August 31, 2009

Vikings! (?)

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:48 pm

Swedish archaeologists uncover 7th century ship

Swedish archaeologists have announced the find of a 7th century burial ship, the oldest of its kind to be discovered in Scandinavia.

The ship, thought to be from the Vendel era (550-793) of Swedish prehistory, was found in Sunnerby on the island of Kållandsö in Lake Vänern in central Sweden and, according to Lake Vänern Museum, is the only known ship burial to be uncovered in Sweden.

Archaeologists from Lake Vänern Museum and Gothenburg University are busy excavating the find which includes equipment, gifts and animal sacrifices.

Hmmmmm. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:33 pm

Ancient Map Offers Key to Mesoamerican History

A map painted by Mexican Indians in the mid-16th century has become a key document for understanding the migration of Mesoamerican peoples from their land of origin in what is now the U.S. Southwest, according to a scholar at Harvard University Divinity School.

“Five years of research and writing (2002-2007) by 15 scholars of Mesoamerican history show that this document, the Map of Cuauhtinchan 2, with more than 700 pictures in color, is something like a Mesoamerican Iliad and Odyssey,” Dr. David Carrasco told Efe in a telephone interview.

“The map tells sacred stories and speaks of pilgrimages, wars, medicine, plants, marriages, rituals and heroes of the Cuauhtinchan community, which means Place of the Eagle’s Nest (in the present-day Mexican state of Puebla),” he said.

First I’ve ever heard about this.

Blogging update

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 7:28 pm

Well, a few odds and ends before moving on.

Odds: Here are a couple photos of the tiling I just did. It’s not done yet, I still have the landing to do, which will require some work to get the old vinyl off and rebuilding part of a step, along with new baseboards, but it’s 90% there. Here is the before, with a Klondike of happier times:

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I hated that stuff. It was dingy, had a few cuts and burns in it, and it just never looked clean and shiny. It was vinyl. I think I’ve always had vinyl floors in kitchens, but we decided to go with tile. I think it looks a lot nicer and the tile we picked makes for a nice neutral color while still being kinda classy. And it’s got a wonderful texture, it feels perfect on bare feet. It’s a porcelain made in Turkey. Two shots of the after:

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Even Jack approves:

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I’m going to seal it tomorrow. It’s so nice to finally have something that feels worth taking care of.

Ends: Photo of the new cat:

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She’s (“Daisy” is still tentative) getting braver and coming out from under the couch more without having to be plied with a toy. We started the introduction with the others this afternoon. Badger couldn’t care less, Jack was kind of hissy but not overtly aggressive. She can be very affectionate at times; the ArchaeoWife slept downstairs with her last night and she apparently spent much of the night snoozing right next to her. I’m on babysitting duty tonight, so I hope she does the same. She was feral and did not have much contact with humans previously, so it will still take some time. She seemed pretty comfortable with Jack around, so unless the others take a hating to her, that end ought to work out okay.

Prisoner unchained

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 11:22 am

Shackles found in River Thames hold ghoulish tale

An iron ball and chain found on the banks of London’s River Thames is causing a stir amongst archaeologists who say the 300 year-old artifact used to restrain convicts on ships may have a gruesome story to tell.

The leg irons, believed to date from the 17th or 18th century, were pulled from the mud with the lock fastened, suggesting a convict could have drowned while trying to escape.

Range Creek update

Filed under: Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 11:19 am

Utah to turn over fabled Range Creek canyon to U. of U. archaeologists

State authorities are transferring control of a remote canyon filled with prehistoric ruins to the University of Utah for a permanent research installation.

A land trade set to occur in September will make university archaeologists permanent stewards of Range Creek Canyon, which stunned the scientific world when it was revealed in 2004.

The canyon, 125 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, was kept secret by a family of ranchers for the better part of a century before it ended up in state hands in 2004. It features the remains of ancient settlements, with the eroded remains of pit and cob houses, still-standing grain caches, and colorful trapezoidal figures painted with spiky hair styles on canyon walls.

