Friday, July 30, 2010

Khumi Lives

Location: Bangladesh Length: 32 min

Khumi is the smallest of the indigenous groups in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of southeastern Bangladesh. In today’s age of globalization, changes are occurring in the animist Khumi peoples’ religion, culture, lifestyle and language, raising concern over the gradual disappearance of their unique beliefs and customs. In this documentary, filmmakers spend a year in the lives of the Khumi as they explore the present situation of these people within the context of a rapidly evolving world .

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Remains of Roman villa near Aberystwyth discovered

Archaeologists have discovered a 4th Century Roman villa near Aberystwyth.

It is the most north-westerly villa found in Wales and has forced experts to reconsider the whole nature of Roman settlement across mid and north Wales.

Findings indicate Abermagwr had all the trappings of villas found further south, including a slate roof and glazed windows.

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Ruins of medieval church unearthed

The remains of a medieval church have been discovered under the town of Moutier in canton Bern.

The centrepiece of the ruins is a 66cm-wide wall and part of a rounded apse. Another room and a fitting that could be the foundation of an altar were also uncovered. Archaeologists said the shape of the wall clearly suggested it had been a church.

Judging from the ruins, the former church was estimated to be 6.5 metres wide and seven metres long. A wooden building was also found on the site

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Roman villa found in Welsh 'military zone'

The Roman control over Britain stretched even further than first thought, the discovery of a new villa suggests.

Archaeologists have discovered a 4th Century villa near Aberystwyth, the first time they have found evidence of Roman occupation of North and mid Wales.

Findings indicate Abermagwr had all the trappings of villas found further south, including a slate roof and glazed windows.

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St Andrews scholar seeks secrets of Stonehenge's sister

Fife lecturer is part of a European team that has found a Stonehenge "twin," a discovery described as the most exciting of a lifetime at the prehistoric site.

Archaeologists have found a major ceremonial monument less than a kilometre from the stone circle near Salisbury.

The circular ditch, which probably held a ring of timber posts, may have been used for feasting and is within sight of its world-famous neighbour.

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Bulgarian Archaeologists Discover Wealthy Prehistoric Settlement

Bulgarian archaeologists have found what has been described as a “wealthy” 8000-year-old town close to the Danube city of Ruse.

The town, which flourished between 5 800 BC and 5 500 BC had well-organized streets and even two-storey houses with oak floors.

“The ceramics that we found here is of a very high-quality, and with no analogy compared to other settlements from this age. People of this period had taste, and we can say they had an aristocratic style,” explained archaeologist Dr. Svetlana Venelinova from the Regional History Museum in the city of Shumen.

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Ancient wrecks found off Italy' west coast

A team of marine archaeologists using sonar scanners have discovered four ancient shipwrecks off the tiny Italian island of Zannone, with intact cargos of wine and oil.

The remains of the trading vessels, dating from the first century BC to the 5th-7th century AD, are up to 165 metres underwater, a depth that preserved them from being disturbed by fishermen over the centuries.

"The deeper you go, the more likely you are to find complete wrecks," said Annalisa Zarattini, an official from the archaeological services section of the Italian culture ministry.

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Canadian archeologists revel in ‘mind-blowing’ dig in Turkey

TELL TAYINAT, Turkey — Every time archeologist James Osborne steps into the remains of the newly uncovered temple at Tell Tayinat, he can’t help but wonder about the people who walked those steps before him.

Did an ancient king mount them with great ceremony, proceeding into the most sacred chamber where very few could venture?

Did he sit on a dais and watch as priests consecrated clay tablets, perhaps even the one found last year by the University of Toronto archeological team here in southern Turkey?

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An archaeological window on ancient farming

EXCAVATIONS at Politiko-Troullia on the foothills of the Troodos mountains in the Nicosia district have brought to light a series of households around a large communal courtyard with evidence of intensive animal husbandry and crop processing, copper metallurgy and sophisticated ceramic technology during the Middle Bronze Age 2000-1500 BC.

The site was the predecessor of ancient Tamassos, the seat of a centrally important kingdom during the subsequent Iron Age.

According to the Antiquities Department, the archaeological deposits at Politiko-Troullia reach depths of up to four metres below the modern surface, making the site one of the deepest stratified sites in Cyprus.

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Archaeology: 7000 year-old village found near Bulgarian town of Shoumen

A settlement dating back about 7000 years has been discovered by a hill near the village of Ivanovo, in Shoumen municipality, in eastern Bulgaria, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported on July 26 2010.

The settlement, 900 sq m in area, lies between two rivers on the south face of the hill. In spite of its natural defences, the settlement was fortified with a defensive wall of "unusual shape", BNT said.

"The shape of the fortification was not circular or oval-like, which was typical for the time but an irregular pattern resembling an octagon," archaeologist Svetlana Venelinova said in a television interview for BNT.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Discovered: Stone Age man's morning after the night before

Archaeologists in Wiltshire have discovered remarkable evidence of a spectacular party – enjoyed by Neolithic tribesmen 4,500 years ago.

Excavations at Britain's biggest "henge" site – a prehistoric religious complex 16 times the size of Stonehenge – have yielded the remains of dozens of pigs slaughtered for an ancient ceremonial feast.

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Ancient woman suggests diverse migration

Associated Press Writer= MEXICO CITY (AP) — A scientific reconstruction of one of the oldest sets of human remains found in the Americas appears to support theories that the first people who came to the hemisphere migrated from a broader area than once thought, researchers say.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History on Thursday released photos of the reconstructed image of a woman who probably lived on Mexico's Caribbean coast 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. She peeks out of the picture as a short, spry-looking woman with slightly graying hair.

Anthropologists had long believed humans migrated to the Americas in a relatively short period from a limited area in northeast Asia across a temporary land corridor that opened across the Bering Strait during an ice age.

