Archaeology

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  • Sword pommel and helmet pieced together from Staffordshire hoard fragments

    Archaeology News from Past Horizons
    Past Horizons
    26 May 2015 | 2:37 pm
    Ground breaking research and conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard has uncovered two internationally important objects that link us to an age of warrior splendour, and further our knowledge of seventh century Anglo-Saxon England.
  • Understanding Hadrian's Wall - why it all went wrong

    Theoretical Structural Archaeology
    Geoff Carter
    24 May 2015 | 2:25 am
    What's the big idea?It is roughly 270 years since a government in Westminster had Hadrian’s Wall systematically demolished and crushed to make the road that now brings the tourists to see the bits they missed.  It helped create a vast fragmentary jigsaw puzzle that which has proved difficult to piece together.In 2008, I recognised that my colleagues and others had discovered, under the streets of Tyneside, the remains of a temporary timber rampart predating the stone Wall.  This observation explained the strategic methodology of Wall construction, shed light on the…
  • More on Boudicca’s Tombstone

    Archaeological Headlines - Archaeology Magazine
    28 May 2015 | 2:30 pm
    CIRENCESTER, ENGLAND—It had been thought that a finely carved tombstone unearthed in western England was the first in Roman Britain to have remained with its intended grave, but researchers have found that even though the dedication on the tombstone named Boudicca, a woman, the skeleton in the grave was male. In addition, the gravestone dates to the second century A.D., while the skeleton dates to the fourth century A.D. The five-foot-long stone, which has a roughly carved back, may have originally hung on a mausoleum wall. “We believe the tombstone to have been reused as a grave…
  • Ancient DNA sheds light on how past environments affected ancient populations

    Archaeology News -- ScienceDaily
    28 May 2015 | 9:45 am
    For the first time, a study shows that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains, which may lead to further understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.
  • The voices arguing against repatriation

    SEAArch - The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog
    noelbynature
    26 May 2015 | 6:00 am
    Coming from a region that falls victim to frequent looting of archaeological sites, I personally find it hard to agree against the repatriation of artefacts that have been proven to be stolen, such as the case of the Koh Ker sculpture that still remains in the Denver Museum of Art. Experts disagree over antiquity repatriations Phnom Penh Post, 23 May 2015 While an unknown number of looted Cambodian artefacts – mostly taken during the turbulent 1970s and ’80s – are scattered in private collections around the world, a number have found their way into major museums’ exhibits. The…
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    Archaeological Headlines - Archaeology Magazine

  • More on Boudicca’s Tombstone

    28 May 2015 | 2:30 pm
    CIRENCESTER, ENGLAND—It had been thought that a finely carved tombstone unearthed in western England was the first in Roman Britain to have remained with its intended grave, but researchers have found that even though the dedication on the tombstone named Boudicca, a woman, the skeleton in the grave was male. In addition, the gravestone dates to the second century A.D., while the skeleton dates to the fourth century A.D. The five-foot-long stone, which has a roughly carved back, may have originally hung on a mausoleum wall. “We believe the tombstone to have been reused as a grave…
  • Chinese Police Arrest 175 Suspected Looters

    28 May 2015 | 2:00 pm
    BEIJING, CHINA—China’s Ministry of Public Security announced that 175 people were arrested for looting tombs in Niuheliang, a Neolithic site in northeastern Liaoning province. According to the South China Morning Post, the pillagers had been divided into ten gangs that specialized in tasks such as digging, retrieval, and keeping watch. Four archaeologists are suspected of assisting the well-organized, well-equipped gang and trafficking the stolen antiquities. More than 1,000 police officers participated in the operation, and they reportedly recovered 1,168 artifacts, including a…
  • Bronze Mirrors Made in Japan Earlier Than Previously Thought

    28 May 2015 | 1:30 pm
    FUKUOKA PREFECTURE, JAPAN—A fragment of a mold used to cast bronze mirrors in 200 B.C. has been unearthed at the Sugu Takauta ruins in northern Kyushu. It had been thought that such tachukyo, or mirrors with knobs, had been imported from the Korean Peninsula at this time. The mold shows indentations to create knobs on the back of the mirror, which was circular in shape, and markings known as “rough patterns.” This mold may have been an early attempt to make mirrors with markings known as “detailed patterns” in Japan. Twelve mirrors with detailed patterns dating…
  • New Early Human Ancestor Lived Alongside “Lucy”

    28 May 2015 | 1:00 pm
    CLEVELAND, OHIO—Fossils of the upper and lower jaw of a new early human ancestor were discovered in the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia by an international team of scientists led by Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The Australopithecus deyiremeda fossils are 3.3 to 3.5 million years old, overlapping with Australopithecus afarensis, who lived from 2.9 to 3.8 million years ago. Australopithecus deyiremeda differs from the famous “Lucy” fossils in the size and shape of its thick-enameled teeth and its robust lower jaws,…
  • Lethal Wounds Suggest Spain’s Pit of Bones Was a Burial Site

    27 May 2015 | 2:52 pm
    MADRID, SPAIN—Discovery News reports that a new analysis of Cranium 17 from Spain’s Sima de los Huesos suggests that the individual had been killed some 430,000 years ago by two blows to the head with the same object. The Sima de los Huesos, or Pit of Bones, is located at the bottom of a deep shaft in an underground cave system in northern Spain. It contains the remains of at least 28 individuals who are thought to be proto-Neanderthals and Neanderthals, but how the remains arrived in the pit has been a mystery until now. “Given that either of the two traumatic events was…
 
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    Archaeology News -- ScienceDaily

  • Ancient DNA sheds light on how past environments affected ancient populations

    28 May 2015 | 9:45 am
    For the first time, a study shows that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains, which may lead to further understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.
  • Ethiopian and Egyptian genomes help map early humans' route out of Africa

    28 May 2015 | 9:42 am
    Although scientists are confident that all modern human populations can trace their ancestry back to Africa, the route taken out of Africa is still unclear. New genomic analyses of people currently living in Ethiopia and Egypt indicate that Egypt was the major gateway out of Africa and that migration followed a northern rather than a southern route. The findings add a crucial piece of information to help investigators reconstruct humans' evolutionary past.
  • Lethal wounds on skull may indicate 430,000 year-old murder

    27 May 2015 | 12:09 pm
    Research into lethal wounds found on a human skull may indicate one of the first cases of murder in human history--some 430,000 years ago--and offers evidence of the earliest funerary practices in the archaeological record.
  • Social media and archaeology: A match not made in heaven

    27 May 2015 | 7:24 am
    The social web is bound up in relations of power, control, freedom, labor and exploitation, with consequences that portend real instability for the cultural sector and for social welfare overall. Only a handful of archaeologists, however, are seriously debating these matters, which suggests the discipline is setting itself up to be swept away by our unreflective investment in the cognitive capitalist enterprise that marks much current web-based work.
  • Historian mapping out a new view of the Medieval world

    26 May 2015 | 11:05 am
    Maps show us the way and identify major landmarks – rivers, towns, roads and hills. For centuries, they also offered a perspective on how societies viewed themselves in comparison to the rest of the world. New research looks at maps from the medieval and early-modern Muslim world.
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    SEAArch - The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog

  • The voices arguing against repatriation

    noelbynature
    26 May 2015 | 6:00 am
    Coming from a region that falls victim to frequent looting of archaeological sites, I personally find it hard to agree against the repatriation of artefacts that have been proven to be stolen, such as the case of the Koh Ker sculpture that still remains in the Denver Museum of Art. Experts disagree over antiquity repatriations Phnom Penh Post, 23 May 2015 While an unknown number of looted Cambodian artefacts – mostly taken during the turbulent 1970s and ’80s – are scattered in private collections around the world, a number have found their way into major museums’ exhibits. The…
  • A regional fast response team for maritime salvage?

    noelbynature
    26 May 2015 | 5:54 am
    An archaeologist in the Singapore-based Nalanda Sriwijaya Centre has an interesting proposal in the news last week, the creation of a fast-response Maritime Arcaeology centre, based in Singapore. Singapore can take lead in salvaging of maritime artefacts Today, 22 May 2015 One solution is to establish a centralised South-east Asian Institute of Maritime Archaeology. Such an institute could work closely with existing regional institutions that lack funding, equipment or expertise. It could provide a well-trained fast-response team to commence archaeological excavation of shipwrecks that are…
  • Vietnamese dugout canoe thought to be world’s oldest

    noelbynature
    20 May 2015 | 5:29 pm
    Maritime archaeologists reading this post might be in a better position to comment, this dugout canoe found in Vietnam’s Duong River is thought to be the world’s largest and oldest. Update: A reader pointed out that the Hasholme logboat in Yorkshire is older. So perhaps the Duong River boat is only Southeast Asia’s oldest? Dugout canoe found in the Duong River. Source: Viet Nam Net 20150514 The world’s largest ancient wooden boat in Halong Viet Nam Net, 14 May 2015 A dug-out canoe of the Van Lang culture (over 2,000 years ago) is owned by the former director of the Museum…
  • Exhibition highlights the lotus in Vietnamese culutre

    noelbynature
    19 May 2015 | 5:52 pm
    A special exhibition themed on the lotus is held at the Vietnamese Museum of History in Hanoi, featuring the flower and its significance to Vietnamese culture from past to present. Gold lotus carved box. Source: Viet Nam Net 201500513 Yellow lotus collection of Hue royal antiquities Viet Nam Net, 13 May 2015 The Vietnam National Museum of History will launch a special exhibition themed “Lotus and antiquities” on May 14 in Hanoi with the aim of introducing local and international visitors to the beauty and meaning of the lotus flower in the Vietnamese culture. The event will feature around…
  • Thousands of beads found in Central Vietnam

    noelbynature
    19 May 2015 | 5:21 pm
    A feature on the prehistoric jewelry Quang Nam province in Vietnam. Beads found in the Lai Nghi archaeological site in central Vietnam. Source: Viet Nam Net 20150513 Thousand-year-old jewelry unearthed in central Vietnam Viet Nam Net, 13 May 2015 Jewellery items made of stone and animal bones have been unveiled in ancient tombs thousands of years old in the central province of Quang Nam. They are pieces of jewelry of ancient Vietnamese people of the Dong Son culture (seventh century BC to first century AD), Sa Huynh culture (tenth century BC – second century AD), and the Oc Eo culture (1st…
 
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    Publishing Archaeology

  • World's worst book review?

    Michael E. Smith
    6 May 2015 | 6:38 pm
    A scholarly book review should do three things: (1) Describe the contents of the book. What is the book about, and what does it cover?  (2) Describe the scholarly context of the book. Where does the book fit within the literature, how does it relate to other works in terms of data, theory, or methods, etc. and, (3) Evaluate the book critically. I've written a lot about book reviews in this blog; for an overview, see my earliest such post.I have just read what may be the worst book review I have ever seen. I'll keep this anonymous to protect the guilty. Scholar A is reviewing an edited…
  • Bad revisonist history: The postprocessualists invented household archaeology!

    Michael E. Smith
    4 Apr 2015 | 5:04 pm
    I was quite surprised recently to read that postprocessualists were responsible for developing the household archaeology approach. This is so wrong that I'm not sure where to start. I was reading William Fowler's introduction to a special section of the journal Ancient Mesoamerica (vol 25, no. 2, 2014, pp. 367-68). The section is called "Households make history in ancient Mesoamerica. Some of the articles are pretty good, and some are pretty bad.After reviewing some aspects of postprocessual archaeology in an approving tone, Fowler states: "It should be clear by now why a true focus on…
  • Archaeological concepts of community confront urban realities today

    Michael E. Smith
    22 Feb 2015 | 3:30 pm
    Yesterday I spent my Saturday at a meeting of the Phoenix organization, "Neighborhoods Connect." The goal was to gather together neighborhood organizers and others interested in improving social life in Phoenix neighborhoods, to share experiences and examples of successful practices. The impetus for this first stakeholders meeting was to increase civic participation within the city of Phoenix. The State of Arizona has low levels of civic participation compared to other states, and the Neighborhoods Connect initiative grew out of several organizations  to improve civic participation,…
  • Is archaeology relevant? Is "relevance" irrelevant?

    Michael E. Smith
    14 Feb 2015 | 10:29 am
    The topic of relevance seems to be cropping up more frequently in archaeology. Our findings from the past are claimed to be relevant to contemporary concerns. I have no quibble with this viewpoint (Smith 2010), and indeed, my urban blog, Wide Urban World, is based on this premise. But the way the topic of relevance is used by most archaeologists today seems off the mark. The typical format is to assert, with little context or warrant, that some particular archaeological findings are relevant to some modern concern. This is usually done in an archaeology or anthropology journal, or other…
  • 23 thousand citations

    Michael E. Smith
    8 Feb 2015 | 9:09 am
    My Endnote bibliography database has just passed 23,000 entries. The reference that pushed it over this level is:Hillier, Bill    1996    Space is the Machine: A Configurational Approach to Architecture. Cambridge University Press, New York.I decided to do a quick, almost certainly inaccurate, list of the top ten authors in my Endnote database. There is not a way to do this easily in Endnote, so I just thought of authors I know I have cited a lot over the years, or whose work I follow, and recorded how many entries I have for them as author. I found these eleven…
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    Middle Savagery

  • Beware of Academia.edu’s New “Feature” – Sessions

    colleenmorgan
    4 May 2015 | 6:38 pm
      UPDATE: The email that goes out now when you create a session no longer requests participation from colleagues, it just mentions that you have created a session. Thanks to Academia.edu for making this change. I’m not seeing a lot of discussion about this so I thought I’d flag it up. Academia.edu unevenly implemented a new “feature” called Sessions that randomly invites a handful of colleagues to comment on your uploaded work. I was confused and embarrassed when this happened to me the other day–there is a very small tick box when you upload your paper that…
  • SAA 2015: Lithics Cowgirl, Household Archaeologist, Digital Doyenne: A Session Dedicated to Ruth Tringham

    colleenmorgan
    13 Apr 2015 | 9:11 am
    Last Fall I announced the session that I organized, honoring the achievements of Ruth Tringham, my most fantastic colleague. Now the time has come and we have a panel that explores a broad range of topics from Ruth’s career: her ground-breaking research on lithics, household archaeology, digital archaeology, and much more. I hope to see you there! Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting SATURDAY April 18th, 8:00AM Continental Ballroom 6 08:00 Michael Ashley—Remediated Roads and Flights of Fancy, Travels with Ruth from Past to Present 08:15 Barbara Voytek—From Russia…
  • CAA 2015: The Death (and Afterlife) of Archaeological Photography

    colleenmorgan
    1 Apr 2015 | 2:55 am
    Hello from lovely Siena! In about an hour I will be presenting in the Towards a Theory of Practice in Applied Digital Field Methods session at the CAA conference. It’s my first CAA–it is usually too close to SAA to manage, but I thought I’d try both this year. Anyway, here’s my paper title & abstract: Title: The Death (and Afterlife) of Archaeological Photography Abstract:  The second wave of digital photography in archaeology, including HDR, photogrammetry, textures for 3D objects, time-lapse, drone photography, and screen-shots from google earth has…
  • Eating Weeds in the Arab World

