Category Archives: EUROPE

900,000-year-old footprints of earliest northern Europeans discovered

900,000-year-old footprints of earliest northern Europeans discovered

Footprints left behind by what may be one of our first human ancestors to arrive in Britain have been discovered on a beach in Norfolk. The preserved tracks, which consisted of 49 imprints in soft sedimentary rock, are believed to be around 900,000 years old and could transform scientists understanding of how early humans moved around the world.

The footprints on Happisburgh beach are possibly those of a family in search of food

The footprints were found in what scientists have described as a “million to one” discovery last summer when heavy seas washed the sand off the foreshore in Happisburgh, Norfolk. The find has only now been made public and is thought to be the oldest evidence of early humans in northern Europe yet to be discovered.

Africa cave men settled in Norfolk Anthropologists and evolutionary biologists from around the UK have been studying the tracks, and believe they may have been related to an extinct form of human ancestor known as Homo antecessor, or “Pioneer Man”.

The tracks include up to five different prints, indicating a group of both adults and children walked across the ancient wet estuary silt. They are the earliest direct evidence of human ancestors in the area and may belong to some of the first ever Britons. Until now the oldest human remains to be found in Europe all come from around the far south of the continent, including stone tools found in southern Italy and a tooth found in Spain.

Skull fragments from that are around 780,000 years old hominid – the term used by scientists for early humans – were also found in southern Spain. Previously the oldest evidence of humans in Britain were a set of stone tools dated to 700,000 years ago from near Lowestoft in Suffolk, although more recently stone tools were also discovered at the site in Happisburgh.

Dr Nick Ashton, curator of the department of prehistory of Europe at the British Museum and an archaeologist at University College London, said: “These are the oldest human footprints outside Africa. It is an extremely rare and lucky discovery.

“The slim chance of surviving in the first place, the sea exposing it in the right way and thirdly us finding it at the right time – I’d say it was a million to one find. “Footprints give you a tangible link that stone tools and even human remains cannot replicate. “We were able to build up a picture of what five individuals were doing on one day. “The Happisburgh site continues to re-write our understanding of the early human occupation of Britain and indeed Europe.”

The discovery was unveiled at the British Museum in London and in the scientific journal PLOS One and will feature in a new exhibition at the Natural History Museum. There are only three other sites in the world that have older footprints, all of which are in Africa – a set is 3.5 million years old in Tanzania and some that are 1.5 million years old in Kenya. The Happisburgh prints were uncovered at low tide after stormy seas removed large amounts of sand from the beach to reveal a series of elongated hollows in the compacted ancient silt.

The prints were first noticed when a low tide uncovered them
The sea has now washed away the prints – but not before they were recorded

Scientists removed the remaining sand and sponged off the seawater before taking 3D scans and images of the surface. In some cases, researchers were able to identify heel marks, foot arches, and even toes from the prints. They found prints equivalent to up to a UK shoe size eight. They also estimate that the individuals who left the prints ranged from around two feet 11 inches tall to five feet eight inches tall. At least two or three of the group were thought to be children and one was possibly an adult male.

Dr Isabelle De Groote, an anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University who studied the prints, said: “We have identified at least five individuals here.

“It is likely they were somehow related, and if they were not direct family members they will have belonged to the same family group. “The footprints were fairly close together so we think they were walking rather than running. Most were directly alongside the river in a southerly direction but also there were some going in all different directions like they were pottering around.

“If you imagine walking along a beach now with children then they would be running around.”

Unfortunately the prints themselves were quickly eroded away by the sea and have now been lost. Happisburgh is one of the fastest eroding parts of the British coastline. The Environment Agency and local authority decided some years ago to abandon maintenance of the sea defences there as it was no longer considered to be cost effective.

Scientists hope, however, that as further parts of the coastline are eroded more evidence of human activity and perhaps more footprints will be uncovered. From their analysis of the prints, researchers believe the group was probably heading in a southerly direction over what would at the time have been an estuary surrounded by salt marsh and coniferous forest.

At the time Britain was connected to continental Europe by land and the site at Happisburgh would have been on the banks of a wide estuary several miles from the coast. The estuary itself would have provided a rich array of plants, seaweed and shellfish. Fossils of mammoth, an extinct kind of horse and early forms of voles have also been found at the site Happisburgh.

