Posted on April 17, 2013 by afarensis, FCD
Parts of the Joshua Tree National Park have been closed due to vandalism in both canyons and to some archaeological sites. The Inquisitr has more:
In addition to allowing park workers time to repair some of the damage, the Joshua Tree closures will give them an opportunity to investigate the crime. The park officials strongly suspect the vandals are involved in a social media campaign which involves sharing photos of their graffiti on Facebook.
However, they haven’t revealed if they’re looking at specific Facebook pages or if they have any leads on specific criminals. They did ask if you see something to report it to park workers.
Yeah, you read that right vandals are, possibly, sharing pictures of their destruction via social media. I can’t imagine what there is in these acts of destruction that would be worth bragging about via Facebook, but, in the words of Vonnegut “Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”
Filed under: Cultural Resource Management | Comments Off
Posted on April 16, 2013 by afarensis, FCD
This is pretty cool!
Filed under: Archaeology | Comments Off
Posted on April 11, 2013 by afarensis, FCD
Posted on February 24, 2013 by afarensis, FCD
OH-65 was found in 1995 in the Upper Bed I at Olduvai Gorge. It dates to 1.942-1.785 mya. OH-65 is a nearly complete maxilla that has been attributed to Homo habilis. It’s morpholoogy is similar to that of KNM-ER 1470 and the authors of the paper announcing the find use that similary to make two arguments.
This overall concordance of the ER 1470 and OH 65 morphologies with that of the type specimen of H. habilis casts doubt on H. rudolfensis as a biologically valid taxon. Consequently, H. rudolfensis (Alexeev) Groves would be a junior synonym for H. habilis Leakey, Tobias, and Napier …
The architectural similarities between OH-65 and ER 1470 support the judgement that late Pliocene hominids from Olduvai Gorge and East Lake Turkana usually assigned to H. habilis instead represent more than one species…
On the surface these seem to be contradictory arguments unless they are arguing that because H. rudolfensis is a junior synonym for H. habilis the species in the H. rudolfensis group have to be named something else. At any rate, below is a picture of OH-65.
Blumenschine et al 2003 Late Pliocene Homo and Hominid Land Use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Blumenschine et al 2003 Late Pliocene Homo and Hominid Land Use from Western Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania Supplemental Online Material
Filed under: Homo habilis, Know Your Hominin | Comments Off
Posted on August 25, 2012 by afarensis, FCD
Regourdou 1 is a partial neanderthal skeleton discovered in 1957 near Lascaux. Also discovered were the pedal remains of a second individual.
Volpato et al (2012) Hand to Mouth in a Neandertal: Right-Handedness in Regourdou 1
Filed under: Know Your Hominin, Neanderthals | Comments Off
Posted on June 27, 2012 by afarensis, FCD
The answer may surprise you, or not. A new paper in Nature provides some insight into Australopithecus sediba’s diet. I don’t have access to Nature but Science Daily has the press release where we learn:
The researchers concluded from their scientific tests that bark and other fracture-resistant foods were at least a seasonal part of the A. sediba diet. While bark and woody tissues had not been previously documented as a dietary component of any other ancient African hominids, such foods are consumed by many contemporary primates and contain both protein and soluble sugars. The diet of A. sediba may have been similar to that of today’s African savanna chimpanzees, Sandberg said.
Researchers performed stable isotope analysis, analyzed phytoliths trapped in dental plaque, and examined microwear on the teeth of Au. sediba to arrive at those conclusions. I have to agree with Matt Sponheimer on this:
“What fascinates me is that these individuals are oddballs,” said CU-Boulder’s Sponheimer. “I had pretty much convinced myself that after four million years ago most of our hominid kin had diets that were different from living apes, but now I am not so sure. And while our sample is too small to be conclusive, the rate at which Malapa is spewing hominid fossils makes me reasonably certain we won’t have to wait another two million years to augment our data set. “
As mentioned above I don’t have access to Nature so can some one send me a copy of the article? My email address is on the “about” tab and the article can be found at DOI: 10.1038/nature11185.
Filed under: Australopithecus sediba | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 9, 2012 by afarensis, FCD
Rather than focus on the impending zombie apocalypse I thought I would focus on something less frightening, namely vampires. (more…)
Filed under: Bioarchaeology, Vampires, Zombies | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 7, 2012 by afarensis, FCD
I think I have written a post about this story before, but after almost 3,000 posts I’ll be damned if I can find it in my archives. At any rate, NPR has an interesting article (there is a link where you can listen to an audio version as well) on a Mississippian era suburb of Cahokia. The site was discovered during the ongoing construction of a new bridge. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management | Comments Off
Posted on May 29, 2012 by afarensis, FCD
A recent article in PNAS looks at the metopic suture on the Taung endocast. Before discussing the article a few words are in order about the frontal bone. (more…)
Filed under: Australopithecus, Australopithecus africanus, Paleoanthropology | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 25, 2012 by afarensis, FCD
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Authorities in southern Illinois are asking for the public’s help in finding the people who are damaging and may be looting some prehistoric Native American burial mounds.
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says someone last month dug several small holes in a portion of Kincaid Mounds State Historic Site. That’s a 1,000-year-old site in rural Massac and Pope counties.
The agency says the culprits likely were searching for items Native Americans buried with their dead. But it’s unclear if any artifacts or human remains were taken.
The agency says someone recently also drove an all-terrain vehicle or truck on one of the mounds, where ATVs are prohibited.
Anyone with information about the damage is being asked to call the Massac County Sheriff’s Department or the historic preservation agency.
Filed under: Archaeology | 1 Comment »