Good that they have a permanent caretaker on the property. I admit I’m kind of hoping they don’t do very much excavation and leave the place as pristine as possible.

Recent archaeology

Filed under: Historic, Remote Sensing — acagle @ 11:17 am

Dig rears history’s head at Denver site

Archaeologists have uncovered the foundations of 100-year-old row houses, along with artifacts including children’s toys, at the site of the state’s new history museum in downtown Denver.

The seven row houses, built between 1890 and 1904, extended along the north side of East 12th Avenue between Lincoln Street and Broadway. Artifacts found in the cellars include fine-diningware, silverware, porcelain dolls and some liquor bottles still containing alcohol. A few bones were found in one cellar, but they were of a puppy and not human.

“Now we’re trying to make the link from archaeology to anthropology; from bricks and mortar to domestic activities and economic conditions,” said Steve Dominguez, senior archaeologist with RMC Consultants, hired by the Colorado Historical Society.

At least they won’t have to travel very far. I wonder what they’re going to do with the foundation walls? Also, they located them through GPR, although it was kind of used as ground-truthing from other maps and such.

August 29, 2009

Hopefully not in anyone’s bed

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 9:07 am

Gold-plated Roman horse head found

Scientists say a Roman horse head made from bronze and plated in gold has been discovered at an archaeological site in Germany.

Hesse state archaeologist Egon Schallmeyer says the head is part of a horse and rider statue and “qualitatively one of the best (pieces) created at that time.”

The ornamented, well preserved head was found earlier this month at the Waldgirmes excavation site in central Germany and displayed Thursday at the German Archaeological Institute in Frankfurt.

We once found a bunch of horse’s heads — in various states of decomposition — on a survey in northern Idaho once. We didn’t hang around there too long.

Howard Carter documents online

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 9:05 am

From Jaromir Malek via the EEF, more Howard Carter documents have been posted online at The Griffith Institute website. They’re all transcriptions; it would be nice if scans could be posted of the originals.

August 28, 2009

Requiescat in pace, Klondike.

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 8:41 am

No, no posting yesterday. The K-Man took a turn for the worse yesterday and I spent most of my spare time with him. Probably about as good an outcome as one could expect. He’d been slowing down a lot since the weekend and then yesterday morning he had a seizure-like episode where he was very agitated, disoriented, didn’t seem to know where he was, and kept meow-moaning. He was over it in a few minutes and calmed down and was pretty okay the rest of the day. But he had another episode at around 5 — I was planning on seeing how he passed the night — and it was clear he was in distress and we couldn’t do anything to help him.

So, off we went for his last ride in the hated automobile. Happily, the vets really knew what they were doing and it was fairly . . .painless? Whatever the right word is. They checked him over and said that otherwise he was in good shape (nice pink gums, not dehydrated, etc.) so I felt pretty good about that.

Sad, but I’m okay with the whole process, i.e., no regrets. I think he was as comfortable and happy as possible for as long as was possible, and he suffered little. I kind of wish I’d asked more about pain meds, but he never seemed in much pain and that would have been yet another thing we’d have to shove down his throat.

I’m finishing up the tiling today. Grout. Otherwise, everything is in its place and it looks pretty good. Might post some later today.

August 26, 2009

Just beads, no black monolith

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 11:48 am

Shell beads point to dawn of modern human behaviour

A new study by an international team of researchers from France, South Africa, Germany, Israel and the UK has confirmed that 80,000-year-old shell beads found in caves in North Africa represent some of the earliest evidence of the use of personal ornamentation.

The new research shows the shell beads were common across North Africa until they fell out of use around 70,000 years ago. Previously, the shells were known from only a few scattered examples. ‘We are no longer looking at isolated or one off events.’ says Professor Nick Barton of the University of Oxford, one of the authors of the study. ‘We can now document the shells at a number of different locations in North Africa all of about the same age’ he adds.

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