Monday, February 28, 2005

Market's medieval site documented

Work to document the medieval remains of Norwich market begins on Monday.

The current refurbishment of the site will lower the ground level by two feet and mean most medieval deposits will be lost forever.

Experts from the Norfolk Archaeological Unit will record any special features and finds.

The market, established between 1071 and 1074, is one of the oldest and largest in England. Its refurbishment will be completed by the end of 2005.

BBC News

Russia refuses to give up Trojan treasure

Moscow - A legendary collection of gold objects from ancient Troy that was seized by Soviet troops in Berlin in 1945 should become Russian government property, a top cultural official said in an interview published on Saturday.

Anatoly Vilkov, deputy chief of the Russian agency that preserves the nation's cultural legacy, stopped short of ruling out the possibility the objects could return under certain conditions.

The gold collection - named after Hermann Schliemann, the amateur German archaeologist who excavated it - will be made Russian federal property after it is inventoried, Vilkov said, according to Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper. The gold then could be exhibited in Germany.

"In line with the law on transferred valuables, everything that the Soviet Union took as compensation, which includes Schliemann's gold as well, is not subject to return," Vilkov was quoted as saying.


French Castles Go Private

France is planning to privatize 178 historical castles and monuments. But regional authorities fear they may get saddled with decrepit and indebted buildings that can't support themselves.

The monastery of Montmajour with its mighty 14th century keep is not far from the city of Arles in southern France. It can be seen from afar and is of great renown. Van Gogh painted it many times. Yet, it doesn't make any money: In 2002, it carried a deficit of €46,000 ($61,000). The amount of debts almost trebled within one year, rising to €131,000 in 2003. Thus, the monastery has become a business of subsidies, which the French government would like to be rid of.

In the course of its decentralization policy, France aims to cede parts of its national cultural heritage to the administrative sovereignty of provinces and local authorities -- for free.

Deutsche Welle

Teenagers held after church fire

Four teenage boys have been arrested following a fire that caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to one of Cornwall's oldest churches.

Emergency crews were called to the Lansallos Church, near Polperro, late on Saturday afternoon.

A 16-year-old from Looe, and three 14 year olds from Fowey, Looe and Truro are being held in Plymouth on suspicion of arson.

BBC News

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Historic Scotland restores cradle of Scottish Christianity at Whithorn

SOME 100 years before Saint Col umba established his monas tery at Iona, when the British Isles were only just beginning to feel the tremors of the fall of the Roman empire, St Ninian arrived in Galloway and established a religious community among the Celtic peoples of what would later become southern Scotland.

Around 1600 years after Ninian established his base at Whithorn, what has been termed the cradle of Christianity in Scotland is about to get the setting it is due. Historic Scotland, in charge of the country’s ancient monuments, has conducted a £250,000 renovation of its Whithorn site to help promote Scotland’s earliest connection with the Christian faith.

Among the treasures of the restored site, due to open next month on Good Friday, March 25, are about 60 carved stones from the fifth to 10th centuries AD, which offer a glimpse into the world of southern Scotland at a time when shifting patterns of peoples ruled the region and the power of the Church was far from assured.

The stones, which survive in sizes from fragments to crosses two metres tall, many inscribed with runes and carvings, would have been erected as markers in the landscape, proclaiming Christian and secular power .

Sunday Herald

Medieval church damaged in fire

A fire is thought to have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to one of Cornwall's oldest churches.
Emergency crews were called to the Lansallos Church, near Polperro, late on Saturday afternoon.

About 45 firefighters tackled the blaze and managed to save 60% of the roof on the 14th Century building.

No-one was injured in the incident, but police described it as "serious and suspicious". An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.

BBC News

Perthshire Archaeology Week events unveiled

Perthshire (Scotland) boasts a wealth of prehistoric monuments, the legacy of Roman occupation, ancient burgh towns, picturesque castles and long-abandoned hidden settlements and a nine-day programme of events - set to start on May 28 and run until June 5 - should offer a little insight into each. A host of opportunities will be presented to those with an interest in the past including excavations, exhibitions, walks and talks. The programme of Pertshire Archaeology Week will take participants on a journey of discovery through prehistoric, Roman and medieval Scotland, touching on Arthurian legend, Pictish sculpture, Celtic missionaries and Shakespeare on the way. Over 30 events will take place throughout the area at venues including the Scottish Crannog Centre and Perth Museum and Art Gallery.

Stone Pages

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Royal Tara extends well beyond the hill

WE strongly reject the implication that we have ‘hoodwinked’ the public into thinking that the proposed road goes over the Hill of Tara, contained in recent testimony to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport.

We have always made it clear that our concerns are about the impact such a development would have on the archaeological and historical landscape around the Hill of Tara.

Our detailed archaeological, historical and literary analyses, carried out to the highest professional standards, has demonstrated the immediate hinterland of the Hill of Tara to be the so-called royal estate or demesne (ferann ríg) of Tara. Royal estates are recognised in early Irish law (see Fergus Kelly’s Early Irish Farming, 403-4, 1997). There is incontrovertible evidence of a royal estate associated with the kingship of Tara.

Independent of the historical identification of this special area, archaeological analysis has revealed physical evidence for the definition of a wider landscape around the Hill of Tara.

This definition is accepted by professional archaeologists, historians, historical geographers and Celticists worldwide. Our remit is the analysis, definition and protection of historic monuments and places. There is universal agreement among professionals that the Hill of Tara is but one component of a uniquely important landscape and that, as configured, the proposed M3 will impact directly on it.

We believe this can, and should, be avoided so that the people of this part of Co Meath can have their traffic problems resolved while at the same time preserving the unique cultural landscape around Tara.

Tara, in its entirety, is of local, national and international importance.

Conor Newman
Department of Archaeology, NUI Galway
Edel Bhreathnach
Micheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, UCD
Joe Fenwick
Department of Archaeology, NUI Galway

Irish Examiner

See also The Save Tara/Skryne Valley Campaign

We force council to reveal ship bill

THE Newport med-ieval ship has cost more than £3.7m so far, according to documents released under pressure from the Argus. The excavation was £362,848 but there were a series of additonal costs taking the total up to £455,000. The viewing chamber at the Riverfront theatre added £1.8m and compensation to contractors delayed while the ship was unearthed cost £1.3m. The Argus had to use the new Freedom of Inform-ation Act to force the council to reveal the figures, which show for the first time the huge total cost of the discovery. The council said the figures include an "allowance" for the recent legal settlement with archaelogists from Gwent-Glamorgan Archaeological Trust claiming £118,438 in unpaid fees.

And this month the council warned that it alone cannot pay the annual £300,000 needed for the coming years to analyse and maintain the timbers.

Charles Ferris, of the Friends of Newport Ship, said: "The lion's share of these costs is the viewing chamber and the delay to the contractors. Neither is really the ship's fault.

"The council should have taken out insurance to cover the delay costs. And is the viewing chamber the right place for the ship?

This is Gwent


Grimsby's most exciting historical discoveries to date could be made this year.

The remains of buildings and rubbish pits - possibly dating back to the 11th century - forming the medieval town centre could be revealed if work on a £15-million housing scheme goes ahead. Clues to how ancient Grimbarians lived and what they ate could be uncovered during excavations in Garth Lane.

Initial two-metre deep excavations have already revealed remains of pottery and floors of buildings from the 13th and 14th century.

This is Grimsby


Old pots and drains may not sound exciting, but they often hold the key to unlocking our past. Telegraph reporter KATIE NORMAN finds out how archaeology makes the history books.

Medieval Grimsby would have looked very different to the town we know today. Streets would have been narrow and dirty, with filthy water flowing in the river. Most buildings would have been made from timber frames, with some benefiting from clay bricks.

During the 13th and 14th century, the Grimsby area was home to many religious houses, including an Abbey of monks on Humber Road, nuns on Nuns Corner, Austin Friars where Freshney Place stands today, and Grey Friars on Cartergate.

This is Grimsby

Castle hunt

ARCHAEOLOGISTS will be out in force this week hunting for the remains of Bedford Castle.

Parts of Castle Lane car park will be closed to the public so that ground-penetrating radar surveys can be undertaken at the site of the 11th century castle which was destroyed in the 13th century.

Bedford Borough Council has asked Albion Archaeology to carry out the work in order to protect historic features from future development at the site. The council is hoping that Castle Lane will become Bedford's new 'cultural quarter'.

Jeremy Oetgen, project manager for Albion Archaeology, says: "We know there was a castle here as part of it was excavated in the 1960s and 1970s.

Serious about News

Ancient Stronghold Discovered in Varna

An unknown stronghold wall has been discovered in the coastal city of Varna, the regional historical museum officials announced Friday.

The wall has been found during a private building construction on the Khan Krum Street.

