January 24, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:48 am

We’ll be posting throughout the day since there seems to be a veritable stampede of archaeonews today.

More farting cattle, please Humans ‘may have saved world from ice age’

HUMANS may have unwittingly saved themselves from a looming ice age by interfering with the Earth’s climate, according to a new study.

The findings from a team of American climate experts suggest that were it not for greenhouse gases produced by humans, the world would be well on the way to a frozen Armageddon.

Scientists have traditionally viewed the relative stability of the Earth’s climate since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago as being due to natural causes, but there is evidence that changes in solar radiation and greenhouse gas concentrations should have driven the Earth towards glacial conditions over the last few thousand years.

What stopped it has been the activity of humans, both ancient and modern, argue the scientists.

We think a more likely explanation is that most climate scientists’ models are about as accurate and useful as most archaeologists’ models.

Web site update

Thierry Benderitter has put up some new pages on his El Kab site:

The tomb of Paheri:

http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/el_kab/pahery/e_pahery1.htm . This publication is the most complete illustrated publication on this tomb since 1894, to my knowledge.

The tomb of Ahmes son of Ibana:

http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/el_kab/ahmes/e_ahmes.htm You can find on the page the complete renowned autobiographical inscription.

The repository temple of Amenhotep III:

http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/el_kab/e_el_kab.htm

Semi-breaking news: Perfect mummy found in Egypt Two news reports here and here.

Pictures here (and text if you can read Japanese): EEF poster Kei Yamamoto explains:

Regarding the intact burial that the Waseda University team found in Dahshur

North, this article from a Japanese newspaper also provides the photograph

of the outer coffin. In addition, it identifies the tomb owner as an

administrative official named “Senu” and dates the tomb to “around 13th

Dynasty (ca. 3800 – 3600 years ago)”. The archaeologists believe that this

late MK tomb escaped plundering because there was a NK tomb (dated “ca.

3300-3100 years ago”) on top of it.

Archaeologists Show Off

Pot shards, glass bottles, animal bone and plant remains were only a few of the items on display at an open house sponsored by Santa Fe’s Friends of Archaeology on Wednesday.

The open house at the Office of Archaeological Studies offices near the Plaza featured items excavated from projects around the Santa Fe area, including a recent dig at the Palace of the Governors.

The event was a rare occasion. The last open house occurred some 10 years ago, said Jim Oore, a project director for the Office of Archaeological Studies. The Friends group had suggested the event, and the Office of Archaeological Studies was happy to oblige.

“We enjoy talking about what we do,” Oore said. “There are a lot of misconceptions about archaeology. I enjoy Indiana Jones movies as much as the next person. It’s not like that — anymore, anyway.”

Except, you know, we all look strikingly like either Indiana Jones or Lara Croft.



Such a beautiful bunch we are.

CSI: Mexico City

Evidence May Back Human Sacrifice Claims

It has long been a matter of contention: Was the Aztec and Mayan practice of human sacrifice as widespread and horrifying as the history books say? Or did the Spanish conquerors overstate it to make the Indians look primitive? In recent years archaeologists have been uncovering mounting physical evidence that corroborates the Spanish accounts in substance, if not number.

Using high-tech forensic tools, archaeologists are proving that pre-Hispanic sacrifices often involved children and a broad array of intentionally brutal killing methods.

Kind of a gruesome article, but informative.

[Update]

More on this from CNN and The Salt Lake Tribune.

January 22, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:55 am

It’s here! It’s here!



Happy birthday to us

Happy birthday to us

Happy birthday dear ArchaeoBlog

Happy birthday to us

Hard to believe that this vast repository of knowledge has only been in existence for a single solar cycle (it’s true, we checked it against various ancient texts and solar monuments). Even more amazing, the whole thing has not degenerated into serial postings of pictures and descriptions of cats, even while one of the little vermin is at this moment throwing various items off of the very desk at which this is being typed in a desperate bid for attention.

Forthwith, here is the introduction to our very first post:

Welcome to ArchaeoBlog, the source for news and views on the world

of archaeology. We here at ArchaeoBlog are dedicated to providing you, the

reader, with timely and entertaining links and commentary on all things

old and covered in dirt. Our crack team of researchers, analysts, writers,

photographers and copy editors travel the virtual world (and sometimes the

real one) to bring you the best that the Web has to offer. We employ

literally one person to do the massive amount of work necessary to inform

and amuse the Web readership.

The information here covers the range of archaeological inquiry, from gold

and silver to even more fascinating things such as sloth dung. Needless to

say. We try our darndest to make it all sound fascinating, but really,

there’s only so much one can do with sloth dung (writing about it anyway,

in a manner that will not cause sudden bouts of intense narcolepsy).

