Archaeological News

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Specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico, have identified eight new sites where figurines, greenstone axes, jadeite, white ceramic bowls and gourds have been found. These sites are located in the Grande and Chica districts of the Guerrero coast (southwestern Mexico), and confirm an Olmec influence in that region.

There is ongoing debate as to whether the earliest peoples in this area were actual Olmec who had migrated, or an indigenous group who were heavily influenced by that culture, especially in the Mexcala River area. Olmec influence can certainly be seen in their cave paintings such as those found in Juxtlahuaca as well as stone tools and jade jewellery. Read more.

It is a mystery which has intrigued archaeologists for centuries: did the huge Neolithic stones which make up Stonehenge form a complete circle?

Now the puzzle has been answered after the dry summer revealed the faint outline of the missing megaliths.

Usually the ground is watered by stewards, to keep the earth moist and the grass healthy.

But this year, the hose they used was too short to reach the whole site. By chance, the incomplete section of the inner stone circle was left to dry out.

When archaeological features have been buried in the ground for a long time, they affect the rate that grass grows above them, even long after they have disappeared. Read more.

The canons have been stolen from the 18th-century seaside fort in the city where Haiti declared its independence and the stones imported from France are commonly targeted by thieves.

But Haitian authorities and international experts hope to reverse the loss of such cultural heritage from the ruins of Fort Liberte and elsewhere, which they blame on lax supervision and weak laws to prosecute those pillaging Haiti’s historic sites.

"They are very significant sites. It tells a very deep history not only of Haiti but the entire Caribbean," said Dan Rogers, an archaeology curator with the Smithsonian Institution who spoke Sunday by phone as he traveled to Fort Liberte. Read more.

College students have always had a taste for beer, and archaeologists have uncovered new evidence at the College of William and Mary to prove it.

The remains of what is likely an 18th century on-campus brewery were discovered just outside of the nation’s oldest college building when campus officials were looking to widen a sidewalk.

School officials say the discovery near the Wren Building will allow them to tell a broader story about campus life in the Colonial era that involved the interaction of slaves, Native Americans, faculty and students.

Major excavation of the site wrapped up on Friday, and archaeologists now plan to perform a detailed lab analysis on some of what they’ve found. That includes searching for pollen in hopes that would’ve been used to make beer. (source)

An ancient settlement of the South Caucasus, referring to the Neolithic period, was discovered in Azerbaijani Tovuz region, Turkel TV regional channel reported Aug. 30.

The settlement, discovered during excavations in the Haji Alemkhanli village, dates from the end of the seventh millennium BC. The excavations are conducted by Azerbaijani and Japanese archaeologists.

The radiocarbon analysis of the found samples of the material culture of the Neolithic period show that the oldest settlement in the region was in this area. Read more.

More than 2,900 gold coins and 45 gold ingots have been recovered from the shipwrecked S.S. Central America since an archaeological excavation began in mid-April, Odyssey Marine Exploration, the company contracted to dive to the site, revealed on a report published Tuesday.

Other 19th century artifacts recovered include luggage pieces, a pistol, a pocket watch, and several daguerreotypes, an early type of photography. Several samples of coral and sea anemones have also been collected through a science program which is studying deep sea biological diversity.

Pine and oak specimens placed on the seabed in 1990 and 1991, during the last known dives to the shipwreck site, are being retrieved so that scientists can study the “shipworms” consuming and destroying the ship’s timbers. Read more.

One of the most important archaeological sites in the North East is up for sale.

Binchester Roman town near Bishop Auckland is being sold by the Church Commissioners. Auckland Castle Trust say they fear it may fall into the hands of developers and have put in a £2m bid to buy the site.

But the Church Commissioners say fears of development on the site are “a scare story” and it is protected not just by the landowner but by the County Council, English Heritage and the Secretary of State.

Binchester, just outside Bishop Auckland, has some of Britain’s best-preserved Roman remains, including a bath house with seven-foot walls and painted plaster. Read more.

PARIS (AFP).- France returned the skull of a New Caledonian rebel chief on Thursday, 135 years after it was cut off in a battle between the people of the South Pacific island and their French colonisers.

In a solemn ceremony in Paris, France’s Overseas Territories Minister George Pau-Langevin handed back the skull of the great Kanak rebel chief Atai to one of his descendants.

"I cannot tell you how emotional I am. I have waited for this moment for so many years. I had started to give up hope," said Berge Kawa, a direct descendant of the chief.

The story dates back to 1878, a quarter of a century after colonial power France had taken possession of the archipelago around 1,500 kilometres (900 miles) to the east of Australia. Read more.