Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Viking Blacksmith’s Grave Uncovered in Norway

The weapons and tools from the grave

The spectacular remains of what appears to be a Viking grave, most likely belonging to a blacksmith, has been uncovered in Sogndalsdalen, Norway (as reported by NRK). The grave was found by Mr Leif Arne Norberg, under a series of stone slabs in his back garden. Mr Norberg had been carrying out landscaping works when he suddenly spotted a blacksmith’s tongs, followed soon afterwards by a bent sword. On closer examination it quickly became apparent that he had stumbled upon a remarkable Viking Age find. Archaeologists from Bergen University and the County’s Cultural Department were called to the scene and the remains were subsequently excavated. The finds recovered from the grave suggest that it probably dates from the 8th or 9th century AD. They included various pieces of metalwork, a tongs, a sword and an axe, all of which will be conserved before being put on display at the University Museum of Bergen. Personally I can’t wait to find out more information about this exciting discovery.

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Long lost Roman fort discovered in Germany

In the course of an educational dig in Gernsheim in the Hessian Ried, archaeologists from Frankfurt University have discovered a long lost Roman fort: A troop unit made up out of approximately 500 soldiers (known as a cohort) was stationed there between 70/80 and 110/120 AD. Over the past weeks, the archaeologists found two V-shaped ditches, typical of this type of fort, and the post holes of a wooden defensive tower as well as other evidence from the time after the fort was abandoned. 

The excavation site in Gernsheim [Credit: Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main] 

An unusually large number of finds were made. This is because the Roman troops dismantled the fort and filled in the ditches when they left. In the process they disposed of a lot of waste, especially in the inner ditch. 

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New bog body discovered in Co. Meath

A new, partially intact bog body has been discovered by Bord na Mona workers in Co Meath. Archaeologists from the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) have confirmed that it is working on a find of human remains in a bog near the border with Co Westmeath, at Rossan bog.

 Bog body remains of adult discovered last weekend at Rossan Bog, Meath  [Credit: National Museum Ireland] 

Archaeologist Maeve Sikora told the Irish Examiner that workers from Bord na Mona came across the remains. 

“Archaeologists and conservators from The National Museum of Ireland have been on site investigating the findspot of archaeological human remains in a bog in Co. Meath, near the border with Co. Westmeath,” Ms Sikora said.

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King Richard III killed by blows to skull

Forensic teams studied the skeleton to determine the nature of the injuries and weapons that were used

King Richard III was probably killed by two blows to the head during a "sustained attack", according to new scientific research.
The English king was killed at the Battle of Bosworth on 22 August, 1485.
Forensic teams at the University of Leicester have now revealed he suffered at least 11 injuries, some possibly inflicted after death.
CT scans were used on his 500-year-old skeleton to help determine his injuries and the medieval weapons used.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kingsmead Quarry – Roman Burial Discovered with Bronze Rings

One of the discoveries from this year’s excavation at the CEMEX Kingsmead Quarry is a human burial with bronze ear or hair rings. As with other skeletons at the Quarry, the bone is poorly preserved. In this case some of the bone, including the skull was block lifted for excavation in the lab by WA staff  – osteoarchaeologist Kirsten Dinwiddy and conservator Lynn Wootten. X-rays of the soil block discovered objects of bronze on either side of what remained of the skull including a set of three fine bronze rings and a single ring made from a twisted strip of probable bronze.
The soil blocks will now be carefully excavated to record the position of the rings relative to the remains of the skull to try and determine whether they are hair or ear rings. Provisional examination of the form and style of the rings suggest that the burial could be of Late Iron Age or Roman date and may well be an inhabitant of the nearby settlement that was found during previous work.

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New bog body found in Rossan, Co. Meath

New bog body remains (photo National Museum of Ireland)

Exciting news. The partial remains of a bog body has been uncovered in Rossan bog near Kinnegad in Co. Meath. The find was discovered by Bord na Móna workers and subsequently excavated by a team of archaeologists, led by Maeve Sikora of the National Museum of Ireland. Although as yet undated the remains were found in an area that has previously produced bog body remains (Moydrum Man) that were radiocarbon dated to the Early Iron Age (700-400 BC).

