January 31, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:41 pm

There’s great heaping gobs of news today, but we’re horrendously busy with various database issues that we shall either post it all tonight or tomorrow. Thank you for your support.

[Update] Well, okay, we couldn’t let this one pass, even though it is not related to archaeology at all and only peripherally related to anthropology:

Monkeys Pay to See Female Monkey Bottoms

A new study found that male monkeys will give up their juice rewards in order to ogle pictures of female monkey’s bottoms. The way the experiment was set up, the act is akin to paying for the images, the researchers say.

The rhesus macaque monkeys also splurged on photos of top-dog counterparts, the high-ranking primates. Maybe that’s like you or me buying People magazine.

At least now we know it has a genetic basis. . .

Thanks to Ronski at The Perfect World

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:45 am

TV corner

Well, we caught the first half hour or so of Discovery’s Pompeii: The Last Day and based on that portion, we’ll give it a cautious. . .uhhhhh. . .trowel’s up. We liked the way they juxtaposed the reconstructions (i.e., movie sets) with actual footage of what the places look like today, so one can see how they reconstructed it. We also learned a few things, at least one of which we wish we hadn’t: that they used to A) Pee in pots out in the street (we’re kind of dubious about that one, but you never know), and B) That someone took the pee-pots away to dump into pools where slaves were busily washing the laundry with it. We don’t know what this particular bit of information is based on, but we’d rather not dwell on it. There seemed to be a lot of nice little bits thrown in on Daily Life in The First Century Roman Empire, which, we think, is a good thing. Too many times we get the Big Picture — wars and emperors and whatnot — and forget what people were actually doing 90% of the time.

One thing we’re not sure about: The increasing tendency to use very elaborate reconstructions, such that production values are very high and there are real actors actually acting in little vignettes about Daily Life in. . .etc. It’s kind of distracting — this is a documentary after all, right? — but we suppose it’s better than putting a bunch of production assistants in period costumes and having them play-fight battle scenes and such. Still, we question the interpretation that has to take place. Apparently, all high-class Roman citizens had British accents and were arrogant twits. But whatever, make up your own minds. We’ll watch the rest of it tonight and see if we change our minds.

Well, it’s about freakin’ time, County May Appoint Staff Archaeologist

For the past decade, developers have been erecting houses and office buildings on the sites of plantations, farms and historic houses in Prince William County without authoritative oversight from the county government.

On Tuesday, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors will decide whether to employ an archaeologist, a position that board Chairman Sean T. Connaughton (R) says is long overdue.

“Up to this point, we have had to depend on the applicants’ archaeological studies instead of having an independent review,” Connaughton said. “This is part of an ongoing effort of the county to ensure that we preserve as much of the county’s past as possible.”

Definitely ‘with’ Committee to discuss controversial Tara motorway

Proposals to build a controversial new motorway through the Hill of Tara in Co Meath will be discussed in detail next week by the Oireachtas joint Committee on Local Government.

At issue is whether the proposed road should be built with or without a proper archaeological dig of the locality.

Macchu Picchu in Maine. . . Maine’s Macchu Picchu in Warren?

Archaeologist Harbor Mitchell III of Camden will discuss aspects of this and other current archaeological questions, based on excavations he has conducted at several mid-coast sites, at Merryspring Park this Thursday, February 3rd, at 2:00 PM.

When the first European explorers visited Maine’s mid-coast in 1605, they found themselves in the heart of a resource-rich area that Indians had been utilizing for centuries. The natives they met along the coast spoke of the Bashabas, a sort of “superchief”, living nearby; whose rule extended over most of modern-day Maine. Tantalizing clues in the journals of Rosier and Champlain suggest that his abode was somewhere between Pemaquid and the Camden Hills, and much speculation is currently focusing on an artifact-rich site in Warren where Mitchell has conducted excavation that suggests as much as nine millenia of occupancy.

