Sunday, April 27, 2008
I sure hope this doesn't turn out to be the Egyptian equivalent of "Al Capone's vaults"!
"Archaeologists have revealed plans to uncover the 2000 year-old tomb of ancient Egypt's most famous lovers, Cleopatra and the Roman general Mark Antony later this year.
Zahi Hawass, prominent archaeologist and director of Egypt's superior council for antiquities announced a proposal to test the theory that the couple were buried together.
He discussed the project in Cairo at a media conference about the ancient pharaohs.
Hawass said that the remains of the legendary Egyptian queen and her Roman lover, Mark Antony, were inside a temple called Tabusiris Magna, 30 kilometres from the port city of Alexandria in northern Egypt.
Until recently access to the tomb has been hindered because it is under water, but archaeologists plan to drain the site so they can begin excavation in November.
Among the clues to suggest that the temple may contain Cleopatra's remains is the discovery of numerous coins with the face of the queen.
According to Hawas, Egyptologists have also uncovered a 120-metre-long underground tunnel with many rooms, some of which could contain more details about Cleopatra."
Sunday, April 13, 2008
"The remains of hundreds of victims, believed to have been killed in a plague that swept Italy 1500 years ago, have been found south of Rome.
The bodies of men, women and children were found in Castro dei Volsci, in the region of Lazio, during excavations carried out by Lazio archaeological office.
News of the extraordinary discovery was reported in the magazine, "Archeologia Viva".
The victims are believed to have been victims of the Justinian Plague, a pandemic that killed as many as 100 million people around the world during a 50 year period in the 6th century A.D.
It spread through Europe as far north as Denmark and as far west as Ireland.
The archaeological find is the first evidence of the devastating impact of the plague.
The plague swept across the Mediterranean during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the early 540s and according to some historians changed the course of European history because the empire then entered a period of decline."
You can read more about this plague and period of history in "Justinian's Flea" by William Rosen.
"HE was many miles from home - a Roman soldier posted to Manchester, perhaps feeling cold and lonely, longing for loved ones left behind.
He was called Aelius Victor. And now after 2,000 years an altar he built to keep a promise to the goddesses he prayed to has been unearthed in the middle of the city.
The altar - described by experts as being in 'fantastic' condition - was discovered during an archaeological dig at a site on Greater Jackson Street earmarked for development.
Aelius Victor had dedicated it to two minor goddesses.
A Latin inscription on the altar says: "To the mother goddesses Hananeftis and Ollototis, Aelius Victor willingly and deservedly fulfils a vow."
The find marks the first time in nearly 400 years that archaeologists have been able to put a name to a Mancunian Roman solider.
In 1612 another altar was found by the River Medlock, dedicated by Lucius Seniacianius Martius, a centurion - an officer - with the 20th Legion from York.
It is believed that Aelius Victor may have been a centurion commander posted from Germany - where worship of Hananeftis and Ollototis originates."
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
One of the most important archaeological finds for decades has been uncovered during a sewer improvement project in Poulton.
The remains of a Roman roundhouse, thought to date back to the second century, have been discovered on grazing land close to the town.
The find was made by workers from United Utilities who were involved in preliminary excavations at the start of a £10 million sewer improvement scheme for the area.
A team of 10 archaeologists is now working at the football pitch-sized site, painstakingly uncovering and documenting what remains of the Romano-British roundhouse which is around 10m in diameter.
A small amount of black burnished ware pottery, thought to date from around the second century, has been found which has helped the experts to date the roundhouse.
The remains of the house, which would have been a dwelling house, include an outside drainage gulley, holes for the timber support posts which would have been used, some cobbles and a storage pit.
The archaeological team believe they have also discovered signs of a further roundhouse a few metres away, indicating this could have been the site of an early settlement.