Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Woman finds ancient artifact in baby shark

MALACCA: A baby shark being equipped for lunch gave a family here a big surprise - an ancient artifact believed to be dated long before the Portuguese conquest of Malacca. Housewife Suseela Menon, from Klebang, made the priceless discovery while filleting the fish for lunch.
It is believed to be a medallion worn by the Portuguese soldiers, presumably as a divine protection, during their conquests in this part of the world in the 16th century. One side of the medallion is a profile of a woman's head with a crown and encircled by a halo and an inscription that is unclear.
The other side is a crucifix with an engraved inscription that read ANTONII. Checks with a local historian revealed the head engraving could be that of Queen Elizabeth, the consort of King Denis I of Portugal during his reign from 1271 to 1336.
Suseela said she immediately cleaned the medallion and preserved it in a box. “I bought two sharks from the wet market and was taken aback upon discovering the object inside the stomach of one of the fishes,” said the 47-year-old mother-of-two at her home yesterday.
Suseela had wanted to prepare shark curry for her husband. “Finally, my husband decided not to eat the fish as the object seems to be a religious item,” she said. The medallion is 7.4cm long, 6cm wide and weighs 10g. “My husband feels it is a blessing for the family to have the medallion coming to our home from beneath the sea. We will always cherish it,” said Suseela.

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Iron age old bracelet found in Towton

Related Source about : Rubber bracelets A BRACELET found near Towton which was the first Iron Age jewellery ever uncovered in the North of England will remain in the public realm after £25,000 was raised to secure its future.

The torc was found by metal detectorists Andrew Green and Shaun Scott in May 2010.

A second solid gold bracelet was found close by a year later, and the Yorkshire Museum in York launched an appeal in November to keep both torcs.

It is thought the torcs belonged to an extremely wealthy, possibly royal member, of the Brigantes tribe, which ruled much of North Yorkshire during the Iron Age.

Assistant curator of archaeology at the museum Natalie McCaul said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support shown by the public and local trusts following the appeal and we would like to thank everyone who has donated. Because of their generosity the first Iron Age gold jewellery found in the north will stay permanently in the north for people to enjoy.” A total of £12,500 was donated by The Patricia & Donald Shepherd Charitable Trust £1,000 from the Yorkshire Philosophical Society and more than £6,000 by an anonymous funder. The rest was raised from generous individuals and businesses.

Source from :

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ancient Warrior's Helmet Found

Covered with gold leaf , this 2,600-year-old bronze helmet was discovered in the waters of Haifa Bay, in Israel. The helmet would have been worn by a wealthy Greek mercenary leader.

A Greek bronze helmet, covered with gold leaf and decorated with snakes, lions and a peacock's tail (or palmette), has been discovered in the waters of Haifa Bay in Israel. But how this helmet ended up at the bottom of the inlet is a secrecy.
The helmet dates back around 2,600 years and likely belonged to a prosperous Greek mercenary who took part in a series of wars, immortalized in the Bible, which ravaged the region at that time. Archaeologists believe that he likely fought for an Egyptian pharaoh named Necho II. 
Dredging discovery 

The helmet was discovered accidentally in 2007 during profit-making dredging operations in the harbor. After it was discovered, conservators with the Israel Antiquities Authority went to work cleaning it and archaeologists began to analyze it. 

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Ancient rock art found in Brazil

Researchers have discovered an tremendously old anthropomorphic figure impressed in rock in Brazil. Petroglyph, which dates to between 9,000 and 12,000 years old, is the oldest consistently dated instance of such rock art yet found in the Americas.
Art from this time era in the New World is quite rare, so little is known about the variety of symbolic thinking of the early American settlers. The authors of this study, led by Walter Neves of the University of Sao Paulo, write that their findings suggest symbolic thought in South America was very diverse at that time, supporting the hypothesis that humans settled the New World relatively early.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Tomb exploration reveals first archaeological evidence of Christianity from the time of Jesus

The archaeological examination by robotic camera of an intact first century tomb in Jerusalem has revealed a set of limestone Jewish ossuaries or "bone boxes" that are engraved with a rare Greek inscription and a unique iconographic image that the scholars involved identify as distinctly Christian.

The four-line Greek inscription on one ossuary refers to God "raising up" someone and a carved image found on an adjacent ossuary shows what appears to be a large fish with a human stick figure in its mouth, interpreted by the archaeology excavation team to be an image evoking the biblical story of Jonah.

In the earliest gospel materials the "sign of Jonah," as mentioned by Jesus, has been interpreted as a symbol of his resurrection. Jonah images in later "early" Christian art, such as images found in the Roman catacombs, are the most common motif found on tombs as a symbol of Christian resurrection hope. In contrast, the story of Jonah is not depicted in any first century Jewish art and iconographic images on ossuaries are extremely rare, given the prohibition within Judaism of making images of people or animals.

The tomb in question is dated prior to 70 CE, when ossuary use in Jerusalem ceased due to the Roman destruction of the city. Accordingly, if the markings are Christian as the scholars involved believe, the engravings represent – by several centuries - the earliest archaeological record of Christians ever found. The engravings were most likely made by some of Jesus' earliest followers, within decades of his death. Together, the inscription and the Jonah image testify to early Christian faith in resurrection. The tomb record thus predates the writing of the gospels.

