Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Archaeologists Identify Oldest Existing Mound Complex In New World

Date:
September 23, 1997
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
The earliest existing mound complex built by humans in the new world has been identified in Louisiana by a team of archaeologists and researchers from around the United States.

The earliest existing mound complex built by humans in the new world has been identified in Louisiana by a team of archaeologists and researchers from around the United States including Jim Feathers, a University of Washington research assistant professor of archaeology. Details of the discovery appear in the Sept. 19 issue of the journal Science.

Related Articles


The complex of 11 mounds located near the town of Watson Break in northeast Louisiana was built between 5,000 and 5,400 years ago and predates other known existent mound complexes by 1,900 years, according to Joe Saunders, adjunct professor of geosciences at Northeast Louisiana University, who directed the project. He said a single burial mound found in Canada predates the Watson Break site and another now destroyed mound in Louisiana discovered in the1960s also may have been older.

Saunders said archaeologists remain puzzled by such mounds, which are earthen structures several meters high. The mounds might have served a mix of religious, agricultural or domestic purposes but give indications that they only could have been built with planned engineering, he said. Saunders and his colleagues have been able to piece together a picture of life at the newly discovered site. They found that hunter-gatherers lived at Watson Break seasonally, living on river animals and plants. These people caught fish from spring to fall and also ate turkey, deer, raccoon and other animals. In addition, seeds found at the site indicate the mound dwellers collected plant species that later became the first domesticated plants in eastern North America, Saunders said.

Feathers' contribution to the project was to date soil sediments found in mound fill using a technique called thermoluminescence. It uses heat and light to measures the number of electrons trapped in crystalline material and then calculates how long they have been trapped. Feathers operates the only thermoluminescence dating lab in the US that works with archaeological material.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "Archaeologists Identify Oldest Existing Mound Complex In New World." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 September 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970923033351.htm>.
University Of Washington. (1997, September 23). Archaeologists Identify Oldest Existing Mound Complex In New World. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970923033351.htm
University Of Washington. "Archaeologists Identify Oldest Existing Mound Complex In New World." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/09/970923033351.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins