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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Archaeology News: February 28, 2013


Ancient Lost Continent Discovered in Indian Ocean

Photograph by Danita Delimont, Alamy

A well-known tourist destination, Mauritius (map) is located about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) off the coast of Africa, east of Madagascar. Scientists think the tiny island formed some nine million years ago from cooling lava spewed by undersea volcanoes.

But recently, researchers have found sand grains on Mauritius that contain fragments of the mineral zircon that are far older than the island, between 660 million and about 2 billion years old.

Egypt won't rent Pyramids to foreign firms, says antiquities ministry

The Egyptian antiquities ministry has rejected a proposal by the finance ministry to rent out the country's major archaeological sites to international tourism companies in an attempt to reduce the government's budget deficit. Some archaeologists have called the proposal 'insulting' and 'humiliating.'

Archaeology Day at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon’s sixth annual Archaeology day will be celebrated on Saturday, March 23, 2013, which commemorates Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month. Special programs, activities and demonstrations will be held at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center throughout the day, with a special evening program at the Shrine of the Ages.

Dig on Tinian pushes back settlement 3400 years

Evidence for the human occupation of Tinian Island 3,500 years ago has been uncovered by a team of Australian archaeologists. These early Micronesians originated in China, and then traveled to Taiwan and the Philippines. Archaeologists are debating whether or not they stopped at islands such as Palau or Yapp on the long journey from the Philippines to the Marianas because researchers have not found the characteristic red-coated pottery and houses built on stilts there. “The sites being excavated in the Marianas Islands are a little bit older than those to the south of the equator, in the Lapita region of Melanesia. They appear to be 100 or 200 years older. So this now looks like the first movement of these people from the Philippines, reaching the Marianas Islands across a very large area of sea,” said Peter Bellwood of Australian National University.

Taksim excavations reveal historic Ottoman structures

Excavations continuing as part of the project to pedestrianize Taksim have revealed two water outlets 80 centimeters in diameter from the late Ottoman period, halting work in the area.

Istanbul Culture and Tourism Director Ahmet Emre Bilgili issued a statement that the historical remains were 60-70 meters below the asphalt, adding that he and Istanbul Archaeology Museums Director Zeynep Kızıltan inspected the excavation area.

New Technologies in Archaeology: Flag Fen Archaeology Park, Peterborough

Those who visited Flag Fen this summer will have seen the amazing virtual reconstruction of the site as it might have been when the causeway dominated the landscape, over 3,000 years ago. The IBM Visual and Spatial Technologies Centre (VISTA) produced this visualization from data collected on-site.

Now join Dr Henry Chapman, Director of VISTA, as he discusses the exciting work of the centre, and how visual and spatial technologies are revolutionizing how archaeology, and other disciplines, understand the past.

New Archaeology Institute Hopes To Lead to Increased Collaboration

In order to consolidate the scattered offerings of several University departments, the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies was founded this semester, according to Prof. Sturt Manning, archaeology, director of the Institute. Manning said the CIAMS will bring together 18 faculty members from various departments into what he called a “single, synergistic venue.”

Using human remains in teaching archaeology

The using human remains in teaching archaeology event will bring together specialists in human remains and teaching archaeology to discuss the current challenges faced in meeting the sometimes-competing demands of education, legislation, and respect for the beliefs of diverse religious groups and other stakeholders.

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