Category Archives: U.S.A

The Nampa Figurine: 2-million-year-old Relic or Just a Hoax?

The Nampa Figurine: 2-million-year-old Relic or Just a Hoax?

Nampa Statue or Nampa Figure is the figure discovered in Idaho in 1889 on the ground layers, that is believed two million years old.

This statue has given rise to theories on the origins of mankind. Some people say it’s just fake but this high class small human figure is a very interesting thing, which might have also the more natural explanation.

The theory of the two million years old human civilization may, of course, be possible, and here we must say that one statue would not make civilization.

The figure is found 300 feet deep, and it is 91 meters in the metric system. So the person or persons who dig that statue in the ground must spend very much time on that operation.

There is one special detail of that figure, and it seems to wear European clothes. Also, the figure seems hanged, but this might be only the imagination. There is claimed to have evil forces in this figure, what is the really mysterious artifact.

The Size of Nampa figure

But there is one very interesting explanation for this creature. This explanation is connected with the syndrome called “Savant autism”. This syndrome is causing the situation, that some people would have limits in the many skills, but in one special skill, this kind of person would be the best in the world. Some of those persons who are “savant autistic” are making extremely perfect things by using mud.

And those persons actually make those statues automatically. If that statue is made by some savant autistic, the family of that person would like to hide that thing, because those persons are sometimes faced with the violence, because they are different than others. That’s why this statue could be buried to the ground because the community wanted to hide the syndrome.

LwaLwa Statue

There are also many other theories about those strange creatures.  Of course, extraterrestrials and UFO:s might be the natural explanation. Sometimes I have thought that could behind those strange creatures be Cro-Magnon man, what was able to make the statue, but making the statue doesn’t mean, that they could write.

Or sometimes some persons have thought that maybe some slave has taken the special LwaLwa statue from Africa without permissions, and afraid the consequences.

The Nampa figure is quite small, and maybe it was specially made for some purpose.  Maybe this statue is bought by some slave, who would dig it in the ground because white men punished non-christian slaves.

And that statue was the religious symbol. Some stories are told that this statue was carried by escaped slaves sometimes on the 18th. or 19th. century. But why this slave would use all that time for digging this statue so deep.

The process would take a very long time, and if this person would get help from other people, should there be some reason for that trouble.

Then this person digs that statue in the ground because that person didn’t want that it would get into the hands of the slave keepers. But those are only theories.

Mammoth Site of Hot Springs in South Dakota is the World’s Largest Columbian Mammoth Exhibit

Inside the excavation of a South Dakota sinkhole that swallowed more than 60 mammoths

When I learned of this and ongoing mammoth fossil excavations, I thought that this was fake But when I was inside the building and I saw that real work was taking place, I was delighted to see the history of the building opened in front of your eyes.

The Mammoth Site is a ‘ successful paleontological mining site with the highest concentration of mammal remains worldwide! ‘ According to the website. “The mammoth count is currently 61, with 58 Colombian mammoths and 3 Woolly mammoths found.

Just 140,000 years later, in 1974, when a worker preparing the field for a housing project hit a tusk with the blade of his machine. 

A volunteer crew at work.
A mounted replica of one of the site’s mammoths.

The Mammoth Site has been an active dig ever since, one of the few places in the U.S. where you can follow a fossil’s path from the ground to the preparation lab to the museum floor, all within the same building.

Excavating the Ice Age

Turning into the parking lot, I’m greeted by a life-size reconstruction of one of the site’s namesakes, a Columbian mammoth, raising its trunk above the museum’s welcome sign. The town of Hot Springs has fully embraced the local extinct wildlife.

The restaurant next to the museum is named Woolly’s, in honor of the smaller species of mammoth found next door, and there are a surprisingly large number of visitors on the site’s morning tours for a day in late September.

As I enter the room that houses the dig itself, I’m struck by the height of the excavation. It takes a pretty big hole in the ground to trap upwards of 60 mammoths (mostly the larger Columbian species, though they’ve found a couple of woolly mammoths, too), but hearing about it and seeing it in person are two different things.

The way the bones have been excavated has left dramatic sheer walls and flat terraces in the yellowish-tan earth, on which light brown mammoth skulls sporting huge tusks sit like statues on pedestals. The bones are jumbled together and piled high—nothing like that perfectly articulated skeleton in Jurassic Park.

Descending the stairs from the main wooden walkway that encircles the active parts of the dig to stand on a fenced-in platform on the level of one of the deepest floors, I’m keenly aware that there are likely many more bones of Ice Age animals beneath my feet. Along with the famous mammoths, many other species have been found here, including llamas, camels, and the giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus).

