Archeologists excavate hippie commune's record collection

California state park archaeologists excavated the burned and buried record collection of The Chosen Family, a former 1960s commune in Marin County, and were surprised that the musical tastes of the hippies living there weren't what you'd expect. From Western Digs:

Olompali Vinyl In Situ Margaret Purser 1991Instead of The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, (archaeologist E. Breck Parkman) said, he found Judy Garland, Burl Ives, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gorme.

Rather than the voices of counterculture, he uncovered scores of albums of classic jazz, folk, show tunes, even comedy.

"The wide range of musical styles represented by this 'hippie discography' suggests that the people who came together to form this 'hippie' commune had a wide range of backgrounds, including their musical tastes," Parkman said.

"Vinyl Records Excavated at Famous ’60s Commune Challenge ‘Hippie’ Stereotype, Study Says" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

Hanging Gardens of Babylon "found" ... at Nineveh

Oxford University academic Dr Stephanie Dalley believes she has identified the precise location of the fabled Hanging Gardens of Bablyon: near Nineveh, hundreds of miles north. Dalley's hypothesis has the gardens built not by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, but by Assyrians under Sennacherib about 2,700 years ago. Nineveh's ruins now lie on the city limits of modern-day Mosul.

1,000 sqft secret chamber discovered in Indian National Library

NeilWalker sez, "The the Archaeological Survey of India discovered a mysterious hidden room while restoring the Indian National Library in Alipore. They know the room is large, around 1000 square feet, but can't find a way in. What's inside? Theories so far include skeletons (it was common practice among the British to 'wall up' offenders in 'death chambers' - lovely) or hidden treasures (the British were known to hide treasures in so called 'blind chambers'). My guess? Dust and stuff!"
"We've searched every inch of the first floor area that forms the ceiling of this enclosure for a possible trap door. But found nothing. Restoration of the building will remain incomplete if we are not able to assess what lies inside this enclosure," said deputy superintending archaeologist of ASI, Tapan Bhattacharya. "We've come across an arch on one side of the enclosure that had been walled up. Naturally speculations are rife," said another archaeologist.

Was it used as a punishment room by Hastings or one of the Lt Governors who succeeded him? It was common practice among the British to "wall up" offenders in "death chambers". Some sources say this enclosure has exactly the same look and feel. The British were also known to hide riches in blind chambers as this.

"It could be just about anything. Skeletons and treasure chests are the two things that top our speculations because it is not natural for a building to have such a huge enclosure that has no opening. We cannot break down a wall, considering the importance of the building. So we have decided to bore a hole through the wall to peer inside with a searchlight," said D V Sharma, regional director, ASI.

Secret chamber in National Library (Thanks, NeilWalker, via Submitterator!)

(Image: Google Maps)