Thursday, June 29, 2017

Analysis of Neanderthal teeth grooves uncovers evidence of prehistoric dentistry

Three views of the four articulated teeth making up KDP 20. a. occlusal view showing lingually placed mesial interproximal wear facet on P4 (arrow) and buccal wear on M3; b. lingual view showing a mesially placed interproximal wear facet on P4 (arrow), chips from lingual faces of all teeth and rotated, partially impacted M3; c. buccal view showing rotated buccal face of M3 (arrow) and hypercementosis on its root.
Credit: David Frayer, University of Kansas

Neanderthals treating toothaches?
A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher.
"As a package, this fits together as a dental problem that the Neanderthal was having and was trying to presumably treat itself, with the toothpick grooves, the breaks and also with the scratches on the premolar," said David Frayer, professor emeritus of Anthropology. "It was an interesting connection or collection of phenomena that fit together in a way that we would expect a modern human to do. Everybody has had dental pain, and they know what it's like to have a problem with an impacted tooth."
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Dead heads: Turkish site reveals more evidence of neolithic 'skull cult'

Fragments of three skulls found at Göbekli Tepe have hallmarks of being carved with flint after being scalped and defleshed first

 A carving found on a pillar at Göbekli Tepe, apparently showing a figurine holding a head. Photograph: German Archaeological Institute (DAI)

Wednesday 28 June 2017 20.06 BST Last modified on Wednesday 28 June 2017 20.12 BST
Fragments of carved bone unearthed at an ancient site on a Turkish hillside are evidence that the people who spent time there belonged to a neolithic “skull cult” – a group that embraces rituals around the heads of the dead.

The remains were uncovered during field work at Göbekli Tepe, an 11,000-year-old site in the south-east of the country, where thousands of pieces of human bone were found, including sections of skulls bearing grooves, holes and the occasional dab of ochre.

Pieces of three adult skulls recovered from the sitehave hallmarks of being carved with flint after being scalped and defleshed first. Evidence that the latter was not always an effortless affair is found in multiple scrape marks where the muscles once attached to the bone.

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Roman oil and wine pottery found at Ipplepen dig site

Archaeologists washing evidence of the iron works and pottery

Archaeologists say pre-Roman Britons who lived in a rural location since the 4th Century BC may have enjoyed Mediterranean oil and wine.

Radiocarbon analysis of a dig site showed there was a settlement at Ipplepen, Devon, for about 1200 years longer than previously thought.

The discovery of Roman pottery suggests there was a community trading widely with the Roman world.

University of Exeter archaeologists are digging at the site this month.

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Podkarpackie / Unique figurine from 7 thousand years ago discovered in arable field

Photo by Piotr Alagierski
While walking in a field in one of the villages of Podkarpacie, an archaeologist from Wielkopolska came across a fragment of a clay figurine from around 7 thousand years ago, depicting a man. This is one of the few finds of this type from this period in Poland - believes the finder.
Archaeologist Piotr Alagierski spent his vacation in the village Kosina in Podkarpacie. On a Sunday walk in a cultivated field, he stumbled upon a 7-centimeter fragment of a man figurine made of fired clay. Most of the clearly shaped head, torso and part of the hand have survived to our times - according to the information provided to PAP by the finder.

"There is no doubt that this is a national-level monument - one of the oldest depictions of a human in our country. Similar finds from that period are very rare" - the archaeologist noted in an interview with PAP.

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7,000 year old human remains discovered in Swiss city

The remains of ancient villages dating back to 5,500BC have been discovered on a construction site in Sion in the Valais.

Burial found at the site [Credit: Valais Archaeological Service]

The find was made by archaeologists during building work on the site of the the Arsenaux cultural centre in the city, Sion authorities said in a statement on Thursday. 

The archaeologists uncovered evidence of human habitation, including graves and the remains of houses, which date back as far as the Neolithic period (5,500-4,800 BC). 

Construction work at the site – intended to be a new centre for the city’s archives – has been suspended until in mid-September so archaeologists can carry out their work. 

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Avebury stone circle contains hidden square, archaeologists find

A model of the inner square at the Avebury Neolithic stone circl.
Photograph: Mark Gillings / University of Leicester

Radar technology detects inner stone structure thought to commemorate Neolithic building dating to 3500BC and a focal point for Neolithic communityA mysterious square formation has been discovered within the Neolithic stone circle monument at Avebury, rewriting the narrative of one of the wonders of the prehistoric world.
Archaeologists believe the hidden stones, discovered using radar technology, were one of the earliest structures at the site and may have commemorated a Neolithic building dating to around 3500 BC.
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Archaeologists unearth prehistoric ritual area around Bryn Celli Ddu

Bryn Celli Ddu, a Neolithic passage tomb on the Isle of Anglesey. 
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Previously unknown Anglesey landscape possibly includes cairn cemetery in what experts described as ‘really exciting stuff’

Archaeologists have uncovered a prehistoric ritual landscape that possibly includes a cairn cemetery around a 5,000-year-old burial mound aligned with the summer solstice sun on Anglesey.

Though far less famous than Stonehenge, the spectacle of sunlight shining down a long narrow passage to light up the inner chamber of Bryn Celli Ddu on the longest day of the year is unforgettable. Excavation now suggests the site had significance for prehistoric people that lasted for millennia after the earth mound was raised over a stone passage grave.

The monument, whose name translates as the mound in the dark grove, was first excavated in 1865 and heavily reconstructed in the 1920s, but excavations over the last three summers – with members of the public joining archaeologists – are unveiling 5,000 years of human activity in the landscape. 

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