Archaeology

GRtak

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Currently held view is that there were several waves of migrations via Siberia ? Alaska, during relative warm periods. There was also a theory that the Clovis people of America, may have been descended from the similarly tooled Solutreans of south west France, but a recent study has thrown doubt on this idea. (Previously aired in the Science Thread.)

Was it this series or similar?

NGC ? The Human Family Tree

It may be part of that series, but the theory put forth is that humans traveled from all over the eastern world via boats into the Americas as well as the the Siberian land/ice bridge.
 

Heathrow

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It may be part of that series, but the theory put forth is that humans traveled from all over the eastern world via boats into the Americas as well as the the Siberian land/ice bridge.

Ah OK, had not heard of that type of migration before, interesting. :think:

If you can remember the NGC show and find the program details, then I would be interested in looking into it some more.

* * *

Time Team today showed episode 2, of the second half of the 2010 series, which investigated an early medieval 14th century castle in Treguk, Wales.

Time Team Website said:
Tregruk is one of the largest medieval castles in Great Britain - epic walls and towers surround a huge bailey. But the centre of the castle stands empty, so what on earth filled this fortress 600 years ago? Time Team had been called in to work out what made up the heart of this Welsh stronghold.

continues

Time Team C4Website ? 2010 series to date
Link contains dig reports and some behind the scenes notes, for all previous programs shown in 2010.

:)
 

Heathrow

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http://pic.armedcats.net/h/he/heathrow/2010/10/16/Bell_NJ.jpg​

Monroe,NJ Civil War-era bell is back where it belongs ? NJ.com

NJ.com website said:
MONROE (Middlesex County) ? In 1996, John Katerba, a historian and utilities inspector for Monroe Township, was on site when a backhoe unearthed a Civil War-era bell during a sewer pipe installation.

The backhoe operator thought he had struck gold, and despite pleas by Katerba, took the more than century-old artefact home. Katerba had written off getting it back entirely, until he got a call from a Mercerville woman a few weeks ago.

* continues *

Hmmm, accidentally unearthed by ?.. :lol:

* * *

http://pic.armedcats.net/h/he/heathrow/2010/10/16/Stonehenge.jpeg​

Bejewelled Stonehenge Boy Came From Mediterranean? - National Geographic website

National Geographic said:
Kate Ravilious in York, United Kingdom

for National Geographic News

Published October 13, 2010

As a major attraction for more than 3,500 years, Stonehenge has inspired many an ancient road trip.

Now, new evidence shows that Bronze Age people journeyed all the way from the Mediterranean coast (regional map)?more than 500 miles (805 kilometers) away?to see the standing stones on Britain's Salisbury Plain. (See Stonehenge pictures.)

Chemical analysis of the teeth of a 14- or 15-year-old boy?buried outside the town of Amesbury (map), about three miles (five kilometers) from Stonehenge (map)?reveal that he hailed from somewhere in the Mediterranean region, new research shows.

* continues *

This most iconic site still occasionally produces surprising finds like this grave. It is incredible to realise that travel, trade and communication was achieved over such long distances at the time.

* * *

More stories from Archaeological Institute of America daily Archaeological Headlines ? (link)

:)
 
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GRtak

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience...ncientshipwreckpointstositeofmajorromanbattle

http://rpmnautical.org/

Ancient Shipwreck Points to Site of Major Roman Battle


The remains of a sunken warship recently found in the Mediterranean Sea may confirm the site of a major ancient battle in which Rome trounced Carthage.

The year was 241 B.C. and the players were the ascending Roman republic and the declining Carthaginian Empire, which was centered on the northernmost tip of Africa. The two powers were fighting for dominance in the Mediterranean in a series of conflicts called the Punic Wars.

Archaeologists think the newly discovered remnants of the warship date from the final battle of the first Punic War, which allowed Rome to expand farther into the Western Mediterranean.

"It was the classic battle between Carthage and Rome," said archaeologist Jeffrey G. Royal of the RPM Nautical Foundation in Key West, Fla. "This particular naval battle was the ultimate, crushing defeat for the Carthaginians."

Rams reveal clues

The shipwreck was found near the island of Levanzo, west of Sicily, which is where historical documents place the battle.

In the summer of 2010, Royal and his colleagues discovered a warship's bronze ram - the sharp, prolonged tip of the ship's bow that was used to slam into an enemy vessel. This tactic was heavily used in ancient naval battles and was thought to have played an important role in the Punic fights.

The ram is all that's left of the warship; the rest, made of wood, apparently rotted away.

