Friday, December 09, 2016

An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry by Trevor Rowley


An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry is the latest book by Trevor Rowley.

“An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry provides a unique re-examination
of this famous piece of work through the historical geography and archaeology of
the tapestry. Trevor Rowley is the first author to have analysed the tapestry through
the landscapes, buildings and structures shown, such as towns and castles, while
comparing them to the landscapes, buildings, ruins and earthworks which can be
seen today. By comparing illustrated extracts from the tapestry to historical and
contemporary illustrations, maps and reconstructions Rowley is able to provide the
reader with a unique visual setting against which they are able to place the events
on the tapestry.”


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Archaeology sheds light on Mongolia’s uncertain nomadic future


As a herding lifestyle practiced for millennia is threatened by contemporary climate change, archaeology offers a long-term perspective


Around the world, traditional subsistence practices provide a resilient source of ecological knowledge that improves humanity’s ability to respond to environmental crises. In Central Asia, a herding lifestyle practiced for millennia is increasingly threatened by the speed and magnitude of climate change.
Although the global mean temperature is predicted to rise by 2C over the coming century, this trend will likely be more severe in high altitude and high latitude environments. In the subarctic steppes of Mongolia, nearly one-third of the population makes their living through migratory herding of livestock – sheep, goat, horse, cattle, camel, and yak. For these herders, the effects of climate change have been immediate and dramatic. Mongolia has experienced summer droughts, extreme winter weather, pasture degradation, a shrinking water supply, and desertification, leading to seasonal herd die-offs. These processes have a cascading effect, reinforcing other issues caused by human activity and globalisation.
How will nomadic society respond to these obstacles? Archaeology offers a long-term perspective on the relationship between people and the environment.
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Mysteries of deserted pre-Famine village on Achill Island revealed


Keem Bay on the western-most tip of Achill Island is one of the most remote spots in Ireland. Today, the beautiful valley is largely desolate, the boggy flanks of Croaghaun Mountain slope down to a sheltered white sandy beach. In summer campervans line up along the shorefront and holiday makers brave the cold sea, but during the winter the place is abandoned to sheep, the occasional hiker and the ferocious gales that lash the Atlantic coast. But there is more to the site than meets the eye. If you leave the beach, clamber up the old hairpin bend road, past the early 20th-century coastguard station, you start to notice strange lumps and bumps in the grass. This is the site of a village of over forty houses that stood in the valley c.1838.

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Archaeologists uncover clues to life of Iron Age man


Archaeologists have been able to provide insights into the life of a man whose remains were found at an Iron Age site on Orkney.
A human jaw with two teeth was discovered centrally placed in a large, carved whalebone vertebra within the ruins of a broch earlier this year.
Analysis, including radiocarbon dates, of the find on South Ronaldsay show the man died when he was 50 or older.
His diet also appears to have been unusually rich in fish.

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Anglesey dig discovers human remains at 'internationally important' neolithic site


Archaeologists have also unearthed a fourth house from the period at the Llanfaethlu dig.
CR Archeology have been working at the site since late 2014 and have called the discoveries made there "unparalleled".
More than 6,000 artefacts have been recovered which is the most of any Prehistoric site in North Wales and these include a massive range of pottery styles from both the neolithic and Bronze age.
The discovery of two partial sets of human remains could cause a "revolution" in how historians view the origins of North Wales agriculture, say CR Archeology, who have been working with Anglesey Council, Wynne Construction and Gwynedd Archaeological Planning Services.
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FOUILLES ARCHÉOLOGIQUES AU PIED DE LA TOUR SAINT-NICOLAS À LA ROCHELLE : PREMIERS RÉSULTATS


Si la première mention de La Rochelle apparaît dans une charte de l’abbaye Saint-Cyprien de Poitiers (998-1000), la ville ne se développe véritablement qu’à partir du XIIe siècle. La première enceinte de ville, probablement fondée dans les années 1160-70, permet d’asseoir le statut de cette nouvelle cité portuaire qui s’émancipe progressivement des pouvoirs locaux, notamment au début du XIIIesiècle en englobant deux nouveaux quartiers - Saint-Jean du Perrot et Saint-Nicolas.

