August 30, 2004

Various updates

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:06 am

TV Archaeologists Find Child Buried 2,000 Years Ago

The body of a child buried 2,000 years ago has been discovered in a field by archaeologists working for the TV series Time Team.

The skeleton of the child believed to be aged around 10 was found near Stonehouse in Gloucestershire during the three-day dig.

The skeleton, from an iron age farm, will now be analysed by experts who will try to determine its sex, diet and how it died.

Lost city campground. . .found! Archaeologists find rare ancient campground

About 9,000 to 12,000 years ago, on the banks of a creek southeast of the Black Hills, ancient hunters found themselves a good place to camp.

They had water and cover, and they could see any approaching game or enemies. It was a place they could spend time working animal hides. They could also make and repair their tools and hunting equipment made from wood, bone and stone.

“My impression was that this place was ideally suited for access to water, game animals, stones suitable for working into tools, and had good visibility over the surrounding region,” Jim Donohue of the state Archaeological Research Center in Rapid City said.

That’s a pretty good article. It’s kind of simplistic in its language, but all the relevant information is there, from the type of site, to the cultural complex, to the possible dating.

Book Corner II A clever second outing for Arthur Phillips

As an indication of the playfulness at the heart of The Egyptologist, consider that the name of its protagonist, Ralph Trilipush, is an anagram of the name of its author, Arthur Phillips. Everybody is hiding behind something else, and nothing or nobody is what it seems, in this awesomely clever fiction.

Phillips, who had a best-seller two years ago with his first novel, Prague, has an excellent chance of repeating his success in this entirely different sort of outing, which takes the form of letters and journal entries written by Trilipush and by an Australian private detective named Ferrell, who is recalling in retirement (in 1954) his pursuit and investigation of Trilipush in 1922 (the time of the main story). The reader is well advised not to accept unreservedly what either man says.

We linked to a rather more negative review of this book some time ago, and just thought we’d post another one for variety.

Odin update Bisexual Viking Linked to Seahenge

An ancient wooden carving of the bisexual Viking god Odin suggests the prehistoric timber circle monument Seahenge and another, even older, structure might have included totem pole-like carvings, according to archaeologists who have excavated the over 4,000-year-old British wood monuments.

Because Odin was a mythological figure in prehistoric religion, the possible link between the carving and the monuments could mean that the mysterious circles held religious, funerary, or magical significance for the late Neolithic people who constructed them on Holme beach in Norfolk, England.

We reported on this some time ago as well. Don’t know if this adds anything, but the bisexual angle seemed new to us.

Fight! Fight! (continued) The Greeks still want their Elgin marbles back

Aggelos Papandropoulos points to the east pediment of the Parthenon ruins, one of the man-made wonders of the world, and by far the most enduring symbol of his country.

“There is much that is missing from here that is very beautiful,” the historical preservationist explains. “It is the politicians who have to bring back what is missing. I merely work here. But there is much missing, and it is very beautiful.”

As these Olympics close, many Greek officials admit they were deeply hurt by the absence of certain faces they’d expected to return for the games. But this has nothing to do with some of the sparse crowds the world saw on television.

Here we go again. . . . Uncovering the secrets of the Great Pyramid

Two French amateur archaelogists this week published a book in which they claim to have located the secret burial chamber of the Pyramid of Cheops near Cairo, the largest pyramid ever built.

According to the study of the Great Pyramid, a fourth, undiscovered room lies underneath its so-called Queen’s chamber, and is likely to have been the burial chamber for Cheops, an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled from 2560 to 2532 BC.

Cheops’ final resting place has never been found despite decades of investigation at the site, but the French researchers are being denied access to the pyramid to put their theory to the test.

Okay, immediate tip-off: According to the French pair, none of the pyramid’s three existing rooms would have been strong enough to qualify as a royal burial chamber Nwhich needs to withstand the test of centuries.

Even though it, um, you know, has survived for centuries.

News from Nicaragua Artifacts cast doubt on Nicaraguan history

For generations, Nicaraguan children have been taught that their ancestors came from central Mexico as migrants around 1000 AD, and that in 1300, a second wave made the trek. Both were believed to have brought their Aztec or Nahua culture and language with them. At least, those were the lessons passed on from the Spanish conquistadors who arrived in Nicaragua in 1529.

But Geoff McCafferty, an archeologist at the University of Calgary, said his team of researchers has recovered 400,000 artifacts from what is believed to be the country’s ancient capital of Quauhcapolca, yet they haven’t detected Nahua roots.

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