November 30, 2011

Nerd cool

Filed under: Modern artifacts — acagle @ 7:56 pm

Digital Archaeology: Hacker Uses 1983 Computer To Access 2011 Mac OS

Earlier this year, programmer Justin Ouellette picked up an 11-inch 1983 VT220 terminal and, after a little bit of wrangling, got it to display the command line for his 2010 Mac Pro, running 2011 OS X Lion.

. . .

With a little bit of work, Ouellette managed to get his tiny CRT running without any emulation at all.

“I think it’s cool when hardware still works perfectly decades after it’s introduced, even if it’s not quite as practical as a virtual window on your screen. I actually like switching over to a completely different device when it’s time to do some low-level textual interaction,” says Ouellette.

When I first saw the link I was thinking it was shazam! cool but then realized it was just a dumb terminal displaying the Mac output. Trying to think how difficult that would be. . . . .it’s Unix underneath so one would think you could still get a terminal emulator to work within it. I think they changed the headline, as the email alert has it read as “Hacker Gets 2011 Mac OS To Run On 1983 Computer” which it really isn’t doing: it’s not a computer, it’s a terminal, and it’s not running anything, it’s just displaying.

Either way, I love it! And I spent a lot of time sitting in front of those dumb terminals whacking out code to mainframes/minis, the soft green glow (we had mostly green ones) shining on our tired eyes as we checked line after line for bugs. . . .ahhh, those were the days.

They kinda sucked actually.

Bones, bones, bones

Filed under: Cemeteries, Historic — acagle @ 7:47 pm

NY historic site’s skeletons still hold mystery

Evidence found in seven unmarked graves unearthed on Rogers Island in 2006 suggests the site was a military cemetery during the French and Indian War, according to archaeologists at the New York State Museum, which was contracted by the property’s owner to examine the remains. The state Department of Education, which operates the museum, recently released the archaeologists’ findings to The Associated Press.

Christina Rieth, the state’s chief archaeologist, believes the site in the village of Fort Edward likely contains a large cemetery dating back to the 1750s, when Britain established its largest fortification in North America on the east bank of the upper Hudson, 45 miles north of Albany. Lisa Anderson, one of the state archaeologists who examined the remains, agreed.

Odd bit to the story:

The scope of their work was limited by the stipulations of Nastasi’s contract, which didn’t allow additional grave excavations or the removal of the uncovered remains. The agreement also prohibited the state from releasing the archaeologists’ findings, according to Education Department officials.

Apparently, the original owner has died and now there are plans to sell the (private) property to a public entity and turn it into a park. With graves all over. Could be excavations in the offing as well, though I wonder how much it would actually contribute.

Move the bikinis and look what you find

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:41 pm

Mastodon bones found in Daytona Beach

The digging will continue in a residential area where archaeologists are making a pre-historic discovery.

Workers digging a hole for a retention pond in Daytona Beach earlier this week found what appeared to be pieces of a mastodon.

Archaeologists say they believe it belongs to an American mastodon, an elephant-like animal which lived in Florida thousands of years ago.

I was all set to say “Those aren’t archaeologists!” when I figured they might be anyway, rather than yer basic zoologists since archaeologists would probably be called out to do such a dig in the presence of any type of bones.


Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 7:38 pm

Not really monetary though: Don’t tell the anti-capitalists… there’s a fortune under St Paul’s

Deep beneath the Occupy camp at the London cathedral is a treasure trove of ancient artefacts in precious metals stretching back centuries, says an archaeologist.

Among it are signs of eco-conscious recycling as well as of a thriving ‘consumer society’ dating back to the medieval age.

It’s a bit disappointing that it’s a fairly short article, though it does have a couple of nice photographs, especially of the shoes (IMO). I like the really long pointed one. Lest you think they’re completely out of style. . .

Breaking news

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 9:42 am

Just in over the EEF wires: A Coptic city uncovered in Dakhla

During routine excavations at the Ain Al-Sabil area of Dakhla oasis, an Egyptian mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) stumbled on what it believes to be a Coptic settlement dating back to the 4th century AD.

Mostafa Amin, the Secretary General of the SCA, made the announcement, explaining that the newly discovered settlement consists of remains of residential houses and service buildings as well as a large Basilica with distinguished columns and a wooden alter adorned with foliage decoration and icons showing Jesus, the Virgin Mary, angels and saints.

That’s one area most people don’t know about archaeology in Egypt: there are quite a lot of early Christian (Coptic) and Islamic archaeologists and archaeology to be done. Actually, there are probably more presentations at ARCE conferences on later stuff like that than there are on Predynastic and earlier.

