October 13, 2015

Historical/Aeronautical archaeology

Filed under: Aerial Archaeology, Historic — acagle @ 7:06 am

Buried Spitfire gives up its secrets: Archaeologists uncover precious items from plane that crashed during World War II

There’s not a lot of historical information here, but I appreciate these kinds of projects. And nice photos, too. Excellent view of the stratigraphy in one, with the dark peat overlying what looks like compact clay.

September 17, 2015

Hmmmmmm. . . . .

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:14 pm

Loot found by treasure hunters above Nazi gold train tunnel

Treasure hunters scouring the woods above the tunnel where the Nazi train is said to be hidden have claimed to have found a Nazi Eagle, gold coins and other WWII memorabilia which they say is ‘proof’ it may really be packed with priceless jewels.
The local two men, who refused to be named, recovered the ‘treasure’ from the hill in Walbrzych, Poland, which has become the centre of fevered speculation over the last two weeks, ever since it was revealed two men had ‘discovered’ a Nazi train hidden in a secret tunnel underneath it.
They showed MailOnline pictures of coins, a German helmet and a Nazi Eagle they found at the site, adding: ‘There is still a lot of treasure like this lying around. If that train is in the tunnel, it could well contain more of this, a lot more.’

DUnno, I’m starting to wonder if they might really be on to something. . . . . .

September 14, 2015

This sounds. . . . .fishy?

Filed under: Historic, Underwater archaeology — acagle @ 3:11 pm

It was either that or a cod piece joke.

Cod bones from Mary Rose reveal globalised fish trade in Tudor England

New stable isotope and ancient DNA analysis of the bones of stored cod provisions recovered from the wreck of the Tudor warship Mary Rose, which sank off the coast of southern England in 1545, has revealed that the fish in the ship’s stores had been caught in surprisingly distant waters: the northern North Sea and the fishing grounds of Iceland – despite England having well developed local fisheries by the 16th century. Test results from one of the sample bones has led archaeologists to suspect that some of the stored cod came from as far away as Newfoundland in eastern Canada.

I can imagine that preserved fish as provisions could have gone all over the place as it waited to be utilized. Ships would provision wherever they could and if you got a barrel o’ fish from one location you’d hang on to it until you used it, or even transfer it to another vessel. So I’m not sure I go along with the “lack of sufficient fisheries locally” idea.

September 9, 2015

Recent archaeology

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:30 pm

This is pretty neat: Archaeologists piece together how crew survived 1813 shipwreck in Alaska

Working closely with the U.S. Forest Service and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, an international team of researchers funded by the National Science Foundation has begun to piece together an archaeological and historical narrative of how the crew of the wrecked 19th century Russian-American Company sailing ship Neva survived the harsh subarctic winter.

“The items left behind by survivors provide a unique snapshot-in-time for January 1813, and might help us to understand the adaptations that allowed them to await rescue in a frigid, unfamiliar environment for almost a month,” said Dave McMahan of the Sitka Historical Society.

Only a month though.

August 6, 2015

Urban architectural archaeology?

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:08 pm

Sort of: See NYC’s Only Remaining Trace of the Original Penn Station

On West 31st Street, wedged in between a Park ‘n’ Lock and DVD store, stands the only remaining trace of the glorious original Penn Station. Scouting NY’s Nick Carr has turned his camera on the “granite behemoth” at 242 West 31st Street to discover that the building with curiously blacked-out windows and an industrial door is the original Penn Station’s service building. Designed by Charles McKim of McKim, Mead, & White, with William Symmes Richardson, the granite-faced building is where “all of the critical powering services to the original Penn Station” were produced, including electricity, heat, light, elevator hydraulics, compressed air, and refrigeration, the Municipal Art Society says.

You can find a lot of this stuff in most cities. I saw something about the old Penn Station sometime in the last few weeks but can’t remember what it was.

July 7, 2015

“It’s gold.”

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology, Historic — acagle @ 7:09 pm

Gold fillings and family grit helped solve the 71-year-old mystery of a veteran’s burial

First Lieutenant Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr was finally coming home.

For the better part of a century, the Medal of Honor recipient was literally lost to the chaos and carnage of World War II. His grave said “Buried at sea” but his family knew better. Sandy Bonnyman was entombed — somewhere.

The story of how Evans, a 53-year-old freelance journalist from Colorado, tracked down his grandfather’s remains is almost as incredible as Bonnyman’s heroics. It involves gunfights and flamethrowers, radar and drones, mass graves and a cadaver dog named Buster.

“It is incredible,” Evans said. “Just incredible.”

Nice story. Video at the link.

June 24, 2015

Battlefield archaeology

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology, Forensic archaeology, Historic — acagle @ 7:20 pm

Archaeologists plan to investigate burial site which could re-write 7th century Battle of Hatfield

The battle which killed England’s first Christian king, Edwin, has long been accepted to have taken place at Hatfield Chase near Doncaster. But the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society believes that the Pagan victory over the Northumbrians, in 632, could actually have been carried out in a Nottinghamshire village.

Suggesting that the connection with Doncaster exists primarily through word of mouth, they say there is a lack of evidence documenting the burials. Instead, they are seeking £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore a site in Cuckney.

It’s unfortunate the old burials were lost. Paleopathology!

Also saw this while I was there. Some kinda interesting reconstructions.

June 23, 2015

Griffin update

Filed under: Historic, Underwater archaeology — acagle @ 7:01 pm

Old story from a while back, but we here at ArchaeoBlog are constantly On The Story: Comments Off

June 16, 2015

Bodies, bodies everywhere

Filed under: Bodies, Cemeteries, Historic, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 7:04 pm

French archaeologists uncover ‘exceptional’ tomb of 350 year old corpse, believed to be noblewoman Louise de Quengo

The “exceptional” tomb of a noblewoman who lived during the 17th Century has been uncovered in France.

The remarkably preserved remains were unearthed by a team in the north-western city of Rennes, at the excavation site of the convent of the Jacobins, before the area is built over with a convention centre.

The 1.45 metre (five foot) corpse is believed to be that of Louise de Quengo, wife of the powerful noble Toussaint Perrien, who died in 1656 when she was in her 60s. Various local media reported that much of her hair, skin, internal organs and brain were still intact.

She also, apparently, had her husband’s heart in with her. No explanation as to why the preservation was so good though.

UPDATE: Guardian says it was a sealed lead coffin which could explain it.

UPDATE II: Video here. I’m a little surprised they didn’t really try to quarantine it while working to decrease the risk of contamination in case they want to do any genetic testing, etc.

May 20, 2015

Childhood archaeology?

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:26 pm

Colorado archaeologist excavates his childhood toys, discovers himself

In 2008, History Colorado archaeologist Thomas Carr discovered an artifact in his boyhood home in North Carolina: a piece of grey and green plastic sticking out of the dirt. He knelt to inspect it and soon realized it was a part of a model plane — one he’d built some three decades earlier. As his eyes focused, he noticed several more pieces of plastic. The archaeologist in him wanted to excavate. So he did just that, in an informal way, unearthing parts of a battleship, the U.S.S. Enterprise, a submarine, and other models that he’d built. In the process, he unearthed the memories and his childhood and new realizations about himself.

That’s neat. It’s mostly a radio story so you have to listen to it to get the whole story.

It was rather distressing the first time I was out on survey and actually found some of my old childhood toys. . .in an archaeological site. Not my personal toys, obviously, but the same ones I’d (or my brother) had. And yes, it was over 50 years old (as a whole), and no, they weren’t necessarily all that old, but still. . . .they were in an archaeological site.

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