Saturday, October 31, 2009

Did India invent the nose job?

An Indian doctor working in 600 B.C. might have been the world's first plastic surgeon, according to a new exhibition that challenges Western domination of the history of science and technology.

The Science and Technology Heritage Exhibition opened last week at New Delhi's National Science Centre, showcasing the advances and discoveries with which the country says it should be credited.

It is an attempt to promote India ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year and also to tackle the legacy of colonialism, which the director of the science centre says has left many Indians unaware of their proud heritage.

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Archeologists Discover Ancient Fortress near Moscow

Archeologists have found defensive installations of an Old Russian fortress that stood at the confluence of Dubna River and Volga more than 800 years back.

In the course of archeological excavations they cleared a plot of a defensive moat, which had been constructed in the early 12th century and soon destroyed by a massive fire.
Experts assume that the initial version of the fortress on the border with Novgorod land was erected by Yuri Dolgoruki - the Prince of Rostov and Suzdal – around 1134.

Cultural strata of the ancient town are up to two and a half meters thick. During archeological diggings of 2009 over a thousand Old Russian artifacts have been procured.

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Remains of 1,000 people recovered at medieval site Read more:

THE skeletal remains of more than a thousand people have been recovered from what experts believe was one of the country’s largest medieval cemeteries.

The ancient bones have produced evidence of several suspected murders and one case of leprosy – an extremely rare occurrence in medieval times.

Osteoarchaeologist Carmelita Troy, of Headland Archaeology in Cork, said yesterday she has studied the ancient remains of nearly 1,300 individuals – adult males and females along with children – who were buried at the site at Ardreigh, Athy, in Co Kildare.

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Beowulf meets the 20th century

Dr Catherine Clarke, a specialist in medieval culture at Swansea University's department of English has been given a grant to explore representations of masculinity in modern re-workings of the Beowulf story.

In particular she has been looking at the 2007 film Beowulf starring Ray Winstone, Angelina Jolie and Port Talbot-born Sir Anthony Hopkins.

And she has also travelled to Indiana University's Library in the United States to study the 1970s DC Comics series Beowulf the Dragon Slayer.

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Mystery stone found near church linked to Knights Templar

What appears to be the carved top of a sarcophagus was unearthed when builders were excavating and reinforcing a wall alongside the old ruined church in Temple, Midlothian.

But the inscriptions, which include symbols similar to those found in Viking monuments, in medieval graves and in West Highland Celtic carvings, have baffled archaeologists.

Crispin Phillips, who is renovating a house alongside The Old Parish Church, said: "I was on a mission to repair the wall – which was falling into the graveyard. We got near the bottom of the foundations and found something buried there.

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Witch Bottle Discovered; Made to Ward Off Evil Spirits?

In time for Halloween, a beer bottle-turned-talisman against malicious spirits has been found buried near a former pub in England, archaeologists say.

The newfound 17th-century witch bottle (pictured)—originally made in Germany to hold other kinds of spirits—was discovered during a September archaeological dig in the county of Staffordshire.

"It's not an everyday find," said excavation manager Andrew Norton of Oxford Archaeology, a U.K. archaeological-services company. "Most of what we find are broken bits of pots and people's rubbish."

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Unique Stone Age burial items unearthed in central Sweden

Swedish archaeologists are marveling over a collection of 9,000 year old artifacts recently uncovered at an excavation site central Sweden.

Parts of a bow, a paddle, and the wooden shaft of an axe are among the discoveries recently unearthed from the Stone Age settlement Kanaljorden outside of Motala, according to local media reports.

“Totally unbelievable,” project leader Fredrik Hallgren with the Stiftelsen Kulturmiljövård Mälardalen (‘Cultural Preservation Society of Mälardalen’) told the local newspaper Motala & Vadstena Tidning.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Malawi is the cradle of humankind, scientist says

The latest discovery of pre-historic tools and remains of hominids (pictured: periodic table) in Malawi's remote northern district of Karonga provides further proof that the area could be the cradle of humankind, a leading German researcher said.

Professor Friedemann Schrenk of the Goethe University in Frankfurt told Reuters that two students working on the excavation site last month had discovered prehistoric tools and a tooth of an hominid.

"This latest discovery of prehistoric tools and remains of hominids provides additional proof to the theory that the Great Rift Valley of Africa and perhaps the excavation site near Karonga can be considered the cradle of humankind," Prof Schrenk said.

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Modern man had sex with Neanderthals

Modern man and Neanderthals had sex across the species barrier, according to leading geneticist Professor Svante Paabo.

Professor Paabo, who is director of genetics at the renowned Max Planck Institution for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, made the claim at a conference in the Cold Springs Laboratory in New York.

But Prof Paabo said he was unclear if the couplings had led to children, of if they were capable of producing offspring.

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Conference sees Viking invasion

Experts on Viking or Old Norse mythology and theory from around the world are gathering in Aberdeen for a major conference.

The University of Aberdeen's Centre for Scandinavian Studies is hosting the two-day event from Thursday.

It is thought it could change the understanding of gods, including Thor the god of thunder, and goddesses.

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Historians Reassess Battle of Agincourt

The heavy clay-laced mud behind the cattle pen on Antoine Renault’s farm looks as treacherous as it must have been nearly 600 years ago, when King Henry V rode from a spot near here to lead a sodden and exhausted English Army against a French force that was said to outnumber his by as much as five to one.

No one can ever take away the shocking victory by Henry and his “band of brothers,” as Shakespeare would famously call them, on St. Crispin’s Day, Oct. 25, 1415. They devastated a force of heavily armored French nobles who had gotten bogged down in the region’s sucking mud, riddled by thousands of arrows from English longbowmen and outmaneuvered by common soldiers with much lighter gear. It would become known as the Battle of Agincourt.

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Details of St Neots lost priory revealed

NEW details of one of St Neots most historically important sites have been revealed during an archaeological study in the town.

Outlines of walls belonging to the lost priory were found last week in the car park of Priory House and Waitrose. Ground penetrating radar equipment was used on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to identify some low bearing walls and a secondary wall.

The work also discovered outlines of some of the priory's rooms which could help the town's historians identify what they were used for.

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World's Oldest Known Granaries Predate Agriculture

A new study coauthored by Ian Kuijt, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, describes recent excavations in Jordan that reveal evidence of the world's oldest know granaries. The appearance of the granaries represents a critical evolutionary shift in the relationship between people and plant foods.

Anthropologists consider food storage to be a vital component in the economic and social package that comprises the Neolithic period, contributing to plant domestication, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and new social organizations. It has traditionally been assumed that people only started to store significant amounts of food when plants were domesticated.