And Stonehenge in Russia Archaeologists find ‘Russian Stonehenge’

Russian archaeologists have found the site of a 4,000-year-old concentric wooden structure resembling Britain’s Stonehenge, the Art Newspaper reported Friday.

Evidence of the structure was found near Ryazan southeast of Moscow at the confluence of the Oka and Pronya rivers.

The area long known for its archaeological treasures was settled by tribes migrating from Eurasia thousands of years ago.

Dig unearths part of Chinooks’ past

To look at them, you would never guess they were important enough to hold off the bulldozers on a $5.6 million project.

What the archaeologists are calling “planks” are really just a suggestion of planks – dark, parallel stripes in the earth, so fragile the barest nudge of a hand trowel turns them to dust.

But the discovery of the planks here on the banks of the Columbia River last weekend was enough to put on hold the realignment of a section of Highway 101 in Pacific County. And it was enough to halt the construction of a portion of the new Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, which was to have opened this summer for the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration.

Think we posted something to this same story last week.

Stockton Web Site Highlights Archaelogical Findings

A major redevelopment project has changed the face of downtown Stockton. And during construction, crews unearthed layers of the city’s past.

An archaeological excavation was implemented, and it is now available on a Web site where children can learn about their hometown. Stockton’s new Web site is called City Beneath Your Feet.

Archaeologists unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts. The artifacts may have been trash for early settlers, but they are now big prizes for the city.

On the Web site, children can see the discoveries in a fun way, at home or in the classroom.

Kind of a neat site they link to.

More later.

January 28, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:14 pm

Weekly EEF news:

Press report (in German): “Imhoteps Statue”

URL: http://www.welt.de/data/2005/01/26/416137.html

A painted wooden statue assigned to Imhotep was found in the Cairo Museum.

Press report: “Digital Exploration: Unwrapping the Secrets of Damaged Manuscripts”


Brent Seales in the UK computer science department demonstrates his non-invasive scanning and software technology which may be the only way to retrieve information from currently inaccessible objects. The software is, e.g., able to “read” writing on two sides of a rolled up papyrus (that cannot be physically unwrapped). He is looking for objects to apply his system to. (#)

I had resisted forwarding this offtopic article URL on “magnetic therapy”, but my curiosity won…. For this article claims as an

Aside that “Cleopatra wore a naturally magnetic lodestone on her forehead to slow down the ageing process”, and that claim is often repeated on the Net. The question of course is: can someone

provide a Classical source for this claim?


Press report: “Painfully beautiful”


Travel report of a “cruise through the past”, through Upper Nubia.

Press report: “[Replica of] Tutmosis III statue decorates European Parliament HQ”:


Press report with a sum-up of recent Egyptological news, namely the subterranean water problems of the Esna Temple, the scanning of Tutankhamun, the moving of the statue of Ramses II, and the newly discovered Dahshur mummy:


[Submitted by Chris Bennett (cjbennett@sbcglobal.net)]

Roger Bagnall’s online CV webpage has links to PDFs of dozens of his papers [notably about Greek, Roman and Byzantine Egypt]:


[Submitted by Angiolo Menchetti (amenchetti@yahoo.it)]

I would like to signal that the update of the page of the Archeological Mission of the University of Pisa at Medinet Madi and Khelua (2003-2004) is online at the following URL:


[Submitted by Chris Bennett (cjbennett@sbcglobal.net)]

Website dedicated to Ptolemy, the famous scholar who worked in Alexandria in the 2nd c. AD:


The site is under construction, but a page with translations of some of Ptolemy’s lesser works (i.e. other than the ‘Geography’ and ‘Almagest’) is present at:


With ‘The Canobic Inscription’, ‘Phaseis’, ‘The Handy Tables’, ‘The Planetary Hypotheses’, ‘Analemma’, and ‘Planisphaerium’.

