The Roundup #64

In this week’s roundup, there’s a lot outside my usual fare – more New World than Old. But I’m glad to see that archaeological work carries on in the face of the Trump-Russia-GOP-HealthcareBill stressors. Enjoy!

From the CBC and Le Devoir:

A live cannon ball has been discovered in Quebec City during routine construction work. Neither the construction workers nor the archaeologist called in to remove it realized it still had a charge right away, and then munitions experts from CFB Valcartier were called in to safe it.

From the CBC:

Unmanned submersibles will be sent into Lake Ontario to find the models of the Avro CF-105, the “Arrow”, that were shot into the late in the 1950s following the closure of the Avro interceptor program. Not the prototypes, mind, but models of them.

From Archaeology News Network:

Ahh, the joys of pre-industrial recycling programs! Some of the writings of Hippocrates have been discovered in a palimpsest manuscript with Biblical text in a monastery in Egypt.

From the Smithsonian:

Hiding in plain sight, figures supposedly painted by Raphael shortly before his death in 1520 have been identified in the frescoes in the Hall of Constantine in the Vatican.

From Archaeology.org:

Excavations continue at Tintagel in Cornwall as archaeologists learn more about the locals who lived around the castle.

A Neolithic burial mound has been identified in England between Avesbury and Stonehenge.

A Roman mosaic floor – with a unique herringbone design, also called opus spicatum – has been discovered in a residential part of Alexandria.

Researchers from the Kumamoto University have announced a new theory about moveable set design in Greek theatres.

More evidence of Denisovan culture existing longer than previously thought as a well-worn baby tooth has been discovered that is 50,000 to 100,000 years older than previously identified fossils.

And the ritual sacrifice and burial of a wolf has been identified in Mexico, part of ongoing work into the Aztec culture that existed there before the arrival of the Spanish.

The Roundup #63

It’s been a six month hiatus from my weekly archaeology roundup (more on this later), and I’m happy to be getting back into the swing of things. Here is your roundup for the first week of July 2017. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Evidence from the Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme show the remains of the domus of Helena, mother of Constantine the Great and a saint of the Catholic church.

As with so many subject peoples, it appears that the Canaanites took on some of the social customs of the Egyptians who conquered them.

No wonder Rome is building its Metro line C around this: the barracks of the Praetorian Guard have been discovered and are being preserved during construction of the new transit line.

And more delays for the beleaguered line C, this time from the recently discovered remains of a burnt-out building near the Aurelian Wall.

Work is ongoing at a site in Peru called Montegrande where nearly a thousand years of history is being sifted through and documented.

From the Guardian:

I saw this in other places, but the Guardian – as is so often the case – says it better than others: research into the composition of Roman concrete shows that, by incorporating sea water into the mixture, the chemical reaction has made it a stronger and more durable material than modern concrete.

From the Atlantic:

Nothing says ‘god-loving’ like a giant religious conglomerate in the US that does horrible things to people, and now they are doing horrible things to things: after collecting more than $3 million USD of conflict antiquities, Hobby Lobby must pay that amount as a fine and forfeit the items. The best part? The title of the case: The United States of America v. Approximately Four Hundred Fifty (450) Ancient Cuneiform Tablets; and Approximately Three Thousand (3,000) Ancient-Clay Bullae.

The Roundup #57

The Trump Twitter Wars are establishing themselves as part of cultural lore, now that women and Alec Baldwin are firing back. And I learned today for the first time about the Nemi Ships.  Holy gods!

Otherwise, here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Don’t forget to always clean your bodies, and your plates. Evidence from Lapa do Santo in Brazil suggest that people not only defleshed bodies before burial, but they may also have cannibalized them nearly 10,000 years ago.

A network of smugglers has been exposed and several items repatriated from the US to Egypt following work by US Immigration and Customs.

Bitumen from the Sutton Hoo site appears to have originated near the Dead Sea, suggesting that trade was more extensive than previously thought.

A pair of mummified legs likely belonged to Queen Nefertari, wife of Pharaoh Rameses II, have been identified in Italy. Still wondering where the rest of of her is, though…

Earthenworks discovered on the Japanese island of Kyushu may show evidence of an invasion during the 7th century from Korea.

A theatre in the Roman province of Thrace (modern Bulgaria, near Plovdiv) appears to be older than originally thought following the discovery of an inscription near the site dating to the reign of the Emperor Domitian.

From the Smithsonian:

A remarkable video feature on the restoration of a 17th century map found shoved up a chimney in Aberdeen.

A more detailed article on the recently discovered site outside Abydos in Egypt.

The Roundup #43

It’s been a crazy week in North America. A hate crime perpetrated in Orlando, Florida followed by a 15 hour long filibuster in the US Senate to demand better gun control laws; a suspected shooter at the University of Toronto St. George campus on the Monday morning following; the suspended disqualification of the Russian national football team at the UEFA championship; and the actual disqualification of the Russian track and field team from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

I bet everyone’s in the mood to read something else, anything else. So here’s this week’s roundup! Enjoy!

