Archaeological News

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Artefacts from a Victorian-era transport infrastructure, built by engineering forefather Isambard Kingdom Brunel for his broad-gauge Great Western steam railway nearly 200 years ago, are being laser scanned after archaeologists discovered them near Paddington as part of an extensive search for ancient rail remnants.

A 200-metre long engine shed, workshop and train turntables were found on a construction site known as Paddington New Yard, to the east of Westbourne Park Tube Station, in a glimpse of the industrial past and Brunel’s designs for a track first used in 1838. Read more.

On Saturday, September 20, two groups of scholars presented evidence for the true location of Fort Caroline, the first permanent settlement by Europeans in what would later become the United States. First settled 450 years ago, the location of the actual fort has been lost to the ravages of time. Tradition holds that Fort Caroline was located on the St. Johns River in modern-day Jacksonville, Florida.

Yet in February two scholars announced that they believed Fort Caroline was not in Florida at all but instead was on the Altamaha River in modern-day Darien, Georgia. Controversy ensued and thus the Jacksonville chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America decided to hold a debate on Saturday at the University of North Florida to let both sides put forward their evidence for where they believed the fort was located. Read more.

Eight thousand years ago, a pencil mustache was tattooed onto the upper lip of a young Peruvian man. His mummified body has since become the oldest existing example of tattoo art on the planet.

Today’s world is, of course, almost unrecognizable by comparison. But according to Professor Nicholas Thomas, Director of the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University — author of a new book about body art — the tattoo has made a powerful comeback.

"There has been an extraordinary, epochal change in the last 25 years," he says. "When I was a child in the 1960s, we didn’t see tattoos everywhere. But there has been an explosion in popularity, and this tells us a lot about who we are, both culturally and as individuals." Read more.

A huge gold medallion and a trove of gold pieces went on display at the Israel Museum for the first time since their discovery last year at the base of the Temple Mount, the museum announced Monday.

The find, made last year by a Hebrew University team led by Professor Eilat Mazar near the Temple Mount’s Southern Wall, was dated to the early 7th century CE, in all likelihood the time of the brief Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 614 CE. It includes 36 gold Byzantine coins, gold bracelets, earrings, a silver ingot, a gold-plated hexagonal prism and the large golden medallion embossed with Jewish motifs. Read more.

A MEDIEVAL village in Worcestershire will be revealed in all its glory after a heritage group received a lottery grant to delve deeper into its many mysteries.

Abberley Hills Preservation Society has been awarded £50,000 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a year-long project in the picturesque village which is north west of Worcester.

The support from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable the society to undertake a project to understand the medieval layout of the village, to try and date the older buildings and perhaps discover some long lost features described in old documents and books about Worcestershire. Read more.

Archaeologists discovered nearly 100 cremation graves on the surface of just 100 square meters. during excavations in Burdąg (Warmia and Mazury) - told PAP Dr. Mirosław Rudnicki from the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Łódź.

The large number of finds surprised the scientists. They included bronze and silver ornaments, costume pieces, such as fibulas, pendants, rings, beads, buckles and belt fittings. The largest group of objects, as in the case of most archaeological sites in Poland, were ceramics. Archaeologists discovered numerous vessels in various states of preservation, including many very elaborately ornamented vessels, which, according to Dr. Rudnicki, distinguishes them from the products of the surrounding cultures in this period, both Slavic and Baltic. All items come from the VI-VII century AD. Read more.

US secretary of state John Kerry will be on-hand later today to highlight the destruction of Iraq and Syria’s cultural heritage by violent extremist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq (IS) and the Syrian regime.

Alongside the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art director Thomas Campbell and its president Emily Rafferty, Kerry will present the US’s case for protection of cultural elements in Iraq and Syria, which are in danger thanks to ongoing attempts by IS to deliberately target and destroy heritage sites in Iraq, while warring Syria’s heritage sites have been the target of deliberate shelling and general chaos in the last couple of years. Read more.

Sixty years ago, a Roman God was uncovered at a London building site. The excavations for the Temple of Mithras moved around but are now going back to the original site - how do you reconstruct a Roman temple, asks Tom de Castella.

The muddy find in September 1954 provoked urgent debate. Winston Churchill’s cabinet discussed it three times. A huge new office block - for insurance firm Legal & General - was being built on the site of the Temple of Mithras, described as the Roman discovery of the century. Building work was stopped. People would be able to see it for two weeks before the remains were packed up and moved. A few hundred visitors were expected on day one. Instead about 35,000 queued round the block. Read more.