Archeology Headlines of August 2010

From the layout of buildings to the types of currency used in an ancient civilization, archeologists can learn a great deal about particular cultures. In this article, you will learn information about the past of Britain and Japan, including the discovery of what has been called ‘the oldest home in Britain.’

Archeological Jackpot for Students

With mapping equipment in hand, students attending Cardiff University stumbled upon Roman buildings that had been unknown to historians. The buildings were discovered on the banks of the river Usk in Wales. Interestingly, the structures were closely positioned by one of the most well known and widely studied of Roman sites in Britain.

The buildings have not been excavated yet, but promise to provide a wealth of information. It is thought that one of the structures once served as a granary, warehouse, or palatial riverside villa. When the students found the buildings, they were learning how to use geophysical tools, which highlight the outlines of buried structures. The buildings were found in the fields located close to the Roman fortress at Caerleon, which has been dubbed King Arthur’s Camelot.

The students are now scheduled to join staff and a University College London team on a dig slated for six weeks in the middle of September. To keep up with the progress, regular updates will be posted on the website of the Council for British Archaeology.

Artifact Uncovered in Japan

In Japan a wooden tablet with the date of 730 AD on it has been found at a site that is thought to have served as a foundry for the first currency of the country. The archeological site also produced a host of coins, molds and other tools. These discoveries will help confirm that a foundry did exist during this time period and sheds further light on the earliest pieces of currency in Japan, which was referred to as “wadokaichin.”

Estimations pertaining to the production of Japan’s earliest currency were between 708 AD and 760 AD. The tablet is concrete proof that wadokaichin production took place in 730 AD.

Oldest Home in Britain

Dating back around 11,000 years, archeologists believe they have found the site where the oldest house in Britain once stood. The discovery will allow researchers to learn more about the way people lived during this time period. Archeologists have already found a piece of an oar, arrow tips, and the skulls of deer.

Thought to have sheltered nomad hunters, who were situated by the waterside, the circular-shaped abode had a thatched roof and provided views of the lake. The structure is older that the infamous Stonehenge monument that is about 6,000 years old and constructed at the same time that Britain was still a part of continental Europe.

Another interesting find discovered on the site is a tree trunk that dates back 11,000 years, which still has its bark intact. Evidence of a jetty-like platform made out of wood was found on the bank of the ancient lake. It could provide details on the first attempts of carpentry in Europe.