Archaeology News
Follow
Find
107.1K views | +49 today
Archaeology News
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Japan’s ancient Kofun culture explored with new technology

Japan’s ancient Kofun culture explored with new technology | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Using powerful geographic information systems technology to accurately survey Japanese burial mounds or ‘Kofun’ built between the third to seventh centuries AD Professor Izumi Niiro an archaeologist at Okayama University in Japan, is exploring the’ topography’ of this culture from landscape, burial mound to artefact.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Massacre dating back 2,300 years in the Crimea

Massacre dating back 2,300 years in the Crimea | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Chersonesos is an ancient city on the Crimean peninsula, which was founded by Greek colonists at the end of the 6th century BC in order to supply their homeland with grain and other strategic resources. The farmland in the Greek colonies was vital to the survival of the Greek city-states. Excavations by Aarhus archaeologists are exploring the development of the rural area from its peak until its decline.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Why do we gesticulate?

Why do we gesticulate? | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

If you rely on hand gestures to get your point across, you can thank fish for that! Scientists have found that the evolution of the control of speech and hand movements can be traced back to the same place in the brain, which could explain why we use hand gestures when we are speaking.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

PLOS ONE: Monitoring DNA Contamination in Handled vs. Directly Excavated Ancient Human Skeletal Remains

PLOS ONE: Monitoring DNA Contamination in Handled vs. Directly Excavated Ancient Human Skeletal Remains | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE:

 

Bones, teeth and hair are often the only physical evidence of human or animal presence at an archaeological site; they are also the most widely used sources of samples for ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis. Unfortunately, the DNA extracted from ancient samples, already scarce and highly degraded, is widely susceptible to exogenous contaminations that can affect the reliability of aDNA studies. We evaluated the molecular effects of sample handling on five human skeletons freshly excavated from a cemetery dated between the 11 to the 14th century. We collected specimens from several skeletal areas (teeth, ribs, femurs and ulnas) from each individual burial. We then divided the samples into two different sets: one labeled as “virgin samples” (i.e. samples that were taken by archaeologists under contamination-controlled conditions and then immediately sent to the laboratory for genetic analyses), and the second called “lab samples”(i.e. samples that were handled without any particular precautions and subject to normal washing, handling and measuring procedures in the osteological lab). Our results show that genetic profiles from “lab samples” are incomplete or ambiguous in the different skeletal areas while a different outcome is observed in the “virgin samples” set. Generally, all specimens from different skeletal areas in the exception of teeth present incongruent results between “lab” and “virgin” samples. Therefore teeth are less prone to contamination than the other skeletal areas we analyzed and may be considered a material of choice for classical aDNA studies. In addition, we showed that bones can also be a good candidate for human aDNA analysis if they come directly from the excavation site and are accompanied by a clear taphonomic history.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Preserving the Face of Death: Death Masks

Preserving the Face of Death: Death Masks | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

 

Earlier this week, a historic artifact went up for auction at Bonhams, one of the world’s largest auctioneers in fine art and antiques. The piece had been estimated to sell for between £40,000-60,000, but ended up tripling that and finally being auctioned for  £169,250. The relic was a very personal item of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. It was a death mask made shortly after his demise on the island of St Helena on May 5th, 1821.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

The state of Egyptian archeological sites and monuments under Morsi’s rule

The state of Egyptian archeological sites and monuments under Morsi’s rule | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Egypt is known worldwide for its rich ancient heritage, but during the past year the lack of security has threatened the survival of many sites and led to extensive looting and destruction. In this article we review some of the monuments and archaeological sites that were affected by the worsening circumstances of security and neglect in Egypt.

In July 2012, the theft of 54 artefacts from the Egyptian Museum was reported along with the destruction of other sites such as the Fostat area, prompting the EU and UNESCO to start an initiative to safeguard the “intangible” culture of the Mediterranean.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Two phrases I like to see together: ‘Creation Museum’ and 'Financial Trouble'

Two phrases I like to see together: ‘Creation Museum’ and 'Financial Trouble' | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
We’ve been getting rumblings about this for some time now: Ken Ham’s Creation “Museum” is struggling. This is not surprising. It’s initial success was due to novelty and capitalizing on controversy, but all of that is fading.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Mosaic reveals Samson carrying the gate of Gaza : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Mosaic reveals Samson carrying the gate of Gaza : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Excavations in the Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in Israel’s Lower Galilee, have brought to light stunning mosaics which decorated the floor.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Roman fort survey reveals new facts

A SURVEY of land adjoining an important Roman fort site has produced 'exciting' results. The significance of the geophysical study of an area close to Birren...
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Climate drives human innovation during African Stone Age : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Climate drives human innovation during African Stone Age : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

