Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bulgarian Archaeological Association Field School

A Roman Military Camp in Bulgaria
By the first century A.D., the Romans had
expanded their imperial reach into the eastern
Balkans of present-day Europe. Among the many
forts and towns they established in the region was
the impressive fort of Conbustica, located in the
northwest region of modern-day Bulgaria. The fort,
situated on a plateau overlooking two major river
valleys, was strategically positioned on the main
road through the Roman province of Moesia.
Conbustica is recorded on the Peutingerian Table,
a schematic first-century A.D. map of the Roman

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Rare coins find excites experts

Four silver coins dating from Norman England have been found in Gloucestershire.

It is believed they were minted in Gloucester in 1073-1076 and represent an unrecorded type of penny.

The coins were found by a metal detector enthusiast but details of the site have not been revealed.

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A new angle on the Saxons

Historians are only starting to realise the magnitude of the Staffordshire hoard discovery

The snaking line of more than 1,000 people queuing to enter the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Friday afternoon illustrated perfectly the surge of interest sparked by the announcement — just a day before — of the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered.

Among those queuing to see the artefacts was Allison Buckley, 47, from Stafford. “It is almost as exciting as queuing to see the treasures of Tutankhamun,” she said, recalling the rush to see the Egyptian boy king’s death mask in London in 1972. “What makes this so exciting is that it has just been unearthed. There is still soil on the pieces and you can imagine it in the ground.”

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Clean sweep for the metal detectives

Despite the suspicions of professionals, the amateurs who dig up Britain's countryside are leading archaeologists to untold riches, says William Langley.

In the long history of these islands, one thing has never changed: the British are a nation of losers. Other countries may be prone to forgetfulness, but we can misplace entire towns, waterways, palaces and armies, while grinning sheepishly and telling ourselves that they'll probably turn up one day.

They do, too, but only because Britain also has the world's most fanatical treasure hunters, who, immune to the ill-concealed scoffing of professional archaeologists, now account for almost all the worthwhile artefacts found around the country. Last week's disclosure that Terry Herbert, a 55-year-old, unemployed metal-detecting enthusiast from Staffordshire, had discovered a priceless trove of Anglo-Saxon gold and jewellery put the treasure hunters in the national spotlight. But most of them, frankly, would prefer to be quietly tramping the fields.

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Startling evidence of a Stone Age structure in the Solent.

DIVING almost blind in the Solent’s murky waters, the team of maritime detectives could just make out the shape of a wooden plank protruding from the muddy seabed.

While it might have been dismissed as underwater junk by the untrained eye, the archaeologists soon realised they had discovered a vital clue to a lost civilisation.

The timber was not isolated. In fact they found another 23 pieces of all shapes and sizes intersecting throughout the underwater cliff off Bouldnor, on the north coast of the Isle of Wight.

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Nero's dining room unveiled in Rome

Archaeologists say they have unveiled what they believe to be remains of the "dining room" of the Roman emperor Nero, part of his palatial residence built in the first century.

Lead archaeologist Francoise Villedieu says her team discovered part of a circular room, which experts believe rotated day and night to imitate the Earth's movement and impress guests.

Villedieu told journalists Tuesday that the room on the ancient Palatine Hill was supported by a pillar with a diameter of 4 meters (more than 13 feet). She says only the foundation of the room was recovered during the four-month excavation.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Funding crisis could cost Flag Fen its future

A FUNDING crisis has put the future of one Peterborough's major heritage attractions in jeopardy.

Flag Fen Archaeology Park, one of Europe's most important Bronze Age sites, may not be able to reopen after its winter break because of cash flow problems.

It is believed the Bronze Age Centre and Archaeology Park, at The Droveway, off Northey Road, will need tens of thousands of pounds if it is to reopen next year, after it closes for its winter break in November.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon Hoard

You can find links to the Staffordshire Hoard Press Pack and to three images at:


Huge Anglo-Saxon gold hoard found

The UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure has been discovered buried beneath a field in Staffordshire.

Experts said the collection of 1,500 gold and silver pieces, which may date back to the 7th Century, was unparalleled in size.

It has been declared treasure by South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh, meaning it belongs to the Crown.

Terry Herbert, who found it on farmland using a metal detector, said it "was what metal detectorists dream of".

