Friday, November 30, 2007

Olympic digs yield historic finds

Valuable archeological finds have been unearthed on two Olympics 2012 sites.
Pottery from the 4th Century and a Roman coin were found on the London stadium site and Iron Age activity found on the Aquatics Centre site.

The finds will form part of the Museum of London's collection but digging activity will not delay building work, the games' organisers say.

Archeological work to date the items and place them in historical context will now take place.

The first Londoners lived in thatched circular mud huts on the site that will house the Aquatics Centre, but in the Iron Age would have been a small area of dry land in a valley of lakes, rivers and marshes, archeologists believe.

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Wessex Archaeology is embarking on a voyage into the waters of marine heritage promotion in the South West.

The new project, supported by £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to educate both school children and the public about the new ways marine heritage is being explored, and some of the amazing new discoveries that have been made. It covers four counties – Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire – and will involve ‘time travel’ learning packs for use in the classroom and on the web.

“In the last few years there has been an upsurge in the amount of work done on marine archaeology,” explained project leader Euan McNeill. “This ranges from surveying the submerged landscapes that Britain’s first pre-historic settlers walked on; to World War Two aircraft crash sites.”

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Visitors flock to crannog centre

AS THEIR woven hazel gates have closed for the season, the Iron Age team at the Scottish Crannog Centre are celebrating a remarkable and hugely successful 10th anniversary year featuring record-breaking visitor numbers, European links and study tours, and a haul of top awards.

The buzz began in pre-season, when the Centre formally joined seven other European archaeological open air museums in a Culture 2000 project known as liveARCH ( The aim of the three year project is to share best practice and skills between partners in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland and Sweden.

Following the launch of the project at the Eindhoven Historic Openlucht Museum in the Netherlands in January, the Crannog Crew hosted the first congress in Pitlochry in March focusing on visitor engagement and interpretation. The meeting brought considerable economic benefit to the wider Highland Perthshire area, and fostered pan-European project plans, ideas and friendships.

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Sick Rams Used as Ancient Bioweapons

Infected rams and donkeys were the earliest bioweapons, according to a new study which dates the use of biological warfare back more than 3,300 years.

According to a review published in the Journal of Medical Hypotheses, two ancient populations, the Arzawans and the Hittites, engaged "in mutual use of contaminated animals" during the 1320-1318 B.C. Anatolian war.

"The animals were carriers of Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of tularemia," author Siro Trevisanato, a molecular biologist based in Oakville, Ontario, Canada told Discovery News.

Also known as "rabbit fever," tularemia is a devastating disease which even today can be fatal, if not treated with antibiotics. Its symptoms range from skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands to pneumonia, fever, chills, progressive weakness and respiratory failure.

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Ancient Greenland mystery has a simple answer, it seems

(AXcess News) QASSIARSUK, Greenland - A shipload of visitors arrived in the fjord overnight, so Ingibjorg Gisladottir dressed like a Viking and headed out to work in the ruins scattered along the northern edge of this tiny farming village.

Qassiarsuk is tiny (population: 56), remote, and short on amenities (no store, public restrooms, or roads to the outside world), but some 3,000 visitors come here each year to see the remains of Brattahlid, the medieval farming village founded here by Erik the Red around the year 985.

When they arrive, Ms. Gisladottir, an employee of the museum, is there to greet them in an authentic hooded smock and not-so-authentic rubber boots. "There were more visitors this year than last," she says. "People want to know what happened to the Norse."

The Greenland Norse colonized North America 500 years before Christopher Columbus "discovered" it, establishing farms in the sheltered fjords of southern Greenland, exploring Labrador and the Canadian Arctic, and setting up a short-lived outpost in Newfoundland.

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Historians hustle as flood threatens ancient town

A large settlement dating back to the first century BC has been found in the Russian republic of North Ossetia. But since the archaeological site is in a valley next to a hydroplant under construction, there's a race to unlock its secrets, before it's flooded.

Most of the 60 people working at the site in the Zaramag Valley are amateurs with professionals guiding them.

Every day they antique jewellery, tools, weapons and crockery that once belonged to the ancient tribe of Alans, the ancestors of modern Ossetians.

But in just a few weeks time, the whole valley will be flooded. It will become a reservoir for Zaramag hydroplant. Once built, it will solve North Ossetia's energy problems.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Location: Iceland Length: 16 min.

This video describes the Mosfell Archaeological Project, an interdisciplinary research project employing saga studies, archaeology, physical anthropology, and environmental sciences. The project's goal is to construct a picture of human habitation and environmental change in the Mosfell region of southwestern Iceland. Work at Kirkjuhll in 2002 revealed a conversion period wooden stave church and a Christian cemetery with skeletons. The Mosfell Project contributes to the larger study of Viking Age and later medieval Iceland.

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Fields of gold could be lacing the countryside after a second ancient coin was discovered.

Ken Jacobs (60), chairman of the Scunthorpe Metal Detectors' club, found a whole noble - dating from the 14th century - in a field near Winteringham.

The find comes just weeks after Craig Addison featured in the Telegraph after he dug up a half noble in the Roxby area.

Mr Jacobs' 32mm find, which dates back to the era of Edward III, would have been worth thousands of pounds then. Today it is worth about £500.

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Ancient Roman road map unveiled

The Tabula Peutingeriana is one of the Austrian National Library's greatest treasures.

The parchment scroll, made in the Middle Ages, is the only surviving copy of a road map from the late Roman Empire.

The document, which is almost seven metres long, shows the network of main Roman roads from Spain to India.

It is normally never shown to the public. The parchment is extremely fragile, and reacts badly to daylight.

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Roman burial site uncovered

A ROMAN burial ground has been discovered on land in Staverton near Trowbridge.

Over the past two months archaeologists have extracted the remains of four Roman people from the ground. Some of the graves contained two skeletons.

They believe the field behind New Terrace is on the edge of a Roman settlement dating back to about 55AD.

Known locally as Blacklands the field is a source of much superstition for locals who have passed on folklore from generation to generation about the ghosts that lurked beneath the soil.

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Lupercale expert sceptical of 'Romulus, Remus' cave

A LEADING Italian archaeologist said that the grotto whose discovery was announced this week in Rome is not the sacred cave linked to the myth of the city's foundation by Romulus and Remus.

The Culture Ministry and experts who presented the find said they were “reasonably certain” the cavern is the Lupercale - a sanctuary worshipped for centuries by Romans because, according to legend, a wolf nursed the twin brothers there.

But Adriano La Regina, Rome's superintendent of archaeology from 1976 to 2004, said ancient descriptions of the place suggest the Lupercale is elsewhere - 50 to 70 metres northwest of the cave discovered near Emperor Augustus' palace.

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Gene study supports single main migration across Bering Strait

Did a relatively small number of people from Siberia who trekked across a Bering Strait land bridge some 12,000 years ago give rise to the native peoples of North and South America?

Or did the ancestors of today’s native peoples come from other parts of Asia or Polynesia, arriving multiple times at several places on the two continents, by sea as well as by land, in successive migrations that began as early as 30,000 years ago?

The questions – featured on magazine covers and TV specials – have agitated anthropologists, archaeologists and others for decades.

University of Michigan scientists, working with an international team of geneticists and anthropologists, have produced new genetic evidence that’s likely to hearten proponents of the land bridge theory. The study, published online in PLoS Genetics, is one of the most comprehensive analyses so far among efforts to use genetic data to shed light on the topic.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Knights Templar to Seek Traces of Order's Members in Bulgaria

The Knights Templar are to launch excavation works in the Danube town of Russe to find out traces of order's members, who have once passed through Bulgaria and the Balkans.

The statement was made at a Saturday press conference, given by the Order in the National Palace of Culture in Sofia.

The order is to finance the initiative, called "Nisovo Project", is to be launched after Russe citizens signalled they noticed "interesting stone crosses" in the region.

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Bear hunting altered genetics more than Ice Age isolation

It was not the isolation of the Ice Age that determined the genetic distribution of bears, as has long been thought. This is shown by an international research team led from Uppsala University in Sweden in the latest issue of Molecular Ecology. One possible interpretation is that the hunting of bears by humans and human land use have been crucial factors.

Twenty thousand years ago Europe was covered by ice down to Germany, and the climate in the rest of Europe was such that several species were confined to the southern regions, like the Iberian Peninsula and Italy. These regions were refuges, areas where species could survive during cold periods and then re-colonize central and northern Europe when it got warmer. But the brown bear was not limited to these regions­it could roam freely across major parts of southern and central Europe. The current study analyzed mitochondria from bear remains. Some of the fossils are 20,000 years old. The analysis shows that the genetic pattern in these ancient brown bears differed from that of bears living today.

“Previously today’s genetic structure was interpreted as showing that the brown bear was isolated in southern Europe, just like many other species. But our study shows that this was not the case,” says Love Dalén, one of the Swedes participating in the study.

