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Life Existed 9,000 Years Ago (Florida, 12,000 YO Artifacts)
Sun Herald ^ | 8-15-2007

Posted on 08/19/2007 5:35:45 PM PDT by blam

Life existed more than 9,000 years ago

Discovery made at Little Salt Spring

Little Salt Spring ranks as one of the major archaeological sites in the western hemisphere. Even though only 5 percent of the spring has been explored, divers have found artifacts dating back 12,000 years ago.

NORTH PORT -- After thousands of years underwater, a handful of North Port's history resurfaced in a Ziploc bag.

"They don't call it hardwood for nothin'!" said Steve Koski to John Gifford after the two emerged from the Little Salt Spring with a radiocarbon sample last week.

Koski, an archaeologist at Little Salt Spring Research Facility, off Price Boulevard, mumbled this to his teammate while the two were 40 feet underwater. But Gifford, research director for Miami University, was unable to hear as his knife chiseled away at a piece of wood the team believes to be at least 9,000 years old.

Both men spent 30 minutes in the spring Thursday taking two samples from a log nearly 3 meters long. One will determine the age of the wood and the other the species.

"I don't want to get my hopes up, but I'd love for it to be something great, like a totem," Koski said.

Although a totem pole would be impressive in size, Koski has been thrilled to find artifacts that fit in the palm of his hand.

Pointing to a wooden stake a little more than a foot in length resting in a plastic container filled with spring water, Koski picks it up and examines the pointed tip.

"This small wooden stake took 48 minutes to excavate and bring to the surface. Its tip was the only thing sticking out of the sandy clay sediment. Can you believe it's estimated to be 10,500 years old?" he asked. "With this and other findings, we can look at the distribution of the stakes identified and perhaps see why they were carved and what their function might have been."

However, the most interesting fact is that it was found right in the backyard of "our homes," Koski said.

Little Salt Spring is not just another spring in North Port. Not a lot of people even know about it or the unique history it contains. Koski said this spring is one of the greatest archaeological finds in the country.

Located near Heron Creek Middle School, Little Salt Spring is a 250-foot-deep sinkhole on 112.5 acres of property owned by the University of Miami since 1982. The hourglass-shaped spring was first discovered as an archaeological site in 1959 by local divers.

"There is evidence of visitation and occupation from 12,500-6,000 years ago," Koski said.

Working on the slope of the 78-meter basin-like depression, Koski and other University of Miami divers are trying to uncover evidence of previous life.

"We have discovered a wide range of preserved organic materials including wooden stakes, textile fragments (delite), deer remains and bone tools. Because there is no dissolved oxygen in the water, bacteria cannot grow and decompose wood and the other organic materials, offering unique artifact preservation," Koski said.

In June 2005, Dr. John Gifford of the University of Miami/Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a group of graduate students discovered two Archaic artifacts, estimated to be 7,000 years old. One was a greenstone pendant and the other was believed to be part of a spear-thrower.

Fourteen days out of the year, five to 12 advanced undergraduates and graduate students from the University of Miami come to Little Salt Spring. Students participate in daily underwater excavation at 20-40 feet, as well as surface support activities relating to diving.

Last year, Gifford and his colleagues and students also unearthed two stakes and brought one of the two to the surface, which they estimated was at least 10,000 years old.

"Since 2004, we have found eight wooden stakes and recovered four of the eight. We have removed two of them for radiocarbon dating and we're leaving the other ones," Koski said. "We take a conservation ethic in our work. We wouldn't have the site anymore if we took everything we found."

They are also planning an additional excavation on the 27-meter ledge to uncover extinct Pleistocene fossil remains and 12,000-year-old artifacts that lay there. However, because funding is so limited, researchers are able to perform excavations only once or twice a year, so only 5 percent of the spring has really been explored.

"This is the most important archaeological site in the United States and it's right here in North Port's backyard. This is also the only opportunity in the U.S. for college students to do fieldwork in prehistoric underwater excavation," Gifford said. "We have so much potential to make this site one of the best archaeological facilities, but the funding just isn't there. At this point, we don't even have the most basic necessities like running water."

For more information on group tours or volunteer opportunities, call Steven Koski at 941-423-0835.

