August 31, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:44 am

And now. . . . .news from the EEF

Press report: “There could have been two sphinxes, argues one researcher”
“Egyptologist Bassam El Shammaa believes that the famed
half-lion, half-man statue was an Egyptian deity that was erected
next to another sphinx, which has since vanished without a trace.”
[Ahum... Anyhow, for the misinterpreted Dream Stela, see the
drawing in LD III, 68, online at AKE]

Press report: “Mummies’ exodus to Genesis goes well”
About the scanning and handling of the Putnam Museum’s two
mummies. “There was a slight chance that the wrapped
mummy — estimated at 2,000 years old — might have been
a female, but the scans of its pelvic bone structure clearly
show it was male, the radiologist said. (..) The male mummy’s
body is “kind of in bad shape,” Berkow said, explaining how
several of its ribs are broken and its back is broken in at least
one place. He thinks those fractures happened after the male
was dead, probably by rough handling before it arrived at the
museum. (…) The scans of the [3,000 years old] unwrapped
mummy, known as Isis Neferit or “beautiful Isis,” didn’t
show any noticeable bone fractures at first glance. However, it
does appear it was a female, probably a young one at death,
Berkow said. “There’s not a lot of arthritis in her spine,” he said.”
(..) Putnam officials also brought [a mummified head and] two
mummified birds along for scanning.”
There’s also a report on the unwrapping of the female mummy
in the 60ies.

– Another press report:
“Investigation continues into Davenport mummies”
“Museum officials says puncture holes, incisions and rolled-up
linens seen inside the two bodies offer important clues about
the mummification process used thousands of years ago.”

– Another press report, with scan of the male mummy’s skull:
“The scans show holes in the nasal cavities where someone
punctured them to remove the brains. On both mummies,
incisions were found on the sides where someone reached
inside to take out the internal organs (..). Linen wrappings,
which most likely were soaked in resin and spices, still
remain in the body cavities as a preservation tool (..) Berkow
also said he found evidence of a heart inside the female mummy,
but nothing in the male.”

Press report: “Beneath Alexandria. Team finds evidence
of a hidden city”
“But little was known about the site in pre-Alexander times other than
Rhakotis, a fishing village, was located there. Coastal geoarchaeologist
Jean-Daniel Stanley of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History
said his team’s work suggested a much larger community at Rhakotis
than previously believed. ” [cf EEF NEWS (468).]

Press report: “Museum as archaeological park”
About the GEM. “The museum will compromise five
thematic areas chronologically displayed: the Land of Egypt,
Kingship and State, Man, Society and Work, Religion and
Culture, and Scribes and Knowledge.

Press report: “Ancient lifestyle may link art found in Egypt, Europe”
About the rock paintings found by the Belgium team of Dirk Huyge
[cf EEF NEWS (457)(459)(463)], which have been called
‘Lascaux on the Nile’. “Huyge is not suggesting any direct
connection between Paleolithic France and Egypt. Instead, he
said the similarities in the art likely occurred because the
artists shared a common way of life.”

End of EEF news

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:38 am

Oregon researcher to explore boyhood home of John Paul Jones

University of Oregon archaeologist Julie M. Schablitsky is off to Scotland to lead an exploratory excavation of the grounds on the boyhood home of John Paul Jones, while her husband continues his North Sea search for the lost ship of one of the fathers of the U.S. Navy.

Schablitsky�s new project — launched with a $23,000 grant from the Virginia-based First Landing Foundation �- will involve remote sensing to identify possible locations of outbuildings, wells, gardens, fence lines and cisterns. Archaeological probes also will be dug into select areas of the landscaping around the renovated cottage where Jones grew in Kirkbean, Scotland.

Her project was born after her husband, Robert Neyland, head of underwater archaeology for the U.S. Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C., visited Kirkbean and discovered the site had never been explored by archaeologists. Neyland has searched the North Sea area for the last two years for Jones� ship, the �Bonhomme Richard� [BOHN-uhm REE-shar], with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric

[insert Led Zeppelin joke here]

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:37 am

UCC archaeologists uncover hilltop fort from 1200 BC near Innishannon

ARCHAEOLOGISTS from University College Cork have uncovered the oldest hilltop fort in Ireland on a ridge near Innishannon overlooking huge tracts of County Cork and believe that it was the first capital of Cork.

