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    Posted: 08-Feb-2015 at 05:24

Mysterious Stone Carving May Contain Old Message


A weighty stone carved with a mysterious pattern that may be writing has been discovered in a garden in Leicester, England.

The hefty carving was up for sale as a garden ornament when archaeologist and TV presenter James Balme found it. The carving, which was very dirty, may have been plowed up many years ago, Balme said. Despite the carving's poor shape, he thought it was no ordinary ornament; so he purchased it and carefully cleaned it.

When he was done conserving it, Balme saw a stone carving with an extremely complex pattern that is difficult to describe. It's possible the "pattern carved may be some form of writing," Balme told Live Science in an email. The carving's use is unknown, though it could be "a keystone from an archway or indeed a vaulted ceiling," Balme said. [7 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth]

The carving, which weighs between 55 and 65 pounds (25 and 30 kilograms), appears to be made out of a hard form of sandstone, Balme said. It's wide at its base but get narrower toward the top. It stands about 18 inches (46 centimeters) high and is 5.5 inches (14 cm) thick. Its decorations are entirely on the front face "although it does have many chisel marks on the sides and back," he said. 

The date of the carving is uncertain. Balme says that it may date to the Anglo-Saxon period, which started in 410 when the Roman Empireabandoned Britain, and lasted until 1066, when a group called the Normans, led by William the Conqueror, invaded England.

During the Anglo-Saxon period several different groups migrated to England. These people created fine works of art such as complex stone carvings, some of which survive today. Literature also flourished at this time, the poem "Beowulf" being one of the most famous works from this period.

Although an Anglo-Saxon date for the stone carving is a distinct possibility, Balme cannot be certain. Questions also remain as to what exactly the carving was used for and whether the pattern may represent some form of writing. Balme has taken to Twitter, seeking help to unravel the carving's mysteries.

Garden ornament archaeology

"Garden ornament" may conjure up images of tacky gnomes or other modern-day items. However, over the past few years archaeologists studying garden ornaments have made several interesting discoveries. In 2009, the BBC reported on a garden ornament in Dorset that turned out to be an ancient Egyptian terracotta vase.

Another, more spectacular, example of garden ornament archaeology comes from the modern-day town of Migdal located near the Sea of Galilee in Israel. A team of archaeologists studied ancient architectural remains in Migdal that were being reused as garden ornaments or chairs. These remains aided them in discovering an ancient town, which would have flourished at the time of Christ.

So the next time you see an old garden ornament that seems out of place, remember, you may be looking at an interesting piece of history.

http://www.livescience.com/49721-mysterious-stone-carving-discovered.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 08-Feb-2015 at 05:28
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Jan-2015 at 23:29
Ancient Tomb Discovered in Downtown Varna

An ancient tomb has been discovered during repair works in the center of the Black Sea city of Varna.
The repair teams stumbled upon the tomb on Thursday. Its approximate whereabouts had been known since the beginning of the 20th century, the Bulgarian National Television reports. Back then, it was briefly explored but sealed as construction was ongoing throughout Varna. 

Archaeologists say the object, lying on Nezavisimost Square between the city theater and the State Archive, was located beyond the walls of Odesos, the ancient city that was once situated where Varna is now. 

An option to start restoration and include the tomb into the square's landscape.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jan-2015 at 17:36
One more Egyptian queen comes to us through the mist of time:
http://www.archaeology.org/news/2865-150105-egypt-queen-khentakawess-tomb-revealed
"...CAIRO, EGYPT—The BBC reports that archaeologists led by the Czech Institute of Egyptology's Miroslav Bárta have uncovered the tomb of a previously unknown queen at Abusir, the necropolis of the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis. Inscriptions on the tomb's walls indicate it was occupied by Queen Khentakawess, and its close proximity to the pyramid of the Pharaoh Neferefre, a Fifth Dynasty king who ruled briefly around 2460-2458 B.C., led the team to hypothesize she was probably Neferefre's wife and the mother of his successor. In addition to the inscriptions, the team discovered 23 limestone pots and four copper tools..."

