Monday, October 18, 2004

Rio Grande artifacts may yield new clues

Archaeologists have discovered a cache of artifacts near South Padre Island they say could be up to 5,000 years old, potentially providing new clues about early peoples of the Texas coast.

The items, found in a protective clay dune about 6 feet underground, appear to be part of a fishing camp for a nomadic group of hunter-gatherers, archaeologist Robert Ricklis said. They include fragments of shell tools, chipped flint projectile points, and a fish earbone, or otolith, that can be analyzed for information about the bay environment of the time.

Ricklis said the find was significant because so little is known about the ancient Rio Grande Valley. Most early manmade items would have been eroded by sand and sea air, or washed out by the ever-changing course of the waterways of the Rio Grande basin near the Mexican border.

Don't we all Archaeologists crave important finds at Zhou Dynasty burial site

Chinese archaeologists hope to discover additional important relics from recently uncovered Western Zhou (1046-771 BC) cemetery to confirm existing findings and reveal new clues about the ancient dynasty.

The excavation on No 32 and No 18 tombs of the cemetery that was discovered earlier this year was approved by the State Cultural Relics Administration. Official digging at the tombs started on Sunday.

"It is the first time to open Western Zhou tombs that feature four tunnels showing they once belonged to high-ranking officials in that ancient dynasty and, their hosts may be the kings of the Western Zhou," said Zhang Tinghao, director of the Shaanxi Provincial Cultural Relics Administration.