April 28, 2011

Clan of the cave bear fighters?

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 12:36 pm

Cavemen, Cave Bears Battled Over Turf

Cavemen may have had to jostle with bears to settle into caves up to 32,000 years ago, as research shows cave bears lived in the same spaces coveted by prehistoric humans.

The new study on cave bears, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science, may also shed light on the age of cave art depicting these enormous animals and why the bears eventually went extinct.

A clue to the mysteries is that from 32,000 to 30,000 years ago, both humans and cave bears lived in two French caves, creating a likely man-versus-bear battle.

Earlier study on cave bears here.

Hey. . . .

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 12:31 pm

Now this is cool: CT scans of Egyptian mummy help Vt. solve crimes

After spotting the mummy at the University of Vermont’s Robert Hull Fleming Museum in Burlington, Dr. Jason Johnson, a radiology resident, arranged to have it put through his hospital’s state-of-the-art CT scanner. He wanted to know about the life of what is believed to be the remains of an Egyptian servant girl of about 14 — and what led to her death.

What Johnson didn’t expect was that some of the scientific techniques used to reveal the mummy’s secrets would have other applications, including helping Vermont’s medical examiner and prosecutors determine if children who die in infancy are the victims of crimes.

They can use much higher radiation and for a much longer time because they don’t have to worry about killing the patient. I never knew they were using CT scans in addition to autopsies either. I suppose it makes sense since even an ME can’t go cutting down into every bit of tissue. Very neat.

(Previously) Breaking news

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 12:25 pm

Statue of pharoah found in Egypt

Archaeologists have rediscovered an enormous statue of a pharaoh at his burial ground in southern Egypt.

The statue of Amenhotep III, grandfather of the famous boy king Tutankhamun, stands 42 feet tall. Even without its head, which has yet to be found, the statue is probably taller than your house and about seven times the size of your dad, if he is about six feet tall.

The statue is made up of seven large quartzite blocks. It was originally discovered in 1928 but then was hidden again, according to Egypt’s antiquities agency.

This came across the EEF wires a day or so ago, but I couldn’t decide if it was worth posting because it was a rediscovery of a fragmented statue. But, there it is.

We didn’t make the list!

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 11:37 am

Of the 20 most useless college degrees. (Via Althouse)

Most of it is kinda dumb, I think. Seems to equate “useful” with getting a job doing exactly what you got the degree for? I don’t generally see the university as a technical school except in some, not coincidentally, technical fields (e.g., computer science, engineering).

OTOH, if it’s all about getting a job, why isn’t Womyn’s Studies and such on it?

April 27, 2011

Etymology of the P-Patch

Filed under: Historic, Local media — acagle @ 7:24 pm

Not sure what they’re called elsewhere, but here in Seattle the little community gardens scattered throughout the city are called “P-patches”. I’d always thought they were called “Pea-patches” which seemed to me to have some connection to, you know, produce. But no, it’s only the letter ‘P’. Never really cared why they were called that.

Until now! I was searching for information on the 1918 flu pandemic locally and through one of those wonderful Interweb serendipities (I know that’s not a word) where you spy an interesting link while looking for something else, I found a blog post detailing the origin of the term:

The “P” comes from “Picardo,” the name of the family that loaned its northeast Seattle farm for a community garden on property first leased and later bought by the city.

That article contains a couple of links to other articles describing what “P-Patches” are in more detail and also this one that goes into more detail on the Picardos. Why did this pique my interest in the first place?
Desert Fox

Yes, that is a headstone at Calvary that I recently recorded. Had some problems with this one as well, since ‘Malfisa’ isn’t the name in the register (I think it’s Margaret Mabel). So I keyed in on the name immediately.

