Thursday, June 30, 2005

Greek treasures easy prey for antiquities traffickers

Authorities in 2005 have so far retrieved 253 ancient objects, two icons and 12 extremely valuable ecclesiastical items.

The net profits that come from the international trade in antiquities are akin to those of human and narcotics trafficking.

Organized crime networks legalize revenues from illegal activities by purchasing antiquities, while professional dealers in illegal antiquities arm themselves with cutting-edge technology to locate artifacts buried deep in the ground. On the Internet, meanwhile, an endless number of sites hold non-stop “auctions” of items that can date as far back as the sixth century BC.


At the same time, unprotected from the greedy hands of antiquities traffickers, tens of thousands of priceless ancient objects are lying on the Greek seabed, there for the taking. It is estimated that there are over 12,000 shipwrecks around the country and, according to officers of the Department of Antiquities Trafficking, the majority of them are easy prey for antiquities smugglers from all over Europe and the United States.


Archeologists Seek BGN 200,000 to Resume Thracian Works

Archeologists digging in the excavations of ancient Thracian tombs in Bulgaria will need some BGN 200,000 to carry out their work this year.

Dr Georgi Kitov is determined to continue the hard work of previous summer when his team unearthed numerous sensational findings dating nearly five centuries before Christ.

The TEMP expedition of Kitov will resume July 5 its work in the Valley of Thracian Kings. They will extend digging and research of the Goljamata Kosmatka excavations site, Kitov has said as quoted by Bulgarian News Agency.

It has revealed one of richest Thracian tombs known from the times of Antiquity.

Prominent archeologist Georgi Kitov, whose findings brought him the fame of Bulgaria's Indiana Jones, will present his latest book "The Land of Bulgaria. Cradle of Thracian Culture" on June 30 in Sofia.


Pompei: scavi portano alla luce nuovi reperti

POMPEI (Napoli) - Nuovi reperti scoperti a Pompei nel corso di alcuni scavi. Sono stati portati alla luce un ampio cortile colonnato, tre templi, un Foro e case private risalenti a fasi precedenti all'Eta' romana. Un gruppo di trenta archeologi, proveniente da universita' australiane, americane, inglesi, canadesi e italiane e' al lavoro per una prima campagna di scavo della durata di cinque settimane.

Corriere della Sera

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Puzzling over the very British pastime of shovelling old trash

Time Team Special Channel 4, 9.00pm

'Well, it's a late Bronze Age socketed hammer," said Man with Beard. Damn. I could have sworn he was going to dismiss the mucky object as an old rock of no significance whatever. You could have knocked me over with a hammer.

There are moments when I question my ability to go on watching Time Team. Doubts generally set in with early shots of Tony Robinson shouting at us from a helicopter. The archaeology is under the ground, so why is he up in the air? Perhaps he's seeking to illustrate the fact that there's a lot of water in the Lincolnshire fens and that the River Witham is, in fact, a river, but the chopper seems extravagant. For the remainder of the hour, we hear no more about it.

We hear a lot more from Robinson, since he is an "associate producer", whatever that means, and this is his show. That his expertise as an archaeologist is no greater than yours or mine does not appear to matter. That he does not even get his hands dirty in a muddy hole is not commented upon by the people slaving away around him. Robinson's job is to act as a Blue Peter presenter for grown-ups and get excited over bits of stuff that were clearly regarded as junk 3000 years ago.

I wouldn't say that Time Team is a load of old rubbish, exactly, but it does seem to depend heavily on things people have thrown away. Granted, if fabulous treasures were easy to come by we would all have some. Granted, too, that discovering how people lived in that misty era commonly known as "yon time" matters more to archaeologists than the shiny objects that impress the rest of us. But the fact remains that if you've seen one post-hole you may have seen them all.

The Herald

Monday, June 27, 2005


The biggest archaeological dig in Exeter for a generation gets under way today to investigate the secrets held on a site to be covered by the Princesshay redevelopment. Historians are preparing to rewrite chapters of the city's past in the expectation that the dig could challenge accepted information about Exeter's history.

After seven years of research, a team of 25 archaeologists will start combing the Princesshay site, which is inside the city's Roman walls.

The Exeter Archaeology team will be hunting for artefacts and ruins from Saxon, Roman, medieval and Civil War periods.

They will also search for evidence of a Dominican friary known to have been established after the Norman invasion and which survived until Bedford Circus was created in the 16th century Reformation period.

The project will last until March, 2006.

This is Exeter

Revealed: our friends the Romans did not invade Britain after all

Astonishing new archaeological finds reveal they were already our countrymen 50 years before Claudius spun his way into the history books. Steve Bloomfield reports

The history of Britain will have to be rewritten. The AD43 Roman invasion never happened - and was simply a piece of sophisticated political spin by a weak Emperor Claudius.

A series of astonishing archaeological findings of Roman military equipment, to be revealed this week, will prove that the Romans had already arrived decades earlier - and that they had been welcomed with open arms by ancient Britons.

The discovery of swords, helmets and armour in Chichester, Sussex, dates back to a period between the late first century BC and the early first century AD- almost 50 years before the supposed invasion. Archaeologists who have studied the finds believe it will turn conventional Roman history taught in schools on its head. "It is like discovering that the Second World War started in 1938," said Dr David Rudkin, a Roman expert leading the work.

The Independent

Major excavation at Roman forts

Three weeks of digging to excavate what could be the largest Roman garrison fort in Wales start on Monday.

The site, which dates from the first century AD, was first found at Dinefwr Park, near Llandeilo, in 2003.

Experts said the south Wales discovery could rewrite our understanding of the Roman conquest in the area.

Recent surveys confirmed the site, which is invisible from the surface, is much larger than first thought and is made up of two overlapping forts.

BBC News

Saturday, June 25, 2005


The controversial tunnel under Stonehenge was dubbed "the new Bath Spa" by campaigners yesterday after the cost of the project soared to £223million. The Department for Transport (DfT) said the previous figure of £193million had ignored the cost of buying and preparing the land for the tunnel, designed to hide the A303, which passes near the ancient Wiltshire monument.

Stonehenge campaigners said the project was looking more and more like the disastrously overpriced Bath Spa and Millennium Dome projects.

The cost of the mile-long tunnel was originally put at £183million in 2002, but Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman yesterday said "some further increase in costs is now anticipated".

The "Save Stonehenge" group said delays and price increases could lead Ministers to abandon plans for the road altogether.

Western Daily Press

See also Save Stonehenge!

Archaeological wonders are under the sea

Athens - The recent discovery of the remains of a shipwrecked 4th century BC vessel, nicknamed Kythnos I after the Greek island near which it was found, is the latest testimony of the archaeological riches still submerged in Greek waters.

It also demonstrates the technological advances that underwater archaeology has made in this country in recent years.

Greece has no shortage of skilled archaeologists. But when it comes to underwater research, it is only recently that the Greek ministry of culture has begun mixing academic knowledge with hi-tech wizardry.

Collaboration with the national centre for maritime research (Elkethe), and increased state funding from 2000 onwards, have enabled the culture ministry to open a broad - and still potentially untapped - archaeology frontier under the waves.

IOL Science

Ancient Thermal City to Be Flooded in Turkey

Archeologists, environmentalists and international NGOs are joining together to try to find a way to save an 1,800-year-old archeological site, due to be flooded this November by the waters from a new dam.

The world's oldest known ancient thermal city, Allianoi, stands to be flooded when the Yortanli Dam begins operation this November. Located in the very centre of the planned dam lake, it will be submerged under some 17 metres of water. If no solution is found, Turkey may lose a significant historical site.

To help save the 1,800-year-old city, environmentalists and other volunteers have formed the Allianoi Initiative Group, with the slogan "Don't Let Allianoi Be Flooded".

"A 2,000-year history is being sacrificed for a 50 to 60-year-old project. We don't say that the dam should not be constructed, but the project should be modified in a way that will prevent Allianoi from being ruined," says the group's spokesman, Arif Ali Cangi.

Southeast European Times


A visitor centre was established at Flag Fen in 2002, but experts are concerned a proposed developed will put people off. Courtesy Toby Fox.

A heritage campaigner has warned that Flag Fen could become the next Thornborough if plans to plans to build a waste processing plant near the famous Bronze Age site succeed.

Since the 1960s the area around the Neolithic henge complex at Thornborough in Yorkshire has been quarried and for some time local organisations have campaigned to have it stopped.

Chair of one such organisation, Time Watch, George Chaplin told the 24 Hour Museum that a vast waste processing plant at Flag Fen could affect the site in the same way as quarrying has affected Thornborough.

"We at Time Watch are very concerned that Flag Fen could be turned into another Thornborough," he said. "Sites like Flag Fen, which are already established as being extremely important, have been invested in," he added, "and because of the investment we’ve already made what we should avoid at all costs is ruining that."

24 Hour Museum News

See also 24 Hour Museum News 17.6.05

Anglo Saxon find 'worth £100,000'

A metal-detecting fan who unearthed a rare seventh-century sword hilt could have earned £100,000 as a result.
Christopher Baker's find, in a field 10 miles from Lincoln, was described by British Museum experts as exceptional.

The hilt, part of a six-piece find, is thought to have belonged to an high-ranking Anglo-Saxon warrior.

