). D. E. BLASI ET AL., SCIENCE, 363, 1192 (2019)

Don't like the F-word? Blame farmers and soft food. When humans switched to processed foods after the spread of agriculture, they put less wear and tear on their teeth. That changed the growth of their jaws, giving adults the overbites normal in children. Within a few thousand years, those slight overbites made it easy for people in farming cultures to fire off sounds like "f" and "v," opening a world of new words.

The newly favored consonants, known as labiodentals, helped spur the diversification of languages in Europe and Asia at least 4000 years ago; they led to such changes as the replacement of the Proto-Indo-European patēr to Old English faeder about 1500 years ago, according to linguist and senior author Balthasar Bickel at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. The paper shows "that a cultural shift can change our biology in such a way that it affects our language," says evolutionary morphologist Noreen Von Cramon-Taubadel of the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York system, who was not part of the study.

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Artificial intelligence for the study of sites


Three examples of the different types of notches 
[Credit: A. Moclán]

An experimental study led by researcher Abel Moclán, from the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), has just been published in the Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences journal, which proposes a new method to understand how the faunal assemblages were generated in archaeological sites, and how they could have interacted with groups of humans and carnivores in the places they occupied.

This new method involves the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to decipher whether faunal assemblages were generated by hominids or carnivores, specifically hyenas and/or wolves. "Thanks to this method, we can discern among the acting agents with a certainty of over 95%," says Abel Moclán.

To carry out this study, bone fractures have been analyzed in order to interpret whether they were fractured by human groups to consume the bone marrow, or if, on the contrary, the carnivores fractured the bones when trying to access this same resource.

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Ancient migration transformed Spain's DNA

Bronze Age burials: Iberia saw a dramatic genetic shift during this period
L BENITEZ DE LUGO ENRICH - JOSE LUIS FUENTES SANCH

A migration from Central Europe transformed the genetic make-up of people in Spain during the Bronze Age, a study reveals.

DNA evidence shows the migrants streamed over the Pyrenees, replacing existing male lineages across the region within a space of 400 years.

It remains unclear whether violence played a role or whether a male-centric social structure was more important.

The result comes from the most extensive study of its kind.

Researchers reconstructed the population history of Iberia (modern Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Andorra) over 8,000 years - the biggest slice of time tackled by a single ancient DNA study. The region has been a crossroads for different cultures over time.

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Neandertaler und moderne Menschen hatten ähnliche Speisezettel

Knochen aus Spy geben Aufschluss über Ernährung und Mobilität der dortigen Neandertaler. Foto: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS)

Internationale Studie findet mehr gemeinsame Nahrungsvorlieben als angenommen ‒ Rätselhafte Spuren von Kannibalismus

Neandertaler und der frühe moderne Mensch ernährten sich vermutlich sehr ähnlich: Zu diesem Schluss kommt eine internationale Studie und widerspricht damit der Annahme, die Neandertaler seien ausgestorben, weil ihr Ernährungsspektrum eingeschränkt war. Die Ergebnisse zeigten aber auch, dass moderne Menschen dennoch einen Vorteil hatten, weil sie vermutlich mobiler und besser vernetzt waren, berichtet das Team um Dr. Christoph Wißing von der Universität Tübingen.

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Anglo-Saxon gold pendant found in Norfolk declared treasure

The gold pendant would have belonged to a "high status woman", like the famous Winfarthing Pendant
COURTESY OF THE PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES SCHEME

An Anglo-Saxon gold pendant, found near a site where a similar item worth £145,000 was dug up, probably belonged to a woman of "high social status".

The Winfarthing Pendant was found in 2014 near Diss in Norfolk.

The latest pendant, with a central cross motif, was found in 2017 and it has been declared treasure.

Julie Shoemark, Norfolk's finds liaison officer, said it made a "valuable contribution to our understanding of Saxon society".

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Hominids may have hunted rabbits as far back as 400,000 years ago

BUNNY TRAIL  Fossils from southern European sites indicate that ancient relatives of humans hunted small, fast animals as early as around 400,000 years ago. Ends of rabbit bones (shown) were probably snapped off to remove marrow.

In Europe, Stone Age hominids began adding small, fast animals to their menus much earlier than previously thought, scientists say.

Now-extinct members of the human genus, Homohunted rabbits and, to a lesser extent, hares in southern France and probably other Mediterranean parts of Europe by around 400,000 years ago, researchers report online March 6 in Science Advances. Hunters also bagged larger creatures such as wild goats and deer. The new finding may highlight the flexibility and innovativeness of these ancient relatives of humans.

