Monday, March 19, 2018

Viking expert certain Norse seafarers visited Miramichi, Chaleur Bay

Birgitta Wallace, senior archaeologist emerita with Parks Canada, says she believes Vikings had summer camps in New Brunswick's Miramichi and Chaleur Bay area. 
(Contributed/Rob Ferguson)

Did Vikings visit New Brunswick's Miramichi and Chaleur Bay areas? According to the research done by Birgitta Wallace, senior archaeologist emerita with Parks Canada, they did. 

"I'm really convinced that the Vikings did visit that area. Not all my colleagues would agree with me," said the woman who's been studying Vikings for 50 years.

While she is certain the Vikings did spend time in Miramichi and Chaleur Bay, she says she is not hopeful of ever finding anything to prove it.

Wallace said she determined that the second location that Vikings visited in North America, known as "Hóp," meaning "tidal lagoon," was in the Miramichi and Chaleur region after she studied the Vikings sagas. She also drew on her extensive work at L'Anse aux Meadows, located on the very northern tip of Newfoundland. 

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Archaeologists Closer to Finding Lost Viking Settlement

The only known Viking site in North America is located at L'anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. It was declared a World Heritage site.
Credit: WendyCotie/Shutterstock

A lost Viking settlement known as "Hóp," which has been mentioned in sagas passed down over hundreds of years, is said to have supported wild grapes, abundant salmon and inhabitants who made canoes out of animal hides. Now, a prominent archaeologist says the settlement likely resides in northeastern New Brunswick.

If Hóp is found it would be the second Viking settlement to be discovered in North America. The other is at L'Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland.

Over the decades, scholars have suggested possible locations where the remains of Hóp might be found, including Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick (on the east coast of Canada), Nova Scotia, Maine, New England and New York. However, using the description of the settlement from sagas of Viking voyages, along with archaeological work carried out at L'Anse aux Meadows and at Native American sites along the east coast of North America, an archaeologist has narrowed down the likely location of Hóp to northeastern New Brunswick. The likeliest location there? The Miramichi-Chaleur bay area. 

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Site of huge Iron Age feast celebration found on Orkney

Windwick Bay at South Ronaldsay, close to the site of the massive cliff top feast held more than 1,700 years ago. PIC:

Archaeologists have identified the site of a huge Iron Age feast on Orkney where more than 10,000 animals were cooked and eaten in a vast cliff top celebration. 

Tests have shown that horses, cattle, red deer and otters were on the menu at the gathering above Windwick Bay, South Ronaldsay, more than 1,700 years ago.

Archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands have been working at The Cairns for several years. 

A large number of jewellery fragments and tools have already been discovered at the site, where the remains of an Iron Age broch and metalworking site can be found, with recent radiocarbon tests carried out at a midden - or rubbish tip - nearby.

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Utrecht’s history goes back 11,000 years, archaeologists say

The history of Utrecht begins at least 8,000 years earlier than was previously thought, local broadcaster RTV Utrecht reported this week. 

The discovery was made when archaeologists were digging at the site of the Prinses Máxima Centrum for children with cancer ahead of its expansion. 

The dig yielded traces of human habitation and objects from the early Stone Age, with some indications that Utrecht started as far back as 11,000 BC. 

‘There have been prehistoric finds in Leidsche Rijn and Hoograven, particularly from the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. But this discovery means the history of Utrecht started 8,000 years earlier than the history books tell us,’ Utrecht alderman Kees Geldof told the broadcaster. 

Not only were older indications of a human presence found at the site but the dig also showed evidence that the site had been inhabited without interruption throughout the Stone Age.

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Alchemy, flushing toilets and blood-letting: The secrets of medieval Oxford revealed

Exclusive: Investigators have found writing equipment, cutlery and even ceramic beer mugs used by students and teachers going back 800 years

Oxford’s medieval secrets: a panorama of the development site and excavations 
Photos Oxford Archaeology

Archaeologists have been unearthing the realities of daily life at Oxford University – as they were experienced some seven centuries ago.

In one of Britain’s largest-ever urban excavations, investigators have found the writing equipment, refectory cutlery and even ceramic beer mugs used by students and teachers back in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.

