Posts Tagged With: burial

Nov. 4, 1922 The discovery of Tutankhamun, in color


November 1925

Tutankhamun’s burial mask.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

Jan. 4, 1924

Howard Carter, Arthur Callender and an Egyptian worker open the doors of the innermost shrine and get their first look at Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

In 1907, Egyptologist and archaeologist Howard Carter was hired by George Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon to oversee excavations in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Carter had built a reputation for scrupulously recording and preserving discoveries.

Carter searched the valley for years with little to show for it, which drew the ire of his employer. In 1922, Lord Carnarvon told Carter that he had only one more season of digging before his funding would be ended.

Revisiting a previously abandoned dig site at a group of huts, Carter started digging again, desperate for a breakthrough.

On Nov. 4, 1922, his crew discovered a step carved into the rock. By the end of the next day, a whole staircase had been uncovered. Carter wired Carnarvon, imploring him to come at once.

On Nov. 26, with Carnarvon at his side, Carter chipped open a small breach in the corner of the doorway at the end of the stairs. Holding a candle, he peered inside.

At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold — everywhere the glint of gold.

December 1922

A ceremonial bed in the shape of the Celestial Cow, surrounded by provisions and other objects in the antechamber of the tomb.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

The team had discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, the boy king who ruled Egypt from about 1332 to 1323 BC.

Though there was evidence the tomb had twice been raided by ancient grave robbers, it was still remarkably intact. The tomb was crammed with thousands of priceless artifacts, including the sarcophagus containing the king’s mummified remains.

Every object in the tomb was meticulously recorded and cataloged before being removed, a process that took nearly eight years.

These photographs documenting the discovery of the tomb have been colorized by Dynamichrome for the exhibition The Discovery of King Tut, opening in New York on Nov. 21. With precisely crafted replicas and reconstructions, the exhibit allows visitors to step into exact recreations of three burial chambers just as the discoverers saw them.

December 1922

A gilded lion bed, clothes chest and other objects in the antechamber. The wall of the burial chamber is guarded by statues.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

c. 1923

An assortment of model boats in the treasury of the tomb.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

December 1922

A gilded lion bed and inlaid clothes chest among other objects in the antechamber.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

December 1922

Under the lion bed in the antechamber are several boxes and chests, and an ebony and ivory chair which Tutankhamun used as a child.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

c. 1923

A gilded bust of the Celestial Cow Mehet-Weret and chests sit in the treasury of the tomb.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

c. 1923

Chests inside the treasury.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

December 1922

Ornately carved alabaster vases in the antechamber.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

January 1924

In a “laboratory” set up in the tomb of Sethos II, conservators Arthur Mace and Alfred Lucas clean one of the sentinel statues from the antechamber.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

Nov. 29, 1923

Howard Carter, Arthur Callender and an Egyptian worker wrap one of the sentinel statues for transport.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

December 1923

Arthur Mace and Alfred Lucas work on a golden chariot from Tutankhamun’s tomb outside the “laboratory” in the tomb of Sethos II.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

c. 1923

A statue of Anubis on a shrine with pallbearers’ poles in the treasury of the tomb.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

Dec. 2, 1923

Carter, Callende, and two workers remove the partition wall between the antechamber and the burial chamber.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

December 1923

Inside the outermost shrine in the burial chamber, a huge linen pall with gold rosettes, reminiscent of the night sky, covers the smaller shrines within.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

Dec. 30th, 1923

Carter, Mace and an Egyptian worker carefully roll up the linen pall covering the second shrine.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

December 1923

Carter, Callender and two Egyptian workers carefully dismantle one of the golden shrines within the burial chamber.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

October 1925

Carter examines Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

October 1925

Carter and a worker examine the solid gold innermost sarcophagus.

IMAGE: HARRY BURTON (C) THE GRIFFITH INSTITUTE, OXFORD. COLORIZED BY DYNAMICHROME FOR THE EXHIBITION “THE DISCOVERY OF KING TUT” IN NEW YORK.

c. 1923

Lord Carnarvon, financier of the excavation, reads on the veranda of Carter’s house near the Valley of the Kings.

Categories: Egypt, Tutankhamun, Valley of the Kings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Week in the Civil War…..


