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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology news updates
    Posted: 15-Mar-2012 at 16:22

Ancient footprints found in peat at Borth beach

The footprints have been found in an area of exposed peat, along with holes which could have supported a causeway across ancient salt marshes

Human and animal fossilised footprints that may be from the Bronze Age have been exposed on a Ceredigion beach.

Archaeologists are racing against changing tides to record and excavate the find in peat at Borth, which gives a snapshot of a time when the shore lay further west.

The team believes the footprints could be 3,000 to 4,000 years old.

Staff and students from the University of Wales Trinity St David are carrying out the work.

Childs footprint and cast of itA child's footprint and the cast taken of it in the peat at Borth

As well as the footprints, a line of post holes has been found, which could have been a causeway.

They lie across an area that would have been salt marsh when the footprints were made.

The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments is providing survey support, mapping the extent of the peat and other exposed features.

Submerged forests have been found further north on the beach and nearby in the past.

Dr Martin Bates is one of the archaeologists leading the excavation team, and it was his father, retired geologist Denis Bates, who discovered the footprints last month.

Dr Bates told BBC Wales' news website: "My father has had an interest in submerged forests for many years.

"He was down in February as this part of the beach was very clear.

"For various reasons the patterns of sand movement have been temporarily altered and it means this area of beach has been stripped of sand.

"He noticed the marks and told me they didn't look natural."

Archaeologists and students carry out the work on Borth beach in a race against the tideArchaeologists and students carry out the work on Borth beach in a race against shifting sands

He estimates they have a window of a few months to log the discoveries and take samples away for environmental testing before the sands shift again and cover the footprints up.

"In the context of Ceredigion and west Wales, it's the first time we have found this type of evidence.

"The submerged forests [nearby] are probably the most significant in the UK.

"What we have never had before is documented evidence of human habitation."

'Quite special'

Dr Bates added that there were a range of footprints discovered, including cattle, sheep or goat and possibly a bear.

However the one which resonates with him is a print which belonged to a young child.

"We have got a footprint of a four-year-old's foot where we can see the toes and everything.

"I can stand where this child was standing about 4,000 years ago and even though we would have been seeing different things, the intimacy of that is quite special."

Work in previous years on submerged forests found on the area to the north has established that a forest was growing in the area between 3000 and 2500 BC.

The area was gradually waterlogged with peat growth. A number of finds in the area included a Mesolithic composite tool of antler, two flints, an auroch (extinct ox) skeleton and a piece of antler.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-17353470

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2012 at 16:27

Secrets of St Albans' Roman burial urns unlocked

Conservators have excavated the urns on a microscopic scale and detailed their contents

CT scanners are being used to help unlock the secrets of five Roman burial urns that were discovered at a housing development in Hertfordshire.

Conservators at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre were called in by archaeologists excavating at King Harry Lane in St Albans.

Work is being done to discover whether the remains inside the cremation urns belong to adults or children.

The urns were found at the entrance to a late Iron Age defended settlement.

Micro-excavation

Kelly Abbott, contract conservator with the Wiltshire Council Conservation Service, said: "Unlocking the mystery of these urns could provide a fascinating glimpse of life during the time of the Roman Conquest.

"Two of the urns contained bones which could be human. An osteoarchaeologist will now examine the bones and help provide even more detail."

Using the CT images to guide them, the conservators have detailed the contents of the urns and made the finds stable.

Once the cremations have been removed from the urns, the bones will be cleaned and dried under laboratory conditions.

The information gathered from this micro-excavation will then be sent to the archaeologists who will be able to interpret the evidence alongside the archaeology already discovered.

Archaeologists have determined that the site at King Harry Lane, was of significant importance.

St Albans, known as Verulamium, was a key site in the Roman period and as such, these cremation urns, along with the other archaeology on the site, are seen to be nationally important.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-17366284

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2012 at 16:29
Canadian archeologists unearth rare wooden statue of pharaoh

A team of Canadian archeologists has unearthed a rare wooden statue of a pharaoh at a dig site in southern Egypt, and clues suggest the figure may be an important new representation of Hatshepsut — the great female king who enjoyed a long and successful reign about 3,500 years ago, but was almost erased from history by a male successor trying to secure his own power.

Researchers led by University of Toronto archeologist Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner also exposed two previously unknown religious buildings and found dozens of animal mummies — including cats, sheep and dogs — during a hugely successful excavation last summer near the ancient city of Abydos.

