Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Site alert Historic site up for approval

Pima County is poised to create a new archaeological park containing artifacts of historic settlements made over 1,300 years by three cultures: the Hohokam Indians, Spanish colonists and U.S. settlers.

The Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on whether to pull off a combined purchase and land swap to acquire the remaining 67 acres of what will become the Los Morteros Heritage Park inside Marana.

Los Morteros was a key Hohokam community for about 700 years before the Hohokam disappeared around 1450.

The county bought 32 additional acres for the park in 1999. The entire park at the corner of North Silverbell and West Linda Vista roads will total nearly 100 acres.

Hmmmmmmm. . . Did the First Americans Come From, Er, Australia?

Anthropologists stepped into a hornets' nest on Monday, revealing research that suggests the original inhabitants of America may in fact have come from what is now known as Australia.

The claim will be extremely unwelcome to today's native Americans who came overland from Siberia and say they were there first.

But Silvia Gonzalez from John Moores University in Liverpool said skeletal evidence pointed strongly to this unpalatable truth and hinted that recovered DNA would corroborate it.

"This is very contentious," Gonzalez, a Mexican, said with a smile at the annual meeting of the British association for the Advancement of Science. "They (native Americans) cannot claim to have been the first people there."

Well, we don't like the mysterious tone of the subkect being interviewed, but haven't any real objection to the conclusion, in theory. Kennewick Man seems to be related to the Jomon, so a more southern origin seems not terribly unlikely. After all, there's no reason to think that every group that migrated here actually made it to the historic period. Watch this space though.

We doubt it Italian Mummy Source of 'The Scream'?

An Inca mummy kept in a Florentine museum might have been a source of inspiration for Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream," an Italian anthropologist claims.

Bearing a striking resemblance to Munch's now stolen painting, the mummy was rediscovered as Florence's Museum of Natural History began to carry out scientific investigations such as CT scans on its collection of Peruvian mummies.