October 16, 2014

Back from the field

Filed under: Blogging update, Car Lust — acagle @ 6:55 pm

Sorry, forgot to mention it. Was out in the field on a project since Tuesday. Nothing at all found except a collapsed old building.

And cows.

Pictures tomorrow.

In the meantime, I had some Car Lust posts up this week y’all might enjoy:
Monday Mystery Trucks.
Lust for the Honda CRV.
Monday Mystery Solved.

October 13, 2014

Of course they like beer. . . .

Filed under: Beer — acagle @ 11:40 am

Doesn’t everybodything? The Science of Why Beer Is So Delicious

Yet even though we know yeast is the reason beer tastes so good, we don’t know exactly why it does it. But in a new study, a team of scientists led by Kevin Verstrepen, a yeast geneticist at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology and the Belgian University of Leuven, has showed why these tiny microbes make the flavors we savor.

In a new paper in the journal Cell, the scientists detail the results of four experiments on yeast. It turns out that for yeast, producing these delicious aromatic molecules is a bit like hailing a taxi. The smell lures in wandering flies, to which yeasts hitch a ride so they can disperse throughout nature.

Well, going from fruit fly preferences to human preferences takes a bit of a leap. But I like the serendipity aspect of it all.

October 12, 2014

Yes, I’m back.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 9:14 am

Halfway decent trip. We did the Olympic Peninsula circle again this year, first spending a few days in and around Lake Quinault, in the rainforest. Of course, as like previous years, save for one, there was no rain in the rain forest. Which was fine by me, the rain looks neat for a few hours but then you get tired of everything being all wet all the time. We mostly did some minor hiking around, mostly unlaxing and eating. Then around and up to Sequim for somewhat more civilized environs and activities.

Following is a photographic essay with very little archaeological content, but there is some. This first photo is the view out of the cabin on Lake Quinault. More photos after the break.
Desert Fox
(more…)

DESTROY THE BEER??!!!

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology, Historic — acagle @ 8:45 am

Kent archaeologists discover Sheppey WW1 trenches

It was once known as “Barbed Wire Island”: a flat, marshy area in the Thames Estuary that was heavily fortified and bristled with guns in anticipation of a German invasion that never came.

But when archaeologists began excavating the island of Sheppey off the north Kent coast, what they found took them by surprise.

They expected to uncover structures from World War Two, but instead discovered “fantastic” trenches dating back to World War One that they believe to be of national importance.

Beer, you say? What about the beer?

he network of trenches was just one aspect of a huge security operation centred on the island during war. Residents were issued with “Sheppey passports” and plans were drawn up that would have seen the entire north Kent community facing evacuation and the loss of their livelihoods.

A devastating “scorched earth” policy aimed at hindering and frustrating the invaders would have seen livestock slaughtered and even beer destroyed.

These seem to have been actual defensive structures rather than for training which is primarily what the other WWI trench systems I’ve linked to before were used for.

September 29, 2014

Gone fishin’

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology, Blogging update — acagle @ 6:36 pm

It’s that time again, off to a short vacation. First one in over a year. Will be out at the Olympic Peninsula again. Be back sometime in a week or 10 days.

In the meantime, enjoy this short series of photographs of preserved underground ‘cities’ from WWI. One could argue with some of the author’s conclusions — it’s a slide show with captions (which go by too quickly, IMO) — but the photos are stunning and worth remembering:

Cloaked in darkness under private land in the beautiful French countryside, these underground cities are bristling with artifacts, sculptures and emotionally charged “graffiti” created by WWI soldiers a century ago. Frozen-in-time, these cities beneath the trenches form a direct human connection to men who lived a century ago. They make hundred years ago seem like yesterday. They are a Hidden World of WWI that is all but unknown, even to the French.

Finding Avondale

Filed under: Cemeteries, Historic, Remote Sensing — acagle @ 12:47 pm

Neat article and video on locating burials in a cemetery under realistic conditions: Finding Avondale: Remote Sensing for an Unmarked Cemetery in Difficult Subsurface Conditions>

Cemetery researchers frequently turn to remote sensing technics when there are little to no trace of a burial ground visible on the surface. The effectiveness of these methods has been evaluated by numerous case studies however, these studies tend to be conducted under optimal and under more controlled conditions then we tend to find in the field. In this study we used real world situation where the adverse settings encountered at the Avondale burial place also known as 9BI164, an unmarked cemetery in southern Bibb County Georgia.

In short, records were nonexistent, informative data was sparse and we only had a rough estimate of where the cemetery was located. The grounds were over a century old. There were no surface features and it was situated in Georgia red clay, a notoriously difficult substrate for successful remote sensing.

I haven’t watched the video yet. As I’ve said, this sort of thing is getting more and more common, finding disused private and even public cemeteries that have long since been forgotten, often with no headstones or decayed monuments (wood). And in this case they not only used hi-tech remote sensing technologies, but also dogs! Well worth a viewing and a read.

September 25, 2014

Bodies, bodies Body everywhere! here!

Filed under: Bodies, bodies everywhere! — acagle @ 7:31 pm

Ancient bog body found in Meath to be carbon dated

Experts from the National Museum of Ireland plan to radiocarbon date an ancient bog body found at a Midlands bog today. It is the second one to be found at the midlands bog in two years.
The partial remains, comprising of adult leg and foot bones and flesh, were discovered by Bord Na Móna workers at Rossan Bog close to the Westmeath border in Co Meath on Saturday.
Once the find was made, a Bord Na Móna worker initiated company protocol and called gardai to examine the scene. Work was stopped and the National Museum of Ireland was notified.

Couple of years old — the find — but I missed it the first time around.

More here

I’ll take a Galaga and a Battle Zone please.

Filed under: Historic, Media, Pop culture — acagle @ 7:25 pm

Historical nonetheless. And decaying. Comments Off

September 23, 2014

And speaking of hoaxes. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:52 pm

Fakes!

For now. . . . . .

September 22, 2014

Archaeologist?

Filed under: Antiquities Market, Historic — acagle @ 7:16 pm

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.

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