Monday, November 29, 2004
Bulldozing an ancient site: Turkish Cypriot developers say they’re willing to bring in the archaeologists
THE row over whether a Turkish Cypriot construction company should be allowed to build on the site of a Bronze-Age necropolis in the village of Kazafani outside Kyrenia resurfaced yesterday with the company at the centre of the debate calling on the north’s authorities to join them in excavating the site.
The offer coincided with a renewed debate over the site’s status within the Turkish Cypriot administration. In line with local law, the antiquities department has reissued its application for the site to be recognised as a grade one archaeological site. The application is currently waiting for ratification by the ‘economy and tourism ministry’, after which its status will be published in the official gazette.
The argument first erupted in June, when the north’s antiquities department called a halt to development of a 40-donum site, known as Vounos, into a complex of luxury housing for sale to predominantly British clients. The department had, unbeknownst to the company, declared Vounos a grade one archaeological site on May 27 this year, but not soon enough to prevent extensive bulldozing of the Bronze Age relic.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 3:43 pm
Gallic war treasure discovered in southern France
French archaeologists said this week they had discovered an exceptional Gallic war treasure in the south of the country, including rare war trumpets and ornate helmets.
The some 470 objects, or fragments of objects, were found at the end of September during a dig at Naves, in the department of Correze in southern France, in a ditch hollowed out of a Gallic-Roman temple, they said.
"The exceptional character of this discovery lies mainly in the presence of five almost complete carnyx," Christophe Maniquet, an archeologist at Inrap, France's national institute for Archeological studies, said.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 10:26 am
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Découverte d'un trèsor de guerre gaulois
Des archéologues viennent de révéler la découverte faite fin septembre lors de fouilles archéologiques en Corrèze, d'un véritable "trésor de guerre" gaulois, composé de pièces uniques comme des trompettes utilisées au cours de batailles et des casques richement ornés.
Ces 470 objets ou fragments d'objets reposaient dans une fosse, creusée dans l'enceinte d'un temple gallo-romain à Naves (Corrèze), près de Tulle. Les fouilles de ce temple, dont les premières occupations datent du 1er siècle av JC, ont débuté en septembre 2001.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 5:28 pm
3000 Jahre Würzburg Kelten und Franken am Main
24. 11. 2004 – 17. 4. 2005
Mainfränkischen Museums Würzburg
Freilich ist sie älter, die Stadt, deren Name erstmals in einer Urkunde aus dem Jahr 704 erscheint. Die in diesem Datum verankerte 1300-Jahr Feier der Stadt Würzburg inspiriert das Mainfränkische Museum zu einer Ausstellung, die zeigen möchte, wie Forschung und Funde der Archäologen in Würzburg und Unterfranken Fenster öffnen in das Zeitalter vor 704, eine uns immer noch weitgehend unbekannte, fremd erscheinende Welt, aus der es keine schriftliche Überlieferung gibt.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 3:37 pm
A New Website for London Archaeology
Christian Allen, of the Hendon and District Archaeological Society, has recently created a new website for London Archaeology.
You can find the site at: http://www.londonarchaeology.org.uk/Main_Page.
A link to the site has been added to the Archaeology in Europe Weblog sidebar.
5,000-year-old settlement found
Archaeologists believe that ancient artifacts uncovered at a Cambridge village college are evidence from a 5,000-year-old settlement.
Pits containing neolithic remains of arrowheads, pottery and knives have been found at a site next to the Linton Village College south of Cambridge.
Digs took place ahead of construction of a new special school on the site.
Italy Returns Stolen Obelisk to Ethiopia
A cyclopean task will put to an end a decades-long diplomatic dispute between Italy and Ethiopia over a looted obelisk, according to a bilateral agreement signed last week in Rome.
Signed by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin and Italian Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Alfredo Mantica, the deal set up the final details over the transport of a 160-ton granite stele from Rome to the city of Axum.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:28 pm
Vatican returns relics of saints to Istanbul in bid to heal rift
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II, in a gesture of friendship with the Orthodox Church, on Saturday handed over the bones of two early Christian saints that were brought to Rome from ancient Constantinople centuries ago.
The Vatican said the return of the saints' relics was part of the pope's efforts to promote Christian unity and dismissed any suggestion that John Paul was "asking pardon" for their removal by Crusaders from the seat of the Orthodox Church.
The pope sat beside Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, in St. Peter's Basilica as the bones of the saints, resting on yellow velvet in crystal and alabaster reliquaries, were brought to the altar.
Rapid City Journal
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:27 pm
Heritage Malta's plan for the Citadel
Pierre Cassar, manager public programmes, Heritage Malta, (November 17) opened his reply to a letter by Tony Mercieca by trying to minimise the importance of the Citadel Armoury. The Armoury, inaugurated in March 1984, was closed down by Heritage Malta last month to turn it into an office.
Heritage Malta has confirmed through this reply:
The Times (Malta)
PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES LEICESTERSHIRE: TEMPLE TREASURE
This is the last in a series of seven introductory features about the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) Roadshows, happening nationally on November 27 2004.
The Romans were once in Leicestershire, and they certainly left their mark. The county bears a legacy of roads from the days of the great Empire and objects dropped by those who once travelled down them now make it an interesting place for metal detectorists and amateur archaeologists. Take our story from 2003, where some intriguing gold jewellery was found.
24 Hours Museum News
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:23 pm
Stone me! Jak's rock is 4,000-year-old axe
When Jak MacDonald picked up a pebble on a beach, he had no idea he was holding an artefact shaped by a Stone Age craftsman 4,000 years ago. The six-year-old, from Broughton Astley, stumbled upon a neolithic axe head while on holiday in Pembrokeshire.
