Cowlitz Country News - Archives - Archeology
  On-line since 2011 - Updated October 1, 2013
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October 2013

Archeology: Tribes renew their claim to ancient Kennewick Man bones - Nearly two decades after one of the oldest and most intact ancient skeletons ever found in North America was accidentally discovered, Kennewick Man is still in limbo. That could be about to change. Scientists in Copenhagen right now are doing tests using new methods that could for the first time extract some of the skeleton’s DNA, perhaps answering the question of the ancient man’s ancestry. Tribes that want the skeleton reburied say they are going to try again within a year to change federal law to repatriate ancient remains, including Kennewick Man’s.

January 2013

Archeology: Previous climate change drove Mesa people off Alaska's North Slope - Alaska was once the setting for an environmental shift so dramatic it forced people to evacuate the entire North Slope, according to Michael Kunz, an archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management. About 10,000 years ago, a group of hunting people lived on the North Slope, the swath of mostly treeless tundra extending north from the Brooks Range to the sea. The people of the Mesa lived at a time when the Arctic was undergoing a change similar to what Alaska is undergoing today.

November 2012

Archeology: Shell midden could affirm tribe's stories of Hood Canal - Tribal and Navy archaeologists are mining a shell midden uncovered at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor for information about early Native Americans.

Archaeology: Lost Oregon Indian Battlefield Discovery Attributable to ‘Detective Work’ - After being lost for more than a century and three years of searching, the location of the largest battle of the Rogue River Wars has been discovered by Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) archaeologists.

October 2012

Archeology: For Kennewick Man, a return from the dead - Nearly 16 years and numerous lawsuits after the discovery of his 9,200 year-old skeleton, scientists can finally tell us a bit more about Kennewick Man.

Archeology: Kennewick Man bones not from Columbia Valley, scientist tells tribes - In a historic first meeting of two very different worlds, Columbia Plateau tribal leaders met privately Tuesday with the scientist who led the court battle to study Kennewick Man. The skeleton, more than 9,500 years old, has long been at the center of a rift between tribal members and scientists, led by Doug Owsley, a physical anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History who spearheaded the legal challenge to gain access to the skeleton for scientific study. Owsley says study shows that not only wasn't Kennewick Man Indian, he wasn't even from the Columbia Valley, which was inhabited by prehistoric Plateau tribes.

August 2012

Archeology: SOU students, archaeologists unearth fishing village in dunes at Coos Bay - Southern Oregon University archaeologists and students this month uncovered one of the earliest white settlements on the Oregon Coast, remnants of a small village of soldiers marooned by a shipwreck at Coos Bay in January 1852. The wreck of the Captain Lincoln and the makeshift village created from its spars and mast, Camp Castaway, was known to historians. But the village had been lost among coastal sand dunes until found this year by archaeologists using coordinates recorded by a surveyor a decade after the wreck.

July 2012

Archaeology: Stone tools offer new insights into first Oregonians - Archaeologists said Thursday that using multiple techniques, they have dated broken obsidian spear points from Paisley Caves to about 13,200 years ago, as old as much different stone tools from the Clovis culture found in the southeast and interior United States. Radio-carbon dating of human DNA from coprolites — ancient desiccated human feces — shows people lived in the caves as early as 14,300 years ago.

Archeology: Native American Populations Descend from Three Key Migrations - New research has discovered that Native American populations ranging from Canada to the southern tip of Chile all arose from three migrations, with the majority descended almost entirely from one single group of First American migrants that crossed from Asia into America across the then existing Beringia land bridge, more than 15,000 years ago.

Archeology: Field school participants find remnants of those who lived at Hudson's Bay Co.-era fort - They paved a pair of sites and put up a parking lot. Which turned out to be a pretty good move. When the U.S. Army covered some of its Vancouver Barracks property with gravel and asphalt about 30 years ago, it preserved a lot of below-ground history. Now students have peeled back some of that blacktop and are uncovering the remnants of Hudson's Bay Company-era homes.

