• Name: Paul McLerran
  • Locations:Virginia, United States
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Researching Early Man in Spain

This summer, Professor Michael Walker of the University of Murcia will be directing excavations and related activities at two early Paleolithic sites in southeastern Spain. The sites have turned up remains of Neanderthals and associated artifacts, including that of H. Heidelbergensis, a hominin species that may be ancestral to the Neanderthals. Discoveries have included Acheulian, Levalloison, and Mousterian implements, hominin teeth and bones, extinct fauna, and a hearth about 40,000 years old. The recorded periods of occupation are the Middle and Upper Pleistocene, making this an extremely exciting research site for investigations on early man in Europe. If interested, see the website for details.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Excavating a Roman City in Romania

A consortium and team from the University of Bucharest will be conducting archaeological excavations of underground aquaducts and other late Roman period (2nd to 6th Centuries A.D.) architecture near the village of Adamclisi, Romania, during the summer of 2006. Given the nature of the aquaducts and architectural evidence uncovered thus far, this Roman settlement in this one-time ancient province promises to reveal a city of sizable proportions, with very exciting finds to come. In addition, volunteer contributions for participation in the dig will go to support the educational community in the area, financially supporting the K-8 school in Adamclisi. The $1,100 fee covers food, accommodations, and transportation. Instructions and reading materials for this educational, skill-building experience are provided on-site. For more information, see the website for details.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Dig Spotlight: Diving for Early Roman Remains in the Mediterranean

This just in:

For 2006, the Ecomuseum of the Cape Cavalleria will be exploring the Roman port of Sanitja and the coast of the Cape of Cavalleria identifying structures of the Roman city of Sanisera as well as Roman shipwrecks. The port of Sanitja was not only occupied by the Romans. There are also ruins of a Muslim mosque and English defense tower which lead us to believe that we will find other vessels from these time periods.

The course is designed to provide practical experience in underwater archaeological field work, from site discovery to lab analysis. Participants will gain experience in various activities such as surveying methods, site reconnaissance, recording, drawing, mapping, position fixing, photography, and laboratory processing. Students will also attend lectures on Roman archaeology. The course runs six hours a day, six days a week. The day will be divided between diving in the port of Sanijta, lab work, exercises, lectures, videos and excursions. The course schedule is designed to be flexible because this operation is dependent on conditions at sea.

In addition to daily research activities, participants will learn about the history and culture of Menorca through organized excursions. The course is taught in English and Spanish.

Participants will be able to choose between Group 1: No open water diving certificate, or Group 2: Experienced diver with an open water diving certificate from an internationally recognized organization.

From AFOB Online

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Dig Spotlight: The Lost City of Helike

For the sea was raised by an earthquake and it submerged Helike, and also the temple of Poseidon........

---- Strabo

In 373 B.C., a massive earthquake and associated tsunami destroyed and sunk the ancient Greek city of Helike on the shores of the Gulf of Corinth. With it went scores of bronze and marble works of classical sculpture. Throughout most of history, its remains and exact location remained lost to the world........until 2001, when explorers discovered traces of the city under an ancient lagoon. Thus far, the finds include the workshops and public buildings of a Hellenistic town, a long section of the Roman road between Corinth and Patras, and a well-preserved Bronze Age town with large structures and cobblestone streets. The evidence points to not one but two cities submerged in the same area by earthquakes, the first having occurred twenty centuries before the second sealed the fate of its Classical successor. Continuing investigations and excavations hold the promise of many more discoveries.

This summer, Professor Spyridon Marinatos, Director General of Antiquities for Greece, will be leading excavations at the ancient site. He is calling for volunteers to help in that effort. No experience is necessary. Members of the professional staff will provide all of the necessary training and oversight. Volunteers will stay at the Hotel Poseidon Beach in the village of Nikolaiika, not far from the excavation site. There will be opportunities to relax and enjoy the beach, as well.

If you are interested in this opportunity for education, discovery, and a unique working vacation in a Greek setting, visit the website for more information.