I gave a talk about Scottish beads at the Annual Meeting for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) in San Francisco roughly a week ago. In the spirit of open access, I’m going to reproduce that talk here for you…
Last week, we learned more about Stonehenge and its origins through extensive radiocarbon dating! Archaeologists also discovered not one, but two medieval villages (one in the Scottish Borders and another in Wales), a 13,500 year-old tool-making site in Idaho, a 19th century prison block in Australia, a New Kingdom tomb at Saqqara and a 5,600-year-old tomb (pre-dynastic) in Egypt, the burials of those who built the Qin Dynasty tomb famous for the terracotta warriors in China, an early Roman basilica in Turkey, and an 18th century tavern in New York City. We also found out more about the Black Death, the coastal heritage of Qatar, the conditions of US Civil War prison camps, and the meaning of geoglyphs in Peru’s Chincha Valley. We also found a preserved 9th century wooden notebook on a Byzantine ship!
If ever there were a castle to visit, it would be Dunnottar Castle, located about 2 miles south of the town of Stonehaven on the east coast of Scotland. Seriously, guys, this is the castle of all castles.
If you ever happen to find yourself in Edinburgh and you haven’t seen the castle, you seriously should. Castle Rock has been occupied since roughly 900 BC, judging by archaeological evidence. It is also mentioned in the Y Gododdin, an Welsh epic written sometime between the 7th and 11th centuries AD concerning battles in the area and the exploits of the Gododdin (the exact date of the original is contested).
We had several hours between getting to York and being able to check into the conference. So, naturally, we did what any group of eight archaeologists does when in York for a conference: check out the museum and explore the Minster.
News in archaeology from the past week: Jarlshof modeling, medieval Danish latrine barrels, a possible royal Anglo-Saxon village, lasers and Roman Roads in Spain, and Genghis Khan’s weather report!
Very interesting find in East Lothian – Medieval Murder Mystery, anyone? BBC News – Experts unearth ancient murder victim in East Lothian.
Two weeks ago, the archaeology department went on a field trip to Kilmartin Glen in Argyll. For those who might be unaware, Argyll is on the western coast and is a lot like Rhode Island in the sense of there being a fair amount of land that is very close to water and lots of islands in close proximity to that. That’s probably about where the similarities end, though, since much of the land in Argyll is hilly/mountainous starting at or very near the coast and Scotland, as usual, is far rainier than anywhere in New England.