December 19, 2014

4:58 PM | Greek Mystery Tomb Occupant to Be Revealed Soon
Details about a skeleton found in a mysterious Greek tomb, which may be Alexander the Great's mother, will be revealed next month. Continue reading →

December 18, 2014

2:45 PM | Million-Mummy Cemetery Unearthed in Egypt
The remains of a child from more than 1,500 years ago were found among remains dating to the time when the Roman or Byzantine Empire ruled Egypt.
1:51 PM | Happy Holidays: Gifts for the Deceased in Anglo-Saxon England
The holiday season is upon us, and that means that many of us are thinking about gifts. As I’ve been wrapping the presents I’ve bought for my family, I’ve been […]

King, J. (2004). Grave-Goods as Gifts in Early Saxon Burials (ca. AD 450-600), Journal of Social Archaeology, 4 (2) 214-238. DOI: 10.1177/1469605304041076


December 17, 2014

1:20 PM | December Pieces Of My Mind #1
Anglophones, why do you say “might” instead of “may” when expressing uncertainty? If you’re certain, you say “I’ll eat some bread”. If uncertain, you sometimes just say “I may eat some bread”. But usually you form a needless subjunctive, “I might eat some bread”. Sometimes you even use this mode to express certainty! I sometimes…

December 16, 2014

7:53 PM | A very bioarchaeology Christmas tree!
Grades are in!  Department holiday party is over!  Sure, I'll be working the rest of the week on syllabi for my spring courses, but I decided to spend an hour today putting my own bioarchaeological spin on this book-Xmas-tree meme that's been going around... Merry (very early) Christmas from Powered by Osteons!  (Yes, I know it's actually the first day of Hanukkah today, but if I could figure out how to make a skeleton-book-themed menorah, I would...)

December 13, 2014

8:30 PM | San Francisco's Deadliest Shipwreck Found
In dark waters just outside the Golden Gate Bridge, archaeologists have pinpointed the final resting place of the worst shipwreck in San Francisco's history.
3:35 AM | Bones - Season 10, Episode 10 (Review)
The 200th in the 10th So this isn't a typical episode of Bones, of course.  It's some weird fake-40s movie-within-a-movie-within-a-TV-show, starring every single semi-regular character.  Brennan is trying to be a detective and trying to impress her father, the chief of LAPD.  Booth is a jewel thief whom she tracks to Eva Braga's house.  He breaks into Braga's safe but finds only her smoking, dead body.  Brennan doesn't think Booth did it; she partners with him to […]

December 11, 2014

7:32 PM | The Headless Romans: Headhunting, Defeated Gladiators or Natural River Movement?
In the Walbrook Valley near the city of London, large numbers of human remains, dating to the Roman occupation of England, have been recovered over the past 175 years- and […]

Redfern, R. & Bonney, H. (2014). Headhunting and amphitheatre combat in Roman London, England: new evidence from the Walbrook Valley, Journal of Archaeological Science, 43 214-226. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2013.12.013

5:56 PM | Week 33 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
Today was a shorter day at the College today as I was asked to come in a little later because there would be some items in the room I work. This meant I came in an hour later and to be honest it was nice having the extra time in bed! I know I don’t […]

December 10, 2014

10:18 AM | Micrograph of the Month: Krotovinas at Çatalhöyük
Did you know that there is a word for an animal burrow that becomes backfilled with soil/sediment? That word is krotovina! At Catalhoyuk, burrowing by small mammals is probably one of the most destructive forms of bioturbation on site. Ground squirrels, or suslik as they are known in Turkey, have a great time digging their way through the nice soft archaeological sediments, mixing up the deposits as they go. When marking out locations for micromorphology sampling we try and avoid these burrows, […]

December 09, 2014

10:25 PM | 2500-Year-Old Mummy of Teenage Boy Revealed
A 2,500-year-old mummy is revealed for the first time. Here's what scientists learned.
7:09 PM | The Aska Barrow Is A Huge Building Platform
It’s been a busy couple of days with a lot of publicity. Monday morning a paper I’ve co-authored with my friend, geophysics specialist Andreas Viberg, was published in the on-line version of Archaeological Prospection. For reasons of scientific priority (which I myself like to establish by spilling everything I do onto the blog immediately) I’ve…

December 06, 2014

12:00 PM | Mysterious 'Ghost' Ship Rediscovered Near Hawaii
A ghost ship that has been lost beneath the waves for more than 60 years has been discovered nearly a half-mile below the ocean surface off the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

December 05, 2014

2:00 PM | Bronze Fingernail Cleaner Hints at Roman Settlement
An ancient Roman pond, surrounded by bits of Roman pottery, garbage pits and even a bronze fingernail cleaner, was unearthed in southern England.
11:35 AM | There’s No Such Thing As A Fish
Recently I was introduced to a podcast called ‘No Such Thing As A Fish‘. It’s a show hosted by the QI Elves who present their most interesting facts of the week. It’s an awesome programme with so many amazing and wonderful bits of information. If you’ve never heard of the show QI before you’ll have […]
4:50 AM | Bones - Season 10, Episode 9 (Review)
The Mutilation of the Master ManipulatorEpisode SummaryThe Jeffersonian is dealing with the very fragmentary remains of an individual whose hand, foot, and upper leg were found in different parts of the greater D.C. area. From the femur, Brennan notes they have a Negroid male, about 6'2" tall. DNA confirms that all body parts are from the same person, but his DNA is not in any database. Angela figures out that the body parts were likely all from the same trash route and asks Booth to send a […]