[Submitted by Michael Tilgner]

“Travellers in Egypt”


“Egypt has been a destination for travellers since time immemorial. Physical evidence of this is inscribed on the timeless stones of Giza and the Valley of the Kings. From as far back as 1200 BC, right through to the last

century, travellers wrote their names on the monuments in Egypt they reached after many adventures and difficulties. The graffiti they left marks their passage. These pages are dedicated to them, the most disparate of

travellers into the unknown.”

End of EEF news

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:36 am

Just a couple of items. We’ll have more, including the weekly EEF news this afternoon.

News from the Northwest I Dig unearths pieces of history

Ancient impressions of wooden planks, recently located near U.S. 101 west of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, could give archaeologists insight into the types of structures built along the Columbia River during the 1790s through the 1820s, an archaeologist on the project said Wednesday.

Known as the fur-trading period, it begins with Robert Gray’s discovery of the Columbia in 1792 and ends with the establishment of Fort Vancouver in 1825, said Doug Wilson, National Parks Service archaeologist with the Vancouver National Historic Reserve.

“This is an important period of transition in Northwest history,” he said. Historians know a great deal about what happened after 1825, but few artifacts remain from the fur-trading period, he said.

More here. Or basically the same here. Whatever.

Lewes artifacts may be from 2 sites

State archaeologists who studied artifacts found late last year on a Lewes beach now think a federal dredging crew may have struck two underwater historical sites on the bottom of Delaware Bay.

In the weeks following a $3.9 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project at Roosevelt Inlet, beachcombers found pieces of glass and pottery on the renourished beach.

The artifacts include green glass, a wide array of pottery and metal toys such as ship models and solders thought to date from 1720 to 1740.

January 27, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:13 pm

We obtained permission to post the following email sent to the EEF list. It highlights a “problem” we have examined several times on this blog, the extent to which dams and/or naturally rising water levels will actually “destroy” archaeological sites:

[In light of projected dams that risk inundating World Heritage sites

in the ANE, see


http://www.theartnewspaper.com/archaeology/archeology.asp ]

Regarding the construction of Dams and reservoirs in general:

First, it is my opinion that if the construction of a dam and reservoir is

important for the communities and country that it supports, then it should

not be blocked because archaeological sites will be inundated (unless, of

course, there are feasible alternatives).

Second, I would like to point out that we have very little idea what the

effect of submersion is on archaeological sites. I have pointed this out in

a conference paper given at the MIT Conference on Deep Water Archaeology in

2002. Yes, it is true that ‘wetsites’ and underwater terrestrial sites have

been excavated, but none of those sites have been explored BEFORE they were

inundated. Without a comparison of the before and after, it is unclear what

type of damage will occur to a site. In fact, if we take wetsites as an

example, there is a surprising level of preservation, particularly of

organic materials such as textiles and basketry. Given the right

conditions, the submersion of a site may be a blessing, protecting it from

looters and inexperienced archaeologists until such time as either the

reservoir is drained or when techniques and technologies of submerged

terrestrial site archaeology are perfected.

In my paper I suggested that before we operate on the assumption that

submersion is the destruction of a site, and perform destructive salvage

operations, a study of the effects of submersed terrestrial sites must be

done. And really, there is one very ideal location for this

study/experiment to take place: Lake Nasser, Egypt. Because of the

extensive work done in Nubia on the sites before submersion, one could

(theoretically) lead an expedition to examine these sites after 40+ years of

submersion in order to determine what effect the submersion has had on the

sites. I hypothesized based on a few smaller studies of wetsites that there

would be a surprising degree of preservation, particularly if silt had

covered the site within a few years of submersion.

To offer an example that is slightly different, but perhaps applicable, I am

currently excavating Predynastic and Early Dynastic material at Mendes in

the Egyptian Delta. It is clear for a number of reasons that the watertable

over the last 5000 years had fluctuated and at times had covered the

material that I am excavating. As of the beginning of our work in the

mid-1990’s (and to this day), the watertable has been 3m lower than where we

are excavating. There is no indication that the high water table has had

any effect on the cultural remains that we are finding. That includes

mudbrick, cylinder seal impressions, animal bone, pottery, etc.

