February212013
fuckyeahvikingsandcelts:

Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound has a retaining wall at the front and is ringed by ‘kerbstones’ engraved with artwork. There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it has been speculated that it had religious significance – it is aligned with the rising sun and its light floods the chamber on the winter solstice. It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange also shares many similarities with other Neolithic constructions in Western Europe, such as Maeshowe in Orkney, Scotland and the Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales.

One of the coolest sites I’ve ever visited. The chamber, if memory serves, is corbelled, with the earthen mound built up. The outer kerbstones and white stones were part of the attempt to restore the structure to its original appearance. The boulder outside the entrance is covered in carved spirals. The site is also known for the triple spiral found on a stone wall deep within the chamber. The carving is illuminated when the light on the solstice penetrates the chamber, as the entranceway has a window above it and the entire passage gently slopes allowing the shaft of sunlight to land on a specific panel of stone in the chamber.

fuckyeahvikingsandcelts:

Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound has a retaining wall at the front and is ringed by ‘kerbstones’ engraved with artwork. There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it has been speculated that it had religious significance – it is aligned with the rising sun and its light floods the chamber on the winter solstice. It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange also shares many similarities with other Neolithic constructions in Western Europe, such as Maeshowe in Orkney, Scotland and the Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales.

One of the coolest sites I’ve ever visited. The chamber, if memory serves, is corbelled, with the earthen mound built up. The outer kerbstones and white stones were part of the attempt to restore the structure to its original appearance. The boulder outside the entrance is covered in carved spirals. The site is also known for the triple spiral found on a stone wall deep within the chamber. The carving is illuminated when the light on the solstice penetrates the chamber, as the entranceway has a window above it and the entire passage gently slopes allowing the shaft of sunlight to land on a specific panel of stone in the chamber.

February142013
The so-called Chalcolithic “Eye Idols” of Tell Brak, a site in northeastern Syria. The site was occupied between the Neolithic Period and the Late Bronze Age (6000-1360 BCE). The idols have been dated to the 4th millennium BCE, which falls within the Ubaid Period of Mesopotamian history.  Hundreds of these alabaster figurines were incorporated into the mortar of a public structure which came to be known as the Eye Temple. 
The meaning behind the idols is unclear, but they may have been votive offerings that were dedicated to the temple at the time of its construction. 

The so-called Chalcolithic “Eye Idols” of Tell Brak, a site in northeastern Syria. The site was occupied between the Neolithic Period and the Late Bronze Age (6000-1360 BCE). The idols have been dated to the 4th millennium BCE, which falls within the Ubaid Period of Mesopotamian history.  Hundreds of these alabaster figurines were incorporated into the mortar of a public structure which came to be known as the Eye Temple. 

The meaning behind the idols is unclear, but they may have been votive offerings that were dedicated to the temple at the time of its construction. 

February102013
thambos:


By day, Janet Stephens is a hairdresser at a Baltimore salon, trimming bobs and wispy bangs. By night she dwells in a different world. At home in her basement, with a mannequin head, she meticulously re-creates the hairstyles of ancient Rome and Greece.  Ms. Stephens is a hairdo archaeologist.  Her amateur scholarship is sticking a pin in the long-held assumptions among historians about the complicated, gravity-defying styles of ancient times. Basically, she has set out to prove that the ancients probably weren’t wearing wigs after all.

(via On Pins and Needles: Stylist Turns Ancient Hairdo Debate on Its Head - WSJ.com)

thambos:

By day, Janet Stephens is a hairdresser at a Baltimore salon, trimming bobs and wispy bangs. By night she dwells in a different world. At home in her basement, with a mannequin head, she meticulously re-creates the hairstyles of ancient Rome and Greece.

Ms. Stephens is a hairdo archaeologist.

Her amateur scholarship is sticking a pin in the long-held assumptions among historians about the complicated, gravity-defying styles of ancient times. Basically, she has set out to prove that the ancients probably weren’t wearing wigs after all.

(via On Pins and Needles: Stylist Turns Ancient Hairdo Debate on Its Head - WSJ.com)

(via seatentsina)

February72013

squidlife said: Hi there! I love your blog just came across it today. So glad to see there's an archaeology community on tumblr! I was wondering if you know of any graduate schools that have a good bioarchaeology program? I'm on the hunt for schools to apply to.

Thank you so much! :) 

I myself have been thinking about pursuing bioarchaeology/osteoarchaeology in grad school (but, of course, I need to complete my undergraduate work first!). I did a quick search, and here’s what I’ve found:

Hope that was helpful! 

