December 31, 2011


Filed under: Non-archaeology — acagle @ 10:35 am

Today was vet day for Jack & Daisy. They don’t like it. At.All. And they know when the capture process is starting. Happily, that went rather well: preparation is the key. Close all doors except for one or two relatively sparse rooms with no furniture to hide under and then shepherd them that way, closing doors behind as you go. And for once I’m not covered in fur! (RIP Badger)

December 30, 2011

And now. . . .the mystery

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 4:01 pm

Well, not so much a mystery, but the photo below. I got a postcard in the mail before Xmas with that picture on it with a little holiday greeting and, as one might expect, a request for money on the back. I was going to chuck it in the “circular file” but I really liked the picture — puppies and cute girls!

Then I got the rather morbid thought that by this time all those cute little puppies were long dead and, wiping the tears from my eyes, also realized that the young ladies might be dead, too, depending on when it was taken. So I tried to divine the date from the photo but it doesn’t really have any clues there. The dress and hair styles seemed late ’40s or ’50s. . . .and they’re sitting in Husky Stadium on the UW campus. It’s hard to tell from that image but the one in the middle has a little patch on her sweater that reads “Rally”. Some sort of cheerleader?

Web searches on various terms produced nothing — I had been trying 1947 or 1948 for the year (and without). So I was stuck. Almost.

I finally emailed the UW office of giving and asked them about it. They kindly replied and said that they weren’t sure of the date but knew the names of the two girls on the right. Aha. . .so I entered the one’s name (the more somewhat unusual of the two) and bingo, a couple of searches later and I got this. The source! October 26, 1946 and the young ladies’ names are Nancy Rowles, Jan McIntyre, and Mary Belle Becker and they are part of what they called Rally Committee, so I’m not sure they’re cheerleaders as such, although I did some more poking around and found that Mary Belle was pictured in the 1948 yearbook with the “Rally Girls” so they were something like cheerleaders at any rate.

I think the camera is facing west, too, since that has traditionally been the closed end of the stadium.

So, mystery mostly solved. In 1946 they would have been about 20 so born about ‘26, so it’s unlikely that any of them are still alive, sad to say. Still, it’s such a charming little picture, I hope they all had long and happy lives.

I have to admit, I find Mary Belle the most fetching of the three, the sort of girl I would have taken a real shine to. . . .and no doubt the type of girl who would have retched at the very thought of having anything to do with such a dorkwad.

UPDATE: Nancy apparently died just recently after what does, in fact, appear to have been a good and long life. Can’t find the other two yet.

December 29, 2011

And for tomorrow. . . .

Filed under: Modern artifacts — acagle @ 8:31 pm

or Friday, depending on when I get back from the field, we shall see what this delightful picture:
Desert Fox

has to do with anything. . . .

Forgot about this earlier

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:27 pm

Mayas in Georgia?

A Dec. 21 article at claims that there is a sophisticated irrigation system, stone masonry walls and and ruins of other stone structures. Though the site has been investigated and crews have been there for years, shared research, rather than hoarded information was instrumental in Cary Waldrup’s conclusion presented to the People of One Fire Alliance in July, 2011.

In fact, Mark Williams of UGA and Director of the Lamar Institute surveyed Kenimer Mound, in the Nacoochee Valley in 1999. Though he found that the 5-sided pyramidal mound, which Sautee residents assumed was a wooded hill, is actually partially sculpted out of an existing hill and then sculpted to its final form. Architecturally, very much like Maya construction. He was, however, unable to determine the builders.

Got sent around Facebook last week, but I knew little about the site, although I vaguely (very vaguely) recall hearing about it at some point. At the moment, I’m trying to open up a PDF of the archaeologist’s although it’s still churning as I write this (there’s a link to it at the site). (Update: well, it just timed out so no paper; y’all can try yourselves here and I’ll give it another shot tomorrow).

I suppose I’m not entirely averse to the idea of some Maya wandering up thisaway, though one wonders what happened to the people already in the area. We shall have to see.

Slavery archaeology update

Filed under: Slavery archaeology — acagle @ 8:21 pm

Cemetery sheds light on slavery

Locals called it the cemetery of the new blacks, but it was a cemetery only in name. Devoid of headstones, wreaths or tearful mourners, this squalid harbourside burial ground was the final resting place for thousands of Africans shipped into slavery.

The New World greeted them with a lonely death in an unfamiliar land. For decades the cemetery and those buried there between 1760 and 1830 were forgotten, hidden under layer after layer of urban development.

