News and Announcements

A list of recent news and announcements from the School of Archaeology, together with further information and external links (where applicable) is available on this page.  If you are have an archaeology-related news item and would like it displayed here, then please e-mail

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Dr Dan Hicks on Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time"

Dr Dan Hicks, University Lecturer and Curator of Archaeology in the School of Archaeology and Pitt Rivers Museum, appeared on Melvyn Bragg's "In Our Time" on 28 February 2013, talking about the Victorian archaeologist General Augustus Pitt-Rivers. For further reading, links, and to listen again, see

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05-02-2013 by Administrator

Neanderthals 'died out earlier than previously thought'

Since the 1990s, scholars have believed that around 35,000 years ago the last of the Neanderthals sought refuge in southern Iberia, in an area known as Spain today. However, new dating evidence on fossilised bones from sites in the region (based on work undertaken by Dr Rachel Wood and Professor Thomas Higham at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit) suggests that the fossils could be 15,000 years older than previously thought.

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19-10-2012 by Administrator

Lake yields new benchmark for dating much older objects

A new series of radiocarbon measurements from Japan's Lake Suigetsu will give scientists a more accurate benchmark for dating materials, especially for older objects, according to a research team that included Oxford University's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.

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10-10-2012 by Administrator

Dan Hicks leads Arts Council England funded project 'Excavating Pitt-Rivers'

The Victorian archaeologist General Pitt-Rivers is world-famous for his development of modern scientific archaeology, but the earliest archaeological collections that he made have never been studied. The Pitt Rivers Museum, where these artefacts are held, has been awarded £76,654 by Arts Council England’s Designation Development Fund to document this important early material. 

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Mammoth Flute

Earliest musical instruments were first produced in Europe 40,000 years ago

The first modern humans in Europe were playing musical instruments and showing artistic creativity as early as 40,000 years ago, according to new research from Oxford and Tübingen Universities.

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Island of Sveti Ivan

New evidence supports claims that relics could be of John the Baptist

New dating evidence supports claims that bones found under a church floor in Bulgaria may be of John the Baptist, who is described in the Bible as a leading prophet and relative of Jesus Christ.

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01-05-2012 by Administrator

Ancient network of rivers and lakes found in Arabian Desert

Satellite images have revealed that a network of ancient rivers once coursed their way through the sand of the Arabian Desert, leading scientists to believe that the region experienced wetter periods in the past.

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The Atlas of Hillforts in Britain and Ireland

A collaborative four year project between the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh directed by Professors Gary Lock (Oxford) and Ian Ralston (Edinburgh) and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council has just been announced.

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Ancient humans brought red deer to Ireland

Scientists have discovered that the red deer population from County Kerry is directly descended from deer that were introduced into Ireland by Neolithic people from Britain around 5,000 years ago.

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