The site’s geologists have figured out that the sinkhole was originally about 65 feet deep. The dedicated crew of paleontologists, interns, and volunteers working at the site have only excavated about 20 feet of that. And, unlike the Jurassic Park paleontologists, they’re not doing it with just paintbrushes and bare hands.

A prehistoric puzzle

On the day of my visit, a group of adult volunteers sits in the less-excavated half of the bonebed, gently tapping away with hammers and small chisels, scraping with trowels, and scooping the loose sediment into buckets.

One of the least glamorous parts of a thorough excavation is screen-washing, where bucket after bucket of dirt is rinsed through a screen until only small bits of rock, bone, and teeth are left behind. What remains is then picked through for tiny fossils of small mammals—rodents and rabbits—that also met their end in the sinkhole.

A jumbled pile of mammoth bones, including vertebrae, limbs, and ribs.

Some of this picking happens downstairs, in the Mammoth Site’s fossil preparation lab. A short elevator ride down to the museum’s lower floor reveals the part of paleontology most people don’t think about when they see a beautifully complete mounted skeleton in a museum.

After leaving the elevator, I’m greeted by a wall of windows. Here, visitors can peer into the lab as bits of bone are painstakingly cleaned and glued back together, like putting together a puzzle where half of the pieces are broken or missing.

A wall-mounted TV plays a video of the site’s molding and casting process. Silicone rubber is used to make an exact mold of a fossil. That mold can then be used to create replicas (called casts) of the bone, which are often what ends up mounted in museums. Fossils are fragile and irreplaceable, so it’s safer to work with the casts.

The people who work in these spaces are the unsung heroes of paleontology, painstakingly bringing ancient bones back to life. While a lot of museums are starting to pull back the curtain on what it takes to prepare a fossil when it comes in from the field by building these kinds of “fishbowl” lab spaces, the Mammoth Site is a rare destination because the fossils are being both excavated and pieced back together inside the same building.

A diagram shows the size of the mammoths.
Carefully excavated mammoth skulls.

Heading back upstairs, I see the work of the site’s preparators in the museum’s more traditional gallery space, where mounted mammoths and replicas of huts made of casts of mammoth bones and faux-fur await.

Half of this space is dedicated to ancient life in the Black Hills and surrounding areas, but the other half is all about fossil elephants and their relatives. Bits of mummified tissue from mammoths found in the Siberian permafrost fill the cases on one wall. Mounted skeletons include a Channel Islands pygmy mammoth, a dwarf descendent of mainland Columbian mammoths.

The Mammoth Site is a local treasure of international scientific importance, and I leave with a certain amount of envy that the residents of Hot Springs get to live with these fossil riches so close at hand. But I’m also reminded that the traces of prehistoric life are everywhere—even if they’re usually less dramatic than a sinkhole full of mammoths.

Humans were in America 100,000 years earlier than we thought, study claims

Humans were in America 100,000 years earlier than we thought, study claims

The remnants of a mastodon found in a routine freeway excavation in San Diego shows there was human activity in North America 130,000 years ago — or about 115,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Broken bone fragments show evidence that humans were around much earlier than previously thought.

The fossils of the ancient mammal were revealed more than 20 years ago by paleontologists with the San Diego Natural History Museum. But it wasn’t until now that scientists were able to accurately date the findings, and possibly rewrite the history of the New World as we know it.

“This is a whole new ball game,” Steve Holen, co-director of the Center for American Paleolithic Research and the paper’s lead author, told CNN. The discovery changes the understanding of when humans reached North America.

The study, to be published this week in the science journal Nature, said the numerous limb bones fragments of a young male mastodon found at the site show spiral fractures, indicating they were broken while fresh.

Hammerstones and stone anvils were also found at the site, showing that humans had the manual skill and knowledge to use stone tools to extract the animal’s marrow and possibly to use its bones to make tools.

The discovery took place in 1992 by museum paleontologists, who were doing routine work at a freeway expansion in San Diego County. The site was named Cerutti Mastodon site, in honor of Richard Cerutti, who made the discovery and led the excavation.

Museum paleontologist Tom Deméré, who was involved in the excavation and has also been part of this study, said the project took five months and covered almost 600 square feet. He described the decades-long project as an “incredible odyssey.”

Researchers work at the Cerutti Mastodon site near San Diego.

“We early on realized that this is a special site,” said Deméré, adding later the group was “salvaging fossils as they were being found.”

Five large stones, which were used to break the bones and teeth of the mastodon, were found alongside the animal’s remains, according to the study. The site also contained fossils of other extinct animals, including dire wolf, horse, camel, mammoth and ground sloth.

