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.

April 20, 2015


Filed under: Historic, Remote Sensing — acagle @ 7:29 pm

Ghosts from the past brought back to life

Myriah Williams and Professor Paul Russell from Cambridge’s Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (ASNC), believe that a 16th century owner of the book, probably a man named Jaspar Gryffyth, summarily erased centuries’ worth of additional verse, doodles and marginalia which had been added to the manuscript as it changed hands throughout the years.

However, using a combination of ultraviolet light and photo editing software, the 16th century owner’s penchant for erasure has been partly reversed to reveal snatches of poetry which are previously unrecorded in the canon of Welsh verse. Currently, the texts are very fragmentary and in need of much more analysis, although they seem to be the continuation of a poem on the preceding page with a new poem added at the foot of the page.

“What do they study in the Pacific Northwest?”

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:25 pm

Mostly boring junk: Historical archaeology: Learning about, understanding our recent past

Historical archaeologists work on a wide range of sites all over Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Early missions like Cataldo near Coeur d’Alene (ca. 1850-1853) or military fortifications such as the Valley’s own Fort Walla Walla (active between 1858 and 1917) are studied to learn early European settlement and its effects on Native American peoples.

Homesteads, farmsteads, mines, railroads and trolley systems, roads and trails, whole neighborhoods and even irrigation ditches such as the circa-1905 Burlingame Gardena canal are examined for important trends in settlement patterns, technological advances, coping strategies during environmental and economic challenges and impacts from industrialization and urbanization on the American West.

Actually the historical stuff is more fun, in a way, because you recognize a lot of the stuff.

Except when you find your childhood toys in an archaeological site. That’s rough.

April 16, 2015

Some old junk

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:32 pm

Ummmm. . . . literally: 18th-Century Sex Toy Found In Ancient Latrine

Polish archaeologists digging an ancient latrine in the Baltic city of Gdańsk have stumbled upon a 250-year-old sex toy.

The phallic object is “large, thick, made of leather filled with bristles, and has a wooden tip,” the Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments in Gdansk said in a press release.

Dating from the second half of the 1700s, the artificial penis was found “preserved in excellent condition.”

Desert Fox

March 24, 2015

Richard III Update

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:04 pm

After all the initial hoopla. . .more hoopla! King Richard III begins final journey to the battlefield where he died 530 years ago

On Sunday, Richard’s coffin left the University of Leicester where it has been since the remarkable discovery, accompanied by the team who made the find, in a hearse to Fenn Lane Farm in the village of Dadlington, the site believed to be the closest to his death.

Richard fell fighting to hold onto his crown against the invading forces of Henry Tudor, later King Henry VII. William Shakespeare famously depicted him going down fighting shouting “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

Philippa Langley, a screenwriter who led the search for Richard III, said it was the end of an “extraordinary journey”.

I rather like the fact that they’re taking him past the battlefield. Makes for nice closure.

Argentine Nazis. . . . .I hate those guys.

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 6:58 pm

Argentine archaeologists find secret Nazi lair in jungle

A team of Argentine archaeologists investigating a series of ruins in the jungle, close to the border with Paraguay, believe they have discovered a secret Nazi lair.
The cluster of stone structures, now covered by thick vines and accessible only when using a machete to cut through the undergrowth, contain stashes of German coins from the late 1930s, fragments of “Made in Germany” porcelain, and Nazi symbols on the walls.
“We can find no other explanation as to why anyone would build these structures, at such great effort and expense, in a site which at that time was totally inaccessible, away from the local community, with material which is not typical of the regional architecture,” said Daniel Schavelzon, leader of the team.

Color me skeptical. The buildings just don’t strike me as something anyone would build in the 20th century. I would guess a more likely scenario is that older existing buildings were used as a hideout for a time by recalcitrant Nazis after the war.

March 10, 2015

Franklin Expedition update

Filed under: Historic, Underwater archaeology — acagle @ 7:00 pm

Ice divers and underwater archaeologists to study Franklin shipwreck

Not really much there, but I thought I’d send along the update anyway.

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