October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Filed under: Non-archaeology — acagle @ 4:35 pm

My evening: Sitting in the living room waiting for the rare knock at the door. Last year I got all dressed up in my best Indiana Jones — complete with Nerf cracking whip! — and got like two groups. And one was just the neighbor kids. So this year I am not dressing up, plugging in the computer and watching college football on ESPN360.

I have some Lindt’s truffles for the neighbor girls and I’m dumping the Butterfingers off on the ToTers. I dislike Butterfingers, except for the Butterfinger Crisps which are my form of crack. I made the Jack-o-Lantern a real Jack-o-Lantern: a cat figure with one eye. Something like this:

I’ll get a photo of it a little later. Have a great Halloween!

UPDATE: Guess I’ll live blog Halloween from ArchaeoBlog Manor.

6:50: Nothing yet. Badger threw up, so I guess that’s our treat for the night. Or trick. I have the South Carolina/Tennessee game on ESPN360. If all the games are blowouts I may have to switch to DVDs. The ArchaeoWife is downstairs working on school stuff leaving me, Daisy and Badger to watch for ToTers. Hopefully, Daisy won’t flip out when the first band of miscreants comes to the door and re-break her leg or anything.

6:58: First bunch! A witch, a Darth Vader, and a. . .well, something. Daisy stayed put but got down from the guard tower after they left. I’m generous with Butterfingers. . . . .

7:11: ESPN360 is kind of cool in that you can watch a bunch of out-market games on the computer, but they have the same commercials over and over. Interesting though, when they go to the studio, they just keep the live feed from the field going so you get silence and just a view of the field.

7:43: Ooookay. No more ToTers. Yeeeeup. Here we are, waiting for those ToTers.

Here at ArchaeoBlog manor.

Yup. Waiting.

Did I mention that Daisy likes chasing Nerf darts? We’re doing that.

While we wait. . . . .and wait. . . . .and wait. . . . .[cue Casablanca]

8:02: A couple of them were right next door, but they apparently went elsewhere. Hmmm. I have decorations up. Maybe word got around that we’re giving out Butterfingers.

My best Halloween costume was my least elaborate: when I was at Madison I just put a paper bag over my head and went as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Aha! Second group! Neighbor girl and her friend. Got rid of some of the Lindts. The other neighbor girl is off in a different neighborhood so she doesn’t get any! All the more truffles for me.

One of the two had on one of those “sexy witch” outfits which I think are a tad bit inappropriate for young girls (well, not that sexy but I think fishnets are pushing it). Of course, if any 29-year olds came by like that. . . . .

9:37: Oh well, two whole groups, same as last year. Don’t forget to set your clocks back!

From the cemetery

Filed under: Cemeteries — acagle @ 10:19 am

A couple of items from the survey I’ve been doing. There are quite a few loggers buried in Calvary — not surprising since logging was HUGE here — and many of them have a seal on the stone:

Full image.

This is one of the better preserved ones, as it’s in granite. A lot of the ones I’ve seen have been very badly eroded. Most seem to be fairly consistent in the iconography, with the hammer, wedge, axe, log, and dove. The phrase ‘Dum Tacet Clamat’ means ‘Though silent, He speaks’ and is fairly common on these as well. Most also have the phrase “Here rests a Woodman of the World”. The Woodmen of the World was originally a fraternal organization and part of their benefits package included a headstone for members. The monuments aren’t all the same although many were shaped as stacks of wood or tree stumps. There is one of the latter at Calvary:

Full image.

Here’s another link with more info on these markers.

Slavery archaeology update

Filed under: Historic, Slavery archaeology — acagle @ 9:41 am

Archaeology course unlocks “silent history” of the slave trade in West Africa

Taught by assistant professor of anthropology J. Cameron Monroe, the class opened a door that led Baker-Rabe to West Africa, where she spent seven weeks this past summer as part of UCSC’s first undergraduate archaeological expedition to Benin.

Under Monroe’s leadership, Baker-Rabe and seven other undergraduates spent nearly two months unearthing beads, bits of pottery, and other artifacts that yield clues to the everyday lives of Africans during the 18th and 19th centuries. Galvanized by the experience, she now plans to apply to graduate school and pursue a Ph.D. in archaeology.

I believe this is the first time I’ve heard of archaeology done on the slave trade at that end; usually it’s in the US.

