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Friday, January 28, 2011

Bone Course

Archaeozoology (Bone Course)

When: 19 & 20 March 2011 & 26 & 27 March 2011
Where: Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (formerly the Transvaal Museum)
Cost : R1800.00 (There are only 20 seats available! (minimum of 10 people))


Archaeozoology is a sub-discipline of archaeology and deals with the analysis of animal skeletal material from archaeological terrains.  This course will allow you to step into the shoes of an archaeozoologist and see how the basic knowledge of animal skeletons can open a whole new world of understanding nature, animals and how animal remains are vital to the interpretation of an archaeological terrain.
In two consecutive weekends I will take you on an exciting journey of discovery and learning around the intricacies of the animal skeleton and the identification of these remains. The course will include lectures, discussion and hands on practical classes.

Participants will begin to develop the skills necessary to:
·         Identify different species from their bones and teeth
·         Identify the differences between the major mammal and animal groups
·         Age and sex bones
·         Recognize taphonomy, butchery and pathology
·         Understand how archaeozoological material is analysed and quantified
·         Interpret site reports and Archaeozoological literature





·         Lectures
o   Introduction: What is Archaeozoology
o   Basic Skeletal Anatomy
·         Practicals
o   Assembling a skeleton
·         Lectures
o   Major skeletal differences of the major mammal groups
·         Practicals
o   Assembling skeletons of the major mammal groups
·         Lectures
o   Skeletal differences and adaptations between the animal groups
o   Determination of age gender, pathology, taphonomy
·         Practicals
o   Exploring the animal groups
·         Lectures
o   Differences in site material and archaeological id
o   Archaeozoological research direction
o   Osteology and osteometry in animal bone
·         Practicals
o   Putting your knew found knowledge to the test
There will be ample opportunity to ask questions and discuss the issues raised during the course. 


What does the course fee include?

All course material, tea / coffee and lunch.  Your fee includes access to the best animal skeletal collection in southern Africa and provides you a rare glimpse at this treasure.  The course is presented at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History (Transvaal Museum) and 25% of the course fees will go to the Museum to assist with the upkeep of their excellent collections.


Who should attend?

There is no required knowledge base nor do you need a relevant degree or diploma, the only thing required is a willingness to learn and an eagerness for knowledge.  This course caters for the young and the old, the skilled and the unskilled, all the armchair archaeologists out there, those who always wanted – or is going – to study archaeology, those who love nature and her mysteries and for those who just love learning something new and exciting.


Cancellations and refunds

No refunds will be granted

How do I book?
If this sounds like a course you would die to attend, then for more information and to make a booking contact:

cell: 083 485 6584

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Funny Friday

Ancient kiln found in southern Iran


Iranian archeologists have found the remains of an ancient kiln in the country's southern Fars Province, which they say dates back to some 4,700 years ago. 
“The third phase of archeological excavations at Mianroud Mound yielded part of the 1.30-meter-tall fireplace of the circular kiln,” IRIB quoted head of the archeology team Mousa Zare as saying. (Source)
“The kiln is about 90 centimeters thick and its upper section where the clay pots were put has been destroyed,” he added. (Source)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Way back Wednesday

Today i will be looking at:

Masouleh Village In Northern Iran

The Village is embedded in the mountains of Northern Iran and what is so unique about it is that the roofs of the houses also serve as the streets of the village.

The village doesn't have a lot to offer visitors but it was such a beautiful place!

I hope you enjoyed my Way Back Wednesday!

Ancient Armenian Wine


Archaeologists have found proof that Armenia was a ancient wine-making country. The proof comes in the form of a wine vessels daring to 4000 BC. They found grape remains and chemical evidence of grape-coloring compound. 

“These are unique finds which preserved perfectly,” Pavel Avetisyan told a press conference in Yerevan.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ancient temple ruins discovered in Sri Lanka

"Jaffna University History Professor K Pusparatnam and Archeological Department students discovered and ancient temple in a ruined state at Kawtharimunai, Pooneryn. The temple was found in a thick jungle enveloped by overgrown banian trees and Palmyra groves."
"A completely ruined Hindu temple about 50 feet in height and 15 feet in width was found among the sand mounds. The temple had been built with coral and lime stones. There were evidence of a parapet wall being built around the temple."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A 2500 year old recipe for Celtic beer

Source: Commons

Archeobotanist Hans-Peter Stika, of the University of Hohenheim has been looking at ancient Celtic sites, trying to figure out how they made beer.