    colleenmorgan
    26 Mar 2015 | 11:48 pm
    Purslane salad, by Esto. Portulaca oleracea. The first time I tried it, was, admittedly, in Turkey. It was probably relatively early in the season at Çatalhöyük, when the dig house cooks were only feeding 40-50 people instead of the 100+ ravening hoards. There were tomatoes, cucumber, and a slightly tangy, green succulent seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. What was it? I had to know. Semizotu. When I got back to California I tried to figure out what it was exactly–even in the vast foodie farmers markets the vendors had no idea what I was talking about. Semizotu? What? Finally…
  • Navigating Brutalism at the 100 Minories Archaeology Project

    colleenmorgan
    5 Mar 2015 | 7:48 am
    Back in 2012, Dan and I worked at the fantastic 100 Minories project with L-P Archaeology. They’re some of my favorite people, so I was sad that I was not able to work with them on the excavation phase of the project, which is currently in full swing. I have two blog posts about the evaluation stage, wherein archaeologists dug to 7m deep, punching test pits through the thick London stratigraphy: 100 Minories Project Diggin’ Deep at 100 Minories They have their own, very nice project website now, take a gander: http://100minories.lparchaeology.com/  And they’ve featured…
 
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    Looting Matters

  • Cultural property returned to Italy

    David Gill
    26 May 2015 | 2:49 pm
    Source: MiBACTThe Italian authorities have held a further press conference to note a further batch of cultural property from North American collections [press release]. Some have been objects that have been noted before:1. Kalpis etrusca a figure nere con scene di delfini, databile 510-500 a.C., del pittore di Micali; Nel corso del procedimento penale della Procura della Repubblica di Roma a carico di Giacomo Medici, con il fondamentale supporto di assistenza giudiziaria eseguita negli USA, emergeva che la kalpis, di proprietà del Toledo Museum of Art (Ohio, USA), era riconducibile alle…
  • Studying Silver Plate from Gaul

    David Gill
    19 May 2015 | 11:02 am
    My review article of Kenneth Lapatin (ed.), The Berthouville Silver Treasure and Roman Luxury (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014) has just been published by BMCR [link here]. Lapatin's helpful study reminds us of what can be gained from the methodical study of a distinct group of archaeological material within a wider context of a sanctuary in Gaul. The volume also contains a discussion of Late Roman missoria, some from Italy.
  • Paperwork and documenting collecting histories

    David Gill
    18 May 2015 | 2:49 am
    One of the issues that I keep mentioning is the need to authenticate documentation. Paul Barford has provided an excellent example in his discussion of material from Palmyra surfacing on eBay. He mentions an "Unconditionally guaranteed authentic" Palmyrene funerary portrait that is being offered on eBay for $13,500 (and on offer today). Its collecting history ("provenance") is provided: "Ex: European art market; Early American private collection, 1960's".However the invoice indicates that the stela was flown from Beirut to JFK (arriving on 10 April 2006; customs entry 10 November 2006) by…
  • Collaborative Working in Art Crime

    David Gill
    18 May 2015 | 1:32 am
    Lynda Albertson leading discussion of art crime ... Genuine dialogue @QMSchoolofLaw pic.twitter.com/mSiMpgYXu6— David Gill (@davidwjgill) May 14, 2015One of the most passionate papers at last week's conference at Queen Mary's was by Lynda Albertson of ARCA. She was urging colleagues who work in the field of Art Crime to find how their research areas could enmesh to provide a greater working of the whole. She encouraged a helpful debate and one of the themes was how academics can engage with the press to ensure that there are informed reports on art crime. (The poor quality of reporting of…
  • Ethical Collectors

    David Gill
    15 May 2015 | 3:10 pm
    I was very impressed with yesterday's presentation on Ethical Collectors by Cinnamon Stephens at Queen Mary's. It made me revisit some of my research on European and North American private collectors, and to think how some of them could have avoided acquiring toxic antiquities.Stephens reminded us that private collectors need to understand the "red flags" in their area of collecting. This will help them to avoid 'dodgy' material. They also need to seek professional advice from academics. However we see that in the elaborate catalogues that accompanied the objects that formed part of the study…
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    Theoretical Structural Archaeology

  • Understanding Hadrian's Wall - why it all went wrong

    Geoff Carter
    24 May 2015 | 2:25 am
    What's the big idea?It is roughly 270 years since a government in Westminster had Hadrian’s Wall systematically demolished and crushed to make the road that now brings the tourists to see the bits they missed.  It helped create a vast fragmentary jigsaw puzzle that which has proved difficult to piece together.In 2008, I recognised that my colleagues and others had discovered, under the streets of Tyneside, the remains of a temporary timber rampart predating the stone Wall.  This observation explained the strategic methodology of Wall construction, shed light on the…
  • Building the Past - in Ohio

