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New York State Archaeological Association 99th Annual Meeting & Conference

obsidian

obsidian

New York State Archaeological Association 99th Annual Meeting & Conference

May 1-3, 2015
Ramada Inn, Watertown, NY

The Finger Lakes and Thousand Islands Chapters are proud to host the 99th Annual Meeting & Conference of the New York State Archaeological Association and the annual Fall meeting of the New York Archaeological Council. NYAC will meet Friday. The NYSAA annual business meeting will be Friday evening, with the paper presentations Saturday and Sunday morning. The annual banquet, awards ceremony and special guest speaker will be held Saturday evening. Our special guest speaker for Saturday evening’s banquet will be Dr. Darrin Lowery, topic TBA. All events will be at the Ramada Inn, conveniently located at Exit 45 off I-81.

Call for Papers

This is an open call for papers for anyone interested in submitting abstracts for papers or posters on any subject of interest in the archaeology of New York and adjoining regions. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes in length. One paper/poster per presenter- although individuals may coauthor multiple papers. All presenters must register for the conference. Abstracts, authors, affiliation and AV preferences must be received by March 1, 2015 for consideration.

Call for Papers Submission Information

Meeting registration must be pre-paid by April 1, 2015, or your paper will be dropped from the program. Please send your title, abstract, A/V preference and contact address to: Wendy Bacon.


My Big, Sexy Archaeology Themed Engagement

Archaeology themed engagement: Success.

A recent family archaeology project with our kids proved to be a big day for Mommy.  While cleaning mock artifacts, sorting bones and plate fragments, and working diligently to sketch the finds from our fictional farmstead we discovered a diamond ring at the bottom of the finds bag.  It was exactly what my girlfriend wanted.  Needless to say, our toddler was quite upset that she did not get to keep it.

archweddingproposal

Now as for the archaeology themed wedding… that’s going to require a bit more negotiation.


Call to Arms: Please ask Channel 4 to Commission a Special ‘One-Off’ Dig in memory of Mick Aston

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PFhUAutuNuPReic-580x326-noPad

When studying at the University of Bristol, I had the distinct pleasure of working with Mick Aston both in the classroom and on Time Team.  Mick was a fantastic individual; brimming with knowledge, incredibly outgoing, and a genuinely nice person.

Lee Brady recently started a change.org petition encouraging the UK’s Channel 4 to produce a one-off televised dig in memory of Mick.  Time Team, which ran for an astounding 20 season, was axed by Channel 4 in 2013.  This presentation would be an outstanding way to pay tribute to Mick, a man whose legacy as both a professor and a professional should not be forgotten.

Please take the time to follow the link below and support this fantastic petition.

Sign the petition here.

Afterwards, be sure to share your support on social media.  Visit the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RipMickAston) and tag your posts with #Dig4Mick.


Book Recommendation: The Dead Travel Fast

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thedeadtravelfastRoughly a year ago, I reviewed Skendleby, a mindblowing archaeo-horror/mystery by archaeologist and author Nick Brown.  I’m thrilled to say that the second book in his Ancient Gramarye series, The Dead Travel Fast, is now available for public consumption.

Now I really despise spoilers and I’d hate to give away too many details of this novel’s well weaved plot.  I’ll do my best to tease the central story and fill you in on what kept me turning pages late into the night.

The story picks up some time after the events of Skendleby.  Archaeologist Steve Watkins has relocated to the island of Samos, off the coast of Greece, in a last ditch effort to put the horrors of the previous year behind him.  Unbeknownst he’s traded one mystical calamity for another.  As he soon learns, Samos is being plagued by a series of brutal ritualistic murders, which as you can imagine Steve is bound to become embroiled in.  Steve is joined by a cast of interesting new characters, as well as some old familiars.  Theodrakis, a detective working to solve the murders, is a new entry and shares the stage with Steve in this novel.  He’s a tortured man facing an uphill battle with a supernatural foe and dastardly co-workers.  Brown’s characters are gritty and real, constantly drawing the short straw but never giving up.  Equally important is the island of Samos, which Brown proves he has an intimate familiarity with.  Samos history and environment are every bit as important to the plot as is the cast of characters who inhabit the island.

It is no secret that Brown knits his personal experiences into each story.  His knowledge of Ancient Greek culture was on full display in Luck Bringer.  This novel, too, uses the mythos and history of Ancient Greek as a foundation while capturing the modern day socio-economic turmoil currently eating away at Greece.  Brown weaves his fictional narrative around these pillars to create a story that gets progressively worse for the beleaguered protagonists.  All the better read for us!  If Skendelby set the bar for this series, The Dead Travel Fast, raises the bar by dropping the floor out from under you.

I’m anxiously awaiting the third entry into the series to see what additional miseries Brown can pour into his characters’ lives.  The Dead Travel Fast is published by Clink Street Publishing and is available via online retailers in paperback and for e-readers.  You can explore Nick Brown’s website by clicking here.


