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Evidence of early Polynesian settlement dating back to the early 1300s has been uncovered within a stone’s throw of central Whitianga, in a discovery of national significance.

A team of five archaeologists has spent two months at one of the Coromandel Peninsula’s largest excavation sites by the Taputapuatea stream, at a housing development on the outskirts of the Coromandel town.

According to archaeologist Andrew Hoffman, the site has been identified as a Polynesian settlement from the 1300s used for cooking and gardening. It also had a specialist working area for making tools and repairing waka. Among the hundreds of artefacts unearthed are rare large sized hangi oven stones, moa fish hooks, basalt and chert rock tools, a large midden, and flakes of unused rock.

The site revealed a sequence of flooding events that enabled archaeologists to establish that Polynesians would use the site for a season and then move on.

Trenches dug up to 1.5m deep reveal profiles of layers of varied sediments and radiocarbon dating of site artefacts suggest the settlement was occupied between 1310 and 1490, said Hoffman.

A large deep hole lined with large black rocks revealed an earth oven that was still greasy. Hoffman said it was rare to find earth ovens of this size and it was probably used for cooking animals like seals.

Heritage New Zealand Maori heritage advisor, Makere Rika-Heke said this discovery was a reaffirmation of some of the old traditions kept by local people which have been played out along the landscape.

The site beside Taputapuatea stream is at the base of a hill that is home to Te Wahine Moeroa o Taputapuatea Pa.

The location has significant links to Taputapuatea Marae on the coast of Raiatea, Tahiti, the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the waka- voyaging ancestors who crossed the Pacific and established themselves in Aotearoa.

It is said that Kupe, the great Polynesian explorer who voyaged to Aotearoa from Hawaiki bathed in the hot springs of Te Whitianga a Kupe after he moored his waka in Mercury Bay. He named the stream and pa after the Tahitian Taputapuatea marae because of its similar natural flora and fauna.

Rapanui (Easter Island), Hawaii, Arahurahu Island in Tahiti, Moorea Island and a reef in the Kermedec Islands all have sites of significance referring to Taputapuatea.

The artefacts and 4000 photographs taken will be analysed and recorded over the next two months.

However, the public will not be able to view the site as it is in the middle of re-filling for a subdivision block.

Original article:
By CLAIRE FITZJAMES
stuff.co.nz

IMG_0830.JPG
DIG THIS: Archaeologist Andrew Hoffman displays a stone adze recovered from an archaeology dig on a new housing development at Whitianga.

The item on the kings kitchen is about 12 paragraphs down.

A 2,100-year-old mausoleum built for a king named Liu Fei has been discovered in modern-day Xuyi County in Jiangsu, China, archaeologists report.

Liu Fei died in 128 B.C. during the 26th year of his rule over a kingdom named Jiangdu, which was part of the Chinese empire.

Although the mausoleum had been plundered, archaeologists found that it still contained more than 10,000 artifacts, including treasures made of gold, silver, bronze, jade and lacquer. They also found severallife-size chariot and dozens of smaller chariots.

Excavated between 2009 and 2011, the mausoleum contains “three main tombs, 11 attendant tombs, two chariot-and-horse pits, two weaponry pits” and the remains of an enclosure wall that originally encompassed the complex, a team of Nanjing Museum archaeologists said in an article recently published in the journal Chinese Archaeology. The wall was originally about 1,608 feet (490 meters) long on each side. [See Photos of the Ancient Mausoleum and Artifacts]

The archaeologists said their work was a “rescue excavation,” as the site was threatened by quarrying.

Liu Fei’s tomb

A large earthen mound — extending more than 492 feet (150 meters) — once covered the king’s tomb, the archaeologists say. The tomb has two long shafts leading to a burial chamber that measured about 115 feet (35 m) long by 85 feet (26 m) wide.

