|Shipwreck Dive Scheduled to get Underway|
May 17, 2011, ENC Today (NC) by Jannette Pippin
As moviegoers catch a glimpse of Blackbeard in the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie, state underwater archaeologists will be on a real pirate adventure as they dive on the shipwreck presumed to be the Queen Anne’s Revenge.
The wreck of the flagship of the infamous pirate rests approximately 20 feet below water in Beaufort Inlet where it ran aground nearly 300 years ago.
|Floods Threaten Historic Sites, Not Tourist Favorites|
May 17, 2011, NPR by Liz Halloran
There has been good news over the past 24 hours for Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Diversion of rising Mississippi River waters though the Morganza Spillway northwest of the cities and into the Atchafalaya River basin appears to have helped lower the chances that the urban areas will be swamped.
Major tourist attractions and historic sites seem likely to be spared, including a necklace of antebellum-era plantations along the Great River Road. A few, including the white-pillared Nottoway Plantation, posted assurances of their dryness online, along with photos of nearby levees keeping water contained.
|How the Brain Got Its Buttocks|
May 17, 2011, Slate by Jesse Bering
There are so many obscure specializations, subspecializations and subcortical subspecializations within the brain sciences that even the sharpest brain has scarcely enough brainpower to learn everything there is to know about itself. But if there's one fact that the teacup-Yorkie-sized prune in your head might want to ponder, it's that it shares a peculiar past with something considerably lower in your anatomy—your genitalia. I don't mean that our brains and reproductive organs share some embryological or evolutionary history, but rather that they were once (and, to some extent, still are) entwined in the language of the body. What this odd story reveals is that the ancient anatomists were major dickheads. We all were, back then.
Régis Olry, of the University of Quebec, and Duane Haines, of the University of Mississippi, brought the whole sordid tale to light in an intriguing pair of articles for the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. These "historians of neuroanatomy" (yes, there is such a profession, and we should be grateful for it) reviewed a very old, circuitous medical literature and found that the human brain was once described as comprising its very own vulva, penis, testicles, buttocks, and even an anus. In fact, part of the cerebrum is still named in honor of long-forgotten whores.
|Freedom in the Swamp: Unearthing the Secret History of the Great Dismal Swamp|
May 16, 2011, PhysOrg.com by Staff
It's the year 1800. You're a slave in southeast Virginia. You manage to escape. Your freedom is only going to last as long as you can hide. Where do you go?
Would you believe the Great Dismal Swamp? According to Dan Sayers, assistant professor of anthropology and an historical archaeologist at American University, that's exactly where you could have gone for immediate sanctuary.
|Archaeologists Bring Mona Lisa’s Top Model to Light|
May 16, 2011, History.com by Staff
Archaeologists in Florence, Italy, are digging for the bones of the woman who may have sat for Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic and enigmatic “Mona Lisa,” which now hangs in the Louvre. With the help of ground-penetrating radar machines, they are on the verge of unsealing a tomb thought to contain the remains of Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the most widely accepted candidate for the world-renowned painting’s model. The team hopes that facial reconstruction technology will finally put a name to one of the most recognizable and cryptic expressions in portraiture.
|Mona Lisa crypt 'found'|
May 14, 2011, The Telegraph (UK) by Nick Pisa
The crypt was discovered after a two week search of an abandoned convent by experts using ground penetrating radar and ancient maps and documents.
Professor Silvano Vinceti is leading the hunt for Lisa Gherardini Del Giocondo who is widely believed to be the mystery woman behind the 500 year old painting of Mona Lisa.
|Visitors to the Radio 1 Big Weekend are Warned to Watch Out for the Curse of Carlisle|
May 13, 2011, STV by Staff
Music fans heading to Carlisle for the Radio 1 Big Weekend should be on their guard against the Carlisle Curse. Especially this a Friday the thirteenth weekend.
Organisers are hoping that the visitors will be affected by nothing worse than a light shower of rain.
The Curse of Carlisle was placed on the city by the Archbishop of Glasgow in 1525 against the fighting families there known as the reivers.
|Ri Archaeologist Follows the Money -- 1772 Style|
May 13, 2011, The Providence Journal (RI) by Thomas J. Morgan
Did a wad of cash carve a path toward the Declaration of Independence in 1776?
D.K. Abbass, director of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, says she may have solved one mystery of the Gaspee Incident, the 1772 boarding and destruction of a British warship stranded on a sandbar in Narragansett Bay, an early and literally incendiary stepping stone toward the Revolutionary War.
|Risking One's Neck for Better Grog: Mutinies Reveal Tipping Points for Collective Unrest|
May 13, 2011, ScienceDaily by Molly McElroy
Films depicting the 1787 mutiny aboard the British ship HMS Bounty show sailors living cheek by jowl, being forced to dance, enduring storm-ridden Cape of Good Hope crossings to satisfy the ship captain's ego and being flogged for trivial reasons.
