Bookmarked How Do Archaeologists Know Where to Dig? (daily.jstor.org)

National Geographic magazines and Indiana Jones movies might have you picturing archaeologists excavating near Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and Machu Picchu. And some of us do work at these famous places.

Gabriel D. Wrobel and Stacey Camp talk about how there are archeological sites everywhere, sometimes it is about learning how to see or tapping local knowledge of place, while other times it involves using technology to capture that which is hidden to the human eye.

Finding that evidence can be as simple as strolling past clearly distinguishable ruins – ah, there are some broken pots or carved stones right over there. It can be as complex as using lasers, satellite imagery and other new geophysical techniques to reveal long-lost structures. The right skills and tools are helping researchers locate traces from the past that would have been overlooked even a few decades ago.

Listened The opal fossils that changed a miner’s life and introduced a new species from Australia’s deep past by Michael Dulaney from ABC News

Opal dealer Mike Poben nearly got rid of the 100-million-year-old fossils found in a bag of rough dirt — but his decision to keep them changed his life, and our view of Australia’s deep past.

A fascinating story about the discovery of the Weewarrasaurus pobeni.
Bookmarked People may have lived in North America by 30,000 years ago (arstechnica.com)

As is usually the case in archaeology, the finds at Chiquihuite Cave provide as many questions as answers, and archaeologists need more evidence to tackle them. Even if we accept the existence of pre-Clovis cultures, are the dates definitive enough to indicate people had been in the Americas that much earlier? Where did the people of Chiquihuite come from, what route did their ancestors follow to northern Mexico, and how are they related to other pre-Clovis people in North America?

Those questions join a long list of others. Archaeologists are still trying to piece together exactly how the cultures at pre-Clovis sites, like Cooper’s Ferry in Idaho and the Gault Site in Texas, are related to the cultures like Clovis, Western Stemmed, and Beringian that emerged around 14,000 years ago. They’re also trying to understand the genetic relationships between the people who made those tools. “In light of these new discoveries, archaeological research into this period should intensify,” wrote Gruhn.

Kiona Smith discusses the discoveries by archaeologists of human remnants in Mexico from 30000. Like the discovery of a homo erectus cranium in South Africa, this throws up a lot of questions and debates.
Replied to Indiana Bones, the Melbourne archaeology students and the fossil ‘jigsaw puzzle’ that wowed the world (The Age)

After painstakingly gluing together more than 100 fossil fragments, Angeline Leece and Jesse Martin stood back and gazed in awe. What they saw would rewrite humanity’s family tree.

The length in time associated with discoveries and the associated research makes has me wonder about the challenge of the move away from tenure and how universities maintain such work.
Bookmarked How did the last Neanderthals live? (bbc.com)

In many ways, the last surviving Neanderthals are a mystery. But four caves in Gibraltar have given an unprecedented insight into what their lives might have been like.

It is interesting to read Melissa Hogenboom’s discussion of Neanderthals along side Peter Brannen’s reflection on the history of the earth.
Liked Bronze age meals in the marshes – seasoned with parasitic worms (the Guardian)

“This is really interesting for us. It’s one of the very few chances we’ve had to look for evidence of parasitic infection in the bronze age,” said Marissa Ledger, a biological anthropologist on the Cambridge team. “It’s possible that a lot of these eggs were passing through the system, but a lot of people would have been infected. In a single coprolite we’re finding eggs from multiple different species.”

Liked The bones that could shape Antarctica’s fate by Martha Henriques (bbc.com)

Archaeological discoveries can also boost political support for a case back home. “When remains or objects are found in the ice, I could see straight away it would inflate territorial nationalism,” says Dodds. “Archaeology has always been really important for national politics.”

Other events, such as historic shipwrecks, could play a similar role as the Yamana skull. In 1819, the Spanish frigate San Telmo was wrecked in the Drake Passage, which separates the tip of Chile from the Antarctic Peninsula. Archaeologists have searched the Antarctic islands for signs of whether any crew made it alive to the shore.