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Tag Archives: prehistory

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.    


Yes, it’s spring. We have to chain up the trucks to get out.

2014-07-04 14.34.46We love April rain and snow, but it’s turned our road into one long mud wallow.  We have to chain up all fours on the trucks to get in and out these days.  And, truly, we hope it continues.  More rain, please, Katchinas!

5,000 year old burials found in India.


Archaeology India 5K oldHarappan, or Indus civilization, arose in Pakistan and northwestern India around 2,500 B.C.  This is a time when the great cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harrappa were urban centers.  They were artists, builders, and writers.  Archaeologists first discovered this civilization in the early 20th century when square stamp seals were found on the banks of the Ravi River in Pakistan.  The writing on the seals was unknown at the time, so in 1920   Sir John Marshall and Rai Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni began excavations.  

Ireland. 1,000 Year old passageway discovered in Caha Mountains

Ireland Caha-Mountains-irelandIreland ancient-passage-at-Bonane IrelandThis Iron Age tunnel was dug through solid rock 1,000 years ago in Ireland.  Called a souterrain, these kinds of structures were ordinarily associated with settlements and served as places of refuge during crises.  http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/1000-year-old-underground-passage-discovered-caha-mountains-ireland-002896


Who Owns America’s Archaeology? The American People? Or the highest bidders?

This is an interesting article for a lot of reasons.  The most important part of the piece comes on page 3: “The United States Senate recently voted 51 to 49 on a nonbonding resolution to sell or give away nearly all federal lands…”  

As a former BLM archaeologist, Kathleen can tell you that the federal government tried to sell public lands in 80s.  It was called “Asset Management.”  It was a money-making scheme then, and probably now.  Every time the government needs money, they think about selling off America.  Should the government be able to sell American cultural properties to the highest bidder?  Do you want China and Saudi Arabia to own one-third of the western U.S.?  Even if they outlaw foreign ownership, how about Monsanto or Exxon?  Although, in our own home state of Wyoming, it would be more like 50%, since half of the state is public lands.  

Want to know why Asset Management was abandoned in the 80s?  After the BLM had spent months surveying and analyzing, trying to comply with all the laws mandated to protect cultural, paleontology, geological and other national resources, the government decided it would cost about three as much to sell the lands as it would get for the lands.  So…unless the government is planning on ignoring its own laws to protect the public lands, this new scheme is going to fail, as well.  

We certainly hope so.  Most of the rare archaeological, historical, and paleontology sites in America–which currently belong to the American people–are not found in national parks or monuments, but outside them on other public lands administered by the BLM, Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and other agencies.  

 Anasazi Utah Cedar Mesa

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