Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "artifact"

VERGENNES — Bixby Memorial Library officials held out little hope of recovering a valuable Native American spearhead when it was stolen from the organization’s museum last October.

But thanks to a vigilant public and some good police work, the spearhead has been located and is on target for return to the Bixby’s museum within the next few weeks. And soon after it does, the spearhead and the rest of the museum’s thousands of artifacts will be formally catalogued to give Bixby officials a more polished picture of the little-known treasure trove of historical artifacts that has reposed for generations in a non-descript, second-floor room in the historic library.

“The Bixby Library is thrilled and impressed,” library Director Jane Spencer said of the recovery of the Shoshoni ceremonial spearhead by Vergennes police. Police on July 17 cited Susan J. Curavoo, 46, of Vergennes, for possession of stolen property after executing a search warrant at her home. Vergennes police Chief George Merkel said the spearhead — around a foot long and colored black on one side, red on the other — was found safely ensconced in bubble rap. Read more.

The authenticity of a burial box purported to have been for the “brother” of Jesus Christ remained shrouded in mystery on Wednesday after a Jerusalem court acquitted an Israeli private collector of charges he forged the artifact.

The court, in finding Oded Golan not guilty, noted that expert witnesses could not agree on whether an inscription on the 2,000-year-old limestone box which reads: “James son of Joseph, brother of Jesus”, was genuine or had been forged.

The authenticity of the so-called “James ossuary” will likely “continue to be investigated in the archaeological and scientific arena, and time will tell”, the court said. Read more.

An ancient spearpoint was found at an excavation site off Gallows Hill Road during a Norwalk Community College-sponsored archaeology dig.

Chelsea Dean, 18, a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, took the Introduction to Archaeology course with Professor Ernest Wiegand last fall as part of the schools avocation program. She enrolled in the class to see if archaeology would be a possible career choice. During the last dig of the semester, Chelsea found a spearpoint more than 4,000 years old.

"It’s like an arrowhead. The section I was working on had a lot of stuff coming up, but nothing was complete. When the actual projectile point came up, it was the first intact artifact I found," she said.

"One of the things I learned taking the course is that I want to continue with archaeology, whether it’s a career or recreational," Chelsea said. "It can be tedious and tiring working at digs — and you get sore because you are sitting at weird angles — but I think it’s really rewarding." Read more.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - An ancient Peruvian artifact in the form of a monkey’s head given to the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe in 1995 is heading back home.

The small gold pendant measuring 1 3/4 inches high by 2 1/4 inches wide will be “repatriated” Thursday during a ceremony at Peru’s embassy in Washington.

The small bead has been the subject of controversy amid allegations that it was looted from an archaeological site in Peru.

The Albuquerque Journal ( ) reports the FBI at one point seized the monkey’s head and other items, but eventually the artifacts were returned to the Santa Fe museum.

The board of regents of the museum of New Mexico, the organization that oversees all of the state museums in Santa Fe, voted recently to return the bead to Peru. (source)

The hot, Central American sun beat down on their necks. Sifting through the plowed earth, they diligently searched for a piece of history left behind. Hours were spent looking through archives; preparing, learning, waiting for the moment of hands-on, practical use. 

They found something, an old map with the words "McRae Works” penciled on the front. Two more maps accompanied it. A history had been discovered that was closer to home than anyone had expected.

A few months ago, John DeGennaro was sitting in class learning about archeological methods, and now he has helped discover the homestead of a Confederate soldier who fled to Belize after the Civil War.

In the spring of 2011, DeGennaro, now a sophomore, and assistant professor of archeology Eleanor Harrison-Buck collaborated with the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research and the Research Experience and Apprenticeship Program to create a project that incorporated both classroom and hands-on learning at an archeological site. Read more.

An ancient clay vessel reconstructed from pieces discovered at a Canadian museum is riddled with tiny holes, leaving archaeologists baffled over what it was used for.

The jar, just 16 inches (40 centimeters) tall and dating back about 1,800 years, was found shattered into an unrecognizable 180 pieces in a storage room at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. But even after it was restored, the scientists were faced with a mystery. So far no one has been able to identify another artifact like it from the Roman world.

"Everyone’s stumped by it," Katie Urban, one of the researchers at the London, Ontario, museum, told LiveScience. "We’ve been sending it around to all sorts of Roman pottery experts and other pottery experts, and no one seems to be able to come up with an example." Read more.

A tiny Pre-Columbian artifact intercepted by federal agents at O’Hare was found to be illegally exported from Mexico and will be returned to the Mexican government.

In April U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers doing a routine outbound operation at O’Hare examined a small shipment manifested as an artifact and found the four-inch-tall clay figurine, shaped like a woman and painted in orange, according to a release from CBP.

It had sold for $550 at an auction and was en route from Indiana to the buyer in British Columbia, Canada, the release said.

Anthropologists at the Field Museum were called in and found the item to be an authentic Pre-Columbian artifact from West Mexico. The figure of a Nayarit woman is believed to have been created by ancient Western Mexico people as part of a multi-piece burial scene in an elaborate underground mountainous tomb. It dates back to the early first millennium AD.  Read more.