"Archaeology in the Reconstruction of Beirut" is an online collection of papers, articles and reports regarding the archaeology of Beirut. Throughout its turbulent history, the physical fabric of Beirut has undergone waves of destruction, demolition and decay, followed by periods of extensive reconstruction. Beirut is undergoing a new phase of reconstruction and, consequently, many of the physical remains of the past are being swept away. This website presents a collection of texts, which not only highlight this problem but also demonstrate how archaeology can play a vital role in Beirut's reconstruction. The collection comprises excavation reports, background materials, discussion articles and images.
The "Bureau for Recovering and Investigating Iraqi Looted Antiquities" has been instituted following the first Gulf war during 1990-1991 with the purpose of trace the antiquities looted from the museum of Baghdād during that period. Following the start of the second Gulf war, the "Arma dei Carabinieri" troops deployed in Iraq have prepared in 2003 a database listing 730 out of about 3,500 artefacts in the inventory of the museum that were missing; it is possible to perform online searches of the database through this website. A second database lists the few artefacts that have been recovered so far, and has been compiled by the "Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino" in five days of field work at the museum. During the same occasion, all artefacts, mainly seals and beads, that have been found in the museum and were not in the inventory have been photographed. A third database, a gallery of pictures, publishes all the photographs taken; these pictures may be the only existing documentation of some artefacts.
The Phase 1 archive of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL), representing the route of the link from Fawkham Junction (Gravesham) to Folkestone, is a major new research archive for the archaeology of Kent. The construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link has provided a unique opportunity to investigate thousands of years of change and development across the landscape and the archaeological programme of works associated with CTRL is probably the largest ever undertaken in the UK. The Link is the first new railway to be built in Britain for over a century and runs for 109km (68 miles) between St Pancras station in London and the Channel Tunnel. The Phase 1 archive represents the first 74 km of this route and was finished in September 2003. The second section, which continues the railway into London, is under construction and will be completed in early 2007. The CTRL Phase 1 archive is organised at a site level allowing access to data from 122 interventions and is accompanied by extensive introductory text both at an overall project level as well as the individual site level. The archive itself contains site reports, site datasets and images for 122 excavations, evaluations and geophysical and standing building surveys provided in a number of file formats (RTF, PDF, CSV and SVG). The data can be accessed through any of three search interfaces (a spatial map search, a period search or an advanced search) or alternatively via a full site list. The CTRL archive is also fully integrated into the ADS's ArchSearch catalogue allowing spatial searches to retrieve CTRL site level data alongside archaeological data from a number of other sources such as the National Trust SMR and the National Monuments Record. The site is easily navigable through the standard ADS interface and users are required to accept the ADS terms and conditions prior to accessing the resource. The website data is easily accessible, logically arranged and provided in a number of easily usable data types. Users should be aware that, at present, the site only contains data from Phase 1 of the project and will expand over the next few years with the deposit of Phase 2 data as well as themed analytical reports.
The crypt of Christ Church with All Saints, Spitalfields, East London, was the first post-medieval burial vault to have been comprehensively investigated by archaeological methods. Excavated between October 1984 and April 1986, the crypt provided the opportunity to examine the process of burial between 1729 and 1853 - with particular focus upon the types of coffins, furnishings and clothing involved. No excavations of this type had been previously undertaken and a custom excavation and recording methodology was devised based on the single-context system. This incorporated design taxonomies for the funeral furniture. The post-excavation analyses were completed in 1993, and in the same year two Council for British Archaeology (CBA) reports were published detailing the findings of the excavation. In 1996 a further CBA publication was released. These publications are available for download via these webpages (in HTML and PDF formats). A number of databases, including the burials and marriages registers, are available as comma-delimited files. There are over 100 photographs and line drawings resulting from the excavations.
"Culture Without Context" is an online newsletter published by "The illicit antiquities research centre" at the University of Cambridge. It focuses on problems related to theft, looting, fakes, and illicit trafficking of antiquities. The research centre opened in 2006 and closed in 2007 and there are no plans for further issues of the newsletter. The existing nineteen issues are commendable and accessible in PDF or HTML format. Covered topics include laws protecting cultural heritage; suspect acquisitions of antiquities (especially by US museums); illegal sale of antiquities on the Internet; the illicit antiquities trade; looting of archaeological sites; fakes; and the destruction of antiquities in Afghanistan and Iraq following the US-led wars there. The newsletter has articles covering all continents as well as reviews of the literary production on the subject. It is recommended to use the clear articles of the newsletter in teaching. The courageous attempt of bringing to public notice (and shame) these topics should not be forgotten. Further research on the topic is also possible, but clearly action is needed the most.
