Massive 1,100+ year old Maya site discovered in Georgia's mountains The archaeological site would have been particularly attractive to Mayas because it contains an apparently dormant volcano fumarole that reaches down into the bowels of the earth. People of One Fire researchers have been aware since 2010 that when the English arrived in the Southeast, there were numerous Native American towns named Itsate in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and western North Carolina. They were also aware that both the Itza Mayas of Central America and the Hitchiti Creeks of the Southeast actually called themselves Itsate . . . and pronounced the word the same way. The Itsate Creeks used many Maya and Totonac words. Their architecture was identical to that of Maya commoners. The pottery at Ocmulgee National Monument (c 900 AD) in central Georgia is virtually identical to the Maya Plain Red pottery made by Maya Commoners.
posted by ewagoner
on Dec 22, 2011 -
Libyan Desert Glass
is strewn over an area of hundreds of square kilometers in the Great Sand Sea, a region desolate even by the high standards of the Sahara. As one account of a recent trip to acquire Libyan Desert Glass
puts it: "Out there, death sits on your shoulder like a vulture." While some would have you believe that Libyan Desert Glass is evidence of ancient atomic warfare, it is probably evidence
of a massive meteorite or comet explosion nearly thirty million years ago
, similar to Tunguska, but much bigger. The stone age Aterian peoples made tools
from it, but the remoteness and inhospitality of the Great Sand Sea has ensured that until recent times it has mostly been undisturbed. However, a breast ornament buried in Tutankhamen's tomb
has a scarab made from Libyan Desert Glass, the only piece made of the material to have been found by Egyptologists, and how Tutankhamen's jewelers acquired it has remained a mystery
. Until now
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 8, 2011 -
Machine guns still firing, 70 years later.
The BBC's Dan Snow joins in an dig in Ireland to uncover a Spitfire mk2, hoping to find one o the machine guns in reasonable conditions. They find six, and then it's time to see if they still work.
Okay so they stripped the six to rebuild just one good one, and used modern .303 calibre ammo as opposed to the ammo in the ground, but hey. 70 years and still spitting fire. Of course the WWII in me will point out that the mk V's Hispano cannons were far more effective, but hey, that's not romantic enough for a modern news bulletin.
posted by ewan
on Nov 10, 2011 -
In 2008 a letter was excavated during an archaeological dig
of a Peruvian colonial town abandoned for unknown reasons around the turn of the 18th Century. On the back of that letter were recorded several numbers and their names in a dead tongue, lost in the upheaval following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Even though this may be the only remnant of an entire language, there is quite a bit that linguists can glean from these fragments. For a brief overview of the findings of research by a joint American-Peruvian research group, read here
. And here is the full journal article
, which places these numbers in their historical and linguistic context.
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 25, 2011 -
Prof. Michael Coe, an expert on the Maya, discusses
the challenges facing Mormon archaeologists investigating the historical truth of the Book of Mormon. [more inside]
posted by Ideefixe
on Aug 12, 2011 -
Lewis R. Binford
, one of the most influential American archaeologists of the last half-century and an early advocate of a more scientific approach to investigating ancient cultures, died on April 11 at his home in Kirksville, Mo. He was 79. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on Apr 23, 2011 -
Xaasaa Cheege Ts'eniin
is a very special toddler. Approximately 11,500 years ago, the child spent at least one summer with family at a seasonal base camp in the Tanana Valley
, located in what we now know as Alaska. Earlier this week, archaeologists announced their discovery
of the child's cremated remains in ancient fire pit amidst an excavation of a circular semi-subterranean home. DNA testing of the remains could reveal genetic connections to the modern Athabascans
. In addition, the find could yield new insight into the Paleo-Indians who traveled the Bering Strait, and the migration patterns of some of the indigenous people of North America. While little Xaaxaa only lived about three years, the toddler's remains, now the earliest human remains ever discovered in the North American arctic
, ensure little Xaaxaa will be remembered for years to come.
posted by Dr. Zira
on Feb 25, 2011 -
Did the Scots visit Iceland?
New research reveals island inhabited 70 years before Vikings thought to have arrived. This appears to be the first physical evidence that confirms
the stories of celitc monks being on the island when the Norse arrived.
posted by novenator
on Dec 26, 2010 -
Mr Mowatt said he had always wondered what lay under an 8ft stone in the garden and eventually curiosity got the better of him, "On the screen... I could clearly see what I thought was a white skull
, with two eye sockets, looking back at me." [more inside]
posted by BadMiker
on Nov 4, 2010 -
Old school hardware hacker, Postscript enthusiast, electronics writer, woo debunker, all around geek, and now amateur archaeologist Don Lancaster
) needs you. And maybe some of your nerdy gadgets. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222
on Nov 2, 2010 -
Ever since the famed Lucy skeleton was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, there have been some unanswered questions. She was very tiny, and some researchers claimed it was unlikely that she (and, by extension, Australopithecus afarensis
) could walk. Although other specimens were found throughout the 70s, none were more than bone fragments. Recently, researchers announced that they found another partial skeleton
, and they believe it proves that afarensis
posted by Plutor
on Jun 22, 2010 -
Virtual hacking is cool but place hacking makes it core again, brachiating across scaffolding to get the shot on your Digital SLR that maximizes your flickr stats, raking in the google adsense cash and conforming to a zerowork ethos if we get pro at it. Sleep in ruins, sell your photos of disgusting shit to tourists. Rinse off in a petrol station sink and repeat. We are the nerds that finally walked away from their computers and we are behind that scaffolding covering the building you ignore everyday when you walk by it going to work, we just loved on that place like no one has in 20 years. We are psychotopological terrorists and we will shove that masterlock up your ass.
A "reformed archaeologist" talks about exploration of urban ruins
. Modern urban ruins.
posted by Rumple
on Jan 21, 2010 -
The Seljuk Han in Anatolia
has tons of information about and pictures of the caravanserai, inns for caravans, built by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in what is now Turkey. The Seljuk caravanserai, called hans, were a vital resource for trade from the middle ages to recent times. The website, by Katherine Branning
, explains what a han is
, their origins
, their function in trade
, what life there was like
and much more. The site also features 39 individual hans, such as the Kadin Han
, now a furniture store, Dibi Delik Han
, which is undergoing restoration, Zazadin Han
, which has been restored already, and the spectacular Sultan Han Kayseri
. For an academic survey of Seljuk hans, here's Ayşıl Tükel Yavuz'
The concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais [pdf, automatic download]
posted by Kattullus
on Jan 8, 2010 -
Fascinated by the Orient
An exhibition of the letters, photographs and maps bequeathed to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences by the great explorer, archaeologist, geographer
Sir Marc Aurel Stein
. Journeyer in the footsteps of Alexander
of Central Asia
and West China
, surveyor of the antiquities of India
; after a long life of journeying through and studying central Asia, Aurel Stein found his final rest in Kabul
. He is also remembered for rediscovering the oldest dated printed book still in existence, a copy of the Diamond Sutra
in the caves at Mogao
. That the latter and many thousands of other manuscripts collected by Stein now reside in the British Library
is of course, like his other 'treasure hunting'
, not without controversy
posted by Abiezer
on Jan 4, 2010 -
Man from the Margin: Cao Cao and the Three Kingdoms
You'll perhaps have read
reports that archaeologists believe they have found the tomb of Cao Cao (曹操) (of course, not everyone agrees
with the identification). Warrior, strategist, statesman and p
, Cao Cao lives on in the cultural memory of China, a by-word for cunning
and of course a central character in the great historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms
and hence also recent John Woo blockbuster Red Cliff
. To understand the man in his historical context, there's little better in English than the 1990 George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology given by now-retired Professor Rafe de Crespigny
, one of the foremost Western scholars of the Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms periods of Chinese history. He makes several of his vastly erudite essays on Chinese history available at the ANU
posted by Abiezer
on Dec 30, 2009 -
Bogus! Why do fakes get made? Why do people fall for hoaxes? Greed, pride, revenge, nationalism, pranks, and gullibility mix in an archaeological setting.
Archaeology Magazine examines eight classic cases, and more.
posted by amyms
on Dec 23, 2009 -
documents and digitally reconstructs "one of the largest temple complexes in the world." The site includes digital models, photographs, a "time map" (allowing you to see alterations to the site under different pharoahs), and video. For projects devoted to more specific areas of the temple complex, see the Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project
(University of Memphis) and the Mut Precinct
posted by thomas j wise
on Dec 16, 2009 -