Thursday, May 16, 2013

The British ‘Atlantis’ is mapped in detail

A professor of physical geography has put together the most detailed map yet of the sunken medieval town of Dunwich using underwater acoustic imagining.
The port town, often referred to as "the British Atlantis," was a hub of activity up until its collapse in the 1400s. This was brought about after a series of epic storms battered the coastline in the 1200s and 1300s, causing repeated flooding, submerging parts of the town, and flooding the harbor and river with silt. Today it stands as a small village, but up until its demise it was around the same size as medieval London. Despite still existing at depths of just three to 10 meters (or, 9.8 ft to 32.8 ft) below sea level, the murky conditions have made investigating what lies beneath particularly tricky.
Since 2010, however, Southampton's David Sear—along with the GeoData Institute, the National Oceanography Center, Wessex Archaeology, and local divers from North Sea Recovery and Learn Scuba—has been exploring the muddy depths using dual-frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) acoustic imaging.
"DIDSON technology is rather like shining a torch onto the seabed, only using sound instead of light," said Sear. "The data produced helps us to not only see the ruins, but also understand more about how they interact with the tidal currents and sea bed."

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Bid to save Pictish cave art from coastal erosion

Archaeologists are hoping to save ancient cave drawings from coastal erosion. Since the 5th century humans have been painting the walls of Wemyss Caves, creating a rich record of Scottish history over the past 1500 years.
Bid to save Pictish cave drawings from coastal erosion
One of the carvings in Sliding Cave [Credit: SCH@RP Blog]
They include the largest collection of Pictish drawings in North West Europe. The seven caves, which expand over a kilometre of the Fife coast, are being slowly destroyed by the sea.

Money has been spent trying to slow the pace of coastal erosion but every year the ocean inches closer to swallowing the paintings.

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Scandalous Construction in Bulgarian Black Sea Archaeology Site Halted

Bulgaria: Scandalous Construction in Bulgarian Black Sea Archaeology Site Halted
Photos of the illegal construction started circulating Bulgarian social networks on Saturday.
Municipal authorities have ordered a temporary stop of work on a construction site in the area of a protected archaeology site along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast.
The ongoing rapid construction was apparently started just ahead of Sunday's early general elections in Bulgaria, and raised among an outcry among environmentalistsand the general public.
The site appears to fall within the area of the Yaylata National ArchaeologicalReserve, located in a scenic area near the village of Kamen Bryag.
Monday Bulgaria's Ministry of Environment announced it has found that the ongoing construction does not comply with the construction permit issued.
The permit refers to "Reconstruction of a roof and masonry of a fisherman's hut," while builders have already erected two stories of a massive concrete building.

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Danish teen makes rare Viking-era find with metal detector


Danish museum officials say that an archaeological dig last year has revealed 365 items from the Viking era, including 60 rare coins.

Danish National Museum spokesman Jens Christian Moesgaard says the coins have a distinctive cross motif attributed to Norse King Harald Bluetooth, who is believed to have brought Christianity to Norway and Denmark.

Sixteen-year-old Michael Stokbro Larsen found the coins and other items with a metal detector in a field in northern Denmark.

Stokbro Larsen, who often explores with his detector, said he is often laughed at because friends find him "a bit nerdy."

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Prehistoric ear bones could lead to evolutionary answers

Prehistoric ear bones could lead to evolutionary answers

Tiny ear bones (from left) the incus, stapes, and malleus could provide big clues to human evolution. Credit: Texas A&M
The tiniest bones in the human body – the bones of the middle ear – could provide huge clues about our evolution and the development of modern-day humans, according to a study by a team of researchers that include a Texas A&M University anthropologist.
Darryl de Ruiter, a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, and colleagues from Binghamton University (the State University of New York) and researchers from Spain and Italy have published their work in the current issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Science).
The team examined the skull of a hominin believed to be about 1.9 million years old and found in a cave called Swartkrans, in South Africa. Of particular interest to the team were bones found in the middle ear, especially one called the malleus. It and the other ear bones – the incus and the stapes – together show a mixture of ape-like and human-like features, and represent the first time all three bones have been found together in one skull.

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DNA reveals origin of Greece's ancient Minoan culture

The palace of Knossos on Crete is now a major tourist attraction

Europe's first advanced civilisation was local in origin and not imported from elsewhere, a study says.
Analysis of DNA from ancient remains on the Greek island of Crete suggests the Minoans were indigenous Europeans, shedding new light on a debate over the provenance of this ancient culture.
Scholars have variously argued the Bronze Age civilisation arrived from Africa, Anatolia or the Middle East.
Details appear in Nature Communications journal.
The concept of the Minoan civilisation was first developed by Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist who unearthed the Bronze Age palace of Knossos on Crete.

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Early Greek states beyond the 'polis'

The Greek polis, as a political and territorial entity, is a remarkable social organisation that emerged in the Greek world after the collapse of the Mycenaean palace system and the “transition” period that followed. Because of its very distinctive character within the ancient world, the city-state dominates the study of Greek history. But how did this start and how can it be recorded?
Early Greek states beyond the 'polis'
Lefkandi on the island of Euboea and was extensively occupied since the
Early Bronze Age (roughly 2100 BC) to the end of the Geometric
period (ca 700 BC) [Credit: ULB]
Scholars often link the polis with communal rites and feasting in sacred or public spaces and they consider that these activities were a means to enhance the territory or group cohesion. Earlier literature has discussed cult and burial practices for periods earlier than the formation of the polis. However, what is missing is an up-to-date study of collective ceremonies from the Post Palatial period (ca 12th-11th c. BC) to the Archaic period (6th c. BC) where complex communal practices would be examined within a wider social context and, more importantly, beyond the structure of the Greek polis.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Canterbury Cathedral may 'close for business' after losing lottery bid

Christchurch Gate
Christchurch Gate, which acts as the cathedral's entrance, is particularly vulnerable to erosion

Canterbury Cathedral has said it may have to close to visitors after it missed out on £10m of lottery funding.
Two thirds of the building is in urgent need of repair including the Christchurch Gate, which is the main entrance for tourists.
Andrew Edwards, from the Canterbury Cathedral Trust, said if a piece of stone fell from the gate the cathedral would be "closed for business".
The cathedral plans to resubmit its bid in 2014.
Mr Edwards said the money would go towards a five-year conservation project.

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Earliest evidence of human ancestors as hunters/scavengers found

A U.S. anthropologist says a dig in Africa has revealed the earliest evidence of humans involved in hunting and scavenging as food acquisition strategies.

Around 2 million years ago early stone tool-making humans known as Oldowan hominin started to exhibit a number of physiological and ecological adaptations -- an increase in brain and body size, heavier investment in their offspring and significant home-range expansion -- that required greater daily energy expenditures, and there has been debate about how those early humans acquired that extra energy.

A wealth of archaeological evidence from a site in Kenya known as Kanjera South, or KJS, including animal bones and rudimentary stone tools, suggests they met their new energy requirements through an increased reliance on meat eating, Baylor University anthropologist Joseph Ferraro said.

"Considered in total, this study provides important early archaeological evidence for meat eating, hunting and scavenging behaviors -- cornerstone adaptations that likely facilitated brain expansion in human evolution, movement of hominins out of Africa and into Eurasia, as well as important shifts in our social behavior, anatomy and physiology," he said.

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Heavy equipment invades İstanbul excavation site, harming Neolithic ruins

An archeologist examines a human skeleton found during construction in İstanbul's Pendik district. (Photo: AA, Şebnem Coşkun)

Heavy equipment belonging to a construction firm that is working on the long-expected Marmaray project -- an undersea commuter train connecting İstanbul's Asian and European sides -- invaded an excavation site in Yenikapı and has damaged remnants dating back to the Neolithic Age.

Archaeological excavation started in 2004 at the Yenikapı Marmaray construction site, reaching 8,500 years into the history of İstanbul. Skeletons, chapel remains, water wells, footprints, the world's best-preserved shipwreck and a merchant vessel, whose contents and wooden parts are in exceptionally good condition, have been uncovered by archaeologists so far. The excavations are still going on at the site, but the Marmaray construction firm interrupted the work when its heavy equipment invaded the excavation site on May 11, not thinking of any possible damage that it might cause to objects as yet unrevealed.

