The Roundup #81

I may be a day late with my usual #roundup post, but there was a lot going on yesterday, I swear.

The single most remarkable update is news of a startlingly beautiful sealstone revealed from the Griffin Warrior tomb at Pylos in Greece. I was recently at a lecture at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto given by the lead archaeologists on this project from the University of Cincinnati, and it was enthralling. The Smithsonian reports here, and the New York Times dove in with their take on it here.

And so, without further ado, here is this week’s archaeology #roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

A mass grave from the medieval period with the remains of approximately 1,500 people has been discovered in Kunta Hora, Czech Republic.

Another mass grave, this time a Jewish site from the 1500s, has been identified in Bologna, Italy.

Highlighting the importance of cleaning out your closets once in a while, a box of Roman coins (including at least one fake) has been pulled out of the dust in a castle in Kent, England. The Guardian reports on it in detail here.

Ongoing excavations at the site of Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII’s favourite residence, have revealed a lead-glazed floor (likely for an armoury) and a room where beehives were kept warm in winter. This was initially reported back in August by Archaeology.org and The Independent.

A Greek gymnasion has been discovered in the Fayum in Egypt.

Some of the oldest baths ever found in China have been discovered in Shaanxi Province.

A rather lovely looking fragment of a sundial has been found in central Italy. What’s even more interesting is that it’s from the site of a Roman theatre that somehow managed to survive the ravages of the Allied bombardment of Monte Cassino during the Second World War.

The remains of several people from the 8th century have been unearthed under Hereford Cathedral in Kent, England.

Work is ongoing at the site of the White Shaman rock shelter petroglyphs in Texas.

From Biblical Archaeology:

At the ancient site of Jezreel, archaeologists believe they have identified an Iron Age site that could be the famous vineyard of Naboth described in the Book of Kings.

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The Roundup #68

The US President is threatening nuclear war with North Korea and military action in Venezuela. On the upside, Ghana launched its first satellite this week, the Perseid meteor shower hits its peak this weekend, and various sports seasons are upon us. So if the world doesn’t end in the next few weeks, we can enjoy innovation, beauty, and athletes.

In the meantime, here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

In light of an upcoming solar eclipse in the Northern Hemisphere this Monday, petroglyphs in New Mexico have been discovered that depict another eclipse from 1097.

A colossal statue from the Iron Age has been discovered in Turkey.

DNA work on Medieval manuscripts is yielding new information about the animals used for the manuscript pages and even if those pages were frequently kissed by humans.

A review of a Third Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh has researchers wondering if, rather than just being tall, Sa-Nakht suffered from gigantism.

From Aleteia:

A 1,200 year old wine press has been discovered in the Negev desert of Israel that was once used by a Roman army unit. However, the math doesn’t seem to add up here so read with caution.

From the CBC:

A replica of the RMS Titanic is being built as a tourist destination in Daying, China.

The Roundup #48

The 2016 Olympics in Rio are well underway and people are discovering all kinds of sports they didn’t know they enjoyed watching, like rugby sevens apparently. And, in spite of the volcanic heat in Toronto, things are happening all over the world. My favourite of the week  has to be this note in the Washington Post about a massive mosaic depicting chariot racing discovered in Cyprus.

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

From Archaeology.org:

Massive structures have been found near Risan, Montenegro dating to the third century BCE. Risan is the capital of ancient Illyria.

Healthy living isn’t a new fad, as the discovery of a plunge pool built in the 19th century inside a 12th century abbey proves.

Evidence from horses that died in the Middle Ages suggests that the elusive ‘ambling’ gait originated in Medieval England.

Fragments of Roman fresco discovered in Israel may have been part of a public building constructed in the second century CE.

Ongoing archaeological work around the site of Tintagel in Cornwall is providing new information on the date of the first settlements there.

From the Smithsonian:

The oldest known processed gold has been discovered in Bulgaria.

