Notices
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: I'm baaaaack!

  1. #1 I'm baaaaack! 
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    If you noticed a dramatic drop in the number of pointless contributions and thread derailments, well, that's because I've been in the field for the last month. I was in Illinois and southern Indy gathering samples and learning a little about some other fields in which I am not at all versed. A group of about 25 total scientists and students from all over the country worked under an NSF grant to gather more information about how climate history may have affected Mississippian peoples living in our near the Ohio River valley from about 1100 to 1400 ad.

    The site. Pretty much the middle of nowhere:


    The lead archaeologist explained the basics to everyone from a dig site that had been opened up about a week before I arrived. By the time I left, it was about 120 cm deep, just past the features we were examining:


    I primarily spent my time working in a dig site near a bastion in the wall which surrounded the village. I had to make a makeshift tent because the temperature was teasing triple digits and there was a tree buffer which kept the air stagnant. I've never been so hot in my life:


    Disaster! Some severe storms came through and destroyed both of our work tents. I left the next day, but another team still had a week to go. Here's hoping they survived:


    We took terrestrial cores using a GeoProbe on the back of a tractor:


    Being primarily trained in geology, soils are more my cup of tea than archaeology, as is demonstrated by my (over)enthusiasm while examining the cores:


    We also ran some other tests such as walking a magnetometer over the site and running GPR (ground penetrating radar) to get a visual of what was happening under the top layers of soil. This is the GPR unit (it's worth more than my car):


    We also hauled a few boats and a new coring rig out onto some oxbows in the Ohio River valley to take lake cores. When we get back to the lab in a week, we will get a better understanding of sedimentation rates and flood history using magnetics and other analyses:


    My mentor and boss doing mud science:


    Finally, yours truly doing very little to help bring the rig in when all was said and done:


    That's just a brief peek at what I've been doing the last month. Glad to be home and I've got a lot of catching up to do!


    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  

    Related Discussions:

     

  3. #2  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    2,051
    Welcome back! I'm sure you'll make up for your lack of inane posts.


    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    ▼▼ dn ʎɐʍ sıɥʇ ▼▼ RedPanda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,737
    Welcome back!!
    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,788
    Those dogs that are there were they trained to dig such rectangular holes??

    Glad to have you back.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,564
    I noticed your absence and am looking forward to your usually hysterical and insightful posts. (I've noticed Jon Galt's Absence as well)
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
    President Dwight Eisenhower
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    I've been wondering about you. Now I know.

    Looks like a good project.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Senior samsmoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    304
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    A group of about 25 total scientists and students from all over the country worked under an NSF grant to gather more information about how climate history may have affected Mississippian peoples living in our near the Ohio River valley from about 1100 to 1400 ad.
    That's a relief. I was saying only the other day how desperately we all need to know whether or not Mississippians living near the Ohio River valley 1,000 years ago needed coats.
    Scientists and religionists can be easily differentiated: one lot is arrogant, irascible and disdainful, the other believes in God.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Senior samsmoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    304
    Nice to have you back though.
    Scientists and religionists can be easily differentiated: one lot is arrogant, irascible and disdainful, the other believes in God.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    8,416
    Looks like a really neat project.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    2,519
    Welcome back and thank you for sharing some photos!
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Those dogs that are there were they trained to dig such rectangular holes??

    Glad to have you back.
    The white one (Oscar) belongs to the guy giving the talk. The other one was an abandoned stray I named Master Splinter. He was constantly engaging in humping battles with Oscar. Before we left, the local farmer had adopted him.

    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I've been wondering about you. Now I know.

    Looks like a good project.
    You're not the only one who wonders about me.

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmoot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    A group of about 25 total scientists and students from all over the country worked under an NSF grant to gather more information about how climate history may have affected Mississippian peoples living in our near the Ohio River valley from about 1100 to 1400 ad.
    That's a relief. I was saying only the other day how desperately we all need to know whether or not Mississippians living near the Ohio River valley 1,000 years ago needed coats.
    They probably didn't during the summer because we ended up with a 104 degree heat index. One of the most miserable days of my life, to be honest.

    In all seriousness, the point of the project is several fold. The anthropologists obviously want to know about the history of human occupation in the area. The geologists want to build a flood record for what is a massive and very important watershed in an area which has been fraught with recent flooding. As an environmental scientist with a focus on water resources, I want to know how human behavior has impacted our fresh water supply. More importantly, I want to know how a change in water resources affects human behavior.

    One of my initial observations, which I will be following in lab work, is that these people experienced a fairly dramatic change in climate behavior around 1300. It appears that water became more scarce and temperatures were changing. This correlates with the construction of a palisade around their settlements around the same time. This palisade also appears to have been erected very quickly (a massive project) which suggests, to someone who knows very little of anthropology like me, that there was an immediate need for defensive fortifications.

    There was also a huge increase in population within the walls around 1300-1350. Now, some have interpreted this to mean a cultural boom which drew outsiders to the city and increased birth rates. I believe they retreated to within the walls out of fear. Shortly thereafter, there was a major collapse. The entire city was dismantled and abandoned. This happens within just decades of many other sites in the area being burned or abandoned. Very curious.

    Anyways, if anyone else is interested in anthropology, it might be pretty cool.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Senior samsmoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    304
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    One of my initial observations, which I will be following in lab work, is that these people experienced a fairly dramatic change in climate behavior around 1300. It appears that water became more scarce and temperatures were changing. This correlates with the construction of a palisade around their settlements around the same time. This palisade also appears to have been erected very quickly (a massive project) which suggests, to someone who knows very little of anthropology like me, that there was an immediate need for defensive fortifications.

