Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Archaeologists accidentally discover dozens of ancient shipwrecks at the bottom of the Black Sea

The Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project had intended to find out how quickly water levels rose in the Black Sea after the last Ice Age, but the team ended up discovering a whole lot more than they had bargained for, Quartzreports. While examining the seabeds, the scientists found dozens and dozens of previously undiscovered shipwrecks — 41 in all.
"The wrecks are a complete bonus, but a fascinating discovery, found during the course of our extensive geophysical surveys," the project's principal investigator, Jon Adams, said in a statement.
Many of the shipwrecks were in spectacular condition due to the low oxygen levels that exist nearly 500 feet below the surface. "Certainly no one has achieved models of this completeness on shipwrecks at these depths," Adams said.

Many of the ships date back to the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The researchers are using photographs to build 3D models of their finds and hope tolearn more about "the maritime interconnectivity of Black Sea coastal communities and manifest ways of life and seafaring that stretch back into prehistory." Jeva Lange

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Thursday, 20 October 2016


This newly discovered over 1,000-year-old golden heart jewel with glass enamel is believed to have belonged to a 10th century Bulgarian Tsaritsa (Empress). Photo: Shum

A remarkable golden jewel in the shape of a heart decorated with a five-color enamel, which may have belonged to the wife of Tsar Petar I (r. 927-969), has been discovered by archaeologists during excavations in Veliki Preslav (“Great Preslav"), Shumen District, in today’s Northeast Bulgaria, which was the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire (632/680 – 1018) from 893 until 970.
The heart-shaped 23-karat gold jewel has been found in the ruins of what is believed to have been an imperial residence of the Tsars of the First Bulgarian Empire who ruled from Veliki Preslav.
(Between 680 and 893, the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire was the nearby city of Pliska which is especially notable for its 9th century Great Basilica, among other things.)
The golden heart is 4 cm wide and 3.5 cm tall, and dated back to the middle of the 10th century, which is precisely the time of the reign of Bulgaria’s Tsar Petar I, the son of Tsar Simeon I the Great (r. 893-927).

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Missing Viking-era rune stone turns up in Sweden

A Viking-era rune stone that went missing for almost two centuries has been found after a Swedish archaeologist stumbled on it almost by chance.
The find took place during installation work of a lightning conductor at Hagby Church, west of the central Swedish university town of Uppsala. It was found underground a few metres from the building.
"We knew that there had been a medieval church there, but didn't know that this rune stone was in that exact location," Emelie Sunding, archaeologist at Uppland Museum, who was present during the construction project to preserve any historic remains discovered, told The Local on Wednesday.
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Viking arrowheads emerge from melting Norwegian glaciers

High up in the mountains, archaeologists are now discovering human traces dating as far back as the Stone age.

The oldest ice in this snowdrift glacier may have formed in the Stone Age. Now the ice is melting, and archaeologists have a golden opportunity to find ancient traces of human activity. 
(Photo: Lasse Biørnstad,

Julian Martinsen bends down and places a tape measure next to a small treasure located between two large rocks. He is the curator and archaeologist in Oppland County and has been  tasked with picking up and packing the artefacts that the team of archaeologists find.
“This is a rare specimen, a bird point,” says Martinsen, as he picks a mysterious arrowhead up off the ground. The arrow has a very special appearance. The point is split in half, like two knife blades facing each other.
According to Martinsen, it stems from the Viking Age, between 900 and 1050 CE. The dating is based on what kinds of arrows and building techniques people used in different time periods.
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