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Dec-2014 at 02:14

Hittite rock inscription in Bolkar Mountain to be taken under protection

A 2,800-year-old Hittite inscription, which is on a rock in the Bolkar Mountain in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde and claimed to be the world’s oldest mining license, will be taken under protection. 
Niğde Culture and Tourism Director Tansel Tokmak said the 108-centimeter high and 186-centimeter wide inscription was from the late Hittite period, adding, “This region is rich in terms of the abundance of mineral. The inscription, which is estimated to have been written in the 8th century, is known as the first mining license in history. The first scientific work on the inscription was made by Professor Mustafa Kalaç in 1973. He said measures should be taken to protect it. In 2013, museum archaeologists examined the piece and said 8 percent of the inscription had been damaged.” 

Tokmak said they had initiated worked to take the necessary measures for the protection of the inscription. “It will be taken under protection. In the next level, the inscription will be copied and exhibited at the Niğde Museum as the ‘Bolkar Mine Inscription,’” he said. 

Niğde Museum Directorate archaeologist Mustafa Eryaman said mining activities in the region dated back to 2,800 years ago, and continued in the Roman, Byzantium, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republican eras. 

“The inscription, translated by Kalaç, writes that King Warpalavas gave the administration of the Bolkar Mountains to Prince Tarhunzas and wishes for the mountain to be productive,” said Tokmak.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2014 at 19:25

San Francisco's Deadliest Shipwreck Found

Coda Octopus' 3D Echoscope sonar was used to take profile and downward views of the SS City of Rio de Janeiro last month.

In dark waters just outside the Golden Gate Bridge, archaeologists have pinpointed the final resting place of the worst shipwreck in San Francisco's history.
New sonar maps show for the first time the mud-covered grave of the SS City of Rio de Janeiro, nearly 300 feet (91 meters) below the surface. The steamer sank on Feb. 22, 1901, just before reaching its destination, with 210 people on board, most of them Chinese and Japanese immigrants.
"The overwhelming response looking at the imagery of the Rio is one of sadness," said James Delgado, director of maritime heritage for National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. When the ship sank, "it was front-page news all over the world. It was a terrible tragedy," he said. 
The City of Rio spent two months at sea, making stops in Hong Kong; Yokohama, Japan; and Honolulu before returning to San Francisco. On the morning of the accident, pilot Frederick Jordan had been steering the 345-foot (105 m) steamer through theGolden Gate strait (three decades before construction on the bridge started). But under heavy fog, the City of Rio struck jagged rocks near Fort Point, at the southern end of the strait. The ship was badly damaged and sank within just 10 minutes, trapping many passengers riding in the cabin and in steerage. In total, 128 people were killed.

In the 1980s, a salvage team claimed to have found the shipwreck. However, the team lost its equipment trying to reach the underwater site, and later, it turned out that the coordinates the team recorded didn't match up with those of the wreck site, Delgado said.

Last month, the companies Hibbard Inshore and Bay Marine Services donated a research vessel and crew to NOAA for a day. The agency used the opportunity to look for the City of Rio using a 3D sonar device known as Echoscope developed by the company Coda Octopus. NOAA was able to find and map the City of Rio, and the crew even had time to map the nearby SS City of Chester, a wreck that was recently rediscovered.

The City of Chester, destined for Eureka, California, went down on Aug. 22, 1888, after colliding with the RMS Oceanic, a ship that was arriving from Asia. Of the 90 people on board, 16 were killed. Delgado and his team thought the City of Chester would be buried in mud, but instead, it's quite exposed, with its boilers and engines still mounted in place.

"You see the bones of the ship laid out," Delgado said. "You see the machinery in place in an environment that would otherwise be completely unknown and inaccessible."

In contrast, the City of Rio is in bad shape. The vessel is collapsing under a thick layer of mud. At some point since it sank, the ship's front half broke off and slid down a 65-foot (20 m) slope. Even without its mud coating, the ship would be nearly impossible to salvage with current technology because of its depth and the strong currents surrounding the wreck, Delgado said. In his view, the City of Rio is in a "sealed grave."

