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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Archaeology News: November 3, 2011

Ancient Digger is your spot for the latest archaeology news and headlines.

A newly proposed solution to an ancient enigma is reviving debate about the nature of a mysterious prehistoric site that some call the Holy Land's answer to Stonehenge.

Scientists believe they have discovered the oldest case of prostate cancer in Egypt after scans on a 2,250-year-old mummy showed the man died a slow and painful death from the disease.

Over the past three years, diggers have discovered approximately a shoe box full of glass beads. Experts on Late Medieval Spanish culture have determined that these beads date from the 16th or early 17th century. Such beads have also been found in large quantities along the coast of Georgia, where there were at least 21 Spanish missions, and in northwest Georgia, where the de Soto Expedition is known to have spent much of the summer of 1540.

An audience of about 200 filled the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to hear an award-winning National Geographic Society archaeologist talk about his expeditions regarding Noah’s ark.

Dan Davis, Luther College visiting assistant professor of classics, will present a Classical Society lecture Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Franklin W. Olin Building, Room 102, on the Luther campus about underwater archaeology in the Black Sea.Egyptian customs police seized ancient and Islamic artifacts from a 50-year-old Sudanese man at the High Dam Port in Aswan. The authorities still have to determine if the objects are genuine.

New dates for Homo sapiens fossils indicate that modern humans occupied Europe between 42,000 and 44,000 years ago, a few thousand years earlier than previously thought.

A combination of factors led to the extinction of Ice Age animals, according to a large-scale study led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen. Overhunting by humans alone was not responsible for their demise.

A 2,000-pound cannon hauled up from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship off the North Carolina coast last week has stirred more interest in the infamous 18th-century pirate and brought more visitors to Beaufort, a small seaport near the site of the wreck. And since state funding for the excavation on the Queen Anne’s Revenge has all but dried up, archaeologists may have to rely on that public interest to resume work at the shipwreck next spring.

BBC News offers photographs of World War I artifacts unearthed from trenches in northern France. This video explains the tunnel excavation project conducted by British and French archaeologists.

When a metal detector enthusiast in southern England found a Bronze Age spearhead, she contacted the archaeological authorities. They unearthed more than 100 bronze items estimated to be 2,700 years old. “You could count on two hands the number of Bronze Age hoards which have been recorded professionally by archaeologists in this way,” said Adrian Green, director of the Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum.


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