Archaeology Weekly Roundup 11-9-12

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masada israelIsraeli paleographer Ada Yardeni has recently identified 50 Dead Sea scrolls found near Qumran in Israel as having been penned by the same scribe, a scribe who also penned scrolls that have been found at the Herodian mountain-top fortress of Masada, where Jewish rebel zealots made their last suicidal stand against the Romans in 73 A.D.

New techniques reveal that the settlement of Polynesia first occurred within a 16 year window nearly 3000 years ago. The research, published November 7 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by David Burley and colleagues from Simon Fraser University, Canada, dates coral tools and reveals that the first human settlers lived in a founder colony on the islands of Tonga between 2830 to 2846 years ago.

After nearly a century, archaeologists have returned to excavate and conserve the ancient remains of Karkemish (Carchemish), a monumental capital city near the northwestern edge of Mesopotamia that was mentioned in Biblical, Bronze, and Iron Age texts.

To coincide with the 90th anniversary of the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, a near perfect replica of his tomb has been given to Egypt to help support sustainable tourism and the preservation of the actual tomb.

A national archaeology preservation group has bought two former Cayuga Indian village sites in New York’s Finger Lakes region as part of the organization’s ongoing effort to protect historical sites linked to the Iroquois.

NASA scientists have found the crash site, pictured below, of a spacecraft set into orbit during the early 60s. They believe it is the missing Lunar Orbiter 2 which disappeared back in 1967 during a passage over the far side of the moon, when the craft went out of telescope and radio range.

The foundations of a spectacular Anglo-Saxon feasting hall, a place where a king and his warriors would have gathered for days of drinking and eating have been found inches below a village green in the UK. It is the first great hall from the period to be discovered in more than 30 years.

Archaeologists might have finally found the cave of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island, whose solitary 18-year stay on a tiny island off the California coast inspired the children’s classic “Island of the Blue Dolphins.”

City ruins found in northwest China’s Shaanxi province covering more than a thousand acres are the largest ever found dating to neolithic China, scientists say. Archaeologists studying the 4,000-year-old Shimao Ruins in Shenmu County have now measured the exact size of the ancient stone city.

Czech archaeologists have unearthed the 4,500-year-old tomb of a Pharaonic princess south of Cairo, in a finding that suggests other undiscovered tombs may be in the area, an official from Egypt’s antiquities ministry said Saturday.

Nearly 1,500 years ago a massive flood in Geneva reportedly swept away everything in its path—mills, houses, cattle, even entire churches. Now researchers believe they’ve found the unlikely sounding culprit: a tsunami-like killer wave in the Alps. The threat, they add, may still be very much alive.

Ancient Celts practiced startling ritual murder practices, decorating sacrifice sites with ghoulish entanglements of human bones, most likely as a warning to foes and the folks they ruled.

Archaeologists in Bulgaria say they have uncovered the oldest prehistoric town found to date in Europe. The walled fortified settlement, near the modern town of Provadia, is thought to have been an important center for salt production. Though not everyone agrees it constitutes a town.

Researchers have used a replica moai to show how the giant statues may have been “walked” to where they are displayed.

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