Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Archaeology news updates

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 7374757677 78>
Author
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology news updates
    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
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Nov-2014 at 20:32

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.
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  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.
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  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
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  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.
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
Don Quixote View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 29-Dec-2010
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4735
  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..."

Edited by Don Quixote - 05-Jan-2015 at 17:37
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  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.

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2015 at 08:37

A first-of-its-kind discovery of 1,500 year-old grape seeds may answer the question: Why was the wine of the Negev so renowned in the Byzantine Empire-February 2015

For the first time, grape seeds from the Byzantine era have been found. These grapes were used to produce “the Wine of the Negev” — one of the finest and most renowned wines in the whole of the Byzantine Empire. The charred seeds, over 1,500 years-old, were found at the Halutza excavation site in the Negev during a joint dig by the University of Haifa and the Israel Antiquities Authority. “The vines growing in the Negev today are European varieties, whereas the Negev vine was lost to the world. Our next job is to recreate the ancient wine, and perhaps in that way we will be able to reproduce its taste and understand what made the Negev wine so fine,” said Prof. Guy Bar-Oz of the University of Haifa, director of the excavation. The archeologists know of “the Wine of the Negev” or “Gaza Wine” — named for the port it was sent from to all corners of the empire — from historical sources from the Byzantine period. This wine was considered to be of very high quality and was very expensive, but unfortunately, it did not survive to our day, so we do not know what it was that made it so fine. In earlier excavations in the Negev, archeologists found the terraces where the vines were cultivated, the wineries where wine was produced, and the jugs in which the wine was stored and exported, but the grape seeds themselves were not found. 
All this, as we said, until the current excavation at the Halutza National Park, which is part of a bio-archaeological study examining the causes of the rise and fall of the Byzantines in the Negev. The study is directed by Prof. Guy Bar-Oz and Dr. Lior Weisbrod of the Zinman Institute at the University of Haifa, in collaboration with Dr. Tali Erickson-Gini from the Israeli Antiquities Authority. 
Like elsewhere in the Negev, the stone buildings at Halutza— which in its heyday was the most important Byzantine city in the Negev — did not survive due to stone theft over the ages. But, as often happens in archaeological excavations, the archeologists actually found their rare finding in the refuse dump. According to Prof. Bar-Oz, the city's refuse dumps, or middens, were preserved almost completely intact and now mark the boundaries of the ancient city. They are so conspicuous they can be detected on satellite images, such as those of Google Earth. Pottery and coins discovered in the refuse indicated that they accumulated mainly during the sixth to seventh centuries AD, a time when the city was at the peak of its economic success. With the urban collapse of Halutza in the mid-seventh century, for reasons not yet completely known, organized waste disposal was stopped and it appears that both the city itself and the middens surrounding it were abandoned. 
In the ancient piles of refuse, the researchers found a particularly high concentration of fragments of pottery vessels used for storage, cooking and serving, which included a significant number of Gaza jugs used for storing the ancient Negev wine. The archeologists also found a wealth of biological remains, including animal bones: bones of Red Sea fish and shellfish from the Mediterranean that were imported to the site, which indicated the vast wealth of the Byzantine city residents. 
The highlight, however, were the hundreds of tiny charred grape seeds. According to the archeologists, this is the first time “Negev” grape seeds have been found, something that will provide first-of-its-kind direct evidence of the wine cultivated in the western Negev in ancient times. Exposing the tiny seeds in the piles of refuse was not easy: For the first time strict and fine excavation methods were used during the dig that included fine sifting and flotation of botanical remains, which float after the soil settles. These methods made it possible to extract the botanical finding from the Byzantine material. “After washing the dirt and gently sifting the findings all that remained was to separate the botanical findings, which included seeds, pits and plants remains, from small animal bones, which included the remains of rodents that were drawn to the refuse,” explained Prof. Bar-Oz. 
As mentioned above, the vines from which our ancestors produced the wine famous throughout the Byzantine Empire did not survive and researchers today do not know whether these were imported species from elsewhere — as is the case with the vines cultivated in the Negev today, which are originally French or Italian — or whether these were native varieties that had been lost to the world. The next stage of the study is to join forces with biologists to sequence the DNA of the seeds and in this way to discover their origin. “European varieties require copious amounts of water. Today it is less of a problem thanks to technology, but it is unlikely that that was the case 1,500 years ago. It is more interesting to think of local grape varieties that were better suited to the Negev. Maybe the secret to the Negev wine’s international prestige lay in the method by which the vines were cultivated in the Negev’s arid conditions,” the archeologists are asking. 
This discovery is exciting for local wine growers and for the archeologists, and they all hope to reveal the secret of the Negev vines in order to recreate the ancient wine, and by so doing, to finally understand why it was famous throughout the Byzantine Empire — in Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Spain. 
The Byzantine city of Halutza, or Elusa in Greek, was founded by the Nabataeans but reached its prime during the Byzantine period between the fourth and seventh centuries, AD. The city then grew to become the largest and most important of all the Byzantine cities in the Negev. Archaeological and historical evidence indicate.
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
Don Quixote View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 29-Dec-2010
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4735
  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Mar-2015 at 21:58
"...Bronze jug found in the village Chintulovo, Sliven (III -II century BC)
At the top of the handle ends with the front part of a horse.
The front legs of the code, which cover the mouth are broken.
The horse's head with mouth open and eyes inlaid with silver.
The horse's body continues in the form of a snake tail and ends with the head of Medusa, his eyes also inlaid with silver. Patina deleted..."

