Archaeological News

            The latest news in archaeology.       


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A gardener who thought he had discovered human bones in his yard has given archaeologists permission to dig after another interesting find.

Andrew Allen, 30, believed he had made an unnerving discovery shortly after moving into his Swinton home earlier this year.

Tests revealed the bones actually came from a cow, but he has recently found up 90 pieces of Roman-era pottery while digging up his garden.

Archaeologists now believe the property in Toll Bar Road could be sitting on a key Roman-era farming settlement and are set to carry out a full excavation.

Project leader Dr Lauren McIntyre, of Wath-based Elmet Archaeological Services, said: “The South Yorkshire region is generally overlooked in terms of Roman history. But Andrew’s finds suggest the presence of a previously undiscovered archaeological site. Read more.

IN 1804 the Spanish frigate Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes, laden with a massive shipment of New World gold and silver, was sunk by an English naval squadron. The naval battle lasted less than an hour, but the legal battle raged for years.

The story of The Mercedes is a 200 plus-year narrative, the twists and turns of which lie not at the bottom of the sea but in the courtrooms, warehouses and museums of Spain and the United States.
In the early 1800’s Napoleon turned his conquering attention from central Europe to the Iberian Peninsula. The results were disastrous for Spain. As a precursor to the Peninsular Wars, Spain was forced to send much of its New World bounty to France – the fee for Napoleonic ‘alliance’. Read more.

About 14,000 years ago, modern humans roamed to South Florida and lived side by side with mammoths, mastodons and saber-tooth tigers.

That, at least, is what Florida Atlantic University scientists hope to prove by analyzing ancient DNA found at an archaeological dig in Vero Beach.

If they can confirm the age of some very brittle bones, it will fill a major gap in human history, said Greg O’Corry-Crowe, an FAU associate research professor. “It would imply that humans were on this continent much longer than originally thought,” he said.

Officially called the Old Vero Man site, the dig is considered one of the most important archaeological finds in North America. Read more.

A team of scientists have uncovered large stone cutting tools (LCTs) in the Danjiangkou Reservoir Region (DRR) of central China.

The tool assemblage, discovered and analyzed by Kathleen Kuman of the University of the Witwatersrand and colleagues Chaorong Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hao Li of the University of the Witwatersrand, were excavated at a site on the southeastern edge of the Qinling Mountains. The tools were preserved in three terraces of the Han and Dan rivers in Hubei and Henan Provinces, with a date as early as 800,000 years ago determined in one terrace and Middle Pleistocene and possibly Late Pleistocene in the other terraces. Read more.

The discovery of two teeth in Lunadong, a cave site located in Guangxi (southern China), lends weight to the possibility that the exodus of modern humans from Africa may have been earlier than 60,000 years ago, as traditionally thought.

Christopher Bae, a palaeoanthropologist at UH Mānoa, and Wei Wang of the Guangxi Museum of Nationalities in Nanning, China, have been leading a team of researchers at the Lunadong cave site.

Found in stratified deposits dating between 70,000 and 126,000 years ago, a period when eastern Asia was traditionally thought to have been only occupied by more archaic human species, at least one of the teeth can be comfortably assigned to modern Homo sapiens. Read more.

Is it or is it not the Buddha’s begging bowl? The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is in a tizzy. Four months after the ASI sent a two-member team to Afghanistan to ascertain the authenticity of the “bhiksha patra” of Lord Buddha on display in a Kabul museum, the ASI seems to have hit a wall with the two members giving contradictory reports. The ASI has now written to the ministry of external affairs and the Indian embassy in Kabul for their views on the future course of action.

The bhiksha patra a 400-kg greenish-grey bowl of granite from the 6th century BC was examined after an MP raised the issue. The team, consisting of an epigraphist and an archaeologist, have given contradictory reports. “This is a huge bowl, approximately 400 kg, the Persian inscription on the huge bowl cannot be ascertained. Read more.

A high-ranking Ministry of Culture official told Greek news sources that the archaeologists who are currently clearing out the dirt from the third chamber in the Amphipolis tomb believe that a fourth chamber may exist.

Meanwhile, the head of the excavation Katerina Peristeri told journalists that based on the findings so far, she believes the enigmatic tomb definitely dates back to the last quarter of the 4th century B.C. Mrs. Peristeri complained about colleagues who appear in the media claiming that the tomb may have been constructed in the Roman era.

“The tomb is Macedonian. We have all the proof for that.” said Mrs. Peristeri. “It’s futile for some people to say that it is Roman. I feel indignation against some colleagues of mine that speak to the TV channels, just for 5 minutes on prime time TV without knowing anything about the excavation.” (source)

Michalis Chrysochoidis, the Greek Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, visited the archaeological site of Alikyrna near Missolonghi in western Greece, where an ancient city was recently unearthed during construction work for Ionia Odos.

The ancient city, located next to the construction site, sits in the area of Agios Thomas. Government officials were perplexed by the discovery of a previously-unknown city so large it stretches for many acres.

According to sources in the Greek media, the first findings suggest an ancient urban center which crosses over to the Ionia Odos construction site. Further excavations, research and mapping are expected. Read more.