February 9, 2016

On Wisconsin! Yeah!

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:50 pm

Bronze Age burial near Stonehenge discovered by badger

Oh wait. . . . . .

February 1, 2016

Yes, climate changes

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:06 pm

Ancient humans dispersed through Arabia during greener times

Traditional theories depicted groups of early modern humans first dispersing out of northeastern Africa north and east through the Levant and then northward into present-day Europe and through northern routes into India and then the Far East. Additional dispersals took them along routes hopping the coasts of Arabia and then coastal across India, then further northward and eastward. These models of early human dispersal avoided the Arabian interior, as few could imagine humans making their way directly and deeply into this desert no-man’s land.
But remote sensing technology, including satellite imagery, has now placed Arabia squarely on the map of early human dispersal paradigms. Recent studies using this new technology have reported ancient systems of lakes (‘paleolakes’) and rivers—green zones—deep within the Arabian desert regions as much as 100,000 or more years ago. Archaeological investigations at some of the ancient lakeshore sites have yielded human stone tools, some of them dated back even earlier than 100,000 years ago.

I link this mostly to show (again) how what we often see today as inhospitable wasteland may have been fairly green and habitable at many times in the past. Much of the Sahara was fairly green in various parts of the Holocene and we can find abundant occupations surrounding seasonal or even permanent lakes in what is now exceedingly dry desert.

Footprints in the sand field

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:55 pm

Oldest Human Footprints in the Southwest Discovered at Tucson Construction Site

The barefoot tracks are distinct enough that the movements of specific individuals can be followed across the 15-meter-square field that’s been uncovered, Arnit said.

In one case, a set of deep, large prints shows that a heavy adult male trod diagonally across the field, stopped to do some work on an earthen berm, or perhaps to open a weir to let in water, and then took a different path across the field and over the ditch.

Another set of prints seems to have been made by an infant or toddler. And one print has a dog print inside it, likely made by a farmer being followed by his or her canine companion.

Apparently the place flooded with fine sediments shortly after they were put there. Rare but not unknown.

January 25, 2016

But it’s a cool name

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:05 pm

Honduras leader proclaims archaeology bonanza but ‘lost city’ doubts linger

“The whole enterprise strikes me as a boondoggle,” archaeologist Geoffrey McCafferty said. “This is not terra incognita, but has been subject to previous scientific investigation.”

The University of Calgary professor, currently doing research in neighboring Nicaragua, noted that there are hundreds of similar sites in the region, most from around 1000 to 1500 AD and built by non-Maya people. But that the artifacts shown so far are not unusual, McCafferty said: “If some archaeological information comes from it, terrific. But this is not going to rewrite history.”

I do vaguely recall linking to this earlier.

They say it’s Mosquitia but we really know. . . .it’s the Hovitos.

Liquid hot mmmagma.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:57 pm

‘Cave of forgotten dreams’ may hold earliest painting of volcanic eruption

Fearsome animals such as woolly rhinoceroses, cave lions and bears dominate Chauvet’s imagery. But one of its innermost galleries — named after a giant deer species, Megaloceros, that is depicted there — also contains a series of mysterious spray-shaped drawings, partly covered by the Megaloceros painting. A nearby gallery holds similar spray imagery, as does a wall near the cave’s original entrance, but researchers have not determined what the images represent.

The depictions are unique to Chauvet, notes Sebastien Nomade, a geoscientist at the University of Paris-Saclay in Gif-Sur-Yvette, France, who led the study. The Bas-Vivarais volcanic field, a well-known site containing more than a dozen extinct volcanoes, lies just 35 kilometres from the cave, but only eruptions that happened before humans occupied Chauvet had been dated, Nomade says.

I admit to being kind of Meh on this.

January 12, 2016

All I ever found was rocks.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:50 pm

Pantego kids excited about unearthed object; archaeologists not so much

Perhaps laid bare by rain runoff, a raised piece of the object was seen poking through the earth, beneath a few inches of green, leafy ground cover.

The boys wasted no time pouncing on the opportunity.

“I thought it was just a brick that said “Mexico” on it,” said William Lassiter, 12, a sixth-grader at Hill. “But they started digging it more, then it started just growing bigger.”