The exact age of the find has not been specified yet. Most of the details, found nearby - column, capital, terracotta pieces, altars and pulpits fragments - were dated back to VIth century by specialists.


Mystery of 49 headless Romans who weren't meant to haunt us

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have unearthed a Roman cemetery in York with the skeletons of 49 beheaded young men.

Experts from the York Archaeological Trust have yet to explain why the men had been decapitated. One of the victims was buried with thick iron rings around his ankles that had been forged on to him while he was alive. Patrick Ottaway, the trust’s head of fieldwork, said: “That really is odd. We’ve never had anything like that before, in Roman Britain or the Roman world.”

There are also skeletons of seven children, though their bodies were not mutilated. Dr Ottaway believes that the men were beheaded as part of a ritual in order to ensure that they could not haunt the living.

The Times

Friday, February 25, 2005

Archaeological dig sniffs out world's oldest perfumery

MUSKY, with a woody tone and spicy hints of cinnamon - the perfect fragrance for a Bronze Age date.

Italian archaeologists have discovered the world’s oldest perfumery and have identified the smells popular with the people of the time.

The perfumery was found at a sprawling archaeological site on a hillside overlooking the Mediterranean at Pyrgos-Mavroraki, 55 miles south-west of Nicosia.

"This is 4,000 years old. Without a doubt, it is the oldest production site for perfume in the world," said Maria Rosario Belgiorno, the excavation team leader.

The Scotsman

Archaeologists Baffled by Headless Bodies Find

Archaeologists have been left mystified by the discovery of 36 decapitated bodies, it was revealed today.

Experts from the York Archaeological Trust unearthed the skeletons of 49 young men and seven children at a Roman cemetery they discovered in The Mount area of the city.

But they were stunned to find that most of the men had had their heads chopped off, while another was bound with iron shackles.

Dr Patrick Ottaway, the trust’s head of field word, said he was left baffled by the find because Romans had no tradition of decapitations or shackling men.

The Scotsman

Experts have bones to pick on seashore

A RAPID response archaeology team has been sent to Orkney after storms exposed skeletons on the shore below St Thomas' Kirk.

Orkney Archaeological Trust informed Historic Scotland of the damage and the decision was taken to move forward a planned excavation which Historic Scotland had agreed to fund this summer.

The team will excavate, record and assess storm damage to the medieval graveyard at the kirk and the broch at Hall of Rendall.

The Herald

Mystery over decapitated Roman skeletons found under York street

A MACABRE mystery from York's ancient past has been uncovered in a city street.

Experts from York Archaeological Trust have unearthed an "extraordinary" Roman cemetery near The Mount.

They found 56 skeletons, of 49 young men and seven children - perhaps not unusual in itself, since the Roman route which ran approximately along the present Tadcaster Road was lined with cemeteries.

This is York

Thursday, February 24, 2005

City by-pass to be re-routed

The Minister for the Enivoronment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. Dick Roche on a visit to the Woodstown Viking Site on the banks of the River Suir on Monday last said that he intends to issue a preservation order on the 1,200 year old site.

The Minister who was in Waterford to launch a board game at the Civic Offices in Tramore was keeping a pledge to visit the Viking site and see for himself what had been discovered by the archaeologists. His Order will lead to a re-routing of the €300m Waterford City By-pass which is due to start this year. The Minister said the re-routing would not delay the construction of the by-pass. He also said that he would be having consultations with the Director of the National Museum, Dr. Pat Wallace over the next two weeks, before making a formal announcement. Minister Roche said that he would issue an order requiring the excavation of the site, based on the advice of Dr. Wallace.

Waterford Today

For more information see Viking Waterford

Medieval finds block new exit from Uffizi

An aesthetically controversial plan to give the Florentine museum more exhibition space has been brought down by an archaeological dig

Unflatteringly described by art critics as a slatted bed frame or a bus shelter, a long-debated architectural project for one of the world's greatest museums has been shelved, after years in limbo.

The plans for a new exit for the Uffizi Museum in Florence by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki were scrapped yesterday because excavations in the area had revealed the foundations of medieval houses which were levelled when the museum was built in the 1500s.

The Guardian

Island storms uncover medieval bones

SEVERE storms which hit Orkney last month have exposed human skeletons at a historic burial site.

Now a team of archaeologists are racing against time to excavate and study the site before the sea destroys it altogether.

The January storms revealed the remains on the foreshore below St Thomas’s Kirk and the broch at Hall of Rendall, near Tingwall. The Orkney Archaeological Trust informed Historic Scotland of the damage, and a decision was taken to move forward an excavation planned for this summer.

Patrick Ashmore, the head of archaeology for Historic Scotland, said: "St Thomas’s Kirk itself probably dates to the 12th century, and the cemetery is probably medieval.

"Of course, it is possible that there was an earlier chapel on the site, or that the cemetery continued in use after abandonment of the kirk.

The Scotsman

Rebirth of derelict old forge site in city

A SCHEME to breathe new life into a 400-year-old derelict industrial site, creating homes, offices, leisure facilities and more than 1,500 jobs, has been unveiled.
Planners in Leeds are considering a proposed brownfield development of Kirkstall Forge.
An outline planning application has been submitted by site owner Commercial Estates Group (CEG).

It is expected to create about 1,540 new permanent jobs and up to 400 construction jobs, as well as 177,800 sq ft of offices, a riverside hotel and support facilities. It will include 1,385 residential units, small local shops, bars, cafés, restaurants and a creche.

Almost two-thirds of the site will be green space, allowing for woodland walks, bicycle routes and community access to the historical site.
Vast investment will be re-quired to decontaminate the large area of derelict land.
Jonathan Kenny, development director of CEG, said they felt the proposals would "turn Kirkstall Forge into a vibrant working and living community with opportunity for recreation and leisure.

"This is a site of great local and historical significance and we believe the plans for regeneration create a balance between its rich history and exciting future.

Yorkshire Post Today

Learning to do what the Romans did

TOGA-clad youngsters braved the cold to dress up in period costume as part of their Roman day.

Pupils at Reigate Priory School, in Bell Street, donned their Roman robes and enjoyed a day learning about the era.

On Thursday, February 10 Secundus (Frank Lovering) and Agrippina (Sylvia Sacks), from Legion XIIII Gemini, based in Ramsgate, Kent, gave the children an insight into the life and times of the Romans.

They heard about everything from domestic life and the army, to the significance of their costumes.

I C Surrey

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Roman coin hoard revealed

These are just some of the nearly 1000 silver coins found in Norfolk's biggest ever hoard of Roman money.

The staggering haul was found by metal detector hobbyists Pat and Sully Buckley in a field, near Dereham, just before Christmas.

But the find keeps growing, with a further 15 coins found on Friday.

As the EDP reported last week, the discovery was kept secret to allow a proper field search and yesterday was the first time the coins themselves were revealed.

The collection of 963 Roman denarii includes coins from 270 years of early British history, most of which were found in a ceramic pot buried 14 inches down.

EPD 24

A Place to Rest for German Kings

When an engraved stone was dug up nearly a century ago on a building site, it didn't excite many. But now an archeologist has determined that it's actually part of Germany's oldest throne, sat in by Emperor Charlemagne.

Usually the western city of Aachen gets all the press -- at least when it comes to Charlemagne. It was the favorite residence of the emperor and served as the principal coronation site of Holy Roman emperors and German kings from the Middle Ages to the Reformation.

But now Aachen's been upstaged somewhat since an archeologist at the Roman-Germanic Museum in Mainz has uncovered part of an armrest that supported Charlemagne's royal left arm when he was visiting the city of Mainz.

Deutsche Welle

Lügen die Nebra-Sterne doch?

Regensburger Professor will beweisen: Die 3600 Jahre alte Himmelsscheibe ist nicht echt

Halle/Regensburg. (dpa) Im Streit um die Echtheit der 3600 Jahre alten Himmelsscheibe von Nebra muss jetzt das Landgericht Halle entscheiden. Ein Regensburger Archäologie-Professor will beweisen, dass die Scheibe eine dilettantische Fälschung ist.

In dem bizarren Prozess treffen seit gestern Gegner und Befürworter der Echtheitsthese aufeinander. "Dass ein wissenschaftlicher Streit um einen archäologischen Fund in dieser Form vor einem Gericht ausgetragen wird, das ist schon sehr ungewöhnlich", sagt Gerichtssprecher Winfried Holthaus.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Bristol University has awarded degrees to 11 part-time archaeology students at a special ceremony. The students were the first to graduate with a part-time BA in Archaeological Studies.

It took the students six years to complete the course, attending one weekend a month, as well as going on several digs, including uncovering Roman mosaics in Bradford-on-Avon. Four of the students graduated with First Class honours.

There are now 70 students studying part-time for a BA in Archaeological Studies.

