June 25, 2015

“This site also demonstrates one of the great dangers of archaeology; not to life and limb, although that does sometimes take place. . .”

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:16 pm

But finding a place to live! The Skeletons of Olmos, Part IV: Soccer Club—1, Archaeologists—0

ust like that, the students, Raul, and I had nowhere to live as the work in Olmos had reached a critical make-or-break phase. When working in another country far from home, flexibility is crucial. One must be an adaptable problem solver, able to compensate for and overcome circumstances that you can hardly anticipate. As such, a good field archaeologist always has a “Plan B,” “Plan C,” “Plan D,” in their back pocket. But I was not planning on facing homelessness in the field, being unceremoniously kicked out of our hotel by a visiting soccer team. We literally had hours to find a new place to crash.

If something didn’t work out in Olmos, I started to realize that the situation did not present much of a Plan B.

That’s a nice little article. That’s never happened to me, although once we had arranged to stay at a house boat on the Nile in Cairo and when we got there the place was trashed and the gaffir didn’t even know we were coming and was fast asleep. We ended up sleeping there that night (awful) and then bailed for a cruddy hotel the next day. I also got horribly ill with exhaustion for two days after that.

Which was awful but I met a charming Venezuelan stewardess the next day as well. . . . .

I have no other reason for linking to this

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:08 pm

other than the headline: Follow the Chester Unlocked Hoot’s Route and become a ‘guerilla archaeologist’

Cestrians and tourists became ‘guerilla archaeologists’ by following a treasure trail which launched last weekend turning the city centre into a giant open air museum.

Unseen ancient artefacts have been hidden at key locations for people to tick off as they follow an old fashioned-style map in an initiative aimed at promoting the city’s heritage as well as its retail offer.

And all is explained. . . . .

I guess this is news. . . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:05 pm

Archaeologists Decipher Name of ‘Ancient Astronaut’ Maya Tomb

Researchers in Mexico say they have decoded the hieroglyphic name on the Palenque tomb of ancient Maya King Pakal, revealing it to read “The House of the Nine Sharpened Spears,” more than 60 years after the crypt was discovered.

Mexican archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier discovered the burial crypt in 1948 — and new research led by Guillermo Bernal from the National Autonomous University of Mexico made a link between an inscription in the tomb and other hieroglyphics of the same form. The key to deciphering the name was a hieroglyph that looked like a jaguar molar and was interpreted to mean “edge,” as in a sharp-edged spear.

I’m actually not quite sure what they’re referring to. Until I went to this link in the article which is a longer article describing what’s going on in more detail. It was a single glyph (T514) that had not been translated before which named the temple associated with the tomb.

June 24, 2015

FYR*

Filed under: Online publications — acagle @ 7:23 pm

I put a copy of the latest Burke Museum Newsletters up.

* For Your Reading

Battlefield archaeology

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology, Forensic archaeology, Historic — acagle @ 7:20 pm

Archaeologists plan to investigate burial site which could re-write 7th century Battle of Hatfield

The battle which killed England’s first Christian king, Edwin, has long been accepted to have taken place at Hatfield Chase near Doncaster. But the Battle of Hatfield Investigation Society believes that the Pagan victory over the Northumbrians, in 632, could actually have been carried out in a Nottinghamshire village.

Suggesting that the connection with Doncaster exists primarily through word of mouth, they say there is a lack of evidence documenting the burials. Instead, they are seeking £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to explore a site in Cuckney.

It’s unfortunate the old burials were lost. Paleopathology!

Also saw this while I was there. Some kinda interesting reconstructions.

Vampire archaeology update

Filed under: Vampires — acagle @ 7:14 pm

Well, kinda: Walking dead among the ancient Greeks?

In an article recently published in Popular Archaeology Magazine, University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Fellow and writer Carrie Sulosky Weaver examines and summarizes the evidence in the archaeological and historical record that supports the suggestion that the ancient Greeks believed in the ‘undead’, or ‘revenants’, individuals who could emerge from a state of death to something that was neither living nor dead—leaving their graves at night to harm the living.

