October 31, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:01 pm

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Wow, so far two groups with three kids! One was even wearing a little Indiana Joneish outfit, whom I promptly informed that I was, in fact, an archaeologist. I have to sit up in the front room for a coupe of hours since there’s no where else I can be and still hear and/or get to the door in time. So I’ve been blogging a bit and will watch some DVD TV shows or something next.

In honor of Halloween I have my now-annual Great Cars of Death post up: Great Cars of Death II: Henry’s Revenge.

Ancient surgery in Pollannannurruala.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:56 pm

Surgery in an ancient kingdom

It’s 12th century Polonnaruwa—Prof. Leelananda Prematilleke and Prof. Arjuna Aluwihare go back in time to discuss a unique find worldwide; a hospital with advanced surgical instruments.

The most recent “surgical” first in Sri Lanka to hit the headlines is a liver transplant from a live donor just weeks ago. Skilled surgeons, modern technology and well-equipped hospitals are prerequisites to perform complex surgery in this advanced 21st century.

Veteran archaeologist Prof. Leelananda Prematilleke, however, leaves the modern behind and takes a walk down the corridors of time to 12th Century Polonnaruwa. Not only was there a fully-functional hospital but it also had both medical equipment and surgical instruments over 800 years ago.

I think there was also a discovery in the past few years of a Roman or Egyptian surgical kit with a number of instruments. I want to say Egyptian thinking it was in a tomb of a medical practitioner, but I also want to say Roman.

Aha, I am only partially confused: Roman and here although the second one is pretty short. I might have been looking the latter up for some other reason though.

The Hoard. . . . .is coming

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:47 pm

Staffordshire Hoard goes on display in Washington DC

A museum in the United States has begun exhibiting the UK’s largest find of Anglo-Saxon treasure.

The exhibition is at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC.

The hoard of more than 3,500 gold and silver artefacts was found by a metal detector enthusiast in a farmer’s field in Staffordshire in July 2009.

The Staffordshire Hoard is now jointly owned by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum.

It will stay on show in the US until March 2012.

Hope it comes my way. . . . .

Aerial archaeology

Filed under: Remote Sensing — acagle @ 6:44 pm

Aerial archaeologist’s bird’s eye view of Fens.

Slooooow loading video, I never got to view it.

The Archaeological Adventures of Tintin

Filed under: Media, Pop culture — acagle @ 6:43 pm

Tintin’s official profession may be that of a reporter, but he is just as much an explorer and archaeologist, dashing around the world to chase down ancient artifacts in addition to nefarious villains and a good story.

Carrying on a venerable tradition of filmic archaeologists and adventurists such as Indiana Jones, the new Tintin film by Steven Spielberg, entitled “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn,” mixes the story-lines of several of Herge’s books and follows Tintin and friends hunting for centuries-old treasure.

“Herge was always interested in exotic locations and travel around the world,” said Paris-based ‘Tintinologist’ and comic-book artist Jean-Marc Lofficier.

I’d heard there was a Tintin movie in the works and I’m quite looking forward to it. I don’t think he’s that well known outside of Europe, but I remember getting ahold of a couple Tintin books when I was a kid and finding them terribly creepy. Much creepier than any other stuff I was reading back then (probably, for example, The Flash). I remember him having something to do with things archaeological or at least ancient and mysterious. Looks like a Christmas release, trailer (and other stuff) here. Hmmm, CGI. Probably a good idea, they can probably do it multilingual in that easily.

Modern artifacts

Filed under: Humor — acagle @ 11:45 am

Remains Of Ancient Race Of Job Creators Found In Rust Belt

A team of leading archaeologists announced Monday they had uncovered the remains of an ancient job-creating race that, at the peak of its civilization, may have provided occupations for hundreds of thousands of humans in the American Northeast and Midwest.

According to researchers, these long- forgotten people once flourished between western New York state and Illinois, erecting highly distinctive steel and brick structures wherever they went, including many buildings thought to have held hundreds of paid workers at a time.

“It’s truly fascinating—after spending a certain number of hours performing assigned tasks, the so-called ‘employees’ at such facilities would receive monetary compensation that allowed them to support themselves and their families,” said archaeologist Alan H. Mueller, citing old ledgers and time-keeping devices unearthed at excavation sites in the region. “In fact, this practice seems to have been the norm for their culture, which consisted of advanced tool users capable of exploiting their skills to produce highly valued goods and services.”


Maps of Egypt movie

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 10:31 am

Short video doc of early maps of Egypt. In Arabic with English subtitles.

Repatriation en masse?

Filed under: Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 10:21 am

Author calls for return of American Indian artifacts

After centuries of looting American Indian burial sites in the name of science — and profit — it’s time for a “dignified” process that returns artifacts to tribes, allows for reburial of bones, collaborates with tribes on excavations, and creates monuments and education centers, says author Tony Platt.

A former teacher at the University of California at Berkeley, Platt is the author of 10 historical books, including “Grave Matters,” which examines the legacy of archaeology in California and the politics of reparations, which often finds universities and museums “nervous about facing the past.”

Comes off as kind of an extremist in the article, though I’m only vaguely familiar with Platt, so I can’t really comment on the truth or falsity of that interpretation. Well, read the article.

Lost civilization Roman camp. . . . .found

Filed under: Rome — acagle @ 10:16 am

Lost Roman camp that protected against Germanic hordes found

German archaeologists have unearthed “sensational” evidence of a lost Roman camp that formed a vital part of the frontier protecting Rome’s empire against the Germanic hordes.

Historians believe the camp, once home to an estimated 1,000 legionaries and located on the River Lippe near the town of Olfen, may well have been served as a key base for the Roman General Drusus, who waged a long and bloody war against the tribes that once inhabited what is now western Germany.

The find comes 100 years after the discovery of a bronze Roman helmet near Olfen indicated the presence of ancient remains but it took a century of searching to finally discover the exact location of the camp.

Dang, they have a photo but it’s unclear whether it’s of the site area or just the river. Kind of amazing that they were able to locate a place that was only inhabited for four years (admittedly, of course, we find such things all the time).

Donner Party update

Filed under: Books, Historic — acagle @ 10:12 am

‘An Archaeology of Desperation’ details the Donner tragedy

Bit more than the original post. Interestingly, of the identifiable faunal remains, none were identified as human. The survivors admitted to eating their companions, but off the top of my head I don’t recall if anyone has actually found evidence of that. I don’t know why they would lie about something like that, so this is unlikely to question that angle, but I like the fact that they’re coming at it from both an archaeological and anthropological perspective.

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