Tag Archives: Neolithic peoples

The Roundup #60

Welcome to 2017, everyone! Things are still insane, but now we’ve got a whole new year to add to the insanity that happens in it. I took time away from the internets over the holidays, so here’s the latest roundup from then to now. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Drones are taking high resolution photos of caribou fences in the Northwest Territories believed to have been built by the Sahtu Dene a century ago.

Rock art showing a menorah, a cross, and a key have been identified at a site in Israel.

Excavations on the Japanese island of Honshu are yielding new information on the dimensions of a medieval fort that fell to the Tokugawa Shogunate after a prolonged siege.

If you don’t know already, I’m in love with neolithic figurines, and this discovery in Turkey has given me goosebumps. More on this here.

A prehistoric garden has been discovered near Vancouver, Canada.

An Egyptian relief from the reign of Hatshepsut has been repatriated.

In the Smithsonian:

Apparently bats like to argue.

The Roundup #55

It’s been one hell of a couple weeks. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Leonard Cohen died, and I now know what’s left of a body after it’s hit by a train. All fun stuff, you can imagine.

During the Mosul offensive in Iraq, it appears that ISIS/ISIL/Daesh have made efforts to destroy anything in their path as they retreat, including more of the ancient site of Nimrud in the north. Reuters has reported on it, as has the Smithsonian – specifically regarding the ziggurat destroyed there – and History Today offers a retrospective on the city for those hoping to learn more.

So, as a respite, here is the roundup from the last two weeks. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Otzi the Ice Man’s outfit was assembled from five different animal species, suggesting there was more going on than straight-up subsistence living.

Would you like a crocodile mummy? Why not 50 for the price of one? New evidence shows that a crocodile mummy actually contains the mummies of 47 hatchlings as well, folded into the wrappings of the larger animal.

Does anyone remember the scavenger-doctor character Tom Hanks played in Cloud Atlas? Hunting around for real teeth for dentures wasn’t made up, as these from Tuscany and suggest.

A possible site for the final resting place of the last emperor of the Inca may be on the table, after archaeologists began excavating at Maiqui-Machay in Ecuador.

An odd thing: a pot from a Roman camp site in Switzerland containing oil lamps with images of Luna, gladiators, peacocks, and other figures.

Archaeologists working at a site in Kazakhstan have unearthed stone structures containing a variety of treasures suggesting that the people living here were wealthy as well as originally nomadic.

Mosaic floors found in Turkey! Need I say more?

Hundreds of graves for monks have been discovered at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire.

A feature on an Islamic palace found near Jericho.

Petroglyphs in Hawaii were uncovered after shifting sand revealed them in July.

A burial causeway in Aswan dating to the 12th dynasty has been discovered in Egypt.

Evidence of a mythical flood that ushered in the Xia dynasty in China has been discovered.

Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre is currently being excavated in London. Of the many items discovered there are ticket boxes and parts of costumes.

And ongoing excavations at Tel Gezer in Israel are revealing some stunning finds.

The Roundup #50

“Going to post every week, don’t worry”. Yeah, about that…

My last post – sans trumpet – was on September 3rd. Eep! Now, to be fair, I had a sibling get married and the requisite wrangling of relatives to contend with. Oh, and the shit show that is the American presidential elections. But, beyond that, I was just lazy. Cut to Thanksgiving weekend, enough time on my hands, and the soundtrack from the 2015 film Legend, and I’m settled in to update this thing I call a blog.

So, without further ado – although there does seem to be a fair amount of ado, doesn’t there? – I offer up the September and early October roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Close on the heels of the discovery of the HMS Erebus in March 2015, archaeologists have also discovered Franklin’s second ship, the HMS Terror in the Arctic Ocean. Here’s the Government of Canada’s press release on the discovery.

Human remains have been identified at the site where the Antikythera Mechanism was discovered.

As I must have mentioned before, I’m absolutely fascinated by neolithic figurines, and this discovery from Turkey is no exception.

Murder! Murder most foul! Looks like Otzi the Ice Man met a less than natural end, depending on how you philosophize it, as evidence of his murder comes to light.

In one of the more unusual discoveries of the last month, Roman coins from the fourth century AD have been found at a medieval castle in southern Japan. The Smithsonian has also reported on this, as has the mighty New York Times.

From The Guardian:

In a direct assault on silly people like Niall Ferguson and ideas about the west being the centre of the universe (get a compass, and a telescope, dude, seriously), the world’s oldest library in Morocco has reopened after decades of unrest and a major restoration of the library itself.