There are hundreds of shipwrecks just west of the Golden Gate Bridge. NOAA has recently embarked on a two-year mission to find and document those lost vessels in Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Agency officials say they've plotted about 200 wrecks so far.

http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/san-franciscos-deadliest-shipwreck-found-141213.htm





Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 24-Dec-2014 at 19:30
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Nov-2014 at 23:11

Ancient house with floor heating unearthed in southern Turkey

A Roman-era house that has been unearthed in the ancient city of Pisidia in the southern province of Isparta’s Yalvaç district used the floor heating system, archaeologists have said, adding that the house also had water and sewage systems.
“We determined that it is a two-story house, with a bath, sauna and floor-heating system. The whole floor of the house was heated up with the furnace. We also unearthed a water system in the house,” said Süleyman Demirel University Archaeology Department Professor Mehmet Özhanlı, who is heading the excavations in Pisidia, an important center of early Christianity.

The house, which was discovered last year and covers an area of nearly 2,000 square meters, was built in 25 B.C. and resembled a typical Anatolian house. 

The professor said the house had been used until the 11th century, adding that it was located on the avenue, which means that it was owned by a rich or notable Roman. “We don’t have more concrete data about it, but we know the building was home to many different civilizations until the 11th century,” he said. 

Özhanlı said traces showed that the house had been burned down. “Below the layer of fire we found Christian iconographic paintings on marble. It shows that the house was mostly used in the fourth century. Most probably, it was burned down during Arab raids in the eighth century,” he said.

Excavations have been continuing at Pisidia for the past five years.
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Medusa to gaze once more from mosaic

A mosaic of Medusa, the terrible creature of Greek mythology who turned all those who looked her to stone, is being restored in the southern province of Burdur

She may no longer turn people into stone, but Medusa continues to arrest onlookers; now, even more people will have a chance to glimpse at mythology’s most famous gorgon with completion nearing on the restoration of a mosaic at the ancient city of Kibyra in southern Turkey.
The mosaic of Medusa, the female mythological creature with snake hair and sharp teeth who turned all that gazed upon her to stone, was discovered in 2009 in Kibyra in the southern province of Burdur’s Gölhisar district. About 95 percent of the mosaic remains despite being around 1,800 years old.

Düzgün Tarkan, an academic from Mehmet Akif Ersoy University Archaeology Department, who is member of the archaeology team in the region, said the Medusa mosaic covered the orchestra ground of a 3,600-person capacity Odeon structure in the ancient city. 
He said the mosaic had been covered upon advice from Culture and Tourism Ministry experts so as to protect the artifact from winter conditions. 

“This year, after getting the necessary allocation from the ministry, we decided to work on the mosaic so as not to lose more time,” Tarkan said, adding that an Istanbul-based company had been working on the restoration of the mosaic for two months, with one month remaining.

He said they believed that the mosaic had suffered from a large fire in the ancient era. “In its original, it was covered with a wooden roof. This is why we believe that the timbers that fell during the fire burned the mosaic for days. The marble pieces that form the mosaic received great damage. Now we are merging them and the broken pieces are being attached to the mosaic.”

The mosaic was built as a protection mechanism, as many believed that even the face of Medusa could turn one to stone, he said. 

“This is the first time we have seen it in Kibyra. It is made of marble and this is why it is different. It is unique in the world in terms of its creation technique,” he said, noting that it was also remarkable that the mosaic had survived in its original location, something that rarely occurs.

“They are generally protected as a few broken pieces. Medusa is in its original place and this is very important for the country’s archaeology and culture,” he said, adding that the mosaic would be surrounded with glass after the restoration and displayed for visitors. 

The mosaic is 11 meters in length and its widest part is 4.35 centimeters, according to Tarkan.  
Archaeological excavations in Kibyra have been continuing since 2009, unearthing artifacts and relics of historical significance. The city, which was a regional power in the Hellenistic period, was founded in 330 B.C.
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Oct-2014 at 03:05

Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo Roman numerals mark a timber from the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.


A frigate carrying French colonists to the New World that sank in a storm off the Texas coast more than 300 years ago is being reassembled into a display that archeologists hope will let people walk over the hull and feel like they are on the ship's deck.

The 1686 wreck of the 54-foot oak frigate La Belle—in an expedition led by famed Mississippi River explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle—is blamed for dooming France's further exploration of what would become Texas and the American Southwest.

