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  • Originally published 08/20/2013

    Face of individual who lived 700 years ago to be reconstructed by Mexican archaeologists

    MEXICO CITY.- The face of a Pre-Hispanic skeleton, recovered in Michohacán 35 years ago by archeologist Roman Piña Chan, is to be reconstructed by specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and support from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), as part of the preservation and conservation job of an individual’s skeleton remains who belonged to Occidental Cultures, over 700 years ago, and was apparently a member of the elite. Restorer Luisa Mainou, a member of the National Cultural Heritage Preservation Coordination (CNCPC) from the INAH, explained that the skeleton was found in a cornfield within the township of Ario de Rayon and then moved to the Regional Museum of Michohacan. The specialist, who leads the Organic Material Conservation and Restoration Workshop of the CNPC, clarified that as part of such treatment, a layer of glue that covered each of the skeletal remains, had to be removed....

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Badger digs up medieval treasure in Germany

    A badger helped discover the tombs of two medieval lords in Germany in what archaeologists are hailing as a significant find. The 12th century burial site contains a sword, bronze bowls, an ornate belt buckle and skeletal remains that tell stories of a violent life. A badger in Germany deserves a reward for making a significant archaeological discovery: the medieval tombs of two Slavic lords buried with an array of intriguing artefacts.The striped animal, perfectly equipped for digging with its short legs, had made its underground home on a farm in the town of Stolpe in Brandenburg, some 75 kilometers northeast of Berlin....

  • Originally published 08/13/2013

    Neanderthals may have made tools from bone

    Adding to the accumulating evidence that Neanderthals were more sophisticated than previously thought, scientists in Europe said that they had unearthed strong evidence that the early hominins — often typecast as brutish, club-lugging ape-men — fashioned their own specialized bone tools.In a report published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, archaeologists described the discovery of four fragments of bone tools known as lissoirs at two Neanderthal sites in southwest France.The implements are the oldest specialized bone tools found in Europe, said study lead author Marie Soressi, an archaeologist from Leiden University in the Netherlands....

  • Originally published 08/12/2013

    2,000-year-old Roman ship found off Genoa

    The discovery was made by police divers off the coast of Porto Maurizio, Liguria, Il Secolo XIX reported.At least 50 Roman vases were found in the ship, 50 metres below sea level, which remains completely intact.“This is an exceptional discovery,” Lieutenant Colonel Francesco Schilardi told the newspaper.“Now it’s a matter of protecting the ship and keeping the grave...

  • Originally published 08/12/2013

    Remains of 16th century Londoners found in Bedlam burial ground

    Crossrail archaeologists have unearthed the remains of patients from the infamous Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum.The skeletons, unearthed in the UK's largest archaeological site, belonged to a few of the 20,000 people interred in a burial ground established adjacent to the psychiatric asylum.Crossrail's lead archaeologist Jay Carver said: "we've got a sixteenth century burial ground existing right below our feet in the road here, about two metres from where we're standing are the skeletons of perhaps up to four thousand people who live and died in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries."...

  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    NYC becomes archaeological site: 18th-century bone toothbrush, old champagne bottles unearthed

    NEW YORK — The city has become an archaeological site, with thousands of artifacts such as an 18th-century bone toothbrush with animal hair bristles and wine and champagne bottles corked centuries ago unearthed to prove it.A copper half-penny and a pair of children’s shoes are some of the other remnants of early New York life workers discovered in lower Manhattan while digging to install new utilities for the growing residential and business South Street Seaport area....

  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    Archaeologists make once-in-a-lifetime find of Mayan frieze in northern Guatemala

    GUATEMALA CITY — Archaeologists have found an “extraordinary” Mayan frieze richly decorated with images of deities and rulers and a long dedicatory inscription, the Guatemalan government said Wednesday.The frieze was discovered by Guatemalan archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli, a professor at Tulane University’s Anthropology Department, and his team in the northern Province of Peten, the government said in a joint statement with Estrada-Belli....

  • Originally published 08/08/2013

    Work on new railway line unearths layers of London history

    LONDON — Jewelry, pieces of ships, medieval ice skates, centuries-old skulls — some fascinating pieces of London’s history aren’t in museums, but underground.More often than not, they stay there, but work on a new railway line under the British capital is bringing centuries of that buried history to light.The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail line is Britain’s biggest construction project and the largest archaeological dig in London for decades. In the city’s busy business core, archaeologists have struck pay dirt, uncovering everything from a chunk of Roman road to dozens of 2,000-year-old horseshoes, some golden 16th-century bling — and the bones of long-dead Londoners....

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    Archaeological dig connects Acadian descendants to tragic past

    The first thing Clara Darbonne did when her car reached the Nova Scotia border was to ask the driver to stop, so she could kiss the ground.Within hours, she was touching history, joining an archaeological dig to explore the remains of an Acadian homestead in what was known as Village Thibodeau before its inhabitants were forcibly ejected by the British two and a half centuries ago.“I wanted to put my feet on the soil that my ancestors walked on,” the 75-year-old from the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun Country says in a soft voice, her face beaming. “I was so happy.”...

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    How common is theft at archaeological sites?

    ...How common is tomb raiding? It turns out the archaeologists on the Wari site [a new archaeological find in Cusco, Peru] were right to keep their mouths shut about their discovery. A University of Glasgow project, “Trafficking Culture,” has attempted to document the market for antiquities stolen from archaeological digs. The numbers are huge. Here’s a typical entry from an air-based survey of looting patterns, in this case from sites in the Sahara:

  • Originally published 08/07/2013

    5,000-year-old Neolithic art found in Orkney dig

    An intricately-inscribed stone was discovered by excited archaeologists at the Ness of Brodgar on Wednesday.Nick Card, the excavation team director at the dig – which lies in the heart of Neolithic Orkney, between the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Strenness – said the latest find had created a “huge buzz” on the site.The stone is unusual as it is artistically decorated on both sides and has impressive deep incisions.Mr Card, of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology and based at the University of the Highlands and Islands in the islands, said: “It is perhaps the finest piece of art we have recovered from the site, and one of the finest from the UK ever – amazing and awe-inspiring.”...

  • Originally published 08/03/2013

    Taft Kiser: The Problem with Relic Hunting

    Taft Kiser, an archaeologist, is an author of the forthcoming book “Struggling in the Tide: Robert E. Lee’s Shirley Cousins.”CHESTER, Va. — FOR archaeologists like me, the Flowerdew Hundred Plantation near Williamsburg, Va., is our Woodstock, a sentimental spot where dozens of professionals earned their trowels. The farm’s incredible archaeological wealth ranges from 12,000-year-old Native American tools to a tree that shaded Union soldiers in June 1864.Imagine our dismay, then, when a professed “relic hunter” from Texas named Larry Cissna sold some $60,000 in tickets for his Grand National Relic Shootout — an artifact-hunting competition — at Flowerdew Hundred. The shootout took place in early March, and participants walked away with 8,961 artifacts dating from the Civil War or before.In Virginia, as in many states, relic hunting is illegal on public land, but legal on private land. Flowerdew, it turns out, belongs to the James C. Justice Companies, whose chairman, president and chief executive is James C. Justice II, whom Forbes ranks as the 882nd-wealthiest individual on the planet. (According to a spokesman, Mr. Justice was unaware of the “shootout.”)...

  • Originally published 08/02/2013

    Archaeology: The milk revolution

    In the 1970s, archaeologist Peter Bogucki was excavating a Stone Age site in the fertile plains of central Poland when he came across an assortment of odd artefacts. The people who had lived there around 7,000 years ago were among central Europe's first farmers, and they had left behind fragments of pottery dotted with tiny holes. It looked as though the coarse red clay had been baked while pierced with pieces of straw.Looking back through the archaeological literature, Bogucki found other examples of ancient perforated pottery. “They were so unusual — people would almost always include them in publications,” says Bogucki, now at Princeton University in New Jersey. He had seen something similar at a friend's house that was used for straining cheese, so he speculated that the pottery might be connected with cheese-making. But he had no way to test his idea....