The findings will be detailed in a preliminary report by James D. Tabor, professor and chair of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, to be published online in on February 28, 2012.

"If anyone had claimed to find either a statement about resurrection or a Jonah image in a Jewish tomb of this period I would have said impossible -- until now," Tabor said. "Our team was in a kind of ecstatic disbelief, but the evidence was clearly before our eyes, causing us to revise our prior assumptions."

The publication of the academic article is concurrent with the publication of a book by Simon & Schuster entitled "The Jesus Discovery: The New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity." The book is co-authored by Professor James Tabor and filmmaker/professor Simcha Jacobovici. A documentary on the discovery will be aired by the Discovery Channel in spring 2012.

The findings and their interpretation are likely to be controversial, since most scholars are skeptical of any Christian archaeological remains from so early a period. Adding to the controversy is the tomb's close proximity to a second tomb, discovered in 1980. This tomb, dubbed by some "The Jesus Family Tomb," contained inscribed ossuaries that some scholars associate with Jesus and his family, including one that reads "Jesus, son of Joseph."

"Context is everything in archaeology," Tabor pointed out. "These two tombs, less than 200 feet apart, were part of an ancient estate, likely related to a rich family of the time. We chose to investigate this tomb because of its proximity to the so-called 'Jesus tomb,' not knowing if it would yield anything unusual."

The tomb containing the new discoveries is a modest sized, carefully carved rock cut cave tomb typical of Jerusalem in the period from 20 BCE until 70 CE.

The tomb was exposed in 1981 by builders and is currently several meters under the basement level of a modern condominium building in East Talpiot, a neighborhood of Jerusalem less than two miles south of the Old City. Archaeologists entered the tomb at the time, were able to briefly examine it and its ossuaries, take preliminary photographs, and remove one pot and an ossuary, before they were forced to leave by Orthodox religious groups who oppose excavation of Jewish tombs.

The ossuary taken, that of a child, is now in the Israel State Collection. It is decorated but has no inscriptions. The archaeologists mention "two Greek names" but did not notice either the newly discovered Greek inscription or the Jonah image before they were forced to leave. The tomb was re-sealed and buried beneath the condominium complex on what is now Don Gruner Street in East Talpiot.

The adjacent "Jesus tomb," was uncovered by the same construction company in 1980, just one year earlier. It was thoroughly excavated and its contents removed by the Israel Antiquities Authority. This tomb's controversial ossuaries with their unusual cluster of names (that some have associated with Jesus and his family) are now part of the Israel State Collection and have been on display in various venues, including the Israel Museum. These ossuaries will be in an exhibit running from late February through April 15 at Discovery Times Square.

In 2009 and 2010, Tabor and Rami Arav, professor of archaeology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, working together with Jacobovici, obtained a license to excavate the current tomb from the Israel Antiquities Authority under the academic sponsorship of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Because of its physical location under a modern building (making direct access nearly impossible), along with the threat of Orthodox Jewish groups that would protest any such excavation, Tabor's team determined to employ a minimally invasive procedure in examining the tomb.

Funding for the archaeology excavation was provided by the Discovery Channel/Vision Television/Associated Producers. Jacobovici's team at the Toronto based Associated Producers developed a sophisticated robotic arm to carry high definition cameras, donated by General Electric. The robotic arm and a second "snake camera" were inserted through two drill holes in the basement floor of the building above the tomb. The probe was successful and the team was able to reach all the ossuaries and photograph them on all sides, thus revealing the new inscriptions.

Beyond the possible Christian connection, Tabor noted that the tomb's assemblage of ossuaries stands out as clearly extraordinary in the context of other previously explored tombs in Jerusalem.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Structural Temples of Mahabalipuram

Among the structural temples, the Shore temple consisting of two graceful Siva temples – Kshatryasimhesvaram (east) and Rajasimhesvaram (west), built by Pallava King Rajasimha (AD 700-728), mark the conclusion of the architectural efforts begun with the carving of gigantic rathas. The western shrine has an outer wall (prakara) and a simple entrance tower (gopura). The elevation is gracefully proportioned. Located in between is an earlier shrine for reclining Vishnu (Narapatisimha Pallavagriham). It has no superstructure. 
All the names of these shrines represent Rajasimha’s various titles. The outer area with nandis is of later period. Fully aware of inherent problems of this scenic location, the architects built the temple on a rock outcrop jutting from the sea. The use of hard stones like granite and leptinite, could not stop the erosion by abrasive wind and salty surroundings. The groyne wall, the plantation and periodic extraction of salt in recent times have checked this effect. The outcrop itself was utilized for carving several masterpieces like the excavated miniature shrine, Bhuvaraha image, Vishnu shrine, and the Mahishamardhini shrine with the beautifully carved deer.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Two War Captive Sculptures Found at Tonina

