Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Tax bill paid with 2,000-year-old Iron Age fire guard

Posted: 20 Dec 2011 08:45 AM PST

A 2,000-year-old Iron Age fire guard has been accepted into Wales' national museum in lieu of inheritance tax.

The Capel Garmon Firedog, once one of a pair on the hearth of a chieftain's roundhouse, is regarded as one of the finest surviving prehistoric iron artefacts in Europe.

Previously on loan to the National Museum it will now be part of Wales' collections of Early Celtic Art.

It was discovered in a peat bog in 1852.

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The Turin Shroud could not have been faked, say scientists

Posted: 20 Dec 2011 08:31 AM PST

A new study suggests that one of Christianity's most prized but mysterious relics - the Turin Shroud - is not a medieval forgery and could be the burial robe of Christ.

Italian scientists conducted a series of experiments that they said showed that the marks on the shroud - purportedly left by the imprint of Christ's body - could not have been faked with technology that was available in medieval times.

Skeptics have long claimed that the 14ft-long cloth is a forgery. Radiocarbon testing conducted by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona in 1988 appeared to back up the theory, suggesting that it dated from between 1260 and 1390. But those tests were in turn disputed on the basis that they were contaminated by fibres from cloth that was used to repair the relic when it was damaged by fire in the Middle Ages.

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Neanderthals built homes with mammoth bones

Posted: 20 Dec 2011 08:24 AM PST

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 44,000 year old Neanderthal building that was constructed using the bones from mammoths.
The circular building, which was up to 26 feet across at its widest point, is believed to be earliest example of domestic dwelling built from bone.
Neanderthals, which died out around 30,000 years ago, were initially thought to have been relatively primitive nomads that lived in natural caves for shelter.

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Was St Edmund killed by the Vikings in Essex?

Posted: 20 Dec 2011 08:24 AM PST

The story of Edmund, king and martyr, has become a kind of foundation myth for the county of Suffolk, but contains at least one element of truth – in 869 there was a battle between the East Anglians and the Vikings; Edmund was captured and later killed.

However, the site of the battle (recorded as Hægelisdun) was forgotten, and different modern historians have suggested that it was at Hoxne in Suffolk, Hellesdon in Norfolk, or at Bradfield St Clare near Bury. The new proposal by Dr Briggs is unusual in that it is based on a detailed analysis of the linguistic structure of the various place-names involved. UWE Bristol has several experts among its staff in the study of both place-names and personal names from the viewpoint of historical linguistics. The use of place-names has long been recognized as an essential input into the broad study of settlement and migration, but the current work is an intriguing example of a precise conclusion about one historical event being drawn purely from place-name research.

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Mysterious Viking-era Graves Found With Treasure

Posted: 20 Dec 2011 08:18 AM PST

Sword at his side, the so-called Young Warrior (left) is among the thousand-year-old discoveries in a newfound cemetery in Poland, a new study says.

The burial ground holds not only a hoard of precious objects but also hints of human sacrifice—and several dozen graves of a mysterious people with links to both the Vikings and the rulers of the founding states of eastern Europe.

(Related: "'Thor's Hammer' Found in Viking Grave.")

Researchers are especially intrigued by the Young Warrior, who died a violent death in his 20s. The man's jaw is fractured, his skull laced with cut marks. The sword provides further evidence of a martial life.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Scientists discover source of rock used in Stonehenge's first circle

Posted: 19 Dec 2011 08:01 AM PST

Scientists have succeeded in locating the exact source of some of the rock believed to have been used 5000 years ago to create Stonehenge's first stone circle.

By comparing fragments of stone found at and around Stonehenge with rocks in south-west Wales, they have been able to identify the original rock outcrop that some of the Stonehenge material came from.

The work - carried out by geologists Robert Ixer of the University of Leicester and Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales - has pinpointed the source as a 70 metre long rock outcrop called Craig Rhos-y-Felin, near Pont Saeson in north Pembrokeshire. It's the first time that an exact source has been found for any of the stones thought to have been used to build Stonehenge.

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Forget the cave! Neanderthals were homely creatures who built their own houses from mammoth bones

Posted: 19 Dec 2011 07:58 AM PST

Forget the idea Neanderthals simply picked any old cave to sleep in for the night.

