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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Archaeology News: February 6, 2016

Posted On Saturday, February 06, 2016 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

Ancient Digger brings you the latest archaeology news and headlines everyday of the week!

Roman Fresco Unearthed by London Archaeologists

© New Historian
Archaeologists conducting fieldwork ahead of the construction of a new office development have come across an ornate Roman-era fresco six meters below ground. Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) remarked in a recent press release that a team of its field archaeologists working at 21 Lime Street had made the discovery, which dates to the late first century CE and was likely created during the first few decades of London’s existence. MOLA note that the ornate fresco, which would have doubtlessly been part of a residence for an affluent Roman citizen at the time, is one of the earliest of its kind to survive from the time period.

Archaeologist to discuss cultural resources of Big Flat Area

MOAB — Colin Ferriman, an archaeologist with Cultural Resources Analysts, will present findings from a study of the archaeology and cultural landscape of the Big Flat area at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19.

Archaeologists investigate land around Botetourt County slave houses

DALEVILLE Va. -Botetourt County is moving forward with the plan of relocating two slave houses on the former Greenfield Plantation.

Archaeologists discover one of Roman Britain's earliest surviving frescos beneath City of London street

An ornate Roman wall painting buried at the start of a huge city construction project nearly 2,000 years ago has been discovered by Museum of London Archaeology experts near the city’s historic Leadenhall Market.

The decorative fresco, buried in AD 100 by Roman builders flattening land to make way for London’s main civic centre, the second Forum Basilica, was found at 21 Lime Street. Small fragments of Roman wall plaster have previously been found in London, but complete collapsed wall paintings are extremely rare.

Discovery by archaeologists of bashed skull of Queen of Egypt sparks end-of-the world speculations
By Vittorio Her

Archaeologists who are investigating an apparent desecration of the burial site of an ancient Egyptian royal family are warning of the consequences on earth. Among the consequences they warned of are disasters, hinting of end-of-the-world scenarios.

One museum’s tribute to the murdered Syrian archaeologist, Khaled al-Asaad

The days that followed ISIS’s savage murder of the distinguished and widely admired archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad last August were filled with shock and outrage. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which possesses a world-class collection of ancient art, including 10 funerary sculptures from Palmyra, a group of colleagues sat down to discuss ways we could respond to this horrific crime.

Ancient Egyptian Funeral Boat Unearthed by Archaeologists

Archaeologists from Charles University in Prague have begun to excavate a funerary boat that dates back to the Third or Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt, circa 2550 BC. The Abusir region, where the boat was found, is an extensive necropolis of ancient tombs amidst a large pyramid field that lies to the south of Cairo. The sand and lack of moisture have helped preserve a number of artifacts in the Abusir area, but the discovery of a complete funerary boat is extremely rare. A press release from Charles University states:

Archaeologists Find Pool of Siloam, Confirm Gospel of John Accurate

Like so many such finds, it was almost by accident. During construction work to repair a water pipe near the Temple Mount, Israeli archaeologists Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron found "two ancient stone steps." According to Biblical Archaeology Review, "Further excavation revealed that they were part of a monumental pool from the Second Temple period, the period in which Jesus lived." The pool was trapezoidal in shape and 225 feet long.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Trip to Archaeological Site Wingfield Estate and Romney Manor in St Kitts

Posted On Thursday, December 31, 2015 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

On a trip to the Caribbean in June, my fiancé and I had the pleasure to visit St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Johns, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Barbados, and St. Thomas. Any time I plan a tour,  it seems I always sneak in something historical, hence my visit to Brimstone Fortress in St. Kitts.  I'm just glad my other half like these types of archaeological wonders as much as I do. 

We drove up to the site and stopped first at the Wingfield Estate where the ruins of the sugar mill were located.  I'm not sure what my fascination is with the kettles that line each plantation I visit. It must just be the smell of preservation. I've collected a plethora of information from Dunlawton Planation and Cruger and Depeyster, and now, I've moved on to the sugar works at the Wingfield Estate. 

Wingfield Estate

We were first taken on a tour of the firing tunnel, which was constructed of volcanic stone and imported brick. The tunnel was built to provide access to the boiling coppers. Dried sugar cane was stacked in the tunnel, which was then added to the main fire. Heat from the firebox heated the boiling wall and then the water in the steam boiler. It's been said that a network of tunnels also connect to other parts of the sugar works on the site. 

Romney Manor 

Romney Manor originally dates from the 17th century. The Europeans took over the area  following the Carib Indian Massacres. According to records, King Tegreman, who was the Carib Indian leader, built his settlement there. Following his demise, Sam Jefferson, one of the original settlers, claimed the site as his own. Sam Jefferson was the great, great, great grandfather of Thomas Jefferson, who was the 3rd president of the United States of America.

Around the mid 17th century, San Jefferson sold part of the property to the Earl of Romney. He named it Romney Manor. The house was named Romney Manor, and the entire estate took on the name Romney's. Romney's estate changed hands to each succeeding Earl of Romney until the late 19th century.  

