The ghost fleet of Chuuk Lagoon: World’s biggest ship graveyard lies at site of WW2 battle where US crushed Japanese fleet
It is indeed ‘Chuuk’, formerly known as ‘Truk’ Lagoon. Lots of good photographs with decent captions.
I first learned about Truk/Chuuk Lagoon way back during the days of Jacques Cousteau, when they did an episode on the place. I think I remember seeing the car/truck in that one, and maybe the tank as well. Also the human remains. Obviously, some of the latter have been messed with, unless several of the sailors just happened to die with their heads all lined up together so it’s not an entirely pristine site. I wonder how much of the ordnance is still realistically live and how often any of it goes off.
Mary Rose reveals armour piercing cannonball secret
Among the items most exciting archaeologists are cannonballs believed to be early examples of armour-piercing rounds.
Such shells were thought to have been developed during the late 1800s, before the technology was refined during the world wars.
But the new findings by experts working with the Mary Rose Trust, which has been preserving the ship, now suggest the technology was being used several centuries earlier — although it could also have been a money-saving strategy, using cheaper iron inside the lead balls.
I immediately wondered if perhaps they were originally made to reduce cost and weight but only later discovered that they acted like armor piercing projectiles.
A new book has suggested that the field that has been commemorated for hundreds of years as the site of the Battle of Hastings may be a somewhat embarrassing case of mistaken identity. Historian John Grehan has reconsidered the evidence for the circumstances leading up to the battle and believes that it actually took place a mile away from the field that, in spite of a lack of 10,000 bodies or associated artefacts, has been accepted as the battlefield. It’s an interesting story, but needs to be tested by an excavation at the proposed new site. Still, I’m surprised that metal detector enthusiasts haven’t found anything yet if there’s something there to be found – it must be one of the areas where they are most active.
Archaeologists find site of biggest battle of 1855 Rogue River Indian Wars
Archaeologists and volunteers have found musket balls and other artifacts confirming the site of the biggest battle of the Rogue River Indian Wars nearly 150 years ago.
Southern Oregon University announced that the site of the 1855 Battle of Hungry Hill is on federal land west of Interstate 5 in Southern Oregon between Glendale and Sunny Valley, The Mail Tribune reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/Qbcain).
Pretty good set of cooperation between several folks in that one. One would think metal detectors would come in handy, looking for balls and such. Mapping those suckers would probably give you a good indication of where everyone was shooting from.
So only one amusing post: Swordfighting: Not What You Think It Is
To borrow a famous line, the problem with most people trying to understanding the true nature of historical sword combat is not that they’re ignorant — it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.
. . .
Fortunately, during the Medieval and Renaissance eras, hundreds of detailed instructional manuals were produced by expert Masters of Defense. These knights and professional instructors in arms wrote and illustrated immense technical treatises and books on their “science of self-defense.” Intended to preserve their secrets or instruct their students and patrons, these little-known works, some in excess of six hundred pages, represent time-capsules of the actual fighting systems and proven combative disciplines used at the time. Focused mostly on swordsmanship, these handbooks and study guides reveal highly sophisticated combat teachings. Further, their content and presentation is unmatched by any martial-arts literature from anywhere in the world. And we have dozens of them.
Almost a disappointing article because it doesn’t go into a whole lot of detail, mostly the author telling us how great he is and how everyone else gets it wrong. Still, some of the illustrations are worth looking at. I remember some swordplay trainers saying as much — that they weren’t teaching actors how to actually fight with a sword, or even fence for that matter — but they were teaching them how to make a sword fight look good which they say is probably almost as difficult as the real thing: it has to look good but not hurt anybody.
I imagine he’s right that we’d probably not recognize a real sword fight; we’d undoubtedly find it incredibly brutal and inelegant, but effective. As he notes, these practices were developed over a long time by people who were literally learning it in life and death situations.
acres hectares and a mule bodies, bodies everywhere
Macabre Archeology: Forty Hectares Of Remains Found In Denmark Bog
Forty hectares of remains have been found in Alken Enge bog located in in the Alken Enge wetlands near Lake Mossø in East Jutland, Denmark.
A fractured skull and a thigh bone hacked in half and numerous other finds of damaged human bones along with axes, spears, clubs and shields confirm that the bog at Alken Enge was the site of violent conflict. For almost two months, Project Manager Mads Kähler Holst, professor of archeology at Aarhus University, and a team of fifteen archaeologists and geologists have been working to excavate the remains of a large army that was sacrificed at the site around the time of the birth of Christ.
Pretty cool. It sounds like they think it might be from a single engagement over a large area. They have one photo of an axe with a wooden shaft still attached, but it doesn’t say whether it’s from that site. Nice if there are extensive remains of weaponry present, too, so you could get some indications of the kinds of weapons used and what sort of damage they caused.
Archaeologists dig up bog army bones in Denmark
Danish archaeologists said on Tuesday they had re-opened a mass grave of scores of slaughtered Iron Age warriors to find new clues about their fate and the bloody practices of Germanic tribes on the edge of the Roman Empire.
Bones of around 200 soldiers have already been found preserved in a peat bog near the village of Alken on Denmark’s Jutland peninsula.
Experts started digging again on Monday, saying they expected to find more bodies dating back 2,000 years to around the time of Christ.
No photos, sadly, so no idea how well preserved they are.
British hero ‘preserved’ in mud for 200 years
Among the thousands of men slain on the battlefield at Waterloo, he died, unrecognised and uncelebrated.
But almost 200 years later, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of the soldier – with the musket ball that felled him still between his ribs.
Historians believe he is from one of the Duke of Wellington’s British regiments, and described the discovery of the skeleton as one of the best ever war finds.
Some organics remain (besides the bones of course). Though why they have a photo of WWII, I have no idea.
Mass Grave Begins Revealing Soldiers’ Secrets
The morning of November 16, 1632 was foggy, so the mass killing could only begin after some delay. It wasn’t until midday that the mist cleared, finally allowing the Protestant army of Sweden’s King Gustav II Adolf to attack the Roman Catholic Habsburg imperial army led by Albrecht von Wallenstein. The slaughter lasted for hours in the field at the Saxon town of Lützen.
“In this battle the only rule that applied was, ‘him or me,’” says Maik Reichel. “It was better to stab your opponent one extra time just to ensure there was no chance of him standing up again.” The historian und former German parliamentarian for the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) is standing at the edge of a field on the outskirts of Lützen. After the battles here, the ground was soaked with blood. “About 20,000 men fought on each side and between 6,000 and 9,000 were killed,” estimates Reichel, who heads the museum in the city castle.
There’s not actually much information there on the results — which are still in the early stages — so in that sense it’s limited, but still worth reading for what actually happened.
Archaeologist will examine battleground land
Old buttons, musket balls, cannon shot, the bones of men — and animals, such as horses — who fought to free the colonies of King George: Who knows? It could be those or it could be nothing noteworthy that lies buried on the acre of north Main Street where an affordable housing project is proposed.
But 593 Main Street, where developer Patrick Downend seeks to build 16 apartments, is just north of the site where colonial militia set up a make-shift barricade to stop the British retreat from smoldering Danbury to ships off the coast of what it now Westport.
Seems like there’s not much chance of finding anything since the area’s been heavily disturbed, at least so sayeth the developer. But then, they say that a lot.