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 -
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,
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 -
"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
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
The Perfume of Garbage: an archaeology of the world trade centers (pdf).
What do the the godfather
, a leading post-modern
), 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 -
The images on the ceramics
were thought to be mythical narratives
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
: 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.
posted by crumbly
on Jan 25, 2006 -
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 -
A rose red city half as old as time
, 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 -
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 -
According to the BBC, hobbits may not
posted by 31d1
on Sep 22, 2005 -
(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 -