The Deansway Archaeology Project was initiated in 1988 in advance of the redevelopment of a large part of the centre of Worcester. The excavation lay in the centre of the medieval city and offered an excellent opportunity to gain a detailed understanding of the development of urban life between the late Anglo Saxon and post-medieval periods. The excavations recorded substantial buried remains, and the results allowed a detailed understanding of the development of settlement in Worcester from the Roman period to the early post-medieval period. From the later Anglo-Saxon period intensive occupation led to the build-up of ground levels, intercut by pits. The website presents the aims and objectives, methodology, results (organised by chronological period: prehistoric, Roman, post-Roman, Late Anglo-Saxon, Medieval and post-Medieval), further work and references for further information. Some of the website is dated with results only referring to work up to 1996. Most of the website is not illustrated. The site is most suitable for those looking for a quick summary of the work carried out and references for further information. It is part of the much larger English Heritage website.
Near the village of Thornborough, North Yorkshire, there exists a complex of three bronze-age henges along with post alignments and other evidence of ritual locations. The henges and their surrounding landscape are now at risk from quarrying developments and the encroaches of a nearby landfill site. Should the proposed developments take place, the landscape surrounding the henges would be permanently altered. This web page organises a campaign to prevent such developments and promotes further archaeological enquiry into the site. The significance of the Thornborough henges is discussed, along with the reasons why the site should be spared development. Email addresses are provided for a targeted email and letter-writing campaign. There is also a link to a private web page for signed-up members of the Friends of Thornborough.
This website, forming part of the French Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, presents some of the recent archaeological discoveries in France. These include: a 4,500 year old burial site at Crès site, Béziers; eight shipwrecks at Lyon; a Gallo-Roman cemetery at Autun; and the "doline" of Cantalouette, where artefacts from the Acheulian to the Bronze Age have been found. The section focusing on the burial site at Crès site illustrates the funerary rituals in the area and also features a related research paper in PDF format. The section on Autun concentrates on Gallo-Roman stelae and burials. The section on the eight shipwrecks found at Lyon presents six Gallo-Roman ships, a medieval pirogue and a modern boat. The section about the doline includes a timeline. This website uses Flash animations, Quicktime VR movies and contains galleries of pictures and PDF files. An English version of this website is available by accessing the root of the website, but contains fewer sections.
The website of The International Centre for Albanian Archaeology is an online portal publishing some information on ongoing archaeological excavations as well as heritage management in Albania and providing access to other online sources. As it is to be expected after the recent political developments, most of Albanian archaeology concentrates on training projects; rescue archaeology; and conservation projects. Among the training projects are the excavations of Durrës; Apollonia; Bonjakët; and Butrint. It contains several pages on rescue and conservation projects, but other sites focus in more detail on these issues: this website acts more as portal. An important section of the website is the online database "Missing Antiquities", which is collecting and publishing pictures of missing artefacts (very few listed at the time of review). However, a page details the looting at Butrint and Phoenicê as well as one success story of a recovered artefact. Hopefully this catalogue will develop more in the near future. This is an important website that draws attention on a spot of the planet forgotten for too long. Anybody interested on the archaeology of Albania, or surrounding areas, should visit it. The problems with looting are all but peculiar to Albania, nonetheless they must not be forgotten and this website does an excellent job in publicising the case of Albania. A small section lists the recent (pioneering) books on Albanian archaeology. From the home page it is possible to access the newsletter of the centre (in PDF format), which is richly illustrated and contains news about the activities of the centre and most importantly illustrated preliminary reports of the ongoing excavations and other field projects in Albania. And in an attempt to do something to promote tourism in the region, an audio guide of Butrint can be downloaded for free from the home page.
Jorvik is located in York, and recreates the sights, sounds and smells of the Viking city of Jorvik in 948 AD. The website includes visitor information, and details of the Archaeological Resource Centre, York Archaeological Trust and the Coppergate excavations.
