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Update on Majora’s mask! I’ve finally bought and mixed the correct paint colours and I’m currently attempting a final paint job. I’m not a very experienced painter (in regards to art, walls I can do, but art…) luckily my mom and little sister can art well so they’ve been helping me with blending colours on the eyes and horns. I’m on a roll today and I may post a completed mask picture this evening :D

Here’s an update on my Majora’s Mask project. Over several days I have painted on about 4 thin coats of Gesso and sanded each layer smooth. Once I was happy with the basic shape I drew on the design. The next step was to cut out the corners if the eyes so the wearer can see(ish) as well as drill some air holes. I used air dry clay to mould the raised designs (this cracked everywhere so I covered it in a layer of glue and a layer of gesso). I’m now working on the base coat of paint which is why the colours are way off and it currently looks like crap.


Coastal Erosion Threatens Alaska’s Archaeology

Erosion caused by rising sea levels, frequent storms, flooding, and thawing permafrost has damaged archaeological sites in the Western Arctic National Parklands, including The Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and the Cape Krusenstern National Monument. “These sites are important because they tell the story of people who lived and adapted from up to 5,500 years ago to the present and continue to add to the record,” Michael Holt, chief of cultural resources for the Western Arctic National Parklands, told The Arctic Sounder. The sites at greatest risk of disappearing are being excavated in partnership with Portland State University. Food remains, sled runners, and tools, have been recovered. The joint project endeavors to record the sites before they disappear. 


Paleopathological Evidence and Detection of Mycobacterium leprae DNA from Archaeological Skeletal Remains of Nabe-kaburi (Head-Covered with Iron Pots) Burials in Japan

  • by Koichi Suzuki, Aiko Saso, Keigo Hoshino, Junya Sakurai, Kazunari Tanigawa, Yuqian Luo, Yuko Ishido, Shuichi Mori, Kazuaki Hirata and Norihisa Ishii

The Nabe-kaburi is a unique burial method, the purpose of which is shrouded in mystery. The burials were performed during the 15th to 18th centuries in eastern Japan, and involved covering the heads of the deceased with iron pots or mortars. The identification of leprosy-specific osteological lesions among some of the excavated remains has led to the suggestion that Nabe-kaburi burials were a reflection of the social stigma against certain infectious diseases, such as leprosy, tuberculosis or syphilis. However, molecular evidence for the presence of disease has been lacking. The goal of this study was to detect Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae) DNA in archaeological human skeletal remains from Nabe-kaburi burials. The paleopathological data from three Nabe-kaburi burials were re-evaluated before small samples were taken from affected and control areas. DNA was extracted and used as a template to target the M. leprae-specific DNA using a combination of whole genome amplification, PCR analysis and DNA sequencing. M. leprae DNA fragments were detected in the two sets of skeletal remains that had also shown paleopathological evidence of leprosy. These findings provide definitive evidence that some of the Nabe-kaburi burials were performed for people affected by leprosy. Demonstration of the presence of M. leprae DNA, combined with archeological and anthropological examinations, will aid in solving the mystery of why Nabe-kaburi burials were performed in medieval Japan” (read more/open access).

(Open access sourcePLoS ONE 9(2): e88356, 2014)


Stone ring fort at the Grianán of Aileach, on the summit of Greenan Mountain, County Donegal, Ireland.

This stone fort is thought to have been constructed during the 8th or 9th century as the seat of Cenél nEógain, rulers of the ancient kingdom of Aileach. This monument however evidently had far earlier origins, surrounding the stone fort are the remains of an earlier hill fort, which was likely constructed approximately 1000 BCE. A small Neolithic or Early Bronze Age stone cairn is also nearby.

Photos courtesy & taken by Chris Newman. Reference: National Monuments Service.

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