“We were just over here walking around,” Brandon added. “This has been here for years, and we just saw it and wanted to dig it up, because we had nothing else to do. But it turns out it was something interesting, so we kept digging it.”

I can’t say much about it because the ($)@*#%)(*$)_(%$@^%( thing kept starting an auto-play video which I &#$%ING CAN’T STAND.

It’s. . um, time

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:45 pm

For tea! Archaeologists discover world’s oldest tea buried with ancient Chinese emperor

Archaeologists have discovered the oldest tea in the world among the treasures buried with a Chinese emperor.

New scientific evidence suggests that ancient Chinese royals were partial to a cuppa – at least 2150 years ago.

Indeed, they seem to have liked it so much that they insisted on being buried with it – so they could enjoy a cup of char in the next world.

Tea struggles with diet soda for my very soul.


Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 7:33 pm

‘A bronze age Pompeii’: archaeologists hail discovery of Peterborough site

Almost 3,000 years after being destroyed by fire, the astonishingly well preserved remains of two Bronze Age houses and their contents have been discovered at a quarry site in Peterborough.

The artefacts include a collection of everyday domestic objects unprecedented from any site in Britain, including jewellery, spears, daggers, giant food storage jars and delicate drinking cups, glass beads, textiles and a copper spindle with thread still wound around it.

The remains of the large wooden houses, built on stilts in a waterlogged fenland site beside the ancient course of the river Nene, are the best preserved Bronze Age dwellings ever found in Britain. The most poignant object, suggesting that the last meal in the house was abandoned as the owners fled, was a cooking pot containing a wooden spoon and the remains of food calcified from the heat of the fire.

Apparently abandoned during use. These things are valuable for both the range of material that survives and also the spatial positioning of the objects and features. Of course, it’s still a snapshot of the dwellings at this particular time so their extensibility to other places/times is limited.

Video is kind of useless.

January 11, 2016

If they could, they probably did

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:10 pm

Were Panamanian islanders dolphin hunters?

Precolombian seafarers left what is now mainland Panama to settle on Pedro González Island in the Perlas archipelago about 6,000 years ago, crossing 50-70 kilometers (31-44 miles) of choppy seas — probably in dugout canoes. Dolphins were an important part of the diet of island residents according to Smithsonian archeologist Richard Cooke and colleagues from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and Colombia’s Universidad del Norte.

“This raises intriguing questions,” said Cooke, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. “Were the island’s first known inhabitants dolphin hunters or did they merely scavenge beached animals?”

I would think there’d be more evidence of that. They tend to be quicker critters than yer average big ol’ whale, but at least up here (northwest coast) there’s no shortage of marine mammals (though they’re not the dominant species). Perhaps this is one of a few places where hunting them is relatively easy.

January 7, 2016

Funny story

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 2:06 pm

Desert Fox

Which may or may not have a point. As some may recall, I did a monument survey of Calvary Cemetery a couple of years ago (okay, 3), etc. Part of what I found during that was that there seemed to be a big influx of burials around 1918/1919 and the character of the burials (demographics) seemed to be consistent with the influenza epidemic. Since I cut it off at 1919 I didn’t have data past that to see if the influx continued on — suggesting it wasn’t influenza, just an increase for other reasons. So I thought that I would collect more data from 1920 on to see what the actual pattern was. Basically it consisted of walking the cemetery and recording basic data on markers from between 1920 and 1929 — sex, DOB, date of death, age — to add to what I’d already collected. A basic demographic survey of a burial population, standard sort of research in archaeology and history, paleodemography, etc.

I emphasize “research” for a reason.

So I was talking to someone at the local Catholic church (Calvary is a Catholic cemetery) and she suggested asking the Parish Boy Scouts to see if a few of them might want to spend a few hours — literally, a few hours — walking the cemetery and recording this data. Hence, I sent an email to someone who sent it on to a Scout representative.

I expected a “Sure, they’d do that” or perhaps a “No, we’d like to pass, thank you”.

Instead, I got the following, which I reproduce in full here, along with comments of my own, with names and such censored to protect identities. I may even append the second response, which was just as wordy and irrelevant to what I was asking. At first it annoyed me — I responded back with some answers and a gentle plea that if no one is interested, that’s fine — but after the second one, I found the whole thing so absurd that even now I laugh. Please enjoy, and also try to learn that brevity is the soul of both wit and politeness.

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