When archaeologists entered the burial chamber they found that Liu Fei was provided with a vast assortment of goods for the afterlife.
2,100-Year-Old King’s Mausoleum Discovered in China

A 2,100-year-old mausoleum built for a king named Liu Fei has been discovered in modern-day Xuyi County in Jiangsu, China, archaeologists report.

Liu Fei died in 128 B.C. during the 26th year of his rule over a kingdom named Jiangdu, which was part of the Chinese empire.

Although the mausoleum had been plundered, archaeologists found that it still contained more than 10,000 artifacts, including treasures made of gold, silver, bronze, jade and lacquer. They also found severallife-size chariot and dozens of smaller chariots.

Excavated between 2009 and 2011, the mausoleum contains “three main tombs, 11 attendant tombs, two chariot-and-horse pits, two weaponry pits” and the remains of an enclosure wall that originally encompassed the complex, a team of Nanjing Museum archaeologists said in an article recently published in the journal Chinese Archaeology. The wall was originally about 1,608 feet (490 meters) long on each side. [See Photos of the Ancient Mausoleum and Artifacts]

The archaeologists said their work was a “rescue excavation,” as the site was threatened by quarrying.

Liu Fei’s tomb

A large earthen mound — extending more than 492 feet (150 meters) — once covered the king’s tomb, the archaeologists say. The tomb has two long shafts leading to a burial chamber that measured about 115 feet (35 m) long by 85 feet (26 m) wide.

When archaeologists entered the burial chamber they found that Liu Fei was provided with a vast assortment of goods for the afterlife.

Such goods would have been fitting for such a “luxurious” ruler. “Liu Fei admired daring and physical prowess. He built palaces and observation towers and invited to his court all the local heroes and strong men from everywhere around,” wrote ancient historian Sima Qian (145-86 B.C.), as translated by Burton Watson. “His way of life was marked by extreme arrogance and luxury.”

His burial chamber is divided into a series of corridors and small chambers. The chamber contained numerous weapons, including iron swords, spearheads, crossbow triggers, halberds (a two-handled pole weapon), knives and more than 20 chariot models (not life-size).

The archaeologists also found musical instruments, including chime bells, zither bridges (the zither is a stringed instrument) and jade tuning pegs decorated with a dragon design.

Liu Fei’s financial needs were not neglected, as the archaeologists also found an ancient “treasury” holding more than 100,000 banliang coins, which contain a square hole in the center and were created by the first emperor of Chinaafter the country was unified. After the first emperor died in 210 B.C., banliang coins eventually fell out of use. [Photos: Ancient Chinese Warriors Protect Secret Tomb of First Emperor]

In another section of the burial chamber archaeologists found “utilities such as goose-shaped lamps, five-branched lamps, deer-shaped lamps, lamps with a chimney or with a saucer ….” They also found a silver basin containing the inscription of “the office of the Jiangdu Kingdom.”

The king was also provided with a kitchen and food for the afterlife. Archaeologists found an area in the burial chamber containing bronze cauldrons, tripods, steamers, wine vessels, cups and pitchers. They also found seashells, animal bones and fruit seeds. Several clay inscriptions found held the seal of the “culinary officer of the Jiangdu Kingdom.”

Sadly, the king’s coffins had been damaged and the body itself was gone. “Near the coffins many jade pieces and fragments, originally parts of the jade burial suit, were discovered. These pieces also indicate that the inner coffin, originally lacquered and inlaid with jade plaques, was exquisitely manufactured,” the team writes.

The adjacent tomb

A second tomb, which archaeologists call “M2,” was found adjacent to the king’s tomb. Although archaeologists don’t know who was buried there it would have been someone of high status.

“Although it was looted, archaeologists still discovered pottery vessels, lacquer wares, bronzes, gold and silver objects, and jades, about 200 sets altogether,” the team writes.

“The ‘jade coffin’ from M2 is the most significant discovery. Although the central chamber was looted, the structure of the jade coffin is still intact, which is the only undamaged jade coffin discovered in the history of Chinese archaeology,” writes the team.

