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Monday, March 25, 2013

Archaeology News: March 25, 2013


Before Dinosaurs' Era, Volcanic Eruptions Triggered Mass Extinction

More than 200 million years ago, a massive extinction decimated 76 percent of marine and terrestrial species, marking the end of the Triassic period and the onset of the Jurassic. The event cleared the way for dinosaurs to dominate Earth for the next 135 million years, taking over ecological niches formerly occupied by other marine and terrestrial species.

It's not clear what caused the end-Triassic extinction, although most scientists agree on a likely scenario. Over a relatively short time period, massive volcanic eruptions from a large region known as the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) spewed forth huge amounts of lava and gas, including carbon dioxide, sulfur and methane.

Artifact found in Friendship is 3,500 years old

What began as a study of native American culture at the Friendship Village School turned into the realization that an artifact found in a scallop drag is actually 3,500 years old. Jimmy Wotton found the ax head in his scallop drag.

Stone ships show signs of maritime network in Baltic Sea region 3,000 years ago

In the middle of the Bronze Age, around 1000 BC, the amount of metal objects increased dramatically in the Baltic Sea region. Around the same time, a new type of stone monument, arranged in the form of ships, started to appear along the coasts. New research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden shows that the stone ships were built by maritime groups.

19th-century Butchery Discovered

Excavation to the Hailongtun Castle in Zunyi, Guizhou ProvinArchaeologists have found the brick-lined foundations of a nineteenth-century slaughterhouse at a construction site for a new school building. Located on the outskirts of Alexandria’s Old Town, the land was also used as a cattle run. An industrial archaeologist will be consulted about some machinery that was also unearthed. “It’s really the only site where we’re going to find anything out about a nineteenth-century butchery. It’s just really something that came as a surprise,” said acting city archaeologist Fran Bromberg.ce

Excavation to the Hailongtun Castle in Zunyi, Guizhou Province

Archaeologists from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences have surveyed Hailongtun Castle, established in 1257 and destroyed by war in 1600. Excavations have focused on the newer of two palaces, but a treasury, a pavilion, a quarry, and watch towers have also been found. Bricks, tiles, and roof sculptures in the shape of dragons were probably fired in nearby kilns. Inscribed steles have provided information about the history of the castle and its administrative system. Other finds include porcelain cups, dishes, bowls, plates, and stemmed cups; coins; glass wares; iron locks and fittings; copper armor scales; ceramic pipes for water; and ink stones. Haichao Monastery was built on the site in 1603 and later renovated in 1645.

Pre-Viking tunic found by glacier as warming aids archaeology

More than 1,600 ancient objects have been found in southern Norway as its glaciers retreat. Some of the artifacts are made of rarely preserved organic materials. One such item is a tunic made of greenish-brown lamb’s wool in a diamond pattern. It has been dated to A.D. 300, and may have been lost along a Roman trade route. “The tunic was well used—it was repaired several times,” said Marianne Vedeler of Norway’s Museum of Cultural History. Researchers wonder why someone would have taken off the tunic while traveling so close to a glacier.

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