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'Dramatic' ancient cemetery found

A freelance archaeologist has uncovered what is thought to be the only known Anglo-Saxon royal burial site in the north of England.

Spectacular gold jewellery, weapons and clothing were found at the 109-grave cemetery, believed to date from the middle of the 7th Century.

Excavations were carried out after Steve Sherlock studied an aerial photo of the land near Redcar, Teesside.

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Römisches Bauen in Hessen

Baubeginn für zwei römische Häuser vor den Toren der Saalburg
Planzeichnung der beiden römischen Streifenhäuser (Grafik: Römerkastell Saalburg)

Vor den Toren des Römerkastells Saalburg in Bad Homburg , im Bereich des früheren Kastelldorfes, haben die Bauarbeiten für zwei Häuser begonnen, die einmal Kasse, Museumsshop und Kiosk aufnehmen sollen.

Die beiden Häuser werden im Stil sogenannter Streifenhäuser errichtet, die für die römischen Dörfer (vici) charakteristisch waren: langrechteckige Häuser mit einem Vordach, die mit der Schmalseite zur Straße stehen. Der Bau der beiden unterschiedlich großen Häuser soll im Sommer 2008 abgeschlossen sein.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Czech archaeologists find unique Virgin Mary statuette

PRAGUE, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Czech archaeologists uncovered a unique eight centimeter-long ceramic statuette of Virgin Mary with Jesus from the late 14th century in the center of Usti nad Labem of the Czech Republic, head of the archaeological research Marta Cvrkova said on Tuesday.

Similar finds are very rare in the country, the Czech news agency CTK quoted Cvrkova as saying.

The elaborated artifact, which was probably part of a family alter-piece, is only slightly damaged, CTK said.

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Anglo-Saxon gold jewellery is uncovered at burial site

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered a 1,400-year-old burial ground filled with gold jewellery and ancient artifacts at a secret location in the North-East, it was revealed last night.

Experts hailed the find as one of the best examples of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground ever uncovered - and may even have been the final resting place of a king or queen.

The 109-grave cemetery was discovered on land in Loftus, east Cleveland.

It is arranged in a rectangular pattern and dates from the middle of the 7th Century.

The cemetery, bed burial and high status objects are considered to all indicate the people buried must have connections with Anglo-Saxon royalty.

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Rome uncovers its founding moment

Rome has revealed what its leading archeologist says is "one of the greatest discoveries ever made", a lost shrine dedicated to the ancient city's mythical founders.

Andrea Carandini told a press conference yesterday that a large vaulted hall beneath the Palatine hill was almost certainly the fabled Lupercale - a sanctuary believed by ancient Romans to be the cave where the twin boys Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. The professor acknowledged the evidence was as yet not totally conclusive, but said only "one doubt in thousand" remained.

Decorated with seashells and coloured marble, the domed cave was found close to the site of the palace of the first emperor, Caesar Augustus, by archaeologists. Ancient texts indicate that the sanctuary was indeed near the palace; a document from the 16th century, when it was still accessible, recorded that the emperor had embellished it with a white imperial eagle.

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What is the secret of the Pit of Bones?

I'm standing on a bunch of boring hills, on the edge of the high and dusty Castilian plains. This is the kind of Spain that tourists avoid.

Yet in archaeological terms this site is El Dorado. Because these hills of the Sierra Atapuerca have recently given up treasures which promise to change our ideas of human evolution - and the entire history of religion.

A few weeks back, for instance, the archaeologists in the so-called Elephant Pit found a humble human tooth. But it was a tooth with an ancestry: it was 1.2m years old.

Previously, the theory was that mankind evolved in Africa, and then fanned out across the world, about one million years ago. As part of this dispersal, man migrated northwards and westwards into Europe, maybe around 800,000-600,000BC.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


An ancient skull and jawbone excavated from prehistoric caves in Cattedown will undergo vital preservation work after the city museum secured a £5,000 grant.

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery will work on the bones thanks to the Preservation of Industrial and Scientific Material (PRISM).

They were originally excavated in 1886-7 by local historian Robert Worth who also discovered bones of Ice Age woolly rhinoceroses, woolly mammoth, hyena and reindeer in the limestone caverns.

Jan Freedman, the museum's assistant keeper of natural history, said: "The material from the caves is probably the largest collection of early human remains found in the UK and, once they're properly researched, should be able to tell us a great deal about some of western Europe's earliest people."

