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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Archaeology News: July 17, 2014

Posted On Thursday, July 17, 2014 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

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

Archaeologists Discover 9,000 Year-Old Talisman Meteorite That Was Worshipped By Primitive People

A meteorite fragment dating back 9,000 years was discovered in a shaman's hut by archaeologists, leading to speculation that it was worshipped as a magical object, UK MailOnline reported. Since prehistoric Stone Age humans witnessed the talisman fall from space, it had gained a status of being from another world.

Archaeologists Are Hunting for the Lost French Fleet That Nearly Conquered Spanish Florida

A new archaeological investigation off the coast of Cape Canaveral could shed light on one of the defining moments of Florida's history--when the Spanish definitively kicked the French out of the territory they'd claimed as their own.

When you think of the oldest European settlements in what is now the United States, Jamestown, The Lost Colony, Plymouth and St. Augustine might come to mind. But the French settlement of Fort Caroline, older than all of them, almost never gets a mention.

NC Archaeologist Has Find-Of-A-Lifetime, 3 Years In A Row

A team of archaeologists turned up another mosaic. Part of the image depicts an elephant with shields tied to its side.

"Nowhere in the Hebrew Bible are there stories with elephants in them," Magness says. "So clearly this scene is not drawn ... from the Old Testament." This is the first time that a non-Biblical story has been found in any ancient synagogue.Jodi Magness suggests that the image might be a depiction of a legend about a meeting between Alexander the Great and a Jewish high priest. This conjecture will require intense study.

10,000yo Indian cave paintings of ‘aliens, spaceship’ puzzle archaeologists

Prehistoric paintings in a cave in India may indicate that alien travelers visited the site eons ago, an archeologist says. The paintings depict what appear as humanoids with featureless faces and a tripod object that could be a vehicle.

Archaeologists to dig at Luas site after 17th Century body find

A team of archaeologists were called to a site outside the front gates of Trinity College Dublin yesterday after the remains were discovered. The alarm was raised after 9am as workers were removing utilities ahead of the installation of the new Luas route. A hip bone and two leg bones were found 1.5 metres underground. They had been buried in a crouching position. An initial inspection revealed the remains could date back to the 17th Century.

Archaeologists Find 8,000-Year-Old Skull, but It’s What Was Inside That Counts

Researchers are not yet sure if it’s human, but an ancient skull found at a Norwegian archaeological dig site is exciting scientists because of what they think they discovered inside — brain matter. The bones, thought to be about 8,000 years old, were uncovered at a camp in Stokke, Norway, and could be evidence of a Stone Age man.

Archaeologists Discover New Extinct Elephant Relative

The new evidence puts the gomphothere in North America at the same time as a prehistoric group of paleo-Indians known as the Clovis culture, whose beautifully crafted projectile points helped bring down giant Ice Age mammals, includingmammoths. This is the first time gomphothere fossils have been discovered with Clovis artifacts.

Cambridge University archaeologists unearth prehistoric bookkeeping system

Excavations have unearthed an ancient token-based recording system which was believed to have been rendered obsolete by the invention of writing.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Floodwaters engulf ancient town of Fenghuang

Posted On Wednesday, July 16, 2014 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

Floodwaters engulfing streets in the ancient
town of Fenghuang, central China's Hunan province. AFP Photo
Wednesday, tens of thousands of people were evacuated from the area when one of China's renowned ancient towns was engulfed in floods.

The old town district of Fenghuang nestles on the banks of a winding river in a picturesque, mountainous part of Hunan province, and boasts stunning Qing and Ming dynasty architecture dating back hundreds of years.

It can attract 30,000 visitors a day and has applied for world heritage status recognition from UNESCO, but pictures showed it inundated, with the central span of a bridge poking up through the waters.

Reports said electricity had been cut off and 50,000 tourists and locals had been evacuated from Fenghuang and the surrounding county.

"Torrential downpours have led to Fenghuang old town becoming a water town," said a posting on a discussion page on the topic set up on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

[Source: Hurriyet Daily]

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Archaeologists investigate medieval chapel in Edinburgh

Posted On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

Archaeologists have discovered a fragment of floor tile from high status medieval Scots and a circular, stone-lined well while searching in Edinburgh for the remains of a chapel built almost 500 years ago.

Extensive research suggests the chapel, built by Sir Simon Preston in 1518 and created to rest the “souls” of James III and IV, still lies beneath the "unassuming" buildings of Bridgend Farm.

A medieval church font was found by a former owner of the land, and an archaeological survey last year resulted in a Heritage Lottery Fund grant for a fuller investigation.

“The excavations unearthed clues which prove there was activity in the area at the time the chapel was constructed and in use,” said a spokesperson for Rubicon Heritage, who collaborated with an enthusiastic group of volunteers from the Greater Liberton Heritage Project.