INAH has found two spectacular large sculptures of war captives and ball game markers at the site of Tonina in Chiapas. They reflect the war between Copan and Tonina that took place at 688-714 CE over control of the Usumacinta River. Tonina emerged as the victor. Glyphs on the captive images name the rulers involved and the dates of the conflict that took place. The captives had been stripped of their ear guards and their ears stuffed with fabric. The hair of the captives was collected for ritual purposes before beheading. The ball court symbolism reflected the battle between the two powers as a fight between light and darkness. There is a Teotihuacan style serpent sculpted on the ball game boards, with a sacrificed captive in the center of each.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mahabalipuram - Excavated Remains

Stepped structure in front of Shore Temple
Continued taking away of the sand in the last century brought to light several hidden structures around the Shore temple. Unique among them is the early Pallava stepped structure, around 200 m long. This structure is running north to south parallel to the sea. The accurate intention of this huge structure is still in doubt. The steps are built of interlocking granite slabs over a laterite core. The intellectual interlocking method used here prevented the slabs from collapsing and recalls the megalithic traditions. 

Miniature Shrine to the north of Shore Temple
Fortuitously discovered in 1990, the Bhuvaraha image, the miniature shrine and the well belongs to Pallava King Narasimhavarman Mamalla’s (AD 638-660) reign, but enclosed by an elliptical enclosure of Rajasimha’s (AD 700-728) period. These ruins are carved on the live bedrock containing the reclining Vishnu.
 Close up details of Miniature Shrine and Varaha
The miniature shrine, dedicated to Siva, has its sixteen-side base carved out of the bedrock while the circular wall and superstructure are structural. Its form is unique and differs from all other single tier temples of Pallava period. The Bhuvaraha is shown retrieving the Mother Earth symbolically from the deep ocean.
Subrahmanya Temple, Saluvankuppam, view from north
It was intentionally broken for unknown reasons. The base is inscribed with titles of the Pallava king Rajasimha. The enclosure wall built possibly to arrest sand from covering the remains contains an inscription in Pallava-Grantha script on the topmost course equating the king in pun with Arjuna.
Newly, ruins of two temples were excavated, one to the south of Shore temple and another massive brick temple of Subrahmanya near the Tiger Cave at Saluvankuppam, a hamlet about 7 km from here.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hindu Sculptures in Tamilnadu

Dvarapalaka (Gate Keeper)

Uttani, Kumbakonam Taluk, Thanjavur District. About 10th Century AD.
     Dvarapalaka standing with his left leg resting on some projection which is not visible. The right hand is in tarjani and the left rests. The eyes are globular and he has protruding tusks. He has only one pair of arms.

About 10th Century AD.
    Carved figure of a kneeling person with the right leg bent on the ground and the left leg bent but slightly raised up. In the left hand there is a lotus held. The right hand is just touching the left hand. The hair is arranged in the jatamakuta fashion.

Horned Dvarapalaka
Kaverippattinam, North Arcot District. About 7th Century AD.

     Dvarapalaka broken near the waist. Four hands are present: two of which are broken and lost. Horns are seen above the crown.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Poompuhar-Under water Exploration & Excavation

Tamil Nadu is famous for a number of Ports on the Eastern seacoast. The Ports of Sopatanam, Kaverippumpattinam, Tranquebar, Karaikkal, Periyappattinam and Kanyakumari are mentioned in the chronicles of foreign travelers and in Sangam literature. Kavirippumpattinam is said to submerge under sea. Archaeology Department in collaboration with the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa in the year 1981 conducted a preliminary exploration. It has spotted some heaps in about 30-meter depth off the shore of Poompuhar. Airlift operations in 7m depths revealed three courses of stone masonry off Vanagiri. The stone blocks vary in size 30x20x5 cm, 65x40x10 cm and 60x35x10 cm. The approximate date of the structures can be ascertained to 2nd century BCE - 4th century CE. 
Shipwreck discovered in 1991 at a water depth of 19 m and the wooden planks of the hull were traced. The ship is about 50 m in length and 15 m in width. A heavily encrusted cannon measuring 2.1 in length was located close to the wreck. The most important findings were lead ingots recovered from the wreck. The average weight of the ingots is 68.5 kg. They are 87-90 cm length , 15 –18 cm breadth and 6 cm thick. Underwater Archaeological Site Museum was established at Poompuhar. 

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ancient Egyptian holy place of Abydos

In Italy, heavy snow has damaged the Colosseum in Rome and medieval buildings in Urbino.
At least 83 animal mummies, including dogs, cats, sheep, and goats, have been discovered in a chamber of what could be a temple at the ancient Egyptian holy place of Abydos. Another chamber contained a wooden statue thought to represent the female pharaoh Hatshepsut.
A seventeenth-century cemetery thought to hold the remains of enslaved Turkish Muslims has been disturbed by roadwork in Malta. “We’re working along the cross section, cleaning up the debris surrounding the bones and noting everything we find,” said archaeologist Marvin Demicoli.
A list of recommendations for the protection and preservation of the Bamiyan site in Afghanistan has been compiled by The 10thExpert Working Group Meeting of UNESCO. Cultural development, sustainable livelihoods, education, and the promotion of peace in Afghanistan are of central importance to the plan.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations

Archaeology Symbol Printed Wristbands

Archaeology is the systematic study of Silicone Wristbandsancient time’s culture and the way people lived based on the things they left.  Culture is the common ways of life well-read by a group of people, together with their language, religion, skills, and values.