On a moonlight night 150 years ago this month in the Civil War, the hand-cranked Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sailed from its moorings on the South Carolina coast and into the history books. It was to become the first submarine ever to sink an enemy warship. On Feb. 17, 1864, the Hunley sank the Union ship Housatonic as the Confederates desperately tried to break the Civil War blockade then strangling Charleston. While the Housatonic sank, so did the Hunley. The combat saw the submarine crew set off a black powder charge at the end of a 200-pound spar, sinking the ship before the sub itself went down. The remains of the eight-member Hunley crew would be recovered more than a century later. In April of 2004, thousands of men in Confederate gray and Union blue — as well as women in black hoop skirts and veils — walked in a procession with the crew’s coffins from Charleston’s waterfront to a cemetery in what was called the last Confederate funeral.

hl-hunley-confederate-submarine h-l-hunley-submarine

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Ned Kelly…famous outlaw’s final resting place….




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Edward “Ned” Kelly, Australia’s most notorious bushranger and outlaw, sat for a portrait the day before his execution in 1880.
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In the photo taken the day before he was hanged in November 1880, Ned Kelly’s eyes are fixed in a firm, defiant gaze. Though much of his face is hidden beneath a thick beard, it is possible that a little smile plays about his lips. But it’s hard to tell for sure.

Kelly is one of the most iconic and polarizing figures in Australian history. He is the most famed of the guerilla bandits known as bushrangers, some of whom, in their day, personified revolt against the colony’s convict system (“Australia’s Shackled Pioneers,” July/ August 2011) and against the excesses of wealth and authority. There’s no real non-Australian analogue for Kelly—he was part Clyde Barrow, part Jesse James, part Robin Hood, but with media savvy and a strong political sense. To some, particularly Australians of Irish descent, he’s a populist hero. To many others, he’s a cop-killer, and his lionization is distasteful at best. He is, at the very least, an enduring subject of fascination.

For all that is known about his life and the crime spree that ensured his immortality, theories have long abounded about what happened to Kelly’s remains after his execution. “Whilst he was an outlaw, there’s a lot of interest in how he was treated by the police, the courts, and judicial systems,” says David Ranson, a pathologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. In the place of certainty, there was rumor, supposition, and endless questions. Had his skeleton been taken apart by trophy hunters? Was his skull put on display and then stolen in the 1970s? Had doctors conducted a clandestine autopsy and taken his remains away for study? It has taken a decade of archaeological, forensic, and historical sleuthing to understand the convoluted story of Kelly’s remains—and those of more than 40 other executed criminals—and learn that everything we thought we knew about that history was wrong. Finally, many of the mysteries surrounding Kelly’s bones can be laid to rest. But not all of them.
In 1929, construction had begun on a school that would become the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) at the site of the recently closed Old Melbourne Gaol. It was known that around 30 executed criminals had been buried there between 1880 and 1924. The graves were located in a long, narrow yard at the base of a wall that held markers for each burial, including one grave marked “E.K.” with an English broad arrow, signifying the grave of Edward “Ned” Kelly. The construction workers expressed misgivings about digging through a graveyard, but were told that the remains had been covered with quicklime and would have disintegrated. Even though some of the remains had been in the ground for only a few years, workers were still shocked when bodies started turning up.
Plans were made to exhume and rebury the bodies at Pentridge Prison, about five miles away. On April 12, 1929, the first graves were opened, including the one thought to contain Kelly. Onlookers were seized with desire for a souvenir from the great outlaw. “As soon as this gruesome discovery was made a crowd of boys who had been standing around expectantly while eating their luncheons rushed forward and seized the bones,” read a story in the newspaper the next day. Authorities retrieved most of the bones that were taken, reports said, but the process can charitably be described as disorganized. The remains in the graveyard were moved to a series of mass graves at Pentridge in 1929 and, in 1937, four more were relocated there from the jail’s hospital grounds.

In 2002, archaeologists from La Trobe University were monitoring landscaping work at RMIT when they were surprised to find a grave—one had apparently been missed in 1937. Archaeologists believe this was the only body that had been left behind. But they also knew the reburial of the others had been haphazard, leading them to speculate whether these remains moved from the old jail were where they were supposed to be—including the remains of Kelly, if there were any left. Pentridge, where they were reburied, was used as a prison from the 1850s until 1997, but the precise location and layout of the cemetery within its sprawling grounds had been forgotten, and the government had recently sold portions of the site to private developers.

“We decided we really needed to be confident that we knew everything about [Pentridge]—particularly about its archaeology, and particularly about the burials,” says Jeremy Smith, an archaeologist at Heritage Victoria, the state’s historical authority, which oversaw a series of excavations there between 2006 and 2009. Somewhere at this site, unmarked amid the remains of dozens of other criminals, might be the remains of Kelly himself.