"There's never been an ancient warship found - that's the holy grail of maritime archaeology," Royal told LiveScience. "The most we have are the rams and part of the bow structure."

Yet a ram alone can reveal intriguing clues about what these archaic vessels were like.

"The ram itself gives you a good idea of how the timbers were situated, how large they were, how they came together," Royal explained.


Three rams

The new ram is the third such recent discovery near that site.

In 2008, the same team uncovered a beaten-up warship ram with bits of wood still attached, which the scientists were able to carbon-date to around the time of the end of the first Punic War.

Another ram that had been pulled out of the water by a fishing boat three years earlier in the same area bore an inscription dating it to the same time period.

This third ram, Royal said, is almost identical in shape and size to the one found in 2008.

"At this point you've got to begin to say, 'We have for the first time archaeologically confirmed an ancient naval battle site,'" Royal said.

Carthaginian or Roman?

The researchers can't be absolutely sure whether the new ram belonged to a Roman or a Carthaginian ship, but Royal's betting on the latter.

The inscription on the first ram, brought up by the fishermen, was in Latin, establishing that one as Roman. It was decorated with intricate carvings, including rosettes.

By comparison, the rams found in 2008 and this year are plain, with no decorations, and rough finger marks still left from when the cast was made.

"They were very utilitarian, very hastily made," Royal said.

That fits in with the historical accounts of the Carthaginians. While Rome already had a standing fleet before the war, "the ancient sources state that the Carthaginians hurried to rush a fleet together very quickly and then outfitted the ships and sent them off," Royal said.

Plus, because the Carthaginians were the losing side of this battle, more of the sunken ships belonged to them than to Rome.

All in all, the evidence points toward the newly discovered ram belonging to Carthage, Royal said.

Royal and Sebastiano Tusa of Sicily's Superintendent of the Sea Office are co-directors of the RPM Nautical Foundation. For more information about their work, visit the RPM site.
 
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Could a rusty coin re-write Chinese-African history?
17 October 2010 Last updated at 20:07 ET
By Peter Greste

It is not much to look at - a small pitted brass coin with a square hole in the centre - but this relatively innocuous piece of metal is revolutionising our understanding of early East African history, and recasting China's more contemporary role in the region.

A joint team of Kenyan and Chinese archaeologists found the 15th Century Chinese coin in Mambrui - a tiny, nondescript village just north of Malindi on Kenya's north coast.

In barely distinguishable relief, the team leader Professor Qin Dashu from Peking University's archaeology department, read out the inscription: "Yongle Tongbao" - the name of the reign that minted the coin some time between 1403 and 1424.

"These coins were carried only by envoys of the emperor, Chengzu," Prof Qin said.

"We know that smugglers would often take them and melt them down to make other brass implements, but it is more likely that this came here with someone who gave it as a gift from the emperor."

And that poses the question that has excited both historians and politicians: How did a coin from the early 1400s get to East Africa, almost 100 years before the first Europeans reached the region?

When China ruled the seas

The answer seems to be with Zheng He, also known as Cheng Ho - a legendary Chinese admiral who, the stories say, led a vast fleet of between 200 and 300 ships across the Indian Ocean in 1418.

Until recently, there have only been folk tales and insubstantial hints at how far Zheng He might have sailed.

Then, a few years ago, fishermen off the northern Kenyan port town of Lamu hauled up 15th Century Chinese vases in their nets, and the Chinese authorities ran DNA tests on a number of villagers who claimed Chinese ancestry.

The tests seemed to confirm what the villagers have always believed - that a ship from Zheng He's fleet sank in a storm and the surviving crew married locals, meaning some people in the area still have subtly Chinese features.

Searching for clues

It was then that Peking University organized its expedition to try to find conclusive evidence. The university is spending $3 million (?2 million) on the three-year project.

Prof Qin's team chose to dig in Mambrui for two reasons.

First, ancient texts told of Zheng He's visit to the Sultan of Malindi - the most powerful coastal ruler of the time. But they also mentioned that Malindi was by a river mouth; something that the present town of Malindi doesn't have, but that Mambrui does.

The old cemetery in Mambrui also has a famous circular tomb-stone embedded with 400-year-old Chinese porcelain bowls hinting at the region's long-standing relationship with the East.

In the broad L-shaped trench that the team dug on the edge of the cemetery, they began finding what they were looking for.

First, they uncovered the remains of an iron smelter and iron slag.

Then, Mohamed Mchuria, a coastal archaeologist from the National Museums of Kenya, unearthed a stunning fragment of porcelain that Prof Qin believes came from a famous kiln called Long Quan that made porcelain exclusively for the royal family in the early Ming Dynasty.

