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Archaeological News



Richard III suffered from roundworm infection

Researchers based at the University of Cambridge and the University of Leicester have uncovered evidence that Richard III suffered from a roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides) infection, according to a Clinical Picture published in The Lancet.

The body of Richard III, who ruled England from 1483 – 85, was discovered in 2012 by archaeologists at the University of Leicester, and scientists have since been undertaking careful analysis of the remains, in an attempt to shed further light on the attributes and history of the controversial king.

A team of researchers led by Dr Piers Mitchell, of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, UK, used a powerful microscope to examine soil samples taken from the skeleton’s pelvis and skull, as well as from the soil surrounding the grave. The microscope revealed multiple roundworm eggs in the soil sample taken from the pelvis, where the intestines would have been situated in life. However, there was no sign of eggs in soil from the skull, and very few eggs in the soil that surrounded the grave, suggesting that the eggs found in the pelvis area resulted from a genuine roundworm infection during his life, rather than from external contamination by the later dumping of human waste in the area.

Roundworms are parasitic nematodes, which infect humans when people ingest their eggs via contaminated food, water, or soil. Once eaten, the eggs hatch into larvae, which migrate through the tissues of the body to the lungs where they mature. They then crawl up the airways to the throat to be swallowed back into the intestines, where they can grow into adults around a foot long. Roundworm infection is thought to be one of the commonest health conditions in the world, affecting up to a quarter of all people globally, although it is rare in the UK today.

According to Dr Mitchell, “Our results show that Richard was infected with roundworms in his intestines, although no other species of intestinal parasite were present in the samples we studied. We would expect nobles of this period to have eaten meats such as beef, pork and fish regularly, but there was no evidence for the eggs of the beef, pork or fish tapeworm. This may suggest that his food was cooked thoroughly, which would have prevented the transmission of these parasites.”

Dr Jo Appleby, Lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology at the University of Leicester, UK, said: “Despite Richard's noble background, it appears that his lifestyle did not completely protect him from intestinal parasite infection, which would have been very common at the time.” The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society. The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.

Full bibliographic information 'The intestinal parasites of King Richard III' Piers D Mitchell, Hui-Yuan Yeh, Jo Appleby, Richard Buckley Published online in the Lancet, September 4, 2013

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61409-9/abstract


Stonehenge laser scanning reveals Rock Art and much more

Following a detailed laser scan of Stonehenge last year, an analysis has just been published by English Heritage. It reveals many more axe carvings and much new information on how the stones were shaped.  More..


Hoard of 70,000 Iron Age Coins found on Jersey in the english channel islands

When metal detectorists Reg Mead and Richard Miles found Iron Age coins under a Jersey field, they promptly reported their find to Jersey Heritage who excavated to reveal a massive hoard of coins dating to around 56BC. The hoard is still largely in one piece and is being excavated under laboratory conditions by Neil Mahrer. More..

The Jersey Iron Age Hoard


Inhabitants of Madrid' ate elephants' meat and bone marrow 80,000 years ago

Archaeologists have found cut and percussion marks in elephant bones in the site of Preresa, Madrid, Spain. Photo: Joaquín Panera.

Humans that populated the banks of the river Manzanares (Madrid, Spain) during the Middle Palaeolithic (between 127,000 and 40,000 years ago) fed themselves on pachyderm meat and bone marrow. This is what a Spanish study shows and has found percussion and cut marks on elephant remains in the site of Preresa, Madrid. more


18th Century shipwreck under the world trade center, new york

Archaeologists have now analysed the date and structure of the timbers of the 18th century shipwreck found under the ruins of New York's World Trade Center. more


Well preserved 5th century AD ship found in istanbul

Another merchant vessel, this time "exquisitely preserved" has been found at the Yenikapi Marmaray excavations in Istanbul. more


Bronze Age Mummies from scotland made from jigsaw of body Parts

Two of the skeletons found at Cladh Halan, South Uist, Scotland in 2001 were made up from a number of people, according to new research.

Previous studies have shown that the bodies were mummified and kept as mummies centuries before they were buried inside the Bronze Age houses 3000 years ago. more


Neolithic Cosmology: A carving of a Comet

Was Halley’s Comet visible in the skies above Orkney in the later Neolithic, say around 3000BC to 2500 BC? The archaeologists at the Ness of Brodgar have just uncovered what they call a “Comet Stone”, which bears a good resemblance to Halley's Comet. It was found last Friday (12 August) in Structure Ten and it features a circle with three slightly diverging lines trailing after it. Tweet me at archaeology_ws if you know. more


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Top archaeology news sites

There are many websites with the latest world archaeological news. Here are Win Scutt's top recommendations:

  1. Archaeologica Hand-picked links to each day's top stories. Usually about six per day.
  2. Archaeology Magazine Updated every weekday, a summary with links to about six news stories.
  3. BBC Latest Archaeology News Selected top stories - about one per day
  4. National Geographic Ancient World News Brief  summaries linked to full stories written by National Geographic reporters. About one story per day.
  5. Discovery Channel Brief summaries linked to pages, about one story per day.
  6. Stone Pages Archaeo News
  7. EurekAlert Public Releases of latest research. About 2 per week.
  8. Science Daily Brief summaries and links to full stories by Science Daily reporters. Mixed with Palaeontology stories. One per day.
  9. Archaeology News Automatic News Feed
  10. Explorator Links to David Meadow's weekly newsletters, each containing about 50 links to the week's stories.
  11. Archaeology in Europe Regularly updated with summaries and links. About 20 stories per week, but only Europe.
  12. Google Archaeology News. Search results for the last week. Automatically listed, so much irrelevant material.
  13. Yahoo Anthropology and Archaeology Automatic news feed with some irrelevant content.
  14. Topix Archaeology News A mixed collection of news stories

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World Archaeology News This Week

ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS

2014-4-15
Neanderthals were good parents - according to archaeologists from the University of York. more
2014-4-15
Archaeologists have found the earliest evidence for humans in Scotland. more
2014-4-15
Seventeen examples of rockart in NE England have been scheduled as Ancient Monuments. more
2014-4-15
An object found with a metal detector in Kent may be the oldest die for making coins in Britain. more
2014-4-15
Excavations at Blackfriars in Leicester have revealed an Iron Age mint - where coins were made. more
2014-4-15
Rome was founded in 753BC - or was it? New evidence suggests it may be a century older. more
2014-4-8
At 45,000 years old, the oldest Homo sapiens genome has just been sequenced. more
2014-4-8
We, Homo, are the only primate whose teeth get smaller as our brains get bigger. more
2014-4-8
In Connemara, Ireland, the winter storms revealed a submerged forest - and now an ancient wooden trackway has been found in that forest. more
2014-4-8
On the Isle of Arran, Scotland, a Bronze Age cremated skeleton has evidence of a tumour. more
2014-4-8
The mausoleum of Rome's greatest emperor, Augustus, who died 2000 years ago, is to be restored. more
2014-4-8
Offa's Dyke, the 177 mile border of the Kingdom of Mercia, may have been built two ceturies before Offa. more
2014-3-25
An amazing 3,200 year old boat has been found in the sea off Croatia. more
2014-3-25
Egypt has just enveiled two colossal statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III. more
2014-3-25
Visitors to a Swedish museum can now virtually unwrap an Egyptian mummy. more
2014-3-25
In Wiltshire, England, archaeologists have uncovered a mysterious skeleton of a woman with her feet removed. more
2014-3-25
A Roman irrigation system has been discovered in Cambridge, England. more
2014-3-25
A Roman sculpture has been unearthed in Lincoln, England. more
2014-3-18
One of our earliest ancestors has now been dated to 3 million years ago. more
2014-3-18
An ancient ritual wand has been discovered in Syria. more
2014-3-18
3,000 year old skeleton with cancer helps scientists understand the evolution of disease. more
2014-3-18
Studies of the Chinese Terracotta Army have shown how their crossbows were made. more
2014-3-18
Ancient petroglyphs found by drone in southern Utah, USA. more
2014-3-18
Excavations in medieval Northampton have revealed a bread oven and a cottage industry. more
2014-3-11
30,000 year old virus is found in the Siberian permafrost - and it's still alive.more
2014-3-11
Scientists have been examining the genome of a 7,000 year old hunter-gatherer skeleton from Spain. more
2014-3-11
A letter from a young Roman legionary has been deciphered. more
2014-3-11
Archaeologists are uncovering ancient settlements on the "dark side" of Vesuvius. more
2014-3-11
In Colorado, USA, a new study suggests a large pit was not a reservoir, but was built for rituals. more
2014-3-11
Bronze Age rock art has been found in the Brecon Beacons, Wales. more
2014-3-11
The legs of an 800 year old monk have been found sticking out of a cliff face in Wales. more
2014-3-4
How was America settled from Asia some 15000 years ago? more
2014-3-4
The world's oldest cheese has been found in an ancient cemetery. more
2014-3-4
An ancient Roman gladiator school has been found near Vienna, Austria. morec An ancient Roman house has been found at Arezzo in central Italy. more
2014-3-4
Archaeologists have found Germany's second oldest church. more
2014-3-4
A boat which sank off Benbecula, Scotland, 400 years ago may be uncovered this summer. more
2014-3-4
A candelabra found on the seabed off Ibiza, Spain, offers clues to medieval navigation routes. more
2014-3-4
Scientists are learning from a fossilised human faeces from the 14th century. more
2014-3-4
Storms have uncovered a World War I wreck off the Cornish coast of Britain. more
2014-2-25
Treasure has been found at the ancient biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah in Israel. more
2014-2-25
The source of some of the stone used to build Stonehenge has been identified. more
2014-2-25
German police have recovered a treasure of gold and silver worth about 1 million Euro. more