This latest addition to growing a corpus of Irish bog bodies will hopefully reveal as much information as two recent peat land discoveries. These aforementioned bog bodies, Old Croghan man and Clonycavan man, form the centre piece of the excellent Kingship and Sacrifice display at the National Museum of Ireland. What is striking about these remains is their fantastic state of preservation, something which is characteristic of bog bodies in general. This is primarily due to the cold, acidic, oxygen-free conditions that persist beneath peat bogs and which prevent decay and mummify human flesh.

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Digital Epigraphy

The Oriental Institute has released a new book titled Digital Epigraphy, a manual for the methods that they are using to record items found in their Epigraphic Survey.
During the past several decades the Epigraphic Survey has refined its conventions and recording methodologies to fit with the widely divergent nature of the inscribed surfaces we record and the changing conditions in Egypt that are resulting in the accelerating decay of those inscribed surfaces. For the past two years we have been experimenting with new digital tools, software, and equipment that have allowed us to streamline our recording process while still achieving the highest degree of accuracy, the bottom line of any scientific documentation. It has always been our aim to share these conventions and methodologies with our friends and colleagues, and it is our great pleasure to present the initial results here now. The digital formats in which this manual is made available are particularly appropriate and will be updated and changed regularly, since the manual will always be a work in progress. The possibilities are limitless.
The free volume is available from their website as either a PDF or ePub book.

Open Source Computing and GIS in the UK

Two weeks ago now saw the return of the OSGIS conference in Nottingham, after a year off in 2013 for FOSS4G. I think there had been mixed feelings about this event; those of us heavily involved in the organisation of FOSS4G 2013 had taken a back seat this year, and with FOSS4G 2014 imminent in Portland, it was clearly going to be a smaller scale get together.
I have to say that overall, my impression is that small is good! Small allows you to chat to everyone, see everything you want to see, and generally enjoy, rather than rush around like a mad man or woman. It was nice to see some new faces, and to see a number of papers from local government and business, belying the idea that OSGIS is primarily an academic event. Thanks as always to the chaps at Nottingham for organising.
Astun had a strong showing at the event, with two workshops and two presentations. My colleague Matt Walker did a workshop on OpenLayers3 and Leaflet, and I did one on WPS and PgRouting (a beginners guide). I did a quick introduction to Portable GIS, and another colleague Antony Scott did a comparison to web servers. You can see the workshops at the Astun Technology GitHub pages. As a slight techy aside, Matt and I collectively decided to try GitBookfor preparing our workshops, and we’re both very impressed. If you’re interested in a cheeky workflow for pushing a gitbook directly to GitHub gh-pages, see this gist.
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Mystery Surrounds Skeletons in Mass Grave

Further tests will be conducted on skeletons initially recovered from a centuries-old mass grave in Durham City, in the UK, in 2013.
Initial analysis on the bones of 28 individuals recovered from the site provided some evidence regarding their origins and identity, but was inconclusive.
The tests, coordinated and partly carried out by Durham University’s Department of Archaeology, included examination of the human bones by academic specialists; radiocarbon dating of two individuals and a programme of isotope analysis to ascertain diet.
The University will commission radiocarbon dating of some of the other skeletons, with results expected in the New Year.  
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Groundwater tied to human evolution

Insert shows with arrow the location of study area in eastern Africa. Map of the Northern Tanzanian Divergence Zone depicts the East African Rift System (EARS), containing Lake Natron (north), diverging around the Ngorongoro Volcanic Highland massif and splitting into two separate rift valleys (Lake Eyasi on west) and Lake Manyara (on east). Prevailing wind is from the east. Olduvai basin lies to the west of and in the rain shadow of Ngorongoro.
Credit: Map made by Sara Mana,; from Cuthbert et al., doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107358.g001

Our ancient ancestors' ability to move around and find new sources of groundwater during extremely dry periods in Africa millions of years ago may have been key to their survival and the evolution of the human species, a new study shows.
The research -- published in the journal PLOS ONE -- combines geological evidence from the Olduvai sedimentary basin in Northern Tanzania, which formed about 2.2 million years ago, and results from a hydrological model.
It shows that while water in rivers and lakes would have disappeared as the climate changed due to variations in Earth's orbit, freshwater springs fed by groundwater could have stayed active for up to 1000 years without rainfall.