November 29, 2011

Pocahontas update

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 8:07 pm

Archaeologist traces Pocahontas wedding site

Archeologist William Kelso is certain he’s discovered the remains of the oldest Protestant church in the United States, standing between two holes he insists once held wooden posts.

In 1614, Pocahontas was “married right here, I guarantee,” Kelso told AFP at the Jamestown, Virginia archeological site southeast of the nation’s capital.

Neat, although I have no expertise to evaluate it.

Artist’s conception of what Pocahontas may have looked like:

Stongehenge update

Filed under: Stonehenge — acagle @ 8:00 pm

Birmingham archaeologists uncover secrets of Stonehenge

Two previously undiscovered pits have been found at Stonehenge, shedding new light on the monument’s association with the sun, archaeologists said today.

The pits are positioned on celestial alignment at the landmark and could have contained tall stones, wooden posts or fires to mark the rising and setting of the sun, academics believe.

An international archaeological survey team discovered the pits as part of the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project, which began in summer 2010.

UPDATE: More the The Beeb.

2012 update

Filed under: 2012 — acagle @ 7:58 pm

Mexico archaeologists acknowledge 2nd Mayan reference to 2012

Mexico’s archaeology institute downplays theories that the ancient Mayas predicted some sort of apocalypse would occur in 2012, but on Thursday it acknowledged that a second reference to the date exists on a carved fragment found at a southern Mexico ruin site.

Most experts had cited only one surviving reference to the date in Mayan glyphs, a stone tablet from the Tortuguero site in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

But the National Institute of Anthropology and History said in a statement that there is in fact another apparent reference to the date at the nearby Comalcalco ruin. The inscription is on the carved or molded face of a brick. Comalcalco is unusual among Mayan temples in that it was constructed of bricks.

Not all that exciting, really.

Oh, and there are 388 days remaining.

Modern artifacts: The Girly edition

Filed under: Modern artifacts — acagle @ 1:56 pm

Fads #18: Poster Girls

Do you know anyone, young or old, who has pictures of half-naked women hanging on the walls of their bedroom? I’m betting that, unless they happen to be in prison, none of your friends or children or children’s friends have a single one.

Not so in the 1970s. I remember those poster racks being a popular attraction in every store I went to, from K-mart to Elder Beerman (my peeps in Ohio know the name). Of course, there were plenty of non-pin-up posters that were plenty popular. I, for one, adorned my bedroom walls with a King Kong poster (the 70s Dino DeLaurentis remake) and a Battlestar Galactica poster. My wife tells me she had Shaun Cassidy and David Soul posters.

I think I may have had the Farrah one on my wall. Lawdy, to a 15-year old boy she was a goddess. I remember the Dallas Cheerleaders one, too, though I’m not sure I had that one. I believe I also had a, errrmmm, Starsky and Hutch one. We bought most of ours at a place called Coach House Gifts, which are still around, oddly enough. They still sell posters at various locations. . . .every now and then I’ll check to see what sorts are in vogue these days. Not having children, I don’t know what goes on their walls these days. I was thinking young people (Gawd, I sound old when I type that. . . .) would have computer wallpaper images instead, but you still need to decorate the walls of your room. I wonder if parents are as amenable to their young gentlemen having scantily clad hot babers on their walls these days.

I imagine fluorescent raised-print ones would probably be a good temporal marker if one were seriating these things. Velvet Elvii would definitely be temporally significant (a “historical type” in Krieger’s terminology). Probably be a fascinating study of the rise and fall(?) of the girly poster, were some enterprising anthropologist to take up the task (and a difficult one it would be, too!).

I don’t know who that top photo is of, but I remember the poster:

UPDATE: Heather Thomas.

What I’m doing today

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 12:14 pm

Well. . . .throwing away artifacts. And sand. And gravel. And junk. It’s the heavy fraction of flotation samples from Egypt, 1988. I did my MA project on most of it (I should find the files and publish them online somewhere, hmmmmm…), but other than that I’ve been schlepping it around for the last 20-odd years in about 9 boxes weighing several hundred pounds. Nobody wants it, so I am discarding it. How, I don’t know quite yet. It’s all bagged and tagged so I’m just dumping it all out into a container outside but what to do once that’s done is up in the air. It’s got a lot of pot sherds in it, a small amount of bone and shell, and lots and lots of gravel.

I think first I’ll put it up on Craigs list and see if a local school might have a use for it: Egyptian dirt from the time of the pyramids! Dig in it for artifacts! I suppose I could parcel it out and sell it somewhere. . . .Have your own bag of Pyramid-age dirt — with artifacts! — from Egypt! Otherwise, I’ll find a nice spot in the yard and create a tasteful Egypt-themed landscaping area and dump it there.

Anyone else have any ideas?

UPDATE: At least one teacher or school admin is interested!

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