A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds.
The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises.
The sundial might be “evidence of attempts of ancient researchers to understand patterns of apparent motion of luminaries and the nature of time,” study researcher Larisa Vodolazhskaya of the Archaeoastronomical Research Center at Southern Federal University in Russia told Live Science in an email. Read more.
Archaeologists have uncovered what could be a prehistoric barbeque pit used by large bands of hunters at the Prastio-Mesorotsos site in the Paphos district.
According to the antiquities department the team of archaeologists led by a University of Edinburgh professor, examined the prehistoric remains from the site, which was later settled during various other eras in antiquity.
It said the earliest deposits on the site dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period – around 8000 BC to 7000 BC – and revealed storage pits and food preparation areas.
Two features from different areas of the site also revealed sophisticated pyrotechnology. Read more.
Conventional estimates for the collapse of the Aegean civilization may be incorrect by up to a century, according to new radiocarbon analyses.
While historical chronologies traditionally place the end of the Greek Bronze Age at around 1025 BCE, this latest research suggests a date 70 to 100 years earlier.
Archaeologists from the University of Birmingham selected 60 samples of animal bones, plant remains and building timbers, excavated at Assiros in northern Greece, to be radiocarbon dated and correlated with 95.4% accuracy using Bayesian statistical methodology at the University of Oxford and the Akademie der Wissenschaften Heidelberg, Germany.
The findings are published in the journal PLOS One. Read more.
A flint-bladed knife with a wooden handle has been found in an archaeological dig in Rødby in southern Zealand. It is the first such knife ever found in Denmark and it is at least 3,000 years old.
While Stone Age flint knives are a somewhat common find, finding a flint knife with a wooden handle, an improvement that first appeared in the Bronze Age (which fizzled out in about 1200 BC), has never happened before.
"A dagger of this type has never before been found in Denmark,” Anders Rosendahl, an archaeologist at the Lolland-Falster Museum, told Jyllands-Posten. “It is exciting to find such a magnificent specimen.” Read more.
Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC) in Istanbul is hosting an exhibition titled “The Forgotten Kingdom, Archaeology and Photography at Ancient Alalakh.”
An ancient city-state, Alalakh was a late Bronze Age capital in the Amuq River valley of the eastern province of Hatay. It was occupied even before 2,000 B.C., when the first palace was built, and likely destroyed in the 12th century B.C., after which it was never reoccupied. The city contained palaces, temples, private houses and fortifications. Contemporary Antakya developed near the site.
Curated by Murat Akar and Hélène Maloigne, the exhibition consists of photographs from the area’s first excavation by British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s, alongside photographs from this century by Akar. Read more.
Some of the most high-status pieces of prehistoric “bling”, prized by Stonehenge’s Bronze Age social elite, are likely to have been made by children, according to new research.
An analysis of intricately decorated objects found near the ancient stone circle shows that the craftwork involved such tiny components that only children – or extremely short-sighted adults – would have been able to focus closely enough on the ultra-fine details to make them.
The research into the human eyesight optics of micro-gold-working in the Bronze Age has considerable implications for understanding society in Western Europe 4,000 years ago. Read more.
Emmet’s Post, named after one of several pillars built to divide Lee and Shaugh Moors in 1835, is being investigated as part of a government-approved quarry expansion on the edge of Dartmoor.
The mound of the post, on the boundaries of a china clay pit, was confirmed as a Bronze Age bowl barrow during a dig in 2011. Oxford Archaeology have been granted Scheduled Monument Consent by English Heritage in a bid to discover how the site was constructed and used over the centuries.
‘‘The barrow at Emmets Post, with its slightly hollowed-out top, is not the best-preserved of these Bronze Age monuments,” said Andrew Josephs, an archaeologist for Sibelco, the minerals firm paying for the project. Read more.
Archaeologists have discovered signs of human habitation, possibly dating back 4,000 years, on Sligo’s Coney Island.
A box-like structure built from large stone slabs found on the island may have been used for bathing or cooking during the Bronze Age, experts believe. It has been excavated by a team led by Eamonn Kelly, director of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum.
The structure is thought to be part of a fulacht fiadh, a prehistoric trough or pit that was dug into the ground and filled with water. Stones, heated separated on an outdoor hearth, would be added to bring the water to boil. Read more.