Audio News for January 5th to January 11th

Welcome to the Audio News from Archaeologica! I’m Laura Pettigrew and these
are the headlines in archaeological and historical news from January 5th to
January 11th.

Ancient Dwellings Discovered in United Arab Emirates


Our first story is from the United Arab Emirates, where archaeologists on
the western island of Marawah (ma-RA-wa) have discovered the remains of
Stone Age houses dating back 7,000 years. The foundations of three
dwellings were found 60 miles west of the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi. Work at
the site began in Spring of 2003 with the examination of a group of stone
mounds. The sites also yielded a flint spearhead about three inches long, a
flint arrowhead and a grinding stick. There is suspicion that there are more
houses to be found. The structures are amazing in terms of historic importance. They are the best and most complete structures found in the
whole Gulf region. Less well-preserved remains of houses have been found in
Kuwait and Qatar. Samples examined at Glasgow University showed the houses
date to 6,500-7,000 years old, which is about 2,000 years before the
earliest Pharaoh in Egypt. The houses belong to what is called the Arabian
Neolithic Era, which corresponds to the Late Stone Age of Europe. They have
walls that are half a meter thick and built of local stone. They are
rectangular and oval in shape. Pieces of Ubaid (yoo-BADE) pottery from
southern Mesopotamia, today’s Iraq, were found at other sites on Marawah
Island, showing that its settlers were involved in maritime trade.

Archaeological Resource Management Addressed by Advisors in Colorado


In the United States, advisers for the Canyons of the Ancients National
Monument are taking a final look at how archaeological resources should be
managed on the lands along Colorado's western boarder. Chief among the
advisory committee's recommendations is the development of a community and
American Indian-based working group to oversee archaeological resources. A
document was drafted last month that outlines the goals and objectives that
the committee can use for its final recommendations in the monument's
management plan. Part of the meeting at the Anasazi Heritage Center was
spent clarifying suggestions and adding some items to the plan, such as a
stipulation that a looting hotline be publicized for the monument. Also
highlighted in the document was prioritizing management and education to
stress cultural resource protection. The proposals also call for the
formation of an archaeology group to oversee research projects. One Tribal
representative stated that cultural sites should be open to research, and
that an archaeology committee could also act as a liaison to tribal elders
who might help with interpretation of the monument. Study of sites might
cause gaps in oral traditions to be filled in by sound archaeological
research methods. However, a Ute Mountain councilman on the panel, asked,
"What more research do scientists want?" He reported that the Ute Tribal
Council said that monument administrators should protect what sites are
open and visible, rather than opening new areas for research.

Researchers in Egypt Post Daily Discoveries on Web


For the fourth year, Johns Hopkins University will once again bring the
university's annual Egyptian dig to the World Wide Web. The daily
progress reports and photographs of the excavation at the Precinct of the
Goddess Mut in Luxor, Egypt, are expected to be posted online beginning
this week, and will continue for the rest of the month. The web address is For the 10th year Betsy Bryan and
Alexander Badawy, Professors of Egyptian Art and Archaeology, will lead the two and one-half month excavation. They will be assisted during January by
a team of three undergraduates and 10 graduate students. Each evening,
after a full day of fieldwork and after shooting dozens of digital photos,
the university photographer will review the day's discoveries and choose
about 10 to 15 images to post on the cite. Bryan composes captions and
summaries, which are then e-mailed with the photos to the university's
Homewood campus in Baltimore, where the site is assembled. The Web site
will include an aerial view of the site, a reference map, and background on
the temple. This is the fourth year daily updates will be posted online
and the fourth year Bryan's group is exploring the area surrounding the
Temple of Mut at South Karnak. Through a combination of excavation and
examination of carved inscriptions and relief scenes on the temple's
sandstone blocks, the group aims to determine what the temple looked like
between 1500 and 1200 B.C. The Johns Hopkins team will continue to explore
the temple's gateway as well as the ancient brick houses behind the
temple's sacred lake, searching for clues to the daily lives of ancient

Ancient Ship, Other Discoveries Unearthed in Naples


Our final story is from Naples, Italy, where archaeologists have discovered
a Roman ship and hundreds of amphorae dating to the second century AD
during excavation works for a new subway. The 40 foot deep digging turned
up wooden pieces belonging to piers in the one-time port, as well as intact
amphorae and other ceramic pieces, believed to have fallen off the ships
while being unloaded. Amphorae are slender, two-handled terracotta storage
containers popular in Roman times to ship or store wine, condiments and
other popular items. The 30-foot vessel sank in the second century. It is
expected to be well preserved, thanks to the silt that created an airless
environment that prevented decomposition. Over the course of the
centuries, waves of mud, silt and landslides from surrounding hills have
filled up the basin and created a swamp. It will take months to extract it
from the mud. The discoveries were the latest to emerge from the
excavation works. Elsewhere in the city, the digging has turned up remnants
of a building also dating to the Roman Empire, which is still being
excavated, and a 12th century fountain.

That wraps up the news for this week!
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I’m Laura Pettigrew and I’ll see you next week!