Great heaping gobs of stuff today. . . . .
Digging in the NW Archaeology Enthusiasts In Southern Oregon Offered Rare Opportunity
The Southern Oregon Historical Society seeks volunteers (18 years of age or older) who would like to participate in the Fort Lane archaeology project scheduled for the week of July 11-15. SOHS is joining Southern Oregon University to provide this unique opportunity to the public. Archaeological experience is not necessary but volunteers should be prepared for hiking and working in strenuous summer weather conditions.
Not archaeology, but cool A Beetle-sized armadillo
The fossil of a giant armadillo which lived up to 2 million years ago and would have been the size of a Volkswagen Beetle has been found by builders in southern Peru.
“They were working inside a private home and stumbled upon this surprise during the digging,” Pedro Luna, an archaeologist from the National Institute of Culture in the southern city of Cuzco, said.
The fossil skeleton was “almost complete” at two metres long including the tail and 1.1 metres wide.
AN UNDISCOVERED stretch of Hadrian�s Wall has been unearthed by archaeologists on the route of the �30 million Carlisle Northern Development by-pass.
The team of archaeologists from Cumbria County Council have discovered a section of the Roman wall and fragments of ancient pottery on the banks of the River Eden near Stainton, west of Carlisle. The discovery is directly on the line of the planned Northern Development Route and could mean further delays to the long-awaited by-pass � now more than three years late.
More from the BBC here.
United archaeologists from Shandong University and Chicago Field Museum of Natural History have recently come up with preliminary conclusions after 10 years of excavation and research at the Rizhao district in Shandong province. They believe that the remains of ancient monument, which have been excavated, could be the relics of a prehistoric country dating back to 4,200 or 5,000 years ago.
Furthermore, this ancient country is estimated to have had a population of around 63,000 and the area of the capital alone is estimated to be one thousand square kilometers.
Antiquities Market update I
Getty’s antiquities buyer faces trial over stolen goods
The woman who for many years was in charge of buying archaeological treasures for the Getty Museum of Los Angeles is to stand trial in Rome in July, charged with receiving stolen goods.
The trial is the culmination of an investigation started nearly 10 years ago, which claims to have discovered that, of the many marvels of the ancient world purchased in Italy by Marion True, the 56-year-old curator for antiquities at the J Paul Getty Museum, a huge number had been stolen – a fact of which prosecutors say the curator was well aware.
Oxyrhynchus Papyri update NASA science uncovers texts of Trojan Wars, early gospel
The scholars at Oxford University are not sure how it works or why; all they know is that it does.
A relatively new technology called multispectral imaging is turning a pile of ancient garbage into a gold mine of classical knowledge, bringing to light the lost texts of Sophocles and Euripides as well as some early Christian gospels that do not appear in the New Testament.
Originally developed by NASA scientists and used to map the surface of Mars, multispectral imaging was successfully applied to some badly charred Roman manuscripts that were buried during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Examining those carbonized manuscripts under different wavelengths of light suddenly revealed writing that had been invisible to scholars for two centuries.
Heh. Oops: The Archilochos fragment confirms what scholars have long suspected: that the Greeks got lost on their way to invade Troy and mistakenly landed at place called Mysia. There they fought a battle, lost and had to regroup before heading off again for Troy.
More at Nature. (Sub only)
Archimedes manuscript yields secrets under X-ray gaze
Antiquities Market update II 800yr-old temple unearthed
t least four statues and other priceless antiques, found in the recently discovered Shiva temple that was built in 1213 AD, at Pirapat village in Khaloo Upazila reportedly went missing some time Friday night.(The Daily Star )
Officials at the Archaeology Department and local people said some miscreants might have entered the temple Friday night by cutting an 18-foot-long tunnel. The Hindu devotees last said their prayers at the temple on Thursday.
Regional Archaeology Office sources said higher authorities have been informed of the incident and requested to declare the site protected for a preliminary excavation.
Chinese archaeologists finished the excavation of an ancient tomb complex in the Lop Nur Desert, northwest China, but researchers say the finds are puzzling and need more time to be understood.
By mid March, archaeologists in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region unearthed 163 tombs of the Xiaohe Tomb complex, which sprawls on a 2,500-square-meter oval-shaped dune, 174 km from the ruins of the Loulan Kingdom, an ancient civilization that vanished 1,500 years ago.
The complex contains about 330 tombs, but about 160 of them were spoiled by grave robbers, said Idelisi Abuduresule, head of the Xinjiang Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, which launched the excavation project in October 2003 with the approval from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.
On a forgotten hilltop sprinkled with daisies and horse manure, an astounding remnant of history was discovered recently at what was once thought to be a Cherokee graveyard.
But rather than burial ground, Stanford Mayor Eddie Carter discovered that his pasture land was once home to heavy artillery and Union troops.
“This is big time,” Carter said. “This is one of the largest Civil War mound forts. They say it’s a very significant find … I’d thought for years it was an old Cherokee burial ground.”
We’re not usually into this sort of recent-historical stuff, but this sounds interesting.