They’ve even been able to rediscover what Oxford’s medieval scholars were eating – a very wide range of food including beef, lamb, goose, salmon, trout and eggs.

For the first time for many centuries, archaeologists were able to see substantial parts of one of the university’s greatest medieval teaching institutions – a friary established by Franciscan friars in 1224.

It was of pivotal importance in the history of Oxford University.

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Major dig to begin at Carrickfergus Castle

A major archaeological excavation at the front of Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim, will begin later.
The dig will inform the next phase of conservation and presentation at the historic site.
Carrickfergus Castle is one of Northern Ireland's best-known historic monuments.
It has been in state care since 1928, and is now managed by the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities (DfC).
It dates back to the 1170s and is one of the most complete examples of Norman architecture in Northern Ireland, and one of the most complete castles of its type on the British Isles.
The excavation will investigate the ground at the entrance to the castle, where earlier investigations revealed buried structures and artefacts.

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Archaeological treasures hiding in London's mud

Continuing a tradition popularised by the Victorians, "mudlarkers" scour the foreshore of the Thames in search of historical treasures.
Two thousand years of human history are revealed by the low tide on London’s largest archaeological site and we spoke to the foreshore’s mudlarkers about their favourite finds.
At around 5am every morning, mudlarkers like Nick Stevens set out to explore the foreshore's offering.

Megalodon toothImage copyrightN.STEVENS
Image captionMegalodon was an ancient kind of shark

Nick came to mudlarking through his childhood interests in fossil hunting which explains how he managed to spot a rare Megalodon tooth in the barge bed.

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Thursday, March 01, 2018

15,000-year-old artefacts discovered along Scotland's Aberdeen bypass

Artefacts and structures found during archaeological excavations on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie to Tipperty (AWPR/B-T) project are shedding light on land use and settlement in the north east over the past 15,000 years, including Mesolithic pits, Roman bread ovens, prehistoric roundhouses and a cremation complex.

A beaker from the Chalcolithic period; a fluted carinated bowl from early Neolithic times;
impressed ware from the middle Neolithic 
[Credit: Transport Scotland]

Since the archaeological excavations were completed, specialists have been analysing the artefacts and samples recovered from the various sites and will be detailing the results in a new limited edition book due to be published later this year.

Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work said: “When complete, the AWPR will help to reduce congestion, cut journey times, improve safety and lower pollution in Aberdeen City Centre, as well as enable local authorities to develop public transport solutions."

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Remains of Welshpool's medieval castle excavated

Archaeologists have resumed a dig at Welshpool's medieval castle.

Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) held an open day at Victoria Bowling Club on Saturday from 10:00 GMT to 16:00 to present their findings to the public.

Previous excavations found that parts of the building were well preserved.

"This year we are exploring the ditch around the castle mound," said CPAT community archaeologist Alex Sperr.

Volunteers have been helping the trust to excavate the site.

"Although the castle is on a prominent site not many people know about it, and it is great that we can help raise the profile of this important piece of Welsh heritage," said Mr Sperr.

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The Future of London’s Past

Unfortunately, Martin Biddle's lecture 'Central Considerations: Winchester, the birth of Urban Archaeology, and The Future of London’s Past’ due to be held at the Museum of London on Friday, 2 March has had to be cancelled owing to transport problems due to the severe weather.

Monday, February 26, 2018

This Roman ‘gate to hell’ killed its victims with a cloud of deadly carbon dioxide

The ancient city of Hierapolis, located in modern-day Turkey 

Is it possible to walk through the gates of hell and live? The Romans thought so, and they staged elaborate sacrifices at what they believed were entrances to the underworld scattered across the ancient Mediterranean. The sacrifices—healthy bulls led down to the gates of hell—died quickly without human intervention, but the castrated priests who accompanied them returned unharmed. Now, a new study of one ancient site suggests that these “miracles” may have a simple geological explanation.

