Summer is typically the season for excavations worldwide. This year, of course, is somewhat different. But that hasn’t stopped researchers examining evidence from excavations both old and recent. Below, in chronological order starting with the oldest, are links to articles I’ve found particularly revealing from the past couple of months. All links open in a new tab.
July 7, 2020. Finds of perishable materials such as leather and wood are common at the site of Vindolanda Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall. But this one, a toy leather mouse, is especially interesting: http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/vindolanda-toy-mouse-08611.html
July 9, 2020. Those with an interest in ancient glass have long debated the origins of colorless glass in the early Roman period. Science solves the mystery in this excellent article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-68089-w
July 15, 2020. Reliable science is again challenging traditional assumptions, this time about the origins of the Hyksos, who ruled Lower Egypt during the later part of the Second Intermediate and early part of the New Kingdom periods: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0235414
July 26, 2020. A Tunisian man is one of a handful of amateur sleuths who have recreated in some form the famous purple dye extracted from sea snails and prized by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans: https://phys.org/news/2020-07-passion-purple-revives-ancient-dye.html
August 4, 2020: A thoughtful and challenging article about the importance of involving local communities, workers and scholars in the Near East with preservation of their own cultural heritage: https://phys.org/news/2020-08-field-archaeology-spade-locals-cultural.html
August 5, 2020: When I was in my first year of college (I won’t mention how log ago that was) I was thrilled to be able to help maintain the collections of amazing hand flaked obsidian and other stone tools at what was then called the California State Indian Museum. This article examines superb flaked projectile points excavated on the Arabian Peninsula during the Neolithic period: https://phys.org/news/2020-08-ancient-arabia-tools-skills.html