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Pre-Columbian/Native American History And Archaeology


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#61 Ironhand

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 06:58 AM

I've been wanting to read that. One of my co-workers enjoyed it.

And while it's not a lost city in the jungle, I did discover and delineate three new prehistoric sites along the Suwannee River this week - and unlike Fawcett I made it back alive. B)

Let us know if you write an article. :)
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#62 theagenes

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 12:25 PM

I'll write a report on them of course, but it will be pretty dry. They're not very exciting - just lithic scatters. But braving the savage dangers of rural north Florida and living to tell about it? Now's that's something. :)
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#63 deuce

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:46 PM

An anthropology prof from KU is taking a close look at the "stone spheres" of Costa Rica:


http://www.physorg.c...s188485520.html

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#64 deuce

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 06:06 AM

Personally, I think that Stanford is on to something:

http://www.pbs.org/s...ents/1406-4.htm

IMO, this case (unlike some that posit "Old World" landings as the source for all "New World" culture) demonstrates that the Solutreans brought ONE very cool technological innovation. That doesn't negate the overwhelming agricultural engineering contribution by "New World" peoples from Asia to the whole planet. One that cannot be connected to the Solutreans.

The inhabitants of the Americas had pretty well "terraformed" the two continents by the time Europeans showed up. The inhabitants of the Amazon basin were well on their way to doing so when European (and African) plagues hit the region. Here's an article on "terra preta":

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Terra_preta


It has been calculated that over 50% of all crops for foodstuffs (by tonnage) produced on this planet every year originated in the Americas. Those two continents make up about 25% of the planet's arable land. Corn, yuca, sweet potatoes (NOT "yams") and peanuts in Africa. Potatoes, squash, haricot beans and tomatoes in Europe. Chile peppers, haricot beans and other vegetables in Asia (where cultural and religious tenets present dietary barriers).

In North America, the eastern seaboard was essentially one vast "deer ranch" (Injuns used controlled burning to maximize the habitat). North Americans could harvest a steady supply of meat while never incurring the diseases always associated with animal husbandry in the Old World.

Like I said, I dig the "Solutrean" theory, but American Injuns from Asia definitely made their own contributions to the world. One has to wonder why something as cool as Clovis points were never developed in Europe.

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#65 Kortoso

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 07:20 PM

Hmm, plenty to chew on there, Deuce.

Firstly, I would hesitate to equate slash-and-burn agriculture with "terra-forming", especially given the relatively low density of Pre-columbian agriculuralists compared to that of 15th-century Europe. The Amazon's periodical floods probably had more to contrribute to Terra Preta than humans ever did: just my first impression. Posted Image

"One has to wonder why something as cool as Clovis points were never developed in Europe." - I thought the Clovis point was developed in Europe, by the Solutreans. Perhpas you're surprised it wasn't more widespread in Europe?

There's thought that the sweet potato (not yam) was adopted by Polynesian visitors to the Americas. A voyage of discovery that doesn't make it to most history books. Posted Image

#66 deuce

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 12:14 AM

Hmm, plenty to chew on there, Deuce.

Firstly, I would hesitate to equate slash-and-burn agriculture with "terra-forming"


Terra preta/biochar agriculture isn't "slash and burn". It's a very controlled and sophisticated process which produces some of the finest "artificial soil" possible. I've read tens of thousands of words regarding biochar, its benefits and what archaeologists/scientists have determined so far about its extent and use in pre-Columbian times. Nowhere have I seen a direct correllation made between the Amazon's floodplain and the terra preta deposits. Some estimates place terra preta deposits in the Amazon basin as high as 25%. Right now, in the US, we don't have 25% of our national soil enriched. The general concensus (from what I've read) is that terra preta deposits are the result of a deliberate effort on the part of the pre-Columbian natives to upgrade the soil. Here are some links:

http://brazil.usaid.gov/en/node/850

http://www.drdaymaker.com/bio_char

http://www.sciencedi...b55cd971e2516c4


http://letsgarden.wo...ing-the-planet/


http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/



especially given the relatively low density of Pre-columbian agriculuralists compared to that of 15th-century Europe.


The idea that the Americas were very thinly populated before the arrival of the Spanish has been beaten, bludgeoned and kicked in the 'nads over the last two decades. Accounts of the earliest explorers and archaeological evidence paint a different picture. The Valley of Mexico may have been the most densely populated region on the planet in 1492 (with Amazonia doing none too shabby). Some links:

http://terrapreta.bioenergylists.org/

http://anthropogene....dark-earth.html

Charles C. Mann, in his book, 1491, collated all the research of the last 3 decades regarding the state of the Americas before the European arrival. It has become more and more obvious that the human population here was dense and cultures were thriving and sophisticated before the onset of Old World diseases nearly wiped out many native populations. Some links:

http://cogweb.ucla.e...Population.html

http://www.reviewsofbooks.com/1491/

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/1491_(book)


"One has to wonder why something as cool as Clovis points were never developed in Europe." - I thought the Clovis point was developed in Europe, by the Solutreans. Perhpas you're surprised it wasn't more widespread in Europe?