More chariots and weapons

In addition to the chariot models and weapons found in the king’s tomb, the mausoleum also contains two chariot-and-horse pits and two weapons pits holding swords, halberds, crossbow triggers and shields. [In Photos: Early Bronze Age Chariot Burial]

In one chariot-and-horse pit the archaeologists found five life-size chariots, placed east to west. “The lacquer and wooden parts of the chariots were all exquisitely decorated and well preserved,” the team writes. Four of the chariots had bronze parts gilded with gold, while one chariot had bronze parts inlaid with gold and silver.

The second chariot pit contained about 50 model chariots. “Since a large quantity of iron ji (Chinese halberds) and iron swords were found, these were likely models of battle chariots,” the team writes.

Attendant tombs

A series of 11 attendant tombs were found to the north of the king’s tomb. By the second century B.C. human sacrifice had fallen out of use in China so the people buried in them probably were not killed when the king died.

Again, the archaeologists found rich burial goods. One tomb contained two gold belt hooks, one in the shape of a wild goose and the other a rabbit.

Another tomb contained artifacts engraved with the surname “Nao.” Ancient records indicate that Liu Fei had a consort named “Lady Nao,” whose beauty was so great that she would go on to be a consort for his son Liu Jian and then for another king named Liu Pengzu. Tomb inscriptions suggest the person buried in the tomb was related to her, the team says.

Kingdom’s end

During the second century B.C. China was one of the largest, and wealthiest, empires on Earth, however, the power of its emperor was not absolute. During this time a number of kings co-existed under the control of the emperor. These kings could amass great wealth and, at times, they rebelled against the emperor.

About seven years after Liu Fei’s death, the Chinese emperor seized control of Jiangdu Kingdom, because Liu Jian, who was Liu Fei’s son and successor, allegedly plotted against the emperor.

Ancient writers tried to justify the emperor’s actions, claiming that, in addition to rebellion, Liu Jian had committed numerous other crimes and engaged in bizarre behavior that included having a sexual orgy with 10 women in a tent above his father’s tomb.

The journal article was originally published, in Chinese, in the journal Kaogu, by archaeologists Li Zebin, Chen Gang and Sheng Zhihan. It was translated into English by Lai Guolong and published in the most recent edition of the journal Chinese Archaeology.

Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

Original article:
livescience.com

IMG_0820.JPG
Archaeologists in China have discovered a mausoleum, dating back over 2,100 years, that contains three main tombs, including the tomb of Liu Fei (shown at bottom), the ruler of the Jiangdu kingdom in China.
Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

A cup believed to have been used by Classical Greek statesman Pericles has been found in a pauper’s grave in north Athens, according to local reports Wednesday.

The ceramic wine cup, smashed in 12 pieces, was found during building construction in the northern Athens suburb of Kifissia, Ta Nea daily said.

After piecing it together, archaeologists were astounded to find the name “Pericles” scratched under one of its handles, alongside the names of five other men, in apparent order of seniority.

Experts are “99 per cent” sure that the cup was used by the Athenian statesman, as one of the other names listed, Ariphron, is that of Pericles’ elder brother.

“The name Ariphron is extremely rare,” Angelos Matthaiou, secretary of the Greek Epigraphic Society, told the newspaper.

“Having it listed above that of Pericles makes us 99 per cent sure that these are the two brothers,” he said.

The cup was likely used in a wine symposium when Pericles was in his twenties, and the six men who drank from it scrawled their names as a memento, Matthaiou said.

“They were definitely woozy, as whoever wrote Pericles’ name made a mistake and had to correct it,” he said.

The cup was then apparently gifted to another man named Drapetis (“escapee” in Greek) who was possibly a slave servant or the owner of the tavern, said archaeologist Galini Daskalaki.

“This is a rare find, a genuine glimpse into a private moment,” she said.

Ironically, the cup was found on Sparta street, Athens’ great rival and nemesis in the Peloponnesian War that tore apart the Greek city-states for nearly 30 years.

