Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "cave"

YEREVAN. – Excavations at Areni 1 Cave in Armenia’s Vayots Dzor region unearthed a more-than-5,900-year-old women’s straw-woven skirt, Armenian Archaeology and Ethnography Institute Director Pavel Avetisyan told Armenian News-News.am. 

Avetisyan informed that this artifact was discovered in 2010 and, even though they had informed about this precious item at the time, interest toward it grew further only recently. 

“The women’s clothing dates back to 39th century BC. So far we have discovered the skirt’s parts, which were superbly preserved. It is an amazing material with rhythmic color hues, and other remnants of the straw-woven material were also discovered. Such thing is recorded in Armenia for the first time,” Avetisyan noted. Read more.

New investigations at an iconic cave site on the Channel Island of Jersey have led archaeologists to believe the Neanderthals have been widely under-estimated.

Neanderthals survived in Europe through a number of ice ages and died out only about 30,000 years ago.

The site at La Cotte de St Brelade reveals a near-continuous use of the cave site spanning over a quarter of a million years, suggesting a considerable success story in adapting to a changing climate and landscape, prior to the arrival of Homo Sapiens.

The La Cotte ravine has revealed the most prolific collection of early Neanderthal technology in North West Europe, including over 250,000 stone tools. These include stones with sharpened edges, that could be used to cut or chop, known as hand axes.

"Archaeologists have developed new ways of looking at stone tools since La Cotte de St Brelade was excavated in the 1970s," says Dr Beccy Scott from the British Museum and the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project. Read more.

Human evolution’s tide may have turned on lake and sea shores

In a cave hugging South Africa’s lush southern coastline, Curtis Marean suspects he has cornered a wily Stone Age crew that brought humans back from extinction’s brink. These plucky refugees of continent-wide desolation were able to pull off such a stunning evolutionary turnaround because they got lucky. A coastal oasis near the bottom of the world spread its sheltering arms in the nick of time.

Marean proposes that it was there, where the Arizona State University archaeologist now conducts excavations, that humankind’s mental tide turned sometime between 164,000 and 120,000 years ago. Seaside survivors learned to read the moon’s phases in order to harvest heaps of shellfish — brain food extraordinaire — during a few precious days each month when ocean tides safely retreated.

Tantalizing traces of complex thinking and behavior, including lunar literacy, have turned up at South Africa’s Pinnacle Point, a cave-specked promontory that juts into the Indian Ocean. Read more.

The bones of six humans—including two children—jade beads, shells, and stone tools are among the Maya “treasures” recently found in a water-filled cave off a sinkhole at the famous archaeological site of Chichén Itzá in Mexico, archaeologists say.

The ancient objects are most likely related to a ritual human sacrifice during a time when water levels were lower, sometime between A.D. 850 and 1250, the researchers say. Read more.

Beijing, June 12 (IANS) An unfinished Buddhist scripture dating to around 386 A.D. has been found engraved on a cave wall in China.

Archaeological workers discovered the scripture in northern China’s Hebei province, Xinhua reported.

The scripture - named the Lotus Sutra - was found in a cave in Xiangtangshan region, an official said.

It is believed to have been created during the Northern Dynasties (386 to 581 A.D.), but was not finished, the official said.

'We'll probe into the reason why the work was halted,' he added.

The Xiangtangshan area includes 16 caves and over 450 cliffside sculptures. It came under state protection in 1961. (source)

Textiles and rope fragments found in a Peruvian cave have been dated to around 12,000 years ago, making them the oldest textiles ever found in South America, according to a report in the April issue of Current Anthropology.

The items were found 30 years ago in Guitarrero Cave high in the Andes Mountains. Other artifacts found along with the textiles had been dated to 12,000 ago and even older. However, the textiles themselves had never been dated, and whether they too were that old had been controversial, according to Edward Jolie, an archaeologist at Mercyhurst College (PA) who led this latest research. Read more.

During two brief periods a year, a few select paleontologists, geologists and other specialists receive special permission from the French government to pass through a vault-like door on a cliff above the Ardeche River in southwestern France. Once inside the Chauvet cave, they become members of an exclusive group — those who have witnessed, in three dimensions, the oldest known art in the world.

Discovered in 1994, the 32,000-year-old cave paintings show bears, bison, tigers and horses ranging with life-like movement over wavy limestone walls. To preserve the images, France has strictly limited entry to the cavern. But among those granted access last spring was filmmaker Werner Herzog, who took in a 3-D camera and brought out a 90-minute film that gives viewers entrée to a spectacular place to which they would otherwise never be admitted. Read more.

It was probably more interesting 34,000 years ago. Then, from Paviland cave you would have seen mammoths, rhinos, oryx, vast herds of deer, even the odd sabre-toothed tiger, all roaming across the plain below. Now it’s just water – the Bristol Channel swashing against the jagged rock beneath the cave, Lundy Island in the distance, the coast of south-west England beyond that.

Paviland is only accessible for a couple of hours a day – unless you fancy a tricky climb – so I’ve decided to stay here for 24 hours, sleeping in the cave, sunbathing on the rocks, and wishing I’d brought some board games to play with my companions, local survival expert Andrew Price and photographer Gareth Phillips.

Cave life can be a little on the dull side.

Paviland cave, on the Gower peninsula in South Wales, is a crucial site for tracing the origins of human life in Britain. It was in here, in 1823, that William Buckland, the first professor of geology at Oxford University, excavated the remains of a body that had been smeared with red ochre (naturally occurring iron oxide) and buried with a selection of periwinkle shells and ivory rods. Buckland initially thought the body was that of a customs officer, killed by smugglers. Then he decided it was a Roman prostitute – he wrongly believed the iron-age fort on the hilltop above the cave was Roman. This misidentification gave the headless skeleton its name – “the Red Lady of Paviland” – and it is still called the Red Lady, even though we now know two things Buckland didn’t: the remains are those of a young man, probably in his late 20s, and they were buried 34,000 years ago. Read more.