Friday, March 30, 2012
A looter has been convicted for stealing Civil War artifacts from the Petersburg battlefield in Virginia. The picture shows cans of minie balls he collected.
Reanalysis of a Pleistocene ground sloth bone from a museum in Ohio determined that it showed butcher marks. I believe this is the first evidence for ground sloth butchering in North America. There are many Paleoindian sites with evidence of bison and mammoth hunting, but not much evidence of hunting other megafauna. It's only been in recent years that we have found the first Paleoindian horse and camel kill sites. This specimen comes from a Jefferson's ground sloth (one of the big boys!) and is radiocarbon dated to between 13,435 and 13,738 BP. There's a reason we store these things in museums!
Chocolate Allergies Linked to Cockroach Parts. I just couldn't resist that headline.
A DNA study of modern cattle has come to the conclusion that all our current domesticated cattle are descended from a single herd of aurochs that lived about 10,500 years ago.
The shipwreck of the Titanic has been much in the news lately, with James Cameron's further exploration there and the coming reissuance of the popular movie in 3D. This article provides a very different perspective as it discusses the large amounts of trash that have been deposited in the wreck area since 1912.
Archaeologist Bill Kelso will receive a well-deserved honor: he is being made an Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). In the 1990s, Kelso led the excavation team that relocated the original Jamestown fort in Virginia dating to 1607. It had long been thought that the fort had eroded into the James River and been lost, but Kelso proved that wasn't so. I recently bought a copy of Kelso's book on his quest, Jamestown, The Buried Truth.
I posted about the important Turkish archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe a few months ago. This study on source analysis of obsidian artifacts from the site shows that the raw material comes from a wide variety of sources from all over Anatolia. That's pretty much what you would expect to find at a site that was an important regional ceremonial center.
This report from a Grand Junction, Colorado TV station tells of some historic Spanish artifacts recently found in the Grand Valley near there. They got a little carried away: I believe they mean 16th and 17th centuries. I hadn't heard about this discovery and look forward to hearing more.