Mystery: Archeologists have uncovered a 100-year-old watch in a tomb believed to have been undisturbed for 400 years
By CHER THORNHILL
CHINA - Archaeologists are stumped after finding a 100-year-old Swiss watch in an ancient tomb that was sealed more than 400 years ago.
They believed they were the first to visit the Ming dynasty grave in Shangsi, southern China, since its occupant's funeral.
But inside they uncovered a miniature watch in the shape of a ring marked 'Swiss' that is thought to be just a century old.
The mysterious timepiece was encrusted in mud and rock and had stopped at 10:06 am.
Watches were not around at the time of the Ming Dynasty and Switzerland did not even exist as a country, an expert pointed out.
The archaeologists were filming a documentary with two journalists when they made the puzzling discovery.
'When we tried to remove the soil wrapped around the coffin, suddenly a piece of rock dropped off and hit the ground with metallic sound,' said Jiang Yanyu, former curator of the Guangxi Museum.
'We picked up the object, and found it was a ring.
'After removing the covering soil and examining it further, we were shocked to see it was a watch,' he added.
The Ming Dynasty - or the Empire of the Great Ming - was the was ruling dynasty in China from 1368 to 1644.
Courtesy; Mail Online
Post your comments
CAMPECHE, MEXICO - Chactún Dubbed as "Red Rock" or "Piedra Grande", this monumental area is located north of the Biosphere Reserve of Calakmul, and had its peak between 600 and 900 AD. The site "is definitely one of the largest sites in the Central Lowlands, comparable in extent and magnitude of its buildings with Becan and El Palmar" said Ivan Sprajc, the archaeologists who leads a team of national and international experts.
Located in the southeast of Campeche, Chactún is one of the largest sites registered in the Central Lowlands of this ancient civilization. Discovered a few weeks ago, it is believed that the city was the leading center of a vast region a thousand 400 years, between 600 and 900 AD, according to the researcher who heads the expedition supported by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), indicating that this is inferred by the extent of the site, more than 22 hectares, and the amount of monuments, at least a dozen of them with inscriptions.
The exploration initiative, with the approval of the INAH Archaeology Council, is funded by the National Geographic Society, and Austrian companies and Slovenia Villas Ars longa. Along the centuries, Chactún remained hidden in the jungle of northern Biosphere Reserve of Calakmul. According to Sprajc, is part of an area over 3,000 square kilometers, located between the Rio Bec and Chenes region, an area that has remained as "a total blank on the archaeological map of the Maya area.
Mexican marine archaeologists have located the wreck of the 19th-century British ship HMS Forth, which sank off the Yucatan Peninsula 164 years ago, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.
The ship, which belonged to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, sank after hitting the Alacranes reef.
HMS Forth went down on the night of Jan. 14, 1849, while sailing to Bermuda.
The ship’s crew made it to a nearby island, was rescued by a steam ship and reached Havana.
An INAH team led by archaeologist Helena Barba Meinecke explored the northern section of the reef and spotted metal items on the sea floor that gave researchers clues that it was a mail ship.
One of the other wrecks found in the area may be that of HMS Tweed, another Royal Mail Steam Packet Company vessel that sank in 1847 or of the Belgian ship Charlote, which went to the bottom in 1853.
Research conducted from 2010 to 2012 turned up historical references to 25 shipwrecks.
Marine archaeologists are planning other expeditions to explore additional wrecks, the INAH said.
Courtesy; Hispanically Speaking News
The State of Michigan has issued a permit for a major archeological dig in Lake Michigan. It could uncover the oldest shipwreck in the Great Lakes.
Underwater explorers have been given the go-ahead to dig up bottomlands off the coast of the Garden Peninsula near Green Bay. They’re in search of the French fur trading ship Le Griffon, which went down in 1679.
The dig has been a thirty-year obsession for members of Great Lakes Exploration, a team out of Dayton, Ohio. After years of diving and exploring this site using remote sensing equipment, they plan to reveal wreckage on an excursion in mid-June.
The state permit for the dig this summer comes after 20 years of legal wrangling between the explorers, the State of Michigan, and even involving the French government, which owns Le Griffon. It was sailed by the famous explorer Robert de La Salle.
