|Archaeologists extract clues from Kiskiack’s pre-colonial past|
July 30, 2015, William and Mary College (VA) by Joseph McClain
It was the last day of the dig and rain was threatening.
Madeline Gunter and Jessica Bittner were using tablespoons to work around some rocks that were just beginning to peek through the troweled-flat, muddy-looking surface of their working unit. They weren’t just random stones.
“It’s a hearth feature,” said Gunter, a Ph.D. student in William & Mary’s Department of Anthropology. “We’re making sure to collect all these little charcoal flecks that are concentrated here in the center. That’s going to help us date this feature.”
|Dig returns to artifact-rich Colonial American site in NY|
July 30, 2015, The Associated Press by Staff
An archaeological project has returned to an artifact-rich state park in the southern Adirondacks on what was the focal point of the warring British and French empires more than 250 years ago.
A team of students and volunteers is trying to determine if a low stone wall along the edge of Lake George Battlefield Park and another structure being unearthed nearby were built during the French and Indian War from 1754 to 1763, when thousands of British and Colonial American troops were posted here while fighting raged along the northern frontier separating Britain's New York province and French-held Canada.
|“Hamilton,” Based on a Book, Is Becoming One Again|
July 29, 2015, The New York Times by Alexandra Alter
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s raucous hip-hop musical, “Hamilton,” sprang from an unlikely source: a dense, 818-page biography of Alexander Hamilton by the historian Ron Chernow. Mr. Miranda picked up the book as vacation reading before a trip to Mexico, and soon after tearing through the first chapter, he had the idea to adapt Hamilton’s life story into a musical.
Now, the play, which just opened on Broadway in previews after a critically lauded, sold-out, Off-Broadway run, will get its own life in print. Grand Central Publishing has acquired Mr. Miranda’s book “Hamilton,” which blends the history of Hamilton’s life with Mr. Miranda’s lyrics and annotations and behind-the scenes content from the show. The book will include photographs, interviews, essays and sidebars that explore how Mr. Miranda translated Hamilton’s life — from his tough childhood as an orphan to his military career and his role as the nation’s first Treasury secretary – into musical theater. Grand Central plans to publish the book in April 2016.
|Mentor shipwreck excavation continues|
July 28, 2015, Archaeology News Network by TANN
Another cycle of underwater excavation around the “Mentor” shipwreck near Kythira island has been concluded yielding evidence that the ship that carried other antiquities besides what has already been discovered so far. Excavations took place in June 26-July 12 and focused on the western boundary of the shipwreck.
The Mentor had set to travel to England but in September 1802 sunk at the entrance of the port of Avlemonas, Kythira. It probably carried antiquities collected by Earl of Elgin team, besides the Parthenon sculptures destined to Britain. Since underwater excavations started at the site, various fragments have been discovered indicating that other antiquities were carried.
|Unearthing Jamestown’s Leaders, and a Mystery|
July 28, 2015, The New York Times by Nicholas Fandos
One man was thought to be the first Anglican minister in the Americas. Another, an early explorer of the Mid-Atlantic region, was a rival of Capt. John Smith’s. And two of them, kin of Sir Thomas West’s, the governor of Virginia, helped save a colony on the brink of collapse.
All four, some of European America’s earliest leaders, died in colonial Jamestown from 1608 to 1610 and were long thought lost to history.
But on Tuesday, a team of researchers from the National Museum of Natural History and the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation announced that they had unearthed and identified the men amid the ruins of a church on the site of Fort James.
|Florida family finds $1 million in treasure from sunken Spanish armada|
July 27, 2015, Reuters by Barbara Liston
A Florida family who has hunted treasure for years found more than $1 million worth of gold artifacts this summer from the wreckage of a 1715 Spanish fleet that sank in the Atlantic, according to a salvage company’s estimate.