The picture is owned by the National Archeological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.




Edited by Don Quixote - 13-Mar-2015 at 22:02
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2015 at 20:54

Spain finds Don Quixote writer Cervantes' tomb in Madrid

Forensic scientists say they have found the tomb of Spain's much-loved giant of literature, Miguel de Cervantes, nearly 400 years after his death.

They believe they have found the bones of Cervantes, his wife and others recorded as buried with him in Madrid's Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians.

Separating and identifying his badly damaged bones from the other fragments will be difficult, researchers say.

The Don Quixote author was buried in 1616 but his coffin was later lost.

When the convent was rebuilt late in the 17th Century, his remains were moved into the new building and it has taken centuries to rediscover the tomb of the man known as Spain's "Prince of Letters".

"His end was that of a poor man. A war veteran with his battle wounds," said Pedro Corral, head of art, sport and tourism at Madrid city council.

The team of 30 researchers used infrared cameras, 3D scanners and ground-penetrating radar to pinpoint the burial site, in a forgotten crypt beneath the building.

Inside one of 33 niches found against the far wall, archaeologists discovered a number of adult bones matching a group of people with whom Cervantes had been buried, before their tombs were disturbed and moved into the crypt.

"The remains are in a bad state of conservation and do not allow us to do an individual identification of Miguel de Cervantes," said forensic scientist Almudena Garcia Rubio.

"But we are sure what the historical sources say is the burial of Miguel de Cervantes and the other people buried with him is what we have found."

Further analysis may allow the team to separate the bones of Cervantes from those of the others if they can use DNA analysis to work out which bones do not belong to the author.

Investigator Luis Avial told a news conference on Tuesday that Cervantes would be reburied "with full honours" in the same convent after a new tomb had been built, according to his wishes.

"Cervantes asked to be buried there and there he should stay," said Luis Avial, georadar expert on the search team.

The convent's religious order helped pay for his ransom after he was captured by pirates and held prisoner for five years in Algiers.

The crypt will be opened to the public next year for the first time in centuries to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Cervantes' death.

Mr Corral told the BBC that the project had not just been about finding the bones of the author but of honouring his memory and encouraging people to learn more about him.

Many people may be rediscovering Cervantes because of the search, he said.

Born near Madrid in 1547, Cervantes has been dubbed the father of the modern novel for The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, published in two parts in 1605 and 1615.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-31852032

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Mar-2015 at 20:59

Archaeologists Find Rare Bronze Mask of Pan

Israeli archaeologists from the University of Haifa have uncovered an enormous bronze mask of Pan (Faunus, Satyr) – the Greek/Roman god of the woods, shepherds, and fertility – at the archaeological site of Hippos-Sussita, located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee.

“Bronze masks of this size are extremely rare and usually do not depict Pan or any of the other Greek or Roman mythological images. Most of the known bronze masks from the Hellenistic and Roman periods are miniature,” said Dr Michael Eisenberg of the University of Haifa’s Department of Archaeology and the Zinman Institute of Archaeology.