A new study shows that contrary to previous work, the occurrence of innovation was tightly linked to abrupt climate change
According to a study by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona(UAB) , the University of Cardiff and the Natural History Museum in London, technological innovation during the Stone Age occurred in fits and starts and was climate-driven.  Abrupt changes in rainfall in South Africa 40,000 to 80,000 years ago triggered the development of new technologies for finding refuge and as a consequence – much of the behaviour of modern humans.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Anglo-Saxon Child Birth and Female Fertility

Anglo-Saxon Child Birth and Female Fertility | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Months ago, I discussed interpreting coffin birth, a phenomenon where a deceased pregnant individual appears to have ‘birthed’ a deceased newborn, actually due to the extrusion of the fetus rather than a physical birthing process. It is extremely difficult to determine, and requires careful attention to the details of the context. A new article by Sayer and Dickinson (2013) discusses a possible ‘coffin birth’ found at the Anglo-Saxon Oakington site, 5th to 8th c CE, near Cambridge, UK. By using gender theory, they argue that this evidence combined with the broader treatment of females within the cemetery can lead to interesting conclusions regarding the status of women and gender roles within this community.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Royal Rhynie focus of Pictish excavation : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Royal Rhynie focus of Pictish excavation : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

A team from the University of Aberdeen commenced digging at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire in Scotland – a site famous for its impressive collection of carved Pictish standing stones.

Knowledge of the Pictish kingdoms, which developed between the 5th and 11th centuries, is relatively poor with the standing stones some of the only relics remaining of the once powerful people.

Rhynie boasts eight such stones, including the Craw Stone, which is thought to have been the centre point of an elaborate fortified settlement of the 5th-6th centuries AD.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Appalachian rock art reveals a conceptual universe : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Appalachian rock art reveals a conceptual universe : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

It is likely some of the most widespread and oldest art in the United States. Pieces of rock art dot the Appalachian Mountains, and research by University of Tennessee, Knoxville, anthropology professor Jan Simek finds each engraving or drawing is strategically placed to reveal a cosmological puzzle.

Recently, the discoveries of prehistoric rock art have become more common. With these discoveries comes a single giant one—all these drawing and engravings map the prehistoric peoples’ cosmological world.

The research led by Simek, president emeritus of the UT system and a distinguished professor of science, is published in this month’s edition of the journal Antiquity. The paper is co-authored by Nick Herrmann of Mississippi State University, Alan Cressler of the U.S. Geological Survey and Sarah Sherwood of The University of the South.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Transition to farming simultaneous across most of Fertile Crescent

Transition to farming simultaneous across most of Fertile Crescent | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

A rich assemblage of fossils and artefacts in the foothills of the Zagros Mountains in Iran has revealed that the early inhabitants of the region began cultivating cereal grains for agriculture between 12,000 and 9,800 years ago.

The discovery implies that the transition from foraging to farming took place at roughly the same time across the entire Fertile Crescent, not in a single core area of the “cradle of civilization,” as previously thought.

Until recently, political pressures had limited excavations of archaeological sites in the eastern Fertile Crescent, or modern-day Iran, while findings to the west—at sites in Cyprus, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, for example—provided detailed clues to the origins of agriculture.

more...
joseph mora's curator insight, October 10, 2013 1:40 PM

the start of agriculture because of the fertile cresent in mesopotamia.

Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Archaeologists unearth carved head of Roman god in ancient ...

Archaeologists unearth carved head of Roman god in ancient ... | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
An 1800-year-old carved stone head of what is believed to be a Roman god has been unearthed in an ancient rubbish dump.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Archaeo News Podcast 233

Archaeo News Podcast 233 | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
In collaboration with Stonepages, British Archaeological Jobs Resource and Past HorizonsHeadlines

Rare Greek Neanderthal site found
Bahrain preserves its heritage
The origins of the spear

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

White man's skull has Australians scratching heads

White man's skull has Australians scratching heads | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

The centuries-old skull of a white man found in Australia is raising questions about whether Captain James Cook really was the first European to land on the country's east coast.

The skull was found in northern New South Wales in late 2011, and police initially prepared themselves for a gruesome murder investigation.

But scientific testing revealed that not only was it much older than expected, but possibly belonged to a white man born around 1650, well before Englishman Cook reached the eastern seaboard on the Endeavour in 1770.

"The DNA determined the skull was a male," Detective Sergeant John Williamson told The Daily Telegraph.

"And the anthropologist report states the skull is that of a Caucasoid aged anywhere from 28 to 65."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Roman shrine found at nature reserve

Roman shrine found at nature reserve | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

The team discovered a circular stone building, about 10.5m (34ft) wide, with decorated red and white painted walls.

They also found more than 200 Roman coins, pottery jars, part of a small bronze figurine and deposits of animal bone, probably from the ritual sacrifice of lambs and cattle.

A skeleton of a man, aged about 30, was buried in a grave in the centre of the shrine.

The archaeologists believe the shrine fell out of use in AD300.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Cambodian jungle graveyard mystifies experts

Cambodian jungle graveyard mystifies experts | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Over a hundred '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 alongside with the Angkor era.

