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Monday, January 23, 2012

Archaeology News: January 23, 2012

Governor Rick Scott caused quite a stir when he questioned the value of an anthropology major. His point was, with rising college costs and weak employment, students might be better off with a major that could land them a job. Not to mention that our tax dollars would be better spent in public education that's relevant to the times.

James Marquez, a White Mountain Apache and board director for MACT — a nonprofit providing services to Indians in Mariposa, Amador, Calaveras and Tuolomne counties — says his organization has both a building and a “pretty spectacular collection” of 250 Indian-made baskets and other cultural artifacts. Recognizing the enormous challenges and myriad details involved in developing, operating and curating a full-blown museum, however, he and his fellow board members are “trying to figure out whether to take the next step” into serious fundraising.

A recently discovered mysterious "winged" structure in England, which in the Roman period may have been used as a temple, presents a puzzle for archaeologists, who say the building has no known parallels.

A silver-gilt Roman cavalry helmet of international importance has been pieced together at the British Museum, from thousands of fragments of corroded metal lifted in a block of mud from a Leicestershire hillside more than 10 years ago.

The Harappan Civilization was spread over large parts of western region of the Indian Subcontinent. Its earliest roots can be found from 7000 BC in Mehrgarh but its peak urban period is around 2500 to 1900 BC.

Mexican archaeologists have discovered in the southern part of the country a kiln used by the ancient Zapotecs to make ceramics more than 1,300 years ago, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

Any doubts about the existence of mass graves at the Treblinka death camp in Poland are being laid to rest by the first survey of the site using tools that see below the ground, writes forensic archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls.

The remains of the first HMS Victory are to be raised from the sea bed nearly 300 years after it sank, it was reported today. The vessel, predecessor of Nelson's famous flagship, went down in a storm off the Channel Islands in 1744, taking more than 1,000 soldiers to their deaths.

In the dark depths of an underwater cave in eastern Mexico, archaeologists uncovered the ancient remains of four prehistoric bears in the Yucatan Peninsula. Officials believe they could date back to the ice age.

The Mithras temple is being dismantled by a team from the Museum of London and will be rebuilt on its original site 90 metres away. One Saturday afternoon in September 1954, a handsome, faintly smiling god looked up from the London mud. His name was Mithras, and the rediscovered Roman temple to his cult became a sensation in a gloomy postwar capital pitted with bombsites and still recovering from rationing.

A group of amateur archaeologists working under the guidance of professional archaeologists discovered eight 6th century gold coins in a potato field near Biesenbrow in Uckermark, northeast Germany, last November.

Theresa McDonald, Managing Director of the Achill Archaeological Field School, voiced her objections over the Achill-Henge structure which was built at Pollagh (Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland) in November by Joe McNamara. The archaeologist believes that a prehistoric site could be less than half a kilometer from where Achill-Henge is now standing.

Seeing beneath Stonehenge’ has been developed as part of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, using data gather by the combined team from the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Southampton and London.

The horrors of tunnel warfare are key to Sebastian Faulks's first world war novel, Birdsong. Much of the action is set beneath no man's land in a terrifying world where soldiers dug, listened for the enemy and laid explosives in the hope of helping their compatriots above ground.


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