Until I pursue the suggestions that I have made regarding Lake Nasser or

someone else does, I can’t help but wonder if salvage operations to ’save’

sites from submersion are the best approach. If the mosaics at Zeugma were

never salvaged (I don’t mean left exposed, I mean had the earth removed from

them), would the water have destroyed them? If not, they would still be in

their archaeological context for further study… (I don’t criticize the

excavators of the site; I mean it only as an example)

Matthew J. Adams

The Pennsylvania State University

This is an issue which requires some debate. Simply covering up a site with water doesn’t necessarily entail its “destruction”. In some ways and in some instances, it may actually preserve the site. We feel there needs to be some distinction between actual destruction of a site and it simply being inaccessible, the latter of which we think is not necessarily a bad thing given the unending (and demonstrable) destruction of sites we humans have been engaged in.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:46 am

Just a couple of items so far today. We’ll have the EEF news this afternoon.

Shroud of Turin update Turin shroud older than thought

Chemical analysis shows the cloth that formed the Shroud of Turin is up to 3000 years old (Image: NASA)

The Shroud of Turin, the piece of linen long-believed to have been wrapped around Jesus’ body after the crucifixion, is much older than radiocarbon tests suggest, according to new microchemical research.

Published in the 20 January issue of Thermochimica Acta, a peer-reviewed chemistry journal, the study dismisses the results of the 1988 carbon-14 dating.

At that time, three reputable laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona, concluded that the cloth on which the smudged outline of the body of a man is indelibly impressed was a medieval fake dating from 1260 to 1390, and not the burial cloth wrapped around the body of Christ.

We’ll reserve judgement on this. We are immediately skeptical of work conducted by a group that is apparently directed towards proving the Shroud is “real” to begin with, which STURP apparently does. Note this passage from the Shroud.com website: (http://www.shroud.com/message.htm): The only reason I am still involved with the Shroud of Turin is because knowing the unbiased facts continues to convince me of its authenticity. And I believe only a handful of people have really ever had access to all the unbiased facts. Anyone using the term “unbiased fact” that many times is clearly not at all unbiased.

We’ll wait to see reaction to this from other specialists, especially regarding the dates obtained that seem to make the dumb thing “between 1300 and 3000 years old”. Seems pretty reliable, fer sure.

Another useful headline Ancient tablets, coins found in Greece

The Greek Culture Ministry says residential construction in the city of Trikala has brought to light the remains of an ancient sanctuary to god Hermes.

The ministry says terracotta tablets dedicated to the deity of commerce were discovered near two greenish sandstone walls.

Other findings include bronze coins, pieces of broken bowls, as well as figurine fragments dating from Hellenistic and Roman times.

The find is located in the site of the ancient town of Trikke, home to the ancient world’s oldest and most renowned sanctuary.

Known to the Romans as Mercury and a member of the 12 god pantheon, Hermes was the messenger and herald of the gods, deity of science, eloquence and cunning, as well as patron of thieves and travellers.

That’s the whole thing.

Archaeologists eagerly home in on Parker digs

Five thousand years ago, a band of ancient people built homes on the edge of a stream in what is now Parker.

It was not a temporary camp, like so many of the archaeological discoveries made from that period of time. People here made large houses, some of them 24 feet across, with wood posts and walls of brush or hide. They probably spent months in the area and may have returned, again and again, over centuries.

News from Vietnam Archaeologists find ancient musical instruments

Musical instruments thought to be about 3,000 years old have been found by a team of Vietnamese archeologists.

Known as lithophones, the ancient instruments are typically made of 11 slabs of stone.

The lithophones were found in the southern province of Binh Duong in early January at a site that stretches some 20ha near a small hill in My Loc village in Tan My Commune of Tan Uyen District.

