Category Archives: NORTH AMERICA

Nodosaur Dinosaur ‘Mummy’ Unveiled With Skin And Guts Intact in Canada

Nodosaur Dinosaur ‘Mummy’ Unveiled With Skin And Guts Intact in Canada

A heavy equipment company began mining a strange colored stone at Millennium Mine in northern Alberta in 2011.

His supervisor quickly realized that they had something special, Michael Greshko reports for National Geographic. He stopped looking more closely and puzzled the material, which had strange patterns.

A little fossilized skin had recently been extracted from an armored nodosaur, a kind of ankylosaur. Nevertheless, this was not just a fossil; it was one of the best-preserved specimens of nodasaurus ever discovered.

The fossil remains are incredibly lifelike, resembling a sleeping dragon.

According to National Geographic, which sponsored the five-year, 7,000-hour preparation of the fossil, it’s likely that the 3,000-pound,18-foot-long creature died in or near a river. Then its bloated carcass floated out to sea before sinking back-first into the muck where fossilization began.

“It’s basically a dinosaur mummy—it really is exceptional,” Don Brinkman, director of preservation and research at the Royal Tyrrell Museum where the fossil is housed tells Craig S. Smith at The New York Times.

The remarkable preservation of its armored plates, as well as some preserved scales, are helping paleontologists finally understand the size and shape of the creature’s keratin defenses.

“I’ve been calling this one the Rosetta stone for armor,” Donald Henderson, curator of dinosaurs at the Tyrrell Museum tells Greshko.

The nodasaurus fossil on display (Courtesy of Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Canada)
The nodosaur has been described by some scientists as the “rhinoceros of its day.”

As Matt Rehbein at CNN reports, the dino is 110 million years old, making it the oldest ever found in Alberta. It also represents a new genus and species of nodosaur. But the most exciting aspect may be at the microscopic level, Greshko reports.

The researchers have detected miniscule bits of red pigment, which could help them reconstruct the dinosaur’s coloration—a feature that may have helped it attract mates.

“This armor was clearly providing protection, but those elaborated horns on the front of its body would have been almost like a billboard,” Jakob Vinther, an animal coloration expert from the University of Bristol who has studied the fossil, tells Greshko.

The new specimen isn’t the only exceptional ankylosaur specimen recently unveiled. Just last week Brian Switek at Smithsonian.com reported that the Royal Ontario Museum discovered a new species in Montana, which they nicknamed Zuul. That specimen also has some intact armor plates and skin as well as a tail club.

Switek explains that during decomposition the armor plates of ankylosaurs typically fall off and are often washed away or not found.

But the discovery of these two extraordinary samples will go a long way towards helping researchers figure just what these animals looked like and how they used their formidable horns and armor.

The nodosaurus is now on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, as part of an exhibit highlighting the importance of cooperation between extraction industries and paleontologists in uncovering fossils.

Spanish Armor Plate Discovered in North Carolina

Spanish Armor Plate Discovered in North Carolina, U.S.A

Spanish soldiers took over the Native city of Catwba, Joara, about 60 miles east of Asheville, on an excursion from Florida about 450 years ago.

Fort San Juan is the first known European settlement to be established in the south-east of the USA about fourteen years before the British came to Jamestown. In Appalachia, Spanish became the first European language.

The story of Spanish soldiers coming to Catawba is, like much of American colonial history, characterized by colonization and ethnocentrism.

David Moore, an archeology teacher at Warren Wilson College, said: “There’s this sense of who is the other,” For nearly three decades Moore has been the executive archeologist, who has been leading research and excavations at the Barry site. Fort San Juan was about the size of a modern-day basketball court. He says the remains of the structure are more intact than any other colonial fort in North America. 

The site of the Spanish army’s Fort San Juan near Morganton.

“In effect, it’s 100 percent intact. We have the entire outline of it,” Moore said. “Unfortunately, plowing over the years has destroyed the upper levels of it, but it’s still far more intact than any other Spanish colonial fort. “

When Spanish explorer Captain Juan Pardo and his men arrived in 1566, they declared the Catawba Indians, who didn’t speak their language, new subjects of the king. The Spaniards forced the natives to construct the soldier’s homes and provide them meals. While the two groups lived side-by-side, the relationship was fraught by mounting mistrust and resentment. 

“So this relationship of two groups understanding each other very poorly, trying to figure out what to do with the other was constantly in the air,” Moore said. 

The tension ultimately propelled the Catawba to force the Spanish army out, changing the course of American history.  The absence of the Spaniards allowed for  English colonists to move inland and take their place. It’s how the English language gained a foothold in the region. 

“That colonial experience continued to be detrimental for native peoples,” Moore said. “The effects of the slave trade, of diseases, and of the political, economic and social disruption of tribal groups that ended up collapsing a social and political system that had been in place for nearly a thousand years.” 

There’s one particular artifact Moore’s team found that offers a snapshot of the Spaniards’ suspicion — and superstition. 

“We found a small piece of scrap metal, almost square in shape, and about an inch and a half in diameter,” Moore said. They discovered it was a small plate of armor, the kind that was sewn into garments during the medieval period. It was placed vertically in the soil, next to a post in the framework of a Spanish soldier’s house. 

