Saturday, April 28, 2007

Archaeologists bowled over by city discovery

THESE are the first pictures of an ancient warlord's treasure found at a city allotment site which has sent archaelogists into a spin.

It was a chance in a million which led forensic experts to dig up this rare seventh-century brass bowl, which has been hailed as one of the most exciting archaelogical discoveries in the past decade.

The bowl was only unearthed when gardener Helen McGlashon (26) found a human skull while digging on her vegetable patch off Palmerston Road, in Woodston, Peterborough.

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English Heritage is putting three rare coffin lids on display for the first time at its store in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, after solving a riddle that has defied archaeologists for the past three decades.

The heavyweight relics, excavated from Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village, near Malton, were used for the burial of a high-status Viking family, but experts have now discovered they entombed Romans up to 800 years earlier.

Unearthed at Wharram 30 years ago as part of Britain’s longest running dig (1950-1990), the re-used coffin lids concealed the burials of a child up to five years old, a female in her early twenties and a male aged between 40 to 50, found in the churchyard and dating between 1060 to 1160.

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Following in the steps of a Trojan hero

Archaeologists have discovered the place where Aeneas is believed to have first set foot in Italy.

It is the closest point on the Italian peninsula to Albania and, until efforts by the coastguard some years ago, was the destination of choice for Albanians fleeing poverty for the glamour and prosperity of their wealthy neighbour. But suddenly, the little town of Castro in the province of Lecce has something much more exciting to shout about.

Archaeologists at the University of Lecce have discovered that the modern town, with its 15th-century walls, sits on the ruins of the port that was the first landfall in Italy made by the semi-mythical wanderer of the ancient world, Aeneas. According to Virgil's epic, he fled Troy as the Greeks destroyed it and made his laborious way westwards finally to found a "new Troy", the imperial city of Rome.

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Ancient paintings discovered in heart of London

A series of important ancient Roman artworks have been discovered under a restaurant in the City of London.
A series of ancient paintings have been uncovered beneath the streets of London.

The Roman artworks were found underneath an Italian restaurant in Lime Street, in the City of London.

Painted 1,900 years ago, the paintings depict goldfinch and lavish bunches of grapes, magazine London Archaeologist reports.

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Ein echter Knochenjob

Die Gebeine von Menschen der Frühen Neuzeit lassen auf deren Ernährung und Umwelt schließen.

Freiwillige Vegetarier? Die gab es in der Frühen Neuzeit vermutlich noch nicht. Aber auch aus der Not geborener Fleischverzicht war in dieser kritischen Phase des Übergangs vom Mittelalter zur Moderne wohl eher selten, sagt Diana Peitel. Die Anthropologin hat in ihrer Dissertation am Institut für Humanbiologie und Anthropologie der Freien Universität Berlin überraschend zeigen können, dass sich die Menschen der Frühen Neuzeit nicht schlechter ernährten als im Mittelalter.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bronze age life by airport runway

Archaeologists have published findings of an important Bronze Age settlement at Manchester Airport.

The dig, which was part of the multi-million pound development of Runway 2, uncovered Early Bronze Age artefacts at Oversley Farm in Styal.

The finds - which include flint arrowheads, pottery and tools - will go on display at Chester Museum.

Experts at the dig said they had made a "significant discovery" about pre-historic life in Cheshire.

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DNA examination of ancient dental pulp incriminates typhoid fever as a probable cause of the Plague of Athens.

Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, University of Athens, 2 Thivon str., 11527 Goudi/Athens, Greece.

BACKGROUND: Until now, in the absence of direct microbiological evidence, the cause of the Plague of Athens has remained a matter of debate among scientists who have relied exclusively on Thucydides' narrations to introduce several possible diagnoses. A mass burial pit, unearthed in the Kerameikos ancient cemetery of Athens and dated back to the time of the plague outbreak (around 430 BC), has provided the required skeletal material for the investigation of ancient microbial DNA. OBJECTIVE: To determine the probable cause of the Plague of Athens. METHOD: Dental pulp was our material of choice, since it has been proved to be an ideal DNA source of ancient septicemic microorganisms through its good vascularization, durability and natural sterility.