The broken instruments were buried deep in an 8sq.m pit, said Dr Bui Chi Hoang, deputy director of the Archaeology Centre of the Southern Institute for Social and Human Sciences.

January 26, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:02 am

Note: Either our network connection or Blogger’s end is being uppity today so it takes about 30 minutes of watching the browser grind away at a post, so we will probably not do any more updates today.

Unless something really REALLY cool happens.

UPDATE: Okay, we lied about not posting. All Web services seem to be functioning nominally. Here’s a couple more items.

Biblical Archaeology update II Archeologist unearths biblical controversy

Canadian archeologist Russell Adams’s interest is in Bronze Age and Iron Age copper production. He never intended to walk into archeology’s vicious debate over the historical accuracy of the Old Testament — a conflict likened by one historian to a pack of feral canines at each other’s throats.

Yet by coincidence, Prof. Adams of Hamilton’s McMaster University says, he and an international team of colleagues fit into place a significant piece of the puzzle of human history in the Middle East — unearthing information that points to the existence of the Bible’s vilified Kingdom of Edom at precisely the time the Bible says it existed, and contradicting widespread academic belief that it did not come into being until 200 years later.

Seems like a pretty good article, neatly putting everything in archaeological and political context.

Now there’s an informative headline Scientists Find Ancient Remains in Mexico

Scientists on Tuesday announced the discovery of the remains of 10 people, one dating back to 1,300 B.C., providing evidence of prehispanic cultures in Mexico City’s sprawling Chapultepec Park.

The scientists said at a news conference that they uncovered eight bodies last year near the park’s Chapultepec Castle. Two other bodies were discovered in separate places, one in 2000 and the other a few weeks ago, in the park’s forest. It was unclear how they died.

Archaeologist Guadalupe Espinosa said the discoveries were part of a project sponsored by the National Museum of History/Chapultepec Castle that has been investigating prehispanic cultures in the park.

That’s the whole thing.

7,000-year-old Village found in Ningbo

The Ningbo Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology announced this month that, after a 4-month excavation of 725 square meters, they have confirmed the discovery of a 7,000-year-old village of the early Hemudu culture.

The site is at Fujiashan in the Jiangbei District of Ningbo City, in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

According to a specialist from the institute, the site is one of the largest-scale, highest-yield and best-preserved sites in the province after the Hemudu site itself.

The relics excavated showed it to be a Neolithic site in the early stage of Hemudu culture, which involved cultivation, fishing, hunting and gathering.

Antiquities Market update Antiquities smugglers behind bars

POLICE seized several illegally excavated ancients works of art and arrested five Greeks suspected of trafficking in antiquities, authorities said on January 17.

During an undercover operation in northern Greece, in which officers posed as buyers, police confiscated nine artifacts, including two small brass statues depicting the Greek gods Apollo and Aphrodite and a clay statue of Athena, the ancient goddess of wisdom, dating from the fourth century BC.

Short article, but hey, one win for the good guys.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:32 am

Online journal alert Nigel Strudwick alerts us that a new issue of the British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan (BMSAES) is up. We’d like to promote this and urge everyone to have a look. Contact the BM and tell them if you like it. We rather prefer the idea of not publishing “issues” but simply putting up papers as they come in. We note that there was a fairly long hiatus between issues 3 and 4 (2 years).

Thus far, we haven’t really seen Web publishing of scholarly (i.e., peer-reviewed) articles take off as we thought it would. We suspect it may be largely a cost issue since there still needs to be people paid to process articles, send them out for review etc., and a good system of vetting them through free (not in the monetary sense) access. There’s a biomed online “journal” that seems to be working somewhat along these lines, but the name and URL escapes us at the moment.

Might also be that paper journals still hold pride of place among professionals. The Web, sadly, is still viewed as something of a free for all of dubious information, not to mention the fact that it can be difficult to cite a web site when the text can be changed with a few keystrokes and the URL can go up in smoke in a moment.

