Thursday, 18 September 2008

Vikings were looking for wives

So apparently the Vikings were just looking for a bit of cosy domesticity.
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During the Viking Age from the late eighth to the mid-eleventh centuries, Scandinavians tore across Europe attacking, robbing and terrorizing locals. According to a new study, the young warriors were driven to seek their fortunes to better their chances of finding wives.

The odd twist to the story, said researcher James Barrett, is that it was the selective killing of female newborns that led to a shortage of Scandinavian women in the first place, resulting later in intense competition over eligible women.

"Selective female infanticide was recorded as part of pagan Scandinavian practice in later medieval sources, such as the Icelandic sagas," Barrett, who is deputy director of Cambridge University's McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, told Discovery News.

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Hat tip to wiccantexan

Red Lady controversy

Interesting, a repatriation case between two museums.

AN Elgin Marbles-style campaign has begun to secure the return to Wales of the Red Lady of Paviland, one of the world's most important archaeological finds.

The skeleton of the "Red Lady" complete with jewellery and a mammoth's head marker was discovered in 1823 at Paviland Cave on Gower.

Later analysis showed the skeleton to be that of a man, possibly a chieftain, but the Red Lady tag stuck.

It emerged that the bones, stained by red ochre, were the oldest ceremonially buried remains ever found in Western Europe.

They go back to 24,000BC pre-dating Stonehenge by 20,000 years.

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Thursday, 11 September 2008

PFA Facebook group

The Facebook group now has 165 members. That means 165 people who are prepared to sign up for the statement of what we stand for. The Facebook page (which imports this blog into Facebook) has 189 fans. The Yahoo group has 16 members (but some of those are also in the Facebook group). At this rate we could organise a conference.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Czech archaeological finds

Czech archaeologists have uncovered a torso of a unique female statue created about 7000 years ago near Masovice, which is the second similar find in this locality

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Of course, we don't know if these statues are goddesses; the "Great Goddess of Antiquity" myth has been pretty thoroughly debunked. But they are beautiful and interesting pieces of art made by our distant ancestors.

clipped from

The 14-meter sculpture of a pregnant woman is the most valuable discovery of archeologists. It be the only one in the world.

According to archeologist Mykola Kogutyak, the sculpture is 5-6 thousand years old. “It is the interweaving of north Black Sea civilizations,” he said.

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Follow the link to the article for some amazing photos of this unique find.

Monday, 1 September 2008

CHAT 2008

The conference poster, abstracts, timetable and registration information are available for CHAT 2008. Nick and I presented at CHAT 2007.
CHAT (Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory)
is a dynamic forum for innovative critical discussion that seeks to challenge and push the limits of archaeological thinking. To date this has been achieved through five annual conferences, publications and an active email discussion group. This year’s conference takes CHAT in a new direction, exploring connections between these theoretical perspectives and ideals and the more traditional concerns of heritage management practice.
Unfortunately, it also clashes with the Re-enactors' Market, which I really like going to.