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Digging in Northern Mexicos Narcotics War Zone

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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Lost Tomb

Egyptian
Chantress
of an

Under
Londons
Olympic
Park
What Sank the

17th Centurys
Mightiest Warship?

PLUS:
tzis Illness, Butchering
Mammoths, Roman Secret
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2012

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JULY/AUGUST 2012
VOLUME 65, NUMBER 4

CONTENTS
features
24 London 2012
Archaeology and the Olympics
BY NADIA DURRANI

28 Tomb of the Chantress


A newly discovered burial chamber
in the Valley of the Kings provides a
rare glimpse into the life of an
ancient Egyptian singer
BY JULIAN SMITH

33 The Birth of Bureaucracy


At the site of Iklaina, excavations are
revealing new evidence of how the
Mycenaean state functioned
BY AMANDA SUMMER

40 Automated Site Mapping


Computational analysis of satellite
images detects previously
overlooked human settlements
BY ALDO FOE

42 Vasas Curious Imbalance


Researchers are learning new lessons
from the majestic Vasaa warship
monumental in its ambition, its failure,
and its role in maritime archaeology
BY LUCAS LAURSEN

46 Uncovering Sidons
Long Life

For the first time, archaeologists are


revealing the 4,000-year history of
one of ancient Lebanons oldest ports
BY ANDREW LAWLER

46 Among the graves excavated


at Sidon was one containing the
remains of a child who was buried
in a large pottery jar.

Cover: Inside a wooden coffin,


archaeologists found the 3,000-year-old
mummy of an Egyptian chantress.
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14

departments
6 Editors Letter
8 From the President
10 Letters
An ax capable of felling a tree, the purpose of the
Donner Partys westward travels, and the Nebra
sky disc.

13

11 From the Trenches


A set of 1,000-year-old clay gurines are reunited
after nearly 40 years, Homo erectus was a restarter, a Greek murder court, and tzi the
icemans illness.

22 World Roundup
A mass grave in the South Atlantic is a grim reminder
of the slave trade, Lucys tree-climbing hominin

16

friends, scientists look for elite archers in a medieval


shipwreck, and when it snowed in Baghdad.

53

Letter from Mexico


An archaeologists daughter surveys the rich
cultural heritage of northern Mexicoand the
impact of violence on researchers working there.

68 Artifact
At one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon Christian burial
sites in Britain, archaeologists nd a young girls
rare gold and garnet-jeweled cross.

on the web

www.archaeology.org

More from this Issue To see a slideshow with

Archaeological News from around the

more images of the Pilling gurines, go to


www.archaeology.org/pilling

Interactive Digs Read about the latest discoveries


at the Minoan site of Zominthos in central Crete; at
Johnsons Island, a Civil War site in Ohio; and at
El Carrizal, in Veracruz.

worldupdated by 1 p.m. ET every weekday. And


sign up for our e-Update so you dont miss a thing.

Stay in Touch Visit Facebook and like


ARCHAEOLOGY or follow us on Twitter at
@archaeologymag

EDITORS LETTER

The Value of Persistence

Editor in Chief

Claudia Valentino
Executive Editor

Deputy Editor

Jarrett A. Lobell

Samir S. Patel

Senior Editors

Nikhil Swaminathan
Zach Zorich

his issues cover is an image of a womans con from the first unlooted tomb
found in Egypts Valley of the Kings since 1922. Her name was Nehemes-Bastet
and hieroglyphs on the cons side reveal that she was a shemayet, or chantress,
of the sun god, Amun. In Tomb of the Chantress (page 28), contributing editor Julian
Smith discusses her life and the significance of the find.
The Birth of Bureaucracy (page 33), by archaeologist and writer Amanda
Summer, focuses on the Mycenaean site of Iklaina, located in Greeces southwestern
Peloponnese. Since the late 1990s, excavation work there has focused on the manner in
which government functioned in towns and villages, on the lives of the ordinary people
who lived at Iklaina more than 3,000 years ago, and on how widespread literacy may
have been in the Mycenaean world.
The wreck of a seventeenth-century Swedish warship, pulled nearly intact more
y
than 50 years
ago from Stockholm Harbor, has long concealed a
mystery about why it sank on its maiden voyage. In Vasas Curious
Imbalan
Imbalance
(page 42), science journalist Lucas Laursen explains
ar
that archaeologists
are now coming up with answers thanks, in
part, to their ability to digitally render Vasas contours.
A the 2012 Summer Olympics approach, journalist Nadia
As
Dur
Durrani
has filed a report on the challenging archaeology of the
Olym
Olympic
Park site in East Londons Lea Valley. London 2012:
Arch
Archaeology
and the Olympics (page 24), oers a 12,000-year
tim
timeline,
maps the location of six of the most significant
finds, and tells us what people have been up to there from
pr
prehistoric
times until the present day.
Contributing editor Andrew Lawler, in Uncovering
S
Sidons
Long Life (page 46), traces the history of the port
c of Sidon in Lebanon. The extraordinary site sits directly
city
b
beneath
the modern-day city and has been under excavation
by a multinational team for more than a decade. Sidon has
o
been occupied
for some 4,000 years, and archaeologists are only
now beginning to trace the long history of a city so ancient that it is
mentioned in the Book of Genesis.
Letter from Mexico (page 53), tells a dierent story, one in which archaeology
must proceed sporadically because of the danger to researchers often caught in the
ongoing drug war south of the United States border. Writer Kathleen McGuire details
the importance of the region known to some as El Norte de Mxico, and talks with
archaeologists who are committed to studying and preserving its important heritage.
That, of course, isnt all. Dont miss a very special Artifact, and do look for a
mystery or two to be revealed in From the Trenches and World Roundup.

Editorial Assistant

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Creative Director

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Contributing Editors

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David Freidel, Tom Gidwitz, Andrew Lawler,
Stephen H. Lekson, Jerald T. Milanich,
Jennifer Pinkowski, Heather Pringle,
Angela M. H. Schuster, Neil Asher Silberman
Correspondents

Athens: Yannis N. Stavrakakis


Bangkok: Karen Coates
Islamabad: Massoud Ansari
Israel: Mati Milstein
Naples: Marco Merola
Paris: Bernadette Arnaud
Rome: Roberto Bartoloni,
Giovanni Lattanzi
Washington, D.C.: Sandra Scham
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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

The Joy of Mathematics


Taught by Professor Arthur T. Benjamin
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6. The Joy of Algebra
7. The Joy of Higher Algebra
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10. The Joy of Proofs
11. The Joy of Geometry
12. The Joy of Pi
13. The Joy of Trigonometry
14. The Joy of the Imaginary Number i
15. The Joy of the Number e
16. The Joy of Innity
17. The Joy of Innite Series
18. The Joy of Differential Calculus
19. The Joy of Approximating with Calculus
20. The Joy of Integral Calculus
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FROM THE PRESIDENT

Archaeological
Institute of America

Saving Easter Island

HAT ARCHAEOLOGY AND human heritage are present everywhere across the
globe is amply demonstrated by the case of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). One of the
most remote places on earth, this tiny island in the Pacific is home to the famed
monolithic statues called moai. The colossal moai have near-iconic status as testaments to
humanitys early technological achievements.
Yet not even so remote a location can protect an archaeological monument from damage
and so, in 2008, the Archaeological Institute of America proudly awarded its second-ever
Site Preservation grant to Jo Anne Van Tilburg of the University of California, Los Angeles
Cotsen Institute of Archaeology for her conservation work on the moai of Easter Island.
A 30-year veteran of Easter Island archaeology, and director of the Easter Island Statue
Project, Van Tilburg is currently working to arrest the deterioration suffered by the statues
as a result of weathering, vandalism, mass tourism, and encroaching development.
This spring I visited Easter Island in order to see Van Tilburg and her team in action.
Working
with conservators such as Mnica Bahamondez,
W
director of the Chilean National Center for Conservation and Restoration, and geologist Christian Fischer
of UCLA, Van Tilburg has overseen the cleaning, lichen
removal, and application of protective chemicals in an
effort to save the statues.
During my weeks visit, I also met a number of local
professionals
who have been trained by Van Tilburg and
p
others. Living full-time on the island, they work as archaeologists, archaeological draftsmen, preservationists, and
conservators. They also play a vital role in educating
their fellow islanders about the importance of the moai.
Without
such local support and ongoing education, most
W
preservation
efforts will ultimately fail.
p
Among Van Tilburgs principal collaborators
is the talented archaeologist Cristin Arvalo
c
Pakarati. In addition to codirecting the Easter Island Statue Project with Van Tilburg,
Arvalo Pakarati is an artist and graphic designer. He designed a gallery several years ago
with Johannes Van Tilburg, Jo Anne Van Tilburgs architect husband, and built it with his
own hands. While serving as project headquarters, the attractive gallery earns a modest
income by hosting exhibitions by local artists and artisans celebrating the islands archaeology.
Along with community involvement, economic development can be critical to the success
of preservation initiatives.
The AIAs Site Preservation Program, founded in 2007, has so far awarded funding to 19
projects around the globe. The Program funds small but significant projects that typically
include education and public outreach and also emphasize best practices in conservation.
Worldwide, the threats to archaeological monuments show no sign of abating. Support fom
the AIA will help ensure that irreplaceable monuments such as the moai continue to inspire
and educatefuture generations. For more information, visit www.archaeogical.org/sitepreservation

Located at Boston University

OFFICERS
President

Elizabeth Bartman
First Vice President

Andrew Moore
Vice President for Outreach and Education

Pamela Russell
Vice President for Professional Responsibilities

Laetitia LaFollette
Vice President for Publications

John Younger
Vice President for Societies

Thomas Morton
Treasurer

Brian J. Heidtke
Chief Executive Officer

Peter Herdrich
Chief Operating Officer

Kevin Quinlan

GOVERNING BOARD
Susan Alcock
Michael Ambler
Carla Antonaccio
Cathleen Asch
Barbara Barletta
David Boochever
Julie Herzig Desnick
Michael Galaty
Greg Goggin
Ronald Greenberg
Michael Hoff
Jeffrey Lamia
Lynne Lancaster
Deborah Lehr
Robert Littman
Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis
Heather McKillop
Shilpi Mehta
Naomi Norman, ex officio
Maria Papaioannou
Eleanor Powers
Paul Rissman
Glenn Schwartz
David Seigle
Chen Shen
Charles Steinmetz
Douglas Tilden
Claudia Valentino, ex officio
Shelley Wachsmann
Ashley White
John J. Yarmick
Past President

C. Brian Rose
Trustees Emeriti

Norma Kershaw
Charles S. LaFollette
Legal Counsel

Mitchell Eitel, Esq.


Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP

Elizabeth Bartman
President, Archaeological Institute of America

Archaeological Institute of America


656 Beacon Street Boston, MA 02215-2006
www.archaeological.org

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Gala

Archaeological Institute of America | 25 April 2012

The trustees, gala committee, and staff of the Archaeological Institute of America
extend our deepest appreciation to the following sponsors for their support of our
2012 gala, which honored Crawford H. Greenewalt, Jr. with the Bandelier Award for
Service to Archaeology, and celebrated the sights, sounds, and flavors of Turkey.

ARCHAEOLOGYS
SPECIAL
COLLECTORS EDITION

LETTERS
Crashing the Donner Party
Letter from California: A New Look
at the Donner Party (May/June 2012)
asserts that the Donner Party was a
self-serving expedition for land and
wealth. Most of the pioneers migrated west because of religious persecution
and/or economic deprivation, not greed.

The Nebra
sky disc

David K. Rogers
Walnut Creek, CA

Author and archaeologist Julie


Schablitsky responds:
Members of the Donner Party moved west
for a variety of reasons, including inexpensive land and even a healthy climate. The
view that the pioneers migrated for greed is
not necessarily my opinion, but, as I say in the
piece, a perspective that was shared with me.

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An Ax to Grind
Your recent article on Ancient Germanys Metal Traders (May/June 2012)
describes an ax head weighing 8 ounces
as being something you could fell a
tree with. The smallest hammer that a
carpenter uses is 16 ounces and is used
for finish work. An ax of that size, much
less an ax weighing 8 ounces, would not
be suitable for felling trees. A hatchet is
three times that weight.
Jaenia Mikulka
Cambridge, MA

Senior editor Zach Zorich responds:


We live in a world with relatively cheap and
abundant steel. That was not the case for the
people at Dermsdorf. An 8-ounce ax head was
probably a very expensive tool and was used
for a variety of jobs. It may seem unsuitable
by modern standards, but people were chopping down trees with stone tools long before
metal axes were invented. Trees also come in
different sizes. It is not hard to imagine small
and medium-sized trees being cut down with
a small ax.

plus $3.00 shipping and handling.

Visit www.archaeology.org/
classicalworld
Or call 1-800-345-2785
**This collectors issue is not included as
part of your regular subscription to
ARCHAEOLOGY Magazine.

10

ARCHAEOLOGY welcomes mail from


readers. Please address your comments
to ARCHAEOLOGY, 36-36 33rd Street,
Long Island City, NY 11106, fax 718-4723051, or e-mail letters@archaeology.org.
The editors reserve the right to edit
submitted material. Volume precludes
our acknowledging individual letters.

Sun or Moon?
I noticed the Nebra sky disc in the
sidebar to Ancient Germanys Metal
Traders is described as depicting the
sun, moon, and 32 stars. I believe its
the full moon, half moon, quarter moon
phases, anchored by the strip of horizon
shown on the right. Obviously the sun
isnt out at night, and the moon phase
representations seem straightforward.
Andi Willman
Flushing, MI

The Real Oldest Handbag


The German researchers in your story
Dogtooth Is the New Black (May/
June 2012) claim a reconstructed (not
preserved) probable bag that is 4,200
to 4,500 years-old may be worlds oldest handbag. The Germans may not
be aware of the bags from Spirit Cave,
Nevada, dated to 9,400 years ago. The
Spirit Cave bags and the shrouds wrapping corpses are the oldest complete,
preserved textiles in the world.
Alice B. Kehoe
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI

Corrections
In Letter from California: A New Look
at the Donner Party (May/June 2012),
we incorrectly stated that the wagon
train set o from Springfield, Missouri.
It left from Independence, Missouri.
In Rethinking the Thundering Hordes
(May/June 2012), the caption accompanying the map is incorrect. As indicated
in the map itself, Begash is actually in
Kazakhstan. Sarazm is in Tajikistan.

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

LATE-BREAKING NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE WORLD OF ARCHAEOLOGY

Investigating a Decades-Old Disappearance


tion (which has since been dated to
9951000) and concluded the
figurines all had been made by the
same artist. Later that month, Oliver
returned home with the collection,
and for more than two decades, it
was displayed at the CEU museum
and in banks, courthouses, and a hotel in Utah, becoming an unocial
yet much beloved state symbol.
A.D.

Prehistoric clay female and male


figurines (left and right) from
Utahs famous Pilling collection.

n 1973, Deseret Magazine showed a photograph of 11 prehistoric figurines on exhibit at the Zions First National
Bank, Carbon-Emery Division, in Utah. By 1974, when
the College of Eastern Utah (CEU) Prehistoric Museum
included the figurines in their centennial celebration display,
there were only 10. What became of the 11th figurine has
been a mystery ever since.
The unfired clay figurines, created by the Fremont
culture that inhabited parts of Americas Great Basin between A.D. 400 and 1300, had originally been found by
ranchers Clarence, Art, and Woodrow Pilling, and two
ranch hands, Dusty Pruit and Tony Finn, in a rock shelter in eastern Utahs Range Creek Canyon in 1950. After
their discovery, Geneve Howard Oliver, a Pilling family
friend, brought the figurines to the Smithsonian and then
to Harvards Peabody Museum for examination. At the
Peabody, anthropologist Noel Morss studied the collec-

www.archaeology.org

The male figurines


back preserves
impressions of the
basket on which
it dried.

ast November, Utah State University anthropologist Bonnie


Pitblado opened a small box
that had arrived in her oce. Inside
she found a ceramic figurine wrapped
in leather and an anonymous typed
note expressing the senders wish that
the artifact be returned to its proper
place. Pitblado knew instantly that
it was the missing figurine. First, my
colleagues and I went to the computer
to check the figurine against old photos of the Pilling collection when it
was complete. And then we immediately thought about what we could do
to demonstrate scientifically that he
matched at least one of the other 10
figurines so I could reunite him with
the group, says Pitblado. I also wanted
to be sure it wasnt a fake, she adds.
Pitblado assembled a multidisciplinary team to test whether the
figurine was in fact the artifact that
had disappeared. First, archaeologist
and prehistoric textile expert James
Adovasio from Mercyhurst College
looked at the backs of the figurine
and his mate (the assemblage was arranged as five pairs of male and female
figures and an additional eleventh
figure). He examined impressions
made by the baskets the figurines sat

11

FROM THE TRENCHES


X-ray fluorescence
to characterize the
geochemical signature
of the clay and pigments of the figurine
and mate. They were
able to match trace
elements in both
figurines and found
that not only did the
clay used for all the
figurines come from
the same source, but
that the signatures of
The missing figurine (top row, second from left) has been
the unknown figurine
reunited with the collection for the first time in decades.
and its mate were
more similar to each
on while they dried, and concluded
other than they were to any other pair.
these two were from the same basket,
Finally, knowing that Morss had coatand that the impressions could not
ed the figurines in an organic lacquer
have been faked. The team then used
called Alvar in order to stabilize and

Located in the province of Jujuy in


northern Argentina, Pucar de
Tilcara is the site of a pre-Inca
fortification built around the
twelfth century. Situated on a hill
outside the small town of Tilcara, it
was built by the ancestors of the
Omaguaca tribe, renowned
warriors who were also experts in
agriculture, weaving, and pottery.
Though the region of Humahuaca
has evidence of occupation going
back 10,000 years, it reached its
peak around the fourteenth
century A.D., when Pucar de
Tilcara was an important
administrative military center that
covered 15 acres and housed more
than 2,000 people. In addition to
living quarters, the pucara
(Quechua for fortress) contained
corrals, sites for religious
ceremonies, and burials. The tribes
in the region were later conquered
by the Incas just decades before
the Spanish arrived in 1536.
Constanza Ceruti, the only female
high-altitude archaeologist in the
world and Director of the Institute
of High Mountain Research at the
Catholic University of Salta, made
Pucar de Tilcara her home, living
in an adobe house at the foot of
the site for five years while she
studied the Inca shrines in the
Andean peaks nearby.

