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Archaeologists work to uncover shipwreck remains in Portimão Email

Friday, 19 October 2012 12:54
Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 13:17



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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State archaeological treasures find new home Email

Monday, 15 October 2012 13:19
Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 13:32

new_mexico_treasureEric 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.”

Read more: State archaeological treasures find new home

Tomb of Mayan Queen Discovered in Guatemala Email

Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:11
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:25


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".

Read more: Tomb of Mayan Queen Discovered in Guatemala

Tribal Treasures Email

Wednesday, 03 October 2012 13:51
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 14:04

Laurie_DrazekLaurie 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)


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. 

Read more: Tribal Treasures

Home Renovation Brings Out Ancient Mayan Mural Email

Sunday, 30 September 2012 14:23
Last Updated on Sunday, 30 September 2012 14:34


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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Bulgarian Archaeologists Find Fresh Gold Coins at Perperikon Email

Sunday, 30 September 2012 13:45
Last Updated on Sunday, 30 September 2012 13:54


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.


Courtesy Novinite

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‘Nighthawkers’ admit theft of Roman artifacts Email

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 11:37
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 September 2012 11:47


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.


Courtesy Streetlife

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Shipwrecks OK to visit, but don’t take artifacts Email

Sunday, 02 September 2012 11:59
Last Updated on Sunday, 02 September 2012 12:10



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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.

Read more: Shipwrecks OK to visit, but don’t take artifacts

Archaeologists unravel mysteries of the Mayans in Honduras Email

Saturday, 25 August 2012 13:03
Last Updated on Saturday, 25 August 2012 13:15


By Noé Leiva, AFP

COPÁN, Honduras – Under awnings that protect them from the rain, archeologists excavated rocks from a muddy hill at a new site found in Copán, in northwestern Honduras. The archeologists are determined to decipher a riddle about the disappearance of the Mayans.

About 25 kilometers west of the main group of ruins, in the Río Amarillo Archeological Park, the site was discovered gradually in recent years, thanks to the work of nine experts from Honduras, Guatemala, France and the United States.

“Here it shows that the fall [of the civilization] was abrupt; they left the buildings unfinished, and tools were strewn around, but the question is where did they go to never return?” said French researcher René Viel, during a tour organized by the Tourism Ministry for the international press. The tour is one of the activities put on by the Honduran government to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21.

Read more: Archaeologists unravel mysteries of the Mayans in Honduras

Recuperating service personnel help uncover Anglo-Saxon treasure trove Email

Saturday, 18 August 2012 15:34
Last Updated on Saturday, 18 August 2012 15:45

operation_nightengaleSoldiers taking part in Operation Nightingale unearthed Anglo-Saxon warriors buried with a range of personal possessions at Barrow Clump


UK - A pioneering project using archaeology to help soldiers wounded in Afghanistan along the road to recovery has made a series of astonishing discoveries.

Operation Nightingale, involving servicemen in a regiment which recruits widely in the Westcountry, has unearthed a treasure trove of Anglo-Saxon finds on Salisbury Plain.

In their latest dig, the soldiers located a major sixth-century burial site at Barrow Clump, uncovering 27 bodies – including Anglo-Saxon warriors – buried with a range of personal possessions.

Artefacts uncovered included shield bosses, broaches, amber and glass beads, spear heads, a silver ring and a wooden drinking vessel with bronze bands.

Read more: Recuperating service personnel help uncover Anglo-Saxon treasure trove