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 #33

And here’s my roundup from the week of March 21st to 28th inclusive. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly looking forward to being back up to date.

The highlight of this week was that Syrian forces retook Palmyra from Daesh which, I’m sure, has anxious archaeologists desperate to get out there and survey the damage.


A ‘house of the dead‘ – a building that collapsed and was made into a burial chamber – has been discovered in the United Arab Emirates.

This feature looks at the ongoing archaeological work at Kaminaljuyu, a massive metropolis in Guatemala.

Butchered brown bear bones – something that won’t ever make it into an alphabet book for kids – have proven that Ireland was inhabited 2500 years earlier than previously thought.

From the Smithsonian:

An absolutely fascinating museum project in Poland, where children from 6 to 14 curated the show, demonstrates the value of a fresh pair of eyes (among other things).

A tiny gold crucifix found in Denmark suggests that Christianity came to the Vikings earlier than previously thought.

In History Today:

A feature on the strange life of Pontius Pilate.

In LiveScience:

A stunning find – a lavish apartment in the villa complex at Tivoli – includes colourful mosaics and other decorations. This one I’m going to keep my eye on.

From the Guardian:

Two German warships have been discovered in Portsmouth Harbour, near where King Henry VIII’s ship Mary Rose was recently discovered. Makes you wonder what else is down there…

And from the University of Cincinnati:

Work is ongoing at the site of a recently discovered Bronze Age warrior’s tomb in southern Greece.

The Roundup #30

This time I’m getting a jump-start on my weekend post, so I’m not so badly delayed in posting it as I was with the previous roundup.

Lots going on this week, so here we go!


A winery nearly two thousand years old has been discovered outside the old city walls of Jerusalem.

Monumental tomb mounds – hailed as Polish Pyramids – have been identified by archaeologists from the University of Szczesin.

The Nubian-Egyptian divide grows ever less clear with the discovery of this tomb of a Nubian woman buried with Egyptian-style attributes in Sudan.

There is evidence that the wall paintings from Egypt’s Western Desert were not in fact made by humans, or even primates, but possibly by reptiles such as desert monitor lizards.

A Japanese sword from the second century BCE has been found to have the engraving of a shark on its blade.

A Bronze Age burial site near Bethlehem and now called Khalet al-Jam’a has been discovered with more than 100 tombs, 30 of which appear to be intact.

Lake Baikal seems to be in the news a lot lately, not least because of its archaeological wealth, such as this dog burial for example.

An absolutely gorgeous Roman ring, with Cupid and (the suggestion of) Psyche has been discovered in England by a metal detectorist.

And art knows no bounds, according to archaeologists researching a fresco in Hungary that they believe was sketched on one from the old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Roundup #28

A day late, but certainly not a dollar short, here is this week’s roundup. Also, for the record, as of last week, this column is syndicated on the Facebook Page, Best Science Friends Forever (a name that we’re working on but, knowing us, may just stay that way forever).

My personal favourite from last week’s news has to be the discovery of this tavern in France, where Romans in Gaul would have gone for a cup o’ wine and a bite back in the day.


The oldest known woven dress has been conclusively dated to 3484 to 3102 BCE, nearly five thousand years ago. Yet more reason to love Egypt; this kind of thing would never have survived elsewhere.

One of the (admittedly few) joys of drone technology is finding things like the Khatt Shebib, a low wall discovered in Jordan that may have been used as a boundary or hunters’ blind but was certainly not for defensive purposes.

The oldest complete example of a Bronze Age wheel has been discovered at Must Farm in Cambridgeshire, England. The Guardian has also covered this discovery and their piece includes a video for your viewing pleasure.

A prehistoric village, nearly 12,000 years old, has been discovered in Jordan.

In a stunning feat of engineering, a medieval ship has been raised from the bottom of the Ijssel River in the Netherlands.

Ongoing studies of Roman funerary portraits from Egypt have identified specific workshops where they were made based on the pigments used.

From The Guardian:

The Iron Age hill fort said to be the birthplace of Queen Guinevere is at risk of being destroyed in favour of a housing development in Shropshire, England.

The remains of the woman who may have inspired Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles have been unearthed in Dorset.

From the Smithsonian:

A feature on Ernst Herzfeld, the man who rediscovered the tomb of Cyrus, the Persian King of Kings.

From the British Museum:

A feature on African rock art, something that fascinates me more every time I read about it or see photographs.