It seems they dug a ditch and poured barley and water in it, leaving it to sprout. They then dried the barley with a fire. The beer was then flavored with gruit that contains yarrow, carrot seeds, mugwort, and henbane. The beer was then heated slowly by holding the it over a very low fire and adding yeast. Fruits or nuts was then sometimes added. When it was cooler, it could finally be consumed.


Northern Iran yields ancient metal tools


A large amount of metal tools have been found during excavations in Golestan. The 500 or so objects date back to 1800 BCE. Achaemenid earthenware has also been found.
For more on this subject:

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ancient Organisms Found Alive in Salt Crystals


Scientists have found organisms that were trapped in salt crystals 34,000 years ago.
“The organisms are called archaea, one of the two prokaryote domains (the other is bacteria),” Lowenstein told The Epoch Times. (source)

“We were the first group to look inside the salts before we tried to culture microbes from them,” Timofeeff added. (source)

“They are trapped alongside a type of algae called Dunaliella, which just so happens to produce the food the archaea need to survive—the sugar alcohol glycerol,” Lowenstein said, explaining how the organisms could survive for so long. (source)

“They can reproduce, but at some point they will use up their available resources and conditions for life will become unfavorable,” Timofeeff said. (source)
To read the research paper, please visit

And for more on this:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tree rings could reveal secrets about ancient life

Tree rings reveal clues about ancient Rome life

A new study shows that tree rings could shows us more about the rise and fall of ancient European civilizations, such as Rome.

Scientists studied thousands of wooden artifacts that span over the last 2500 years. By doing this they determined general weather patterns over the last 2500 years.

They then compared the results with historical records and can now draw better conclusions about how climate change impacted early European life.
“Looking back on 2,500 years, there are examples where climate change impacted human history," co-author Ulf Buntgen, a paleoclimatologist at the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, told Science. (Source)
"Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity. Increased climate variability from 250-600 AD coincided with the demise of the western Roman empire and the turmoil of the migration period," the team reported. (Source)
"Distinct drying in the 3rd Century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman empire marked by barbarian invasion, political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces of Gaul." (Source)

I find this fascinating and I look forward to reading more about such studies.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Amenhotep III and Tiye statue pieces found

Missing pieces found at Luxor


Six missing pieces of the statue of Amenhotep III and his wife Queen Tiye, have been discovered. They were found on the west bank of Luxor as part of a project that's aim was to lower the ground water.

For more info and source:

Conference on the cache at Karnak

A International Colloquium is being held at Luxor on the 29-31 January 2011.

Tons of statues and other objects were found in the famous Karnak cachette buried in the temple of Amun. This international colloquium will have lectures in French, English or German with a impressive list of speakers. We will now know more about this spectacular find.

So if you are in Luxor, don't miss it!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Extinct insect completely recon-structed in 3-D

Just for illustration

Extinct insect completely reconstructed in 3-D

An extinct insects' anatomy has been completely reconstructed three-dimensionally for the first time.

For more, click on the link above.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Parthian coffin restoration / Mummies at the museum / Obelisk in NYC mistreated?

Parthian coffin to be restored by Iranian experts

Just for illustration
Source: Commons

A broken Parthian coffin that was discovered on October 21, 2010 in the ancient city of Estakhr in Iran, is now being restored. It is important, because it's the only post-Achaemenid coffin found at the Persepolis site.

“The coffin was sent to the cultural heritage site of Persepolis, where three experts have started the restoration project on the relic,” Parseh- Pasargadae Foundation expert Shahram Rahbar told CHTN. (Source)


Mummies of the World

 Just for illustration
Source: Commons

The Milwaukee Public Museum is having a exhibit with mummies of the world. One of the oldest mummies ever is part of this exhibit that started 17 Dec 2010 and ends 20 May.

150 human and animal remains and objects from South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and ancient Egypt is being shown.


 Is the obelisk in NYC being mistreated?

Just for illustration
Source: Commons

Zahi Hawass (Supreme Council of Antiquities secretary) wrote to the New York Mayor stating that his city isn't taking care of the 3,500-year-old obelisk. The Needle is badly weathered with no effort to conserve it.
The New York Post and the Met are denying such claims, saying that the damage occurred in previous centuries.


Thursday, January 6, 2011