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Wildfire Brings Ancient Artifacts To Light

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posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 04:19 PM
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An oak tree was still burning nearby when Margaret Hangan made
her way across a wildfire-scorched landscape and spotted to her
delight a set of flat-topped granite boulders that served as kitchen
counters in an ancient village 2,000 years ago.
In the rocks were manmade oval depressions in which acorns were
ground into flour.

For all the damage they do, wildfires can be a boon to archaeologists,
laying bare the traces of long-gone civilizations.

David Jurney, an archaeologist in the Ozark-St.
Francis National Forest in Arkansas, estimated his teams make
four times as many finds during post-fire surveys than they do
digging through overgrown stretches of forest.


SOURCE:
LiveScience.com


Well I think it's cool whenever something is found, but it's twice
as cool when something as disasterous as a forestfire can end
up leaving something positive like this behind.


Comments, Opinions?




posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 05:36 PM
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Mixed blessing.

Fire destroys any organic artifacts -- wood, vegetable waste, pollen grains, etc. but exposes the surface. With the surface vegetation removed the small undulations of the ground surface may reveal ancient footpaths, building or hut locations, trash pits, or similar.

Lithic artifacts are not destroyed, of course, but the dating of lithics is often done by measuring the moisture content. Obsidian arrowpoints, for example. Once knapped, the moisture leaves the obsidian at a known rate, and moisture content will tell you approximately when the point was first created. Heating by fire alters the moisture content. If you know the fire intensity at the particular spot the arrowhead was found you can still make a stab at dating, but the margin of error increases. This is a case where archaelogists will consult with a fire behavior analyst to estimate intensity.

In some cases a high intensity fire can alter the chemistry of the lithic, which can make it more difficult to tell where the source was.

Fortunately, the heat pulse from a typical forest fire does not penetrate downward through soil very far, so buried artifacts are often undisturbed.



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 05:50 PM
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ok so she spotted some boulders and some crushed acorns
isn't that more likely to indicate some form of super advanced squirrel technology
not exactly Atlantis is it
I love that it said she "spotted this to her delight"
she must be a blast at parties


[edit on 13-10-2006 by Marduk]



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 06:16 PM
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its good to see that happenstance and serendipity are still around and
are still considered'valuable'

with all the results oriented and programmed steps approach to science & discovery in the world today, its refreshing to see the 'other side'...
sorta 'Eastern' rather than the pragmatic, borg-like 'Western' way of scientific discovery

of course those depressions in the rocks could have been caused by constantly dripping water, or maybe even dinosaurs used those quartz rocks as licking stones like modern cattle & deer use salt licks...
if they found a hand held grinding stones (mortars? pistals?) in proximity, then i could be pursuaded the depressions were indeed 2,000 y.o. milling bowls for flour, using acorns or pinion nuts as the ingredient being ground.



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 08:16 PM
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Originally posted by iori_komei
but it's twice as cool when something as disasterous as a forestfire can end
up leaving something positive like this behind.

FWIW, wildfires do in general have a positive function. They serve to clear out old dead bramble and re-invigorate forests, they are, in fact, vital to the long term health of large forest systems.



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 09:32 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
FWIW, wildfires do in general have a positive function. They serve to clear out old dead bramble and re-invigorate forests, they are, in fact, vital to the long term health of large forest systems.


Yes. you're right, but the majority of people don't think of that
as posistive, since the average layperson would'nt know that.

I suppose I should have said it's twice as cool when something
artificial can be found out of it.



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 12:51 PM
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Interesting find. Another pre-pre-Columbian site uncovered. Fires are part of nature in renewal of things. The people that occupied the area then had to cope withwildfires too, of course


Does this marduk character do nothing be go from thread to thread sniping with snide and sarcastic comments about everything?



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

Originally posted by iori_komei
but it's twice as cool when something as disasterous as a forestfire can end
up leaving something positive like this behind.

FWIW, wildfires do in general have a positive function. They serve to clear out old dead bramble and re-invigorate forests, they are, in fact, vital to the long term health of large forest systems.


In some cases yes, in some cases no. In most cases the effects are mixed positive and negative.

You cannot make a blanket statement that 'all fires are good' anymore than you claim all hurricanes are good because they redistribute heat or earthquakes are good because they relieve seismic stresses.

Natural processes are neither good nor bad. Individual organisms adapt to disturbance and those that cannot adapt become locally extinct. Any disturbance produces survivors and non-survivors (winners and losers, if you will). To say that the disturbance is 'good' means you favor the winners over the losers and thus you have species favoritism.




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