That dietary shift to smaller animals away from eating primarily large game emerged long before a previously recognized change in ancient humans’ eating habits, concludes a team led by paleoanthropologist Eugène Morin of Trent University in Peterborough, Canada. In the later transition, Stone Age people dramatically broadened what they ate, including a wide variety of small animals, starting around 36,000 years ago.

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Researchers find a piece of Palaeolithic art featuring birds and humans

A tracing of the engraved figures over the stone [Credit: University of Barcelona]

It is not very common to find representations of scenes instead of individual figures in Palaeolithic art, but it is even harder for these figures to be birds instead of mammals such as goats, deer or horses. So far, historians have only found three scenes of Palaeolithic art featuring humans and birds in Europe.

Now, an article published in the journal L'Anthropologie tells how University of Barcelona researchers found -in the site of Hort de la Bequera (Margalef de Montsant, Priorat)-, an artistic piece from 12,500 years ago in which humans and birds try to interact in a pictorial scene with exceptional traits: figures seem to star a narration on hunting and motherhood.

Regarding the Catalan context in particular, this is an important finding regarding the few pieces of Palaeolithic art in Catalonia and it places this territory within the stream of artistic production of the upper Palaeolithic in the Mediterranean.

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Stonehenge was 'hub for Britain's earliest mass parties'

Pigs were the main food at the feasts and were brought from as far away as Scotland and the North East of England to Stonehenge
ENGLISH HERITAGE/PA

Evidence of large-scale prehistoric feasting rituals found at Stonehenge could be the earliest mass celebrations in Britain, say archaeologists.

The study examined 131 pigs' bones at four Late Neolithic sites, Durrington Walls, Marden, Mount Pleasant and West Kennet Palisade Enclosures.

The sites, which served Stonehenge and Avebury, hosted the feasts.

Researchers think guests had to bring meat raised locally to them, resulting in pigs arriving from distant places.

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HABITATS DE L’ÂGE DU BRONZE, SILOS ET RITUELS GAULOIS À FAUX-FRESNAY


À Faux-Fresnay, dans la Marne, une équipe d’archéologues de l’Inrap a découvert des vestiges de deux villages de l’âge du Bronze et de l’âge du Fer qui témoignent d’une importante activité agricole. Des silos où reposent des restes d’animaux interrogent sur des rituels qui auraient impliqué le cheptel. Cette fouille est réalisée en amont de l’aménagement d’un poste électrique par RTE.

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In Europa lebten im frühen Jungpaläolithikum im Schnitt nur 1.500 Menschen


Mit einem an der Universität zu Köln entwickelten Protokoll können die Forscherinnen und Forscher des Sonderforschungsbereiches 806 "Our Way to Europe" rekonstruieren, wie die Besiedlung Europas durch den anatomisch modernen Menschen verlief. Die Daten zeigen, dass die Population der gesamten europäischen Jäger und Sammler in der Zeitspanne von etwa 42.000 bis etwa 33.000 Jahren vor heute – dem sogenannten Aurignacien – durchschnittlich nur etwa 1.500 Personen betrug.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Home of 7th Century princess unearthed in Coldingham

The dig concentrated on ground around Coldingham Priory in the Borders
DIGVENTURES/AERIAL-CAM

Archaeologists believe they have found remains of the long-lost home of a 7th Century princess in the Borders.

A monastery was founded near the village of Coldingham by Princess Æbbe nearly 1,400 years ago.

It was destroyed by Viking raiders in the 9th Century and previous attempts to pinpoint its location have failed.

However, excavations led by DigVentures have found traces of a large, narrow ditch which they believe was the boundary of the religious settlement.

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'Hobbit' human story gets a twist, thanks to thousands of rat bones


The limestone cave of Liang Bua, on the Indonesian island of Flores, is widely known as the hobbit cave, the site where the surprisingly tiny and enormously controversial extinct human relative Homo floresiensis was discovered. But to the scientists who excavate there, the site is known as something else entirely: the rat cave.
“The first time I went to the excavations at Liang Bua, I remember watching the bones coming out of the ground and being amazed at how it was almost all rat,” recalls Matthew Tocheri, the Canada Research Chair in Human Origins at Lakehead University.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Unique Medieval Burial Found In Sicily

This medieval man's skeleton, bearing marks of stab wounds, was found facedown
in a shallow pit in Sicily 
[Credit: Emanuele Canzonieri; Roberto Micciche. et al. 2019]

In medieval Sicily, a man was stabbed multiple times in the back, buried in a really weird way and ostensibly lost to history.

