|Stirling Castle's 16th Century Defences Unearthed|
March 02, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
Archaeologists have found fragments of Stirling Castle's 16th Century outer defences.
The discovery was made during work to extend the castle's main shop and ticket office.
Historic Scotland said the find would help establish exactly where the defences stood.
|Loyola Professor: I Stole New Mexico Artifacts|
March 01, 2011, The Chicago Tribune by Erin Meyer
A Loyola University Chicago professor will serve a year's probation for his part in a scheme to plunder artifacts from an archaeological site in New Mexico, the U.S. attorney's office there said in a statement Tuesday.
...The U.S. attorney's office in New Mexico declined to give details about the other men implicated in the investigation, but they were identified in court documents as Scott Clendenin and Donald Musser. Clendenin, an arrowhead hunter who lived in Truth or Consequences, N.M., made regular trips to Jornada Del Muerto, a long stretch of desert where Spanish settlers died fleeing the Pueblo Revolt in the 17th century, the documents said.
|Cracked Mayan Code may Pave Way to Lost Gold|
March 01, 2011, Fox News Latino by Staff
Led by Joachim Rittsteig, an expert in Mayan writing, a group of scientists and journalists left Germany Tuesday, on a mission to Guatemala in search of a lost Maya treasure allegedly submerged under Lake Izabal.
..."The Dresden Codex leads to a giant treasure of eight tons of pure gold," said Rittsteig, who has spent more than 40 years studying the document, to Bild.
...The code was discovered in 1739 in the possession of a wealthy man in Vienna, though no one knows how he got a hold of it. He then donated it to the Dresden Library, where it is kept under bullet-proof glass in a room with other treasured documents.
|U-Va. Rotunda Waits in Line for Repairs|
March 01, 2011, The Washington Post by Daniel de Vise
Thomas Jefferson's Rotunda, the historic heart of the University of Virginia, is among the most iconic structures in higher education. Yet a close inspection reveals that the proud Corinthian capitals above its entrance are crumbling. The elevator jams at inopportune moments. The roof leaks.
Coming up with the money to fix a building of such gravitas might seem a simple affair. Jefferson's university is a storied "public Ivy," with a $5 billion endowment. Someone could, presumably, write a check.
|Shropshire Medieval Coin Finds Declared Treasure Trove|
March 01, 2011, Shropshire Star (UK) by Staff
Three hoards of medieval coins found in Shropshire have been declared as treasure by a coroner.
The coins – dating from the 13th to 17th centuries – were discovered in Baschurch and near Oswestry.
|Texas State Helps Recover Cannons from Capt. Morgan’s Lost Fleet|
February 28, 2011, Texas State News Service by Brad Rollins
In the shallow waters surrounding Lajas Reef at the mouth of the Chagres River in Panama, a team of archaeologists — including members from Texas State University — has recovered cannons from the site where infamous privateer Captain Henry Morgan’s ships wrecked in 1671 while carrying Morgan and his men to raid Panama City.
Six iron cannons recovered from the reef are now undergoing study and preservation treatment by Panamanian researchers in cooperation with a team that has been studying the Chagres River with the permission of Panama’s Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INAC).
|Rare Atlases Provide Intimate Picture of History|
February 28, 2011, ArchNews (UK) by Staff
everal hundred rare and beautiful images, some dating back as far as the 16th century and recording a graphic account of everything from the anatomy of the human body to a CIA record of Soviet-bloc military installations, are being brought together in a new digital exhibition.
More than 300 images, many of them never seen outside of the University of Bristol’s Special Collections library, have been identified by a team of geographical scientists and specialists who hope to open up part of the archive to a wider audience.
|The Cherokees vs. Andrew Jackson|
February 25, 2011, Smithsonian Magazine by Brian Hicks
John Ross made an unlikely looking Cherokee chief. Born in 1790 to a Scottish trader and a woman of Indian and European heritage, he was only one-eighth Cherokee by blood. Short, slight and reserved, he wore a suit and tie instead of deerskin leggings and a beaver-skin hat. His trading post made him more prosperous than most Indians—or white men. But his mother and grandmother raised him in a traditional household, teaching him the tribe’s customs and legends. When the Cherokees embraced formal education—they were adapting quickly to a world they knew was changing—he attended school with their children. After his mother died, in 1808, Ross worked at his grandfather’s trading post near present-day Chattanooga, an important way station on the road to the West. There he encountered white settlers moving onto Cherokee land.
|What the Luddites Really Fought Against|
February 25, 2011, Smithsonian Magazine by Richard Conniff
In an essay in 1984—at the dawn of the personal computer era—the novelist Thomas Pynchon wondered if it was “O.K. to be a Luddite,” meaning someone who opposes technological progress. A better question today is whether it’s even possible. Technology is everywhere, and a recent headline at an Internet hu-mor site perfectly captured how difficult it is to resist: “Luddite invents machine to destroy technology quicker.”
...he Luddite disturbances started in circumstances at least superficially similar to our own. British working families at the start of the 19th century were enduring economic upheaval and widespread unemployment. A seemingly endless war against Napoleon’s France had brought “the hard pinch of poverty,” wrote Yorkshire historian Frank Peel, to homes “where it had hitherto been a stranger.” Food was scarce and rapidly becoming more costly. Then, on March 11, 1811, in Nottingham, a textile manufacturing center, British troops broke up a crowd of protesters demanding more work and better wages.
|Polygamy Hurt 19th Century Mormon Wives' Evolutionary Fitness |
February 25, 2011, Genetic Archaeology by Staff
Polygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior.
Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce.
The researchers' survey of birth, marriage and death records from the Utah Population Database covers nearly 186,000 Utah adults and their 630,000 children who lived or died between 1830 and 1894. This period marked an important transition for the nascent Mormon Church, as polygamy began to be phased out in deference to U.S. laws banning the practice but also via internal pressure from the Mormons themselves.
|European Image of Mount Everest Dates to 1848|
February 25, 2011, OurAmazingPlanet by Andrea Mustain
What may be the earliest European representation of Mount Everest has been unearthed in the archives of Kew Gardens, just outside London.
The spidery sketch of the storied peak was done in 1848 by Joseph Hooker, a world-traveling botanist, who served as Kew's director from 1865 to 1885, and was one of Charles Darwin's closest friends.
|Older Mistresses are so Grateful!! |
February 24, 2011, Letters of Note by Benjamin Franklin
From the pen of Benjamin Franklin in 1745 comes a once-scandalous letter to an unnamed recipient (very possibly fictitious but rumoured to be Cadwallader Colden) in which he begins by suggesting marriage as the best remedy for the young man's sexual urges. In the event of marriage being out of the question for his friend however, Franklin then goes on to write an eight-strong list detailing the advantages of an older mistress which, due to its "obscene" nature, resulted in its being omitted from published collections of his writings during the 19th Century.
|Battle over Health-Care Reform: Vital Lessons from America's Founding Fathers|
February 24, 2011, The Christian Science Monitor by Len M. Nichols
History lights a path out of partisan morass, if we will but see. The new Republican House has read the Constitution, reverently, voted to repeal and defund health-care reform, defiantly, and listened to the president’s views on health care and our union, dutifully.
As a next step, I highly recommend they read Pauline Maier’s masterful “Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-88,” before plunging back into business as usual. Two lessons in particular speak to our recent health-reform debate: 1) Complex proposals may be best worked out in secret, but must be made clear before too long; 2) State-level debates can play essential roles in the acceptance of fundamental change in our country, if debaters are honest with one another.
|Campaign to Preserve London's 'Oliver Twist' Workhouse|
February 23, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
Campaigners are celebrating a "major milestone" in the fight to save a London workhouse thought to have inspired the work of Charles Dickens.
The Cleveland Street Workhouse Group (CSWG) wants the 18th Century building in Fitzrovia - earmarked for demolition - to be given listed status.
It claims a positive English Heritage report acknowledges its "historical and architectural" contribution to London.
|Unearthed: 17th Century Shopping Centre that Drew the Bargain-Hunters to Dunluce|
February 23, 2011, The Belfast Telegraph (Ireland) by Linda Stewart
A trove of 17th century treasure has been uncovered which sheds new light on how people once shopped in the lost town of Dunluce.
The settlement near the north coast castle’s walls was once destined to be the region’s great commercial centre — but fell into decline after the 1641 Rebellion.
|Resolution Could Honor Little-Known Revolutionary War History|
February 23, 2011, News & Messenger (VA) by Kipp Hanley
The average American might not know that a teenaged James Monroe participated in the Battle of Trenton in the Revolutionary War – more than 40 years before he became president.
Probably even fewer know that a biracial man from Prince William County named John Sidebottom helped carry the injured Monroe from the battlefield, likely saving his life.
Bravery like this from the black populace in the Revolutionary War has largely gone unnoticed until recent years. Former Manassas area resident Maurice Barboza hopes that some of these folks that called Prince William their home are recognized for their efforts in the nation’s struggle for independence from England.
|National Park Service Records Castle Pinckney with High-Tech Equipment|
February 23, 2011, The Post and Courier (SC) by Robert Behre
The toaster-oven-size machine whirred quietly atop the tripod as its laser recorded up to 40,000 data points a second.
National Park Service architects brought it here Tuesday, and by Thursday, they expect to have collected between 150 million and 200 million electronic measurements of one of Charleston's most neglected historic sites.
Castle Pinckney has stood guard on this island for two centuries -- and the brick fortification looks every year its age.
|Jefferson's Books Found in U.S. University Library|
February 22, 2011, The Associated Press by Staff
Dozens of Thomas Jefferson's books have been found in the rare books collection at Washington University in St. Louis.