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Medieval history in the making

Eleven years ago, John Lichfield witnessed the birth of Château de Guédelon, the 13th-century castle being built by hand in modern day France. This week he went back to see how work is progressing

It is the year 1241. Good King Louis XI is on the throne of France. The son of Bad King John, "average" King Henry III is on the throne of England and struggling, as ever, against his revolting barons. Medievally speaking, we are in a prosperous and peaceful period. There is a brief lull between two crusades. The Black Death is still a century away.

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Medieval prison’s future as an attraction

A historic prison which has operated in a castle for centuries looks set to close.

Lancaster Castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century, is thought to be the only prison and court still operating in a medieval castle.

But the building in the city centre is also a popular tourist destination and theatre venue, which is said to have become outdated and too expensive to maintain.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

World's Oldest Dog Debated

A dog jaw bone fossil found in a Swiss cave may be the oldest evidence of human-canine companionship.

Every dog has its day, but that day took more than 14,000 years to dawn for one canine. A jaw fragment found in a Swiss cave comes from the earliest known dog, according to scientists who analyzed and radiocarbon-dated the fossil.

Dog origins remain poorly understood, however, and some researchers say that dog fossils much older than the Swiss find have already been excavated.

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Sister monument to Stonehenge may have been found

Scientists scouring the area around Stonehenge said Thursday they have uncovered a circular structure only a few hundred meters (yards) from the world famous monument.

There's some debate about what exactly has been found. The survey team which uncovered the structure said it could be the foundation for a circle of freestanding pieces of timber, a wooden version of Stonehenge.

But Tim Darvill, a professor of archaeology at Bournemouth University in southern England, expressed skepticism, saying he believed it was more likely a barrow, or prehistoric tomb.

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Römischen Hafen entdeckt?

Bei Grabungen im Vorfeld der Überbauung Wydenpark in Studen im Kanton Bern stiess der Archäologische Dienst des Kantons Bern auf Reste massiver Holzkonstruktionen. Diese bekräftigen die Vermutung, dass am alten Aarelauf ein römischer Hafen gewesen sein könnte.

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Roman neighborhood ruins uncovered in Lyon, France

A photo-illustrated look at the origins of Lyon, which was founded in 43 BC during the Roman Empire. Recent excavation work has uncovered a residential area in what was the center of the city.

Situated in what was Gaul – France - and conquered by Julius Caesar between 58 and 53 BC, Lyon was born with the name Lugdunum, after the Gaulish word ‘dunum’ which meant ‘hill fort’, in 43 BC on the summit of the Fourvière heights. The Romans were not the first people to live here, though, as there is evidence of pre-Gallic community activity which goes back as far as the Neolithic era. Lugdunum’s first inhabitants were members of a group of Roman refugees who had been forced to leave Vienne, a town 30km south.

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Stonehenge Had Neighboring, Wooden Twin—More to Come?

Britain's Stonehenge once had a long-lost twin just a stone's throw away from the prehistoric monument, archaeologists announced Thursday.

The discovery, made completely without digging, suggests that now solitary Stonehenge may have been surrounded by "satellite Stonehenges," archaeologists say.

"This finding is remarkable," said survey-team leader Vince Gaffney, an archaeologist the University of Birmingham in the U.K. "It will completely change the way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge."

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Pictures: Stonehenge "Twin" Revealed

Just a stone's throw from Stonehenge, the remains of the British monument's long-lost timber twin—pictured in an artist's conception—have been found, archaeologists announced Thursday. (Full story: "Stonehenge Had Neighboring, Wooden Twin—More to Come?")

The discovery, made completely without digging, suggests that now solitary Stonehenge may have been surrounded by "satellite Stonehenges," archaeologists say.

"This finding is remarkable," said survey-team leader Vince Gaffney, an archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. "It will completely change the way we think about the landscape around Stonehenge."

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Detectorist Dave praised for Roman hoard find

Devizes metal detectorist Dave Crisp, secretary of the Trowbridge Metal Detecting Club, has been publicly commended for his actions after he found one of the biggest ever hoards of Roman coins.

Mr Crisp, 63, from Waylands, Devizes, uncovered the huge hoard of coins in a field near Frome, Somerset, in April this year.

He told east Somerset coroner Tony Williams at an inquest in Frome today that he often searched the fields round there with the permission of the farmers.

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In pictures: Frome hoard in public display

More than 2,000 people have turned out to see one of the largest ever finds of Roman coins in Britain, which were discovered in a field in Frome by Dave Crisp (pictured).

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Haul of Roman coins dug up in field to earn finder a fortune

A metal detector enthusiast could share a £1m payout after finding one of Britain's largest ever collections of Roman coins in a farmer's field, it emerged today.

Dave Crisp, an NHS chef, was celebrating after a coroner ruled the find of 52,000 coins was treasure. It becomes the property of the crown and is bound to end up in a museum, but Crisp and the landowner will be rewarded once the hoard has been valued by an independent panel.

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Warm spell reveals Shropshire’s historic secrets

Archaeologists have taken advantage of the driest spring and early summer conditions for 80 years to photograph a wide range of normally invisible sites across Shropshire from the air.

The pictures have been taken as part of a three-year aerial archaeology project that is being carried out by the Shropshire Council’s historic environment team, with funding provided by English Heritage.

Centuries of ploughing has meant that many of these sites are no longer visible on the surface.

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Brian still in town looking for more Roman treasures

ARCHAEOLOGISTS are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the discovery of Roman remains in the centre of Dover.

In the summer of 1970, work was under way on the York Street bypass and a team of experts was drafted in from the Roman fort at Reculver for an eight-week rapid excavation of the site before the road was built.

