Archaeological News

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A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two vessels, in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, is a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII.

"This is not just the discovery of a single shipwreck," said Joe Hoyt, a NOAA sanctuary scientist and chief scientist for the expedition. "We have discovered an important battle site that is part of the Battle of the Atlantic. These two ships rest only a few hundred yards apart and together help us interpret and share their forgotten stories." Read more.

The DNA from ancient human bones is shedding new light on the prehistory of Europe, such as when changes in skin color and lactose tolerance occurred, researchers say.

This research unexpectedly revealed that ancient Europeans started dairying thousands of years before they evolved genes to make the most of milk in adulthood, investigators added.

Scientists examined ancient DNA extracted from 13 individuals in archaeological burial sites unearthed during highway construction in the Great Hungarian Plain in Central Europe. This crossroads for Eastern and Western cultures experienced significant transformations in culture and technology known to have shaped European prehistory. Read more.

Twelve statues of Jain Tirthankara idols which could date back to as early as the 4th-5th century AD, have been found at Keesaragutta temple on the outskirts the Indian city of Hyderabad, Indian media reported on Tuesday.

"Twelve panchaloha idols of the Jain Tirthankaras were unearthed during the course of conservation work 18, while the pathways were being laid between two temples near steps at a depth of one foot," the media quotes the director of Archaeology and Museums (Telangana), B Srinivas as telling reporters.

Objects made from Panchaloha are composed of five metals of some sacred significance, and are often used for making Hindu temple idols. Read more.

The paintings, poetry and accounts of cricket matches from British psychiatric patients are among some 800,000 historic documents about to go online as part of a project to digitize mental health records from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The Wellcome Library has been digitizing thousands of documents related to the United Kingdom’s medical history. The organization announced last week that it is partnering with several archives to make a searchable database of texts and images from the York Retreat, St. Luke’s Hospital Woodside, Crichton Royal Hospital, Gartnavel Royal Hospital and Camberwell House Asylum. Read more.

Peat from a bog near Edinburgh contains 11,500-year-old vegetation and glimpses of the impact made by humans on the landscape from as far back as the Neolithic period, say experts who have foraged seven metres into the earth across parts of a site previously known for prehistoric settlements.

Ravelrig Bog, where an early Iron Age palisaded homestead was found during preparations for a quarry extension, contains two hillforts. Kaimes Hill offers evidence of human activity from the Mesolithic period, while the unexcavated Dalmahoy Hill is thought to have been occupied during the pre-Roman Iron Age and early medieval times. Read more.

Archaeologists excavating a fortress near Bulgaria’s north eastern town of Dobrich unearthed bronze elements from a belt of a Bulgar warrior, reports the Standart daily.

Archaeologist Boyan Totev told journalists that this is the first such find by archaeologists in Bulgaria. Parts of another belt has been found by treasure hunters, again near Dobrich.

“This one is whole and we expect to find the buckle and the loop,” he said. “The elements are made of bronze and are dated end of IX c. AD. The belt belonged to a middle rank soldier and has been decorated with floral motives.” Read more.

Archaeologists attempting to reach the next chamber in the Amphipolis tomb have struck a wall of dirt. After cleaning and exposing the mosaic floor in the third chamber, it seems that entering the fourth chamber – or hallway – will take longer than expected.

Removing the tons of earth that block the entrance to the next chamber will be difficult; the now-exposed mosaic needs to be protected. Archaeologists surmise that, beyond the dirt wall, the burial monument will have some sort of downward slope. This passage perhaps leads to an anti-chamber, or a main chamber where the tomb’s occupant is likely to be found. Read more.

A monumental Roman inscription bearing the name of Emperor Hadrian, which surfaced in Jerusalem during salvage excavations earlier this year, was displayed to the public by the Israel Antiquities Authority on Tuesday.

The massive limestone slab, roughly a meter wide, with Latin text inscribed in six lines with letters several inches high, was part of a monumental arch dedicated to the emperor in 130 CE in honor of Hadrian’s arrival. It’s one of a rare few Latin inscriptions found in Jerusalem from that period. The slab’s discovery sheds light on the timeline of Jerusalem’s reconstruction following its destruction by Rome in 70 CE, demonstrating that it was in large part rebuilt just 60 years later. Read more.