It may look innocuous now, but this little stone may have killed someone 700 years ago.
The rough, kidney-shaped object was found in a medieval cemetery in Poland, and a new analysis has revealed it is actually a rather large bladder stone.
The stone was discovered in Gdańsk, a city on the Baltic coast of northern Poland, where archaeological excavations in 2001 uncovered a medieval burial ground that contained a thousand graves. Since this cemetery was used for about 800 years, the dead were not left to rest in peace; some corpses were exhumed and regrouped with other gravemates to make way for new bodies, according to the researchers, who reported the find in the journal PLOS ONE this month. Read more.
A 2,000-year-old cemetery with several underground tombs has been discovered near the Nile River in Sudan.
Archaeologists excavated several of the underground tombs, finding artifacts such as a silver ring, engraved with an image of a god, and a faience box, decorated with large eyes, which a researcher believes protected against the evil eye.
Villagers discovered the cemetery accidently in 2002 while digging a ditch near the modern-day village of Dangeil, and archaeological excavations have been ongoing since then. The finds were reported recently in a new book. Read more.
ROME (AFP).- Archaeologists in Italy have uncovered a cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome where they believe the variety of tombs found reflects the bustling town’s multi-cultural nature.
Ostia “was a town that was always very open, very dynamic,” said Paola Germoni, the director of the sprawling site — Italy’s third most visited after the Colosseum and Pompeii.”What is original is that there are different types of funeral rites: burials and cremations,” she said this week.
The contrasts are all the more startling as the tombs found are all from a single family — “in the Roman sense, in other words very extended”, Germoni said. Read more.
Archaeologists working at Whitby Abbey, the Benedictine ruins in North Yorkshire which have produced carved stones and the remains of an Anglian cemetery during 20 years of excavations, are preparing to reveal their latest findings from the site as they approach the end of a second week of investigations.
Two disconnected walls of a chapel and a ditch from the mid-Saxon period have been discovered so far by English Heritage experts, who expect to date and document the artefacts during the final week before refilling the trenches.
Metalworking debris is also thought to have been found. Tweeting from the Abbey, medieval and post-medieval expert Brian Kerr reported a “knackered but happy” team, adding that previous markers, left by archaeologists during excavations in 1999 and 2000, had helped the project. (source)
Coastal erosion of Saint -François, on the south coast of Grande-Terre, part of the Guadeloupe group of islands in the Lesser Antilles, has partially destroyed a colonial era cemetery situated on the beach. An archaeological excavation of the eroded area has been carried out by Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives (INRAP).
This particular cemetery has been known about for several years. In the 1990s, the discovery of a skull associated with a slave collar produced the initial clue. Since then, human bones and coffin nails have emerged from the sand at regular intervals. Surveys conducted in 2013 helped uncover 48 individual burials, with indications of wooden coffins. Read more.
Workers involved in the Olmos irrigation project in northern Peru have discovered 35 tombs that are believed to be 800 to 1,000 years old, according to daily El Comercio.
The tombs were found near Chiclayo in the Lambayeque region just after Christmas, when workers led by an archaeological service company were finishing work on an earlier discovery made along the route of the irrigation pipeline. The tombs belong to the Sican culture, which lived on Peru’s north coast from AD 750-1375. A video of the dig is available here, on El Comercio’s website.
The individuals buried in the tombs were accompanied by offerings that included ceramics and textiles, as well as metal pieces with gold-plated copper. Read more.
The remains of an ancient cemetery dating back to Roman times has been found on a Misrata farm.
When the owner of the farm unearthed what he believed to be an ancient tomb, he called in experts to examine the remains. They discovered that the find was one of a number of graves in a cemetery, according to Libyan news agency LANA.
Samples from the graves have been taken to the Department of Tourism and Antiquities at Misrata University for further examination. (source)
A large Lusatian culture community cemetery from the late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age, the period in which the famous fortified settlement in Biskupin was founded, was excavated by archaeologists in Łęgowo near Wągrowiec (Wielkopolska province).
"We studied 151 graves, which contained cremated ashes of the dead. Descendants spared no gifts in the form of pottery for the last journey - we counted more than a thousand vessels" - told PAP Marcin Krzepkowski, head of research.
Cremated remains were usually placed in urns. A common practice observed in the studied cemetery was covering urns with bowls, putting some vessels upside down , or putting them on the side and placing the scoops and cups in large ceramic containers. Read more.