But La Salle's short-lived Fort St. Louis near the shipwreck site in Matagorda Bay, about 100 miles southwest of present-day Houston, also convinced Spain to boost its presence in the region to ward off a feared French territorial expansion.

"In a very real way, it's responsible for our Hispanic heritage we have today," said Jim Bruseth, curator of the La Belle project at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. "They had nobody here, and it started the process of settling Texas.

"History oftentimes turns on seemingly small events," Bruseth said. "We have that actual ship, the remains of it here, that's the icon of that event."

Beginning Saturday, visitors to the Austin museum will be able to watch Bruseth and other archaeologists put the wrecked ship back together and talk with them as they work. The reassembly is expected to be complete by spring.

"It's going to be a lot of fun. It's like a dinosaur, big and dynamic and magnetic," said Peter Fix, one of the assembly team members and chief conservator for Texas A&M University's Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation. "Once we get the framing up it's going to look like a big beached whale, a bone carcass. And that's dynamic and hopefully it will pique curiosity."



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo guest walk past a replica on the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.


The keel and other large structural pieces of La Belle—resembling old railroad ties—were discovered in 1995 by Texas Historical Commission archaeologists. Researchers built a dam around the site, pumped it dry, then retrieved the nearly intact hull that had been preserved in up to 6 feet of mud.

In 2012, the 600 waterlogged pieces were taken to Texas A&M, where the timber was stored at 60 degrees below zero in the world's largest archaeological freeze-dryer to remove more than three centuries of moisture.

Once the assembly is finished, the hull will be encased in a glass cabin-like structure so people can have the sensation of being on the ship's deck, peering into the hull and its cargo holds "and understand that they're not looking at just a bunch of dirty old boards," Fix said.

La Salle was the first European to travel the Mississippi River south to the Gulf, claiming all the land along the river and its tributaries for France in 1682. Three years later, he sailed from France with more than 300 colonists aboard four ships including La Belle to establish a settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi—a destination he missed by 400 miles.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo Peter Fix, one of the assembly team members and chief conservator for Texas A&M University's Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation, works to reassemble the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.


By then, one ship had been lost to pirates. Another ran aground and sank. A third eventually headed back to France, leaving La Belle as his only lifeline. That was severed with its sinking. Then the colony at Fort St. Louis was ravaged by disease, rattlesnakes, water shortages and Indians. Its inhabitants died or were killed while La Salle led a handful of men inland, where he wound up killed by some of them.

The museum exhibition also includes cannons and rifles, ammunition, cooking utensils, tools, building materials, trinkets like beads, bells and mirrors and even some of the 1,603 Jesuit rings recovered.

"We couldn't be any luckier in that sense," Bruseth said. "Rather than the ship being empty when it wrecked, everything he had left that you need for a colony was in the Belle."



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo a timber from the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle rests on a support where the ship is being reassembled at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo work to reassemble the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle begins at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo artifacts from the French frigate La Belle are displayed at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo a timber from the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle rests on a support where the ship is being reassemble at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo artifacts from the French frigate La Belle are displayed at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo ornate lifting handles decorate a bronze canon rescued from the French frigate La Belle on display at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo work to reassemble the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle begins at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.



In this Oct. 22, 2014 photo pieces of the 54-foot oak French frigate La Belle are laid out around a replica of the shipat the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas. Archaeologists are beginning to reassemble the remains of the ship recovered more than 300 years after the vessel was lost in a storm off the coast of Texas.

http://phys.org/news/2014-10-french-ship-reassembled-texas.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 27-Oct-2014 at 03:17
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  Quote Ollios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Oct-2014 at 12:44
Let a quick look to Archaeology News in Turkey

A Turkish citizen asked to local goverment that "Will the municipality of Rome protect this Byzantine graves" in this legal petition.

