Posts Tagged ‘archaeology’

Is Everything You Knew about Pompeii and Herculaneum Wrong?

At Wonders and Marvels, a whole list of guide- and guidebook “truths” that may not be so. It starts with this: Myth #1 – Vesuvius Did Not Erupt on 24 August AD 79. Everybody confidently quotes this as the date of the eruption, but everybody is probably wrong! At the turn of the 20th century, […]

New Excavation at Marden Henge

A major archaeological effort beginning this summer will explore Marden Henge, a Neolithic monument that rivaled Avebury and Stonehenge but is less well known. Excavation within the Henge will focus on the surface of what is thought to be one of the oldest houses in Britain, a Neolithic building revealed during earlier excavations. The people who used […]

Coming Soon to a Pagan Catalog Near You

Along with medieval weapon bits, archaeologists digging in in the old center of Königsburg, now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea, discovered these pendants symbolizing the god Perun, dating from the late Middle Ages. The article ends, “What can we say, time to buy Perun’s Axe pedants!” Next to the news article, […]

Scandinavian Style, 1400 BCE

The acidic peat surrounding this grave of a Bronze Age girl, labeled a “priestess” for her elaborate jewelry,  preserved her clothing and hair but not her skeleton. The burial was found in 1921, but only this month did analysis reveal that, for instance, the wool in her skirt came from the Black Forest region of […]

Magic Earth Lines 2: The 37th Parallel

The ranch was owned by a man named Howard Munsell (now deceased). Unlike a lot of Southern Plains ranchers who are, shall we say, standoffish toward strange visitors, he had previously run a trail-ride business, and so he was able to handle several dozen campers on his land, providing water and basic sanitary facilities. (After […]

Magic Earth Lines 1: “Discovering” Ley Lines

At Bad Archaeology, a skeptical look at Alfred Watkins and the “discovery” of ley lines: According to a later account, all this [discovery of a hidden web of straight lines in the English countryside] came to him “in a flash” on 21 June 1921 during a visit to Blackwardine; according to his son Allen, this […]

Starting 2015 with Giant Geoglyphs

Making large ceremonial marks on the land is an ancient practice. Here are examples from Peru, Chile, England, Brazil, Russia, the Arabian peninsula, and the United States

Solstice at Britain’s Newest Long Barrow

How will the archaeologists of the future explain how barrow (also known as as tumulus) building stopped in the Neolithic — and then resumed, 5,500 years later? We know this one was built on a solar alignment, because the BBC tells us so. See the barrow under construction here. And yes, dead people.

The Viking “Blood Eagle” Never Happened, Says Historian

A Swedish archaeologist reviews a new book, Anders Winroth’s The Age of the Vikings, and makes this observation: Myself, I was intrigued to learn that the infamous, messy and impractical “blood eagle” murder method may just be the fruit of High Medieval writers misunderstanding one of the countless references in Viking Period poetry to carrion birds […]

Egypt Has the Pyramids; Siberia has the Shigir Idol

Why the comparison between countless tons of quarried stone and “the oldest wooden statue in the world,” estimated at 9,500 years before present? In each case, there are those who believe that the structures (particularly the Great Pyramid) and the sculpture from the Ural Mountains contain secret codes. The tall statue is made from larch […]