17 Sep 2014

Divers sure of new finds at Antikythera shipwreck by Sophie Makris

No Comments Ancient civilizations, Early man, Shipwrecks

To read the whole article, please go to: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2014/09/divers-sure-of-new-finds-at-antikythera.html#.VBmOOC5dUkh

A picture taken at the Archaeological Museum in Athens on September 14, 2014 shows pieces of the so-called Antikythera Mechanism, a 2nd-century BC device known as the world’s oldest computer, which was discovered by sponge divers in 1900 off a remote Greek island in the Aegean [Credit: AFP][/caption]

Archaeologists set out Monday to use a revolutionary new deep sea diving suit to explore the ancient shipwreck where one of the most remarkable scientific objects of antiquity was found. Archaeologists set out Monday to use a revolutionary new deep sea diving suit to explore the ancient shipwreck where one of the most remarkable scientific objects of antiquity was found. The so-called Antikythera Mechanism, a 2nd-century BC device known as the world’s oldest computer, was discovered by sponge divers in 1900 off a remote Greek island in the Aegean. The highly complex mechanism of up to 40 bronze cogs and gears was used by the ancient Greeks to track the cycles of the solar system. It took another 1,500 years for an astrological clock of similar sophistication to be made in Europe. Now archaeologists returning to the wreck will be able to use a new diving suit which will allow them to more than double the depth they can dive at, and stay safely at the bottom for longer.

The suit, which resembles a puffy space suit, “expands our capabilities”, Theodoulou told AFP as the team set off for a month-long expedition to Antikythera, which lies between Crete and the Peloponnese. “I’ll be able to grasp, pluck, clench and dig… for several hours,” he said. Archaeologists believe many other artefacts are yet to be discovered in and around the wreck. Up to now they had only been able to operate at a depth of 60 metres. The mechanism was found with a spectacular bronze statue of a youth in the wreck of a cargo ship apparently carrying booty to Rome, and researchers are certain that other items on board still remain to be discovered.

“We have good signs that there are other objects present,” said Angeliki Simosi, head of Greece’s directorate of underwater antiquities, after exploratory dives in the area in 2012 and 2013. “There are dozens of items left, this was a ship bearing immense riches from Asia Minor,” added Dimitris Kourkoumelis, another archaeologist on the team. The archaeologists also hope to confirm the presence of a second ship, some 250 metres away from the original discovery site. Antikythera, which now has a population of only 44, was on one of antiquity’s busiest trade routes, and a base for Cilician pirates, some of whom once captured and held the young Julius Caesar for ransom. He later had them all captured and crucified. Monumental statues The Greek team is assisted by Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist from the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at Massachusetts, which was involved in a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. Foley has helped in outings to identify ancient shipwrecks over the last five years. “We may find one or more monumental statues that were left behind in 1901, in the mistaken belief that they were rocks,” Foley said. As well as the new Exosuit, the Antikythera expedition will also use robot mapping equipment and new [advanced closed-circuit “rebreathers”, which will allow divers much more time underwater. “We will have more bottom time than any previous human visitors to the site, because we dive with mixed gas rebreathers,” the expedition’s website said.

01 Sep 2014

Archaeologists uncover vast ancient tomb in Greece—• The Guardian, Tuesday 12 August 2014

Comments Off Ancient civilizations, Heritage, Uncategorized

To read the complete article, please go to: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/12/archaeologists-greece-tomb-alexander-great

Archaeologists began excavating the site in 20

The site where archaeologists are excavating a ancient tomb in Amphipolis, northern Greece. Photograph: Alexandros Michailidis/AP

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Archaeologists have unearthed a vast ancient tomb in Greece, distinguished by two sphinxes and frescoed walls and dating to 300-325BC. The tomb, in the country’s north-eastern Macedonia region, which has been gradually unearthed over the past two years, marks a significant discovery from the early Hellenistic era. A culture ministry official said that there was no evidence yet to suggest a link to Alexander the Great – who died in 323BC after an unprecedented military campaign through the Middle East, Asia and northeast Africa – or his family.
Archaeologists began excavating the site in 2012 and expect to enter the tomb by the end of the month to determine who was buried there. “It looks like the tomb of a prominent Macedonian of that era,” said a second culture ministry official. Alexander Great died in Babylonia, in modern Iraq, and his actual burial place is not known. Archaeologists have unearthed a vast ancient tomb in Greece, distinguished by two sphinxes and frescoed walls and dating to 300-325BC.
The tomb, in the country’s north-eastern Macedonia region, which has been gradually unearthed over the past two years, marks a significant discovery from the early Hellenistic era. A culture ministry official said that there was no evidence yet to suggest a link to Alexander the Great – who died in 323BC after an unprecedented military campaign through the Middle East, Asia and northeast Africa – or his family.
and expect to enter the tomb by the end of the month to determine who was buried there. “It looks like the tomb of a prominent Macedonian of that era,” said a second culture ministry official. Alexander the Great died in Babylonia, in modern Iraq, and his actual burial place is not known.

12 Aug 2014

Otzi The Iceman Suffered Head Blow Before Death, Mummy’s Brain Tissue Shows By Megan Gannon

Comments Off Ancient civilizations, Early man, Evolution

To read the comp;ete story,please go to:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/otzi-iceman-head-blow-death-mummy-brain-tissue_n_3418652.html?utm_hp_ref=archaeology

Ötzi the Iceman, Europe’s oldest mummy, likely suffered a head injury before he died roughly 5,300 years ago, according to a new protein analysis of his brain tissue.