In the childhood age, most of the people would have the habit of collecting materials like coins, stamps, symbols, etc. which were used during prehistoric times. Some being so fond of it, they would have chosen "Archaeology" as a profession.

Still some of you might be busy in collecting ancient things. Here is a great idea to let somebody see your love towards Archeology. Yes!!! Now you can display your hidden ancient thoughts with the help of Wristbands. is one of the leading online wristbands shop which will help you to picture your thoughts.

Wristbands are not only meant for fashion, apart from that it can also be used as a promotional tool which will generate a great deal for your business.

With the help of "Ancient Symbol Wristbands" you can design the bands with your favorite ancient symbol and statement which you love the most. has a fine choice of ancient and astrology symbols which will best project your love for archaeology. If you are unable to find your desired symbol, no worries; you can suggest a symbol via mail and our wristband experts are ready to lend a hand with your customized silicone wristbands.

So what are you waiting for?? Order Silicone Wristbands now and enjoy wearing it with your personalized artwork and statement.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pyramids-Peru-Earlier Stage

Peru's  discovery of two ancient pyramid complexes near the town of Jaen, on the western edge of the Amazon lowlands, shows that monumental architecture had spread across the Andes and well into the jungle thousands of years before the Spaniards arrived. The largest mound, over an acre at its base, was overgrown with vegetation and used by modern townspeople as a dump and latrine before Peruvian archaeologist Quirino Olivera, of the Friends of the Museum of Sipán, began excavating there. He soon found evidence of construction on a massive scale--walls up to three feet thick, ramps, and signs of successive building phases stretching back at least 2,800 years.
" At the same pyramid he found the tomb of a high-status man who, at his burial around 800 B.C., was decked out with the shells of some 180 land snails. A layer of snails covered the man's torso, and more shells adorned his head and limbs. The man was probably a healer or priest of some kind, says Olivera. He found marine mollusk shells in another tomb nearby, testament to the busy trade ties from the coast over the Andes to the jungle. The finds suggest that, along with sophisticated architecture, complex worship had spread far from the coast centuries before once believed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Secrets of Bodhidharma

Around 500 AD, when an Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma went to China. He taught Indian fighting exercises to the Chinese monks in order to improve their physical condition. All forms of Kung-Fu have evolved from this.

Travelling to China

Bodhidharma was the third son of a local king and a member of the caste of warriors and rulers, arrived in China in 520.
Some say he travelled by sea, from Madras in southern India to Guangzhou and then by land to Nanjing. Other scholars believe that he walked over the Pamir Plateau, across the desert and along the Yellow River to Luoyang, and center of Chinese Buddhist culture.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monastic complex frequented by the Buddha at Vaishali Museum

Archaeologists in the northern Indian state of Bihar in the city of Rajgir the site of an archeological exploration have exposed the remains of a fifth-century B.C. brick stupa (domed temple) of on Buddhist texts, some believe relics of the Buddha(ashes, bones, hair, and nail clippings) are buried.

The location of this stupa, one of several built over the Buddha's relics, has long been contested, and another structure has been suggested. The holy in the Atta Katha, a book of tales associated with the Buddha's life, seems to better match the excavated stupa in terms of both location and building materials.

Excavations at Vaishali have exposed a monastic complex frequented by the Buddha. The Archaeological Survey of India found a nunnery with attached latrines in this town, at the request of his foster mother and a female disciple, first permitted an order of nuns. A number of terra-cotta latrine pans and an enormous communal bathing tank, that was dug for the Buddha by monkeys attest the Vaishalian concern for hygiene or more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations

Expedition Claims Evidence of Queen of Sheba Found in Ethiopia


British archaeologists traversing the Gheralta plateau in Ethiopia’s northern highlands claim to have discovered an immense goldmine once operated by the ancient kingdom of Saba, home to the legendary Queen of Sheba. An excursion, led by author, lecturer and former British Museum’s incharge Louise Schofield, demands to have found the place of entering to the mine, a 20-foot-tall stone stela carved with Sabaean inscriptions and symbols, as well as the traces of a temple committed to the chief god of the land of Saba. The discoveries were made as section of Schofield’s environmental development work in Ethiopia on behalf of the Tigray Trust.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Aerial Archaeology and the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire stretched from the Euphrates in the east, through North Africa, and as far north as The Antonine Wall in Scotland; in Europe the limits (or Limes as the Romans referred to their boundary) were defined mainly by the Rhine and Danube rivers.

archaeology excavations

Aerial Archaeology has made a massive contribution to our knowledge and understanding of the nature and extent of the Roman world and its Limes. This lecture will present an overview of how we know what we know of the Roman world and its frontiers from the air.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Waneta expansion completes powerhouse excavation

Partners in the Waneta Expansion Project - Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation, and Columbia Basin Trust – are pleased to announce a major milestone has been reached with the completion of powerhouse archaeology excavation.

archaeology excavations

The contractor, SNC-Lavalin Inc., has been working hard to complete archaeology excavation in the powerhouse area so construction of the powerhouse can begin. In total, approximately 230,000 cubic metres of overburden and 141,000 metres of rock were removed (loading more than 50,000 trucks) and quarried within seven kilometres of the site. The rock will be available
for reuse in future highway and other infrastructure projects in the area.

