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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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Excavation work begins at Carrickfergus Castle to probe more of its history


Historical secrets locked within the walls of Ireland's best preserved Anglo Norman castle could be uncovered through a new archaeological excavation.

Experts started work at Carrickfergus Castle today in a bid to find out more about the 800-year-old fortification on the shores of BelfastLough.
Built in 1177 by Anglo Norman knight John de Courcy soon after his invasion of Ulster, the castle lies on the stretch of coastline where King William III landed in Ireland before the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Its storied history includes sieges by King John in 1210 and Edward Bruce in 1315 and capture by the French under Captain Francois Thurot in 1760.
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Sunday, 2 February 2014

Summer Courses in Archaeology


The Oxford Experience Summer School



Courses in Archaeology


The Oxford Experience Summer School is held at Christ Church, Oxford

The Oxford Experience Summer School offers a number of one-week courses in archaeology as part of its programme.

Participants live in Christ Church - the largest of the Oxford Colleges - and take their meals in the Great Hall, which is the hall that inspired the Hogwarts Hall in the Harry Potter films.

Courses are limited to a maximum of twelve participants and tend to fill up rather quickly, so early application is advised.


Youcan find out more about the Oxford Experience here...

Training Digs for 2014



Now is the time to start thinking about training digs for the summer.

If you are planning to go on a training dig, take a look at our list here...

If you would like to submit details of a training dig (or any other archaeological event), please use the contact form here...