The jade-green shard appears to be from the base of a much larger bowl, with two small fish in relief, swimming just below the surface of the glaze.

"This is a wonderful and very important piece, and that is why we believe it could have come with an imperial envoy like Zheng He," Prof Qin said.

Re-writing history?

While the evidence is still not conclusive, it undermines Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama's claim to have been the first international trader to open up East Africa.

He arrived in 1499 on an expedition to find a sea route to Asia, and launched more than 450 years of colonial domination by European maritime powers.

"We're discovering that the Chinese had a very different approach from the Europeans to East Africa," said Herman Kiriama, the lead archaeologist from the National Museums of Kenya.

"Because they came with gifts from the emperor, it shows they saw us as equals. It shows that Kenya was already a dynamic trading power with strong links to the outside world long before the Portuguese arrived," he said.

And that is profoundly influencing the way Kenya is thinking about its current ties to the East.

It implies that China has a much older trade relationship with the region than Europe, and that Beijing's very modern drive to open up trade with Africa may in fact be part of a far deeper tradition than anyone suspected.

In 2008 China's trade with the continent was worth $107bn (?67bn) - more even than the United States, and 10 times what it was in 2000.

"A long time ago, the East African coast looked East and not West," said Mr Kiriama.

"And maybe that's why it also gives politicians a reason to say: 'Let's look East' because we've been looking that way throughout the ages."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11531398

An interesting discovery however I suspect the Chinese will play it up for political reasons. It has been known for some time that East Africa had links with China.
 

GRtak

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Funny how often history has to be amended.
 

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Funny how often history has to be amended.
And interesting to speculate in history how events may have changed the future.
That ram story you posted, was from a losing Carthaginian ship, which had lost the naval battle and then the first war with the Rome. At that time, Rome was the newly growing, regional superpower.

If Carthage had won and crushed Rome, maybe there may never have been a Roman empire.

The three Punic Wars - Carthage vs. Rome
:)
 

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I was reading some reviews from Bryn Mawr Classical Review, a site that has university professors review new books on various historical subjects, and came across J. H. F. Dijkstra's Philae and the End of Ancient Egyptian Religion: A Regional Study of Religious Transformation (298-642 CE). Unfortunately the text costs around $100 but I was able to find Dijkstra's original doctoral thesis on the subject. The text itself is just a reworking and slight expansion of this thesis and fortunately the thesis itself is available free of charge at: http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/FILES/faculties/theology/2005/j.h.f.dijkstra/thesis.pdf

I've been making my way through it and I have to say that the material is quite interesting.
 

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Letter from Siberia: Fortress of Solitude​
by Heinrich H?rke
Archaeologists excavate unique medieval ruins at the center of a Siberian lake
http://img3.imageshack.**/img3/1551/letter10631050.jpg
http://img233.imageshack.**/img233/2333/letter140781518.jpg​
University of Reading archaeologist Heinrich H?rke has spent his career researching the European Dark Ages. But at the invitation of the Por-Bajin Cultural Foundation and archaeologist Irina Arzhantseva, H?rke and a team of his students recently spent a season at a site in the mountains of the Russian republic of Tuva

Russia's most mysterious archaeological site dominates a small island in the center of a remote lake high in the mountains of southern Siberia. Here, just 20 miles from the Mongolian border, the outer walls of the medieval ruins of Por-Bajin still rise 40 feet high, enclosing an area of about seven acres criss-crossed with the labyrinthine remains of more than 30 buildings.

Por-Bajin ("Clay House" in the Tuvan language) was long thought to be a fortress built by the Uighurs, a nomadic Turkic-speaking people who once ruled an empire that spanned Mongolia and southern Siberia, and whose modern descendants now live mainly in western China. Archaeologists conducted limited and inconclusive excavations at the site in the 1950s and 1960s, but Irina Arzhantseva of the Russian Academy of Sciences is now digging here for the Por-Bajin Cultural Foundation to find out just when the complex was built and why. The few artifacts unearthed at the site seem to date it to the mid-eighth century A.D. During this period, Por-Bajin was on the periphery of the Uighur Empire, which lasted from A.D. 742 to 848 and was held together by forces of warriors on horseback.

Were some of those warriors once garrisoned at Por-Bajin? The Uighurs also might have built the site on an island for reasons other than defense. Perhaps the island was the site of a palace or a memorial for a ruler. Por-Bajin's unique layout, more intricate than that of other Uighur fortresses of the period, has led some scholars to suggest that it might have had a ritual role.

