April 24, 2015

3:29 PM | Classic Story, A City Corpse Meets a Country Corpse
I’ve been indulging in a little HGTV this week as a way to recover from post-conference exhaustion. I know that shows like House Hunters aren’t real- they already have bought […]

Redfern, R., DeWitte, S., Pearce, J., Hamlin, C. & Dinwiddy, K. (2015). Urban-rural differences in Roman Dorset, England: A bioarchaeological perspective on Roman settlements, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 157 (1) 107-120. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22693

1:18 PM | Rare Bronze Owl Brooch Found on Danish Island
The striking bronze, enamel and glass brooch dates back to the Iron Age.
12:20 PM | Young Autists Next Door
My house is near an LSS housing unit. Lagen om stöd och service till vissa funktionshindrade, “The Law of Support and Service for Certain Disabled People”, mainly caters to the needs of people with autism and the like. In 6½ years on Boat Hill, the young people living there have never caused us any trouble…

April 23, 2015

5:19 AM | Gun Stash Suddenly Unavailable
A colleague of mine has left contract archaeology to work for the police as a civil utredare, that is, someone with a university degree who works on crime cases despite not being a policeperson. He told me a pretty neat story about Gubbligan, the Old Man’s Gang. The OMG were three professional bank robbers who…

April 22, 2015

9:15 PM | Bones - Season 10, Episode 14 (Review)
The Putter in the RoughEpisode SummaryA dude tries to kill himself by jumping off a parking garage but stops when he sees a dead body on a grate below.  I guess the parking garage is somehow affiliated with the federal government, because why else would the FBI be called in for this?  Brennan goes to the scene to check out the body; a large part of the frontal bone is missing and the remains have been outside for about a week according to Hodgins.  Brennan mentions the "slanted […]
2:07 PM | SAA2015: Bioarchaeology and Mortuary Archaeology of Europe
This past week, I’ve been at the Society for American Archaeology meeting in San Francisco, CA. Sadly, many of the interesting mortuary and bioarchaeology sessions overlapped with one another so […]
12:58 PM | A Brief Look at a DNA Analysis of Ancient Dogs of the Americas
  Quite a while I wrote a couple of posts about the domestication of dogs including one about archaeological evidence and the origins of this domestication. Recently I came across an article that completed a DNA analysis of ancient dogs of the Americas (Witt et al. 2015). This study investigated the genomes of canine remains […]
12:20 PM | Dendro Dissidents
Afternoon tea with my friends Åke and Petra inspired me to re-run this post from March 2010. Professional dendrochronology is still almost entirely a black-box in-house endeavour, that is, it is still not great science. Field archaeologists: when you saw your wood samples for dendro, get two samples and send one to the amateur community! They…
4:00 AM | Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 24)
Roberto Cighetti is at it again.  I'm convinced that he just combs through Google's image results for "skeleton" until he finds these. ;-)This skeleton is (was?) on display at the Archaeological Museum of the Castle of Santo Anton, in A Coruña, Spain, and the caption notes that the skeleton is of a woman age 20-25 with some "negroid" traits from the Roman era in Spain. Sure thing.I started trying to write puns about "twisting my arm" and "pulling my leg," but I'm simply too […]

April 20, 2015

7:00 PM | Shipwrecked Champagne: Leathery, Still Pretty Good
Chemical and sensory analysis of 170-year-old champagne recovered from the Baltic Sea reveals hints of 19th-century wine-making practices.
1:36 PM | Evidence of Pre-Columbus Trade Found in Alaska
Bronze artifacts discovered in a 1,000-year-old house in Alaska suggest trade was occurring between East Asia and the New World centuries before the voyages of Columbus.

April 18, 2015

12:20 PM | Sketches of Boz
In the second novel-length third of Stephen Jarvis’s hefty Death and Mr Pickwick, artist and caricaturist Robert Seymour starts in earnest to put ideas together for the Pickwick Papers. Yes, that’s right: here (as maybe in reality) it is the illustrator who comes up with the concept for the book, but being dyslexic and proud…

April 17, 2015

4:30 PM | Man With Metal Detector Finds Roman-Era Grave
A man with a metal detector found an extraordinary 1,800-year-old Roman grave while he was searching a farmer's field in the United Kingdom.
2:45 PM | SAA2015
I am currently at the Society for American Archaeology in San Francisco, but when I return I’ll be sharing the new bioarchaeology and mortuary archaeology news with all you! Stay […]
1:48 PM | Weeks 43 & 44 Volunteering at The Royal College of Surgeons
Apparently my last post about volunteering at the College didn’t publish so I’m combining weeks 43 and 44 into one post. For both weeks I carried out the same task as I am still working on the Stack Collection, which contains small vial of deciduous teeth. I definitely getting better at identifying the teeth types […]
12:20 PM | April Pieces Of My Mind #1
Been wondering about psychopaths. Having empathy of course de-motivates healthy folks from murderous cruelty. But why would absence of empathy motivate murderous cruelty? Are most psychopaths in fact not interested in such acts? This is pretty neat: I bought a hat in London and wore it for a few days, and now that I’m back…

April 16, 2015

2:00 PM | Giving 3D Scanning a Porpoise: Faunal Remains from UWF's Collection
This evening at the Society for American Archaeology conference (6-8pm, Grand Ballroom Salon A for all you who are also here!), graduate student Mariana Zechini and I will be presenting a poster on our efforts to scan and print some of the interesting faunal remains in UWF's zooarchaeological collection.  Throughout the last academic year, Mariana has scanned, printed, and painted: sea turtle, porpoise, mallard duck, gopher tortoise, great blue heron, river otter, and gray fox.  These […]

April 15, 2015

4:52 PM | 18th-Century Sex Toy Found In Ancient Latrine
The phallic object is large, thick, made of leather filled with bristles, and has a wooden tip.
2:00 PM | Triumphs and Tribulations in Teaching (AAPA 2015 Poster Session)
During last month's American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference, I participated in a really interesting poster session on Triumphs and Tribulations in Teaching, organized by Laurie Kauffman and Jessica Westin.  We talked about the possibility of putting all the posters up on the web for wider dissemination following the conference, and I offered my blog as a platform for that. Following is the abstract for the session, as well as the titles and authors of each poster. […]
1:47 PM | Fornvännen’s Autumn Issue On-line
Today’s my 16th anniversary as editor of Fornvännen! Issue 2014:3 is now on-line on Open Access. Ole Thirup Kastholm on dugout canoes from before AD 1 on the Scandinavian peninsula. Ole Stilborg on Late Bronze Age pottery from Östergötland. Peter Tångeberg on recently uncovered Medieval murals in Kil church, Närke. Påvel Nicklasson on early 19th…
5:44 AM | A Day in the Life of Poo!
A day in the life of poo! So I absolutely need a cartoonist to do a follow of this fab comic from Newcastle Civil Engineering and Geosciences, on showing how useful poo in it's various forms is in archaeology! Such an under-appreciated source of information, ancient poo from both humans and animals has a whole lot to contribute to our understanding of diet, health, environment, and early animal management in the past. And not forgetting that animal dung was (and is) and important fuel use in […]

April 14, 2015

1:35 PM | Richard III May Have Hid His Scoliosis Until Death
Richard III suffered from a spine curving condition known as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, but he hid the condition from the public.
12:30 PM | Battered Remains of Medieval Knight Found in UK
Injuries suggest the man may have participated in a form of jousting called tourney.

April 13, 2015

2:49 PM | The arrogance of Physicists?
Following my problems with 56 as a convincing argument, Steven Thomson has some thoughtful comments one why physicists might have skills they can offer other fields. h/t ScienceSeeker.

April 12, 2015

9:05 PM | Who needs an osteologist? (Installment 23)
The ever-vigilant Robert Cighetti found yet another skeleton in need of an osteologist:As near as I can tell from the information at this link (in Italian), a small group of possibly amateur archaeologists (Gruppo Archeologico della Val Nure) organized an exhibition of local artifacts and skeletons from Vigolzone at a museum in Piacenza ("Alle origini di vicus ussoni: storia di un popolamento antico"). The three burials, which are Lombard in date (6th-7th c AD), were found in boxes and […]

April 10, 2015

3:24 PM | Ancient Tomb Reveals Man Sacrificed for Noblewoman's Burial
Far from being a romantic scene, the burial represent a human sacrifice in which the man was killed to be entombed with the woman.
9:27 AM | The Brontosaur may be coming back
Brontosaurus, thunder lizard, is an excellent name for a dinosaur, but fossils can have surprisingly fluid names. Lots of fossils have been named, but sometimes from incomplete skeletons, so the same species gets two names. When this happens the first...
3:40 AM | Bones - Season 10, Episode 13 (Review)
The Baker in the BitsEpisode SummaryA guy runs away from someone, straight into a blast zone, and is blown up. The remains are taken to the Jeffersonian, where Brennan determines it is one individual because of the lack of duplication of anatomical elements. According to the narrow width of the greater sciatic notch, Vaziri thinks the victim was male. The victim had a tattoo, and after rehydrating it, Angela is able to run it through the National Prisoner Tattoo Database and gets a match: […]

April 09, 2015

10:31 PM | Does history feel better when it has no connection to the past?
The BBC’s Stargazing LIVE recently showed how you could predict eclipses using Stonehenge. It’s true but also really boring because there’s next to no evidence for it. How convincing it is depends on how excited you are by the number...
7:29 PM | Oedd defnyddiwyd Côr y Cewri i ragfynegi eclipsau? — Trennydd
Was Stonehenge used to predict eclipses? Oedd e’n bosibl? Oedd. Hefyd, mae e’n bosibl fod codwyd Côr y Cewri gan estroniaid allfydol. Posibl ond dydy e ddim yn debygol. Was it possible? Yes. Also it’s possible that it was built...
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