Four Stone Hearth, archaeology not quite ready for Social Security


Four Stone Hearth #60 is up, hosted by Middle Savagery.

Yes, I know, I’ve been remiss in carnivalling lately.  Heck, I’ve been remiss in posting.  The water in the Bathtub is actually too cold for bathing at the moment, as I’m away metaphorically, working on serious curriculum matters.

So, it’s a good time to take a look at something like the best archaeology blog carnival around.  It’s up to edition Number 60?  Great news, really, that there is so much material to cover.  There is some delightful morsel in every edition.

Bad Death Ritual - See the entire post at Ideophone: A bad death ritual in Ghanas Volta Region. On the village cemetery, relatives of a man who died in a hunting accident listen anxiously to a woman who is possessed by the spirit of the deceased. The hunters, who have just brought the spirit home from the place of the accident deep in the jungle, keep their distance. Red is the colour of danger, black that of death.  Photo by Mark Dingemanse

Bad Death Ritual - See the entire post at Ideophone: "A 'bad death' ritual in Ghana's Volta Region. On the village cemetery, relatives of a man who died in a hunting accident listen anxiously to a woman who is possessed by the spirit of the deceased. The hunters, who have just brought the spirit home from the place of the accident deep in the jungle, keep their distance. Red is the colour of danger, black that of death." Photo by Mark Dingemanse

FSH #60 is heavy on photos — grist for your better slide presentations, no?

Zenobia, Empress of the East looks at a project that used lasers to scan a bas relief on a rock in the 3rd century A.D. Parthian empire — er, maybe Persian — but wait!  Is that Greek influence in that carving?

This extraordinary relief is carved on a huge limestone boulder at the cliff edge of a remote, not to say ‘hidden’ valley in the rugged mountains of northeastern Khuzistan [at the southwestern edge of the Iranian plateau, sharing a border with southern Iraq (= the big red blob on the map, below right)]. In ancient times, this was the heartland of Elymais, sometimes a small empire, more often a vassal to more powerful states.

21st century technology and science applied to help solve a 700-year-old mystery.  Does archaeology get much better than that?

Especially if you’re inclined to study Neanderthals, or for a great sidebar on the value of biodiveristy, take a look at Remote Central’s post on the last stand of Neanderthal, on Gibralter.

There is much more in Four Stone Hearth #60.

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One Response to Four Stone Hearth, archaeology not quite ready for Social Security

  1. mark says:

    Hey, thanks for the mention.

    I’ll wager the photo of the woman channeling the dead hunter, to his family and cowering hunting companions, could provoke serious discussion about religions and beliefs in the world today.

    Just to give a little bit away from what happened there: the message transmitted by the possessed woman was part prophesy, part admonition. The admonition was directed to the drinking friends of the dead hunter, saying something like “I have died because of my alcohol abuse. Stop drinking from early in the morning until late in the evening. Work harder and be nicer to your families.”

    Not insignificantly, the woman bringing the message happens to be the wife of one of the drinking friends.

    Like

Play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes.

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