Audio News for July 12th to July 18th

Welcome to the Audio News from Archaeologica! I’m Laura Pettigrew and these are the headlines in archaeological and historical news from July 12th to July 18th.

New Headline: Colonial Wine Cellar Discovered


Our first story is from Jamestown, Virginia, where a wine cellar, complete with eight unbroken glass wine bottles has been unearthed.  Other wine jugs, 11 in all, could date as far back as the 1680s.  In 10 years of previous research, only two whole ceramic vessels had been found, so the new discovery is greatly important.  This week’s excavation uncovered a whole group of bottles nestled in one section of the 20 - by 8 -foot cellars. None of them have corks, but they may have residue of wine or some other substance. The bottles are exactly as they’ve been sitting for 320 years.  The cellar is surrounded by leftovers from the 1607 -1625 time period, but most researchers figure it was built between 1650 and 1690.  Once the archaeologists get a better feel for the time period, they’ll sift through records and see who owned the cellar.

New Headline: Funding Urgent to Strengthen Decaying Parthian Stronghold


In Iran, archaeologists are seeking public funding to explore the ruins of a vast urban citadel, left from the Parthian dynasty in the eastern region of the country.  The Nahbandan citadel, like that of Bam, is made of mud-brick, making it vulnerable to natural elements.  Some parts of the fort have already been ruined, making its strengthening that much more urgent.  Archaeologists have been able to reinforce half of the citadel, but they need more funding for the project.  They also hope to unearth more artifacts in this ancient city of 17 thousand square meters.  Experts believe the fort used to have several gates, but only the eastern one has survived.  It was built during the Parthian empire and was inhabited until the Safavid era (AD 1500-1722).  The Parthian Empire is closely connected to Greece and Rome.  The Parthians defeated Alexander the Great's successors, the Seleucids, conquered most of the Middle East and southwest Asia, controlled the Silk Road, and built Parthia into an Eastern superpower.  Parthian architecture was characterized by the use of sun-dried or kiln-baked bricks, with vaults to roof the buildings.  This form of architecture supplanted Hellenistic styles in Iraq and Iran, was adopted by the Sassanids and continued to set the model for architecture in the early Islamic period.

New Headline: Evidence of Lost Fremont Culture Possibly Unearthed


Back in the US, a government archaeologist believes ancient fire pits and pottery recently unearthed in Montana belong to an Indian culture that disappeared hundreds of years ago from Colorado and Utah. Glade Hadden, a Bureau of Reclamation archaeologist, proposes that evidence at the site near Bridger suggests Fremont people, known for their masonry work and fine pottery, inhabited the area.  The Fremont people lived in what is now Utah and Colorado, mostly from about A.D 300 to 1200.  They then disappeared and without substantial reason.  Working with students from Montana State University at Billings, Hadden also unearthed an intricate fire pit.  The pit, about 20 inches deep and 2 feet wide, was expertly lined with a thin layer of sandstone slabs.  The joints were plastered with mud and worked to a smooth surface, all identical to the work of Fremont people.  Hadden has yet to submit samples of the items found for tests that could determine their age, but he said the site appears to have been in use sometime between 1400 and 1600.

New Headline: 50 Burials Uncovered on Crete


Our final story is from Crete, where archaeologists have discovered 50 tombs dating back to the late Minoan period.  The tombs were part of the once powerful ancient city of Kydonia, which was destroyed around 1400 BC but later rebuilt. The oldest among them contained bronze weapons, jewelry and vases and are similar to the tombs of fallen soldiers of the Mycenaean type from mainland Greece.  The more recent family tombs are of a more traditional Kydonia type. Earlier excavations in the area in northwest Crete near the town of Chania had already yielded some 100 burial sites.

That wraps up the news for this week! For more stories and daily news updates, visit Archaeologica on the World Wide Web at , where all the news is history!

I’m Laura Pettigrew and I’ll see you next week!