The early humans could also have hunted or scavenged the grazing herds for meat. The discovery of the footprints is particularly significant as there are few surviving tracks of human ancestors elsewhere in the world. Scientists can glean large amounts of information about our ancestors, including the size of the groups they travelled in, how they walked, their size and weight.

The prints were discovered in deposits that have also revealed stone tools and fossilized bones dating to between 800,000 and one million years ago. Dr. Simon Lewis, a geoarchaeologist at the Queen Mary University of London, said: “Although we knew the sediments were old, we had to be certain that the hollows were also ancient and hadn’t been created recently.

There are no known erosional processes that create that pattern. In addition, the sediments are too complicated for the hollows to have been made recently.” Early primitive human ancestors first began to appear in Africa around 4.4 million years ago and are thought to have only left the continent around 1.8 million years ago and are not thought to have arrived in Europe until around 1 million years ago. Extinct species such as the Neanderthals appeared first appeared between 400,000 and 600,000 years ago, while modern humans – Homo sapiens – first began to emerge from Africa around 125,000 years ago but did not arrive in Europe until around 40,000 years ago.

It is thought that the footprints may have belonged to a relative of a Homo antecessor – an extinct hominid species that may have been a common ancestor to both modern humans and Neanderthals, although such theories are still highly disputed.

Remains from Homo antecessor were discovered in the Atapuerca Mountains in Spain. Professor Chris Stringer, an eminent anthropologist at the Natural History Museum in London who worked with the team, said: “The humans who made the Happisburgh footprints may well have been related to the people of similar antiquity from Atapuerca in Spain, assigned to the species Homo antecessor.

“These people were of a similar height to ourselves and were fully bipedal. They seem to have become extinct in Europe by 600,000 years ago and were perhaps replaced by the species Homo heidelbergensis.

“Neanderthals followed from about 400,000 years ago and eventually modern humans some 40,000 years ago.”

Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest Viking settlement in Iceland

Archaeologists have unearthed what may be the oldest Viking settlement in Iceland

It is thought that the ancient longhouse was built in the 800s, decades before seafaring refugees had settled the island and was hidden beneath a younger longhouse,  brimming with treasures, said archaeologist Bjarni Einarsson, who led the excavations.

The youngest of the two longhouses contained the most valuable horde of objects ever found in Iceland and was probably the hall of a Viking chieftain.
The oldest of the two Viking longhouses at Stöð dates from around A.D. 800, several decades before the commonly accepted date of the settlement of Iceland in A.D. 874.

“So far the richest is the youngest hall in Iceland,” Einarsson told BBC. “It is impossible not to conclude that it is a chieftain’s house.”

Communal houses

The massive buildings, up to 75 meters long and 20 feet (6 meters) tall, lined with turf and thatch and were used as communal habitations throughout the Norse lands during the Viking Age.

They were divided into rooms and could be shared by several families. Fires were built in stone hearths along the center, and farm animals could be stabled there to protect them from cold.

Both longhouses were found at Stöð, near the village and fjord of Stöðvarfjörður in the east of Iceland. The younger structure dates to around A.D. 874 — the commonly accepted date for Iceland’s settlement by people, who, according to Icelandic lore, were escaping the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair. It contains one of the most valuable hoards of ornamental beads, silver and ancient coins ever found in Scandinavia, Einarsson said.

Among the finds: Roman and Middle Eastern silver coins, and “hacksilver,” which are cut and bent pieces of silver used as bullion or currency by the Vikings and other ancient peoples.

The excavations of the 130 foot-long (40 m) hall have also unearthed decorative glass beads, rings, weights, and a tiny fragment of gold, Einarsson said.

The inhabitants likely acquired these goods by trading local resources, such as the skins and meat from whales and seals, which were prized throughout Viking Scandinavia.

As well as Roman and Middle Eastern coins and pieces of silver, the excavations unearthed many decorative glass beads and a large sandstone bead that was probably used for trading.

Atlantic expansion

Hidden beneath the treasure-filled longhouse was an even older structure. Chemical and other analyses suggest this buried longhouse was built in the 800s, long before the permanent settlement of Iceland, Einarsson said.

He thinks it was a seasonal settlement or camp, occupied only during the summer and maybe into the fall, by workers in the area.

Although walruses were not found in eastern Iceland, the local resources that could be eaten, preserved, or traded could have included produce from fish, whales, seals, and birds, he said.

