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Bourbou C.,Hellenic Ministry of Culture | Bourbou C.,University of Aegean | Fuller B.T.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Fuller B.T.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology | Year: 2011

Documentary evidence and artistic representations have traditionally served as the primary sources of information about Byzantine diet. According to these sources, Byzantine diet was based on grain (primarily wheat and barley), oil, and wine, supplemented with legumes, dairy products, meat, and marine resources. Here, we synthesize and compare the results of stable isotope ratio analyses of eight Greek Byzantine populations (6th-15th centuries AD) from throughout Greece. The δ 13C and δ 15N values are tightly clustered, suggesting that all of these populations likely consumed a broadly similar diet. Both inland and coastal Byzantine populations consumed an essentially land-based C 3 diet, significant amounts of animal protein, and possibly some C 4 plants, while no evidence of a general dependence on low-δ 15N legumes was observed. One interesting result observed in the isotopic data is the evidence for the consumption of marine protein at both coastal sites (a reasonable expectation given their location) and for some individuals from inland sites. This pattern contrasts with previous isotopic studies mainly on prehistoric Greek populations, which have suggested that marine species contributed little, or not at all, to the diet. The possibility that fasting practices contributed to marine protein consumption in the period is discussed, as are possible parallels with published isotope data from western European medieval sites. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Athanassiou A.,Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

Fossil elephant remains were identified in Loussiká, NW Peloponnese, Southern Greece, when tusk fragments were recognized in a bulldozer backfill. An excavation carried out in 2001 and 2003 by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture revealed the partial skeleton of an adult male mammoth, referred to the Middle Pleistocene species Mammuthus trogontherii. The recovered material includes part of the skull, the complete mandible, several vertebrae and ribs, both scapulae, ulna, tibia, most carpal and tarsal bones, metapodials and phalanges. The metrical and anatomical study of the skeleton shows that the living individual was about 45 years old, stood about 3.80 m high and weighed about 8 t. M. trogontherii is a very rare species in Southern Europe. The Loussiká skeleton represents the first solid evidence of the species' presence in Southern Greece and considerably expands to the south its palaeobiogeographic range in the Balkan area. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 3.63M | Year: 2009

The proposed project aims to develop an automatic early warning system to remotely monitor areas of archaeological and cultural interest from the risk of fire and extreme weather conditions. Since these areas have been treasured and tended for very long periods of time, they are usually surrounded by old and valuable vegetation or situated close to forest regions, which exposes them to an increased risk of fire. Additionally, extreme weather conditions (such as storms and floods) pose great risks for these sites. The proposed system will take advantage of recent advances in multi-sensor surveillance technologies, using a wireless sensor network capable of monitoring different modalities (e.g. temperature) andoptical and infrared cameras, as well as local weather stations on the deployment site. The signals collected from these sensors will be transmitted to a monitoring center, which will employ intelligent computer vision and pattern recognition algorithms as well as data fusion techniques to automatically analyze sensor information. The proposed system will be capable of generating automatic warning signals for local authorities whenever a dangerous situation arises. Detecting the starting position of a fire is only the first step in fire fighting. After detecting a wildfire, the main focus should be the estimation of the propagation direction and speed in order to help forest fire management. FIRESENSE will provide real-time information about the evolution of fire using wireless sensor network data. Furthermore, it will estimate the propagation of the fire based on the fuel model of the area and other important parameters such as wind speed, slope, and aspect of the ground surface. Finally, a 3-D Geographic Information System (GIS) environment will provide visualisation of the predicted fire propagation.Demonstrator deployments will be operated in selected sites in Greece, Turkey, Tunisia and Italy.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-7-2014 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2015

