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    Posted: 19-Aug-2013 at 22:19
Corps archaeologists study Missouri River's past
In this photo made July 26, 2013, in Fort Pierre, S.D., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers archaeologist Megan Maier holds a fish hook carved from bone and found in the Missouri River area. Bbone fishhooks, and squash knives and hoes made from bison bones, are among the materials found in old villages.

Sometimes during high water the Missouri River will carve away one of its banks like an old man turning out his pockets to bring things to light — scrapers and knives made of Knife River flint, hoes and squash knives made of bison bone, 19th century toy horses made of pewter or cast iron.

And U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff archaeologists are there afterward to pick up the pieces, or at least to assess what's been uncovered, the Capital Journal reported (http://bit.ly/16eGBOF ).

Richard Harnois, the senior field archaeologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Omaha District's Oahe Project Office, said he and field archaeologist Megan Maier work in an area from about Yankton to Bismarck, N.D. Though they might be called on for archaeological expertise anywhere in South Dakota, much of their work is along the Missouri River.

But their main job isn't the relentless search for artifacts that people associate with archaeology, Harnois said, and the river's habit of uncovering things can be a problem sometimes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers simply doesn't have the funds to do a systematic investigation every time the river turns over something interesting.

"We still have a problem with erosion along the river. It does give us a window into what's there archaeologically," Harnois said. "But our main objective isn't the scientific inquiry, but trying to preserve this for the people."

The main technique the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses to guard fragile locations, Harnois said, is placing rip-rap or armor along cutbacks or locations that are suffering erosion. In areas where water levels are stable, the Corps can also use willow plantings, but the wide fluctuations in the Missouri River reservoirs rule out plantings in some locations.

One thing that's certain: The Missouri River valley is one of the more interesting features archaeologically in the region, Harnois and Maier say, for the same reason that it's a recreational focus to this day.

"People now gravitate to the same areas for the same reasons that people for millennia have gravitated toward those areas — shade, shelter, resources," Harnois said. "It provided a source of food and water. That's the basis for prehistoric habitation is a water source."

In addition, a river was an avenue of transport.

Harnois, whose special area of interest is historic archaeology, or delving into the past for which written records exist, said it's well-known that the Missouri was the highway for fur trappers and traders to move goods up and down the river. But he said archaeological work suggests prehistoric trade was already bringing goods from far and wide to sites up and down the Missouri.

"The Missouri was the I-90 of prehistoric times. They moved up and down it," Harnois said.

Archaeologists know that because of the variety of materials from which projectile points and other tools are made.

A favorite was Knife River flint, quarried in ancient times in what is now North Dakota.

"It's definitely a preferred material. It was very highly sought after," Harnois said. And, he adds, it was probably a medium of trade. "I would imagine some of the materials we see from other areas are probably the result of Knife River flint."

Those other materials that might show up in the Missouri River's prehistoric settlements include obsidian, a volcanic glass from locations such as the Yellowstone area that is rare, but not unknown in the area; Bijou Hills quartzite, from a region between Chamberlain and Platte, farther south in South Dakota; Black Hills plate chalcedony; and a material called Tongue River silicified sediment, or TRSS, found in northwest South Dakota and southwest North Dakota.

Maier adds that bone fishhooks, and squash knives and hoes made from bison bones, are also among the materials found in old villages. In some cases, she said, archaeologists have found the unfinished patterns from which ancient people were carving items such as fish hooks.

They were careful craftsmen, and among the other finds along the Missouri River are gunflints made by hand by Native Americans in historic times to equip flintlock rifles.

Sadly, Harnois said, trained archaeologists are not the only ones looking for traces of the past. Part of Corps archaeologists' job is to protect sites from looters, and reclaim artifacts in cases where they catch looters. At the Oahe Project Office north of Pierre, for example, there are recovered pottery shards and stone tools that may originally have come from prehistoric Mandan and Arikara sites in the area.

"Our problem with this kind of artifact is that we don't have any context. We don't know where it came from and what other artifacts were next to it in the ground," Harnois said. Although specialists can often tell what tribe or people group often made an artifact, and in roughly what period, much additional knowledge is lost.

"There could have been seeds or other materials that would have told us what they were eating," Harnois said. "You can learn a lot from that context when it's carefully excavated under controlled conditions. But when looters come and take it away, it's just an artifact."

Maier said historical archaeology can be just as fascinating because written records provide additional context for the artifacts that are found, as well as the people who used them. Browsing in old newspapers and other documents fills in some of the questions.

"You meet these weird historical characters," Maier said.

Maier adds that the historical record makes it clear that frontier trading posts on the Missouri River, though remote from civilization, were driven by a European fashion that favored beaver hats for a time. That, in turn, speeded up the process of settling the Missouri River country.

"It's interesting to think how that market accelerated the process," Maier said. "And it's all in the name of fashion."

This summer, the archaeologists of the Oahe Project Office, working with assistant state archaeologist Michael Fosha and volunteers — including a troop of fourth- and fifth-grade students — to delve into a site that may be the old Fort Galpin in what is now Stanley County.

Fort Galpin was a site briefly occupied by the American Fur Company in 1856 and 1857 after the company sold the nearby Fort Pierre Chouteau to the military. Traders stayed at the fort for only a year while completing the second Fort Pierre.

Though archaeologists can't say beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they found was Fort Galpin, they found plenty of signs of activity from that 19th century fur trade period — fragments of a kaolin clay tobacco pipe, bits of brick and mortar, flat glass, bottle glass, glass beads made for trade with Native American tribes, and lots of square nails.

Whether or not it's the historic Fort Galpin, it's all evidence of the central South Dakota's importance in the fur trade era, Harnois said.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/19/3116729/corps-archaeologists-study-missouri.html


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/19/3116729/corps-archaeologists-study-missouri.html#storylink=cpy

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Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/19/3116729/corps-archaeologists-study-missouri.html#storylink=cpy


Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 19-Aug-2013 at 22:20
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2013 at 20:00

Rome’s Start to Architectural Hubris


Granted that Rome was not built in a day, the unresolved question among scholars has been just how long did it take. How early, before Julius Caesar came, saw and conquered, did Romans begin adopting a monumental architecture reflecting the grandeur of their ambitions?

