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Tuesday, October 9

A laser survey of Stonehenge has revealed that the crust had removed from key stones in the monument’s outer circle. Without the crust, the stones would have glistened in the setting sun at the winter solstice and at dawn on the summer solstice. These stones, which were the first to be seen by visitors approaching the monument from the northeast along the processional Avenue, are also the largest and most carefully shaped in the circle. Archaeologists also recorded every 4,500-year-old tool mark, along with dozens of small images that had been carved into the stone but are now invisible to the naked eye. “Over the months we have recorded and scrutinized every square centimeter of Stonehenge in unparalleled detail, revealing over 700 areas of stone working, rock art, graffiti, damage, and restoration,” wrote Marcus Abbott of ArcHeritage and Hugo Anderson-Whymark.

The city council of Rome has passed a decree banning eating and drinking in the historic city center. Heavy fines could be imposed upon offenders. The rule is intended to reign in the behavior of tourists, since Romans themselves rarely eat on the street. “To start pestering tourists while they are eating lunch out of a bag really seems the last of our problems,” commented one opponent of the measure.

Two Roman shipwrecks have been discovered in the Aegean Sea, near an island off the coast of Turkey. The ancient Roman city of Elaiussa Sebaste, a stop on the sea routes between Syria, Egypt, and Anatolia, was founded on the island in the second century B.C. Both ships had been carrying amphorae and marble—one dates to the Imperial period, the other to the sixth century A.D.

Rumors suggest that a tomb found in the ancient city of Amphipolis in northern Greece could belong to the wife and son of Alexander the Great. “Any further associations with historic figures or presumptions cannot be yet made because of the severe lack of evidence and finances that will not allow us to continue the excavations at least for the time being,” said head excavator Katerina Peristeri.

A corroded uniform button from a 74th Regiment British Army uniform and a copper British coin could help archaeologists identify a Revolutionary War-era shipwreck located off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida. The two artifacts suggest that the ship may have been part of the British fleet that evacuated Charleston in 1782. Half of those ships headed into the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, and the rest traveled to St. Augustine. Cauldrons, a bell, a flintlock pistol, two British cannons, and a musket have also been recovered.

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