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.

The (appallingly belated) Roundup #15

I’ve managed to get well behind in my own self-imposed schedule of posting every weekend, so apologies if anyone was hoping for their fix this weekend. In my defence, I was distracted by the rugby… and the fact that Professor Mary Beard, yes THE Mary Beard, tweeted me back in response to my comment on her article in The Guardian last week. I admit I was a bit of a giggling idiot for a few moments. Her work is really quite brilliant, and such a joy to read.

Right. Enough of excuses. Here’s last week’s roundup.

From Archaeology.org:

There’s murder in the air, or there was, in northern Spain about 400,000 years ago, as evidence of the first known murder comes to light out of a cave containing a shaft full of bones.

We all know about Fiorelli’s plaster casting technique to reveal the victims of the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE. Now archaeologist are using CT scanning technology to explore the teeth and bones permanently hidden by the plaster┬áto learn more about these people.

There was a time when newsprint got everywhere, so gods help you if you were wearing white gloves while reading the “hatches, matches, and dispatches”. The same thing appears to have happened in the ancient world, leaving a Greek poem in negative on the bottom of a balsamarium from Bulgaria that was wrapped in parchment where the poem had been written.

Archaeologists have announced that the tomb recently discovered in Amphipolis was intended as a funerary monument to Hephaestion, friend and consort of Alexander the Great.

The Neolithic peoples of Scotland were keen to keep out the cold too, as evidence of a large building capable of creating sauna-like conditions has been unearthed on Orkney.

From the British Film Institute:

I’m apparently not able to watch this content in Canada, but in case you’re able to watch it (wherever it’s able to be watched), there is some footage of Stonehenge from the early part of the 20th century here.

From the Smithsonian:

So apparently cheese is the Honda Civic of the world of fromagerie, the most stolen food on the planet, and authorities have recently apprehended a group of thieves who have stolen approximately $875,000 worth of the famous Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese. It’s so valuable, some banks will accept a wheel of cheese as collateral.

A video detailing the art stolen by the Nazis during World War II and stored in the salt mines at Altaussee sheds light on the fascinating and nearly catastrophic looting of art from throughout Europe discovered after the war by the Monuments Men.

From Blouin Art:

A full length portrait of the Imperial consort Chunhui by Guiseppe Castiglione has sold at auction to an anonymous buyer for a record $17.6 million. What I found most fascinating about this portrait is that there is an inscription of Chunhui’s posthumous title by the Emperor himself. Kind of endearing.