Organic archaeology

Filed under: Cemeteries — acagle @ 9:38 am

Unique Stone Age burial items unearthed in central Sweden

Swedish archaeologists are marveling over a collection of 9,000 year old artifacts recently uncovered at an excavation site central Sweden.

Parts of a bow, a paddle, and the wooden shaft of an axe are among the discoveries recently unearthed from the Stone Age settlement Kanaljorden outside of Motala, according to local media reports.

“Totally unbelievable,” project leader Fredrik Hallgren with the Stiftelsen Kulturmiljövård Mälardalen (‘Cultural Preservation Society of Mälardalen’) told the local newspaper Motala & Vadstena Tidning.

Sheesh. There should be enough material there for a hundred dissertations and decades of work.

October 30, 2009

What else I’m doing today

Filed under: Non-archaeology — acagle @ 10:11 am

Cleaning my home office. Why? Well, because it needs it. And because I watched a show on A&E the other night called Hoarders. Let it be said that I am not a hoarder. OTOH, both I and the ArchaeoWife tend to let the clutter increase on flat surfaces, especially desks and tables.

I’ve actually kept ye olde desk pretty well under control, but let it slip a bit the last couple of weeks. The whole room needs a thorough cleaning anyway. The cat litter is in here so it tends to get reeeeeally dusty.

And what is is with female cats? Daisy has the most godawful smelly dumps EVER. How such a delicate little creature can produce the most vile and disgusting smelling piles of YUCK is beyond me. We have jumbo cans of Lysol spray and candles for the twice-a-day ritual of hers. JAYsus.

And for Halloween. . . .

Filed under: Non-archaeology — acagle @ 8:51 am

Carve your own Jack-o-Lantern!

What I’m reading now

Filed under: Non-archaeology — acagle @ 8:39 am

In the evening I mean, not the usual academic junk. Would you believe Shakespeare? Really, I’ve never read it before except in small occasional bits. I’ve never even seen an entire play either. Or movie. I’ve watched a few minutes here and there of Branagh’s films but never all the way through. It’s. . . .tough. I started with Macbeth and now am going through Othello. You really have to concentrate to understand what’s going on. I might have been lost in Macbeth had I not read a summary beforehand. But I am reading Othello cold to see if I can follow it. I find I have to really imagine the words being said by actors rather than just reading them (if that makes sense); makes it easier to understand just what is being said. I’m slowly getting used to the language and hoping it will come a bit more easily and be more enjoyable, or at least not so much of a slog. Sometimes I have to go back and read entire passages again just to figure out what the heck just happened.

He’s got some naughty bits strewn in. Such as Iago telling Brabantio “I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.”

Mostly I imagine Patrick Stewart saying most of the lines.

October 29, 2009

From Egypt

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 3:40 pm

Austrian archaeologists make Babylonian find in Egypt

Austrian archaeologists have found a Babylonian seal in Egypt that confirms contact between the Babylonians and the Hyksos during the second millennium B.C.

Irene Forstner-Müller, the head of the Austrian Archaeological Institute’s (ÖAI) branch office in Cairo, said today (Thurs) the find had occurred at the site of the ancient town of Avaris near what is today the city of Tell el-Dab’a in the eastern Nile delta.

Helicopter moms?

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 3:38 pm

Something I am missing here, but: Helicopter Moms: Letting them choose

Imagine my disappointment when after only one semester at the University of North Carolina, she announced she was dropping pre-med to major in classical archaeology!

“I’ve changed my mind about becoming a doctor,” she told me. “I just don’t want to work that hard.”

Suddenly I was wishing I had never taken her to see any of the Indiana Jones movies or pushed her into studying Latin rather than a modern language like French or German.

Yes, parents are usually a bit wary when one tells them one is going into archaeology. I remember mine weren’t thrilled but they accepted it when I went to Egypt the first time.

Skeletons in the closet convent

Filed under: Cemeteries, Local media — acagle @ 3:35 pm

Archaeologists find skeletons at Mexico ex-convent

A street repaving project in the southern colonial Mexican city of Oaxaca has turned up 10 skeletons and the foundations of a 15th-century convent.

Archaeologists have long suspected that the street ran over part of the Convent of San Pablo. Many church properties in Mexico were broken up or built over in the 1860s.

Looks like they’re going to leave them and repave over it.

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