Archaeology

Category archives for Archaeology

A bit of documentary on the Donner Party: Donner Party Archaeology and Forensic Science Donald L Hardesty discusses the archaeology and forensic science used at the Donner Party camp sites in the Sierra Nevada mountains. This is a good video, but I can’t embed it, but go have a look.

Mike Morwood Obit

You know about the Hobbit. Not The Hobbit (TM) but the hominid from Flores, Indonesia. Mike Morwood was a key investigator in that research (though he did lots of other research as well). He was born … … in Auckland, New Zealand, studied archaeology at the University of Auckland and gained his PhD at the…

This is a site in the vicinity of Meroe in the Sudan, and seem to date to a period of transition between foraging and farming. From The Telegraph: In a graveyard in Al-Kadada, north of Khartoum, the archaeologists have dug up the tomb of a man and a woman facing each other in a ditch,…

Apparently, the women have jugs.

Finally, the Mayan Apocalypse Explained

In a moment of what may have been trance induced ague, my friend John McKay uttered a few words about Twinkies and the Maya that made a certain amount of sense, but something was still missing. But then it hit me like a loaf of bread. Wonderbread. Which, in Afrikaans, means “Miracle Bread” (you probably…

Across Atlantic Ice: Clovis Origins

I want to talk about the book Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America’s Clovis Culture. It was written by Dennis Stanford and Bruce Bradley, both highly respected archaeologists. The point they make in the book is very simple: An important archaeological culture known as the “Clovis” is actually a European culture that traveled east…

Pastoralism is the practice of keeping and herding animals such as cattle, goats and sheep, and using the products they produce, including meat, hide, bone, horn and of course, dairy. In the old days, armchair archaeologists thought that pastoralism would have been a phase of cultural adaptation following hunting and gathering and preceding horticulture (the…

In discussing the relevance of archeology to anything, there is an easy answer provided by my friend Peter Wells, a specialist in Culture Contact and the Central European Iron Age. Peter tells his students on the first day of class that “Archaeology is the study of everything that happened anywhere, any time, with any human…

Over the last few weeks I’ve run into a few misconceptions about tobacco, as well as some interesting news, so I thought I’d share. If you already know some of this, forgive me, not everyone else does. First, tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum, is a member of the Solanaceae family of plants, which from a human perspective…

Tradition!!!!

Tradition. Not just a song from Fiddler on the Roof. You know the refrain: “The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.” It’s a great play but it is firmly rooted in the patriarchy, as “tradition” often is. There are many ways to define “tradition” and we can look it up somewhere and have a flameware over dictionary…