March 31, 2010

“One of the great dangers of archaeology. . . .”

Filed under: Books — acagle @ 11:51 am

Just stumbled across this: Dangerous Places: Health, Safety, and Archaeology

“Dangerous Places brings together an enormous body of information regarding the threats that archaeologists face every day, and the best ways of behaving proactively to avoid or mitigate these threats.”

I was going to kind of make fun of this, but I suppose (given that I haven’t read a word of it) that it might be worthwhile. I mean, depending on where you work, there’s heat exhaustion, cold, food poisoning, snakes, ticks, spiders, mosquitoes, slumping baulks, flying pick heads, and crossing a Cairo street. Yeah, sometimes being shot at, too.

Cretan seafaring Neanderthals update

Filed under: Paleoanth — acagle @ 11:17 am

Over at A Very Remote Period Indeed.

(Via Hawks)

March 30, 2010

Guernsey (not the cow)

Filed under: Rome — acagle @ 7:08 pm

Guernsey the Roman Empire’s trading post

A series of finds in 1980s completely changed the perception of the effect the Romans had on Guernsey.
Tanya Walls, La Société Guernesiaise archaeology secretary, said before the finds it had been thought they had little influence.
However, when evidence of settlements, trade and industry came to light it told a different story.

A. . .has-bean?

Filed under: Rome — acagle @ 7:06 pm

Lead “Burrito” Sarcophagus Found Near Rome

A 1,700-year-old sarcophagus found in an abandoned city near Rome could contain the body of a gladiator or a Christian dignitary, say archaeologists who are preparing to examine the coffin in the lab.

Found in a cement-capped pit in the ancient metropolis of Gabii, the coffin is unusual because it’s made of lead—only a few hundred such Roman burials are known.

Even odder, the 800 pounds (362 kilograms) of lead fold over the corpse like a burrito, said Roman archaeologist Jeffrey Becker. Most lead sarcophagi look like “old-fashioned cracker boxes,” molded into a rectangular shape with a lid, he said.

Interesting. It’s not sealed though, so preservation is likely to be good but not exceptional I would think. There’s an opening through which to send in an endoscope and have a look around to see if it’s worth opening, but I tend to err on the side of letting it be for the time being.

Into the Presidio

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:02 pm

2 Presidio barracks fuel preservation debate

The two barracks on Graham Street will never be mistaken for high design. They’re like thousands assembled during World War II, long efficient shells of wood.

But the worn white pair sits within San Francisco’s Presidio, and that makes them historic, because the 1,491-acre national park is a National Historic Landmark District. These survivors also are the focus of a debate as to whether they should remain or be removed – and an example of the inherent subjectivity as to what preservation in the 21st century should be.

Language alert ahead. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:00 pm

The weird alchemy of archaeology

The alchemists said that you could turn shit into gold, and thus archaeology was born.

That’s one of my take-aways from the first day of the 63rd Annual Northwest Anthropology Conference held at Central Washington University in Ellensburg last week. Each day, conference threads cover topics ranging from talking chimpanzees (a CWU specialty) to the anthropology of the Goth subculture, from the stone knapping skills of prehistoric Northwest hunters to the dining habits of the Union soldiers who manned Oregon’s Fort Yamhill.


Filed under: Aviation Archaeology — acagle @ 6:58 pm

State: Leave World War II plane wreckage alone

The state’s investigation into wreckage of a World War II plane found by loggers in woods just off the Oregon Coast March 18 continues.

The plane is a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, the Navy’s primary attack and bombing plane during World War II. The curator at the Tillamook Air Museum, Christian Gurling, calls it “a significant find, because there’s only one Helldiver that’s flying in the world.”

Not much there that wasn’t in the earlier story.

Olympic archaeology

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:57 pm

New Tudor find could block Olympic event

A coalition of residents and celebrities determined to stop the 2012 Olympic Games equestrian events being held in Greenwich’s royal park have received a much-needed boost to their campaign: archaeologists have unearthed what are thought to be Tudor remains, just yards from the planned site of the events.

The group No to Greenwich Equestrian Events (Nogoe), which has the backing of high-profile supporters including the historian David Starkey, is now considering legal action in an attempt to reverse Greenwich council’s decision last week to grant permission for the events.

Update to this story.

There is?

Filed under: Mummies — acagle @ 6:55 pm

How To Become Immortal (The Archaeological Way)!

There’s an entire sub-discipline of archaeology – the wonderfully named “archaeology of death” – that deals solely with the discovery and interpretation of ancient human remains. Over the years, archaeologists and paleontologists have discovered remains from all sorts of different eras, including the 5300-year-old Otzi the Iceman in the Alps, the 10000-year-old Kennewick Man outside Seattle, and the 3.2-million-year-old hominid Lucy in Ethiopia. These remains have all increased immeasurably our knowledge of the past, lending them significance and fame they could not have hoped to have achieved during their own lifetimes.

Kind of a cute little article. Although you don’t have to die horribly to be mummfied, just buried in the right place.

Too late for Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:51 pm

Archaeological dig in China reveals 4,200-year-old eternal embrace

It’s said that true love is eternal, and archaeologists have found an example of this adage in the form of a 4,200-year-old grave in China, in which a couple was found laying and hugging each other.

The ancient grave was found by the Chengdu Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology in the Sanxing Village of Mimou Township, Qingbaijiang District.

The bones of the “oldest” couple are clearly visible.

No photo, sadly. Not the first one either. It’s a race!

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