States ruled by nomadic peoples often had symbiotic relationships with neighboring civilizations. In the Uighurs' case, China exerted a strong influence on their culture. The Uighurs even eventually adopted Manichaeism, a religion popular in China at the time that combined elements of Buddhism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism, the Persian religion based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster. The site is highly reminiscent of Chinese ritual architecture of the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618?907), so it's possible Por-Bajin might have had something to do with Manichaean rites.

Determining how the site was used might also help archaeologists understand why it was abandoned. There is some evidence of a great fire at Por-Bajin, but could there be other reasons the Uighurs eventually left?

These questions are central to the work of the Por-Bajin Cultural Foundation, and in the second season of excavations in 2008, when my students and I were lucky enough to join Arzhantseva's team, some 200 students, archaeologists, and local workers got closer to unearthing the answers.

The excavations at Por-Bajin are on a scale almost unheard of in modern archaeology. That's thanks to Sergei Shojgu, Russia's Minister for Emergencies and the only Tuvan native in the country's cabinet. In his youth, he worked on digs in the Altai Mountains, a range west of Por-Bajin. Ever since, he's dreamed of excavating a major site in his native republic, so in 2007 he set up the Por-Bajin Cultural Foundation to fund the work of archaeologists, geologists, geographers, and other specialists at the site.

The paramilitary forces of his ministry have given extensive support to the excavation, building the infrastructure of the dig camp and the bridges linking the site to the lake's shore. They even provide the archaeologists with helicopter transport. Arzhantseva believes that this may be only the second instance in history that military troops have been involved on this scale in archaeological work, the first being the archaeological investigations Napoleon sponsored in Egypt from 1798 to 1801. During the first field season at Por-Bajin, Vladimir Putin, then still president of the Russian Federation, even interrupted a hunting trip in Tuva with Prince Albert of Monaco to visit the site. Apparently, the organization backing such a large undertaking impressed him greatly.

As an archaeologist, I was most impressed with both the scale of the excavations and the site itself. During my first assignment at Por-Bajin, I worked in a trench cut through the outer perimeter wall, which rises up on either side of the excavated area almost to its original height of four stories tall. At its base, the wall measures 40 feet thick. If Por-Bajin was a fortress, these ruins suggest it would have been nearly impregnable.

In the trench I worked with a small team of Russian students collecting wood samples for dendrochronological dating, which could prove key in the final interpretation of the site. The wood we extracted was from the framework supporting the compacted clay fabric of the wall?a Chinese building technique called hangtu. After seeing hangtu up close, I had to wonder if Chinese architects and builders were directly involved in the construction of this complex. Arzhantseva says it is possible, but hangtu is not necessarily the strongest evidence for that. She points, instead, to the Chinese layout of the site, and the wooden remains of a Chinese roof construction called dou-gun, as even stronger indicators of Chinese influence. I found myself surprised at how pervasive that influence seems to have been.

When I joined in the excavation by the walls of the complex's main gate, I was surprised a second time by finding permafrost less than three feet below the current surface. I should have expected frozen soil here, 7,000 feet up in the Siberian mountains, but I had simply not thought of it while sweating in the warm summer temperatures. Although I had never come across permafrost before on an excavation, it is easy to recognize: It looks much like the soil above, but is bone-hard and quickly rims with frost when exposed to warm air. We had to expose the permafrost surface repeatedly and then let it thaw for a couple of hours before we were able to go deeper.

As hard as the permafrost is, the lake's water has a warming effect, meaning that the permafrost is periodically thawing. This is causing the gradual erosion of the island's banks. Project geologists and geomorphologists, led by Moscow State University scholars Igor Modin and Andrej Panin, believe that the main walls will collapse in about 150 years if the erosion of the banks continues at the current rate. This makes work at Por-Bajin even more important.

One of the keys to that work is the investigation led by Modin and Panin. They have shown that there is permafrost under the lakeshore and under the island, but not under the lake itself. In other words, the complex is standing on a permafrost plug. But whether it was built on an island or if the lake were a later feature that formed around Por-Bajin is still an open question. The geologists now tend to think the lake existed when Por-Bajin was built, in spite of the logistical problems this would have posed for the builders, though the lake is less than two feet deep around the island. If Por-Bajin was a fortress, the lake would not have played much of a role in its defense.

The excavation of the site's central complex could be key to answering the questions of just how the site was used and why it was abandoned. Russian archaeologist Olga Inevatkina of the Museum of Eastern Art, Moscow, leads the work here and I joined her for the last couple of weeks of my stay at Por-Bajin.