Pouls Wegner told Postmedia News on Tuesday that the discoveries, made in the midst of modern Egypt's ongoing political revolution, led to some "tense moments" as the Canadian researchers negotiated with Egyptian antiquity experts and security officials about how best to unbury the statue and ensure its preservation during a period of national upheaval.

"We couldn't believe it," she said, recalling the day the statue was unearthed at the ancient cult centre near a famous temple dedicated to Osiris, god of the afterlife. "It was lying face down and we were really excited, but we wanted to make sure it would be safe. And because of the unrest, the chain of command was not entirely clear."

The royal statue — thought to have been used as a lightweight alternative to stone for ritual processions — and the other artifacts found at Abydos were placed under guard and eventually given crucial attention by conservation experts.

The discovery, announced recently at a meeting of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, is to be fully detailed in a forthcoming publication.

The pharaonic figure is not obviously a female, said Pouls Wegner, but is notable for its "smaller waist" and the "more delicate modelling of the chin."

These attributes were typically reserved for female subjects in Egyptian art. And because Hatshepsut was traditionally depicted in the manner of a male pharaoh, such subtle clues are often used by experts to confirm her identity in stone statues and other imagery, she said.

But relatively few depictions of Hatshepsut have survived because of a concerted effort by her stepson and immediate successor — Tuthmosis III — to erase all prominent images of the female ruler. Many experts believe the campaign of destruction was carried out so Tuthmosis could claim credit for Hatshepsut's achievements and suppress challenges towards the legitimacy of his own rule.

Hatshepsut had initially assumed power in Ancient Egypt after the death of her husband, Tuthmosis II, and before Tuthmosis III was old enough to perform his kingly duties.

But she soon consolidated her position as pharaoh and ended up ruling for about 22 years, directing wars, key trade agreements and the construction of many major monuments.

"I do think there was a problem with having two rulers at the same time," said Pouls Wegner, explaining why Hatshepsut's successor may have felt compelled to obliterate his stepmother from Ancient Egypt's pharaonic iconography.

But "she is one of the most fascinating rulers," Pouls Wegner noted, "first because she was a woman and second because so many of her monuments have been defaced."

Pouls Wegner said she hopes to pursue further research aimed at identifying the type of wood used to carve the statue and to conduct carbon dating on the object to more precisely pin down its age.

Pouls Wegner's research team included three archeologists from the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, U.S. illustrator Tamara Bower and University of Toronto graduate students Meredith Brand, Amber Hutchinson, Christina Geisen and Janet Khuu.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/technology/Canadian+archeologists+unearth+rare+wooden+statue+pharaoh/6296272/story.html






Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 15-Mar-2012 at 16:33
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2012 at 16:37

Trial fails to end "brother" of Jesus burial mystery

The authenticity of a burial box purported to have been for the "brother" of Jesus Christ remained shrouded in mystery on Wednesday after a Jerusalem court acquitted an Israeli private collector of charges he forged the artifact.

The court, in finding Oded Golan not guilty, noted that expert witnesses could not agree on whether an inscription on the 2,000-year-old limestone box which reads: "James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus", was genuine or had been forged.

The authenticity of the so-called "James ossuary" will likely "continue to be investigated in the archaeological and scientific arena, and time will tell", the court said.

The decade-long mystery has haunted archaeologists and religious scholars worldwide. It has focused on what could be the earliest, most concrete evidence of Jesus's life in Jerusalem and suspicions of the most sophisticated of forgeries.

The saga began in 2002 when Golan, supported by Andre Lemaire, a renowned French scholar of ancient texts, said the ossuary, a limestone box for storing bones of the dead, had on its side the inscription "James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus".

James, who was believed to have been stoned to death in 62 AD, is mentioned in the Gospels as Jesus' brother. But the Roman Catholic and other Christian churches believe Jesus had no siblings.

Around the same time, another of Golan's artifacts surfaced, the Jehoash Inscription. It is a stone tablet supposedly carved with a Hebrew text that describes renovation work on the first biblical temple by King Jehoash nearly 3,000 years ago.

The trial shed no light on where or how the artifacts were discovered. Golan said he obtained the ossuary and tablet from Arab traders in East Jerusalem.

HOAX?

