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July/August 2009 www.archaeology.

org A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America January/February 2011


Saving Buddhist Heritage
in Afghanistan
PLUS:
Lost Viking Fortress,
Colonial Coffeehouse,
Greek Warfare, Pocahontas
Top 10
Discoveries
of the Year
Australias
Painted
History
The Artifacts of Illegal Immigration
MOTHE R NATURES
BEST KE PT SECRET
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18 Mining Afghanistans Past
Will economic pressure destroy
the countrys Buddhist heritage?
BY ANDREW LAWLER
24 Top 10 Discoveries
of 2010
ARCHAEOLOGYs editors reveal the
years most compelling stories
32 Reading the Rocks
Aboriginal Australias painted history
BY SAMIR S. PATEL
38 Te Fight for
Ancient Sicily
Rewriting one of the ancient worlds
most dramatic battlefield accounts
BY JOHN W. I. LEE
42 Te Journey to El Norte
How archaeologists are
documenting the silent migration
that is transforming America
BY HEATHER PRINGLE
CONTENTS
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011
VOLUME 64, NUMBER 1
features
38 Specialists conserve and
analyze remains from the more
than 2,000 graves found at
ancient Himera in Sicily, site
of a famed battle in 480 B.C.
1
Cover: Aboriginal X-ray depictions
of kangaroos from the central panel
at Djulirri in northern Australia
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 2
departments
More from this Issue: See a video tour of the
rock art at Djulirri in northern Australia, and visit another
site nearby with more painted surprises.
Column: Heather Pringle discusses new thinking on
the collapse of civilizations. Perhaps they didnt disappear,
but just reinvented themselves.
on the web www.archaeology.org
Interactive Digs: Read about the latest
discoveries at the Minoan site of Zominthos in
central Crete.
Archaeological News from around the
worldupdated by 1 p.m. ET every weekday. And
sign up for our e-Update so you dont miss a thing.
32
4 In this Issue
6 From the President
8 Letters
9 From the Trenches
Roman helmet pokes holes in Englands
antiquities scheme, King Herods theater box,
remote Anasazi towers, and a lost Viking city
12 Reviews
The Olmec go Hollywood and pictures
from the spirit world
14 World Roundup
Roman Britain murder mystery, rst feast,
Paleo-atbread, the Young Man of Chan Hol,
earliest mountaineers, a 300-year-old watch,
and more
16 Insider
Who owns the dead? A controversial
amendment to federal repatriation law
complicates the relationship between
Native Americans and archaeologists
49 Letter from Virginia
How archaeology helped reconstruct
a long-lost eighteenth-century coffeehouse
in Colonial Williamsburg
72 Artifact
A model homecomplete with family dog
from a Han Dynasty tomb
24
42 42
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ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 4
Primary Sources
T
nv irv rn.r vou svv nvv is, quite obviously, a backpack. But it is also a
primary source, an artifact found in situ. It is like millions of other objects left
behind, through the millennia, by people who have tried to cross from a place
that has become undesirable, to one that might possibly offer more. In The Journey
to El Norte (page 42), contributing editor Ieather Iringle visits with archaeologist
Jason De Leon to see the work he is doing in the Arizona desert to document what is
a contemporary pattern of mass migration, before the
record of it disappears.
Accounts of events by historians are sometimes
incomplete. In Te Fight for Ancient Sicily (page
38), John V. I. Lee follows the work of archaeolo-
gist Stefano Vassallo who has been excavating
the Sicilian site of ancient Iimera, searching for
the precise location of a famed battle between the
Greeks and Carthaginians. Iistorians accounts
have varied and Vassallos work is beginning
to oer a detailed view of living, ghting, and
dying in 480 n.c.
In order to preserve a site for future study,
archaeologists seldom excavate all of it. But
in the case of Mes Aynak in Afghanistan
which provides an essential record of ancient
Buddhism in that countrythey are hoping to
uncover as much as they can before it is destroyed for
the copper that lies beneath it. For Mining Afghanistans Iast
(page 18), we sent Andrew Lawler to Afghanistan to document the work being done by
French archaeologist Ihilippe Marquis in one of the worlds most dangerous places.
Te struggle for who should decide what happens to the artifacts and remains of Native
Americans continues. In Vho Owns the Dead. (page 16), Julian Smith lls us in on a
new amendment to federal repatriation law and examines the underlying cultural values
that shape the relationships among museums, Native Americans, and archaeologists.
Te question of who owns history also comes into play in Reading the Rocks (page
32), by Senior Editor Samir Iatel. Iatel traveled to the remote northern coast of Aus-
tralia, to visit an extraordinary Aboriginal rock art site that has paintings dating from
15,000 years ago through the 1950s and constitutes the Aboriginal Australians account
of their history, including their record of contact with the world beyond their shores.
And, of course, we bring you the always popular Top 10 Discoveries (page 24). Ve
guarantee at least a few surprises.
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a contempo
record of i
Accou
incomp
38), Jo
gist St
the Sic
the pre
Greek
have
to o
dy
a
i
w
Bud
uncover a
the copper that lies b
(page 18), we sent Andrew Lawler to Afghan
French archaeologist Ihilippe Marquis in on
Te struggle for who should decide what ha
Americans continues InVho Owns the De
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N
o ;on is ov ivor.wr ro v than safeguarding the past, and Im honored
to have served as president of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)
for the last four years. In my last column in Acn.voiocv, I have the distinct
honor of introducing my successor, Elizabeth Bartman.
Te last four years have been di cult for archaeologists, as the scal crisis and the
continuing conicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have forced the disciplineincluding the
AIAto be both exible and vigilant.
Despite these challenges, we at the AIA
have strengthened our connections in
other countries, especially Germany,
Russia, and China, as part of an attempt
to form a United Nations of archae-
ologists, and our new site preservation
grants have been awarded to projects in
eight countries. Elizabeth, or Liz, as youll
come to know her, will continue these
initiatives, and I know her energy and
wisdom will be boons to the AIA.
Some of you may already know Liz
from her dynamic, wide-ranging AIA
lectures, including Egypt, Rome, and
the Concept of Universal Iistory, Te
Industry of Sculptural Restoration in
Eighteenth-Century Rome, and Challenging the Masculinist Ideal: Sexy Boys in
Roman Art. Others of you may have consulted her magisterial study of Livia, wife of
the emperor Augustus (Portraits of Liva: Imaging the Imperial Woman in Augustan Rome),
or her groundbreaking research on the archaeology of battle or ethnicity in Roman
portraiture. She has served as an energetic president of the AIAs New York Society, an
exhibition review editor for the American Journal of Archaeology, and a trustee of the
Etruscan Foundation. I was fortunate to have had Liz as a colleague in graduate school at
Columbia University, where we compared notes from our latest excavationsI at Aph-
rodisias, she at Carthage and the Athenian Agora. For the last four years, during which
she served as AIA rst vice-president, I relied heavily on her counsel and guidance.
Liz says she is an archaeologist of the storeroommeaning she examines the familiar
for greater insight. Tat instinct will serve her well as she leads the AIA. She will take
a clear-eyed look at all we do and we will be better for it. I leave you with sadness but
with the knowledge that the AIA is in excellent hands.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 6
A Varm Velcome
to the AIAs New President
FROM THE PRESIDENT
C. Brian Rose
President, Archaeological Institute of America
Ancnznoroorczr
Iwsarauan of Axnnrcz
Located at Boston University
OFFICERS
President
C. Brian Rose
First Vice President
Elizabeth Bartman
Vice President for Education and Outreach
Mat Saunders
Vice President for Professional Responsibilities
Sebastian Ieath
Vice President for Publications
Jenifer Neils
Vice President for Societies
Alexandra Cleworth
Treasurer
Brian J. Ieidtke
Chief Executive Officer
Ieter Ierdrich
Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Quinlan
GOVERNING BOARD
Susan Alcock
Michael Ambler
Carla Antonaccio
Cathleen Asch
Barbara Barletta
David Boochever
Laura Childs
Lawrence Coben
Julie Ierzig Desnick
Mitchell Eitel
Villiam Fitzhugh
Iarrison Ford
John Iale
Sebastian Ieath
Lillian Joyce
Jeffrey Lamia
Robert Littman
Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis
Ieter Magee
Shilpi Mehta
Ielen Nagy
Naomi Norman, ex officio
Eleanor Iowers
Lynn Quigley
Dan Rahimi
Iaul Rissman
Ann Santen
Villiam Saturno
Glenn Schwartz
David C. Seigle
Chen Shen
Douglas Tilden
Claudia Valentino, ex officio
Ashley Vhite
John J. Yarmick
Past President
Jane C. Valdbaum
Trustees Emeriti
Norma Kershaw
Charles S. LaFollette
General Counsel
Mitchell Eitel, Esq,
Sullivan & Cromwell, LLI
Ancnznoroorczr Iwsarauan of Axnnrcz
656 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02215-2006
www.archaeological.org
Elizabeth Bartman and C. Brian Rose catch up
at the AIAs recent gala in New York.
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1. In the Beginning
2. Adam and Eve
3. Murder, Flood, Dispersion
4. Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar
5. Isaac
6. The Jacob Saga
7. Folklore Analysis and Type
Scenes
8. Moses and Exodus
9. The God of Israel
10. Covenant and Law, Part I
11. Covenant and Law, Part II
12. The Conquest
13. The Book of Judges, Part I
14. The Book of Judges, Part II
15. Samuel and Saul
16. King David
17. From King Solomon to
Preclassical Prophecy
18. The Prophets and the Fall of
the North
19. The Southern Kingdom
20. Babylonian Exile
21. Restoration and Theocracy
22. Wisdom Literature
23. Life in the Diaspora
24. Apocalyptic Literature
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ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 8
LETTERS
Keeping Frothy Chocolate Alive
Te Power of Chocolate (Novem-
ber/December) told how the Maya
and Aztecs cherished the foam atop
their chocolate drinks. Such a drink
is still made in the Zapotec region of
Mexico. Tejate is a traditional cacao
beverage made with a special meth-
od that produces foamthey even
have a tejate celebration every year at
San Andres Huayapan.
Earl Neller
Ellensburg, WA
As I read Te Power of Chocolate,
I realized that ancient chocolate
preparation techniques are very much
alive in modern Nicaragua. A frothy
drink made of ground cacao and
ground corn known as pinole is com-
monly served at restaurants all over
the country. Frothing is important
because the ground cacao and corn
have a tendency to settle to the bot-
tom. Te traditional way to drink
pinole is in a jicaro, a thin gourd ves-
sel that bears a striking resemblance
to the cylindrical drinking vessels
in the article. While many ancient
techniques have been lost, traditional
preparation practices in the Nicara-
guan diet and national psyche endure.
Zac Steele
Philadelphia, PA
Te Power of Chocolate states
that Neil Judd found the 111
cylinder jars at Pueblo Bonito in
the 1920s. We work as seasonal
rangers at Chaco Culture National
Historical Park and conduct daily
tours at Pueblo Bonito. We tell our
visitors that it was George Pepper
and Richard Wetherill, of the Hyde
Exploring Expedition under the
ARCHAEOLOGY welcomes mail from
readers. Please address your comments
to ARCHAEOLOGY, 36-36 33rd Street,
Long Island City, NY 11106, fax 718-472-
3051, or e-mail letters@arch a eology.org.
The editors reserve the right to edit
submitted material. Vol ume precludes
our acknowledging individual letters.
auspices of the American Museum
of Natural History, who unearthed
the jars back in 1896.
Clif and Jane Taylor
Kensington, CA
Deputy Editor Eric A. Powell
responds: Tank you for writing in
and pointing out the error. While the
Smithsonians Judd did excavate some
cylinder jars at Chaco Canyon in the
1920s, it was Pepper and Wetherill
who uncovered the extraordinary cache
of 111 jars.
Taino Culture Lives
I was very disturbed at the assertion
that the Taino people no longer exist
in Uncovering the Arawaks (Sep-
tember/October). Tis is an aront
to many Puerto Rican and Domini-
can people who identify themselves
as Taino and practice Taino cultural
traditions. Tough Europeans have
considered them to be extinct, native
peoples can still exist culturally
without true proof of bloodline.
Jo Lynne Harline
Ogden, UT
English Pet Peeve
In World Roundup (November/
December), you imply that fondness
for household pets in England was a
post-seventeenth-century development.
However, in the sixteenth century, the
Lisle Letters document a great fond-
ness for dogs and talking parrots. An
English nobleman, Lord Leonard
Grey, kept tame deer as pets. Tis
morally suspect fondness for pets
surely did not erupt from nowhere.
Marybeth Lavrakas
Chapel Hill, NC
Finger Bowls:
Not What You Think
World Roundup noted that a
tomb in Guatemala featured bowls
containing human ngers and teeth,
which might have been symbolic
food oerings. Food oerings?
Tey seem more like a public
display of grief arranged by the chief
mourners. I am interested to know
which ngers they were: important
thumbs or less essential pinkies, and
if they belonged to relatives of the
deceased. Tank you for a lively and
illuminating magazine.
Jean Corkill
Prunedale, CA
Senior Editor Samir S. Patel
replies: For more information on the
Guatemalan tomb, see our coverage
of it as one of the Top 10 discoveries
of the year (page 26). Te bowls that
contained the ngers and teeth appear
to have been wrapped in some kind
of vegetal matter (as sacred foods
sometimes are), and it is possible
that all the ngers came from a single
individual, according to archaeologist
Stephen Houston of Brown University.
Te ritual signicance of the bowls is
not completely understood, but it is
clear that the burial involved elaborate
and probably painful rituals.
In 1896, the Hyde Expedition excavated these cylinder jars in Chaco Canyon.
LATE-BREAKING NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE WORLD OF ARCHAEOLOGY
www.archaeology.org 9
L
ast May, a 24-year-old man in northern
England with a handheld metal detector found
the remains of a stunning bronze-and-tin
Roman helmet dating to the first or second century
.. Within days, he had brought 40-some pieces of
the artifactcalled the Crosby Garrett helmet after
the village near where it was foundto Christies
auction house in London. There, restorers began
reassembling the helmet, preparing it for sale,
even reattaching a rare figurine of a winged
griffin that would have perched on the peak of
the cap and had broken off.
Word of the nd soon reached Tullie
House Museum in Carlisle, 35 miles north
of Crosby Garrett. Within a month,
museum o cials raised more than
$2.5 million to buy the piece at
auction, far above the artifacts high
estimate of $477,600, and close to
the museums entire annual budget.
But when the helmet went on
sale in October, a Britain-based
collector outbid the museum,
paying $3.6 million. As a result,
the British public may never see one
of the most extraordinary Roman
artifacts found on their soil.
Ralph Jackson, the British Museums
chief curator of Romano-British collec-
tions, saw the helmet under restoration at
Christies. You look at the folds of hair, the eyes,
the eect of the tinning on the face, and you can
see its an example of top-quality workmanship. And
the face has a chillingly serene expression that makes you
know that this is someone whos going to kill you, he says.
Te case has shocked the British museum world. It
has also revealed a gaping hole in the countrys Portable
Antiquities Scheme (PAS), by which people who nd
artifacts made of gold, silver, and other precious materi-
als are required to oer them to a museum at fair market
value. Te law strongly urges metal detectorists and deal-
ers to report all types of archaeological nds, but it does
not require them to do so. (Te auction house had volun-
tarily reported the helmet to PAS authorities.) Further-
Heads Won, Tales Lost
more, the law doesnt apply to objects
made of base metal or bronze, no
matter how noteworthy. Tese
shortcomings made the sale of the
helmet possible.
To have it bought by a U.K.
private buyer was the worst
possible outcome. Its a great
loss that everyone very much
regrets, says Roger Bland, a
British Museum archaeologist
and director of the PAS. Te
sale was an especially bitter pill
for Tullie House, whose Keep It
in Cumbria campaign to buy the
helmet had kicked o with a $1.6 mil-
lion pledge from the government-funded
National Heritage Memorial Fund. Natu-
rally this has been very disappointing, but were
moving forward with several options we would like
to pursue with the buyer, including a temporary exhibi-
tion or creating a replica, says Andrew Mackay, Tullie
Houses senior curator. So far we have received no reply.
Te anonymous nderwho, along with the owner
of the land on which the helmet was found, is now a
millionairehas shown authorities the artifacts exact
nd spot on a remote hillside, and archaeologists plan to
excavate soon, according to Sally Worrell, a PAS o cer
in London. But were trying not to publicize the nd
spot too much, for obvious reasons, she adds.
R A
A rare Roman
bronze helmet was
found in northern
England by a man
using a metal detec-
tor. It was sold at
Christies auction
house several
months later.
northern
al detector found
nze-and-tin
second century
-some pieces of
rett helmet after
to Christies
torers began
t for sale,
winged
he peak of
llie
north
ms
ec-
on at
ir, the eyes,
nd you can
kmanship. And
more, the
made
matt
sho
he
pr
p
lo
re
Br
and
sale
for Tu
in Cum
helmet h
lion pledge fro
National Herit
rally this has been
moving forward with
A rare Roman
bronze helmet was
found in northern
England by a man
using a metal detec-
tor. It was sold at
Christies auction
house several
months later.

FROM THE TRENCHES
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 10
I
n the rst century n.c., thousands of guests came to be
wined, dined, and entertained in a massive palace and burial
complex built by King Ierod south of Bethlehem. Iebrew
University archaeologist Ehud Netzer calls it Ierods Country
Club. But where would the VIIs have sat to watch the dramatic
and comedic productions staged for them: According to Netzer,
Ask Utah State Archaeologist
Kevin Jones what his favorite
overlooked site is and hell tell
you that, without a doubt, it is
Cave Towers.
The site Cave Towers, also referred
to as Mule Canyon Towers, is named
for seven large Anasazi, or Ancestral
Puebloan, stone towers that were
built around A.D. 1200 at the head
of a deep gorge on Cedar Mesa in
southeastern Utah. Rising amid piyon
and juniper, the towers may have been
defensive works, perhaps associated
with dwellings built into nearby cliffs.
Jones says the site has an unusual
power to engage visitors imaginations,
and that should you visit, you will nd
yourself wondering just who these
people were, and why they chose to
build towers around this remote gorge.
Luxury Box Seating
Keep in mind Cave Towers is an
extremely fragile site. The towers
need stabilization and there are
no signs or paths at the site. Jones
cautions visitors not to lean on the
masonry and, of course, never take
any artifacts.

Other places of interest Jones says
Hovenweep National Monument, some
40 miles from Cave Towers, is one
place not to miss. The park protects
six prehistoric Ancestral Puebloan
era villages spread over a 20-mile
expanse of mesa tops and canyons
along the Utah-Colorado border.
Another place not to miss is the
nearby Edge of the Cedars State Park,
the site of an Ancestral Puebloan ruin
and a museum that has an excellent
collection of pottery.
While youre there Cave Towers is 20
miles from the towns of Blanding and
Bluff, where there are several hotels.
If you nd yourself in downtown Bluff,
says Jones, you must treat yourself to
a meal at the San Juan River Kitchen,
which has an organic garden and
serves meat that is hormone- and
antibiotic-free, a big surprise in a town
as small as this. MALIN BANYASZ
who has been excavating a section of the site since
2006, the lavishly decorated theater box he recently
uncovered above a semicircular theater stage and
rows of bench seating would have been the ideal
vantage point.
Vall paintings such as those that decorate the
royal box have never before been discovered in this
region. Depicting natural landscapes, nautical scenes,
animals, and the Nile, they are most similar to
paintings found at Iompeii that date to the late rst
century n.c. Netzer believes they were painted by
Italian artists brought in specially for the job.
