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Videos of a skillful guy making stone tools

Ever wonder how flaked stone tools such as the famous 12,000 year old Clovis spear points were made? A series of videos from youtube user flintknappingtips leads you through primary shaping, blank preparation, blank shaping, thinning, and fluting of a Clovis point. Total manufacturing time is about 40 minutes. Unscrupulous flintknappers have sold such replicas for tens of thousands of dollars (PDF), leading to a micro-business of stone tool authentication, after which, naturally, fake authentication papers started to appear came to light.
posted by Rumple on Nov 14, 2007 - 23 comments

 

Solanum virus outbreak in Ancient Egypt

Zombie Attack at Hierakonpolis
posted by felix betachat on Nov 12, 2007 - 29 comments

Funky Tut

King Tut's face revealed to the world The face of Egypt's most famous ancient ruler, King Tutankhamun, has been put on public display for the first time.
posted by psmealey on Nov 4, 2007 - 47 comments

Archaeography

"Proposition. We are all archaeologists, even if we don't realize it. An archaeological sensibility - working on what is left of the past, heritage, museums, collecting culture, antiques, retro styling, family genealogy, local history, tourists visiting the past - is a vital part of the contemporary zeitgeist. Archaeography and Archaeographer are photoblogs that explore the connections between photography and archaeology." Mining a similar vein is The Nonist's Archeography Project.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 24, 2007 - 6 comments

Urban Abandonments

7 Deserted Wonders of the (Post)Modern World. 7 More Deserted Wonders of the Modern World. 7 Submerged Wonders of the World. 7 Underground Wonders of the World.
posted by homunculus on Oct 4, 2007 - 36 comments

Immortal soul prisoned in a house of clay

The Por-Bazhyn Fortress (meaning “clay house” in Tuvan) is believed to have been built in the 8th century CE at the behest of the Uighur kagan Mo-yen-çur. Its remains occupy a 3.5 ha location on a spectacular island location in Lake Tere-Khol in the south west part of the Republic of Tuva. This summer a project to excavate and ultimately preserve the site began [Embedded video] (attracting some notable visitors). Via
posted by Abiezer on Sep 20, 2007 - 9 comments

The allure of the underground city

Derinkuyu wasn't discovered until 1965, when a resident cleaning the back wall of his cave house broke through a wall and discovered behind it a room that he'd never seen, which led to still another, and another. Eventually, spelunking archeologists found a maze of connecting chambers that descended at least 18 stories and 280 feet beneath the surface, ample enough to hold 30,000 people. [flickr]. [wiki].
posted by dersins on Aug 31, 2007 - 48 comments

A thing for the past

Open access articles at Antiquity, a quarterly review of world archaeology. Recent project reviews cover Aztec cities, earliest rice domestication, and Pleistocene rock art in Egypt. There's lots to read.
posted by Abiezer on Aug 31, 2007 - 8 comments

"…the eye is not satisfied with seeing…"

Aerial Archaeology in Northern France
posted by anastasiav on Aug 17, 2007 - 13 comments

Re-thinking the "cradle of civilization"

Re-thinking the "cradle of civilization". New discoveries at dig sites in Middle Asia are challenging the archaeological worlds idea that civilization began in Mesopotamia. Sites in modern-day Iran and Russia suggest that a vast network of societies together constituted the first cities, along with the potential discovery of a new writing system.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 14, 2007 - 20 comments

Jiroft, a lost ancient civilization

What was Jiroft? An ancient civilization in what is now southern Iran that was lost to history until very recently. Many beautiful artifacts have been dug up. It is claimed that writing originated with the Jiroft civilization and that this is the legendary kingdom of Aratta, subject of one of the world's oldest works of literature, Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta. There is dispute over both. Either way, it certainly was a commercial hub as early as 3000 B.C. The site has been extensively plundered in recent years, but is so rich in artifacts that excavations can go on for decades.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 9, 2007 - 17 comments

More cephalopodic developments

Not to be outdone by the appearance of the Octosquid (previously), other cephalopods have undearthed 900-year-old hidden treasures from the Koryo Dynasty and are taking up residence in the Monterey Bay (Bugmenot works for this last link). Squirrels are also getting in on the action.
posted by christopherious on Jul 25, 2007 - 11 comments

This time a welcome on Clontarf's plains.

