The Roundup #79

Of course the major news of this past week was the release of previously classified documents regarding the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. People are going to be sifting through that material for years to come, but I did enjoy the Guardian live-blogging the release.

But lots of other things have been announced this week as well. So here’s your roundup for this go around. Enjoy!

From the Smithsonian:

A nearly complete fossilized skeleton of an ichthyosaur has been discovered in Gujarat.

A 450 year old text of samurai sayings has recently been published in English as The Hundred Rules of War.

The remains of unusual structures in the Arabian desert have been identified by amateurs using Google Earth.

Cuneiform tablets have been unearthed in a destroyed building in Kurdistan.

From Haaretz:

Biologists have identified a succession of bacteria that destroy ancient parchments by first turning them purple before they begin to more obviously decompose.


Excavations are ongoing at Thouria in Greece where a theatre orchestra section with potentially moveable sections has been discovered.

A Coptic tombstone has been unearthed near the Avenue of the Sphinxes in Luxor.

An unusual figurine with what appears to be a feathered headdress has been discovered near the Ob River in western Siberia.

The mythological founding of Singapore may not be so mythological after all, as the island’s largest archaeological dig near Empress Place has revealed.

A shipwreck has been discovered in eastern China, likely from the Yuan Dynasty nearly 700 years ago.

And a Bronze Age battlefield has been identified in Germany.

From the CBC:

The HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, Royal Navy ships that Franklin took on his fateful Arctic expedition, are to be formally handed over to Canada and the Inuit people by the British government.


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!


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 #5

It’s been an exciting week! The New Horizons flyby of Pluto was (so far, at least) a complete success and the world is basking in the light of all the new images pouring in from the spacecraft’s downloads to NASA.

It’s also been a weird week, considering the recent theft from the grave of acclaimed director FW Murnau’s head. Murnau is probably most recognized (well, until someone stole his head anyway) for the film Nosferatu.

And we haven’t had anything related to Nazis recently, so here’s something new: a metal detectorist (apparently that’s a word) has discovered a cache of gold coins from the late 19th and early 20th century along with two seals bearing swastikas and the imperial eagle with the stamp “Reichsbank Berlin 244”.

Otherwise, here’s what the world decided to reveal to us this time around:


A Viking sword with a beautifully preserved gold and silver hilt has been discovered in Norway.

Beautiful mosaics are being unearthed in a synagogue near Huqoq currently being surveyed by archaeologists from UNC Chapel Hill. One in particular may depict the first non-Biblical story yet to be found in the synagogue.

One of the largest and possibly earliest open settlements (ie. not a hill fort) has been discovered in southern England.

Two Roman ballista stones have been returned to the Israel Antiquities Authority with a note: “…they have brought me nothing but trouble. Please do not steal antiquities!” We hear you, loud and clear, anonymous thief.

A marble slab with a Greek inscription referring to the Odrysian kings of Thrace has been discovered in Bulgaria near the ancient site of Aquae Calidae.

And the mummified body of a young boy is being examined after its discovery in the Zeleny Yar necropolis in Siberia. The Siberian Times article on the same discovery include some fantastic pictures of the birchbark coffin and goes into more detail about this mysterious medieval civilization.

In LiveScience:

More on the stunning mosaics at Huqoq and the overall richness of the site in the Galilee region of Israel means that archaeologists have a lot more work to do in the coming seasons.

From the Beeb:

The Staffordshire Hoard continues to delight as conservationists learn about ancient metallurgy techniques and make connections between this hoard, discovered in 2009, and that found at Sutton Hoo.

From the Smithsonian:

The updated UNESCO World Heritage list is out, with new additions like Ephesus in Turkey, the Alamo in Texas, the controversial ‘Battleship Island’ in Japan, the Champagne region in France, and the Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain in Mongolia.

From The Guardian:

The records and correspondence of the Slave Compensation Commission are being reviewed at the National Archives in the UK, containing the names of 46,000 slave owners and the compensation they received in 1833 for their recently emancipated ‘property’.

Tim Butcher talks about his new book ‘The Trigger’ and Gavrilo Princip, the man who shot Archduke Frans Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife in 1914, precipitating the First World War.

And from Popular Science:

Analyses of rock samples from Mars point to similarities between the Red Planet and our own Blue Marble.