M.ri Miisrvix
Archaeologists
working south
of Bethlehem
on the site of
King Herods
palace and
entertainment
complex have
uncovered an
elaborately
painted
theater box.
www.archaeology.org 11
T
he remains of the legendary
Viking fortress Linn
Duachaill have been
discovered in northeastern Ireland,
45 miles north of Dublin. Historians
and archaeologists have been trying to
locate Linn Duachaill for more than
200 years, says Eamonn Kelly, Keeper
of Antiquities with the National
Museum of Ireland, who led a lengthy
research and targeted excavation effort
that resulted in the discovery of the
infamous Viking base.
Linn Duachaill was founded in
.. 841, the same year as Viking
Dublin. Te fortress was used as a
center by the Vikings to trade goods,
organize attacks against inland Irish
monasteries, and send captured Irish
slaves abroad. For more than 70 years,
Linn Duachaill rivaled Dublin as the
preeminent Viking holding on the
east coast of Ireland before it was
eventually abandoned.
Te discovery of Linn Duachaill
will nally allow archeologists to
compare the actual site with medieval
documents. Te names of leaders of
the garrison are recorded, along with
extensive accounts of attacks they
carried out. Te site is often referred
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to as a longphort, a term used to
describe a fortication built by the
Vikings to protect their ships.
A defensive rampart has already
been excavated at the site and exam-
ples of Viking silver and ecclesiastical
metalwork looted from native Irish
sites have also been recovered. We
are excited to learn what insights
into medieval times Linn Duachaill
will reveal, says Kelly.
E M
Irelands Viking Fortress

REVIEWS
12
F
or more than 40 years, David Grant Noble has
been using a camera to capture the meaning and
emotion of the archaeological sites of the American
Southwest. In the Places of the Spirits (School for Advanced
Research Press, $60.00 cloth, $30.00 paper) is a collection
of very fine black-and-white photographs with accompa-
nying text that offers an intimate view of these ruins.
The book is divided into two parts. The first treats
archaeological sites, including the ruins of Kiet Siel and
Canyon de Chelly, as well as a variety of rock art sites, as
artistic subjects. These are not the typical sun-
bleached shots of the ancient Southwest, but are
rather a tonal investigation of ruins and artifacts
best examined slowly. Nobles accompanying text
offers a blended narrative that touches on the
archaeology, ethnography, and spiritual experience
of the areas. The tone, again, is quiet.
In the books second part Nobles photographs
bring us closer to the present with shots of archae-
ologists excavating the remains of Pueblo Grande,
an enormous site that was in the path of a new
expressway being constructed in Phoenix in 1990.
Noble documented the excavations, but also
became fascinated with the modern people living
in the parks and on abandoned pieces of land that
were about to be paved. The book moves naturally
from past to present, but I couldnt help wishing
for more photographs of the excavations. Nobles
work succeeds, however, because he is equally
comfortable working in both worlds.
Z Z
T
he Olmec of Mexico may be the Etruscans of ancient Mesoamerica.
Much as the Romans overshadowed the Etruscans, the Olmec
have long lacked a place in the popular imagination on par with
the Aztecs and Maya. But Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient
Mexico, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through
January 9 and at the de Young Museum in San Francisco
starting February 19, might change that. The show
reveals that the Olmec civilization, which flourished on
the tropical Gulf Coast of Mexico for a thousand years
ending about 400 .., also achieved greatness in some
of its enormous ceremonial works.
The exhibition is the biggest of three concurrent
shows that opened LACMAs airy and adaptable new
Resnick Exhibition Pavilion. The six-foot-tall Colossal
Head #5 from the ancient city of San Lorenzo greets
visitors with an arresting sneer. At the other end of
the long, spacious main gallery is its counterpart,
with a face like a smiling Buddhas. Its benign
BOOKS
Pictures from the Spirit World
EXHIBITIONS
Spotlight on the Olmec
The site of La Venta near Mexicos Gulf
Coast has produced some spectacular
Olmec artifacts, including a funeral offering
of green stone figurines (below), and one of
the famous colossal heads (right).
The cliff houses at Betatakin
in northeastern Arizona
were built in 1267 and
abandoned by 1300.
www.archaeology.org 13
visage, were told, didnt save the head
from having its nose smashed off
mutilations were a common fate for
the statuary of deposed Olmec royals.
Cutting through the otherworld-
liness of much of what we see in
this show are moments of connec-
tion between then and now, notably
El Bebe, a squalling green-stone
infant shown in a squint-eyed, gape-
mouthed howl familiar to parents
throughout the ages. But a ceremonial
array of 16 coneheaded figures could
feed a UFO enthusiasts fantasies of
ancient visitations. Few works any-
where could top two large, nearly
identical, serene kneeling male fig-
ures that evoke the great statuary of
ancient Egyptbut whose sweeping
curved lines would appeal to a mod-
ernist sculptor.
The exhibitions organizational
groupings and wall text allow it to
passably serve two mastersthe
aesthetic presentation together with
some archaeological context. How-
ever, two large replicas of post-Olmec
murals could have usefully been
replaced with archaeological elements
such as photographs of artifacts in
situ and detailed maps showing how
key finds were arrayed at the three
main Olmec capitals uncovered since
the mid-1800s. But Olmec: Colos-
sal Masterworks combines serious-
ness of educational purpose with an
immense appreciation of the beauty
in these astonishing ancient works.
M B
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ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 14
MEXICO:
The Young
Man of Chan
Hol was
interred in a
cave in the
Yucatn
more than
10,000
years ago,
and there he
stayed, even
as sea levels
rose and the
cave flooded. Three years ago,
divers found his remains 1,800
feet in. After studying them in
situ, archaeologists have methodi-
cally removed the bones, some of
the oldest in North America, for
conservation and additional study.
Physical anthropologists hope
they will provide insight into the
peopling of the Americas.
SCOTLAND: Talk about Old
World craftsmanship. This
pocket watch was found
in the 1990s on the
wreck of the Swan,
a ship that sank in
1653 during the English
Civil War. It is covered
with rock-like encrusta-
tions, but X-ray computed
tomographythe same process used to
peer into the famous Antikythera
Mechanismhas now revealed a beauti-
fully preserved interior. Steel parts cor-
roded away, but
the intact brass
holds remarkable
details, including a
makers mark. Nice
work, Niccholas
Higginson of
Westminster.
PERU: Some of the tattoos
on a 1,000-year-old female
Chiribayan mummy might
have been more than decora-
tion. In addition to designs
on her limbs, she had 12
overlapping rings tattooed
on her nape. While most of
the markings were made with
straight carbon soot, the
ones on the neck were done
with partially burned plant
matter. That and the fact that
the neck designs are close to
acupuncture points suggest
they might have been
applied to relieve muscle or
nerve pain.
ENGLAND: At Vindolanda, a Roman
frontier town, archaeologists found
a mystery from the third century A.D.
In a shallow grave in the towns bar-
racks were the remains of a girl just
eight to 10 years
old. In Roman
times, burials
were done out-
side settle-
ments, so the
find suggests
someone com-
mitted a crimi-
nal act and then
colluded with
other men in the
barracksthe
Fourth Cohort
of Gauls
to bury the
evidence.
ITALY: Once thought to be almost
exclusively meat-eaters, Paleolithic
people in Europe may have munched
on flatbread as well. Grinding stones
from Italy, Russia, and the Czech
Republicare embedded with starch
grains, suggesting that 30,000 years
ago people processed roots from
cattails and ferns into flour, a food
option for lean hunting times. The
find pushes the first use of flour back
by 10,000 years and suggests that
women played a role in food produc-
tion at the time. Researchers report
that simple bread made with cattail
flour doesnt taste so bad.
SWITZERLAND:
In dreams, a
door is sup-
posed to
represent
opportunity or a
passage to a new
phase in life. The one
that archaeologists
found under a new parking
garage for Zrichs opera
house represents clever design
and a surprising level of preserva-
tion. The 5,000-year-old poplar door, in
amazing condition for being one of the oldest
in Europe, has a sophisticated joinery
designunusual and rarely found in wood-
work from the period.
ut Old
. This
und
ish
d
ta-
ND:
or a
new
The one
logists
a new parking
richs opera
ents clever design
i l l f
15
By Samir S. Patel
PALAU: When humans hunt or har-
vest an animal, individuals of that
species often get smaller. Think of a
heavily fished lakefew
fish survive to grow to
full size. Human pres-
ence might have had
the opposite
effect on the
humped conch, a
small sea snail
that has been
eaten for thou-
sands of years.
As human pop-
ulation has
grown, the aver-
age size of the
conchs hasin defi-
ance of convention-
al wisdomcrept
upward. This might be caused by
human activity and agriculture add-
ing nutrients to the water.
ISRAEL: Wedding reception.
Thanksgiving. Natufian burial cere-
mony. Archaeologists found what
they believe is the earliest clear evi-
dence for feasting. A concentration
of butchered tortoises and wild cattle
at a mortuary site suggest that the
Natufians 12,000 years ago celebrat-
ed the burial of the dead with large
communal meals. The behavior marks
a critical turning point in human cul-
ture, as the Natufians began the tran-
sition from the isolation and wariness
of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the
interdependence and sedentism of
an agricultural community.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Archaeologists
have found the earliest high-altitude
settlements of modern humans, 1.2
miles up in the chilly Ivane Valley.
People used the five camps around
49,000 years ago, leaving behind
stone tools and charred nutshells and
bones. They may have lived there, as
opposed to more temperate areas on
the coast, to take advantage of abun-
dant high-altitude food resources.
But they
would have
needed
some well-
developed
survival skills
to thrive
and avoid
hypothermia.
INDIA: Many studies have looked at
bioturbationhow plants and ani-
mals alter archaeological sitesbut
rarely in ground saturated by mon-
soons. Researchers working on
Paleolithic sites noticed that water
buffalo leave deep, lasting footprints
in mud. So they set up an experi-
ment, creating and placing their own
stone tools, wetting the ground, and
leading buffalo across it. They found
the hooves could push artifacts
down by eight inchesthousands of
years in the archaeological record in
some placesand noted patterns
that can help determine if other
sites have been disturbed by lum-
bering bovines.
efew
ow to
pres-
had
efi-
on-
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I
n 1888, Franz Boas, the father of
American anthropology, traveled
to British Columbia to survey
tribes in the region and to build up
his collection of Native American
skulls, in some cases by digging in
historic cemeteries. In June of that
year, the man who would go on to
become famous as the most promi-
nent advocate of anthropology as a
tool against racism wrote, It is most
unpleasant work to steal bones from
a grave, but what is the use, someone
has to do it. In those days, even
the most forward-thinking archae-
ologists and anthropologists didnt
hesitate to ship off boxes of recently
buried Native American bones to
gather dust on the shelves of distant
museums. Its ironic, says archae-
ologist Sonya Atalay of Indiana Uni-
versity. As anthropologists, we know
how much can be learned about a
culture from looking at how they
treat the dead.
In 1990, to redress more than a
century of scientic indierence to
Native American rights and spiritual
beliefs, both houses of Congress
unanimously passed the Native
American Graves Protection and
Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Te
law codied how federally funded
researchers and museums handle
human remains and funerary
objects, and required that bones and
artifacts be returned to descendant
communities that could demonstrate
a link to them. By most accounts,
the law was a positive example of
the political art of compromise,
giving tribes a new voice in the
world of science and fostering new
relationships between archaeologists
and Native Americans.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 16
INSIDER
By Julian Smith
NAGPRA was passed because a
broad consensus developed that the
time had come for federally funded
institutions to begin a respectful
handover of the 157,000 Native
American and Native Hawaiian
individuals, as well as several
million funerary objects, that lay in
their collections. Te law required
all 623 of these institutions to
inventory their collections and
consult with federally recognized
tribes with which the remains might
be culturally linked. If the tribes
chose, they could then request any
a liated remains and objects be
repatriated, or handed over.
NAGPRA struck a delicate
balance between two potentially
divergent world views. On one
side were scientists, curators, and
educators who saw the artifacts and
bones as a unique source of scientic
data and historic information.
On the other were native tribes
troubled by the way the remains of
not just distant ancestors but family
members were being treated. More
extreme positions on both sides
included those Native Americans
who felt anything short of reburial
was sacrilege, and scholars who
predicted entire disciplines would be
paralyzed by paperwork.
Te law was aimed at the sizeable
middle ground. Everyone had to
give a little, but it really was a com-
promise, especially at the grass-roots
level, says Vin Steponaitis of the
University of North Carolina, who
helped draft the law. Native Ameri-
cans compromised on the idea of
universal repatriation, and scholars
eventually agreed to consider return-
(Continued on page 58)
Who Owns the Dead?
A controversial amendment to federal repatriation law complicates the relationship
between Native Americans and archaeologists
But this year the law was amend-
ed to apply even to the remains of
ancient people that cannot be clearly
identied with a descendent com-
munity. Many archaeologists are
outraged because remains that are
thousands of years old will now be
vulnerable to repatriation to tribes
that have no scientically demon-
strable link to them. For their part,
some Native Americans, including
scientists, are concerned that the
new rule applies only to remains and
doesnt require funerary artifacts to
be handed over as well.
Te ensuing uproar has cast
a shadow over the laws rst two
decades of measured success, and
has cast NAGPRA into new relief,
forcing archaeologists and Native
Americans alike to revisit what the
original legislation got wrong and
what it got right, and to consider
what the future holds.
Franz Boas, perhaps Americas most
influential anthropologist, admitted his
excavations in the late 19th century felt
akin to grave robbery.
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O
wv nvc.nv after the world
witnessed the deliberate
dynamiting of Afghani-
stans Bamiyan Buddhas
by the Taliban, another
Afghan heritage site is
under threat. But this time the danger comes
from mining interests bent on getting at whats
underneath the site of Mes Aynak. Tis dense
cluster of richly appointed Buddhist stupas,
chapels, monastic quarters, storerooms, and
a host of surrounding ancient settlements
faces total destruction. Mes Aynak means
little copper well, and it sits on top of the
worlds second largest copper deposit. Vith
the blessing of the Afghan government and a
nod from the United States, a Chinese min-
ing company intends to begin extracting the
metal and provide this desperately poor coun-
try with much-needed revenue. Te mining
will almost certainly require demolition of
the dozen or more ancient sites covering ve
square miles. Vhat will be sacriced is noth-
ing less than a major part of Afghanistans
Buddhist history. But French archaeologist
Ihilippe Marquis is determined not to let
that happen.
I
w rnv v.iv cvwruivs ..n., the people
of what are now modern Afghanistan
and Iakistan played a critical role in dis-
seminating Buddhism. Rich kings patronized
monasteries and artisans produced some of
the rst, nest, and largest Buddhist sculp-
tures and paintings known. In the second cen-
tury ..n., Kanishka, the ruler of the Kushan
empire, centered in Afghanistan and Iakistan,
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 18
Mining
Afghanistans Past
Will economic pressure destroy the countrys Buddhist heritage?
by A L
www.archaeology.org 19
adopted Buddhism. He also held a major council to codify its practices. Images
of Buddha, inuenced by Greco-Roman sculptural traditions, proliferated.
Te Afghan Buddhist monasteries were not the isolated retreats they
appear to be today. Monastics were sent as far as eastern India for training and
also to bring Buddhist teachings to China and southeast Asia. When Bud-
dhism became Chinas o cial religion, Chinese pilgrims ocked to the centers
of devotion and learning in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tese monasteries had
a major inuence on Central Asia and China, says John Huntington, an art
historian at Te Ohio State University.
University of Michigan historian Stewart Gordon helped launch an eort
to create a database of all known Afghan Buddhist monasteries that existed
during the period from .. 200 to 1200 to provide a fuller picture of this
little-known era. All of us thought that the monasteries were strung along
trade routes like pearls on a string, because traders were the primary patrons,
The ancient Buddhist monastic complex
of Tepe Kafiriat lies atop the worlds
second largest copper deposit. A Chinese
mining company, whose workers camp
can be seen here, plans to begin extracting
copper at the site. As a consequence,
the monastery and many other Afghan
Buddhist sites will be destroyed.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 20
as much as 2,500 acres. Marquis
says that there are six to eight sites
over seven square miles. During a
brief campaign in 2009, archaeolo-
gists excavated 10 percent of Gol
Iamid. Tough the Chinese do
not allow access to the compound
now, archaeologists did nd a well-
preserved building with barrel-
vaulted chapels, monks cells, and
storerooms dating from the fth to
seventh centuries ..n. Iainted clay
statues, including a sleeping Bud-
dha and two armored soldiers, were
shipped to the National Museum
in Kabul for conservation. Te site
then was covered up.
But these nds cant compare to
what is coming out of the ground
just up the road. Marked by com-
manding fortress-like towers and
walls, the site of Tepe Kariat
(Mound of the Unbelievers) was
once a thriving community of Buddhist monks in the cen-
turies preceding the rise of Islam in the seventh century ..n.
Ketab Khan Faizi, director of excavations for the Afghan
Institute of Archaeology, and his team began work in late
2009, braving the autumn cold to uncover the delicate terra-
cotta statues and nely worked wall paintings. Much had
been stolen or destroyed by looters who repeatedly raided the
site after the American-led oensive of 2001. Faizi says that
some 18 Institute o cials and 90 local workers have been
digging since late 2009 to expose a rectangular platform
some 260 feet long by 115 feet wideon top of a stone wall
that still reaches as high as 25 feet. Te platform, which is
divided into three distinct areas, has rounded towers on each
says Gordon. But what he and his
colleagues found instead were huge
clusters of wealthy institutions. In
Afghanistan, the centers are found
in Balkh, Bamiyan, and Iadda near
Jalalabad. Recent excavations at
Mes Aynak, whose great prosper-
ity may have come from granting
mining rights to the regions rulers
to support their building programs
and operations, reveal that this
site was one of these important
monastic centers, a fact unknown
until now.
O
w . .v, cvrriwc to
Mes Aynak looks like an
easy half-hour drive from
the center of Kabul. But this is no
normal commute. Stopping along
the way at any one of the small vil-
lages in the fertile valley along the
Logar River is not an option, since
the ethnic Iashtuns of this region
are sympathetic to the Taliban. And
there have been sporadic rocket
attacks on Kabul from this area.
Turning o the main paved road
onto a bumpy track, there is a vil-
lage half-ruined by the heavy oods
that also devastated Iakistan in the
summer of 2010, and the rst of a
series of heavily guarded security
posts. To protect the investment
of China Metallurgical Group, the
Afghan government has deployed
nearly 2,000 soldiers to guard the
copper treasure of Mes Aynak.
Every 500 yards along the rough
road is a concrete guardhouse.
Two concentric high fences that
follow the harsh terrain encircle the
perimeter of a vast area. A platoon
of Afghan soldiers stands at attention on a parade ground at
one of several forbidding roadblocks. Mes Aynak is one of the
most heavily guarded archaeological sites on Earth.
At the center of this fenced area is a narrow pass between
two steep and barren hills. On one side is a high-walled com-
pound for Chinese mine workers that also encloses the Bud-
dhist monastery called Gol Iamid. At the high point of the
pass looms the mound of Tepe Kariat, the largest monastic
complex. Just beyond is the small modern village of Baba
Vali, which likely sits on another ancient settlement. Cling-
ing to the spine of the adjacent hill is another mound that
may have been a mining community. And beyond this are at
least a half-dozen tells. Te entire archaeological site covers
Philippe Marquis, head of the French archaeological
delegation in Afghanistan, is a key player in the effort
to preserve the monastic complex at Mes Aynak.
The great wealth of the Buddhist monasteries
in this region likely came from copper
mining. Even the rocks that litter the sites
show evidence of the areas mineral wealth.
www.archaeology.org
its volume, archaeologists may be able to calculate how much
wood or charcoal was necessary to produce ancient cop-
per here. Looking out over the relentlessly dry and barren
landscape, its hard to imagine where the fuel to power the
furnaces could have come from. Is it possible that deforesta-
tion of the hills may have brought the boom times to a halt.
It is not clear when copper production at Mes Aynak began
or ended. Marquis also questions how a sophisticated copper
mining operation evolved. Iow did they get the technical
know how. Marquis muses. Ierhaps the Chinese brought
it, he chuckles.
I
w .w .rrvvr ro nu uv suvvor for excavat-
ing Mes Aynak before its slated destruction, Marquis
recently visited Xian in central China, once the countrys
capital, at the far end of the ancient Silk Road. Buddhism,
end, which are a common feature of forts and caravansaries
of the region, but unusual in a monastery.
A pilgrim arriving at Tepe Kariat would rst have
climbed wide steps to reach the southern terrace, an open
courtyard where eight stupasceremonial structures typi-
cally containing Buddhist relicssurround one large one.
Each stupa is covered in an elaborate fretwork of dark-gray
stone, and several once had seated Buddhas on small podi-
ums. In front of the main stupa, a pair of large feet is all that
remain of a lost Buddha that had stood nearly 10 feet tall.
Beyond the courtyard, at the center of the rectangle, is
a chapel that may have had bright wall paintings and been
lined with statues in various states of repose and meditation.
Some sacred paintings survive, among the only ones left in
Afghanistan in the wake of the destruction at Bamiyan. At
one end of the chapel, the remains of a 25-foot-long sleep-
ing Buddha are covered with protective plastic. Once there
were statues everywhere, but many other gures have been
plundered. Much remains hidden in lower levels in this part
of the mound. During the most recent months of digging,
Faizis team has uncovered stone and wood statue fragments,
gold and silver coins, and clay Buddha heads. One bodhisat-
tva sits next to the representation of a proud donor, who may
have been a prince or wealthy merchant who wanted to be
associated with this gure of a saint. Tis is a spectacular
intact nd, says Iuntington, noting that images of donors
and gods are not typically found together, or are often sepa-
rated by archaeologists during removal.
Behind the chapel is a small plaza, which Marquis specu-
lates may have been roofed with beams held up by standing
Buddha columns. Beyond it is a maze of monks cells, with
arched doorways and windows that now overlook the Chi-
nese mining camp. Adjacent is a section devoted to storing
food and supplies for the winters that begin early here. As
of fall 2010, only half of Tepe Kariats upper levels had
been exposed.
M
vs Avw.s r.rv has always been tied to copper.
Above the modern village of Baba Vali, which is
also slated for destruction, there is another mound.
Unlike the two monasteries, this site appears to be strictly
secular. Tere are no Buddhas here, only practical buildings
and storage facilities. Tis may have been the center of min-
ing, explains Marquis. Iere the rocks themselves have the
telltale bluish-gray cast of copper and the hillside is littered
with thousands of pieces of ancient slag from copper process-
ing. In the 1970s, Russian engineers had dug deep swaths into
the dirt and rock on the ridge above Baba Vali in preparation
for mining operations that were cut short by the 1979 Soviet
invasion. Sturdy stone walls are visible in the cuts, a sign of
activity likely related to ancient mining operations.
Te slag itself raises intriguing questions. By estimating
The unusually fine masonry walls surrounding
Tepe Kafiriat confirm the wealth and
importance of this Buddhist monastic site.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 22
require generators, more permanent shelters, and reliable
and secure transportation to and from Kabul, says Marquis.
Bringing in foreign specialists is a priority as well. Most of the
statues and wall paintings are in fragile condition and require
immediate removal and conservation by experts. And many,
particularly those of unred clay, may not survive the jarring
trip through Kabuls potholed streets. Helicopters may be
the best way to transport them to the museum. Even the
chemicals required for the conservation work must be own
into Afghanistan.
A deluge of material is National Museum Director
Omara Khan Masoudis personal nightmare. From his o ce
on the outskirts of Kabul, Masoudi is preparing for a meet-
ing with U.S. embassy o cials to discuss Mes Aynak. He is
also still attempting to restore and modernize the countrys
premier museum, which was badly damaged during the civil
war that raged from the time of the Soviet withdrawal in
1989 until the Taliban won control of Afghanistan in 1996.
Te Taliban subsequently smashed many of the statues left
behind. Originally designed as an administrative o ce, the
building lacks adequate security systems, climate control,
after all, reached China from Afghanistan via this route. In
the meantime, the French mission is paying for a detailed
topographic survey of the area to pinpoint heritage sites.
Te World Bank intends to provide funding for an overall
assessment and an excavation plan. Omar Sultan, Afghani-
stans deputy minister of information and culture, says his
o ce and the Afghan Ministry of Mines are hammering out
an agreement giving archaeologists extended access to the
gated site. And according to Brendan Cassar, UNESCOs
cultural heritage o cer in Kabul, in September of 2010,
the Karzai government formally asked UNESCO to assist
in coordinating the huge eort. For now, time may be on the
archaeologists side. Via a combination of quiet negotiation
and public criticism, Marquis and Afghan archaeologists
have won a reprieve for Mes Aynak.
We will have three years to excavate the site, says Sul-
tan. Te matter is deeply personal for Sultan, who trained
as an archaeologist and who does his job without taking
pay. He was with the joint Afghan-Soviet team that rst
surveyed the site in 1976. Archaeologists agree that three
years may not be enough to excavate a site of this scale and
importance. I will do the best I can, says Sultan, to save
my countrys heritage.
Te Afghan archaeologists working at Mes Aynak live
simply in white canvas tents, but long-term excavations will
In addition to its impressive architecture, the monastery of
Tepe Kafiriat contains startling 5th-century sculptures,
including this representation of a bodhisattva.
www.archaeology.org 23
ancient Buddhist complex. But those intent on saving Mes
Aynak argue that the long-term value of what they recover
will ultimately be worth it.
T
nvv .v ornv r.cros in play that may delay
Mes Aynaks destruction. Tese days, there is no
sign of activity in the Chinese workers camp. Tere
is still no power plant, no smelter, and, most importantly,
no railroad to transport the tons of copper ore over the
Iindu Kush to China. Tough the Afghan government is
counting on near-term revenues from the mine, the eort
seems likely to stall in the midst of a world economic crisis.
According to another Afghan o cial who asked to remain
unnamed, recent publicity about the Buddhist remains at
Mes Aynak spooked the Chinese company, which, though
owned by the Beijing government, is traded on the Iong
Kong stock market.
Te drama at this site is likely to be repeated at other
locations in Afghanistan. An iron ore concentration near
Bamiyan is slated for development, as is a silver mine near
the Ianjshir Valley north of Kabul. Both are located close to
archaeological sites yet to be fully surveyed, much less exca-
vated. According to Marquis, what takes place here at Mes
Aynak could set a standard for future mineral exploitation.
But to make use of the three-year window, the Afghan
government and international organizations must come
up with as much as $15 million just to
excavatean immense sum in this cash-
strapped country and nearly three times
what has been spent on stabilizing the
remains of the Bamiyan Buddhas and
the damaged wall paintings in adjacent
caves. Tere is no place yet to conserve
the thousands of delicate statues and
other artifacts certain to come out of
the ground at Mes Aynak, no facility in
which to store them safely once they are
restored, and no certainty that special-
ists will even be able to visit a site that is
o-limits to most foreign visitors because
of local unrest. Ieritage o cials such as
Cassar, who believes Mes Aynak will be
one of the most important archaeologi-
cal sites ever dug in Afghanistan, remain
locked in their compounds, unable to visit
the very sites they are there to protect.
But Marquis remains undaunted, and
is almost buoyant about the possibilities
Mes Aynak oers to engage the world in
Afghanistans battle to save its past. Tis
is a global issue, Marquis says. You cant
replace the Bamiyan Buddhas. And you
dont need to destroy Mes Aynak.
Andrew Lawler is a contributing editor
to Ancnznoroov.
and storage and conservation facilities. Last week, they sent
eight boxes from Mes Aynak, he says dolefully. Ve cant
accept the artifacts. Ve just dont have the space. Masoudi
recalls that in the 1970s, an Italian team excavated a massive
Buddhist monastery near the eastern city of Ghazni that
produced huge quantities of high-quality statuary. Mes
Aynak will produce three or four times as many artifacts,
Masoudi predicts. Ie is pushing to construct a conservation
and storage facility on the site, followed by a museum to
exhibit some of the nds.
An international eort to excavate and preserve Mes
Aynak could also breathe new life into Afghanistans tiny
archaeological community and stop the organized looting
that is as much a part of the Afghan economy as poppy
cultivation. For the past 30 years, there have been no real
excavations here, Marquis says. And now we have a new
generation. At the side of a nearby mound, nine archae-
ology students from the University of Kabul are getting
their hands dirty for the rst time. Some wear city clothes,
button-down shirts, slacks, and black shoes. Marquis hopes
to bring a total of six student teams here for three-day, and,
eventually, one-week stints. One team is all female, though he
says their families are unlikely to allow them to leave Kabul.
It may seem fruitless in a country with a resurgent Taliban,
a weak government, and increasing violence and corruption
to be training archaeologists while attempting to rescue an
This 5th-century painting from Tepe Kafiriat illustrating
a scene from the life of Buddha is one of very few surviving
frescoes that once decorated monasteries across Afghanistan.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 24
D
ecades from now people may remember 2010 for the BP
oil spill, the Tea Party, and the iPad. But for our money,
its a lock people will still be excited about the years most
remarkable archaeological discoveries, which we explore (along with
one undiscovery) in the following pages.
Tis was the year we learned that looters led archaeologists to
spectacular and unparalleled royal
tombs in both Turkey and Guatemala.
An unexpected nd brought us closer
to Pocahontas, and an underwater
archaeological survey in the high
Canadian Arctic located the ill-fated
HMS Investigator, abandoned in 1853.
Archaeologists werent just busy
in the eld, though. A number of
breakthroughs happened in the lab, too.
A new radiocarbon dating technique
was perfected this year that will allow
scientists to date artifacts without
harming them. Laboratory analysis of the
bones of a close relative of Lucy revealed
how early hominins walked. And anthropologists in Germany
announced startling news about the Neanderthal genome that might
send you scrambling to submit your own DNA for sequencing.
For the third year, we also highlight ve threatened sites that
remind us of how fragile the archaeological record is. Tey include an
ancient city in Iraq that is eroding into the Tigris and a painted cave
in Egypt thats being slowly destroyed by well-meaning tourists.
But its not all bad news out there. One of the most alarming stories
this year out of the American Southwest was the news that as part of
a cost-cutting measure the Arizona state government closed Homolovi
Ruins State Park. Te closing raised fears that the parks signicant
cluster of Ancestral Puebloan villages dating from .. 1260 to
1400 would be left more vulnerable to looters. But at press time we
learned the Hopi Tribe signed an agreement with the state to reopen
the park. An innovative government-tribal partnership will allow
the descendants of the people who once lived at Homolovi Ruins to
safeguard its future. Te Editors
www.archaeology.org 25
T
urkish authorities have arrested looters
who are suspected of tunneling their way
into one of antiquitys most intriguing tombs.
Te looters reached the underground cham-
ber, which lies below a temple to Zeus near the
town of Milas, by digging in from a nearby
house and an adjacent barn. Scholars
believe the tomb belonged to Hecatom-
nus, the fourth-century .. ruler of
Caria, a kingdom in what is now south-
western Turkey. Hecatomnus was the
father of Mausolus, who was buried in the
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the
seven wonders of the ancient world. (Te
architectural term mausoleum is derived
from the Carian rulers name.)
Te tombs walls are decorated in col-
ored frescos that are in need of immediate
conservation. Te chamber held an elabo-
rately carved marble sarcophagus with a
relief of a bearded, reclining man, believed to
depict Hecatomnus. According to journalist
zgen Acar, who has followed the illicit antiq-
uities trade in Turkey for decades, the looters
rst entered the tomb in the spring of 2008
and were looking for a buyer for the sarcopha-
gus this summer when the authorities moved
in. Police arrested 10 suspected looters in a raid
in August. At press time, ve of the defendants
remained in jail awaiting court proceedings. Its
likely the looters had already sold artifacts from the
tomb on the black marketshelves in the chamber are
now empty.
Acar believes that while the drilling equipment
they used to tunnel into the site may have been
sophisticated, the looters were not profes-
sionals. Tey didnt have any expertise, says
Acar. Tey were locals. But Turkeys Culture
Minister Ertugrul Gunay believes other-
wise. Tis is not an ordinary treasure
hunt. Its very organized and its obvious
that they received economic and sci-
entic help, he told the Anatolia News
Agency, adding that Turkey would inves-
tigate the suspects foreign connections.
Due to the ongoing police investiga-
tion, details about both the case and the
discovery are still incomplete. But there
is little doubt that the tomb is potentially
of great importance for understanding
the art and craftsmanship of the Carians,
the greatest example of which was the
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Created
by the nest architects and sculptors of the
day, parts of the mausoleum stood until the
late fteenth century. A statue of Mausolus
in the British Museum (left) seems to bear
a family resemblance to the bearded man
depicted on the sarcophagus.
Matthew Brunwasser
The Tomb of Hecatomnus Milas, Turkey
the skeletons of four infants, the skulls of two older
children, textiles, carvings, and an array of ceramics,
including a tamale bowl depicting a peccary (below).
Based on the position, wealth, and date of the tomb
(.. 350), researchers believe the king may have been
the founder of a dynasty. Te tomb is located in a palatial
complex high above the central part of the ancient
city, next to a spectacular stuccoed pyramid
that would have been visible for miles
around. Were looking at the way in
which the Maya create dynasties, says
Houston. You do it with a loud crash
of cymbals.
Te discovery also shows that even sites
hit hard by looters have much to oer. Its
just a miracle this thing wasnt
looted, says Houston.
Samir S. Patel
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 26
Paleolithic Tools Plakias, Crete
A
research team led by Thomas Strasser of Providence
College and Eleni Panagopoulou of the Greek Ministry
of Culture announced the discovery of stone tools at two
sites on the island of Crete that are between 130,000 and
700,000 years old. The tools resemble those made by
Homo heidelbergensis and Homo erectus, showing
that one of these early human ancestors boated
across at least 40 miles of open sea to reach
the island, the earliest indirect evidence of
seafaring. If hominins could move around
the Mediterranean before 130,000 years
ago, they could cross other bodies of water
as well, says team member Curtis Runnels
of Boston University, who helped analyze
the tools. When similar finds on other
islands are confirmed, the door will be
opened to the re-evaluation of every
assumption we have made about early
hominin migrations. Zach Zorich
Royal Tomb El Zotz, Guatemala
A
deep looters trench led archaeologists to a series
of amazing, macabre nds beneath the El Diablo
pyramid at the modest Maya city of El Zotz. Tey
discovered, just 10 feet beyond where the looters had
stopped digging, increasingly bizarre caches, including
bowls containing severed ngers, teeth, and a partially
cremated infant. Tere was mounting evidence of
weirdness there, says Stephen Houston of
Brown University, who co-led the excavation
with Edwin Roman of the Universities of Texas
and San Carlos of Guatemala.
Te oerings were adjacent to an Early
Classic Maya tomb containing the remains of a
king dressed as a ritual dancer, complete with a
belt adorned with shell bells and mammal
teeth. Tis guy would have made
quite a racket, says Houston.
He was buried with
ose made by
showing
oated
ch
f
d
er
s
ala
www.archaeology.org 27
HMS Investigator Banks Island, Canada
T
hey found the old British ship exactly where it was
supposed to be. It hadnt drifted out to sea, been salvaged
by American whalers, or broken up by waves, as various
theories had suggested. HMS Investigatorthe first ship to sail
the westernmost leg of the Northwest Passagewas found
last July in Canadas Mercy Bay under 30 feet of water, but
otherwise right where its crew left it in 1853.
The crew, abandoning the ship when it became trapped in
pack ice, spent three winters in the area before being rescued
and returning to Britain, which made them the first people to
travel the passage (by ship, foot, and sled) from end to end.
Given the remote location outside Canadas Aulavik National
Park, the ease of the discovery was quite unexpected.
Early Pyramids Jaen, Peru
P
erus towering burial mounds, with their
underground chambers and layers upon
layers of history, had long been thought to be a
distinctive feature of the countrys arid coast.
But the discovery of two ancient pyramid
complexes near the town of Jaen, on the western
edge of the Amazon lowlands, shows that
monumental architecture had spread across the
Andes and well into the jungle thousands of years
before the Spaniards arrived. Te largest mound,
over an acre at its base, was overgrown with
vegetation and used by modern townspeople as a
dump and latrine before Peruvian archaeologist
Quirino Olivera, of the Friends of the Museum
of Sipn, began excavating there. He soon found
evidence of construction on a massive scale
walls up to three feet thick, ramps, and signs of
successive building phases stretching back at least
2,800 years.
People had assumed monumental architecture
never reached the jungle. Tis discovery shows
it did, says Olivera. To build these structures,
people must have had knowledge of engineering
and design, and a large, stable work force. Until
now, it was assumed they lived in huts made of
tree trunks and leaves.
At the same pyramid he found the tomb of
a high-status man who, at his burial
around 800 .., was decked out with
the shells of some 180 land snails. A
layer of snails covered the mans torso,
and more shells adorned his head and
limbs. Te man was probably a healer
or priest of some kind, says Olivera. He
found marine mollusk shells in another
tomb nearby, testament to the busy
trade ties from the coast over the Andes
to the jungle. Te nds suggest that,
along with sophisticated architecture,
complex worship had spread far from
the coast centuries before once believed.
Roger Atwood
We came prepared to search for
16 hours a day for two straight weeks,
says Ryan Harris, an underwater
archaeologist with Parks Canada who
led the team. We actually found the
ship in just under three minutes.
Harris used side-scan sonar towed
from a 19-foot inflatable boat to locate
the well-preserved wreck. At the
same time, two more archaeologists
documented the remains of the crews
caches (believed to have influenced
the material culture of the local Inuvialuit people) and located
the graves of three unlucky seamen who died of scurvy before
rescuers arrived.
The crew of Investigator never found the two lost British
ships, Erebus and Terror, they were sent to find. Harris plans to
return to Mercy Bay with
dive gear in summer 2011
to take a closer look at
Investigator. And to keep
an eye out for whatever
else might be in those
Arctic waters.
Krista West
Child Burials Carthage, Tunisia
A
team led by University of Pittsburgh physical anthro-
pologist Jerey Schwartz has refuted the long-held
claim that the Carthaginians carried out large-scale child
sacrice from the eighth to second centuries .. Te
researchers announced their results this year after spend-
ing decades examining the cremated remains of 540
children from 348 burial urns excavated in the Tophet
(below), a cemetery outside Carthages main burial ground.
Schwartz determined that about half the children were
prenatal or would not have survived more than a few days
beyond birth, and the rest died between one month and
several years after birth. Only a very few children were
between ve and six years old, the age at which they begin
to be buried in the main cemetery. Te mortality rates
T
his past year will always be
remembered as the year we found
out that the Neanderthals survived and
they are us. Following years of tantalizing
announcements from the Max Planck
Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology
in Leipzig, a research group led by
genetic anthropologist Svante Pbo
completed a first-draft DNA sequence of
a Neanderthal. Although this sequence
includes only 60 percent of the
Neanderthal genome, it does provide
some interesting insights into the biology
of this distinctive human species. The
sequence showed that variations in just one gene might
account for the differences in the shape of the skull, rib cage,
and shoulder joint between Neanderthals and modern humans.
Decoding the Neanderthal Genome Leipzig, Germany
A major insight came when researchers
compared the Neanderthal DNA to the
DNA of three modern people (one French,
one Han Chinese, and one Polynesian).
The team found that all three had
inherited between 1 and 4 percent of
their DNA from Neanderthals. They also
compared the Neanderthal sequence to
two African individuals (one Yoruba and
one San) and found no indication that they
had inherited genes from Neanderthals,
who are known to have evolved outside
Africa. The research supports the idea that
Neanderthals interbred with Homo sapiens
between 100,000 and 80,000 years ago as our anatomically
modern ancestors left Africa and spread across the globe.
