Back in 1982 work began on a road across a pond in a new housing development known as “Windover Farms.” A backhoe operator began to notice the many “rocks” he was digging up and found that odd as rocks were not common in the area. Turns out the “rocks” weren’t rocks at all but bones….human bones!
Thus began the discovery of America’s Bog People at a site that has become known as the Windover Archaeological Site in Brevard County, Florida. The bones were buried 6 feet (2m) or deeper beneath the peat at the bottom of the pond and under 3 to 10 feet of water.
Bones of men, women, and children were found of all ages from infants to people as old as perhaps 70. Total to date is 168 individuals found. The average height of adult males is about 5 ft 9 in (175 cm). The skeletons showed evidence of the effects of disease and healed wounds. Many of the bones of the children showed interrupted growth possibly due to malnutrition or severe disease. Older females showed signs of osteoporosis and several bones of adults both male and female showed signs of osteoarthritis. Some of the skeletons showed signs of wounds that were likely the cause of death of some of the individuals. The pelvis of one male had a spear point embedded in it while others showed severe skull fractures. Continue Reading
Let’s talk fossils!! Let’s begin by discussing how fossils are formed because many people don’t really know what it takes for fossils to form. To begin with several processes have to take place in order for fossil formation to occur and no matter which of these processes causes the fossil to form it requires a bit of luck as most remains of plants and animals do NOT become fossils.
Freezing is one way of fossil formation and, in fact, is the best way although it happens rarely. In this process the remains (bones, shells, etc) must be continually frozen from the time of death until some bright-eyed Paleontologist comes along and digs them out of the ice. Most remains found in ice are from the last Ice Age which occurred between 110 kya (thousand years ago) and 12 kya. Many remains of mammoths and wooly rhinos have been found in the ice in the far northern reaches of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia. Some are so perfectly preserved they look as if they are simply asleep. Flesh, hair, and even skin are often times found still intact on the animal. Some of these animals appear to have been Flash Frozen (frozen instantly) as they still have food in their mouths and stomachs. In fact, frozen mammoth fossils have been found with half eaten buttercups still in their mouths. In terms of fossil plants in these cold regions finds include fossil vegetation that is TROPICAL some with fruit still on the branches! Additionally, some animal fossil remains have been found frozen in what appears to be running motion as if they were trying to escape some cataclysm. Sometimes predator and prey have been found frozen together and one has to wonder what these animals were trying to get away from but that’s another story for a future post perhaps.
Desiccation (drying) is another process by which remains can become fossilized. Mummified remains of both humans and animals have been found fossilized by drying and, in fact, such drying was one method used by the ancient Egyptians to mummify their dead. Dried remains/fossils are found in arid regions of the world and most often the skin, organs, and other soft tissues are intact even though the person or animal has been dead for thousands of years. Continue Reading
Relief carving from Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia 1186 A.D.
There’s a new article up on the “Ancient Origins” website by April Holloway that is highly interesting. It concerns the dating of a Triceratops horn using C-14 dating and it is dated not at billions or millions of years ago but at only 33,500 years ago! That’s nothing short of astounding! So let’s take a closer look.
Link to Ancient Origins article:
Before I begin let me state a few things. I’ve always found it incredible (to say the least) when scientists date fossils at fantastic ages in the millions or more years. There has always been a question in my mind as to the accuracy of such dates. And then we have things like the footprints of dinosaurs and ancient humans found by Leakey in the Olduvai Gorge walking beside each other which is even more incredible. That find tells me that humans and dinosaurs DID coexist at some point but such evidence is summarily passed off by most paleontologists or simply not discussed. That’s ridiculous and that is NOT science! As I’ve said before, true science follows the evidence wherever it leads and if it obliterates someone’s bet theory then so be it. We must ask ourselves if our real interest is in science and evidence OR is our real interest in maintaining some ridiculously fantastic theory, funding, and teaching tenure? Sadly, I fear the later is the answer.
I don’t necessarily agree with the Creationists, but I don’t fully agree with the mainstream paleontologists either. Frankly, I feel both camps have some things a bit right and other things a bit wrong. I have found in my life that truth usually is not found at the extremes of a spectrum but that it is typically found in the middle. I really don’t care if new discoveries wreck someones theory or cost them their funding because we are suppose to be scientists and scientists are suppose to pursue truth no matter where that truth may lead. As scientists we must follow the chain of verifiable evidence! That should be the first rule of science. Continue Reading