As they dug they discovered a Roman fort and one of the best-preserved examples of ancient interior design, the famous Roman Painted House, which has been open to tourists for more than 30 years. The archaeologists assumed theirs would be only a brief visit to the town, but incredibly one of their number is still working at the site four decades later.

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More Staffordshire Hoard items on show

Nineteen pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard have gone on public display for the first time.

They are on display at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Museum manager Keith Bloor said the function of many of the items was still being researched

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Stonehenge twin discovered stone's throw away

New wooden henge, a circular ditch that aligns with world-famous monument, deemed site's most exciting find in a lifetime

Without a sod of earth being dug up, a new henge, a circular ditch which probably enclosed a ring of timber posts and may have been used for feasting, has been discovered within sight of Stonehenge.

Professor Vince Gaffney, of Birmingham university, described the discovery of the new monument, only 900 metres away and apparently contemporary to the 5,000-year-old stone circle, as the most exciting find at Stonehenge in a lifetime.

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Stone Age Carving: Ancient Dildo?

Sex toys have come a long way since the Stone Age – but then again, perhaps not as much as we might think.

Last week, an excavation in Sweden turned up an object that bears the unmistakable look of a penis carved out of antler bone. Though scientists can't be sure exactly what this tool was used for, it's hard not to leap to conclusions. [See "Sex Myths and Taboos"]

"Your mind and my mind wanders away to make this interpretation about what it looks like – for you and me, it signals this erected-penis-like shape," said archaeologist Gšran Gruber of the National Heritage Board in Sweden, who worked on the excavation. "But if that's the way the Stone Age people thought about it, I can't say."

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Archaeologists unearth Neolithic henge at Stonehenge

Archaeologists have discovered a second henge at Stonehenge, described as the most exciting find there in 50 years.

The circular ditch surrounding a smaller circle of deep pits about a metre (3ft) wide has been unearthed at the world-famous site in Wiltshire.

Archaeologists conducting a multi-million pound study believe timber posts were in the pits.

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Archaeologists find new structure at Stonehenge

Archaeologists have discovered a wooden version of British prehistoric monument Stonehenge at the same site, the project's leader told Reuters on Thursday.

Using radar, the archaeologists found a circular ditch less than one kilometer away from the iconic stone circle, which is thought to date back to the Neolithic period 2,000 to 4,000 years ago.

"This finding is remarkable," said project leader Vince Gaffney, professor of archaeology at the University of Birmingham.

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Archaeologists find traces of wooden monument near Stonehenge

Archaeologists said yesterday they had found traces of a wooden structure built close to the British monument of Stonehenge, a stunning discovery that sheds new light on an ancient place of worship.

The prehistoric monument is said to be like a wooden "twin" of the collection of giant stones piled up on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, southwest England.

"This is probably the first major ceremonial monument that has been found in the past 50 years or so," said Vince Gaffney, a professor from the University of Birmingham, who is leading the archaeological dig.

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Pillar of Eliseg: Archaeologists start to unearth Llangollen's past

An archaeological dig is producing finds on the site of a historic 9th Century monument in Llangollen.

Within days of opening trenches on the site of the Pillar of Eliseg, diggers have found pieces of Roman pottery as well as shards of post medieval pottery.

Other notable finds include a spindle whorl at the top of the mound on which the pillar stands.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Archaeologists virtually excavate Stonehenge

Archaeologists are carrying out a virtual excavation of Stonehenge to discover what the area looked like when the monument was built.

The multi-million pound Euro study will map the terrain and its buried archaeological remains with pinpoint accuracy, organisers claim.

The millions of measurements will then be analysed and incorporated into gaming technology to produce 2D and 3D images.

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Top billing for Pictish monastery project

THE unearthing of a Pictish monastery in the Highlands has been voted best archaeological project.
The Tarbat Discovery Programme at Portmahomack in Ross-shire began in 1994 to research the Pictish, Norse and medieval site and its context in the Moray Firth area.

The original monastery was built in the 8th century by the Picts on the Easter Ross peninsula but it was burned down a century later. Since then, six churches have stood on the site.

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Fast Feet: A Springy Step Helps Humans Walk

It took a few million years for human ancestors to evolve into the walking, talking, texting and blogging creatures we've become. Along the way, the human body and brain have changed a lot. And we couldn't have done it without our feet.

Our ape-like ancestors had a foot built for grasping branches and climbing trees. But our foot is stiff, taut and springy, built for walking and running.

Brian Richmond, an anthropologist, runner and kids soccer coach, is trying to find out how our unique appendage evolved.

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The English Parish Church through the Centuries

A new digital resource created by the University of York has been released which will provide teaching and learning resources about the history of parish churches since Anglo-Saxon times.

An interactive DVD “The English Parish Church through the Centuries: daily life and spirituality, art and architecture, literature and music”, produced by Christianity and Culture at the University of York, traces the development of the country’s most iconic ecclesiastical buildings across the centuries.

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£90,000 to explore Abbey ruins restoration

Public spending budgets may be on the rocks but Reading councillors have agreed that £90,000 must be spent to find out the best way to restore Reading Abbey ruins.

The ancient monument was closed and fenced off when it became a hazard to passers by.

The new coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at Reading Borough Council has endorsed a plan to call in a specialist design team to draw up a plan to carry out historically appropriate work to get the ruins open to the public again.

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Staffordshire Hoard and Lindow Man Bog Body Mystery win British Archaeological Awards

The Manchester Museum’s investigation into a preserved Iron Age body found in a Cheshire bog 26 years ago and the discovery of the epochal Staffordshire Hoard last year have been announced among six winners in this year’s British Archaeological Awards.

Lindow Man: A Bog Body Mystery Exhibition unravelled the story of the gristly corpse, discovered on Lindow Moss in 1984, in a year-long display of revelations from forensic archaeologists, digging experts, druid priests and humble curators.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Figurine found on Orkney could shed new light on life in 2500BC

It may turn out to be nothing more than a discarded and forgotten children’s toy, but a prehistoric clay figurine could be one of the most important archaeological finds in Scotland for years.

A Neolithic figurine has been discovered on Westray, in the Orkney Islands, almost a year since the celebrated Orkney Venus was discovered on the same islands.

The Orkney Venus figurine is the earliest carving of a human figure found in Scotland.

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Pillar of Eliseg: Archaeologists dig beneath 9th Century monument

Archaeologists start excavations on a suspected ancient burial site to try to understand the significance of a Llangollen landmark on which it stands.

But the team will have to work carefully because the 9th Century Pillar of Eliseg, a Cadw-protected ancient monument, stands directly on top of the barrow - burial mound - and the archaeologists can't disturb it.

Medieval archaeology Professor Nancy Edwards, from Bangor University, says it is the first time the site has been dug since 1773 when, it is believed, a skeleton was unearthed.

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Jorvik Viking Centre links up with Orchard Energy to cut energy costs

JORVIK Viking Centre has become the latest tourist attraction to link up with Yorkshire energy specialist Orchard as it looks to cut costs without impacting on visitor experience.

With an annual spend of between £80,000 and £90,000 on electricity alone, the York venue’s director of finance, Peter Nicholson, said energy had become one of its biggest overheads and the obvious place to start when making cutbacks.

He said: “We’re a charity and our main objective is to offer people a good value day out and maintain a strong educational focus.

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Metal-detector enthusiast finds Roman coins

A metal-detector enthusiast who made one of the most important archaeological finds in Nottinghamshire has struck again.

Five years ago Maurice Richardson found the Iron Age Newark Torc. Now he's discovered a hoard of Roman coins.

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Marden Henge dig uncovers 4,500-year-old dwelling

A dwelling, thought to be 4,500 years old, has been discovered by archaeologists in Wiltshire.

Excavation work at the prehistoric site of Marden Henge, near Devizes, started three weeks ago and experts say the find has "exceeded expectations".

Marden Henge no longer has any standing stones and is said to be one of Britain's least understood ancient sites.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation is ambitious in its scope but simple in its aims: to make the complete records of Howard Carter's excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun available on these web pages. It is astonishing, but no longer acceptable, that some eighty years and thousands of articles, hundreds of books, and dozens of exhibitions after the discovery of the tomb, this most famous event in the history of Egyptian archaeology has not yet been fully published. The documentation is presented in its original form and all, scholars, interested members of the public and school students, can consult it. We hope that this will help bring the knowledge and love of ancient Egypt to everybody.

Visit the site...

2,200 'knights' reenact medieval battle in Poland

Some 2,200 "knights" from across Europe donned suits of armour, flowing capes and linen shirts on Sunday to reenact one of medieval Europe's bloodiest battles.The Battle of Grunwald, which took place 600 years ago, still raises emotions among Poles and Lithuanians, who it as a symbol of national pride.

The nights sweat it out during the hour-long reenactment held in a meadow at the village of Grunwald, northern Poland, where Poles, Lithuanians and Tatars united to defeat invading Teutonic Knights in 1410. The spectacle drew 100,000 tourists, leading to traffic jams several miles long and several serious car accidents, the Polish Press Agency PAP reported.

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Second figure found at Noltland dig

A Neolithic partner to the celebrated Orkney Venus has been discovered on the islands, it has emerged.
The Orkney Venus figurine was revealed in August last year and is the earliest carving of a human figure found in Scotland.

Historic Scotland said a second, headless figurine has been discovered by archaeologists at the Links of Noltland dig on Westray.

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Archaeologists want north Cornwall research centre

Archaeologists in north Cornwall want to build a research centre following the discovery of a 13th Century settlement.

Excavation work on land in Slaughterbridge, Camelford, has found references to a village in 1296.

Archaeologist Dr Niall Finneran, of the University of Winchester, said the discovery "put the site on the archaeological map".

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Second Orkney Venus found at Orkney dig

Archaeologists have unearthed a second ancient figurine at a dig on Orkney.

The discovery was made at the same site as the Orkney Venus, the earliest representation of a human figure to be found in Scotland.

The Orkney Venus, a 5,000-year-old female carving which was found last summer, was just 4cm tall and composed of sandstone.

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Roman bones reveal brutal gladiator deaths

Gladiators in the arena based on the painting, Pollice Verso, by Jean-leon Gerome
One in three of the skeletons found had one arm at least 5cm longer than the other. This is consistent with the effect of one-sided work from an early age such as regular sword practice. The cleaned up bones on the left are from the skeleton on the right.

Six years ago archaeologists in York unearthed 80 skeletons. Of the 60 or so complete skeletons, many showed signs of a violent death. After years of research the York Archaeological Trust believes that they may have been gladiators.

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Celebrate the Festival of British Archaeology 2010

Thousands of budding archaeologists are expected to attend more than 750 digs, walks, talks, family fun and activity days across the UK, discovering Britain’s extraordinary past over the next fortnight!

The CBA’s annual Festival of British Archaeology 2010 is running from Saturday 17th July to Sunday 1st August. It is celebrating its 20th year of ‘Archaeology for All’ and is the biggest ever UK-wide extravaganza of archaeological and heritage events, which are open to everyone and are held to encourage everyone to take more of an active interest in their past!

To find out what is taking place, check out the online events listings!

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Excitement builds for "bigger and better than ever" Leicestershire Festival of Archaeology

Leicestershire's two-week celebration of all things excavational launches in revealing style tomorrow (July 17 2010) when finds from gardens in the village of Kibworth go on show at Kibworth Grammar School.

More than 200 villagers dug up their gardens as part of a BBC series to be screened later this year, and highlights from the communal forage include Middle Saxon pottery from 1,200 years ago, a period which had never previously been dated to archaeological artefacts from the area.

