Some random musings on some of the articles in the latest Archaeology mag from the Archaeological Institute of America…
“Who’s Buried in St Paul’s Tomb?” Unlikely to be Paul, I would have thought, statistically… I find the last sentence a bit weird: “Naturally for us archaeologists it would be interesting to know if the remains inside really belong to St. Paul,” says Giorgio Filippi. If he is speaking for all archaes, then ‘I doubt it’ is my response; if for his fellow Vatican Museum archaes, then maybe. But how would you be able to tell anyway?
The world roundup is always fun… favourite item this time is the fact that Indiana Jones made it in…
“Publish or be Punished,” says Israel to diggers there – and while I feel sorry for the archaes who feel pushed to do more and more and have no time for it, I understand where Israel is coming from too. Having your cultural heritage stolen, or just forgotten because it lies gathering dust (outside of the ground where no one else can find it) can’t be too much fun.
I really enjoyed “Beyond the Family Feud”, about the question of where the Olmecs fit in with other Mesoamerican cultures and whether that’s even a valid question to ask. I love a whole new take on old issues.
Haven’t seen Apocalypto, don’t plan on it. The article trashing its portrayal of the Maya, by David Freidel, was pretty entertaining though.
I (heart) the Antikythera Mechanism. Every now and then someone discovers/decides something new about it, and it gets into the news as if the thing itself has just been found – rather than oh, a few decades ago. But the new stuff being used and found out is very cool, especially the geodesic dome to shine light at it at different angles.
I like Vikings too, so the stuff in “Iceland’s Unwritten Saga” – about investigating early settlements there – was interesting too. And it linked nicely to “Diamond Rush,” about the diamond-hunters who went to Brazil in the C19, in that both are looking at the impact of humans on the environment and what we today can learn about how it happens – and, hopefully, what could be done about it.
There were other bits and pieces in this issue, but I just find it a bit hard to rustle up a huge amount of interest for much American archaeology. Bad of me, I know. Oh well.