Nevertheless, we will try to cover a wide range of topics, all more or

less suitable for family viewing.

Come to think of it, we’re not sure sloth dung has ever come up, disregarding our specific mentions of it here. We will certainly try to rectify that in future, it being such a vital aspect of archaeological inquiry and all.

Now, besides the wide range of comestibles and alcoholic concoctions with which we plan to celebrate this auspicious occasion later on, we here at ArchaeoBlog do, in fact, have a certain sense of humor (usually rather morbid and/or decidely crude) especially where it involves some aspect of archaeology coupled with the suffering of professionals in the field — especially when it’s not one of us — and thus we have decided to fulfill our mission laid out above and to bring to you, our esteemed readers, a bit of actual archaeological humor derived from the vast archives of documentary material maintained by ArchaeoBlog and in the process create one of the longest run-on sentences ever to bless a blog.

Everyone in The Business knows the hazards of fieldwork. From bad food, bad water, lack of minimal creature comforts, and various forms of parasitic organisms bent on wreaking havoc on our mortal GI tracts, most of us have experienced them at one time of other. Sometimes several. This is never so fully realized than in those parts of the world that have yet to taste the wonders of modern high-technology capitalist living. But then, that’s usually where all the good stuff is, so we make do. Stories of suffering in lonely ignominy are usually told either seated around campfires or, more commonly, seated around small tables in the local bar and tend to only distribute themselves among the close-knit archaeological communities in which they occur. But now, thanks to the Internet, we may air our dirty, soiled laundry (see GI distress above) for all the world to see.

The following letter came into our possession during a bit of sorting through of some archival material pursuant to curating the collections of a recently retired colleague into the local museum. We aren’t usually in the habit of parsing through personal mail (unless it looks really juicy) but since this seemed to be directly associated both spatially and contextually with documentary material of some import, we decided to have a quick look. We were so impressed by the quality of the writing and how it so precisely conveyed the author’s immense distress throughout the ordeal, we just had to transcribe it and put it up here. We have changed all of the names in order to maintain some anonymity, though those directly involved will no doubt be immediately cognizant of the situation and the primary players involved. It needs no further introduction, but rest assured it is the genuine article and will no doubt go down in history as one of the great field stories of our time. Enjoy.

July 28, 1981

Dear Helen, Linda, Judy, Laura, Lisa’s Replacement, Prof. J.C. Adams – whom I hold personally responsible for exerting professional pressures such that I felt compelled to get grants that brought me back to this blazing lazaretto – and other members of the staff:

This will have to be brief, as every one of the twelve stitches in my abdomen vibrates with each key I strike; also, the only good bit of advice the quacks who masquerade as my medical advisors have given me is to drink lots of beer, so by this time of the day I tend to lose the top 30 or 40 points of my I.Q.

A full account of my recent adventures must await my return in January. I have reduced this account to only 3 or 4 speaking parts and I need only a few scenery changes to get across most of the drama. But as I know you all spend much of each day in earnest concern about my life and times, I’ll sketch a few recent details.

Dan Andrews woke me at 3:45 A.M., July 18th, as usual, so that we could start the generator, preparatory to another day’s work. Also as usual, after starting the generator I sought out a palm tree, which I had arbitrarily designated the Men’s Room, in order to return to Mother Egypt some of the liquids – the few liquids – left in my body after a night of sweating like a pig – to use my own neat metaphor. In the midst of these functions – familiar to you all in basic outline, if not in exact form – I experienced symptoms that my extensive medical knowledge, gained mainly from nurses and Marine Corps training films, led me inexorably to the conclusion that I had, overnight, developed second stage gonorrhea, or, alternatively, that my right kidney, ureter, and associated membra had caught fire.