Jak was looking for pebbles to skim in the sea when he came across the flat stone.
He was about to try it out when his mum's partner noticed the unusual shape.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:20 pm
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Viking map may rewrite US history
Danish experts will travel to the U.S. to study evidence that the Vikings landed in the New World five centuries before Columbus.
A controversial parchment said to be the oldest map of America could, if authentic, support the theory that the Vikings arrived first.
The map is said to date from 1434 and was found in 1957. Some people believe it is evidence that Vikings, who departed from Greenland around the year 1000, were the first to land in the Americas.
News in Science
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:10 am
FARMER FINDS SILVER LOCKET AT BATTLESITE
A tiny silver locket - discovered in a Westonzoyland field - may have fallen from the neck of a soldier fighting for the King at the Battle of Sedgemoor more than 300 years ago. The ornament, measuring little more than two centimetres, is a first for Somerset - and there are hopes it will eventually go on display at the County Museum in Taunton.
This is Somerset
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:08 am
Friday, November 26, 2004
Unearthed: ancient burial pit shows how Bronze Age Scots prepared for afterlife
Archaeologists have hailed the discovery of an early Bronze Age cemetery as one of the most significant in Britain after new technology enabled them to pinpoint the date of graves.
The remains of more than 35 men, women and children who lived between 1900BC and 1600BC have been uncovered at a previously unknown settlement at Skilmafilly, north-west of Peterhead in Aberdeenshire.
Among the cremated bones, which were buried in pottery urns, scientists found a wide range of artefacts which signify that the community had widespread trade links with other parts of Britain and probably shared a common belief in an afterlife.
Shipworm threatens marine archeological remains in the Baltic
Shipworm has spread to the Baltic Sea. If it continues to spread, it threatens to destroy still well-preserved and irreplaceable shipwrecks and other marine archeological remains along the coast of Sweden, according to Carl Olof Cederlund, professor of marine archeology at Södertörn University College in Stockholm and the Swedish representative in the EU project that has now determined the spread of shipworm to the Baltic for the first time.
“Up till now the Baltic has been regarded as a haven against shipworm. This is one of the reasons why it was possible to find the royal warship Wasa and other large wooden vessels in such excellent condition after centuries at the bottom of the sea,” adds Carl Olof Cederlund.
24. August 79 Pompeji. Die Stunden des Untergangs
Als am 24. August 79 der glühende Ascheregen des Vesuvs über die Stadt Pompeji fiel wurden die Menschen buchstäblich "in ihren alltäglichen Verrichtungen" überrascht. Die Katastrophe, die über die Stadt hereingebrochen war hat sich für die Wissenschaft als eine reiche Quelle zur Erforschung und Beschreibung der Lebenswelt des antiken Menschen erwiesen.
Vom 28. November 2004 bis zum 17. April 2005 zeigt das Reiss-Engelhorn-Museum in Mannheim eine Ausstellung über den Untergang der Stadt. Die Ausstellung schildert mit originalen Fundstücken, Schaubildern und Rekonstruktionen anschaulich das Geschehen im August 79.
Stone age relics found off coast
The site of a stone age settlement, preserved under layers of silt, has been discovered off the coast of the Isle of Wight.
Included in the find is a fire pit, presumed to be an oven, which was first used about 9,000 years ago.
The settlement, now thirty feet beneath the sea and 500 yards off the coast of Bouldnor, was found by divers.
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Relics looted by Bulgaria are on their way home to Greece
Bulgaria has paved the way for the return of priceless religious relics which were removed from monasteries in Macedonia and Thrace during World War I. The first step toward meeting the longstanding demand of the Greek authorities came unexpectedly a few days ago when Bulgaria’s President Georgi Parvanov expressed his government’s intention of returning the relics to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios.
Bronze Age Site Discovered at Gas Company Dig
Archaeologists have discovered what they believe is the most comprehensively-dated Bronze Age site in Britain, it emerged today.
The 29 cremations pits and a number of artefacts were uncovered by chance during the installation of a gas pipeline in Aberdeenshire.
The pits include 10 pottery urns containing ashes of children and adults and two golden eagle talons.
The talons are of particular archaeological importance as they have never been excavated from this period before.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:19 pm
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Mycenaean tomb found in southern Greece
Athens - Archeologists have discovered an unraided tomb with various artifacts dating from the Mycenaean period more than 3 000 years ago in southern Greece, officials said in Athens on Monday.
The vault-shaped tomb, carved in natural rock, was found during earthworks near Peristeri, 50km south of the town of Sparta.
Two graves and the bones of eight people were brought to light, the Greek Culture Ministry said in a statement.
Moors murders scientist traces buried medieval village
A LOST medieval village has been discovered by a scientist who led a search for Moors Murder victims.
Professor John Hunter and a team of 15 have discovered what is believed to be a buried medieval crofting settlement while carrying out general field survey work in and around a harbour village in the Western Isles.
Artefacts buried under the clachan of Rodel, on south Harris, may provide evidence that the community was once an international trading centre, with vessels arriving from Scandinavia and also the Mediterranean.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:49 am
Flint find is historic first
A Forest archaeologist is still full of excitement after stumbling across a find which could re-write Forest history books. President of the Forest of Dean Archaeology Group, Dr Alf Webb got more than he bargained for while out on a mission to get a photograph for his new book.
The 80-year-old archaeological expert, who is writing a book about the archaeology of the Dean, came across what he is certain is a spearhead from the Solutrean period which dates back to 18,000 BC.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:47 am
Swiss help bring Roman Pompeii back to life
Visitors to Pompeii will now be able to see and hear life as it unfolded in Roman times, thanks to a computer project spearheaded by Geneva University.
