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Archaeological News

Sofia Echo Jun 23 2011 Archaeology: New Thracian grave found in northeastern Bulgaria.
Ancient Thracian golden and bronze finds have been excavated by archaeologists in the town of Opaka, district Turgovishte, in northeastern Bulgaria, private channel bTV reported on June 23 2011.

During excavations of the grave park, scientists found a preserved Thracian tumulus from 2nd century CE full of rich funeral artifacts.

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Popular Archaeology, June 16th, 2011 Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Roman Villa of the Antonines
For many years, the ruins of this ancient Roman villa retreat for the family and guests of four Roman emperors remained unnoticeable, far from the limelight of scholarly research and exploration. Now, it is the focus of new excavations and research by a team of archaeologists and other specialists who aim to resurrect what lies beneath the surface near a picturesque Italian town 18 miles from present-day Rome, Italy. What remains may say something about emperors Antoninus Pius, Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus, all major players, for better or worse, in ancient Rome's illustrious 138-192 A.D. Antonine Dynasty.

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Science: 07/06/11 Ancient Farmers Started the First 'Green Revolution'.
The 1960s marked a turning point for agriculture in Asia: that's when plant breeders launched a "green revolution" in rice production, selecting variants of a single gene that boosted yields across the continent. A new study finds that prehistoric farmers were revolutionaries, too. They apparently harnessed that same gene when they first domesticated rice as early as 10,000 years ago.

The history of rice farming is very complex, but the basic facts are well established. All of today's domesticated rice belongs to the species Oryza sativa, which descends from the wild ancestor Oryza rufipogon. O. sativa has two major subspecies, japonica (short-grain rice grown mostly in Japan) and indica (long-grain rice grown mostly in India, Southeast Asia, and southern China).

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Ars Technica 06/06/11 Ancient Greek oral traditions got geology right
In the first century AD, a Greek geographer and historian named Strabo noted that a peninsula just south of Athens called Piraeus had, at one time in the past, been an island. It's unusual for landforms to change so quickly that humans can take notice, even over generations, so that's a pretty interesting claim. The idea pops up elsewhere in Athenian oral tradition, as well as in the etymology of the name itself ("peran" means "beyond" or "on the other side"), so a group of French and Greek geologists and archaeologists decided to put it to the test.

The group collected sediment cores near Piraeus to infer its paleogeography, and used carbon dating to put the events on a timeline. In the end, Strabo's story checks out. Around 8,000 years ago, Piraeus was a peninsula resembling its current configuration. By 6,000 years ago, continued sea level rise from the end of the last ice age had drowned Piraeus' connection to the mainland, making it a proper island.

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Daily News and Analysis 27/05/11 A civilisation as old as Indus valley?
Did the coastline of the Konkan, from Shrivardhan in Raigad to Vengurla in Sindhudurg, have human habitation around 8,000 years ago? Did that population have well-developed engineering skills? Was there a unique Konkan culture in existence in 6,000BC? The latest discovery in the field of archaeology, below the sea waters of Konkan coast, could answer these questions with a big resounding, Yes!

In what could turn out to be a major discovery,researchers have found a wall-like structure, which is 24km long, 2.7m in height, and around 2.5m in width. The structure shows uniformity in construction. "The structure is not continuous from Shrivardhan to Raigad, but it is uniform. It has been found 3m below the present sea level. Considering the uniformity of the structure, it is obvious that the structure is man-made," said Dr Ashok Marathe, department of archaeology, Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, Pune.

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