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This week at Forbes: Beheadings and cannibalism, origins of obesity, Roman dentistry, historic cemetery clean-up, and endangered Native American sites

Here's what I wrote over at Forbes the week of May 17-23: Gruesome evidence of political torture found on Precolumbian skulls. This amazing (and very readable) paper is by good friend Sara Becker, who let me post a picture of a skull with evidence the eye had been gouged out. Show More Summary

A Museum Curator and Some Metal Detectorists

The replies to my query of 25th April about the appearance of three English local authority archaeologists in an anti-legislation campaign video by metal detectorists are coming thick and fast now. Hot on the heels of the response by...Show More Summary

Fun in the Sun for our Volunteer Team

Wessex Archaeology staff and volunteers mingled in the sun at this year’s Volunteer Summer Picnic. Hosting the picnic is just one of the ways we are able to say thank you to our fantastic volunteer team for all their hard work. Recent...Show More Summary

Adventures in Podcasting in Absentia! Richard Rothaus and Tom Isern talk Heritage Renewal

Summer is upon us.  Bill is in Cyprus and Greece doing real archaeology, and Richard is set upon by various lesser North American archaeological endeavors, so get ready for some innovative summer podcast programming, In this episode,...Show More Summary

Two Officially Excavated Oxyrhynchus Papyri in Green Collection

Brice Jones, ' P.Oxy. 11.1351: From Oxyrhynchus to the Green Collection' 20th May 2015: Pap 1351 was donated by the Egyptian Exploration Fund to a theological seminary, but in 2003 the latter sold it at Sotheby's in a larger lot of papyri. Show More Summary

"Enjoying" Artefact Hunting

In his letter to me supplying the details of the recent recording in a metal detecting club, Dr Adrian Marsden suggested, perhaps tongue-in-cheek (?) - that I might "enjoy" looking at the March and April records from the club.I do not...Show More Summary

Local Authority Numismatist and Archaeologist on Norwich Detecting

Dr. Adrian Marsden (professional numismatist) and Dr Andrew Rogerson, both of Norfolk Historic Environment Service and both participants in the film by the campaign group 'Green Light For Change - Metal Detecting in Ireland' have atShow More Summary

Repatriate your own

Heritage at State seems to be having a joke with me and The Hopi Tribe. They were going on about the latest batch of Hopi masks they expect the French to declare an "illegal sale". The French have explained in terms that could not be clearer why the sales concerned are not illegal in terms of French law. Show More Summary

Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest humans

The tools includes sharp-edged flakes, hammers and anvils The world's oldest stone tools have been discovered, scientists report. They were unearthed from the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, and date to 3.3 million years ago. They are 700,000 years older than any tools found before, even pre-dating the earliest humans in the Homo genus. Show More Summary

ISIL Expands its hold in Middle East

As ISIL establishes itself in the newly captured town of Palmyra and the world braces itself for more bad news, Hassan Hassan suggests that anyone telling you the Islamic State is in decline isn’t paying attention to what is happening...Show More Summary

Childhood archaeology?

Colorado archaeologist excavates his childhood toys, discovers himself In 2008, History Colorado archaeologist Thomas Carr discovered an artifact in his boyhood home in North Carolina: a piece of grey and green plastic sticking out of the dirt. He knelt to inspect it and soon realized it was a part of a model plane — one he’d [...]

New old tools

Really old: Archaeologists Find Earliest Stone Tools in Kenya Archaeologists working in the desert badlands of Kenya have uncovered dozens of stone tools crafted 3.3 million years ago, the earliest evidence of technology on Earth. For a long time, many scholars believed the first stone tools were devised by the genus Homo—a line that leads directly to [...]

“Until you can empty your own wheelbarrows, forget it.”

An English ‘Family Business,’ Dedicated To A 2,000-Year-Old Roman Fort For the last couple of millennia, Vindolanda was hidden underground. This ancient Roman fort was buried beneath trees, then fields where oblivious farmers planted crops and grazed their sheep for centuries. Under the farmer’s plow, the ruined city sat undisturbed — mostly. “You can still see the [...]

Low Friction Augmented Reality

Maybe you’ve thought, ‘Augmented reality – meh’. I’ve thought that too. Peeping through my tablet or phone’s screen at a 3d model displayed on top of the viewfinder… it can be neat, but as Stu wrote years ago, [with regard to ‘Streetmuseum’, a lauded AR app overlaying historic London on modern London] …it is really […]

How war has robbed Syria of its history

Marcia Biggs for the PBS NewsHour, Beirut, "How war has robbed Syria of its history", May 19, 2015.. PBS NewsHour..

Third Reich Sculptures Missing since Soviet Withdrawal in 1989 Surface again

German Police raid five locations to recover Nazi art including large bronzes by Josef Thorak from the Reichskanzlei: Konstantin von Hammerstein, 'Bronzepferde von Josef Thorak: Fahnder finden verschollene Nazi-Kunst', Spiegel 20th may 2015 (see here too)"Einige der Skulpturen werden seit etwa zwei Jahren auf dem grauen Kunstmarkt angeboten". Show More Summary

Bones - Season 10, Episode 19 (Review)

The Murder in the Middle East Episode Summary While Booth is on the phone placing a bet with a bookie on a baseball game, Vaziri is abducted in Iran while on the phone with Saroyan. The phone connection remains open long enough for Angela and Hodgins to help figure out where he is: in a defunct center for plastic surgery. Show More Summary

Summers are for Ideas

Summertime is a great time for ideas, problem solving, and field work, but it’s not a great time for blogging or any kind of long-form writing. I do keep a little notebook of ideas and keep notes in my phone using the irresistibly twee Vesper application for my iPhone.  So, I have a few idea,… Read More ?

Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 26)

For their 206th episode, the Bones folks put out a video listing all of the bones in the human body. Except that half a dozen are wrong and/or misspelled. So, enjoy finding the errors! ---- Previous Installments of Who needs an osteologist? Tampa Bay History Center needs an osteologist. Show More Summary


A few weeks ago I wrote: "If I am not mistaken, Ben Paites is the real name of the metal detectorist mentioned on this blog a number of times who hides behind the made-up name of "Alloverrover"..." Allover attracted my attention as a...Show More Summary

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