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Location: Worldwide Length: 33 min.

The world's best films and videos on archaeology and indigenous peoples are showcased at The Archaeology Channel International Film and Video Festival, to be held 1-5 May 2007 in the Jaqua Concert Hall at The Shedd Institute in Eugene, Oregon, USA. This preview video includes a short clip from each of the 21 productions that will compete on the big screen. Film-makers from 23 countries submitted a total of 86 entries for this event, which is one of the world's few contests in the genre of heritage film.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Debt-ridden British Museum funds foreign trips

It spends less on new acquisitions than almost any other major museum in the world and is currently £2 million in the red. Yet the British Museum has been able to find tens of thousands of pounds to send its 23-strong team of trustees and top managers on a series of foreign trips.

The museum, home to the Elgin marbles and the Rosetta Stone, has dispensed with the tradition of holding its annual meeting of trustees at its London headquarters and has instead begun holding them overseas.

Sir John Tusa, the managing director of the Barbican Centre, Vikram Seth, the novelist, and Bonnie Greer, the broadcaster, are among the trustees who have attended meetings abroad.

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Egypt Vows "Scientific War" If Germany Doesn't Loan Nefertiti

She may not be Helen of Troy, but the face of another ancient beauty has nearly launched a "scientific war" between Germany and Egypt.

In an escalating conflict over a famous 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, the head of Egypt's antiquities authority has threatened to ban exhibitions and tours of Egyptian artifacts from Germany.

Ancient Egypt Cities Leveled by Massive Volcano, Lava Find Suggests (April 2, 2007)
Time Line of Ancient Egypt
Great Pyramid Built Inside Out, French Architect Says (April 2, 2007)

Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, had requested the sculpture for a temporary exhibition. But German officials say the iconic artwork is too fragile to travel.

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Trace Your Viking Roots At Jorvik Viking Centres New Exibition

A new exhibition hitting the JORVIK Viking Centre in York in May 2007, will be sure to cause a storm, as it delves into the historic ‘melting pot’ of York that was created by immigration and trade in Viking times.

The unique ‘Are you a Viking’ exhibition, which opens to the public on the 26th May, will bring together bio-scientific and artefactual evidence to determine if visitors could have Viking ancestors. Using computer technology, a 3-dimensional walk-through Viking riverside scene, graphics and interactive activities visitors will be able to investigate:

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12th century target for dig in ashes of Cowgate

A MAJOR archaeological dig is to go ahead on the site of the massive Old Town fire in a bid to find remains which, it is hoped, will date back as far as the 12th century.

City council archaeologist John Lawson and his team will spend several days hunting for artefacts in a trench to be dug just off the Cowgate.

The dig will be the biggest since the devastating 2002 blaze which destroyed a number of buildings on the Cowgate and South Bridge.

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2 000-year-old tombs unearthed

Archaeologists in northeastern Greece have unearthed eight tombs containing the remains of men and women who lived over 2 000 years ago, along with an assortment of jewellery, weapons and agricultural tools, the Greek culture ministry said on Friday.

The tombs dating from the fifth to third centuries BC were dug into rock, likely covered with stone slabs and probably lay alongside an ancient road, the ministry said in a statement.

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Fears for safety of ancient Naxos temple

Laborers working to extend the harbor on the island of Naxos are dumping truckloads of building material in front of an archaeological site even though a court has ordered local authorities to suspend the work, campaigners claimed yesterday.

A group of 33 concerned residents lodged an appeal in February with the Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, asking for the construction work taking place in front of the Temple of Apollo to be stopped because of fears it is damaging the site.

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Unique Ancient Thracian Chariot Unearthed in Bulgaria

A completely intact Thracian chariot was unearthed by the Bulgarian archaeologist Vesselin Ignatov on Friday, Darik News reported.

The chariot was found near a burial barrow close to the central Bulgarian town of Nova Zagora. Ignatov and his team have already dated the finding to 2 century BC. The chariot has two wheels with its roof made of heavy bronze in the form of eagle heads and a folding iron chair, where the driver sat. The chariot was aimed to be pulled by three horses.

The uniqueness of the finding is that it is completely intact, with all its parts on place except the wooden ones, and now we can calculate its precise size and how exactly it was placed in the tomb, Ignatov said. He believes a second chariot will be found as the excavations continue.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Archaeologists aim to uncover lost Crafta Webb hamlet

Herefordshire Council’s archaeologists are helping to uncover the mystery of the lost Crafta Webb hamlet.

The former settlement on Bredwardine Hill grew rapidly in the early 1800s as a result of the George Jarvis Charity.

Jarvis left £30,000 in his will to help the poor of the three villages of Bredwardine, Staunton on Wye and Letton and this led to the hamlet’s population growing to more than 400 by the mid 19th century.

By the late 20th century, however, there were just 150 residents and today nothing can be seen of this once-thriving village that once had its own grocer, tailor and shoemaker.

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Battle Abbey - breathtaking demonstrations

THERE will be breathtaking demonstrations of early Medieval falconry, dubbed the 'sport of kings', at Battle Abbey next weekend.

Dressed in period robes, skilful members of Raphael Falconry will use a cast of beautiful and fast-flying hunting hawks, peregrine falcons, owls and kestrels to demonstrate the centuries-old hunting techniques and explain how at the date of 1066, hawking changed almost as dramatically as the course of English history.
Although an opening scene of the Bayeaux Tapestry shows King Harold with a hawk on his fist, during Saxon times falconry wasn't a wealthy pastime but used primarily to put food onto medieval tables.

Yet when William the Conqueror took to the throne of England, only nobility and royalty were allowed to enjoy the sport and the type of hawk or falcon an Englishman carried on his wrist marked his rank.

From 11am-5pm each day visitors can find out more during spectacular flying displays as the magnificent birds of prey soar above the battlefield site.

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Legendary Bulgarian King's Relics Prepped for 2nd Funeral 800 years After Death

The relics of the legendary Bulgarian Tzar Kaloyan were anointed with chrism and wine by the Veliko Tarnovo Metropolitan Bishop Grigoriy on Wednesday as part of the preparation of relics' second burial.

Bishop Grogoriy also said a forgiveness prayer and placed on them an icon of the Bulgarian saint Ivan Rilski. He also threw a handful of soil from the one in which the bones laid before they were found in 1972 by the archaeologist Valo Valov. After that the relics were wrapped in a crimson shroud and placed in a special coffin, made of rustproof, nickel-plated steel with Tzar Kaloyan's personal coat of arms, taken from the ring found in his funeral. The only difference is that there is a third year inscribed on the coat of arms in addition to the birth and death, 2007, the year of the re-burial.

The religious ceremony took place in the Crypt of the regional historical museum in Bulgaria's ancient capital of Veliko Tarnovo. The relics were placed in the coffin by the head of the Molecule Biology and Experimental Morphology Institute, Professor Yordan Yordanov.

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Remains of Roman teenager buried

The remains of a teenage Roman girl who was buried in the City of London more than 1,500 years ago have been laid to rest in her original grave.

The girl's skeleton was discovered in 1995 when the Swiss Re building, better known as the gherkin, was being built.

For the next 12 years the body was housed at the Museum of London, after its discovery during an excavation.

A service was held for the girl at St Botolphs Church after which her remains were reburied near to the gherkin.

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Priceless artifacts returned to Ancient Agora

A poignant ceremony was held at the Ancient Athens Agora's Stoa of Attalus on Wednesday to mark the return of six priceless black-glazed ceremonial pottery pieces from the collection of eminent British scholar and philhellene Martin Robertson.