The LifePlus programme takes real images of the ruined Italian city and adds the life that is missing, including simulated animals, plants, and humans.
Eagle secret of Bronze Age burial
ARCHAEOLOGISTS in Scotland have made a "hugely significant" discovery by unearthing the best and most comprehensively-dated Bronze Age site in the UK, The Scotsman has learned.
The tightly clustered group of 29 cremation pits, one containing eagle talons, was uncovered at Skilmafilly when the gas maintenance company Transco was excavating and installing its £56 million gas pipeline from St Fergus to Aberdeen.
With no previous indications of the burial site, either from ground-level observations or aerial photographs, the pits were stumbled on by chance. Transco called in archaeological contractors to check the site while the pipeline was being installed.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Google launch the Scholar search, Megalithic Portal links in
Google announces: We have just launched the beta version of Google Scholar. This is a free service that helps users search scholarly literature such as peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports. Just as with Google Web Search, Google Scholar orders your search results by how relevant they are to your query, so the most useful references should appear at the top of the page.
(You can find Google Scholar here and an entry has been added to the Archaeology in Europe Weblog sidebar)
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:59 am
PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES : FIELD WALKING IN WALES
This is the fifth in a series of seven features we are writing in the run up to the forthcoming PAS Roadshows.
When it comes to archaeological finds reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), Wales has proved to be something of a goldmine.
A series of high profile finds in the north of the country include gold hoards that are allowing archaeologists to pinpoint some interesting new patterns about the late Bronze Age period.
In common with many areas administered by the PAS, the majority of these finds come through a good relationship and frequent contact with the metal detecting community, but in Wales there are also some other major sources.
24 Hour Museum News
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:51 am
Mary Rose meets older sister
THE Mary Rose may be almost 500 years old – but she's a newcomer compared to the latest arrival at Portsmouth's historic dockyard.
Experts from the Mary Rose Trust who preserve King Henry VIII's favourite warship are jubilant after being asked to preserve the remains of a 2,500-year-old Greek trading vessel raised from the deep.
About 700 sodden timbers were transported halfway across Europe last week from a wreck site off Sicily to the trust's conservation facilities.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:49 am
HELPING TO CAPTURE ISLAND HERITAGE
The three-hour workshops will be held thanks to a grant obtained by the Julia Margaret Cameron Trust from from the Local Heritage Initiative Fund.
The idea is to enable residents to become more aware of the heritage surrounding them, whether it be buildings, wildlife or the landscape.
The workshops will be aimed at all sections of the community who will be able to get help and advice to produce images which can be entered into an exhibition at the museum.
Isle of Wight County Press
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:45 am
Newgrange and Dowth under threat?
A proposal to build an incinerator in Cork Harbour to handle toxic waste has raised fears about its effect on the UNESCO designated World Heritage Site which includes the passage tombs of Newgrange and Dowth.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:42 am
Monday, November 22, 2004
Stonehenge's past brought to light
Pictures dating back 150 years show how site has developed
The sign advises the solitary car pootling down the deserted road, past the reassuring AA phone box, to "fork left for Exeter" - unless the driver decides to fork right onto the infant A344, park on the grass verge, and pop in for a quick wander among the towering columns of Stonehenge, or for a nice cup of tea and a Bath bun in the newly built Stonehenge Cafe.
The photograph, one of hundreds excavated for a new book by archaeologist Julian Richards, from the National Monuments Archive in Swindon and other public and private archives, dates from around 1930. The car is passing the exact spot of the current furore over what to do about the world's most famous prehistoric site.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:10 am
The ancients: now available in colour
For hundreds of years, Caligula's handsome, marble face has stared out at a fascinated world. Now situated at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum in Copenhagen, the celebrated first-century bust of this cruel young Roman emperor is made repellent, yet intriguing, not so much by his petulantly downturned mouth as by the blank, staring eyes chiselled from marble by an unknown sculptor.
It comes as a shock to be confronted with an exact replica with unthreatening hazel eyes. Add garish pink skin and glossy brown hair, and the new painted version of Caligula's bust looks as if it might once have been used to model hats in thewindow of a men's outfitters. Yet, according to the curators of a new exhibition at the Vatican museums, this is a lot closer to what the sculptor intended we see than the white marble to which we are accustomed.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:06 am
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Trading with the enemy: Tudor ship provides clues to Anglo-Spanish ties
Marine archaeologists have found in the mudflats of the Thames estuary the remains of an Elizabethan merchant ship which may have been carrying out a secret trading mission.
The 100ft-long vessel, one of the few Tudor merchant vessels ever found around Britain's coast, is of immense archaeological and historical importance. The ship was built of East Anglian oak at an east coast ship-building centre, probably Ipswich or Aldeburgh, around 1575 and its cargo and armaments suggest it may have been illegally trading with England's arch enemy, Spain.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 2:24 pm
REMAINS OF FOOD SHED LIGHT ON ANCIENT WAYS
Exotic spices unearthed beneath the Bath Spa show military administrators lived in the lap of luxury in the city's early days. Food and architectural remains found preserved beneath the remains of Roman buildings provide new evidence of the high living enjoyed by the military rulers of what was then Aquae Sulis in the first century AD.
The remains were discovered in 1999, but have only just finished being analysed.
This is Bath
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 2:22 pm
New English Heritage Director for SW appointed
A new director has been appointed by English Heritage to take responsibility for championing historical sites and buildings in the South West. Dr Robert Bewley has worked for the government body for the last 20 years.