“Completion of the excavation at the powerhouse site is a significant milestone in the construction of this $900 million project,” says Audrey Repin, spokesperson for the Waneta Expansion Project. “Over one year
into the project, the owners are pleased with the progress and appreciate the efforts of each and every person working to make the project a success.”

The viewing area across Highway 22A has temporarily closed due to slippery conditions but will reopen so the public can safely view the project once conditions improve. The owners thank the contractor for constructing this viewing area which has seen heavy traffic since opening last summer.

Early this year, the project will see completion of tunnel and intake excavation, assembly and installation of the travelling form for the tunnel linings, and continued concrete work in the powerhouse and service bay

The project is focused on a high standard of safety, quality and environmental protection and is committed to delivering local benefits. Currently, more than $72 million has been injected into the local economy through the purchases of goods and services and there are over 200 employees working directly on the project. Of these, 80 per cent are local and 11 per cent are self-identified in equity groups. The $900 million project is expected to provide $200 million in wages and benefits and the equivalent of more than 400 jobs during its construction.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Archaeologists strike gold in quest to find Queen of Sheba's wealth

A British excavation has struck archaeological gold with a discovery that may solve the mystery of where the Queen of Sheba of biblical legend derived her fabled treasures.

Almost 3,000 years ago, the ruler of Sheba, which spanned modern-day Ethiopia and Yemen, arrived in Jerusalem with vast quantities of gold to give to King Solomon. Now an enormous ancient goldmine, together with the ruins of a temple and the site of a battlefield, have been discovered in her former territory.

Louise Schofield, an archaeologist and former British Museum curator, who headed the excavation on the high Gheralta plateau in northern Ethiopia, said: "One of the things I've always loved about archaeology is the way it can tie up with legends and myths. The fact that we might have the Queen of Sheba's mines is extraordinary."

An initial clue lay in a 20ft stone stele (or slab) carved with a sun and crescent moon, the "calling card of the land of Sheba", Schofield said. "I crawled beneath the stone – wary of a 9ft cobra I was warned lives here – and came face to face with an inscription in Sabaean, the language that the Queen of Sheba would have spoken."

On a mound nearby she found parts of columns and finely carved stone channels from a buried temple that appears to be dedicated to the moon god, the main deity of Sheba, an 8th century BC civilisation that lasted 1,000 years. It revealed a victory in a battle nearby, where Schofield excavated ancient bones.

Although local people still pan for gold in the river, they were unaware of the ancient mine. Its shaft is buried some 4ft down, in a hill above which vultures swoop. An ancient human skull is embedded in the entrance shaft, which bears Sabaean chiselling.

Sheba was a powerful incense-trading kingdom that prospered through trade with Jerusalem and the Roman empire. The queen is immortalised in Qur'an and the Bible, which describes her visit to Solomon "with a very great retinue, with camels bearing spices, and very much gold and precious stones ... Then she gave the king 120 talents of gold, and a very great quantity of spices."

Although little is known about her, the queen's image inspired medieval Christian mystical works in which she embodied divine wisdom, as well as Turkish and Persian paintings, Handel's oratorio Solomon, and Hollywood films. Her story is still told across Africa and Arabia, and the Ethiopian tales are immortalised in the holy book the Kebra Nagast.

Hers is said to be one of the world's oldest love stories. The Bible says she visited Solomon to test his wisdom by asking him several riddles. Legend has it that he wooed her, and that descendants of their child, Menelik – son of the wise – became the kings of Abyssinia.

Schofield will begin a full excavation Schofield said that as she stood on the ancient site, in a rocky landscape of cacti and acacia trees, it was easy to imagine the queen arriving on a camel, overseeing slaves and elephants dragging rocks from the mine.

once she has the funds and hopes to establish the precise size of the mine, whose entrance is blocked by boulders.

Tests by a gold prospector who alerted her to the mine show that it is extensive, with a proper shaft and tunnel big enough to walk along.

Schofield was instrumental in setting up the multinational rescue excavations at the Roman city of Zeugma on the Euphrates before it was flooded for the Birecik dam. Her latest discovery was made during her environmental development work in Ethiopia, an irrigation, farming and eco-tourism project on behalf of the Tigray Trust, a charity she founded to develop a sustainable lifestyle for 10,000 inhabitants around Maikado, where people eke out a living from subsistence farming.

Sean Kingsley, archaeologist and author of God's Gold, said: "Where Sheba dug her golden riches is one of the great stories of the Old Testament. Timna in the Negev desert is falsely known as 'King Solomon's Mines', but anything shinier has eluded us.