-Sasha

February62013

A quick little video showing the burial of Richard III in situ.

February42013
February32013
January292013
January42013
themuseingreece:

My beautiful labels. Complete with 5th century BCE capital Omegas and Byzantine Mus.
The top one is for όστρακα (sherds). The one in the middle is for the lead joint. Finally, the one on the bottom is for ζωικά οστά (animal bones). “Δοκιμαστική Τομή” means “test trench,” since we were doing an extension of a partially excavated floor and weren’t necessarily working in a set square on the grid; it was more like an area where a bunch of squares met. :)

This post is on the importance of labeling your finds! Over the summer, I helped excavate a site called Mygdalia Hill, which is about five km outside of Greece’s third largest city, Patras. One of my favourite tasks was writing labels because I love writing in the Greek alphabet. 
We dug a lot of layers (stroma, pl. stromata in Greek), and therefore ended up with dozens of bags full of artefacts (mostly pot sherds and animal bones). Every single bag ended up with one of these labels. The particular labeling convention we used was: 
Name of the site (Akropoli Mygdalias, Petrotou) on the top of the label
Room or test trench (these three labels are from a test trench, but we were also working in what could have been a residential structure, so we had labels that said “Room 4” as well). 
A number in either a circle or triangle. The number itself just says which bag number the label was for. A circle was for more “run of the mill” finds and was therefore mostly used for pot sherd bags (ostraka). Triangles were used for “special” finds, like animal bones or the lead joint I found, which would have been used to repair ancient breaks in pottery. There were more bags with triangles because sometimes only one artefact would go into those, whereas you’d have a bag of pot sherds that was practically filled to the brim! 
What’s actually in the bag. Even if we were working in the same layer and found both animal bones and pot sherds, they would have to go into separate bags. But the information on the label itself can tell you that they were found in the same layer.
Layer (stroma). 
Date.
As you can see, labeling gets very specific! This helps the archaeologist look back at his or her finds and piece the site back together after excavation. As one of my professors is very fond of saying, excavation is destruction. Therefore, recording your finds carefully means that you can pretty much always determine the site’s stratigraphic history, even after you’ve done extensive excavating! 

themuseingreece:

My beautiful labels. Complete with 5th century BCE capital Omegas and Byzantine Mus.

The top one is for όστρακα (sherds). The one in the middle is for the lead joint. Finally, the one on the bottom is for ζωικά οστά (animal bones). “Δοκιμαστική Τομή” means “test trench,” since we were doing an extension of a partially excavated floor and weren’t necessarily working in a set square on the grid; it was more like an area where a bunch of squares met. :)

This post is on the importance of labeling your finds! Over the summer, I helped excavate a site called Mygdalia Hill, which is about five km outside of Greece’s third largest city, Patras. One of my favourite tasks was writing labels because I love writing in the Greek alphabet. 

We dug a lot of layers (stroma, pl. stromata in Greek), and therefore ended up with dozens of bags full of artefacts (mostly pot sherds and animal bones). Every single bag ended up with one of these labels. The particular labeling convention we used was: 

  • Name of the site (Akropoli Mygdalias, Petrotou) on the top of the label
  • Room or test trench (these three labels are from a test trench, but we were also working in what could have been a residential structure, so we had labels that said “Room 4” as well). 
  • A number in either a circle or triangle. The number itself just says which bag number the label was for. A circle was for more “run of the mill” finds and was therefore mostly used for pot sherd bags (ostraka). Triangles were used for “special” finds, like animal bones or the lead joint I found, which would have been used to repair ancient breaks in pottery. There were more bags with triangles because sometimes only one artefact would go into those, whereas you’d have a bag of pot sherds that was practically filled to the brim! 
  • What’s actually in the bag. Even if we were working in the same layer and found both animal bones and pot sherds, they would have to go into separate bags. But the information on the label itself can tell you that they were found in the same layer.
  • Layer (stroma). 
  • Date.

As you can see, labeling gets very specific! This helps the archaeologist look back at his or her finds and piece the site back together after excavation. As one of my professors is very fond of saying, excavation is destruction. Therefore, recording your finds carefully means that you can pretty much always determine the site’s stratigraphic history, even after you’ve done extensive excavating! 
January32013

It’s been a while!

Thanks for hanging in there, all you archaeology aficionados! 

I haven’t been posting in forever, and I think it’s time to change that! Expect some more frequent posts starting with this new year! 

Also feel free to ask us any questions!

Keep on digging,

Sasha :)