The Lincs coroner has now declared the find treasure trove. The British Museum is expected to keep pieces and pay Mr Baker up to £100,000 in compensation.

Split proceeds

The six pieces will be valued by the British Museum, which is expected to decide to keep them and pay compensation to Mr Baker.

BBC News


NEW evidence that appears to confirm the existence of another Roman road in Tynedale has rekindled the fires of controversy.

Historians and archaeologists have long argued about whether the Romans ever built a road heading due west from Corbridge on the south side of the River Tyne.

The perceived wisdom is that they wouldn’t have bothered – not when they had built another one, the Stanegate, going west on the north bank.

However, the Environment Agency has just unearthed an interesting stone structure while reinforcing Corbridge’s flood defences.

And it is thought to provide the first concrete piece of evidence that there was, after all, a road on the south bank.

Archaeologists from Tyne and Wear Museums believe the stone structure at Dilston Haugh was a length of retaining wall for a ramp that led to a long-gone Roman bridge over the River Tyne.

They say the find is of national significance, not least because stone Roman bridges are incredibly rare in Britain.

Hexham Courant

Friday, June 24, 2005

Archaeologists start digging for Hun settlements in Russia

LIPETSK, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Major archaeological excavation work has started in the Lipetsk region's Zadonsk and Khlevnoye districts (Central Russia), where Hun settlements used to be in ancient times.

"Four archaeological expeditions, involving a hundred people each, have started excavation work on the banks of the Don and the Voronezh rivers on the sites of former settlements of the Huns," Mikhail Ryazantsev, an archaeologist at the State Department for Cultural Heritage Protection, told RIA Novosti.

The Huns were nomadic tribes between the second and fourth centuries A.D.

Experts of Lipetsk's Arkheolog scientific and social organization and Lipetsk State Educational University arranged the expeditions. Schoolchildren and students will assist the archaeologists.

Excavation work has been going on in this region since 1995. Archaeologists have found bone artifacts dating back seven thousand years and bone-carving workshops from the Iron Age. A Scythian settlement, the furthest north ever found, and a Slav settlement dating back to the fifth century A.D. were also discovered. Moreover, the digs revealed archeological objects from the Bronze Age and the resting-place of a Hun maiden. Ryazantsev said only several tombs like this had been discovered in Europe.

The excavation will last until mid-August.

RIA Novosti Society

Sleuths join ancient dig

MERSEYSIDE and Cheshire police have joined diggers at an archaeological site to learn how to identify burial plots and handle skeletons.

Teams of crime scene investigators have helped retrieve scores of skeletons at the remains of a medieval chapel where a 5,000-year-old wooden ritual circle similar to Stonehenge has been discovered.

The unique partnership - the brainchild of Bernard Roberts, Head of Forensic Investigations at Cheshire Police - is designed to give the CSIs hands-on experience.

Techniques picked up during courses run for them specially at the dig at Poulton near Chester will help the police experts in locating and then preserving buried bodies in murder investigations.

IC Chester

Underwater archaeology expedition in River Arade

PORTIMÃO’S RIO ARADE estuary is the location for an underwater archaeological campaign entitled ‘Missão ProArade 2005’, taking place now until July 31. Its objective is to conclude the excavation, registry, dismantlement and the total recuperation of the wooden hull of the so called Arade 1 boat that was located in 2001.

An agreement between the Instituto Português de Arqueologia (IPA), the Centro Nacional de Arqueologia Náutica e Subaquática (CNANS) and the Portimão Câmara/Museu Municipal de Portimão (MMP) has been signed to support the team’s work.

The history

Back in the 1970s, following some dredging of the River Arade, two wooden boats were found and named Arade 1 and Arade 2, which archaeologists believe are the most significant findings from the Portimão river. The Arade 1 is thought to date back to the first half of the 15th century/first half of the 16th century and is one of the oldest vessels ever to be found in Portuguese waters. For this reason, it is of great importance to Iberian naval archaeology.

The Resident

A rich Greek archaeology frontier lying underwater

ATHENS - The recent discovery of the remains of a shipwrecked 4th-century BC vessel, nicknamed Kythnos I after the Greek island near which it was found, is the latest testimony of the archaeological riches still submerged in Greek waters.

It also demonstrates the technological advances that underwater archaeology has made in this country in recent years.

Greece has no shortage of skilled archaeologists. But when it comes to underwater research, it is only recently that the Greek ministry of culture has begun mixing academic knowledge with hi-tech wizardry.

Collaboration with the national centre for maritime research (Elkethe), and increased state funding from 2000 onwards, have enabled the culture ministry to open a broad - and still potentially untapped - archaeology frontier under the waves.

Khaleej Times

Iron Age settlement found at farm

Archaeologists have uncovered an Iron Age settlement near Cheltenham.
The dig, at Deans Farm, Bishops Cleeve, has revealed two round houses, two burial sites and a large number of animal bones.

Experts from Birmingham believe it was the site of a farming community in 500 BC which continued through Roman occupation and beyond.

The area, said to be the size of four football pitches, will eventually become a new housing estate.

Team leader Kevin Coles said: "Effectively, we've got a prehistoric settlement site, starting off from the mid Iron Age progressing through to the invasion of the Romans, 43 AD.

BBC News

Italy rediscovers Greek heritage

A world-class archaeological exhibition opened this week in Calabria, in the toe of Italy.

Its subject is Magna Graecia, or Greater Greece - the name given to parts of southern Italy colonised by the ancient Greeks 2,500 years ago.

The migrations of modern Europe are nothing new.

But for the ancient Greeks, southern Italy was their America.

Long before the Roman empire flourished, they sailed west in search of new lands.

BBC News

35-Century-Old Gold Unearthed in Bulgaria

A ritual gold plastic was discovered by a team of Bulgarian archaeologists, it was announced.

The team, headed by Nikolay Ovcharov discovered the semi-sphere gold artifact during excavation near the village of Tatul.

The 23-carat gold dates back to 15-14th century BC, archeologists revealed.

The unique founding could be a part of a ritual leather mask or a fragment of a chest decoration.

The archeologists launched Tatul expedition a week ago. According to scientific theories this is the place where the mythical musician Orpheus was buried.


TV’s Time Team to dig up Roman Maryport

MILLIONS of people are expected to tune in to see Maryport’s Roman heritage excavated live on television as part of Channel 4 Time Team’s Big Dig.

Roman Maryport is one of nine sites around the country that will feature in the Channel 4 programme described as the most ambitious exploration of Roman Britain ever.

Archaeological excavations will start on Saturday on land next to the ancient Roman fort and the Senhouse Roman Museum.

A 30-strong film crew and a Time Team presenter will be in town at the start of July to film a live broadcast of the excavation of a Roman building found on the edge of the site three years ago. It is thought this maybe the remains of an even older fort dating back to the pre-Hadrian era.

News and Star

Stonehenge quarry site 'revealed'

A university professor believes he has solved one of the oldest Stonehenge mysteries - the exact location in Wales where the bluestones were quarried.
Tim Darvill has found what he thinks is an ancient quarry at Carn Menyn high in the Preseli Hills of Pembrokeshire.

The bluestones - which form the inner circle of Stonehenge - were transported over 240 miles to Salisbury Plain.

Local archaeologists say Mr Darvill has made a "convincing and compelling" argument to back up his claim.

Writing in the July/August issue of British Archaeology, he describes the very spot from which be says the stones were quarried centuries ago.

BBC News

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Save the henges, says new petitions

THOUSANDS more people have put their names to a campaign to protect an important Neolithic site known as the "Stonehenge of the North".
The Friends of Thornborough Henges, the pressure group set up to fight for the preservation of the earthworks near Ripon, have submitted two new petitions to North Yorkshire Council in support of their case, and are demanding an end to open-cast quarrying around the ancient monument.

Tarmac is in dispute with local campaigners, who say its extraction of sand and gravel from land around the henges – which are 5,500 years old – is destroying their setting.

One petition, compiled digitally, contains almost 5,500 signatures, collected from all over the world via the group's website –
The second is a conventional paper petition signed by more than 2,000 residents of North Yorkshire, as well as the entire archaeology department of Nottinghamshire Council.

It says: "The internationally important Thornborough Moor and its surrounding area with its natural, historic, hydrological and archaeological features are under threat from quarrying. Please sign below if you are opposed to such developments."
Friends' chairman John Lowry said: "The voice of both local people and international opinion is clear and unequivocal.

"Such unprecedented public opinion cannot be ignored by our elected councillors, who must now prove they have changed their attitude to heritage preservation by voting to reject Tarmac's application to extend its present quarry on to Ladybridge Farm.
"As long as this mining company retains ownership of Thornborough Moor and its gravel deposits, the spotlight of concerned world opinion will remained focused on North Yorkshire."

The monument, one of Britain's most important Neolithic sites, is often described as the Stonehenge of the North.

Yorkshire Post Today

See also: Friends of Thornborough


6th International Meeting of Archaeological Film of the Mediterranean Area
Spring 2006


The non-profit association AGON in collaboration with the greek magazine Archaeology and ArtsΣ are organizing the 6th international meeting of archaeological film of the mediterranean area, which will take place spring 2006.

Will be accepted: archaeological films, documentaries, fiction, animation, reporting, educational etc. produced by either public or private organizations, or individuals from all over the world. The subject is the Archaeology of the Mediterranean area in its wider sense, i.e. Antiquity, Middle ages, or even Industrial archaeology and naturally the dying popular art and traditions. Archaeological films dealing with other areas of the world can be accepted for participation in the informative section.

The films must have been produced after January 1st, 2002.

You may find more information about the festivals regulation and the entry-form in our site or

Deadline for submission November 30th, 2005.

Mrs Maria Palatou, general secretary
10, Karitsi square, 102 37 Athens, Greece
tel.: (++30) 2103312990, tel./ fax: (++30) 2103312991

Druids gather on cursed Tara

PLANNING disputes regularly end in curses but the raging row over the M3 and the Hill of Tara may have been caused by a curse, according to some opponents of the motorway plan.

A team of determined druids yesterday set out to lift the centuries-old jinx which they believe was cast upon the ancient site in the middle ages by priests angry at the refusal of the reigning king to cede his authority to a member of the clergy.

The druids, enthusiasts of ancient Irish history, lore and law, held a series of ceremonies on the hill which attracted several hundred visitors from around the world for the annual summer solstice celebrations.

The curse-busting exercises began at sunrise at 4.30am yesterday morning and were due to continue all night, the shortest night of the year, right through to this morning.

Irish Examiner

Europe's ancient past revealed

Around the same time as great cultures long ago such as China, Mesopotamia or Egypt, Europeans appear to have been building gathering places

Work is under way to rebuild a so-called temple of the sun in Germany that was erected by Europe's first known civilization 6,800 years ago, long before the great cultures of Mesopotamia or the pyramids of Egypt.

Known as the Goseck Circle, it is one of 150 monumental sites arrayed through Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia.

Each comprising four concentric rings of earth and wood, their gates are thought to point to sunrise and sunset at the winter solstice.

The realization that a very early European farming people designed and built such vast sites has arrived in little more than a decade. Textbooks that assume late Stone Age Europe was far more primitive than the Middle East must be rewritten.

Taipei Times

An archaeologist holds a mandible bone attributed to Homo antecessor

An archaeologist holds a mandible bone attributed to Homo antecessor, dating from about 800,000 years ago, during a presentation of the latest discoveries and cataloguing at the site of the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain June 20, 2005.

This mandible, which shows a primitive structural pattern shared with all African and Asian Homo species, adds to the hominin sample recovered from this site between 1994 and 1996. It is the left half of a gracile mandible belonging probably to a female adult with premolars and molars in place. Picture taken June 20, 2005. REUTERS/Felix Ordoez

Yahoo News

"Archäologie mit Kindern"

Archäologie kennenlernen und Geschichte (be)greifen , das kann man ab sofort in Altdorf bei Landshut tun. Einzige Vorrausetzung man muss noch in die Schule gehen.

Bis zum Schuljahresende sind noch Schulklassen eingeladen, an einer archäologischen Grabung teilzunehmen - auf äußerst geschichtsträchtigem Boden: Denn dort, wo unter der Anleitung von Monika Weigl der Boden bereits 20 Zentimeter abgetragen ist, wurde vor einem halben Jahr das Grab einer Frau aus der Jungsteinzeit gefunden - ca. 4500 Jahre alt.

Jetzt wird das Areal, das später unter einer Umgehungsstraße verschwinden wird, systematisch untersucht. Weitere Funde sind mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit zu erwarten. Eine ideale Gelegenheit also, um spannende Archäologie und Schule zusammenzubringen, so wie das im Weißenburger Memorandum der Gesellschaft für Archäologie in Bayern vom vergangenen Herbst formuliert ist.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Stonehenge druids 'mark wrong solstice'

Modern-day druids, hippies and revellers who turn up at Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice may not be marking an ancient festival as they believe.

The latest archaeological findings add weight to growing evidence that our ancestors visited Stonehenge to celebrate the winter solstice.

Analysis of pigs's teeth found at Durrington Walls, a ceremonial site of wooden post circles near Stonehenge on the River Avon, has shown that most pigs were less than a year old when slaughtered.

Dr Umburto Albarella, an animal bone expert at the University of Sheffield's archaeology department, which is studying monuments around Stonehenge, said pigs in the Neolithic period were born in spring and were an early form of domestic pig that farrowed once a year. The existence of large numbers of bones from pigs slaughtered in December or January supports the view that our Neolithic ancestors took part in a winter solstice festival.

The Telegraph

Tara campaigners to mark summer solstice with M3 protest

Campaigners against plans to build the M3 motorway alongside the historic Hill of Tara in Co Meath are planning a protest in the area today to mark the longest day of the year.

The summer solstice is being marked at ceremonies on the Hill of Tara and the nearby Newgrange burial mound.

Both sites are believed to have been used by pagan worshippers to celebrate the festival in pre-Christian times.

Campaigners believe the planned M3 will destroy the character of the area, as well as several archaeological sites, and want the Government to designate the area a world heritage site.

Breaking News


Carlisle Castle staff to strike over pay

STAFF at Carlisle Castle were set to take part in strike action this morning to coincide with the summer solstice in a row over pay.

Around 1,400 English Heritage workers at sites across the UK, including Hadrian’s Wall, were due to walk out over a “derisory” 1.5 per cent pay rise, their unions said.

Around 700 Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union members across England – mostly frontline staff at museums and visitor centres – were due to stage a two-hour walkout between 10am and midday in the north of England, and later this afternoon in the south.

They were set to be joined by 700 workers from the Prospect union, whose members include archaeologists, architects and surveyors.

Unions are angry at the 1.5 per cent pay rise, which they say is just 50p a day to some of their staff.

News and Star

2000 Jahre alte Leiche im Moor entdeckt

Hannover - Beim Torfabbau im Kreis Nienburg ist eine über 2000 Jahre alte Moorleiche entdeckt worden. Wie das Landesamt für Denkmalpflege am Sonntag in Hannover mitteilte, ist es europaweit der erste Fund dieser Art seit über 40 Jahren.

Nach der Entdeckung der Leiche war man zuerst von einem aktuellen Verbrechen ausgegangen. Spezialisten stellten dann aber fest, daß der Fund prähistorisch ist. Moorleichen, die unter Luftabschluß lagern, sind zum Teil so gut konserviert, daß man sogar Fingerabdrücke nehmen könnte, berichten Experten.

Wissenschaftsminister Lutz Stratmann will die spannende Geschichte des neuen Fundes am Montag abend am Fundort erläutern. Es gehe um eine der bedeutendsten wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisse der letzten Jahrzehnte, hieß es.

Die Welt

Crowds due at ancient Stonehenge

Thousands of people are arriving at Stonehenge in preparation for the summer solstice.

The ancient Wiltshire site has drawn visitors for more than 5,000 years.

Traffic congestion leading to the stones is not expected to be as bad as the gridlock on the A303 and other surrounding roads two years ago.

Then, the solstice fell on a weekend, drawing a crowd of nearly 30,000. Police say they are ready to tow away any cars parked in the wrong place.

BBC News

Search on for secret of Greek sea battle

A team of experts are to trawl the Aegean for triremes, the ships that were crucial to the victory over Xerxes of Persia

They were hopelessly outnumbered, but even then the Greeks knew it would be the battle that could change history.
The Asian invaders had entered the Aegean. The "comeliest of boys" had been castrated; the throats of the "goodliest" soldiers ripped out.

Mounted on his marble throne, Xerxes, Persia's formidable warrior king, looked over the bay of Salamis, confident that he was about to enslave Europe. But instead of victory came defeat.

The Guardian

Fort shows what we did for Roman army

Ancient Welsh history has been turned on its head by the discovery of a huge Roman fort.

Archaeologists using special equipment to scan underneath the countryside have confirmed that a 2,000-year-old settlement at Dinefwr in Carmarthenshire would have been a huge centre of Roman military might.

Spanning an area greater than two rugby pitches, it indicates controlling our ancestors was far harder work than had previously been believed.

Emma Plunkett Dillon, the National Trust in Wales's archaeologist, said, 'At Dinefwr we appear to have one of the most significant Roman archaeological landscapes in Wales preserved under the turf and invisible on the surface.

'The forts are shown to be associated with roads, a civilian settlement and a possible bathhouse and the quality is remarkable.

I C Wales

Monday, June 20, 2005

New PhotosFrom Newgrange


We don't have any significant solar alignment at the summer solstice in the
Boyne Valley, so to mark this special time of year I have posted new
photographs from inside the chamber at Newgrange:

Of course the major solar event in the Boyne Valley is the winter solstice:

and my favourite, the equinox at nearby Loughcrew:

(Information from Michael Fox)

National Archaeology Week 2005

National Archaeology Week is your unique chance to discover and explore the archaeological heritage of England and Wales. During this NINE DAY event you can take part in excavation open days, guided tours, exhibitions, lectures, ancient art and craft workshops and much, much more.

To find out what is happening on your doorstep CLICK BELOW for a full list of events and DISCOVER ARCHAEOLOGY.

Further details are available from:
Jan Cox, Marketing & Events Officer
Council for British Archaeology
St Mary's House
66 Bootham
York YO30 7BZ
Tel: 01904 671417

CBA Website

A group of schoolchildren have won the chance to visit an archaeological dig in South Somerset.