I asked Mary Daley for some sort of urinary Drano, but she said that infections in this area were so rare in males that I should content myself with drinking lots of fluids. Our cook does nothing with solids or liquids that I can bear to describe, semi-nauseated as I still am, so I pumped in a lot of water and strode out to face the day. An argument had developed between Abdul Mohammed and our Egyptian (woman) inspector, such that I reluctantly had to stuff Abdul in the truck and head off on the 3 hour trip to Cairo, in order to straighten out the jurisdictional dispute. Abdul and I did the Nature of Cultural Process for about an hour on the road, when rather suddenly someone passed a white-hot coat hanger through my entire right urinary tract. Quickly reaffirming my belief in the Complete Calvinist canon, I lay on the steel bench in the back of the truck, told Abdul to try to find a Jewish doctor, and started exploring my body for my carotid artery – rumored to be near the throat – so that I could strangle myself to death if the pain returned. By the time we reached Cairo I had recovered to the extent that I did not want to die until I had one more dry martini. But a few minutes after arriving at the houseboat that serves as my principal residence in Cairo, the pain was returning to the point that I was exploring my Swiss Army knife for an edge sufficient for an abdomenectomy. Officials of **** got me into a taxi to go to the hospital, one of which was thought to be about 5 minutes away. There was a traffic jam, which I freely cursed at the time, but which probably saved my life, since when I got to the hospital the staff proved to know about as much about medicine as my cats. The basic idea here is that if you have pain below your waist, it’s probably a sprained ankle, but if it’s above your waist, or around your waist, it’s appendicitis. Drawing on an old Reader’s Digest article, I told the doctor that my lack of a fever and vomiting argued a kidney stone, but he just affected an Arabic accent and called for Sodium Pentothal. When I woke up I had no appendix, an absolute Christ-like gash in my side, and a real major-league pain in exactly the same place. Three opium-derivatives and a lot of hours later they began to think in terms of a kidney infection and began antibiotics – but only after Mary and Vicky had screamed at them. Finally, after 5 days in with those killers, Mary and Vicky unilaterally decided I was better off anywhere else and moved me to the apartment I’m now recuperating in. Subsequent medical exams show a large right kidney cyst, the infection of which was probably the cause of my problems. Jeanette Lynn Sager, my cherished co-director, and one of the great women of our generation, was offered my appendix for sale (c. 7 dollars) by the lab technician at the hospital. Absolute truth, I swear. She beat him down to about 1.40, but the clown never gave it to her.

So, I sit here in Cairo, ready to resume work in about a week. Vicky has been taking such good care of me that I’d probably have another appendix out, if I had one, just to stay here in air-conditioned comfort, but we have only 4 more months left to solve the once and for all the mysteries of Early Egyptian Agriculture.

Some news briefs: 1) the money from Susan arrived today – thank you, God Bless you, we’ll receipt this one down to the piaster; I can see them at accounting now: 1.40 for an appendix? 2) Did the galleys of my review for AM ANT ever arrive, Judy? And what about my cats? We loved your last letter and assume that by now Stan is bonding all over the place. 3) I received copies of the paper someone typed (which I have not finished) – thanks, I’ll see that appropriate presents are delivered – perhaps my appendix in a block of lucite; 4) Elizabeth Stock at AM ANTH wrote to me asking if I could review R. McC Adam’s book – if there are any letters about this please forward them, as I’m desperate to have the chance to do this and I have no confirmation that my letters to her have got through. 5) All is going well with the project; it’s going to be a 1-2 year thing to put it all together, but I think we’re doing extremely well, especially Fred Lyman, Dan Andrews, Mary Daley, and Janice. They have all been sick but disciplined and a pleasure to work with. Fred keeps tapping his field boots together three times and saying “Auntie Em, Auntie Em, I want to come home” but the man goes through the Bazaar like a devouring flame. 7) I received Dr. Adams’ letter concerning B. O’Donnell Johnson, and agree with his resolution of this.

I’ll try to write more frequently and individually in the future, but there has not been a whole lot of free time. But, as I said to Dan Andrews just before my kidney flamed out, “there ain’t nothing but good times ahead.”

January 21, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:05 pm

Special note: If any of you dear readers out there has some source that lays out the exact dimensions of Stonehenge — that is, the circumference, placements of the stones, and the sizes of each stone — please email them to the BLog address. Preferably of the original monument.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:12 pm

At least we don’t have this problem Professor’s Saturn Experiment Forgotten

David Atkinson spent 18 years designing an experiment for the unmanned space mission to Saturn. Now some pieces of it are lost in space. Someone forgot to turn on the instrument Atkinson needed to measure the winds on Saturn’s largest moon.

“The story is actually fairly gruesome,” the University of Idaho scientist said in an e-mail from Germany, the headquarters of the European Space Agency. “It was human error — the command to turn the instrument on was forgotten.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:37 am

Vikings in Iran? Danish Archaeologists in Search of Vikings in Iran

Researchers from the Copenhagen Museum in Denmark have traveled to the coasts of the Caspian Sea, northern Iran, in search of clues of relationships between Iranians and Vikings.

A few years ago, a researcher from the Copenhagen Museum, Nadia Haupt, discovered more than one thousand coins and relics that did not belong to the Danish or other Scandinavian cultures, and therefore set to find out more about the historical roots of the Danish civilization.

Well, why not Viking Iranians? After all there are Viking kittens.

