The Roundup #92

After a long absence (and a startling illness to round out January 2018), we’re back with a weekend archaeological roundup. Enjoy!

The biggest news of the last couple of weeks – it even made the Wikipedia home page – is the discovery using LIDAR of a massive number of structures in the jungles of Guatemala. With more than 60,000 structures discovered, this suggests that the population of the region was much higher than originally thought.

Additionally, a cluster of structures have been identified in Saudi Arabia using similar technology.

From Archaeology.org:

The archaeological season has got off to a great start in the UK with, for example, the discovery of this Neolithic causeway in England.

A 2,000 year old building has been discovered on the isle of Lewis in Scotland during construction of a new home in the area.

A large Roman villa has been discovered along the Avon river in the West Midlands.

A gorgeous mosaic has been discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority in Caesarea.

A Liao-era tomb with a drainage system has been discovered in China.

Evidence from Italy suggests that Neanderthals may have understood how to use fire to make wooden weapons and tools.

Analysis of ancient dice shows that they were not designed to land fairly until at least the Renaissance.

Evidence of another game – this time chess – has been identified in Norway.

A crown from Milas has been repatriated to Turkey from Scotland.

Analysis of glass beads from Nigeria suggest they were made locally rather than imported much earlier than previously thought.

New studies suggest that humans were making tools in India about 100,000 years ago.

From the Smithsonian:

Neapolitan pizza making has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

A remarkably well preserved tomb of a priestess has been discovered in a cemetery to the west of the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

The last known American slave ship may have been identified in Alabama.

From the CBC:

A 1.7 billion year old chunk of what is now Canada has been identified in Australia.

From the Atlantic:

A long-lost satellite has recently woken up and scientists are working to find out why.

From the Guardian:

A long-lost painting by one of Nigeria’s most important painters has been discovered in a flat in London.

A fascinating feature piece on the work archaeologists have been scrambling to do before a dam project in Turkey floods a sight entirely, not unlike the work done before the Aswan Dam destroyed such sites as Abu Simbel in the 20th century.

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The Roundup #74

Temples, submarines, porpoises, oh my! An eclectic selection of archaeological news from this week. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

The discovery of the oldest copper masks from the Andes ever unearthed challenges the understanding of the development of metallurgy in South America.

Archaeologists have returned to the Minoan palace at Zominthos and have already identified some new and interesting items.

It was one of the most destructive wars in human history, and the proof of which is in the ongoing discoveries of artefacts from World War II. This time, it’s part of a window and dog tags from Norfolk that were likely part of a B-17 American bomber squadron.

1,600 year old early Christian frescoes have been laser-cleaned at the catacombs in Domitilla, Rome.

The wreckage of a World War I submarine has been discovered in the North Sea off the coast of Belgium.

The Greek temple of Artemis at Euboea has been identified, approximately six miles from where it was originally thought to have been.

A myoji from the medieval period in Korea has been returned by the widow of a Japanese collector.

Work on the skeleton of a Neanderthal boy shows that the child’s skull was still growing at the time of his death, suggesting that development was more dynamic than originally thought. The Guardian reports on this as well here.

(Also) From the Guardian:

Archaeologists are enjoying scratching their heads over the recent discovery of a porpoise burial on one of the Channel Islands dating to the 14th century.

From the Toronto Star:

The City of Toronto is back to the drawing board, trying to determine the best course of action for preserving and displaying a drain from 1831 found while excavating near St. Lawrence Market.

The Roundup #62

The world may not have ended on Friday with the inauguration of Idiot Boy, but it sure feels like it did. “Alternative facts” are now a thing (I guess we’ve moved on from #fakenews because the new Administration doesn’t yet have control of the media). On Saturday, something like three million people marched in protest across all seven continents (yes, there were even people in Antarctica protesting the sorry state of affairs in the US right now), and that gave hope to a large number of people who do really feel the world they know may be coming to an end.

In other news, ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/The Islamic State destroyed the Tetrapylon in Palmyra after retaking part of the city. And a couple of idiots tried to sneak in to the Colosseum and fell four meters.

Otherwise, here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

The skeleton of a horse has been discovered near the Colosseum in Rome, likely dating from the High Middle Ages.

At a hill fort excavation in southern Scotland, archaeologists feel they may have identified the royal seat of the ancient kingdom of Rheged.

A fortified gatehouse at the entrance to a copper mine has been discovered in Israel.

An inscribed pendant has been discovered at Sobibor extermination camp in Poland.

An unusual stone found in Croatia may have been kept as a curiosity by Neanderthals living there at the time.

From the CBC:

Evidence from the Bluefish Caves in Yukon Territory in Canada may reveal the site to be the oldest in North America.

The Roundup #11

Another slightly late post, due entirely to the fact that there was art to consider, people to meet, and beer to be drunk on a Saturday night in Toronto.

It was sad to be greeted this morning with news of the death of Dr. Oliver Sacks. This preeminent neurologist and writer seems to have been unique among men in that he took great joy in his life, in all aspects of it. Such delight will be missed, no doubt.

News also of the ongoing humanitarian crisis as people migrating to Europe from Syria, the Middle East, and Africa reminds me of the human migrations of the last two thousand years, particularly the migration across what is now Switzerland that offered Caesar an unmissable opportunity for political advancement.

My personal favourite from this week’s news has to be this beautiful, enigmatic mask from Alaska, a face with both human and walrus attributes.

And now, for this week’s roundup:

In History Online:

Helen Roche offers an interesting theory about the origins of the animosity between Germany and Greece.

From Archaeology.org:

The use of Egyptian blue paint has been discovered on Roman-era funerary portraits. More on what is considered the world’s oldest artificial pigment here.

All the modern amenities: specific sleeping areas and a hearth space that may have been used to heat water have been discovered for the first time at a Neanderthal site in Spain.

Jeffrey Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh is proposing that researchers develop a new morphology for classifying hominids.

A Polish Soviet World War II plane has been discovered in Bzura Lake following record heat and a lack of rainfall in the region. Attempts to identify the plane and its unfortunately pilot are ongoing.

More Linear B tablets from this remarkable find – a Mycenaean palace complex in Laconia.

And a mysterious collection of ice age lion and bear bones have been discovered in a cave in Russia.

From The Walrus:

Alexander Tesar takes us into the world of the Archaeological Services Inc based in Toronto and Burlington, Ontario.

From the office of the Mayor of Chicago:

Three Japanese sliding door panels have been rediscovered in a storage facility. Originally displayed during the 1893 World’s Fair, these panels will undergo conservation efforts while the local government determines their fate as part of Chicago’s rich heritage.

From Biblical Archaeology:

The House of Peter in Capernaum where Jesus lived during the early part of his ministrations may have been discovered under a Byzantine church.

And a feature on the great temple of Megiddo and urban culture in the Levant.