This is Bristol

Ta' Bistra catacombs rediscovered

Part of a network of "world heritage" catacombs that archaeologists had thought was lost under a stretch of road close to Mount St Joseph, in Mosta has been rediscovered during works to upgrade the road system.

The area where the 2,000-year-old catacombs are located is known as Ta' Bistra. The catacombs network - once used as a burial ground - is cut into a ridge or terrace in the landscape and is about 100 metres long, most of which runs under a field. The terrace is 3.7 metres high.

The whole network was recorded and drawn by Charles Zammit in 1933. But by then the site had long been looted because the Knights of St John used to issue licences for treasure hunting.

The Times of Malta

Past is revealed as skeletons are found

The hidden medieval past of Thetford has been uncovered as eight skeletons were dis-covered in a previously unknown burial ground.

Archaeologists from Norfolk County Council made the surprise discovery as they excavated land, off the Croxton Road, which is due to be developed.

The adult and juvenile skeletons date from about the 13th century and prove for the first time there was a medieval burial site in that part of the town.

Archaeologists are excited the discovery could provide evidence of a church or chapel that has not appeared in any historical records.

Bury St Edmunds Today

Monday, February 21, 2005

Iceman was wearing 'earliest snowshoes'

ÖTZI the Iceman may have been wearing the world’s earliest known snowshoes when he died in the Alps some 5,300 years ago. New analysis of his accoutrements suggests that his “pannier” or “backpack” may in fact have been the frame of a snowshoe similar in design to those used in historic times.

Jacqui Wood, who studied the Iceman’s costume after he was found in 1991, close to the Italian-Austrian frontier in the South Tyrol, was asked to re-create his cloak and shoes for the display at the new museum in Bolzano, Italy, where he is housed in a temperature-controlled room. The shoes puzzled her: the leather soles did not look designed to be walked on, the magazine British Archaeology reports.

The shoes had straps with no obvious function, and a net of lime-bast string instead of leather backs. Nevertheless, the archaeological team working on Ötzi, as he is known from his place of discovery, reconstructed the shoes without several straps and slits in the sole lashings, and Wood’s replicas nearly a decade ago followed their ideas.

The Times

Decision expected on Waterford bypass

The Irish Minister for the Environment may make a decision today on the route of a proposed bypass for Waterford.

Dick Roche is expected to issue a preservation order on a viking archaeological site at Woodstown.

It is believed to be one of the most important finds of this nature made in Europe in the last 100 years.

The Minister is visiting Waterford, and is expected to see for himself, how the proposed bypass would affect the site.


See also Viking Waterford

Archaeology week events unveiled

PERTHSHIRE Archaeology Week has fast become one of the top events on the local calendar.

The annual celebration of the area’s past draws in both locals and those from afar, with this year’s event set to start on May 28 and run until June 5.

Perthshire boasts a wealth of prehistoric monuments, the legacy of Roman occupation, ancient burgh towns, picturesque castles and long-abandoned hidden settlements and a nine-day programme of events should offer a little insight into each.

A host of opportunities will be presented to those with an interest in the past —and no qualms about getting their hands dirty —including excavations, exhibitions, walks and talks.

The Courier

In Search Of The Real Troy

The road west to the mound called Hısarlık takes sweeping bends past fields of corn and purple-flowered cotton. It has two or three gradual hills, but the chief obstacles are the odd tour bus or tractor-load of tomatoes. It is, by and large, a smooth and untroubled approach to a world-famous archeological site. Not so the scholastic approach—a road of zigzag switchbacks through fields of criticism and intrigue, littered with sharp shards of controversy: The obstacles here are implications in journal articles, tendentious newspaper interviews and downright insults.

Saudi Aramco World

Archeologists discover St Paul´s tomb

Vatican archeologists believe that they have identified the tomb in Rome´s St Paul Outside the Walls basilica, following the discovery of a stone coffin during excavations carried out over the past three years.

Catholic World News reports that a sarcophagus - or stone coffin - which may contain the remains of St Paul has been identified in the basilica, according to Giorgio Filippi, a archeology specialist with the Vatican Museums.

"The tomb that we discovered is the one that the popes and the Emperor Theodosius (379- 395) saved and presented to the whole world as being the tomb of the apostle," Filippi reports.

Catholic News

Sunday, February 20, 2005


“Ivan Venedikov” Bulgarian Archaeological Association, REGIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY – VRATSA and Municipality of Mezdra (NW Bulgaria) invites you, to visit our new WEB SITE Since 2000 the Municipality of MEZDRA has started ambitious program for study, restoration and exposition of local monuments and sites. As part of this program the Municipality council supports the regular realization of the field school in different ways. The MEZDRA Field School was founded in 2003 and since then has attracted a number of international students. This is a fantastic way to experience and learn about excavation techniques. Every activity at the site near Mezdra is oriented towards the practical learning of the archaeological methods, especially for those participants who are thinking about becoming professional archaeologists. This school is the necessary complement to the theoretical courses taught at the university level but also to the practical background of these who consider Archaeology as a hobby.

Shakespeare's Rose theatre to rise again after centuries under London silt

The Rose, the Elizabethan theatre immortalised in the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love, is to be recovered from the London silt after being buried for centuries, and opened to the public.

Leading figures from the British stage, including Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench will next month launch a £5m plan to resurrect the historic building, which first staged Shakespeare's early plays, including Titus Andronicus and Henry VI Part I. Supports plan to reopen it in four years' time.

The remains of the venue were unearthed at Bankside in London in 1989 - close to where the reconstructed open-air Globe theatre is now sited - in what has been described as the most exciting find in British theatrical history.

The Independent

See also the Rose Theatre Trust Website

History of modern man unravels as German scholar is exposed as fraud

Flamboyant anthropologist falsified dating of key discoveries

It appeared to be one of archaeology's most sensational finds. The skull fragment discovered in a peat bog near Hamburg was more than 36,000 years old - and was the vital missing link between modern humans and Neanderthals.

This, at least, is what Professor Reiner Protsch von Zieten - a distinguished, cigar-smoking German anthropologist - told his scientific colleagues, to global acclaim, after being invited to date the extremely rare skull.

However, the professor's 30-year-old academic career has now ended in disgrace after the revelation that he systematically falsified the dates on this and numerous other "stone age" relics.


Castle's medieval papers on show

Documents dating back to the Middle Ages stored in archives at Arundel Castle are to be put on display.

The permanent exhibition is now being set up in the Waiting Room at the West Sussex castle, which overlooks the River Arun and the south coast.

The room where visitors waited before visiting the duke will now be used for exhibiting the documents, portraits, pictures and illustrations.

BBC News

A Scottish interactive dig

working in Skye (Scotland) have secured funding to begin an innovative interactive project. Excavations of a cave at Kilbride in the south-west of Skye are turning up exciting finds, including bones, early Iron Age tools, evidence of cooking and even what is thought to be Bronze Age pottery. Most startling the archaeologists have found evidence that the floor of High Pasture Cave was laid with flagstones, suggesting that the cave was used for a specific purpose.

From March the team working at the project hope to launch Scotland’s first live archaeological website. This would allow people to see their work as it happens and learn more about their discoveries. "Archaeology is a little bit elitist at the moment," said Martin Wildgoose, one of three archaeologists working on the project. "Setting up the website will make it much more accessible. It's all about bringing a new approach to involve more people." The site will broadcast a live feed from the cave while archaeologists are working on the project.

Stone Pages

Friday, February 18, 2005

Iron age necklace discovered

An amateur archaeologist using a 30-year-old metal detector has discovered a rare golden necklace from the iron age buried in a local farmer's field.

The delicately twisted torc, designed for a well-to-do member of a tribe in the area now covered by north Nottinghamshire, is expected to be valued at more than £100,000.

Maurice Richardson, 55, a self-employed tree surgeon from Newark, reported the find to the local coroner after initially thinking his soil-covered discovery was scrap metal.

It was only when he dug down and scraped one end, that he realised it was much more valuable.


Fears That EH Cuts Will Hit Archaeology

There are growing fears that government cuts to English Heritage (EH) will mean less money for archaeological projects.

Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, announced the 4.6% reduction in spending in December, but EH says that in reality the figure is nearer 6.3% - on top of 10% cuts since 2000. This amounts to a £13m reduction in real terms, contrasting with a 98% increase in government funding for sport.

Simon Thurley, EH chief executive, said, 'We need to look and see what a £13m cut means for us. It will mean something, and probably something that we don't like very much and that our partners won't like very much.'

He has already axed staff numbers by 11%, including the post of Chief Archaeologist last year. He ruled out an 'equal misery for all' approach, fuelling fears that archaeological funding could be hit disproportionately.

