Monday, July 23, 2012

Hot Links

Archaeologist Lynn Gamble of the University of California - Santa Barbara has found traces of the historic Chumash village named Syuxtun located in what is now downtown Santa Barbara. That's a picture of Lynn holding a whale vertebra recovered from the site. I was just looking up Syuxtun in the Handbook of North American Indians, and in 1769 when Gaspar de Portola visited he reported it had a population of 600, consisted of about 40 houses, and that the canoe chiefs had 10 tomol canoes based there. Interesting finds but bad news for developers.

The NY Times has a very interesting interview with paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer with lots of good information on recent developments in the study of human origins.

 Big finds in the archaeology of clothing - archaeologists have found 600 year-old brassieres in Austria.

 A study of the evolution of dogs tells us why they love chewing bones.

A team of forensic cadaver dogs has been deployed to look for human cremations and burials near a proposed wind farm in Imperial County, California. They are finding quite a few, which isn't surprising: I ran an inventory less than 5 miles east of this location a few years ago and we found just under 30 cremations (without the use of dogs). I've seen demonstrations of these dogs at work and it is the real thing. We recently used a team to relocate a lost historic cemetery so our client could avoid it with his transmission line.

The title of this article pretty much says it all: Cult Busted for Eating Sorcerers: New Guinea group thought witch doctors were charging too much.

A study of tree-ring data from northern Europe shows that temperatures during Medievel times were warmer than they are today. Climate scientists and archaeologists usually refer to this as the Medievel Climatic Anomaly (or MCA) and it is believed to have been a contributor to all sorts of events seen in the archaeological record - among them the Anasazi abandonment of the northern Southwest. This paper is a reassertion of what was accepted science up until about 10 years ago.

This article discusses an approach to a problem I'd never really considered before: the growing burden of knowledge. As the article says:

"If knowledge accumulates as technology advances, then successive generations of innovators may face an increasing educational burden. Innovators can compensate through lengthening educational phases and narrowing expertise, but these responses come at the cost of reducing individual innovative capacities, with implications for the organization of innovative activity-a greater reliance on teamwork-and negative implications for growth."

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