Soundscapes in the Past: A New Dimension to Our Archaeological Picture of Ancient Cultures

What sounds did the people of Chaco Canyon hear during daily life? David E. Witt    By Kristy E. Primeau and David E. Witt / 08.02.2017 Primeau: PhD Candidate in Archaeology, University at Albany Witt: PhD Candidate in Archaeology, University at Buffalo The State University of New York Picture an archaeological site, what comes to mind?[…]

Archaeological Excavations on Itbayat and Siayan Islands

Siayan Island / Creative Commons     By Dr. Peter Bellwood (left), Dr. Eusebio Z. Dizon (center), and Dr. Armand Mijares (left) Bellwood: Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, Australian National University Dizon: Professorial Lecturer in Archaeology, University of the Philippines Mijares: Associate Professor of Archaeology, University of the Philippines Introduction Here we describe  the layout of[…]

Athens in the 19th Century: From Regional Town of the Ottoman Empire to Capital of the Kingdom of Greece

A view of the city of Athens, painted by Richard Temple (1810). By Dr Leonidas Kallivretakis Historian Institute for Neohellenic Research National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) “Athens was a Village” It is common ground in the historiography of the Athens of recent times, the indication of its unimportance, before being chosen to become capital of[…]

How the Village Feast Paved the Way to Empires and Economics

Peasant Wedding, 1567, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna By Dr. Brian Hayden / 11.16.2016 Emeritus Professor of Archaeology Simon Fraser University Feasts helped to transform egalitarian hunters and gatherers into the kinds of societies that laid the foundations for early states and even industrial empires. They created hierarchies and inequalities, the[…]

Fossil Discovery in Morocco Adds 100,000 Years to Homo Sapiens

Jean-Jacques Hublin, MPI-EVA, Leipzig By Dr. Matthew Skinner / 06.07.2017 Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology University of Kent According to the textbooks, all humans living today descended from a population that lived in east Africa around 200,000 years ago. This is based on reliable evidence, including genetic analyses of people from around the globe and[…]

First Complete Genome Data Extracted from Ancient Egyptian Mummies

Study finds that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to ancient populations from the Middle East and Western Asia. / Photo by Will Scullin 05.30.2017 An international team of researchers have successfully recovered and analysed ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BCE to 400 BCE, including the first genome-wide data from three[…]

Sieving the Mesolithic

By Dr. Jessi Halligan / 08.05.2016 Assistant Professor of Anthropology Florida State University The rain was mercifully holding off and the mid morning breeze had all but blown itself away as I crouched at the edge of a sand lined pool in the rough corner of a reed-thick, marshy field and slowly lifted the tarnished[…]

Analysing the Rural Landscape around Pompeii before the Eruption of Somma-Vesuvius in AD 79

Pompeii; via di Mercurio with Mount Vesuvius. Photo: Carlo Mirante (Source: Flickr Creative Commons) By Dr. Sebastian Vogel Professor of Geoecology and Archaeology University of Potsdam eTopoi: Journal for Ancient Studies 3 (2012), 377-382 Introduction The Somma-Vesuvius volcano has affected the landscape of Campania (Italy) for tens of thousands of years and the fate of[…]

Mycenoan Crete: Archaeological Evidence for the Athenian Connection

Mycenaean Grave Circle A / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Andrew J. Koh / 04.27.2016 Professor of Classical Studies Brandeis University Classical Inquiries Introduction As a budding doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, I was sternly, and repeatedly, warned that the Scylla of Aegean prehistory was the search for ethnicity in the archaeological record—i.e., equating[…]

Why the Archaeology of Death and Burial?

