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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Professor makes top 10 discovery

"Marvin Rowe, professor emeritus of chemistry was honored in the January 2011 issue of Archaeology Magazine for the "Top 10 Discoveries of 2010"; before that, he was honored at the annual meeting of the American Rock Art Research Association in March 2010." (Source)
    "Rowe's discovery created a nondestructive technique that permits scientists to date valuable, rare and unique perishable organic archaeological artifacts without visible change to the artifact. The ordinary radiocarbon dating is a three-step process that results in the destruction of the artifact." (Source)

    "Hopefully his technique will be adopted by more archaeologists and the knowledge of our past can be expanded, without sacrificing artifacts," said Elmo Mawk, senior lecturer for the Department of Chemistry. (Source)
    Read the full article here:

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Funny Friday

    Some World of Warcraft Archaeology humour:


    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Ancient Brits used skull-cups


    About 14 700 years ago people used humans skulls as cups in Britain. They first cleaned the skulls and them used them.

    "It was a very meticulous process that just proves how technologically advanced this population was. It also demonstrates a very complex funerary behavior."

    "It's impossible to know how the skull cups were used back then, but in recent examples, they may hold blood, wine or food during rituals," said co-author of the study Chris Stringer adding that “a precise cast of the skull-cup from the adult individual will go on display at the Natural History Museum in London on March 1 for three months.”


    Monday, February 21, 2011

    Update on the state of Egyptian antiquities

    Good News
    Akhenaten representation
    The Statue of Akhenaten has been returned to the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. It would seem that a 16 year old found the statue outside the museum and took it home, where his family immediately got in touch with the right authorities.


    3D fossil technology

        3-D Digital Dinosaur Track Download: A Roadmap for Saving at-Risk Natural
        History Resources 
    "ScienceDaily (Feb. 12, 2011) — Portable laser scanning technology allows researchers to tote their latest fossil discovery from the field to the lab in the form of lightweight digital data stored on a laptop. But sharing that data as a 3D model with others requires standard formats that are currently lacking, say paleontologists at Southern Methodist University."

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Funny Friday


    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    Today in 1923 - Archaeologist opened King Tut's Tomb


    Today in 1923 Howard Carter entered the sealed burial chamber of Tutankhamen. He found a sarcophagus with three coffins nested inside one another. The last coffin contained the mummified body of King Tut. And the rest is History!


    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Fossilized foot bone tells its secrets

    3.2 Million-Year-Old Fossil Foot Bone Supports Human-Like Bipedalism In Lucy's Species
    "A fossilized foot bone recovered from Hadar, Ethiopia, shows that by 3.2 million years ago human ancestors walked bipedally with a modern human-like foot, a report that appears Feb. 11 in the journal Science, concludes. The fossil, a fourth metatarsal, or midfoot bone, indicates that a permanently arched foot was present in the species Australopithecus afarensis, according to the report authors, Carol Ward of the University of Missouri, together with William Kimbel and Donald Johanson, of Arizona State University's Institute of Human Origins."
    For the full article and source:

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    The list of objects that are missing from the Cairo Museum

    I have only come across this list now on Zahi Hawass blog. The list includes Gilded wooden statues of Tutankhamun and the Heart Scarab of Yuya.

    Here is the article with the full list

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Rare Insect Fossil

    Rare Insect Fossil Reveals 100 Million Years of Evolutionary Stasis

    Just for effect
    "ScienceDaily (Feb. 4, 2011) — Researchers have discovered the 100 million-year-old ancestor of a group of large, carnivorous, cricket-like insects that still live today in southern Asia, northern Indochina and Africa. The new find, in a limestone fossil bed in northeastern Brazil, corrects the mistaken classification of another fossil of this type and reveals that the genus has undergone very little evolutionary change since the Early Cretaceous Period, a time of dinosaurs just before the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana."

    Read more:

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Antartic Lake in Russia

    The opening of secrets in Antarctic lake

    15 million years and it is thought that there might be prehistoric or unknown life in it. Russian scientists are trying to break through.
    "There's only a bit left to go," Alexei Turkeyev, chief of the Russian polar Vostok Station
    "It's minus-40 (Celsius) outside," Turkeyev said. "But whatever, we're working. We're feeling good. There's only 5 meters left until we get to the lake so it'll all be very soon."

    "It's like exploring an alien planet where no one has been before. We don't know what we'll find," said Valery Lukin of Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in St. Petersburg, which oversees the expedition. 

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    Ancient Rabbit Skull

    Fossilized ancient rabbit skull on display in Beijing


    In Beijing a skull of an ancient rabbit is on display at the Paleozoological Museum of China. It is estimated to be around 54 million years old.

    The Skull is so small it has to be looked at through a magnifying glass.

    The Dawsonlagus antiquus rabbit was found in 2007 and is believed to be the oldest remain of the species.


    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Uninformed Statements and Clarifications from Zahi Hawass

    Here are 2 statements from Zahi Hawass on the situation in Egypt and a few other important facts:

    Statement 1

    Statement 2

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    A new book for my shelves

    Got Mammalogy today at a flea market:

    So as you can imagine I'm excited to read it!

    You can get a copy HERE

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    Funny Friday


    Dr. Hawass Statement of Egyptian Antiquities

    The following statement was made by Dr. Hawass:
    I would like to tell the people, all over the world, the good news: the storage magazine that was looted in Qantara, in the Sinai, has had 288 objects returned! I cannot say exactly how many objects were lost, but it seems that the majority of what was stolen has been returned.
    I would like to say that we were afraid that sites around Alexandria were robbed, but the military is now protecting them all. Also, the site of San el-Hagar in the Delta, where important 21st and 22nd Dynasty tombs are located, is being protected by the local Egyptians. More good news comes from Saqqara, where a committee reported that, although outlaws did open the padlocks of tombs there, they did not enter the tombs or cause any damage; everything is safe. The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, is fine, too. A total of seventy objects have been broken, but the museum was dark and the nine robbers did not recognise the value of what was in the vitrines. They opened thirteen cases, threw the seventy objects on the ground and broke them, including one Tutankhamun case, from which they broke the statue of the king on a panther. However, the broken objects can all be restored, and we will begin the restoration process this week.
    The commanders of the army are now protecting the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and all of the major sites of Egypt (Luxor, Aswan, Saqqara, and the pyramids of Giza) are safe. The twenty-four museums in Egypt, including the Coptic and Islamic museums in Cairo, are all safe, as well. I would like to say that I am very happy to see that the Egyptian people, young and old, stood as one person against the escaped prisoners to protect monuments all over the country. The monuments are safe because of both the army and the ordinary people.
    Some foreigners think Egypt is not interested in protecting our monuments and museums, but that is not true, at all. Egypt has 5,000 years of civilisation, and we love our heritage. I want to send a message to the people of Egypt: all of you are responsible, to ultimately be judged by your own history, to protect your monuments, and should not permit ignorance or outlaws to damage our history – it is the most important thing we own. I am sure the bells from the churches are ringing now, and the voices from the minarets of mosques are calling, to say that Egypt is a safe place to live.
    We all believe Egypt will be safe. 

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Fossil pterosaur found with egg


    In China (Liaoning) a Pterosaur egg and mother has been found. This helps scientists to determine the creature's gender for the first time. The Scientists can see it was a female very close to laying a egg when she died. So far scientist have had the theory that males have adornment on their skulls, but this sheds even more light on the gender question.

    "The most important thing about this particular individual is that she has a relatively large pelvis compared to other individuals of the same pterosaur, Darwinopterus," explained Dr Unwin.

    "This seems quite reasonable - females lay eggs, they probably need a slightly wider pelvis. And then the really exciting thing is that she has a skull which lacks any kind of adornment or decoration whatsoever. When we look at other individuals of Darwinopterus, we find quite a few individuals with a large crest on the skull.”

    "We're very confident now that we're dealing with two genders here - males with big crests and small hips, and females with no crest on the skull and large hips”. 

    Interesting fossil found in Peru


    Paleontologist have discovered an 85-million-year-old fossil in northeastern Peru 4100 meters above the sea level. It is a previously unknown squid species. It is 32cm long and 5cm in diameter.
    "It is a new species of squid, totally new, that has not been seen in other parts of the world," paleontologist Klaus Honninger said.

    "At the site, a sort of saltwater lake had formed that allowed these creatures to evolve independently," Honninger said.