Sunday, September 11, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Perge excavations turn 65 with Turkish archaeologists

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 10:17 AM PDT

Excavations at Perge, an ancient city in Antalya province, have entered their 65th year. The excavation leader believes the ancient city was an artisan workshop
The dig at Perge, the longest-running excavation carried out by Turks, will mark its 65th year on Sept. 15.

Archaeological work at the ancient city of Perge in southern Turkey passed the 65-year mark recently and is successfully restoring many columns along the city's streets, according the leader of the excavations.

"The Perge excavations are the longest-running in Turkey, and we are honored to be working on the site," said Haluk Abbasoğlu, who has been leading the excavations since 1985.

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Iron age hill fort excavation reveals ‘possible suburbia

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 01:29 AM PDT

The most intensive investigation ever undertaken of Britain's largest iron age hill fort is expected to reveal new details of how Britons lived 2,000 years ago – and maybe even that they were almost as suburban as we are.

Stretching across 80 hilltop hectares, behind three miles of ramparts, the fort, at Ham Hill in Somerset, and the outline of its history have been known for many years.

The Durotriges tribe, which lived on the hill, was subdued in AD45 by soldiers of the 2nd Legion under the command of the future emperor Vespasian, but what the Romans found there: a street system lined with houses on their own plots of land, is what archaeologists from Cambridge and Cardiff universities hope to uncover more fully in excavations over the next three summers.

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Iron Age findings help build picture

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 01:26 AM PDT

AN IRON Age community discovered in the Daventry district has been described as of "regional, if not national importance".

New investigations at the site, which is located at Daventry International Railfreight Terminal (DIRFT), have given a greater insight into what happened at the 2,000-year-old community.

The findings, including evidence of settlement such as hut circles, will be discussed at the Community Landscape Archaeology Survey Project (CLASP) annual meeting on Monday (September 12).

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Dig therapy for injured soldiers on Salisbury Plain

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 01:22 AM PDT

Injured soldiers from Gloucestershire-based 1st Battalion The Rifles, who have returned from front line duties in Afghanistan, are helping with an archaeological dig on Salisbury Plain.

The project is designed to help them recover from battlefield injuries, including combat stress.

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Human Ancestor May Put Twist in Origin Story, New Studies Say

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 01:20 AM PDT

Two-million-year-old bones—and possibly skin—from a pair of primate fossils are offering new insight into the apelike species that may have given rise to the first humans.

Known as Australopithecus sediba, the ancient human ancestor was discovered in the Malapa region of South Africa in 2008 and was described for the first time last April.

Now a suite of five studies, published in this week's issue of the journal Science, is delving deeper into the species' unusual mix of human and apelike traits to help refine A. sediba's place in the time line of human evolution.

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Life in a Saxon hall

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 01:18 AM PDT

The re-enactment society Regia Anglorum is reconstructing an early medieval Saxon hall in Kent using materials and construction methods of the time.

Regia Anglorum is a re-enactment society that aims to recreate as accurately as possible life in Anglo-Saxon and Viking Britain. Over the past 10 years, we have been building the Wychurst project – a fortified manor hall, using materials and construction methods of the time – on three acres of land in Kent. We have a rotation of 60-odd people who work on the project in the middle weekend of each month.

The hall is 30ft high, 60ft long and 30ft wide, and is based on the West Hall at Cheddar, built around 850. No buildings of this type from the period have survived, so we did an enormous amount of research from archaeological dig reports and written accounts. It is built entirely in English oak, mostly sourced from within a mile of the site, which makes it a very accurate reconstruction. It is a great hall, where the local lord would have lived with his family and a few of his men. It would have served as town hall, law court, police station and as a place for protection.

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Echoes of Elgin Marbles: Turkey asks UK to return ancient sculpture

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 01:15 AM PDT

Turkey's government is calling on the United Kingdom to return the head of an ancient marble statue taken more than a century ago.

The object, currently in the stores of London's Victoria & Albert museum, is, says a museum spokesperson, a "life-size marble head of a child, with curling hair, broken off at the neck."

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Experts hail Pictish royal monastery find

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 01:13 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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