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May 13, 2016

World\’s oldest known hafted axe fragment found in Western Australia

World’s oldest known hafted axe fragment found in Western Australia

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Friday, May 13, 2016

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On Wednesday Australian archaeologists published an analysis of a previously discovered axe fragment which indicates it is up to 49,000 years old.

The axe fragment was originally discovered in Western Australia‘s Kimberley region in 1991 by Professor Sue O’Connor of the Australian National University but was only recently examined. The recent analysis and dating published in journal Australian Archaeology indicates the fragment came from the head of a hafted axe 46,000 to 49,000 years old. This is currently the world’s oldest known hafted axe fragment.

According to coauthor Professor O’Connor, this predates all other known evidence of axe hafting, as in Japan where evidence of hafted axes around 35,000 years old has been found. Professor O’Connor said, “Nowhere else in the world do you get axes at this date […] in most countries in the world they arrived with agriculture after 10,000 years ago.”

Analysis by coauthor Professor Peter Hiscock of the University of Sydney showed the axe-head was made of basalt, a hard volcanic rock. Axe-heads like this one would have been ground against a softer rock to shape and polish them. This recent discovery indicates the early inhabitants of Australia developed and used complex tools soon after they arrived in Australia 50,000 to 55,000 years ago.



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March 23, 2012

Roman coins hoard found in Somerset, England

Roman coins hoard found in Somerset, England

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Friday, March 23, 2012

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It has now emerged that in the past four to five years, approximately thirty thousand silver Roman coins were discovered in the city of Bath, in Somerset, England.

A model of the nearby baths and an adjoining temple, as they would have appeared in Roman times.
Image: Rod Ward.

Archaeologists discovered the coins, which are thought to date back to the year 270, on the site of a new hotel on Beau Street in the city as work was underway 150 metres away from the Roman Baths. The hoard, named as the Beau Street Hoard, is understood to be the fifth largest ever uncovered in the United Kingdom and the greatest one found at a Roman town in the country.

Speaking on behalf of Roman Baths, Stephen Clews stated: “We’ve put in a request for a formal valuation and then hope to buy the coins to display them at the baths. At the time there was a lot of unrest in the Roman Empire so there may be some explanation for why the coins were hidden away.” This discovery was “unusual as it was discovered by professional archaeologists as opposed to an amateur using a metal detector,” according to Clews.

The discovered coins were found to be in a large block joined together, increasing the difficulty of establishing what exact kind of coins these are, as well as the total number of them. The hoard has been sent to the British Museum in the capital London where conservators are anticipated to take twelve months or more to analyse the coins.

The Roman Baths is now attempting to accumulate £150,000 (180,000 or US$237,000) in funding so as to allow them to acquire the coins and place them on display.



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June 11, 2010

World\’s oldest leather shoe found in Armenia

World’s oldest leather shoe found in Armenia

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Friday, June 11, 2010

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Areni village as seen from Areni Church

What is believed to be the world’s oldest leather shoe, over 5,500 year old, has been found in a cave in Armenia by a team of archaeologists.

The Armenian shoe is in a perfectly preserved condition and is a few hundred years older than the one found on Ötzi the Iceman, making it the oldest piece of leather footwear in the world, and the oldest footwear yet found in Europe. Researchers published details in the journal PLoS ONE.

The leather shoe was found in a cave dubbed Areni-1, near the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia, on the Iranian and Turkish borders. “I was amazed to find that even the shoe-laces were preserved,” recalled Diana Zardaryan, the Armenian PhD student who made the discovery.

According to researchers, the shoe, made of cow-hide, consists of only one leather piece and was probably customised to the wearer’s foot. It was relatively small, measuring the corresponding to European size 37 or US size 7 women, however, it could have been worn by a man.

It was kept in excellent condition by a thick layer of sheep excrement, which acted as a seal, helping it survive the millennia. The shoe contained grass, although the archaeologists were uncertain as to whether this was to used to maintain the shape of the shoe and/or prepare it for storage.