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Ancient 'Lucy' Species Ate A Different Diet Than Previously Thought

Research examining microscopic marks on the teeth of the "Lucy" species Australopithecus afarensis suggests that the ancient hominid ate a different diet than the tooth enamel, size and shape suggest, say a University of Arkansas researcher and his colleagues.

Peter Ungar, professor of anthropology, will present their findings on Oct. 20 during a presentation at the Royal Society in London, England, as part of a discussion meeting about the first 4 million years of human evolution.

“The Lucy species is among the first hominids to show thickened enamel and flattened teeth,” an indication that hard, or abrasive foods such as nuts, seeds and tubers, might be on the menu, Ungar said. However, the microwear texture analysis indicates that tough objects, such as grass and leaves, dominated Lucy’s diet.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Viking experts set to gather at varsity

VIKING experts from across the world will gather at Aberdeen University today to rewrite the history of Norse mythology.

The university’s Centre for Scandinavian Studies is hosting a two-day international conference to explore new ways of looking at the subject.

Researchers say a fresh approach to written sources, place names and archaeology could change our view of the old Norse deities, including the famous god of thunder, Thor.

Scandinavian studies Professor Stefan Brink, said that re-interpretations of 13th-century sources and the old Norse poems were opening up the discipline.

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'Atlantis' is discovered in Devon

An ancient British inland Atlantis dating back millennia has been discovered on a remote moor.

The remains - including a mini-Stonehenge - were found when an old reservoir was drained in Dartmoor, Devon.

The find includes remains of ancient walled buildings, burial mounds and a stone circle 27m (89ft) across.

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VIDEO: Statue of Roman Emperor Nero unearthed at Fishbourne

History has been re-written at Fishbourne Roman Palace after it was confirmed a damaged statue found there more than 40 years ago is that of famous Roman Emperor Nero.

The statue found in 1964 had long been believed to be that of a young Roman with connections to the royal family. But that theory has been quashed after a 3-D scan carried out last Thursday confirmed the marble head's uncanny likeness to the only two other remaining depictions of the disgraced emperor left in the world.

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Research unlocks secrets of Pennines

GROUNDBREAKING radar techniques are being used to unlock the historic secrets of one of the North’s wildest upland areas.

Over the next five years a major archaeological research project will concentrate on the North Pennines, an area straddling Northumberland and Cumbria.

In the first two weeks of fieldwork, 300 new archaeological sites have been discovered, from prehistoric features to 19th Century mining remains.

The final haul of new sites could run into the thousands.

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VIDEO: Archaeological excavations around Chichester's city walls

Archaeological excavations in Chichester are slowly unearthing the secrets of the City Walls – and experts hope to discover why a room was dug into a Roman tower once used to protect the city.

This weekend, as part of the month-long excavations, people are invited to take a peep into the past during an open day at the site.

Volunteers and archaeologists have been digging up areas at Westgate Fields, adjacent to the walls, to help discover more about the city's rich heritage.

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Ancient artefacts and human remains found between Rudston and Boynton East Yorkshire

ANCIENT human remains have been unearthed during an archaeological dig at the Caythorpe Gas Storage site between Rudston and Boynton.

Five human burials have been recovered by experts.

One set of remains dates to the late Iron Age and had been buried with a simple iron brooch.

Another dates back probably to the Anglo-Saxon period and had been buried with an iron knife.

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PLoS ONE: Oldest Evidence of Toolmaking Hominins in a Grassland-Dominated Ecosystem

Major biological and cultural innovations in late Pliocene hominin evolution are frequently linked to the spread or fluctuating presence of C4 grass in African ecosystems. Whereas the deep sea record of global climatic change provides indirect evidence for an increase in C4 vegetation with a shift towards a cooler, drier and more variable global climatic regime beginning approximately 3 million years ago (Ma), evidence for grassland-dominated ecosystems in continental Africa and hominin activities within such ecosystems have been lacking.

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Earliest evidence of humans thriving on the savannah

Humans were living and thriving on open grassland in Africa as early as 2 million years ago, making stone tools and using them to butcher zebra and other animals. That's according to powerful evidence from artefacts found at Kanjera South, an archaeological site in south-west Kenya.

"There is no clear evidence of any hominin being associated with or foraging in open grassland prior to this 2-million-year-old site," says Thomas Plummer of Queens College at the City University of New York.

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Archaeologists unveil ancient auditorium in Rome

Archaeologists on Wednesday unveiled the remains of an ancient auditorium where scholars, politicians and poets held debates and lectures, a site discovered during excavations of a bustling downtown piazza in preparation for a new subway line.

The partially dug complex, dating back to the 2nd century A.D., is believed to have been funded by Emperor Hadrian as a school to promote liberal arts and culture.

Known as the "Athenaeum" and named after the city of Athens, which was considered the center of culture at the time, the auditorium could accommodate up to 200 people, experts said.

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Analysis Finds Ida Not 'Missing Link'

When scientists announced in May the discovery of a fossil which showed an evolutionary “missing link” between humans and apes, experts were skeptical the fossil was even a close human relative.

A new analysis reported in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature further supports these doubts, finding instead that the fossil, dubbed Ida, is about as far removed from the monkey-ape-human ancestry as a primate could be.

Ida is the skeleton of a 47 million-year-old creature discovered in Germany, and is the subject of a book entitled "The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor." The fossil represents a previously unknown primate species called Darwinius.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome to the AD 410 web site

2010 marks the 1600th anniversary of the end of Roman Britain in AD 410 - one of the greatest turning points in our history. What was life on the island like at this critical moment? Was it fire and sword, with barbarian raids, peasant risings, tribal warfare?

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Digs to unearth mining heritage

A major archaeological research project aimed at uncovering the mining heritage of part of Cumbria is under way.

The three-year scheme will see teams scour a 300 sq km (116 sq miles) area of Alston Moor in the North Pennines.

The English Heritage-backed project hopes to reveal how the area's landscape and settlements developed over the centuries.

The North Pennines is one of the most intensely mined landscapes in Britain and famed for rich deposits of lead.

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Archaeologists Excavate 4,000-Year-Old Skeletons

Archaeologists in Germany have made a number of sensational finds along a railway line under construction in eastern Germany -- Bronze Age treasures, burial sites and evidence of settlements dating back more than 7,000 years.

Archaeologists in the state of Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered 4,000-year-old skeletons and Bronze Age treasures in excavations along a railway line being built in eastern Germany.

Copper and amber jewellery and hundreds of dog's teeth with holes bored in them as well as small shell discs worn as decoration for clothing have been found in the remains of settlements and graves from various epochs along the planned high-speed railway line from the cities of Erfurt to Leipzig, the Saxony Anhalt Office for Monument Protection and Archaeology said in a statement.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Archaeologists may have unearthed beer hall of ancient Viking kings in Denmark

Archaeologists have unearthed a large mud building in Denmark, which may have been a cult place or beer hall of the ancient Viking kings.