Zach Zorich
represented in the cemetery are consistent with prenatal
and infant mortality gures found in present-day societies.
Tere is a credible medically and biologically consistent
explanation of the Tophet burials that oers an alternative
to sacrice, says Schwartz. While it is possible that the
Carthaginians may have occasionally sacriced humans,
as did their contemporaries, the extreme youth of the
Tophet burials suggests [the cemetery] was not only for
the sacriced, but also for the unborn and very young,
however they died. And since at least 20 percent of them
werent even born when they were buried, they clearly
werent sacriced.
Schwartz also has another type of evidence to support
his claim that the Tophet children died of natural causes.
In many societies newborns and very
young children are not treated as indi-
viduals as older children and adults are,
he says, suggesting that they wouldnt be
considered appropriate for sacrice. A
clue that the Carthaginians didnt view
these children as distinct entities comes
from Schwartzs analysis, which shows
that in many urns, there are remains of
several dierent individuals. Tere can
be four or ve of the same right or left
cranial bone in the same urn, but there
would not be enough other bones to
reconstruct the same number of indi-
viduals, says Schwartz. Te remains
of multiple children were gathered up,
perhaps even from dierent cremations,
and sometimes mixed in with charcoal
from the small branches of olive trees
used for the funeral pyre.
Jarrett A. Lobell
in North America. Led by Bill Kelso, Historic
Jamestownes director of archaeology, the team
exposed five deep postholes spaced 12 feet
apart. Records indicate the wooden church,
built in 1608, was 60 feet long. It didnt take a
mathematical genius to figure out
that we had found it, says Kelso.
The most prominent building
at Jamestown, the church would
have been a statement about how
important the colonists considered
religion, says Kelso. Several
notable events in the colonys early
history took place there, including
Pocahontass 1614 marriage to
tobacco farmer John Rolfe. Kelso
also found that at least six high-
status colonists were buried in the
churchs chancel, an area near the
altar where important rites would
have been performed. Now we can
actually point to the spot where
Pocahontas got married, says
Kelso. How often does something
like that happen in archaeology?
Eric A. Powell
29
Kadanuumuu Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia
F
or the last 35 years, the short-legged Lucy skeleton
has led some scientists to argue that Australopithecus
afarensis didnt stand fully upright or walk like modern
humans, and instead got around by knuckle-walking
like apes. Now, the discovery of a 3.6-million-year-old
beanpole on the Ethiopian plainschristened Kadanuu-
muu, or Big Man in the Afar languageputs that tired
debate to rest. Te new fossil demonstrates these early
human ancestors were fully bipedal.
Many dozens of A. afarensis fossils have been uncov-
ered since Lucy was discovered in 1974, but none as
complete as this one. Kadanuumuus forearm was rst
extracted from a hunk of mudstone in February 2005,
and subsequent expeditions uncovered an entire knee,
part of a pelvis, and well preserved sections of the thorax.
We have the clavicle, a rst rib, a scapula, and the
humerus, says physical anthropologist Bruce Latimer of
Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, one
of the co-leaders on the dig. Tat enables us to say some-
thing about how [Kadanuumuu] was using its arm, and
it was clearly not using it the way an ape uses it. It nally
takes knuckle-walking o the table. At ve and a half feet
tall, Kadanuumuu would also have towered two feet over
Lucy, lending support to the view that there was a high
degree of sexual dimorphism in the species.
Brendan Borrell
1608 Church Jamestown, Virginia
A
rchaeologists searching for a mens
barracks at Jamestown, Virginia, site
of the first permanent English colony in
the New World, have found instead the
remains of the earliest Protestant church
Kadanuumuu (right)
would have towered
over Lucy (below).
www.archaeology.org
Pocahontas
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 30
Undiscovery of the Year
Clovis Comet North America
I
ts commonly believed that North Americas Clovis culture came to an
end around 12,900 years ago, when their characteristic spear points
disappeared from the archaeological record. At the same time a number of
large animal species such as mammoths and saber-toothed tigers became
extinct. In 2006, a team led by geologist Richard Firestone of Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory put forth a theory that a comet struck the
Earth around this time, engulng the continent in forest res and caus-
ing the mass extinctions as well as the demise of the Clovis culture. Tey
deduced this from the existence of a one-millimeter-thick soil layer at sev-
eral Clovis sites that contains a high concentration of particles that appear
to have extraterrestrial origins.
Tis year archaeologists Vance Holliday of the University of Arizona
and David Meltzer of Southern Methodist University oered a point-by-
point refutation of this premise, saying that evidence of the extraterrestrial
particles does not show up at many Clovis sites, and that a careful exami-
nation of the archaeological record shows that the population in North
America did not drop at the time of the purported comet impact. As for
the Clovis culture itself, Holliday and Meltzer think a new interpretation
of radiocarbon dates indicates the people gradually stopped making the
spear points they are associated with and simply began making another
kind. Perhaps they didnt disappear at all. Zach Zorich
P
recisely dating archaeological artifacts is not as easy or
harmless as it might seem. The most common method,
radiocarbon dating, requires that a piece of an organic object
be destroyedwashed with a strong
acid and base at high temperature to
remove impurities, and then set aflame.
The resulting release of carbon dioxide
is fed to an accelerator mass spec-
trometer, which measures the decay
of radioactive carbon 14the more the
carbon 14 has decayed, the older the
object is.
Over the past 20 years, chemist
Marvin Rowe of Texas A&M Univer-
sity has developed a nondestructive
method for carbon dioxide extraction.
In his process, an object is placed in a
vacuum chamber and a supercritical
fluida hybrid gas/liquidis applied
as a solvent (as in dry cleaning). Next,
Rowe passes plasmaan electrically
excited ionized gasover the artifact,
which selectively strips carbon from
the sample. Its essentially like slowly
burning the sample, so we can just
oxidize a little off the surface and collect that carbon dioxide,
explains Rowe. This year he further refined the method so it
will work on objects coated in sticky hydrocarbons, such as
the resins that cover Egyptian mummy gauze.
Nondestructive Radiocarbon Dating College Station, Texas
Thus far, hes dated samples of wood, charcoal, animal skin,
bone from a mummy, and ostrich eggshell. Everything so
far that weve tried to do with the nondestructive technique
has agreed statistically with regular
radiocarbon dating, Rowe says, and
you basically dont see any change in
the sample.
R. E. Taylor, a radiocarbon expert
at the University of California, River-
side, says Rowes technique may have
limitations, as items older than 10,000
years will have impurities that the
technique may not be able to purge.
Archaeologists, meanwhile, are hail-
ing the discovery as one of the most
important in decades, particularly for
issues surrounding the repatriation of
human remains from Native American
burials, which modern tribes dont
want to see harmed.
Rowes refinement of carbon
dioxide extraction dovetails with an
update to the radiocarbon calibration
curve, which increases the accuracy
of radiocarbon dating by accounting
for past fluctuations in carbon 14. According to researchers at
Queens University of Belfast, the new curve doubles the accu-
racy of dating as well as the age of artifacts on which it can be
used, from 25,000 to 50,000 years. Nikhil Swaminathan
A 1,350-year-old
Egyptian weaving
before dating...
...and after
Artists rendition of a
comet striking the earth.
Sites Under Threat
Hunter-Gatherer Landscape California
C
onstruction of
vast solar farms
in the deserts of south-
eastern California is
threatening to perma-
nently erase prehistoric
Native American sites.
Critics charge that
while the need for new
sources of renewable
energy is a clear national priority, the rush to build solar
infrastructure in order to qualify for tax breaks has led to
inadequate archaeological testing and evaluation of sites
in the way of planned solar arrays. Te regions famous
Blythe Geoglyphs, still a destination for Native American
pilgrims, will not be directly aected by the development,
but the rich archaeological landscape of which they are a
part will be altered forever.
Underwater Shipwrecks Massachusetts Bay
H
istoric shipwrecks
all over the world
are severely damaged
by bottom trawling, a
shing method that
involves hauling huge
nets across the ocean
oor. In the Stellwa-
gen Bank National
Marine Sanctuary,
nearly all known
shipwrecks have been
damaged by shing, including the coal schooner Paul
Palmer, which sank in 1913 and is on the National Reg-
ister of Historic Places. Not only does the initial impact
of trawl gear damage the vessels, but the nets can become
entangled with the sites, making it dangerous for archae-
ologists to work there. Federal o cials are considering a
proposal to create a heritage preserve around certain ship-
wrecks to prevent damage from shing.
Allianoi Turkey
A
reservoir created
by a new hydro-
electric dam in west-
ern Turkey will soon
permanently ood the
ruins of the Roman-
era bath complex of
Allianoi. International
proposals to relocate
Allianois thermal spa
or erect a wall protecting the entire site have been ignored
by the government, which chose instead to cover the
remains in sand. Scholars, however, worry this measure
wont adequately protect the sites well-preserved second-
century .. architecture.
Cave of the Swimmers Egypt
T
he Neolithic rock art at the Cave of the Swimmers,
made popular by the 1996 lm Te English Patient,
is being admired to death by tourists who feel compelled
to touch the 10,000-year-old paintings. Visitors are
also coming in such numbers that their breath and
perspiration have altered the caves climate, causing severe
deterioration of the artwork. Te site is one of many
in Egypts remote deserts that are being compromised
by unsupervised visits. Te Supreme Council of
Antiquities and the Ministry of the Environment have
begun outreach programs to the desert drivers who
ferry visitors to the sites. O cials hope the drivers can
encourage tourists to behave appropriately around fragile
archaeological remains.
Ashur Iraq
A
section of the
Assyrian capi-
tal of Ashur in cen-
tral Iraq is gradually
eroding into the
Tigris River. Dating
to 2500 .., the
site, now known as
Qalah Sharqat, or
Earthern Castle,
was partially exca-
vated in the early twentieth century. But since then no
signicant archaeological work has been done on this
important Mesopotamian city. Press reports indicate local
antiquities o cials are trying to raise funds to build a wall
to protect the site from the river.
www.archaeology.org 31
R
L rst came to Djulirri ( JUH-lih-ree) in the early
1960s, when he was three years old. On foot and by canoe, his father,
Lazarus, showed him the route that their Aboriginal ancestors had
used for thousands of years, following food and shelter inland from
Australias north coast. Each wet season, those ancestors spent several
months at Djulirri, a well-concealed rock shelter in a horseshoe-shaped
valley. I remember paintings on rocks, Lamilami says.
In 2010, Lamilami sits in the passenger seat of an o-road vehicle driven by archaeolo-
gist and rock art specialist Paul S. C. Taon of Gri th University in Gold Coast, Austra-
lia. Te narrow track through Lamilamis clan estate isnt so much rutted as corrugated,
and Taons strategy is to keep up his speed and skip across the surface, except when it
winds around fallen trees or through soft, sandy washes. Te Aborigines here have six
seasonsit is the end of Wurreng (the early dry) and the start of Gurrung (the hot dry).
During any of the wetter seasons, the road would be waterlogged and impassable.
Te landscape of stringybark eucalyptus, pandanus palms, and spiky spinifex grass
is studded with sandstone outcrops that form part of the Wellington Range on the
edge of the Arnhem Land plateau. Tis is the remote hump on Australias back, the
tip of the Northern Territory, a place of ghost stories, sandies, burning brush, termite
mounds, and saltwater crocodiles. Before long the road peters out, so Taon and Lami-
lami proceed on foot.
Australias native people rst arrived on the continent around 50,000 years ago.
Before English colonization, which began in the 1780s, the Aborigines were semi-
nomadic hunter-gatherers, a diverse collection of regional cultures that spoke some 200
dierent languages. Among their most enduring shared cultural traditions, practiced
for tens of thousands of years, is rock art. All over the continent Aboriginal groups
created engravings, drawings, stencils, and paintings using natural pigments mixed
with spit, animal fat, or tree resin. Teir works served as everything from signposts
to teaching aids to painted histories, and there are at least 5,000 rock art sites in the
Wellington Range alone. But theres nothing in Arnhem Land, Australia, or the rest
of the world, quite like Djulirri.
Lamilami and Taon make an unusual pair. Lamilami is short, stout, and darkhis
face and body made entirely of curves. Taon is tall, with hooded gray eyes, a white
beard, and the pallor of someone who knows his way around a tube of sunblock.
Joined by Australian National University archaeologist Peter Veth, some graduate
students, and a two-man lm crew, they tromp through the underbrush for 30
minutes before Lamilami stops to call out to his ancestors in Maung, his native
language: Strangers are approaching, but theyre friends, so please could
you keep the wild things away while theyre here? Taon then guides the
group, his voice so slow and soft that its sometimes drowned out by
rustling grass, to a small slot canyon.
Tey duck under a low arch and squeeze between boulders to
reach the shelter, a large open space weathered deep into the cli face.
On its back wall is Djulirris central panelmore than 160 feet long
and 10 feet high. First one sees the colors, a complex tableau of reds
and yellows and black and white that looks almost abstract but rewards
close study. A large, recently painted red-and-white emu dominates one
end of the composition, and from behind it peek at least four kangaroos,
hundreds or even thousands of years old, painted in the anatomically reveal-
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 32
text and photographs
by S S. P
beard, and the
Joined by Aus
students, an
minutes be
languag
you k
gro
r
r
O
an
and
close
end of
hundre
Djulirri
www.archaeology.org 33
Griffith University rock art expert
Paul S. C. Taon and Aboriginal elder
Ronald Lamilami discuss indigenous
rock art traditions in the rock shelter at
Djulirri, which features 1,100 separate
paintings, including the overlapping
spirit figure and kangaroo above them.
ing X-ray manner that shows muscles, organs, and bones. Detailed sh and plants
lie behind white stick gures acting out various scenes, such as a boxing match.
A panel of shipsfrom modern ocean liners to WWI destroyers to British tall
shipsdominates one area, but a wider view shows that theyre painted atop a
massive crocodile and sea turtle. Tere are paintings of a bicycle, a dugong hunt, and
pipe-smoking Europeans. On the ceiling is a twisted, malevolent spirit gure.
Tere are 1,100 paintings on this panel aloneand certainly more that have
been washed away or painted overin 20 discernable layers, dating from 15,000
to just 50 years ago. Its hard to argue with Taons take: Djulirri is among the top
handful of rock art sites in the world, and in its layers of pigments and stained rock
is an abundance of information about Aboriginal culture and how it dealt with the
sweeping changes of the last few centuries.
Te initial English colonization of Australia was followed by the mission
period, which severed many native people from their seasonal rhythms. Lamilami
was educated in a mission school, where traditional ceremonies were considered
sinful and restricted to brief bush holidays. He lost touch with places like thisa
common a iction of his generation, when traditional knowledge was overwrit-
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 34
Tis time, Taon has brought Lamilami to show him art
beyond the central panel. Seemingly around every corner in
the maze of sandstone that surrounds the valley are more
paintingsa ying fox, more tall ships, extinct animals, a
stencil of a boomerang. In less than ve acres, there are 52
panels containing 3,000 pieces, making it the largest painted
rock art site in Australia. Some of these panels include unique
pieces, such as stencils of singing honeyeaters, birds no longer
common in Arnhem Land, and what might be a Tylacoleo,
or marsupial lion, thought to be extinct for 30,000 years. (If
thats, in fact, what it is, the time lines for extinction and/
or Australian rock art will need to be rethought.) Poignant
and Chaloupka never saw the full extent of the complex.
Im quite convinced Im the rst non-indigenous person to
see some of those things, says Taon. I just couldnt believe
my eyes. In some ways, I still cant. Maybe thats why I keep
bringing other people back herefor them to pinch me and
conrm Im not dreaming.
Walking through Djulirri is much like touring the gal-
leries, alcoves, halls, and great rooms of a massive outdoor
museum. But in practice, it seems to have functioned more
ten by Western thought, and his culture slowly became the
province of archaeology.
Djulirri had been documented and photographed before,
during brief visits from Anglo-Swedish photographer Axel
Poignant and Australian rock art expert George Chaloupka
in the 1950s and 1970s, respectively, but neither conducted
detailed studies and the location was lost until 1998. At that
time, archaeologist Daryl Guse was conducting a survey of
culturally signicant sites in the region before mining compa-
nies came in to look for uranium deposits. He and Leonard
Lamilami, a ranger and one of Ronalds sons, rediscovered
the shelter on the southern side of the familys traditional
land. Eventually, in 2007, they brought Ronald back, and
the next year Taon and Sally K. May, of the Rock Art
Research Centre at Australian National University, began a
detailed study, documenting and photographing the art for
comparison with the historical record and examples from
other parts of the country. Te last visit [before 2007] was
with my dad, says the elder Lamilami. When I came back,
my dad wasnt here with me, but I had my son. So I was my
dad and my son was me.
1
2
1
This detailed red-and-white emu may be the most recently
painted work at Djulirri. Thought to be just 50 years old, it
lies atop a number of X-ray depictions of kangaroos. These
paintings, hundreds or perhaps thousands of years old, are
akin to scientific diagrams, displaying muscles, organs, nerves,
and bones. The presence of kangaroos, which are no longer
common in the area, indicates the climate was once drier.
Djulirri, Arnhem Land, Australia
The central panel at Djulirri spans 160 feet and
15,000 years of Aboriginal history, up to and
including contact with Europeans. This section
of it contains many of these post-contact works,
offering insights into the Aboriginal experience
during this time of great change.
2
After contact with Europeans, paintings at many sites
take on a rushed quality, as indigenous people were pulled
away from their traditions. This collection of white figures
acts out a variety of scenes, including a boxing match and a
man climbing a long pole, perhaps to reach inaccessible sites
for painting. Despite the disruptions, the Aborigines tried to
maintain their traditions of art and documentation.
www.archaeology.org 35
And between 4,000 and 6,000 years ago the art diversied
and ourished. Large naturalistic paintings of human gures
emerged, stick gures were used to depict larger scenes such
as battles, and the paintings of animals showed a growing
interest in anatomythe X-ray depictions.
Tat suggests to me they were keen naturalists, says
Taon, scientists who made the equivalent of scientic draw-
ings. Tey were interested in forms of record-keeping that
we attribute to advanced civilizations.
Te rst images of mythological beings, such as the
Rainbow Serpent or the spirit gure on Djulirris ceiling,
appeared at this time, as well as stylized, sexualized depic-
tions of women. Te art also reects environmental changes.
Early paintings of kangaroos and stencils of honeyeaters
neither common in the area todaysuggest a drier climate,
and then give way to sh, illustrating a wetter climate and the
emergence of freshwater wetlands. Art also became highly
regional, as environmental changes pressed groups together
and motivated them to distinguish themselves.
Its through the rock art record that we can see changes
in their material culture, changes in their spiritual culture,
like a library or newspapera chronicle of Arnhem Lands
native people and what mattered to them over the last 15,000
years. All the stories are here in the rock art, says Lamilami.
Each year, a new concept would be drawnwhat happened
the year before that. Its a time lapse. Te art reects envi-
ronmental shifts, cultural developments, and the catastrophic
disruption that came with contact from the outside world.
Other rock art sites, such as Lascaux in France, capture only
a narrow period of time, and even the deepest archaeological
deposits arent willful creations like this. Djulirri might be the
longest continuously updated human record in the world.
T
of Arnhem Land allows researchers
to track the Aboriginal approach to their world over
thousands of years. Te oldest art dates to between
13,000 and 15,000 years ago, and is characterized by large,
naturalistic depictions of signicant animals, such as a large
yellow snake on Djulirris main panel. Ten the artists began
what is called the dynamic gure phase (9,000 to 12,000
years ago), which featured stylized depictions of humans and
animals in action scenes, suggesting a shift toward narrative.
3
4
3
Painted over many older works, this portion of the panel
features depictions of several 20th-century vehicles, including
sailing vessels, a World War I destroyer with guns, a biplane
from the same period, and a modern ocean liner. Forms of
transportation are common motifs in contact-period artwork.
