The Roundup #74

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


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 #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!


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 #57

The Trump Twitter Wars are establishing themselves as part of cultural lore, now that women and Alec Baldwin are firing back. And I learned today for the first time about the Nemi Ships.  Holy gods!

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


Don’t forget to always clean your bodies, and your plates. Evidence from Lapa do Santo in Brazil suggest that people not only defleshed bodies before burial, but they may also have cannibalized them nearly 10,000 years ago.

A network of smugglers has been exposed and several items repatriated from the US to Egypt following work by US Immigration and Customs.

Bitumen from the Sutton Hoo site appears to have originated near the Dead Sea, suggesting that trade was more extensive than previously thought.

A pair of mummified legs likely belonged to Queen Nefertari, wife of Pharaoh Rameses II, have been identified in Italy. Still wondering where the rest of of her is, though…

Earthenworks discovered on the Japanese island of Kyushu may show evidence of an invasion during the 7th century from Korea.

A theatre in the Roman province of Thrace (modern Bulgaria, near Plovdiv) appears to be older than originally thought following the discovery of an inscription near the site dating to the reign of the Emperor Domitian.

From the Smithsonian:

A remarkable video feature on the restoration of a 17th century map found shoved up a chimney in Aberdeen.

A more detailed article on the recently discovered site outside Abydos in Egypt.

The Roundup #46

It’s been a strange month but, having returned from a much needed holiday in Niagara-on-the-Lake, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. And it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, so here goes this month’s roundup. Enjoy!


Archaeologists are examining temples built hundreds of years ago to determine how to design future earthquake proofing.

Another delightful discovery out of the Galilee this season; this time it’s a rock-cut kiln from the Roman period.

Things I didn’t know: Hong Kong has not be subjected to any serious archaeological work in its harbour. The discovery of an anchor and cannon from a site near Basalt Island is the first such work to be undertaken.

An Etruscan tomb near Vulci has yielded enigmatic silver hands as part of its cache.

And speaking of Etruscans, the Danish museum Ny Carlesbeg Glyptotek is repatriating artefacts originally from the Sabine necropolis at Colle del Forno.

From a Swedish shipwreck, archaeologists may have discovered the stinkiest cheese ever, having been buried in mud for 340 years.

The earliest known evidence of tobacco cultivation has been discovered in Utah.

And evidence from the Solomon Islands suggests that early Polynesian tattoo artists used obsidian tools to imbed the ink in skin.

From Biblical Archaeology:

An in memoriam for Jim Robinson reviews the discovery and later release of the Nag Hammadi codices discovered in Egypt in 1945.

From the CBC:

Plans to raise Roald Amundsen’s ship, the Maud, from the seabed at Cambridge Bay are now underway.

The Roundup #31

This week’s news has come almost exclusively from (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.


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 #3

There were a good many things in the news this week that were archaeologically relevant and/or just wonderful tidbits to read. I had trouble narrowing down my favourites but here they are, along with the usual roundup of everything I felt worth sharing on the Book of Faces.

My favourite, upon reflection, has got to be this delightful find from Vindolanda in northern England. Kids will step in the darndest things!

There’s also this incredible project of digitizing African rock art into a vast database.

And I was enamoured with this survey piece on horses in sport and spectacle.

From the Guardian:

Archaeology of the future began in the past, as Coleen Jose, Kim Wall, and Jan Hendrik Hinzel report on the implications of nuclear waste in The Tomb at Enewetak Atoll.

The ongoing issue of looted artefacts and museums is the subject of this article by Guardian reporter Khanishk Tharoor.


Daily life gets the spotlight in a series of new excavations at Angkor Wat.

If you were looking for a reason to visit Tuscany, here’s one (with a link to the recent reopening of the House of the Chaste Lovers in Pompeii at the bottom).

Renovations are always interesting but this one in Israel particularly so.

Paleolithic milk-based paints have been confirmed in South Africa, before the domestication of bovids.

A prehistoric village on the remote Pacific island of Guam has been discovered by archaeologist from the University of Guam.

I’m glad I wasn’t the archaeologist who first spotted these relics from a dig in New Zealand. They would have given me nightmares.

And our repatriation story for the week, an 11th century statue of the Tamil poet Manikkavichavakar is being returned to India.

From GlobalVoicesOnline:

Language activists in Colombia are gathering to support cultural and linguistic diversity.

From JSTOR Daily:

1752 was one hell of a leap year, with Britain and her colonies adding 11 days all at once to come into alignment with the Gregorian calendar used by the rest of Europe. What a week (and a bit) that must have been.