    Geoff Carter
    30 Apr 2015 | 8:38 am
    I have been blogging about the archaeology of structures for nearly 7 years, during which Google tells me I have a little over half a million page views; some of this self-selecting audience get in touch and we take things further.One such was Bill Kennedy; we share an interest in modelling  archaeological structures from their foundations, only he builds full scale Prehistoric Native American structures at Sun Watch nr. Dayton, while I like mine to fit on my drawing board or hard disc.So, at Bill’s instigation, we have written a chapter together in Building the Past: Prehistoric…
  • Imaginary woods

    Geoff Carter
    13 Mar 2015 | 1:30 pm
    Often, when we think about the past, we do so in our imaginations, using the pictures and impressions we have picked from our shared visual culture, we mix the real things we find into a fantasy world.  Envisioning the environment in terms of its familiar topography and plants does not present much of a problem, domestic animals are bits hazier, but most of the things that made up the fabric of life just don’t survive here in our damp climate.  However, even trees in the picture may not be clear, the focus of archaeology is on tools, seldom extending to a consideration of the…
  • Where is the woodshed?

    Geoff Carter
    9 Feb 2015 | 4:47 pm
    Much of the material culture of past was fabricated from timber, and, just as significantly, fuelled by wood, a material that is usually invisible to archaeology.  Thus, provision for fuel storage, like sanitation and water supply, is one of the basics that have to be considered in the analysis of built environments.Traditionally, firewood is measured by stacked volume; a “cord” being a stack of 8x4x4 feet, or 128 cubic feet, including the spaces between logs.[1]  The calorific value of a cord will depend mostly on the actual mass of solid wood and its density, so it is…
  • The Northern Frontier; lilies, Latin, and illiteracy

    Geoff Carter
    20 Jan 2015 | 12:52 pm
    Some readers, new to archaeology, particularly students like those on MOOC courses, discover that the evidence based arguments about Roman Military archaeology found on this blog , are not well received by their tutors.  It is important to understand that many academics can only understand archaeology when it is written down, having no experience of real archaeological interpretation. As a result, the text of an archaeological report, rather than the evidence can become an article of faith, and ideas become embedded at a fundamental level, immovable objects, that actual…
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    Stone Pages Archaeo News

  • Megalithic monuments discovered in India

    28 May 2015 | 2:35 am
    A team of archaeologists discovered several new megalithic monuments in Karbi Anglong district (Assam, north-eastern India). The team, which was headed by Director Dr Deepi Rekha Kouli and comprised the...
  • The earliest depiction of a music scene

    28 May 2015 | 2:34 am
    Israeli archaeologists found what they think is Israel's most ancient depiction of a music scene, Israel Antiquities Authority announced. The scene appears on a rare 5,000-year-old large storage vessel from...
  • Bronze Age Egtved girl was not from Denmark

    26 May 2015 | 5:13 am
    Egtved Girl was a Nordic Bronze Age girl whose well-preserved remains were discovered outside Egtved, Denmark in 1921. Aged 16 to 18 at death, she was slim, 160 centimetres tall,...
  • Hundreds of gaming pieces found in Utah cave

    26 May 2015 | 5:12 am
    A cave on the shore of Utah's Great Salt Lake is giving archaeologists a rare glimpse into prehistoric gambling. Cave 1 has proven to hold a profusion of artefacts, most...
  • World's oldest stone tools

    25 May 2015 | 2:21 am
    A recently published study reveals that stone tools found almost by accident on the shore of Lake Turkana, in Kenya, in 2011, are by far the oldest known. The discovery...
 
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    The Archaeology News Network

  • New human ancestor species from Ethiopia lived alongside Lucy's species

    27 May 2015 | 11:00 am
    A new relative joins "Lucy" on the human family tree. An international team of scientists, led by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, has discovered a 3.3 to 3.5 million-year-old new human ancestor species. Upper and lower jaw fossils recovered from the Woranso-Mille area of the Afar region of Ethiopia have been assigned to the new species Australopithecus deyiremeda. This hominin lived alongside the... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • New finds at Plassi, Marathon in Attica

    27 May 2015 | 10:00 am
    This year’s excavations of the Prehistoric-Classical site of Plassi, Marathon in Attica, conducted by the University of Athens, have been completed last week. The survey of the site began last year. Buildings and pottery kiln of the Prehistoric era [Credit: National and  Kapodistrian University of Athens]The Plassi excavation has once again brought to light important finds showing that the site remained the most important... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • HMS Erebus dive 'just scratching the surface' of Franklin expedition mystery

    27 May 2015 | 9:00 am
    They are among the smallest artifacts recovered from the recent dive to HMS Erebus, but the two brass tunic buttons are also offering the most personal glimpse yet into what mysteries the shipwreck may reveal about the ill-fated Franklin expedition in the High Arctic. Diver Yves Bernard heads back to the surface through an ice hole after a joint Parks Canada  and Navy operation to the wreck site of HMS Erebus, one of Franklin's... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Lethal wounds on skull may indicate 430,000 year-old murder

