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ARCHAEOLOGY

ARCHAEOLOGY July - August 2017

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.

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

in this issue

2 min.
no place like home

Egypt’s Final Redoubt in Canaan” (page 26), by contributing editor Roger Atwood, examines the three-centuries-long Egyptian occupation of Canaan. Beginning in 1458 b.c. with the defeat of Canaanite chiefdoms by the pharaoh Thutmose III, the colonizers sent natural resources and slaves back home to the Egyptian elite. Archaeological evidence is revealing the uneasy relationship between the occupied and their occupiers and how the Canaanites ultimately organized the fiery insurrection that ended Egypt’s rule. “The First Australians” (page 49), by Kate Ravilious, covers the work of archaeologists at the Warratyi rock shelter in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. Warratyi, which is just big enough to stand in, would likely have been a place to rest and survey the landscape. Most significantly, the small stone tools and remains of extinct species discovered…

2 min.
a sobering moment for public outreach

As this issue of ArchAeology is being prepared, the United States government is considering budget cuts that would eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). These federal agencies provide crucial funding for research, scholarship, and public outreach in the arts and humanities. The NEH, in particular, funds archaeological excavations as well as research and other programs. This year I have been on a research leave funded by an NEH Public Scholar grant. It has provided me with the time I need to write about a subject that has long held my interest—the dramatic events that occurred 2,000 years ago atop Masada, a barren, windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea. There, 967 men, women, and children reportedly chose to take their own lives…

3 min.
from our readers

We received a number of letters regarding “After the Battle” (May/June 2017), by senior editor Daniel Weiss, from readers who expressed a personal connection to the story. I thought you might be interested in the legacy of one member of the “lost Scottish army” in your excellent article. In researching my family history, I discovered Duncan Stewart, a Scottish soldier, captured by Cromwell at the Battle of Dunbar, marched to Durham, held at the Cathedral, sent to London, shipped on the Unity, and sold to George Hadley, a farmer in what is now Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was one of the lucky ones. Duncan, a respected Puritan, eventually married a servant in the house, Anne Winchester (or Winchurst), bought his own farm, raised 11 children, and held several town offices. His was one…

14 min.
from the trenches

KA-CHING! In 2012, a pair of veteran metal detectorists on Jersey in the British Channel Islands discovered a gargantuan coin hoard in a field they had been searching off and on for three decades. The hoard was the largest ever to have been found in Britain and appeared to have the potential to transform interpretations of Jersey’s history. But first it had to be moved. Just getting it out of the ground was fraught with tension. “With earth still attached, it weighed over a ton,” says Neil Mahrer, a museum conservator with Jersey Heritage. “We had no idea how strong it was, in that it was only held together by the corrosion between the coins.” Once the hoard was safely in the laboratory in the Jersey Museum in mid-2014, Mahrer and his…

2 min.
off the grid

Legend, historical accounts, and archaeology are in agreement that Gamla Uppsala, in southeastern Sweden, was the home and burial place of the kings of the fifth- and sixth-century Ynglinga Dynasty. These monarchs reigned during the time depicted in the Old English epic poem Beowulf. Until the arrival of Christianity, Gamla Uppsala was long regarded throughout Northern Europe as an important and sacred location and was ultimately graced by palaces, a great pagan temple, and a royal burial ground. John Ljungkvist of Gamla Uppsala University says, “These rulers transformed the entire landscape to showcase what they thought was their divine lineage.” He adds, “These monuments made Uppsala a central assembly place for nearly 1,000 years. It’s Beowulf, for real.” Today, of some 300 remaining funerary barrows, three mounds in particular, measuring…

4 min.
world roundup

CANADA: Excavations on Triquet Island off the British Columbian coast may affirm the generations-old oral histories of the Heiltsuk Nation. Their tradition holds that tribal ancestors once sought refuge on an unfrozen strip of land along the coast to survive the last Ice Age. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal found in a hearth indicates that human settlement on the island dates back, surprisingly, some 14,000 years, when most of Canada was covered in glaciers. The site also holds evidence of stone tool manufacture and sea mammal hunting. PORTUGAL: A 400,000-year-old partial skull buried in the Gruta da Aroeira cave in central Portugal is the oldest human fossil ever found in Portugal and the westernmost in Europe dating to the Middle Pleistocene. The deposit in which the cranium was embedded also contains stone…