May 31, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:15 pm

NOTE: Blogger is being wonky today so a bunch of articles are being linked within one post.

Someone named “Petty Piper” has a blog post comparing Looting and Archaeology (no copying of text seems to be allowed, so this is a transcript):

Archaeologists are paid just like looters. The only difference is what each sect prioritizes. Archaeolgists prioritize the history behind the artifacts, while looters value the sale price. The end result is the same, though; this item is taken from it’s (sic) home to sit on a shelf somewhere else.

There’s a grain of truth in the post, obviously, but as About.Com’s Kris Hirst puts it in the Comments, the end result is not the same, except in a very limited sense.

Researchers find ancient pottery operation at Angel Mounds

An archaeological dig at southern Indiana’s Angel Mounds complex has uncovered a pottery-making operation that reveals the artistic skills of the Indians who lived there hundreds of years ago.

Indiana University researchers believe they’ve uncovered remains of a potter’s house once used by the Indians who inhabited the area overlooking the Ohio River from 1100 to 1450 A.D.

Excavations have revealed pottery tools and masses of prepared but unfired clay awaiting shaping into bowls, jars or figures which suggest that the structure that once stood there was used to make the pottery now found in shards across the site.

Seems like a great site. It’s being dug as a field school.

Use of dumb archaeological pun #144,397 Can you dig it?

IT is hard to imagine the job of an archaeologist being a money-spinning one.
But surprisingly much of Rachel Grahame’s work as a projects officer at Hartlepool-based Tees Archaeology is commercial.
Rachel said: “Some of the things we do are community excavations like the one at Catcote. But 90 per cent of what we do is commercial.
“If somebody’s building something then they quite often have to pay for archaeologists as part of their planning consent.
“So if you’re building a housing estate on top of a Roman Villa you have to pay to have it excavated first.”

It’s mostly an interview of this one person.

We do that Archaeologists seek to plumb mysteries of ancient tribe

Archaeologists are seeking funding to learn more about the Saponi Indians, a little-known tribe that centuries ago lived at what is now the site of the Smith Mountain Dam.

Howard MacCord, chairman of the research projects committee for the Archaeological Society of Virginia, said the society wants to complete the work of Carl F. Miller. The archaeologist collected artifacts in 1963 and 1964 during construction of the Smith Mountain Dam.

“It was the site of an Indian village and it is all under water now,” he said. “It is important that this be done some day. It has been over 40 years.”

Couple of items from last week’s news from the EEF:

Press report: “The mummy of Queen Hatshepsut arrived at Cairo Airport yesterday.”
http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/EgyptOnline/Culture/000001/0203000000000000000628.htm
[Uhh... the so-called (putative; not a fact) mummy of
Hatsheput was already in the Egyptian Museum (see
http://snipurl.com/o4u0); does the above mean that the
_other_ mummy from KV60 has also been transported
from Luxor to Cairo??]

(that was a comment from Aayko, btw)

Press report: “Mummy Mystery. It’s the oldest of cold cases: A
girl’s death 2,200 years ago. Can modern technology explain it?”
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/14636650.htm
About the CAT scanning of a girl’s mummy in the Philadelphia’s
Academy of Natural Sciences, as part of the work of the Akhmim
Mummy Studies Consortium (see below, section VIII).

R. Krivánek, M. Bárta, Geophysical Prospection in South Abusir, Egypt,
2002, Paper presented at the CIPA 2003 XIXth International Symposium “New
Perspectives to Save Cultural Heritage”, 30 September – 04 October, 2003,
Antalya, Turkey – 3 pp., pdf-file (150 KB)
http://cipa.icomos.org/fileadmin/papers/antalya/110.pdf
“Non-destructive geophysical prospection of large areas choosen by
egyptologists outside of previous and present archaeological excavations
brought a new view on extent and quantity of archaeological remains
(cemetery) beneath the sand and also practical experience (limits and
possibilities of applied geophysical methods) in various terrain desert
conditions.”

End of EEF news

May 30, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:51 pm

Magnetic Attraction

A slice of Hawkins Preserve became a study area last week for students from a Fort Lewis College archaeology field class.

Using a magnetometer and an electrical resistance meter Thursday, about half a dozen students split into two groups to assess a block of the preserve for artifacts and other evidence of Ancestral Puebloan culture.

Paid for by a $10,000 grant from the Colorado Historical Society, the assessment was a chance for archaeology students and teachers alike to get outdoors and explore the subject. Fort Lewis College field archaeologist Mona Charles led the students, while retired U.S. Bureau of Land Management archaeologist Dale Davidson conducted the assessment.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:51 pm

Lake Travis archaeological sites apparently looted

Thousands of years ago, drawn by rich hunting grounds, prehistoric people settled by the banks of the Colorado River. These early campers left behind cooking and hunting tools, and over time, the implements and their users’ bodies were buried by what are now the Highland Lakes.

