End of Year Recap: Archeology News February 2009

Boulder, Colorado is the location of an interesting stash of tools discovered within the city limits. In this article, you will learn some of the archeological news hitting the headlines in February 2009, including an ancient Roman art find and interesting details revealed through whale fossils dating back millions of years ago.

Ancient Stone Artifacts

According to biochemical analysis, researchers have encountered a rare Clovis-era stone tool cache with implements that helped inhabitants carve up ice-age camels and horses that once lived in North America until they became extinct around 13,000 years ago.

The study uses newer techniques to analyze protein residue from extinct camels on North American stone tools, which helps identify age and origin. According to CU-Boulder Anthropology Professor Doublas Bamforth, this is the first time this has been accomplished and only the second successful attempt to identify horse protein residue on a Clovis-age tool. The cache is important because it is the one of its kind that highlights Clovis-age artifacts in North America.

If you’re wondering a bit about the Clovis culture, archeologists believe the people lived during the same time when the first Americans arrived on the continent from Asia , using the Bering Land Bridge nearly 13,000 to 13,500 years ago.

Ancient Marble Figurine Discovered

During an excavation led by the Israel Antiquities Authority, a section in the Givati car park located in the City of David has produced a bust (figurine) composed of marble that shows a small image of a bearded man’s head. Archeologists are excited about the find, as it is most likely the only discovery of its kind that has taken place in the country. The bust comes from a time where Roman sculpture was at a peak. Before competing other tests, the pale yellow coloring of the marble suggests that the raw material of the bust came from an eastern origin. Some believe from Asia Minor.

When taking a look at the style of the bust, characteristics like the short hairstyle, prominent lobes and curvy ears suggest that the subject was an athlete. It is thought that the bearded man was a boxer, as it was one of the most favorable sports the people flocked to see in ancient Rome. It was especially popular amongst the elite class. Many competitions were held and large sums of money won in relation to boxing.

Revealed Whale Fossils

In February, the Science Daily reported that whales may have traveled to land to give birth, as scientists investigate the details regarding a pregnant female and a male pair of whale fossils of the same species. Hopefully, information regarding the birthing habits of whales in the past may come to light , in particular how the creatures made a transition from land to sea. The fossils date back 47.5 million years ago and were uncovered in Pakistan in 2000 and 2004. The University of Michigan has since conducted tests on the bones.