Bioarchaeology of the Near East: volume 16 is now available online

The most recent volume of Bioarchaeology of the Near East contains three regular papers. Grigoria Ioannou and Kirsi O. Lorenz present a systematic review of the history and current state of research on bioarchaeology in Cyprus. Yossi Nagar and colleagues discuss the discovery of a disarticulated male skeleton found in a cave in the Judean desert and dated to the Early Chalcolithic. Finally, Stephen Haines and colleagues present two cases of concha bullosa, a relatively rare non-metric trait occurring in the nasal conchae and identified in two females from 20th-century Cyprus.

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Bramka Rockshelter – what the last European hunters did in a cave

I turn a tiny flint fragment in my hands. I can see that one of its sides was very accurately shaped with small percussions in order to make a triangular tool. It is slightly more than a centimetre long. I need to use a magnifying glass to see its details. Who made it? When? Was it made by the last European hunters? Why did they leave it in a cave?

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Polish computer application in archaeology

From April 2nd to April 6th, 2023, the 50th International Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology was held in Amsterdam. Polish archaeology was represented by a strong interdisciplinary group, which prepared two sessions and presented 10 presentations and 2 posters.

Photogrammetric model of a barrow during excavation with markings showing the location of various monuments
by J. Stępnik

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Of a potter and his kiln

You thought only cavemen lived in caves? What about a 19th-century potter?

Today, the people who take a walk in the Sąspowska Valley in the heart of Ojców National Park find it difficult to believe that just 100-200 years ago there were more than ten farms scattered on both sides of the Sąspówka stream that wound on the bottom of the valley. One of the households was situated near the outlet of Jamki Gully, directly below vertical rocks that are more than 20 m high. This household is marked on a map of Western Galicia, drawn in 1801-1804 by the Austrian colonel Anton Mayer von Heldensfeld after the annexation of this territory by Austria-Hungary. There were three or four small structures on the right bank of the stream.

The rock is slightly concave in this place and it forms a relatively spacious shelter. On one side there is a slit in the rock that resembles a vertical chimney, which is not insignificant for our story.

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Protection for Tungul: new, unique wall paintings discovered in Old Dongola, Sudan

Old Dongola (Tungul in Old Nubian) was the capital of Makuria, one of the most prominent medieval African states. Research in this city, initiated by Prof. Kazimierz Michałowski, has been providing groundbreaking results practically every year. Such was the case of the last excavation season of the Starting Grant project “UMMA – Urban Metamorphosis of the community of a Medieval African capital city” financed by the European Research Council and carried out by a team led by Dr. hab. Artur Obłuski from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw.

Archaeologists Dr. Lorenzo de Lellis and Dr. Maciej Wyżgoł unexpectedly stumbled upon an enigmatic complex of rooms made of sun-dried brick, the interiors of which were covered with figural scenes unique for Christian art. 

Scene with King David, fot. Adrian Chlebowski, PCMA

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Not only Göbeklitepe

Culture and Information Counsellor’s Office the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye, The University of Warsaw and Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) will host an archaeology seminar and photo exhibition on April 19, 2023, at the University of Warsaw. The aim of this event is to give more attention to the recent archaeological excavations at Proto-Neolithic archaeological sites in the region of Şanlıurfa, producing evidence that the famous constructions at Göbeklitepe were not exceptional, but typical for the formative period of farming societies.

Source: Culture and Information Counsellor’s Office the Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye

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Of a clay rattle that is just 1500 years old

Have you ever held a 1500-year-old clay rattle in your hand? It makes a soft sound when you shake it. There is something inside and it still rattles, just like it did then – 1500 years ago. Was it lost by a careless child playing near the cave? Did it play a role in some forgotten rituals? Or perhaps it was deposited as an offering in a grave? This story will be about a clay rattle.

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Egyptian hieroglyphs discovered in Old Dongola, Sudan

During the current excavation season in Old Dongola (Sudan), an expedition of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, headed by Dr. Artur Obłuski, came across an unexpected find: architectural elements from a Pharaonic temple.

Dr Dawid F. Wieczorek with a block from an Egyptian monumental building
© D. F. Wieczorek/PCMA UW

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