    27 May 2015 | 8:00 am
    Research into lethal wounds found on a human skull may indicate one of the first cases of murder in human history -- some 430,000 years ago -- and offers evidence of the earliest funerary practices in the archaeological record. Frontal view of Cranium 17 showing the position of the traumatic events T1 (inferior)  and T2 (superior) [Credit: Javier Trueba/Madrid Scientific Films]The study, conducted by an international team of... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • US returns 25 looted artefacts to Italy

    27 May 2015 | 7:00 am
    The United States on Tuesday officially returned 25 artifacts looted over the decades from Italy, including Etruscan vases, 1st-century frescoes and precious books that ended up in U.S. museums, universities and private collections. A third century B.C. terracotta head, left, and a second century Roman bronze  figure representing Mars, are shown during a press conference in Rome,  Tuesday, May 26, 2015 [Credit: AP... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    The Mathisen Corollary

  • Pentecost, Gemini and the Scales of Judgement

    David Warner Mathisen
    25 May 2015 | 11:41 pm
    image: Wikimedia commons (link).Welcome to all new babies born today! Those born at this time of year are born in the sign of Gemini, which is generally understood to stretch from May 21 through June 20.This time of year is also associated with the Pentecost story described in the New Testament of the Bible: we are going to see that there is a powerful connection between the events of the Pentecost story and the zodiac sign of Gemini. In order to understand this connection, we have to first explore and understand a few aspects of Gemini: the constellation of Gemini (the Twins), its position…
  • Two Visions

    David Warner Mathisen
    22 May 2015 | 2:51 am
    image: Wikimedia commons (link).In Peter Kingsley's remarkable book entitled In the Dark Places of Wisdom, he describes the general condition of "the hollowness we feel inside" and for which "the world fills us with substitute after substitute and tries to convince us that nothing is missing" (33 - 34)."But nothing has the power to fill the hollowness," he says.Even religion and spirituality and humanity's higher aspirations become wonderful substitutes. And that's what happened to philosophy. What used to be ways to freedom for our ancestors become prisons and cages for us. We create schemes…
  • Mukasa, the Guardian of the Lake

    David Warner Mathisen
    18 May 2015 | 1:47 am
    The Ssese Islands, in Lake Victoria, indicated by the red arrow. Google Maps.Among the Baganda people of eastern-central Africa, whose land in their own language is called Buganda but in the Swahili language is called Uganda, one of the central figures of the spirit world is Mukasa, the Guardian of the Lake.Of this powerful entity we read in African Mythology by Geoffrey Parrinder (1967) that:The greatest of the demi-gods of Buganda, Mukasa, was a great giver of oracles, a kindly deity who never asked for human sacrifice. Myths say that when Mukasa was a child he refused to eat ordinary food…
  • The sacred fig tree, continued: Jonah and the gourd

    David Warner Mathisen
    12 May 2015 | 2:23 am
    image: Wikimedia commons (link).The previous post on The Bodhi Tree examined the very strong evidence that the imagery of the sacred fig tree under which the Buddha is described as attaining enlightenment has powerful points of resonance with the "vertical Djed" symbology found throughout the mythology of the world, and associated with the invisible, divine, spirit-component in human beings and indeed in all the universe.This "vertical component" symbology can be shown to be directly related to the "vertical component" of the great cross of the year which runs from the winter solstice (at the…
  • The Bodhi Tree

    David Warner Mathisen
    9 May 2015 | 2:20 am
    image: Wikimedia commons (link).The Buddha is traditionally said to have attained enlightenment while sitting and meditating underneath the bo tree, or bodhi tree.The term bodhi is one word for enlightenment, and does not mean a specific type of tree: however, the bodhi tree itself is traditionally understood to have been a ficus religiosa or "sacred fig," also known as a pipal (in Hindi) and an ashwanth (in Sanskrit). Buddhist monasteries in parts of the world in which this tree can prosper will almost invariably have one as one of their most sacred treasures. Additionally, in order to…
 
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    Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire

  • Culture Under Threat Conference in Cairo: Red Arch Raises Important Questions Posed by U.S. Imports of Art, Collectors' Pieces, and Antiques

    21 May 2015 | 8:08 pm
    Why did the declared value of U.S. general imports of antiques over 100 years old from Syria climb 133% between 2012 and 2013, from approximately $4.7 million to $11 million?Why did the declared value of U.S. general imports of antiques over 100 years old from Iraq skyrocket 1302% between 2009 and 2013, from $322,564 to $4,523,126?These were some of the questions posed by Red Arch Cultural Heritage Law & Policy Research at an historic international summit held in Cairo on May 13 and 14.Antiquities Coalition co-founder and Red Arch board member Peter Herdrich(far left) stands with…
  • Cultural Property Protection Bill Reintroduced in the House

    21 Mar 2015 | 9:01 am
    "We need to strengthen our ability to stop history's looters from profiting off their crimes," declared Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.-16) on Friday after introducing H.R. 1493, whose stated purpose is to "protect and preserve international cultural property risk due to instability, armed conflict, or natural or other disasters, and for other purposes."The proposed legislation is similar to a bill the lawmaker introduced last congressional session, the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (H.R. 5703), which failed to become law.The text of the…
  • The Assyrian Head Repatriation: Filling in the Details of ICE's Investigation

