The Roundup #76

Discoveries, discoveries, and more discoveries! From the Antikythera wreck, no less!

Here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!


Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities has announced the discovery of pre-dynastic rock carvings that are approximately 15,000 years old.

An antebellum flour mill has been identified in Alexandria, Virginia.

Melting snow has revealed further artifacts from a cache of Bronze Age items in Switzerland.

The remains of an Old Kingdom obelisk have been found in Saqqara, Egypt.

Some unusual Bronze Age stone objects have been discovered in northern Wales.

From the Smithsonian:

The Lion of al-Lat, damaged when Daesh took Palmyra in 2015, has been restored and put on display at the National Museum of Damascus.

The oldest known flower, some 130 million years old, has been identified by paleobotanist Bernard Gomez.

From the Guardian:

The tomb of Saint Nicholas appears to have been identified in Turkey.

A bronze arm recently retrieved from the Antikythera shipwreck site suggests that further discoveries may be buried in the sand under the wreck itself.


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!


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 #42

Posting this on time for a change! Go me!

Here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!


Tiny text on the famous Antikythera Mechanism has been deciphered by archaeologists from Cardiff University.

A cache of coins has been discovered at the site of an agricultural estate in Israel that has existed for two millenia.

Excavations are underway at training trenches in Ireland where soldiers were prepared for life in the trenches of World War One.

A feature on the Code of Hammurabi, considered the first written law code in history. I’m particularly interested in this after getting a behind-the-scenes look at a full scale copy of the stone during the Mesopotamia exhibition held at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2013.

Another feature on cuneiform script, with particular interest on the inscriptions from the Bisitun Pass in Iran that acted as a kind of cuneiform Rosetta Stone, written in Persian, Akkadian, and Elamite.

And yet another cuneiform feature, this one on the Stela of the Vultures, detailing warfare nearly 4,000 years ago.

And – yes, you guessed it – still another piece on cuneiform, this article directed at a series of tablets detailing some of the medical knowledge of the 6th century BCE.

From the Guardian:

Perhaps the biggest bit of news this week, archaeologists have discovered a massive structure near the ancient Nabataean city of Petra famous for its monumental sculpture carved into the living rock. The Smithsonian has also reported on it, as have several other agencies.

Fragments of manuscripts reused as book binding materials are currently being studied using x-ray technology in an attempt to identify the texts.

The Roundup #14

The Rugby World Cup continues apace. Japan, Canada, and Georgia look to be the teams to make a tournament out of this show, fighting like mighty workhorses for every inch of the pitch. Go Canada Go!

In the meantime, the archaeological world seems unusually quiet this week. Here’s the latest roundup.


An intact Samnite tomb has been discovered in Pompeii, surviving a volcano, several wars, and 19th century archaeological methods.

This week’s bit of cuteness goes to a bronze owl brooch discovered in Denmark.

Egyptian authorities have approved the use of non-invasive techniques to scan for a hidden chamber behind the burial tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamum, possibly a major step in identifying what many now believe could be the tomb of the mesmerizingly beautiful Queen Nefertiti.

A research team in Florence claims to have discovered the burial place of the woman who inspired Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Lisa Gherardini, who died in the 16th century at the age of 63. Unfortunately, because no skull has been found with the very fragmented bones, an incontrovertible identification is tricky.

Excavations at the site of the Antikythera shipwreck are showing the site to be archaeologically very rich.

And archaeologists in Moscow believe they have uncovered the remains of the 12th century Velikaya, the oldest road in the city that once connected the Kremlin with the docks.

From the Smithsonian:

A great wee story on St Helena, the island in the southern Atlantic Ocean where Napoleon was exiled in 1815 and died in 1821. My high school history teacher likened St Helena to a speck of dust on the (admittedly very dusty) world map in the classroom. Guess the English wanted to make sure this time, because it currently still takes five days on a mail ship to get there.

From the Long Now:

Venture capitalism isn’t as new as some would like to think. Evidence from tablets from the ancient city of Kanesh demonstrate a complex trade system existed there, more complex than had been previously guessed at.

And from Biblical Archaeology:

The tomb of the Maccabees may have been discovered near the Israeli city of Modi’in.

The Roundup #2

A day late but hopefully not a dollar short (unless you’re the Greek government), here’s the second installation of my weekly roundup.

My favourite has to be the discovery of a piece of marble depicting a dolphin in Israel. Running in close second is this article on weapons of mass destruction from the Ancient world. was at the top of their game, news-wise this week:

A wreck off the coast of Italy has been discovered, heavily laden with Roman roof tiles still packed tightly in the hold of the ship.

Archaeologists theorize that two graves from a Greek settlement that seemed ‘peculiar’ are actually zombie burials.

Archaeological work at the Antikythera site will be funded for another five years, a triumph in an age of such austerity.

A bronze age settlement in England that appears to have been destroyed by fire will also continue to be excavated.

And the former home of Lady Jane Grey, England’s Nine Days Queen, is yielding a trove of artefacts from across the ages.

From the Smithsonian:

Recycling makes for delightful finds as one art lover discovered after purchasing what he thought were two pastels by French Impressionist Claude Monet.

And a Peruvian road regularly travelled is still a wonder to those who set foot on it.

From Biblical Archaeology:

Take a look at the toolkit of one of the archaeologists excavating at Huqoq.


The eeriest piece of the week has to be this one from the Guardian detailing the largest single collection of Nazi memorabilia in the world, tucked away in Leicestershire.

And more sad news from Palmyra as the destruction of the UNESCO World Heritage Site by the Islamic State continues.