The Roundup #41

In typical fashion, I got distracted by the world these last few days, as I sorted out my life (as much of it as I felt was necessary, at any rate), and enjoyed the first hot days of summer here in Toronto (feels like the first time I’ve been warm in eight months, suggesting a rather neat affinity to Sam McGee, if I do say so myself).

My favourite bit of news has to be these Roman tablets from Britain, possibly the oldest ever recovered, including the first known reference to London, and first known dated document, which are going on display in London.

So here’s my roundup from the last three weeks. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Cave art has been found nearly 1,000 feet down in Basque country in Spain, including what looks like an image of a bison pierced with a lot of spears.

Crappy weather does more than make me miserable; it may have been responsible for the withdrawal of the Mongols from Europe in the 13th century.

The history of language – a favourite topic of mine – has further notes, as a cuneiform tablet from the first century AD is so far the most recent example of a written language whose spoken counterpart appears to have died out hundreds of years earlier.

I feel like I’ve seen this argument somewhere before, but here’s a neat bit of work out of Australia on the similarities between horns from southern India and those from the ancient Mediterranean.

An archaeologist’s dream – a site containing such a myriad of artefacts that it’s a never ending processing of cataloguing and interpretation – this site in southern Mexico includes a carved human jaw bone. Fascinating!

And I may have already posted this, but it’s worth a second look: a rich shipwreck has been discovered in the old harbour of Caesarea.

From the CBC:

King Tut’s ceremonial dagger appears to be made of meteorite. Because it’s good to be the king.

From The Atlantic:

Modern archaeology gets meta as researchers have discovered jewellery hidden in the false bottom of a cup left behind at Auschwitz.

And from History Today:

Considerations on the use of the phrase ‘dark ages’ in British history, particularly as it relates to the remarkable site of Tintagel in Cornwall, long believed to be where the mythical King Arthur was conceived after Merlin magicked Uther Pendragon inside the castle and into the lady Ygraine’s bed.

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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 #26

Again, I’ve been remiss and did not post my weekly roundup last weekend. Partly due to my mother’s birthday at the end of the month and partly due to the appalling regularity with which I’m suffering migraines this winter in Toronto, I was nowhere near my computer.

So here – yet again – is a consolidated list from the past two weeks of all the interesting bits of news from the archaeological world.

From Archaeology.org:

A tomb has been discovered in Pompeii that dates to before the Roman people took over the town from the Samnites and includes grave goods for a middle-aged woman including beautiful – and intact – vases.

A study of cat remains in China from the fourth millenium BC suggests that the animals were domesticated there much earlier than originally believed.

A specific type of clay from British Columbia in Canada – and long used for medicinal purposes among the area’s indigenous peoples – has been found to counteract otherwise antibiotic-resistant infections.

A 60-foot-long boat has been discovered in the necropolis at Abusir in Egypt by members of the Czech Institute for Archaeology.

Research into the socio-cultural practices of homo heidelbergensis show that these hominid groups existed in close family groups and were able to construct tools considered much more complex than previously thought.

A nearly intact section of Roman painted wall panelling has been discovered near Lime Street in London by archaeologists from the Museum of London. The Smithsonian has also reported on this here.

An Egyptian seal has been discovered by a hiker near the Lower Galilee region of Israel.

And excavations have revealed an underground church in Cappadoccia in Turkey containing some beautiful and very unique frescoes. Work will continue in the spring after the seasonal humidity returns to acceptable levels.

From the New York Times:

A light show intended to demonstrate the colours used to paint the Temple of Dendur is currently on at the Met in New York.

From ASI:

A great read: the archaeological history of the Wendat to 1651.

From the Smithsonian:

A summary of the appalling, botched repair job of the death mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

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.

From Archaeology.org:

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.