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Archaeo News  

December 2011 index:

1 December 2011
Significance of Stonehenge pre-dates the famous stone circles?
Since the summer of 2010 an international team of archaeologists, lead by the University of Birmingham (England), and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, from Vienna...
Stone Age axe found on Cotswold 'shore line'
Before the last Ice Age, the vast majority of what is now known as Warwickshire, in the English Midlands, was under the waters of a huge lake, called 'Lake Harrison'...
2 December 2011
Bronze Age treasure returns to northern England
A collection of Bronze Age weaponry discovered 270 years ago is returning to Ambleside, in the Lake District (England). Archaeologists are now trying to find out exactly from where it...
Evidence of 42,000 year old deep sea fishing revealed
Prehistoric humans living more than 40,000 years ago had mastered the skills needed to catch fast-moving, deep-ocean fish, new archaeological finds reveal. Jerimalai cave - a small rock overhang hidden...
7 December 2011
Cave yields oldest human remains ever found in Japan
Japan's oldest known human remains have been found in cave remains on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture, a researcher has announced. Minoru Yoneda, associate professor at the University of Tokyo,...
Archaeologists save Iron Age monument in England
Archaeologists from Gloucestershire County Council, with funding from Natural England, have repaired damage to a historic Iron Age hill fort eroded by thousands of walkers on the edge of the...
Man faces jail for demolishing ancient Irish ring fort
An Irishman is facing a possible five-year jail term after he was prosecuted for demolishing an ancient ring fort on land belonging to his family. In the first case of...
8 December 2011
Our ancestors speak out after 3 million years
Working backward from clues in ancient skeletons, Dutch researcher Bart de Boer has built plastic models of an early hominin's vocal tract and recreated the sounds our ancestors may have...
Excavations in Serbia question early humans in Europe
Sicevo Gorge - a canyon cut into the Kunivica plateau in southeastern Serbia - contains a series of caves, at least one of which has yielded evidence of human presence...
Bronze age Britain revealed as never before
Six boats hollowed out of oak tree trunks are among hundreds of intact artefacts from 3,000 years ago that have been discovered in the Cambridgeshire fens of eastern England. The...
10 December 2011
Oldest rock art in Egypt discovered
Using a new technology known as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which can determine the time that has elapsed since buried sediment grains were last exposed to sunlight, a team of...
11 December 2011
Prehistoric artefacts unearthed on Scotland's Western Isles
New research is being carried out on artefacts recovered from a site at Udal (North Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland) where achaeology provides an 'unbroken timeline' of occupation from the Neolithic,...
Striking 'earth mother' figurine discovered in France
Striking 'earth mother' figurine discovered in France French archaeologists have discovered an extremely rare example of a Neolithic 'earth mother' figurine on the banks of the river Somme. The 6,000-year-old...
Stone Age camp found in Staffordshire
Experts believe they have found evidence of a 4,000-year-old Stone Age camp in the Midlands - thanks to a dog walker. Roger Hall discovered a handful of strange-shaped rocks while...
Megalithic site in India may date back to 3300 BCE
During the works for the construction of a road on the outskirts of Obra village in Chatra district (Jharkhand state, India) Subhashis Das, a local megalith expert, came across a...
12 December 2011
Experts stumped by ancient Jerusalem markings
Israeli archaeologists excavating in the oldest part of Jerusalem discovered a complex of rooms with three 'V' shapes and other features carved deeply into the solid stone floor. There were...
Earliest human sleeping mats found in South Africa
A team working in South Africa claims to have found the earliest known sleeping mats, made of plant material and dated up to 77,000 years ago - 50,000 years earlier...
A dry Dead Sea before biblical times
The Dead Sea nearly disappeared about 120,000 years ago, say researchers who drilled below one of the deepest parts. The new research started as an attempt to understand the history...
13 December 2011
New fragments of the 'Lion Man' figurine found
Archeologists have discovered previously unknown fragments of a figurine known as the 'Lion Man,' and are piecing it back together. Could the 35,000-year-old statue actually represent a female shaman? Scientists...
5,000-year-old burial sites discovered in Oman
Burial sites at least 5,000 year old have been discovered in Oman by archaeologists working on the Sohar Heritage Project. "An area of 600sqkm has been covered and many new...
Ancient human remains uncovered in western Nepal
A team of national and international climbers, scientists, archaeologists, historians and anthropologists has found evidence of thousands of years of civilization in the caves of Upper Mustang in western Nepal....
14 December 2011
Don't move megaliths, or Irish fairies may wreak revenge!
The Aughrim Wedge Tomb, a 4,000 year old megalithic burial tomb which once stood on the slopes of Slieve Rushden, in the township of Aughrim (Co Cavan, Ireland), now sits...
'Out of Africa' theory pushed back over 40,000 years
Until now, geneticists and archaeologists had believed that modern man has started to migrate out of the cradle of civilisation in Africa between 70,000 and 40,000 years ago. But new...
Were Neanderthals our earliest builders?
A debate has started on the origin and provenance of a mammoth bone structure which is being researched in Molodova, Ukraine. The site, first excavated in 1950 CE, is being...
