Zach Can Dig It

All aspects of Maritime and Terrestrial Archaeology discussed by a layman aspiring to become an expert.

Space archaeology: Dredging up the future | The Economist

"WHEN the Saturn V moon rockets blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, their flight paths took them east, over the Atlantic ocean. The Saturns were made up of three stages. When the first had used up all its fuel, two and a half minutes into the flight, it was unceremoniously jettisoned and left to splash into the sea, safely away from any human habitation.

The rocket stages, and the engines that were attached to them, have sat in their watery junkyard for almost half a century. Now, though, they are beginning to return. On March 20th, in a blog post, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and a confirmed space cadet, announced that his project to bring some of the Saturn’s mighty F1 engines back to the surface had been successful.”

Researchers Publish Improved Neanderthal Genome

"Researchers in Germany said Tuesday they have completed the first high-quality sequencing of a Neanderthal genome and are making it freely available online for other scientists to study.

The genome produced from remains of a toe bone found in a Siberian cave is far more detailed than a previous “draft” Neanderthal genome sequenced three years ago by the same team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.”

Flight of the valkyrie: the Viking figurine that's heading for Britain

"The legends of the valkyries – the ominous companions of the god Odin who descend on battlefields to choose which warriors will die – have been among the most enduring in Scandinavian folklore and literature. Later images, often inspired by Wagner’s music, tend to be romantic creatures with flowing locks and voluptuous bodies.

The thumb-sized figurine is made of gilded silver, with some black niello inlay decoration. The valkyrie is sturdily dressed, armed with a double-sided Viking sword and a round shield, her hair neatly twisted into a long ponytail forming a loop, suggesting it may have been worn as a pendant.”

Why Science Journal Paywalls Have to Go

"I would love to see research that is publicly funded by taxes to be publicly available through neighborhood libraries and public school libraries."

Interesting article about a controversial topic.

There is a Crises in UK Academic Archaeology BUT it's not the one you think

“These are students who are older, not 20 or 21 but 30 or 40 or 60, who have a degree and are coming back for a second one and for the most part are NOT looking for a new career (though some are). In other words, people who are interested in archaeology and want to learn more. Oh, these part-time students do not need to worry too much about A-levels either. Basically, archaeology departments have failed to engage with non-traditional students and have been doing so for over a decade now.”

Pretty depressing to hear that as an American “non-traditional” student in my early 30s. I think more attention should be given to this section of students as they can usually add a broader perspective to the subject than someone who’s never been out of school.

40 Rare and Important Archaeological Finds of all time

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”

The past can be both shocking and familiar. It’s common to say that human nature never changes – but it’s still possible for archaeology to surprise us, by pulling things from the ground which transform our conception of the past.