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First Americans

Human footprints from 40,000 tears ago - evidence of the early colonization of America. New Scientist journalists tell us that this finding may overthrow the commonly held view that the first humans to arrive did so only 11,000 years ago. But this isn't the first time an earlier arrival date has been suggested.
posted by TimothyMason on Jul 6, 2005 - 12 comments

Interactive archaeology

Interactive archaeology "We bring the excavations to you!" (via plep)
posted by dhruva on May 7, 2005 - 3 comments

Ancient Catalhoyuk

"A skull coated in plaster, colored in red, and cradled in the arms of a female skeletonis among the latest discoveries at the 9,000-year-old site of Catalhoyuk, located on Turkey's Anatolian plain.
posted by dfowler on Apr 19, 2005 - 12 comments

7,000 year old sex-artifact

Archaeologist Finds 'Oldest Porn Statue'
Article claims that "until now, the oldest representations of sexual scenes were frescos from about 2,000 years ago", BUT...
posted by dfowler on Apr 8, 2005 - 29 comments

Location, location, location

The Chaco Culture National Historical Park (flash) encompasses a whole canyon's worth of buildings that appear to be designed to elaborately showcase the movement of the sun and the moon. And the website for the park is pretty well done. Also see the PBS-supported documentary called "The Mystery of Chaco Canyon" from the Solstice Project and a previous Metafilter discussion of archaeoastronomy.
posted by ontic on Feb 16, 2005 - 11 comments

Alas Babylon

The damage wrought by the construction of an American military base in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon must rank as one of the most reckless acts of cultural vandalism in recent memory. And all the more so because it was unnecessary and avoidable... but given that it was, the US authorities were very aware of the warnings of archaeologists of the historic importance of the site. Yet, as a report by Dr John Curtis of the British Museum makes clear, they seem to have ignored the warnings. Dr Curtis claimed that in the early days after the war a military presence served a valuable purpose in preventing the site from being looted. But that, he said, did not stop "substantial" damage being done to the site afterwards not just to individual buildings such as the Ishtar Gate, "one of the most famous monuments from antiquity", but also on an estimated 300,000 square metres which had been flattened and covered in gravel, mostly imported from elsewhere. This was done to provide helicopter landing places and parking lots for heavy vehicles that should not have been allowed there in the first place...

Cultural vandalism. Months of war that ruined centuries of history. American graffiti.
posted by y2karl on Jan 15, 2005 - 62 comments

Long Lost Leo

"Researchers have discovered the hidden laboratory used by Leonardo da Vinci for studies of flight and other pioneering scientific work in previously sealed rooms at a monastery next to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, in the heart of Florence."
posted by ScottUltra on Jan 13, 2005 - 28 comments

But the cities visited by Marco Polo were always different from those thought of by the emperor

The Names of Ancient Cities Still Stir the Imagination. While the City of 333 Genies has almost vanished in the sands and the Mirror of the World is tarnished with age, the City of Men's Desire abides. In 1000 years, will the Big Apple be as vital as the Eternal City or as forgotten as the City of Venerated Houses?
posted by blahblahblah on Dec 7, 2004 - 10 comments

Venice is sinking, Atlantis is rising?

Has Atlantis been found? It's a good question. (Previous MeFi threads here, and here). Digging around at Atlantis Rising also provides some thoughts as to where it might be. (beware the worst of the tinfoil hat brigade, though) Or perhaps the whole thing bores you, and you'd rather build your own Atlantis or just take a cruise.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy on Nov 25, 2004 - 11 comments

Entombed below a 10-acre concrete slab

Tse-whit-zen. Excavation for the Hood Canal Bridge near Seattle has unearthed a huge prehistoric Indian village and alienated tribal spiritual leaders.
posted by xowie on Nov 21, 2004 - 18 comments