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Discovery of Roman fort 'could rewrite history of Exeter'

A REMARKABLE Roman fort has been discovered by archaeologists in Exeter.

And the city's early history could soon be rewritten as a result of the extraordinary find on a development site off Topsham Road.

Although excavation of the site at the former St Loye's campus is in its early stages, the finds have already been described as extremely significant by leading city archaeologists.

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Medieval Atmosphere in North Iceland

The annual medieval festival at Gásir, an ancient trading point near Akureyri in north Iceland, will take place this weekend. Booths are currently being set up where people dressed in medieval outfits will sell their handicrafts or demonstrate ancient work methods.

“The market will vibrate with life,” Haraldur Ingi Haraldsson, “mayor” of Gásir, told Morgunbladid. “People will demonstrate sulphur cleaning, clay production and repair of utilities. Bows and arrows will be made and ball games played.”

Gásir is located by Eyjafjördur fjord at the mouth of Hörgá river, 11 kilometers north of Akureyri. It was a trading point in the middle ages and probably the most international location in Iceland at that time—foreign merchants came there to sell their goods.

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Pillar holds secrets of ancient Welsh kingdom

A mysterious stone pillar put up by a king of Powys over a thousand years ago is to be investigated by archaeologists.

An excavation of the Pillar of Eliseg, a ninth-century AD stone monument which stands on a mound near Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen, in north-east Wales, should reveal more about the pillar, and also the mound or barrow on which it stands.

The excavation could also reveal whether the site dates back to the Bronze Age.

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Neolithic art find at Cambridgeshire village quarry dig

A piece of Neolithic rock art has been unearthed during a weekend geological course in Cambridgeshire.

The hand-sized artefact discovered in the village of Over is unlike anything previously found in the east of England, Cambridge University said.

It consists of a slab of weathered sandstone with two pairs of concentric circles etched into the surface.

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Drought shows up south Oxfordshire bronze age graves

THE hot dry weather is revealing some of Oxfordshire’s Bronze Age history normally hidden from view.

Hot air balloon pilot Michael Wolf, of Reading Road, Wallingford, was training another pilot near North Stoke when they spotted several dark circles in a farmer’s field.

Crops had grown at different speeds because of ancient ditches hidden beneath the soil which once surrounded prehistoric burial mounds.

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Archaeologist Discovers Unique Wall Paintings in Ancient Site of Novae in Northern Bulgaria

An archaeologist has discovered unique wall paintings in an ancient residence in the late Roman town of Novae, located in northern Bulgaria.

Over 21 days, Pavlina Vladkova, an archaeologist from the Regional History Museum in Veliko Tarnovo, researched a residence, located outside of the territory of the erstwhile legionary base, which was located in Novae. She studies rooms that date to the second, third and fourth centuries.

One of the premises she studied was a dining room with a length of 12 metres and width of 4.5 metres and heating built into the floor and walls. The room was divided into two parts, and Vladkova stumbled onto the valuable frescos in one of them.

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Cambridgeshire Quarry throws up 4,500-year-old find

A remarkable piece of Neolithic rock art, unlike anything previously found in Eastern England, has been unearthed in the Cambridgeshire village of Over.

The hand-sized artefact, which could date back to 2,500 BC, was found by a participant in a geological weekend course which was being run by the University of Cambridge's Institute for Continuing Education.

It consists of a hand-sized slab of weathered sandstone with two pairs of concentric circles etched into the surface - a motif which, according to archaeologists, is typical of "Grooved Ware" art from the later Neolithic era.

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Relic of Harpocrates, the god of secrecy and silence, found at Silchester

Archaeological dig at abandoned Roman city in Hampshire yields earliest representation of an Egyptian deity found in Britain

A battered and corroded thumb-sized piece of bronze has turned out to be a unique find, the earliest representation of an Egyptian deity from any site in Britain – and appropriately, after almost 2,000 years hidden in the ground, it is Harpocrates, the god of secrecy and silence.

The little figure was found at Silchester, site of an abandoned Roman city in Hampshire, in last summer's excavation, but his identity was only revealed in months of careful conservation work. His Greek and Roman designation as Harpocrates, the god of spymasters, is actually a transcription error.

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New playhouse planned for Shakespeare theater site

In the middle of London, a plot of earth is dug across with trenches and studded with old bricks. If the world of theater ever has hallowed ground, this is it.

It's the site of London's first theater, where William Shakespeare's plays were performed and where the Bard himself once trod the boards.

Archaeologists who have been digging here since 2008 have uncovered a section of outer wall and floor surface from the building, completed in 1576 and known simply as The Theatre — whose timbers were later used to build The Globe theater.

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Human lineage split from monkeys later than thought: study

The last ancestor shared by monkeys and humans probably lived between 28 and 24 million years ago, several million later than previously thought, fossils unveiled Wednesday have revealed.

A partial skull of the unknown species, found in western Saudi Arabia, rewrites the timeline of primate evolution and fills in a yawning gap in the fossil record, the researchers said.

Up to now, genome-based analysis put the split between hominoids -- which includes apes and humans -- and cercopithecoids, or so-called Old World monkeys, at 35 to 30 million years ago.

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New Species Changes Idea on When Humans, Monkeys Split

Our lineage might have diverged from our monkey relatives later than previously thought, a new primate fossil from Saudi Arabia now suggests.

One key step in understanding human evolution is pinning doing when the hominoid lineage, which includes apes and humans, diverged from the Old World monkeys.

"If we can refine our understanding of the date of split between hominoids and Old World monkeys and eventually get a better idea of what was happening with the ecology, climate and composition of co-occurring mammals at that time, we will learn about the conditions driving our own ultimate origins," researcher William Sanders, a paleontologist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, told LiveScience. Our lineage might have diverged from our monkey relatives later than previously thought, a new primate fossil from Saudi Arabia now suggests.

