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Monday, March 18, 2013

Archaeology News: March 19, 2013

Nina Pinta Replica Ships to dock at Fishermen's Village Marina

On Friday March 29th, the ‘Pinta’ and the ‘Nina’, replicas of Columbus’ ships will open in Punta Gorda. The ships will be docked at Fishermen’s Village Marina, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, until their departure early Thursday morning April 4th.

The ‘Nina’ was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. Archaeology magazine called the ship “the most historically correct Columbus replica ever built.” The ‘Pinta’ was recently built in Brazil to accompany the ‘Nina’ on all of her travels. She is a larger version of the archetypal caravel. Historians consider the caravel the Space Shuttle of the fifteenth century.

Thieves steal artifacts from Jbeil archaeology museum

Thieves broke into Jbeil archaeological museum and stole 30 small artifacts in a daring overnight raid in the town of Jbeil Monday, the National News Agency reported. Local and government officials, including Culture Minister Gaby Layoun, arrived at the museum to inspect the crime scene as a police forensics team began work on extracting fingerprints to identify the perpetrators. The artifacts were stolen by thieves overnight and were easily carried out of the museum, Layoun said in a statement after visiting Jbeil earlier in the day.

Digital Archaeology: 3D Modeling Reveals Ancient Artifacts

Every archaeological site contains a wealth of information about the past, and context is key. A knife found by a stone hearth tells a different story than one alongside a human skeleton. Unfortunately, excavating the site to reveal the story also destroys it. Detailed records are the only way archaeologists can keep archaeology from erasing the past rather than preserving it. Today, they're using 3D modeling tech to preserve the information found in a site, find new places to dig, or create models of ancient artifacts via 3D printing.

Ancient stone tools show the pace of remarkable technological enhancements over time

Stone Age man's gradual improvement in tool development, particularly in crafting stone handaxes, is providing insight into the likely mental advances these early humans made a million years ago. Better tools make for better hunting, and better tools come from more sophisticated thought processes. Close analysis of bits of chipped and flaked stone from across Ethiopia is helping scientists crack the code of how these early humans thought over time.

Museums and Popes

On top of the Capitoline Hill in Rome are a group of art and archaeological museums known as the Capitoline Museums (Musei Capitolini). While the plan for the layout of the museums was the work of Michelangelo Buanarroti in 1536, the museums actually began in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a collection of ancient bronzes to the people of Rome. The bronzes all had great symbolic value to Rome and its history. The collection was located on Capitoline Hill and is often credited as the oldest public collection of art in the world.

US 'hair archaeologist' recreates coiffures of antiquity

By day, Janet Stephens cuts and colors at a hair salon. By night, she is an amateur archaeologist, meticulously recreating hairstyles dating back to the times of Roman antiquity. Stephens, 54, who has worked as a hairdresser for more than two decades, recreates updos from the Roman era at her home in Baltimore, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Washington, DC. She combines her vocation as hairdresser with her love of archaeology, in the process revealing the secrets of how women wore their hair in ancient times.

An Archaeologist Reviews Tomb Raider

This past week I purchased the Tomb Raider reboot. Reboots are all the rage now: Batman, Superman, Ninja Turtles, Star Trek, James Bond; half the stuff I grew up liking as a kid is being modernized. Lara Croft was one character who desperately needed an overhaul. The campy, one dimensional heroine of 1996’s original Tomb Raider left much to be desired. Originally, Lara was a stoic, crack shot, capable of outrageous gymnastic maneuvers despite her cartoonishly plump mammaries. She was shallow and uninteresting; more an object of male fantasy than of female empowerment. But her adventures were fun. And even while the past three games (Legend, Underworld, and Anniversary) have taken steps to add breadth and depth to her being, it still felt as though pieces were missing.

Cirencester Roman cockerel 'best find' in 40 years

A restored Roman cockerel figurine is the best result from a Cirencester dig in decades, archaeologists have said. The enamelled object, which dates back as far as AD100, was unearthed during a dig in 2011 at a Roman burial site in the town. It has now returned from conservation work and finders Cotswold Archaeology said it "looks absolutely fantastic".

Disputed finds put humans in South America 22,000 years ago

Stone tools unearthed at a Brazilian rock-shelter may date to as early as 22,000 years ago. Their discovery has rekindled debate about whether ancient people reached the Americas long before the famed Clovis hunters spread through parts of North America around 13,000 years ago.

Rail dig may reveal Black Death graves

Archaeologists said on March 15 they had found a graveyard during excavations for a rail project in London which might hold the remains of some 50,000 people killed by the “Black Death” plague more than 650 years ago. Thirteen skeletons laid out in two neat rows were discovered 2.5 meters below the road in the Farringdon area of central London by researchers working on the 16 billion pound ($24 billion) Crossrail project.


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