Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Neanderthals were much more like modern humans than has been previously thought, according to a Bristol University archaeologist. Professor Joao Zilhao made the discovery after re-examining finds from one of the most famous palaeolithic sites in Europe.

He has unearthed evidence which he says shows that Neanderthals - commonly viewed as primitive - in fact made ornaments of their own designs.

The ornaments may help prove that the species was capable of "symbolic thinking" - that is attaching a meaning to an object.

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1,300-year-old Saxon buckle goes on show

A rare 1,300-year-old Saxon buckle, unearthed with a metal detector, will go on public display for the first time today.

The copper alloy Byzantine-style buckle, which dates from AD600-720, is only the second of its type to have been found in England. Faye Simpson, archaeologist at the Museum of London, said it was "as beautiful as anything you could hope to find on Bond Street".

It was found on the outskirts of London by treasure hunter Bill Robson, who handed it to the museum. It is unusual because an artefact of this type would normally be found in Spain or Portugal, the museum said.

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Rare 1,300-year-old Saxon belt buckle goes on display

A rare 1,300-year-old Saxon belt buckle unearthed with a metal detector will go on public display for the first time today.

The copper alloy buckle, which dates from AD600-720, is only the second one of its type to have been found in England.

It was discovered recently on the outskirts of London by treasure hunter Bill Robson, who handed it to the Museum of London.

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Archeologists find unique Thracian gold near seaside

A unique gold treasure from Thracian times was found on Sunday near the town of Sinemorets at the Bulgarian seaside, news agencies reported.

The excavations near the mouth of Veleka River continued during the day and the field is guarded by the police.
Local people have dug the hill for inert materials and later archeologists discovered the gold treasure, Darik radio announced. There are lots of gold and silver vessels and cult clay tiles with the image of Mother Earth Goddess. Up to the Sunday evening an extremely valuable wreath and a set of golden earrings have been brought out of the hill. Archeological work goes on without stopping, Darik radio added.

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Uncovering the burial mounds of Bronze Age Scots

FOUR thousand years ago work began to erect the great earthen burial mounds that comprise the Bronze Age barrow cemetery at the Knowes of Trotty, in Harray, Orkney. There are at least 16 barrows - or graves - in two rows, nestling between the edge of the farmlands and the foot of the moorland. Many were raised upon natural mounds to enhance their prominence.

It is a spectacular site, even today, and there are indications that in the Bronze Age the Knowes of Trotty was a cemetery of special significance. The barrows were built to honour the dead of the local farmers and represent a change in burial ritual away from the communal interments of Neolithic farming sites like Maeshowe and more towards individual burials that often incorporated the use of fire to cremate the body. Burial in the Bronze Age celebrated the individual and often included grave goods, perhaps as an indication of status and for use in the after world.

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Neanderthals were much more advanced than has been thought, according to a new examination of finds from a famous cave site that indicates that the creatures designed and made their own jewellery.

It had been assumed ornaments found with their bones were "borrowed" from ancestors of modern humans, or copied. This is now believed to have been a mistake.

Neanderthals lived in Europe long before the early modern humans, Homo sapiens, 40,000 years ago. The two sub-species existed side-by-side for about 10,000 years, after which the Neanderthals vanished.

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Dig unearths round table evidence at Windsor Castle

Evidence of a building linked to the myth of King Arthur and the knights of the round table has been found at Windsor Castle.

The circular structure was built by Edward III in the 14th century to house the round table intended to seat the original 300 Knights of the Garter. Archaeological proof of the building was uncovered by members of Channel 4's Time Team in the castle's quadrangle.

Although the stones have been removed, rubble in-fill where they were originally located remained in place. The show's presenter, Tony Robinson, said the discovery could help settle years of debate among historians over the existence of the building. "The round table building is one of our most significant ever archaeological finds. It is something that helped to establish Arthurian legends of the knights of the round table.

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Rare Saxon belt goes on display

A rare Anglo-Saxon belt buckle found by a treasure hunter with a metal detector is going on public display for the first time.

The copper alloy buckle dates from between AD600 and AD720 and is only the second one of its type found in England.

It was unearthed recently on the outskirts of London by Bill Robson, who handed it to the Museum of London.

