Hooray for remote sensing

British archaeologists have discovered an 8000-year-old settlement in the British Channel. The silt deposits have preserved wood and other organic matter: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20215343/
This discovery just reminds me how maritime archaeology really has great potential here in the Pacific Northwest, either looking at shipwrecks or even hunting for similar stone-age civilizations, and it’s a shame it hasn’t really taken off yet. I am aware of a lot of cutting edge remote sensing technology and technicians at my current job, and I almost want to develop a match-making service for the archaeologists and the remote sensing scientists. They could make beautiful imagery together! Just look at what they found outside of Angkor:
Apparently the area covers over 1000 square kilometers, or 1000 square miles depending which article you read. The smaller estimate is like saying they found the ruins of the entire L.A. basin. And that’s on land, where it’s relatively easy to do sensing. What else is out there, people?
Another example of successful maritime archaeology and where remote sensing came in/could have come in handy: A city off the coast of ancient Alexandria was recently discovered: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070731-alexandria-city.html

There is also a load of anth and arch news I’ve missed out on, but I will try my best to give the top-of-the-hour news report:
There have been several tombs recently discovered all over the lower Americas:

In culture, plants known for having medicinal powers in Uganda are being destroyed by overuse by locals, and by a bid to cut down the rainforest and put in a sugar plantation: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070803-sex-tree.html.
U.S. men are experiencing a backlash of the “metrosexual” and are having operations done to look more manly and rugged: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20218432/site/newsweek/?gt1=10252
Researchers in the U.K. are finding a correlation between invading marauders from the north and a rise in demon possessions, and not just a thousand years ago: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070726-devil-england.html

On the evolutionary front, speaking of the U.K., England is more genetically homogenous today than it was 1000 years ago, according to Rus Hoelzel: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070808-england-dna.html.
An odd neanderthal skull is adding fuel to the cross-breeding fire: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070802-neanderthals.html
And, some scientists are saying that teeth found in Asia show that Europeans came from there instead of Africa: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/08/070806-humans-asia.html
Plus, Rafe was supposed to write some commentary about the latest Leaky skull found, but in the meantime here’s a quick article about it: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813093132.htm.
Just as a personal comment, I find it hilarious that for the 15 years or so before I was in college there was nothing going on in the field of physical anthropology, and now it seems like they can’t stop finding bones.


News about cities’ inhabitants

½ of humanity in will be living cities by next year: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19458575/

The famous female pharoah Hatshepsut’s mummy has been identified as officially her. It was found around the same time as King Tut, but nobody bothered to mess with her until now: http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/06/27/egypt.mummy.ap/index.html

This is an article about how in the past five years Rome’s tourists have gotten more drunk and rowdy: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/26/world/europe/26rome.html?ref=world
I stayed in the neighborhood they highlight in the article, and as a young American tourist who lives in a college town and didn’t stay out past 12:30 a.m., I didn’t think it was that bad. As a resident I could see how having an apartment that looks over the campo de fiori would be annoying if you’re trying to get some sleep on a Saturday night, but my reaction was somewhat similar to the author’s: it’s technically a commercial area, so if you’re a resident there then yes, there’ll be some noise in the most popular squares. There is almost no noise on the side-streets or smaller squares. But the prude in me agrees that tourists shouldn’t be allowed to get away with rude, obnoxious behavior in someone else’s backyard.