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Monday, January 7, 2013

Archaeology News: January 7, 2013


Ancient digger brings you latest in archaeology news and discoveries. Here's what's been discovered today JANUARY 7, 2013.

Remains of Göring's first wife Discovered

Swedish scientists have solved the mystery over a a zinc coffin found 21 years ago at the German estate of Hitler's right-hand man, Hermann Göring, by identifying the skeletal remains as those of Göring's first wife Carin.

Ancient manuscripts indicate Jewish community once thrived in Afghanistan

A trove of ancient manuscripts in Hebrew characters rescued from caves in a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan is providing the first physical evidence of a Jewish community that thrived there a thousand years ago.

On Thursday Israel's National Library unveiled the cache of recently purchased documents that run the gamut of life experiences, including biblical commentaries, personal letters and financial records.

Staffordshire Hoard: 'Opening a window into the Mercian kingdom'

Speculation has already begun about how much 81 newly-discovered pieces of the Staffordshire Hoard will be worth.

The pieces of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver were declared treasure by coroner Andrew Haigh on Friday and will now be valued by the British Museum.

There are two items in the current collection that do not sparkle as much as the others but which could be the most valuable to archaeologists researching the hoard.

Unearthing our Ulster Scots history

The history of Ulster Scots is unearthed in a new television series celebrating the archaeology and history of Northern Ireland’s past.

Ulster Unearthed begins on Monday night with the first in a series six half-hour programmes delving into the history of Ulster Scots links to Northern Ireland.

Using laser technology and state-of-the-art computer imaging, a team of experts explores a variety of local sites and digs across Ulster and reveals exciting new finds.

The Ulster Unearthed series is presented by UTV’s Rita FitzGerald and produced by Televisionary:NI - a new, local independent production company.

'The Tutankhamun dig of aviation': Brits to begin digging up missing Spitfires buried in Burmese jungle

A Lincolnshire farmer who has spent 17 years investigating rumours that dozens of factory-fresh Spitfires could be lying buried under Burmese soil expects to find the aeroplanes “perfectly preserved”.

David Cundall, 62, who has four decades experience excavating military aircraft, set out on an expedition to excavate the first of three possible burial sites this morning.

He expects to find the planes packed up in sealed wooden crates, which he hopes will have protected them from corrosion. A 91-year-old British veteran of the Burma campaign, Stanley Coombe, who says he remembers seeing “double-decker bus-sized crates” being prepared for burial at the end of the war, is accompanying the 21-person expedition team.

World's Oldest Shipwreck Reveals Treasure Trove 

An entire decade of archaeological investigation into what is the world’s oldest known shipwreck has revealed a vast cornucopia of ancient treasures, and the wreck was voted by Scientific American journal to be one of the ten greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

Following the chance discovery of the wreck in 1982, archaeological excavations were carried out between 1984 and 1994 by George F. Bass and Cemal Pulak of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. Due to the wreck’s tricky location on a steep rocky slope 50 metres beneath the surface, excavation time for each diver had to be limited to 20 minutes per dive, twice a day. The total number of dives to take place was 22,413.

Dried, hollowed squash Holds Key to Bloodline

Two centuries after the French people beheaded Louis XVI and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, scientists believe they have authenticated the remains of one such rag kept as a revolutionary souvenir.

Researchers have been trying for years to verify a claim imprinted on an ornately decorated calabash that it contains a sample of the blood of the French king guillotined in Paris on January 21, 1793.

The dried, hollowed squash is adorned with portraits of revolutionary heroes and the text: "On January 21, Maximilien Bourdaloue dipped his handkerchief in the blood of Louis XVI after his decapitation".

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Archaeology in Action 2014

Dr. Brian Redmond, curator of archaeology, discusses working at the Burrell Orchard site earlier this summer. The Archaeology in Action field school is open to adult museum members. For more information or to volunteer, visit www.cmnh.org/ArchaeologyinAction.

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