Archaeological News

            The latest news in archaeology.       

    

counter for tumblr
Posts tagged "welsh"

Archaeologists have unearthed what is believed to be one of Europe’s oldest decorative wood carvings - dating back more than 6,000 - on a Valleys hillside.

The decorative carving was exposed by workmen during the construction of Maerdy Wind Farm in the Rhondda Valley.

Richard Scott Jones, an archaeologist from Heritage Recording Services Wales, said the piece of wood was “priceless” and would be unveiled to the public at the National History Museum in St Fagans next year.

He said the wood is likely to date back 6,270 years to the Late Mesolithic/Early Neolithic period.

“In archaeological circles, this is the is equivalent to winning the lottery,” he said. Read more.

Snowy conditions have revealed ancient Welsh settlements

Archaeologists have discovered ancient remains after they were “brought back to life” by the snow covering the landscape.

Settlements dating back 4,000 years were only found because just the right amount of snow fell on the countryside.

Experts were flying over the landscape in a light aircraft when they spotted the Bronze Age remains below.

A combination of the snow and the low sun in the sky at this time of year provided ideal conditions to plot the sites for the first time.

"Snow evens out the colours of the landscape allowing complex earthwork monuments to be seen more clearly and precisely." Read more.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have embarked on an excavation to unlock the mysteries of an ancient and iconic Welsh burial site.

Staff and students from the University of Chester and fellow specialists from Bangor University, have started the third phase of Project Eliseg at. Llangollen.

The team are hoping to unearth the secrets of a ninth-century stone monument on a prehistoric mound at The Pillar of Eliseg near Valle Crucis Abbey in Llangollen.

Professor Nancy Edwards of Bangor University’s School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology, said: ”The main aim of the project is to better understand this enigmatic monument and how it was used and reused over time.” Read more.

Welsh people could lay claim to be the most ancient Britons, according to scientists who have drawn up a genetic map of the British Isles.

Research suggests the Welsh are genetically distinct from the rest of mainland Britain.

Professor Peter Donnelly, of Oxford University, said the Welsh carry DNA which could be traced back to the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago.

The project surveyed 2,000 people in rural areas across Britain.

Participants, as well as their parents and grandparents, had to be born in those areas to be included in the study.

Prof Donnelly, a professor of statistical science at Oxford University and director of the Wellcome Trust centre for human genetics, said DNA samples were analysed at about 500,000 different points. Read more.

Dr Aidan Dodson, a senior research fellow in Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology made the discovery while undertaking a long-term project to catalogue every single Egyptian coffin in English and Welsh provincial museums.

Dr Dodson said: “When I walked into Torquay Museum for the first time I realised that the coffin was something really special.  Not only was it of a design of which there is probably only one other example in the UK (in Bristol), but the quality was exceptional.

“Cut from a single log of cedar wood, it is exquisitely carved, inlaid and painted.  For a child to have been given something like that, he must have had very important parents – perhaps even a king and queen. Unfortunately, the part of the inscription which named the boy and his parents is so badly damaged that we cannot be certain.

“The inscription had been re-worked at some point for a new owner – a 2,500 year old mummified boy, anonymous but given the name Psamtek by his current custodians, that came to Torquay Museum with the coffin when in was donated in the 1950s.  ‘Psamtek’ is in fact nearly 1,000 years younger than the coffin itself.” Read more.

A TEST to show how people in the Iron Age communicated using Welsh peaks was yesterday hailed a success.

Scores of volunteers flashed torches to each other from 10 hillforts in North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire. The furthest link spanned 15 miles, between hills at Burton Point on the Wirral and Cheshire’s Maiden Castle.

The experiment was designed to see how easily Iron Age communities could interact from their hilltop homes thousands of years ago. Read more.