March 15, 2016

I’ve got the scoop. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:48 pm

The Very Serious Archaeological Quest For Lewis And Clark’s Poop

It’s a story that can look very different from the point of view of Native Americans rather than whites, but it remains a major part of the founding myth of the Pacific Northwest. And yet, we have very little tangible evidence of their journey; moving water and growing trees would have wiped out most traces over the last two centuries.

But Burke Museum Executive Director Julie Stein wound up involved in a unique bit of detective work to turn up evidence of Lewis and Clark’s outpost near the Pacific, along the Columbia River. It was, to put it bluntly, an all-out quest to find the historical figures’ poop.

They’re looking at the outhouse which, as we’ve seen here many times, can provide a lot of information on the health of the people producing it, from parasites to diet.

UPDATE: I just listened to it. Julie talks about a pill that is essentially an emetic, which has been used since at least ancient Egypt for pretty much anything. It basically makes you purge from both orifices.

Raiders of the Lost Ark Village of Cadzow

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 6:44 pm

VIDEO: Finding ‘lost’ village of Cadzow on M74, Hamilton, was a shock to archaeologists

Archaeologists were shocked to uncover remains of the lost village of Cadzow so close to the M74 motorway.

They had no idea four buildings and a range of artefacts, dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, were buried next to the carriageway.

Kevin Mooney and Warren Bailie are part of an archaeological team hired by Transport Scotland to examine the area earmarked for the motorway extension.

They spent 18 months examining the area before discovering the remains of the village just past junction six.

Okay, the video is all of 12 seconds long so don’t even bother.

March 10, 2016

A bit of ancient music

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:23 pm

This was making the rounds a while ago but I didn’t get to it:

“Hurrian Hymn No. 6” is considered the world’s earliest melody, but the oldest musical composition to have survived in its entirety is a first century A.D. Greek tune known as the “Seikilos Epitaph.” The song was found engraved on an ancient marble column used to mark a woman’s gravesite in Turkey. “I am a tombstone, an image,” reads an inscription. “Seikilos placed me here as an everlasting sign of deathless remembrance.” The column also includes musical notation as well as a short set of lyrics that read: “While you live, shine / Have no grief at all / Life exists only for a short while / And time demands its toll.”

The well-preserved inscriptions on Seikilos Epitaph have allowed modern musicians and scholars to recreate its plaintive melodies note-for-note. Dr. David Creese of the University of Newcastle performed it using an eight-stringed instrument played with a mallet, and ancient music researcher Michael Levy has recorded a version strummed on a lyre. There have also been several attempts to decode and play “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” but because of difficulties in translating its ancient tablets, there is no definitive version. One of the most popular interpretations came in 2009, when Syrian composer Malek Jandali performed the ancient hymn with a full orchestra.

I made a copy of the sound file and uploaded it so y’all can have a listen as well:
Hurrian Hymn #6.

March 9, 2016

A few online pubs

Filed under: Alcohol, Egypt, Online publications — acagle @ 5:02 pm

The Barbarian’s Beverage: A History of Beer in Ancient Europe

Plus I was, ummmmm, looking my name up in Google Scholar and found some things I’d been cited in:


Villages and the Old Kingdom

Kom Firin I: The Ramesside Temple and the Site Survey

March 7, 2016

Maybe they were just sidewalks. . . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:11 pm

Curators in Eastbourne are remaking a Bronze Age track using Bronze Age tools

To answer some of these questions archaeologists are stepping back in time to recreate part of the trackway for a new exhibition, Making Tracks: Eastbourne’s Bronze Age Mystery, which will take visitors on a journey through the environment of the Bronze Age landscape.

The exhibition posits five possible theories as to why the trackway was built and clusters them around the themes of Village, Ritual, Trading Post, Super-Farm and Melting Pot.

The next great archaeological frontier: Egypt’s storerooms:

Filed under: Egypt — acagle @ 8:07 pm

18th and 19th centuries Egyptian archaeological documents accidently found

Really, if someone were to gain access to the various magazines and storerooms around Egypt, they could make a career out of it. They’re kind of like the Area 51 warehouse at the end of Raiders.

February 29, 2016

The Army of Davids strikes again!

Filed under: Amateur — acagle @ 9:32 am

Amateur archaeologist discovers lost Spanish settlement in Florida Panhandle

An amateur archaeologist’s discovery of 16th-century Spanish pottery shards has led to the unearthing of a long-lost settlement in the Florida Panhandle.

“There it was, artifacts from the 16th century lying on the ground,” said Tom Garner, a history buff whose discovery has made him a celebrity in archaeological circles.

According to experts, Garner’s find at a newly cleared lot along the Pensacola Bay was the landing site of a doomed 1559 expedition led by Tristan de Luna. The discovery bolsters Pensacola’s claim as the first European settlement in the modern-day United States, six years before Pedro Menendez founded St. Augustine on Florida’s Atlantic coast. The Luna expedition was scuttled by a hurricane that sank five ships in September 1559, shortly after the fleet arrived.

Imagine what would have happened had the Spanish gotten more of an early foothold in North America. Apart from that, this is the best use of trained amateurs since there are many potential eyes to find things.

February 20, 2016

A couple of Modern Artifacts. And maybe some incipient abandonment.

Filed under: Abandonment, Modern artifacts — acagle @ 6:42 am

Still in Wisconsin and thought I’d toss out a couple of trivialities that might be worthy of interest. Only one has seemingly archaeological implications.

First up, a silo:
Desert Fox

February 19, 2016

Let’s get right into the venereal diseases this Friday!

Filed under: Public Health — acagle @ 7:07 am

A New Skeleton and an Old Debate About Syphilis

Upshot: “Columbus and his crew could have transported a New World, non-venereal treponemal infection to Europe upon their return,” they wrote, “which, once there, could have responded to dramatically different selection pressures with a new, sexual, transmission strategy.”

It’s a funny disease, syphillis; read the article for the background. Because of the yaws connection I’d been wondering if the relatively benign disease hadn’t rapidly mutated once it hit European populations, or maybe just become much more acute in its effects due to the interaction with other existing European diseases.

BTW, am back in Wisconsin now so have been lax in posting. Trying to manage projects, manage a household here, and look after mom. I tried to get the main projects done this week so I was pretty busy.

February 9, 2016

More fermenting fishies

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:54 pm

Archaeologists Unearth Earliest Evidence of Fish Fermentation

“The archaeological site of Norje Sunnansund is dated to around 9,600 – 8,600 years before present and is located in south-eastern Sweden, on the shores of the ancient Lake Vesan, next to a 2-km long outlet leading to the Baltic basin,” Dr. Boethius explained.

“We’d never seen a site like this with so many well preserved fish bones, so it was amazing to find,” he added.

The archaeologists also uncovered a long pit surrounded by small stake holes and completely filled with fish bones.

I downloaded the paper but haven’t read it yet so I don’t know how they determined the fish were actually fermented — chemical residues or whatever. I’ll post it temporarily later on so y’all can have a look. For Educational Purposes Only™, obviously.

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