According to a Radikal daily report on Monday, without considering the warnings and concerns of archaeologists, the management of the construction firm insisted on continuing their work at the Neolithic site, which carries great importance in terms of shedding light on the history of world civilization. The construction firm started its activities at the site without informing the Cultural and Natural Assets Conservation Board and the İstanbul Archaeology Museum. Now, archaeologists, universities and nongovernmental organizations have called on state officials to stop the heavy equipment that might eliminate their chances of finding new artifacts.

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Unique workshop of Palaeolithic hunters discovered in Silesia

The digital model of a biface discovered in the area of the site. Below, a schematic tool cross section showing the method of making of plano-convex form. Scanning by M. Mackiewicz

More than a thousand flint tools and waste generated on during their treatment were discovered near Pietrowice Wielkie (Silesia) by archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Wrocław - told PAP head researcher Dr. Andrzej Wiśniewski.
The flint workshops, remains of which were found by archaeologists, had been used by Neanderthals. The researchers are waiting for more detailed information on the site dating. The workshop is certainly more than 45 thousand years old.

"Tools were made by a specific canon of Neanderthals living in Central Europe. These items have a cutting edge on both sides, they are bifacial" - said Dr. Wiśniewski.

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3D reconstruction of medieval Nieszawa

Animation by Jakub Zakrzewski and Stanisław Rzeźnik.

In 2012, precise location of medieval town Nieszawa was determined. And that's without sinking a shovel into the ground, with the use of non-invasive methods. Now, a professional, 3D reconstruction of the settlement has been prepared for everyone to see on YouTube.
Animation authors are Jakub Zakrzewski and Stanisław Rzeźnik, who created a preliminary reconstruction of the medieval Nieszawa in collaboration with Piotrand Wroniecki and Michał Pisz, and with archaeological and historical consultation with Lidia Grzeszkiewicz-Kotlewska and Leszek Kotlewski, dr. Jerzy Sikora and Dariusz Osiński.

Today’s Nieszawa is a small town situated on the west bank of the Vistula River, 30 km upstream from Toruń. Its history dates back to the thirteenth century, when it was given to the Teutonic Order by Konrad I Mazowiecki in 1228 (today small town Mała Nieszawka). Over the next 200 years, the town location changed twice. After the defeat at Grunwald, the Teutonic Knights were forced to tear down the Commandery and the castle. However, already in 1424 Władyslaw Jagiello founded Mała Nieszawka near Toruń. After 1460, the town was moved several miles up the Vistula, where it remains today.

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Archaeologists located a city dating back more than 500 years

Geophysical map of medieval Nieszawa - regular buildings visible

A group of archaeologists from Warsaw located the place of second location of the city Nieszawa near Dybowski Castle in Toruń. The researchers used non-invasive research methods: air prospection and geophysical surveys.
"With surveys, we were able to preliminarily locate the likely range, size and topography of the city, which has not existed for over 550 years" - says project co-ordinator Michał Pisz.

As a result of carried out geophysical surveys, the researchers have obtained a clear outline of the buildings around the square. Furthermore, the anomalies recorded by magnetic measurements correspond to the vegetation highlights captured in aerial photographs taken by Wiesław Stępień.

"Based on the preliminary interpretation of the magnetic measurement results, it can be concluded that the source of anomalies we have recorded are objects made of bricks" - said Piotr Wroniecki, archaeologist involved in the project.

After surveying the central part of the city, the researchers will move to the west and north.

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Plague Helped Bring Down Roman Empire

New evidence suggests the Black Death bacterium caused the Justinianic Plague of the sixth to eighth centuries. The pandemic, named after the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (shown here), killed more than 100 million people.

Plague may have helped finish off the Roman Empire, researchers now reveal.

Plague is a fatal disease so infamous that it has become synonymous with any dangerous, widespread contagion. It was linked to one of the first known examples of biological warfare, when Mongols catapulted plague victims into cities.

The bacterium that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, has been linked with at least two of the most devastating pandemics in recorded history. One, the Great Plague, which lasted from the 14th to 17th centuries, included the infamous epidemic known as the Black Death, which may have killed nearly two-thirds of Europe in the mid-1300s. Another, the Modern Plague, struck around the world in the 19th and 20th centuries, beginning in China in the mid-1800s and spreading to Africa, the Americas, Australia, Europe and other parts of Asia.