According to a report in The Copenhagen Post, the hall, 48 metres long and seven metres across, overlooks the site of a Viking palace unearthed in 1986 in what is an historic area of Denmark.

“We are sure we have found a royal building of some sort,” said Tom Christensen, curator of Roskilde Museum at the time.

“The odd thing about the site is that it is littered with bits and pieces of exquisite golden jewellery, glass and bronze broaches, high quality artifacts, such as drinking glasses and ceramics, which all seem to have been deliberately smashed in some ritual,” he added.

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Sutton Hoo welcomes monumental treasure into collection

After Birmingham Museum's breathtaking temporary display of the Staffordshire Hoard, the National Trust at Sutton Hoo have this week revealed their own treasure – a modern remake of the Royal Sceptre from the Sutton Hoo finds.

Suffolk stonemason and sculptor Brian Ansell was commissioned by the National Trust in February 2009 to carve a replica of the sceptre, which was found in 1939 among numerous treasures at the Royal Anglo-Saxon burial site.

The detailed replica will be added to the life-sized reconstruction of the burial chamber in the Exhibition Hall and used as part of a handling collection to help visitors learn more about the Anglo Saxon treasures discovered 70 years ago.

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Norwegian Wood For The Ages: 'Mummified' Pine Trees Found

Norwegian scientists have found “mummified” pine trees, dead for nearly 500 years yet without decomposition.

Norway’s wet climate seems perfect for encouraging organic matter to rot – particularly in Sogndal, located on Norway’s southwestern coastline, in one of the most humid, mild areas of the country. In fact, with an average of 1541 millimetres of rain yearly and relatively mild winters, Sogndal should be an environment where decomposition happens fast. Not so.

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Ancient cult of the Viking kings

Could a large mud building unearthed in Lejre have been a cult place or beer hall of the ancient Viking kings?

The hall, 48 metres long and seven metres across, overlooks the site of a Viking palace unearthed in 1986 in what is an historic area of Denmark.

‘We are sure we have found a royal building of some sort,’ said Tom Christensen, curator of Roskilde Museum at the time. ‘The odd thing about the site is that it is littered with bits and pieces of exquisite golden jewellery, glass and bronze broaches, high quality artifacts, such as drinking glasses and ceramics, which all seem to have been deliberately smashed in some ritual.’

‘There is also a huge pile of cooking stones from primitive ovens. This was obviously a place frequented by the upper classes of the Iron Age. Maybe it was some sort of beer hall or a sacred site where cult or religious activities were carried out. The building’s post holes are over a metre deep, so it must have been an impressive construction,’ said Christensen.

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Usain Bolt would have been outrun by our ancestors, claims anthropologist

Ancient aboriginals would have outrun Usain Bolt, the 100m world champion, while a Neanderthal woman would have crushed Arnold Schwarzenegger in arm-wrestling, a leading anthropologist claims.

Men today are the weakest in history and would have been no match for our ancestors in a battle of strength or speed, research suggests.

Peter McAllister, the author of Manthropology: the Science of Inadequate Modern Man, described today’s males as the “sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet”.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Orkney Venus to face the public

The earliest human figure to be found in Scotland is to go on temporary display at Edinburgh Castle.

The Orkney Venus, which was discovered a few weeks ago, is a 5,000-year-old female carving which has the UK's first known depiction of a person's face.

It will be exhibited for a fortnight from Monday.

Historic Scotland said children would be given free entry to the castle during the exhibition, which ends on Sunday 1 November.

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Understanding Ancient Hominin Dispersals Using Artefactual Data: A Phylogeographic Analysis of Acheulean Handaxes


Reconstructing the dispersal patterns of extinct hominins remains a challenging but essential goal. One means of supplementing fossil evidence is to utilize archaeological evidence in the form of stone tools. Based on broad dating patterns, it has long been thought that the appearance of Acheulean handaxe technologies outside of Africa was the result of hominin dispersals, yet independent tests of this hypothesis remain rare. Cultural transmission theory leads to a prediction of a strong African versus non-African phylogeographic pattern in handaxe datasets, if the African Acheulean hypothesis is to be supported.

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Historian finds bronze age relic

A KEEN historian is delighted to have discovered a rare bronze age arrowhead in Rutland.

Charles Haworth, of Barleythorpe Road, Oakham, was out dog walking in Langham on Tuesday when he came across the piece of history on the edge of a ploughed field.

The 45-year-old said: "I've dreamed my whole life of finding a prehistoric flint, and now I've found one when I was least expecting it. It is always worth keeping your eyes open."

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Knot found in hoard jewels

Archaeologists have discovered a Staffordshire Knot symbol among the treasures of the Staffordshire Hoard, making the county sign 500 years older than previously thought.

The discovery comes as it emerged a National Lottery bid is being put together to keep the Hoard in the region.

Images of the knot were found on a gold artefact, not previously displayed, that was dug up from a field near Brownhills this summer.

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£10m investment for Stonehenge visitor centre

THE planned visitor centre for Stonehenge has received a £10m boost from the Government.

The move has been confirmed today by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Ben Bradshaw.

Mr Bradshaw said:‪ “Stonehenge is one of our best known historic attractions, but facilities for visitors are below par.

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Sea gives up secrets to experts

With shafts of sunlight shimmering through a few metres of crystal clear water, you can pick out the cornerstones of an ancient civilisation which inspired literature and legend.

There is more than a whiff of Atlantis about the story of Pavlopetri - the world's oldest submerged town.

But the Bronze Age site, off the coast of Laconia in Greece, has its roots in fact not fiction.

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Modern view of ancient archaeology

Portus - Ancient Rome's gateway to the sea - is a crucial archaeological site, currently being excavated as the Portus Project by the British School at Rome and both Southampton and Cambridge universities.

"Portus was a huge strategic base and resource," says Professor Simon Keay, of Southampton University and the British School at Rome.

"Without it, the population of Rome literally would starve. When the grain supply would stop due to rain or a poor harvest there would be riots in the city.

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World's Oldest Submerged Town Dates Back 5,000 Years

Archaeologists surveying the world’s oldest submerged town have found ceramics dating back to the Final Neolithic. Their discovery suggests that Pavlopetri, off the southern Laconia coast of Greece, was occupied some 5,000 years ago — at least 1,200 years earlier than originally thought.

These remarkable findings have been made public by the Greek government after the start of a five year collaborative project involving the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and The University of Nottingham.

As a Mycenaean town the site offers potential new insights into the workings of Mycenaean society. Pavlopetri has added importance as it was a maritime settlement from which the inhabitants coordinated local and long distance trade.

