The Roundup #92

After a long absence (and a startling illness to round out January 2018), we’re back with a weekend archaeological roundup. Enjoy!

The biggest news of the last couple of weeks – it even made the Wikipedia home page – is the discovery using LIDAR of a massive number of structures in the jungles of Guatemala. With more than 60,000 structures discovered, this suggests that the population of the region was much higher than originally thought.

Additionally, a cluster of structures have been identified in Saudi Arabia using similar technology.

From Archaeology.org:

The archaeological season has got off to a great start in the UK with, for example, the discovery of this Neolithic causeway in England.

A 2,000 year old building has been discovered on the isle of Lewis in Scotland during construction of a new home in the area.

A large Roman villa has been discovered along the Avon river in the West Midlands.

A gorgeous mosaic has been discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority in Caesarea.

A Liao-era tomb with a drainage system has been discovered in China.

Evidence from Italy suggests that Neanderthals may have understood how to use fire to make wooden weapons and tools.

Analysis of ancient dice shows that they were not designed to land fairly until at least the Renaissance.

Evidence of another game – this time chess – has been identified in Norway.

A crown from Milas has been repatriated to Turkey from Scotland.

Analysis of glass beads from Nigeria suggest they were made locally rather than imported much earlier than previously thought.

New studies suggest that humans were making tools in India about 100,000 years ago.

From the Smithsonian:

Neapolitan pizza making has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

A remarkably well preserved tomb of a priestess has been discovered in a cemetery to the west of the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

The last known American slave ship may have been identified in Alabama.

From the CBC:

A 1.7 billion year old chunk of what is now Canada has been identified in Australia.

From the Atlantic:

A long-lost satellite has recently woken up and scientists are working to find out why.

From the Guardian:

A long-lost painting by one of Nigeria’s most important painters has been discovered in a flat in London.

A fascinating feature piece on the work archaeologists have been scrambling to do before a dam project in Turkey floods a sight entirely, not unlike the work done before the Aswan Dam destroyed such sites as Abu Simbel in the 20th century.

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The Roundup #89

Welcome to 2018, everyone! Even though Toronto has been in a deep freeze for the last two days, the rest of the world seems to be chugging along as per usual, and you know what that means? News from the archaeological world!

The highlight so far this year has to be the news that, after DNA sequencing was completed on two infant burials in Alaska, we’re being introduced to the Beringians. It’s been reported in the New York Times, the Guardian, and in Archaeology (that I’ve seen thus far), but I’m certain it’s going to be making the rounds for some time to come. And that’s lovely to see, since it’s not a straightforward idea being put forward with this news, and the general public is still interested. Knowledge may yet be catching on!

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

From The Toronto Star:

Possibly the oldest artifact yet discovered in Toronto – a small arrowhead – has been returned after it was lifted from Fort York on a school trip in 1935.

From the Smithsonian:

More overly dramatic video, but information gleaned from the teeth of gladiators exhumed at York suggest that poor youth were selected as gladiators and then beefed up (perhaps quite literally) to be the muscular machines of arena spectacle.

From Archaeology.org:

A wood henge has been discovered near the North Sea coast in Yorkshire, England, along with several other sites that suggest ritual activities went on here.

The site of Tel Al-Pharaeen is yielding a large variety of artifacts from Egypt’s Late Period.

A seal dating to the First Temple Period in Jerusalem has been discovered under the Western Wall plaza.

From the Tongtiandong Cave in northern China, layers of artifacts going back 45,000 years have been discovered.

Similar to last year’s news that a ritual bath had been discovered in Jerusalem following private renovations, a Song Dynasty tomb has been discovered under a house in China.

Archaeologists may have identified a ritual shrine of the Aztecs near an extinct volcano in Mexico.

A naturally mummified body of a child from Italy has been shown to have likely suffered from Hepatitis B, causing scarring and eventually death.

The Roundup #86

Admittedly, the weirdest thing that happened this week was that the Roman city council voted to overturn Ovid’s banishment some 2,000 years after it was first enacted by the Roman Princeps Augustus. I’m sure the council has slightly more pressing matters of local government to attend to, but why not add a showcase piece to the agenda?

