August 21, 2014

Free lithics!

Filed under: Online publications — acagle @ 8:12 am

Text anyway: Technology and Terminology of Knapped Stone

Classic text.

August 20, 2014

Raiders of the Lost Ark indeed

Filed under: Conservation/CRM, Historic — acagle @ 7:01 pm

Archaeologists raid lost Ark in Haddonfield

A team of historians, students and archaeology specialists have been getting down and dirty, digging below a tract adjacent to the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield.

The dig has unearthed old coins, pieces of wine bottles and plenty of animal bones, but also some surprises, such as a cellar deeper and larger than expected under what was once a general store.

“We recovered walls on two sides and were amazed to find a deeper cellar from 1741, much deeper than the one under the sidewalk,” said Garry Stone, the historian for the Indian King Tavern.

Neat little article. I think this is the place. Apparently they’re restoring it.

One of the coolest things hardly anybody knows about

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 9:41 am


In reality, he’s the “Bearded Man, 170-180 A.D.,” a Roman-Egyptian whose portrait adorned the sarcophagus sheltering his mummified remains. But the details of who he was and what he was thinking have been lost to time.

But perhaps not for much longer. A microscopic sliver of painted wood could hold the keys to unraveling the first part of this centuries-old mystery. Figuring out what kind of pigment was used (whether it was a natural matter or a synthetic pigment mixed to custom specifications), and the exact materials used to create it, could help scientists unlock his identity.

“Understanding the pigment means better understanding of the provenance of the individual” said Darryl Butt, a Boise State distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and associate director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES). “Where the pigment came from may connect it to a specific area and maybe even a family.”

Really nice work. These portraits are, if not unique, at least really really special. They offer a glimpse into what the actual people looked like, although these can’t be taken too literally, as we’re unsure as to how stylized or even idealized they may be. But I would wager they’re pretty close representations of the actual people.

August 18, 2014

CSI: Minnesohh-ta

Filed under: Cemeteries, Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 7:34 pm

A Hastings whodunit: Skeleton buried since the 1800s discovered at work site

She was a middle-aged white woman, most likely a settler. And she was buried with care in Hastings more than a century and a half ago.

Of this much Brian Hoffman is sure. But the rest of her story — where she came from, how she died, how she came to rest in that spot — is shrouded in mystery.

“I do feel like this is a person, and not an archaeological site,” the archaeologist said. “I do feel a little bit of a somberness, or a seriousness; I’d like to think that we’re treating these people with respect and doing the right thing, to carefully remove them if they have to be removed.”

That’s a bit too anonymous for me, although I wonder if they can get something of an identity for her based on land records and maybe death records (although they mention that’s not likely). But it is true that with all the development taking place in outlying areas there are a lot more unmarked, private cemeteries being uncovered.

Pict-ure that

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:28 pm

Rolling stone? Archaeologist try to unlock secrets of Pictish find

Archaeologists have released details on what they have described as the most important Pictish stone find to have been made in Moray in decades.

Weighing more than a ton and stretching to 1.7m, the Dandaleith Stone dates from the 6th to 8th Centuries and was uncovered during the ploughing of a field near Craigellachie in May 2013.

Because of sensitivities around the location as well as the issue of having to work out how to remove a stone of its size – and where to move it to – archaeologists have revealed little about the find until now.

I’ve done a few items on this “Pictish” stuff, but I’m still not sure what the significance of it all is. Other than providing for a lot of puns. . . . .

“It does what it wants and pretends to consult people, but goes over their heads when they talk too much,”

Filed under: Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 7:23 pm

Yeah, welcome to the government: Comments (0)

August 14, 2014

They wanted their mummies early

Filed under: Egypt, Mummies — acagle @ 11:01 am

Mummy-Making Began Long Before Pharaohs

The ancient Egyptians began mummifying bodies as far back as 6,000 years ago, analysis of Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic funerary wrappings has revealed.

The finding predates the origins of mummification in ancient Egypt by 1,500 years, indicating that resin-soaked textiles used in the prehistoric period (c. 4500 – 3350 B.C.) are the true antecedents of Egyptian mummification.

I’m a little skeptical that the identified materials were used for embalming proper. Possibly the compounds had some other qualities that they were using them for earlier? But then, the antibacterial properties could have gone some way towards preserving some of the soft tissues they came in contact with, so perhaps they’re really onto something.

August 12, 2014

Okay then.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:53 pm

Woman finds 80 skeletons crammed into Ikea bags

Centuries-old skeletons should probably be 6 feet under—not overflowing out of blue Ikea bags and shoved under a tarp in a Scandinavian church. But that’s exactly what Kicki Karlén says she recently found at the Kläckeberga church in Sweden.

“There were loads of skulls and bones stuffed into Ikea bags—I counted up to 80,” she tells the Expressen newspaper via the Local. “I became angry, very angry about how they were just sitting there.”

Desert Fox

I have to agree, that’s probably as decent a set of storage containers as one might want. Still, you ought to figure out what to do with them ager five years.

Update on the battlefield find

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology — acagle @ 3:24 pm

From yesterday (or so), the Danish bog skeletons, with some pictures.

August 11, 2014

Battlefield archaeology

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology — acagle @ 3:47 pm

Warriors’ Bones Reveal Bizarre Iron Age Rituals

The bones of dozens of Iron Age warriors found in Denmark were collected and ritually mutilated after spending months on the battlefield, archaeologists say.

At least six months after the soldiers died, their bones were collected, scraped of remaining flesh, sorted and dumped in a lake. Some were handled in a truly bizarre manner; for instance, four pelvises were found strung on a stick.

“We think it’s a kind of ritual closure of the war,” said Mads Kähler Holst, project manager at the dig and head of the department of archaeology at the Moesgård Museum in Denmark. The victors seem to have carried out their gruesome work on a spit of land extending into the lake where the bones were dumped, the researchers said.

They think it’s a battlefield because they were all males and showed trauma similar to battle wounds. There was one photo at the link, but I think the rest are unrelated.

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