12

protect them, Brigham Young University geochemist Steve Nelson suggested that the team use a scanning electron microscope to check if the newly
returned figurine was coated with the
substance. It wasand that was all the
proof they needed.
Now, after almost 40 years, visitors
to the recently renamed Utah State
University-Eastern Prehistoric Museum
can see the Pilling figurines displayed
together as envisioned by the Fremont
people who made them almost a thousand years ago. With all the lines of
evidence that we have, our research
team is 100 percent sure he is the missing figurine, says Pitblado. There is no
way that anyone could duplicate all the
elements we have found. For more images, visit archaeology.org/pilling
JARRETT A. LOBELL

to conserve heat at night, when


temperatures drop in the highaltitude desert. Visitors are free
to enter the houses, but be sure
to treat them with care. You can
see the highlights of the pucara
including the ceremonial ruins
known as the church and some of
the reconstructed householdsin a
one-hour visit. However, if you have
time, it is worth wandering beyond
the reconstructed areas and into
the necropolis and corrals.
The site
From the town of Tilcara, the
pucara is accessible by foot, and
you will see many llama and cacti
along the way. Just be sure to wear
good walking shoesit can be a
rather exhausting climb. The site
was strategically chosen by the
Omaguaca to be easily defensible,
and it provides good views over the
surrounding UNESCO-listed valley,
Quebrada de Humahuaca. The
remains of many structures can still
be seen today, though part of the
site was reconstructed in the 1950s,
when excavation was taking place.
The small square stone buildings,
pirkas, were constructed without
mortar and roofed with grass, known
locally as ichu, and cactus wood. The
houses were built without windows
and with very narrow doorways

While youre there


The village of Tilcara is the
archaeological capital of Quebrada
de Humahuaca. There is an
archaeological museum in the
village that is considered one
of the most important for the
region, in addition to a paintings
museum, sculpture museum, and
Carnival museum. (Carnival time
is one of the best times to visit!)
The adventurous can book fourwheel drive excursions and go
hiking, horseback riding, and even
sandboarding in the surrounding
dunes. The village is also the
starting point for pilgrimages to
nearby mountain shrines. Ceruti
says that joining one of these
modern Andean processions can be
a life-changing experience.
MALIN GRUNBERG BANYASZ

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Roman Ships
Secret Cargo

I
We Didnt Start the Fire...
Homo erectus Did

ome paleoanthropologists believe that people have been eating


cooked food, and therefore making fires, for millions of years.
The evidence for this, so far, has been evolutionary changes
in hominin skeletons, such as decreasing tooth and jaw sizes. But
there has been very little direct archaeological evidence of fire use
prior to 700,000 years agountil now. Francesco Berna of Boston
University and a multinational team of researchers have uncovered
evidence that Homo erectus was using fire about one million years ago
at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.
Using a technique that allows researchers to conduct microscopic
analysis of the chemical composition of a sample, Berna was able to
identify burned pieces of bone and plant material in the caves sediments. The sediment came from an excavation unit that is roughly
100 feet inside the cave, which makes it unlikely that the material was
burned by a lightning strike or wildfire. According to Berna, learning to use fire was an important turning point for our speciesboth
evolutionarily and culturally. Control of fire is a tool for adapting
to dierent environments, he says. It provides warmth, it provides
lightand it keeps away wild animals.
ZACH ZORICH

talian archaeologists have


uncovered
red evidence of smuggling between
etween North Africa
and Italy on a third-century A.D.
shipwreck o the west coast of Sicily. The
most complete
plete Roman ship ever found,
the 52-by-16-foot
16-foot merchant vessel was
carrying amphorae
mphorae filled with walnuts, figs,
olives, wine,
e, oil, and fish sauce from Tunisia
to Rome when it sank
sank.
Intriguingly, among the ships ocial cargo were
hidden stashes of so-called tubi fittili (fictile tubes).
According to Sebastiano Tusa, Sicilys Superintendent of the Oce of the Sea, Basically they are
small terracotta cylinders open at one end and
closed at the other. Rows of these hollow tiles were
used in vaulting and other construction.
The tubes, which were used from the midImperial era to the end of the Byzantine period,
worked by fitting the narrow end, or nozzle, of
one tile into the larger end of another. Because
they were joined loosely, series of the lightweight
tiles could be arranged in curves, making it easier
to form arches and vaults.
In North Africa, especially Tunisia, the
valuable tubes were manufactured and cost a
quarter of what builders paid for them in Rome.
To augment their poor salaries, sailors bought
these vaulting tubes cheaper in Africa, hid them
everywhere on the ship, and resold them in
Rome, Tusa explains.
ROSSELLA LORENZI

A Little Scottish Ditty

housands of years before the first bagpipe was


ever played in the Scottish highlands, a prehistoric
musician on the
he remote Isle of Skye played a type
of lyre. During excavations
avations at High Pasture
Cave, which contains
ns evidence for 800 years
rs of
human activity between
ween
the Late Bronze and
nd
Iron Ages, archaeoloowww.archaeology.org

gists discovered the wooden remains of what they believe is


the bridge of the earliest stringed instrument ever found in
Europe. Ac
According to archaeomusicologist Graeme
Grae Lawson of the University
of Cambridge,
the find pushes
Ca
the history of complex music
[in western Europe] back more
than
th 1,000 years.
JARRETT A. LOBELL
13

FROM THE TRENCHES

Athens Murder Court

ext to the Acropolis south


slope, archaeologists have discovered possible evidence of
one of ancient Athens murder courts.
During several years of excavation,
archaeologist Xristos Kontoxristos
uncovered artifacts dating from the
prehistoric through late Roman periods.
He was particularly intrigued by a pedestal formed of sculpted lions legs, upon
which sat two marble slabs forming a
very large table or podium that he dated
to the late Classical or early Hellenistic
period (about 400300 B.C.). Near the

podium, Kontoxristos found a piece of


copper of the type that citizens may
have used to record legal verdicts.

Kontoxristos suggests that the podium may be part of a complex that


includes a very large building foundation and portico dating to the same
periodfirst identified in the 1960s
as the Palladium. According to secondcentury A.D. geographer Pausanias, the
Palladium was the court in which cases
of involuntary homicide and killing of
noncitizens were tried. Kontoxristos
stresses that the identification of pedestal and building is not definitive, but he
hopes to uncover additional evidence.
YANNIS STAVRAKAKIS

Butchering Big Game

ts well known that ancient hunters all over the world took down big game. Recent finds and analyses of remains of extinct
megafaunaincluding a massive ground sloth and juvenile mammothhave stories to tell about how early humans secured
and butchered these long-gone species.
SAMIR S. PATEL
NEW ANALYSIS SHOWS that
the remains of a Jeffersons
ground slothwhich would
have weighed nearly 3,000
poundsfound in a wetland
near Cleveland, Ohio, are
the only known evidence of
humans eating ground sloths
outside of South America.
More than 40 incisions on one of the sloths femurs were caused by humans
filleting the overlying muscle. At more than 13,000 years old, the finds are
the oldest evidence of human occupation in the state.

AT THE SITE OF PRERESA, near Madrid,


Spain, archaeologists uncovered 82 bones
from an elephant or mammoth alongside
hundreds of stone tools. Dating to around
80,000 years ago, the bones show cut
marks and percussion fracturesthe first
evidence that humans, in this case Neanderthals, cracked open thick pachyderm
bones to get at the fat-rich marrow inside.

14

PRESERVED IN
PERMAFROST
for at least
10,000 years,
the remains
of a juvenile
mammoth,
called Yuka,
show signs that
humans in the
region may have
stolen the carcass from lions
before carefully
butchering it
and then stashing the rest of the remains for cold storage. The incredibly preserved remains show scratches and bite marks from lions, after which humans
had removed the organs, vertebrae, ribs, and portions of the upper legs.

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

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FROM THE TRENCHES

Dawn of the Aztecs, Written in Stone

series of stones carved with images of snakes, warriors, and headless prisoners has been found at the
sacred Aztec site of Tenochtitlan in Mexico Citys
historic center. The 25 images,
carved from gray and red volcanic rock, were embedded in the
floor of the plaza in front of the
Templo Mayor complex, where
the Aztecs performed thousands
of ritual killings before the Span-

ish conquistadores
arrived. The stones
date to between 1440
and 1469, during the
reign of Moctezuma
I, and describe the
birth of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec
god of war and the
sun. Bas-relief images
of serpents with gaping mouths, a warrior
carrying a shield and
dart thrower, and a
weeping captive on
his knees with his
hands bound behind
his back, all tell the
story of a cosmic war between the sun, moon, and stars
that preceded the birth of the supreme Aztec deity and the
beginning of Aztec culture. Raul Rodrguez Barrera, who is
leading the excavation for the Mexican National Institute of
Anthropology and History and the Mexican National Council for Culture and the Arts, says, It is a historic document
in stone, a narrative of war, sacrifice, and death.
JULIAN SMITH

What Ailed the Iceman?

ts been more than 20 years since


tzi, the 5,300-year-old Neolithic
iceman, was found in the Italian
Alps. Since then, researchers have
figured out what he likely ate as his
last meal (wild einkorn wheat bran)
and how he died (an arrow to the back
that pierced an artery). They have also
sequenced his maternal DNA, determining that his lineage was genetically
rare and has since gone extinct.
Now researchers have investigated
the rest of tzis genome, thanks to
the Y-chromosome DNA found in
bone from his left hip. tzis paternal
ancestors moved into Europe from the
Near East more than 6,000 years ago.
Further, he was lactose intolerant, had
type O blood, had brown hair and eyes,
and may have had Lyme diseasehis
DNA carries sequences from the bac-

16

teria responsible for the illness, which


is tricky to identify even today.
We think that the iceman must
have had at least some early symptoms,
such as fever and temporary weakness,

says Albert Zink, head of the Institute


for Mummies and the Iceman at the
European Academy of Bolzano in
Italy. In a later stage, Lyme disease
can aect the joints and the nervous
system, but we dont have any proof of
that for the iceman.
In other recent work, scientists
probed thin tissue slices from the arrow
wound and a laceration on tzis hand.
They used an atomic force microscope
to trace the surface of the tissue and
create a 3-D rendering. The resulting
images included doughnut shapes that
are the hallmark of red blood cells.
Zink says finding blood cells and the
clotting protein fibrinand no sign
of healingat the arrow wound site
indicates that tzi died within minutes
of being shot.
NIKHIL SWAMINATHAN
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

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2013 TRAVEL ADVENTURES

The Cultures and


Arts of Morocco
and Moorish

Spain

Explore medieval
towns, mosques, and
palaces from Marrakech to Seville.

FROM THE TRENCHES

Beachcombing
in the
Mesolithic

Scholar: Dr. Ron Messier

Make Room for the Memories.


An adventure of historic proportion is waiting for
youat two living-history museums that explore
Americas beginnings. Board replicas of colonial
ships. Grind corn in a Powhatan Indian village. Try
on English armor inside a palisaded fort. Then, join
Continental Army soldiers at their encampment
for a rsthand look at the Revolutions end. Dont
forget your camera. Because the history here is
life size. And your memories will be even bigger!

Northwest Argentina:
Ancient Legacies,
Contemporary
Cultures
Explore the
archaeology,
geography, and
cultures of the
southern Andes.

Ax head with shaft


Wooden paddle

ROW CANYON
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CENTER
Discover the Past, Share the Adventure

Save 20% on a combination ticket


to both museums.

CST 2059347-50

Scholar: Dr. Jos Mara Vaquer

800.422.8975

www.crowcanyon.org/travel

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18

eter Astrups annual family


beach vacation led to a spectacular archaeological discovery,
and a new career. In the shallow water
at Horsens Fjord in Denmark, Astrup
has been finding artifacts made of flint
since 1995. The artifacts turned out to
be from a now-submerged village of
the Erteblle people, who lived 7,300
to 5,900 years ago. In 2007, erosion
began to expose surprising finds at
the underwater site: intact artifacts
made of wood and antler. That year
Astrup, who is now an archaeology
doctoral candidate at the University of
Aarhus, teamed up with researchers at
the Moesgrd and Horsens museums
to conserve the fragile artifacts and
excavate the site using dive equipment.
But erosion has done some excavating
of its own, exposing artifacts such as
a painted wooden paddle that Astrup
only had to lift o the seabed. It is
really amazing when you are diving and
then suddenly, at the bottom, you have
a perfect, well-preserved artifact lying
totally exposed, he says.
ZACH ZORICH
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

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FROM THE TRENCHES

Preacher-Swordsman-Turncoat V-2 Rocket


from the
Muck

he Royal Navy dive team carefully excavated the muck from


around the lowest section of
a V-2 rocketGerman terror of the
British skies in World War IIin the
mudflats of the River Stour. Once
they determined that there was no
warhead attached, it was safe to lift the
four-foot segment and turn it over to a
local sailing club. Such finds are rare, as
there was usually nothing left of a V-2:
The ballistic missiles struck the ground
at twice the speed of sound.
SAMIR S. PATEL

rchaeologists working at Chur


Cathedral in eastern Switzerland are trying to confirm that
they have the remains of Jrg Jenatsch,
a seventeenth-century preacher-turnedtraitor. During the Thirty Years War,
Jenatsch was a Protestant political leader
and fighter who later switched to the
Catholic side, after which he was murdered during Carnival in 1639, supposedly by a man dressed as a bear. The

remains thought to be his were first


exhumed and examined in 1959. At
the time, it was found that they bore
the mark of the ax blow thought to
have killed Jenatsch, as well as clothing
consistent with a seventeenth-century
nobleman. Now the skull will be scanned
for facial reconstruction and DNA from
the teeth will be compared with that of
descendants of Jenatschs cousin.
SAMIR S. PATEL

How Do You Say Comb in West Germanic?

unes scratched onto a


decorated comb are the
oldest evidence of written West Germanic, the language that gave birth to English,
German, Dutch, and a variety
of other modern tongues. Discovered near the eastern German town of Frienstedt during
a highway construction project
at least a decade ago, the deerantler comb is more than 1,700
years old. It was found together
with animal skulls, gold rings,
brooches, and Roman coins, and
was probably part of an oer20

ing or sacrifice. The runes,


an alphabet used before the
Latin alphabet became widespread, were only noticed when
conservators finally pieced
together the combs fragments
this year. The letters spell out
KABA, which would have
been pronounced kamba, the
Germanic word for comb. A
lab in Copenhagen is studying
the antler to see if its possible
to determine where the deer
lived and where the ancient
comb was made.
ANDREW CURRY
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

The Origins
of Domestic
Cattle

xcavations at sites in the Near


East indicate people first domesticated wild oxen roughly 10,500
years ago. Now a team of European scientists has used DNA evidence to determine whether that domestication was a
region-wide phenomenon or a specialized pursuit practiced by a small number
of breeders. They found that all taurine
cattle (the breeds commonly found in
Europe, the Americas, and northern and
eastern Asia) are descended from a herd
of about 80 animals.
The researchers compared DNA
extracted from the bones of 15 domes-

The computer can vary parameters, such as herd size. We kept only
those simulations that led to the data
we observed in the ancient samples,
says Ruth Bollongino, a postdoctoral
researcher at the University of Mainz
in Germany. They all showed 80 cows
at the beginning. The relatively small

JOURney into the


heart of History
Since 1983, Far Horizons has been
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herd size derived from the simulations


indicates that cattle domestication was
not practiced widely in the Neolithic
Near East. Rather, sustained breeding
of wild oxen was likely a dicult task
carried out in only a few villages during
that time period.
NIKHIL SWAMINATHAN

Chinas silk road

With Professor Dru Gladney


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EASTERN TURKEY

With Professor John France


September 8 - 23, 2012

TURKISH TREASURES
With Professor Garrett Fagan
September 15 - 30, 2012

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GREAT BRITIAN

With Dr. James Bruhn


September 16 - 28, 2012

OASES OF EGYPT
With Professor Bob Brier
November 1 - 17, 2012

UNDISCOVERED
EGYPT

With Professor Barry Kemp


December 1 - 14, 2012
Four Days on Traditional Yacht

CAMBODIA & LAOS


With Dr. Damian Evans
January 5 - 21, 2013

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With Dr. Sidsel Millerstrom


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With Dr. Jenny Rose
April 13 - May 3, 2013

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JOURNEYS

tic cattle found at sites in Iran dating


to between 8,000 and 1,900 years ago
to that of modern animals. Specifically,
they homed in on a fragment of genetic
material where mutations tend to take
place frequently over time. They then
ran computer simulations that began
with the genetic diversity seen in cattle
today and extrapolated backward to find
the initial conditions that would have
given rise to the modern animals.
www.archaeology.org

SOUTH INDIA
With Dr. Risha Lee
January 3 - 20, 2013

SRI LANKA

With Professor Michael Coe


August 2013

and much more!


