Monday, October 11, 2004

Book corner History Of Archaeology

Archaeology, or digging up History by scientific methods, yields three-dimensional clues about the Past, and then goes mute. It is accorded voice by the qualified diggers who sift through the disinterred ‘remains’ or decipher the stone and copper inscriptions to tell what these could have meant in times past, and their significance in the present. The most exacting of the historical crafts, it still requires a professional narrator—the Archaeologist, who second-guesses, surmises, collates, piecing together the shards and shreds to build a reasoned story.

What a great quote. We admit to knowing very little regarding Indian archaeology.

Pickin' over the Picayune Archaeology chapter digs for Picayune's past

Cloudy skies and a rain forecast didn't stop the approximately 20 archaeology enthusiasts from looking for relics from Picayune's past, particularly the past as associated with native Americans that lived in the area.

The archaeologists chose as the spot for their "dig" a high ridge overlooking Hobolochitto Creek near The Hermitage. They named the site of their dig after the property owner who is allowing them to study the spot, Huey Stockstill. The spot was selected because earlier scouting finds, such as pottery shards by Larry Pearson and other materials unearthed in a "shovel test" by Robert Reams, U.S. Forest Service archaeologist for the DeSoto National Forest District.

Historic find on building site

Historic artefacts dating back 3,500 years have been unearthed on a development site for luxury apartments near Loch Lomond.

The team of 15 archaeologists excavating the site believe they have uncovered settlements which include 7th century Christian cemeteries.

The plot has yielded objects spanning the Bronze and Ice Ages and early Christian and Medieval times.

The find includes cremation pots, jewellery and corn-drying kilns.

Heh: "It's cost us half a million quid paying the archaeologists, which is a planning requirement, but at least we'll have some good names for the golf course holes."

Give them free golf, too!

More here.

Black Sea update 7-Foot Robot Used in Black Sea Expedition

Four years ago, scientists thought they had found the perfect place to settle the Noah flood debate: A farmer's house on a bluff overlooking the Black Sea built about 7,500 years ago - just before tidal waves inundated the homestead, submerged miles of coastline and turned the freshwater lake into a salty sea.

Some believed the rectangular site of stones and wood could help solve the age-old question of whether the Black Sea's flooding was the event recounted in the Biblical story of Noah.

That story told of a calamitous flood occurring over 40 days and nights. Scientists had largely dismissed it, believing the Black Sea filled up gradually with gently rising waters. That wisdom was rocked, however, when two scholars claimed several years ago that the Black Sea's flooding was more recent - and so rapid and widespread that it forced people to move as far away as mainland Europe.

Scientists who in the summer of 2003 visited the underwater site off the northern Turkish coastal town of Sinop couldn't arrive at any conclusions. The settlement, about 330 feet underwater, was "contaminated" by wood that had drifted in, foiling any attempt to accurately date the ruin - and thus date the flood.

Darn it.

Make sure to check out Nat. Geo's Black Sea site as well.

Scientists search Chinese site for evidence of early man

Scientists have started drilling holes into the ground around the Peking Man site near Beijing in hopes of finding more relics from the ancient representative of the human race.

The project, jointly conducted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Electricite de France, aims to drill nine holes of up to 30 metres in depth, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The scientists hope the effort will result in evidence of early human activity in the area, as suggested by previous preliminary investigations, according to the agency.

The discovery of the 500,000-year-old Peking Man was one of the most decisive steps in the scientific quest to trace man's prehistoric development from the apes.

Since Peking Man was first unearthed in 1929, archaeologists have found fossils belonging to 40 different individuals and more than 100,000 stone implements and other objects.

The Zhoukoudian area, where the Peking Man's cave is located, was listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation as a world heritage site in 1987.

That's the whole thing.

News from. . . .Bam!

Bam Ancient Body Remains Reach 36, Iran

The upsurge in the number of skeletons found in the surviving walls of the Bam Citadel, southern Iran, has tossed the biggest mystery for local archeologists in recent history.

Since 2 months ago, experts have exhumed over 36 remains buried inside the adobe walls of the 2,500-year-old fort, considered the world's biggest mud-brick structure prior to its almost complete devastation in a major earthquake last December.

"Most of the discovered remains belong to children and this has made us face an enormous puzzle. You could say it is the biggest mystery of the Bam Citadel since it has been academically studied," said Eskandar Mokhtari, head of the Project for Salvaging Bam.

That's the whole thing.

And more from Iran ran, US Set to Dig Rare Elamite City

A joint team of Iranian and American archeologists are set to start the latest season of excavation in the historical city of Enshan, left from the Elamite era.

It is one of the rare cities remained from the period and already numerous seasons of excavations have yielded precious artifacts.

Starting from next week, the experts hope to unravel some questions about the Iranian civilization up to the second millennium B.C., said Masoud Azarnoush, head of the research center at Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO).

Five American archeologists, some from the Pennsylvania University, would assist their Iranian counterparts in the latest season of excavation.

We've reported here on the recent moves by Iran to invite more archaeologists into the country. This is a positive development, as Iran is one of the richest and most important nations archaeologically speaking. The collaborative nature is something most countries are insisting upon, which is also a positive move.