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Archaeology in the News!

Here are some links to recent news from the world of archaeology!

Satellite image of area of Libya’s south-western desert with archaeological interpretation of features: fortifications are outlined in black, areas of dwellings are in red and oasis gardens are in green (Credit: Copyright 2011 Google, image copyright 2011 DigitalGlobe)

Satellite imagery has uncovered new evidence of a lost civilisation of the Sahara in Libya’s south-western desert wastes that will help re-write the history of the country. The fall of Gaddafi has opened the way for archaeologists to explore the country’s pre-Islamic heritage, so long ignored under his regime. Using satellites and air-photographs to identify the remains in one of the most inhospitable parts of the desert, a British team has discovered more than 100 fortified farms and villages with castle-like structures and several towns, most dating between AD 1-500.

A newly proposed solution to an ancient enigma is reviving debate about the nature of a mysterious prehistoric site that some call the Holy Land’s answer to Stonehenge. Some scholars believe the structure of concentric stone circles known as Rujm al-Hiri was an astrological temple or observatory, others a burial complex. The new theory proposed by archaeologist Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska links the structure to an ancient method of disposing of the dead.

A fragment of human jaw unearthed in a prehistoric cave in Torquay is the earliest evidence of modern humans in north-west Europe, scientists say. The tiny piece of upper jaw was excavated from Kents Cave on the town’s border in the 1920s but its significance was not fully realised until scientists checked its age with advanced techniques that have only now become available.

A team led by Professor Raj Somadeva has recently made finds supporting the theory that Sri Lankan Culture is not borrowed from any other country or region, as has long been supposed.

A major hoard of ancient artefacts has been unearthed near Tisbury, UK. A metal detector enthusiast located more than 100 bronze items, thought to be about 2,700 years old, on a farmland site which is being kept secret. Having first found a spearhead, he decided not to disturb the ground and notified archaeologists, who were able to conduct a meticulous excavation.

Excavations of a series of medieval churches in central Sudan have revealed a treasure trove of art, including a European-influenced work, along with evidence of journeys undertaken by travelers from western Europe that were equivalent to the distance between New York City and the Grand Canyon.

A 2,000-year-old child mummy visited an Illinois hospital earlier this year so researchers could use imaging technology to look for clues to the child’s life and death.

Our human ancestors did come from Africa but left the continent to spread across the world via a different route than first thought, scientists have revealed. A six-year study mapping genetic patterns found that people who ended up in Europe, Asia and Oceania got there by crossing the sea to Arabia around 70,000 years ago.

The Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in the southern province of Dong Nai in Vietnam on Friday revealed conclusive findings of an excavated mummified woman in an ancient tomb in Cau Xeo commune in Long Thanh district.

Neolithic remains and elements of bronze and iron weaponry from the Cypro-Classical period, were found during the excavations that were completed at the site of Kataliondas Kourvellos, located in the eastern Troodos foothills, about twenty kilometers from Cyprus capital, Nicosia.

A new study at the University of Arizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research has revealed a previously unknown multi-decade drought period in the second century A.D.

Four archaeological sites have been found on the route of a highway section under construction near the northeastern Bulgarian town of Shumen.

What started as a routine survey of the land surrounding a historic bridge has ended up unearthing two significant sites in the region’s Native American history. Larry Grantham, an archaeologist with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Environmental Studies and Historic Preservation department, said his team has discovered a pair of Native American sites bookending the Mo. 168 bridge over the North River just west of Palmyra.

Today, the art at the Pech-Merle cave, and in hundreds of others across Europe, is a striking testimony to human creativity well before modern times. By comparing the DNA of modern horses and those that lived during the Stone Age, scientists have determined that these drawings are a realistic depiction of an animal that coexisted with the artists.

More than four centuries after English adventurer Sir Francis Drake went to his watery grave off Panama’s coast, archaeologists believe they have found two of the last ships he commanded.

The site of what is now Rotterdam’s Yangtzehaven was inhabited by humans in the Middle Stone Age. At a depth of 20 metres, in the sea bed, unique underwater archaeological investigation found traces of bone, flint and charcoal from around 7000 BC. These finds are the very first scientific proof that humans lived at this spot in the Early and Middle Stone Age. Up to now, very little was known about this period in particular, the Early and Middle Mesolithic, so far to the west of the Netherlands.

Carbon dating of ancient organic remains from Wadi Debay’an, a site a few kilometres south of Al Zubara on Qatar’s north-west coastline, has yielded the earliest yet known date for human occupation in Qatar – 7,500 years before present.

Last month, part of a major wall came tumbling down in Pompeii, the ancient Roman city frozen in time by a first-century eruption of Mount Vesuvius. It was only the latest in a spate of collapses at the site, which experts say is in critical condition. Though the site is said to be safe for tourists, the disintegration is alarming enough to have spurred the European Union to pledge 105 million euros (145 million dollars) for preservation.

Archaeologists have found cave paintings thought to be Central Europe’s oldest such artwork in Baden-Württemberg’s Swabian Alps.

CT scanners developed for the medical profession are now proving just as effective for anthropologists studying centuries-old mummies in museums. The Natural History Museum in Washington DC recently took delivery of a new scanner which anthropologists say will give them a highly-detailed, three-dimensional view of our ancient relatives without having to disturb their remains.
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Archaeology in the News! Reviewed by on . Here are some links to recent news from the world of archaeology! [caption id="attachment_1309" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Satellite image of area Here are some links to recent news from the world of archaeology! [caption id="attachment_1309" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Satellite image of area Rating:
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