Crusader Knights: Cyprus, Rhodes & Malta
Scotland Wales Myanmar Bali
Maya World Italy Peru Ethiopia
Greece Iran Jordan Israel

NORTH INDIA
With Dr. Kristy Phillips
January 5 - 20, 2013

1-800-552-4575 www.farhorizons.com
21

WORLD ROUNDUP
ICELAND: House mice are living artifacts of human expansion.
By comparing modern mouse DNA with ancient samples found
at Viking settlements, evolutionary biologists found that the
mice spread across the North Atlantic with the Vikingsfrom
the Faroe Islands to Iceland to Greenland. In Iceland, the mouse
population even mirrors the human one geneticallyboth show
low levels of genetic diversity, a result of small founding populations and little new inward migration.

GREENLAND: The rst migrants


to the western portion of the
massive, ice-covered island
arrived around 4,500 years ago.
Wood fragments excavated
from two of their early settlements, Qeqertasussuk and Qajaa, have been identied as pieces of the rims from booming hoop drums, two to three feet in
diameter. The age of the nds pushes back the known origins
of Arctic drum and shaman culture, which traveled with them
across Alaska and Canada, by at least 2,000 years.

PERU: Some preColumbian South


Americans lived in
groups called allya
and buried their
dead together in
monuments called
chullpas. At the site
of Tompullo 2, scientists gathered genetic material from six chullpas to determine how the people in each were related. Results show that the
ancient Andeans are closely related to modern
ones, and that chullpas were family graves based
around a male lineage, suggesting allya were
structured the same way. But not necessarily
one grave contained the remains of three related
men with different paternal lineages.

ST. HELENA: On this remote island in the South Atlantic, archaeologists have excavated a massive burial ground for slaves who died during the brutal Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas. More than
300 of an estimated 5,000 graves were uncovered, containing mostly
children, teenagers, and young adults. Though they would have been
stripped of their possessions, some of those buried managed to save
beads, pieces of ribbon, and even bracelets. Also found were several
metal identication tags.

22

W
WALES:
R
Recent
e
excavations
a
at Nevern
C
Castle,
an earthen and stone fo
fortication built and rebuilt throughout
the 12th century, have revealed a
series of slates buried under the
southern gateway. Incised with
symbols ranging from prehistoric
shapes to letters associated with
Christianity, the stonessome
older and some inscribed just
before burial (based on wear patterns)were likely deposited to
protect the castle from the entry
of evil forces.

ETHIOPIA: Dating to around


3.4 million
years ago, foot
bones show that
Australopithecus afarensisLucy and her kinhad
company. The new foot appears to be
substantially different from an A. afarensis foot. Where Lucy had feet adapted
to more-or-less humanlike walking, this
new hominin would have been adept at
climbing trees. Until now, A. afarensis
was thought to be the only hominin in
the region at the time.

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

By Samir S. Patel
ENGLAND: Sports scientists are examining the remains of sailors aboard Mary
Rose, a warship that sank in 1545 and
was raised in 1982. In particular, they
want to identify elite medieval archers,
trained from a very early age to use
longbows that required some 200
pounds of force to draw, by looking for
skeletal changes associated with long-term
use. In one case, the
right elbow joint of a
soldier was 50 percent
larger than the left
one, demonstrating
not only that he was
an archer, but also that
he was left-handed.

announces

cruises to

TAIWAN: Most people in Taiwan are of


Chinese ancestry, but the island also
has an indigenous population who are
more likely to share common ancestry with those who migrated into the
Pacic and populated its islands, from
the Marianas to Rapa Nui. A recently
uncovered 8,000-year-old burial site on
tiny Liang Island could help researchers
understand the genetics and culture of
these early Austronesians before they
departed for distant islands.

IRAQ: Understanding the climate of


the past often helps with interpretation of archaeological discoveries. A
review of ancient documents written
between A.D. 816 and 1009 reveals
a pattern of unusual weather occurrences in Baghdad, particularly coldweather events such as hailstorms,
frozen rivers, and snow during a
certain period of the 10th century.
Although it
snowed in
Baghdad in
2008, such
cold snaps are
rarer today.

AUSTRALIA: Big insights often come from the humblest


placesin this case a fungus from the dung of now-extinct marsupial herbivores, such as the giant kangaroo and rhinoceros
wombat. Using sediment cores from a swamp, biologists
examined the timing of declines in the fungus with
changes in the environment to conclude that
neither climate change nor habitat change was
responsible for the extinction of many of these
large species around 40,000 years ago. Blame
appears to lie with the recently arrived
humans.

www.archaeology.org

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23

The Olympic Park in East Londons


Lower Lea Valley

LONDON
2012
Archaeology and the Olympics
by Nadia Durrani

UMMER 2012, and the worlds greatest athletes


are gathering in London for the Olympics. In
advance of the Games, a square mile of semiderelict land in East Londons Lower Lea Valley
has been turned into a fully equipped Olympic
Park. This has transformed a run-down industrial
district into a leafy urban park containing modern amenities
including an athletes village, basketball arena, and the Olympic
stadium. British law decrees that archaeological assessments
must be undertaken before such developments, so between
2007 and 2009, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)
archaeologists set to work, digging into Londons past.
They excavated no fewer than 121 trenches, recovered more
than 10,000 artifacts, and revealed evidence of at least 6,000
years of human activityfrom the areas first prehistoric hunters
and farmers to World War II defense structures. In addition,
they recorded all of the sites still-standing historic buildings.
Alongside this work, thousands of boreholes were sunk deep
into the earth, revealing an environmental and geoarchaeological
picture of the area over the past 12,000 years.
Completing the task was herculean. Though lying only three
miles northeast of the glitz and glamor of central London, just
five years ago this was still a neglected and largely unoccupied

24

area. The archaeologists were faced with dilapidated buildings, general construction waste, and a deep accumulation of
eighteenth- and nineteenth-century domestic garbage. Much
of this garbage had been imported from nearby areas by people
wishing to substantially raise the ground in order to settle on
what was then low-lying and marshy land. Added to this, an
1844 act ruled that dangerous and so-called dirty noxious
industries, such as printing works or chemical manufacturers,
had to be moved out of central London. Many relocated here,
an area already known for its industry. For the archaeologists,
this meant that the ground was often chemically contaminated, waterlogged, or indeed both.
Handheld trowels and shovels would not suce. Simply
to break through the layers of city detritus, heavy construction equipment operators removed several hundred tons of
soil for each trench, often to a depth of around 15 feet, and
in one location, almost 30 feet. Only after the operators got
past this recent debris could the team begin to explore the
earlier archaeology. This was a mighty task. To avoid any risk
of collapse under the weight of the surrounding land, the
trenches had to be stepped down, with large trenches at the
top narrowing to relatively small areas at the base. Where
trenches were particularly deep, we often had to further
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Some of the excavation trenches were so


deep that archaeologists ensured they didnt
collapse by creating a series of steps to
distribute the weight of the soil around them.

secure their sides using steel supports, explains Gary Brown,


fieldwork project manager of Pre-Construct Archaeology.
Once the sites were safe, the diggers were kitted up with
protective equipment, including disposable overalls, gloves,
rubber boots, protective glasses, and even face masks.
Digging in London, with its long and complex history, is
always dicult and time-consuming, and these excavations
www.archaeology.org

were certainly no exception. However, the


results have been worth it. The archaeology
covered a huge swath of time and geography,
says project director Nick Bateman of Museum
of London Archaeology. We now have the
first long-term, large-scale picture of life in
this part of East London, an area first settled
in prehistory, and in more recent times, one
that became so significant to the development
of the modern city. Had it not been for the
Olympic Parks construction, this formerly
impoverished, waterlogged, outlying part of historic London
simply would not have been explored on this scale.
According to Simon Wright, head of venues and infrastructure at the ODA, Not only have we transformed the
Olympic Park into the largest urban park to be created in
the United Kingdom for more than 100 years, but we have
uncovered its past in the process.
25

Neolithic rituals

The Romans: lost and found

t the end of the last great Ice Age, some

he Olympic Park lies three miles northeast of

12,000 years ago, glacial meltwaters surged


12,0

Londinium (London), the capital of the Roman

through an unsp
unspoiled wilderness, forming the ood plain

province of Britannia Superior. During the Roman

of the River Lea. However,


Ho
the oldest evidence from the

era (A.D. 43ca. 410), the area was crossed by a

Olympic Park comes from


fr
the Neolithic period (40002200
B.C.),

major road connecting Londinium with the town

when people began fairly extensive woodland-clearing for agri-

of Camulodunum (modern Colchester). The road,

culture, aided by int axes. The team discovered one such ax, dated

together with the river, would have been a crucial

to between 4000 and 3000 B.C., at the edge of a river channel, but

route into Londinium, not least to supply it with agricultural pro-

there was no evidence the ax had been used in antiquity. According

duce. The team dug numerous evaluation trenches, many in dense

to Andrew Powell of Wessex Archaeology, the team working on the

overlapping arrangements, over the full likely range of the roads

post-excavation analysis of the Parks nds, its pristine condition and

course across the valley. But no trace of the road was found, and its

riverside location hint at a possible ritual explanation. Had it been

precise line across the valley remains an unsolved mystery.

deliberately placed in the water as an offering or votive deposit? If


this is the case, we think it highlights the deep signicance of the
river, and its valley, to prehistoric people drawn by the rich resources
of this watery environment, says Powell.

Parking
Training
Area

Prehistoric lives

reat transformations took place in the Olympic Park dur-

Olympic
Village

ing the Middle Bronze Age, starting around 1400 B.C. It


Velodrome
and Fencing

seems that, over the course of only a few hundred years, people
divided up areas of potentially productive agricultural land into

Broadcast
Centre

rectangular elds, each surrounded by ditches, and possibly

Stratford
City

lined with hedges. This transformation is vividly illustrated by


the largest trench, dug at the site of the Aquatics Centre, where
the archaeologists revealed a clear pattern of eld-boundary
ditches. A bigger picture of prehistoric life emerged with the
further discovery of

Basketball

eight roundhouses,

Aquatics
Centre

one dated to the


Bronze Age, and
seven to the Iron

Age (700 B.C.A.D.


43). There were also several burials, including two Late Bronze

Main
Stadium

Age cremations, both radiocarbon dated to around 1000 B.C.,


an inhumation burial dated to between 110 B.C. and A.D. 60, and

three inhumations of uncertain dates, possibly spanning the


time from the Bronze Age to the early Roman era. For millen-

Spectator
Transport

their land. Unfortunately, periodic ooding appears to have

Accreditation
Checking

made their waterside settlement too wet for habitation, leading

186200

to its abandonment in the Late Iron Age.


0

26

4000 to 3000 B.C.


People begin largescale land clearance.
Neolithic ax ritually
deposited?

500m

Archaeological trenching

Built heritage recording

The story of archaeology of the Olympic Park, Renewing the Past: Unearthing the
History of the Olympic Park Site, will be available soon. For further details of the
excavations, visit learninglegacy.london2012.com

Olympic Park timeline


10,000 B.C.
End of the Ice Age;
ood plain of the
Lower Lea valley
formed.

538500

nia, it seems that the people in this area lived and died near

1400 B.C.
Field system
established.

A.D. 50
Roman road from
London to
Colchester crossed
marshes; exact
route unknown.

1135
Cistercian Abbey
exploited Lea
waterpower.

Late 12th century


Knights Templar
water mills
established at
Temple Mills.

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

An early industrial estate


of the Romans exploiting the river landscape, in

the form of light timber structures at two loca-

Templar, who owned two water mills there in the twelfth century. The mills were still in

tions along its channels, one of which may be a

use at the end of the sixteenth century, when they were joined by a leather mill, a gun-

small jetty. Their Roman date is now certain,

powder mill (until it blew up), and mills for grinding corn and rapeseed, plus calico print-

reveals post-excavation manager Pippa Bradley

ers, ock-makers, and dye houses. From the mid-nineteenth century, industrialization in

of Wessex Archaeology. The wood from both

the Lea Valley intensied. More and more industries developed farther down the valley

structures has just been radiocarbon dated to

at Stratford, including paper, tar, and printing works, and chemical manufacturing, all of

However, archaeologists did nd evidence

art of the story of the areas rise to become Londons industrial heart is told by the
Olympic Parks deepest excavation, at Temple Mills, an area named after the Knights

that era, she adds. Roman artifacts were also

which had been

found, including amphorae and ceramic building

forced out of cen-

material made between A.D. 50 and 160, plus a

tral London under

worn coin of Constantine II (ruled A.D. 337340).

new cleaner-living
legislation. Digging
at Temple Mills was

A 19th-century speed boat

hard goingthis
part of the site was
particularly waterlogged, contaminated by industrial
waste, and deeply buried under almost 30 feet of recent landll. However, the nds were
plentiful, and included the frontage of an entire terrace of six workers cottages that
were occupied in the late eighteenth and through the nineteenth centuries. Just as in the
Bronze Age (see Box 2), it seems the locals, some of whom are named in extant census
records, still chose to live near where they worked.

ith the discovery of a nineteenth-century


row boat, preserved at almost 15 feet in

Londons battleeld

length, archaeologists have found something that


ered in the silty deposits beside a windmill near

the head of Pudding Mill River, the boat was built

was heavily defendedand indeed

to be light, slender, and swift, rather than strong.

heavily bombed. This was often the

It was probably designed as a kind of water taxi,

rst part of London to be crossed

perhaps for ferrying crew and goods to a larger

by enemy aircraft ying west from

ship. It is of clinker-built construction, a method

Nazi Germany, and there is copi-

using overlapping planks that dates back to the

ous evidence of that difcult era at

might just appeal to an Olympic athlete. Uncov-

uring the Second World War,


the East End of London

Saxon period (A.D. ca. 4101066). Only a few

the Olympic Park. Among the items

other vessels using this building technique have

recorded and excavated is an antiaircraft battery near Temple Mills, with four gun

survived, making it a rare and important example.

platforms, a room possibly used for storing cordite, a munitions magazine, and a

The boat appears to have been converted into a

command center. These structures date back to 1938, a time when Britains military

pleasure boat, and then possibly used for wild-

watched and waited for war. Between 1941 and 1943, during the war years, a radar

fowling (lead bird shot was found in a locker

station was built on the site, together with a number of other installations, includ-

added sometime later to the boat), only to be

ing a pillbox and tank blocks. Taken together, this evidence represents critical data

abandoned in the mid- to late nineteenth century,

for those involved in modern conict studies.

taking its riverine stories with it.

Nadia Durrani is an archaeological editor and writer based in London.

17th to 18th century


UKs rst porcelain
factory built here.

www.archaeology.org

1858
Following an outbreak of cholera and
typhoid called the
Big Stink, Northern
Outfall Sewer built.

1860
Plastic invented in
the Lea Valley.

1892
UKs rst petrol
factory built here.

1904
UKs famous William
Yardley cosmetics,
soap, and lavender
factory established
on the site.

2012
London Olympic
Games.

27

N JANUARY

25, 2011, tens of thousands of


protestors flooded Cairos Tahrir Square,
demanding the end of President Hosni
Mubaraks regime. As the day of revolt
filled the streets of Cairo and other cities
with tear gas and flying stones, a team of
archaeologists led by Susanne Bickel of the University of Basel
in Switzerland was about to make one of the most significant
discoveries in the Valley of the Kings in almost a century.
The valley lies on the west bank of the Nile, opposite what was
once Egypts spiritual centerthe city of Thebes, now known as
Luxor. The valley was the final resting place of the pharaohs and
aristocracy beginning in the New Kingdom period (15391069
B.C.), when Egyptian wealth and power were at a high point. Dozens
of tombs were cut into the valleys walls, but most of them were
eventually looted. It was in this place that the Basel team came
across what they initially believed to be an unremarkable find.

A wooden coffin holding


the remains of a temple
singer sat inside a tomb
undisturbed for nearly
3,000 years. It is the first
unlooted burial to be
found in the Valley of the
Kings since 1922.

