What’s new? The archaeology weekly roundup 31/1/2014

So what’s been cracker-lacking this week in the world of discoveries and science. Let’s take a look…

Oldest Roman temple found?

The ruins of an ancient Roman temple was discovered by a group of archaeologists from the University of Michigan. It dates back to around the 7th century BC, the temple was likely constructed for the goddess Fortuna.

The excavation was difficult to undergo, as it was built under the water table, and large machinery had to be brought in.

roman temple

Scientists identify the cause of an ancient pandemic

In AD 541, a nasty pandemic plagued Asia, Europe and northern Europe killing 50 million people – also thought to one of the reasons for the fall of the Roman empire. After a series of skeletons were found at a burial site in Munich dating to this time, scientists have been able to extract DNA from a victims tooth and identify the plague that killed them.

Apparently it began in China and from, you guessed it, a rodent. This isn’t however linked to the Black Death, but it has some obvious similarities. But don’t worry, with modern medicine, apparently we’re fine…I hope.

Tooth-590x330

Poems from Greek poetess Sappho recovered

On a lighter note, two ancient poems from Greek poetess Sappho, famous in the 7th century BC, have been recovered, after a collector produced them to literary researchers. Only one full poem from Sappho remains, so these two papyrus parchments are something special.

Greek-Sappho-papyrus

‘Stone Age Atlantis’ found in the Baltic Sea

A group of Swedish divers came across an amazing find this week, ruins under the Baltic Sea dating back 11,000 years ago. The site named the “Stone Age Atlantis” is said to be one of the oldest Nordic finds, and was left by Swedish nomads.

The ancient settlement was probably washed away like so many islands, but archaeologists have been able to find flint tools, wood, animal horns and ropes so far. An animal bone from an extinct animal called the Auroch was even uncovered (the animal went extinct in the 1600s).

swedish-divers

Wanna know what else has been happening this week? Check out this other stories:

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