The archaeologists have also found artifacts from the everyday life of the settlement, including several spindle whorls made of local sandstone that was used for spinning fibers into thread or twine.

The archaeologists have also found artifacts from the everyday life of the settlement, including several spindle whorls made of local sandstone that was used for spinning fibers into thread or twine.

Parts of the older building investigated so far show it was one of the largest longhouses ever found in Iceland.

“We know that the westernmost part of the older hall was a smithy [for working with metal] — the only smithy within a hall known in Iceland,” Einarsson said.

The seasonal camp at Stöð was similar in scale and function to the Viking settlement discovered at L’Anse aux Meadows, in what is now Newfoundland in Canada, which has been dated to around A.D. 1000, he said.

“This was a pattern of the settlement of the islands in the Atlantic Ocean,” Einarsson said. “First, we had the seasonal camps, and then the settlement followed.”

Einarsson has directed a private archaeological firm for more than 20 years, and from 2009 excavated a Viking Age settlement at Vogur, on Iceland’s west coast, which depended on hunting walruses for their ivory, skins, and meat.

He discovered the longhouse ruins at Stöð in 2007 and began excavations at the site in 2015. The project is paid for by Iceland’s Archaeological Fund, the region’s municipal government, companies, and local people.

Metal Detectorist Finds Rare Lost Roman Lead Ingot in Wales

Metal Detectorist Finds Rare Lost Roman Lead Ingot in Wales

In a field near Rossett, Rob Jones found the metal object, and a careful searching exposed the corner of a lead object with ‘writing’ on it.

The local find agent (NE Wales) has informed Mr. Jones who is from Codpoeth, Wrexham to the Wales Portable Antiquity Scheme (PAS Cymru) located in the Wrexham Museum. Archaeologists from both the Museum and the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust assessed what had been discovered.

The item discovered was a large lead ingot (approximately half a meter long and 63 kilograms weighed). The ‘writing’ reported by Mr. Jones was a cast Latin inscription confirming that it was Roman and about 2,000 years old.

The discovery is assessed alongside its finder, Metal detectorist Rob Jones.

The exploitation of Britain’s natural resources was one of the reasons cited by Roman authors for the invasion of Britain by Emperor Claudius in AD 43.

Lead ore or galena contains silver as well as lead, and both were valuable commodities for the Romans. Less than a hundred lead ingots of this type are known from the mines of Roman Britain.

The rare find is particularly significant for archaeologists and historians because of its potentially early date, the location of the findspot, and because of its unique inscription.

The lead was mined and processed in several areas of the new province including in north-east Wales where lead processing sites have been excavated near Flint, presumably smelting ores extracted from the nearby Halkyn Mountain.

A number of lead ingots of slightly later date are known from these works, often marked with the name of the local pre-Roman tribe called the Deceangli.

Susie White, the local Finds Officer (NE Wales) said: “It has been suggested in the past that similar exploitation took place in the Wrexham area around Minera and particularly Ffrith, where there is a known Roman site, although clear evidence is absent, probably as the result of more recent mining activity.

“We don’t yet know where this ingot has come from and we will probably never know where it was going to. However given the find spots of other ingots from Britain of similar date, it may have been destined for continental Europe, perhaps even Rome itself. The object could tell us a great deal about this important period of our past, a period which is still poorly understood in this area of the country.”

The inscription appears to mention one Marcus Trebellius Maximus, who was the governor of the province of Britannia under Emperor Nero from AD 63-69.

If genuine, the Rossett find represents the only example of an inscription bearing his name ever found in the UK and one of very few from the empire as a whole.

Trebellius was partly responsible for bringing stability to Britannia after Boudica’s revolt in AD 60/1, although he was ultimately forced out of the province by mutinous Roman soldiers who were dissatisfied with the lack of military activity under his governorship.

Councillor Hugh Jones, Lead Member for People at Wrexham Council commented “I’m delighted to be able to announce that Wrexham museum has acquired the ingot and I’d like to thank the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the Headley Trust and the Friends of Wrexham Museums for their support with the acquisition which otherwise would not have been possible. Its acquisition will allow the ingot to be displayed in the town nearest to the place where it was lost and rediscovered.”

The museum together with the University of Chester is hoping to undertake archaeological work on the site of the discovery, as soon as the pandemic allows, to see if any further information can be gleaned as to the circumstances of its loss.

