Tag Archives: conflict antiquities

The Roundup #32

One of these days – likely when whatever has been acting as a place-holder for winter this year finally goes the way of the dinosaurs – I will be more regular with my posts. In the meantime, this roundup covers March 14th to 20th inclusive. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Indian statues, illegally sold into the US, have been seized at Christie’s auction house by US authorities. I presume they’re being returned, but one never knows with US authorities.

Hikers are having a wonderful time in Israel these days, as another person has discovered a stunning artefact – this time a gold coin from the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan.

Caesar may have been assassinated on the Ides of March, but he did his own share of killing before then, as this feature shows of his time in Gaul.

Dentistry, religion, and medieval books come together at last following the discovery of annotated sections of Britain’s oldest Bible from 3-D x-ray imaging.

It is likely that the remains of Sweden’s Saint Erik have been discovered in Uppsalla.

More of the ongoing hype about the possibility of additional rooms in Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

A paleolithic carving of a bird has been discovered in southern France.

From the Smithsonian:

One of the ships from explorer Vasco da Gama’s fleet has been discovered off the coast of Oman.

From The Guardian:

A huge Iron Age site has been discovered in Yorkshire containing skeletons, swords, pots, beads, and other artefacts that tell the story of this place.

And from the LA Times:

The mysterious life of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas is front and centre again as archaeologists have identified the cave where she lived alone on the island for 18 years, and inspired one of my favourite novels “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell.

The Roundup #21

And on the 21st of November, no less!

So, without further ado…

From Archaeology.org:

Excavations are underway at Al Zubarah, an 18th century centre for trade in Qatar, that was abandoned after the Sultan of Oman invaded in 1811 and left protected by desert sands until now.

The repatriation of a bronze Shiva from the Chola Period in India is in process, following its discovery by special operations units within US Homeland Security.

By studying teeth from two adult males separated by 60,000 years, scientists have a clearer picture of the extent of Denisovan culture throughout the Asian continent during the last 150,000 years.

A fortified Greek settlement has been discovered in the Ukraine. Archaeologists hope to being major excavations in the near future.

Gaming has been part of human culture for thousands of years, as this die recently discovered in China attests.

And, possibly the most thrilling thing for me this week, a series of beautifully preserved mosaics have been discovered at a 1,700 year old villa in Lod, Israel.

From the Smithsonian:

A feature on the history and culture of British pub signs.

From the Guardian:

A huge cache of Roman coins has been discovered in Switzerland.

And the president of the Louvre museum in Paris has put together a plan to combat conflict antiquities and the illegal trade.

The Roundup #19 and #20

Dear Readers, I’ve been remiss. Somehow I managed to entirely forget about posting a roundup last weekend, so this weekend – as I did a bit ago when I was away – I’ll post two. Roundup #19 will cover the week beginning November 2nd, and #20 will cover this past week beginning November 9th.

On November 7th, Sierra Leone was officially declared ebola-free, something that the WHO and Medecins sans Frontieres must be absolutely joyous about, let alone the people of Sierra Leone themselves.

Otherwise, the week of November 2nd was relatively quiet. Here goes Roundup #19:

From the Guardian:

Burial vaults are being discovered – or, rather, rediscovered – in New York City (Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park). They are approximately 200 years old themselves, and were at one point discovered by ConEdison in the 1960s, before offering archaeologists this week the chance to re-discover them.

A leather trunk in The Hague contains undelivered letters from nearly 300 years ago, including a sad plea from a woman – likely in a compromising situation – to the man who helped get there in that position. Archaeologists and social historians are agog.

And, in an update from the story about the Nazi gold train in Poland, members of the Krakow mining academy will begin surveys this week to determine just what is down there.

 

And here goes Roundup #20.

This week, the news that India was planning to launch a bid to have the Koh-i Noor diamond – currently the centrepiece of the British Crown Jewels – to be returned to them, fomenting debate once again about the repatriation of artworks and cultural treasures. History Today reissued an article written in the 1970s about the history of the diamond.

From Archaeology.org:

A Neolithic smoke house has been discovered in Siberia.

Tree ring studies have been used to develop a global history of drought going back two thousand years.

Archaeologists have digitally mapped the theatre district at Nea Paphos, the capital of the Roman province of Cyprus.

Who doesn’t enjoy news about sabre tooth cats? New evidence has been unearthed at Schoningen in Germany of how ancient peoples used the remains of these cats for weapons.

New studies on the aqueducts of ancient Rome are offering some solid numbers for how much water regularly flowed into the city.

The biggest news – so far as I’m concerned, at least – is of the discovery of a Roman amphitheatre in Volterra, northern Italy.

From the Smithsonian:

In a strange bit of genetic engineering, Vincent Van Gogh’s ear has been recreated from his DNA using a 3D printer. Yeah. I admit I’m a little creeped out by that too.

Residue from ancient pots suggest that people were using honey as far back as 8,500 years ago.

From The New York Times:

Sarah Parcak is to be awarded the $1million TED prize so that she may further her research into satellite tracking of looted archaeological sites.

The Roundup #10

It’s been yet another goofy week in the news about old things. ISIS continues its attempt to rewrite history by destroying a 4th century Christian monastery. This is also notably one of the rare occasions when I post a link to the Daily Mail. The assassination of renowned archaeologist Khaled al-Assad is a particularly sad bit of news, particularly since he worked so diligently to preserve Syria’s archaeological history in the face of the brutality of ISIS.

The most sensational story has to be the so far unsubstantiated report that a train loaded with Nazi loot from the Second World War has been found in a tunnel somewhere in Poland. Both the Guardian and the BBC have reported on this.

There’s also the strange case of Washington’s Bedpan which, I think, would be an amazing name for a punk band.

And with that, here’s this week’s roundup (albeit belated).

From Archaeology.org:

The craziest trophy room in the Americas, without a doubt, is this Aztec skull rack from the 15th century.

Marine archaeologists have the chance to study how 20th century materials degrade in water over time as they examine the wreck of the USS Macon, an airship that crashed in the 1930s.

Tests using DStretch technology have determined that the petroglyphs in the Black Dragon Canyon, previously believed to be one strange image of a monster, are in fact a series of individual figures. If the photo from this article makes you wonder what the confusion was, take a look at this photo (third image, on the right) taken before the images were doctored to show the DStretch results.

A Confederate warship, the CSS Georgia, is being raised from the bottom of a river in Savannah, Georgia a piece at a time.

Proof that humans have always been nasty to each other when the occasion called for it, this Neolithic site with human remains shows evidence of systematic torture.

From the CBC:

Cue Nicholas Sparks references; a message in a bottle sent more than one hundred years ago has been returned to sender, the Marine Biological Association of the UK. Whether this is a Guiness world record remains to be seen.

From the Economist:

An Instagram photo of gold coins recovered from a group of 11 Spanish ships that sank en route from Cuba to Spain. Shiny!

And from Typographie.de:

Cuneiform has gone digital!

As a post script to my earlier link to efforts on the part of the German Minister of Culture’s attempts to stem the tide of conflict antiquities into Germany, here is a summary of the original report that drew attention to the situation in the first place.