So, without further ado, here’s this week’s (properly numbered) roundup. Enjoy!

From the Guardian:

Underwater archaeology at Lechaion, the main harbour of Corinth in Greece, is yielding new understanding of Roman engineering techniques. Archaeology.org reports on it here.

From National Geographic:

A map from 1587 by cartographer Urbano Monte has been reassembled and digitized.

From the CBC:

A newly opened pair of tombs near Luxor are designed to bolster Egypt’s ailing tourism industry. The Associated Press also reports on it here.

From Archaeology.org:

12,000 year old fish hooks have been found associated with a burial in Indonesia.

A large cache of bronze items have been discovered in Shaanxi Province in China.

Archaeological work being done in Albania as a result of infrastructure developments in the country is revealing a dense collage of history.

A bronze age burial has been discovered near Loch Ness in Scotland.

Evidence of New Zealand’s violent past has been exposed following the identification of 12 burials of British soldiers who died during the Northern Wars in the 19th century.

Ongoing research into pre-contact Maori is being done by analyzing obsidian tools.

An interesting assemblage of items have been discovered at a burial site in the Aswan area of Egypt.

Rock art has been discovered on Kisar, a tiny island near Indonesia.

From the Smithsonian:

Medieval palimpsests are revealing new information about knowledge exchange between East and West.

Possibly the oldest preserved eye in the world, some 500 million years old, is being studied by archaeologists from the University of Cologne.

The Roundup #82

Feet (well, shoes) and wine headline this week’s roundup; two things I’m rather interested in because a) I like wine, and b) I walk like a mutant (and not the yellow spandex kind).

Enjoy!

From the CBC:

The previous holder of the oldest confirmed evidence of wine, the Zagros Mountains, has been unseated by Gadachrili Gora in Georgia, where pots from neolithic times have tested positive for the acid found only in grapes in the region. Archaeology.org reports on it here.

From the Smithsonian:

A “Pictish” rock carving discovered in Perth, Scotland shows a man with a large nose (I put Pictish in quotations because it’s a somewhat derogatory descriptive used by the Romans rather than any name these people in Scotland called themselves).

A realistic portrait of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson painted in 1799 (during his lifetime) is on display at Philip Mould & Company and for sale at an undisclosed price.

From Archaeology.org:

In a somewhat less than surprising research report, studies on the skeletons of Dutch farmers who wore the iconic wooden shoes were found to have bone malformations as a result.

A loom dating to the 5th or 6th century AD/CE has been discovered during recent excavations in Iraq.

During excavations of Norse longhouses in northern England, volunteers have discovered a Bronze Age settlement dating to 1300 BC/BCE.

Initial surveys of a hill in Turkey suggest that another Bronze Age site is waiting beneath layers upon layers of human habitation.

Sound engineers have looked at rumours about acoustics in Greek theatres, studying whether or not a whisper really could be heard from the last row of seats.

A mummy has been discovered in the Fayum in Egypt, complete with wrappings and votive objects from the Greco-Roman period.

Fire has irreparably damaged a unique pre-Inca site in Peru after a cane field blazed out of control.

A 1,000 year old ceramic box said to contain the ashes of the Buddha has been discovered at a monastery in China.

The Roundup #71

Taking a break from an appalling number of job applications to get back to the world of archaeology. Check out my Twitter feed @gladiatorgirl for a bunch of really fascinating finds that haven’t made it to the other resources I use to compile my weekly roundup! Additionally, and belated as it is, there’s a new Dead Links piece coming soon. Yeah, yeah, cheque in the mail… Watch for it all the same.

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

From Archaeology.org:

The tomb of a 16th century playwright has been discovered in east Jianxi, China.

Mycenaean chamber tombs – one intact, one looted probably in the 1970s – have been identified in Greece. Also known as tholos tombs, you can read more about them here.

During an ongoing underwater survey of the ancient coastline of Salamis, archaeologists have discovered what appears to be a public building near the ancient port.

Hilarity ensues with ongoing discussion about lead poisoning in Roman towns, this time at Ostia.

