Monday, October 18, 2004

Just wait 6,000 years, he'll turn up Finder of Tyrol "Iceman" missing in Alps

The man who 13 years ago found the frozen remains of a prehistoric iceman in an Alpine glacier has disappeared in the snow-covered Alps with little hope of being found.

A member of the mountain rescue team at Bad Hofgastein in Austria told Reuters on Monday that Helmut Simon, the German man who found the 5,300-year-old mummified body while hiking on the border of Austria and Italy in 1991 has been missing for three days.

"There's a lot of snow up there," the rescuer, who did not want to be named, said about the 2,467-metre (8,000-ft) Garmskarkogel mountain in the Salzburg region, where Simon vanished. "We've looked everywhere. He was hiking alone."

Good article Archaeologist continues to dig up history

In the past 30 years archaeologists worldwide have visited the Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Washington County. The general public can now see what's involved in the archaeological dig that has proved the existence of early humans dating back 16,000 years.

"The site was opened last year for the first time to the public," said David Scofield, director of Meadowcroft Museum of Rural Life. "We are now in the process of getting an architect to create a design for a permanent roof over the excavation. This will permanently protect the site and be more public-friendly."

Archaeologist James M. Adovasio and his crew began excavating the rockshelter located 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh in 1973. After uncovering 20,000 human artifacts and nearly 2 million animal and plant remains, Adovasio was able to disprove through the use of radiocarbon testing the widely held belief that the first humans on the North American continent crossed over from Asia at the Bering Strait and settled near Clovis, N.M., about 12,000 B.C.

It doesn't have nearly the caché of other sites ("See the rockshelter along the Cross Creek". . .nah) but its relative anonymity belies its importance. This was probably the site with the best, earliest claim for pre-Clovis habitation, but was never really recognized as such until Monte Verde came along. Most of the problems with the site (generally involving dating) were not particularly convincing in our view, and it should have been recognized long ago. Kudos to Adovasio for keeping at it.

Greek sarcophagus update Sarcophagus from 900 BC oldest yet found in Greece

Guy Sanders of the American School of Classical Studies discovered the oldest and heaviest sarcophagus ever found in Greece in Ancient Corinth. The 1.88x1.23x0.85-meter find weighs 2.3 metric tons and dates from 900 BC. It is made of stone and its discovery reveals that the ancient Corinthians were able to shift large stone masses 200 years earlier than hitherto known. The lid alone weighs 1.2 metric tons, The sarcophagus contained funeral gifts including 14 vases, cups, flasks and a knife.

Way cool find update Germany's Bronze Age Blockbuster

The 3,600 year old Sky Disk of Nebra -- the world's oldest image of the cosmos -- is the centerpiece of the biggest Bronze Age show of Europe, in the eastern German town of Halle.

It caused a world-wide sensation when it was brought to the attention of the German public in 2002, having been discovered in the state of Saxony-Anhalt two years earlier.

Now the Sky Disc of Nebra -- a bronze disc with gold-leaf appliques representing the sun, moon, stars and a ship -- is back in the limelight, at the opening of a blockbuster show entitled "The Forged Sky: The Wide World in the Heart of Europe 3,600 Years Ago."

But hey, the Sky Disk of Nebra just can't compete with the Small Piece of Porous, Blackened Pottery of Hutchinson Island Hutchinson Island artifact find the oldest yet

The oldest artifact ever found on the island -- a 4,000-year-old small piece of porous, blackened pottery -- was discovered Friday as archaeologists surveyed three newly uncovered American Indian graves.

Bob Carr, executive director of the Miami-based Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, said both the small pottery shard and the location of at least three graves in the rock south of Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge were exciting and historically significant.

There were probably many more graves, estimated to be at least 2,000 years old, on the property than the few exposed, he said.

"It's as if someone flipped open a door 2,000 years in the past that no one has ever seen before," Carr said. "It's in really good condition."

Big ka-freakin'-boom dept. Roman Comet 5,000 Times More Powerful Than A-Bomb

People living in southern Germany during Roman times may have witnessed a comet impact 5,000 times more destructive than the Hiroshima atom bomb, researchers say.

Scientists believe a field of craters around Lake Chiemsee, in south-east Bavaria, was caused by fragments of a huge comet that broke up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Celtic artefacts found at the site, including a number of coins, appear to have been strongly heated on one side.

CSI: Deerfield Beach

Archaeologists asked to solve cemetery mystery

It may appear to be ordinary soil, but some say a mystery lies beneath.

To hear old-timers tell it, this patch of land is hallowed ground that may still hold the bones of people who died long ago.

The wooden crosses that marked their graves have long since vanished, worn away by wind and rain. But pioneer families and historians say as many as 300 people, mostly poor black residents, were buried there from 1896 through the 1940s.

"That was a graveyard, I can tell you that much," said Deerfield Beach resident Edith Storr, 75, whose uncle once dug graves there.