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http://icnewcastle.icnetwork.co.uk/sundaysun/news/tm_objectid=14225075%26method=full%26siteid=50081%26headline=could%2dthe%2dboomerang%2dbe%2dbritish%2d-name_page.html

Could the boomerang be British?

May 9 2004

By Coreena Ford, Sunday Sun

 

For centuries we've believed that the boomerang was invented by Australia's aborigines.

But now a top North author says it was the Brits that didgeridid it!

Top-selling children's author and historian Terry Deary claims to have uncovered evidence of early boomerang usage that predates their appearance Down Under . . . in Yorkshire!

Terry, the County Durham writer behind the hugely popular Horrible Histories series, has been investigating the origins of the famous wooden hunting weapon, which has always been associated with Oz.

And he claims a rock carving on Ilkley Moor, West Yorkshire, is of a four-armed boomerang dating back as far as 4000BC.

The carving on Swastika Stone, found at Woodhouse Crag, was first discovered in the 1870s and has long been considered by experts to be a swastika motif which was common in ancient Greek and Roman art.

But Terry, of Burnhope, believes it to be proof that ancient Britons developed sophisticated boomerangs.

He says 10,000-year-old boomerangs found at Wyrie Swamp in South Australia in 1973 were throwing sticks . . . and not the returning tools!

Terry joked: "First the Rugby World Cup and now this!"

He went on: "Like everybody, when I began looking into this I assumed the boomerang to be from Oz.

"The evidence I stumbled across is literally rock-solid and I can't quite believe I've helped changed history."

The writer was commissioned by Boomerang Media to find out about the ancient hunting and playing creation as part of their 10th birthday celebrations . . . and the company are delighted by his findings.

Terry told an Australian newspaper: "I compared the image of the stone from photographs with today's four-bladed boomerangs. The similarity was obvious.

"I checked back on the Wyrie Swamp boomerang and it has no aerodynamic qualities. It's a throwing stick.

"Boomerangs come back, throwing sticks don't, so that keeps my bid in the pot.

"My real interest is to challenge the establishment and to stop people saying `if an expert says this, it must be true'.

"I want to stimulate discussion . . . I'm quite prepared to say I'm wrong."

His claims have already sparked a debate.

West Yorkshire District Archaeologist Gavin Edwards says the flowing four-pronged carving has always been considered a swastika motif.

As the only carving of its type in England, Edwards believes it is unlikely to be that of a popular weapon and says it's impossible to date rock carvings.

"It is that sort of shape but it's the first I've ever heard of anyone linking it to a boomerang.

"There are certain individuals who have set themselves up as being experts. I would not support their interpretations in any shape or form."

 

http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/publish/article_2265.shtml

Persian Journal

CULTURE

Ancient Iranian site may date back 6000 years

 

May 9, 2004, 02:30

The site of Gourtan, the most important historical area of Isfahan in Iran, is to undergo a new series of excavations to verify a hypothesis that it may possibly move back the history of the city from 2000 to 6000 years ago.

 

Based on the existing documents and historical remains, the creation of Isfahan, one of most significant tourist attractions of Iran, dates back to the time of Arsacids and Sassanids, but the primary archeological studies in Gourtan site gives a possible date of some 6000 years ago as the starting point of residence in the city.

 

According to deputy head of the Cultural Heritage Department of Isfahan for research Mohsen Javeri, items from three residential periods from the fourth millennium BCE to first millennium BCE, have so far been identified in the first studies of the area, but no excavations are yet carried out.

 

Much of the area of Gourtan is buried under residential buildings; however, archeologists are to start some excavations in parts that are under the possession of the Municipality in the months to come.

Iranian.ws

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Posted By:

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07 May 2004

Old Indian spells unmask centuries-old rituals

 

For Dutch researcher Arlo Griffiths, exorcising evil spirits is a piece of cake. The researcher edited and translated two chapters of an old Indian book full of mysterious spells, including ones on exorcising evil spirits. The original texts are almost 3000 years old.

Arlo Griffiths studied two chapters of the Atharvaveda. This is an old Indian book from about 800 years before Christ. The texts consist of mysterious spells, grouped together as hymns. Griffiths translated 43 such hymns into English and provided a commentary on each of them.

