September 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 1:08 pm

Fish Sauce Used to Date Pompeii Eruption

Remains of rotten fish entrails have helped establish the precise dating of Pompeii’s destruction, according to Italian researchers who have analyzed the town’s last batch of garum, a pungent, fish-based seasoning.

Frozen in time by the catastrophic eruption that covered Pompeii and nearby towns nearly 2,000 years ago with nine to 20 feet of hot ash and pumice, the desiccated remains were found at the bottom of seven jars.

It has to do with the precise date of the eruption in A.D. 79, not the year. Interesting, too. Not something I’d eat though. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 1:02 pm

Ancient Saxons could hold up supermarket

REMAINS of a Saxon settlement could hold up the construction of a budget supermarket on land at Kingsteignton.

German supermarket chain Lidl, submitted pans to Teignbridge Council to build a 1,000 square metre supermarket on the old Wilcocks agricultural site at Newton Road.

Officers have recommended outline planning permission for the store, which could provide up to 30 jobs, be turned down.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 1:01 pm

Thieves target park’s artifacts

Mojave National Preserve has 1,600 documented archaeological sites, some dating to 10,000 B.C. Many of them have been stripped of their pottery, baskets, stone tools and metates, arrowheads and other artifacts.

“What surprises me is how much material used to be there,” said David Nichols, the preserve’s full-time archaeologist, who compared his findings with old field surveys. “At most of these sites, I’d say 70 percent of the visible cultural material is gone.”

Treasure!

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 12:59 pm

Pirate hoard found in East End

A hoard of items from the homes of 17th century sailors and pirates has been discovered.

An archaeological dig in the Narrow Street area of Ratcliff, near Limehouse, has found the remains of the homes of sea captains – and pottery, coins, jars, glassware, water containers, coral and cannonballs from around the world.

Okay, maybe not what you were expecting. I expect gold and jewels would have made a bigger splash in the press.

September 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:36 pm

I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Jewish readers a happy Rosh Hashanah.

How am I, a Gentile, celebrating it?

Why,, by watching Rush Hashanah on VH-1 Classic!

Take the quiz.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:16 pm

Found in the British Museum.

I got 58%. Without cheating.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:14 pm

Yard work yields archaeological finds for Seguin man

One day this past June, Floyd McKee hauled a load of topsoil from near the bank of the Guadalupe River, on which his property sits, and dumped it on the grass in his yard.

“It rained that night, and when I went out in the morning, the yard was covered with spear points,” he said. “I got more dirt and sifted it and found a dozen more.”

Surprised, McKee contacted local archaeologists Bob Everett and Richard Kinz, both of whom soon declared that McKee’s property, near Starcke Park, was among the richest Paleo-Indian archaeological finds they had ever seen.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:07 pm

Archaeologists Uncover St. Johns County’s Oldest House

Archaeologists believe they have stumbled upon the oldest house ever discovered in St. Johns County.

The remnants of the home were recently located on land Old Quarry Road where one homeowner was planning to build a new structure on the land, but under city guidelines an archaeologist must first assess the area before anything is constructed.

That’s when the city’s archaeologist, Carl Halbirt, and his crew began doing work they consider to be standard protocol and made a discovery that they said is a big part of the area’s history.

There’s a video at the site which has more detail than the article but the video is poor quality.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 3:00 pm

Linguistic Imperialism and Minoan Archaeology (Greece)

In recent years the cultural politics of English and other international languages have become a major focus of debate within the field of applied linguistics. Much discussion has surrounded the concept of linguistic imperialism, which may be defined as a process in which ‘the dominance of English is asserted and maintained by the establishment and continuous reconstitution of structural and cultural inequalities between English and other languages’ (Phillipson 1992:47). Although other colonial languages operate in similar ways, the critique has mostly focused on English, since this occupies the top of the global linguistic hierarchy and is the primary medium through which the intellectual and political institutions of the industrialised ‘West’ exercise their influence throughout the world.

Hmmmm. Initially I was going to relegate this to just another bit of Po-Mo fluff (who knows, maybe it is), but after reading through it a couple of times, I think they make some valid points, others less so.

In principle, one can choose to publish internationally in any one of several languages. But, in practice, the research will receive more attention if published in English. Most archaeological journals of international standing are published in English; and most of their editors are ‘native English speakers’. In effect, this means that ‘non-native English speakers’ must adjust their style in order to suit specific Anglophone editorial conventions, and also master distinctly non-Greek discourses of practice, such as cognitive or processual archaeology.

One can sympathize with non-English speakers’ travails at having to (mostly) publish in a second language and it necessarily provides an additional hurdle, though I think editors and reviewers generally make some allowances for non-native speakers. But hey, we all have to deal with cognitive or processual or whatever whether we like it or not, even if we’re basically Darwinian evolutionists or behavioralists. We also all have to deal with the baggage left over from earlier work whether it’s in English, French, or German (especially so for Egyptology people).

The dominance of English as an international language does not necessarily imply a deliberate neo-colonial conspiracy, nor that non-Anglo archaeologists have been co-opted (Pennycook 2007). However, it does force us to abandon the myth of English as a neutral, ‘value-free’ medium of science, and to recognize all language as ideological practice.

I think true in some respects, but rather overblown. The language (probably a stand-in for culture, really) would have less impact were archaeology more scientific, whence the metalanguage of science would take over more and more meaning. I’m not sure how much influence English has on using the Mohs hardness scale, but probably not a whole lot.

Zahia Hawass in Egypt made it a requirement a few years ago that all site reports had to have a copy submitted in Arabic, though I’m not sure how or if that is being enforced. In 2003 I submitted mine in English only.

Still, probably worth reading over closely, if you’re interested in this sort of dry, esoteric archaeological discourse.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 2:36 pm

Port of ’second Carthage’ found

Archaeologists in Sardinia said Thursday they have found the port of the Phoenician city of Tharros, held by some to be the ancient people’s most important colony in the Mediterranean after Carthage.

Researchers from the University of Cagliari and Sassari found the submerged port in the Mistras Lagoon, several kilometres from the city ruins.

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