Current Archaeology Awards for 2010 – get your entries in!

Current Archaeology is pleased to announce that the English Heritage Presentation of Archaeological Heritage Research Awards will be joining in this year as part of the Archaeology 2010 conference at the British Museum, February 26-28, 2010. ( a date for your diary – As both BAJR and Past Horizons will be there as well)

But this is not the only award they have with the Robert Kiln Trust award and the Jeffrey May awards to name only another two. Cash prizes and lovely things to have on your CV. Closing date for all is 15 November.

English Heritage Award for the Presentation of Heritage Research competition is designed to highlight the fascinating research being done in the heritage sector. We aim to bring it out of monographs and specialist journals and to the attention of the wider public, whose understanding and support are crucial to the preservation of our heritage. Anyone who works, or has participated in, research on British and Irish archaeology, historic buildings and heritage conservation is encouraged to enter the competition.

Three prizes are offered: an open first prize of £1,500, a runner-up prize of £500, and an under-30 prize of £500. Entrants should send in a completed entry form including a summary of their proposed presentation, not to exceed 750 words (up to two figures may also be included), to arrive no later than 15 November 2009.

View details on this award here…

The Jeffrey May Award is named in honour of Jeffrey May, an issue editor for Current Archaeology and a long-term friend and supporter. The award, for the best article submitted by a new writer for either Current Archaeology or Current World Archaeology magazine, consists of a £1,000 prize and publication of the article.

View details on this award here…

The Robert Kiln Trust award is given for the best project, or a series of works or projects, carried out in the UK by a voluntary body or individual. Robert Kiln was a great believer in amateur participation and his charitable trust, founded in the early 1970s, has distributed more than £1 million to conservation, the arts and archaeology. This award is meant to carry on Robert Kiln’s tradition of encouraging higher standards of fieldwork and excavation in the amateur ranks. There will be a small prize given. Additionally, each finalist will be given two free tickets to the Archaeology 2010 conference.

View details on this award here…

So what are you waiting for….. the opportunity to get recognition and some very useful money for either yourself or your project.!! Just think what you could do with £500, £1000 or even £1500. So stop reading this… and get along to here NOW!


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Dig your own – Ethics of pay to dig out entire sites

Recently on the American Archaeology Fieldwork website the following website was highlighted, after it appeared in a google ad.

but they are not alone, with other sites offering a chance to dig up entire sites and keep your finds.

What about this one

Randy’s Dig is a private pay dig on private property located in

Kerr County, Texas – the heart of The Texas Hill County.

Dig for arrowheads 7 days a week.

and of course the wonderfully named Digfest

UPDATE________________     LOOTERS message

The picture of digfest you have is me and my best friend. You do not have our permission to show this picture and I would appreciate you removing it immediately.


so picture of  people who take without recording has been removed.   🙂


and this one

Yea that was a good day of digging DIGFEST 09 had fun dug up some good ones some of thoes old looters know more about texas point typeology than you ever will and thanks for the link to Randys dig found some good ones there to


So there you have it… looters who are happy to be looters!

I did point out that they may know more but they don’t contribute anything…  and the typology that they know was built by archaeologists…  they take  you lose…  🙂


So there you have it…  Looters who are happy to loot your heritage.    sad..  sad sad!


Enjoy this looters… and stand proud – you take… we all suffer!









Here, we are seeing mining of sites… this goes beyond surface collection or any other type of artefact collection from the topsoil….this is mining that bears a resemblance to the site looting we see in Bulgaria and Iraq for example.

the image below is from

Looters waving from Isin. the archaeological site

Looters waving from Isin. the archaeological site in Iraq

Can you spot the difference?  I can’t…   the entire removal of an archaeological site in a disorganised and unskilled way is deplorable?   Is it illegal?   Well seems that Private land is Private in the USofA   and you can do anything it seems…  BUT…  what about the states legislation of Native American Artefacts and burials?  What happens if they hit one?   worth a look by the authorities Hmmmmmm

The Archaeology Fieldwork has sent these websites to AZ SHPO and AGs office – but will it force them to be more secrative…  and who are these ‘diggers’?

