<p>NORFOLK, ENGLAND&mdash;An excavation

Archaeology News - August 16, 2016

NORFOLK, ENGLAND—An excavation in a field next to a nursery in the town of Aylsham has turned up two pottery kilns, thousands of broken pots, late Roman coins, and pieces of jewelry, according to a report in the Eastern Daily Press. Among the most notable finds is a piece of kiln lining with the finger and thumbprints of its Roman maker clearly visible. Archaeologists believe that the nursery is on the site of a Roman villa that included a bathhouse. John Davies, chief curator and keeper of archaeology with Norfolk Museums Service, notes that the site provides insight into what rural Norfolk was like in Roman times, as contrasted with urban sites such as Caistor and St. Edmund. The presence of the kilns also raises questions. “It’s very interesting—were the kilns a small-scale industry or were they serving the villa?” asks Davies. To read about another Roman site in England, go to “A Villa under the Garden.”

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Archaeology News - August 16, 2016

KANSK, RUSSIA—Siberian archaeologists have completed their study of a skull belonging to a man who died between the ages of 30 and 40 that was discovered last year at a Bronze Age burial ground in the region of Krasnoyarsk. The Siberian Times reports the skull bore obvious traces of trepanation, or brain surgery, which in ancient times was carried out for both medical and ritual reasons. In this case, the researchers suspect the trepanation was likely medical in nature, and that although the patient survived the surgery and lived for a time afterwards, he may have died because of post-operative inflammation. In reconstructing the incisions made in the skull, the researchers suspect the "surgeon" had an assistant helping complete the procedure. To read more about archaeology in Siberia, go to “Fortress of Solitude.”

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Archaeology News - August 16, 2016

PORTLAND, OREGON—Archaeologists have unearthed an unusual collection of obsidian tools after being tipped off by a landowner in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, according to a report from OPB. The landowner, a math and science teacher, came across 14 of the tools while digging out a spring on his property. He contacted state archaeologist John Pouley who identified them as bifaces that could be converted with some work into scrapers, spearpoints, or arrowheads. Pouley estimated that the tools dated back 1,000 to 4,000 years and came from the Santiam Band of the Kalapuya people. In a June excavation, attended by some of the landowner’s students, archaeologists found a fifteenth biface along with other stone tools. The artifacts were determined to have come from a quarry called Obsidian Cliffs 80 miles away in the Cascade Mountains. The bifaces did not have any flakes missing, so it appears that whoever transported them from the quarry was planning to sell them. “It seems likely that this was part of a trade network and these themselves were commodities,” said Pouley. For more on archaeology in Oregon, go to “Site of a Forgotten War.”

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<p>COPENHAGEN, DENMARK&mdash;A new

Archaeology News - August 15, 2016

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—A new method has demonstrated an ability to determine what types of animal were used to make clothing worn by people preserved in bogs for thousands of years, according to a report in ScienceNordic. The method, tested by a team including Luise Brandt of the University of Aarhus in Denmark, involves examining proteins in the garments to determine the species of animal used to make them. Brandt looked at 12 samples from the National Museum of Denmark’s collection of garments discovered in bogs, all of which are around 2,000 years old. She identified two samples as coming from cattle, three from goats, six from sheep, and one from either sheep or goat. The results indicate that Iron Age garments were largely made from domesticated animals, not wild ones as suggested by popular lore. One garment was determined to have been made from calf leather based on the presence of a type of hemoglobin found only in the final months of pregnancy and the first three months after birth. “We can see that they went to great lengths to make the garments and choose the right skin,” says Brandt. To read more about bodies preserved in bogs, go to “Bog Bodies Rediscovered.”

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<p>NICOSIA, CYPRUS&mdash;Archaeologists

Archaeology News - August 15, 2016

NICOSIA, CYPRUS—Archaeologists have fully unearthed a fourth-century A.D. Roman-era mosaic depicting a chariot race, reports the Cyprus Mail. Discovered outside the modern capital of Nicosia, the mosaic is some 85 feet long and depicts four chariots competing against one another. Each rider and team of horses is accompanied by two inscriptions, which may be the names of the charioteer and one of the horses. The mosaic also depicts a man on horseback and two standing figures, one bearing a whip and the other holding a water vessel. According to Marina Ieronymidou, the director of the country's Department of Antiquities, the mosaic is the only one found in Cyprus depicting a chariot race. Excavations at the site will continue, and a temporary structure will be erected over the mosaic to protect it from the elements. To see more ancient depictions of horses, go to “Sport and Spectacle.”  

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Archaeology News - August 15, 2016

 

LUFTON, ENGLAND—Archaeologists excavating a Roman villa in Southwest England have unearthed a semi-circular room that was equipped with a heating system under its floor. According to SomsersetLive, researchers suspect the villa was used as a country retreat by several generations of officials from the nearby Roman town of Ilchester, who would have expected a certain level of comfort. Previous excavations showed the villa had a bath surrounded by elaborate mosaics, and revealed evidence that after the Roman period ended squatters probably lived there. The team currently working at the site, led by University of Newcastle archaeologist James Gerrard, hopes to discover another mosaic soon when they remove the fallen roof now lying atop one of the villa's rooms. To read about another discovery dating to Britain’s Roman era, go to “A Villa under the Garden.” 

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<p>LIMA, PERU&mdash;Skeletal remains

Archaeology News - August 15, 2016

LIMA, PERU—Skeletal remains bundled up in a funerary blanket and thought to date back more than 6,000 years have been uncovered in the district of Los Olivos in northern Lima, according to a report in Living in Peru. The excavation on a hillside known as Cerro Pacifico, led by archaeologist Luis Angel Flores Blanco, has also revealed evidence of two terraced pyramids, suggesting that it was a center of the ancient Caral civilization. “This discovery is possibly the biggest indication that Los Olivos is a place full of history,” said the district’s mayor, Pedro del Rosario. Samples from the dig have been sent to museums for radiocarbon dating. To read about another recent discovery from ancient Peru, go to “A Life Story.”

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