Ned Kelly was born in Beveridge, north of Melbourne, in 1855, the son of an Irish convict. Young Kelly ran afoul of the law throughout his teens, but his bushranging career didn’t really begin until April 1878, when a constable arrived at the family home to arrest Ned’s brother Dan, and afterward claimed that the Kelly family had attacked him. The brothers, who denied the accusation, took to the bush. Their mother, Ellen, was charged with attempted murder for the incident and sentenced to three years, fueling Ned’s hatred of the police and distrust of government. Ned and Dan joined up with friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, forming the Kelly gang, which consistently tried to one-up itself over the next 21 months.
Ned Kelly was born in Beveridge, north of Melbourne, in 1855, the son of an Irish convict. Young Kelly ran afoul of the law throughout his teens, but his bushranging career didn’t really begin until April 1878, when a constable arrived at the family home to arrest Ned’s brother Dan, and afterward claimed that the Kelly family had attacked him. The brothers, who denied the accusation, took to the bush. Their mother, Ellen, was charged with attempted murder for the incident and sentenced to three years, fueling Ned’s hatred of the police and distrust of government. Ned and Dan joined up with friends Joe Byrne and Steve Hart, forming the Kelly gang, which consistently tried to one-up itself over the next 21 months.

In October 1878, Ned killed three constables at Stringybark Creek. The reward for the gang’s capture went from £100 to £500 per man, dead or alive. In December, they took 22 hostages at a sheep station and then robbed the National Bank in Euroa of £2,000. The reward doubled. In February 1879, the gang took over a police station in Jerilderie, locking up two officers while they robbed the Bank of New South Wales (wearing police uniforms) of another £2,141 pounds, after which they rounded up 60 people at the Royal Hotel next door. There, Ned dictated a fiery, quasi-political, 8,000-word manifesto about his Irish roots and the injustice of the courts and convict system. The reward was doubled again and Aboriginal trackers were brought in to find them. In late June 1880, the gang took over the Ann Jones Inn in Glenrowan (see “Anatomy of a Shootout,” page 31), holding another 60 people hostage, and attempted to derail a special police train sent to bring them in. Surrounded by police at the inn, the gang donned armor made from metal plows. Ned fled the hotel and flanked the cops, coming out of the shadows in his mailbox-like, but no less intimidating for it, armor. His legs weren’t protected, so Ned was taken down with low shots. In the hotel, Byrne was killed in the shootout and Dan Kelly and Hart took poison before the police set fire to the building. On November 11, 1880, Ned, the last surviving member of the gang, was hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol. Reportedly, 8,000 fans and sympathizers turned out at a rally for his reprieve. His last words are said to have been, “Ah well, it has come to this.” It’s the stuff of legends.
According to historical records, 44 bodies had been buried at Pentridge—30 moved there in 1929, another four in 1937, and 10 prisoners executed at Pentridge between 1932 and 1967. One version of the Pentridge cemetery plan showed that the remains moved in 1929 were buried in three mass graves, but wasn’t clear on where they were actually located.

In 2006, Heritage Victoria had private company Terra Culture conduct test excavations at what was thought to have been Pentridge’s cemetery, but they found only one set of remains— those of Ronald Ryan, the last man to be executed there in 1967. “I remember thinking that day,” says Heritage Victoria’s Smith, “we’ve got more than 40 bodies unaccounted for, including some of the most notorious and infamous Australians that there are, including the most famous of all Australians, Ned Kelly.”

