September 30, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:28 pm

Gone fishin’

The ArchaeoBlog staff will be taking a break for a week while we go play in the great outdoors. Posts will resume on Oct. 10 or so. Please refrain from making any stupendous discoveries until then. Thank you for your support.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:32 pm

Breaking news Statues of Ancient Goddesses Discovered

The life-sized marble statues of two ancient Greek goddesses have emerged during excavations of a 5,000-year-old town on the island of Crete, archaeologists said Friday.

The works, representing the goddesses Athena and Hera, date to between the second and fourth centuries — during the period of Roman rule in Greece — and originally decorated the Roman theater in the town of Gortyn, archaeologist Anna Micheli from the Italian School of Archaeology told The Associated Press.

“They are in very good condition,” she said, adding that the statue of Athena, goddess of wisdom, was complete, while Hera — long-suffering wife of Zeus, the philandering king of gods — was headless.

You should thank us for not making a joke there.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:34 am

Katrina stuff Time, tumult and the science of survival

From the millennial perspective of archeology, episodes of collapse — settlement abandonments, dramatic regional shifts in power and population, and even cataclysmic events–are a regular feature of humankind’s global history.

. . .

Nevertheless, when we read headlines that question whether the recent catastrophe was natural or human-induced or witness the political blame game over bungled responses to Hurricane Katrina, we believe that it is also important to take a step back.

From a longer-term perspective, the disaster along the Gulf of Mexico is one that hauntingly reminds us of cases of past societal change and collapse. In such situations, the challenges of the environment repeatedly were not met and human decisions often exacerbated an initial ecological challenge. The results were disasters far worse than the initial damage or threat caused by nature.

When the Netherlands flooded in the 1960s they embarked on a massive flood control program. When New Orleans floods, we go into a tizzy and question our survival. Sheesh.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:30 am

Homo hobbitus update New ‘Hobbit’ disease link claim

Scientists are to present new evidence that the tiny human species dubbed “The Hobbit” may not be what it seems.

The researchers say their findings strongly support an idea that the 1m- (3ft-) tall female skeleton from Indonesia is a diseased modern human.

Their claims have been aired in a BBC Horizon programme screened on Thursday.

Upshot: Professor Bob Martin, one of the team that is set to publish new evidence challenging the discovery team’s original interpretation, says the Hobbit’s brain is “worryingly” small and contradicts a fundamental law of biology.

“What this law says in simple terms is that if you halve body size, brain size is only reduced by 15%,” he told the BBC’s Horizon programme.

“So if you halve body size you don’t halve brain size, the brain is reduced far less than that.”

The main problem with the disease hypothesis is (as mentioned in the article) the finding of other similar individuals. OTOH, we don’t think this story is done yet.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:24 am

Experimental archaeology gone awry Ancient boat just won’t float

Anthropology professor Gregory Possehl’s boat currently rests 6,000 feet beneath the Arabian Sea.

After only hours on the water, the Magan III, a 40-foot boat made of reeds and bitumen — a tar-like substance — began sinking as heavy winds rocked the craft and water spilled over the sides.

“At 8:30, I heard the boat was in trouble, and at about 10 to nine I heard the boat had sunk,” said Possehl, curator of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s Asian section.

We’re still wary of these sorts of projects. They no doubt give some idea of the difficulties in creating things, but on the other hand, the ancient people had hundreds of years to develop techniques for building and operating things that we would have no way of accessing. We tend to think it probably provides a false sense of security over what we know about ancient technology.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:22 am


Archaeologists hope to unearth the secrets of some of Scotland’s earliest settlers during a week-long excavation in the north-east.

A Mesolithic site, dating as far back as 8,000BC, was uncovered on the outskirts of Kintore in October last year.

Murray Cook, who is leading the excavation, now plans to return to the site this weekend to try to piece together the history of the area.

Mr Cook, of Edinburgh-based AOC Archaeology, which recently opened an office in Aberdeen, said: “We are looking at the earliest settlement in Aberdeenshire, if not Scotland.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:21 am

Mexico Indians fete disputed bones of Aztec emperor

Decked in glittering Aztec costumes with towering feather headdresses, Mexican Indians paid tribute on Monday to what they said were the bones of the last Aztec emperor, buried in a hilltop town nearly 500 years ago.

Nahua Indian men in gold, red and green warrior dress and women in “huipil” tunics danced with bells on their ankles and wafted incense over the disputed tomb of the emperor Cuauhtemoc to mark the anniversary of the day in 1949 when his remains were exhumed in the mountains of central Mexico.

A refusal by Mexican authorities to accept the bones as authentic, and local squabbling over who should guard them, marred the annual festivities around the blackened skeleton many indigenous Mexicans consider a sacred treasure.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:18 am


AN archeological dig in Alcester has unearthed what are thought to be the remains of a Roman fort.

For many years archeologists and historians have thought that a Roman fort existed under part of modern Alcester. But it had not been possible to prove this theory until this week.

Since July, a team from Archaeological Investigations Ltd of Hereford has been digging in Bleachfield Street on the site of a proposed housing development. The excavation, funded by the developer, Laing Homes Limited Midlands, has been very productive.

Through a combination of shovel and resistivity survey, two (or possibly three) parallel, deep ditches have been located at the southern end of the site. These are likely to form part of the defences of a Roman fort and would have surrounded a rampart topped with a wooden palisade.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:15 am

Lost city. . . .found! Long-Sought Maya City Found in Guatemala

No text for this because this is the site that got Windows’ panties all in a knot. Actually, it’s Firefox that’s crashing, but it’s bringing the whole thing down with it, so we blame Winblows for even allowing such a thing. If anyone can find a bug fix, please let us know.

More here.

And More here, too.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:14 am

World Renowned Archaeologists Come to Burnt City

The ninth season of archaeological excavations and studies in the historical site of Burnt City in Sistan va Baluchistan will commence with participation of figures from all around the world, some of whom will be seeing the site for the first time ever.

Burnt City is one of the key historical sites of Iran. Located in the south eastern province of Sistan va Baluchistan, the city has had booming times in trade and culture some 5000 years ago, considered an important civilization. The first excavations there were carried out by Italians, followed later on by Iranian experts some 27 years ago.

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