Five lucky children will be visiting The Big Roman Dig after scooping first prize by sending in a picture of a local heritage site in a Somerset County Council competition.

James Nurse, aged 12, from Bruton, won first prize in the 11-16 age category for his painting of Bruton Dovecote.

A joint effort of Burrow Mump by Bradley John and Kelsey Edwards, both aged 10, from Taunton scooped first prize in the age category 7 to 10.

The Scotsman

Germans blamed for Viking invasion

German arms dealers have been blamed for the Viking invasion of Britain after archaeologists found the swords they used were made in Germany.

The new research has discovered that German weaponsmiths were actively selling their swords to the Viking invaders around the 9th century AD.

The Norse invaders who terrorised the British coastline laying waste to towns and villages were all kitted out by master sword makers from the Rhine.

Russian and Norwegian scientists working with the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg made the discovery by decoding individual stamps used by ancient smiths to mark their work, which linked the swords to the German ancestors.


Friday, June 17, 2005

Stonehenge facing solstice strike

Stonehenge and Hadrian's Wall are among the tourist attractions expected to be hit by strikes over job losses and pay during next week's summer solstice.

Almost 500 English Heritage workers will walk out on 21 June, the trade union, Prospect, has announced.

Union official Dave Allen described an imposed pay rise of 1.5% as "poor".

Strikes will also take place at English Heritage's head office in London and several regional offices but EH says no sites will have to close as a result.

They include offices in Swindon, York, Guildford, Cambridge, Newcastle, Manchester and Bristol.

BBC News

Abbey centre plans under fire

Members of the Battle and District Historical Society say there has been no discussion between English Heritage and local bodies over the proposed £2.3m visitor centre.
The society is also calling on the conservation body to develop a long-term plan for the ancient site, rather than 'a piecemeal approach'.

Secretary Neil Clephane-Cameron said: "Major investment in the site of this most famous battle in English history is much-needed and something we have long urged.
"However these latest proposals only serve to perpetuate a poor, ad-hoc approach to the site's management, and thus run the danger of becoming part of the problem rather than a move toward a solution."

He believes there needs to be a grand plan looking at every aspect of the Abbey's site management and presentation.

He added: "Six years ago English Heritage was forced into an embarrassing climb-down when its plan to build a tea-room and service road on the battlefield was met by condemnation from historians and national heritage groups.

"In announcing the climb-down Sir Jocelyn Stevens (then chairman of English Heritage) acknowledged the need for improvements at this site of international significance and committed English Heritage to compiling a master plan which would be the product of wide consultation and consensus."

Rye & Battle Today

Jewellery find puzzles Russians

Archaeologists in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad have uncovered 16th century jewellery which they say is unlike any found in the area before.

They were found in a 10cm round box during an excavation at the site of a medieval castle in the city.

It contained 11 items made of gold, silver, tin and hematite, covered with hieroglyphs and inscriptions in Hebrew, ancient Greek and Latin.

Kaliningrad was formerly known by its German name of Koenigsberg.

BBC News

Archaeologist's cave bear study leads to early humans

About three years ago, Dr. Ana Pinto, an archaeologist at Arizona State University, was driving past a natural outcropping in northwest Spain and - screech! - she put the brake to her car.

Pinto had just spotted a limestone cave that she sensed might have once been used by prehistoric humans. For the next six months, she excavated the cave by hand, pushing through animal waste, bones, mud, and human artifacts.

By the time she had dug some 9 feet deep, Pinto knew she had hit the archaeological jackpot.

"This cave at Sopena is almost unique because it has signs of continuous hominid habitation for at least 60,000 years," she said. "This is an incredibly rare find."

AZ Central

Culture Ministry Funds Thracian Excavations

Bulgarian Culture and Tourism Ministry plans to fund the excavation works near Kazanlak where last summer archeologist Georgi Kitov unearthed an ancient royal tomb.

A total of BGN 100,000 will be dished out from the ministry's budget to be added to already granted BGN 50,000, Culture and Tourism Minister Nina Chilova announced on Wednesday.

Yet the Regional Development Ministry will fund the construction of local infrastructure with another BGN 2 M to improve the access to the ancient historic sites at the Valley of the Kings.

The tomb at the Goljamata Kosmatka site has revealed one of richest Thracian tombs known from the times of Antiquity.



Rome, Italy, Jun 16 - Cultural Heritage Minister Rocco Buttiglione considers a "European archaeology charter" necessary. According to the minister Italy can give the example to the rest of Europe preparing a "detailed archaeological charter of our territory to plan the conservation and appreciation of our immense heritage. Italy must become the European leader to launch the project of a European archaeological charter to help in the conservation, tutelage and appreciation especially of countries that entered the European Union last." (AGI) -


Dig to reveal secrets of Roman fort

The National Trust and Cambria Archaeology are looking for volunteers to help with the exciting excavation of a recently discovered Roman Fort in south-west Wales.

The outstanding site was first discovered during an archaeological survey carried out in 2003 and further investigations over the last few weeks, using geophysical survey techniques, has confirmed the existence of two overlapping Roman forts, almost certainly dating to the first century AD.

The later fort was surrounded by an impressive set of defences equivalent in size to two rugby pitches sitting side by side. However the earlier fort is even bigger and could be the largest garisson fort ever found in Wales.

The National Trust now plans to undertake a trial excavation of the site for three weeks from Monday 27 June to Friday 15 July.

News Wales

Archaeologists Extract DNA From Skeleton

RICHMOND, Va. - Archaeologists have successfully extracted DNA from skeleton remains under an English church that could prove a skeleton found near Jamestown belongs to one of its founders, the Church of England announced Thursday.

British and American researchers began work Monday to remove a small part of Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney's skeleton from beneath the floor of All Saints Church in the English village of Shelley, 60 miles northeast of London. She is the sister of Capt. Batholomew Gosnold, who oversaw the expedition that led to the 1607 founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement.

Scientists working with skeletal remains can only trace DNA through maternal relatives. An attempt to locate the remains of Gosnold's niece, Katherine Blackerby, were unsuccessful.

Other evidence already suggests that a nearly intact skeleton found outside the site of the Jamestown Fort is Gosnold's, but a DNA match would be confirmation.

Yahoo News

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Archaeologists find more Iron Age buildings

AN archaeological excavation has been carried out at Truro College playing fields before construction work for the Fal Building begins. The work, by a team of archaeologists from Cornwall county council's historic environment service (HES), has been funded by Truro College.

Three large areas were stripped by machine, targeting anomalies of possible archaeological interest indicated by a geophysical survey carried out last autumn.

The archaeological work then concentrated in one of the areas adjacent to the site of the new Richard Lander School where an Iron Age settlement of 12 hut circles was discovered by HES last summer. An oval-shaped house, part of the same settlement, was excavated and fragments of Iron Age pottery, known as South Western Decorated Ware dating to the 2nd or 1st century BC, were recovered from the eaves-drip gully surrounding the house. A La Tène Celtic brooch of broadly the same date was discovered alongside the pottery.

Even more exciting was the discovery of another Iron Age settlement, comprising three round houses within an enclosure ditch. All that remained of these houses were holes in the ground to hold the posts that would have supported the wattle walls and thatched roofs and pits in which their hearths were lit.

This is the West Country

Archaeological findings will go on website

I wish to reassure Dr Catherine Swift’s (Irish Examiner letters, June 6). She expressed concern that archaeological work carried out on the Woodstown site, and completed late 2004, is not available on the National Roads Authority website (

As soon as the post-excavation work is completed and the interim and final reports submitted, they will be placed on the website in due course.

The post-excavation phase of any archaeological site can be long and intricate as the site director and his/her team, with the various specialists, artists, planners, technicians, and so forth, complete their work to bring the site to life.

Archaeologists study past societies through their material remains. These can be the remains of defensive ditches, graves and everyday artefacts. The archaeological material from the Woodstown site, as with any other archaeological site excavated as a result of road building by the NRA, is properly funded and managed so as to produce a factual record of the past.

Irish Examiner

Roman ‘dumping ground’ unearthed

Roman remains unearthed from the site of a former car park in Croydon have sparked speculation that other ancient artefacts could lay undiscovered close by.

Archaeologists say the Roman dumping ground' unearthed during an excavation of a former car park in Lower Coombe Street could be an indication of an occupied settlement nearby, which may be hidden under houses or businesses.

A two-month excavation at the site in Lower Coombe Street, carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology (PCA) and overseen by English Heritage, uncovered finds dating from the second to fourth centuries AD and is believed by experts to be a rubbish site.

During the dig, a thick layer of pottery and rubble was unearthed containing a small number of precious artefacts including a Roman dress pin and a copper alloy lion's head.

This is Local London

Ancient structures found near highway

Two longhouses estimated to be about 2000 years old have been found during excavations near the E6 highway just south of Sarpsborg.

This rock bears a magnificent helleristning, ancient rock carving. Here a grand boat can be seen.


The people who found the longhouses mark off the dimensions of one of them. Project leader Gro Anita Bårdseth, front left, is next to a cooking hollow that was just outside the house.

For the first time archeologists in Norway have been able to reveal a large surface area linked to known helleristninger - rock carvings - and the dig has produced results.