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There is a little Neanderthal in a lot of us

People who have large noses, a stocky build and a beetle brow may indeed be a little Neanderthal, according to a genetic study. But the good news is that other research concludes that Neanderthals were much more like us than previously thought.

People of European descent may be five per cent Neanderthal, according to a study published in the journal PLoS Genetics, which suggests we all have a sprinkling of archaic DNA in our genes.

"Instead of a population that left Africa 100,000 years ago and replaced all other archaic human groups, we propose that this population interacted with another population that had been in Europe for much longer, maybe 400,000 years," says Dr Vincent Plagnol, of the University of Southern California, who with Dr Jeffrey Wall analysed 135 different regions of the human genetic code.

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Augustus' tomb to get rehab

Roman officials hope that the mausoleum of Augustus, founder of the Roman empire, can be restored to its ancient glory.

The tomb was stripped of much of its travertine marble in the middle ages and surrounded by an ugly piazza under Mussolini. The city is holding an international competition for plans to renovate the mausoleum and its surroundings, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.

Archaeologists say the work will also give them a chance to explore the site.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Chester's Roman plans lie in ruins after lottery blow

AMBITIOUS plans for a new visitor centre at Chester's famous Roman amphitheatre have suffered a serious blow after failing to gain support from funders.

Chester City Council has been told by the Big Lottery Fund it will not pay for a feasibility study to build the centre after the demolition of part of a Grade II listed building in the city centre.

Cllr Ann Farrell, Chester's cabinet member for culture, said the Roman heritage was a key part of the city's appeal to tourists and last year the amphitheatre was the second most visited site in Chester after the cathedral.

She pledged the plans would not be dropped despite the set-back, and they would seek other sources of funding.

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Archaeological Study Tour to Provence - June 2007

Friday, 1 to Saturday, 9 June 2007

An Archaeological Study Tour to the Luberon area of Provence.

Leaving from London Embankment

Full details can be found here...

Castle visitors to relive life of Medieval soldiers

VISITORS to Craigmillar Castle can experience life as a soldier in the Middle Ages this weekend.

An archery display and an exhibition of 15th century weaponry will take place on Sunday.

Nick Finnigan, Historic Scotland events manager, said: "It's a chance to discover the difference between a crossbow and a warbow, a sword and a great sword.

"And visitors will be able to find out what life was like for real Scottish medieval soldiers."

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Treasure found!

A FATHER and son metal detecting in a Clitheroe farm field unearthed 28 medieval coins.

And an inquest ruled the coins are officially treasure and Ron Blair and his son, James, must now wait for an offer of "reward" from the British Museum.

"We have no idea how much it will be, but we are not expecting a fortune," said Ron (60), of Windermere Avenue, Clitheroe. "When we were given permission to search the land we agreed to split anything we found of value 50/50 with the landowner and that is what we will be doing."

Ronald and his son, James (37), of Nelson Street, Clitheroe, initially started finding coins on the ploughed land near Clitheroe on March 18th. They found more coins the following day and returned a week later to complete the search.

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An archaeological dig at a site which played a major role in two episodes in British history has been awarded new funding of almost £25,000.

Bentley Hall Cairn provided shelter for King Charles II when he fled from Cromwell's troops after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. And in 1743, it was the scene of a riot by a mob demanding the prosecution of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, after he preached there.

A geophysical survey - funded by the Darlaston Local Neighbourhood Partnership and the Bentley Cairn Restoration Group has already been carried out.

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A pivotal foreign institution

A double anniversary for the establishment known as the American School of Classical Studies

Excavators with drive. The American School of Classical Studies began excavations at the Ancient Agora in Athens in 1931. This is a photo of the west side of the Agora at the start of excavations. It is taken from the north toward the hill of Kolonos Agoraios and the Hephaesteion.

When the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) was founded 125 years ago, it had only seven members and 12 collaborating universities and its location was a small building on Amalias Street. Today, the school accepts the most distinguished students in archaeology and classical studies from its 168 affiliated universities in North America and is a vital part of cultural life in Greece, both through the important excavations that it conducts on ancient sites, its specialized publications and the Gennadius Library.

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Russian museum plunderers arrested

Russian police have arrested two men and charged them with stealing $100 million in artifacts from St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum.

Information from a Moscow art dealer reportedly led to the arrest of the two suspects, one the husband of the museum's late curator, and the other her son, a correspondent for London's Independent newspaper reported.