 

Why the bones were placed in jars on a cliff some 100 metres (320 feet) high in the Cardamom Mountains, or indeed whose remains they are, has long puzzled experts.

 

For seven years Nancy Beavan, an archaeologist who specialises 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.

 

Tests show some of the bone fragments are six centuries old, according to the New Zealander.

 

"Why put these bones in jars? This was a practice that was not observed in any other part of Cambodia," she said.

 

Ten jars, dating from the 15th to the 17th centuries, and twelve coffins -- the earliest from the 14th century -- have been found at the Phnom Pel site.

 

Some are believed to have come from the kingdom of Siam, now Thailand.

 

Others, a minority, date back to the powerful kingdom of Angkor, which ruled for six centuries and built the famous Angkor Wat temple complex further to the north.

 

But experts remain mystified as to why the bones were preserved in a Buddhist country where cremation is -- and was -- a key religious custom.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Deir al-Surian, a treasure chest in the desert : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Deir al-Surian, a treasure chest in the desert : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

The Wadi al-Natrun, a geological depression west of the Nile delta, is one of the cradles of Coptic monasticism. In the 4th century hermits were retreating here is search of asceticism and solitude, but soon the monasteries that developed out of these anchoretic communities, became centres of ecclesiastical culture. One of them, Deir al-Surian (the Syrian monastery) holds a special place among them.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Excavation of 4,500-year-old boat at Giza pyramids begins

Excavation of 4,500-year-old boat at Giza pyramids begins | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

A joint Japanese and Egyptian team began on Tuesday the work of removing a 4,500 year old pharaonic boat from the pit on the Giza pyramid plateau where it is buried.

 

Restorers removed a wooden beam, part of a boat built for King Khufu which was buried in approximately 2,500 BC. The boat was discovered in 1954 along with another identical boat in a separate pit; the latter was removed and restored, and is now on display in a purpose-built museum on the site.

The beam is the first of several which will be removed for restoration.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Origins of human throwing unlocked

Origins of human throwing unlocked | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Early humans evolved to throw about two millions years ago, during a time when hunting intensified, according to new research

 

Neil Roach, from George Washington University, US, who led the study, said that changes in the anatomy of hominins (early humans) that occurred two millions years ago, enabled energy storage in the shoulder that allowed fast throwing, and therefore hunting, to occur.

 

"Success at hunting allowed our ancestors to become part-time carnivores, eating more calorie-rich meat and fat and dramatically improving the quality of their diet.

 

"This dietary change led to seismic shifts in our ancestors' biology, allowing them to grow larger bodies, larger brains, and to have more children, and it also did interesting things to our social structure.

"We start to see the origins of divisions of labour around that time, where some would be hunting, others would be gathering new foods.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

North Carolina: Blackbeard’s Cannons Recovered from Wreck of Queen Anne’s Revenge

North Carolina: Blackbeard’s Cannons Recovered from Wreck of Queen Anne’s Revenge | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
Pirate ship's weapons found by underwater archaeologists off North Carolina coast.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

ARCHAEOLOGY - Saving the Holy Land's oldest monastery in Gaza

ARCHAEOLOGY - Saving the Holy Land's oldest monastery in Gaza | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
A haven of peace in the sea of concrete that is the Gaza Strip, the crumbling remains of the Holy Land's oldest monastery are in danger of disappearing for lack of funds to preserve them. Saint Hilarion, also known as Tel Umm al-Amr, draws its name from the fourth century hermit who came from southern Gaza and is considered to be the father of Palestinian monasticism. Its life close to the Mediterranean shore spanned more than four centuries -- from the late Roman Empire to the Umayyad period. Abandoned after an earthquake in the seventh century, it was uncovered by local archaeologists in 1999.
 
But today, "it's a complete mess -- archaeologically, scientifically and on a human level," laments Rene Elter, a researcher at the Ecole Biblique, a French academic institution in Jerusalem, who is responsible for trying preserve the site.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Connolly
Scoop.it!

Stuff Matters : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Stuff Matters : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

In 1961, Oxford archaeologists uncovered a pit at the site of General Gnaeus Julius Agricola’s headquarters at Inchtuthil in Scotland. Unsavoury Caledonians had made his troops’ position untenable. So the Romans decided to quit their empire’s northernmost outpost, though not before going to extraordinary efforts to ensure they left nothing behind that could aid their enemies.

They dismantled and burned their fort. Then they dug a large hole into which they dumped their most precious metal items: 763,840 2in nails, 85,128 medium nails and 25,088 large nails. “These had held the fort together and would have been as useful as leaving a cache of weapons, so the Roman troops buried them,” writes Mark Miodownik, professor of materials and society at University College London. All other steel items were taken south: weapons, armour – and the soldiers’ razors, which “allowed the Romans to retreat clean-shaven, groomed in order to distinguish them from the savage hordes that had driven them out”.

more...
No comment yet.