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Maze of underground caves could be the original site of the ancient Greek Labyrinth

An elaborate network of underground tunnels topped by a stone quarry on the Greek island of Crete may be the original site of the ancient Labyrinth – the mythical maze where the half-bull, half-man Minotaur lived.

The site, located near the town of Gortyn in the south of the island, is believed to have as much claim to be the Labyrinth as the Minoan palace at Knossos, 20 miles away.

Knossos, which was excavated a century ago had largely been heralded as the home of the legendary King Minos, who commissioned the Labyrinth to contain the Minotaur, a terrifying hybrid born of a union between his wife and a bull.

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Yes! We've found another Nero..

AN ANCIENT statue of a boy's head is very likely a depiction of one of the most hated Roman Emperors, scientists have revealed.

The breakthrough discovery at Fishbourne Roman Palace has amazed archaeologists and could rewrite history.

Scientists believe the statue unearthed at the palace depicts Emperor Nero as a young boy.

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Historic Norfolk site wins prestigious award

A £1m project to restore one of Norfolk's most impressive monastic ruins has won an award for its excellence in conservation and design.

Binham Priory underwent six years of work to preserve the crumbling precinct walls and make the remains of the early Benedictine monastery more accessible for future generations

And following its completion earlier this year, the project has won the 2009 Graham Allen Award, which rewards conservation schemes making a “significant contribution to the built environment”.

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Unique project to map heritage sites

A major heritage site in India will join Mount Rushmore, St Kilda and Skara Brae as part of a pioneering Scottish project to digitally record every buttress, crack and cranny, and even ancient graffiti, in 10 Unesco world heritage sites.

The Scottish Ten began its five-year mission to preserve 10 sites – five in Scotland, five abroad – in high-definition 3D last month. Images from the first site to be captured, New Lanark, have just been released.

Once complete, the highly detailed digital models will be used to restore the sites if they are damaged by climate change, disaster or vandalism, as well allowing future generations to virtually wander around sites such as Edinburgh’s New Town or Orkney’s Neolithic heart as they appear in the early 21st century.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Historic graves under supermarket

Archaeologists believe they have traced a mass grave of soldiers who fought in a 17th Century battle in Germany under a modern-day supermarket.

Scots - many of them Highlanders - were among the ranks of Protestant soldiers fighting Catholic forces at Lutzen, a key clash during the 30 Years War.

Culloden expert Dr Tony Pollard has been involved in an international team's investigations at Lutzen.

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Skeletal shrines

The Bone Church near Kutná Hora is an attraction, but it isn't alone

"The Bone Church in Sedlec, near Kutná Hora, was definitely on our agenda," he says. "We saw pictures in a guide and thought, 'We have to go there. It's so unique.' We went with a group tour, and afterward thought, 'We'll certainly never see anything like that again.' "

They were wrong.

"The very next day, we were in Mělník. We went down a staircase at the side of the church, and, lo and behold, we were in another room full of bones," Hahn said. "So much for never seeing anything like that again!"

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Embattled Stonehenge visitor center seeks planning approval

English Heritage has submitted plans for approval for the Stonehenge visitor center, designed by Australian architectural practice Denton Corker Marshall, at the World Heritage Site in Wiltshire County, south west of England.

The plans, submitted to Wiltshire Council, include before and after images of the GBP25 million ($37 million) proposal, with the intention of demonstrating how the design and location of the center – on Airman’s Corner, 2.5km west of the current visitor center, on the A344 main road – will help restore the natural surroundings of Stonehenge.

Stonehenge is under the ownership of the British Crown, and English Heritage, a non-departmental public body of the government. The land surrounding the site is under the National Trust. In May 2009, the government announced that it had approved the use of the Stonehenge site after almost a decade of debate over the feasibility of setting up a visitor center so close to the ‘stones’.

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Bronze Age burial site unearthed at former rugby club

A BRONZE Age burial site has been unearthed by archaeologists excavating the former home of a Suffolk rugby club.

The two fields which served as the home of Sudbury Rugby Club in nearby Great Cornard are the source of great excitement for a team of archaeologists working at the site.

Since moving into the site off The Mead in July teams from Suffolk County Council's Archaeological Service have discovered a haul of artefacts dating back to around 3,000 BC.

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Archaeological dig gives pupils a taste of university

A clay pipe, medieval pottery and the bones of a small animal – these were just some of the archaeological finds made by a group of east London teenagers on their first-ever dig.

The group of 22 youngsters from two schools in Tower Hamlets were taking part in a four-day visit organised by Cambridge University’s Clare College and Access Cambridge Archaeology, a project set up in 2005 to raise aspirations by getting pupils involved in hands-on archaeology.

The students had been identified by their teachers as having the potential to succeed academically, and they jumped at the chance to join the dig.

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Boynton school children to view exciting archaeological finds at Caythorpe Gas Storage site

School children from Boynton Primary School in East Yorkshire are being given the opportunity to take a closer look at a number of interesting archaeological finds in their area.

Children from years five and six at the local village school have been invited to Centrica Storage Limited's Caythorpe site to learn more about an archaeological dig that has been taking place at the site over recent months.

Recognising early on in the planning of the new facility that it would come across certain archaeological finds, Centrica Storage made allowances in the project timetable to unearth and share any remains. Humber Field Archaeology has been involved in the dig and is currently excavating the site on Centrica Storage's behalf before construction work begins.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TAU archaeologists shed light on life, diet and society before the delicatessen

Contestants on TV shows like Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen know that their meat-cutting skills will be scrutinized by a panel of unforgiving judges. Now, new archaeological evidence is getting the same scrutiny by scientists at Tel Aviv University and the University of Arizona.

Their research is providing new clues about how, where and when our communal habits of butchering meat developed, and they're changing the way anthropologists, zoologists and archaeologists think about our evolutionary development, economics and social behaviors through the millennia.

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Mosaics tell of Somerset prosperity in Roman times

They were the perfect way to demonstrate wealth and culture in Roman Britain, and a new book on Roman mosaics says a little town in Somerset was probably home to some of the art's best craftsmen.

To impress your guests, what could be better than installing a mosaic pavement full of cultural (and sensual) delights in the bath block?

The owner of the villa at Low Ham, near Langport, did just that. He called in craftsmen to recreate the legend of the love between Dido, Queen of Carthage and Aeneas of Troy, as told by Virgil, in five lively panels on the floor of the cold room.

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The Arctic before Inuit

An archeologist from the Canadian Museum of Civilization was in Kimmirut in September, studying ancient sites and sharing what she has learned with the people who inherited the land.

Patricia Sutherland, the museum's curator of Arctic archeology, has been in and out of Kimmirut for years, following up on local discoveries which have interested researchers since the 1960s.

"People seem to be very excited about what's going on and the results so far," she said. "I try to take information back to the community.