  • Originally published 07/28/2013

    New excavations to find lost Pictish kingdom

    ARCHAEOLOGISTS are planning a major dig to uncover one of the lost Kingdoms of the ancient Picts, the tribe of legendary warriors whose empire stretched from Fife to the Moray Firth before they mysteriously vanished from history.Until recently historians had believed that Fortriu - one of the most powerful Kingdoms of the “painted people” - had been based in Perthshire.But recent research has now placed the Pictish stronghold much further north to the Moray Firth area.And it was revealed today that a team of archaeologists from Aberdeen University are to embark on a series of excavations on the Tarbat peninsula in Ross-shire where archaeologists have already uncovered evidence of the only Pictish monastic settlement found in Scotland to date....

  • Originally published 07/21/2013

    Sunken WWI U-Boats a bonanza for historians

    British archaeologists recently discovered more than 40 German U-boats sunk during World War I off the coast of England. Now they are in a race against time to learn the secrets hidden in their watery graves.On the old game show "What's My Line?" Briton Mark Dunkley might have been described with the following words: "He does what many adventurers around the world can only dream of doing."Dunkley is an underwater archeologist who dives for lost treasures. His most recent discoveries were anything if not eerie.On the seafloor along the southern and eastern coasts of the UK, Dunkley and three other divers have found one of the largest graveyards in the world's oceans, with 41 German and three English submarines from World War I. Most of the submarines sank with their crews still on board, causing many sailors to die in horrific ways, either by drowning or suffocating in the cramped and airtight submarines....

  • Originally published 07/21/2013

    Amid Greek austerity, plunder of priceless treasures

    The financial crisis in Greece has already had far-reaching consequences for many people, but now it is claiming a new casualty as some of the country's ancient treasures become a target for thieves.Detective Gergios Tsoukalis puffs nervously on his cigar. In the passenger's seat of a taxi, he grapples with four different mobile phones as he tries to co-ordinate the arrest of yet another antiquities smuggler.As the driver pulls into the port, he sees ahead of him that plainclothes police officers have already pounced on the unassuming man, who is completely shocked by the early-morning operation....

  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Religious artefacts finally returned to Cyprus

    According to an announcement from Walk of Truth, “some of the world’s finest religious art, recovered through a unique police sting operation in 1997, were finally restored to the people of Cyprus by the German authorities.“The objects are part of a cache of thousands of mosaics, icons and other cultural objects which were found in the possession of Aydin Dikmen, a Turkish-born art dealer, during and after a police raid on his Munich apartment on October 10, 1997. “Most of these objects had been looted from churches in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus in the wake of the island’s invasion in 1974. Their discovery followed a sting operation carried out by 70 officers of the Bavarian police and Walk of Truth’s founder, Mrs Tasoula Hadjitofi, who was acting for the Church of Cyprus. The operation also involved Michel van Rijn, a Dutch art dealer who acted as an intermediary....

  • Originally published 07/02/2013

    Cambodian graveyard mystifies experts

    PHNOM PEL, CAMBODIA – More than 100 burial jars and a dozen coffins arranged on a ledge in remote Cambodian jungle have for centuries held the bones — and secrets — of a mysterious people who lived during the Angkor era.Why the bones were placed in jars on a cliff some 100 meters high in the Cardamom Mountains — or indeed whose remains they are — has long puzzled experts.For seven years Nancy Beavan, an archaeologist who specializes in carbon dating, has been looking for an answer, painstakingly piecing together clues left by the enigmatic people at 10 sites dotted across the area in southwestern Cambodia....

  • Originally published 06/16/2013

    Mayan relics discovered at Salvadoran construction site

    In most countries, construction workers uncover faulty pipes, old mason work and heaps of garbage when excavating a plot of land for a new building.In El Salvador, they find Mayan relics.Working on a housing project in Colón – about 15 miles from the capital of San Salvador – construction workers unearthed Mayan pots, ceramic fragments and other artifacts.Pieces of obsidian and part of a human skeleton, which may also be from the Mayan period, were found on the site after specialists arrived to survey the site. The area around Colón is believed to be one of the riches archeological areas of the Central American country, Julio Alvarado, a technician for El Salvador’s Culture Ministry told Agence France Presse....

  • Originally published 06/11/2013

    The Neanderthal with the world's oldest tumor

    A benign bone tumor that afflicts modern-day humans has now been found in one of our ancestors: a Neanderthal more than 120,000 years old.The discovery of a fibrous dysplasia in a Neanderthal rib is the earliest known bone tumor on record, predating other tumors by more than 100,000 years. The rib, recovered from a site in Krapina, Croatia, indicates that Neanderthals were susceptible to the same types of tumors modern-day humans get, despite living in a remarkably different environment."They didn't have pesticides, but they probably were sleeping in caves with burning fires," says David Frayer, an anthropologist at the University of Kansas and the co-author of a new paper about the discovery. "They were probably inhaling a lot of smoke from the caves. So the air was not completely free of pollutants—but certainly, these Neanderthals weren't smoking cigarettes."...

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Politics slow archaeologists in Turkey

    It used to be easy for foreign archaeology teams to get excavation permits in Turkey. This year, though, dozens of scientists are still waiting for government permission even though the dig season has begun. Some suspect that politics and nationalism are in play.On the surface, the mood is buoyant at the annual archaeology conference in southern Turkey. Eager academics, more than a few of them clad in khaki vests and breathable pants, engage in animated conversation as they network and discuss their pet projects. Outside, a warm sun is shining.But looks are deceiving. For many of those present, the future is filled with uncertainty. The Turkish government in Ankara has still not granted annual permits to many of the excavations that the careers of the scientists present depend on. And there is concern that the reason for the delay has much more to do with the state of Turkey's relations with the West than with the merits of the projects in question....

  • Originally published 06/04/2013

    Bronze age boats found in Cambridgeshire

    A fleet of eight prehistoric boats deliberately sunk thousands of years ago has been discovered in a Cambridgeshire quarry.The vessels, including one which is almost nine metres long, are the largest group of Bronze Age boats ever found in one site in the UK.Many are still well-preserved and one is even able to float after 3,000 years buried in the site on the outskirts of Peterborough.Others display intricate carvings and have handles carved from oak tree trunks for lifting them out of the water. Traces of a fire lit on the surface of one boat to cook the day's catch were also found....

  • Originally published 05/16/2013

    "City of Gold" found deep in Honduras?

    New images of a possible lost city hidden by Honduran rain forests show what might be the building foundations and mounds of Ciudad Blanca, a never-confirmed legendary metropolis.Archaeologists and filmmakers Steven Elkins and Bill Benenson announced last year that they had discovered possible ruins in Honduras' Mosquitia region using lidar, or light detection and ranging. Essentially, slow-flying planes send constant laser pulses toward the ground as they pass over the rain forest, imaging the topography below the thick forest canopy.What the archaeologists found and what the new images reveal are features that could be ancient ruins, including canals, roads, building foundations and terraced agricultural land. The University of Houston archaeologists who led the expedition will reveal their new images and discuss them Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union Meeting of the Americas in Cancun....

  • Originally published 05/16/2013

    Church discovered under castle

    Experts believe that the church is one of the most important archaeological finds in Britain, as it pre-dates both the castle and the Norman Conquest.Construction workers have also unearthed eight skeletons in the Norman building, believed to be the remains of powerful and wealthy people.Cecily Spall, an archaeologist on the site, said the find was hugely significant for Lincoln. “The information we can get from this undocumented church is gold dust,” she said.“Historical documents only tell part of the story for this area so this find is very special.”...

  • Originally published 05/10/2013

    Israeli archaeologists find source of 'Second Temple' era stones

    A huge quarry, along with tools and a key, used by workers some 2,000 years ago have been discovered during an excavation in Jerusalem prior to the paving of a highway, the Israel Antiquities Authorities (IAA) announced.The first-century quarry, which fits into the Second Temple Period (538 B.C. to A.D. 70), would've held the huge stones used in the construction of the city's ancient buildings, the researchers noted.Archaeologists also uncovered pick axes and wedges among other artifacts at the site in the modern-day Ramat Shlomo Quarter, a neighborhood in northern East Jerusalem....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Frontier Fort From Revolutionary War Found in Ga.

    Less than two months after British forces captured Savannah in December 1778, patriot militiamen scored a rare Revolutionary War victory in Georgia after a short but violent gunbattle forced British loyalists to abandon a small fort built on a frontiersman's cattle farm.More than 234 years later, archaeologists say they've pinpointed the location of Carr's Fort in northeastern Georgia after a search with metal detectors covering more than 4 square miles turned up musket balls and rifle parts as well as horse shoes and old frying pans.The February 1779 shootout at Carr's Fort turned back men sent to Wilkes County to recruit colonists loyal to the British army. It was also a prelude to the more prominent battle of Kettle Creek, where the same patriot fighters who attacked the fort went on to ambush and decimate an advancing British force of roughly 800 men....

  • Originally published 05/03/2013

    Ancient Roman cemetery found under parking lot

    Hidden beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, archaeologists have discovered a 1,700-year-old Roman cemetery that seemed to show no religious bias.The new discovery, found at the junction of Newarke and Oxford Streets, includes numerous burials and skeletal remains from 13 individuals, both male and female of various ages. The cemetery is estimated to date back to around A.D. 300, according to University of Leicester archaeologists who led the dig."We have literally only just finished the excavation and the finds are currently in the process of being cleaned and catalogued so that theycan then be analyzed by the various specialists," John Thomas, archaeological project officer, told LiveScience in an email....

  • Originally published 05/01/2013

    Archaeology strains German-Turkish relations

    An argument between Germany and Turkey about ancient treasures is escalating. Turkey wants its treasures back, but German archaeologists say Turkish sites are being exploited for tourism.Archaeology often has a lot to do with politics - the current argument between Germany and Turkey is a prime example. Hermann Parzinger, head of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, last December accused Turkey of displaying "almost chauvinistic behavior." In reply, the Turkish culture minister Ömer Celik told German news magazine "Der Spiegel" that he demanded an apology, and he asked for five ancient objects to be returned that are currently shown in museums in Berlin. He claims they were taken out of Turkey illegally. Parzinger rejects any accusations of illegality for three of these objects: In December 2012, he said that the torso of the Fisherman of Aphrodisias, the sarcophagus from the Haci Ibrahim Veli tomb and a 13th-century prayer niche were all acquired legally.

  • Originally published 05/01/2013

    Riddle of ancient Nile kingdom’s longevity solved

    Geomorphologists and dating specialists from The Universities of Aberystwyth, Manchester, and Adelaide say that it was the River Nile which made life viable for the renowned Kerma kingdom, in what is now northern Sudan. Kerma was the first Bronze Age kingdom in Africa outside Egypt.Their analysis of three ancient river channels where the Nile once flowed shows, for the first time, that its floods weren’t too low or too high to sustain life between 2,500 BC and 1,500 BC, when Kerma flourished and was a major rival to its more famous neighbour downstream.They also show that the thousand year civilisation came to end when the Nile’s flood levels were not high enough and a major channel system dried out - though an invasion by resurgent Egyptians was the final cause of Kerma’s demise....

  • Originally published 05/01/2013

    Archaeologists plan more digs at Richard III site

    Archaeologists who unearthed the skeleton of England's King Richard III under a municipal parking lot say they want to dig up a 600-year-old stone coffin found nearby.University of Leicester scientists say they hope to learn more about the medieval Church of the Grey Friars, where Richard was unceremoniously buried after he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.In February scientists from the university announced that remains found on the site were "beyond reasonable doubt" those of the king....

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Feeding Egypt's 10,000 pyramid builders

    The builders of the famous Giza pyramids feasted on food from a massive catering-type operation, the remains of which scientists have discovered at a workers' town near the pyramids.The workers' town is located about 1,300 feet (400 meters) south of the Sphinx, and was used to house workers building the pyramid of pharaoh Menkaure, the third and last pyramid on the Giza plateau. The site is also known by its Arabic name, Heit el-Ghurab, and is sometimes called "the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders."...

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    More skeletons found near grave of medieval knight

    A city car park has been hailed a “real treasure trove of archaeology” after seven more skeletons were unearthed from the grave of a medieval knight.Archaeologists working on the site now believe they have uncovered the remains of a family crypt having found bones from three fully grown adults, four infants and a skull.The exciting discovery comes one month after experts ­excavated the burial site of a medieval knight – affectionately christened Sir Eck – within the grounds of the new Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) at High School Yards, off Infirmary Street....

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Janism founder in the news

    A stone idol of Jainism founder Mahaveer, dating back to the 8th century AD, was excavated from the bank of the Amaravathi River at Swaminathapuram village near the temple town on Tuesday.A team comprising archaeologist P. Narayanamurthy, Deputy Superintending Archaeologist Murtheswari and historian Raja conducted the dating of the idolThe five-foot-tall and four-foot-wide idol has been carved out in white granite stone. Mahaveer, with a halo around his head, is seen in a reclining posture. Two cobras are carved on either side of the figure....

  • Originally published 04/25/2013

    Petroglyphs documented in NE Argentina

    A hill in the northeast part of Argentina that holds various cave paintings, which was considered to be a sacred place before the Incan conquest of the region in the fifteenth century, was identified by Mexican investigator Luis Alberto Martos Lopez from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), as part of an archaeological salvage.The exploration of this space is within a much wider project destined to the excavation and restoration of the Incan site known as Potrero de Payogasta, in the wide and contrasting Valle Calchaquí, in Argentina; this is an initiative which has been supported by the Cultural Patrimony of the Salta province. Also, this Project is funded by the National Geographic Society.The exploration of this space is within a much wider project destined to the excavation and restoration of the Incan site known as Potrero de Payogasta, in the wide and contrasting Valle Calchaquí, in Argentina; this is an initiative which has been supported by the Cultural Patrimony of the Salta province. Also, this Project is funded by the National Geographic Society.

  • Originally published 04/22/2013

    Stonehenge occupied 5,000 years earlier than previously thought

    Excavation of a site just a mile from the stone structure provided what researchers claim is the first firm evidence of continuous occupation from as early as 7,500BC.Earlier evidence had suggested that humans were present at the site, known as Vespasian's Camp, around 7,500BC but there were no signs anyone had lived there until as late as 2,500BC.By carbon-dating materials found at the site, the archaeologists identified a semi-permanent settlement which was occupied from 7,500 to 4,700BC, with evidence that people were present during every millennium in between....

  • Originally published 04/18/2013

    Medieval murder mystery

    Archaeologists have uncovered the body of a woman who may be at the centre of a 600-year-old murder mystery. The find, as well as 4,000 other artefacts hidden within a medieval and long-forgotten settlement, only came to light during the development of a section of road in Northern Ireland.For the last ten months excavators have been amassing numerous items taken from the site, which will now be preserved and hopefully one day displayed to the public....

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Ancient port found in Egypt

    An ancient Egyptian harbor has emerged on the Red Sea coast, dating back about 4,500 years. "Evidence unearthed at the site shows that it predates by more than 1,000 years any other port structure known in the world," Pierre Tallet, Egyptologist at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and director of the archaeological mission, told Discovery News....

  • Originally published 04/15/2013

    10k Roman objects found in London

    Scores of archaeologists working in a waterlogged trench through the wettest summer and coldest winter in living memory have recovered more than 10,000 objects from Roman London, including writing tablets, amber, a well with ritual deposits of pewter, coins and cow skulls, thousands of pieces of pottery, a unique piece of padded and stitched leather – and the largest collection of lucky charms in the shape of phalluses ever found on a single site.Sophie Jackson, of Museum of London Archaeology, said: "The waterlogged conditions left by the Walbrook stream have given us layer upon layer of Roman timber buildings, fences and yards, all beautifully preserved and containing amazing personal items, clothes and even documents – all of which will transform our understanding of the people of Roman London."...