This wide-ranging and attractively produced website, 'Underwater archeology', available in French, English and Arabic, provides an illustrated introduction to the history, methods and major discoveries of underwater explorers, particularly those carried out by the research teams of DRASSM, the Départment des recherches archéologiques subaquatics et sous-marines of the French Ministry of Culture. Underwater archaeology has had a long, though sporadic, history, from the time Roman divers salvaged the cargo of amphoras from a shipwreck in the first century BC to the development of the modern aqualung by Cousteau and Gagnan in 1943. The resource features: a historical chronicle of major developments in maritime archaeology particularly since the designs of Leonardo da Vinci followed by the practical attempts to construct artificial breathing apparatus in the 17th century; an outline of the principal methods of underwater prospection and excavation of wrecks together with notes about the conservation of submerged organic materials; a major survey of shipwrecks around the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of France (a sample of some 700 known) in addition to others sites in Malta, Gabon, Martinique and the Indian Ocean; an account of underwater archaeology in Egypt, in particular the spectacular rediscovery of the submerged parts of Alexandria and of the numerous Greek and Roman wrecks off the Egyptian coast. This notable didactic resource will benefit and improve both amateurs and professionals alike, especially undergraduate students of Mediterranean archaeology and history but also anyone interested in wider issues of world archaeology, trade routes, conservation of underwater finds and heritage issues related to shipwreck sites.
"Lost Treasures of the Seven Seas" is a guide to several resources on marine salvage written by Pascal Kainic. This is a difficult topic to teach because archaeological ethics forbids the sale of archaeological artefacts while marine salvage is often driven by the prospect of selling artefacts. "Treasure hunting", as marine salvage is sometimes labelled, is a reality that archaeologists need to confront as well as a difficult topic to teach; this website may be very helpful to approach the topic with students. Section "underwater archaeology" presents techniques to preserve recovered artefacts and includes one link to an article against treasure hunting, which summarises the position of archaeologists. "Rules in the World" contains excerpts of legislation from several countries or links to depositories of legislative texts. Wrecks/Treasure Stories" contains a wealth of case studies. "Still secret...!" contains excerpts from written sources detailing the history and contents of localised sunken ships awaiting to be researched or salvaged. Teachers may use this section dividing students in two groups, one highlighting sentences on the wealth aboard the ships and one highlighting sentences on historical facts and then prompt a debate between "archaeologists" and "treasure hunters". "The World of Shipwrecks" publishes a list of sunken ships according to the monetary value of their cargoes; a list of questions helps in selecting ships for salvage and has educational value because it exposes the (unethical) reasons for the selection. Of some interest is also the news section containing news from current salvage projects as well as articles of researches bordering myths and legends. Stories centred on the sea are as old as mariners and treasure hunters often pursue what to many could appear as a story or dream.
This website contains a collection of resources that can help in understanding why treasure hunting exists, and how the inflexible opposition of archaeologists coexists with irresolute laws (treasure hunting is lawful but constrained in many countries) and the inexhaustible attraction of economic profit. Teachers may use this website to prompt a debate and some pages (e.g. legislation) can help advanced students in preparing a more informed debate. Unsupervised students should instead steer clear of this website until they have a solid knowledge of archaeological practices because some contents express positions not compatible with archaeological ethics and practice. The website is only recommended to teachers for its educational value in presenting a delicate and actual issue: most contents on their own cannot be endorsed by the academic community.
