A farm field overlooking the York River in Tidewater Virginia is believed to be where Pocahontas interceded with her powerful father Powhatan to rescue English Capt. John Smith from death.
That's a fanciful footnote for many Virginia Indians, historians and archaeologists, who say the real story is that this land was the center of a complex, sprawling empire ruled by Powhatan long before the first permanent English settlement in American was founded in 1607. It was called Werowocomoco, which roughly translates to a "place of chiefs."
"This is like our Washington," said Kevin Brown, chief of the Pamunkey tribe. "History didn't begin in 1607 and there are a lot of people who overlook that."
The theater at Denizli’s ancient city of Hierapolis, known for its healing water, will be hosting artistic performances to celebrate the completion of restorations that started two years ago
Renovations at the theater of the ancient city of Hierapolis, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, have been completed.
The stage of the ancient theater in the Aegean province of Denizli, which has traces from the Hellenistic era and Christianity, has been renovated. The ancient city of Hierapolis is known for the healing water in its springs. Renovations there started two years ago with the aim of restoring the stage in accordance with its original form. The area, which draws many tourists every year, will be hosting cultural activities from now on.
Hey there listeners! We have a great show for you this week. Our guest is the founder and CEO of Archaeology in the Community, an organization that helps bring archaeology and history to the community in an urban setting.
Ateam of archaeologists and volunteers led by Newcastle University’s Professor Ian Haynes with site director Tony Wilmott has started work in Maryport until 22 July.
This is the third year they have excavated at this important Roman site, commissioned by the Senhouse Museum Trust with in kind support from Newcastle University and the permission of the landowners the Hadrian’s Wall Trust.
Ascertaining the meaning of the ancient script Linear B becomes a detective story.
On March 30, 1900, during the excavation of the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, site of the legendary labyrinth from which Daedalus and Icarus took flight, workmen unearthed a clay tablet inscribed with an unknown script. Some of the characters of the script looked like the letters of an alien alphabet, others like alien hieroglyphics. In the following weeks and months workmen unearthed more tablets, several hundred of which had fallen from a floor above into a terra cotta bathtub.
The tablets contained messages sent from the dawn of history, from before the time of Homer, but they were messages that could not be received. No one knew what language people spoke 30 centuries ago on Crete, and there was no Rosetta stone among the discoveries at Knossos. (There were, however, other enchanting wonders — elaborate lavatories, murals of griffins and dolphins.) For 50 years, the inscriptions seemed impossible to crack. The code’s ultimate decipherment would turn out to be one of the great scientific detective stories of the 20th century — The Mysterious Case of Linear B.
Archaeological field surveys on sites along the Corridor 10 route in construction through the region of Pirot, south-eastern Serbia, culminated in a discovery of graves from the Iron Age that contain skeletal remains of warriors together with their spears and knives.
Turkey’s well-known ancient site of Alacahöyük, which currently draws around 50,000 visitors a year, is located in the Central Anatolian province of Çorum. Works at the site are set to continue, to uncover more clues like those found last year in order to prove that the settlement in the ancient site of Alacahöyük began 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.
The head of the Alacahöyük excavations, Professor Aykut Çınaroğlu, said that the first excavations had started at the ancient site in 1907, and lasted only 15 days, and were then restarted in 1935 on the order of Atatürk.
Çınaroğlu said that this year’s digs in Alacahöyük, which is known as Turkey’s first national excavation area, would begin next month, adding that the works would focus on following up the pieces that were found last year and proved that the first settlement was seen in the area much earlier than thought.
In the light of data to be revealed during excavations, Çınaroğlu said they had previously estimated that housing dated back to 8,500 years ago in Alacahöyük, “But we had suspicions that it might date back to earlier times. Last year we began finding pieces from the Neolithic age, confirming our suspicions. We could not have found a Neolithic settlement but objects that will shed light on this settlement. Thus we saw that housing dated back to 1,500 years earlier than we have known so far. This year we will focus on these objects and try to find the traces of this settlement.”
As the summer holidays approach, The Local is touring Germany's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today we visit the historic Roman Limes.
The Upper-Germanic Roman Limes covers a total distance of 550 kilometres. Around 2,000 years ago its forts, watchtowers, walls and palisades protected the mighty Roman Empire from independent Germania.
It is the longest and one of the most impressive archaeological monuments in Europe, marking the frontier where the highly developed civilisation of ancient Rome met 'barbaric' Germania.
The Limes run from Bad Hönningen/Rheinbrohl on the River Rhine to the Regensburg area on the River Danube. Alongside Roman remains preserved in their original condition, there are restored buildings, excavations and reconstructions. The course of the border wall can still be made out in places as it stretches in long, straight lines across forests and pastureland.
Explaining the maritime freight charges in Diocletian’s Price Edict Walter Scheidel (Stanford University) Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics, April (2013) Abstract In an article published in 2007, Pascal Arnaud explored the price...
When excavating urban sites, the team from Historical Perspectives, Inc. (HPI), is used to discovering a variety of features and artifacts during the course of fieldwork. Generally, archaeologists in urban contexts expect to recover an array of historical resources and can become jaded until a particularly unusual artifact is uncovered. Over the last few decades however, the HPI archaeologists have encountered many interesting sites and artifacts that have led the field team on numerous journeys of discovery
Qatar’s Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, which has outstanding universal value as the Gulf’s most complete and well-preserved pearl trading and diving town of the 18th-19th centuries, is likely to be inscribed in the Unesco World Heritage List. “The nomination process will be completed this month,” Qatar Museums Authority’s chief archaeology officer Prof Thomas Leisten said yesterday. Qatar’s largest and most impressive archaeological site, the abandoned coastal town of Al Zubarah, with 60 hectares of ruins within its former walls, is situated about 100km to the northwest of Doha in the district of Al Shamal. The settlement was founded around 1760 by the Banu Utba tribe from Kuwait, seeking to create a safe trading haven in the Gulf, as other long-established ports were destroyed, occupied, or ridden with plague. Over a very short period of time, Al Zubarah, quickly rose to become the foremost centre for pearl-based trade and commerce in the region, and Qatar’s largest and most important town. Its location in central Gulf was instrumental in making Al Zubarah the premier pearling and trading town in the region after the decline of Basra in Iraq.
It's been a busy couple of days on site, with major new discoveries and some splendid finds! Starting in Trench 2, the highlight has undoubtedly been the discovery of lovely carved stone head by Alex. This was found in the dump layers in the main room in the probably bath building. It is clearly a Roman carving and typically Romano-British showing a mixture of classical and more localised stylistic traits. The first parallel that leapt to my mind on seeing it was the carved head of Antenociticus from Banwell- it has similar lentoid eyes, although the Benwell example is much more finely carved than our head. A number of people have commented on its appearance suggesting that it has an African appearance- this is something we need to consider deeply. If it is an image of an Africa, it is extremely important, although this identification is not certain. It has certainly split the specialists I've shown images of it to, some saying it is merely a stylistic feature, others plumping firmly for an African identity, and yet more remaining agnostic.
Guangzhou Metro is facing a public outcry after contractors destroyed a group of ancient imperial tombs in the Menggang district during construction of Line 6 of its subway system....
Construction workers building a subway system in the Menggang district of Guangzhou have reportedly destroyed a number of ancient tombs on Da Gong Mountain. “Yesterday we were still conducting archaeological excavations, but all five tombs were gone this morning,” an unnamed archaeologist told a reporter from the South China Morning Post. The tombs ranged in age from 2,200 to more than 3,000 years old. Zhang Qianglu of the Guangzhou Archaeology Research Center said that the side of the mountain is covered with historically significant tombs. More than a dozen of them are thought to have been destroyed to date by the subway project.
With help from a University of Chicago group, a craft beer maker has been working for more than year to replicate a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer.
The beer was full of bacteria, warm and slightly sour.
By contemporary standards, it would have been a spoiled batch here at Great Lakes Brewing Company, a craft beer maker based in Ohio, where machinery churns out bottle after bottle of dark porters and pale ales.
But lately, Great Lakes has been trying to imitate a bygone era. Enlisting the help of archaeologists at the University of Chicago, the company has been trying for more than year to replicate a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer using only clay vessels and a wooden spoon.
“How can you be in this business and not want to know from where your forefathers came with their formulas and their technology?” said Pat Conway, a co-owner of the company.
As interest in artisan beer has expanded across the country, so have collaborations between scholars of ancient drink and independent brewers willing to help them resurrect lost recipes for some of the oldest ales ever made.
A wispy-haired mummy's head, bleached skulls, and arm and leg bones are piled outside looted tombs.
A mummified hand with leathery-skinned fingers pokes from the sand.
Ancient burial wrappings from mummified bodies — torn apart to find priceless jewelry — unravel across the desert like brown ribbon, or tangle near broken bits of wooden coffins still brightly painted after nearly 3,000 years underground.
With bones scattered everywhere, this 500-acre plot looks like the aftermath of a massacre rather than an ancient burial ground.
“You see dogs playing with human bones, children scavenging for pottery,” says Egyptian archaeologist Monica Hanna, stepping cautiously around grisly remains and deep pits dug into tombs by looters.
Gladiz Collatupa, an archaeologist, once stashed six mummies at her parents' house for safe keeping. That was when she dug for artifacts in the dirt of Peru, rich with the leavings of past cultures like the Inca and the Moche. Now she digs through packages at the post office instead, searching for ancient treasure being smuggled out of the country.
Ms. Collatupa and a colleague, Sonia Rojas, an art historian, are a pair of Indiana Joneses in reverse. Instead of swashbuckling around the world looting ruins, they try to keep Peru's ancient riches from being spirited out of the country by mail.
"With less danger," noted Ms. Rojas, a petite woman in glasses with a keen interest in colonial Peruvian paintings. She wears a khaki vest with a large button that says, "I defend my cultural heritage."
The women work for Peru's Ministry of Culture as part of a program aimed at stopping the illegal export of valuable historic and prehistoric objects and artwork, a depletion that began nearly 500 years ago with the Spanish conquest of the Inca empire and has never stopped.
Last year, the post office team, which Ms. Collatupa joined in August, replacing another archaeologist, made 22 seizures, totaling dozens of items.
Ancient rock art is under threat due to climate change, and a project has been launched to develop methods to enable everyone to contribute to its protection.
The CARE project is a collaboration between heritage and science research interests at Newcastle University and Queen’s University Belfast. Its primary objective is to co-produce a user-friendly, non-intrusive Condition Assessment Risk Evaluation (CARE) toolkit for gathering and organising information essential for the long-term safeguarding of ancient rock art that exists out in the open.
So this was more than just a dance contest. Folded in was the ability to summarize your work succinctly. In Stewart's case, that work is titled “Refitting repasts: a spatial exploration of food processing, sharing, cooking, and disposal at the Dunefield Midden campsite, South Africa.” His highly stylized chase of an antelope—played by fellow University of Oxford archaeologist Giulia Saltini-Semerari—followed by processing and sharing of the goods, was elegant. “What I most looked for was that scientific ideas came across,” said Gschmeidler. “He did this perfectly.”
No one was surprised when he scooped the prize. For one thing, Stewart wore nothing but a shimmering, translucent loin cloth. (That's worth a few bonus points in my book.) But the judges told me afterward that his dance stood out because it accomplished two things at once. Most importantly, “he connected with the audience,” said Pastorini. “That is the purpose of dance: to create emotions.” A big help was his choice of music—a jazz interpretation of African Pygmy tribal music by Herbie Hancock—which created an atmosphere of funky ancientness.
Some researchers are suggesting that Neanderthals were driven to extinction by a massive volcanic eruption near Naples. The suggestion is one of the topics under debate this week at a conference at London's British Museum examining what forces led to the destruction of the Neanderthals and what led to the triumph of the homo sapiens. One new theory holds that a gigantic eruption of the volcano in the Campi Flegrei area near Naples 39,000 years ago was catastrophic for the Neanderthals. That was the biggest volcanic eruption in Europe for more than 200,000 years and scientists say that its enormous plumes of ash would have blotted out the sun for months, or possibly years. And that, in turn, would have caused temperatures to plummet and filled the atmosphere with toxic matter that may have contributed to the end of the Neanderthals. But not all scientists agree. Some argue the Neanderthals were already extinct before the eruption. This is just one of the major issues at the conference called: "When Europe was covered by ice and ash". At the meeting scientists will also try to understand why homo sapiens are the only species left today and why other version of humanity died out.
British Archaeology #131 (July/August) has a feature by Pippa Bradley that caught my interest. It’s about a Wessex Archaeology dig in 2004-05 at Cliffs End farm in Thanet, a piece of north-east Kent that was an island up until the 16th century when silting finished connecting it to mainland England. What we’re dealing here is ritual murder, some pretty amazingly strange disposal of the dead and ancient Scandinavian migrants. Use of the site begins in earnest with six ring-ditch barrows during the Early Bronze Age (2200-1500 cal BC). These were poorly preserved and yielded few interesting finds.
In the heart of the City, MOLA archaeologists work against a backdrop of construction. The River Walbrook once flowed from left to right across this site. A 4th-century timber-lined Roman well is visible at the bottom left of the picture.
When did cities begin to thrive in Poland? Was it associated with the German colonization in the thirteenth century, or had the Piast developed these centres several hundred years earlier? Prof. Zbyszko Górczak of the Institute of History, A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań, presents contemporary position of Polish historiography.
"The history of the dispute between the Polish and German historiographers is long and dates back to the birth of modern historiography in the second half of the nineteenth century. The dispute was intertwined with nationalist slogans, German scientists and politicians viewed the matter of the formation of cities in the East as evidence of the inferiority of Slavic civilization, which of course gave rise to protests of Polish science. The conflict has not died down until the end of the communist era in the late 1980s" - explained Prof. Górczak.
From the very beginning, Polish scientists argued the native and very early birth of urban life in Poland. This was supported by renowned scholars like Prof. Gerard Labuda and Prof. Henryk Łowmiański. At the other extreme were German researchers, convinced that the idea of the formation of the cities was brought to the East only by immigrants from Germany.
David Connolly's insight:
Currently, the prevailing view among Polish historiographers about the origins of cities in Poland is as follows.