A 1955 aerial photo was used to locate mass graves containing the remains of Kelly and more than 40 other executed criminals. (Courtesy State Library of Victoria)
The team then found a 1955 aerial photograph that showed a rectangular, overgrown, fenced yard that appeared to match the dimensions of the cemetery plan. Archaeologists found the area muddy, covered in weeds, and surrounded by the prison’s massive, intimidating bluestone buildings. “As an archaeological site, it’s quite unusual. It almost had echoes of a Bronze Age site. You had these large monolithic structures looming over these equally large open areas,” says Smith. “It still very much had that sense of isolation and remoteness even though it’s only 10 kilometers [six miles] from the center of Melbourne.”
The excavations first uncovered the more recent graves, and later located two of the three mass graves from 1929—roughly where the plan indicated they might be. But the last and largest of the mass graves, containing the remains of 15 more men, probably including Kelly, was not where the plan indicated. In February 2009, the owners of the site phoned Heritage Victoria to say they had uncovered a deeply buried box. Archaeologists investigated and found the third mass grave, 100 feet from where it was indicated on the plan. It contained two layers of burials, with 24 coffins and boxes that held the remains of 15 men (some spread across multiple boxes). It is thought it might have been relocated—without documentation—during drainage work in the 1960s. Somewhere among this jumble of bones and boxes may have been evidence of Ned Kelly himself. “Kelly’s important,” says Smith. “If it wasn’t for the notoriety, the significance, the profile of Ned Kelly, probably the project would have trickled along.”
Most unidentified human remains in Australia go to the coroner, who must determine whether an inquest is required. With so many sets of remains, an inquest would have been lengthy and costly, so it was incumbent on the archaeologists to establish a clear history of the site. “It was all about demonstrating to the coroner, through the archaeological processes, that we were confident that these were late-nineteenth-century executions that had been done as part of the judicial process, and that the stratigraphy showed no signs of recent disturbance,” says Smith.

The oldest remains were sent to the coroner at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM). “This is a very unusual case. It was old skeletal remains and they are difficult to examine, but in addition, there was a very large amount of historic interest among the general public and also at a political level,” says Fiona Leahy, Senior Medico-Legal Officer at VIFM. While the excavations were taking place and the remains were being examined by forensic pathologists, anthropologists, and odontologists, another mystery was unfolding. “We had the long-standing, quite interesting, scandalous story of the alleged Ned Kelly skull,” says VIFM pathologist David Ranson.
In 2008, Heritage Victoria reached out to a man named Tom Baxter who claimed to know the whereabouts of Kelly’s skull. A complete cranium thought to be Kelly’s had a long and checkered history. This skull was apparently not reinterred at Pentridge, but was given to government officials and then passed to Colin Mackenzie, first director of the Australian Institute of Anatomy in Canberra. The institute made a cast of the skull, and eventually turned it over to the National Trust in 1972, which put it on display in the museum of the Old Melbourne Gaol, next to a Kelly death mask (a postmortem plaster cast). This skull, which had been labeled “E. Kelly” at some point in its history, was stolen in 1978.

Baxter, without saying how he came into possession of it, agreed to return the skull on November 11, 2009, 129 years to the day after Kelly’s execution. With it in their possession, the experts at VIFM had any number of questions, and a sophisticated arsenal of techniques by which to answer them. Was this the skull held at the Institute of Anatomy? Was it the one on display and stolen from the Old Melbourne Gaol? And, perhaps most importantly, was it Kelly’s?

Researchers at the VIFM took photographs, X-rays, and CT scans, and conducted craniofacial superimposition—layering the new images of the skull over the replica made at the Institute of Anatomy and photos of it on display later at the old jail. All the images matched up. They also located a tooth—kept by the grandson of a workman present at the 1929 exhumation— and it fit perfectly. The pathologists then superimposed the CT scan of the skull over CT scans of death masks from the executed men. While this process cannot provide conclusive evidence, and not all the executed prisoners had death masks, it helped reduce the number of possible candidates. These comparisons eliminated all but two men: Frederick Deeming, a serial killer who was suspected of having been Jack the Ripper, and Ned Kelly.
By September 2010, the coroner had determined no inquest was necessary. The VIFM, working with the experienced Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, subjected the left clavicles from 30 sets of remains from the mass graves to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing. The Baxter skull was also tested, as was a sample from the living great-grandson of Kelly’s sister. “It’s about delivering certainty,” says Smith.

The mtDNA from the surviving Kelly ancestor was a match to a set of remains from the third pit—and not a match for the Baxter skull. Surprisingly, the matching remains were among the most complete of any of the Pentridge burials. They were missing only a few cervical vertebrae, some small bones, and the skull, except for a palm-sized fragment—further proof that the intact Baxter skull could not have been Kelly’s. “The Kelly remains are almost complete. It’s one of the best sets of remains from the entire site. That I did not expect at all,” says Smith. “It contradicted the historical evidence that Kelly’s burial had been targeted by trophy collectors.”

Closer examination of the bones showed unmistakable evidence of Kelly’s injuries from the shootout at the Ann Jones Inn. Injuries to the top of the right tibia, the left arm, and the right foot all matched those documented by prison surgeon Andrew Shields when he examined Kelly after arrest. Using an otoscope and dental instruments, Ranson even removed two lead pellets from the tibia. “We had genetic evidence and a lot of anthropological evidence, and then when we looked at the historical evidence as well, it really tied it all together,” says Soren Blau, the forensic anthropologist who examined the remains. Smith describes the outcome as “staggeringly conclusive.”
As for the Baxter skull, it actually matched another set of remains, one that was in the fragmentary condition that Smith expected of Kelly’s. A closer look at plans from the original cemetery at the Old Melbourne Gaol suggests that Deeming— whose death mask is consistent with the skull—may have been buried close to Kelly. This raises the possibility that the trophy seekers in 1929 simply raided the wrong coffin. But without Deeming family DNA, “we haven’t been able to prove that conclusively,” says Leahy.

If the Baxter skull does not belong to Kelly, and the mass grave contains only a palm-sized fragment, what happened to the rest of Kelly’s head? A lurid account from 1880 refers to rumors that Kelly’s remains were dismembered and taken away by “medical men” after execution. It is now known this didn’t happen, and it is also known that Kelly told the prison surgeon Shields that he did not want his body dissected. Helen Harris, a historian working with the VIFM team, found evidence of a letter from the prison governor, John Castieau, stating that there was no truth to the dissection rumors. But Kelly’s remains have a story of their own to tell, somewhere between rumors and official record.

The skull fragment with the Kelly remains came from the back of his cranium, and shows saw marks across the top and down the sides. The cuts clearly continue on the cervical vertebrae below. A physician had explored the remains of Kelly with more than his eyes. In that era, authorities were concerned with whether hanging was indeed an instantaneous, humane form of execution. Hangings were known to have been botched, resulting in long, drawn-out choking rather than death from a hangman’s fracture— a quick, decisive snap of the neck. “This piece of skull suggests the individual had been subject to a limited autopsy, probably to investigate the interior back half of the neck following an execution,” says Blau. “That was probably not uncommon given that there was interest in whether hangings were effective or not, and it was important for the jail to say that it was a successful hanging.”
It is impossible to say what became of the rest of Kelly’s skull, beyond the fact that any complete skull couldn’t possibly belong to him. “Unfortunately we only have part of the answer,” says Leahy. “It could be sitting in someone’s garage or it could simply have gotten lost, discarded, or disintegrated. We don’t know.”

“The mystery continues,” she adds. “What exactly happened in the jail after his hanging has not been fully explained. We have our theories.”

And theories are the coin of the realm for a figure as nearmythic as Kelly. The stories and speculation will continue— some even refuse to believe the definitive findings from Heritage Victoria and VIFM. Mythos notwithstanding, archaeology and forensic work have provided knowledge about the end of Kelly’s life: The back of his skull was opened, he was buried at the Old Melbourne Gaol, his grave was not looted, and his remains were reburied at Pentridge Prison mostly intact. Almost all the remains of the executed prisoners will be reburied again in an official cemetery at Pentridge. But probably not Kelly’s. Officials are still trying to decide his final resting place.

“It’s introduced certainty,” says Smith, “into a project where 10 years ago everything we knew about this was wrong.”

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Celtic sacrifices confirmed at famed ancient site…….


Ancient Celts practiced startling ritual murder practices, decorating sacrifice sites with ghoulish entanglements of human bones, most likely as a warning to foes and the folks they ruled.

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The ancient Celts who cooked up the autumn festival of Samhain, a predecessor to today’s Halloween, a new study confirms such displays were serious business.
“The ancient Celts were most definitely head-hunters,” prone to displaying these trophies, says anthropologist Mary Voigt, who has long headed the Penn Museum’s excavations at the storied site of Gordion in modern-day Turkey. “And they were definitely Celts at Gordion.”

What were those Celts (pronounced with a hard “K” sound) doing in Turkey? Well, in a forthcoming study in the Journal of Osteoarchaeology by archaeologist Page Selinsky of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, it seems they were definitely continuing some startling ritual murder practices. They decorated sacrifice sites with ghoulish entanglements of human bones, perhaps as a warning to foes and the folks they ruled.

Gordion is the place where Alexander the Great famously severed the intractable “Gordian Knot,” a knot so complex that legend has it that whoever undid the knot would rule all of Asia, on his conquests around 334 B.C. The death of Alexander also brought Celts, originally mercenaries and later conquerors, to Gordion, a citadel mound in central Turkey that was once ruled by the King Midas of the golden touch myth.

