Archive for the ‘ARCHAEOLOGY news’ Category

Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra2
Haven’t read in awhile, but must’ve enjoyed b/c I kept it.

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The remains of six people have now been discovered at a downtown St. Catharines construction site.

The Standard reporting government officials investigating the discovery now believe the site on James Street may have been a long forgotten Catholic Cemetery

Along with the remains, officials have also found wood from coffins along with metal handles.

Bones were first discovered by a construction worker on April 16th.

The site is owned by Penn Terra who is building a 210 bed student residence.

Construction has been suspended while an archeologist investigates the discovery and the origin of the bodies.

Thanks to MAC

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The remains of half a dozen people have now been found at a downtown construction site believed to be a forgotten Roman Catholic cemetery.

Coffin wood and metal coffin handles have been recovered in the area of 138 James St., the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services says.

The Ministry, which oversees the cemetery and crematorium regulation unit, said Monday the number of individuals found at the former municipal parking lot to date is six.

Spokesman Stephen Puddister said in an email there is evidence of individual burials placed approximately one metre apart at a depth of four to five feet. That evidence, along with fact the burial site is close to the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria on Church St., suggests the human remains are from a Euro-Canadian burial site and not an aboriginal burial ground as originally believed.

An archeological investigation is continuing at the site, which is being developed by Penn Terra for a 210-bed student residence.

Bones were discovered on April 16 by workers digging soil at the edge of the property, located between James and Lyman St. near Raymond St.

Workers stopped digging, police were called and the coroner brought in. Because of the age of the bones, it was initially believed they may be of aboriginal ancestry and the Mississaguas of the New Credit First Nation were notified and sent a representative to visit the site.

The scene was turned over to Ontario’s Registrar of Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act and Penn Terra.

As required under the act, Penn Terra arranged for an archeological investigation to be carried out by a professionally licenced archaeologist.

John Kingston, treasurer of Penn Terra, said the remains found are on the church property and were discovered when workers were cutting into the edge of the site. They are being accessed by the archeologist from the Penn Terra property.

Penn Terra can get onto its development site but it’s limited, so they’ve moved resources to another project on Lake St. “We have the ability to work but we’re giving the archeologist as much breathing space as possible,” Kingston said.

The development site at Lake St. will now be accelerated with the extra resources.

Kingston said there is no timeline for how long the archeologist will be investigating.

The ministry said the city, property owner and the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Catharines are now considering how best to deal with the site and the human remains. They are governed by the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act of 2002.

Margaret Young, a spokeswoman for the diocese, said all possible interested parties are researching and trying to find proper records of the graves. She said they want to make sure there aren’t any more remains on the site and a grid search is being undertaken.

“We’ll hope for a quick resolution as much as possible. They’re doing a thorough job about what they have found and what they might find,” she said.

The diocese met with the company, archeologist and city last week.

Director of planning and building services Jim Riddell said the city has no role and it’s a private matter between Penn Terra and the Catholic church. But he said the city has been keeping up to date on what’s happening.

Steve Fulton, president of the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Niagara chapter, has said the cathedral had a cemetery on the property in 1831 until 1856 when Victoria Lawn Cemetery was established. The church at one time took up a swath of land between Church and Raymond St.

What happened to the bodies that were buried before Victoria Lawn Cemetery opened is now the question.

“I’m shocked but not surprised those remains were found,” Fulton said. “I’m very curious to know how large the burial site is. What is going to be done with the other possible remains?”

Fulton said his concern is that a plan is developed to re-intern the human remains and see if there are others.

“Six is a significant number,” said Fulton said. “How much of the cemetery has been forgotten?”

Thanks to MAC

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THE remains of a GIANT human have been found in an ancient Roman fortress.

Archaeologists unearthed the bones while excavating the old Roman city of Odessus in the Bulgarian city of Varna.

The man, nicknamed Goliath, is thought to be over nine feet tall and to have died defending his castle in the late fourth century.

Head archaeologist Valeri Yotov says the finding has left researchers baffled.

“The size of the bones are enormous and very impressive. It’s clear this was a huge man,” he revealed.

