www.archaeology.ws/archive

http://news-info.wustl.edu/tips/page/normal/4502.html

Scientists find fossil proof of Egypt's ancient climate

'At a snail's pace'

By Tony Fitzpatrick

 

Feb. 2, 2005 — Earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis are studying snail fossils to understand the climate of northern Africa 130,000 years ago.

 

While that might sound a bit like relying on wooly bear caterpillars to predict the severity of winter, the snails actually reveal clues about the climate and environment of western Egypt, lo those many years ago. They also could shed light on the possible role weather and climate played in the dispersal of humans "out of Africa" and into Europe and Asia. Periods of substantially increased rainfall compared to the present are known to have occurred in the Sahara throughout the last million years, but their duration, intensity, and frequency remain somewhat unconstrained.

 

Earth and Planetary Sciences graduate student Johanna Kieniewicz (left) holds 130,000 year-old snail fossils from an Egyptian lake while Jennifer R. Smith, Ph.D., assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, examines leaf impression in tufa, a spring carbonate rock found at the same site. The researchers are trying to infer the Egyptian climate from the fossil evidence.

 

Jennifer R. Smith, Ph.D., Washington University assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, and her doctoral student Johanna M. Kieniewicz, are using stable isotope and minor element analyses of the freshwater gastropod Melanoides tuberculata and carbonate silts from a small lake (now dry) in the Kharga Oasis of western Egypt to reconstruct climatic conditions during the lifetime of the lake. Their analyses support a surprising picture of arid Egypt: 130,000 years ago, what everyone considers an eternal desert was actually a thriving savannah, complete with humans, rhinos, giraffes and other wild life.

 

Evidence for the hominin presence abounds near the lake in the form of Middle Stone Age artifacts such as stone scrapers and blades.

 

"The artifacts provide a record that people were coming to the lake," said Smith. "Genetic evidence suggests that 100,000 to 400,000 years ago was a critical time in the evolution and dispersal of African hominins. Our climate data from this 130,000-year-old humid event suggest that this would have been a particularly good time for a northward migration through Africa following reliable water resources, since it seems to be the strongest humid phase in this region over the past 400,000 years. We're also testing the hypothesis that humid events were more frequent than previously thought, which would have allowed for greater mobility throughout the region."

 

The researchers noted that the silt thickness at the lake exceeds five yards, an indication that the humid phase lasted at least several thousand years. Normal rainfall in the area they study is a minuscule 0.7 of a millimeter per year, but there is evidence that the rainfall amounts in the region have gotten up to as much as 600 millimeters per year, "not enough to make it a paradise," Smith said, "but enough to turn a barren environment into a classic savannah."

 

Kieniewicz performed isotopic analyses of about 20 snails, all of them dating to the humid phase, which occurred approximately 130,000 years ago. These particular snails have a life span of between one and two years, and build their shells in a classic spiral with whatever water is available that day. The snails were preserved in calcium carbonate deposits throughout the lake.

 

"We're using the chemistry of the water over the course of a year or two, as revealed by isotopic analyses and minor element analyses of the snail shells to determine information about the climate then," Kieniewicz said. "The shell is an archive of the snail's life. The analyses give us snapshots of what the conditions were like in that lake basin."

 

The geochemical analyses confirmed that the water was a stable standing body for many years. "Strong evaporation of the lake, enough to shrink it substantially in volume and make it more saline would have been expected to result in large excursions in δ18O and minor element concentrations," Kieniewicz said. "However, throughout the stratigraphy, the δ18O values of the silts remain isotopically light and the minor elements do not show intense evaporative trends, suggesting that the lake remained stable and fresh."

 

Smith and Kieniewicz attended the 116th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, held Nov. 7-10 in Denver. Kieniewicz presented a paper there on their findings.

 

Smith's specialty is geoarchaeology, which uses classic earth science methods and concepts to address questions of archaeological interest.

 

"In this particular study, we're interested in building a history of climate change through time to understand how people would have responded to dramatic shifts in climate," said Smith. "This is a major theme of our work, and we hope that some of our findings can give us perspective on what we're facing in the coming centuries."

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2982891.stm

Gilgamesh tomb believed found

 

Archaeologists in Iraq believe they may have found the lost tomb of King Gilgamesh - the subject of the oldest "book" in history.

 

Gilgamesh was believed to be two-thirds god, one-third human

The Epic Of Gilgamesh - written by a Middle Eastern scholar 2,500 years before the birth of Christ - commemorated the life of the ruler of the city of Uruk, from which Iraq gets its name.

 

Now, a German-led expedition has discovered what is thought to be the entire city of Uruk - including, where the Euphrates once flowed, the last resting place of its famous King.

 

"I don't want to say definitely it was the grave of King Gilgamesh, but it looks very similar to that described in the epic," Jorg Fassbinder, of the Bavarian department of Historical Monuments in Munich, told the BBC World Service's Science in Action programme.

 

In the book - actually a set of inscribed clay tablets - Gilgamesh was described as having been buried under the Euphrates, in a tomb apparently constructed when the waters of the ancient river parted following his death.

 

"We found just outside the city an area in the middle of the former Euphrates river¿ the remains of such a building which could be interpreted as a burial," Mr Fassbinder said.

 

 Who can compare with him in kingliness? Who can say, like Gilgamesh, I am king?

 

The Epic Of Gilgamesh 

He said the amazing discovery of the ancient city under the Iraqi desert had been made possible by modern technology.

 

"By differences in magnetisation in the soil, you can look into the ground," Mr Fassbinder added.

 

"The difference between mudbricks and sediments in the Euphrates river gives a very detailed structure."

 

This creates a magnetogram, which is then digitally mapped, effectively giving a town plan of Uruk.

 

'Venice in the desert'

 

"The most surprising thing was that we found structures already described by Gilgamesh," Mr Fassbinder stated.

 

Iraq has long been the site of some of the most important historical finds

"We covered more than 100 hectares. We have found garden structures and field structures as described in the epic, and we found Babylonian houses."

 

But he said the most astonishing find was an incredibly sophisticated system of canals.

 

"Very clearly, we can see in the canals some structures showing that flooding destroyed some houses, which means it was a highly developed system.

 

"[It was] like Venice in the desert."

 

http://www.aina.org/news/20050125100240.htm

Gilgamesh Tomb Believed Found

Posted 01-25-2005 10:02:40 (GMT 1-25-2005 16:2:40

 

(BBC) -- Archaeologists in Iraq believe they may have found the lost tomb of King Gilgamesh - the subject of the oldest "book" in history.

 

The Epic Of Gilgamesh - written by a Middle Eastern scholar 2,500 years before the birth of Christ - commemorated the life of the ruler of the city of Uruk, from which Iraq gets its name.

 

Now, a German-led expedition has discovered what is thought to be the entire city of Uruk - including, where the Euphrates once flowed, the last resting place of its famous King.

 

"I don't want to say definitely it was the grave of King Gilgamesh, but it looks very similar to that described in the epic," Jorg Fassbinder, of the Bavarian department of Historical Monuments in Munich, told the BBC World Service's Science in Action programme.

 

In the book - actually a set of inscribed clay tablets - Gilgamesh was described as having been buried under the Euphrates, in a tomb apparently constructed when the waters of the ancient river parted following his death.

 

"We found just outside the city an area in the middle of the former Euphrates river? the remains of such a building which could be interpreted as a burial," Mr Fassbinder said.

 

He said the amazing discovery of the ancient city under the Iraqi desert had been made possible by modern technology.

 

"By differences in magnetisation in the soil, you can look into the ground," Mr Fassbinder added.

 

"The difference between mudbricks and sediments in the Euphrates river gives a very detailed structure."

 

This creates a magnetogram, which is then digitally mapped, effectively giving a town plan of Uruk.

 

'Venice in the desert'

 

"The most surprising thing was that we found structures already described by Gilgamesh," Mr Fassbinder stated.

 

"We covered more than 100 hectares. We have found garden structures and field structures as described in the epic, and we found Babylonian houses."

 

But he said the most astonishing find was an incredibly sophisticated system of canals.

 

"Very clearly, we can see in the canals some structures showing that flooding destroyed some houses, which means it was a highly developed system.

 

"[It was] like Venice in the desert."