Two years ago, artists and architects banded together to stave off McDonald’s from opening on the picturesque main square in the southern city of Oaxaca. Now some of those same activists are under attack themselves, over their plan to evict another foreign invader the towering India laurel trees that shade the historic plaza.
Opponents say the idea is political correctness run amok.
“This is almost dogmatic,” said painter Francisco Verastegui, who joined the fight to oppose McDonald’s but is leading the battle against the renovation project. “They’re nonnative species, so we have to get rid of them? That’s like botanical racism.”
Local elms, when asked for comment, rustled.
Forensic stuff Something is rotting in the state of Tennessee
“You want to watch where you’re walking,” warns Dr Richard Jantz as he steps through a small razor-wire topped gate at the back of a Tennessee hospital car park. He might just as usefully have said to watch where you look, breathe or smell. The two-acre patch of wooded hillside that constitutes the Anthropological Research Facility of Tennessee University hides a wealth of sensory surprises.
Better known by its nickname of the Body Farm, this pastoral setting is littered with about 80 dead bodies. Their decomposition is the focus of a unique scientific project that aims to help murder investigations to establish the time-since-death of human remains.
This is probably better known to Americans, being commonly highlighted in forensic-related TV shows over the past several years.
More bioanthropology Indian Tribes Linked Directly to African ‘Eve’
Two primitive tribes in India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands are believed to be direct descendants of the first modern humans who migrated from Africa at least 50,000 years ago, according to a study by Indian biologists.
A team of biologists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad studied the DNA of 10 Onge and Great Andamanese people in the Indian Ocean archipelago who lived for tens of thousands of years in “genetic isolation” from other human contact.
The findings suggest the tribes are descended from the “oldest population of the world and were among the first batch of modern humans to migrate from Africa,” said professor Lalji Singh, director of the center.
Czech Homo update Prehistoric Bones Point to First Modern-Human Settlement in Europe
Scientists have confirmed that bones found in the Czech Republic represent the earliest human settlement in Europe.
The collection of bones, which include samples from two males and two females, was excavated from the site of Mladec more than a century ago. Scientists have until now failed to date the fossils accurately.
The new research, using radiocarbon dating, has shown the bones to be about 31,000 radiocarbon years old.
Ethnoarchaeology update Digs reveal the truth about trash
The nation’s pre-eminent “garbologist” delights in wielding his findings from 30 years of landfill archaeological digs: Throwaway synthetics like Styrofoam and disposable diapers — the bane of environmentalists — don’t actually make up that much of our total garbage, especially when compared to, ahem, newspapers.
What really gets him going is the concept of “biodegradables,” packaging and products billed as being able to break down quickly. Rathje’s research has showed that in modern, sealed landfills, almost nothing breaks down.
During an entertaining lecture Wednesday that capped a three-day meeting of the Federation of New York Solid Waste Associations, Rathje showed a photo of a reasonably well-preserved, if somewhat blackened head of lettuce — from 1971.
Something must be breaking down since they produce so much methane. . . .
When temperatures plummet, most people bundle up in thick sweaters, stay cozy indoors and stoke up on comfort food. But a provocative new theory suggests that thousands of years ago, juvenile diabetes may have evolved as a way to stay warm.
. . .
People with the disease, also known as Type 1 diabetes, have excessive amounts of sugar, or glucose, in their blood.
The theory argues that juvenile diabetes may have developed in ancestral people who lived in Northern Europe about 12,000 years ago when temperatures fell by 10 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few decades and an ice age arrived virtually overnight.
Archaeological evidence suggests countless people froze to death, while others fled south. But Dr. Sharon Moalem, an expert in evolutionary medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, believes that some people may have adapted to the extreme cold. High levels of blood glucose prevent cells and tissues from forming ice crystals, Dr. Moalem said. In other words, Type 1 diabetes would have prevented many of our ancestors from freezing to death.
Kind of interesting. Read the whole article, as the second page gives more of the possibly adaptive values of high blood sugar.
The queen of Sheba was once one of the most powerful leaders in the world but there are few clues left anywhere about this woman who ruled a rich and powerful nation somewhere in Africa – perhaps, as some archeologists maintain, in what is now southwest Nigeria.
Now, in what may be the site of her last home and gravesite, a University of Toronto professor is trying to unearth the queen’s story – partially told in the Old Testament – as well as honouring her in the form of a new Nigerian museum and interpretive centre.
“Each year both Muslim and Christian religious pilgrims come to this site in Ike-Eri, Nigeria, to pray and honour the queen of Sheba (also known as Bilikisu Sungbo to those of the Islamic faith) even though Ethiopia maintains that she is actually buried in their country,” says professor and museologist Lynne Teather of the Museum Studies program at U of T. “Indigenous knowledge and oral traditions maintain that this is the shrine of the queen and through working with the Bilikisu Sungbo Project, we are trying to not only learn more about this fabulous queen, but to establish a feasibility study on how we can marry tourism to this heritage site.”