According to Prof. William O’Brien of the Dept. of Archeology at University College Cork, the oval-shaped hilltop fort near Knockavilla, Innishannon, overlooking the Lee Valley, was built over 3,000 years ago, making it the oldest known prehistoric hillfort in Ireland.

“For many years, an ancient enclosure, known locally as the ‘Cathair’ was known to exist on the ridge overlooking Knockavilla on the northern side of Innishannon parish,” said Prof. O’Brien, adding that radiocarbon dating revealed the site was built around 1200 BC

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:34 am

CSI: Tell Majnuna

Burial clue to early urban strife

Archaeologists working in Syria have unearthed the remains of dozens of youths thought to have been killed in a fierce confrontation 6,000 years ago.

According to Science magazine, the celebrating victors may even have feasted on beef in the aftermath.

The findings come from northeastern Syria, near Tell Brak, one of the world’s oldest known cities.

UPDATE: More on the urbanization angle here. I have to think about this one some more.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:30 am

Caveman the series update A Man for the (Stone) Ages: Nick the Caveman, direct from Union Square

But racial (er, anthropological) struggle is a central theme. Think of it as Alien Nation with a sense of humor. “They’ve been oppressing our people for 750,000 years,” Kroll’s character says in the pilot, referring to modern types. “When you watch TV, it’s all politically correct, but they air The Flintstones six times a day.”

The episode doesn’t boast consistent laughs, but most series need some time to find their footing. The concept seems at least as sustainable as, say, a fat deliveryman from Queens with a skinny wife. But Kroll won’t be devastated if the show gets canceled. “There’s this idea of getting discovered, or a break, but in reality [my career] is more like a slow freight train carrying a lot of emotional baggage,” he says.

Bit of a language warning, folks. After this article, I’m a tad more optimistic that it will not be horribly bad since it has the same writers as the commercials; that should make the humor consistent. The thing that seems most troublesome is that they may try so hard to avoid offending various minorities who think they’re being represented that they go overboard bashing white people. If they can follow in the Beverly Hillbillies/Munsters mold, it should be okay.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:35 am

Blogging update No, no blogging yesterday. Why?

Can you smell that?

That little whiff. . . . .a faint scent. . . . .barely detectable. . . .

And yet. . . . .it’s there. . . . .

And when you do sense it, you know. . . . .

It’s college football season.

So I was watching Mississippi State get pummeled by LSU. Though their defense did surprisingly well in the first half. But when your offense can’t do squat, it tends to demoralize the defense, not to mention tiring them out when the O can’t stay on the field long enough to spell them a bit. Washington went through the same thing before Willingham showed up. The defense would keep them in it until about the third quarter, when the offense would turn it over a couple times and go 3-and-out. You could see the air just go right out of them. My dad always liked MSU for some reason; being from Alabama you’d think not. I don’t think he cared much for Ole Miss though.

Well, actually, even after Willingham showed up. But they eventually began to not give up. So watch them tonight when they play Syracuse.

August 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:35 pm

Which is. . . . History Channel’s “Modern Marvels”. That show is freakin’ amazing. They can take darn near anything and make it interesting. Last week I watched an hour on. . . .I kid you not. . .truck stops. Well, it wasn’t strictly truck stops, much of it was the history of trucking, truck technology and what not. But check out this place.

Anyway, tonight is a repeat of ’70’s tech’ which I haven’t seen yet. I’ve also been reading The Martian Landscape which is about the Viking landers and the imaging systems and contains a lot of photographs. That was kind of an amazing project itself. I remember as a kid watching one of the first photographs from the surface coming in and they showed it live on TV. I was just absolutely flabbergasted that here we were looking at a picture on another planet. It still gives me chills.

We didn’t have a Pong, but we did have the Odyssey. Funny, but I don’t remember ours looking like the ones on that page. I thought it was yellow and more rounded. Huh. I need to see if my mom still has it in the basement. Probably not, she got rid of our TI-99 computer, too. And then people wonder why I ended up a geek. . . .

UPDATE: It was pretty good (the 1970s tech). I must go back on the earlier pronouncement above that we had an Odyssey, unless we had a slightly later version that was yellow and more rounded. Must be some other device name that is escaping me.