In his new role he will take charge of English Heritage initiatives in the region - including regeneration of city centres and work on archaeological sites.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 2:21 pm
'Menhir Alleys' found in Russia
Last September, Alexander Ludov, a student of local lore, made a strange discovery not far from a burial mound on the basin of the Aksai river (Russia). He spotted several gigantic stones in the middle of a steppe. The construction consists of vertically erected massive rocks: long 'Menhir alleys' made of stone stretch from East to West. According to results of a geological expedition, the site dates back to approximately 9,000 BCE. Thus, these megaliths could be much older than the other European megaliths.
"These rocks do not contain traces of limestone or any other kinds of rocks that are commonly found in our steppes. These rocks are made of quartz," said Alexander Ludov. "Today, we can only guess about the initial forms of the megaliths. For centuries, people have been looting the archaeological site. However, the damages had not been too drastic. This is the first discovery of megaliths in the European part of Russia; similar stone monuments have been previously discovered only in Caucasus and Siberia." added Ludow.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 2:16 pm
Saturday, November 20, 2004
PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES YORKSHIRE: COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGY
Simon Holmes, Finds Liaison Officer for North and East Yorkshire is something of a champion of community archaeology. But this wasn’t always the case.
Having worked as an archaeologist for the past fourteen years he admits that, when it came to metal detecting and its role in deciphering the past, he was definitely of the ‘old school’.
Now, the intervening years of experience and the last three years administering the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) have forced him to have not just a re-think, but a complete volte-face. “Metal detectorists are re-writing history,” he says without a hint of doubt or irony.
24 Hours Museum News
Archaeologist receives top honour
A retired Cambridge archaeologist has been given a top award for his work.
The pioneer of radiocarbon dating which estimates the ages of settlements, Prof Colin A Renfrew, received the Balzan Prize for prehistoric archaeology.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:02 am
Friday, November 19, 2004
Another Stonehenge Found in Russia?
Russian archaeologists have announced that they have found the remains of a 4,000-year-old structure that they compare to England's Stonehenge, according to recent reports issued by Pravda and Novosti, two Russian news services.
If the comparison holds true, the finding suggests that both ancient European and Russian populations held similar pagan beliefs that wove celestial cycles with human and animal life.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:31 am
Ancient Animal Could Be Human-Ape Ancestor
A nearly 13 million-year-old ape discovered in Spain is the last probable common ancestor to all living humans and great apes, a research team says in Friday's issue of Science magazine.
A husband-and-wife team of fossil sleuths unearthed an animal with a body like an ape, fingers like a chimp and the upright posture of humans. The ancient ape bridges the gap between earlier, primitive animals and later, modern creatures.
This newest ape species, Pierolapithecus catalaunicus, is so significant that it adds a new page to ancient human history.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:28 am
Historic ship remains recovered
Parts of a medieval ship thought to have lain under the Thames Estuary for the past 500 years have been recovered near Gravesend.
The remains, thought to have been part of an armed merchant vessel, were found during dredging of the estuary.
The Port of London Authority recovered the bow section of the ship relatively intact - virtually unheard of for a ship of this age.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:26 am
Medieval harvests reveal climate change
Leave it to the French to measure global climate change through the archives of 600 years of harvesting the pinot noir grape in Burgundy.
A group of French climatologists and ecologists has pored over records squirrelled away in parish papers and obscure municipal files to find which day the fabled grapes were picked in each year stretching back to 1370.
Globe and Mail
Tall Bronze Age skeletons found in Bulgaria
Archaeologists working near the village of Moguila in the district of Yambol, Bulgaria, have uncovered 3,000 year-old skeletons.
The skeletons were around 2 metres in length, unusually tall compared to other Early Bronze Age remains found in the area. They were found curled up in an embryonic position, which was believed to immortalise the soul.
These people arrived in the region having moved from the Black Sea steppe, mixing with locals to produce the Thracian race. The Thracian heritage of Bulgaria has been highlighted this year by a number of important discoveries in the so-called "Valley of the Thracian Kings", including the unearthing of Europe's oldest skeleton last week.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:23 am
Iron Age Cornish hill fort for sale
A hill fort in Cornwall, south-west England, will go on sale next month. Lescudjack Hill Fort, the area's largest Iron Age settlement, is to be auctioned by Fulfords Estate Agents in Penzance on 2 December. The guide price of £28,000 includes a 2.5 acre area of land off Pendennis Road, Penzance, with stunning views over Penzance to Mount's Bay and the Mousehole Peninsula.
Historians and schools have raised concerns about the sale. Local author and historian Ian Addicoat said: "Clearly it is imperative that such an historic and important site is maintained and preserved correctly. I think if there were any plans to develop such an important site there would be an outcry, and I would be very surprised if the planners would allow it. I hope whoever takes it on appreciates its history and considers allowing it to be used as an amenity. I'm not sure the public is aware of its significance. They probably think it's a field with a nice view. But historians are certainly aware of what it represents."
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:22 am
PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES DEVON: THE METAL MUSHROOM MYSTERY
What kinds of objects land on the desk of a Finds Liaison Officer? If Nicky Powell, the FLO for Devon is anything to go by, the answer is everything from Roman brooches, coins and musket balls to…mushrooms and slugs.
“Looking at my desk now gives you an idea of the breadth of finds that are coming in,” she tells me. “There’s a selection of Roman pottery, medieval items and post-medieval clay pipes. There's a Tudor silver gilt dress pin, which is only the fourth such item found in Devon and we also have a weird thing that looks like an armoured slug.”
24 Hour Museum News
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:20 am
Photos of the Kokino megalithic observatory in Macedonia
As presented to the recent "Archaeology of World Megalithic Cultures" conference in Greece, the Portal caught up with the researchers to give us an exclusive look at this unique archeostronomical site. In 2001, on the foot path of a mountain pick, near the village Kokino, archeologist Jovica Stankovski, discovered an archeological site from The Bronze Age. The site has a stately dimension and is scaled on two levels. Several stone seats (thrones) are dominant on the site and they are pointing towards the east horizon.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:19 am
Archaeology: Exotic Life of Ancient Thrace
A series of spectacular discoveries at three sites in central and eastern Bulgaria has highlighted the exotic lifestyle of the ancient Thracians as never before.
