Archaeology News Update for 1 February 2009

Each sunday we’ll compile the best news on the net and post the stories here for your eyes.

The first one comes from Scientific American:

By Land and by Sea: New evidence of at least two early migration routes into the Americas

There’s new evidence that the first inhabitants of North America might have arrived by both land and sea. Researchers analyzed the genetic material of modern indigenous people from North and South America to trace two rare lines back to the continents’ first inhabitants. The study, published in Current Biology, provides the first genetic evidence that the ancestors of many living Native Americans took two distinct routes from Beringia (a region that included the now-submerged Bering land bridge as well as portions of Siberia and Alaska) some 15,000 to 17,000 years ago. 

The new findings fly in the face of the prevailing genetic theory that just one wave of migration traveled down the ice-free Pacific coast from Beringia.  Read more…

Next comes a bit of Maritime Archaeology that is fresh off the boat, so to speak:

Wreck Of Renowned British Warship Found In Channel

Deep-sea explorers who found $500 million in sunken treasure two years ago say they have discovered another prized shipwreck: A legendary British man-of-war that sank in the English Channel 264 years ago.

Shipwreck Discovery

The wreckage of the HMS Victory, found below about 330 feet of water, may carry an even bigger jackpot. Research indicates the ship was carrying 4 tons of gold coins when it sank in storm, said Greg Stemm, co-founder of Odyssey Marine Exploration, ahead of a Monday news conference in London.  Read more…

And finally:

Competition tighter than ever as researchers unearth more of China’s ancient past

‘We are undergoing a golden age … that has lasted from the late 1980s until today’

In the remote village of Yangshe on the banks of the Yellow River, Chinese archaeologists are little by little bringing an ancient culture back to life after nearly 3,000 years. The vast cemetery they are excavating belonged to the rulers of the Jin state, which is finally emerging in all its remarkable diversity in what is now northern China’s Shanxi Province. It is a discovery that in most countries would excite the entire scholarly community, but in China it is just one in a string of startling finds.  Read more…

That’s all for now.  If anything breaks during the week, you’ll see it here.  Otherwise, more news next Sunday!

Got a hot tip?  Workign on something sexy cool in the world of archaeology and want to tell the world?  Contact and tell us what you’ve got!


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