Traces of two 12-15 meter (39-49 foot) long constructions have come to light in the middle of the key area for rock engravings in Østfold County, near Solbergkrysset in Skjeberg. A few meters to the side of the longhouses lies a large stone bearing carved drawings of a great ship and a rider on a horse.

"Before we had indications of a dwelling from a posthole. But the find of two fine longhouses is much more than we could have dared to predict," said archeologist Gro Anita Bårdseth of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo and head of the E6 project.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dig uncovers prehistoric remains

One of the South's most important early prehistoric sites is currently being investigated by archaeologists.

The team are excavating in Pan, on the Isle Of Wight, for four weeks as the area has been earmarked for housing development in the future.

On Tuesday - only the second day of the dig - remains of medieval agricultural and Stone Age flints were discovered.

The archaeologists will be providing site visits for the public, the first of which is on Saturday afternoon.

Ruth Waller, from the Isle of Wight County Archaeology Service, said: "We want to thoroughly involve the Pan community into helping discover some of their own history and heritage."

BBC News

'Iceman' might be contaminated

Researchers suspect the corpse of a 5,000-year-old mummy frozen in the Italian Alps might have been contaminated by bacteria since its discovery in 1991, a doctor who cares for the body said Monday.

X-rays have shown bubbles in the bones that could be caused by bacteria, said Eduard Egarter Vigl, in charge of preserving the mummy at the South Tyrol Archaeological Museum in Bolzano, Italy.

The museum is trying to find local companies that can analyze the air in the sealed-off chamber where the mummy is kept to test for the presence of bacteria, Egarter Vigl said in a telephone interview.

He denied media reports that the bacteria could cause the disintegration of the Iceman, also known as Oetzi. But if bacteria are present, disinfection will be necessary to prevent possible damage to the man's remains, he said.


'Move road to save church' plea

report into the future of one of Bristol's oldest churches is calling for a busy road nearby to be diverted to preserve the church.
St Mary Redcliffe, in the city's harbourside area, has been drawing visitors since medieval times.

But there are fears pollution from cars on Redcliffe Way in front of it is damaging the fabric of the church.

Now experts are asking for the road to be narrowed and moved away from the north steps to save the historic site.

BBC News

Plans for green-belt land in castle's shadow under siege

PROPOSALS to develop on the green-belt land in the shadow of Craigmillar Castle have been strongly criticised by Historic Scotland.

The plans to build on farmland to the south of the ancient monument are among the suggestions put forward in the Craigmillar Urban Design Framework.

While there are no details of any specific development, the possibility of extending the built-up area next to it is among the general proposals explained in the document.

A recent consultation on the 15-year regeneration plan for the area has yielded comments on all the proposals contained in the framework.

Historic Scotland has hit out at the idea of developments on the green-belt land, saying it would erode the area’s character. It called on council planners to reject the plans, in order to protect the environment surrounding the ancient monument.

The Scotsman

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Treasures buried in old stables

The Petrie Museum, which has a world-famous collection of Egyptian material spanning 8,000 years, was one of the first museums to get its entire collection online - which is just as well because it is extremely difficult for even the staff to get physical access to the collection.

It is part of University College London, which is planning a glittering new purpose-built museum, the Panopticon, to house all the university collections, most of which have never been on public display.

Meanwhile the Petrie has spent the last half-century in "temporary" accommodation in a former stable block, with display cases ranged up a staircase built for 19th century horses to get to first-floor stalls.

Only about 5% of the 81,000 objects are on display, in dimly lit galleries suspended, as manager Hugh Kilmister said gloomily yesterday, "between a leaking roof and a huge central heating plant."

The Guardian

Date palm grown from 2,000-year-old seed

Israeli researchers have germinated a sapling date palm from seeds 2,000 years old, hoping its ancient DNA could reveal medicinal qualities to benefit future generations, one of the scientists leading the project said Sunday.

Is your Enterprise GOOD To Go? Go to to learn more.
Sarah Sallon, of the Louis Borick Natural Medicine Research Center in Jerusalem, said she and her colleagues used seeds found in archaeological excavations at Masada, the desert mountain fortress where ancient Jewish rebels chose suicide over capture by Roman legions in A.D. 73. She said they were the oldest seeds ever brought back to life.

"A lotus seed was germinated (in China) after 1,200 years, but nothing has been germinated coming from this far back, not to 2,000 years," she said.

The palm plant, nicknamed Methusaleh after the biblical figure said to have lived for 969 years, is now about 12 inches tall. Sallon and her colleagues have sent one of its leaves for DNA analysis in the hope that it may reveal medicinal qualities that have disappeared from modern cultivated varieties.


Roman wall heritage bid prepared

An attempt is being made to win World Heritage site status for a Roman wall which once divided the north and south of Scotland.
The Antonine Wall runs 37 miles from Bo'ness, near Falkirk, to Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire.

Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson is due to launch a bid to make the wall Scotland's fifth World Heritage site.

It was built in 140 AD to keep Scots warriors out of the Roman Empire after the conquest of southern Scotland.

Heritage body Historic Scotland, which looks after four miles of the wall, has secured funding from the European Union to prepare a bid for Unesco to make the remains a World Heritage Site.

BBC News

Dig begins below English church

After months of anticipation and effort, archaeologists began searching beneath an ancient church floor yesterday for a 400-year-old skeleton that may shed new light on the earliest days of Virginia's Jamestown.

Archaeologist Bill Kelso, leader of the team that discovered the original James Fort in 1996 and worked for months to win permission for the excavation, took a moment to reflect after masons had removed the paving stones over the grave at All Saints church in Shelley.

"When I look at that soil, it's really emotional," he said. "It shrinks the world. It's transcontinental archaeology."

Times Dispatch

Monday, June 13, 2005

Archaeological work to begin at Tara

Preliminary archaeological work will begin today at Tara in advance of the construction of the planned M3 motorway through Co Meath's Tara-Skryne Valley.

The Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, cleared the way for the motorway last month by issuing directions to Meath County Council on how archaeological work was to be conducted.

The project was approved by An Bord Pleanála two years ago, but was delayed until the minister issued licences for archaeological excavations along the controversial route.

RTE News


Dig uncovers Roman ring

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have made a spectacular find at Chedworth Roman Villa ­ a complete bronze ring.

The ring, thought to date from the 2nd century, was discovered at the villa near Cirencester during a dig on May 30.

The latest excavation, located in the north wing of the villa had produced several finds of pottery and bones and structures believed to be for water management. The jewel contains a figure appearing to hold items with its outstretched arms. This figure remains a mystery at the moment, current opinion being that it of one of the gods Minerva or Fortuna

A spokesman for the dig said: "The presence of such a luxury item yet again confirms the wealth of the villa's owners.

This is Wiltshire

Finds point to far earlier European civilisation

EVIDENCE has emerged of Europe's oldest known civilisation, whose buildings pre-date Stonehenge by 2,000 years, and whose monuments are even older than the Mesopotamian cities traditionally thought to have been the cradle of civilisation.

Archaeologists have uncovered a network of 150 huge temples and buildings beneath the fields and cities of modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovakia.

They appear to have been built nearly 7,000 years ago, between 4,800BC and 4,600BC, and their discovery will radically change the understanding of civilisation in Europe, which is traditionally thought to have lagged far behind the development of urban life and culture in the Middle East.

The temples were built of earth and wood, and had ramparts and palisades that stretched for up to half a mile. They were built by a highly religious people who lived in communal dormitories up to 50 yards long, which were grouped around substantial villages.

It appears their economy and lifestyle were based around farming of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. But puzzlingly, their civilisation - or at least the style of building and living in communal homes around the villages - seems to have died out after only about 200 years.

Scotland on Sunday


A Film crew and a team of archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an Iron Age settlement in a remote Wester Ross village.

The Goldthorpe family, owners of Applecross Campsite, called in Channel 4's Time Team to discover whether a mystery mound on the site used to be a broch, an ancient, circular fortified tower.

After three days of hard work, the team uncovered what was left of a pre-Pictish settlement dating from about 200BC.

They found the foundations of a tower 18 metres wide, along with artefacts including a hammer, a needle for piercing leather, crushed bones and antlers.

This is North Scotland

Broch discovered in Scotland

A Film crew and a team of archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an Iron Age settlement in a remote Wester Ross village (North West Highlands, Scotland). The Goldthorpe family, owners of Applecross Campsite, called in Channel 4's Time Team to discover whether a mystery mound on the site used to be a broch, an ancient, circular fortified tower. After three days of hard work, the team uncovered what was left of a pre-Pictish settlement dating from about 200 BCE.

They found the foundations of a tower 18 metres wide, along with artefacts including a hammer, a needle for piercing leather, crushed bones and antlers. The building consisted of two concentric dry-stone walls, separated by a cavity for insulation and to keep out rain. In places, they are up to 4.6 metres thick. Originally the tower would have been about 10 metres high, about the same size as the broch at Mousa in Orkney, but over the years the stones had been taken for other buildings in the area, leaving only its foundations.

