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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Archaeology News: March 14, 2013

Cultic Sexual Symbols Uncovered in a Stone Age Site

The phallic figurine. Photograph: Dr. Ya’akov Vardi
A new site dating to the Stone Age was exposed in large scale archaeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is carrying out at Ahihud Junction prior to the construction of a new railroad line to Karmiel by the National Roads Company. In the excavations, which are spread over 1,800 square meters, remains of two main periods were discovered: the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period and the Early Chalcolithic period (seventh millennium BCE – fifth millennium BCE).

Hershel Shanks Urges Megiddo Expedition to Try Wet-Sifting

The oldest writing ever found in Jerusalem almost got missed. The recently discovered fragment of cuneiform text dates to the 14th century B.C., which makes it Jerusalem’s oldest writing. It is so small that the archaeologists working at Eilat Mazar’s excavation just south of the Temple Mount didn’t see it when was dug out of the ground. In the March/April 2013 issue of BAR, editor Hershel Shanks explains how this scrap of Jerusalem’s oldest writing was saved.

Row over Richard III’s final burial site rumbles on

The bones of Richard III should be reburied under a modest slab in the floor of Leicester cathedral, “a place of dignified simplicity” rather than a grandiose modern reinvention of a medieval tomb, the cathedral authorities have decided – in a move that will do nothing to resolve the debate over where and how the king should finally be buried.

Discovering Early Farming Society in Israel

The Israel Antiquties Authority announced the discovery of an unprecedented Neolithic site in Israel on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The earliest evidence, from a seventh millennium B.C.E. Pre-Pottery Neolithic culture, includes permanent architectural installations, plaster floors and obsidian tools. Obsidian is not local to the region, revealing that the Neolithic culture had access to long-distance trade networks. In addition, excavators uncovered large quantities of bean seeds, serving as one of the oldest known examples of legume domestication in the ancient Near East.

Science on Saturday at the McDonald Institute

The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research will be opening its doors this Saturday, the first weekend of the 2013 Cambridge Science Festival. Bring your family along to meet our researchers and discover the past through the tools of archaeological science with a range of fun and interactive activities.

Hidden Archaeology - Brien Foerster (The justBernard Show)

Brien Foerster, known for his appearances on Ancient Aliens is our favorite kind of researcher. Following his instinct and relying on his expertise he goes outside his comfort zone to find the hidden truths of human history. Brien is also contributing writer for Graham Hancock and is associated with Lloyd Pye of the Starchild project, who is analyzing the DNA of elongated human skulls of the Peruvian Paracas culture on his behalf. The preliminary results of this have been included in the book, The Enigma Of Cranial Deformation: Elongated Skulls Of The Ancients.

Dickson Mounds Museum Hosts Archaeology Program for Kids

Dickson Mounds Museum is hosting “Be an Archaeologist for a Day” for kids ages 9 to16 years old on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kids will work side by side with professional archaeologists and learn excavation and artifact identification techniques, and how to process finds. The program will begin with hands-on preparatory activities indoors, and then, weather permitting, will be held outdoors for the afternoon.

Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island by Field Museum expedition

A joint expedition of scientists led by Chapurukha M. Kusimba of The Field Museum and Sloan R. Williams of the University of Illinois at Chicago has unearthed a 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda that shows trade existed between China and east Africa decades before European explorers set sail and changed the map of the world.

National Museum Wales to bid for Bronze Age treasure axes in Pembrokeshire

Tom Baxter and Luke Pearce found the warrior hoard during an August detecting visit to a field under pasture in the community of Nevern. Dated to around 2000 BC, they are thought to have been buried in a “special place” in the landscape, close to a stream source with a view of the sea.

Nomad Archaeology in the Near East

With the introduction of the Negev Emergency Survey, a series of systematic field surveys of the entire Negev had been undertaken since 1978. Numerous ancient ephemeral campsites were documented from all periods with the remains of tents and associated features being identified exclusively from the Classical period beginning with the Nabateans and continuing through the Early Islamic period. Using these data, I made an ethno-archaeological study by combining the survey-based research and making an ethnographic comparison with recent Bedouin black tents and campsites in the southern Negev.


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