Courtesy; Interlochen Public Radio
Post your comment
by Sarah Stephenson.
ST. GEORGE, UTAH - The Southern Utah Parkway is a 33-mile project that will eventually become an eastern belt route for Washington County. Eight miles are complete from I-15 to the new St. George Airport. The third segment of the parkway is currently under construction at Washington Dam Road, where more than 15 archaeological sites have been found.
Crews have discovered prehistoric Native American ruins, one of which has been named one of the oldest sites investigated in Southwestern Utah. After significant research, scientists have discovered that the area has had continuous human habitation for up to 10,000 years.
UDOT has worked closely with local Native American tribes throughout the project. The Shivwits tribe, a native Utah tribe, was invited to the archaeological sites to search the ruins. They were also highly involved in the decision-making process regarding the preservation of the many ruins found.
Arrowheads, pottery, pit-houses and even prehistoric ruins including dinosaur fossils have been discovered throughout the project site and have been dated as far back as 400 B.C. During construction, 200-million-year-old fossils were also found, including the teeth from nine species, three of which could be new species. These were archived for future data and research.
Furthermore, UDOT has worked to protect threatened and endangered species throughout the project’s construction.
Overall the construction has gone fairly smoothly and the experiences during the archaeological findings have been incredibly valuable to UDOT as a whole. Dana Meier, project manager for UDOT, said, “We are an organization that learns,” which is what UDOT will continue to do throughout this project.
The project has received considerable public support because it allows for the future growth and expansion of St. George and its surrounding areas. Construction continues this spring and summer to extend the new highway another eight miles.
Photos were taken by Bighorn Archaeological Consultants, and Eric Hansen.
Courtesy; Utah DOT
UNITED KINGDOM - An archaeologist who stole three 17th-century vases discovered during the development of SouthGate shopping centre in Bath was caught out four years later after trying to sell the items on eBay.
James Vessey, 35, was employed by the Museum of London Archaeology during an excavation in 2008.
The team uncovered three Bellarmine vessels dating back to between 1650 and 1700, which were traditionally used to protect against witchcraft, but the items disappeared before they could be delivered to the museum for analysis.
They resurfaced last year when another archaeologist spotted one of the vases for sale on eBay and contacted the museum's project officer Bruno Barber.
Police then executed a warrant at Vessey's narrowboat home in Oxfordshire.
Bath Magistrates Court was told that Vessey, who admitted theft, had a history of stealing historical artefacts from archaeological digs which he was working on, and in 2001 had been jailed for 15 months.
Andrea Edwards, prosecuting, read a statement from Mr Barber outlining the impact of the theft of the Bellarmine vessels. He said not only had the crime cast suspicion over other archaeologists, but had led to the loss of potentially significant historical evidence.
The court heard Vessey was no longer working as an archaeologist and had been dealing with the illness and death of both his parents at the points in his life when he had committed his crimes.
He was given a four-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 270 hours of unpaid community work, as well as to compensate the man who had bought the vase from him on eBay.
Courtesy; The Bath Chronicle
Post your comment
By Tom Eblen — Herald-Leader columnist
KENTUCKY — I always thought it would be fun to have a metal detector. I wasn't so much interested in hunting for buried treasure as finding bits of history hidden a few inches beneath my feet.
Scott Clark, an Internet business consultant in Lexington, has similar interests. An avid metal detectorist since 1985, he has become quite skilled at it — and increasingly passionate about improving the ethics and image of his hobby.
Metal detecting doesn't have the best of reputations, thanks to "treasure hunters" who look for relics on Civil War battlefields or pock-mark parks in search of lost valuables. Many historical archaeologists view detectorists about as favorably as a brain surgeon would a witch doctor.
But serious detectorists are trying to change that. Earlier this year, Clark was part of a group that worked with archaeologists to explore James Madison's Montpelier estate in Virginia. Clark co-authored an article with Montpelier archaeologist Matthew Reeves on the blog of the Society for Historical Archaeology about how the two groups can work together and literally find common ground.
