Archaeological News

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The grave of King Richard III, immortalised by Shakespeare as one of history’s great villains, was opened up to the public on Saturday in central England.

The remains of the infamous ruler were found in 2012 under a car park in the city of Leicester.

Around a hundred visitors were on hand to watch city mayor Peter Soulsby cut the ribbon on the £4 million ($6.8 million, 5 million euro) new visitor centre at the discovery site.

Early arrivals at the building, in an abandoned school close to Richard’s grave, were able to examine a replica of his skeleton made using a 3D printer. Read more.

MEXICO CITY.- In the southern parts of Sinaloa, a burial of unusual characteristics was discovered, made up of elements from old Occidental Mexico and rich offerings deposited around bone remains.

As the excavation advanced, never seen before archaeological traces surged; informed archaeologist Victor Joel Santos Ramírez, director of the project.

First, there were dozens of miniature figurines. “In no other excavation in Chametla have we found figurines in such numbers and with such rare characteristics, which made us believe that this was an important offering, to wit, we decided to begin a systematic investigation,” he said. Read more.

30 pieces will be examined by specialists to determine their authenticity, age, and origin.

A month after confiscating a number of archaeological and historical artifacts in northern Peru, authorities have begun the process of evaluating the objects to determine their authenticity, among other things.

The pieces were confiscated from 50-year-old Justiniano Diaz Delgado, a resident of Saltur in Lambayeque. Andina news agency reports that Diaz had amassed a collection of more than 30 pieces, including ceramic objects, skulls, and spear tips. Read more.

Anapa, July 25, 2014 – The Volnoe Delo Oleg Deripaska Foundation announces the discovery of an ancient naval ram used by the army of Mithradates VI of the Bosporan Kingdom to quell a popular uprising against him in Phanagoria in 63 B.C.

One-meter long ram and presumably made of bronze, it has an engraving of Mithradates VI, the king of Pontus from 119 to 63 B.C. who was the most powerful king in Anatolia during the 1st century B.C. Often called Rome’s greatest enemy, he fought three wars against the Roman republic.

The ram was found in the submerged part of Phanagoria, the largest Greek colony on the Taman peninsula, not far from the 15-meter-long ship that was previously unearthed in 2012. Read more.

In addition to the high toll that Syria’s four-year-old civil war has had on its people and infrastructure, Syria’s cultural heritage has been and continues to be destroyed at an unprecedented rate. World Heritage sites like the historic city of Aleppo and Krak des Chevaliers, as well as medieval Christian cemeteries and numerous archaeological sites and museums, have been subjected to extensive raiding and looting.

In an effort to help stem the loss of the region’s significant cultural heritage, Penn Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., in cooperation with the Syrian Interim Government’s Heritage Task Force, have come together to offer assistance for museum curators, heritage experts, and civilians working to protect cultural heritage inside Syria. Read more.

The excavation of an underwater wreck could be “similar in scope” to the Mary Rose warship, archaeologists have said.

Divers have recovered a series of objects from the ship called The London, which exploded off the coast of Southend in 1665.

The haul so far includes pewter spoons, coins and navigational dividers.

A project spokesman said: “The artefacts we can recover may be similar in scope to those… from the Mary Rose, but 120 years later in date.”

The Mary Rose saw 34 years of service before it sank while leading an attack on a French invasion fleet in 1545. Around 19,000 artefacts were found on board after it was raised from the seabed of the Solent in 1982. Read more.

Buried secrets of life in medieval Leith have been uncovered after the results of a five-year project to analyse bodies discovered during an archaeological dig were unveiled.

The project, conducted by the city council and Headland Archaeology, began when the remains of almost 400 men, women and children were discovered on the Constitution Street site – previously a section of the South Leith Parish Church’s graveyard – during preparation work for the trams in 2009.

Now forensic artists from the University of Dundee have been able to provide a glimpse of what the Leithers would have looked like 600 years ago by using special technology to rebuild their faces. Read more.

Excavations at an archaeological site at Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa have produced tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other tools. These discoveries were made by archaeologists from the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa and the University of Toronto (U of T), in collaboration with the McGregor Museum in Kimberley, South Africa.

The archaeologists’ research on the Kathu Townlands site, one of the richest early prehistoric archaeological sites in South Africa, was published in the journal, PLOS ONE, on 24 July 2014.

It is estimated that the site is between 700,000 and one million years old. Read more.