This digital archive, hosted by the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), details the excavations undertaken by the Museum of London Archaeology Service (MoLAS) in 1996 on the site of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. It is part of the 'Digital Archiving Pilot Project: Excavation Records' (DAPPER) project funded by English Heritage.Since the discovery of the Middle-Saxon trading port of 'Lundenwic' in London's West End during the 1980s, over 70 excavations have been undertaken - half of which have yielded evidence for the 7th to 9th Century settlement. However, many of these investigations were small-scale, and helped little in establishing a street-plan and layout for the port. The large-scale excavations at the Royal Opera House in 1996 provided an excellent opportunity to address this problem.The excavation's findings suggested the settlement reached a peak in the reign of Offa of Mercia (757-796 AD). The remains of 63 rectangular timber buildings were uncovered, along with evidence for a variety of of crafts and industries, including metalworking and weaving.The digital archive available via these webpages contains a substantial dataset for Middle Saxon urban stratified sequence of buildings, roads, yards and open areas. MoLAS utilised a hierarchical post-excavation system that divided the basic field contexts into groups and sub-groups. An explanation of this method is available in HTML, .doc and plain text formats. The groups themselves are available in ESRI shape file format, suitable for ArcView GIS. Comma-delimited files, for use within a relational database, detailing finds and context information are also available. The digital archive comprises files in the following formats: MS Word; MS Excel; Autocad R14; DXF; ArcView SHP; plain text; delimited text; dBase; Surfer; TIFF; WMF. Researchers in particular may find this website useful.
This is the website of the National History Museum of Romania, a complex page which reflects the holdings and the activities of this institution based in Bucharest. The section dedicated to the collections of the museum comprises subsection devoted to the historical period according to which they are organised: prehistory; lapidarium; a copy of Trajan's column; ancient history; the Middle Ages; modern and contemporary history; the treasure, where objects made of precious metals are kept in a specially protected vault; and numismatics. Images with he most interesting and valuable items in these collections are posted on the site and can be viewed in large JPEG files. Museum staff is involved in research as well, and the site introduces the various archaeological sites and research projects conducted by the museum. The section on the publications holds online versions of books and doctoral theses, as well as the journals: "Cercetări numismatice", "Cercetări arheologice" and "Muzeul Naţional". The temporary exhibitions and events are introduced on the site. This is a web page rich in information and a useful tool for anyone interested in prehistoric archaeology, medieval archaeology and Romanian history.
Common Ground is a journal published by the US National Park Service Archaeology Program until 2001. This website cvontains an archive of issues from 1994-2001, including many articles relevant to the archaeology of northern America, and some articles on general issues. The journal was relaunched with a new, wider focus in 2003, which may be found elsewhere. but the archived issues here are freely accessible and may be useful to both researchers and students.
This is the website of the Association of Friends of the Newport Ship a not-for-profit organisation. This group were formed in 2002 to disseminate knowledge and information about "the Newport Mediaeval Ship" and to foster understanding and appreciation of Newport's maritime and industrial heritage. The "Ship" is the almost intact hull of a mediaeval ship, discovered on a construction site by the river Usk, South Wales. The site is under threat from development of the construction site and lack of funds/commitment to preserve the remains. This is a fascinating online resource, explaining the background of fifteenth century trade between Wales and Europev (specifically England, Spain and Portugal) in the context of what is acclaimed as an archaeological discovery of international significance - being the only extant example of a merchantman of this period from northern Europe. The excavation work was carried out by Gwent Archaeological Trust. There is a link to information about a course at the University of Wales College, Newport for anyone interested in learning more about the unique vessel, and links to websites about Newport's history.
This is the official website of the "Osservatorio permanente per la protezione dei beni culturali ed ambientali in area di crisi", an international organisation based in Italy that aims at promoting the preservation of cultural heritage in areas of political instability or armed conflict that is part of the Istituto per lo Sviluppo, la Formazione e la Ricerca nel Mediterraneo (ISFORM), an independent research institute at the University of Naples, Italy. The organisation has actively monitored and reported on the cultural heritage of Sarajevo; Bosnia; Albania; stolen portable antiquities of Italy; Kosovo; Palestine; Iraq; and Peru. Researchers may ask to access data (photographs; videos; documents; database) about the past and current projects of the organisation.
RESCUE acts to promote the interests of archaeology in Britain, and seeks to maintain the position of archaeology as a vital part of Britain's cultural life. It is an independent charitable organisation with no ties to government or to any other public body. This website presents information on joining RESCUE along with a membership application form that may be printed and filled out. Contents of Rescue News (the Trust's newsletter) are being published online; the most recent issues are available. There is a list of publications with information on ordering copies and A New Manifesto for British Archaeology compiled by RESCUE. This resource may interest primarily British professional archaeologists.