“We thought initially that the shoe and other objects were about 600-700 years old because they were in such good condition,” said co-author Dr. Ron Pinhasi from the University College Cork in Ireland. “It was only when the material was dated by the two radiocarbon laboratories in Oxford and in California that we realised that the shoe was a few hundred years older than the shoes worn by Ötzi the Iceman”.

The shoe and the cave will continue to be researched. “We do not know yet what the shoe or other objects were doing in the cave or what the purpose of the cave was”, said Pinhasi, “We know that there are children’s graves at the back of the cave but so little is known about this period that we cannot say with any certainty why all these different objects were found together”.

Currently, the oldest known footwear are sandals made from sagebrush bark, found in Fort Rock Cave, Oregon in the United States. These shoes were discovered in 1938, and have been dated to about 10,000 years before present.

Discoveries within the cave move early bronze-age cultural activity in Armenia back by about 800 years. Additional discoveries yielded an extensive array of Copper Age artifacts dating to between 6,200 and 5,900 years ago.



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May 24, 2010

Nicolaus Copernicus buried again

Nicolaus Copernicus buried again – Wikinews, the free news source

Nicolaus Copernicus buried again

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Copernicus was one of the most important people of the Renaissance.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was buried for the second time yesterday, in the Catholic church of Frombork, Poland. Copernicus is considered the founder of modern astronomy, and known for declaring that the Earth revolved around the Sun, contrary to popular belief at the time.

His body was discovered and exhumed in 2005 by Polish archaeologists in a nameless tomb in the same church. After the extraction, the body was sent for DNA testing, which confirmed it was Copernicus, who died in 1543.

His funeral was presided over by Archbishop Józef Kowalczyk. In his time, Copernicus was considered a heretic due to his theory, which was published shortly before his death.

He studied in the Kraków University and in the Bologne University. In his work De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium he demonstrated, through mathematical and astronomical calculations, that the planets –including Earth– rotated around the Sun.



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March 14, 2010

UK Wikinews Shorts: March 14, 2010

UK Wikinews Shorts: March 14, 2010 – Wikinews, the free news source

UK Wikinews Shorts: March 14, 2010

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, March 14, 2010.

Archaeologists: 51 decapitated skeletons discovered in pit in Dorset, England were Vikings

Map of England with Dorset highlighted in red

According to what archaeologists have stated, 51 decapitated skeletons that were discovered in a burial pit in Dorset, England in June 2009, after excavations took place there, belonged to Vikings and are approximately a thousand years old. On closer inspection, analysis of the teeth on ten of the male bodies found that the individuals came from a country with a climate colder than that of the United Kingdom, most likely the Scandinavian region of Europe. Archaeologists from Oxford, Oxfordshire think that the Viking people were possibly given an execution by Anglo-Saxons, who came from a local area, between the years of approximately 910 AD and approximately 1030 AD, according to radiocarbon dating.

David Score, who is the manager of the Oxford Archaeology project, stated: “To find out that the young men executed were Vikings is a thrilling development. Any mass grave is a relatively rare find, but to find one on this scale, from this period of history, is extremely unusual.”

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Man dies after van and truck crash in Cheshire, England

File photo of a Ford Transit from 2007

A man who came from Greater Manchester, England has died after being involved in a two vehicle collision in the county of Cheshire in the same country. The gentleman, who is currently remaining unidentified, was travelling on the A57 road in his Ford Transit when he crashed into a heavy goods vehicle at approximately 0005 GMT on Saturday. A spokesperson for Cheshire Police stated that the 20-year-old man was declared dead at the scene of the collision. The truck driver suffered from minor injuries.

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One dead after car collides with bicycle in Tyne and Wear, England

File photo of a Vauxhall Vectra from 2009

A girl has died after her bicycle collided with a car in Tyne and Wear, in the north-east of England. The 11-year-old has been identifed as Kately Weldon. According to police, she came from the local area. She was riding on her bicycle in the city of Sunderland at 2049 GMT on Saturday when a Vauxhall Vectra collided into her, causing her to fall of the bike. She was fatally injured as a result of the crash, which closed the road the collision occurred on for three hours so as to allow an investigation to take place. No other individuals suffered injuries as a result of the incident.

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November 4, 2009

Staffordshire hoard goes on display in British Museum in London, England

Staffordshire hoard goes on display in British Museum in London, England

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

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Some of the notable pieces from the gold and silver hoard which was found in a private field in Staffordshire, England by a metal-detector user have been put on display in the British Museum in the city of London.

A photo of one of the gold pieces found in the Staffordshire hoard

Approximately 1,500 pieces were found in July of this year; the discovery was reported by news sources in September. The value of the hoard itself is still being checked. 18 of the pieces have now gone on display in the museum in London, England, and can be seen by members of the public.

Fred Johnson, who is the owner of the land in which the hoard was found, said: “It’s been an incredible experience. I’m overwhelmed by it all. They say this will change the history books; it’s a strange thought that came from something lying in my field all this time. I’m trying to keep a level head about it. I’m trying not to think at all about the value of it.” Johnson will share the sum of the value of the hoard with Terry Herbert, who found the pieces. The hoard is believed to date back to the 7th century.

“People laugh at metal detectorists,” Herbert said in late September. “I’ve had people go past and go ‘beep beep, he’s after pennies’. Well no, we are out there to find this kind of stuff and it is out there.”

Cquote1.svg What is interesting about the hoard as a whole is all the objects are associated with war to some or a greater extent. Cquote2.svg

—Michael Lewis, Deputy Head of Department of Portable Antiquities in the British Museum

Michael Lewis is the deputy head of the Department of Portable Antiquities in the British Museum. Speaking to BBC News about this event, he said: “The view is that it was probably in some sort of container but that has not survived and it was deliberately hoarded, put into the ground, what is unclear is why, and I suppose what we find is they would have been objects that had been stripped from the enemies’ weapons.

“What is interesting about the hoard as a whole is all the objects are associated with war to some or a greater extent. What the hoard consists of is mainly gold objects, there are some silver ones, basically they have been stripped from whatever they were on for instance sword fittings. What it demonstrates is that the Anglo-Saxons as a people were very able to do amazing things with objects and I reckon people nowadays attempting to make these objects would have great difficulty in doing so.”



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September 24, 2009

Large hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found in Staffordshire, England

Large hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold found in Staffordshire, England

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Archaeology
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Pieces from the hoard.
Image: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

A large hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold has been found in a field in Staffordshire, England.

The hoard, which was found in a private field over the course of five days in July 2009, is in fact the most Anglo-Saxon gold that has ever been unearthed at one site in the United Kingdom. Roughly 1,500 gold and silver pieces were found and the hoard contains roughly 5kgs of gold and 2.5kgs of silver — far more than the previous record of 2.5kgs of gold which was found at Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge.

The big haul in Staffordshire was found by 55-year-old Terry Herbert, while he was using a metal-detector. He had asked a local farmer’s permission to search the land beforehand. Terry is unemployed, and has been in the hobby of metal-detecting for the last 18 years. He said: “People laugh at metal detectorists.

“I’ve had people go past and go ‘beep beep, he’s after pennies’. Well no, we are out there to find this kind of stuff and it is out there.”

It is estimated to take over twelve months before the value of the hoard can be valued specifically. South Staffordshire Coroner Andrew Haigh declared it “treasure”. That means that it belongs to the Crown. Archaeology experts have predicted that it could be worth “a seven-figure sum” and that the treasure may date back to the 7th century. The exact location where the hoard was found is currently being kept secret.