    There was also a huge increase in population within the walls around 1300-1350. Now, some have interpreted this to mean a cultural boom which drew outsiders to the city and increased birth rates. I believe they retreated to within the walls out of fear. Shortly thereafter, there was a major collapse. The entire city was dismantled and abandoned. This happens within just decades of many other sites in the area being burned or abandoned. Very curious.
    I can see that my perception of North America previously being populated only by Red Indians running around on horseback needs revising.
    Scientists and religionists can be easily differentiated: one lot is arrogant, irascible and disdainful, the other believes in God.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    Quote Originally Posted by samsmoot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    One of my initial observations, which I will be following in lab work, is that these people experienced a fairly dramatic change in climate behavior around 1300. It appears that water became more scarce and temperatures were changing. This correlates with the construction of a palisade around their settlements around the same time. This palisade also appears to have been erected very quickly (a massive project) which suggests, to someone who knows very little of anthropology like me, that there was an immediate need for defensive fortifications.

    There was also a huge increase in population within the walls around 1300-1350. Now, some have interpreted this to mean a cultural boom which drew outsiders to the city and increased birth rates. I believe they retreated to within the walls out of fear. Shortly thereafter, there was a major collapse. The entire city was dismantled and abandoned. This happens within just decades of many other sites in the area being burned or abandoned. Very curious.
    I can see that my perception of North America previously being populated only by Red Indians running around on horseback needs revising.
    Horses were extinct in North America prior to Spanish conquest. Before European settlement, these people would not have been on horseback.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,795
    It would seem that 1300 is a bit early to see the effects of the little ice age, which caused that kind of turmoil in the Late Mississippian period.
    Mississippian culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    • The Late Mississippi period (c. 1400–1540) is characterized by increasing warfare, political turmoil, and population movement. The population of Cahokia dispersed early in this period (1350–1400), perhaps migrating to other rising political centers. More defensive structures are often seen at sites, and sometimes a decline in mound-building and large scale, public ceremonialism. Although some areas continued an essentially Middle Mississippian culture until the first significant contact with Europeans, the population of most areas had dispersed or were experiencing severe social stress by 1500.[4][5][6] Along with the contemporaneous Ancestral Pueblo peoples, these cultural collapses coincide with the global climate change of the Little Ice Age. Scholars theorize drought and the reduction of maize agriculture, together with possible deforestation and overhunting by the concentrated populations, forced them to move away from major sites. This period ended with European and African contact in the 16th century.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It would seem that 1300 is a bit early to see the effects of the little ice age, which caused that kind of turmoil in the Late Mississippian period.
    Mississippian culture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    • The Late Mississippi period (c. 1400–1540) is characterized by increasing warfare, political turmoil, and population movement. The population of Cahokia dispersed early in this period (1350–1400), perhaps migrating to other rising political centers. More defensive structures are often seen at sites, and sometimes a decline in mound-building and large scale, public ceremonialism. Although some areas continued an essentially Middle Mississippian culture until the first significant contact with Europeans, the population of most areas had dispersed or were experiencing severe social stress by 1500.[4][5][6] Along with the contemporaneous Ancestral Pueblo peoples, these cultural collapses coincide with the global climate change of the Little Ice Age. Scholars theorize drought and the reduction of maize agriculture, together with possible deforestation and overhunting by the concentrated populations, forced them to move away from major sites. This period ended with European and African contact in the 16th century.
    Our initial magnetics data (from cores I took last year) show a strong correlation with local flood changes and what appear to be behavioral shifts in the local cultures. Hopefully, our lab work over the remainder of the summer will yield further insights. That having been said, we're still trying to build a case for magsup analysis and flood events.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Forum Senior samsmoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    304
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by samsmoot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post

    One of my initial observations, which I will be following in lab work, is that these people experienced a fairly dramatic change in climate behavior around 1300. It appears that water became more scarce and temperatures were changing. This correlates with the construction of a palisade around their settlements around the same time. This palisade also appears to have been erected very quickly (a massive project) which suggests, to someone who knows very little of anthropology like me, that there was an immediate need for defensive fortifications.

    There was also a huge increase in population within the walls around 1300-1350. Now, some have interpreted this to mean a cultural boom which drew outsiders to the city and increased birth rates. I believe they retreated to within the walls out of fear. Shortly thereafter, there was a major collapse. The entire city was dismantled and abandoned. This happens within just decades of many other sites in the area being burned or abandoned. Very curious.
    I can see that my perception of North America previously being populated only by Red Indians running around on horseback needs revising.
    Horses were extinct in North America prior to Spanish conquest. Before European settlement, these people would not have been on horseback.
    Thanks - I should have remembered that.

    You've piqued my interest in pre-European America as I realise I know almost nothing about it. South American cultural history is fascinating and widely discussed but I hear almost nothing about the history of North America.
    Scientists and religionists can be easily differentiated: one lot is arrogant, irascible and disdainful, the other believes in God.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Flatland
    Posts
    5,438
    Quote Originally Posted by samsmoot View Post
    Thanks - I should have remembered that.

    You've piqued my interest in pre-European America as I realise I know almost nothing about it. South American cultural history is fascinating and widely discussed but I hear almost nothing about the history of North America.
    I know very little as well. I went on this expedition to work with archaeologists and anthropologists because their fields are almost completely unknown to me. As my interests have moved from just conservation to understanding climate impacts on human behavior, I've realized I need to better understand these fields.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Senior samsmoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    304
    Good luck with it all.
    Scientists and religionists can be easily differentiated: one lot is arrogant, irascible and disdainful, the other believes in God.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •