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*Archaeology News*
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This website is brought to you by a team of very passionate historians and metal detectorists. We are not part of the grab it and run brigade.
History is extremely important to us and recording finds and working alongside archaeologists is of utmost importance.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Roman grave unearthed in Bodrum during construction

A two-room grave has been discovered in the Aegean province of Muğla’s city of Bodrum. The grave is thought to date back to the Roman period, and was found during construction work on Şalvarağa Hill behind Bodrum Port two months ago.

An investigation carried out by the Bodrum Museum Directorate revealed that the grave had been robbed and a rescue excavation was initiated by museum officials. A piece of gold leaf found in the grave has been transferred to a museum.

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Cirencester Roman cockerel 'best find' in 40 years

A restored Roman cockerel figurine is the best result from a Cirencester dig in decades, archaeologists have said.

The enamelled object, which dates back as far as AD100, was unearthed during a dig in 2011 at a Roman burial site in the town.

It has now returned from conservation work and finders Cotswold Archaeology said it "looks absolutely fantastic".

The 12.5cm bronze figure was discovered inside a child's grave and is thought to have been a message to the gods.

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Could Boudicca's bones be buried beneath a McDonald's?

It could be the year of great discoveries.

Just weeks after remains found under a car park were confirmed as Richard III and archaeologists have reportedly stumbled on Alfred the Great, now the hunt is on to find Boudicca.#

The grave of warrior queen, who fought the Romans to defend Britain, is unknown - although it is thought that her bones lay near what is now a McDonald's in Birmingham.

Another theory suggests that the flame-haired leader of the Iceni lies beneath either platform eight, nine or 10 at King's Cross Station.

Dr Mike Heyworth, the director of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), said that experts are on the hunt for her burial place, The Independent reported.

He suggested she would be unearthed in the next few years as Britain's growing number of voluntary archaeologists dig deep.

The CBA says there are more than 2,000 archaeological voluntary groups in the UK, with around 215,000 members.

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Never mind the hunt for Richard III, what about Boudicca?

First there was Richard III. Then, in the early hours of Monday morning, with the exhumation of bones from an unmarked grave at St Bartholemew’s Church in Winchester, archaeologists came closer to unravelling one of the great mysteries of British history – the burial place of King Alfred the Great.

These are exciting times in the field of historical bone-hunting, and senior archaeologists believe we could be in for a flood of new discoveries in the next few years as technology improves and the number of amateur enthusiasts continues to grow.

While the Winchester skeleton awaits scientific tests to see if it is Alfred, the ninth-century monarch revered for his victories over the Danes, speculation is now rife as to which historical riddle will be solved next.

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Norton Priory monastic site Visions project funded

An excavated monastic site in Runcorn is to gain £100,000 in funding to help bring its history to life by using projections.

Norton Priory Museum is using the grant for its Visions project.

"Vivid medieval colours" will be projected on some of the site's 13th Century walls and on the twice life-sized statue of St Christopher.

Facial reconstructions of some of the people buried at the site will also be seen in public for the first time.

A museum spokesman said the projection technology would be similar to that used on Buckingham Palace during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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Runcorn dig uncovers medieval lion head (Archive)

A bronze lion head dating from the 15th century has been found in Cheshire.

The artefact, believed to have been a hat badge, is among 80 items discovered by archaeologists at a building site near Runcorn.

Pottery dating back to the 13th century and footings of timber-framed houses have also been discovered at a site near Lodge Farm.

Archaeologists believe the items would have been owned by people living in the medieval village of Norton.

Jamie Quartermaine, from Oxford Archaeology North, who is leading the project, said: "This is almost the last surviving remains of the old medieval village of Norton on land that is beside the main thoroughfare of the village.

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Lost and Found Class Ring 60 Years Later

WSIL -- A Herrin woman is reunited with a class ring she lost 60 years ago thanks to a Carterville man and his metal detector.

"I think it's one of God's little miracles that I got it back!" said Beverly Corberly, 74, of Herrin.

Corberly lost her class ring back in 1953 while walking near her childhood home in Mt. Vernon. Now it's finally back in the hands of its rightful owner.

For the man who found the ring, metal detecting is not about treasure hunting. It's about rediscovering something that's been lost for so many years and making sure it gets back where it belongs.

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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Over $7.5 million sold in Dallas coin auction

(well done guys)

Heritage Auctions

Rare, high grade gold coins were the highlights as Heritage's Dallas 2013 March 21-22 & 24 US Coin Signature Auction brought in over $7.6 million to its happy consignors. All prices include a 17.5% Buyer's Premium.