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Hitting the jackpot on a dig in Gernsheim: Long lost Roman fort discovered

Legion surnamed " Primigenia Pia Fidelis ". This Roman elite unit was from the late 1st century. Chr. Kästrich in Mainz (Mogontiacum) formed the strategic backbone of the Roman frontier defense in the province of Upper Germany.
Credit: Image courtesy of Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

In the course of an educational dig in Gernsheim in the Hessian Ried, archaeologists from Frankfurt University have discovered a long lost Roman fort: A troop unit made up out of approximately 500 soldiers (known as a cohort) was stationed there between 70/80 and 110/120 AD. Over the past weeks, the archaeologists found two V-shaped ditches, typical of this type of fort, and the post holes of a wooden defensive tower as well as other evidence from the time after the fort was abandoned.
An unusually large number of finds were made. This is because the Roman troops dismantled the fort and filled in the ditches when they left. In the process they disposed of a lot of waste, especially in the inner ditch. "A bonanza for us," according to Prof. Dr. Hans-Markus von Kaenel from the Goethe University Institute of Archaeology. "We filled box after box with shards of fine, coarse and transport ceramics; dating them will allow us to determine when the fort was abandoned with greater accuracy than was possible before."
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Monday, September 15, 2014


Hypothetical reconstruction of the plain occupied by the cemetery. © Laurent Juhel / Inrap

team of archaeologists is currently conducting excavation work on 20 hectares of land in Fleury-sur-Orne (northwestern France), which is earmarked for residential development. This site has revealed an important Middle Neolithic (4500 BC) necropolis containing twenty monuments and some intact burials.
During the Middle Neolithic new types of monuments appear: constructions of earth and wood, varying in length from a few dozen to several hundred metres. These monumental tombs, the first of their kind are called “Passy” – named after the eponymous site found in Yonne (Burgundy).

Monumental funerary architecture

These large, elongated structures are bounded by ditches which may be associated with fences, and a mound entombs the deceased. In a break with past traditions, these large monuments suggest that a type of hierarchy has been introduced into society.
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Roman settlement found at new homes' site

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a Roman settlement on a site earmarked for a new development. 

The clear line of a Roman road was found on the proposed  development site [Credit: BBC] 

A University of Leicester team excavated a nine-acre site in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, as a condition of the planning permission for 48 homes. 

As well as dwelling remains, it found the line of a Roman road and burials. The development will go ahead with the site's story "preserved by record", the county council said.

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Two 1,000-year-old skeletons holding hands found by archaeologists in Leicestershire

Volunteers Lotty Wallace and Ken Wallace work on a small section of the excavation.

Centuries-old skeletons holding hands have been uncovered at a “lost” chapel by archaeologists.

The remains, of a man and a woman, were found at the Chapel of St Morrell, an ancient site of pilgrimage in Hallaton.

Tiles from a Roman building, were found underneath the chapel.

The dig, by Hallaton Fieldwork Group volunteers, has been taking place for two weeks a year for four years.

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Stonehenge researchers discover site is much larger than previously thought

Stonehenge. Photograph: Geert Verhoeven/University of Bi/PA
Stonehenge stood at the heart of a sprawling landscape of chapels, burial mounds, massive pits and ritual shrines, according to an unprecedented survey of the ancient grounds.
Researchers uncovered 17 new chapels and hundreds of archaeological features around the neolithic standing stones on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, including forms of monuments that have never been seen before.
Brought together for the first time in a digital map of the historic site, the discoveries transform how archaeologists view a landscape that was reshaped by generations for hundreds of years after the first stones were erected around 3100BC.
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Grave finds at Hungate dig in York

Archaeologists at a site in York have found glass, tiles, pots, pipes and human remains. Members of the Hungate Dig, organised by the York Archaeological Trust, have recently found items dating back to the 12th century, including cattle horn and skull fragments which were by-products of leather production from the early 19th century. 

Work under way on grave cuts along the rectory's  north wall [Credit: York Press] 

Now, all the items found are being placed into bags ready to be analysed, with trainees keeping records which will serve the trust for many years to come. 

A spokesman said: “The benefit of being quite so fussy is that the records go on to make up our final site archive – nothing is re-done and it is this archive that forms the basis of the final site report.”

