|WAC October 2009 eNewsletter - Volume 30|
|Saturday, 31 October 2009 00:00|
Executive News, News from WAC Members, News Items, Excerpts from Other Archaeological Associations' Newsletters
Volume 30 October 2009
Guest Editor: Cameron Wesson
1. Executive News
Global Libraries Program
As with all WAC programs, the Global Libraries Program operates on the basis of volunteer labour. The Executive thanks Dr Sally May of the Australian National University who spent a great deal of time over the last few years establishing and developing this program. We also thank Ashley Sands, of the UCLA school of Library and Information Science, the new Chair of this program, for taking on the responsibility of ensuring that the program continues to run effectively. A practicum student, Anastasia Tsimourtos, currently provides support for the committee.
Please see the WAC News section of the bulletin for more information on the project and/or if you would like to be considered as a member of committee or e-mail email@example.com.
WAC Inter-Congress "Archaeology in Conflict"
The next WAC Inter-Congress, ‘Archaeology in Conflict’, will be held in Vienna 6th -10th April, 2010. The history of the past 25 years demonstrates that, despite international conventions and public awareness, cultural property is a target of increasing priority in the event of armed conflicts. This development is due to dramatic changes in warfare. Archaeologists and cultural heritage professionals must consider their role and involvement in the protection of cultural property, and face the challenge of these dramatic changes in the modes of warfare and the incredible loss of cultural property. An additional factor is the illicit trade in antiquities, which constitutes up to 90% of international trade in archaeological assets. This makes the targeting, looting and destruction of archaeological sites and cultural property in the context of armed conflicts and the illicit trade of antiquities also a matter of international security.
This international conference addresses the multiple ways in which archaeological/cultural heritage and war have interfaced, raising a whole host of important and interesting legal, moral, and ethical questions:
* What roles should scholars - archaeologists and cultural heritage professional - play during times of war/armed conflict?
Proposals of around 250 words can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com until 31st December, 2009. More information on this Inter-Congress can be found on the WAC website at: http://www.archaeologyinconflict.org/.
All the best,
Claire Smith, for the Executive
2. News from WAC Members
In the previous edition of the WAC e-Newsletter (Issue No. 29), archaeologist Marisol Rodriguez, co-editor of this newsletter, was mistakenly cited as the former director of the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture, the highest cultural agency in Puerto Rico and equivalent to a post in the state cabinet. Due to the problems and unfounded accusations that have been generated for Rodriguez from this simple mistake, we wish to clarify that Rodriguez is the former director of the Council of Terrestrial Archaeology, part of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.
En el numero anterior se citó por error a la arqueóloga Marisol Rodriguez co-editora de este boletín, como ex- directora del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, maxima agencia cultural de Puerto Rico y que equivale a un puesto en el gabinete. Debido a los problemas que le han causado a la arqueóloga y las acusaciones infundadas que generó esta simple equivocación, deseamos aclarar que la nota debió leer ex-directora del Consejo de Arqueología Terrestre adscrito al Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña
CALL FOR NEW COMMITTEE MEMBERS OF THE GLOBAL LIBRARIES PROJECT
The Global Libraries Project is a WAC project developing the archaeological literary collections of libraries in economically disadvantaged countries. There are over 50 libraries receiving donations around the world. This is important work, as it contributes to resources for ongoing education and research in environments where archaeological and cultural heritage is often under threat.
If you would like more information on the project and/or would like to be considered as a member of committee, please e-mail Ashley Sands at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONVOCATORIA PARA EL NUEVO COMITÉ DE MIEMBROS DEL PROYECTO DE LIBRERIAS GLOBALES
El Proyecto de Bibliotecas Globales de la WAC es uno en el que se fomentan las colecciones de literatura arqueológica en las bibliotecas de países económicamente desventajados. Existen alrededor de 50 bibliotecas alrededor del mundo recibiendo donaciones. Este trabajo de importancia ya que contribuye a los recursos para la educación en curso y los ambientes de investigación donde la herencia cultural y arqueológica están en muchos casos bajo riesgo.
El programa está buscando los últimos miembros, especialmente ellos con conexiones a la región de Asia y el Pacifico, para el comité de esta importante organización. ? ¿Está interesado en ser parte del comité que vigila las donaciones de materiales de alrededor del mundo? Estamos buscando especialmente por ustedes de aquellos que viven en áreas alrededor del planeta donde puedan darle seguimiento a sus áreas de interés.
Si esta interesado en obtener mayar información sobre el proyecto y/o interesan ser considerado como un miembro del comité, favor de enviar un email a Ashley Sands a email@example.com.
ENHANCING AND DATING PICTOGRAPHS THROUGH DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Research is ongoing to enhance and date faded pictographs with digital photography. Rather than use false colour, RGB pigment values are used in a pictograph to enhance the faded areas where pigment had penetrated the underlying rock. Its context is amplified and background is faded. Field time is maximized by rotating 1-2 cameras downward from the wall art, magnifying and scanning their high resolution photos of newly scraped 5mm soil surfaces using Photoshop, XnView or GIMP. Assuming pigment dust or paint droplets fell to the artist’s feet or cultural level, similarly coloured roots, leaves, etc. are ignored because their RGB values and outlines differ. Each suspected pigment particle is recorded by pixel number using its X and Y coordinates, which are used to locate and remove it from a water-based glue-covered paper that had been applied to each soil surface after its photo. Pigment confirmation is done by SEM and X-ray diffraction, followed by AMS dating. As pigment confirmation and dating occur last, all 5mm scrapings are screened in the field, their commonly occurring bits of datable wood, leaf or bone wrapped in aluminium foil. The widespread problem of lichen obliterating pictographs is also being examined using infrared photos.
MEJORANDO Y FECHANDO PICTOGRAMAS ATRAVES DE FOTOGRAFÍA DIGITAL
Investigación es curso para intensificar y fechar pictogramas con la fotografía digital. En lugar de color falso, se usan valores de pigmentos RGB en un pictograma para intensificar sus áreas decoloradas donde el pigmento ha penetrado la roca subyacente. Se amplia el contexto y el fondo es decolorado. El tiempo de campo es maximizado rotando 1-2 cámaras hacia abajo en la pared. Se intensifican y escanean las fotos de alta resolución de las superficies de 5mm recién raspadas usando Photoshop, XnView o GMP.
Asumiendo que el polvo de los pigmentos o las gotas de pintura cayeron a los pies del artista al nivel cultural, raíces, hojas etc. de color similar son ignoradas porque sus valores RGB y contornos difieren. Cada partícula de pigmento es registrada por un numero de pixel usando coordenadas X y Y, que se utilizan para localizarla y removerla con un papel cubierto con pegamento soluble en agua que se aplica a la superficie de cada area de suelo después de ser fotografiada. Se hace una confirmación del pigmento con SEM y difracción de Rayos-X, seguido de fechado por AMS. Mientras la confirmación del pigmento y el fechamiento ocurre, todas las superficies de 5 mm son cernidas en el campo, apareciendo pedazos de madera fechable, hoja o hueso que son envueltos en papel aluminio. El problema generalizado de la obliteración de las pictografias por liquen es también examinado usando rayos infrarojos.
INTERNET ARCHAEOLOGY’S LEAP PROJECT HIGHLY COMMENDED
Internet Archaeology's LEAP project has been Highly Commended at The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)'s annual awards in the Publishing Innovation category, in recognition of their work with the Archaeology Data Service in integrating journal
SE RECOMIENDA EL PROYECTO DE INTERNET DE EL SALTO ARQUEOLÓGICO
El proyecto arqueológico de Internet LEAP ha sido recomendado por la Asocial de Editores Aprendidos y Profesionales en sus premios anuales en la categoría de Publicaciones Innovadoras, en reconocimiento a su trabajo con el Servicio de Datos Arqueológicos en integrar el contenido del diario con los datos subyacentes.
NEW UMBRELLA WEBSITE LAUNCHED IN LATE SEPTEMBER
NUEVO SITIO SOMBRILLA SE LANZA A FINALES DE SEPTIEMBRE
El sitio de internet unirá cientificos e investigadores cuya data seriamente cuestiona el dogma existente “ EL hombre de las cavernas es bruto: el hombre moderno es listo”. El Homo Erectus por lo menos tendrá un cambio de imagen.
U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CHIEF ARCHAEOLOGIST RETIRING
SE RETIRA JEFE DEL SERVICIO NACIONAL DE PARQUES DE ESTADOS UNIDOS
Francis P. Pierce-McManamon, el arqueólogo en jefe y arqueólogo consultpr departamental del Servicio Nacional de Parques del Departamento del Interior del Gobierno de Estados Unidos, se retrirá después de más de 32 años de trabajar en la agencia..
The blog can be accessed and subscribed to at http://weweremodern.blogspot.com/.
NUEVO BLOG DE ARQUEOLOGÍA
Dan Hicks está publicando sus escritos sobre arqueología histórica y campos relacionados en un blog. El idea es que de tiempo en tiempo se provea acceso a los trabajos publicados con una licencia de Creativos Comunes, y de vez en cuando espaciar esta oferta con noticias/fragmentos (por ejemplo un enlace al CHAT)
Pueden acceder el blog y suscribirse en http://weweremodern.blogspot.com
3. New publications by WAC members
Order Now - A New Field Manual for Archaeologists & Physical Anthropologists
A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO IN SITU DOG REMAINS FOR THE FIELD ARCHAEOLOGIST
Ancient dogs all over the world were routinely buried in ritual fashion, on their own or with people, for at least 14,000 years, making the practice of burying dogs as old as dogs themselves. Dog burials and human/dog interments reveal a great deal about the complex relationship that ancient people had with their dogs but require that they be recognized in the field, carefully exposed, photographed and excavated.
This manual is meant to aid field archaeologists and physical anthropologists everywhere in the identification and excavation of in situ dog remains (complete and partial dog burials, including inclusions in human interments). It consists primarily of labeled photographs of modern and ancient dog skeletal elements, both adult and juvenile. Recommended procedures for excavating dog burials and mixed dog/human interments are provided, while some background on the evolution and history of dogs puts the practice of deliberate dog interments into cultural context. While this field guide is not intended as a reference for laboratory analysis, it would be useful for preliminary work.
The book is spiral-bound and printed on water-resistant ‘Rite in the Rain’ paper with a waterproof cover. A quick reference Pocket Guide insert,printed on water-resistant heavy tag stock, is provided with the book - see preview photos on the website (additional copies of the pocket guide can be purchased at point of sale or with proof of purchase afterward but are not sold separately, since it is not meant to stand alone). A pdf of diagrams for recording dog burial elements can be downloaded without charge from the Pacific ID website (http://www.pacificid.com), where you’ll also find a copy of the table of contents plus introduction, as well as a sample chapter to view.
Order online from: http://www.pacificid.com using PayPal.
Send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250) 721-7296, or fax (250) 721-6215.
New From Left Coast Press, Inc. WAC members receive a 20% discount on hardcovers and a 30% discount on paperbacks (insert discount code L187 at checkout)
Being and Becoming Indigenous Archaeologists
What does being an archaeologist mean to Indigenous persons? How and why do some become archaeologists? What has led them down a path to what some in their communities have labeled a colonialist venture? What were are the challenges they have faced, and the motivations that have allowed them to succeed? How have they managed to balance traditional values and worldview with Western modes of inquiry? And how are their contributions broadening the scope of archaeology? Indigenous archaeologists have the often awkward role of trying to serves as spokespeople both for their home community and for the scientific community of archaeologists. This volume tells the stories—in their own words-- of 37 indigenous archaeologists from six continents, how they became archaeologists, and how their dual role affects their relationships with their community and their professional colleagues.
Just Released in Paperback:
Coming in Paperback in November 2009:
This is a sampling of WAC-sponsored titles. To order or for more information on additional WAC-sponsored titles, visit our website at:
Join Left Coast Press online at:
4. News Items
AUSTRALIAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE:
Sessions for the upcoming Australian Archaeological Association Annual Conference (Theme: Old Guard, New Guard) to be held in Adelaide from 11 to 14 December 2009 have now been announced. They include:
See http://www.flinders.edu.au/ehlt/conferences/archaeology/aaa2009/sessions.cfm for full details of the sessions and their organisers or to offer a paper at the conference. The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is 30 September 2009.
