Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Historic Leper Hospital

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 11:00 AM PDT

Archaeologists have uncovered further evidence of one of the country's earliest hospitals, built specifically for people with leprosy. They've been working in a field on the outskirts of Winchester. And, they've been able to find out more about how patients were treated. In his report David Woodland spoke to Dr Simon Roffey from Winchester University.

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Vikings to return to Stamford Bridge

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 10:54 AM PDT

THE Vikings are on their way back to Stamford Bridge to re-enact the famous battle of 1066.

History will come alive next week when a longboat full of warriors will row up the River Derwent to the East Yorkshire village and set up camp before facing up to their Saxon foe.

Several days of activity will start when the boatload of Norwegian invaders arrives on Wednesday September 21, at Barmby, downstream of Stamford Bridge, where there will be displays of combat.

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Bulgarian Archaeology Finds Said to Rewrite History of Black Sea Sailing

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 10:48 AM PDT

Massive ancient stone anchors were found by divers participating in an archaeological expedition near the southern Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol.

The expedition, led by deputy director of Bulgaria's National Historical Museum Dr Ivan Hristov, found the precious artifacts west of the Sts. Cyricus and Julitta island.

The 200-kg beautifully ornamented anchors have two holes in them – one for the anchor rope and another one for a wooden stick. They were used for 150-200-ton ships that transported mainly wheat, but also dried and salted fish, skins, timber and metals from what now is Bulgaria's coast.

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Medieval ‘treasure’ found near Ripon

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 10:44 AM PDT

AN intricately-carved medieval ring discovered near Ripon is an important archaeological find which qualifies as "treasure", a coroner has ruled.

The piece was found by metal detectorist Lindsey Holland close to Ripon on May 16, 2010 and sent to the British Museum.

In a report to North Yorkshire coroner Rob Turnbull, experts from the museum described the find as an oval silver-gilt seal matrix which would have formed the bezel, or top part, of a finger-ring dating from the 13th or 14th centuries.

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City archaeologists make filthy find

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 10:43 AM PDT

Two 300-year-old latrines unearthed from beneath Kultorvet Square are offering up answers about how everyday Copenhageners traded, ate and suffered in the 18th-century. And those answers are accompanied by some still powerful odours.

"Well, it smells like rotten eggs," archaeologist and excavation expert Hoda El-Sharnouby told Politiken newspaper.

El-Sharnouby's team made the stinky but stunning find which includes two outhouses filled with nearly 300-year-old faeces. The privies and their contents are remarkably well-preserved, thanks to the low oxygen content in the city's soil.

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Experts hail Pictish royal monastery find

Posted: 13 Sep 2011 10:42 AM PDT

AERIAL photographs showing a faint line in fields around a village in Highland Perthshire have mystified archaeologists for decades. Crop marks in the village of Fortingall, famous for its 5,000-year-old yew tree, seem to indicate an ancient boundary long since buried and forgotten.

Now an archaeological dig may have uncovered the secret: the site is believed to have been a royal monastery dating from the time when the Picts were converting to Christianity more than 1,300 years ago.

Dr Oliver O'Grady and a band of local volunteers opened up two exploratory trenches to reveal a wide bank faced with large upright stones that may have once stood as high as two metres.

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Skeletons reveal our ancestors’ fear of the undead

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 02:09 PM PDT

TWO skeletons discovered with stones wedged in their mouths were buried this way around 1,300 years ago to prevent them rising from their graves to haunt the living.

A documentary featuring the work of archaeologists at Institute of Technology, Sligo, to be screened tomorrow, suggests the practice aimed to prevent the corpses becoming "revenants".

The documentary says such "deviant burials" are associated with vampires and revenants — ghosts who were believed to come back among the living — unless steps were taken to keep them in their graves.

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Human-Neanderthal coupling was rare: study

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 02:06 PM PDT

Scientists have shown that modern humans have some traces of genes from Neanderthals, but a study out Monday suggests that any breeding between the two was most likely a rare event.

The new computational model, based on DNA samples from modern humans in France and China, shows successful coupling happened at a rate of less than two percent.

The research suggests that either inter-species sex was very taboo, or that the hybrid offspring had trouble surviving, according to the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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5 Other Surprise Attacks That Changed History

Posted: 12 Sep 2011 02:00 PM PDT

The headline writers at USA Today put it this way: "9/11: How One Day Changed Our World." National Geographic observed that the attacks of Sept. 11 would "alter the course of history."

But the shocking assaults in 2001 on the World Trade towers, the Pentagon and the planned hit on the Capitol were not the first surprise attacks that changed the way humans do business.

Through the centuries, there have been unexpected strikes on civilian targets that occurred during wars — declared or not — and peacetime attacks that came completely out of the blue. The Sept. 11 attacks fall into the latter category.

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