Georgi Kitov, a veteran Thrakologist who has excavated more than 30 tombs built for the ancient warrior elite, says that the Thracians were known for drinking undiluted strong red wine and were famous for their martial skills. They were the most successful gladiators in ancient Rome.
As a result of the latest finds, the Thracians, who excelled at constructing elaborate tombs and rock-cut shrines, have seized the popular imagination.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:16 am
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Site gives an insight into life of abbey
Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of a medieval lodge linked with the abbey at Bury St Edmunds.
The team of archaeologists from Suffolk County Council has discovered the foundations of a historic building at a site off Eastern Way, Bury, which is thought to date from the 13th or 14th centuries.
The site is on land belonging to Proflat Roofing, of Station Road, which is due to be re-developed. However, the company agreed to the archaeological dig prior to development and has contributed towards the cost of the excavation and given the team extra time to complete the work.
Bury St Edmunds Today
3,000-year-old Embryo-Like Skeletons Found in Bulgaria
Bulgarian archeologists have discovered 3,000-year-old human skeletons, just weeks after Europe's oldest skeleton was unearthed in the country.
The skeletons, discovered near the village of Moguila in the district of Yambol, are about two meters tall, which is unusual for the people who inhabited the region in the Early Bronze era.
The skeletons are balled up in an embryo position, which, ancient peoples believed, immortalized the soul, archeologists explained.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:48 am
PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES SCHEME ESSEX: THE HUNT FOR ANGLO SAXONS
At 11am on November 27 ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman is due at Colchester Castle Museum to launch a ‘Finds Roadshow’ for the Essex Portable Antiquities Scheme.
What may at first seem an incongruous choice is in fact an apt one. Bill is a keen metal detectorist and amateur archaeologist making him just the type of person the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is seeking to attract.
He will be joined by an array of archaeology experts and ‘Romans’ from the Colchester Roman Society who will be on hand to remind visitors of the county’s Roman archaeological heritage.
24 Hours Museum News
Ireland’s Forgotten Shipwrecks Uncovered in Unique UU Book
The first ever study of the shipwrecks that lie off the coasts of Ireland has been published by University of Ulster researchers.
Boats and Shipwrecks of Ireland, highlights some of the thousands of sunken vessels that lie beneath the coastal waters of the island.
Many of these important underwater sites have been neglected by scientists for years but now new projects, undertaken by researchers from the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at UU, are beginning to reveal an exciting part of Ireland’s past.
University of Ulster
Rare prehistoric wood church uncovered
An archaeologist is believed to have uncovered the remains of a wooden church dating from 1050-1150 in the town of Aidt, in Hvorslev Council
Archaeologist Mikael Holgaard Nielsen believes the wooden church in Aidt is a rare, significant anthropological discovery.
According to regional newspaper De Bergske Blade, the church measures twelve meters in length and is six meters wide. Mikael Holgaard Nielsen has dated the ruin to about 1050-1150 A.D. The church is situated about 50 meters from the cemetery ruin near the present-day Aidt Church.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:42 am
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Museums 'at risk of robberies'
A covert security review of some of London's top museums has revealed priceless collections are at risk of theft, BBC News has learned.
Security expert Will Geddes visited the British Museum, the V&A, the National Portrait Gallery and Wallace Collection last week.
He found weaknesses in areas like building access and use of technology.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 2:25 pm
THE PORTABLE ANTIQUITIES SCHEME HITS THE ROAD ROUND BRITAIN
Searching for treasure and metal detecting seems to be one of those quintessentially English obsessions. Sometimes solitary, sometimes carried out in groups it has become one of those signifiers of our eccentricity.
TV Programmes like Time Team and Treasure Hunters have only added to a surge in interest. After all, who can now deny the thrill involved when finding an ancient artefact or the excitement in discovering something that affords an instant connection to someone or some time in the distant past?
Now the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), the voluntary recording scheme for many of these archaeological objects and finds, has organised a series of ‘finds roadshows’ with the aim of enticing more members of the public into bringing their discoveries in for appraisal by the scheme's Finds Liaison Officers.
24 Hour Museum News
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:58 pm
Monday, November 15, 2004
Theban dig yields rich finds
Archaeologists in Thebes have uncovered important building remains and artifacts from the ancient city that lies under the center of the modern town, including nearly 400 intact vases, the Culture Ministry said yesterday.
Excavations that started in February on a private plot close to the ancient Electran Gate revealed finds dating from the third millennium BC to late Byzantine times. Here and there, the eras mingled, as was the case with late medieval walls into which sixth-century BC architectural fragments, sculpture, ceramics and even bronze vessels had been built.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:44 pm
Lost city of Atlantis 'found' off the coast of Cyprus
• Claims man-made structures off coast of Cyprus are lost city of Atlantis
• Archaeologist believes Cyprus island is remains of Atlantis peninsula
• Myth of Atlantis dates back to accounts by Greek philosopher Plato
"The list of evidence is truly enormous. The people who dismiss it are people who have not done their homework. This is all based on real science." - Robert Sarmast, archaeologist
Story in full IT IS a legend which has excited the imagination of explorers and adventurers for centuries ...
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:41 am
Lost city of Atlantis found?
An American researcher claimed Sunday to have discovered the remains of the legendary lost city of Atlantis on the bottom of the east Mediterranean Sea. But Cyprus' chief government archaeologist was skeptical.
