ShovelBums 17th Anniversary

ShovelBums turns 17...It was a dark and stormy night...   No, wait. That is not right.    It was a dark, but not stormy night, around 4AM April 25th 1999 when R. Joe was in his office in Ozark Hall at the University of Arkansas avoiding writing a final paper for Sabo's Environmental Archaeology class. After doing some, errr, research on a site Ryan had told him about he realized he needed to find another outlet to waste time to give his brain proper time to digest the nuances of his class notes. Inspired by how well an extended family mailing list he had set up recently was doing and remembering the axiom "Archaeologists are kind of technically slow and lazy" R. Joe decided to set up a little mailing list to help people find jobs in CRM and Archaeology. With no-one to talk to R. Joe typed in, and erased, a number of list "name" ideas and...
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"Be cheerful, enjoy your life" Roman dining room floor mosaic tells it like it is.

"Be cheerful, enjoy your life,"Antioch: Turkey Turkish archaeologist Demet Kara has excavated a 2,400-year-old mosaic that features a laid-back skeleton, reclining with a cup next to a bottle of wine and loaf of bread, surrounded by the wise words: "Be cheerful, enjoy your life,".  The mosaic dates to the third century B.C. The mosaic contains the quote "Be cheerful, enjoy your life" which sums up things pretty nicely.
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Prince - Purple Rain Tribute Drink

Prince - Purple Rain Tribute DrinkCelebrate the life of Prince with the ShovelBums tribute drink: Purple Rain!

Minnesota Historical Center is preparing Prince's "Purple Rain" coat for display.

Minnesota Historical Society preparing Prince's Purple Rain Coat for display "To honor Prince's legacy in Minnesota and beyond, the Purple Rain suit in our collections will be on view at Minnesota History Center starting tomorrow (April 23, 2016). Visitors can view the suit for free during normal museum hours, which begin at 10 am tomorrow. There will also be a space for remembrances. Extra kudos and thanks to all our staff who worked so hard to prepare the suit for viewing by the public!" MHC on Facebook   For you ‪#‎Prince‬ junkies this is pretty sweet. This is the original live recording of Purple Rain at a benefit show from 1983 of which a lot of it made it to the album. And kind of like VH1 Pop Up Videos (that dates one a bit!) it has interesting info in the caption bar.  
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Cherokee Nation Principal Chief statement about replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20

Harriet TubmanA well said statement from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief regarding the U.S. Department of the Treasury's decision to remove Andrew Jackson from the front of the $20 bill and replace him with abolitionist Harriet Tubman. "Andrew Jackson defied a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and forced the removal of our Cherokee ancestors from homelands we'd occupied in the Southeast for millennia. His actions as president resulted in a genocide of Native Americans and the death of about a quarter of our people. It remains the darkest period in the Cherokee Nation’s history. Jackson's legacy was never one to be celebrated, and his image on our currency is a constant reminder of his crimes against Natives. It's been an insult to our people and to our ancestors, thousands of whom died of starvation and exposure and now lie in unmarked graves along the Trail of Tears. This is a small but meaningful vindication for them, and for our tribal...
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R. Joe has identified the origins of the giant sphere in Bosnia and it obvious...

Massive stone sphere found in Bosnia is identifiedWhile I respect the writings of Dr. Shaena Montanari and her conclusion that Archaeologist Semir Osmanagich is wrong about his interpretation of his recent discovery is Bosnia "Archaeologist Semir Osmanagich, known as the “Bosnian Indian [sic] Jones”,  says a 3 meter wide stone ball found in the forest of Visoko Valley in Bosnia was made by an unknown civilization that used to live in the area over 1000 years ago, but there are many reasons to cast doubt on this outlandish claim." she has made an egregious error. This is no "Concretion", it is obviously a scale model of the Death Star.     Alternatively is might be evidence that the Real Indiana Jones was actually based in fact. (hat tip to Tom Hesser!)
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Indiana Jones and The Temple of The Crystal Skull Part II

Indiana Jones and The Temple of The Crystal Skull Part II"Marshall revealed in his interview that the latest installment will be a “continuation” of the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull story."" Please God, no. That is all.  
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Discovery of the Century? Radar scans suggest up to two rooms hidden behind Tutankhamun's North and West walls.

