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Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Top Archaeology and Anthropology Posts in Review

I thought I would take some time to reflect on another year gone by. This next semester, I'll be completing my Anthropology degree. I have made the ultimate decision to get away from the warm, muggy days and palm trees of Florida and turn in my flip flops for some snow boots. That's right Ancient Diggers, the Ancient Digger is moving to the windy city.

It's taken quite some time to decide to go back up north, but I do miss it. The change of seasons and the culture is something I crave. Just think about the new stories and cultural events I'll be able to share with all of you.

I'd like to say thank you for another amazing year of support. You've followed me from the beginning of anthropology school to the bittersweet end in May when I graduate. I've received numerous emails this year from archaeology and anthropology students expressing thanks, and I've also had the privilege of reviewing several scholarly books such as Unveiling the Kings of Israel and the Histories of Peirene. I hope to keep it just as interesting over the next year, and I do hope, that all of you continue to send me feedback about making Ancient Digger as good as it deserves to be.

In Ancient Digger fashion I'd like to feature the top 20 stories of 2011, featured here on Ancient Digger.
  1. Top Graduate Schools, Universities, and Colleges for Archaeology and Anthropology --I have compiled several lists in order to help you determine the best archaeology colleges and universities with the best programs for archaeology, as well as the top undergraduate colleges, universities and school programs for anthropology and archaeology.
  2. The Mystery of the Pyramids Revealed in Coral Castle--Edward charged visitors 10 cents to tour the property, and while he guided them along their journey, allowed them to ask him questions about his Coral Castle. On many occasions, he would tell tourists that his castle was easy to build, if you know how to do it. His answers were vague and his demeanor bizarre, believing he held the secrets to the pyramids and he would bring them to his deathbed.
  3. Planes used during World War I--Although Kitty Hawk North Carolina would become home to the first manned flight of human kind, the Germans would take these physical parameters into a whole new realm. As the skies offered another battlefield in which to kill and mame, countries that did not embrace this new arena were quickly left behind.
  4. The Wilderness and Scenery of Fossil Springs in Arizona--This video of Fossil Springs in Arizona has a whole Journey to the Center of the Earth vibe. Diving off the rocky cliffs and swimming up and under this amazing geological wonder makes me really appreciate the natural processes of the earth.
  5. The Best Schools For Nautical, Maritime, and Underwater Archaeology in the US--Typically nautical, maritime, and underwater archaeologists study artifacts in ocean or sea environments. However, specialization usually doesn't occur until graduate school after the student has received a BS in Anthropology.
  6. Greek Architecture--The Greeks were gifted, being situated in an area with the highest quality stone. Of course the buildings that were derived from these stones were free of bronzed sculptures, polished monuments, and shrines painted with vivid colors.
  7. U-boats after World War II--Near the end of World War II, Germany took a direct approach to hide and even completely destroy its fleet of U-boats before their surrender to the allies. Operation Deadlight was the code name for the destruction of more than 121 U-boats after World War II in abysmal water off Lisahally, Northern Ireland or Loch Ryan, Scotland in late 1945 and early 1946. The remaining 145 U- boats used during World War II were surrendered to the allies.
  8. 14 Ancient Wonders of the World --**It’s true, the ancient wonders of the world list is always being updated as new modern marvels rival ancient architecture. New steel bridges and skyscrapers reaching amazing heights are quite an accomplishment. Yet I still believe that the ancient structures which were originally included in the world wonder’s list still deserve a spot there.
  9. Characteristics of Renaissance Art And Artists--Renaissance art has been characterized as an individualistic approach to humanism, where an eye of an artist interprets what they see everyday. The interpretations may have been realistically based and the emphasis on naturalism was used to persuade onlookers that an object was real-both living and breathing in the eyes of the artist. The standards reflected a focus of the human form and the social, political, and religious aspects of the time.
  10. Brother-Sister and Father-Daughter Marriage in Ancient Egypt--I recently read an article by Russell Middleton titled "Brother-Sister and Father-Daughter Marriage in Ancient Egypt". Upon studying the inner workings of Egypt and the Mesopotamian kings, I stumbled upon this piece and thought I would share the main points. 
  11. Legacy of Alexander the Great--Alexander the Great assumed throne after his father Philip II of Macedonia was assassinated in 336 BC. Alexander had the philosophical ideals of Aristotle and possessed experience as a warrior which ultimately prepared him to conquer the known world.