“A fragment of possible medieval floor tile indicates a building of high status in the area – showing that it is not just a farm building.

“Pottery from one trench shows even earlier activity during the 13th and 14th centuries, demonstrating the area was utilised before the establishment of the chapel.

“One of the most exciting features discovered was located in Trench 2 – a circular stone-lined medieval well which could pre-date the chapel.”

The trenches have now been backfilled ahead of analysis work on the finds by experts, with the team hoping to conduct future excavations at the site.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Archaeology News: June 23, 2014

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2014 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

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

Archaeologists Return to Ancient Megiddo

Archaeologists are now onsite at Tel Megiddo, in northern Israel, to continue large-scale excavations at what has often been called the "crown jewel" of archaeological sites of the Levant, or Eastern Mediterranean region. Led by well-known archaeologists Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University and Eric Cline of the George Washington University, a team of archaeologists, students, volunteers and other specialists will be excavating where they left off in 2012, when they encountered a large building featuring 18 pillars dated to the Iron Age IIA period, (around 1000 BCE). South of the building they uncovered a hoard of six iron daggers and two bronze bowls, dating to the Iron Age I (1200 - 1000 BCE).

New finds suggest Civil War camp survives

Archaeologists searching for evidence of a landmark Civil War refugee slave camp opened up a new trench last week, adding to the unexpectedly rich catalog of nearly 200 features that have been unearthed since the downtown dig began almost a month ago.

Digging up the history of graffiti in Australia

From convicts to drovers, to today's street artists, graffiti has a long history in Australia and archaeologists are only starting to study it as a continuous body of work. Australians have been etching their thoughts on walls since Indigenous people began drawing on rocks and caves. Archaeologist Ursula Frederick, from the Australian National University, is one of a group of archaeologists collecting the evidence. She has an interest in contemporary graffiti, but has also spent time surveying graffiti at the former Quarantine Station at Sydney's North Head.

Archaeologists reveal treasures found on farm

Artifacts shown to the public at Ridgeway Farm Archaeology Day on Saturday have revealed the farm was the home of a small, poor family more than 2,000 years ago. As Wessex Archaeology began to wind down its operation at the site, Taylor Wimpey invited residents to see what had been found during pre-construction surveys. Excavations have revealed a self-contained farmstead dating from the Iron Age, which ran from 700BC to 100BC.

Further calls for Time Team special to commemorate death of archaeologist Mick Aston

Thousands of Time Team fans have launched a campaign for a special episode of the archaeology programme to be created in memory of former expert Mick Aston.

6,200-Year Old Parasite

Archaeologists have uncovered ancient evidence of infection by a parasitic worm that causes schistosomiasis, a disease that ails millions of people today.The eggs of the parasitic worm were found in a child's skeleton, unearthed in northern Syria, which was deemed to be more than 6,200 years old. The archaeologists said the parasite's eggs were lodged in the pelvic area of the child's skeleton.

Archaeologists seek to solve 400 year old mystery in Plymouth Burial Hill

A team of archaeologists is digging through the sand at the bottom of Burial Hill, hopes set on unlocking a mystery that has intrigued researchers for generations.

After 450 Years, Archaeologists Still Hunting for Magnificent Sultan’s Heart

Was the Ottoman sultan's heart buried on a battlefield nearly 450 years ago? Archaeologists are trying to find out.

Archaeologists hail "magical moment" as rare Roman gold coin found at Vindolanda

Archaeologists thought they had more chance of winning the lottery than finding a gold coin at the Roman site of Vindolanda – until a volunteer from France struck lucky

Archaeologists hope they will discover the 'elusive' Whitefriars beneath Gloucester Bus Station

The remains of the Medieval Whitefriars Friary, which was founded in 1268, is thought to be buried deep beneath the city’s bus station.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sima de los Huesos skulls similar to Neanderthals

Posted On Sunday, June 22, 2014 by Lauren Axelrod | 0 comments

An analysis of 17 skulls from Sima de los Huesos in the Atapuerca Mountains of northern Spain indicates that they have distinct Neanderthal traits, including robust lower jaws, small teeth at the rear of the jaw, and thick brow ridges with a distinctive double arch.

Yet they also have relatively small brains and other primitive features. Paleoanthropologist Juan Luis Arsuaga of Complutense University and his colleagues report in Science that the fossils represent the “oldest reliably dated” specimens of proto-Neanderthals, at 430,000 years old.

“It is now clear that the full suite of the Neanderthal characteristics did not evolve at the same pace,” he told Phys.org. The discovery also suggests that Neanderthals and modern humans developed their big brains independently.


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