For centuries, priests have used hymns from the Atharvaveda to venerate gods, exorcise evil spirits or heal diseases using plants with magical powers. Some hymns are still used during Hindu rituals. As the manuscripts Griffiths used for his translation do not describe the rituals originally associated with the spells, he tried to establish what these were so that he could translate the texts accurately.

The Atharvaveda was originally written in Vedic, the oldest form of Sanskrit. The surviving manuscripts come from Kashmir in the north and Orissa in the east of India. They date from the sixteenth century onwards and are written in two local alphabets, Sarada and Oriya. The original Vedic text can be reconstructed by comparing the manuscripts from Kashmir and Orissa.

The Vedic texts, better known as the Vedas, are among the oldest documents in Indo-European languages. Indo-European was the language from which Sanskrit as well as Latin and Greek originated. The Atharvaveda is one of the four known Vedas. The oldest Vedic text is the Rigveda. The Vedas are the oldest holy texts in Hinduism.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

 

Notes for editor

For further information please contact:

Dr Arlo Griffiths (formerly Department of Indology, Leiden University, now at the Faculty of Religious Studies, University of Groningen)

t: +31 (0)50 3635587, a.griffiths@let.leidenuniv.nl

The doctoral thesis was defended on 29 April 2004

Dr Griffiths' supervisor was Prof. H.W. Bodewitz

 

Reference URL

http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOP_5XZEJ6_Eng

 

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1105308.htm

Wooden pipe find excites Irish archaeologists

Archaeologists are dancing with delight after discovering a set of musical pipes believed to have been used 4,000 years ago by prehistoric man in Ireland, making them the world's oldest wooden instruments.

Archaeologists discovered the six wooden pipes, which are not joined, during excavations of a housing development site near the coastal town of Greystones, south of Dublin.

"It is brilliant, absolutely fantastic," Bernice Molloy, site director for archaeological consultancy firm Margaret Gowen said.

 

"It is an amazing find. They had been preserved because they were in the lower part of the site which was damper," Ms Molloy said.

Experts have been able to play a series of notes, including E flat, A flat and F natural, on the yew wood pipes.

The pipes were discovered in the bottom of a wood-lined trough.

The archaeological team had been excavating a burnt mound believed to have been a cooking site when it came across the trough.

A wooden peg used in the construction of the trough has been radio carbon dated to between 2,120 BC and 2,085 BC, which falls in the Early Bronze Age period.

Ms Molloy said the hollow pipes, measuring between 30 centimetres and 50 centimetres long are tapered at one end but have no perforations or finger holes.

"I have so far been unable to find any older wooden instrument," said Margaret Gowen, who owns the consultancy that made the discovery.

"It appears to be 1,000 years older than anything I can find on record, certainly in Europe.

"There is a suggestion of an early Chinese composite instrument like pan pipes with a gourd that is the wind chamber going back to about 1500 BC, but that is an illustration rather than the instrument," she said.

Ms Gowen added that a 2,000 year-old sophisticated wooden pipe organ, dating from Roman times, had been discovered in Hungary.

"In our case it is one of those accidents of survival and a wonderful one at that. It is going to excite quite a lot of interest," she said of the find.

A number of prehistoric musical instruments made from bone, including simple flutes and whistles dating back more than 100,000 years, have already been uncovered in Ireland.

Wooden pipe find excites Irish archaeologists

Archaeologists are dancing with delight after discovering a set of musical pipes believed to have been used 4,000 years ago by prehistoric man in Ireland, making them the world's oldest wooden instruments.

Archaeologists discovered the six wooden pipes, which are not joined, during excavations of a housing development site near the coastal town of Greystones, south of Dublin.

"It is brilliant, absolutely fantastic," Bernice Molloy, site director for archaeological consultancy firm Margaret Gowen said.

 

"It is an amazing find. They had been preserved because they were in the lower part of the site which was damper," Ms Molloy said.

Experts have been able to play a series of notes, including E flat, A flat and F natural, on the yew wood pipes.

The pipes were discovered in the bottom of a wood-lined trough.

The archaeological team had been excavating a burnt mound believed to have been a cooking site when it came across the trough.

A wooden peg used in the construction of the trough has been radio carbon dated to between 2,120 BC and 2,085 BC, which falls in the Early Bronze Age period.

