Historical nonetheless. And decaying. Comments Off
September 25, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 22, 2014
Well, sorta: The Urban Archaeologist
Salvaging is a bit more interactive than the more traditional forms of antique dealing, combining a talent for reverse engineering and an intimate acquaintance with masonry, millwork, metalsmithing and design. It certainly doesn’t hurt if you have also developed some business sense, and Nordstrom got his practice in early. “I started a roofing business when I was 11,” he grins. “I was a weird kid.”
You also need plenty of cash just to ante into the salvaging game at Nordstrom’s level. Securing rights to a building isn’t cheap. And if it has the kind of historic significance that galvanizes community backlash, you can expect to have to ride out protests from preservationists intent on preventing demolition, or even salvaging. In 2012, when Nordstrom went to work on the 1886 David C. Cook Mansion, the job turned out to be an on-again, off-again nightmare lasting a year. “It was so stressful,” he remembers. Recently an activist sent him a tart letter to “cease” removing items from the Gethsemane. He’s sensitive to the issue, but like the fall off the ladder, “It’s part of the job.”
The impression I get is that these buildings are already condemned or beyond repair. I’d hope so, but often there are very few takers for a lot of these old buildings.
A team of archaeologists working for the Australian National University, who were proceeding to an excavation near the sandstone rock formation of Uluru, has unearthed the ruins of a large precolonial city dating back to more than 1500 years ago. The important number of tombs and artefacts already discovered on the site suggests that it could have been the capital of an ancient empire, completely unknown to historians until now.
The site which was first noticed on satellite pictures taken in October 2013, using a newly developed ground-penetrating radar. The images revealed many 90° angles and various common geographic figures over a 16 km2 area, leading the team of scientists to direct some archaeological excavations on the spot, starting in May 2014. Over the last few months, many structures have been unearthed including what looks like a royal palace, a few temples, large rainwater reservoirs, workshops and dozens of houses.
A lot of burials, too:
Pretty spectacular, I’d say.
September 21, 2014
Or just a regular apocalypse: Medieval Weapon Finds Modern Appeal
Longpoint, held in July, is one of several annual tournaments around the world, manifestations of renewed interest in what enthusiasts call historical European martial arts, or HEMA. It includes events like grappling — similar to Greco-Roman wrestling — and several types of swordfighting. But the focus is on the most iconic medieval weapon, forged from cold, lustrous steel: the longsword.
“The longsword specifically is just very accessible,” said Pettersson, a management consultant from Gothenburg, Sweden, “because that is what the old masters wrote about the most. It was called the ‘queen of weapons’ in the old days.”
Embedded video which is worth watching.
I linked to something like this a couple of years ago, not sport-fighting like this but someone who had studied the old manuals and developed the techniques. I think this is neat. Be nice if it really developed some and we ended up with gear something like fencing where one could tell from embedded sensors the type of hit that was landed, etc. Not sure it would really get us all that close to actual historical combat techniques being rediscovered — and seen — because taking the lethality angle out of things (mostly) will still develop different techniques. If you look at the video there you can see that they’re really not doing any sort of theatrical sword play; it’s much faster and looks more like actual fighting.
I’m guessing this may end up being really useful for the film industry. Get people with motion capture suits on and let them fight like they would be for real and battle scenes on-screen would be much more realistic.
September 17, 2014
It’s not surprising that academics – hell bent on taking the fun out of everything – would hate our beloved and iconic movie version of them. But Canuto is no killjoy. His ironic tone and acerbic wit seem honed by long boring days in the sun. So I bite. I quickly learn that there’s a good reason why most every archeologist on Earth hates Indy. And that they might have a point. Because Jones isn’t an archeologist at all.
“That first scene, where he’s in the temple and he’s replacing that statue with a bag of sand – that’s what looters do,” Canuto says, grinning. “[The temple builders] are using these amazing mechanisms of engineering and all he wants to do is steal the stupid gold statue.”
Yeah, we don’t do that these days.
Now we dig a bunch of stuff up, leave it in the host country, and they dump everything but the valuable stuff in a basement to rot.
Okay, probably over a week ago. Google Offers Street Views of Egypt’s Monuments
I just went around Giza a bit. You know, I like it. Not for someone who’s been there before (several times) because you already know what it looks like but for the person who’s never been there and probably never will be, it’s nice to be able to see what they look like (sort of) in person. Otherwise you;re sort of stuck with whatever’s on TV or photos from others or what have you. It’s limited; you can’t “walk” right up to things (I kept trying and couldn’t) so its not like you have a realistic 3D landscape that you can wander around in. But I think it’s a neat idea.
I may have linked to something like this earlier: Bones Tell the Grisly Tale Behind King Richard III’s Death
Researchers say marks on Richard III’s bones confirm the centuries-old saga of the English king’s death — including claims that the killing blows were delivered to his skull, and that vengeful foes stabbed his corpse after death.
. . .
The University of Leicester team, led by archaeologist Jo Appleby, counted nine wounds to the skull. That suggested that the king had removed or lost his helmet on the field of battle. University of Leicester pathologist Guy Rutty said two of the skull injuries were the most likely to have caused his death. One was a heavy blow to the bottom of the skull, possibly coming from a sword or staff weapon. The other was a penetrating injury from the tip of an edged weapon.
“Richard’s head injuries are consistent with some near-contemporary accounts of the battle, which suggest that Richard abandoned his horse after it became stuck in a mire, and was killed while fighting his enemies,” Rutty said in a news release.
I’m not altogether convinced how much these match up to the written accounts, since some of the written ones are kind of ambiguous. But it’s still a nice way of getting some comparison of written records with actual remains. I would mention these sorts of wounds aren’t all that unusual; battle was and always has been particularly brutal, especially the hand-to-hand sort.
September 15, 2014
Centuries-old skeletons holding hands have been uncovered at a “lost” chapel by archaeologists.
The remains, of a man and a woman, were found at the Chapel of St Morrell, an ancient site of pilgrimage in Hallaton.
Tiles from a Roman building, were found underneath the chapel.
No photos except for one not showing the remains. This is probably the 6th or 7th one of these I’ve seen since blogging.