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France returns skull of New Caledonian chief

After 135 years, the skull of High Chief Ataï from the Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia has been returned to his homeland. In a ceremony on August 28th, France’s Overseas Territories Minister George Pau-Langevin gave the skull to Bergé Kawa, a chief in his own right and a direct descendant Ataï’s. This is a righting [...]

Podcast ~ Drunk Archaeology: Trafficking Culture: Looting/Illicit Trade

The official description: YAY! Here’s the second episode of the Drunk Archaeology podcast! In this 65-min program, Donna Yates of anonymousswisscollector.com, Meg Lambert of traffickingculture.org, and Sarah Parcak of the Laboratory for Global Observation talk about looting and the illicit trade of antiquities. Show More Summary

Is this to-be-auctioned Inscription to Vitiris Known?

Before I get the blogosphere posts up, I need to ask about an eBay auction that distracted me last night. It concerns this stone: The text reads: DEO SAN CTO VITIRI LVNARIS VL VSLM As of today, it’s an ebay listing at: Ancient Roman Stone Votive Altar For The God Vitris – 3rd Century AD […]

First Roman wood toilet seat found at Vindolanda

There are many surviving examples of Roman latrines with their characteristic marble bench seating dotted with keyhole-shaped openings. The seats weren’t always stone, however. There were wooden toilet seats as well, but the organic material decays leaving behind only the stone or brick structure. Now archaeologists have unearthed the first Roman toilet seat made of [...]

Wooden Toilet Seat from Vindolanda

From a Vindolanda Trust press release: Finding something that you can relate to is always a special moment on an archaeological dig. At Vindolanda this is a common occurrence, a site where the special qualities lie not only in the discovery of gold and silver or artefacts which relate to the military might of the […]

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem v kalendas septembres

ante diem v kalendas septembres rites in honour of Sol and Luna near the Circus Maximus 29 B.C. dedication of the ara Victoriae in the Curia 430 A.D. — death of St. Augustine 1797 — birth of Karl Otfried Muller (Classical scholar and archaeologist)

Vast archive of pre-war European Jewish life digitized

Photographer Roman Vishniac’s vast archive documenting Jewish life in Eastern Europe before and after World War II is being digitized and made available to the public. The joint project of the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., has already scanned almost 9,000 negatives [...]

Camp Security saved, excavations begin

The only Revolutionary War POW camp to survive in undeveloped condition has been saved for posterity thanks to donations from the public. When I first wrote about Camp Security last April, the 47-acre plot in Springettsbury Township, Pennsylvania, between the city of York and the Susquehanna River, was in danger of being sold. More than [...]

Amphipolis Tomb Possibly Looted in Antiquity? I am Officially Confused!

In my precaffeinated minutes this a.m. I was jarred awake by a typically hyperbolating Daily Mail headline proclaiming: Game over for Greece’s mystery grave: Tomb raiders plundered site in antiquity – dashing hopes of finding artefacts dating back to Alexander the Great’s reign. Inter alia, a number of times the mantra was repeated, but here’s […]

This Day in Ancient History: ante diem vii kalendas septembres

ante diem vii kalendas septembres 55 B.C. — Julius Caesar invades Britain, but doesn’t stick around very long 1875 — Birth of John Buchan, 1st Baron of Tweedsmuir and Governor-General of Canada … and author of a decent biography of Augustus

Two Mayan cities found in Yucatan jungle

Archaeologists have discovered two lost Mayan cities in the jungle of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve on the southeastern tip of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. The cities have been named Tamchén and Lagunita. Initial exploration indicates both cities were at their peak in the Late and Terminal Classic period (600-1000 AD), the early part of which saw [...]

Action Comics #1 shatters record at auction

A copy of Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman which revolutionized the industry, in almost perfect condition has sold on eBay for $3,207,852, shattering the previous record price of $2.16 million set in 2011 by Nicholas Cage’s famously purloined copy. It is the first comic to pass the three million dollar mark. The [...]

Impressionism’s exact date and time of birth

Impressionism was born on November 13th, 1872, at 7:35 AM. That’s the result of calculations done by Texas State University astrophysicist Donald Olson on the work by Claude Monet that gave the movement its name. Monet called the painting, the harbour of Le Havre as seen through his hotel window, Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise) [...]

Gift from Charles Darwin found in Danish museum

The University of Copenhagen’s Natural History Museum has found a unique treasure in its stores: 55 barnacle specimens personally assembled and labeled by Charles Darwin. It all began, as so few things do but many should, with a 160-million-year-old Diplodocus skeleton. Misty is the skeleton of a Diplodocus longus discovered by the teenage sons of [...]

The Iliad Abides …

Nice little opEd  in the Irish Times by Helen Meany on the enduring appeal of the Iliad … here’s the first bit: Amid the remembrance of the first World War, a poignant detail emerges. Many soldiers went to the Western Front carrying a copy of Homer’s Iliad. One soldier, Patrick Shaw-Stewart, inscribed a poem of […]

Victorian railway flying arches saved and reinstalled

The Chorley Flying Arches are 16 flying buttress arches built in 1841 on the Bolton & Preston railway (opened in 1843) a mile and a half northwest of Chorley Station in Lancashire. These rare architectural features were used to brace the high retaining walls on either side of the cut. Scottish civil engineer Alexander James [...]

August 21 at Amphipolis ~ From the Ministry of Culture

HUGE tip o’ the pileus to Peggy Ringa (on facebook) for pointing me to the Ministry’s press releases. Here’s today’s activity in Greek (skinny to follow): ???????????? ?? ??????????? ???????? ??? ?????? ???????, ???? ????? ????? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ???????????? ??? ???????? ???????????, ???? ????????. ??????, ??????????????, ?? ???? ???????, ?????? ?? ????? ?????????? […]

This Day in Ancient History:

ante diem xii kalendas septembres Consualia — festival involving games/chariot races in honour of Consus and other assorted divinities; one of the races apparently featured chariots pulled by mules 753 B.C.(?) – rape of the Sabine women (which traditionally happened during the celebration of the above)

Rethinking Achilles and PTSD

From Manchester Metropolitan University comes a challenge to Dr Jonathan Shay’s work: AN HISTORIAN from Manchester Metropolitan University has refuted one of the most long-standing theories about the link between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Ancient Greece. Show More Summary

Wealth of pottery found in Corinth tomb

An ancient tomb in Corinth has been found with an impressive collection of pottery. The tomb dates to between 800 and 760 B.C., very early in the city’s history. There’s evidence of settlement in Corinth as early as 6,500 B.C., but there appears to have been a significant loss of population from 2,500 B.C. until [...]

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