General of Athens during the city’s Golden Age, Pericles died of the plague in 429 BC during a Spartan siege.

The cup will be displayed in the autumn at the Epigraphical Museum in Athens. [AFP]

Original article:
ekathimerini.com

IMG_0829.JPG

Finland’s love of milk has been traced back to 2500 BC, thanks to high-tech techniques to analyze residues preserved in fragments of ancient pots.

Prehistoric dairy farming at the extremes

The Finns are the world’s biggest milk drinkers today but experts had previously been unable to establish whether prehistoric dairy farming was possible in the harsh environment that far north, where there is snow for up to four months a year.

Research by the Universities of Bristol and Helsinki, published July 30 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first of its kind to identify that dairying took place at this latitude — 60 degrees north of the equator.

This is equally as far north as Canada’s Northwestern territories, Anchorage in Alaska, Southern Greenland and near Yakutsk in Siberia.

Researchers used a series of techniques, not just to analyse the ancient pots, but also to look at modern-day Finnish peoples’ ability to digest milk into adulthood.

By comparing the residues found in the walls of cooking pots from two separate eras and cultures, dating to circa 3900 BC to 3300 BC and circa 2500 BC, it was evident that the more recent pottery fragments showed evidence of milk fats.

This coincided with the transition from a culture of hunting and fishing — relying mainly on marine foods — to the arrival of ‘Corded Ware’ settlements which we now know saw the introduction of animal domestication.

Lead author Dr Lucy Cramp, from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Bristol University, said: “This is remarkable evidence which proves that four and a half thousand years ago, Stone Age people must have been foddering and sheltering domesticated animals over harsh winters, in conditions that even nowadays we would find challenging.”

The results also drew a connection between the ‘Corded Ware’ farming settlers — who were likely to have been genetically different to the hunting and fishing communities — and modern day Finns.

Fellow researcher Dr Volker Heyd added: “Our results show a clear link between an incoming pre-historic population, milk drinking and the ability to digest milk in adulthood still visible in the genetic distribution of modern Finland, which remains one of the highest consumers of dairy products in the world.”

Professor Richard Evershed, from the School of Chemistry said: “It never ceases to amaze me that these sensitive chemical signatures of changing human life survive in the archaeological record for thousands of years. And it leaves one pondering what was motivating the people to move into these challenging regions?”

Original article:
sciencedaily

Lucy J E Cramp, Richard P Evershed, Mika Lavento, Petri Halinen, Kristiina Mannermaa, Markku Oinonen, Johannes Kettunen, Markus Perola, Päivi Onkamo and Volker Heyd. Neolithic dairy farming at the extreme of agriculture in northern Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, July 30, 2014;

IMG_0828.JPG

Corded Ware sherds.
Credit: Finnish National Board of Antiquities

Excavation of ancient well yields insight into Etruscan, Roman and medieval times.

 

IMG_0819.JPG

Even in a town that archaeologists have probed countless times since 1930, few places have been dug over as many times as the landmark compound that makes up the historic colonial campus at the College of William and Mary.

But that doesn’t mean the triangle of property that surrounds the late-1600s Sir Christopher Wren Building — which ranks as the nation’s oldest college structure — has been stripped of all its secrets.

Spurred by a small but unexpectedly substantial brick feature unearthed by college archaeologists in 2011, a Colonial Williamsburg team has uncovered surprise after surprise since mid-May, when they begin exposing the increasingly large footprint of a previously unknown structure hidden under the grass in the Wren’s south yard.

Lurking as much as 2 feet below the surface, the main part of the early-1700s building measures 20-by-18-feet in size, while a smaller addition on its south wall checks in at about 20-by-12 feet.

Evidence of a central fire pit may help identify the structure as the college’s busy 18th-century brew house — which provided the students and faculty with a drink far safer and more pleasant than water — while an unusually large trash deposit located outside its east wall may hold clues to life inside the Wren Building before it was gutted by a fierce 1705 fire.