GLOBAL SOUTH – CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS
We are inviting essays on history of medicine in the context of all the south countries. We hope to cover a wide range of issues related to the history of medicine, its specific manifestations in the context of south countries, its impact including the varied responses- political, social, cultural- in different southern regions. Contributions can be in the form of an article (3000-5000 words). We also welcome contributions in the form of Book reviews, Reports of contemporary trends or events, Reports of conferences or meetings (1000-1500 words). We especially welcome historiographical essays from different south contexts.
Deadline for submission: 31 December 2009
CONFERENCE: WORLD HERITAGE AND TOURISM: MANAGING FOR THE GLOBAL AND THE LOCAL
This conference seeks to explore a series of critical and fundamental questions being raised by the various ‘owners’, managers and local communities involved with World Heritage Sites in relation to tourism: Why do tourists visit some World Heritage Sites and not others? What is the tourist experience of such Sites? How successful are Sites in the management of tourists? What roles do local communities play in Site management? How can the ‘spirit of place’ be protected in the face of the sheer volume of tourists? How can some Sites maximize the potential of a sustainable tourism for the purposes of poverty alleviation and community cohesion? How effective are communication strategies in bringing stakeholders together? What management skills are needed to address the needs of different stakeholders, different sites and different cultures?
We encourage papers from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives and welcome submissions which address theoretical, empirical, methodological, comparative and practical perspectives on the fullest array of themes associated with the management of UNESCO World Heritage.
Call for Papers
THE 14TH INTERNATIONAL COURSE ON WOOD CONSERVATION TECHNOLOGY –
Participation is free of charge for the selected participants.
ICCROM - Sites Unit, Via di San Michele 13, I-00153, Rome, ITALY
THEORETICAL ARCHAEOLOGY GROUP (TAG-US) 2010: THE LOCATION OF THEORY
Please submit this as a single electronic pdf document to: TAG2010@brown.edu.
THE 4TH EXPERIMENTAL ARCHAEOLOGY CONFERENCE
The University of Aberdeen is delighted to host the next Experimental Archaeology conference on Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th November 2009, King's College campus, Old Aberdeen
To take advantage of our special weekend delegate rate, book now!
Registration deadline: Friday 31st October 2009, A late registration fee of £25 will apply to all registrations received after the deadline.
For details see:
MERC ANNOUNCES 8TH ROUND OF RESEARCH AWARDS
The Middle East Research Competition (MERC) is pleased to announce its eighth round of research awards and it welcomes proposals in Arabic, English and French from qualified candidates.
The program encourages rigorous applications that apply to social science methodologies and theories particularly in the following areas:
Research Awards are intended for scholars with previous successful research experience in any social science field. Ph.D. holders in the early stages of their professional career are especially encouraged to apply. For exceptionally strong cases, research awards may also be made for Ph.D. dissertation research in the region by students from the region. In the case of projects involving team research, the principal investigator must have a Ph.D. degree.
Budget items may include purchase of specifically identified research equipment, travel and transportation costs, stipends, technical assistance, stationery and other supplies. Awards can reach $15,000.
A final proposal should not exceed 20 typed double-spaced pages in length. Additional pages are needed for an abstract, time-line, budget, and curriculum vitae of all the project members.
Deadline for receiving proposals in their final format is 5 November, 2009. For further information please visit our website. www.mercprogram.org
“NEXT GENERATION” PROJECT – AN ONLINE CONVERSATION
The international conference "Archaeology in Conflict" will host the "Next Generation" project - an online conversation among the next generation of archaeologists and cultural heritage research specialists through FACEBOOK in order to build the relationships that will allow us to initiate radical
PROYECTO “NUEVA GENERACIÓN”- UNA CONVERSACIÓN EN LINEA
La conferencia Internacional “Arqueología en Conflicto” albergará el proyecto “Nueva Generación”- una conversación en línea entre la nueva generación de arqueólogos y especialistas en investigación del patrimonio cultural através de FACEBOOK con el objetivo de construir las relaciones que nos permitirán un cambio radical en el estudio del pasado, mientras se enfrentan las problemáticas del futuro.
Para más información: http://www.archaeologyinconflict.org/next-generation.html
NINTH BIENNIAL OPEN FORUM FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Wendy Ashmore, University of California, Riverside
Organized by the Graduate Student Association of the Department of Archaeology at Boston University
Alexander Keim, Department of Archaeology, Boston University, 675 Commonwealth Avenue
PRESERVING AFRICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE - 13TH PAA CONGRESS/20TH SAFA CONFERENCE
Themes: 1. Geology of the Quaternary; 2. Hominids Evolution; 3. Paleo-Environments and the peopling of Africa; 4. Prehistoric Art in Africa; 5. Transition from Stone to Metal; 6. Food Production; 7. Pastoralism; 8. Megalithism in Africa; 9. The African Iron Age; 10. Complex Societies; 11. Power, Society and State Formation; 12. New Research on Urbanization and Cities in Africa; 13. Historical Archaeology in Africa; 14. Recomposed Past: The Archaeology of Identity in Africa; 15. The Archaeology of Inequality: Gender, Class and Material Culture in Africa; 16. Population Movements in African Past: Rethinking Migration; 17. The Archaeology of African Diasporas; 18. Heritage Management in Africa; 19. Ethnoarchaeology in Africa : Beyond Analogy? 20. Matter and Techniques; 21. Experimental Archaeology; 22. African Languages; 23. Bioarchaeology; 24. Archaeology and NTICs in Africa.
Participants are encouraged to propose additional topics and initiate thematic panels. It is desirable that teams working on specific or related issues lead sessions. Abstracts must be submitted either in French or English, and no later than April 30th, 2010, at the following address: Panaf/Safa2010, Laboratoire d'Archéologie, IFAN Cheikh Anta Diop, BP : 206 DAKAR – Senegal. Tel : (+221) 33 825 98 90; Fax : (+221) 33 824 49 18; e-mail : email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; web Site : http://panaf-safa2010.ucad.sn.