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Newport councillors back home for medieval ship

NEWPORT councillors yesterday backed an idea to create a museum to house Newport’s famous medieval ship.

Cabinet members agreed that the 15th century trading vessel was internationally important and should be used to promote Newport to visitors, at a meeting yesterday.

The Newport ship was discovered on the backs of the River Usk in 2002 and is the only substantial remains of a ship of its type and age found so far.

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Treasure hoard is seen by 40,000

More than 40,000 people went to see the UK's largest haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure during the two-and-a-half weeks it was on display in Birmingham.

The 1,500 pieces were put on display at the city's Museum and Art Gallery on 25 September after being found in a Staffordshire field in July.

The hoard is now being sent to the British Museum in London to be valued by experts.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It’s a dog eat dog universe

Research has new explanation for galaxy growth: cannibalism

It’s a dog eat dog universe—new archaeological surveys by researchers into the Andromeda galaxy proves the theory of galaxy formation through the destruction of others.

Upon hearing the word archaeology, space isn’t normally the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) is changing not only the semantics of the word, but also the way we think about galaxy formation.

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The mysteries of La Hougue Bie

The 6,000 year-old burial site at La Hougue Bie is one of the best preserved remnants of the Neolithic period in Western Europe.

Every spring and autumn crowds of people gather to watch the equinox from inside the chamber.

Archaeologists can make educated guesses about what went on there, but much is shrouded in mystery.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Stonehenge centre plans unveiled

Proposals for a new £25m visitor centre at Stonehenge have been unveiled by English Heritage.

Plans for the centre, at Airman's Corner to the west of the stones, have been submitted to Wiltshire Council.

English Heritage, which hopes for some National Lottery funding, also wants to close the A344, which runs just yards away from the landmark.

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Denton Corker Marshall's Stonehenge centre goes for planning

English Heritage has submitted for planning the proposed Stonehenge visitors centre designed by Denton Corker Marshall.

The plans, submitted to Wiltshire Council, include before and after images with the intention of demonstrating how the design and location of the centre will help restore the natural surroundings of Stonehenge.

In May, the government announced that it had approved the use of a site for the visitors centre at Airman’s Corner, 2km away from the stones themselves and outside the World Heritage site.

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Wiltshire's £25 million Stonehenge plans unveiled

English Heritage has unveiled its £25 million designs for a new visitor centre at Stonehenge.

The proposals for the centre at Airman's Corner, 1.5 miles west of the prehistoric stones near Amesbury in Wiltshire, have been submitted to Wiltshire Council with plans to close the nearby A344.

The centre, designed by architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall, is "sensitive to its surroundings and to the significance of the monument", English Heritage said.

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Mammoth remains from the Russian permafrost offer up rich bounty

Discoveries give scientists insight into animals' demise as reindeer herders turn chance finds into lucrative paydays

It was 15 years ago when Vasily Ivanovich spotted something curious poking out of the side of a lake. Scrambling down a reed-lined bank, the reindeer hunter gently coaxed the object from the mud. "It was a mammoth tusk," Ivanovich said. "It wasn't very big," his wife, Valentina, pointed out. "There are lots of them," she added.

Ivanovich is one of a group of nomadic reindeer herders who live in Russia's remote Yamal peninsula, a vast wilderness of frozen tundra in north-west Siberia. It was here that in May 2007 another reindeer herder stumbled on the corpse of a perfectly preserved female baby woolly mammoth – which he named Lyuba, after his wife.

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Past discovered before future covers it over

A HEADLESS horse and a dog with stones for eyes were among the artefacts found in an archaeological dig which took place during the building of a new development in St Neots.

Loves Farm Community Association held its first AGM at St Neots Town Football Club on Friday.

Before the meeting, residents were able to see some of the artefacts found in archaeological excavations which took place during the building of Loves Farm - which is located in Cambridge Road on the outskirts of the town.

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'Romans and Countrymen'

Rome meets the Iron Age in the Northern Marches

Saturday 24th October
10.30-4.00 p.m.
The Marches School OSWESTRY
Morda Road
Oswestry SY11 2AR
Tickets £8.50 (to include coffee/ tea, biscuits and sandwich lunch)

Further details...

The Mary Rose’s artefacts give us a unique insight into Tudor life

Launched as the flagship of a young and ambitious king, the Mary Rose was not only a reflection of Henry VIII’s ambitions, she was also a new breed of warship. She was one of England’s first ships to be built with gunports: part of the first generation of broadside-firing warships that heralded the beginnings of a 300-year period of warship design.

But the Mary Rose is important not only to maritime historians. It is also what she took with her to the bottom of the Solent in 1545 that gives her a special significance. These were the possessions and tools of 500 men from all levels of society. The 19,000 artefacts that have been recovered range from gunners’ linstocks to gambling dice, from a bosun’s call to a rosary.

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Unseen Tudor Artefacts Encourage New Crew to Secure Mary Rose’s Future

Previously unseen artefacts recovered from Henry VIII’s flagship have been revealed by the Mary Rose Trust to launch its first ever public appeal to help fund an ambitious new £35 million museum project.

The extraordinary Tudor items – which include a fiddle complete with its bow (Europe’s oldest example); a beautifully preserved leather ‘manbag’, the height of Tudor fashion; and the giant wooden spoon used to stir the crew’s porridge pot – have been hidden away in the Mary Rose’s reserve collection due to a lack of display space. They have been brought out of storage to highlight the need to hit the Trust’s funding target for the new museum project and through it to secure the future of the Mary Rose.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

5000-year-old tombs under study in Kercem

Studies are underway on two tombs believed to be 5000 years old, which have been discovered in an excavation site in Kercem, Gozo.

The tombs were unearthed during extension works at the parish priest's house, which lies adjacent to the parish church. Pottery recovered so far place the origins of tombs in the Tarxien phase of Maltese prehistory, currently dated to about 3000-2500 BC. The excavations are being carried out by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage under the direction of Anthony Pace.

The Department of Information said the rock-cut tombs lay undisturbed for almost 5000 years. They may have been first encountered during the construction of Kercem parish church, between 1846-51, which involved extensive quarrying. However the tombs did not draw any further attention and went unnoticed for another 163 years until the present development.

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Ardi on the Discovery Channel

Tonight, the Discovery Channel features a special on Ardipithecus ramidus called "Discovering Ardi". Although I haven't seen the video, the website for the project has a dozen video clips featuring Owen Lovejoy discussing the ramifications, some simulation video of Ardipithecus walking and a video on how Jay Matternes created his reconstruction drawing of Ardi.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rune stone from 400 AD discovered in southern Norway

Experts are now examining a unique rune stone dating back to around 400 AD, discovered in a garden in the city of Mandal in Southern Norway a week ago. The find may also contain a grave, reports Norway Post.

