Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Nipsachuck rock piles contain 700 year old human bones

Thanks to reader Tim M. for the scan of the front page of The Valley Breeze, the local newspaper in North Smithfield RI, where the Nipsachuk site has been attracting interest because of the conflict between the commercial real estate developers and land protectors, including Wampanoag's who have a historic connection to the land and modern residents wanting to protect the land and the rock piles on it. Nipsachuk was the site of a famous battle in the King Philips War.

Here is a scan of the front page of the article. I inserted enlargements so you can read the text. So if you click on the picture, you should be able to read it.
I was probably unfair to Dr. Meli, who has achieved an exceptional discovery. I hope the academic archeologists of New England take note.

Update:
The link to the article is provided by Larry in the comments.
Update2:
Getting bones dated in a lab is something the Indians don't like. There are moral ambiguities here.

7 comments :

Larry said...

Full story is HERE

pwax said...

There is something funny about the arithmetic. If I subtract 700 from 2008 I get 1307. How does that equate to the 15th-16th century estimate they come up with in the article?

Larry said...

not to mention the salivating pot hunters.

Larry said...

That comment was directed to Update2

pwax said...

Yup about the pot hunters. What are we supposed to do?

Anonymous said...

An important discovery. I wondered the same about the date of the bones. Usually AMS dating is very accurate, with a plus or minus of 100 years or less. Why they mentioned 15th or 16th century is anybody's guess. Emphasizing a burial cairn will unfortunately interest the pot hunters, but in a case like this, getting the truth out is more important than hiding it, particularly when this now literally stops those who wanted to dismantle the cairns because they claimed the piles were simply field clearing, and therefore not important.

Norman

pwax said...

Among other comments, I want to add that Dr. Meli should issue some kind of official report describing how the bones were found, in what position, etc...If anyone hears about that I hope they'll let us know.