Five-masted lumber schooner George E. Billingsshortly after launching flying the Hall Bros. house flag from the mast. The Hall Bros. built the 224-foot wooden vessel at Port Blakely, Washington for their own account in 1903.
Seventy years after it was scuttled off Los Angeles, Calif., government archaeologists have found the wrecked remains of a rare Pacific Coast schooner that was employed in the lumber trade during the early 1900s.
Today, Robert Schwemmer, maritime archaeologist for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, presented a scientific paper on the George E. Billingshistory and its discovery in February 2011 at the eighth California Islands Symposium in Ventura, Calif.
The Billings, a five-masted schooner built in 1903 by Halls Bros. of Port Blakeley, Wash., hauled lumber from the Northwest to Hawaii, Mexico, South America, Australia and southern California. After decades servicing the lumber trade it was converted into a sport-fishing barge. In 1941, the owner decided to scuttle the aging vessel off the coast of Santa Barbara Island.
Since the early 1990s, archaeologists and historians with Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Channel Islands National Park have searched for the Billings. The wreck was located using research provided by tech-diver Steve Lawson, researcher Gary Fabian, and Patrick Smith with Coastal Maritime Archaeology Resources.
Gov. Bev Perdue talks to Bob Lowery of Morehead City following a Queen Anne’s Revenge press conference held Friday at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort. (Cheryl Burke photo)
BEAUFORT, NC — When an appeal for donations to fund continued archaeology work on the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck project went out Friday, Eric and Rita Bigham of Chapel Hill knew they had to respond.
Immediately following a press conference held at the N.C. Maritime Museum, where N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle gave the appeal, the Bighams, who have a boat in Beaufort, agreed to donate the remaining $32,500 to complete a matching grant to receive $450,000 for the project.
Mr. Bigham, a retired chemist, said, “We’ve been supporting the museum and have been involved with Friends of the Museum a long time. We decided this was our chance to step up and play a bigger part in this project.”
Mrs. Bigham, a retired schoolteacher, said she wanted to support the education outreach efforts of the project as well.
The press conference, at which N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue also spoke, was held to announce the fundraising effort and recognize those who have supported the project.
But Ms. Carlisle was caught off guard by the unexpected donation.
“We are incredibly grateful and I’m really overwhelmed,” said Ms. Carlisle, who thanked the Bighams after the press conference. “We did not expect this.”
BY TPN/ LUSA, IN ALGARVE
Archaeologist Cristóvão Fonseca explained that the fieldwork, which is due to last two weeks, will comprise an initial phase of visual prospection and data recording with photographs and drawings, and the excavation of artifacts that may be found on the surface.
It is believed one of the locations identified for prospection may have been the site of a shipwreck during Roman times, due to the discovery of a large concentration of ceramic vases called amphora, some still intact.
Despite this, the theory may only be confirmed with excavations, which depending on the results obtained during the next two weeks could take place next year.
If confirmed, the area may become part of a tourist diving route, attracting more visitors to Portimão, which will see two decommissioned ships sunk at the end of this month as an underwater museum.
“The antiquity of the artifacts and the possibility that they tell a story makes diving in that area more interesting,” said Mr. Fonseca.
The archaeologist, along with José Bettencourt, are coordinators of the archaeological campaign carried out by the Sea History Centre of the Faculty of Social Sciences from Lisbon’s Nova University.
The work, which should extend for the next three to four years, is part of an investigation project entitled ‘Between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic: getting closer to the underwater cultural heritage of the Arade River estuary.”
Aside from that area, the archaeologists will dive in other sections of the river where the remains of five iron cannons and ammunition were found as well as bronze weapon artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The study on the cannons and weapons, identified during the 1990s, point to a shipwreck in that area of a ship that may have sailed under the Spanish crown during the beginning of the 17th century.
Another area to be explored appears to have the partially buried remains of a large wooden ship from the same time period.
The team of archaeologists, supported by technicians from Portimão museum and volunteers from a diving centre, among others, aims to carry out two dives per day to a depth of between four and ten meters.
The last archaeological prospection work to take place in the Arade River occurred five years ago.
Courtesy The Portugal News
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Eric Blinman, director of the Office of Archaeological Studies, looks through boxes of artifacts Friday. The center will hold an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. - Jane Phillips/The New Mexican
Tom Sharpe | The New Mexican
State archaeologists and some of the artifacts — from chipped stone and pottery to blankets and human remains — they have collected over almost a century soon will be reunited in a new building west of Santa Fe.
The Center for New Mexico Archaeology, west of N.M. 599 on Caja del Rio Road, plans to hold an open house on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The 34,000-square-foot, single-story, modern-looking, energy- and water-efficient building will house the 33 New Mexico Archaeological Studies employees as well as 10 million artifacts held by the state Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
Don’t expect to find regular exhibits at the new center. That sort of activity is prohibited in the deal through which the state obtained the land from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
But Eric Blinman, director of the Office of Archaeological Studies, doesn’t want the center to be seen as elitist.
“It is a public facility,” he said. “People can come in. It’s obviously more convenient if they have an appointment. We can hold educational programs. We can have tours. We can hold workshops, training sessions. We just can’t have exhibitions for which we sell tickets. … If we wanted a museum in the technical sense, the land would cost us half the appraised value. As it is, with our current use, the land has cost us $520.”
GUATEMALA CITY - The director of the archaeological site, the American David Frieldel, explained at a press conference that the queen has been identified as "Kalomte Kabel".
Friedel said that "this is the most important finding" that has made over the 43 years he has worked as an archaeologist in Guatemala's Maya Biosphere.
The remains were in "a very sacred to the ancient Mayan temple in the city's most important" archaeological site said.
According to Friedel, "Kalomte Kabel" was the wife of the King of Wak, identified as "Kinich Bahlam II".
Laurie Drazek of Paxton with Native American artifacts collected by her father, the late Robert S. Drazek, a longtime North Brookfield resident. (T&G Staff Photos/RICK CINCLAIR)
By Bradford L. Miner TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
NORTH BROOKFIELD, CONNECTICUT — The hundreds of Native American artifacts on display, the result of decades of searching by amateur archaeologists, were not the only items researchers came to see.
A treasure trove of information welcomed Kevin McBride, director, and Ashley Bissonnette, research consultant for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Connecticut, as well as a group of other historians.
The two researchers received a $72,000 grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program in July to document the Pequot War, 1636 to 1638, and King Philip’s War in Massachusetts, 1675 to 1676.
A poor family in Chajul, Guatemala made an unprecedented discovery as they were trying to renovate the kitchen of their 18th century home. An ancient Mayan mural had been hiding underneath the layers of paint for centuries, but luckily, it was discovered before it became completely ruined.
Lucas Asicona Ramirez announced officials about his findings and a special commission was appointed to study the Mesoamerican paintings. Boston University archeologist William Saturno estimated that the illustrations on the wall must have been created at least 300 years ago and these most likely represent a “conquest dance”. He interpreted the mural as a “conquest dance” because the images represent a procession of colorful figures which appear to wear both Mayan and Spanish costumes. After carefully studying the illustrations, archaeologist Jaroslaw Zralka told the magazine that some figures appear to be holding human hearts in their hands. Moreover, the elements contained in the mural could depict a Spanish invasion and Maya conversion to Christianity.
Archeologists will dedicate as much time as possible to the interpretation of the murals because the paintings could be forever compromised after the exposure. However, it is surprising that the Mayan illustrations survived in the first place because the house was built somewhere between the 17th and the 18th century.
It is important for scientists to preserve any information they can obtain about the Mayans because the ancient civilization was linked to advancements in art, architecture, astronomy and mathematics. Ramirez’ house most likely belonged to an important person of the Mayan civilization, judging by the murals that have been used to adorn the walls. Archeologists don’t exclude the possibility that the Guatemala building might have had an important function in the Mayan society.
Courtesy Daily Gossip
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In mid-August, leading Bulgarian archaeologist, Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov, made the announcement about this coin treasure, after his team discovered a total 11 goldand 6 silver coins.
The gold coins are from the 14th century while the silver ones are from the end of the 13th century.