One key step in understanding human evolution is pinning doing when the hominoid lineage, which includes apes and humans, diverged from the Old World monkeys.

"If we can refine our understanding of the date of split between hominoids and Old World monkeys and eventually get a better idea of what was happening with the ecology, climate and composition of co-occurring mammals at that time, we will learn about the conditions driving our own ultimate origins," researcher William Sanders, a paleontologist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, told LiveScience.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Woolly mammoth hunters helped change climate

Ancient hunters who stalked the world's last woolly mammoths likely helped warm the Earth's far northern latitudes thousands of years before humans began burning fossil fuels, according to a study of prehistoric climate change.

The demise of the leaf-chomping woolly mammoths contributed to a proliferation of dwarf birch trees in and around the Arctic, darkening a largely barren, reflective landscape and accelerating a rise in temperatures across the polar north, researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science concluded.

The northward march of vegetation affected the climate because of the "albedo effect," in which replacement of white snow and ice with darker land surfaces absorbs more sunlight and creates a self-repeating warming cycle, the study found.

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Rare Stone Age Find

Archaeologists from the University of Helsinki are carrying out excavations of what they say is a unique Stone Age site at Järvenkylä in Virolahti in the far south-eastern part of the country.

The most striking feature of the site is the remains of an exceptionally large dwelling that the scientists describe as a "terraced house", in some ways like those found in many modern suburbs.

The original find was made three years ago while archaeologists were carrying out a field inventory of medieval period remains in the area .

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New discovery at Sedgeford dig

It looks more like a scene from CSI.

Yesterday a small tent marked the site were people in white boiler suits meticulously worked over a body trying not to contaminate any DNA.

Yet far from being a crime scene, it is the latest discovery at the long-running archaeological dig in Sedgeford.

Just days into this year's season another piece of the historical jigsaw, a second skeleton - thought to date back to the Bronze Age - has been unearthed.

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900-year-old Byzantine church unearthed in S Turkey

A 900-year-old Byzantine church has been unearthed in the ancient city of Myra located in the town of Demre in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

Professor Engin Akyürek from Istanbul University's Art History Department, who is also responsible for the Byzantine period artifacts unearthed during the ongoing excavations at Myra, told Anatolia on Wednesday that a well-preserved Byzantine church had been found six meters below ground level at the ancient site.

Akyürek said the five-meter-wide and 10-meter-high temple dome had been partially destroyed, but the tiles on the roof were still in good condition.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Archaeologists discover late-Roman cemetery at site of derelict pub

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have found what is thought to be a late-Roman cemetery in a county village.

So far, a total of 46 human remains have been excavated and archaeologists say they expect to have found more than 50 by the time they finish next week.

The discovery was made during a five-week dig taking place as part of the development of a derelict pub in Caistor, near Market Rasen.

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Plea to preserve Bronze Age site

AN ANCIENT settlement has been labelled at risk from damage and in need of conservation.

The unexcavated Bronze Age settlement is on the English Heritage 'At Risk' Register but experts at the organisation believe it could be restored within a year.

Yesterday (July 8) the Highways Agency, which owns most of the land, told The Villager it would work with English Heritage to protect the ancient site.

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An Archaeological Adventure for all – Starts this Weekend!

Saturday 17th July – Sunday 1st August. An archaeological extravaganza is promised this summer, as the CBA’s annual Festival of British Archaeology gets under way.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010, the Festival will be the biggest ever UK-wide event focusing on archaeology, and with more events organised for the public to attend than ever before, it promises to be a fascinating fortnight for those inspired by the past. A quarter of a million members of the public are expected to attend more than 740 excavations, guided walks, special talks, family fun and activity days, re-enactments, finds identification days and much much more, discovering Britain’s extraordinary past for themselves.

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Journey back in time at abbey

A VISIT to one of North Yorkshire’s most famous attractions will become a journey back in time this month.

For the first time in recent years, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, the World Heritage site near Ripon, is holding an event as part of the Festival of British Archaeology.

Six Thousand Years in Six Thousand Seconds is a free guided tour through the site’s past with National Trust Archaeologist Mark Newman.

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Homo sapiens: A species torn between love and war

In a series of four short films released on this week, Steven Pinker, Frans de Waal and Richard Wrangham grapple with human nature. Carole Jahme introduces the films and the sponsor whose values they epitomise, the Leakey Foundation

In 1968 – four years before he died – the infamous, maverick palaeoanthropologist Louis Seymour Bassett Leakey set up the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation. Its mission then, as now, was to investigate the origins and evolution of humankind, our behaviour and our survival, and to promote the public understanding of human evolution.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

'Biggest canal ever built by Romans' discovered

One of the biggest canals ever built by the Romans in an ancient port as important as Carthage or Alexandria has been discovered by British archaeologists.

Scholars discovered the 100-yard-wide (90-metre-wide) canal at Portus, the ancient maritime port through which goods from all over the Empire were shipped to Rome for more than 400 years.

The archaeologists, from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton and the British School at Rome, believe the canal connected Portus, on the coast at the mouth of the Tiber, with the nearby river port of Ostia, two miles away

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Top 10 clues to the real King Arthur

The King Arthur we know is one of romance, ephemera and myth. But is he real? Arthur has been in and out of fashion more than denim: one year his veracity is being argued by every archaeologist in Britain, the next he's ignored or derided. In Revealing King Arthur: Swords, Stones and Digging for Camelot, Christopher Gidlow shows how archaeologists over the last 50 years have interpreted the evidence from Dark Age Britain.

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Historians locate King Arthur's Round Table

Historians claim to have finally located the site of King Arthur’s Round Table – and believe it could have seated 1,000 people.

