Archaeology Weekly Roundup! 4-12-13

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A new language dating back to the Scottish Iron Age has been identified on carved stones. These inscriptions are believed to belong to the early Pict society living from ca 300 to 843 AD, in modern-day eastern and northern Scotland.

A giant “monumental” stone structure discovered beneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee in Israel has archaeologists puzzled as to its purpose and even how long ago it was built.

The rise of crowdfunding has taken another step forward as UK-based DigVentures launches the world’s first archaeology crowdfunding platform in response to the dwindling of traditional sources of funding for archaeology.

Archaeologists digging near a spa in southern Israel have uncovered Byzantine-era remains that include a large wine-press and a unique clay lantern decorated with crosses.

The ancient Maya used a vivid, remarkably durable blue paint to cover their palace walls, codices, pottery and maybe even the bodies of human sacrifices who were thrown to their deaths down sacred wells. Now a group of chemists claim to have cracked the recipe of Maya Blue.

A British archaeologist says he and his colleagues have unearthed a huge, rare complex near the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq. Stuart Campbell of Manchester University’s Archaeology Department says it goes back about 4,000 years, and is thought to be an administrative complex.

The remains of a 2,000-year-old ritual bath have come to light in Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists say. The unusually complex bath would have been in use around the time of the Second Temple.

Nikki Berkebile has been studying the subsistence habits of Puebloans, or Anasazi, who lived on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon in the late 11th century. Traditional ethnographic literature indicates these ancient American Indians were heavily dependent on maize as a food source, but Berkebile isn’t so sure about that.

After being uncovered by Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi in the last century, the former fortress town of Gonur-Tepe is gradually revealing its mysteries to the world. It might have been a rare advanced civilisation before it was buried for centuries under the dust of the Kara Kum desert in remote western Turkmenistan.

A trove of Neanderthal fossils including bones of children and adults, discovered in a cave in Greece hints the area may have been a key crossroad for ancient humans, researchers say.

A 600-year-old, Ming Dynasty, tomb decorated with rare mural paintings has been unearthed in east China’s Jiangxi Province.

The Gilbert Island reefs in the Central Pacific were once home to two species of sharks not previously reported in historic records or contemporary studies. The species were discovered in a new analysis of weapons made from shark teeth and used by 19th century islanders.

Check out this video and article on the modern state of the ancient city of Babylon, after American occupation and Saddam Hussein.

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