Now there is a project on the way

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_HCdqeBQg5LE/S0psjKPhyxI/AAAAAAAAEIc/NzgBdSoyXtA/s400/DSC00034b.JPG.jpeghttp://www.medyagunebakis.com/db/fotogaleri/147.talan_silivri_kapi_hipojesi.5.jpg

10.000 years old rock drowings are which is in Hakkari (near Iraq border) in the records now

http://i.milliyet.com.tr/YeniAnaResim/2014/10/21/fft99_mf4894260.Jpeg


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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Sep-2014 at 13:31
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''Massive Roman Coin Hoard Unearthed in England''

EAST DEVON, ENGLAND—Archaeologists and conservators from the British Museum have announced that an amateur metal detectorist has found one of the largest hoards of coins ever discovered in Britain. The hoard is comprised of no less than 22,000 coins dating to between A.D. 260 and 350 that were in very good condition when they emerged from the ground, Devon County Council archaeologist Bill Horner told The Independent. Since the hoard was found ten months ago—its discovery was kept quiet to avoid looting at the site while archaeologists conducted a proper excavation—the coins have been cleaned, identified, and catalogued. Many bear portraits of the family of the emperor Constantine and of the emperor himself. The Seaton Down Hoard, as it is now called, is thought to be the fifth largest find of Roman coins in Britain and one of the largest in the whole of the Roman Empire. To read more about another remarkable hoard found in Britain, see ARCHAEOLOGY’S “Anglo-Saxon Hoard.”

http://www.archaeology.org/news/
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Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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Ancient Last Supper charm found in John Rylands Library

A 1,500-year-old papyrus charm thought to be "the first ever found to refer to the Last Supper and use magic in the Christian context" has been discovered in the vaults of a Manchester library.

The fragment was found at the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library by researcher Dr Roberta Mazza.

Dr Mazza said it was an "incredibly rare example of the Bible becoming meaningful to ordinary people".

She said it would have been put in a locket to protect wearers from danger.

The document, written in Greek, has been held by the library since 1901, but was largely ignored until Dr Mazza came across it.

'Doubly fascinating'

On one side, it has a combination of biblical passages from the books of Psalms and Matthew, while on the other is part of a receipt for payment of grain tax.

Dr Mazza said the amulet maker "would have cut a piece of the receipt, written the charm on the other side and then folded the papyrus to be kept in a locket".

She said the use of written charms was an ancient Egyptian practice, which was adopted by early Christians, who replaced prayers to Egyptian and Greco-Roman gods with passages from the Bible.

The papyrus may have been originally owned by a villager living near Hermopolis - now called Al Ashmunin - in east Egypt and "we now think knowledge of the Bible was more embedded in sixth century AD Egypt than we realised," she said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-29028009

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2014 at 21:44

Göbeklitepe: The world’s oldest sculpture workshop

The world’s oldest discovered temple, Göbeklitepe, is also the oldest known sculpture workshop, according to excavation findings at the site, which have been ongoing for 20 years. 
The excavations at Göbeklitepe, which is located in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa and is described as the “zero point in history,” are being carried out by theGerman Archaeology Institute and the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry. Germanarchaeologist Klaus Schmidt, who died a few months ago, had been the head of the excavations. 

Associate Professor Cihat Kürkçüoğlu from the nearby Harran University’s (HRU) Arts and History Department, said works in Göbeklitepe had revealed human sculptures from the Neolithic age, wild boar, fox and bird limestone fossils, as well as many arrow heads made of tinderbox. 

Kürkçüoğlu said these findings revealed that the art of sculpture and stone relief dated back to 12,000 years ago. “These are the oldest monumental sculptures in the world,” he added. 

He said they had found small sculptures from between 10,000 and 20,000 B.C., called the “Venus sculptures,” but the stone reliefs on T-shaped stelas in Göbeklitepe and in the Nevali desert are “the oldest sculptures in the world.”

A 1.80 meter-high limestone sculpture, known as “Balıklıgöl Man” or “Urfa Man,” which was found during the excavations close to the Balıklıgöl lake in 1995, dated back to 10,000 B.C. 

“This shows us that Göbeklitepe is the birthplace of plastic arts. It is a temple but at the same time it’s the world’s oldest sculpture workshop. You expect primitive examples of stone sculptures but you find very improved, aesthetic and artistic sculptures. This surprised us greatly. Some compositions in Göbeklitepe are even good enough to make today’s graphics jealous. As the archaeological excavations progress, I believe we will find older prototypes,” he said. 

