May 31, 2010

Blogging update

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 8:50 am

Yes, back to posting. I did next to nothing Saturday and Sunday, partly because I was tending to the ArchaeoWife, mostly I was just dead tired. I swear I sleep better during the week. Saturday night I made the mistake of watching (finally) the season finale of Lost and then going right to bed, where I dreamed about it almost all night. I really liked it though, but I shan’t bore you with my ruminations on it.

ArchaeoWife is feeling better today and I am marginally more rested, so I am blogging and cleaning this morning and then perhaps going out for a bit later. Yes, Mr. Excitement on Memorial Day weekend. It’s been rainy and cool here all weekend though, so we’re not missing much.


Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 8:38 am

High Weirdness on the Giza Plateau

Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2006, he is the person who — to quote the venerable magazine — “determines who will excavate in Egypt, and when and where.”

An Emmy winner and a self-promoter extraordinaire, Hawass is a veritable headline machine, most often to be found as the grinning co-host in Fox television specials and Discovery Channel documentaries when tombs are being opened for the first time. The Pennsylvania Gazette, the alumni magazine of his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, calls him “archaeology’s answer to Carl Sagan…a celebrity…equal parts statesman, salesman, scientist, teacher, magician, and showman.” Dr Farouk El-Baz, the Egyptian director of the Remote Sensing Centre at Boston University, calls him — not without respect — “something of a media whore”. It’s true that a Google search on his name will bring up more than 290,000 hits, and it’s also a fact that he even has his own fan club.

Dunno about much of what is said in there, but it’s worth reading anyhow.


Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:29 am

‘Shivpremi’ activists damage Archaeology dept office

”Shivpremi” activists today pelted stones and damaged office property of the Archaeology department located at Panahala fort of this district, to register their protest against reported denial of government permission for Chhatrapati Shivaji’s ”Rajyabhishek” celebration.

Not much there, but I couldn’t resist the headline.

A fitting memorial

Filed under: Cemeteries, Historic — acagle @ 8:28 am

Archaeologist’s last wish set in stone

James Deetz spent his life in graveyards.

Deetz, a renowned archaeologist and the former assistant director of Plimoth Plantation, examined the intricate drawings and epitaphs to become one of the country’s leading experts on gravestone studies. He was especially drawn to the death’s head, nicknamed “light bulb heads,” that adorns so many stones from the 18th century.

Just before he died in 2000, Deetz repeated what he had made clear to his family throughout his 70 years.

“It was always his wish to have a period-type gravestone,” said Joseph Deetz, one of Deetz’s nine children.

But it was a man described as Deetz’s 10th child, David Wheelock, who stepped up to fulfill that dying wish.

I must admit that I wasn’t aware that Deetz had passed, although Brad Lepper did a story a while back that I linked to (couple links on Deetz’s work there). You can view one of Deetz and Deflethseon’s papers (if that link works, if not, search for the authors’ names on

Cemetery archaeology

Filed under: Conservation/CRM, Historic, Slavery archaeology — acagle @ 8:18 am

Archaeologists Dig Up Remains at Unmarked South Bibb Cemetery

The Georgia Department of Transportation and a team of archaeologists say they may be closer to understanding the history of a 19th century burial ground in South Bibb County.

GDOT first discovered the unmarked cemetery near Airport South Drive in April 2008, while finalizing plans to expand Sardis Church Road from east of Skipper Road to U.S. Highway 129. To complete the road project, officials with the Department of Transportation say the cemetery has to be moved.

Now, mortuary archaeologists say they’ve discovered the remains of 101 people at the site.

There’s a video of the story and also a link to the project’s web site. That’s a great idea, I wish more of these projects would have web sites for them.

Hizzoner, the mayor

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 8:12 am

Ancient mayor’s ‘lost tomb’ found south of Cairo

Archaeologists have discovered the 3,300-year-old tomb of the ancient Egyptian capital’s mayor, whose resting place had been lost under the desert sand since 19th century treasure hunters first carted off some of its decorative wall panels, officials announced Sunday.

Ptahmes, the mayor of Memphis, also served as army chief, overseer of the treasury and royal scribe under Seti I and his son and successor, Ramses II, in the 13th century B.C.

The discovery of his tomb earlier this year in a New Kingdom necropolis at Saqqara, south of Cairo, solves a riddle dating back to 1885, when foreign expeditions made off with pieces of the tomb, whose location was soon after forgotten.

Further evidence that you could probably make a career out of the archaeology of archaeologists. . . .

Errr. . . what?

Filed under: Egypt, Pop culture — acagle @ 8:10 am

Josh Ritter: Building Dollhouses And Burning Them Down

Archaeology? What?

The singer-songwriter’s latest album, So Runs the World Away, features elaborate storytelling and intricate characters that meet untimely ends. Watch the exclusive video premiere for “The Curse,” a love story between a mummy and an archaeologist.

In my experience, mummies are usually not particularly good company or attractive.

Top secret Mesolithic Scots

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:06 am

Secrets of ancient Scottish hunters revealed by camp

It was an age when reindeer roamed the Scottish landscape, competing for territory with human raiding parties from what is now the North Sea.

The country lay under glaciers as far south as the Highland Line, and a mini ice-age was fast approaching.

Today, for the first time, Scottish archaeologists will tell the story of this remarkable period at a national conference in Glasgow.

Alan Saville, of National Museums Scotland, will join archaeologist Tam Ward to discuss ongoing work at Howburn Farm, an ancient human campsite discovered by amateur enthusiasts in 2005. The discovery, north of Biggar, is the oldest so far found, and proves that humans lived in Scotland as long as 14,000 years ago.

(link fixed)

Top secret archaeology

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:04 am

Archaeologists study rock art at secret site

Some of the world’s top rock art archeologists are seeking to uncover the heritage of the Indigenous traditional owners of a remote part of the Northern Territory’s Arnhem land.

The international team of archaeologists spent 10 days at a secret location on the west Arnhem land plateau.

They excavated a naturally-formed sandstone shelter which is covered in rock art depicting animals and mythological spirits.

Online paper

Filed under: Egypt, On blogging — acagle @ 8:03 am

Over the EEF wires:

The first monograph on British Museum fieldwork at Kom Firin
> in Egypt’s Nile Delta, a settlement created around the time of
> Ramses II, and occupied until late Antiquity, is now available
> online for free download:
> Neal Spencer, Kom Firin I: The Ramesside temple and the site
> survey. British Museum Research Publication 170. London, 2008.

Worth reading if you’re interested in going into detail. It’s near Kom el-Hisn in the Delta and I’m reading it as KeH was also occupied during the New Kingdom.

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