Archaeologists have been using aerial photography for decades, looking at the ground from the air to identify crop marks and other signs of features beneath the surface. It’s worked particularly well in places like the UK, where large amounts of archaeology are now buried under farmland. Recently, though, there have been several news stories about using drones instead of planes for aerial survey. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) like drones don’t require large amounts of space to take off, they don’t use as many resources to run, and their smaller size allows them to go places you might not get to with a plane or helicopter. They also cost a LOT less.
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!
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.
For about a week before New Years (Happy New Year, by the way), the BBC published a number of articles highlighting the big events in certain industries in 2013. One of their last was an article talking about the best of archaeology, and I am oh so excited about it!