Thursday, November 18, 2004

Hey, someone else gets it, too How Often Is Atlantis Discovered?

American architect-turned-archaeologist Robert Sarmast claims to have discovered the lost city of Atlantis, off the southeast coast of Cyprus. Sarmast says his latest sonar readings reveal submerged walls that closely resemble those described by Plato, the first person to ever mention Atlantis in print. In Timaeus, written around 360 B.C., the renowned philosopher portrayed Atlantis as "a great and wonderful empire" that was destroyed by earthquakes and floods in a 24-hour span. How many times have researchers previously claimed to have discovered the vanished island-state?

Oodles—and that's not even counting the numerous psychics and crackpot "Atlantologists" who've placed the city everywhere from Nicaragua to Ceylon.

Archaeology: Exotic Life of Ancient Thrace

A series of spectacular discoveries at three sites in central and eastern Bulgaria has highlighted the exotic lifestyle of the ancient Thracians as never before.

Georgi Kitov, a veteran Thrakologist who has excavated more than 30 tombs built for the ancient warrior elite, says that the Thracians were known for drinking undiluted strong red wine and were famous for their martial skills. They were the most successful gladiators in ancient Rome.

As a result of the latest finds, the Thracians, who excelled at constructing elaborate tombs and rock-cut shrines, have seized the popular imagination.

Apparently not this one

Maltese Archaeology featured on La 7's 'Stargate'

The uniqueness of Malta's pre-historic sites (Hypogeum, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra) found on the Maltese Islands will be under the spotlight on the popular Italian national television station La 7, during the programme 'Stargate'.

The episode, which includes a fifty-minute documentary about Malta, will be broadcast on La 7 on Wednesday 17th November at 21.30 hrs.

The presenter Prof. Valerio Massimo Manfredi, a prominent Italian archaeologist, and writer of the best-selling trilogy on Alexander the Great, together with the La 7 crew visited Malta last week.

The 'Stargate' presenter and crew were brought over to Malta by the Malta Tourism Authority, working in collaboration with Air Malta and Heritage Malta.

That's the whole thing. We were (obviously) kind of expecting something cooler.

Well, now we know who to blame Archaeologist discusses Iraq’s relics

Where Paul Zimansky goes trouble is sure to follow.

The Boston University archaeology professor has been forced to leave the last three countries he visited due to political revolts and militant uprisings.

UTA anthropology professor Karl Petruso said this earned Zimansky a reputation as a dark omen in the archaeology field.

“Some have wondered whether this guy is a destabilizing force on the geopolitical scene,” he said. “Dr. Zimansky is currently working in Turkey, but I’m sure it’s only a coincidence that they’ve suffered two devastating earthquakes recently.”

And from the dark and mysterious rainforests of. . .Iowa? Archeologist Dig Underway Near Rainforest Site

During the past month the City of Coralville has been working to dig up a piece of Iowa's History.

University of Iowa Archaeologist are studying an ancient campsite in Edgewater Park.

Archaeologist believe Native Americans once lived there about 3,600 years ago.

U of I Archaeologist David Stephenson told TV9, "Were finding firecrack rock and camp fires and animals hide."

Organizers hope to finish digging by the first week of December.

Just in time for the start of Coralville's Hotel and Convention Center construction.

We still don't get the whole 'rainforest' connection. But you know it's Iowa after all.

We do that sometimes IUP group protects history in Pine dig

Brandon Reefer woke up one morning a few weeks ago to find archaeologists digging up his yard.

Three members of Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Archaeological Services Team were there conducting a Phase I dig for a proposed sewerage project in the township.

The team of archaeologists purpose was to make sure there were no significant cultural resources present that could be lost in the construction of the project.

"It fell into my lap," said Reefer who happens to be professional photographer with an interest in archaeology. "I went to IUP for awhile and had an anthropology class that I was really into."

Well. . . .maybe Unburied treasure: PBS follows a voyage to recover the cargo of a Civil War vessel bound for N.O.

Bound for New Orleans from New York in October 1865, the S.S. Republic hit bad weather off the Georgia coast and then hit bottom, about one-third mile down.

Passengers and crew made it off the boat safely, though some died aboard lifeboats before others could be rescued.

The ship's cargo, including an estimated $400,000 in gold and silver coins, remained at rest until re-discovery a couple of years ago by Greg Stemm's Odyssey Marine Exploration.

The engrossing saga of recovering the Republic's sunken treasure will be told Wednesday at 7 p.m. on WYES-Channel 12, in a National Geographic Special titled "Civil War Gold."

These two quotes caught our attention:
Aquatic archaeology is expensive. The Republic's excavation cost $25,000 a day. To Stemm's credit, some of the recovery windfall is reinvested in cataloging some of the ship's less profitable finds.


"We believe that there's nothing to prevent a commercial for-profit company from doing the best archaeology in the world."

There may eventually be some merit in this argument. With very few exceptions -- Robert Ballard being the most prominent (maybe the only one) -- most marine archaeology is obscenely expensive. We wonder if in many cases, scientific archaeology could profitably (from a research perspective) piggy-back on these sorts of salvage operations. The cost would be giving up some of the more commercially valuable items. We have some reservations about this, but on the other hand many gold objects, while definitely cool to look at, are probably not all that informative in and of themselves. We'd definitely take a well-excavated Delta settlement site over another Tutankhamun any day.