Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "alabama"

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) - An American who was caught trying to leave Macedonia with more than 200 ancient coins has been convicted of violating the country’s strict law protecting it archaeological heritage and given a 2-year suspended sentence.

In Wednesday’s ruling, the court also banned 45-year-old Candace Lynn Dunlap, a nurse from Meridian, Alabama, from returning to Macedonia for 10 years.

Dunlap was arrested at the country’s main airport last month with 256 coins in her carry-on luggage. Local news media said the coins were up to 2,200 years old.

The defendant said she was given the coins by a Macedonian man as a present and was unaware of any wrongdoing.

Dunlap was due to leave Macedonia late Wednesday night. (source)

Hurricane Isaac has washed the remains of a blockade-runner vessel onto the shores of an Alabama beach, and many believe it could be a Civil War-era vessel, dating to 1862, according to the Birmingham News.

However, a debate has ensued over exactly which era the shipwreck is from.

"Look what Isaac uncovered!" reads a Facebook post from Meyer Vacation Rentals, a local real estate company that posted several pictures of the wreckage on its fan page.

A number of Confederate ships attempted to circumvent a Union Navy blockade of Mobile Bay during the Civil War. And some believe the wreckage may belong to the Monticello, a ship that burned and sank while trying to break the blockade during the war. Read more.

Following an investigation by the Tennessee Valley Authority, four Alabama men have been fined in federal court in connection with the theft of cultural artifacts from TVA property.

Roger Fountain and Heath Dubois, both of Tuscumbia, and John Bates, of Florence, each pleaded guilty to misdemeanor violations of the Archaeological Resource Protection Act. The cases involve theft of artifacts from the shoreline at Pickwick Reservoir.

A fourth man, Matthew Buttrman, of Ider, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft of government property. That charge resulted from a theft of Native American relics from Guntersville Reservoir.

Each defendant was sentenced in federal court in Huntsville to one year of probation and ordered to pay more than $500 in fines and penalties.

“TVA employs a team of investigators who aggressively pursue ARPA violations,” said David Jolley, TVA vice president of Security and Emergency Management. “We work to protect our region’s cultural history from thieves and others who want to profit from those resources.” Read more.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A battle over historic artifacts hidden below the surface of Alabama’s rivers, lakes and bays is surfacing in advance of the opening of Legislature’s 2012 regular session on Feb. 7.

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, has introduced a bill to amend the Alabama Cultural Resources Act, a law that requires underwater explorers to get a permit from the Alabama Historical Commission before going after submerged wrecks and relics.

In Ward’s version, the law would still require permits for recovery of artifacts related to shipwrecks and would forbid disturbing Native American burial sites. But treasure hunters would otherwise be able to search state waters and keep what they find. Read more.

VICKSBURG, Mississippi — An Alabama man has been given three years’ probation and been told to stay out of national military parks after an unauthorized dig at the Vicksburg National Military Park.

The Vicksburg Post reports that Ernest Taylor of Foley pleaded guilty last month in federal court to altering or defacing an archaeological resource, a felony. He was sentenced Nov. 28.

Court documents show Taylor, his wife and son were arrested Sept. 3, 2010 using a metal detector and digging holes at the park for Civil War relics.

Supervising Park Ranger Patty Montague says about 30 holes were found at the park and iron artillery shell fragments were found in Taylor’s possession. Read more.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - It’s been a long, hard day on the job, but refreshment awaits when quitting time comes. Workers gather to enjoy a beer and recover from their labors.

Five o’clock at the bar down the road from the local auto plant?

Nope. It’s circa 2550 B.C. The place is Egypt. And the workers are building a pyramid.

Those marvels of the ancient world that still stir our imaginations today might not have risen to their majestic heights if not for beer.

"They were paid in bread and beer," said Dr. Patrick E. McGovern, scientific director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.

McGovern will discuss “Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Extreme Fermented Beverages” on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Chan Auditorium, 301 Sparkman Drive.

Sponsored by the North Alabama Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and the UAH Department of Art & Art History, the program is free and will be followed by a discussion period. For more details, visit http://excavate-aia.blogspot.com/ or call 256-824-6114. Read more.

Sarah Parcak doesn’t mind if you compare her to Indiana Jones. After all, how many globetrotting superstar archaeologists are out there? But Parcak, 32, is more likely to be found hunkered down in her research facilities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham poring over data than exploring lost temples and ancient cities in Egypt. Though she does plenty of the latter, too.

Parcak, a 1997 graduate of Bangor High School, has made a name for herself as one of the world’s foremost Egyptologists, using infrared satellite imagery to discover thousands of new sites throughout Egypt. A BBC documentary on the work of Parcak and her team of scientists, “Egypt: What Lies Beneath,” will air at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, on the Discovery Channel. The film is narrated by Brendan Fraser and prominently features Parcak.

“People don’t see the hours and hours of research and writing grants and data processing that happens behind the scenes,” said Parcak. “I will say, though, that archaeology is one of those things that I think a lot of little kids dream about [pursuing] when they grow up. Read more.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Two ivory-colored tusks, each about five feet long, soar over the entry to a new exhibit opening later this week at the state archives building.

The tusks sprout from the skull of a mastodon, an extinct elephant-like animal that roamed Alabama and much of North America as recently as about 13,000 years ago.

The tusks and skull are replicas. But a fossilized mastodon tooth on display nearby is real. It’s about five inches wide and was found a few years ago in Butler County. Also displayed are stone Clovis spear points found in Alabama and made more than 10,000 years ago. Read more.