News Roundup: September 16, 2011

There was a proverbial cornucopia of exciting headlines in the news this past week, I wish I had more time to jump into some excruciatingly sciencey detail.  The Ardipithicus sediba headlines alone warrant their own post.

The History of Jefferson County podcast begins recording next week.  The museum has graciously permitted me to use their name.  With the big thumbs up come the need for me to write, write, write!  I’d like to have four episodes finished by the end of the year, but with a hectic work schedule, boatloads of research and a family, that may be quite the challenge.  I’m going to make a point to document the process of creating the podcast and provide as much information as I can for those who are looking to produce a similar product.

More information soon.

In the meantime here is a roundup of this week’s excitingly appealing archaeology news:

  • Neanderthals on the Iberian coast were devouring shellfish 150,000 years ago.  Archaeologists have uncovered fossil evidence that pushes the date of shellfish consumption in Europe back 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.
  • Christopher Columbus sailed west, looking for the Indies while Vasco da Gama sailed south and east. Both men made earthchanging discoveries but only one found what he was actually looking for.  This week On Point explores the epic voyages of Vasco Da Gama. 
  • Satellite images have revealed the Middle East’s version of the Nazca lines.  Scientist’s have speculated that the stone “wheel” shaped structures may be the remains of houses or cemeteries, but won’t know for sure until they are excavated.
  • The Discovery Day Event has been added to Facebook.  Make sure you spread the word and invite all you social network friends!
  • And finally, you’ve hopefully all heard by now (or in 2010) about Australopithecus sediba, the exciting hominid fossil some scientists believe may be an immediate ancestor of modern humans.  With the publication of three years of research in this week’s edition of the journal Science, a flood of information and debate has hit the net.  Some scientist are claiming this is a “bonafide transitional species”, others are a bit more skeptical.  NPR has a great interview with Paleoanthropologists Lee Berger and Bernard Wood regarding the find.  Make sure you listen to the complete Science Friday interview as there is a rousing speech about field exploration which I think would fit right into the hearts and minds of all archaeologists.  I know it got me excited.



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