July 31, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:08 pm

Breaking news Another new tomb in the Valley of the Kings: ‘KV64’ – II

ARTP first encountered evidence of a second anomaly in the central area of the Valley of the Kings in the autumn of 2000, located at a point close to the southeast corner of the modern flood-prevention wall around the Tutankhamun-tomb entrance and a short distance to the north of KV63 (see Fig. 6). The radar readings generated by our equipment were uniformly strong and impressive (Fig. 5) – even more so than the data which in 2000 first alerted ARTP to the existence of KV63 (Fig. 4). As analysed by our radar specialist Hirokatsu Watanabe it seems all but certain (on analogy with the KV63 radar evidence) that the new data identify the presence of another tomb at some considerable depth – ‘KV64’.

This is a general link, so the contents will change in the future. This one is dated 28 and 31 July. This is a good observation:

Why this fear of a new gold rush? Because despite current media disappointment at the absence of bodies it will soon become apparent that KV63 is in fact a discovery of the most extraordinary significance – not for what the single chamber actually holds but for what it clearly signals, which is the definite presence in the Valley of at least one further tomb. The situation is this: as a chamber full of embalmers’ refuse KV63 stands in relation to a future burial as the KV54 embalming-cache in 1907 stood to the tomb of Tutankhamun. It represents without question an augury of further, significant discoveries to come.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 2:29 pm

Reader Luis Aldamiz sends these comments on the Anglo-Saxon apartheid story from a couple of weeks ago:

I read the same story in BBC and left me flippant. The premise is that
Anglo-Saxon male lineages outbred the previous ones but that’s not the
truth. In fact Britons, even those of the regions more affected by
Anglo-Saxon and Viking (Danish) invasions (Yorkshire and Norfolk) are
still more “Basque” (Atlantic) than anything else. Only the people of
Orkney and Shetland seem to show about 50% of Norwegian male lineages.

Check this paper carefully and compare with the far-fetched ideas published recently in those articles.

Actually based on that paper and its graphics I found rather that the
rank of male “Basque” (Atlantic) lineages range from c. 100% in some
areas of Ireland and Wales to c. 60% in the regions apparently most
affected by Anglo-Saxon and Danish (Viking) invasions (their genome is
so simmilar, unlike Norwegian, that you can’t take them apart). Britons
are still more Atlantic/Western than Nordic, at least via male genetic
lineages.

Curiously female MtDNA lineages seem closer to those of Friesland and
other North European regions (sorry, I don’t have any link for that
right now). This was a puzzle for me initially but my conclussion is
that the British Islands were probably populated mostly from the Rhin
region (Belgium and surroundings) and that it is in that region where
there’s been a male “outbreeding” in the continent rather than in the
islands. Female lineages are much more homogeneous throught most of
Europe than male ones, what seems to show, in my understanding, a
relative “outbreed” (to continue with the euphemistic term) by
Indo-European male invaders in the Metallic Ages, much less intense west
of the Rhin, as it served as rather stable border between IEs and
Western pre-IEs for c. 1000 years (between c. 2400 and 1300 BCE),
according to what I know of European late pre-History.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:56 pm

So Big and Healthy Grandpa Wouldn’t Even Know You

New research from around the world has begun to reveal a picture of humans today that is so different from what it was in the past that scientists say they are startled. Over the past 100 years, says one researcher, Robert W. Fogel of the University of Chicago, humans in the industrialized world have undergone “a form of evolution that is unique not only to humankind, but unique among the 7,000 or so generations of humans who have ever inhabited the earth.”

The difference does not involve changes in genes, as far as is known, but changes in the human form. It shows up in several ways, from those that are well known and almost taken for granted, like greater heights and longer lives, to ones that are emerging only from comparisons of health records.

The biggest surprise emerging from the new studies is that many chronic ailments like heart disease, lung disease and arthritis are occurring an average of 10 to 25 years later than they used to. There is also less disability among older people today, according to a federal study that directly measures it. And that is not just because medical treatments like cataract surgery keep people functioning. Human bodies are simply not breaking down the way they did before.

Apparently, the root causes are still unknown in their particulars. The article centers around a particular hypothesis that much of this is a function of fetal and infant health:

“Why do some people get heart disease and strokes and others don’t?” he said. “It’s very clear that current ideas about adult lifestyles go only a small way toward explaining this. You can say that it’s genes if you want to cease thinking about it. Or you can say, When do people become vulnerable during development? Once you have that thought, it opens up a whole new world.”

It is a world that obsesses Dr. Barker. Animal studies and data that he and others have been gathering have convinced him that health in middle age can be determined in fetal life and in the first two years after birth.

Read the whole thing.