Longboat! The Sea Stallion, a reconstruction of a ship scuttled off Roskilde will sail from Denmark to Dublin, where tests on timbers from the wreck show the original was built in the mid-eleventh century. (Pillaged from a centre of Irish learning)
posted by Abiezer on Jun 30, 2007 - 23 comments

Etruscan origin riddle solved

The Etruscan civilization flourished in central Italy around the 6th century BC before the rise of the Roman Empire. Known for high art and high living, some say the Etruscans were influential in molding Roman and western civilization, however it has always been an enigma on where the Etruscans originally came from. DNA evidence has probably solved the mystery, confirming what Greek historian Herodotus first said over 2,500 years ago.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 24, 2007 - 33 comments

Wey oh wey oh wey oh wey oh.

Fascinated by Egyptian archaeology? View and learn all about the discoveries in Giza, the Valley of the Kings (and Queens), Memphis and Saqqara and the Sphinx from the comfort of home. Depending on today's pesky sandstorms and time of day, you may even be able to see the pyramids from the comfort of your couch. Want to go inside? Yeah, me neither.
Previously.
posted by miss lynnster on May 16, 2007 - 11 comments

Buddha Paintings Found in Nepal

Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in Nepal. Tipped by a local shepherd, a team of international researchers climbed to some old caves where they found a mural with 55 panels depicting the life of Buddha, reminiscent of the artwork of the Ajanta Caves in India (possibly NSFW). There are probably many other forgotten caves in the Mustang area (previously discussed here,) but they may be threatened by a planned trans-Himalayan highway.
posted by homunculus on May 13, 2007 - 22 comments

The acoustics of the theatre of Epidaurus

An ancient theatre filters out low-frequency background noise. The ancient Greek theatre of the Asklepieion of Epidaurus, built mostly during the 4th century B.C. and now a World Heritage Site, is renowned for its extraordinary acoustics. Researchers have figured out that the arrangement of the stepped rows of seats are perfectly shaped to act as an acoustic filter, suppressing low-frequency background noise while passing on the high frequencies of performers' voices. [Via MoFi.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 28, 2007 - 16 comments

Archaeoastronomy in Peru

The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo in Peru may be the Western Hemisphere's oldest known full-service solar observatory, showing evidence of early, sophisticated Sun cults, according to archaeoastronomy professor Clive Ruggles. The 2,300-year-old complex featured 13 towers running north to south along a ridge and spread across 980 feet to form a toothed horizon that spans the solar arc. Last year, another ancient observatory was discovered in Peru by Robert Benfer. The Temple of the Fox is 4,200 years old, making it 1,900 years older than the Chankillo site, but wasn't a complete calendar.
posted by homunculus on Mar 3, 2007 - 8 comments

Lost Cities

Lost Cities.
posted by Wolfdog on Feb 26, 2007 - 27 comments

A Lasting Committment

[ImageFilter] The Neolithic embrace. Happy pre-Valentine's Day.
posted by digaman on Feb 6, 2007 - 54 comments

Cleaning up space junk may erase history

Dr Alice Gorman is on a mission (pdf) to preserve our heritage items in space. Plans to clean space junk orbiting Earth could result in the loss of irreplaceable historical artefacts, Gorman warns. Among the items that should recognised for their heritage value are the Vanguard One satellite, launched in 1958 and the oldest human object in space. Preserving items like these could provide evidence of a nation's presence in space or help reconstruct a history of space exploration.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Jan 4, 2007 - 6 comments

David's Palace "Discovered"

Archaeology in Israel has long been politicized. Perhaps never more than in recent years, when minimalist critiques of the Biblical Kingdom of David have found a ready audience in Muslims eager to deny a historical connection between modern Jews and the land of Israel. Even sober, scholarly discussions of chronology inevitably resonate with political implications.

