Some of the archaeologists currently working at excavation sites around Turkey are not taking their job seriously enough, Tourism and Culture Minister Ömer Çelik has said, according to daily Hürriyet.
Çelik made the comments in an interview with Der Spiegel Magazine at the Berlin International Tourism Bourse, a well-known travel trade fair.
German archeologists have been overseeing excavations at Göbekli Tepe, he said, adding that a total of 11,000 sculptures went missing from the site in 2010. “I am not accusing them of stealing, however, this is evidence that they are not giving sufficient importance to security issues.” Read more.
CAIRO - The keeper of Egypt’s archaeological treasures sees hope for the nation’s future in its pharaonic past.
Mohammed Ibrahim, head of the antiquities ministry, likens Egypt’s turbulent emergence from autocracy to the periods of decline that afflicted the nation on the Nile between the fall and rise of its three ancient kingdoms.
“We have passed through similar periods like that, even in antiquity,” said Ibrahim, custodian of the pyramids, tombs and temples that bare witness to one of the world’s oldest civilizations. “Every time Egypt passes through this period, it recovers very quickly, very strongly.” Read more.
Geneticists, archaeologists and historians are joining forces to investigate the history of transatlantic slavery, in a €4.3-million (US$5.8-million) project launched today. The researchers say that the project is a unique opportunity to improve our knowledge of the slave trade, but warn that some of their results might be “uncomfortable”.
Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, millions of people from west and central Africa were captured and shipped across the Atlantic by European slave traders to a life of forced labour in the Americas. The subject has been well studied by historians, but one of the coordinators of the project, geneticist Hannes Schroeder of the Center for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, says that there are still “large gaps in our knowledge” regarding the origins of the people captured as slaves, for instance, and how the slave trade operated.
The historical records are fragmentary,” he says. “For example, they tend to mention just the port of export, rather than the ethnic or geographical origin of the person. The idea is that by bringing in genetics, we get a different view.” Read more.
INDIANA Jones-types from around the country whip-cracked their way to Toowoomba today for the 2011 Australian Archaeology Association National Conference.
More than 350 of Australia’s most respected archaeologists will attend the three-day forum, held at USQ and the Empire Theatre.
“We’ll be discussing ground breaking issues like contemporary politics of archaeology, the place of indigenous perspectives in archaeological interpretation and the role of the public and the media in archaeology,” School of Humanities and Communication head Professor Bryce Barker said.
The conference features a “Meet the Graduates” evening where representatives from 30 companies will discuss employment opportunities with students.
“Archaeology graduates have a very high rate of employment in the cultural heritage industry in Australia and demand has increased even more over recent years because of the mining boom,” Prof Barker said. (source)
LEADING figures from across the city have paid tributes to Dr Richard Hall, the world-renowned York archaeologist, who has died at the age of 62.
Dr Hall joined York Archaeological Trust in 1974 eventually holding the position of Director of Archaeology and Deputy Director of the Trust, and was pivotal in the discovery of well-preserved Viking Age houses, textiles, and other artefacts while directing the Coppergate dig between 1976 and 1981.
He was regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on the Viking age.
Through these excavations and his interpretation of findings at the Jorvik Viking Centre in Coppergate, Dr Hall helped millions of people enjoy archaeology and history in an accessible format, and his knowledge and understanding of Viking Age archaeology and culture contributed hugely to the success of the tourist attraction.
Hugh Bayley, York Central MP, said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of Dr Hall, who he said would be “remembered for centuries”. Read more.
The state has been ordered to release records to The Salt Lake Tribune about the controversial firing of its archaeologists.
On Thursday, the State Records Committee ruled that the state Department of Community and Culture must provide records of communications about the discontinued positions of the state archaeologist, the archaeologist’s assistant and a physical anthropologist.
Tribune reporter Judy Fahys asked for those records shortly after the three employees were fired in June, but the department claimed her request was too vague to fulfill.
“The original request was very broad and undefined,” said assistant Attorney General Kathy Kinsman, who represented the department at Thursday’s hearing.
The department records officer, Jane Van Wagoner, testified that Fahys’ request would require staff to search 200 separate email accounts used by employees in the department.
But committee member and state archivist Patricia Smith-Mansfield testified such a search was feasible and wouldn’t require searches of all 200 email accounts. Read more.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS will this week start delving for hidden history beneath the site which is to become York’s new council HQ.
A Roman bath complex and a Medieval friary are among the treasures which may be discovered as a part of York’s railway heritage is transformed into the city’s civic flagship.
West Offices, in Station Rise, will ultimately house City Of York Council’s new £32 million customer service center – and our pictures today show where that facility will be based.
A cantilevered roof will cover the customer center, which will stand on the scene where trains used to arrive at the city’s first railway station. Read more.
Archaeologists have discovered a 12,000-year-old iron oxide mine in Chile that marks the oldest evidence of organized mining ever found in the Americas, according to a report in the June issue of Current Anthropology.
A team of researchers led by Diego Salazar of the Universidad de Chile found the 40-meter trench near the coastal town of Taltal in northern Chile. It was dug by the Huentelauquen people—the first settlers in the region—who used iron oxide as pigment for painted stone and bone instruments, and probably also for clothing and body paint, the researchers say.
The remarkable duration and extent of the operation illustrate the surprising cultural complexity of these ancient people. “It shows that [mining] was a labor-intensive activity demanding specific technical skills and some level of social cooperation transmitted through generations,” Salazar and his team write. Read more.