"The idea that the ruins of Sheba's empire will once more bring life to the villages around Maikado is truly poetic and appropriate. Making the past relevant to the present is exactly what archaeologists should be doing. "

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

Archaeologist Says Rockart Found at Local Paleoindian Site

The site of a possible Paleo-Indian solstice site recently discovered in Clarke County, Virginia gained new interest among members and guests who attended the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Archeological Society of Virginia (NVCASV) during its monthly meeting in January. Lead archaeologist for the site, Jack Hranicky, announced new findings to including what Hranicky believes are stone art carvings located in rocks near the area of the initial discovery.

“A new major feature is a shelter on the site that contains Indian rockart including A set of geometric ‘glyphs’ and two sets of right-hand prints,” Hranicky briefed the 32 NVCASV members at the Falls Church James Lee Community Center, who attended to hear his results of this three-year investigation into Northern Virginia’s archeology.

“Glyphs” or petroglyphs, are rock engravings created by removing part of a rock surface with carving, picking, incising or abrading. The human hand is one of the most common rockart elements found around the world. Petroglyphs are found worldwide, but few are found in Virginia. There are 17 known rockart sites in Virginia, all recorded by Hrankicy.

Hranicky has two other rockart sites containing concentric rings, altar and hand glyphs. Hranicky believes that the Clarke County Spout-Run complex pre-dates all of his previous discoveries.

Hranicky explained that the Spout-Run “petroglyphs” should not be confused with “pictographs” – images drawn on rocks. “These petroglyphs were cut out of the stone” Harnicky said.

Hranicky says that further studies would be needed to reveal when, why and by whom the petroglyphs were created.

“We began with rock rings, now we have a 2-mile complex with 15 above-ground features including two sets of hand prints,” reported Hranicky. He went on to describe the early people who roamed the area approximately 12,000 years ago as “Virginia’s first Engineers.”

During his one-hour presentation Hranicky explained the Spout Run site’s defining characteristics including direct alignment with both solar solstices, alignment east-to-west with the seasonal equinoxes, the site’s lunar focus, stone concentric rings and fire hearth as well as the site’s major feature, a stone altar which also aligns with the summer solstice.

When Hranicky announced finding heat-treated jasper near the surface, excitement buzzed through the room. He also revealed finding a bolder set which appears to have stood more than 40-feet tall at one time.

Hranicky told the group that the Spout-Run site served Paleoindians in a number of ways, such as a calendar for the annual seasons and where social and spiritual ceremonies were conducted. Hranicky also said that the location also was used for flint-knapping activities as was the famous Thunderbird Paleosite in nearby Warren County, Virginia.

Spout-Run land owners Chris and René White attended Hranicky’s presentation and received recognition from NVCASV members for their contributions. When asked what he planned to do with the site Chirs White said, “Preserve it for future generations.”

At the conclusion of Hranicky’s presentation, NVCASV Chapter President John Kelsey opened the floor for questions and discussions. Topics ranged from concerns about assigning current cultural meanings to accurately explain paleo-culture; and how the degree of repatination on the rockart may also indicate relative dating.

Hranicky is scheduled to deliver his Spout-Run brief at the Mid-Atlantic Archeological Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia on March 22-25 and then again for the Society for American Archeology’s 77th annual meeting in Memphis, Tennessee on April 20.

Hranicky plans to publish a final paper on the Spout-Run site before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Chris and René White, both Native American descendants, aim to return the site back to the way the Paleoindians left it. They and Hranicky are exploring appropriate ways to study the site, such as ground penetrating radar and advanced stone technology. The Whites are also studying the feasibility of establishing a sacred retreat that they have named “Sanctuary on the Trail”, a faith-based neighborhood and community outreach-initiative where spiritual leaders across denominations can meet to create possibilities for communities, churches and tribes on challenges and issues facing them.

Last year, White and Hranicky coined the name Spout-Run for the site after the creek that runs through it. Hranicky has since described the complex as the oldest, extent, above-ground site in North America.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Norway Finances Controversial Archaeology Excavations in Bulgaria

Amid the on-going controversy regarding the authenticity of the recently discovered remains claimed by some archaeologists to have belonged to Saint John the Baptists, the Norwegian Embassy announced on Monday that Norway is financing the archaeology excavations during which the remains were found.

archaeology excavation

“The archaeology excavations, as well as the restoration of the monastery complex at the Saint Ivan island near Sozopol are financed by the Norwegian government in the framework of the European Economic Area (EEA). The entire sum granted by Norway for the project is 584,028 euro, which cover 90 per cent of all expenses,” according to an official press release distributed to media and published on the embassy’s website today.

According to the embassy’s information, the excavations on the Saint Ivan island are one of the nearly 62 project that have received support from EEA’s Financial mechanism and the Norwegian programme for cooperation during the first phase of cooperation between Norway and Bulgaria for the period between 2007 and 2009.

Ahead is a second financing stage for the period between 2009 and 2014, in which Norway will grant Bulgaria 126.6 million euro for a variety of projects, connected to cultural heritage conservation, green energy and energy effectiveness, health care, academic activities, education, as well as labour market, civil society and justice sector initiatives.

Today, Ambassador Tove Skarstein will visit the excavations on the Island of Saint Ivan and will take a look at the remains of Saint John the Baptist, kept in the Saint George church in the nearby town of Sozopol.