  • Originally published 04/15/2013

    Mysterious Stone Structure Discovered Beneath Sea of Galilee

    A giant "monumental" stone structure discovered beneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee in Israel has archaeologists puzzled as to its purpose and even how long ago it was built. The mysterious structure is cone shaped, made of "unhewn basalt cobbles and boulders," and weighs an estimated 60,000 tons the researchers said. That makes it heavier than most modern-day warships. Rising nearly 32 feet (10 meters) high, it has a diameter of about 230 feet (70 meters). To put that in perspective, the outer stone circle of Stonehenge has a diameter just half that with its tallest stones not reaching that height....

  • Originally published 04/11/2013

    Unearthed Scots find gives insight into Battle of Flodden

    A crown shaped livery badge, thought to have been worn by a soldier in the personal retinue of King James IV, was discovered by archaeologists during a survey of the site of the Battle of Flodden. The badge, which is believed to have been buried for five centuries, is made of copper alloy and appears to have been snapped off a hat band. Its design includes the Fleur de Lys with jewels and diamonds, elements which were part of the Scottish crown in 1513. The Battle of Flodden was a turning point in UK history and set the stage for the subsequent Union of the Crowns between Scotland and England....

  • Originally published 04/11/2013

    Mammoth discovered in Mexico

    Picture a 30-year-old male, wandering the wilderness alone, far from his friends, seeking love. Let's call him Manny.Picture him trudging from lake to lake in the Mexican mountains, having climbed nearly half a mile from his pals into the hills to the picturesque watering holes, in search of a mate.Now flash forward some 12,000 years to modern day Mexico City, where residents of the suburb of Milpa Alto recently stumbled across the most complete mammoth skeleton ever found in the country, the National Institute of Anthropology and History announced Monday.... 

  • Originally published 04/08/2013

    Restoration starts on world’s first cave church

    The Turkish Islamic government of Premier Recel Tayyp Erdogan will kick start the restoration of the St. Peter's Cave in Antakya, the world's oldest church carved into a mountainside. According to Christian tradition, the first of the apostles celebrated the first mass here 2,000 years ago and about a millennium ago the Crusaders turned it into a chapel.The renovation has started, according to Turkish press reports, under the direction of the Museum of Antakya which has jurisdiction over the cave church of St. Peter, who was the first bishop of Antioch after leaving Jerusalem and before travelling to Rome. The church is carved into Mount Silpius which dominates ancient Antioch on the Orontes, once the 'queen of the East' and one of the three capitals of the Mediterranean with Rome and Constantinople. Today it lies on the outskirts of the Turkish town of Antakya, close to the border with Syria and its bloody civil war. According to the Turkish opposition, Jihadist militia transit through this area to cross the border into Syria. The cave is 13-metres deep and seven-meters high and was at risk of collapse. The mountain around it is crumbling in a number of areas....

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    The curse of Tutankhamen? Pure invention

    When George Herbert, the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, died 90 years ago this week he was one of the most famous men on Earth. He occupied the family seat at Highclere Castle, but wintered in Egypt every year. By 1923, Carnarvon had spent an estimated £35,000 on excavation, hunting for glory.Finally he got it. His man in the field, Howard Carter, had discovered the steps down to the unbroken seals on the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of Kings. Carnarvon dashed from England, and together they broke in a small portion of the door. “Well, can you see anything?” the Earl asked. “Yes,” came the famous reply, as Carter waved his candle and caught the glint of gold, “wonderful things.”The story was a press sensation in a gloomy post-war world still mourning the dead of that terrible conflict and the influenza pandemic that had followed shortly afterwards. The tomb was formally opened in February 1923, with visiting royalty, dignitaries and the world’s press in attendance....

  • Originally published 04/04/2013

    Huge find throws new light on ancient Iraq

    The team, directed by Professor Stuart Campbell and Dr Jane Moon, both from Manchester, and independent archaeologist Robert Killick, first spotted the amazing structure – thought to be an administrative complex serving one of the world's earliest cities– on satellite. It was after carrying out geophysical survey and trial excavations at the site of Tell Khaiber that they were able to confirm the size of the complex at about 80 metres square – roughly the size of a football pitch....

  • Originally published 04/04/2013

    Stone-Age skeletons unearthed in Sahara desert

    Archaeologists have uncovered 20 Stone-Age skeletons in and around a rock shelter in Libya's Sahara desert. The skeletons date between 8,000 and 4,200 years ago. The team concluded that the skeletons were buried over the course of four millennia, with most of the remains in the rock shelter buried between 7,300 and 5,600 years ago.The site, called Wadi Takarkori, lies very close to the main road from Libya to Niger. From about 8,000 to 6,000 years ago, the region was filled with scrubby vegetation and seasonal green patches. Stunning rock art depicts ancient herding animals, such as cows.... 

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Trove of Neanderthal Bones Found in Greek Cave

    A trove of Neanderthal fossils including bones of children and adults, discovered in a cave in Greece hints the area may have been a key crossroad for ancient humans, researchers say. The timing of the fossils suggests Neanderthals and humans may have at least had the opportunity to interact, or cross paths, there, the researchers added....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    Cologne Archeological Dig Revives Ancient Jewish Heritage

    After long being sidelined for Roman excavations, an archaeological dig in western Germany has unearthed myriad traces of daily life in one of Europe's oldest and largest Jewish communities. From ceramic dishes and tools to toys, animal bones and jewelry, some 250,000 artifacts have so far shed light on various periods in 2,000 years of the city of Cologne's history, the AFP news agency reported....

  • Originally published 04/01/2013

    In Sudan, archaeologists unearth hidden kingdoms

    KHARTOUM, Sudan — Every winter they come and go, like birds migrating south. Most of them nest in downtown Khartoum’s old Acropole Hotel, but they’re not here to rest. They’re here to work in Sudan’s blistering deserts, and the past few years have yielded outstanding results.For many people around the world, Sudan conjures images of war, instability, drought and poverty. All of those things exist here, often in tragic abundance. But lost in the narrative are the stories of the ancient kingdoms of Kush and Nubia that once rivaled Egypt, Greece and Rome.Lost to many, that is, but not to the archaeologists who have been coming here for years, sometimes decades, to help unearth that history....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Battle rages over bones of England's Richard III

    (Reuters) - King Richard III is at the center of a new fight over the location of his final resting place, just weeks after the remains of the last English king to die in battle were found underneath a council car park.Archaeologists announced one of the most remarkable finds in recent English history last month when they confirmed the discovery of the body of Richard, who was slain at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, during excavations in Leicester.

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Encroachments on Egypt's archaeological sites continue

    Al-Hamam Antiquities Inspectorate has succeeded to remove encroachment on Al-Bordan archaeological site, located on Alexandria-Marsa Matrouh highway, in collaboration with Egypt’s tourism and antiquities police. The site includes remains of Graeco-Roman fortresses, roads, temples and cemeteries.The encroachment on the Al-Bordan archaeological site, located on kilometre 67 on Alexandria-Marsa Matrouh highway, started Friday when a large truck invaded the site with a construction bulldozer, which on its turn damaged a cluster of authentic structures that date back to the Graeco-Roman era, according to director of Marina Al-Alamein Antiquities Khaled Abul-Magd. Abul-Magd accused Yasser Khalil, owner of a contractor company, and truck driver Mohamed Abdel Sattar of violating and damaging the archaeological site. The tourism and antiquities police arrested both accused, but they denied all charges. Both are in custody until the completion of investigations....

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Bulgarian archaeologist demands funding for Perperikon dig

    Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolai Ovcharov said on March 21 that he the recent political upheaval in the country threatened to delay the start of this year’s archaeological digs at the Perperikon site.Speaking to Focus news agency, Ovcharov, a professor of archaeology and one of the country’s most prominent archaeologists, said that a total of 1.25 million leva were promised by the previous government, which has now been replaced by a caretaker cabinet. “Until 15 or 20 days ago, we had some idea about the archaeological digs season would go. I do not know now, for the simple reason that I do not know anyone in the caretaker government and whether they know what has been done so far,” Ovcharov said....

