Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "survey"

A NEW archaeological survey will investigate human occupation sites at Barrow Island, from the time it was joined to the mainland between seven and eight thousand years ago.

UWA Archaeologist Professor Peter Veth, who has excavated ancient archaeological sites in the Monte Bello Islands over the past two decades, says Barrow Island is the next logical place to look for sites of human occupation that probably ended as sea levels rose.

“We’d been looking at the opportunity for recovering drowned paleo-landscapes and sites for a long time,” he says.

“You look offshore and you are going to get islands which were once part of the mainland and they register oceanic sea level fluctuations, changing maritime systems, a whole range of configurations of faunas, human economies, behaviors which won’t be the same as those on the retracted mainland today.” Read more.

HONOLULU - Native Hawaiian Paulette Kaleikini’s claim that an archaeological inventory survey, or AIS, needs to be completely finished before the city can begin construction of the $5.3 billion elevated rail project reached the Hawaii Supreme Court Thursday.

Kaleikini’s lawsuit was thrown out of Circuit Court last March, but the case bypassed the Intermediate Court of Appeals and went directly to the high court.

In oral arguments that lasted more than an hour, Kaleikini’s attorney, David Frankel, argued state law doesn’t allow completion of an AIS in four phases, a course the city is currently following.

Frankel used a colorful analogy to make his point to the five justices.

"If I tell my son, ‘Eat all your broccoli,’ and he eats only a few pieces of broccoli, he hasn’t complied with the rule," said Frankel.

However, state and city attorneys countered that a programmatic agreement between the State Historic Preservation Division and the city, as well as several other entities, ensures native Hawaiian burials won’t be disturbed.

The agreement calls for columns that support the elevated guideway to be moved if iwi, or ancestral bones, are discovered in Kakaako, where the vast majority of burial sites are believed to be located. Read more.

Among archaeologists who report rampant thefts of antiquities from their dig sites worldwide, U.S. archaeologists are unique in reporting run-ins with methamphetamine addicts bent on looting dig sites.

From Italy’s Etruscan tombs to Egypt’s ancient pyramids to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples, thieves have pillaged ancient heritage sites for centuries, and a new survey finds looting widespread in both wealthy and poor nations.

Hobbyist “pot hunters” have long disturbed U.S. archaeological sites looking for early Native American artifacts to steal or sell, but anecdotal reports of “meth heads” invading sites adds a new worry for scholars.

"Archaeological fieldwork has become an increasingly dangerous occupation around the world," finds the survey of 2,358 archaeologists (initially it was mailed to about 15,000 researchers, for a 16% response rate) reported in the current Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, noting looters — sometimes armed — at archaeological sites worldwide. “From a global perspective, looting is not an isolated problem,” says survey author Blythe Bowman Proulx of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. Read more.

A detailed survey of every stone that makes up Stonehenge using the latest technology, including a new scanner that has never before been used on a heritage project in Britain, has resulted in the most accurate digital model ever produced of the world famous monument.

With resolution level as high as 0.5mm in many areas, every nook and cranny of the stones’ surfaces is revealed with utmost clarity, including the lichens, Bronze Age carvings, erosion patterns and Victorian graffiti.

Most surprisingly, initial assessment of the survey has suggested that the ‘grooves’ resulting from stone dressing on some sarsen stones appear to be divided into sections, perhaps with different teams of Neolithic builders working on separate areas. A first glimpse of the model can now be viewed on the English Heritage website. Read more.

Philadelphia — University of Pennsylvania Museum archaeologists working at the renowned ancient site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia site sometimes called the “American Stonehenge” have joined forces with a team of engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists and anthropologists from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Computer and Information Science, School of Engineering, the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas, and the Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, to begin a  large-scale, subsurface surveying project using equipment and  techniques that may one day serve as a model for future archaeological efforts worldwide.

Their three-year, collaborative pilot project, made possible through a 1.05 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, is called “Computing and Retrieving 3D Archaeological Structures from Subsurface Surveying.” It seeks to collect detailed, three-dimensional archaeological structural data from approximately 60 subterranean acres of Tiwanaku—without benefit of the archaeologist’s trowel. Read more.

The English city of Nottingham has a unique architectural heritage – beneath the city there are nearly 500 man-made caves cut into the natural sandstone. Some date back to the medieval period and possibly even earlier.

The  Nottingham Caves Survey is taking a fresh look at over 400 of  the caves in order to help highlight the city’s unique historical resource and will build on the work of British Geological Survey in the 1980s which documented all known caves in Nottingham. The caves listed from that time will be re-visited and the information on the Register updated. All caves that can be physically accessed will be surveyed with a 3D laser scanner, producing a full measured record in three dimensions. Read more.

Amateur archaeologists can now get a step by step lesson in their own homes from professionals in how to survey and record rural settlements in Scotland.

Four videos showcasing different archaeological surveying and recording techniques were launched online on 11 April, 2011,  and are available to view and download from the Scotlands Rural Past website, YouTube and Vimeo.

Produced by Scotland’s Rural Past (SRP), a Scotland-wide project supported by the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments (RCHAMS), and comprising 65 volunteer-led projects involved in researching and recording medieval and later rural settlements, the videos aim to give detailed instructions to volunteers and students across the country. Read more.



SCARBRO, W.Va. — Brandon Nida and his team of archeologists from the University of California are spending a lot of time these days probing the ground around the historic Whipple Company Store, in preparation for a full-scale excavation in August.

But the postgraduate Berkeley students are spending a like amount of time probing the memories of area residents who stop by to watch the crew work, ask them questions, or lend a hand with the project’s preliminary chores.

"A lot of our time is spent sitting on the porch, hearing people’s stories and learning more about this store and the community," Nida said. "Details about the lives of miners and their families are not always included in written histories." Read more.