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) that oversees all excavation work in Israel called it all a hoax, saying the circumstances of the discovery of the two items were unclear and never properly documented.

In 2003, two IAA committees, including experts on inscriptions, burial customs, geology and restoration, found that while the ossuary may be genuine, the inscriptions were forgeries.

"I am glad that I was found innocent of all the very serious allegations that I had to face during the last seven years," Golan told Reuters after the final court session.

Skeptics accused Golan of exploiting religious beliefs and academic interest to make money, and the IAA recommended the state investigate. In 2004, Golan was indicted.

Amir Ganor, head of the IAA's Robbery Prevention Unit, told Reuters that while the court may have been unable to rule conclusively on the authenticity of the ossuary's inscription, the case had led museums and universities to cast a more critical eye on the origins of artifacts they received.

He also said the high-profile case had led to a steep drop in the number of robberies at archaeological sites in the Holy Land.

A year ago, when speculation about the case was high and both sides were waiting for the court to render its verdict, Gideon Avni, the IAA's Director of the Excavations and Surveys, summed up how the tale of a sensational discovery and suspected forgery has refused to go away.

"From the retrospect of almost a decade, the stories of the 'Brother of Jesus' ossuary and the 'Jehoash Inscription' will probably be recorded as an insignificant footnote in the history of the archaeological research of the Holy Land," Avni, wrote on the website The Bible and Interpretation.

"Nevertheless ... they are still likely to arouse the imagination of future mystery writers and filmmakers who, in the style of Indiana Jones, might make a decent living from the intriguing plot which has all the ingredients of a fascinating detective story."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/14/us-israel-archaeology-idUSBRE82D0XO20120314

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  Quote unclefred Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 11:25

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/14/us-israel-archaeology-idUSBRE82D0XO20120314


The authenticity of a burial box purported to have been for the "brother" of Jesus Christ remained shrouded in mystery on Wednesday after a Jerusalem court acquitted an Israeli private collector of charges he forged the artifact.

The court, in finding Oded Golan not guilty, noted that expert witnesses could not agree on whether an inscription on the 2,000-year-old limestone box which reads: "James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus", was genuine or had been forged.

The authenticity of the so-called "James ossuary" will likely "continue to be investigated in the archaeological and scientific arena, and time will tell", the court said.

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 18:00

'World's Oldest Temple' May Have Been Cosmopolitan Center



Ancient blades made of volcanic rock that were discovered at what may be the world's oldest temple suggest that the site in Turkey was the hub of a pilgrimage  that attracted a cosmopolitan group of people some 11,000 years ago.

The researchers matched up about 130 of the blades, which would have been used as tools, with their source volcanoes, finding people would have come from far and wide to congregate at theancient temple site, Göbekli Tepe, in southern Turkey. The blades are made of obsidian, a volcanic glass rich with silica, which forms when lava cools quickly.

The research was presented in February at the 7th International Conference on the Chipped and Ground Stone Industries of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic in Barcelona, Spain. 

Only a tiny portion of Göbekli Tepe has been excavated so far, but what has been unearthed has been hailed by archaeologists as astounding for its great age and artistry.The site contains at least 20 stone rings, one circle built inside another, with diameters ranging from 30 to 100 feet (10 to 30 meters). The researchers suspect people would fill in the outer ring with debris before building a new circle within. [Aerial Photos: Mysterious Stone Structures]

T-shaped limestone blocks line the circles, and at their center are two massive pillars about 18 feet (5.5 m) tall. Statues and reliefs of people and animals were carved on these blocks and pillars. "Some of the stones [the big pillars] are bigger than Stonehenge," said Tristan Carter, one of the obsidian researchers and a professor of anthropology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. (Research on the site has been ongoing since 1994 and is led by Klaus Schmidt of the German Archaeological Institute.)

Even more puzzling is what has not been found. The buildings contain no hearths and the plant and animal remains there show no signs of domestication. Also, so far there have been no buildings found that archaeologists can confirm were used for everyday living.

Taken together, the research indicates the site was created by hunter-gatherers, rather than farmers, who came from across a large area to build and then visit the site for religious purposes. This research is backed up by the style of some of the obsidian andstone tools which suggest that people were coming from Iraq, Iran, the Middle Euphrates and the eastern Mediterranean.

