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).


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. 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.


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 #68

The US President is threatening nuclear war with North Korea and military action in Venezuela. On the upside, Ghana launched its first satellite this week, the Perseid meteor shower hits its peak this weekend, and various sports seasons are upon us. So if the world doesn’t end in the next few weeks, we can enjoy innovation, beauty, and athletes.

In the meantime, here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!


In light of an upcoming solar eclipse in the Northern Hemisphere this Monday, petroglyphs in New Mexico have been discovered that depict another eclipse from 1097.

A colossal statue from the Iron Age has been discovered in Turkey.

DNA work on Medieval manuscripts is yielding new information about the animals used for the manuscript pages and even if those pages were frequently kissed by humans.

A review of a Third Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh has researchers wondering if, rather than just being tall, Sa-Nakht suffered from gigantism.

From Aleteia:

A 1,200 year old wine press has been discovered in the Negev desert of Israel that was once used by a Roman army unit. However, the math doesn’t seem to add up here so read with caution.

From the CBC:

A replica of the RMS Titanic is being built as a tourist destination in Daying, China.

The Roundup #37

It’s been a crazy month, but it looks like spring has finally (FINALLY!) sprung in Toronto. Hard to stay inside when the sun’s out and the sky’s blue, but there’s lots going on in the world of archaeology, so here’s this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

From the Manchester Evening News:

On the site of a new tower block in Manchester, archaeologists have found the remnants of a pub – the Astley Arms – from 1821, including a few bottles of unopened brandy.

From the New York Times:

Perhaps one of the most spectacular finds in England in the last decade, a lavish Roman villa from the 2nd or 3rd century AD was discovered when a local homeowner decided to run cabling from his house to a shed at the back of his property so his son could have light to play table tennis.

From the Smithsonian:

An extremely well preserved dress from the 17th century has been found in a shipwreck off the coast of the Netherlands.


A remarkably well preserved Roman wall has been discovered in Bulgaria.

Cheese making may be older than originally thought, following the discovery of clay pots in the Swiss Alps showing that they were used to heat milk.

Climate change may have impacted the weather – and therefore also the growing seasons – in the Northern Hemisphere in the 6th century AD.

The Roundup #36

It’s a beautiful day in Toronto, and I’ve been outside enjoying it until now. Here’s your weekly roundup. Lots of interesting grave site this time around (a fair amount of archaeology on any given day, to be honest). Enjoy!


A Mongolian Turkik burial of a woman in the Altai Mountains is yielding new finds including, among other things, camel wool.

The English have always been big drinkers, even when they were Roman, according to the wine production possible at this site at Vagnari from the first century AD.

This could be Israel’s archaeological equivalent to the Vindolanda tablets from Northern Britain, illuminating the extent that literacy dominated in the 7th century BC.

A tomb discovered during modern construction in Mexico City may be of one of the first Spanish priests in the region in the 16th century AD.

Immigration is a topic on everyone’s lips right now, but it’s nothing new, as this tomb from Egypt demonstrates.

A tomb in Turkey of a woman and child is most notable for the unusual number of turtles, tortoises, and terrapins buried with them.

A grisly discovery in Athens of two mass burials of young men, some with their hands bound in iron dating to the mid 7th century BC.

From the Smithsonian:

A delightful surprise: evidence that scientists had discovered exoplanets for the first time in 1917, rather than in the 1980s and 1990s as previously assumed.

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 #30

This time I’m getting a jump-start on my weekend post, so I’m not so badly delayed in posting it as I was with the previous roundup.

Lots going on this week, so here we go!


A winery nearly two thousand years old has been discovered outside the old city walls of Jerusalem.

Monumental tomb mounds – hailed as Polish Pyramids – have been identified by archaeologists from the University of Szczesin.

The Nubian-Egyptian divide grows ever less clear with the discovery of this tomb of a Nubian woman buried with Egyptian-style attributes in Sudan.

There is evidence that the wall paintings from Egypt’s Western Desert were not in fact made by humans, or even primates, but possibly by reptiles such as desert monitor lizards.

A Japanese sword from the second century BCE has been found to have the engraving of a shark on its blade.

A Bronze Age burial site near Bethlehem and now called Khalet al-Jam’a has been discovered with more than 100 tombs, 30 of which appear to be intact.

Lake Baikal seems to be in the news a lot lately, not least because of its archaeological wealth, such as this dog burial for example.

An absolutely gorgeous Roman ring, with Cupid and (the suggestion of) Psyche has been discovered in England by a metal detectorist.

And art knows no bounds, according to archaeologists researching a fresco in Hungary that they believe was sketched on one from the old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The Roundup #7

What a find! The oldest known Roman fortifications, and the only ones ever discovered in Italy, have been identified near Trieste.

Archaeology Magazine does a slightly more in-depth piece on Carnuntum in Austria, a Roman fort along the Danube that became a thriving city until it was abandoned in the 5th century CE. Among other things, evidence of a gladiatorial school has been discovered there and archaeological work is ongoing.

And a bizarre site where excavators have found bison bones buried deep in the earth has University of Lethbridge archaeologists scratching their heads.

Here’s this week’s roundup, albeit a day later than usual:


Proof that, when it comes to archaeology, details are everything, archaeologists at Tel-Kabri are examining recently excavated jars, some of which used to contain an aromatic red wine.

The oldest known Pictish fort has been identified in Dunnicaer by archaeologists from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

Preliminary surveys of the site of the Great Synagogue of Vilna in Lithuania have led to discussion about excavations in coming seasons.

Potentially the oldest human remains yet found in France, a human tooth has been discovered during excavations in Arago Cave in the southwestern part of the country.

And your bit of cuteness for the week, cat paw prints have been discovered on Roman roof tiles from England.

From PastHorizons:

A Roman military bath complex has been discovered in Georgia, complete with decorative mosaics. Luxury flooring for army men? This is something I’ll keep tabs on…

From the Smithsonian:

The Jamestown Rediscovery has another medal for its mantlepiece: the identities of four of the senior members of the original 17th century colony.

From The Guardian:

A Russian submarine has been discovered off the coast of Sweden. Although it’s still unclear how old the sub actually is, one this is certain: we won’t find Sean Connery in it.