This is the first rune stone discovered in Norway since 1947, and the find is described as a sensation by the experts.

There are several lines of runes cut into the face of the stone, but it seems the style of writing is a bit different from earlier finds, and more difficult to desipher.

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Saving the Wrecks of the Channel

Marine archaeologists have discovered a 17th-century shipwreck in recent months with a cargo that includes the world's earliest pocket calculator -- a wooden carpenter's rule -- while exploring the seabed of the English Channel. It offers a tantalizing taster of treasures that may lie within nearly 270 wrecks that have been identified, but whose survival is under serious threat from 21st-century trawlers working the busy channel between the Continent and Britain.

Some historic vessels that fell victim to the sea or cannon fire centuries ago could disappear within five years, according to a leading British marine archaeologist, Sean Kingsley, who is an adviser on the most extensive archaeological deep-sea survey of the Channel ever undertaken.

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Irish farming in 3000 BC

BALLYCASTLE, Ireland--It took 40 years, but Seamas Caulfield finally solved the puzzle of his father's peat bog, and in the process unearthed a 5,000-year-old Stone Age village.

Schoolteacher Patrick Caulfield was digging peat--long-decayed vegetation that has been used for domestic fuel in Ireland for centuries--in a bog near this western Ireland hamlet in the 1930s when his spade struck rocks two metres down.

He cleared the immediate area and discovered that the rocks formed part of a wall.

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Scientists Stonehenge discovery

For decades archaeologists have puzzled over not just how Stonehenge was built, but why, and what for.

Now a team from Bristol University has made an incredible discovery that's changing the way historians think about the ancient site. They've found another, smaller stone circle just a mile away.

Watch the video...

Dover Castle conference reveals insights into medieval landmark

A conference held last month has provided scholars with new insights into Dover Castle, one of England's most impressive medieval fortifications.

Great Tower: The building and Evolution of Henry II's Keep at Dover Castle was organized by English Heritage and the Castle Studies Group. The first two days of the conference was held at the Society of Antiquaries in London, followed by a visit to the site itself.

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World Monument Fund 2010 Watch Sites

This week, the World Monuments Fund announced the 2010 World Monuments Watch. For more than 40 years, WMF, a nonprofit organization, has worked to preserve cultural heritage across the globe. The 2010 Watch includes 93 sites now at risk, representing 47 countries.

World Monument Fund Project Map

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Mysterious past of north Pictish stone in spotlight

THE mysterious secrets of an intriguing Pictish stone unearthed in the Highlands were discussed at a seminar yesterday, as part of Highland Archaeology Festival.

The meeting in Balintore, Easter Ross, also revealed the results of the latest research into the Hilton of Cadboll Stone, from the nearby chapel, which have been published in a hardback book by co-authors Heather James, Isabel Henderson, Sally Foster and Sian Jones, who all spoke at the Historic Scotland seminar.

Patricia Weeks of the Historic Scotland cultural resources team said: “The stone is a tremendously important part of the area’s heritage and local residents played a key role in some of the research that has resulted in this book. This was our way of thanking them for their involvement and interest in the research projects.

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Roman remains site 'has become dumping ground'

A SITE that helped archaeologists discover more about Colchester’s history has become a “dumping ground”, according to residents living nearby.

The piece of land in St Peter’s Street, which backs on to Northgate Street, has been left undeveloped for almost a decade.

Colchester Archaeological Trust discovered the remains of a Roman Road, Roman wall and a well-preserved wooden Roman drain when they dug up the site last year.

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Week of the centurions at Fishbourne Roman Palace

A museum is going military to teach children army life nearly 2,000 years ago.

Fishbourne Roman Palace, near Chichester, has organised a Roman Army Week from October 26 to 30.

Visitors will be able to get an army 'tattoo', try their hand with spear practice and learn how to write their name in Latin.

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Gloucester body 'is Goth warrior'

A late Roman period body unearthed in Gloucester has stunned experts after tests suggested it was a Goth warrior from eastern Europe.

The man, aged 25 to 30, who was dug up north of Kingsholm Square in 1972, had always baffled archaeologists.

His elaborate silver belt fittings, shoe buckles and inlaid knife were believed to be from an area between the Balkans and Southern Russia.

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Roman chariot find needs £200,000 to secure centre dream

PLANS for a Roman chariot circus visitor centre in Colchester could fail for the lack of £200,000.

A consortium, which is looking to create the centre, has had offers from two bidders who between them are prepared to put up half the £400,000 needed from private investors to secure the project.

But the January deadline is fast approaching and Philip Crummy, of Colchester Archaeological Trust, said he was “pessimistic” of finding a third backer.

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Rare 17th-century Bellarmine jar discovered in excavation of land beneath the former Turk's Head Inn, Stafford

A SCARY rarity has been unearthed after 400 years underground – in time for Halloween.

A grotesque and “ultra-rare” 17th century Bellarmine jar designed to ward off witches has been found by archaeologists exploring the site of the former Turk’s Head Inn beneath Tipping Street car park in Stafford.

Bellarmine jars originated in Germany and were often reused as witches’ jars, filled with a bizarre concoction of urine, nail clippings and hair and buried in the belief they would ward off spells or evil spirits.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Celebration of Iconic Collections from the Viking World

13 - 14 February 2010

The 2010 JORVIK Viking Festival will begin with a 25th anniversary conference, celebrating some of the most important developments and iconic artefacts uncovered in the last quarter-century of research into the Viking era. Academics from around the Viking world will gather in York on Saturday 13th February for an entertaining and illuminating look at the past, present and future of Viking studies. With a conference dinner on Saturday evening and a Festival coach tour to see some of Yorkshire's finest Viking-age artefacts on Sunday 14th February.

Speakers already confirmed include Peter Addyman, Richard Hall (Deputy Director, York Archaeological Trust), Patrick Wallace (Director, National Museum of Ireland), Anne-Christine Larsen (Vikingeborgen Trelleborg, Sydvestsjællands Museum, Denmark), Ellen Marie Næss (Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo) and Anne Brundle (The Orkney Museum).

Please check again soon for updates and for details on how to book your seat.

Man digging potatoes finds axe belonging to Ireland's first farmers

A RARE archaeological find, dating back 6,000 years has been made in South Kilkenny. A Stone Age neolithic axe head was found in Ballygorey, Mooncoin last week by a man out digging potatoes.

The axe was found in a field by Pat Dunphy, a Fine Gael councillor who was picking spuds for the evening dinner. “I thought when it came up first that it was piece off a combine harvester but when I turned it over, I knew it was something different,” he said.

It is the second axe found in Ballygorey. another local found one in the 1970s and it is now with the National Museum in Dublin. The land in this area is fertile and close to the River Suir and probably was an ideal area for early human settlements.