The discoveries made at Göbekli Tepe over the past two decades have led to a great deal of debate. Ted Banning, a professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto in Canada recently published a paper in the journal Current Anthropology arguing that interpretations of the site may be off. Banning suggests the stone-ring structures may have been roofed and used as houses, albeit ones filled with art that may have served as both a domestic space and religious area.He also suggests that the people of Göbekli Tepe could have been growing crops, pointing out that some of the stone tools would have been useful for harvesting and that, at such an early point in history, it is difficult to tell the difference between wild plants and animals and those that humans were trying to domesticate.

Banning told LiveScience that he needs to review the team's latest obsidian results before he can give an informed comment on it.

Volcanic evidence

To try to solve some of the mysteries surrounding the site, Carter's team has used a combination of scientific tests to match up the chemical composition of the artifacts to the volcanoes from which the obsidian originally came.

"The real strength of our work is this incredible specificity; we can say exactly which mountain it comes from, and sometimes even which flank of the volcano," Carter told LiveScience in an interview.  [History's Most Destructive Volcanoes]

At least three of the obsidian sources are located in central Turkey, in a region called Cappadocia, which is located nearly 300 miles (500 km) away from Göbekli Tepe. At least three other sources are from the eastern part of the country, close to Lake Van, about 150 miles (250 km) away from the site. Yet another source is located in northeast Turkey, also about 300 miles (500 km).

Researchers say that what make these results special are not so much the distances involved — 300 miles would be a trip from New York City to Buffalo, N.Y., sans any domesticated horses — but rather the sheer variety of obsidian sources used.

"It's an aberration," Carter said. The obsidian finds back up "the idea of many people from many different areas coming to the site," he said.

More mystery

He cautioned that just because some of the obsidian came from such distant sources, that doesn't mean that people were actually travelling directly from these regions to Göbekli Tepe. The obsidian may have been acquired by way of trade, turned into a tool, and then brought to the site.

To try to resolve this problem, the team is also looking at the way the obsidian tools were made. For example, they found that obsidian artifacts sourced to Cappadocia, in central Turkey, tend to be stylistically similar to artifacts found to the south of Göbekli Tepe in the Middle Euphrates region of Mesopotamia. Also some of the obsidian artifacts sourced to eastern Turkey, the Lake Van region, have similarities to those made in Iraq and Iran. Altogether, these finds suggest that some of the obsidian made its way south and east (possibly through trade) before it was turned into tools and brought to the site, another clue as to where people were coming from.

Though more research is needed to make any conclusive statements, if the team is right, then Göbekli Tepe was indeed something grand, a place of pilgrimage more than 11,000 years old that attracted people from across the region.

"If Professor Schmidt is correct, this represents a very cosmopolitan area, this is almost the nodal point of the Near East," Carter said. "In theory, you could have people with different languages, very different cultures, coming together."

The obsidian samples were analyzed at facilities at the Musée du Louvre in Paris and McMaster University. In addition to Carter and Schmidt, the team includes François-Xavier Le Bourdonnec and Gérard Poupeau of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

http://www.livescience.com/19085-world-oldest-temple-tools-pilgrimage.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 16-Mar-2012 at 18:01
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 18:05

British archaeologists discover 7th-century teenager buried in her bed

Archaeologists excavating near Cambridge have stumbled upon a rare and mysterious find: The skeleton of a 7th-century teenager buried in an ornamental bed along with a gold-and-garnet cross, an iron knife and a purse full of glass beads.

Experts say the grave is an example of an unusual Anglo-Saxon funerary practice of which very little is known. Just over a dozen of these “bed burials” have been found in Britain, and it’s one of only two in which a pectoral cross — meant to be worn over the chest — has been discovered.

One archaeologist said the burial opened a window into the transitional period when the pagan Anglo-Saxons were gradually adopting Christianity.

“We are right at the brink of the coming of Christianity back to England,” said Alison Dickens, the manager of Cambridge University’s Archaeological Unit. “What we have here is a very early adopter.”

The grave, dated between 650 and 680 A.D., was discovered about a year ago in a corner of Trumpington Meadows, a rural area just outside Cambridge that is slated for development.

Dickens said the teen’s grave was interesting because it had a mix of traditional grave goods — the knife, as well as a chain thought to hold a purse full of beads — along with a powerful symbol of Christian devotion.

The grave, she said, indicated “the beginning of the end of one belief system, and the beginning of another.”

