Archaeological News

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A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought.

The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because it indicates that modern humans and their extinct cousins shared the capacity for abstract expression.

The study, released Monday by the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined grooves in a rock that had been covered with sediment. Archaeologists had previously found artifacts associated with Neanderthal culture in the overlying layer, suggesting that the engravings must be older, said Clive Finlayson, one of the study’s authors. Read more.

A supermarket has been built on top of the ancient city of Myrleia, dating back to 700 BC, in the western province of Bursa, despite ongoing court cases related to the protection of the area.

Bursa Municipality had granted tourism and trading construction permits for a 60,000-square meter area above the ancient city, after which a branch of the supermarket chain store Kipa was built. Parts of the ancient site are now being held in the basement of the supermarket.

Uludağ University’s Archaeology Department discovered pieces of ancient ceramics on the surface near the area in 2010, after which they requested the Bursa Culture and Natural Heritage Preservation Board to declare the area a 1st degree conservation site. After assessing the land, the Preservation Board declared the area to be a 3rd degree archaeological site, meaning fewer restrictions in the use of land than initially requested. Read more.

IN 1958, archaeologist Robert Dyson was excavating the long-buried citadel of Hasanlu in Iran when he came across this beautiful gold bowl (pictured). But after a moment in the international headlines, the bowl and citadel were largely forgotten.

And so the unique circumstances under which the precious vessel fell to the bottom of a refuse shaft 2,800 years ago are only now coming to light, as Dyson’s former student Michael Danti of Boston University revisits the excavation notes.

Today, Hasanlu looks like a large dirt mound that rises 25 metres out of the Solduz valley in north-west Iran, but beneath the earth are the remains of a settlement that was occupied nearly continuously for millennia, from 6000 BC. Read more.

Footprints dating back to the Neolithic period (6,400 B.C.) have been discovered during excavations in Barçın tumulus in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Yenişehir district.

Koç University academic, Rana Özbal, said works had been continuing in Barçın tumulus since 2007 under the coordination of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Dutch Research Institute.

She said the oldest settlement in the region dated back to 8,600 B.C., adding, “The houses in tumulus are semidetached. In one of the houses, we have found a pair of footprints and now we are searching for how they appeared.” Read more.

Archaeologists studied two thousand years old port infrastructure and a large animal cemetery in Berenice on the Red Sea in Egypt.

"This time during excavations we got lucky. Undoubtedly, this year’s most interesting find is a frame - wooden part of a ship hull from the early Roman period" - told PAP Iwona Zych from the Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, who leads the research project in cooperation with Prof. Steven E. Sidebotham of the University of Delaware in the United States.

This is the first fully preserved and documented frame from the hull of the ship from this period in Egypt. The find and the place of its discovery leads researchers to believe that the ship was dismantled and its parts stored in the warehouse in the port bay. Read more.

A new study of five wax tablets from the Second Century, found in the Albanian city of Durres, offers fascinating insights into the role of women in ancient Illyrian culture.

When Albanian archeologist Fatos Tartari excavated the ancient necropolis of Durres in 1979, he came across a staggering find.

In the Roman concrete basement of the monumental tomb lay buried a glass urn filled with a black liquid resembling wine, containing two styluses, an ebony comb and five wax tablets used for writing, which were in good condition.

“The monumental complex was a rare find, starting from the fact that the wine had not evaporated for nearly two millennia,” explained Eduard Shehi, an archeologist at Albania’s Institute of Archeology, in the city of Durres. Read more.

Archaeologists carrying out a dig as part of a new electricity substation development in Aberdeenshire say the discovery of a 14th or 15th century rural farmstead is unprecedented in the region and of national significance.

Maureen Kilpatrick, who led the Guard Archaeology team at the site near Kintore, predicted that post-excavation analysis of the finds could reveal “fascinating insights” into the lives of Scottish residents during the Middle Ages.

“This late medieval discovery is something quite special,” she said.

“We have uncovered a large enclosure with floor deposits and pottery. Read more.

A bronze chariot made during the Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-771 BC) has been found in Qishan county, Shaanxi province - and archaeologists believe it may be a ceremonial vehicle used by princes.

"We found the chariot, which was buried 1.2 meters underground, in farmland at the village of Hejia," Zhang Yawei, director of the county’s Zhouyuan Museum, told China Daily on Saturday. "We were surprised that it is large with a high bronze content."

Experts from the School of Archaeology at Peking University, the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Zhouyuan Museum found the chariot on Aug 18 after investigating the site for 10 days. Read more.