News Roundup: September 5, 2011

Wow, a lot of positive reponses on last week’s news roundup.  Thanks to everyone who visited the site and/or shared their opinion.  I think I’ll be sticking with this method for posting a bit longer.  I should have news on the podcast by next week.

  • Can you lend a bit of insight into interpreting this grave stone marker located at Fort Drum, NY?  Archaeologist Mike Sprowles came upon an odd epitaph that contains numerous font types and backward letters.  Theories welcome!
  • Scientists working on the Tibetan Plateau have discovered the remains of a woolly rhinocerous.  The horned and hairy behemouth roamed the landscape 3.5 million years ago.  Researchers believe that this area may have played host to a variety of Ice Age associated animals that spread out when the planet slipped into its Glacial Age.
  • In an informative video now available online, geneticist Svante Pääbo shows the DNA proof that early humans mated with Neanderthals after movingd out of Africa.  Pääbo explores human genetic evolution by analyzing DNA extracted from ancient sources, including mummies, an Ice Age hunter and the bone fragments of Neanderthals.  Definitely worth watching.
  • Arctic explorers hoping to find Sir John Franklin’s long-lost ships neared the end their search for the season, with no shipwreck in sight.  It appears HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, two of the most sought-after wrecks in Canada, will remain undiscovered for now.
  • The discovery of a few stone axes in Kenya may push back the date of tool use by approximately 300,000 years.  The find also seems to shed light on Homo habilus and Homo erectus and the possibility that these two hominin species coexisted.
  • Archaeologists and historians fearing a repeat of what happened in Baghdad in 2003 and in Cairo during January 2011, were relieved to hear reports from Libyan officials that the country’s historical treasures are safe.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts on the site by sending an email to sexyarchaeology(at)gmail(dot)com.

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