Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Syria Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers has war scars

A Syrian soldier looking at the castle on Thursday

Government troops in Syria have recaptured the historic Crusader castle of Krak des Chevaliers from rebels, close to the border with Lebanon.
An officer said the army had killed 93 rebels in fierce fighting in the area on Thursday, while there appeared to be heavy damage to a nearby village.
Journalists allowed to visit the Unesco World Heritage site on Friday found signs of a hasty retreat.
Walls of the hilltop castle showed signs of damage from bombardment.
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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Dig at Scottish Abbey yields 600 year old coins

Coins from the rules of Henry III and Edward I and II, minted in London between the 13th and 14th centuries, could have been the spoils of battle swiped from the pockets of the defeated English army at Bannockburn, say archaeologists investigating 17 acres of land around Cambuskenneth Abbey. 

Coins found at Cambuskenneth Abbey could be the spoils of war from the Battle of Bannockburn say archaeologists [Credit: © GUARD Archaeology] 

Working at one of the few places singled out in contemporary accounts of the Battle of Bannockburn, metal detectorists, geophysicists, historians and poets have been exploring the Abbey where Robert the Bruce kept his army’s baggage before the battle. Founded by David I in 1140 the site was originally known as the Abbey of St Mary of Stirling.

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

800 years of Irish history unraveled in N Ireland castle archaeological dig

Excavation work has started at Carrickfergus Castle in Co Antrim, Ireland’s best preserved Anglo Norman castle, in a bid to find out more about the 800-year-old fortification.

Archaeologists began test excavations at the site last week as part of the ongoing work by the Department of the Environment to uncover more of the landmark’s history and to help guide future development of the castle to improve visitor experience, the Irish Independent reports.

The castle boasts a long and storied history. 

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Monday, 17 February 2014

Capturing Windsor Castle - a free app for iPhone and iPad

A new app is giving visitors to Windsor Castle's an enhanced experience of Capturing the Castle: Watercolours of Windsor by Paul and Thomas Sandby, a new exhibition opening tomorrow.
Aimer Media created an app with Royal Collection Trust to support the Capturing the Castle exhibition at Windsor Castle, featuring the watercolours of Paul and Thomas Sandby. Capturing Windsor Castle helps you get the most from the exhibition at Windsor Castle from 7 February - 5 May.
Download the free iOS app to see forty-five of Sandby's finest views of Windsor Castle and town, paired with photographs of the same views as they appear today. With retina-quality images of the watercolours at your fingertips, all helpfully geo-located, users can navigate around the different views during, and after, their visit.
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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Richard III DNA mapping: historic first lets experts look into eyes of Plantagenet king

Richard III is to become the first historical figure to have his full genetic code sequenced, in a project that will reveal his hair and eye colour.
Archaeologists have already confirmed that the last Plantagenet king was a hunchback after finding a twisted spine when they recovered his skeleton from beneath a car park in Leicester.
Now they will be able to check whether portraits of a dark-haired brooding monarch are accurate. “It is an extremely rare occurrence that archaeologists are involved in the excavation of a known individual, let alone a king of England,” said Dr Turi King, from the University of Leicester, who is leading the gene sequencing project.
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Richard III: Scientists to sequence DNA

Skull of Richard III
The project will allow DNA testing to take place before the remains are reburied

he DNA of Richard III is to be mapped, potentially revealing details like hair and eye colour, researchers have said.
The project is to be led by the University of Leicester geneticist who helped identify the remains.
His remains were found in a Leicester car park in 2012.
The £100,000 study, expected to last at least a year, aims to provide an archive of DNA information for historians, scientists and the public.
Details of Richard III's appearance are not known for certain because all portraits of him were done long after his death.
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Richard III's DNA to be analysed to create complete genome sequence

Reconstruction of Richard III's face. The sequencing could reveal his susceptibility to diseases and whether the scoliosis which contorted his spine was genetic.
Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The bones of the king under the car park have more to tell: scientists are to analyse the DNA from the remains of Richard III to create the world's first complete genome sequence for a named historical figure.

The process could reveal his hair and eye colour, his susceptibility to conditions including Alzheimer's disease and diabetes, whether he was lactose intolerant, and whether the scoliosis that contorted his spine was genetic. It could also show if any of the surviving portraits, all completed years after his death, are accurate.

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