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 -
A companion to one of Europe's most eminent prehistoric monuments has been discovered just a mile away. Bluehenge
has the same rough configuration as its sister site, Stonehenge, but with 27 stones instead of 56. It is speculated that the stones of Bluehenge may have been moved to aid in the making of
Stonehenge. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser
on Oct 3, 2009 -
Knossos: Fakes, Facts, and Mystery.
"The masterpieces of Minoan art
are not what they seem... The truth is that these famous icons are largely modern. As any sharp-eyed visitor to the Heraklion museum
can spot, what survives of the original paintings amounts in most cases to no more than a few square inches. The rest is more or less imaginative reconstruction, commissioned in the first half of the twentieth century by Sir Arthur Evans
, the British excavator of the palace of Knossos
(and the man who coined the term 'Minoan' for this prehistoric Cretan civilization
, after the mythical King Minos who is said to have held the throne
there). As a general rule of thumb, the more famous the image now is, the less of it is actually ancient."
posted by homunculus
on Aug 30, 2009 -
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has put 675 reels of archival 16 mm film online
via the Internet Archive. Most of the film is unedited, and stems either from Museum research, or was donated by interested amateurs. Much of it is silent, reflecting the technology of the day. One highlight are the four surviving reels
of the long-running TV show 'What in the World" (look for the episode starring Vincent Price), but the archive is full of other hidden gems, such as the 1950s archaeological expedition to Tikal
, a 1940 film "A 1000 Mile Road Trip Across America
", and Glimpses of Life Among the Catawba and Cherokee Indians of the Carolinas (1927).
The films are downloadable in various formats, including MPEG2, Ogg Video, and 512Kb MPEG4. Happy browsing! via.
posted by Rumple
on May 3, 2009 -
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 -