Thursday, November 25, 2010

Women and Religion - Conference Poster now online

View my conference poster here or check it out from this link (bottom of the page)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Robot films interior of Feathered Serpent Temple, Teotihuacan, Mexico

The first images of the interior of the tunnel found under the Feathered Serpent Temple, in Teotihuacan, captured by a small robot introduced by archaeologists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), were presented to the media due to the relevance of the event in the history of Mexican archaeological research.

This is the first time a robot is integrated to archaeological exploration in Mexico; a similar devise was used in Egypt 10 years ago to explore a tomb.

Tlaloque 1, named after the mythological beings that helped Tlaloc, covered the first stretch of a tunnel that has not been walked for 1,800 years. Images reveal that the passageway built more than 2,000 years ago to represent the underworld, is stable enough to be explored by archaeologists soon.

During the presentation of the images to communication media representatives, the INAH national coordinator of Archaeology, Salvador Guilliem, was present. It was mentioned that this robotic device adds up to the technologies used by archaeologists in this project. Several weeks ago, geo radar was used to determine with precision that the tunnel conducts to 3 chambers, where the remains of important characters might have been buried.

Archaeologist Sergio Gomez Chavez, director of “Tlalocan Project: Underground Road”, informed that this is the first time that this kind of device is used in Mexico; “Apparently it had been used in Egypt, and us, as INAH researchers, are the first ones to develop it and use it in our country”.

Click here for a slideshow of images

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Poster Presentation - Women and Religion Conference

I will be presenting a poster at the forthcoming Women and Religion conference, "Anti-Religion: Women of the Hell-Fire Clubs".

The First BIRTHA Postgraduate Women and Religion Conference will be held at Bristol University on 20 November 2010.   The keynote speaker will be Dr Carolyn Muessig, Reader in Medieval Religion in the Theology and Religious Studies department of the University of Bristol, and the concluding address with be given by Dr Martin Seeger, Lecturer in Thai Language and Culture, and Director of Thai Studies at Leeds University.  This conference brings together doctoral researchers and early career academics from a variety of disciplines and fields to explore the role and place of women in religion. Presenters will be coming from Universities in the UK and from Europe (France and Italy) and panels will include papers on the role and status of women in Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism and Islam both in the present and historically, and from a wide range of perspectives (textual, sociological, historical).  Registration is free but required as the number of places is limited. More information and registration form can be found at

Friday, November 5, 2010

Archaeology isn't just about holes in the ground

A new exhibition is challenging how we view what is archaeology and what is not.
The exhibition showcases online designs from the earliest times of the Internet.

Web design is now an industry, but early in the Internet's evolution there was an explosion of amazing design innovation. This expression of creativity is now being collected and save by some fans of web layouts.

Read more here

Ancient party garden!

A newly discovered 7th century B.C. palace garden near Jerusalem could reveal details about how royals liked to let loose in ancient times.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Germany's Heidelberg University uncovered the royal garden at the site of Ramat Rachel, a kibbutz (communal farm) in Israel, and are leading the first full-scale excavation of this type of archaeological site in Israel.

"We have uncovered a very rare find," archaeologist Oded Lipschits of Tel Aviv University said.

The garden was a massive and lush green space royals would use to relax. Such pleasure spots were once the ultimate symbol of power, according to the researchers.

Read more here

35,000-year-old axe head places Aboriginal ancestors at the cutting edge of technology

THE oldest ground-edge tool in the world has been discovered in Arnhem Land, prompting scientists to reconsider exactly when the technique of grinding to make tools sharp entered the Stone Age.

Unearthed from a sandstone cave in a remote part of south-west Arnhem Land in May, the basalt axe piece measuring 4 centimetres in length has been radio-carbon dated at 35,000 years old.

The discovery is significant as it predates by at least 5000 years the oldest known examples of other ground-edge implements from Japan and Australia, which have been dated at 22,000 to 30,000 years old. By comparison, the earliest ground-edge axes from Europe, West Asia and Africa are about 8,500 years old.

Full story here

Skulls of 4 extinct animals discovered underwater in the Yucatan

Four complete skulls and jaws of a species extinct in America, Arctotherium, that lived during the Pleistocene and disappeared 11,300 years ago, were found by sub aquatic archaeologists in the bed of a cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

These are the only specimens of their type found until now in this region of the country, and add up to the list of Prehistorical fauna located inside this kind of water bodies, which before glaciations were dry caves.

Sub aquatic archaeologist Guillermo de Anda Alanis, from the Yucatan Autonomous University (UADY), who conducts this research as part of the project authorized by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) “El Culto al Cenote en el Centro de Yucatan” (Cult to Cenote in Central Yucatan) since 2007, announced the details of the discovery at the International Congress American Cultures and their Environment: Perspectives from Zoo Archaeology, Paleo Botanic and Ethno Biology, organized by UADY and taking place from November 1st to 5th 2010 in Merida, Yucatan.

Guillermo de Anda Alanis declared that the remains were located in a submerged cavern between the towns of Sotuta and Homun, in Yucatan, at 40 meters depth. Bones were dispersed in a 120 meter diameter surface, and it has been estimated that they could correspond to a family of bears, since the 2 adult skulls belonged to a male and a female, while the other 2 skulls did not reach their full development. They were all from the same species.

The archaeologist indicated that besides the mammals’ remains, 5 ancient human bone remains, still to be dated, were located 30 meters away from the bears, but it is still unknown if they are related.