Researchers have discovered an elaborate 44,000-year-old Neanderthal house in Molodova, eastern Ukraine, made from mammoth bones, delicately decorated with carvings and pigments.

It had been thought Neanderthals, which died out around 30,000 years ago, were primitive nomads who lived in caves simply for shelter.

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Hull museum's Roman mosaics gets specialist makeover

Posted: 19 Dec 2011 07:56 AM PST

CLEANING floor tiles can be a pretty mundane household chore.

But when they happen to be part of a stunning collection of Roman mosaics, the job takes on a whole new meaning.

Museum staff in Hull have just finished a specialist makeover of their priceless exhibits in the Hull And East Riding Museum, in High Street.

Paula Gentil, the museum's curator of archaeology, said the careful clean-up was long overdue.

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'Bronze Age' artefacts found at Anglesey Abbey

Posted: 19 Dec 2011 08:03 AM PST

"Potentially Bronze Age" artefacts found at Anglesey Abbey could prove the site was occupied up to 2,000 years earlier than had been thought.

The discoveries were made during work to build a new car park at the National Trust property near Cambridge.

Cambridge Archaeological Unit said the site, containing possible roundhouses, a granary, pottery and a shale bracelet fragment, could have been a farmstead.

It was previously thought the area was occupied from the early 12th Century.

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Silverdale Viking Hoard stars in Treasure and Portable Antiquities Scheme reports

Posted: 19 Dec 2011 07:52 AM PST

The British Museum is delighted with the continuing success of the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and they have every right to be.

The reports, launched last week, detail 90,099 finds and 860 Treasure cases in 2010 alone; since the Scheme started there have been 750,000 "finds" across England and Wales, all listed on the website www.finds.org.uk.

The highlight of the press launch was a selection of finds from the Silverdale Viking Hoard, discovered in North Lancashire in September 2011 by local metal-detectorist Darren Webster.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

University of Oxford Online Archaeology Courses

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:52 AM PST

Silverdale silver Viking hoard declared treasure

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:32 AM PST

A hoard of Viking silver found in Lancashire has been declared as treasure by a coroner.

The hoard of 201 coins and pieces of jewellery was found in September near to Silverdale by metal detector enthusiast Darren Webster, 39.

It was declared treasure by Lancashire deputy coroner Simon Jones at a hearing in Lancaster.
Lancashire Finds Liaison Officer Dot Boughton said the hoard was "very significant".

Lancaster City Museum has said it would attempt to keep the hoard in the area once it received an official valuation early in the new year.

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Roman circus site may open next summer

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:30 AM PST

THE place where charioteers started and finished their races at Colchester's Roman circus could be open to the public by next summer.

Colchester Archaeological Trust has been given planning permission for a project which will allow visitors to look at the foundations of the circus's starting gates and watch re-enactments of scenes last seen almost two millennia ago.

The trust has permission to redevelop the Army Education Centre, near the starting gates, and hopes to move into the former Garrison building in February.

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Two medieval brooches discovered

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:28 AM PST

RARE finds of two medieval brooches were revealed as treasure at a coroner's hearing on Tuesday.

Sitting on a Treasure hearing at Selby Magistrates' Court, Coroner Rob Turnbull said the two items, both livery brooches, were discovered at separate locations in Beal and Stillingfleet.

The first item, a silver guilt brooch depicting a stag's head with three antlers (above left), is believed by experts to date from either the 14th or 15th Century.

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Grant to save Vale of Glamorgan church's paintings

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:27 AM PST

A Vale of Glamorgan church is being given £500,000 to preserve 15th Century wall paintings uncovered during repairs.

St Cadoc's in Llancarfan boasts what is believed to be the best-preserved image of St George and the Dragon.
Deadly sins greed, avarice, lust, sloth and pride have been found, with anger and envy believed to be still hidden.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) said the church is hugely important in the story of Christianity in Wales.

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Treasure trove thieves ‘stealing our heritage’

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:26 AM PST

THIEVES are "stealing our heritage" from beneath our feet at popular beauty spots.

They are targeting historical sites, including Berkhamsted and Northchurch Commons in Ashridge, according to council officials.

The plunderers are using an online archaeological database, created to aid historical research, to find treasure.