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Une nécropole du Néolithique moyen à Fleury-sur-Orne

Une équipe d’archéologues de l’Inrap mène actuellement, sur prescription de l’État (Drac Basse-Normandie), une fouille de 20 hectares à Fleury-sur-Orne, dans le cadre de l’aménagement de quartiers d’habitation par Normandie Aménagement et l’agglomération de Caen-la-Mer. Le site révèle une importante nécropole du Néolithique moyen (4500 avant notre ère) contenant une vingtaine de monuments funéraires dont un tertre encore intact.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Gold coin may be key to solve Sweden's 'Pompeii'

    Archaeologists found the coin on Monday at a site on the island of Öland that's been compared to Italy's Pompeii
    A small team of archaeologists at Kalmar County museum, in collaboration with Lund University, has been digging at the site for the past three years. The team is studying the Migration Period in Scandinavian history, from about 400 to 550 AD, centuries before the Viking Age.
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    Archaeologists Find Humans Were Eating Snails 30,000 Years Ago

    Paleolithic humans of present-day Spain may have eaten snails as much as 30,000 years ago, or 10,000 years earlier than inhabitants of Mediterranean regions, according to research by Javier Fernández-López de Pablo from Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social and colleagues.
    The researchers discovered land snail shell remains dated to about 30,000 years ago at the site of Cova de la Barriada, Spain. Groupings of complete shells from a large land snail species were found in three areas of the site, corresponding to different time points. They studied these remains by investigating patterns indicating likley land snail selection, consumption, and accumulation at the site, and then analyzed the shells' decay, fossilization process, composition, and age at death by measuring the shell sizes.
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    Humans Did Not Wipe Out the Neanderthals, New Research Suggests

    Neanderthals went extinct in Europe about 40,000 years ago, giving them millennia to coexist with modern humans culturally and sexually, new findings suggest.

    This research also suggests that modern humans did not cause Neanderthals to rapidly go extinct, as some researchers have previously suggested, scientists added.

    Neanderthals are the closest extinct relatives of modern humans, and lived in Europe and Asia. Recent findings suggest that Neanderthals were closely related enough to interbreed with ancestors of modern humans — about 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of anyone outside Africa is Neanderthal in origin.

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    Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Before they left Africa, early modern humans were 'culturally diverse'

    A new study provides fresh insights into the life of early modern humans before they left Africa following a massive comparative study of stone tools.

    Researchers have carried out the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago found in the region between sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. They have discovered there are marked differences in the way stone tools were made, reflecting a diversity of cultural traditions. The study has also identified at least four distinct populations, each relatively isolated from each other with their own different cultural characteristics.

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    Archaeologists compare Neolithic Kent site to Stonehenge, find Bronze Age funerary monument

    A Neolithic ditch which became a huge funerary monument when it was enlarged with an outer ring during the Bronze Age has been found on housing development grounds in Kent

    Archaeologists suspect a “sacred way” could have led to a henge 6,000 years ago at Iwade Meadows, to the west of the Kent industrial town of Sittingbourne.

    Positioned on a north-west slope, the 30-metre diameter structure is one of several prehistoric monuments on a north-west slope above the Ridham fleet stream running through the centre of the site.

    “Its purpose is not known,” says Dr Paul Wilkinson, of excavators SWAT Archaeology.

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    More victims of 4th cent. Kourion earthquake found

    The Department of Antiquities of Cyprus has announced the completion of the 2014 excavation season of the Kourion Urban Space project (KUSP) under the direction of Dr. Thomas W. Davis of the Tandy Institute for Archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. 

    D. Soren, The day the world ended at Kourion, National Geographic, 30-53, July 1988;  
    [Credit: Martha Cooper] 

    This year’s excavations uncovered the remains of more victims of the massive earthquake that destroyed Kourion in the fourth century A.D. Initial analysis indicates the remains consist of two adults, a juvenile, and an infant.

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    Scientists Confirm Richard III Led a Royal Lifestyle

    The remains of King Richard III found in Trench 1 during the Leicester excavations. 
    Photo Credit: University of Leicester

    It is confirmed: King Richard III, whose remains were identified and exhumed in September, 2012 near Leicester, England, led a royal lifestyle, particularly during his last few years as King. A recent bone chemistry study completed by a joint scientific team from the British Geological Survey and the University of Leicester backs it up with evidence. This might seem to be a rather unnecessary confirmation for a common assumption—kings lived like, well, kings. But the same study has also revealed evidence of previously unknown changes in diet and location during his youth.