The miniature artifacts were bequeathed to the Athens Agora's museum, as stipulated in Robertson's will, following his death in December 2004. The author of the authoritative "A History of Greek Art" (Cambridge University Press 1975), considered his magnum opus, inherited the items from American archaeologist Lucy Talcott, the recording secretary of Agora excavations in the 1930s and ‘40s.

The artifacts were officially presented by one of Robertson's sons, Stephen, at the ceremony, who stressed that he was bringing a gift by his father to "his beloved Greece". Stephen Robertson also drew a comparison to the ongoing campaign for return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens, saying Wednesday's ceremony can demonstrate to the British Museum's administration that a similar return of antiquities is not impossible.

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Hobbit hominids lived the island life

A tantalising piece of evidence has been added to the puzzle over so-called "hobbit" hominids found in a cave in a remote Indonesian island, whose discovery has ignited one of the fiercest rows in anthropology.

Explorers of the human odyssey have been squabbling bitterly since the fossilised skeletons of tiny hominids, dubbed after the diminutive hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien's tale, were found on the island of Flores in 2003.

Measuring just a metre (3.25 feet) tall and with a skull the size of a grapefruit, the diminutive folk lived around 20,000 and 80,000 years ago and appear to have been skillful toolmakers, hunters and butchers.

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Berlin museum rebuffs Egyptian threat

Berlin's Museum of Egyptology rebuffed a threat from Egypt's top antiquities official to block all art loans to Germany unless the "world's most beautiful woman," Queen Nefertiti, goes home to Cairo.

Though one eye is missing, the 3,000-year-old painted limestone bust of the queen is celebrated as one of the finest female representations ever created. It was taken to Germany from Egypt under a 1913 contract.

Dietrich Wildung, the museum director, said on the radio channel Deutschland radio Kultur he was not too concerned at the threat, since Egypt had not lent any art to Germany since 1985 anyway.

"Even without loans we can manage comfortably and put on a good show," he said.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Location: Italy Length: 3 min.

Pompeii exemplifies CyArk, a project of the Kacyra Family Foundation that is preserving the world's most valued cultural heritage sites in three-dimensional digital form. Buried in A.D. 79 beneath a thick mantle of volcanic deposits by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, much of Pompeii has been uncovered, only to decay steadily from natural and human causes. This video shows how CyArk is preserving the site in digital imagery through laser-scanning technology and the most accurate 3D models possible today.

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Scientific exploration of the Roman city of Nove, located near the town of Svishtov, will begin in June 2007.

One of the Bulgarian teams to work on the site will arrive in June. A team from Sofia University and one from the Warsaw University should arrive later, Focus news agency reported.

Exploration began in 1960, when a Bulgarian- Polish team started inspecting the region near Svishtov, where the Roman city is located.

Svishtov mayor Stanislav Blagov said that urgent measures were needed to preserve Nove’s remains.

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Death and the maidens

Penn researchers tackle Mesopotamian mystery.

Dozens of maidens, wearing headdresses of gold and lapis lazuli, walked down into a tomb in Mesopotamia 4,600 years ago. Each raised a cup to her lips, drank some poison, and lay down to die, hoping to join a king or other royal figure in the afterlife.

It is an enduring tale from one of archaeology's most famous excavations, pieced together in the late 1920s after the discovery of several such "death pits" full of jewel-encrusted skeletons with clay cups at their sides.

Yesterday, Aubrey Baadsgaard set out to prove the story wrong.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Digger blunder at site of Roman fort

It was built to repel invaders from Roman Britain and for centuries withstood the vagaries of time.

But some of the buried artefacts at Caister, near Yarmouth, have met their match after archaeologists mistakenly used a mechanical digger to uncover the fort's secrets. Norfolk Archaeology Unit (NAU) was commissioned to carry out a dig last year ahead of plans to build houses on a garden bordering the north-east corner of the fort at Uplands Avenue.

