Friday, August 20, 2004

Skeletons unearthed in old town

On the weekend the Medieval Park in Oslo's Gamlebyen (Old City) district played host to 30,000 concert-goers dancing the days away at the annual Øya festival. On Tuesday archaeologists dug up 44 skeletons nearby - from a depth of just 40 centimeters (15.7 inches).


Roman town found at farm

A ROMAN town, possibly dating back to the first century, has been discovered beneath a Wickwar farm.

The town is thought to have once been home to 1,000 people, but lay forgotten after it was disbanded following the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifthcentury.

Until that is a Wickwar farmer, who was born and bred in the area, starting turning up unusual artefacts.

David Isaac, whose family has farmed at Hall End Farm for three generations, was the first to think he was living on top of an exciting discovery.

The family had been collecting Roman coins, brooches, animal bones, pottery and thimbles for many years previously but it was only when Mr Isaac's wife, Mary, started digging that the true nature of the find was revealed.

This is the South Cotswolds

Unique items unearthed in burial mounds in Orenburg

Archaeologists have found household appliances and weapons of the Sarmat epoch (4th century BCE) in the area of the Filippovsky burial mounds in the Orenburg region (one of the former Soviet Union provinces). The archaeologists found bronze items, including a boiler with animal-style handles, a brazier, mirrors and cosmetic vessels, Central Asian ceramic dishes, quivers, daggers and cuirass fragments. The origin of some finds is still unknown, the source said. The expedition led by Doctor of History Leonid Yablonsky from the Russian Academy of Sciences' Archaeology Institute, also found medieval tombs in one of the mounds.

Stone Pages

Monday, August 16, 2004

The ongoing revamp of Acropolis monuments

PLAGUED by a plethora of ailments from cracking, erosion and flaking to delamination, sugaring and sulphation, the Parthenon has been under restoration for the lifetime of Athenians under the age of 20. Planning how to tackle the job had gone on for 10 years before it started. The work is still far from finished. Begun modestly enough as a rescue operation to halt deterioration of the marble due to a host of factors, among them air pollution and acid rain, the enterprise has expanded exponentially since taking the temple apart has revealed fresh decay.

Athens News

Relic linked to Seahenge

A simple carved wooden figure could hold the key to an amazing new theory about the true meaning of Norfolk's Seahenge site.

Scientists have carbon-dated the relic, found in the Thames Estuary in 1912, and discovered that it dates back to the same period as the older of Norfolk's two timber circles.

Archaeologists now believe instead of being composed of plain wooden posts, parts of a Bronze Age timber circle found close to the site of Seahenge could have been decorated with carvings resembling native American totem poles.

EDP Online

Rare Iron Age burial found at Minehowe

Archaeologists working at Minehowe in Orkney, Scotland, have uncovered a complete skeleton buried under the floor of an Iron Age metalworking workshop outside the site's circular ditch.

The skeleton - just over 5ft (1.5m) long - is believed to date from the 3rd to 5th century CE, and was decorated with two bronze toe-rings and a piece of antler drilled with six holes lying on the chest. Although a full examination has still to take place, it is thought that it is the remains of a girl in her late teens or early 20s.

“This really is an incredible discovery,” explained Jane Downes from Orkney College. “It's so rare to find Iron Age burials in Scotland, let alone Orkney.”

Stone Pages

Neolithic sanctuary found in Bulgaria

Archaeologists working near the village of Kapitan Dimitrievo, southern Bulgaria, have uncovered an ancient sanctuary.

The team, led by professor Vassil Nikolov, made their discovery at a depth of 1.8m while working on the Banyata mound. The sanctuary is believed to have been used for rituals to ensure a plentiful harvest.

The area around the mound has been subject to excavations over the past 2 years, and some of the finds will be going on show as part of the recently-opened exhibition of Thracian objects entitled "Orpheus’ Golden Empire" at the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle museum in Bonn, Germany.

Stone Pages

Friday, August 13, 2004


The latest excavations at the Mary Rose wreck site have added yet further pieces to the puzzle of the Tudor flagship, including what archaeologists believe are the lower sections of its previously lost bowcastle.

So far the archaeologists have undertaken 291 hours of diving over four weeks, bringing 123 artefacts and around 200 pieces of timber to the surface.

