Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Iron Age 'nerve centre' uncovered on hill

EXCAVATIONS at a large hill fort in East Lothian have uncovered what archaeologists believe to be one of the nerve centres of Iron Age Scotland.

The new findings at Traprain Law, near Haddington, include the first coal jewellery workshop unearthed in Scotland as well as hundreds of artefacts giving new insight into life in the 700BC-AD43 era.

Experts who have been working on the site for several weeks are now able to paint a picture of a densely populated hilltop town which was home to leaders of local tribes, following the discovery of multiple ramparts, Roman pottery, gaming pieces, tools and beads.

The Scotsman

Dig team baffled over tribe who abandoned Iron Age fort

Archaeologists are investigating a 2200-year-old mystery surrounding one of Scotland's rare Iron Age clifftop forts. Excavations have revealed that the unusual fortification, 100ft up a cliff on the Galloway coast, was suddenly and inexplicably abandoned by the Novantae, an early Scottish people. Work at the prehistoric settlement at Carghidown, near the Isle of Whithorn, has contributed to a better understanding of the little-known tribe who lived in what today is south-west Scotland.

Stone Pages

Monday, July 26, 2004

Human sacrifice rarer than thought

Bronze Age ritual human sacrifice may have been rarer than believed, according to a study of ancient DNA from bones in central Europe. German anthropologist Dr Susanne Hummel from the University of Göttingen presented her team's research at a recent ancient DNA conference in Brisbane, Australia.

Stone Pages

Skeletons traced back to the Iron Age

Last summer six skeletons were unearthed on a disused garage site in Gargrave (Yorkshire, England). The site was being excavated by archaeologists who discovered two skeletons in July and four more in September. The six skeletons were sent to Miami for carbon dating and scientists there found the bodies to date from between 340 BCE and 100 CE. This would make them late Iron Age, early Roman.

Stone Pages

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Why babies always voice love for papa

THEY are known for making a loud noise at one end and having no sense of responsibility at the other.

But for 50,000 years babies have also shared another characteristic – the word papa.

Scientists investigating the roots of language believe the word was one of the first uttered by babies at the dawn of humanity and has been handed down from the original proto-tongue.

The Herald

Ancient DNA Reveals Skin Color

Researchers may be able to make more accurate reconstructions of what ancient humans looked like with the first ever use of ancient DNA to determine hair and skin color from skeletal remains.


Archaeologist traces wine origin to Neolithic

The first wine-tasting may have occurred when prehistoric humans slurped the juice of naturally fermented wild grapes from animal-skin pouches or crude wooden bowls. The idea of winemaking may have occurred to our alert and resourceful ancestors when they observed birds gorging themselves silly on fermented fruit.

Stone Pages

Sunday, July 18, 2004


It’s time to dig out your trowel and pull on your wellies again. July 17 and 18, 2004 are National Archaeology Days (NADs).

The aim of National Archaeology Days are to encourage people to visit museums, sites of archaeological and historical interest as well as archaeological units to see archaeology in action and take part in activities on site.

We’ve picked out a few of the highlights from around the country to give you a taste of what is on offer but for a full list of events and to find out what is going on in your area visit the Council for British Archaeology website.

24 Hour Museum News


Yorkshire campaigners opposing the proposed planning application by Tarmac Northern to quarry close to Thornborough Henges in North Yorkshire, say the application contravenes the local council’s policy on quarrying in the area.

Heritage Action claim that North Yorkshire County Council’s ‘Minerals Action Plan’, which regulates mineral extraction and quarrying in the region, recommends a reduction in the supply of sand and gravel from the county by 500, 000 tonnes per year.

This they maintain is not consistent with Tarmac’s proposed plans to quarry the nearby Ladybridge area.

24 Hour Museum News


The discovery of yet more Ice Age engravings and bas-reliefs has confirmed Creswell Crags’s place on the national and international map as a place of important historic interest.

According to Dr Nigel Mills, Manager of Creswell Heritage Trust, it may be the much needed boost the area needs as well as an opportunity to update the museum and visitor centre facilities.

