Laetoli Museum Closer To Reality

Laetoli, for those who don’t know, is the home of hominin footprints that are around 3.6 million years old. The footprints have posed a preservation problem to the paleoanthropology community – something I have written about here and here. Phys.Org has a press release on the subject:

In many ways the museum is the brainchild of Musiba, a Tanzanian-born anthropologist who has been studying the footprints since 1996 and has long championed protecting them while making the collection available to the public. Currently, the footprints are preserved by keeping them buried.
“Right now the footprints are covered up and the only way to study them is to re-excavate them, which could be damaging,” he said. “We would like to excavate half of the site and build the museum over it. We can then control the ambient air, the moisture and pH levels inside to protect the prints.”
Musiba and Lockley will advise Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism on how best to protect the Laetoli Conservation Project. The $35 million project will develop the Laetoli World Heritage Site into a state-of-the-art complex that will include a museum, research facility with labs and accommodation for 35 scientists and an education center that can host 50 students and six teachers.

The new facility is expected to be completed in about five years and will have a laboratory dedicated specifically for students and researchers from CU Denver, the premier public research university in Denver.

Joshua Tree National Park Closures and Social Media: This Sucks!

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.”

Mississippian Era Suburb of Cahokia

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. Continue reading

Another Take on Blair Mountain

I have written several posts on the subject of Blair Mountain. Middle Savagery provides an interesting look at the subject.

I also urge you to support The Friends of Blair Mountain and help prevent this hsitoric area from being strip-mined.

Blair Mountain Update

About a month ago I mentioned that the National Park Service had made a horrible decision to delist Blair Mountain from the National Register of Historic Places. They are now being sued: Continue reading

Shame on the National Park Service: Will Blair Mountain Be Strip-Mined?

The National Park Service has made a horrible decision on Blair Mountain. The mountain was the scene of a battle between coal miners, coal companies and the government. The L. A. Times describes the National Park Service’s horrible decision on Blair Mountain:
Continue reading

Teh Rawk Returns!

Remembr dis and dis? Well, teh Rawk saga continuez! In dis episode basement kittehs ebil minions suffr defeat an has 2 giv teh Rawk back to Kentucky! Continue reading

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