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Salima again

8 million mummified animals, mostly dogs, in catacombs at Egypt site For centuries, dogs have been humans’ loyal, domesticated companions. They’ve been wild animals, doing what’s needed to survive. And in ancient Egypt, they served as bridges to the afterlife, with the hope that they’d intercede with the god Anubis on their owner’s behalf. But only now [...]

Friday retrospect: Four Years of Aggro for Asking "Where Are these Artefacts Now?"

Veteran metal detectorist Dick Stout expresses his 'anger' on Peter Tompa's blog that, four years ago, I asked a question about a photo from the end of the 1970s early 1980s which I found on his blog. The photo shows coin folders full of artefacts, a heap of loose artefacts on the living room floor. Show More Summary

Syria: Behind the Times

"Palmyra: Isis pictured launching new assault on artefacts in ancient ruins" alarms the Independent, oblivious to the fact that by the time this was published, it was clear that this is not what happened. But still those same four elements in varied configuration.Then there is this... Show More Summary

Second Week of 2015 Excavations at Stensö Castle

Adapting available labour and a pre-decided excavation agenda to each other is not easy, particularly when you’re doing investigative peek-hole fieldwork on a site whose depth and complexity of stratification you don’t know much about. At Stensö we had two of three trenches and all five test pits backfilled in time for Wednesday lunch’s on-site…

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival LXXIII

There was a lot going on in the month of June, but with surprisingly few pictures, so here is a quick summary:New Finds The grave in Ethiopia where the woman dubbed ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was discovered. Photograph: Graeme Laidlaw 5 JuneShow More Summary

Syria - Palmyra: The Mother of All Blog Posts

I thought some of my blog posts were long, but.... Sam Hardy has outdone me for length this time! The mega-post 'Palmyra: looting under the rebels, the Assad regime and the Islamic State?' went up today. It's a cracker, a must-read.Show More Summary

A short note on mapping text

Kristina had a question. Hey, digital humanities folks. How easy is it to auto-generate and update a map that has location pins attached to URLs? — Kristina Killgrove (@DrKillgrove) July 5, 2015 So I started puttering. We came up with this. 1. Grab the text of a blog post (but not too much, or do […]

Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 28)

Charity Upson-Taboas sent me this photo that her sister took at Morgan's Cove, a small amusement park-like place in California that specializes in pirate paraphernali. Now, the bones are fake, but she and I were both less than impressed by the legs. Show More Summary

This time, on the road from Paris!

Hello blogosphere! As always, my apologies for the lack of updates recently. So, this is to confirm I am still alive, very busy at work plumbing the chemical secrets of the ancient dead (the usual), writing, applying for jobs, etc. I'm...Show More Summary

This week at Forbes: Scurvy at Trump SoHo, Pot Polish in Canada, and Pegasi in Cloudsdale

This is what I wrote this week on my blog at Forbes: Children in Manhattan Got Scurvy and Rickets, 19th Century Skeletons Reveal. Here I covered the latest article by Meredith Ellis, whose work with the Spring Street Archaeological Project involves looking at the bones of children to see what their lives were like. Show More Summary

Stakeholders "Unwelcome"

Over on a coiney blog, the tiresome discussion is still dragging on about whether Paul Barford is "qualified" to make any observations on the collecting of portable antiquities in the eyes of an engineer-turned coin dealer who seems not really to have grasped the concept of what the social media are. Show More Summary

"The colonial powers should have plundered more antiquities"

In an article that will no doubt be being extensively referenced by the antiquities dealers association trollbots, Israeli author and journalist Benny Ziffer argues that "Entrusting the treasures of Middle Eastern civilization to the...Show More Summary

Collector Shlomo Moussaieff Dies

Quoting from Benny Ziffer' (5th July 2015) opinion piece 'The colonial powers should have plundered more antiquities': Shlomo Moussaieff, a Jerusalem-born magnate and a Jew with deep national feelings, died on Monday night. Moussaieff...Show More Summary

Looted Statue Received in Return for Continued Anonymity

As part of 'Operation Hidden Idol', 'ICE HSI partners with major art collector to recover stolen idol from India' 1st July 2015. An anonymous collector of Asian antiquities voluntarily surrendered a stolen 11-12th century Chola bronze statue representing Saint Manikkavichavakar [...]Show More Summary

Do UK Coin Dealers Read the Guardian?

An Archaeologist Patrols the Market, 2 comments:John H said (July 4, 2015 at 12:06 PM)...Ah Peter: The Guardian is not a tabloid, rather a Lefty broadsheet rag...say no more, eh?Regards John Howland England Cultural Property Observer said (July 4, 2015 at 12:15 PM)...Thank you. Show More Summary

UK "Financing Syrian Terror"

The media in Syria are reporting the UK's role in financing conflict in their country: 'Antiquities looted from Syria and Iraq sold in European markets, American archeologist says'. They point out that there had been similar alegations...Show More Summary

Samarra Under Threat?

$count " data-description="The fighting between ISIL and the Iraqi government has now reached the doorstep of the 9th century old city of Samarra" data-device-type="auto" data-fb-description="The fighting between ISIL and the Iraqi government...Show More Summary

Blogwarts: the fantasy world of blogging in California

David Knell ('Blogwarts: the fantasy world of blogging in California', Ancient heritage Thursday, 2 July 2015) takes a welcome cold hard look at the recent pomposity of the Classical Coins blog, run by Dave Welsh, "an engineer who lives...Show More Summary

US Dealers and Collectors Finance Assad in Syria

In a recent long post, archaeoblogger Sam Hardy has examined the involvement of the Assad regime in looting at Palmyra before the site fell into ISIS' hands. Dealers and collectors have evidently been collaborating for many years with...Show More Summary

Tabloid Accusations and the Dealers' Troll Stables

Mark Altaweel, a near-east specialist from the UCL Institute of Archaeology ('Looted in Syria – and sold in London: the British antiques shops dealing in artefacts smuggled by Isis'), is already being accused by dealers' associations spokesmen of making it up and being involved in "tabloid journalism". Show More Summary

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