WBEZ | archaeology http://www.wbez.org/tags/archaeology Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Discovery from 3,500 years ago challenges gender roles http://www.wbez.org/news/discovery-3500-years-ago-challenges-gender-roles-113758 <p><div style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pylos_embed2.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="One of more than 45 seal stones found within the tomb, each bearing intricate designs. Long-horned bulls and, sometimes, human bull jumpers leaping over their horns are a common relief from the Minoan period. (Credit: Jennifer Stevens)" /></div><div><article about="/stories/2015-11-12/discovery-3500-years-ago-challenges-gender-roles" typeof="sioc:Item foaf:Document"><div><p style="text-align: justify;">Husband-and-wife archaeologist team Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker have just made the biggest archaeological discovery of its kind in at least half a century.</p></div><p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;It was kind of a combination of expertise and dumb luck,&rdquo; says Jack Davis, &ldquo;We were not planning to excavate in this area.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Davis and his wife Stocker, both archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati, had been trying to purchase a plot of land near the ancient city of Pylos in southwestern Greece.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed1.jpg?itok=s77Nihmr" style="height: 539px; width: 400px;" title="University of Cincinnati's Sharon Stocker, left, and Jack Davis led a team of 45 archaeologists and experts in various specialties, as well as students, during this summer's excavations in Pylos, Greece. (University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><div style="text-align: justify;">When plans for that purchase fell through, they turned instead to an adjacent property - a plot located near where the Palace of Nestor, long since destroyed, was built.&nbsp;</div><p style="text-align: justify;">Stocker and Davis first cleared brush away from the plot of land. Then, they and their team noticed five stones above the surface of the earth. At first they thought it was the corner of a Bronze Age house. Then, after some digging, Davis got a phone call: &ldquo;We hit bronze,&rdquo; the area supervisor said.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed3.jpg?itok=MKbKnbio" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="An elaborate necklace decorated with ivy leaves and measuring more than thirty inches long was found near the neck of the warrior’s skeleton. (Jennifer Stephens)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Davis and Stocker rushed back to the site.</p><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed5.jpg?itok=_rmqLk5o" style="text-align: center; height: 509px; width: 300px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="An illustration of the contents and arrangement of the excavated tomb. (Denitsa Nenova)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><p style="text-align: justify;">What&nbsp;had been discovered was the ancient tomb of a warrior who was buried with a sword and a trove of jewelry some 35 centuries ago.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">He likely died &ldquo;several centuries before the time that Homer was writing about, which I think makes it all the more spectacular,&rdquo; Stocker says, &ldquo;This could have been perhaps even the founder of the dynasty Later Nestor who ruled at Pylos.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In the warrior&rsquo;s grave the archaeologists&nbsp;found a sword, a gold-hilted dagger, and more than 45 seal stones, each bearing intricate designs like long-horned bulls and human bull jumpers.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/Picture35.jpg?itok=NF0tV1Ss" style="text-align: center; height: 372px; width: 620px;" title="One of six ivory combs discovered in the tomb by Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis (University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">There were also several combs, a mirror, and an elaborate necklace decorated with ivy leaves near&nbsp;the skeleton&rsquo;s neck.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The discovery is changing the way archaeologists are interpreting ancient graves, and ancient civilization.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;Up until now people have speculated that certain artifacts can be ascribed to a particular gender,&rdquo; Stocker says, &ldquo;But now we have one man buried with objects that&nbsp;until now&nbsp;have been thought of as female artifacts. He had six combs, he had a bronze mirror, he had beads, he had necklaces. He had all of these things, and so we&#39;ve learned from this burial that the grave goods now cannot necessarily be attributed along gender lines. That&#39;s one thing that I find really exciting.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed4.jpg?itok=MFE_-iwg" style="text-align: center; height: 477px; width: 620px;" title="Sharon Stocker with the 3,500 year-old skull found in the warrior's tomb. (University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Stocker and Davis say they have a lot of work ahead of them to continue studying their discovery.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: center;">&ldquo;Probably for the rest of our lives will be working on this amazing find. It&#39;s something to look forward to,&rdquo;&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: center;">Stocker says.