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    Silchester archaeological dig ends after 18 years

    For 18 long summers, a quiet corner of Hampshire has resounded to the sound of tapping, scraping, and sloshing. But after Saturday all that will end. 

    The Silchester dig site [Credit: BBC] 

    Silchester - the site of one of Britain's longest running archaeological digs - has revealed many secrets since 1997. 

    It's thanks to the hard work of thousands of volunteers, students and staff from Reading University that we now know much more about Iron Age life, and the early Roman period around the time of the invasion of AD 43. 

    "It's been a great experience," said Professor Michael Fulford, who has directed the annual summer dig from the beginning.

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    Remains of at least two bodies found in ancient grave

    Archaeologist Paul Murtagh excavating the Bronze Age burial cist in which the remains of at least two bodies were found

    Archaeologists have discovered the remains of at least two bodies in a Bronze Age burial cist in a remote area of the west Highlands.

    They were previously aware of one body in the ancient grave on the Ardnamurchan peninsula but they have now found more bones than could belong to another person.

    A skull found during an earlier archaeological dig at Swordle in 2010 was dated as being from around 1700BC.

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    Mystery of the ancient Gauls found dumped in a pit

    Eight skeletons including two of children dating back to the Iron Age have been found in good condition in France. 

    Eight skeletons dating back to about 500BC have been found in an ancient  grain silo near a Celtic salt mining site in Marsal, eastern France  [Credit: AFP/Getty Images] 

    The extraordinary archaeological discovery was made in Marsal, in the east of the country, in the Lorraine region, close to the border with Germany. 

    Dating back to around 500BC, all were exhumed from a wet, boggy area which was once the site of extensive salt mines, but is now surrounded by an industrial estate. 

    It is excavated most summers by a team led by Laurent Olivier, curator of the National Archaeological Museum at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris.

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    Découverte d’une occupation néandertalienne en bord de Saône

    Une séquence stratigraphique exceptionnelle

    Ce site préhistorique est implanté sur une butte lœssique dominant l’ancien lit de la Saône. Unique en Rhône-Alpes, cette séquence sédimentaire qui associe des dépôts d’origines fluviatile et éolienne, renseigne sur l’évolution de la Saône durant le Pléistocène supérieur (128 000-11 000 ans). Initialement haute de 8 m, elle est constituée d’une succession de paléosols et de lœss : le plus ancien, épais de plus de 2 m, est daté entre 55 000 
    et 35 000 ans, c’est-à-dire durant la fin du Paléolithique moyen. La fouille révèle une faune riche répartie sur trois niveaux et associée à des silex taillés abandonnés par les Néandertaliens.

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    Richard III was bottle-a-day drinker, study suggests

    Isotope samples were taken from the king's femur and teeth by researchers

    A study of the teeth and bones of Richard III show the king drank up to a bottle of wine a day in the last years of his life.
    The research by the British Geological Survey and University of Leicester revealed he also ate exotic meat including swan, crane, heron and egret.
    Samples were taken from a femur, rib and tooth after his remains were unearthed in Leicester in 2012.
    His diet was "far richer" than other high-ranking people of the time.
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    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    Polish archaeologists discovered Roman baths in Georgia

    Students from the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, explore the Roman baths. Photo by R.Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski.

    In Gonio, south of Batumi, a team of researchers has discovered baths built and used by the Roman army about 2000 years ago. "We were surprised by both the age of the structure, as well as its buid quality" - told PAP Dr. Radosław Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski, head of the excavation.
    Research is conducted inside the ancient fort Apsaros built by the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century AD. Near the fortress ran once the only convenient road from Colchis (Western Georgia) to the Roman provinces in Asia Minor.

    "In general, thermal baths built for the military were not luxurious. That is why we were surprised by the discovery of mosaics ornamenting the floor. We also unveiled a large part of cool water pool, so-called frigidarium" - described Dr. Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski.

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    Bath under Byzantine-era church to come to light soon

    The Roman bath under the Balatlar church will be completely unearthed

    A found bath under the Byzantine-era church Balatlar in the northern province of Sinop is gradually being revealed with excavations. The head of excavations, Mimar Sinan University Professor Gülgün Köroğlu said they had reached the bath and were continuing to unearth it. 