A farmer found 2,000-year-old Laughing burial skeleton in the tomb of a nomadic royal

A farmer found 2,000-year-old Laughing burial skeleton in the tomb of a nomadic royal

In an ancient burial mound in the tombs of a Nomadic king, along with a “laughing” human with an oddly deformed egg-shaped skull, a farmer dug a pit on his land uncovered 2,000-year-old treasure.

Golden and silver jewellery, weapons, valuables, and artistic household items have been discovered in a grave, in the south of Russia, near the Caspian Sea, next to the chief’s skeleton.

Local farmer Rustam Mudayev’s spade made an unusual noise and it emerged he had struck an ancient bronze pot near his village of Nikolskoye in Astrakhan region. He took it to the Astrakhan History museum for analysis and an expert’s opinion on the find.

Two well-preserved clay jars placed at the head and feet of the man.
Skeleton of high-status Sarmatian warrior discovered near Krasnodar, Russia.
Knife with gold and turquoise decoration 

“As soon as the snow melted we organized an expedition to the village,” said museum’s scientific researcher Georgy Stukalov. “After inspecting the burial site we understood that it to be a royal mound, one of the sites where ancient nomads buried their nobility.”

The burial is believed to belong to a leader of a Sarmatian nomadic tribe that dominated this part of Russia until the 5th century AD, and other VIPs of the ancient world, including a ‘laughing’ young man with an artificially deformed egg-shaped skull and excellent teeth that have survived two millennia.

Skull with egg-shaped skull of deliberate cranial deformation

“We have been digging now for 12 days,’ said Mr. Stukalov. “We have found multiple gold jewellery decorated with turquoise and inserts of lapis lazuli and glass.”

The most ‘significant’ find is seen as a male skeleton buried inside a wooden coffin. This chieftain’s head was raised as if it rested on a pillow and he wore a cape decorated with gold plaques.

Gold plaques from pillow underneath the warrior’s head

Archaeologists found his collection of knives, items of gold, a small mirror, and different pots, evidently signalling his elite status. They collected a gold and turquoise belt buckle and the chief’s dagger along with a tiny gold horse’s head which was buried between his legs, and other intricate jewellery.

Nearby was a woman with a bronze mirror who had been buried with a sacrificial offering of a whole lamb, along with various stone items, the meaning of which is unclear.

Another grave was of an elderly man – his skeleton broke by an excavator – but buried with him was the head of his horse, its skull still dressed in an intricate harness richly decorated with silver and bronze.

Also in the burial mound was the skeleton of a young man with an artificially deformed egg-shaped skull. The shape is likely to have been ‘moulded’ either by multiple bandaging or ‘ringing’ of the head in infancy. Such bandages and or rings were worn for the first years of a child’s life to contort the skull into the desired shape.

Shaping and elongating the skull in this way was popular on various continents among ancient groupings like the Sarmatians, Alans, Huns, and others. Such deformed heads were seen as a sign of a person’s special status and noble roots, and their privileged place in their societies, it is believed.

The burials date to around 2,000 years ago, a period when the Sarmatian nomadic tribes held sway in what is now southern Russia.

“These finds will help us understand what was happening here at the dawn of civilization,” said Astrakhan region governor Sergey Morozov. Excavation is continuing at the site.

Massive Prehistoric Monument Detected Near Stonehenge

Massive Prehistoric Monument Detected Near Stonehenge

Two miles from Stonehenge, a series of ancient shafts excavated thousands of years ago has been found. Analysis of the 20 or more shafts suggests the features are Neolithic and excavated more than 4,500 years ago – around the time the nearby ancient settlement of Durrington Walls was built.

The newly discovered circle of shafts surround the pictured Durrington Walls in Wiltshire

The shafts, around more than 10 meters in diameter and five meters deep form a circle of more than 1.2 miles around the Durrington Walls and Woodhenge monuments on Salisbury Plain, near Amesbury in Wiltshire.

The research was carried out by a team of researchers from St Andrews, Manchester, Warwick, Sheffield, Glasgow and Trinity Saint David University in Wales.

Yellow dots mark the location of the finds, with Durrington Walls marked as the large brown circle and Stonehenge top left

The pits surround the ancient settlement of Durrington Walls, two miles (3km) from Stonehenge, and were discovered using remote sensing technology and sampling.