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><em>This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.studio360.org/story/the-things-they-carried-in-1500-bc/" target="_blank">story</a>&nbsp;first aired on PRI&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.studio360.org/" target="_blank">Studio 360</a>&nbsp;with Kurt Andersen.</em></p></article></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 13:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/discovery-3500-years-ago-challenges-gender-roles-113758 South African cave yields strange bones of early human-like species http://www.wbez.org/news/south-african-cave-yields-strange-bones-early-human-species-112885 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/09_ngm_1015_mm8345_mystery_man_robert_clark.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of an unusual human-like creature that lived long ago. Exactly how long ago is still a mystery &mdash; and that&#39;s not the only mystery surrounding this newfound species.</p><p>The bones have a strange mix of primitive and modern features, and were found in an even stranger place &mdash; an almost inaccessible chamber deep inside a South African cave called Rising Star.</p><p>&quot;It is perhaps one of the best-known caves in all of South Africa,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://profleeberger.com/">Lee Berger</a>, who studies human evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.</p><p>In 2013, some local cavers found some fossils inside Rising Star cave. Berger had asked them to be on the lookout, so they brought him photos.</p><p>&quot;And there I saw something I perhaps thought I&#39;d never see in my life,&quot; recalls Berger. &quot;That is, clearly primitive hominin remains lying on the floor of a cave.&quot;</p><p>A jaw and a skull were just sitting there in the dirt &mdash; usually such bones are encased in rock.</p><p>Berger was excited, but he knew he personally could never reach this fossil site. To get into the cave chamber, you have to climb a steep, jagged rockfall called Dragon&#39;s Back, then wiggle through a small opening that leads to a long, narrow crack.</p><p>The crack is only about 7 1/2 inches wide and goes down more than 30 feet. Squeezing through it is the only way to reach the chamber of bones at the bottom.</p><p>Since he couldn&#39;t go, Berger sent in his tall, skinny 16-year-old son. &quot;When he came out after 45 minutes, he stuck his head out. And to tell you how bad I am, I didn&#39;t say: &#39;Are you OK?&#39; I said: &#39;And?&#39; And he says, &#39;Daddy, it&#39;s wonderful.&#39; &quot;</p><div id="res438945783"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="A composite skeleton of H. naledi is surrounded by some of the hundreds of other fossil elements recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber in the Rising Star cave in South Africa." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/09/06_ngm_1015_mm8345_mystery_man_robert_clark_custom-0854a19816576c7bc2d402322204aceaf282e69c-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 364px; width: 600px;" title="A composite skeleton of H. naledi is surrounded by some of the hundreds of other fossil elements recovered from the Dinaledi Chamber in the Rising Star cave in South Africa. (Robert Clark/National Geographic via Lee Berger, Wits, photographed at Evolutionary Studies Institute)" /></div><div><p>Berger got funding from the&nbsp;<a href="http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/blog/rising-star-expedition/?order=asc">National Geographic Society</a>&nbsp;to excavate the site. And he advertised for research assistants on Facebook &mdash; for skinny scientists who weren&#39;t claustrophobic. Six women took the job.</p></div></div><p>They worked in the chamber almost like spacewalkers, communicating with researchers outside via cameras and about 2 miles of fiber optic cable. The team in the chamber used paintbrushes and toothpicks to gently unearth fossil bones &mdash; there were more than 1,550 of them, an incredible treasure trove. The researchers describe their find Thursday in a journal called&nbsp;<a href="http://elifesciences.org/">eLife</a>.</p><p>&quot;Often I was wondering, &#39;How on Earth are we going to get that fossil out?&#39; because the density of bones in that chamber was so great, it was like a puzzle to get each fossil out,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.american.edu/cas/anthropology/resources/student-profiles.cfm">Becca Peixotto</a>, one of the scientist-cavers and a doctoral student in anthropology at American University.</p><p>The bones come from at least 15 individuals, says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.anthropology.wisc.edu/people_hawks.php">John Hawks</a>, a paleoanthropologist from the University of Wisconsin, Madison who was on the team that studied the bones.</p><p>&quot;We have every age group represented&quot; among the fossils, he says. &quot;We have newborns; we have children of almost every age; we have adults and old adults.&quot;</p><p>He says these creatures were short &mdash; less than 5 feet tall &mdash; and thin. They have a particular combination of features that has never been seen before. &quot;It&#39;s a new species to science,&quot; says Hawks. Researchers have named it&nbsp;Homo naledi,&nbsp;because &quot;naledi&quot; means &quot;star&quot; in a local South African language.</p><div id="res438944467"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="National Geographic paleoartist John Gurche used fossils from a South African cave to reconstruct the face of Homo naledi, the newest addition to the genus Homo." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/09/01_ngm_1015_mm8345_mystery_man_mark_thiessen_custom-138000c9c30470d3b4e4ce404ca9e38ce1fff07c-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 693px; width: 600px;" title="National Geographic paleoartist John Gurche used fossils from a South African cave to reconstruct the face of Homo naledi, the newest addition to the genus Homo. (Mark Thiessen/National Geographic)" /></div><div><p>&quot;They have a very small brain &mdash; they are not human-like at all in their brain,&quot; Hawks says. &quot;It&#39;s around a third the size of a human brain today.&quot;</p></div></div><p>But the creatures had feet like us and walked in a very human-like way. Their hands were also like ours, but their fingers were more curved.</p><p>The researchers also tackled this question: How did these human-like creatures get into such a crazy spot? It looks as though the cave chamber has always been hard to reach.</p><p>There are no animal bones there, except for a handful of bits from birds and mice. There&#39;s no evidence that a carnivore dragged the human-like creatures in, or that they somehow got washed in. And there&#39;s no evidence of a mass death, such as a cave accident.</p><div id="res438946461"><div><p>Berger believes someone had to have put the bodies there.</p></div></div><p><img alt="More details of the discovery of H. naledi appear in National Geographic magazine. All images in this post are from the magazine's October issue." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/09/ngm_october_2015_cvr_custom-9525fdc11898c4803e43927284b9f3a65c868ea9-s200-c85.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="More details of the discovery of H. nalediappear in National Geographic magazine. All images in this post are from the magazine'sOctober issue. (Mark Thiessen/National Geographic)" /></p><p>&quot;Homo naledi&nbsp;was deliberately disposing of its dead in a repeated, ritualized fashion in this deep underground chamber,&quot; he says.</p><p>That&#39;s quite a claim &mdash; that kind of ritual has been thought to be unique to modern humans or our very close relatives.</p><p>And really, the whole discovery &mdash; from the bones to their bizarre location &mdash; has perplexed experts on human evolution.</p><p>&quot;To be honest, I would really distrust anyone who thinks they understand what the significance of these finds is,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://cashp.columbian.gwu.edu/bernard-wood">Bernard Wood</a>, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University.</p><p>Usually scientists can tell how old fossilized bones are, but, in this case, the geology of the cave gives no clues. The bones could be less than 100,000 years old or several million years old.</p><p>&quot;These folks do not have an age, yet they have some remarkable fossils, and the context of them is also remarkable,&quot; says Wood. &quot;It&#39;s not only remarkable, it&#39;s also rather weird. But nonetheless, the fossils are important. So the community is, I think, struggling to work out what it all means.&quot;</p><p>He notes that only a small section of the cave chamber has been excavated, and it looks like many more bones are down there.</p><p>&quot;There is the potential for thousands of specimens in that cave,&quot; says Wood. &quot;Intellectually, it&#39;s a real puzzle. And I think it&#39;s going to take scientists quite a time to get their heads around what the real significance of these discoveries is.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/09/10/437249183/south-african-cave-yields-strange-bones-of-early-human-like-species">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Thu, 10 Sep 2015 10:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/south-african-cave-yields-strange-bones-early-human-species-112885 Spies, Satellites and Archaeology: Mapping the Ancient Middle East http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/spies-satellites-and-archaeology-mapping-ancient-middle-east-106883 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Branting_310x230.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>During the first four decades of the 20th century, including both World War I and World War II, some archaeologists functioned within the fledgling intelligence communities as agents, analysts, and supervisors. They had local knowledge and technical expertise useful in generating military and political intelligence to advance their countries&rsquo;wartime agendas. They also used the data and techniques to pursue their own archaeological agendas and research programs. &nbsp;With the advent of spy satellites in the 1950&rsquo;s new technologies have emerged for use by the intelligence community, and once declassified or made publically available, have been of great use to archaeologists. &nbsp;This talk explores some of these historical connections as well as the new technologies that are reshaping how we view the past.</p><p><strong>Scott Branting</strong> is Director of the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL) and a Research Assistant Professor in Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Chicago. &nbsp;With M.A. Degrees in Hittitology (University of Chicago) and Geography (University at Buffalo), he crosses a number of disciplinary boundaries with his research. &nbsp;He has worked with numerous expeditions on five continents, but along the way has been a constant member of the Kerkenes Dağ Project in Turkey for twenty years and a Director of the project for the past seven years.