Speaking of great new archaeological discoveries… http://westerndigs.org/10000-year-old-stone-tool-site-discovered-in-suburban-seattle/
In the 1970s a French archaeologist made a dramatic new discovery in a cave in Brazil: the 12,000 year old remains of a woman, about twenty, with very different physical characteristics from other peoples in the Americas at the time. After careful study, a number of archaeologists speculated that she was Australoid or even African, which sparked a debate that has yet to end. How did she get here? Certainly not across the Bering Strait land bridge or remains from her population would have been found in North America. Across the ocean? Well, that would imply extraordinary watercraft skills. 12,000 years ago? Really?!
While archaeologists are still debating Luzia, recent studies have re-dated her remains to a maximum of around 11,700 years ago.
She is still an archaeological rarity, and one of the most fascinating sites in the Americas.
Read more about it: https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/16253
It’s not like this is a new discussion in archaeology. Archaeologists have been debating this question for almost a century. The evidence is strong that megafauna extinctions were caused by a mixture of climate change and human hunting, and that human hunters were here on the continent long before the famed Clovis culture arrived. There are four verifiable pre-Clovis mammoth and mastodon sites in North America now: The Schaefer and Hebior sites in Wisconsin, the Manis site in Washington, and the Page-Ladson site in Colorado. As well, there are several tantalizing sites that seem to date back more than 40,000 years.
But who were the hunters who came before Clovis? Ah…that’s a good question.
You might want to read: www.pas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1420650112
It’s such a pretty day here. We swear the Chugwater sandstone glows in spring sunlight. The red color comes from its high iron content. This particular sandstone dates to around 200 million years ago, right after the Permian extinctions (@250 million years ago) when 90% of all life on earth died. The Chugwater tells geologists that Mother Earth was working hard to renew herself.
Ever wondered what Viking houses looked like? Well, construction techniques depended upon the time period and geographical location. This was a typical Viking house in Europe around AD 1,200. However, Viking houses in North America around AD 1,000 looked like the one below found at the L’Anse aux Meadows site in Newfoundland. L’Anse aux Meadows is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a delightful site to visit, by the way. In the summer, they have living history programs that are just fabulous.
We are really looking forward to hearing Mike Blakely play music tonight in #Thermopolis, Wyoming. He is so multi-talented–award-winning writer and award-winning songwriter–we can’t wait. Good excuse, too, for a Friday night on the town before the concert starts!
At first glance this prehistoric petroglyph, rock carving, might look like eyes. When you get close, however, you can tell that it’s actually buffalo hoof prints. Above the prints are four carefully ground dots. You can see two in this photo. These are found about a five minute walk from our front door in a box canyon. What do they mean? Well, we wish we knew. We suspect they are from the Late Prehistoric Period, which means made within the last 1,000 years. Interestingly, this is the one side canyon on the ranch where prehistoric peoples could have trapped buffalo. Is that what the petroglyph documents? “We trapped buffalo in this canyon four times.” No one will ever know, but the petroglyph is a constant reminder that buffalo have been here a long time, and native peoples used them to feed their families.
Thanks to Mike and Annie Blakely for taking this great shot. Ours aren’t nearly as good!
We have one wild turkey–we’ve named him Freddy–who stands by the backdoor waiting for us to come out to walk the dogs so he can join us on our walks, gobbling. He’s also started pecking at the door to ask that we toss him a cup of sunflower seeds. We have not trained him to do these things. Clearly, Freddy has trained us.
Which is a little unnerving.
For those planning to read THE DEAD MAN’S DOLL, you can now read a free excerpt at:
This e-short story is a prequel to our book coming out in May, PEOPLE OF THE SONGTRAIL about Viking exploration of North America around 1,000 years ago. Hope you enjoy it!
It’s a warm sunny day here. We only have a few patches of snow still lingering in the shadows of the cliff ledges. Pretty.
In the wonderful book, Visit With Respect, Tessie Naranjo from Santa Clara Pueblo, says: “Whenever I come to old Pueblo sites it is the beginning of emotions swelling up. About people, my people, my ancestors who used to live here. And connections with them. There is no past; there is no present. There isn’t a divide there. That’s why when we are here, we can greet the people who are here, who have not been here for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s as if they are here right now and we can talk to them.”
One of the reasons it’s important to protect and preserve archaeological sites is to allow the public to experience that timeless moment that Tessie Naranjo speaks about so eloquently. In that eternal now it is possible, we believe, to transcend the barriers of time and touch the peoples who lived in America long, long ago.