Archaeology Weekly Roundup! 1-11-13

Posted in: Archaeology in the News, ASOR
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Years of conflict have exacted a heavy toll on centuries of history in the Gaza Strip. While traces of its rich past remain, the race to preserve what is left beneath the surface of this battle-scarred land is fraught with problems.

A mysterious “snake goddess” painted on terracotta and discovered in Athens may actually be Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest, and come from a 7th century BCE shrine.

More on the ongoing destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage sites.

A trove of ancient manuscripts in Hebrew characters rescued from caves in a Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan is providing the first physical evidence of a Jewish community that thrived there a thousand years ago.

During routine excavations at the dog catacomb in Saqqara necropolis, an excavation team led by Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at The American University in Cairo (AUC), and an international team of researchers led by Paul Nicholson of Cardiff University have uncovered almost 8 million animal mummies at the burial site.

Remains of a huge, 2,000-year-old Roman theater, thought to be the first of its kind in Britain, have been discovered in Kent.

Maya ruins at the site of Kiuic in Mexico turn out to boast a pyramid of surprising antiquity, dating back to 700 B.C., and more signs of rapid “collapse” as the ancient culture’s era ended.

Iraqi archaeologists have found 66 gold coins that are at least 1,400 years old, officials said, adding that they hope to put them on display in Baghdad’s National Museum. The artifacts, which date back to the Sassanid era that extended from 225 BC to 640 AD, will be sent for laboratory tests in order to confirm their authenticity.

Medicine discovered in a tin box onboard an ancient Roman shipwreck and which is more than 2,000 years old has been analysed by scientists, who think it may have been used to treat eye infections.

About one hundred of 2,200-year-old papyrus slave contracts have revealed that ancient Egyptians voluntarily entered into slave contracts with a local temple in the Egyptian city Tebtunis for all eternity, and even paid a monthly fee for the privilege.

A 2,000-year-old relief carved with an image of what appears to be a, stylishly overweight, princess has been discovered in an “extremely fragile” palace in the ancient city of Meroë, in Sudan, archaeologists say.

An airplane-obsessed farmer, a freelance archaeologist and a team of excavators are heading to the Burma city of Yangon on Saturday to find a nearly forgotten stash of British fighter planes thought to be carefully buried beneath the former capital’s airfield.

The idea to enclose and define with straight lines is actually an ancient one. Some of the first archaeological evidence of landscape boundaries dates back to England around 1,500 BC, but 500 years later it also appears in the rest of Northwestern Europe.

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