I spent most of the day moping about the weather and reading an oldish (1899) book about Rome that I’ve used forever but never actually READ. So after a long walk late in the afternoon I watched Strictly Ballroom (1992) . . . after which Netflix suggested Flashdance. Yes, I watched Flashdance (1983). Michael Nouri was so young!
When the crusaders of the Order of St John first built a 35-latrine toilet complex in the medieval city of Acre in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, they could scarcely have considered that researchers would be sifting through its contents 900 years later. Yet the 13th-century latrine soil is providing another chapter in understanding the long history of our relationship with intestinal parasites.
Interesting archaeology – from Medievalists.net.
This interesting article suggests that isolation and cultural dissonance prompted the Vikings to abandon Greenland – not privation, disease, and starvation. Jared Diamond is interesting, but that doesn’t make him always right.
The article points out that archaeological analyses of skeletons of both man and beast show interesting things – there was not a lot of disease – no more than in Iceland. The Vikings made a swift transition to eating seals. They didn’t try very hard to preserve their herd animals.
So how old is cheese? I never cease to be thrilled by what we have learned to do – archaeologists have analyzed the lipids trapped in ceramic sieves to figure out that farmers were processing milk into cheese in what is now Poland 7000 years ago! As a dedicated cheese and yogurt eater, I’m grateful for the lactose mutation.
Look what a 4 year old can find with a metal detector – if he lives in Essex: Christmas-themed medieval stuff, now on display at the British Museum.
And guess who will be teaching in Rome Spring of 2014?
By the way, read the whole article. Skylights are ALWAYS a problem. Always. If an architect suggests skylights, fire him. If you’ve always wanted skylights, you’re wrong.
A previously unknown Constantinian basilica has recently been excavated in Sofia, Bulgaria. No meaningful photos at link. If I hadn’t already made and distributed the take-home final I would turn this into a question for Arth 270: Art and Architecture of the First Christian Millennium. Something like:
The deputy mayor would like the discovery of this substantial basilica to mean that Serdica (Roman Sofia, Bulgaria) was in the running with Byzantion to be Constantine’s Nova Roma. Examining our list of the buildings Constantine did build while turning Byzantion into Constantinopolis (and don’t forget the walls!), evaluate this claim.
Oh well, lucky them!
This is encouraging. The Dallas Museum of Art is returning looted art to Turkey even before the Turkish government asked for it (click and see – there’s an ok photograph of the mosaic in question). Compare that to the Met, which is still stonewalling. In exchange, Dallas hopes to get some good loan materials. I hadn’t noticed that Max Anderson is now the director at Dallas – his first director position was at Emory’s Carlos Museum.
When Pompeii shows up in my news feed the pictures are almost never good.
Last week I was talking to the colleagues who are leading the Rome program this spring about Herculaneum vs. Pompeii. This kind of mess is part of what helped me decide to take the 2011 crew to Herculaneum. Pompeii is too big to take care of properly.
New finds under the Temple of Anubis in Saqqara. Sorry that it’s video – you can click for the transcript. The ancient Egyptians may have been sacrificing and mummifying new born puppies, too.
Nice aerial photo of a big feasting hall excavated in Kent – and a tease that, like at Yeavering in Northumbria, there may be more buildings in a complex.
I know that I sometimes complain because people in England with metal detectors find such interesting stuff.
Can’t complain about this American find.
Quiet recluse turns out to be rich. Based on the weight of the gold, $7 million rich. But lots of the pieces are old, so the value may go up.
In 1898 a steamship was scrapped by intentional explosion in the middle of Seneca Lake — that I had read about. But I had never read the Remember the Maine! connection! That is all kinds of coolness. Someone has just found its remains off Kashong Point, not far south of Geneva.
Kennard said the Onondaga was one of the largest steamships operating anywhere in the United States during the Civil War, when it was used to transport Union troops down the lake to Watkins Glen on their way to Elmira and points south.
The ship was taken out of service in 1895, Kennard said, and when it was decided three years later to scrap it, someone had the idea to emulate the destruction of the USS Maine, the battleship that blew up in Havana’s harbor under mysterious circumstances earlier in 1898 and inflamed public sentiment against Spain during the Spanish-American War.
One of those historical interests that comes for me out of growing up in Chattanooga is the De Soto expedition of 1539-43 — according to some versions, they wandered through the Chattanooga area (though they might have passed over to the east a bit). Archaeologists in Florida have found what they are pretty sure is a stopping place – and a Spanish mission built about 50 years later across a creek.
Interesting story about Sliasthorp, the Viking town from which the Danewerk was probably planned and built. There’s an interesting section at the bottom of the main article about how the archaeologist identified the site.
Once again, archaeology undermines the doubts of historians.