You can e-mail Kharli Rose at krose@sun-herald.com.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 9000; archaeology; florida; godsgravesglyphs; yearsago
"This is the most important archaeological site in the United States and it's right here in North Port's backyard."

I don't believe this.

1 posted on 08/19/2007 5:35:47 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv; Coyoteman
GGG Ping.

The title makes no sense.

2 posted on 08/19/2007 5:36:42 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Gee, a 9000 year old plastic container. I guess they don’t decompose.


3 posted on 08/19/2007 5:41:59 PM PDT by Ed Condon (Wanted, newer tag line in good condition.)
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To: blam
I’m sorry to piss on the parade but zip-lock bags are less than 100 years old.
4 posted on 08/19/2007 5:42:03 PM PDT by Jaysun (It's outlandishly inappropriate to suggest that I'm wrong.)
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To: blam

Not the first spring in FL to contain artifacts > 10,000 y/o


5 posted on 08/19/2007 5:43:19 PM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008 -- talk about it >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
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To: blam
blam, I live about 3 miles from this area. Its been known
by the locals for some time now. Some of the divers say
it’s like going down an elevator shaft through history.
6 posted on 08/19/2007 5:43:44 PM PDT by ThreePuttinDude ()... Cevapi & Slivovitz for everyone....()
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To: blam

Confusing at best. A campground, underwater? I did not realize scuba was that ancient.


7 posted on 08/19/2007 5:45:01 PM PDT by petertare (--)
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To: blam

What? Did they find an old snowbird’s white Lebaron in a mall parking lot?


8 posted on 08/19/2007 5:48:22 PM PDT by A_Tradition_Continues (THE NEXT GENERATION CONSERVATIVE)
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To: blam

“The title makes no sense.”

Written for today’s politically correct public school graduates.


9 posted on 08/19/2007 5:52:45 PM PDT by wgflyer (Liberalism is to society what HIV is to the immune system.)
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To: blam
"This is the most important archaeological site in the United States and it's right here in North Port's backyard."

I don't believe this.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.

I didn't see the results of any radiocarbon dating in the article. There was no reference to a journal article or published report. In fact the article was short on a lot of the technical detail I would like to see.

I think I'll wait before agreeing that this site is the "most important archaeological site in the United States."

10 posted on 08/19/2007 5:52:51 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: blam
Has anyone carbon dated a fresh cadaver or fallen log lately? Just curious seeing the results.
11 posted on 08/19/2007 5:56:15 PM PDT by Musketeer
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To: petertare

The article notes that the spring is actually a sinkhole, very common in Florida (I was born there). Therefore the campsite mentioned in the article used to be at ground level and was swallowed up when the sinkhole formed.


12 posted on 08/19/2007 6:05:21 PM PDT by Defend the Second (Let Me Get This Straight: Illegal Invasion is OK, but Legal Expulsion is Not?)
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To: Coyoteman
"Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. "

I would choose Meadowcroft or Topper as the most important site...until I know more about this site.

13 posted on 08/19/2007 6:12:53 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam
ROCK ON!

The oldest petroglyphs are dated to approx. the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary--- 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Around 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, other writing systems such as pictographs and ideograms began to be shown. Call it the ancient "gallery" opening where food and drink was enjoyed by all. Petroglyphs were still common though, and some less advanced societies (the beer drinkers) continued using them much longer usually on rock walls where one went to relieve oneself, until contact with Western culture (the more uppity lofty SoHo Capote crowd) was made in the 20th century.

Petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica (partly because of global warming, and partly because of no talent) with highest concentrations in parts of Africa, Scandinavia, Siberia, southwestern North America and Australia.

;)

14 posted on 08/19/2007 6:17:14 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: Musketeer
Has anyone carbon dated a fresh cadaver or fallen log lately? Just curious seeing the results.

I do a lot of radiocarbon dating so maybe I can take a whack at this.

A fresh cadaver would be heavily contaminated with post-atomic bomb carbon, and would not likely provide a reliable date. Further, extremely young dates are problematical because of the ± factor. Even if you have a very good range, say ±40 years, when you calibrate your date at two sigmas you have a range of about 80 years on either side of the intercept (center). So you could potentially get a calibrated date at two sigmas of AD 1860-2020. That's not of much use in determining if a cadaver was from WWI or WWII.

