Archeologists are puzzled by the fact that bone remnants from children and infants are almost never unearthed from ancient funeral pyre sites.
Sagnlandet Lejre. The burning piglet doesn’t smell as expected. It smells more like bonfire and this is slightly disappointing.
Jonas Jæger, archeology student at Copenhagen University, had been told it would smell like roasted pork or bacon “… and something disgusting later,” he says with a roguish grin in the direction of his fellow student Veronica Liv Johansen, busy documenting the ongoing experiment.
The olfactory anecdote stems from an older experimental archeologist who previously immolated fully grown pigs to investigate what happens with the bones after they’d been exposed to the tearing flames.
In principle it’s the same experiment happening right now with the only exception that the burning critter is just a piglet weighing in around 2,800 grams — about the weight of an infant making it a good comparison to help answer a question shared by archeologists. Read more.
Bones which some believe could be those of Alfred the Great have been exhumed from an unmarked grave in Winchester to protect them from the enthusiasm of seekers for lost kings inflamed by reports of the rediscovery of the remains of Richard III in Leicester.
Alfred died in AD899, and his remains had an even more chequered history than Richard’s, moved and reburied at least twice.
A spokesman for the diocese of Winchester, Nick Edmonds, said there was no evidence of any vandalism or attempt to interfere with the grave, but the exhumation was a precaution because of the widespread curiosity about the story. Read more.
More than 2,500 years after tiny infant bones were scattered, perhaps offhandedly, amid animal remains on the floor of an Etruscan workshop, recently-discovered fragments of those bones are causing a stir far beyond Italy’s Poggio Civitate Archaeological Project.
University of Massachusetts Amherst archaeologist Anthony Tuck recently told an Archaeological Institute America annual meeting in Seattle that the bones discovered in the ancient Etruscan town of Poggio Civitate were “simply either left on the floor of the workshop or ended up in an area with a heavy concentration of other discarded remains of butchered animals.”
It is an image that has, in ensuing weeks, resonated powerfully, if not always accurately, in the international press as everyone from religious fundamentalists to luridly invasive tabloids has scrambled to assemble narratives for the baby bones that might be either more or less appalling to modern sensibilities – narratives, notes Tuck, that tell us more about ourselves than they do about perinatal death in ancient Italy. Read more.
Long-buried bones and a missing monarch. Add some historical notoriety and modern technology and you have a heck of a captivating, science-driven story.
Just this month, it was announced that bones found under a parking lot in Leicester, England, belonged to King Richard III. DNA evidence, according to the lead archaeologist at the excavation, proved this “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
For Hilke Thur, a Vienna-based archaeologist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, a similar quest awaits empirical closure. The locale is more exotic – western Turkey – and the evidence is much more difficult to analyze: The bones in question are a bit more than 2,000 years old. Read more.
(AP)—Crews renovating a public square in the U.S. Virgin Islands have discovered a 1,500-year-old landfill stuffed with shells, bones and pottery fragments.
Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls says a team of specialized archaeologists will arrive soon to further excavate the pre-Columbian site. It is located in the capital of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas.
Smalls said Wednesday that the landfill, known as a midden, features hundreds of sea snail shells and bones from fish, birds, rodents and marine mammals. He said some of the pottery fragments feature stylized eyes.
Smalls said local historians who analyzed the midden have determined it is among the most important sites of its age on St. Thomas. (source)
ONALASKA — Archaeologists monitoring reconstruction of Hwy. 35 are unearthing remnants — including possible human bones — of a Native American settlement that dates from nearly 500 years before the first white people settled La Crosse.
Scientists from the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center have found almost two dozen likely skeletal fragments as well as hundreds of food and garbage pits, cooking hearths tools and other artifacts of the Oneota people who inhabited the Onalaska area between about 1300 and 1600 AD.
Though the discoveries have created some delays, project manager Joe Gregas said $4.6 million project is big enough that contractors can work in other areas while archaeologists dig. He said the DOT is still aiming for its Nov. 16 completion date, thanks in part to the dry summer. Read more.
GRANGER, Ind. — A South Bend archaeologist is now looking into a mistaken discovery. Landscapers found bones just feet away from a popular shopping plaza in Granger.
Those bones are believed to be from an animal and date back to the 1870s. The archaeologist who examined the remains said people stumble across bones, artifacts and tombstone all the time. What is unusual about this discovery are the stones that were also found.
It is something you do not see everyday. Stones that resemble tombstones scattered around bones, but that is exactly what some landscapers found Tuesday night.
“They did the right thing. Stopped, called the DNR and the DNR then called me,” said Jay Vanderveen, an IUSB professor within the department of sociology and anthropology. Read more.
NINE bodies left languishing in a storeroom for decades will finally be laid to rest tomorrow.
Some of the skeletons, uncovered at Eynsham Abbey in an archaeological dig, have waited more than 400 years for a proper burial.
They were discovered in the late 1980s and early 1990s and kept in a storeroom at the Oxfordshire Museum’s Resource Centre in Standlake.
That was until their existence was discovered by a local priest, who decided to bring them back and return them to their rightful home.
Father Martin Flatman, of St Peter’s Church, in Abbey Street, Eynsham, said: “When I found out these bodies were still in a storeroom I felt very strongly that they should be reverently buried. Read more.