Evidence of the mysterious snake-head dynasty have been discovered in Belize.

From the Independent:

At first blush, the news that a Portuguese sailing ship has been discovered in a Namibian desert might sound outlandish (sorry, bad pun), but this is apparently not that unusual: the latest is the Bom Jesus, that set sail in 1533 and vanished with its crew and cargo on its way to India.

From the Guardian:

A unique find during the excavation of a burial site in Serbia: magic spells inscribed on gold leaf found with skeletons as amulets.

From History Today:

A feature on the largest pyramid in the world – and it’s not in Egypt, but in Mexico: the Great Pyramid of Cholula.

The Roundup #39

London has a new mayor, and he’s certainly interesting. There are thunderstorms in Toronto instead of Alberta where, let’s face it, it feels like half the province is on fire right now. And I found a dress for my sister’s wedding.

All that being said, here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Perhaps not an autobiography, but an inscription in first person from the reign of Idrimi of Alalakh certainly reads like one.

Archaeologists in Orkney are investigating an underground chamber that may date to the Iron Age.

A wind-catching tower from the 7th to 9th century AD has been discovered in Kuwait.

Cuneiform complaints from four thousand years ago, and a feature on the use and value of cuneiform throughout the ages.

And a bit of nostalgia from 2012 when archaeologists discovered the great Aqueduct of Trajan at Lake Bracciano.

The Roundup #8

It’s been an eclectic week in terms of archaeological news about the ancient world (really, when is it not?). The most political of the news items that I saw was this: because of what the German Art Dealers Association calls their “special responsibility”, the German Minister of Culture is planning to put forward legislation to curb the smuggling of illegal antiquities from the Middle East, particularly those looted by ISIS. ISIS may be best known for the destruction wrought throughout Syria – against both people and antiquities – but it also funds its operations through the illegal sale of artefacts. Stopping or even hindering this is a huge step, as a group of academics are trying to do.

The Beeb reports that the British Museum is piloting a VR program for visitors to explore a Bronze Age roundhouse, with the potential to expand into a wide variety of other departments. I’ll look forward to see how this develops!

And with that, here’s this week’s roundup.

From Archaeology.org:

A mosaic floor depicting a menorah has been discovered in a Byzantine era synagogue at Horvat Kur in Israel.

Drinking with the fam’ has never been so apt as at this site in Tennessee where what was once a 1920s speakeasy has been revealed to be a Native American burial ground.

Discoveries on Jamestown Island continue with Irish pennies and the matchlock firing mechanisms from two muskets.

Remains of the monumental city gates of Gath in Tel Zafit National Park have been identified. The site, thought to be the Philistine city of Gath, the home of Goliath, was occupied in the 10th century BCE.

Petroglyphs discovered in Siberia may turn out to be the area’s oldest.

A series of pots and jars have been discovered at Edfu in Egypt, including some beautiful alabaster pieces.

And a mass grave in China may point to a prehistoric epidemic, forcing the people of the area to pile the bodies of victims in a house and burn it.

From the Smithsonian:

Scientists have developed a model to determine the nature of the earthquake that struck Nepal in April of this year. Their research has identified resonance waves in the basin around Kathmandu as the reason why taller buildings, which had survived previous earthquakes in the region, collapsed this time around.

Information has come to light about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery in 1990, which still remains unsolved. A $5 million reward is being offered for information leading to the recover of all 13 stolen pieces in good condition.

And the mystery surrounding an inscription on the blade of a medieval sword continues.

From Biblical Archaeology:

A neat review of the recent dig season at Tel Kabri, and the discovery of the oldest and largest wine cellar from the Ancient Near East.

And news about a new Iron Age settlement will be coming down the pipeline in due course. Stay tuned!

And from The Guardian:

A new exhibit in Paris will showcase artefacts recovered from a vast submerged site in Egypt. There are some stunning pieces here, so if you’re in Paris, I highly recommend going to see it!