Digital reconstruction of burnt scrolls have the Biblical world all atwitter. This technology has also been used effectively on scrolls from Pompeii and Herculaneum, as I understand it.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded this week to the President of Colombia for brokering a peace deal (which was narrowly voted down) to end the country’s 50 year long civil war. Before that announcement was made, there was much rumble about the Prize going to a group of civilians in war-torn Syria. For more on this, see here, here, and the Netflix documentary called, simply, “The White Helmets”.

From the American Schools of Oriental Research:

A new documentary is forthcoming about Gertrude Bell, a contemporary of T.E. Lawrence and of Winston Churchill, who wrote a white paper on the Civil Administration of Mesopotamia in 1920.

From the CBC:

Archaeologists have succeeded in raising the Maud, the famous ship of Roald Amundsen, from its grave in Cambridge Bay after it sank in 1930. She will be on her way back home to Norway in due course.

The Roundup #49

It’s been a strange couple of weeks heading into this Labour Day long weekend of 2016. Professor Juan Rojo of Lafayette College has begun a hunger strike to protest his denial of tenure. Active Latin learning is being championed as a new way to learn a dead language. I found a professor in the US who has written a great series on Latin hacks, the first of which is here. The Tragically Hip played their last concert in Kingston, Ontario. And the New York Times published one of the most powerful articles I’ve ever read on the wars in the Middle East. Naturally, I’ve been somewhat distracted. So, without further ado, here is a roundup from the past two weeks. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

A railway turntable has been discovered in Ottawa during routine construction in the city.

A lavish Roman seaside villa is being documented near Positano in Italy.

A Neolithic labret has been discovered in Siberia, suggesting that face ornamentation has never been the preserve of the present.

Excavations at Rotterdam are bringing to light artefacts of the city before it was founded in 1270AD.

And there’s been a fair amount of excavations yielding Roman artefacts in the UK: first is this selection of bolts and other materials for iron smelting discovered in Scotland; second is from work done near a nursery in Norfolk; third is what appears to be a Neolithic log boat in Wales; and fourth, a medieval castle wall has been discovered during repair work on a nearby mausoleum in Scotland.

From the Guardian:

A ring purported to have belonged to Joan of Arc is in the middle of a new battle over export licences.

Cryptologists may get crowd-sourcing help to unlock the mysteries of the Voynich manuscript.

From the Washington Post:

A rare fourth century AD mosaic of chariot racing in the hippodrome has been discovered in Cyprus.

The Roundup #43

It’s been a crazy week in North America. A hate crime perpetrated in Orlando, Florida followed by a 15 hour long filibuster in the US Senate to demand better gun control laws; a suspected shooter at the University of Toronto St. George campus on the Monday morning following; the suspended disqualification of the Russian national football team at the UEFA championship; and the actual disqualification of the Russian track and field team from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

I bet everyone’s in the mood to read something else, anything else. So here’s this week’s roundup! Enjoy!

From History Today:

A feature on Aristotle by Edith Hall.

A piece on the Holy Lance, the source of the final mark of the stigmata, and another of those relics that inspire confidence at all costs.

From the Smithsonian:

Excavations are underway at Piraeus, the port of Athens, at the sites of the three military harbours that were active around the time of the Persian Wars in the early 5th century BC.

From Archaeology.org:

What is now being called the Gaulcross Hoard of silver artefacts has been discovered in a farmer’s field in Scotland where, nearly 200 years earlier, other silver artefacts had already been found.

The ongoing battle against illegal or illicit antiquities trading continues, this time in Israel with the Israel Antiquities Authority.

My love of neolithic figurines continues with the rediscovery of this little gem, the Skara Brae Buddo, first discovered in the 1860s in the Orkneys and lost to museum storage until recently.

A rather large hunk of butter has been unearthed from a bog in Ireland.

The paintings at the cave site in Chauvet appear to be older than originally believed, by a few thousand years.

The site of the Bear River Massacre has been identified in Idaho where, in 1863, Americans shot and killed hundreds of Northwestern Shoshone.

Some rather fascinating bronze arrows and quivers have been found at a site in Oman, and archaeologists suggest that they may have been offerings to a god of war.

Conservators have begun restoring the solar boat discovered in the Great Pyramid of Khufu in 1954.

And ongoing work in southern Russia has yielded remarkably finely crafted gold artefacts in what was originally thought to be a routine excavation of a kurgan.