No Incan Kittens though. Yet. Implications for the archaeology of warfare in the Andes

Using pre-Columbia Andean South American as a case study, Elizabeth Arkush and Charles Stanish of UCLA further the archaeological debate on the significance of warfare in societal development by re-examining current interpretations of the evidence of ritualized and defensive conflict in the ancient Andes.

Through their research, Arkush and Stanish propose that the incorrect interpretation of defensive architecture, ceremonial activity, and ritualized conflict has led previous scholars to discard warfare as an explanation or recast it as non-serious “ritual battle.” In an article that appears in the February 2005 issue of Current Anthropology, Arkush and Stanish argue that this misinterpretation has lead to an overly peaceful vision of the Andean past.

Chinese Oregonians update Remains found in Chinese section of former cemetery

Archaeologists have found human remains, apparently of a young person, beneath a vacant county-owned parking lot in southeast Portland near what was the Chinese section of the Lone Fir Cemetery.

The team found evidence of more than one coffin and a marble grave marker with a person’s last name etched in Chinese.

They covered the site and reburied the bones.

Think we blogged this a while back, but this seems to have a bit more info.

Oops. (Maybe) Park construction in Cahokia may have destroyed artifacts, critics say

A new mini-park on a triangular tract known as “the wedge” at the junction of Illinois routes 3 and 157 in Cahokia has drawn criticism from a preservationist who says priceless artifacts may have been destroyed.

“Studies have proved that the wedge is rich in prehistoric, historic Native American and French colonial antiquities, as well as artifacts from more recent times,” said Cahokia history buff Cheryl Kutheis.

Cahokia Village Clerk Normal Jones and Trustee Virginia Edwards agree the site’s historical value is priceless, but they insist nothing was harmed by constructing the memorial.

Treasure! A king’s treasure?

THE biggest archaeological excavation in Hampshire in years is uncovering amazing finds in Winchester city centre.

The dig, believed to be the biggest currently in the country, has revealed important information about a 1,000-year period of history.

The archaeologists have uncovered a coin from the reign of King Canute between 1013-35. He was the king who tried to hold back the sea to admonish his servile courtiers, reputedly near Town Quay in Southampton.

It is not known whether any toilets were discovered or whether the archaeologists on hand were excited about them.

Hooray! Falcons Fly to the Rescue of Ancient Herculaneum

After being buried in boiling mud when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, the ruined ancient city of Herculaneum is now being deluged with acidic pigeon droppings.

The situation has got so bad that archaeologists have called in three falcons to scare away the hundreds of pigeons that have set up home in the once-vibrant Roman town.

The birds will start work in Herculaneum next Monday and are expected to stay for at least a year.

Roman-Era Britons Lived In Suburbia

A spa treatment followed by a trip to the suburbs for a bit of shopping and dining sounds like a day in the life of a wealthy suburbanite, but it also could describe someone’s schedule from around the 1st century A.D., as archaeologists in Bath, England have identified an ancient suburb located outside of Bath’s main city center.

Since suburbs dating to the Roman period also have been found around other major cities, such as London, the finding adds to the evidence that suburban living is not a modern phenomenon.

And they all drove these really BIG chariots that drove the eco-Romans crazy.

Greek archaeologists prepare diorama of Alexander battle scene



Panayiotis Valmas, the head restorer at the Museum of Thebes, paints a tiny Macedonian toy soldier for the display

But really:

Shrine to Hercules unearthed

Rummaging in the dirt, Costas Kakoseos pulls up pieces of history steeped in legend.

It is an archaeological site dubbed “Hercules’ House” — the place, experts say, that the ancient Greeks may have held to be the mythological hero’s birthplace.

Thebes, an unattractive town about 70 kilometers (about 45 miles) north of Athens, stands on a spectacular buried heritage. The latest excavation, begun last February, revealed the remains of an altar and ancient dwellings used for more than 3,000 years.

January 20, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:13 pm

Weekly news from the EEF

Press report: “Intellectual life in Roman Alexandria”

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/726/heritage.htm

“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.” The halls are of late Roman (fifth to seventh century) date.

Press report: “Jordan foils smuggling of Egypt antiques”

http://feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/?sid=2def638499ac5802

“Jordanian customs agents have foiled an attempt to smuggle out of Egypt 24 copper statues dating back to the times of the pharaohs.” No other details.

[Submitted by Troy Sagrillo (netherworld@scarlet.be)]

Press report: “Monument Price Changes”

http://www.touregypt.net/news11152004.htm

“The Egyptian government has raised entrance ticket prices across the board. The increases range from 40% to 175%, with the average increase being around 75%.

