The Roundup #19 and #20

Dear Readers, I’ve been remiss. Somehow I managed to entirely forget about posting a roundup last weekend, so this weekend – as I did a bit ago when I was away – I’ll post two. Roundup #19 will cover the week beginning November 2nd, and #20 will cover this past week beginning November 9th.

On November 7th, Sierra Leone was officially declared ebola-free, something that the WHO and Medecins sans Frontieres must be absolutely joyous about, let alone the people of Sierra Leone themselves.

Otherwise, the week of November 2nd was relatively quiet. Here goes Roundup #19:

From the Guardian:

Burial vaults are being discovered – or, rather, rediscovered – in New York City (Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park). They are approximately 200 years old themselves, and were at one point discovered by ConEdison in the 1960s, before offering archaeologists this week the chance to re-discover them.

A leather trunk in The Hague contains undelivered letters from nearly 300 years ago, including a sad plea from a woman – likely in a compromising situation – to the man who helped get there in that position. Archaeologists and social historians are agog.

And, in an update from the story about the Nazi gold train in Poland, members of the Krakow mining academy will begin surveys this week to determine just what is down there.

 

And here goes Roundup #20.

This week, the news that India was planning to launch a bid to have the Koh-i Noor diamond – currently the centrepiece of the British Crown Jewels – to be returned to them, fomenting debate once again about the repatriation of artworks and cultural treasures. History Today reissued an article written in the 1970s about the history of the diamond.

From Archaeology.org:

A Neolithic smoke house has been discovered in Siberia.

Tree ring studies have been used to develop a global history of drought going back two thousand years.

Archaeologists have digitally mapped the theatre district at Nea Paphos, the capital of the Roman province of Cyprus.

Who doesn’t enjoy news about sabre tooth cats? New evidence has been unearthed at Schoningen in Germany of how ancient peoples used the remains of these cats for weapons.

New studies on the aqueducts of ancient Rome are offering some solid numbers for how much water regularly flowed into the city.

The biggest news – so far as I’m concerned, at least – is of the discovery of a Roman amphitheatre in Volterra, northern Italy.

From the Smithsonian:

In a strange bit of genetic engineering, Vincent Van Gogh’s ear has been recreated from his DNA using a 3D printer. Yeah. I admit I’m a little creeped out by that too.

Residue from ancient pots suggest that people were using honey as far back as 8,500 years ago.

From The New York Times:

Sarah Parcak is to be awarded the $1million TED prize so that she may further her research into satellite tracking of looted archaeological sites.

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