Robert Sarmast said sonar scanning of the seabed between east Cyprus and Syria revealed man-made walls, one as long as 3 kilometers (2 miles), and trenches at a depth of 1,500 meters (1,640 yards).
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:38 am
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Aerial Archaeology — past, present and future
by Bob Bewley
Tuesday, 16 November 5.30p.m.
at Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford
Further details from Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society
See the Archaeological Events Diary for other lectures, etc. in the UK
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:38 pm
British farming? Thank the French
No individuals have shaped Britain's landscape more profoundly than its farmers. They turned a forested wilderness, peopled by hunter-gatherer tribes, into a land of hedges, fields and orchards.
Yet the identity of the first people to begin this land-shaping has been shrouded in mystery. Scientists once thought farming was brought by invaders. More recently, some argued it was imported as an idea that only gradually spread across the country.
But now scientists are putting together evidence that paints a surprising picture: that farming arrived as an already sophisticated set of practices imported by continental entrepreneurs.
PEMBROKESHIRE ARCHAEOLOGY DAY-SCHOOL
Saturday 27th November 2004
Pembrokeshire College, Haverfordwest
This day-school is being co-hosted by Cambria Archaeology and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. The day aims to cover a selection of recent archaeological work in Pembrokeshire, bringing together a variety of people and projects. All are welcome to attend, but places must be reserved in advance.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:24 pm
Atlantis Hunt Reveals Structures in Sea Off Cyprus
An American researcher on the trail of the lost city of Atlantis has discovered evidence of man-made structures submerged in the sea between Cyprus and Syria, a member of his team said Saturday.
Robert Sarmast, who is convinced the fabled city lurks in the watery depths off Cyprus, will give details of his findings Sunday.
"Something has been found to indicate very strongly that there are man-made structures somewhere between Cyprus and Syria," a spokesperson for the mission told Reuters.
ARCHEOLOGISTS UNCOVER A RUSSIAN "STONEHENGE"
Russia now has a Stonehenge of its own. In the summer, a 4,000-year-old megalithic structure was uncovered at a Spasskaya Luka site, in the central Russian region of Ryazan. This structure, which, archeologists believe, was built as a sanctuary, sits on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Oka and the Pron rivers. The surrounding area has always been seen as an "archeological encyclopedia," a kaleidoscope of cultures ranging from the Upper Paleolithic to the Dark Ages.
"If we look at this archeological site as represented on a map, it will be a circle seven meters in diameter, marked with pillars, half a meter thick and the same distance apart from each other," says the expedition leader Ilya Akhmedov, who works in the Moscow Historical Museum's Archeological Monuments Department. "Here's a large rectangular hole and a pillar in the center of the circle. The wooden pillars have not survived, of course, but the large holes from which they once stuck out can be seen pretty clearly. Along the edges of the site there are two more holes. Originally, there may have been four of them, but the bank over here is being destroyed by a ravine, so the temple has caved in partially."
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 1:18 pm
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Hill dig yields treasure from 5000 years ago
ROCK art dating back 5000 years and an ancient jewellery workshop are among the treasures discovered in a Lothians excavation site ravaged by fire last year.
Details of the finds, from Traprain Law in East Lothian, were due to be unveiled at a conference in the Capital today.
Fraser Hunter, a National Museums of Scotland archaeology expert, is set to reveal the fruits of an intensive search of the area at the Edinburgh and East Lothian Archaeological Conference.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 3:32 pm
Lakes history conference a virtual sell-out
AN archaeology conference is set to become a sell out exploration of thousands of years of rich Lake District history.
Only a handful of tickets remain for the Lake District National Park Authority’s conference on November 27, which sees nationally renowned experts take the platform at Lakes School, Windermere.
News and Star
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 3:31 pm
Megalithic sanctuary discovered in Russia
Russia now may have a Stonehenge of its own. Last summer, a 4,000-year-old megalithic structure was uncovered at a Spasskaya Luka site, in the central Russian region of Ryazan. This structure, which, archeologists believe, was built as a sanctuary, sits on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Oka and the Pron rivers.
"If we look at this archeological site as represented on a map, it will be a circle seven meters in diameter, marked with standing stons, half a meter thick and evenly spaced one from each other," says the expedition leader Ilya Akhmedov, who works in the Moscow Historical Museum's Archeological Monuments Department. "There was a large rectangular hole and a standing stone in the center of the circle. The wooden poles have not survived, of course, but the large holes from which they once stuck out can be seen pretty clearly.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 3:22 pm
Friday, November 12, 2004
'RELICS DIG IS A TOTAL FARCE'
Donald Norfolk is calling for the county's archaeological service to be scrapped after he was faced with a £1,000 bill for a 'pointless' hunt for ancient relics on his land.
He says he and fellow residents of conservation areas in the Forest, including Newent, are forking out hundreds on needless archaeological surveys before they can make home improvements and build extensions. The retired osteopath has complained to Gloucestershire County Council after he and his wife Margaret were charged more than £1,000 for a 'field evaluation' before they could get planning permission to build their dream retirement home on the banks of the River Severn at Newnham.
This is Gloucestershire
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:37 am
£23k job in rubbish studies
Where there's muck there's lessons to be learned. So says Suffolk county council, which has advertised for a garbology officer to teach pupils the value of old rubbish.
It's a dirty job, but someone will be paid up to £23,313 a year to do it. Council officials insist that the new post - which will run for a year, funded by money from the Heritage Lottery Fund - is a worthwhile addition to their waste management and archaeology teams.
The officer for garbology - officially described as the archaeology of ancient and modern rubbish - will show schoolchildren how to explore their heritage through the study of waste and help youngsters look at sustainable ways of disposing of rubbish in the past and how to deal with their own garbage.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:35 am
Afghanistan wants its 'Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism' back from UK
The Afghan government is to request the return of the "Dead Sea Scrolls of Buddhism" from the British Library, amid concerns the priceless manuscripts were looted during civil war in the early nineties.
Afghanistan's Minister of Culture will formally ask for the 2000-year-old scrolls to be sent from London to the newly restored Kabul Museum in the next few weeks as part of a campaign to bring home stolen treasures from foreign collections.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:33 am
Mainz University to study Elamite and Achaemenid pottery
Iranian and German archaeologists plan to study a number of Elamite and Achaemenid earthenware items at Mainz University in Germany in the near future, the director of the team said on Wednesday. “The team will be using pedology to discover the techniques applied to produce the works,” said Mohammad-Amin Emami, adding, “They also intend to find out where the clay of the earthenware was obtained.”
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:29 am
Historic site reveals its secrets
Archaeologists are set to learn about new discoveries at one of Scotland's most important ancient sites.
Investigators began work at Traprain Law in East Lothian after a major fire in 2003 which damaged some historical remains and endangered others.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 9:27 am
Stonehenge plan: 'Global outrage'
The British government will face 'international outrage' if the green light is given for the dual carriageway to be constructed near Stonehenge, according to a survey by the Save Stonehenge group. The group claims that a new survey shows people from all parts of the world are opposed to the Stonehenge road scheme. Group member Chris Woodford said: "Our survey suggests there is overwhelming international opposition to the British government's plans to construct a new section of dual carriageway - a four-lane highway - only partly in a tunnel, through the world-famous heritage site."
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Decision due on Hill of Tara motorway
It is Ireland's most sacred stretch of earth and one of the most important ancient landscapes in Europe. The Hill of Tara, with its passage tomb, earthworks and prehistorical burial mounds, is the mythical and ceremonial capital of Ireland, dating back 4,000 years.
But now the landscape in county Meath, north-west of Dublin, is the subject of a campaign to save it from what one archaeologist has called the "worst case of state-sponsored vandalism ever inflicted on Irish cultural heritage".
More than 50 senior academics have joined a protest against state plans to build a four-lane motorway through the valley and create a 10-hectare (25-acre) floodlit motorway exchange half a mile from the hill itself, slicing through what historians say is a hinterland of settlements and burial grounds.
ROMAN FINDINGS TO BE EXHIBITED
THE GLASS etching of a gladiator – one of only three found in Britain – will be among the Roman treasures on display at Upper Stowe this weekend.
For the first time, the artefacts unearthed at the excavation of Whitehall Roman Villa, Nether Heyford, will be on show at The Small Plaice Gallery at the Dairy Farm Centre in Upper Stowe. They include ornate Roman pots and Saxon weaponry.
Archaeologists have recently unearthed a Saxon burial ground nearby.
Visitors can see the skull of a middle-aged Saxon woman, a fine sword, a spear, dagger and a brooch.
The items will be on show from Sunday, to Sunday, November 21. Admission is free and the gallery is open from 10.30am-4.30pm.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Kentish Treasure On Public Display - Maidstone
A Frankish Arm Ring discovered in West Kent has gone on display at Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery.
The arm ring was found by metal detector John Darvill and is said to date back to the fifth or sixth century. It was declared as treasure four years ago, and now Maidstone Museum has purchased the artefact, with the help of The National Art Collections Fund, The Beecroft Bequest and the Museum Auxiliary Fund.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 11:00 am
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Archaeologists fear 'looters' charter'
Archaeologists were yesterday aghast over a plan by MPs loyal to Silvio Berlusconi to legalise the private ownership of archaeological treasures in Italy. One called the measure a "looters' charter".
At present, all antiquities found in Italian soil are deemed to be the property of the state and are meant to be handed over to the authorities.
But under the proposed legislation, treasure hunters who declare their finds can keep and own them if they pay the state 5% of the object's estimated value.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 10:36 am
Pompeii pottery may rewrite history
Archaeologists may need to change their view of Pompeii's role in trade and commerce, after a ceramics expert's recent discovery.
Australian researcher Jaye Pont from the Museum of Ancient Cultures at Sydney's Macquarie University says people who lived in Pompeii bought their pottery locally and didn't import it.
Pont said the find could "make waves" among archaeologists looking at trade in the Mediterranean.
And she said researchers may have to rethink shelves of museum pottery once thought to be from the eastern Roman Empire.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 10:34 am
Exploded Star Possibly Affected Human Evolution
A star that exploded nearly three million years ago left traces of debris on Earth and might have affected the course of human evolution, a new study suggests.
When particles from the explosion bombarded Earth's atmosphere over a long stretch of time, climate change could have forced early humans to fan out in search of food, the reasoning goes.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 10:32 am
9,000-year-old human skeleton found in Bulgaria
A Bulgarian archeologist has discovered a 9,000-year-old human skeleton and the remains of a farm dwelling from the same period, the Standard newspaper reported on Sunday.
"This woman skeleton is five centuries older than those which were found in the Balkans and belong to the first generation of farmers that inhabited this region," archeologist Georgy Ganetsovski, who made the discovery, told the newspaper.
Times of India
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 10:30 am
Oldest European Skeleton Found in Bulgaria
Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed a preserved skeleton, believed to be the oldest ever found in Europe.
The skeleton, unearthed near the village of Ohoden, Vratsa district, northwest Bulgaria, is 9,000-year-old, according to examination results, and is believed to be of a young woman from one of earliest agriculture civilisations on the Balkans.
Only few parts of skeletons of similar age have been found on the Balkans.
