Friday, June 8
by Jessica E. Saraceni
Two men have been arrested in northern Greece after police found an ancient gold wreath and an armband in a shoebox under the passenger seat of their car. The police had received a tip that one of the men might be trafficking in antiquities. Nikos Dimitriadis, head of the Thessaloniki police antiquities theft division, said that the artifacts had come from a Macedonian grave. The wreath is decorated with gold oak leaves and acorns. The armband is shaped with two knotted snakes and a red stone.
The search for The Bray School, an eighteenth-century school for free and enslaved African-American children, continues at the College of William & Mary. The original school building may now be a dormitory on campus known as the Dudley Digges House, which was moved in 1930. Another building was probably built on its foundation, but field school students may find school artifacts in the yard areas. “I hope they’ll find pencils embossed ‘The Bray School,’ but I would be happy with any evidence that might clarify what I think is the likely link between the Digges House at that location and the Bray School,” said Terry Meyers, a professor at the college.
Archaeologists digging in Persepolis have uncovered a section of the city’s sewage system made up of branching canals. Persepolis was constructed in the late sixth century B.C. by Darius I in what is now southern Iran.
There are 123 unidentified Argentine soldiers buried in a military cemetery on the Falkland Islands. The cemetery was created by the British, who recovered the corpses at the end of the Falkland War in 1982 and buried them in individual coffins. Some of the relatives of the fallen would like Argentine scientists to exhume the graves and identify the remains. Others want the burials to remain undisturbed. The International Committee of the Red Cross is interviewing each family.
Thursday, June 7
by Jessica E. Saraceni
Security guards at the Selsela mountain quarries in Aswan, Egypt, interrupted four people trying to steal a relief panel depicting Merenptah, the fourth ruler of the 19thDynasty, and Mayet, the goddess of justice. The damage done to the sculptural panel by the diggers will be repaired.
American writer Jason Felch wants to make information about stolen antiquities available to the public online in WikiLoot. “It’s all raw, unprocessed data. Researchers can use it, but we also hope the public can use it to find out a bit more about what is on display at their local museum,” he explained. Antiquities smuggling is an international network valued at ten billion dollars a year.
Have you planned a summer trip to visit world-class archaeological sites? The government of Greece and international travel agencies are attempting to attract last-minute guests. Tourism to Greece, which contributes 15 percent of the country’s economy, has dropped this year in the wake of political and economic crises. Unemployment has reached 21 percent. “We are trying to save what can be saved,” said Yannis Retsos, head of the hoteliers’ association.
The government of China has announced that the Great Wall is more than twice as long as had been previously thought. The new measurements were taken during a survey begun in 2007. Earlier estimates had been based upon historical records. Only 8.2 percent of the original wall remains intact, however.
National Geographic Daily News has posted photographs of a large, 1,000-year-old tomb in Peru, at the site of Pachacamac. Belgian archaeologists uncovered the mummies of some 80 Ychsma adults that had been wrapped in textiles and surrounded by the burials of infants. The adults had been placed in the fetal position. It is not clear if the infants had been sacrificed.