Sunday, July 24, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Experts Baffled by Mysterious Underground Chambers

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 07:13 AM PDT

Beate Greithanner, a dairy farmer, is barefoot as she walks up the lush meadows of the Doblberg, a mountain in Bavaria set against a backdrop of snow-capped Alpine peaks. She stops and points to a hole in the ground. "This is where the cow was grazing," she says. "Suddenly she fell in, up to her hips."

A crater had opened up beneath the unfortunate cow.

On the day after the bovine mishap, Greithanner's husband Rudi examined the hole. He was curious, so he poked his head inside and craned his neck to peer into the darkness. Could it be a hiding place for some sort of treasure, he wondered? As he climbed into the hole to investigate, it turned out to be a narrow, damp tunnel that led diagonally into the earth, like the bowels of some giant dinosaur.

Suddenly the farmer could no longer hear anything from above. He panicked when he realized that it was getting difficult to breathe the stifling air -- and quickly ended his brief exploration.

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Award winning treasure found in Wing was used by Roman criminals

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 07:09 AM PDT

AN AMATEUR archaeologist from Aylesbury has been given a national award after uncovering a coin press which may have been used to make counterfeit currency in Roman times.

Tom Clarke, who has been metal detecting for more than 40 years, found a number of blank bronze coins and a small anvil in a farmer's field in Wing.

The unmarked discs are the halfway stage of someone making their own coins and have been dated to around 300AD.

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Roman skeleton unearthed on Watton building site

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 07:04 AM PDT

The remains of a male believed to date back to the Roman occupation of Britain have been discovered in Watton, west Norfolk.

The bones were unearthed during work to turn a former RAF base into housing and are thought to have been buried around AD43 to 410.

BBC Radio Norfolk's Elizabeth Dawson spoke to site developer Edward Parker and lead archaeologist Mark Holmes to find out more about the discovery.

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So much for Hagar the Horrible, with his stay-at-home wife, Helga. Viking women may have equaled men moving to England in medieval invasions, suggests

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 07:02 AM PDT

So much for Hagar the Horrible, with his stay-at-home wife, Helga. Viking women may have equaled men moving to England in medieval invasions, suggests a look at ancient burials.

Vikings famously invaded Eastern England around 900 A.D., notes Shane McLeod of the Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Western Australia in the Early Medieval Europe journal, starting with two army invasions in the 800's, recounted in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. The Viking invaders founded their own medieval kingdom, 'the Danelaw', in Eastern England.

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Technology to Throw New Light On Ancient Artifacts

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:54 AM PDT

New technology which makes it possible to study the finer details of some of the world's greatest historical artifacts has been developed by computer scientists and archaeologists at the University of Southampton in conjunction with academics at the University of Oxford.

Dr Kirk Martinez at the University of Southampton's ECS -- Electronics and Computer Science and the team have developed two Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) systems to capture images of documentary texts and archaeological material. The systems takes 76 pictures of artifacts with the light in different positions, then creates a new type or RTI image. The viewer can then move the virtual light anywhere and focus on the detail.

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Heavy Metal Hardens Battle

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:51 AM PDT

The French may have had a better chance at the Battle of Agincourt had they not been weighed down by heavy body armour, say researchers.

A study published July 19 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that soldiers carrying armour in Medieval times would have been using more than twice the amount of energy had they not been wearing it. This is the first clear experimental evidence of the limitations of wearing Medieval armour on a soldier's performance.

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The Only Way is Londinium, Roman London is Revealed with Augmented Reality in New App

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:49 AM PDT

Following on from the success of award-winning app Streetmuseum™, the Museum of London has joined forces with AETN UK 's flagship channel HISTORY™ to develop a new app which gives users the opportunity to see Roman London as it was 2,000 years ago.

Streetmuseum Londinium will direct users to locations across London where they can immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and remains of Roman life. At the city's peak in AD 120 approximately 25,000 Romans lived in London , leaving much behind to explore today.