    The Sinop Balatlar Church archaeological work has been continuing since 2010 on architectural remains. Köroğlu said they were working with a 40-person team and plan to extend the excavation area through expropriation. 

    “We are mostly working on an area called ‘palesta,’ which is the big hall. Because there was a monastery on top of the structure, we are unearthing a cemetery field. Anthropologists are examining it. We also reached the pool of the Roman-era bath in lower stages. Works will continue for six more weeks. At the end of the season, we will shed light on the history of Sinop,” she said. 

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    Major finds unearthed on Hinkley bypass dig

    Important finds dating back to the Iron Age and Roman period have been uncovered at the site of a new bypass to be built as part of the Hinkley C project. 

    Archaeologists working at the site of the Cannington bypass  [Credit: Latitude Photography] 

    Archaeologists working at the site of the Cannington bypass revealed their discoveries to local residents on Thursday when EDF Energy and Somerset County Council invited local stakeholders to take a look. 

    The dig is being carried out at the site of a planned Cannington bypass which will be built to help serve the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. 

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    Greek tomb at Amphipolis is 'important discovery'

    Archaeologists know that major events took place in the area in the years after Alexander's death

    Archaeologists unearthing a burial site at Amphipolis in northern Greece have made an "extremely important find", says Greek PM Antonis Samaras.
    Experts believe the tomb belonged to an important figure dating back to the last quarter of the Fourth Century BC.
    A large mound complex has been unearthed at the Kasta hill site in the past two years.
    Lead archaeologist Katerina Peristeri said it certainly dated from after the death of Alexander the Great.
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    Medieval brewery uncovered at Northampton

    Northampton brewers have taken special interest in a medieval ‘malting’ oven found at the site of an archaeological dig in the town centre, possibly indicating the town’s first brewery. 

    Archaeologists have unearthed a medieval ‘malting’ oven in Northampton  [Credit: Northampton Chronicle] 

    Directors from Phipps Brewery and Carlsberg came to visit the large stone pit, still showing scorch marks from flames, which would have been used to roast barley and turn its starch into sugar, one of the main ingredients of beer at the time. 

    The remains were found at a dig on a former car park off St John’s Street as archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) prepare the site for the building of new Northamptonshire County Council headquarters.

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    Saturday, August 09, 2014

    Archaeology: Fifth century Christian basilica found in Bulgaria’s Bourgas

    Archaeologists working in the Kraimorie area of Bourgas on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast have found a Christian basilica said to date from the fifth century.

    The discovery of the early Christian basilica is a rare one for Bulgaria, according to Milen Nikolov, leader of the Bourgas Regional History Museum team that made the find.

    The church building is 19.5 metres long and 15 metres wide.

    At the site, the archaeological team found a chamber for storing relics and a holy water vessel.

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    Barn found at 'lost' medieval manor in Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire

    The tithe barn, which the team is in the process of excavating, measures 26m long by 7m wide (85 feet long by 23 feet wide)

    Archaeologists working on the site of a "lost" medieval manor house in Leicestershire say they have found a tithe barn, shop buildings and artefacts including a metal strap-end carved with a dragon.
    The finds were made at Croxton Kerrial, near the Lincolnshire border, where digging began in 2012.
    The 12th Century house had disappeared from maps by the 1790s.
    Tony Connolly, who is leading the dig, said the finds were "quite amazing".
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    Archaeologist try to unlock secrets of Pictish stone

    Archaeologists have released details on what they have described as the most important Pictish stone find to have been made in Moray in decades. 

    The Dandaleith Stone [Credit: Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service] 

    Weighing more than a ton and stretching to 1.7m, the Dandaleith Stone dates from the 6th to 8th Centuries and was uncovered during the ploughing of a field near Craigellachie in May 2013. 

    Because of sensitivities around the location as well as the issue of having to work out how to remove a stone of its size - and where to move it to - archaeologists have revealed little about the find until now. 

    The stone was removed from the field in April this year and taken to the Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation workshop in Leith for assessment. 

    Once this work is completed, the stone will be put on display at Elgin Museum, possibly next year.

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