Former curator Larisa Zavadskaya died of a heart attack in October last year, when the Hermitage began the inventory that led to the discovery the museum had been robbed of 221 items over six years.

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Tag der offenen Grabung am Sempachersee, Kanton Luzern

Das Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte der Universität Bern führt in Zusammenarbeit mit der Kantonsarchäologie Luzern bis Mitte August eine Notbergung auf der Halbinsel Zellmoos in Sursee durch, da die spätbronzezeitlichen Schichten auf der Mariazell-Halbinsel akut von der Austrocknung bedroht sind. Neben hoch interessanten Funden aus dem Alltag der "Pfahlbauer" kam ein sehr seltener Befund einer spätbronzezeitlichen Bodenkonstruktion zum Vorschein.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

York Minster: now available on eBay and in suburban gardens

TO THE dismay of conservationists, York Minster is helping to fund the restoration of its East Front by selling off original medieval stonework from the West Front.
Fashioned with religious devotion by master masons in the 14th century, carved stones that once formed an integral part of the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe have found themselves reposing as ornaments in suburban gardens after a sale last week that raised a disappointing £12,000 towards a £23 million refurbishment project.

Other buyers have disclosed that they intend to cut the ancient stones into small pieces and sell them as souvenirs of Old England on the internet, in the hope of lively interest from American buyers.

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Traces of war god Ares found in city of mother goddess, Metropolis

Excavations conducted in the ancient city indicate that Metropolis is the second settlement in Anatolia believed to have housed a temple of Ares -- the Olympian god of war and son of Zeus in Greek mythology

Excavations since 1989 to unearth the ancient city of Metropolis, located in İzmir's Torbalı district, have uncovered archaeologically significant structures and artifacts.

Metropolis -- dating back to 725 B.C. -- gets its name from the temple of mother goddess Meter Gallesia found in the area and thus means "the city of the mother goddess�.

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Hinter die Schnittkante sehen - Tag der offenen Grabung in Isingerode

Am Sonntag, den 13.8. 2006 sind alle Archäologiebegeisterten eingeladen die Grabungen am der spätbronze- /früheisenzeitlichen Wallanlage bei Isingerode, Kreis Wolfenbüttel zu besuchen. Seit Juni diesen Jahres werden die Ausgrabungen von Mitgliedern des Vereins "Freunde der Archäologie im Braunschweiger Land" (FABL) unter der Leitung von Wolf-Dieter Steinmetz, Kustos des Braunschweiger Landesmuseums durchgeführt.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ancient structures in Hasankeyf will collapse if moved, archaeologist warns

The construction of Ilısu Dam continues, and so do the warnings from scholars that plans to relocate the ancient city of Hasankeyf -- to be submerged under the dam's waters -- would cause it to be lost forever.

Professor Abdulselam Uluçam, head of excavations at Hasankeyf, said on Sunday that the ancient structures in the town cannot be relocated because they would immediately crumble.

“As a scientist, I say that the artifacts in Batman's Hasankeyf district cannot be relocated. If you try to move those artifacts without reinforcing them, they will collapse. A committee will decide on the issue in the coming days,” said Uluçam in his evaluation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's speech over the weekend, in which he stated that the ancient city would be moved.

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Another Ancient Tomb Discovered in Egypt?

Just months after archaeologists gleefully clamored over the first tomb to be found in Egypt's Valley of the Kings since 1922, there may be another.

Located just meters from the last tomb — KV-63 excavated earlier this year — Nicholas Reeves of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project, working under the Valley of the Kings Foundation, claims the group has detected what he believes will turn out to be another tomb, and possibly a royal one at that.

"This new discovery is important on several levels," he said in an e-mail. "First of all, for what it might turn out to be — perhaps the burial place of Akhenaten's missing women and not impossibly Nefertiti herself, the most beautiful woman of the ancient world.

"Second, for what, in strategic terms, it might do for archaeology in the Valley of the Kings — by its staggering potential to pull Egyptologists up short and ensure that work in the Valley slows down, focuses itself, prepares adequately and doesn't miss a trick either within or outside the tombs when the digging begins."

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Experts search for Ice Age man in excavation at cave beauty spot

EXPERTS are searching a northern beauty spot for clues about Ice Age artists who etched pictures of animals on to cave walls some 13,000 years ago.