Read more in the latest issue of “The Digger”

Ohoden — Valoga Experimental Settlement

“Ivan Venedikov” Bulgarian Archaeological Association and scientific team of prehistoric site Ohoden — Valoga in Northwestern Bulgaria, invites you, to visit our new WEB SITE Discoveries from the site during 2004 change ideas for appearing of first agricultural civilization in Europe. It’s our pleasure to give you opportunity to take part from investigation program, joining in Experimental Archaeological camp Ohoden 2005:

- opportunity to participate in building of experimental settlement — exact replica of original Neolithic settlement; - participate in excavations of single fully preserved site from Monocrome stage of Early Neolithic (8300-8100 B.P.) in Bulgaria;
- opportunity to join specialized lectures and practice of field research, for localization of archaeological sites and localization of raw materials, palaeobotany; chipped stone industry; bone industry, under guidance of specialists.

View the Website

Medieval artefacts put on display

Medieval artefacts that were recently discovered in Huntingdon are being put on display at the town's museum.

The exhibition at Cromwell Museum coincides with the forthcoming 800th anniversary of the town's first charter in 1205.

Items dug up from Hartford Road will be included in the display.

The objects come from Huntingdon's medieval past and were believed to be more than 400 years old in Oliver Cromwell's day.

BBC News

Digging Around Proves Beneficial For Learners

East Sussex Archaeology and Museums Project Deemed ‘Outstanding’

A facility providing specialist training in environmental, archaeological and museum-based education has been awarded top marks by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI).

East Sussex Archaeology and Museums Project (ESAMP), based in the Anne of Cleves House museum in Lewes and managed by the county council’s transport and environment department, was awarded three awards of grade 1 of ‘outstanding’ for learning and training. The inspections are used to measure and improve education standards. ESAMP Manager Tristan Bareham feels the process of the Common Inspection Framework through to the actual inspections helps to drive forward the level of training within their organisation. “We appreciate the value of having a number of highly qualified external specialists rigorously assessing our systems and forming professional judgments about them,” said Bareham.

F E News

EROTIKEA: Roman brothel under new store

SEXY murals are among a wealth of Roman relics which have been uncovered on the site of a new Ikea store.

The erotic paintings were found by workmen building a massive new outlet for the Swedish furniture giants.

Roman tombs, villas, baths and a complex aqueduct system were also uncovered.

It is believed the relics date back to the 5th century BC.

The site where the artefacts were found was used as a brothel, or lupanar, by the Ancient Romans.

The murals depict an elderly man entangled with a young woman and a variety of animals' sex organs.

Daily Record


Dai nuovi scavi archeologici compiuti sotto la basilica romana di San Paolo Fuori le Mura, condotti dagli archeologici dei Musei Vaticani, arrivano le conferme scientifiche sulla tomba dell'apostolo. Sotto l'altare maggiore e' stato infatti trovato un sarcofago di eta' romana, esattamente sotto l'epigrafe ''Paulo apostolo mart'', da sempre visibile alla base dell'altare.

Adn Kronos

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Barbara Craig - Obituary

Archaeologist and principal, Somerville College, Oxford

Born: October 22, 1915, in Calcutta.
Died: January 25, 2005, in Bainbridge, North Yorkshire, aged 89.

"LADY Margaret Hall for young ladies, St Hilda’s for games, St Hugh’s for religion and Somerville for brains." This 1920s Oxford proverb is personified in the figure of Barbara Denise Craig. Endowed with a formidable intellect, she was also blessed with a rare humanity.

She was born in Calcutta in 1915, the daughter of John Alexander Chapman, poet and librarian of the Imperial Library of India. In 1920, her mother took Barbara and her four brothers to London for their schooling. She was educated at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ School in Acton, and in 1934 went up to Oxford to read classics. At Somerville, distinguished women tutors in classical archaeology and ancient history aroused in her an interdisciplinary interest in the social history and monuments of Greece and Rome.

The Scotsman

Alpine iceman reveals Stone Age secrets

BOLZANO, Italy (Reuters) - Some 5,300 years after his violent death, a Stone Age man found frozen in the Alps is slowly revealing his secrets to a global team of scientists.

But despite more than a decade of high-tech efforts by geneticists, botanists and engineers many questions about his life and death remain unsolved.

And rumours of a deadly curse on those who found him continue to swirl.

German amateur mountaineer Helmut Simon and his wife spotted Oetzi, as he became known, in the mountains between Italy and Austria, near the Oetztal valley, in 1991.

Yahoo News

Peeling back the sands of time

It is the largest exercise of its kind ever attempted in Britain.

And yesterday archaeologists began their ambitious bid to peel back the sands of time in Yarmouth.

A team from Norfolk County Council has begun drilling about 200 bore holes in the town's medieval core to build up unique map detailing its rich history.

The exercise is taking place within a 144-acre space held entirely within the town walls, which was home to 10,000 people in the 1350s.

The project will use a combination of bore holes and past excavation records to build up a series of maps through the ages, detailing everything from 1960s industrial buildings to Georgian houses, and allowing households to trace their foundations.

The map will record environmental data about Yarmouth and the surrounding area, revealing how the land where the town sits was formed, and what the area was like for the first inhabitants.

EPD 24

Archäologie statt Hippologie am "Hohen Hengst"

Im Süden von Graz beherrscht ein lang gezogener Bergrücken die Ebene am Mittellauf der Mur: Der "Hohe Hengist" (Hengst), besser bekannt auch als der Wildonerberg. Vier Gemeinden im Umfeld haben sich zum so genannten Kulturpark Hengist zusammengeschlossen.

Mit vereinten Kräften will man auf die 6.000 Jahre alte Geschichte der Region und die zahlreichen archäologischen Fundstätten des Gebietes aufmerksam machen. So sollen in diesem Jahr u.a. zwei archäologische Museen eröffnet werden. Beim Anblick des rund 500 Meter hohen Wildonerberges könnte man an einen Pferderücken denken. Nicht umsonst wird der Bergzug schon seit dem Zehnten Jahrhundert immer wieder mit dem Namen "Hengist" in Verbindung gebracht - ein Begriff, auf den sich die Initiatoren des neuen, rund 30 Kilometer südlich von Graz entstehenden Kulturparks zurückgreifen. Jedoch nicht die Hippologie - die Wissenschaft vom Pferd -, sondern die Archäologie steht bei ihrer Initiative im Mittelpunkt.

aon Digital World

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ruins Support Myth of Rome's Founding

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of Mars, the god of war, who were suckled as infants by a she-wolf in the woods.

Now, archaeologists believe they have found evidence that at least part of that tale may be true: Traces of a royal palace discovered in the Roman Forum have been dated to roughly the period of the eternal city's legendary foundation.

Yahoo News

Unearthing secrets from Roman era

AN ancient coffin uncovered by builders working on a North Yorkshire car park is set to reveal its astonishing secrets.

The tomb – thought to date from Roman times – is believed to contain a body expertly preserved using gypsum burial techniques.

Thrilled archaeologists hope its condition may be good enough to allow us to look one of our ancestors in the face.

Andrew Morrison, curator of archaeology for York Museums Trust, said: "This is a really exciting event because all the burials we have found until now were found in the 19th century.

"This one allows us to investigate it using modern science, we can x-ray it, do chemical analysis and learn much more about the person in it."

Leeds Today

Archaeology relics taken from car

An archaeologist's car containing valuable relics has been stolen from outside a hotel in Birmingham.
Mark Olly, from Warrington, Cheshire, was giving a talk at the Wellington Hotel, Bromsgrove Street, on Tuesday when his blue Nissan Micra was taken.

He said: "There's a couple of Ice Age axes in there that are from about 250,000BC. They're fairly important.

"There are a couple of other axes, including a stone one from the Bronze Age that's quite distinctive."

BBC News

An Archaeological Newsfeed For Your Website

Would you like to include the latest archaeological headlines from the Archaeology in Europe Weblog on your website?

Now you can. It’s easy and it’s free!

Simply go to RSS Digest at and create a feed to the Archaeology in Europe Weblog Atom feed
(the URL is ).

Follow the simple instructions and you have your own customisable news feed showing the headlines which link to each entry.

If you want to see what the newsfeed looks like, click here.

The wreck of El Gran Grifón

IN 1588, the Spanish armada set sailed for England not to engage in a naval battle but invade.

However, England's warships outnumbered the huge Spanish galleons and were both faster and had more firepower. Minor confrontations were indecisive until the English, led by Sir Francis Drake, defeated the armada off Gravelines, France. However, much of the fleet escaped out to the Atlantic where south-westerly winds forced them north into the Irish Sea.

The remaining Spanish ships decided to follow the winds and return to Spain by sailing around the north of Scotland, hoping to avoid Drake's ships in the process. However, an unusually strong storm wrecked many ships off the coasts of Scotland and Ireland.

Ther Scotsman

Roman coffin to yield up secrets

A RARE coffin unearthed in York could give archaeologists a unique insight into the Roman way of death 1,700 years ago.