We may not think that these harsh conditions have much relevance today. But mutinies continue to occur, especially in the armed forces of developing nations. And mutinies have similarities to other types of rebellions, including worker strikes, riots, prison rebellions and political uprisings.
University of Washington sociologists are studying naval records of mutinies as a way to see how modern-day ill-treatment toward subordinates can lead to violence.
|Oldest Manuscript Diary Among Japan Proposals for Unesco Heritage|
May 12, 2011, Japan Today by Staff
Japan will recommend the country’s oldest manuscript diary and a set of records showing ties with Europe in the 17th century for UNESCO Memory of the World heritage registration, the culture ministry said Wednesday.
|The Search for Mona Lisa Unearths Tomb and Staircase|
May 12, 2011, Archaeology News Network by TANN
Archaeologists digging for the remains of a 16th-century woman believed to be the model for Leonardo's Mona Lisa masterpiece have found a crypt and a stairway to a probably second tomb inside a former medieval convent in central Florence.
"What we found today confirms the precise corroboration between the historical documents and the preliminary results that emerged from geo-radar soundings," said Stefania Romano, a spokeswoman for the group behind the excavation at the former convent of Saint Orsula.
|What Killed Charles Darwin?|
May 11, 2011, History.com by Staff
Last week, Charles Darwin became the latest “patient” at an annual conference that aims to unravel the medical mysteries of long-dead historical figures. A leading gastroenterologist diagnosed three conditions that may have plagued the English naturalist throughout his life and contributed to his death at 73. Past conferences have plumbed the lives and deaths of prominent individuals ranging from Christopher Columbus and Florence Nightingale to Alexander the Great and Claudius.
The man who popularized the term “survival of the fittest” was not terribly fit himself. Born into a freethinking family of English physicians in 1809, Charles Darwin suffered from a host of conditions beginning in his early 20s, primarily chronic vomiting, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal trouble. Later in life, he developed other miscellaneous and seemingly unrelated symptoms, including eczema, boils, weakness, vertigo, twitching and joint pain.
|Archaeologists Hunt for 'Mona Lisa'|
May 11, 2011, AFP by Staff
Archaeologists on Wednesday began digging for the remains of a 16th-century woman believed to be the model for Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa in a bid to unlock an art world mystery.
The team of historians say they will try to find the remains using geo-radar equipment and then try to re-create a likeness of what the woman, Lisa Gherardini, would have looked like to compare her to the painting.
|Closer Look at More Recent History|
May 11, 2011, Southern Maryland Newspapers by Susan Craton
Terry P. Brock, 29, of Williamsburg, Va., walked up the path just past the Woodland Indian hamlet in Historic St. Mary's City and then stopped near the site's reconstructed print shop one cold morning last month
...But while that little piece of Historic St. Mary's City is designed to take visitors back to the 17th century and how a print shop business would have fit in to the world of the first English colonists in Maryland, Brock is ignoring that carefully created illusion. Instead, Brock's "study" is that same space, but 200 years after what would have been the print shop's day in the sun.
|Would Have Made 'Short Work' of Canada in 1812, Adams Wrote in Letter up for Auction|
May 11, 2011, The Montreal Gazette (Canada) by Randy Boswell
When retired American president John Adams wrote to a friend in December 1812 about the war then being waged along the Canada-U.S. border, he let loose with some boastful thoughts about how efficiently Canada could have been conquered if he was still at the helm of the young republic.
The hand-written claim from the second U.S. president that he'd have made "short work" of Canada during the War of 1812 — first by asserting naval control over the Great Lakes and then by amassing an unstoppable army of 35,000 soldiers — has emerged from a major U.S. collection of historic documents and is expected to sell for up to $70,000 at an auction next week in New York.
|Student Archaeologists on Trail of Yorkshire Gem's Hidden Past|
May 10, 2011, ScienceDaily by Staff
Archaeologists from the University of York are revealing intriguing traces -- hidden for more than two centuries -- of the forerunner of one of Yorkshire's great country houses.
In the shadow of Harewood House, a team of undergraduate students is carrying out the painstaking task of unearthing the remnants of Harewood's predecessor, Gawthorpe Hall, which was demolished in 1773.
|'Bizarre Bits' Exhibition Took a Strange Turn When Feds Arrived|
May 10, 2011, The Wall Street Journal by Betsy McKay
An outbreak of smallpox was the farthest thing from Paul Levengood's mind when his staff at the Virginia Historical Society put together an exhibit of "bizarre bits" in the society's collection since its founding in 1831.