The engravings of animals were found at Church Hole cave, Creswell Crags, at Welbeck near Worksop three years ago and are evidence the limestone gorge near Worksop is one of the most northerly areas explored by man in the Ice Age.

Yesterday a team from the University of Sheffield and the British Museum started digging outside the cave in the hope that over the next two weeks they will unearth more major findings at the site.

It is the first major excavation at the site since the 1920s.

Dr Paul Pettit from Sheffield University's Department of Archaeology, who is leading the dig, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to work at such and important site. We know that Church Hole was excavated very rapidly by the Victorians in the 1870s and very little is known about the animals and people who inhabited this cave during the Ice Age.

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Drought unearths treasure trove of ancient monuments

THE summer drought has unearthed a treasure trove of finds for historians taking a birds eye view of Wales.

Heatwave conditions, which have parched the Welsh countryside, proved ideal for aerial archaeologists.

Last night they were described as the best for at least adecade with a host of buried sites revealed from the air.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales made major discoveries using light aircraft to survey the Welsh landscape.

"It has been absolutely astounding. Discoveries have been made across Wales visible both as cropmarks in ripening crops and scorched grassland," said a spokesman.

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Roman wall unearthed at city site

Archaeologists working in Leicester say they will be able to find out more about the city's history after the discovery of part of a Roman wall.

The find was made by experts excavating the new Shires Shopping Centre site on Freeschool Lane.

It is a large section of wall and an archway, believed to be part of a market hall.

The building was first discovered in the 1950s under High Cross Street, but this section of the wall had collapsed.

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Location: Peru Length: 7 min.

Atipanakuy is a Quechua word meaning "confrontation" or "fight." This imaginative film, much of it in Quechua with English and Spanish subtitles, reflects the Taki Ongoy cultural resistance movement of the 1500s and the rediscovery of Peruvian history through the rebirth of two scissors dancers, who dance through modern Peruvian culture. Juxtapositions of time and space, the past and the present, show the scissors dancer as a unique survivor and bearer of the ancient Andean civilization that is visible today mostly in its ruins.

Watch the video...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Greece fights for its lost treasures

An untold amount of Greek heritage has been lost to international smugglers, but now Greece is fighting back, determined to bring its treasures home.

The gate of Apollo in the Cycladic island of Naxos
Greece is littered with antiquities and archaeological sites
"Smuggling is a very big problem and it is becoming bigger by the day. Everybody in Greece is doing some kind of digging or looting somewhere."

Yannis - the name he gives himself - is a key figure in the international smuggling network.

In an exclusive interview for BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents, conducted at a secret location, he revealed his insights.

"It starts at the top, from politicians down to ordinary people," he continued, "and the motivation is always money."

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Golden dagger found in tomb sharp as it was 5,000 years ago

A GOLDEN dagger dating to 3,000BC and 500 golden ornaments have been found in a tomb in central Bulgaria, an archaeologist said yesterday.

The six-inch dagger was said to be in perfect condition and still sharp despite the passage of 5,000 years since it was made.

"It's a really sensational discovery," Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of the Bulgarian national museum, said.

"The dagger, which we believe is made of gold and platinum, most probably belonged to a Thracian ruler or to a priest. No item of this type was found even in the legendary city of Troy."

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Ancient dagger found in Bulgaria

Archaeologists have discovered a precious golden dagger dated to about 3,000BC in a Thracian tomb in the centre of Bulgaria.

It is the latest find from one of many tombs believed to have formed the cradle of Thracian civilisation.

The dagger, made of an alloy of gold and platinum, was found near the village of Dubovo.

Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of Bulgaria's National Museum, told Reuters news agency the discovery was "sensational".

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Keith Lilley, Chris Lloyd and Steve Trick, 2005

This resource derives from the Mapping the medieval urban landscape research project which began in 2003 with two years funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Using mapping as a medium, the project examined how urban landscapes were shaped in the middle ages, the project furthers an understanding of the forms and formation of medieval towns. It is the first project to have used spatial technologies – Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) – as a basis for mapping and analysing medieval urban landscapes. The project team was Dr Keith Lilley (director), Dr Chris Lloyd (co-director), and Dr Steven Trick (researcher) and the research was conducted at Queen’s University Belfast.