“With as much archaeological work as we’ve done in the College Yard over the years, it’s astonishing to find something like this — and to find so much of it still intact,” says Louise Kale, who is retiring after nearly two decades as director of the college’s historic campus.

“I’ve seen at least a dozen digs here during my time here — and this is the most important. It’s a real gold mine.”

Original article:
By Mark St. John Erickson
9:00 pm, July 23, 2014
daily press

IMG_0823.JPG
Archaeologists from Colonial Williamsburg are exploring the remains of an unexpectedly substantial colonial-era building first uncovered under the ground on the south of the Wren Building. The dig has been going on since early summer and has uncovered a substantial masonry foundation as well as large numbers of artifacts and this may be a brewhouse building. Tour groups are greeted by staff members at the dig site.
10:42 am, July 22, 2014
Joe Fudge / Daily Press

I ate the best meat I’ve ever eaten through a straw.

When the Singaporean food stall proprietor who’d just served me a plate of bones first offered the straw, I refused. I didn’t want to take any shortcuts as I worked the tastiest bits of marrow out from the skeletal hollows.

But a couple of minutes into my repast, my face smeared with the viscous broth the bones had come in, I couldn’t face the thought of leaving some of this food unexploited. So I took the proffered straw, inserted it down into a bone cavity and inhaled.

It tasted like the first bite of an excellent steak, only more so. Unlike biting into a rib-eye, when that initial sensation gives way to something less exultant and chewier, the marrow lingered on the tongue. I felt as if I was mainlining glutamate, the substance responsible for umami.

These bones had been cooked for hours in a fluorescent red amalgam of tomato and chili. Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for “bone soup.” I ate it at Deen Tulang Specialist, one of a handful of stalls specializing in the dish in the Golden Mile Food Centre, one of many food courts, known as hawker centers, in Singapore.

Even as I eagerly gobbled at the bones in front of me, I turned a question over in my head: Just what was it that made the bones so good?

Not So Offal: Why Bone Soup, A ‘Perfect Food,’ Tastes So Meaty

i
Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for “bone soup.” The fattiness of the marrow rounds out the chili, tomato, fennel, cumin and ginger.

Konstantin Kakaes for NPR
I ate the best meat I’ve ever eaten through a straw.

When the Singaporean food stall proprietor who’d just served me a plate of bones first offered the straw, I refused. I didn’t want to take any shortcuts as I worked the tastiest bits of marrow out from the skeletal hollows.

But a couple of minutes into my repast, my face smeared with the viscous broth the bones had come in, I couldn’t face the thought of leaving some of this food unexploited. So I took the proffered straw, inserted it down into a bone cavity and inhaled.

It tasted like the first bite of an excellent steak, only more so. Unlike biting into a rib-eye, when that initial sensation gives way to something less exultant and chewier, the marrow lingered on the tongue. I felt as if I was mainlining glutamate, the substance responsible for umami.

These bones had been cooked for hours in a fluorescent red amalgam of tomato and chili. Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for “bone soup.” I ate it at Deen Tulang Specialist, one of a handful of stalls specializing in the dish in the Golden Mile Food Centre, one of many food courts, known as hawker centers, in Singapore.

Even as I eagerly gobbled at the bones in front of me, I turned a question over in my head: Just what was it that made the bones so good?

i
Sup tulang on the menu at the Deen Tulang Specialist stall in the Golden Mile Food Centre in Singapore.
Konstantin Kakaes for NPR
Humans have been eating marrow for as long as we’ve been around. Indeed, some paleoanthropologists argue that eating marrow is part of what made us become human.

This school of thought is based largely on bones and stone tools from about 2 million years ago found in the Olduvai gorge, in present-day Tanzania. Fossils found there suggest that early humans scavenged carcasses already picked apart by other carnivores, and, using tools, broke open the bones and sucked out the marrow. Because marrow is very fatty, it is calorically dense, so the effort required to break open the bones was worth it.