The teenager’s jewelry — a solid gold cross about 3 1/2 centimeters (1 1/2 inches) wide, set with cut garnets — marks her out as a member of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy. She was about 15, but her skeleton hasn’t yet been subjected to radiocarbon dating or isotopic analysis. Those techniques might help experts determine where and under what circumstances she grew up.

Howard Williams, a professor of archaeology at the University of Chester who is not connected to the discovery, said bed burials were very rare. He noted that they were an irregular feature of wealthy female graves in England and mainland Europe, suggesting that Anglo-Saxons may have looked across the Channel for inspiration.

“It’s part of a broader pan-European elite identity in life and in death,” he said.

Three sets of Anglo-Saxon remains were also found nearby, but it’s not clear to what degree any of the people buried there were related. As for the bed itself, there’s little left of it other than its iron fittings.

The rationale behind bed burials remains a matter of speculation.

“The word in Old English for ‘bed’ and ‘grave’ is the same because it’s ‘the place where you lie,’” Dickens said. “It is interesting that you have that association. You’re lying there — but just for a much longer time, I suppose.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/final-resting-place-british-archaeologists-discover-7th-century-teenager-buried-in-her-bed/2012/03/15/gIQAspAFES_story.html

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 18:09

Cross-dressing pharaoh found in her feminine form

Hatshepsut ruled Egypt in the 15th century BC in a relatively long and prosperous reign. Despite her success as a female pharaoh, she is often depicted as a man in statues because the belief that pharaohs were sons of the god Amon-Re. Hatshepsut also dressed as a man to meet this expectation.

A statue uncovered in Abydos, Egypt, is thought to show her more feminine side.

An expedition led by a team from the University of Toronto, Canada, found a wooden statue of a king, thought to represent this powerful woman because of its distinctly feminine features: a smaller waist and delicate jawline.

The find also included a private offering chapel, a monumental building and the remains of over 80 animal mummies.

The chapel, where the wooden statue was found, was close to a processional route. The team leader, Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner, said it was used for a long period - 1990-1650 BC.

"The offering chapel proves that people - probably elites - were able to build monuments right next to the processional route in the Middle Kingdom, and that at least one such chapel was allowed to stand in this increasingly densely built-up area and continued to receive offerings even 800 years after its initial construction," says Pouls Wegner.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2012/03/cross-dressing-pharoah-found-i.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 18:17

Restoration Completed on the World’s Oldest Major Parliament


"...After the largest archaeological restoration project in Turkish history, taking over two years and costing 7.5 million Turkish liras to complete, the Lycian League Parliament building in Patara has regained the glory of its history. The democratic parliament hosted representatives from every city of the Lycian League,* a large confederation in southern Anatolia that defined many aspects of the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras. Patara is remembered not only as a political center cited by Enlightenment thinkers as an ancient model for modern democracies, but also as an important site for early Christianity. In the New Testament, Paul and Luke change ships in Patara’s port, and the early Christianized city was the birthplace of St. Nicholas. The parliament’s restoration, carried out under the guidance of Antalya University’s archaeology department, repaired the structure’s 130-foot-long walls, gates, and stone benches, which once seated the democratically elected representatives of the ancient league. Restoration Completed on the World’s Oldest Major Parliament..."
http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/news/restoration-completed-on-the-world%E2%80%99s-oldest-major-parliament/?__utma=1.1625222422.1331939114.1331939114.1331939114.1&__utmb=1.3.10.1331939114&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1331939114.1.1.utmcsr=googleutmccn=organicutmcmd=organicutmctr=billicalarcheology&__utmv=-&__utmk=96951967


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Mar-2012 at 18:36

Excavation Starts At 800 Year Old Mound Of Down


One of Northern Ireland’s most impressive, but mysterious, ancient monuments will shortly reveal its secrets. 
Environment Minister Alex Attwood said work has started on trial excavations at the Mound of Down, a monument on the edge of the Quoile marshes on the outskirts of Downpatrick.

The Mound is a huge earthwork with a massive bank and ditch enclosing an area of over three acres. Within the enclosure is a second U-shaped mound around 12.5 metres high, which affords commanding views over the surrounding countryside.