Stone Pages

Ancient log boat to be put on public display

An ancient log boat built in the Iron Age is to be put on public display in Poole (Dorset, England) - after spending the last decade buried in sugar. The bizarre treatment preserved the 32ft-long craft that was built by the Durotriges tribe in about 300 BCE. It was fashioned from a single oak trunk and designed specifically for use in Poole harbour, Dorset, where it was found. It was brought to the surface in 1964 by a dredger and was kept under water for 30 years while its fate was decided. The sugar gradually replaced the wood's soft tissue and kept its shape.

The boat is now being kept in a warm room to drive out the last of the water, after which it will go on display at the Poole museum. The boat was made by splitting an oak trunk, measuring 32 feet by 20 feet and weighing up to 12 tons, and hollowing it out.

Stone Pages

Roman mosaic 'worthy of Botticelli'

A SPECTACULAR Roman mosaic discovered in Libya has been hailed as one of the finest examples of the artform to have survived.
British scholars yesterday described the 2,000-year-old depiction of an exhausted gladiator as one of the finest examples of representational mosaic art they have seen — a masterpiece comparable in quality with the Alexander mosaic in Pompeii.

Mark Merrony, an archaeologist who specialises in Roman art, said: “What struck me was the realism of the depiction. It’s absolutely extraordinary.

“I have examined hundreds of mosaics across the Roman Empire, but I have never seen such a vibrantly realistic depiction of a human.

The Times

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Pictures of Archaeological Study Tours

Pictures of the EMAS Easter 2005 Archaeological Study Tour to the Isle of Man, and the Spring 2005 Archaeological Study Tour to Belgium are now on the Internet.

You can find them here.

Temples older than Pyramids found

A series of temples thought to be older than Stonehenge or the Pyramids have been uncovered by a team of archaeologists working in Europe.

More than 150 monuments built between 4,800 BC and 4,600 BC have been found beneath the fields of modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovakia.

They are thought to represent Europe's oldest civilisation.

The discoveries are so new that this temple building culture does not even have a name, The Independent reports.

BBC News

Italians discover hoard of Roman statues

An Italian team of archaeologists has discovered 76 intact Roman statues at Cyrene in Libya. The discovery is remarkable because the site, once a thriving Greek and then Roman settlement, has been under excavation for the last 150 years.

With a nearby coastal port, Apollonia, serving it, Cyrene was once a conurbation equivalent to Alexandria, Carthage and Leptis Magna. An important Dorian colony, founded by Greek settlers from the island of Thera in 631 BC, it was later ruled by the Ptolemies and then the Romans. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 375 AD but continued to be inhabited until the Byzantine period.

At the end of the seventh century BC, the city was not only famous for its grain and wealth, but also for a quasi-miraculous plant, silphium, which has medicinal properties. The trade in silphium, distributed all over the ancient world, was monopolised by Cyrene for at least 200 years. Up until the Roman conquest, silphium was even printed on its currency.

A sacred site in Cyrene, made up of many temples, was discovered by Italian archaeologists between the first and second world wars.

The Art Newspaper

Suffolk skeletons hold key to riddle of US pioneer

Archaeologists are to exhume the remains of two British women buried 400 years ago, believed to be relatives of a founding father of the United States.

Scientists will compare DNA from remains thought to belong to Bartholomew Gosnold, the English explorer, with bone samples from his sister and niece, buried in Suffolk.

Capt Gosnold is thought by many historians to have been instrumental in the establishment of the first English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.

The dig, which begins tomorrow, will be led by American archaeologists from the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, which recently discovered the skeleton of a 17th-century sea captain at what is thought to be the site of the Jamestown settlement.


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Skills threat to historic sites

A shortage of skilled craftspeople could be putting the region's historic buildings at risk, a specialist training organisation has claimed.

The National Heritage Training Group, says 2,300 people are working to preserve more than 500,000 properties.

But the group, which includes employers and heritage organisations, says 500 more people are needed in the South West in the next year to meet demand.

It also fears skills such as drystone walling and thatching could die out.

The group, funded by English Heritage and national construction training group CITB Construction Skills, said almost a quarter of contractors working on pre-1919 buildings had job vacancies.

BBC News

Underwater archaeology expedition in River Arade

PORTIMÃO’S RIO ARADE estuary is the location for an underwater archaeological campaign entitled ‘Missão ProArade 2005’, taking place now until July 31. Its objective is to conclude the excavation, registry, dismantlement and the total recuperation of the wooden hull of the so called Arade 1 boat that was located in 2001.

An agreement between the Instituto Português de Arqueologia (IPA), the Centro Nacional de Arqueologia Náutica e Subaquática (CNANS) and the Portimão Câmara/Museu Municipal de Portimão (MMP) has been signed to support the team’s work.

The history

Back in the 1970s, following some dredging of the River Arade, two wooden boats were found and named Arade 1 and Arade 2, which archaeologists believe are the most significant findings from the Portimão river. The Arade 1 is thought to date back to the first half of the 15th century/first half of the 16th century and is one of the oldest vessels ever to be found in Portuguese waters. For this reason, it is of great importance to Iberian naval archaeology.

The Resident

New map brings ancient Britain to life

The secrets of Ancient Britain are to be revealed in a revised Historical map and guide from Ordnance Survey.

Aimed at anyone with an interest in the early history of Britain - from schoolchildren through to archaeologists and tourists - the map helps bring the past to life.

Information on the map includes ancient roads and place names - as well as comprehensive features and illustrations on many aspects of life in the period, including land use and settlement sites. Photographs, showing how many of the sites look today, are also used to give context.

The map is created in conjunction with The National Monuments Record of English Heritage, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. It features the whole of Great Britain on a double-sided sheet and shows the detailed history of ancient Britain - including the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and early Medieval periods - against a backdrop of modern Ordnance Survey mapping.

"As well as dramatically changing the format of this map, we've given it a fresh new look - and a bright front cover," says Ordnance Survey's Emma Redgrave. "It's an extremely useful educational tool - but it can be used in many other ways too. Britain is blessed with a wealth of interesting places to visit - many with high historical significance. Including a timeline of the key historic dates, events and archaeological evidence, the map can act as a quick historical reference guide as well as a scholarly tool."

Directions Magazine


Greek monuments in ancient Apollonia, Albania are being threatened with destruction because of the construction of a high-speed motorway promoted by the Albanian Transportation Ministry aimed at providing access to the Adriatic coasts for their tourist development at a time when new findings are being unearthed.

Excavation works began 3 years ago under the guidance of Cincinnati University professor Jack Davies and Lorenc Bejko from the Albanian Archaeology International Center who recently announced the discovery of a large ancient Greek temple (7th-4th century BC) possibly dedicated to ancient Greek goddess Artemis.

The region has a great significance for the history of the ancient Greek colonies in the Adriatic and during the past few years Italian, British, French, American and Israeli archaeologists are involved in excavations in Albania in sites with ancient Greek cities and monuments.

MPA News

How 7,000-year-old temples reveal the elaborate culture of Europe

The construction of the temples of Nickern, on the site that is now Dresden, puts the first civilisations of Europe at the forefront of early human endeavour to master nature.

Some two millennia before the first stones were laid for the pyramids of Egypt, humanity's preoccupation, from the forests of Germany to the plains of Pakistan, was ­ both literally and figuratively ­ to place roots in the soil.

Archaeological evidence suggests that by the fifth millennium BC, tribes in regions such as Baluchistan, on the site known as Mehrgarh, in the north-western corner of the Indian sub-continent, and the Samarrans in Mesopotamia were establishing farms and permanent communities.

The Independent

Medieval ship open to visitors

History enthusiasts have the chance this weekend to view progress on restoring a medieval ship found on the banks of the River Usk.
Newport City Council is planning to hold three open days for the public to see the restoration project.

The first is on Sunday, with two further opportunities in July and September.

The repair job on the 15th Century vessel is expected to take more than 10 years to complete.

When ready, the ship will go on display in a purpose-built gallery in the city's Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre.

BBC News

Friday, June 10, 2005

Find is missing piece of torc

A piece of Iron Age torc which had been feared lost forever will go on public display for the first time later in the summer.

The ornate gold and silver ring, which was unearthed in a field at Snettisham, near King's Lynn, in April last year, is the missing part of a torc found on the same estate 39 years earlier.

The ancient necklet, made of twisted gold and silver wire, had only one of the two terminals which held the ornate strands together and helped the wearer take it on and off.

Despite numerous painstaking searches, the second terminal remained elusive until it was discovered below a few inches of soil by retired lecturer Stephen Hammond, who was out in the field with his metal detector.

Now the two pieces are finally set to be reunited at the British Museum in London, where analysis by scientists proved they were a match.

EDP 24

Emperor Charles IV's tomb uncovered at Prague Castle

The 14th-century burial chamber for Emperor Charles IV (1316-1378) was uncovered in St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle, two months ago, Pravo reported yesterday.

Many mysteries have been woven around the exact location of the emperor's tomb. It was only known that it must be somewhere in front of the main altar, Pravo recalls.

Art historian Jana Marikova-Kubkova recently found traces of the royal burial chamber when she was studying fragments of the former Romanesque church which Charles IV's Gothic cathedral was later built.

A probe with a camera then uncovered previously previously unknown 10-metre-long interconnected burial rooms at the main altar, Pravo notes.

The chamber is now almost empty. Historians found fragments of bones and coffins there, possibly remains of Charles IV's wives, says Pravo, adding that National Geographic magazine intends to publish the photographs from the underground premises.

