December 29, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:00 pm

Indiana Jones update Lucas: Filming `Indiana Jones 4′ in 2007

George Lucas said Friday that filming of the long-awaited “Indiana Jones” movie will begin next year.

Harrison Ford, who appeared in the three earlier flicks, the last one coming in 1989, is set to star again.

Lucas said he and Steven Spielberg recently finalized the script for the film.

“It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to be the best one yet,” the 62-year-old filmmaker said during a break from preparing for his duties as grand marshal of Monday’s Rose Parade.

Exact film locations have not been decided yet, but Lucas said part of the movie will be shot in Los Angeles.

Yeah, and some enterprising young squealer Quisling intern or something ought to forward a script my way. . . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:39 pm

It doesn’t get any better than this Archaeologist Fiona sets up new brewery

A CUMBRIAN woman has swapped archaeology for ale to open up a brewery in Geltsdale.

Fiona Deal, 42, decided on the move after years of amateur brewing.

She had been working as an archaeologist at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, on short term contracts.

But now Fiona, a mother-of-five and grandmother-of-one, has set up at Brampton Old Brewery’s former industrial units.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:13 am

And now. . . . .the news from the EEF

Press report: “King Tut hit by the curse of the dome”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-2517951,00.html
“Plans for a grand exhibition of the teenage pharaoh’s treasures
at the [Millennium Dome, London] have been thrown into doubt
because Egyptian officials will not allow the artefacts to be displayed
next to a proposed casino. ” (..) “Earlier this year Hawass vetoed
plans for the Tutankhamun exhibition to be displayed at a South
African resort after he discovered that it included a casino. “
– Another press report:
http://denver.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2006/12/25/daily2.html

Press report: “Ancient site to go nuclear”
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/825/eg4.htm
“The National Democratic Party’s announcement a month ago
that Egypt is seeking to revive its nuclear programme and
means to build a large power station neighbouring the
Graeco-Roman site of Tel Al-Dabaa on the Alexandria-
Marsa-Matrouh road caught the headlines of newspapers
and sparked uproar among archaeologists who feared the
construction would destroy a major archaeological site.”

Press report: “12th century BC carving may hold
the secret of Karnak Temple”
http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=4545
Some more details about the recently discovered
stela — with photo and fairly detailed description!

Press report: “Judas’s Story?”
http://vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=2038
Report of a lecture on the Gospel of Judas. The
relevant part is at the end: “Meyer concluded by noting
that more ancient texts have been found in Egypt by
a Polish team of archaeologists digging in the famed
Valley of the Kings.”

Press report: “PLOS One: Peer Review Begone!”
http://archaeology.about.com/b/a/257824.htm
“Peer review costs journals, in time, in labor, and in restricting the
number of publishable articles to be included. Those costs are
passed along to subscribers, and that is, no joke, one of the main
blocks to converting established journals to open access. “
[Ed. Blogged about this once, but I can't find it.]

Dr Nicole Hansen (nbhansen@midway.uchicago.edu) has
made available online a presentation she made at the Digital
Humanities and Computer Science Colloquium held at the
University of Chicago in November 2006. It consists of a
5 minute Flash video plus a 2 page PDF handout: “How to
Reach a Million Students: Teaching Egyptology Online”.
http://www.glyphdoctors.com/mod/resource/view.php?id=813

Online version: Alexander Turner Cory, The Hieroglyphics of
Horapollo Nilous, Chthonios Books, London, 1840. XII, 174 pp.,
3 pls.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/hh/index.htm
“In the first stages of hieroglyphical interpretation, this work afforded
no inconsiderable light. But upon the whole, it has scarcely received
the attention which it may justly claim, as the only ancient volume
entirely devoted to the task of unravelling the mystery in which
Egyptian learning has been involved; and as one, which in many
instances, unquestionably contains the correct interpretations. In
the present edition of the work, where any interpretations have
been ascertained to be correct, the chapter has been illustrated
by the corresponding hieroglyphic. In those cases where the
hieroglyphic is mentioned, but an incorrect interpretation assigned,
engravings have been given of it, as well as of the hieroglyphic
corresponding to such interpretation, wherever these have been
ascertained: and they have been inserted in the hope that they
may lead persons better acquainted with the subject to discover
more accurate meanings than we have been able to suggest.”
Without the parallel Greek text which appears in the original
book.

Digitized books from “Google Booksearch”
– Jean-François Champollion, L’Égypte sous les Pharaons ou
recherches sur la géographie, la religion, la langue, les écritures
et l’histoire de l’Égypte avant l’invasion de Cambyse. Description
géographique, de Bure, Paris, 1814.
vol. I – xxvi, 378 pp. – pdf-file (11.8 MB)
http://snipurl.com/15zbk

A. G. Nerlich, I. Wiest, U. Löhrs, F. Parsche and P. Schramel,
“Extensive pulmonary haemorrhage in an Egyptian mummy”, in:
Virchows Archiv, Volume 427, Number 4 / December, 1995,
pp. 423-429; in PDF, 2.7 MB.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/x0n457r66m548667/fulltext.pdf
“Report on morphological and trace element findings of
several internal organs from an Egyptian mummy approximately
dating from the year 950 B.C. By use of a multidisciplinary
approach we succeeded in discovering evidence for severe
and presumably recurrent pulmonary bleeding during life.”
[For the drug problem, see EEF threads of March '04 ("Misc")
and Dec '04 ("Hemp"). The plants refered to in note 6 would
be of the Solanaceae family.]

