Halloween at the ArchaeoBlog household
Get it? It’s a pumpkin. . .pi.
Jamestown update Still Building: Archaeologists plumb layer after layer at Jamestown
Jamestown, Va., has a history of building on its past. The English arrived there nearly 400 years ago and began build- ing things – a fort, a few mud huts and a church. The hapless colonists did not thrive at first, and many of them found early graves. So many died that they sometimes buried folks on top of other folks. They must not have marked the graves very well, or else the gravediggers were also buried, because no one at the time seemed to remember where any of the departed had been laid to rest.
Underwater archaeologists found something to crow about this week on the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck site.
Divers discovered a 1-inch-high brass rooster, the decorative top to something — but they don’t know what.
“On the base, you can tell where the metal broke off,” said Linda Carnes-McNaughton, a historical archaeologist with Fort Bragg who volunteered this week with the QAR Project.
Took me a while to figure out that headline. . . . .
Relic Hunting update Hunts thrill hunters, irritate historians
Though most privately owned area sites have been picked over for years, there’s plenty left to find. Union soldiers encamped in Stafford, for example, left behind bullets, uniform buttons and belt buckles, stirrups, pieces of bayonets, rifles, dinnerware, remnants of canteens and the like.
Burt Alderson of Tennessee, a judge for the Grand National Relic Shootout, said yesterday that most participants keep their finds.
“Some of these people come from all over the country,” he said. “If they find one thing, they’re in love.”
Though many relic hunters carefully document what they’ve found, and where, for posterity, some are in it for the money.
Blogged before. Still controversial.
The Archaeology Channel has a new film up called STORIES OF LIFE IN HELLS CANYON:
The basalt cliffs of Hells Canyon have witnessed the ebb and flow of Native American tribes, trappers, miners, and homesteaders as each has left a mark on America’s deepest river gorge. This film brings Hells Canyon to life through the accounts of historians; Horace Axtell, a descendent of Chief Joseph’s band of the Nez Perce; and early Hells Canyon residents, Violet Wilson, Ace Barton and Joe Jordan. These old-timers share stories of work and family, isolation and ingenuity, and a deep respect for the canyon they called home in the first half of the 20th Century.
Erik Trinkaus from Washington University in St Louis and colleagues obtained radiocarbon dates directly from the fossils and analysed their anatomical form.
The results showed that the fossils were 30,000 years old and had the diagnostic features of modern humans (Homo sapiens).
But Professor Trinkaus and his colleagues argue, controversially, that the bones also display features that were characteristic of our evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis).
Artist’s conception of what the Euro-caveman may have looked like:
Also check out this course at Johns Hopkins utilizing the same characters.
UPDATE: More here.
It was first thought that they may have belonged to plague victims as other remains found in Leith have proven to be. But now the archaeologists believe the most plausible explanation is that they were soldiers who died in the 1559 to 1560 Siege of Leith.
They think the site where their skeletons were discovered may have been a small war grave directly behind what was then Leith’s town defences.
It means the men would have fought in one of the bloodiest conflicts in Leith’s history, when Scottish, French and English soldiers clashed, and were alive during the time of Mary Queen of Scots.
Good article. Seems odd that there’s still no indication of cause of death, especially given that they’re all adult males and presumably died of battle-related causes. Those things usually leave some mark because the injury is traumatic. If it was a siege they could have been starved or diseased, I guess.
Headline of the day Stone Age man was at sewage site
Evidence of a Stone Age settlement has been uncovered by a water company planning to extend a sewage works.
Stone Age flint and Roman items were found at the site in Kintbury, near Hungerford, Berkshire.
The find dates back to 8,000 BC and confirms that a nearby Roman bath site probably had a British owner, a local archaeologist said.
Girls Gone Wild! Sex and booze figured in Egyptian rites
“We are talking about a festival in which people come together in a community to get drunk,” she said. “Not high, not socially fun, but drunk — knee-walking, absolutely passed-out drunk.”
The temple excavations turned up what appears to have been a “porch of drunkenness,” associated with Hatshepsut, the wife and half-sister of Thutmose II. After the death of Thutmose II in 1479 B.C., Hatshepsut ruled New Kingdom Egypt for about 20 years as a female pharaoh, and the porch was erected at the height of her reign.
The writer Herodotus reported in 440 B.C. that such festivals drew as many as 700,000 people — with drunken women exposing themselves to onlookers.
If you think about it, it is kind of like Mardi Gras which is (loosely) based on Catholic theology. Okay, that’s a stretch, putting it that way. But still, who knows what future archaeologists will make of film of Carnival in Brazil. I feel certain they will enjoy viewing a lot of the tape though.
Here’s the illustration accompanying it:
Note the young lady apparently hurling in the top left panel.
The story is from The Book of the Divine Cow. You might be able to find the text online somewhere, but a cursory glance through Yahoo didn’t locate any for me.
And no, I am not going to provide a link to the “Girls Gone Wild” web site for y’all.
Unless they give me a cut of any profits derived therefrom.
And no Artists’ Conceptions either.
Treasure! Viking treasure found on Gotland
Two young men on Gotland have found Viking treasure dating to the 10th century.
The treasure cache consists of silver coins, weighing a total of around 3 kilos. They were discovered by 20-year-old Edvin Svanborg and his 17-year-old brother Arvid, who were working in the grounds of their neighbour, artist Lars Jonsson.
“I just stumbled by chance across an Arab silver coin that was around 1,100 years old,” Edvin Svanborg told news agency TT.
. . .
“I’m planning to study to become an archaeologist,” he said.
Boy, is he in for some disappointment. . . .
“What? You people mostly study little bits of chipped rock?”
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