Saturday, June 30, 2018

An Update On The Lost Colony

I just received this report, and it is totally fascinating! If you are like me, I have been totally enthralled with The Lost Colony since I was a child growing up just a short distance away in Norfolk, Virginia. The Lost Colony and Jamestown were two places I "cut my teeth on"!

What follows is a very interesting report. It is a bit lengthy, but well worth the read. I highly recommend it if you hold any interest. It not only covers past endeavors to discover what happened, but current results, including DNA. Well worth the read!

By Roberta Estes

The Lost Colony of Roanoke – what an enduring mystery – for 431 years it has remained unsolved and fascinated Americans and the British, alike.

An entire tourist industry has sprung up around the mystery of the Lost Colony along the Outer Banks in North Carolina. An open-air theater tells the story every summer on Roanoke Island near where Fort Raleigh was established. Tourists drift south to Hatteras Island across a long bridge that today connects Roanoke Island to Hatteras Island, the location where the colonists themselves indicated they were moving when they left the Fort Raleigh on Roanoke Island.

Cont. here:

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Day They Found The Pot of Gold

William Bean House

William Bean was born September 18, 1792. It is believed he was born in Baltimore, Maryland. 

By the time the Civil War rolled around, he was getting up in years. He was part of the "Home Guard", a group of the elderly and very young (too young for fighting in the War) that helped to protect and keep the peace in the mountains where they lived.

Because they lived in a little community called Waiteville, they were nearly isolated from West Virginia, although a part of that state. Waiteville today is still isolated from the rest of West Virginia. If you look at the southeastern portion of the state, in Monroe County, you will see a little dogleg shaped area and it is here that Waiteville sits. To the east, west and south sit Virginia. To the north is Peter's Mountain that separates the tiny community from the rest of West Virginia. During the war torn era, it must have been terrible for those left to survive without their men to protect them! They couldn't rely upon the state, and were at a disadvantage with the Confederacy at their doorstep. And yet, the Union armies marched right through as well. The community itself was torn between allegiances. Families were split on their ideas. William Bean's was no exception.

They were also often called upon to supply both armies with food and livestock. There are many tales I could tell about the terrors from that. But they were also plagued with renegade deserters. Those from the North trying to get back North, and those from the South trying to get back to the South.

On this particular occasion, a troop of soldiers were spotted heading toward the community. Someone came riding to Bean's place and told him to hide his goods to prevent the troops from taking them. As a precaution, cattle and hogs had been taken into pastures and pens up in the mountains in the woods. Food stuff was hidden, except for enough to get by for a few days at a time, just for such times as this. Usually buried in a pit in the woods and disguised.

Well, old Bean had recently converted his funds from paper into gold and had not hid this as yet. Not having time to go himself, he sent his daughter to go and hide it. The story is he told her exactly where to hide it. But then, later, both "forgot" where it was hidden. (How two of you could forget it makes the whole thing sound suspicious, but so the tale goes.) Later, when they went to get it, they couldn't find it. (I have my theories, but won't discuss that here at this time. We'll save that for another day.)

For years and years there were family members who dug holes throughout the property looking for the gold. And one day, I believe it was either in the late 1940's or early 1950's, someone decided to check out the boggy area.  Not really a swamp, but "mushy" ground. And they decided to use a metal detector.

They searched for days and days. And just when they were about to give up, there was detection! It was deep. And so they began to dig. And they dug. After awhile, the individual got tired and enlisted help. Eventually, after two days of digging they struck something iron. Excited they dug until they uncovered the object. Fully expecting an iron chest filled with gold bars, you can only imagine their disappointment when the object finally pulled from the bog was a rusted out wood burning cook stove! And no, there was no gold hidden inside.

To this day no one knows exactly what happened to the gold. And Bean was a very wealthy man! But there are rumors and speculations. But wouldn't it have been a hoot to have been there when they dug up that big old cast iron stove? All that work for some rusty iron.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Granny Got Kicked By The Back Door

Irene Banet Dreher

After Grandpa passed away in 1977, Granny was alone. So in 1978, my Mother, her daughter, moved her to West Virginia, to live in a trailer behind her house.

Granny was very happy living in her little home. She had plenty of room for just one person. And she was in the country. Someplace she enjoyed being. She would go out into the garden in the summer months and gather whatever she wanted from our garden. And during the winter months she would make quilts and crochet.