Excavation of the burial site of Richard III / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Sarah Tarlow / 09.14.2015 Professor of Archaeology University of Leicester Introduction What does the below-ground archaeology of death and burial teach us about people in the post-medieval past? How much did practices vary across Europe? Do mortuary practices in this period reflect[…]

Spreading the Royal Word: The (Im)Materiality of Communication in Early Mesopotamia

By Dr. Christina Tsouparopoulou / 08.28.2015 Professor of Archaeology University of Heidelberg Introduction This article discusses the communicative processes employed by rulers in Mesopotamia, especially in the third millennium BCE, to reach both their literate and illiterate audiences and transfer their ‘knowledge’. It is during the third millennium that citystates and empires emerged in the[…]

Those Pearly Whites: The Archaeology of Teeth – Their Historical and Anthropological Value

Upper teeth of a Neanderthal who lived about 40,000 years ago. Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg By Dr. Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg / 03.02.2017 Professor of Anthropology The Ohio State University “Show me your teeth and I’ll tell you who you are.” These words, attributed to 19th-century naturalist George Cuvier, couldn’t be more correct. The pearly whites we use every[…]

Bridging Prehistory and History in the Archaeology of Cities

The ruins of Ur, with the Ziggurat of Ur visible in the background, Southern Iraq / Photo by M. Lubinski, Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. David M. Carballo (left) and Dr. Brent Fortenberry (right) Carballo: Associate Professor of Archaeology, Boston University Fortenberry: Adjunct Professor of Archaeology, Clemson University Journal of Field Archaeology (2015) Abstract Archaeology[…]

Minoan Domestic and Funerary Architecture of the Neopalatial and Post-Palatial Periods

The “Little Palace” at Knossos, Crete / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Settlement Architecture Neopalatial Minoan villa at Knossos / Wikimedia Commons The following site categories have been identified by Cadogan during the Neopalatial period in Crete: I. Small[…]

Archaeology of Early Bronze Age Western Anatolia and the Eastern Aegean

Ruins of Limantepe in Western Anatolia (Turkey) / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Jeremy B. Rutter Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies Sherman Fairchild Professor Emeritus in the Humanities Dartmouth College Introduction Heinrich Schliemann / Wikimedia Commons It was Heinrich Schliemann’s decision to excavate at the mound of Hisarlik in 1870, in an effort to prove that[…]

Archaeology of the Acropolis in Athens: Early Settlement to Today

Reconstruction painting of the Acropolis and Areus Pagus in Athens, by Leo von Klenze / Neue Pinakothek (Gallery), Munich Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.12.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction   Left: View of the Acropolis / Photo by A. Savin, Wikimedia Commons Right: The Parthenon / Photo by Steve Swayne, Wikimedia Commons The Acropolis of[…]

The New Ruins of Syria

The Bel Temple, Aleppo, 2004. Courtesy of and © Ross Burns. All rights reserved An archaeologist explains why cultural heritage monuments in Palmyra and Aleppo have been used as weapons of war. By Dr. Ross Burns / 02.08.2017 Adjunct Professor of Archaeology Macquarie University Syria is a singular treasure trove of numerous phases of world[…]

Ancient DNA Reveals Genetic Continuity between Stone Age and Modern Populations in East Asia

In contrast to Western Europeans, new research finds contemporary East Asians are genetically much closer to the ancient hunter-gatherers that lived in the same region eight thousand years previously.  02.01.2017 Researchers working on ancient DNA extracted from human remains interred almost 8,000 years ago in a cave in the Russian Far East have found that[…]

Archaeology: Troy and Heinrich Schliemann

Dig at Troy / Wikimedia Commons While digs at ancient sites have in general revealed much important information about what-really-happened-in-the-past, archaeology is still a mixture of science and art, with a hefty helping of media relations thrown in. Its usefulness to historians in particular depends on the sensible assessment of the data recovered. Flashy treasure-hunts[…]

New Part of 2nd Century BCE Roman Fortress Wall and Colored Plaster Discovered at Nebet Tepe

The fall 2016 archaeological excavations on the Nebet Tepe Hill in Bulgaria’s Plovdiv consisted of probes at three strategic locations. Photo: TV grab from BNT2-Plovdiv By Ivan Dikov / 01.02.2017 Archaeology in Bulgaria Previously unknown part of a fortress wall from the Roman Era and numerous fragments of plaster which are even older are the[…]