WBEZ | archaeology http://www.wbez.org/tags/archaeology Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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