Archaeological excavations at the site of the ancient Greco-Roman city ofHippos-Sussita (3rd century BC – 7th century CE) are usually conducted in the summer. However, a series of intriguing structures on the ridge of the city, where the ancient road passed, led to a one-day dig in the winter of 2015.

The dig focused on a basalt structure that Dr Eisenberg and his colleagues assumed was a type of armored hangar for the city’s projectile machines. The archaeologists then decided to search the structure for coins to help them date the other finds.

“After a few minutes we pulled out a big brown lump and realized it was a mask. We cleaned it, and started to make out the details. The first hints that helped us recognize it were the small horns on top of its head, slightly hidden by a forelock,” Dr Eisenberg said.

“Horns like the ones on the mask are usually associated with Pan, the half-man half-goat god.”

A more thorough cleaning in the lab revealed strands of a goat beard, long pointed ears, and other characteristics that led the scientists to identify the mask as depicting a Pan (Faunus, Satyr).

“The first thought that crossed my mind was: ‘why here, beyond the city limits?’ After all, the mask is so heavy it could not have just rolled away. The mask was found nearby the remains of a basalt structure with thick walls and very solid masonry work, which suggested a large structure from the Roman period. A Pan altar on the main road to the city, beyond its limits, is quite likely,” Dr Eisenberg said.

“After all, Pan was worshipped not only in the city temples but also in caves and in nature.”

“The ancient city of Banyas (Paneas), north of Hippos-Sussita, had one of the most famous worshipping compounds to the god Pan inside a cave. Because they included drinking, sacrificing and ecstatic worship that sometimes included nudity and sex, rituals for rustic gods were often held outside of the city.”

http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/science-bronze-mask-pan-hippos-sussita-israel-02602.html

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2015 at 22:45

ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND BYZANTINE COINS, ROMAN INSCRIPTION IN AQUAE CALIDAE – THERMOPOLIS PRESERVE IN BULGARIA’S BURGAS

A new batch of various ancient and medieval artifacts has been discovered during the excavations of the Aquae Calidae – Thermopolis Archaeological Preserve in the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Burgas, the Burgas Municipality has announced.

The latest finds from the Ancient Thracian and Roman city of Aquae Calidae – known as Therma or Thermopolis in the Middle Ages – which was famous for its mineral springs, include a large number ofByzantine coins, a fragment of an Ancient Roman inscription on a marble slab, an ancient marble statuette as well as part of the city fortress wall.

The Aquae Calidae – Thermopolis Archaeological Preserve is currently being excavated in rescue digsfunded by the Burgas Municipality not only as part of its plans to turn the site into a major tourist attraction, but also because of the ongoing rehabilitation of the water supply and sewerage system inBanevo and Vetren, the two Burgas quarters located on top of the ancient and medieval city. Thearchaeologists are exploring the strata at a depth of 3 meters.

A total of 80 artifacts from different time periods have been found, including 45 coins. Some of theByzantine coins are “cup-shaped”, the so called scyphates, dating back to the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century. They were minted by the Byzantine Emperors from the Komnenos Dynasty (1081-1185 AD) and the Angelos Dynasty (1185-1204 AD).

The archaeologists have also found Byzantine coins dating back to the 7th century, before theestablishment of Danube Bulgaria, i.e. the First Bulgarian Empire (680-1018 AD), in the Balkans.

Perhaps the most interesting new find from Aquae Calidae – Thermopolis is a fragment from a marble slab inscription from the early imperial period of Ancient Rome, i.e. the 1st-2nd century AD. Similar marble slab inscriptions have been found in the nearby area known as Manastir Tepe. A marble statuette dating back to the 2nd-3rd century AD has also been found...

http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2015/03/18/archaeologists-find-byzantine-coins-roman-inscription-in-aquae-calidae-thermopolis-preserve-in-bulgarias-burgas/

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2015 at 22:47

BULGARIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH NEOLITHIC BONE NEEDLE, 100-METER FORTRESS WALL AT MEDIEVAL ASEN’S FORTRESS

A bone needle from the Neolithic as well as the uncovering of 110-meter fortress wall are some of the latest discoveries made by archaeologists at the medieval Bulgarian fortress known as Asen’s Fortress (Asenova Krepost) in Southern Bulgaria.

