Current topics in archaeology, cultural heritage & historic preservation

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Archaeology Presentations, Rock Art Guide, Old Teeth, & A Third Branch of Humanity

OAS MEETING - TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2011 - Revisiting the Meier Site

Dr. Kenneth Ames is the featured speaker at the January 4, 2011 Oregon Archaeological Society meeting. He will be talking about the Meier Site and Lower Columbia River archaeology.

The Meier Site, located near Scappoose, Oregon, is one of the most significant sites on the Lower Columbia River. It was excavated between 1987 and 1991. The site dates to the period from about AD 1400 to at least through the founding of Ft. Vancouver, in the 1830s and beyond. The Meier site revealed major residential habitation with a massive plankhouse. The talk reviews the results of analyses of thousands of artifacts, focusing on the Meier site, while also discussing other sites along the river.

Dr. Ames is Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology at Portland State University. He has conducted numerous archaeological field research in western North America and has authored numerous publications and reports.

The lecture will be held in the OMSI auditorium at 7:45 PM, and is free and open to the public. The presentation is preceded at 7 PM by a general business meeting, which is also open to the public. See or call 503-727-3507 for information.

Are you looking to learn more about archaeology basics, or do you need a refresher on the history of the Pacific Northwest? The Oregon Archaeological Society offers an annual Training program.

OAS Basic Training, also known as Archaeology for the Curious, is taught by experienced regional professionals from organizations such as the National Forest Service, BLM, and the University of Oregon. The sessions will be held on six Saturdays in late Winter/early Spring.

Contact Steve Satterthwaite (503) 824-2264 or visit

Oregon avocational archaeologists D. Russel Micnhimer and LeeAnn Johnston announce the publication of their new guide book, Where to See Rock Art: Washington Oregon Idaho by Pendulum Press.

It contains general information about various aspects of rock art and specific information about where rock art can be seen in museums, visitor centers, state parks and public lands in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Photographs, line drawings and a brief description give readers an idea of what they will find at 39 locations in the three states.
The table of contents make it easy to access the information in this 147 page paperback.

The authors are members of the Oregon Archaeological Society and have received numerous Loring & Loring Grants from the organization in support of their on going research and website

The new book is available directly from Russel Micnhimer, P. O. Box 1653, Prineville, OR 97754. $14.95 + $4.00 S&H (USPS). For more information email

(I've read Russel and LeeAnn's new book and its a great guide for anyone who wants to visit the very interesting public rock art sites of the Pacific Northwest...Mike)

Author Jack Nisbet will talk about "Point of Departure: David Douglas at Fort Vancouver 1825-33" at 2 p.m. Jan. 9 at E.B. Hamilton Hall on the Fort Vancouver National Site. Nisbet will also give a reading from his book "The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest" at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at Powell's bookstore in downtown Portland.

Douglas was the premier botanical explorer in the Pacific Northwest and western North America in the 19th century. His base of operations always remained at Fort Vancouver. The people he met there influenced his every move, and the changes he witnessed during his visits mark significant turning points for the social, economic, scientific, and environmental stories of the region. In this illustrated presentation at Fort Vancouver, Nisbet traces the energy Douglas brought to, and absorbed from, his central headquarters at Fort Vancouver. Nisbet is this year's Michael M. Powell Fellow at the Center for Columbia River History.

For program information, go to

By News Services-October 29, 2010

A technique for shaping stones into sharp-edged points may have emerged about 55,000 years earlier than previously known, according to a study of stone tools from Blombos Cave in South Africa. Previously, researchers have also found other evidence of “modern” human behavior, such as shell beads, from this 75,000-year-old site, where new ideas and techniques may have been rapidly introduced...

Read the whole story at:


Finger Bones Point to New Branch of Humanity
By Charles Q. Choi
Published December 22, 2010
A finger bone and other remains from Siberia now reveals a previously unknown group of ancient humans once existed there, one neither like us nor Neanderthals.

Bizarrely, the DNA from these extinct Siberians seems unusually similar to that of Pacific Islanders from tropical Melanesia.The 30,000-year-old fossil was found in Denisova Cave in southern Siberia in 2008, a bone fragment that likely came from a fingertip of a young girl. It was discovered along with microblades (small stone blades used as tools), body ornaments of polished stone, and a molar shaped very differently from that of Neanderthals and modern humans, resembling that of much older human species, such as Homo habilis and Homo erectus. (The tooth and the finger bone apparently came from different members of the same population.)...

Read more: New Branch of Humanity?

More at: Three Types of Ancient Humans?

By Daniel Estrin
Associated Press – Mon Dec 27
JERUSALEM –Israeli archaeologists said Monday they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man, and if so, it could upset theories of the origin of humans. A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said teeth found in the cave are about 400,000 years old and resemble those of other remains of modern man, known scientifically as Homo sapiens, found in Israel. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half as old...

Read the whole story at: Ancient Teeth

BBC Mobile
December 27, 2010

A particular type of ancient rock art in Western Australia maintains its vivid colours because it is alive, researchers have found...

Read more at:

(Thanks to Oregon Heritage News, News Services, LiveScience, the Associated Press, Russel Micnhimer, and Jodi Lorimer for some of the info in this message).

No comments:

Post a Comment