Archaeology Weekly Roundup

  Fire swept through the old central souk, or marketplace, of Aleppo, Syria, damaging a vast and well-preserved labyrinth of medieval storehouses, shops, schools and ornate courtyards as fierce clashes between security forces and insurgents vowing to carry out a “decisive battle” for the city continued.

An Austrian museum says skeletal remains found in an ancient, Bronze Age grave are that of a woman metal worker — the first indication that women did such work thousands of years ago.

The results of scientific tests using replicas of two ancient Egyptian artificial toes, including one that was found on the foot of a mummy, suggest that they’re likely to be the world’s first prosthetic body parts.

A new initiative has been launched in Britain as an extension of Operation Nightingale, a pioneering rehabilitation project set up by Sgt Diarmaid Walshe of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and Richard Osgood of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, to help soldiers recovering from wounds suffered in Afghanistan through archaeological investigations at sites on MoD land.

Driven by the desire to reassemble some of the country’s lost history, a group of Iraqi archaeologists have recently managed to unearth artifacts and a Babylonian temple’s structure dating back to the middle Babylon period between 1532 BC to 1000 BC at an archaeological site in Iraq’s southern province of Nassiriya.

An aggressive campaign by Turkey to reclaim antiquities it says were looted has led in recent months to the return of an ancient sphinx and many golden treasures from the region’s rich past. But it has also drawn condemnation from some of the world’s largest museums, which call the campaign cultural blackmail.

Excavations in Guatemala may have uncovered the tomb of K’abel, a 7th century warrior queen and one of the great female rulers of Classic Maya civilization, it was announced on 4 October.

A 14th century bronze vessel known as the Wenlok Jug worth £750,000 that was stolen from a UK museum, has been found, police believe.

Ahead of construction, extensive archaeological excavations have been conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority. During the excavations, a variety of impressive prehistoric artifacts have been uncovered, including a stone bowl filled with beads and carvings of ostriches.

After three years of documentary and archaeological research, the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) has discovered the location of the Battle of Hungry Hill, also known as the Battle of Grave Creek Hills, in the remote mountains of southwest Oregon.

The tunnels of Baiae at the edge of  the Phlegræan Fields, which were cleared and mapped during the mid-20th century and appear to date to the Greek colony Cumae, have been suggested to relate to the Cumaean sibyl, but have not been studied by archaeologists.

Excavations at the site of La Bastida, Spain, have shed light on an imposing fortification system, unique for its time. The discovery, together with all other discoveries made in recent years, reaffirm that the city was the most advanced settlement in continental Europe in political and military terms during the Bronze Age (ca. 4,200 years ago -2,200 BCE).

Growth rings from trees found recently in an old volcanic lava flow in Mongolia indicate there was plenty of rainfall in Central Asia in the early 13th century, which could have led to lush grasslands which fuelled the Mongol armies of Gengis Khan.

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