WORKSHOP ON HERITAGE IN CONFLICT AND CONSENSUS: NEW APPROACHES TO THE SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND RELIGIOUS IMPACT OF PUBLIC HERITAGE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
THE SOCIETY FOR HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY CONFERENCE ON HISTORICAL AND UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY
Coastal Connections: Integrating Terrestrial and Underwater Archaeology
Amelia Island Plantation (http://www.aipfl.com/) is a 1350-acre (546 hectare) island resort situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, just 29 miles (46 km) from Jacksonville International Airport. Average temperature in January is a balmy 65°F (18°C).
Conference attendees will experience presentations and workshops on cutting-edge research, techniques, methods, and theory while surrounded by palm trees, heated pools, and beach-side events. Off-site tours will take participants back in time at near-by Kingsley Plantation, Fort Clinch, and St Augustine, the nation’s oldest continuously occupied city dating to 1565.
Students! Be sure to bring your university ID cards for daily specials on food and beverages. Student groups are welcome and room or villa sharing is a great financial option while attending the SHA Conference.
Visit the SHA website at http://www.sha.org/ to see the Preliminary Program and Registration form, and for more information on tours, workshops, and events.
VI CONGRESS OF ARCHAEOLOGY, CIUDAD DE SANTA MARTA, COLOMBIA
All archaeologists interested in the Intermediate Area are invited to participate in the VI Congress of Archaeology in Colombia, which will take place in the city of Santa Marta in the Republic of Colombia. This year, the symposium will be dedicated to exploring the changing frontiers of ethnography, history, and archaeology. The Congress will take place between the months of October and November in 2010. Please see the next issue of the WAC E-Newsletter (Issue 31) for more detailed information on the symposium or contact Wilhelm Londono at email@example.com.
VI CONGRESO DE ARQUEOLOGÍA, CIUDAD DE SANTA MARTA, COLOMBIA
Todos los arqueólogos interesados en el Área Intermedia están invitados a participar en el VI Congreso de Arqueología en Colombia que se llevará a cabo en la Ciudad de Santa Marta, república de Colombia. Esta vez, el simposio estará dedicado a explorar las fronteras cambiantes entre la etnografía, la historia y la arqueología. El congreso de llevará a cabo entre los meses de octubre y noviembre del 2010. En el proximo boletín del WAC (Num. 31) habrá información más detallada.
CONFERENCE ON MIGRATION AND MOBILITY IN A GLOBAL HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
CALL FOR PAPERS
In the last three decades historians of migration in Europe and the Americas have increasingly criticised the idea of a 'mobility transition', which assumed that pre-modern societies were geographically fairly immobile, and that people only started to move in unprecedented ways from the nineteenth century onwards. This conference takes these new perspectives as point of departure and invites scholars who look at various forms of migration in the last 500 years, preferably (but not exclusively) from a perspective of longue durée.
We are especially interested in quantitative reconstructions of population flows in and on Asia (but also other contributions outside Europe / the North-Atlantic are welcome), both within as between countries and empires. Six forms of migration are given particular attention: 1) emigration out of a certain territory; 2) immigration from other territories; 3) rural colonisation of 'empty spaces'; 4) movements to cities; 5) seasonal migration; 6) multi-annual labour migration, in particular by sailors and soldiers. The main aim of this conference is to test the value of this approach for other parts of the world, in particular Asia. This would be an essential step forward in a systematic global comparison of the history of human migration in various parts of the world and such reconstructions can play an important role in various heated debates. Global migration history can play a key role in rigorously testing modernisation theory that assumes that all kind of phenomena - not in the least human mobility patterns - changed fundamentally with the onset of industrialisation and urbanisation in the 19th century.
Scholars whose work is relevant for the reconstruction of migrations and mobility pertaining to the theme of the conference are invited to apply and should send detailed abstracts as well as a CV with previous publications and activities to Jan Lucassen (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), Leo Lucassen (email@example.com) and Yenfen Tseng firstname.lastname@example.org (National Taiwan University) before 15 November 2009. Papers may be confined to shorter periods, say a century, but we especially invite paper givers who focus on longer periods or compare different historical eras, including the 20th century. For more information on the literature that will serve as a point of departure for these discussions, please see the web site of the Global Migration History Programme at: http://www.iisg.nl/research/gmhp.php
Those selected to attend the conference will have the costs of travel and accommodations covered.
5. Excerpts from other archaeological associations’ newsletters (used with permission)
5 (a) SALON
Salon 221: 5 October 2009
Bluehenge: who spilled the beans?
SALON Fellow Mike Parker Pearson showed off this year’s Stonehenge Riverside Project excavations on 31 August 2009. He asked SALON not to report what we had seen until after the official press conference scheduled for January 2010. But on 4 October 2009, literally hundreds of reports began to appear in newspapers from Mumbai to Sarasota, proof that it is difficult to keep a good story secret. Mike and colleagues set out to investigate the point at which the Stonehenge Avenue was predicted to meet the River Avon in a paddock south of West Amesbury House. What they found was evidence not only that the Avenue does indeed continue to the river, but that the junction is marked by a ‘mini Stonehenge’, the evidence for which consists of the post pits and packing stones for a circle of twenty-seven stones. Chips and debris from those stones shows that they were of spotted dolerite, or bluestone, and the number of stones added to the number of Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge (which Mike believes originally held bluestones) adds up to the number of bluestones in the current arrangement of stones at Stonehenge. In other words, the builders dismantled this newly discovered stone circle (dubbed ‘Bluehenge’ by the media) and added them to the bluestones from the Aubrey Holes to create the Stonehenge that we know today, with its mix of sarsen trilithons and bluestones.
The dismantling of ‘Bluehenge’ was accompanied by the construction of a henge proper (a near circular earthwork with an external bank and internal ditch), and Mike has thrown out the intriguing suggestion that henges do not always mark the beginning of ritual activity at a site, but the ending or closure of the site. What of the source of the bluestones? SALON Fellow Rob Ixer is engaged in a petrological study to gather evidence for possible quarry sites; as well as the known source in the Preseli Hills of Carmarthenshire, he has identified that some of the bluestones could have come from the Brecon Beacons. The intriguing possibility is being opened up that the bluestones of Stonehenge might have been brought here from a number of sources in what might prove to be the early settlement sites of early Neolithic farmers.
For there is an increasing body of evidence to show (despite the long-held assumption that all innovation comes to Britain via the south east) that farming spread from the north and west: the earliest securely dated assemblages of charred domesticated grain occur in northern Ireland and further dated examples suggest that farming spread eastward into England via Scotland and Wales. Mike hypothesises that pioneering Neolithic farmers travelled eastwards in search of treeless and easily cultivatable land; they found it in what is now the Salisbury Plain, which, from environmental evidence, seems not to have been recolonised by forest after the Ice Age. They chose to memorialise their landing spot in this new landscape by building ‘Bluehenge’; they may also have found the evidence of older forms of commemorative activity in the form of the Mesolithic posts sited in what is now the Stonehenge car park, as well as periglacial features that by chance are aligned on the winter solstice, convincing them that this was a special landscape.
Moctezuma at the British Museum
The man we used to know as Montezuma (the ‘n’ being a transcription error that has stuck) is the subject of the British Museum’s latest exhibition, and the fourth in a series reappraising significant world leaders from the past (the first three being the Emperor Qing, Hadrian and Sha Abbas). Reigning from 1502 to 1520, Moctezuma is principally remembered for the final defining event of his reign, his apparently defeatist response to Spanish colonial ambitions, which brought about the end of Moctezuma’s Mexica empire.
The exhibition succeeds in challenging this interpretation, showing Moctezuma to have been a successful emperor and military leader (judged in terms of military prowess and imperial ambition) whose reign saw the Mexica empire reach its maximum extent. The fatal flaw in Moctezuma’s reign perhaps lay not in his character, but in the fifty-two-year calendric cycle of the Mexica. The end of the cycle was always associated with doom and disaster so when Cortés turned up, he was simply treated as an expected guest, possibly a deity, and nothing other than might be expected in a transition period from one cycle to the next.
The exhibition ends, like a John Fowles novel, with a choice of endings. The facts of the end of Moctezuma’s reign are simply not known in detail — he might have died at the hands of the Spanish, having outlived his usefulness as a hostage; he might have died at the hands of his own disappointed people, stoned by a mob. Those same people rose against the Spanish, forced them to flee Tenochtitlan, and elected Moctezuma’s brother, Cuitláhuac, as their new emperor. By the time the Spanish returned to besiege the city a year later, Cuitláhuac was dead, and before long so were 70 per cent of the city’s inhabitants: it was smallpox that did it, and not the actions of the conquistadors.
Gough’s Cave was one of the first sites inhabited by humans after the last Ice Age
New radiocarbon dates on bones from Gough’s Cave, in Cheddar Gorge, show that ancestors were living there some 14,700 years ago, descendants of populations that survived the Ice Age in refuges in southern France and the Iberian Peninsula. The newly dated bones were excavated in the 1980s, and caused a sensation when it was realised that some of the bones bore cut marks and fractures that suggested cannibalism; ‘the fractures look remarkably like the patterns of breakage you get on the animal bones in the cave, which we have assumed to be for bone marrow extraction’, says SALON Fellow Roger Jacobi of the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) project, which has dated the bones, adding that another possible interpretation is that ‘people who died away from the cave had their bones defleshed and broken to make them more portable so that they could be brought back to the cave for deposition’.
According to SALON Fellow Chris Stringer, the new dates correspond precisely to a period of very rapid climate warming in Europe: ‘this really is right on the cusp of the warming which we can see in Greenland ice cores’, he said, ‘when Europe starts to defrost and the animals move; the humans are right there with them.’ He believes that hunter-gatherers expanded out of southern France following herds of horses across Doggerland, circumventing the large river system in the bed of the English Channel which was blocking the way from France by taking a detour into what is now Belgium and the Netherlands, then moving into eastern Britain across land that is now submerged under the North Sea.
Salon 220: 7 September 2009
Orkney digs reveal Neolithic ‘cathedral’ and ‘first Scot’
There is a growing body of evidence, not least from dates obtained from samples of carbonised domesticated grain, that the Neolithic farming revolution in the UK originated in Ireland, Wales and the west of Scotland and spread eastwards and southwards, rather than the other way around. Whatever the reason (perhaps because these upland regions had more to offer Neolithic migrants by way of easily cultivated treeless landscapes), Stonehenge is far from being the only World Heritage Site in the UK with the power to yield new and surprising insights into the Neolithic.
This summer on Orkney, one excavation at the Ness of Brodgar directed by Nick Card has uncovered a massive stone structure of cathedral-like proportions while a separate Historic Scotland excavation at the Links of Noltland has produced Scotland’s oldest figure, dating back around 5,000 years, as well as several farmhouses, including one, with echoes of Çatalhöyük, containing ten cow skulls that appear to have been laid out ritualistically with their horns dug into the ground.
This year ORCA (the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology) yielded the prosaically named Structure 10, glimpsed at the end of last year’s season, to reveal its true scale: with massive foundations, it turns out to have been a building over 20m long and almost as wide, with 5m-thick walls defining a central cruciform chamber. The structure is aligned on Maeshowe and is built of contrasting courses of red and yellow sandstone, with a paved outer passage. Nick now wonders whether the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness, which stand on either side, might have been peripheral features of Orkney’s Neolithic landscape, with this massive building serving as a ‘Neolithic cathedral’ for the whole of the north of Scotland.
Racing against time to save Links of Noltland site
The site at the Links of Noltland lies on the island of Westray, on the northern fringes of the Orkneys, and is being excavated by Hazel Moore and Graeme Wilson for Historic Scotland because of the rapid wind erosion that has stripped this dune system flanking Grobust Bay and revealed a rich archaeological landscape in which five Neolithic houses and six Bronze Age buildings have been identified, with several others still emerging from the sand, as well as field systems, middens and ceremonial buildings. Excavations going back a decade have revealed the lifestyles of a community that hunted deer, kept sheep, pigs and cattle, harvested shellfish, grew wheat using domestic waste and animal dung as manure, crafted tools, clothing pins and roof rafters out of whalebone, made beads and embellished their tools with carvings and lumps of ochre-coloured haematite imported from nearby Hoy.
In mid-August the Links of Noltland team revealed the discovery of a sandstone sculpture, measuring just 35 x 30mm, carved in the shape of a human figure with heavy brows, two dots for eyes and an oblong for a nose. A pair of circles on the chest is being interpreted as breasts and the arms have been etched to either side, along with cross hatching that might represent clothing fabric. Dubbed ‘The Westray Wife’ by the local press and the ‘Orkney Venus’ by the national media, the figure probably dates from between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago. It was hailed by Scotland’s Culture Minister, Mike Russell, as ‘the earliest known human face in Scotland’, while Historic Scotland’s senior archaeologist, Richard Strachan, said it was ‘the only known Neolithic carving of a human form to have been discovered in Scotland’, previous examples of Neolithic art from Scotland consisting entirely of abstract designs.
Genes reveal population replacement in the Neolithic
Analysis of ancient DNA from graves in central and western Europe suggests that Europe's first farmers were not the descendants of the people who settled the area after the retreat of the ice sheets but were migrants who brought domesticated plants and animals with them. Researchers from Mainz University, UCL and Cambridge analyzed DNA from hunter-gatherer and early farmer burials, and compared those to the DNA of modern Europeans. They conclude that there is little evidence of a genetic link between the hunter-gatherers and the early farmers, and that they consist of two quite separate lineages. They suggest that migrant farmers from south-east Europe moved into central Europe bringing their culture, and that they co-existed with hunter-gatherers but did not interbreed.
They also found that the DNA of the hunter-gatherers has little in common genetically with the people who live in Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Russia today. On the other hand, the researchers say that ancient farmer group also lacks the ‘complete set of genetic material necessary to build the modern gene pool’, thus demonstrating that the modern European genetic structure has been shaped not by this one migration, but by a series of migrations or dispersals during prehistoric and historic times.
5 (b) Prehistoric Society of Zimbabwe
PSZ Newsletter No. 142
The Animal Economy of Prehistoric Farming Communities in Manicaland, Eastern Zimbabwe
The research seeks to understand the animal economy of prehistoric farming communities in Manicaland, eastern Zimbabwe within an archaeozoological methodological framework. The thesis will explore the diachronic and synchronic patterns of animal resource (wild and domestic) exploitation by Early Farming Communities, Late Farming Communities Musengezi and Zimbabwe peoples. Farming Communities lived in permanent villages, herded animals and cultivated sorghum as well as millets. Southern African, farming community sites date between the 3rd and 19th centuries AD. As part of human behaviour, patterns of animal resource exploitation yields important information on the economy, animal management strategies and socio-cultural practices. Therefore, the study of faunal remains, gives an insight into decision making strategies, choices and constraints encountered by human beings in the past. In diachronic terms, understanding human animal exploitation patterns gives an insight into changing perceptions about the role of animals in diet, economy and society as a whole. By focusing on Manicaland, this research will extend research coverage to a previously neglected region. There is no doubt that the data from the research has broader implications for archaeozoological studies in Africa. Such results may help to inform modern strategies of animal exploitation thereby using lessons from the past for the benefit of the present.
Giant Stone-Age Axes Found in African Lake Basin
A giant African lake basin is providing information about possible migration routes and hunting practices of early humans in the Middle and Late Stone Age periods, between 150,000 and 10,000 years ago. Oxford University researchers have unearthed new evidence from the lake basin in Botswana that suggests that the region was once much drier and wetter than it is today.
They have documented thousands of stone tools on the lake bed, which sheds new light on how humans in Africa adapted to several substantial climate change events during the period that coincided with the last Ice Age in Europe. Researchers from the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford are surveying the now-dry basin of Lake Makgadikgadi in the Kalahari Desert, which at 66,000 square kilometres is about the same size of present day Lake Victoria.
Their research was prompted by the discovery of the first of what are believed to be the world’s largest stone tools on the bed of the lake. Although the first find was made in the 1990s, the discovery of four giant axes has not been scientifically reported until now. Four giant stone hand axes, measuring over 30 cm long and of uncertain age, were recovered from the lake basin. Equally remarkable is that the dry lake floor where they were found is also littered with tens of thousands of other smaller stone-age tools and flakes, the researchers report.
Professor David Thomas, Head of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, said: ‘Many of the tools were found on the dry lake floor, not around its edge, which challenges the view that big lakes were only attractive to humans when they were full of water. As water levels in the lake went down, or during times when they fluctuated seasonally, wild animals would have congregated round the resulting watering holes on the lake bed. It’s likely that early human populations would have seen this area as a prolific hunting ground when food resources in the region were more concentrated than at times when the regional climate was wetter and food was more plentiful and the lake was full of water.’
Professor Thomas continued: ‘The interior of southern Africa has usually been seen as being devoid of significant archaeology. Surprisingly, we have found and logged incredibly extensive Middle Stone Age artefacts spread over a vast area of the lake basin. The record the basin is revealing is one of marked human adaptation in the past. Early humans saw the opportunity to use the lake basin when it was not full of water, but at least seasonally dry. It shows that humans have adapted to climate change and variability in a sustained way.'
Domestic dog origins challenged
By Judith Burns, Science reporter, BBC News, August 3, 2009
The suggestion that the domestic dog originated in East Asia has been challenged. The huge genetic diversity of dogs found in East Asia had led many scientists to conclude that domestication began there. But new research published in the journal PNAS shows the DNA of dogs in African villages is just as varied. An international group of researchers analysed blood samples from dogs in Egypt, Uganda and Namibia. Today's dogs are descended from Eurasian grey wolves, domesticated between 15,000 and 40,000 years ago.