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May 14, 2009

Egyptian archaeologists announce discovery of marble statue and 132 new sites

Egyptian archaeologists announce discovery of marble statue and 132 new sites

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Egypt
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Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s pre-eminent archaeologist, and Secretary General of the The Supreme Council of Antiquities, has announced that a rare statue constructed of white marble whose features resemble Alexander the Great has been discovered in Egypt. Hawass also stated that there are satellite photographs identifying many archeological sites which may also reveal buried monuments.

Stock photo of a bust of Alexander the Great

Calliope Papacosta was leading the Greek archaeological excavation in Alexandria when the white marble statue was found.

“A ribbon around the head of the statue proves that it belongs to an important person for such ribbon was used only be[sic] rulers,” said Hawass, “The 80 cm long, 23 cm wide statue has been discovered eight meters deep under the earth surface.”

Salt Man Head in the Iran Bastan Museum

Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s Culture Minister, is supporting archaeological dig sites and has set into place laws restricting illegal digging in confirmed archaeological sites which may contain historical monuments. The monument photography project, National Authority for Remote Sensing, Space Sciences (NARRS) and Mubarak City for Scientific Research (MuCSAT) combined Satellites technology, aerial photography and ground laser to locate 132 sites which have not yet been excavated.

One of these sites is north of Lake Qarun in the Faiyum area, and another at Habu city. Archaeologists are presently being sent out by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism to areas before construction and building excavations to preserve invaluable archaeological treasures. At the Faiyum site near Cairo artifacts dating to diverse time periods have been found amongst these, an awl for stitching leather, fishing tackle, weapons, jewellery, pottery, coins, sawfish, whale fossils, and a 3150 BC block portraying one of the two leaders named King Scorpion.

Meanwhile, in other archaeological news, Iran’s three salt mummies found in the Chehrabad Salt Mine in 1993 will be moved to a technologically advanced vacuum chamber display case in Zanjan for better preservation. These mummies or Salt Men have been dated as being from the Parthian 237 BCE – 224 CE and Sassanid era, 224 – 651 CE.



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April 19, 2009

Egyptian archaeologist finds artifacts which may lead to Cleopatra’s tomb

Sunday, April 19, 2009

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Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s pre-eminent archaeologist revealed the first ancient artifacts which may lead to the discovery of Cleopatra and Marc Antony‘s resting place.

File photo of a bust of Cleopatra, notable queen of Ptolemaic Egypt, known for her relationship with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony and powerful personality.

The expedition has found amulets, 22 bronze coins cast with Cleopatra’s image and her name, a royal statue, an alabaster mask resembling Marc Antony, and a statue bust of Cleopatra. “If you look at the face of Mark Antony, many believed he had this cleft on his chin and that’s why I thought this could be Mark Antony,” said Hawass.

“In my opinion, if this tomb is found, it will be one of the most important discoveries of the 21st century because of the love between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and because of the sad story of their death. This is the perfect place for them to be hidden,” said Hawass.

Recently, outside the temple colourful mummies of nobles were excavated at a neighbouring necropolis. These discoveries have lead the archaeologists to believe that a ruler or person of royalty is interred within the temple itself. It was the practice of the Greco-Roman era to assemble the tombs of persons of status and other high ranking officials near their rulers.

File photo of a bust of Mark Antony

“The discovery of the cemetery this week really convinced me that there is someone important buried inside this temple. No one would be buried outside a temple without a reason. We saw that in the pharaonic days, they were always buried beside pyramids,” explained Hawass.

“She needed a place to be protected in the afterlife. If she had used the other burial site, she would have disappeared forever,” said Kathleen Martinez, a Dominican archaeologist. She feels that “it could be Taposiris Magna because it was the most sacred temple of its time.”

Dr. Roger Vickers team used radar to locate three chambers within the rocky hill atop of which is the Temple of Taposiris Magna dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple was constructed about 300 BC by Ptolemy II.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition led by Hawass has yet to excavate the burial chambers 40 feet (12 meters) underground where they hope to find a crown or Egyptian hieroglyph cartouches revealing the names of royalty. The team will employ radar again on April 22.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition consists of Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and Martinez who has extensively researched the life of Cleopatra.

