Monday, July 18, 2005

Biblical Scroll Fragments Found in Israel

A secretive encounter with a Bedouin in a desert valley led to the discovery of two fragments from a nearly 2,000-year-old parchment scroll -- the first such finding in decades, an Israeli archaeologist said Friday.

The finding has given rise to hope that the Judean Desert may yield more treasures, said Professor Chanan Eshel, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv's Bar Ilan University.

We're supposedly panting, but if anyone is, it's the Biblical people.

Research answers, raises questions

Paul Shackel doesn't want to do archaeology solely to dig up stuff.

"I want to do archaeology that's socially relevant to a larger community," Shackel said. "We need to move beyond what we already know. We need to start looking at different angles, the larger context."

Shackel, head of the Center for Heritage Resources at the University of Maryland, oversees a summer field school at the New Philadelphia site in Pike County. A $226,500 National Science Foundation grant brings nine students to the site for three summers.

Many issues in this story ripe for comment, but we're not going to today.

Archaeologists find artifacts in Greene

The hills of Greene County are beginning to come alive with the sounds of history.

Once thought to be a dormant area with little historical value, archaeologists and historians have recently uncovered a rich substrata of the area's past dating back thousands of years.

And they intend to share their findings with members of the public during a meeting at 10 a.m. Monday.

Greene County Museum and Historical Society president James Dunnam said he approached county commissioners about three years ago with the idea of transforming the fourth floor of the county courthouse - an abandoned jail - into a historical museum.

We think this story is also covered here.

Boy Scouts, historical society, NCC join forces in local archaeology dig

The back yard of a Darien barn doesn't sound like the most logical place for an archeological dig.

But for members of the Darien Historical Society and the Norwalk Community College Archeology Club, the possibility of finding clues to past lives is tantalizing.

Yesterday, Ernie Wiegand, a professor and coordinator of the school's archeology program, led the groups on a dig at 714 Post Road between the spot where the 1736 Bates-Scofield house once stood and where its barn remains.

Archaeologists conduct historic dig

Led by Professor Richard Hodges of Britain's University of East Anglia, the dig is part of a decade-long project to learn how society was transformed at the end of the classical period of ancient Greece and Rome, the Washington Post reported.

Of special interest, Hodges said, is the Albanian city of Butrint, since during 3,000 years, successive civilizations made that city their home. Hodges said Butrint was first settled between 1000 and 800 B.C., and its location along major trade routes gave it importance.

The city, in turn, was Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine. Then the Venetians and Ottomans built forts to protect the city. During the 5th century Butrint had a population of as many as 20,000, he said.

One of the more interesting finds so far is what's believed to be the first ceramics found in the central Mediterranean dating from the Middle Ages, Hodges said.

That's the whole thing. More here.

Update from Pompeii Archaeologists Unveil Pompeii Treasure

Decorated cups and fine silver platters were once again polished and on display Monday as archaeologists unveiled an ancient Roman dining set that lay hidden for two millennia in the volcanic ash of Pompeii.

In 2000, archaeologists found a wicker basket containing the silverware in the ruins of a thermal bath near the remains of the Roman city, said Pietro Giovanni Guzzo, head of Pompeii's archaeological office.

More Chinese tombs Ancient tombs discovered in Chongqing

Archaeologists have discovered agroup of ancient tombs dating back nearly a thousand years ago at a highway construction site in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

Experts from the municipal archaeological and cultural relic institute said Monday most of the tombs were built during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and that the discovery provided "important tangible evidence" for the study of the culture and traditions as well as the ancient funeral customs in the area.

Fight! Fight! Egypt Demands Return of Pharaonic Reliefs

Egypt demanded that institutions in Britain and Belgium return two pharaonic reliefs it says were chipped off tombs and stolen 30 years ago, threatening Sunday to end their archaeological work here if they refuse.

The 4,400-year-old reliefs, taken from two tombs uncovered in 1965, are currently at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Britain and the Catholic University of Brussels. A request has been sent to both seeking their return, Culture Minister Farouq Hosni said in a statement.