And from the Toronto Star:

A central part of the city’s black history has been rediscovered downtown near Osgoode Hall.

The Roundup #27

It’s been an exciting week in the world of archaeology. A Roman arcade has been discovered in Colchester near the Temple of Claudius. It was known to historians previously, having been built in the city in the wake of its destruction during Boudicca’s revolt in 60-61 AD, but it was while the city was replacing an old tower block that it finally came to light.

And, elsewhere in the world, for this week’s roundup…


The remains from two Roman burial sites may be of individuals from North Africa and Asia, yet another example of the ongoing migratory nature of humans throughout history.

What have the Romans ever done for us? Well, in Northern England, surveyors using systems designed to watch for flooding have discovered Roman roads built during the conquest of the northern part of the island.

First we have Canadians curling an injured animal off the ice (typical), and now we have a badger discovering a Bronze Age burial site near Stonehenge in England.

An in-depth study of ancient silver mines in Greece have brought to light the terrible conditions suffered by those who worked in the mines, most of whom were slaves.

And studies suggest that horses can intuit human emotion as a result of their early domestication.

From the Smithsonian:

Some of the oldest tea ever discovered has been found in the tomb of Han Emperor Jing Di over two thousand years ago.

And, if you’re looking for something to haunt your dreams, try this.


And finally, I’m partial to following the work done at Gezer because I had a peripheral role in collating and preparing the data from one dig season while working at the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations Department at the University of Toronto.


The Roundup #24

Here’s my attempt to get back into the regular routine of posting once a week. So here’s this week’s roundup.


Westminster Abbey in London, England has an extensive and mighty history. In December, evidence of the removal of bones from the site before construction began are being catalogued and studied to give archaeologists a better idea of what life was like in the area around about the turn of the first millenium.

Paintings from the Chauvet-Pont-D’Arc caves in France have some scientists thinking that the ancient peoples who created these magnificent works of art also depicted the oldest known artistic representation of a volcanic eruption.

Scientists are creating 3-D images of rock art from the Italian Alps dating from the Iron Age and the early Neolithic period.

The 2012 discovery of a mammoth carcass in the Eurasian Arctic suggests that humans were hunting in that region 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.

While searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre have identified a 19th century shipwreck.

The burial site of Han Emperor Jing Di has revealed the oldest evidence for tea, and in China no less.

Italian and Russian archaeologists have identified Nubian inscriptions at a temple site in the Sudan, offering new information on the relations between these peoples and the ancient Egyptians in the area.

Archaeologists have discovered the best preserved Bronze Age village ever found in England. NPR has a feature on it here.

A 2,200 year old prosthetic has been discovered at a burial site in western China.

The only ninth-tenth century artefact found underwater in Poland has turned out to be a wicker fish trap, with the remains of over 4,000 fish in Lake Lednica.


From The Guardian:

The largest – and as yet unnamed – dinosaur ever found, part of a subset of sauropods called titanosaurs, is now on display at the American Museum of Natural History.


From Biblical Archaeology:

I may have already posted this but, here goes: archaeologists working in Turkey have discovered Pluto’s Gates at Hierapolis, said to be a gateway to the underworld.

The Roundup #22

So I vanished for a few weeks. Netflix released their new series Jessica Jones. What was I to do? Just ignore that fact and forge ahead? Nope.

Here’s a roundup from the last two weeks. It’s been relatively quiet… Like the archaeological world knew I’d be distracted by dark Marvel storytelling…


Uniqueness will always be celebrated, even when that celebration is a sacrifice and entombment, as has been discovered in northern China where a golden or palomino horse was buried with its owner.

Evidence of sewing machines from San Francisco’s chinatown destroyed in the earthquake of 1906 have revived research into the city’s 19th century past.

A massive Bronze Age settlement has been discovered in Scotland.

I feel like I’ve heard about this before, but aerial mapping of the site of Angkor Wat shows that the complex is much larger than originally thought.

A 12th century castle has been discovered under the exercise yard of Gloucester Prison which closed in 2013.

Sicily’s Valley of the Temples is being surveyed, showing that these large structures were aligned with major thoroughfares and constellations in the sky.

From The Guardian:

Archaeologists believe they have discovered the tomb of Suleiman The Magnificent, the longest ruling sultan of the Ottoman Empire, in Hungary.