Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Lost Greek statue of Zeus remade with 3D printing

The original statue was made of wood, ivory and gold but the recreation is entirely thermoplastics

An ancient Greek statue of Zeus has been recreated using 3D printing, after it was lost in the 5th Century.
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the statue of Zeus at Olympia was recorded only in descriptions and illustrations on coins.
3D printing firms Stratasys and 3DPTree made the recreation for the Millennium Gate Museum in the US city of Atlanta.
One expert in classical sculpture said 3D printing was a "powerful tool" for learning about lost artefacts.
The Greek statue was roughly 13m tall but the 3D-printed version stands at a more modest 1.8m.
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Danish archaeologists find mysterious well

The mysterious site was found near Aars west of the Limfjord in northeastern Jutland (photo: Google Maps)

Danish archaeologists have discovered a mysterious New Stone Age construction near the town of Aars in northeastern Jutland.
“I never use the word sensation, but I must admit this is as close as it gets,” Bjarne Nielsen, the leader of the research team and curator at Vesthimmerlands Museum, told newspaper Nordjyske Stiftstidende.
“We have not seen anything like it before.”
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Roman goddess unearthed at South Shields culture spot

Delighted volunteers at a South Shields culture spot had a blast from the past after unearthing a Roman goddess. 

Volunteers from the WallQuest community archaeology project and the Earthwatch Institute made the startling discovery at Arbeia Roman Fort. 

The dramatic discovery is a beautifully crafted miniature bronze figure of the Roman goddess Ceres which is thought to be a mount from a larger piece of furniture. 

Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, grain and fertility which is a highly appropriate goddess for Arbeia because it was a supply base where thousands of tons of grain were stored in granaries to feed the army stationed along Hadrian’s Wall.

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Restored Pompeii kitchens show how Romans cooked

The ancient Roman kitchens of a Pompeii launderette have once again been kitted out with pots and pans as part of a new project that is trying to give visitors a sense of what day-to-day life in the city was like.

The kitchens at the Fullonica di Stephanus 
[Credit: Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii]

Before they were buried by a volcanic eruption in AD 79, the kitchens once provided food for the hungry attendants of the three-storey launderette, the Fullonica di Stephanus.

The Fullonica was the place where wealthy Roman patricians sent their togas to be washed in huge baths using clay and urine. The garments were then rinsed, dried and placed on special presses to ensure they returned to their noble owners crease-free.

Thanks to a refurbishment which finished on Monday, the kitchens inside the Fullonica now appear as they did 2,000 years ago, complete with metal grills, pots, pans and earthenware crockery.

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Luxury at Tintagel in the Early Medieval Period

This summer archaeologists have been excavating in Cornwall at Tintagel, the famous site for Arthurian Legend. The results are exhilarating.

English Heritage, which runs Tintagel, recently commissionedCornwall Archaeological Unit to carry out onsite excavations at Tintagel, the famous seat of the legendary King Arthur.
The first phase of excavations, which took place in July, included digging trenches in two previously unexcavated terrace areas of the island settlement. It was hoped research into these carefully chosen areas would reveal more about how the people of Tintagel lived in the Post-Roman period from 5th to 6th centuries AD.

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Archaeological Finds In Bulgaria: July 2016 Highlights

The month of July 2016 saw the traditional archaeological season in Bulgaria in full swing, with finds at digs in various parts of the country – from an 8000-year-old settlement in Sofia to the rock tomb of a Thracian princess near Benkovski to the long-awaited unearthing of the eastern gate of Perperikon – producing headlines.

An aerial shot showing the excavated section of the prehistoric, ancient, and medieval rock city of Perperikon  in Southern Bulgaria, i.e. almost fully excavated acropolis 
[Credit: Nikolay Ovcharov]

At the beginning of July, it was announced that a team of Bulgarian archaeologists had uncovered the remains of an early Neolithic settlement, dating back 8000 years, in the Slatina neighbourhood of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia.

It has long been known by archaeologists that the oldest human settlement in Sofia was in Slatina.

In recent days, archaeologists had come across the remains of two burnt houses, of an impressive size for the age. The head of research, Professor Vassil Nikolov, said that the structures were 150 square metres, with three rooms and two additional business premises.

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Huge Merovingian Cemetery Discovered Near Somme

Recently a very large Merovingian cemetery was discovered. With more than 600 graves the medieval archaeologists from INRAP are excited.

This summer, as part of the construction of a school in the village of Monchy-Lagache east of Amiens in Somme, an archaeological evaluation has – as is required by French law – been carried out . Huge was the amazement, when the archaeologists found a unique cemetery.