These 'night hawkers', who use metal detectors to dig up valuable artefacts after dark, have used research by Dr Jonathan Hunn and commissioned by the National Trust to help find ancient sites.

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Wiedereröffnung des Museums für Antike Schiffahrt in Mainz

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:21 AM PST

Seit Dienstag, den 13.12.2011 ist das Museum für Antike Schiffahrt des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums (RGZM) in Mainz wieder geöffnet. Im Rahmen einer Feier mit 600 geladenen Gästen konnte das Haus am Montagabend nach umfassender energetischer Sanierung sowie mit vielen Neuerungen in der Dauerausstellung der Öffentlichkeit übergeben werden.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

SquinchPix Image Gallery

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:37 AM PST

SquinchPix has more than 17,000 images of art, architecture and archaeology from most countries in Europe.  It is an ideal resource for researchers, tutors, students and interested members of the general public.

Highly recommended!

Go to SquinchPix here...

Researchers puzzled as grave did not hold remains of medieval Swedish king

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:29 AM PST

Earlier this year, researchers in Sweden excavated what they believe was the tomb of King Magnus Ladulås (1240-1290) at Riddarholmen Church in Stockholm, hoping to learn more about the medieval Swedish ruler and his family. But DNA tests have revealed that the bodies of nine people buried in the tomb actually died sometime between 1430 and 1520.

Records show that the King Magnus wished to have his remains buried in the church, and in 1573 the Swedish King, Johan III erected a sarcophagus with an effigy on top of what he believed was the location of the tomb.

The researchers said on their blog: "It is a fantastic story that is rolled up in front of our eyes. Johan II had the impressive tomb put up above the wrong grave and this historical hoax has been unchallenged for 400 years! On good grounds we believe instead that Magnus Ladulås was placed in the southern tomb in front of the choir, i.e. the tomb in which King Karl Knutsson placed himself in the 15th century. With the knowledge we have today it is obvious that we have only done half the job. In order to make further progress in this project we need to open also the southern part of the choir-tombs (the tomb of Karl Knutsson) and investigate all individuals there."

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Viking Hoard discovered in England

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:26 AM PST

In what is being described as a "very exciting find" over 200 items dating back to around the year 900 have been discovered near Silverdale, in north Lancashire. Now known as the Silverdale Viking Hoard, the collection cotnains a total of 201 silver objects and a well preserved lead container. Of particular interest is the fact that the hoard contains a previously unrecorded coin type, probably carrying the name of an otherwise unknown Viking ruler in northern England.
The Silverdale Viking Hoard was discovered in mid-September 2011 by Darren Webster, a local metal-detectorist, who reported it to the local Finds Liaison Officer that evening. The hoard comprises 27 coins, 10 complete arm-rings of various Viking-period types, 2 finger-rings and 14 ingots (metal bars), as well as 6 bossed brooch fragments, a fine wire braid and 141 fragments of chopped-up arm-rings and ingots, collectively known as 'hacksilver'. The lead container is made of a folded-up sheet, in which the coins and small metalwork had been placed for safekeeping, while buried underground. The container is responsible for the excellent condition in which the objects have survived for more than ten centuries. The coins are a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Viking, Frankish and Islamic types, including coins of Alfred the Great (871-99) and his god-son the Viking leader Guthrum, who became king of East Anglia with the baptismal name of Athelstan.
Researchers are interested in the single coin that shows a previously unknown Viking ruler. One side of the coin has the words DNS (Dominus) REX, arranged in the form of a cross, reflecting the fact that many Vikings had converted to Christianity within a generation of settling in Britain. The other side has the enigmatic inscription. AIRDECONUT, which appears to be an attempt to represent the Scandinavian name Harthacnut. The design of the coin relates to known coins of the kings Siefredus and Cnut, who ruled the Viking kingdom of Northumbria around AD 900, but Harthacnut is otherwise unrecorded.

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Roman Cockerel found in Gloucestershire archaeological dig

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:24 AM PST

THIS intricately decorated Roman cockerel has been discovered at a landmark burial site in Cirencester.

Archaeologists have uncovered the striking bird figurine, which could be an offering to the gods, from a young child's grave during excavations for St James's Place Wealth Management at the former Bridges Garage site.