Prague Daily Monitor

Repair of Acropolis started in 1975 - now it needs 20 more years and £47m

It is meant to be the highlight of any trip to Greece: climbing the "holy rock" in Athens to see the marvels of the ancient Acropolis. But visiting the place that Le Corbusier, the pioneer of architectural modernism, called the most "ruthlessly flawless" monument in the world is not what it used to be.

Parts of the Acropolis have been dismantled. Other areas are shrouded in scaffolding and overshadowed by a crane.


Borth Bog could be linked to the Romans

A GROUP of archaeologists re-visiting Borth bog have discovered that the area may have an industrial past that dates back to Roman times. The 18-strong team gathered on the edge of Borth bog near Talybont last week to continue work that started last summer on a Medieval timber trackway. The trackway has stood the test of time under the boggy land and is believed to be 1,000 years old. Whilst working on the timber, diggers have discov-ered a large area of industrial metal working waste that could be even older. Scientific tests on the industrial waste indicates the presence of lead smelting near to the trackway. According to Gwilym Hughes, Director of Cambrian Archaeology: “This is a fantastic opportunity to con-tinue the investigation of an outstanding discovery. “It has the potential for telling us much more about the early history of the metal mining and smelting industries in this area of Ceredigion.” Llandeilo-based group Cambria Archaeology have again linked up with specialists from the universities of Birmingham and Lampeter, with students helping discover what the boggy land has hidden under the surface. The new excavation is in its second of its three week duration and members of the public will have the chance to visit the site this Saturday and watch the dig as it happens. Up to the minute news on the dig can be found at

Aberystwyth Today

Thursday, June 09, 2005

New road to preserve ancient site

Work for a diversion road to help protect a limestone gorge which contains the country's oldest cave art has been given the go-ahead.

Derbyshire County Council and Lafarge Aggregates Ltd have agreed to fund the £1.2m scheme for Creswell Crags.

A section of the B6042 Crags Road - which runs close to the Ice Age cave system - will be replaced by a new 1km stretch of road 200m further north.

The old road will be turned into a bridleway for walkers and cyclists.

Councillor Brian Lucas, cabinet member for sustainable communities at the council, said: "The unique archaeological features at Creswell Crags date back between 10,000 and 50,000 years.

"We can't stress enough how important it is we preserve this site as best we can.

BBC News

Historical dig at bypass site

AN archaeological dig will be carried out on the route of the A66 Temple Sowerby bypass.

Work on the £23 million bypass is due to start in the summer but may be delayed if remains are found in the dig.

A hi-tech survey has been carried out to detect underground features which indicate walls, ditches or the remains of homes.

The new bypass is designed to remove 95 per cent of traffic from the village, improving safety and reducing noise from 15,000 vehicles a day.

David Cochrane, project manager for the Highways Agency, said: “We know the area has a long and interesting history, for example there is a Roman milestone near the east end of the village, so we wait with interest to see what might be found.”

About 70 trenches will be dug by Oxford Archaeology North over a four week period. They will consult the county council’s archaeologists to decide what should happen to the finds.

News & Star


AN archaeological dig will be carried out on the route of the A66 Temple Sowerby bypass - which was first proposed 30 years ago.

Work on the £23 million bypass is due to start in the summer but may be delayed if remains are found in the dig.

A hi-tech survey has been carried out to detect underground features which indicate where walls, ditches or the remains of homes may be found.

The new bypass is designed to remove 95 per cent of traffic from the village, improving safety and reducing noise, pollution and visual intrusion caused by the 15,000 vehicles a day.

David Cochrane, project manager for the Highways Agency, said: “We take our responsibilities to the nation’s heritage very seriously, which is why it is now common practice for archaeological digs to take place before new roads are built.

Cumbria On-Line

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Only one Tara - not a series of monuments

IN the Supreme Court on December 21, 1972, my granduncle, Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, delivered judgement on the legality of the compulsory purchase by the state of a site below the 400 feet contour lines on Tara.

In the judgement, he stated: “The Hill of Tara is properly to be regarded as a single unified site and not a series of separate archaeological monuments.”

During proceedings, Prof Ruaidhrí de Valera had described Tara as “the focus of Celtic times,” and added that “one would expect important findings on almost any part of the Hill of Tara, and from the historical accounts of it, it seemed very likely that traces of previous occupational use would be found in most, if not all, parts of the hill.”

The defendants in the case, the Commissioners for Public Works in Ireland, had stated:

“Tara was a complex but unified site and not merely a site of royal settlement but probably an extension of the grave system more extensively investigated on the Boyne. The burden of the evidence showed the importance of the whole site, with the Hill of Tara which could not be chopped up.”

Irish Examiner

Archaeological dig at bypass site

An archaeological dig has been ordered at the site of a £23m bypass in Cumbria, which was first proposed 30 years ago.

Work on the A66 Temple Sowerby project is due to start in the summer.

But the Highways Agency says it has decided to bring in archaeologists to look for remains along the route.

A hi-tech survey has been carried out to detect underground features which indicate where walls, ditches or the remains of homes may be found.

The A66 route is a major trans-Pennine link for Cumbria and Scotland to Teesside and the North East.

BBC News

Illegal antiquities

A 52-year-old man has been arrested after about a hundred ancient artifacts, dating back as far as the prehistoric era, were discovered in his Thessaloniki home, police said yesterday. The unnamed man has been charged with illegally trading in antiquities three times before, police said. The dozens of items confiscated included a funerary mask made of gold foil and a very early coin from Aegina.



Playing fields at a Cornish college hid a wonderful secret for thousands of years. But now a team of archaeologists has discovered their treasure. For under the field at Truro College, two iron age settlements have been unearthed.

A team of archaeologists from Cornwall County Council's historic environment service (HES), led by James Gossip, is carrying out an archaeological excavation at the playing fields in advance of construction work for the new Fal Building at the college. The work is being funded by Truro College.

James Gossip, senior archaeologist for the council said: "This excavation has been fantastic to undertake and has revealed some very exciting finds which are quite rare for Cornwall.

"It is proposed to exhibit some of the finds in a permanent display in one of the new buildings, probably in the public entrance area."

This is Devon

Bulgaria Renews Excavations at Orpheus Temple

Bulgarian archaeologists have renewed Tuesday excavations at the Tatul village, where they believe that a unique temple of mythical royal descendant and artist Orpheus is located.

The team, led by renowned Professor Nikolay Ovcharov, will work at the site until the end of July.

It is thought that the temple has been used around the 5th century B.C.

Orpheus is looked upon as one of the chief poets and musicians of antiquity, whose lyre mastery could charm the wild beasts and even draw trees and rocks from their places and stop rivers from flowing.

He has also become a key figure of Greek legend, although various sources mention that Orpheus was borrowed by the Greeks from their Thracian neighbours.

Big News Network

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Iron Age Remains Excavated

Archaeologists are excavating the remains of two Iron Age settlements buried beneath Truro College’s playing fields.

An oval-shaped house, a Celtic brooch and fragments of pottery dating to the 1st or 2nd century BC have already been dug up by the team from Cornwall County Council’s historic environment service.

One of the two settlements was discovered last summer, but the archaeologists have only just uncovered the second one, made up of three round houses within an enclosure ditch.

The Scotsman


Archaeologists from Bristol University have added 1,000 years of history to Berkeley Castle by uncovering remains of an Iron Age settlement there. The unexpected discovery was made in the kitchen gardens of the castle during a training excavation for students from the university.

Parts of a ring ditch that might have circled a barrow - a mound over an ancient burial site - prehistoric flint tools and a few fragments of human bone have been found immediately below the Victorian kitchen garden's flower beds and greenhouses.

Berkeley Castle is one of the most historic places in Gloucestershire, still inhabited and owned by the same family who were granted the castle in 1156.

Throughout the Middle Ages, the castle played a important and colourful role in both local and national politics.

However the early history of the site remain mysterious, and uncovering this was the target of Bristol University's research.

This is Bristol

Archaeologists make discovery in downtown Prague

Archaeologists unearthed a ceramic goblet and a large number of small, silver coins in the courtyard of a house between Stepanska and Skolska streets in the centre of Prague last week, said Vojtech Kaspar from the Archaia archaeological society.

The coins were minted in Kutna Hora in the middle or late 15th Century. According to experts, the finding is unique since such a large number of coins is seldom unearthed in Prague.

The so-called "Lostice goblet" was covered under the floor of a Gothic stone house. Archaeologists unearthed its foundations under the tarmac covering of the courtyard. There were about 700 to 1,000 0.4-gramme silver coins in the goblet.

Such coins, marked with the Czech lion, were minted in Kutna Hora at a time when the traditional Prague Groschen were not minted there, Kaspar said. One Grosche was worth seven such coins.

Prague Daily Monitor

Ancient city threatened

THE discovery of a Greek temple in Albania has underlined the threat to the ancient city of Apollonia from development. A new road to the nearby coast, intended to open up the unexploited Adriatic coastline, would cut across former suburbs and divide the temple site from the city (The Times, April 25, 2005).
Jack Davis, of the University of Cincinnati, said: “A large stone temple, entirely unknown prior to our research, seems to have been built here in the Archaic or Classical period, between the 7th and 4th centuries BC.