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Monday, August 01, 2016

American student finds 12th century Irish brooch on a Galway Beach

McKenna McFadden, an Irish American film and television major at New York University, is in Dublin for the summer with an NYU program. She was walking on the shore of Oney Island in Connemara in the west of Ireland this week when something sitting in the sand caught her eye.

Little did she think it would be a rare artifact from the 12th century.

The NYU Dublin group was being led on a tour of the island by the Connemara-based archaeologist Michael Gibbons.

As McFadden told IrishCentral, “I had been looking at some rabbit burrows with my friend while on a tour of the island lead by archaeologist Michael Gibbons. When stepping back from the burrows, I looked down and saw the back of the brooch and picked it up.

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Ceres Figurine Found In South Shields

A beautifully crafted miniature bronze figure of the Roman goddess Ceres was found by volunteers from the WallQuest community archaeology project and the Earthwatch Institute at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields.

The figure of the Roman goddess Ceres uncovered in South Shields 
[Credit: Arbeia Fort]

The artifact thought to be a mount from a larger piece of furniture. Ceres was the goddess of agriculture, grain and fertility which is a highly appropriate goddess for Arbeia because it was a supply base where thousands of tons of grain were stored in granaries to feed the army stationed along Hadrian’s Wall.

This is the second goddess that the WallQuest project has found at Arbeia in two years. In 2014, a local volunteer found a carved stone head of a protective goddess, ortutela.

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High-Tech Tools Yield Roman Discovery

A team of Duke scholars and students spent this summer at two historic sites in Italy and made significant discoveries. The team, based in part in the dig@lab, a digital laboratory run by Maurizio Forte, a professor of classical studies and art, art history and visual studies, discovered two Roman Empire-era facilities, a public building and an amphitheater.

The project team included Duke faculty members Bill Seaman, David Johnson, Todd Berreth and Regis Kopper, as well as Nevio Danelon, a post-doctoral fellow; Katherine McKusker, PhD student; Benedict Parfit, an undergraduate student. Everette Newton, who works with Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment's marine lab, piloted the drone used in the excavation. The team also included scholars from other universities.

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James Brindley: The canal pioneer who changed England

A new exhibition marking 300 years since the birth of canal pioneer James Brindley has opened. How did his work transform the English landscape and unlock a new era in the Industrial Revolution?
When James Brindley sought Parliament's backing for his plan for an aqueduct over the River Irwell in Lancashire, he apparently employed a novel means of gaining their attention.
Taking out a block of Cheshire cheese, the man who engineered England's first canal carved out a model of the waterway he hoped to build.

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Gibraltar caves reveal Neanderthals' secrets

The cave systems at the base of the rock of Gibraltar have just received Unesco world heritage status, in recognition of the rich insights they bring to the study of Neanderthals.
They reveal that modern humans share a little more than you might expect with the extinct species, as Melissa Hogenboom explains.
Video courtesy of BBC Earth.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mighty Viking Ax Discovered in Tomb of Medieval 'Power Couple'

One of the largest Dane axes ever found, recovered by archaeologists from a 10th-century Viking tomb near Silkeborg in central Denmark.
Credit: Silkeborg Museum

Archaeologists have discovered one of the largest Viking axes ever found, in the tomb of a 10th-century "power couple" in Denmark.
Kirsten Nellemann Nielsen, an archaeologist at the Silkeborg Museum who is leading excavations at the site near the town of Haarup, said Danish axes like the one found in the tomb were the most feared weapons of the Viking Age.
"It's a bit extraordinary — it's much bigger and heavier than the other axes. It would have had a very long handle, and it took both hands to use it," Nielsen told Live Science. [See Photos of the 10th-Century Viking Tomb]
The simplicity of the mighty ax, without any decorations or inscriptions, suggests this fearsome weapon was not just for show. "It's not very luxurious," she said.  
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A bronze age barrow and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery have been unearthed in Rothley

Archaeologists from the University of Leicester have discovered the hidden gems of the Leicestershire village during an investigation into how different generations have re-used ancient sacred places.

