Archaeology News for the Week of June 23rd, 2013

June 25th, 2013

Colonial America’s Oldest Unsolved Murder

When archaeologists in Virginia uncovered the skeletal remains in 1996 of one of Jamestown’s first settlers — a young European male designated as JR102C in the catalog — they said he was the victim in what was perhaps Colonial America’s oldest unsolved murder. At the time, archaeologist William Kelso, now director of archaeological research and interpretation at Jamestown Rediscovery, reported that “the lead bullet and shot fragments lodged in his lower right leg contained enough force to fracture his tibia and fibula bones, rupturing a major artery below the knee. JR would have bled to death within minutes.” (NPR)

Why 2 Birds in the Hand May Be Better Than a “Hobbit” Skull (in a Cave Deposit, at Least)

The discovery in 2003 of Homo floresiensis, affectionately referred to as a ‘hobbit’, took scientists worldwide by surprise, and challenged many things thought to be understood about human evolution. Intense scientific debates followed about the validity of Homo floresiensis and its status as a separate species, and many of these debates continue to this day. (Scientific American)

For Its Latest Beer, a Craft Brewer Chooses an Unlikely Pairing: Archaeology

The beer was full of bacteria, warm and slightly sour. y contemporary standards, it would have been a spoiled batch here at Great Lakes Brewing Company, a craft beer maker based in Ohio, where machinery churns out bottle after bottle of dark porters and pale ales. But lately, Great Lakes has been trying to imitate a bygone era. Enlisting the help of archaeologists at the University of Chicago, the company has been trying for more than year to replicate a 5,000-year-old Sumerian beer using only clay vessels and a wooden spoon. (

Unique gold figurine of naked woman found in Denmark

A small figurine depicting a slim, naked woman was recently found in a Danish field. Strangely, this is the fifth in a series of tiny golden human figurines found recently in the area. (ScienceNordic)

A Section of an 1,800 Year Old Road was Exposed in Jerusalem

An ancient road leading from Yafo to Jerusalem, which dates to the Roman period (second–fourth centuries CE), was exposed this past fortnight in the Beit Hanina neighborhood in northern Jerusalem. The road remains were revealed in an archaeological excavation the IAA conducted in Beit Hanina prior to the installation of a drainage pipe by the Moriah Company. (