A fallen log could have quite an age range. Take either a redwood tree or a bristlecone pine from the White Mountains of southern California. Each could have wood going back from several to many thousand of years old. Archaeologists take these possibilities into account when dating charcoal.

Hope this helps.

15 posted on 08/19/2007 6:18:25 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: xcamel; ThreePuttinDude
Bye, Bye Beringia (8,000 Year Old Site In Florida)

*Skeletal remains of 169 people, split almost evenly between males and females, ranging from 6 to 70 years old. About 75 of the skeletons were relatively intact.

*90 intact human brains that include the oldest DNA samples in the World.
*Artifacts of wood, bone, and seed that were made into jewelry and tools, providing insight into the ancient peoples' lives.
*Tests showed the oldest skeletons were buried 8,100 years ago. The youngest was placed in the ground 6,900 years ago.
"To put this into context," Doran said, "these people had already been dead for 3,000 or 4,000 years before the first stones were laid for the Egyptian pyramids!"

16 posted on 08/19/2007 6:18:52 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Anything dated to 12,000 ago puts it in the last ice age. Divers have found sites with human artifacts off the Florida coast which at one time were on dry land during the ice age.


17 posted on 08/19/2007 6:20:00 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: xcamel

18 posted on 08/19/2007 6:20:29 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

You need to find someone who can overlay the sealevel map from the same period in time - pretty close to the -100m level from now, so most if not all of those sites would have been a mighty long way from the ocean...


19 posted on 08/19/2007 6:24:22 PM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008 -- talk about it >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
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To: Brad from Tennessee

I have some 7,000 year old wood from Northern Florida. It was dredged up from Santa Rosa Sound, Florida...which was a cypress forest that went underwater during the last Ice Age melt.


20 posted on 08/19/2007 6:24:26 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Musketeer
Has anyone carbon dated a fresh cadaver or a fallen log lately...

Carbon Dating? Gross!

21 posted on 08/19/2007 6:25:56 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: xcamel
Check this worldwide map of the world with the water level reduced by a little over 300 feet. Maneuver around and look at Florida.
22 posted on 08/19/2007 6:27:08 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Interesting. Thanks.


23 posted on 08/19/2007 6:32:11 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: blam

yup.. that’s handy.. Could we assume that the groundwater (springs) would have been at least 50% lower than today’s levels? (sink holes make great paleolithic garbage pits...)


24 posted on 08/19/2007 6:32:32 PM PDT by xcamel (FDT/2008 -- talk about it >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
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To: Defend the Second

Isn’t it a little precarious to be born in a sinkhole??
susie


25 posted on 08/19/2007 6:35:27 PM PDT by brytlea (amnesty--an act of clemency by an authority by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individual)
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To: blam

Another site on ice age Florida artifacts:

http://dhr.dos.state.fl.us/facts/reports/contexts/paleo.cfm


26 posted on 08/19/2007 6:37:20 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: Coyoteman; Musketeer
I found this interesting, where carbon dating is not said to work in reference to Huckleberries..as I have blueberries and huckleberries, living in the Northeast on granite ledge where the glacier said to have ended. However:

MEET THE WORLD'S OLDEST--AND HARDEST WORKING--PLANT

Mystery and questions still surround the box huckleberry (sweeter than the wild blueberry.

No one knows for sure how it got here. Since it doesn't reproduce sexually as most plants do, how did distant colonies form?

One theory is that the existing colonies are all that's left of a once more numerous glacial plant.

James C. Parks, a Millersville University biology professor is inclined to accept another theory. Though no viable seeds from box huckleberries have ever been found in the wild, fertile seeds have resulted from people manually transferring pollen from one plant to another colony.

Perhaps, once in a blue moon, a pollinated seed does make its way, perhaps by a bird, launching another colony.

Nor is there unanimity about how old huckleberry plants are. They have no rings to count, like trees. Carbon dating doesn't work. Estimates are based on how much the plant grows in a year.

27 posted on 08/19/2007 6:39:09 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: blam
About 12,000 years ago, as the most recent Ice Age was ending, sea level went up about 400 meters in a few hundred years. Any people living near any coast would have had to move repeatedly as the coast moved.

