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Archaeology

Engineering technology revealing secrets of Roman coins

Archaeologists and engineers from the University of Southampton are collaborating with the British Museum to examine buried Roman coins using the latest X-ray imaging technology.

Originally designed for the analysis of substantial engineering parts, such as jet turbine blades, the powerful scanning equipment at Southampton's µ-VIS Centre for Computed Tomography is being used to examine Roman coins buried in three archaeological artefacts from three UK hoards.

The centre's equipment can scan inside objects -- rotating 360 degrees whilst taking thousands of 2D images, which are then used to build detailed 3D images. In the case of the coins, the exceptionally high energy/high resolution combination of the Southampton facilities...

Jesus's wife? Scholar announces existence of a new early Christian gospel from Egypt

Papyrus fragment: front. (Credit: © Karen L. King 2012)

Four words on a previously unknown papyrus fragment provide the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus had been married, Harvard Professor Karen King told the 10th International Congress of Coptic Studies today.

King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, announced the existence of the ancient text at the Congress's meeting, held every four years and hosted this year by the Vatican's...

Roman military camp dating back to the conquest of Gaul throws light on a part of world history

In the vicinity of Hermeskeil, a small town some 30 kilometers southeast of the city of Trier in the Hunsrueck region in the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, archaeologists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have confirmed the location of the oldest Roman military fortification known in Germany to date. These findings shed new light on the Roman conquest of Gaul. The camp was presumably built during Julius Caesars’ Gallic War in the late 50s B.C.

Nearby...

Dinosaurs lighter than previously thought

 Scientists have developed a new technique to accurately measure the weight and size of dinosaurs and discovered they are not as heavy as previously thought.

University of Manchester biologists used lasers to measure the minimum amount of skin required to wrap around the skeletons of modern-day mammals, including reindeer, polar bears, giraffes and elephants.

They discovered that the animals had almost exactly 21% more body mass than the minimum skeletal 'skin and bone' wrap...

Hidden graves of the Holocaust

An article in the most recent issue of Journal of Conflict Archaeology' by forensic archaeologist Caroline Sturdy Colls explores the pioneering changes made to the archaeological methodology and techniques used to uncover surviving archaeological remains and landscapes of the Holocaust.   The article discusses a number of case studies, including one conducted by the author on Treblinka extermination camp in Poland which operated between 23 July 1942 and 17 November 1943. During...

Fossil skeleton of strange, ancient digging mammal clears up 30-year-old evolutionary debate

Shortly after dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops went extinct 65 million years ago, Earth's ancient landscapes were filled with unusual mammals only distantly related to those alive today. Until recently, one of these creatures, Ernanodon antelios, was only known from a single, highly distorted specimen that raised many questions about its habits and evolutionary relationships.

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, scientists describe a second...

Archaeologists complete survey of Charleston Harbor Civil War Naval Battlefield

— What remains of a five-year siege for control of Charleston Harbor during the Civil War now lay in watery graves amid the harbor's channels and under the beaches of bordering sea islands.

Thanks to a team of archaeologists at the University of South Carolina, the Charleston Harbor naval battlefield has been mapped for the first time, providing historical and archaeological detail on the drawn-out struggle that spanned 1861-1865. The survey shows where military actions took place...

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Book review

Dinosaurs Encyclopedia

Book Review

Dinosaurs: The Most Complete, Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages ... WRITTEN BY A PROFESSIONAL paleontologist specifically for young readers, this guide to the Dinosauria is packed...