The remains, found on a building site near The Mount, in an extensive Roman cemetery, were unusual because the body had undergone a form of mummification.
Yesterday the stone sarcophagus and its contents were lifted out and taken away for testing.

A white material, probably gypsum, was used to preserve the body of what archaeologists hope is a Roman, buried around 300AD.

Yorkshire Post Today

Discovering the secrets of city's ancient stone coffin

A STONE coffin containing a mummified body was lifted from a grave yesterday, more than 1,600 years after it was buried.

Archaeologists said the body had been so well preserved that it might be possible to make out its facial features.

The late-Roman coffin was uncovered by contractors carrying out development work on a car park in Mill Mount, York, for Shepherd Homes.

Experts believe gypsum may have been used to preserve the body because inside the coffin was a white substance which had acted on the body in a similar way to mummification.

This is Hawes

Roman coffin discovered intact

A ROMAN wooden coffin has been unearthed in London, the only example of its kind found in Britain.

Archaeologists expressed excitement that it had survived intact, centuries after other examples had disintegrated without trace. In dating from AD120, the new find is an unusually early example of a Roman burial.

It was not until the 3rd century AD that the Roman Britons generally buried their dead. Prior to this they usually favoured cremation. The skeleton belonged to a man over the age of 25, at a time when only 10 per cent lived beyond the age of 45.

The coffin, which went on display yesterday at the Museum of London, was found during building work in Holborn, on a steep side of the River Fleet, one of the many rivers that flow beneath London’s streets to the Thames.

Times Online

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Budget worries over medieval ship

Long term cash to help preserve the medieval ship found in mud in the river Usk needs to be secured, Newport Council has warned.

Hundreds of timbers from the ship are being kept in clean water in special tanks at a warehouse in the city, with a multi-national of experts working on them.

But the council said it might have problems in finding the £300,000 needed each year, as part of the long-term preservation project.

BBC News

Archaeologists hope to rewrite Cologne's past

Cologne - Archaeologists on Tuesday started one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in Europe, hoping to rewrite the 2 000-year history of Cologne.

The diggers have four years to shift 100 000 cubic metres of soil, looking for foundations and artefacts that will go on display at the city museum.

The Romans founded "Colonia" and it was one of European biggest cities in late Roman times and the Middle Ages. Past digs have yielded Roman mosaics, tombstones and oil lamps.

Chief archaeologist Hansgerd Hellenkemper said his team would try to discover why the Roman river port silted up and how Cologne was affected by a drastic change in the world's climate 1 800 years ago.

IOL Discovery

Vast palace of Rome's first kings discovered deep beneath the Forum

Ancient Rome has yielded its deepest secret - one that coincides with the legend of the city's foundation. Seven metres under the ruins of imperial Rome's Forum, Professor Andrea Carandini has discovered the remains of an immense building, covering 345 square metres, which he believes to be the palace of Rome's first kings.

He has dated a section of flooring near by to 753BC - when, according to legend, the city was founded by Romulus on seven hills. Until now, historians have maintained that Rome's history could not be traced further back than the 4th or 5th century BC.

Professor Carandini's discovery, trailed in Il Messaggero newspaper, will be unveiled at a conference in Florence at the weekend. He will reveal that the centrepiece of the palace was an enormous banquet hall with walls of wood and clay and a tiled roof decorated with fine ceramics. "This palace endured at least until AD64, in other words for eight centuries," Professor Carandini said.


York Archaeological Trust

St Mary’s Abbey Precinct Training Excavation 2005

Monday, 20 June – Friday, 9 September

Following the great success of the St Leonard’s training excavation (2001-2004), York Archaeology Trust has identified a new site and will be running a training excavation in the summer of 2005.

York Archaeology Trust in partnership with the York Museums Trust will be excavating in the northern part of the precinct of St Mary's Abbey. The excavation will be looking to answer a number of questions about the archaeology on the site, which dates from the Roman period onwards. This is a unique opportunity to excavate an urban archaeological site in York that has not been previously investigated.

For further information, please email Toby Kendall,

or visit the York Archaeological Web site

Mummified body found during dig

Archaeologists working in York have discovered an ancient coffin containing a preserved body.

Workers made the find during development work and discovered the body had been mummified using a rare technique.

The body, possibly dating from Roman times, has been well so well preserved historians are hoping the facial features can still be seen.

The coffin is being taken to the York Museum Trust for examination on Tuesday.

BBC News

Grant helps safeguard Mitford Castle

THE stormy history of a Northumbrian castle, thought to be the only five-sided keep in England, is set to delight generations of visitors for years to come thanks to English Heritage.
After more than a thousand tumultuous years during which 11th century Mitford Castle near Morpeth in Northumberland was burnt down by King John, confiscated by Henry III and sacked by Robert the Bruce, emergency repairs have been carried out following an £80,000 grant from English Heritage.

Carol Pyrah, English Heritage Regional Director for the North East,said: "Mitford Castle played a dramatic and important part in the area's history and it was vital that the remains were prevented from further deterioration or they would have been lost forever. We are delighted that this grant has helped the owner of Mitford to safeguard the future of the castle for many years to come."

The home of the Barons of Mitford for hundreds of years, the motte and bailey castle — in ruins since the 14th century — is a Grade I listed Scheduled Ancient Monument and is on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk Register as it is in very poor condition.

Morpeth Today

Metal detector users help unearth rare finds

RARE finds unearthed by metal detector enthusiasts are helping archaeologists discover more about North-East history.

Relations between the metal detecting community and archaeologists, at one time seen as being at odds with each other, have vastly improved in recent years.

Efforts to bring detector-users into the archaeological community have largely been brought about by the Heritage Lottery-funded portable antiquities scheme.

It has seen the appointment of regional finds liaison officer Philippa Walton, who has logged thousands of objects found by detector-users across the North-East in the 18 months since she took up the post.

Among them are Roman artefacts unearthed by members of Durham's Dunelme Metal Detecting Club.

This is the North East

Sealers camps unearthed in South Shetlands

Researchers from the Chilean Antarctic Institute Natural History Museum have discovered interesting remains and utensils from sealing settlements in the South Shetland Islands dating back to the early XIXth. Century, reports Punta Arenas La Prensa Austral.

Apparently the researchers from Punta Arenas headed by archaeologist Ruben Stehberg have found two “intact” camps in Rugged island, west of Livingston Island with many artefacts and tools of daily life when the first seal hunters established their operational bases in 1820/23.


Over 4,000 ancient artifacts..

Over 4,000 ancient artifacts and coins were found by police on Saturday after they raided a farmer’s house near Thessaloniki. The 40-year-old was taken into custody after officers confiscated 3,200 silver and copper coins and some 1,000 other items, dating from Paleolithic times to the Byzantine era, from a storage space at his home in Nea Apollonia, some 50 kilometers east of Thessaloniki. The unnamed suspect claimed that he came across the artifacts in fields around the area, officers said. He will now face charges of having broken stiff laws on antiquities, which ban their sale or excavation without a special permit and stipulate that accidental finds must be turned over to authorities.


Das weiße Gold der Kelten

Salzbergwerk und Gräberfeld von Hallstatt – Ausstellung im Neanderthal Museum vom 21. April bis 30. Oktober 2005

Salz ist lebensnotwendig. Für Jahrtausende war sein Wert vergleichbar mit dem des Goldes, denn mit Salz konnten Lebensmittel haltbar gemacht werden. Das bekannteste prähistorische Salzbergwerk der Welt liegt bei Hallstatt im österreichischen Salzkammergut, wo noch bis zum heutigen Tag Salz gewonnen wird. Erste Spuren der Nutzung des Salzes von Hallstatt gehen bis in die Jungsteinzeit vor 7.000 Jahren zurück. In der Bronzezeit und schließlich in der Eisenzeit wurde das Salz bergmännisch mit immer neuen Techniken gewonnen. Seit der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts werden archäologische Ausgrabungen in Hallstatt durchgeführt, die ein reiches Fundmaterial mit außergewöhnlichen Funden von Weltrang erbracht haben.


Bronze Age complex found in Cyprus

A huge factory complex dating back to the Bronze Age has been discovered near the village of Pirgos in Limassol, archaeologists in Cyprus said yesterday. The 4,000-square-meter complex comprises an olive-pressing factory, a metal works site and a perfume-producing plant, according to archaeologists.


Pot of Roman coins detected

The beeping of a metal detector delivered a windfall to a couple who found Norfolk's biggest ever hoard of Roman silver coins.

Pat and Sally Buckley were indulging their hobby on a ploughed field near Dereham just before Christmas when they came upon a few silver coins in the dirt.

As they carried on, they realised they had found a remarkable treasure.

The find has been kept secret until now to allow Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service a proper search, and the exact location is not being publicised.

Finds officer Dr Adrian Marsden said the collection of 900-plus Roman denarii is a significant discovery and includes coins from 270 years of early British history.