From History Today:

A feature on Aristotle by Edith Hall.

A piece on the Holy Lance, the source of the final mark of the stigmata, and another of those relics that inspire confidence at all costs.

From the Smithsonian:

Excavations are underway at Piraeus, the port of Athens, at the sites of the three military harbours that were active around the time of the Persian Wars in the early 5th century BC.

From Archaeology.org:

What is now being called the Gaulcross Hoard of silver artefacts has been discovered in a farmer’s field in Scotland where, nearly 200 years earlier, other silver artefacts had already been found.

The ongoing battle against illegal or illicit antiquities trading continues, this time in Israel with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

My love of neolithic figurines continues with the rediscovery of this little gem, the Skara Brae Buddo, first discovered in the 1860s in the Orkneys and lost to museum storage until recently.

A rather large hunk of butter has been unearthed from a bog in Ireland.

The paintings at the cave site in Chauvet appear to be older than originally believed, by a few thousand years.

The site of the Bear River Massacre has been identified in Idaho where, in 1863, Americans shot and killed hundreds of Northwestern Shoshone.

Some rather fascinating bronze arrows and quivers have been found at a site in Oman, and archaeologists suggest that they may have been offerings to a god of war.

Conservators have begun restoring the solar boat discovered in the Great Pyramid of Khufu in 1954.

And ongoing work in southern Russia has yielded remarkably finely crafted gold artefacts in what was originally thought to be a routine excavation of a kurgan.

The Roundup #41

In typical fashion, I got distracted by the world these last few days, as I sorted out my life (as much of it as I felt was necessary, at any rate), and enjoyed the first hot days of summer here in Toronto (feels like the first time I’ve been warm in eight months, suggesting a rather neat affinity to Sam McGee, if I do say so myself).

My favourite bit of news has to be these Roman tablets from Britain, possibly the oldest ever recovered, including the first known reference to London, and first known dated document, which are going on display in London.

So here’s my roundup from the last three weeks. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Cave art has been found nearly 1,000 feet down in Basque country in Spain, including what looks like an image of a bison pierced with a lot of spears.

Crappy weather does more than make me miserable; it may have been responsible for the withdrawal of the Mongols from Europe in the 13th century.

The history of language – a favourite topic of mine – has further notes, as a cuneiform tablet from the first century AD is so far the most recent example of a written language whose spoken counterpart appears to have died out hundreds of years earlier.

I feel like I’ve seen this argument somewhere before, but here’s a neat bit of work out of Australia on the similarities between horns from southern India and those from the ancient Mediterranean.

An archaeologist’s dream – a site containing such a myriad of artefacts that it’s a never ending processing of cataloguing and interpretation – this site in southern Mexico includes a carved human jaw bone. Fascinating!

And I may have already posted this, but it’s worth a second look: a rich shipwreck has been discovered in the old harbour of Caesarea.

From the CBC:

King Tut’s ceremonial dagger appears to be made of meteorite. Because it’s good to be the king.

From The Atlantic:

Modern archaeology gets meta as researchers have discovered jewellery hidden in the false bottom of a cup left behind at Auschwitz.

And from History Today:

Considerations on the use of the phrase ‘dark ages’ in British history, particularly as it relates to the remarkable site of Tintagel in Cornwall, long believed to be where the mythical King Arthur was conceived after Merlin magicked Uther Pendragon inside the castle and into the lady Ygraine’s bed.

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.

The Roundup #29

Appallingly belated, I know, but it’s something that I seem to do once in a while. Switchin’ it up, ‘n shit, eh? So here’s last week’s roundup!

From Archaeology.org:

Three late Roman tombs have been discovered in Bulgaria’s Valley of the Thracian Kings (so called to distinguish it from Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, I presume.

The need to regularly cleaning your pots is not a new thing; however, evidence from Japan shows it wasn’t practiced with the same hypochondriac-style fervour as it is now.

In Egypt, you do get rewarded for your work, as the recently discovered tomb of Senusret I’s stamp bearer attests.

I am endlessly fascinated by very, very old figurines, such as this carving of a woman from 15th to 13th century BCE Canaan. There is something awe-inspiring about the eternal desire in human beings to recreate or represent themselves.

More intriguing finds from Yorkshire, this time a mesolithic pendant in shale.

And a birchbark letter from the 14th or 15th century has been found at a site near the Kremlin in Moscow.

From the British Museum:

The Watlington Hoard from 870 AD has been declared treasure under the Treasure Act of 1996.

From Oregon State University:

What is considered a near-perfect blue pigment, long the desire of peoples throughout history, has been licensed by chemists at the university to be used to colour plastics and other manufactured items. Among other things, the colour is so stable that it does not fade in oil or water.

From Doha News:

Workers excavating areas for the Qatar 2022 World Cup stadium have unearthed stones that are 20-30 million years old.

From Biblical Archaeology:

More on ancient figurines, this feature discusses the enigmatic Judaean pillar figurines originally discovered at sites from ancient Judah more than a century ago.

And a hiker in the Galilee accidentally discovered an Egyptian scarab that is 3,500 years old.