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Castle dig unearth Bishop's Palace

THE Wisbech Castle dig is now complete and it appears to have found the remains of the Bishop's Palace.

The team from Oxford Archaeology East have now returned to base to analyse their findings and examine the artefacts unearthed.

A massive team of volunteers clocked up 485 hours between them - almost £25,000 worth of work - and 20 school visits were made to the site, involving 740 schoolchildren in activities.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

History Cookbook

Welcome to the history cookbook. Do you know what the Vikings ate for dinner? What a typical meal of a wealthy family in Roman Britain consisted of, or what food was like in a Victorian Workhouse? Why not drop into history cookbook and find out? This project looks at the food of the past and how this influenced the health of the people living in each time period. You can also try some of the recipes for yourself. We have a wide range of historical recipes from Brown Bread Ice Cream to Gruel (Why not see if you would be asking for more - just like Oliver Twist).

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Sunken galleon found off coast of Menorca

The remains of a sunken 17th or 18th century galleon have been found by a fisherman in Fornells, on the north coast of the island of Menorca.

According to information provided by the Argo Maris foundation investigating the find, an initial inspection of the site by remote controlled vehicles has revealed a sunken shipwreck approximately 60 metres down and covering a radius of about 40 metres.

Several huge anchors, iron cannons and wooden parts of the ship's structure have been identified, suggesting either a frigate or a war galleon from the 17th or 18th centuries.

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Archaeologists Discover 12-Century Ritual Pits in Southern Bulgaria

Over 50 unique pits, used for rituals and dating to the twelfth century, were discovered by archaeologists near the village of Sedlare in the vicinity of the town of Momchilgrad in southern Bulgaria.

The new finds testify for the fact that, despite being practicing Christians, the local population used to return to its pagan past in times of hardship, archaeologists told Darik Radio.

The pits – over 50 of which were found in an area of 4 dekares, were used for the placing of burnt stones, ceramics, metal and meat, Katya Melamed, an archaeologist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences’ Archaeology Museum told the media.

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Mini-Stonehenge Found: Crematorium on Stonehenge Road?

Sorry, Spinal Tap fans—though a newfound stone circle in England is being called a mini-Stonehenge, it was never in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.

Thirty-three-foot-wide (ten-meter-wide) "Bluestonehenge" was discovered just over a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the original Stonehenge near Salisbury, United Kingdom, scientists announced today.

The 5,000-year-old ceremonial site is thought to have been a key stop along an ancient route between a land of the living, several miles away, and a domain of the dead—Stonehenge. At least one archaeologist thinks Bluestonehenge may have been a sort of crematorium.

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Ancient synagogue unearthed in Turkey

The remains of an ancient synagogue have been revealed in an archeological dig in Turkey.

The ruins, estimated to be at least 1,500 years old, were unearthed by a team of archeologists from Akdeniz University in September and new artifacts are being discovered daily.

Among those discovered on the site is a marble tablet featuring a menorah flanked by a shofar and a bugle on one side and a palm tree and lemon tree on the other.

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Ancient Rome's Real Population Revealed

The first century B.C. was one of the most culturally rich in the history of the Roman Empire - the age of Cicero, Caesar and Virgil. But as much as historians know about the great figures of this period of Ancient Rome, they know very little about some basic facts, such as the population size of the late Roman Empire.

Now, a group of historians has used caches of buried coins to provide an answer to this question.

During the Republican period of Rome (about the fifth to the first centuries B.C), adult male citizens of Rome could be taxed and conscribed into the army and were also given the right to vote. To keep track of this section of the population (and their taxable assets), the Roman state conducted periodic censuses.

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L'Egypte suspend sa coopération archéologique avec le Louvre

L'Egypte a décidé de "cesser toute coopération" archéologique avec le musée français du Louvre tant que des éléments d'une stèle pharaonique ne lui auront pas été restitués, a déclaré mercredi à l'AFP le chef des antiquités égyptiennes Zahi Hawass.

"Nous avons pris la décision de cesser toute coopération avec le Louvre en attendant la restitution" de ces pièces archéologiques "volées", provenant d'une tombe située près de Louxor (700 km au sud du Caire), a ajouté M. Hawass.

Cette décision affecte des conférences organisées avec le musée français, ainsi que les travaux menés par le Louvre sur le site archéologique de Saqqara, près du Caire, a-t-il ajouté.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Bluestonehenge: A New Stone Circle Near Stonehenge

First Chance to Hear From the Experts Who Made the Discovery

Archaeologists from Sheffield and other universities have discovered a lost stone circle a mile from Stonehenge, on the west bank of the River Avon.

The stones were removed thousands of years ago but the sizes of the holes in which they stood indicate that this was a circle of bluestones, brought from the Preseli mountains of Wales, 150 miles away. Excavations in August–September 2009 by the Stonehenge Riverside Project uncovered nine stone holes, part of a circle of probably 25 standing stones. (Most of the circle remains unexcavated, preserved for future research, whilst the 2009 excavation has been filled back in.)

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Italian scientist reproduces Shroud of Turin

An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ's burial cloth is a medieval fake.

The shroud, measuring 14 feet, 4 inches by 3 feet, 7 inches bears the image, eerily reversed like a photographic negative, of a crucified man some believers say is Christ.

"We have shown that is possible to reproduce something which has the same characteristics as the Shroud," Luigi Garlaschelli, who is due to illustrate the results at a conference on the para-normal this weekend in northern Italy, said on Monday.

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Pot of gold found in Sürekli sewage

Municipal workers building a sewage system in the village of Sürekli in the southeastern province of Mardin found a pot of gold dating back to Ottoman times.

The new sewage system in the village of Sürekli, which has 120 households, was being installed as part of efforts to bring services to rural regions.

The pot of gold was found two meters underground as mechanical diggers were excavating. Workers alerted the local gendarmerie, which closed the village to hundreds of curious visitors from the region.

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Bronze Age box unearthed in Salzburg

Archaeologists claim to have made a "sensational" find after they unearthed a 3,000-year-old wooden box used in central Europe’s biggest copper-mining operation at the Mitterberg mountain in Salzburg’s Pongau region.

They said the box from the Middle and Late Bronze Ages, which was discovered using the latest high-tech research methods including laser scanning, dated to between 1,500 and 1,000 B.C.

Provincial archaeologist Raimund Kastler today (Mon) called the discovery "a truly sensational find".

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University archaeologists discover lost circle linked to Stonehenge

THIS is how a lost stone circle site, unearthed by an archaeologist from The University of Sheffield, might have looked 5,000 years ago.

Sheffield University professor Mike Parker Pearson led the Stonehenge Riverside Project – a consortium of university teams – which discovered the 'Bluestonehenge' site in Wiltshire.