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Main street revealed in agora of Smyrna

    A part of a street similar to the Arcadian street in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus in İzmir (Smyrna) has been uncovered during excavations at a nearby historical agora.The excavations in the area are being carried out under the leadership of Professor Akın Ersoy and his team. He said the main street, which begins from the Faustina gate and continues to the port, had been found to the researchers’ surprise. “We have also found a fountain on this street. The fountain has a statement that praises a benefactor for his support for the ancient city of Smyrna.” Ersoy said they had also located a multi-echelon staircase on the street. “The continuation of this staircase goes to an area covered with mosaics. This ancient street is 80 meters long, but it reached the sea. This is the most important street in the agora for the entrance of goods. Just like in Ephesus, the street blocks water and has a very good sewer system. Visitors are prohibited from entering the area at the moment. When the work is done, tourists will be able to walk on this street just like in Ephesus....

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Excavations at ancient Greek mines of Pangeon

    Mount Pangeon, one of the most famous mining areas of ancient Greece, mentioned by many historians, is considered a more or less unexplored terrain. Its unapproachable slopes and dense vegetation hide centuries-old secrets on its surface and in its depths.Markos Vaxevanopoulos, PhD Candidate of the Mineralogy-Petrology-Economic Geology Department at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, will present a paper about the excavation surveys in ancient mines of Mount Pangeon (Asimotrypes, Valtouda), in the conference about the Archaeological Work in Macedonia and Thrace, which starts tomorrow in Thessaloniki. As written in the summary of the paper, the gold and silver mines of Pangeon are mentioned by many ancient historians. At first, Thracians exploited them, while they were an apple of discord between Thassos and Athens, until Philip II’s conquest. Tyrant of Athens, Peisistratos, who was in exile around 550 BC, acquired enough riches and know-how in order to pay mercenaries and return to Athens as a powerful man and exploit the Lavrion mines. Herodotus also mentions the “great and lofty” Mount Pangaion in which were “mines both of gold and of silver”....

  • Originally published 03/19/2013

    Archaeological Dig Unearths Slave History at Georgetown Estate

    Archaeologists at Tudor Place, an historic Georgetown estate with ties to George Washington, have unearthed artifacts that suggest the former existence of a dwelling for both enslaved and free workers on the site. A team of archaeologists spent several days in the past week painstakingly digging and sifting through layers of soil in the northeast corner of the Tudor Place garden, in an area called the tennis lot. "We’ve been wanting to know about slave patterns at Tudor Place," Jessica Zullinger, director of preservation at Tudor place, said in a phone interview with Patch....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Roman artefact discovered in Sudeley Castle cupboard

    A Roman sculpture of a Cotswold god has been found in a castle cupboard after being missing for over 100 years. The artefact, dated 150-350AD, was first found during an archaeological dig on the estate of Sudeley Castle in 1875. But when historians found records of the discovery in the 1960s, there was no trace of the sculpture. The Roman altar God has now been found in a basement cupboard during a clear out at the Gloucestershire castle....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    One of world's oldest sun dials discovered in Egypt

    Researchers have unearthed one of the world's oldest Egyptian sun dials - possibly dating back to 13th century BC - used by the people to tell time with the position of the Sun.The discovery was made during archaeological excavations in the Kings' Valley in Upper Egypt by a team of researchers from the University of Basel.The team led by Professor Susanne Bickel made the significant discovery while clearing the entrance to one of the tombs.During this year's excavations the researchers found a flattened piece of limestone (so-called Ostracon) on which a semicircle in black colour had been drawn. The semicircle is divided into twelve sections of about 15 degrees each.... 

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Ancient rock art at risk from climate change

    Some of the world's ancient art is at risk of disappearing, Newcastle University experts have warned. Researchers from the  International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS)  and School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG) studied the physical underpinnings and condition of Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art panels in Northumberland. They conclude climate change could cause the art to vanish because new evidence suggests stones may deteriorate more rapidly in the future.

  • Originally published 03/11/2013

    Stonehenge may have been burial site for Stone Age elite, say archaeologists

    Centuries before the first massive sarsen stone was hauled into place at Stonehenge, the world’s most famous prehistoric monument may have begun life as a giant burial ground, according to a theory disclosed on Saturday. More than 50,000 cremated bone fragments, of 63 individuals buried at Stonehenge, have been excavated and studied for the first time by a team led by archaeologist Professor Mike Parker Pearson, who has been working at the site and on nearby monuments for decades. He now believes the earliest burials long predate the monument in its current form....

  • Originally published 03/11/2013

    Chinese excavate early bronze armor

    Archaeologists in northwest China's Shaanxi Province said Sunday that one piece of thigh armor and two pieces of upper-body armor dating back 3,000 years may be the oldest pieces of bronze armor ever unearthed in China.The announcement was made after experts studied the artifacts retrieved from the tomb of a nobleman from the West Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC - 771 BC) in Shigushan Mountain of Baoji City.Liu Junshe, head of the excavation team, said the discovery filled in a blank in China's early military history, as excavations of pieces of armor forged during or prior to the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC) have been rare....

  • Originally published 03/11/2013

    Even mummies get clogged arteries

    Heart disease is often thought to be a malady of the modern era, the product of lifestyles heavy on eating and light on exercise.That includes conditions like atherosclerosis, when fat and cholesterol build-up along artery walls, making it difficult for blood to pass through the body to the heart and limbs.New research, presented Sunday night at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, suggests the exact opposite: That heart disease is a malady with a history that stretches back over 4,000 years. How, exactly, did they figure this out? By putting mummies through CT scan machines, of course....

  • Originally published 03/05/2013

    New digs reveal truth about Hadrian's Wall

    Stretching the breadth of northern England, Hadrian's Wall is a majestic reminder of the ambition and might of the Roman Empire's conquest in Britain. Now, new archaeological evidence has suggested, contrary to previous belief, that the Romans far from co-existing peacefully with the locals, ejected them by force in order to build the 73-mile divide.The UNESCO World Heritage Site stretches from the Solway Firth in the west to Wallsend on the river Tyne in the east. Construction was ordered by the Emperor Hadrian and started in AD122. It was Roman Britain's most ambitious building project, designed primarily to mark the northern limit of the Empire....

  • Originally published 03/04/2013

    Archaeologist: Bodies may be earliest remains found in Charleston

    Friday proved to be another fascinating day of discovery at the Gaillard Auditorium construction site. Archaeologists found coins they believe date back to the late 1600s or early 1700s. So far, archaeologists have unearthed 37 graves that may date back to the colonial days of the city. Eric Poplin, the lead archaeologist, said Friday the coins were found near the remains of an adult and a child....

  • Originally published 02/28/2013

    Lionheart has heart of potpourri

    PARIS — King Richard I, the 12th-century warrior whose bravery during the Third Crusade gained him the moniker Lionheart, ended up with a heart full of daisies, as well as myrtle, mint and frankincense.Those were among the findings of a French study, announced Thursday, which analyzed the embalmed heart of the English king more than 810 years after he died.The biomedical analysis also uncovered less flowery and spicy elements like creosote, mercury and perhaps lime in the heart, which has been in the western French city of Rouen since his death in 1199.Despite the embalming ingredients, the heart turned to powder long ago, doubtless because the lead box cradling it wasn’t airtight. It’s so unsightly now that it’s kept from public view....

  • Originally published 02/28/2013

    11 pre-Hispanic bodies found at Peru sports center

    The discovery of pre-Hispanic remains was made at the Huaca Tupac Amaru B site at the National Sports Village. The 400-square-meter (yard) site sits just a few meters (feet) from the stadium where Peru's national soccer team trains. Archaeologist Fernando Herrera, head of the project, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that three sets of remains were determined to belong to the Lima culture, which developed between A.D. 200 and 700. The eight other skeletons came from the more recent Yschma culture, between A.D. 1000 and 1400, he said....

