Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Thank climate change for the rise of humans

Posted: 09 Aug 2011 09:48 AM PDT

SOME claim climate change will destroy our species; now it seems it also helped forge it. The rapid fluctuations in temperature that characterised the global climate between 2 and 3 million years ago coincided with a golden age in human evolution.

The fossil record shows that eight distinct species emerged from one hominin species, Australopithecus africanus, alive 2.7 million years ago. The first members of our genus appeared between 2.4 and 2.5 million years ago, while Homo erectus, the first hominin to leave Africa, had evolved by 1.8 million years ago.

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The Big Dig: What Do Archeologists Find? Treasure? Glory? How About Walls

Posted: 09 Aug 2011 09:47 AM PDT

What do you find in archaeology?
This is the most interesting and, in a sense, the most important question of all. It is what people always ask when you tell them that you are an archaeologist. "What did you find?" can be the most Romantic question of all. Gold? Bodies? Tombs? Fabulous caches of beautiful vases or jewels? Everyone, from the interested bystander to the seasoned archaeologist cannot quite contain that quickening of the pulse, that deep desire to find buried treasure.
The archaeologists of the past- say, the late 19th and early 20th centuries- were, more often than not, equal parts antiquarians and treasure hunters. Heinrich Schliemann, entrepreneur and archaeological enthusiast whom I have mentioned, was not purely driven by love of the past and scholarly devotion. No, he also felt that certain lust for, as Indian Jones puts it, "fortune and glory." After he found the legendary city of Troy, one of the most famous pictures which was published across the world is of his wife, Sofia, wearing several pieces of gold jewelry found on excavation. Good archaeology? No. Fortune and glory? Absolutely. Such glories have colored the popular perception of archaeology ever since.

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Ancient stone chamber unearthed in garden

Posted: 09 Aug 2011 09:46 AM PDT

An ancient underground chamber which could date back 2,000 years has been unearthed near Clonmany in Inishowen.

Discovered by Clonmany man Sean Devlin, the previously unrecorded structure appears to be an underground tunnel or souterrain.

Mr Devlin revealed yesterday that he first discovered the underground chamber several years ago while landscaping his front garden, but didn't make much of a fuss about his amazing find at the time. The historic significance of the tunnel only became apparent recently after Mr Devlin showed it to amateur archaeologist friends.

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Roman dead baby 'brothel' mystery deepens

Posted: 09 Aug 2011 09:11 AM PDT

New research has cast doubt on the theory that 97 infants were killed at a Roman brothel in Buckinghamshire.

In 2008, the remains of the newborn babies were rediscovered packed in cigarette cases in a dusty museum storeroom by Dr Jill Eyers from Chiltern Archaeology.

They were excavated from the remains of a lavish Roman villa complex in Buckinghamshire almost 100 years earlier, but had remained hidden ever since.

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