    19 Mar 2015 | 12:00 pm
    This week U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) returned a looted fragmented limestone head of Assyrian King Sargon II to Iraq. The stone carving once sat atop a sculpted winged bull.In remarks prepared for Monday's repatriation ceremony held at the Iraqi Consulate in Washington, D.C., Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security and ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña declared, “ICE will not allow the illicit greed of some to trump the cultural history of an entire nation.”ICE offered limited details in a press release about…
  • Cultural Property Crime on the U.N. Agenda: Upcoming Crime Conference Set to Tackle Heritage Trafficking

    16 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    When the U.N. Security Council last month adopted a resolution targeting terrorists' ability to raise money, cultural heritage trafficking took a visible spot on the global stage. Now the U.N. Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice is set to address the topic at its April meeting in Doha, Qatar.Representatives from Qatar meet with the U.N. Office on Drugsand Crime in preparation for the Crime Conference in April.A pre-conference document frames the discussion for next month’s quinquennial gathering of governments and experts in criminal justice. The document…
  • Kapoor Idol Trafficking Conspirator Sentenced

    13 Mar 2015 | 11:48 am
    A New York criminal court has sentenced Salina Mohamed, one of several individuals implicated in the Subhash Kapoor idol trafficking case.Chasing Aphrodite wrote extensively about Mohamed’s case after Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos charged the defendant for her role in laundering heritage objects stolen from India.Mohamed pleaded guilty in December 2013 to a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy in the fifth degree, which is the intent to commit a felony with one or more persons. The prosecution dropped felony charges of criminal…
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    Archaeology Channel - Audio News from Archaeologica

  • Audio News from Archaeologica, May 17 to 23, 2015

    Archaeological Legacy Institute
    25 May 2015 | 5:01 am
    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include: Small Peruvian temple dates from early period of Mochica culture (details) Strontium analysis pinpoints distant origin of Bronze Age Danish girl (details) Neolithic farming village in Bulgaria had two-story houses (details) Utah Cave artifacts yield insights on ancient forms of gambling (details)
  • Audio News for May 10 to 16, 2015

    Archaeological Legacy Institute
    18 May 2015 | 9:42 am
    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include: Medieval hospital cemetery in Paris comes to light in supermarket construction (details) Megalithic funerary structure in Spain holds a buried Iron Age hoard (details) Well preserved 17th century Spanish ship and cargo found off Panama’s Caribbean coast (details) Alaskan bone pendants may be artistic representation of Paleo cultural identity (details)
  • Audio News for April 26 to May 2, 2015

    Archaeological Legacy Institute
    4 May 2015 | 6:26 am
    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include: New DNA research supports North Slope to Eastern Arctic migration model (details) Archaeologists in Idaho may have found a little-known Native American massacre site (details) Archaeologists use physics to model the construction of Easter Island statues (details) The first archaeological investigation of the Battle of Waterloo breaks ground (details)
  • Audio News for April 19 to 25, 2015

    Archaeological Legacy Institute
    27 Apr 2015 | 5:15 am
    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include: Mysterious find of mercury may lead to tomb in Teotihuacan (details) Royal tomb in Egypt's delta raises new questions about ancient provinces (details) Clam gardens were constructed for sustainable seafood source in early Pacific Northwest (a href="http://www.sfu.ca/university-communications/media-releases/2015/study-finds-ancient-clam-beaches-not-so-natural.html">details) How to cure a hangover in Hellenistic Egypt (details)
  • Audio News for April 12 to 18, 2015

    Archaeological Legacy Institute
    20 Apr 2015 | 4:32 am
    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include: Roman ceramic graffiti illustrates vernacular Latin (details) Spanish cave holds the earliest known European tool set (details) New finds fill in the gaps in the Great Wall of China (a href="http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-04/15/content_20441162.htm">details) Pre-Columbian trade across the Bering Strait (details)
 
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    NOSAS Archaeology Blog

  • Lament for a once Magical Place – or “the Agony of a severely traumatised pair of Archaeological Sites”

    nosas
    9 May 2015 | 3:20 pm
    by Meryl Marshall (NOSAS) This is the story of two archaeological sites which have suffered severe damage through a catalogue of assaults by man in the name of “development”. The “patients”, for so they can be regarded, lie in Balblair Wood (read Ward!), near Beauly. They have received repeated injuries over the last 20 years and today are in a sad, sorry state – they have been in the wrong place at the wrong time! Patient A is (or was) an extensive linear prehistoric site, centred on NGR NH 501444; it once comprised 13 hut circles, 2 chambered cairns, burnt mounds and a field…
  • Mulchaich 18th Century Distillery, Ross-shire: a NOSAS Project

    nosas
    26 Apr 2015 | 8:50 am
    by Meryl Marshall (NOSAS) NOSAS members working at Mulchaich 16th August 2013 Over the years tradition has had it that there are the remains of a distillery dating back to the 18th Century at Mulchaich Farm, located in the district of Ferintosh on the Black Isle. The distillery site is about 200m NW of the farm and was previously unrecorded; it was in a sorry state being quite overgrown with whins and with the few open areas grossly trampled by cattle. In 2009 members of the North of Scotland Archaeological Society began a project which had as one of its aims the surveying and recording of…
  • The Rosemarkie Caves Project