A vest lined with a jack of plate armor believed to be English or Scottish, from 1590.

Moore and his team were perplexed by the armor until one historian reached out offering multiple references in Medieval European literature. Metal objects were commonly placed in the frames of homes to fend off black magic.  

“A Spanish soldier had placed this in the building to ward off witches, especially because Indian women were feeding them,” Moore said. “Many people think of native peoples being uncivilized, but here we have modern Europeans employing this kind of folklore to ward off magic. 

That wasn’t lost on Catawba Indian Beckee Garris when she first learned about the Spaniard’s supernatural object. “I kind of laughed, because, in all cultures, there’s a bad person, or a particularly bad spirit, if you want to call it that,” Garris said. 

Garris is a storyteller. She also makes Catawba pottery, much like the fragments scattered across the archaeological site. Garris says she makes pots the same way her ancestors did 500 years ago — without a kiln and with clay harvested from the same spot.

“It not only touches my heart, but it also touches my soul that our buried history is coming to light again. We are learning about ourselves now as well about our past,” Garris said. “Before European contact, there was no written history. Everything was passed down orally, and you had to hide who you were because of prejudices and laws that were made by the government.”

David Moore shows WCU students a rendering of the Spanish fort during a visit to the excavation site in September.

Bringing visibility to these early American stories still is a work in progress. The English settlers’ arrival in Jamestown exactly 400 years ago is commonly seen as the beginning of European colonization in the US. 

“This is something that we struggle within the US. White folks are not the first folks to have been here,” Paul Worley, Western Carolina University associate professor of global literature, said. He recently took students from Latinx Studies composition and literature classes to the excavation site.  

“Given the current moment in the United States, I think it’s a fairly radical thing to go back and talk about these histories,” Worley said. “Both on the Native American side and both on the Spanish colonial side. Because these are both histories that are frequently denied or ignored altogether.”

Worley wants students to think about US history from a multicultural and multilingual perspective – to consider writings from Spanish explorers, Native Americans and enslaved Africans. And maybe, he says, resurrecting those narratives will reframe the retelling of America’s story, both past, and present. 

For the archaeologist, there are still lessons to be learned from the Joara-Fort San Juan site. “450 years ago this tragedy unfolds because people don’t acknowledge the humanness of each other. That’s certainly a lesson we’re still trying to learn today,” David Moore said.  

400 Million Year Old Hammer discovered In Texas The London

400 Million Year Old Hammer discovered In Texas The London

The inner handle underwent the carbonization process, the hammerhead was constructed with iron purity, and this is only possible with modern-day technology, according to research by the Metallurgical Institute of Columbia.

According to analysis, the head of the hammer consists of 97 pure iron, 2 percent chlorine, and 1 percent sulfur.

This curious artifact was discovered in the city of London, Texas, USA, in 1934. The hammer appeared embedded inside a rock and since its discovery, there have been many theories about its origin, and most importantly its incredible age.

So how did the hammer end up embedded inside the rock?

Well, for the hammer to finish inside the rock, it had to have been built before the rock was formed and that would be several million years ago according to Livescience.

After its discovery and due to all the questions the hammer raised, researchers decided to abandon the incredible discovery in the Somervell Museum, in Texas.

According to studies of the Metallurgical Institute of Columbia,  the inside handle underwent the process of carbonization, the head of the hammer was built with an iron purity only achievable with modern-day technology. According to analysis, the head of the hammer consists of 97 pure iron, 2 percent chlorine, and 1 percent sulfur.

Surprisingly researchers also found that the iron had undergone a process of purification and hardening, typical of metallurgy of the twentieth century.

According to analysis, the rock encasing of the hammer was dated to the Ordovician era, more than 400 million years ago.

The portion of stone surrounding the hammer-head also presented abnormalities, seeming to have merged with some type of sheath covering the hammer.

According to geologists, the slow process of petrification dates back hundreds of millions of years.

This has led several ufologists and ancient astronaut theorists to a quick deduction of the context of the incredible discovery leading them to assume not only that there was a human civilization before the historical process of petrification in Texas, but that this ancient civilization already possessed the necessary technology for the fabrication of a hammer with modern features.

Evidence suggesting that the iron from the hammer might have originated from a meteorite is not a possibility according to researchers.

The chemical analysis of the artifact also detected certain amounts of potassium, silicon, chlorine, calcium, and sulfur. Thus, this composition contradicts the hypothesis postulated that the hammer-head belonged to the fragment of a meteorite since the bodies of our solar system do not have that type of chemical composition.

Researchers also believe, that since the head of the hammer was found embedded into the rock, it suggests that the embedding process was performed under different atmospheric conditions to the current, different atmospheric pressure, more similar to those in the remote past.

Against the remote possibility that a meteorite with an extremely rare and bizarre chemical composition and exceptional morphology, got caught, in prehistoric times, onto a piece of wood just as the head of the discovered hammer imprisons its handle, some researchers and ancient astronaut theorists point toward the fact that our planet was inhabited in ancient times, by civilizations with advanced technical and technological capacity, of which today we only have legends and items like this one who were trapped in rock. 