Users can digitally excavate Roman artefacts, including leather bikini briefs and an ancient manicure set, which tell the stories of life in Londinium. Using their finger to dig and by blowing on their iPhone, users will gradually reveal the objects where they were first found in the capital.

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Early Human Ancestors Walked Fully Upright Earlier Than Scientists Thought, Study Shows

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:47 AM PDT

Early human ancestors walked fully upright about 2 million years earlier than scientists have long suggested, according to the results of a recent study.

A team of researchers at the University of Liverpool, along with scientists at the University of Manchester and Bournemouth University, applied a new statistical technique often used in functional brain imaging to obtain a three-dimensional average of the famous 11 footprints discovered at Laetoli, Tanzania, discovered by Mary Leakey in 1976. The footprints are interpreted to have been left originally in soft volcanic ash by a group of three individuals of the Australopithecus afarensis species following the eruption of the nearby Sadiman Volcano approximately 3.7 million years ago.

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7,000-year-old archaeological site was a Stone Age rest area

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:45 AM PDT

A recently uncovered archaeological site in the Scottish highlands dates back to the Mesolithic, roughly 10,000 years ago. What makes it so unusual is that this isn't a settlement - it's the prehistoric equivalent of a highway pit stop.

Sadly, there are no stone-operated vending machines, vaguely grotty bathrooms, or designated wolf-walking areas at this particular rest area. But even without all those modern accouterments, this particular site is still very much of a kind with their present-day counterparts. The commercial operation Headland Archaeology, which was hired to excavate the site in preparation for supermarket construction, discovered an ancient hearth with tons of charcoal remnants left inside.

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Mesolithic 'rest stop' found at new Sainsbury's site

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:44 AM PDT

Archaeologists believe the remains of burned oak uncovered at the site of the first Sainsbury's in the Highlands to be evidence of an ancient "rest stop".

The supermarket and a filling station are being constructed on the outskirts of Nairn, at a cost of about £20m.

Headland Archaeologists investigated the site ahead of building work.

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UK's 'oldest' open-air cemetery discovered in Somerset

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:42 AM PDT

Somerset was the site of the UK's oldest open-air cemetery, the county council says.

Recent radiocarbon dating of two skulls found at a sand quarry in Greylake nature reserve near Middlezoy in 1928 revealed them to be 10,000 years old.

The council said the find was made under its Lost Islands of Somerset project by a team investigating the archaeology of the Somerset Levels.

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Schönebeck: »Deutsches Stonehenge« II - nur ohne Steine

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:39 AM PDT

Bei Schönebeck südlich von Magdeburg wird derzeit eine frühbronzezeitliche Kreisgrabenanlage ausgegraben. Das vorgeschichtliche Heiligtum liegt in Sichtweite der Anlage von Pömmelte-Zackmünde, die als »deutsches Stonehenge« durch die Medien ging. Die Archäologen gehen davon aus, dass es sich um den direkten Nachfolger des Kultplatzes von Pömmelte handelt. Die Anlage hatte vermutlich die gleiche Bedeutung wie die berühmte Megalithanlage von Stonehenge, sagte Sachsen-Anhalts Landesarchäologe Harald Meller am Montag bei der Präsentation der ersten Grabungsergebnisse.

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Sad News

Posted: 24 Jul 2011 06:37 AM PDT

I am sad to report the death of our former colleague Dr David Hill yesterday, less than a year after his marriage to (another former colleague) Margaret Worthington.

David was a member of our Extra Mural Studies Department, and latterly in the English Department. He was one of the great figures of our time in medieval archaeology, and a great personality too. Since retirement from the University he has remained very research active, and despite his appalling health problems -- which he bore cheerfully for many years -- his death was unexpected, and peaceful.

He will be sadly missed by colleagues and his army of disciples -- many of them former students of his Anglo-Saxon Diploma and MA classes.

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