Cotswold Archaeology chief executive Neil Holbrook said: "The cockerel is the most spectacular find from more than 60 Roman burials excavated at this site." It is the latest treasure to be found at the important plot, which has already yielded more than 60 skeletons and is believed to be one of the earliest burial sites ever found in Roman Britain.

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Remains of Jane Austen's Steventon home unearthed

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:22 AM PST

Archaeologists in Hampshire have uncovered signs of the house where Jane Austen spent more than half of her life.

The Austen family lived in the rectory in Steventon, near Basingstoke, from 1775 to 1801, where the writer began three of her novels.

The house was demolished early in the 19th Century soon after Austen and her family moved to Bath.
Volunteers involved in the dig hope to gain an insight into life in the house.

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Historical probe after Stirling Castle landslide

Posted: 15 Dec 2011 01:31 PM PST

A section of wall below Stirling Castle that collapsed last week is now the subject of an archaeological investigation.

The wall was on a steep bank above the Butt Well and had been built to retain garden terraces created in the 1490s.

Archaeologists are using the collapse as an opportunity to investigate fragments of one of Scotland's oldest gardens, made for James IV.

Members of Stirling Local History Society (SLHS) are leading the work.

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'New' ancient monuments come to light at Knowth

Posted: 15 Dec 2011 01:28 PM PST

New and exciting archaeological finds have been made at the Knowth tumulus over the last few months, according to archaeologists working on the site.

The passage tomb cemetery at Brú na Binne has produced some extraordinary discoveries over the decades ever since Professor George Eogan made his first tentative exploration in and around the site.

A number of previously unknown large-scale monuments in the field lying immediately to the south-east of the large mound have recently come to light.

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London built with the blood of British slaves

Posted: 15 Dec 2011 01:27 PM PST

The Romans founded London as a centre of trade and business in about AD 50 - or so archaeologists have long believed.

But new evidence suggests the capital has a more chilling history, built as a military base by slaves who were then slaughtered. Hundreds of skulls discovered along the course of the "lost" river Walbrook suggest London may have been built by forced labour.

Dominic Perring, director of the Centre for Applied Archaeology at University College London, says the skulls could be those of Queen Boudica's rebel Iceni tribesmen who were brought to London to build a new military base.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Evidence for unknown Viking king Airdeconut found in Lancashire

Posted: 15 Dec 2011 12:13 AM PST

201-piece silver hoard from AD900 discovered by a metal detectorist in Silverdale, Lancashire

Evidence of a previously unknown Viking king has been discovered in a hoard of silver found by a metal detectorist, stashed in a lead box in a field in Lancashire.

The 201 pieces of silver including beautiful arm rings, worn by Viking warriors, were found on the outskirts of Silverdale, a village near the coast in north Lancashire, by Darren Webster, using the metal detector his wife gave him as a Christmas present. It adds up to more than 1kg of silver, probably stashed for safe keeping around AD900 at a time of wars and power struggles among the Vikings of northern England, and never recovered.

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We do have bigger brains than Neanderthals did

Posted: 15 Dec 2011 12:10 AM PST

Modern humans possess brain structures larger than their Neanderthal counterparts, suggesting we are distinguished from them by different mental capacities, scientists find. 

We are currently the only extant human lineage, but Neanderthals, our closest-known evolutionary relatives, still walked the Earth as recently as maybe 24,000 years ago. Neanderthals were close enough to the modern human lineage to interbreed, calling into question how different they really were from us and whether they comprise a different species.

To find out more, researchers used CT scanners to map the interiors of five Neanderthal skulls as well as four fossil and 75 contemporary human skulls to determine the  shapes of their brains in 3-D. Like modern humans, Neanderthals had larger brains than both our living ape relatives and other extinct human lineages.

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Public urged to vote for Peak archaeology dig site

Posted: 15 Dec 2011 12:08 AM PST

ARCHAEOLOGICAL excavations in the Peak District are in the running for a national award and support from the public can make all the difference.

The Fin Cop project is one of five shortlisted for the prestigious Archaeological Research Project of the Year Award by readers and editors of Current Archaeology magazine.