Archaeologists have dug into Rothley's ancient past and discovered a bronze age barrow and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery - shedding important light on the history of the area.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester have discovered the hidden gems of the Leicestershire village during an investigation into how different generations have re-used ancient sacred places.
The project, funded by Persimmons Homes in advance of a new housing development off Loughborough Road, Rothley, explored the concept of Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon people possibly making connections with Bronze Age barrow builders in order to create their own sense of place in the landscape.
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Silk Road Gave Infectious Disease a Route, Ancient Poop Shows

Several 2000-year-old personal hygiene sticks with remains of cloth, excavated from the latrine at Xuanquanzhi.
Credit: Reproduced from the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Silk, tea and spices weren't the only things that travelers carried on China's legendary Silk Road: Ancient poop shows that infectious diseases were also transported along this network of trade routes, according to a new study.
Researchers excavated 2,000-year-old feces from a latrine along the Silk Road in northwestern China, and found that it contained eggs from the Chinese liver fluke, a parasitic worm that is typically found at least 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) away, according to the study.
The researchers suggested that the traveler infected with this parasite must have journeyed a great distance. "This is the earliest evidence for the spread of infectious diseases along the Silk Road, and the first to find evidence at an archaeological site along the Silk Road itself," Piers Mitchell, a paleopathologist at the University of Cambridge and the senior author of the study, told Live Science. [7 Devastating Infectious Diseases]
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Archaeologists find arm bone on dig

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have found a human arm bone during an excavation of Neolithic buildings at Ness of Brodgar on Orkney.
The University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute, leading the dig, believe the bone was deliberately placed and could be the remains of a respected original founder of the large complex.
Ness of Brodgar site director Nick Card described it as an important and exciting find.
He said there were several theories as to who the arm belonged to which would be explored further.
The Ness of Brodgar is a new archaeological discovery in Orkney located between the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness.
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What The World's Oldest Calculator Tells Us About The Ancient Greeks' View Of The Universe

When we talk of the history of computers, most of us will refer to the evolution of the modern digital desktop PC, charting the decades-long developments by the likes of Apple and Microsoft. What many don't consider, however, is that computers have been around much longer. In fact, they date back millennia, to a time when they were analogue creations.

The fragmented remains of the Antikythera mechanism 
[Credit: Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis]

Today, the world's oldest known "computer" is the Antikythera mechanism, a severely corroded bronze artefact which was found at the beginning of the 20th Century, in the remains of a shipwreck near the Mediterranean island of Antikythera. It wasn't until the 1970s that the importance of the Antikythera mechanism was discovered, when radiography revealed that the device is in fact a complex mechanism of at least 30 gear wheels.

The mechanism has since been established as the first known astronomical calendar, a complex system which can track and predict the cycles of the solar system. Technically, it is a sophisticated mechanical "calculator" rather than a true "computer", since it cannot be reprogrammed, but nonetheless an impressive artefact.

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Menschen nutzten schon vor 40.000 Jahren spezielles Werkzeug zur Seilherstellung

Archäologen der Universität Tübingen präsentieren gut erhaltenen Fund aus Mammutelfenbein – Test an der Universität Lüttich bestätigt Funktion

Schon vor 40.000 Jahren haben Menschen ein spezielles Werkzeug zur Herstellung von Seilen genutzt. Wie Professor Nicholas Conard und seine Grabungsmannschaft von der Universität Tübingen am Freitag berichteten, wurde bei Ausgrabungen im »Hohe Fels« auf der Schwäbischen Alb ein gut erhaltenes Exemplar dieses Werkzeugs gefunden. Das sorgfältig geschnitzte Stück aus Mammutelfenbein ist 20«4 Zentimeter lang und diente dazu, Pflanzenfasern zu Seilen zu drehen, wie Tests an der Universität Lüttich in Belgien zeigten.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Vikings abused and beheaded their slaves

This double grave from the Viking era at Grimsta in south-eastern Sweden was exhumed in 1974. It contained skeletons of two persons who had been decapitated. One of the skulls lies at the foot end at the left of the picture. Many experts think these two buried here were slaves.(Photo: Ove Hemmendorf, 1974/Swedish National Heritage Board)

The Vikings in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland had slaves, or thralls. These thralls probably held multiple roles, serving their masters in many ways in Viking society a thousand years ago. 
They could also be given the ultimate rough assignment when important Vikings died.
Some followed their masters into the grave.
Few contemporary descriptions of Viking burials exist. But the Arab explorer Ibn Fadlān witnessed one such ritual when a Viking chieftain died.  Fadlān had met the Eastern Vikings, also called Rūsiyyah, in what is now Russia:
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South Downs pre-Roman 'farming collective' discovered

The survey revealed the extent of farming on the South Downs before the Romans arrived

Evidence of a prehistoric "farming collective" has been discovered after aerial laser scanning was carried out in the South Downs National Park.
Large-scale farming from before the Roman invasion suggests a high level of civilisation, archaeologists said.
The survey also revealed the route of a long-suspected Roman road between Chichester and Brighton.
It covered an area between the Arun river valley in West Sussex and Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire.

