July 31, 2009

Online article

Filed under: Neanderthals — acagle @ 1:09 pm

Scientific American has the full August 2009 Neanderthal article up. I haven’t read it yet. The issue is sitting on my bedroom floor; I’ve got behind on my reading since I’m not riding the bus lately.


Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 1:07 pm

4000-year-old paraplegic found

Archaeologists have uncovered the ancient remains of a young man in northern Vietnam who could be the oldest known paraplegic in the world.

The discovery has astounded researchers, showing the long-term survival of a man with a severe disability in a community where almost 50 per cent of people died before they turned five.

The remains, which are between 3500 and 4000-years-old, reveal the man was about 25 and was born with a rare disorder called Klippel-Feil syndrome.

Not much there, unfortunately, to say how it was determined such. I’ve been trying to think of other examples like that. IIRC, there was a hominid (can’t recall how old it was) skeleton found that was of a disabled/injured person that would have required much care, and at least one pharaoh had a club foot.

Lost (and then found and then lost again )civilization masks. . . .found. Again.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 1:03 pm

Ancient Theater Masks Rediscovered in Pompeii

A set of 15 mysterious life-size masks, reminiscent of ancient Roman drama, have been rediscovered in Pompeii after being forgotten for more than two centuries, according to Italian archaeologists who have shown them for the first time at an exhibition in Naples, Italy.

Made of plaster, the rather heavy masks were unearthed in 1749 in Pompeii during the excavations promoted by King Charles of Bourbon. They were deposited, along with many other artifacts, in the Royal Palace of Portici, a town on the Bay of Naples.

Pre-Clovis AND marine archaeology update

Filed under: Marine archaeology, Pre-Clovis — acagle @ 1:00 pm

Erie scientist leads what could be ground-breaking search for early Americans

Andrew Hemmings walked Wednesday on a Florida beach that man hasn’t set foot on in more than 13,000 years.

Not because it isn’t a popular stretch of real estate — it’s just that few people are able to don full scuba gear and dive 40 feet under water in the Gulf of Mexico for a stroll in the sand.

The University of Texas archaeologist is part of an elite team of scientists led by James Adovasio of Mercyhurst College in Erie. Adovasio, former chairman of the University of Pittsburgh’s anthropology department, is looking for evidence of the earliest North American settlements along the coast of Florida that were submerged thousands of years ago by glacial ice melting.

I admit to being still skeptical that they’re find anything in all that churned-up seabed.

Lost civilzation city. . . .found

Filed under: Remote Sensing — acagle @ 12:57 pm

Ancient Roman City Rises Again

From the ground, a 100-hectare site just north of Italy’s Venice airport looks like nothing more than rolling fields of corn and soybeans. But it’s actually home to a buried Roman metropolis called Altinum, considered the precursor of ancient Venice. Now, using sophisticated aerial imagery, researchers have brought this city to life once again.

Archaeologists have known for decades that Altinum, a Roman trading center that thrived between the 1st and 5th centuries C.E., lay below these farm fields. Raised 2 to 3 meters above the surrounding marshy lagoon by centuries of human habitation, the city was approximately the size of Pompeii. Its history could stretch back to the Bronze Age, and it dominated the region for at least 600 years before it became a part of the Roman Empire.

Excellent. Make sure you enlarge the image at the link. This ought to be done much more. Of course, I keep meaning one day to do it around here and see if you can identify shell midden in similar fashion.

July 30, 2009

And speaking of weather. . . .

Filed under: Non-archaeology — acagle @ 2:43 pm

We just had a record high temp yesterday (at least since 1891, and even that depends on how accurate you want to call earlier records) of 103. That was only 3 degrees less than the high in Death Valley yesterday. I know a lot of you NorteAmericanos have been suffering through or enjoying a pretty mild summer, especially in the midwest and northeast. We’ve had the opposite. After a grueling cold and wet winter and spring, summer arrived pretty much in mid-May which is two months ahead of schedule. Usually we have a wet season until mid-July and then the rain shuts off for two months, but this year it turned dry in May and temps have been rather higher than normal, I think. This last week we had a huge ridge of high pressure over us and it dragged all kinds of hot air (heh) up from California and shut off the ocean flow of air. So we’ve been sweltering in the 90s+ since Monday. As I’ve said before, we don’t really have much 85+ weather here so hardly anyone has AC. Happily, ArchaeoBlog Manor is equipped with a daylight basement which is about 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house, so we all have retreated down here all week most of the time.

Except for Badger. He seems unable to get the hint that it’s cooler down here and he just splays himself out in front of the front door and sleeps all day. Dork.

More local historic stuff

Filed under: Historic, Local media — acagle @ 2:36 pm

Gov. Calvert House Displays 18th Century Artifacts

One man’s trash is truly another man’s treasure.

Just ask the staff at the Governor Calvert House, where an exhibit of 18th-century artifacts is on display. The bits of clay pipe, pieces of plates, utensils and other items were largely recovered from an area at the historic home where members of the Calvert family once dumped their trash.

“For us, it’s like gold,” said Joe Dantoni, general manager of Historic Inns of Annapolis, which runs the Calvert House at 58 State Circle and two other Annapolis properties. “This is a nice addition. If it’s interesting to me, it’ll certainly be interesting to a lot of history buffs.”

Interesting. Never heard of a ‘hypocaust’ before although I’ve seen them before in Roman buildings.

Historic archaeology update

Filed under: Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 2:33 pm

Environmental study reveals mission artifacts

Mission artifacts that could be more than 200 years old were discovered during an archaeological survey near the San Gabriel Mission, an environmental consultant said Wednesday.

Pottery, brick, livestock bones and remnants of a masonry waterway associated with a mill built in 1823 were among the artifacts discovered Tuesday during the dig.

Archaeologists also recovered items linked with the building of the Union Pacific Railroad in the late 1800s.


Filed under: Local media — acagle @ 2:32 pm

Archaeologists unveil findings of three year project in Marlow

There are hill forts scattered all over Britain which were first built in the late Bronze Age around 1,000 BC through until the Roman invasion in 43 AD.

They are thought to have been used to protect settlements and cattle, store grain and may even have been the high status homes for tribal chiefs and their families.

The Catuvellani tribe who lived there may have had a population of about 1,000.

The Danesfield site was taken over by the RAF from 1941 until 1977.

Climate and archaeology

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 2:30 pm

Actually, weather and archaeology: Comfortable Summer Aids Archaeologists At Cahokia Mounds

Volunteers in southern Illinois really dig [Wow! I've never heard THAT pun before! ed.] the primarily nice weather we’ve had so far this summer. Archeologists have been digging, scraping, and measuring at Cahokia Mounds all summer long. “What we’ve been focusing on this summer is getting down below the previous excavations that were done here in the 1950s.” says John Kelly with Washington University.

There’s a video at that link. Pretty spotty though.

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