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Monday, October 15

In Vietnam, local people reportedly attacked police sent to protect officials from the Museum of Quang Ngai, who were surveying a 500-year-old shipwreck along the coast. The 60 fishermen claimed that the ship and its artifacts belonged to them as they gathered on the beach and swam to the wreck site. “At first they pretended to swim, and then they moved closer to the wreck. Waterway traffic police took two canoes to remind them not to enter the restricted area but they stoned the police. Two policemen were wounded in the head and arm,” said Doan Ngoc Khoi, deputy director of the museum. Hundreds of police officers now protect the site and its artifacts.

In southern Sweden, archaeologists have uncovered imprints of heavy rocks at a megalithic monument known as Ale’s Stones. The impressions suggest that a dolmen once stood at the site. Dolmens are tombs that were most often made with three or more upright stones supporting a large capstone. “It doesn’t have to be a chieftain buried here, it could be a wealthy farmer,” said archaeologist Bengt Söderberg. A flint scraper tool was also found during the preliminary dig.

Mathew Morris, director of the site where archaeologists from the University of Leicester think they may have unearthed the remains of Richard III, announced that the foundations of a Victorian-era building came within inches of destroying his grave. “His head was discovered inches from the foundations of a Victorian building. They obviously did not discover anything and probably would not have been aware of the importance of the site. If their plans had been just a little different, they could have destroyed a most significant historic find,” commented Leicester city mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby. Scientists are examining the bones and will see if there’s a genetic match to a descendant of the king’s sister.

On March 27, 1943, the HMS Dasher sank off the coast of southwestern Scotland, killing 379 people. There are only burial records for 16 of the victims. Archaeologists will investigate a site in Ardrossan Cemetery that may be a mass grave.

Excavations at Ferry Farm, George Washington’s boyhood home, revealed the foundation of the house and its cellars in 2008. Artifacts from Washington’s time, the Civil War, and prehistory have also been unearthed. “The goal is to reconstruct or build a structure of what would have been on the landscape at the time of Washington’s youth,” said Bill Garner, president of The George Washington Foundation.

Wei Guangbiao of China’s Institute of Three Gorges Paleoanthropology claims that pandas were once eaten in southwest China. He says the fossilized bones of pandas show slash marks and therefore must have been used as food by early humans. He adds that the pandas were smaller than modern pandas, and lived in Chongqing’s mountains between 10,000 and one million years ago.

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