• Geoservices Welcomes New Marine Geophysicists

    Geoservices are pleased to welcome Alex Jacob and Sam Strutton to the Marine Geophysics team in our Salisbury office. Both will be working as marine geophysicists, processing and reporting on geophysical data to help investigate sites of potential archaeological interest below the waves.  Alex (front) and Sam (back)Alex graduated from the University of Southampton in 2014 with an Msci in Geophysics where she gained experience in both terrestrial and marine geophysical survey, completing fie
  • Human skull evolved along with two-legged walking, study confirms

    The evolution of bipedalism in fossil humans can be detected using a key feature of the skull—a claim that was previously contested but now has been further validated by researchers at Stony Brook University and The University of Texas at Austin.The evolution of human skull took place along with two-legged walking, researchers have confirmed 
    [Credit: RedOrbit]Compared with other primates, the large hole at the base of the human...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website f
  • Evidence of craft specialisation in bead production in Upper Palaeolithic France?

    The organization of bead production during the Aurignacian has significant implications for understanding the role of these artifacts in Upper Palaeolithic societies, and the evolution of symbolic behavior and social organization more generally.French Upper Palaeolithic beads [Credit: University College London]In a special issue of the Quaternary International on The Role of Art in Prehistoric Societies a case study of Early...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Readers can virtually explore Italian archaeology dig in new online publication

    A team of archaeologists has published its first volume about the Gabii Project, a large-scale dig of an ancient city in Italy, in a first-of-its-kind online format.The Gabii Project is an international archaeological initiative under the direction of Nicola Terrenato of the University 
    of Michigan. It was launched in 2007 with the objective of studying and excavating the ancient Latin city of Gabii,
     a city-state that was...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Advertisement

  • Prehistoric messages: Mystery of Argyll’s ancient rock carvings

    Known as the Achnabreck Cup and Ring Rocks, the mysterious motifs consist of a series of spiral ring marks - deep depressions in the rock surrounded by Saturn-like concentric rings and horseshoe shapes. Spread out across several rocky outcrops, the Achnabreck rings are among the largest ever discovered in Europe - some measuring a metre in diameter.Known as the Achnabreck Cup and Ring Rocks, the mysterious motifs consist of a series...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • New finds at Thessaloniki metro station

    The remains of a marble-paved market square, enclosed by a circular S-shaped stoa, were revealed during the archaeological investigations at the entrances of Thessaloniki’s metro station “Aghia Sofia”, which is under construction.View of the paved square [Credit: ANA-MPA]The monumental complex, at the junction of the main Roman road “Decumanus Maximus” and the “cardo” of Aghia Sofia, is located on the axis of two important Early...
    [[ This is a content s
  • Archaeologists make sensational Viking discovery in Denmark

    In what is being described as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Denmark in recent times, archaeologists have uncovered several chamber-graves in the hamlet of Hørning near Skanderborg in Jutland.Site cleared in preliminary excavation, 2012 [Credit: Museum of Skanderborg]What is of particular interest is that one of the chamber-graves contains the remains of a high-level person from the early Viking Age, as well...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website f
  • Barn swallow behaviour shift may be evolutionary

    Most of our understanding about evolutionary changes and the formation of new animal species is based on the historical record. But a relatively new population of barn swallows in Argentina may help scientists see those changes firsthand.Barn swallows on a wire [Credit: Matt Davis/Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology]The ubiquitous barn swallow, found on every continent except Antarctica, is a wondrous migrator. The...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Advertisement

  • Agriculture, dietary changes, and adaptations in fat metabolism from ancient to modern Europeans

    Good vs bad cholesterol. Margarine vs butter. Red meat vs. vegan. The causal links between fats and health have been a hotly debated topic for scientists, physicians and the public.Cooking pots discovered in the archaeological dig at Must Farm Quarry 
    [Credit: Dave Webb/Cambridge Archaeological Unit]Now, evolutionary biologists are weighing in based on the increasing power of DNA analyses to explore how changes in diet over eons...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
  • New technology reveals lost townscape of sixteenth century Edinburgh

    The lost townscape of sixteenth-century Edinburgh has been brought back to life by researchers at the University of St Andrews.Digital reconstruction of Edinburgh [Credit: University of St Andrews]The new digital reconstruction is the first to be created of the period, and is based on a drawing from 1544, thought to be the earliest accurate depiction of the capital.The virtual time travel technology – which will be released as an...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for f
  • The oldest known parasitic isopod