Show them the money! UTSA archaeology center awarded $2 million contract

The University of Texas at San Antonio Center for Archaeological Research received a $2 million contract by the Texas Department of Transportation.

The center will provide technical expertise and archaeological services statewide for road construction projects over the next two years.

UTSA’s center employs 35 people and is one of only two nonprofit educational institutions in Texas that competes with private organizations for archaeological services associated with state road construction contracts.

Biblical Archaeology update Scholar stresses Galilee archaeology

A close study of the archaeological evidence of first century Galilee provides a historical context for the movements of Jesus, says an Irish theologian.

And it is time that New Testament scholars paid closer attention to the recent archaeological discoveries that provide that historical context for the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

“It is time to bring spade and text together,” said Sean Freyne, the first of three internationally recognized experts to speak this week at Rocky Mountain College on the “Historical Jesus in the 21st Century.”

Money quote: Freyne, professor emeritus of theology at Trinity College in Dublin, told a crowd of about 250 packed into Taylor Auditorium that archaeological evidence should tell its own story, not with a predetermined goal to prove.


Seeing Clacton man in a new light

STOOPED, violent, unable to utter more than a grunt and hell-bent on terrifying innocent bystanders with Stanley knife-type weapons.

This is the image that archaeologists have painted of the ape-like man that lived in the Clacton area 400,000 years ago.

But new research has caused historians and archaeologists to re-evaluate the culture that has been dubbed “Clactonian”.

Until recently it was thought that crude, sharp-bladed flint weapons found off Jaywick in 1911 were evidence of an isolated, unsophisticated type of prehistoric ape-like man.

Roman work in Faliron stream

Last week’s heavy rainfall in Athens has led to the discovery of a Roman marble statue which had been apparently dumped in a streambed in the southern suburbs, an archaeologist said yesterday.

The 1.8-meter tall marble torso of a young man was spotted on Thursday night in the Pikrodafni streambed, in Palaio Faliron — near the intersection of Dimocratias and Pikrodafnis Streets — by a passer-by who alerted authorities, said Yiorgos Steinhauer, head of the Culture Ministry’s local antiquities department.

The first-century-AD work is a Roman copy of a fourth-century-BC classical original and possibly represents Apollo Lykeios. Steinhauer said the statue could have been recently discovered by builders during construction work, and dumped in the streambed for fear archaeologists might stop the works if alerted to the find.

That’s the whole thing.

January 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:26 am

Couple craft research into humanity’s roots

Using a needle several inches long, a hand surgeon slid wires into Nicholas Toth’s and Kathy Schick’s forearms and hands.

Then the two began chipping away, shaping simple stone tools the way that human ancestors did for millions of years. Signals began flowing along the wires in an experiment that helped to reveal which muscles are important in making tools.

Volunteering their bodies to figure that out is only one example of how far the husband-and-wife anthropologist team from Indiana University will go in their quest to understand the roots of humanity.

Hat tip to Andie at the Egyptology News Blog

More on toilet archaeology Archaeologists Lift Lids on New Zealand Toilets

Excited archaeologists are sifting through the contents of 150-year-old New Zealand toilets to get a better understanding of the everyday lives of early settlers.

Although there is plenty of oral and written history, there are gaps which can only be answered by lifting the lid on the sanitary habits of pioneering families, they say.

About 30 of New Zealand’s leading archeologists arrived in Wellington Thursday to start a five-week project to collect and document information from historic sites along an inner-city bypass route.

Antiquities Market update New hope for NH artifacts

Hundreds of rare artifacts collected by the late archaeologist Howard Sargent have been saved — at least for now — from the auction block.

The objects include tools and arrowheads excavated by Sargent, considered the grandfather of New Hampshire archaeology, from American Indian sites in the Merrimack and Pemigewasset River valleys throughout his career.