Çatalhöyük

Çatalhöyük, a site for kids devoted to the archeological excavations of the remains of a Neolithic town in central Turkey. A great introduction for all ages to this important city, with activities, quicktime tours and links to more in depth resources.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Oct 19, 2004 - 4 comments

Greenham Common History

Greenham Common History. 'Greenham Common - a name linked world-wide with the awesome potential of nuclear deterrence and the protest movement it gave rise to. But there is a bigger story; here we explore the history of one thousand acres of open land near Newbury in Berkshire. ' (via)
posted by plep on Oct 17, 2004 - 3 comments

Oiled, but not nude

If you don't expect the Olympics to keep it real, you may appreciate the Nemean Games.
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Aug 7, 2004 - 6 comments

Plain of Jars

What is the Plain of Jars, what does it look like, and where is it?
posted by moonbird on Jun 12, 2004 - 14 comments

Angkor

Water woes, not wars, ended Angkor's empire, according to the Greater Angkor Project. Ecological failure and infrastructure breakdown brought down Cambodia's great city and Hindu civilization.
posted by homunculus on Jun 9, 2004 - 7 comments

protecting ancient sites in Iraq

Protecting the Cradle Kirkuk Air Base -- US Army Colonel works with Iraqi archaeological officials to protect nearby ancient sites.

Meanwhile at more secluded mounds, looters continue to plunder the sites and to erase the tangible record of the world's earliest civilizations. "When you come here at night, it looks like a city, there are so many lights," [Archaeological official Abdul-Amir] Hamdani said, looking out over the arid scrubland where thieves swarm after dark.
posted by mcgraw on May 25, 2004 - 6 comments

Iraqi artifacts

Archaeologists review the loss of valuable artifacts a year after the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. [Via dangerousmeta.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 22, 2004 - 6 comments

Glass in the Roman World

Vitrum: Glass Between Art and Science in the Roman World, an exhibition hosted by the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, describes the use of glass in different areas of Roman life: technology, daily life, architecture, and science. Each of the items in the themed galleries is linked to a large, high-resolution image; some beautiful examples of 2000-year-old glass include: a decorative glass hexagon, a blue glass cup from pompeii, and a striped mosaic glass cup.
posted by carter on Apr 18, 2004 - 5 comments

Tunnel Under Stonehenge?

Archaeologists are denouncing plans for a tunnel under Stonehenge. It's not the idea of the tunnel itself that is drawing fire, so much as the execution. The govt seems to be doing it on the cheap, in a way that won't solve the problem of the modern world intruding on the prehistoric megalith.
posted by Slagman on Mar 21, 2004 - 8 comments

Paris not in Paris

Paris is not actually in Paris according to French archaeologists last month. It appears that the ancient capital of Gaul, named after the Celtic tribe Parissi, is not buried under modern-day Paris but under its unremarkable neighbor Nanterre. "It's an unprecedented attack on the French national identity and the greater glory of Paris by a group of dirty-fingernailed parvenus." Spare the dirty archaeologists and blame it on Julius Caesar who gave inaccurate descriptions of the location, returning from the grave causing fresh Parisian identity consternations.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 15, 2004 - 13 comments

Kennewick Controversy: A Sign of the Times

Research Vs. Religion: Scientists Win Lawsuit Against Native American Tribes The 9,000 year old remains, found in Kennewick, Washington in 1996, will be made available for study, rather than being buried by tribes who had hoped to assert the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act in this case.
posted by mcgraw on Feb 10, 2004 - 18 comments

Monasteries of Mustang

A restoration project has been underway since 1998 to restore the 15th-century Tibetan Buddhist monastery wall paintings of Lo Monthang, a city in the kingdom of Mustang in northwest Nepal. The results have been very impressive. Mustang is also home to some amazing cave temples.
posted by homunculus on Dec 27, 2003 - 12 comments

