Archaeological News

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After decades, possibly centuries, at the bottom of the sea — and a 2,200-mile-long (3,540 kilometers) road trip wrapped in damp blankets in the back of a pickup truck — a barnacle-crusted anchor arrived in Texas this week for a major cleaning.

The men who raised the object from the floor of the Puget Sound hope conservation efforts will uncover proof that they found the long-lost anchor from a historic British voyage around the world.

In 2008, a fisherman named Doug Monk was collecting sea cucumbers just north of Seattle near Whidbey Island when his diving gear got caught on a huge anchor, The Seattle Times reported. Monk teamed up with amateur historian Scott Grimm to study the object, and the two obtained legal rights to salvage it. Last month, the duo finally pulled the 10-foot (3 meters) anchor from the Puget Sound with a crane. Read more.

A newly discovered Egyptian carving, which dates back more than 3,300 years, bears the scars of a religious revolution that upended the ancient civilization.

The panel, carved in Nubian Sandstone, was found recently in a tomb at the site of Sedeinga, in modern-day Sudan. It is about 5.8 feet (1.8 meters) tall by 1.3 feet (0.4 m) wide, and was found in two pieces.

Originally, it adorned the walls of a temple at Sedeinga that was dedicated to Queen Tiye (also spelled Tiyi), who died around 1340 B.C. Several centuries after Tiye’s death — and after her temple had fallen into ruin — this panel was reused in a tomb as a bench that held a coffin above the floor. Read more.

An ancient inscription discovered on a 14th century church in Spain’s Galicia region has been identified as Gaelic; the first written evidence of the northern region’s Irish and Scottish heritage.

For centuries it has gone unnoticed, weathered by Galicia’s incessant drizzle but still visible to those with an eagle-eye.

On one of the granite walls of Santiago church in the small town of Betanzos, a small previously unintelligible inscription five metres above ground kept historians and epigraphists, or people who study ancient inscriptions, baffled for decades.

Researchers working for a private association called the Gaelaico Project now believe they’ve finally deciphered what it reads: “An Ghaltacht” or “Gaelic-speaking area”. Read more.

Egypt on Wednesday received from Germany a painted limestone relief that was stolen in the last century from the tomb of 18th dynasty high priest Sobekhotep in the Nobles necropolis on Luxor’s west bank.

Minister of Antiquities and Heritage Mamdouh El-Damati told Ahram Online that the recovery of the relief started a few months ago when he was Egypt’s cultural attaché in Germany and curators at Bonn University Museum were working hard to organise a temporary exhibition there.

During preparations, a curator at the museum spotted the relief and it was confirmed that it was stolen and had been taken from the 18th dynasty tomb of Sobekhotep, a high priest during the reign of King Tuthmose IV. Read more.

An Iron Age hearth and evidence of a Bronze Age settlement have been uncovered in Porthleven by builders working on a new housing development.

Archaeologists have been working alongside the contractors developing land off Shrubberies Hill and have been excited by the find.

Community archaeologist Richard Mikulski said of the Iron Age hearth: “It’s quite a big deal. It’s the first ever find in Cornwall and there’s only one other example that we know of that’s sort of similar found in the south west, if not the country, found at Glastonbury at the end of the 19th century. Read more.

ZIMAPAN, MEXICO.- The finding of a mortuary bundle in a rocky shelter of the oriental part of Sierra Gorda, in the municipality of Zimapan, Hidalgo, that contains the osseous remains of an adult approximately 20 years of age at death, is considered unique in the entity’s archaeology, since they haven´t registered any similar cases.

Archaeologists Juan Manuel Toxtle Farfan and Ariana Aguilar Romero, from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), informed that the inhabitants of the municipality notified INAH about said finding, which is why INAH experts traveled to the site and could state that given it’s characteristics it could belong to the pre-Hispanic epoch.

Toxtle Farfan added that the finding is not a mummy, because it would still conserve bland tissue, as skin, muscles and tendons, whereas these remains do not. The only thing left are bones, but in an excellent state of conservation. Read more.

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An ancient skeleton unearthed in Israel may contain the oldest evidence of brain damage in a modern human.

The child, who lived about 100,000 years ago, survived head trauma for several years, but suffered from permanent brain damage as a result, new 3D imaging reveals.

Given the brain damage, the child was likely unable to care for himself or herself, so people must have spent years looking after the little boy or girl, according to the researchers who analyzed the 3D images. People from the child’s group left funerary objects in the youngster’s burial pit as well, the study authors said. Read more.

History enthusiasts can find out more about life in Roman Britain by visiting the University of Reading’s Silchester Roman Town Open Days on Saturday, July 26 and Saturday, August 9 this year.

Silchester experts will give tours and talks during the free open days and children can dress-up as Celts or Romans and take part in a mini excavation as well as handle some fascinating finds.

The Roman town, which was founded in the first century AD, was built on the site of an Iron Age town, Calleva. The Roman amphitheatre and town walls are some of the best preserved in Britain, and are open to the public. The town was abandoned some time after 400AD for reasons that are not fully understood. This makes it one of only six Roman towns in Britain that are not still populated. Read more.