Archaeology Weekly Roundup!

§ May 4th, 2012 § Filed under Archaeology in the News, ASOR § Tagged archaeology in the news § No Comments

A great new tool, ORBIS expresses Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.

Evidence that a Florentine merchant house financed the earliest English voyages to North America, has been published on-line in the academic journal Historical Research.

The website Open Context is a free, open access resource for the electronic publication of primary field research from archaeology and related disciplines.

A team led by Spanish scientists has interpreted records written in Iraq by Arabic historians for the first time and has made a chronology of climatic events from the year 816 to 1009, when cold waves and snow were normal.

Satellite images have revealed that a network of ancient rivers once coursed their way through the sand of the Arabian Desert, leading scientists to believe that the region experienced wetter periods in the past.

An analysis of 5,000-year-old DNA taken from the Stone Age remains of four humans excavated in Sweden is helping researchers understand how agriculture spread throughout Europe long ago. According to Pontus Skoglund from Uppsala University in Sweden and colleagues, the practice of farming appears to have moved with migrants from southern to northern Europe.

To the east of the famous Isis temple on the island of Philae in Upper Egypt, workers and archaeologists are busy at work. They are cleaning and restoring the massive stone blocks that once formed the temple of Hathor, which is being rebuilt and restored in order to be officially inaugurated next month.


Temple of Hathor [Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As part of the Maryland’s efforts to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812,  plans are underway to excavate a shipwreck they believe to be the U.S.S. Scorpion, a scuttled warship from the War of 1812.

Dirty pages of centuries-old books have revealed the reading habits along with the fears, desires and humanity of medieval Europeans, suggesting that they were as self-interested and afraid of illness as people are today.

On a street corner, under a garbage dump, at a construction site — pre-Inca archeological sites abound in Lima, where the ruins of hundreds of sacred places, or “huacas”, are at the mercy of urban growth and public indifference.

More than 200 ancient fortresses dating to the Ming dynasty have been found in a mountainous region in northern China. The fortresses were discovered in the Qinling mountains in Shaanxi province during the recent third national cultural relic survey.

It was one of the bloodiest battles of the Thirty Years’ War, but until recently there was no trace of those who died there. Now the excavation of a mass grave is shedding light on the Battle of Lützen.

“Reading the bones” is being given a new twist for a group of people who lived on the Caribbean island of Antigua more than 200 years ago using the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron at the University of Saskatchewan.

A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explores archaeology’s place as a social science, incorporating ideas and methods from other sciences and social sciences to understand the past.

Around 2,900 years ago, an ancient Egyptian man, likely in his 20s, passed away after suffering from a rare, cancerlike disease that may also have left him with a type of diabetes, x-rays of his mummy show.

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