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Science
ARCHAEOLOGY

ARCHAEOLOGY January - February 2018

ARCHAEOLOGY magazine offers readers incisive reporting, vivid storytelling, compelling photography – and the latest news from around the globe – all devoted to exploring the world’s ancient past. Whether reporting from a dive on an Arctic shipwreck, trekking through Afghanistan, or digging just beneath Beirut, ARCHAEOLOGY’s editors and writers bring readers the science, and the magic, of archaeological discovery.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Archaeological Institute of America
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
happy 70th, archaeology!

The authors have written, the Editor has edited, the printers have printed. As this page opens, a new magazine makes its bow.” Those words launched the Spring 1948 premier issue of ArchAeology, under the aegis of the Archaeological Institute of America, itself nearly 70 years old at that time. By its second issue, the magazine declared, “The editorial policy is settled that pictures need stories and stories need pictures….The Editors report with pleasure that the mature scholarship of our day is steadily producing more good things than they can print.” The tone of ArchAeology was decidedly optimistic and forwardlooking, even as the world recovered from the devastation of World War II and as signs of what would become the Cold War were already evident. In response, the editors aimed to bring…

2 min.
protecting our past

New acquaintances often react to learning that I am an archaeologist by asking, “What’s the best thing you ever found?” Underlying this innocent question is the assumption that archaeologists are treasure hunters—that we are searching for something. Nothing could be further from the truth. Archaeologists study human material culture to learn about the past. Human material culture is anything that people manufactured and left behind, such as pottery, coins, and buildings. Other types of finds from excavations are studied by specialists in related fields, for example, animal bones by zooarchaeologists, human physical remains by biological anthropologists, and ancient plant remains by paleobotanists. Archaeologists excavate not to find something but to answer questions about the past based on remains we dig up in their original context. Therefore, searching for an object like…

3 min.
from our readers

FAMILY STORY I was quite pleased to see Tuzigoot National Monument in “Off the Grid” (November/December 2017). I am very familiar with Tuzigoot because my father, Fred Peck, was a Park Service archaeologist there when I was born. He left the Park Service at that time, but continued as a seasonal ranger throughout my youth until we moved away from Clarkdale. Many of the dioramas at the visitor center were made by him and my mom in the 1950s. I hope they are still there. I have great memories of the monument and the Verde Valley. For anyone visiting the area, this is a site not to be missed. Brian Peck Raleigh, NC MYTHS OF THE AMERICAS The article “Reading The White Shaman Mural” (November/December 2017) and the work of Carolyn Boyd described in…

3 min.
the secrets of sabotage

One of history’s greatest “what ifs” is the question of what would have happened had the Germans been able to develop nuclear weapons during the Second World War. The Wehrmacht’s effort to do just that, called the Uranverein, or “Uranium Club,” began in 1939 when German Army physicist Kurt Diebner began to research the potential military applications of nuclear fission. By year’s end, the renowned German physicist Werner Heisenberg had expressed his belief that nuclear fission chain reactions, and thus, eventually, nuclear bombs, might be possible, but only if he had access to enough of a singular substance known as heavy water. No facilities for manufacturing heavy water existed in Germany. But on April 9, 1940, the Germans invaded Norway, and in so doing acquired the Vemork Norsk Hydro Plant outside…

2 min.
off the grid

Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, just outside the town of Saint Ann’s Bay on Jamaica’s north shore, Seville Heritage Park encompasses thousands of years of the island’s history. The 300-acre property has been settled during every period of Jamaica’s human occupation. It contains the remains of Maima, an indigenous Taino village that Christopher Columbus encountered upon first landing in Jamaica in 1494. In 1509 the Spanish founded their first colonial capital there, which they called Sevilla la Nueva, before abandoning it in 1534. England invaded Jamaica and wrested control from Spain in 1655. As a reward for service to the army during that campaign, English captain Richard Heming was given the land. In 1670, he established a sugar plantation that, until emancipation in 1838, was home to an average of 275…

1 min.
a monumental find

A monumental rock-cut chamber tomb has been excavated in central Greece near the ancient city of Orchomenos, the most important regional center during the Mycenaean period. In a cemetery of similar structures, this tomb is distinguished by its size—at 452 square feet, it is the ninth largest of the more than 4,000 Mycenaean chamber tombs excavated over the last 150 years, says University of Cambridge archaeologist Yannis Galanakis. It is even more notable for its contents, which include the remains of one man and a substantial amount of jewelry. “Mycenaean rock-cut chamber tombs were used for multiple burials, so to find only one burial is extraordinary,” says Galanakis. The artifacts have also surprised scholars. “There is very little painted pottery, which is always found in contemporary tombs,” explains Galanakis. “But…