Lead scientist, Dr Adam Boyko of the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University, says he decided to look at village dogs because they are so much more genetically diverse than bred dogs that they may hold the key to the origins of dog domestication. The team analysed DNA from 318 dogs from villages in Egypt, Uganda and Namibia and measured their genetic diversity. They also analysed the genetic make up of dog breeds thought to be of African origin, for example the Saluki, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and the Pharaoh Hound and compared all the resulting data with results for non African dogs such as Puerto Rican street dogs and non-pedigree dogs in the US.
The emphasis on African village dogs came about because Adam Boyko's co-authors, his brother and sister-in-law, were travelling in Africa on honeymoon. They collected all the blood samples from the African dogs.
The team found genetic diversity among African village dogs is just as diverse as that of East Asian dogs, leading them to question the hypothesis of an East Asian origin for dog domestication. Dr Boyko told BBC News: "I think it means that the conclusion that was drawn before might have been premature. It's a consequence of having a lot of street dogs from East Asia that were sampled, compared to elsewhere. The reason that East Asia looked more diverse than elsewhere was not because East Asia as a continent had more diverse dogs than elsewhere but because non breed street and village dogs are more diverse than breed dogs."
Dr Boyko said that all the dogs sampled in the study have grey wolf DNA so he is not questioning the hypothesis that dogs descended from Eurasian wolves. The results led the team to conclude that today's African village dogs are a mosaic of indigenous dogs descended from early migrants to Africa. They also went some way to proving the origins of some pedigree dogs purported to be of African origin. For example the Saluki breed shares DNA with modern day village dogs from Egypt - as does the Afghan Hound, despite its name. Likewise, the Basenji breed is genetically very similar to some Namibian and Ugandan village dogs. However the Pharaoh Hound and Rhodesian Ridgeback have little in common with any African indigenous dogs which suggests that these two breeds have non African origins.
African Origin Of Anthropoid Primates Called Into Question With New Fossil Discovery
ScienceDaily, September 17, 2009
Well-preserved craniodental fossil remains from two primate species have been discovered during excavations at an Algerian site. They reveal that the small primate Algeripithecus, which is 50 million years old and until now was considered as the most ancient African anthropoid, in fact belonged to another group, that of the crown strepsirhines.
This research was carried out by a team of French researchers from the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution (Université de Montpellier/CNRS), working with Algerian paleontologists from the universities of Tlemcen, Oran and Jijel. The resulting publication, published online on the website of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences), reopens the debate on the African origin of anthropoids, the group to which humans and apes belong.
In 1992, fossilized remains of the small primate Algeripithecus were discovered in the Algerian Sahara. Fifty million years old, weighing just 75 g and known to paleontologists thanks to the remains of two molars, this primate was considered to be the most ancient anthropoid of the African continent. The discovery of Algeripithecus was thus a major contribution to the hypothesis under which Africa was the cradle of anthropoid primates, a group to which humans and apes all belong. The existence of another primate, the Azibius, has been known for longer. This is one of the most ancient African representatives of the crown strepsirhines, another primate group that today is represented by the lemurs of Madagascar, the galagos of Central Africa and the loris of Southern Asia.
At the Glib Zegdou site in north-eastern Algeria, a French team from the Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution in Montpellier (Université de Montpellier/CNRS), working in collaboration with Algerian scientists, recently exhumed cranial and dental fragments from both Algeripithecus and Azibius. They included some nearly complete mandibles. These remains displayed a certain number of traits typical of the crown strepsirhines, notably an adaptation to nocturnal activity and the putative presence of a "toothcomb" in the lower toothrow. The paleontologists concluded that Algeripithecus, like its close relative Azibius, did not in fact belong to the family of anthropoid primates but was very probably one of the most ancient representatives in Africa of the crown strepsirhines.
In Egypt, the presence of more than a dozen fossilized anthropoid primates dating from 30 to 38 million years ago had long been known. This recent Franco-Algerian discovery thus advances the first true appearance of anthropoid primates on the African continent by more than 15 million years. With its major consequences on the evolutionary history of African anthropoid primates, this observation further strengthens the alternative hypothesis of an Asiatic origin for anthropoids. Furthermore, this paleontologic research reveals a hitherto unsuspected diversity and great antiquity of the first crown strepsirhines in Africa.
5 (c) European Association of Archaeologists
Seeking to fill post of General Editor
The European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) seeks a General Editor for the European Journal of Archaeology (EJA), to take up office in September 2010 or as soon as possible thereafter. The vacancy is due to the current General Editor retiring after completing 6 years in post.
The EJA is a refereed journal, currently published three times a year, and produced on the EAA’s behalf by Sage Publications. The editorial work is carried out by the General Editor, assisted by an Editorial Board and an Advisory Board (the latter purely titular in function). There is a separate position of Reviews Editor. Sage pays a modest honorarium to the Editor.
The General Editor is an ex officio member of the Executive Board (non-voting), and chairs the Editorial Board. The Executive Board meets twice a year, once in the early spring and once at the time of the EAA Annual Meeting in September. The Editorial Board meets at the Annual Meeting and may also meet in the spring, depending on need and cost; most of its work is done by email, however.
All production and distribution work is undertaken by Sage Publications.
The EJA publishes mainly in English (though articles in French and German are also accepted), and the General Editor must be fully competent, preferably fluent – though not necessarily a native speaker – in English. Applicants who are not native speakers should indicate how they will deal with the issue of language checking and improvement, where necessary.
Please contact the EAA administrator, Sylvie Kvetinova, at email@example.com for more information.
5 (d) CUBA ARQUEOLÓGICA
II Simposium Internacional de Arte Rupestre, La Habana, Cuba
En esta oportunidad el Simposio centrará sus debates en los siguientes temas:
Para más información contacte a cubarqueologica.org o a los responsables directos:
II International Cave Paintings Symposium, Havana, Cuba
This Symposium will focus on debates over the following themes:
For more information contact cubaarqueologica.org or those directly responsable:
X Conferencia Internacional de Antropología , LA HABANA, CUBA.
The Cuban Group of Cave Painting Research, the Institute of Cuban Anthropology and the Archaeological Cabinet are pleased to invite participants to the II International Symposium of Cave Painting that will be developed in the city of Havana, Cuba simultaneously with the X International Conference of Anthropology in November, 2010.