To Aborigines, ships were both intimidating symbols and
sources of novel goods.
4
This painting of a British tall ship is an X-ray depiction,
showing the vessels interior and cargo holds. It is a
representation of a new subject in a traditional way, and it
also shows that the Aborigines knew these vessels intimately,
perhaps from working in them. The arm above the ship
belongs to a crocodile (spanning the page), and behind the
ships rigging on the left is the head of a massive sea turtle.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 36
and foods. Some of these paintings, such as
the British tall ship high on the central panel,
are X-ray depictions, with remarkable internal
detail. Tis shows more than a simple interest
in the ships; it says something about the nature
of Aboriginal interaction with the new arriv-
als. Tey were familiar with the ships inner
workingseither from being shown them or
working in the holdsand illustrated this in
a way that was already part of their artistic
practice. Tey took the most interesting bits
of the new happenings and incorporated them
into their long-standing traditions, says Taon.
Te new is grafted onto the old.
Te Aboriginal depictions of Europeans
themselves are just as telling. At Djulirri, as at
sites all over the country, Europeans are most
often depicted with comically tall hats and large pipes, and
very distinctively shown with their hands on their hipsa
domineering posture that would have been entirely foreign
to the natives (and that Lamilami recalls from his child-
hood). Contact rock art that depicted traditional subjects
was also inuenced by the new arrivals. For example, the
large crocodile and another one like it at a nearby site called
Malarrak may have been painted to express and strengthen
identity and attachment to country in a time of great change,
according to Guse.
I think of them as rock documents, says Alistair Paterson,
an archaeologist from the University of Western Australia.
Paterson is studying the engraved contact rock art of a region
called the Pilbara for comparison with Djulirri and contact
art in other parts of the country, as part of a larger project
changes in their society, as well as responses to changes in
their environment, says Taon.
Te greatest of all these changes was contact with the
outside world, which impacted every facet of Aboriginal
life. Following a time of great detail and sophistication in
the art, the contact period brought crude, more rushed
artistry. Te art has been called casual paintings, doodles
that lack the value of the more sophisticated traditional
work. Were trying to show they have extreme value, not
just in terms of aesthetics, but in that theyre loaded with
information, says Taon. Tey present, according to him
and his colleagues, a previously unacknowledged, alternate
native history.
Te Wellington Range in general, and Djulirri specically,
oer a great opportunity to study rock art from this crucial
period of change. Its actually the most
dense and varied area for contact-period
rock art anywhere in the world, let alone
Australia, says Taon. Teres nothing
else like it.
Contact rock art consists of depictions
of both traditional and introduced sub-
jects, such as ships, knives, and monkeys,
and even bicycles, planes, and Winchester
ries (as an X-ray, bullet in breach).
At Djulirri, as at other sites, ships are a
common subject. Tey were the largest
physical manifestations of the new arriv-
als, both imposing and sources of goods
Stylized, sexualized paintings of
women adorn a hard-to-reach ceiling
next to Djulirris central panel.
Archaeologist Peter Veth, Ronald
Lamilami, and Paul Taon discuss a
mysterious painting at Djulirri. It might
depict a Thylacoleo, or marsupial lion,
thought to be extinct for 30,000 years.
www.archaeology.org
haps not widelythat the Aborig-
ines had early contact with the
Macassans, Indonesian seafarers
from the Dutch company town of
Macassar (now Makassar) on South
Sulawesi. Te Macassans had a clear
linguistic and cultural impact on the
Aborigines, who adopted Macassan
words and technologies, including
the dugout canoe. But the precise
date of their earliest visits hasnt been
nailed downcould they have had
regular contact with Aborigines well
before the Europeans arrived.
Te study of rock art would
seem an unlikely candidate for set-
tling this questionit is usually nearly impossible to date.
For this reasonand because rock art is often subject to
whimsical interpretationssome archaeologists arent
particularly keen on it. But this is another way in which
Djulirri is unique. Iigh up in one corner of the central
panel is a depiction of an Indonesian prau, a vessel with a
distinctive tripod mast and square sails. Vith the prau is
another piece, an 11-foot-long snake rendered, connect-
the-dots-style, in small plugs of beeswax, a form native
to part of northern Australia. Some of the beeswax lies
directly atop the praus painted lines, and can be radiocarbon
dated to provide at least a minimum age for the arrival of
Macassans on Australian shores. Ve want to use rock art
as datahistorical data, archaeological data, says Taon.
(continued on page 68)
called Iicturing Change. Ve start
to get an indigenous counterpoint to
a fairly white perspective of a frontier
of contact and conict. Maybe its
trying to make sense of things in a
period of greater change than people
had experienced in 40,000 years.
V
nvw rnv Ewciisn
risr arrived in the late
eighteenth century, they
considered the Aborigines to be an
isolated, lost culture of primitives.
Iowever, Taon and others believe
that interaction between the outside
world and the Aborigines of Arnhem
Land was quite long-lived, rather ami-
cable, and began much earlier than
was previously thought, and theyre
looking to the rock art to prove it.
Over the last 1,000 years and
perhaps longer, the seas of Southeast Asia have been home
to a tradition of maritime trade to rival that of the Mediter-
ranean. Northern Australia seems to have been left out of
this picture prior to the arrival of the English, even though
the Dutch, who had a strong colonial presence in Indone-
sia, made maps of the coast more than 100 years earlier.
But there are tantalizing hints that there was interaction
between Aborigines and outsiders much, much earlier. Te
canines that would eventually become dingos, for example,
were introduced to Australia around 4,000 years ago. Rock
art believed to be up to 2,000 years old has patternssuch
as hatching and lozengesstrongly reminiscent of Asian
fabric. Te oral traditionsome combination of history
and mythspeaks of the Baijini, a people who came from
the north. A Iortuguese jar found in Darwin Iarbor might
date to around 1500. Excavations at
rock shelters show that there was a
surge in population in the Velling-
ton Range around 600 years ago
as if some new development were
drawing people closer to the coast.
It may well be that small groups
of people were arriving on Australias
northern shores sporadically for thou-
sands or even tens of thousands of
years, but archaeologically or geneti-
cally we just dont have the technology
to pick that up, says Taon.
It is already knownthough per-
The men on this steamship at Djulirri
have the domineering, hands-on-
hips posture that often distinguishes
Europeans in Aboriginal art. A loading
ramp is visible at right.
This painting of an Indonesian prau,
a vessel with a distinctive tripod
mast, was datable because of the
later beeswax works that sit atop it.
I
r w.s owv or rnv .wcivwr woins greatest battles, pitting a Carthaginian
army commanded by the general Iamilcar against a Greek alliance for control
of the island of Sicily. After a erce struggle in 480 n.c. on a coastal plain out-
side the Sicilian city of Iimera, with heavy losses on both sides, the Greeks
eventually won the day. As the years passed, the Battle of Iimera assumed
legendary proportions. Some Greeks would even claim it had occurred on the
same day as one of the famous battles of Termopylae and Salamis, crucial contests
that led to the defeat of the Iersian invasion of Greece, also in 480 n.c., and two of the
most celebrated events in Greek history.
Nonetheless, for such a momentous battle, Iimera has long been something of a
mystery. Te ancient accounts of the battle, by the fth-century n.c. historian Iero-
dotus and the rst-century n.c. historian Diodorus Siculus (the Sicilian), are biased,
confusing, and incomplete. Archaeology, however, is beginning to change things. For
the past decade, Stefano Vassallo of the Archaeological Superintendency of Ialermo
has been working at the site of ancient Iimera. Iis discoveries have helped pinpoint
the battles precise location, claried the ancient historians accounts, and unearth new
evidence of how classical Greek soldiers fought and died.
B
vciwwiwc iw rnv inniv of the eighth century n.c., when the Greeks founded
their rst colonies on the island and the Carthaginians arrived from North
Africa to establish their presence there, Sicily was a prize that both Greeks and
Carthaginians coveted. Te Greek city of Iimera, founded around 648 n.c., was a key
point in this rivalry. Iimera commanded the sea-lanes along the north coast of Sicily
as well as a major land route leading south across the island. In the rst decades of the
fth century n.c., the competition to dominate Sicily intensied. Gelon of Syracuse
and Teron of Akragas, both rulers of Greek cities on the island, formed an alliance
not only to counter the power of Carthage, but also to gain control of Iimera from
their fellow Greeks. Tey soon achieved their goal and exiled the citys Greek ruler,
who then appealed to Carthage for help. Seeing an opportunity to seize the upper
hand in the struggle for Sicily, the Carthaginian leader Iamilcar mobilized his forces.
Te stage was set for the battle of Iimera.
Te fullest account of what happened next comes from Diodorus Siculus. Te his-
torian claims that Iamilcar sailed from Carthage with a huge army of some 300,000
troops, but a more realistic gure is probably around 20,000. Along the way, Iamilcars
38
Rewriting one of the ancient worlds
most dramatic battleeld accounts
by J W. I. L
The Fight for
ANCIENT SICILY
Te Carthaginianssay that [they] fought with the Greeks in Sicily from dawn until late in the day
and that during this time Hamilcar remained in camp and made sacrices for good omens, oering
entire carcasses on a great pyre. Ten, seeing his troops routed as he was pouring libations on the
sacrices, he cast himself into the re. Tus he was completely consumed by re and disappeared.
Ivonorus ;.+o;.+
Although the Greeks received reinforcements, they were
still outnumbered. In the end, they got lucky. According to
Diodorus, scouts from Gelons camp intercepted a letter to
Hamilcar from allies who promised to send cavalry to replace
the losses he had suered at sea. Gelon ordered some of his
own cavalry to impersonate Hamilcars arriving allies. Tey
would blu their way into Hamilcars seaside camp and then
wreak havoc. Te ruse worked. At sunrise the disguised
Greek cavalry rode up to the Carthaginian camp, where
unsuspecting sentries let them in. Galloping across the camp,
Gelons horsemen killed Hamilcar (although the historian
Herodotus says Hamilcar killed himself ) and set re to the
ships drawn up on the beach. At that signal, Gelon advanced
from Himera to meet the Carthaginians in pitched battle.
Scholars have long questioned Diodorus description of
these events, but in 2008 Vassallos team began to excavate
part of Himeras western necropolis, just outside the city
eet ran into a storm that sank the transports carrying his
horses and chariots. Undeterred, the general set up a forti-
ed seaside camp on the shore west of Himera to protect
his remaining ships and built walls to block the western land
approaches to the city. Te outnumbered Greek defenders
sallied out from the city to protect Himeras territory, only
to lose the rst skirmishes.
Before Vassallo began his excavations, scholars had
been unable to pinpoint the location of these clashes. In
2007, however, he uncovered the northwestern corner of
the citys fortication wall. He also found evidence that the
coastline had shifted since ancient times, as silt carried from
the streams above Himera broadened the plain. Tese two
discoveries clarify Diodorus account. Te ghting must
have occurred in the coastal plain between the wall and the
ancient shoreline, which in the fth century .. was closer
to the city than it is today.
Archaeologists uncovered the remains of
dozens of soldiers who fought in the Battle of
Himera. Evidence for mass burials of war dead is
extremely rare in the ancient Greek world.
these could be the remains of men killed
in the battle of 480 n.c., which would be
highly signicant for reconstructing the
Battle of Iimera. Teir placement in the
western necropolis strongly suggests that
the main clash between the Greek and
Carthaginian armies took place near the
western walls of the city. Since bodies
are heavy to move, its likely they were
buried in the cemetery closest to the
battleeld, especially if there were many
dead to dispose of. (In contrast, Iimeras
eastern necropolis on the far side of the
city, which Vassallo had previously excavated, contains no
communal graves.) Vassallo also has a hypothesis about the
soldiers origins. Tey were probably not Carthaginians, for
the defeated enemy would have received little respect. Dead
Iimeran soldiers would likely have been collected by their
families for burial. Instead, Vassallo believes many or all of
the dead were allied Greeks from Syracuse or Akragas. Tese
warriors, who died far from home, could not be taken back
to their native soil for burial. Instead, they were honored in
Iimeras cemetery for their role in defending the city.
T
nv nowvs or Iiv. have more stories to tell. For
all that has been written about Greek warfare by
poets and historians from Iomer to Ierodotus and
Diodorus, ancient literature tends to focus on generals and
rulers rather than on how ordinary soldiers fought and died.
Until Vassallos excavations, only a handful of mass graves
from Greek battlessuch as those at Chaeronea, where
wall, in preparation for a new rail line
connecting Ialermo and Messina. Te
excavations revealed 18 very rare horse
burials dating to the early fth century
n.c. Tese burials remind us of Diodo-
rus account of the cavalry stratagem the
Greeks used against Iamilcar. Vere
these perhaps the mounts of the horse-
men who blued their way into the
Carthaginian camp.
At first the Carthaginian troops
fought hard, but as news of Iamilcars
death spread, they lost heart. Many were
cut down as they ed, while others found
refuge in a nearby stronghold only to
surrender due to lack of water. Diodo-
rus claims 150,000 Carthaginians were
killed, although the historian almost
certainly exaggerated this number to make the Greek victory
more impressive. Te Carthaginians soon sought peace. In
addition to surrendering their claim to Iimera, they paid
reparations of 2,000 talents, enough money to support an
army of 10,000 men for three years. Tey also agreed to build
two temples, one of which may be the Temple of Victory still
visible at Iimera today.
I
w rnv suv or 2009, Vassallo and his team con-
tinued excavating in Iimeras western necropolis. By
the end of the eld season, they had uncovered more
than 2,000 graves dating from the mid-sixth to the late fth
centuries n.c. Vhat most attracted Vassallos attention were
seven communal graves, dating to the early fth century n.c.,
containing at least 65 skeletons in total. Te dead, who were
interred in a respectful and orderly manner, were all males
over the age of 18.
At rst Vassallo thought he might have found victims of
an epidemic, but seeing that the bodies were all male and
that many displayed signs of violent trauma convinced him
otherwise. Given the date of the graves, Vassallo realized that
Archaeologist Stefano Vassallo (below) has been
excavating the site of ancient Himera for many years.
This soldiers remains (right) were found with a
spearblade still embedded in his left side.
Buried near the soldiers were the remains
of 18 horses that likely died during the
battle, including this one that still has a
bronze ring from its harness in its mouth.
www.archaeology.org 41
the men fell in hand-to-hand combat or in an exchange of
missiles, while advancing or in ight. Te arrowheads and
spearheads uncovered with the men can also provide other
important evidence. Ancient soldiers typically employed the
distinctive weapons of their home regions, so archaeologists
may be able to discover who killed the men buried at Himera
by studying the projectiles embedded in their remains.
Although they won the rst battle of Himera, the
Greeks would not have the upper hand forever. In 409 ..
Hamilcars grandson Hannibal returned to Himera, bent
on revenge. After a desperate siege the city was sacked and
destroyed forever. In the western necropolis, Vassallo has
discovered another mass grave, dating to the late fth century
.., which contains 59 burials. He believes these may be
the graves of the Himerans who fell
protecting their city against this later
Carthaginian assault.
Vassallo is careful to emphasize that
more study of the skeletal remains,
grave artifacts, and topography is
required before definitive conclu-
sions can be drawn. Nonetheless, it is
already clear that his recent discover-
ies will be of major importance for
understanding the history of ancient
Himera, the decisive battles that took
place there, and the lives and deaths
of the ordinary Greek soldiers who
fought to defend the city.
John W. I. Lee is a professor of
history at the University of California
at Santa Barbara. His research
specialty is classical Greek warfare.
Philip of Macedon defeated the Greeks in 338 ..had
been found. Tese graves were explored before the develop-
ment of modern archaeological and forensic techniques.
In contrast, Vassallos team worked with an on-site group
of anthropologists, architects, and conservators to docu-
ment, process, and study their discoveries. Tanks to their
careful methods, the Himera graves may represent the best
archaeological source yet found for classical Greek warfare.
Further analysis of Himeras battle dead promises to oer
much about the soldiers ages, health, and nutrition. It may
even be possible to identify the mens military specialties by
looking for bone abnormalities. Archers, for example, tend
to develop asymmetrical bone growths on their right shoul-
der joints and left elbows. Hoplites, the armored spearmen
who constituted the main infantry forces of Greek armies,
carried large round shields weighing up to 14 pounds on
their left arms. Te burden of carrying such a shield may
have left skeletal traces.
Studying Himeras dead is also
revealing the gruesome realities of
ancient warfare. Initial analysis shows
that some men suered impact trauma
to their skulls, while the bones of oth-
ers display evidence of sword cuts and
arrow strikes. In several cases, soldiers
were buried with iron spearheads
lodged in their bodies. One man still
carries the weapon that killed him
stuck between his vertebrae. Analysis
of the types and locations of these
injuries may help determine whether
Scholars analyzing the bones from
Himeras soldiers hope to learn
more about Greek warfare, such as
the extent of stress injuries caused
by carrying heavy bronze-covered
shields, as depicted on this black-
figure vase found at the site.
In addition to the soldiers graves, Vassallos team has
uncovered more than 2,000 burials dating from the sixth to
fifth century in Himeras massive necropolis.
O
w . swvirviwc Juwv owiwc, Jason De Leon shrugs o his pack
in a rugged gorge in Arizonas Coronado National Forest. Ie hunches
down over a scattering of water bottles, checking for dates, and asks
a student to take the sites GIS coordinates. Above his head, along
the rock face, travelers have transformed a small, secluded hollow into
a shrine lined with oerings: rosaries, crucixes, candles, scapulars,
and small pictures of saints, each bearing a printed prayer in Spanish. Take care of me
in dangerous places, reads one card. Irotect me from thieves and in evil times, entreats
another. Nearby, a small engraved plastic pendant oers a more direct prayer: Te other
side, Tucson, Arizona, 2010.
Te shrine, says De Leon, an archaeologist at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor,
is archaeological evidence of a large and nearly invisible migration. Over the past decade,
millions of migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and other Latin American countries have
risked their lives attempting to cross the waterless expanses of the Sonoran Desert to secretly
enter the United States. Te Department of Iomeland Security estimates that 10.8 million
illegal migrants were living in the U.S. in 2009. Although this is down from 11.6 million in
2008, these migrants are following a trend that has persisted throughout human history.
Ieople move to the place where they can make the best living possible. Last year alone, U.S.
Customs and Border Irotection authorities apprehended some 540,000 would-be migrants
along the Southwest border. Statistics gathered by the U.S. Border Iatrol and local coroners
o ces suggest that this migration route is growing more dangerous.
Already De Leons growing database is providing answers. By mapping and dating
migrant sites, his team has revealed a strong correlation between recent American govern-
ment policies and the increasing perils faced by migrants. As the Border Iatrol has stepped
up its surveillance along the Southwest border, migrants are crossing through ever more
isolated and dangerous terrain in hopes of avoiding capture. Its getting harder and harder
to cross all the time, says De Leon. Te migrants are having to walk longer and go into
more remote areas.
Understanding the process of making the journey across the border has been di cult
because researchers are unable to accompany the migrants on their trips. But two years ago,
De Leon decided to look at the issue in a new waythrough archaeology. Trekking remote
corners of what Border Iatrol o cials call the Tucson Sector (262 miles of border running
west from the New Mexico state line to the Yuma county line), De Leon and a small team
are now mapping and dating migrant sites, analyzing artifacts, and gathering detailed eth-
nographic data on the journey from those who were apprehended. Tere are just so many
myths about what is going on out there in the desert, says De Leon. Tis is a scientic
attempt to ground the process in reality, to get as complete a picture as possible.
Archaeologists not a liated with the project call De Leons work in the desert both
impressive and groundbreaking. Ie hasnt drawn a conclusion for which he now wishes
to gather data, says Fred Limp, an archaeologist at the University of Arkansas, Fayette-
ville, and president-elect of the Society for American Archaeology. Ies really trying to
understand this migration and the sites hes got.
