A LEADING expert at the British Museum predicted the discovery of a Roman chariot racetrack in a historic town four years before its ruins were found by archaeologists, it has emerged.
Renowned Romanist Dr Ralph Jackson said the decoration on a Second Century Colchester jar, which shows the image of a charioteer in action, suggested that whoever had made it had seen a real race rather than used their imagination or relied on eyewitness reports.
The pottery exhibit was found in Colchester, where last week it was announced the ruins of a "Roman circus" – as chariot racetracks are known to historians – had been unearthed by archaeologists. It was made either in Colchester or nearby.
CBI: Calcutta CBI steps in at museum
Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the theft of the fifth century sandstone head of Buddha from the Archaeology Long Gallery of Indian Museum on December 29, conducted a spot investigation on Friday.
The detectives also interrogated the employees and security personnel of the museum and recorded their statements.
According to CBI officials, the museum staff will be interrogated again on Saturday.
Odd twist on Evil Developers Illinois' Ancient Past Becoming Clearer New Technology, Developers Help Archaeologists Rediscover Long-Lost Cultures
Archaeologists are piecing together more of Illinois' history thanks in large part to new technology and, of all people, developers.
So quickly are new archaeological sites being discovered and added to the state's official list that scientists could investigate for years and still not run out of leads. In 2004 alone, archaeologists added 1,020 sites to the official state list that now stands at more than 52,000.
. . .
Developers are helping to fill in the blanks. Before they build a subdivision or pave a parking lot, they are required by law to hire experts to make sure they aren't about to destroy the remnants of a prehistoric civilization.
Kind of an odd twist, but not unprecedented. Many times, money is not available for extensive, large-scale surveys except when a major project is under way. Much of southeastern archaeology was jump-started due to the Civilian Conservation Corps and Tennessee Valley Authority work in the 1030s. Note also that the Combined Prehistoric Expedition headed by Fred Wendorf had its start as a rescue expedition during the building of the Aswan High dam. Kind of a paradox, but there you are.
James' ossuary update British Museum expert called to give evidence in trial over 'ossuary of Jesus's brother fraud'
A wealthy Israeli art collector and an Egyptologist who works for the British Museum have been named as key prosecution witnesses in the trial of five men accused of running the world's biggest ring of dealers in bogus religious artefacts.
The sophisticated forgeries, which were sold for tens of millions of pounds, allegedly include an ossuary, or burial box, whose ancient Aramaic inscription suggests that it once held the bones of "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus".
Tut Tour update Los Angeles is the first stop for The return of the King
The treasures of King Tut will go on display in this country for the first time in a quarter-century in an exhibit featuring the ancient ruler's gold crown, carved dagger and a massive gold and cloisonné necklace.
‘‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaoh'' will include about 130 of the 5,000 Egyptian artifacts found in King Tut's tomb. The last time a similar exhibit toured the country, in 1976-1979, 55 items were displayed.
‘‘Now Tutankhamen is back, giving a new generation the chance to learn firsthand about the life and magic of this ancient monarch,'' Zahi Hawass, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said.
Commentary on museum collections Franklin W. Robinson: Museums and the globalization of pride
NO ONE BELIEVES more firmly than I in the mission of an art museum: the collection, presentation, and preservation of works of art from every culture, every century, every medium.
This is a responsibility that is profoundly educational and profoundly moral. In fact, it goes beyond education -- it is one of the ways that our society, or any society, can survive the chaotic changes of the modern world.
However, the world does change, and we're a long way from 1880. American museums, and museums generally, can no longer be imperial; we can't collect everything we want to collect. We can't ignore the claims of what have come to be called the "countries of origin": the cultures that produced the objects we want in our museum collections.
Read the whole thing, even though it requires a free registration. Robinson does an admirable job of sketching the outlines of the issues, but makes no recommendations of his own on what to actually do about any of them (that's not a criticism, by the way, just an acknowledgement of the hugeness of the issue as a whole).
The issue of 'what to take back' is something we've considered at length. We don't deal in monetarily significant artifacts so that aspect is beyond our area of expertise. But then, as we all know, archaeology is far more than finding way cool statues and gold amulets to display in museums. What to do, for example, when one wants to conduct detailed analyses of archaeological sediments or ceramics that requires many, many hours of laboratory work? The bulk of researchers can't simply take 2-3 years out of their careers to do them in the country of origin, even assuming said country has the proper resources available. A few researchers have the time and resources to spend a lot of time in the field working, or paying others to do so for months on end, but not many. For the rest, and especially those trying to find suitable projects for their graduate students, often the only reasonable option is to ship samples home to work on them. We, frankly, think this is entirely appropriate in many cases. Ethiopia, for example, worked out a deal for Don Johanson to take the Lucy remains back to the US for a given study period (3-5 years if memory serves), after which they were to be returned (and were). And that was a case of a single very unique specimen. It may even be that many such samples -- a few thousand rim sherds for instance, or sediment samples for another -- could easily be given to the researcher or loaned ad infinitum.
Of course, then you have the further issue of where and how to store all this junk once it gets here. We didn't say it was easy. . . . .
Update on Hood Canal Bridge project Rayonier property proposed for Hood Canal Bridge graving yard site
Rayonier Inc. has submitted a proposal to state Department of Transportation officials to build the Hood Canal Bridge graving yard on the site of the company's now-demolished pulp mill.
Rayonier, encouraged by Port Angeles city leaders and City Manager Mike Quinn, moved on the proposal last week.
``They suggested it to us and we thought it was a good idea,'' said Dana Dolloff, Rayonier's environmental affairs director who in recent years has worked closely with state and Lower Elwha Klallam tribal officials in the mill site's toxic-waste cleanup.
Book corner Archaeologists and monuments, V. N. Datta
Why this discovery of India's past? I think that the primary purpose of this enquiry is to describe and illuminate the rise, the scope and the methods adopted in the study of the 18th and 19th century Indian archaeology not as a branch of literature, but as a component of scientific discipline.
The main intention is to provide examples of the varied ways in which archaeological historiography may be approached by those who wish to carry the study further into the region of fresh discovery. That is why the focus in this work is on the variety of the ways the archaeologists have viewed the past. And it is Alexander Cunningham, according to the author, who had the principal share in the development of archaeological tradition in the country.