ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Current Roman things in London are not just the artefacts and bodycasts from Pompeji and Herculaneum that are exhibited in the British Museum (not seen yet, must remember to book ticket!) but there is also a huge excavation at the banks of the Walbrook. BBC had a feature on it a few days ago, including a slideshow of some really nice artefacts. Being a wetland site, the wood is fantastically well preserved. There are even writing tablets (still containing the text!). If you want to know more about Roman London and the everyday work on a commercial urban dig, go to the site blog: Walbrook discovery programme.
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
Due to site staff holidays and unexpected illnesses I have been sent out on site. Unfortunately this has coincided with what here in Britain is called a heatwave, i.e. 25-30°C. Readers in Australia, inland USA, Russia etc are probably laughing at this. It was nasty last Friday, with 32°C (90°F) on an open field with little wind and a clear blue sky. I'm digging in a longsleeved linen shirt in the hope that it will protect me from sunburn, and am slathering sunlotion on my legs. The site itself is rather unspectacular: a prehistoric field with some boundary ditches and post holes. Which is good, because when it's over 25°C my brain can't handle much more advanced questions than which of these two intersecting ditches is the oldest one.

This weekend is hot too, but according to the weather forecast it will drop to 21-23°C at the beginning of next week. Woohoo! Now that's nice summer temperatures. If that continues I may be able to get out and do something fun at next weekend.
ossamenta: Scientist clones dinosaur for T-rex steaks (Science)
The irritating part of being an osteologist (well, one irritating part anyway) is that you know so many exceptions to the rules, and complications that when you see articles as this one: A skeleton excavated in the ruins of an Ipswich friary has been identified as a medieval African man, which of course is really interesting, but I do wonder how much of the statements (for example "the man was born a Muslim in 13th-Century Tunisia, who was taken to England during the ninth Crusade. It is thought he converted to Christianity before living in England for over ten years, [...] before a burial in the Friary itself.") are journalistic shortcuts and how much the scientists could actually pinpoint? 13th century - sure, I accept that. But why specifically Tunisia, and not just "coastal north Africa"? Inquiring minds want to know!

Yes, I could write to the archaeological unit that did the excavation, but you know, that would be work :-) . Or wait until the proper report gets published.


On a less grumbly note, I can recommend the following site blogs (in Swedish only, I'm afraid) for those of you who have a yearning for being out in the muck and finding cool things:
- Åkroken i Nyköping: Medieval.
- Motala Ström: Mesolithic and Neolithic (and some Iron Age too).
- Kvarteret Druvan/Dovhjorten i Jönköping: 17th century and Medieval.

Any tips on other interesting site blogs?

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ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
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