In a shallow ravine just a few miles outside the small town of Arivaca in southern Ari-
zona, De Leon surveys a site his team has named Busters Vash. All along the ground, as
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 42
The Journey to
El Norte
How archaeologists
are documenting the
silent migration that is
transforming America
by Hnzrnnn Pnrworn
In a secluded part of the Arizona
wilderness, illegal immigrants
have made a shrine where they
pray for safety on their journey
into the United States. Among
the artifacts they leave behind
are prayer cards (above), which
honor the Virgin of Guadalupe
and Santo Toribio Romo, the
saint who watches over migrants.
m
r
e
i
2
I
C
a
o
m
m
u
i
44
they track in order to determine which trails are active, which
arent, and where water is most needed.
Te Samaritans bottles often end up in the migrant rest
sites, and therefore the bottles would tell archaeologists
where the migrants had been and when they had been there.
As De Leon walked some of the sites on that initial trip, he
spotted other important temporal cluesdated bus tick-
ets, deportation slips, time-stamped photographs. All this
information, he realized, would help an archaeological team
study changes in the migrants routes and behavior over time,
something no one had ever done before.

A
r Busrvs V.sn just outside Arivaca, the heat
pours down like molten metal. Mopping his brow
with a handkerchief, De Leon reaches for his water
bottle. As migrant sites go, Busters Vash is small enough
that De Leon asks the team to collect everything lying on
the grounda 100 percent sample that eectively erases
the site and goes against accepted archaeological protocols.
far as the eye can see, is a tangle of trash: water bottles, jeans,
T-shirts, photos, childrens toys, toothbrushes, pill packets,
hair-gel jars, andmore than any other itembackpacks.
Its one of thousands of such sites in the Southwest where
migrants led by human smugglers known as coyotes rested
on their journey northward. Most Arizona residents, says
De Leon, see these sites as garbage dumps.
But De Leon sees the trash heaps dierentlyas archaeo-
logical sites packed with data. So the 33-year-old archaeolo-
gist and his students are scouring the backcountry around
Arivaca, recording these sites and collecting artifacts before
local citizens clean them up.
D
v Lvow is rnv c.wnsow of an undocumented
Mexican migrant, but he rst became interested
in the archaeology of illegal immigration during
the 2007 excavation of an Olmec site in Mexico where he
was working as a graduate student. All the local workmen,
he explains, had either migrated at one point, or were get-
ting ready to migrate. So I began talking to them about the
things that had happened. Te workmens stories stuck
with De Leon. So he began looking around for a way to
study this migration.
Archaeologist friends had told him
about all the refuse in the Sonoran Desert.
Intrigued, De Leon contacted a local humani-
tarian group, Samaritan Iatrol, in Tucson,
and arranged to accompany volunteer Bob
Kee on a hike. Te migrants, Kee told him,
are never able to carry enough water to see
them through a crossing. So the Samaritans
and other groups leave bottled water along
high-tra c routes, hoping to save lives. Tey
also scrawl the date and GIS coordinates of
the drop site on the sides of the bottlesdata
Migrants stop at sites such as Busters Wash to change clothes
and discard any evidence of their illegal border crossings.
De Leons team maps the location of each
artifact left behind by migrants as they stop to
rest on their way to the U.S.
www.archaeology.org 45
be migrants. Ieople know that when they
try to cross the border, they are going to
get apprehended, she says.
Vhat De Leons research provides
is a nuanced picture of the migrants
response to this strategy. Before the
stepped-up border surveillance, most
migrants crossed through border cities
a relatively safe proposition. But after
2001, says De Leon, the U.S. govern-
ment greatly boosted the number of
Border Iatrol agents in the cities along
the Mexican border, eectively sealing
o the old urban routes. So migrants
began crossing, instead, through the
Sonoran Desert. And De Leon has
discovered a disturbing trend in his
data: the more recent the migrant site
is, the smaller and more remote it tends
to be. To evade detection by drones
and virtual fences, coyotes are leading
smaller parties through increasingly
isolated and dangerous terrain. Now these guys are scaling
rock clis, says De Leon. And it hasnt always been like that.
It used to be much easier.
Randall McGuire, a Binghamton University archaeologist
who has worked along the Southwest border since 1985, says
this data ts well with hundreds of conversations he has had
with returned migrants in northern Mexico. In 1985, says
McGuire, people had to walk just a few hours to get across
the border. In 2006, people were walking for three days
through the Sonoran Desert. Now, due to increased enforce-
ment, they are walking ve days. And theres just no physical
way to carry water enough for even a three-day trip.
Colleen Agle says that the Border Iatrol is doing
everything it can to assist migrants who fall into trouble
on these long treks. It has specially trained Border Iatrol
Search, Trauma, and Rescue teams for medical emergen-
cies in the desert and has placed them in every sector along
the Southwest border. Teir entire
mission is to go out and save people,
particularly during the hot summer
months, Agle says.
Increasingly, says De Leon, evi-
dence shows the ways in which the
migrants are adapting to the perils.
In sites dated to 2007, De Leon found
an abundance of high-heeled shoes,
blow-dryers, and other heavy, bulky
items, suggesting that the trekkers
had little idea of the type of journey
they were taking. But few of these
items are found at later sites. By 2009,
migrants were carrying little extra
weight and were dressing in more
suitable clothing, including hiking
My rationale for doing this, he says,
is if we dont take it, someone else
will, and it will go straight into the
trash. Ie is more selective, however,
at larger sites, taking only essential
data: clothing that indicates the gender
of migrants, new types of gear that reveal
shifting patterns in migrant behavior,
and backpacks that yield a rough count
of the number of migrants at a site.
I think one backpack equals one
person, De Leon says. Ie looks
around. Id say theres a couple
of thousand here.
Te site brims with telling
details about the journey. In
places strewn with empty
food tins and black plastic
sheets used for bedding,
people clearly slept for a
few hours and prepared
simple meals of tortillas and
refried beans. Iere you see a full range of things, says De
Leon, because its close to a road. At smaller sites next to
cattle tanks, they stopped briey to ll up their water bottles.
But at Busters Vash, he says, migrants changed out of dirty
travel clothes and into something clean. Tey combed and
xed their hair, brushed their teeth, and discarded torn and
stained packs that could mark them as migrants. Ten they
waited in the wash for someone to come pick them up and
drive them into Tucson.
S
iwcv rnv Svvrvnv 11 attacks in 2001, the Ameri-
can government has more than doubled its budget
for border protection and immigration enforcement,
from $7.5 billion to $17 billion, and tripled the number of
Border Iatrol agents. It has constructed nearly 150 miles
of steel fencing and concrete vehicle barriers along the
Mexican border, largely in urban areas, purchased drones for
aerial surveillance, and built a virtual
fencea string of towers bristling
with radar, thermal imaging, and
other sensor technologiesto detect
migrants moving along 28 miles of
the Arizona border. Veve got more
technology than ever before watching
the border, says Agent Colleen Agle, a
public information o cer in the Tuc-
son Sector of the Border Iatrol. And
in her view, the increased surveillance
has deterred large numbers of would-
The U.S. Border Patrol is increasing its
use of technology such as radar and
thermal imaging to apprehend people
crossing the border illegally.
Nearly everyone who makes an illegal border
crossing carries a backpack. De Leons team
counts them to estimate the number of people
who occupied the sites he studies.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011
more than a quarter of a century, Loureido and her husband,
Juan Francisco, have strung meager funds together to keep
the facility open. Its a modest operation, but the shelter is
immaculate, with clean bunks and bedding, scrubbed-out
toilets, and a hot meal for newly deported migrants, each of
whom is allowed to stay three days.
Tonight is relatively quiet, says Loureido. As a rule,
American authorities deport migrants to the nearest Mexi-
can border city. But during the summer, they y those they
catch to Mexico City, 1,000 miles to the south, as an addi-
tional deterrent to a future crossing attempt. Tonight, just
30 to 40 migrants have arrived at the shelter, a far cry from
the 250 or so who typically crowd into its beds. But its still
early, only 10 p.m., and American authorities have a habit of
deporting people in the early morning hours, a dangerous
time of day to drop o exhausted migrants in crime-ridden
Nogales. De Leon suspects that this is a deliberate strategy
one more deterrent to a future crossing.
Te migrants, who are unwilling to divulge their names to
a journalist, have varying reasons for undertaking the journey
to the United States. Some people do this for money, some
do it to buy a big car, says a small man with dark shadows
under his eyes and a rueful smile. But I have a large family to
support in Mexico and thats a burden I will have to carry all
my life. To make more money for his family,
he explains, he followed a sister to Visconsin
where she had opened a small restaurant.
Living there quietly, he managed to escape
detection until he was apprehended on a
driving charge and subsequently deported.
Last week, he says, he attempted to cross
the desert, an experience he found terrifying.
Unless youve tried to do it, he says grimly,
youll never know what its like out there.
But I have to try again. I have three kids in
the United States.
boots and camouage gear. Moreover,
many were dispensing with clear plastic
water bottles that could reect the head-
lights of Border Iatrol trucks. A year or
so ago, they began carrying a new type
of plastic water bottle manufactured in
Mexico: its solid black, to help them hide
at night.
For De Leon, the artifacts clearly reveal
how migrants and their Mexican suppliers
are constantly adapting to the harsh new
realities of the journey to El Norte. I think everyone knows
that this is going to be a really bad experience, he says. But
a lot of people are wondering, Iow can I be smarter during
the whole process.
Te whole notion of regarding and classifying water
bottles and blow dryers as archaeological artifacts can initially
seem like something of a stretch. But, in fact, the evidence
of mass migrations, in more traditional terms, can reside in
the artifacts that are brought along and shared. Te clash
and blending of cultures is often documented by nding the
blending of artifact stylesfrom that of the local inhabit-
ants and that of the migratory population. To document
this current migration we need to look at artifacts from our
own time.
V
niiv Dv Lvows wo in the Sonoran Desert
exposes the deadly consequences of sealing o
the old urban migration routes, it does not reveal
much about the experiences of individual migrants. To record
these experiences, De Leon has been traveling to the Mexi-
can border town of Nogales to interview newly returned
deportees. On a quiet summer evening there, he chats with
Iilda Irene Loureido, one of the founders of Albergue San
Juan Bosco, a former church turned migrant shelter. For
White water bottles are easily seen at night,
so migrants often put covers on them. Some
bottlers have begun manufacturing black
bottles to appeal to migrants.
Outfitting migrants for their journeys through
the desert has become a booming business in
towns on the Mexican side of the border.
www.archaeology.org 47
jobs much harder to nd north of the border and probably
given many would-be migrants pause. According to the
Department of Iomeland Security, a combination of the
declining economy and tougher enforcement eorts has
caused the number of illegal migrants apprehended by the
Border Iatrol to drop from 1,189,000 in 2005 to 724,000
in 2008. But even so, the prospect of a new life in the United
States remains attractive. It goes beyond the wages they
can earn [here], says Topel. Tey can probably get decent
educations for their kids. Tey get access to health care, and
even just with emergency rooms, its probably much better
than what they can get back home in a poverty-stricken
Mexican village.
For those who have studied earlier waves of migration
to the United States, the situation sounds all too familiar.
Stephen Brighton, an archaeologist at the University of
Maryland, College Iark, has been examining the massive
nineteenth-century Irish migration to the United States.
Between 1845 and 1850, explains Brighton, blighted
crops of potatoes left tenant farmers with few options except
selling o their livestock to support their families. Vith
no livestock, the farmers ended up destitute and facing a
choice between starving in Ireland or migrating to America.
Most of the Irish who landed on American shores at that
time were desperately poor and uneducatedmuch like
the Mexican migrants of today. Tere are a lot of parallels,
says Brighton.
But as these Irish immigrants sank roots in American
society, their descendants prospered and became part of
the essential fabric of American life. De Leon thinks the
very same thing will happen to the undocumented Mexican
migrants of today. At some point, Mexican-Americans will
want to say to their children, this is what I went through.
Tis is how I got here, he says. And when that day nally
comes, the backpacks, the clothing, the childrens toys col-
lected from Busters Vash, will preserve this shadowy history
of migration, reminding the future of what has been.
Heather Pringle is a contributing editor at
Acn.voiocv.
First-time migrants, says De Leon, often make arrange-
ments ahead of time with known coyotes in their home vil-
lages in Mexico and Central America, paying thousands of
dollars for a crossing. But those who have been apprehended
and deported sometimes head back out on their own or hire
cut-rate smugglers operating out of Mexican border towns.
Te migrants making the journey again prepare as best they
can, shopping in Nogaless small street kiosks lined with spe-
cialized gearcamouage packs, dark clothing, and bottles
of Electrolt, the Mexican equivalent to Gatorade.
Some migrants barely make it out of the border towns
before criminals known as bajadores descend on them,
demanding their money and often physically and sexually
assaulting them. Tey lined us up and had us ll a plastic
bag with all of our valuables, one migrant told De Leon.
Tey had cuernos de chivos (literally translated as goats
horns, an expression meaning machine guns). It was clear
the coyote knew this was going to happen. For others, the
most harrowing ordeal begins farther north. Te coyotes
insist that migrants move as quickly as possible, and to
keep their exhausted charges on the march, they hand out
ephedrine-based pills. Te drug boosts the metabolism
and heart rates of the slowest walkers, but the end result is
dehydration, prompting migrants to empty the water bottles
they are carrying.
For the lucky ones who make it through the desert, how-
ever, there is little freedom from worry. Te Border Iatrol
has a large and visible presence in most Southwest cities. If
you ask the migrants where they are going, its never Tucson
or Los Angeles, says De Leon. Its always Eugene, Oregon;
Spokane, Vashington; or Sheboygan, Visconsin. Tere,
many gravitate to jobs in rendering plants and other undesir-
able work in the food processing industry that pays $11 to
$14 dollars an hour.
Te hope of nding employment remains a powerful
incentive for migration, particularly among rural Mexicans
whose family incomes have been devastated in recent years
by forces beyond their control. In 1994, Mexico entered into
the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United
States and Canada. Te treaty permitted American farmers
to ship cheap, federally subsidized corn and wheat into the
Mexican market.
All this has left rural Mexicans poorer than ever. Many of
their homes fail to meet even minimum standards of sanita-
tion, according to statistics compiled by the Vorld Bank and
other nongovernmental organizations, and their children
spend fewer than four years in school. Many young Latin
Americans feel as if they have little to lose by attempting to
migrate to the United States.
Te nancial downturn that began in 2007, says Robert
Topel, an economist at the University of Chicago, has made
Migrants who are caught by the U.S. Border Patrol
are sometimes deported in the early morning hours
and dropped off in border towns such as Nogales.
Migrant safe houses have sprung up there.
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A
cnirvcru.i nisroi.w
Enw.n Cn.vvvii moves
slowly through the empty
attic of the Charlton Coeehouse,
inspecting thick wooden rafters and
admiring modern workmanship that
draws on techniques and traditions
that go back more than 250 years. Te
wood-frame house is one of some 500
reconstructed eighteenth-century
buildings in the historic district of
Colonial Villiamsburg, the seat of
Virginias government from 1699 to
1780, and now famous for the his-
torical reenactments that have drawn
generations of road-tripping families.
As director of architectural and
archaeological research at Villiams-
burg, Chappell oversaw the recon-
struction of the Coeehouse, which
was torn down in the late nineteenth
century. It is the rst major structure
to be rebuilt on the districts main
Duke of Gloucester Street in 50
years, and went up in an era of new
delity to historical accuracy. Inten-
www.archaeology.org 49
sive archaeological and architectural
investigations began at the site in
1996 and produced an extraordinary
amount of data about the structure,
in large part thanks to modern tech-
niques like the use of microscopy to
reveal the smallest of details.
T
nv nu or rnv cown of
tourists outside waiting their
turn to enter the house is
just barely audible in the attic, a war-
ren of small rooms that wont be
This Old Colonial Coffeehouse
Reconstructing a long-lost eighteenth-century building in Williamsburg
by E A. P
LETTER FROM VIRGINIA
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 50
where politically active Virginians
gathered to engage in caeine-
fueled conversation and debate.
Coeehouses were extremely popular
in England at the time as gathering
places for men of all social ranks
(about 2,000 were in business in
London during the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries). But Charlton
seems to have catered to an upper-
class crowd. Both Tomas Jeerson
and George Vashington record visits
to a Villiamsburg coeehouse in the
1760s, and it seems likely this was
the establishment they patronized.
Te Coeehouses big moment,
however, came when it served as
the scene for the colonys most vivid
demonstration of resistance to taxa-
tion without representation. In 1765,
the British Crown levied a direct tax
on printed materials in the colonies.
Te so-called Stamp Act required
that these materials, from attorneys
licenses to pamphlets, be produced
on o cial stamped paper, which was
much more expensive than untaxed
paper. Te act met with outrage, and
distributors of the stamps in the col-
onies were not greeted warmly. Vir-
ginias Lieutenant Governor Francis
Fauquier wrote that on October 30,
1765, an angry crowd chased Virgin-
ia stamp distributor George Mercer
down Duke of Gloucester Street,
To the Coee house, in the porch of
which I had seated my self with many
of the Council and the Speaker who had
posted him self between the Crowd and
my self. After some little time, a Cry
was heard let us rush in upon this we,
ready for visitors any
time soon. Its a kind
of ghostly space, and
the level of the build-
ing historians know
the least about.
Archaeologists and historians have
been able to discover a great deal
about the Coffeehouses genteel first
floor, where in the 1760s proprietor
Richard Charlton served his guests
coffee, tea, chocolate, and a rich array
of food amid furnishings aimed at
creating as refined an atmosphere as
possible this far from London.
Te dense archaeological deposits
around the building also allow them
to reimagine the world of the cellar,
where slaves and possibly Native
Americans would have spent hours
cooking for Charltons clients. But its
hard to say what happened here in
the cramped quarters of the attic. Its
possible Charlton let rooms out here
to travelers or longer-term guests, or
perhaps to representatives who came
to the capital for legislative sessions.
Vere on the margins of gentility up
here, Chappell says in a soft Virginia
drawl as he descends a winding stair-
case to the richly appointed world of
the Coeehouse below.
S
irriwc .novv . s.ii
.viwv just a few yards
from the capitol, the building
that eventually became Charltons
Coeehouse was rst described in
a 1750 deed as a Store house. In
1755, records indicate a merchant
named John Mitchelson was
using it as a shop, possibly selling
furniture. By 1765, a recently arrived
immigrant from northern England,
Richard Charlton, a wigmaker by
trade, had transformed the building
into a bustling coeehouse, a place
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Architectural historians
Edward Chappell (right)
and Matthew Webster
examine bricks dating
to 1750 that were
reused in the house
built at the site of the
Coffeehouse in 1890.
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ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 52
C
n.vvvii squvvzvs ni-
svir .c.iwsr . w.ii on the
rst oor of the Coeehouse
to allow a swarm of tourists to follow
an interpreter from the elegant front
parlors into the sparer back rooms.
Once the crowd is gone, he explains
that after the Amistead Iouse was
moved, investigation of the Cof-
feehouse focused on two fronts,
archaeological and architectural.
It turned out that the original
building had not been so much
demolished as deconstructed and
recycled. Vooden elements like
rafters, doors, and shutters were
either used in the Amistead Iouse,
or taken to the basement for stor-
age. Recyclers and packrats are
very helpful to us, says Chappell.
Te parts they salvaged and saved
turned our job into a giant puzzle.
Dendrochronological analysis shows
the oldest wood was cut during
the winter of 174950, conrming
the date of the buildings original
construction. Much of the original
brick foundation also survived,
while other bricks were recycled to
construct walls and a new chimney.