EDP 24

Monday, February 14, 2005


There are growing fears that government
cuts to English Heritage (EH) will mean
less money for archaeological projects.

Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for
Culture, announced the 4.6% reduction in
spending in December, but EH says that in
reality the figure is nearer 6.3% - on top of
10% cuts since 2000. This amounts to a
£13m reduction in real terms, contrasting
with a 98% increase in government funding
for sport.

Simon Thurley, EH chief executive, said,
'We need to look and see what a £13m cut
means for us. It will mean something, and
probably something that we don't like very
much and that our partners won't like very

He has already axed staff numbers by 11%,
including the post of Chief Archaeologist
last year. He ruled out an 'equal misery for
all' approach, fuelling fears that
archaeological funding could be hit

The Digger

Holes to delve deep into the past

Work on a project to map Yarmouth's archaeology with boreholes is set to begin.

About 200 holes, 10cm wide and 6m deep, will be drilled in the area of the walled town as part of the scheme funded by Norfolk County Council, English Heritage and Europe.

The scheme, which starts on Wednesday, aims to record environmental data about the Yarmouth area, revealing how the land was formed, what it was like before the area was inhabited and the development of the town through history.

A map will be drawn up to ensure archaeological remains do not unnecessarily delay or deter new building work and that any developments do not damage important remains.

An additional study of paper records is also under way.

EPD 24

Dig continues to come up trumps to the last...

Archaeologists are continuing to make rare discoveries at a major dig in Staple Gardens, Winchester - with just days before they are due to finish their work.

The team from Oxford Archaeology have spent months sifting, digging and recording at the site, which has played host to Roman, Saxon and Iron Age settlements.

Already, they have discovered huge volumes of pottery, animal bones, coins and other artefacts, which help explain the significance of the area throughout the ages.

They are due to vacate the site on Monday before developers move in.

Their investigations have uncovered evidence of early roundhouses occupied by Iron Age man, when the site was part of Oram's Arbour, as well as Roman coins, when it had become a part of Venta Belgarum under Roman occupation. At the end of January, there was excitement when a rare silver coin was uncovered from the reign of King Canute, who ruled between 1013 and 1035.

This is Winchester


Staff and learners at a training organisation in East Sussex are over the moon this week after being awarded a grade 1 “outstanding” in each of three areas of learning by the government’s Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI).

East Sussex Archaeology and Museums Project (ESAMP), based in the Anne of Cleves House museum in Lewes, was awarded three grade 1’s – achieved only by a handful of organisations in the country – for its land-based and humanities provisions and for its approach to leadership and management. The Adult Learning Inspectorate also awarded ESAMP a double grade 2 “good” for its approach to equality of opportunity and quality assurance.

Established in 1984, ESAMP is managed by the county council’s transport and environment department and offers specialist training in environmental, archaeological and museum-based subjects. There are six learners on the land-based provision and 12 on the humanities programme all of whom are expected to complete a 52-week training programme.


Rhodes mayor wants to rebuild Colossus, a wonder of the ancient world

The mayor of Rhodes relaunched an often-delayed project to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Greek news agency ANA reported.

Mayor Yannis Iatridis at a press conference proposed building the gigantic statue of the sun god Helios on a hill near the seaside resort of Faliraki.

The Greek-Cypriot artist Nicolaos Gotziamanis, who has been preparing the project for several years, would erect the statue estimated to cost 100 million euros (129 million dollars) under the plan. It would be made of brass and stand about 33 meters (108 feet) tall.

Yahoo News

Herculaneum library excavation funding comes through

I've been remiss in not mentioning the ongoing story about the campaign to reopen excavations at the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum. So here's some good news (and let's all keep our fingers crossed for even better yet to come):blockquote>A PHILANTHROPIST has stepped forward to fund excavations at the ancient city of Herculaneum in Italy, where scholars believe a Roman library lies buried beneath 90ft of lava from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79.

David W Packard, whose family helped to found the Hewlett-Packard computer company, is concerned that the site may be poorly conserved or that excavation of the library may not continue unless he underwrites the work. . .


Author 'moves' ancient battlefield

IT WAS supposed to be the battle "at the ends of the earth" that saw the Romans finally conquer all Britain - putting an end to years of resistance by the fierce Caledonians.

And over the last 30 years it has been widely believed to have taken place in northern Scotland, near the hill of Bennachie in Aberdeenshire.

However, a new book by Edinburgh University historian Dr James Fraser will claim the key battle happened much further south ... on the Gask Ridge not far from Perth.

And while this may suggest the Romans did not completely conquer the tribes of northern Britain, Dr Fraser argues that they did not want to and instead would have made allies with native leaders to boost their control of the region and ensure Roman territory was not attacked.

The Scotsman

Sunday, February 13, 2005

New hope in hunt for Roman library

A PHILANTHROPIST has stepped forward to fund excavations at the ancient city of Herculaneum in Italy, where scholars believe a Roman library lies buried beneath 3m of lava from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79.

David W. Packard, whose family helped to found the Hewlett-Packard computer company, is concerned that the site may be poorly conserved or that excavation of the library may not continue unless he underwrites the work.

Herculaneum, south of present-day Naples, was buried by the same eruption that destroyed nearby Pompeii.

"It is hard to imagine anything more exciting than excavating at Herculaneum," said Mr Packard, who is channelling the money through a family institute.


Roman coffin discovered intact

A ROMAN wooden coffin has been unearthed in London, the only example of its kind found in Britain.

Archaeologists expressed excitement that it had survived intact, centuries after other examples had disintegrated without trace. In dating from AD120, the new find is an unusually early example of a Roman burial.

It was not until the 3rd century AD that the Roman Britons generally buried their dead. Prior to this they usually favoured cremation. The skeleton belonged to a man over the age of 25, at a time when only 10 per cent lived beyond the age of 45.

The Times

Bird's eye view of island's past

Two friends have started a two-year project to capture the archaeological beauty of Anglesey from the air.

Pilot John Rowlands and photographer David Roberts, both from the island, expect to take thousands of pictures for a systematic survey.

They hope to reveal the island's past from the air and donate their pictures to an expert body.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales has been offered the pictures.

BBC News


A group of metal detectorists has unearthed a series of gold rings bearing messages of love and dating back to the medieval age in East Sussex.

The discovery was made by a group of three metal detecting friends in a field near Lewes, who came across two gold rings and reported them to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). Several weeks later a further two gold rings bearing similar inscriptions were unearthed in the area.

News of the find has been followed by an announcement from the government that it intends to pump £1.2million into the PAS between 2006 and 2008, thereby securing the future of the UK’s most popular community archaeology project.

24 Hour Museum News


Silt samples taken from the Mary Rose will be re-housed, and rescued artefacts stored in more accessible locations, thanks to funding from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Museum Development Service and the Designated Challenge Fund.

The Mary Rose, at Portsmouth Harbour, is the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world. Built between 1509 and 1511, she was one of the first ships able to fire a broadside, and was a firm favourite of King Henry VIII.

After a long and successful career, she sank during an engagement with the French fleet in 1545. Her rediscovery and raising were seminal events in the history of nautical archaeology.

24 Hour Museum News

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

City dig reveals 'world-class' finds

The quality of the latest finds in a major archaeological investigation at Winchester has prompted a councillor to call for the city to be designated a World Heritage Site.

Anne Saunders, who visited the excavations at Staple Gardens with colleagues, says she was told the site had "world-class value."

The 1,000sqft excavation, currently believed to be the biggest dig in the country, is being carried out by 30 experts from Oxford Archaeology and it has uncovered Iron Age, Roman and Saxon remains.

As well as Iron Age pottery and Roman coins, they have unearthed a series of stone houses, with back gardens, thought to be early shops at the time of King Alfred, which fronted Brudenestret - an "Alfredian" version of today's Staple Gardens.

Last week, they uncovered a silver coin dating from the reign of King Canute (1013 - 1035), the monarch whose bones are in the cathedral, and a section of Roman wall-panelling.

"I would like the city council to lobby for Winchester to be a World Heritage Site," said Mrs Saunders, member for St Barnabas.

This is Winchester

Bright idea for power at Scots castle

Solar panels plan for historic site visited by distinguished guests

IT was built in the 14th century and welcomed Mary Queen of Scots among its distinguished guests.

Only candles and hearth fires offered any heat or light in those bygone days at Crichton Castle in the Midlothian countryside.

But now Historic Scotland has hit on a modern solution to meet the changing needs of the A-listed attraction.

Under new plans, electricity will be generated by solar panels installed on the tower roof to give comfort to the solitary steward who staffs the site.

The Scotsman

Monday, February 07, 2005


INFORMATION is being sought to help solve the mystery of Roman Ridge dykes which run between Mexborough and Sheffield.