At the southeastern end of the valley they discovered


three sides of a man-made stone rim surrounding an area
of about three-and-a-half by five feet. The archaeologists
suspected that it was just the top of an abandoned shaft.
But, because of the uncertainty created by Egypts political
revolution, they covered the stone rim with an iron door
while they informed the authorities and applied for an
ocial permit to excavate.
A year later, just before the first anniversary of the revolution, Bickel returned with a team of two dozen people, including field director Elina Paulin-Grothe of the University of
Basel, Egyptian inspector Ali Reda, and local workmen. They
started clearing the sand and gravel out of the shaft. Eight feet
down, they came upon the upper edge of a door blocked by
large stones. At the bottom of the shaft they found fragments
of pottery made from Nile silt, and pieces of plaster, a material
commonly used to seal tomb entrances. Those plaster pieces,

Tomb of the
Chantress
A newly discovered burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings provides
a rare glimpse into the life of an ancient Egyptian singer
by Julian Smith

together with the age of other nearby sites, were the first sign
that the shaft might actually be a tomb dating to between 1539
and 1292 B.C., Egypts Eighteenth Dynasty. The large stones
appeared to have been added later.
Although stones blocked the entrance, there was a hole just
large enough to admit a small digital camera. Bickel, PaulinGrothe, and the chief of the Egyptian workmen each took
turns lying on the ground, head pressed against the shaft wall,
one arm through the hole, snapping pictures. The surprising
images revealed a small rock-cut chamber measuring 13 by 8.5
feet, filled to within three feet of the ceiling with debris, leaving
little doubt they had found a tomb. On top of the debris rested
a dusty black con carved from sycamore wood and decorated
with large yellow hieroglyphs on its sides and top. Ive never
found a con in as good condition before, Bickel says.

of the original Eighteenth Dynasty burial, she adds, including


pottery, wood fragments, and parts of the unwrapped and dismembered mummy who first occupied the tomb. It also must
be noted that before the discovery of Nehemes-Bastets, the
last unlooted tomb found in the valley was the famous burial of
Tutankhamun, discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter.
People have been claiming there was nothing new left to
find in the Valley of the Kings for almost as long as they have
been digging there. The Venetian antiquarian Giovanni Belzoni
believed he had emptied the last of the valleys tombs during
his 1817 expedition. Theodore Davis, who excavated there a
century later, came to a similar conclusionright before Tutankhamuns burial was found. Of course, other discoveries have
been made in the valley. In 1995, a team led by Donald Ryan
of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, was

The University of Basel team discovered the entrance to the


singers tomb while they were clearing debris from another
unexplored site in the valleys southeasternmost branch (left).
About eight feet below the surface (right) the team found the
top of the tombs doorway.

investigating a tomb used by the family of Pharaoh Rameses


II. They found previously unknown corridors, leading to the
resting place of Rameses IIs sons, which extended to more
than 121 rooms. Unfortunately, the rooms had been looted in
antiquity and damaged by flash floods. In 2005, a team led
by Otto Schaden of the Amenmesse Project discovered an
unlooted chamber, which held seven cons and 28 jars containing mummification materials. The chamber, contained no
bodies, so it is unlikely that it was a tomb.

The hieroglyphs describe the tombs occupant, named


Nehemes-Bastet, as a lady of the upper class and chantress
[shemayet] of Amun, whose father was a priest in the temple
complex of Karnak in Thebes. The cons color and hieroglyphs
match a style that dates to between 945 and 715 B.C., at least
350 years after the tomb was built. The con shows that the
burial chamber had been reused, a common practice at the time.
The only other artifact dating to the same period as the con
was a wooden stele, slightly smaller than an iPad, painted with
a prayer to provide for her in the afterlife, and an image that
is believed to be of Nehemes-Bastet in front of the seated sun
god Amun. The white, green, yellow, and red paints hadnt faded
a bit. Bickel says, It could have been taken from a storeroom
yesterday. The rubble that filled the chamber held the remnants
30

EFORE BICKELS TEAM COULD take Nehemes-Bastets con

out of the burial chamber for further study, they had to open
it to make sure that nothing inside would be damaged when
it was moved. It took a professional restorer a day to remove the
nails that held the lid closed. Inspector Ali Reda and Mohammed
el-Bialy, chief inspector of antiquities of Upper Egypt, joined Bickel
and Paulin-Grothe for the opening. Inside they found a carefully
wrapped female mummy, about five feet tall. It was blackened
all overand stuck to the bottom of the conby a sticky
fruit-based syrup used in the mummification process.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

nonetheless, it lacked the elaborate inner


cons found in similar burials.
More details on Nehemes-Bastets daily
life can be drawn from a wealth of paintings,
texts, and reliefs carved on statues and stelae
of the time, says Teeter. As a chantress, or
singer, in the temple of Amun, she probably
lived in the 250-acre Karnak temple complex
located in Thebes. Her name, translated as
may Bastet save her, indicates that she was
under the protection of the feline goddess
and divine mother Bastet, the protector of
Lower Egypt. Nehemes-Bastets occupation,
however, was to worship Amun, the king of
ancient Egyptian gods.
The coffin (left) was carved from sycamore
wood and decorated with hieroglyphs. An
inscription (below) states the name and title
of the coffins occupantNehemes-Bastet,
Chantress of Amun.

Even in the short time since its discovery, the tomb is


already providing intriguing insights into the life of the
woman who was buried there. The time of Nehemes-Bastets
burial (sometime between 945 and 715 B.C.) was long after
Egypt had reached the peak of its power and influence.
The Great Pyramid was more than 1,500 years old, and the
prosperous days of the New Kingdom were gone. NehemesBastet lived during the Third Intermediate Period, a time
when Egypt was split by intermittent wars between the pharaohs in Tanis and the high priests of Amun in Thebes, who
rivaled the traditional rulers in wealth and power. It must
have been a pretty unsettling period, says Emily Teeter, an
Egyptologist and research assistant at the Oriental Institute
of the University of Chicago. There was fighting, explains
Teeter, among these factions around her time.
Bickel says, Its interesting that in this period even a
wealthy girl was buried with quite simple things, comparing Nehemes-Bastets con and stele with the elaborate
pottery, furniture, and food found in earlier tombs. Her
wooden con was certainly quite expensive, she says, but
www.archaeology.org

Music was a key ingredient in Egyptian religion. Teeter


explains that it was believed to soothe the gods and encourage
them to provide for their worshippers. Nehemes-Bastet was one
of many priestess-musicians who performed inside the sanctuaries
and in the courts of the temples. The hypothesis is that these
women would sing, act, and take part in festivities and big ritual
processions that were held several times a year, Bickel says. The
musical instruments that chantresses typically used were the
menat, a multi-strand beaded necklace they would shake, and the
sistrum, a handheld rattle whose sound was said to evoke wind rustling through papyrus reeds. Other musicians would have played
drums, harps, and lutes during religious processions.
For years people have debated what kind of music it
was, says Teeter. But theres no musical notation left, and
were not sure how they tuned the instruments or whether
they sang or chanted. Some scholars have suggested it may
have sounded like an ancient ancestor of rap, she adds. The
emphasis was definitely on percussion. Images often show
people stamping their feet and clapping. Examples of song
lyrics are recorded on temple walls. This one from Luxor
31

refers to the Festival of Opet, when the cult images of the


gods Amun, Mut, and Khonsu were brought by boat down
the Nile to renew the pharoahs divine essence.
Hail Amun-Re, the primeval one of the two lands, foremost
one of Karnak, in your glorious appearance amidst your
[river] fleet, in your beautiful Festival of Opet, may you be
pleased with it.
The title Chantress of Amun belonged to women of the
upper classes, Teeter says. Genealogies show multiple generations of women held the title, with mothers probably teaching
the profession to their daughters. It was a very honorable
profession, says Teeter. These women were well respected
in society, which is why [Nehemes-Bastet] was buried in the
Valley of the Kings. As was the case with the priests, temple
singers were paid from the income generated by the huge
tracts of land that Amun owned across Egypt. Some priests
and priestesses served in the temples only a few months out
of the year before returning home. Theres little information
about what women like Nehemes-Bastet would have done
while at home, Teeter says, but it probably wasnt too dierent
from other womens traditional duties of the time: running the
household, raising children, and supporting their husbands.
To learn more about Nehemes-Bastet, Bickels team needed
32

The University of Basel team had to open the coffin to


prepare it to be removed from the tomb. Now it resides in a
lab, where it is being restored. The coffin and mummy
will also receive a CT scan.

to move the mummy to their lab. After reinforcing the con


and securing the mummy, Bickels team carefully removed
them from the burial chamber and transported them across the
Nile to Luxor, where they are being fully restored. The team
has emptied and sealed the tomb, but plans to return to complete an architectural analysis so they can learn more about its
construction. The bodies from both of the tombs burials will
be examined in detail. Bickel hopes to find the name or at least
the title of the tombs original Eighteenth Dynasty occupant.
In addition, a CT scan of Nehemes-Bastet is planned for later
this year or early 2013. Preliminary reports will be published
by the end of 2012, she says, but final analyses of the tomb and
its artifacts will probably take four to five years.
As surprising as finding Nehemes-Bastets tomb was, archaeologists believe it probably isnt the last major discovery that will
be made in the Valley of the Kings. The valley has many nooks
and crannies, says Otto Schaden, so it is still premature to set
any limits on the possibility of finding more tombs.
Julian Smith is a contributing editor at Archaeology.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

An aerial view of the site of


Iklaina near Pylos, Greece.

The Birth of
Bureaucracy
At the site of Iklaina,
excavations are revealing
new evidence of how the
Mycenaean state functioned
by Amanda Summer

YLOS, IN GREECES southwestern Peloponnese, is

known for its miles of soft sandy beaches, rocky


islets soaring out of the water marking the edges
of the Bay of Navarino, and the mountains that
cut it o from the rest of Greece. The surrounding region, known as Messenia, is also home
to dozens of archaeological sites. Since the nineteenth century, Messenia has attracted archaeologists hoping to uncover

www.archaeology.org

remains of Greeces Mycenaean age, the period from approximately 1650 to 1100 B.C., famous for such mythical sagas as the
Trojan War. Among them have been Heinrich Schliemann, who
came from Germany to search the area in vain to locate a royal
settlement, and American Carl Blegen, who excavated the Palace
of Nestor in Pylos in 1939. Fifteen years later, in 1954, Blegens
colleague, Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos, went hiking
in the hills above Pylos. There, near the small modern town of
33

Iklaina, he came upon the remains of a structure with massive


walls, surrounded by large deposits of pottery. The Iklaina site
was overgrown with olive groves and the terrain was dicult to
traverse, but a brief trial excavation suggested the existence of
an important site. However, other work beckoned Marinatos
and it would remain buried for decades.

HEN ARCHAEOLOGIST Michael Cosmopoulos of the


University of MissouriSt. Louis arrived in Iklaina
in 1998 he had an ambitious plan. Cosmopoulos
had previously directed archaeological projects at Oropos, an
ancient city-state near Athens, and at Eleusis, the Sanctuary of
Demeter and home of the famous Eleusinian Mysteries. After
learning from his colleague George Korres of the University
of Athens about the promising site in the hills above Pylos,
he jumped at the opportunity to pick up where Marinatos
had left o. Soon he had organized a team of students and
volunteers whose field survey eventually investigated more
than eight square miles. Cosmopoulos combined his results
with a survey done previously by the University of Cincinnatithe Pylos Regional Archaeological Projectwhich had
mapped the region around the Palace of Nestor in the early
1990s. Cosmopoulos also conducted an exhaustive geophysical survey, using magnetometry, electrical resistivity, and soil
phosphate analysis. It took 400 students, volunteers, and sta
eight years to determine that Iklaina was the largest site in the
region outside the Palace of Nestor.

sort of bottom-up approach. Scholars know that the state of


Pylos had a four-tiered administrative system: the palace at
the top, followed by the district capitals (the second-order
settlements), then followed by small villages, and at the bottom
by farmsteads. At Iklaina, Cosmopoulos wanted to see how
ordinary people lived outside the palaces, in the towns and
villages of the lower tiers, how their society changed over time,
and how government operated there. Kinship systems and
elite groups are thought to have propelled power chiefdoms
to statehood, Cosmopoulos explains. If such groups existed
at a second-order center such as Iklaina, we would expect
appropriate architectural remains.
It was, however, not just the promise of archaeological
remains that drew Cosmopoulos to this plateau, which rises
525 feet above the Messenian plain. There were also clues from
clay tablets discovered at the Palace of Nestor that date to
around 1200 B.C. Inscribed in the ancient Greek script known
as Linear B (see sidebar), these tablets suggest that Iklaina
may have been one of the district capitals of the Mycenaean
kingdom of Pylos.
The more than 1,000 tablets found at the Palace of Nestor
are not works of literature, but rather are records of a bureaucratic system, primarily economic in nature, with lists of animals,
people, and manufactured items. The tablets also give us
valuable information about the administration of the state of
Pylos. They tell us that it was divided into two provinces: the
Hither and the Further provinces, and that each province
was divided into districtsthe Hither into nine and the Further into seven. Archaeologists believe that Iklaina may have
been one of the nine districts of the Hither Province, whose
name may have been pronounced something like alphy, aphy,
or asphy. Interestingly, a corrupt form of this name may have
survived in Homers Iliad as Aipy. As Cosmopoulos explains,
We have here a rare circumstance where archaeology converges with textual evidence and possibly mythology.

COSMOPOULOS received his permit from


the Athens Archaeological Society, he and his team
prepared to excavatebut not before receiving the
blessing of the local priest who had instructed him where to
begin digging. Within four inches we started finding walls and
pots, he says. We joked about divine intervention helping us
out. Cosmopoulos began digging test trenches in 2006, and a
full-scale excavation got under way in 2008. At that time, says
Cosmopoulos, the dominant feature of the site was a mound,
overgrown with a jungle of bushes and trees and thickets of
grass. Visible on the surface around the mound were segments
of ancient walls, which he anticipated might be hiding a large
tomb. It took four workmen working full time for four weeks
to remove the thick vegetation, Cosmopoulos remembers.
Once the overgrowth was cleared and the team was able to
start excavating the mound, instead of a tomb, they found a
giant Cyclopean wall, typical of Mycenaean architecture. This
type of construction, named Cyclopean because later Greeks
thought that only the mythical giant known as the Cyclops could
have built such huge walls, is made of massive blocks of roughly
S SOON AS

Iklaina excavation director Michael Cosmopoulos


excavating in one of the settlements houses with the
assistance of some of the students and volunteers who have
worked with the project for more than a decade.

From Cosmopoulos standpoint, excavating at Iklaina provided an important opportunity to take an in-depth look at
the evidence from a whole district and to examine Mycenaean
society and government not from the point of view of the main
palace, as had been done in the past, but from its districtsa
34

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

cut rectangular stones laid in horizontal courses. Iklainas walls


are similar to architectural features found at important Mycenaean palace sites in Greece, including Tiryns, Pylos, Mycenae,
and Gla. It was exhilarating and unexpected to find this,
Cosmopoulos exclaims, recalling the day, particularly because
the dating of the Cyclopean Terrace is early. On the basis of
pottery from the foundations of the Terrace and the walls of
the surrounding rooms, Cosmopoulos dated the structure to
between 1500 and 1350 B.C., the first of the two major phases of
the site. While typical of Mycenaean construction style, the wall
is unusual in that it represents an early stage in the development
of Cyclopean architecture, he says.

Steven Clarkes 3-D rendering (above) of what


the Cyclopean Terrace Building may have looked like.
A detail of the Cyclopean Terrace wall (right),
which dates to between 1500 and 1350 B.C.

Deciphering Linear B

1899, PIONEERING British archaeologist Arthur Evans


purchased a parcel of land on the Greek island of Crete.
Evans had been drawn to the island by a collection of
ancient carved gems he believed originated there. He would
soon uncover the Bronze Age Palace of Knossos, one of the
most important archaeological finds in history. Among his
discoveries during three decades spent excavating the palace
were several thousand clay tablets containing strange markings
and pictographs. Despite being unable to read them, Evans
theorized that the tablets were an ancient writing system,
which he dubbed Linear B, after the scripts use of small line
formations. (What is known as Linear A had also been found
at Knossos, and is believed to be an earlier writing system.)
As a result of Evans discovery, scholars recognized that
tablets from sites on the Greek mainland, including Pylos,
Thebes, and Mycenae, were also inscribed in Linear B, indicating that the peculiar writing style was more widespread than
initially thought. Until the recent discovery of Linear B at the
site of Iklaina, near Pylos, all the previously known tablets,
which date to between 1500 and 1200 B.C., were found at
large palatial centers typical of the Mycenaean period. When
these palaces burned down, the tablets, which had been kept
N

www.archaeology.org

in storerooms, were fired, hardening the clay and accidentally preserving them. In 1953 came the announcement that
Linear Bs cryptic markings had been deciphered, and that
it was actually an early form of ancient Greek. The tablets
contain a type of syllabic script. Most of the individual
signs represent certain syllable combinations (vowel and
consonant). There are also ideograms, in which a sign actually represents the object it resemblesa picture of a jar for
the word jar, for example. Overall, Linear B has as many
as 200 dierent signs.
Once Linear B could be read, it became clear that almost
all of the known tablets contained similar contentarchival
information about the large central palaces in which they
were found. Scribes had used them to keep an inventory of
the everyday goods belonging to the palaces and to document economic transactions.
The Linear B tablet from Iklaina is unique in that it was
not found amid the remains of a palatial center. According to Cynthia Shelmerdine, the projects ceramics expert,
the Iklaina tablet opens up the whole question of how
widespread Mycenaean literacy was, and how far down the
administrative system written records extended.

