Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "archaeology"

A call has gone out for an archaeological study to be carried out on an ancient Norman monument in Ballygarrett, which is about to be lost to the sea.

The Glasscarraig Motte, where a Wooden Castle dating back to the late 1100s once stood, stands on the edge of a crumbling sea cliff at Glasscarraig Bay near Ballygarrett.

Part of an adjoining Bailey, an enclosed courtyard, has already disappeared into the sea.

The Motte and Bailey site was of incredible importance,’ said archaeologist Byron Jones. ‘It was one of the very first fortifications built by the Normans in Ireland. The site formed part of an invaluable defensive chain along the East Wexford coastline protecting vital economic Norman interests along it.’ Read more.

A retired army general says he has filed a court case pushing for Egypt’s historic Saint Catherine’s Monastery to be demolished and its Greek monks deported on the grounds that they pose a threat to national security.

In May 2012, Ahmed Ragai Attiya obtained 71 administrative orders regarding the demolition of the monastery’s multiple churches, monk cells, gardens and other places of interest on the grounds, which he claims were all built in 2006 and thus not historic, according to Ihab Ramzy, the monastery’s lawyer.

However, in an interview with private channel ONTV on Thursday, Attiya said that he has now used the 71 orders to file an official demolition suit with Ismailiya’s Administrative Court against the monastery and 10 of the Egyptian authorities concerned, including the president, ministers of tourism and antiquities and the governor of South Sinai, where Saint Catherine’s is located. Read more.

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

The project team, co-led by Professor Andrew Bevan (UCL Institute of Archaeology) and Daniel Pett (British Museum), have photographed hoards of Bronze Age (ca. 2500 BC - 800 BC) metal objects and scanned thousands of paper records of further metal artefacts from British prehistory.

They are now asking for public assistance in modelling, transcribing and locating these archaeological finds via a dedicated “crowd-sourcing” website: http://crowdsourced.micropasts.org/ The website is powered by an open source Pybossa citizen science framework. Read more.

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Severe scurvy struck Columbus’s crew during his second voyage and after its end, forensic archaeologists suggest, likely leading to the collapse of the first European town established in the New World.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic, beginning Europe’s discovery of the New World. Two years later on his second voyage, he and 1,500 colonists founded La Isabela, located in the modern-day Dominican Republic.

The first permanent European town in the Western Hemisphere, La Isabela was abandoned within four years amid sickness and deprivation.

Historians have long blamed diseases such as smallpox, influenza, and malaria for the town’s demise. But a study of graveyard remains from the town site, reported online in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, suggests that an ancient seafarer’s scourge—scurvy, a severe vitamin C deficiency—plagued Columbus’s first colony and worsened the illnesses behind their town’s collapse. Read more.

The Adamkayalar (man-rocks), located on the sheer slopes of the Şeytan Deresi Valley in the southern province of Mersin, often take visitors by surprise with their large-scale human reliefs, which are estimated to have been made between the first century B.C. and the second century A.D.

The rocks are made up of 11 males, four females, two children, an ibex and Roman eagle reliefs in nine niches. Ümit Aydınoğlu, an associate professor in the Archaeology Department of Mersin University, said the Adam Kayalar are completely unique in Anatolia.

As the Adam Kayalar region was once considered a sacred area, the reliefs of notables or commanders’ families and children were made on the rocks to show appreciation. Read more.

Who says only modern-day pro wrestling is fake?

Researchers have deciphered a Greek document that shows an ancient wrestling match was fixed. The document, which has a date on it that corresponds to the year A.D. 267, is a contract between two teenagers who had reached the final bout of a prestigious series of games in Egypt.

This is the first time that a written contract between two athletes to fix a match has been found from the ancient world.

In the contract, the father of a wrestler named Nicantinous agrees to pay a bribe to the guarantors (likely the trainers) of another wrestler named Demetrius. Both wrestlers were set to compete in the final wrestling match of the 138th Great Antinoeia, an important series of regional games held along with a religious festival in Antinopolis, in Egypt. They were in the boys’ division, which was generally reserved for teenagers. Read more.

Russian archaeologists have resumed excavations in a remote site near the Arctic Circle in the attempt to understand a perplexing find of medieval mummies clad in copper masks.

Roughly 1,000 years old, the mummies were found during a series of excavations that started in 1997 in a Siberian necropolis near the village of Zeleniy Yar, at the base of a peninsula local people called “the end of the Earth.”

The archaeologists found 34 shallow graves with seven male adults, three male infants, and one female child wearing a copper mask. Buried with a hoard of artifacts, most of the bodies had shattered or missing skulls, and smashed skeletons. Read more.

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People of numerous pre-Columbian civilizations in northern Chile, including the Incas and the Chinchorro culture, suffered from chronic arsenic poisoning due to their consumption of contaminated water, new research suggests.

Previous analyses showed high concentrations of arsenic in the hair samples of mummies from both highland and coastal cultures in the region. However, researchers weren’t able to determine whether the people had ingested arsenic or if the toxic element in the soil had diffused into the mummies’ hair after they were buried.

In the new study, scientists used a range of high-tech methods to analyze hair samples from a 1,000- to 1,500-year-old mummy from the Tarapacá Valley in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Read more.