2010 Archeology News Recap: August

In South Korea, the August headlines reported the discovery of a wooden oar dating back 7,000 years. The muddy location that the find was unearthed contributed to its preservation. Other headlines in August 2010 include the details of an ancient queen and a theory regarding communal feasts.

Very Rare Find

The oar has been found intact and is quite a rare find. In addition to finding the oars, fragments of two boats were also uncovered. The oar was uncovered in Changnyeong, which is situated 140 miles southeast of Seoul. The find is not only important for the country, but is also significant for the rest of the world. One of the oldest boats or related artifacts found in the Zhejiang province of China was uncovered in 2005 and is thought to have been 8,000 years old.

The muddy layers of earth that the oar was found prevented oxygen from causing a decaying process, which is why the object is well preserved. The oar, which measures almost six feet long was completely intact. Oars and boats of this time were constructed out of pine trees.

Queen of the Inch

It was announced in August that a woman nicknamed the “Queen of the Inch” will be re-interred on the Scottish island of Inchmarnock. During the 1950s, a farmer plowing a field discovered the cist (a small coffin-like box constructed out of stone) of a woman who had been buried with a necklace and dagger. The remains were dated as being 4,000 years old.

The remains were examined by archaeologists and reburied in the 1960s, but the skeleton was exhumed once more so that it could benefit from the use of modern research techniques. So far, scientists have concluded that the woman called Inchmarnock her home and that she came from the Clyde Estuary. It was noted that she did not eat seafood even though she lived on an island.

The necklace that was found with the body suggests that the woman was once a queen or chieftain. Nonetheless, it is believed that she was of some importance when she was living. The fact that she was also given a cist burial also means that she was significant. This method of burial was not performed for just anyone. The woman was also allowed to keep her necklace, which is unique because typically such items are passed down to another.

The necklace was comprised of Whitby jet and is now on display at Bute Museum.

Other archeology news from August 2010 includes:

A study was published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which suggests that communal feasts may predate agriculture. Archeologists from Hebrew University have stated that there are remains of tortoise shells and cattle bones that date back 12,000 years, which had been killed, roasted and placed in or near the grave of a shaman in northern Israel , a symbolic gesture.