Most historians agree that early Rome had nothing to compare to the sublime temples of Greece and was not a particularly splendid city, like Alexandria in Egypt.

Any definitive insight into the formative stages of Roman architectural hubris lies irretrievable beneath layers of the city’s repeated renovations through the time of caesars, popes and the Renaissance. The most imposing ruin of the early Roman imperial period is the Colosseum, erected in the first century A.D.

Now, at excavations 11 miles east of Rome’s city center, archaeologists think they are catching a glimpse of Roman tastes in monumental architecture much earlier than previously thought, about 300 years before the Colosseum. They have uncovered ruins of a vast complex of stone walls and terraces connected by a grand stairway and surrounded by many rooms, a showcase of wealth and power spread over an area more than half the size of a football field. They say this was most likely the remains of a public building in the heyday of the city-state Gabii, or possibly an exceptionally lavish private residence.

The discovery was made last summer by a team of archaeologists and students led byNicola Terrenato, a professor of classical studies at the University of Michigan and a native of Rome. At the end of this summer’s dig season, Dr. Terrenato said last week in a telephone interview from Rome, about two-thirds of the complex had been exposed and studied to “tell us more about how the Romans were building at that formative stage” — between 350 B.C. and 250 B.C.

Dr. Terrenato noted that the findings appeared to contradict the image of early Roman culture, perpetuated by notables like Cato the Elder and Cicero, “as being very modest and inconspicuous.” It was said that this did not change until soldiers returned from the conquest of Greece in the second century B.C., their heads having been turned by Greek refinements and luxuries.

“Now we see the Romans were already thinking big,” he said.

The Gabii dig site is a gift to archaeologists. Not only was the city close to Rome, with many ties, but most of its ruins were buried and never built over after the city’s decline in the second and third centuries A.D. The building complex is on undeveloped land in modern-day Lazio.

At the time, Rome had surpassed Gabii in size, but some historians think the neighboring city could have exerted an influence on the Romans. Previous excavations by the Michigan group, beginning in 2007, had uncovered a significant part of the city, including private houses, wealthy burials, city walls and a temple. Of possibly more importance, Dr. Terrenato suggested, the recent research shows that people were practicing some degree of urban planning at Gabii.

Scholars of ancient history and other archaeologists were either unfamiliar with the Gabii findings or cautious in their comments. Richard J. A. Talbert, a historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and scholar of ancient geography in the Mediterranean world, visited the Gabii excavations last year. Dr. Talbert noted that in later Roman tradition, Gabii was seen as “a source of ideas and culture.” But he added, “We really don’t have enough evidence yet to say how influential Gabii was on Rome in these early periods.”

Christopher Ratté, the director of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at Michigan, said the excavation was part of a concentrated examination of the social environment in central Italy before the rise of Rome as a world power. “It has been quite a surprise,” he said, “to find that it was still possible to break new ground like this in a region that has been so well researched.”

The Gabii Project, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and in collaboration with the Italian Archaeological Service, had explored and mapped the more than 170 acres of the ancient city, which was built on the slopes of an extinct volcano where the crater had become a lake. Then the archaeologists encountered the elaborate building complex. Dr. Terrenato said he was immediately struck by the size of the stone blocks in the retaining wall on the slope inside the complex. Each one weighed thousands of pounds.

“This was like Lego construction,” he said. “They were stacked one on top of each other without any glue binding them together. This is the only technique they had access to, and it must have been the desire for this kind of grand construction that drove them to the invention of mortar about 125 years later.”

The researchers also admired some of the architectural details: rows of stone pillars, courtyards and terraces covered in mosaic tiles in geometric patterns, a 21-step staircase cut into bedrock. They said this showed that the people were beginning to experiment with modifying their natural environments — cutting back the natural slope and creating a retaining wall.

“All this only whetted our appetites,” Dr. Terrenato said as he looked ahead to next summer’s continued excavations and a hoped-for extension of the project beyond 2014.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/20/science/romes-start-to-architectural-hubris.html?_r=2&



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 21-Aug-2013 at 20:04
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Aug-2013 at 04:53

Torpedo Shot from USS Iowa in 1899 Surfaces


Naval History and Heritage Command's (NHHC) Underwater Archeology Branch (UAB) dove into the history of a recently-discovered late-19th century No. 24 Howell Torpedo, Aug. 9, and they scored a direct hit.

"We started looking through SECNAV (Secretary of the Navy) reports and narrowed it down to eight ships which had been outfitted with Howell Torpedoes," said Mikala Pyrch, a George Washington University intern with UAB who discovered where the torpedo's origin. "From there we figured which ships had gone through the Pacific Fleet or spent any time in California along the coast. That narrowed it down the USS Marblehead and the USS Iowa. We went to the National Archives and looked in the deck logs. I saw that in December of 1899 Iowa had been doing target practice with the torpedoes and had lost... Howell No. 24."
 
Pyrch was thrilled to find the information, sleuthing was something she never expected to do when she started interning for archeological conservation at UAB.
 
"I never expected to become a private investigator," she explained. "I didn't ever think that we would find conclusive evidence, I thought we would have a best guess. To see Howell 24, lost on this day, at this time - it was pretty exciting."
 
The mid and tail sections of this rare torpedo, found by U.S. Navy dolphins off the coast of San Diego last March, make it one of three known to exist. The torpedo was transferred to UAB for desalinization and conservation on the Washington Navy Yard, May 31. That was when the marking "U.S.N. No. 24" was found.

The logs indicated that Iowa had been anchored off San Diego from Dec. 18, 1899 through Jan. 15, 1900 conducting training exercises. On Dec. 20, 1899, under miscellaneous events, the log entry noted, "Lost H. Mark 1, No. 24 torpedo." This was the sole reference to the loss.
 
