March 02, 2015

12:01 AM | Mystery Coffin Revealed at Richard III Site: Photos
A mysterious coffin is opened near the grave of King Richard III.

March 01, 2015

11:55 PM | Coffin-Within-a-Coffin Opened at Richard III Grave
The contents of a coffin found near King Richard III's grave are revealed. Continue reading →
7:46 PM | Science, Art and the Construction of Reality in Archaeology
I found out this weekend that my application to take part in an exciting art/science collaborative project was successful! It was only by chance that I found out about the project, through some random browsing around Twitter. Joining Twitter was one of the best things I ever did, so many opportunities and connections to be made that I would never get the chance to see otherwise. The project I am joining is ASCUS/TNS Engage project. ASCUS is a non-profit organisation that supports collaboration […]
6:30 AM | Microfossil of the Month: Awn phytoliths
These micrographs show grass awn phytoliths, on the left the spiky hair part is still attached to the rest of the awn, the one on the right shows a hair that has become detached. Awns are hair or bristle type structure which are particularly common on grasses. In some species, such as emmer wheat, the awns contribute to seed dispersal, by hooking into the soil. Changes in humidity cause the awns to expand and contract, acting like a ratchet to propel the seed into the ground. Not to be […]

February 28, 2015

1:20 PM | February Pieces Of My Mind #2
I thought my pet was a meerkat, but it was in fact a mere cat. Movie: Wild Tales. A collection of unconnected short wry films about revenge. Grade: pass. Eagle-eyed Roger Wikell found something that looked like a duplicate entry in my database. A flanged axe found at Vappeby hamlet by someone named Winberg, and a…

February 27, 2015

12:00 PM | Rare Intact Roman Tombstone Found in England
A well-preserved Roman tombstone has been unearthed in a parking lot in western England. Continue reading →
10:32 AM | Week 39 at the Royal College of Surgeons
After a week off due to moving house I’m back at the College where I’m starting on a new project. This time I will be working with a collection of infant teeth. As with the previous protects I’m creating an inventory of the collection by taking photographs of the specimens and the associated paperwork. This […]

February 25, 2015

6:42 PM | Pharaoh Brutally Killed in Battle, Analysis Shows
Analysis reveals major cuts to the king's feet, ankles, and lower back, as well as multiple blows to his skull.
4:36 PM | Using the Dead to Interpret Daily Life in Bronze Age Spain
I am fascinated by the diversity of ways that humans have approached death and dying throughout our history as a species. Since you’re reading this, I’ll assume you are interested […]

López-Costas, O., Müldner, G. & Martínez Cortizas, A. (2015). Diet and lifestyle in Bronze Age Northwest Spain: the collective burial of Cova do Santo, Journal of Archaeological Science, 55 209-218. DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2015.01.009


February 23, 2015

6:21 PM | Mummified Monk Sits Inside Ancient Buddha Statue
Sitting in the lotus position, the 1,000-year-old mummy fits within the statue perfectly.
Editor's Pick

February 20, 2015

2:30 PM | Ancient Shrines Used for Predicting Future Discovered
Three shrines, dating back about 3,300 years, have been discovered within a hilltop fortress at Gegharot, in Armenia.

February 19, 2015

1:56 PM | Bones Abroad: What Lies Beneath the Surface of Mexico’s Cenotes
If you’ve heard anything about the Ancient Maya, you’ve probably heard that they sacrificed humans. More specifically, that they sacrificed humans by dropping them into cenotes. A cenote is . The […]

February 18, 2015

8:13 PM | Largest Trove of Gold Coins Found off Israel
The largest cache of gold coins ever found in Israel was discovered by chance by divers at Caesarea National Park. The treasure includes at least 2,000 gold coins from the Fatimid period, approximately 1,000 years ago. Continue reading →
1:20 PM | February Pieces Of My Mind #1
Boomer neighbour calls me and tells me his water meter reads “420”. “You’re such a stoner” is what I avoid replying. Every year my employers each send me a piece of paper telling me how much they’ve told the tax man that I’ve earned. A few months later, the tax man sends me a piece…

February 17, 2015

2:03 PM | Bones Abroad: Chichén Itzá in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
Over the last couple weeks, I had the privilege to travel to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The Yucatan is primarily known for its white beaches, crystal clear turquoise water, and Cancun, […]

February 16, 2015

9:21 AM | Faecal lipids and fungal spores as proxies for ancient pastoralism
I was recently alerted to this interesting new paper (open access!) through Google Scholar citation alerts, which is a very useful service for finding out when your papers are cited by other authors (in this case my 2011 paper on faecal lipid residues at Catalhoyuk). The authors studied a sequence of lake sediments from Lake Igaliku in SW Greenland, looking at changes in the quantity of DOC and fungal spores. DOC is a bile acid (deoxycholic acid), and is found in both human and ruminant faeces, […]

February 14, 2015

1:20 PM | Cover Decided For My Upcoming Book
I’ve finalised the cover of my upcoming book with designer Bitte Granlund! Cover image: detail of a rock-art panel at Hemsta in Boglösa, Uppland. An axe with its characteristic s-shaped haft, an incomplete ship and two cupmarks. According to Johan Ling, the panel’s ship types and the level above the sea indicate a date in…

February 13, 2015

8:22 PM | Skeletons in 6,000-Year-Old Embrace Found in Cave
The prehistoric remains were positioned curled into the fetal position, as if spooning each other.
12:07 PM | Week 38 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
Today I went through the remaining documents for the collection I have been working on at the College. This meant recording the content of photographs and paper documents and then matching any relevant information relating to any specimens. As with last week most of the photographs were of skulls with pathologies. However there are a […]
12:00 PM | Villa Owned by Ben-Hur's Rival Identified
Archaeologists recover the remains of the villa belonging to the real- life individual that inspired the epic tale of Ben-Hur.
12:00 PM | Excavating an Ancient Villa: Photos
On the Tuscan island of Elba archaeologists find remains of lavish, ancient villa.
12:00 AM | Richard III Killed by Sword Thrust Upwards Into Neck
The lethal stabbing that killed the English king was determined by finding a major mark on the interior surface of the skull.

February 11, 2015

6:25 PM | Oldest Twin Remains Found in Siberia
The twins, about 36 to 40 weeks old, probably suffocated during their mother's troubled labor nearly 8,000 years ago.

February 10, 2015

10:06 PM | Is Facebook’s Android App Monitoring My Phone Calls?
Facebook’s Android app seems to be monitoring whom I talk to on my phone. A few days after I’ve called somebody who wants to submit a paper to Fornvännen, or after I’ve texted the mom of one of Jrette’s buddies, the web site will suddenly suggest, “Hey, maybe you might want to be Facebook buddies…
10:06 PM | Can there ever really be such a thing as single context archaeology?
I made my first ever video this week. It is an attempt to visualise a concept that can be difficult to express - the relationship between micro (and sub-micro) stratigraphy that we can see under the microscope, to the macroscale deposits that most (non-micromorphologists) are familiar with in the field. It is hard to imagine something you cannot see, and as an archaeologist who has the privilege of being able to examine the 'invisible' archaeological record, I want to be able to show others […]

February 09, 2015

5:10 PM | Mystery Over 15th-Century Drilled Skull Solved
Apparently ground up bone powder from the skulls of martyrs was an ingredient in sought after medicines.
1:20 PM | Medical Marijuana Policies Are Kind Of Childish
Medical marijuana is just a backward strategy to get recreational marijuana legalised. It’s like the potheads twenty years ago who would praise hemp’s excellent properties as a fibre and fuel source. They didn’t care about any other fibre crops. It was a transparent ruse. A medical intervention’s legality should be pushed by worldwide medical consensus,…

February 05, 2015

6:57 PM | Week 37 Volunteering at the Royal College of Surgeons
I’ve been quiet for the last 2 weeks because I haven’t been into the College. The last time I was there I had finished photographing and creating an inventory of a Pathology collection. It’s taken the curator these last few weeks to find the associated notes for project which we wanted to add to the […]
2:58 PM | Help Me Proofread My Book
Bitte Granlund of Happy Book has sent me PDF proofs for my forthcoming Bronze Age book, looking bee-you-tiful! If you’d like to help me proofread it, please email me. Everyone who finds ten errors gets a dedicated copy sent by mail.

February 03, 2015

12:25 PM | Microfossil of the Month: Sponge Spicule
Something a little bit different - this month I have an image of a siliceous sponge spicule! This show up occasionally in my phytolith slides, and are very distinctive. Sponges, or poriferans to give them their scientific name, are characterised by an unusual feeding system that involves drawing water in through little pores in the outer walls, and filtering food from the water as it moves around their bodies, before being pumped back out again. This flow of water occurs in one direction and is […]
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