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Evidence Of 'Largest Anglo-Saxon Building In Scotland' Found

Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of what is believed to be the largest Anglo-Saxon building found in Scotland.
The dig at Glebe Field, Aberlady, has uncovered the foundations of a large Anglo-Saxon structure dating back to between the 7th and 9th century
[Credit: Aberlady Angles Project]
The foundations of the building, which may have been a monastery or even a royal home dating back to about 1,200 years ago, were discovered during excavations in Glebe Field, Aberlady.

Tests on an animal bone found at the scene have confirmed it dates back to between the 7th and 9th century.

Ian Malcolm, from Aberlady Conservation and History Society, described the first date evidence from the site as “very, very exciting”.

He said: “It is evidence that it was an important and a wealthy site.”

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Neandertaler im Kreis Olpe

Heimatforscher findet den ersten Nachweis für den Neandertaler
Für ungeübte Augen sieht er aus wie ein schlichter dunkelgrauer Stein. Bei den Archäologen des Landschaftsverbandes Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) sorgt er jetzt für mehr als bloße Begeisterung. Das gerade einmal acht Zentimeter lange Stück Kieselschiefer trägt eine kleine Sensation in sich, ist es doch ein Werkzeug des Neandertalers. Damit ist dieser Stein, den die Fachleute als »Levallois-Kern« bezeichnen, der erste Nachweis für den Neandertaler im Kreis Olpe. Entdeckt haben ihn weder hochmoderne Techniken noch die bei »Schatzjägern« aktuell besonders gefragten Metallsonden, sondern schlicht die geübten Augen von Heimatforscher Gilbert Schmelter.
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

'Britain's Pompeii' was 'Bronze Age new build' site

The beads found at Whittlesey show this Bronze Age village of the ancient Fens was nevertheless tied into a trade network that may have stretched to the Middle East
An ancient village dubbed "Britain's Pompeii" was just a few months old when it burnt down, it has emerged.
Analysis of wood used to build the settlement suggests it was only lived in for a short time before it was destroyed.
Despite this, archaeologists said the site gives an "exquisitely detailed" insight into everyday Bronze Age life.
Evidence of fine fabric-making, varied diets and vast trading networks has been found during the 10-month dig.
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Earliest Known Village In Cyprus Discovered

Recent archaeological digs have uncovered more than 20 round buildings in what is believed to be Cyprus' earliest known village, dating as as the 9th millennium BC, the east Mediterranean island's Department of Antiquities said Tuesday.

The excavation team at the site of Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas 
[Credit: Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]

The department said in a statement that excavations, which concluded last month in the Ayios Tychonas-Klimonas area near Cyprus' southern coast, also found domestic dogs and cats had already been introduced to Cyprus when the village was active 11,200 to 10,600 years ago. It said villagers hunted small wild boar and birds, but didn't produce pottery.

Excavations directed by Francois Briois from France's School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and Jean-Denis Vigne from France's National Center for Scientific Research-National Museum of Natural History found most buildings had built-in fireplaces as well as a 30- to 50-kilogram (66- to 110-pound) millstone.

Large quantities of stone tools, stone vessels, stone and shell beads or pendants were also discovered.
Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2016/07/earliest-known-village-in-cyprus.html#yHHJCvcRROESKPKr.99

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Treasure trove proves we have been keeping up with the Joneses since the Bronze Age

Cambridge archaeologists examine a 'pristine' Bronze Age bowl

From pristine gardens to the latest home extensions, trying to outdo one's neighbours has become something of a quintessential British pastime.
But keeping up the Joneses is not a new phenomenon, according to archaeologists.
A 3,000-year-old settlement in Cambridgeshire has revealed howBronze Age people also had the latest must-haves in homeware, fashion, and beauty techniques.
The Must Farm Quarry, which has been nicknamed Britain’s answer to Pompeii after being preserved in remarkable detail, shows how Bronze Age society was far more sophisticated than previously thought.
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Lindisfarne monastery evidence found by amateur archaeologist

The stone was found by a member of the public who had contributed to the crowd-funded dig

An amateur archaeologist has unearthed what is believed to be evidence of one of England's earliest Christian monasteries in a dig on Lindisfarne.
The rare grave marker, thought to be from the mid 7th-8th Century, has been described as a "stunning find".
A £25,000 project off the north-east coast was crowd-funded by 200 donors, including 60 who took part in the dig.
Project leader Lisa Westcott Wilkins said the name stone was "absolutely fantastic diagnostic evidence".
"It was a spectacular moment and, even better for us, is that...it wasn't found by one of the team leaders or experts, it was found by a member of the public who had helped to fund and make the project possible," she said.
The team has made a 3D interactive image of the find.