When used in training exercises, Howell torpedoes were fitted with a practice warhead that was attached to the midsection by four pins and a single screw. UAB scientists believe during the exercise, the practice warhead may have detached, providing a possible explanation for why only the mid- and tail-sections of the torpedo were found.

Though the mystery of its firing is solved the torpedo itself still has a long way to go before it is ready to be shown.

"It is a very slow and gradual process," said Kate Morrand, UAB archeological conservator, of the process of desalinating the torpedo for conservation. "We are still seeing that gradual increase of salt concentration in the tank. It is extremely important because if we don't remove those salts we could potentially have new corrosion that forms."
 
Next they will have to take it apart to preserve its parts.
 
"We will try to disassemble it as little as possible, but to ensure proper conservation of each of the components - which we are certain, at this point, are made of all different types of material - we will have to partially disassemble it and document it," Morrand said.
 
As for where it will go after conservation and long-term preservation, that is still up in the air.
 
"We do not know at this point," said Blair Atcheson, NHHC UAB Historic Preservation and Outreach coordinator. "Our main concern is conservation and getting it stabilized. I am sure several museums are interested. It is an interesting piece with an interesting tale."
 
USS Iowa (BB-4) was constructed between 1893 and 1896 and participated in the Spanish-American War, most notably in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba July 2, 1898. Iowa was assigned to the Pacific Fleet from 1899 to 1902 to conduct training cruises, drills, and target practice.

The Howell torpedo, named for Lt. Cmdr. John A. Howell, the primary contributor, was developed between 1870 and 1889. The Howell, the first propelled torpedo, was 11-feet long, made of brass and It had a range of 400 yards, a speed of 25 knots, and a warhead filled with 100 pounds of explosive.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/08/20/torpedo-shot-from-uss-iowa-in-1899-surfaces.html?comp=7000023468025&rank=2



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 23-Aug-2013 at 04:53
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  Quote TITAN_ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Aug-2013 at 06:29

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Aug-2013 at 23:20
This 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows that the Romans Were Nanotechnology Pioneers

The colorful secret of a 1,600-year-old Roman chalice at the British Museum is the key to a super­sensitive new technology that might help diagnose human disease or pinpoint biohazards at security checkpoints.

The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind—a property that puzzled scientists for decades after the museum acquired the cup in the 1950s. The mystery wasn’t solved until 1990, when researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers: They’d impregnated the glass with particles of silver and gold, ground down until they were as small as 50 nanometers in diameter, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt. The exact mixture of the precious metals suggests the Romans knew what they were doing—“an amazing feat,” says one of the researchers, archaeologist Ian Freestone of University College London.

The ancient nanotech works something like this: When hit with light, electrons belonging to the metal flecks vibrate in ways that alter the color depending on the observer’s position. Gang Logan Liu, an engineer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who has long focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose disease, and his colleagues realized that this effect offered untapped potential. “The Romans knew how to make and use nanoparticles for beautiful art,” Liu says. “We wanted to see if this could have scientific applications.”

When various fluids filled the cup, Liu suspected, they would change how the vibrating electrons in the glass interacted, and thus the color. (Today’s home pregnancy tests exploit a separate nano-based phenomenon to turn a white line pink.)

Since the researchers couldn’t put liquid into the precious artifact itself, they instead imprinted billions of tiny wells onto a plastic plate about the size of a postage stamp and sprayed the wells with gold or silver nanoparticles, essentially creating an array with billions of ultra-miniature Lycurgus Cups. When water, oil, sugar solutions and salt solutions were poured into the wells, they displayed a range of easy-to-distinguish colors—light green for water and red for oil, for example. The proto­type was 100 times more sensitive to altered levels of salt in solution than current commercial sensors using similar techniques. It may one day make its way into handheld devices for detecting pathogens in samples of saliva or urine, or for thwarting terrorists trying to carry dangerous liquids onto airplanes.

The original fourth-century A.D. Lycurgus Cup, probably taken out only for special occasions, depicts King Lycurgus ensnared in a tangle of grapevines, presumably for evil acts committed against Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. If inventors manage to develop a new detection tool from this ancient technology, it’ll be Lycurgus’ turn to do the ensnaring.
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/This-1600-Year-Old-Goblet-Shows-that-the-Romans-Were-Nanotechnology-Pioneers-220563661.html

Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 25-Aug-2013 at 23:23
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2013 at 22:37

Lincoln Castle archaeologists to extract sarcophagus


Archaeologists have been digging where a Magna Carta centre will be built


Archaeologists are preparing to extract a sarcophagus discovered at Lincoln Castle and thought to contain "somebody terribly important".

The stone sarcophagus, believed to date from about AD900, was found alongside the remains of a church which was previously unknown.

Archaeologists have been on site for almost a year and their work came to an end this week.

They believe the sarcophagus could contain a Saxon king or bishop.

Archaeologist Cecily Spall said: "There's lots of careful planning to do in the next few weeks but as I say we do hope to get it out and have a look inside.

"Logistically it's quite a difficult job because the trench is deep and the sarcophagus obviously weighs a lot."

Lincoln Castle is being refurbished and the archaeologists have been digging where a new centre to house the Magna Carta will be built.

Ice skates

As well as the sarcophagus, several other human skeletons were found alongside remains of the church, which is thought to be at least 1,000 years old.

Ms Spall said: "It's very unusual for archaeologists to encounter a church which hasn't been detected in historical documents."

The team also found remains of a stone Roman townhouse, which is thought to have been demolished in the 9th or 10th Century.

Some of the finds will go on display at the castle.

They date from the 4th Century up to the 20th Century.

The older artefacts found include pottery, cooking pots, animal bones, ice skates, and dice made from animal bone and antler.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-23817713



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 26-Aug-2013 at 22:38
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Aug-2013 at 22:40

Feasting and fighting: the long-lost secrets of Beowulf

Archaeologists in Denmark have excavated the sixth-century great dining hall at the centre of the epic work

The dark secrets of the legend of Beowulf, England’s oldest work of epic literature, are gradually emerging from under a field in eastern Denmark.