The central area consists of two large courtyards surrounded by a series of small yards along the walls. In one of the large courtyards lies a complex consisting of two pavilions. The larger pavilion was likely used for ceremonial purposes, while the smaller one could have been a private residence. Each of the small yards in turn has a building in the center, a layout that was typical of Chinese religious or ritual sites of the period.

As we dug, I was puzzled that we couldn't seem to find an occupation layer, or a level that would contain artifacts that date to when Por-Bajin was actually used. In fact, there was a surprising dearth of artifacts overall. The only finds so far from two seasons have been a stone vessel, an iron dagger, one silver earring (probably a man's), several iron tools, iron balls from a warrior's flail, lots of iron nails, and a handful of pottery sherds from the site's main gate. During my time there, I did not manage to add to that tally, nor did I find a proper occupation layer while cleaning three rooms in the complex. But I did uncover destruction debris left behind by a fire, and helped reconstruct the sequence of the building's construction and collapse.

The walls were made of a sophisticated type of wattle-and-daub covered with a high-quality plaster painted with a red and black strip along the base. At some point, they were repaired with a layer of plaster of inferior quality, less regular and less decorated. The debris on the floor suggested to me that the walls and roof must have burned for some time before the roof collapsed on the floor, and the walls then collapsed onto the roof debris. But this only leads to more questions: What caused the fire? And why was the site not rebuilt or repaired?

Geologist Modin and geomorphologist Panin added another twist to the story here. They have identified traces of an earthquake in slipped layers in sections of the perimeter walls and the central complex. They also have found there are large cracks in the walls and bastions in the southeast and southwest corners of the enclosure, also probably caused by an earthquake. It's possible an earthquake even caused the fire that ultimately destroyed it.

Whether a fortress, a ritual site, or something else altogether, before the 2008 field season Por-Bajin appeared most likely to have been built under the Uighur emperor Moyun-Chor, who reigned from A.D. 747 to 759. However, the wood that I uncovered during my first few days at the site gives us a much more solid date range than the previous finds. The timber for the wall framework was cut between the 770s and 790s, meaning that Por-Bajin was probably built under Moyun-Chor's son B?-g?, who converted to Manichaeism.

Uighur rulers sought strong political ties to China, and on occasion they were powerful enough to be given Chinese princesses in marriage?Moyun-Chor's wife Ningo was one of them, which explains why their son B?-g? believed in Manichaeism and even made it the official religion of the Uighur Empire. Both marriage links and shared religious beliefs seem to have led to an influx of Chinese architectural concepts and builders into the Uighur Empire under B?-g?.

This link to China is sensitive politically, because Por-Bajin has also become important for the modern-day Uighurs, who are spread across the border areas of China, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. This is a particularly volatile issue in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, where Uighurs make up the Muslim majority of the population. To Uighurs, Por-Bajin symbolizes the beginnings of their history and the state they no longer have (See "Battle for the Xinjiang Mummies," July/August). For them, Por-Bajin is a site that shows the advanced development of Uighur culture in an early period of their history. Some Uighur scholars even dismiss Chinese traits at medieval Uighur sites as not being "pure Chinese." For their part, Chinese archaeologists are keenly interested in Por-Bajin because of the high level of preservation at the site, especially the wooden construction, which is in better condition at Por-Bajin than at similar Chinese sites from the same period.

Por-Bajin is also a sacred site for the local Tuvans, who feel kinship with the ancient Uighurs. A Turkic-speaking people, like the Uighurs, Tuvans follow shamanic practices and regularly visit a small "holy tree" within Por-Bajin's enclosure. Tuvan shamans performed a ritual here seeking the blessing of the gods before the first season started, and many Tuvans have worked at the site.

No further fieldwork seasons are planned for the foreseeable future at Por-Bajin. Arzhantseva and her team are concentrating on analyzing the data they have recovered so far, and have already learned much that was not known before. The team has found extensive evidence of Chinese building techniques, whereas earlier excavators believed that the walls were simple mud-brick constructions. And we now have precise dating evidence for the building of the enclosure wall, which is about a generation later than originally thought. This new dating is giving rise to a fresh theory about Por-Bajin.

If the site were built during the reign of B?-g?, perhaps Por-Bajin was a Manichaean monastery. In this region of Siberia, Uighurs were defeated by local tribes shortly after the conversion to Manichaeism and were expelled from the region. If the monastery was completed just before the Uighurs were forced to leave the area, it could explain why we have found so few artifacts or evidence of sustained occupation.

It's an intriguing theory, but the truth is that even now, after archaeologists have excavated one-third of the site to exacting standards, Por-Bajin remains a mystery. Perhaps a new generation digging here will be able to test not only the theory that Por-Bajin was an abandoned monastery, but all the ideas scholars have had about just what Por-Bajin was.