So it should come as no surprise that the Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar's recent announcement that she may have discovered the foundation of King David's palacepdf in an area south of the Haram al-Sharif was funded, in large part, by the Ir David Foundationflash/sound and the neo-conservative Shalem Center.
posted by felix betachat on Dec 7, 2006 - 17 comments

The Present is the Future of the Past

The Perfume of Garbage: an archaeology of the world trade centers (pdf). What do the the godfather of garbology, a leading post-modern archaeological theorist (blog), and a "space archaeologist"(cf. space junk) think about the WTC? Obviously as a ruin and as an archaeological site - but much more. An intriguing analysis placing the WTC ruins into archaeological context, and, most particularly, responding to the Smithsonian's exhibition of artifacts from the events of September 11, 2001. Also, a commentary (pdf) responding to garbage, space and the WTC. And yes, garbology goes well beyond Mick Jagger ephemera.
posted by Rumple on Nov 5, 2006 - 7 comments

Archaeological treasures found on Google Earth

Archaeological treasures found on Google Earth. In 25 years on the ground, "I've found a handful of archaeological sites. I found more in the first five, six, seven hours [on Google Earth] than I've found in years of traditional field surveys and aerial archaeology,"
posted by stbalbach on Oct 17, 2006 - 20 comments

Piranesi, etc.

The Works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi: high-resolution scans of all of Piranesi’s etchings. Also, the plates from Les Ruines De Pompei by François Mazois (1812-38), and, the complete 9-volume Le Antichità di Ercolano Esposte (The Antiquities discovered in Herculaneum) published in Naples from 1755-62. Also, at the same site (UT-PICURE: the Center for Research on Pictorial Cultural Resources, at The University of Tokyo), images from the Stibbert Collection of Japanese costume.
posted by misteraitch on Jul 4, 2006 - 11 comments

A strange and wonderful medley

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation The University of Oxford's Griffith Institute has put together a fantastic digital collection of records documenting Howard Carter's excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun, including ninety-three pages of photographs taken by Harry Burton during the excavation. You can also read Carter's diaries and eyewitness accounts of the excavation.
posted by LeeJay on Jun 6, 2006 - 11 comments

Ancient observatories - from space

Ancient observatories from space Satellite images of Angkor Wat, Chichen Itza, Chaco Canyon, Stonehenge, Teotihuacan, and others. The observers, observed. High res images available.
posted by carter on May 8, 2006 - 23 comments

You forgot to include a title, please correct this.

See the big dark Bosnian hill there? Slightly southwest of where the rivers meet. The one that looks like a pyramid. It's a pyramid! Explore Europe's first pyramid here. (via)
posted by thirteenkiller on Apr 15, 2006 - 24 comments

Samarra, Iraq

Samarra is in the news. The modern city is small, but built on the colossal ruins of the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Google Earth reveals amazing details of the ancient city, one of the largest archaeological sites in the world.
posted by grahamwell on Feb 24, 2006 - 16 comments

The Moche

The images on the ceramics were thought to be mythical narratives, imagery the priestly class used to underscore its coercive power. Without proper archaeological evidence, the representations were too horrific to take literally. They depicted gruesome scenes of torture: captives skinned alive, drained of blood (which was drunk by priests in front of them), throats slit, bodies decapitated and left to the vultures, bones meticulously defleshed and hung from ropes.

Unfortunately for the victims, these bloody rites actually happened. They took place in an otherwise vibrant and highly advanced culture, a culture renowned for its artists and builders. These were a people who developed advanced agricultural knowledge, extremely sophisticated metallurgy, and built the largest pre-Columbian adobe structure in the Americas. Because they had no written language, though, it is by their ceramics that we know them best.

The Moche.
posted by crumbly on Jan 25, 2006 - 27 comments

Ruined Cities

Here are some pictures of ruined cities and a few sanctuaries. (3rd link is to geocities)
posted by Tullius on Jan 21, 2006 - 12 comments

Ancient cities of Iraq

Iraq is full of fabled ancient ruins, many in bad shape, but which still fire the imagination. Some highlights: Ur, birthplace of Abraham, still contained many beautiful artifacts when it was last excavated in the 1920s. Then there is vanished Cunaxa, near Baghdad's airport, where the Ten Thousand, a group of Greek mercenaries, fought their way back to Greece in a 1,000 mile, two-year-long retreat described by Xenophon in the Anabasis (and which served as the inspiration for cult films/games and bad science fiction alike). The ruins of the city of Nineveh were discovered in the 19th century just across the river from Mosul, containing art confirming elements of the Biblical account of the conquests of King Sennacherib. Most famously, the ruins of Babylon (not much to look at, the best bit being in Berlin) have seen much abuse, from Saddam's awful rebuilding of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar to reports of recent damage by coalition troops.
posted by blahblahblah on Jan 11, 2006 - 15 comments

A rose red city half as old as time.

