If the Roman Empire had entirely succeeded in its plans to rid Egypt of all things Cleopatra, the California Science Center would have an entirely different display in its third floor exhibition space.
A myth that has served as the story lines of many a film, novel, and stage production would have remained just that: a myth.
Alas, about 150 pieces of Egyptian artifacts “illuminating the life of Cleopatra VII” fill this very space of iconic museum a few miles south of the downtown Los Angeles skyline.
For the next few weeks, patrons will view large statues and little statuettes, illuminating jewelry, once-valuable coins, and elaborately handwritten notes that were once housed in Cleopatra’s lost palace in Alexandria. Read more.
Nobody thought much about the locked metal cabinet in the medical school at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It was another forgotten fixture in the anatomy department — until a researcher last year found seven skulls with yellowing labels indicating the remains were those of Native Americans from California’s Central Coast.
Earlier this month, the skulls and several bone fragments were boxed and gingerly placed aboard a jet to LAX at London’s Heathrow Airport. In a quiet ceremony, they were reburied in San Luis Obispo County, more than a century after their odyssey began.
“They didn’t volunteer to leave the U.S.,” said John Burch, a spiritual leader of the tiny Salinan tribe. “They were kidnapped, and now they’re home.”
Repatriation, the return to tribes of indigenous bones and artifacts, is not always a smooth road. A 1990 federal law, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, calls for museums and other institutions to give remains and relics back to federally recognized tribes that request them. Read more.
SAN GABRIEL - California’s industrial revolution has its roots in a small grist mill built by an ex-pirate on a 40-acre farm at the San Gabriel Mission, archaeologists said.
Archaeologists working with the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority have a chance to uncover more information about the story of Chapman’s Mill and other important mission and Native American artifacts buried just across the street from today’s mission building.
The dig began in December and will continue through mid-March, officials said. Artifacts found so far include a brass religious medallion, a Spanish coin from 1816, tiles, pottery, beads and animal bones.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for us to delve into the history of San Gabriel and the San Gabriel Valley as a whole,” said John Dietler, the lead archaeologist. “Right beneath us are the very roots of Los Angeles.” Read more.
LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The west coast premiere of Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt, featuring the largest collection of its kind ever assembled in the U.S., will open at the California Science CenterMay 23, 2012. More than 150 priceless Egyptian artifacts illuminating the life of Cleopatra VII, one of the most provocative and powerful women in history, will be on view including colossal statues, jewelry, coins and items from her sunken palace inAlexandria and other ancient sites that were significant during her life as queen.
Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt immerses visitors in the experience of two present-day searches on land and sea for the elusive queen, which extend from the sands of Egypt to the depths of the Bay of Aboukir near Alexandria. The artifacts weigh in at about 30 tons in total, including two 16-foot granite statues of a Ptolemaic king and queen from the 4th – 3rd centuries B.C. Read more.
Exactly 100 years ago, a starving Indian who spoke no recognizable language was captured near an Oroville slaughterhouse.
Here’s how The Bee described the incident in its Aug. 29, 1911 edition: “Wild Man Caught In Suburbs of Oroville – Evidently Last of Savage Tribe of Deer Creek Indians.”
The Indians – members of the Yahi and Yana tribes – had been massacred in 1865, 1866 and 1871. A few survivors hid out neareast of
Sheriff’s deputies fed the rangy, famished native doughnuts and beans – he preferred doughnuts – and turned him over toanthropologists T.T. Waterman and Alfred Kroeber, who called him “Ishi,” meaning man in Ishi’s Yahi dialect.
Today, the California Museum unveils a new exhibit honoring Ishi, California’s most famous and misunderstood Indian. Read more.
Recent archaeological findings have revealed four to six walls of the Presidio Officers’ Club could date back to 1776, which would make it the oldest building in San Francisco and perhaps the oldest in California — depending on your definition of “building.”
Currently under renovation, officials at the Presidio Trust took a first look at the original adobe under the current exterior walls of the Officers’ Club in late May, and experts have said they could be part of the original 1776 fort built by the Spanish army by way of Indian labor.
Additions to the building have taken place from its inception until 1972, and the current structure resembles little of the primitive fort that stood at the site originally. Add the adobe’s perishable nature to 235 years worth of earthquakes and storms, and you get a blurry version of history. Read more.
SAN DIEGO — Two ancient skeletons uncovered in 1976 on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, during construction at the home of a University of California chancellor, may be among the most valuable for genetic analysis in the continental United States. Dated between 9,000 and 9,600 years old, the exceptionally preserved bones could potentially produce the oldest complete human genome from the continent.
But only if scientists aren’t barred from studying them.
Attempts to unlock the skeletons’ genetic secrets are stalled in a dispute pitting UC scientists against their own administration. Five of the scientists wrote with alarm in a letter published May 20 in the journal Science that UC administrators aren’t allowing studies on the skeletons, which were discovered on property owned by UC San Diegoin La Jolla, California. Read more.
The artifacts — terra cotta floor tiles, an irrigation channel, bowls, beads and other evidence of 18th century mission life and the Chumash tribe that preceded it — may impede efforts to develop the parcel.Reporting from Ventura, Calif.— When archeologist John Foster started peeling the asphalt from a parking lot in downtown Ventura, he knew he wouldn’t have to dig deep to find a cache of long-buried relics.
He just didn’t realize how many he’d find and from how many different eras.
“It was layer upon layer,” he said this week as he surveyed the emerging foundations of a long-buried, 3-foot-thick mission wall, a span of 200-year-old terra cotta floor tiles laid by Chumash laborers, and a channel fashioned from inverted roof tiles that irrigated a long-dead garden.
Digging down 5 feet, Foster and his crew have found shell beads, a stone bowl used for mixing pigment and lots of cattle bones — leftovers from the tanning and tallow-rendering that brought cash into Mission San Buenaventura. Read more.