For me, of course, the unanswered questions only make Por-Bajin even more fascinating. Before we departed the site, I gave my Wellington boots to Rustam Rzaev, the site manager, to keep in his storeroom in the lakeside camp, just in case I have another opportunity to dig there.

http://www.archaeology.org/1011/etc/letter.html
 

Cowboy

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Random archeology/antiquities thought....

In a 1000 years, this timeperiod shall probably bee seen as the time the electronics/information age started, first computers, first global networks, etc etc.....

Lord knows where mankind will be by then, but I think its safe to assume that technology will progress to even more network/constantly linked to everyone/everything else scenarios
But when they find remains of the old systhems, maybee an old server in the basement of an (by then) ancient building, an old computer stashed away in some old preserved mansion were nobody ever cleaned out the attic , and they find a way to get it going again, see what's on there, what will they think? will they realise that this is where it all started?
That 'the ancient programmers' laid the foundation for their 110022222 Giga per second neural implanted globonet controling everything , and that it started in a couple of nerds garages?

I hate to think what they would think of this place though :p
 
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Heathrow

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BBC News ? Bronze Age hoard found intact in Essex field
BC News Website said:
Archaeologists have unearthed a collection of Bronze Age axe heads, spear tips and other 3,000-year-old metal objects buried in an Essex field.

The items include an intact pottery container with heavy contents which has been removed undisturbed.

* Continues *

Because of extensive ploughing throughout England from Roman, through Mediaeval to modern times, it is very rare to find what seems to be an undisturbed group of stunning artefacts from the Bronze Age.

A short two minute Youtube video.

 

GRtak

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And to think that I feel good when I find an arrowhead.
 

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http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com...r/2010/11/oldest-american-art-reexamined.html

Linked story

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090610-oldest-art-mammoth-picture.html


Is Florida Mammoth the Tip of the Iceberg?


The discovery of a fossilized large-mammal bone engraved with the image of an elephant-like creature isn't always that surprising. When the discovery is made in Florida, however, the interest-quotient goes through the roof. While Ice Age depictions of large animals are common in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, this is not the case in North or South America.

Throughout the past hundred-plus years in fact, most examples have either been shown to have been fakes, or have disappeared from the record.

This is why interest was so high in 2009 when the Vero Beach Mammoth engraving was announced to the world.

Found among a box of fossils he'd collected over several years, James Kennedy recognized one bone that stood out for having an engraving of a giant elephant-like animal on it. Barbara Purdy of the University of Florida was called in to examine and try to authenticate it, and found the evidence for its authenticity convincing (read the archived story from National Geographic News: PHOTO: Oldest Art in Americas Found on Mammoth Bone? and Purdy et al's paper).

Though one big question remains and will be discussed later in this post, the piece is now widely viewed as authentic, and so it's a good time to start thinking more about what it has to tell us about human history and life in the region some 11,000 years ago

Prehistoric Globalization?

Secondly, the image's basic outline and subject matter bear a striking resemblance to the well-known art of prehistoric Europe. On one hand this may inspire theories of transatlantic travel by Ice Age East-Coasters and Europeans, for we know from the peopling of Australia that humans had sea-faring craft tens of thousands of years ago. The stormy North Atlantic is a far cry from the South Pacific though, and such journeys would have been considerably more difficult, and theoretically less likely to have occurred.

Whether or not transatlantic travel was possible though, it was certainly not necessary for there to be artistic similarities on both of its shores.

Bronze Age European mummies found in the Taklimakan desert of China testify to the wide ranging travels and cultural influence of humans long before modern times (learn more from "China's Secret Mummies" on National Geographic Channel). It is probable that even during the Stone Age, travel and trade connected the artistic traditions of Europe and Asia, all the way to the far east of Siberia, and that this cultural connection was part of what the first travelers brought to the New World.

Additionally, while the images painted and engraved in the caves of Western Europe are often the best known examples of Ice Age art, images on bone and antler from Europe and Asia illustrate that people of all periods decorated items of all sizes and materials.

What we've found so far is just a small portion of what has survived, and what has survived is just a tiny portion of what was made. While today we see two mountain peaks of art, separated by deserts of lack of similar artifacts, at the time, they were possibly connected by a vast continuous landscape of art and decoration traditions.

Barbara Olins Alpert has also pointed out that similarity does not need to indicate connection at all (read her full report). There are already several well-documented artifacts of Ice Age Europe that appear to be of uniquely fine execution and of particular artistic vision, and physically realistic styles have popped up at different times and places throughout history (discover a spectacular giraffe carving from the Sahara). The Vero Beach Mammoth could simply be the work of a creative individual working outside of his or her own tradition.