That was poorly-worded. Solutrean points are not identical to Clovis points, just the closest known (possible) prototypes. What I was driving at is that we don't see anything to match the Clovis points in Europe at any point, really. The finest stone points to be found anywhere are in the Americas. Period.

There's thought that the sweet potato (not yam) was adopted by Polynesian visitors to the Americas. A voyage of discovery that doesn't make it to most history books. Posted Image



Yep. They also appear to have brought the chicken to the Andean littoral.

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#67 deuce

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

Some factoids regarding the "Zuni Enigma":

http://www.science-f...87/sf087a02.htm

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#68 deuce

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Posted 02 January 2011 - 08:09 AM

I just moved back to my home county. Sorting some old mags and found the 7-97 ish of Smithsonian. Turns out this great article about the Old North Trail is online:

http://www.smithsoni...l-abstract.html

I love how it also talks about the more Eastern trails/roads which helped lead Europeans into the interior, but are now paved over.

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#69 Landsknecht

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:26 PM

http://www.scienceda...41118104010.htm

SO now it seems that there was an earlier human culture in America about 37,000 years before Clovis man. We know very little about Clovis man except they used BIG stone spear heads and ate lots of meat and we know a lot less about these pre-Clovis men..... Might as well just say they are REH's characters for now.

As far as Clovis finds go: http://www.scienceda...90225132355.htm

Posted ImagePosted Image

Edited by Landsknecht, 08 January 2011 - 01:01 AM.

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#70 deuce

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:52 PM

The annual vernal equinox tour at the Spiro Archaeological Center is coming up. A couple of links:

http://www.efortsmit...alendarID=14616

http://wn.com/Spiro_mounds

Of course, an Oklahoman Indian mound plays a central role in HPL's The Mound. ;)

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#71 Morrigan

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:41 AM

Just found this snippet on the oldest mining activity in the Americas.....12000 years ago.

http://www.scienceda...10519101231.htm

#72 Morrigan

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 10:50 AM

Mayan hieroglyphic stairways...

http://newswatch.nat...t-maya-history/

#73 Morrigan

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:15 AM

...And exciting news from Teotihuacan..

http://www.dailymail...xican-city.html

#74 Landsknecht

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 12:23 AM

http://www.examiner....-south-carolina

The Spanish found an Irish colony near Charleston, SC c. 1521?

http://www.sacred-te...u/nda/nda29.htm

Edited by Landsknecht, 04 June 2011 - 01:32 AM.

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#75 Landsknecht

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Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:13 PM

Posted Image

It looks like deer could possibly be raised like goats as far as that part of the Irish in South Carolina account goes.
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#76 Mikey_C

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Posted 25 June 2011 - 11:10 AM

Camera uncovers secrets of a Mayan tomb
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#77 theagenes

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 12:19 AM

So I'm still excavating a Swift Creek/Weeden Island village and mound site near Panama City. Yesterday this figurine/adorno head popped up in a feature near a shell midden. It's very unusual to find one of these, especially outside of a funerary context. I thought I'd share it with you guys.
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Posted Image

Edited by theagenes, 05 August 2011 - 12:20 AM.

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#78 Landsknecht

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:26 PM

So I'm still excavating a Swift Creek/Weeden Island village and mound site near Panama City. Yesterday this figurine/adorno head popped up in a feature near a shell midden. It's very unusual to find one of these, especially outside of a funerary context. I thought I'd share it with you guys.
Jeff


Posted Image


What is the estimated age? Can you share more about this mound site near PC?
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#79 theagenes

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:46 PM


So I'm still excavating a Swift Creek/Weeden Island village and mound site near Panama City. Yesterday this figurine/adorno head popped up in a feature near a shell midden. It's very unusual to find one of these, especially outside of a funerary context. I thought I'd share it with you guys.
Jeff


Posted Image


What is the estimated age? Can you share more about this mound site near PC?


Around AD 400 give or take. I don't want to name the site as there are a lot of very sophisticated local looters that know how to use google and know these sites well. Pm me if you're really interested. The mound was excavated by an early archaeologist, CB Moore, about a century ago. The associated village area has never been excavated before our project. We've now got what may be some post holes where a structure was locate as well as a cache of stone tools. Just wrapping up for the week -- it has been friggin hot!
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#80 Taranaich

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 11:04 PM

That's a delicious looking truffle fine looking little head ya got there!

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