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Announcement: Astypalaia Field School

12 Jan

Greetings gentle readers! It’s announcement time here on The Baking Archaeologist for all you fans and students of archaeology (especially human bioarchaeology). The yearly field school on the beautiful Greek island of Astypalaia is now accepting applications for placements for the 2011 summer season. All the details can be found on the main website, but if you’re interested in doing a field school this summer, this is definitely the one to go with. The course runs for 5 weeks on the gorgeous and sunny Astypalaia, a small island in the Dodecanese archipelago, and is a field school unlike any other. Here students are able to recover and study human foetal remains dating to the classical period in Greece, all of which were excavated from the largest ever found children’s cemetery – adjacent to the town of Chora.

I myself participated in this field school four years ago and here are a few of my personal photos of the island.

The town of Chora.

Beautiful sunrise from the lab.

A sunset view of the port.

Sorry, the last one is a bit on the fuzzy side, but typical of me on vacation, I broke my camera while on this trip. Anyway, I would heartily recommend this field school to all interested parties. But if you do want to go – get your application in ASAP. The number of places is very limited. If you have any questions, please pop them in the comments section and I can contact the director of the project for you.

That’s it for this post everyone! We’ll be back next week with more baked goods – and more archaeology!

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Archaeology Wednesdays on Friday

7 May

Since I’ve been totally slacking on the Archaeology side of this blog, I’m trying to think up some new ways I can incorporate more archaeology (and anthropology). I had considered doing a ‘bone of the week’ post or maybe write-up a quick analysis of some new study or the such. You guys have any ideas? I want to make this blog the most awesomest thing ever, and save writing about Peeps every post (most viewed post to date), I think I need some ideas. Anyway, it’s archaeology time!

Are you part Neanderthal? Probably! New study suggests that modern humans and Neanderthals shared 99.7% of their DNA, and, even better, that we could, and probably did, interbreed.

Little boy accidentally stumbles on sweet archaeological find – a brand new hominid species in S. Africa.

Plumbing in the Maya world? Evidence points towards the use of pressurised water, possibly for fountains. It would be even cooler if they had indoor toilets too. Sweet.

Alright peeps, that’s it for today. If anyone has some ideas on what kind of features I should add to the site, please feel free to leave a comment here  or on Facebook. I would definitely appreciate any feedback!

The archaeologist returns & wrap-up of the AAPAs

1 May

Greetings my dear readers and welcome back to a freshly minted instalment of ‘The Baking Archaeologist’. Apologies for my extended absence; I thought I would have more time whilst away in the states to pen a few short notes, but time got the better of me and, well, here we are, me with a cup of hot tea on a cold, rainy English spring’s day, and you, sitting at some undisclosed location, reading this. Anyway, my extended absence was due to having to attend the AAPA (American Association of Physical Anthropologists) conference in Albuquerque, NM, USA. The annual meeting of the AAPA is the largest of its kind, with anthropologists and archaeologists from around the world gathering together to discuss really sophisticated things, like primate locomotion, identification of human remains in forensic contexts and the origins of the human species, as well as present the latest and greatest research in the field. That makes it sound rather posh, doesn’t it? The reality is this:  it’s totally an excuse to get plastered with your mates and get caught up on the latest and greatest gossip. Okay, okay. In all fairness, there were some seriously awesome presentations and posters (the best ones from right here in the UK – you all know who you are), and I’m pretty sure that I did manage to learn some cool new things – and not just that you gotta have a cast iron liver to get by in this field, although I’m sure that helps a great deal. 🙂 Overall it was a great experience and I am already looking forward to next year – now that I know who’s who and the way these crazy conferences go.

Btw, my poster was awesome. Just saying.

Anyway, other than the meeting, archaeology was definitely on the back-burner this month. I’ve pretty much been on thesis hiatus for the past three weeks and so now have some serious catching up to do. I can write 20k words in a month, can’t I? Oh, and in bone-related news, a friend of mine kindly donated a super awesome turtle skeleton to add to my collection of ‘dead things I keep in boxes’, which at the moment consists of said turtle, a cat tooth and various human incisors. (Okay, so it’s not really a collection yet, but damn it, it’ll get there in the end!)

Keep an eye out for the next post – it’s Peep Sushi time!!

Archaeology Wednesdays

31 Mar

It’s Wednesday again and you know what that means – super awesome archaeology for you to enjoy. Sorry for the late posting today – totally spaced on prepping it yesterday and it’s been a bit manic over here with Uni closing for the holiday and trying to get my poster completed for the AAPAs. Which is finally finished and at the printers as I type. Super sweet. Anyway, so who wants archaeology?

Does this burial site found in Mycenea suggest a classless society? Awesome pic of the burial pit, btw.

Crocodile poop and shark teeth. Intrigued?

Giant lead coffin found in Gabii, Italy – but who’s inside? The suspense is killing me!

And lastly, nothing to do whatsoever with archaeology, but about the damn coolest thing ever: the Large Hadron Collider is back on-line and kicking ass.

That’s it for this week folks. More archaeology next week. I’ll make sure to post before I hurl myself across the Atlantic in a giant flying metal tube. Ah, aviation. How I both love and hate thee.

Archaeology Wednesdays

24 Mar

All archaeology, all the time. At least that’s how it feels lately. I spent all of yesterday reading a book on craniofacial growth and development. Good times, let me tell you. I can at least say that I now have a vague understanding of bone remodelling, all be it rudimentary. Meh. As long as I can scrap together 500 words about it to jam into the thesis, I’ll be a very happy archaeologist.

Anyway, how about something more interesting?

More evidence for bipedalism in our ancient hominid ancestors.

Okay, so I don’t do dinosaurs, but this is pretty neat.

Sweet! Let’s go see some viking skeletons!

Glad to know that the entirety of the US isn’t opposed to the awesomeness of human evolution. Brand new Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Super cool.

That’s if for this edition of Archaeology Wednesdays – now I’m off to go analyse some human remains. Toodles.

Archaeology Wednesdays

10 Mar

Ready for more awesome archaeology? Then welcome back to another instalment of Archaeology Wednesdays. I tried to go for articles with a bit more diversity than last time, so some of these are not strictly archaeology, but fall well within the realm of crap that I think is neat. Enjoy…

Is being a bad boy an evolutionary advantage? And why do we ladies always fall for them?

A late post for international women’s day: the Priestesses of Crete. Excavations at Eleutherna on Crete. For all the cool bone stuff, check out the section entitled ‘Makings of a Matriline’.

Anyone else think it would be pretty cool if we could clone Neanderthals? I think it would. Although I’m also convinced that they would overtake the Earth in a matter of months… All hail our Neanderthal rulers!

I’m totally going to go with yes here. While I’m not sure about some of the methods used, I do think they have some very interesting results. What do you think? Do you think there may be a relationship between increased intelligence and lack of religious belief?

And one last thing not related to archaeology, but pretty damn awesome: Gas Mask Bra

Archaeology Wednesdays

3 Mar

So I thought it would be a neat idea if once a week I posted some archaeology/anthropology based news and articles on here – after all, I am apparently supposed to be an archaeologist. So here’s some cool stuff for you all to check out:

No baby sacrifice in Carthage? – After examining the infant remains from Carthage, a study from the University of Pittsburgh suggests that the demographic profile for infant mortality is similar to those seen due to miscarriages, stillbirths and other such factors, with many of the babies having died prenatally – too young for sacrifice.

Monogamy in humans – New genetic study suggests that while Homo sapiens are monogamous most of the time, occasional periods of polygamy have occurred over the course of evolution.

New Horizons doc on BBC2 – Did cooking make us human?

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