Why the Pros Are Convinced

Over the past year and a half, much work has been done to try to authenticate this remarkable piece, and all who have examined it scientifically agree: they have found no evidence of either the bone or the engraving having been made recently or of the artifact originating in any area other than that in which it is said to have been found. This includes Barbara Purdy and her colleagues from the University of Florida (again, get more details in the original NG News coverage), as well as Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Other Possibility


That is because there is still one big question remaining: "When was it engraved?" Based on the accuracy of the depiction, some say it must have been made more than 11,000 years ago, when Florida mammoths were around to be seen. There is still a possibility though that a modern well educated forger could have engraved a prehistoric bone from the area, worn it down and re-buried it, allowed natural weathering to occur for decades and then brought it back out.

Kevin Jones of the University of Florida's SWAMP Center has wrestled with this question, and thinks that cutting-edge atomic mass spectrometry dating known as SHRIMP (sensitive high resolution ion microprobe) being done in Australia could give an accurate date for the image being made, but he does not anticipate getting access to analyze the piece again anytime soon.

Tip of the Ice Age Iceberg?

Regardless of what happens to this particular piece though, the Vero Beach area could still revolutionize our understanding of the early culture of the Americas. Despite the large number of human and animal fossils found during canal construction in the early 1900s, no systematic modern excavations have occurred at the site.

Now, earth that was dug up for the canal and sitting in piles ever since will be brought to a local high school where students will sift the material through traditional 1/8, l/4, and l/2 inch screens, providing a richer, more complete picture of the remains. Any interesting finds could help inspire new excavations altogether, using the latest 21st-century techniques, which is Barbara Purdy's biggest hope for it.

If the existing mammoth engraving is indeed authentic, there is a good chance that more like it could be found in the area. That would be perhaps the greatest test of this bone, and the greatest impact it could have: to inspire more education and research, to open people's eyes to new possibilities, and to reveal a cultural tradition lost for over 10,000 years.
 

Heathrow

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^ Very interesting find, I think he should try and get the more accurate test done by the Aussie's equipment, since the date is the key attribute.

* * *

This site is less than 5 kilometers from me and the article is my ?local paper?. I think the discovery was made a couple of years back, but only publicised now, to maintain the integrity of the site. (Treasure hunters & nighthawks. :mad:)

London Evening Standard ? Entire Roman village is unearthed in Syon Park
Louise Jury, Chief Arts Correspondent Louise Jury, 17.11.10

Remains of a Roman village have been discovered only half a metre below the ground in west London.

The site has remained undisturbed partly because it lies in the Grade I listed Syon Park and has been protected against ploughing in recent centuries. But it might never have come to light without plans to build a new Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The hotel now plans to incorporate some of its Roman heritage into the finished building.

Archaeologists from the Museum of London continue to analyse objects including 11,500 fragments of Roman pottery, 100 coins and pieces of jewellery ? such as parts of a gold ribbon bracelet ? and burnt grain.

Senior archaeologist Jo Lyon said the find was ?really exciting? because far less was known of ?what Romans were doing in their hinterland? than in the well-documented cities.

Continues

Romans = :cool:
 

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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...r-in-National-Library/articleshow/6957358.cms

Secret chamber in National Library


KOLKATA: National Library has always been reputed to haunted. Now, here is a really eerie secret. A mysterious room has been discovered in the 250-year-old building a room that no one knew about and no one can enter because it seems to have no opening of kind, not even trapdoors.

The chamber has lain untouched for over two centuries. Wonder what secrets it holds. The archaeologists who discovered it have no clue either, their theories range from a torture chamber, or a sealed tomb for an unfortunate soul or the most favoured of all a treasure room. Some say they wouldn't be surprised if both skeletons and jewels tumble out of the secret room.

Belvedere House as the National Library building was known during the Raj was among the many buildings Mir Jafar built in Alipore in the 1760s after he was forced to abdicate his throne in Murshidabad. He gifted it to the first Governor General of India, Lord Warren Hastings. What happened to the house between 1780, when Hastings is said to have sold it, and 1854, when it became the official residence of the Lt Governor of Bengal, is uncertain. But from 1854 to 1911, Belvedere housed a number of Lt Governors till the British capital shifted to Delhi.

After Independence, the National Library (which was then in Esplanade) was shifted to Belvedere House. Since the Belvedere House is of great architectural and heritage value, the treasure of books has been shifted to a new building on the 30-acre campus while the old building is getting restored.