Especially in Florida, anything that old is likely underwater now. So finding people-related stuff in 30-40 foot water is not hat surprising.

There are people looking for archaeological sites in the Gulf of Mexico, and I heard that some research is starting in the Long Island Sound, because 10,000 years ago it was a valley where native Americans probably lived.

28 posted on 08/19/2007 6:57:40 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: xcamel
"yup.. that’s handy.. Could we assume that the groundwater (springs) would have been at least 50% lower than today’s levels? (sink holes make great paleolithic garbage pits...)"

Yup.

29 posted on 08/19/2007 7:00:16 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: fight_truth_decay
Excellent article, thanks.

We have a number of wild varieties of huckleberry - blueberries around here. I ate them often with cream and sugar in my youth.

30 posted on 08/19/2007 7:08:50 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
Good site. Thanks.


31 posted on 08/19/2007 7:10:56 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: fight_truth_decay
Carbon dating doesn't work.

I would be interested in knowing why radiocarbon dating doesn't work.

I would like to see what the C13 ratio was. Maybe also the N15 ratio.

My first guess is radiocarbon dating doesn't work well because what is being dated is too young, and post-atomic. That's enough to mess any radiocarbon date up.

Any more information?

32 posted on 08/19/2007 7:13:13 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: blam

YEC INTREP


33 posted on 08/19/2007 7:48:06 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: blam
"...Bye, Bye Beringia (8,000 Year Old Site In Florida)..."

Thanks, pally - I bin lookin' for that article for four years ................. FRegards

34 posted on 08/19/2007 7:54:04 PM PDT by gonzo (In Florida, inmates make cigarettes in jail that I buy, and I can go to jail for smoking one! WTF?)
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To: Coyoteman
Carbon dating doesn't work

No info found. Your theories work, however.

Huckleberry 13,000 years (Wherry 1972): One single plant clone -one plant theory- endlessly sending out root suckers...as you said new aka young..still considered a mystery. But then in its' form, it is not charred. Would guess would be comparison or relative dating to some other organic find. But then that does not make sense to me, whereas, I am not as scholar-ed as you.

JSTOR

I did a story in FR while back on the plant with the oldest dna.. Oldest DNA ever recovered shows warmer planet: report

35 posted on 08/19/2007 9:04:31 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: Coyoteman

You are right, and your profile shows you know what you are talking about. A book makes no sense if more than half the pages are missing......


36 posted on 08/19/2007 9:13:31 PM PDT by yorkie
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

37 posted on 08/19/2007 9:46:28 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Friday, August 17, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam
We found these while digging a pond in north-central Florida (Marion County). The fellows at UF told us they were mammoth bones.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

38 posted on 08/19/2007 11:30:06 PM PDT by Alice in Wonderland (www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFsiZ2l2K5U)
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To: Alice in Wonderland
"We found these while digging a pond in north-central Florida (Marion County). The fellows at UF told us they were mammoth bones. "

Did anyone venture a age?

39 posted on 08/20/2007 4:43:23 AM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: gonzo
"Thanks, pally - I bin lookin' for that article for four years ................. FRegards"

You're welcome. You should have asked me...we have these 'things' on file.

40 posted on 08/20/2007 4:44:48 AM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: SunkenCiv; blam
Thanks for the post. The time frame looks to be around the Younger Dryas. I'd think Florida would have been pretty popular around then.

Where are you going? I'm going to Disney . . . .

41 posted on 08/20/2007 9:47:44 AM PDT by colorado tanker (I'm unmoderated - just ask Bill O'Reilly)
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To: colorado tanker

It’s a world of mammoths, a world of fear...


42 posted on 08/20/2007 10:18:12 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Monday, August 20, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam

IIRC, 5 to 7 thousand years old.


43 posted on 08/20/2007 8:12:16 PM PDT by Alice in Wonderland (www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFsiZ2l2K5U)
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44 posted on 09/04/2010 5:44:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Democratic Underground... matters are worse, as their latest fund drive has come up short...)
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To: DBrow
They must have emitted too much CO2
45 posted on 09/04/2010 6:17:25 PM PDT by screaminsunshine (m)
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To: screaminsunshine

Emissions from the Fountain Of Youth?


46 posted on 09/04/2010 7:21:11 PM PDT by DBrow
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