  • Originally published 02/28/2013

    Lost and Found: Ancient Shoes Turn Up in Egypt Temple

    More than 2,000 years ago, at a time when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of kings of Greek descent, someone, perhaps a group of people, hid away some of the most valuable possessions they had — their shoes. Seven shoes were deposited in a jar in an Egyptian temple in Luxor, three pairs and a single one. Two pairs were originally worn by children and were only about 7 inches (18 centimeters) long. Using palm fiber string, the child shoes were tied together within the single shoe (it was larger and meant for an adult) and put in the jar. Another pair of shoes, more than 9 inches (24 cm) long that had been worn by a limping adult, was also inserted in the jar....

  • Originally published 02/28/2013

    Battered skulls reveal violence among stone-age women

    Stone Age farmers lived through routine violence, and women weren't spared from its toll, a new study finds.The analysis discovered that up to 1 in 6 skulls exhumed in Scandinavia from the late Stone Age — between about 6,000 and 3,700 years ago — had nasty head injuries. And contrary to findings from mass gravesites of the period, women were equally likely to be victims of deadly blows, according to the study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology....

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Maize key to rise of ancient Peru

    For years, archaeologists have debated the economic basis for the rise of civilization in the Andean region of Peru. The prevailing theory advanced the notion that the development and consumption of marine resources was the primary mover. Now, however, a team of research scientists have found evidence to dispel that theory....

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Palace maids cemetery unearthed in NW China

    A public cemetery uncovered in the city of Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi province, was used for maids of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), an archaeologist told Xinhua Tuesday. A dozen tombs, located in the west of the thousands-year-old city, were found in April, 2012, Liu Daiyun, a Shaanxi Archeology Research Institute researcher said. Since then, the tombs have been examined....

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Mexican archaeologists reveal studies made on sacrificial stone found at Templo Mayor

    Some months ago, a stone where human sacrifices were performed was found as part of the archaeological salvage work that has been made by the Program of Urban Archaeology (PAU) from the Great Temple Museum. Today, thanks to numerous studies, we know that the location where the monolith was discovered was not the place where it had been used 500 years ago. It was removed from its original place back in the pre Hispanic era.According to specialists, this kind of stone was used, in pre Hispanic times, to place a person lying on his back (with an eastern or western direction). Once they were laid down they were sacrificed; their thoracic cage was opened and their heart was pulled out.... 

  • Originally published 02/27/2013

    Sasanian palatial house discovered in Lorestan

    During the second season of archaeological research in western Iran, Iranian archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a Sasanian palatial building. The ancient building is located in the area called Guri Fortress (Dež-e Gūri) near Zir Tang-e Siyāb of the district of Konāni, 70 kilometres southwest of the city Kūhdasht, in the western Iranian province of Lorestan. The director of the dig is archaeologist Atta Hassanpur. The discovered structure which is speculated to date to around 600 CE is described as having five interconnected halls, two columned halls and a courtyard....

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    Bones found in Turkey are probably those of Cleopatra's half-sister

    Long-buried bones and a missing monarch. Add some historical notoriety and modern technology and you have a heck of a captivating, science-driven story. Just this month, it was announced that bones found under a parking lot in Leicester, England, belonged to King Richard III. DNA evidence, according to the lead archaeologist at the excavation, proved this “beyond a reasonable doubt.”...

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    Shards of south Louisiana's ancient history found

    An archaeological project arising out of Hurricane Katrina's floods has turned up bits of pottery fired about 1,300 years before the first French colonists slogged into south Louisiana swamps. The project also has turned up artifacts from later Native Americans, Spanish and American fortifications, as well as a hotel and amusement park near the mouth of Bayou St. John, once an important route from Lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans....

  • Originally published 02/25/2013

    Polish archaeologists in Sudan claim 'unique' human settlement discovery

    Polish archaeologists working in Sudan have found remains of human settlements that appear to date back as far as 70,000 years. If confirmed, the discovery in the Affad Basin of northern Sudan will challenge existing theories that our distant ancestors only began building permanent residences on leaving Africa and settling in Europe and Asia....

  • Originally published 02/25/2013

    Rotterdam archaeologists find old shoe stuffed with medieval money

    Archeologists in Rotterdam have found an old shoe stuffed with 477 silver coins during excavations behind the town hall. Archaeologists say they have never before found a shoe filled with money, which ranges in dates from 1472 to 1592. On theory is that the owner of the shoe hid it under floorboards to protect it during the 80 Years War (1568-1648)....

  • Originally published 02/23/2013

    German police return smuggled artifacts to Kosovo

    Seven artifacts dating as far back as 4,000 B.C. have been returned to Kosovo after German police stumbled on them in an unrelated raid, the country's culture minister said Friday.The artifacts date to the Neolithic period and are believed to belong to the Vinca, a prehistoric culture that traces back to 5,500 B.C. in southern Europe. Police in central Germany found them in 2005 during a separate undisclosed investigation, discovering the pieces in a sports bag belonging to two Serbs...

  • Originally published 02/22/2013

    Amazing find in Dartmoor Bronze Age grave

    A rare discovery dating back 4,000 years has been described as the most significant find on Dartmoor (Devon, England), and has given archaeologists a glimpse into the lives of the people who once lived there.  The undisturbed bronze age granite cist uncovered in 2011 in a peat bog on White Horse Hill revealed the first organic remains ever found on the moor, and a hoard of about 150 beads, including two amber beads. Previously only eight beads in total had been found on the moor.... 

  • Originally published 02/20/2013

    Will the study of archaeology soon become a thing of the past?

    Finding Richard III (on the premises of Leicester social services no less) is testament to the ingenuity of archaeologists. Weaving together findings from historical analysis of texts with scientific analysis of the skeleton and the site, they have made an overwhelming case that these are the remains of the king....

  • Originally published 02/20/2013

    Little-Known Archaeological Site Could Answer Questions About The Enigmatic Indus Valley Civilization

    Its remains rest almost unnoticeable near the small village of Rakhigarhi in northwest India. On the surface, its most visible features consist of well-ordered mounds of cow dung cakes, nature's fertilizer for the present-day local villagers' farming operations. Ox carts routinely transport their agricultural supplies over its ancient mounds and into the fields every day. Below the surface, however, lay an expansive network of ruins and artifacts that would betray an ancient city that would rival, and likely exceed, the enormity of the Indus Valley civilization's best known archaeological site, Mohenjo-Daro. At 224 hectares, it is the largest known Harrapan (Indus Civilization) site in India....

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    Mexican archaeologists discover two burials estimated to be over 500 years old

    In a pharmaceutical company’s premises, located in the municipal district of Miguel Hidalgo of Mexico City, specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH-Conaculta) recovered two burials that are over 500 years old, as well as other ceramic remains. Given the possibility that there could be more pre Hispanic element findings in the area, INAH elaborated an archaeological salvage project that will take place in said area.... 

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    Hoard of 16th century toys found

    In the course of my research of Viking Age woodcraft, I somewhat unexpectedly turned up information about a most delightful archaeological find: an entire hoard of children’s toys, found at Market Harborough parish church, England. A charming stash of the everyday playthings of sixteenth or seventeenth century children, the hoard throws a rare spotlight on the material culture of children in the archaeological record....

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    Bulgarian Archaeologists Uncover Major Roman Thermae

    A Bulgarian team of archaeologists have discovered well-preserved remains of a Roman bath in the ancient Bulgarian town of Sozopol. The news was revealed by National Museum of History director Bozhidar Dimitrov. "The team, led by Sozopol Archaeology Museum director Dimitar Nedev has made the discovery as part of its digs in the area in front of Sozopol's fortress walls," said the historian....

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    Ancient Teeth Bacteria Record Disease

    DNA preserved in calcified bacteria on the teeth of ancient human skeletons has shed light on the health consequences of the evolving diet and behaviour from the Stone Age to the modern day.The ancient genetic record reveals the negative changes in oral bacteria brought about by the dietary shifts as humans became farmers, and later with the introduction of food manufacturing in the Industrial Revolution....

  • Originally published 02/19/2013

    A glimpse into 9,000 years of village life

    Back in 1995, a hoard of 400 Roman coins was discovered west of Didcot in Oxfordshire (England), indicating the land had been lived on for centuries. When archaeologists began digging the fields in 2010 they knew it was a site of historical interest, but even they were surprised by the wealth of finds their trowels unveiled, proving that people have been living in Didcot for about 9,000 years.... 

  • Originally published 02/16/2013

    Modern politics overshadows Israel’s historic Herod exhibit

    He's best known as a great tyrant. King Herod is said to have killed his wife and sons as well as all the baby boys of Bethlehem.But the first major exhibition on the Biblical ruler at the Israel Museum sets out to prove that he also had positive qualities that make him more deserving of the title "Herod the Great"."We tried to show that he was not only the cruel person described by [the Jewish historian] Josephus and the New Testament but he was also a ruler who managed to keep this country in peace for 33 years," says curator Silvia Rosenburg."It was probably very difficult being a local ruler caught between the Roman Empire and the different exigencies of Judaism, but he did it very well. In his time there was prosperity and work for everyone."A main reason why there was mass employment was because of the ambitious building projects ordered by Herod when he ruled between 37 and 4 BC......Palestinian officials say they will make a formal complaint to the museum for removing relics from the West Bank, which Palestinians want as part of a future state.

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    Didcot dig: A glimpse of 9,000 years of village life

    When archaeologists began digging the fields in 2010 they knew it was a site of historical interest, but even they were surprised by the wealth of ancient finds their trowels unveiled. Back in 1995, a hoard of 400 Roman coins was discovered west of Didcot in Oxfordshire, indicating the land had been lived on for centuries. As plans progressed for 3,300 new homes, schools and shops on the 180-hectare site, archaeologists were called in to investigate.

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    1,500-year-old landfill discovered in USVI

    Crews renovating a public square in the U.S. Virgin Islands have discovered a 1,500-year-old landfill stuffed with shells, bones and pottery fragments.Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls says a team of specialized archaeologists will arrive soon to further excavate the pre-Columbian site. It is located in the capital of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas....

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    Mexico finds fire-god figure at top of Pyramid of the Sun

    Did the rulers of the ancient city of Teotihuacan dedicate their largest pyramid to the god of fire, the so-called old god with a signature beard and fire atop his head? Mexican archaeologists announced this week that a figure of the god, called Huehueteotl, was found in a covered pit at the apex of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, a popular archaeological site north of Mexico City.

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    Ancient Temple Discovered in Peru

    Archaeologists in Peru have uncovered what they believe is a temple, estimated to be up to 5,000 years old, at the site of El Paraíso, north of Lima.Inside the ruins of the ancient room, which measures about 23 feet by 26 feet (7 meters by 8 meters), there's evidence of a ceremonial hearth, where offerings may have been burned, archaeologists say. The temple also had a narrow entrance and stone walls covered with yellow clay, on which traces of red paint were found, according to a statement from Peru's Ministry of Culture....

  • Originally published 02/14/2013

    After Richard, hunt for Alfred the Great

    His remains are believed to lie in an unmarked grave in Winchester and a team is reportedly applying for permission to dig up the spot at St Bartholomew’s Church.It is thought Alfred’s skeleton could be found among a collection of bones there.But the job is expected to be much harder than the analysis on Richard III, as finding a living relative to provide a DNA sample would involve searching a much older family tree.Katie Tucker, an archaeologist from Winchester University, told The Times: “As far as we’re aware there are five skulls plus other bones. The most simple part will be to work out ages, sexes, and put the bones back together....

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    Isotopic data show farming arrived in Europe with migrants

    For decades, archaeologists have debated how farming spread to Stone Age Europe, setting the stage for the rise of Western civilization. Now, new data gleaned from the teeth of prehistoric farmers and the hunter-gatherers with whom they briefly overlapped shows that agriculture was introduced to Central Europe from the Near East by colonizers who brought farming technology with them....

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    35 pyramids found in Sudan

    At least 35 small pyramids, along with graves, have been discovered clustered closely together at a site called Sedeinga in Sudan.Discovered between 2009 and 2012, researchers are surprised at how densely the pyramids are concentrated. In one field season alone, in 2011, the research team discovered 13 pyramids packed into  roughly 5,381 square feet (500 square meters), or  slightly larger than an NBA basketball court.They date back around 2,000 years to a time when a kingdom named Kush flourished in Sudan. Kush shared a border with Egypt and, later on, the Roman Empire. The desire of the kingdom's people to build pyramids was apparently influenced by Egyptian funerary architecture....

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    Archaeology volunteers can help uncover history in UK

    Researchers’ recent confirmation that a body long hidden under a municipal parking lot is King Richard III will no doubt stir interest in British archaeology — as it should. While X never marks the spot and you’re unlikely to unearth an undiscovered king, Britain’s long history means that almost anywhere you plant a shovel, there’s history to be found.From Iron Age forts to Victorian gardens, hundreds of archaeological digs are happening in Britain at any given time – and many of them welcome volunteer diggers to help uncover the past. Instead of just visiting Britain’s ancient churches, villages and stone circles, you could be part of the teams that are discovering new sites and artifacts every day. Just get ready for a little hard work....

  • Originally published 02/07/2013

    Remains of medieval villages excavated

    Archaeologists have found evidence of settlements in the grounds of Wimpole Hall, where they have been carrying out digs ahead of a programme which will see thousands of trees planted in the grounds of the house.Stephen Macaulay, senior project archaeologist at Oxford Archaeology East is leading a team of five who are digging small pits around the house.He said: “We know from maps dating back to the 1600s that there were villages and hamlets around Wimpole Hall, such as Bennall End and Thresham End. But the owners of the house at the time, the Chicheley family, decided they wanted to surround it with parkland, so they turfed everybody out and landscaped over the area....

  • Originally published 02/06/2013

    Princes in Tower will not be dug up

    The Church of England, with support from the Queen and government ministers, has reportedly turned down a number of requests to perform forensic tests to establish whether the bones buried in Westminster Abbey are those of the king’s two nephews.According to previously confidential correspondence, permission to carry out DNA testing has been withheld for fear of setting a precedent for digging up royal remains to test various historical theories.There was also uncertainty by the church about what would be done with the remains if the DNA tests were negative, The Guardian reported....

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Pompeii restorer Annamaria Cavaco accused of fraud

    A former restorer of Pompeii is under house arrest on corruption charges, Italian police have said.Five others, including the ex-special commissioner appointed to deal with the increasing degradation of the historic site, are also under investigation...

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    British Museum puts art from the Ice Age on show

    The art world loves hype. Works are touted as the biggest, the rarest, the most expensive.Even in an age of superlatives, the British Museum has something special - the oldest known figurative art in the world.The artworks on display in the new exhibition "Ice Age Art" are so old that many are carved from the tusks of woolly mammoths.But it's not just their age that may surprise visitors. It's their artistry.These are artworks, not just prehistoric artifacts. Some of the sophisticated carvings, sculptures and drawings of people and animals look like something Pablo Picasso or Henry Moore might have created...

  • Originally published 02/04/2013

    Richard III's body found

    LEICESTER, England (AP) — He wore the English crown, but he ended up defeated, humiliated and reviled.Now things are looking up for King Richard III. Scientists announced Monday that they had found the monarch's 500-year-old remains under a parking lot in the city of Leicester — a discovery Richard's fans say will inspire new research into his maligned history.University of Leicester researchers say tests on a battle-scarred skeleton unearthed last year prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that it is the king, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, and whose remains have been missing for centuries....

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    British cannon from Battle of Cape Passaro found off Sicily

    Marine archaeologists working on a wreck off the coast of Sicily have discovered five large cannon from a British ship, believed to have sunk in a major battle with Spanish galleons.The team searching waters near the city of Syracuse said the "exceptional" find dates back to the Battle of Cape Passaro in the early 1700s.Pictures taken by divers show the cannon were barely covered by sand....