    Biologists at LMU have identified two 168-million-year-old fossils as the oldest known parasitic representatives of the crustacean group Isopoda. The study sheds new light on the evolutionary history of isopods.Macro photographs (a, d), volume renderings (b, e) and reconstructed surface models (c, f) of fossil isopod Urda rostrata. 
    a-c) U. rostrata specimen 1 (BPSG 2011I50). a Counterpart, dorsal view. b Dorsal view. c Lateral...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Astronomers observe a dying red giant star's final act

    An international team of astronomers has observed a striking spiral pattern in the gas surrounding a red giant star named LL Pegasi and its companion star 3,400 light-years from Earth, using a powerful telescope in northern Chile called Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA.Molecular gas forms a spiral pattern around the red giant star LL Pegasi 
    [Credit: ALMA, Hyosun Kim]"What we are seeing in splendid detail...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Advertisement

  • Intact mushroom and mycophagous rove beetle in Burmese amber leak early evolution of mushrooms

    Mushrooms are common, conspicuous and morphologically diverse fungi. Most agaricomycete fruiting bodies are ephemeral, so they are extremely rare in fossils. Up to now, all described species of gilled mushrooms, or agaricales, have been known exclusively from amber.Ecological reconstructions of Cretaceous mushrooms and mycophagous beetles [Credit: Cai et al.]Two forms are from the Mesozoic, including the earliest mushrooms,...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, o
  • One of last vaquita porpoises found dead in Mexico

    Environmentalists said they have found the body of a baby vaquita marina porpoise, one of the last of its kind, washed up dead in northern Mexico.Scientists warned in February there are only 30 remaining vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise, 
    and they face extinction by 2022 [Credit: AFP]The newborn was found with its umbilical cord still attached on a beach in the Gulf of California by US environmental group Sea...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Ancient, near-pristine Buddha to make Kabul museum debut

    Having withstood time, the elements, looters and war, a spectacular Buddha restored and removed from one of Afghanistan's most dangerous regions is to make its public debut in the country's national museum.The statue of Buddha, which is thought to date from somewhere between the third and the fifth century, 
    was remarkably well-preserved by soil and silt [Credit: AFP/Wakil Kohsar]The statue, which depicts the sage in a purple...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Archaeology Visiting the Classroom

    On 27 February Wessex Archaeology’s Senior Community & Education Officer Rachel Brown travelled to Plympton, Devon to run some sessions in a local school based upon the archaeological findings from the nearby Sherford site, funded by the Sherford Consortium. We have previously run a number of outreach events to share the discoveries at the site with the local community on behalf of the developers and the school visit was a part of this on-going work. Rachel worked with Year
  • The Parthenon Sculptures, 'The Independent' and 'fake news'

    According to the British newspaper The Independent, the Athens government has made a desirable offer to the British Museum: to loan, on a recurring and long-term basis, rare archaeological treasures from Greek museums in exchange for the return of the Parthenon Sculptures.Visitors look at The Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum in London, Britain, 05 December 2014
    [Credit: AAP via EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga]The request was...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Underwater surveys at the site of the ancient sea battle of Salamis

    During November-December 2016, an exploratory underwater survey was conducted in the framework of a 3-year-project, in the area of Ambelaki-Kynosoura of the eastern coast of Salamina where the Greek naval forces had gathered before the historic sea battle of Salamis against Persians in 480 BC.Salamis. Circular tower (7m diameter), belonging to the fortification of the Classical period harbour, 
    in the Ambelaki Bay [Credit: V....
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • The carbon dioxide loop

    The oceans are great at absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, but when their deep waters are brought to the surface, the oceans themselves can be a source of this prevalent greenhouse gas.Bacterioplankton (dots) surrounded by a nanoflagellate (white), which preys on the bacteria 
    [Credit: Rachel Parsons]Wind patterns together with Earth's rotation drive deep ocean water -- and the CO2 it sequesters -- upward, replacing...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Operation of ancient biological clock uncovered

    Ten years ago, researchers discovered that the biological clock in cyanobacteria consists of only three protein components: KaiA, KaiB and KaiC. These are the building blocks -- the gears, springs and balances -- of an ingenious system resembling a precision Swiss timepiece.At ambient temperature, the circadian clock of cyanobacteria is constantly ticking and its 'molecular cogwheels' 
    keep spinning. This makes it difficult to...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Hawaiian biodiversity has been declining for millions of years