The top coin in the auction, selling for $129,250, was a proof 1861 eagle, at Proof 64 Cameo the only such example that PCGS has awarded such a high grade with a Cameo (or Deep Cameo) designation. Only one coin at NGC surpasses it in numerical grade. Only ten examples are believed to survive of this issue from the first year of the Civil War.

High grade examples of popular early gold issues also performed well. A gem 1806 half eagle with Round Top 6 and a 7x6 obverse star arrangement broke the six figure mark at $111,625. While the variety itself is not rare by the standards of early gold, most examples are in circulated grades. Combined population reports from the two major grading services show only four examples grading MS65, with none higher, and in fact, two of these grading events cover this specific coin. A 1801 eagle graded MS64 and featuring highly contrasted (but undesignated) prooflike surfaces, sold for $88,125. Only five examples bear higher numerical grades.

A rare variety of Christopher Bechtler gold, the 128 G(rain) five dollar piece with colon after G, sold for $67,562. We believe that 6-10 of these coins are known, and this example, graded AU55, is surpassed by only two coins graded by the major services.

Pre-Viking tunic found on glacier as warming trend aids archaeology

OSLO — A pre-Viking woolen tunic found beside a thawing glacier in south Norway shows how global warming is proving something of a boon for archaeology, scientists said on Thursday.

The greenish-brown, loose-fitting outer clothing — suitable for a person up to about 5 feet, 9 inches tall (176 centimeters) — was found 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level on what may have been a Roman-era trade route in south Norway. Carbon dating showed it was made around the year 300.

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Friday, 29 March 2013

Amateur with metal detector finds 1,600-year-old royal ring

Did this intricate piece of sapphire, gold and glass belong to the King of France, some 1,600 years ago?
A group of archaeologist met at the Yorkshire Museum in England last week to discuss the Escrick Ring, an intricately worked gold ring surrounding a brilliant blue sapphire discovered in 2009 by an amateur metal-detector enthusiast.

The ring, among the oldest pieces of sapphire jewelry ever found in the country, was thought to date from the 10th or 11th centuries -- until the group took a closer look.

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Finders Keepers? Not Always in Treasure Hunting

In September 2009, David Booth, a park ranger in Stirling, Scotland, packed up his brand-new metal detector ("I practiced at home picking up nails and bits"), drove to a field, walked seven yards (six meters) from his parked car, and scored big. His first sweep with a metal detector yielded a spectacular find: four gold torques, or neck bands, from the first century B.C.—the most important hoard of Iron Age gold found in Scotland to date.

Several days later, Stuart Campbell of the National Museum of Scotland, the man in charge of "treasure trove" finds, as they are known in the United Kingdom, arrived at his Edinburgh office, opened his email to find a message with the subject "gold jewelry" and thought, "Oh, no, not another Victorian watch chain." Then he saw the images.

Thanks to laws in England and Scotland that encourage artifact hunters to cooperate with archaeologists, Booth was paid the current market price for the cache, about $650,000, set by the queen's and lord treasurer's remembrancer (the British crown's representative in Scotland). He split the sum with the landowner.

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Monday, 18 March 2013

Medieval Knight’s remains found underneath a car park removed to make way for new green building


The skeleton and grave of a Medieval Knight and the remains of a thirteenth century monastery are among dozens of discoveriesmade underneath a former car park at a city centre building site. The discovery was made when archaeologists uncovered the corner of an elaborately decorated sandstone slab with the telltale markings of a member of the nobility  ‐ the carvings of the Calvary Cross and an ornate sword, which tells us this belonged to a high statusindividualsuch as a knight or other nobleman. An excavation of the immediate area also uncovered an adult skeleton, which is likely to have once occupied the grave. An analysis of the skeleton and teeth will be able to us more about where the individual was born, what he ate, where he lived
and how he died.

The car park had been demolished to make way for the University of Edinburgh’s new Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) building in theOld Town. The car park will make way for a rainwater‐harvesting tank, which is among dozens of low carbon measures that designers hope will help create a highly efficient, sustainable building. It is expected to achieve a green building rating of “outstanding”, and if achieved will be the first historic building in the world to achieve this. Malcolm Fraser Architects have led the project with contractors GrahamConstruction. The area was formerly the site of three significant historical buildings  ‐  the
seventeenth century Royal High School, the sixteenth century Old High School, and the thirteenth century Blackfriars Monastery. As well asthe grave, the excavation of the area has revealed the exact location of the Blackfriars Monastery, which was founded in 1230 by AlexanderII (King of Scotland 1214‐49) and destroyed during the Protestant Reformation in 1558.Until now its exact location was unknown.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture convener, City of Edinburgh Council,said: We hope to find out more aboutthe person buried in the tomb once we remove the headstone and getto the remains underneath but our archaeologists have already dated the gravestone to the thirteenth century.

