01 AVRIL 2020 NEWS





USA – Gettyimages 928555096 Cape Neddick Cove - About two years ago, a nor’easter struck York Beach, Maine, revealing the skeleton of a centuries-old shipwreck beneath the sand. Marine archaeologist Stefan Claesson has found evidence linking the vessel to a colonial-era cargo ship called the Defiance. The wreck measures about 50 feet long, but the Defiance itself—a narrow cargo boat known as a pinkywould have stood closer to 60 feet long in its heyday. Claesson identified the vessel after searching notary records for mentions of a shipwreck matching the find’s age, construction style and location. The cargo ship, bound for Portland’s Casco Bay, left Salem in 1769. Caught in a storm, it crashed into the rocks along Cape Neddick Cove.


ROYAUME UNI – Bb11rkli  Blaenau Gwent - Neolithic cairns discovered in the Cwmcelyn Valley of southern Wales. The remains of one of the cairns set in the hillside measures about 62 feet long and 40 feet wide. “We only found this one because we noticed that the nearby wall wasn’t straight, and was built around something that was no longer there,” said group member Ian Fewings. A geophysical survey, a 3-D drone survey, and a lidar image of the area revealed the oval-shaped structure. Excavation uncovered remnants of the cairn, in addition to Neolithic flints. “The cairn we have here is around 4,500 years old and would likely have been used as a burial site for one of the leaders or chieftains of this particular group of people,” Fewings said. The structures would have appeared bright white in color, he added. A group of Neolithic huts was found on an adjacent hillside in 2015, although Fewings explained that the cairns are thought to be slightly older than the settlement. Over time, the stones in the cairns would have weathered and faded in color, and were probably reused by farmers to build walls and other structures, he added. 


ROYAUME UNI – Kings seat postholes King’s Seat hillfort - Excavations at King’s Seat hillfort, near Dunkeld, have demonstrated that the site was an important centre of Pictish power, occupied by an elite community who controlled craftwork production and had trade links with continental Europe in the 7th to 9th centuries AD. The site consists of a low wall enclosing a small upper citadel, with a series of three or four ramparts enclosing a midlevel terrace on the west side of the hill, and a lower D-shaped enclosure surrounding an area to the east at the base of the hill. Material found at the site indicates that it housed an elite who had influence over the production of high-status goods. There was evidence of metal-working in the form of objects like crucibles, whetstones, and moulds, which may have been used in the production of blades. Textile production was also taking place, along with animal butchery, and possibly leatherworking and other crafts. The density of the craftworking material found across the site suggests that King’s Seat was an important production centre, not just the site of a small group carrying out production for their own personal use. Other indications of high-status occupation include finds associated with feasting such as fragments of glass drinking-vessels, gaming pieces, and large quantities of animal bone, and there was also evidence that this was a community with far-reaching commercial connections. Anglo-Saxon glass beads and vessels, and E-ware ceramic vessels which were made in western France, point to trade links with the rest of Britain and continental Europe, and reflect a more north-easterly distribution of E-ware in Scotland than was previously thought to exist. The excavations have also identified structural remains: within the central enclosure was a hearth, surrounded by stone settings likely to be posts from a large, rectangular structure, perhaps some sort of hall or gathering place. In the western enclosure, multiple hearths and smaller, less-permanent structures suggest a different type of activity, possibly related to metal-working or other small workshops for craft production. Excavations in the eastern enclosure were not as extensive, but did also show evidence of metal-working and occupation, demonstrating that activity at the site extended beyond the immediate upper central enclosure.


POLOGNE –  Hrubieszów - One of the largest ever hauls of treasure from the Roman period to be found in Poland and the largest ever in the Lublin region has been uncovered in Hrubieszów near Lublin. Excited archaeologists think that the treasure of 1,753 silver coins weighing over five kilos was abandoned in the last stand of the Vandals before fleeing from the arriving Goths at the end of the second century AD when Europe was in upheaval as the Western Roman empire was collapsing. The archaeologists believe that the coins were originally placed in a wooden casket or leather pannier. Although the remains of the container have not survived, it is known that it was decorated with silver-plated rivets made of bronze as eight of them were found among the coins. The coins were dated to the second century as they bear the image of Roman emperors Nerva, who ruled 8 November 30 to 27 January 98, and Septimus Severus, 11 April 145 to 4 February 211. The Vandals were a Roman-era Germanic people who first appear in written records inhabiting present-day southern Poland. The Goths, meanwhile, were also a German people probably from southern Scandinavia who played a major role in the downfall of the Western Roman Empire.