Archaeologists in the country’s  earliest royal ‘capital’ – Lejre, 23 miles  west of modern Copenhagen – are investigating the joys of  elite Dark Age life in and around what was probably the great royal feasting hall at the violent epicentre of the Beowulf story.

The archaeologists – led by Tom Christensen, director of the Lejre investigation – have so far managed not only to find, excavate and date the late 5 or early 6 century building most likely to have been Lejre’s first royal hall (described in Beowulf as `the greatest hall under heaven’), but have also succeeded in reconstructing what was on the menu at the great feasts held there.

Scientific study this year of the bones of literally hundreds of animals found near the hall, shows that they feasted on suckling pig, beef, mutton, goat meat, venison, goose, duck, chicken and fish.

Other finds from around the hall have included fragments of glass drinking vessels, 40 pieces of bronze, gold and silver jewellery, pottery imported from England and the Rhineland – and the wing of a sea-eagle, whose feathers may well have been used for fletching arrows. Twenty other gold items were found just a few hundred metres away.

The discoveries, reported in the current issue of BBC History Magazine, are of international importance.

“For the first time, archaeology has given us a glimpse of life in the key royal Danish site associated with the Beowulf legend’’, said project director Dr. Christensen,  curator of Denmark’s Roskilde Museum, four miles from Lejre.

The Danes plan to put the finds on permanent display next year at Roskilde and Lejre Museums. 

In the Beowulf legend – which is believed to have influenced some aspects of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and was turned into a 150 million dollar Hollywood film six years ago – a young nobleman from southern Sweden goes to neighbouring Denmark to save its ruling elite from the depredations of a monstrous man-eating giant called Grendel. The monster had entered the Danish king’s great feasting hall at Lejre, while the king and his warriors had been sleeping off an evening of feasting and drinking, and had succeeded in devouring a number of them.

On meeting the king, Beowulf offers to rid the land of the monster. The king accepts – and Beowulf waits alone in the great hall for the giant to attack again. In the epic battle between the two that then ensues, the giant is defeated and retreats to a cave beneath a nearby lake where he is finally killed by Beowulf.

As well as investigating the hall most likely to have been the one associated with the Beowulf legend, the archaeologists have found, excavated and dated six other royal feasting halls in Lejre.

They have discovered that the early Danish monarchy used each hall for only a few generations, before dismantling them and building a new one – usually on  or very near the same site as its predecessor. Detailed examination of the buried remains of successive feasting halls has shown that they were used between around 500 and 1000 AD.  All were roughly  on the same site – except for the one associated with the Beowulf legend which was 500 metres to the north.

It may be that the change in location was somehow connected with events described in the legend, part of which actually states that the early royal hall, was in fact abandoned – because of the depredations of Grendel.  Whether Grendel (meaning quite literarily ‘the destroyer’) originally existed in some less legendary form – perhaps symbolizing a malevolent spirit responsible for disease and death, or a particularly fierce-looking human enemy – is as yet unknown.

The quasi-legendary high status individual that Beowulf is based on probably lived in the 6 century AD. The story of his exploits was most likely brought to England by Scandinavian (potentially southern Sweden originating) settlers in the 6 or early 7 century AD.  The poem was then written by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, probably sometime in the 7th or  8 centuries.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/features/feasting-and-fighting-the-longlost-secrets-of-beowulf-8784510.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 26-Aug-2013 at 22:41
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Aug-2013 at 23:19

European Hunter-Gatherers Owned Pigs as Early as 4600 BC

European hunter-gatherers acquired domesticated pigs from nearby farmers as early as 4600 BC, according to new evidence.

The international team of scientists, including researchers at Durham and Aberdeen universities, showed there was interaction between the hunter-gatherer and farming communities and a 'sharing' of animals and knowledge. The interaction between the two groups eventually led to the hunter-gatherers incorporating farming and breeding of livestock into their culture, say the scientists.

The research, published in Nature Communications today (27 August), gives new insights into the movements of pre-historic humans and the transition of technologies and knowledge.

The spread of plants and animals throughout Europe between 6000 and 4000 BC involved a complex interplay between indigenous Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and incoming Neolithic farmers but the scale of the interaction and the extent to which hunter-gatherers took ideas from their neighbours remains hotly debated.

The researchers say previous evidence about the ownership of domestic animals by hunter-gatherers has so far been circumstantial.

Lead author, Dr Ben Krause-Kyora, from Christian-Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, said: "Mesolithic hunter-gatherers definitely had dogs, but they did not practise agriculture and did not have pigs, sheep, goats, or cows, all of which were introduced to Europe with incoming farmers about 6000 BC. Having people who practised a very different survival strategy nearby must have been odd, and we know now that the hunter-gathers possessed some of the farmers' domesticated pigs."

It is not yet known whether the hunter-gatherers received the pigs via trade or exchange, or by hunting and capturing escaped animals. However, the domestic pigs had different coloured and spotted coats that would have seemed strange and exotic to the hunter-gatherers and may have attracted them to the pigs.

Co-author, Dr Greger Larson, from the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, added: "Humans love novelty, and though hunter-gatherers exploited wild boar, it would have been hard not to be fascinated by the strange-looking spotted pigs owned by farmers living nearby. It should come as no surprise that the hunter-gatherers acquired some eventually, but this study shows that they did very soon after the domestic pigs arrived in northern Europe."