The exciting new find is just a mile away from Britain's famous circle of standing stones at Stonehenge, and has been named after the colour of the 25 Welsh stones of which it was once made up.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

BA 109 covering Staffordshire Hoard

The Staffordshire Hoard is one of the most spectacular finds of recent years. It was found by a metal detecting enthusiast and reported to the proper authorities. The inquest has just been held which has officially declared it as ‘Treasure’. The Hoard has been compared to the Royal graves at Sutton Hoo.

Long before news of the hoard became public, editor Mike Pitts spoke to many of those involved with the find, and put together the complete story of how it was found – and kept secret. With pictures you’ll see nowhere else, this exclusive feature will be in British Archaeology issue 109, out 9 October. Read the CBA’s news story for more information and a diverse range of external links.

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Ship survey reveals Romans liked French wine

THE Department of Antiquities has just released the findings of its survey of a Roman shipwreck near Cape Greco on the Island's southeast coast.

The shipwreck dates from the 2nd century AD and contains over 130 ceramic jars, likely to have been carrying wine or oil.

"Its location in shallow waters, suggest that either the vessel was nearing an intended port-of-call, or else was engaged in a coasting trade, moving products to market over short distances up and down the coast," said a press release from the Department of Antiquities.

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Profile: Ardi: Our 4.4 million-year-old granny

PICTURE the scene. It's the African savanna of Ethiopia, 4.4 million years ago. Tuesday, to be exact, somewhere around tea-time. There is a rustle among the long grass and in the distance an elephant trumpets its annoyance, scattering parrots from the trees and sending shrews and mice scuttling deeper into the undergrowth.

A small, hairy head turns, cocks her ear and waits till any danger has passed. Ardi, as she will come to be known, is four feet tall, weighs 120 lbs and has a thin body covered in matted hair. She has very short legs and exceedingly long arms, but short palms and fingers which are flexible enough to allow them to support her entire body weight on her palms.

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Archaeologists unearth 17th century bottle used to scare off witches

The witch bottle was discovered in a pit beneath a back room on the site of the Turk's Head Inn at Tipping Street car park in Stafford.

The vessel is a mid to late 17th-century Bellarmine jug which would have been filled with the likes of nail clippings, hair, bellybutton fluff, pins and iron nails.

The period was full of superstition and they were buried near or under buildings to ward off witches or evil spirits. Oxford Archaeology which is undertaking the dig will analyse the contents of the bottle to see what it contains.

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Archaeologists Discover 4-Century BC Royal Burial Vault near Prilep, Macedonia

A royal burial vault was discovered by arcaheologists in the area of Pavla chuka, between the villages of Bonche and Podmol near the town of Prilep in southern Macedonia.

The circular vault dates to the fourth century BC, the Vecher newspaper reported today. It has a diameter of 30 metres and is made of monolithic stones, each of them weighting two tons, which are undamaged although they are 2,500 years old.

The vault has an opening dug into a wall, and antique tombs were discovered inside of it.

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Rune in Norway dates to 400 AD

The first rune stone discovered in Norway since 1947 dates to about 400 AD and may contain a grave, archaeologists in the city of Mandal said.

The rune discovered last week in a garden in Mandal has several lines cut into the stone's face, but the style of writing appears slightly different from previous finds and is more difficult to decipher, The Norway Post reported Friday.

One sentence beginning "Ek Naudigastir" -- I Naudagistr -- is believed to be a man's name. A larger stone under the rune may be a grave. Another grave from the same period was discovered on the same property years ago, the Post reported.

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Mini-Stonehenge find 'important'

Archaeologists have discovered a mini-Stonehenge, a mile from the site of Wiltshire's famous stone circle.

"Bluehenge", named after the hue of the 27 stones from Wales which once formed it, has been described by researchers as a "very important" find.

All that now exists of the 5,000-year-old site is a series of holes where the dolerite monoliths once stood.

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Whatever happened to all the Neros?

Archaeologists believe a statue of a boy's head may be a depiction of one of the most hated Roman Emperors.

The head found at Fishbourne Roman Palace, West Sussex, will undergo a 3D scan to see if it is a rare marble statue of Emperor Nero as a young boy.

If it is, it would be only the third surviving piece of its kind in the world.

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Neue Siedlungsspuren auf der Heuneburg

Archäologen des Landesamtes für Denkmalpflege stoßen bei erneuten Grabungen auf Hausreste aus dem 6. Jh. v. Chr. auf der Heuneburg bei Herbertingen, Kreis Sigmaringen in Baden-Württemberg.

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Archaeological sites face ruin from treasure-hunting 'nighthawkers'

Illicit raids on fragile archaeological sites are on the rise because of the recession, according to English Heritage.

More so-called 'nighthawkers' are taking to the fields under cover of darkness in the hope of finding buried treasure from the past.

Last month the announcement that the largest ever haul of Anglo-Saxon treasure had been found in a field in Staffordshire, shone a rare light on the hobby of metal detecting.

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Forensic Aspects of Ancient Egypt

Forensic Aspects of Ancient Egypt Study Day at:
University of London,
Connaught Hall, 36-45 Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1H 9EX
Saturday: 31 October 2009: 11am - 5pm

Further details...

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Before Lucy came Ardi, new earliest hominid found

The story of humankind is reaching back another million years as scientists learn more about "Ardi," a hominid who lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia. The 110-pound, 4-foot female roamed forests a million years before the famous Lucy, long studied as the earliest skeleton of a human ancestor.

This older skeleton reverses the common wisdom of human evolution, said anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University.

Rather than humans evolving from an ancient chimp-like creature, the new find provides evidence that chimps and humans evolved from some long-ago common ancestor — but each evolved and changed separately along the way.

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English archaeologists find new prehistoric site

Archaeologists have discovered a smaller prehistoric site near Britain's famous circle of standing stones at Stonehenge.

Researchers have dubbed the site "Bluehenge," after the color of the 27 Welsh stones that were laid to make up a path. The stones have disappeared but the path of holes remains.

The new circle, unearthed over the summer by researchers from Sheffield University, represents an important find, researchers said Saturday. The site is about a mile (2 kilometers) away from Stonehenge.

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Does brooch dug up in Oxfordshire field belong to 6th century Saxon princess?

A SAXON brooch and skull uncovered by a metal detecting enthusiast may point to a 1,500-year-old royal grave hidden beneath a farmer’s fields.

The Home Office has ordered the exhumation of an early sixth century skeleton found in West Hanney, near Wantage, on Sunday to allow archaeologists to investigate the size of the burial site.

The quality of the Saxon jewellery found pinned to the body has already been compared to treasure found at the Sutton Hoo burial site in Suffolk in 1939 (see panel), now on display at the British Museum.

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The Wantage Brooch

A short video by Gary Brun, showing the finding of the Wantage Saxon Brooch.

Watch the video...