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 »
Posted on October 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
The bone-dry Sahara region of Africa may have once supported three major river systems. Image courtesy NASA/Blue Marble.
Study sheds new light on ancestral human movement patterns leading to colonization of the Mediterranean region
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Scientists have long speculated that humans migrated across the Sahara region of Africa to populate the Mediterranean region, but the exact movement corridor has remained a mystery.
A new study, led by researchers with the University of Hull, shows there may have been three ancient river systems that created a viable route about 100,000 years ago. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology, climate and weather | Tagged: archaeology, human migration, Mediterranean Basin, paleoclimate, Sahara | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 30, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Research in the southern French Alps show signs of human activity at higher elevations going back 8.000 years.
New study finds signs of human activity at high elevations going back 8,000 years
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — The high Alps of Europe may have been settled quite a bit earlier than believed, according to new research by French and British archaeologists. The 14-year study in the Parc National des Écrins in the southern Alps is one of the most detailed archaeological investigations carried out at high altitudes.
The work included the excavation of a series of stone animal enclosures and human dwellings considered some of most complex high altitude Bronze Age structures found anywhere in the Alps. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: Alps, archaeology, Bronze Age | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 7, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
The Faroe Islands were settled by unknown peoples well before the Viking era of exploration in the North Atlantic.
‘We don’t yet know who these people were or where they came from … ‘
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — New archaeological research shows that the Faroe Islands, about halfway between Norway and Denmark in the North Atlantic, were colonized much earlier than previously believed — and not by the Vikings.
Based on traces of ashes and grains found in excavations, human colonization of the islands occurred in the 4th to 6th centuries AD, at least 300-500 years earlier than previously demonstrated and well before waves of Vikings started sailing widely in the region.
The study raises intriguing new questions about the dispersal of northern European peoples across the Atlantic. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: archaeology, Faroe Islands, North Atlantic, Vikings | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 20, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A CU-Boulder led study helped pinpoint the age of petroglyphs carved into these Nevada boulders. Photo courtesy CU-Boulder.
Meaning of Nevada petroglyphs remain a mystery
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Stone Age North American cave dwellers may have been preoccupied with finding food most of the time, but they still found the time to leave their mark by carving mysterious symbols into prominent boulders.
Now, a University of Colorado Boulder researcher believes he’s discovered the oldest known petroglyphs in the country.
The carvings on a boulder in western Nevada date to at least 10,500 years ago and perhaps even as far back as 14,800 years ago, according to CU-Boulder researcher Larry Benson. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: archaeology, CU Boulder, Nevada, petroglyphs, rock art | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 31, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
At its peak, Spanish colonization stretched the length and breadth of the Americas.
Short-lived settlement offers clues to early colonial history
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — More than a generation before the English established the Jamestown colony in what is now Virginia, early Spanish explorers were roaming the southeastern U.S. and establishing forts as far north as the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
University of Michigan archaeologists recently discovered the remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of the United States, providing new insight into the early colonial era. The site is located near Morganton in western North Carolina, nearly 300 miles from the Atlantic Coast. Continue reading
Filed under: Archaeology | Tagged: American colonial period, history, Joara, Juan Pardo, Native Americans, Spanish exploration of north america, University of Michigan | Leave a comment »