Unfortunately, some scientists do not agree with the theory that an ancient civilization created the hammer, and claim that it was only a metallurgical technique that had been eventually abandoned.

This extraordinary artifact belongs to the list of many other mysterious objects that have been discovered across the globe, and just like the Russian “microchip” or the 300 million-year-old screw, this item has caused debate among researchers and historians who are divided into groups, supporting and denying the possibility that the human race is much older than previously thought.

Whether this artifact is indeed a hammer dating back hundreds of millions of years, is something that will fuel debate among supporters of the ancient astronaut theory and conventional archaeologists, who both have provided arguments explaining the origin and age of the hammer.

A student found an ancient Canadian village that’s 10,000 years older than the Pyramids

A student found an ancient Canadian village that’s 10,000 years older than the Pyramids

An ancients village dating back to before the Pyramids era was discovered by a team from Canadian Ph.D. students.

CTV reports that a team of students from the University of Victoria’s archeology department has uncovered the oldest settlement in North America.

This ancient village was discovered when researchers were searching Triquet Island, an island located about 300 miles north of Victoria, British Columbia.

The team found ancient fish hooks and spears, as well as tools for making fires.

However, they really hit the jackpot when they found an ancient cooking hearth, from which they were able to obtain flakes of charcoal burnt by prehistoric Canadians.

Using carbon dating on the charcoal flakes, the researchers were able to determine that the settlement dates back 14,000 years ago, making it significantly older than the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, which were built about 4,700 years ago.

To understand how old that truly is, one has to consider that the ancient ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra lived closer in time to you than she did to the creation of the pyramids.

Even to what we consider ancient people, the Egyptian pyramids were quite old.

This newly discovered settlement dates back more than three times older than the pyramids.

Alisha Gauvreau, a Ph.D. student who helped discover this site said, “I remember when we got the dates back, and we just sat back and said, ‘Holy moly, this is old.’”

She and her team began investigating the area for ancient settlements after hearing the oral history of the indigenous Heiltsuk people, which told of a sliver of land that never froze during the last ice age.

William Housty, a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, said, “To think about how these stories survived only to be supported by this archeological evidence is just amazing.”

“This find is very important because it reaffirms a lot of the history that our people have been talking about for thousands of years.”

Researchers believe that this settlement indicates a mass human migration down the coast of British Columbia.

“What this is doing, is changing our idea of the way in which North America was first peopled, said Gauvreau.”

The students hope to continue to search nearby islands for more evidence of this migration.

Oldest weapons ever discovered in North America pre-date Clovis

Researchers Uncover 15,500-Year-Old Weapons, The Earliest Ever Found In North America

A group of scientists in Texas has recently discovered North America’s oldest weapon ever found, and archeologists call into question the history of the early settlers of the continent.

The weapons are ancient spear points which date back 15,500 years. They are around three to four inches long and were excavated from the Debra L. Friedkin site located about 40 miles outside of Austin, T.X.

The researchers recently published their findings in the journal Science Advances, and these record-breaking weapons are raising new questions about the first groups to settle in North America, once believed to be the Clovis people.


“The findings expand our understanding of the earliest people to explore and settle North America,” Michael Waters, a distinguished professor of anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M, said in a statement.

“The peopling of the Americas during the end of the last Ice Age was a complex process and this complexity is seen in their genetic record. Now we are starting to see this complexity mirrored in the archaeological record.”

These small weapons were made from stone and feature a triangular, lanceolate (leaf-shaped) point. Their fluted base allowed them to be easily attached to the end of a spear.

The new, pre-Clovis spear points discovered in Texas.

The weapons were found buried under several feet of sediment and amongst many Clovis and Folsom “projectile points.” The Clovis people date back between 13,000 to 12,700 years ago and the Folsom came after that.

Thus, for many years, the Clovis people were believed to be the first to venture into the continent, but these newly discovered spear points pre-date that group by thousands of years.

The researchers point out that stone tools from before the time of the Clovis people have been found, but these are the first weapons that pre-date the Clovis to ever be discovered.

“There is no doubt these weapons were used for hunting game in the area at that time,” Waters said. “The discovery is significant because almost all pre-Clovis sites have stone tools, but spear points have yet to be found.”

Excavations at the Friedkin site in Texas.

Clovis-style spear points, aptly named the “Clovis point,” have been discovered in Texas, parts of the U.S., and in Northern Mexico, but they are around 2,500 years younger than these spear points most recently found at the Friedkin site.

“The dream has always been to find diagnostic artifacts — such as projectile points — that can be recognized as older than Clovis and this is what we have at the Friedkin site,” Waters said.

This momentous discovery has answered many long-held questions from archaeologists about tools and weapons used by early Americans. However, as with all major discoveries, many new questions have popped up as well.

Who made these weapons? Did these tools inspire the other projectile points that came after? Or were they brought to North America during a migration?

Despite the remaining questions, these ancient weapons have unlocked countless secrets about the lives of those who came before us in North America.