The Roundup #77

While certain US Presidents carry on trying to take us back to the Stone Age in the derogatory sense, it’s good to know there are finds being unearthed around the world to reinforce the complexity of human civilization and our relationship to it. Here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Genetic testing on five individuals from Rapa Nui (also known as Easter Island) suggest that the islanders had contact with native peoples from South America earlier than previously believed.

Sweden’s violent history is growing more intriguing with the discovery of gold coins minted during the reign of Roman Emperor Valentinian III on an island off the country’s south coast.

Textiles from another site in Sweden suggest that the Vikings’ burial practices were influenced by interactions with the Arab world.

If you’ve never heard of Luwian, go look it up. This translation, and its accompanying reference to the Sea Peoples, could be game-changing.

More DNA evidence points to a strange conclusion; that the Beothuk peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador were not related to any of the other First Nations in the area. The full article in The Globe and Mail can be found here.

From the Smithsonian:

Painting over history is nothing new, as this restored painting from the 17th century shows.

The canoe dredged up during the catastrophic hurricane season this year dates to between 1640 and 1680, according to recent tests.

From the CBC:

As the water levels of the Thompson River in BC continue to drop, pre-contact artifacts are being discovered all along its banks.

Critically rare Ojibway ponies are preparing for the auction block in Manitoba.

From the University of Victoria:

A legendary settlement on the coast of BC has likely been identified by archaeologists from the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria.

From Archaeology UK:

Well preserved evidence from a broch in Scotland may shed light on an Iron Age destruction event.

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The Roundup #69

New discoveries of old things are the theme running throughout this week’s roundup. By happy accident, because I didn’t post as usual on Saturday, I am now able to include the announcement that the USS Indianapolis has been discovered in the Pacific Ocean. Famous for delivering the atomic bombs that decimated Japan in 1945, it’s also famous for the extremely high loss of life suffered when she was torpedoed (316 of over 1,100 men survived). And I first learned about it from Quint’s drunken speech in the film Jaws.

So, apart from that roundabout way of learning history, here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

A Roman villa has been discovered near Realmonte in Sicily and is currently being excavated.

Excavations of the wreck of the Mentor, Lord Elgin’s ship bound from Athens to England, are ongoing.

A Hellenistic temple has been discovered near Umm Qais in Jordan.

The remains of Yugeno-miya, what was supposed to be a new capital city in Japan, have been identified.

The discovery of ritual baths in Vilnius emphasize the cultural richness of the Great Synagogue of Vilna, built in the 17th century, burned by the Nazis, and razed by the Russians in the 20th century.

Parts of Greenwich Palace, where King Henry VII and his daughters Mary and Elizabeth were born, have been identified in London, England.

Along with a myriad of other papers, a small watercolour of a dead bird has been discovered at the site where the Scott Expedition met its end in 1912. If anyone needed a more appropriate example of pathetic fallacy, this is a pretty good one.

Also from Antarctica and the Scott Expedition, fruitcake! Apparently it’s edible. However, that assumes that one considers fruitcake to be edible at all.

An early Islamic house has been discovered in Jordan after a cache of tesserae were unearthed, suggesting the house was being renovated at the time of an earthquake in the 8th century CE.

From The Guardian:

Analyzing the silver content of Roman coins has allowed archaeologists and historians to more clearly understand the economic impact of the Hannibalic War in the 3rd century BCE. Archaeology.org reports on the same here.

The discovery of subglacial volcanos in Antarctica may mean that the site is the densest collection of volcanos on the planet.

From the CBC:

The diary of the wife of a Hudson’s Bay Company captain has been donated to the University of British Columbia. The firsthand account of a woman on a fur trading expedition is considered remarkable for its uniqueness.

From the New York Times:

An early daguerrotype of the 6th President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, taken in 1843 may be the oldest surviving original photograph of an American President.

The Roundup #54

Just a few days until the American election and the anti-Trump/anti-Clinton rhetoric is beyond exhausting. As Obama says: “Don’t boo. Vote.” And as one of the mother’s in Titanic said, “It’ll all be over soon.”

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

From Archaeology.org:

Osteologists report that they may have found the remains of Amelia Earhart (again, some more) after examining the records of bones (rather than the bones themselves, which have been lost) discovered on a remote island in Kiribati.

Evidence from caves in Ethiopia suggest a more ubiquitous use of ochre throughout the Middle Stone Age.

A remarkably well-preserved shipwreck has been discovered in shallow waters off the Aland Islands in Finland.

Ostrich eggshell beads of incredible craftsmanship have been discovered in Siberia.

A Phoenician shipwreck off the coast of Malta has yielded more information on local and international trade in the area.

A massive find: a hippodrome mosaic has been discovered in Cyprus, one of less than 10 on the subject so far unearthed.

The Roundup #51

While SNL, Seth Meyers, and the late night comedy and variety hosts continue to ravish this travesty of an American election, it’s a grateful person who can find reprieve elsewhere.

So here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Analysis of pigments on Greek vases is yielding new insight into how paint was developed and applied to some of the most iconic archaeological pieces of Greek history.

I am posting this with strong reservations. Without having read Civilization, Niall Ferguson seems to have left my hyper vigilant against western normative bias: a new theory suggests that the builders of the terracotta army of Qin Shihuang Di may have been influenced by Greek artists.

Word games have been discovered in the ancient marketplace of Smyrna.

From the Smithsonian:

Civil War era cannonballs have been revealed in South Carolina following Hurricane Matthew.

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 #31

This week’s news has come almost exclusively from Archaeology.org (either that or the Facebook algorithm has decided that’s all I want to see). Expect a more varied list next week but, in the meantime, here is this week’s roundup.

From Archaeology.org:

An underwater wreck in excellent condition may be a Confederate-era blockade runner, one of three ships known to have been lost in the area of Cape Fear River and Fort Caswell.

The winery at Tel Kabri shows evidence that wine was mixed with various plant extracts on site.

Here is a feature on Roman wall painting, some of the most exquisite ever found in France, are being studied at Arles.

A 2,500 year old tomb near Luoyang shows evidence of an ethnic minority group that came to dominate the region during the Warring States Period in the 5th to 3rd centuries BCE.

The repatriation of remains removed in the 1960s from Alaska will be completed by 2018.

An intact tomb from the Geometric Period has been discovered on Lesbos.

Road works in Scotland may have unearthed the Medieval village of Cazdow. Excavations are ongoing.

More fragments of the Severan Marble Plan, a huge marble map of the city of Rome, have been discovered. Only approximately 10% of this once 60 x 43 foot map has been reconstructed.

Evidence of the earliest alphabetic language, from approximately 1850-1700 BCE, is in evidence on this tiny ostracon.

From APTN:

Another tale of the sorry state of relations between municipal bodies and indigenous groups is featured in this piece on the Allandale Station lands in Barrie, Ontario. Included in this article is a link to the report completed by ASI.

From the BBC:

A feature on the watercolours of painters such as JMW Turner and Towne completed in the 19th century as young men went on their Grand Tours of Italy.

 

 

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.