This seems good Protected since 1889, Goodman Point Pueblo slated for initial mapping in April

A 142-acre high-desert parcel a dozen miles northwest of Cortez so impressed federal officials in 1889 that they set it aside and made it off-limits to homesteaders.

They gave this protection to the ancient Indian village more than 15 years before the great pueblos of Chaco Canyon and spectacular cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde were so protected.

More sites from Iran 65 Archeological Sites Found in Moghan Plain

65 archaeological site have been found during the recent identification works in Moghan Plain, in Ardabil, Northwest of Iran.

With the first phase of studies by a joint team of foreign and domestic experts reaching completion, some 65 archeological sites were discovered in Moghan Plain of Ardabil.

Moghan Plain, located in the northernmost part of Ardabil Province, is a fertile agricultural area, where previously 6 other archeological sites were found.

According to head of the archeology team, Karim Alizadeh, the studies were based on aerial and satellite pictures provided years ago by Jason Alik Ur from New York State University.

The geographical coordinates of the area have been provided and samples and pictures have been taken, Alizadeh told CHN, adding that their detailed study would certainly take a long time.

Most of the 65 historical sites discovered date back to the Sassanid and Islamic times, yet remains and physical evidence found in 8 of them make them as old as the prehistoric times.

Alizadeh says that what makes these archeological areas really surprising is their compression. The only area with similar number of historical sites congested in such small areas is the Khuzestan Plain, in south parts of Iran, which is dotted with sites dating from prehistoric to Islamic eras.

Odd formatting to that page so we’ve posted the whole thing.

Lost city. . . .found! Explorers find ancient city in remote Peru jungle

An ancient walled city complex inhabited some 1,300 years ago by a culture later conquered by the Incas has been discovered deep in Peru’s Amazon jungle, explorers said on Tuesday.

US and Peruvian explorers uncovered the city, which may have been home to up to 10,000 people, after a month trekking in Peru’s northern rain forest and following up on years of investigation about a possible lost metropolis in the region.

The stone city, made up of five citadels at 9,186 feet above sea level, stretches over around 39 square miles and contains walls covered in carvings and figure paintings, exploration leader Sean Savoy told Reuters.

Ramesses on the move World archaeologists help move Ramses Statue to meit Rahina

The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) decided to seek help of world experts to move Ramses II Statue from the Ramses square, downtown Cairo, to a new location in Meit Rahina.

The expertise of the world experts will guarantee secure moving of the statue, said Zhai Hawas, the SCA Secretary General.

Meit Rehina is the village and area where the recumbent statue of R-II along with several other monuments in an open air museum area a few miles south of Cairo.

January 24, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:30 pm

Fight! Fight! (update) Plagiarism Charge Flies Over Discovery

A Peruvian archaeologist is hurling allegations of plagiarism and intellectual plunder at American colleagues over a barren desert landscape where a mysterious culture built pyramids nearly 5,000 years ago.

Peru’s government and some U.S. researchers have lined up firmly behind Ruth Shady, who has long researched the ruins of Caral, the oldest known city in the Americas. She contends that Americans Jonathan Haas and Winifred Creamer lifted conclusions from her work to advance their own broader study, published last month in the prestigious science journal Nature.

The article, based on radiocarbon dating of samples taken in three Peruvian valleys known collectively as the Norte Chico, attracted worldwide news coverage. The Chicago-area husband-and-wife team documented more than 20 major residential centers with platform mounds and pyramids along the Peruvian coast. The article showed that Caral was part of a complex society that flourished at the same time the pyramids of Egypt were being built.

We’re not sure what to make of this. Certainly, some of the blame goes to the press which — surprise, surprise — seems to have gone bonkers in crediting Haas and Creamer with everything. Still, the fact that several professionals have commented negatively on their work seems to argue that perhaps H&C did not, perhaps, extend enough professional courtesy to their South American colleague when publishing the work.

