Sunday, June 21, 2009

Etching of a Mammoth Found in Vero Beach, Florida

I apologize to my many (ha! ha!) readers for neglecting this blog. I've been working on a NSF grant proposal, teaching, and preparing for an upcoming expedition. I leave next Friday morning for Nicaragua, so the pressure is on!

Nevertheless, I couldn't resist mentioning an archaeological find just up the road from me in Vero Beach, Florida. An avocational fossil collector found a bone with an beautiful etching of a mammoth inscribed on the surface. He passed it along to Dr. Barbara Purdy, professor emerita at the University of Florida, for study. She assembled a group of experts who looked at the specimen pretty closely using a range of instrumental methods and declared it authentic. It's quite a remarkable find. A local newspaper has published the most detailed description of the find. The description of the investigation convinces me that it is very likely to be authentic. Interestingly enough, the specimen seems to come from the area of an "early man" site that was investigated at the turn of the twentieth century, one of the many whose antiquity was later rejected when archaeologists became doubtful about the age of the human occupation of the New World. The site probably merits another look. It's always interested me.

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