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Medieval Justice Not So Medieval

Labeling idleness a crime may have been a bit strict, but the justice system in medieval England should never be considered backwards.

Punishments for offenses in those days were perhaps even more sensible and humane than they are now, say some historians. [Medieval Torture's 10 Biggest Myths]

"The common view of the medieval justice system as cruel and based around torture and execution is often unfair and inaccurate," said University of Cambridge historian Helen Mary Carrel. Most criminals received gentle sentences merely meant to shame them, Carrel said, with the punishments often carried out in the open so townspeople could bring them charity.

Carrel presented her views recently during the International Medieval Congress, hosted by the University of Leeds.

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Cat drags in new theory on Scottish cairns

The actions of a domestic cat have thrown up a new theory about ancient stone burial cairns in Caithness (Scotland). Archaeologists built a mock-up of the structures as part of an experiment. Emma Sanderson, of Caithness Archaeology Trust, said it was found that a dead rabbit had been left in the replica by a cat. She said it could mean that animal bones found in real cairns were not the remains of ceremonial offerings, as thought, but left by other creatures.

Archaeologists built reconstructions of burial cairns and ancient towers called brochs as part of a series of research projects and excavations carried out in Caithness over the summer. The archaeologists are now analysing their field work, including new insights into cairns.

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Neolithic site confirmed at Orcadian Bronze Age cemetery

Questions surrounding an 'unusual' building at the Knowes o' Trotty Bronze Age cemetery (Harray, Scotland) have been answered – at least partially. The structure has turned out to be an early Neolithic house, which predates the Harray cemetery by approximately 1,500 years. Dating from around 3,500 BCE, the structure resembles the Knap o' Howar in Papa Westray. The house, and the various finds from within, is also very similar to buildings excavated at Stonehall in Firth.

The house was originally discovered during an exploratory dig at the Knowes o' Trotty in 2002. Subsequent excavations left the archaeologists puzzled as to its origin and purpose. But returning to the site this year it became clear that a Stone Age settlement was once sited at the foot of the Ward of Redland. Dr Jane Downes, of Orkney College, and Orkney Archaeological Trust's Nick Card, led the excavators. They extended the previous trenches to clarify the extent and layout of the building. It was oblong in shape and measured approximately 7m x 4m.

The different wall constructions showed that multiple phases of occupation, with a large central hearth – typical of Neolithic dwellings throughout Orkney – dominating the floorspace. A second doorway in the structure was particularly intriguing. Built into the south-west corner of the building, it led into a small, stone cell dug into the slope of the hill.

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Ancient Gold Dagger Unearthed in Central Bulgaria

Archaeologists have unearthed a gold-platinum dagger and more than 500 gold ornaments from an ancient tomb in central Bulgaria.

The director of Bulgaria's National Historic Museum says the artifacts are part of a treasure trove first discovered last year in a Thracian-era tomb that may be the resting place of an ancient ruler or priest.

Speaking Sunday in Sofia, Bozhidar Dimitrov said the 16-centimeter dagger, which dates back to the third millennium B.C., remains extremely sharp and in near-perfect condition.

The burial site was discovered two years ago near a village in central Bulgaria. Last year, archaeologists found more than 15,000 miniature gold pieces at the site.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Turkey begins controversial dam

Turkey has begun building a major dam, despite criticism that the project will ruin an ancient archaeological site and displace thousands of people.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan led a ceremony to begin work on the Ilisu dam in the south-eastern Turkey.

Turkey says the $1.55bn (£800m) project will help irrigate vast areas of farmland and provide vital energy.

Critics argue that it will destroy ruins and artefacts at the Hasankeyf site dating back thousands of years.

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Roman temple to make way for insurers

Like many institutions in the City of London, it was dedicated to truth, honour and courage - and it also catered for visitors who liked to celebrate with a drink.

More recently it has been a tourist attraction, but now the third-century Temple of Mithras, one of the most important Roman discoveries in the City, is to move from its location in Queen Victoria Street to make way for the £300m Walbrook Square development by the Legal and General insurance group.

The temple will be returning to its original underground location beside the covered-over river Walbrook, which was an important source of fresh water in Roman Londinium.

The move, which has the support of English Heritage and the City of London Corporation, reverses the journey made by the temple in 1962.

