Tagged: archaeology

| Filed under Headline of the Day, Picture of the Day, War on Art

Humans pretend to understand, like abstract art since Neolithic

Finally, archaeological evidence of the parallel DuckTales universe. (♩ Woo-oo! ♪)

Whenever modern art enters discussion (like you, The Guys keep up very erudite circles), there will inevitably be a few dissenters who cannot stand the abstract. While much can be expressed outside of recognizable shape and form, you can’t help but wonder if it’s making fun of you. And then, when you see the price tag on an over-sized mobile made of garbage, then you’re sure it is.

But, a new exhibit at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece proves that we’ve struggled with — and yet insisted on — finding meaning in abstract modern art for the past 7,000 years. They are displaying a Neolithic sculpture tantalizingly titled the “7,000-year-old enigma.” What is it?

Carved out of granite, the 36 cm (14 inches) “enigma” statuette of the late Neolithic era has a pointed nose and long neck leading to a markedly round belly, flat back and cylindrical stumpy legs.

Great. But, what is it?

‘It could depict a human-like figure with a bird-like face, or a bird-like entity which has nothing to do with man but with the ideology and symbolism of the Neolithic society,’ Katya Manteli, an archaeologist with the museum, told Reuters.

OK, but is it a boy or a girl duck … thing?

More puzzling still is the lack of clear indication of sex. Is it due to technical sculpting limitations? Or did the sculptor intend to create an asexual figure. […] ‘Yes, it could be a pregnant figure but there are no breasts, used in Neolithic times to depict the female body. On the other hand it lacks male organs so it is presented as an asexual figure,’ Manteli said.”

But which bathroom does it use?! Very important legislators in the U.S. need to know before passing anti-trans laws and eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts.

‘There are enigmatic aspects to it which make it charming.’

Well, there we go. The perfect term to describe any thing that is noteworthy but otherwise indescribable: it’s charming. This proves once and for all that art has always existed to shamefully infuriate us.

Modern art: a 7,000-years-old tradition of shaming us into paying for museums.
| Filed under Historical Hot or Not, It Must Be Science!

Queen’s knees really the cat’s pajamas

Ancient Egyptian grave robbers were apparently “everything but legs” men.

If you’ve ever wondered why scientists love studying ancient Egypt so much, it’s probably because the case load is so bizarre. (That, and, mummification does make it easier to find out what people actually looked like and did, so take that, Sumerians.) Take, for instance, the mysterious set of disembodied knees in Queen Nefertari’s tomb.

Nefertari’s tomb was ransacked, big time. By the time archaeologists pith-helmeted their way into her burial chamber (diggity), over two-thirds of everything was gone. And we mean everything, because all they found in human remains was maybe one-third of the queen herself.

That’s where it gets even weirder: they couldn’t just assume those were her knees. Theories ranged from they were from another burial before or after Nefertari or possibly even a set of rando knees that washed in from a flood. Because that’s something that just happens outside of New Jersey.

But, with enough evidence, including carbon dating and bone daintiness measurements — whoever had those knees spent a lot of hours reclining — scientists are finally confident enough to say that, yes, these are the Queen’s knees. And she knew how to not use them.

Meanwhile, we’re still looking for King Tut’s erect penis.

| Filed under War on Animals

Newest animal threat: grave-robbing badgers!

They're armed to the badger teeth!
They’re armed to the badger teeth!

No longer satisfied with harassing the living, badgers in Germany are now disinterring the dead! Archaeologists barely prevented a badger from making off with the medieval graves of eight people — two of which were ancient Slavic warlords — near the town of Stolpe.

The corpses are all intact; however, one of the two warlords’ swords is missing.

The archaeologists believe that the missing sword indicates that something went wrong, that the heathen Slavic warlords’ power was waning in the face of incoming Christianity. We think they’re half right: yes, their power has diminished, but in the face of incoming sword-wielding hell rats.