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Mon, 19 Nov 2018
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Sherlock

US: Minnesota - Archaeologists unearth pieces of Hastings' woolly past

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© Pioneer Press: Richard Marshall
Archaeologist technician John Terrell of St. Paul Park sifts through pebbles on his screen at a dig on the site of a 19th century saloon and cigar factory in Hastings on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011.
A crew dug in the dirt near the site of the new U.S. 61 Bridge in Hastings this week - and they weren't construction workers.

With the High Bridge and City Hall as backdrops, a team of archaeologists and their assistants huddled around a shallow trench off U.S. 61/Vermillion Street, analyzing and sifting through soil for historical artifacts.

The excavation by Two Pines Resource Group began Aug. 7, shortly after a bridge crew tore up a frontage road between Second and Third streets and uncovered pieces of Hastings' buried past.

The 10-day dig, required because federal money is being used for the new bridge, focused around mid-1870s limestone footings from a Third Street saloon and a separate grocery store that fronted Vermillion Street. The work wrapped up Tuesday.

Not surprisingly, said Michelle Terrell, co-owner of Two Pines, the crew unearthed lots of saloon artifacts - pieces of clay smoking pipes, mineral-water bottle fragments and stemware fragments from serving glasses - as well as stoneware crockery and animal bones presumably from the grocery store and an adjacent meat market.

"It's kind of a fluke of history that when these buildings were taken down, the road protected them," said Terrell, who wore a baseball hat that read, "Play in the dirt."

Sherlock

Peru: Children Found Sacrificed in Pre-Incan Ritual

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© Reuters
The bodies were found near the ancient city of Chan Chan
Peruvian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of 12 children and 20 llamas sacrificed some 800 years ago by the pre-Incan Chimu civilization.

The bodies were discovered in good condition during excavations in the northern coast of the country at Huanchaquito, some 500km from the capital Lima.

The bodies were found near the ancient city of Chan Chan, a government and religious centre of the Chimus.

Experts believe the children and animals were killed in a ritual similar to the Incan ceremony known as Capacocha, which was organized before the imminent death or birth of an Incan emperor.

Archaeologists also suspect the sacrifice could have been done to settle down nature's forces because the remains were found amid clay, suggesting they were buried during a rainy season.

Magnify

US, Georgia: Archaeologists Comb Newly-Found Civil War POW Camp

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© The Associated Press / Georgia Southern University, Amanda L. Morrow
In this undated photo provided by Georgia Southern University, an 1863 Grocer’s Token made of bronze is shown at Camp Lawton a Civil War-era POW facility, near Millen, Ga.
When word reached Camp Lawton that the enemy army of Gen. William T. Sherman was approaching, the prison camp's Confederate officers rounded up their thousands of Union army POWs for a swift evacuation - leaving behind rings, buckles, coins and other keepsakes that would remain undisturbed for nearly 150 years.

Archaeologists are still discovering unusual, and sometimes stunningly personal, artifacts a year after state officials revealed that a graduate student had pinpointed the location of the massive but short-lived Civil War camp in southeast Georgia.

Discoveries made as recently as a few weeks ago were being displayed Thursday at the Statesboro campus of Georgia Southern University. They include a soldier's copper ring bearing the insignia of the Union army's 3rd Corps, which fought bloody battles at Gettysburg and Manassas, and a payment token stamped with the still-legible name of a grocery store in Michigan.

Dollar

Could Ancient Business Predict Our Future?

Ancient Business
© Dreamstime

While many may consider Milan or Paris the world's fashion capitals, author Keith Roberts says in a new book the industry got its true start centuries ago on what is now the coast of Syria.

It was there, in 1200 B.C., that the Phoenicians found a black substance in clams that could be turned into purple dye for clothing - lending some color to fashion, which until then had comprised only plain fabrics, and establishing the Phoenicians as one of the earliest commercial powers.

"That started out as the fashion capital of the world," Roberts told BusinessNewsDaily. "The Phoenicians became extremely successful in business."

It's the origins of businesses like that one that Roberts explores in his new book The Origins of Business, Money and Markets (Columbia University Press, 2011) which explains the history of businesses from their earliest beginnings in ancient Mesopotamia.

Info

Ancient Roman Jar Riddled with Mystery

Ancient Jar
© Katie Urban / Museum of Ontario Archaeology
This ancient jar is full of holes, including one at its base; though scientists have no idea what it was used for, they believe it dates back 1,800 years to Roman Britain.

An ancient clay vessel reconstructed from pieces discovered at a Canadian museum is riddled with tiny holes, leaving archaeologists baffled over what it was used for.

The jar, just 16 inches (40 centimeters) tall and dating back about 1,800 years, was found shattered into an unrecognizable 180 pieces in a storage room at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. But even after it was restored, the scientists were faced with a mystery. So far no one has been able to identify another artifact like it from the Roman world.

"Everyone's stumped by it," Katie Urban, one of the researchers at the London, Ontario, museum, told LiveScience. "We've been sending it around to all sorts of Roman pottery experts and other pottery experts, and no one seems to be able to come up with an example."

The jar may have held rodent snacks for ancient Romans, or even served as a lamp, the researchers speculate, though no theory definitively holds water.