Scholars are now poring through the 28 titles and 74 volumes, searching for the occasional handwritten note from the nation's third president. And librarians say it's possible more of Jefferson's books will be found in the school's collection.
|Burial Ground of Bunyan, Defoe and Blake Earns Protected Status|
February 22, 2011, The Guardian (UK) by Maev Kennedy
Bunhill Fields, the London cemetery where some of the most radical figures in history lie quietly side by side in unhallowed ground, will today be declared a Grade I park by the government, with separate listings for scores of its monuments.
The cemetery, founded in the 1660s as a burial ground for nonconformists, radicals and dissenters, holds the remains of John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress, Daniel Defoe, who wrote Robinson Crusoe, and the poet and artist William Blake, among thousands of others.
In the 19th century, when it had already become a place of pilgrimage for nonconformists and radical reformers, the poet Robert Southey called it the Campo Santo (holy ground) of the dissenters. By the time it was finally declared full and closed in 1853, at least 120,000 people had been interred in the four acres.
|Brother Washington’s Apron: a Masonic Mystery (part 1 of 3)|
February 22, 2011, National Museum of American History by Tim Winkle
any of us have the Antiques Roadshow fantasy. You know the one. Some object or work of art, inherited or bought on the cheap (then relegated for years to the back of your attic or bottom of the closet) is revealed to have a connection to someone famous (wow) or worth thousands of dollars (WOW). That pencil sketch on a napkin that you found cleaning out Aunt Edna’s apartment after she died? A genuine Picasso. The pocket knife you bought at a yard sale for a dollar? Turns out it belonged to Buffalo Bill Cody. But there is a flipside to this phenomenon. Your family has a treasured relic that has passed from generation to generation, a piece of history that has become the focus of family pride, of local lore and legend. But what if the story is too good to be true?
Curators here at the National Museum of American History are regularly offered objects associated with famous celebrities or historical figures from America’s past. There is an obligation on our part to do what we can to confirm the connections to important persons before we consider acquiring such donations. From the standpoint of American history, they don’t come much bigger than George Washington and recently the Museum was offered the chance to acquire a true rarity – a Masonic apron that was said to belong to the First President. The first question –- was this fact or fiction?
|Archaeology Team Tells Queen, "We Want to Dig up Henry VIII"|
February 21, 2011, Gadling by Sean McLachlan
Two American archaeologists have asked the Queen of England for permission to dig up Henry VIII and use the latest techniques to reconstruct his face. Bioarchaeologist Catrina Whitley and anthropologist Kyra Kramer popped the question because they're interested in seeing how accurate the royal portraits of the famous king really are. They also want to perform DNA tests to see if he suffered from a rare illness that might have driven him insane.
|Catholic Temples Built on Teocallis Give Account of Prehispanic Urban Planning|
February 21, 2011, Art Daily by Staff
During the Conquest period between 1524 and 1529, Spaniards constructed 68 churches on sacred Prehispanic buildings of Tenochtitlan and Tlatelolco.
The specialist from the Seminar of Indigenous Historiography at UNAM remarked that "such Colonial constructions present an outlook of how neighborhoods were integrated, the architectural crossbreeding and the reuse made by Spaniards of these areas for the Catholic cult, which remains until now".
|A Founding Father’s Books Turn Up|
February 21, 2011, The New York Times by Sam Roberts
A literary detective story that began 18 months ago and was advanced through a chance reading of an 1880 edition of The Harvard Register has led researchers from the Jefferson Library at Monticello to a trove of books that were among the last ones that Thomas Jefferson, the nation’s most bibliophilic president, collected and read in the decade before he died.
The 28 titles in 74 volumes were discovered recently in the collection of Washington University in St. Louis, immediately elevating its library to the third largest repository of books belonging to Jefferson after the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia.
|Controversy Over 'Negro Mountain' Reveals Urban-Rural Divide |
February 20, 2011, The Baltimore Sun (MD) by Julie Bykowicz
Bryant Bunch, who came from Prince George's County to attend college here at the far end of the Maryland panhandle, first saw the sign on Interstate 68 while traveling with a carload of friends a few years back.
He remembers their reaction: Does that say what we think it says?
...Those disparate reactions to "Negro Mountain," the name that 18th-century settlers gave to the Garrett County landmark, have found their echo in Annapolis, where a Senate panel will begin debate this week on whether it should be changed.
|Shhhh, it’s been Quiet in Chetham's Library for 350 Years|
February 19, 2011, The Daily Mail (UK) by Staff
When it was founded in 1653, it aimed to rival the college libraries of Oxbridge and provide a place for independent study in the north of England.
Today, Chetham's Library is the oldest surviving public library in Britain, housed in the centre of Manchester in a medieval sandstone building which used to be a prison and arsenal.
It was created at the behest of Humphrey Chetham, a successful cloth merchant, whose will stipulated that the Library should be 'for the use of schollars and others well affected', and instructed the librarian 'to require nothing of any man that cometh into the library'.