The meeting, as usual, will seek to open a space for theoretical discussion between professionals and students of cave painting around the world and in America, in particular, that involving the most recent investigation methodologies implemented by researchers and the most relevant discoveries of the area.
1. Paradigms of Archaeology in the XXI century.
Dany Morales Valdés, II International Archaeological Colloquium, Calle Amargura, No. 203 e/ Aguiar y Habana, Habana Vieja, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba, CP 10100 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Racso Fernández Ortega, II International Archaeological Colloquium, Plaza de la Revolución, CP 10400, AP 4307, E-mail: mailto:email@example.com.
Web Cuba Arqueológica premiada con el Premio Internacional OX
Se le ha concedido a Cuba Arqueológica el Premio Internacional OX en la categoría de HUMANIDADES y su web podrá ser recomendada también en la próxima edición del libro "Internet en español", que será publicado próximamente y contará con una selección de las webs más interesantes de Cuba y de otros veinte países hispanohablantes.
Web Cuba Arqueológica Honored with the International OX Award
Cuba Arqueológica has been awarded the International OX Award in the Humanities category. Its website will also be able to be recommended in the next edition of forthcoming book Internet in Spanish (Internet en Español), which will contain a selection of the most interesting Cuban websites and others from 20 Spanish speaking countries.
More information can be found at: firstname.lastname@example.org
5 (e) AKTC AFGHANISTAN
Baghban Bashi, Kabul
Following its registration in 2008 as a historic monument, developers of a huge commercial development near Zarnegar Park dropped plans to demolish the Baghban Bashi mosque. Built in the early 20th century, the distinctive minaret of this ‘gardeners’ mosque - which seems to have been so named because the site was once part of the royal gardens - was a landmark in central Kabul. The campaign to save the mosque is an example of collaboration between AKTC and the department of Historic Monuments of the Ministry of Information & Culture. Having jointly surveyed the building for the purposes of registration, staff from the department not only succeeded in saving it but also persuaded the developers to fund its restoration — a process that they supervised and which is now nearing completion. Moreover, staff from the department also stopped the developers from cutting down mature mulberry trees in the courtyard, which were felt to obscure the view of a complex (right) that continues to rise above the Kabul skyline.
World Heritage Status?
At a time when illegal demolition of historic property and new construction in the old city is accelerating, an expert mission will visit in early November to assist in the formulation of a dossier for the possible inclusion of Herat on the UNESCO Tentative World Heritage List. As well as assessing the importance of built heritage, the mission will examine what steps are being taken to safeguard the historic fabric. AKTC surveys suggest that more than 80 new construction projects have started in the old city in 2009 alone - despite assurances by the municipality that all illegal demolition and new building construction will be halted. Unless action is taken by the authorities, the people of Herat stand to lose an opportunity for their unique heritage to receive the international recognition.
5 (f) AFRICAN DIASPORA ARCHAEOLOGY NETWORK
Stabilization and Tourism at the Gambia River’s Atlantic Trade Sites: the James Island Conservation and Survey Project
In May 2009, a detailed survey of the remaining sections of James Island and James Fort in The Gambia were documented in conjunction with the National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC), which was directing the construction of a sea wall defense to prevent further erosion of the island. The goals of the project were to document the architectural development of the structures, identify any archaeological features, and stabilize the fort. The information gathered through this project will be used to establish new site interpretation formats and tours at the site, and will preface future research that will expand to the entirety of James Island World Heritage Area, including the villages of Albreda and Juffure.
Access the full article detailing the results of the current project and previous work completed by the author at http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/news0909/news0909-3.pdf.
A New Approach to Identifying the African Origins of Enslaved Laborers Using Isotope Analysis of Archaeological Skeletal Remains
The September 2006 issue of the African Diaspora Newsletter published a brief report on the progress of an isotopic study of 25 burials from the Newton plantation cemetery, Barbados, that were excavated during two field seasons in 1997-1998 by K. Shuler and R. Pasquariello (cf., Shuler 2005). The primary aim of the study was to establish whether isotopic analyses could be used to identify African-born individuals in the burial assemblage and to determine where in Africa they may have originated. The results of the study, which were recently published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Schroeder et al. 2009), illustrate the potential of the approach, but also highlight some of the limitations.
Archaeological evidence for the origins of enslaved Africans is hard to find. Handler (1994) cautiously suggested that individuals with filed teeth were probably born in Africa as opposed to the New World. However, he also argued that the different patterns could probably not be used as particular regional markers, since those practices were not specific to certain ethnic groups or linguistic areas (Handler 1994; see also Handler et al. 1982).
A combination of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and strontium isotope analyses was used to analyse the skeletal remains from Newton. The aim of these analyses was to establish whether the measurements could help identify African-born (as opposed to Barbadian-born) individuals in the assemblage and to determine where in Africa they may have originated. By using several measurements, the researchers hoped to be able to crosscheck our findings and to gain a more nuanced understanding of the captives’ origins.
The written records suggest that by the end of the 18th century the vast majority of Barbados’ slave population were Creoles who had been born on the island (Handler and Lange 1978). Therefore, it did not come as a surprise that of the 25 individuals analysed, most (n = 18) yielded isotopic values that are consistent with a Barbadian origin. Seven individuals, however, yielded enamel oxygen and strontium isotope ratios that are inconsistent with a Barbadian origin, which strongly suggests that we are dealing with first-generation captives who were brought to the island with the slave trade. This idea is also supported by the fact that all seven individuals show marked intra-skeletal shifts in carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios, which suggest that they experienced a major dietary change at some point during their late teens or early twenties – a change that probably coincided with their capture and forced migration to Barbados.
Having identified the African-born individuals in the assemblage, the question remained as to where in Africa they had come from. Unfortunately, the method does not allow the pinpointing of specific locations in Africa in which individuals were born and spent their formative years. However, the data clearly demonstrate that the seven African-born individuals did not all originate from the same part of Africa. Instead, the data suggest that they might have grown up in at least three different areas, possibly including the Gold Coast and the Senegambia.
Next Issue: December 2009
|Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2009 21:19|