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Ancient wooden boat found in the Boyne river

Find made as shopping trolleys removed from river

An ancient log-boat, possibly thousands of years old, has been discovered partly embedded in the banks of the River Boyne in Drogheda, possibly where it originally sank.
An initial examination by specialist archaeologist Karl Brady, suggests it could be unique because, unlike other dug-outs or log boats found in the Republic, it has a pair of oval shaped blisters on the upper edge.
Such features were “ very rare”.
“I have seen them on some boats found in Northern Ireland and Britain but not in Ireland. They could have been used for holding oars,” said Mr Brady, who is an underwater archaeologist with the Department of ArtsHeritage and the Gaeltacht.

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High-tech dig finds Roman farmstead

A high-tech research park is going to be built on land that once housed a Roman farmstead. An archaeological dig on the site of what will become the Haverhill Research Park has revealed traces of activity from the Iron Age through to the 1840s.
High-tech dig finds Roman farmstead
James Newboult said the size of the dig helped reveal the site's extensive history [Credit: BBC]
An Anglo Saxon hall and several pieces of jewellery were also found during the excavation, which covered 4.5 hectares.

Headland Archaeology said the dig had provided a "really interesting window" into Haverhill's history. The research park is being built on the A1307, the main road to Cambridge from Haverhill, and will also include a hotel and housing.

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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Ancient Milan church yields tombs, coins from 4th century

A small church on the outskirts of Milan containing archaeological finds from early Christendom has been declared a heritage site.

Excavations of the Church of Saints James and Philip, which began in March, led to discoveries that are especially important to the history of the Lombardy region and its earliest inhabitants.

Findings related to the community, once known as Nocetum, include tombs of an infant and an adult, and coins dating from the time of Roman emperor Magnentius, usurper of the empire from 350 to 353.

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Ancient Roman Cemetery Discovered Beneath Parking Lot

The Roman cemetery unearthed in Leicester, England, included pagan and Christian burials, Here, a Christian burial being excavated.
The Roman cemetery unearthed in Leicester, England, included pagan and Christian burials, Here, a Christian burial being excavated.
CREDIT: University of Leicester Archaeological Services

Hidden beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, archaeologists have discovered a 1,700-year-old Roman cemetery that seemed to show no religious bias.
The new discovery, found at the junction of Newarke and Oxford Streets, includes numerous burials and skeletal remains from 13 individuals, both male and female of various ages. The cemetery is estimated to date back to around A.D. 300, according to University of Leicester archaeologists who led the dig.
"We have literally only just finished the excavation and the finds are currently in the process of being cleaned and catalogued so that they can then be analyzed by the various specialists," John Thomas, archaeological project officer, told LiveScience in an email. [See Images of the Ancient Roman Cemetery]

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Monday, May 06, 2013

Neolithic huts built at Old Sarum by English Heritage

Three Neolithic huts completed at Old Sarum, Wiltshire

The aim is to build these Neolithic huts at the Stonehenge visitor next year

Three Neolithic-style huts have been built at Old Sarum to learn more about how the builders of Stonehenge lived.
The huts, made of chalk and straw daub and wheat-thatched roofing, have been based on archaeological remains found at Durrington Walls, near Stonehenge.
Project leader Luke Winter said: "What we're trying to do is get a sense of what these buildings looked like above-ground."
The hope is to re-build the huts at Stonehenge visitor centre next year.
Mr Winter added: "What makes the buildings interesting is that they were dated to about the same time as the large Sarson stones were being erected at Stonehenge.
"One of the theories is that these may have housed the people that were helping with construction of that monument."

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'Missing' rune stone turns up near Stockholm

A Viking-era rune stone has been "rediscovered" near Vaxholm in the Stockholm archipelago after a group of university students stumbled across the historic rock that had been hiding in plain sight for nearly 300 years.
'Missing' rune stone turns up near Stockholm
Researcher Magnus Källström examining the rune stone [Credit: The Local]
"It’s a very intriguing find, it shows that there is so much history yet to discover," researcher Magnus Källström from the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) told The Local in reference to the 1,000-year-old stone.

The find took place last week while archaeologist Torun Zachrisson and a group of students from Stockholm University were on an excursion in hopes of finding a rune stone known as U 170.

According to Zachrisson the stone has "been missing" for 300 years, but was rumoured to be near Bogesund's brygga, a jetty just outside of the archipelago town that lies an hour east of the capital city.