Some follow-ups to the scanning of Tutankhamun in last issue:

– Description of the events, with some detail:

Press report “Pharaonic forensics”:

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/725/fr2.htm

1,700 images were taken. “Radiologist Hani Abdel-Rahman, who supervised the scan, said that the skull showed no signs of having been hit with a heavy object, a thesis first proposed following the study of x- rays at Liverpool University in 1968.” Also other mummies in the VoK will be scanned.

– Meanwhile yet more voices inside Egypt express misgivings about the scanning of Tutankhamun:

Press report “Row over mummy examination”

http://www.algomhuria.net.eg/gazette/2/

Some of the concerns raised were “The team that went to Luxor to examine Tutankhamon didn’t contain a single [CT scan] specialist” and “There should have first been a study of the effects of these

rays on the mummies.”

Other (and longer) press report on this topic:

“Mummy scan furore”

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/726/eg7.htm

With opinions like “What has been done by the Luxor Night Campaign [the scientific mission] is another zero to add to the group of zeros we have obtained already” and ” Safety precautions regarding unexpected natural phenomena [that could affect the mummy] were not taken into consideration”. As an aside, the matter of DNA came up again: “Mohamed Saleh, former director of the Egyptian Museum, said that when he was in office in the 1990s samples from 10 royal mummies at the Egyptian Museum were taken by foreign missions for DNA analysis, but until now no results

had been submitted.”

* The Myth of the Divine Birth:

a) Deir el-Bahari version (Hatshepsut) [D] date: 18th dyn.

– Hieroglyphic text: Urk. IV, 216-234 – pdf-file: 0.9 MB

URL: http://snipurl.com/c3wo

– English translation in: James Henry Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, vol. II, Chicago, 1906, sections 187-212

URL: http://library.case.edu/ksl/ecoll/books/breanc01/breanc01.html

– Drawings [= Édouard Naville, The temple of Deir el Bahari, Part II; London, 1896, pls. XLVI-LV] and English description

URL: http://www.maat-ka-ra.de/english/bauwerke/djeser/dj_portico_2_hall_birth.htm

* A Digitized book (in HTML) of The Baldwin Project,

“Bringing Yesterday’s Classics to Today’s Children”:

Jacob Abbott, Cleopatra (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1902)

http://snipurl.com/c1wq

[Next two items submitted by by Michael Tilgner]

Digitized book from the Library of the University of Heidelberg:

– William M. Flinders Petrie, A Season in Egypt 1887, Field & Tuer, London, 1888. 42 pp., 32 pls.

URL: http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/sammlung6/allg/buch.xml?docname=Petrie1887

Online Master’s thesis: Alexander Czmiel, Adäquate Markupsysteme für die digitale Behandlung altägyptischer Texte, Magisterarbeit im Fach Informationsverarbeitung, Universität zu Köln, 2003. 90 pp. – pdf-file: 1.4

MB

“Im theoretischen Teil der vorliegenden Arbeit wird versucht, bereits existierende Möglichkeiten und Techniken zur Behandlung des Problems der Überlappungen zusammenzutragen und zu beschreiben, sowie zu evaluieren,

welche davon am besten geeignet scheinen, um auf das Problem nicht-hierarchischer überlappender Strukturen, hier: beim Kommentieren demotischer Texte, angewandt zu werden. Der zweite Aspekt der vorliegenden Arbeit bezieht sich auf den Entwurf eines Softwaresystems, welches ein voll funktionsfähiges Plattform zur Verwaltung demotischer Textträger im Zusammenhang mit einer XML-Datenbank bietet.”

URL: http://www.hki.uni-koeln.de/studium/MA/MA_czmiel.pdf

Software for this work

German: http://lehre.hki.uni-koeln.de/demserv/login.jsp

(login: gast/gast)

English: http://lehre.hki.uni-koeln.de/texttool/index.htm

(login: guest/guest)

[Submitted by Albert Prince" (albert.prince1@btinternet.com)]

In view of all the attention on the scanning of Tutankhamun’s mummy, the following two recent papers may be of interest. Only the abstracts are available online for free:

– Eve Judith Lowenstein, “Paleodermatoses: lessons learned from mummies”, in: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Vol 50, issue 6 (June 2004), pp. 919-936.

Abstract: http://snipurl.com/c1wu

“This article provides an introduction and overview to paleodermatology, the branch of dermatology concerned with the evaluation of diseases associated with the integument by examination of ancient human remains….

The multidisciplinary approach used to study skin diseases found in mummies is briefly described. ”

– R. Van Tiggelen, “Ancient Egypt and radiology, a future for the past!”, in: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, issue 226 (November 2004), pp. 10-14.

Abstract: http://snipurl.com/c1wy

“Radiological examinations of mummies are used to detect frauds, to appreciate sex and age, and possible cause of death. As non-destructive tool it can reveal the nature of materials, presence of jewellery and amulets. The paper gives a brief history of major milestones in Belgium and abroad.”

[Submitted by Birgit Schoer (cipherbs@btinternet.com)]

C. Haigh, “Estimating Osteological Health in Ancient Egyptian Bone via Applications of Modern Radiological Technology”, in: Assemblage, University of Sheffield Graduate Students Journal of Archaeology, issue 5 (April 2000). In HTML.

http://www.shef.ac.uk/assem/5/haigh.html

“This paper offers a process evaluation of the use of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in the study of ancient human remains. The study was undertaken to assess the potential use of the DXA technique as a

non-invasive and non-destructive method of assessing bone health in an ancient population: poor diet, for example, could reasonably be expected to affect bone density.”

Grutz, Jane Waldron: “The Lost Portfolios of Robert Hay,” in: Saudi Aramco World, March/April 2003 (vol. 54.2), pp. 2-11, is available online in HTML [cp. EEFNEWS (251), paper version]:

http://snipurl.com/c3o8

“The Hay expedition’s renderings of Theban tomb decorations are among the most delightful – and accurate – anywhere. Hay’s own panoramic views provide reliable documentation of the small villages that bordered the Nile

almost 200 years ago.”

[Cp. http://www.qurna.org/hay.html]

Online BMCR review of William A. Johnson, ‘Bookrolls and Scribes in Oxyrhynchus’, University of Toronto Press, 2004.

http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/2005/2005-01-04.html

Study of the ancient Greek book in roll form, by presenting evidence from 317 papyrus rolls of known literature found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt.

[Submitted by Margarita Conde (margaconesc@auna.com)]

The Spanish Mission at Dra Abu el Naga has started work in TT1 and TT12. We have a diary (in Spanish)

on our web site to follow the work:

http://www.excavacionegipto.com

The Belgian Mission to Deir al-Barsha has put online infomation about its seasons 2002-2004:

http://millennium.arts.kuleuven.ac.be/bersha/

[Submitted by Sharon Avery Rychel (rychel@swbell.net)]

Dr Zahi Hawasss has moved and redesigned his website:

http://www.zahihawass.com/

[Submitted by Michael Tilgner]

“Tsentr egiptologicheskikh issledovanij” [Centre for egyptological studies] by the Russian Academy of Sciences

“The Centre for Egyptological Studies of Russian Academy of Sciences has been created in November of 1999 by the decree of the Presidium of the RAS.

The Centre originated from the Department of Egyptology that existed within the Institute of Oriental Studies of the RAS since 1992. … The Center concentrates its efforts on fundamental scientific studies and applied

research in the field of Egyptology.”

Russian: http://www.cesras.ru/

English: http://www.cesras.ru/eng/index.htm

End of EEF news

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:40 pm

Buncha stuff today, possibly more later, too.

More on Robson Bonnichsen

Robson Bonnichsen was destined to be an archaeologist. At seven years old, he boasted one of the largest arrowhead collections in his hometown of Filer, Idaho, and in his high school annual, his friends predicted that he would one day become a famous archaeologist.

When Bonnichsen died in his sleep on Dec. 25, he was serving as the director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M and was world renowned for his research after spending 44 years in the field of archaeology.

“When Rob got into that business when he was a kid, archaeology was a disorganized neo science,” said Bill Bonnichsen, Robson’s brother. “Rob’s work had a lot to do with making archaeology a much more rigorous and well respected science.”

Oh, great headline guys. . . .Archaeologists excited over old 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 archaeologists arrived in Wellington on Thursday to start a five-week project to collect and document information from historic sites along an inner-city bypass route.

Must. . . not. . . .make poop jokes. . . . .



Iron Age artefacts found in dig

Wooden and stone artefacts dating back up to 3,000 years found at a flood prevention site in Lincs have been described as “absolutely amazing”.

Archaeologists at the site near Lincoln have unearthed an extremely rare wooden bowl and a stone tablet.

About 20 people have been digging at the site since November and have uncovered more than 10,000 items.

Prehistoric huts found at Rueter-Hess site

A team of archaeologists looking for historical artifacts at the Rueter-Hess Reservoir construction site has found traces of huts used by nomadic tribes up to 5,000 years ago.

Centennial Archaeology Inc., an archaeological surveyor out of Fort Collins last month found “shallow, basin-type structures” five feet below the ground’s surface, said Chris Zier, owner of the company.

The “saucer-shaped depressions,” which are roughly 3 to 3.5 meters in diameter, were dug by tribes and covered by a crude brush structure made of sticks and other natural materials, he said.

Ancient burial boat unearthed

A joint Australian-Vietnamese archaeological team has unearthed a well-preserved burial boat belonging to the Dong Son culture that resided in the Red River region around 100BC.

The boat was discovered at Dong Xa Village in Kim Dong District in the northern province of Hung Yen during the team’s recent excavations investigating Dong Son textiles at waterlogged sites.

Members of the team regard it as an important find and, according to Professor Peter Bellwood of Australian National University, it may be the oldest existing log canoe in southeast Asia.

Archaeologists discover 6000-year-old rocky habitation in Jiroft region

Iranian archaeologists recently discovered a 6000-year-old rocky habitation with more than 800 cells in the Barez Mountains, east of the Halil-Rud River in southern Kerman Province, the director of the archaeological team working in the Halil-Rud River area said on Wednesday.

“The rocky village is located at a height of 250 meters with two and four square meter cells. The habitation is Iran’s most ancient rock residence ever discovered,” Davud Abyan added.

The Jiroft region was one of the first places where civilization and urbanization were established.

The return of. . .Gladiator

Gladiators- more showbusiness than slaughter

HEROIC fights to the death between enslaved gladiators never happened, according to a controversial new theory.

The research, which disputes images of ancient combat such as those seen in the Russell Crowe epic Gladiator, suggests that the fighters of yore would have far more in common with the overblown histrionics of modern-day premier league footballers or WWE wrestlers: highly trained, overpaid and pampered professionals with throngs of groupies – and an interest in not getting too badly injured.

Research into medieval and renaissance combat manuals has led one classical scholar to suggest that gladiatorial fighting had become more of a martial art at the beginning of the first millennium, a report in New Scientist reveals.

We’ve heard this before, that the traditional thumbs up/thumbs down shtick seen in movies was only occasionally done.

Neat news Anthropologists find 4.5 million-year-old hominid fossils in Ethiopia

Scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and seven other institutions have unearthed skeletal fossils of a human ancestor believed to have lived about 4.5 million years ago. The fossils, described in this week’s Nature (Jan. 20), will help scientists piece together the mysterious transformation of primitive chimp-like hominids into more human forms.

The fossils were retrieved from the Gona Study Area in northern Ethiopia, only one of two sites to yield fossil remains of Ardipithecus ramidus.

“A few windows are now opening in Africa to glance into the fossil evidence on the earliest hominids,” said IUB paleoanthropologist Sileshi Semaw, who led the research.

For those with subscriber access, the paper is here. Abstract:

Comparative biomolecular studies suggest that the last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, lived during the Late Miocene–Early Pliocene1, 2. Fossil evidence of Late Miocene–Early Pliocene hominid evolution is rare and limited to a few sites in Ethiopia3-5, Kenya6 and Chad7. Here we report new Early Pliocene hominid discoveries and their palaeoenvironmental context from the fossiliferous deposits of As Duma, Gona Western Margin (GWM), Afar, Ethiopia. The hominid dental anatomy (occlusal enamel thickness, absolute and relative size of the first and second lower molar crowns, and premolar crown and radicular anatomy) indicates attribution to Ardipithecus ramidus. The combined radioisotopic and palaeomagnetic data suggest an age of between 4.51 and 4.32 million years for the hominid finds at As Duma. Diverse sources of data (sedimentology, faunal composition, ecomorphological variables and stable carbon isotopic evidence from the palaeosols and fossil tooth enamel) indicate that the Early Pliocene As Duma sediments sample a moderate rainfall woodland and woodland/grassland.

Wine at the farm

Five wine presses surrounded the farmhouse, built in the third century BCE, on land between what today is Moshav Gan Sorek and the Tel Aviv-Ashdod highway.

The house had a few wings and an area of about 1,230 square meters (13,200 square feet). The quantities of wine produced in the five presses was more than required by those who lived there, meaning that the farm residents earned their livelihood from producing wine in commercial quantities. The wine apparently was produced for export and was shipped to Mediterranean countries via the nearby port at Yavne Yam (today Kibbutz Palmahim).

Okay, we’re going to post this before Mr. Computer decides to crash again. . . . .

January 19, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:26 pm

Just a couple of items today. Our exciting special post will be unfortunately delayed. Well, we’re having kind of a crappy day so this is probably it for now.

Website offers virtual tour of latest SFU archaeology theories

SFU’s museum of archaeology and ethnology is taking the archaeology out of its gallery exhibits and onto the web.

A new virtual exhibition, entitled A Journey To A New Land, presents current theories about the peopling of the New World and archaeological research in a readable, interactive format for a wide range of viewers, from primary age children to university students and armchair surfers.