    Hawaii's unique animal and plant diversity has been declining on all but the Big Island for millions of years, long before humans arrived, according to a new analysis of species diversity on the islands by University of California, Berkeley, evolutionary biologists.The ‘i’iwi, or scarlet honeycreeper, is one of the most plentiful honeycreepers in the Hawaiian island chain. Yet the number 
    of species of honeycreepers has been...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website
  • Rare cricket family sheds light on extinct Jurassic species' acoustics

    World-first research into a rare family of insects will help scientists understand how the common bush-crickets we are familiar with today developed their highly specialised acoustic functions.Picture of Cyphoderis monstrosa [Credit: Piotr Naskrecki]Findings of the new study by sensory and evolutionary biologists at the University of Lincoln, UK, in collaboration with teams in Canada and France, have been published in the Journal of...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Paleozoic echinoderm hangover: Waking up in the Triassic

    The end-Paleozoic witnessed the most devastating mass extinction in Earth's history so far, killing the majority of species and profoundly shaping the evolutionary history of the survivors. Echinoderms are among the marine invertebrates that suffered the most severe losses at the end-Permian extinction.Paleozoic hangover asterozoans. Specimen repositories: MHI = Muschelkalkmuseum Ingelfingen; 
    MnhnL = Natural History Museum...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Earth's first example of recycling -- its own crust!

    Rock samples from northeastern Canada retain chemical signals that help explain what Earth's crust was like more than 4 billion years ago, reveals new work from Carnegie's Richard Carlson and Jonathan O'Neil of the University of Ottawa. Their work is published by Science.Photograph of the ancient crust such as these found along the eastern shores of the Hudson Bay
    [Credit: Rick Carlson]There is much about Earth's ancient crust that...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Byzantine cemetery discovered at Sa Capelleta, Ibiza

    Archaeologists have discovered a seventh century Byzantine cemetery on a private plot of land in Sa Capelleta, Ibiza, in Spain's Balearic Islands.
    A total of nine skeletons were extracted from four reused graves. These correspond to five adults and four minors, buried in three graves. The fourth grave, which appeared to be empty, likely contained theremains of a very small child whose fragile bones were consumed by theacidity of...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Port ruins hoped to prove starting point of ancient Chinese maritime silk road

    Chinese archaeologists have begun the second-stage excavation of the ruins of a north China town, hoping to find more evidence for the argument that it is the starting point of the ancient maritime silk road.Archaeologists work at the ancient Haifeng town ruins site in Huanghua, north China's Hebei Province 
    [Credit: Xinhua/Yang Shiyao]The current excavation is also expected to unveil functions of the town as an important trade...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Stone Age tools and animal bones in Tunisia are ‘clues to an early human corridor’

    Researchers have found animal bones and stone tools on the margins of a dried-up giant lake in Tunisia, which they suggest are evidence of early human activity. They believe the shores of Chotts megalake may have formed an early corridor across the Sahara for the dispersal of Homo sapiens and other animals from Sub-Saharan Africa between 200,000 to 10,000 years ago.Researchers have discovered animal bones and stone tools in the land...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Goddess statue, 2,100 year old castle threatened by dynamite in Turkey's north

    One of Turkey’s most important recent archaeological finds faces a grave threat due to blasting activity at a rock quarry in the vicinity.
    A sculpture of the mother goddess of Kybele is threatened by explosions that occur on a daily basis on the outskirts of the 2,100-year-old Kurul Castle, which dates back to the age of Mithridates VI, a king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia from about 120 to 63 B.C., in the Black...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Treasure hunters vandalize two historic monuments in Morocco

    Gantrat El Fellous and Dar Oum Sultan, two historical sites located in the rural commune of Aït Sibern in the province of Khémisset, have been vandalized by groups of “treasure hunters” over the course of the last two months, according to national heritage management officials.
    Gantrat El Fellous is a historic bridge and an architectural monument built by the Almohad dynasty in the 12th century which connects Ribat Al-Fath to...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my
  • Restoration efforts underway at the Pingwu Bao’en Temple in Sichuan

    Originally, the Pingwu Bao'en Temple was built to rival the beauty and grandeur of the Forbidden City, but it was never wise to try and one up the emperor.Aerial view of the Pingwu Bao'en Temple [Credit: Ren Yin]"The museum has dozens more gongdou (a type of corbel used exclusively in imperial structures) than the Forbidden City," said Ren Yin, associate curator of the Museum of Pingwu Bao'en Temple."Altogether, it has 10,000...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Did humans create the Sahara desert?

