is a new online exhibit from the excellent Burke Museum
at the University of Washington, Seattle. It tells the story of the land underlying Seattle, one of the United States' most geologically active city sites, and of the human attempts to engineer this landform. Closely related are the archaeology of West Point
and Coast Salish Villages
of Puget Sound (e.g., read the story
of North Wind and Storm Wind).
posted by Rumple
on May 2, 2009 -
Archaeologists and Native Americans race against the border fence.
The REAL ID act authorized government agencies to bulldoze long-standing environmental, cultural and anthropological standards. But a team of activists worked delicately behind the scenes to win millions of dollars in federal funding and the go-ahead for a last-ditch effort to study ancient artifacts. Archaeologists have faced similarly rushed projects elsewhere
along the fence route.
posted by univac
on Mar 31, 2009 -
Why do mummies scream? Are screaming mummies really testaments to horrific deaths? Or are they the result of natural processes, botched or ad hoc mummification jobs, or the depredations of tomb robbers?
Archaeology Online examines the science and history behind the gape-mouthed "masks of agony" seen on some mummies, and explores their portrayal in entertainment and pop culture. The article includes lots of interesting and informative additional links.
posted by amyms
on Mar 30, 2009 -
The digital collection
of the Tokyo National Museum
is full of wonder. TNM is the oldest museum in Japan and collects archaeological objects and art from Japan as well as other parts of Asia. The collection can be browsed by type
. Here are some of my favorites: Buddha's life
, The name "Korin" given to pupil
, Tale of Matsuranomiya
, Coquettish type
, Tea caddy in shape of bucket with handle
, Mirror, design of sea and island
, Traditionary identified as Minamoto no Yoritomo
, Seated Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri) and attendants
, Sword mounting of kazari-tachi type
and (my current desktop background) Figures under a tree
. This is but a small sampling of all that can be found in the digital collection
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 22, 2008 -
The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies
is your one-stop shop for pre-Columbian Central America awesomeness. There are so, so many wondrous things on that site, I don't quite know where to begin. I suppose John Pohl's scholarly introduction
is a natural place to start. But maybe you just don't have time to read anything and just want to dive into pretty, pretty pictures. Perhaps the most user-friendly databases are Justin Kerr's photographs Maya Vases
) and Pre-Columbian Portfolio
). From there you can delve into the collection of Linda Schele's photographs
) and drawings
). There are more image databases but let me direct you to the collection of old Maya, Aztec and Mixtec books
which are simply stunning (e.g. 1
, 4 [last link pdf]
). You can read more about Mayan
codices and download high resolution versions of the entire books. There are also Maya dictionaries
, glyph guides
, linguistic maps
and a who's who
. There is also classic Mayan
poetry in translation. I'm telling you, that's not even half of what this amazing site has to offer.
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 29, 2008 -
(a.k.a. Amarna) was the city built by Pharaoh Akhenaten
, famous for his monotheistic beliefs
and his queen, Nefertiti
and son, Tutankhamun
. The Amarna Letters
has translations of correspondence sent to the Akhenaten, but a trove of it was found at the Amarna site. During his reign a distinctive style of art
rose to prominence, only to vanish after his death. The Boston MFA has 40 objects from the era
in its collection. Perhaps the most famous of the cultural artifacts of Akhenaten is the Great Hymn to Aten (hieroglyphics
, four different English translations: 1
). This poem was set to music by Philip Glass
for his opera Akhnaten (information about the opera
). Some see direct parallels between The Great Hymn to Aten and Psalm 104
. Though it was billed as a new beginning, like many utopias, Amarna was no haven for the regular folk who lived there
posted by Kattullus
on Oct 4, 2008 -
The Devastation of Iraq's Past.
"Since the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad in April 2003, the international press has accorded considerable space to the country's imperiled ancient heritage. Much of this coverage, however, has been devoted to the museum, the impressive campaign to recover its stolen works, and the continued struggle to reopen its galleries. Only occasional, anecdotal reports—mostly from the first year of the conflict—have borne witness to large-scale plunder of archaeological sites
, to which the damage is irreversible."
posted by homunculus
on Jul 23, 2008 -
Archaeology Magazine lists
its top ten discoveries of 2007, with nine runners up. Among the discoveries listed are the discovery
of Nebo-Sarsekim tablet that confirms some of the details of the Biblical book of Jeremiah (while casting doubt
on other details), evidence
that chimpanzees used basic stone tools 4,000 years ago that suggests that the primates may have passed "cultural" information through generations, and evidence of Polynesian chickens in Chile
that may confirm
Francisco Pizarro's report of chickens in Peru.
posted by Pants!
on Dec 30, 2007 -
Scientists find a 'mummified' Hadrosaur in North Dakota
"He looks like a blow-up dinosaur in some parts," said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in England who is leading the inquiry. "When you actually look at the detail of the skin, the scales themselves are three dimensional. . . . The arm is breathtaking. It's a three-dimensional arm, you can shake the dinosaur by the hand. It just defies logic that such a remarkable specimen could preserve." [more inside]
posted by Uther Bentrazor
on Dec 3, 2007 -