The team analysed the ancient DNA from the bones and teeth of 63 pigs from Northern Germany which showed that the hunter-gatherers acquired domestic pigs of varying size and coat colour that had both Near Eastern and European ancestry.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130827113020.htm



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 27-Aug-2013 at 23:20
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2013 at 00:16
"...Amrit was an ancient Phoenician city located near Tartus in Syria. It was founded in the third millennium BC and abandoned during the second century BC, the city's Phoenician ruins have been preserved in their entirety without extensive remodeling by later generations.
One of the most important excavations was the Phoenician temple, commonly referred to the "ma'abed," dedicated to the god Melqart of Tyre and Eshmun. The colonnaded temple, excavated between 1955 and 1957, consists of a large court cut out of rock measuring 47×49 metres (154×161 ft) and over 3 metres (9.8 ft) deep, surrounded by a covered portico. In the center of the court a well-preserved cube-shaped cella stands.The open-air courtyard was filled with the waters of a local, traditionally sacred spring, a unique feature of this site. The temple—which was dated to the late 4th century BC, a period following the Persian expansion into Syria—shows major Achaemenid influence in its layout and decoration. According to Dutch archaeologist, Peter Akkermans, the temple is the "best-preserved monumental structure from the Phoenician homeland."
A second temple, described by visitors to the site in 1743 and 1860 and thought to have disappeared, was later discovered by the Syrian archaeological mission near the Nahr al-Kuble spring...."

I got this from Ancient Phoenicia - a Facebook community page. So far I cannot find a way to link a particular Facebook page to the forum, so I'll just give the names of pages from which I got some interesting IMO info.

Edited by Don Quixote - 28-Aug-2013 at 00:25
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2013 at 20:40
"...A Roman site covered with multi-colored mosaics is now under excavation in the small village of Dresnik in northwestern Kosovo.
This is one the biggest finds in Kosovo in the past four decades. Digging first started in September 2012 under head archaeologist Masar Valla, who believes the site spreads over as much as 50 hectares.
Diggers have so far opened up a 200 square-metre area — which is believed to be the ground floor of a public building or an urban villa.

Archaeologists have still not determined the exact period of construction or what the building’s purpose was.
Masar Valla enthused about the site which he thinks will reveal more magical treasures as further excavation work takes place: “The mosaic has geometrical shapes, it is multi-coloured, so far we’ve distinguished seven colours. It is one of the most beautiful mosaics found in Kosovo, we do think we will find much more when we continue with work in October.”

The find is reportedly unique in Kosovo and so far the archaeologists have opened up four spaces, all of which have floor mosaics.
It is believed that the site is on the path of an old Roman road – Via Lissus-Naissus connecting the modern town of Lezhe in Albania and Nis in Serbia...."
http://www.euronews.com/2013/08/28/revealing-the-mysteries-of-kosovo-s-roman-ruins/
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2013 at 20:45

Bulgarian archaeologists find Roman-era frigidarium in Bourgas

Archaeological digs carried out this summer on the site of the Roman-era public baths in the Bulgarian city of Bourgas have found the first frigidarium – a cold-water pool – that was part of the the Aqua Calidae baths.

The digs are part of a conservation and restoration project by the Bourgas municipality, meant to turn the Aqua Calidae – Thermopolis site, which housed public baths during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras, into a tourist attraction, the city hall said.

Found at a depth of about 4.6 metres underground, it has a length of 6.8 metres and is 6.4 metres wide. It had a brick floor that in some place did not stand the test of time and architectural features that have led archaeologists to believe that it was built in the second century CE, when the first public baths were built on the site by Roman authorities.

A frigidarium was the last pool that bathers would enter in the Roman baths (after the tepidarium and caldarium) and its temperature was kept cold to close skin pores.

The frigidarium in the Aqua Calidae was in the eastern part of the baths, which has been the focus of this summer’s digs under the supervision of professor Dimcho Momchilov, with archaeologists from the Bourgas and Yambol history museums joined by students from four Bulgarian universities.

The most significant finds of the season were 18 wooden combs, which appeared to have been preserved by the water in which they were found. The dig team believes that the combs date to the early medieval era, but required further study, given that construction of the Ottoman-era baths in the 16th century and the modern baths at the start of the 20th century caused some displacement.

Other finds included about 50 coins from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras, a golden ear-ring and a silver medallion, as well as other well-preserved wooden items.

http://sofiaglobe.com/2013/08/28/bulgarian-archaeologists-find-roman-era-frigidarium-in-bourgas/



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 28-Aug-2013 at 20:46
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2013 at 22:10

Archaeologists discovered a unique woman figurine in Silesia


Unique on the Polish scale clay figurine from the Neolithic period (fourth millennium BC) depicting a stylised woman figure has been found during the excavations in Racibórz.

"This find is a sensation in the archaeological world, because so far only a few and small fragments of human figurines from this period have been discovered" - told PAP Jacek Pierzak from the Silesian Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments.

 

The object was discovered during the survey of the planned flood reservoir Dolna Odra, conducted by the Archaeological Rescue Research Team at the Centre for Prehistoric and Medieval Studies of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology PAS in Poznań.

 

The figurine was dubbed "Venus of Racibórz" because it is similar to other finds of this type known from Paleolithic sites. It has clearly shown legs, wide hips, breasts, and three nodules at the top, the central of which is a schematic representation of the head, while the outer two are interpreted as hands raised in a gesture of oration. Figurine from Racibórz, however, is made of different material, than Venus - it is made of clay, while Venus was sculpted in stone. Discoverer of the "Venus of Racibórz" is Marek Anioła, archaeologist who conducts work at the site.

 

"Female figurines are associated with the worship of fertility and the mother goddess, they are also considered by some scientists to be evidence of the importance of women in the Neolithic period" - said the coordinator of the archaeological work Dr. Przemysław Bobrowski.

 

It's not only interesting archaeological discovery made during the work in the Racibórz area. The study includes 15 archaeological sites from different periods. They are part of a larger project conducted by the Consortium of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, the University of Wroclaw and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, at the request of the Regional Water Management Authority in Gliwice.

http://www.naukawpolsce.pap.pl/en/news/news,396821,archaeologists-discovered-a-unique-woman-figurine-in-silesia.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 28-Aug-2013 at 22:11
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2013 at 00:48

19th-Century Shipwreck Off N.J. Coast Identified

A 19th-century steamer that sank beneath the waves after a violent crash off the
 New Jersey coast has now been found.The Robert J. Walker, a pre-Civil-War-era ship
 that surveyed the Gulf Coast, wrecked in 1860 after being struck by a commercial ship.