Zahi Hawass
Image: Hajor.

According to Plutarch who studied Roman history, Caesar allowed Marc Antony and Cleopatra to be buried in the same tomb.

Alexandria is located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Temple of Taposiris Magna. The archaeological site is on a hill along the Mediterranean Sea overlooking the summer home of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt. The archaeologists fear they may have to postpone work for security reasons over the summer months.

Related articles

Sources

  • Paul Schemm “Coins, mummies and statues point to Cleopatra tomb”. Associated Press, April 19, 2009
  • Will Rasmussen “Archaeologists hunt for Cleopatra’s tomb in Egypt”. Thomson Reuters, April 19, 2009
  • “Press Release – News from the Temple of Taposiris Magna”. Zahi Hawass’s blog, April, 2009
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Egyptian archaeologist finds artifacts which may lead to Cleopatra’s tomb

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Other stories from Egypt
…More articles here
Location of Egypt

A map showing the location of Egypt

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Egypt, see the Egypt Portal

Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s pre-eminent archaeologist revealed the first ancient artifacts which may lead to the discovery of Cleopatra and Marc Antony‘s resting place.

File photo of a bust of Cleopatra, notable queen of Ptolemaic Egypt, known for her relationship with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony and powerful personality.

The expedition has found amulets, 22 bronze coins cast with Cleopatra’s image and her name, a royal statue, an alabaster mask resembling Marc Antony, and a statue bust of Cleopatra. “If you look at the face of Mark Antony, many believed he had this cleft on his chin and that’s why I thought this could be Mark Antony,” said Hawass.

“In my opinion, if this tomb is found, it will be one of the most important discoveries of the 21st century because of the love between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and because of the sad story of their death. This is the perfect place for them to be hidden,” said Hawass.

Recently, outside the temple colourful mummies of nobles were excavated at a neighbouring necropolis. These discoveries have lead the archaeologists to believe that a ruler or person of royalty is interred within the temple itself. It was the practice of the Greco-Roman era to assemble the tombs of persons of status and other high ranking officials near their rulers.

File photo of a bust of Mark Antony

“The discovery of the cemetery this week really convinced me that there is someone important buried inside this temple. No one would be buried outside a temple without a reason. We saw that in the pharaonic days, they were always buried beside pyramids,” explained Hawass.

“She needed a place to be protected in the afterlife. If she had used the other burial site, she would have disappeared forever,” said Kathleen Martinez, a Dominican archaeologist. She feels that “it could be Taposiris Magna because it was the most sacred temple of its time.”

Dr. Roger Vickers team used radar to locate three chambers within the rocky hill atop of which is the Temple of Taposiris Magna dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple was constructed about 300 BC by Ptolemy II.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition led by Hawass has yet to excavate the burial chambers 40 feet (12 meters) underground where they hope to find a crown or Egyptian hieroglyph cartouches revealing the names of royalty. The team will employ radar again on April 22.

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition consists of Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and Martinez who has extensively researched the life of Cleopatra.

Zahi Hawass
Image: Hajor.

According to Plutarch who studied Roman history, Caesar allowed Marc Antony and Cleopatra to be buried in the same tomb.

Alexandria is located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Temple of Taposiris Magna. The archaeological site is on a hill along the Mediterranean Sea overlooking the summer home of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt. The archaeologists fear they may have to postpone work for security reasons over the summer months.

Related articles

Sources

  • Paul Schemm “Coins, mummies and statues point to Cleopatra tomb”. Associated Press, April 19, 2009
  • Will Rasmussen “Archaeologists hunt for Cleopatra’s tomb in Egypt”. Thomson Reuters, April 19, 2009
  • “Press Release – News from the Temple of Taposiris Magna”. Zahi Hawass’s blog, April, 2009
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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