But that’s not all! The name ‘Picardo’ was one I had been looking for because my neighbor had asked about it, it being her maiden name and all. Found two of them actually:
Desert Fox

So, yes, it turns out that my neighbor is one of those Picardos. Here’s what she had to say:

The farm went 25th NE to 32nd NE and from 80th to “not quite” 82nd. There was one row of houses on the north side. They had two flat bed trucks to deliver to one chain (Big Bear Stores) and various little stores. What was left was brought to the Public Market when it was really a public market. For about 50 cents, a farmer got 6 feet on the line. I was lucky enough (OR UNLUCKY ENOUGH) to be selling there Saturdays and summers when I was 12. We had, for example, lettuce, radishes and green onions. Our cash register was a cigar box. And to really confuse a kid, sales tax went from one tax token on a dime purchase to 3 cents on the dollar. Tax tokens were 3 for a penney. There were about 90 farmers — they had to have property and grow what they sold. Most were Chinese, Filipino and Italians. No paper flowers, tee shirts, souviners, or any other tourist stuff. My father was late getting to the market—maybe 8:00 a.m. after delivering to the stores so he usually had space No. l —First and Pike. The best perk was the Bartells directlly across from No l where I could get a malted milk cheap;. If you find anyone who can tell you about tax tokens (and is still alive) I would like to meet that person.

You can see a photo and a description of the original P-Patch here.

And that’s. . . .the rest of the story.

Great plains archaeology

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:08 pm

Looking ahead to save the past

“Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever; it can never be recovered again,” said archaeologist Carolyn Buff of the Natrona County Historic Preservation Commission.

“There’s a reason for doing archaeology — to find out how ancient people lived, what they lived on, why they did the things they did,” Buff said. “What value do you put on your heritage?”

Buff, Coroner Connie Jacobson and Fort Caspar Museum Director Rick Young met with the Natrona County commissioners on Tuesday to propose guidelines for developers if and when the remains of the past are unearthed.

The “treasure” controversy. . . . .again

Filed under: China, Conservation/CRM, Underwater archaeology — acagle @ 7:07 pm

Treasures Pose Ethics Issues for Smithsonian

Amid mounting calls by scientists for the Smithsonian Institution to cancel a planned exhibition of Chinese artifacts salvaged from a shipwreck, the institution will hold a meeting on Monday afternoon to hear from critics.

The contents of the exhibition, “Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds,” were mined by a commercial treasure hunter and not according to academic methods, a practice that many archaeologists deplore, equating it with modern-day piracy.

Considering all of the crap that goes on in archaeology these days solely for political purposes, I find it rather gauche for people to decry profit as such a detriment to the discipline.

Probably the gay ones, one presumes

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:58 pm

Early Somali Life Depicted In Cave Paintings

Known today for its bloody conflicts and instability, Somalia’s little known history can be found in the colorful cave paintings of animals and humans discovered in 2002 by a French archaeology team.

Laas Gaal, Somalia (also known as Laas Geel), just outside of Haregeisa, the capital of Somalia’s self-declared Somaliland state, contains 10 caves that show vivid depictions of a pastoralist history which dates back to some 5,000 years or more, reports AFP.

A French archaeology team was sent in 2002 to survey Somalia in search of rock shelters and caves that might contain stratified archaeological infills that could document the period when production economy appeared in this part of the Horn of Africa, according to Wikipedia.

Yet another book on Easter Island

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 3:18 pm

But one worth reading! Written by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo (both products of the UW here, go us), it will be released in June and I got an advanced copy to look over.

Here’s the product description at Amazon:

Hunt and Lipo present a radical new theory concerning one of the most outstanding mysteries of human history- Easter Island.

Errr, that’s it. Let’s hope they add a bit more verbiage by the time it’s actually released. My thoughts below the fold. Short version: Buy it.
(more…)

April 26, 2011

The new archaeology

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 3:48 pm

It ain’t Lew Binford’s world:

Decolonising Theory: Centering Traditional Knowledge within Indigenous Theorising

Within the academy theory has been historically constructed in ways that have maintained the centrality of Western thinking. This has been actively challenged by a range of Indigenous Academics who have worked to create decolonising spaces within University settings. The struggle for the affirmation of Indigenous theories has grown significantly in the past 20 years. In Aotearoa (New Zealand) Kaupapa Maori theory has been presented as an Indigenous theoretical framework that is grounded upon Maori language and culture. This presentation provides a discussion and critique of the notion of ‘theorising on’ Indigenous Peoples and argues for the ongoing development and articulation of Indigenous theories by and for Indigenous communities.

Damn colonializing science. . . . . .

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