Divers discovered the shipwreck site in the 1970s, but the ship's identity has been shrouded

 in mystery until now. Scientists used the wreck's location and unique features to make the

 positive identification.

"Before this identification was made, the wreck was just an anonymous symbol on navigation

 charts," Rear Adm. Gerd Glang, director of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Coast Survey, said in a statement. "Now, we can truly honor the 20 members of the crew

 and their final resting place. It will mark a profound sacrifice by the men who served

 during a remarkable time in our history."

The Robert J. Walker, commissioned in 1847, was one of the first iron-hulled steamers

 in the

 United States. The ship was used by the Coast Survey, which was commissioned in 1807

 by Thomas Jefferson to chart the nation's coastline and produce nautical maps

The Robert J. Walker contributed to that effort by surveying the Florida Keys and the

 area around Mobile, Ala.

With the Civil War looming, the Coast Survey stepped up its efforts to map harbors that

 would be strategically important during the war.

The Walker had just finished surveying the Gulf of Mexico and was sailing to New York on

 June 21, 1860, when a commercial schooner slammed into it about 10 miles (16 kilometers)

 off the New Jersey Coast. The ship sank in half an hour, and 20 of the 66 crewmembers died.

At the time, The New York Herald reported that a "heavy sea was running, and many of the

 men were doubtless washed off the spars and drowned from the mere exhaustion of holding

 on, while others were killed or stunned on rising to the surface by concussion with spars 

and other parts of the wreck."

Though a commercial fisherman found the wreckage of the Walker in 1970 about

 85 feet (25 meters) below the surface, its identity wasn't known.

But in the past few years, wreck divers collaborated with NOAA researchers and maritime

 archaeologists to identify the ship. The team used sonar to map the dimensions of the ship,

 mapped the wreckage location and pored over historical records.

The wreck's location made it likely it was the Walker: It was even pointing toward Absecon

 Lighthouse in Atlantic City, N.J., where the ship was heading as it desperately tried to 

stay afloat.

Divers then spotted unique features, such as rectangular portholes and engines, that

 positively identified the ship.

http://news.discovery.com/history/us-history/shipwreck-identified-off-nj-coast-130829.htm



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 30-Aug-2013 at 00:57
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2013 at 04:27

First Scottish Iron Age 'loch village' found in Wigtownshire

The dig has found remains of a "loch village", thought to be the first of its kind discovered in Scotland

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of an Iron Age "loch village" in Wigtownshire, the first of its kind to be found in Scotland.

Experts believe it could be "Scotland's Glastonbury", a reference to thelake village in Somerset.

The excavation was part-financed with £15,000 from Historic Scotland.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop described the village discovery at Black Loch of Myrton as "an exciting and unexpected find".

The dig was carried out this summer by AOC Archaeology Group, which hopes to use the pilot excavation as the starting point for a broader programme of archaeological activity.

It is one of 55 archaeology projects to receive more than £1m in funding from Historic Scotland for 2013/14.

The Wigtownshire dig was a small-scale pilot excavation of what was initially thought to be a crannog in the now-infilled Black Loch of Myrton, which was under threat of destruction as a result of drainage operations.

However during the excavation, AOC - which worked on the dig in conjunction with local volunteers - discovered evidence of multiple structures making up a small village.

What initially appeared to be one of a small group of mounds before excavation was revealed to be a massive stone hearth complex at the centre of a roundhouse.

The timber structure of the house has been preserved, with beams radiating out from the hearth forming the foundation, while the outer wall consists of a double-circuit of stakes.

The most surprising discovery was that the house was not built on top of an artificial foundation, but directly over the fen peat which had gradually filled in the loch.

Rather than being a single crannog, as first thought, it appears to be a settlement of at least seven houses built in the wetlands around the small loch.

This type of site is currently unique in Scotland and there are few other comparable sites elsewhere in the British Isles.

Improve knowledge

Similar lake villages - including Glastonbury and Meare, which is also in Somerset - have been found in England, but this is the first "loch village" to be uncovered in Scotland.

Experts hope that its discovery will help to improve knowledge and understanding of Iron Age Scotland.

Ms Hyslop welcomed the discovery.

"There are some excellent examples of 'lake villages' in England but this is the first time archaeologists have found a 'loch village' in Scotland," she said.

"I am pleased too that experts joined forces with local volunteers on this project and I look forward to discovering what more this important find can teach us about Iron Age Scotland."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-23896997



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 31-Aug-2013 at 04:28
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2013 at 22:31

Bulgarian archaeologists find ‘twin’ of Sozopol ‘vampire’ at Perperikon


Archaeologists working on Bulgaria’s Perperikon site have found the skeleton of a male buried with a ploughshare in its chest, a find that professor Nikolai Ovcharov has already described as a “twin of the Sozopol vampire.”

The discovery in Sozopol last year quickly made the rounds of domestic and foreign media, which dubbed the remains a “medieval vampire”, but such burials had been found in Bulgaria before, with iron stakes likely driven through the deceased’s heart during burial rites given to intellectuals – a group often suspected by superstitious medieval Europeans of being warlocks communicating with Satan.

This appears to be the first find of this kind (or the first publicised one, at least) at Perperikon – a treasure trove that archaeologists are still not finished exploring after more than a decade of digging, given that the site has been inhabited since the early Iron Age well into the medieval era.

Coins found with the body have been tentatively dated to the 13th and 14th century. The skeleton appears to belong to a male aged 35 to 40, Ovcharov said.

“I say that he is almost a ‘twin’ of the Sozopol [vampire] because on the left side, between his neck and chest, there is a massive ploughshare. In other cases we have found nails and spikes, but there is no other known case, except the one in Sozopol, where a ploughshare was used. It is a ritual to prevent undeath,” Ovcharov said on September 2, as quoted by Focus news agency.