In 1985 my Mom and Dad sold their home to me, and they moved next door, and Granny remained behind my house. Shortly before I bought the property, Granny, who was known to have a temper now and then, evidently felt left out one day. We had all gathered at my house, not planning to, it just ended up that way. It was summer, and the kids were all outside playing. Mom and Dad were at my house, as was my sister and her family. We were all laughing and just enjoying each other's company.

We were all in the kitchen. I had a huge country kitchen that was over 30-feet long. On each end of the kitchen was a back door that led out to each side of the house. Well, Granny came storming in on one side. She attempted to slam the storm door, but the hydraulic closure kept it from slamming. She looked at all of us gathered around my big old farm table and began stomping like a little child and stomped across the kitchen, without ever saying a word, and out the other door. She attempted to slam that door as she went out as well. Well, the hydraulic closure on that particular door wasn't as tight as the when she slammed it, it slammed all the way against the door facing, but then popped back open. And when it did, the door popped Granny on her backside!

Granny whirled around and gave us all a dirty look. "Mom is everything all right?", my Mother asked her.

"Hmph!" was her reply. And she continued on her way and went back to her trailer. Mom told us to just leave her be and she would check and see what was wrong later.

Well, as I said, Granny had thought we were having some kind of gathering and hadn't invited her. And so she was miffed. She didn't realize, until Mom explained to her, that we'd just all accidentally ended up visiting at the same time.

Still, it's been a long time running memory of the day Granny got kicked in the behind by the slamming door! She wasn't hurt at all. But if you could have seen her face when she thought one of us had done it, it was simply priceless!

Granny was born in 1906 in Indiana. She died in 1989 in Monroe County, WV. Mom made good on her promise to take her body back to Indiana and she is buried beside of Grandpa.

Do you have a funny story about someone losing their temper? 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Restoring Damaged Daguerreotypes

Anyone who wishes to restore or repair old photographs has a new tool available for use. As long as it is a Daguerreotype, experts at the Canadian Light Source, a high-energy X-ray facility in Saskatchewan, have discovered how to restore important details from daguerreotypes that have been written off as beyond recovery.

On the left is the image as it appears to the eye. On the right is the X-ray scan that reveals where mercury was deposited on the metal plate when the daguerreotype was originally produced.

The results are impressive. Madalena Kozachuk, a doctorate student in chemistry at the University of Western Ontario in London, was able to use X-ray beams to map out the distribution of copper, silver, gold and iron on the two plates. She then wanted to see whether she could detect mercury on the plates, but a beam with sufficient energy was not then available at the Saskatchewan facility. To complete her investigation, Ms. Kozachuk travelled to another synchrotron at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. It was there that the glowing atoms of mercury revealed the images on the plates in exquisite detail, astounding the researchers.

You can read more in an article by Ivan Semeniuk in The Globe and Mail web site at:
**This article is courtesy Dick Eastman and is taken from his EOGN Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Singing and Dinner on the Grounds

Okay everyone! I've got you a seat saved next to me in the pew! Come join me!
After the sermon we'll have dinner on the grounds!

And once dinner is finished, we'll gather under the trees on blankets and listen to the singing!
Let's all worship with this old time mountain praise!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Stone Tools Found WIth Copper Age Mummy

tone tools found with a 5,300-year-old frozen mummy from Northern Italy reveal how alpine Copper Age communities lived, according to a study by Ursula Wierer from the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Florence, Italy, and colleagues.

The Tyrolean Iceman is a mummified body of a 45-year-old man originally discovered with his clothes and personal belongings in a glacier of the Alps mountains, in the South Tyrol region, Italy.

Previous research showed that the Iceman lived during the Copper Age, between 3370-3100 BC, and was probably killed by an arrow. In this study, the researchers analyzed the Iceman’s chert tools to learn more about his life and the events that led to his tragic death.

The team used high-power microscopes and computed tomography to examine the chert tools in microscopic detail, including a dagger, borer, flake, antler retoucher, and arrowheads.

The structure of the tools’ chert reveals that the stone was collected from several different outcrops in what is now the Trentino region (Italy), about 70km away from where the Iceman was thought to live. Comparing this ancient toolkit with other Copper Age artefacts revealed stylistic influences from distant alpine cultures.

