Posted on March 11, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Analysis of Siberian tooth suggests earlier domestication outside the Middle East
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — After analyzing the DNA from a fossilized dog tooth in southern Siberia, scientists say the tooth belonged to one of the oldest known ancestors of the modern dog, dating back about 33,000 years.
Scientists know that the domestication of dogs predates the beginning of the agricultural er about 10,000 years ago, and they’ve gradually come closer determining when dogs branched off from the wolves they’re descended from.
The new fossil find suggests a more ancient history of dogs outside the Middle East or East Asia, previously thought to be the centers where dogs originated. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: Altai Mountain, archeology, evolution of dogs | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 31, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Through the seasons
Springtime in the Rockies.
FRISCO —With 2012 all but over, it’s time to cull the archives one more time, get rid of images that are just cluttering up the hard drive, and posting a few others that tell the story of Summit County. It’s not easy picking out the “best” images based on technical or artistic criteria, so I just picked some the images that evoked the strongest emotional response as I scrolled through the files
Many of the images in Summit Voice photo essays are available in our Fine Art America online gallery, and there’s also Summit County gallery at our ImageKind website. You can also order images by contacting me directly at email@example.com. It’s a great way to support independent online journalism! (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Colorado, Morning photo, photography, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Bob Berwyn, Colorado Summit County Colorado, Summit County photography | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 29, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Tribes say more meaningful collaboration needed
A decision by the U.S. Forest Service to allow snowmaking with reclaimed water at the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area soured the agency’s relationship with Native Americans
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With more than 3,000 miles of contiguous border with American Indian and Alaska Native-owned lands, the U.S. Forest Service wants to work more closely with tribal governments in the protection, respectful interpretation and appropriate access to Indian sacred sites.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary John Vilsack this month released a new report recommending that the agency should take steps to strengthen the partnerships between the agency, tribal governments, and American Indian and Alaska Native communities to help preserve America’s rich native traditions.
According to the report, many tribes have historically managed their forests well and in ways the Forest Service hopes to emulate: “Tribal land management is a testament to the Tribal land ethic, an ethic rooted in traditions, stories, and cultures. Sacred sites … are important facets of that land ethic and a common bond between us,” the report states. The report and related documents are online at this Forest Service website. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, public lands, US Forest Service | Tagged: Native Americans, Native Americans in the United States, public lands, sacred sites, San Francisco Peaks, U.S. Forest Service | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 26, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
The Olduvai Gorge in a NASA satellite image.
Rapid climate shifts may have spurred evolutionary leaps in Africa
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Early human evolution may have been accelerated by a series of rapid environmental changes about two million years ago, as fluctuating precipitation patterns forced early hominids to adapt to changes in food availability.
“The landscape early humans were inhabiting transitioned rapidly back and forth between a closed woodland and an open grassland about five to six times during a period of 200,000 years,” said Clayton Magill, graduate student in geosciences at Penn State. “These changes happened very abruptly, with each transition occurring over hundreds to just a few thousand years.”
The current leading hypothesis suggests that evolutionary changes among humans during the period the team investigated were related to a long, steady environmental change or even one big change in climate, According to Katherine Freeman, professor of geosciences, Penn State. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, climate and weather, Environment | Tagged: anthropology, climate, evolution, Human evolution, Olduvai Gorge | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 10, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Extreme weather likely disrupted advanced Central American civilization
The Altun Ha Maya site, near Belize City. Bob Berwyn photo.
Researchers used a stalactite from a cave to help establish an accurate climate record. Bob Berwyn photo.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Archaeologists and paleoclimatologists have teamed to offer more proof that climate extremes likely caused the collapse on the ancient Maya civilization of Central America.
The Maya demise has long fascinated researchers, who wonder how a civilization that seemed to be at its peak simply vanished within the span of a few decades. Numerous studies have pointed to climate as a factor — even in the Earth’s pre-industrial era, natural cycles of rainfall and drought apparently had an impact.
“Here you had an amazing state-level society that had created calendars, magnificent architecture, works of art, and was engaged in trade throughout Central America,” said UC Davis anthropology professor and co-author Bruce Winterhalder. “They were incredible craftspersons, proficient in agriculture, statesmanship and warfare — and within about 80 years, it fell completely apart.” (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, climate and weather, global warming | Tagged: Central America, climate change, Maya, Maya script, UC Davis | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 14, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Spanish archaeologists pinpoint a memorial erected by Augustus Caesar
Spanish researchers find memorial at the Curia of Pompey erected by Augustus Caesar.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Rome has always been a nexus of history, art, culture and politics, and now, Spanish researchers they’ve confirmed the exact location where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death on the Ides of March in 44 BC.