The find included 51 gold coins of various denominations and 40 feet (12 meters) of ornate gold chain, said Brent Brisben, whose company, 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels LLC, owns the rights to the wreckage.
|Skeletons Of Napoleon's Soldiers Discovered In Mass Grave Show Signs Of Starvation|
July 25, 2015, Forbes by Kristina Killgrove
As snow lashed across their faces, archaeologists quickly excavated a mass grave in Vilnius, Lithuania. The jumbled bones, haphazardly oriented, were punctuated with finds of shoes and clothing. Buttons revealed the identity of the dead: over 40 different regiments were represented, all from Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Archaeologists had found the final resting place of over three thousand men who perished during Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in 1812. Now, new chemical analyses of the bones are revealing where these soldiers hailed from and just how difficult it was to find enough to eat.
|Democrats drop Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson names from annual fundraising dinner|
July 23, 2015, The Connecticut Post by Neil Vigdor
Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson are history in Connecticut.
Under pressure from the NAACP, the state Democratic Party will scrub the names of the two presidents from its annual fundraising dinner because of their ties to slavery.
|Robotic Sub Stumbles Across Revolutionary War-Era Shipwreck|
July 21, 2015, Discovery News by Patrick J. Kiger
It’s amazing what you can find at the ocean bottom, even when you’re looking for something else.
Marine scientists on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research ship Atlantis, who were sailing off the North Carolina coast in an effort to study biological and chemical activity in deep-sea methane seeps, happened upon a previously undiscovered shipwreck on the ocean bottom about a mile beneath the surface.
Artifacts found on the wreck suggest that it could date back as far as the late 1700s, around the time of the American Revolution.
|Archaeologists find wreckage of Spanish ship that battled English corsairs in 1700s|
July 20, 2015, Fox News by Staff
Colombian archaeologists have discovered the remains of what could be an 18th-century merchant vessel sunk by Spanish naval commander Adm. Blas de Lezo in 1741 in an attempt to block an English invasion of the Caribbean port city of Cartagena de Indias, researchers told EFE.
The discovery consists of a cannon and several slabs of wood that form "a pattern indicating that all the wood and structures belonged to a single ship," the Universidad Externado de Colombia professor of archaeology and director of the Terra Firme Foundation, Carlos del Cairo, said.
|Centuries-Old Shipwreck Discovered Off NC Coast|
July 17, 2015, Duke University by Staff
Scanning sonar from a scientific expedition has revealed the remains of a previously unknown shipwreck more than a mile deep off the North Carolina coast. Artifacts on the wreck indicate it might date to the American Revolution.
Marine scientists from Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon discovered the wreck on July 12 during a research expedition aboard the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) research ship Atlantis.
|UNESCO says Captain Kidd pirate treasure claim is false|
July 14, 2015, The Associated Press by Staff
The account of an American underwater explorer who says he found a silver ingot that belonged to 17th century pirate Captain Kidd in Madagascar is false, the United Nations said Tuesday.
The so-called silver ingot is actually a piece of ballast that consists almost entirely of lead, the U.N. cultural body UNESCO said in a statement. It also dismissed assertions that the shipwreck of the Adventure Galley, a vessel belonging to Captain Kidd, had been found. The underwater structure was instead a broken segment from port construction, it said.
|Watch the Mona Lisa come to life: Interactive version of masterpiece sees her frown, turn her head, and even breathe|
July 13, 2015, The Daily Mail (UK) by Richard Gray
Her eyes are said to follow art lovers around the room and the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile gives her a strangely life like quality that captivates those who gaze upon her.
But now computer technology has been used to bring the Mona Lisa to life like never before.
An interactive version of the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci allows her to turn her head, pucker her lips, frown and even breathe.