There was Confederate President Jefferson Davis's cigar, confiscated by Union troops. There was a fungus carving of Robert E. Lee on his horse Traveller and a wreath made of human hair.
|For UCLA Expert on Chumash Indians, Roughly Hewn Beads are Child's Play|
May 09, 2011, e! Science News by Staff
As the world's leading authority on beads manufactured from shells by California's Chumash Indians, UCLA archaeologist Jeanne Arnold was stumped by a series of anomalous artifacts excavated at former settlements on the Channel Islands. Pierced with more than one hole, often at unconventional angles or too close to the edges, the oddly configured multi-hole beads differ considerably from the smooth, round, precisely drilled beauties that served as currency among the Chumash prior to the arrival of Europeans in Southern California.
"Originally, I thought these were new, experimental forms executed by virtuoso bead-makers," confessed Arnold, a researcher at UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and a UCLA professor of anthropology.
After closer analysis, however, she now believes the shell artifacts, which are nearly 250 years old, provide a rare window into a little-known world: the efforts of young apprentices, possibly children, among traditional peoples.
|Leonardo Da Vinci Show Visitor Numbers to be Capped|
May 09, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
London's National Gallery is to limit visitor numbers to a major exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci works in an attempt to prevent large crowds detracting from the viewing experience.
Admissions will be fixed at 180 every half hour - 50 fewer people than the gallery is legally allowed to let in.
|Raising a Toast with George Washington’s Beer|
May 09, 2011, History.com by Staff
General, revolutionary, founding father, president and…brew master? George Washington was a man of many talents, including inventing original recipes for his drink of choice: beer. Thanks to a partnership between the New York Public Library and Brooklyn’s Coney Island Brewing Company, today’s drinkers will get the chance to sample one of his concoctions in honor of the library’s centennial later this month.
|Who was this Man? Colonial Soldier's Remains Star in N.S. Exhibit|
May 09, 2011, The Globe & Mail (Canada) by Oliver Moore
The skeleton shows the battering of a rough life: a badly broken nose, arthritis, a broken ankle and some missing teeth.
Nearby artifacts peg him as a late 18th-century British soldier. Since 1994, when a visiting tourist straying from the main attractions of Fort Anne found a bone jutting from the shoreline, the questions have lingered: Who was this man? What did he look like?
|Archeologists Find Trove of Relics at Ventura Mission Site|
May 08, 2011, Los Angeles Times by Steve Chawkins
When archeologist John Foster started peeling the asphalt from a parking lot in downtown Ventura, he knew he wouldn't have to dig deep to find a cache of long-buried relics.
He just didn't realize how many he'd find and from how many different eras.
"It was layer upon layer," he said this week as he surveyed the emerging foundations of a long-buried, 3-foot-thick mission wall, a span of 200-year-old terra cotta floor tiles laid by Chumash laborers, and a channel fashioned from inverted roof tiles that irrigated a long-dead garden.
|Battle to Save Remains of 400-Year-Old Wreck|
May 08, 2011, The Independent (UK) by Emily Dugan
A 17th-century shipwreck described as the "biggest discovery since the Mary Rose" is rotting so rapidly that it could disappear within five years.
The remains of the ship, known simply as the Swash Channel Wreck, were preserved for centuries under the seabed in six metres of water off the Dorset coast. But now its ornately carved timbers, the earliest still in existence in Britain, are literally being eaten away.
|Long Live the Blessed Knife|
May 07, 2011, More Intelligent Life by Tony Perrottet
“Long live the knife, the blessed knife!” screamed ecstatic female fans at opera houses as the craze for Italian castrati reached its peak in the 18th century--a cry that was supposedly echoed in the bedrooms of Europe’s most fashionable women.The brainwave to create castrati had first occurred two centuries earlier in Rome, where the pope had banned women singing in churches or on the stage. Their voices became revered for the unnatural combination of pitch and power, with the high notes of a pre-pubescent boy wafting from the lungs of an adult; the result, contemporaries said, was magical, ethereal and strangely disembodied.
But it was the sudden popularity of Italian opera throughout 1600s Europe that created the international surge in demand. Italian boys with promising voices would be taken to a back-street barber-surgeon, drugged with opium, and placed in a hot bath. The expert would snip the ducts leading to the testicles, which would wither over time. By the early 1700s, it is estimated that around 4,000 boys a year were getting the operation; the Santa Maria Nova hospital in Florence, for example, ran a production line under one Antonio Santarelli, gelding eight boys at once.
|Capt. Kidd Shipwreck Site to be Dedicated 'Living Museum of the Sea'|
May 06, 2011, ScienceDaily by Staff
Nearly three years after the discovery of the shipwreck Quedagh Merchant, abandoned by the scandalous 17th century pirate Captain William Kidd, the underwater site will be dedicated as a "Living Museum of the Sea" by Indiana University, IU researcher and archeologist Charles Beeker, and the government of the Dominican Republic.
The dedication as an official underwater museum will take place off the shore of Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic on May 23, the 310th anniversary of Kidd's hanging in London for his 'crimes of piracy.'