Kürkçüoğlu added that he had asked university groups visiting the ancient site to teach their students that the history of sculpture started at Göbeklitepe. “Just like the alphabet starts with A, the history of plastic arts starts with Göbeklitepe,” he said.
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2014 at 21:38
"...LAWRENCE, KANSAS—Rolfe Mandel and a team of students from the University of Kansas are waiting for the results of tests to date the sediment samples they took from the Coffey Site, located in northeast Kansas along Tuttle Creek. “It will tell us a lot about the history of the peopling of the Americas and in particular the peopling of the Great Plains, especially the Central Great Plains, where it’s been pretty much a black hole in terms of unraveling that story,” he told Phys.org. They are hoping to find evidence of Clovis and Pre-Clovis people. “We are talking about small family units, hunters and gatherers. It’s a group of five or six, maybe a little bit larger wandering across the landscape. They’re following herds of animals. ..."
http://www.archaeology.org/news/2477-140829-kansas-clovis-excavation
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2014 at 18:20
Prehistoric barbeque? Sounds smoky...
"...GALWAY, IRELAND—On Ireland's western coastline, archaeologists have unearthed an oaken structure that they suspect is a complete Bronze Age fulacht fiadh, or wooden cooking trough. The structure was was exposed by storms last winter and spotted by a local resident. "It is very significant, as it is unusual to find a fulacht fiadh at such a level of preservation, but the sea obviously conserved it when levels began to rise,” Ireland's Underwater Archaeology Unit's Finnbar Moore told the Irish Times. Radiocarbon dating of the structure puts its construction around 1700 B.C., when the area would have been covered in forests and lagoons...."

http://www.archaeology.org/news/2451-140820-ireland-fulaacht-fiadh-excavated
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Aug-2014 at 13:53

Archaeology: Fifth century Christian basilica found in Bulgaria’s Bourgas

Archaeologists working in the Kraimorie area of Bourgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast have found a Christian basilica said to date from the fifth century.

The discovery of the early Christian basilica is a rare one for Bulgaria, according to Milen Nikolov, leader of the Bourgas Regional History Museum team that made the find.

The church building is 19.5 metres long and 15 metres wide.

At the site, the archaeological team found a chamber for storing relics and a holy water vessel.

The find was announced at an August 7 news conference also attended by Todor Batkov, the business person who has a 200 million leva (about 100 million euro) project to build a residential and holiday complex in Kraimorie.

Batkov said that Bourgas municipality would apply for European Union funding for the preservation of antiquities. The archaeological studies at the site have been financed by one of Batkov’s companies, Foros Development AD, and carried out with logistical support from Bourgas municipality.

Nikolov said that he believed that the find confirmed Bourgas as an early Christian centre.

The museum said that the find was the most significant for the city this year and shed new light on the history of the region.

Other discoveries in the area have included a massive city wall, towers and the remains of a luxurious Roman villa adjoining the beach.

In 2013, archaeologists found an extremely rare stamp with the image of Mary, the mother of Jesus, which it was said to have been used to seal correspondence with the Patriarch of Constantinople.

http://sofiaglobe.com/2014/08/08/archaeology-fifth-century-christian-basilica-found-in-bulgarias-bourgas/

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  Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2014 at 00:25
I may have dated a sister, strong family resemblance.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                               Big smile
 
 
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jul-2014 at 22:44

Science and art bring back to life 300-million-year-old specimens of a primitive reptile-like vertebrate

Cranial reconstruction of Gephyrostegus bohemicus.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Lincoln

Paleontologists from the Natural History Museum and acedemics from Lincoln, Cambridge andSlovakia have recrated the cranial structure of a 308-million-year-old lizard-like vertebrate that could be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals. 

Dr Marcello Ruta, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, was one of the authors of the paper which is published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and produced a series of intricate hand-drawn recreations of the cranial structure ofGephyrostegus.

Paleontologists have provided a new cranial reconstruction of a long-extinct limbed vertebrate (tetrapod) from previously unrecognised specimens found in coal deposits from the Czech Republic.

The team of academics reviewed the cranial structural features of the Late Carboniferous Gephyrostegus bohemicus -- a small animal of generally lizard-like build that lived 308 million years ago.

This early tetrapod could be the earliest example of a reptile and explain the origin of amniotes, all vertebrates that belong to reptiles, birds and mammals.

