Thursday, March 16, 2006

New location for ArchaeoBlog alert! This thing might be moving in the near future, as I am toying with using WordPress on a DreamHost domain instead of Blogger. If any readers have any opinions either way, send 'em in.

Top Bulgarian Archaeologist Wants Trade in Antiquities Legal

Prominent Bulgarian archaeologist Professor Nikolay Ovcharov called for legalizing trade in antiquities in a bid to remove the strong incentives for the pillage of archaeological sites.

"Trade in antiquities should be strictly regulated by the state and should take place at auctions only," Professor Nikolay Ovcharov said at a press conference on Monday. He spoke of the huge interest that the ancient sanctuary of Perperikon, in the heart of the Rhodopes, and the tomb near the village of Tatul drew at the International Tourism Bourse in Berlin.


I have no comments.

Okay, maybe a few random musings. How can "the state" regulate trade in antiquities when they can't even stop it now?

Bangladesh discovers ancient fort city

Archaeologists in Bangladesh say they have uncovered part of a fortified citadel dating back to 450 B.C. that could have been a stopping off point along an ancient trade route.

So far, a moat round the citadel has been uncovered along with parts of an ancient road at Wari, 85 km (53 miles) northeast of the capital Dhaka.

"The citadel and a raft of artifacts may help redefine history of India," said Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, head of the department of archaeology at Jahangirnagar University, near Dhaka.

What, no 'Temple of Doom'? Archaeology film fest in Rome

Rome, March 15 - Europe's best ancient history documentaries are on show here this weekend at the debut edition of Rome's International Archaeology Cinema Festival .

The four-day event, which kicks off Friday at the city's posh new Auditorium Music Park, has a fascinating programme of film screenings, meetings with directors and debates .

"Paradoxically, our city has never had an archaeology cinema festival, though archaeology is an integral part of the territory," said Rome Culture Councillor Vincenzo Vita .

Aboriginal people built water tunnels

Indigenous Australians dug underground water reservoirs that helped them live on one of the world's driest continents for tens of thousands of years, new research shows.

The study, which is the first of its kind, indicates Aboriginal people had extensive knowledge of the groundwater system, says hydrogeologist Brad Moggridge, knowledge that is still held today.

Some 70% of the continent is covered by desert or semi-arid land, which meant its original inhabitants needed to know how to find and manage this resource if they were to survive.

This seems like something of a non-story for several reasons. First, the data for at least the tunnels idea comes from this: He based his work on oral histories, Dreamtime stories, rock art, artefacts and ceremonial body painting as well as written accounts by white missionaries, surveyors, settlers, anthropologists and explorers. So no actual tunnels or any other water feature seem to have been described. Okay, but where are the actual tunnels? It would be far more interesting if the actual nature of these things were described.

Second, is it really that unusual that non-agricultural people wouldn't use that much water? Throwing out 'sustainability' seems kind of trendy when it really just seems as if what has been discovered is carrying capacity.

The rest of the article seems rather unduly fascinated by the concept of people surviving in a marginal environment -- like we know from many other people from around the world.

But who knows, maybe it's more interesting than this summary makes it appear.

Facelift on the cards for Giza Sphinx

The Great Sphinx of Giza, one of the most famous monuments of Pharaonic Egypt, is to get a facelift, the Egyptian ministry of culture said on Tuesday.

Restoration work on the noseless creature undertaken by the High Council for Antiquities is to focus on the beast's neck and chest, rendered fragile by the erosion of desert winds.

Egyptian antiquities boss Zahi Hawas said the last restoration work on the half-man half-lion statue was carried out in 1996.