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Dealing with the doldrums on a Viking voyage

The outline of a foot on the Gokstad Ship gives us an inkling of what it might have been like for Vikings to cross the ocean.

The floorboard from the Gokstad ship. (Photo: Hanne Jakobsen)

He’s crowded into a sleek sailing ship with 65 other men. Scarcely room to move. It’s been days since anybody has seen land − longer since anyone bathed. The old-timers’ repeated tales of bygone raids and voyages are beginning to wear thin. 
His place is behind an oar, but there is no need to row continuously on the North Sea. With wind in the sail, the boat surges towards England, where riches await.
But what is there to do while waiting to reach a foreign coast?
Maybe it was a teenager engaged in a Viking version of tagging a school desk. In any case, someone took out his knife, bent down and traced the outline of his foot on the deck of the Gokstad Ship.

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Archeologists burn pigs to investigate historical mystery

Archeologists are puzzled by the fact that bone remnants from children and infants are almost never unearthed from ancient funeral pyre sites.

Sagnlandet Lejre. The burning piglet doesn’t smell as expected. It smells more like bonfire and this is slightly disappointing.
Jonas Jæger, archeology student at Copenhagen University, had been told it would smell like roasted pork or bacon “… and something disgusting later,” he says with a roguish grin in the direction of his fellow student Veronica Liv Johansen, busy documenting the ongoing experiment.
The olfactory anecdote stems from an older experimental archeologist who previously immolated fully grown pigs to investigate what happens with the bones after they’d been exposed to the tearing flames.
In principle it’s the same experiment happening right now with the only exception that the burning critter is just a piglet weighing in around 2,800 grams -- about the weight of an infant making it a good comparison to help answer a question shared by archeologists.  

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New archaeology apps may make you an armchair Indiana Jones

Harrison Ford Indiana Jones idol.jpg

A new app for tablets and smartphones will soon transport you to actual dig sites and ancient civilizations around the world, from China to Egypt to Peru, without getting you down into the mud, muck and malaria that often characterizes an archeological site.

It should help keep a curious public clued in to our amazing history, said Shawn Ross, an archeologist with the University of New South Wales in Australia.           
“Maybe it’s because we’ve all seen Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Ross told “Whether I’m in Sydney or Seattle or rural Bulgaria -- where my fieldwork has been for the past eight years or so -- people want to stop and talk about what you’re doing, what you’re finding, and what it all means.”

But communicating that information is little different today than it was for the whip-wielding Dr. Jones in the 40s. Most modern archaeology is a surprisingly low-tech process, he said: fieldwork recorded on paper and, sometimes, entered later into Excel spreadsheets, an Access database or perhaps some form of geolocation software.

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Moles unearth Roman artefacts at Epiacum's ancient fort

Epiacum Roman fort remains

Epiacum's impressive earthwork defences are still visible to this day

Epiacum is a site full of buried treasure, which no-one can reach - no-one human at least.
Near Alston in Cumbria, close to the Northumberland border, where now there are fields, there was once a thriving Roman fort.
Unfortunately for archaeologists, they cannot access any of the historic artefacts beneath the ground - because the site is a scheduled ancient monument.
Moles, however, pay no heed to the land's protected status.
The velvety creatures have not only been digging up the earth, but doing their bit for archaeology by inadvertently pushing ancient objects to the surface.

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Roman cemetery found under UK carpark

The University of Leicester archaeological unit that discovered King Richard III has spearheaded another dig and discovered a 1,700-old- Roman cemetery – under another car park in Leicester. The latest dig follows the historic discovery of King Richard III by colleagues from the same unit.
Roman cemetery found under UK carpark
Archaeologists uncover burials dating back to 300AD at Oxford Street car park,
Leicester [Credit: University of Leicester]
The find has revealed remains thought to date back to 300AD – and includes personal items such as hairpins, rings, belt buckles and remains of shoes.

In addition, the team has found a jet ring with a curious symbol etched onto it, apparently showing the letters IX overlain.  Opinion as to its meaning is divided; it may just be an attractive design but it is also reminiscent of an early Christian symbol known as an IX (Iota-Chi) monogram taken from the initials of Jesus Christ in Greek.

