The Roundup #9

It’s been a hell of a week for editorial cartoonists in Canada. One day, these will be part of the archaeological work of some great doctoral student.

In the meantime, work is underway to explore the possibility that the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, wife of Akenaten and possibly pharaoh in her own right, may have been buried in a series of rooms off the small burial space of King Tut himself. and the BBC have reported on it, as well as, surprisingly enough, The Economist (this article includes details on the theory postulated by Nicholas Reeves). I expect there will be more articles with the famous bust of Nefertiti, on display at the Neues Museum in Berlin, as the lead photo in the days and weeks and months to come. One thing I’d like to know: why would the ancient Egyptians have wanted to hide her burial chambers?

However, the highlight of the week for me personally was this article on the 6th century BCE sanctuary discovered on the Palatine in Rome. I’ve wandered past dig sites there that were cordoned off from public dalliance, and imagined the wonders beneath the hill ever since the first images were broadcast during initial tests of an area now called the Lupercal.

And with that, here’s this week’s roundup.

From the Beeb:

Archaeologists and scholars are working to decipher a series of inscriptions from a mikveh in Israel. I’m not sure if this is the same ritual bath that was discovered by accident during home renovations, but I’ll be interested to see what ultimately comes of this.

From the Smithsonian:

A feature discusses the viability of tomb raiding in China (and, by extension, elsewhere).

Evidence shows that teenage girls have been language disruptors since at least Shakespeare’s day. Like, totes!

And the oldest existing colour illustrated printed book – a 1633 volume of a Manual on Calligraphy and Painting – has been digitized to both protect the original and to allow for further study. Check out what else was recently digitized using this remarkable new technique!


Work continues at a site in Denmark believed to be a Neolithic sun temple complex.

In the first of three shipwreck stories, a gun carriage from The London has been brought to the surface. This ship carried Charles II from the Netherlands in 1660 to restore the monarchy in England, and then exploded five years later when the explosives it was carrying ignited.

The bell from the HMS Hoodthe British flagship destroyer that was sunk by the Bismarck in the Denmark Strait in 1941 with the loss of all but three of over 1,400 lives, has been raised and will become part of a memorial at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

And finally, the mystery of one of the cargo ships of the 19th century Baron de Rothschild may have been solved with the discovery of a ship of similar description off the coast of Israel.

Restoration work is underway to maintain the breathtaking Domus Aurea of Nero in Rome.

And a plague pit from the 17th century has been discovered during construction of the new high-speed Crossrail in England near Liverpool Street Station. To demonstrate the extreme nature of the epidemic that affected England at this time, The Guardian has created an interactive map of the plague victims uncovered during this construction project.