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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Archaeology News: December 30, 2015

Ancient Digger brings you the latest archaeology news and headlines everyday of the week!

Diplomatic delay in historic church’s restoration

The historic Georgian Osvank Church in the
Turkish province of Erzurum
© Hurriyet Daily News
The Osvank Church, which was built nearly 1,000 years ago in the eastern province of Erzurum, is ready for restoration but still waiting for steps to be taken by Georgian officials before work can begin. The largest church in the region, Osvank was built by the sons of a Georgian king, Bagrat and Davit, in the second half of the 10th century. The church hosts a large number of local and foreign tourists every year.

Roman-Period Altar in Turkey Features Mythical Battle Scene

According to a report in Live Science, villagers discovered an altar dating to the second century A.D. near Turkey’s Akçay River. Hasan Malay of Ege University and Funda Ertugrul of the Aydin Museum wrote in the journal Epigraphica Anatolica that the Greek inscription at the top of the altar says Flavius Ouliades dedicated it to the river god Harpasos. They think the image on the altar—a nude warrior wearing a helmet—may represent Hercules’ son Bargasos battling a many-headed serpent monster with a dagger and a shield.

IS destroyed this ancient monument, so archaeologists are 3-D printing a new one

Giant replicas of an ancient arch in the Syrian city of Palmyra attacked by Islamic State (IS) jihadists will go on show in London and New York next year, organizers said Monday. The full-size recreation of the arch from the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel will reportedly made using the world's biggest 3-D printer and put on display in London's Trafalgar Square and Times Square in New York in April. IS seized Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site northeast of Damascus known as the "Pearl of the Desert", in May and beheaded its 82-year-old former antiquities chief three months later.

VU archaeologists discover location of historic battle fought by Caesar in Dutch riverarea

The location of this battle, which Caesar wrote about in detail in Book IV of his De Bello Gallico, was unknown to date. It is the earliest known battle on Dutch soil. The conclusions are based on a combination of historical, archaeological, and geochemical data.

Holme Fen Spitfire archaeologists making 'world first' models

An ill-fated Spitfire and the crater formed when it crashed will to be recreated as 3D models to help archaeologists study what happened. Parts of the plane were excavated from Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire in October, where it crashed 75 years ago. Lead archaeologist Anthony Haskins said a new technique called "photogrammetry" was being used to create the models.

Ancient shepherd's hut dating from more than 4,500 years ago discovered by chance

REMAINS of an ancient shepherd’s hut dating from the Bronze Age – around 4,500 years ago – have been discovered in a Blaenau Gwent valley. The prehistoric hut was discovered on a private farm at the top of the Cwmcelyn valley, near Blaina, and is the first Bronze Age hut to be found in Blaenau Gwent.

Archaeologists Find ‘Impressive’ Ancient Statue That Could Symbolize Jesus or the Flock of the ‘Good Shepherd’

Israeli archaeologists announced Sunday the discovery of a ram statue in the ancient port city of Caesarea they believe may have been meant to depict either Jesus or the Good Shepherd’s flock. “In ancient Christianity Jesus was not portrayed as a person. Instead, symbols were used, one of which was the ram,” excavation directors Dr. Peter Gendelman and Mohammad Hater said in a joint statement announcing the Christmas Eve discovery of the marble ram.

Polynesian Migration Examined With Vanuatu Skulls

A study of the few skulls found among the mostly headless skeletons discovered in 68 graves in a 3,000-year-old Lapita cemetery in Vanuatu suggests that the first Polynesians migrated from Southeast Asia and into Polynesia with little mixing with others.

Archaeologists discover ruins of an ancient Greek port

Recent excavations taking place in an ancient partially-submerged harbor town has led to the surprising discovery of well-preserved wooden caissons, as well as the revelation that the port’s entrance canal was far larger than previously believed. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have been using cutting-edge techniques to investigate the Lechaion, one of two Corinthian ports active from the 6th century BCE to the 6th century CE. The goal of their expeditions has been to discover the layout and scale of this once bustling harbor town.


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