Te team used microscopic analy-
sis to discover starch paste or glue
between layers of paint in a surviving
original section of the structure. Te
glue suggests the Coeehouse was
wallpapered. Ved rather nd the
paper, says Chappell, but nding
this glue in an almost archaeological
context makes it pretty likely they
used wallpaper to enhance the status
of the space during the period the
building was a coeehouse. Now
richly textured wallpaper created
with eighteenth-century techniques
decorates some of the rooms on the
main oor.
Te architectural details hidden
in the Armistead Iouse greatly
aided the actual physical reconstruc-
tion of the Coeehouse (which
nally happened in 2009 as a result
of a donation from the Mars Foun-
dation). Tese elements made it
clear that the structure was a one-
and-a-half-story frame building with
that were at the Top of the Steps know-
ing the advantage our Situation gave
us to repell those who should attempt
to mount them, advanced to the Edge
of the Steps. Te Crowd did not yet
disperse, it was growing dark and I did
not think it safe to leave Mr. Mercer
behind me. We accordingly walked
side by side through the thickest of the
people who did not molest us; tho there
was some little murmurs.
Its a scene that begs to be reen-
acted and one that had repercus-
sions throughout Villiamsburg
society. Te Coeehouse is known
to have been the site of violent
political quarrels after this incident,
some involving members of the Mer-
cer family, who fought with those
who questioned their patriotism.
As a place that catered to politically
engaged Virginians unburdened by
the expectations of proper behavior
that existed in the capitol, churches,
and other o cial buildings, its pos-
sible the Coeehouse was a place
where discord and ungentlemanly
behavior may have been frequent,
despite Charltons best eorts to cre-
ate a sophisticated environment.
By 1770s, the Coeehouse had
been sold and was once again a store.
Te capital moved to Richmond in
1781, and Villiamsburg entered
a long period of slow decline that
saw it transformed from an impor-
tant political center to an obscure
county seat. In 1890, the former
Coeehouse, now dilapidated,
was demolished to make way for
a Victorian home, known as the
Armistead Iouse after its owner.
Tat building was still standing in
the 1920s when John D. Rockefeller
began to purchase property in Vil-
liamsburg with the aim of protect-
ing the town and transforming the
historic district into a destination
for heritage-minded tourists. Today,
Colonial Villiamsburg is maintained
by a private foundation that seeks
to preserve the town as it was in the
mid-eighteenth century, when the
Coeehouse would have been one
of the capitals most active gathering
places. Over the years, the founda-
tion has also developed a robust
program in historical archaeology,
thanks in large part to the leadership
of pioneering British archaeologist
Ivor Nol Iume, who began work in
Villiamsburg in the 1950s.
Vhen the Amistead Iouse was
moved to a new location in 1996,
the Coeehouse became the latest
site on the foundations 301 acres to
receive the kind of detailed, years-
long archaeological attention that
has become the rule since Iumes
excavations made Colonial Vil-
liamsburg the countrys premiere
laboratory for historical archaeology.
Actors at Colonial Williamsburg reenact a moment from 1765 when an angry mob
pursued a government agent to the porch of the Coffeehouse.
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ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 54
Large amounts of the unglazed, plain
earthenware known as colonoware
were also found in the trash. And yet
there is also evidence for at least one
fancy glass pyramid used for serving
desserts. I think the artifacts suggest
a person who is piecing together a
genteel environment for customers,
but with a real concern for cost, says
Chappell. Its an interesting look at
the balancing act of the economy of
genteel trade.
In addition to the
ceramics, archae-
ologists recovered
copious numbers
of wine bottles,
and some 30,000
animal bones that
were deposited
during the period
Charlton operated
the Coeehouse.
Joanne Bowen, Wil-
liamsburgs zooarchaeolo-
gist, found that the bones showed the
guests at the Coeehouse were eating
meals that reected their elite status.
She discovered that there was more
variety of sh, birds, and mammals
at the Coeehouse than at any other
elite site in Williamsburg at the time,
and that the clients consumed mut-
ton and lamb, which were relatively
rare, as well as calf s head, an elite
dish that seems to have been a house
favorite. Most intriguingly, Bowen
identied a peacock ulna and femur
among the bones. Te femur seemed
to have been butchered, which sug-
gests the peacock was cooked for
some prosperous Coeehouse guest.
high-style nishes,
but archaeology
was also able to ll
in some details.
As Chappell
exits the building
by the front door he takes a moment
to point out the dimensions of the
eight-foot-deep porch made famous
by the Stamp Act protest. We know
its size because excavations revealed
the porchs brick footings, he says.
Tey also found an ash shadow in
the front of the house that was cre-
ated over the years as soot was swept
o the porch into the front yard.
Tis layer of soot allowed the archi-
tects to piece together the porchs
dimensions.
But archaeology may
have come in most
handy by showing
how Charlton furnished
his coeehouse. Luckily for research-
ers, Charlton left plenty of evidence
for this by keeping an enormous
trash dump in the backyard that
extended 40 feet from the rear of the
house. Of the some 70,000 artifacts
originally excavated from this mid-
den, Chappell thinks a large number
of ceramics were the most important.
Te evidence from sherds shows
that Charltons customers probably
drank mostly tea, and that he was
not using high-status serving pieces
that were in vogue at the time. He
was using relatively old-fashioned
ceramics, says Chapell, like blue-
and-white dishes known as delftware.
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A room in the
Coffeehouse is
decorated with
wallpaper, evidence
of which was
discovered between
paint layers from the
original building.
Blue-and-white
tin-glazed
ceramics known
as delftware were
found in the trash
heap behind the
Coffeehouse.
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ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 56


glamour of the Coeehouse, the
people who were the establishments
backbone, is missing for now.
R
vcvwr vc.v.riows
in the ravine next to
the Coeehouse led by
Villiamsburg archaeologist Mark
Kostro have revealed a rich array of
mid-eighteenth century artifacts,
including rare examples of Spanish
olive jars. Te collection is still
being studied in the lab and there
are plans to continue excavating in
the back of the Coeehouse in the
near future, especially along the
western boundary, to investigate
how Charlton maintained his
property line.
Now that the reconstruction is
completed the Coeehouse is being
visited by hundreds of tourists a day,
but archaeologists are still trying to
ll in the blanks about the landscape
surrounding the building. Tis focus
on the context of colonial lives is
characteristic of the approach of
modern architects and archaeolo-
gists at Villiamsburg, who are now
busy aiding the reconstruction of the
colonial Armoury, a block west of
the Coeehouse.
Te pace of reconstruction at
Colonial Villiamsburg is much
slower than it was in the early days.
It has been more selective and
more tightly linked to good archae-
ology since 1980, says Chappell.
As the Coeehouse shows, careful
archaeological work and architec-
tural research means even the most
casual visitors today have a chance
to experience the past in increasingly
vivid detail, right down to the wall-
paper. Our predecessors would have
scraped through paint on wood-
work, and would never have found
the evidence for glue and wallpaper,
says Chappell. Vere able to use
microscopes and discover evidence
for things that would have been
missed only a generation ago.
Eric A. Powell is deputy editor
at Acn.voiocv.
In eighteenth-century Virginia, pea-
cock would have been considered
the height of ne cuisine.
Other nds oer tantalizing hints
of how gentlemen may have amused
themselves at the Coeehouse
beyond reading newspapers and
debating the ner points of Virginia
politics. In the midden, archaeolo-
gists recovered a human nger with
a copper wire though it, as well as
several human vertebrae with marks
that could be dissection traces. Tis
suggests that a human skeleton
might have been on display at the
Coeehouse at some point, per-
haps used as a visual aid for a lec-
ture, which were popular among
the upper class at the time.
Among the artifacts in the back-
yard was a small furnace and 17
crucibles containing traces of silver,
gold, and copper, which suggests the
presence of someone who assessed
the metal content of coins. Finally, a
large number of wig curlers means
that Richard Charlton likely never
entirely retired from the wigmaking
game, and perhaps ran a wig busi-
ness out of the back of the Coee-
house to supplement his income.
T
o vwrv rnv cvii.,
Chappell walks down a
steep grade in back of the
building that would have been a
topographical nightmare for the
owners. Construction of the build-
ing that became the Coeehouse
caused massive erosion of soil into
the nearby ravine. Excavations have
shown that the owners erected a
retaining wall in an attempt to con-
trol the runo.
Before entering the cellar, Chap-
pell points out its casement win-
dows, which have diamond-shaped
panes of glass held in place with lead
frames. Tese frames date to the
1750s, and were recovered during
the course of excavations, he says,
shaking his head at the improbable
level of detail.
Excavations showed that the ceil-
ing of the cellar was well over six feet
tall during the Coeehouse period,
enough room for it to be a viable liv-
ing and work space in the eighteenth
century. Te main oor is like the
stage, says Chapelle as he examines
the reconstructed cellars replace.
It represents gentility for rent or
sale. Tis is the backstage, where
servants and slaves would have made
coee and done the work to keep
the business going, and where they
would probably have lived. After the
Revolution, working areas and living
quarters became separate, but before
then, servants and slaves usually
lived where they worked.
Tough unmistakably direct evi-
dence of life in the Coeehouses cel-
lar is not plentiful, its likely the ser-
vants or slaves who labored here ate
o some of the colonoware found in
the midden. Excavation also revealed
a partition that separated the cellar
into multiple rooms.
Sometime in the future, Chappell
would like to see an in-depth plan
for interpretation of the cellar devel-
oped. Visitors are now allowed into
the space on a limited basis, mainly
to cope with overow from the main
oor of the Coeehouse. And Vil-
liamsburgs curators have outtted
the basement with period kitchen
equipment, so it has a distinct
eighteenth-century feel. But a sense
of what life was like for those who
worked here beneath the provincial
m
in
ol
be
ar
th
n
w
ho
pr
co
vis
bu
l
su
e
Nearly 50 wig curlers were found in the
deposits behind the Coffeehouse.
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U
nder the new rule, institu-
tions that receive federal
money must try to link the
CUI in their collections with tribes
whose ancestors lived where the arti-
facts were found, with the ultimate
intention of turning them over. Any
tribe whose historic territory passes
the test can claim ownership, even
without the sort of demonstrable
cultural connection the original law
required.
Few people dispute the new rule
streamlines the CUI repatriation
process. About 9,000 CUI had
already been a liated or repatriated
before the ruling, but that required
82 separate agreements between
tribes and museums, each individually
approved by the Secretary of the
Interior. Te whole process could take
up to a year or two. Now the process
for CUI is the same as it has always
been under NAGPRA for a liated
remains: after reaching an agreement
with a tribe, researchers publish a
notice in the Federal Register, wait 30
days for any counterclaims, and then
are free to hand them over.
Among scientists, the most vocal
response to the rule came in a num-
ber of letters to the Secretary of the
Interior signed by members of the
National Academy of Sciences, the
Society for American Archaeology,
the American Association of Muse-
ums, and other major institutions.
Among other things, the letters call
the rule a tragic choice that favors
speed and e ciencyat the expense
of accuracy and will result in an
incalculable loss to science.
ing the remains of individuals even if
they could not be personally identi-
ed. At a minimum, institutions and
tribal communities sat down together
to determine the nal disposition of
the thousands of artifacts and remains
covered by the law.
By 2009, museums and federal
agencies had a liated and/or
returned the remains of roughly
40,000 individuals and a million
funerary objects. It was a start,
but a slow one, in part because
the process was still driven almost
entirely by the collection-holders,
who have the nal say in questions
of cultural a liation as long as they
consult with tribes and follow the
correct procedures. (A liation is
established by a preponderance of
evidence including geographical,
biological, and anthropological
data and kinship, folklore and oral
history.) Tribes can take disputes
to a review committee established
under the law, but it has no
enforcement authority.
James Riding In, a professor of
American Indian studies at Arizona
State University and a NAGPRA
consultant for the Pawnee Nation and
other tribes, says leaving museums
and agencies at the wheel was one of
the fatal aws of NAGPRA. In 20
years, only a quarter of all the human
remains have been culturally a liated
or repatriated. To me thats a very
dismal record.
Now, with the 2010 amendment
in play, the even bigger question is
the fate of the 115,000 culturally
unidentiable human remains (CUI)
that havent been connected with a
particular group under NAGPRAs
detailed guidelines. In March, after
years of consultation with museums,
tribes, and the review committee,
and multiple drafts and rounds
of comments, the Department of
the Interior (DOI) published the
controversial nal rule.
Te new ruling is reopening all
the old wounds that were beginning
to heal, says anthropologist John
OShea of the University of Michigan,
a former NAGPRA coordinator. It
has undone a lot of good.
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011
(Continued from page 16)
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Te concern is that shifting a large
fraction of CUI to tribes, who will
likely rebury them, could mean losing
an enormous amount of untapped
data held in the bones and artifacts,
especially as new research techniques
are developed. Since NAGPRAs
passage, techniques such as DNA
and stable isotope analysis have come
into widespread use, oering radically
new ways to study prehistoric peoples.
Tribes have also used scientic data
from remains to establish land claims,
ght for water or hunting rights,
protect sacred sites, and petition
for federal recognitionand thus
NAGPRA protection. One letter
signed by 41 members of the National
Academy of Sciences warned that as a
result of the new rule North Americas
indigenous cultures could become
one of the worlds least known and
least understood populations, while
others around the world continue to
yield more and more information.
Steponaitis maintains that the new
amendment goes far beyond what
Congress authorized the DOI to do
under NAGPRA. Issuing a rule on
such thin legal ice is an invitation to
litigation, he says, pointing out that
one of the worst things to happen
under NAGPRA was the legal
ght over Kennewick Man. Te
9,200-year-old skeleton, called Te
Ancient One by native groups, was
discovered in Washington State in
1996. At issue was whether scientists
or Native Americans could take
possession of his remains. Scientists
won the right to study the remains,
but sacriced plenty of good will in
the process. Litigation brings out the
worst in everyone, Steponaitis says.
Since tribes no longer have to show
a cultural link to the unidentied
remains, but instead a less precise
geographical relationship, anybody
can potentially make a claim, says
OShea. He maintains this puts
universities and other collection-
holders in the awkward position of
having to decide which of multiple
claims is most validand exposes
them to new legal risks. Its returning
us to the pre-NAGPRA days, with
everyone distrusting everyone else.
Once remains are a liated and
reburied, he says, they might as well
never have existed. Its like destroying
the evidence in a cold-case crime.
Even though the rule applies
only to remains found on current or
historical tribal territory, says Keith
Kintigh of Arizona State University,
its denition of aboriginal land is so
drastically expanded over the original
laws that it eectively applies to
all culturally unidentiable human
remains in museums. Tis could
mean soaring consultation and
inventory costs in an already strained
economy.
Fundamentally, says Steponaitis,
the rule could destroy the delicate
balance Congress designed into the
original law. It represents a purely
tribal point of view and tilts the play-
ing eld so much that the outcome
is essentially foreordained. No real
negotiation is possible.
Kintigh puts it more bluntly: Te
goal of the rule is to empty museums
of human remains. It is illegal, and it
is a disaster.
A
mong Native Americans, both
scientists and non-scientists,
the debate isnt about the
rules legitimacy, but how overdue it
was and how much further it should
have gone. It does streamline things,
says Indiana Universitys Sonya
Atalay, a member of the Ojibwe tribe.
She believes it should encourage
future collaboration, assuming people
take the opportunity.
Atalay acknowledges it will mean
more work for museums that arent
currently in compliance with the law,
whether due to a lack of motivation
or funding or, in some cases, the active
desire to subvert the NAGPRA
process through the CUI loophole.
On the other hand, some institutions
were already proactively engaged in
inventorying and repatriating CUI.
As for fears of a wild scramble of
claims, she says, Its not as if native
communities want to bring back any
remains out there that have nothing
to do with them.
At the heart of the matter may
well be the elementally dierent
perspectives on kinship held
by archaeologists and Native
Americans. While European cultures
tend to feel strongly only about
the remains of recent generations,
says Atalay, to Native Americans it
doesnt matter how old the remains
are. We have the responsibility to
care for all of our ancestors. Where
would we draw the line?
Another area in which these
dierent attitudes clash is the
rules handling of funerary objects
associated with CUI. It recommends
transferring control of grave
goods to tribes along with human
remains, but doesnt require it.
Tis is a gaping hole, says Atalay.
Whats missing is the cultural
understanding of how important
those items are and that they remain
with individuals. Tey were buried
with those items for a reason.
Riding In calls the separation of
funerary objects from bodies nothing
less than a human rights violation.
Its very troubling. Scientists
have a vested interest in retaining
control of artifacts for study. Some
archaeologists have a missionary
attitude, he says. Teyre hoping to
convince Indians they need to open
their graves for study. If Indians accept
that, its another form of cultural
erosion, a step toward total cultural
assimilation. Even the terminology
can be a form of colonialism. Tese
arent archaeological sitestheyre
Indian burial sites.
Were already seeing some
resistance about returning associated
funeral objects, Atalay says. We
hate to see tribes put in the position
Among Native
Americans,
both scientists and
non-scientists, the
debate isnt about the
rules legitimacy, but
how much further it
should have gone.
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I
n spite of these tensions,
some academics are guardedly
optimistic about NAGPRAs
future in light of the new rule. Its
not perfect by anyones standards, but
all in all, yes, it has improved things,
says Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh,
a NAGPRA officer at the Denver
Museum of Nature and Science.
Museums are now compelled to
address the issue of CUI that many
have ignored for two decades, and
more than 60 institutions have
already begun the process. In 2009,
the Denver Museum of Nature
and Science held video conferences
with 27 tribes across the country to
discuss the disposition of CUI. The
year before, the Museum of Cultural
and Natural History at Central
Michigan University started talks to
repatriate the remains of 144 Saginaw
Chippewa ancestors.
Some tribes may still permit
research on repatriated remains, says
Colwell-Chanthaphonh. But even
ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 62
thats not necessarily a bad thing.
Good science is always open to new
ideas, to being questioned. Incorpo-
rating Native American viewpoints in
the study of material culture means
not just more ethical and respectful
science, but better science. He points
to work at On Your Knees Cave in
southeastern Alaska as perhaps the
best example of this kind of coopera-
tion. When 10,000-year-old remains
were found there in the mid-1990s,
archaeologists chose to work closely
with local Tlingit groups, consulting
with them throughout the project.
Native American interns excavated
at the site, and the Tlingit not only
shared oral history with the research-
ers, but even donated DNA so
archaeologists could study the rela-
tionship between the remains and the
contemporary tribe. As a result of this
kind of close collaboration, says Col-
well-Chanthaphonh, scientists had
a much more intricate and complex
story to tell.
Julian Smith is a contributing editor
to Ancnznoroov.
though many will be reburied without
study, the loss of scientic data needs
to be kept in perspective. Human
interest in science is limitedas
it should beby other human
interests. He reasons that critics
might do well to ask how taking
20 years to a liate just a quarter
of the remains in collections is a
balanced approach, or how allowing
researchers to dene how and why
the remains are useful to society is
evenhanded.
Wendy Teeter of the Fowler
Museum at UCLA agrees that
the issue goes far beyond facts and
gures. In the U.S., we give a decent
burial to the pauper who dies on the
sidewalk in front of the 7-Eleven.
Even people who donate their bodies
to science are cremated. Its not fair
to treat ancient Native Americans
dierently, she says. Teyre still
people. Compared to other academic
disciplines with strict review boards,
archaeology has been given a free
rein, as if it doesnt aect people.
