Links from Week 20

Katy Meyers has another excellent post at Bones Don’t Lie. To Exhume or Let Rest in Peace This relates to two burials. The first is the Leatherman, who I had never heard of and is a fascinating topic in his own right. The other is the exhumation of the Mona Lisa model. My first reaction to the Mona Lisa dig was “I’d hate to be the artist under pressure to produce a facial reconstruction”. When I found out that was the purpose of the dig I was then baffled as to why. Will the result show that Leonardo Da Vinci was actually an terrible artist and all his paintings are rubbish? My guess is examination of the skull will reveal that the enigmatic smile was more of a toothy grin.

NewMuseumKat at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology blogs about The Roman Britain & Ur Collections.

Michael E. Smith writes Why Anthropology is too Narrow an Intellectual Context for Archaeology. It’s not an argument you get much in the UK, so from my point of view it’s an interesting insight into how Americans view the past in the USA.

From Powered By Osteons comes news of the 9,000-year-old La Jolla Fisherman and -woman. UC San Diego is caught up in a rumpus over whether bones discovered while constructing the university’s President’s house should be studied or given to native Americans.

@archasa posts her slideshare presentation on Research Blogging which is relevant to archaeobloggers.

I spent ages reading this post on Plasauduon, Powys very badly as my Welsh is terrible. In a related discovery Heritage of Wales have also blogged in English on Plasauduon, Powys – Architecture 3D Visualisation Fly Through Animation.

Tropical Paradise, but who needs that?Mick Morrison has photos of his recent fieldtrip to Weipa in Far North Queensland. It takes more than blue skies and tropical seas and a fascinating archaeological project to make me jealous.

Via @nzarchaeology comes the bad news Historic Chatham Islands carvings defaced in the NZ Herald. It’s probably intended as a cultural assault according to the report.

Also from the NZ Herald comes this thought provoking column Brian Rudman: Te Papa holds ghoulish relics too. It’s a comment on the ethics of museums pursuing repatriation of some human remains while holding on to others.

Bad news for hungry archaeologists. The Newcastle Herald (Australia) has the headline 6500-year-old heritage junked and if that’s not bad enough, they’ve been stuck with a KFC outlet too.

The ever impressive CyArk is plugging their Tikal Multimedia Gallery and it’s well worth a visit.

This week’s stunning archaeological site threatened by a dam is are the Basha-Diamer carving in Pakistan. I didn’t know about these, but sadly it looks like I’ll have plenty of people to share my ignorance with.

Scots Gaelic speakers should catch Talamh Trocair: Arc-eòlas coimhearsnachd before Tuesday. It’s from BBC Alba and it’s on the iPlayer. I don’t know if this is available outside the UK. It could be BBC Alba want to protect the commercial rights so that both Scots Gaelic speakers outside the UK have to pay to watch. English speakers can follow the programme on Community Archaeology with subtitles.

Art Daily reports: Pre-Hispanic Cities Reproduced the Narration of the "Sacred Mountain" with Construction of Great Temples which explains what the story is about in the title.

You can found out more about the History of Archaeology at Colonial Williamsburg. I don’t have a note saying where I got that from, so I’ll guess it’s via @brockter.

The Institute for Archaeologists now have an Archives special interest group.

Chasing Aphrodite is a blog to go with the book of the same name reports on the ceremony officially inaugurating the Getty’s controversial statue of Aphrodite in its new museum home in Aidone. The photo does no justice to how amazingly steep, narrow and full the streets are in Aidone, which is the most terrifying place I’ve driven through.

Rollright Stones: aaw, come on! The Heritage Journal is unimpressed by offerings at the Rollright Stones.

An Ancient Greek City Uncovered in Russia is a reminder of how far the ancient Greeks lived away from the country we call Greece.

One of the strangest world’s oldest claims comes from North Carolina with the news that Blackbeard Ship Discovery May be world’s oldest. I thought it was an odd claim as I’ve seen plenty of older ships, but this is the oldest shipwreck in the world that’s off NC’s coast. There may be older shipwrecks in the world, but they’re not off NC’s coast and therefore presumably don’t count.

#Archaeology and #SocialMedia at #ACRNCASPAR

qr codeYesterday the CASPAR, the Centre for Audio-Visual Study and Practice in Archaeology and the Archaeology and Communication Research Network held a workshop at UCL’s Institute for Archaeology. The workshop was hashtagged on Twitter as #ACRNCASPAR and it’s been blogged by Daniel Pett. Below is the Storified collection of tweets by @jessogden.

The embed is proving temperamental at the moment, so if it doesn’t appear below, reload the page.

Links from Week 19

Colleen Morgan reports on the TAG conference session Graffiti and the Archaeology of the Contemporary. It looks like it could have been one of the few conferences where the audience were more nervous than the speakers. She also participated in another innovative session on archaeological photography.

