We here at ArchaeoBlog were gratified to see a link to this blog by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame, one of the most widely read blogs out there, on our coverage of the NAGPRA change. Needless to say, this shot our hit count up a bit. This massive increase in site visits is known throughout the blogosphere as an 'Instalanche'. This is what one looks like graphically:
Which just goes to show, the biggest draws in the blogosphere are politics and porn. We leave our faithful readers to draw their own conclusions from that.
So now, back down to earth with just us archaeo-nerds. . . .
And speaking of porn. . . Stone Age Erotica Found?
German archaeologists have found what they believe is Europe's earliest known clay figure of a male, along with a female figure that they think once was attached to the male in a sexual position.
Together, the two finds could represent the earliest three-dimensional depiction of a copulating human couple, according to the archaeological team.
Clay is difficult to date accurately, the team indicated, but markings on the objects, their style and the place in which they were found suggest that the figures date to 5,200 B.C.
This one has a bit more detail than previous articles.
Whew! Temple Mount relics saved from garbage
On the grounds of a Jerusalem national park with a view of the Temple Mount, a small group of
Israeli archaeologists and volunteers sifting through piles of rubble discarded by Islamic Wakf officials from the Temple Mount into a city garbage dump have recently uncovered a series of history-rich artifacts dating back to the First and Second Temple periods.
The five-month old privately-funded project underway at the site, which is being directed by Bar Ilan University archeology professor Dr. Gabriel Barkay, is being called virtually unprecedented since archaeological excavation has never been permitted on the Temple Mount itself.
Nelson's troops update Nelson's troops reburied in Egypt
Thirty Britons who died in Egypt in battles over 200 years ago are to be reburied in a full military service, the British embassy in Cairo has said.
The soldiers' and sailors' remains were found on Nelson Island and will be buried on Monday in nearby Alexandria.
The men died during the 1801 British expeditionary landings and at the 1798 Battle of Abu Qir.
Hadrian's Wall update Hadrian's Wall May Be Closed
HADRIAN’S Wall faces being placed on the World Heritage ‘on danger’ list due to hundreds of visitors walking on top of the wall and eroding it.
Experts revealed the wall could become one of just 29 out of 600 World Heritage sites considered at risk after 400,000 people marched across the Hadrian’s Wall Path Trail since it opened nearly two years ago.
Actually, not much of an update, but there it is anyway. The formatting sucks so you might just skip reading it.
Update: Similar story on MACHU PICCHU.
Ancient capital laid to waste
Sometimes an archaeological site is more interesting for what is not there than for what is. The small open-air museum at Tel Basta near Zagazig, where a large statue of Ramses II's consort (discovered some years ago) is soon to be erected, contains no more than a dozen or so objects; even a century ago the area was so ruined that guide books -- including Baedeker's -- wrote that it was a waste of time to go there when there were so many more worthwhile places to visit. The fact is that the history of the devastation of Tel Basta -- ancient Basta, classical Bubastis -- situated where the Pelusiac and Tannic branches of the Nile join the Wadi Tumilat in the eastern Delta -- is more interesting than its surviving objects. But let us first recall the greatness that was.
Another great article by Jill Kamil. Definitely worth the read.
Skeleton find could tell us more about the Roman way of death
ANOTHER headless skeleton discovered in York is among a series of gruesome archaeological finds which could hold the key to unlocking secrets behind Roman burial rituals.
The latest discovery of human remains by archaeologists follows in the wake of another headless skeleton found shackled in a grave and a Roman mummy which was also unearthed in The Mount area of the city.
A total of 57 bodies – 50 adults and seven children – and 14 sets of cremated remains have been found during excavations, most by the York Archaeological Trust at a site in Driffield Terrace.
Archaeologists are now confident the bodies will provide perhaps the clearest indication yet on the Roman attitude to death.
And now. . . .news from the EEF
Press report: "Sobek temple [in Kom Ombo] to reopen"
More press reports about the CT scanning of the six BM mummies featuring in the Bowers Museum exhibition. With commentary by Dr. Nigel Strudwick.
-- "Mummies Undergo CT Scans at Calif. Museum
Lectures surrounding the exhibition during April - July:
Online Master's Thesis: Kristin Romey, The Vogelbarke of Medinet Habu, Texas A&M University, 2003. x, 88 pp. - pdf-file: 2 MB
"... In 1964 a connection was first proposed between the distinctive ships of the Sea Peoples in the Medinet Habu naval battle relief, with their high, angular stem- and stern- posts topped with outward-facing water-bird heads, and the vogelbarke, or bird-boat, of Late Bronze Age Central European religious iconography ... additional archaeological vidence suggests a Central European mercenary presence in Mycenaean Greece during the
period of Sea Peoples activity, as well as Central European participation in the multi-ethnic coalition reflected particularly in the material culture of the
Sea Peoples identified in Cyprus. This evidence strengthens the possibility that the vogelbarke-like vessel some scholars claim to see at Medinet Habu is indeed not a 'duck out of water.'"
Just to re-signal that there are now some 1000 articles of BIFAO online [see EEF NEWS 348; URL submitted by Augustin Barahona]:
Online version of: Philippe Martinez, Kevin Cain, Brett Bowman, 2003 INSIGHT Fieldwork in Thebes - Interim Field Report, 18 pp., pdf-file: 1.8 MB
"In this report, we: ... Sum up the results of our on-site work with different hardware and software used for 3D scanning of archaeological artifacts ... Present a practical analysis of portable field scanning."
Online version of: Joan Goodnick Westenholz, Matthew W. Stolper, A Stone Jar with Inscriptions of Darius I in Four Languages, in: Arta. Achaemenid Research on Texts and Archaeology, no. 5/2002, 13 pp. - pdf-file: 560 KB
"Inscriptions of Darius I in four languages are incised on the fragments of a stone jar in the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem, BLMJ 1979 ... An inscription on one shoulder of the jar is in Egyptian, in hieroglyphic script ... A different text appears on the opposite shoulder, in Old Persian, Elamite and Akkadian ... It is an artifact of a familiar kind, and the inscriptions have familiar texts, but the combination of the four versions on a piece from the reign of Darius is unique."
Online version of: John Baines, Defining social complexity in early Egypt: levels of patterning in the evidence, paper presented to the World Archaeological Congress 4, University of Cape Town, 10th - 14th January 1999 - 15 pp., pdf-file: 73 KB
"The 'Cities Palette', one of the key artifacts from the Egyptian formative period (c. 3000 BCE), comes from near the end of the development and elaboration of complex symbolic forms and exemplifies several issues I address in this paper. I begin by exploring implications of the palette and then move back to set the scene for developments toward the formation of the dynastic state of Egypt, perhaps around the time when the palette was made."
End of EEF news