Aluminum Debris Identified as Amelia Earhart Artifact

Earhart-Aluminum-Sheet

Earhart-Aluminum-Sheet

A piece of aluminum recovered from Nikumaroro, an uninhabited atoll in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, has been identified to a high degree of certainty as a patch that had been applied to Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra on a stop during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The repair can been seen in a photograph published in the Miami Herald on June 1, 1937. The aluminum debris was discovered on the island in 1991 by researchers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). They compared the patch’s dimensions and features with the window of a Lockheed Electra being restored at Wichita Air Services in Newton, Kansas. “Its complex fingerprint of dimensions, proportions, materials and rivet patterns was as unique to Earhart’s Electra as a fingerprint is to an individual,” Rick Gillespie, executive director of TIGHAR, told Discovery News. He adds that the piece of the plane provides strong circumstantial evidence that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, landed on Nikumaroro’s coral reef and eventually died there as castaways. TIGHAR will continue to look for wreckage of the lost aircraft, thought to have washed into the ocean, next summer, beginning at a possible site 600 feet underwater.

Source: Archaeology.org


Franklin expedition ship found in Arctic ID’d as HMS Erebus

The wrecked Franklin expedition ship found last month in the Arctic has been identified as HMS Erebus.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed the news Wednesday in the House of Commons.

“I am delighted to confirm that we have identified which ship from the Franklin expedition has been found. It is in fact the HMS Erebus,” Harper said in response to a question from Conservative Yukon MP Ryan Leef.

Harper noted the discovery has been of “interest to Canadians across the country and people around the world.”

Two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, were part of Sir John Franklin’s doomed expedition in 1845 to find the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic Ocean to Asia.

The ships disappeared after they became locked in ice in 1846 and were missing for more than a century and a half until last month’s discovery by a group of public-private searchers led by Parks Canada. It was not known until now which of the two ships had been found.

Franklin commanded the expedition from the Erebus and is believed to have been on the ship when he died. The wreck of HMS Terror has not yet been found.

Underwater archeologists confirm identity

Parks Canada underwater archeologists have been conducting dives at the site of the wreck since the discovery was made.

In a release, the Prime Minister’s Office said the confirmation of the ship’s identity was made Sept. 30 by those Parks Canada scientists, following a “meticulous review of data and artifacts” from the seabed and using high-resolution photo and video along with sonar measurements.

Ryan Harris, a senior underwater archeologist with Parks Canada and the lead on the project, was the first to venture down to the wreck along with his colleague Jonathan Moore.

“Without a doubt it is the most extraordinary shipwreck I’ve ever had the privilege of diving on,” Harris told CBC News on Parliament Hill Wednesday.

Harris said he was able to drop down between the exposed beams of the wreck and “peer around” some of the interior, including the crew’s mess. The pair could see below decks through old skylights and other openings but did not penetrate the interior of the ship.

“Most of our investigations have been external to this point in time,” he said.

Parks Canada two-man teams conducted seven dives in all for about 12 hours of investigation so far, Harris said.

Where is Franklin?

One question on many observers’ minds is whether Franklin’s body might be found on the wreck. It is not known whether Franklin perished on board or was given some kind of burial at sea before his men abandoned ship.

“We do know that he passed away in June of 1847, but the terse note left by the crew after they deserted the ships in Victoria Strait didn’t say what happened and why he died, but I suppose anything is possible,” Harris said.

“There are all kinds of suggestions that he may have been buried on shore, perhaps buried at sea, or perhaps he is still on the ship somewhere. Hopefully archeological investigations will be able to identify the answer to that question in the years to come.”

The last members of the Franklin expedition are believed to have faced starvation, disease and possibly cannibalism before their deaths in the Arctic.

The government’s partners in the search for Franklin’s ships this summer included Parks Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy, Defence Research and Development Canada, Environment Canada and the Canadian Space Agency, as well as the governments of Nunavut and Great Britain.

From CBC.ca


At long last… The wreck of a long-lost ship from the Franklin Expedition has been found in the Canadian Arctic

If you know me or follow this site, you know my obsession with the Franklin Expedition.  The disappearance of the two ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror nearly 170 years ago has been one of history’s lingering mysteries.  Two days ago, scientists  scouring the Arctic announced they had finally discovered the submerged remains of one of the ships.


What happened to his expedition has been a mystery for more than 170 years. The expedition’s disappearance became one of the great mysteries of the age of Victorian exploration.

A team of Canadian divers and archaeologists began searching for Franklin’s ships back in 2008. Now they’ve finally had a breakthrough.

Sonar images from the waters of the Victoria Strait, near Nunavut, reveal the wreckage of a ship resting on the ocean floor. Turns out, it is one of Franklin’s missing ships.

“I am delighted to announce that this year’s Victoria Strait expedition has solved one of Canada’s greatest mysteries, with the discovery of one of the two ships belonging to the Franklin Expedition,” said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a statement.

John Geiger, the president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, was a member of the search team that finally found the boat.

“You can actually see things like deck planking, you can see the side of the hull and even debris like signal cannons on the deck,” said Geiger.

The loss of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror prompted one of the largest searches in history, running from 1848 to 1859. Experts believe the ships were lost when they became locked in the ice and that the crews abandoned them in an effort to reach safety.

“It’s a very important wreck. It’s arguably one of the most exciting underwater finds — just because so little was known about what happened to the Franklin Expedition. It’s just one of those great, enduring historical mysteries,” Geiger said.


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