The dykes - a bank with a ditch on the side facing the river - are located at various points throughout the Dearne including Wentworth Park, Hoober and Swinton, Mexborough, Kilnhurst, Nether and Upper Haugh.

Rotherham woman Kathleen Cronk, who has written two books about the earthwork and is researching their origins, said: "I am particularly interested in tapping into the local knowledge of the people in the catchment area.

"The most northerly place at which the Roman Ridge has been recorded with certainty is near a cottage on Thief Lane in Mexborough.

Doncaster Today


One of Gloucester's most important historic monuments has been vandalised.

St Oswald's Priory, the city's oldest building with remains above ground, has been attacked with spray paint after part of the fencing protecting the site was ripped down. A collection of indecipherable letters and the words 'grass' and 'weed' have been spray painted on to the ancient walls.

The priory, on Priory Road, was founded in about 890 by Lady Aethelflaed, the daughter of King Alfred the Great.

The damaging graffiti covering part of the wall facing the Cathedral was sprayed on the ancient stones at a time when Gloucester City Council, Gloucester Civic Trust (GCT) and English Heritage are working to raise money to restore the site.

This is Gloucestershire

28. Deutscher Kunsthistorikertag in Bonn

Mit dem Status der Kunstgeschichte heute befasst sich der XXVIII. Deutscher Kunsthistorikertag. Er findet vom 16. bis 20. März 2005 mit internationaler Beteiligung an der Universität Bonn statt. Über 100 Referenten aus dem In- und Ausland und insgesamt rund 1000 Teilnehmer werden erwartet. Veranstalter sind der Verband Deutscher Kunsthistoriker und die Bonner Universität.


The thrill of the hunt

Some medieval coins were among the hidden treasures unearthed during a metal detecting hunt in Lavenham.

Organised by the East Coast Searchers, the hunt of farm land produced little else to excite those in search of gold.

Farmer Andrew Norfolk, who has been metal detecting for 12 years, said the attraction of the hobby lay in the 'thrill of the hunt'.

"A lot of people find it hard to believe that I am a farmer and I have the time to go metal detecting," he said.

Bury St Edmunds Today

Sunday, February 06, 2005


Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh today announced the creation of a National Historic Ships Unit.

Giving evidence today to the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport, Andrew McIntosh said:

"Historic Ships are an important part of our rich maritime heritage and this year's 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar underlines that. But the approach to the preservation of historic ships has been fragmented and uncoordinated with no clear sense of priorities.

" We are therefore committed to delivering a national policy on ship preservation that preserves the best of our maritime heritage and we have consulted widely. Following consultation I am today announcing the establishment of a National Historic Ships Unit to advise the Government on policy and funding priorities for historic ships, to co-ordinate work within the sector to assist those directly engaged in preservation; and to maintain an up to date register of the historic fleet, including the National Register of Historic Ships and "At Risk" register. The Unit will encourage a better understanding of the costs of restoring and maintaining historic vessels; advise the Heritage Lottery Fund on ship preservation priorities and bids for funding and promote historic ships to a wider audience."

Wired Gov

Maria ruhte im Bet-Stübchen

Die Marien-Figur und der Verkündigungs-Engel lagen fast 60 Jahre in einem der Bet-Stübchen der Marktkirche. In Teile zerlegt, verpackt in einer Holzkiste. Jetzt ist das farbige Bleiglasfenster, auf dem diese Figuren dargestellt sind, wieder entdeckt worden. Durch Zufall, dank weiblichen Spürsinns und Hartnäckigkeit. "Es war wie ein Krimi", beschreibt Sabine Meinel die Zeit bis klar war, um was für einen Schatz es sich da handelt. Die im Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie für Halle zuständige Gebietskonservatorin ist dem verschollen geglaubten Fenster auf die Spur gekommen; nun soll es restauriert werden. Geht alles gut, könnte das Fenster schon bald in der Marktkirche eingebaut sein.

Naumburger Tageblatt

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Time Team to lift lid on wreck's secrets

SECRETS from one of Hampshire's most hidden historical artefacts have been brought to the surface after lying on the bed of the River Hamble for centuries.

A study of Henry V's shipwrecked vessel Grace Dieu has brought valuable clues to the mystery of the giant warship that was first launched from Southampton in 1418.

The doomed warship was the biggest of its kind in the world, and at 250ft long and 50ft wide its construction has baffled historians and archaeologists for decades.

How it came to be at the bottom of the Hamble is also a remarkable tale, as the warship sank after being struck by lighting while it was moored on the shoreside in 1439.

Now the challenge of unravelling its mysteries is one that television's Time Team has taken on.

Presenter Tony Robinson who fronts the Channel 4 archaeological programme, told the Daily Echo: "We won't know for some months the results of what we uncovered because what we found is actually a small part of the research.

This is Southampton

Concern over fate of antiquities lying on the seabed

Experts know of more than 1,000 wrecks in Greek waters, all vulnerable to looting by antiquities thieves.

By Iota Sykka - Kathimerini

When a few months ago a leading light in the field of underwater exploration, Robert Ballard, visited Athens, he warned Greeks to guard their wrecks as if he knew what was coming.

A bill just released by the Merchant Marine Ministry on underwater diving appears to have raised the more general issue of protecting antiquities in Greek waters.

The draft legislation bans recreational diving at underwater archaeological sites. However, the problem is that there are not only specifically designated sites but many others that have not yet been delineated. And because this is Greece, there is no guarantee of protection since the state is not in a position to check the looting of antiquities.


Ancient church found

The site of a nearly 1,000-year-old church has been found in Skien, making it likely Norway's oldest. Norway may have been converted to Christianity far earlier than believed.

he remains were found in 2001 but have only now been dated radiologically. Experts believe the find strengthens theories that Norway was Christian in several spots long before Håkon the Good, Olav Tryggvason and Olav Haraldsson began their missionary raids.

"It is fun to see confirmation of what we have long believed, that there was a Christianization of Norway long before the two Olavs came," said Jan Brendalsmo, archeologist at the Foundation for Cultural Heritage Research.

Aften Posten

'Oldest church' find wows Norway

Norwegian archaeologists say they have found the remains of what is probably the country's oldest church - dating back nearly 1,000 years.
The church at Skien in southern Norway is believed to have been built between 1010 and 1040, the Aftenposten newspaper reported on Friday.

Oslo historian Jon Vidar Sigurdsson says recent finds suggest that Norway first adopted Christianity in the 800s.

Olav Haraldsson (995-1030) is credited with having Christianised Norway.

BBC News

Friday, February 04, 2005


SOME people keep pictures or flowers on their mantelpiece, but Harby woman Betty Holyland prefers a 2,000-year old artefact.

Mrs Holyland, of School Lane, owns a carved stone which experts believe could be a rare form of Celtic art dating back to Roman times.

The relic, nicknamed Norman due to its historical connections, was discovered by the 80-year-old in the back garden of her old Harby address 20 years ago.

Mrs Holyland, who has an interest in ancient artefacts, said: "When I saw it, it was just a bit of stone but it looked interesting so I decided to look after it."
Last year she took it to retired Harby archaeologist Leslie Cram, who identified it as a Celtic head from Iron Age tribes who had been conquered by the Romans.
The pair notified Leicestershire County Council, and archaeologists believe the stone is at least 2,000 years old.

Melton Today

Medieval fun for youngsters

Youngsters had a go at handling medieval weaponry as Kingston Museum's new exhibition got under way last week.

During the interactive Medieval Machines exhibition, which runs until March 5, visitors can charge the castle walls with a siege engine, work a trip hammer or balance a lance on horseback Howard Benge, the museum's education officer, said: "The show will appeal to anyone interested in how the machines were made, or in the history of design and technology."

For more information call 020 8547 6460.

This is Local London

Dig uncovers Roman links

Coventry's medieval history is well documented, but experts excavating in the city centre have made a discovery which could indicate there was a Roman settlement here hundreds of years before.

A team of archaeologists digging up the site near the Herbert Art Gallery ahead of the construction of the city's new history and archive museum have unearthed a Roman brooch. The find indicates there was Roman activity in the area - and could mean there was a settlement on the site.

The team has already found a number of other objects, including a Tudor salt container, several pieces of medieval pottery and a pit containing cat bones.

IC Coventry


A CRUMPLED piece of metal found in a field in the Newchurch parish turned out to be an extremely rare Bronze Age decorative ring of national importance.

A treasure trove inquest was told how it was unearthed by illustrator Alan Rowe, of Alvington Road, Carisbrooke, while out metal detecting last summer.
Experts believe the ring, known as a composite ring and which comprises of three ribs fused together, may have hung from a twisted torc worn around the neck or from a bracelet.

Frank Basford, county archaeologist, said the piece, which weighs 3.57 grams and is 82 per cent gold, probably dated back to the middle Bronze Age period, making it around 3,500 years old.

"There is very little Bronze Age gold work around, making this a very significant and important find in a national and Island context," he said.