The first extraction at Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire was fairly low-tech but, with the growing demand for houses and roads after the Second World War, gravel was extracted on a more intensive scale. Now the gravel extraction is at a large scale managed by Aggregate Industries. This company is working with Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit to ensure that important archaeological remains are fully recorded before quarrying begins. This website is part of a larger site for the Nature Reserve that exists at Paxton Pits and provides information about the results of archaeological excavations at the site. The remains discovered show that the area was occupied for over 4000 years. Many of the settlements were identified by aerial photography of the crops before they were harvested and the topsoil was removed. Finds were collected from within the ploughsoil, and by digging trial trenches. Three Iron Age settlements were excavated in detail, providing opportunities for comparison between settlements of different size, date, and layout. The area continued to be farmed during the Romano-British period (1600-1950 years ago) until 400 CE. There is a short description of the results of the excavation, and some photographs of excavated sites and finds from the pits.
'Urban Archeology in Beirut: a preliminary report' [sic.] provides online access to a study presented to those scholars invited to become members of the International Scientifique Committee. The text provides information about an urban archaeology program in the central district of Beirut (at the site of Ancient Berytus). The exposed remains date to three periods: the Hellenistic to Byzantine period (300 BC to 600 AD), the late Medieval period (1000 - 1700 AD) and the period associated with the reconstruction of the Souk area (1840 AD). This website provides information about work undertaken at the site, and also contains details of some of the finds made from the excavations. Both students and researchers may find this website useful.
The "Web Journal on Cultural Patrimony" is an academic publication by the University of Naples L'Orientale; the Osservatorio Permanente per la Protezione dei Beni Culturali ed Ambientali in Area di Crisi (Protection of Cultural Heritage in Areas of Crisis Watch); and the Al Quds University of Jerusalem. It publishes papers on the protection and destruction of cultural heritage in areas of political instability or armed conflict; on restoring cultural heritage; and on the impact of urban redevelopment on the existing cultural heritage. At the time of review, the first issue contained papers on surviving medieval houses in Naples; the destruction of cultural heritage in Nigeria; restorations in Lithuania; urban redevelopment in Shanghai, China; reports on new research on cultural heritage; and book reviews. Papers like "The Diachronic Sociolinguistic Situation in Sindh" by M. Qasim Bughio and "The Lhasa Jokhang - is the world's oldest timber frame building in Tibet?" by André Alexander demonstrate the broadness of studies published, which encompass all aspects of cultural heritage. All papers are available free and full-text in PDF format; they are lavishly illustrated with colour pictures and maps and available in English or Italian. Since this journal focuses on a very broad subject, it may be useful to many researchers in archaeology and probably architects interested in urban redevelopment and the challenges posed by the existing cultural heritage.
'Where Rivers Meet: Landscape, Ritual, Settlement and the Archaeology of River Gravels' is the substantial online record of a major British research project examining the religious and landscape archaeology of... "the confluence of the Trent and Tame Rivers, Staffordshire" in the Midlands of England - the confluence of three or more rivers and streams in one location being thought places of special sacred meaning by the pre-Roman peoples of the British Isles. The project was "funded by the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund and administered by English Heritage" and covered an area 3.5 miles by 7 miles. At August 2008 the site contains pages detailing: the project aims; the archaeology of the study area; the impact of quarrying in the area; the project team; and the survey and analytical techniques.
York Archive Gazetteer is an online gazetteer which contains records of nearly 1,000 excavations and watching briefs undertaken by the York Archaeological Trust since 1972. The gazetteer gives a brief description of the archaeology found at the sites and the type and period of the major archaeological features encountered. The York Archaeological Trust was set up in 1972 to respond to the widespread threats to York's buried past posed by accelerated development. Anaerobic waterlogged deposits in some parts of York have preserved a wide range of organic objects which would not normally survive. Artefacts of: cloth; wood; and leather in remarkable states of preservations have been recovered from a number of sites. As a result the York Archaeological Trust has built up a collection of artefacts of particular importance. Probably the most spectacular and famous consequence of these investigations has been the unearthing of well preserved structural remains and paleoecological material dating from the Anglo-Scandinavian (Viking) period of the York's history. This has enabled a detailed reconstruction of the city at that time - a reconstruction which can be experienced at the Jorvik Viking Centre.
The York archive gazetteer is accessed via the ADS ArchSearch catalogue and can be searched alongside a number of additional datasets.