Experts from, Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, The Natural History Museum in London, and the University of Lincoln, UK, have been able to study additional specimens unavailable in previous works.

Their aim was to provide an analysis of early tetrapod relationships incorporating their new observations of Gephyrostegus. Their analysis used skeletal traits across a sample of early tetrapod groups to identify the likely affinities of Gephyrostegus.

Their results are detailed in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Dr Marcello Ruta, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, was one of the authors and produced a series of intricate hand-drawn recreations of the cranial structure of Gephyrostegus.

He explained: "Gephyrostegus has always been an elusive beast. Several researchers have long considered the possibility that the superficially reptile-like features of this animal might tell us something about amniote ancestry. But Gephyrostegus also shows some much generalised skeletal features that make the issue of its origin even more problematic. We conducted a new study that brings together data from a large number of early tetrapods. The study shows that Gephyrostegus is closely related to another group of Eurasiatic and North American tetrapods called seymouriamorphs, also involved in debates about amniote ancestry. We found some interesting new cranial features in Gephyrostegus that helped us establish this link.

"Staring at specimens for a long time down a microscope and trying to make sense of their anatomy may be frustrating and tiring at times, but always immensely rewarding."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140721123739.htm



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 21-Jul-2014 at 22:53
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2014 at 06:58

New feathered predatory fossil sheds light on dinosaur flight

This is an illustration of newly discovered feathered dinosaur, Changyuraptor yangi.

A new raptorial dinosaur fossil with exceptionally long feathers has provided exciting insights into dinosaur flight. A paper published inNature Communications on July 15, 2014 asserts that the fossil -- discovered by an international team led by Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) paleontologist Dr. Luis Chiappe -- has a long feathered tail that Chiappe and co-authors believe was instrumental for decreasing descent speed and assuring safe landings.

The 125-million-year-old dinosaur, named Changyuraptor yangi, was found in the Liaoning Province of northeastern China. The location has seen a surge of discoveries in feathered dinosaurs over the last decade. The newly discovered, remarkably preserved dinosaur sports a full set of feathers cloaking its entire body, including the extra-long tail feathers. "At a foot in length, the amazing tail feathers of Changyuraptorare by far the longest of any feathered dinosaur," said Chiappe.

Analyses of the bone microstructure by University of Cape Town (South Africa) scientist, Dr. Anusuya Chinsamy, shows that the raptor was a fully grown adult, and tipping the scale at nine pounds, the four-foot-long Changyuraptor is the biggest of all four-winged dinosaurs. These microraptorine dinosaurs are dubbed "four-winged" because the long feathers attached to the legs have the appearance of a second set of wings. In fact, the long feathers attached to both legs and arms of these ancient predators have led researchers to conclude that the four-winged dinosaurs were capable of flying. "Numerous features that we have long associated with birds in fact evolved in dinosaurs long before the first birds arrived on the scene," said co-author Dr. Alan Turner of Stony Brook University (New York). "This includes things such as hollow bones, nesting behavior, feathers…and possibly flight."

How well these creatures used the sky as a thoroughfare has remained controversial. The new discovery explains the role that the tail feathers played during flight control. For larger flyers, safe landings are of particular importance. "It makes sense that the largest microraptorines had especially large tail feathers -- they would have needed the additional control," added Dr. Michael Habib, a researcher at the University of Southern California and a co-author of the paper.

The discovery of Changyuraptor consolidates the notion that flight preceded the origin of birds, being inherited by the latter from their dinosaurian forerunners. "The new fossil documents that dinosaur flight was not limited to very small animals but to dinosaurs of more substantial size," said Chiappe. "Clearly far more evidence is needed to understand the nuances of dinosaur flight, but Changyuraptor is a major leap in the right direction."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140715142407.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2014 at 09:05

Bones of elephant ancestor unearthed: Meet the gomphothere

Gomphothere mandible uncovered at El Fin del Mundo. Archaeologists working in northwestern Mexico were not sure what kind of animal they had unearthed until they found this telltale jawbone, which belonged to a gomphothere.

An animal once believed to have disappeared from North America before humans ever arrived there might actually have roamed the continent longer than previously thought -- and it was likely on the list of prey for some of continent's earliest humans, researchers from the University of Arizona and elsewhere have found.