2014-2-25
A decapitated skeleton has been excavated in Wanborough, Wiltshire, England. more
2014-2-25
The skeleton of a young man stabbed to death has been discovered in East Lothian, Scotland. more
2014-2-25
Excavations at Haddenham, Cambridgeshire, England are giving a valuable insight into life and death in Anglo Saxon England. more
2014-2-25
Researchers claim discovery of America’s oldest fort. more
2014-2-11
Extraordinarily old - 800,000 years - footprints on a beach in Norfolk, England. more
2014-2-11
New information on the kind of hominins who might have made those footprints comes from Spain. more
2014-2-11
Much later footprints from a Welsh beach, but still perhaps 4000 years old. more
2014-2-11
More news on the spectacular Bronze Age burial from Dartmoor, Devon, England. more
2014-2-11
And organic treasures have also been found in a famous neolithic settlement in Turkey. more
2014-2-11
Researchers are investigating an ancient site in eastern Crete. more
2014-2-11
A prehistoric village has been found in downtown Miami. more
2014-2-4
Swedish divers discover stone age artefacts. more
2014-2-4
New poems of Greek poet Sappho found. more
2014-2-4
A temple has been found under Milan Cathedral. more
2014-2-4
Researchers have confirmed that Charlemagne's bones are probably genuine. more
2014-2-4
Evidence has been found in East Sussex of pre-Roman iron working. more
2014-2-4
Remains of a medieval traitor's daughter has been found in Herefordshire. more
2013-1-28
A new study of ancient dna from a 7000 year old man suggests that he had blue eyes and dark skin. more
2014-1-28
The extinction of the Neanderthals may be in part due to interbreeding. more
2014-1-28
Good scientific evidence of the earliest known controlled use of fire. more
2014-1-28
The ancient Carthaginians sacrificed their own children, according to a new study. more
2014-1-28
An archaeological excavation in Cardigan Castle has uncovered an extraordinary range of finds.more
2014-1-21
During the Bronze Age more than 3,000 years ago, people in Denmark and Sweden were drinking some very interesting mixtures. more
2014-1-21
A fort in East Lothian, Scotland has produced evidence of the earliest use of steel in Britain. more
2014-1-21
Roman skulls found in London show evidence of violence. more
2014-1-21
Remains of King Alfred the Great may have been found in Winchester, England. more
2014-1-21
Despite the Taliban, Afghans are trying to restore their museums. more
2014-1-21
Melting glaciers in northern Italy reveal corpses of WWI soldiers. more
2014-1-14
Evidence of hunter gatherers living in what is now Guildford, England. more
2014-1-14
A wall painting at the world famous site in Turkey depicts a volcano - and now archaeologists think they know which volcano. more
2014-1-14
Chinese archaeologists have been uncovering the walls and towers of a 4000 year old city from the neolithic. more
2014-1-14
Ancient Greeks used portable grills at their picnics. more
2014-1-14
A US team working in Egypt has identified the tomb of a little known Pharaoh. more
2014-1-14
The fate of the Ark of the Covenant is revealed in a newly translated Hebrew text. more
2014-1-7
There are some strange features of Tutankhamun's mummification that suggest it was a reaction to his father's Aten cult. more
2014-1-7
Archaeologists have been excavating the tomb of a top official in ancient Egypt - and he was the head of beer production. more
2014-1-7
Analysis of scraps of fabric found in Israeli caves has revealed  highly prestigious blue and purple dyes. more
2014-1-7
Archaeologists have found evidence for a massacre 1200 years ago in France, and are trying to solve the mystery. more
2014-1-7
Excavations in a Mexico City tube station have turned up evidence of a skull rack. more
2014-1-7
A brooch has surprisingly come to light in a lump dug up in a Norwegian burial in the 1880s - and it appears to originate from Scotland or Ireland. more
23-12-24
The handprint of an early human who lived half a million years ago has been found in Austria. more
2013-12-23
Analysis of the dna in a Neanderthal toebone, 50,000 years old, suggests there were four species of early human living in Europe and Asia at that time. more
2013-12-23
A remarkable skeleton is on display at the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre which opened to the public last Wednesday. more
2013-12-23
A panel of rock art depicting spiders has been found in Egypt's Western Desert. more
2013-12-23
Suits of armour made from stone have been found at the mausoleum of China's Emperor Qin. more
2013-12-23
Archaeologists in Sudan excavating a medieval crypt have uncovered 7 mummies. more
2013-12-23
Storm clouds may have silver lining - archaeologists are asking people to look out for archaeological sites revealed by coastal storms. more
2013-12-10
dna sequenced from a 400,000 year old hominin from a Spanish cave. more
2013-12-10
Neanderthals organised their living spaces, according to new research. more
2013-12-10
Archaeologists have been studying 9000 year old musical instruments from China. more
2013-12-10
Some wooden tridents, 6000 years old, have gone on display in Carlisle, England. more
2013-12-10
The rock used for some of the stones at Stonehenge, England may have had musical properties. more
2013-12-10
A stunning set of medieval wall paintings has been found under the plaster of a Welsh church. more
2013-12-10
In the USA, archaeologists are digging up George Washington's pre-Revolutionary War kitchen. more
more
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