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    CSS Hunley legend altered by new discovery

    For nearly 150 years, the story of the Hunley’s attack on the USS Housatonic has been Civil War legend.And it has been wrong.Scientists have discovered a piece of the Confederate submarine’s torpedo still attached to its spar, debunking eyewitness accounts that the Hunley was nearly 100 feet away from the explosion that sent a Union blockade ship to the bottom of the sea off Charleston in 1864....

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    Research team investigates demise of Neanderthals in Spain

    La Roca dels Bous, a Paleolithic site located near the southeastern Pyrenees of Spain, has been cited by archaeologists as a key location with Neanderthal-related remains that may shed light on the changes that may have contributed to the demise of the Neanderthals in Europe. Now, a team led by Dr. Rafael Mora of the University Autonomous of Barcelona will be returning to the site in 2013 to excavate and explore lithic assemblages, fossil bone, and other remains that may date as far back as 50,000 BP. The excavations may help research efforts focused on constructing a better understanding of the factors that may have contributed to the decline and eventual disappearance of humanity's most closely related extinct human species.  

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    World's oldest portrait reveals the ice-age mind

    Twenty-six thousand years ago in the Czech Republic, one of our ice-age ancestors selected a hunk of mammoth ivory and carved this enigmatic portrait of a woman - the oldest ever found. By looking at artefacts like this as works of art, rather than archaeological finds, a new exhibition at the British Museum in London hopes to help us see them and their creators with new eyes.Human ancestors date back millions of years, but the earliest evidence of the human mind producing symbolic imagery as a form of creative expression cannot be much older than 100,000 years. That evidence comes from Africa: this exhibition explores the later dawning of representative art in Europe and shows that even before the remarkable paintings of the Lascaux cave, France, humans were able to make work as subtle as the expressive face above....

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    Archaeologist Uncovers Clues To Ancient Roman Vineyard

    An American classics professor has uncovered ancient grape seeds that could provide insight into Roman Chianti vineyards.One of the world’s authorities on the Etruscans, Nancy Thomson de Grummond is the M. Lynette Thompson Professor of Classics and Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University. She unearthed 150 waterlogged grape seeds during a dig in Cetamura del Chianti, an ancient hilltop located in the heart of the Chianti district of Tuscany near Siena, during the summer of 2012.De Grummond serves as project director of archaeological excavations at Cetamura del Chianti, which is in an area once inhabited by the Etruscans and then the Ancient Romans. Faculty and students of Florida State University have conducted research at the archaeological site since it opened in 1973....

  • Originally published 01/29/2013

    Petroglyphs on the Ledge of Souls

    Mexican archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) recently located and recorded a rock panel covered in  petroglyphs that may have been carved between 850 and 1350 CE.The site named “Cantil de las animas” [Ledge of Souls] is near the town of Jesus Maria Cortes in Tepic, Nayarit, Western Mexico.The carved symbolic representations, which are attributed to the ancient Aztlan culture, were located in a new archaeological  zone within the region’s mountainous zone, and they cover a south facing surface of vertical rock about 4 metres long and 2 metres high....

  • Originally published 01/25/2013

    Trent University Archaeologists Find Ancient Jade Spoon in Belize

    Archaeologists from Trent University have discovered a rare jade artefact, one of the first of its kind to be found in an archaeological dig, while excavating the ancient Maya city of Ka’Kabish in Belize.The six centimetre jade object, known as an Olmec spoon, was unearthed in June 2012 from a 2,700 year old grave beneath the Ka’Kabish plaza along with 16 other jade artefacts. Similar objects have been recovered in Mesoamerica, but this is one of the first times an Olmec spoon has been found in a secure archaeological site....

  • Originally published 01/25/2013

    Ovarian tumor, with teeth and a bone fragment inside, found in a Roman-age skeleton

    A team of researchers led by the UAB has found the first ancient remains of a calcified ovarian teratoma, in the pelvis of the skeleton of a woman from the Roman era. The find confirms the presence in antiquity of this type of tumour - formed by the remains of tissues or organs, which are difficult to locate during the examination of ancient remains. Inside the small round mass, four teeth and a small piece of bone were found.Teratomas are usually benign and contain remains of organic material, such as hair, teeth, bones and other tissues. There are no references in the literature to ovarian teratomas in ancient remains like those found in this study, led by the researcher Núria Armentano of the Biological Anthropology Unit of the UAB and published in the International Journal of Paleopathology....

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Ancient petroglyphs found in Mexico

    Mexico City, Jan 23 (IANS/EFE) Mexican archaeologists have discovered in the western state of Nayarit a series of petroglyphs estimated to have been carved between 850 and 1350 A.D., the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.The bas relief carvings have a symbolic character and are attributed to ancient groups from the Aztatlan cultural complex, and they were found at a site called "Cantil de las animas" (Cliff of the souls), in the mountainous portion of Nayarit's southern high plateau, an area where archaeological finds have been practically unknown....

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Earliest evidence of chocolate in North America

    They were humble farmers who grew corn and dwelt in subterranean pit houses. But the people who lived 1200 years ago in a Utah village known as Site 13, near Canyonlands National Park in Utah, seem to have had at least one indulgence: chocolate. Researchers report that half a dozen bowls excavated from the area contain traces of chocolate, the earliest known in North America. The finding implies that by the end of the 8th century C.E., cacao beans, which grow only in the tropics, were being imported to Utah from orchards thousands of kilometers away.The discovery could force archaeologists to rethink the widely held view that the early people of the northern Southwest, who would go on to build enormous masonry "great houses" at New Mexico's Chaco Canyon and create fine pottery, had little interaction with their neighbors in Mesoamerica. Other scientists are intrigued by the new claim, but also skeptical....

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Skeleton of Richard III may have been found -- but where will it end up?

    Archaeologists may have uncovered the skeleton of the lost English king Richard III. But if they have, what should be done with the remains?That question is causing contention among Richard III enthusiasts, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. The University of Leicester, which is overseeing the excavation and analysis of the remains, has jurisdiction over the remains, but various societies dedicated to the king have their own opinions.Two groups, the U.S.-based Richard III Foundation and the Society of Friends of Richard III based in York, England, argue that the remains should be reburied in York, because Richard III was fond of that city, the Journal reported. The Richard III Society, which has been involved with the archaeological dig in Leicester that uncovered the remains, is officially neutral — a stance which itself has triggered anger....

  • Originally published 01/22/2013

    Prehistoric cave art may have served as an early form of animation

    THE small steel door in the mountainside is the same shade of green as the lush vegetation surrounding us. Before we enter, my guide, prehistorian Roberto Ontañón Peredo, asks if I would like him to switch on the main lights. I decide to discover this place the way my ancestors would have done, with just a small bubble of light. As the door closes behind us, we flick on our flashlights and their beams pick out the irregular walls of the El Castillo cave. What strikes me first is the size of the cavern: I've been in churches that could fit in here.This cave, in northern Spain, was regularly visited by our prehistoric ancestors for tens of thousands of years, and as I follow Roberto inside, I see some of the extraordinary paintings they left behind. Red deer, bison and mammoths hide in the shadows, their outlines eerily materialising ...

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    Storms reveal Iron Age skeleton on Shetland Islands

    A series of storms that hit Scotland's Shetland Islands over the holidays revealed what archaeologists believe could be 2,000-year-old human remains.Police were initially called to the scene when storms eroded a cliff at Channerwick and exposed the skeleton, but officials soon determined that they wouldn't have to open a homicide investigation.Local archaeologist Chris Dyer said the ancient skeleton looked as if it were contemporary with the remains of Iron Age structures revealed nearby. Researchers then identified evidence of one or possibly two more burials at the site, but another storm caused a further chunk of the cliff to crumble, covering up the discovery....

  • Originally published 06/28/2014

    U.S.-Egyptian “Historic Partnership” Reeks with Hypocrisy

    Largely overshadowed by events in Iraq and Syria, the Obama administration is dropping its pretense at displeasure with the military junta in Egypt and restoring full support for the regime that so recently quashed the country’s faltering attempt at democracy.

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