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Iron Age site dig open to public

Archaeologists excavating an Iron Age farmstead in west Wales say the site may have been home to "several families" as early as 200 BC.

After two weeks' digging at the 2,000-year-old plot, the team have uncovered the remains of a circular house together with pits and postholes.

Other buildings found last year appear to have been surrounded by two large protective ditches and banks.

The site, near Tremain, Ceredigion, is open to the public on Sunday 6 August.

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U.K. census finally online -- 921 years later

Domesday Book, a 'national treasure,' can be searched on website

The Middle Ages met the Internet age Friday when the Domesday Book, a survey of England conducted almost 1,000 years ago, went online.

The Domesday Book -- the oldest record held by Britain's National Archives and one of the country's most valuable documents -- details the landholdings and resources that belonged to King William the Conqueror in 1085. It gives a minute record of the wealth of England and the families settled throughout the countryside at that time.

Now, the text of the book in the original Latin, along with an English translation, was put online at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/domesday.

Anyone with an Internet connection can -- for a fee -- download copies of handwritten records that provide a picture of life in the 11th century.

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More pieces of hidden bog book found

More fragments of an ancient manuscript concealed in a Co Tipperary bog over 1,000 years ago with a view to later recovery, have been found by the National Museum of Ireland, writes Seán Mac Connell

The discoveries also include a fine leather pouch in which the manuscript was originally kept.

Museum experts have excavated the site at Faddan More, in north Tipperary, since the discovery of the manuscript last month by excavator driver Eddie Fogarty.

He found the book on July 20th while digging peat on a bog owned by brothers Kevin and Patrick Leonard, according to a statement issued by the museum last night.

It said archaeologists and conservators had completed excavation of the area where the ancient manuscript was found. It described the find as "an extremely significant discovery".

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Children and adults will dig Archaeology Week

A RANGE of talks, tours and workshops are to be held to celebrate the fifth annual East Lothian Archaeology Week.

Among the locations being used is the John Muir Birthplace in Dunbar and old parts of Prestongrange.

There will also be a tour of the archaeological remains at Bilsdean and Dunglass.

Biddy Simpson, East Lothian Council heritage officer, said: "All events are free and there should be something for everyone, no matter your age or level of interest."

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Bronze Age boat is uncovered

THE village of Netley, in Rathnamaugh, Crossmolina, was the scene of some painstaking work this week as archaeologists toiled to excavate a prehistoric logboat discovered some weeks ago in the area.

The dugout or logboat was stumbled upon in the course of pipe laying works as part of the Ballina Regional Water Scheme being carried out by Ward & Burke. Upon the discovery, on Sean and Aileen Gough’s land in Netley, Mayo County Council enlisted a team of archaeologists to assess and unearth the artefact. Following a visit to the site, The National Museum has expressed significant interest in the find.

Site Director, Ms Joanna Nolan, told the Western People: “The boat dates back to pre-historic times; obviously a tree-trunk boat, it is most likely Bronze Age which would be 3000 years ago”.

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Experts discover Bronze Age motorway

Experts have been called in to investigate what is believed to be the remains of an ancient motorway, it emerged today.

A trio of university archaeologists were contacted after contractors working in Suffolk unearthed a number of vertical timbers thought to have once supported an ancient wooden causeway.

Experts said excavations at the site of a multi-million pound flood alleviation project for Broadland had revealed the remains of a structure which ran for more than half-a-mile, from dry land on the edge of Beccles Town marshes, across a swamp to a spot on the River Waveney.

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Rolling stones helps broch study

Archaeologists and volunteers spent more than two years constructing a 10m tall replica of an Iron Age stone-built tower - only to demolish it.

The project, run in a quarry at Spital, near Thurso, Caithness, was part of research into brochs.

There are estimated to be 200 of them lying in ruins in the region.

Knocking down the reconstructed tower is helping archaeologists to better differentiate tumbledown brochs from the remains of other buildings.

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Drought holds key to centuries-old mystery

Archaeologists puzzling over a 500-year-old architectural enigma in a drought-bleached suburban park believe they have finally solved the mystery of its identity - and that the key lies with the Tudors' struggles to cope with water shortages similar to those we face today.

The mysterious structure in the heart of Bruce Castle Park in Tottenham, north London, has in the past been variously explained as a garden folly, or a platform for flying hawks.

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