As we made our way around the grounds, we stopped at the bell tower. I'm not sure what it was about this particular place on the site, but it reminded me of some odd scene from a movie. Not to sound cliche, but it was magical, and it seemed there was more of a story here. However, after I learned what purpose this bell tower saved, it was much less grand than once thought. 

The bell tower was used to control the slaves. The sound of the bell was heard throughout the day, and would alert the slaves to begin their day of work, end their day in the fields and return, and time to sleep. Evidently, bell towers, because of their symbolism, were destroyed at the time of emancipation, however the Early of Romney was known as a more benevolent owner. Romney immediately released his slaves at the time of emancipation. Other owners prolonged their ownership for a further four years. As a result, the bell tower at Romney Manor is the only perfectly preserved bell tower still standing in St. Kitts.

We ended the day by walking through the garden path, and examining the many species of flora and fauna throughout the property.  

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Archaeology News: December 30, 2015

Posted On Wednesday, December 30, 2015 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

Ancient Digger brings you the latest archaeology news and headlines everyday of the week!

Diplomatic delay in historic church’s restoration

The historic Georgian Osvank Church in the
Turkish province of Erzurum
© Hurriyet Daily News
The Osvank Church, which was built nearly 1,000 years ago in the eastern province of Erzurum, is ready for restoration but still waiting for steps to be taken by Georgian officials before work can begin. The largest church in the region, Osvank was built by the sons of a Georgian king, Bagrat and Davit, in the second half of the 10th century. The church hosts a large number of local and foreign tourists every year.

Roman-Period Altar in Turkey Features Mythical Battle Scene

According to a report in Live Science, villagers discovered an altar dating to the second century A.D. near Turkey’s Akçay River. Hasan Malay of Ege University and Funda Ertugrul of the Aydin Museum wrote in the journal Epigraphica Anatolica that the Greek inscription at the top of the altar says Flavius Ouliades dedicated it to the river god Harpasos. They think the image on the altar—a nude warrior wearing a helmet—may represent Hercules’ son Bargasos battling a many-headed serpent monster with a dagger and a shield.

IS destroyed this ancient monument, so archaeologists are 3-D printing a new one

Giant replicas of an ancient arch in the Syrian city of Palmyra attacked by Islamic State (IS) jihadists will go on show in London and New York next year, organizers said Monday. The full-size recreation of the arch from the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel will reportedly made using the world's biggest 3-D printer and put on display in London's Trafalgar Square and Times Square in New York in April. IS seized Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site northeast of Damascus known as the "Pearl of the Desert", in May and beheaded its 82-year-old former antiquities chief three months later.

VU archaeologists discover location of historic battle fought by Caesar in Dutch riverarea

The location of this battle, which Caesar wrote about in detail in Book IV of his De Bello Gallico, was unknown to date. It is the earliest known battle on Dutch soil. The conclusions are based on a combination of historical, archaeological, and geochemical data.

Holme Fen Spitfire archaeologists making 'world first' models

An ill-fated Spitfire and the crater formed when it crashed will to be recreated as 3D models to help archaeologists study what happened. Parts of the plane were excavated from Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire in October, where it crashed 75 years ago. Lead archaeologist Anthony Haskins said a new technique called "photogrammetry" was being used to create the models.

Ancient shepherd's hut dating from more than 4,500 years ago discovered by chance

REMAINS of an ancient shepherd’s hut dating from the Bronze Age – around 4,500 years ago – have been discovered in a Blaenau Gwent valley. The prehistoric hut was discovered on a private farm at the top of the Cwmcelyn valley, near Blaina, and is the first Bronze Age hut to be found in Blaenau Gwent.

Archaeologists Find ‘Impressive’ Ancient Statue That Could Symbolize Jesus or the Flock of the ‘Good Shepherd’

Israeli archaeologists announced Sunday the discovery of a ram statue in the ancient port city of Caesarea they believe may have been meant to depict either Jesus or the Good Shepherd’s flock. “In ancient Christianity Jesus was not portrayed as a person. Instead, symbols were used, one of which was the ram,” excavation directors Dr. Peter Gendelman and Mohammad Hater said in a joint statement announcing the Christmas Eve discovery of the marble ram.

Polynesian Migration Examined With Vanuatu Skulls

A study of the few skulls found among the mostly headless skeletons discovered in 68 graves in a 3,000-year-old Lapita cemetery in Vanuatu suggests that the first Polynesians migrated from Southeast Asia and into Polynesia with little mixing with others.