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History of Danish royal castle 'to be rewritten'

Denmark's biggest royal castle, Vordingborg, is set for an updated history after an archaeological dig shed new light on a key figure in its past.

The castle, located on the southern coast of Zealand facing across the Baltic Sea towards Germany, was originally built in the 12th century by King Valdemar the Great. 
Valdemar used it as a base for raids on Germany and, later under Valdemar's son Valdemar II the Victorious, Estonia.

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Decorated Roman bronze belt found in Leicester excavations

Archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) have recently excavated a Late Roman cemetery at Western Road in Leicester’s West End. Amongst the 83 skeletons recorded by the team, one burial is proving to be very exciting.

The simple grave in question had been dug into mudstone on the west bank of the River Soar, to the south-west of the Roman town close to the important road known as the Fosse Way. Buried in the grave were the remains of a middle-aged man wearing an elaborately decorated belt in a style that would have been worn by a Late Roman soldier or civil servant during the second half of the 4th century or the early 5th century AD.
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Major Danish museum returns looted antiquities to Italy

The Glyptotek is due to send artefacts from the tomb of an Etruscan prince back to Italy between December and the end of 2017. Photo: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, which holds the largest collection of antiquities in northern Europe, has agreed to restitute illegally excavated artefacts to the Italian government. In an historic agreement under negotiation since 2012, the Danish museum will return the eighth-century BC bronze chariot, shield, weapons, incense burners and tableware from the tomb of an Etruscan prince, among other archaeological objects, to Italy between December and the end of 2017. 

The pieces, believed to have come from the Sabine necropolis at Colle del Forno near Rome, could be sent to the Museo Civico Archeologico di Fara in Sabina, where additional material from the tomb—an unusually large structure indicating the special status of the deceased—is on display. A statement issued by the Glyptotek acknowledged that: "investigations have shown that the objects had been unearthed in illegal excavations in Italy and exported without licence".

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23 More Wrecks Found at Greek Hotspot for Sunken Ships

Fourni, which is a collection of small islands near Turkey, was a popular anchorage and navigational point for Aegean crossing routes. Usually it was safe for ships, but over thousands of years, storms inevitably claimed some vessels, like this wooden ship resting on the seaflood.
Credit: Vasilis Mentogianis
A cluster of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea is giving up some of its deep secrets, as archaeologists have now found 45 shipwrecks there in less than a year's time.
Back in September 2015, a team of Greek and American divers located an astonishing 22 shipwrecks over the course of a 13-day survey around Fourni, which is composed of 13 small islands, some too tiny to show up on maps. The team went back to the eastern Aegean islands in June to expand the search. By the time the three-and-a-half-week survey was finished, the researchers bested their first effort: They documented another 23 shipwrecks, bringing the total to 45.
"Fourni is a constant surprise," said Peter Campbell, co-director of the project from the U.S.-based RPM Nautical Foundation. [See Photos from the Fourni Shipwrecks]
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Evidence of Scotlands earliest farmers uncovered in Perthshire

An archaeological dig next to the Perthshire village of Dunning has revealed traces of human activity dating back 10,000 years.

This included evidence of what experts believe is the earliest farming activity recorded in Scotland, and also remains of hunter-gathering activity dating back thousands of years before farming began.
The discoveries were made by archaeologists from the University of Glasgow as part of the ten year Strathearn Environs and Royal Forteviot (SERF) project.
This year the project received an archaeology grant of £100,000 from Historic Environment Scotland to carry out geophysical survey, excavation, archival research and reporting.
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British MPs introduce Bill to return Parthenon Sculptures to Greece

A cross-party group of MPs has launched a fresh bid to return the so-called Elgin Marbles to Greece on the 200th anniversary of the British Government’s decision to buy them — a move that campaigners said could help the UK secure a better deal during the Brexit talks with the EU.

The issue has long been a source of tension between, on one side, the UK Government and British Museum, where the 2,500-year-old marbles are currently on display, and, on the other, Greece and international supporters of the reunification of the Parthenon temple's sculptures.