But 15 years after the cemetery’s discovery – when builders unearthed a series of muddy skeletons – academics now believe they have evidence of the true reach of the slave trade.

Much neater than I first thought: they used strontium isotopes to source the remains and found they came from a wide area of Africa. They speculate (IMO) that the slavers went deep into Africa, but I would think it most likely that the slaves themselves were shipped to coastal areas — possibly a semantic difference, I assumed they meant white slavers went into deepest darkest Africa, but it’s quite possible they are referring to their fellow African slavers.

“Archaeology is a funny old subject.”

Filed under: Local media — acagle @ 8:17 pm

Lost treasure found near Lewes

‘I am delighted to mention the discovery near Lewes of a Middle Bronze Age hoard (c. 1,500 –1,100 BC). It consists of a large earthenware vessel filled with purposefully broken items of adornment and three palstave axes.

‘Among the assemblage, items of great local importance, such as a Sussex loop bracelet [pictured], are deposited with rare items imported from the Baltic, France and Germany.

‘Careful recovery of the hoard and subsequent excavations will help archaeologists better understand the people and landscape of Sussex more than 3,000 years ago.’

Not a whole lot there, really, but I liked the quote. Can’t tell the scale of the piece shown, but it’s an interesting sort of a clasp design.

A terminal case of archaeology

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 8:15 pm

Dig for SF’s transport terminal unearths artifacts

They were the Donahues and the Dollivers, the Wings and the Lings, and the now-seemingly quaint accoutrements of their lives are being unearthed: clay opium pipes and ceramic tea pots from China; French perfume bottles; dainty English serving dishes, apothecary jars and the heads of hand-painted porcelain dolls; as well as animal bone toothbrushes and abandoned chamber pots.

They all date back to the mid-to-late 1880s, when the cove was reclaimed and clapboard houses went up on Mission, Natoma and Minna streets, between First and Beale. They were filled with Irish, Swedish, German and Italian immigrants, as well as the Chinese who had come during the Gold Rush and then stayed on to help build the railroads and bridges.

Apparently quite a bit of organics as well. Not terribly unusual for that recent but cool nonetheless.

Sealed. . .until now

Filed under: Biblical archaeology — acagle @ 8:10 pm

Israeli archaeologists discover ancient clay seal in Jerusalem, suggest link to Temple ritual

A rare clay seal found under Jerusalem’s Old City appears to be linked to religious rituals practiced at the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, Israeli archaeologists said Sunday.

The coin-sized seal found near the Jewish holy site at the Western Wall bears two Aramaic words meaning “pure for God.”

Archaeologist Ronny Reich of Haifa University said it dates from between the 1st century B.C. to 70 A.D. — the year Roman forces put down a Jewish revolt and destroyed the second of the two biblical temples in Jerusalem.

As usual, a ‘fascinating’ discussion in the comments. . . . .

“I would not marry him if he were the best man in the world and every hair on his head were strung with diamonds.”

Filed under: Historic — acagle @ 9:23 am

Thou shalt not read anything into the above quote.

A Bermudian Beauty smiles on Trafalgar Square

After Lauzun left Bermuda, about 1794, we lost touch, but by happenstance the friendship was renewed of late, as we can now track his life further, including an attachment with Schweppes, the great ‘mineral water’ company. The reunion came through his wife, the Bermudian Anne Neale Tucker, born at St George’s in 1776 and dying at the goodly age of 85 (local genes perhaps influencing) in the company of her daughters in England. How Henry looked one can but wonder, but Sir Henry Raeburn, the famous Scottish painter, immortalized ‘Nancy’ in a portrait, for many decades now in the collections of the National Gallery in London. Possibly hers is the only image of a Bermudian in that National Gallery, and perhaps in that vein a relation married to a Tucker descendant from Williamsburg, Virginia, Mrs. George (Mary Haldane) P Coleman wrote, in 1935, a small book appropriately entitled The Story of a Portrait.

Good show

Filed under: Amateur — acagle @ 9:19 am

Volunteers clear the way for better view of Indian mounds

Removing decades of dense overgrowth has cleared the way for a better view of Quincy’s Native American heritage — and one of the best preserved earthwork complexes still evident in the Upper Mississippi River valley.

Local archaeologists and volunteers worked in November and early December to reveal prehistoric Native American mounds in Quincy’s Indian Mounds Park.

Work will continue in the spring, but “people can now come to Quincy and view these spectacular earthen monuments in a manner closer to that envisioned by the original builders,” said Dave Nolan of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. “People knew the mounds were there but didn’t realize how special they are, how unique they are.”

Neat for the view but they also discovered other stuff while doing it.

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