Now, hundreds of years later, archaeologists have excavated evidence of this ancient crime in the Piazza Armerina, Sicily. The researchers found the man's skeleton lying face-down in a shallow pit, empty of any funerary objects typical of ancient burials. The body was buried in a position that was unusual for that time period, they reported last month in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

The evidence suggests that the man, lived in the 11th century and was between 30 and 40 years old when he died. Using CT scans and 3D reconstructions, the researchers set out to determine how he died and why his burial was so unusual.

According to the report, there was evidence of six cuts on the individual's sternum (breastbone) that were indicative of stab wounds likely inflicted by a knife or dagger. On the right side of his sternum, the researchers found a chop mark where a piece of the bone had been removed, likely by a twisting motion from the weapon.

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Yes, That Viking Warrior Buried with Weapons Really Was a Woman

An illustration of what the female warrior may have looked like.
Credit: Drawing by Tancredi Valeri; Copyright Antiquity Publications Ltd.

The ancient warrior was given a prestigious Viking burial, complete with deadly Viking weapons, a bag of gaming pieces (possibly to represent military command) and two horses, one bridled for riding. This mighty warrior — long thought to be be a man — made headlines in 2017 when researchers in Sweden announced that the individual was, in fact, a woman.

The intense scrutiny that followed caught the researchers by surprise.

The barrage of questions from the public and other scientists was unrelenting: Were the researchers sure they had analyzed the right bones? Was there more than one body in the burial, of which one was surely a man? And if the warrior's sex was indeed female, is it possible they were a transgender man? [See Images of the Viking Woman Warrior's Burial]

Now, in a new study published online yesterday (Feb. 19) in the journal Antiquity, the researchers of the original study have reaffirmed their conclusion that this mighty individual was a woman. The new study addresses all the questions people raised, and more.

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Second Rare Roman Coin Hoard Found In Warwickshire

Coins from Year of the Four Emperors and pot found in Warwickshire 
[Credit: Warwickshire County Council]

Warwickshire museum service needs help to raise the funds to buy a major Roman hoard, found recently in Warwickshire.

The hoard made up of 440 silver denarii coins was uncovered during an archaeological dig at a Roman site on the Edge Hill in 2015. They were buried in a ceramic pot over 1900 years ago, under the floor of a building. This is the second hoard of denarii to be found in this area and this new discovery contains 78 coins dating to AD 68-69, a turbulent time in Roman history known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’.

This important period in Roman history saw a civil war sparked by the death of Nero in AD 68, resulting in four successive rulers in a short span of time: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and finally Vespasian. As they vied for power, each contender struck their own coins to fund their armies, and these coins are incredibly rare. Within a roughly 18 month period the title of Emperor changed hands four times. Very few of these coins from this turbulent time survive. The second South Warwickshire hoard contains the largest collection of civil war-era coins ever found.

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University of Cambridge release trove of aerial photos of Wales


A series of aerial photographs which form part of a collection labelled the "historical Google Earth" show the changing face of Wales.

The images, some dating back to 1945, have been made available online by the University of Cambridge.

RAF pilots were asked to capture the bomb-scarred post-war period to the emergence of motorways and new cities.

Prof Martin Millett said the images "let you travel back in time to a Britain which no longer exists".

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Neolithic skull found by Thames 'mudlarkers'

The frontal bone was radiocarbon dated to 3,600 BC
MUSEUM OF LONDON

Here's a piece of history pulled from the muddy banks of the River Thames.

It's a skull fragment that is 5,600 years old. It dates to a time long before there was any permanent settlement on the site we now know as London.

Investigations indicate it belonged to a male over the age of 18.

There are older Neolithic remains that have been recovered in the region, but what makes this specimen especially interesting is that it's the earliest ever skull found by "mudlarkers".

If you haven't heard of them before - they're the band of mostly amateur archaeologists who scour the Thames' edges at low tide for objects of intrigue and antiquity. And they're constantly picking up fascinating items - many of which end up in the Museum of London, where this frontal bone will now be displayed from Wednesday.

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St Michan's, Dublin: Vandals decapitate 800-year-old crusader

The crusader's head was "severed from his body and taken away"

An 800-year-old "crusader" from a crypt in a Dublin church has been decapitated by vandals.

Archdeacon David Pierpoint told RTE the crusader's head has been "severed from his body and taken away".

The discovery was made as a tour guide was preparing to open the church for visitors on Monday afternoon.

Archdeacon Pierpoint said he was upset and disappointed that the church has been targeted again by vandals.

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