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Uncovering Ancient St. Louis

Location: Washington Length: 24 min

Ancient history didn’t happen just in famous places like Rome, Tikal and Angkor Wat. It happened also in the heart of North America. Modern St. Louis residents may not realize that their city once hosted a complex Native American culture, represented by a cluster of mounds, possibly an actual city rivaling Cahokia across the Mississippi River. A small army of scientists, while uncovering thousands of prehistoric Native American archaeological sites around this fertile convergence of rivers, has some fascinating questions about what took place here.

Watch the video...

Hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure

The most significant hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure ever found will be unveiled at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Thursday September 24th at 11.30pm.

A number of artefacts will be available to view with experts on hand to provide analysis.

The hoard has already been labelled 'as significant if not more so' than the world famous Sutton Hoo find (1939)

For more information, please visit www.birminghamnewsroom.com or contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501 or by email geoffrey.coleman@birmingham.gov.uk

Birmingham City Council Press Office

Archaeologists find suspected Trojan war-era couple

Archaeologists in the ancient city of Troy in Turkey have found the remains of a man and a woman believed to have died in 1,200 B.C., the time of the legendary war chronicled by Homer, a leading German professor said on Tuesday.

Ernst Pernicka, a University of Tubingen professor of archaeometry who is leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey, said the bodies were found near a defense line within the city built in the late Bronze age.

The discovery could add to evidence that Troy's lower area was bigger in the late Bronze Age than previously thought, changing scholars' perceptions about the city of the "Iliad."

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Kirkleatham Museum to display jewels from Cleveland grave of Anglo-Saxon princess

An "unparalleled" hoard of gold jewellery found next to the body of an Anglo-Saxon princess in a secret Teesside Royal burial field will be revealed to the public with a £275,000 Lottery-funded display.

The precious haul of fine pieces were placed in the grave on a decorated wooden bed in the second half of the seventh century, and are thought to have belonged to members of the Northumbrian royal family.

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Ancient skull unearthed on farm

A metal detecting club has unearthed a 7th Century skull and brooch on farmland in South Oxfordshire.

The Weekend Wanderers Metal Detectors Club were holding a rally on land near West Hanney.

Peter Welch from the club said: "The piece is garnet encrusted with what appears to be gold inlay. It must have belonged to somebody of high status"

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Historic Roman salt store found on mudflats

A 2,000-YEAR-OLD Roman salthouse has been discovered during archaeological excavations at the planned £1.5billion port at Coryton.

Archaeologists who made the find on the 34-acre site are set to unveil the full extent of the discovery on Tuesday, September 15.

The site where the mine was found is due to become a wildlife area, protecting a range of birds, animals and plants to offset any disruption caused during the construction of the port.

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Dionysus myth a clue to ancient neonatal care?

Ancient Greeks may have had considerable knowledge about how to care for premature babies, according to an analysis presented on Sunday during the 15th Hellenic Conference on Perinatal Medicine taking place in Thessaloniki. This was posted by doctors from Agios Savvas oncological hospital in Athens, working in collaboration with private colleagues in Hania.

In an essay entitled "Mythological description of an incubator", the doctors say that the description given in ancient myths of the birth of the god Dionysus and how he was cared for very closely approximates the requirements for an incubator used in modern hospitals.

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'Whicker Man' tomb to yield Bronze Age secrets, say scientists

HUMAN remains uncovered at a burial site in the Highlands are extremely rare and could provide new information about Bronze Age life, experts say.

The site was discovered in February when landowner Jonathan Hampton was using a mechanical digger to clear peat from Langwell Farm, Strath Oykel, in Sutherland.

He found a substantial stone cist (tomb) containing a skeleton that archaeologists
believe was partially wrapped in animal hide or was wearing furs. A wicker basket lay over its face.

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Researchers Probe Links Between Modern Humans and Neanderthals

Homo neanderthalensis nearly made it through two Ice Ages in Europe, only to disappear roughly 30,000 years ago. That’s about 15,000 years after our own ancestors arrived and settled the continent. For most of our own species’ time on Earth, Neanderthals were around, too. Some people even suspect that our own ancestors did them in.

Many wonder if there was interbreeding. Might some of us have a few distinctly Neanderthal genes?

Richard “Ed” Green, PhD, studies Neanderthal DNA at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Green is part of a lab team headed by Svante Pääbo, a Swedish scientist internationally renowned for studies of Neanderthal genes. Green visited UCSF’s Mission Bay campus in late July and gave a seminar talk highlighting the lab team’s recent discoveries.