</p></p> Thu, 07 Mar 2013 13:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/spies-satellites-and-archaeology-mapping-ancient-middle-east-106883 Items left at U.S.-Mexican border reveal hidden history of migration http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-03/items-left-us-mexican-border-reveal-hidden-history-migration-96094 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-February/2012-02-03/migrant_station.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Millions have crossed the dangerous, high-security border between Mexico and the U.S. But we rarely hear about the actual, visceral experience of crossing. What do migrants bring? What do they eat and drink? How do they survive in the middle of the desert?</p><p>This curiosity is what led <a href="http://www.lsa.umich.edu/anthro/people/faculty/ci.deleonjason_ci.detail" target="_blank">Jason De Leon</a> to the border. Jason’s a professor at the University of Michigan and a trained archeologist. He collects the items migrants leave behind while crossing the border into the U.S.</p><p><a href="http://jasonpatrickdeleon.com/research/" target="_blank">His collection</a> is now the largest body of migrant artifacts in the country, including everything from shoes to backpacks, water bottles, prayer books, love letters – you name it. Jason joins <em>Worldview</em> to discuss the unusual project.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 03 Feb 2012 17:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-03/items-left-us-mexican-border-reveal-hidden-history-migration-96094 Clever Apes: Top 5 Chicago science stories of 2011 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-12-28/clever-apes-top-5-chicago-science-stories-2011-95182 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-28/MDB logo 1.PNG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-28/MDB logo 1.PNG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title=""></p><p>Here at Clever Apes, we’re big proponents of giving the people what they want. First off, I have decided that they want a one-hour Clever Apes special, with our favorite segments from 2011 all gift-wrapped into one apey package. I have chosen to be overwhelmed by a groundswell of public pressure for such a special, and have therefore answered the call that (I would guess) has rung out loud and clear. Click the “listen” button above to hear.</p><p>Secondly, based on our web traffic, what the people want are Top 5 and year-end lists. So here are our nominations for the top 5 Chicago science stories of 2011:</p><p><strong>5. Lab-grown neurons advance Alzheimer’s research</strong></p><p>A team at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine has figured out <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-scientists-grow-neurons-stem-cells">how to grow a type of neuron </a>affected by Alzhemier’s Disease. Basal forebrain cholinergic neurons are crucial to retrieving memories. Thanks largely to the determination of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-03-16/clever-apes-brain-dish-83827">a grad student named Christopher Bissonette</a>, scientists can now make these cells to order based on human embryonic stem cells, or even artificially made stem cells. This could greatly speed up the testing of drug candidates, and could someday open up the possibility of transplanting healthy neurons into the stricken brain of an Alzheimer’s patient.</p><p><strong>4. New artifacts rewrite the history of human settlement in North America</strong></p><p>A major find in central Texas has largely overturned the long-dominant theory of when humans arrived in North America. For years, archaeologists believed that the first North Americans were the Clovis people, who showed up around 13,000 years ago. Cracks had been appearing in that theory, and the latest excavation may spell its end. The newly dated artifacts appear to be 15,000 years old. That insight comes partly from <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190">the lab of University of Illinois at Chicago professor Steven Forman</a>. He uses a technique called <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-07-26/clever-apes-15-trick-light-89684">luminescence dating</a>, which calculates when the last time deeply buried object was exposed to sunlight.</p><p><strong>3. Satellite discovers new worlds</strong></p><p>The <a href="http://kepler.nasa.gov/Mission/discoveries/">Kepler satellite mission </a>has had a huge year. To date it identified about 2,326 planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets. Recently it found the first known planet in the “habitable zone,” meaning it sits in a region where liquid water could exist. It also found the first known earth-sized planets, and earlier this year, a batch of multiple-planet solar systems, including <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/astronomy/chicago-area-scientist-helps-discover-new-solar-system">one with six planets</a>. Batavia-based astrophysicist Jason Steffen is part of the Kepler team, and did much of the computational work behind the finds. It has also, coincidentally, been a big year for Steffen, who got much attention for experimental results supporting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/astrophysicist-shows-why-it-takes-so-long-board-plane-91161">his theory on the best way to board an airplane.