Rediscovered just 7 years ago, the gate to hell at the ancient city of Hierapolis, in modern-day Turkey, is a stone doorway leading to a small cavelike grotto. The gate was built into one wall of a rectangular, open-aired arena, topped by a temple and surrounded by raised stone seating for visitors. The city itself sits in one of the region’s most geologically active areas; 2200 years ago, its thermal springs were believed to have great healing powers. But a deep fissure running beneath Hierapolis constantly emits volcanic carbon dioxide (CO2), which pours forth as a visible mist. The gate—also known as the Plutonium, for Pluto, the god of the underworld—is built directly above it. In 2011, archaeologists showed that the gate is still deadly: Birds that fly too close suffocate and die.

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Britain's prehistoric catastrophe revealed

Ancient Britons may have been nearly wiped out by bubonic plague brought by newcomers to the island

The builders of Stonehenge are thought to be the last of Britain's neolithic people Getty
Extraordinary new genetic evidence is revealing how Britain experienced a mysterious almost total change in its population in just a few centuries after the construction of Stonehenge.

It suggests that some sort of social, economic or epidemiological catastrophe unfolded.

The great 20-30 tonne stones of Stonehenge were erected by Neolithic farmers whose ancestors had lived in Britain for at least the previous 1,500 years – and new genetic research on 51 skeletons from all over Neolithic Britain has now revealed that during the whole of the Neolithic era, the country was inhabited mainly by olive-skinned, dark-haired Mediterranean-looking people.

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The Archaeology of Wealth Inequality

Researchers trace the income gap back more than 11,000 years

When the last of the volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius settled over Pompeii in A.D. 79, it preserved a detailed portrait of life in the grand Roman city, from bristling military outposts to ingenious aqueducts. Now researchers say the eruption nearly 2,000 years ago also captured clues to one of today’s most pressing social problems.
Analyzing dwellings in Pompeii and 62 other archaeological sites dating back 11,200 years, a team of experts has ranked the distribution of wealth in those communities. Bottom line: economic disparities increased over the centuries and technology played a role. The findings add to our knowledge of history’s haves and have-nots, an urgent concern as the gulf between the 1 percent of ultra-rich and the rest of us continues to grow.
“We wanted to be able to look at the ancient world as a whole and draw connections to today,” says Michael E. Smith, an archaeologist at Arizona State University, who took part in the study. The research is being published this month in Ten Thousand Years of Inequality, a book edited by Smith and Timothy Kohler of Washington State University.
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Ancient Britons 'replaced' by newcomers

Beaker pottery starts to appear in Britain around 4,500 years ago

The ancient population of Britain was almost completely replaced by newcomers about 4,500 years ago, a study shows.

The findings mean modern Britons trace just a small fraction of their ancestry to the people who built Stonehenge.

The astonishing result comes from analysis of DNA extracted from 400 ancient remains across Europe.

The mammoth study, published in Nature, suggests the newcomers, known as Beaker people, replaced 90% of the British gene pool in a few hundred years.

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Archaeologists have found the Roman Baths oldest mosaic

Dr Sarah Morton said the find will "continue to develop our understanding of the Roman Baths"
Archaeologists have made "a very exciting discovery" during excavations at an historic Roman baths site.

The oldest mosaic ever found at the site in Bath has been discovered by local volunteer Fiona Medland.

Ms Medland said she was "totally stunned" as this was her "first real find and a dream come true" after 10 years of volunteering with the Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS)

Historic England are in discussion with the team on the best way to uncover it.

Stephen Clews, manager of the Roman Baths, said: "So far, just a few of the small cubes of stone that make up the floor have been uncovered. They are a creamy buff colour and are made from local stone. They are small in size, about one centimetre square, and carefully laid.

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Roman boxing gloves unearthed by Vindolanda dig

The gloves were "skilfully made" about 2,000 years ago

Roman boxing gloves unearthed during an excavation near Hadrian's Wall have gone on public display.

Experts at Vindolanda, near Hexham, in Northumberland, believe they are "probably the only known surviving examples from the Roman period".

Dr Andrew Birley, Vindolanda Trust director of excavations, described the leather bands as an "astonishing" find.

The gloves were discovered last summer along with a hoard of writing tablets, swords, shoes and bath clogs.

Made of leather, they were designed to fit snugly over the knuckles and have the appearance of a protective guard.

