June 18, 2020

I was going to be all snarky. . . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:39 am

But then, just when you think “Ha, no one would be that crazy…..”
Archaeologists, activists alarmed by online calls to demolish Pyramids

The hashtag #pyramids has been widely circulating on Twitter in recent days, but not for the reasons one might expect. The fact that Cairo is preparing to reopen the country for tourism within weeks or that many travelers are eagerly waiting for the coronavirus threat to subside, to visit Egypt — if only to feast their eyes on the centuries-old monuments in Giza — has little to do with the viral hashtag.
Oddly enough, the Pyramids have instead been cited multiple times in an online discussion between Twitter users on whether or not these massive structures built as tombs for the pharaohs of Egypt’s Old Kingdom more than 4,000 years ago should be torn down for allegedly having been built by “slaves.”
“Take down the #Pyramids. Slaves built them!” was one tweet advocating destruction of the monuments that have stood the test of time.

The mob knows no bounds.

June 16, 2020

But of course

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:12 am

What the archaeological record reveals about epidemics throughout history – and the human response to them

The previous pandemics to which people often compare COVID-19 – the influenza pandemic of 1918, the Black Death bubonic plague (1342-1353), the Justinian plague (541-542) – don’t seem that long ago to archaeologists. We’re used to thinking about people who lived many centuries or even millennia ago. Evidence found directly on skeletons shows that infectious diseases have been with us since our beginnings as a species.

Except this is nothing like either one of those save that it is a disease.

June 11, 2020

Hey, something funny is going on.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:28 am

I just checked the actual site and it looks like the raw HTML code is being displayed.

I am going to try to figure this out and fix it.

June 8, 2020

I knew they’d find them if they’d just wait. . . . . and wait. . . . . .and wait. . . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:17 pm

<a href=”https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/06/305224/archaeologists-discover-ancient-flint-quartzite-tools-in-casablanca/”>Archaeologists Discover Ancient Flint, Quartzite Tools in Casablanca</a>

<blockquote>A Moroccan-French scientific team has discovered ancient flint and quartzite tools dating back more than one million years in the “Thomas I” site in Casablanca, Morocco’s Ministry of Culture announced on June 8 in a press release.

The discovered small stone tools, not exceeding six centimeters in length, date back to the Acheulean civilization in Africa. The Acheulean civilization, estimated to have existed between 1.76 and 0.13 million years ago, is known for developing distinctive stone tools.</blockquote>

Point of Parliamentary procedure though: It wasn’t really a “civilization”.

January 2, 2019

WOW! A NEW POST!!!!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 11:32 am

I got this paper via another site: The Paleolithic-Mesolithic Transition

Can’t really say much about it, it’s more or less of a summary sort of thing on the transition to the Mesolithic (it’s from 2009). THis line kind of struck me:

For the archaeologist, the most easily accessible data are relevant to technology.

Well, yeah, pretty much the only thing available to archaeologists. . . . . .

March 15, 2017

Mesoamerican democracy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:49 pm

It wasn’t just Greece: Archaeologists find early democratic societies in the Americas

Both cities support Blanton and Fargher’s belief that the best predictor of collective rule is a strong internal revenue source—that is, taxes. Revenue sources are admittedly difficult to detect from artifacts and buildings. But after surveying 30 premodern societies documented ethnographically and historically, the researchers found that states with internal revenue sources were characterized by a high level of public goods and services, a strong governmental bureaucracy, and citizens empowered to judge the ruler’s actions. “When taxpayers are paying for the state, then the people in charge know they have to do the right thing,” Blanton says.

Collective states may have another tendency that can be spotted archaeologically: They attract people from beyond their borders, who bring artifacts that can be linked to other cultures. “When you have a collective formation that’s funded by internal resources, it’s in the interest of those in government to bring in more people,” says Gary Feinman, an archaeologist at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, and a co-author on Blanton’s 1996 paper. Economic equality and markets may also attract immigrants to collective societies. “People move where they think there’s better opportunity—where they can make a living, where their kids are going to do better than they did. That’s always a motivation,” Feinman says.

Interesting read, although I’m not sure what to make of it. I’m a bit skeptical that one can get political organization from material remains.

I knew Feinman from my undergraduate day, btw.

March 8, 2017

Down the rabbit hole. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 4:12 pm


A rabbit hole in the UK conceals the entrance to an incredible cave complex linked to the mysterious Knights Templar.

New photos show the remarkable Caynton Caves network, which looks like something out of the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” The shadowy Knights Templar order is said to have used the caves.

The Sun reports that the caves are hidden beneath a farmer’s field in Shropshire. The site was visited by photographer Michael Scott after he saw a video of the caves online. “I traipsed over a field to find it, but if you didn’t know it was there you would just walk right past it,” Scott said.

February 21, 2017

What to do, what to do. . . .with all those artifacts.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:41 pm

Artifacts down the street: Exploring urban archaeology: Archaeologists continually unearth artifacts in our cities. It’s time to showcase them.

But after the artifacts are dug out of the ground, what comes next? Today, many municipalities are grappling with how to take care of their artifacts and preserve them for future study. While archaeological finds abound in a City like Toronto, they’re not currently housed in a single location. Currently, artifacts—whether pottery, shoes, furniture, or glassware—are documented and stored by the licensed consulting archaeologists who discover them. They wind up kept in offices, storage lockers, garages, and basements. What good are archaeological excavations and keeping all this stuff if no one looks at it and our stories remain buried in boxes?

Nice ideas but it will take an obscene amount of $$$$$.

January 23, 2017

All fall down. . . .twice.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:49 pm

Archaeologists uncover new clues to Maya collapse

Archaeologists have long puzzled over what caused what is known as the Classic Maya collapse in the ninth century A.D., when many of the ancient civilization’s cities were abandoned. More recent investigations have revealed that the Maya also experienced an earlier collapse in the second century A.D. — now called the Preclassic collapse — that is even more poorly understood.

University of Arizona archaeologist Takeshi Inomata and his colleagues suggest in a new paper, to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that both collapses followed similar trajectories, with multiple waves of social instability, warfare and political crises leading to the rapid fall of many city centers.

The findings are based on a highly refined chronology developed by Inomata and his colleagues using an unprecedented 154 radiocarbon dates from the archaeological site of Ceibal in Guatemala, where the team has worked for over a decade.

While more general chronologies might suggest that the Maya collapses occurred gradually, this new, more precise chronology indicates more complex patterns of political crises and recoveries leading up to each collapse.

As they note, they don’t really explain why, but getting a handle on the chronology is a big first step.

The Pompeii Principle in action

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:45 pm

The truth is in the garbage: New research examines ancient Roman trash

I’m surprised (sort of) that this hasn’t been done before. The article makes it seem surprising that they wold be “recycling” lots of stuff, but that may not be surprising; it’s all in cost-benefit calculations. Then again, I’ve dug through dumps and there’s plenty of junk in them. But re-use, especially with lithics, can play havoc with functional analyses.

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