CONTEXTE HISTORIQUE

Le quartier du Gabut, situé entre le rivage et le quartier Saint-Nicolas, est partiellement intégré à la ville à la fin du XIVe siècle, suite à la construction d’une nouvelle enceinte reliant la tour Saint-Nicolas à la porte du même nom. Ce secteur de la ville se développe ensuite progressivement. Des bâtiments très allongés (corderies, magasins pour l’artillerie) sont en effet représentés sur les plans de la période moderne et perdurent jusqu’au démantèlement de l’enceinte, à la fin du XIXe siècle.
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Researchers find overwhelming evidence of malaria's existence 2,000 years ago


MCMASTER UNIVERSITY—HAMILTON, Dec. 5, 2016 - An analysis of 2,000-year-old human remains from several regions across the Italian peninsula has confirmed the presence of malaria during the Roman Empire, addressing a longstanding debate about its pervasiveness in this ancient civilization.
The answer is in mitochondrial genomic evidence of malaria, coaxed from the teeth of bodies buried in three Italian cemeteries, dating back to the Imperial period of the 1st to 3rd centuries Common Era.
The genomic data is important, say researchers, because it serves as a key reference point for when and where the parasite existed in humans, and provides more information about the evolution of human disease.
"Malaria was likely a significant historical pathogen that caused widespread death in ancient Rome," says evolutionary geneticist Hendrik Poinar, director of McMaster's Ancient DNA Centre where the work was conducted.
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Moderner als gedacht - Neandertaler passten ihre Überlebensstrategien aktiv an


Wissenschaftler des Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment an der Universität Tübingen haben herausgefunden, dass Neandertaler auch ohne äußere Einflüsse, wie Umwelt- oder Klimaveränderungen ihre Überlebensstrategien variierten. Mit einer neuen Methode zeigen sie anhand von Karbonatisotopie an fossilen Zähnen, dass die Vorfahren der heutigen Menschen vor 250.000 Jahren moderner in ihrer Entwicklung waren als bisher gedacht.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

‘Bronze Age burial reveals its long held secret’


Archaeologists studying Neolithic and Early Bronze Age human remains in the Manx Museum collection for the ‘Round Mounds of the Isle of Man’ project have made an exciting discovery. 

Contained within a box of cremated bones excavated in 1947, osteologist Dr Michelle Gamble, discovered a collection of small bone objects that had not been noticed by the excavators. The bones had been buried almost 4000 years ago at Staarvey Farm in what is now German parish, Isle of Man. 

The site was excavated by Basil Megaw (1913-2002) who was director of the Manx Museum (1945-1957). Mr Megaw had been contacted by the farmer who had hit a large stone during ploughing. Excavations revealed a stone-built cist (a box made out of stone slabs) containing fragments of burnt bone, two flint tools, and two Collared Urns (Bronze Age pots) buried upside-down. But it is only now that the bones have been studied in detail.


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Somerset skeletons are oldest evidence of monks found in UK


Carbon dating of remains unearthed in Beckery chapel near Glastonbury indicate monastic life dating back to fifth or early sixth centuries


Skeletons excavated at a site near Glastonbury are the oldest examples of monks ever found in the UK, carbon dating has proved.
The remains, unearthed at the medieval Beckery chapel in Somerset, said to have been visited by legendary figures such as King Arthur and St Bridget, indicate a monastic cemetery dating back to the fifth or early sixth centuries AD, before Somerset was conquered by the Saxon kings of Wessex in the seventh century.
Archaeologists first located an extensive cemetery of between 50 and 60 bodies during an excavation in the 1960s. The fact all were male – apart from one female, thought to have been a visitor, nun or patron, and two juveniles, who may have been novices – left little doubt this was a monastic graveyard.
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Friday, December 02, 2016

Bitumen from Middle East discovered in 7th century buried ship in UK


Middle Eastern Bitumen, a rare, tar-like material, is present in the seventh century ship buried at Sutton Hoo, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on December 01, 2016 by Pauline Burger and colleagues from the British Museum, UK and the University of Aberdeen.
The seventh century ship found within a burial mound at Sutton Hoo, UK was first excavated in 1939 and is known for the spectacular treasure it contained including jewellery, silverware, coins, and ceremonial armour. The site is thought to be an example of the European ship-burial rites of the time, and also includes a burial chamber where a corpse was likely laid. Fragments of black organic material found in this chamber were originally identified as locally-produced 'Stockholm Tar' and linked to repair and maintenance of the ship. The authors of the present study re-evaluated these previously-identified samples, as well as other tar-like materials found at the site, using imaging techniques and isotopic analysis and found the samples had been originally misidentified.

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Sutton Hoo bitumen links Syria with Anglo-Saxon England


Analysis of black organic fragments found in the Sutton Hoo boat burial has revealed they are bitumen from Syria.
The Suffolk site was excavated in 1939. Gold and garnet jewellery, silverware and ceremonial armour were discovered. 
The small black objects scattered among the 7th Century finds were believed to be pine tar used for boat maintenance.
British Museum and Aberdeen University experts have revealed they are bitumen Andrew said they demonstrated the "far-reaching" Anglo-Saxon trade network.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

All That Glittered Was Not Gold In Roman Britain


An in-focus display of artefacts found by archaeologists as part of major project to upgrade the A1 to a motorway in North Yorkshire opens at the iconic Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle on Saturday 26 November 2016.


