December 31, 2008

Blogging update.

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:33 am

I lost an entire post from last night. Did anybody at any time see one here on a ship found during some construction work in Buenos Aires? Short story, but I did an extended entry on the Recoleta cemetery (which I visited at one time). I remember hitting Publish but it seems not to have even been saved as a draft.

Gosh darn it.

I see dead people auras

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:25 am

Today I wish to relate to you, our dedicated readers, one of those “Aha” moments when one finally either figures something out or discovers the solution to a problem that has been bubbling around in one’s mind for some time. In this case, I have finally and quite by chance stumbled upon a diagnosis to a fairly benign but sorta bizarre “medical condition” that I have experienced. (“Oh great, he’s going to tell us about a rash on his butt.”) No, gentle reader, I am not about to describe anything icky, squidgy, or downright embarassing. Like I said, benign but weird.

Anyway, the symptoms I have presented with: Probably about half a dozen times over the last 10-12 years or so, I’ve had what I call “spells”. I’ll be sitting around doing whatever I am doing when I’ll notice a small blind spot in one eye. Not like a black spot with no vision, just a small area where I can’t really focus, right about in the center of my field of vision. Then it would slowly start to enlarge and elongate into a sort of curved wavy line and start to migrate out toward the side until a large irregular semi-circle of wavy lines was apparent in one side, and the wavy lines would be constantly moving outwards. It’s hard to describe. Accompanying this, I would also feel a wee bit. . .dizzy? Lightheaded? A bit numb? Something like that. And some loss of peripheral vision. It would only last about 20 minutes and then the symptoms would slowly dissipate and, boom, back to normal. Nothing disabling, but for that time I would find it difficult to concentrate so I’d mostly just sit down until it passed. In a way, it’s almost enjoyably freaky.

Being that it didn’t seem serious, I never thought it necessary to see a quack medical professional about it, but I’ve always wondered what the deal was. And then just yesterday I was reading through the Dec. 2008 issue of Scientific American and came upon a letter-to-the-editor (see the “Aura of Mystery” one on that page). I started reading it with some bit of interested detachment (“Yeah, whoopee, it’s about headaches”) until I turned the page and saw a graphic which is not, unfortunately, on that Web version. This is close to what it looked like though:

That’s what I would “see”! Not the mountains and trees, of course, but the funny wavy-lined thing. It’s called an aura. I see auras! As the linked article says:

[A]ura symptoms may occur without headache. With increasing age, it is not uncommon to retain the aura but lose the headache or to develop aura symptoms without a prior history of headache. This phenomenon has been referred to as “late-life migraine accompaniments” or “migraine equivalents.” The International Headache Society recognizes it as “typical aura without headache” and notes that some individuals, primarily men, only ever experience the aura.

I’ve never had serious headaches, let alone migraines, so I guess I am one of those 1-2% who get these things without migraines. Interesting that it is more common in migraine sufferers, which suggests some sort of linking mechanism; they mention inheritance, but no one in my family ever suffered migraines and no one ever mentioned seeing funny wany-lined thingies. Never having did any research into migraines I don’t know what the heritability is like. Still, it’s kind of an interesting phenomenon and it’s nice to have a name associated with it.

I could have done without the part about structural brain lesions though. . . .

December 30, 2008

Weymouth bodies

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 8:21 pm

Ancient burial ground uncovered

More than a dozen skeletons thought to be thousands of years old, have been found by Oxford archaeologists working at an ancient burial site in Dorset.

Excavations are taking place at the site in Weymouth before builders move in to build an access road to the Olympic sailing centre for 2012.

Archaeologist David Score said they had catalogued finds from almost every period of human life.

CO archeology

Filed under: Conservation/CRM, Local media — acagle @ 8:18 pm

Artifacts believed to be at least 2,000 years old

Archaeologists believe artifacts unearthed during a recent dig in northeastern Oklahoma date back between 2,000 and 8,000 years.

AMEC Earth and Environmental conducted the 20-day dig in Colcord that was funded largely by the Bureau of Indian Affairs because it is in the Cherokee Nation.

Historic archaeology

Filed under: Conservation/CRM, Local media — acagle @ 8:17 pm

Bridge-site digging yields historic finds

The $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges project has yielded a wealth of archaeological information about the region and a few spicy details about its more recent history — but no discoveries significant enough to slow the work.

“Such a large volume of archaeological work would not have been done” without the costly and extensive bridges project, said Susan Neumeyer, an archaeologist with the Kentucky Department of Transportation. “The knowledge we have gleaned might have been lost forever.”

Apparently some prehistoric stuff as well.

December 29, 2008

Neanderthal update

Filed under: Neanderthals — acagle @ 3:21 pm

European Neanderthals had ginger hair and freckles

In a major breakthrough, Spanish scientists have discovered the blood group and two other genes of the early humans who lived 43,000 ago.

After analysing the fossil bones found in a cave in north-west Spain, the experts concluded they had human blood group “O” and were genetically more likely to be fair skinned, perhaps even with freckles, have red or ginger hair and could talk.

The investigating team from Spain’s government scientific institute, CSIC, used the very latest forensic techniques to remove the bones for analysis to prevent them getting contaminated with modern DNA.

Via Althouse who has an amusing juxtaposition of interpretive photos. Thought I linked to something like this at one point. . . .

NA burials

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 3:15 pm

American Indian cremation pit found on Ga. island

Exposed by erosion at the edge of a crumbling bluff, the pit discovered beneath 2 feet of sandy dirt at first appeared to be a grave just long and deep enough to bury a human body. Excavation by archaeologists on Ossabaw Island revealed something more puzzling — just a few small bones, apparently from fingers or toes, mixed with charcoal, bits of burned logs and pottery shards predating the arrival of the first European explorers by at least a century.

The find has led researchers to suspect American Indians used the ancient pit to burn bodies of the dead, making it a rare example of cremation among the early native inhabitants of the southeastern U.S.

“It’s a special sort of burial,” said Tom Gresham, an Athens archaeologist who worked on the excavation and serves on Georgia’s Council on American Indian Concerns. “The way Indian tribes over time buried their dead varied tremendously. But cremations are fairly rare.”

December 28, 2008

Cemetery archaeology

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 9:26 am

Grave hunters help to preserve history of state

George Gatliff walked across a leaf-covered hill next to a strip mall and pressed his foot down on a small, partly buried rock.

“It’s solid,” the 78-year-old amateur archaeologist said, confident he’d found another spot in an unkept cemetery where Arkansas pioneers were laid to rest.

This is another great area for amateur work and the whole Army of Davids thing. Local people who know about the more recent history can be invaluable in locating these abandomed plots. Washington state is currently building a database of all burials and cemeteries, both historic and Amerindian.

Mounds, mounds, mounds

Filed under: Conservation/CRM, Local media — acagle @ 9:22 am

Burial mounds suspected in the Marquette County

Surveyors suspect there are ancient Native American burial mounds in the Marquette County village of Endeavor.

Village leaders considered several development proposals for the site, but federal law requires local tribes to first survey the area. Ho Chunk surveyors used ground-penetrating radar and found outlines of 4 mounds so far.

Wisconsin law prohibits the disturbance of mounds and other human burial sites.

Cesspool archaeology (really)

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 9:20 am

Ancient graves found accidentally

Two ancient graves, dating back to the 7th century B.C., have been uncovered during construction of a cesspool at the house of Mehmet Çoban in the Damlıboğaz village of Muğla’s Milas district, which hosts the ancient city of Hydai.

First excavated and thought to pertain to a noble family, the ancient graves have human skeletons, prayer pots, ceramic pots, wineglasses, accessories, hunting equipment and candles.

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