Ms Molloy said the hollow pipes, measuring between 30 centimetres and 50 centimetres long are tapered at one end but have no perforations or finger holes.

"I have so far been unable to find any older wooden instrument," said Margaret Gowen, who owns the consultancy that made the discovery.

"It appears to be 1,000 years older than anything I can find on record, certainly in Europe.

"There is a suggestion of an early Chinese composite instrument like pan pipes with a gourd that is the wind chamber going back to about 1500 BC, but that is an illustration rather than the instrument," she said.

Ms Gowen added that a 2,000 year-old sophisticated wooden pipe organ, dating from Roman times, had been discovered in Hungary.

"In our case it is one of those accidents of survival and a wonderful one at that. It is going to excite quite a lot of interest," she said of the find.

A number of prehistoric musical instruments made from bone, including simple flutes and whistles dating back more than 100,000 years, have already been uncovered in Ireland.

 

 

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/15648-print.shtml

Underwater islands add to the mystery of Orkney

STEPHEN STEWART

May 10 2004

 

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have re-discovered a lost chapter in Orkney's history which will develop the understanding of mysterious ancient monuments found across Scotland.

Underwater researchers are examining small, artificial islands in Orkney's inland waters, which have lain undiscovered for generations.

Crannogs were fortified places of refuge which are found throughout Scotland in lochs and other waters, but are a class of ancient monument not usually associated with Orkney.

Bobby Forbes, an underwater archaeologist, is leading the project in a shallow loch which lies between Stromness and the Loch of Harray, in the vicinity of prehistoric remains at the Ring of Brodgar, Maes Howe and the Stones of Stenness.

He said: "We were doing some work in the Stenness Loch area and found two small islands with causeways, which were flooded by the sea. People have just not known about these man-made islands. The sites are not recorded in Orkney's sites and monuments record.

"We are eager to find out how these sites fit in with the rest of Orkney's archaeology. When they were created, agricultural land would have been at a premium.

"As people tried to avoid inhabiting agricultural land, they would have moved on to the loch and these very easily defended positions."

Some crannogs elsewhere in Scotland and Ireland were large enough to house whole communities, and others were important royal or monastic centres.

The Scottish Crannog Centre in Kenmore, Perthshire, features a reconstruction of an early Iron Age loch dwelling based on the excavation evidence from the 2600-year-old site of Oakbank Crannog, one of 18 preserved in Loch Tay.

One of the newly discovered crannogs in Orkney has the remains of a structure on it, with a stone causeway, which may once have been turfed over, leading to the shore.

The second islet has a badly eroded causeway but there appear to be no surviving structures on it.

Further investigation has also revealed the remains of a large anomaly lying out further in the loch.

Mr Forbes and his team also found an old stone quarry further round the loch, which may have been used to provide material for some of the area's extremely important standing stone monuments. A boat noust, or place used to protect a small boat from bad weather, was also unearthed.

The inaccessibility of the crannogs may be why they have been overshadowed by Orkney's better known monuments for so many years.

Little is known about the date of the sites, but elsewhere in Scotland they are known to date from the Bronze Age through to the 17th century.

Some crannogs were used as fishing or hunting bases during medieval times, while others became fortified strongholds of the Scottish clans.

The former crannog of Priory Island, on Loch Tay, eventually became a stronghold for the Campbells of Glenorchy, having previously been used by both Scottish royalty and monks.

Mr Forbes, who teaches underwater archaeology at Orkney College, said: "There is a lot known about terrestrial archaeology on Orkney but nothing about the archaeology of its lochs and inland waters.

"We will look further into the loch and see where these sites come in the vast archaeological timescale of these areas."

Mr Forbes and colleagues from Orkney Archaeological Trust hope to expand the work to get a better view of the entire loch and the surrounding area.

A study of the paleo-archaeological core of the loch bottom may be conducted to see how the loch has changed since glacial times.

Experts from the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology may also visit the sites as part of an ongoing study of Scotland's crannogs.

Last month, experts researching a crannog discovered at Llangorse Lake in Wales believe the site was the royal residence of the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog, dating from around AD 890. Tree ring dating of oak planks from the crannog indicate that it was built between 889 and 893.

 

http://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/news/viewarticle.asp?id=96571

DID TREASURE HUNTERS SELL ROMAN TROVE AS SCRAP?

