My Statesman (Texas): Archaeologists work to gather data from fading rock art sites. “Everywhere, limestone is gradually flaking away, taking with it stories of the ancient people who lived here. That’s why the Shumla Archaeological Research & Education Center in Comstock has launched a four-year effort, dubbed the Alexandria Project, to gather baseline data about the artwork before it disappears. Researchers are working with private land owners to gain access to sites to snap detailed photos, record GPS coordinates and gather information for three-dimensional models that can be studied by scholars long after the artwork has deteriorated. They are creating an online library of rock art.”
University of Arizona: Digital Archaeology Project to Use Big Data. “”To help provide researchers, scholars and the general public with a ‘deep history’ understanding of some of the grand challenges facing society, [Barbara] Mills and fellow UA researcher Sudha Ram are leading an interdisciplinary National Science Foundation-funded project to build an online system that pulls together and synthesizes archaeological data spanning several centuries of U.S history. The project, called cyberSW, focuses specifically on pre-Hispanic archaeological data from the American Southwest — Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado — from A.D. 800 to the 1500s, shortly after the arrival of the Spanish in the region.”
Google Blog: Experience Tunisia’s rich culture with Street View Imagery. “My Street View journey took me to Tunisia, home to beautiful sun soaked beaches, ancient Roman ruins, and Islamic monuments. And now you can explore Tunisia on Street view too.”
Digital Trends: The British Museum Publishes The First 3D Scan Of The Rosetta Stone Online. “You no longer have to visit the British Museum in London to see the Rosetta Stone in detail. Last week, the museum published the first 3D scan of the famous slab of hieroglyphics online at Sketchfab, where it’s accompanied by the website’s new sound support feature.”
US DOJ: United States Files Civil Action To Forfeit Thousands Of Ancient Iraqi Artifacts Imported By Hobby Lobby. “Earlier today, the United States filed a civil complaint to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae. As alleged in the complaint, these ancient clay artifacts originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and were smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, contrary to federal law. Packages containing the artifacts were shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (‘Hobby Lobby’), a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and two of Hobby Lobby’s corporate affiliates. The shipping labels on these packages falsely described cuneiform tablets as tile ‘samples.'” I am so mad about this.
The Conversation: The Australian palaeodiet: which native animals should we eat?. “…I am studying the economic utility of several Australian animals. In other words, how much meat, fat and marrow different body parts provide. This, coupled with an analysis of the nutritional quality of the meat, will help us understand why they were selected or ignored. My “Native Bush Tucker” project focuses primarily on marsupial animals. When completed, it will be an online database to aid the study of what people ate in the past with the goal of including these meats on our modern menu.” This article contains images of dead and butchered animals which some might find disturbing.
Phys.org: 3-D scanning fossils to help researchers around the world study mastodons. “Boxes upon boxes filled with the fossilized remains of a mastodon that died in Virginia more than 18,000 years ago are being hauled up the steps to Virginia Commonwealth University’s Virtual Curation Laboratory, where the massive Ice Age animal’s fossils—including the tip of a tusk, a very worn tooth, toe bones, a rib bone and a mandible—are slated to be 3-D scanned.”