Scientists specialized in various fields, from archaeology to the environment, have done research at the Cerutti site since its discovery.

Advanced radiometric dating technology allowed scientists to determine the mastodon bones belong to the Late Pleistocene period, or 130,000 years old, with a margin of error of plus or minus 9,400 years.

Some of the Mastodon bones found at the excavation site are seen in an image

“The bones and several teeth show clear signs of having been deliberately broken by humans with manual dexterity and experiential knowledge,” Holen said in a press release.

Experts agreed that the earliest records of human ancestors in North America is about 15,000 years old, but the discovery of the Cerutti site “shows that human ancestors were in the New World ten times that length of time,” said paleontologist Lawrence Vescera.

“This site really nails it because the evidence is really clear.”

The 11 scientists involved in the study told CNN it’s too early to tell the impact of the new findings. For now, they want the general audience to see it and understand it, and for their peers to study it — and even challenge it.

The archaeological treasures found at the Cerutti site will be on display at the San Diego museum. And a partnership with the University of Michigan will allow for even more people to see 3-D models of some of the specimens at their Online Repository of Fossils.

Huge 300-Million-Year-Old Shark Skull Found Deep Inside An Underground Kentucky Cave

Huge 300-Million-Year-Old Shark Skull Found Deep Inside An Underground Kentucky Cave

In the walls of a Kentucky cave, a fossilized shark’s head was found around 300 million years ago.

Scientists suggest that it was part of a striatus of Saivodus, which existed during the Late Mississippian geological age between 340 million and 330 million years ago.

It shows the skull, the lower jaws, cartilage and several teeth of the creature. The team believes that the size of the animal is similar to our modern Great White Shark.

A massive, fossilized shark head dating back some 300 million years ago has been discovered in the walls of a Kentucky cave. Experts believe it belonged to a Saivodus striatus, which lived between 340 and 330 million years ago during the Late Mississippian geological period.

The ancient shark head was uncovered in Mammoth Cave National Park, located in Kentucky, which is Earth’s oldest known cave system, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

It was first spotted in a treasure trove of fossils by Mammoth Cave specialists Rick Olson and Rick Toomey, who sent images of their findings to Vincent Santucci, the senior paleontologist for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., for help with identifying the fossils.

But it was paleontologist John-Paul Hodnett who made the exciting discovery.

‘One set of photos showed a number of shark teeth associated with large sections of fossilized cartilage, suggesting there might be a shark skeleton preserved in the cave,’ he told the Journal.

The head was well-preserved in the cave and the team was able to make out the shark’s skull, lower jaw, cartilage, and numerous teeth. Based on these features, Hodnett believes the shark was about the size of a modern-day great white.

The Mammoth Cave National Park holds a trove of ancient fossil – more than 100 shark species have been discovered so far.

‘We’ve just scratched the surface,’ Hodnett said. ‘But already it’s showing that Mammoth Cave has a rich fossil shark record.’

A discovery such as this is very rare, as cartilage does not usually survive fossilization. However, shark teeth are commonly found, as they are made of bone and enamel, making them easy to preserve.

Hodnett said teeth and dorsal fins of other shark species are also exposed in the cave ceiling and walls.

‘We’ve just scratched the surface,’ Hodnett said. ‘But already it’s showing that Mammoth Cave has a rich fossil shark record.’  

A separate exudation found teeth that they believed belonged to the largest prehistoric shark that lived over 2.5 million years ago.  The discovery was made by divers in an inland sinkhole in central Mexico supporting anthropologists’ theories that the city of Maderia was once under the sea.

Fifteen dental fossils were found in total with thirteen of them believed to belong to three different species of shark, including a megalodon that existed over 2.5 million years ago.

According to the researchers involved, an initial exam of the thirteen shark dental fossils and their size and shape revealed that they might have belonged to the prehistoric and extinct species of megalodon shark (Carcharocles megalodon), the mackerel shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) and the saw shark, the last two of which are not extinct.

Hodnett said teeth (pictured) and dorsal fins of other shark species are also exposed in the cave ceiling and walls
A discovery such as this is very rare, as cartilage does not usually survive fossilization. However, shark teeth are commonly found, as they are made of bone and enamel, making them easy to preserve.

The fossils belong to the period of Pleiocene, the epoch in the geologic timescale that extended from 5 million to 2.5 million years ago, and the Miocene, an earlier geological epoch which extended between 23 and 5 million years ago.

Reports state the Xoc cenote is the largest in the city of Merida with a diameter of 2,034 feet and 91 feet deep.