Archaeology

The oldest submerged town in the world is about to give up its secrets — with the help of equipment that could revolutionise underwater archaeology.

The ancient town of Pavlopetri lies in three to four metres of water just off the coast of southern Laconia in Greece. The ruins date from at least 2800 BC through to intact buildings, courtyards, streets, chamber tombs and some thirty-seven cist graves which are thought to belong to the Mycenaean period (c.1680-1180 BC). This Bronze Age phase of Greece provides the historical setting for much Ancient Greek literature and myth, including Homer’s Age of Heroes.



A recent find has archaeologists and pet-lovers equally excited. How much do you love your little Fido? Enough to wrap him in linen and take him with you?  I'm not thinking summer vacation here but something more along the lines of Valhalla. That is exactly what happened to an Egyptian puppy some 2,300 years ago.



Kidding, Fresh Kokanee: The Pathways of Salmon just seemed so bland. Just testing out a wee hypothesis. Human with an opposable thumb and all that? Still reading this? Good.

Thanks for that commercial break. And now back to Kokanee.

A trove of Benjamin Franklin letters has turned up in the British Library. Discovered by University of California, San Diego professor Alan Houston, the letters are copies of correspondence that hasn't been seen in more than 250 years. 

All dating from the spring and summer of 1755, the 47 letters by, to and about Franklin are in the hand of one Thomas Birch, a contemporary of Franklin's who was a prodigious – almost inveterate – compiler and transcriber of historical documents.   They are being published for the first time in the April issue of the William and Mary Quarterly
A project supported by the Austrian Science Fund FWF wants to uncover the history, significance and precise origins of Islamic art contained in Viennese art collections; comprehensive work to reconstruct the background of several Ottoman flags has already been carried out with impressive results.

Traces of the era of the Turkish wars - such as the tradition of the Vienna coffee house and the Ring boulevard that encircles the city centre - are still evident today in the day-to-day culture and street layout of the Austrian capital. The Turkish sieges of Vienna (16th/17th century) led to an expansion of the city's fortifications and heralded the introduction of coffee.

If Van Helsing were poking around Transylvania these days, chances are he'd be more likely to be looking for the decaying remains of 35,000 year old humans than blood drinking vampires.  Romania's dark history extends back way past the days of Vlad.  It seems vampires and ghouls aside, something darker and much more interesting lurks in that eastern belly.  I travelled to Transylvania last year and spent some time in Cluj, the newly minted anthro-capital of Romania. I was lucky enough to brush shoulders and prep tools with paleoanthropologists working on a new find that changes what we know about ear

Photograph property of John HoyteWhat did you do on your summer vacation?  Go to the beach?  Space camp?  Visit grandma?  In 1959, Cambridge engineering student John Hoyte and friends hiked across the Alps with Jumbo the elephant.
Until a few months ago, the only connection that I was aware of between archaeology and Lego was the fact that I like both of them. But apparently other people do too.

I recently played the Lego: Indiana Jones game for Wii. The point of the game is to re-enact all three classic Indiana Jones movies (please, the Crystal Skull belongs in the same place as the Star Wars episodes 1-3: in a galaxy far, far away, or in a tomb deep underground where no one can see them). Playing Lego Indiana Jones with a bunch of archaeologists is even more fun than watching the movies with a bunch of archaeologists.

In the game you get to re-live all your favourite parts of the movie, and the cinematic scenes are sometimes shot for shot reconstructions:

It's spring cleaning time, and while most of us are thinking of packing a way our winter linens and airing out our summer clothes, a historian at the Vatican has decided to drag out another mouldering old bit of cloth to dangle before u

The Archaeological Institute of America's fundraising gala this year is celebrating the 130th anniversary of the Institute, and the 60th anniversary of their publication, Archaeology magazine. And boy are they celebrating. 

Here's how they describe it: 
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