 

© 2005, Assyrian International News Agency.  All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

 

http://www.chn.ir/english/eshownews.asp?no=4740

2/5/2005 1:18:00 PM

Five Ancient Game Boards Identified among Jiroft Relics

Cultural Heritage News Agency Service Iran

 

Tehran, Feb. 5 (CHN) – Five ancient game boards have been identified among the items taken back from illegal excavators of the historical site of Jiroft, Halilrood area of Kerman, indicating that people of the area enjoyed playing games some five thousand years ago.

 

Three of these game boards look like eagles, one looks like a scorpion with human head, and the other is a flat board, and all have 12 or 18 holes with similar sizes.

 

The discovery site of the boards, Halilrood, is considered one of the richest archeological sites of the world where ancient objects and architectural remains have been found by both archeologists and looters. More than 700 sites have so far been identified in a 400 kilometer long area of the Halilrood River bank.

 

According to head of the archeology team of Jiroft, Yusef Majidzadeh, the holes in the boards, which count to 12 or 18 and their similarity in size indicating that they were most probably used as games by the ancient residents of the area.

 

It is not yet sure how the boards were exactly used, Majidzadeh told CHN, however, the equal numbers of the holes and the holes all being in one size show that they were games most probably played with some sort of beads.

 

Jean Perrot, a world-known archeologist and a retired expert of Louvre Museum who has also studied the boards told CHN that boards similar to these, plus some beads, have previously been discovered in the historical sites of Mesopotamia, and their form and structure shows that ancient people used them as games to entertain themselves.

 

The boards are right now kept in the archeology museum of Jiroft and Iranian and foreign experts are studying them further to find out how they were played.

© Copyright 2003 Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

 

 

 

 

Source: Mehrnews.com (30 January 2005)

http://www.mehrnews.ir/en/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=153324

Huge pottery find made in Iran

 

Archaeologists working on a 6000 year-old mountain settlement site in Iran have uncovered more than 600,000 pottery artefacts, including many examples of intact earthenware and huge amounts of shards.

 

      Davud Abyan, the director of the archaeological team, said "Our team has discovered a great number of intact potteries and a large amount of shards, the volume of which reaches one meter in height in some areas. The great amount of earthenware indicates that pottery

making was the main occupation of the people living in the region, and they exported the products to other places."

 

      The site, near the Halil-Rud River cultural area which is home to the ancient site of Jiroft, consists of 800 cells cut into the rock in the Barez Mountains, east of the Halil-Rud River in southern Kerman Province. The cells, 250 metres up, measure 2 and 4 metres squared and are the oldest rock residence found in Iran so far.

 

      The pottery was made in various shapes, some with spouts, and was glazed crimson and tan in colour. Its discovery, along with further finds at Jiroft, has led to suggestions that the area was home to a civilisation as great as that of Sumer, with Iranian archaeologist Yusef Majidzadeh believing that Jiroft may be the ancient city of Aratta, which was described in an ancient Sumerian clay inscription as a great civilization.

 

http://www.theartnewspaper.com/archaeology/archeology.asp

A series of new dams is submerging archaeological sites throughout Iran

Ambitious hydro-electric programme is pushed ahead regardless of heritage fears

By Lucian Harris

Iran’s cultural heritage is facing almost unquantifiable damage from an ambitious programme of dam building. There are currently 85 dams under construction across the country, part of a programme that the Iranian government promotes with a considerable amount of national pride. It is an understandable concern in a dry country, parts of which are recovering from a seven-year drought. The dams are also connected to a programme of hydro-electric production that is seen as an essential part of a process of modernisation and industrialisation regularly highlighted by governemnt issued targets and figures. By March of this year, hydro-electric power is expected to produce around 5,500 megawatts of electricity, rising to 14,000 megawatts by 2021, representing 20% of Iran’s total usage.

 

In its desperate attempts to mount salvage operations, the Iran Cultural Heritage Organisation (ICHTO) has found itself not only obstructed by the Energy Ministry, but close to being in open opposition to the government. With little time remaining to survey the sites under threat, it is possible that the true extent of what will be submerged beneath the waters of these reservoirs will never be known, a potential cultural tragedy in a country often referred to as the cradle of civilisation.

 

At least five dams, all in advanced stages of construction, have been identified as threatening sites of particular importance. On 8 November, the waters began rising in the reservoir behind the biggest and most advanced of these projects, the Karun-3 Dam, on the Karun River, around 28 kilometres east of the ruins of the ancient city of Izeh. In a clear display of dissent, ICHTO officials refused to attend the opening ceremony attended by Energy Minister Habibollah Bitaraf. By 14 November, the historic Shalu Bridge, Iran’s first suspension bridge, had already been submerged.

 

Of greater significance are the early archaeological sites in the area. In late September, a desperate plea for assistance was posted on the internet by A. Dashizadeh, an Iranian archaeologist directing an ICHTO salvage team, which was given a single month to survey the 50 kilometre-long river valley by Ab-Niroo, the company responsible for building the dam. Mr Dashizadeh said that the team had already located 18 sites from the Epipaleolithic period (20,000-10,000 BC), including 13 caves and four rockshelters. The river valley is also rich in rock-carved reliefs, graves, ancient caves and other remains from the Elamite era (2700BC– 645BC) many of which are now underwater.

 

At the time of writing archaeological salvage operations were continuing around the clock, with four to six months remaining before the water rises to its maximum level. However, Mahmud Mireskandari of the ICHTO’s underwater archaeology team said that his team possesses neither the equipment nor the expertise necessary to save these sites, and without foreign assistance they will be lost. This assistance has yet to materialise and Faramarz Khoshab, president of Izeh’s Cultural Heritage Association says that looting is already a problem.

 

US archaeologist Dr Henry Wright of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, who surveyed the Karun river area in 1973, told The Art Newspaper that in addition to the early archaeological sites, other significant losses could include castles or qaleh from the Islamic period as well as extraordinary late Islamic cemeteries. “To see this happening breaks my heart,” he said.

 

By far the most famous site under threat is Pasargadae, ancient capital of the Achaemenids in the sixth century BC and residence of Cyrus the Great, which was registered on Unesco’s World Heritage List last July. Situated in Fars province, it is only four kilometres away from the Teng-e Bolaghi gorge, once part of the renowned Imperial route to Persepolis and Susa, which will be flooded by the Polvar River when the Sivand Dam is completed in March 2005. Part of the ancient city will be buried under mud, and even the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is believed to be at risk. Beginning in January 2005, a salvage team consisting of French, German, Italian, Japanese and Polish archaeologists will collaborate with their Iranian counterparts in a joint operation to save an estimated 100 archaeological sites in the area.

 

Another major project, the Sarhand Dam near Hashtrud in East Azerbaijan Province, which will also become operational next year, threatens at least 10 important archaeological sites and substantial archaeological losses are also expected in Gilan Province.

 

This potential archaeological tragedy has received little media coverage in the west, and many of the areas have never been properly surveyed. What has emerged thus far may just be the tip of the iceberg, and in the process of attempting to transform itself into a modern industrial state, Iran seems set to obliterate a significant part of its cultural heritage.

 

http://www.iwcp.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=1252&ArticleID=936045

RARE BRONZE AGE RING FIND

By Martin Neville

A CRUMPLED piece of metal found in a field in the Newchurch parish turned out to be an extremely rare Bronze Age decorative ring of national importance.

A treasure trove inquest was told how it was unearthed by illustrator Alan Rowe, of Alvington Road, Carisbrooke, while out metal detecting last summer.

Experts believe the ring, known as a composite ring and which comprises of three ribs fused together, may have hung from a twisted torc worn around the neck or from a bracelet.

Frank Basford, county archaeologist, said the piece, which weighs 3.57 grams and is 82 per cent gold, probably dated back to the middle Bronze Age period, making it around 3,500 years old.

"There is very little Bronze Age gold work around, making this a very significant and important find in a national and Island context," he said.

This is not the first time Mr Rowe has hit the jackpot. In 1998 he stumbled upon a previously unrecorded Iron Age and Roman settlement in the East Wight.

More than 500 coins were found, including five extremely rare silver quarter staters, an eagle depicted on each, which may be coinage unique to the IW.

"That was my find of a lifetime and I never in a million years expected to do it again but then I came across this little ring," said Mr Rowe.

