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Grand Challenges of Archaeology

As usual, I’m late to the Doug Rocks-McQueen’s blogfest party, but since he said that he’d welcome latecomers, I’ll show up anyway with four beers from a six-pack of Miller Highlife and a two-day-old dress shirt with a torn sleeve.   It is endearing as hell that I work in a field that still imagines itself… Read More ?

Hagbard’s Scaffold

Sweden’s bedrock has been entirely abraded by the inland ice. It sanded down the country like a big wood planer, leaving smooth lovely outcrops known as hällar all over the place. This is the main natural prerequisite of Sweden’s rich rock art tradition. Most of it dates from the Bronze Age, 1700–500 BC. Denmark hardly…

More on the Symes material returned from Switzerland

© Ministère public genevois There is growing interest in the 45 cases of antiquities returned to Italy from Switzerland. The Swiss authorities have issued a press statement (January 14, 2016). The statement does not identify Symes but...Show More Summary

Grand Challenges for (Bio)Archaeology

Doug Rocks-Macqueen recently put out a call for practitioners in the field of bio/archaeology to blog about the "grand challenges" their (sub)discipline faces, in response to a similar question posed to archaeologists in the pages of American Antiquity. Show More Summary

Numismatic Hate-blogging

"Cultural property issues only lead to frustration and ill will" says the coin dealer who runs an "Ancient Coin Collecting" blog. He reckons that "those issues can tend to take over one's thought process and overpower the intent of a blog itself", so he has decided (for the second time) to make a fresh start... Show More Summary

Yes, climate changes

Ancient humans dispersed through Arabia during greener times Traditional theories depicted groups of early modern humans first dispersing out of northeastern Africa north and east through the Levant and then northward into present-day Europe and through northern routes into India and then the Far East. Additional dispersals took them along routes hopping the coasts of Arabia [...]

Bones bones, dem dry bones

Archaeologists Discover a Neolithic Burial Ritual Like No Other During excavations at Shk?rat Msaied, in southern Jordan, a strange burial site was unearthed revealing a ritual unlike any the archaeologists had previously encountered. After the dead were buried and the bodies had decomposed to the point only their skeletons remained; the bones were removed from their [...]

Footprints in the sand field

Oldest Human Footprints in the Southwest Discovered at Tucson Construction Site The barefoot tracks are distinct enough that the movements of specific individuals can be followed across the 15-meter-square field that’s been uncovered, Arnit said. In one case, a set of deep, large prints shows that a heavy adult male trod diagonally across the field, stopped to [...]

The Question of Stolen Antiquities

There is an article on the IBA website by Mark Vlasic which begins with a discussion of the case of Peter Tompa's former client, Eric Prokopi, and the items he handled, but then turns to other sectors of the collectables market (Return...Show More Summary

Charges made over church lead thefts in Norfolk

There has been some concern about the level of church lead thefts in Norfolk and Suffolk over the last few months. On Friday Norfolk Constabulary issued a statement:Police have charged a man in connection with lead thefts from two churches in Norfolk. Show More Summary

Archaeological Field School at Historic St. Mary's City

Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC), in association with St. Mary’s College of Maryland, announces its 2016 field school in historical archaeology, May 31st to August 6th, HSMC is a state?supported, outdoor museum located at the site of Maryland’s first capital (1634-1694). Show More Summary

New Website for the Bayeux Tapestry

As this year is the 950 th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, Archaeology in Europe has created a new website featuring the Bayeux Tapestry. The Website gives details of the history of the Tapestry and provides detailed images of the entire tapestry. Show More Summary

Decapitated Gladiators Reveal Roman Empire's Genetic Influence

These decapitated remains found in York belonged to a male who may have been a Retiarii gladiator, who fought with a net and spear or trident. DNA from seven decapitated skeletons thought to be gladiators is helping researchers unravel the gruesome origins of the ancient remains. Show More Summary

Open Textbooks, Cost, and Value

On Thursday, I heard an inspiring talk by David Ernst of the University of Minnesota. He’s the CIO of their College of Education and Human Development and an open educational resource activist. His talk to at UND focused on the importance of open textbooks and was part of a larger “open educational resources seminar” put… Read More ?

Losing Knowledge: A Challenge for Archaeology

One of the greatest challenges to archaeology is the rapid loss of archaeological contexts. Archaeological sites have always been seen as a source of acquirable material: think of the Etruscan and Campanian cemeteries providing the 'vases' for the great collections of northern Europe. Show More Summary

Trafficking Culture Funded Project Ends

The University of Glasgow Trafficking Culture funded project came to an end yesterday, i.e. the end of January. We await to see what will emerge.For the closure of the Cambridge Illicit Antiquities Research Centre (IARC) see here.

Robin Symes and the Geneva Porto Franco

Fabio Isman has written about the 45 cases of antiquities returned from Switzerland to Italy ("Sulle tracce del sarcofago misteriosi", Il Messaggero January 31, 2016). I noted the return last month.It appears that the objects were owned by Robin Symes but placed under an assumed named. Show More Summary

Introduction of new Sentencing Guidelines for theft of Heritage Assets Tomorrow

In the UK.... don't HE know that metal detectorists are somebody's "Partners"? Still no sentence however for knowledge theft, but one day, maybe....

Battlefield Recovery Po Polsku

A team of amateurish PAS-partners came over from Great Britain to my country to "help" us to recover the war dead. They made a film showing what they did (though they claim they edited the film to make it look worse than what they actually did). Show More Summary

Portable Antiquities Attitudes: Challenge for Archaeology (Blogging Carnival)

Doug’s Archaeology has set a new blog carnival for the month of January: The Grand Challenges for Archaeology: A Blogging Carnival. I would say one of the biggest ones is relevance. What relevance is what archaeologists do and why should...Show More Summary

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