"This find has the potential to be one of the most significant and exciting archaeological discoveries in the city for many years, providing us with yet more clues asto what life wa slike in Medieval Edinburgh." The refurbished building, which dates back to back to the Royal High School of 1777, will reopen as an innovation and skills hub in the summer. As well as the rainwater‐ harvesting tank, other innovative low carbon building measures include the use of renewable and low carbon energy sources to heat the building  ‐ from solar panels and connection to a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) scheme; careful selection of
sustainable and recycled materials; a sophisticated energy monitoring system; and a high standard of insulation and airtightness. The finished building is expected to achieve a green building rating (BREEAM) of “outstanding”, and if achieved will be the first historic building in the world to achieve this.

ECCIDirector Andy Kerrsaid: “The ambition of the University to Edinburgh is to create a world leading physical hub for low carbon innovation and skills, so no corner has been cut to ensure the building ‘walks the walk’ in terms of social, economic and environmental sustainability. We always knew that the building retrofit might uncover historical artifacts – given the site’s history – but this Knight is an extraordinary and exciting
find. We want our new building to play a key role in shaping Scotland’s future, as these historical buildings on this site did in their time.” The project’s archaeological services have been provided by Edinburgh based
Headland Archaeology and managed by Eddie Bailey. The archaeologist who found the grave, Ross Murray,studied at the University of Edinburgh’s former Archaeology building, which until 2010 was housed at High School Yards, just a few feet from where the Knight’s grave was found.

Ross Murray said: “We obviously knew the history of the High School Yards site while we were studying
here butI never imagined I would be back here to make such an incredible discovery. We used to take breaks between classes just a few feet away in the building’s doorway and all that time the grave was lying under the car park. ”

High School Yards has always been a significant architectural site and has gone through many in carnations since its beginnings as the Blackfriars Monastery in 1230. Asthe 17th century 'Royal High School' it boasted Sir Walter Scott and the inventor of the blackboard James Pillans as its most famous pupils and infamous murderers Burke and Hare went about theirs or did business just behind the main building in the
adjacent Surgeon's Square.

After the Old High School closed in 1829 it became a surgical hospital and later it returned to itsroots as a seat of learning asthe University of Edinburgh moved in. It has been home to the departments of Science & Engineering, Geography, Dentistry and in latter years Archaeology. Work began on the new Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation in February 2012 and is expected to finish in the summer. The Centre brings together students, academics, Governments, businesses and communities to work towards a low carbon future.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Medieval gold ring found in North Yorkshire field

A MEDIEVAL gold ring has been discovered in a North Yorkshire field by a farm-worker with a metal detector.

Christian Smith, from Grimethorpe, near Barnsley, found the artefact while surveying a field by Whorlton, near Stokesley back in April 2011 but did not think it had any value.

However when its age and composition became clear the find was reported, as required by
law  and an inquest into the discovery was held in Northallerton today (Wednesday, March 13).

Coroner Michael Oakley said experts from the British Museum had examined the find and found it to be an early medieval, Viking, finger ring dating from the late ninth or tenth century.

He declared the item, found on land owned by Steven Dawson, was treasure.

History's 10 Greatest Wrecks...

The first scientific archaeological excavation of a shipwreck took place just over 50 years ago. Since then, thousands of wrecks have been discovered, each with an important story to tell. Choosing 10 from among them to represent the endeavor of nautical archaeology is a difficult—and subjective—task

But each offers a profile of an age and a window into the lives of its people, as well as evidence of just how clever and innovative our ancestors were as they took to the seas. Through these stories, we also see why archaeologists continue to devote themselves, despite danger and difficulty, to the examination and excavation of wrecks, wherever they might be discovered.

From the rudimentary dive equipment of the earliest excavations to the sophisticated remote-sensing and remotely operated technology of today, archaeologists have shown that no site is beyond the reach of our inquiry into the past.

Full Article

Treasure hunter proposes to girlfriend after his metal detector unearths 19th century ring in muddy field with BOTH their initials on

Treasure hunter proposes to girlfriend after his metal detector unearths 19th century ring in muddy field with BOTH their initials on

Sean Flynn from Birmingham believes it was fate he found the ring while pursuing his metal detecting hobby
He immediately popped the question to his long-term girlfriend, Angie Winwood, who was in the muddy field with him at the time

Angie is allowed to keep the 200 year old piece of jewellery, that is not thought to be valuable, as her engagement ring.