The Roundup #35

And (mostly) on time no less! Here’s this week’s roundup of archaeological fascinations throughout the English-reporting world. Enjoy!

From The Guardian:

The Guardian has published a guide to the destruction suffered by the ancient city of Palmyra between last year when Daesh/ISIL/ISIS took it over and it’s return to the hands of Syrian forces this March.

The ongoing search for the route Hannibal took through the Alps in his assault on Italy in 218/217BCE continues, with researchers from York University analyzing mud for the remains of animal excrement that would identify at least whether the elephants were there. Archaeology.org has also reported on this.

From Archaeology.org:

Caesar may be a fascination of history, but we mustn’t forget that he was also a mass murder. Evidence uncovered by Dutch archaeologists point to one such massacre during Caesar’s time in Gaul in the 50s BCE.

Some extremely well preserved curse tablets from the Piraeus Museum are currently being studied.

From the Smithsonian:

Evidence from Israel suggests that neolithic peoples in the area were strip miners. There’s been a fair amount of archaeological work coming out of Israel about this time period of late.

And from Biblical Archaeology:

More on the study of the name Ba’al in Biblical literature and its disappearance in the 11th or 10th century BCE. Ba’al was a storm god of the Canaanites, Tyrians, and Carthaginians, and the name of our favourite general of the ancient world, Hannibal, means ‘beloved of Ba’al’.

The Roundup #24

Here’s my attempt to get back into the regular routine of posting once a week. So here’s this week’s roundup.

From Archaeology.org:

Westminster Abbey in London, England has an extensive and mighty history. In December, evidence of the removal of bones from the site before construction began are being catalogued and studied to give archaeologists a better idea of what life was like in the area around about the turn of the first millenium.

Paintings from the Chauvet-Pont-D’Arc caves in France have some scientists thinking that the ancient peoples who created these magnificent works of art also depicted the oldest known artistic representation of a volcanic eruption.

Scientists are creating 3-D images of rock art from the Italian Alps dating from the Iron Age and the early Neolithic period.

The 2012 discovery of a mammoth carcass in the Eurasian Arctic suggests that humans were hunting in that region 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.

While searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre have identified a 19th century shipwreck.

The burial site of Han Emperor Jing Di has revealed the oldest evidence for tea, and in China no less.

Italian and Russian archaeologists have identified Nubian inscriptions at a temple site in the Sudan, offering new information on the relations between these peoples and the ancient Egyptians in the area.

Archaeologists have discovered the best preserved Bronze Age village ever found in England. NPR has a feature on it here.

A 2,200 year old prosthetic has been discovered at a burial site in western China.

The only ninth-tenth century artefact found underwater in Poland has turned out to be a wicker fish trap, with the remains of over 4,000 fish in Lake Lednica.

 

From The Guardian:

The largest – and as yet unnamed – dinosaur ever found, part of a subset of sauropods called titanosaurs, is now on display at the American Museum of Natural History.

 

From Biblical Archaeology:

I may have already posted this but, here goes: archaeologists working in Turkey have discovered Pluto’s Gates at Hierapolis, said to be a gateway to the underworld.

The Roundup #21

And on the 21st of November, no less!

So, without further ado…

From Archaeology.org:

Excavations are underway at Al Zubarah, an 18th century centre for trade in Qatar, that was abandoned after the Sultan of Oman invaded in 1811 and left protected by desert sands until now.

The repatriation of a bronze Shiva from the Chola Period in India is in process, following its discovery by special operations units within US Homeland Security.

By studying teeth from two adult males separated by 60,000 years, scientists have a clearer picture of the extent of Denisovan culture throughout the Asian continent during the last 150,000 years.

A fortified Greek settlement has been discovered in the Ukraine. Archaeologists hope to being major excavations in the near future.

Gaming has been part of human culture for thousands of years, as this die recently discovered in China attests.

And, possibly the most thrilling thing for me this week, a series of beautifully preserved mosaics have been discovered at a 1,700 year old villa in Lod, Israel.

From the Smithsonian:

A feature on the history and culture of British pub signs.

From the Guardian:

A huge cache of Roman coins has been discovered in Switzerland.

And the president of the Louvre museum in Paris has put together a plan to combat conflict antiquities and the illegal trade.

The Roundup #19 and #20

Dear Readers, I’ve been remiss. Somehow I managed to entirely forget about posting a roundup last weekend, so this weekend – as I did a bit ago when I was away – I’ll post two. Roundup #19 will cover the week beginning November 2nd, and #20 will cover this past week beginning November 9th.

