It’s been a strange and unusual week for the archaeology news that I follow. Space archaeology, exhumations of modern artists, and a bit of stuff from the History Boys at the Daily Xtra. Enjoy!
From the Daily Xtra:
A feature piece on titillating narratives and the prevalence vs acceptance of lesbianism in the Roman Empire.
From ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives:
An update on the status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Leptis (or Lepcis) Magna, home of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (along with a few other people throughout the ages).
From the Royal Ontario Museum blog:
A bit of modern archaeology following a single-use water bottle across the world. Scary stuff!
From the CBC:
Salvador Dali’s body has been exhumed so as to test his DNA and compare it to that of Pilar Abel, who is claiming she is Dali’s daughter. As an extra bit of fun that the artist no-doubt would have enjoyed, it was discovered that his moustache is still in its iconic 10-past-10 position.
A 2,700 year old reservoir has been discovered in Israel, with human figures and other artistic representations carved into its walls.
The potential eruption of Ol Doinyo Lengai, a volcano in Tanzania, could damage or even entirely destroy a set of 19,000 year old human footprints. Rest assured, the more famous Laetoli footprints from 3.7 million years ago are some distance away.
An eighth or ninth century fishing weir has been identified in the Thames estuary, helping archaeologists map the shoreline and erosion over the last thousand or so years.
The arrival of early humans in Australia has been pushed back a further 10,000 years after excavations in Madjedbebe in Northern Territory yielded stone tools dated to 65,000 years before the present. Now that’s quite a walkabout.
Faint drawings, so far only visible in sunlight – even a camera hasn’t been able to capture them yet – have been identified in the Orkneys at the site of the Ring of Brogdar, a set of standing stones and a nearby settlement.
Archaeologists have begun a 4-D mapping project of the International Space Station, which has been continually occupied since 2000, to develop an understanding of astronaut (read: human) culture in space.
From the Smithsonian:
A World War II Enigma machine with three rotors (the ones with four are rarer and therefore even more valuable) was bought at a flea market in Romania and purchased for $114 USD recently sold for over $50,000 US at auction to an anonymous bidder.