Asen’s Fortress located on a high and isolated rock near the southern Bulgarian town of Asenovgraddates back to the height of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396 AD) and the Asen Dynasty (1185-1256 AD), and is best known for the well preserved 12th-13th century Church of the Holy Mother of God.

For the first time Bulgarian archaeologists led by Rositsa Moreva have excavated the southwestern section of Asen’s Fortress uncovering a 110-meter fortress wall, Ivan Dukov, director of the Asenovgrad Museum of History, has told the Bulgarian National Radio.

While the most impressive finds from different time periods discovered over the past year at Asen’s Fortress are to be presented to the public next week, Dukov has revealed some of them in advance. In the same interview, he has also revealed some of the finds discovered in the excavations of the nearby Upper Voden Fortress.

He explains that the newly discovered 110-meter fortress wall serving to protect Asen’s Fortress from attacks from an open plain to the south is to be excavated further; it was modified in three discernible phases judging by the nature of the construction

“The southern sector is very dangerous because it is very steep. But after further excavations this can be turned into a very convenient place for visitors,” says the director of the Asenovgrad Museum of History, adding,

“We have established that this fortress wall was modified several times, with three main construction periods. It was first built with huge stone blocs, up to a meter in size. The latest modification was made with smaller stones, with no cementing that we used as a filling for some caverns that had opened up in the fortification wall.”

In his words, the fortress wall in question served to protect the residents of Asen’s fortress from attacks from an open space to the south from the 9th century onwards.

The archaeologists excavating the medieval Asenova Krepost have discovered items from different time periods, as there had been earlier settlements on the same site.

“The more interesting artifacts that we have found [at Asen’s Fortress] took us back to the oldest settlement there dating back to the Neolithic period. We have discovered fragments from pottery vessels and a bone needle dating back to the Neolithic,” Dukov explains.

They have also dug up some ancient finds, most notably, a coin from the Ancient Greek city of Parium (or Parion) in Anatolia, on the south coast of the Sea of Marmara, as well as a coin minted by Philip II, King of Macedon (r. 359-336 BC).

The prehistoric, ancient, and medieval artifacts that the Bulgarian archaeologists have found at Asen’s Fortress and the Upper Voden Fortress are to be presented to the public in Asenovgrad on Monday, March 23, 2015...

http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2015/03/19/archaeologists-unearth-neolithic-bone-needle-100-meter-fortress-wall-at-medieval-bulgarian-fortress/

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2015 at 22:52

ARCHAEOLOGISTS DIG UP ANCIENT SKELETON FROM UNDER ODESSOS FORTRESS WALL IN BULGARIA’S VARNA

Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered a tall man’s skeleton during rescue excavations of the ancient Greek and Roman city of Odessos in the downtown of the Black Sea city of Varna.

The large human skeleton has been found in a grave partly located under the fortress wall of Odessos, which is being excavated by archaeologists from the Varna Museum of Archaeology (also called Varna Regional Museum of History).

The skeleton is dated back to the late 4th century or the early 5th century AD, according to Dr. Valeri Yotov who is in charge of the rescue excavations of Varna’s ancient city of Odessos.

It has been found near the St. Nikolay Church, just 20 meters away from the site where a 5th century earthen jar was discovered in January 2015 by construction workers during water supply and sewer rehabilitation, an event that triggered the rescue excavations of the so called Varna Largo, the passenger zone on the central Knyaz Boris I Boulevard.

Last week, the Varna archaeologists found a previously unknown part of the Odessos fortress wall as well as part of another earthen jar and a hand mill from the late Antiquity.

“As we started to uncover the ancient fortress wall, we started asking ourselves a lot of questions, and, of course, we had to keep digging to reach the wall’s foundations. That’s how we stumbled upon theskeleton,” explains Yotov, as cited by Varna Utre.

The working hypothesis of the Varna archaeologists is that the skeleton belongs to a man who died during the construction of the fortress wall of ancient Odessos, and that his remains were laid in a pit originally dug up as a construction ditch for the wall foundations which was also “utilized” as a grave.