A nationally important site, the fort was one of 12 built by the Romans stetching to the south coast, with the others in Norfolk being at Burgh Castle and Brancaster.

The area in question was covered by a thin layer of tarmac, yet beneath that it was straight down into undisturbed Roman deposits allowing a fresh picture to be built up of an area stretching from the fort's outer defences.

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Get your hands off our pagan statue

People in Fermanagh rally to protect Celtic image after reports that it might be moved to a museum

People living near a pagan statue that draws thousands of tourists every year to Northern Ireland's lakelands are threatening a campaign of civil disobedience amid concerns it could be moved to Belfast.

The Janus, which has stood in the Caldragh graveyard on Boa Island in Co Fermanagh since it was put up by the Celts more than 2,000 years ago, inspired the Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney to write the poem, 'January God'. Locals hold the 2ft tall figure, depicting a man on one side and a female on the other, in awe.

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Written in Bone

How radioactive isotopes reveal the migrations of ancient people

In the late thirteenth century, drought ravaged the American Southwest, withering the corn, squash, and beans upon which ancient inhabitants relied for survival. Across the region people abandoned their homes in a desperate search for arable land. Some were lucky enough to find a moist Arizona valley where they built a settlement now known as Grasshopper Pueblo.

At its peak, the pueblo consisted of 500 rooms housing hundreds of families. Archaeologists were puzzled by the differing architecture, pottery styles, and burial traditions within the pueblo, leading them to speculate that the drought must have been so severe that people from several different cultures were forced to live together in one of the few places where food would still grow. While the pottery strongly hinted at the disparate origins of the population, there was no way to test that idea.

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Roman camp's occupiers may have built the Antonine Wall

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have found a camp thought to have been built to accommodate Roman construction workers who constructed the Antonine Wall.

It was discovered in a dig following the demolition of the former OKI factory at Tollpark, near Castlecary, North Lanarkshire.

Ross White of CFA Archaeology said the rectangular camp's outline was first identified in cropmarks on aerial photographs taken in the late 1940s, before the development of the area.

The camp was situated about 400 metres south of the Antonine Wall and midway between the Roman forts at Westerwood and Castlecary.

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Archeologists Discover Medieval Jewish Bath in Erfurt

Archeologists have unearthed a rare find in the eastern German city of Erfurt: a medieval Jewish ritual bath.

Remains of the Jewish ritual bath, called a mikwa, were found near Erfurt's Krämerbrücke (Krämer Bridge). The two-story high construction had been located in the cellar of a building along the bank of the Gera River. The bath was especially well preserved, according to Sven Ostritz of the Thuringian state authority for historical protection and archeology.

The Erfurt mikwa's existence had been documented in the year 1250, but in a systematic search for it several years ago archeologists had failed to locate it, Ostritz said.

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Ancient 2,000-year-old sections of a Roman aqueduct have been unearthed in Lincoln.

Pieces of the underground aqueduct, thought to have been up to 10 miles long, were discovered, giving archaeologists more vital clues on the city's past.

The four sections, each measuring around three feet long, were dug out of the ground in Nettleham Road ahead of a house building development.

And historians made another startling discovery on the site - a road previously thought to be Roman but which actually turned out to be post-Medieval.

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Christie's Auctions Prehistoric Objects

For sale: a 15,000-year-old Siberian mammoth skeleton.

On Monday, Christie's auction house in Paris, which usually sells fine art and furniture, is hosting an unusual auction of paleontological curiosities, including several prehistoric mammals.

Skeletons of a 10,000-year-old, 13.5-foot-long rhinoceros and a 7.5-foot-high cave bear are also going under the hammer. The skeletons are currently owned by a private collector, but buyers may include museums or artists, said Christie's spokeswoman Capucine Milliot.