Seems that this is more common than we thought..  but some collectors are not that happy either and demand support and action

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Build your own Turin Shroud

Luigi Garlaschelli says his reproduction of the shroud disproves the claims of its strongest supporters.

Luigi Garlaschelli says his reproduction of the shroud disproves the claims of its strongest supporters.

An Italian scientist says he has reproduced one of the world’s most famous Catholic relics, the Shroud of Turin, to support his belief it is a medieval fake, not the cloth Jesus was buried in. Luigi Garlaschelli created a copy of the shroud by wrapping a specially woven cloth over one of his students, painting it with pigment, baking it in an oven (which he called a “shroud machine”) for several hours, then washing it. . . “Basically the Shroud of Turin has some strange properties and characteristics that they say cannot be reproduced by human hands,” he told CNN by phone from Italy, where he is a professor of organic chemistry at the University of Pavia. “For example, the image is superficial and has no pigment, it looks so lifelike and so on, and therefore they say it cannot have been done by an artist.” His research shows the pigment may simply have worn off the cloth over the centuries since it was first “discovered” in 1355, but impurities in the pigment etched an image into the fibers of the cloth, leaving behind the ghostly picture that remains today.

Read Full Article here…

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Bluehenge – Stonehenge – Woodhenge… but what about Strawhenge?

Sadly this was supposed to be a surprise for February..  but the Daily Mail got hold of the story…  however, it looks like they are quoting the great and the good relating to this story…

Professor Tim Darvill, Stonehenge expert at Bournemouth University, said: ‘This adds to the richness of the story of Stonehenge.

so did is this an exclusive…or a leak….    we want to know

A Bluestone Patio, that bears no resemblance to Bluehenge!

A Bluestone Patio, that bears no resemblance to Bluehenge!

Anyway…  I heard about it from Stonepages as we prepare the podcast news…  so I may as well confess I will be reporting on this…  and perhaps have my tuppence worth as well.     You have not listened to our Podcast news??    where have you been?

At least this time nobody can point any fingers at me…  I was at Hadrian s wall at the time guv…   I’ve got witnesses!

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National Trust for Scotland in Crisis

The Board and Council of the National Trust for Scotland have shown blatant disrespect to donors, volunteer supporters and employees by failing to consult them about the deep and sudden financial crisis and their incredible decision to close or mothball eleven properties held “in trust for the nation”.

To avoid a fait accompli at September’s AGM an Extraordinary General Meeting should be called before the Board and Council causes any more harm to the NTS.
The Fact Is…

But for the alertness of the press the incredible decision by the Board and Council of the National Trust for Scotland to close eleven properties held by that body “in trust for the nation”, the Trust’s 300,000 members would be faced with a fait accompli at September’s AGM.

Safeguarding the marvellous and varied assets built up all over Scotland since 1935 should be the priority through proper maintenance, safeguarding and marketing on an annual basis.

The views of members have been ignored by an undemocratic Board and an unwieldy Council which includes representatives from many Scottish organisations.

Where funds are insufficient the entire membership should be consulted.

So say the In Trust for Scotland group

The crisis is funding is extreme, with many properties mothballed and incredibly the headquarters themselves at Charlotte Square (a Flagship property) is to be sold!

September 26th sees the AGM of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) vote on a confidence motion in, first, the Chair, Shonaig MacPherson and then the Board, high on the agenda.

The result will be of purely academic interest to Ms MacPherson who is becoming an experienced passenger in the ejector seat. She has, as we reported, just recently announced that she is to stand down as Chair of NTS  sometime between now and this time next year. In January this year she departed as Chair of the Intermediary Technology Institute.

A divisive figure from the start of her position with the Trust, an article in today’s Sunday Herald, A Crisis of Trust,  quotes Rob Gibson MSP, deputy Convenor of the Holyrood Economy, Energy amd Tourism Committee describing MacPherson as ‘totally inappropriate’ for the requirements of her post.

whats going on???

read more here:

Culture Minister Mike Russell said it was not for government to interfere in the trust’s workings but that he recognised elements of its “complex and Byzantine” governance needed to change.