A few years ago, a CAT scan showed dark spots at the back of the mummy’s cerebrum, indicating Ötzi also suffered a blow to the head that knocked his brain against the back of his skull during the fatal attack.
In the new study, scientists who looked at pinhead-sized samples of brain tissue from the corpse found traces of clotted blood cells, suggesting Ötzi indeed suffered bruising in his brain shortly before his death.

But there’s still a piece of the Neolithic murder mystery that remains unsolved: It’s unclear whether Ötzi’s brain injury was caused by being bashed over the head or by falling after being struck with the arrow, the researchers say.

The study was focused on proteins found in two brain samples from Ötzi, recovered with the help of a computer-controlled endoscope. Of the 502 different proteins identified, 10 were related to blood and coagulation, the researchers said. They also found evidence of an accumulation of proteins related to stress response and wound healing.
A separate 2012 study detailed in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface looked at the mummy’s red blood cells(the oldest ever identified) from a tissue sample taken from Ötzi’s wound. That research showed traces of a clotting protein called fibrin, which appears in human blood immediately after a person sustains a wound but disappears quickly. The fact that it was still in Ötzi’s blood when he died suggests he didn’t survive long after the injury.
“Proteins are the decisive players in tissues and cells, and they conduct most of the processes which take place in cells,” Andreas Tholey, a scientist at Germany’s Kiel University and a researcher on the new Ötzi study, said in a statement.
“Identification of the proteins is therefore key to understanding the functional potential of a particular tissue,” Tholey added. “DNA is always constant, regardless of from where it originates in the body, whereas proteins provide precise information about what is happening in specific regions within the body.”

24 Jul 2014

Viking ‘Hammer of Thor’ Unearthed // BY ROSSELLA LORENZI

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to read the whole story, please go to:

Danish archaeologists have solved the mystery over the significance of the Mjöllnir amulets worn by the Vikings. Indeed, they represented Thor’s hammer, the researchers said.
More than 1,000 intricately carved pendants shaped like hammers have been found across Northern Europe since the first millennium A.D. Although it was widely believed these amulets were hammers, a debate remained over their true meaning. The objects’s unusual shape, featuring a short handle and a symmetrical head, raised doubts whether they represented something else entirely.
Now a 10th-century Viking amulet unearthed in Købelev, on the Danish island of Lolland, has provided a definitive answer.
“Hmar x is,” runes inscribed on the tiny amulet stated. Translated into modern English, it reads: “This is a hammer.”
“This is the only hammer-shaped pendant with a runic inscription. And it tells us that (the pendants) in fact depict hammers,” Henrik Schilling, a spokeperson at the National Museum of Denmark, told Discovery News.
Cast in bronze, and likely plated with silver, tin and gold, the 1,100-year-old pendant shows that Thor’s myth deeply influenced Viking jewelry.
A warrior god of thunder, Thor appears throughout Norse mythology holding the powerful hammer Mjolnir, which he uses to protect Asgard, the celestial fortress of the gods, from giants.
It is now clear that Viking men and women wore Thor’s hammer for protection.
“It was the amulet’s protective power that counted,” Peter Pentz, an archaeologist at the National Museum of Denmark, said.
“Often we see torshammere (Thor’s hammer) and Christian crosses appearing together, providing double protection,” he added.

13 Jun 2014

2,300 year old grave found in Oman by Faizul Haque

Comments Off Ancient civilizations, Early man, Evolution

To read the whole article, please go to: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2014/06/harappan-style-burial-found-in-oman.html#.U5tHjpRdXTo

During an excavation, archaeologists have found the tomb of a man who was buried with sword and daggers made of iron and steel that are said to have first been invented in the Indus Valley. It has been scientifically proved that iron and steel arms were made in the Indus Valley civilization first time ever. Sultan Bensaif Al Bakri, director of Excavations and Archaeological Studies of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture has said that this finding may prove the influence of the Indian civilization on Oman during that period. However, he said that further studies would be carried out on this regard. Al Bakri has said that a 2,300- year-old underground chamber was found during rescue excavations 22km south of Sinaw. This was the burial chamber of a man in his 50’s, buried along with his personal arms. Near his grave, two male and female camels were also buried. They were slaughtered after the death of the man. The walls of the graves of these camels were erected with stones.

2,000 year old built-tomb discovered near Sinaw [Credit: Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Oman]

He said that the man was buried separately, on the right side of the camels’ graves, with his 88cm sword in front of him. In addition, two daggers were tied on the right and left sides of his waist. A robe and woolen cap was also buried along with him. According to the descriptions provided by the archaeologists, the sword and daggers were made of iron and steel which was first made in the Indian civilization from where it spread to the neighboring civilizations, including Oman, said Al Bakri. He said that the sword was kept in front of the man as the handle of the sword was facing him. Its handle was partly covered with textured ivory shaped like an eagle’s beak. It is believed that the man was a chieftain of a tribe, as is evident from the sword and the robe. He was buried as his head was on a pillow and his hat was kept near his head. He was wearing leather shoes.

Read more at: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2014/06/harappan-style-burial-found-in-oman.html#.U5tHjpRdXTo

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