Monthly Archive: December From
Blog by ROM Herpetology Technician Amy Lathrop
This is the first of our "BioBlitz Bits" Series - ROM scientists share their favourite stories from past Ontario BioBlitz events
Since 2004 I had walked the Qalamoun mountains around the monastery of Deir Mar Musa looking for archaeological features to record. In all that time I found one lithic, a stone tool from humanity’s prehistoric past. My colleagues back home that specialised in these objects would say that I just didn’t know what I was looking for. In the last days of the 2009 season, what turned out to be my last season at the monastery, I thought I would reconnoitre the southern part of the field area.
The monastery at Deir Mar Musa would not have just comprised the main buildings, the monks would actually have been dispersed in hermitages across the landscape.
The third in a series on the monastery of St Moses in Syria comprises a detailed examination of the important cycle of 11th-12th century frescoes found in the chapel.
Despite there being almost 1,400 years of occupation at Deir Mar Musa, strangely the overwhelming majority of the pottery found at the site can be assigned to the "Mamluk" period. The period of Mamluk rule in Greater Syria (1260-1516) generally reflects an archaeological horizon that post-dates the destruction of the great ceramic production centre at al-Raqqa, and Eastern Syria became a wasteland on the border with the Mongol Ilkhanate dynasty of Iran, leaving Damascus as the sole producer of elite quality under-glaze painted stone-paste bodied ceramics.
For the past week, a small crew from the Royal Ontario Museum’s palaeontology division has been excavating a Triceratops site on private ranchland in Harding County, South Dakota.
Robert Mason reports on his years of archaeological fieldwork at the Monastery of St Moses, Syria, in this blog series.
Back in 1995 ROM ornithologist Dr. Allan Baker was part of an international team that banded a small shorebird in Argentina, a Red-knot soon to become dubbed Moonbird, with a leg band with the number B95 on it.
A team bands Red Knots to assess their physical condition and survival rate as the birds begin their annual migration.