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Archaeologists unearths buried treasure

A FREELANCE archaeologist has unearthed one of the most dramatic finds of Anglo Saxon materials within an ancient burial ground in the North-East.

The Royal Anglo-Saxon cemetery - with some of the finest gold jewellery to be found in Britain - has been discovered on land in Loftus, east Cleveland.

The 109-grave cemetery is arranged in a rectangular pattern and dates from the middle of the 7th Century.

The cemetery, bed burial and high status objects are considered to all indicate the people buried must have connections with Anglo-Saxon royalty.

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Rome founders' sanctuary discovered

Italian archaeologists said today they believe they have found one of the ancient city's holiest sites, the cave venerated as the place where, according to myth, a female wolf nursed the city's founders, twin brothers Romulus and Remus.

Decorated with seashells and marble, the vaulted space lies buried 16 metres inside the Palatine hill, the centre of power in imperial Rome.

Archaeologists said they were convinced the site was the long lost site of worship known as Lupercale, a name taken from lupa, the Latin for a female wolf.

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When a Yorkshire archaeology group began excavating some 17th century lime kilns in the Dales National Park, they expected to find remains linked to the once important industry.

Instead, they found a mysterious collection of horse bones buried inside the kilns, which had then been backfilled.

Members of the Ingleborough Archaeology Group are now looking for clues to the significance of the strange burial. One theory is that the remains were ritually buried to ward off evil before the kilns were abandoned.

“These were not animals that fell in or were thrown in,” said David Johnson, Chairman of the archaeology group.

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Sanctuary of Rome's 'Founder' Revealed

ROME (AP) — Archaeologists on Tuesday unveiled an underground grotto believed to have been revered by ancient Romans as the place where a wolf nursed the city's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus.

Decorated with seashells and colored marble, the vaulted sanctuary is buried 52 feet inside the Palatine hill, the palatial center of power in imperial Rome, the archaeologists said at a news conference.

In the past two years, experts have been probing the space with endoscopes and laser scanners, fearing that the fragile grotto, already partially caved-in, would not survive a full-scale dig, said Giorgio Croci, an engineer who worked on the site.

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Royal burial ground unearthed

A royal Anglo-Saxon burial ground and some of the finest gold jewellery ever unearthed in the country has been discovered by a freelance archaeologist.

The 109-grave cemetery is arranged in a rectangular pattern and dates from the middle of the 7th Century.

The cemetery, bed burial and high status objects are considered to all indicate the people buried must have connections with Anglo-Saxon royalty.

Traditionally, Anglo Saxon royalty were always buried in the south of England and it is thought the royals buried at the Cleveland site could be linked to the Kentish Princess Ethelburga who travelled north to marry Edwin, King of Northumbria.

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Grotto linked to Rome's mythical founder

ROME – Archaeologists on Tuesday unveiled an underground grotto believed to have been revered by ancient Romans as the place where a wolf nursed the city's legendary founder Romulus and his twin brother Remus.

Decorated with seashells and colored marble, the vaulted sanctuary is buried 52 feet inside the Palatine hill, the palatial center of power in imperial Rome, the archaeologists said at a news conference.

In the past two years, experts have been probing the space with endoscopes and laser scanners, fearing that the fragile grotto, already partially caved-in, would not survive a full-scale dig, said Giorgio Croci, an engineer who worked on the site.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Noah's flood turned tide of agriculture

The flood associated with the story of Noah's Ark led to the spread of agriculture across Europe, researchers have discovered.

Archaeologists have dated the flooding of the Black Sea to around 6,300BC and believe the sudden rise in sea levels in south-east Europe pushed communities west, where they continued to farm and make pottery.

The date at which the Black Sea was connected to the Mediterranean had previously been placed at somewhere between 5,600BC and 7,600 BC, but a re-analysis of radiocarbon dating of freshwater molluscs and seashells found in the area has pinned this down to the period immediately prior to the spread of agricultural food production across western Europe.

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Archaeology student finds Roman remains in garden

AN ARCHAEOLOGY student struck lucky when he began digging the garden of his new home - and discovered ancient Roman remains.

Chris Bevan had no idea that a historic find was lurking inches beneath his feet when he moved into the house at Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

Now he and his fellow University of York students are using their spare time to carry out a survey of the garden in High Street and a neighbouring field where the ancient pottery was unearthed.

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Baltic yields 'perfect' shipwreck

A near-intact shipwreck apparently dating from the 17th century has been found in the Baltic Sea, Swedish television has said.

The discovery was made during filming for an under-water documentary series.

Public service SVT television said the wreck could be from the same era as the famous Vasa warship, which sank on its maiden voyage in August 1628.

The broadcaster said the Baltic's low oxygen content and low temperature had helped preserve the wreck.

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Gönner, Geber und Gelehrte. Die Gießener Antikensammlung und ihre Förderer

Die Sonderausstellung "Gönner, Geber und Gelehrte" im Oberhessischen Landesmuseum Gießen nimmt die fast zweihundertjährige Geschichte und Entwicklung der international renommierten Antikensammlung der Universität Gießen in den Fokus.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Balkan heritage (BH) field school

Balkan heritage (BH) field school (established 2003) implements projects (field school sessions, workcamps) in the areas of study, protection, restoration and promotion of sites, artifacts and practices presenting cultural heritage of Southeastern Europe. BH participants are students , scholars and volunteers from all over the World.

BH projects in 2008:

AVGUSTA TRAIANA-BEROE-BORUI rescue excavation (Bulgaria) - July - August 2008. Rescue excavation of Roman, Late Antique and Medieval sites beneath modern Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.

"FRESCOES-HUNTING" PHOTO EXPEDITION TO MEDIEVAL CHURCHES OF WEST BULGARIA - May 11–25, 2008. An expediition to 3-5 abandoned West Bulgarian medieval churches and chapels (in bad condition) to document frescoes preserved inside.

KALOYANOVETS Cataloging Project (Bulgaria) - June 15 - July 14, 2008. Field surveys and cataloging an artifact collection from Late Neolithic site Kaloyanovets (6-th millenium B.C.) at the museum of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.

STARA ZAGORA heritage workcamp (Bulgaria) - July 16-30, 2008. Balkan Heritage. Rescue excavations and maintenance of archaeological sites in the town of Stara Zagora.

BITOLA heritage workcamp (Macedonia) - August, 2008. Balkan Heritage. Excavations and maintenance of archaeological sites in the ancient town of Heraclea Lyncestis near Bitola, Macedonia.

HERACLEA LYNCESTIS (Macedonia) - July, 2008 (season dates). Excavation at the Hellenistic, Roman, Late Antique town near Bitola, Macedonia.

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The canoe built by the City of Lincoln Community College pupils is clearly impressive.

Yet we need to go back to the Iron Age to find what might well be Lincoln's most famous vessel.

The longboat on display at The Collection museum in Lincoln is 7m long.

Amazingly, the dugout boat was made from a single hollowed-out tree trunk. It was discovered in 2001 during flood defence improvement work by the Environment Agency on the River Witham at Fiskerton.

And the site has proved to be rich in archaeological treasures.

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Eco-ruin 'felled early society'

One of Western Europe's earliest known urban societies may have sown the seeds of its own downfall, a study suggests.

Mystery surrounded the fall of the Bronze Age Argaric people in south-east Spain - Europe's driest area.

Data suggests the early civilisation exhausted precious natural resources, helping bring about its own ruin.

The study provides early evidence for cultural collapse caused - at least in part - by humans meddling with the environment, say researchers.

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Rome adds a 'final jewel' to its archaeological crown

In Rome, you never know what you find underneath your home once you start digging. For Enrico Gasbarra, President of the Provincial Administration of Rome, his curiosity to find what Roman treasures might be hiding in underground spaces below his office headquarters, the Valentini Palace, has resulted in one of the most exciting finds of recent years in the ancient city.

Presenting the result of two years of excavations at the World Travel Market (WTM) fair in London Wednesday, Gasbarra described the discovery of a splendid and affluent Roman home (domus) directly underneath his offices as the "final jewel" in the array of historical treasures his administration has to offer.

More than 187 lorry loads of waste and rubble, including office debris and old photocopying machines, had to be removed from the "trash dump" in the courtyard of the Valentini Palace to reveal a new archaeological site consisting of splendid rooms, marbled baths and exquisite mosaics.

"Of course, in a city like Rome it is not unusual to make such discoveries, but this find is of extreme historical significance," Gasbarra said in London.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New human fossil find adds millennia to China's history

BEIJING, Nov. 13 (Xinhua)-- Chinese archaeologists said they have found fossilized remains of a primitive human species that lived about 2.04 million years ago in the Three Gorges Area in southwest China, the earliest ever found in the country.

The findings, including a lower jawbone fragment, an incisor and more than 230 pieces of stone tools, prove that what is called Wushan man was more than 300,000 years older than Yuanmou man, which was discovered in southwestern Yunnan Province in the 1960s and previously recognized as China's earliest human species.

An expert team led by Huang Wanbo, a professor with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, reached the conclusion after more than two decades of excavation at the Longgupo Site in Wushan County in Chongqing Municipality.

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Science and Technology: Excavations in Anatolia to continue

A group of Turkish archaeologists will continue excavations in the eastern Anatolian province of Bitlis, team leader Kadir Pektas said on Tuesday (November 6th). Significant archaeological findings have been unearthed at the site this year, including a number of coins, ceramic pieces and tobacco ringlets.

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Greek philosopher Aristotle's ancient wrestling school, a victim of official apathy

Athens, Nov 13: A wrestling school said to have been a part of Greek philosopher Aristotle's famous Lyceum, has fallen victim to the ravages of time and official apathy.

Unearthed in 1996, the wrestling school and other institutions in the Lyceum was a significant centre of study and research in diverse fields.

Opened in 335 BC, the school promoted the development of Western science and philosophy and was named for its sanctuary to Apollo Lykeios. Alongside these intellectual pursuits, physical exercise was also undertaken, as the excavation of a wrestling ring has illustrated.

Though the appearance of the site on Rigillis Street in Athens looks maintained overall because of some greenery, the condition of the wrestling school has been worsening since its discovery.

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Tides turn up child’s Bronze Age remains

HIGH tides and winds that have battered the Northumberland coast served up a burial mystery for archaeologists yesterday .

Erosion by the sea and weather has revealed what seems to be the remains of a Bronze Age child, which have emerged from the coastal edge at Druridge Bay.

But what perplexed archaeologists yesterday was a layer of hard white material which appears to have been moulded around the body, like a casing.

“I have never seen anything like this material. It has obviously been applied deliberately and it is intriguing and baffling,” said Sara Rushton, Northumberland County Council archaeologist.

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Ruins of late-Roman-era fortress found in Bulgaria

Sofia, Nov 14: Archaeologists have found ruins of a late-Roman-era fortress during an excavation in Svalenik village, nowadays Northern Bulgaria.

The ruin, which was a part of the defence system of the Romans, had been raised in the IV Century as a watch fortification, controlling the road in the River Valley of Malki Lom River.

Archaeologists have so far revealed the south wall and two inner rooms of the fortress, reports

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Location: Oregon Length: 22 min.

The Clatsop of coastal Oregon, descendants of Coboway and Cusculah, welcomed traders from the tall ships and the explorers that came from the east, the Lewis and Clark expedition. They called them all "cloth men." Clatsop oral histories go back many hundreds of years—even today they tell stories of the first encounters with the cloth men. And stories of Captains Lewis and Clark, the Shoshone woman, and the winter (1805-1806) they spent near the Oregon coast. This is one of their winter stories and the Clatsop still are here to tell them.

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Prehistoric women had passion for fashion

PLOCNIK, Serbia (Reuters) - If the figurines found in an ancient European settlement are any guide, women have been dressing to impress for at least 7,500 years.

Recent excavations at the site -- part of the Vinca culture which was Europe's biggest prehistoric civilization -- point to a metropolis with a great degree of sophistication and a taste for art and fashion, archaeologists say.

In the Neolithic settlement in a valley nestled between rivers, mountains and forests in what is now southern Serbia, men rushed around a smoking furnace melting metal for tools. An ox pulled a load of ore, passing by an art workshop and a group of young women in short skirts.

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Stone Age feminism?

The Neanderthal extinction some 30,000 years ago remains one of the great riddles of evolution, with rival theories blaming everything from genocide committed by "real" humans to prehistoric climate change.

But a recent study introduces another explanation: Stone Age feminism. Among Neanderthals, hunting big beasts was women's work as well as men's, so it's a safe bet that female hunters got stomped, gored, and worse with appalling frequency. And a high casualty rate among fertile women - the vital "reproductive core" of a tiny population - could well have meant demographic disaster for a species already struggling to survive among monster bears, yellow-fanged hyenas, and cunning Homo sapien newcomers.

A spate of recent discoveries has yielded intriguing clues about humanity's closest cousin. Neanderthals and humans split from a common ancestor some 500,000 years ago. Neanderthals had Europe to themselves until Homo sapiens started swarming out of Africa about 45,000 years ago - the beginning of the end for these archetypical cave dwellers, although they hung on for 15 millennia.