But by 240 B.C., the time examined in Selinsky’s study, Gordion was ruled by a group of Celts called the Galatians (which very roughly means the “Greek Gauls,” where the Gauls were the Celtic tribes who ruled today’s France in the era when ancient Rome was a rising republic). Houses and pottery, loom weights and other artifacts at the site take on Celtic appearances from that time.

The other thing that takes on a Celtic appearance at the time, Selinsky reports in her study, is a graveyard. Bones and skulls from more than a dozen men, women and children arranged in odd ways appear to have been scattered around the site, in six clusters. Later Roman-era burials at the site, in contrast, are in rows of coffins and cremation urns, unlike the Galatian ones, with one exception.

“Understanding what they intended is the million-dollar question in Celtic ritual practices,” Selinsky says. “These are big questions of life and death and what they believed. We may be seeing several different types of rituals.”
In one case, a middle-aged woman’s skeleton, her skull dented by three hammer blows, lay atop a younger woman’s skeleton pinned under two large grinding stones. The bones of two children lay placed among them. In another, a teenager’s clearly-decapitated head was arranged amid dog bones. Perhaps most bizarre, three skeletons mingled in doubled-over positions include the skull of a woman who appears to have been decapitated. Several men appear to have been decapitated among the bone clusters, their heads displayed singly in the manner of war trophies.

The Celts were big fans of skulls, Voigt notes in a chapter of the bookSacred Killing: The Archaeology of Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East, edited by Anne Porter and Glenn Schwartz. The Romans noted they collected heads of enemies to hang from their horses, and they sacrificed criminals and captured enemies, using their death throes to foretell the future. “The heads of those enemies that were held in high esteem they would embalm in cedar oil and display them to their guests, and they would not think of having them ransomed even for an equal weight of gold,” wrote the ancient Greek historian, Strabo.

Voigt suggests that the bodies displayed by the Galatians, which would have been clearly visible to anyone living in the town below their citadel, were meant as a warning either to foes or the subject population of the town. Perhaps some were victims of ritual murder in attempts to tell the future when the Romans invaded their realm. While Selinsky is more cautious about attaching meaning to the bone displays than Voigt, her study does confirm violent death as the end for many of the skeletons, a suggestion that first made news a decade ago. “Here we see further investigation confirming a hypothesis, which is a good thing in science,” Selinsky says.
It’s worth noting that the Galatians didn’t expose everyone who died this way. One young woman found near the ritual area was buried in a wooden coffin and was wearing lion-headed gold earrings, according to Voigt. The Romans who buried people so nicely after them weren’t sweethearts either; they wiped out the Galatians in a war marked by genocide around 189 B.C.

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The search for Jimmy Hoffa’s body: 6 rumored burial grounds…..


1. The Roseville backyard burial
On Friday, Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality is taking a core sample from the driveway of a house in the Detroit suburb of Roseville, after a recent radar scan of the driveway found an anomaly two feet underground. If forensic anthropologists find human remains in the sample, local police will excavate to find the body, be it Hoffa’s or someone else. An unidentified tipster told Roseville police that he saw the man who owned the house in 1975 — a bookie for Detroit mafia captain Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, one of the men Hoffa was going to meet the day he vanished — stay up all night mixing concrete for his driveway on the fatal day. Retired Detroit FBI chief Andrew Arena is skeptical. “You’ve got to check it out, but this doesn’t sound right,” he tells the AP. “I just don’t see [the mob] burying the body basically at the intersection of a residential neighborhood with this guy standing there.”

2. The horse barn interment
In 2006, the FBI followed “a fairly credible lead” to a horse farm about 30 miles west of Bloomfield’s Machus Red Fox restaurant. On the day of Hoffa’s disappearance, there was a lot of activity at the farm, including reports of a backhoe appearing on the property — reputedly a mafia meeting place at the time. The feds hauled in a whole team of investigators, archeologists, and anthropologists, plus enough heavy equipment to dig around and demolish the horse barn. Two weeks and $250,000 later, the FBI left empty-handed, mystery unsolved.

3. The Beaverland betrayal
Hoffa loyalist and Pennsylvania Teamster official Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran died in 2003, but not before suggesting to his biographer that he shot Hoffa in a home in the Detroit suburb of Beaverland. The account, by former prosecutor Charles Brandt, has Sheeran betraying his friend on the orders of Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino. According to the book, Sheeran lured Hoffa into the house, shot him in the back of the head, and left, while brothers Thomas and Stephen Andretta cleaned up and disposed of Hoffa’s body, burning the remains in a trash incinerator at a funeral home. In May 2004, local police pried up some of the floorboards in the Beaverland home to test blood found on the wood against a sample of Hoffa’s DNA. Their conclusion: The blood wasn’t Hoffa’s.

