Perhaps the most striking thing about archaeological finds is just how fragile and unlikely they are. When you realize the circumstances that had to align to give us each tiny glimpse into our prehistoric past, you can’t help but think about all the artifacts we’ll never get to see, lost as they are to decay or destruction or inaccessibility. Each find is precious and can teach us something new (except when it turns out to be fake).
- The “band of holes” is a bizarre feature in Peru, made up of thousands of small man-made depressions in the earth, spanning a mile across sloped ground. Proposed explanations have included defensive structures and (of course) ancient aliens, but the latest and most promising idea is that they were a tallying system to measure tribute to the Inca empire. [url]
- You’ve probably heard about the teenager who used star maps and Google Earth to discover what might be a lost Mayan city, but probably isn’t. The latest development is a new explanation for the features seen in satellite imagery: they might be a marijuana grow op. [url]
- A stone age axe recently uncovered in Australia is the oldest known axe that has an attached handle, predating the next most recent example by 10,000 years. It also predates the agricultural revolution by some 30,000 years, leaving archaeologists puzzling over its exact purpose. [url]
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