The Roundup #14

The Rugby World Cup continues apace. Japan, Canada, and Georgia look to be the teams to make a tournament out of this show, fighting like mighty workhorses for every inch of the pitch. Go Canada Go!

In the meantime, the archaeological world seems unusually quiet this week. Here’s the latest roundup.


An intact Samnite tomb has been discovered in Pompeii, surviving a volcano, several wars, and 19th century archaeological methods.

This week’s bit of cuteness goes to a bronze owl brooch discovered in Denmark.

Egyptian authorities have approved the use of non-invasive techniques to scan for a hidden chamber behind the burial tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamum, possibly a major step in identifying what many now believe could be the tomb of the mesmerizingly beautiful Queen Nefertiti.

A research team in Florence claims to have discovered the burial place of the woman who inspired Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Lisa Gherardini, who died in the 16th century at the age of 63. Unfortunately, because no skull has been found with the very fragmented bones, an incontrovertible identification is tricky.

Excavations at the site of the Antikythera shipwreck are showing the site to be archaeologically very rich.

And archaeologists in Moscow believe they have uncovered the remains of the 12th century Velikaya, the oldest road in the city that once connected the Kremlin with the docks.

From the Smithsonian:

A great wee story on St Helena, the island in the southern Atlantic Ocean where Napoleon was exiled in 1815 and died in 1821. My high school history teacher likened St Helena to a speck of dust on the (admittedly very dusty) world map in the classroom. Guess the English wanted to make sure this time, because it currently still takes five days on a mail ship to get there.

From the Long Now:

Venture capitalism isn’t as new as some would like to think. Evidence from tablets from the ancient city of Kanesh demonstrate a complex trade system existed there, more complex than had been previously guessed at.

And from Biblical Archaeology:

The tomb of the Maccabees may have been discovered near the Israeli city of Modi’in.