Archaeology in the News!

Posted in: Archaeology in the News, ASOR
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Here are some links to recent news from the world of archaeology!

Herodium, a complex south of Bethlehem built by King Herod, is among several archaeological sites in the West Bank administered by Israeli authorities. Credit: Samuel Sockol/Washington Post.

At a museum just off the desert road from Jerusalem to Jericho in the West Bank, the artifacts of a contested heritage are on display. An Israeli flag flies over the museum and adjacent ruins of ancient pilgrim hostels, asserting Israel’s control of the site, which is traditionally identified as the location of the inn mentioned in the biblical parable of the Good Samaritan. But now, after more than 40 years of Israeli occupation, Palestinians are making a bid for greater control of the West Bank’s historical and archaeological landmarks, which they are claiming as their own.

A Jewish group in Jerusalem is using 21st-century technology to map every tombstone in the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, a sprawling, politically sensitive necropolis of 150,000 graves stretching back three millennia.

A four-sided red jasper sealstone is among the finds unearthed during this season’s excavation of the Minoan peak sanctuary at Vrysinas, located south of the city of Rethymnon. The whole area was officially announced and included in the archaeological sites list by the Central Archaeological Council of Greece. The sealstone, which is carved on all four surfaces with characters of the Minoan Hieroglyphic script, constitutes the sole evidence to date for the presence of this earliest Minoan style of writing in Western Crete.

Human domestication of soybeans is thought to have first occurred in central China some 3,000 years ago, but archaeologists now suggest that cultures in even earlier times and in other locations adopted the legume (Glycine max).

A Canadian archeologist is being credited –nearly 50 years after the fact–with discovering a prehistoric petroglyph site in southern Egypt that is now being described as a “Lascaux-on-the-Nile” because of its similarity in age and style to France’s world-famous, cave-wall gallery of Stone Age cattle, deer and horses.

Archaeologists believe that the remains of soldiers who died after Napoleon’s doomed march on Moscow have been found during the creation of a new bypass at Olecko, north east Poland.

The Dead Sea Scrolls may have been written, at least in part, by a sectarian group called the Essenes, according to nearly 200 textiles discovered in caves at Qumran, in the West Bank, where the religious texts had been stored. Scholars are divided about who authored the Dead Sea Scrolls and how the texts got to Qumran, and so the new finding could help clear up this long-standing mystery.

Analysis of an archaic human cranium dated to the Middle Pleistocene period and found in China shows evidence that violent human interaction and trauma occurred there about 126,000 years ago.

Turkish archaeologists unearthed 1,377 artifacts during excavations in Kütahya province’s Seyitömer Höyük district this year, setting a record for the most cultural assets dug up in one season, according to the project leader.

Giant, sunken pieces of an ancient continent from the time of the dinosaurs may have been discovered deep in the Indian Ocean, scientists say.

Researchers at the Sillustani archaeological site in Peru say they have found the bodies of 44 children thought to have been sacrificed between 600 and 700 years ago.

New CT scans revealed a deep incision on the right eye of Utzi the Iceman. Experts disagree about whether an arrow wound killed the Iceman, or if a fall or blow to the head did him in.

The discovery of a skull pierced by an iron arrowhead as part of skeleton remains found in a shallow grave has sparked a murder mystery in a Galway village– 1,000 years after the gruesome assault! Recent quarrying in an esker in the townland of Tisaxon, close to Newcastle, Athenry, revealed human remains exposed in the quarry face.

Humans mastered the art of catching fast-moving, deep-water fish such as tuna more than 40,000 years ago, archaeologists revealed today. A team of Australian experts have uncovered evidence of the practice in a small cave at the eastern end of East Timor, north of Australia, which contained the bones of more than 2,800 fish. Some were caught as long as 42,000 years ago.

Recent archeological excavations in Jerusalem show that, contrary to popular understanding, King Herod was not solely responsible for constructing the Western Wall.

The beautifully preserved leather trappings of an ancient Egyptian chariot have been rediscovered in a storeroom of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Researchers say that the find, which includes intact harnesses, gauntlets and a bow case, is unique, and will help them to reconstruct how such chariots were made and used.

Archeologist William Kelso is certain he’s discovered the remains of the oldest Protestant church in the United States, standing between two holes he insists once held wooden posts. In 1614, Pocahontas was “married right here, I guarantee,” Kelso told AFP at the Jamestown, Virginia archeological site southeast of the nation’s capital.

Libya displayed on Saturday a treasure trove of Roman-era artefacts which officials allege Kadhafi loyalists were planning to sell to finance attacks. The objects were seized in August on the day Tripoli fell to former rebels who had been fighting since mid-February to end the rule of now slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi, new regime officials told a news conference.

Marcahuamachuco, an enigmatic 1,600-year-old archeological complex built from stone in the northern Peruvian Andes, is emerging bit by bit from oblivion and could become a beacon of tourism on the scale of Machu Picchu.

Archeological research of pagan graves in the valley Þegjandadalur in Suður-Þingeyjasýsla county in northeast Iceland support the theory that ritual human sacrifice was practiced during paganism in Iceland.

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