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Archaeology Weekly Roundup! 3-8-13

It’s snowy again in Boston, but here’s some news from a lot of places less icy.

Recent archaeological discoveries on the Arabian Peninsula have uncovered evidence of a previously unknown culture based in the now arid areas in the middle of the desert. The artefacts unearthed are providing proof of a society that flourished thousands of years ago and could push back the domestication dates for horses by thousands of years.

A remarkable find from 2011 of a 33,000 year old dog from a cave in the Siberian Altai mountains showed evidence of dog domestication, the earliest ever found. Now DNA sequencing has proven the remains to be more closely linked to modern dogs than wolves, and one of the growing number of early dogs.

Over the past seven years, around 1,500 antiques—including coins, and pre-Islamic stone carvings—have been confiscated at Sana’a International Airport. Smugglers have been tucking these ancient artifacts inside clothing and hiding them in bags, hoping to sell them abroad, but now they’re being turned over to the National Museum.

The remains of two barnacle species that once lived exclusively on the exterior of whales have been found in a camp fire at the Cueva de Nerja (the Caves of Nerja) in Málaga, Spain. Researchers from the University of Valencia have dated the charcoal from the fire to between 14,500 and 13,500 years ago, suggesting the earliest consumption of whale meat.

Personal ornaments, often in the form of beads worn as necklaces or bracelets, are considered by archaeologists as a key sign of sophisticated symbolic behavior, communicating either membership in a group or individual identity. A new study shows a change in the way shell beads were worn about 70kya at the South African site at Blombos Cave.

The discovery of pre-Angkorian ironworks sites in Preah Vihear province in 2010 is a tale of perseverance with a measure of luck, as is so often the case with important archeological finds.

A little face peering up from a clod of frozen mud in Denmark has proved to be a unique find: the only known 3D Viking representation of a valkyrie. The figurine, believed to date from about AD800, was found in December and has gone straight from conservation to display in the National Museum in Copenhagen.

Photo: Asger Kjærgaard, Odense Bys Museer

An interesting article on language and how they change and are lost, and the discovery of the existence of one of these lost languages, from Peru, based on the find of an over 400-year-old Spanish document.

Ancient Romans are known for eating well, with mosaics from the empire portraying sumptuous displays of fruits, vegetables, cakes — and, of course, wine. But the 98 percent of Romans who were non-elite and whose feasts weren’t preserved in art may have been stuck eating birdseed.

Native American hunter-gatherers living more than a thousand years ago in what is now northwestern California ate salmon, acorns and other foods, and now we know they also smoked tobacco—the earliest known usage in the Pacific Northwest, according to a new University of California, Davis, study.

Work to improve London Bridge station as part of the Thameslink upgrade is giving archaeologists their first access to this important historical site since the Victorians carved it up with railways around 150 years ago. Substantial Roman remains, as well as foundations and objects from the Saxon and Medieval times,  have recently been uncovered.

Human sacrifices are the most infamous feature of ancient South American societies, but little was actually known about the victims. New research published in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology explores archaeological evidence from Peru, dating to the Late Horizon era between 1450 and 1532 A.D.,  to tell us more about the individuals who met their fate, with some unexpected results.

Richard the Lionheart’s tomb at the Fontevraud Abbey in the French town of Saumur, on August 21, 2009. Forensic scientists say they have delved into the embalmed heart of Richard the Lionheart, finding chemical evidence that the remains of England’s Crusader king were handled with holy reverence.

For the first time in almost 3000 years – a full size Bronze Age style sea-going boat has been launched in Britain. Slipping gracefully down a slipway today into Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall, the 15m-long vessel was then paddled by its 18 person crew for two 500m trial trips.


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Archaeology Weekly Roundup! 3-8-13 Reviewed by admin on . It's snowy again in Boston, but here's some news from a lot of places less icy. Recent archaeological discoveries on the Arabian Peninsula have uncovered eviden It's snowy again in Boston, but here's some news from a lot of places less icy. Recent archaeological discoveries on the Arabian Peninsula have uncovered eviden Rating:
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