Stop

The Witch Trial That Made Legal History

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© William Harrison Ainsworth
An illustration of Ann Redferne and Chattox, two of the Pendle witches, from Ainsworth's novel The Lancashire Witches, published in 1849. Ann Redferne is called Nance in the novel, and described as Chattox' grand-daughter, although she was in reality her daughter.
In recent years children as young as three have given evidence in court cases, but in the past children under 14 were seen as unreliable witnesses. A notorious 17th Century witch trial changed that.

Nine-year-old Jennet Device was an illegitimate beggar and would have been lost to history but for her role in one of the most disturbing trials on record.

Jennet's evidence in the 1612 Pendle witch trial in Lancashire led to the execution of 10 people, including all of her own family.

In England at that time paranoia was endemic. James l was on the throne, living in fear of a Catholic rebellion in the aftermath of Guy Fawkes' gun powder plot. The king had a reputation as an avid witch-hunter and wrote a book called Demonology.

"It was a mandate for the British to fight witches," explains Prof Ronald Hutton from the University of Bristol.

House

Archaeology dating technique uncovers 'property boom' of 3700 BC

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© Angelo Hornak / Alamy/Alamy
Maiden Castle hill fort in Dorset. Archaeologists have found that a causewayed enclosure nearby was created during a building spree in 3700 BC.
English monuments, including Maiden Castle and Windmill Hill, found to have been built, used and abandoned in single lifetime

A new scientific dating technique has revealed there was a building spree more than 5,500 years ago, when many of the most spectacular monuments in the English landscape, such as Maiden Castle in Dorset and Windmill Hill in Wiltshire, were built, used and abandoned in a single lifetime.

The fashion for the monuments, hilltops enclosed by rings of ditches, known to archaeologists as causewayed enclosures, instead of being the ritual work of generations as had been believed, began on the continent centuries earlier but spread from Kent to Cornwall within 50 years in about 3700 BC.

Alex Bayliss, an archaeologist and dating expert at English Heritage, said: "The dates were not what we expected when we began this project but prehistorians are just going to have to get their heads around it, a lot of what we have been taught in the past is complete bollocks."

Sherlock

Allies Plotted To Slip Estrogen To Hitler To Make Him 'Less Aggressive': Claim

British spies considered a plan to bring out Adolf Hitler's softer side by secretly adding female hormones to Der Fuhrer's food, according to a new book.



The idea that Hitler's violent quest for world domination could be subdued with steady doses of estrogen was one of the bizarre cloak-and-dagger plots dreamt up to outmaneuver Nazi Germany, according to a new book Secret Weapons: Technology, Science And The Race To Win World War II by British professor Brian Ford.

Magnify

Black Death Study Lets Rats Off the Hook

Bubonic plague victims of 14th century London
© Rex Features
Bubonic plague victims of 14th century London, uncovered in the 1980s in an excavation at the Old Royal Mint
Plague of 1348-49 spread so fast in London the carriers had to be humans not black rats, says archaeologist.

Rats weren't the carriers of the plague after all. A study by an archaeologist looking at the ravages of the Black Death in London, in late 1348 and 1349, has exonerated the most famous animal villains in history.

"The evidence just isn't there to support it," said Barney Sloane, author of The Black Death in London. "We ought to be finding great heaps of dead rats in all the waterfront sites but they just aren't there. And all the evidence I've looked at suggests the plague spread too fast for the traditional explanation of transmission by rats and fleas. It has to be person to person - there just isn't time for the rats to be spreading it."

He added: "It was certainly the Black Death but it is by no means certain what that disease was, whether in fact it was bubonic plague."

Comment: Could there be a Cosmic Connection to the Black Death plague that decimated Europe in the 14th century? There is indeed strong parallel evidence. Please read Laura's article here for more information.
There really is quite sufficient data presented in Baillie's book to support the theory that the Black Death was due to an impact by Comet Debris - similar to the impacts on Jupiter by the fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy back in 1994. As to exactly how these deaths occurred, there are a number of possibilities: earthquakes, floods (tsunami), rains of fire, chemicals released by the high-energy explosions in the atmosphere, including ammonium and hydrogen cyanide, and possibly even comet born disease pathogens.

If it has happened as often as Baillie suggests, it can happen again. And if, as we suspect, the Earth is slated for a bombardment in the not too distant future, it seems that there are more ways to die in such an event than just getting hit by a comet fragment.



Arrow Down

Canada: 300-Year-Old Gold Coin Found in Newfoundland

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© Colony of Avalon
300-year-old coin found in Ferryland.
A 300 year-old Portuguese coin has been found at an archaeological dig site in eastern Newfoundland.

The gold coin, minted in 1708, was found at the Colony of Avalon archaeological dig site in Ferryland this summer.

The coin is bent into an 'S'. People who've studied that era said men at the time bent coins and presented them as love tokens to women they were courting.

Wayne Croft found the coin.

"I just gave a couple of shakes and I see this thing bouncing, and stopped the shaker, and I looked at it and there was a gold coin and I really just couldn't believe my eyes ... it's such a rich site...it's amazing...totally amazing," said Croft, who has been working at the site for 12 years.

"Really you don't know from the next scrape of the trowel what you're going to uncover."