In the West, marrow somehow evolved into an aristocratic food. In Offal: A Global History, Nina Edwards mentions a recipe used at Henry V’s court “involving a beef marrow-stuffed steak rolled up like a pancake and sweetened with honey.” Queen Victoria, she says, ate roasted bone marrow on a daily basis. In more recent times, Fergus Henderson, a chef in London who was in the forefront of “nose-to-tail” eating, popularized a recipe of roast beef bone marrow with parsley, served with toast.

These sorts of preparations are delicious, but they treat marrow as a delicate, rare thing, like caviar or foie gras. Yet marrow, today as it was in prehistoric times, is plentiful.

The sup tulang vendors in Singapore sell it by the bone — it works out to just over a U.S. dollar for each one. It’s not a pricey food by Singaporean standards, though it is a delicacy.

A similar soup by the same name can be found in Malaysia, but the preparation I had at Deen’s is uniquely Singaporean. It is a specialty of the mamak, or Indian Muslim, community in Singapore, who make up a small percentage of the population. Aside from the hawker center where I had it, there are a handful of other food stalls and restaurants in the city-state that serve it.

Compared with the marrow I’d eaten before, which was lightly spiced, the marrow in the tulang soup tasted more intense — the fattiness of the marrow rounded out the chili, tomato, fennel, cumin and ginger.

Marrow, because it is less widely consumed than flesh these days, hasn’t been thoroughly studied by flavor scientists. There is one guy, however, who has his Ph.D. in bone marrow: Belayet Choudhury. His 2008 dissertation, “Volatile and non-volatile components of beef marrow bone stocks,” is great reading.

Part of marrow’s flavor, Choudhury explains, comes from the Maillard reaction in which sugars react with amino acids (this is the same thing that causes a nice crust to develop on steaks cooked over high heat).

Bone marrow, he writes, is almost 80 percent fat and only about 2.6 percent protein, with the rest being moisture. There are at least 12 different fatty acids present and about 20 amino acids.

When bone marrow is cooked, the large number of acids create even larger numbers of volatile compounds through a series of chemical reactions (the Maillard reaction and oxidation being the most important ones). The newly created volatile compounds interact with the nonvolatiles to bring about the marrow’s rich taste.

Choudhury set out to find what compounds endow marrow not just with its pronounced umami but also with its “mouthfulness and taste continuity.” He performed a series of experiments to single out exactly what was in the stock, finding a number of volatile compounds that hadn’t previously been identified that, he wrote, provide “characteristic aroma and overall flavor.”

Guy Crosby, an adjunct professor of nutrition at Harvard and the science editor of America’s Test Kitchen, says that the many nucleotides present in bone marrow amplify the umami taste of glutamate by as much as 20 to 30 times.

Crosby reminded me that the function of bone marrow is to produce red blood cells. Because it is, in effect, a factory for the creation of cells, Crosby says, bone marrow is like an egg: “a perfect food. It’s got everything in it needed to create and sustain life.”

And it’s true: Marrow tastes wholesome, in a way that other similarly rich foods, like butter, don’t. It has some of everything you need. Just as cold, pure water from a mountain spring quenches thirst, this soup, the marrow tempered with spice and made resilient by tomato, seems to me as close as any substance can be to the tangible opposite of hunger.

I liked grappling with the bones, not immune to imagined kinship with cavemen who hunted beasts and gnawed on their prey. But my variety of carnivorous experience is distant from theirs. The fact is, once I gave in and sucked at the marrow through a straw, the implement children use to drink, I got at more of it. It was a reminder that I’m not that much less powerless than a toddler.

Konstantin Kakaes is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C., and the author of the e-book The Pioneer Detectives.

Original article:
NPR.org

20140806-140234-50554370.jpg
Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for “bone soup.” The fattiness of the marrow rounds out the chili, tomato, fennel, cumin and ginger.

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