Graffiti Archeaology

Graffiti Archaeology Pretty cool flash app that lets you view photos of the same walls in San Francisco over time, as the many layers of graffiti accumulate. To anyone that has ever ridden the Caltrain, a lot of these walls should look familiar.
posted by mathowie on Dec 20, 2003 - 6 comments

bactrian hoard

The fascinating story of how a lone security guard in Afghanistan managed to ensure the safety of the Bactrian hoard.
posted by stbalbach on Nov 14, 2003 - 3 comments

3rd reich in ruins

The Third Reich In Ruins
posted by crunchland on Oct 15, 2003 - 16 comments

Passport in Time

Passport in Time is a volunteer program of the USDA Forest Service where you can be a real-life archaeologist for a week or just a weekend. There are projects located around the country, around the calendar. With no previous experience, you can help professional archaeologists survey and excavate sites ranging in age from the early 1900s back to the paleolithic. Myself, I helped excavate Pueblo de la Mesa, a pre-Columbian Anasazi site atop a lonely mesa in New Mexico.
posted by ewagoner on Aug 13, 2003 - 12 comments

mammoth confrence

Mammoths (Mammuthus) have been discussed here before and for those modern explorers who hunt the long extinct tusker in the field there is the 3rd International Mammoth conference where you can learn about things such as Mammoth Hunters and Ice Age Dogs.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 8, 2003 - 4 comments

Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford. - Cindy Crawford

Roman Cosmetics Found at Temple Dig: Stunningly well preservered, the cream still bears the fingerprints of whoever used it last, almost 2,000 years ago.
posted by Irontom on Jul 30, 2003 - 14 comments

Heinrich Schliemann...real life Indiana Jones?

Prior to Heinrich Schliemann's excavations in 1871, the academic world held that the city of Troy had never existed; it was just a tale in a book; as silly to search for as Utopia or Robinson Crusoe’s Island. But Schliemann believed Homer’s Troy must have existed. He wanted it to exist, the story had caught his imagination. Acting upon descriptions of Troy’s location from Homer’s ‘Iliad’, (written more than 500 years after the fall of Troy) Schliemann started digging…and proved everyone wrong.
posted by rrtek on Jul 22, 2003 - 16 comments

Stone Circles

The Stone Pages. 'Over the last 14 years we have personally visited and photographed all 529 archæological sites you will find in these pages (117 in the six national sections and 412 in our Tours section), creating the first Web guide to European megaliths and other prehistoric sites, online since February 1996.'
Related :- Ancient Stones, a personal photographic guide to the stone circles of Britain; Megalithic Walks, diaries of days out visiting some of these places; the Prehistoric Monuments of Wales; the interactive Megalith Map. These sites also have great links pages to more megalithic resources.
posted by plep on Mar 28, 2003 - 13 comments

Gertrude of Iraq

Have I ever told you what the river is like on a hot summer night? At dusk the mist hangs in long white bands over the water; the twilight fades and the lights of the town shine out on either bank, with the river, dark and smooth and full of mysterious reflections, like a road of triumph through the midst. - Gertrude Bell writing of the Euphrates near Baghdad.

Gertrude Bell - daughter of the desert, Uncrowned Queen of Iraq, Advisor to kings and Ally of Lawrence of Arabia. Gertrude Bell was a traveller and mountaineer, recruited by British Intelligence to work in the Middle East during the First World War and, who later worked for the British Government in Baghdad. Bell's influence on Middle Eastern politics made her the most powerful woman in the British Empire in the years after World War I. She was a archeologist, writer, translated the poetry of Hafiz and a photographer as well. 1909: Letters from Gertrude Bell, dated May 14 and May 20. She died early in the morning of July 12th, 1926, 58 years old, from an overdose of sleeping pills--whether accidental or not is not known. She is buried in Baghdad, where her grave is still visited and her memory revered. Cherchez La Femme
posted by y2karl on Mar 23, 2003 - 12 comments

art and archaeology

"Welcome to Old Stones, a website about selected topics in ancient art and archaeology."
posted by hama7 on Mar 20, 2003 - 4 comments