Commenting on the start of the excavation, Alex Attwood said: "The Mound of Down is one of our most important and impressive ancient monuments yet very little is known of its origins or use. One theory is that it was a royal stronghold and that it was built by John de Courcy, the Anglo-Norman knight who led the Norman invasion of Ulster, soon after his victory in the area in 1177. I am hopeful that the Mound will soon begin to give up its secrets and that excavation of the site will reveal why and when it was built. A geophysical survey – familiar to anyone who watches Channel 4’s “Time Team” programme - has already helped to define the excavation trenches.
"A monument of such antiquity and importance deserves to be better known so to help prepare for the excavation, a lot of the vegetation which had covered the site and hidden it from view,has been removed. This has opened up tremendous views from the summit of the Mound and made it more accessible to visitors.

"Further work in 2012 will improve the pathways and new information panels will outline the area’s amazing archaeology and natural heritage attractions."

Mr Attwood also said that this important excavation will provide an excellent opportunity to tell local schoolchildren more about archaeology.

He said: "Students from several local primary schools will have a unique opportunity to see an important “dig” at close quarters and will be able to get involved in a real excavation. After being briefed in the Down County Museum, the students will be able to work – under supervision - in their own trenches. Volunteers form the local branch of the Young Archaeologists Club will also be involved."

Dr John O’Keeffe, Principal Archaeologist in NIEA explained: "The Mound of Down project is an excellent example of how we aim to work with other heritage bodies, such as local councils and universities, as well as local communities, to promote our built heritage. We particularly welcome the chance to work with local schools and interest groups in a practical and enjoyable way."


Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 16-Mar-2012 at 18:39
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2012 at 10:26

Scientists find ancient camel fossils in Panama

Digging History-Published March 15, 2012-Associated Press


MIAMI –  Researchers scratching in the sediment during the historic expansion of the Panama Canal say they have discovered the fossils of a small camel with a long snout that roamed the tropical rainforests of the isthmus some 20 million years ago.
  The ancient camel had no hump and one of the two species found appeared to stand only about two feet tall, scientists reported in a recently published article in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
  University of Florida researcher Aldo Rincon, a doctoral student in geology, discovered the fossils during the canal's widening to accommodate hulking new cargo ships that will soon ply the waterway. He and a group of other scientists from Panama, the United States and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute also reported finding fossils of ancient marlins, turtles and horses.  "We never expected to find a camel there," said Smithsonian scientist Carlos Jaramillo, co-author of the journal article. "It's really, really a surprise."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/15/scientists-find-ancient-camel-fossils-in-panama/#ixzz1pO7vNKxw
 




Edited by tjadams - 17-Mar-2012 at 10:27
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2012 at 10:29

Miniature 'triceratops' ancestor discovered

Written By Jennifer Welsh-Published March 16, 2012-LiveScience


The oldest and smallest horned dinosaur in North America finally gets a name after decades of research.

The little horned dinosaur (Gryphoceratops morrisoni), measuring 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) long, lived about 83 million years ago. The new study, published in the journal Cretaceous Research on Jan 24, also details another newly named species of horned dinosaurUnescopceratops koppelhusae, which lived 75 million years ago, in what is now Alberta, Canada.

"These dinosaurs fill important gaps in the evolutionary history of small-bodied horned dinosaurs that lack the large horns and frills of relatives like Triceratops from North America," study researcher Michael Ryan, curator at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said in a statement.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/16/miniature-triceratops-ancestor-discovered/#ixzz1pO8hI1Nk



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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2012 at 23:22

Neolithic pottery at Culduthel section of Inverness flood scheme

Neolithic pottery shred. Pic: Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services
Grooved Neolithic pottery found at the flood relief site

Neolithic pottery excavated ahead of work on a £16m flood scheme has added to archaeologists' understanding of a city's past.

Pits containing fragments of ceramics were recovered from the site in the Culduthel area of Inverness.

Archaeologists were brought in ahead of construction of phase three of the city's south west flood relief channel.

Iron Age weapons and a Romano-British brooch have been found previously at other sites nearby.

Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services carried out an assessment of the flood scheme site between December 2010 and January 2011.

The archaeologists' report on what they found has been published online.

Six Neolithic pots were identified and fragments of pottery from the early to middle Neolithic and later Neolithic grooved ware were recovered.

Other finds included a piece of polished stone axe, half of a stone ball and a possible fragment of an anvil stone.

Glass beads

Culduthel is rich in archaeological sites.

Flints and prehistoric pottery were found nearby in 2009 and 2010.

Between 2005 and 2007, significant finds were made at Culduthel Mains Farm, which is now a housing development.

A high-status Iron Age metal-working site with well preserved roundhouses and iron-smelting furnaces was recorded there.

Glass beads, iron weapons and a Romano-British brooch were found along with evidence of an oval-shaped palisade enclosure nearby.

In its report, Ross and Cromarty Archaeological Services said the latest discoveries were "important evidence" to add to what was already known about Culduthel's past.

The archaeologists added that the south west side of Inverness and the Great Glen was a "very important" prehistoric landscape.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-17397694

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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2012 at 13:16

Satellites spy thousands of ancient human settlements

Written By Wynne Parry-Published March 20, 2012-LiveScience


Ancient humans have changed the landscape around their settlements in such ways that even today archaeologists can distinguish between "lived in" spots and those never occupied by humans.

Now, two scientists have figured out a more efficient way of locating these sites, via their footprints, from space.

The scientists relied on two distinct features of ancient settlements in the Near East: soils altered by human activity and little hills that formed over time as residents successively built on top of older structures. By examining satellite images for these two features, they have found evidence of about 9,500 possible human settlements across an area of 8,880 square miles (23,000 square kilometers) in northern Mesopotamia, located in the northeast of modern Syria.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/20/satellites-spy-thousands-ancient-human-settlements/#ixzz1pgMVY9cK
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2012 at 23:41

Bulgarian Archaeologists Claim Oldest Monastery in Europe

Bulgaria: Bulgarian Archaeologists Claim Oldest Monastery in Europe
The ancient shrine at the St. Athanasius monastery in Bulgaria's Stara Zagora region

Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the oldest Christian monastery in Europea near the village of Zlatna Livada in southern Bulgaria.

According to latest archaeological research, the St. Athanasiusmonastery, still functioning near the village, has been founded in 344 bySt. Athanasius himself, reports the BGNES agency.

Until now, the Candida Casa monastery, founded in 371 AD in Galloway, Scotland, was believed to be the oldest Christian monastery in Europe, followed by the St. Martin monastery in the Pyrénées-Orientales, France (373 AD).

Archaeologists have examined objects in a hermit's cave and shrine located near the present St. Athanasius monastery in Bulgaria, and found evidence that the great saint might have resided there.

Additional studies in archives at the Vatican have confirmed that St. Athanasiuswas present at the Church Council in Serdica (modern Sofia) in 343 AD.

He then travelled on to Constantinople and is believed to have stopped in the area of present Zlatna Livada, which is located in Thrace on the ancient way betweenSerdica and Constantinople.

The small village of Zlatna Livada (pop. 123) is located near the Bulgarian town ofChirpanStara Zagora region.

St. Athanasius of Alexandria (296/8-373) was for a long time Bishop ofAlexandria, and is revered as one of the greatest Christian saints.

He did extensive work in theology and was one of the key figures in establishing the dogmata of Christian faith that are still accepted by Eastern OrthodoxCatholicand Protestant Christians alike.

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=137665

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2012 at 18:29

Beer and Bling in Iron Age Europe

Collaborating with the State Monuments Office in Tübingen, Germany, UW-Milwaukee Professor Bettina Arnold has excavated Iron-Age burial mounds in an area of southwest Germany where pre-Roman Celtic people lived.

If you wanted to get ahead in Iron-Age Central Europe you would use a strategy that still works today -- dress to impress and throw parties with free alcohol.

Pre-Roman Celtic people practiced what archaeologist Bettina Arnold calls "competitive feasting," in which people vying for social and political status tried to outdo one another through power partying.

Artifacts recovered from two 2,600-year-old Celtic burial mounds in southwest Germany, including items for personal adornment and vessels for alcohol, offer a glimpse of how these people lived in a time before written records were kept.

That was the aim of the more than 10-year research project, says Arnold, anthropology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and co-director of a field excavation at the Heuneburg hillfort in German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The work was partially funded by the National Geographic Society and Arnold collaborated with the State Monuments Office in Tübingen, Germany.

In fact, based on the drinking vessels found in graves near the hillfort settlement and other imported objects, archaeologists have concluded the central European Celts were trading with people from around the Mediterranean.

Braü or mead?

"Beer was the barbarian's beverage, while wine was more for the elite, especially if you lived near a trade route," says Kevin Cullen, an archaeology project associate at Discovery World in Milwaukee and a former graduate student of Arnold's.

Since grapes had not yet been introduced to central Europe, imported grape wine would indicated the most social status. The Celts also made their own honey-based wine, or mead, flavored with herbs and flowers, that would have been more expensive than beer, but less so than grape wine.......

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120319163710.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2012 at 18:50
Remarkable Russian Petroglyphs
Remarkable Russian Petroglyphs
Jan Magne Gjerde records petroglyphs on plastic sheeting.

Artefacts are usually displayed in museums but sometimes there are some that just can’t be put on exhibition – as is the case with one that is hidden deep in the Russian forests.

It was known that there were rock carvings on some islands in Lake Kanozero, and Jan Magne Gjerde, project manager at the Tromsø University Museum, went out there to document them as part of his doctoral work however, when he and his colleagues had completed their work, the number of known petroglyphs had risen from 200 to over 1,000.

“I still get chills up my spine when I talk about it because it was such an emotional experience finding these carvings,” says Gjerde. “No matter how much I explore over the next 50 years, chances are close to zero that I’ll ever find anything comparable.”.........

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/03/2012/remarkable-russian-petroglyphs




Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 21-Mar-2012 at 18:59
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2012 at 19:05

Yale Researchers Develop New Form Of MRI For Inside Look At Bones, Rocks

Traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is effective for brains, muscles and the heart, but falls short when it comes to bones and other things that lack water.

Now, Yale researchers say they've developed a form of MRI that can help researchers see better into the insides of bones and other solid objects.

For now, though, it can't be used on living beings, because of the amount of heat that the process generates. But the researchers say that it could be very useful for archaeologists examining things like rocks.

The team of researchers led by Sean Barrett, a professor of physics and applied physics at Yale, described the process in a paper published Monday in the journal PNAS (http://bit.ly/xEWC9b, abstract only).

Standard MRI, which has been in use since the late 1970s, targets hydrogen atoms. The MRI developed by Barrett and his team targets the atoms of such elements as phosphorus, silicon and carbon, so that it could be useful for examining bones and certain rocks.


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2012 at 23:40

Extensive Medieval Town in Azerbaijan Uncovered by Archaeologists

Large-scale archaeological excavations conducted in 2010 and 2011 at the site of Agsu in Azerbaijan have revealed an extensive medieval 18th century town rich in architectural remains and artifacts, depicting a settlement with solid trade and cultural connections to other parts of the world. The uncovered remains have been organized for public viewing through a major exhibition sponsored by Azerbaijan's MIRAS Social Organization in Support of Studying Cultural Heritage.

The 18th century Agsu town as revealed by the investigations represented a settlement of inhabitants who had been resettled or deported in 1735 from another city, known as Shamakhi, destroyed as a result of military conquest by Nadir Shah, who ruled as Shah of Iran (1736–47) and was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty. The city eventually developed into one of the largest cities of Azerbaijan by the end of 18th century.

Although Agsu city was repeatedly exposed to feudal attacks, destruction, and inhabitant deportation during the turbulent 18th century, enough remained to show the features of a city that was circumscribed with fortified walls, a castle with round defensive towers, and other dwellings that were erected very close to each other with narrow streets, along with other comparatively wider central streets. 

The excavations, conducted by archaeologists and excavators from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan (NASA) and the National Museum of History of Azerbaijan, explored a large area in three directions and uncovered fortress walls, large streets, water and sewage lines, a bathhouse complex, dwellings, shops, workshops, ceramics, numerous numismatic materials (coins), unique art patterns, and other materials evidencing trade and cultural relations of Agsu with a number of countries and cities of the world. In addition, numerous metal ingots and industrial hollows and production pits, as well as instruments used in metallurgy were discovered, indicating a thriving metallurgical production industry in Agsu during the 18th century. In all, the excavations covered an area of over 9000 square meters. Azerbaijan's history was thus enriched with new archaeological finds illustrating life there at the time, and the Azerbaijani museums (the National Museum of History of Azerbaijan, the Agsu History and Local Lore Museum, the Museum of Music Culture of Azerbaijan, etc.) have been enlarged with these new artifacts..........

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/march-2012/article/extensive-medieval-town-in-azerbaijan-uncovered-by-archaeologists

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2012 at 13:40
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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