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Hundreds of Saxon graves unearthed on new pub site

A perfectly preserved pair of glass drinking cups was found when the grave of an Anglo-Saxon warrior was unearthed during building work on a new pub, Yourswale reports.

The burial place was one of more than 200 uncovered at a site in Sittingbourne, known as The Meads.

Other findings included swords, spears, shields, decorative beads and other jewellery, as well as fragments of clothing.

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Bones discovery 'extremely rare'

Bones recovered from an ancient burial site in the Highlands could provide fresh insight of life in the Bronze Age, archaeologists have said.

Parts of a skull, some bones and teeth were in a cist - a rectangular stone chamber - uncovered by a digger operator in Sutherland in February.

In a report to Historic Scotland, archaeologists have described the find as "extremely rare" and "valuable".

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New finds at rich ancient cemetery in Greece

Archaeologists in Greece say a sprawling ancient cemetery dating to the 6th century B.C. has yielded dozens of rich grave offerings, including weapons and gold ornaments.

Archaeologist Pavlos Chrysostomou says 50 new graves were discovered at Arhontiko, near the ancient city of Pella, birthplace of Alexander the Great. Among the finds were two bronze helmets with gold inlay, iron weapons, statuettes and pottery.

He said Thursday that some of the dead had ornaments of gold foil — specially made for funerals — covering their mouths and chests.

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Tunnel links continents, uncovers ancient history

It's a common sight in the traffic-clogged streets of Istanbul, a city that straddles two continents.

A taxi driver, enraged by perpetually gridlocked traffic, stepping out of his car and yelling "Maniac!" at the man driving the public bus behind him.

For decades Istanbul has been growing at a breakneck speed; its population exceeding -- by some estimates -- 15 million people. Too bad traffic often moves at a snail's pace.

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Landesausstellung »Eiszeit - Kunst und Kultur« in Stuttgart eröffnet

Beeindruckende Gesamtschau der spektakulären Höhlenfunde der Schwäbischen Alb

Seit heute ist die baden-württembergische Landesausstellung im neu sanierten Stuttgarter Kunstgebäude für Besucher geöffnet.

„Die Große Landesausstellung ‚Eiszeit - Kunst und Kultur‘ bietet eine beeindruckende Gesamtschau der spektakulären Höhlenfunde der Schwäbischen Alb, darunter die erst jüngst gemachten Entdeckungen der Venusfigur vom Hohle Fels und des Elfenbeinmammuts aus der Vogelherdhöhle bei Niederstotzingen.

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Archaeologists discover 2,000-year-old Roman salthouse in England

Archaeological excavations at the planned 1.5 billion pounds port at Coryton, England, have revealed a 2,000-year-old Roman salthouse.

According to the Echo, the site where the mine was found is due to become a wildlife area, protecting a range of birds, animals and plants to offset any disruption caused during the construction of the port.

Xavier Woodward, a spokesman for DP World, which is the global company behind the port development, confirmed a Roman salt roundhouse had been discovered.

The find has not been classed as of national significance, but is of regional value, he said.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Loo unflushed for 500 years is archeologists’ goldmine

Archaeologists from Glasgow University yesterday began digging in the grounds of Paisley Abbey, hoping to shed light on life in a medieval Scottish monastery.

The team, backed by volunteers from Renfrewshire Local History Forum, is carrying out a 12-day excavation of an ancient drain that lay undisturbed until its discovery in 1990. An initial excavation revealed an arched corridor almost 6ft high, and uncovered pottery fragments and gaming pieces, a complete chamber pot, and other artefacts.

This month’s dig is the first subsequent excavation of the drain, which dates to at least the fifteenth century.

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Iron Age discovery unearthed at farm

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered the floor and timber beams of a 2,000-year-old roundhouse in the heart of a Moray farm, it emerged yesterday.

Experts believe the structure unearthed at Dykeside Farm, Birnie, was once the multistorey-power centre of an Iron Age settlement.

Last night, the archaeologist leading the excavation said it was the best-preserved roundhouse discovered on the site.

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Buried treasure

Radar technology has changed the way archaeologists dig in the dirt

Where we see pavement, grass and dirt, Jarrod Burks sees long-forgotten grave sites, lost artifacts and ancient civilizations.

Burks, however, has a little help. He uses a machine that resembles a lawn mower to peek into the past.

It's called ground-penetrating radar, a technology NASA created to study moon dust and the military used to find enemy tunnels during the Vietnam war.

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