Archaeology in the News!

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

A few kilometers outside the capital of Al-Jouf province, Sakkaka, stand clusters of three-meter high fingers of stone. Etched with ancient Thamudic graffiti, these monuments to a long extinct culture have maintained their lonely vigil for six millennia. Many have fallen over and others lean at bizarre random angles. Al-Rajajil (“the men”), the sandstone stele weighing up to five tons each, is popularly called Saudi Arabia’s Stonehenge. They are possibly the oldest human monuments on the peninsula.

Spain’s pre-historic burial chambers have survived invasion, war, a long dictatorship and a property bubble which paved over vast tracts of the country. A debt crisis ravaging Spain’s economy has saved some of the dolmens by freezing funds for construction. But the credit crunch also means scarce money to explore these little-known Copper Age settlements and turn them into tourist centers.

According to Monday’s The Kathmandu Post, a team of national and international climbers, scientists, archaeologists, historians and anthropologists has found evidence of thousands of years of civilization in this mystical land. After beginning the first phase of its research in 2008, the team discovered human remains dating back to 3,000 years, bringing out untold stories of an ” independent” civilization.

The world’s largest silver hoard was discovered in an agricultural field on an island in Scandinavia. The hoard weighed about 67 kilos, consisting of two assemblages about 3 meters apart.

The Kyoto City Archaeological Research Institute said it has unearthed earthenware in an excavation site, which is believed to be the remains of a residence for Fujiwara no Yoshimi, a prominent politician and court noble in the Heian period (794 to 1185).

An expert of the Shushtar Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Office has said that the ruins of the ancient city of Dastvar in Khuzestan Province have been repeatedly looted by groups of invaders over the past few months.

After six grave sites, 133 coins and over 10,000 fragments of animal bone, archaeologists with assistant professor of classics David Hernandez’s excavation team hit pay dirt, or rather, pay pavement, in the form of an ancient Roman forum. This summer, Hernandez and a team of Notre Dame undergraduates embarked on a six-week excavation trip to Butrint, Albania, where they made the discovery.

A brick fireplace and concrete slab are the most visible remains of what 70 years ago was a bustling summer camp in rugged terrain that now is Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Camp Butler, as it was called, was open from about 1931 to 1941. It closed for World War II and never reopened. Parkman said park officials are just now getting around to documenting the camp site.

Experts believe they have found evidence of a 4,000-year-old Stone Age camp in the Midlands – thanks to a dog walker. Roger Hall discovered a handful of strange-shaped rocks while walking his pet pooch in picturesque Cannock Wood, Staffordshire (England), but experts have identified them as flint ‘flakes’ – the off-cuts from tools crafted by Stone Age Man.

At least 5,000 year old burial sites have been discovered by archaeologists during the two-year-long Sohar Heritage Project, according to a press release from the Ministry of Heritage and Culture on Sunday. The ministry-run project, which has carried out major survey within Sohar town and surrounding areas of Oman, is mainly funded by the industrial sector in the this port town.

A team of Derry (Northern Ireland) archaeology enthusiasts have discovered what they believe could be the oldest known church bell in the world.

Under the cold clear waters of Lake Huron, University of Michigan researchers have found a five-and-a-half foot-long, pole-shaped piece of wood that is 8,900 years old. The wood, which is tapered and beveled on one side in a way that looks deliberate, may provide important clues to a mysterious period in North American prehistory.

Chinese archaeologists recently found a palace dating back to about 3,600 years ago at the Erlitou Bronze Age site in Henan province. It is the best-preserved palace ever found at the site and may be the prototype for places of worship during the Shang dynasty.

Archaeologists announced Tuesday that they dug to the very core of Mexico’s tallest pyramid and found what may be the original ceremonial offering placed on the site of the Pyramid of the Sun before construction began. The offerings found at the base of the pyramid in the Teotihuacan ruin site just north of Mexico City include a green serpentine stone mask so delicately carved and detailed that archaeologists believe it may have been a portrait.

An archaeological team made up of archaeologists from the School of Archaeology and Museology under Peking University and Shaanxi Archaeological Research Institute has unearthed more than 10,000 tortoise shells at the Zhougong Temple site in Shaanxi province.

The Swedish King Magnus LadulÃ¥s (1240-1290 a.d.) is buried in the Riddarholmen church (Riddarholmskyrkan) in Gamla Stan, Stockholm. This is at least what everybody have taken for granted…until new facts were presented recently. A new radiocarbon dating of the tomb’s content indicates that the content of the tomb comes from the remains of nine persons who were buried some time between 1430 and 1520, i.e. at least 200 years after King Magnus.

A Roman cockerel figurine thought to have been made to accompany a child’s grave has been unearthed in Gloucestershire. The 1,800-year-old enamelled object was found during an archaeological dig at one of Britain’s earliest-known burial sites in Cirencester.

Archaeologists in Hampshire have uncovered signs of the house where Jane Austen spent more than half of her life.

A portion of a spear point shaped from chert has emerged from 2.4 metres below a city parking lot along the Cedar River, in the city of Cedar Rapids (Iowa, USA). David Benn, research coordinator and principal investigator for Bear Creek Archeology of Cresco, Iowa, calls the find of the Hardaway spear point – named for a site in the state of North Carolina – ‘significant’, and a rare event in the state of Iowa and the Midwest region. Its estimated age, about 9,500 years, comes from its similarity to spear points from more extensively studied sites, Benn explains.

Researchers from the Institut Francais d’Etudes Anatoliennes in Istanbul and the Laboratoire de Tribologie et de Dynamiques des Systemes have analyzed the oldest obsidian bracelet ever identified, discovered in the 1990s at the site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey.

Check out this video below “A day in the life of the archaeological lab
Watch as conservators at Jamestown, Virginia work on a goffering iron (a hollow cylindrical iron tool used to iron the neck ruffs worn in the early 17th century) and a square piece of flat copper.

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