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(AP)   British archaeologists use rabbits to unearth ancient artifacts   ( divider line
    More: Cool  
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3639 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Aug 2002 at 9:54 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

49 Comments     (+0 »)
2002-08-13 09:58:57 AM  
"Look at the bones!"

/obvious Python
2002-08-13 09:59:11 AM  
2002-08-13 09:59:47 AM  
It's nice to see that Hazel, Bigwig, and the gang are getting some work.
2002-08-13 10:00:02 AM  
Now wait a minute.

They can use rabbits to dig up artifacts, but the Navy can't use dolphins to hunt seagoing mines.

Where's PETA on this?!
2002-08-13 10:00:30 AM  
I unearth ancient artifacts with my trouser snake.
2002-08-13 10:00:32 AM  
Funny Millay hehe...
2002-08-13 10:01:29 AM  
Where's the artifact?
What, behind the rabbit?
2002-08-13 10:01:32 AM  
Dammit, BASS555, you beat me and a crap-load of other Farkers.

"I warned you, but no, it's just a harmless little bunny-rabbit!"
2002-08-13 10:03:08 AM  
Sjeesh, hares, not rabbits.

You know, these large thingies where dogs run after if they have the chance.
You know, rabbits only do drugs, ask Alice for that matter.

And by the way, everyone knows these beasties do this all the time, even yesterday I saw Bugs Bunny (nonononono!) find the cave of Sindbad.
2002-08-13 10:03:31 AM  
Millay - God help those archeologists when they try to remove the rabbits and have to deal with "The Colonel".
2002-08-13 10:04:20 AM  
"Over the years, as the rabbits have done their own home improvement work, the glass, shards of pottery and fragments of animal bone have been kicked out of their burrow,"

how domestic.
2002-08-13 10:04:30 AM  
What if they take a wrong turn at Albuquerque?
2002-08-13 10:05:06 AM  
Bisifiniti is sharing his fetishes with the group.. Who has some pictures of granny for him.
2002-08-13 10:07:18 AM  

Ack, the conspiracy to hide all evidence for the ancient Rabbit Civilization of Bugsbunnia begins to unravel....


2002-08-13 10:09:40 AM  
Hey, does anyone else remember the puzzle in Beyond Zork where you had to use the ferrett to dig up the helmet that the old general lost during that ancient battle? OK, maybe a bit too obscure, but I loved that little puzzle. It involved truffles and a time machine. :-)
2002-08-13 10:10:15 AM  
I can see it now (some dig in Europe):

"Damn! Another petrified carrot! That's all we ever seem to uncover!"
2002-08-13 10:11:16 AM  
Who says I'm good for nothing?

(OK, nearly everyone)
2002-08-13 10:14:27 AM  
TheAnusThatAteManhattan: Woundwart was *General* Woundwart. Now he will tear out your larynx as you sleep for such an insult!
2002-08-13 10:14:33 AM  
"future rabbit damage"

Ladies and Gentleman, the future of Reality TV and Extreme Sports....Extreme Rabbit Rodeo!! Race the clock to steal worthless trinkets from crazed rabbits hopped up on steroids! Wrestle those bunnies into submission!
2002-08-13 10:14:38 AM  
TheAnusThatAteManhattan: Don't you mean "The General?"
2002-08-13 10:20:51 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
this guy's the best!
2002-08-13 10:26:53 AM  
''There are some big trees there,' said Blackberry. 'the roots must have broken up the ground pretty deep. We could dig holes and be as well off as ever we were in the old warren. But if Bigwig and the others won't dig or say they can't - well, it's bare and bleak here. That's why it's lonely and safe, of course; but when bad weather comes we shall be driven off the hills for sure.'...'

I hope their using does, 'cause we all know the bucks can be a little whiny about digging...
2002-08-13 10:27:03 AM  
Millay - Gadzooks! You are correct sir!

I need to read that book again. It's been a long, long time.
2002-08-13 10:27:38 AM  
their=they're. Shame on me.
2002-08-13 10:28:12 AM  
...and he has long pointy teeth.....
2002-08-13 10:28:49 AM  
Hey! Be proud Americans! Britain doesn't have a monopoly on archaeological animal assistance. In the Southwest there are a number of instances where ants do the exact same thing... In digging out the tunnels of their anthills they will frequently toss out bits of ceramic, beads, turquoise, chert, and obsidian. Granted they are frequently pretty small bits, but they are artifacts. So far, my experiments to do full-scale ant excavation have fallen pretty flat, but I keep trying to harness the little ba$tards and scratching my ant bites...
2002-08-13 10:29:07 AM  
Anus: I still read it about once a year. Watership Down is the best children's book ever, and if my kids don't like it, I'm putting them up for adpotion!
2002-08-13 10:30:44 AM  
Millay: Is this a Brian Jaques thing?
2002-08-13 10:31:19 AM  
And for Watership Down lovers (especially if you live in the UK) I highly recommend:
2002-08-13 10:32:11 AM  
Who's Brian Jaques?
2002-08-13 10:41:28 AM  
The rabbits are good for finding where sites are. but remember: If you find the artifact where the rabbits/ants/ferrets/badgers/moles etc. have dumped it, its an "out of context" find and cant be officially logged as part of the site [technicly this means you could keep what you find but its better to hand stuff over to a museum]
2002-08-13 10:46:54 AM  
Next week on Time Team: Tony Robinson gets eaten by killer rabbits. Phil comments: "Ooh-aahhr Tony!".
2002-08-13 10:47:14 AM  
In Japan, on the other hand, they use rabbits as customs agents:

[image from too old to be available]
2002-08-13 10:51:35 AM  
Nice JL, that reverence to Time Team. Kept me awake in my lonely hotel room when working abroad. Fascinating series in a sense.
2002-08-13 10:52:13 AM  
Brian Jacques? I thought he meant Brian Fellows...
2002-08-13 10:55:27 AM  
oh, Watership Down... never read that. Brian Jaques wrote the Redwall books, lots of anthropromorphic animals (mice, badgers, HARES, etc.) defending their homes against an evil rat. Good books for slightly older kids (cause of violence and death). He wrote a whole slew past the first trilogy that I haven't read, and I thought that might be what you were talking about.
2002-08-13 10:58:45 AM  
Bugger_All: yeah, I like it too. Even though most "real" archeologists seem to hate it, because of the shoddy work.

There's just something very relaxing about watching a group of people digging pits in the cold, wet English countryside.

And ofcourse, they have just three days to do it.
2002-08-13 10:59:05 AM  
Gavgoyle: I enjoyed the Redwall series some years ago, but Watership Down is much better. Check it out sometime.
2002-08-13 11:05:03 AM  
SimonC: Don't know about anywhere else in the world, but in the US just because an artifact is not in its primary context does not defacto mean that it is no longer part of the is, it's just not in the primary context. Now if that site is on private property, and there is no associated burial, it is basically the land-holders property to do with what they see fit (keep it, sell it, DONATE IT, dump it in the Thames, whatever). If it is on someone else's property and you have the landholders permission, same applies. If it is on State or Federal property, however there are laws that cover the spectrum from misdemenor to felony, can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and seizing of any equipment used to loot a site.

Now being an archaeologist, I feel obligated to encourage anyone who finds artifacts on their land to take them to an archaeologist and consider donating them to a proper repository...but if it is on private land, and not associated with a burial, it is basically the individuals call.
2002-08-13 11:11:32 AM  
Rabbit Damage..Send in Arnold..he'll fix him.
2002-08-13 11:25:43 AM  
I didn't know there were so many downers out there.
2002-08-13 12:12:42 PM  
Termites also excavate small fossils, which saves palaentologists a lot of work.

The Redwall series gets a bit formulaic after a while: Mice and woodlanders under attack from huge horde, near-hopeless quest by small band of youngsters, hardship and privation at home, adventurers return and the horde is slain messily.

And lots and lots and lots and lots of food, and endless descriptions of same.
2002-08-13 01:07:27 PM  
Is there anything the bunny can't do?

[image from too old to be available]
2002-08-13 01:13:39 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-08-13 03:44:29 PM  
Tell me about the rabbits...

2002-08-13 04:06:19 PM  
Gavgoyne UR right i do more research before i post
2002-08-13 04:11:29 PM  
before English Heritage decides how to minimize "future rabbit damage"...

No doubt about it. The rodents uncovered the site and now the whole warren is gonna get poisoned/trapped/gassed for their trouble. No good deed goes unpunished, I guess.

I gotta make sure *I* never find something like that...

2002-08-13 07:41:02 PM  
GavGoyle and SimonC: About 12 years ago I was touring in England and our group visited The Sanctuary, which is/was a stone and wood circle that's part of the Avebury complex of monuments. There were gopher holes all over the site, and at the top of one I noticed an interestingly-shaped little rock which I pocketed as a memento of the place.

Several days later I happened to show it to a woman in our tour group who'd been on a lot of archeological digs (as an amateur), and she identified it as a flint scraping tool that was probably made and used several thousand years ago by the people who built the site. I still have it, but it's always nagged at my conscience a bit because I removed an artifact from an archeological site. It was completely unintentional--at the time I didn't know what I had, and when it was identified we were hundreds of miles away.

Do either of you (or anyone else here, for that matter) have an opinion on whether it would do any good to try to return it at this late date? I certainly couldn't identify where I found it except in the most general terms, but if it might do some good I'd be willing to send it back. And to whom might I send it? Any ideas?
2002-08-14 06:02:32 PM  
(24 hrs. later)

Apparently not.
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