Archaeological News

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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.

PRICE — The family of a juvenile responsible with defacing ancient rock art in Nine Mile Canyon has agreed to pay for the damage.

In May, Bureau of Land Management Utah Price Field Office law enforcement officers and archaeological staff investigated citizen-reported damage to the Nine Mile Canyon Pregnant Buffalo rock art panel in Carbon County.

The investigation revealed that two juveniles from the Salt Lake City area had carved their initials and the date into the rock face near the panel over Memorial Day weekend.

After careful examination and analysis, the BLM assessed the damage and identified specific mitigation measures. BLM archaeologists estimated that restoration and repair efforts would cost approximately $1,500. Read more.

THE image of our Neolithic ancestors as simple souls carving out a primitive existence has been dispelled.

A groundbreaking excavation of a 5,000-year-old temple complex in Orkney has uncovered evidence to suggest that prehistoric people were a great deal more sophisticated than previously thought.

The archaeological dig at the Ness of Brodgar, which is still in its early stages, has already thrown up discoveries that archaeologists say will force us to re-evaluate our understanding of how our ancestors lived.

The picture that has emerged so far points to a complex and capable society that displayed impeccable workmanship and created an integrated landscape. Read more.

The discovery of stone tools dating back one million years in Spain’s Cuenca province sheds new light on the origins of humankind, researchers say.

The tools were left behind by the first humans who settled in the Iberian Peninsula, archaeologists Santiago David Domínguez and Míchel Muñoz told Spanish news agency Europa Press.

Most of the pieces discovered were hewn pieces of extremely hard quartzite known as ‘choppers’‏, which were used to cut wood and meat by prehistoric humans including Homo Ergaster and Homo Antecessor. Read more.

A SEAL used to decorate wax as it secured medieval letters has been discovered in the first week of an archaeological dig.

The artefact - thought to have been used between AD 1250 and 1400 - was discovered buried in a field off Thorne Lane as part of an excavation led by Dr James Gerrard, a lecturer in Roman archaeology at Newcastle University.

The inscription reads SOhOV ROBEN and the picture shows a hare riding a hound and blowing a hunting horn.

Mr Gerrard, formerly of Yeovil, said: “This is an exciting discovery and an example of medieval humour or wit. “Sohov is an Anglicised French hunting call like ‘tally-ho’ and Roben is a typical French name for a dog during the period - like Fido or Rover. Read more.

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland after losing a major engagement in the era around the birth of Christ. Work has continued in the area since then and archaeologists and experts from Aarhus University, Skanderborg Museum and Moesgaard Museum have now made sensational new findings.

"We have found a wooden stick bearing the pelvic bones of four different men. In addition, we have unearthed bundles of bones, bones bearing marks of cutting and scraping, and crushed skulls. Our studies reveal that a violent sequel took place after the fallen warriors had lain on the battlefield for around six months," relates Project Manager Mads Kähler Holst from Aarhus University. Read more.

THE largest haul of treasure ever found in the UK, which was discovered in Worcestershire three years ago, will be on display for years to come thanks to a generous grant from a museum charity.

The stash of almost 4,000 Roman coins was found in Bredon Hill by metal detecting enthusiasts in June 2011.

Now Worcestershire County Council’s archive and archaeology service has been handed a £5,000 grant by the Treasure Plus programme, meaning work can commence to conserve the find – popularly known as the Bredon Hoard.

Research undertaken by the archaeology and archives service alongside the British Museum has suggested the hoard was buried nearly a century after it was accumulated – the only stash of its kind ever found in Britain. Read more.

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COLLINSVILLE — An artifact recently unearthed in the metro-east may explain how Native Americans viewed their place in the universe.

The “bundle” of whelk shells and bird bones found tied together and unearthed at Cahokia Mounds by student archaeologists from the University of Bologna in Italy is unlike most discovered in the pre-Columbian settlement, said Cahokia Mounds Museum Society Executive Director Lori Belknap.

"Most of what we find are fragments of pottery shards and little bits of arrow points and things like that," Belknap said. "So 95 percent of what we find are that kind of stuff. But when we find something that represents what we think, it was actually a bundle, a sack, with things laid in there in a very specific order related to their cosmological view, that’s a pretty significant find." Read more.