|‘Hamilton’ Heads to Broadway in a Hip-Hop Retelling|
July 12, 2015, The New York Times by Michael Paulson
The Broadway musical can seem as oldfangled as the founding fathers. But an audacious hip-hop retelling of the life of the nation’s first Treasury secretary lands on Broadway on Monday poised to become the rarest of theatrical phenomena: not only a hit, but a turning point for the art form and a cultural conversation piece. Continue reading the main story RELATED COVERAGE Renée Elise Goldsberry, right, with Patricia Sanftner at the Schuyler-Hamilton House in Morristown, N.J.Grace Notes: Actresses in ‘Hamilton’ Take a Trip to a Family Home for a History LessonJULY 12, 2015 Clockwise from left, Phillipa Soo, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Ramos in “Hamilton” at the Public Theater.‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in AttendanceMARCH 27, 2015 Lin-Manuel Miranda, center, plays the title role in the hip-hop-influenced musical Review: In ‘Hamilton,’ Lin-Manuel Miranda Forges Democracy Through RapFEB. 17, 2015 From left, Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos and Lin-Manuel Miranda in the musical “Hamilton.”Lin-Manuel Miranda and Others From ‘Hamilton’ Talk HistoryFEB. 5, 2015 The Hamilton Mixtape From left, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jon Rua and James Monroe Iglehart, at the Allen Room.Music Review: ‘Hamilton Mixtape,’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda, at Allen RoomJAN. 12, 2012 Lin-Manuel Miranda, in his neighborhood in upper Manhattan.Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Rapping on Alexander HamiltonJAN. 6, 2012
The show, “Hamilton,” arrives with a powerful tailwind. It has already brought in $27.6 million, with just over 200,000 tickets sold in advance — huge numbers for Broadway, and among the biggest pre-opening totals in history. An Off Broadway production of the musical, based on Alexander Hamilton, which ran this year at the Public Theater, was a critical darling that sold out 119 performances, attracted a who’s who of cultural and political figures, and collected a trophy case of awards. And the show’s creator, a 35-year-old New Yorker named Lin-Manuel Miranda, has already won a Tony and a Grammy for an earlier show he had begun while still an undergraduate.
|The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed|
July 11, 2015, The Guardian (UK) by David Olusoga
he past has a disconcerting habit of bursting, uninvited and unwelcome, into the present. This year history gate-crashed modern America in the form of a 150-year-old document: a few sheets of paper that compelled Hollywood actor Ben Affleck to issue a public apology and forced the highly regarded US public service broadcaster PBS to launch an internal investigation.
The document, which emerged during the production of Finding Your Roots, a celebrity genealogy show, is neither unique nor unusual. It is one of thousands that record the primal wound of the American republic – slavery. It lists the names of 24 slaves, men and women, who in 1858 were owned by Benjamin L Cole, Affleck’s great-great-great-grandfather. When this uncomfortable fact came to light, Affleck asked the show’s producers to conceal his family’s links to slavery. Internal emails discussing the programme were later published by WikiLeaks, forcing Affleck to admit in a Facebook post: “I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed.”
|US Alamo fort awarded World Heritage status|
July 05, 2015, AFP by Staff
The 18th century Spanish-built San Antonio Missions in Texas in the United States, including Alamo, were awarded world heritage status by the UN's cultural body on Sunday.
UNESCO's World Heritage Committee approved the listing of the five Spanish Roman Catholic sites built in and around what is now the city of San Antonio, including the Alamo fort, where in 1836 some 180 Texans fighting for independence from Mexico fought to the death against Mexican General Santa Anna's army of several thousand soldiers.
|200-year-old Dutch Ship Wreck Discovered Off Anchuthengu Fort in Kerala|
July 04, 2015, The New Indian Express by Tiki Rajwi
A Dutch ship that had sunk off Anchuthengu (Anjengo) in the district in January 1752 has been identified as the Wimmenum, built two years previously at the Dutch East India Company Wharf in Amsterdam.
‘’The ship is said to have caught fire and exploded after being attacked ‘by Angrians of Malabar coast’,’’ said Robert Panipilla, a researcher of Friends of Marine Life, a local forum, who discovered the ship with the help of fishermen and two divers in January this year. ‘’Angrians is apparently a German word referring to pirates,’’ he said.
|How Thomas Jefferson’s Wartime Record Shaped His Life|
July 03, 2015, Time Magazine by Michael Kranish
On June 4, 1781, nearly five years after authoring the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson fled Monticello just minutes before the arrival of British troops. His term as governor of Virginia had just expired, and Jefferson declined to continue his service, leaving the state without leadership during some of its darkest days.
In his defense, Jefferson made a blunt admission. With Virginia under invasion by a “powerful army,” Jefferson felt he was unprepared by his “life and education for the command of armies.” As a result, Jefferson wrote that he “believed it right not to stand in the way of talents better fitted than his own to the circumstances under which the country was placed.”
|'Old Ironsides' restoration salvages warship's storied history|
July 02, 2015, Fox News by Molly Line
The world's oldest commissioned warship still kept afloat will be spending a little time in dry dock undergoing repairs to keep it watertight.
