Buried below a mountain of work, I am forced to bullet point you to death with news. Sorry about that.
This Shoe Had Prada Beat by 5,500 Years (NY Times): oldest leather shoe found preserved under sheep dung in Armenian cave. See related story about ancient leather pants. Hot.
Crocodile and Hippopotamus Served as 'Brain Food' for Early Human Ancestors (Science Daily): A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University has found that early hominids living in Kenya ate a wider variety of foods than previously thought, including fish and aquatic animals such as turtles and crocodiles, which may have played a key role in the development of a larger, more human-like brain in early hominids. Neanderthals apparently ate lions, so maybe, just maybe that had something to do with them going extinct!
Ancient Beehives Yield 3,000-Year-Old Bees (Wired): Honeybee remains found in a 3,000-year-old apiary at Tel Hehov in Israel have given archaeologists a one-of-a-kind window into the beekeeping practices of the ancient world. The bees were apparently imported from Turkey (see LA Times article). Fun fact: the apiary from Rehov is the only one ever found in tact from the ancient world! For more details, see my previous post.
The Call of Babylon: Why Some Travelers are Braving Iraq (CNN): An improving, if fragile, security situation means that, after years of isolation, intrepid travelers can now fly directly to Iraq from Austria, Germany, Greece, Norway, Sweden and the UK as well as numerous cities in the Middle East.
Jordan Valley - Cradle of Civilisations? (Jordan Times): Archaeological finds in the northern Jordan Valley are forcing experts to rethink the patterns of the earliest civilisations.
Headless Romans found in York Were Gladiators (Guardian): Evidence from tests on 80 skeletons of young men found in Yorkshire gardens points to world's best-preserved gladiator graveyard. Give a listen to the report on NPR: