Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W Michael Gear

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Agatha Christie is so fascinating…

Agatha ChristieShe filled our young lives with such pleasurable murders!


The destruction of cultural treasures during war is, tragically, the legacy of humanity.

India Buddhist cave

Destroying what your enemy holds dear is the legacy of humanity.  Think of the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, the ancient manuscripts in the libraries of Timbuktu, the destruction of Iroquoian wampum belts, Taliban’s blowing up of the magnificent Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001.  And, of course, ISIS’ destruction of archaeological sites in Iraq and Syria.   The reasons for destroying your enemy’s cherished cultural sites and artifacts are varied, but for the most part such acts center around tearing out the heart of the people.   


Selling concentration camp artifacts…


In this photo, you are looking at the guard tower at Manzanar, the Japanese Relocation Camp in California.

When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans to be incarcerated in camps in their own country, they lost everything:  Their homes, their possessions, their identity as Americans.  They became exiles in their own country.  Kathy had a professor whose family had been incarcerated at Manazar in California.  His tales of what it was like as a boy growing up in that camp were heartbreaking.    It’s difficult for us to understand how anyone can sell artifacts stolen from any archaeological or historical site…but selling artifacts from sites like this is especially troubling.  

If you had the chance to buy Hitler’s hat, would you?  Would you buy an artifact stolen from Auschwitz?    Why or why not?


It’s finally here! Today!

Vikings-in-North-AmericaViking explorers were not aimlessly sailing out across the arctic ocean.  They had fabulous stories of a distant paradise in the West…  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vikings-in-north-america-kathleen-oneal-gear/1121191518?ean=9781466892477

Elephants, aurochs and gazelles hunted 500,000 years ago.

Israel Revadim-Toolshttp://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/science-stone-tools-butchered-elephant-bones-revadim-israel-02620.html

The now extinct animals that were hunted at the Ravidim site in Israel came from a culture archaeologists call Acheulian, and are famous for their hand axes–a prehistoric Swiss Army knife that could perform many tasks.  Would have loved to have seen a Straight-tusk elephant, but species change over time.  To adapt to environmental stresses like climate change, species hybridize, pulling the genes they need to survive from other species. This may be happening today with bison and cattle.  As the climate warms, bison seem to be selecting for certain cattle genes.  There is some evidence to suggest this natural selection favors smaller bison, which probably would be adaptive in a warmer world.  Smaller bison would consume less resources and have a greater chance of survival when the grasses they need to survive get scarce.  Such a diminution of bison size occurred at the end of Pleistocene Ice Age, as well.  Of course, we won’t know if the cattle genes in bison helped them 2014-06-22 15.30.37adapt to a changing climate for around 10,000 years.    


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