“We are happy that important archaeological projects are financed with Norwegian money, and in this way we are helping Bulgaria preserve its rich cultural-historical heritage. Of course, first we’ll have to wait for the results from the ongoing analyses of the finds. It would be a great joy if it turns out they have a high historical value,” Mrs Skarstein said, in regards to the remains, found during the excavations, which some archaeologists claim belonged to Saint John the Baptist.

As reported, a team of archaeologists discovered on the island small arm, leg and facial bone fragments, as well as a tooth and a heel, which were almost immediately said to have belonged to one of the founders of Christianity, Saint John the Baptist.

Following this announcement, a debate, chiefly between Bulgarian minister without portfolio, former head of the National History Museum and Sozopol-native, Bozhidar Dimitrov and members of the Bulgarian archaeological community ensured, regarding both the haste of such statements before the bones’ authenticity could be confirmed. The debate is still ongoing and has deepened, with vulgar insults having been exchanged between Dimitrov and prominent archaeologists over the past several days.

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Archeology Field School

The Langara College Archeology Field School is a unique, hands-on experience offered during the summer semester (May to August). The 2012 field school is different this year, as we will be conducting classes and archaeology excavations on campus Monday through Thursday afternoons, as well as off-campus surveys on Fridays. This schedule makes mornings on Monday through Thursday available for students who would like to enroll in other courses on campus.

archaeology excavation

The focus of the field school is for students to acquire practical skills in pre-contact and historical archaeology, as well as in forensic archaeology. Students will gain valuable experience, earn nine university-transferable credits, and learn practical skills in site survey and archaeology excavation methods, both in laboratory and field environments. These are skills requred for academic and consulting (business) applications in many disciplines besides archaeology.

Courses involve lectures, labs, and fieldwork. Field research will take place on campus as well as in several locations in the Lower Mainland that are accessible via public transportation, and/or by shared carpool. The field school will involve a large time commitment on the part of accepted students.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Origins of World War One

In Blackadder Goes Forth, Baldrick opined that the war began when 'Archie Duke shot an ostrich because he was hungry'. His garbled version of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary reflects popular opinion: that the issues were not worth the ensuing bloodbath. Most modern scholars would not agree. Germany and Austria-Hungary (the Central Powers) are seen, at the very least, as creating the conditions for conflict. Some go much further, blaming Germany for planning and waging a deliberate war of aggression.

Under Kaiser Wilhelm II, Germany moved from a policy of maintaining the status quo to a more aggressive stance. He decided against renewing a treaty with Russia, effectively opting for the Austrian alliance. Germany's western and eastern neighbours, France and Russia, signed an alliance in 1894 united by fear and resentment of Berlin. In 1898, Germany began to build up its navy, although this could only alarm the world's most powerful maritime nation, Britain. Recognising a major threat to her security, Britain abandoned the policy of holding aloof from entanglements with continental powers. Within ten years, Britain had concluded agreements, albeit limited, with her two major colonial rivals, France and Russia. Europe was divided into two armed camps: the Entente Powers and the Central Powers, and their populations began to see war not merely as inevitable but even welcome.

In the summer of 1914 the Germans were prepared, at the very least, to run the risk of causing a large-scale war. The crumbling Austro-Hungarian Empire decided, after the assassination on 28 June, to take action against Serbia, which was suspected of being behind the murder. The German government issued the so-called 'blank cheque' on 5-6 July, offering unconditional support to the Austrians, despite the risk of war with Russia. Germany, painted into a diplomatic corner by Wilhelm's bellicosity, saw this as a way of breaking up the Entente, for France and Britain might refuse to support Russia. Moreover, a wish to unite the nation behind the government may have been a motive. So might desire to strike against Russia before it had finished rebuilding its military strength after its defeat by Japan in 1905.

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4,300 Year Old Chimp Tool, World's Oldest, Found in Ivory Coast Rain Forest

In the West African rainforest, archaeologists have found ancient chimpanzee stone tools thousands of years older than the previous oldest finds in the same area. The discovery suggests that chimps may have passed cultural information down the generations for more than 4,000 years.

archaeology excavations

The human fossil record dates back 2.6 million years, thanks to our ancestors' who lived in more arid areas, where bones are well preserved. But the chimp fossil record is very sparse. We know little about ancient chimps' lifestyles, and only one previous set of old tools, dating from 100 years ago, has been found1.

Both sets of tools consist of stones used to smash open the nuts of the panda tree (Panda oleosa), and the flakes of stone chipped off by this hammering. They were found in the same spot of rainforest in the Côte d'Ivoire. The recently discovered set is dated to 4,300 years ago, researchers report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences2.

"What makes this find interesting is that the rocks are so old," says Huw Barton, an archaeologist from the University of Leicester, UK. We have no idea how far back such tools were used, he adds: "For all we know stone tool use behaviour could be very ancient."

Although panda nuts are found across Africa, only West African chimps (Pan troglodytes) have been seen cracking them with rocks, using a piece of granite and steadying the nut against a cracking post, usually the nook of a tree stump.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Archaeologists find world's oldest mattress

Found in a cave in South Africa, the 77,000 year old bedding was made of insect-repelling leaves and other medicinal plants.