(The remains of the Sozopol ‘vampire’ returned to the town earlier this summer, alongside a bust made using forensic facial reconstruction. According to the director of the National History Museum in Sofia and Sozopol native Bozhidar Dimitrov, the “vampire” might have been a historical figure – the pirate Krivich, who lived in the 13th century and appears to have acted as a town mayor at some point in his life.)

Ovcharov, one of Bulgaria’s best-known archaeologists, has been leading archaeological digs at Perperikon for 13 years now and said earlier this spring that he hoped to finish work on the Perperikon acropolis this season.

This season’s digs focused on a part of the acropolis that held a large altar dating back to the first millennium BCE, a late antiquity Roman temple, as well as the medieval bishop’s palace from the 13th-14th century.

Perperikon, in Bulgaria’s eastern Rhodopes region, about 15km from the town of Kurdjali, has been the site of various forms of religious activity from about 7000 years ago, having first been used by the Thracians. The site is a popular tourist attraction and long-term archaeological work continues to unveil new discoveries.

http://sofiaglobe.com/2013/09/02/bulgarian-archaeologists-find-twin-of-sozopol-vampire-at-perperikon/



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 04-Sep-2013 at 22:37
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Sep-2013 at 23:12
Carbon dating shows ancient Egypt's rapid expansion

The powerful civilisation of ancient Egypt took just a few centuries to build, according to a radiocarbon dating study that sets the first solid chronology for the period.

Five thousand years ago, Egypt became the world's first territorial state with strict borders, organised religion, centralised administration and intensive agriculture. It lasted for millennia and set a template that countries still follow today.

Archaeologists have assumed it developed gradually from the pastoral communities that preceded it, but physicist Mike Dee from the University of Oxford and his colleagues now suggest that the transition could have taken as little as 600 years.

The early history of ancient Egypt is murky because although there are plenty of archaeological finds, including royal tombs, there is no reliable way to attribute firm dates to the various reigns and periods. Radiocarbon dating has previously been of limited use because dating individual objects gives ranges of up to 300 years.

To improve on that, Dee and his colleagues used a computerised statistical approach known as Bayesian modelling. They compiled radiocarbon dates from nearly 200 artefacts, including hair, plants and bone, from known reigns or periods during Egypt's First Dynasty and the Predynastic period before it. They entered these into a computer model to estimate the most likely dates of transition between the different periods.

It is illegal to remove archaeological samples from Egypt, so the researchers dated items from museum collections in Europe and North America, as well as freshly excavated seed samples from Tell es-Sakan on the Gaza Strip, which was an outpost of ancient Egypt.

The first king

For the First Dynasty, the estimated reign lengths match the human lifespan, which was around 30 to 40 years at the time. This suggests that Egypt was ruled by individual kings right from the start, rather than by clans, as some experts have suggested. The researchers used carbon dating to estimate with 68 per cent probability that the first ruler, King Aha, took to the throne between 3111 and 3045 BC, and died between 3073 and 3036 BC.

They also concluded that the Predynastic period began in 3800-3700 BC, so it lasted just 600-700 years, several centuries less than previously thought. "This is a period during which Egypt goes through a major transition," says Dee. It started with small, cattle-owning communities who migrated with the seasons. "At the end you've got a state."

"All the important things that our societies do were invented then," says Günter Dreyer who, until recently, was the director of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, and has led excavations at Abydos, one of ancient Egypt's oldest cities, for more than 30 years. "We're still standing on their shoulders."

He is sceptical about the accuracy of radiocarbon measurements when it comes to absolute dates, but agrees the technique gives a valuable indication of the lengths of different historical periods. During the Predynastic period, progress "becomes faster and faster, so much happens", he says. "In the last two centuries, around 3200 BC, it is breathtaking."

Dee hopes that archaeologists will now reappraise the period, to start to understand what triggered such dramatic changes.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24145-carbon-dating-shows-ancient-egypts-rapid-expansion.html#.UivpHtKkrkp

Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 07-Sep-2013 at 23:14
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Sep-2013 at 08:17
First world war model battlefield to be dug up

Part of the first world war model battlefield at Cannock Chase.


A dig to uncover a scale model of one of the first world war's bloodiest battlefields – created by soldiers in tribute to their dead comrades – is about to start.

Archaeologists will begin charting the site, the only example of its kind left in Britain, which was planned in painstaking detail by troops returned from the battle of Messines, fought in June 1917 on the western front.

Experts said the terrain model was built not only as a training aid for soldiers at Brocton Camp, Staffordshire, but also in recognition of the horrific toll the battle fought around Messines ridge took on the brigade.

The ridge formed an anchor in the German front lines but the week of infantry attack, aerial bombardment and heavy shelling resulted in an Allied victory, with four Victoria crosses awarded to empire soldiers.

The human cost of the battle ran to 50,000 men killed, wounded or missing on both sides.

The battle was fought in the buildup to the larger and even bloodier Passchendaele offensive, which began in July of that year.

Staffordshire county council, in a project funded by Natural England, is to make a record of the model for future generations before re-covering the site, on Cannock Chase, in October.

The model was built by German prisoners of war, supervised by New Zealanders, and then rendered in concrete.

It includes small-scale reconstructions of Messines village's buildings, including its church, together with trench positions, railway lines, roads, and accurate contours of the surrounding terrain.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/sep/01/first-world-war-model-battlefield?INTCMP=SRCH

Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 09-Sep-2013 at 08:19
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2013 at 03:59
7000-year-old defensive wall emerges near Bulgaria's Shoumen

The dry spell blanketing Bulgaria for the past two months has resulted in an unexpected archaeological discovery, with the remains of a 7000-year-old defensive wall emerging from the waters of the Ticha accumulation lake near the town of Shoumen in northeastern Bulgaria.

The wall is more than five meters tall, made of rocks that are being held together by clay. The wall has an arrowslit and appears to be better built than other fortifications dating back to the same period in this part of Europe, historian Stefan Chohadjiev from Veliko Turnovo University told Bulgarian National Television.

