Indeed. Touch-Free Archaeology Reveals History With “Lasers”, Drones
It seems counterintuitive, but sometimes archaeologists can learn more by not digging up the past. In fact, noninvasive methods—including lasers, ground-penetrating radar, and drone photography—are changing the way they do their work.
One of the latest examples: a project at Ammaia, in southern Portugal, where researchers have been able to create detailed, three-dimensional illustrations of a now-underground Roman village in its heyday.
Data from the site show that the town flourished in the first century A.D.—at its peak it was home to more than 2,000 inhabitants—but gradually declined in the fourth century. By the Middle Ages it was abandoned.
Digging anything up ought to be a last resort.
Archaeologists Unearth Ottoman War Camel in Austria
“The partly excavated skeleton was at first suspected to be a large horse or cattle. But one look at the cervical vertebrae, the lower jaw and the metacarpal bones immediately revealed that this was a camel,” said Dr Galik, who is the first author of the paper published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Camel bones have been found in Europe dating back to the Roman period. Isolated bones or incomplete skeletons are known from Mauerbach near Vienna as well as from Serbia and Belgium. But a complete camel skeleton is unique for Central Europe.
The original paper is here if you want to read the source.
have to do with archaeology?
Who knows? But see here.
Earliest known piece of polyphonic music discovered
Pretty neat. They have a video of a couple of guys singing it. It will sound strange to modern ears, and not like what one thinks of as typical chant.
Archaeology: book says Atlantis in Morocco
Scholars and archaeologists have beeing search for Atlantis for centuries. Some have identified it in Crete, others say the Greek island of Santorini, ans others still say Syracuse, Sicily. Now, perhaps, technology has dispelled the Atlantis doubts: according to Mark Adams’ US-published book “Meet me in Atlantis”, the lost city was located in Morocco, under the Pillars of Hercules, where Plato describes it well. In his thesis, Adams reverses the direction of most scholars’ research by asking what if Atlantis was not the sunken city, but a city destroyed by a terrible tsunami? Working with data analysis by German researcher Michael Hubner, Adam’s pinpointed the Souss plain in Agadir as location of where to find Atlantis ruins.
But it’s at the HuffPost so what do you expect: Rest for the King, No Rest for Native Americans
Today, the King of England will be deposited back into the earth. The public ceremony will be respectful and uncontroversial. Archaeologists will not write angry editorials, sign petitions or organize protests about Richard III, who died 530 years ago.
Richard III’s body was a treasure house for science and history. Discovered in 2012 under a Leicester parking lot, the skeleton of the last English monarch to die in battle quickly became the subject of intense public scrutiny. The archaeological study of the remains provided vital historical answers to the king’s controversial life and death. Just several bones and teeth offered science a wealth of data about the king’s origins, movements, lifestyle and diet. Yet, Richard III’s fate was not to be preserved in a museum but returned to a grave.
1) They carried out whatever analyses were deemed necessary without people demanding nothing be done with the remains “out of respect”.
2) He’s in an easily accessible tomb and can be disinterred at any time.
3) He was famous. The same pomp and circumstance are not performed on the hundreds, probably thousands, of other European skeletons found over the years, many of which — Europeans, mind you — are housed in European museums (the British Museum alone has over 6,000).
Hey, but other than that. . . . . .
You may recall an earlier post where I provided some names from a diary I have been reading in hopes that someone would find it and let me know some more of who this person was.
I don’t expect anyone here to know this but my latest diary may have a name: Clarence C. Lyons. He was born in Yakima, WA in 1936/37, died in Seattle (I think) around 2013. He dated someone named Barbara Ball (b. Jan. 8 1936) and also Shirley Noble (b. May 11, 1937). He lost his driver’s license for a year in January 1954.
Well, I found him:
Clarence Elsworth “Els” LYONS Age 71, born 11/30/35 to Samuel C. and Virginia B. (Taylor) Lyons in Everett, WA. He passed away 3/10/07 surrounded by family at home in Seattle, WA following a long, well-fought battle with Parkinson Disease. He was a 1955 Yakima High School graduate. He was in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves. He married Louise M. Rasmussen, 9/10/54 in Yakima, WA. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obituary.aspx?n=clarence-elsworth-lyons-els&pid=86880805#sthash.9nhamj8L.dpuf
For some reason, that name just didn’t (and still doesn’t) come up on a regular search engine, I only found it by going directly to the Seattle Times obit site. Yeah, I should have done that sooner, but I assumed that newspaper obits would come up on search engines. Not so, I guess.
Turns out he didn’t marry Barbara after all, he married Louise who he meets later on, in 1954.
And the BEST part is that he still owned his original 1939 Plymouth! My next goal is to track down that car and maybe get a look at it.
Stone-age Italians defleshed their dead
The cave—sealed off until its discovery in 1931—was uniquely able to preserve the human remains, which were mixed randomly with animal bones, broken pottery, and stone tools. This level of preservation is unusual: “Neolithic assemblages are often very challenging to interpret, as they are commonly broken, mixed up, and poorly preserved,” says Martin Smith, a biological anthropologist at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom, who was not involved in the research.
Neolithic communities typically buried their dead beneath or beside their homes or on the outskirts of settlements. But in this case, farmers from villages as far as 15 to 20 kilometers away scattered the defleshed bones of their dead in the upper chamber of Scaloria Cave. But why did they do it, and what does this tell us about how they viewed life and death?
The process isn’t all that unusual, a lot of people (as they mention) have prolonged burial rituals often involving leaving them out for decay to occur and then placing the (mostly) bones into common places. Often in smaller containers like ossuaries, or in caves like this. Up here in the Northwest, bodies were sometimes placed in trees or in canoes in trees and left there to decay and then the bones were collected and put in caves. Purposeful defleshing is less common, but not unknown; they usually just let natural decay do it for them. Maybe they defleshed some of the ones that just didn’t decay enough.
Excavation of World’s Oldest Subway Tunnel Remains Blocked
An appellate court ruled last week that the city was within its rights to block Bob Diamond from accessing the circa-1844 Long Island Rail Road tunnel he discovered in 1980, striking another blow to the rail buff’s efforts to continue his decades-long excavation of the historic tunnel, named the world’s oldest subway tunnel by the “Guinness Book of World Records.”
There’s really not much there and I hesitated to link to this because the picture is pretty unclear just what is going on. From a couple of the links there, it seems to have a lot of political intrigue going on.
Did a Volcanic Cataclysm 40,000 Years Ago Trigger the Final Demise of the Neanderthals?
The Campanian Ignimbrite (CI) eruption in Italy 40,000 years ago was one of the largest volcanic cataclysms in Europe and injected a significant amount of sulfur-dioxide (SO2) into the stratosphere. Scientists have long debated whether this eruption contributed to the final extinction of the Neanderthals. This new study by Benjamin A. Black and colleagues tests this hypothesis with a sophisticated climate model.
Black and colleagues write that the CI eruption approximately coincided with the final decline of Neanderthals as well as with dramatic territorial and cultural advances among anatomically modern humans. Because of this, the roles of climate, hominin competition, and volcanic sulfur cooling and acid deposition have been vigorously debated as causes of Neanderthal extinction.
As they note, Neanderthals had been declining before that, which is somewhat similar to the north american megafaunal extinctions so a single causative factor (e.g., hunting in that case) is hard to pin down.