A concrete structure of three meters wide and more than two meters high, placed by order of Augustus (adoptive son and successor of Julius Caesar) to condemn the assassination of his father, was the key for the scientists.
“We always knew that Julius Caesar was killed in the Curia of Pompey on March 15th 44 BC because the classical texts pass on so, but so far no material evidence of this fact, so often depicted in historicist painting and cinema, had been recovered,” said Antonio Monterroso, CSIC researcher from the Institute of History of the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Europe, Travel | Tagged: archaeology, Augustus, Julius Caesar, Rome, Spanish National Research Council, Teatro Argentina | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 18, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Spiffy new visitor center helps draw tourists
Dinosaur National Monument visitor center. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
Dinosaur National Monument is well-known for its trove of fossils, but also features an impressive array of indigenous rock art. Photo courtesy National Park Service.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A new $13 million visitor center at Dinosaur National Monument has turned out to be a big attraction in northwest Colorado. The monument reported a huge surge in visitation in the first half 2012, up 47 percent from the previous year.
Recreational visits to the monument for the month of June alone totaled 44,847.
“While there is no way to predict what the monument’s visitation may be in the future, having the dinosaur quarry open to visitors again definitely increases the monument’s draw,” said monument superindentent Mary Risser. “Despite gas prices, the economy, above normal temperatures, and fires in many western states, people are still traveling and coming to the monument. Uintah County Travel and Tourism based in Vernal, Utah and Moffat County Tourism in Craig, Colorado have both been wonderful partners in helping spread the word about the monument and letting people know that the dinosaur quarry is open again.” (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Colorado, Travel | Tagged: Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Moffat County Colorado, national parks | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 13, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Ancient earthworks helped ensure sustainable management of resources in challenging environment
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Archaeologists have long known that the Maya were sophisticated engineers, but new excavations at Tikal, Guatemala show the amazing extent to which they were able to manipulate the environment to their advantage, including construction of 260-foot dam that stored up to 20 million gallons of water.
That dam – constructed from cut stone, rubble and earth – stood about 33 feet high and held about 20 million gallons of water in a man-made reservoir.
The research, conducted by a multi-university team led by the University of Cincinnati, helps explain how the Maya conserved and used their natural resources to support a populous, highly complex society for over 1,500 years despite environmental challenges, including periodic drought. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Uncategorized | Tagged: Guatemala, largest Maya Dam, Maya culture, Maya engineering, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Tikal, Tikal Maya, University of Cincinnati | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 12, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
Chimney Rock, Colorado.
New study shows designation could significant economic benefits for the region
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Despite early bipartisan support, a bill to designate southwest Colorado’s Chimney Rock as a national monument appears to be stuck in pre-election political gridlock.
Chimney Rock, between Pagosa Springs and Durango, likely was an important settlement and spiritual site in the Chacoan culture.
With local community support for the designation, as well a new report showing the economic benefits of the designation, Democratic Colorado senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, along with Republican Representative Scott Tipton, are asking President Obama to make the designation under the Antiquities Act. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Colorado, Travel | Tagged: Antiquities Act, archaeology, Barack Obama, Chacoan culture, Chimney Rock, Mark Udall, Michael Bennet, National Trust for Historic Preservation, San Juan National Forest, Southwest Colorado, Travel | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 9, 2012 by Bob Berwyn
26 new sites inscribed in this year’s voting
The Lakes of Ounianga, in Chad, have been designated as a World Heritage site. Satellite photo courtesy NASA.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — If you ever wondered what Xanadu, the western Ghats of India and the birthplace of Jesus have in common, think about it this way: All three are part of Earth’s shared natural and cultural heritage.
Last week, UNESCO recognized the gobal significance of all three sites, inscribing them on to the ever-growing list of world heritage sites along with 23 other locations around the world. The annual June voting helps spotlight renowned archaeological sites, natural wonders and historic treasures, often boosting preservation efforts and fostering local initiatives to increase sustainable tourism.
Colorado’s only world heritage site so far is Mesa Verde. Others in the U.S. include Redwoods National Park, Carlsbad Caverns, the Everglades and the Grand Canyon. No new U.S. sites were added this year, but the San Antonio missions were nominated and could be added to the list in the next few years, representing the important Spanish influence in the settlement of North America. Learn more about World Heritage sites in the U.S. at this National Park Service website. (more…)
Filed under: Archaeology, Environment, Travel, world news | Tagged: birthplace of Jesus, Kublai Khan, Lakes of Ounianga, UNESCO, western ghats India, World Heritage Site, Xanadu | Leave a Comment »