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Roman Fortress Found Near Ruse

Ruins of a little late-Roman fortress, part of the defense system of the Romans in nowadays Northern Bulgaria, archaeologists have found by excavations in Svalenik village.

The fortress was raised in IV Century as a watch fortification, controlling the road in the River Valley of Malki Lom River.

For now archaeologist revealed the south wall and two inner rooms of the fortress.

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Mammoth hunters' camp site found in Russia's Far East

KHABAROVSK, November 12 (RIA Novosti) - Archaeologists have found a 15,000 year-old hunters' camp site from the Paleolithic era near Lake Evoron in Russia's Far East, a source in the Khabarovsk archaeology museum said on Monday.

"The site dates back to the end of the Ice Age, a period which is poorly studied" Andrei Malyavin, chief of the museum's archaeology department said. "That is why any new site from this period is a discovery in itself."

The site, found during a 2007 archaeological expedition to Lake Evoron, is the largest of four Stone Age sites, discovered near the Amur River so far, and was most likely established by mammoth hunters.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007


Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum is to create an online centre for the study of Islamic and eastern art.

An unspecified but ‘substantial’ donation from philanthropist Mr Yousef Jameel will be used to create the Yousef Jameel Online Centre for Islamic and Eastern Art, aiming to broaden access to the museum’s renowned collection.

There are also plans to open a study centre of Islamic and eastern art at the Ashmolean along with a scholarship programme for students at the University of Oxford.

The online centre is planned to be ready in time for the completion of the museum’s current redevelopment in 2009.

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Archeologists Discovered a 10th Century Tomb in Pskov

Another chamber entombment dating back to the epoch of Princess Olga (approximately 10th century) has been found at the Starovoznesensky digging site in Pskov.

According to the director of Pskov Archeological Centre Elena Yakovleva, the grave is not smaller than the two other tombs discovered in the previous years.
“The findings are in a very bad condition; it is difficult to say whether the remains are those of a man or a woman” - she says. Most probably the buried person once belonged to a noble family.

Let us recall that in the end of 2003 a grave of a Scandinavian woman of the tenth century was found at the 4 meters depth. The archeologists called the finding “a Varangian guest”. The second similar tomb was excavated in 2006. In the course of digging works the archeologists found out that the entombment had been pillaged some centuries earlier.

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Das Klima schreibt Geschicht

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Behringer, der an der Universität des Saarlandes Geschichte der Frühen Neuzeit lehrt, hat die 20.000-jährige Kulturgeschichte des Klimas seit der letzten Eiszeit erforscht. Sein Fazit: Der Einfluss des Klimas auf die Geschichte wurde bislang unterschätzt.

Aufstieg und Niedergang ganzer Kulturen sieht Behringer vom Klima beeinflusst; die Hexenverfolgung sei ebenso durch das Klima mitverursacht wie der Beginn der industriellen Revolution.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Archaeological excavations on Monte S.Martino

Since a few days, the archaeological inquiry on the top of “San Martino” mount in Trentin, in the mountain range between Lomaso and Altogarda, undertaken by the Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage of the Independent Province of Trent, concerning the ancient fortress which was brought to light 4 years ago has restarted.

It is reachable by just one hour and a half on foot from Lundo, and it is bringing back to life a barbarian fortress, the last, isolated bulwark of the ancient Garda system and of the rich towns in the Po plain: Verona and Brescia.

The excavation campaign, which has reached its fourth year, will go on up to the end of August. The excavation site has reached an extreme importance: this is why the experts all around Europe are already promoting and studying this case.

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15th-century castle reopens to the public

A Highland castle with a bloody past reopened to the public yesterday after a three-year programme of safety and conservation work by Historic Scotland.

The 15th-century Auchindoun Castle near Dufftown in Moray was built for John, Earl of Mar, but he was imprisoned by his own brother, King James III, in 1479, and died in Craigmillar Castle south of Edinburgh.

Auchindoun Castle passed to Thomas Cochrane, one of the king's favourites, who himself came to an unpleasant end when he was hanged from Lauder Bridge in 1482 by jealous noblemen.

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Excavations to continue in Bitlis

Significant archaeological findings have been unearthed during this year's excavations in the eastern Anatolian province of Bitlis.

Head of excavations, Kadir Pektaş, from Denizli-based Pamukkale University said a number of coins, ceramic pieces and tobacco ringlets were found during excavations which focused on the bath, city walls in the East of the city and İç Kale (palace) region, speaking to the Anatolia news agency.

