Archaeological News

            The latest news in archaeology.       

    

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Following headline-grabbing discoveries such as the footprints at Happisburgh, the earliest recorded evidence of humans in Northern Europe, and the timber burial circles at Holme - archaeologists say the sheer scale of finds reflect how Norfolk is one of the best endowed heritage locations in the world.

And that, they say brings an economic boost to the county, while evidence even shows those who take an interest in heritage are happier than those who do not.

A new report also reveals that, on average, every house in Norfolk is within 200 metres of an archaeological site, find or historic building, with the county’s ground continuing to provide fascinating glimpses into the lives of our ancestors. Read more.

A wannabe archaeologist is on trial in France accused of looting some of the country’s best historical sites after being caught with thousands of ancient artifacts. Experts say France is facing an epidemic of archaeological pillaging.

While taking the stand in his own defense this week a Frenchman accused of looting thousands of valuable historical items from some of the country’s most culturally important sites, explained his crime simply.

“I always wanted to be an archaeologist, but I couldn’t,” the 60-year-old winemaker told a court in the Paris suburb of Meaux on Tuesday, AFP reported. Read more.

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine. Both pieces were found in the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, which has yielded a number of remarkable works of art dating to the Ice Age. The mammoth ivory figurine depicting a lion was discovered during excavations in 1931. The new fragment makes up one side of the figurine’s head, and the sculpture may be viewed at the Tübingen University Museum from 30 July.

"The figurine depicts a lion," says Professor Nicholas Conard of Tübingen University’s Institute of Prehistory and Medieval Archaeology, and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment Tübingen. "It is one of the most famous Ice Age works of art, and until now, we thought it was a relief, unique among these finds dating to the dawn of figurative art. The reconstructed figurine clearly is a three dimensional sculpture." Read more.

ALTAMIRA, Spain — The cave of Altamira in northern Spain contains some of the world’s finest examples of Paleolithic art. For years, visitors came to see the bisons, horses and mysterious signs painted and carved into the limestone as far back as 22,000 years ago. But in 2002 the cave was closed to the public when algae-like mold started to appear on some paintings. The damage was attributed to the presence of visitors and the use of artificial light to help them see the works.

Now Altamira is being partially reopened and in the process reviving the debate over whether such a prehistoric site can withstand the presence of modern-day visitors. Read more.

When archaeologists began digging around Rockbridge Academy in May, they expected to find the place where the Comte de Rochambeau camped in September 1781 on the way to Yorktown and the final major battle of the Revolutionary War.

Instead, they stumbled upon something very different.

Slave barracks bigger than ever found before in Anne Arundel County.

“The discovery of this is an amazing contribution to understanding African-American life in Anne Arundel County,” said Jane Cox, county cultural resources planner. “Up to this point, we did not know they were building slave barracks like this.” Read more.

Finland’s love of milk has been traced back to 2500 BC thanks to high-tech techniques to analyse residues preserved in fragments of ancient pots.

The Finns are the world’s biggest milk drinkers today but experts had previously been unable to establish whether prehistoric dairy farming was possible in the harsh environment that far north, where there is snow for up to four months a year.

Research by the Universities of Bristol and Helsinki, published July 30 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first of its kind to identify that dairying took place at this latitude — 60 degrees north of the equator. Read more.

A cup believed to have been used by Classical Greek statesman Pericles has been found in a pauper’s grave in north Athens, according to local reports Wednesday.

The ceramic wine cup, smashed in 12 pieces, was found during building construction in the northern Athens suburb of Kifissia, Ta Nea daily said.

After piecing it together, archaeologists were astounded to find the name “Pericles” scratched under one of its handles, alongside the names of five other men, in apparent order of seniority.

Experts are “99 percent” sure that the cup was used by the Athenian statesman, as one of the other names listed, Ariphron, is that of Pericles’ elder brother. Read more.

BLOOMINGTON — Archaeologists on Monday uncovered part of the footprint of the 1836 courthouse where Abraham Lincoln often worked as an attorney.

The discovery by archaeologists Floyd Mansberger and Christopher Stratton came about an hour after an excavator started digging on the south side of the McLean County Museum of History. It was the first day of a two- to three-week archaeological search before construction starts on a new entrance into a planned tourism center on the lower level of the history museum.

"They literally found where the courthouse was," said Greg Koos, the museums’ executive director. "They found the corner and now can plot out the exact location. These are the physical remains of an incredibly historical episode in McLean County." Read more.