Sunday, 2 February 2014

Summer Courses in Archaeology

The Oxford Experience Summer School

Courses in Archaeology

The Oxford Experience Summer School is held at Christ Church, Oxford

The Oxford Experience Summer School offers a number of one-week courses in archaeology as part of its programme.

Participants live in Christ Church - the largest of the Oxford Colleges - and take their meals in the Great Hall, which is the hall that inspired the Hogwarts Hall in the Harry Potter films.

Courses are limited to a maximum of twelve participants and tend to fill up rather quickly, so early application is advised.

Youcan find out more about the Oxford Experience here...

Friday, 18 October 2013

Reconstruction of ancient Slavic boat in Rugen.

Reconstruction of ancient Slavic boat in Rugen.
A significant archaeological discovery was made in the village of Ralswiek on the legendary island of Rügen in 1967. During roadworks an excavator dug out several oak planks from the ground.  The road workers took their finding to a team of archaeologists working nearby and those soon began archaeological excavations during which four ancient Slavic ships and a trading settlement was uncovered. The settlement was one of the most important ports on the Baltic coast existed the 8th century. It was proposed that Rujani (an early Slavic tribe) harboured their fleet in the place of archealogical discovery because it is located in the Bay area protected from sea storms. The village of Ralswiek was destroyed by the enemies, most likely by Danes. This is evidenced by the traces of fire and hidden treasure of 2,203 Arab dichroism.
The archaeological excavation of the ships was not easy. Excacavated ships had to be buried in the ground because there were no funds allocated by the state for ships’ preservation. The ships were dug out for second time in 1980 to be shown to an international conference. The ships had to be buried in the ground once again as no money was provided by the state to preserve the ships.  It was only in 1993 the state provided the funds for archaeological excavations and preservation of ships. The ships were dug out for third time, adequately preserved and a team of ship builders was appointed for ship reconstruction to go ahead.
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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Archaeology: 7000-year-old defensive wall emerges near Bulgaria’s Shoumen

The dry spell blanketing Bulgaria for the past two months has resulted in an unexpected archaeological discovery, with the remains of a 7000-year-old defensive wall emerging from the waters of the Ticha accumulation lake near the town of Shoumen in northeastern Bulgaria.
The wall is more than five meters tall, made of rocks that are being held together by clay. The wall has an arrowslit and appears to be better built than other fortifications dating back to the same period in this part of Europe, historian Stefan Chohadjiev from Veliko Turnovo University told Bulgarian National Television.
On the southern approach of the hill, the fortification is at its strongest, with three parallel lines of defence built to repel attackers. The inhabitants of the stronghold appear to have been a frequent target of attacks, this being the most likely reason why its defences have been built up, instead of featuring only the more traditional moat, according to Chohadjiev.

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Friday, 16 August 2013

Oxford Experience 2014

The programme for the Oxford Experience Summer School is now online.  Registration will not begin until late September, but now is the time to start planning your courses for next summer.

You can find the programme here...

Badger digs up medieval warrior graves

A badger has led German archaeologists to a stunning find of medieval warrior graves, complete with one skeleton still clutching a sword and a wearing snake-shaped buckle on his belt. 

Scientists are now examining the burial site where at least eight people were buried.

Artist and voluntary monument maintenance man Lars Wilhelm said he was watching badgers near his home in Brandenburg, north Germany, when he realized they were digging into an ancient grave. 

He said he had been watching the progress of an enormous badger sett for five years. "My wife and I - we are both sculptors - wanted to put artworks in there." 

But this was now out of the question, he said. "The bones changed everything," he added. 

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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Possible vampire graves found in Poland

Archaeologists in Gliwice, southern Poland have discovered a burial ground where the dead were laid to rest in accordance with practices for alleged vampires.

Possible vampire graves found in Poland
Skeletons at the site in Gliwice [Credit: Regional Conservator of Monuments, Polamd]
Four skeletons were found at the site, where mandatory digs were being carried out prior to the construction of a ring road. In each case, the deceased had been buried with the head between the legs.

According to folk beliefs, this prevented a possible vampire from finding his or her way back to the land of the living.

There was no trace at the burial ground of any earthly possessions, such as jewellery, belts or buckles.

“It's very difficult to tell when these burials were carried out,” archaeologist Dr Jacek Pierzak told the Dziennik Zachodni newspaper.

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Monday, 10 June 2013

On the beginnings of urban life in Poland

When did cities begin to thrive in Poland? Was it associated with the German colonization in the thirteenth century, or had the Piast developed these centres several hundred years earlier? Prof. Zbyszko Górczak of the Institute of History, A. Mickiewicz University in Poznań, presents contemporary position of Polish historiography.
"The history of the dispute between the Polish and German historiographers is long and dates back to the birth of modern historiography in the second half of the nineteenth century. The dispute was intertwined with nationalist slogans, German scientists and politicians viewed the matter of the formation of cities in the East as evidence of the inferiority of Slavic civilization, which of course gave rise to protests of Polish science. The conflict has not died down until the end of the communist era in the late 1980s" - explained Prof. Górczak.

From the very beginning, Polish scientists argued the native and very early birth of urban life in Poland. This was supported by renowned scholars like Prof. Gerard Labuda and Prof. Henryk Łowmiański. At the other extreme were German researchers, convinced that the idea of the formation of the cities was brought to the East only by immigrants from Germany.

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