�This year we conducted the digs at three points in the region. We unearthed the rectangular shaped structures belonging to the 18th and 19th century in the bath area. The tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven, as well as some other findings here indicate that these structures used to be houses,� he said.

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The Iceman cometh amid debate over how he went

For 10 years Angelika Fleckinger has had an intimate relationship with a most unusual man.

Her partner? Otzi - the world famous Iceman whose mummified body was found in an alpine glacier on the border of Italy and Austria in 1991.

Fleckinger is the director of the Italian museum built in 1998 to house Otzi, who is 2000 years older than Tutankhamen. She has written three books about him. While other scientists might know more about their own specific areas of research, Fleckinger says, "I may be the person who is closest to the Iceman."

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The Scariest Thing about Neanderthals

Who knew the Weasley family trademark—a shock of bright red hair—was tens of thousands of years old?

Fictional wizards and J.K. Rowling aside, researchers Carles Lalueza-Fox of the University of Barcelona, Spain and Holger Rompler of the University of Leipzig in Germany announced last week that Neanderthals, who died out 35,000 years ago, had the same distribution of hair and skin color as modern human European populations. By inference, that means that about 1 percent of Neanderthals must have been redheads, with pale skin and freckles.

The idea of Neanderthals with red hair and freckles is just plain charming. But it's also scary because it underscores the fact that Neanderthals were so much like us, and now they're gone.

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Race is on to excavate monument

Archaeologists are in a race against time to excavate a 4,000-year-old burial ground discovered just 20ft from a crumbling cliff edge.

The Bronze Age barrow was unearthed at Peacehaven Heights, east of Brighton, where cliffs are eroding at the rate of 2ft a year.

The mound is inching ever closer to the edge and will begin falling 200ft into the sea within ten years.

Project leader Susan Birks said: "We are trying to uncover the barrow's secrets before it goes to a watery grave.

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Stonehenge's huge support settlement

Archaeologists working near Stonehenge have uncovered what they believe is the largest Neolithic settlement ever discovered in Northern Europe.

Remains of an estimated 300 houses are thought to survive under earthworks 3km (2 miles) from the famous stone rings, and 10 have been excavated so far.

But there could have been double that total according to the archaeologist leading the work.

"What is really exciting is realising just how big the village for the Stonehenge builders was," says Professor Mike Parker Pearson of Sheffield University.

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Body of child from Bronze Age found

THE remains of a Bronze Age child have been discovered by archaeologists carrying out a dig at a Suffolk school.

Culford School, in Culford, near Bury St Edmunds, asked for an archaeological survey to be carried out by Suffolk County Council's archaeological service before building work began on a new tennis court next to the school's sports centre.

Archaeologists, who have been working on the site for two weeks, first discovered some human teeth, then fragments of bone before finding a skull which is believed to be a child of seven or eight. It was discovered with a food vessel and some flints which archaeologists believe was left as an offering for the afterlife.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Sea Stallion from Glendalough: Newsletter 20

Newsletter 20. issue - November the 5th, 2007 from the Sea Stallion from Glendalough Website is now online.

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Archaeologists Unearth Rare State Seals from 1st Bulgarian Empire

Archaeologists have made a sensational finding on Saturday, dated back to the first Bulgarian Empire (years 681-1018) in the ancient Bulgarian capital of Pliska.

The team of archaeologists found state seals, which belonged to the rulers Simeon and Petar.

The interesting thing is that the seals were found in the base of one of the wooden fortified walls, quite far from the Tzar palace.

The archaeologists unearthed the findings, while they were having excavations at a chain of living and public buildings. The scientists were very surprised when, among the tools, the bone and medal jewelry and pots they found also archbishop and ruler's insignia.

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Video: Medieval Church Rolls 7 Miles

A flatbed trailer hauled a medieval church to its new home in eastern Germany. The technically ambitious move has cleared the original site for mining.

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Part of ancient wall ringing Rome collapses

ROME — A 6.5-metre ection of Rome's ancient Aurelian Wall collapsed near the capital's central train station after days of heavy rain, a conservation official said Friday.

The wall, part of a 16th century restoration, crumbled into a pile of bricks Thursday evening after water infiltrated the section, said Paola Virgili, an official in charge of the wall's restoration. No one was reported hurt.

The Aurelian Wall — named after the third century emperor who built it to defend the city against the first barbarian onslaughts — surrounds Rome with more than 17 kilometres of fortifications, towers and gates.

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