The skeleton is very well preserved due to the plaster layer, in which it was wrapped, the archaeologists said.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 10:25 am
Monday, November 08, 2004
Burial mound discussed at museum
The Neolithic burial mound at La Hougue Bie in Jersey is to be discussed at the British Museum in London.
Olgar Finch from the Jersey Heritage Trust will be talking about the historic monument at the Neolithic Studies Group meeting.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:18 am
Top finds on Bolivian highlands
Finnish scientists discovered the most significant relics of antiquity in recent Bolivian history.
In the excavations on Pariti Island in Lake Titicaca, in the highlands of Bolivia, the historical-archaeological research team of the University of Helsinki discovered a ritual offering site with well-preserved pieces of ceramics. The find adds substantially to what is known about the Tiwanaku culture, which flourished before the Incas and for which the island was probably an important religious site.
University of Helsinki
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:16 am
The Moravian Venus
THE LONGEST and the oldest period in the history of mankind is the second period of the Stone Age, known as the Paleolithic Age. It started one and a half to two million years ago, and lasted till the end of the last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago.
The Slovak Spectator
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:14 am
Archaeologists may have found what was once the biggest city in Italy
REAL archaeology bears about as much resemblance to an Indiana Jones movie as real spying bears to James Bond. Excavation—at least if it is to be meaningfully different from grave robbing—is a matter of painstaking trowel work, not gung-ho gold-grabbing. But there is still a glimmer of the grave robber in many archaeologists, and the search for a juicy royal tomb can stimulate more than just rational, scientific instincts.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:11 am
MAXIMUS FACTOR! 2000-YEAR-OLD CREAM IS ROMAN MAKE UP
This 2000-year-old pot of cream was unearthed last year in south London at one of the most extensive Romano-Celtic temple complexes to be found in the capital. Courtesy Museum of London.
24 Hour Museum News
Roman cosmetic secrets revealed
The fashion conscious women of Roman Britain used a tin-based foundation to get a pale and appealing look.
The evidence comes from a sealed pot of ointment found at an archaeological dig in Southwark, south London, last year.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:05 am
Bulgarian Archaeologists Discover 9,000 Year-old Human Skeleton
Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered a 9,000 year-old human skeleton that may change current notions about history of mankind, a report said Saturday.
The find means that pre-historic people began to till land 500 years earlier than they were supposed till now, the Sofia-based Nova TV said.
Expedition chief Georgi Ganetsovski said the skeleton was of a proto-Mediterranean type and was probably one of a young woman.
Bulgarian News Network
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:03 am
More prehistoric discoveries on Portland
A new sports pitch has been put on hold so that a land survey can be carried out on the site of ancient remains on Portland. Dorset County Council has stopped work to create an all-weather playing surface on its grounds opposite Royal Manor Arts College in Weston, after ruins dating from the Iron Age, Roman and Medieval periods were unearthed there during topsoil clearance.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:01 am
Cathedral revives beer tradition
Canterbury Cathedral is reviving the ancient monastic tradition of making beer available within its precincts.
The Kent cathedral is selling a bottled bitter which is made by local brewer Shepherd Neame according to a 300-year-old Kentish recipe.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:00 am
Bailey ditch was medieval defence
MONMOUTH Archaeolo-gists have unearthed the bailey ditch of the inner defences of medieval Monmouth.
The discovery was made during an excavation in the grounds of Agincourt House, which adjoins the Glendower Street car park.
Neil Mounter of Agincourt Services invited the society to carry out an investigation on the land before it was turned into car parking area.
This ditch lies outside a rampart - a mound surrounding a fortified place - which was found during an archaeological evaluation along the edge of the Beaufort Court where flats are currently under construction.
This is Monmouthshire
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:56 am
Sunday, November 07, 2004
Medieval mystery under the Maltsters
AN 800-YEAR mystery surrounding medieval Carlisle has been solved after a major discovery under a city pub.
Archaeologists uncovered a 12th century bronze-working complex complete with workshop and furnaces under the former Maltsters Arms in John Street, Caldewgate.
And they suspect that the city’s medieval church is buried under a pay and display car park next-door.
News and Star
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:12 pm
ROMAN SITE LAID TO WASTE
ONE of Britain's richest businessmen is set to do battle with thousands of rabbits in a bid to protect Scotland's foremost Roman remains.
UK-based billionaire Mohammed Al Tajir is locked in talks with Historic Scotland following damning reports on the deteriorating state of the 2000-year-old Ardoch Fort on his estate at Braco.
Archaeologist Dr David Woolliscroft has worked periodically at the Roman Fort since the 1980s. And he has now warned that unless the rabbits which infest the site are brought under control, their continuing burrowing will see the Roman remains collapse and crumble.
I C Perthshire
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 7:09 pm
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Roman brewery timbers on display
FOR 1800 years these timbers of a Roman brewery have hidden away underground but now they're done roamin' and are on display in Ipswich museum.
The timbers, believed to be from a Roman brewery have evoked spirits of a bygone era.
The roof timbers are believed to date back to 200 years after the birth of Christ and conjure images of toga-laden men working the maltings.
They are the only surviving roof timbers from the era found in Britain and prove Suffolk's history as a brewing county dates back more than 1,000 years.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 8:13 am
Monday, November 01, 2004
Bulgaria Strikes Gold in Hunt for Ancient Thracians
SHIPKA, Bulgaria (Reuters) - Georgi Kitov's hands trembled as he cradled the glittering visage of an ancient king unearthed from a tomb in southern Bulgaria.
"This is the face of an evil ruler!" cried the archaeologist, marveling at the cruel gaze from the mask of solid gold, the size of a dinner plate.
The mask dates back to the 5th century BC -- the golden age of the little-known Thracians -- and has been hailed as an unrivalled find in the study of classical antiquity.
Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 6:47 pm
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