Archaeologists have discovered artifacts of the prehistoric Clovis culture mingled with the bones of two gomphotheres, ancient ancestors of the elephant, at an archaeological site in northwestern Mexico.

The discovery suggests that the Clovis -- the earliest widespread group of hunter-gatherers to inhabit North America -- likely hunted and ate gomphotheres. The members of the Clovis culture were already well-known as hunters of the gomphotheres' cousins, mammoths and mastodons.

Although humans were known to have hunted gomphotheres in Central America and South America, this is the first time a human-gomphothere connection has been made in North America, says archaeologist Vance Holliday, who co-authored a new paper on the findings, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"This is the first archaeological gomphothere found in North America, and it's the only one known," said Holliday, a professor of anthropology and geology at the UA.

Holliday and colleagues from the U.S. and Mexico began excavating the skeletal remains of two juvenile gomphotheres in 2007 after ranchers alerted them that the bones had been found in northwestern Sonora, Mexico.

They didn't know at first what kind of animal they were dealing with.

"At first, just based on the size of the bone, we thought maybe it was a bison, because the extinct bison were a little bigger than our modern bison," Holliday said.

Then, in 2008, they discovered a jawbone with teeth, buried upside down in the dirt.

"We finally found the mandible, and that's what told the tale," Holliday said.

Gomphotheres were smaller than mammoths -- about the same size as modern elephants. They once were widespread in North America, but until now they seemed to have disappeared from the continent's fossil record long before humans arrived in North America, which happened some 13,000 to 13,500 years ago, during the late Ice Age.

However, the bones that Holliday and his colleagues uncovered date back 13,400 years, making them the last known gomphotheres in North America.

The gomphothere remains weren't all Holliday and his colleagues unearthed at the site, which they dubbed El Fin del Mundo -- Spanish for The End of the World -- because of its remote location.

As their excavation of the bones progressed, they also uncovered numerous Clovis artifacts, including signature Clovis projectile points, or spear tips, as well as cutting tools and flint flakes from stone tool-making. The Clovis culture is so named for its distinctive stone tools, first discovered by archaeologists near Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1930s.

Radiocarbon dating, done at the UA, puts the El Fin del Mundo site at about 13,400 years old, making it one of the two oldest known Clovis sites in North America; the other is the Aubrey Clovis site in north Texas.

The position and proximity of Clovis weapon fragments relative to the gomphothere bones at the site suggest that humans did in fact kill the two animals there. Of the seven Clovis points found at the site, four were in place among the bones, including one with bone and teeth fragments above and below. The other three points had clearly eroded away from the bone bed and were found scattered nearby.

"This is the first Clovis gomphothere, it's the first archaeological gomphothere found in North America, it's the first evidence that people were hunting gomphotheres in North America, and it adds another item to the Clovis menu," Holliday said.

The dig at El Fin del Mundo, a joint effort between the U.S. and Mexico, was funded by the UA School of Anthropology's Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund, the National Geographic Society, the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia and The Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson.

In addition to Holliday, authors of the PNAS paper include: lead author Guadalupe Sanchez, who has a doctorate in anthropology from the UA; UA alumni Edmund P. Gaines and Susan M. Mentzer; UA doctoral candidates Natalia Martínez-Tagüeña and Andrew Kowler; UA master's student Ismael Sanchez-Morales; UA scientists Todd Lange and Gregory Hodgins; and Joaquin Arroyo-Cabrales at the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140714152431.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Jul-2014 at 05:39

Five 6,000-year-old sarcophagi unearthed in western Turkey

Five sarcophagi approximated to be about 6,000 years old were uncovered during an excavation at a stone quarry in the western province of Afyonkarahisar's Sandıklı district.     
According to media reports, workers came across the sarcophagus while using heavy machinery to excavate a quarry. Upon discovering a sarcophagus, the workers immediately informed the Afyonkarahisar Archeology Museum about the historical items they had accidentally found. 
      
The museum's archeologists were then able to uncover four more sarcophagi during an excavation they conducted. 
    
Apart from the sarcophagi, the archeologists also found pieces of glass, plates and bones during the excavation. The museum will preserve the artifacts.
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