The oldest known bedding — sleeping mats made of mosquito-repellant evergreens that are about 77,000 years old — has been discovered in a South African cave.

This use of medicinal plants, along with other artifacts at the cave, helps reveal how creative these early peoples were, researchers said.

An international team of archaeologists discovered the stack of ancient beds at Sibudu, a cave in a sandstone cliff in South Africa. They consist of compacted stems and leaves of sedges, rushes and grasses stacked in at least 15 layers within a chunk of sediment 10 feet (3 meters) thick.

"The inhabitants would have collected the sedges and rushes from along the uThongathi River, located directly below the site, and laid the plants on the floor of the shelter,"said researcher Lyn Wadley, an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

IN PICTURES: Fearsome dinosaurs

The oldest mats the scientists discovered are approximately 50,000 years older than other known examples of plant bedding. All told, these layers reveal mat-making over a period of about 40,000 years.

"The preservation of material at Sibudu is really exceptional," said researcher Christopher Miller, a geoarchaeologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany. [See Photos of the Ancient Beds]

Many of the plant remains are species of Cryptocarya, evergreen plants that are used extensively in traditional medicines. The beds appeared to be mostly composed of river wild-quince (Cryptocarya woodii), whose crushed leaves emit insect-repelling scents.

"The selection of these leaves for the construction of bedding suggests that the early inhabitants of Sibudu had an intimate knowledge of the plants surrounding the shelter, and were aware of their medicinal uses," Wadley said. "Herbal medicines would have provided advantages for human health, and the use of insect-repelling plants adds a new dimension to our understanding of behavior 77,000 years ago."

Microscopic analysis of the bedding suggested the inhabitants repeatedly refurbished the mats. Starting about 73,000 years ago, the site's inhabitants apparently also burned the bedding regularly, "possibly as a way to remove pests," Miller said. "This would have prepared the site for future occupation and represents a novel use of fire for the maintenance of an occupation site."

These mats were used for more than just slumber. "The bedding was not just used for sleeping, but would have provided a comfortable surface for living and working," Wadley said.

Beginning about 58,000 years ago, the layers of bedding at the site became more densely packed, and the number of hearths and ash dumps rose dramatically as well. The archaeologists believe this is evidence of a growing population, perhaps corresponding with other population changes within Africa at the time. By approximately 50,000 years ago,modern humans began expanding out of Africa, eventually replacing now-extinct forms of humans in Eurasia, including the Neanderthals.

The age of the oldest mats are roughly contemporaneous with other South African evidence of modern human behavior, such as the use of perforated shell beads, sharpened bone points likely used for hunting, bow and arrow technology, the use of snares and traps and the production of glue for attaching handles onto stone tools.

"These discoveries show the creativity and diversity of behavior that these early humans practiced," Miller told LiveScience.

Wadley, Miller and their colleagues detailed their findings in the Dec. 9 issue of the journal Science.

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World's Oldest Work Of Art Found In Spain

You thought art history was limited to human beings? Well, think again.

A recently discovered painting in Spanish caves in Costa Del Sol was found by scientists to be approximately 42,000 years old, making it the oldest artwork ever. What is more, this artwork is also the first known painting by Neanderthals, not homo sapiens. Professor Jose Luis Sanchidrian called it an "academic bombshell" and its effects will reverberate through the field of Art History for years to come.

What is the oldest painting of, you ask? The pictures appear to be seals; the drawings are not half bad for a caveman!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

'The oldest work of art ever': 42,000-year-old paintings of seals found in Spanish cave

The world's oldest works of art have been found in a cave on Spain's Costa del Sol, scientists believe.

Six paintings of seals are at least 42,000 years old and are the only known artistic images created by Neanderthal man, experts claim.

Professor Jose Luis Sanchidrian, from the University of Cordoba, described the discovery as 'an academic bombshell', as all previous art work has been attributed to Homo sapiens.

The paintings were found in the Nerja Caves, 35 miles east of Malaga in the southern region of Andalusia.

Spanish scientists sent organic residue found next to the paintings to Miami, where they were dated at being between 43,500 and 42,300 years old.

They hope to establish the exact age by testing parts of the paintings themselves, but their investigation has been hampered by a lack of cash.

Antonio Garrido, in charge of preserving the caves, said the paintings could revolutionise our view of Neanderthal man, who is often portrayed as being monkey-like.

The Nerja Caves, an impressive series of enormous caverns, were discovered in 1959 by five boys out exploring. They are home to the world's largest stalagmite, standing 105ft (32m) tall.

Neanderthals lived in the caves before becoming extinct about 30,000 years ago, leaving behind flint tools. Later, prehistoric Homo sapiens used the caves, painting on the walls and leaving pottery, tools and skeletons.

Neanderthals, who were known to eat seals, are thought to have died out from competition with Homo sapiens, although scientists recently suggested they were wiped out by climate change.

Previously the oldest works of art in the world were said to be 32,000-year-old images in the Chauvet Cave in southern France.

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