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Arkiv for kategorien ‘Archaeology’

Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon camping in Governor’s Palace at Uxmal (1876) [da]

lørdag den 29. juni 2013

Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon camped in the center room of the Governor’s Palace at Uxmal during their field work there in 1876

Alice Dixon Le Plongeon (1851–1910) was an English photographer, amateur archaeologist traveller, and author. Together with her husband Augustus Le Plongeon (1825–1908) she spent eleven years living and working in southern Mexico and Central America photographing and studying the ruined cities of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Together with her husband, she helped make some of the first photographs of ruins at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal.

Alice and Augustus camped in the center room of the Governor’s Palace at Uxmal during their field work there in 1876. Note their surveying and photographic equipment, Alice’s Remington Rolling Block rifle, hammock, and their dog Trinity sleeping in the corner. Not in the photo is their portable darkroom where they developed their photos. Photo by Alice and Augustus, 1876

Source: Exavation Of The Platform Of Venus, Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, México: The Pioneering Field Work of Alice Dixon Le Plongeon and Augustus Le Plongeon.

The Porsmose Man: A Neolithic skeleton from Denmark [da]

lørdag den 25. maj 2013
The skull of the Porsmose Man
The sternum The location of Porsmose

Image 1: The bone arrowhead still sat in the skull, when the skeleton of a 35-40-year-old man man was found in 1946 in the peat bog Porsmose, near Næstved. Another arrow was also deeply embedded in the man’s breastbone. Both arrows must have been fired at an angle from above and from close distance. This suggests that the man was surprised by his attackers or perhaps was the victim of an execution. After this the body was thrown out into what was then a lake. The arrows are a type which belong to the Single Grave Culture period.

Image 2: The Porsmose man’s breastbone (sternum) was perforated by a bone arrow.

Image 3: The Porsmose skeleton was found in a bog north-east of Holme Olstrup near Næstved.

The skull is on display at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen

Experimental protocols for the study of battered stone anvils from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania) [en]

mandag den 18. marts 2013

Experimental protocols for the study of battered stone anvils from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania)> by Ignacio de la Torre, Alfonso Benito-Calvo, Adrian Arroyo, Andrea Zupancich and Tomos Proffitt. Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013, 40(1): 313-332

“Percussive activities are highly relevant in the economy of modern hunter-gatherer societies and other primates, and are likely to have been equally important during the Palaeolithic. Despite the potential relevance of percussive activities in the Early Stone Age, attempts to study battered artefacts are still rare. In order to establish protocols of analysis of battered tools, this paper pursues an interdisciplinary approach combining techno-typological, refit, use-wear and GIS studies of experimental anvils from Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania). The main aim is to classify types of damage on battered artefacts according to the percussive task performed, and hence identify patterns that can be used to interpret the Oldowan and Acheulean evidence. Our results indicate that abrasion marks on anvil surfaces are typical of nut cracking, while bone breaking leaves characteristic scars and abrasion marks on the edges of anvils. Pounding of soft materials such as meat and plants also causes battering of anvils, producing morphological and spatial patterns that can be discerned from the heavy breakage of anvils during bipolar flaking. By integrating macroscopic, microscopic and spatial analyses of experimental stone tools, this paper contributes to create a referential framework in which Early Stone Age battered artefacts can be interpreted” (read more).

Text and image source: Journal of Archaeological Science, 2013, 40(1): 313-332

Saxon gold: Finding the hoard [da]

tirsdag den 22. januar 2013

This tale of the largest Anglo Saxon treasure hoard ever found is a must-see for the modern day treasure hunter. The unprecedented find mesmerised archaeologists and historians around the world, and made global headlines.

In Saxon Gold: Finding the Hoard, we uncover the full story. Nothing like this has ever been found in Britain before — sixteen hundred pieces of bejewelled gold and silver, buried, lost then forgotten. Discovered in July 2009 by an amateur metal detecting enthusiast in Litchfield, Staffordshire, this magnificent golden hoard is set to shed light on one of the most mysterious periods of British history.

Dating back nearly 1,400 years from the mid-seventh century, everyone wants to know to whom the treasure belonged. Where and how was it made? Why was it buried? And why was it lost for over a millennium? This absorbing show answers these questions and more, as we meet the key players involved in the incredible story; from the original finder with his metal detector and the owner of the land where this superb collection was found, to the experts who realised the hoard was of international significance and the team who speedily excavated the site in secret to prevent nighthawking.