A rose red city half as old as time. Petra, which means "stone" in Greek, is perhaps the most spectacular ancient city remaining in the modern world. The city was the capital of the Nabateans - Arabs who dominated the lands of Jordan during pre-Roman times - and they carved this wonderland of temples, tombs and elaborate buildings out of solid rock nearly 3000 years ago. By the end of the Byzantine Empire (circa A.D. 700), the once dignified and gracious buildings in the center of town had deteriorated to near ruins. For centuries, Petra fell into the mists of legend, its existence a guarded secret known only to the local Bedouins and Arab tradesmen. Finally, in 1812, a young Swiss explorer and convert to Islam named Johann Ludwig Burckhardt heard locals speaking of a "lost city" hidden in the mountains of Wadi Mousa. Burckhardt disguised himself as a pilgrim seeking to make a sacrifice at the tomb of Aaron. He managed to bluff his way through successfully, and the secret of Petra was revealed to the modern Western world.
posted by amro on Jan 3, 2006 - 30 comments

Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep

Locked in a Timeless Embrace: A third possibility. First documented gay couple (manicurists to the King) or just a case of conjoined twins? Same-sex closeness in historical Egypt.
posted by Jikido on Dec 21, 2005 - 21 comments

Unburied treasure

Finds. The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary effort to record archeological objects found by the U.K. public. Searchable database of finds from the Paleolithic, through Roman times, up to the 18th-century. With images, and an accompanying website for kids.
posted by steef on Nov 18, 2005 - 3 comments

I'm sorry, Dave, you have been outbid by another user.

It is with great regret that we place our PC Collection up for purchase. We being The Freeman PC Museum, not to be confused with any of these. Move over, leicester codex?
posted by Eothele on Oct 14, 2005 - 14 comments

The Origin of the Noodles

The Origin of the Noodles? Neolithic noodles unearthed in China or were they planted there to test our faith?
posted by Flitcraft on Oct 12, 2005 - 15 comments

Odysseus's tomb found?

The tomb of Odysseus may have been found on the island of Kefalonia, near the island now known as Ithaca, which means that Poros may have been the Ithaca described in The Odyssey.
posted by cerebus19 on Sep 26, 2005 - 31 comments

But then, who destroyed the ring?

According to the BBC, hobbits may not be real.
posted by 31d1 on Sep 22, 2005 - 20 comments

Thracian Gold

Fascinating video (wmv,08:45) about recent Thracian tomb excavations in Bulgaria. With over 15000 mounds unexplored in the region it is a race against the mafia to uncover the golden treasure.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 5, 2005 - 20 comments

So that's where I lost my pen.

"In 1970, archaeologists discovered the site of Fort Orange in Albany, New York. This fort was built by Dutch fur-traders around 1624 and was later surrounded by a growing community. " Among the findings were three human skeletons from a Lutheran cemetery. One skeleton had a skull with enough bone to attempt a facial reconstruction. Say hello to Pearl.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies on Jul 25, 2005 - 20 comments

The Smash of Civilizations

'...Today, such famous sites as the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, the ziggurat at Ur, the temple precinct at Babylon, and a ninth-century spiral minaret at Samarra have been scarred by violence, while equally important ancient sites, particularly in the southern provinces, are being ravaged by looters who work day and night to fuel an international art market hungry for antiquities. Historic districts in urban areas have also suffered from vandalism, looting, and artillery fire. In response to such widespread damage and continuing threats to our collective cultural heritage and the significance of the sites at risk, World Monument Fund has taken the unprecedented step of including the entire country of Iraq on its 2006 list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.'
The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology
The Smash of Civilizations
posted by y2karl on Jul 8, 2005 - 11 comments

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

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