The coins have been found dispersed in what has been used as a toilet hole with a 2-meter diameter, leading the experts to believe that they were hidden and buried during the Ottoman invasion of the area. Such treasures were usually placed in clay pots or similar vessels and then concealed, while for the latest find it is believed that the coins were put in some sort of a purse, which has decomposed over the years.
The coins were discovered in the central town of Perperikon, near the Citadel, in the area believed to have been the residence of the very wealthy Byzantine bishops.
The expectations are to locate more than 50 other gold coins.
The archaeological season at Perperikon has concluded with researchers saying they have found new evidence that this was the place of the mythical shrine of Dionysus.
During the last days of excavations, they also unearthed a clay altar, with a 2-meter diameter, used for religious rites.
The unique Ancient Thracian city of Perperikon was first discovered in 1979 in the Eastern Rhodoppe Mountains. It is thought that the famous sanctuary and oracular shrine dedicated to Dionysus of the Bessi tribe was situated there. The ancient rock city contains remains from all archaeological periods.
Ovcharov also discovered nearby an ancient Thracian surface tomb in the village ofTatul, containing a sanctuary linked with the cult of Orpheus.
Ovcharov is nicknamed the "Bulgarian Indiana Jones" in reference to the popular character played by actor Harrison Ford.
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By Colin Adwent Crime correspondent
UK - Scott Mitchell and Allan Oakley have had their equipment confiscated following the theft of several items belonging to the English Heritage site.
They were arrested in March, a month after three other men were detained following an alleged assault with a metal pole on another man at the site at Baylham Rare Breeds Farm. There is no suggestion Oakley and Mitchell were involved in the earlier alleged incident, which also involved metal detector users.
Oakley, 48, of Halton Road, Grays, and Mitchell, 44, of Phoenix Place, Dartford, admitted theft and using a metal detector in a protected place without consent, when they appeared before Bury St Edmunds magistrates.
The pair were at Baylham between 1.30am and 2.20am on March 29.
Police, who had been keeping watch over the site after the previous incident, saw an area of ground had been disturbed. They also noticed an unattended vehicle in a layby just before the Coddenham exit of the A14.
Oakley and Mitchell were subsequently arrested and items were found in the pockets of their camouflage jackets.
Roman coins, a buckle fitting, terracotta lamps, a lead button and copper and metal work were discovered during the inquiry.
In addition to the forfeiture of their metal detecting equipment, Oakley and Mitchell were given conditional discharges for 24 months, and ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs.
On February 18 three men were arrested following an alleged fight at the same location. Emergency services were called at around 3.15am after a man sustained head injuries.
It was believed that a number of men had been scouring the Roman site surrounding the farm looking for unearthed treasure and had been involved in a confrontation.
A 38-year-old man, from the Grays area of Essex, was believed to have been struck with a “metal pole” and was taken to West Suffolk Hospital for treatment. As a result of the incident 41-year-old from Grays, and 43-year-old man from Grays, were subsequently cautioned by police for theft of coins.
Shortly afterwards Richard Storer, the owner of Baylham Rare Breeds Farm said it was regularly plagued by unauthorized people with metal detectors in search of lucrative artifacts.
Nighthawking is illegal metal detecting, which is carried out overnight to avoid arrest, on sites of archaeological interest.
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BY SUSAN COCKING
Scattered on the sandy bottom about 11 feet deep near Biscayne National Park’s Elliott Key are numerous ceramic shards guarded by schools of gray snapper and grunts. The dusky white and bile green remnants of dinner plates and tea cups don’t look like much and they aren’t worth any money, even to television’s Pawn Stars. But those artifacts and some ancient burned timbers surrounding them have considerable cultural value as living snapshots of a long-ago, unsolved maritime mystery.
Chuck Lawson, archeologist and cultural resources manager at the park for the past two years, would love to identify the ship that carried all that china and find out where it was going and why it sank. But it doesn’t help that divers have been plundering the wreckage illegally for years. And that site, nicknamed “English China,” is one of more than 70 shipwrecks and artifact piles scattered throughout park waters that have been dug up, dredged and pillaged before their origins could be determined.
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