* E. Panczyk, M. Ligeza and L. Walis, “Application of INAA to
the Examination of Art Objects: Research in Poland”, in Journal
of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, Volume 244, Number 3
/ June, 2000, pp. 543-551. In PDF, 914 kb.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/t2761362218g3371/fulltext.pdf
“Systematic studies on art objects using instrumental neutron
activation analysis (INAA) and neutron autoradiography, [in order
to determine] concentrations of trace elements in [several objects,
including] the clay fillings of sarcophagi of Egyptian mummies.”

R. G. V. Hancock, M. D. Grynpas and B. Alpert, “Are
archaeological bones similar to modern bones? An INAA
assessment”, in Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Volume 110, Number 1 / March, 1987, pp. 283-291. In
PDF, 350 kb.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/h1×212k377385×23/fulltext.pdf
“For more than a decade, archaeometrists have been analyzing
archaeologically recovered human bones in an attempt to relate
their trace element contents to diet. Although the problems of
diagenesis have been recognized, the variable effects have been
difficult to establish. In this paper, an assessment is made of the
analytical reliability of the INAA determination of major and trace
elements, using their short-lived radioisotopes in both regular and
defatted modem cancellous bone, and in modem cortical bone. This
modem bone information is then compared with analytical data
for bones from Egyptian mummies ranging in age from ~ 2000
to ~ 3700 BP, and with normally-buried 11th century French bones.”

Oxford Eprints:
– John Baines, Open palms, in: Atti del VI Congresso Internazionale
di Egittologia, vol. I, Torino, 1992, pp. 29-32 – pdf-file (63 KB)
http://eprints.ouls.ox.ac.uk/archive/00001075/
“… There are relatively few standard poses in Egyptian art in which
the rendering of palm lines is appropriate. It is desirable to explore
why this form was relatively uncommon and what meanings were
attached to it and whether it correlates with other relatively unusual
details changes in anatomical representation …”
– John Baines, Symbolic roles of canine figures on early monuments,
in: Archéo-Nil, vol. 3, pp. 57-74 (1993) – pdf-file (2.8 MB)
http://eprints.ouls.ox.ac.uk/archive/00001096/
“Late predynastic Egyptian representations of canine figures on
palettes and other objects can be divided into jackals, wild dogs
(lycaon pictus) – which are very prominent – and domesticated
dogs, among which several breeds can be distinguished … The
emergence of the king at the centre of the dynastic system of
decoration and the identification of king and lion influenced
profoundly the presentation of canines.”
– For earlier Oxford Eprints, see EEFNEWS (356), (376), (380)
and (391), most articles written by John Baines.

Claire Newton, Upper Egypt: vegetation at the beginning of
the third millennium BC inferred from charcoal analysis at
Adaïma and Elkab, in: Journal of Archaeological Science,
vol. 32, pp. 355-367 (2005)
http://snipurl.com/15zc2
[http://www.umr5059.univ-montp2.fr/~umr5059/pdf/newton/
Newton%202005%20JAS.pdf]
“Archaeological charcoals from two Predynastic sites located
in Upper Egypt are studied to help reconstruct woody
vegetation. ‘Ash-jars’ from the cemeteries at Adaïma and
Elkab appear to have been filled with domestic hearth
residues as offerings. The results show the predominance
of Acacias at Elkab and Tamarix at Adaïma.”

End of EEF news

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:08 am

Now world can see work on £3.3m project thanks to webcam

BERWICK’S first public webcam is now up and running so people all over the world can watch the construction of a multi-million pound office development.
The camera has been installed on the rear wall of the Berwick Advertiser, overlooking all developments at the Berwick WorkSpace, a £3.3 million project to develop office and conference space for use by small to medium sized businesses.

Here’s the site link. Unfortunately, the web cam only shows a still picture every 5 minutes and there’s not much to see (at this time anyway). The blog is. . .eh. The Links page has some nice sites on it though.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:02 am

Python cave update “Python Cave” Reveals Oldest Human Ritual, Scientists Suggest

A team of archaeologists has discovered what it says is evidence of humankind’s oldest ritual.

Africa’s San people may have used a remote cave for ceremonies of python worship as much as 70,000 years ago—30,000 years earlier than the oldest previously known human rites—the team says.

“The level of abstract thinking within the peoples of [this period] and the continuity of their cultural patterns is proving to be astonishing for such an early date,” said Sheila Coulson, an archaeologist at Norway’s University of Oslo.

