Posted on October 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
The historic Roman site of Apamea has been looted extensively since the start of the Syrian civil war. Public domain photo via Wikipedia.
All factions in civil war involved in destroying world heritage treasures
It’s not just ISIS that’s looting and desecrating important historic cultural sites in Syria — all the factions involved in the devastating conflict have been involved in the destruction of archaeological treasures, according to Dartmouth scholars who used satellite images and other data to catalog the destruction.
As could be expected, the looting is most widespread in areas where centralized authority is the weakest. In regions held by the Kurdish YPG and other opposition forces, more than 26 percent of sites have been looted since the war began. In contrast, 21.4 percent of sites have been looted in ISIS-controlled areas, and only 16.5 percent in Syrian regime areas. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: history, ISIS, looting, Syria, Syrian civil war, world heritage sites | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 5, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Shipwreck areas in Wisconsin and Maryland eyed for protection
NOAA is seeking comments on its proposal to designate two areas in Wisconsin (left) and Maryland (right) as national marine sanctuaries. (Credit: NOAA).
Two historic shipwreck sites could be designated as National Marine Sanctuaries under a proposal outlined by President Barack Obama at an international ocean conference today.
In a press release, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it’s the first time since 2000 that the agency has identified new sites for that designation. NOAA is taking public comment on the proposal. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology, federal government, ocean conservation | Tagged: Lake Michigan, Mallows Bay-Potomac River, national marine sanctuaries, public lands, shipwrecks, Wisconsin | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Salmon may have been a key food source for early North Americans. Photo courtesy USGS.
‘We now know that salmon have been consumed by North American humans at least 11,500 years ago …’
Digging deep into the remains of an ancient kitchen, archaeologists say that early residents of North America likely fished for salmon starting at the end of the last ice age, just as they started colonizing the continent.
The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the earliest known evidence that Ice Age humans in North America used salmon as a food source and shows that those settlers were not just big game hunters. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: Alaska, archaeology, Beringians, salmon fishing | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New study confirms Bering Land Bridge migration theory.
Northern and southern Native American populations diverged between 11,500 and 14,500 years ago …
FRISCO — Scientists say they’re a lot closer to pinpointing how and when the first Native Americans came to the Americas, and how they spread across two continents.
The findings came from a detailed analysis of genetic material from 31 living Native Americans, Siberians and people from around the Pacific Ocean, and the genomes of 23 ancient individuals from North and South America, spanning a time between 200 and 6,000 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: Bering land bridge, Beringia, Native Americans | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
More fracking threatens public health, historic treasures
Historic ruins at Chaco Canyon, Colorado.
FRISCO — Oil and gas drilling in the vicinity of the treasured Chaco Culture National Historical Park poses an imminent risk to irreplaceable resources, conservation groups said as the moved to block the federal government from approving any more permits.
Continued drilling threatens public health, clean air and water, and Navajo communities in the region, the groups said as they called on a federal judge to issue an injunction on oil and gas development in the Greater Chaco region. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology, BLM, climate and weather, public lands | Tagged: Chaco Canyon, Colorado, New Mexico | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 29, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
The Rapanui are famous for building giant stone platforms and statues. Photograph by Natalia Solar.
Findings may require re-evaluation of how the Americas were colonized by humans
FRISCO — Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 Kon-Tiki voyage showed that people could have sailed from South America to the South Pacific islands even without modern instrumentation, and now, a new genetic study shows that it might have been a two way street.
Genomic evidence suggests that people may have been traveling from Easter Island to the Americas long before European explorers arrived at the remote oceanic outpost, and that they had significant contact with Native American populations, as early as 1300 AD.
Along with establishing genetic links, the study suggests that historians and anthropologists might need to take a fresh look at some of their most basic ideas about how humans spread around the globe. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: Easter Island, Kon-Tiki, Rapanui, South America | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
New research in Nepal may help pinpoint origins of Buddhism
FRISCO — A well-known historical site in Nepal may gain even more significance after archeologists found evidence linking the site of the temple with the birth of Buddha in the sixth century B.C.
Most historical records link Buddhism’s origins with the fifth or sixth century B.C. But according to the researchers working at this site, their findings are the first to link the life of Buddha with a specific century.
The excavations were conducted at the sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage site long identified as the birthplace of the Buddha. As the archaeologists dug deeper, they found the remains of a previously unknown sixth-century B.C. timber structure under a series of brick temples. Laid out on the same design as those above it, the timber structure contains an open space in the center that links to the nativity story of the Buddha himself. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: Buddha, Buddhism, Lumbini | Leave a comment »