Thursday, October 07, 2004

A mammoth excavation Lecture will detail archaeology dig in Woodburn (Free quick reg. required)

The history of the archaeological dig in Woodburn's Mammoth Park will be the topic of a program Saturday in the Woodburn Public Library. The Mammoth Park archaeological site was discovered in 1987 after utility crews found large bones while trenching the area at the eastern edge of Woodburn High School to install a sewer line.

Beth Walton, an archaeologist and a member of the Oregon Archaeological Society, will discuss how researchers and scientists began testing the site in 1996 and later confirmed their findings were numerous species of small animals from the Ice Age. Woodburn became the first to document these types of animals in the Pacific Northwest.

The free presentation begins at 1:30 p.m. in the children's area of the library at 270 Garfield St. For more information, call the library at 503-982-5252 or visit its Web site at

And a mammoth mystery Yakutsk find baffles archaeologists

Remains of an ancient mammal, supposedly of a newborn mammoth, have been unearthed in the Oimyakonsky region of Yakutia during planned excavations at one of the local gold mines.

According to the Mammoth Institute of Yakutia, the remains have been discovered at one of the gold mines "Volnik-terrace" situated within 2 km from the Oktybrskaya village of the Oimyakonsky region.

The skeleton was discovered by pure accident in the course of seasonal excavation works in the region. It has been successfully extracted from the ever-frozen soil by the "Kamazu" bulldozer. The upper part of the animal's head has been fractured, that is why it was quite difficult to tell from the start whether it's a rhinoceros or a mammoth.

The find appears quite odd however. For instance, neither the animal's head nor its body has fur. The bulldozer operator claims he smelled something burning while excavating the skeleton. However, no traces of burnt fur or bones have been found. And one more detail: according to the same man, when placed under the direct rays of the sun, the remains began bleeding, reports YACIA.

In the meantime, scientists are still trying to determine the animal's type. Yakutia's Mammoth Museum does not rule out the possibility that the skeleton is in fact of a newborn mammoth. In case the presumption proves to be true, perhaps its mother is buried somewhere next to him in the permafrost.

We have no idea what to make of this.

Hurricane archaeology Storms erase sands of time

To date, there have been no reports of remnants of any ancient civilizations unearthed along the shoreline, courtesy of Charley, Frances and Jeanne.

Atlantis, in other words, is still missing.

But like archaeologists gone wild, the recent hurricanes have done some heavy-duty digging hereabouts, turning large swaths of the beach into impromptu excavation sites.

In New Smyrna Beach, for example, the rusty skeleton of what seems to be a school bus is now free of the 10 or more feet of sand in which it lay hidden for who knows how long -- prompting the curious to contemplate what manner of early Floridian would have left it there in the first place. And all along what we still like to call the World's Most Famous Beach, newly revealed layers of old foundations -- some of which look, to the untrained eye, like the remains of temples from previous beach-worshipping civilizations -- serve as irrefutable evidence that modern "homo-vehicularis" (beach-driving man) was not the first hominid to get sand between his toes.