As one case in point, she elaborates on finds unearthed in a cemetery located near the ancient coastal Greek town of Kamarina in southeastern Sicily. Known as Passo Marinaro, this cemetery served as a Classical period necropolis in use from the 5th through 3rd centuries BCE. Approximately 2,905 burials have been excavated by archaeologists at th site, more than half of which contained grave goods, such as terracotta vases, figurines, and metal coins.

But two of the burials were unique. . . . .

What’s kind of sad is that both were probably suffering from some form of dementia or seizures and spent their lives shunned and abused, only to be further shunned even into the grave.

June 23, 2015

The pig. The Crime.

Filed under: Forensic archaeology — acagle @ 7:07 pm

College students in Ohio seek to solve murdered pigs mystery

Sitting in a shallow grave and using a tongue depressor to scrape congealed fat off a foul-smelling pig carcass, University of Akron student Paige Dobbins is in hog heaven.

She, along with other UA and Kent State University students, are under blue tarps deep in the woods, trying to figure out how a couple of unlucky pigs met their demise — one body missing its head and feet.

They know it was a homicide. Dead pigs just don’t bury themselves, you know. They’re just not sure how the crime was committed.

That’s actually pretty neat. I like how it makes sure you know this:

The students wear gloves while working with the carcasses.

Griffin update

Filed under: Historic, Underwater archaeology — acagle @ 7:01 pm

Old story from a while back, but we here at ArchaeoBlog are constantly On The Story: Comments Off

[Insert clever title here]

Filed under: Public Health, Rome — acagle @ 6:59 pm

Couldn’t think of one: Travertine Reveals Ancient Roman Aqueduct Supply

For hundreds of years, the Anio Novus aqueduct carried water 87 km (54 miles) from the Aniene River of the Apennine Mountains down into Rome. Built between AD 38 and 52, scholars continue to struggle to determine how much water the Anio Novus supplied to the Eternal City—until now.

By studying limestone deposits that formed from the flowing water within the aqueduct, called travertine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science an actual estimate for the aqueduct’s flow rate of 1.4 m^3/s (± 0.4).

Neat study. Original paper is here. I mean meaning to read De Aquis but haven’t gotten around to it. A reliable source of clean water is a big part of Rome’s success.

The evolution of background music

Filed under: Modern artifacts — acagle @ 9:02 am

The Rise and Fall of Easy Listening

Easy-listening music and its maestros never had to worry about screaming teenage fans or long stadium tours. Ridiculed in the 1960s and since as “elevator music,” the gentle genre was marketed then as music for frazzled adults run ragged by the decade’s social upheavals, argumentative kids and rock’s blare. Unlike other forms of music, easy listening wasn’t meant to be analyzed or even heard. Instead, albums typically featured lush orchestras playing pop melodies at a slow tempo that subliminally freed minds from the clutches of anxiety and distraction.

Back in the 1960s and ’70s, easy-listening orchestras led by Mantovani, Bert Kaempfert, Ray Conniff and Percy Faith, among others, accomplished this with yawning violins, wandering trumpets and moody pianos playing in a style free of jarring moments or aesthetic calories. Today, given the music’s calming, reflective powers, many aging baby boomers are rediscovering the soothing sounds they once derided in their parents’ dens and station wagons.

My parents had some Ray Conniff albums which I remembered kind of liking. I admit that I got into adult contemporary in the early 1980s when I was an undergrad, partially because the two other rock radio stations in town turned sucky (WIBA and WMAD, the former playing Bob Seeger three times every hour and the latter. . .I don’t remember, but I didn’t care for it; I was a WAPL fanatic) and partially from being a lovesick 20-something for a time. Mostly in that genre I listened to Magic 98, still do when I’m there. Otherwise, at the time the only radio I listened to was that and the local public radio classical music times.

Otherwise, new age stuff kinda of filled the background music vacuum after I moved. We had, briefly, a new age station in Seattle, but these days I just subscribe to Pandora, earlier Rhapsody.

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