Study of satellite data shows it’s not just ISIS looting Syrian cultural sites

The historic Roman site of Apamea has been looted extensively since the start of the Syrian civil war. Public domain photo via Wikipedia.

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

Staff Report

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

National Parks to stop selling Confederate flag souvenirs and trinkets


Souvenirs featuring the Confederate battle flag won’t be sold in national park stores.

‘Any stand-alone depictions of Confederate flags have no place in park stores …’

Staff Report

FRISCO — The national debate over the Confederate battle flag has spurred the National Park Service to remove souvenirs and other items featuring the flag from national park bookstores and gift shops. Continue reading

Early Spanish fort discovered in North Carolina


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

Study confirms prehistoric cheese-making

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Chunks of Swiss cheese. Photo via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

Researchers analyze fatty acids extracted from pottery found in northern Europe

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with being a choice gourmet item for foodies, cheese has been a staple in many cultures around the world for centuries, as a transportable and digestible dairy product.

New research shows that cheese-making probably pre-dates previous estimates by quite a while. After analyzing fatty acids extracted from unglazed ceramic pottery, scientists say prehistoric people in northern Europe were making cheese as long as 7,000 years ago.

“Before this study, it was not clear that cattle were used for their milk in Northern Europe around 7,000 years ago,” said Mélanie Salque, a PhD student from the University of Bristol and one of the authors of the paper. “However, the presence of the sieves in the ceramic assemblage of the sites was thought to be a proof that milk and even cheese was produced at these sites<” Salque said. “Of course, these sieves could have been used for straining all sorts of things, such as curds from whey, meat from stock or honeycombs from honey. We decided to test the cheese-making hypothesis by analysing the lipids trapped into the ceramic fabric of the sieves,” she said. Continue reading

The mystery of Stonehenge … solved?

Research project yields new clues to origins of megalithic circle

Stonehenge may have been built as monument to the unification of civilization in Britain. Photo courtesy Gareth Wiscombe via Wikipedia and the Creative Common.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A 10-year research project into the origins of Stonehenge has concluded that the famous array of stones was built as a monument to mark the growing unification of culture in Britain at the end of the Stone Age.

The stones may have symbolized the ancestors of different groups of earliest farming communities in Britain, with some stones coming from southern England and others from west Wales.

Previous theories have suggested the great stone circle was used as a prehistoric observatory, a sun temple, a place of healing, or a temple of the ancient druids. But research teams from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth and University College London — collectively called the Stonehenge Riverside Project — rejected those theories after studying not just the stones themselves, but also the wider social and economic context of the monument’s main stages of construction around 3,000 BC and 2,500 BC. Continue reading

Morning photo: Explore the Brooklyn ‘backcountry’

Nation’s first commercial canal now a Superfund site

The end of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, near Butler Street.

Story and photos by Garrett Palm
The Gowanus Canalwas a major shipping hub for most of its existence. Before the dredging was completed in 1869 the canal was a series of tidal inlets into the saltwater marshes of South Brooklyn. Sulfur producers, soap manufacturers, gas plants, paint manufacturers, tanneries, and the first chemical fertilizer manufacturers were some of the industries that used the canal. Continue reading

Journalism: This week in history

From dance bands in Fairplay to the Summit County ‘Navy’

News from yesteryear.

Compiled by Jennifer Brancaccio

*Editor’s note: This week, correspondent Jennifer Brancaccio take a look at hometown tragedy reported by the Colorado Republican, early concert activity in Fairplay, ski-yachting championships on Dillon Reservoir reported by the Ten Mile Times.

Killed by Explosion- Denver man blown to atoms

Colorado Republican, June 1905

Tragedy sometimes hits close to home in small communities. From car accidents, suicides, to recreational accidents, it saddens many to open a newspaper and read headlines about unfortunate events in the community. In June of 1905, the Colorado Republican wrote of a family man who met both an unfortunate and unusual death on the streets near his home.

Merrit B. Walley fell victim to an explosion, believed to have been caused by dynamite or nitroglycerine, near his home in Denver. Nearby, his children, Edna and Raymond, heard the blast streets away; not knowing their father was involved. Walley’s wife, waiting for her husband to return to her sister’s home, heard the explosion as well and both she and her sister ran outside to see a huge cloud of debris and dirt settling.

Police and medical examiner officials were puzzled as to what caused the blast and whether or not it had been an accident or premeditated suicide. Walley never let on to friends or family that he may have had any emotional troubles and was described as a loving family man. Continue reading


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