Stones, Bones, Shards Dirt

Natalie Munro (UCONN) and Leore Grosman (Hebrew University) have reported an interesting site dating to about 12,000 years ago in northern Israel. It is interesting because it seems to be the remains of feasting, a specific activity that any cultures around the world engage in. I’m actually writing something about feasting and related activities, so this is quite interesting to me. From the abstract:

We found clear evidence for feasting on wild cattle and tortoises at Hilazon Tachtit cave, a Late Epipaleolithic (12,000 calibrated years B.P.) burial site in Israel. This includes unusually high densities of butchered tortoise and wild cattle remains in two structures, the unique location of the feasting activity in a burial cave, and the manufacture of two structures for burial and related feasting activities.

As humans consumed the humped conch, the humped conch’s average body size went up, in the Pacific Islands.

… researchers were surprised to find that the average size of the conchs actually increased in conjunction with a growing human population. Specifically, the length of the average conch increased by approximately 1.5 millimeters (mm) over the past 3,000 years. That may not sound like much, but it is significant when you consider the conchs are only around 30 mm long – which means the conchs are now almost 5 percent larger than they used to be.

Fitzpatrick believes the size increase is likely related to an increase in nutrients in the conch’s waters, stemming from increased agriculture and other human activities.


So. Pollution. Figures.

You may not know this, but I personally discovered what for some time was the oldest house structure known in North America. It didn’t get much press because the numbnuts in charge of the excavation didn’t want to make waves (the site was bulldozed to widen a road). But that’s all post holes under the bridge. Literally. Anyway, now, Oldest house in Ontario discovered at 4,500 year old settlement near Lake Huron, Canada

The find rewrites the history of the Canadian province of Ontario, proving that people were living a sedentary lifestyle at that time, even though they lacked agriculture and pottery.

Among the discoveries is a 4,500 year old house – the oldest ever found in the province. “It’s semi-subterranean – it’s dug partially down into the ground,” said Professor Chris Ellis of the University of Western Ontario. He led the team that made the find. “It’s as old as the pyramids really.”


Check out “Diversity in the geosciences and the impact of social media” by Anne Jefferson:

One year ago, Kim Hannula, Pat Campbell, Suzanne Franks, and I launched a survey about women geoscientists reading and writing in the blogosphere. We presented the results at the Geological Society of America meeting, and Kim wrote a great post summarizing and discussing our data. Then I took Kim’s post, polished it up with great wording and thinking suggestions from all of the co-authors and submitted it for publication. It went out to reviewers and a few months later, we were accepted for publication.

In the September issue of GSA Today, you can find our article…

I’ll be blogging about that later, time permitting.

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2 thoughts on “Stones, Bones, Shards Dirt

  1. It didn’t get much press because the numbnuts in charge of the excavation didn’t want to make waves (the site was bulldozed to widen a road).

    Sucks. How old was your find?

  2. About as old as this one plus a few hundred years, from a few radiocarbon dates.

    We did not have storage pits, we just had a nice ring of post holes and a lot of black occupation dirt and charcoal and stuff.

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