    nosas
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:08 pm
    by Simon Gunn (NOSAS) The subterranean section of NOSAS, the Rosemarkie Caves Project (RCP), is planning more work in the caves this year (2015). The RCP was set up to research the archaeology of the caves on the Moray Firth coast near Rosemarkie. The group started its work in 2006 with a weekend excavation of Learnie 2B when evidence was found of occupation and leatherwork in the 19th century, probably by summer travellers. This was followed by a more ambitious 14 day dig at Cairds’ Cave in 2010, when we confirmed that the cave had been excavated 100 years before by local doctor…
  • The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Whitebridge

    nosas
    2 Apr 2015 | 4:13 am
    by Marion Ruscoe (NOSAS) During a recent NOSAS field trip to archaeological sites on the east of Loch Ness, our attention was drawn to the Roman Catholic Chapel near Whitebridge (NH 49496 17045 – HER ID MHG47419) which is situated close to the Pictish Cemetery there. The architectural style is deceptively simple, suggesting an earlier building date than was actually the case, and perhaps also reflecting a continuity with the croft buildings which must have preceded it. The following is the result of my research into the history of the site and its architecture. By the middle of…
  • Experiments using a Quadcopter for Archaeological Aerial Photography

    nosas
    28 Mar 2015 | 3:57 pm
    by Alan Thompson (NOSAS) Introduction I’ve had my Quadcopter for over a year now, had great fun flying it, and have produced many interesting images.  I recently showed a selection of images at a NOSAS evening, and was asked if I would write this blog and share some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Of course the pictures are what it’s all about and even if you’re not interested in my comments, I hope you enjoy looking at them. Background Inspired by some of the wonderful aerial photos (APs) I’ve seen (for example on Canmore) I have long thought how good…
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    eaglesanddragonspublishing.com

  • The World of Children of Apollo – Part VI – Cumae and the Sibyl

    AdamAH
    26 May 2015 | 6:07 pm
    Apollo and the Sibyl …from her shrine the Sibyl of Cumae sang her fearful riddling prophecies, her voice booming in the cave as she wrapped the truth in darkness, while Apollo shook the reins upon her in her frenzy and dug the spurs into her flanks. The madness passed. The wild words died upon her lips… (Aenied, Book VI) In this series of posts on The World of Children of Apollo, we have been through the sands and cities of Roman North Africa, trod the marble-clad streets of Imperial Rome, and wandered the lush, ancient land of Etruria. We have met the imperial family and had a hint of…
  • Hero of Rome: An Interview with Author Douglas Jackson

    AdamAH
    18 May 2015 | 5:22 pm
    It’s always a thrill to stumble upon a new work of historical fiction that really meets your needs and expectations as a reader. I’ve been working on my own books so much lately that I haven’t been taking the time I should to read in my chosen genre. Time is precious, of course, but as writers we need to remember to keep reading. So, I went in search of a new series and found Douglas Jackson’s Gaius Valerius Verrens series. I’ve just finished the first book, Hero of Rome, and what an adventure! I couldn’t put this book down. The reader, writer, and historian in me was greatly…
  • Ancient Everyday – Mirror Mirror

    AdamAH
    11 May 2015 | 6:48 pm
    I thought I would try a new series of blog posts looking briefly at everyday items in the ancient world. Historical fiction is often about great battles, political events, and large-than-life characters. However, one of the things that anchors these stories more firmly in the past are the everyday items that decorate the homes of the characters around whom the stories revolve, or the tools they use without a passing thought. We might not notice these items ourselves, as readers, but trust me, if they were missing you would get the impression that the story was not quite authentic, or that it…
  • The King is Dead – The Passing of an Arthur

    AdamAH
    4 May 2015 | 6:27 pm
    It’s always a sad thing to hear of the passing of an artist whose work has made a lasting impression. It seems that every year more and more names shuffle off this mortal coil, leaving us with our own perceptions of their public face, but more so the faces of the roles they played. This morning I found out that British actor Nigel Terry passed away at the age of 69. Many people might not know Nigel Terry at first mention. He was not necessarily a Titan of the big screen. However, he did appear in a few historical/fantasy dramas, most notably John Boorman’s 1981 film Excalibur. I used to…
  • Quiet and Contemplative – Essentials for Writing Historical Fiction

    AdamAH
    27 Apr 2015 | 5:45 pm
    There is a truth which I have forgotten lately. With the day-to-day workings of my modern, connected life, I’ve been missing out on something essential, something that in the past has always helped me to nurture my creativity, and better my historical fiction. What is it? Quiet. Yes. That illusive modern-day grail, that has the power to slow us down, to help us think, to regroup and empower ourselves. Now that I write that, it really does seem obvious, not ground-breaking at all. But it is, and I’ve found that without taking some calm time to contemplate the past, my fiction suffers. Like…
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