The Roundup #79

Of course the major news of this past week was the release of previously classified documents regarding the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. People are going to be sifting through that material for years to come, but I did enjoy the Guardian live-blogging the release.

But lots of other things have been announced this week as well. So here’s your roundup for this go around. Enjoy!

From the Smithsonian:

A nearly complete fossilized skeleton of an ichthyosaur has been discovered in Gujarat.

A 450 year old text of samurai sayings has recently been published in English asĀ The Hundred Rules of War.

The remains of unusual structures in the Arabian desert have been identified by amateurs using Google Earth.

Cuneiform tablets have been unearthed in a destroyed building in Kurdistan.

From Haaretz:

Biologists have identified a succession of bacteria that destroy ancient parchments by first turning them purple before they begin to more obviously decompose.

From Archaeology.org:

Excavations are ongoing at Thouria in Greece where a theatre orchestra section with potentially moveable sections has been discovered.

A Coptic tombstone has been unearthed near the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor.

An unusual figurine with what appears to be a feathered headdress has been discovered near the Ob River in western Siberia.

The mythological founding of Singapore may not be so mythological after all, as the island’s largest archaeological dig near Empress Place has revealed.

A shipwreck has been discovered in eastern China, likely from the Yuan Dynasty nearly 700 years ago.

And a Bronze Age battlefield has been identified in Germany.

From the CBC:

The HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, Royal Navy ships that Franklin took on his fateful Arctic expedition, are to be formally handed over to Canada and the Inuit people by the British government.

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The Roundup #58

Everyone lost their minds this week, and with good reason, when a feathered dinosaur tail complete with a few vertebrae was discovered encased in amber in Myanmar. The CBC and The Economist were two such sites that picked up on this story. There was also the remarkable Twitter spat between a (clearly uneducated) member of UKIP and Cambridge Professor of Classics Mary Beard, although the outrage was limited to the tweets from the UKIP dude. Professor Beard engages angry people on Twitter with a grace and consideration that I certainly wouldn’t have the fortitude for. Kudos!

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

From Archaeology.org:

Evidence of malaria in the remains of people from Italy has been confirmed by geneticists at McMaster University in Canada.

‘Tis the season for reporting on diseases, it seems. Evidence from pots from an Iron Age fort in Germany suggest a hemorrhagic fever was present in the population in the last half of the first millenium BCE.

Facial reconstruction from the skull of Robert the Bruce offers us a glimpse of what the Medieval Scottish king may have looked like.

From the Smithsonian:

A two thousand year old pet cemetery has been discovered in Egypt. Stephen King and Molly aka The Thing of Evil would be pleased.

From the CBC:

Further evidence regarding the doomed Franklin Expedition suggests that low zinc levels may have exacerbated low immune function that contributed to the deaths of the crew of the HMS Erebus and Terror.

From the Guardian:

Shellfish from which the famed Tyrian purple was drawn appear to have vanished from the eastern Mediterranean, a likely result of rising ocean temperatures and loss of habitat.