Archeology Finds of March 2011

Discoveries of the past are made every month , spanning across the globe. Some artifacts date back thousands upon thousands of years, while other shed light on a particular century as it pertains to a specific culture. In this article, you will encounter interesting archeology finds that have been reported in March of 2011 that involve artifacts associated with the United States and Japan.

12,000-Year-Old Fishing Tackle Found , Southern California

While finding tools that date back 12,000 years is not an extraordinary feat around the world, it is quite an accomplishment when the discovery takes place in Southern California. Jon Erlandson and his 15-person team (associated with the University of Oregon) explored three sites on the Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands, where they found ancient fishing equipment. The artifacts had been discovered in a collection of discarded seashells and bones.

The discovery is significant because it serves as evidence that there was a distinct difference between people living along the coast and the more well known Clovis population situated in the Americas. The fishing equipment provides insight into the lifestyles of some of the earliest American settlers.

The find allows researchers to acknowledge the different cultures that may have existed in the region. One culture (referred to as Clovis) settled inland and ate a diet mostly comprised of mammoths, mastodons and other mammals. The other culture made their home on the coast and ate a great deal of seafood. While the two cultures were not the same, archeologists do feel that they did share trade links.

The fishing tools were made with care with details that impressed the researchers. The workmanship was praised, including the ultra thin, serrated features. Erlandson exclaimed that the tools highlighted advanced chipped-stone technology. The information regarding the fishing equipment also appeared in the March 4 edition of Science.

Ancient Figurine Found , Japan

Archeologists are always delighted to come across artifacts that are still intact, which is the case of the water bird figurine excavated from a burial in Asago, Japan. Dating back to the 5th century, the ancient clay “haniwa” figurine that is shaped like a water bird has been found completely intact in a burial mound.

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Archaeology of Harima stated that the clay piece measures 48 centimeters high, 21 centimeters wide and 44 centimeters long. The artifact belongs to the early 5th century. Haniwa is the name given to unglazed clay figures that were buried around ancient mounds in Japan. Museum researchers have come across a total of seven haniwa in water bird form. Six of the pieces were broken.