Archaeologists discover ruins of an ancient Greek port

Recent excavations taking place in an ancient partially-submerged harbor town has led to the surprising discovery of well-preserved wooden caissons, as well as the revelation that the port’s entrance canal was far larger than previously believed. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have been using cutting-edge techniques to investigate the Lechaion, one of two Corinthian ports active from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE. The goal of their expeditions has been to discover the layout and scale of this once bustling harbor town.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Must See Archaeology Exhibits in 2015

Posted On Friday, July 31, 2015 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

Whether your traveling abroad this summer, or live close by to these venues and archaeological exhibits, they are certainly worth a peek. I was looking forward to visiting one of the local venues, Mummies of the World, in downtown Orlando. True, Orlando is most known for the parks filled with million upon millions of tourists, however once in a while, a great exhibition will come to town, giving parents something more relaxing to do while Jimmy rides Magic Mountain for the tenth time.

Check out Archaeology Travel's wonderful article-Temporary Archaeology Exhibitions Around the World in 2015, the Archaeological Institute of America's Exhibition Page, as well as read below for some more United States exhibitions, hopefully in your hometown.

Must See Temporary and Permanent Archaeology Exhibits in 2015

Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar (HADS)
St. Augustine, Fl

The Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar is intended to explain the advantages of conserving shipwrecks and other submerged cultural resources, not only to preserve information about our collective past, but also to preserve the vibrant ecosystems that grow around historic shipwrecks. HADS focuses on providing scuba training agency Course Directors, Instructor Trainers, and Instructors with a greater knowledge of how to proactively protect shipwrecks, artificial reefs, and other underwater cultural sites as part of the marine environment. Upon completion of HADS, participants can teach the new Heritage Awareness Diving Specialty Course, approved by PADI, NAUI, and SDI, as well as incorporate underwater historic preservation into other courses.

Exhibition Details
Mummies of the World-Orlando Science Center
Orlando, Fl

Mummies of the World portrays a once-in-a-lifetime collection of real mummies and artifacts from across the globe. This compelling collection, presented with reverence and dignity, includes ancient mummies dating back as far as 4,500 years. A fascinating mix of old and new, this captivating collection bridges the gap between past and present with contributions from 10 world-renowned Institutions and two private collectors.

The Exhibition is open Sunday through Thursday 10 am to 5 pm; Friday & Saturday 10 am to 9 pm. Last entry to the exhibition is 60 minutes before closing.

Exhibition Details

Pirates of Populonia -- the Myth of Etruscan Piracy in the Ancient Mediterranean
Ottawa, ON

Did the Etruscans deserve their reputation as seafaring villains? Jean MacIntosh Turfa, University of Pennsylvania Museum, thinks not. Come and find out why!

Exhibition Details

Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo Museum Exhibit-Heard Museum
Phoenix, AZ

In the fascinating new exhibit “Time Exposures: Picturing a History of Isleta Pueblo in the 19th Century”, the people of Isleta Pueblo in New Mexico tell their history and the lasting effects of 19th century changes on their lives today through historic photographs and a variety of media. The story unfolds in three parts: first, Pueblo people describe the year’s cycle as it was in the mid-19th century, then the arrival of Americans and how this disrupted their way of life, and finally they examine the historic photographs as products of Anglo culture and ask what kind of record they really represent.

Date(s) - 06/18/2015 - 09/27/2015
All Day

Exhibition Details

Extinct Madagascar: Picturing the Island's Past – Field Museum
Chicago, IL

You’ll learn how Field Museum scientist Steve Goodman and State University of New York professor Bill Jungers teamed up with artist Velizar Simeonovski to recapture the extinct animals and their habitats by creating digital illustrations—from the bones up.

Exhibition Details

Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age– Field Museum
Chicago, IL

Journey back millions of years ago to when mammoths and mastodons roamed the Earth. Joust with mammoth tusks. Touch colossal mastodon teeth. Confront their fierce neighbors—dire wolves and saber-toothed cats. Discover ancient cave drawings and learn why early humans both hunted and honored these majestic animals. Walk among these larger than life creatures for a day, in the most captivating exhibition since the Ice Age, back at The Field Museum by popular demand.

Exhibition Details

Before the Dinosaurs: Tracking the Reptiles of Pangaea – Field Museum
Chicago, IL

Journey across the globe with a Field Museum paleontologist and his team in search of what life was like before dinosaurs roamed the Earth. On this special expedition, see firsthand what it takes to find the perfect dig site and what supplies to pack - then start fossil hunting! See how a single rock layer can preserve hundreds of fossils, and then back in the lab, decide which fossils should be studied first. Examine the subtle features on a fossil bone that scientists use to figure out what species it is and how that species is related to other animals. Explore how the greatest extinction event of all time made room for the animals we know today. And learn how scientific collaborations like this let us unravel the mysteries of the evolution of life on Earth.

Exhibition Details

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology-National Geographic Museum
Washington, DC

This first-of-its-kind touring museum exhibition was developed by X3 Productions in collaboration with a team of world-renowned specialists to ensure it presents a factual interpretation of the principles and methodologies of field archaeology. Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, presented by the National Geographic Society, immerses you in the science and history of field archaeology. Walk in the footsteps of beloved film hero Indiana Jones as you embark on this interactive museum adventure.

Exhibition Details

Please contact me about listing a museum event in your town. Or, please feel free to post it in the comments area.

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