EXCAVATION in Somerset have revealed a gruesome glimpse of Iron-Age Britain.
Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a massacre involving hundreds, if not thousands of people, with some of the slaughtered bodies being stripped of their flesh or chopped up.
Human remains unearthed from an ancient site near Yeovil have cut marks, often in multiple rows, and occurring at the ends of important joints.
"It is as if they were trying to separate pieces of the body", according to Dr Marcus Brittain, the Cambridge archaeologist and head of a major excavation of Britain’s largest Iron-Age hill fort, Ham Hill. Read more.
Archaeologists from the Universities of Cambridge and Cardiff are currently undertaking their third, and final, round of excavations at Ham Hill, Britain’s biggest Iron-Age hill fort.
An excavation at Ham Hill, the largest Iron-Age hill fort in Britain, has revealed more about how the ancient structure was developed by its defenders in response to the Roman invasion.
Researchers have been studying the fort, which covers more than 80 hectares of the Somerset countryside, for the past three years in an attempt to understand more about its function, and how such a large structure was defended by the local population. Read more.
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of an Iron Age “loch village” in Wigtownshire, the first of its kind to be found in Scotland.
Experts believe it could be “Scotland’s Glastonbury”, a reference to the lake village in Somerset.
The excavation was part-financed with £15,000 from Historic Scotland.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop described the village discovery at Black Loch of Myrton as “an exciting and unexpected find”.
The dig was carried out this summer by AOC Archaeology Group, which hopes to use the pilot excavation as the starting point for a broader programme of archaeological activity. Read more.
A boat neck sweater made of warm wool and woven in diamond twill was a dominating fashion trend among reindeer hunters 1,700 years ago, according to researchers who have investigated an extremely well preserved Iron Age tunic found two years ago under melting snow in Norway.
Announced last March, the finding has been detailed in the current issue of the journal Antiquity.
“Due to global warming, rapid melting of snow patches and glaciers is taking place in the mountains of Norway as in other parts of the world, and hundreds of archaeological finds emerge from the ice each year,” Marianne Vedeler, from the University of Oslo, Norway, and Lise Bender Jørgensen, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, wrote. Read more.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University have unearthed the remains of massive ancient fortifications built around an Iron-Age Assyrian harbor in present-day Israel.
At the heart of the well-preserved fortifications is a mud-brick wall up to more than 12 feet wide and 15 feet high. The wall is covered in layers of mud and sand that stretch for hundreds of feet on either side. When they were built in the eighth century B.C.E., the fortifications formed a daunting crescent-shaped defense for an inland area covering more than 17 acres.
The finding comes at the end of the first excavation season at the Ashdod-Yam archaeological dig in the contemporary Israeli coastal city of Ashdod, just south of Tel Aviv. Dr. Alexander Fantalkin of TAU’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures is leading the project on behalf of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology. Read more.
Archaeologists have uncovered a Roman shrine at Rutland Water nature reserve.
The team from Northamptonshire Archaeology investigated the site ahead of a 240-acre extension to the reserve by Anglian Water.
They found the remains of an Iron Age farmstead, and a shrine dating from about AD100.
Jo Everitt, Anglian Water’s environment and heritage assessor, said: “Finding Roman shrines is not the norm, so we were delighted.”
Roman sites had been found in the area at Collyweston Great Woods, 14km (eight miles) to the south-east of Rutland, and another to the north-west of Rutland Water, near Oakham. Read more.
Archaeologists are starting a dig in Cardiff at what is being classed as a significant Iron Age hill fort.
Limited trial excavations at the fort in Ely, next to a link road from the M4 in the west of the city, took place last year.
Evidence of Iron Age pottery was found along with Bronze Age and Roman activity as well as Norman ringwork.
The Norman fort is next to a 13th Century church which is now a fragile ruin.
It is believed the fort was once a stronghold of the powerful Silurian tribe who inhabited this part of Wales before the arrival of the Romans.
Dr Dave Wyatt, a lecturer in early medieval history and community outreach at Cardiff University, is behind the project. Read more.
Historical treasures discovered during archaeological work at the Arla Foods dairy site will be on display at a public open evening later this month.
People are invited to view Iron Age and Roman artefacts uncovered during the archaeological study of the site which will include pottery, metalwork, coins and jewellery as well as images of skeletons found in burial sites.
The 12-week study by Prospect Archaeology was completed in February 2012 and revealed late Iron Age, early Roman and later Roman enclosures, as well as 10 inhumation burials and five cremation burials.
Although the settlement was low status, large quantities of pottery, a ‘dolphin’ brooch and a bronze cosmetic implement were all recovered. Read more.