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Antiquities Seized in Abu Sayyaf raid

Larry Rothfield has spotted an interesting piece of news reported in USA Today ('Killed ISIS leader had a trove of antiquities in his compound' Sunday, May 24, 2015). Last week, a top ISIL operative, Abu Sayyaf - who had a senior role in overseeing ISIL's illicit oil and gas operations - was killed by U.S. Show More Summary

"It's always Brits" - the bitter harvest of UK's Hoik-friendly Artefact Policies

Roland Hughes, 'Eurostar's problem with artillery shell collectors', BBC News 12 May 2015 When the Gare du Nord was evacuated on Monday after a passenger tried to take a disarmed artillery shell onto a Eurostar train, rail operators may well have let out a deep sigh and thought: "Not again".[...]Show More Summary

Understanding Hadrian's Wall - why it all went wrong

What's the big idea? It is roughly 270 years since a government in Westminster had Hadrian’s Wall systematically demolished and crushed to make the road that now brings the tourists to see the bits they missed. It helped create a vast fragmentary jigsaw puzzle that which has proved difficult to piece together. Show More Summary

Syria Finally Facing the End?

Martin Chulov asks whether, 'Amid the ruins of Syria, is Bashar al-Assad now finally facing the end?' (Guardian 24th May 2015). The US is rapidly losing any influence it had in the Middle East to control events and the Syrian government is under increased pressure from on the one hand the rebels backed by neighbouring countries and on the other ISIL. Show More Summary

“The ghost world — that’s a very, very real thing to them,”

Smoked Mummy Helps Villagers Connect with ‘Ghost World’ Here’s how the villagers mummified loved ones: First, they scraped the bodies with a bristly plant, before placing it in a hut filled with smoke for 30 days. A bamboo pipe served as an anal spigot to evacuate the gut contents, and bodily fluids leached out of tiny [...]

A History of metal detecting in 3 flyers

Heritage Action, 'A History of metal detecting in 3 flyers', The depressing cul-de-sac that is Britain's portable antiquities policy can be deduced from just three flyers. With one to print out and distribute yourself.

Tracking the Antiquities of ISIL Funding?

Now they have occupied and pacified Palmyra, Pamela Engel declares in Business Insider that "ISIS is about to make A LOT of money off (sic) 'the archaeological equivalent of a beheading'..." May 22, 2015. Jonathan Schanzer, vice president...Show More Summary

Thoman Love Peacock's Palmyra

Palmyra (2nd edn 1812)Thomas Love Peacock [extract]So swift is Time's colossal strideAbove the wrecks of human pride.These temples, awful in decay,Whose ancient splendor half endures,These arches, dim in parting day,These dust-defiled...Show More Summary

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

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

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

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 [...]

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