Initial funding has been secured for an ambitious archaeological project to uncover a lost 17th-century town in Northern Ireland.
The site beside Dunluce Castle on the scenic Causeway Coast has been hailed as potentially the region’s own “little Pompeii”.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has now provided more than £300,000 for an excavation project and signalled the potential for a total support package of £4 million.
The ruins of the castle have stood on the rocky coastal outcrop near Bushmills in north Antrim for centuries but it was only four years ago that archaeologists re-discovered a lost settlement beside the famous landmark. Read more.
The area which gave rise to the name Neanderthal will run out of public funding for archaeology in two years - North Rhine-Westphalia state government is phasing out its financial support
The region is riddled with the remains of all sorts of ancient societies and attracts archaeologists from around the world.
With Roman settlements along the River Rhine and as the region where Neanderthals were discovered, and thus named after, NRW has long been a source of learning about our predecessors.
But this could soon die out, as the Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Thursday that the state government plans to cut its funding each year until 2015, when there will be nothing left at all. Read more.
Italian authorities have launched a $30 million effort to restore the Colosseum in Rome, scheduled to get underway in December.
The ancient arena has withstood 2,000 years of history. But it’s been showing its age recently, with large cracks appearing and fragments falling off.
The source of funding for the restoration project, though, has generated some controversy. While $30 million doesn’t sound like a lot when you’re talking about fixing up one of the most famous historical landmarks on the planet, but faced with the euro crisis, huge debts and a stagnant economy, Italy’s government doesn’t have a cent to spare.
So the $30 million for the Colosseum project is coming from Diego Della Valle, the billionaire owner of luxury shoe and leather goods company Tod’s. Many Italians worried he might try to commercialize the restoration by, say, putting billboards on the ancient amphitheater. Read more.
Archaeologists excavating what they claim is Britain’s oldest house have secured more than £1m in funding.
The circular structure at Star Carr near Scarborough was found in 2008 and dates from 8,500BC.
Archaeologists from the Universities of Manchester and York say the site is deteriorating due to environmental changes.
The European Research Council has given them £1.23m to finish the work before information from the site is lost.
Time running out
Nicky Milner, an archaeologist from the University of York, said the site was deteriorating rapidly.
“The water table has fallen and the peat is shrinking and it is severely damaging the archaeology,” she said. Read more.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have secured more than £1 million in funding to delve deeper into the history of Britain’s earliest surviving house discovered in North Yorkshire, writes Daniel Birch.
A team of archaeologists from the universities of York and Manchester helped unearth the house at Star Carr, a Stone Age site, near Scarborough, in 2010.
The wooden house, which is 3.5 metres wide, predates the house previously thought to be Britain’s oldest house in Howick, Northumberland, by at least 500 years.
The Star Carr structure dates back to 9,000 BC when hunter-gatherers lived in Britain and the research team unearthed the circular building next to an ancient lake at the site. Read more.
A 2,000-pound cannon hauled up from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship off the North Carolina coast last week has stirred more interest in the infamous 18th-century pirate and brought more visitors to Beaufort, a small seaport near the site of the wreck. And since state funding for the work on the Queen Anne’s Revenge has all but dried up, archaeologists may have to rely on that public interest to resume work at the shipwreck next spring.
North Carolina State Archaeologist Steve Claggett said funding for next season’s work is uncertain. “We’ll do our darndest to find money and keep working,” Claggett said. “I’ll be optimistic and say there’s a small chance we won’t go back.”
It takes about $150,000 per season to fund the work at the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Archaeologists work at the site when conditions are most favorable in late May and June and in September and October. Read more.
The future of an internationally important Roman town buried in an area of Norfolk has been secured thanks to a huge funding boost.
The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has announced it will be giving £374,000 to the Norfolk Archaeological Trust (NAT) to purchase part of Venta Icenorum which lies beneath fields at Caistor St Edmund.
The Roman town – one of only three Roman regional centres in Britain that remains not built over – was at high risk of permanent damage as a result of farming and unauthorised metal detecting. It has been saved thanks to the NHMF grant and support from other organisations. As well as the NHMF grant, English Heritage has contributed £40,000, South Norfolk Council has provided £20,000, and the rest of the money needed came from NAT’s own resources. Read more.
THE University of Sydney has scored another fundraising coup, a $6.9 million bequest from Tom Austen Brown, a solicitor and part-time archeologist who died in 2009.
This is in addition to $1.8m Brown had already given the university during his lifetime.
The announcement comes a week after Pablo Picasso’s Jeune fille endormie, an anonymous gift, raised $20.7m at auction in London, with the proceeds earmarked for medical research.
Chairman of archeology in Sydney’s faculty of arts and social sciences Ted Robinson said the Austen Brown bequest would be transformative, allowing “archeology to be done as it should be done”.
“We cannot do it under the current funding model,” Dr Robinson said.
He said because archeology fell under arts and social sciences,
it was allocated less funding for each student than science, which took into account capital requirements such as laboratories and equipment. Read more.