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13,500-year-old carved bison bone fished from the bottom of the North Sea

he carved bison bone was fished out of the North Sea in 2005 and dates to the last Ice Age 
[Credit: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden]

Late Ice Age hunter gatherers roamed the area that became the North Sea but very little evidence of their presence has been found. But sometimes the sea floor yields treasures that shed light on the period. This is a confirmation, the article says, of ‘the importance of continental shelves as archaeological archives’.

In 2005 a Dutch fishing vessel caught a bison bone in its nets on the border of the Dutch part of the continental shelf. The bone, which had a distinctive zigzag pattern carved in it, ended up in the hands of a collector who, the NRC writes, ‘had good contacts with fishermen’ and agreed to let experts at the Leiden archaeological museum take a look at it.

Carbon isotope analysis showed the bone to be 13,500 years old and part of a culture that decorated animal bones with zigzag and herringbone motives. Only three other similarly carved objects have been discovered so far: a horse’s jaw in Wales, deer antlers in Northern France and moose antlers in Poland.

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Remains of Roman road found in Northumberland

A drone shot looks down at the Devil's Causeway, in Northumberland 
[Credit: AAG Archaeology]

The road can be traced from Portgate on Hadrian’s Wall, near the Errington Arms, to the mouth of the River Tweed, but parts of it have remained uncovered.

A long feature crossing the site north of Matfen divided the opinion of experts, with some believing it to be the remains of the Devil’s Causeway and others suggesting it was merely an old dry stone wall.

In an attempt to put the question to bed, AAG Archaeologists cut several trenches to view a cross section of the remains, and found a defining characteristic of the Roman road.

The team discovered a stone spine, seen at excavations of the Devil’s Causeway near Netherwitton in 2001 and Shellbraes in 1937.

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The Guardian view on Neanderthals: we were not alone

Drawing of Panel 78 in La Pasiega by Breuil et al (1913). The red scalariform (ladder) symbol has a minimum age of 64,000 years but it is unclear if the animals and other symbols were painted later. Photograph: Breuil et al

The three human subspecies known to have hybridised to produce the present human population of the planet, Neanderthals, Homo sapiens and Denisovans, last had a common ancestor more than half a million years ago. Until now it has been assumed that the only branch of her descendants to think symbolically was us, Homo sapiens. In fact, until the development of sequencing techniques sensitive enough to work on ancient DNA, it was thought that the other two species had died out entirely, rather than leaving portions of their genome in European and Melanesian populations respectively. But the discovery, reported last week, of palaeolithic art at four sites in Spain that dates from the time when the peninsula was occupied only by Neanderthals, shows that they worked with symbols of stone and paint.

We have no idea what these markings mean. That is in the nature of symbolism, and indeed of language: the meaning of a sound, or a marking on the wall, is given by the community that uses it; it can’t be read by outsiders. We already know that Neanderthals were anatomically equipped for speech; their use of painted symbols suggests that they could make audible symbols and not just visible ones.

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Neanderthals – not modern humans – were first artists on Earth, experts claim

Paintings on a section of the La Pasiega cave wall, including a ladder shape composed of red horizontal and vertical lines. Photograph: P. Saura/PA

More than 65,000 years ago, a Neanderthal reached out and made strokes in red ochre on the wall of a cave, and in doing so, became the first known artist on Earth, scientists claim.

The discovery overturns the widely-held belief that modern humans are the only species to have expressed themselves through works of art.

In caves separated by hundreds of miles, Neanderthals daubed, drew and spat paint on walls producing artworks, the researchers say, tens of thousands of years before modern humans reached the sites.

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A rare Neanderthal hand axe found in a long lost cave in Wales

Image courtesy National Museum Cardiff

Elizabeth Walker, Palaeolithic & Mesolithic Archaeologist and Head of Collections at National Museum Cardiff, talks about a Neanderthal hand axe, which dates back to c. 60,000-35,000 BC

This hand axe was found during excavations at Coygan Cave, near Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, in advance of the cave’s destruction by quarrying in the 1960s. It is of a form typically made by a Neanderthal and was left at the cave with another similar tool sometime between 60,000 and 35,000 years ago.

Findings like this hint that Neanderthals may have lived in the Carmarthenshire area, but we have no evidence of their physical remains. The two axes we have were found near the wall of the cave, and it’s been suggested they were deliberately cached by their owners, who intended to return to the cave to use them on a future visit.

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The Future of London’s Past

Central Considerations: Winchester,
the birth of Urban Archaeology, and
The Future of London’s Past’

A Lecture by

Martin Biddle
The First President of EMAS

Friday, 2nd March 2018


Activity Space 1, Clore Learning Centre
Museum of London, London Wall

FREE TO EMAS AND LAMAS MEMBERS                                                             

Friday, February 16, 2018

Into the light: how lidar is replacing radar as the archaeologist’s map tool of choice

From the ground, structures in the dense Belize jungle were hard to map, but airborne lidar devices revealed details of a site that covered 200 sq km with agricultural terraces everywhere. 
Photograph: Caracol Archaeological Project, University of Central Florida

Colorado State University archaeologist Chris Fisher found out about lidar in 2009. He was surveying the ruins of Angamuco in west-central Mexico the traditional way, with a line of grad students and assistants walking carefully while looking at the ground for bits of ceramics, the remains of an old foundation or even a tomb.

He had expected to find a settlement, but instead he happened upon a major city of the Purepecha empire, rivals of the Aztecs in the centuries immediately preceding the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1519.

The site covered 13 sq km; traditional surveying would have taken years, so he turned to a technology that uses pulses of light to penetrate the forest and ground cover to reveal what lay beneath. “In two seasons we had surveyed only two square kilometres,” Fisher said. But with this new technology – lidar – “we mapped the entire city in 45 minutes.”

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Laser scanning reveals 'lost' ancient Mexican city 'had as many buildings as Manhattan'

Groundbreaking lidar scanning reveals the true scale of Angamuco, built by the Purépecha from about 900AD

Archaeology might evoke thoughts of intrepid explorers and painstaking digging, but in fact researchers say it is a high-tech laser mapping technique that is rewriting the textbooks at an unprecedented rate.
The approach, known as light detection and ranging scanning (lidar) involves directing a rapid succession of laser pulses at the ground from an aircraft.
The time and wavelength of the pulses reflected by the surface are combined with GPS and other data to produce a precise, three-dimensional map of the landscape. Crucially, the technique probes beneath foliage – useful for areas where vegetation is dense.
Earlier this month researchers revealed it had been used to discover an ancient Mayan city within the dense jungles of Guatemala, while it has also helped archaeologists to map the city of Caracol – another Mayan metropolis.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Northumberland Bronze Age skeleton: Whose bones are these?

Sanita Nezirovic has been investigating the Bronze Age remains

Forensic scientists have been analysing Bronze Age bones found in a field - but how do they work out who the person was?

In September 2017, a farmer near Rock, Northumberland, preparing his field for drainage discovered a burial cist - or stone coffin - containing a skeleton and a jug.

Sanita Nezirovic, a lecturer in forensic science at the University of Derby, was tasked with finding out whose bones they were.

She has looked at the remains of hundreds of people, dating from the Bronze Age to modern times.

In each case she creates a "presumptive profile", detailing facts such as the person's sex, age and height.

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Bizarre 'Spider Stones' Found at Site of Neolithic Sun-Worshipers

Two of the 5,000-year-old "spider stones" unearthed on the Danish island on Bornholm.
Credit: Bornholm Museum

Strangely marked stones and other artifacts unearthed on the island of Bornholm in Denmark have raised new mysteries about a Neolithic sun-worshipping religion centered there about 5,000 years ago.

The new finds include "spider stones," inscribed with pattern like a spider's web, and a piece of copper from a time when the metal could not be made by the island's Stone Age inhabitants, say the researchers.

The handful of newfound spider stones look a little like hundreds of inscribed "sun stones" or "solar stones" — solsten in Danish — found since the 1990s amid the remains of an earthen-walled Neolithic enclosure, about 650 feet (200 m) across, at the Vasagard archaeological site on Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, between the southern tip of Sweden and the coast of Poland.

