December 31, 2010

Blogging update

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 9:45 am

Probably little posting for the next couple of days. The tiling is turning out to be more than I bargained for, We had to tear out all of the old drywall and put up cement board. Thus far we have one side rebuilt. Apparently in the late ’80s when they redid the shower they found that some of the framing had rotted and added some new 2×4’s. They re-drywalled and put up a laminate surround, but no moisture barrier. Little bit of water this time, but not much. So, today is finishing the cement boarding and hopefully tiling today or tomorrow. Yay, happy new year. . . .

And Yay Huskies!

December 29, 2010

Blogging update

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 4:28 pm

Probably no blogging tomorrow (Thursday) as it is the day we are tearing out the shower surround and putting in new tile along with new plumbing fixtures. It’s an ugly faux stone thing now, that works well, but looks awful. We’re putting in 1950s-style tile, though not the true period replicas that were probably in there originally. . . .because it costs $19 a square foot. I think this stuff will look better anyway while still keeping that mid-century feel to it.

My biggest fear is the underlying surface needing lots of repair. Hopefully, the old material will peel off easily (hope, hope, hope) and we can just put the new stuff on. Will photo document the entire process.

Law enforcement and looting

Filed under: Antiquities Market, Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 4:24 pm

18 months after Utah raid, do artifact laws stop theft?

The laws, the arrests, the penalties — nothing has stopped the criminal trafficking, last year or last century. Over time, many archaeologists and prosecutors believe, they are changing most people’s attitudes. But many fear the justice system never can stop the stubborn few.

“As archaeologists, we’ve become a little numb to it because we see it everywhere we go,” said Kevin Jones, Utah’s state archaeologist. Many of the sites he has studied are compromised. Without the federal laws, though, “we would have nothing left.”

Illegal or not, Americans still clutch after the Southwest’s past by combing its canyons for ruins. The laws against it, starting with the Antiquities Act, are clear but went largely ignored by the public and the government for decades. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) in 1979 added teeth with specific prison sentences but did not end the damage.

Long article on the unfortunate circumstances surrounding a large case from a couple of years ago. Worth reading in its entirety to see what various sides are thinking about it. I tend to think most in law enforcement outside of those directly involved with archaeology are going to take it all that seriously since it’s a property crime and not even a personal property crime. I think one way to get people to see it as something more than “just a law” is to remind them often that these are, indeed, Federal lands and that when they’re stealing, they’re profiting off of our common resource. People may not connect with “knowing our shared cultural past” especially when their ancestors came from Europe, but they might if they realize the looters are ripping us all off.

Armageddon is here!

Filed under: Biblical archaeology — acagle @ 4:10 pm

In the news anyway: Armageddon Fortress May Hold Keys to History

The Book of Revelation says the biblical fortress of Armageddon will be the site of an apocalyptic battle between good and evil at the end of time. Scientists believe it could also be the place where time begins — at least for archaeology.

In a groundbreaking new project, scholars are using the rich archaeological remains that soar more than 50 feet above the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel to synchronize the clocks of the ancient world and create the first definitive calendar of human history.

Actually a pretty good article.

PeeDee update

Filed under: Historic, Underwater archaeology — acagle @ 4:06 pm

Civil War ship, here.

Hmmm. I can’t find a post on that. Well, read this one.

(Semi) Breaking news

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 4:05 pm

Actually from a a couple of days ago, via the EEF:

SCA press release:

“A Roman cache of demotic ostraca has been discovered at the
Greco-Roman site of Soknopaiou Nesos/Dime es-Seba, located
two kilometers north of Qarun Lake in the Fayoum.
Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosny, announced today that the cache
was uncovered during an excavation carried out by an Italian
archaeological expedition from Universit‡ del Salento.

Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council
of Antiquities (SCA), said that 150 ostraca were found. Each
ostracon was inscribed with the name of a priest who worked at
Soknopaiou Nesos in a temple dedicated to the god, Soknopaios.
The texts written on the ostraca date back to the Roman period
and have been very helpful in illuminating the religious practices
and the prosopography of Greco-Roman Egypt.

Dr. Mario Capasso, Director of the mission, suggests that the
newly discovered ostraca were originally kept in a storeroom
situated in a courtyard in front of Soknopaios’ temple. Dr.
Capasso believes that the ostraca were thrown out of the
temple during a clandestine excavation at the end of the
19th century.

Soknopaiou Nesos is very important for the understanding
of Greco-Roman society in Egypt because of its excellent state
of preservation and the amount of papyri and other inscribed
material found at the site. Civilization at the site reached its peak
during the first and second century AD as it sat along a major
trade route. In addition to the Ptolemaic temple of Soknopaios,
the site is well known for a collection of sphinxes, as well as
Roman and demotic papyri.”

Dime. I could have gone to see that once, but I headed north up onto the escarpment instead.

Get the most you can for it

Filed under: Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 4:02 pm

Find an artifact? Here’s what to do with it

Artifacts – including things like bones, pottery and points – are important to archaeologists “because they tell us all kinds of things,” Tiffany said. “They tell us how Native Americans were living at that time. They tell us about hunting activities, and how they killed game … and about commerce and trading. It’s almost as if they could talk.”

Some artifacts, like pieces of pottery, are usually found only at the site of what was a village. “But points are very portable,” Tiffany said. “They can be almost anywhere.”

So, if you find something you think might be an artifact, what do you do?

They quote a number of 1.5 million fake artifacts being produced each year. Not sure where that came from nor whether it is accurate or not. There was a story some time ago about eBay not being as hot a place for artifacts because of all the fakes being sold. Pretty soon only archys with advanced equipment and/or having excavated a site will be able to tell which ones are real or not.

December 28, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:30 pm

I have started a new blog: A Wisconsin Man in Julia Child’s Kitchen. I got Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Xmas and I’m working through it. Not every single stinking recipe, but I will learn many of them. And relate my experiences from the viewpoint of a man, baby.

Egypt books on the shelf

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 9:06 am

Tomb readers [heh, good one. ed.]

The land of the pharaohs can seem as exotic and remote as a colony of aliens from a distant planet. This does not detract in the slightest from our enjoyment of the period, but it does leave us prone to believing the ancient Egyptians capable of anything. This belief has led to the development of an alternative form of Egyptology that flourishes in books, films, computer games and, above all, on the internet. This Egypt is an enticing and mysterious world that we are invited to enter: a world where pyramids are measured in sacred inches, hieroglyphs are carved by space travellers and, in the most extreme cases, the bandaged dead can be restored to life by words read from sacred texts.

It is not a world that the ancients themselves would have recognised. The overwhelming majority of the dynastic Egyptians lived lives that were dull, hard-working and all too brief. Neither magicians nor magi, and certainly not aliens from another world, they were the ancestors of those who live in Egypt today.

Book review of three new books covering the whole history of Egypt up to the present.

Greatly exaggerated?

Filed under: Indiana Jones, Media, Pop culture — acagle @ 9:00 am

Indiana Jones death reports ‘false’

Harrison ford’s publicist has dismissed reports the actor’s beloved character Indiana Jones is set to be killed off in the next movie.

Ford reprised his role as the heroic archaeologist in 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which hit cinemas nearly 20 years after 1989’s Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

A follow-up is planned for 2012 and reports from the US say insiders claim Ford’s iconic character will be killed off.

I can see him ‘disappearing’ in some event but I kind of doubt they’d kill him off directly. Probably something ambiguous where he’s sucked into a vortex or something. I don’t know for sure if they have the sequel planned already or not, just various rumors.

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