4. The New Jersey stadium burial
In a 1989 Playboy interview, convicted mob enforcer Donald (Tony the Greek) Frankos made one of the most enduring, and oddly specific, claims about Hoffa’s fate: After being lured to a Mt. Clemens, Mich., home by foster son Charles (Chuckie) O’Brien, Hoffa was shot dead with a silenced .22 pistol by New York Irish mobster Jimmy Coonan, dismembered with a power saw and meat cleaver by Coonan and fellow mob boss John Sullivan, bagged and frozen, then buried five months later in the concrete under Section 107 of the New York Giants’ stadium in New Jersey. Before the old Giants stadium was razed in 2010, TV’s Mythbusters squad looked for evidence of Hoffa’s entombment under the stadium and found nothing.

5. The GM headquarters tomb
This claim comes from a 2011 book by self-described “weasel” and mob “goon” Marvin Elkind: Hoffa was buried in the foundation of Detroit’s Renaissance Center, which was being built when the ex-Teamster boss disappeared. Elkind says he learned the location from Giacalone at a 1985 Teamster conference, when the mobster nodded toward the building and said, “Say good morning to Jimmy Hoffa, boys.” After Hoffa’s body was dumped in, “there was a mad rush to get the concrete poured,” Elkind adds. “It makes some murderous logistical sense to kill him and dispose of his body” in nearby Detroit — certainly more so than hauling his remains to New Jersey, says John Pearley Huffman at Edmunds Inside Line. But if Hoffa really is buried under the Renaissance Center, now the headquarters for GM, the largely union-owned auto giant’s home is “built upon a foundation that includes one of labor’s most famous leaders.”

6. The watery grave
In 1987, former Hoffa tough Joe Franco and ex-New York Times reporter Richard Hammer claimed in a book, Hoffa’s Man, that the FBI’s theory is all wrong. Hoffa wasn’t whacked by mafia and Big Labor rivals, but by two federal agents who abducted the labor boss, took him up in a small airplane, and pushed him out over the Great Lakes.

I was in Detroit when Jimmy turned up missing…the next day the rumor on the streets was……Jimmy was picked up and told he would be returned to his car after the “meeting” with Russ and Frank (“Russ” was the notorious mob boss Russell “McGee” Bufalino. “Frank” was no other than Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. Both were close friends and allies, and two of the only people Hoffa trusted with his life), instead he was shot in the head during the ride, taken to a scrap yard and tossed into a car ready for the crusher. The car was crushed into a standard bale, loaded onto a truck and taken to the foundry.
What happened next is what happens to all scrap, crushed cars…dumped into the vat and melted down. No body will ever be found if this is true.

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Calls for excavation of Henry I’s remains in Reading…..


An attempt should be made to find and unearth the remains of King Henry I, an MP has said.

Reading East MP Rob Wilson says locating the king’s exact burial place at Reading Abbey could boost tourism.

It follows the possible discovery of the remains of King Richard III in a Leicester car park.

Historian Jane Walton said while Henry’s tomb was thought to have been at the high altar, it had probably been stolen and his remains lost.

Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, founded Reading Abbey in 1121.

After his death in Normandy in December 1135, his body was brought to Reading sewn into a bull’s hide. He was laid to rest in January 1136.

The abbey was partly destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII but there is no firm record of what happened to Henry I’s remains.

Henry was born in England in 1068 or 1069, the fourth son of William the Conqueror
The youngest and most able his sons, Henry strengthened the crown’s executive powers and modernised royal administration
By the time his elder brother William became king, one of Henry’s other older brothers had died, leaving Robert as the only other potential successor
William was killed in a hunting accident and Henry had himself crowned a few days later, taking advantage of Robert’s absence on crusade
A small plaque marks the rough area of his grave but rumours place the exact spot under nearby St. James’ School.

Conservative Mr Wilson said finding the remains of the king or the exact location of the burial place, could prove a catalyst to enticing tourists to the town’s Abbey Quarter.

Using the hashtag, #KingHenryofReading, he tweeted “If they can find Richard 3rd in Leicester, we can find Henry 1st in Reading! He’s buried in Reading Abbey somewhere, let’s find him.”

He admitted that if the grave is under a school it would “be a bit of a problem”.