    New research investigating the transition of the Sahara from a lush, green landscape 10,000 years ago to the arid conditions found today, suggests that humans may have played an active role in its desertification.New research challenges the idea that changes in the Earth’s orbit triggered Sahara desertification 
    [Credit: Shutterstock]The desertification of the Sahara has long been a target for scientists trying to understand...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for f
  • World's oldest plant-like fossils discovered in India

    Scientists at the Swedish Museum of Natural History have found fossils of 1.6 billion-year-old probable red algae. The spectacular finds, published in the open access journal PLOS Biology, indicate that advanced multicellular life evolved much earlier than previously thought.X-ray tomographic picture (false colours) of fossil thread-like red algae 
    [Credit: Stefan Bengtson; CCAL]The scientists found two kinds of fossils...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • New study identifies ancient shark ancestors

    New research based on x-ray imaging provides the strongest evidence to date that sharks arose from a group of bony fishes called acanthodians. Analyzing an extraordinarily well-preserved fossil of an ancient sharklike fish, researchers identified it as an important transitional species that points to sharks as ancanthodians' living descendants. The work is published in the journal American Museum Novitates.The Doliodus problematicus...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Ice age thermostat prevented extreme climate cooling

    During the ice ages, an unidentified regulatory mechanism prevented atmospheric CO2 concentrations from falling below a level that could have led to runaway cooling, reports a study conducted by researchers of the ICTA-UAB and published online in Nature Geoscience this week. The study suggests the mechanism may have involved the biosphere, as plants and plankton struggled to grow under very low CO2 levels.During the ice ages, an...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • High flames gave status to ancient funeral pyres

    The flames dance high in the air as they embrace the deceased nobleman. A wooden pyre, ten by twenty metres, reaches two metres up into the sky, ensuring that the blaze is burning bright. The nobleman is sent on his way to the afterlife.In ancient times, the size of a funeral pyre often reflected your social status. Some cremations were small, 
    while others were more spectacular affairs, like this cremation on board a Viking...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Fossil or inorganic structure? Scientists dig into early life forms

    An international team of researchers discovered that inorganic chemicals can self-organize into complex structures that mimic primitive life on Earth.Silica carbonate biomorphs grown with natural water from Ney spring 
    [Credit: García-Ruiz et al. Sci. Adv. 2017;3:e1602285]Florida State University Professor of Chemistry Oliver Steinbock and Professor Juan Manuel Garcia-Ruiz of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website fo
  • Viking grave in Denmark belonged to wealthy Norwegian woman

    Ernst Stidsing, an archaeologist and the curator at East Jutland Museum, has discovered that the body of a woman buried in a Viking grave in Randers was born in Norway.The occupant of a grave belonging to a wealthy 10th century woman, discovered last year in Enghøj 
    on the Jutland peninsula of Denmark, was born in Norway [Credit: Ardfern] The remains of her teeth were subjected to a strontium analysis, which can show where a...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Neolithic lake dwelling found in Zurich reconstructed

    The archaeological discoveries made under the so-called 'place of the Sechseläuten (festival)' in Zurich were so numerous that assessment work lasted five years. The results now allow us to imagine life in a lake village some 5,000 years ago.Reconstruction of the Neolithic lake dwelling site discovered in Zurich [Credit: RFJ]These are the most important excavations of a Neolithic lake dwelling site in the last fifteen years in...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Recently unearthed Egyptian colossus not Ramses II

    A massive statue recently unearthed in Cairo and thought to depict one of the country's most famous pharaohs may be of another ancient Egyptian ruler, the country's antiquities minister said Thursday.Egyptian Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani, second left, talks near a stone part of the statue of King Psamtek l after a 
    press conference at the Egyptian museum in Cairo, Thursday, March 16, 2017 [Credit: AP/Nariman...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, othe
  • Starquakes reveal surprises about birth of stars in our galaxy

    A study of the internal sound waves created by starquakes, which make stars ring like a bell, has provided unprecedented insights into conditions in the turbulent gas clouds where stars were born 8 billion years ago.The spins of about 70 percent of the red giant stars observed in the clusters were strongly aligned 
    in a study by researchers including Dr Dennis Stello [Credit: UNSW]The spins of about 70% of the red giant stars...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • SN2015bh—the end of a star or an 'impostor' supernova?