Update: Hawks thought it was pretty good, too.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:53 pm

Web site alert Just found this one via a message that came across the EEF lists: The Egyptian Study Society. They have a periodical — The Ostracon — with articles/papers by a variety of authors, both professional Egyptologists and enthusiasts. And a page with gobs and gobs of links to other Egypt-o-Sites. It’s added to the list at left.

July 29, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:13 am

Controversy Archaeologists unearth tomb, seeking clues about Venture Smith

Efforts to unearth the truth behind the legend of freed slave, Venture Smith, are in jeopardy. A lawyer with no connection to the family has filed a lawsuit to stop the excavation.

It does not appear that a decision on this injunction will be made until early next week.

At issue now is whether or not this request can even go forward because the defense says the state archaeologist who is named in the suit does not have the authority to stop the dig – even if the injunction is against him is granted.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:10 am

Archaeologists in Guatemala discover Mayan king’s tomb

Looters who tunneled for decades looking for treasure deep underneath Guatemala’s Mayan pyramids were outsmarted by archaeologists who earlier month discovered two major royal tombs.

Guatemalan Minister for Culture Manuel Salazar, one of the first to arrive on the scene after the discovery was made, prayed and played the flute at the entrance of one of the tombs. The body of a king adorned jewels was uncovered at the site in Laguna del Tigre National Park and is thought to have been buried more than 1,500 years ago.

This could turn out to be a very important discovery so stay tuned.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:08 am

Cemetery archaeology update Old cemetery found at CVG airport

A family cemetery found at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is going to be moved.

Tombstones belonging to the Popham family were found last year when survey work was being done for a road, according to Bill Martin, the airport’s senior director of planning and development.

The cemetery is southeast of the airport’s middle north-south runway and west of DHL’s facility. It has 15 graves.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:07 am

Pipe-layers unearth bit of history

Contractors have found the remains a 2,000-year-old village near Thornholme, including children’s and animals’ bones, British and foreign pottery, coins and the outline of a roundhouse.

Archaeologists have des-cribed the find as significant and teams are now sifting through a field off the A614 looking for more artefacts.
Site manager Ben West-wood, from Northern Archae-ological Associates, said: “The earliest pottery we have so far had dated for the site indicates that it is from the second century. The latest is a coin from the late third or maybe fourth century.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:05 am

Pyramid pioneers were spot on

Archaeologists who measured the Egyptian pyramids at Giza more than 100 years ago were surprisingly accurate, a review of historical surveys has shown.

The paper, posted online by Australia’s Queensland University of Technology, reviews the major surveying projects of the pyramids Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus, built around 2600 BC south of what’s now Cairo.

“They weren’t that far out; their surveys were quite diligent and systematic and we’re getting fairly good agreement using modern technology,” says the paper’s co-author Robert Webb, a lecturer in surveying in the school of urban development.

July 28, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:52 am

DVD Review

Okay, somewhat off the beaten path of archaeology, but there is some in here. I just got a copy of the DVDs for the old TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker. It was kind of a cult hit in 1974-75 and only lasted one season. The set itself doesn’t have a lot of production quality to it — there are no extras like a “making of” minidocumentary, no interviews, etc., and the disks themselves have no graphics at all, just off-the-shelf burned DVDs. The set also doesn’t contain either of the pilot movies (The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler) which is a pity because both of those were excellent TV movies.

It’s well-known that Chris Carter drew much inspiration for The X-Files from this series and its monster-of-the-week formula. Anyone who was around during the 70s and earlier will also reconigze a lot of actors from back then making guest appearances: Keenan Wynn, Scatman Crothers, Phill Silvers, etc. Some episodes were markedly better than others; when they concentrated on suspense and worked around a limited monster budget, it worked very well. Other times, not so good. One of the last episodes, about a giant lizard terrorizing an underground complex, was rather embarrasingly obvious as a man in a lizard suit.

A great deal of its appeal was McGavin, of course, who recently passed away. He was sort of an anti-hero — no gun, no special abilities, no badge, no immense resources — which made his exploits seem close to us normal folk. Would any of us sneak into an abandoned car and try to sew the lips of a zombie shut? Sheesh. He rushed sort of headlong into things and that was what made it click, along with McGavin’s humorous portrayal.

Archaeologically, they worked some things into it. One of my first archy-memories is of the Demon in Lace episode which involved a succubus who was associated with a Mesopotamian (?) tablet, which Kolchak had to destroy to get rid of the demon. The ep creeped me out something awful. There was also one where modern-day Aztec cultists commit a series of sacrifices, and works the 52-year cycle of time used in that calendrical system.

The two pilot movies are sold separately. Interestingly, The Night Strangler is set in Seattle where I attended graduate school. This was the first time I’d ever heard of “Seattle” and was rather disappointed when I actually got here and found out that the really cool “Seattle Underground” wasn’t a bunch of full-size buildings underground complete with working streetlights. Bummer. Still had the serial killers though.

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