IoW Today

Earthquake Protected Ancient Statue of Hermes

The protective devices, called Friction Pendulum bearings, were custom made for the statue based on analysis and tests conducted at the University at Buffalo's earthquake engineering laboratory.

More than 2,000 years old and generally regarded as an original of the famous Greek sculptor Praxiteles, the Hermes statue, located at Archaeological Museum of Olympia in Greece, is one of few works of art in the world equipped with devices to protect it against damage from major earthquakes.

"This is sometimes the best strategy for protecting individual artifacts other than seismically isolating an entire museum building, which is a significantly more complex and expensive task," said Michael Constantinou, Ph.D., co-investigator with Andrew Whittaker, Ph.D., both of whom are UB professors of civil, structural and environmental engineering.

Mann und Frau in der Antike

In nahezu allen bekannten antiken Gesellschaften - von den Kulturen des Alten Orients und des klassischen Griechenlands bis in die christliche Spätantike hinein - wurden Jungen anders erzogen und sozialisiert als Mädchen; für Männer und Frauen galten jeweils andere Normen, und sie hatten unterschiedliche Handlungsspielräume. Doch die Vorstellungen darüber, was einen Mann und eine Frau ausmacht, fielen keineswegs in allen antiken Gesellschaften gleich aus.

Am Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin findet vom 17. bis zum 20. Februar 2005 eine Tagung zum Thema "Geschlechterdefinitionen und Geschlechtergrenzen in der Antike" statt. Altertumswissenschaftler/innen aus Deutschland, Österreich, Schweden, Frankreich, der Schweiz und den USA werden sich mit der Thematik auseinander setzen.


Rare Bronze Age gold ring found in England

A rare Bronze Age ring found last year on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England, has gone before a treasure trove inquest.

The ring, which is known as a composite ring, comprises of three ribs soldered together, and may have hung from a neck torc or from a bracelet. It weighs 3.57 grams and was found to be 82 per cent gold, probably dating back to the middle Bronze Age, making it around 3,500 years old. Frank Basford, the county archaeologist, said "There is very little Bronze Age gold work around, making this a very significant and important find in a national and Island context."

It was found by Alan Rowe, an illustrator, while metal detecting last summer. He had previously found an unrecorded Iron Age and Roman settlement in the East Wight in 1998, where more than 500 coins were found, including five extremely rare silver quarter staters stamped with an eagle motif, which may be unique to the Isle of Wight.

Stone Pages

Bronze Age axe found in England

"Finds Day" at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, Derbyshire, central England, saw a Bronze Age axe head brought in by a member of the public.

The public were invited to the museum to have any finds they had made inspected and recorded for the national Portable Antiquities Scheme database. Finds Liaison Officer Rachel Atherton said: "What we are trying to do is build up an idea of what people are finding across the country so it can be recorded and used by anyone from archaeologists to people researching their local history."

Stone Pages

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Bronze Age finds to go on display

Skeletons from the Bronze Age that were found in an archaeological dig in Kent and said to be among the best preserved from that time, are to go on show.

Work on the six-month dig at Cliffs End Farm near Ramsgate was carried out in secret to preserve the site, such was the importance of the items found.

Experts claim the finds have shed new light on the way people lived in the area about 3,000 years ago.

VIPs are being given the chance to see what was found on Thursday.

BBC News

Burial mound preserved for future

A burial ground on a Wiltshire farm has been protected from plough damage by an agreement between the farmer and Defra.

Bourton Manor Farm, north west of Devizes has 28 Scheduled Monuments of national importance.

These include 10 barrows which are thought to be either Neolithic or early Bronze Age.

Plough damage is being prevented by returning the surrounding area to grassland using funding under Defra's Countryside Stewardship Scheme.

BBC News

Dig reveals 500 years of history

FRAGMENTS of 11th century pottery dating back to the Norman Conquest have been discovered in the final week of the Hartford Road conservation in Huntingdon.

The site, which has been of much interest to local historians and Huntingdon residents, ends on Friday after some exciting finds. Aileen Connor, archaeological director of the dig, said: "We've had 500 years of history in just five weeks, its been truly amazing."

The Hunts Post has followed this dig throughout the whole five weeks. In the first week evidence of Saxon and Roman pots were found. In week two and three Huntingdon town's earliest foundations were unearthed and last week a near-perfect Lyveden Stanion jug was discovered.

The Hunts Post

Prehistoric Knives Suggest Humans Competed

A recent excavation of 400,000-year-old stone tools in Britain suggests that two groups of early humans could have competed with each other for food and turf.

In the past, anthropologists have argued that only one group of ancient humans lived in Britain, and that these hominids created and used both axes and flake knives, which were made by flaking off small particles from a larger rock, or by breaking off a large flake that was then used as the tool.

Discovery Channel

Yorkshire log boat of 1,000 years ago takes pride of place for Viking holiday showcase

A 1,000-year-old Viking river boat made from an oak tree log will go on show for the Jorvik Viking Festival.

Families are invited to go and see the boat at the Yorkshire Museum in York during the half-term holiday and to take part in activities including making their own Viking boats.

Curator of archaeology for York Museums Trust Andrew Morrison said the log boat was made out of half an oak tree.

The tree was first cut in two, the centre removed and the outer part shaped to act as a boat, which then had 11 ribs added to strengthen the hull.
He added: "Even though the boat is made of oak, it is very fragile and needs custom-made supports to keep it from falling apart."

Yorkshire Post

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Project starts to map city's past

A £100,000 project has begun to map out human activity during the past few centuries in Leicester.

The scheme will use computer mapping technology throughout the city centre to help speed up future developments.

It will help developers and council planners to know more about sites of archaeological interest.

English Heritage regional director Anthony Streeten said the initiative would help the city better manage its historical sites.

BBC News

Ancient remains found in shop

A TEAM OF archaeologists began work at premises in Arbroath’s Shore yesterday following the discovery of ancient human remains.

Workers converting a flat into an ice cream parlour adjacent to Marco’s chip shop unearthed part of a skeleton at the weekend.

A police forensic expert quickly identified the bones as being antiquated and Historic Scotland was brought in.

A spokeswoman for Historic Scotland explained yesterday, “We have contractors from AOC Archaeology investigating the find at the moment.

The Courier

Eroding Iron Age fort is repaired

Work to halt the erosion of an Iron Age hill fort in Gloucestershire is due to begin soon.

Kimsbury Camp on Painswick Beacon is a popular beauty spot, visited by local people and walkers on the Cotswold Way.

The £85,000 facelift will include repairs to erosion scars and ramparts, scrub clearance and the provision of sensitively located information boards.

Parts of the site will be fenced off during the work, which is due to be completed by the end of May.

BBC News

Dig may have found ancient monk's home

ARCHAEOLOGISTS may have found the home of St Baldred of the Bass, one of the best known monks of 8th century Scotland.

Relics from one of the first settlements at North Berwick suggest the hermit lived at Anchor Green, next to the site of the Scottish Seabird Centre at the town’s harbour.

Until recently the area was known only to have been a medieval cemetery but now archaeologists have found domestic animal bones and remains of burned food dating to the 8th century - revealing that people lived on the site.

The Scotsman

Archaeologists find 500-year-old Tudor garden

COUNCIL bosses this week owned up to keeping a huge archaeological secret - a rare Tudor garden which has lain hidden for over 500 years close to Carew Manor in Beddington.

The great significance of the find by heritage project manager John Phillips has excited English Heritage, the Government body which assesses and collates information about historic buildings.

But until Sutton Council can make a decision over its future and the finance needed for further work, the site will remain undisclosed to protect it from archaeological looters.

I C Surrey Online

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Treasure found in Viking market

Archaeologists believe what they originally thought was a Viking burial ground in Cumbria, may actually have been a 10th Century market.

Excited experts unearthed a wealth of treasures at the site, near Barrow.

They were particularly impressed with a merchant's weight, which is the size of a finger and shows a dragon design with two figures.

But after a month of study, experts have moved away from an initial theory that the site was a burial ground.

The dig has unearthed several more metal objects which indicate the site was used as a market place.

BBC News

Battle rages over Irish Celtic site

Proposed highway route is near burial place of 140 kings

TARA, Ireland Ancient England may have Stonehenge, but ancient Ireland has the Hill of Tara. The 6,000-year-old sacred site in the middle of quiet rolling fields is revered here as the burial place of 140 kings, and as the formative birthplace of this land's national identity.

Modern Ireland also has Dublin, whose growing metropolitan area is home to about 1.5 million people out of Ireland's population of close to 4 million. The city's expansion is causing a clash that is affecting the entire country, as lovers of the mythical and prehistoric Ireland try to preserve the tranquillity of Tara as local residents of the area struggle to commute to the capital on antiquated and inadequate roads.

Herald Tribune