One thing is clear: theres no quick
x. Colwell-Chanthaphonh thinks
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Photo Credits
COVERSamir S. Patel; 1Pasquale
Sorrentino; 2Courtesy Quirino Olivera
Nez/Asociacin Amigos del Museo de Sipn,
Michael Wells, Samir S. Patel; 8Courtesy
Patricia Crown, from the collections of the
American Museum of Natural History,
photograph by Marianne Tyndall; 9Christies
Images Ltd. 2010, Courtesy Daniel Pett,
Portable Antiquities Scheme; 10Courtesy
Hebrew University, Flickr; 11 Luke Torris
Photography; 12Courtesy David Grant
Noble, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las
Artes-Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e
Historia-Mexico-Javier Hinojosa;13 Richard
Hewitt Stewart/National Geographic Stock;
14-15Mexico: Courtesy INAH, Scotland:
Courtesy Trustees of the National Museums of
Scotland, Britain: Courtesy Vindolanda Trust,
Israel: Courtesy Natalie Munro, University of
Connecticut, Photo by Naftali Hilger, Palau:
Courtesy Scott Fitzpatrick, North Carolina
State University, Peru: Courtesy Maria Anna
Pabst, Medical University of Graz, Switzerland:
Courtesy City of Zrich, Office of Urbanism;
Italy: Courtesy Instituto Italiano di Preistoria
e Protostoria, India: Courtesy Metin Eren,
Southern Methodist University, and Christina
Neudorf, University of Wollongong; Papua
New Guinea: Courtesy Andrew Fairbairn,
University of Queensland; 16 Bettmann/
Corbis; 18Andrew Lawler; 19Andrew
Lawler; 20Andrew Lawler; 21Andrew
Lawler; 22Courtesy DAFA/Afghan Institute
of Archaeology; 23Courtesy DAFA/Afghan
Institute of Archaeology; 25AP Photos/
Durmus Genc, Anatolian, Scala/Art Resource;
26Courtesy Thomas Strasser (2), Courtesy
Brown University, Photo by Arturo Godoy;
27Courtesy Quirino Olivera Nez/
Asociacin Amigos del Museo de Sipn,
Copyright Royal Geographic Society/London/
The Bridgeman Art Library International,
Courtesy Parks Canada; 28John Franois
Podevin, Flickr; 29Courtesy Houston
Museum of Natural Science, Yohannes Haile-
Selassie, Liz Russell, Cleveland Museum of
Natural History, Used by permission from
the Proceedings of the National Academy
of Sciences, Courtesy Preservation Virginia,
photo by Michael Lavin, Courtesy Preservation
Virginia; 30Courtesy Marvin Rowe, Courtesy
NASA; 31Underwater: Courtesy NOAA,
Iraq: Courtesy Diane Siebrandt, California:
Richard Hewitt Stewart/National Geographic
Society, Turkey: Butent Kilic/AFP/Getty
Images, Egypt: Flickr; 32-37Samir S. Patel;
38-39Courtesy Soprintendenza Archeologica
di Palermo; 40Pasquale Sorrentino (2),
Courtesy Soprintendenza Archeologica di
Palermo, Pasquale Sorrentino; 42Michael
Wells (3); 43Michael Wells; 44Courtesy
Robert Kee, Michael Wells; 45Courtesy
Courtesy Jason de Leon, Michael Wells;
46Courtesy Courtesy Jason de Leon, Michael
Wells; 47Michael Wells; 49-56Courtesy
Colonial Williamsburg; 68Samir S. Patel;
72Courtesy Qinghua Guo, author, The
Mingqi Pottery Buildings of Han Dynasty China
(206BCAD220): Architectural Representations
and Represented Architecture. Sussex Academic
Press, 2010.
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ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011 68
exchange, says Sue OConnor, an
archaeologist from Australian Nation-
al University who is overseeing Guses
doctoral research at Anuru Bay. For
gods sake, if we didnt have the rock
art, we wouldnt have a clue, really.
Te history of Australia, as most
Australians know it, is a European one.
But the rock art of Arnhem Land is an
alternate history that puts to rest the
idea that Aboriginal culture was iso-
lated and static. Well before the English
arrived, they were interacting regularly
with Macassans, tangentially participat-
ing in a global trade network through
Indonesia and into China. Taon
expects to nd more solid evidence of
pre-Macassan contact between Aborig-
ines and other seafarers in the region
going back thousands of years.
In some ways, this history is still
being recorded, though nothing has
been painted at Djulirri for decades.
Te arrival of Europeans ended the
seminomadic indigenous lifestyle that
had been in place for generations.
Rock art was no longer easily prac-
ticed, so the art became exclusively
portable, drifting toward a tradition of
painting on bark that itself goes back
thousands of years. Aboriginal paint-
ings, in recognizably traditional forms
(many young artists visit rock art sites
for inspiration), hang in tourist shops,
galleries, homes, and museums across
the country. Tey dont serve the same
role as the rock art, but they do main-
tain a cultural tradition and provide
an Aboriginal narrative of a world still
in ux. Several of the Lamilami sons
are painters.
If you keep this in the back of
your mind, you can know what your
ancestors knew, saw, and did. But if
you lose this connection, says Lami-
lami, who knows from experience,
you sort of lose the plot.
Samir S. Patel is a senior editor
at Ancnznoroov.
lines of stone replaces and white
ash. Where Macknight looked at the
interaction from the Macassan point
of view, Guse is approaching it from
the Aboriginal perspective. Hed like
to sort out when and how the Macas-
san presence inuenced Aboriginal
culture, perhaps by drawing more
outlying groups closer to the coast for
trade or out of curiosity. Tere was
a great level of complexity in the way
Aboriginal people responded to this
contact on the coastline, says Guse.
Guse has excavated some promis-
ing materials, but so far Djulirri has
provided the rst hard evidence of
the earliest Macassan arrival. Taon,
who collected samples of the bees-
wax with Lamilamis permission and
help, has dated the painting of the
prau to at least 1664, and he thinks it
could be much older. Te date places
Macassans in Australia around 100
years before it was thought they had
arrived, and makes the prau the earli-
est known piece of contact rock art.
In a way, this date also lends credence
to the Aboriginal oral history, which
is often dismissed as a poor historical
sourceit distinguishes their experi-
ence historically and provides some of
the rst concrete hints of a narrative
of contact that can be told, reliably,
from their side.
It tells such an amazing story, a
narrative of cultural interaction and
(continued from page 37)
Te Macassans didnt come to
Australia to colonize or trade, but
to nd trepang, also known as sea
cucumbers or bche-de-mer. Te
slimy marine invertebrates became
a prized delicacy and aphrodisiac in
China in the eighteenth century. At
the northern end of the Lamilami
clan estate is Anuru Bay, where eets
of Macassan praus visited each year to
catch and process trepang.
Trepang was the rst thing any-
one found in Australia to make money
on the global market, says Campbell
Macknight, a visiting fellow at Aus-
tralian National University, who rst
excavated at Anuru Bay as a student in
the 1960s. Te question of its inu-
ence on Aborigines is interesting.
Dutch trade records show a spike
in the trepang trade around 1780.
Macknight believes this coincides
with the Macassans nding the fertile
waters at Anuru Bay, after having vis-
ited other parts of the coast sporadi-
cally in the preceding decades. Guse
has returned to Anuru Bay to look for
more evidence of Macassan-Aborigi-
ne interaction and nd some reliably
datable material. Macassan archaeo-
logical sites are processing facilities
the oldest known industrial sites in
Australiawhere the Macassans
boiled, buried, and smoked the
trepang, leaving behind distinctive
Archaeologist Daryl Guse (standing)
oversees excavations at Anuru Bay,
where Indonesian seafarers encountered
Aborigines many years before European
arrival. The site is helping show that
Aboriginal culture was more dynamic
and connected than once thought.
69
I
A , AIA awarded
its fth Site Preservation Grant to
the Gault School of Archaeologi-
cal Research (GSAR) in central
Texas to support the expansion of
educational and outreach program-
ming at the Gault SiteGSARs
largest and best-known project.
Te Gault Site is widely regarded
as one of the most signicant archae-
ological sites for understanding the
initial arrival and settlement of people
in the Americas. Continuously occu-
pied by humans for over 14,000 years,
the site has yielded over 2.6 million
artifacts during archaeological exca-
vations in the last 12 years. Te evi-
dence for long-term occupation and
the density of artifacts uncovered at
Gault is helping to overturn the long-
standing theory that early Americans
were completely nomadic mammoth
hunters. Te sites proximity to a good
water source, edible native plants, and
one of the largest chert sources in
North America made it an excellent
location for these early settlers.
Specialists at Gault have had great
success in determining the uses of
many of these stone tools by analyz-
ing markings on the stone under a
microscopeoften determining if the
tool was used to cut grasses, scrape
wood, process hides, or for some
other task. In the coming years the
Gault Site will continue to advance
our knowledge of early peoples in
the Americas.
Te site is also helping archaeolo-
gists understand the Clovis culture.
Te Clovis people are known for a
particular style of stone projectile
points, dated to about 13,500 years
ago. Tese artifacts were rst discov-
ered near Clovis, New Mexico, in the
Early Americans in Texas
EXCAVATE, EDUCATE, ADVOCATE
1930s. At the time, they were the ear-
liest known human artifacts found in
North America.
Unfortunately, the sites proximity
to current population centers has left
the site vulnerable to looters and col-
lectors. Te grant from the AIA will
help GSAR Executive Director D.
Clark Wernecke educate local people,
especially educators and students,
about the signicance of the site and
raise awareness of the need to protect
our past. As Wernecke notes, it is
more eectiveand certainly more
cost-eectiveto enlist hundreds
of pairs of eyes (to protect the site)
rather than erect fences, cameras, and
other security systems.
Te expanded programming
includes workshops for teachers,
the creation of a teachers guide to
accompany a wonderful informational
movie that was created by GSAR in
2008, and a series of presentations at
conferences around Texas. Wernecke
points out that people, particularly
in the United States, believe that
archaeology is something that hap-
pens elsewhere. Here we have an
internationally famous site right in
peoples backyards. GSAR wants to
make sure that people learn about
this incredible archaeological resource
and the AIA is helping them achieve
that goal.
Te AIA Site Preservation Pro-
gram emphasizes outreach, education,
sustainable development, and the
spread of best practices in site pres-
ervation. Te Institute also supports
preservation projects in Belize, Cam-
bodia, Chile, Cyprus, Jordan, Peru,
and Turkey. Te program is made
possible through donations to the
AIA. To learn more, please visit
www.archaeological.org/sitepreservation.
At the Gault Sites teachers workshops, participants learn many of the basic skills
of archaeological excavation, including screening for artifacts.
www.archaeological.org
70
E
, the Archaeological
Institute of Americas Lecture
Program provides over 300 free
public lectures to AIA Local
Societies in the U.S. and Canada.
Lecture topics address the most
recent eldwork and research being
conducted around the world and are
presented by the archaeologists and
scholars involved in these projects.
Te Charles Eliot Norton Memorial
Lectureship established in 1907 and
named after the AIAs rst president
and founding member is one of the
highest honors that the AIA can
bestow on a scholar. Te 103-year list
of Norton Lecturers is a virtual whos
who of the worlds eminent archaeol-
ogists. Te 2010/2011 Norton Lec-
turers include John Peter Oleson of
the University of Victoria, British
Columbia.
Specializing in ancient maritime
technology and Roman building tech-
niques, John Peter Oleson has been
co-director of the Caesarea Ancient
Harbour Excavation in Israel, direc-
tor of the Humayma Excavation
Project in Jordan, and co-director of
the Roman Maritime Concrete Study.
He has received numerous awards for
his work, and has published 11 books
and over 75 articles and chapters.
Starting in spring 2011, Oleson
will travel around the U.S. lectur-
ing on Harena Sine Calce (Sand
Without Lime): Building Disasters,
Incompetent Architects, and Con-
struction Fraud in Ancient Rome.
During its tenure as a major world
power, the Roman Empire was
responsible for many impressive
architectural works, some of which
still stand to this day. For a structure
to survive as long as 2,000 years sug-
Upcoming AIA Events
Join us at the 112th AIA-APA Joint Annual Meeting,
January 69, 2011, San Antonio, TX. To learn more about
this event, visit www.archaeological.org/annualmeeting.
AIA 11th Annual Archaeology Fair, co-sponsored by the
Witte Museum, will be held on January 7 and 8 at the Witte,
during the AIA Annual Meeting. For more information about
this program, go to www.archaeological.org/events/fairs.
Did you know? Te AIA maintains a list of outside
funding opportunities related to preservation at
www.archaeological.org/sitepreservation/outsidefunding.
Rome Wasnt Built in a Day
gests that ancient Roman architects
were quite competent in their trade.
Yet those buildings that remain are
but a small percentage of the total
number that the Roman Empire
built throughout its territory. What
caused some buildings to disappear
while others remained? Were the
Romans really such good construc-
tion engineers after all? Using Roman
literary, epigraphical, and legal texts
as primary sources, Oleson reveals
instances of fraudulent contracting,
cost overruns, and construction disas-
ters, as well as misjudged urban plan-
ning and a disregard for regulations
that sometimes resulted in loss of life
and property. Apparently, some things
never change.
Visit www.archaeological.org/
lectures for a full listing of the 2011
Lecture Program, and contact your
local AIA Society or call 617-358-
4184 (lectures@aia.bu.edu) for more
information on events near you.
John Peter Oleson has sought out the secrets of
ancient Roman building techniques and maritime
technology as co-director of many projects,
including the Caesarea Ancient Harbour Excavation
in Israel (above), and by diving the submerged port
city of Alexandria in Egypt (left).
D
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Featured Voyages
Lost Cities of Libya aboard Callisto
October 29-November 10, 2011 with AIA lecturer
C. Brian Rose
North Africas Mediterranean Coast:
Egypt to Morocco aboard Corinthian II
November 2-17, 2011- AIA lecturer TBA
Ultra-luxurious AIA Cruises
aboard Corinthian II or Callisto
Value-Priced AIA Cruises
aboard Aegean Odyssey
Tose who expect the very best
travel aboard the elegant 17-cabin
yacht Callisto or the 57-cabin,
all-suite Corinthian II. More like
private yachts than cruise ships,
they provide small-ship grandeur
and intimacy.
With prices starting at less than
$235 per day, including airfare,
excursions and gratuities, the
198-cabin Aegean Odyssey ofers
the best value in educational
cruising.
1emp|e of Zeus, 0,rene , l|b,a Monumenra| 4roh, lepr|s Magna, l|b,a 1hearer ar Sabrarha, l|b,a
Featured Voyages
Athens to Alexandria,
including Sicily, Malta, Tunisia and Libya
March 25-April 9, 2011 with AIA lecturer Jenifer Neils
Alexandria to Malta,
including Libya and Tunisia
November 25-December 10, 2011 - AIA lecturer TBA
For Detailed Information:
Call: 800-748-6262 Toll: 603-756-2884 Email: aia@studytours.org
To view itineraries, photos, lecturer bios and to download brochures please visit:
www.aiatours.org
Featured Land Tour
Splendors of Libya
March 16-30, 2011 &
October 19-November 2, 2011
with AIA lecturer Susan Kane (Director of
the Cyrenaica Archaeological Project)
Experience North Africa with the AIA
ARHAlClClAl l`:TlTUTl
CF

AMlRlA TCUR: www.aiatours.org
Te itinerary was excellent. Te number of
ancient sites visited was impressive. 0dysseus mosaio, Bardo Museum, 1unis

ARTIFACT
72 ARCHAEOLOGY January/February 2011
S
of the twentieth century, many mingqi
(a word that literally means visible objects, used to mean all
types of grave furnishings) have been discovered in Han Dynasty
tombs in Henan Province, but few are as impressive as this six-
foot-tall model of a multi-story manor house.
Actual remains of ancient Chinese domestic architecture
are rare. Scholars, however, are still able to glean the
appearance of some types of houses from pottery
models, such as this one, that reveal a higher level
of architectural achievement than had previously
been imagined.
From the carefully
constructed main house
and tower with its brightly
colored exterior, to the enclosed
courtyard with its model dog, the
level of detail shown in this mingqi
is impressive. Te artist even
inscribed small markings on the
homes exterior, both to sign his
work and to help him assemble
the model.
Many Han Dynasty tombs
were equipped with the necessities
of everyday life including furniture, cooking utensils, and even fooditems thought to
provide comfort and ease the souls transition to the afterlife. Mingqi as elaborate as this,
however, would only have been buried with the wealthiest members of Han society.
WHAT IS IT?
Model of a seven-story
manor house and tower
DATE
Early rst century ..
MATERIAL
Pottery
DISCOVERED
1993, Tomb no. 6 at
Baizhuang, Jiaozuo,
Henan Province
SIZE
6.2 feet
CURRENT LOCATION
Henan Museum,
China
Indonesia (20 days)
Explore the lush tropical islands of Java,
Sulawesi and Bali with Prof. Richard Cooler,
Northern Illinois U. Highlights include legendary
Borobudur and Panataran, Indonesias largest
temple complex, Solos old Javanese culture,
the distinctive architecture and rituals of Tana
Toraja, the magical ambiance of Bali and the
musical and dance performances throughout.
Archaeological Tours
led by noted scholars
Invites You to Journey Back in Time
Journey back in time with us. Weve been taking curious travelers on fascinating historical study tours for the
past 35 years. Each tour is led by a noted scholar whose knowledge and enthusiasm brings history to life and adds
a memorable perspective to your journey. Every one of our 37 tours features superb itineraries, unsurpassed service and
our time-tested commitment to excellence. No wonder so many of our clients choose to travel with us again and again.
For more information, please visit www.archaeologicaltrs.com, e-mail archtours@aol.com, call 212-986-3054,
toll-free 866-740-5130. Or write to Archaeological Tours, 271 Madison Avenue, Suite 904, New York, NY 10016.
And see history our way.
2011 tours: Libya Etruscan Italy Sri Lanka Syria & Jordan Caves & Castles Turkey Malta, Sardinia & Corsica Egypt
Sudan Israel Cyprus & Crete Burma In-Depth South India Greece Peru Bhutan & Ladakh Provence...and more
Scotland (17 days)
Study Scotlands prehistoric and early
Christian sites with Dr. Mattanyah
Zohar, Archaeologist. The tour begins
with the Early Christian monastic
settlement on the Island of Iona and
the intriguing Neolithic sites in the
Kilmartin Valley. Tour highlights
include the enigmatic megalithic
Stones of Callanish on the Isle of
Lewis, Edinburgh, the Bronze Age
burial cairn at Cairnpapple Hill,
fascinating carved Pictish menhirs
and a fairy-tale castle. The tour ends
on the Orkney and Shetland Islands
visiting Neolithic and Viking sites such
as Maes Howe and Skara Brae.
Ancient Rome (12 days)
Examine the monuments of each historical
period as a unit with Prof. Myles McDonnell,
Baruch College, CUNY. Covering Republican
Rome, Rome of the Caesars, the Early Empire,
High Empire and Christian Rome, we spend a
day at the ancient port, Ostia Antica, and another
visiting Hadrians Villa at Tivoli, and end with
the Imperial Palaces of the Later Empire.
Korea (16 days)
Explore Koreas 5,000 years of history with
Prof. Donald Baker, U. of British Columbia.
Beginning in Seoul, tour highlights include
the royal tombs of the Baekje and Silla
dynasties, Buddhist grottoes, exceptional
museums, ancient temples, colorful traditional
Korean music and dance performances plus
a day trip to the Demilitarized Zone.
Ancient Capitals of
China (17 days)
with an Optional
Yangtze River Cruise
Visit the major capitals
of Imperial China,
including Beijing, Xian,
Luoyang, Zhengzhou
and the garden city of
Suzhou with Prof. Robert
Thorp, Washington U.
Tour highlights are the
Forbidden City, Great
Wall, Longmen Buddhist
caves in Luoyang, the
famous terra-cotta warriors
near Xian and the world-
class museum in Shanghai.
This tour is a must for
those who have never
visited China.
On the Peruvian Coast the most ancient civilization of America
was developed. Unlike the Sumeria, Egyptian or Harappa
cultures, they did not possess any weapons, since the art was their
own protection.
This place exists. You can see it, feel it.
The Sacred City of Caral is located 158 km to the north of Lima.
Travel time from Lima to Caral is approximately 3 hours and a half.
For further information please visit www.peru.info


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