King Tut's TombLuxor, Egypt The Discovery Of The Century? I was unfortunately not able to attend the press conference today in Egypt, but Mamdouh Eldamaty, the Egyptian antiquities minister said it best about the results of the radar scans, “It could be the discovery of the century.” Eldamaty went on to describe the results of the work that Hirokatsu Watanabe, a Japanese Radar specialist conducted in November 2015. Watanabe was brought in after Nicholas Reeves, a British Egyptologist, analyzed high-resolution images of King Tut's tomb that suggested there were straight lines in the wall that had been missed by previous researchers. These lines are suggestive of the architectural methods used when sealing a room, which indicated there could be rooms beyond King Tutankhamun's tomb chamber.  These lines, previously hidden by the color and the tombs stones' texture. Is it Nefertiti? Who knows? It could very well be a temporary chamber used during the rush construction project for Mamdouh Eldamaty, the Egyptian...
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2016 ShovelBums Field Schools are now online!

Sorry for the delay! I never even officially opened up ShovelBums for entries for the 2016 Field Schools and there were already 150 when I finally got around to publishing them today! Please share this link to the field schools and suggest your prof advertise your field school on ShovelBums and reach the worlds largest targeted audience of students of Archaeology, Anthropology and related disciplines!
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5D data storage could potentially record all digital knowledge to the end of time

An image of a 5D storage crystal.Every archivist and anyone who has ever taken a digital image, filled out a spreadsheet, logged a GPS location has the same flickering fear in the back of their mind - "what happens if this data is wiped out?". I lay awake some night fretting about this on the global scale. We are at the dawn of an era of unprecedented access to knowledge, but as quick at the Royal Library of Alexandria became nothing but a memory of lost potential cultures prosper and fade throughout history. And if an event of a great of enough magnitude (pick your plausible collapse of modern iteration of civilization scenario and apply) occurs, so does such a vast epoch of potential knowledge.       in 2013 researchers at University of Southampton in the UK first announced that they had developed a potential prototype and over the last three years have refined the process to the point where they are...
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Donald Trump Proves that there is no such thing as Intelligent Design.

Donald Trump proving that Intelligent Design is false.Donald Trump Proves that there is no such thing as Intelligent Design.      

Mother Jones Article - Inside The Race to Stop the Next Mass Shooter. Their estimate was off by two days :-(

A few months ago, after the last mass shooting, I saw the estimated intervals between mass shootings in the US in a Mother Jones article. I counted ahead from that date and made a note on my calendar that according to their estimates there would be another by December 4th... A few months ago, after the last mass shooting, I saw the estimated intervals between mass shootings in the US in a Mother Jones article. I counted ahead from that date and made a note on my calendar that according to their estimates there would be another by December 4th...  Mother Jone's article Inside The Race to Stop the Next Mass Shooter by Mark Follman
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Nov 10th 2015, 40th Anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

November 10th, 1975. The Edmund Fitzgerald was caught by the Witch of November and sank.SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When originally launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on North America's Great Lakes, and to this day she remains the largest to have sunk there. The Edmund Fitzgerald had taken on a load of taconite iron ore in Superior, Wisconsin on November 9th and was making was to Detroit, Michigan. The Fitz was caught in a fierce Lake Superior storm with near-hurricane force winds and 11m waves. Around 7:10pm on November 10th Captain McSorley's last message to the nearby freighter The Anderson said, "We are holding our own." A few minutes later, with no distress call her crew of 29 perished, and no bodies were recovered. Gordon Lightfoot's song: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.         Captain ERNEST M. MCSORLEY(September 29, 1912 – November 10, 1975) The...
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News Flash - Archaeologist were wrong! The pyramids at Giza built for grain storage, not Pharaohs.

Archaeologists Don't Dig Dinosaurs or UFO'sThanks to the internet, the wisdom of Presidential candidate Ben Carson has been preserved and will heretofore save archaeologists, and egyptologists in particular, the hassle of having to wonder about what those crazy pyramids in Egypt were for.  As Carson told the 1998 graduating class of Andrews University: “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said. “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big (if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.” On the positve side Dr. Carson does clearly NOT give the aliens credit for building the pyramids! It is worth spending the 15 minutes watching the entire speech. One of my favorite lines is where he says this, but I think he is really thinking...
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Koko gets kittens for her 44th Birthday

Koko the sign language Gorilla gets kittens for her 44th birthdayKoko - The gorilla  almost any practicing anthropologist alive today feels a kinship with received kittens for her 44th birthday. Watch this great video:    
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