Friday, November 12, 2004

Waterfront real estate, cheap Artifacts reveal Lake CdA prime prehistoric real estate

Long before pioneers, loggers and wealthy retirees discovered the charms of Lake Coeur d'Alene, its shores were considered prime real estate.

Going back thousands of years, families have lived along the lake, fishing for mammoth bull trout in its blue depths and digging water potatoes near the shore. Archaeologists are now gathering evidence of prehistoric lakeside dwellers. In some areas, remnants of ancient villages have been found buried under deep layers of sediment. Some sites, however, have yielded only small flecks of charcoal from prehistoric hearths.

The work is part of a first-ever survey of prehistoric sites from the lower reaches of the rivers feeding into Lake Coeur d'Alene down the banks of the Spokane River all the way to Long Lake. The investigation is funded by Avista Utilities as part of its requirements for securing a new federal permit to operate hydroelectric dams in the region.

How Iranian Women Applied Makeup 3000 Years Ago

To describe how Iranian women applied makeup many thousand years ago is a difficult task. To say that how female cave dwellers used to array and beautify themselves within the geographical sphere now known as Iran, is not easy and the answer to such a question can be found only by a few archaeological excavations and rare records unearthed from ancient times. From a few records survived from such a time it is evident that not only women but men also used to apply cosmetics and that their makeup stemmed from religious beliefs rather than beautification ends.

Artists' conception of how an ancient Iranian woman may have looked:

Non-archaeological, but it's silly enough to post here MYSTERY SKELETON FOUND IN GARDEN

Forensic team called in to help identify 100-year-old bones

Dark and grisly tales of foul play sprang to mind when a skeleton was found buried in a Seal garden last week.

Rumours quickly spread around the village as residents speculated on the identity of the 'corpse' after the discovery of what was thought to be a collection of 100-year-old human bones.

But the mystery was solved when police confirmed that a forensic team and an archaeologist had identified the remains as Victorian farm animals.

This bears mention Fossil offers clues to bear migration

A fossilized jaw found in an Alberta gravel pit may have cleared up a mystery for researchers wondering how brown bears originally made it across North America.

They probably migrated from what's now Alaska and the Yukon before glaciers covered the region, thousands of years before previously believed.

The findings are discussed in today's issue of the journal Science.

"It's like finding the missing link," said Paul Matheus, lead author of the paper and a paleobiologist at the University of Alaska.

Matheus said the discovery could have interest to archaeologists trying to determine when humans first arrived in North America.

Indeed. More here. Key quote:

For decades many archaeologists have argued that humans migrated south of Beringia via an ice-free corridor about 13,000 years ago, when the ice sheets began to recede.

These scientists used the first appearance of certain animals, such as the brown bears, as a proxy indicator for when this corridor may have been available to humans.

"But our results show that brown bears were down further south much earlier, and that we just hadn't found the oldest fossils yet," Matheus said. "Archaeologists can no longer use brown bears as a test for when the first humans came south."


Russia now has a Stonehenge of its own. In the summer, a 4,000-year-old megalithic structure was uncovered at a Spasskaya Luka site, in the central Russian region of Ryazan. This structure, which, archeologists believe, was built as a sanctuary, sits on a hill overlooking the confluence of the Oka and the Pron rivers. The surrounding area has always been seen as an "archeological encyclopedia," a kaleidoscope of cultures ranging from the Upper Paleolithic to the Dark Ages.

"If we look at this archeological site as represented on a map, it will be a circle seven meters in diameter, marked with pillars, half a meter thick and the same distance apart from each other," says the expedition leader Ilya Akhmedov, who works in the Moscow Historical Museum's Archeological Monuments Department. "Here's a large rectangular hole and a pillar in the center of the circle. The wooden pillars have not survived, of course, but the large holes from which they once stuck out can be seen pretty clearly. Along the edges of the site there are two more holes. Originally, there may have been four of them, but the bank over here is being destroyed by a ravine, so the temple has caved in partially."

No doubt England is still way more fun to spend the solstices.

Historic site reveals its secrets

Archaeologists are set to learn about new discoveries at one of Scotland's most important ancient sites.

Investigators began work at Traprain Law in East Lothian after a major fire in 2003 which damaged some historical remains and endangered others.

The experts called in to carry out a full assessment made a number of finds, including 5,000-year-old Neolithic rock art and Bronze Age axes.

The details will be revealed at a conference in Edinburgh on Saturday.

The other discoveries included evidence of a jewellery workshop and part of a roadway.

Fraser Hunter, a curator at the National Museums of Scotland, said the discoveries all helped to reinforce Traprain's reputation as a power and population centre in pre-history.

Traprain Law's inhabitants had regular contacts with Roman visitors between AD80 and AD400.

A huge hoard of Roman silver was found in 1919 on the Law, which dominates the countryside east of Haddington.

That's the whole thing, except for the picture.