The man’s death might have been caused by a work-related accident or a different type of occurrence at the time the wall was being erected, according to Yotov...

http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2015/03/17/archaeologists-dig-up-ancient-skeleton-under-odessos-fortress-wall-in-bulgarias-varna/

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2015 at 22:55

BULGARIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND ANCIENT PITHOI, MEDIEVAL BYZANTINE SEALS AT UPPER VODEN FORTRESS

Several ancient pithoi (large clay vessels for food and drinks) as well as medieval lead seals belonging to Byzantine dignitaries have been discovered by Bulgarian archaeologists in the excavations of theUpper Voden Fortress, also known as Voden or Votina, near the southern town of Asenovgrad.

While the Upper Voden Fortress itself rose to prominence in the High Middle Ages, the artifacts found there by the team of archaeologist Rositsa Moreva also include items from the Charcolithic or Cooper Age (also known as Eneolithic Age) and the AntiquityIvan Dukov, director of the Asenovgrad Museum of History, has told the Bulgarian National Radio.

The most impressive finds from different time periods discovered over the past year at the Upper Voden Fortress are to be presented to the public next week but Dukov has revealed some of them in advance. In the same interview, he has also revealed some of the finds discovered at the nearby Asen’s Fortress.

“It is very important that this year we found several lead seals that shed light on the residents of thefortress and their correspondence,” Dukov says, adding that one of the seals belonged to Gregory Kurkua who was the Byzantine Duke of Plovdiv in the 11th century, after the Byzantine Empire defeated the First Bulgarian Empire (680-1018 AD) in 1018 AD, and conquered most of the Bulgarian lands.

In his words, the Byzantine Duke of Plovdiv Gregory Kurkua probably had correspondence withGregory Pakourianos (Gregorius Pacurianus), a powerful 11th century Byzantine politician of Georgian origin who is known as the founder of the Monastery of the Mother of God Petritzonitissa in Bachkovo, one of the most revered monasteries in today’s Bulgaria also located near the town ofAsenovgrad.

“[The Byzantine Duke of Plovdiv] was probably exchange letters with Gregory Pakourianos, and probably lived and died at roughly the same time as him,” Dukov notes, adding that the archaeologistshave found two other Byzantine seals – one anonymous, and another one that belonged to a man called Constantine Xenothynos.

“These seals are interesting from the point of view of sigillography. This diplomatic correspondence is important to us because it can enrich our historical knowledge of this period,” says the director of theAsenovgrad Museum of History.

He has also announced that the archaeologists excavating the medieval Upper Voden Fortress have discovered several ancient pithoi (pithos is the Ancient Greek word for a large clay vessel for storing grain, wine, and other food) as well as a tandir, a medieval oven based on these vessels.

Tandir is a specific type of oven which resembles a pithos but has more vertical walls. Fire is lit inside the tandir, and foods are baked in there. This technique is still used today in some parts of Asia. Some parts of the Rhodope Mountains [in Bulgaria] also use this method for roasting meat,” Dukov explains.

Back in November 2014, the archaeologists excavating the Upper Voden Fortress announced the discovery of a rare 4th century BC coin minted by Alexander the Great.

The prehistoric, ancient, and medieval artifacts that the Bulgarian archaeologists have found at the Upper Voden Fortress and at Asen’s Fortress are to be presented to the public in Asenovgrad on Monday, March 23, 2015.

Background Infonotes:

The Upper Voden Fortress, also known as Voden or Votina, located near today’s southern Bulgarian town of Asenovgrad is connected mostly with the role of Byzantine politician of Georgian origin Gregory Pakourianos (Gregorius Pacurianus), the founder of the nearby Monastery of the Mother of God Petritzonitissa in Bachkovo, which he established in 1083 AD. The Upper Voden Fortress was first excavated in the 1960s by Dimitar Tsonchev, and since 1976 – by renowned Bulgarian archaeologist Rositsa Moreva, who is also in charge of the current excavations. Evidence indicates that the Upper Voden Fortress (located on a strategically important mount with an altitude of 516 meters, overlooking the Thracian plain) was first built in the 9th-10th century but on the foundations of a previously existing Early Byzantine fortress. In modern-day Bulgaria, not unlike all otherarchaeological sites, it has been damaged by treasure hunters but also by locals wishing to mine stones from it for house construction.

