The Roundup #84

Getting this done on a Saturday, only because I’ve got a nasty bit of flu. Yay!

‘Tis the festive season, so of course there’s news of a relic of St. Nicholas being radiocarbon dated to his lifetime. Otherwise, lots more of culture to see here. Enjoy!

From the Smithsonian:

Perhaps the earliest evidence of slave burials in Delaware have been discovered in Rehoboth Bay.

A time capsule from the 1700s has been discovered in the back side of a statue of Christ in Spain.

A 1,300 year old complete Latin Bible created in Northumbria will return to England for the first time since it was sent to Italy shortly after it was completed in the 8th century.

From Archaeology.org:

Faint lines on stone in Cornwall suggest the site had been used for nighttime rituals since 2,500 BC/BCE.

The Natufian people of Jordan may shed light on the transition between hunter-gatherer culture and agriculture.

After 20 years of excavation and preservation work, the australopithecus skeleton of “Little Foot” will go on display in South Africa.

Greek texts from Nag Hammadi are showing the ongoing scholarly work of early Christians, despite Church regulations declaring such work anathema.

From Haaretz:

A 400,000 year old ‘school’ has been identified in Israel.

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The Roundup #82

Feet (well, shoes) and wine headline this week’s roundup; two things I’m rather interested in because a) I like wine, and b) I walk like a mutant (and not the yellow spandex kind).

Enjoy!

From the CBC:

The previous holder of the oldest confirmed evidence of wine, the Zagros Mountains, has been unseated by Gadachrili Gora in Georgia, where pots from neolithic times have tested positive for the acid found only in grapes in the region. Archaeology.org reports on it here.

From the Smithsonian:

A “Pictish” rock carving discovered in Perth, Scotland shows a man with a large nose (I put Pictish in quotations because it’s a somewhat derogatory descriptive used by the Romans rather than any name these people in Scotland called themselves).

A realistic portrait of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson painted in 1799 (during his lifetime) is on display at Philip Mould & Company and for sale at an undisclosed price.

From Archaeology.org:

In a somewhat less than surprising research report, studies on the skeletons of Dutch farmers who wore the iconic wooden shoes were found to have bone malformations as a result.

A loom dating to the 5th or 6th century AD/CE has been discovered during recent excavations in Iraq.

During excavations of Norse longhouses in northern England, volunteers have discovered a Bronze Age settlement dating to 1300 BC/BCE.

Initial surveys of a hill in Turkey suggest that another Bronze Age site is waiting beneath layers upon layers of human habitation.

Sound engineers have looked at rumours about acoustics in Greek theatres, studying whether or not a whisper really could be heard from the last row of seats.

A mummy has been discovered in the Fayum in Egypt, complete with wrappings and votive objects from the Greco-Roman period.

Fire has irreparably damaged a unique pre-Inca site in Peru after a cane field blazed out of control.

A 1,000 year old ceramic box said to contain the ashes of the Buddha has been discovered at a monastery in China.

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.

The Roundup #80

This has been a quiet week in terms of archaeological news. But even archaeologists need a break once in a while.

This week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From the Smithsonian:

The remains of 24 individuals have been repatriated to the Yupik people of Iguigig in northern Russia.

A series of items have been repatriated to Italy, including a mosaic used as a coffee table that is said to have once adorned a pleasure ship of the Emperor Caligula.

From Archaeology.org:

A large number of horse skeletons have been discovered in an as-yet unidentified tomb from the Spring and Autumn Period in China.

A wooden hut on Iona in Scotland, long associated with Saint Columba, has been dated to his lifetime.

Petroglyphs have been identified in caves on the island of Mona in the Caribbean.

The Roundup #56

I’ve spent the weekend reorganizing the furniture in my house so that it works a little better and feels new and fresh, enjoying the new OK Go music video, and generally avoiding the post-truth era as much as possible.

As such, this week’s roundup is rather scant. Here goes. Enjoy!

From Archaeology.org:

Petroglyphs in Jordan are yielding intriguing information on nomadic peoples in the area thousands of years ago.

From The Guardian:

Intrepid researchers have discovered that Donald Trump’s grandfather was banished from Germany in the early part of the 20th century. Because of course.

From the Economist (just because):

Statistical evidence that the All Blacks are perhaps the most dominant rugby team ever.

From The New York Times:

Recent evidence suggests that one of the first recorded caesarean sections successfully performed was in Prague in 1337.

From JSTOR:

A feature on remembering Wounded Knee. If you don’t know what this is, read Dee Brown’s 1970 book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and you’ll never have to ask again.

The Roundup #10

It’s been yet another goofy week in the news about old things. ISIS continues its attempt to rewrite history by destroying a 4th century Christian monastery. This is also notably one of the rare occasions when I post a link to the Daily Mail. The assassination of renowned archaeologist Khaled al-Assad is a particularly sad bit of news, particularly since he worked so diligently to preserve Syria’s archaeological history in the face of the brutality of ISIS.

The most sensational story has to be the so far unsubstantiated report that a train loaded with Nazi loot from the Second World War has been found in a tunnel somewhere in Poland. Both the Guardian and the BBC have reported on this.

There’s also the strange case of Washington’s Bedpan which, I think, would be an amazing name for a punk band.

And with that, here’s this week’s roundup (albeit belated).

From Archaeology.org:

The craziest trophy room in the Americas, without a doubt, is this Aztec skull rack from the 15th century.

Marine archaeologists have the chance to study how 20th century materials degrade in water over time as they examine the wreck of the USS Macon, an airship that crashed in the 1930s.

Tests using DStretch technology have determined that the petroglyphs in the Black Dragon Canyon, previously believed to be one strange image of a monster, are in fact a series of individual figures. If the photo from this article makes you wonder what the confusion was, take a look at this photo (third image, on the right) taken before the images were doctored to show the DStretch results.

A Confederate warship, the CSS Georgia, is being raised from the bottom of a river in Savannah, Georgia a piece at a time.

Proof that humans have always been nasty to each other when the occasion called for it, this Neolithic site with human remains shows evidence of systematic torture.

From the CBC:

Cue Nicholas Sparks references; a message in a bottle sent more than one hundred years ago has been returned to sender, the Marine Biological Association of the UK. Whether this is a Guiness world record remains to be seen.

From the Economist:

An Instagram photo of gold coins recovered from a group of 11 Spanish ships that sank en route from Cuba to Spain. Shiny!

And from Typographie.de:

Cuneiform has gone digital!

As a post script to my earlier link to efforts on the part of the German Minister of Culture’s attempts to stem the tide of conflict antiquities into Germany, here is a summary of the original report that drew attention to the situation in the first place.

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!