Economic crisis saves Spanish ancient sites
The Aljarafe region outside the city of Seville in southern Spain is believed to house Europe's most extensive grouping of tholos dolmens, dating back some 5,000 years. Many were buried...
15 December 2011
Prehistoric wood retrieved from Lake Huron
Under the cold clear waters of Lake Huron, between USA and Canada, anthropologists John O'Shea and Guy Meadows from University of Michigan, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF)...
16 December 2011
3,600-year-old high status structure found in China
Chinese archaeologists recently found a high status structure dating back to about 3,600 years ago at the Erlitou Bronze Age site in Henan province. It is the best-preserved structure ever...
The enigmatic standing stones of Al-Rajajil
On a lonely hillside a few kilometers outside the capital of Al Jawf province, Sakakah (Saudi Arabia), stand clusters of three-meter tall standing stones. Many of these monuments have fallen...
17 December 2011
9,500-year-old spear point discovered in Iowa
A portion of a spear point shaped from chert has emerged from 2.4 metres below a city parking lot along the Cedar River, in the city of Cedar Rapids (Iowa,...
18 December 2011
Scientists discover Oetzi's last meal
Oetzi's body was discovered in 1991 inside a glacier near the mountainous border between Italy and Austria, where it had been naturally mummified about 5300 years ago. Previous analysis concluded...
Brain structures separate us from Neanderthals
Modern humans possess brain structures larger than their Neanderthal counterparts, suggesting we are distinguished from them by different mental capacities. We are currently the only extant human lineage, but Neanderthals,...
22 December 2011
Neolithic jade ring returned to Jersey
One of the Jerseys's most valuable archeological treasures, an extremely rare jade ring, has been returned to the island - a British Crown Dependency off the coast of France. The...
Neanderthals built homes with mammoth bones
Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 44,000 year old Neanderthal building that was constructed using the bones from mammoths. The circular building, which was up to 26 feet across...
Prehistoric artefacts unearthed at a country house in England
'Potentially Bronze Age' artefacts found at Anglesey Abbey (a country house in the village of Lode, 9 km northeast of Cambridge, England) could prove the site was occupied up to...
British heritage Minister gives protection to Mesolithic site
Heritage Minister John Penrose has protected one of the UK's most outstanding historical sites whose importance has been established through work by the University of York's Department of Archaeology. On...
Neolithic site discovered in northern China
After more than 40 days of excavation, archeologists found an about 5,000-year-old Yangshao culture site in Zezhou county of Shanxi province. A well-persevered pottery kiln dating back to the Xia...
23 December 2011
Origins of modern dogs
Results from collaborators in California, Iran, Taiwan and Israel, suggest that European and American breeds were much more influenced by dogs from Southeast Asia than by ancient Western dogs or...
Evolution of the human skull
Researchers at the Universities of Manchester (UK) and Barcelona (Spain) studying 390 human skulls from Hallstatt, Austria, have shown that changes to skull shape long thought to have been separate...
24 December 2011
From Pembrokeshire to Stonehenge
A new paper in Archaeology in Wales, produced by Dr Rob Ixer of Leicester University and Dr Richard Bevins of Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales), confirms for the first time...
Earliest evidence of transition from wolf to dog
Lead researcher Nikolai Ovodov of the Russian Academy of Science "was immediately suspicious that there was something different" about the 33,000-year-old canine skull found in a cave in the Altai...
Prehistoric settlement discovered in Serbia
A prehistoric settlement from the early and late Iron Age and several remains from 1,000 BCE to II-III century CE have been discovered at the site of Bare, southern Serbia....
9500-year-old obsidian bracelet reveals craftsmen's skills
The Laboratoire de Tribologie et de Dynamiques des Systèmes have analyzed the oldest obsidian bracelet ever identified, discovered in the 1990s at the site of Aşıklı Höyük, Turkey; the researchers...
31 December 2011
Traverse Corridor: a prehistoric crossroads in Michigan
Michigan State University professor and paleoanthropologist Charles Cleland and his students began digging for information about prehistoric northwestern lower Michigan (USA) inhabitants in 1966 and have continued for 40 years....
Earthworks created for more than farming
Many of Ohio's ancient earthworks in the USA are aligned to astronomical events, such as the apparent rising and setting of the Sun or the Moon on key dates in...
Standing stone re-erected in North Yorkshire
Wade's Stone South, a prehistoric standing stone, once again stands proud on the North Yorkshire Moors (England) thanks to help from Tees Archaeology. The two metre high stone toppled over,...
Syria: Early Bronze Age tomb discovered
The excavations department at the Aleppo Archeology and Museums Directorate uncovered an ancient burial chamber dating back to early Bronze Age at the village of Sousan, 12 km west of...
Tides reveal ancient footprints in northwest England
Prehistoric human footprints, thought to date back thousands of years, have been discovered on Crosby beach (Merseyside, England) after a series of high tides. Members of the public are now...
Closure of A344 road near Stonehenge to go ahead
Plans to close a main road running past Stonehenge are to go ahead. English Heritage wants to stop traffic from travelling close to the stones and 'restore the dignity' of...

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