Launched in 1797, the USS Constitution was among the first six frigates built for America's Navy after the Revolutionary War. To ensure the ship remains intact, the aging vessel was recently removed from the water to undergo major repairs at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston where visitors can still walk the deck.
|King George I, Party Planning Visionary|
June 30, 2015, The Toast by Kathleen Cooper
It’s a shame that we don’t often celebrate the creators of small pleasures. Creators of Big Things — like cars, light bulbs, and antibiotics — understandably receive a great deal of attention, but when it comes to the small events in history, we seem to suffer from collective amnesia. The origins of the first birthday party are lost in the mists of time. We don’t know exactly who invented the first picnic, or thought of the first New Year’s Eve party.
But I am happy to report that the story of King George I of England and his fabulous, fairy-tale Royal Floating Concert Supper Party, the justly celebrated event that featured the first-ever performance of Handel’s famous “Water Music,” has survived through the ages. King George’s musical event was the first party to combine an outdoor concert with entertaining and dining, and this innovation has evolved into our modern tradition of outdoor concert and tailgate parties.
|Remains of schooner raised from Lake Champlain back to Navy
June 30, 2015, The Associated Press by Dave Gram
The remains of a Revolutionary War battleship that burned and sank as the Americans and British struggled for control of Lake Champlain will be in the hands of the U.S. Navy in time for the Fourth of July.
What’s left of the schooner Royal Savage, raised from the lake in 1934, has been in possession of the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and will be turned over to the Navy during a ceremony Wednesday in Harrisburg.
|Research shows how Spanish colonists changed life in the Middle Rio Grande Valley|
June 25, 2015, University of New Mexico by Karen Wentworth
Spanish settlement of the Middle Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico changed the way people lived, but a new paper in the journal “The Holocene” by UNM Assistant Professor of Anthropology Emily Jones, suggests the change did not come quickly.
“The Columbian Exchange and landscapes of the Middle Rio Grande Valley, AD 1300-1900” is an examination of the impact of Spanish colonization including what people were eating, and an indication of what animals and plants were abundant in the area.
|Have you seen me? A memorial to slavery.|
June 23, 2015, History News Network by Alexi Morrissey
We in the United States and around the world still have not come to grips with the slave trade and its long-lasting effects. This project seeks to build a contemporary memorial to slavery called HAVE YOU SEEN ME?
Have You Seen Me? is a work of art that transforms the iconic 1980s “kid on the milk carton” missing person advocacy campaign into a memorial for Africans who were lost during the Slave Trade.
This memorial to slavery depends on the involvement of a widespread group of people - not just for the funds to continue production, but for the housing of the bottles. The memorial is the network of bottles in our homes.
|Say it ain't so, Jack|
June 22, 2015, The Brookings Institution by Ben S. Bernanke
I must admit I was appalled to hear of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's decision last week to demote Alexander Hamilton from his featured position on the ten dollar bill. My reaction has been widely shared, see for example here, here, here, here, and here.
Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, would qualify as among the greatest of our founders for his contributions to achieving American independence and creating the Constitution alone. In addition to those accomplishments, however, Hamilton was without doubt the best and most foresighted economic policymaker in U.S. history. As detailed in Ron Chernow's excellent biography, as Treasury Secretary Hamilton put in place the institutional basis for the modern U.S. economy. Critically, he helped put U.S. government finances on a sound footing, consolidating the debts of the states and setting up a strong federal fiscal system. The importance of Hamilton's achievement can be judged by the problems that the combination of uncoordinated national fiscal policies and a single currency has caused the Eurozone in recent years. Reflecting on those parallels, as Fed chairman I recommended Chernow's biography to Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. Mario told me that he read it with great interest.
|African American family records from era of slavery to be available free online|
June 20, 2015, The Guardian (UK) by Joanna Walters
Millions of African Americans will soon be able to trace their families through the era of slavery, some to the countries from which their ancestors were snatched, thanks to a new and free online service that is digitizing a huge cache of federal records for the first time.
Handwritten records collecting information on newly freed slaves that were compiled just after the civil war will be available for easy searches through a new website, it was announced on Friday.
The records belong to the Freedmen’s Bureau, an administrative body created by Congress in 1865 to assist slaves in 15 states and the District of Columbia transition into free citizenship.