Prof Gaffney, of the University of Bradford, said the discovery demonstrated “the capacity and desire of Neolithic communities to record their cosmological belief systems in ways, and at a scale, that we had never previously anticipated”.

“The area around Stonehenge is amongst the most studied archaeological landscapes on earth,” he added.

“It is remarkable that the application of new technology can still lead to the discovery of such a massive prehistoric structure.

“When these pits were first noted, it was thought they might be natural features. Only through geophysical surveys, could we join the dots and see there was a pattern on a massive scale.”

Prof Gaffney said a “proper excavation” was required to determine the exact nature of the pits but that the team believed they acted as a boundary, perhaps marking out Durrington Walls as a special place, or emphasizing the difference between the Durrington and Stonehenge areas.

The shafts surround the known location of Durrington Walls

He said it was difficult to speculate how long they would have taken to create, but using manual stone tools, there would have been “considerable organization of labour to produce pits on this scale”.

“The pits are massive by any estimate. As far as we can tell they are nearly vertical sided; that is we can’t see any narrowing that might imply some sort of shaft. Some of the silts suggest relatively slow filling of the pits. In other words, they were cut and left open,” added Prof Gaffney.

Dr. Richard Bates, from St Andrews’ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said it had given an insight into “an even more complex society than we could ever imagine”.

His colleague Tim Kinnaird said sediments from the shafts had allowed archaeologists to “write detailed narratives of the Stonehenge landscape for the last 4,000 years”.

Dr. Nick Snashall, National Trust archaeologist for the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, hailed the discovery as “astonishing”.

She said: “As the place where the builders of Stonehenge lived and feasted, Durrington Walls is key to unlocking the story of the wider Stonehenge landscape, and this astonishing discovery offers us new insights into the lives and beliefs of our Neolithic ancestors.

“The Hidden Landscapes team has combined cutting-edge, archaeological fieldwork with good old-fashioned detective work to reveal this extraordinary discovery and write a whole new chapter in the story of the Stonehenge landscape.”

Third Neanderthal Genome Sequenced

Third Neanderthal Genome Sequenced

To date, only two Neanderthals have been sequenced to high-quality genomes: one originating from Vindjia Cave in Modern Croatia and one originating from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia.

The genome from a third Neanderthal whose remains were found-106 kilometers from the latter site-in Chagyrskaya Cave has now been sequenced in a research team led by Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

DNA was extracted from bone powder and sequenced to high quality by researchers. They estimate that the Neandertal woman lived about sixty to eight thousand years ago.

Researchers have sequenced the genome of a Neandertal from Chagyrskaya Cave in the Altai Mountains to high quality.

From the variation in the genome, they estimate that she and other Siberian Neandertals lived in small groups of less than 60 individuals.

The researchers also show that the Chagyrskaya Neandertal was more closely related to the Croatian than to the other Siberian Neandertal which lived some 40,000 years before the Chagyrskaya Neandertal.

This shows that Neandertal populations from the West at some point replaced other Neandertal populations in Siberia.

“We also found that genes expressed in the striatum of the brain during adolescence showed more changes that altered the resulting amino acid when compared to other areas of the brain”, says Fabrizio Mafessoni, lead author of the study.

The results suggest that the striatum – a part of the brain which coordinates various aspects of cognition, including planning, decision-making, motivation, and reward perception – may have played a unique role in Neandertals.

Iron Age funeral site discovered on the Solihull HS2 site in England.

Iron Age funeral site discovered on the Solihull HS2 site in England.

On an area of the proposed HS2 line near Solihull, the Iron Age funeral site has been discovered. The forgotten graves, at least 2,000 years old, indicate that a settlement may have existed on the riverbank site way back in history. Archaeologists revealed the exciting find as they studied the project site ahead of construction work for the 225mph rail line.

Wessex Archaeology, which is excavating on behalf of HS2, found a cluster of several dozen “cremation graves” – from those placed on funeral pyres – at Coleshill.

The site dates back to the Iron Age, the last phase of the prehistoric period, which, for most of Europe, the Roman conquest brought to an abrupt end.

It is the most recent find on the site near the banks of the cole, which regularly received briefings from the Solihull Council HS2 Implementation Advisory Group.

