Tag Archives: excavation

For archaeologists, Middle East conflicts create ‘perfect sandstorm’ of challenges

Conflicts in the Middle East have made archaeological work increasingly difficult, but the work must go on, scholars said at a recent conference organized with the help of the Oriental Institute.

The task of digging ancient sites and studying artifacts always has been historically challenging, but recent regime changes and civil war further burden scholars who must maneuver through national bureaucracies and forge relationships for help. “By any stretch of the imagination, work during the last four years has become particularly difficult,” said Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute. (more…)

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Searching for the Lost Royal City of Nubia in Northern Sudan

ANN ARBOR — Geoff Emberling is doing what few archaeologists do anymore in a world that has been worked over pretty well by picks, trowels and shovels. He’s searching for a lost royal city.

The ancient capital was ruled by the kings of Nubia, which now lies in northern Sudan, just south of Egypt. Little is known about the kings who suddenly appeared on the historical stage about 800 B.C. and conquered all of Egypt before eventually fading back into the desert. (more…)

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Archeologists Unearth Extraordinary Human Sculpture in Turkey

TORONTO, ON – A beautiful and colossal human sculpture is one of the latest cultural treasures unearthed by an international team at the Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP) excavation site in southeastern Turkey. A large semi-circular column base, ornately decorated on one side, was also discovered. Both pieces are from a monumental gate complex that provided access to the upper citadel of Kunulua, capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina (ca. 1000-738 BC).

“These newly discovered Tayinat sculptures are the product of a vibrant local Neo-Hittite sculptural tradition,” said Professor Tim Harrison, the Tayinat Project director and professor of Near Eastern Archaeology in the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. “They provide a vivid glimpse into the innovative character and sophistication of the Iron Age cultures that emerged in the eastern Mediterranean following the collapse of the great imperial powers of the Bronze Age at the end of the second millennium BC.” (more…)

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Scientists Find Evidence That Human Ancestors Used Fire One Million Years Ago

300,000 years earlier than believed

An international team led by the University of Toronto and Hebrew University has identified the earliest known evidence of the use of fire by human ancestors. Microscopic traces of wood ash, alongside animal bones and stone tools, were found in a layer dated to one million years ago at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. (more…)

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Making The Bones Speak

EAST LANSING, Mich. — In a narrow, modest laboratory in Michigan State University’s Giltner Hall, students pore over African skeletons from the Middle Ages in an effort to make the bones speak.

Little is known about these Nubians, meaning the information collected by graduate and undergraduate students in MSU’s Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology Program will help shed light on this unexplored culture. (more…)

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Ancient Dinosaur Nursery Oldest Nesting Site Yet Found

*UTM professor unearths fossils in South Africa*

An excavation at a site in South Africa has unearthed the 190-million-year-old dinosaur nesting site of the prosauropod dinosaur Massospondylus-revealing significant clues about the evolution of complex reproductive behaviour in early dinosaurs. The newly unearthed dinosaur nesting ground predates previously known nesting sites by 100 million years, according to study authors.

A new study led by University of Toronto Mississauga paleontologist Robert Reisz, with co-author, Professor David Evans of ecology and evolutionary biology and the Royal Ontario Museum, along with a group of international researchers, describes clutches of eggs, many with embryos, as well as tiny dinosaur footprints, providing the oldest known evidence that the hatchlings remained at the nesting site long enough to at least double in size. (more…)

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Roman Civilisation Travelled Further than History Books Tell Us

A University of Exeter archaeologist’s research has uncovered the largest Roman settlement ever found in Devon. The discovery could force us to rewrite the history of the Romans in Britain.

The discovery of a large Roman Settlement in Devon was the result of a chance metal detecting coin find.  Danielle Wootton, the Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and archaeologist at the University of Exeter was called on to investigate further. (more…)

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UMD Dig at Historic Annapolis Black Home Producing Surprisingly Rich Haul

*Archaeologists Focusing on Naval Academy Connection, Filipino Past*

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – An archaeological team from the University of Maryland is uncovering an unexpectedly rich haul of household materials from an historic African American home in Annapolis. The team has one more week to go in their excavation.

The archaeologists resumed work at the James Holliday House – a middle class home purchased in 1850 by one of the first African Americans to work for the U.S. Naval Academy. (more…)

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