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Recent Archaeological Discoveries (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Rocky



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The top 10 discoveries from 2008:
http://www.archaeology.org/0901/topten/

The top 10 discoveries from 2007 (I like these ones better):
http://www.archaeology.org/0801/topten/index.html

I like "Polynesian Chickens in Chile" from 2007: http://www.archaeology.org/0801/topten/chicken.html

Scholars have long assumed the Spaniards first introduced chickens to the New World along with horses, pigs, and cattle. But now radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis of a chicken bone excavated from a site in Chile suggest Polynesians in oceangoing canoes brought chickens to the west coast of South America well before Europe's "Age of Discovery."


I wonder if chickens in Chile are a problem for orthodoxy. Maybe they'll start to question horses.
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Rocky



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I like this one too - "Early squash seeds in Peru" - from 2007 : http://www.archaeology.org/0801/topten/squash_seeds.html

New research favors the idea that agriculture began in the New World shortly after it first appeared in the Old World. Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University has the squash seeds to prove it.


The matter of how the New World learned agriculture must be left to synchronicity I suppose, or did the Polynesians play a role?

It also says:
According to Dillehay, "Not only do people domesticate plants, but the plants in some ways domesticate people."


Is this the "agriculture first, then cities" point of view? I thought that was the old view.
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DPCrisp


In: Bedfordshire
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Is this the "agriculture first, then cities" point of view? I thought that was the old view.

That is the old and still current view. Per the Jacobs Crackers? thread, Jane Jacobs demolished this myth in 1968, but they won't let that stop 'em. It's still an omnipresent obstacle.

If you really think it's Cities First then that makes two of us. Solidarity, Brother.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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The chickens are remarkably non-earth shattering for orthodoxy. Since they date the Polynesians' cross-Pacific expansion very late, it follows that they would arrive in South America, armed with their chickens, just before Europeans arrived with their chickens.

However one AE point does arise.

In 1532, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro recorded the presence of chickens in Peru, where the Inca used them in religious ceremonies. "That suggests chickens had already been there for a while," says Storey

It also suggests that historians were going in for some careful ignoral when faced with evidence that conflicted with their paradigm (that Europeans got there first). It would be interesting to know how this little nugget was wished away originally. Any Spanish-speaking researchers in the house?
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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I like "Polynesian Chickens in Chile"......

Is there any evidence that this was not just a one-way flow? In other words are there any New World anomalies to be found in Asia?

I'm thinking along the lines of the chilli, so integral to the cuisine of south-east Asia that it's hard to believe it's a recent introduction by Europeans. Or is it evidence of earlier trade links between Meso-America and Asia?
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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I'm thinking along the lines of the chilli, so integral to the cuisine of south-east Asia that it's hard to believe it's a recent introduction by Europeans. Or is it evidence of earlier trade links between Meso-America and Asia?

Chillis are related to the nightshade family it appears and are dead easy to grow, like tomatoes. The name is said to be a combo of chile and some unpronounceable native word, "evolving" thus: chile + tecpintl to chiltecping to chiltepin to chilepiquin. The last two names are fairly interchangeable. The version used depending upon the source of the information.
The "ch" sound is of course common in Chinese though written in English I believe as 'x'.

The Taiwanese no doubt brought some chillis along with their chickens. I'll pop into my local Sze Xuan to find the recipe.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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The Taiwanese no doubt brought some chillis along with their chickens. I'll pop into my local Sze Xuan to find the recipe.

Just had some for lunch!
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Rocky



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Could this be a hoax?

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/09/24/tech-archaeology-treasure-anglo-saxon.html

If it's not a hoax, one commenter says the following, so it will be interesting to hear what the scholars say:

I'm confused about this find until I hear what the scholars have to say. Everybody thinks the artifacts are Anglo-Saxon. But some of them bear biblical inscriptions in Latin, evidence that they are more likely Celtic or Roman. And why would the Anglo-Saxons be hiding gold in the 7th century? Surely it was the Celts and Romans, retreating before the Anglo-Saxons, who would more likely hide their treasure from their enemies?

If anybody has an explanation for all of this I'd be glad to hear it. Maybe there isn't one, tribal movements being frequent, random, and maybe undocumented in the dark ages.
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Mick Harper
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Since it is the 'most important Anglo-Saxon find ever' there is not the slightest chance that the Anglo-Saxonists will let it go just because it is not Anglo-Saxon. However you raise an interesting AE point. Since all archaeological finds are judged by their content (as opposed to who put it there) on what grounds can we judge any find? When the British Museum is dug up in millennia hence future archaeologists, operating under the same delusive paradigm, will be in a right two-and-eight..

PS In case anyone was wondering, family and personal circumstances have been and will be limiting my usefulness to the site for a period of time.
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Rocky



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Mick Harper wrote:
PS In case anyone was wondering, family and personal circumstances have been and will be limiting my usefulness to the site for a period of time.


No problem. Families happen to everyone.

Anyway, they found about 5 kg of gold. The price of gold is about £20100 per kg. I guess this lessens the possibility greatly that it is a hoax.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Rocky wrote:
Anyway, they found about 5 kg of gold. The price of gold is about £20100 per kg. I guess this lessens the possibility greatly that it is a hoax.


Quite the contrary. Gold is the best indication that it is a hoax.

Though I am not saying this is.
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Rocky



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Priam's treasure (a cache of gold and other artifacts associated with a site identified as that of ancient Troy) was discovered by one Heinrich Schliemann:

In 1850, Heinrich learned of the death of his brother, Ludwig, who had become wealthy as a speculator in the California gold fields. Schliemann went to California in early 1851 and started a bank in Sacramento. The bank bought and resold over a million dollars of gold dust in just six months. Prospectors could mine or pan for the gold, but they had no way to sell it except to middlemen such as Schliemann, who made quick fortunes on the exchanges.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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That's interesting about brother Ludwig. When Ish came over a couple of years back, we went to a Saturday workshop on the Mycenae where Ish said to the lecturer "What's the likelihood that the very first place where Schliemann stuck in his spade would turn out to be Troy?". The answer of course should have been "very likely, it was the family business weren't it". (We didn't go back after lunch as I recall).
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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It wasn't Troy of course but Mycenae. Which means the coincidence is three-fold
1. What is the chance of finding Troy on your first dig?
2. What is the chance that the same man would find the most important Mycenaen gold treasure on his first dig?
3. What is the chance that this finder would not be an archaeologist but would be a gold-digger's brother?

Actually of course this last is wrong. Schliemann is now King-of-the-archaeologists which tells us all we need to know about archaeologists.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Seems to me that qualified archeologists don't find much in the way of treasure.

And yes... I'm suspicious of King Tut's tomb.
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