The Roundup #90

We’re in the final stretch to my 100th #roundup! Let’s hear it for my attention span, and a rather manic insistence that I stick to a plan.

Lots of interesting news this week, some of which has to do with prehistoric sites, as well as my other love – the Ancient Mediterranean. In addition, while I’m nursing my first cold/flu of the year, I have a box of tissues that has the Standing Stones of Callanish on it. Enjoy!


Hand axes from a 500,000 year old site have been recovered in Israel.

The best preserved wooden game board from north of the Mediterranean ever found has been discovered in Slovakia.

A 2,500 year old stone fort in Ireland has been damaged by recent extreme weather.

Several Hellenistic tombs – including one with a false door – have been unearthed near Alexandria in Egypt.

Mouth harps have been discovered in the Altai Republic in Siberia, one of which even still carries a tune.

Also in Siberia, a kurgan that looks to be undisturbed may house the remains of a Scythian prince.

A broch (a kind of roundhouse, not a piece of jewellery) has been discovered near Inverness in Scotland.

Evidence pointing to the rediscovery of the monastery where the Book of the Deer was written has been identified in Scotland.

From the Smithsonian:

A feature on the Hoxne Hoard.

From the Guardian:

Real life continues to prove the filmĀ Prometheus wrong. In this latest example, possibly the oldest depiction of a supernova has been identified in Kashmir, showing our sun, the nova, and the constellations Taurus and Orion.


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!


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 #28

A day late, but certainly not a dollar short, here is this week’s roundup. Also, for the record, as of last week, this column is syndicated on the Facebook Page, Best Science Friends Forever (a name that we’re working on but, knowing us, may just stay that way forever).

My personal favourite from last week’s news has to be the discovery of this tavern in France, where Romans in Gaul would have gone for a cup o’ wine and a bite back in the day.


The oldest known woven dress has been conclusively dated to 3484 to 3102 BCE, nearly five thousand years ago. Yet more reason to love Egypt; this kind of thing would never have survived elsewhere.

One of the (admittedly few) joys of drone technology is finding things like the Khatt Shebib, a low wall discovered in Jordan that may have been used as a boundary or hunters’ blind but was certainly not for defensive purposes.

The oldest complete example of a Bronze Age wheel has been discovered at Must Farm in Cambridgeshire, England. The Guardian has also covered this discovery and their piece includes a video for your viewing pleasure.

A prehistoric village, nearly 12,000 years old, has been discovered in Jordan.

In a stunning feat of engineering, a medieval ship has been raised from the bottom of the Ijssel River in the Netherlands.

Ongoing studies of Roman funerary portraits from Egypt have identified specific workshops where they were made based on the pigments used.

From The Guardian:

The Iron Age hill fort said to be the birthplace of Queen Guinevere is at risk of being destroyed in favour of a housing development in Shropshire, England.

The remains of the woman who may have inspired Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles have been unearthed in Dorset.

From the Smithsonian:

A feature on Ernst Herzfeld, the man who rediscovered the tomb of Cyrus, the Persian King of Kings.

From the British Museum:

A feature on African rock art, something that fascinates me more every time I read about it or see photographs.

And from the Toronto Star:

A central part of the city’s black history has been rediscovered downtown near Osgoode Hall.