  12. Best Graduate Schools for Classical Archaeology--Classical archaeology is a deeply interesting subject that has enchanted researchers and students for ages. Quite simply, it is the study of archaeological excavations from Ancient Greece and Rome. However, some only consider it to be the study of the Roman and Athenian civilizations, but it can include other subjects such as Minoan and Crete civilizations.
  13. 5 Archaeological Sites That Changed The Face of History--To some, archaeology is merely the study of past worlds. Some may say that sifting through broken remains of decimated cities and exploring relics of forgotten peoples only provides us with interesting (and pointless) souvenirs from a time now inconsequential. While these artifacts and architectures are mere glimpses of the past, archeology provides us with a lens into what has been and could be.
  14. Punic Wars--Carthage was the richest state in the area, and with the influx of Carthaginians in Sicily, this made the Romans apprehensive about Carthaginian encroachment on the Italian coast. In 264, mutual suspicions drove the two powers into a struggle for the western Mediterranean. This ultimately led to the first Punic War in 264 BC, the Second Punic War with Hannibal Barca which was provoked by the alliance made with Rome and Carthage, and the Third Punic War which was caused by the broken peace treaty Carthage had made with Rome.
  15. 30 Reasons Why You Should Become An Archaeologist--Sometimes it’s not about the school, money, or where you’ll move your family after you graduate. It takes a special individual to do what archaeologists do, and there are some perks and not so nice aspects of the field, but you have to be willing to sacrifice.
  16. Dinosaur Exbibits in America--One of my first recollections of a dinosaur exhibit has to be the American Museum of Natural History when I was a child. Of course, you can never forget the large whale floating above your head as you peruse the natural history that surrounds you on every side, but something just draws you in to the dinosaur exhibit. I think this is the case with many natural history museums. It's a childlike fantasy to come face to face with one of these dinosaurs, and as adults, we can still understand the fascination, as we peer into the eyes bones of these massive creatures.
  17. History of the Submarine and the Launching of the German U-boat Fleet--In 1620, Cornelius Drebbel, a Dutch inventor working for the English Royal Navy, tested the first submarine on the Thames River in England. Between 1620 and 1624 Drebbel successfully built and tested two more submarines, each one bigger than the last.
  18. How Did America Cope with the Great Depression?--A major cause of the pro-longed Great Depression was unemployment, which was largely due to the government and the market. The government’s resolution was a deflationary policy of balance budgets, which included lower wages and raising tariffs to exclude other countries goods from home markets. However, this served only to worsen the economic crisis and create mass discontent within the European market.
  19. Roman Achievements in Law and Engineering--Although the Romans had depended greatly on the ideals of the Greeks when adopting their art and literature, they still developed some of the most innovative of inventions that succeeded Western Civilization. The evolution of Roman law which brought about the idea of a systematic principle for justification, the invention of roads allowed for easier transit for soldiers and citizens, as well as the construction of Roman bridges that still stand today.
  20. Mayan Civilizations-the Evolution--The Mayan culture may just be one of the most dynamic representations of rich cultural heritage the world has ever seen. With the civilization came invention, and although advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya, their civilization fully developed them. 

Honorable Mentions

    • Petra and the Bible--The highly publicized area of Petra has more significance than its modern-day use as a beautiful tourist location that many refer to as the rock-built “rose red” city. Although famously portrayed in such movies as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Arabian Nights, and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, the red city has deep roots in Biblical archaeology.
    • A Cursed Tomb and Colin’s Mummy--Using complicated tools to open the tomb and a strict scientific approach, the mummy is unleashed. Who knew the Egyptians had cured baldness or that mummies were from Canada!
    • Petoskey Stones Are Archaeological Artifacts--The Petoskey Stone is just one example of how sea life through history, captured in fossilized form, can provide insight into archaeological history. More specifically, Native Indian trade and tool making.
    • Best Schools For Nautical, Maritime, and Underwater Archaeology in the US--Typically nautical, maritime, and underwater archaeologists study artifacts in ocean or sea environments. However, specialization usually doesn't occur until graduate school after the student has received a BS in Anthropology.
    • US Archaeology and Anthropology Schools and their Disciplines--created this comprehensive list of Archaeology and Anthropology Schools in the United States and their Disciplines to assist students looking into the fields of anthropology and archaeology.


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