"These new discoveries further confirmed by leading specialist like Dr Lorblanchet are absolutely fantastic for the museum at Creswell Crags and the local area," said Dr Mills.

24 Hours Museum News


Following months of delicate conservation work finds from the treasure of the Saxon ‘king’ of Southend are to go on display for the first time at the Museum in Docklands.

From 14 July to 15 August 2004 the new finds will be exhibited along with the gold crosses, the Coptic flagon and bowl, the buckles, coins and glass jars that were on show for a short time earlier this year at the Museum of London.

24 Hour Museum News

Bones reveal chubby monks aplenty

The full truth about one of Britain's favourite historical fatties has been tracked down by a three-year study of overweight medieval monks.
Robin Hood's companion Friar Tuck had hundreds of real-life counterparts, according to a newly published analysis of skeletons in three monastic burial sites in London.

Suet, lard and butter were wolfed down in "startling quantities" by the closed communities, whose abbots often depended on arranging large and regular helpings to keep their flocks under control.


All roads lead to Chipping Ongar: dig points to a hidden Roman town

An undiscovered Roman town may exist in south-west Essex, according to archaeological evidence being uncovered in London.


Pompeii find shows secrets of the Samnites

The discovery in Pompeii of a pre-Roman temple is being hailed as evidence that the city was sophisticated and thriving 300 years before Vesuvius erupted.


President Putin visited an archaeological excavation site in Staraya Ladoga on Saturday

Leningrad region, July 17 (Itar-Tass) -- President Vladimir Putin visited an archaeological excavation site in Staraya Ladoga on Saturday.

He went down into the excavation pit near the walls of the Klementovskaya tower of the local fortress. The archaeological party's head Anatoly Kirpichnikov, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave explanations to the president during the tour.


How to tell a Roman bath from a hole in the ground
A modern housing estate seems an unlikely place to find Roman baths. But the historic discovery in the middle of Swindon has got archaeologists into a real lather.

English Heritage has said the site at Groundwell Ridge is one of the most important Roman sites in England and recent finds have confirmed their early enthusiasm.

This is Wiltshire

Friday, July 02, 2004

Orkney’s prehistoric secrets unearthed

Archaeologists have found the remains of a prehistoric village on Orkney, which has already unlocked secrets of the island's life, beliefs and rituals.

The Herald

Giant hippo bones reveal Norfolk's ancient past as a tropical savannah

Norfolk was once a tropical savannah with seven-ton hippos, hyenas and other exotic wildlife, archaeologists believe.

Fossilised remains of two giant hippos were unearthed close to Norwich in April and go on show today at the Natural History Museum in London.


Historic site is found in garden

A Somerset couple has stumbled on what is being hailed as one of the county's most significant archaeological sites while digging in their garden.

Alex and Alison Willis unearthed the remains of a 17th Century foundry in the front yard of their home in Lightgate Road, South Petherton.

BBC News

History is rewritten by archaeological dig

EXCAVATION work taking place near Threshfield has revealed some surprising facts, which are starting to rewrite the history of the area.

Dr Roger Martlew, a lecturer at the University of Leeds, has been excavating two sites in fields near Netherside Hall.

The fields were thought to contain pre-historic hut circles dating from around the Iron or Bronze Age.

This is Bradford

Rabbits threaten Viking site

A FORMER Viking power base seen as one of the most important sites of its type in Scotland is under threat from new attackers, a plague of rabbits.

The Bornish site in South Uist is one of the most extensive and complex Norse settlements on the Western Isles and also one of the largest rural settlements of its type in Britain.

The Scotsman

Dodgy embalming in ancient Egypt

New technology has uncovered amazing secrets about the life of a 2,800-year-old mummy. Elizabeth Grice took an exclusive tour of an exciting 3D exhibition

The bandages are off, and whoompf, we are travelling fast inside the bony cavern of a mummified body, following the line of the spine, curving this way and that, threatening to bump into vertebrae. It's like flying. And under the wrappings, in the layer of remaining soft tissue, we discover that the mummy is unequivocally a man.