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What the Heck is Cultural Resource Management?

A term often bandied about by archaeologists and others in the commercial end of the field of archaeology is 'cultural resource management' (often abbreviated CRM).
Save Pasargadae and Persepolis.

You'll hear CRM commonly mentioned in passing during highway road plan construction and urban renewal projects. Often the term is misused, to mean something along the lines of "archaeological research in advance of highway projects" but CRM is actually a process, the process of making decisions about the whole range of existing cultural resources in the face of demands of modern development.

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Cavemen Chose Caves on Five Criteria

House buyers today usually peruse properties with a checklist of desired features in mind. This aspect of human behavior has apparently not changed much over the millennia, according to a new study that found prehistoric cave dwellers in Britain did exactly the same thing when choosing their homes.

The recently released three-year-long survey of approximately 230 caves in the Yorkshire Dales and 190 caves in the northern England Peak District determined that people there from 4,000 to 2,000 B.C. selected caves based on at least five criteria.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Architect claims to solve pyramid secret

PARIS - A French architect claimed Friday to have uncovered the mystery about how Egypt's Great Pyramid of Khufu was built — with use of a spiral ramp to hoist huge stone blocks into place.

The construction of the Great Pyramid 4,500 years ago by Khufu, a ruler also known as Cheops, has long befuddled scientists as to how its 3 million stone blocks weighing 2.5 tons each were lifted into place.

Ending eight years of study on the subject, architect Jean-Pierre Houdin released his findings and a computerized 3-D mockup showing how workers would have erected the pyramid at Giza outside Cairo.

The most widespread theory had been that an outer ramp had been used by the Egyptians, who left few traces to help archeologists and other scientists decode the secret to the construction.

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Ancient remains set for analysis

Analysis is to begin on a number of ancient human remains discovered by developers in Preston city centre.

The bones - unearthed at Marsh Lane, near its junction with Ladywell Street - are believed to be from a medieval burial ground.

A total of 30 graves were uncovered in February, with around 12 containing virtually complete skeletal remains.

Experts from Oxford Archaeology North are to carry out tests to establish a precise age for the bones.

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Stonehenge - secrets of the builders being revealed.

It is a paradox that the further we move in time away from a pre-historical event (that is before the appearance of contemporary written records) that the more we learn about the facts of that pre-historical event says our BNP culture correspondent.

Victorian scholars believed that the great stone circle on Salisbury Plain was once a druidic temple. Researchers in the mid to late 20th century proven beyond doubt that Stonehenge was built 2000 years before the first druid stepped foot in Wiltshire. Today's researchers are uncovering much more than the previous generation of archeologists.

Now a new find just yards from the Stonehenge site reveals the complex and highly organized society that our own ancestors had created - a degree of complexity ill at odds with the myth of lux orientalis the myth perpetrated throughout the past 300 years that all civilisations and all civilizing influences arose from the East.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

An Taisce M3 Move Warmly Welcomed

The Campaign to Save Tara today warmly welcomed the High Court action
taken by An Taisce against the Minister for Transport and the National
Roads Authority. The Campaign claims that much needed improvements and
upgrades to National routes, as well as the promised by-passes, are
stalled by the M3 proposal because of the contractual restrictions
placed on Meath County Council by the PPP funding mechanism.

The Campaign expressed dismay that Justice Kelly, who heard the
application today, cited the danger of jeopardizing commercial
negotiations between the NRA and private consortiums, as a reason for
refusing to grant permission for An Taisce's challenge.

In a statement Michael Canney from the Campaign to Save Tara said; ‘We
would have hoped that the historical and cultural importance of the Tara
complex and the urgency in preventing any further destruction, would
take precedence over any commercial concerns.’

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Oldest Perfumes Found on "Aphrodite's Island"

The world's oldest known perfumes have been found on the island reputed to be the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust, and beauty, Italian archaeologists announced last week.