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Thursday, May 02, 2013

VIDEO: The search for Richard III – Richard Buckley at CA Live! 2013

Richard Buckley takes CA conference attendees through the discovery of Richard III's remains. Image:
Richard Buckley takes CA conference attendees through the discovery of Richard III’s remains. Image: Aerial-Cam

In September 2012, archaeologists from the University of Leicester announced a significant development in their search for the remains of Richard III, England’s last Medieval monarch: the discovery of human remains thought to be those of the lost king, beneath a carpark in the city centre. Five months later, following an exhaustive battery of scientific tests, the team were able to confirm that these were indeed the bones of the ill-fated Plantaganet.
At our annual conference, Current ArchaeologyLive! 2013,  ULAS’ Richard Buckley, lead archaeologist on the Greyfriars Project, shared the full story of this astonishing piece of archaeological detective work with over 400 rapt attendees. For those who were unable to make it to the conference, however, Richard has kindly agreed to let us make his talk available on our website. Enjoy!

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Whithorn Trust raises fears over funding

Whithorn Priory
The trust runs a visitor centre and museum charting the history of Whithorn

A cash crisis is threatening an organisation set up to promote the archaeology and heritage of the "cradle of Christianity" in Scotland.
The Whithorn Trust says unless extra funds can be found it could be forced to close within a matter of weeks.
It runs a visitor centre and museum on the history of Whithorn, where St Ninian established a church in 397 AD.
However, it could be forced to shut this summer as a result of an £18,500 funding shortfall.
The trust said it would mean the loss of seven jobs and cost the local economy more than £500,000 in lost revenue from visitors.

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Digging London’s past: Syon Park excavation


his summer the Museum of London will return to Syon Park, Hounslow, with digging opportunities for adult and children, it has been announced.  
Having previously focussed on investigating the house of Sir Richard Wynne, a Parliamentarian on whose land the 1641 Battle of Brentford was fought as anti-Royalist forces tried to stop Prince Rupert’s troops reaching London, this year’s excavation will explore how the Roman road and settlement at Brentford has shaped the landscape, and its impact up to the present day.
The site lies close to the main Roman road leading from the capital to Silchester and previous excavations in the park have exposed a wealth of Roman archaeology. Hopes are high for more Roman finds this year.

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Richard III replica head to go on show in York

Lifesize reconstruction made from detailed scans of skull found in Leicester car park will be Yorkshire Museum's centrepiece

Richard III
Richard III (1452-1485) had close connections to York and Yorkshire, having spent much of his youth living at Middleham Castle. Photograph: Richard III Society

"King Richard, late mercifully reigning over us, was through great treason … piteously slain and murdered, to the great heaviness of this city," reported the mayor of York's serjeant of the mace a day after Richard III's death at the Battle of Bosworth on 22 August 1485.
More than 500 years later however, the last Yorkist king and a monarch with strong connections to York and Yorkshire, is returning to the city. Not Richard exactly, but a replica head made from detailed scans of Richard's scull, which was found in a Leicester car park last year.
The disconcertingly lifelike replica will take pride of place in a new display at the Yorkshire Museum looking at what is really known about the long-lost-then-found monarch. It is part of York's city wide programme of events marking the importance of Richard III to the city.
The head will be on show from 19 July until October.

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Carbon test hopes for 'Battle of Lewes casualty'


The skull has sword wounds and a large number of blows to the head

Tests are under way on a skeleton found in an East Sussex town to find out if it is a victim of the 1264 Battle of Lewes.
Lewes is gearing up for celebrations next year to mark the 750th anniversary of the battle between the armies of King Henry III and Simon de Montfort.
York University experts are testing bones thought to be those of a soldier.
Sussex Archaeological Society said the skeleton could take centre stage in next year's anniversary celebrations.

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Toba super-volcano catastrophe idea 'dismissed'

Volcanic glass
Toba traces: The volcanic glass fragments are thinner than human hair

The idea that humans nearly became extinct 75,000 ago because of a super-volcano eruption is not supported by new data from Africa, scientists say.
In the past, it has been proposed that the so-called Toba event plunged the world into a volcanic winter, killing animal and plant life and squeezing our species to a few thousand individuals.
An Oxford University-led team examined ancient sediments in Lake Malawi for traces of this climate catastrophe.
It could find none.

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