On November 7th, Sierra Leone was officially declared ebola-free, something that the WHO and Medecins sans Frontieres must be absolutely joyous about, let alone the people of Sierra Leone themselves.

Otherwise, the week of November 2nd was relatively quiet. Here goes Roundup #19:

From the Guardian:

Burial vaults are being discovered – or, rather, rediscovered – in New York City (Greenwich Village and Washington Square Park). They are approximately 200 years old themselves, and were at one point discovered by ConEdison in the 1960s, before offering archaeologists this week the chance to re-discover them.

A leather trunk in The Hague contains undelivered letters from nearly 300 years ago, including a sad plea from a woman – likely in a compromising situation – to the man who helped get there in that position. Archaeologists and social historians are agog.

And, in an update from the story about the Nazi gold train in Poland, members of the Krakow mining academy will begin surveys this week to determine just what is down there.

 

And here goes Roundup #20.

This week, the news that India was planning to launch a bid to have the Koh-i Noor diamond – currently the centrepiece of the British Crown Jewels – to be returned to them, fomenting debate once again about the repatriation of artworks and cultural treasures. History Today reissued an article written in the 1970s about the history of the diamond.

From Archaeology.org:

A Neolithic smoke house has been discovered in Siberia.

Tree ring studies have been used to develop a global history of drought going back two thousand years.

Archaeologists have digitally mapped the theatre district at Nea Paphos, the capital of the Roman province of Cyprus.

Who doesn’t enjoy news about sabre tooth cats? New evidence has been unearthed at Schoningen in Germany of how ancient peoples used the remains of these cats for weapons.

New studies on the aqueducts of ancient Rome are offering some solid numbers for how much water regularly flowed into the city.

The biggest news – so far as I’m concerned, at least – is of the discovery of a Roman amphitheatre in Volterra, northern Italy.

From the Smithsonian:

In a strange bit of genetic engineering, Vincent Van Gogh’s ear has been recreated from his DNA using a 3D printer. Yeah. I admit I’m a little creeped out by that too.

Residue from ancient pots suggest that people were using honey as far back as 8,500 years ago.

From The New York Times:

Sarah Parcak is to be awarded the $1million TED prize so that she may further her research into satellite tracking of looted archaeological sites.

The Roundup #18

Ahh what a glorious (goriest?) day for the final match of the Rugby World Cup! The second half has just started and, as I watch the battery on my laptop tick down, I’m looking through the week’s archaeological news and thought now would be a good time for my latest roundup. In between laughing over Nigel Owens’ fury over players doing “silly nonsense”, of course.

Here we go…

The biggest news of the week has got to be the discovery of the Griffin Warrior in Greece, a Bronze Age burial untouched for centuries.

And I love this story about garbage – specifically discarded cigarette butts outside pubs – and how, ultimately, all archaeological work is the study of garbage.

From History Today:

As we watch ISIS/ISIL cut a swath of destruction through the Middle East and beyond, the loss of Palmyra is hardly the only archaeological travesty. Yemen – the Biblical kingdom of Sheba – is suffering right alongside Syria, and its sites are at just as much risk.

From Archaeology.org:

The ongoing back-and-forth over human impact on the environment continues, with this latest argument that indigenous peoples along the Amazon river had little impact on the natural waterway, despite living in dense settlements.

A neolithic settlement has been discovered on Anglesey, off the coast of Wales, during the construction of a new school.

A feature on one of the biggest jigsaw puzzles in the world, as fragments found on the Akropolis in Athens are catalogued and scrutinized and scrutinized some more.

Bath never ceases to be a centre of civilization as an intact 18th century clay pipe kiln has been uncovered there.

The Buffalo Soldier case gets a feature as the issue of antiquities looting is back in the news. Not the Bob Marley song, the Buffalo Soldiers’ regiment was formed shortly after the end of the Civil War as the first US Army regiment composed entirely of African Americans. They were called Buffalo Soldiers by the Native Americans who met them.

From the Smithsonian:

The study of prehistoric animals continue, particularly in Siberia, with the discovery of not only Yuka the baby wooly mammoth but also cave lions (not nearly as cute as I’m sure everyone is now thinking they were).

From the Long Now:

Oral history is a powerful thing, as evidence from Australia shows. Aboriginal groups have oral stories that go back 10,000 years to describe changing sea levels and landscape changes over thousands of years.