Now, declining lake levels have left land exposed, leading to a rash of digs by amateur archaeologists — authorities refer to them less generously as looters — that have left the banks of Lake Travis gouged with holes.

Good long article on the problem in Texas.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:50 pm

Missed it On the tube

“The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb,” 8 p.m. on Hallmark. Archaeologist Danny Freemont (Casper Van Dien, “Starship Troopers”) is infamous for his outlandish theories about the pyramids and the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It’s 1922, and Freemont is certain that the “Emerald Tablet” — rumored to be buried in King Tut’s tomb — holds the power to control the world.

Unfortunately, the only one who believes Freemont is nefarious fellow archaeologist Morgan Sinclair (Jonathan Hyde). Naturally, Sinclair wants the tablet to harness evil — and he’s prepared to follow Freemont to the ends of the Earth to get it. With the help of a ragtag team, Freemont ventures to the Valley of the Kings; can he find the tablet before Sinclair does?

Article was from last Saturday. But it’s on again on June 17! Mark it on your calendars.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:50 pm

Archaeologist begins excavating Pelican Island Refuge site

Federal archaeologist Rick Kanaski looked over the ridged, bony fragment that stood out last week from the surrounding crushed shell that was left from a sifted pile of soil at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge.
“Oh, it’s a tooth,” he exclaimed, prompting volunteers Cheryl Cummins and Mary Fredell to pause in the sifting.

It was ridged for grinding, he said. But was it from a horse? Or may some prehistoric plant-eater?

Kind of neat. You hardly ever hear about shovel testing for sites.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:50 pm

500 year-old human remains are discovered in Bawtry

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have descended on a Bawtry building site – after human remains were found by surprised workmen.
Last Wednesday police cordened off the site believing it could be a crime scene, but visiting history experts confirmed the bones were 500 years old.

It is thought the skull and bones belong to a small adult or child, but the gender has not yet been determined.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:50 pm

It’s been a while but. . .NEWS FROM MEHR! Skeletons of Bakun era mother, child resurrected in Bolaghi Valley

The skeleton of a woman hugging a child has been unearthed in the Bolaghi Valley by the joint German-Iranian archaeological team working at the site in Fars Province, the Persian service of CHN reported on Thursday.

The archaeologists believe that the woman is the mother of the child.

“The skeletons date back to the Bakun period (late 5th to early 4th millennium BC) and were discovered in the residential area of the people living during the era,” the head of the Iranian team said.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:38 pm

Second Temple model to link history, archaeology

On a crest of Jerusalem’s Hill of Tranquility overlooking the Valley of the Cross, the Knesset, the Supreme Court, Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus and the National Library, a model of the Second Temple has been relocated adjacent to the Shrine of the Book on the campus of the Israel Museum, in a spot where history and archeology intersect.

The Second Temple Model, which was located for the last four decades since its construction in the mid-1960’s on the grounds of Jerusalem’s Holyland Hotel, was moved to the Israel Museum this winter due to the construction of a new residential complex on the slopes of the Holyland hill.

The model, an exceptional cultural artifact depicting the Jerusalem of two millennia ago, was created before the reunification of the city at a time when Jews could not go to the Old City or the Temple Mount.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:38 pm

Nick’s past perfect

Identity theft – and the sale of paper shredders – is a big issue these days. And archaeologists practise a form of identity theft, sifting through the rubbish heaps of the past to reconstruct the lives of our ancestors.

During my career I’ve often been asked: “What’s the most valuable thing you’ve ever found?”

While we might all marvel at the latest discovery of a gold amulet or a religious icon, pulled from the earth, my answer is usually: “Give me your wallet or purse and I can tell you how much you’re worth. But give me your wheelie bin and I can tell you how you live!”

. . .

Earthworks examines our past, looks at the everyday work of archaeologists and seeks to find the ‘people’ behind the millennia-old heritage of this part of Ireland. During the series it reports on recent finds, re-examines earlier discoveries and visits sites you may never have heard of.

Just like ArchaeoBlog!

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:37 pm

Is Boudicca buried in Birmingham?

The burial ground of Queen Boudicca could be next to a burger restaurant in Birmingham, it has been claimed.
An excavation is to take place at the site in Kings Norton after evidence it has Roman remains buried there.

Queen Boudicca, who led ancient tribes in battle against the Romans, died in 62 AD, possibly in the Midlands.

It would be a “world-shattering” find, said Councillor Peter Douglas Osborn. But experts warned there is no evidence the site is linked to Boudicca.

Probably an important story, but those first few lines are hil-arious.

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