35

The purpose of this massive terrace was to support a monumental building (dubbed the Cyclopean Terrace Building),
which would have served as the administrative center for the
area, suggesting that Iklaina at that time was the capital of
an independent chiefdom. According to excavation architect
Michael Nelson, the terrace was substantial enough to support two or three stories. The section of the building that
once stood on top of the terrace is gone forever, but other
parts of this building complex survive. These include rooms
to the south, southwest, and southeast, and possibly a central
open space that was a garden or courtyard. An enormous wall,
the edge of which was uncovered in the last days of the 2011
season, may have served as a fortification wall.
The building has all the elements one would expect to
find in a Mycenaean administrative center. In addition to its
monumental size, unusual for this early period, it contained
multiple storage rooms for foodstus, oering tables, and a
rich assemblage of pottery. The walls of some of the rooms
were decorated with elaborate figural frescoes painted in blue,
white, and red. The buildings upper levels had collapsed into
its lower storage rooms, in which Cosmopoulos team has
found more than 1,000 fresco fragments to date. After several seasons of study, two major themes have been identified
on the frescoesnaval imagery, which is stylistically similar
to Minoan frescoes found on the islands of Thera and Keos,
and another theme depicting females, possibly in procession,
with long black hair and arms covered in bracelets.

Project conservator
Stefania Veldemiris
reconstruction of
the fresco fragments
from the Cyclopean
Terrace Building
(above left and right),,
and (right) one of
the actual fragments,
s,
showing a female
le
figure bringing her
er
hand to her chest.
est.

36

A fragment of a spindle whorl (below


left), dozens of which were found,
is evidence of textile manufacture
at the site. Ceramic figurines (right)
were found in most buildings on
the site. Zooarchaeologist Deborah
Ruscillo studies the animal bone
evidence, such as this pig radius
(bottom) to discover more
about the Mycenaean diet.

The excavation
Th
i h
has uncovered
d many artifacts
if
ffrom d
daily
life as well, including amulets, figurines, rings, cooking vessels,
bone tools, and clay and stone spindle whorls used in weaving.
On the basis of plant remains recovered by the projects botanists, Susan Allen and China Shelton, it seems the inhabitants
diet consisted of olives, fruits, nuts, wheat, and barley. The
bones of fish, pigs, sheep, goat, and cattle also have been found
among the remains, demonstrating not only the variety of the
inhabitants diet, but also their diverse economy. According to
Deborah Ruscillo, the projects zooarchaeologist, the inhabitants also relied on hunting, mostly wild boar and deer, for
food. Intriguingly, a large percentage of wild boar bones bear
the gnaw marks of dogs, perhaps the same hounds that hunted
the boars as depicted in Mycenaean frescoes.
To the north of the Cyclopean Terrace, Cosmopoulos has
identified a large town consisting of multiple small dwellings.
There is evidence that these dwellings, along with the Cyclopean Terrace Building, were destroyed by enemy action around
1350 B.C. In a display of superiority as they established their
authority, the towns new rulers never rebuilt the monumental
building on the Cyclopean Terrace and constructed their own
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Team members set a new trench (above) near the


Cyclopean Terrace wall and the ancient drain, which is
visible at the lower left.

houses directly on top of the houses of the previous phase,


but with a dierent orientation. Cosmopoulos believes this
is evidence that the new rulers made an eort to erase the
memories of the previous authority and that these new rulers
were those of the Palace of Nestor, now the major power in
the area. One of the dwellings representing the second phase
in the sites history, from 1350 to about 1200 B.C., included a
megaron, a great hall central to a Mycenaean house, containing
a hearth surrounded by four pillars. Cosmopoulos is not certain
if the megaron was used for administrative purposes, or simply
indicated that this had been a wealthy house. He hopes further
excavation in the area will establish its function.
In the past several seasons the team has uncovered additional finds that oer more clues about the sites significance
and changing role over time, and reveal new information about
the settlements industrial, religious, and political practices.
These include an intriguing network of drains, a possible openair shrine, and a tiny inscribed tablet that may put Iklaina on
the map as the oldest state bureaucracy in Europe.

T 6:30 A.M. on a hot July day, halfway through the 2011

season, students and volunteers straggle in to the site.


Theyve been dropped o by the bus a quarter mile
away, as the areas remoteness makes it dicult for anything
larger than a car to make its way along the narrow dirt road.
Early morning light is starting to evaporate dew that has col-

www.archaeology.org

A plan of part of the site shows the original megaron, an


architectural unit central to many Mycenaean houses. At
some point in the buildings life the main room was divided
into smaller spaces (green), and industrial and storage
rooms were added (also green). A system of drains (yellow) was built to drain the industrial rooms. The walls
(black and white) belong to the sites earliest period.

37

lected on plastic tarps covering the trenches. A group of


students selects hand axes and other tools stored overnight
in buckets and heads o to work with a team from the lab.
b.
Todays job is to remove a large section of plaster surrounding
ding
an ancient drainage system that runs throughout the site. Head
conservator StefaniaVeldemiri has fashioned a large metal tray
to slide underneath the plaster, in hopes of removing it intact.
tact.
Once the metal sheet is lifted, the team moves in unison, carryarrying the plaster and surrounding soil like a litter to a waiting van
that will take it back to the lab in downtown Pylos, some nine
miles to the east. The job of gingerly transporting the plaster
aster
seems not unlike moving a very large wedding cake.
The presence of this extensive drainage system and clay
pipes, originating from a series of rooms that were most
likely used as industrial installations, points to a great need
for running water. With a large amount of flaxseed found in
those rooms, its probable that the industry of the sites new
inhabitants was flax production. The building had a cement
floor and a system of five drains feeding into a main drain in
what Cosmopoulos believes was the industrial center of Iklaina
during the second period in the sites occupation.
Another possible industry Iklaina supported was metalworking. The Linear B tablets from Pylos mention the Iklaina
site as a metallurgical center. According to John Chadwick,
the English linguist who helped decipher Linear B, the site

Many metal artifacts


were found
a
at Iklaina,
including this
Ik
bronze
nail and ring,
br
suggesting
the presence
su
of
o a substantial metallurgical
production
lur
center
at the site.
cen

may have
hav supported up to an astonishing 225 smiths. Numerous me
metal objects including bronze nails, saws, and rings
were fou
found at the site, as was a unique head of a bronze male
figurine with no known parallels.
In the last weeks of the 2011 season, the team uncovered
another significant building, aligned along one side with an
upright rectangular stone known as a stele. At some Mycenaean sites such markers indicate a sacred space. However,
in this case, Cosmopoulos believes the building may have
been unfinished and that the post was a construction marker.
Neither I nor any of my colleagues have seen anything like
this before, Cosmopoulos explains. Although no artifacts
were found in the buildings interior, he believes that the
structures size and construction suggest a special function.
At almost 50 feet long, with ashlar masonry, carefully chiseled blocks of stone known as orthostates, and a large paved

Remains uncovered in a pit may be evidence of the earliest Mycenaean open-airshrine, dating to between 1450 and 1300 B.C.
38

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

courtyard, this may have been an administrative building


used in the second period of Iklainas occupation, according
to Cosmopoulos. It may also have been the residence of the
mayor who is mentioned in the Linear B tablets from the
Palace of Nestor archive.
The 2011 season also marked the discovery of a pit that
may be the first known Mycenaean open-air shrine. These
types of shrines are known from artistic representations, but
none has been excavated to date. At Iklaina, the area contained
evidence of fire, including burned soil and ashes, along with
oering tables made of plaster, fragments of frescoes, numerous animal bones, and drinking vessels, as well as a rare sheet
of lead. It is still being excavated, but if the area turns out to be
an open-air shrine, this will provide new avenues for the study
of Mycenaean religion. Further excavation in conjunction with
analysis of the bones may determine the rituals practiced here.
In references to the Iklaina site in the Linear B tablets from
Pylos, there is mention of temple servants and temple bronze,
suggesting the existence of a religious structure there. One tablet also mentions a man, Pythias, who is possibly named after
a god, indicating some sort of religious belief and, indirectly,
worship associated with the shrine.
Perhaps the most remarkable and important find at the
site to date is also one of the smallest. In 2010, archaeologists found a suspicious artifact encrusted in soil inside a
3,400-year-old refuse pit. They then bagged it and sent it to
the museum for study. Noticing what appeared to be inscriptions, the student who washed the artifact brought it to the
attention of the projects chief ceramicist and Linear B expert,
Cynthia Shelmerdine of the University of Texas at Austin. She
instantly recognized the markings of Linear B. Shelmerdine,
who was the first to read the fragment, believes it is part of a
personnel record. On one side is what is likely a list of male
names and numbers, and the other preserves part of the heading for what might have been a list of manufactured products.
Until now, tablets found in stratified contexts had been
known only from a handful of major palaces, such as Pylos,
Mycenae, Tiryns, Knossos, and Thebes, says Cosmopoulos.
Finding a tablet is evidence that the site at Iklaina had the
scribes necessary to sustain a bureaucracy. It also suggests a
high level of political organization and a need to keep track
www.archaeology.org

The Linear B tablet found at Iklaina is believed to be the


earliest known example of a bureaucratic record in Europe.
Side A (left) shows the ending of the participle of a verb
which may mean manufactured or assembled. The top
line of Side B (right) shows a male name followed by the
number 1 and the second line preserves part of what
appears to be a second male name.

of commodities. In addition, most tablets are dated to around


1200 B.C., and one from Mycenae dates to the late fourteenth
century B.C. But the Iklaina tablet dates to between 1450 and
1350 B.C., making it the earliest known bureaucratic record
found on the Greek mainland.
Because Linear B tablets were, as far as we know, used
exclusively as state records, the discovery of the Iklaina tablet
implies state structure and state bureaucracy. Its early date
indicates that bureaucracy and literacy in Greece appeared
earlier and were more widespread than we had thought until
now, says Cosmopoulos. He is confident the tablet will oer
insight into an area of history that is still little understood.
The discovery of the tablet is important because, according
to what we had known until now, records were not kept in
second-order settlements and all known tablets from the
Greek mainland are dated later. This may change the way
scholars understand how Mycenaean bureaucracy developed
over time. Cosmopoulos adds with obvious excitement, In
the grand scheme of things, Iklaina may shed new light on
how Mycenaean states were formed.
The finds at Iklaina will keep Cosmopoulos and his team
busy for years to come. He is working to purchase and excavate the land adjacent to the site in future seasonswhere
there is one Linear B tablet, there is always the hope of
finding more. In the meantime, Iklainas uniquely stratified
settlement makes it the ideal laboratory, and Cosmopoulos
is eager for the opportunity it oers not only to learn about
life in the palaces and in the surrounding farmlands, but also
to investigate for the first time in one site how Mycenaean
society developed on all levels in between.
Amanda Summer is an archaeologist and writer who lives in
St. Louis, Missouri.
39

ince the early twentieth century, archaeologists


have relied on aerial photography as a technique
to locate possible sites without having to physically survey vast areas. Signs of human habitation in aerial photos derive from the presence
of habitation mounds and from changes in soil
color tied to the presence of anthrosolssoil that has been
modified by human activity.
While inarguably useful for finding sites, this type of remote
sensing analysis is time-consuming and tedious, requiring
researchers to pore over hundreds of images to identify potential candidate sites for excavation. Further, only large mounds
are discernible in aerial photos. Thus, smaller sites are tough to
detect, the relationships between dierent settlements are hard to
decipher, and the expanse of a civilization is dicult to determine.

In order to fill in the blanks, archaeologist Jason Ur of


Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
computer scientist Bjoern Menze have now turned the job of
image analysis over to computers. Their method uses images
taken by ASTER, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission
and Reflection Radiometer instrument aboard NASAs Terra
satellite, originally launched in 1999 to observe changes in the
Earths climate. This approach takes advantage of the fact that
anthrosols and the soil around them reflect light dierently.
As a starting point, Ur and Menze focused on ASTER images
of the Early Bronze Age city of Hamoukar in northeastern Syria,
which Ur had surveyed intensively from 2000 to 2001. The
researchers identified and dierentiated between sites and
non-sites in the ASTER images of the area. Thanks to the presence of anthrosols in what had once been inhabited areas, sites

in the images had a dierent spectral signature than non-sites.


Ur and Menze then developed a computer program that
was able to distinguish between sites and non-sites. Every
pixel in any given satellite image, says Ur, is compared to the
two possible signatures and assigned to one of the classes. In
addition, the spectral signature of a site is the same regardless
of the elevation of the terrain, allowing Ur and Menze to pick
up small mounds as well as large ones.
This computer analysis results in faster and more objective
assessment of terrain than can be done with the human eye.
When given images of an area of 8,500 square miles in northeastern Syria to analyze, a cluster of 50 computers required
only a single day to classify each pixel. The analysis uncovered
more than 14,000 potential sites; only 1,000 sites in the region
were previously known to archaeologists.

So far, this approach has been used to recognize sedentary agricultural settlements that incorporated mudbrick
architecture in the kind of semiarid floodplains found in
Mesopotamia, where Ur conducts his research. Nicola
Masini, a senior researcher at Italys Institute for Archaeological and Monumental Heritage and coauthor of the book
Satellite Remote Sensing: A New Tool for Archaeology, believes
its application could easily be expanded to areas such as
the mounds built by pre-Inca civilizations in parts of Peru.
Ur agrees, noting that many of the centers of early world
civilizations share the arid environments and archaeological
features that would allow his and Menzes method to reveal
sites within them.
Aldo Foe is an intern at Archaeology.

Computational analysis of satellite images detects new evidence of


previously overlooked human settlements
by Aldo Foe

Researchers Jason Ur and


Bjoern Menze used computers
to analyze an ASTER image (far
left) of the Bronze Age city of
Hamoukar (ca. 2600 to 2000
B.C.), located in northeastern
Syrias Khabur Basin, to find
areas of human occupation
(middle, indicated by orange
clusters). Their method allows
them to find smaller sites, in
addition to ones that form large
mounds. By locating a greater
variety of sites, Ur and Menze
were able to chart possible
networks (left) of interactions
between each of the sites in the
Khabur Basin over an 8,000-year
period, both before and after
Hamoukar was established.

VASAS
Curious Imbalance
As their focus shifts from
preservation to documentation,
researchers are learning new
lessons from the majestic Vasaa
warship monumental in its
ambition, its failure, and its role in
maritime archaeology
by Lucas Laursen

HE WARSHIP SURVIVED the first blast of wind

it encountered on its maiden voyage in Stockholm Harbor. But the second gust did it in.
The sinking of Vasa, on August 10, 1628, took
place nowhere near an enemy. In fact, it sank
in full view of a horrified public, assembled to
see o their navysand Europesmost ambitious warship to
date. The 220-foot, triple-deck, 64-gun leviathan, elaborately
adorned, had been rush-ordered for King Gustav Adolfs war
against Poland. But before it faced an opposing ship or fired a
single shot, Vasa slipped beneath the waves.
Gustav angrily demanded an inquest into why his expensive
new flagship lay at the bottom of the harbor. At the time,
investigators found several clues. Compared with previous
ships, Vasa had a thicker deck and held more and larger guns
on its upper deck, making it top-heavy. When it embarked,
Vasa carried almost none of the cargo and ballast that keep
ships low in the water and help them resist listing. And when
Vasa did list, open gun bays allowed the sea to rush in. The
inquest blamed the ships proportions for the sinking, but
without modern blueprints or measuring techniques, investigators oered few details. Still, Swedish shipbuilders appeared
to have learned from the experience: Vasas subsequent sister
ships sailed without problems.
The cold, oxygen-poor water of the Baltic Sea protected
Vasa from the bacteria and worms that usually digest wooden
The wreck of Vasa, a 17th-century Swedish warship,
now resides in a custom-built museum in Stockholm. Laser
surveys and digital models are helping determine why
the ship sank on its maiden voyage in 1628.
42

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

www.archaeology.org

43

wrecks. Perhaps 95 percent of Vasas wood


was intact when Sweden finally raised the wreck in 1961. The
ships waterlogged wood could not support its own weight,
so experts crafted a steel cradle to hold the ship, first in a
temporary structure and then in a custom-built museum.
Despite the cradle, Vasa began a slow-motion collapse, and
preservationists scrambled to improve the cradle. They also
strengthened Vasas wood by spraying it with polyethylene
glycol continuously for 17 years, followed by nine years of
drying. These challenges meant that, for decades, preservation took precedence over archaeological investigations
into why the ship sank so suddenly. Archaeologists had
their hands on the ship only in the initial excavation phase:
two months, for a 1,200-ton ship, says Kroum Batchvarov,
a marine archaeologist from the University of Connecticut
Avery Point, and a former student of Fred Hocker, who has
led the Vasa Museums study of the ship since 2003.
During the initial excavation in the 1960s, Vasa Museum
curator Eva Marie Stolt found clues that the ship had an
asymmetric structure that contributed to its instability. But
archaeological recording methods are more suited to right
angles than to Vasas curves, and the museum only budgeted
time to record one side of the ship, despite her suspicions.
Stolt was perfectly aware that she was not getting the right
sort of information. Its clear from her notes, Batchvarov
says. Among the 45,000 artifacts removed from the ship
was another suggestion of an uneven construction process:
Both Swedish and Dutch carpenters rulers, which employed
dierent feet, were found aboard. Perhaps cultural barriers
between the men under the direction of master builder Henrik
Hybertsson (a Dutch-born Swede) were responsible for Vasas
potentially crippling imbalance. Hockers new research at the
museum, built around precise measurement and the interaction of dierent shipbuilding methodologies, might finally
address Gustavs demand for answers.
44

oday VASA rests in an updated cradle in a


vast space in the temperature- and humiditycontrolled museum in Djurgrden, a leafy
island
isla in central Stockholm. The ships dark brown
timbers
tim
and intricate carvings glisten in low light as
tourists
tou
move around it. Everybody wants to know
why
wh the ship sank, Hocker says, but to me thats not
the
th most interesting question. Instead, Id ask, How
did
di the human process of building the ship fail?
Hocker recruited colleagues, including Batchvarov
and
an a survey team from East Carolina University in
Greenville,
G
North Carolina, to create a detailed digital
ta model of the ship using laser-surveying methods.
They
T
hope to use it to untangle the choices made by
the
th ships builders and apply modern mathematical
analysis
a
to calculate Vasas structural behavior and
handling
h
characteristics.
During four visits, the archaeological team used
tripod-mounted
survey devices to measure the dist
tance
from the devices to points along the edges and
t
corners
c
of the ships timbers. Hocker then integrated
their data points80,000 in allinto his digital model, and
The waterlogged Vasa emerged from Stockholm Harbor in
1961 (above left). Decades of preservation work have slowed
the deterioration of its detailed carvings (below). Digital
modeling of the ship will help with this ongoing effort.