DigiArt seeks to provide a new, cost efficient solution to the capture, processing and display of cultural artefacts. It offers innovative 3D capture systems and methodologies, including aerial capture via drones, automatic registration and modelling techniques to speed up post-capture processing (which is a major bottleneck), semantic image analysis to extract features from digital 3D representations, a story telling engine offering a pathway to a deeper understanding of art, and also augmented/virtual reality technologies offering advanced abilities for viewing, or interacting with the 3D models. The 3D data captured by the scanners and drones, using techniques such as laser detection and ranging (LIDAR), are processed through robust features that cope with imperfect data. Semantic analysis by automatic feature extraction is used to form hyper-links between artefacts. These links are employed to connect the artefacts in what the project terms the internet of historical things, available anywhere, at any time, on any web-enabled device. The contextual view of art is very much enhanced by the story telling engine that is developed within the project. The system presents the artefact, linked to its context, in an immersive display with virtual and/or with augmented reality. Linkages and information are superimposed over the view of the item itself. The major output of the project is the toolset that will be used by museums to create such a revolutionary way of viewing and experiencing artefacts. These tools leverage the interdisciplinary skill sets of the partners to cover the complete process, namely data capture, data processing, story building, 3D visualization and 3D interaction, offering new pathways to deeper understanding of European culture. Via its three demonstration activities, the project establishes the viability of the approach in three different museum settings, offering a range of artefacts posing different challenges to the system.

News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

A mass grave found outside of Athens may contain the burial of followers of Cylon, a tyrant who sought to take over the Acropolis in 632 B.C. A trove of shackled skeletons unearthed in a mass grave near Athens may have once belonged to the followers of a tyrant who sought to overthrow the leader of ancient Greece. "These might be the remains of people who were part of this coup in Athens in 632 [B.C.], the Coup of Cylon," said Kristina Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist at the University of West Florida, in Pensacola, who was not involved in the current study. The mass grave was uncovered as archaeologists were excavating a huge cemetery in the ancient port city of Phaleron, just 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) from Athens. Over the last several years, archaeologists led by Stella Chrysoulaki, of Greece's Department of Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, have unearthed a huge complex filled with ancient skeletons dating to between the eighth and fifth centuries B.C. [8 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries] "For the most part they are anomalous burials — the shackled people and people buried facedown, but also a lot of kids and a lot of nonelite individuals," Killgrove said. Some of the graves at Phaleron, including those of shackled individuals, have been known for about a century, but in the last four years, newer excavations have uncovered a huge trove of additional bodies. All told, the burial site is about 1 acre (4,046 square meters) in area and holds at least 1,500 skeletons. "This is just a massive number of burials, which is absolutely fantastic," Killgrove told Live Science. Among the skeletons found were a group of about 80 people who were lined up in the mass grave, with 36 whose hands were bound with iron shackles, according to the Greek Ministry of Culture. A few pieces of pottery found near the skeletons suggest that these ancient prisoners died between 650 B.C. and 625 B.C., the Greek Ministry of Culture said in a statement. That date could tie the prisoners to an ancient coup. In 632 B.C., the former Olympic champion Cylon tried to take over the Acropolis in Athens. His revolt was put down, and though Cylon may have escaped, his followers were put to death, after an initial promise to let them live was broken, according to "The Date of Cylon: A Study in Early Athenian History" (Harvard University Press, 1982). However, it's not certain these ancient prisoners are in any way connected to Cylon, Killgrove said. "One of the problems is that historical records are really spotty for that century, so we really have no history and so it might be a stretch for them to connect these shackled skeletons with this coup," Killgrove said. Other skeletons at the site were buried in jars, in open pits, or in funeral pyres. The site even contains a horse burial, the researchers said. While the backstory of these doomed prisoners is fascinating, the site is also unique because of what it may reveal about the lives of the average Joe (or "Ioseph"?) in the centuries before the golden age of the Greek city-states, between the fifth and the third centuries B.C., Killgrove said. "We don't have information about people who aren't in historical records," Killgrove said. "Learning more about the lower social classes in Athens tells us a lot about the rise of the city-state in Athens." Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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