Bartholomew Gosnold is not a name you forget easily. It sounds gloriously Dickensian. Perhaps a friend of Barnaby Rudge. Or maybe a minor cleric from the works of Trollope. Still can't place it? Thought not. You really have never heard of him.
The previously anonymous Mr Gosnold has given rise to one of the stranger stories of the past week. In the churchyard of Shelley All Saints Church in Suffolk, researchers have been given permission to drill a hole into the coffin of a woman who died 400 years ago, and remove either a tooth or a small piece of bone. The DNA from this will then be used to determine whether a corpse found two years ago buried by the James river in Virginia is that of Bartholomew Gosnold.
More construction season finds Native American artifacts found at site of school construction
Construction of an elementary school just south of Memphis has been halted after workers found what archaeologists say could be a millennium-old Native American site.
Officials say human remains, pottery shards and projectile points dating back one-thousand years to the Middle Woodland Era have been found at the site of the DeSoto West Elementary School.
An archaeological team from the University of Memphis will conduct an initial field survey at the site Sunday.
More (apparently) here.
Today's news from Mehr Archaeologists collect 15,000 shards at Tang-e Bolaghi
A joint Iranian-Dutch team of archaeologists recently collected 15,000 shards dating back to the Sassanid and early Islamic eras at one of the sites in the Tang-e Bolaghi region of Fars Province.
The Iranian director of the team, Ali Asadi, said on Sunday that the shards were discovered at Site No. 64, which covers an area of nine kilometers.
“The collected shards are mostly cream colored, and the experts are currently identifying and classifying the fragments,” he added.
Mohr from Mehr 6000-year-old pottery workshop discovered at Toll-e Bondu
A team of archaeologists have discovered over 5000 pottery works and shards and a large pottery workshop at the 6000-year-old site of Toll-e Bondu in the southern Iranian province of Fars, the director of the archaeological team announced on Saturday.
“We unearthed the large number of earthenware items during the two phases of the excavation, which led to the identification of a major center for the mass production of pottery in the region,” Ehsan Yaghmaii added.
The pottery works were made of ocher and created with great precision.
And still MOHR from Mehr 2500-year-old gold unearthed at Bardak Siah
Four pieces of gold with a combined weight of about three kilograms were unearthed beside one of the columns of the main hall of the Darius Palace at Bardak Siah by a team of archaeologists working at the 2500-year-old site located near the city of Borazajan in Iran’s southern province of Bushehr, the director of the team announced on Sunday.
“Three pieces of the gold are folded thick sheets and the other piece seems to be the upper part of a cup, having a carved simple line on the edge,” Dr. Ehsan Yaghmaii added.
Mayan salt factory, canoe paddle stir archaeologists
A Louisiana archaeologist has discovered the remains of a massive Maya salt-producing complex submerged in a lagoon off the south coast of Belize.
The underwater site also revealed the first wooden structural artifacts from the Maya empire, including wooden poles and beams used in constructing the salt factories.
A wooden paddle from the canoes that were used to distribute the salt over inland waterways also was discovered — the first time such an object has been found.
This should eventually prove to be very interesting, if many more organic remains are found.
ANCIENT JAW BONE RAISES QUESTIONS OVER EARLY MAN
New research has revealed Britain's oldest fragment of modern human - a jaw bone unearthed in the Westcountry - is 6,000 years older than previously thought. The findings raise questions about current thinking on when modern man first inhabited the country. Carbon dating had indicated the piece of jaw bone, with only three teeth, originated around 31,000 years ago. But the specimen was recently deemed suspect, because it had been strengthened with paper glue some time around its excavation from Kents Cavern, Torquay, in 1927.
UK's oldest musical instrument keeps its title
An ancient horn has preserved its questionable reputation as Britain's oldest musical instrument.
Archaeologists yesterday displayed the Ripon charter horn and issued a ream of information on everything except its age. It is thought that the horn was given to the North Yorkshire city in AD886 by Alfred the Great.
Ripon is proud of its past, and the hornblower still sounds four blasts every evening at 9pm - although not on the charter horn.
"It's much too delicate for that," said Richard Hall of York Archaeological Trust, who led the study. He said that the research revealed interesting information, despite steering away from carbon dating. The archaeologists said that some of the early mediaeval craftwork suggests that the horn may have been a venerable object even then.
That's the whole thing.
Cannibalism update Stone Age Cutups
After excavating a cache of Neandertal fossils about 100 years ago at Krapina Cave in what's now Croatia, researchers concluded that incisions on the ancient individuals' bones showed that they had been butchered and presumably eaten by their comrades. That claim has proved difficult to confirm. A new, high-tech analysis indicates that the Krapina Neandertals ritually dismembered corpses in ways that must have held symbolic meaning for the group-whether or not Neandertals ate those remains.
Neandertals apparently possessed a facility for abstract thought that has often been regarded as unique to modern Homo sapiens, says study director Jill Cook of the British Museum in London. The Krapina Neandertals lived around 130,000 years ago.
"Some kind of mortuary practice that had symbolic significance was going on at Krapina," Cook suggests. Although cannibalism might also have occurred, the bodies were systematically sliced up rather than quickly butchered, in her view. "Even eating people is a complex behavior" that likely would have included ritual of some kind, the British anthropologist notes.
Antiquities Market update I Museum inquiry into 'smuggling' of ancient bowls
ONE of the world’s leading buyers of antiquities is at the heart of an inquiry to establish whether part of his multimillion-pound collection was illegally exported from the Middle East.
University College London has set up a committee of inquiry into the provenance of 650 Aramaic incantation bowls inscribed with magical texts, The Times has learnt.
The bowls were loaned to the university museum — the Petrie — by Martin Schoyen, a Norwegian tycoon who has built up one of the world’s finest collections of antiquities in private hands.
Antiquities Market update II Archaeologist warns tomb raiding rife in Asia
The head of the global body of archaeologists says the theft of sacred and historical artefacts is a huge problem in Asia.
Claire Smith, an Adelaide-based academic, says this weekend's return of the second part an ancient Ethiopian obelisk, looted by the Italians in the 1930s, highlights the importance of restoring lost history.