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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Archaeology News: April 4, 2013

Bronze warship ram reveals secrets

Known as the Belgammel Ram, the 20kg artefact was discovered by a group of British divers off the coast of Libya near Tobruk in 1964. The ram is from a small Greek or Roman warship – a “tesseraria”. These ships were equipped with massive bronze rams on the bow at the waterline and were used for ramming the side timbers of enemy ships. At 65cm long, the Belgammel Ram is smaller in size and would have been sited on the upper level on the bow. This second ram is known as a proembolion, which strengthened the bow and also served to break the oars of an enemy ship.

Anthropology students conduct live field work

A couple of weeks ago, anthropology students spent their Saturday combing through soil in an attempt to find artifacts from prehistoric people at Camp Tyler. The first discovery happened shortly after they arrived when a group of students uncovered a pottery sherd they believe could be more than a thousand years old.

Archaeologists Explore Ancient Sumerian Settlement Site in Iraq

Tell Khaiber, as the site is called, is playing host to one of the first major archaeological projects with extensive participation by foreign scientists since the hiatus caused by the political situation and hostilities of the Iraqi war. Consisting of an international mix of six British archaeologists representing four UK institutions and four Iraqi archaeologists from the State Board for Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq, the team expects to uncover not just monumental buildings, but evidence that may shed new light on the environment and lifeways of the people who inhabited the site.

Guarding the legacy of emperors

A dedicated few in Beijing's suburbs keep a lookout for tomb raiders, day and night. It was a clear day in March, and the air was still cold on this morning of early spring in Beijing. Li Jianzhong, a 54-year-old keeper of the Yongling Mausoleum, was walking along a path as usual, checking to see if there was any problem or threat in the mausoleum.

The mausoleum, in which Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and his three empresses were buried, was empty, except for several researchers - college students guided by their archeology professor. Like most of other tombs of the Royal Mausoleum of Ming, Yongling Mausoleum is not open to the public.

Gate to Hell Discovered

Italian scientists have announced the discovery in Pumakkale, Turkey, of the ruins of what was known in ancient times as Pluto’s Gate, or Plutonium, in Latin.

Thought by the ancients to be the gateway to Hell, it was described by the Greek geographer, Strabo, who lived between about 64 B.C. and 24 A.D., during the time of Julius Caesar. According to Strabo, Pluto’s Gate was an orifice in the hillside that filled up with a thick mist that was immediately lethal to anyone who entered.

Spielberg Double Feature: Indiana Jones, Always, And How Death Defines Us

Aside from their shared release year, what do Steven Spielberg's double-dips have in common? This was the question we here at the Cinema Blend looked to discover in this investigative series. In 1989, Spielberg released the third film of his Indiana Jones adventures, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as well as the largely forgotten fantasy-drama Always. It had be years since I'd watched Last Crusade, and aside from recognizing its title from Audrey Hepburn's filmography, I'd never heard of Always. Much to my surprise, both films have some stark similarities in their heroes and the crucial decision each must face, though the lesson lands better in the former.

Historical society digs into Marco Island’s ancient past

Alongside professional archaeologists, volunteers will sift through midden — mounds of crushed shell and other remnants — at a Marco Island archaeological site starting Sunday, April 7. The ensuing five-day dig is part of The Big Sift, an effort by the city and the Marco Island Historical Society to glean physical evidence of the island’s original Calusa Indian inhabitants who arrived more than 6,000 years ago.

Oswego War of 1812 Symposium Adds Underwater Archaeologist to Roster

Dive into history at the third annual Oswego War of 1812 Symposium from Friday to Sunday at the Lake Ontario Conference and Event Center. Jonathan Moore, senior underwater archaeologist with Parks Canada, discusses the archaeological exploration of two shipwrecks from the war.


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