“The temple at Bonjakët may be one of the earliest monumental Greek temples on the shores of the eastern Adriatic north of modern Greece.”

The area between the sea and Apollonia, founded as a Corinthian colony in the 6th century BC, had not been systematically explored by archaeologists until the projects begun three years ago under Professor Davis and Lorenc Bejko of the International Centre for Albanian Archaeology. Professor Davis said: “Much of the area was a vast marsh before it was drained in the last century.”

The Times

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Tara Hill bypass - what they don't want you to know...

Archaeologist of the damned and guest writer ender, gives us the lowdown on what's really happening up at the hill of Tara...

Regardless of the pros and cons of the situation, this decision means both sides lose.

Legal objections are going to tie up progress for years to come. (In Ireland, and then, failing that...the European courts). Plus the added huge expense (on top of building it in the first place!) of contracting out the significant excavation work, entailing significant numbers of archaeologists, to eventually excavate the route. We know through geophysical survey, that there are at least 26 ‘sites’ of archaeological interest along the contentious part of the proposed route. (14.5km section from Dunshaughlin to Cannistown.)



The challenges faced by underwater archaeologists were explored by visitors from the Scottish Crannog Centre at the weekend during a diving event near the shores of Loch Tay.

Around 18 enthusiastic adults and children as young as eight took part in Saturday's dive which was organised to round off the third annual Perthshire Archaeology Week.

The centre's dive team from the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology led the group in snorkelling and scuba diving in the Kenmore Club Resort swimming pool by Loch Tay.

Once confident in their new environment, participants were given a range of archaeological tasks on the bottom of the pool.

These included drawing, planning, and measuring the positions of artefacts in a baseline survey.

This is North Scotland

Dig hopes to unearth area history

Archaeologists hope to unearth more of the history of a Teesside town when they start a week-long dig.

The excavation by Tees Archaeology starts on Monday on Hartlepool's Headland on the grassed area of Croft Gardens, opposite Borough Buildings.

It is hoped it will reveal the remains of medieval buildings, traces of which have been found in previous excavations in surrounding areas.

The dig is before work is due to start later in the year on a town square.

Tees Archaeology project officer Rachel Grahame said: "We know that during medieval times the headland had a bustling quayside town.

BBC News

Obituary: Graham Ritchie

Energetic archaeologist and protector of Scotland's antiquities, whose enthusiasm was distilled in his tasks and books

GRAHAM RITCHIE was born in Edinburgh, and the city always held a special place in his affection. His father, William, was a classical scholar who taught at Daniel Stewart’s College in Edinburgh and his mother, Ada, a diminutive woman of great vitality, taught Scottish country dancing. In 1951 his father moved to become principal classics master (and later depute headmaster) at Arbroath High School, where Ritchie was educated from the age of 9.
It is against this good Scots background that his linguistic abilities and historical sensitivity took root. A home-bred familiarity with Caesar and Tacitus, combined with a deep love of the very Scottishness of Scotland and its land, accompanied him as he matriculated at the University of Edinburgh in October 1960 to read English. In the Scottish tradition, his first two years also had the free choice of at least one “outside subject”. Ritchie chose Archaeology 1, taught chiefly by Charles Thomas, and he clearly felt the excitement that “flared off” from that course — for that was the end of reading English.

The Times

Finely decorated slabs found in a Scottish cairn

Excavations by Headland Archaeology have provided an opportunity to fully excavate the remains of a Bronze Age funerary cairn near Inverness. This has produced some unusual and unexpected evidence of megalithic rock art.

The sub-circular cairn located in Balblair Quarry, near Beauly (Highlands, Scotland), was approximately 20 metres in diameter and survived to a maximum height of 1 metre. Although the body of the cairn had been substantially robbed in the past, a central cist was still present. Unfortunately the cist had also been robbed, although a few rim sherds of food vessel were recovered. The lack of grave goods was compensated for by the discovery of decoration on three of the internal faces of the sandstone slabs that formed the cist.

In two instances the decoration consisted of simple shallow, pecked cup marks but one slab was far more intricately decorated. On this slab there is a perforation – worked from both faces – a cup mark and a probable third cup surviving at one edge of what was once a presumably larger stone, all seemingly pecked. Most intriguing is a deeply scored but asymmetrical linear decoration for which there are no regional parallels. A similar, albeit inverted incised design can be seen running either away from the perforation, and there is clear evidence of smaller cup marks and lighter pecking around it. This practice of the preliminary tracing of designs can be seen in examples of Irish and Orcadian passage tombs although in this instance further enhancement was not carried out.

Stone Pages

Sunday, June 05, 2005


A large archaeological site, dating back to the ancient Greek Marseille founded 2,600 years ago, was brought to light by archaeological excavations. The site was discovered in the Old Port at the center of Marseille, France, reports the AFP.

According to archaeologists, the site is exceptional due to the ancient ruins found there, its size (400 square meters) and its layers that go as deep as 3 meters. The oldest of the buildings that were discovered (575-550 BC) were probably residences with stone foundations and brick walls.

Around 550 BC, a large construction of 120 square meters was erected in the region, most likely a building of worship, and the objects found in the area are pieces of ancient Greek origin pottery.

Macedonian Press Agency

Glasgow's diet was healthier in 1405

GLASWEGIANS in 1405 had a better diet than the citizens of 2005, eating their "five-a-day" 600 years ahead of its time.

Even their light beer was healthier than sugar-laden fizzy concoctions that are today's favourite, according to new archaeological evidence.

It reveals a diet of porridge and small amounts of pork and fish made medieval mealtime more nutritious than a visit to the chippy, the pizza parlour or the ubiquitous American fast food joints.

And an absence of sugar in the diet meant medieval Glaswegians had better teeth. In addition, they could not smoke, a major cause of diseases that killed 119 out of every 100,000 men in the city last year.

The Scotsman

Tekke dig ends for 2005

THE DEPARTMENT of Antiquities has announced the completion of this year’s excavations at the late Bronze Age site near the village of Dromolaxia, west of the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque in Larnaca.

The excavations were directed by Professor Paul Astrom of the University of Gothenburg, with Professor Karin Nys of Vrije University in Brussels as assistant director.

A building with a stoa, which had been found previously was further explored. As some of the building’s walls were not completely preserved, it would seem that it was probably never completely finished.

The completed part was nevertheless used, as wall brackets had fallen down close to the bases for the columns.

The floor was covered with remains, which were probably pieces of the ceiling that had collapsed onto the floor.

Terracotta wall brackets, a lead string bullet and a piece of wood, probably oak, were also among the finds.

A collateral geo-archaeological study was launched to investigate the clay beds for signs of pottery manufacturing at the Hala Sultan Tekke.

Cyprus Mail

Cathedral yields up secrets of the past

MEDIEVAL graves and fragments of tiles were unearthed by archaeologists at a North Wales cathedral.

Outlines of 30 graves, left undisturbed, were discovered during the two-week excavation at St Asaph.

The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust dig, led by Ian Grant, was part of work to level the south transept floor.

Fiona Gale, Denbighshire County Council's archaeologist, had an advisory role during the project.

She said: "The flooring in the south transept is being lowered to a level needed for bedding for the new floor.

"A very worn silver coin has also been discovered.

"The pieces have gone to Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust for cleaning and recording, but they remain within the ownership of the cathedral."

Daily Post

Archeologists Find "Home of First Bulgarian Ruler"

Archeologists have found a monumental wood-made building at the excavations site of first Bulgarian capital Pliska, to the north-east of the country.

The round-based construction, of around 30 m, is probably the oldest residence home of first Bulgarian rulers, around VII-VIII century. It is also the largest wooden edifice ever unearthed in the land where Bulgarian state emerged.

According to archeologists, the finding comes as a solid proof of the hypothesis that Old Bulgarians, predecessors of nowadays Bulgarian people, are unique in Europe with their construction based mainly on wood.

The predominantly round form of edifices - homes, temples, etc. - is symbolic for the practiced rites of worship to the Sun, the Sky and the Supreme God of Tangra.


Rebuilding Germany's Temple of the Sun

A project to faithfully reconstruct a 7,000 year-old solar observatory, the oldest of its kind in Europe, began this week at Goseck in the German state of Saxony.

The reconstruction, which is estimated to cost a total of 100,000 euros ($122,830) at its completion, should be finished by the end of the year and the restored observatory will join the growing list of increasingly popular "Sky Way" attractions of ancient sites related to the study of astronomy.

The observatory was first discovered in 1991 when the 75 meter diameter circular outer ring was unearthed by archeologists after an aerial photograph revealed the site.

Deutsche Welle

Makeover for monk's garden

ENGLISH Heritage has delved into medieval herb-lore to breathe new life into a monk's garden at Mount Grace Priory, near Northallerton.

The fragrant plot, within the walls of a 600 year-old monk's cell, was recreated 11 years ago after laying fallow for centuries. Once it would have provided its Carthusian monk with everything from a cure for flatulence to foliage for masking unpleasant smells.

Now scores of new varieties have been planted in a major revamp, re-creating the atmosphere and pungent scents of those far-off days.

Head custodian Becki Wright said: "Herbs were incredibly important in medieval times and we know that many Carthusian monks were keen gardeners.

Ripon Today