One lawprof is quoted as saying blogs "have nothing to do with scholarship". This is probably overstating things. Archaeologists/anthropologists don't seem to generally like blogs. Perhaps it's too public. Email lists tend to be quite popular and get a lot of use for discussing the minutae of archaeological issues. John Hawks uses his for throwing his ideas out in kind of a semi-formal way (providing references, making fairly detailed discipline-centered arguments), and also includes commentary on more mundane and entertaining matters.
Archaeologists should use blogs. There. I said it. It would be a GREAT way to communicate what we do to a larger lay audience. It can create a space where your average person can, through Comments, ask a professional archaeologist a question. We can let people know why we do what we do, what we get out of the sites we excavate, what the controversies are and what we think of them. It would humanize us, especially if we include some more personal stuff on our blogs. It's really easy to blast someone for holding a particular (but probably heavily stereotyped) view on some issue or other, but harder when you've just finished reading how their kid just learned to walk. Well, maybe not for some. But still, any archaeology blog is almost bound to be less full of fireworks than your typical political blog.
Archaeology Team Discovers Oldest Remains of Sea-faring Ships in the World
A team of archaeologists from Boston University and the University of Naples l’Orientale recently uncovered the oldest remains of sea-faring ships in the world and cargo boxes containing goods from the lost-land of Punt – a fabled southern Red Sea trading center. The discoveries were made during a round of excavations inside two man-made caves previously found by the team at Wadi Gawasis on Egypt’s Red Sea coast.
In remarkable condition, the unique artifacts of cedar planks and decking timber – some with the mortises and tenons, and copper fastenings still in place – demonstrate that the Ancient Egyptians were excellent ship builders and provide further evidence that they reached Punt by sea. The findings may also help researchers determine the location of Punt, a long-time source of debate among scholars.
Not much new here from previous stories on this find, but it's a good reminder anyway.
Chinese find 3,000-year-old hand painting
A 3,000-YEAR-old painting made with human hand prints and believed to depict a dancing man and woman has been discovered by archaeologists on a cliff in south-west China.
The painting, measuring about 4ft by 5ft and created using a mixture of iron ore and animal blood, was found near the Jinsha river in Yunnan province, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Local people guided three archaeologists to the scene, according to Ji Xueping, an associate professor with the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.
That's the whole thing. There are more stories around, but all seem to be similarly short.