Discovered on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 2003, the perfumes date back more than 4,000 years, said excavation leader Maria Rosaria Belgiorno of the National Research Council in Rome.

Remnants of the perfumes were found inside an ancient 3,230-square-foot (300-square-meter) factory that was part of a larger industrial complex at Pyrgos.

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Opportunity to get 'hands on history' during walk

BEDFORD Purlieus National Nature Reserve will be hosting a special April Fools' Day walk.
A key to this woodland’s historical importance is that it has been covered by trees since the last Ice Age, and thus remained undisturbed.

Recent archaeological surveys have revealed some fascinating findings – Peterborough City Council historic environment officer Ben Robinson has described what has been found as of immense importance, possibly re-writing history, and may even ultimately show why the settlement called Peterborough is where it is today.

Forest district manager, Kevin Stannard, said: “This is a rare opportunity for people to get their hands on history. We’ve found roman wall tiles in the vicinity of the remains of a very large group of buildings.

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Ancient history to disappear at A-level despite its popularity

Ancient history is to become a thing of the past, with the only exam board offering it as an A-level subject now planning to ditch the course.

The decision by the Oxford and Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts (OCR) exam board has led to concerns that pupils will no longer understand the legacies of ancient civilisations.

The subject has introduced students to topics such as the birth of Athenian democracy, the growth of the Roman Empire, the beginnings of Christianity, the revolt by Spartacus against slavery and the battle of Thermopylae, where the stand by an small Greek force against the Persians in 480 BCE became the byword for heroic struggles.

Last night experts were saying that all these were examples of history that would be lost on future generations.

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Historic pottery found in river

Changes in water erosion while work takes place on a new bridge over a north Devon river has led to the discovery of centuries-old pottery.

Archaeological enthusiast Mike Palmer was among the first to find it on the River Taw in Barnstaple, where the tidal river has scoured the sand bank.

Pottery has been produced in Barnstaple since the medieval period.

Now the finds, some from as early as the 13th Century, will be displayed at the Barnstaple and North Devon Museum.

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Glass containers from ancient perfume lab found in Cyprus

Whilst digging at the Pyrgos-Mavroraki site some 90 kilometres southwest of Nicosia Cyprus, a team of archaeologists unearthed a complex believed to have been used as a perfume laboratory. An exhibit in Rome now features fragrances from the world's oldest known perfume factory. Four perfumes in the Capitoline Museums, recreated by a team of archaeologists from 14 original fragrances dating from 4,000 years ago, are on display, said an Associated Press report. According to the agency, the archaeologists used fragrances extracted from traces left in containers at the site in order to recreate ancient aromas with the same techniques used in the past, said Maria Rosaria Belgiorno, the leading archaeologist who discovered the factory in 2003.

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Prehistoric women: Not so simple, not so strange

Jim Adovasio is the leading expert in the perishable artefacts of the Palaeolithic – baskets, cordage, woven fabric – all associated, if somewhat arbitrarily, with women. To correct the astigmatism that has hitherto seen prehistory as the story of early man, Adovasio – director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute in Erie, Pennsylvania – has joined with Olga Soffer, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and journalist Jake Page to produce The Invisible Sex.

The roles of women even in our own time are not easy to define; yet our intrepid threesome has encapsulated more than 3 million years of human femaleness in fewer than 300 pages, rather too many of which are taken up with moaning about the sex bias of anthropologists of yore.

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Heldengrab im Niemandsland

Von 30. März bis 28. Mai 2007 führt die internationale Sonderausstellung "Heldengrab im Niemandsland - Ein frühungarischer Reiter aus Niederösterreich" des Museum für Urgeschichte Apsarn (Österreich) in die Zeit der ungarischen Beutezüge nach Westeuropa im 10. Jahrhundert nach Christus, als die Einfälle ungarischer Reiterscharen das christliche Abendland in Angst und Schrecken versetzten.

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