Anyway, the rest of it was pretty neat, albeit maybe. . . .misguided? I don’t quite know how the Trans Am was really a “tech” object as much as it was symbolic of the decade. Muscle car enthusiasts would probably point to the Barracuda as the ultimate ’70s muscle car, but I suppose in the popular mind the Smokey and the Bandit car probably is more reminiscent of the 1970s. I still think that generation of Camaro/Firebird was the best looking of the bunch. The first version seemed sorta slapped together as a response to the Mustang, but that gen was distinct. It’s probably my favorite car of the decade, even though it’s gotten such a black-t-shirt-wearing-mullet-head vibe ever since that I probably wouldn’t actually own one. But, who knows, maybe.

They also did the CB radio craze. That, we never had, and I never wanted one. Many of my friends were really into the whole big-rig trucker CB talkin’ schtick, but not me.

I am surprised (unless I missed it) that they didn’t show any personal computers! The Apple II! The Commodore PET! The TI-99! The Altair! The TRS-80 (aka, Trash 80)! And who can forget Visicalc and the Vax? Maybe they decided that was too big for even a mention and went with maybe lesser-known stuff.

Yeah, I was one of those dweebs who would go to the personal computer sections of stores and type in an infinite recursion program in Basic:

1 Print “Hello!”
2 GOTO 1

Yuk yuk.

UPDATE II: You know, I was thinking about this whole “Which care represents the 1970s” thing and I started thinking that maybe most people associate “The ’70s” with more the latter part than the earlier, and kind of lump the early ’70s in with the ’60s. Most people, I think, tend to think of “The ’60s” as the latter part anyway when you had Woodstock, hippies, the Beatles with long hair, etc. Similarly with the 1950s, it was more the latter part, with the ‘57 Chevy doin’ the representin’.

That thesis kinda fell apart with the 1980s though, because that decade is probably best remembered for the early part, Reagan, MTV, etc. I don’t know yet what “The ’90s” is remembered by. Probably the latter part with the .com boom and all that.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:28 pm

And speaking of popularizing archaeology. . . BBC digs archaeology drama

Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, the co-creators of the hit BBC1 drama series Life on Mars, have been commissioned to write a new six-part series for the same channel about a team of archaeological adventurers.

The BBC head of fiction, Jane Tranter, has given the green light to Bone Kickers, a series set in Bath following a team of academic whose excavations open up a range of storylines from different historical moments in the city’s 3,000-year history.

The drama, which begins filming in November of this year, has not yet been cast but is being pencilled in for transmission on BBC1 in spring next year.

Neat. Of course, we here in the colonies won’t get it for another year or two.

Two comments: There used to be an archaeology-ish series on cable called Relic Hunter. I saw a few of the eps. Eh. But if you want sexy archaeology. . . .

Second, it mentions a series on BBC called “Life on Mars”. I watched a couple of those, too, but grew tired of it after 2 or 3. It was just too. . . too. . .superficial about the ’70s. Everything was too cartoonish. Everyone smoking everywhere, throwing the butts on the floor anywhere, fellow policemen apparently too dumb to, you know, actually collect evidence, etc. It seemed like it was written by 20-somethings who figured they knew what the ’70s were like because they saw it on TV once. I liked the concept though. Which leads to the next post. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:21 pm

BREAKING NEWS: Conflict in the Middle East Digging at hotly disputed Jerusalem holy site angers Israeli archaeologists

Israeli archaeologists on Wednesday criticized the extension of an underground cable at Jerusalem’s holiest site for Muslims and Jews, saying digging the trench defies professional standards for such a sensitive historic site and could damage Bible-era relics.

Islamic authorities responsible for Al Aqsa Mosque complex, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, said the digging is necessary infrastructure work at the site to replace 40-year-old electrical cables ahead of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The site is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is home to Al Aqsa Mosque and the gold-capped Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third-holiest shrine. It is also the holiest site in Judaism: archaeological finds show that the remains of the temples are beneath the mosque compound, though Muslim clerics dispute that.

I know, I know, you can’t swing a dead cat there without hitting someone who’s ticked off at someone else.

Also, insert Nadia Abu-el-Hadj joke [here].

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:19 pm

Damn it, Kris, send me a link! The History of Archaeology, Part 2

he first tentative step forward towards archaeology as a science took place during the Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason. Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries was a time of great growth in scientific and natural exploration. Scientists, poets, philosophers, and painters reached into classical antiquity, particularly Greece, to wonder how rationalism, what they considered the supreme human reason, ever came to be realized. Human society everywhere must develop linearly, it was felt, beginning with stone tools, growing with the invention of agriculture, and ending with the pinnacle of human culture–European scientific society (at least according to European scientific society).

Can’t find part I. AHEM.

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