For years, few were interested in unearthing what lay beneath old gallows and scaffolds. But, in Germany, growing interest in “execution site archaeology” is throwing much light on how the executed died and the executors lived.
Her interests initially focused on fashion, but then they migrated to murder and decay. Marita Genesis, 42, worked as a runway model for Escada after graduating from secondary school. Later, she studied ancient and early history, and learned about criminal law.Now, the archaeologist is surrounded by criminals. She is standing in a storeroom belonging to the Thuringia State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and pointing at a number of bones. These are the remains of thieves, sodomites and child murderers. Read more.
COLOGNE, Germany — After long being sidelined for Roman excavations, an archaeological dig in western Germany has unearthed myriad traces of daily life in one of Europe’s oldest and biggest Jewish communities.
From ceramic dishes and tools to toys, animal bones and jewellery, some 250,000 artefacts have so far shed light on various periods in 2,000 years of the city of Cologne’s history.
And they include many piecing together Cologne’s little-known but rich Jewish history.
But plans to display the findings, discovered since 2007 by head archaeologist Sven Schuette’s team at the 10,000 square-metre (32,800 square-foot) city centre dig, in a new museum have proved divisive. Read more.
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AFP) - Kosovo’s culture minister on Friday said Germany had returned seven millennia-old artefacts that were smuggled out during the 1998-1999 war with Serbia and unexpectedly found in a German police raid.
The seven terracotta items, including a small bowl, date back to the neolithic era, between 3,500 to 4,000 BC. They were found by German police in an unrelated investigation against two Serbs several years ago, Memli Krasniqi said, adding that it took a while to confirm the items came from Kosovo. Read more.
BOGOTA, Colombia — Nearly a century ago, Konrad Preuss did pioneering work in Colombia’s most important archaeological zone, called San Agustin. But the German archaeologist also took 35 stone statues back to Germany, and now residents of the southern Colombian region where he worked have mounted a campaign to get them back.
About 1,800 residents of the Andean community of the San Agustin region signed a petition this month in a grass-roots effort to urge Colombia’s government to make a formal request for the return of the intriguing artifacts. Some of the statues are on display and others are in storage at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin’s Dahlem neighborhood. Read more.
Anyone writing a book about the history of carpentry may want to include these latest discoveries in the first chapter: Wooden water wells made out of oak timbers dated to over 7,000 years ago were discovered in eastern Germany, and their workmanship suggests an unexpected sophistication in carpentry skills for Neolithic farming communities of the time. The oak timbers, 151 in all, were preserved in a waterlogged environment were dated to between 5469 and 5098 BC.
“This early Neolithic craftsmanship now suggests that the first farmers were also the first carpenters”, a study of the finds reports.
Moreover, they were made long before metal was discovered and used in the manufacture of tools that would have been used to fashion and construct the wells. It challenges previous assumptions that metal tools were required to create more complex wooden structures, such as these wells. Read more.
Call it a card player’s dream. A complete set of 52 silver playing cards gilded in gold and dating back 400 years has been discovered.
Created in Germany around 1616, the cards were engraved by a man named Michael Frömmer, who created at least one other set of silver cards.
According to a story, backed up by a 19th-century brass plate, the cards were at one point owned by a Portuguese princess who fled the country, cards in hand, after Napoleon’s armies invaded in 1807.
At the time they were created in 1616 no standardized cards existed; different parts of Europe had their own card styles. This particular set uses a suit seen in Italy, with swords, coins, batons and cups in values from ace to 10. Read more.
An archaeological team from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz has discovered the precise location of the oldest Roman military fortification known to date in Germany – in the vicinity of Hermeskeil, a small town some 30 km southeast of Trier in the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
This discovery sheds new light on the Roman conquest of Gaul. The camp was built during Julius Caesars’ Gallic War in the late 50s BCE. Nearby lies a late Celtic settlement with monumental fortifications known as the ‘Hunnenring’ or ‘Circle of the Huns,’ which functioned as one of the major centers of the local Celtic tribe called Treveri. Their territory is situated in the mountainous regions between the Rhine and Maas rivers. Read more.
Workers digging on the underground network in the western city of Duesseldorf have uncovered a 34-kilogramme (76-pound) woolly mammoth tusk over 10,000 years old, city officials said on Tuesday.
Excavation work was stopped immediately while the 1.20-metre-long tusk was gently removed and taken away for scientific study, Duesseldorf authorities said in a statement.
The tusk was the only part of the animal found during the dig some 12 metres below the surface.
Woolly mammoths died out in the region around present-day Germany some 10,000 years ago. (source)