Gregory Pakourianos (Gregorius Pacurianus) was an 11th-century Byzantine politician of Georgian origin who is said to have been the second most powerful man in the Byzantine Empire after the Emperor himself. Gregory Pakourianos is known as the founder of the Monastery of the Mother of God Petritzonitissa in Bachkovo, one of the most revered monasteries in today’s Bulgaria also located near the town of Asenovgrad. It was established by him in 1083 AD. Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos appointed him “megas domestikos of All the West” meaning he was the supreme commander of Byzantine forces in Europe. He died in 1086 AD fighting the Pechenegs at the Battle of Beliatoba (today’s Bulgarian town of Belyatovo).

http://archaeologyinbulgaria.com/2015/03/19/bulgarian-archaeologists-find-ancient-pithoi-medieval-byzantine-seals-at-upper-voden-fortress/

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
Don Quixote View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 29-Dec-2010
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4735
  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2015 at 14:45
The first recorded toilet in history - from Crete, 2800 years ago. Thank you, King Minos!



Edited by Don Quixote - 24-Mar-2015 at 14:46
Back to Top
medenaywe View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Master of Meanings

Joined: 06-Nov-2010
Location: /
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 14632
  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2015 at 00:52
revolutionary indeed!Essential move in history.Regards Don.Big smile
Back to Top
Sidney View Drop Down
Colonel
Colonel
Avatar

Joined: 31-Jan-2012
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 690
  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2015 at 17:26
Originally posted by Don Quixote

The first recorded toilet in history - from Crete, 2800 years ago. Thank you, King Minos!



Just a correction - This is not from Crete, nor is it 2,800 years old.

It's a 3rd Century latrine from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

It's got carved wheels on the side, as if to make it look like a chariot!

Perhaps 'going for a chariot ride' was the ancient Rome equivalent of 'going to the office' as a euphemism for using the toilet (among others)!




Edited by Sidney - 26-Mar-2015 at 20:15
Back to Top
TheAlaniDragonRising View Drop Down
AE Moderator
AE Moderator
Avatar
Spam Fighter

Joined: 09-May-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6064
  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Mar-2015 at 21:27

AncientBiotics - a medieval remedy for modern day superbugs?

A one thousand year old Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye infections which originates from a manuscript in the British Library has been found to kill the modern-day superbug MRSA in an unusual research collaboration at The University of Nottingham.


Dr Christina Lee, an Anglo-Saxon expert from the School of English has enlisted the help of microbiologists from University’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences to recreate a 10th century potion for eye infections from Bald’s Leechbook an Old English leatherbound volume in the British Library, to see if it really works as an antibacterial remedy. The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks and contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments.

Early results on the 'potion', tested in vitro at Nottingham and backed up by mouse model tests at a university in the United States, are, in the words of the US collaborator, “astonishing”. The solution has had remarkable effects on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is one of the most antibiotic-resistant bugs costing modern health services billions.

The team now has good, replicated data showing that Bald’s eye salve kills up to 90% of MRSA bacteria in ‘in vivo’ wound biopsies from mouse models. They believe the bactericidal effect of the recipe is not due to a single ingredient but the combination used and brewing methods/container material used. Further research is planned to investigate how and why this works.

Historical curiosity

The testing of the ancient remedy was the idea of Dr Christina Lee, Associate Professor in Viking Studies and member of the University’s Institute for Medieval Research. Dr Lee translated the recipe from a transcript of the original Old English manuscript in the British Library.

The recipe calls for two species of Allium (garlic and onion or leek), wine and oxgall (bile from a cow’s stomach). It describes a very specific method of making the topical solution including the use of a brass vessel to brew it in, a straining to purify it and an instruction to leave the mixture for nine days before use.

The scientists at Nottingham made four separate batches of the remedy using fresh ingredients each time, as well as a control treatment using the same quantity of distilled water and brass sheet to mimic the brewing container but without the vegetable compounds.

Triple threat testing

The remedy was tested on cultures of the commonly found and hard to treat bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, in both synthetic wounds and in infected wounds in mice.

The team made artificial wound infections by growing bacteria in plugs of collagen and then exposed them to each of the individual ingredients, or the full recipe.  None of the individual ingredients alone had any measurable effect, but when combined according to the recipe the Staphylococcus populations were almost totally obliterated: about one bacterial cell in a thousand survived.
 