Clark has a blog at Detecting.us and often writes about best practices in the hobby. Those include always asking landowners' permission before detecting, sharing finds with them and digging carefully so grounds are not damaged. He also avoids truly historic areas, such as battlefields.
Clark often donates his services to people who have lost valuables outside. Last month, he found a wedding band for a Versailles man after it slipped off his finger while he was mowing his yard.
Clark said he never accepts payment or rewards, but people often thank him by arranging access to interesting sites he can search. "The currency of the hobby is permission, which requires being trustworthy and transparent," he said.
Conservation Arrowheads seized in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation… (Fish and Wildlife)
By Eloísa Ruano González, Orlando Sentinel
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - Treasure hunters have long pilfered arrowheads, pottery and other archaeological artifacts on state lands, risking jail time if caught.
But a loophole in state law meant that looters didn't face consequences for their thievery on Lake County Water Authority lands. That protection may be about to end.
Legislators in their recently concluded session approved a bill that makes it a crime to pilfer historical finds on water-authority lands. Looters on lands of the two water authorities affected — Lake's and the Toho Water Authority in Osceola — could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine under the legislation, which will be sent to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.
"It finally gives us the ability to prosecute people who come to public lands to archaeologically loot," said Mike Perry, Lake County Water Authority executive director. "It gives all our properties the same protection state lands enjoy."
Since this past Saturday, TreasureWorks.com has been reporting on the unconscionable destruction of the Mayan Temple Noh Mul, located in northern Belize. Then you start hearing reports from archaeologists in the field that this is a fairly common event in Belize. Well, just when you thought that you had heard the worst about the loss of irreplaceable historic cultural assets.
Earlier today I was contacted by Archaeologist Gary Ziegler who has been working down in Peru with yet another story concerning the destruction of ancient ruins.
By Gary Ziegler
1) Revisit Machu Picchu to evaluate new Ministry of Culture policies in place, the current effect of tourism and obtain additional photography for the Ziegler Malville book focusing on Inca astronomy, symbolism and sacred geography to be published in September.
2) Revisit Choquequirao and associated Inca sites. Collect additional data and photography for the book. Evaluate access routes and effects of increased tourism.
The Team: Steve Bein, Lillian Roberts, Joy Collins, Ken Mick, Ken Greenwood, Amanda Stouffer, Edwin Duenas, Paolo Greer, Gary Ziegler.
Jules Vasquez reporting
BELIZE - Noh Mul. it’s name means the Big Hill but it’s not so big any more, this once towering and stout ceremonial center in San Jose/San Pablo has been whittled down to a narrow core by excavators and bulldozers. Whodunnit? Contractors who’re using the rich gravel and limestone content to fill roads in nearby Douglas Village.
Now, this was the main temple, the ceremonial center for Noh Mul, at about 20 meters among the tallest buildings in Northern Belize - and it’s not centuries old, it’s millennia, thousands of years old and the thought that it’s rich limestone bricks cut with stone tools in the BC era, the thought that this could be used for road fill is a manifest outrage and a particularly painful one for these Archeologists who were called out to the area today. We were there when they first arrived and got their initial emotional reaction:
Dr. Allan Moore - Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology
"This is one of the largest buildings in Northern Belize. I am appalled! I was hoping that when I was driving up from the main San Juan road that it would not be this one but when I got closer I couldn't believe it when I saw all the trucks. This is an incredible destruction."
Dr. John Morris - Archaeologist, Institute of Archaeology
"This is one of the worst that I have seen in my entire 25 years of Archaeology in Belize. We can't salvage what has happened out here - it is an incredible display of ignorance. I am appalled and don't know what to say at this particular moment."
- Scientists Aiding Search for Lost Cities in Central America
- Nova Scotia shipwrecks swallowed by sea, ignored by government
- France reveals that false archaeologist wants to excavate Machu Picchu
- Preservation of Southwest Archaeology in Time of Tight Budgets
- Archaeological Crusade: US Tries to Save Ancient Treasures
- Archaeologists in bid to identify 300-year old shipwreck found near Drumbeg
- Neanderthal birthplace kills archaeology funding
- Technology helps Mexican archaeologists find new structures at El Tajin archaeological zone