December 04, 2014

7:30 PM | Giant Ancient Roman Water Basin Uncovered
The massive basin was part of a farm dating to the third century B.C.
1:20 PM | November Pieces Of My Mind #2
This chocolate praline contains something that looks and smells like shampoo. Apparently it’s flavoured with elderflower extract. Jrette prints out song lyrics and fixes them to the outside of the shower cubicle as aids to singing in the shower. I’m kind of OK with most subcultural dress codes. But I really gotta say: young men…
7:40 AM | Ancient Water Basin Found in Rome: Photos
Archaeologists find an ancient water basin in Rome that could once hold 1 million gallons of water.

December 03, 2014

7:29 PM | Playing Osteology "Beer" Pong
For review sessions in my Human Osteology class, I often do Jeopardy.  I write a whole bunch of questions in three PowerPoints (oh, I do both Single and Double Jeopardy, along with a Final Jeopardy complete with doo-doo-doo think music!), and the students tend to get really involved.  I didn't feel like writing another set of questions for this week's review, and coincidentally Keith Chan* this week put up a blog post about his idea for a "Beer(less) Pong Study Session."  Would […]
6:26 PM | Richard III's DNA Raises Questions Over Queen's Ancestry
Genetic analysis of the remains of Richard III reveals a break in the male line that could question the royal lineage of the Tudors, including England's current queen. Continue reading →
4:39 PM | Where do Vampires come from? Isotopic Analysis of the Drawsko Vampires
Originally posted on Bones Don't Lie:Le Vampire, Vampires are considered closely related to the concept of Revenant, though they are very different from are modern conceptions, via Wikimedia Commons Vampires have continued to be a hot topic in studies of deviant burial practices, and the popular news is more than happy to share…
2:03 PM | Where do Vampires come from? Isotopic Analysis of the Drawsko Vampires
Vampires have continued to be a hot topic in studies of deviant burial practices, and the popular news is more than happy to share these types of archaeological finds. Of […]

Gregoricka, L., Betsinger, T., Scott, A. & Polcyn, M. (2014). Apotropaic Practices and the Undead: A Biogeochemical Assessment of Deviant Burials in Post-Medieval Poland, PLoS ONE, 9 (11) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113564

1:20 PM | Karate In A Hijab
Here’s an interesting case regarding Muslim women’s veils. They’re instruments or symbols of patriarchal repression, right? Well, check this out. Dania Mahmudi is from my area, Fisksätra. She’s 14 years old and wears a veil. Mahmudi has been practising karate for years. Two weeks ago she went with her club to the district championship, eager…
12:15 PM | Week 31 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
This week I was in on Tuesday instead of Thursday because there were the volunteer Christmas drinks in the evening. It was really nice and interesting to meet some of the other volunteers as well as spending time with the museum staff outside of the normal hours. The director made a nice speech thanking all […]

December 02, 2014

9:43 AM | Exceptional Migration Period Excavation Crowdfunding Now
Pompeii situations, where daily life at a settlement has suddenly and catastrophically been terminated and the site has then been abandoned, are extremely rare and extremely informative. As has recently been discovered, the Sandby fortified settlement on the island of Öland offers a Pompeii situation from about AD 500. The settlement has been attacked, its…

December 01, 2014

8:07 PM | Largest Stone Block From Antiquity Found
The 2,000-year-old stone block was likely cut to be used in a temple, but was abandoned because it was unsuitable for transporting.
7:50 PM | Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival LXVI
Not too much Roman stuff this month, so I've thrown in some ancient Greek news as well...Roman StuffRoman-era finger bonesvia Archaeology.org3 November - Remains may have been rural Roman farmers (Archaeology). Two Roman-period skeletons were found in Worcestershire, England.  Possibly farmhands, both bodies seem to have evidence of hard work.  This pic of interphalangeal joint facets looks particularly rough. More on the find, with pictures of the hobnails from the female's shoes, at […]
6:01 PM | The landscape of Stonehenge?
Stonehenge c. 1885. Wikipedia.10th battalion CEF marching past Stonehenge1914–15 WikipediaIt was announced earlier today that the A303 road which currently runs past Stonehenge will be re-routed through a tunnel, to remove it from view of the monument. This follows the closing of the A344 earlier last year. Although this is being done for the benefit of visitors who apparently complain about the road, I myself have mixed feelings about it. Which is odd, as I am the sort of person who […]

November 27, 2014

6:24 PM | Week 31 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
I had a shorter day at the College today as I wasn’t feel too great which was annoying. However, I did take photos and updated some on the museum database entries of quite a few specimens before I had to leave. There is little to add this week as most of the specimens displayed signs […]
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