Wednesday, July 14, 2010

BBC Radio 5 Live Interview!

Catch me on BBC Radio 5 this Saturday 17th July at 8am! I'll be talking about high-end memorabilia, particularly movie merchandise (like the recently auctioned Terminator robotic arm)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Easter Island and Thor

As if you needed more proof that Norwegians are just amazing - check out details of Thor Heyerdahl...yes, he name really was Thor!

Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) was a Norwegian ethnographer who explored the archaeology of the Pacific and excavated at Easter Island. He fought with the Free Norwegian Forces in World War II, and was decorated for his bravery.

In 1947, he embarked on his legendary Kon-Tiki expedition from Peru to Polynesia, travelling over 6,000 kilometers on a small balsawood raft. The expedition proved that it was possible for such a tremendous journey to be made on a lift raft and affirmed Heyerdahl's belief that this is how the string of islands across the Pacific Ocean came to be populated millennia ago.

His epic journey was filmed, winning Heyerdahl and Oscar for Best Documentary, and turned into a book, selling 60 million copies worldwide.

While on his sea hop Thor enjoyed the simpler things in life, like catching sharks for dinner...!

In 1970, he crossed the Atlantic on a papyrus raft, Ra II, undermining the belief that Columbus was first to cross the ocean. His adventures always included an international crew and they always flew a UN flag, in support of Heyerdahl's internationalism convictions. He was also concerned with the damage to the planet caused by pollution.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

South Asia's oldest living city

Most cities and dwellings see a natural rise and fall, with periods of occupation followed by reduction in size or abandonment.
Going back to at least 539BC, the city of Peshawar commands the title of South Asia's oldest living city, based on excavations at Gor Khatri.

You can read more about the archaeological work in the city here.

Pioneering maritime work in China

I am absolutely delighted about this. $40 million has been invested into maritime archaeology work in China, led by Zhang Wei of the National Museum of China. After receiving training from Texas A&M, Wei removed an 800 year old sunken merchant ship, dubbed South China Sea No. 1, and moved it to the Maritime Silk Road Museum in Yangjiang.

I did some research into Chinese maritime archaeology, specifically the Opium Wars, back in 2007. While all the museums were very nice to me and helpful, maritime interests didn't seem to be fully developed. This new investment by the government is definitely a step in the right direction.

Read more about Zhang Wei's work here.

Global warming reveals more archaeology

Not really a silver lining to the possible destruction of the earth...but new archaeology discoveries in any case...sigh...
Melting ice patches in Colorado have revealed archaeological remains that have been preserved for thousands of years. 10,000 year old weapons have been discovered by archaeologist Craig Lee of the University of Colorado.
Researchers have little choice but to collect all of the finds as they find them as, otherwise, the items will very quickly degrade due to their fragile condition.
You can read a bit more about the weapons here.