Researchers exploring the legend of Britain’s most famous Knight believe his stronghold of Camelot was built on the site of a recently discovered Roman amphitheatre in Chester.

Legend has it that his Knights would gather before battle at a round table where they would receive instructions from their King.

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Treasure hunter unearths Iron Age grave in field near Weymouth

A TREASURE hunter has unearthed the ‘find of his life’ – a grave containing a 2,300-year-old skeleton and his possessions.

Carl Walmsley, who has been using a metal detector for 25 years, came across the find in a farmer’s field just outside Weymouth.

Buried with the Iron Age man were glass beads, a mirror, a bronze amulet, a coin, tweezers and a thistle brooch.

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Archeological dig at new Birmingham library unearths city's industrial past.

THE remains of a canal, brassworks, factory and mill have been unearthed in Birmingham’s Centenary Square as work on the city’s new library gets underway.

The fascinating finds all date back to the early 19th century when Birmingham was a world leader in manufacturing and the city centre was a thriving hub of industry.

They were uncovered by archaeologists from Birmingham University, who dug the land between the Birmingham Rep and Baskerville House between July and December last year.

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Bronze age burial mounds saved as farmer signs up for stewardship scheme

Two ancient mounds which may contain the remains of farmers who worked the land 4,000 years ago have been saved for posterity.

The Bronze Age burial mounds just off the A166, close to the summit of Garrowby Hill, were considered at high risk but they have been protected from the plough after tenant farmer Geoff Wray applied to Natural England's Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.

Historic environment field advisor Yvonne Luke said: "We are very grateful.

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Norfolk archaeological finds rewrite history

A set of archaeological finds on the Norfolk coast has rewritten history by pushing back the date for the first known human settlement in northern Europe by at least 100,000 years.

Fossils and artefacts found during six years of fieldwork at Happisburgh have revealed that ancient humans occupied Britain between 800,000 years and 970,000 years ago.

Until recently the oldest evidence of early humans in Britain indicated dates back to only 700,000 years ago. But a series of finds discovered on Happisburgh beach during low-key but hugely important archaeological digs, plus the examination of those finds by a range of internationally leading experts, has led to the scientific rethink.

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Huge Roman coin find for hobbyist

One of the largest ever finds of Roman coins in Britain has been made by a man using a metal detector.

The hoard of more than 52,000 coins dating from the 3rd Century AD was found buried in a field near Frome in Somerset.

The coins were found in a huge jar just over a foot (30cm) below the surface by Dave Crisp, from Devizes in Wiltshire.

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First humans shared Britain with a menagerie of large animals

The first human hunters to arrive in Britain would have been spoilt for choice, a study in Nature suggests

A beautiful Norfolk estuary with ample hunting, but watch out for those sabre-toothed cats.

Norfolk just ain't what it used to be. Some 850,000 years ago, coniferous forests covered East Anglia, and on the floodplains of the Thames estuary roamed herds of giant elk, horses and mammoths. Early human hunters of the species Homo antecessor would have been spoilt for choice, according to a study published in Nature yesterday.

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Dig Discovers Ancient Britons Were Earliest North Europeans

A University College London archaeologist is part of a team who have unearthed the earliest evidence of human occupation in Britain.

Simon Parfitt was part of a team of archaeologists, palaeontologists and earth scientists from the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, UCL, and Queen Mary, University of London, who unearthed the new evidence at an archaeological dig in East Anglia.

Their findings demonstrate that ancient humans occupied Britain over 800,000 years ago, marking the first known settlement in northern Europe -- far earlier than previously thought.

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* News * Science * Anthropology First humans arrived in Britain 250,000 years earlier than thought

Archaeologists digging on a Norfolk beach found stone tools that show the first humans were living in Britain much earlier than previously thought

A spectacular haul of ancient flint tools has been recovered from a beach in Norfolk, pushing back the date of the first known human occupation of Britain by up to 250,000 years.

While digging along the north-east coast of East Anglia near the village of Happisburgh, archaeologists discovered 78 pieces of razor-sharp flint shaped into primitive cutting and piercing tools.

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1.600 Jahre alte Fischreuse entdeckt

Archäologen des Landschaftsverbandes Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) stießen auf der Ausgrabung in Castrop-Rauxel-Ickern (Kreis Recklinghausen) auf eine Fischreuse aus dem 4. Jahrhundert. Die Fischfang-Vorrichtung ist sehr gut erhalten und einzigartig in Westfalen.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Neanderthal man had giant arms and a body brimming with steroids, new research suggests

Neanderthal guys were no girlie-men.

Prehistoric man apparently boasted a rock-hard body, including an overdeveloped right arm that would make Popeye jealous, according to a new scientific report.

The Neanderthals hunted in the "extreme," Russian Prof. Maria Mednikova told Discovery News.

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Oxford University opens Anglo-Saxon archive to online submissions

Widespread interest in last year's discovery of a hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold in Staffordshire has prompted Oxford University to embark on a mission to create the world's largest online archive about the period.

The university is asking members of the public to upload any stories, poems, writing, art or songs they have composed or heard that relate to Old English and the Anglo-Saxons to Project Woruldhord (Old English for "world-hoard"). Oxford is also keen for translations of Anglo-Saxon texts, pictures and videos of Anglo-Saxon buildings or monuments, recordings of Old English, and even videos of historical re-enactments, to be included in the archive.

"We've just appointed a new professor of poetry, Geoffrey Hill, whose Mercian Hymns [about eighth-century ruler King Offa] harks back to the period," said Dr Stuart Lee, who is running Project Woruldhord. "Many other people have also been inspired by the literature and have written their own work."

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Hips Don’t Lie: Researchers Find More Accurate Technique To Determine Sex Of Skeletal Remains

Research from North Carolina State University offers a new means of determining the sex of skeletal human remains – an advance that may have significant impacts in the wake of disasters, the studying of ancient remains and the criminal justice system.