Coulson and colleague Nick Walker base their findings on artifacts found in Rhino Cave, a cavern discovered in the 1990s in the remote Tsodilo Hills of Botswana.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:01 am

Plastered Syrian Skulls from the Dawn of Civilisation

In the Neolithic period the Levantine Fertile Crescent ushered in one of the most profound cultural revolutions in the history of the Mediterranean basin. This environmentally blessed cradle of civilisation played host to modern humans as they made the crucial transition from hunter-gatherers to sedentary farmers to emerge as proto-urban societies. A conspicuous enigma of the world’s first ‘city dwellers’ was the most extraordinary ritual practice of plastering human skulls, which is attested at several major Neolithic sites, such as Jericho in the Palestinian Territories, Çatalhöyük in Turkey, and ‘Ain Ghazal in Jordan. To this list may now be added five skulls recently excavated by Danielle Stordeur of the CNRS at Tell Aswad in northern Syria.

There are several short articles on that page.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:55 am

The wines and herbs in the land of Pan

In early December, the interdisciplinary Oino Istoro (or Talking Wine) group and Ktima Spyropoulos winery held the “Symposium of Arcadian Wine Talk.”

I presented a paper there, which I want to summarize here. The inspiration for this paper came from an extract from “The Deipnosophists” by Athenaeus, which refers to certain wines with unusual qualities: “Theophrastus says that in Heraia, Arcadia, they produce a wine which when drunk stimulates men and makes women get pregnant. He also says that in Keryneia in Achaia, there grows a vine variety from which is made a type of wine that makes pregnant women miscarry; they even miscarry if they eat its grapes. The wine of Troezen makes those who drink it infertile. In Thassos they make a wine that is a soporific and another that causes insomnia.”

“Theophrastus says that in Heraia, Arcadia, they produce a wine which when drunk stimulates men. . .

Otherwise known as “beer goggles”.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:52 am

Medici death mystery solved. . . .again Tuscan church reveals answer to mystery of Medici deaths

Picking through centuries-old rubbish, masonry and discarded body parts beneath an abandoned Tuscan church, an Italian historian believes she has solved one of history’s great crime mysteries.

For more than four centuries, researchers have puzzled over the fact that Francesco I Medici, the son of the first Grand Duke, Cosimo, died within hours of his wife in October 1587. Legend had it they were poisoned by his brother and successor, a cardinal.

. . .

Her search yielded part of a human liver “the size of a hazelnut” and two other body parts that have defied identification. Tests showed the liver was that of a man and its DNA matched that taken from remains in Francesco’s tomb. The other body parts belonged to a woman and, like the fragment of liver, they revealed high concentrations of arsenic.

Actually interesting.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:50 am

9,000-year-old artifact stirs archaeological excitement

The black flint stone shaped like a spearhead immediately caught Joan Rennick’s eye during a routine beach stroll one summer afternoon seven years ago. A talisman collector, Rennick had been limited to a moose tooth and a hollow rock during her previous wanderings across New Brunswick.

But this discovery was different.

“Gee! It’s my lucky day,” she recalled thinking. She started wearing the rock around her neck every day, for good luck, without knowing her talisman was a 9,000-year-old artifact that could help scientists understand the cultural sequence of North American civilization.

Now, after the prehistoric tool was authenticated, a local archaeologist is planning to dig the beach around the fittingly named Cape Spear region on the province’s east coast.

Archaeologist Brent Suttie believes Ms. Rennick’s rock was crafted into a hunting weapon between 7,000 and 7,500 B.C.

Note to self: Do more beachcombing.

December 28, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 1:27 pm

Fight! Fight! An alert reader notified us of a rather large kerfuffle going on regarding archaeology in Israel. I’m, er, somewhat hesitant to link to this for fear of touching off a political maelstrom, but there’s some good archaeological issues involved anyway, so it’s probably worth the risk. Besides, it’s not like you guys are comment-happy. . . . .

Basics: An anthropology professor at Barnard College, Nadia Abu El-Haj has written a book, ”Facts on the ground: archaeological practice and territorial self-fashioning in Israeli society” (Chicago, 2001), charging Israeli archaeology in general with gross archaeological misconduct in order to construct a Zionist view of the past.

Please note that some of the blogs linked herein are not anthropological/archaeological in nature.

Start here. A response by one of the affected particulars is here. Follow the links therein. Actually, there’s not a whole lot of light shed on the actual archaeological claims being made, but clicking around and reading gives a sense of what’s going on. This ain’t my area, so I can’t comment much. Bulldozers, or at least backhoes, aren’t exactly unknown at archaeological sites; often you’ll use a backhoe to dig a quick trench to get a sedimentological profile so you have some idea of the sort of stratification you’re dealing with. And, though it still makes me shudder, picks and shovels can be used with some discretion for removing, say, large deposits of mud brick wall collapse.

A search on Yahoo didn’t produce much more in the way of strictly archaeological commentary. But, YMMV.

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