Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Excavation yields ax thousands of years old

A Saginaw County man thought he was simply digging a basement for the house he would eventually build on Snowy Lane in Bridgeport Township.

But the hole Arthur A. Shaft opened up in 2000 turned out to be an archaeological dig of sorts, too.

The Saginaw County Historical Society last month confirmed that the object was a barbed stone ax head left behind by Indians 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

Artists' conception of the axe in use:

More from Indiana New grant to continue archaeology at farm site

When he bought his farm outside Jeffersonville in the late 1960s, T. Harold Martin had no idea the gentle slopes on the property were part of an American Indian village some 900 years ago.

He said students from places like Harvard University would knock on his door, unannounced, and ask to see the four earthen mounds in a pasture where his cattle grazed.

In the early 1970s, Martin allowed a team of researchers from Northwestern University and Kentucky's Centre College to perform a dig that turned up portions of a wall, along with numerous pieces of pottery. In 2003, another team of scientists found nearly 18,000 artifacts at a 25-acre section of the farm.

Now, a federal grant of $49,025 will allow more studies at Martin's farm -- known by experts as the "Prather site," a reference to a previous landowner.

Obviously, Indianapolis is beginning to overtake Mehr as the Mecca of archaeology.

Kennewick Man update After 9,300 years, Kennewick Man's exam begins

The old guy with a spear point in his hip is still capable of causing a fuss.

Nine years after the 9,300-year-old skeletal remains known as Kennewick Man tumbled out of the banks of the Columbia River, scientists who successfully sued for the right to study the bones will begin their analyses today at the University of Washington's Burke Museum.

"We never dreamed it would take this long," said Alan Schneider, the attorney who represented eight scientists in a case that went up to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Over 200 culture relics unearthed in Three Gorges Reservoir

More than two hundred cultural relics were discovered Tuesday in Zigui county, central China's Hubei province, during an excavation for rescuing culture relics at the Three Gorges area of the Yangtze River.

Archaeologists from Yichang Museum, who took part in the excavation, said the cultural relics span from the Han Dynasty (220 B.C-26 A.D) to the Ming Danasty (1368-1644).

Lost city dwellings. . . found! Archaeologists discover ancient dwellings on remote Greek island

Archaeologists on the uninhabited islet of Despotiko near the Cycladic island of Antiparos uncovered the remnants of dwellings dating back to ancient times, reports said Tuesday.

The Culture Ministry said fragments of kouroi statues and pillars, dating from 750 BC to 500 BC, have been found at the site, which has been under escavation since May.

"The discovery of three ancient kouroi are an exceptional discovery," archaeologist Giannis Kouragios was quoted as saying.

The statues and pillars are part of a sanctuary dedicated to the God of Apollo, the Greek god of the sun.

That's the whole thing.

This seems like a good idea Egyptian-Italian lab for restoring and conserving papyrus inaugurated

Egyptian and Italian conservationists and curators on Tuesday inaugurated a laboratory for restoring and preserving papyrus located at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

"The project aims to preserve the papyri for the long-term, not just to restore them to be looked at now," said Corrado Basile of the International Papyrus Institute in Syracuse, Italy.

Basile's institute is partnering with Egypt in the project.

Could Asia have been the cradle of humanity?

There isn't much question that modern humans came out of Africa, probably in several waves of migration over the past 100,000 years. But it now appears that the ancient ancestors who gave rise to those African humans might have come from Asia.

Until recently the only fossils of anthropoids -- the creatures at the base of the branch of the evolutionary tree that gave rise to primates, including humans -- were found at a place called the Fayum in Egypt. But a growing body of evidence suggests our distant relatives might have developed closer to Cambodia than Cairo.

Footprints update Walking with ancestors: discovery rewrites American prehistory

umans arrived in America 25,000 years earlier than previously thought - at least 40,000 years ago - footprints found near Mexico City have proved.

British and Mexican archaeologists said the discovery of the prints, made in volcanic ash near the town of Puebla, 80 miles south-east of Mexico City, will force a total rewrite of humanity's early migrations and is one of the most important archaeological finds of recent decades.

This one has a bit more detail, but doesn't much go into the controversy.

Neanderthal news Neanderthal Genome May Be Reconstructed

German and U.S. scientists have launched a project to reconstruct the Neanderthal genome, the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology said Wednesday.

The project, which involves isolating genetic fragments from fossils of the prehistoric beings who originally inhabited Europe, is being carried out at the Leipzig-based institute.

"The project is very new and is just at its beginning," said Sandra Jacob, a spokeswoman for the institute.