Friday, October 08, 2004

Yes, we said dancing elephants

'Dancing elephants' help chart prehistoric Canada

Imagine an ocean on the Prairies and mountains higher than the Himalayas in Ontario.

That's part of the picture unveiled by Lithoprobe, a 20-year examination of Canada's ancient geological history. Named for the probe of the lithosphere (the earth's outer shell) the project used 20-tonne trucks dubbed "dancing elephants" to generate some of its data.
"Dancing elephant" in action.

Since 1984, more than 800 university, government and industry scientists have been examining the movements of ancient continents, oceans and islands, piercing together the evidence to draw a map of Canada's origins.

Dig 'em up! Renewed pressure for full excavation of Viking site

THE ‘Save Viking Waterford Action Group’, have called on new Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche, to make a commitment to the full excavation of the entire Woodstown Viking Site one of his first announcements in his new role.

The National Monuments Act 2004, drafted by the previous Minister, Martin Cullen, invests the Minister for the Environment with arbitrary authority over Ireland’s heritage.

The new act, the action group maintains, abolishes the democratic checks and balances which previously existed, meaning that Dick Roche now has sole authority over the future of the Woodstown Viking Site and other sites of crucial archaeological importance around the country.

Remains of ancient wall found at city site

THE remains of a medieval wall built to guard the city have been discovered on a building site.

Workers building dozens of flats on a site beside Old Fishmarket Close in the Cowgate have unearthed the one metre-high structure, which is thought to be part of the "King’s Wall".

Although historians are divided over the wall’s origins, it is believed that James II ordered the construction of the King’s Wall in 1450 as a defence against English forces.

But some experts claim the wall was actually built by English forces more than 100 years earlier when they occupied Edinburgh Castle around 1335.

Taking a pipi at a site Pipi shell may lead to ancient village site

A pipi shell midden at Karamea may conceal an early Polynesian village occupied for at least a century about 700 years ago, according to an initial finding by archaeologists.

"We believe the midden may be part of a site that is several hectares in size - it's a big site, a very big site," Otago University archaeology senior lecturer Richard Walter said yesterday.

The site, on the edge of Karamea township and the Karamea River estuary, 100km north of Westport, is under pasture and was an exciting find because of its age.

It suggested the coast had more people early in the history of New Zealand's settlement than first thought.

The site was also interesting because of its relationship to other known early settlements at Westport, 100km south, and at the Heaphy River mouth, about 25km north. Both were about 700 years old.

Following news courtesy of the EEF

Press report about the Egyptian Festival, held at St. Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church in East Brunswick:,21282,1069694,00.html

Press report: "Il Museo Egizio diventa Fondazione"

-- "Turin Egyptian Museum: First in Italy to Become Foundation"

"The Misfortunes of Wenamun" (pMoscow 120)
-- Hieratic text (the beginning: 1,1-1,21): [Georg Möller, Hieratische Lesestücke für den akademischen Gebrauch, Zweites Heft: Literarische Texte des Neuen Reiches, 2nd ed., Leipzig, 1927, p. 29]
-- Hieroglyphic text based on LES, 61-76
the same as pdf-file: 166 KB
-- English translation [= Hans Goedicke, The Report of Wenamun, Baltimore / London, 1975, pp. 149-158]
-- English translation [= Lichtheim II, 224-239]

Ahmad bin Abubekr bin Wahshih - Ancient alphabets and hieroglyphic characters explained: with an account of the Egyptian priests, their classes, initiation, and sacrifices. English translation of Ibn Wahshiyya's book 'Kitab Shawq al-Mustaham', by Joseph Hammer, London, 1806. Arab and English text available in HTML format at:

Digitized book from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France:
-- Émile Amélineau, Histoire des monastères de la Basse-Égypte. Monuments pour servir à l'histoire de l'Egypte chrétienne: vies des saints Paul, Antoine, Macaire, Maxime et Domèce, Jean le Nain, etc. Texte copte et traduction française, Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1894 (Annales du Musée Guimet, vol. 25). LXIII, 429 pp.

Digitized book from the Lepsius project:
-- Georg Ebers, Richard Lepsius - Ein Lebensbild, Verlag von Wilhelm Engelmann, Leipzig, 1885. xi, 390 pp. pdf-file: 21.7 MB

The November/December 2004 issue of Archaeology Odyssey has several Egyptological features (Petrie's discovery of the Fayum Portraits, a review of Pascal Vernus' book "Affairs and Scandals in Ancient Egypt", etc.), but only the abstracts are online:

Online version of: Patrizia Piacentini, 'Wonderful things' on paper: the Egyptologist Victor Loret in the Valley of the Kings, in: Apollo Magazine, July 2003, pp. 1-6 [figs. omitted]

Special note!
Online version of: Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal [CARJ], vol. 55, issue 4 (October, 2004) "This issue ... is devoted entirely to paleoradiology ..." - Full text
available in HTML- or pdf-format.
A section is devoted to the study of mummies:
-- Rethy K. Chhem, Pierre Schmit, Clément Fauré, Did Ramesses II really have ankylosing spondylitis? A reappraisal, in: CARJ, vol. 55 (4), pp. 211-217 (2004) -- see EEF News (320) of September 16, 2004
"The radiologic evidence does not support the claim that Ramesses II had ankylosing spondylitis. Our radiologic reappraisal suggests instead the diagnosis of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis. This new diagnosis needs to be validated by a computed tomographic scan of the mummy."
pdf-file - 450 KB:
-- Frank J. Rühli, Rethy K. Chhem, Thomas Böni, Diagnostic paleoradiology of mummified tissue: interpretation and pitfalls, in: CARJ, vol. 55 (4), pp. 218-227 (2004)
"The purpose of this article is to review the role of diagnostic paleoradiology in mummy studies."
pdf-file - 285 KB:
-- Janet C. Gardner, Greg Garvin, Andrew J. Nelson, Gian Vascotto, Gerald Conlogue, Paleoradiology in mummy studies: the Sulman Mummy Project, in: CARJ, vol. 55 (4), pp. 228-234 (2004)
"In this paper, we describe a previously unreported, ongoing and collaborative paleoradiologic project focused on an Egyptian mummy, involving researchers from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Western Ontario (UWO), St. Joseph's Health Care, Robarts Research Institute and the National Research Council of Canada's Virtual Environment Technologies Centre (VETC), London, Ont. This project mirrors the evolution
of paleoradiology in mummy studies, from basic plain film images to the latest 3-dimensional (3D) reconstructions based on computed tomography (CT)."
pdf-file - 345 KB: