The Roundup #53

What a week it’s been! Glad to be back to thinking about stuff that matters, like this week’s latest roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Evidence of a fresco from the high Middle Ages has been discovered under the Great Basilica in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Along the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, archaeologists have identified more than 40 shipwrecks in the area and are using laser scanning and digital imaging to create 3D versions of each ship.

Evidence of fire making from approximately 800,000 years ago has been discovered in Spain, the first such evidence of this nature found outside Africa.

An inn from the Byzantine period has been discovered in the ancient city of Assos in Turkey. Archaeological excavations are ongoing.

Now this is very much an ex-parrot, as the Monty Python boys would say, discovered in Mexico as part of an Archaic Period burial.

And a Celtic cross from the Orkney Islands, carrying the figure of a dragon, likely dates to the start of the Christian conversions in the are.

From the Smithsonian:

A remarkable find – a fossilized dinosaur brain has been discovered by an amateur fossil hunter in Bexhill, Sussex.

From Little Things:

Alba amicorum, or ‘friend books’, popular in the 16th century are the subject of Sophie Reinders’ PhD dissertation.

The Roundup #52

It’s been a frenetic week in Toronto – the Jays are out of the playoffs and the Americans are still dealing with this clusterfuck of an election. But in contrast it seems to have been a rather quiet one in the world of archaeological news, particularly since there were so many features posted this week.

Here’s this week’s (smallish) roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

A feature on ancient Vienna in France (not to be confused with modern Vienna in Austria), one of the largest Roman sites in the country.

Did a sea monster sink this German U-Boat? Depends on whether it’s UB-85. Scottish workers discovered the World War One wreck while laying cable in the Irish Sea.

Another feature, this one on the archaeological forgery that was Piltdown Man. Some people will do anything to get in to the Royal Society.

From Archaeology.co.uk:

Yet another feature, this one on the archaeology of the domestic cat.

From the Smithsonian:

The fantastic discovery of dinosaur remains in Denali National Park, the first such fossils recovered from the area in Alaska, suggest that the vegetation at the time was conducive to preserving the remains of dinosaurs from the Cretaceous.

The Roundup #51

While SNL, Seth Meyers, and the late night comedy and variety hosts continue to ravish this travesty of an American election, it’s a grateful person who can find reprieve elsewhere.

So here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Analysis of pigments on Greek vases is yielding new insight into how paint was developed and applied to some of the most iconic archaeological pieces of Greek history.

I am posting this with strong reservations. Without having read Civilization, Niall Ferguson seems to have left my hyper vigilant against western normative bias: a new theory suggests that the builders of the terracotta army of Qin Shihuang Di may have been influenced by Greek artists.

Word games have been discovered in the ancient marketplace of Smyrna.

From the Smithsonian:

Civil War era cannonballs have been revealed in South Carolina following Hurricane Matthew.

The Roundup #50

“Going to post every week, don’t worry”. Yeah, about that…

My last post – sans trumpet – was on September 3rd. Eep! Now, to be fair, I had a sibling get married and the requisite wrangling of relatives to contend with. Oh, and the shit show that is the American presidential elections. But, beyond that, I was just lazy. Cut to Thanksgiving weekend, enough time on my hands, and the soundtrack from the 2015 film Legend, and I’m settled in to update this thing I call a blog.

So, without further ado – although there does seem to be a fair amount of ado, doesn’t there? – I offer up the September and early October roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Close on the heels of the discovery of the HMS Erebus in March 2015, archaeologists have also discovered Franklin’s second ship, the HMS Terror in the Arctic Ocean. Here’s the Government of Canada’s press release on the discovery.

Human remains have been identified at the site where the Antikythera Mechanism was discovered.

As I must have mentioned before, I’m absolutely fascinated by neolithic figurines, and this discovery from Turkey is no exception.

Murder! Murder most foul! Looks like Otzi the Ice Man met a less than natural end, depending on how you philosophize it, as evidence of his murder comes to light.

In one of the more unusual discoveries of the last month, Roman coins from the fourth century AD have been found at a medieval castle in southern Japan. The Smithsonian has also reported on this, as has the mighty New York Times.

From The Guardian:

In a direct assault on silly people like Niall Ferguson and ideas about the west being the centre of the universe (get a compass, and a telescope, dude, seriously), the world’s oldest library in Morocco has reopened after decades of unrest and a major restoration of the library itself.

Digital reconstruction of burnt scrolls have the Biblical world all atwitter. This technology has also been used effectively on scrolls from Pompeii and Herculaneum, as I understand it.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this week to the President of Colombia for brokering a peace deal (which was narrowly voted down) to end the country’s 50 year long civil war. Before that announcement was made, there was much rumble about the Prize going to a group of civilians in war-torn Syria. For more on this, see here, here, and the Netflix documentary called, simply, “The White Helmets”.

From the American Schools of Oriental Research:

A new documentary is forthcoming about Gertrude Bell, a contemporary of T.E. Lawrence and of Winston Churchill, who wrote a white paper on the Civil Administration of Mesopotamia in 1920.

From the CBC:

Archaeologists have succeeded in raising the Maud, the famous ship of Roald Amundsen, from its grave in Cambridge Bay after it sank in 1930. She will be on her way back home to Norway in due course.

The Roundup #49

It’s been a strange couple of weeks heading into this Labour Day long weekend of 2016. Professor Juan Rojo of Lafayette College has begun a hunger strike to protest his denial of tenure. Active Latin learning is being championed as a new way to learn a dead language. I found a professor in the US who has written a great series on Latin hacks, the first of which is here. The Tragically Hip played their last concert in Kingston, Ontario. And the New York Times published one of the most powerful articles I’ve ever read on the wars in the Middle East. Naturally, I’ve been somewhat distracted. So, without further ado, here is a roundup from the past two weeks. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

A railway turntable has been discovered in Ottawa during routine construction in the city.

A lavish Roman seaside villa is being documented near Positano in Italy.

A Neolithic labret has been discovered in Siberia, suggesting that face ornamentation has never been the preserve of the present.

Excavations at Rotterdam are bringing to light artefacts of the city before it was founded in 1270AD.

And there’s been a fair amount of excavations yielding Roman artefacts in the UK: first is this selection of bolts and other materials for iron smelting discovered in Scotland; second is from work done near a nursery in Norfolk; third is what appears to be a Neolithic log boat in Wales; and fourth, a medieval castle wall has been discovered during repair work on a nearby mausoleum in Scotland.

From the Guardian:

A ring purported to have belonged to Joan of Arc is in the middle of a new battle over export licences.

Cryptologists may get crowd-sourcing help to unlock the mysteries of the Voynich manuscript.

From the Washington Post:

A rare fourth century AD mosaic of chariot racing in the hippodrome has been discovered in Cyprus.

The Roundup #48

The 2016 Olympics in Rio are well underway and people are discovering all kinds of sports they didn’t know they enjoyed watching, like rugby sevens apparently. And, in spite of the volcanic heat in Toronto, things are happening all over the world. My favourite of the week  has to be this note in the Washington Post about a massive mosaic depicting chariot racing discovered in Cyprus.

So, without further ado, here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Massive structures have been found near Risan, Montenegro dating to the third century BCE. Risan is the capital of ancient Illyria.

Healthy living isn’t a new fad, as the discovery of a plunge pool built in the 19th century inside a 12th century abbey proves.

Evidence from horses that died in the Middle Ages suggests that the elusive ‘ambling’ gait originated in Medieval England.

Fragments of Roman fresco discovered in Israel may have been part of a public building constructed in the second century CE.

Ongoing archaeological work around the site of Tintagel in Cornwall is providing new information on the date of the first settlements there.

From the Smithsonian:

The oldest known processed gold has been discovered in Bulgaria.

Evidence of the mysterious snake-head dynasty have been discovered in Belize.

From the Independent:

At first blush, the news that a Portuguese sailing ship has been discovered in a Namibian desert might sound outlandish (sorry, bad pun), but this is apparently not that unusual: the latest is the Bom Jesus, that set sail in 1533 and vanished with its crew and cargo on its way to India.

From the Guardian:

A unique find during the excavation of a burial site in Serbia: magic spells inscribed on gold leaf found with skeletons as amulets.

From History Today:

A feature on the largest pyramid in the world – and it’s not in Egypt, but in Mexico: the Great Pyramid of Cholula.

The Roundup #47

It’s been an interesting week in archaeological news (to the public; not the archaeologists themselves, who’ve been working at these sites for months if not years). The big highlight has to be the discovery of ruins outside of the already ruined castle of Tintagel where archaeologists believe Arthur may have been born.

Here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Possibly my favourite bit of news from this week, archaeologists have recreated a kitchen in a launderette at Pompeii.

The question over whether a burial site where the skeletons of men were found decapitated remains, as scholars dispute the idea that it could have been a mass grave for either gladiators or criminals.

Technology adds new dimensions to archaeological work as the footprints originally discovered by Mary Leakey in the Laetoli area of Tanzania and dated to over 3 millions years ago are analyzed by DigTrace software.

Evidence to support the mythical founding of China’s empire have been found: sediment from a massive flooding of the Yellow River nearly 4,000 years ago at a site called Lajia.

And a lavish burial for a woman has been discovered near Aspero in Peru.

From the CBC:

A huge mass burial site has been uncovered near Piraeus in Greece dating from the 8th to the 5th century BCE.

From the National Post:

Specialists have used a particle accelerator to determine that an old and much despised Degas held in Australia contains another portrait underneath, of one of Degas’ models, Emma Dobigny.

From The Guardian:

A massive, ornate Mayan tomb from the historical snake dynasty has been discovered in Belize.

The Roundup #46

It’s been a strange month but, having returned from a much needed holiday in Niagara-on-the-Lake, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. And it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, so here goes this month’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Archaeologists are examining temples built hundreds of years ago to determine how to design future earthquake proofing.

Another delightful discovery out of the Galilee this season; this time it’s a rock-cut kiln from the Roman period.

Things I didn’t know: Hong Kong has not be subjected to any serious archaeological work in its harbour. The discovery of an anchor and cannon from a site near Basalt Island is the first such work to be undertaken.

An Etruscan tomb near Vulci has yielded enigmatic silver hands as part of its cache.

And speaking of Etruscans, the Danish museum Ny Carlesbeg Glyptotek is repatriating artefacts originally from the Sabine necropolis at Colle del Forno.

From a Swedish shipwreck, archaeologists may have discovered the stinkiest cheese ever, having been buried in mud for 340 years.

The earliest known evidence of tobacco cultivation has been discovered in Utah.

And evidence from the Solomon Islands suggests that early Polynesian tattoo artists used obsidian tools to imbed the ink in skin.

From Biblical Archaeology:

An in memoriam for Jim Robinson reviews the discovery and later release of the Nag Hammadi codices discovered in Egypt in 1945.

From the CBC:

Plans to raise Roald Amundsen’s ship, the Maud, from the seabed at Cambridge Bay are now underway.

The Roundup #45

This week brought to light (for me at least) some rather interesting notes on projects ongoing around the world. The first, and of course my favourite, is this piece from the Smithsonian about Wolfgang Neubauer’s non-invasive archaeological work on Carnuntum in Austria, particularly the ludus or gladiator school near the amphitheatre there. The second, which I stumbled on quite by accident after deciding to check out rogueclassicism.com for the first time in ages, about the search for the provenance of a Gospel purportedly to be of Jesus’s wife.

So how ’bout them apples?

And, with that, here’s the rest of this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

The remains of four people found in the back of a shop in Pompeii were discovered with jewellery and money, despite evidence of looting at the site.

Evidence of bitumen collection from Russia has been identified in the molecular remains inside an amphora.

Archaeological reconstruction of funeral rites for a shaman in Israel from 12,000 years ago yields all kinds of new information.

Evidence of what could prove to be a remarkable cooling system for working men and animals in Carthage’s circus.

Antibiotic resistant bacteria is not a new thing, as evidence from mummies from Peru and Italy suggest.

From the Atlantic:

A short and delightful video on new techniques designed to non-invasively read papyrus scrolls from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The Roundup #44

On this historic day, as France battles the tiny nation of Iceland for a berth in the Euro Cup semi-finals, I may find it hard to concentrate while watching this match – particularly since France has just gone up 2-0 in the first 20 minutes! – but I’ll do my best.

There was a #tbt article this week on refereeing in gladiatorial combats. And Mary Beard spoke to the Times Literary Supplement about the EU referendum.

With that, and without further ado, here is this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Arson experts are ever in demand as archaeologists in Denmark are currently investigating whether a Viking palace was deliberately set alight nearly a thousand years ago.

An example of why I love archaeologists: having found a hunk of rock in southern Greece, archaeologists suggest it is part of the throne of the kings of Mycenae, because of course.

At the site of Hippos, near the Sea of Galilee, archaeologists believe they may have identified a sanctuary of Pan, following the discovery of a bronze mask of the god nearby.

Artefacts are popping up all over the place, most recently on a beach in Israel, where a lifeguard discovered a 12th century Crusader-era oil lamp during his regular rounds.

A medieval weapons manufacturing site has been discovered near Lake Baikal in Siberia.

In Hungary, work is ongoing at the site of the Mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, where it is possible that the remains of his son may be discovered in the mosque next door.

It’s entirely possible that the partial remains of the Buddha have been discovered in Nanjing.

Ancient languages never cease being tricky, as attempts to translate this stone stele are proving.

From the Smithsonian:

If you’ve ever wanted to know what the Confederate “Rebel Yell” sounded like, here you go.

The schooner Royal Albert has been discovered in Lake Ontario after she sank in 1868.