The ministry of culture that owns the National Library decided to get the magnificent building restored by the Archaeological Survey of India since it is heavily damaged. Work has already started. It was while taking stock of the interior and exterior of the building that ASI conservation engineers stumbled upon a blind enclosure' on the ground floor, about 1000 square feet in size.

A lot of effort has been made to locate an opening so that experts can find out exactly what it was built for or what it contains. But there is not a single crack to show.

"We've searched every inch of the first floor area that forms the ceiling of this enclosure for a possible trap door. But found nothing. Restoration of the building will remain incomplete if we are not able to assess what lies inside this enclosure," said deputy superintending archaeologist of ASI, Tapan Bhattacharya. "We've come across an arch on one side of the enclosure that had been walled up. Naturally speculations are rife," said another archaeologist.

Was it used as a punishment room by Hastings or one of the Lt Governors who succeeded him? It was common practice among the British to "wall up" offenders in "death chambers". Some sources say this enclosure has exactly the same look and feel. The British were also known to hide riches in blind chambers as this.

"It could be just about anything. Skeletons and treasure chests are the two things that top our speculations because it is not natural for a building to have such a huge enclosure that has no opening. We cannot break down a wall, considering the importance of the building. So we have decided to bore a hole through the wall to peer inside with a searchlight," said D V Sharma, regional director, ASI.

National Library authorities have written to the ministry of culture seeking permission for this. "The ASI cannot drill into a building of such great historical significance as this without permission. So we facilitated this as caretakers of the building," said director of National Library, Swapan Chakravorty.

The matter of the blind enclosure was recently raised in a meeting of the committee of experts that has been formed by the Centre to advise the ASI on restoration related matters of the National Library. "The ASI raised the issue of the enclosure in the last meeting of the committee. We are eagerly awaiting the first look inside," said historian Barun De, chairman of the committee.



Read more: Secret chamber in National Library - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...Library/articleshow/6957358.cms#ixzz1664MrjRk


Is it a treasure that was hidden away from the Brits?
 

Heathrow

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snip quote

Is it a treasure that was hidden away from the Brits?

There is probably nothing in the room, but it could be a ? .. I see wonderful things" moment. :lol:
(Archaeology joke!)

* * *

In other news:
Archaeology Institute of America said:
A storeroom in the Sutton Hoo Visitors Center has yielded a couple of cardboard boxes packed with more than 400 amateur photographs taken during the excavation of the Sutton Hoo ship burial in 1939. ?We assume that whoever received the boxes didn?t know what was in them and they were just put away in a store cupboard and forgotten,? said learning officer Claire Worland.

Link here

http://pic.armedcats.net/h/he/heathrow/2010/11/23/A-Sutton-Hoo.jpeg
The Sutton Hoo Helmet​
 
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jetsetter

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Less archeology and more interesting information.

Also you just might wanna dig into the ancient Steeles found in several places from different periods in China denoting Jewish communities in China. Think the last one was...Kangxi?
Jews and Christians have been documented in China as of the 7th or 8th century AD.

http://img833.imageshack.**/img833/2746/nestorianstelelarge9631.th.jpg

Above is an image of the "Nestorian Stele" and as you can see there is Syriac on the sides and the bottom. Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic and was used by Nestorian Christians who would eventually range from the Middle East to China. The stele has been dated to the 8th century AD and was found in Xi'an, a city in central China.

Here are a few images of Nestorian headstones found in China:

http://img638.imageshack.**/img638/7066/nestorianheadstone02759.th.jpghttp://img152.imageshack.**/img152/2343/16foster0326782.th.jpghttp://img826.imageshack.**/img826/9816/26z230370415.th.jpg

The left most headstone is quite interesting. It is an image of a man sitting in the lotus position surrounded my Christian crosses.

For other images please look here: http://www.anchist.mq.edu.au/doccentre/Zayton.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriac
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorianism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestorian_Stele
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Sutra
 
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Heathrow

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AP - Bones found on island might be Amelia Earhart's

Pacific Ocean is very, very big.

Nikumaroro Island is about 1,800 miles south of Hawaii and is very, very small.
The chance of her Lockheed Electra crashing on or near this island is not high, although it was supposed to be a way point. Also, the islands of the Pacific have been inhabited for hundreds if not thousands of years, so finding human bones is not that significant. The other artefacts previously found are not conclusive proof as belonging to the missing aviatrix or her navigator Noonan.

A romantic yarn, interesting none the less.
:)
 

GRtak

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I caught that the other day and forgot to post it. It is funny that the bones found on a previous visit have disappeared. did they bury them or what?
 
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