Mr Russell said: “At the end of the day the trust has to solve its own problems, come together as an organisation, a membership organisation with huge responsibilities but huge opportunities, and move forward.

let cross our fingers that they do.

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Rome Can Be Built In A Day — With Photos

Published on September 17, 2009

by OfficialWire NewsDesk

(UPI and OfficialWire)


The ancient city of Rome wasn’t built in a day and it took nearly a century to build St. Peter’s Basilica — but now the city can be digitized in just hours.

A new University of Washington computer algorithm uses hundreds of thousands of tourist photos to automatically reconstruct an entire city in about a day.

The tool is the most recent in a series developed to harness increasingly large digital photo collections available on photo-sharing Web sites. The digital Rome was built from 150,000 tourist photos that were downloaded from the popular photo-sharing Web site, Flickr.

Researchers led by Assistant Professor Sameer Agarwal said computers analyzed each image and in 21 hours combined them to create a 3-D digital model that allows a viewer to “fly” around Rome’s landmarks, from the Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon to the inside of the Sistine Chapel.

Earlier versions of the UW technology are known as Photo Tourism. That technology was licensed in 2006 to Microsoft, which now offers it as a free tool called Photosynth.

“With Photosynth and Photo Tourism, we basically reconstruct individual landmarks,” said study co-author Noah Snavely. “Here we’re trying to reconstruct entire cities.

The project that included Rick Szeliski of Microsoft Research, Professor Steve Seitz and graduate student Ian Simon is to be presented next month in Kyoto, Japan, during the International Conference on Computer Vision.

For more about this see here:

this is megapowerful in terms of heritage applications!

have a look at this one

Meyers Spring Pictograph Site is located near the town of Dryden in West Texas between two ancient Comanche War Trails. The rock art is found on a limestone cliff face adjacent to Meyers Spring, one of the only stable sources of fresh water for many miles. The oldest art found at the site consists of the prehistoric Pecos River Style (2000 to 4000 years old). Most it has faded or has been covered by early historic (150 to 400 years old) pictographs that now dominate the site. The latest pictographs found are some the best preserved in North America and appear to chronicle the earliest contact between European and the native peoples of this area.

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OPEN ARCHIVE – a new web based system for accessing our past

OPEN ARCHIVE – a new web based system for accessing our past

The wealth of information gathered by local archaeological groups and societies on excavations, surveys and documentary research is one of the important sources of data for the study of archaeology in the UK.  Currently, this archive of British archaeology is stored locally, within libraries and local history centres as well as with the originating group themselves.  In addition, PhDs and other research can be found in locations often scattered throughout the country.  The premise of Open Archive is to collect the records of the past and present and share them with everybody.

Open Archive is an accessible library of user generated reports and publications where archaeology societies, PhD research students, graveyard recording and community groups can share their discoveries with a wide audience.

The easy to use interface combines intuitive searches by period, type of project and location with a map based view showing the location of the selected documents.  Each item can then be viewed as either a short description or as the complete publication.  This resource creates a public portal to the records of our shared heritage that were previously only available on a few local archaeology group websites OR as paper copies in the local library.  The idea is to allow this to be both interactive and open to sharing via feeds and direct data transfer.

The data entry form is modelled exactly on the Discovery and Excavation Scotland (DES) fields, and has the potential to allow direct transfer of this data to the record.  (For future projects this would mean every record sent to Open Archive that is located in Scotland could be automatically be sent to the DES along with a copy of the report.)  In addition, we are working on automatically sending Treasure Trove reporting, Open Archive is developing for the future and your comments are welcome.

Loading the pdf versions of the document onto Open Archive is a quick step by step process, maintaining ease of use without compromising the value of the information gathered.  The more users that utilise this secure public archive, the more useful it becomes, building a written record of the past in Britain by those that know it best.

Free to register and use, we are currently in consultation to help take paper records and transform them into searchable digital formats, where the rediscovery of these publications may even re-ignite interest in the area.

Open Archive is exactly that – a public resource, created for everyone.

You can view the current Version here

and we welcome comment

David Connolly and Steve White (Digital Past)

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