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

connected the points so that each beam had a digital counterpart.


That resulting wireframe model reveals not just the shape of the
ship, but how each of its individual components fits together.
With this first detailed digital model of the ship, which was
completed earlier this year, Hocker and others are confirming
some theories about Vasas construction and debunking others.
Were finding virtually no evidence of change during construction, Batchvarov says, for example, contradicting old theories that
the king had meddled with the design. What the team is finding
are clues that at least two kinds of construction coexisted on Vasa.
At the time of Vasas construction, several shipbuilding
philosophies existed in Europe. The Dutch, for example,
worked from the bottom up, without detailed formal plans.
Their method allowed shipbuilders to work quickly, plunking
in timbers wherever they fit, saving both lumber and the time
it took for carpenters to hew timbers with precision. English
and Mediterranean shipbuilders, on the other hand, built much
more tidy, symmetrical structures based around frames with
well-defined mathematical relationships.
The model showed that Vasas lower framing and beams were
constructed in the Dutch style, reflecting the builder Hybertssons Dutch origin. But Hocker and Kelby Rose, a graduate student at Texas A&M University, were surprised to discover precise
mathematical relationships between the keel and timbers in the
upper hull, Hocker says, a characteristic archaeologists associate
with Mediterranean shipbuilders. Perhaps Hybertsson grafted
Mediterranean or English techniques onto a Dutch foundation

The wireframe model of Vasa based on laser surveys shows


how individual timbers fit together, and might reveal whether
cultural differences among work crews contributed to the
ships catastrophic instability in the water.

and in his ambition lost a sense of the resulting center of gravity.


Or the imbalance could have a more mundane cause: Hocker is
analyzing the model to see if the beams on one side of the ship
are consistently longer or wider than those on the other, perhaps
because dierent construction gangs were working on dierent
sides. It may be that one side of the ship is much heavier than
the other side, which would have created challenges in ballasting
the ship, and predisposed it to being more stable heeling to one
side than the other, says Hocker.
www.archaeology.org

Several carpenters rulers


were found aboard Vasa. The top three rulers employ the
Swedish foot, with 12 inches, while the last one is based on the
Dutch 11-inch foot. Measurement differences might have resulted
in one side of the ship weighing much more than the other.

Theres a lot to be learned from a detailed analysis of how all


the pieces of wood that constitute Vasa have been put together
and how two cultures of shipbuilding interacted with each other,
says marine archaeologist Thijs J. Maarleveld of Southern Denmark University in Esbjerg, who is not involved in the Vasa study.
With such information, together with estimates of the
density of each timber, engineers at the nearby Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm should be able to calculate
the ships center of gravity and how its weight is distributed.
The former will help to quantify the degree of Vasas imbalance before the ship put to sea, and determine if the captain
could have corrected for the asymmetry, using ballast, intuition, and experience. The latter will help the museum design
a new cradle for the ships uneven shape. The more precise
the cradle can be made, the longer Vasa will endure intact.
We started the documentation for archaeological reasons
and then realized that this was exactly the same data we were
going to need for preservation, Hocker says.
Maintaining Vasas remarkable and rare state of preservation
will allow Hocker and others to learn things about northern
European shipbuilding that are impossible to ascertain from
other, less complete, wrecks. And all the lessons from the
preservation and digital modeling of Vasa will be useful on
other wrecks, which raise similar questions about construction
techniques and preservation. Understanding the process is
interesting because it gives us a better insight into the overall
technology, on the solutions that were arrived at, and provides
material for comparison to other wrecks, Maarleveld says.
Armed with a detailed understanding of not just Vasas final
shape, but how it blended shipbuilding philosophies, how the
building process evolved, and what its critical flaws were, Hocker
and colleagues might be able to answer both the engineering
question of whether Vasa could have been made seaworthy and,
more importantly, the human question of why it was not.
Lucas Laursen is a science and technology journalist based in
Madrid, Spain.
45

Uncovering
Sidons
Long Life
For the rst time, archaeologists are
revealing the 4,000-year history of one
of ancient Lebanons oldest ports
by Andrew Lawler

EDGED BETWEEN A ROAD and decay-

ing old houses perched on a hill,


sits a massive excavation site. A
century ago, this was the location of
an American school and, after that,
until a decade ago, was simply a
vacant lot. But Lebanese archaeologist Claude Doumet-Serhal
and her multinational team have transformed this apparently
unremarkable spot into a window on the rich ancient history
of the port city of Sidon. In this little piece of land we have
everything, a slice of civilization, she says. Its very exciting.
The reason for Doumet-Serhals enthusiasm is easy to
see. In the shade of nearby bushes are piles of Roman bases,
columns, and capitals. Crumbling houses sit atop the remains
of a medieval wall within view of a ruined Crusader-era
castle. Just beyond lies another thirteenth-century castle,
overlooking the rocky shore of the Mediterranean Sea along
Lebanons coast. Sidon is so old that, according to the Book
of Genesis, it was named after the great-grandson of Noah.
In antiquity, the city attracted an impressive array of visitors,
both welcome and unwelcome, including the first-century
B.C. king of Judea, Herod the Great; Jesus and St. Paul; the
armies of Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C.; the
twelfth-century A.D. Norwegian king Sigurd; and the Mongols
of Central Asia a century later.
46

Several other ancient Lebanese coastal ports such as Tyre


and Byblos were excavated long ago, but this modern-day
sleepy fishing town completely covers ancient Sidon, making it largely inaccessible to archaeologists. All that has been
known of the city comes from occasional mentions in ancient
Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and biblical textsit is named 38
times in the Old Testament alone. These documents suggest
that Sidon was the earliest home of the ancient Phoeniciansboth the Bible and Homer refer to Phoenicians as
Sidonians. Beginning around 1500 B.C., these seafaring
people spread out from the region, establishing wealthy, independent city-states across the southern coast of the Mediterranean and in Sicily, and dominating the region for more
than a thousand years. They were famed in particular for
their expertise in extracting precious and valuable purple dye
from murex snail shells. The very term Phoenician appears
to be from the classical Greek word for purple. They did not
call themselves Phoenicians, however, sometimes identifying
themselves in contemporary texts as Canaanites.
The fifth-century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus comments in his Histories that the Phoenicians were known to
adventure on long voyages, freighting their vessels with the
wares of Egypt and Assyria. This mercantile people carried
hunting dogs, glass, wine, and textiles from Spain to Somalia,
according to other texts. Their great impact on civilization,
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Although the modern town of Sidon sits directly


on top of the ancient one, a multinational team has
been working for more than a decade to uncover the
many layers of the citys rich history.

however, was the development of a phonetic alphabet. Along


with their wares, they spread this writing system across the
Mediterranean, where it was assimilated and adapted by other
cultures, including the Greeks.
Starting in the sixth century B.C., attacks on Phoenician
settlements by Persians and Alexander the Great in the Near
East and Greeks in Sicily eventually put the Phoenicians
on the defensive and began their long decline. The Roman
destruction of the colony of Carthage in modern Tunisia in
146 B.C. may have been the final blow. By the first century
A.D., mentions of the Phoenicians almost cease, although
the first-century A.D. Roman geographer Strabo reports that
they continued to gather tin from Britain and copper from
Cyprus to produce fine bronze. By then, Sidon was a Romancontrolled port with only limited regional reach.
Though much is known about the Phoenicians in their
heyday, the archaeological evidence of their origins, how
they lived, and the critical role of Sidon in that story has
been sorely lacking. Beyond a few mentions in old texts, says
Doumet-Serhal, we knew zilch.
Now in their fourteenth year, her excavations, sponsored
by the British Museum and contributions from
m Lebanese
banks and foundations, are beginning to fill in that
gap. During the first season, we found nothing, and I thought it was the end of the project,
oject,
Doumet-Serhal recalls. But in the last days they
hey came
across a few sherds of pottery dating to the
he third
millennium B.C., and that discovery inspired
d her to
keep going. Her tenacity proved to be a smart
rt move,
and the excavation has since uncovered remains
ains that
range from Sidons bloody days of the Crusades
des to its
origin as a port when the first civilizations were
re taking
root almost 5,000 years ago.

N THE SOUTHERN, SHALLOWER END of the


100-yard-long trench, Sidons story takes
place in the days of the Crusades. The British
itish
Museums Sarah Collins carefully examines the skeleton
keleton
of a thirteenth-century
ry
man who was beheaded
d
and chopped to pieces.
The bones are part of
one or possibly two
mass graves containing
the remains of nearlyy
two dozen young adults..
There archaeologists
also found an Italian
coin dating to 1245
and a belt buckle that
may have been made
in medieval England,
all evidence of a Euro-pean presence at a time
me
when soldiers flocked to
o the

48

A Minoan cup dating to around


1900 B.C., from the island of Crete,
was found in the excavations
Mid
Middle Bronze Age layers. It is
the earliest known import from
the Aegean world to Lebanon.

region in an eort to control


re
Jer
Jerusalem
and the surrounding
Holy Land.
L
Just below and to the east
are the remains of a low curved stone wall that may be part of
a long-lost theater dating to the early centuries A.D., possibly
a remnant of Roman rule of the city.
A few steps to the north, archaeologists are looking for
artifacts and architecture dating to Sidons Phoenician heyday, between the twelfth and fourth centuries B.C., but so far
Doumet-Serhal has found only potsherds. Although the pottery does confirm that Sidon was indeed a Phoenician city,
definitive archaeological evidence of its centrality to Phoenician life has yet to come to light. So much has been added
and destroyed, Doumet-Serhal notes.
The team has,
h however, found clear evidence supporting
the bib
biblical implication that Sidon is a city of great
antiquity. A few yards farther north, they have
antiq
discovered the remains of a large stone temple
dis
dating to about 1300 B.C., along with pottery
d
made
m
in Mycenae, one of the most powerful
Greek
Gr
cities at the time. Nearby, the excavators
also uncovered
un
several Egyptian imports, including
pottery,
pottery scarabs, and a jar incised with the name of
Queen Twosret, who briefly ruled Egypt around
1190 B.C. as the last pharaoh of the Nineteenth
Dyn
Dynasty. They also found the remains of a sistrum,
a br
bronze musical instrument often associated with
wor
worship of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, who is
dep
depicted on the handle. As Hathor is often seen
as the personification of love, joy, and dance, the
sistrum, says Doumet-Serhal, indicates that the
si
temple was a place of feasting and celebration.
tem
And the connections with faraway Greece and
Egypt attest to the cosmopolitan nature of Sidon
Egyp
in pa
particular, and the land of Canaan in general, in
the L
Late Bronze Age.
Cl
Close by is an even older portion of the complex
dating to about 1750 B.C., centered on a large windowless
dowle room with 500 scattered pottery lamps,
numerous
nume
plates, and the knucklebones of animals,
possibly
possib evidence of an ancient game or ritual.
Another
important find from this era is a MinoanAnot
style cup, which Doumet-Serhal says comes from
The team has uncovered impressive evidence
of Sidons Roman period, including a marble
torso of the god Hermes (far left) and a
to
statuette of the goddess Aphrodite found
st
in the fill of a well (left).
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Thus far archaeologists have excavated


more than 100 graves dating from the
second millennium B.C. These include
the remains of a child who was buried in
a large pottery jar (top left), as well as
several belonging to warriors buried with
their weapons (middle left). A spearhead
shows traces of the twine that once
bound it to the shaft (bottom left), and
an ax head (above) was found near a
warriors shoulder.

Phaistos
Ph
i
on Crete
C
and
dd
dates to about
b
1900 B.C. IIt iis the
h earliest
li
known import from the Aegean world to Lebanon, and the first
tangible connection between Sidon and the Minoan civilization on Crete and the coast of the Mediterranean.

LONG WITH THE TEMPLE COMPLEX, the team has found

more than 100 burials: some male warriors with weapons, some women buried with their fine jewelry, and a
number of childrens graves. The cemeterys first use dates to the
Middle Bronze Age, just after 2000 B.C., when Sidonians covered the area with a thick layer of fine sand. Scattered around are
large ovens, piles of butchered animal bones, food remains, and
www.archaeology.org

mortars and pestles, as well as evidence for


fires made beside graves for funeral gatherings. The finds were puzzling at first. It
took years for us to understand that they
were feasting on lentils, chickpeas, barley,
and meat, says Doumet-Serhal. These
funeral feasts are a common feature of
later Phoenician culture and religion.
Perhaps most intriguing, however, is
what lay below the clean white layer of
sand at the digs northern end. Here the
team found exciting evidence that Sidons
history predates the Phoenicians rise, and
that it was a thriving port town at the same
time
i that
h the
h first cities
i
appeared in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Iran,
and the Indus Valley. These lowest levels provide some of the
best and earliest evidence of Early Bronze Age life in the Levant.
They contain not only sherds from modest bowls, plates, and
cups, but also large containers used for transporting wine, oil, or
perhaps other commodities meant for trade. Bronze fishhooks
and the bones of deep-water tuna found at the site testify to the
Sidonians familiarity with the open sea.
As early as 2800 B.C., they had also built a large structure
with as many as ten rooms, a great number for this early date,
and two centuries later a sturdy oak and olive wood roof was
added. There is no evidence for use of the famed cedars of
49

Lebanon, which Doumet-Serhal says may have been reserved for


export to Egypt and Mesopotamia, where they are frequently
mentioned in contemporary texts. Inside the buildings ancient
storerooms, built of stone and not the usual mudbrick, the team
uncovered a cache of more than 350 pounds of burnt barley as
well as a quantity of burnt emmer, one of the oldest domesticated types of wheat, first found in Syria as early as the Neolithic
period. Why and how they were burned remains unclear.
In addition to grain, the diet of the ancient Sidonians
included sheep and goat, which was typical for the region. The
In the third millennium B.C., the Sidonians built a large
structure with many storerooms (below). One of these rooms
contained a great deal of burned barley and burned wheat (far
right). Another room contained a small gypsum figurine of a
worshipper or deity wearing a long dress (right).

team also uncovered a surprising amount of evidence for the


consumption of wild game, including bones from lions, bears,
deer, wild boar, hippopotamus, and wild cattle. Since this wild
diet is quite dierent from whats known from that of other
towns on the coast, Doumet-Serhal suspects that hunting here
may have been an elite activity, hinting at the possible presence
of a king and court in these early days. By the middle of the
third millennium B.C., however, Sidon appears to have been
abandoned, although the reasons for this are uncertain and
there are, as yet, no signs of violent destruction.
Though they have reached what may be some of the
oldest layers, Doumet-Serhals team is far from done with
50

Sidon. For the upcoming season, she wants to probe the


extent of the early-third-millennium B.C. building, further
excavate the second-millennium B.C. temple, and look for
more clues in the funerary courtyard. But she has already
demonstrated conclusively that Sidon led a very long life of
nearly continuous occupation from its early origins, and that
its existence was deeply intertwined with the entire history
of the eastern Mediterranean and the Levant. We can now
show the evolution of Sidons people and traditions, she
adds. This place is a gift.
Andrew Lawler is a contributing editor at Archaeology.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

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LETTER FROM MEXICO

Paquim (also called Casas Grandes) is one of


northern Mexicos largest and most well-studied sites.