    Massive stars end their lives in supernova explosions, highly energetic events that can be as luminous as the entire starlight from their host galaxies. However, there are events called "supernova impostors" which, despite their intensity, are not the end of the star's life. This could very well be the case of SN 2015bh, a star which had suffered at least 21 years of violent eruptions and which, together with a number of other objects,...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for f
  • Enceladus' south pole is warm under the frost

    Over the past decade, the international Cassini mission has revealed intense activity at the southern pole of Saturn's icy moon, Enceladus, with warm fractures venting water-rich jets that hint at an underground sea. A new study, based on microwave observations of this region, shows that the moon is warmer than expected just a few metres below its icy surface. This suggests that heat is produced over a broad area in this polar region...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
  • Looking for 'fingerprints' at the intersection of weather and climate

    Scientists have found the seasonal "fingerprints" of Arctic sea ice, El Nino, and other climate phenomena in a new study that probes the global interactions between weather and climate.Although the terms are often used interchangeably, weather and climate are different. Weather can be reasonably well 
    predicted up to a week in advance, and is characterized by its daily dynamics. Climate changes more slowly, which 
    is why...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • How cobras developed flesh-eating venom

    A University of Queensland-led international study has revealed how one of the world's most feared types of snakes -- cobras -- developed their potent venom.King cobra [Credit: exuro]Associate Professor Bryan Fry of UQ's School of Biological Sciences said cobras were killers in Africa and Asia, and caused crippling social and economic burdens through the number of survivors who needed amputations due to the snake's flesh-eating...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • ScARF Lithics Workshop

    On Monday 13 March Wessex Archaeology Scotland attended the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) Skills Workshop ‘Learn about Lithics!’ organised by the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. It was hosted at the National Museum of Scotland allowing a closer look behind the scenes of the famous Museum!The workshop started off by introducing our team into the practical aspects of identifying lithics especially in a Scottis
  • Leap onto land saves fish from being eaten

    Fish on the South Pacific island of Rarotonga have evolved the ability to survive out of water and leap about on the rocky shoreline because this helps them escape predators in the ocean, a ground-breaking new study shows.An amphibious blenny fish on Rarotonga [Credit: Chris Fulton/ANU]"Avoiding predators might be an explanation of why some animals move from their ancestral homes into starkly different environments, but evidence for...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Wessex Recording Manual Goes Down Under!

    ‘Mid-brown with an orange hue, silty sand with moderate sub-angular small pebbles’ as I look down at my context sheet beneath the blazing Australian sun I am eternally grateful that soil is soil the world over. Since starting work in Australia I have discovered a lot of things are very different: coins stamped in 1838 are venerated with awe, light rain means ‘stop working’ and the term ‘Post-medieval’ suddenly makes very little sense. But soil is, thankfully,
  • Genetic study traces bison's common ancestor

    New research by Professor Beth Shapiro of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute and University of Alberta Professor Duane Froese has identified North America's oldest bison fossils and helped construct a bison genealogy establishing that a common maternal ancestor arrived between 130,000 and 195,000 years ago, during a previous ice age.This is a Yukon Wood Bison [Credit: Yukon Government]Shapiro, Froese and colleagues used new...
    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Geoff Wainwright obituary

    Influential archaeologist who helped to change the public experience of StonehengeThe young Geoff Wainwright once nervously approached Dame Kathleen Kenyon to inquire about employment prospects in archaeology. She apparently told him that without an inheritance or private income he had no hope. Luckily, he disregarded her advice and went on to become a big influence on archaeology in Britain and Europe.Geoff, who has died aged 79, was fascinated by archaeology from an early age and in 1956, whil
  • A Rare Iron ‘Pig’ from Steart Farm, Devon

     The built heritage team has recently recorded a group of 18th–19th-century farm buildings, including a Grade II listed farmhouse, at Steart Farm, Buck’s Cross, near Bideford on the north Devon coast. The Level 4 record was carried out for RPS Planning and Development in advance of construction of the new Route 39 academy on the site. The work included detailed digital 3D measured survey, photography, fabric analysis and documentary research. Analysis of the plan form and

Follow @archaeology_uk1 on Twitter!