The Hoard was valued at £3.3m by experts in November 2009.

The Art Fund successfully led a public appeal to raise the funds and save the Hoard for posterity. The target sum was met on 23 March 2010. The Hoard will now be co-owned by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke. For the finder his discovery has been life-changing. For archaeologists, this is just the beginning of a long journey to try and unravel the mysteries generated by the hoard of precious metal. To unlock the secrets of the Saxon hoard a further £1.7 million is needed for vital research and conservation.

The Tower People of Shetland [da]

tirsdag den 15. januar 2013

The original video has unfortunately been removed from YouTube :-(

Brochs are large stone-built towers. These imposing drystone structures,standing from 5m to 13m high, were erected for defense by the Iron Age tribes of Northern Britain. They are some of the most impressive works of prehistoric man in Western Europe.

A typical broch was a circular, two-story stone-built drystone structure accessed by a single door at ground level. Where it is possible that some brochs were no more than fortified dwellings, the majority undoubtedly had a defensive function, characterised by immensely thick outer walls. These walls comprised of two layers of stone with a hollow space in between. These two outer “skins” were bonded are certain heights by stone lintel slabs. This method allowed the broch’s constructors to build to a greater height than could have been achieved with solid walls. Their position, often near fertile land, their height and outlook over the landscape all lead one to think that they are status symbols; with the local chief showing off his wealth and power. Shetland had quite a high population in the Iron Age, and if these brochs were built to solely protect the native population from outside attackers, they would have been unable to protect a very high percentage of the people.

You can find more info on Wikipedia

Life and Afterlife: Dealing with the Dead in the Viking Age [da]

lørdag den 5. januar 2013

Professor Neil Price (Archaeology, University of Aberdeen) delivers three lectures focusing on the fundamental role that narrative, storytelling and dramatisation played in the mindset of the Viking Age (8th-11th centuries), occupying a crucial place not only in the cycles of life but particularly in the ritual responses to dying and the dead.

Early medieval Scandinavians’ attitudes to death provide a window on the Viking mind, and they were monumentalised in some of the most spectacular burials known to archaeology. A study of these complex and spectacular funeral rituals is not only fascinating in its own right, but is inevitably also a meditation on this particular culture’s responses to the human condition. The Vikings’ unique view of the world can provide genuinely deep perspectives on the fundamentals of life, on the fears of mortality that confronted them as they still confront us.

Event Date: September 26, 2012

Source: http://www.cornell.edu/video/?videoID=2443

Engraved Stone Dating Back 30,000 Years Found in China [da]

onsdag den 26. december 2012

Engraved Stone Dating Back 30,000 Years Found in China

Chinese archaeologists have discovered a stunning 30,000-year-old engraved stone artifact in a collection of stone tools unearthed at the Paleolithic site of Shuidonggou in 1980.

Read the full story at sci-news.com

Via anthrocuriosities

The Materiality of Stone [da]

mandag den 12. november 2012

Ancient stones in landscapes, the subject matter of this book, cannot be known or understood simply from publications, from maps, diagrams, photographs and descriptions, because these are only representations. As representations they necessarily fail in conveying a bodily understanding of prehistoric remains. Statistical analysis, Geographical Information Systems and simulations are, if anything, far worse. There can be no substitute for the human experience of place—of being there—and it is only after this that the various technologist of representation come into play.

Christopher Tilley: The Materiality of Stone, 2004: 218 

(via middlesavagery)

16 buried hands … [da]

fredag den 14. september 2012

Discovery of 16 buried hands in Egypt provides first physical evidence of gruesome practice used by ancient warriors

Via xmorbidcuriosityx:

A glimpse into the brutal way warriors proved their prowess 3,600 has been unearthed in Egypt.

Archaeologists excavating a palace in the ancient city of Avaris have dug up four pits containing 16 large right hands believed to have been sliced from the arms of vanquished enemies.

Experts believe the discovery is the earliest and only physical evidence that soldiers used to present the cut-off right hands of enemies in exchange for gold.

Click here for the full story.

The Two Sides of the Phaistos Disc [da]

søndag den 5. august 2012

The Phaistos Disc is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC).

Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. In fact, some people even think that it’s not authentic, but rather, a hoax or a forgery. 

This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion.