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Archaeology News Network


  • Originally published 07/25/2013

    4,500 year old settlement uncovered in Egypt

    Remains of a settlement from the period of the builders of the great pyramids (Dynasty III-VI) have been uncovered at Tell el-Murra in the Nile Delta by archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University. Polish archaeologists have been working at Tell el-Murra since 2008. The settlement is located in the north-eastern part of the Nile Delta, in the vicinity of another site from the same period - Tell el-Farkha, studied by archaeologists from Poznań and Kraków....

  • Originally published 07/25/2013

    Large Hellenistic mosaic found in Calabria

    The largest and most articulated Hellenistic mosaic from Magna Grecia has been found in Monasterace Marina, ancient Kaulonia, in the southern Italian region of Calabria.Last year mosaics depicting a dragon and dolphin were found here. The others found this year represent a small dolphin, a new dragon and a large dolphin fighting the dragon discovered last year....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    Origins of agriculture in China pushed back by 12,000 years

    The first evidence of agriculture appears in the archaeological record some 10,000 years ago. But the skills needed to cultivate and harvest crops weren't learned overnight. Scientists have traced these roots back to 23,000-year-old tools used to grind seeds, found mostly in the Middle East.Now, research lead by Li Liu, a professor of Chinese archaeology at Stanford, reveals that the same types of tools were used to process seeds and tubers in northern China, setting China's agricultural clock back about 12,000 years and putting it on par with activity in the Middle East. Liu believes that the practices evolved independently, possibly as a global response to a changing climate. The earliest grinding stones have been found in Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites around the world. These consisted of a pair of stones, typically a handheld stone that would be rubbed against a larger, flat stone set on the ground, to process wild seeds and tubers into flour-like powder....

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Ancient DNA challenges theory early migration

    Recent measurements of the rate at which children show DNA changes not seen in their parents -- the "mutation rate" -- have challenged views about major dates in human evolution.In particular these measurements have made geneticists think again about key dates in human evolution, like when modern non-Africans split from modern Africans. The recent measurements push back the best estimates of these dates by up to a factor of two. Now, however an international team led by researchers at the University of Tübingen and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, present results that point again to the more recent dates. The new study is published in Current Biology. The team, led by Johannes Krause from Tübingen University, was able to reconstruct more than ten mitochondrial genomes (mtDNAs) from modern humans from Eurasia that span 40,000 years of prehistory. The samples include some of the oldest modern human fossils from Europe such as the triple burial from Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic, as well as the oldest modern human skeletons found in Germany from the site of Oberkassel close to Bonn....

  • Originally published 03/25/2013

    Ancient settlement near Thessaloniki investigated

    Karabournaki is located on the edge of a peninsula in the center of the Thermaic Gulf (North Aegean), in the area of modern Thessaloniki. The site preserves the remains of an ancient settlement placed on the top of a low mound, cemeteries extending in the surrounding area and a harbour. Karabournaki is probably identified with the harbour of ancient Therme, mentioned by the literary sources. The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, under the directorship of professor Michalis Tiverios, assistant professor Eleni Manakidou and the senior researcher Dr. Despoina Tsiafaki, carries the archaeological research at the settlement from 1994 onwards. Today, the archaeologists will present the results of the 2012 excavational season at Karabournaki, within the framework of the conference about the Archaeological Work in Macedonia and Thrace. Their paper is titled “Karabournaki 2012: Excavational survey and research in the ancient settlement.”...

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Middle Eastern martime traditions explored in Exeter University's dhow exhibition

    The maritime traditions of people living and travelling on the major sea routes of the western Indian Ocean are being explored in a first-of-its-kind exhibition at Exeter University, which will even feature a traditiontally constructed dhow, which has been made specially for the exhibition by artist Paul Riley in a workshop on the River Dart.

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Gate to the Underworld found in ancient Hieropolis

    An Italian archaeological mission has found the historical Gate to the Underworld of the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis. The announcement was made this afternoon in Istanbul at a conference on Italian archaeology. The discovery was made by a mission under Francesco D'Andria from the University of Salento, which is in charge of the excavations in the Greco-Roman city. The ruins of the city are near the modern-day Pamukkale in Turkey. According to Greco-Roman mythology and tradition, the Gate to the Underworld, also known as Pluto's Gate - Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin - was the entrance point to hell. Both Cicero and Greek geographer Strabus referred to the Hierapolis Plutonium in their writings, and both had visited it....