The excavations at Fin Cop, an Iron Age hill fort overlooking Monsal Dale, near Bakewell, rose to national significance when unexpected evidence of a prehistoric massacre was revealed.

Skeletal remains of several young women and children were found thrown into a ditch with the ramparts pushed over them more than 2,000 years ago.

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Silverdale Viking hoard examined by British Museum

Posted: 14 Dec 2011 12:54 PM PST

A hoard of Viking coins and jewellery found buried in north Lancashire is being examined by experts at the British Museum.

The collection of more than 200 coins and pieces of jewellery was found in September close to Silverdale by Darren Webster, 39.

The hoard, which was in a lead box, includes a coin thought to refer to a previously unknown Viking ruler.

A coroner will decide this week if the hoard qualifies as treasure trove.

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Incredible Viking hoard from days of Alfred the Great could 'fill in the blanks' about a murky period in British history

Posted: 14 Dec 2011 12:52 PM PST

A man who found a hoard of Viking silver that had lain undetected for hundreds of years has described his discovery as 'lucky'.

Darren Webster got his metal detector out in a field near his home when he had an hour to spare one day, and 20 minutes later was digging up a hoard of hidden silver coins and jewellery.

The 39-year-old stone mason from Lancashire made the discovery in September on land around Silverdale in north Lancashire. The artifacts date back to the ninth century and the rule of Alfred the Great.

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Viking hoard provides new clues to 'previously unknown ruler'

Posted: 14 Dec 2011 12:50 PM PST

One of the most important hoards of Viking silver ever found in Britain contains valuable coins bearing the identity of a previously unknown ruler, it emerged yesterday.

The "hugely significant" hoard of 1,000-year-old artefacts includes more than 200 coins, ingots and pieces of silver jewellery that was found buried underground in north Lancashire.
Experts at the British Museum are currently examining the hoard after it was discovered in a lead pot by a metal detector enthusiast. A coroner will decide later this week whether it qualifies as treasure.
The hoard was placed in a lead box and buried underground at a time when the Anglo-Saxons were attempting to wrest control of the north of the country from the Vikings.

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Evidence for unknown Viking king Airdeconut found in Lancashire

Posted: 14 Dec 2011 12:49 PM PST

201-piece silver hoard from AD900 discovered by a metal detectorist in Silverdale, Lancashire

Evidence of a previously unknown Viking king has been discovered in a hoard of silver found by a metal detectorist, stashed in a lead box in a field in Lancashire.

The 201 pieces of silver including beautiful arm rings, worn by Viking warriors, were found on the outskirts of Silverdale, a village near the coast in north Lancashire, by Darren Webster, using the metal detector his wife gave him as a Christmas present. It adds up to more than 1kg of silver, probably stashed for safe keeping around AD900 at a time of wars and power struggles among the Vikings of northern England, and never recovered.

Airdeconut – thought to be the Anglo Saxon coin maker's struggle to get to grips with the Viking name Harthacnut – was found on one of the coins in the hoard.

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Preliminary work to unearth ancient city of Isos begins

Posted: 14 Dec 2011 12:29 PM PST

A team of archeologists has begun working on examining the site of the ancient city of Isos in southern Turkey by making use of ground-based sensors to visualize the underground features of the city's structures, the district governor has said.
İskender Yönden, the district governor of Erzin, Hatay province, announced on Monday that a team of four archeologists got to work at the reported site of the ancient city of Isos, which has been underground for some 500 years in the southern province of Hatay, as part of the work of unearthing the ancient city.

Yönden said the excavations will continue after the archeologists find out more about the site of the city by looking at the processed imagery from the sensors

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

4,000-year-old Stone Age camp discovered by dog walker near Cannock

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 06:30 AM PST

HISTORIANS believe they have unearthed evidence of a 4,000-year-old Stone Age camp in the Midlands – thanks to a dog walker.

Roger Hall discovered a handful of strange-shaped rocks while walking his pet pooch in picturesque Cannock Wood, Staffordshire,

But experts have identified them as flint 'flakes' – the off-cuts from tools crafted by Stone Age Man an astonishing 4,000 years ago.

If confirmed, they could mark the spot of the only neolithic camp known in our region, says Roger Knowles, a member of the Council for British Archaeology.