Archaeology, Interrupted
An archaeologists daughter surveys the rich cultural heritage of northern
Mexicoand the impact of violence on researchers working there
by Kathleen McGuire

s the young daughter of


an archaeologist in the
late 1990s, I was raised to
understand that Indiana Jones is no
more real than Luke Skywalker. I
had been on digs and spent hours in
my fathers lab where I concluded
that, no matter what my classmates
thought, my father was just another
boring scientist, even if he did wear
cowboy boots and skipped the lab
coat. Adolescent that I was, I was
similarly unimpressed with his work
south of the U.S. border in northern
Mexico. I knew nothing of the lawless Mexico that people saw on television because my own visits were
graced with warm tortillas, birthday
piatas, kind faces, and Coca-Cola
www.archaeology.org

in tiny glass bottles. It was at the


Thanksgiving table, then, when I was
14, that I first discovered my fathers
job might actually be dangerous.
During the holiday season, my
family always hosted the many
archaeology graduate students from
Binghamton University in upstate
New York, where my father, Randall
McGuire, was and still is a professor.
After the dinner of turkey with all
the trimmings was cleared, my father
would go to the liquor cabinet and
produce a bottle of fine tequila. Then
he and his students would share stories from the field long into the night.
This particular evening, in 1997,
they were enthusiastically recounting
the story of my fathers Mexican col-

league Elisa Villalpandos confrontation with a drug lord from the Sinaloan cartel, Mexicos largest organized
crime operation. Villalpando is an
archaeologist with Mexicos National
Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) who has co-led several
excavations with my father at the
Cerro de Trincheras site in the northwest Mexican state of Sonora since
the 1980s. According to the story, the
narco (drug trafficker) had planned
to level a section of a site called La
Playa, located six miles north of
Cerro de Trincheras, to grow buffel
grass for a cattle ranch. Villalpando
had sent word to the narco through
one of his workers that he needed to
leave the site alone, in short, to pro53

years following as the


drug trade heated up. In
December 2006, upon
assuming the presidency
of Mexico, Felipe Caldern declared war on the
drug cartels operating
within and across his
countrys borders. As
cartels jockeyed for control of Mexicos borders
The authors father, Randall McGuire (above, right),
and Elisa Villalpando chat at Cerro de Trincheras, a site with U.S. states, the
where they have worked since the 1980s.
Mexican army struggled
to maintain order. Consequences of the combat included
tect Mexicos heritage. Days later, the
an escalation of violence among drug
narco showed up with a gunman at
traffickers, who joined up to form
Villalpandos dig house in the town of
factions, such as the Zetas. Since
Trincheras, roughly 100 miles south
then, American news coverage of the
of the Arizona border. His message
region has been replete with images
was simplehe would do what he
of dead bodies and men in ski masks.
wanted with the land.
Reports of executions, kidnapping,
La Playa is the site of one of the
and extortion surface daily. According
earliest agricultural communities in
to a June 2011 report by the United
the southwestern United States and
States Senate Caucus on International
northern Mexico. It covers roughly
Narcotics Control, nearly 35,000
half a square mile and dates back
people have been killed by organized
4,000 years to the Archaic period,
crime since Caldern took office,
when people first made the transiwith more than 15,000 deaths in
tion from hunting and gathering to
2010. The Mexican government estiagriculture. In Mexico, archaeologimated that roughly 1,400 lives were
cal sites are owned by the federal
taken each month from January to
government. The students said VilSeptember 2011, as reported by the
lalpando informed the narco of this
private intelligence company Stratfor.
fact and also appealed to the MexiResearchers have not been
can courts to issue an injunction.
expressly targeted in outbreaks of
In addition, she cleverly courted
violence, but the environment is a
media attention from both Mexican
perilous one. Many find themselves in
and American outlets, which helped
proximity to danger, fearful of being
ensure the safety of her and her
caught in the crossfire. Despite this
team. After a legal process that took
situation, a few archaeologists are
more than six months, La Playa
continuing with the projects they
became the first archaeological site
began decades ago. They have, howin Mexico without the presence of
ever, had to adapt to the new rules
pyramids or large monuments to
of their surroundings. The violence
receive federally enforced protecis having an impact on the archaeoltion. My father recalled the drug
ogy of a part of North America that
lord going on television to magalready has a history of being ignored.
nanimously turn the land over to
the Mexican people.
Archaeologists working in northorthern Mexico remains
ern Mexico have always maintained
largely unstudied despite
an uneasy truce with the narcos, a
being situated between two
reality I only became aware of that
of the most intensively researched
Thanksgiving in 1997. The situaareas in North Americathe southtion deteriorated markedly in the
western United States and the Meso-

54

american culture area, which extends


from central Mexico to Costa Ricas
Pacific coast. El Norte de Mxico, as
Mexican archaeologists sometimes
call it, extends from Mesoamericas
northern fringe to the U.S. border,
encompassing the northern reaches
of Sinaloa and Durango, and almost
the entirety of Chihuahua and
Sonora. While located in Mexico,
archaeological sites in these states
are considered part of the Southwest
culture area, which also includes
New Mexico, Arizona, southeast
Utah, southwest Colorado, and Texas
west of the Pecos River.
Paul Minnis, an archaeologist from
the University of Oklahoma, who has
been working for 25 years in Chihuahua (which borders New Mexico and
trans-Pecos Texas), says the disparity
between researchers in the American
sections of the Southwest culture area
and those in the northern Mexican
states is stark. In Chihuahua, you can
usually count all the project directors
on one hand. In New Mexico and Arizona, there are hundreds of archaeologists. In the state of Durango,
which is a large state directly south
of Chihuahua, there are exactly two
Ph.D. archaeologists working.
El Norte de Mxicos inclusion
in the Southwest may be partly to
blame for its lack of study. Mexican archaeologists tend to focus
on Mesoamerica, as its civilizations and massive monuments are
dramatically more central to the
countrys cultural identity. The sites
in northern Mexico, by contrast,
are less grand and were inhabited
primarily by bands of foragers, some
of which developed into 10 loosely
connected agricultural communities
and cultural groups. According to
Villalpando, In northern Mexico,
evidence of past societies is subtle.
In general, Mesoamerican archaeologists dont analyze plain ceramics
or lithic debris, which are absolutely essential in our study area. It
is hard to recognize a campsite or
even a village if your training is with
mounds or planned settlements.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

people of the
so-called Chihuahua culture
SOUTHWEST CULTURE AREA
(also referred
to as Casas
de
Cerro
Paquim
Trincheras
(Casas
Grandes culGrandes)
SONORA
ture), including
CHIHUAHUA
elites, artisans,
and farmers.
Di Pesos team
SINALOA
DURANGO
made several
finds that are
typical to Mesoamerica, including I-shaped
ball courtsthe
El Norte de Mxico, as Mexican archaeologists sometimes call
only ones of
uch of what is known
it, comprises the southern section of the Southwest culture
their kind found area and includes almost all of Sonora and Chihuahua, and the
stems from work beginin Chihuahua
ning in the late 1950s by
northernmost points of Sinaloa and Durango.
cultureand
archaeologist Charles C. Di Peso of
evidence of the breeding of scarlet
the Amerind Foundation, a private,
Canada. Evidence of polychrome
macaws, which are native to Mesononprofit museum dedicated to prepottery in the region surrounding
america. Further, small quantities of
serving Native American cultures and
Paquim prior to the height of its
copper bells, which were produced in
history. He characterized northern
power, for instance, suggests that the
Mesoamerica, and several ceramics
Mexicos largest site, Paquim (also
site may not have been the Mesofeaturing Mesoamerican iconography
called Casas Grandes), as an indisamerican trading post Di Peso had
were also found.
putable link between the Southwest
thought, but rather a product of the
Paquim peaked during the Medio
and Mesoamerica. Located in northculture that surrounded it.
period, which ran from 1250 to 1450
western Chihuahua, it was one of
Jane Kelley, an archaeologist from
and was characterized by the conthe areas preeminent pre-Hispanic
the University of Calgary, began the
struction of continuous, multistory
towns. Di Peso believed it had been
Chihuahua Archaeology Project
adobe apartments and the manufacestablished by Mesoamericans who
(PAC) 20 years ago, digging at sites
ture of pottery with black and red
had traveled northward.
due south of Paquim, between the
paint on off-white to brown backPaquims Puebloan-style apartSanta Maria River Valley to the west
grounds. But later research disputes
ments typified sites found in the
and the Santa Clara River Valley to
Di Pesos claim that it was the epicenAmerican Southwest and are believed
the east. Her work suggests there was
ter of Chihuahua culture. While no
to have housed several thousand
widespread occupation in the area
one doubts that
prior to the citys ascendance. Using
Paquim eventuground-penetrating radar at various
ally became a
sites in the region, she and her team
powerful center,
revealed the presence of numerous
it seems to have
pithouses dating back to the Viejo
done this only
period (600 to 1250), which immeafter most of
diately preceded the Medio. Further,
the region had
Kelley reports that her work found
already adopted
little evidence of Mesoamerican
cultural elements
goods at larger sites in west central
emblematic of
Chihuahua, which casts doubt on
the Medio perispeculated trade routes from Mesood, says Jerimy
america to Paquim and into the
Cunningham,
American Southwest. A copper bell
an archaeologist
found at the Rancho San Juan site in
from
the
Unithe Babcora Basin, approximately 75
The site of Cerro de Trincheras, in Sonora, consists of 900
versity of Lethmiles south of Paquim, is one of only
terraces built into a hill of black basaltic rock. It once was
bridge in Alberta,
three reportedly found in the area.
inhabited by up to 2,000 people.
ICA
ER REA
AM A
SO RE
MEULTU
C

The evidence in the area, however,


along with the remains in Mesoamerica, is important to the pre-Hispanic
history of Mexico, Villalpando adds.
The research she and others conduct
in northern Mexico offers the public
a better understanding of the diversity that existed in the countrys past,
as well as in its present. My father
adds, Our attempts to understand
prehistoric developments on a continental scale and the relationships
between the Southwest and Mesoamerica are severely compromised by
this lack of research.

www.archaeology.org

55

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ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

elley speculates that there


may have been an alternate trade route along or
through the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range that edges
Chihuahuas western border with
Sonora and Sinaloa. The escalating
violence in Chihuahua, however, is
limiting archaeologists access to
sites and thus a way for Kelley to
confirm her hypothesis.
In many ways, I think were on
the verge of a really productive period
in Chihuahua archaeology, but its
being stifled by the violence, says
Cunningham, who has worked in the
PAC region since 1992. He originally
wanted to study the highlands west
of the Santa Maria River Valley, but
he settled on focusing his research
on the comparatively safer Santa
Clara River Valley where, he explains,
up until 2010, there hadnt been a
north-south road, so it was relatively
untouched by trafficking.
Kelley, however, pressed on in the
Santa Maria River Valley, keeping her
in relative proximity to danger. Upon
arriving in the town of Oscar Soto
Maynez, 120 miles south of Paquim,
for the 2010 dig season, her crew
discovered that several houses had
been firebombed, reportedly by two
cartels vying for control of the town.
Soon after, Kelley was warned by
locals that sicarios, or hit men often in
the employ of the narcos, would be in
town for municipal elections looking
for women both willing or unwilling. She chose to send her female
crewmembers to Cunninghams camp
in the Santa Clara River Valley.

ne of the crewmembers in
the field with Kelley that
season was Tanya Chiykowski, one of my fathers current graduate students at Binghamton University. Violence in the region caused
her to alter her Ph.D. dissertation
plans to investigate a series of three
hilltop settlements in the Santa Maria
River Valley. When surveying the
area indicated there were markedly
few artifacts, she theorized the sites

58

might have been constructed


ucted
as defensive housing rather
her
than for continuous
domestic occupation.
The unpredictable
nature of the violence
in 2010 caused Chiykowski to reconsider
her thesis subject. That
summer there was a shooting
oting
on the main street of Namiqamiquipa, about 15 miles north
th
of Oscar Soto Maynez. The
police forces in two nearby
rby
towns had disbanded and
d
fled. I realized that if I went
forward, I was really committed,
mmitted,
she says. I didnt want to risk making
bad safety decisions because I had left
myself no other options. She decided
to start her thesis work from scratch
and soon shifted her focus 350 miles
west to the site of Cerro de Trincheras in Sonora, where my father and
Elisa Villalpando have worked for
more than 20 years.
Chiykowski is now unraveling
a mystery involving two types of
simple, everyday-use pottery found
by my father and Villalpando during
their excavations. In the late 1200s,
a community of Hohokam, who lived
primarily in what is now southern
Arizona, moved into the neighboring Altar Valley, just northwest of
the site, tripling the population of
the region. The ceramics were made
using two distinctive techniques,
from both the local Trincheras culture and the immigrant Hohokam.
Interestingly, there is a complete
absence of Trincheras tradition
ceramics in the Altar Valley after the
Hohokam occupation in the late
1200s, which indicates that these
two communities were not trading
with each other. Chiykowskis new
research aims to determine if the
Hohokam pottery found at Cerro
de Trincheras was actually made
by female captives, by examining
whether the Hohokam-style ceramics were made with clay composed of
Trincheras soil. If so, it is likely the
Hohokam potters were prisoners.

Chihuahua pottery (left) is


Chihuahu
identified by its tricolor motif
and black on an offof red an
or brown background.
white o
Trincheras ceramics (below)
Trinch
plain.
are relatively
re

ver the
course of
three decades
wo
working at Cerro de
T
Trincheras, my father
an
and Villalpando have
at
attempted to determine
how the Trincheras and
Hohokam people coexHoho
isted during the so-called El Cerro
phase of Trincheras culture, from
1300 to 1450, when the site was first
constructed. Cerro de Trincheras
consists of more than 900 terraces
built on the face of an isolated hill
of black basaltic rock overlooking
the small, dusty, modern-day town of
Trincheras. Spanish military captain
Juan Mateo Manje named the site,
which means fortified hill, when he
visited it in 1694.
Cerro de Trincheras was likely
continuously occupied by 1,000 to
2,000 people over those 150 years.
My father and Villalpandos excavations have turned up more than 3
million artifacts, including ceramic
sherds and pieces of shell. Remains of
corn, corn pollen, squash and cotton
seeds, charred beans, and agave remnants indicate the inhabitants were
irrigation agriculturalists who dug
canals three to four feet deep from
the Magdalena River about a halfmile to the north in order to sustain
their crops. The Trincheras people
were major suppliers of shell jewelry
in the Southwest culture area as evidenced by finds such as ground and
chipped stone that was used to cut,
polish, and shape shells. They probably traveled more than 60 miles to
collect 20 or more types of marine
shell from the Gulf of California.
In 2006, my father and Villalpando used geographic information
systems (GIS) technology to conduct
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Archaeologists drive trucks bearing


Mexicos National Institute of
Anthropology and History decals so
they can be easily identified.

a survey of Cerro de Trincheras.


They found that the terraces and
walls were placed in a way that would
have funneled attackers, possibly
the newly arrived Hohokam, into a
few routes blocked with defensive
walls. We have no direct evidence of
violence, my father says. This is in
part because the Trincheras people
cremated their dead, so we would not
find evidence of it on the bones. In
order to fully understand the relationship of the people of Cerro de Trincheras and the Hohokam culture, further research needs to be conducted
in the Altar Valley.
Unfortunately, in January 2009,
the valley became impassible during a standoff between the Sinaloa
and Beltrn-Leyva cartels that lasted
until around February 2011, when the
Mexican army was able to regain control. Only recently have my fathers
longtime friends who live in the area
told him that he will now be able to
visit with relative safety. However,
while the area continues to improve,
it is still too unstable for him to be
able to begin a dig season.

he violence does not inundate the whole of northern


Mexico; rather, it ebbs and
flows through the region over time.
Cartels primarily assert their dominance in urban areas. The actual business of producing and transporting
drugs largely takes place on back
roads where military checkpoints
are less likely to be located. These
remote areas, however, often host

60

undisturbed sites that archaeologists


have identified for excavation. So
archaeologists take precautions to
avoid being caught in the crossfire
between narcos and the military:
Field seasons are often planned for
the winter months, when the marijuana harvest is over and drug activity
is minimal. In Chihuahua, researchers such as Kelley and Cunningham
drive small Toyota trucks that wont
be easily mistaken for the Americanmade white SUVs that narcos favor.
In Sonora, archaeologists frequently
place magnetic signs with the INAH
logo on the roofs of their trucks so
that military helicopters circling
above them can easily identify them
as nonthreatening civilians.
Whereas foreign archaeologists
lament the difficulties that impact
their work, they ultimately have a
choice as to whether to conduct their
projects in northern Mexico or elsewhere. Their Mexican counterparts
and the community members who
help with their excavations, however,
do not have that luxury. Theyre
the real victims of the violence,
says Cunningham. Theyre the ones
whose family members are caught
in the crossfire and who perpetually
have to live in fear of not just the narcos, but also the measures taken by
the Mexican and American governments to counteract them.
Archaeology at its best fosters the
inclusion of the community that lives
around sites where work is ongoing.
The economy, especially the tourist economy, is just dead, says Paul
Minnis, depriving the people who
live in the area of an economic lifeline and often pushing them into the
drug trade. Excavations offer another
option. We cant stop doing the
things that need to be done because
of the drug dealersthat will make
it a more difficult situation for the
whole of Mexico, Villalpando says.
If we stop doing archaeology, we let
them take control of everything.
Kathleen McGuire is a freelance writer
based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

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www.archaeology.org

COVERCourtesy University of Basel


Kings Valley Project; 3Courtesy Claude
Doumet-Serhal; 5Courtesy F. Latreille/
Mammuthus/MCE, Courtesy Historic
Scotland Crown Copyright, Courtesy INAH/
CONACULTA; 6Courtesy Randall McGuire,
Binghamton University; 8Courtesy Jo Anne
Van Tilburg; 10Courtesy State Office for
Heritage Management and Archaeology SaxonyAnhalt; 11Courtesy Bonnie Pitblado (2);
12Courtesy Bonnie Pitblado, Niels Elgaard
Larsen/Wikimedia Commons; 13Courtesy
M.Chazan, Courtesy Sebastiano Tusa, Courtesy
Historic Scotland Crown Copyright; 14
Courtesy Xristos Kontoxristos, Courtesy Jose
Yravedra, Universidad Complutense de Madrid;
Courtesy Brian Redmond, Cleveland Museum
of Natural History; Courtesy F. Latreille/
Mammuthus/MCE; 16Courtesy INAH/
CONACULTA (3), South Tyrol Museum
of Archaeology/Eurac/Samadelli/Staschitz;
18Courtesy Peter Astrup; 20Courtesy
Manuel Janosa and Archologischer Dienst
Graubnden;Crown Copyright/MOD 2012,
Photo:Petty Officer Airman Gaz Armes, Hendrik
Schmidt/DPA/Landov; 21iStockphoto; 22
Shutterstock,Courtesy Bjarne Grnnow, National
Museum of Denmark; Courtesy Christopher Caple,
University of Durham;Courtesy Mateusz Baca,
Instytut Genetyki i Biotechnologii, University of
Warsaw;Courtesy Andrew Pearson, University
of Bristol;Courtesy Yohannes Haile-Selassie,
Cleveland Museum of Natural History; 23
Courtesy Nick Owen, Swansea University;
CourtesyJonas Chun-yu Chen,Academia
Sinica, Shutterstock, Copyright Natural History
Museum, London; 24-25Courtesy Olympic
Delivery Authority; 26Courtesy The Museum
of London and Pre-Construct Archaeology
(2), map Courtesy Gary Brown; 27Courtesy
The Museum of London and Pre-Construct
Archaeology; 28-32All Courtesy University
of Basel Kings Valley Project; 33-38All
Courtesy of the Iklaina Project; 39Courtesy
National Geographic Society; 40-41All Courtesy
Jason Ur, Harvard University, and Bjorn Menze,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (4);
42-43Courtesy Fred Hocker,Swedish National
Maritime Museums; 44Courtesy Swedish
National Maritime Museums, Archive;Swedish
National Maritime Museums, Photo:Karolina
Kristensson; CourtesySwedish National Maritime
Museums, Photo:Photo Anneli Karlsson; 45
Courtesy Fred Hocker,Swedish National Maritime
Museums;CourtesySwedish National Maritime
Museums, Photo:Photo Anneli Karlsson; 47
Courtesy Mahan Kalpa Khalsa; 48-50Courtesy
Claude Doumet-Serhal; 53Courtesy Randall
McGuire, Binghamton University; 54Courtesy
Randall McGuire, Binghamton University; 55
Adriel Heisey; 58Courtesy Randall McGuire,
Binghamton University; 60Courtesy Randall
McGuire, Binghamton University; 68Courtesy
University of Cambridge

63

EXCAVATE, EDUCATE, ADVOCATE

www.archaeological.org

Site Preservation grant benefits Civil War sites


in Stafford, Virginia

rom November 1862 to June


1863, Staord County, Virginia,
was home to over 130,000 Union
soldiers housed in military encampments that occupied thousands of
acres of the Virginia countryside.
The soldiers spent their time in the
encampments recovering from injuries
and sickness; building roads, fortications, and winter huts; digging latrines;
collecting rewood; and drilling in
preparation for future battles. Most of
the soldiers (more than 3,500 troops
died in these camps) left for Gettysburg in 1863, after which the Union
Army abandoned Staord County.
Today the sites of many of these
encampments lie within the boundary of a regional landll that is jointly
owned by Staord County and the
City of Fredericksburg. In 2006,
the Friends of Staord Civil War
Sites (FSCWS), in response to the
encroaching landll, began working with local ocials to preserve
the sites through the creation of a
publicly accessible park with roads
and trails linking the historic features
contained within. In the years that
followed, archaeological studies to
determine the extent of the historic
sites were conducted, some preliminary engineering work was undertaken, materials were secured, and the
all-important process of raising funds
for the project was initiated. In July
2011 construction of the park began
with the help of a federally approved
Innovative Readiness Training Exercise proposed by the FSCWS to
the Virginia Army National Guards
276th Engineer Battalion.

64

In March 2012, the Archaeological


Institute of America (AIA) Site Preservation Program awarded FSCWS
a grant to assist with the preservation
of these sites and the creation of the
park. The AIA grant will be used to
protect the site from development,
as well as to educate local residents
and visitors on the rich history of the
area. As a part of this process, eight
interpretive signs will be installed at
strategic points around the park to
inform visitors about the sites and the
history of the area.
The Staord Civil War Park Site
includes visible remains of the winter encampments and huts, three
large Union artillery batteries, ruins

of a preCivil War bridge, an old


sandstone quarry, and roads built by
soldiers of the Unions 11th Corps,
Army of the Potomac. By opening
the park during the Civil War Sesquicentennial celebrations, FSCWS
plans to remind visitors about an
important chapter in United States
history and shed light on the lives of
the more than 130,000 Union soldiers who spent a winter and spring
in Staord County during the Civil
War. To learn more about the AIA
Site Preservation Program and to
read about the other projects that we
support, please visit
www.archaeological.org/
sitepreservation

AIA fourth annual Spring Gala a huge success;


celebrates Turkish archaeology and culture

he Archaeological Institute of America held its


fourth Spring Gala at Capitale
in New York City on April 25, 2012.
The event, hosted by National Pub-

lic Radios Brooke Gladstone and


attended by nearly 300 friends of the
AIA, celebrated Turkish archaeology and culture. The highlight of the
evening was the presentation of the

AIA President, Elizabeth Bartman and


AIA CEO, Peter Herdrich.

Bandelier Award for Public Service


to Archaeology to renowned archaeologist Crawford H. Greenewalt, Jr.,
for his exemplary work at the site of
Sardis in Turkey. Greenewalt, one
of the worlds leading authorities on
the archaeology of Asia Minor, was
eld director of the Sardis project for
more than 30 years. He joins previous
Bandelier Award recipients George F.
Bass, Martha Sharp Joukowsky, and
Harrison Ford.
The Turkish theme was highlighted in the decor and through an exquisite dinner created by Capitales chefs
in collaboration with archaeologists
familiar with the cuisines of ancient
Lydia, the Ottoman Empire, and
present-day Turkey. The unique dishes created for the Gala incorporated
traditional Turkish ingredients, both
ancient and modern, and were paired
with Turkish wines and rakian
unsweetened, anise-avored liqueur
popular as an aperitif in Turkey.
While the Galas are opportunities
to celebrate archaeology, archaeologists, and ancient cultures, they are
also the Institutes largest fund-raising

events. Through table and ticket


sales, silent and live auctions, and
targeted pledge drives, the AIA uses
the Galas to raise funds for its various outreach programs. At this years
event, a special pledge drive was held
to raise funds for the AIA Site Preservation Program. A portion of the
money raised will be used to support
a project that is working to conserve
the wreck of Queen Annes Revenge
agship of the notorious pirate Black-

beard. Queen Annes Revenge now


rests o the coast of North Carolina
in an area that is threatened by frequent hurricanes and severe storms.
The funds will be used to assist with
the conservation of the thousands of
artifacts recovered from the wreck
and to create educational programs
that will inform the public about the
site and shipwreck.
To read more about the 2012 Gala,
please visit www.archaeological.org/gala

Crawford H. Greenewalt, Jr., given Bandelier


Award for outstanding work at Sardis, Turkey

ardis was the capital of


ancient Lydia and home to King
Croesus. For more than half a
century, Crawford H. Greenewalt,
Jr., worked on the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, a project
cosponsored by Harvard University
Art Museums and Cornell University. Greenewalt started at Sardis in
1959 as the sites rst ocial photographer and eventually became its eld
directora position he held for over
30 years, from 1976 to 2008. Through
his tenure at Sardis and other sites in
Turkey, Greenewalt, or Greenie, as his
many friends and colleagues came to
know him, became one of the worlds
leading authorities on Lydian culture.
At the 2012 AIA Spring Gala, the
Institute honored Greenewalt with the

Bandelier Award for Public Service to


Archaeology for his exemplary work
at Sardis. His exceptional scholarship,
mentoring abilities, and generosity have

65

Dispatches from the AIA

Excavate, Educate, Advocate

The AIAs Spring Gala featured Turkishthemed food (left). Guests mingled at New
Yorks Capitale, site of the festivities.

Excavate, Educate, Advocate

Dispatches from the AIA

made him an ideal recipient for this


honor. Three distinguished AIA members, who worked and studied with
Greenewalt, oered words of tribute at
the award presentation. Following are
some excerpts from their remarks.
C. Brian Rose, AIA Past President
and James B. Pritchard Professor
of Archaeology at the University of
Pennsylvania: I rst met Greenie
when I was a very young graduate
student. But Greenie, to my surprise,
treated me as a senior scholar in the
eld. It is this unusual altruism that
has marked Greenies career at Sardis,
as well as his contributions to archaeology in Turkey he was willing
to use the enormous breadth of his

knowledge and vision to bring our


scholarship to a level that it would
otherwise not have reached. And he
would often put aside his own work
in order to do it.
George F. Bass, 2011 Bandelier Award Winner and Professor
Emeritus at Texas A&M: In spite
of his accomplishments, he remains
unassuming and modest. He has the
special gift of making you feel that
you are the one person he is most
delighted to see at that moment.
Fikret Yegul, member of the Sardis
Archaeological Expedition and Professor in the Department of Art History
at the University of California, Santa
Barbara: Greenies connection to Ana-

Second National
Archaeology Day is
October 20, 2012

lans for the second National


Archaeology Day (October 20, 2012)
are well under way, and interest in
the event is growing. More than 30 organizations have signed on as Collaborating
Organizationsa signicant increase from
the 14 that joined last year. Once again, collaborators range from large national organizations to smaller regional museums and
local archaeological organizations. A major
participant in this years event is the National
Park Service, which is encouraging its almost
400 facilities to mark the day with public
programming. Overall, planners expect the
2012 event to be signicantly larger than last
years inauArchaeological Institute of America
gural events,
with many
NATIONAL
more opporARCHAEOLOGY tunities for
people to
DAY
participate in
archaeologiO C TO B E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 2
cal activities
www.nationalarchaeologyday.org and events.
We have also
increased National Archaeology Days digital
presence. You can now like us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest. You
can read more about National Archaeology
Day at www.nationalarchaeologyday.org
66

tolian archaeology was not limited by


his obvious contributions to Lydian
art and culture as the primary excavator of Sardis. Rather, it was shaped
by his deep and genuine interest in
and appreciation of Turkish/Anatolian culture as a totalityits history,
literature, music, its simple everyday
sensibilities and humorarchaeology
representing only a part of his broad,
humanistic contextual perspective.
It is with great sadness that we must
report that Professor Greenewalt
passed away just days after this tribute to his work and career. The AIA
extends its condolences to his family,
friends, and colleagues.

AIA partnerships and collaborationsSAA and EAA

he AIA is prioritizing the creation of partnerships and collaborations with other like-minded organizations, and in the
past few years the Institute has increased cooperative actions
and eorts with groups such as the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), the American Anthropological Association (AAA),
the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), and the World
Archaeological Congress (WAC).
In April, representatives from the AIA attended the 77th Annual
Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (April 811,
2012) in Memphis, Tennessee. Ben Thomas, AIA Director of Programs, and Meredith Anderson Langlitz, AIA Senior Programs
Coordinator, presented papers titled, National Archaeology Day
and Public Outreach and Sustainable Preservation: The Future
of Saving the Past. The paper on National Archaeology Day was
presented in a symposium called Public Archaeology in the 21st
Century and focused on using large-scale events like National
Archaeology Day to raise public awareness of archaeology. The site
preservation paper was presented in a session called, Papers about
Heritage and Management of Cultural Property and discussed the
compilation of best practices in site preservation based on the ndings of the AIA Site Preservation Program. AIA representatives
serve on several SAA committees and the Institute has a presence in
the Annual Meetings exhibit hall.
From August 30 to September 1, 2012, AIA representatives
will attend the 18th Annual Meeting of the European Association
of Archaeologists in Helsinki, Finland. At last years meeting in
Oslo, Norway, AIA and EAA representatives met to discuss greater
cooperation between the two groups. Subsequently, eorts have
been made to cross-promote events and encourage members of each
organization to participate in the others events. In Helsinki, AIA
representatives will present academic papers and will have an exhibit
in the book room. We encourage all AIA members to participate in
the 18th Annual Meeting of the EAA in Helsinki.

(SKHVXV7XUNH\

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ARTIFACT

t a time when Christianity was first starting to take root in England, a


teenage girl was buried still wearing the stunning gold and jeweled cross
she had sewn to her clothing during her short life. She was laid to rest on
an ornamental bed covered with a straw mattress, where she remained

for more than 1,300 years, preserving evidence not only of the extremely unusual practice
of bed burial, but also of her high status and her faith. In fact, the girls grave is one of
the earliest Anglo-Saxon Christian burial
sites in Britain. It dates from
om a brief
perioda century at mostwhen
twhen particular
traditions of pagan religion,
on, such as the bed

WHAT IS IT?

Pectoral in the shape


of a cross
DATE

7th century A.D.


MATERIAL

Gold and garnet


FOUND

Trumpington
Meadows,
Cambridgeshire,
England
DIMENSIONS

1.4 inches in diameter

burial and the inclusion off


grave goods, coexisted
with the Christian belief
in the continuation of
the soul, but not the
body, after death.
According to Alison
Dickens of Cambridge University,
niversity,
who led the excavation, to
o find a bed
burial is remarkableonlyy 15 have been
uncovered in the United Kingdombut to find one
in combination with a gold pectoral cross, of which
there are only five known, is extraordinary. We think
theres only been one other such burial, which was
found in nearby Suolk, explains Dickens, but it was
uncovered in the nineteenth century and the records aree
very unclear. With the application of modern scientific
techniques, archaeologists hope to tell more of the girlss story.
The mysteries of who she was, why she was here, and why her
grave merited such lavish treatment, says Dickens, have
ve certainly
captured our imagination!

68

ARCHAEOLOGY July/August 2012

Archaeological Tours
led by noted scholars

Invites You to Journey Back in Time


Gujarat India (19 days)

Ethiopia: Ancient Kingdoms


and Legends (18 days)
Explore the historic sites associated with the
Kingdom of Axum, one of the oldest empires
of Africa with Dr. Jacke Phillips, U. of
London, SOAS. Beginning in Addis Ababa
we travel north to visit the churches of
Tigray, ancient Axum, medieval Gondar,
the origin of the Blue Nile in Bahir Dar and
the famous rock-cut churches of Lalibela.
During this wonderful adventure we will
experience Ethiopias intriguing pageantry
and its diversity of peoples and traditions.

Ancient Cities of
Maritime Turkey (18 days)
Never far from the sea, Prof. Robert
Stieglitz, Rutgers U., will guide us from Izmir
and Ephesus along the Mediterranean and
Aegean coasts to the ancient cities in Karia,
Lycia and Pamphylia. We will sail by private
gulet to Kekova and make day trips to the
Greek islands of Samos and Kos. We will
visit two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient
World as well as Cnidus, renowned in
antiquity for its statue of Aphrodite. The
tour ends with the Hellenistic cities of Perge
and Aspendos and two days in Istanbul.

Splendors of Ancient
Egypt in Two Weeks
(15 days)
Discover Egypts splendors
with Prof. Lanny Bell,
Brown U. Tour highlights
include the Egyptian
Museum, the Pyramids and
Sphinx, our five days in
Luxor exploring the temples
and fabulous painted tombs,
as well as Dendera and
Abydos. A 5-day Nile cruise
on the deluxe new M.S. Farah
brings us to Edfus Temple of
Horus and Kom Ombo. The
tour ends in Aswan and a flying
visit to Abu Simbel.

Join Prof. Mark Kenoyer, U. of Wisconsin, as


we visit some of Indias most beautiful and
least visited monuments. Tour highlights
include ancient Indus Valley sites at Lothal
and Dholavira, 863 marble Jain temples
at Palitana, Ahmedabads museums and
step-wells and the holy Hindu shrines
at Dwarka. We will take a break at the
Sasan-Gir Lion Sanctuary and end our
tour in the Rann of Kutch, exploring its
colorful villages as well as the exotic
bazaars of the walled city of Bhuj.

Southern Spain (15 days)


Spain evokes lovely white towns and the
scent of oranges, but it is also a treasury
of ancient remains including the cities
left by the Greeks, Romans and Arabs.
As we travel south from Madrid with Prof.
Ronald Messier, Middle Tennessee State
U., to historic Toledo, Roman Mrida
and into Andalucia, we explore historical
monuments, Moorish architecture,
Crdobas great cathedral, the splendor
of the Alcazar in Seville and end our tour
in Granada with the opulent Alhambra.

2012/2013 tours: Eastern Turkey Khmer Kingdoms Oman Sicily & So. Italy Morocco Guatemala North India Israel
Magna Graecia Great Museums: Berlin China: Silk Road Chile & Easter Island Sri Lanka Caves & Castles...and more
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For more information, please visit www.archaeologicaltrs.com, e-mail archtours@aol.com, call 212-986-3054,
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