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    Excavations at ancient Greek mines of Pangeon

    Mount Pangeon, one of the most famous mining areas of ancient Greece, mentioned by many historians, is considered a more or less unexplored terrain. Its unapproachable slopes and dense vegetation hide centuries-old secrets on its surface and in its depths.Markos Vaxevanopoulos, PhD Candidate of the Mineralogy-Petrology-Economic Geology Department at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, will present a paper about the excavation surveys in ancient mines of Mount Pangeon (Asimotrypes, Valtouda), in the conference about the Archaeological Work in Macedonia and Thrace, which starts tomorrow in Thessaloniki. As written in the summary of the paper, the gold and silver mines of Pangeon are mentioned by many ancient historians. At first, Thracians exploited them, while they were an apple of discord between Thassos and Athens, until Philip II’s conquest. Tyrant of Athens, Peisistratos, who was in exile around 550 BC, acquired enough riches and know-how in order to pay mercenaries and return to Athens as a powerful man and exploit the Lavrion mines. Herodotus also mentions the “great and lofty” Mount Pangaion in which were “mines both of gold and of silver”....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Ancient Buddhist site discovered in SE India

    A Buddhist site, probably belonging to the Satavahana/Ikshvaku dynasties, has been unearthed by a freelance archaeologist Kadiyala Venkateswara Rao, near Pondugula village in Mylavaram mandal of Krishna district.Mr. Rao, who hails from Tenali, is also an ex-documentation officer with the Archaeological Survey of India. Among his recent discoveries was a megalith menhir with rock engravings near Karampudi in Guntur district. On trail of Buddhist remnants in Guntur and Krishna districts, Mr. Rao stumbled upon two marble pillars with engravings of Lotus Medallions and bricks used during the Satavahana period buried in a pit on a field at Pangadi village on the outskirts of Pondugula village, about 10 km from Mylavaram. The row of sitting bulls and lion motifs carved intricately on the huge Palnadu white marble stones, is strikingly reminiscent of the Amravati School of Art, says Mr. Rao. Similar pillars have been found at Buddhist sites at Jaggaiahpet, Ghantasala, Amaravati, Nagarjunakonda, and Chinaganjam....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Middle Pleistocene teeth add new data to hominin evolution in Asia

    Although a relatively large number of late Middle Pleistocene hominins have been found in East Asia, these fossils have not been consistently included in current debates about the origin of anatomically modern humans (AMHS), and little is known about their phylogenetic place in relation to contemporary hominins from Africa and Europe as well as to Upper Pleistocene hominins. Dr. LIU Wu, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his international collaborators present a detailed description and comparative analysis of four hominin teeth (I1, C1, P3 and P3) recovered from the late Middle Pleistocene cave site of Panxian Dadong, Guizhou of southwestern China, including two new teeth recovered in 1998-2000 and the reassessment of two teeth already described. The Panxian Dadong teeth combine archaic and derived features that align them with Middle and Upper Pleistocene fossils from East and West Asia and Europe, providing new data for the discussion about the evolutionary course of the Middle Pleistocene of Asia. Researchers reported online March 4 in Journal of Human Evolution (2013).

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Ancient sundial found in Valley of Kings

    During archaeological excavations in the Valley of the Kings in Upper Egypt a team of researchers from the University of Basel found one of the world’s oldest ancient Egyptian sundials. The team of the Egyptological Seminar under the direction of Prof. Susanne Bickel made the significant discovery while clearing the entrance to one of the tombs.During this year’s excavations the researchers found a flattened piece of limestone (so-called Ostracon) on which a semicircle in black color had been drawn. The semicircle is divided into twelve sections of about 15 degrees each. A dent in the middle of the approximately 16 centimeter long horizontal baseline served to insert a wooden or metal bolt that would cast a shadow to show the hours of the day. Small dots in the middle of each section were used for even more detailed time measuring....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Black Death skeletons unearthed at rail site

    Workers building a new railway in London have unearthed 13 skeletons thought to be victims of the Black Death plague that swept through Europe in the 14th century, archaeologists said on Friday.The remains were dug up at Charterhouse Square in central London during excavation work for the city's £15 billion ($22.7 billion, 17.4 billion euro) Crossrail project. Archaeologists believe the site could be the location of a plague cemetery described in medieval records, where up to 50,000 victims of the Black Death were buried. The plague wiped out a third of Europe's population between 1348 and 1353. "The depth of burials, the pottery found with the skeletons and the way the skeletons have been set out all point towards this being part of the 14th century emergency burial ground," said Jay Carver, Crossrail's lead archaeologist....

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    New look at heretic pharaoh Akhenaton's reign

    Analysis of remains from a cemetery at the city of Tell el-Amarna is painting an unsettling picture of the reign of the famously monotheistic pharaoh Akhenaten.

  • Originally published 03/18/2013

    Ancient rock art at risk from climate change

    Some of the world's ancient art is at risk of disappearing, Newcastle University experts have warned. Researchers from the  International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies (ICCHS)  and School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG) studied the physical underpinnings and condition of Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art panels in Northumberland. They conclude climate change could cause the art to vanish because new evidence suggests stones may deteriorate more rapidly in the future.

  • Originally published 02/26/2013

    Crimean War cemetery uncovered

    The din of machinery mingled with the echo of the 19th century Crimean War when an excavator bucket stumbled upon the yellowed remains of long-dead French soldiers at a construction site in a southern Ukrainian port city.The haunting find at Sebastopol's Cane Bay beach in December revealed the site of a large cemetery of French soldiers who died in the war against the Russian Empire during the 1854-1856 Crimean War. The discovery has highlighted how many bodies could still be lying under the ground from the brutal conflict where an alliance of Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire fought against Russia in what many see as one of the world's first modern conflicts....

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