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Picking the President in Paper and Other Press News

I’m happy to announce that sixth (or seventh) book from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, Eric Burin’s Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College, is now available in glorious, durable paper from It’s $8. That’s less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks or a six-pack of “craft beer.”  The paper… Read More ?

Layby in the landscape, buffeted by history

Sun Bank, Teesdale Snow has a magical effect when the shadows emphasise features of this post-glacial landscape If there was a league table for roadside laybys, ranked according to the grandeur of the landscape that they overlook, then this one, on the B6282 two miles east of Middleton-in-Teesdale, would be a strong contender. Show More Summary

Vikan on US Museums and Trade 'Partnership' - to do What?

Gary Vikan attempts to explain 'why US museums and the antiquities trade should work together' Apollo Magazine 30th January 2017. He considers antiquities collectors to be part (with what?) of an 'ecosystem' that created encyclopaedic museums. Show More Summary

Ancient DNA reveals 'continuity' between Stone Age and modern populations in East Asia

(University of Cambridge) In contrast to Western Europeans, new research finds contemporary East Asians are genetically much closer to the ancient hunter-gatherers that lived in the same region 8,000 years previously.

Motivations for Collecting Looted Antiquities

Seminar: 'What No Owner Can Complain of Having Lost: Motivations for Collecting Looted Antiquities', 06 Feb 2017, 18:00 Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E Erin Thompson (City University of New York). What makes antiquities collectors...Show More Summary

Dodgy glass inlays returned to Egypt

Egypt Independent: Egypt's embassy in London received on Tuesday two artifacts that had been put for sale at a London auction house. The director general of the Retrieved Antiquities Department of the Antiquities Ministry, Shaaban Abdel...Show More Summary

Israel: Looted Artefacts Seized in Truck Stop

Dozens of ancient archaeological artifacts suspected to have been stolen were seized during this past weekend in Akko, northern Israel when the local police stopped a suspicious vehicle only to discover it was transporting dozens of artifacts, including some material suspected of having been looted from numerous archaeological sites in Israel. Show More Summary

Heidelberg Castle revisited

(Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) ) Fires, wars and the ravages of time left their traces on Heidelberg Castle. One of the most important renaissance buildings north of the Alps and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany with about 1.1 million visitors -- many of them from English speaking countries and Asia. Show More Summary

Survey Methods and Efficiency

I was pretty excited to read S.T. Stewart, P.M.N. Hitchings, P. Bikoulis and E.B. Banning, “Novel survey methods shed light on prehistoric exploration in Cyprus,” in Antiquity 91 (2017) over lunch yesterday. First off, it had the words method, survey, and Cyprus in its title, which always hit me in the “feels.” Secondly, it deals… Read More ?

Pompeii Wall Collapses

Superintendency experts and Carabinieri police are on the scene. Read the rest of this article...

Shetland celebrates the Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival

The annual Up Helly Aa Viking fire festival has been celebrated in Shetland. Some 60 "Vikings" paraded through Lerwick, trailed by more than 900 torchbearers known as "guizers". The celebration culminated in the traditional burning of a galley. Mike Grundon reports from Lerwick. Read the rest of this article...

Water Fort, Bristol

During the English Civil War new defences, comprising a bank and ditch interspersed with forts and bastions, were constructed around Bristol, running from the River Avon to Brandon Hill. At the western end of this defensive loop was a fortified promontory, now known as Water Fort, which guarded the seaward entrance to the Avon. Show More Summary

Paper spotlights key flaw in widely used radioisotope dating technique

(North Carolina State University) An oversight in a radioisotope dating technique used to date everything from meteorites to geologic samples means scientists have likely overestimated the age of many samples.

Lots to Read, just not here

These are busy days here in North Dakotaland. I’m working on the massive introduction that David Pettegrew drafted for the Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Archaeology, putting the finishing touches on the paper version of Eric Burin’s Picking the President, maintaining some momentum on Codex, and trying to keep an eye on the news, navigate… Read More ?

New report outlines extent of metal detecting in Scotland for the first time

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) ' Landmark project aims to build relations between metal detectorists and heritage sector' 31 January 2017 The report is the first of its kind to be attempted in Scotland. It was conducted by GUARD...Show More Summary

St Edith’s Well

Wessex Archaeology West monitored restoration work on St Edith’s Well, Castle Park, Bristol. The well is located in what was probably the late Saxon settlement of Brigstowe, which later became the centre of the medieval town of Bristol. Show More Summary

38,000 year-old image of an aurochs discovered in French rockshelter

An international team has uncovered a 38,000-year-old engraved image, in a southwestern French rockshelter.


Over the past week or so I’ve been working my way through the recent special section on “Archaeology and Assemblages” in the most recent volume of the Cambridge Archaeological Journal 27 (2017). The section includes contributions from many of the same folks whose work featured in my recent review article in the American Journal of… Read More ?

Badgers Field, Chipping Campden

A recent excavation in Badgers Field on the south side of Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire, has provided the first archaeological evidence from the town for Saxon settlement. The excavation, undertaken by our Bristol Office in advance...Show More Summary

How Much Viking Lore Is True?

Archaeologists have confirmed key details in Norse oral histories (but not the dragons, elves, and trolls). In TV series from Vikings to Game of Thrones, the icy wastes of the north provide the backdrop to dramatic, often violent, stories of kings and warriors, dragons and trolls. Show More Summary

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