Oetzi the Ice Man

"Over 5000 years ago, a man climbed up to the icy heights of the Schnalstal glacier and died. He was found by accident in 1991, with his clothes and equipment, mummified and frozen: an archaeological sensation and a unique snapshot of a Copper Age man. For several years highly specialised research teams examined the mummy and the articles found with it. They have been on exhibit since March 1998 at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology." Apparently he suffered of arthritis and heart disease.
via baloney.com
posted by talos on Mar 6, 2003 - 5 comments

Agatha Christie and Archaeology.

Agatha Christie and Archaeology. 'Many years ago, when I was once saying sadly to Max it was a pity I couldn't have taken up archaeology when I was a girl, so as to be more knowledgeable on the subject, he said, 'Don't you realize that at this moment you know more about prehistoric pottery than any woman in England?' [more inside]
posted by plep on Feb 26, 2003 - 13 comments

king of stonehenge

The King of Stonehenge found in a 4,000-year-old grave near Stonehenge may have been from Switzerland and involved in its construction. It is the richest Bronze Age burial found in Britain "off the scale". ...it is fascinating to think that someone from abroad – probably modern day Switzerland – could well have played an important part in the construction of Britain’s most famous archaeological site.”
posted by stbalbach on Feb 10, 2003 - 16 comments

Kalmykia and Takla Makan migrations

The republic of Kalmykia is a unique place. A member of the Russian Federation, it was settled in 1608 by Mongols from what is now the Chinese province of Xinjiang. It is the only state in Europe where Buddhism is the dominant religion, and probably the only state in the world whose president claims to have created an "extra-sensory field" around it. Kalmykia's spiritual leader, Telo Rinpoche, is an American from Philadelphia who was appointed by the Dalai Lama. There has been a long history of migrations between Europe and Asia. In one really intriguing case, 3000-year-old mummies with reddish-blond hair, Caucasian features and wearing tartans similar in design to Celtic ones, were discovered in the Takla Makan Desert in Xinjiang. If these ancient Caucasians were absorbed by the population of Xinjiang, then perhaps the Kalmyk migration might have unknowingly been a return to their ancestral lands. [First link via plep].
posted by homunculus on Dec 29, 2002 - 12 comments

fetishes

Thogchags, Tsha tshas, Netsuke, or ???... What's your favorite fetish?
posted by pekar wood on Dec 12, 2002 - 14 comments

Makin' Bones About Bones

Atapuerca (in Spanish, with incomplete English translation) is the site of the earliest European hominid ancestors yet found in Europe. Two of the most stunning finds are Gran Dolina, where the first Homo antecessor fossils were found, and Sima de los Huesos, site of the most complete Homo heidelbergensis fossils ever excavated. And soon: an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New York. I know my plans for January 11th.
posted by The Michael The on Dec 10, 2002 - 3 comments

Dark Passage: Scary Archaeology

Frightening Archaeology: Dark Passage is scarier than Infiltration; less cosy than Lost America; and more disturbing than Ruins of Detroit or any other ruination already investigated on Metafilter. In fact, it's probably the extreme incarnation of the thriving world of websites about abandoned buildings, full of spooky mental asylums, echoes of depravity and twisted archaeology - like a spaced-out online version of Brad Anderson's Session 9. Or the real thing. To make matters worse, it also falls disconcertingly into the "What's this all about?" category. Brrrrr.... [QT/WM required for the last link only - please disregard "Purchase" title and enjoy Nine Inch Nails soundtrack. Via Linkfilter.]
posted by Carlos Quevedo on Nov 20, 2002 - 42 comments

The International Dunhuang Project,

The International Dunhuang Project, developed jointly by the British Library and the National Library of China, makes thousands manuscripts and paintings from ancient caves and temples along the Silk Road viewable to the public. The artifacts were found in the Dunhuang cave in China in 1900 and dispersed to museums around the world, but now they have been brought together on the web. And if you want some appropriate music to go with it, check out Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project.
posted by homunculus on Nov 12, 2002 - 5 comments

