Today is apparently a food day! Here is your second food-related post of the day: a 1736 recipe for fried chicken.
Drone-mounted lasers appear to have detected details of the architecture of an ancient island settlement off Florida’s Gulf coast, using 3D mapping technology. Archaeological remains were first noted on Raleigh Island in 1990. In-person exploration of the area in 2010 revealed the presence of a settlement dating from 900 to 1200 CE.
Unfortunately, the island’s dense foliage impeded traditional land-based surveys of what remained. That’s why this drone-based laser survey, almost ten years later, is so important.
Among other details we now can see 37 residential areas “enclosed by ridges of oyster shell” that are up to 12ft (4m) tall. Archaeological digs at 10 identified residential areas found evidence that beads made from large marine mollusks were produced in these settlements. Stone tools, used to make the beads, were also found. The beads were likely for import among inland chiefdoms. In areas that were far from the coast, such as the lower midwest of the US, mollusk beads and even sizable sea mollusks were imported, where they were used as social capital in economic and social interactions between groups.
Humans are pretty adaptable compared to other hominin species, and other apes, which may have been key to the survival of our species. Most animals stick to particular habitats, or are wide-ranging, and based on that scientists classify species on a continuum between generalist and specialist.
But homo sapiens are unique in that they can specialize, and they can generalize. We are specialist-generalists. Some humans have adapted intensively to one ecological niche, most famously high-altitude zones, while other wander across ecological zones. Yet we are still all one species, able to intermarry, or switch regions and adapt. That makes homo sapiens unique across species.
On the afternoon of October 24th, 1961, 31-year-old Mrs. Joan Risch was found to be missing from her home in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Blood was found in the kitchen and the driveway, and it matched her blood type. A table had been overturned and a telephone handset had been torn from the wall. Interestingly, her 2-year-old son was safe in his crib upstairs. Her husband, returning from a business trip, said he could not explain the source of some empty beer bottles in a wastebasket.
Joan Risch had last been seen wearing a trench coat and carrying something red quickly up her driveway, toward the garage. Several people reported having seen a two-tone blue car in the neighborhood, and possibly in the Rischs' driveway, at about the time of her disappearance. Multiple witnesses also reported seeing a disoriented woman who matched Risch’s description walking along nearby roads. In a Gone Girl twist, some time after her disappearance it was discovered that Risch had checked out 25 books on murders and missing-persons cases over the summer of 1961. What happened that day in October has never been solved. Both Risch’s husband and police chief Leo Algeo died in 2009.
Looking at this map, you would never know that potatoes were domesticated in the Andean highlands. History takes some strange turns.
And also are more likely to meet online than any other method of meeting romantic partners (see the second image in the gallery)
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