“It would be good to remind people there is so much more to Reading than they think – we’ve got a very rich history and an economic importance that goes all the way back to Henry I’s time,” he said.

‘Hidden gem’

Plans to transform Reading’s historic Abbey Quarter were turned down for lottery funding earlier this year.

Reading Abbey was largely destroyed during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries
The borough council had put in a bid to secure £6.7m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to conserve and promote the area.

An application for £5m is to be made within the next month.

Matthew Williams, manager of Reading Museum, said the abbey is a “hidden gem” in the town.

“There are very few towns who had claim to have a king of England buried in them,” he said.

However, he said he “doubted” whether the remains of Henry I could be found.

“The remains are somewhere. You never know – he might turn up sometime in the future,” he added.

Ms Walton suggested the king’s silver coffin may have been stolen and his remains “scattered to the four winds”.

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Unique tombs found in Philippines……



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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Archaeologists have unearthed remnants of what they believe is a 1,000-year-old village on a jungle-covered mountaintop in the Philippines with limestone coffins of a type never before found in this Southeast Asian nation, officials said Thursday.
National Museum official Eusebio Dizon said the village on Mount Kamhantik, near Mulanay town in Quezon province, could be at least 1,000 years old based on U.S. carbon dating tests done on a human tooth found in one of 15 limestone graves he and other archaeologists have dug out since last year.
The discovery of the rectangular tombs, which were carved into limestone outcrops jutting from the forest ground, is important because it is the first indication that Filipinos at that time practiced a more advanced burial ritual than previously thought and that they used metal tools to carve the coffins.
Past archaeological discoveries have shown Filipinos of that era used wooden coffins in the country’s mountainous north and earthen coffins and jars elsewhere, according to Dizon, who has done extensive archaeological work and studies in the Philippines and 27 other countries over the past 35 years.
Aside from the tombs, archaeologists have found thousands of shards of earthen jars, metal objects and bone fragments of humans, monkeys, wild pigs and other animals in the tombs. The limestone outcrops had round holes where wooden posts of houses or sheds may have once stood, Dizon told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview.
The tombs were similar to ancient sarcophagus, which have become popular tourist attractions in Egypt and Europe, although the ones found in Mulanay were simple box-like limestone coffins without mythological or elaborate human images on the tops and sides.
Archaeologists have only worked on a small portion of a five-hectare (12-acre) forest area, where Mulanay officials said more artifacts and limestone coffins could be buried.
A preliminary National Museum report said its top archaeologists found “a complex archaeological site with both habitation and burial remains from the period of approximately 10th to the 14th century … the first of its kind in the Philippines having carved limestone tombs.”
The discovery has been welcomed with excitement in Mulanay, a sleepy coastal town of 50,000 people in an impoverished mountainous region that until recently was best known as a major battleground between army troops and Marxist rebels.
“Before, if you mention this region, people will say ‘Oh, that’s NPA country,'” Mulanay Mayor Joselito Ojeda said, referring to the New People’s Army rebels. “But that era is past and now we can erase that image and this archaeological site will be a big help.”
Mulanay tourism officer Sanny Cortez said that after archaeologists have finished their work in a few years, his town plans to turn Mount Kamhantik’s peak into an archaeological and ecotourism park. A museum would also be built nearby.
Despite the loss of thick tree covers in the 1,300-foot (396-meter) mountain’s foothills as villagers clear the jungle for homes and farms, the forested mountain still harbors a rich wildlife, including rare hornbills, wild cats and huge numbers of cave bats, including a white one recently seen by environmental officials. The mountaintop offers a scenic view of Tayabas Bay and the peak of Mayon volcano, famous for its near-perfect cone, Ojeda said.
The archaeological site is part of 280 hectares (692 acres) of forest land that was declared a government-protected area in 1998 to keep away treasure hunters and slash-and-burn farmers. Treasure hunters looking for gold exposed some of the limestone tombs years ago, but it was only last year that Manila-based archaeologists started to unearth the graves and artifacts and realize the significance of the find.
Treasure hunting has damaged many archaeological sites in the country. In the early 1990s, Filipino archaeologists led by Dizon discovered that 2,000-year-old burial jars with unique human face designs had been destroyed by treasure hunters in a cave in Maitum town in southern Sarangani province.
Archaeologists worked for a few years to glue the sack loads of clay shards piece by piece and restored more than 150 ancient burial jars to shape. Some of the Maitum jars are displayed at the National Museum in Manila with a plan to exhibit them in France next year, Dizon said.

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