Donald Johanson and Richard Leakey were sharing a stage for the first time in 30 years. The legends wowed the crowd with the classics “We all come from Africa” and “Let’s look at Lucy”. If ogling a three million old ancestor doesn’t send a shiver down your spine then you’re clearly in need of a soul transplant. The Scientific American page uses Storify. Does anyone want to cover Twitter hashtags and Storify in a couple of blog posts?

At Powered by Osteons, Kristina Killgrove has news about Female Sacrificial Slaves. If you prefer your sacrificial slaves to be male, she can cater for that too. It includes some interesting comments on problems communicating between archaeologists in different regions.

Heritage Action look at the possibility that this year might be the last mass opening of Stonehenge at the Summer Solstice.

NUI Galway now has an Archaeological Theory blog. They open with a look at the Dover Boat. (h/t @diggingthedirt)

Antonine Baths at Carthage
Antonine Baths at Carthage. Photo by Graham Claytor.

The ISAW-NYU has been releasing photos from Carthage with a Creative Commons Licence. This one is the Antonine Baths with a Creative Commons BY licence, by Graham Claytor.

The AAA are looking for blog columnists. The work is monthly and based around the themes: Teaching Strategies, Field Notes, Multimedia Matters, Media Notes, Review Roundups. They’re open to other possibilities.

As a follow up to the story that Neanderthals may have died out earlier than thought, comes news that Neanderthals may have died out later than thought, thanks to a paper published this week in Science. (h/t @BoneGirlPhD) John Hawks has the key details from that paper blogged at his site.

Quite a few people linked to the story that Yale is releasing a mountain of digital images for free, and rightly so. It looks potentially very exciting, but I can’t tell as the site seems to be overwhelmed by lots of other visitors who think it also looks exciting too.

Sexy Archaeology has the latest edition of Four Stone Hearth.

Via @paregorios, Forty two sites are being considered for UNESCO’s World Heritage List in June. Some notable candidates are Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe (Sudan), Yapese Stone Money Sites in Palau and Yap, which would be Micronesia’s first listing and the Coffee Cultural Landscape (Colombia).

Paris for Perverts by Tony Perottet looks at the brothels of La Belle Époque from the late 19th century to the Great War as heritage site. Historical titillation, or a chance to give a voice to a profession that is usually ignored by polite society? (h/t @astrojenny)

CNN has an interview with Sada Mire, who’s examining the rock art of Somaliland. (h/t @JenniferLockett)

Undergraduates who are probably from the University of York (UK – not York University CA), have been doing a grand job at Harewood House near Leeds. The dig has relevance beyond West Yorkshire, as the fortunes of the Lascelles who built the house were based on sugar plantations in the Caribbean.

Alan Baumler reviews Francis Fukuyama’s new book The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution at Frog in a Well China.

[A]ll in all I would say the book was not worth the money, despite all the promises of China discussions in the Table of Contents. Reading this book will not help you understand China better. I’m pretty sure it will not help you understand Europe better. If you are looking for something that can explain everything in general but nothing in specific, this may be the book for you.

Ouch! If you have a cruel streak you’ll be amused reading the whole thing.

Intelligent Life has a lengthy popular article on the overlooked artistic and archaeological treasures of Kimberley, Australia. Europeans convinced that there is little of interest in Australia should pay careful attention to the dates. The depth of culture is extraordinary. (h/t @astrojenny)

View Kimberley in a larger map


I’m putting together a collection of links for an experiment tomorrow. I’ll see what the reaction is before I do it again. If ma.gnolia were still active then it would be easy to post, but adding the links by hand is a bit more of a chore. A tool that is making it a bit easier though is looks at your Twitter feed and sees what links you’re posting or re-tweeting. It also looks for links in tweets that you mark as a favourite. It then follows the links to see what the page is and stores the links for you. If you’ve hash-tagged the tweet then that hashtag becomes a tag in in action in action

You can also add links from Facebook accounts, account and RSS feeds. This might be a slight concern for some people. In my case Twitter and are public and Facebook I largely keep private. Not only can you see your own links, but it’s possible to follow other people’s accounts and for other people to follow you. So if you’re adding links from private accounts into, you might want to make your account private too.

The reason I’m using is that it follows the places where I’m most likely to leave links at the moment. It’s also forgettable – and that’s a good thing. I could store links in or send links to a twitter account to keep track of them, but this often takes an effort. Whatever it is that I do end up doing there’s a good chance I’m tracking it with and I don’t consciously have to remember to update that account too to keep up to date with my links. I don’t know how easy it will be to search as the number of links grow, but for now it’s doing the job of tracking what I’m looking at well and it makes it much easier to scoot back and pull the links out for posts like tomorrow’s.