The team then went on to see what happened if they diluted the eye salve – as it is hard to know just how much of the medicine bacteria would be exposed to when applied to a real infection.  They found that when the medicine is too dilute to kill Staphylococcus aureus, it interfered with bacterial cell-cell communication (quorum sensing).  This is a key finding, because bacteria have to talk to each other to switch on the genes that allow them to damage infected tissues.  Many microbiologists think that blocking this behaviour could be an alternative way of treating infection.

Arts informing science

Dr Lee said: “We were genuinely astonished at the results of our experiments in the lab. We believe modern research into disease can benefit from past responses and knowledge, which is largely contained in non-scientific writings. But the potential of these texts to contribute to addressing the challenges cannot be understood without the combined expertise of both the arts and science.

“Medieval leech books and herbaria contain many remedies designed to treat what are clearly bacterial infections (weeping wounds/sores, eye and throat infections, skin conditions such as erysipelas, leprosy and chest infections). Given that these remedies were developed well before the modern understanding of germ theory, this poses two questions: How systematic was the development of these remedies? And how effective were these remedies against the likely causative species of bacteria? Answering these questions will greatly improve our understanding of medieval scholarship and medical empiricism, and may reveal new ways of treating serious bacterial infections that continue to cause illness and death.”

“Genuinely amazed”

University microbiologist, Dr Freya Harrison has led the work in the laboratory at Nottingham with Dr Steve Diggle and Research Associate Dr Aled Roberts. She will present the findings at the Annual Conference of the Society for General Microbiology which starts on Monday 30th March 2015 in Birmingham.

Dr Harrison commented: “We thought that Bald’s eyesalve might show a small amount of antibiotic activity, because each of the ingredients has been shown by other researchers to have some effect on bacteria in the lab – copper and bile salts can kill bacteria, and the garlic family of plants make chemicals that interfere with the bacteria’s ability to damage infected tissues.  But we were absolutely blown away by just how effective the combination of ingredients was.  We tested it in difficult conditions too; we let our artificial ‘infections’ grow into dense, mature populations called ‘biofilms’, where the individual cells bunch together and make a sticky coating that makes it hard for antibiotics to reach them.  But unlike many modern antibiotics, Bald’s eye salve has the power to breach these defences.”

Dr Steve Diggle added: “When we built this recipe in the lab I didn't really expect it to actually do anything. When we found that it could actually disrupt and kill cells in S. aureus biofilms, I was genuinely amazed. Biofilms are naturally antibiotic resistant and difficult to treat so this was a great result. The fact that it works on an organism that it was apparently designed to treat (an infection of a stye in the eye) suggests that people were doing carefully planned experiments long before the scientific method was developed.”

Testing in the US

Dr Kendra Rumbaugh carried out in vivo testing of the Bald’s remedy on MRSA infected skin wounds in mice at Texas Tech University in the United States. Dr Rumbaugh said: “We know that MRSA infected wounds are exceptionally difficult to treat in people and in mouse models. We have not tested a single antibiotic or experimental therapeutic that is completely effective; however, this ‘ancient remedy’ performed as good if not better than the conventional antibiotics we used.”

Dr Harrison concludes: “The rise of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria and the lack of new antimicrobials in the developmental pipeline are key challenges for human health. There is a pressing need to develop new strategies against pathogens because the cost of developing new antibiotics is high and eventual resistance is likely. This truly cross-disciplinary project explores a new approach to modern health care problems by testing whether medieval remedies contain ingredients which kill bacteria or interfere with their ability to cause infection”.

The AncientBiotics team at Nottingham is seeking more funding to extend this fascinating research which combines the arts and sciences, past and present.
 

The University of Nottingham is committed to the principles of the 3Rs of reduction, refinement and replacement. For each project it ensures, as far as is reasonably practicable, that no alternative to the use of animals is possible, that the number of animals used is minimised and that procedures, care routines and husbandry are refined to maximise welfare. The University is a signatory member of the UK Concordat on Openness on Animal Research.

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2015/march/ancientbiotics---a-medieval-remedy-for-modern-day-superbugs.aspx



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 30-Mar-2015 at 21:31
What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1 7374757677 78>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.188 seconds.