From a swivel gun, a priming tool and numerous pieces of shot, to pulleys, blocks and an incredible piece of leather shoe - "straight away you’re with somebody," exclaimed archaeologist Martin Read - the discoveries offer yet more evidence of what life was like in Henry VIII’s Navy

24 Hour Museum News

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Bow of Tudor wreck raised

A missing section of the Mary Rose, including one of the cannons which may have helped take Henry VIII's favourite warship to the bottom, has been recovered from the deep silt that buried it for almost 500 years.

Although the Mary Rose was engaged in a battle with the French in 1545, it was weather and its construction which sank it so quickly, within sight of the shore, that only a handful of the crew survived.


Ancient Olympians Followed "Atkins" Diet, Scholar Says

The 2004 Athens Olympic Games begin on Friday. Over the course of the 18-day event, 24,000 athletes, coaches, and officials will wolf down almost every food imaginable, from Brazilian fish stew to Asian stir-fried vegetables. Most competitors will follow highly specialized diets and consume sports drinks, gels, and energy bars to boost their performance.
The modern Olympics have radically changed from their debut in 776 B.C., when the cook Koroibos won the only sporting event: a footrace. But even then, ancient athletes were concerned with what they ate—and some even followed a meat-heavy, Atkins-style diet.

Now food historians are studying ancient Greek and Roman texts to learn about the diet of the first Olympians—and about the roots of Mediterranean cuisine.

National Geographic

Roman baby find baffles boffins

ARCHAEOLOGISTS working on the site of a Roman villa just outside Wheathampstead are puzzled by the discovery of the skeleton of a baby.

For they believe that the child, which died either shortly before or after birth, may have been buried in the foundations of the villa as part of a ritual ceremony.

Field archaeologist Simon West said: "We are not sure why this type of practice was carried out but it could be to, in some way, bring luck to the house."

Herts Advertiser

Council planning rules say "NO" to henges quarry plan

Heritage group claims councils own rules provide ray of hope for the
Thornborough Henges.

National campaign group Heritage Action are pleased to announce that a major
obstacle has been put in the way of plans by Tarmac Northern Ltd to quarry
the heritage landscape surrounding the Thornborough Henges close to Ripon.
Thanks to North Yorkshire County Council!

The council's own minerals planning measures mean that any extension of
quarrying at Thornborough is against council policy and would force North
Yorkshire to oversupply sand and gravel - squandering the region's


More than 500 planning objection letters were presented in a wheelbarrow to
County Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire on 30th July 2004 by members of
Heritage Action's Thornborough henges campaign. There were reports in the
Guardian Newspaper and Northern Echo and the event was covered by Yorkshire
(Calendar) television.

Pressure is being maintained by the group who are determined that this
internationally important henge complex be fully protected and kept for the

Visit the Web site for more information

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Archaeologists and heritage experts yesterday voiced their concerns about the sale of sets of archaeological records on Internet auction site eBay.

Sets of over 300 cards containing references to finds and sites of archaeological interest in Durham, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire have already been sold, and another set covering Cumbria is still under auction.

The cards are being sold as having come from the filing system of a retired archaeologist and as providing information "invaluable to anyone researching into Cumberland/Cumbria's ancient history, or as a guide to finding more productive metal detecting sites".

This has led experts to question whether these could be official Site Monument Records (SMRs), which are held by local authorities and feature detailed information on excavations, location and finds.

24 Hour Museum News

Castle's treasures put on display

Tens of thousands of artefacts, some dating back to the Bronze Age, are to be brought out of storage in Kent.

Dover Castle is putting finds from the Richborough Roman Fort on display in a new public access area.

BBC News

Monday, August 09, 2004

4,000-year-old doll found

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 4 000-year-old doll, thought to be the world's oldest toy, Milan's Corriere della Sera newspaper reported on Thursday.

The doll's head, discovered during excavations on the southern island of Pantelleria, is about four centimetres long, with carved facial features and a curly head of hair.

Experts have dubbed the significant find the "Barbie of the Bronze Age".

"The body was made out of wood or material and was not preserved," said head archaeologist Sebastino Tusa.


Workmen uncover medieval graves

Archaeologists say they have found a town's largest medieval burial site yet after workmen dug up human remains.

Evidence of 50 burials has been found at the site near the 16th Century Litten Chapel in Newbury, Berkshire.

BBC News

Ship takes King's Lynn back in time

During King's Lynn's heyday as a major trading post, "kogge" cargo ships would have been a familiar sight on its waterways.

And on Saturday the town took a step back to medieval times when a magnificent replica ship dropped anchor at Boal Quay.

The Kieler Hansekogge is visiting the port, which was an inter-nationally significant trading post during medieval times, as part of celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of Lynn's charter by King John.