Archaeological Collage. Neat old cityscene photographs dissolve part by part into modern shots of the same location. Slide the slider and trollies morph into cars, stoop tragedy is supplanted by stoop dalliance. This site has been my white whale: I spent many months tracking it down after losing the link, asking here, asking there, and finally getting an Answer. SPOILER: In the saddest one, going left to right, you're delighted that the grand hotel survives, until in the last 10% it yields to a parking lot. *sob* (Shockwave required)
posted by luser on Nov 11, 2002 - 9 comments

Ossuary was genuine, inscription was faked

Ossuary was genuine, inscription was faked Lots of excitement when this ossuary with inscription found and thought to be a direct link back to Jesus...alas, not what it seemed.
posted by Postroad on Nov 6, 2002 - 30 comments

In 1628, the Swedish man-o-war Vasa sank

In 1628, the Swedish man-o-war Vasa sank to the bottom of the Baltic Sea moments into her maiden voyage. 333 years later this remarkably well-preserved ship was resurrected from her ocean grave and brought to drydock.
posted by bunnytricks on Nov 3, 2002 - 17 comments

Save Thousands Of Years And Preserve Graffiti Now:

Save Thousands Of Years And Preserve Graffiti Now: Bijan Omrani playfully argues for the preservation of contemporary graffiti in Oxford's august Bodleian Library. Perhaps they're the modern equivalent of the Lascaux cave paintings. "Kilroy was here" notwithstanding, witty graffiti can be found on walls all around the world. Shouldn't some sort of repository be created to safeguard this undeniably pure - and unfairly overlooked - form of popular expression? I'm sorry to say I couldn't find one single good written graffiti site on the Web. Does anyone know of one - or at least have a memorable graffito to share with the rest of us?
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 4, 2002 - 25 comments

Some

Some say the Taj Mahal pre-dates Shahjahan by several centuries and was originally built as a Hindu or Vedic temple complex. Fascinating theory or a crackpot...more inside >
posted by bittennails on Apr 11, 2002 - 10 comments

City older than Mohenjodaro unearthed.

City older than Mohenjodaro unearthed. This subject has always fascinated me, what is the world's oldest city/civilization? I remember learning in school the standard-tigris and euphrates river valley in Iraq version. But since I left school there seems to have been an ongoing search with multiple claims, here are a few links to newer claims, hamoukar, mohenjodaro, harappa, details of hamoukar, by the archaeologist. Does anyone have any insights, links are welcome, and what in your opinion is the oldest city/civilization in the world.
posted by bittennails on Jan 16, 2002 - 15 comments

A sunken megalithic city, perhaps 6,000 years old, has been sonar-photographed with an underwater sub, off the coast of Cuba, 2100 feet down. Well, at least they didn't describe it as 'cyclopean'. Nor is there any word on whether its architectural angles are non-Euclidean. [More inside]
posted by Slithy_Tove on Dec 9, 2001 - 23 comments

Ancient Werewolves

Ancient Werewolves - 'These composite beings ... are a common theme from the beginning of painting.' (link via Weblogging Considered Harmful)
posted by Irontom on Nov 29, 2001 - 8 comments

The stuff from which Myth is made.

The stuff from which Myth is made. A recent discovery of a meteor impact crater in the middle-east, dating around 2300BC, is shedding new light on the decline of many cultures and the rise of many legends.
posted by mkn on Nov 15, 2001 - 19 comments

An Archaeological Find For Our Times? Indian archaeologists have uncovered two ancient statutes, believed to be representative of Ashoka, an emperor who, after a brutal climb to the throne, switched over to Buddhism and attempted to create a just society.
posted by ed on Nov 9, 2001 - 6 comments

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