Revealing the discovery this month, Emma Carter, from Wessex Archaeology, said that the experts were uncovering “tantalising” evidence from the distant past and an in-depth investigation of the graves would follow.

An aerial map shows where the cremation graves are located in relation to the wider dig-site

“[It] should offer some interesting ideas of what they do with their dead,” she said.

“When I say they, it’s probably going to be Iron Age people … You have 43 cremation-related deposits.”

Cremation was a widespread ritual for ancient people, although the spread of Roman customs eventually saw the practice become more and more infrequent.

In parts of Europe, the custom was ultimately forbidden, although its use for disposing of bodies eventually resurfaced in the 19th century.

As previously reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), the Coleshill site has been hailed because of the layers of history clustered in a relatively small location.

Aerial shot of the dig-site at Coleshill, which has been the scene of extensive investigations in recent months.

Iron Age roundhouses had once stood there generations ago, with archaeologists trying to establish whether these structures would have been occupied all year round or just during certain periods.

Artist’s concept of an Iron Age landscape, similar to the sort that would have been cultivated at Coleshill.

“You can imagine that staying in a roundhouse during the deep, dark, wet months of winter can be quite a difficult thing, whilst being there towards the summer months is probably a more pleasant experience. It also gives you more time to tend to your crops,” Ms. Carter added.

Aside from the remains of this settlement, the teams have also been investigating a Romano-British enclosure and will also be carrying out research into where a Medieval manor house once stood.

Physical items found on site have included Roman brooches, a serpent design from the Victorian era, and a coin dating from the 1500s – during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Wessex has been liaising with the council about options for an archaeological exhibition at The Core Library, in Solihull town center – which was originally scheduled for this summer but suffered a setback when coronavirus closed the venue.

A Dog Named Monty Has Dug Up a Rare Cache of Bronze Age Artifacts in the Czech Republic

A Dog Named Monty Has Dug Up a Rare Cache of Bronze Age Artifacts in the Czech Republic

In March, Monty was out on a trip with his owner Mr. Frankota, to Orlické Mountains (northeast Bohemia), making a spectacular discovery. Archeologists report that the objects discovered by the dog are “surprisingly” in good condition.

Bronze Age artifacts discovered by a local dog named Monty.

Archeopupper

Frankota recounts that Monty rushed off during their walk and started digging frantically. He walked over to check what got his dog so excited and was surprised to see a collection of bronze objects. 

The stash — which has been donated to the Hradec Králové Region local government — contained 13 sickle blades, 3 axe blades, and two spearheads.

All items were fashioned out of bronze. The wealth of objects, as well as the excellent condition they were buried in, points to a ritual deposit, archeologists believe.

“The fact that there are so many objects in one place is almost certainly tied to an act of honoration, most likely a sacrifice of some sorts,” Martina Beková, an archaeologist at the nearby Museum and Gallery of Orlické Mountains, told Czech Radio.

“What particularly surprised us was that the objects were whole, because the culture that lived here at the time normally just buried fragments, often melted as well. These objects are beautiful, but the fact that they are complete and in good condition is of much more value to us.”

Beková was part of the team that examined the artifacts after Frankota delivered them to local authorities.

They were likely produced by the Urnfield culture, a late Bronze Age Indo-European people that lived in the area. Their name stems from the group’s mortuary practices: they would cremate their dead and bury them in urns in fields.

As of now, the team cannot say for sure how or why the items were buried in the area.

The discovery has local archeologists excited — and rightly so. It’s the largest single finding in the region. They’re currently combing the region with metal detects but, so far, their search proved unfruitful. Still, they’re not about to give up just yet.

“There were some considerable changes to the surrounding terrain over the centuries, so it is possible that the deeper layers are still hiding some secrets,” Sylvie Velčovská from the local regional council.

The artifacts are currently on display as part of the exhibition Journey to the Beginning of Time at the Museum and Gallery of Orlické Mountains, Rychnov, until 21 October 2018. After that, they will undergo conservation and be moved to a permanent exhibition in a museum in Kostelec.

The team also wants to point out that archeologists often work with lucky discoveries made by members of the public or during excavation works; if you happen to stumble into some artifacts, you should notify local authorities (archeological items are considered government property in most states). It’s not a one-sided deal, either: Frankota was awarded 7,860 CZK (roughly US$360) for the items.

Hopefully, some of that will go towards buying Monty some well-deserved treats.