Hunter-Gatherer Tooth Decay

Another example of things not being as simple you like to think: Evidence of tooth decay found in Moroccan hunter-gatherers from over 13,000 years ago. Tooth decay is usually associated with agricultural populations. As seen at Past Horizons. Abstract of the research article is at PNAS.


Cervalces in Iowa

There’s no extinct cervid we love more than Cervalces, so it’s always a pleasure to see an article about the stag-moose.

Matthew Hill has identified countless bones found by farmers, fishermen, rock hounds and heavy equipment operators. Most of the remains turn out to be deer, bison, horse or cow bones, or simply odd looking rocks. But some discoveries turn out to be highly unusual, as was the case with an antler from an extinct Ice Age animal known as a stag-moose or elk-moose.

From Science Daily

State of the art (c. 2011) on the peopling of the new world


A Tale of Two Migrations: Reconciling Recent Biological and Archaeological Evidence for the Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas

Bonnie L. Pitblado 2011 Journal of Archaeological Research 19:327–375

This gem of an article, currently available as a free download from the JAR website, avoids being dogmatic while reviewing the past decade of scientific research.

What does the recent scientific writing reveal? “that the peopling of the New World occurred in two pulses, both originating in southern Siberia. The first proceeded along the Pacific Rim and coast of Alaska via watercraft 16,000–15,000 years ago, and the second 1,000 years later on land by way of Beringia and the ice-free corridor.” (p. 329) The groups in the first pulse used boats, were focused on coastal and other water-based resources, and eventually made it down to the Monte Verde site in Chile. The members of the second pulse, as they were moving down an interior ice-free corridor, were obviously not coastal-oriented, and it is the latter group that developed the distinctive Clovis technology. Continue reading