"It might only be small but to find something so old was thrilling. At first I thought it was a ring for the finger but it has since been identified as a composite ring."

Island coroner John Matthews declared the ring treasure following last week's inquest.

The treasury valuation committee at the British Museum will set a value on the item and Newport's Guildhall Museum has already expressed a wish to buy it.

03 February 2005

 

http://iccoventry.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100localnews/tm_objectid=15148100%26method=full%26siteid=50003%26headline=dig%2duncovers%2droman%2dlinks-name_page.html

Dig uncovers Roman links Feb 3 2005

By Annette Kinsella

 

Coventry's medieval history is well documented, but experts excavating in the city centre have made a discovery which could indicate there was a Roman settlement here hundreds of years before.

 

A team of archaeologists digging up the site near the Herbert Art Gallery ahead of the construction of the city's new history and archive museum have unearthed a Roman brooch. The find indicates there was Roman activity in the area - and could mean there was a settlement on the site.

 

The team has already found a number of other objects, including a Tudor salt container, several pieces of medieval pottery and a pit containing cat bones.

 

The remains indicate a textile production outfit as cat fur was used to make cloth in medieval times.

 

Christopher Patrick, of Coventry City Council's conservation and archaeology team, said they were now hunting for any other Roman artefacts.

 

He said: "This is a very important find. "Coventry is known as being a medieval city but this find suggests people were living here far earlier. It is fitting that they are uncovering history while building the museum and, hopefully, this will raise people's awareness of how important Coventry is."

 

Mr Patrick said a series of other archaeological digs was set to take place around the city centre over the year.

 

The first, scheduled to start later this month, will investigate Hales Street, opposite Coventry Transport Museum.

 

The new history and archive museum is set to open in 2007.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/4225677.stm

Treasure found in Viking market 

 

A 10th Century Viking merchant's weight was recovered

Archaeologists believe what they originally thought was a Viking burial ground in Cumbria, may actually have been a 10th Century market.

Excited experts unearthed a wealth of treasures at the site, near Barrow.

 

They were particularly impressed with a merchant's weight, which is the size of a finger and shows a dragon design with two figures.

 

But after a month of study, experts have moved away from an initial theory that the site was a burial ground.

 

The dig has unearthed several more metal objects which indicate the site was used as a market place.

 

Barrow archaeologist Steve Dickinson says more time is needed to determine the exact purpose and use of the site.

 

He said the British museum had already offered to help local teams.

 

Mr Dickinson also said he is in talks to set up a discovery centre in Dalton, which will house an exhibition dedicated to the site.

 

The weight is currently with the British Museum for conservation.

 

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=119072005

Tue 1 Feb 2005

Dig may have found ancient monk's home

ANGIE BROWN

 

ARCHAEOLOGISTS may have found the home of St Baldred of the Bass, one of the best known monks of 8th century Scotland.

 

Relics from one of the first settlements at North Berwick suggest the hermit lived at Anchor Green, next to the site of the Scottish Seabird Centre at the town’s harbour.

 

Until recently the area was known only to have been a medieval cemetery but now archaeologists have found domestic animal bones and remains of burned food dating to the 8th century - revealing that people lived on the site.

 

Tom Addyman, who is leading the £20,000 dig, said: "We have found two layers comprising a 12th century church with an early Christian site underneath. The church would have been built on top of an earlier church so it would have only been a holy man that lived here. St Baldred of the Bass is linked to the area so we think this is where he could have lived."

 

This article:

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=119072005

 

http://icsurreyonline.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/sutton/tm_objectid=15141139&method=full&siteid=53340&headline=archaeologists-find-500-year-old-tudor-garden-name_page.html

Archaeologists find 500-year-old Tudor garden Feb 1 2005

 

COUNCIL bosses this week owned up to keeping a huge archaeological secret - a rare Tudor garden which has lain hidden for over 500 years close to Carew Manor in Beddington.

 

The great significance of the find by heritage project manager John Phillips has excited English Heritage, the Government body which assesses and collates information about historic buildings.

 

But until Sutton Council can make a decision over its future and the finance needed for further work, the site will remain undisclosed to protect it from archaeological looters.

