Category Archives: Archaeology

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Documentary: National Geographic’s Bones of Turkana

Africa, the birthplace of humanity. The womb of the first hominins. A continent rich in archaeological sites that continue to produce insights into our interminable human evolution journey.  One such site is Lake Turkana. Its parks are tallied among the UNESCO’s World Heritage list.  Lake Turkana has yielded fossils that include Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and four species of Australopithecus.

In National Geographic’s film, Bones of Turkana, it implicitly rolls several documentaries into one: human evolution, Lake Turkana’s paleoanthropological history, and conservation politics among other things, all set against the legacy background of the Leakeys. Richard Leakey takes you on a Lake Turkana adventure, which is aided by other scientists around the world who also focuses their research on the Turkana Basin. The documentary also features researcher Jason Lewis – I had the distinct opportunity of studying Faunal Analysis in Archaeology under him at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

The documentary is directed by John Heminway.  I believe he did an amazing job in cinematography and story telling to visually tell the long decades of exploration at Lake Turkana. The complete film is available for online viewing below.

Underwater Geoarchaeology at a Texan ancient springs site.

Spring Lake is located near San Marcos, Texas – an area that is rich with freshwater springs that bubble up from the Edwards Aquifer. These freshwater springs data back to the last ice age. Past archaeological efforts yielded artifacts from each time period that marks the area as one of the “longest and continually inhabited locations in the United States.” Clovis points and Mastodon remains have been found in the area, including recent human remains.

Researchers from the Center For Archaeological Studies and  The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment conducted the first underwater geoarchaeology survey at Spring Lake, utilizing a sub bottom profiler along with coring sediment samples. This area was dammed over a century ago, which created an underwater archaeological preserve.

Core samples from the sediments of the lake bed will be used to gather data and peek back into paleoenvironment and cultural history of the springs.

Short video from NGEO below.