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8,000-Year-Old Heads on Stakes Found in Mysterious Underwater Grave

None of the human skulls had jaw bones. There was one human jaw bone at the site, but it wasn't associated with any of the skulls.

The discovery of a burial containing 8,000-year-old battered human skulls, including two that still have pointed wooden stakes through them, has left archaeologists baffled, according to a new study from Sweden.

It's hard to make heads or tails of the finding: During the Stone Age, the grave would have sat at the bottom of a small lake, meaning that the skulls would have been placed underwater. Moreover, of the remains of at least 11 adults placed on top of the grave, only one had a jawbone, the researchers said.

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Neanderthals' lack of drawing ability may relate to hunting techniques

Replica of drawing of lions painted in the Chauvet Cave. Art in the cave has been identified 
as created by early modern humans [Credit: UC Davis]

Neanderthals had large brains and made complex tools but never demonstrated the ability to draw recognizable images, unlike early modern humans who created vivid renderings of animals and other figures on rocks and cave walls. That artistic gap may be due to differences in the way they hunted, suggests a University of California, Davis, expert on predator-prey relations and their impacts on the evolution of behaviour.

Neanderthals used thrusting spears to bring down tamer prey in Eurasia, while Homo sapiens, or modern humans, spent hundreds of thousands of years spear-hunting wary and dangerous game on the open grasslands of Africa.

Richard Coss, a professor emeritus of psychology, says the hand-eye coordination involved in both hunting with throwing spears and drawing representational art could be one factor explaining why modern humans became smarter than Neanderthals.

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Major Neolithic ceremonial enclosure uncovered at Windsor

An aerial view of the site of the Neolithic causewayed enclosure 
[Credit: Wessex Archaeology]

A major 5,500 year old Neolithic ceremonial gathering place known as a causewayed enclosure has been partially uncovered within sight of Windsor Castle in Berkshire. The discovery was made at Riding Court Farm, near Datchet as part of CEMEX UK’s archaeological programme on the quarrying site, which is monitored on behalf of the local planning authority by Berkshire Archaeology.

Defined by encircling bank and ditch segments with gap entrances, such sites represent some of the earliest known acts of monument building in Britain. Around 80 monuments have been identified across Britain, and others are known on the Continent. The Riding Court causewayed enclosure may have been seasonally occupied, a place where communities gathered to undertake ceremonial feasting, exchange of goods, the marking of festivals and social obligations. Imported objects found in other enclosures suggest trade and exchange of exotic objects (stone axes and pottery), while evidence of feasting and human burials are known from other sites.

One feature is the deliberate consumption and wasting of meat and the exposure of human remains including the placing of skulls in the base of ditches. There are signs that pots were deliberately smashed perhaps as festivities came to a close.

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Mystery of 8,000-Year-Old Impaled Human Heads Has Researchers Stumped

Archaeologists have never before encountered this grisly phenomenon in Mesolithic Scandinavia, and they're hard-pressed to explain it.

Impaled Mesolithic Skull 
found on the bottom of a shallow lake in Kanaljorden #Sweden
ca. 7,000 years old 

In 2009, a new railway bridging southern Sweden's Motala Ström River was slated for construction. But then, archaeologists began turning up artifacts there that were thousands of years old. Over the next few years, animal bones, tools made from antlers, wooden stakes, and bits of human skull were found in the bog's lime sediment.

The remains belonged to Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, a group that existed around 8,000 years ago between the Old and New Stone Ages. These societies have been known to show respect for the bodily integrity of their dead—that is, until now. (Related: "Mysterious Graves Discovered at Ancient European Cemetery")

In 2011, Fredrik Hallgren of the Cultural Heritage Foundation led an archaeological project on the Kanaljorden excavation site near the Motala Ström River. When the team began excavating the site, they uncovered the first known instance of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers mounting human skulls on stakes. (Related: "Archaeologists Discover New Mass Grave From Notorious Shipwreck")

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Discovery of Windsor neolithic monument excites archaeologists

Scientists expect to uncover entire circuit of causewayed enclosure at Berkshire quarry

An aerial view of the site of the Neolithic causewayed enclosure. 
Photograph: Wessex Archaeology

A neolithic monument has been discovered less than two miles from Windsor Castle. Dating from 5,500 years ago, it is one of the earliest known examples of monument-building in Britain.

A ceremonial gathering place known as a causewayed enclosure has been revealed with the discovery of a series of encircling ditches, artificial boundaries with gap entrances, at a vast site in Berkshire.

Archaeologists have found extensive quantities of animal bones as well as decorated pottery sherds, and evidence that pots were deliberately smashed, perhaps as festivities came to a boisterous close. Other finds include finely worked, leaf-shaped flint arrowheads, serrated blades, stone axes and grinding stones.

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Ancient artefacts found during Hornsea Project One wind farm work

Thousands of artefacts and archaeological remains have been found during work to bury underground cables for an offshore wind farm.
Coins, brooches, pottery and evidence of an Anglo-Saxon settlement are among the finds unearthed during preparatory work for Hornsea Project One.
Other discoveries include two bodies dating as far back as Roman times.
The wind farm will be off the Yorkshire coast, but a 25-mile onshore cable will reach a North Lincolnshire substation.
From 2015, excavations have taken place along the cable route from Horseshoe Point, east of Tetney, to North Killingholme.

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Book of Kells: History of world’s most famous medieval manuscript rewritten after dramatic new research

Lavishly illustrated 1,200-year-old copy of Gospels previously thought to have been thought to have been created as one book

The Book of Kells is the centrepiece of an exhibition which attracts over 500,000 visitors to Trinity College in Dublin each year Jeff Pioquinto/Flickr
New research is rewriting the history of the world’s most famous early medieval manuscript – a lavishly illustrated 1,200-year-old copy of the Gospels known today as the Book of Kells.

It had always been assumed that the work – which includes 150 square feet of spectacular coloured illustrations – was conceived and created as one book, containing all four Gospels.

But a detailed analysis of the texts has led a leading expert on early medieval illuminated manuscripts, Dr Bernard Meehan of Trinity College, Dublin, to conclude that the book was originally two separate works that were, in the main, created up to half a century apart

Dr Meehan's new hypothesis suggests that the last part of the Book of Kells (namely St John’s Gospel) and the first few pages of St Mark’s Gospel were created by a potentially quite elderly scribe on the Scottish island of Iona sometime during the last quarter of the eighth century.

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Second century AD Roman villa discovered in Warwick

It is thought the Roman villa was in use for about 200 years

The remains of a "second century" Roman villa including a building "the size of a medieval church" have been found.

The building - in Warwick - shows agricultural use with corn drying ovens and also a "suite of domestic rooms", where the Romans would sleep and eat.

Archaeologists said the estate of which it formed part would have been the largest in the region of its time and spread along the Avon's banks.

The county council said the find would be "preserved" under a new school.

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Rare Roman find unearthed at new school building site

The previously unknown Roman villa which has been unearthed in Warwick.

THE remains of a previously unknown Roman building – the largest ever seen in the region – have been discovered during building work on a new school.

Wall foundations for a large aisled structure the size of a medieval church have been unearthed on Banbury Road in Warwick, to where King’s High School is relocating.

Archaeologists say the building most likely forms a component of a large villa estate, which must have spread along the banks of the Avon and been connected to the Roman road system, and early indications suggest it developed in the 2nd century AD and probably went out of use in the 4th century.

Constructed of local sandstone, over 28m long by 14.5m wide, the villa would have been the largest building ever seen in the region.

Corn drying ovens, both inside and outside the structure, attest to an agricultural function, although internal wall divisions at the opposite end of the building probably indicate a suite of domestic rooms.

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Housebuilder uncovers Iron Age chamber on Lewis

A 2,000-year-old underground chamber has been uncovered during work to build a house on the Isle of Lewis.
The Iron Age soutterrain was revealed during the digging of the foundations for the property in Ness.
Local archaeologists, husband and wife team Chris and Rachel Barrowman, are recording the soutterrain.
Mr Barrowman said theories on the purpose of the stone-lined, flat stone-roofed structures included storing food.

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