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Vandalism shock at Whitby Abbey

Police are investigating after graffiti was scrawled over stone walls at Whitby Abbey and parts of the grounds dug up by opportunist metal detectors.

Staff doing a daily patrol of the grounds found the damage.

The name Jacob was written with what appears to be a wax crayon on a wall while the opening times and other sections of stone work were scribbled on.

There are also five separate sites of earth which appear to have been disturbed with spade marks clearly visible in the ground.

Staff at the abbey said they had not heard of metal detecting taking place in the grounds before and while signs could be replaced, the damage within the grounds was far more serious.

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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Medieval Locket

Medieval locket

A Medieval gold locket from Rolleston, Nottinghamshire (Report: No. 354/ DENO-E69756). Date: c.1450-c.1500. Found by Darren Hoyle on 7 August 2008. This object has the inscription cauns [sauns] repentir (without regret), which may have been an amatory phrase. This padlock is closely comparable to one from the Fishpool Hoard (Nottinghamshire), found in 1966, and on display in the British Museum. The Fishpool Hoard is thought to have been deposited in May 1464, during the Wars of the Roses. It is possible the Rolleston and Fishpool lockets were made by the same workshop. The Rolleston locket has also been acquired by the British Museum.

Credit: Portable Antiquities Scheme

Early Medieval rings

Credit: Portable Antiquities Scheme

Early Medieval rings

A group of Early Medieval gold objects from West Yorkshire (Report: No. 182). Date: c.600-c1100. Found on 14 and 15 September 2008. The group comprises five gold objects, including three finger-rings, a gold ingot and a fragment of a gold cloisonné brooch. The largest finger-ring, weighing 30grams, is fitted with a central garnet and a twisted gold hoop. Another ring features four unique niello panels, some with zoomorphic decoration. This is a very special group, testifying to the high level of workmanship among Early Medieval goldsmiths.

Metal detecting debut almost goes with a bang for little Oliver Hudd in Dartford

When six-year-old Oliver Hudd set out on his first outing with his new metal detector, he could never have imagined what he'd find.

For with just a few sweeps of the ground, the youngster had found an 8lb First World War bomb, sparking a police operation that saw a road cordoned off and a bomb disposal squad rushing to the scene.

Oliver was looking for Roman coins in his grandmother's garden in Darenth Road, Dartford, with his father Jason when the drama began.

His mother Jenny Smith said: "Jason was using it for a bit without any luck, but as soon as Oliver touched it, it started beeping.

"Jason dug down and felt the spade hit metal. He kept digging and hit it a good few times with the spade before seeing the pointed end and realising it looked like a bomb."

The father-and-son treasure hunters raced into the house to tell the family.

"I thought Jason was just mucking about at first and I didn't really believe it," the mother-of-two added.

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Friday, 15 March 2013

'Black Death pit' unearthed by Crossrail project

Excavations for London's Crossrail project have unearthed bodies believed to date from the time of the Black Death.

A burial ground was known to be in an area outside the City of London, but its exact location remained a mystery.

Thirteen bodies have been found so far in the 5.5m-wide shaft at the edge of Charterhouse Square, alongside pottery dated to the mid-14th Century.

Analysis will shed light on the plague and the Londoners of the day.

DNA taken from the skeletons may also help chart the development and spread of the bacterium that caused the plague that became known as the Black Death.

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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The largest haul of treasure ever found in Worcestershire goes on display from this Saturday in Hartlebury museum.

THE largest haul of treasure ever found in Worcestershire goes on display from this Saturday in Hartlebury museum.

The Worcestershire Hoard, which was unearthed on Bredon Hill after 1,800 years underground in June 2011, has arrived back in the county after £9,000 was raised to keep it here.

Now everyone is being invited to come and check out the treasure with mums going free on Sunday in celebration of Mother’s Day.

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Monday, 4 March 2013

Tackling Illegal Metal Detecting - Man Arrested

As part of Operation Totem, the Force's committment to tackling the practice of illegal metal detecting, police have arrested a 57 year-old Grimsby man on suspicion of theft.

The arrest took place shortly before midnight on Sunday 3 March, after the man was found in suspicious circumstances in a field off the A158 between Horncastle and Wragby.

'Nighthawking' is a term given to the practice of metal detecting that takes place, usually at night, and without the landowner's permission. The activity is carried out for personal gain and finds are not handed in, resulting in the loss of unique artefacts and depriving everyone of their historical heritage. In addition, significant damage is often caused to farmers' crops as a result of the trespass.

In 2012, a successful prosecution was brought against a Rotherham man following a lengthy investigation by the Lincolnshire Police Op Totem team.