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Posts tagged "british"

A trove of skulls and other body parts unearthed in the heart of London may have once belonged to Roman gladiators, war captives or criminals, a new study suggests.

The remains, described in the January issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, belonged to about 40 men, mostly ages 25 to 35, and were marred by violence: cheek fractures, blunt-force trauma to the head, decapitation and injuries from sharp weapons, said study co-author Rebecca Redfern, a curator and bioarchaeologist at the Museum of London. Read more.

Archaeologist Mike Haseler believes he has evidence to suggest that the battle of Mons Graupius took place in Moray.

Mons Graupius was a key battle for British independence against the repressive hand of Rome almost 2000 years ago.

According to the Romans, 10,000 Britons died that day at the hands of this first European super-state, while many others fled the scene.

Despite stringent efforts by experts, the site of the battle between the Romans and the Caledonians – in either 83AD or 84AD – has never been conclusively identified.

However, Mr Haseler believes his research strongly points to the battle taking place near Elgin, at Quarrelwood Hill to the north-west of the town. Read more.

The mysteries behind Henry VIII’s warship the Mary Rose could lead to a better understanding of how British people lived over 500 years ago, researchers hope.

For the past 18 months the Mary Rose Trust has been working with sports scientists from the College of Engineering at Swansea University to discover more about the lives of medieval archers on board.

When the ship, which sank in 1545, was raised from the Solent in 1982 many thousands of medieval artefacts along with 92 fairly complete skeletons and 100 or so other human remains were recovered.

Nick Owen, a sport and exercise biomechanist at Swansea now hopes scientists across the world can help draw a “fuller picture” of those on board. Read more.

Marine archaeologists working on a wreck off the coast of Sicily have discovered five large cannon from a British ship, believed to have sunk in a major battle with Spanish galleons.

The team searching waters near the city of Syracuse said the “exceptional” find dates back to the Battle of Cape Passaro in the early 1700s.

Pictures taken by divers show the cannon were barely covered by sand.

The discovery has helped pinpoint the exact location of the famous battle.

The cannon have now been brought to the surface - after 300 years in the deep sea - and cleaned.

According to the archaeologists, they are in such fine condition that - in some places - the barrels still gleam in the light. Read more.

More than most archaeological periods from pre-history, Britain’s Bronze Age is constantly being re-assessed as archaeologists and historians find new evidence of its richness and complexity. 

Now the boundaries of what we know about this increasingly sophisticated period are being pushed even further by a small pottery sherd which is currently on display at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall. 

The piece of pottery was found during archaeological excavations of a Late Bronze Age roundhouse on St Agnes, on the Isles of Scilly, in 2009, and some archaeologists believe it clearly shows etched lines that resemble a sailing ship. 

For Sean Taylor, an archaeologist with the Cornwall Council Historic Environment Service (CCHES), the find could be hugely significant for our understanding of the Bronze Age. 

“The sherd is part of a small thick-walled vessel, perhaps a cup or beaker, and it’s highly unusual in that it has been inscribed, prior to firing, with a freehand design,” he explains.

“If this is a ship, and it does look like a masted ship, then this is the earliest representation of a boat ever found in the UK.” Read more.

MYSTIC, Conn. — Most local residents are familiar with the massacre and burning of the Pequot Indian fort in 1637 by English forces and their Native American allies.

What is lesser known is that as the surviving 75 British soldiers and 200 allies retreated toward ships on the Thames River, they had to fight off fierce attacks from 300 Pequots and at one point may have burned a smaller Indian village they came across.

Now Kevin McBride, the director of research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, with help from 20 college students from across the country, is spending the summer in Pequot Woods retracing the steps that Capt. John Mason and his men took during that retreat.

"This is a real window into that time period," McBride said recently as his search team worked deep in the woods off a trail that leads to Mystic Meadow Lane. Read more.

From the original British gun positions at the fort’s southeast bastion, you can look across to Buffalo, N.Y., as the narrowing lake turns into the Niagara River.

Even now, it doesn’t take much imagination to understand just how strategically important the place had been two centuries ago.

But it’s the view to the west — across what’s now verdant parkland — that really intrigues John Triggs, chair of the department of archeology at Wilfrid Laurier University. It’s there that secrets lay buried.

In the summer and fall of 1814, this was the scene of a long and bloody battle with roughly 1,500 casualties, much of it played out along a 700-metre stretch of earthworks that the invading Americans had constructed westward from the fort itself, which they by then possessed. Read more.

Hands dirty, using a metal detector and a garden shovel in the dark earth, Garrett Silliman searched a Main Street building site for artifacts left from the Battle of Ridgefield — where his great, great, great, great, great-grandfather had been one of the commanders of colonial forces fighting the British.

“Gold Selleck Silliman,” he said. “He went by Selleck.”

Mr. Silliman, of Georgia-based Terminus Archeological Research, conducted five days of systematic investigation at 593 Main Street, a one-acre property with an empty 1950s house on it — and a recent approval for 16 units under the state’s affordable housing law, 8-30g.

The site is roughly where colonial militia led by General Benedict Arnold — and General Gold Selleck Silliman — erected a barricade of carts, stones and logs on April 27, 1777. There they made a stand against British troops’ retreat from burning Danbury to ships anchored off what is now Westport. Read more.