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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Archaeology News: August 28, 2012

Photo: Centro INAH Chiapas. 
A monolithic sculpture representing a jaguar lying down, weighing about a ton was discovered recently in the pre Hispanic site of Izapa, in the Soconusco region of Chiapas. The engraved sculpture, estimated to be about 2,000 years old, was found in a riverbed and because of its weight it was not taken out immediately, but until a few days ago. The maneuvers –made by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH – Conaculta)– needed to rescue the piece required more than seven hours.

The southernmost island province of Hainan is rushing to save two large ancient sea salt pans that could date back over 1,000 years, the Hainan Provincial Museum said Monday. The two salt pans, located in two villages of Lingao County with a combined area of 1,700 mu (113 hectares), were originally constructed during the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907 AD), said an archaeologist with the museum. Both salt pans have sustained serious damage, as one was deserted in the 1970s and only small portions of the other remain in use, said the archaeologist. Earlier this month, a group of archaeologists launched field investigations on the two salt evaporation ponds, and they are in the process of making detailed plans to protect the cultural relics. The salt industry served as a pillar industry in ancient Hainan and were a major source of funds to support military expenses at the time.

© Robert Killick
In 1978, during a bitterly cold winter on Jabal Hamrin, a hilly ridge in central-eastern Iraq, a young British archaeologist was investigating a mystery. Dr Robert Killick, 23, was part of the British archaeological expedition excavating a 2300BC Bronze Age grave believed to belong to a chieftain. In the 4 by 5 metre grave, the archaeologists dug up the kind of items one would expect inside most graves of an era that believed in life after death - more than 50 pottery vessels, several spearheads and other weapons. In addition there were the remains of a chariot, for the dead warrior to drive majestically into the other world.

Griffin, the state archaeologist with Oregon’s State Historic Preservation Office, has traveled to one of the least-walked hillsides in Alaska to search for evidence of his species. On a tundra rise with a gorgeous view of Hall Island and a nice panorama of St. Matthew Island, he has today found a fox tooth in a decaying jaw, chips of rock where someone made tools, pottery, a plate-size anvil stone and a yellowed walrus tusk cut with deep grooves.

Volunteers led by a professional archaeologist in September will follow up on historic findings from a dig at Taylor-Bray Farm in Yarmouth Port last year. They will investigate four specific areas in hopes of finding the site’s first 1640s farmhouse and prehistoric Native American campsites. Archaeologist Craig Chartiers, who directed last year’s successful dig that uncovered 2,300 artifacts, said in a phone interview, ”We could see the outline of a home.” That home belonged to Richard Taylor, one of the first settlers who came to Yarmouth from the Plymouth Colony in 1639.

Archaeologists have started the first survey of world’s most northerly Roman fort, in Angus, in a bid to uncover its secrets. The fort, at Stracathro, near Brechin, was at the end of the Gask Ridge, a line of forts and watchtowers stretching from Doune, near Stirling. The system is thought to be the earliest Roman land frontier in the world, built around AD70 – 50 years before Hadrian’s Wall. Stracathro was discovered from aerial photographs in 1957, which showed evidence of defensive towers and several protective ditches.

The son of a descendant of Richard III's eldest sister was on site today as what is believed to be the first ever search for the lost grave of an anointed King of England began in a city centre car park. Canadian-born Michael Ibsen watched as archaeological experts from the University of Leicester used ground penetrating radar equipment to find the best spots to begin their search today at the car park off Greyfriars in Leicester.

1 Comment:

Unknown said...

Ground penetrating radar, on the other hand, is capable of locating and identifying objects of any material.

Concrete NDT


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