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Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) contract won for 2013

Posted: 12 Dec 2011 06:26 AM PST

Wessex Archaeology (WA) has been re-appointed as the Government's contractor for Archaeological Services in relation to the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973 (PWA). The contract, managed by English Heritage for DCMS, runs from the 1st April 2012 to the 31st March 2013.

The principal aim of the contract is to supply advice to English Heritage, Historic Scotland, Cadw, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to enable them to advise their respective Secretary of State, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland Ministers, as appropriate, about issues of designation and licensing under the PWA 1973.

Since Spring 2003 WA has delivered the contract. This involves fieldwork to monitor, record and investigate designated wrecks, and assess sites that may require designation.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeologists Return to Investigate Viking Period Site in Gotland

Posted: 11 Dec 2011 06:35 AM PST

he world's largest silver hoard was discovered in an agricultural field on an island in Scandinavia. The hoard weighed about 67 kilos, consisting of two caches about 3 meters apart. Dated to the 9th century AD, the hoard boasted a pure silver cache of more than 14,200 coins and nearly 500 silver arm rings and other objects, placed in wooden boxes beneath the floor of a Viking Age house structure. Related to this discovery was another find of bronze objects, weighing as much as 20 kilos, also placed in a wooden box.

The island, known as Gotland, is a part of Sweden and situated in the middle of the Baltic Sea. It sports a rich heritage when it comes to the Early Middle Ages and the time of the Vikings. In terms of trade, it occupied a uniquely strategic trading position for the flow of goods east and west between Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, enriching its inhabitants with luxury goods that otherwise would have eluded their reach. To the Vikings, it was a place of settlement. No place in Scandinavia can compare to the massive amount of Viking artifacts that have been discovered here over the last 200 years. And no region has yielded as many silver hoards as Gotland. In fact, more then 700 hundred hoards, with more than 150,000 silver coins from countries as far away as the Arabic world, have testified to the significance of this island during the Viking Age.

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Archaeology: Part of ancient fortress wall of Philippolis found in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv

Posted: 11 Dec 2011 01:19 AM PST

Part of the ancient fortress wall of Philippopolis was discovered during excavations by EVN Heating in the centre of Plovdiv, Bulgarian National Television said on December 9 2011.

The find, however, will not be exhibited because the roadway has to be covered over again, the report said.

Workers who were installing a heating pipeline made the find and stopped work immediately so that archaeologists could carry out an examination of the section of the fortress wall, which is about 50m long and close to two metres wide.

The find gives a new insight to the topography of ancient Phiippopolis.

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Tools of a kind

Posted: 11 Dec 2011 01:18 AM PST

Culturally speaking, ancient East Africans were a stone's throw away from southern Arabia.

Stone tools collected at several sites along a plateau in Oman, which date to roughly 106,000 years ago, match elongated cutting implements previously found at East African sites from around the same time, say archaeologist Jeffrey Rose of the University of Birmingham, England, and his colleagues. New finds also include cores — or rocks from which tools were pounded off with a hammer stone — that correspond to East African specimens, the researchers report online November 30 in PLoS ONE.

East African sites that have yielded these distinctive stone artifacts extend southward along the Nile River to the Horn of Africa.

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Bronze Age boats discovered at a quarry in Whittlesey

Posted: 11 Dec 2011 01:17 AM PST

Bronze Age boats, spears and clothing dating back 3,000 years and described as the "finds of a lifetime" have been discovered near Peterborough.

Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge have unearthed hundreds of items at a quarry in Whittlesey.

The objects, discovered at one of the most significant Bronze Age sites in Britain, have been perfectly preserved in peat and silt.

It is thought the settlement burned down in about 800 BC.

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The earth mother of all neolithic discoveries

Posted: 11 Dec 2011 01:15 AM PST

French archaeologists have discovered an extremely rare example of a neolithic "earth mother" figurine on the banks of the river Somme.

The 6,000-year-old statuette is 8in high, with imposing buttocks and hips but stubby arms and a cone-like head. Similar figures have been found before in Europe but rarely so far north and seldom in such a complete and well-preserved condition.

The "lady of Villers-Carbonnel", as she has been named, can make two claims to be an "earth mother". She was fired from local earth or clay and closely resembles figurines with similar, stylised female bodies found around the Mediterranean.

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