Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Archaeology is Fun

This is the kind of archaeology I used to do, in exotic places fraught with danger, with occasional sprints away from armed grave robbers during weekend hikes, driving hands-up through military checkpoints, searching native markets for cold beer, eating guinea pigs. My old undergrad adviser and buddy Mark has always done excellent work in Peru and, more recently, Tibet, and now he's hit the big time since the wire services noticed he found a nifty necklace high in the Andes:

This undated handout photo provided by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows a reconstruction the gold and turquoise beads as a necklace. The central gold bead has a turquoise bead attached through a perforation in its center. The earliest known gold jewelry made in the Americas has been discovered in southern Peru. The gold and turquoise necklace, made nearly 4,000 years ago, was found in a burial site near Lake Titicaca, researchers report in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (AP Photo/National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, Mark Aldenderfer)
Awesomeness from Lake Titicaca.

Granted, we never found any gold back in the day when I was working for him in Peru, but we did find one of the earliest mano-and-metate sets known in the Andes and some very interesting early ceremonial features. He taught me how to wield a trowel and draw trench profiles, and taught us all to work as hard as we played.

Good show, Mark. You're buying the beers next time.

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