The Roundup #40

Not much going on this week, or rather not much getting reported on. But that could have a wide variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with the fact that the Toronto Raptors just made it to the Eastern Conference Finals (no, seriously, it didn’t).

Enough beating about the bush. Here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

The Muscogee Creek people of Florida are working to restore their cultural traditions to their lives.

Evidence of female human sacrifice from Peru further indicates the ‘great cultural upheaval’ that was going on at the time.

Possibly the world’s oldest axe has been discovered in Australia.

A New Jersey family may have found the site where Washington and his troops camped after crossing the Delaware during the American Revolutionary War.

And a small Egyptian sarcophagus from the 6th century BC contains the remains of a fetus approximately 18 weeks old.

From the Guardian:

From artefacts discovered in a sink hole in Florida, archaeologists are reexamining the history of native peoples in Pre-Columbian America.

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The Roundup #23

Vanishing. Right. That.

Happy New Year! Here’s what I saw in the first week of 2016 to whet the archaeological appetite.

From Archaeology.org:

Evidence of the elusive Egyptian Blue has been discovered on a collection of mummy portraits from the second century AD.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of the remains of several whaling ships lost in Alaska during a disastrous season in 1871 when more than thirty ships were lost and their crew (including women and children) had to walk over the ice to safety. The Smithsonian has also covered this particular discovery.

The tomb of Khentkaus III, a previously unknown Egyptian queen from the 5th Dynasty, has been discovered near the pyramid complex of Pharaoh Neferefre in Abusir.

From the Smithsonian:

While excavating space for a new hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, construction workers have uncovered the remains of a Revolutionary-era ship in the mud of the Potomac River.

From the Guardian:

Every ten to fifteen years, the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris is dredged and cleaned, and the neighbours come out for the show: invariably a wide variety of detritus comes to light, and this year is no exception.

“What have the Romans ever done for us?” Monty Python may have made the phrase memorable, but it’s a going concern for archaeologists, historians, sociologists, and psychologists. Every few years, the issue of hygiene and cleanliness bubbles to the surface of the discussion, as is covered here.

And finally, from the CBC, and a story rather close to home, geographically:

A fire destroyed a major heritage building on Jarvis Street in Toronto that was once owned by the Sheard family, notably including Toronto’s First Chief Medical Examiner, a 19th century Mayor of Toronto, and several architects. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

The Roundup #8

It’s been an eclectic week in terms of archaeological news about the ancient world (really, when is it not?). The most political of the news items that I saw was this: because of what the German Art Dealers Association calls their “special responsibility”, the German Minister of Culture is planning to put forward legislation to curb the smuggling of illegal antiquities from the Middle East, particularly those looted by ISIS. ISIS may be best known for the destruction wrought throughout Syria – against both people and antiquities – but it also funds its operations through the illegal sale of artefacts. Stopping or even hindering this is a huge step, as a group of academics are trying to do.

The Beeb reports that the British Museum is piloting a VR program for visitors to explore a Bronze Age roundhouse, with the potential to expand into a wide variety of other departments. I’ll look forward to see how this develops!

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

From Archaeology.org:

A mosaic floor depicting a menorah has been discovered in a Byzantine era synagogue at Horvat Kur in Israel.

Drinking with the fam’ has never been so apt as at this site in Tennessee where what was once a 1920s speakeasy has been revealed to be a Native American burial ground.

Discoveries on Jamestown Island continue with Irish pennies and the matchlock firing mechanisms from two muskets.

Remains of the monumental city gates of Gath in Tel Zafit National Park have been identified. The site, thought to be the Philistine city of Gath, the home of Goliath, was occupied in the 10th century BCE.

Petroglyphs discovered in Siberia may turn out to be the area’s oldest.

A series of pots and jars have been discovered at Edfu in Egypt, including some beautiful alabaster pieces.

And a mass grave in China may point to a prehistoric epidemic, forcing the people of the area to pile the bodies of victims in a house and burn it.

From the Smithsonian:

Scientists have developed a model to determine the nature of the earthquake that struck Nepal in April of this year. Their research has identified resonance waves in the basin around Kathmandu as the reason why taller buildings, which had survived previous earthquakes in the region, collapsed this time around.

Information has come to light about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery in 1990, which still remains unsolved. A $5 million reward is being offered for information leading to the recover of all 13 stolen pieces in good condition.

And the mystery surrounding an inscription on the blade of a medieval sword continues.

From Biblical Archaeology:

A neat review of the recent dig season at Tel Kabri, and the discovery of the oldest and largest wine cellar from the Ancient Near East.

And news about a new Iron Age settlement will be coming down the pipeline in due course. Stay tuned!

And from The Guardian:

A new exhibit in Paris will showcase artefacts recovered from a vast submerged site in Egypt. There are some stunning pieces here, so if you’re in Paris, I highly recommend going to see it!