On the southern approach of the hill, the fortification is at its strongest, with three parallel lines of defence built to repel attackers. The inhabitants of the stronghold appear to have been a frequent target of attacks, this being the most likely reason why its defences have been built up, instead of featuring only the more traditional moat, according to Chohadjiev.

Remains of a village that had been inhabited for several centuries can be found inside the wall – most likely, it was the stronghold of the local warlords who ruled the surrounding vale, Chohadjiev said. The items found on the site, including luxury items (marble and jade jewellery) and military equipment, appear to confirm such a hypothesis, he said.

The wall had been rebuilt at least once, after parts of it collapsed inward, likely as a result of an earthquake, destroying several nearby homes.
http://sofiaglobe.com/2013/09/09/archaeology-7000-year-old-defensive-wall-emerges-near-bulgarias-shoumen/
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2013 at 04:06
'Early Pictish Royal remains' discovered at Rhynie

The remains found in the grave are now being analysed


The remains of what it is thought could be a member of early Pictish royalty have been discovered during an archaeological dig in Aberdeenshire.

The discovery at Rhynie was made by teams from the universities of Aberdeen and Chester.

The remains were found in a carefully made sandstone grave, which the experts believe suggests the person was of high status.

It is the first time remains of a body have been uncovered at the site.

Project leader Dr Gordon Noble, of the University of Aberdeen, said: "We found elements of the legs, pelvis and jaw bone which we recovered and are now analysing in the lab.

"It's extremely rare to find any human remains from this era in the north east of Scotland as the soil in this part of the world is so acidic.

"One of the graves had been carefully made from split sandstone slabs to create a cist and the stone lining and collapsed capstones helped to preserve skeletal material.

"Unlike Anglo-Saxon areas to the south, the tradition in Scotland was largely for unfurnished burial so we didn't expect to find rich grave assemblages."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-24018459
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Sep-2013 at 22:44
EXTRAORDINARY KURGAN BURIAL SHINES NEW LIGHT ON SARMATIAN LIFE

A Sarmatian burial mound excavated this summer in Russia’s Southern Ural steppes has yielded a magnificent but unusual treasure.
The artefacts contained within the mound are helping to shed light on a little-known period of the nomadic culture that flourished on the Eurasian steppe in the 1st millennium BC.
The archaeological study of this remarkable ancient tomb, or kurgan, was carried out by the expedition of the Institute of Archaeology (Russian Academy of Sciences), led by Professor Leonid T. Yablonsky.
No written language
The nomadic peoples had no written language therefore scientists can only learn about their cultures and traditions through archaeological data.
The kurgans which are scattered across the steppes contain many Scythian and Sarmatian relics and while the nomads successfully interacted with the Persian Achaemenid and Greek civilizations, they still preserved a unique culture of their own.
Completing the study of an extraordinary monument
This year archaeologists excavated the eastern part of Mound 1 at Filippovka 1 kurgan in the Orenburg region. This section was approximately 5m high and 50m long and was left unexplored by the previous expedition more than 20 years ago. The aim was to complete the study of this extraordinary monument, which had already famously entered the annals of world culture with the discovery of 26 “golden” deer statuettes.
Another major challenge for the archaeologists was to ensure the preservation of this unique cultural heritage which faces a large number of imminent threats with robbery being a major problem.
Massive cast bronze cauldron
An underground passage near the entrance was the first area of exploration this season. A massive cast bronze cauldron with a diameter of 102 cm was discovered there. Its handles were fashioned in the traditions of the Scythian-Siberian animal style with an image of two griffins, beak to beak.


Burial chamber
Under the eastern mound an undisturbed burial chamber was discovered measuring approximately 4x5m and 4m deep. At the bottom of the chamber several stratified layers of debris were excavated to reveal exceptionally rich and varied grave goods accompanying a human skeleton. The material associated with the burial seemed to belong to a woman as it contained what is regarded as representing typically female artefacts and jewellery. However, initial osteological examination of the skeletal morphology revealed the occupant of the burial to be male; though DNA-analysis is still to be carried out.
Detail of the griffin handles. Image: Leonid Yablonsky Cast lidded silver container. Image: Leonid Yablonsky Silver mirror with gilded and embossed decoration. Image: Leonid Yablonsky Golden plaque depicting panther leaping on a saiga’s (antelope) back. Image: Leonid Yablonsky Cast gold earring with cloisonné enamel decoration. Image: Leonid Yablonsky
Grave goods
A small wicker chest that is thought to be a vanity case was found near the skull. It was filled to the brim with items including a cast silver container with a lid, a gold pectoral, a wooden box, cages, glass, silver and earthenware bathroom flasks, leather pouches, and horse teeth that contained red pigments.
Burial chamber showing skeleton accompanied by rich assortment of grave goods. Image: Leonid Yablonsky
Burial chamber showing skeleton accompanied by rich assortment of grave goods. Image: Leonid Yablonsky
Nearby lay a large silver mirror with gilded stylized animals on the handle and embossed decoration on the back with the image of an eagle in the centre, surrounded by a procession of six winged bulls.
The garments were decorated with several plaques, depicting flowers, rosettes and a panther leaping on a saiga’s (antelope) back. There were also 395 pressed pieces of gold leaf sewn onto the breeches, shirt and scarf. A fringed shawl was held together with a golden chain and the sleeves of the shirt were embellished with multicoloured beads, forming a complex geometric pattern. Two cast gold earrings decorated in places with cloisonné enamel were found in the area of the temporal bones.
Tattooing equipment
The archaeologists also uncovered equipment used in the art of tattooing, including two stone mixing palettes and iron, gold covered needles, as well as bone spoons used to blend paints and pens decorated with animals.
More than one thousand artefacts were recovered from the tomb and they constitute an invaluable research resource that will add to the growing corpus of data that is shedding light on the history of the Eurasian continent.
This excavation represents a major breakthrough in the study of the mysterious Sarmatian culture of the Early Iron Age.
http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/09/2013/extraordinary-kurgan-burial-shines-new-light-on-sarmatian-life

Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 11-Sep-2013 at 22:46
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.
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