Thursday, September 15, 2011

Archaeology in Europe

Archaeology in Europe

Neanderthal man lived on seafood far earlier than previously thought

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 10:07 AM PDT

Neanderthal man lived on a diet of seafood in the caves of southern Spain much longer ago than previously thought, new archaeological findings show.

Much as modern day man enjoys tucking into a plateful of seafood paella when visiting the Costa del Sol, Neanderthals living on the Iberian coast 150,000 years ago supplemented their diet with molluscs and marine animals.

Archaeological examination of a cave in Torremolinos unearthed early tools used to crack open shellfish collected off rocks along the Iberian coast and found fossilised remains of the early meals.

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Remains of Roman bath house found on Borough High Street

Posted: 15 Sep 2011 10:05 AM PDT

The remains of a Roman bath house have been found by Network Rail engineers working on the site at the corner of Borough High Street and London Bridge Street which is being redeveloped as part of the Thameslink Programme.

The site, formerly occupied by a fish and chip shop and a nightclub, was cleared to make room for the new railway bridge across Borough High Street which was installed earlier this year. A new office building is planned for the corner site.

Network Rail has commissioned a team of specialist archaeologists from Oxford Archaeology and Pre-Construct Archaeology to excavate the site.

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Bluestone Henge twin?

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 01:27 PM PDT

new digital reconstruction of the monument, discovered by the Stonehenge Riverside Project in 2009 suggests that the circle of Welsh blue stones found at the southern terminus of the avenue may well have been oval, and not round. If this is correct, it echoes the layout of the Bluestone oval at the centre of Stonehenge.

Henry Rothwell, Creative Lead at Heritage Data Solutions explains;

"The model was created as part of the forthcoming smartphone app 'Journey to Stonehenge'. When we built the first wire-frame of the circle we ended up with a fairly standard circular representation. We were using a low level aerial image taken by Adam Stanford. It showed the full extent of the excavation, including the socket holes of the blue stones, into which the Stonehenge Riverside Project team had placed upturned black buckets."

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New Technique for Dating Silk

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 01:23 PM PDT

Strand for strand no fabric can compare to the luxurious feel, luminosity and sheen of pure silk. Since millennia, the Chinese have been unraveling the cocoons of the silk worm (Bombyx mori) and weaving the fibers into sumptuous garments, hangings, carpets, tapestries and even artworks of painted silk.

Now, for the first time, scientists at the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute have developed a fast and reliable method to date silk. This new technique, which is based on capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry, has great potential to improve the authentication and dating of the priceless silk artifacts held in museum and other collections around the world.

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Pictish beast intrigues Highland archaeologists

Posted: 14 Sep 2011 01:21 PM PDT

A Pictish symbol stone built into the wall of a Highland farm building has been recorded by archaeologists.

The markings show a beast, crescent, comb and mirror.

Archaeologist Cait McCullagh said it was a mystery how it had taken until this year for the stone to be officially recorded.

She said it also suggested that more Pictish stones have still to be documented on the Black Isle where the beast was recorded.

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