archaeologist

Was Santa Elena the First Colonial City?

DiggingMost everyone is familiar with the story of how the United States began its journey into what it is today. We learn about the history of the United States in school, through our parents, grandparents and other influential people. A common known fact is that Jamestown, Virginia was American’s birthplace. But now a new place was deemed as the first colonial capital, Santa Elena located in South Carolina.

Since realizing this piece of history, archaeologists are now resuming digs properly to uncover what was ultimately forgotten. The site where the archaeologists are interested in is within the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island. Tourists are also attracted to this area when they visit South Carolina.

This discovery is going one step further. According to a news source, The National Park Service “plans to release a curriculum this fall on Santa Elena for middle and high school teachers. Spain has offered to provide software, documents and other artifacts to help tell the town’s story, as part of an agreement the U.S. signed with Spain last year on the initiative.”

Also, Santa Elena was named a National Historic Landmark in 2001. Despite this, the history books give an interesting timeline of the beginning for the United States. The history books talk about Christopher Columbus, to the 1607 to Jamestown and to the landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

The Santa Elena Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in 2013 and hopes to open up a temporary center in 2014, with a permanent center in 2016. The Marine Corps expectations before the center opens that the artifacts found be collected, re-packaged and re-cataloged.

Bones Found and Human Bodies Created; But How?

BonesFor archaeologists and researchers alike, the thought of finding human remains or any kind of bones and other artifacts for that matter, is fascinating. They are able to get answers to questions that many researchers before them were unable to answer. Even though the world has gone digital, archaeologist stills uses old methods and discovers something new.

Dating back 430,000 years, researchers found bones that were able to be restructured into 17 skulls of early humanoids in the “Pit of the Bones” which is located in Madrid, Spain.

The history of the Pit of the Bones was first discovered in 1983 and the largest number of human remains that are ever recorded here. The age of the fossils are unknown, yet still being debated today and also what species of humans they represent.

Interestingly, the species called Neanderthal is the closet extinct species to our own and right next to that are the Homo sapiens that coexisted with humans thousands of years ago. To tell the difference between the two, Neanderthal skulls have human like features including a brain, jaws, and teeth.

The reconstructed skulls that were discovered, had the features in the face and teeth, but the brain could only accommodate a small skull. Further, it was not just the face that was restricted, but entire human bodies.

At the end of the study, the researchers were able to answer two of the questions, “who were these people? And when were they living on the landscape?”