 

Believed to have been created by Sir Francis Carew in the 16th century, the garden is a detailed example of the style of intricate gardens popular with Tudor aristocrats.

 

The loss of many of these makes the Carew Manor find even more significant.

 

Mr Phillips said: "It is the most exciting and important find and must be protected. Everything we have discovered so far has been hidden away. There are also the remains of a grotto, the first found in the country.

 

"We we have been talking to English Heritage and have considered a radar survey, but this would cost £1,000 a day."

 

Mr Phillips and members of Beddington and Wallington Archaeological Society began a secret dig three years ago, although he first suspected the existence of an ornate garden while sifting through records in 1979.

 

He said: "I realised it would be like trying to find a needle in a haystack but eventually we identified a water course we correctly believed marked the site.

 

"A small trial excavation over three summers found decorative rocks, reef coral, the grotto and some copper leaf which metal conservators at the Museum of London have cleaned and which is now on display at the council's Heritage Centre at Honeywood Lodge.

 

"We know Sir Francis employed French gardeners and it's possible he got the idea for the garden as a result of his travels."

 

All that is left of the original Carew Manor is the Grade I-listed hammerbeamed roof banqueting hall where Sir Francis entertained many VIPs.

 

These included Sir Walter Raleigh, who married into the family.

 

His ghost - headless because, like many who fell out of royal favour, he was executed - is said to stalk the grounds.

 

http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=81546&ran=41982

Old account may yield new clues to Lost Colony

 By CATHERINE KOZAK, The Virginian-Pilot © February 3, 2005

 

A new translation of a 16th-century Spanish document may reinforce a hypothesis that the ill-fated Lost Colonists settled more toward the middle of Roanoke Island near Shallowbag Bay, rather than the north end of the island, where archaeologists have been searching for more than a century.

 

Working off a copy of the original document that was located at the Archive of the Indies in Seville, Spain, James Lavin, professor emeritus with the department of modern languages and literature at The College of William and Mary, said that Spanish pilot Pedro Diaz described a “flimsy” wooden fort that is “in the water,” possibly indicating a moat, and that it was located in a wet, marshy spot.

 

That could mean that the elusive “Cittie of Raleigh” – which housed Sir Walter Raleigh’s 1587 colony of 117 men, women and children – had been situated near Mother Vineyard or Shallowbag Bay, miles away from the once-presumed location at what is now Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Lavin, a Spanish Golden Age scholar, said that Diaz had been held captive on an English ship and was relating what he had been told by an unnamed witness on Roanoke Island.

 

Diaz gave the account during a deposition in 1589 to Pedro de Arana, the king’s accountant in Havana.

 

“There were some areas in there where you wished he put down more details,” Lavin said. “It was a carelessly written document – sort of stream of consciousness, without any thought or precision.”

 

The document was written on both sides of the paper, and some of the ink bled through to the other side. It included no punctuation and few capital letters. The previous translations, Lavin said, took liberties with punctuation, left out sections and paraphrased freely.

 

Lavin discussed his translation last week with members of the nonprofit First Colony Foundation. He recommended that the foundation try to find the other two copies of the Diaz document, at least one of which is known to include more information than he had seen. The Spanish routinely made triplicate copies of their records.

 

Fred Willard, the director of the Lost Colony Center for Science and Research, said he brought the foundation into the loop when he learned that the document had earlier been mistranslated. “The most exciting thing is, it’s a new look,” Willard said. “That doesn’t prove where the fort was. ... It tells us where not to look.”

 

The National Park Service, which is working on an agreement with the foundation, is seeking a grant to search for the additional Spanish documents, said Bennie Keel, regional archaeologist for the park service’s Southeast region. Keel also said that an archaeological survey of Fort Raleigh is nearly completed.

 

The Cittie of Raleigh was established shortly after the settlers arrived in July 1587. Gov. John White left in late August to get supplies for the winter. When he was finally able to return in 1590, the colony and evidence of its fate were nowhere to be found. No definitive trace of the colony or its hapless inhabitants has since been located, and so it has come to be known as the Lost Colony.

 

At least 33 excavations have been done in 379-acre Fort Raleigh in the quest for the remains of the colony, but no explorations have been done elsewhere on the island.