Historically, forensic scientists have been able to determine the sex of skeletal remains by visually evaluating the size and shape of the pelvis, or os coxa. “This technique is accurate, but is not without its limitations,” says Dr. Ann Ross, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research.

The new technique for determining the sex of skeletal human remains is significantly more accurate than traditional visual inspections.

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The Human Edge: Finding Our Inner Fish

It took him years of searching in the Canadian Arctic, but in 2004, Neil Shubin found the fossilized remains of what he thinks is one of our most important ancestors.

Turns out, it's a fish.

Shubin says his find, which he named Tiktaalik, represents an important evolutionary step, because it has the structures that will ultimately become parts of our human bodies. Shoulders, elbows, legs, a neck, a wrist — they're all there in Tiktaalik.

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Neanderthal Males Had Popeye-Like Arms

Arm bone remains show that Neanderthals were unusually pumped up on male hormones, possibly due to an all-meat diet.

Remains of an early Neanderthal with a super strong arm suggest that Neanderthal fellows were heavily pumped up on male hormones, possessing a hormonal status unlike anything that exists in humans today, according to a recent paper.

Neanderthal males probably evolved their ultra macho ways due to lifestyle, genes, climate and diet factors, suggests the study, published in the journal Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia.

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

In Search of Fort St. Joseph

Location: Michigan Length: 30 min

Fort St. Joseph, begun as a French Jesuit mission in the 1680s, was one of the earliest European settlements in the western Great Lakes and, as an important link among the remote settlements of New France, facilitated the fur trade with Native peoples. For almost 80 years, French priests, enlisted men, and traders lived here closely with the native Potowatomi and Miami. After 1781, the fort eventually eroded away and its location was forgotten. This film describes the search for the fort by the 2002 Western Michigan University summer field school.

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Turkey: Archaeologists Restart Excavations of Ancient City of Sagalassos

This season’s excavations of the ancient city of Sagalassos, located in south-western Turkey, have begun, the head of archeological research project Dr. Inge Uytterhoeven announced recently.

This year’s excavations will involve 51 workers and 75 Turkish and foreign technical personnel, Dr. Uytterhoeven, who is also a lecturer at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, told media. In addition to local professionals, the site will also benefit from the expertise of people from Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, the United States, Bulgarian and Germany.

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Sophisticated Amputation Methods Used During Stone Age

Stone Age doctors prove to be more medically advanced than we first imagined, as new evidence of surgery undertaken almost 7,000 years ago comes to light. Confirming advanced medical knowledge in 4900 B.C., the findings challenge the existing history of surgery and its development.

In a Neolithic site excavated in 2005 at Buthiers-Boulancourt, 40 miles south of Paris, scientists found the skeleton of an old man buried almost 7,000 years ago. Tests showed an intentional and successful amputation in which a sharpened flint was used to cut the man’s humerus bone above the trochlea indent.

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Study: Archimedes Set Roman Ships Afire with Cannons

Greek inventor Archimedes is said to have used mirrors to burn ships of an attacking Roman fleet. But new research suggests he may have used steam cannons and fiery cannonballs instead.

A legend begun in the Medieval Ages tells of how Archimedes used mirrors to concentrate sunlight as a defensive weapon during the siege of Syracuse, then a Greek colony on the island of Sicily, from 214 to 212 B.C. No contemporary Roman or Greek accounts tell of such a mirror device, however.

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2000-year-old human skeleton found at Gloucestershire Roman villa dig

A 2,000-YEAR-OLD human skeleton has been unearthed alongside Iron Age artefacts near Tewkesbury.

Archaeologists uncovered signs of the ancient Roman villa in a field on the edge of Bredon's Norton. It is thought the finds could be of national importance.

Metal detector hunts in recent years had led historians to suspect an ancient community might be found there.

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Roman Mystery Woman Discovered Near Hereford: Not a Female Gladiator

An unusual Roman burial has been uncovered at a site near Hereford. The female, buried in the first or second century AD, was unusually strong and is buried in a well made coffin.

Robin Jackson, senior project manager from Worcestershire council's Historic Environment and Archaeology Service, was excavating at the site. He said: “We've been working on the site for three months now and four burials have been found under a building. One of these is slightly unusual, in that it contains the remains of a woman who was very strongly built. She had obviously done hard physical work during her life, suggesting possibly a peasant labourer, but the anomaly is that she is buried in a slightly higher status coffin.”

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Roman Ships and Amphorae Found off Sardinia and Panarea

Roman ship-discovery season is in full flow, with several finds and explorations announced in the past week.

Yesterday Ansa ran a story about the discovery of a 25-metre merchant ship from the first century AD with its cargo of 500 amphorae containing fruit and vegetables still on board. The ship is said to be in perfect condition and was found south of Panarea, in the group of Aeolian/Lipari islands north of Sicily. The news agency reported that Italy's Maritime Superintendency and the Aurora Trust, an American foundation, were responsible for the find.

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The Gladiator Girl Found By Archaeologists

Archaeologists in Herefordshire have exposed the remnants of what could perhaps be a female gladiator. Amongst the verification of a Roman suburb in Credenhill, they have found the grave of a gigantic, muscular woman.

Toughened with iron straps and copper strips, she was found in an elaborate wooden coffin, which signified her importance.

Her remains were found in a squatted position, in what could be a hamlet of the close by Roman town of Kenchester.

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Harald Blauzahns Königshof gefunden

In Jelling im dänischen Jütland haben Archäologen Strukturen freigelegt, die vermutlich zum Königshof von Harald Blauzahn gehören. Der König, nach dem die Funktechnik Bluetooth benannt ist, herrschte im 10. Jahrhundert über Dänemark und Norwegen.

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