About half the surviving sculptures were taken from the Parthenon in Athens by Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, and later bought by the British Government after parliament passed an Act that came into force on 11 July, 1816. The other half are currently in the Acropolis Museum in Greece.

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Au lieu-dit Parc al Lann à Ergué-Gabéric, les archéologues de l’Inrap mènent une fouille préventive sur 6 hectares, en amont d’un projet d’aménagement par Quimper communauté. Le site occupe une situation privilégiée avec une vue à 180 degrés sur un fond de vallée et les hommes s’y sont naturellement installé depuis des millénaires.

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Homo erectus ging wie wir

1,5 Millionen Jahre alte Fußabdrücke geben Einblicke in das Leben von Frühmenschen
Fossile Knochen und Steinwerkzeuge verraten uns viel über die menschliche Evolution. Doch wie sich unsere Vorfahren zum Beispiel fortbewegten oder miteinander interagierten lässt sich daraus kaum ableiten. Unter der Leitung des Max-Planck-Instituts für evolutionäre Anthropologie in Leipzig und der University of Washington entdeckte ein internationales Forscherteam im Norden Kenias Fußspuren von Homo erectus, die die Fortbewegungsmuster und Gruppenstrukturen dieser Urmenschen hervorragend dokumentieren. So fanden die Forscher mithilfe neuester Analysemethoden heraus, dass die Gangart vom Homo erectus der des modernen Menschen stark ähnelt. Darüber hinaus belegen die Forscher anhand der Fußabdrücke ein Sozialverhalten, das mit dem moderner Menschen vergleichbar ist.
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Monkeys used stone tools 700 years ago

Primate archaeology is a new and unusual-sounding field, but it has revealed ancient evidence of some clever and dextrous monkey culture.
Researchers from Oxford University, working in Brazil, found ancient "nut-cracking tools" - 700-year-old stone hammers that capuchin monkeys used to open cashew nuts.
One of the researchers, Dr Lydia Luncz, explains how the team found evidence of these "Stone Age monkeys".

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Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Belgian Neanderthals 'were eating each other 40,000 years ago'

Members of human subspecies also appear to have fashioned tools out of bones of their own kind, researchers say

 The Goyet caves near Namur, where scientists found bones bearing marks left by intentional butchering. Photograph: YouTube

Belgian Neanderthals were eating each other 40,000 years ago, new research has shown.
The grisly discovery was made in a cave where scientists found bones bearing marks left by intentional butchering.
Not only were they cannibals, but the Neanderthals appear to have fashioned tools out of the bones of their own kind.
Neanderthals were a human subspecies that lived in Europe and western Asia for hundreds of thousands of years before becoming extinct between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago.
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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Danish Viking grave reveals archaeological mysteries

New excavations in Scandinavia’s first city, Ribe, suggests rapid change at the end of the 9th century.

An excavation of burial grounds in Scandinavia’s first city, the Viking town of Ribe in Denmark, raises more questions than it answers. Why did the town suddenly start to build on top of the graveyard, and was it related to the fall of the Danish monarchy? 
(Photo: Museum of Southwest Jutland)

From the beginning of the 8th century up until the end of the 9th century, Viking graves in the town of Ribe in Denmark were largely reserved for the most holy of citizens. Ribe is considered the first city in Scandinavia and it developed into an important trade city. Graves were afforded a special place in the city--and left undisturbed as the town expanded around them.
But by the end of the 9th century something changed.
“While the marketplace expanded, they suddenly started to build on top of these graves. In some cases they built almost ostentatiously right on top of a grave, which was probably visible and marked,” says archaeologist and excavation leader Søren Sindbæk from the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
“Previously, people thought that Ribe had stopped developing as a city by the 900s, but the results of our grave excavations now suggest that this could be completely wrong. I think something dramatic happened,” says Sindbæk.
The excavations suggest that simultaneous with the construction above the graves, someone also built a fortress and a 700 metres long and 20 metres wide moat around the city.
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Rome Shows Off Cleaned-Up Colosseum

Rome's Colosseum was visibly cleaner on Friday as Italy showed off the latest phase of restoration of one of its most famous landmarks.

A view of the Colosseum after the latest stage of restoration by luxury goods firm Tod's in Rome 
[Credit: Reuters]
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, speaking on a stage in the amphitheatre built to host gladiatorial contests nearly 2,000 years ago, hailed the mammoth clean-up project as an example for protecting the country's vast cultural heritage.

Italy's monuments were neglected for decades amid shrinking government funding and alleged mismanagement, which put some of its 51 UNESCO World Heritage sites at risk of crumbling.

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