Fight! Fight! This time to the death. . . The mysterious end of Essex man

Archaeologists now believe two groups of early humans fought for dominance in ancient Britain – and the axe-wielders won

Divisions in British culture may be deeper than we thought. Scientists have discovered startling evidence that suggests different species of early humans may have fought to settle within our shores almost half a million years ago.

They have found that two different groups – one wielding hand-axes, the other using Stone Age Stanley knives to slash and kill – could have been rivals for control of ancient Britain.

‘The evidence is only tantalising, but it is intriguing,’ said palaeontologist Chris Stringer, of the Natural History Museum, London. ‘Certainly it suggests Britain may well have been multicultural 400,000 years ago.’

Update on Alexandrian lecture halls Intellectual life in Roman Alexandria

The discovery of lecture halls at Kom Al-Dikka has generated popular interest, hasty conclusions and a number of revelations. Jill Kamil assesses the evidence

The Polish mission at Kom Al-Dikka in Alexandria has made several exciting finds over the years, but their latest discovery hard on the heels of the establishment of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has set tongues buzzing.

Grzegorz Majcherek, director of the Polish-Egyptian mission which has been excavating at Kom Al-Dikka for the past 40 or more years, insists that overzealous journalists have rather too hastily linked this latest discovery in Alexandria to the ancient library.

“In fact, the newly-excavated complex of lecture halls brings us no closer to determining the actual position of the famous library of antiquity,” he says.

This seems like a good idea

Farmers given ancient site advice

A new service has been launched to advise farmers and estate managers in North Yorkshire how to preserve important ancient sites on their land.

The county council has appointed Linda Smith to the new post of rural archaeologist.

She will advise on how land can be farmed without damaging historic landscape features.

This seems preferable to having a bunch of archaeologists blasting in after the fact and telling landowners what they shouldn’t have done. The problem, of course, will be documenting where all the stuff is so they can let people know ahead of time.

Not that Angola Group digs for artifacts, memories of Angola

On a quiet, residential street, archaeologist Bill Burger goes about his task, digging holes in yards and methodically sifting through piles of dirt. He perks up when a round, black piece of glass emerges in his shaker box.

His hands, deft at sifting after decades of archaeology work, finger a sliver of black glass. It fits perfectly into the side of the broken chunk of glass he has just unearthed.

“That’s about as exciting as we’ve seen so far,” Burger said about his recent find.

Actually, a very interesting project from the looks of it.

Not aerial archaeology CAVE MAY REVEAL SECRETS OF PAST

Archaeologists are hoping investigation of a cave on the Isle of Skye will provide a snapshot of life 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.

Skye-based archaeologists Steven Birch, Martin Wildgoose and George Kozikowski began work on the site at Uamh an Ard Achadh – also known as High Pasture Cave – at Strath last year and have secured Highland Council and European Leader+ funding to continue their investigations this year.

Finds so far have included stone, iron, antler and bone tools; remnants of pottery; around 6,000 pieces of animal bone; a tooth from a brown bear and a wolf canine.

Classical treasures threatened by Vesuvius

An earthquake or volcanic eruption is likely to destroy a library of ancient books at Herculaneum, near Pompeii, before they can be excavated unless urgent action is taken, according to the founder of a new group based in Oxford.

Scientists have discovered new ways to read 1,800 charred manuscript scrolls already found in the ruins of the so-called Villa of Papyri at Herculaneum, a city that, like neighbouring Pompeii, was buried in volcanic matter when Vesuvius erupted in AD79.

Key quote: But strong opposition to immediate excavation came from Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, director of the British School at Rome and an acknowledged expert on Herculaneum.

“It would be a scandal to expose the Villa of the Papyri to the daylight now, before we can guarantee that it would be saved for the future,” he said.

We tend to agree with this. Certainly there is the possibility that a new earthquake or eruption could distroy the existing (buried) remains, but our money is on 2,000 years of preservation up to this point. People have a far worse track record.

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