Published on Friday, May 7th 2004

 

METAL detector enthusiasts who unearthed a large quantity of lead in the Whittonstall area in their quest for treasure weighed it in as scrap.

 

But, in doing so, they may have lost a vital clue in the hunt for information about the Roman occupation of the district.

 

Archaeologists believe the lead may have provided crucial evidence about the Romans’ involvement in lead and silver mining in the district.

 

They are now appealing for treasure hunters who unearthed any of the lead ingots to come forward.

 

The Northern Archaeology Group has been busy in the Derwent Valley area, close to Wallish Walls farm, and is leading the hunt for information.

 

Group secretary Raymond Selkirk said: “Rumour has it that random metal detectorists had found early Roman coins in the vicinity.

 

“Information has filtered down to us that the metal detectorists found a very large amount of lead, which they sold as scrap.

 

“The amount was so large that it seems as if the detectorists have stumbled upon a Roman supply-dump of lead ingots.

 

“Please could they let us know if any ingots were found, as we suspect a Roman lead and silver mine existed in the vicinity.

 

“Such information from the metal detectorists would confirm our suspicions and provide much new information for the long-sought evidence of Roman mining in the North of England.”

 

The group, which frequently clashes with the archaeological establishment, claims to have discovered and examined an unknown Roman fort at Whittonstall, discovered by the group's air survey pilots many years ago.

 

Mr Selkirk said: “The little-known Roman road, Proto Dere Street, passes close to the east of the site, on its way to Bywell, where another undiscovered Roman fort is suspected.

 

“Also near to the known Roman fort of Ebchester, the ruins of an unknown Roman bridge have been discovered to the west, on the River Derwent, at Bludderburn Dene.

 

“The stonework is visible on the north side of the river and a little-known Roman road (Longstaffe) has been located in Bludderburn Dene, on the south side.”

 

Further upstream, on the River Derwent, to the north of Allensford, Mr Selkirk, knowing that “heol” was Celtic for road, took some of the members to Hole Row.

 

A Roman road was found and, in this case, the Celtic word “heol” meant road and not a depression in the ground.

 

Using the Getmapping computerised aerial survey of Northumberland, the group’s air survey pilot and , assisted by a computer expert, followed the unknown Roman road to the west.

 

About one mile east of Muggleswick, on the Northumberland side of the river, the suspected Roman road divided, with one arm going south into the peninsula formed by the River Derwent.

 

The other arm proceeded due west down a bridleway, and just east of West Wood, the “unmistakable” marks of a quadruple-ditched Roman fort were spotted.

 

Mr Selkirk said: “We know the Romans carried out a considerable amount of lead mining in County Durham but more recent workings have obliterated the Roman evidence.“Roman records tell us that in the North East, they employed 600 merchant ships for the carriage of exports, such as lead and corn, to the Rhineland. “The Romans also extracted silver, which was found mixed with lead, by using the method called cupellation.”The quadruple crop marks of the ditches around the Roman fort, which is just a few hundred yards west of the farm at Wallish Walls, indicate that the fort was early, when the native Britons were still very hostile.Ruins of a Roman bridge have been found in the River Derwent just to the south-west of the Wallish Walls fort. The landowners and the archaeological authorities have been informed of the discoveries.

 

http://www.waterford-news.ie/news/story.asp?j=14376

Friday, May 07, 2004

Report awaited on Viking settlement

By Aileen Mulhall

 

WATERFORD’S local authorities are anxiously awaiting the outcome of a detailed assessment of a significant Viking settlement site unearthed along the €300m City Bypass route to find out if the road will have to re-routed and whether it will delay the project.

 

Environment & Local Government Minister, Martin Cullen, has ordered a report on the Viking site at Woodstown off the Old Kilmeaden Road near Waterford city, which dates from the 9th century and may be even older than the Viking settlement excavated at Wood Quay in Dublin.

 

Representatives from his Department, which has responsibility for the heritage service Duchas, were carrying out the assessment of the site yesterday (Tuesday).

 

The site measures between 500-600metres and was first discovered by archaeologists last September. The biggest find yet was uncovered last week - a Viking sword and a shield, which are now being examined and cleaned up in a laboratory. The City Council says that contrary to reports, no evidence of a Viking’s remains was found.

 

Other Viking artefacts excavated at the site over the past few months include iron nails and rivets and fragments of pottery. An Taisce says the National Roads Authority has only two options, either to launch a major excavation or move the road. Prof. Donnchadh Ó’Corráin of UCC has said the Waterford Bypass could be accommodated without destroying the Viking settlement by re-routing the road about 100m from the river to an area on the same elevation.

 

Lar Power, Waterford City Council’s Director of Transport Services, confirmed the scenario of having to re-route the road is being assessed. “I don’t know what the merits would be. We are not quite sure if it would be possible,” he said.

 

The National Roads Authority has said it would be difficult to come with up a viable alternative to the existing route.

 

According to Mr Power, the Department of Environment has two other options. The first is to preserve the site in situ; that is to protect the membrane of the site and build the road above the site.

 

The second is to go for a “ full resolution”, which is a full archaeological excavation, where the findings will be recorded and the road will be built over the site. This second option would take longer to complete, leading to a longer delay in the City By-pass.

 

It’s understood an excavation could add at least a year to the construction time and an extra €40m to the cost of the project. Mr Power said it was really Duchas’ call on what will be done with the Viking settlement site.

 

He said they were in the “very early days” of the assessment of the archaeological site but estimated that the assessment will be concluded within a week or two.

 

He declined to speculate on whether the Viking settlement would lead to a significant delay in the City By-pass. He stated that any delay in the project would cause the City Council concern.

 

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=34313

Science: Ancient Map Captures Ocean Front

Weekend Guide: 7 May 2004, Friday.

An ancient map of the North Atlantic - which features sea snakes and other dreadful monsters - may have boasted surprisingly advanced information.

 

The Carta Marina - published in 1539 - depicts elaborate sea swirls, which, say researchers, closely match a giant ocean front shown in satellite images. If correct, it means the Swedish cartographer Olaus Magnus may have been the first to map such an ocean feature.

 

The ornate Carta Marina is seemingly crude - and fanciful - by today's standards. Scandinavia is alive with a rich panoply of beasts, doing all sorts of interesting things: wolves urinate against trees and stags rear wildly, while the sea off Scotland boils with dragons and monsters - many of whom are busily eating passing ships.

 

Olaus Magnus, an exiled Swedish priest living in Italy, was known to dislike blank canvas and covered every available space with ink. But Professor Tom Rossby, from the University of Rhode Island, US, believes not every elaborate quill stroke was artistic licence.

 

Most of the northeast Atlantic is drawn using more-or-less straight lines. However, things change off the east coast of Iceland, where the lines suddenly morph into a large group of whorls. Magnus's whorls corresponded almost perfectly with the Iceland-Faroes Front - where the Gulf Stream meets cold waters coming down from the Arctic.

 

Olaus Magnus was a keen traveller around northern Europe and spent time at sea with mariners operating in the northeast Atlantic. It seems likely that he learnt about the eddies from his conversations with them

 

http://www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/oxfordshire/news/NEWS4.html

Date published: Monday 10 May 2004

Shipwreck haul goes up for sale

 

Treasures recovered from a 16th-century shipwreck by an excavation team led by an Oxford maritime archaeologist are to be auctioned.

Part of the cargo of gold and Ming porcelain discovered with a Portuguese galleon off Mozambique will go under the hammer at Christie's in Amsterdam on Wednesday, May 19.

Mensun Bound, Triton Fellow in maritime archaeology at St Peter's College, Oxford, last month broke a two-year silence over the discovery, made in February 2002.

As reported in the Oxford Mail, Mr Bound, 51, of Horspath, Oxford, and his team were bound to secrecy over the gold items, jewellery and porcelain, which dates from 1553.

The team feared for their lives as they recovered the items from the Fort San Sebastian wreck because of bandits, and stored the goods under their beds until the three-year excavation was complete.

Eventually the gold, blue and white porcelain was flown to Mozambique's capital, Maputo, in a plane hidden within a cargo of lobsters. It was handed over to the local government, which decided to auction some of it and display the rest.

Copies of the auction catalogue, entitled The Fort San Sebastian Wreck, are available by writing to Christie's Amsterdam, Cornelis Schuytstraat 57, 1071 JG Amsterdam.

Viewing will take place from Saturday until Tuesday, May 18.