Link to the museum site is here.

It’s not only Microsoft Ancient Egyptians Sold Fake Cats

Ancient Egyptian mummy wrappings hide a number of frauds and flaws, which a high-tech, digital X-ray machine recently exposed among the collections at Chicago’s Field Museum.

The machine saw through a mummified cat dated to approximately 500 B.C. that contained only twigs and cotton. It also revealed mummification tools that someone accidentally left inside a real mummy, and it solved a 15,000-year-old mystery surrounding what is believed to be the world’s oldest known mummy.

This sort of bait-and-switch is fairly common in Egypt. Bob Brier goes into this in his book “Egyptian Mummies” and mentions a passage from J.D. Ray (The Archive of Hor) wherein Hor tried to regulate the selling of ibis mummies as offerings since many of the supposed mummies were simply bones wrapped up to look like the real animal. This article looks at some other possible mummy studies too, from outside of Egypt.

Hmmmmmm. . . . New Chemical Testing Points to Ancient Origin for Burial Shroud of Jesus; Los Alamos Scientist Proves 1988 Carbon-14 Dating of the Shroud of Turin Used Invalid Rewoven Sample

Hmmmmmm. . . . New Chemical Testing Points to Ancient Origin for Burial Shroud of Jesus; Los Alamos Scientist Proves 1988 Carbon-14 Dating of the Shroud of Turin Used Invalid Rewoven Sample

The American Shroud of Turin Association for Research (AMSTAR), a scientific organization dedicated to research on the enigmatic Shroud of Turin, thought by many to be the burial cloth of the crucified Jesus of Nazareth, announced today that the 1988 Carbon-14 test was not done on the original burial cloth, but rather on a rewoven shroud patch creating an erroneous date for the actual age of the Shroud.

We’ll wait for other reactions. There are so many other problems with this thing it’s not exactly fatal to the shroud-as-fake hypothesis.

January 18, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:49 pm

We spent most of the day toiling through boxes of documents in the museum again today, so we only have a few items to report; more news tomorrow plus a special post.

TV alert The History Channel has a new series called Digging for the Truth. Haven’t seen anything else about it, so we can’t report on the quality. But really, do we need yet another program on Who Built the Freakin’ Pyramids???

Pristine Utah sites update Utah site reveals a new past

About 1,000 years ago in eastern Utah, someone stashed a quiver of arrows under a rock ledge. He – for the owner was almost certainly a man – had crafted them carefully from reeds, twigs and stone, held together with sinew. One was striped with black paint.

The man, a member of the Fremont culture, never came back – archaeologists found the quiver under a partly collapsed ledge last summer. Now, researchers are trying to figure out why he and the Fremonts disappeared.

Pretty good article on the sites and the disappearance of the Fremonts. Let’s hope they spend and AWFUL lot of time surveying before they start digging stuff up. Maybe this would be a good place to leave be for future generations.

Key to boost tourism ‘lies in the past’

MSPs are being urged to intervene to help unlock the tourism potential of one of Scotland’s most ancient historic areas.

Cramond has been shown by archaeologists to have been the site of human settlements as far back as 8500BC, through Roman times and up to the present.

And the future of the area was the subject of one of the earliest petitions to be considered by the Scottish Parliament.

Veteran campaigner Ronnie Guild succeeded in getting MSPs to launch an investigation when he made his plea five years ago.

Congratulations! CUC instructor unearths archaeology award

It’s about time–six thousand years, in fact.

Larry Herr, professor of religious studies at Canadian University College (CUC) in Lacombe, recently won the G. Ernest Wright Award during an American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) reception in San Antonio, Tex.

The archaeology award recognizes Herr’s work as author and editor of the fifth volume chronicling the Madaba Plains project, an ongoing excavation in the Middle East.

Madaba Plains, an area south of Jordan’s capital city of Amman, was Ammonite territory during ancient Biblical times–between 3000 and 400 BC. The Ammonites were often at war, but were sometimes allies with the Israelites. Madaba Plains was located along a key communications and commercial corridor

Chaos in Kashmir! Lost treasure

The research library of the department of Archives and Archaeology is in shambles. Thanks to the indifference of the officials, the library with thousands of rare books and manuscripts has turned into a heap of rags. While the books lie buried here and there under heaps of dust, the cupboards house the cups, saucers and spoons used to make and serve tea to the staff.

It’s an editorial.

January 17, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:07 pm

Online journal alert Came across this site while researching something or other earlier today: ARKAMANI: Sudan Journal of Archaeology and Anthropology

At least one of the links to the papers doesn’t work and at first glance it seems not to contain anything particularly recent, but the papers and links should be of some interest.

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