Update: Recent archaeology and antiquities related news

Below please find a selection of news items from the past few weeks dealing with archaeological discoveries and research, antiquities and ancient art that we felt to be of special interest. All links will open in a new tab or window. Enjoy –

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UK Portable Antiquities Scheme Releases 2013 Annual Report

The UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport, along with The British Museum, have issued the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s 2013 Annual Report. The Report shows how, more than ever,  this model of public participation in the finding and recording of archaeological data can have huge benefits to finders, museums and the broader base of archaeological and historical knowledge. It is a model that should be emulated by many other countries in and beyond Europe.

Some amazing key facts from the Report –

* One million finds have now been recorded by the Portable
Antiquities Scheme (PAS) since 1997.
• 80,861 PAS finds were recorded on the PAS database in 2013 (finds.org.uk/database).
• 90% of finds were found by metal-detectorists.
• 91% of PAS finds were found on cultivated land, where they are susceptible to plough damage and artificial and natural corrosion processes.
* The great majority of PAS finds are returned to the finder.
• 993 Treasure cases were reported. It is hoped that many of these will be acquired by museums for public benefit.
• Important new Treasure finds included eight Bronze Age gold bracelets from Woollaston, Gloucestershire (2013 T805), a Civil War coin hoard from Staveley, North Yorkshire (2013 T635) and a post-medieval silver ewer from Kingston Russell, Devon (2013 T476).
It is worth noting here that if about 90% of PAS finds are returned to the finders, in just 2013 this would amount to over 70,000 individual objects being available to enter the marketplace for antiquities and related items. Those who claim, with no actual proof, that the antiquities market is flooded with looted objects should consider this number. In the space of a decade this would approach nearly a million objects, many tens of thousands of them being marketable Celtic, Roman, Saxon and other antiquities. All perfectly legal under British and international law.
The PAS 2013 Report is available to download or view in PDF format here – http://finds.org.uk/documents/annualreports/2013.pdf

Blog for the new exhibition “Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age”

This blog accompanies the exhibition Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age, on view from September 22, 2014, through January 4, 2015 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Both the exhibition page on the Met’s website and the Blog that accompany it – http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/assyria-to-iberia/blog – are packed with information about this key transitional period. Highly recommended.

Tel Halaf, Mesopotamia, archaeology, Iron Age, Syria, antiquities, British Museum, Clio Ancient Art Antiquities

Tel Halaf Reliefs in the British Museum. Fate of Tel Halaf Unknown

Clio Ancient Art Tel Halaf Reliefs British Museum

These are basalt reliefs from the 10th Century BC Aramaean palace at Tel Halaf (ancient Guzana) in northeastern Syria. Excavated between 1911 and 1921 by a German expedition under Max von Oppenheim. This section comes from the south wall of the palace, which was decorated with 187 relief segments in black basalt alternating with ochre colored limestone. The area of Tel Halaf is now disputed between ISIS and rival Jihadi militias and the fate of the site is unknown. This fragment and others are safely on display in the British Museum. Photo Credit: Clio Ancient Art and Antiquities

Tel Halaf, Mesopotamia, archaeology, Iron Age, Syria, antiquities, British Museum, Clio Ancient Art Antiquities

Tel Halaf, Mesopotamia, archaeology, Iron Age, Syria, antiquities, British Museum, Clio Ancient Art Antiquities