</a></p><p><strong>2. Chicago River gets less icky</strong></p><p>The Chicago River, long relegated to glorified sewage ditch, is poised to get a lot less disgusting. The water reclamation district, under pressure from state and federal environmental regulators, has <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/reversing-course-water-agency-backs-chicago-river-cleanup-87524">agreed to start disinfecting the effluent </a>that makes up most of the river system’s water. That represents a big about-face for the agency and a victory for environmentalists and river users (though the cost to homeowners, who will finance much of the project, remains a big question mark). The agency also recently <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/water-distrct-curb-raw-sewage-discharges-94902">agreed to curb discharges of raw sewage </a>into the river by committing to a timetable for completing the deep tunnel and reservoir project and beefing up green infrastructure. It will still be years before you can swim in the river without a Purell bath afterwards, but this year clearly marked a basic shift in how the region thinks about its waterways.</p><p><strong>1. The passing of the Tevatron</strong></p><p>For decades, Fermilab’s big particle collider kept the Chicago area (and the United States) at the frontier of high-energy physics. Finally, this year, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-09-27/clever-apes-19-godspeed-tevatron-92526">scientists pulled the plug </a>on one of the most remarkable machines ever constructed. The Tevatron gave scientists a clear look at the top quark, a fundamental building block of matter that had long eluded detection. It yielded a trove of insights into how the tiniest particles behave, pushed forward the search for the mysterious Higgs Boson, advanced superconducting technology and seeded its eventual usurper, the Large Hadron Collider. There’s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/whats-ahead-fermilab-without-massive-particle-collider-tevatron">lots more cutting-edge research unfolding at Fermilab, </a>but its longtime crown jewel is now an artifact on the prairie.</p><p>There you have it, 2011. Clever Apes will be back next year with lots more from the fascinating, odd and deeply human world of Chicago-area science. As always, don’t forget to subscribe to our <a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CleverApesPodcast" target="_blank" title="http://feeds.feedburner.com/CleverApesPodcast">podcast</a>, follow us on&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/cleverapes" target="_blank" title="http://twitter.com/#!/cleverapes">Twitter</a>, and find us on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412" target="_blank" title="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clever-Apes-on-WBEZ/118246851551412">Facebook</a>.</p></p> Wed, 28 Dec 2011 20:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-12-28/clever-apes-top-5-chicago-science-stories-2011-95182 Chicago scientist dates artifacts that may rewrite ancient history http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-24/P1000205.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Archaeologists have hard evidence that humans lived in North America much earlier than previously thought, and a Chicago researcher played a key role in nailing down the dates.</p><p>The earliest North Americans were long thought to be the Clovis people, who lived about 12,000-13,000 years ago. Now archaeologists have dug up stone tools and debris from underneath a Clovis site in central Texas.</p><p>Steven Forman brought samples back to his lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He used a technique called optical dating to determine when the sediment around the objects was last exposed to sunlight. The artifacts turn out to be about 15,000&nbsp; years old, from millennia before the Clovis people. And they appear to provide a missing link in understanding how some Clovis technology developed.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not the first evidence of cultures older than Clovis, but Forman said it may be the strongest.</p><p>&ldquo;It appears to be that this might be kind of watershed piece of science in which people say, yes, there is really compelling evidence for pre-Clovis occupation in North America,&rdquo; said Forman, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at UIC. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s no longer a red herring.&rdquo;</p><p>The new find will likely overturn the history of ancient humans in North America. The results are out today in the journal, Science.</p></p> Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190 Worldview 12.28.09 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122809 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/wv_20091228_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Could Greek philosophy be rooted in Egyptian thought? Did much of Western Civilization form on the so-called “Dark Continent?” These are questions posed by <a href="http://falcon.arts.cornell.edu/Govt/faculty/BernalCV.pdf" target="_blank">Dr. </a><a href="http://falcon.arts.cornell.edu/Govt/faculty/BernalCV.pdf" target="_blank">Martin Bernal</a> in his <em>Black Athena</em> project. We look back at our <a href="http://osh-net-226-131.onshore.net/Program_WV_Series.aspx?seriesID=135" target="_blank"><em>Geopolitics of Archaeology</em></a> series with part one of a discussion between <em>Worldview</em> Arts &amp; Architecture Contributor Robert Price and noted scholar Martin Bernal on the African and Semitic roots of Western Civilization.</p></p> Mon, 28 Dec 2009 14:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-122809