Interesting Headlines of May 2009

From an extremely old turtle fossil to the world’s oldest known ivory sculpture, the headlines decorating the news wires in May of 2009 showcase great archeological discoveries. In this article, you will also encounter evidence of a favorite pastime being embraced during ancient Egyptian times.

Prehistoric Pregnant Turtle Fossil Discovered

Found in the southern part of Utah, paleontologists are pleased to announce the latest news regarding a turtle fossil that dates back 75 million years. Inside, a cache of eggs, which makes this discovery the first prehistoric pregnant turtle located in the United States. So far, three eggs have been visible from outside of the fossil. It is now the task of researchers from Montana State University to study images taken from a CT scan to determine what else is situated inside the fossil.

It is calculated that the pregnant turtle was close to a week away from laying her eggs when she died and somehow became fossilized under millions of years of sandstone. Located in a remote part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the fossil was uncovered in 2006, but the presence of the eggs did not appear until a volunteer reexamined the turtle after it was kept up in storage for two years.

Prehistoric Fishing Tackle?

In Egypt, an archeological team has uncovered prehistoric fishing gear, jewelry, and sewing equipment that were fashioned from animal bones. Situated close to an oasis located south of Cairo, the found objects were joined by a collection of ancient pottery and coins. All of the items dated back to prehistoric days. During the excavation and exploration, caves were also uncovered to have been used by prehistoric man.

Leading the mission, Khaled Saad stated that one of the most significant of the items found was an awl comprised of animal bone and granite. This object proved that prehistoric man came up with ways on how to sew together leather. Shedding light on the medical practices of the past, equipment and weapons made out of animal bones were also detected. A rare block dating back to 3150 BC was also found. It depicts the mythical leader known as the Scorpion King, which later became the inspiration for a movie starring the Rock. Other treasures associated with the mission include a great deal of interesting fossils, such as whale vertebrae, seals, sawfish, crocodile, and turtles.

This Egyptian site of interest was a stopping and settling point for many different civilizations, which is why the excavation produced antiquities linked to Roman, Greek, Pharaonic, and Islamic cultures.

World’s Oldest Ivory Sculpture Found in Germany

An edition of the publication Nature has stated that an ivory carving depicting the figure of a female is being recognized as the oldest known sculpture of the human form. Found in six fragments in a German cave called Hohle Fels last September, the carving has been dated between 35,000 and 40,000 years old with the help of carbon dating. The figure appears busty with wide thighs, large breasts, and a swollen stomach. One archeologist described the carving as “sexually charged.”