June 2012

Archeology: Lewiston man sentenced for defacing tribal shelter - For as many as 2,500 years, red-pigmented pictographs of animals and geometric shapes at a rock shelter along the Snake River bore silent testimony to the presence of the Nez Perce tribe and its ancestors. On Feb. 7, 2010, it took just a few minutes for three vandals armed with cans of spray paint to cause roughly $100,000 worth of damage that will require the services of a rock art conservator to remedy.

May 2012

Archeology: Sir Francis Drake Landmark Designation Sparks Debate - Oregon and California are locked in a dispute over something that happened 433 years ago. That’s when Sir Francis Drake became the first British explorer to make contact with Native Americans. It happened on what is now the American West Coast. Garry Gitzen believes that happened on the northern Oregon coast. There's Drake's own map of the place he landed. "If it you overlay it on top of Nehalem Bay, it's the same outline of Nehalem Bay."

April 2012

Archaeology: You don’t have to dig far to find love for this man - More than 100 of Richard Daugherty’s former archaeology students, tribal partners, academic associates and family members gathered Friday at South Puget Sound Community College to celebrate his 90th birthday.

February 2012

Archeology: Is the "Anglosphere power elite" keeping a lid on archeological discoveries? - Woe betide any archeologist who discovers something that is much out of the mainstream of current archeological thought. Even discoveries that can be scientifically documented are apparently routinely ignored if they don't fit into the larger archeological pattern that has been established and presented in academically approved texts. Why this resistance to new discoveries about ancient history?

Archeology: Human jawbone found along Columbia River is Native American - A human jawbone found lying in shallow water of the Columbia River in October is Native American, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. It hired an independent physical anthropologist to make the determination, said Bruce Henrickson, Corps spokesman. The lower jawbone with six teeth is believed to date to about 150 to 200 years ago.

December 2011

Archeology: Expert calls Manis find 'highly significant' - The bone point fragment found embedded in a mastodon rib from the the Manis site in Sequim shows that hunters were present in North America around 13,800 years ago. That's at least 800 years before "Clovis Man," previously thought to be the earliest hunters in the Americas.

Archeology: Museum workers take unique approach to art conservation - Using a combination of science and history, a team of specialists at the Seattle Art Museum is taking unique approach to conserving art. For example, instead of using a simple magnifying glass, chief conservator Nicholas Dorman uses infrared light to study ancient art, such as Native American masks.

Archeology: Latest MAC exhibit shows off impressive collections from tribes

November 2011

Archeology: 1,000 year old Bronze Artifact Found on Alaska's Seward Peninsula

October 2011

Jawbone found in Columbia River probably historic

Mastodon discovery in Sequim made history twice

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus: In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492. Pre-Columbian Indians lived in huge numbers of Indians and actively molded and influenced the land around them. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created: From Charles C. Mann, the author of 1491—the best-selling study of the pre-Columbian Americas—a deeply engaging new history of the most momentous biological event since the death of the dinosaurs. The Columbian Exchange, as researchers call it, is the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Switzerland, and chili peppers in Thailand. This underlies much of subsequent human history. Mann shows how this fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City the center of the world.
The Columbian Exchange: Thirty years ago, Alfred Crosby published a small work that illuminated a simple point, that the most important changes brought on by the voyages of Columbus were not social or political, but biological in nature. The book told the story of how 1492 sparked the movement of organisms, both large and small, in both directions across the Atlantic. This changed the history of our planet drastically and forever.
1421: The Year China Discovered America: On March 8, 1421, the largest fleet the world had ever seen set sail from China to "proceed all the way to the ends of the earth to collect tribute from the barbarians beyond the seas." Chinese ships had reached America seventy years before Columbus and colonized America, transplanting the principal economic crops that have since fed and clothed the world.

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Rod Van Mechelen, Publisher & Editor, Cowlitz Country News

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