Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "marble"

A group of archaeologists has discovered a life-sized marble head of Aphrodite while uncovering an ancient pool-side mosaic in southern Turkey.

Buried under soil for hundreds of years, the goddess of love and beauty has some chipping on her nose and face. Researchers think her presence could shed light on the extent of the Roman Empire’s wide cultural influence at the time of its peak.

Archaeologists found the sculpture while working at a site called Antiochia ad Cragum (Antioch on the cliffs), on the Mediterranean coast. The researchers believe the region, which is dotted with hidden inlets and coves, would have been a haven for Cilician pirates — the same group who kidnapped Julius Caesar and held him for ransom around 75 B.C. Read more.

Italian researchers have unearthed a marble benchmark which was once used to measure the shape of Earth in the 19th century.

Called Benchmark B, the marker was found near the town of Frattocchie along one of the earliest Roman roads which links the Eternal City to the southern city of Brindisi.

Placed there by Father Angelo Secchi (1818-1878), a pioneer of astrophysics, the marker consisted of a small travertine slab with a metallic plate in the middle. The plate featured a hole at its center.

“The hole was the terminal point of the geodetic baseline which run in the ancient Appian Way near Rome, between the tomb of Cecilia Metella, a daughter of a Roman consul, and a tower near Frattocchie,” Tullio Aebischer, a cartographical consultant at the department of mathematics and physics of Roma Tre University, told Discovery News. Read more.

ATHENS- Greek police recovered an ancient statue that was illegally excavated and hidden in a goat pen near Athens, and arrested the goat herder and another man who were allegedly trying to sell the work for €500,000 ($667,000).

The marble statue of a young woman dates to about 520 BC and belongs to the kore type, a police statement said Wednesday. Police photos showed the 1.2-metre work to be largely intact, lacking the left forearm and plinth.

Although dozens of examples of the kore statue and its male equivalent, the kouros, are displayed in Greek and foreign museums, the type is considered very important in the development and understanding of Greek art. New discoveries in good condition are uncommon.

Archaeologists who inspected the find estimated its market value at €12 million ($16 million), a police official said. Read more.

ATHENS, GREECE - Three ancient marble fragments from the collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles have been repatriated to Greece following a deal last year.

A culture ministry statement says two of the 2,400-year-old pieces are parts of the same broken gravestone decorated with relief sculptures, and will be joined onto a third section in a Greek museum.

The Getty also returned an inscribed slab related to a religious festival.

The 5th century B.C. fragments arrived in Athens Friday. Greece is discussing lending an ancient Greek inscription to the Getty in return.

In recent years, the Getty has repatriated to Athens another four significant ancient works, including a gold wreath allegedly illegally excavated in northern Greece.

Most of the Greek antiquities displayed in museums worldwide are of uncertain provenance. Read more.

Four archaeological sites have been found on the route of a highway section under construction near the northeastern Bulgarian town of Shumen.

The National Archaeological Institute has already proposed to the Road Infrastructure Agency that urgent rescue excavations be carried out on the terrain, according to reports from private TV channel bTV.

A piece of processed marble led the experts to the conclusion that there were archaeological finds beneath the surface of the future highway stretch.

Under Bulgarian legislation, road construction works may resume only after the rescueexcavations have been completed.

"Nothing is happening…and I am afraid that winter will come and we will have to postpone it for spring because we will no longer be able to work when it starts snowing ", said Lyudmil Vagalinski, director of the National Archaeological Institute and Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), in an interview for bTV on Monday. Read more.

Cambridge scientists dig up evidence of beautiful marble figurines broken then buried by Greeks 4,500 years ago

To say it has been an archaeological mystery may be an understatement: why are fragments of beautiful but deliberately smashed bronze age figurines buried in shallow pits on a small, rocky Greek island whose main inhabitants have always been goats?

Today, academics at Cambridge University will release findings that shed light on the 4,500-year-old puzzle of Keros, a tiny Cycladic island in the Aegean.

It appears Keros was the ceremonial destination for a ritual that involved islanders breaking prized possessions and making a pilgrimage with fragments for burial.

"It is rather remarkable," said Professor Colin Renfrew, who led the most recent excavations.

"We believe that the breaking of statues and other goods was a ritual and that Keros was chosen as a sanctuary to preserve the effects." Read more.

Servilia and Lucius Caltilius Pamphilus, the married couple from Pompeii that was virtually reunited on a photomontage following the work of two British researchers, are now forever side by side in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.

Following Discovery News story early this month, the 2000-year-old marble puzzle made of several inscribed fragments has been physically pieced together at the museum by Giuseppe Camodeca, professor of Roman history and Latin epigraphy at the University of Naples “L’Orientale.”

Broken apart and buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79, the pieces belonged to a tomb inscription. They were unearthed in 1813 along the Via dei Sepolcri in Pompeii near a burial tomb known as “Tomb of the Marble Door.” Read more.