EDP 24

Objections to quarrying at Thornborough henge complex

Heritage campaigners fighting to stop the destruction of the massive Thornborough henge complex this week delivered more than 600 written objections to the planning department of North Yorkshire County Council in Northallerton, northern England.

The letters - which were delivered in a wheelbarrow - are as a result of a local, national and international campaign being co-ordinated by George Chaplin, the Thornborough Campaign co-ordinator for Heritage Action.

Stone Pages

Sardinia stakes claim as cradle of wine

Dutch and Italian archaeologists digging in the fertile Sardara hills north of Sardinia's capital Cagliari said that they had discovered grape pips and sediment dating to 1,200 BCE. Sardinia, it seems, may be the cradle of European wine culture. DNA tests on the grape remains are being carried out by researchers at Milan's Bicocca and State universities to try to determine if the vines were imported from other ancient winegrowing regions or were a local variety.

Stone Pages

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Hidden History of Sand Dunes Revealed

Nature lovers can this weekend learn about the discovery of medieval cities and buried graves underneath Cornish sand dunes.

A Cornwall County Council archaeologist will lead an event at Penhale dunes, on the north coast near Perranporth, entitled ‘Sands of Time’ on Sunday.

Senior archaeologist Richard Cole said: “There is so much history encapsulated on the dunes and we will be particularly looking at what went on in the area and what can now been seen.”

The Scotsman

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Archaeologists working at Battle Abbey in East Sussex have made a series of discoveries that shed new light on the history of the ancient building and its grounds.

The works, taking place ahead of an extension of Battle Abbey School’s classroom facilities, have revealed the remains of a medieval monastery, a Victorian fountain and a medieval arrowhead.

Discovered by experts from Archaeology South East, the finds have now been recorded and analysed and are already extending our knowledge of a well-known site.

24 Hour Museum News

Monday, August 02, 2004

Ancient souterrain is discovered in west Sligo

An extensive souterrain has been discovered in west Sligo following the appearance of a hole in a road leading to a remote beach area.
The man-made underground passage and circular chamber are about four feet under the tarred surface of the road near the Harbour Bar in Pollaheeney.

The hole appeared in the road when part of the roof slabbing on the passage collapsed.

Some time ago other man-made passages were discovered in the area when a new house was being built.

Western People


A Roman font dating back more than 1,600 years has been unearthed in a Lincolnshire field.

The 4th century artefact is one of only 18 to be discovered in Britain and has been described by archaeologists as a "significant" find.

It is thought the find, which has been cut into pieces, reflects a period of religious tension in the country between Christianity and Paganism.

This is Lincolnshire


Archaeologists are excited at the Roman finds discovered at Fosse Lane in Shepton Mallet, including the original Fosse Way Roman road. The discovery of the military Fosse Way road, believed to have been built in the early first century to carry troops north during the invasion of Britain, has now been verified by experts.

This is Somerstet

Archaeologists continue Roman excavation

A UNIQUE project to map the vast extent of a Roman settlement will take place in Bradford on Avon.

Archaeologist Mark Corney, working with his team of 20 for the third year on the excavation of the Roman villa site in St Laurence School playing fields, hopes to map the settlement.

He predicts it extends as far north as Atworth, as far south as the northern fringes of Trowbridge and as far west as the River Avon.

This is Wiltshire

Museum of prehistory opened in Dordogne

France's Museum of Prehistory opened this month in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, in the Dordogne. The museum, 20 years in the planning, arguing and making, is a triumph. It is attracting more visitors than can be comfortably handled in the village which calls itself, with some justification, the "capital of pre-history".

In 1868, near the Les Eyzies railway station, human remains were found in a cave called Cro-Magnon ("the cave of M. Magnon"), which gave its name to the earliest known period of Homo sapiens' residence in Europe. The last traces of the "Neanderthal" cousins of humanity, interbred with or wiped out by Homo sapiens 30,000 years ago, were also found near here. Just down the road are the famous Lascaux cave paintings, an 80m-long, four-sided frieze, densely packed with animal images; they were found in 1940. A couple of kilometres away is the Madeleine site; it lends its name to the "Magdelanian" period 18,000 years ago which produced an explosion of primitive (and not so primitive) art.

The pre-history museum at Les Eyzies has made a policy decision to show original artefacts, rather than copies, wherever possible. The museum sketches the human story from the earliest times in Africa 3,500,000 years ago but concentrates on the relatively "recent" history of the people who crowded into the Périgord region of France from 20,000 years ago.

Stone Pages