And archaeological evidence from California suggests that ancient peoples may offer solutions to how to manage the perennial wildfires in the state.

From the CBC:

Astronomers have discovered the remains of the star that went nova in 1437 CE and was recorded by Korean astronomers of the time. Unlike the film Prometheus, these people did some maths.

From Global News:

A triceratops skeleton was discovered, much to everyone’s surprise, during construction of a new police station in Denver, Colorado.

The Roundup #55

It’s been one hell of a couple weeks. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Leonard Cohen died, and I now know what’s left of a body after it’s hit by a train. All fun stuff, you can imagine.

During the Mosul offensive in Iraq, it appears that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh have made efforts to destroy anything in their path as they retreat, including more of the ancient site of Nimrud in the north. Reuters has reported on it, as has the Smithsonian – specifically regarding the ziggurat destroyed there – and History Today offers a retrospective on the city for those hoping to learn more.

So, as a respite, here is the roundup from the last two weeks. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Otzi the Ice Man’s outfit was assembled from five different animal species, suggesting there was more going on than straight-up subsistence living.

Would you like a crocodile mummy? Why not 50 for the price of one? New evidence shows that a crocodile mummy actually contains the mummies of 47 hatchlings as well, folded into the wrappings of the larger animal.

Does anyone remember the scavenger-doctor character Tom Hanks played in Cloud Atlas? Hunting around for real teeth for dentures wasn’t made up, as these from Tuscany and suggest.

A possible site for the final resting place of the last emperor of the Inca may be on the table, after archaeologists began excavating at Maiqui-Machay in Ecuador.

An odd thing: a pot from a Roman camp site in Switzerland containing oil lamps with images of Luna, gladiators, peacocks, and other figures.

Archaeologists working at a site in Kazakhstan have unearthed stone structures containing a variety of treasures suggesting that the people living here were wealthy as well as originally nomadic.

Mosaic floors found in Turkey! Need I say more?

Hundreds of graves for monks have been discovered at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire.

A feature on an Islamic palace found near Jericho.

Petroglyphs in Hawaii were uncovered after shifting sand revealed them in July.

A burial causeway in Aswan dating to the 12th dynasty has been discovered in Egypt.

Evidence of a mythical flood that ushered in the Xia dynasty in China has been discovered.

Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre is currently being excavated in London. Of the many items discovered there are ticket boxes and parts of costumes.

And ongoing excavations at Tel Gezer in Israel are revealing some stunning finds.

The Roundup #31

This week’s news has come almost exclusively from Archaeology.org (either that or the Facebook algorithm has decided that’s all I want to see). Expect a more varied list next week but, in the meantime, here is this week’s roundup.

From Archaeology.org:

An underwater wreck in excellent condition may be a Confederate-era blockade runner, one of three ships known to have been lost in the area of Cape Fear River and Fort Caswell.

The winery at Tel Kabri shows evidence that wine was mixed with various plant extracts on site.

Here is a feature on Roman wall painting, some of the most exquisite ever found in France, are being studied at Arles.

A 2,500 year old tomb near Luoyang shows evidence of an ethnic minority group that came to dominate the region during the Warring States Period in the 5th to 3rd centuries BCE.

The repatriation of remains removed in the 1960s from Alaska will be completed by 2018.

An intact tomb from the Geometric Period has been discovered on Lesbos.

Road works in Scotland may have unearthed the Medieval village of Cazdow. Excavations are ongoing.

More fragments of the Severan Marble Plan, a huge marble map of the city of Rome, have been discovered. Only approximately 10% of this once 60 x 43 foot map has been reconstructed.

Evidence of the earliest alphabetic language, from approximately 1850-1700 BCE, is in evidence on this tiny ostracon.

From APTN:

Another tale of the sorry state of relations between municipal bodies and indigenous groups is featured in this piece on the Allandale Station lands in Barrie, Ontario. Included in this article is a link to the report completed by ASI.

From the BBC:

A feature on the watercolours of painters such as JMW Turner and Towne completed in the 19th century as young men went on their Grand Tours of Italy.