Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "excavations"

Illegal excavations are taking place at important archaeological sites all over Syria that are “extremely dangerous” and “lethal” to the country’s cultural heritage, the UN cultural agency said Wednesday.

Francesco Bandarin, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organzation’s assistant director-general for culture, told a news conference that illegal digging has happened from the ancient Sumerian city of Mari to the ancient cities of Ebla, Palmyra and Apamea.

"All of them have been subject to this phenomena, some of them to an extent that is unimaginable," he said. "Apamea — it’s completely destroyed." Read more.

A mass grave has been located which historians believe may be the resting place of members of the National Armed Forces (NSZ), one of the chief Polish resistance groups to stay active following the end of the Second World War.

Victims appear to have been shot in the back of the head, a characteristic trait in executions carried out by Poland’s Soviet-modelled secret police.

Researchers have indicated that the remains may belong to the underground division of Captain Henryk Flame (codename Bartek).

Captain Flame was himself shot down by a policeman in a restaurant in the Lower Silesian village of Zabrzeg on 1 December 1947.

Today’s excavation comes under the auspices of a nationwide programme entitled “The search for unknown burial places of victims of communist terror in the years 1944-1956.” Read more.

After 22 years of male only excavation teams, women have recently joined ongoing excavation works in the ancient city of Metropolis in İzmir’s Torbalı town within the scope of a new project lead by the Turkish Labor Institution (İŞKUR).

“Excavations have been conducted for 22 years with male labors, but women finally joined the works with the help of a project by the Turkish Labor Institution,” head of excavations and an Assistant Professor at Trakya University Archeology Department Serdar Aybek said.

Excavation works were initiated in 1989 by Professor Recep Meriç in Metropolis, located in the Ionia region, which has a rich historical stratification, Aybek said. The excavations have been conducted under the support of the Culture Ministry, Thracian University, Sabancı Foundation and Torbalı Municipality. Read more.

The excavation works at the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Ilısu River are soon to begin with seven local and two foreign teams. The works are slated to protect the areas that would otherwise be submerged after the construction of the contentious Ilısu Dam. 

The “Ilısu Protection Excavation” works will be located at Körtik, Salattepe, Karavelyan, Hakemi Use, Müslüman Tepe, Ziyarettepe and Hırbemerdon. The total number of excavation works will be 17, Diyarbakır Museum manager Nevin Soyukaya told the Anatolia news agency. Works at Hakemi Use and Salattepe have already begun and the other works will begin this year. 

Some of the excavations at other venues such as Aluçtepe, Gre Abdurrahman and Aşağısalat tumulus have already finished and very important discoveries have been made as a result of these excavations, Soyukaya said. Read more.

AN archaeological dig is currently taking place in Middlewich in a bid to find a Roman cemetery.

Experts from Oxford Archaeology North are excavating land in King Street industrial estate and are expected to stay on site until late August.

They are also hoping to make discoveries relating to Roman industry.

It follows tests on the site in 2008 which revealed evidence of cremation urns.

“That gives us a good indication that there’s something there,” said Kerry Fletcher, heritage officer for Middlewich Town Council.

“The Romans occupied Middlewich for 400 years so there’s got to be a cemetery somewhere.

“It’s a very complex site because as we dig it’s growing and growing in size.

“We still don’t know how big the Roman settlement was. This will go some way to answer that question.” Read more.

Icelandic archeologist Orri Vésteinsson will lead an excavation project in Garðar of the Eastern Settlement in Igaliku fjord in south Greenland in July and August this summer, where the remains of a church and other buildings from the Middle Ages are located. Garðar served as bishopric for the Nordic settlement in Greenland.

Three other archeologists from the Icelandic Institute of Archeology and seven archeologists from the US and Greenland will also take part in the project, Morgunblaðið reports.

In 2005, well-preserved animal bones and objects that are believed to date back to the Nordic settlement were discovered when wetlands near the remains were drained. This summer’s excavation will be focused on this area. Read more.

( - Kodumanal in Erode district never stops yielding.

Renewed archaeological excavation in the village in April and May this year by the Department of History, Pondicherry University, has yielded a bonanza again. The artefacts unearthed from four trenches in the habitational mound have revealed an industrial complex that existed around fourth century BCE. The industries in the complex made iron and steel, textiles, bangles out of conch-shells and thousands of exquisite beads from semi-precious stones such as sapphire, beryl, quartz, lapis-lazuli, agate, onyx, carnelian and black-cat eye, and ivory.

Terracotta spindle whorls for spinning cotton and a thin gold wire were found in the complex, which has also thrown up 130 potsherds with Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions, including 30 with Tamil-Brahmi words. Read more.

MOMBASA, Kenya, May 8 – The second round of the historical underwater ship excavation in a $3.6 million partnership project in the Coastal region of Kenya is set to commence in November with the arrival of Chinese archaeologists in the country.

A 13-member delegation has been in the country since last month to conduct surveillance over the expected archaeological sites in Mombasa and Malindi-Mambrui/Ngomeni area, according to the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) Assistant Director of Coastal region Athman Hussein.

Hussein told journalists here on Tuesday that a team of 80 people will be around to ensure the historical event is filmed and transmitted to the whole world as a way to help market Kenya as an underwater cultural heritage hub.

The Mambrui wreck, according to Athman, is a local ship believed to be between 150-200 years old, while the Mombasa channel has two wreckages, both assumed to have been ships from the Portuguese which sunk in the 17th century and are near Fort Jesus. Read more.