Sexy News from the World of Archaeology for 23 July 2009

Hope you all enjoyed last night’s episode of Time Team America as much as we did.  Sure it rained a lot, but you can’t knock them for trying their damnedest to get the job done!  And congratulations to everyone still working at the town site which was designated a National Historic Landmark in January 2009!

Here’s what’s happening this week in the world of Sexy Archaeology!

“Give it back,” says the court.

“Not so fast,” says Odyssey Marine Exploration.

The deep-sea explorers, Odyssey Marine Exploration, filed an objection Tuesday to a Florida judge’s recommendation that they give 17 tons of shipwreck treasure back to Spain.

The ship in question is a 200 year old Spanish galleon that carried thousands of silver coins and other artifacts estimated to be worth, get this… FIVE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS!  The ship is believed to be the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes y las Animas (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue), which was destroyed in battle and sank in the Atlantic Ocean west of Portugal in 1804, claiming the lives of 200 people.  Link.

You all watched Time Team America’s Topper, South Carolina episode last week, right?  Well if you didn’t you can still catch it at the PBS Digital Portal.  However, if you did, then this next bit of news is right up your alley.


A team of sexy scientists may have found the smoking gun of a much-debated proposal that a cosmic impact dating around 12,900 years ago ripped through North America and drove multiple species into extinction.  The smoking gun?  Shock-synthesized hexagonal diamonds.  These diamond clusters were buried below four meters of sediment. They date to the end of Clovis — a Paleoindian culture long thought to be North America’s first human inhabitants.  The diamonds were found in association with soot, which forms in extremely hot fires, and they suggest associated regional wildfires, based on nearby environmental records.  Such soot and diamonds are rare in the geological record. They were found in sediment dating to massive asteroid impacts 65 million years ago in a layer widely known as the K-T Boundary and are now strong evidence for a Clovis impact.  Follow the link to read the full report.  Link.

As sexy archaeologists, we’ve all found ourselves in the aftermath of one epic party or another.  Whether that party be in the field while the crew chief is away or at the local bar or club celebrating a great find.  Here’s a party that is still waiting the cleanup…

The Peruvian blowout end 4,000 years ago, but the evidence of this epic kegger at the Fox Temple still remain in the gourds and squashes that served as dishware.  University of Missouri researchers have studied the residues from gourds and squash artifacts that date back to 2200 B.C. and recovered starch grains from manioc, potato, chili pepper, arrowroot and algarrobo. The starches provide clues about the foods consumed at feasts and document the earliest evidence of the consumption of algarrobo and arrowroot in Peru.  Link.

It’s a case of prehistoric consibrincide.  We don’t actually know if that’s the right term, but we are referring to when one cousin kills another.  Better read the rest to get what we are saying…

Steven Churchill, an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke, has determined that the wound that ultimately killed a Neanderthal man between 50,000 and 75,000 years was most likely caused by a thrown spear, the kind modern humans used but Neanderthals did not.

“We think the best explanation for this injury is a projectile weapon, and given who had those and who didn’t that implies at least one act of inter-species aggression,” Churchill said.  Link.

That’s all for now!

Got a hot tip?  Working on something sexy cool in the world of archaeology and want to tell the world?  Contact and tell us what you’ve got!  Until next time, stay sexy!

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