“We suspect he may have been killed maybe while defending the wall as his remains were found alongside the wall.

“If he was not a defender then he may have been involved in building the wall.”

The remains will now be taken away and examined where experts are hoping to find further details about how big this man actually stood.

A spokesman for Varna Museum of Archaeology, where the tests will be carried out, said: “We are very excited by this discovery and who knows what else the archaeologists may find.

“For now though we want to find out as much as we can about this huge man and to finalise his height.”

The ancient city of Odessos was originally a post built by the Ancient Greeks in 600 BC.

Odessos was later taken over by the Romans who changed the name to Odessus.

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Remains were found…at the excavation of a parking lot on the corner of James St. and Raymond St. in St. Catharines.

An archeologist is assessing a downtown St. Catharines construction site this week after workers digging up soil discovered old human remains.

The bones, of unknown origin and ethnicity, have been cordoned off on the site at 138 James St. across from the courthouse.

A second site on River St. in Welland, where truckloads of soil from the St. Catharines site have been deposited, has also been secured.

“We don’t know how ancient they are,” said John Kingston, treasurer of Penn Terra, which is building a 210-bed student residence on the former municipal parking lot.

He said on Thursday, workers were digging when bones from the adjoining property fell onto the Penn Terra site. They shut down the site and police were contacted.

Niagara Regional Police Const. Phil Gavin said police initially secured the site as a possible crime scene. An investigation with the coroner’s office, however, determined the bones were archeological in nature, not criminal.

Regional coroner Dr. Jack Stanborough said the remains consisted of ancient bones. Their age hasn’t been determined, but he said they were likely more than 200 years old. He suspected they were probably from a First Nation community, which would not be out of keeping with other First Nation burials discovered.

Stanborough said finding archeological human remains isn’t all that unusual in Niagara.

“It’s not uncommon. Certainly in Niagara we get them every couple of months,” he said, explaining it usually happens when a new site is excavated. “It’s a combination of First Nations ancestry with modern development.”

Police released the scene and turned it over to the property owner and Ontario’s Registrar of Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, Michael D’Mello.

D’Mello said by e-mail Monday there is no determination yet of the cultural affinity of the remains and it’s still not known if they are of aboriginal ancestry.

“The origin of the site is unknown as well, since there is no evidence of intentional burials or an ossuary or a pit burial,” he wrote.

The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation — the closest First Nation community to the property — were notified of the discovery on Thursday by the Registrar.

A representative visited Friday, but on Monday D’Mello said there is no evidence to indicate the remains are of aboriginal ancestry.

He said the landowner has arranged for an investigation to be carried out by a professionally licenced archeologist, as required under the Funeral Burial and Cremation Services Act.

Once that archeologist makes a report, the registrar will make a declaration about the origin of the site and the process of removing the remains will begin.

Kingston, of Penn Terra, said the archeologist was on site Thursday and Friday, but rain Monday delayed further investigation.

“He will try to assess it to see what exactly these are and take it one step at a time,” Kingston said. “We’re obviously not doing anything in that area on site.”

Kingston said the ministry and archeologist indicated they could continue construction on the property away from the section with the remains.

It’s not known how long the remains will be there.

“Right now, it’s not great news for us because it does restrict us from that area, but as long as we can have access to other areas on the property we can continue working there,” Kingston said.

“If this is a short period of time required to deal with the matter, then I don’t think it will have any impact on our timing. If this goes on for a period of time, then obviously it would have an impact.

“Unfortunately, I just don’t know.”

Steve Fulton, president of the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Niagara chapter, said the major question now is whether there are other remains on the site.

He was researching the property along with other members through the weekend.

Fulton said there was a cemetery on the property from 1831 until 1856, when Victoria Lawn Cemetery was established. The cemetery was part of the Cathedral of St. Catherine, which is still standing on Church St. and at one time took up a deep swath of land between Church and Raymond Sts.

Where the Algoma Central building sits on the corner of Church and James Sts. was at one time a convent.

“We need to make sure the people who were laid to rest are laid to rest,” Fulton said.

Thanks to MAC

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