A carnelian intaglio of Hercules and the Lion, a brass plated boot spur and a 

bronze plated penannular brooch [Credit: The Bowes Museum]

On the opening day, The Bowes Museum and Northern Archaeological Associates will also provide family activities based on archaeological findings on the road scheme. These drop in sessions, which include creating a paper mosaic; salt dough coin making and painting; creating a Roman helmet; pottery handling and viewing animal bones, will run from 11am - 3pm in the Museum’s Education Vaults and are free for children under 16 when accompanied by an adult for whom normal Museum admission applies.

An archaeological team of around 60 people have been working along the A1 between Leeming Bar and Barton for three years as part of a Highways England scheme to install an extra lane in each direction and improve the route to motorway standards.

During that time, archaeologists working on behalf of the Carillion Morgan-Sindall Joint Venture have uncovered more than 200,000 prehistoric and Roman artefacts and sieved more than 86 tonnes of sediment samples.


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Pembroke Castle study uncovers possible Henry VII birthplace


Researchers believe they might have uncovered the location of Henry VII's birthplace at Pembroke Castle.
Aerial photographs from 2013 gave glimpses of what lay beneath the surface, with parch marks revealing possible buildings.
geophysical survey has now confirmed the outline of a late-medieval building in the outer ward, where the king could have been born.
Neil Ludlow, consultant archaeologist, said it shone new light on the castle.
Much of the interior of the castle, which dates from the 11th Century, was destroyed after the Middle Ages.

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Over 82,000 Archaeological Finds Made By Members Of Public In UK


Thousands of archaeological finds, including a huge Bronze Age gold "torc" and a hoard of 17th century silver coin clippings, were made by members of the public last year, a report reveals.


The torc is much larger than usual examples and is regarded as the best found in England in more than a century 

[Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA]

The 82,272 discoveries were made mostly by people who were metal-detecting, according to the Portable Antiquities Scheme annual report launched at the British Museum.

More than a thousand discoveries of "treasure" - such as gold or silver ornaments or coin collections and prehistoric metalwork - were made in England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year, the report reveals.

The 1,008 finds included a Roman grave in Hertfordshire and a hoard of Viking Age objects and Anglo-Saxon coins in a field near Watlington, Oxfordshire.

Archaeological items, the majority of which were found on cultivated land where items can be at risk of damage from ploughing and corrosion, ranged from thousands of stone flints to a rare Bronze Age shield in Suffolk.


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Black Death burial pit found at site of medieval abbey in Lincolnshire


Carbon dating shows skeletons are from mid-14th century, while DNA tests of teeth find presence of plague bacterium

The presence of such a burial site suggests the local community was overwhelmed by the number who died. Photograph: University of Sheffield/PA

A mass burial pit of victims of the Black Death dating back to the 14th century has been discovered near Immingham in Lincolnshire.
Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield were searching the site of Thornton Abbey, once one of the country’s biggest medieval abbeys, for evidence of a post-medieval building when they came across the grave containing 48 skeletons, 27 of them children.
Carbon dating shows the remains are from the middle of the 14th century, when the Black Death, which was most probably bubonic plague, killed an estimated 75 million to 200 million people across Europe and Asia.
Teeth samples were sent to Canada where DNA was successfully extracted and tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible for the plague, which is documented to have reached Lincolnshire in the spring of 1349.
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Dr Hugh Willmott said the mass burial was "completely unexpected"

A Black Death burial pit containing 48 skeletons, including the remains of 27 children, has been found at the site of a 14th Century monastery hospital.

The bodies were excavated at Thornton Abbey in North Lincolnshire.

Between 1347 and 1351 the "Great Pestilence" swept westward across Europe killing millions of people. It later became known as the Black Death.

It arrived on Britain's shores in 1348 and is believed to have wiped out up to 60% of the population at the time.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Altar of Miracle-Making Viking King Discovered in Norway

Archaeologists uncovered the foundations of a wooden church where the body of the Viking king Olaf Haraldsson may have been enshrined after he was declared a saint.
Credit: Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU);
Distributed Under a Creative Commons License

The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) announced Nov. 11 that its researchers had discovered the foundations of a wooden church where the body of King Olaf Haraldsson was taken immediately after he was declared a saint in 1031. St. Olaf, as he is now known, conquered and consolidated Norway in 1016 but held on to rule for a little more than a decade before his power was threatened by Canute I, king of Denmark and England. Olaf died in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030.
Now, archaeologists say they've found a key location in the king's posthumous journey from martyr to Norway's patron saint. [25 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries]
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5,000-Year-Old Hill Fort 'Damaged By Metal Detectors'


Cissbury Ring is the largest hill fort in Sussex [Credit: National Trust]

A 5,000-year-old hill fort is being damaged by the "illicit use of metal detectors", police say. The damage to Cissbury Ring, on the South Downs near Worthing, is irreversible, Sussex Police said.