 

In addition to going back to have another look with better technology in the park, the foundation would also like to explore underwater sites on the north end in Croatan Sound and at the opening of Shallowbag Bay, said Phil Evans, a foundation board member and former park service ranger at Fort Raleigh.

 

Evans said that Mother Vineyard, today a residential neighborhood outside Manteo, has been cited before as a possible location of the 1587 fort and town, but it has never been professionally explored. Evans said the area between the earthen fort at Fort Raleigh and the Elizabethan Gardens is still an area of high interest in the search for the site of the Lost Colony.

 

In the detective work of archaeology, the new translation has its place, Evans said.

 

“It demonstrates that everything is not known,” Evans said. “There are other ways to find out. I really don’t think anything is ever going to jump up and say, ‘Here it is!’ I think everything is going to be learned incrementally.”

 

But veteran archaeologist Ivor Noel Hume, who worked for 30 years in Colonial Williamsburg and serves as an adviser for the foundation, is skeptical that a different interpretation of the Diaz document will add much to the search. “I don’t think the Spanish translation has changed anything,” he said. “It’s still vague. And we have different opinions as to where the settlement was.”

 

Nick Luccketti, principal architect at the James River Institute for Archaeology and a foundation board member, said it would be helpful to reconstruct what the island looked like in the late 16th century to determine where the marshy areas were then.

 

Luccketti, who was one of the archaeologists who rediscovered James Fort, said that most people had thought that Jamestown had been washed away.

 

“The same conclusion has been made about the Lost Colony, but there may be some merit in re-examining some areas that were surveyed 50 to 60 years ago,” he said.

 

“It’s a much slenderer needle in a haystack than the James Fort by the simple fact that the Lost Colony wasn’t there that long.”

 

Reach Catherine Kozak at (252) 441-1711 or at cate.kozak@pilotonline.com

 

http://www.antenna3.it/articolo.php?sezione=1&id_art=4139

This one hasn't hit the English press yet (why not?) ... a group

of guys from Brescia have been arrested for forging Etruscan

pottery and treating it at a local hospital in such a way that

it fooled the thermoluminescence dating technique:

 

http://www.antenna3.it/articolo.php?sezione=1&id_art=4139

http://ilgiorno.quotidiano.net/art/2005/02/03/5368696

'INVECCHIAVANO' REPERTI, QUATTRO FALSARI ARRESTATI TRA LAZIO E LOMBARDIA

La tecnica messa a punto mette ora in discussione l'esame della termoluminescenza, considerato fino ad oggi pressoché infallibile per stabilire l'età di un reperto.

 

Falsari che riuscivano a ’invecchiare’ ceramiche al punto da far superare loro il rigorosissimo esame della termoluminescenza sono stati scoperti e arrestati dalla Guardia di finanza del gruppo tutela patrimonio archeologico della Regione Lazio e della Compagnia di Chiari di Brescia. E’ stata infatti scoperta una coppa attica che se autentica avrebbe avuto un enorme valore sia storico che economico essendovene solo una con le stesse caratteristiche in tutto il mondo. Era stata ’invecchiata’ con bombardamenti di radiazioni in una clinica bresciana e tutto era stato fatto in modo talmente preciso da superare l’esame della termoluminescenza.

 

L’operatore sanitario, residente nel bresciano, non è un dipendente della clinica, ma una persona che è riuscita ad avere accesso alle apparecchiature utilizzate per le cure oncologiche. Le indagini sono ancora in corso per capire come nella clinica sia potuto accadere che invece di fare lastre a pazienti le si facevano a reperti finto-archeologici. A tradire i falsari è stata l’argilla utilizzata risultata, dopo un esame, con caratteristiche tali da essere considerata proveniente dall’Italia e non dalla Grecia. Sono state così recuperate 650 ceramiche (autentiche) provenienti da siti archeologici saccheggiati, mentre i reperti falsificati e pronti ad essere immessi sul mercato clandestino sono complessivamente 117. Le opere, secondo la ricostruzione delle Fiamme gialle, finivano in Svizzera da due importanti antiquari che operano tra Montecarlo, gli Emirati Arabi, il Giappone e gli Stati Uniti.

 

3 febbraio 2005