2016 ArchaeoBlog

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Space Archaeology in the Amazon
Beni, Bolivia

2016.12.31  - I celebrated a decade of doing space archaeology this year. I have items to add at the end of the decade. After catching up the Amazon Geoglyphs survey, I turned to the adjacent area to the south in Bolivia. Several areas with newly updated hi-res imagery in Google Earth had dense prehistoric occupation with earth moving cultural expressions. This Amazonian region, a vast, seasonally flooded savannah known as Llanos de Mojos, is particularly rich in archaeology. Elaborate causeway and canal networks and extensive raised agricultural fields are visible along with geometric earthworks and mounds. Survey results are placemarked in a new Google Earth KML file.

Space Archaeology in the Amazon
Beni, Bolivia
Space Archaeology in the Amazon, Beni, Bolivia
Google Earth KML Document - 734 KB - http://www.jqjacobs.net/amazon/bolivia.kml

Neolithic monuments of Denmark also captured my attention this year, especially the monument concentration near the phi latitude. The burial mounds in Denmark led to other parts of Europe with large tumuli too. And the Danish stone ships led to more research in Scandanavia.

Download the Google Earth KML Document - 734 KB - http://www.jqjacobs.net/kml/denmark.kml

I utilize the Panoramio photo layer in Google Earth, a valuable visual research tool. Regretfully, Panoramio, the pioneer in geolocated photos, is closing. Google is transistioning to hosting the images from the Google+ site. During the past decade, I've embedded about 4,000+ Panoramio photos in placemark files, images I selected from the multitude available for the best visuals of the archaeology. I'm uncertain if or for how long the placemark embedded photos will remain visible. Hopefully this aspect of my work during the last decade will not be lost. Just in case, see them while you can: Ancient Monument Placemarks. For personal research use, I downloaded all 4,000+ Panoramio images, a fun chore but a time consuming task too.

ArchaeoGeodesy Applet v2016.12

Updated Excel application includes new sites from Amazon surveys and other 2016 research:

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Newark Earthworks and Pinson Circle

2016.04.16 - Newark Earthworks is monumental, an outlier in scale of constuction. Archaeogeodesy research results confirm its prominence. Pinson Mounds in western Tennessee, the largest Middle Woodland mound complex in the Southeast, includes the second-highest mound in the United States. At 160 acres in extent, Pinson is larger than the Ohio earthworks complexes with the exception of Newark. In scale, Pinson Circle is equal to Newark's slightly elliptical (1,163 by 1,189 feet) Great Circle. Today Pinson Circle has a surviving 141° arc section of a near perfect circle 1,190 feet in diameter. Pinson excavations evidenced inter-site exchange with flint bladelets from Flint Ridge, Ohio, very near Newark. Pinson has even been called a Hopewell site.

I examined the inter-site spatial relationships of the monumental features at the two sites. The results support the interpretation of a lunar major alignment for Newark Octagon. The arc distance from the Octagon's Observatory Mound to Pinson Circle's centerpoint equals 6.7006° or 0.0186127 earth circumference. During the Hopewell era, years per lunar standstill equaled 18.6127. From Eagle Mound at the center of Newark's Great Circle to Pinson Circle, the arc distance equals 6.70514° (0.250000 s22). From Newark, the direction to Pinson and lunar major set coincide closely enough to merit dating the epoch of precision. See the major Pinson monuments and the arcs with the companion Google Earth placemarks: http://jqjacobs.net/kml/pinson.kml.

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Sources and Readings

Mainfort, Robert C., Jr. 2013 Pinson Mounds: Middle Woodland Ceremonialism in the Midsouth. The University of Arkansas Press.

Kwas, Mary L.; Mainfort, Robert C., Jr. 2007 Antiquarians' Perspectives on Pinson Mounds Revisited: A Response to McNutt, Southeastern Archaeology 26(1)

McNutt, Charles H. 2005 The Pinson Observatory, Southeastern Archaeology 24(2):142-62.

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Catching Up

2016.02.16  - After a hiatus and a power outage erasing an earlier edit, time for catching up. I need to build permalink pages too, but first what's new.

Hundreds of Geoglyphs Discovered in the Amazon

Currently, 440 geoglyphs are documented in both an Excel spreadsheet and a Google Earth placemarks file. The geoglyphs are placemarked, all except the smallest earthworks are outlined, plus visible ancient lines are highlighted. The webpage has been updated, including the most recent data files:

Turgai Steppe Geoglyphs - Kazakhstan Geometric Earthworks

The geometric earthworks of Kazakhstan have been in the news. Geoglyphs are found in various regions of the world, including the Asian steppe. Geoglyphs present geometric forms; circles, squares, crosses, ellipses, octagons, ovals, and more. Kazakhstan's impressive Ushtogay Square grabbed the attention of the world. Many earthworks remain to be discovered with high resolution imagery updates. I found new ones while examining the recently published Kazakhstan data and maps and building a placemarks file. Check them out in Google Earth, or hunt for new ones:

Download http://jqjacobs.net/kml/kazakhstan.kml

New Google Earth Placemarks Files

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Previous Years Linked Below

An archaeology web log by James Q. Jacobs

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Southwest Spring 2007 Travel Posts

The Original ArchaeoBlog Pages, Fall 2005:
Mound Builders of the Eastern Woodlands

miamisburg mound

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"Antiquity willfully veils the truth so that the fool will go astray and only the wise may know." 
Phaedrus, writer of fables, writing in Rome.

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