The use of metal detectors on scheduled monuments is prohibited without a licence.

PCSO Daryl Holter said: "Illicit metal detecting is a shady unscrupulous act, and deliberate damage to this site is irreversible."

He said the site was protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and managed by the National Trust.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Unsealing of Christ's Reputed Tomb Turns Up New Revelations


For just 60 hours, researchers had the opportunity to examine the holiest site in Christianity. Here's what they found.

Members of the conservation team lift a stone to clean and digitally scan before reinstalling it on the façade of the Edicule, the shrine that houses what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus. 


JERUSALEM Researchers have continued their investigation into the site where the body of Jesus Christ is traditionally believed to have been buried, and their preliminary findings appear to confirm that portions of the tomb are still present today, having survived centuries of damage, destruction, and reconstruction of the surrounding Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City.


The most venerated site in the Christian world, the tomb today consists of a limestone shelf or burial bed that was hewn from the wall of a cave. Since at least 1555, and most likely centuries earlier, the burial bed has been covered in marble cladding, allegedly to prevent eager pilgrims from removing bits of the original rock as souvenirs.

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Vast 5,600-year-old religious centre discovered near Stonehenge


The centre was built more than 1,000 years before the stones of Stonehenge were erected

A reconstruction of part of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Windmill Hill, which would have been similar to the complex discovered near Stonehenge Historic England Archive/Judith Dobie

A huge, prehistoric religious and ceremonial complex has been discovered near Britain’s most famous prehistoric temple Stonehenge. 

Its discovery is likely to transform our understanding of the early development of Stonehenge’s ancient landscape.


Built about 5,650 years ago – more than 1,000 years before the great stones of Stonehenge were erected – the 200m-diameter complex is the first major early Neolithic monument to be discovered in the Stonehenge area for more than a century.

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Archaeologists explore the mecca of Roman veterans in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The team during surface survey in unfavourable conditions due to intensive agricultural activity in the fertile valley. Photo by Anna Mech

Roman veterans and other settlers built their homes and villas two thousand years ago, guided by convenience - according to a study of Polish archaeologists in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is why these structures were built on the edges of river valleys close to the road network.

"During this year's research we were able to find some previously unknown sections of Roman roads, including the Salona-Narona road that was key to the whole Roman province of Dalmatia" - explained the project leader, Tomasz Dziurdzik of the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Warsaw. Research is conducted in partnership with the University of Mostar, represented by Mirko Rašić.

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ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND 2ND ANTIQUITY FORTRESS AT PREHISTORIC, THRACIAN ROCK SHRINE NEAR BULGARIA’S ANGEL VOYVODA

A second Antiquity fortress has been found at the ancient rock shrine Hasara near Bulgaria’s Mineralni Bani. Photo: Mineralni Bani Municipality

A second previously unknown Antiquity fortress has been found by archaeologists a prehistoric and later Ancient Thracian rock shrine in an area known as Hasara near the town of Angel Voyvoda, Mineralni Bani Municipality, Haskovo District, in Southern Bulgaria.

In May-June 2016, the team of archaeologists led by Assoc. Prof. Zdravko Dimitrov from the National Institute and Museum of Archaeology in Sofia announced the discovery of an Ancient Roman fortress with an Early Christian church at the ancient rock shrine near Bulgaria’s Angel Voyvoda.

The Ancient Thracians were found to have used the Hasara shrine at about the period of the Trojan War.

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Archaeological finds on route of Inverness West Link

Burnt grains and timbers found while excavating a grain-drying kiln at Torvean

Prehistoric and Bronze Age finds have been made during work to construct the new Inverness West Link road.
Pottery fragments and the remains of kilns used for drying grain were among discoveries made at Torvean.
Archaeologists who have been monitoring the building of the West Link displayed some of the items at Lochardil Primary School last week.
The new road is being built for Highland Council to ease traffic flow through Inverness.
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York to reopen Vikings of Jorvik attraction 16 months after floods


The December 2015 floods that forced the Vikings of Jorvik attraction to close. 
Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

It’s almost a year since Sarah Maltby, sat comfortably at home on her sofa in the sleepy days after Christmas, got a phone call to warn her that the Vikings of Jorvik were up to their waists in water.
“The first I knew of it was a call from the staff on duty saying the centre was open, there were visitors inside, but water was starting to pour in and what should they do,” the director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust said. “There was only one answer. Get the visitors out and close immediately.”
Jorvik, the unique visitor attraction under the streets of York and built on an archaeology site that revealed the real everyday lives of its Viking residents, has been closed ever since. It has only just announced a reopening date in April 2017.
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