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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”.

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TrowelBlazers: In search of the female Indiana Jones

TrowelBlazers: In search of the female Indiana Jones | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

Archaeologists are digging deep to uncover the roots of humanity in the region. And every person on the dig is a woman

 

Leading Women connects you to extraordinary women of our time -- remarkable professionals who have made it to the top in all areas of business, the arts, sport, culture, science and more. Dr Victoria Herridge is a palaeobiologist working as a Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum, London who co-founded TrowelBlazers, a blog celebrating the contribution of women to archaeology, palaeontology and geology.


(CNN) -- Close your eyes and imagine this. It is the 1930s and, as Nazism starts to flex its muscles in Europe, you are in the Middle East bouncing along a rough road on your way to visit an archaeological dig. The excavation is taking place on Mount Carmel, fabled site of the Prophet Elijah's burning alter, and archaeologists are digging deep to uncover the roots of humanity in the region.

So far, so Indiana Jones. Except that when you arrive and walk through the tented camp to the trenches, you realize that almost every single person -- from the Palestinian excavators and overseers, to the Cambridge University team directing the project -- is a woman. Because this isn't a feminist fantasy -- this is Dorothy Garrod's excavation project at the Carmel Caves, and it's the reality.

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Kültepe digs in Turkey may reveal new written documents

Kültepe digs in Turkey may reveal new written documents | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
This year the Kültepe archaeological excavations will once again continue in Kayseri. The head of the excavations says the works will particularly focus on an area from the Bronze Age

The archaeological excavations that started in 1948 at the Karum tumulus of the Kültepe/Kaniş province of the central province of Kayseri are still ongoing around 20 kilometers from the Kayseri-Sivas highway. The head of the Kültepe excavations, Professor Fikri Kulakoğlu, told Anatolia news agency some details about the works. “We are planning to work in an area of the Bronze Age, about 5,000 years earlier than today. These studies will be held by a scientific committee consisting of 70 people,” Kulakoğlu.

He said the name “Kültepe” had been known since 1871, when the cuneiform tablet, known as the “Cappadocia Tablets,” were found. The first excavation in Kültepe was then led by Ernst Chantre from 1893 to 1894. Excavations continued with H. Winckler and H. Grothe in 1906.

 

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Va. site of Pocahontas rescue will be preserved | Latest National Headlines | News from ...

Va. site of Pocahontas rescue will be preserved | Latest National Headlines | News from ... | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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."


Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/06/18/4945895/va-site-of-pocahontas-rescue-will.html#storylink=cpy

 

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The Revolution will be Televised

The Revolution will be Televised | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
Last Friday a medieval home called Sycharth made an appearance on a programme called 'Britain's Secret Homes'. The five part series is looking at 50 (as the title reveals) of the lesser known, but ...
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ARCHAEOLOGY - Ancient stage in Aegean province brought back to life for art performances

ARCHAEOLOGY - Ancient stage in Aegean province brought back to life for art performances | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

 

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Episode 010: Archaeology in the Community

Episode 010: Archaeology in the Community | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
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.
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Maryport Roman temples excavation starts onsite : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Maryport Roman temples excavation starts onsite : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

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Margalit Fox’s ‘Riddle of the Labyrinth’

Margalit Fox’s ‘Riddle of the Labyrinth’ | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
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.

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Serbia: 2,500-year-old tomb discovered near Pirot [photo] – In Serbia News

Serbia: 2,500-year-old tomb discovered near Pirot [photo] – In Serbia News | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

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ARCHAEOLOGY - Traces from millennia ago sought in Central Anatolia's Alacahöyük

ARCHAEOLOGY - Traces from millennia ago sought in Central Anatolia's Alacahöyük | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.”

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The Roman Limes – frontiers of the Empire - The Local

The Roman Limes – frontiers of the Empire - The Local | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

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Explaining the maritime freight charges in Diocletian’s Price Edict

Explaining the maritime freight charges in Diocletian’s Price Edict | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
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...

Via Julio Peña
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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.

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Saudi treasures go to Pittsburgh - Arab News

Saudi treasures go to Pittsburgh
Arab News
The prestigious Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh will be hosting a special collection of 227 archaeological “masterpieces” from Saudi Arabia for three months. The “Roads of ...
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Extensive Maya city discovered in Campeche : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Extensive Maya city discovered in Campeche : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

A team led by archaeologist Ivan Sprajc, has announced the discovery of an ancient Maya city called Chactún, “Red Stone” or “Piedra Grande” . Located in the southeast area of Campeche, it represents one of the largest sites of the Mexican Central Lowlands.

Discovered a few weeks ago, the archaeologists believe that the city was at the centre of a vast region between 600 and 900 AD. The extent of the site measures more than 22 hectares, and contains a number of monuments, with at least a dozen of them bearing inscriptions.

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Roman Binchester: Binchester 2013: Days 11-12

Roman Binchester: Binchester 2013: Days 11-12 | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

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Work on Guangzhou Metro Line 6 destroys five ancient tombs

Work on Guangzhou Metro Line 6 destroys five ancient tombs | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
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.

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For Its Latest Beer, a Craft Brewer Chooses an Unlikely Pairing: Archaeology

For Its Latest Beer, a Craft Brewer Chooses an Unlikely Pairing: Archaeology | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

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Unchecked looting guts Egypt’s heritage, with one ancient site ‘70 percent gone’

Unchecked looting guts Egypt’s heritage, with one ancient site ‘70 percent gone’ | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

 

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Martin Roseveare's comment, June 17, 2013 7:22 AM
Why? Who is driving the trade in these antiquities?
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Guardians of Peru's Treasures Stake Out Post Office to Block Smuggling

Guardians of Peru's Treasures Stake Out Post Office to Block Smuggling | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

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Revealed: a lost city and a holy temple

Revealed: a lost city and a holy temple | Archaeology News | Scoop.it
A mist-covered mountain in Cambodia gives up its treasure, writes Lindsay Murdoch.

 

Scratched and exhausted, Damian Evans pushed through dense jungle into a clearing where mountain villagers long ago attempted to grow rice, stepping on to a weed-covered mound.

''Bingo,'' the Australian archaeologist said as he picked up and examined an ancient sandstone block.

 
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Amanda Duvall's curator insight, November 25, 2013 7:20 PM

A lost city and temples revealed. A small group of Archaeologists go threw the jungle finding unrecorded temples, ancient canals, dykes, and roads. The city is known as Mahendraparvata and people exist their. The seaches have identified another 2 dozen hidden temple sites. The lidar data popped up on a computer screen and all of the immediate picture of the entire city that no one knew existed.

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Heritage and Science – Working Together in the CARE of Rock Art : Archaeology News from Past Horizons

Heritage and Science – Working Together in the CARE of Rock Art : Archaeology News from Past Horizons | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

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Can Scientists Dance?

Can Scientists Dance? | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

David Connolly's insight:

You so have to watch the video!!

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Volcanic eruption near Naples may have killed Neanderthals - GazzettaDelSud

Volcanic eruption near Naples may have killed Neanderthals - GazzettaDelSud | Archaeology News | Scoop.it

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.

 

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