By carefully analyzing the wear traces of the Iceman’s chert tools, the authors concluded he was right-handed and probably had recently resharpened and reshaped some of his equipment.

These findings shed light into the Iceman’s personal history and support previous evidence suggesting that alpine Copper Age communities maintained long-distance cultural contacts and were well provisioned with chert.
***The above was taken from HeritageDaily here.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Swedes Have Been Brewing Beer Since The Ice Age

Swedes have been brewing beer since the Iron Age
Archaeologists at Lund University in Sweden have found carbonised germinated grains showing that malt was 
produced for beer brewing as early as the Iron Age in the Nordic region The findings made in Uppåkra in southern 

Sweden indicate a large-scale production of beer, possibly for feasting and trade.

Archaeologists at Lund University in Sweden have found carbonised germinated grains showing
 that malt was produced for beer brewing as early as the Iron Age in the Nordic region. The findings
 made in Uppåkra in southern Sweden indicate a large-scale production of beer, possibly for feasting 
and trade.
“We found carbonised malt in an area with low-temperature ovens located in a separate part of the settlement.
 The findings are from the 400–600s, making them one of the earliest evidence of beer brewing in Sweden”, 
says Mikael Larsson, who specialises in archaeobotany, the archaeology of human-plant interactions.
Archaeologists have long known that beer was an important product in ancient societies in many parts of the
 world. Through legal documents and images, it has been found, for example, that beer was produced in 
Mesopotamia as early as 4 000 BCE. However, as written sources in the Nordic region are absent prior to the
 Middle Ages (before ca 1200 CE), knowledge of earlier beer production is dependent on botanical evidence.

Carbonised germinated grains found at Uppåkra, Sweden (Photo: Mikael Larsson)
“We often find cereal grains on archaeological sites, but very rarely from contexts that testify as to how they 
were processed. These germinated grains found around a low-temperature oven indicate that they were used 
to become malt for brewing beer”, says Mikael Larsson.
Beer is made in two stages. The first is the malting process, followed by the actual brewing. The process of 
malting starts by wetting the grain with water, allowing the grain to germinate. During germination, enzymatic 
activities starts to convert both proteins and starches of the grain into fermentable sugars. Once enough sugar
 has been formed, the germinated grain is dried in an oven with hot air, arresting the germination process. This
 is what happened in the oven in Uppåkra.
“Because the investigated oven and carbonised grain was situated in an area on the site with several similar 
ovens, but absent of remains to indicate a living quarter, it is likely that large-scale production of malt was
 allocated to a specific area on the settlement, intended for feasting and/or trading”, explains Mikael Larsson.
Early traces of malt in connection with beer brewing have only been discovered in two other places in the Nordic
 region. One is in Denmark from 100 CE and one is in Eketorp on Öland from around 500 CE.
“From other archaeological sites in the Nordic region, traces of the bog-myrtle plant have been found, which 
indicates beer brewing. Back then, bog-myrtle was used to preserve and flavour beer. It wasn’t until later during
 the Middle Ages that hops took over as beer flavouring”, Mikael Larsson concludes.

**Taken from Heritage Daily here.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Civil War Bones Uncovered at Manassas, Virginia

The National Park Service announced on June 20 that archaeologists had found remains from up to 12 Civil War soldiers just north of Manassas, Va. 

View the video here from The Washington Post.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Montana burial site answers questions about early humans

Scientists have shown that at the Anzick site in Montana – the only known Clovis burial site – the skeletal remains of a young child and the antler and stone artifacts found there were buried at the same time, raising new questions about the early inhabitants of North America, says a Texas A&M University professor involved in the research.

Scientists have shown that at the Anzick site in Montana – the only known Clovis burial site – the skeletal remains of a young child and the antler and stone artifacts found there were buried at the same time, raising new questions about the early inhabitants of North America, says a Texas A&M University professor involved in the research.
Anzick Clovis burial site - Image Credit : Anthro Research - License CC 3.0

Scientists have shown that at the Anzick site in Montana – the only known Clovis burial site – the skeletal remains of a young child and the antler and stone artifacts found there were buried at the same time, raising new questions about the early inhabitants of North America, says a Texas A&M University professor involved in the research.

Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans and colleagues from the University of Oxford and Stafford Research of Colorado have had their work published in the current issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
The main focus of the team’s research centered on properly dating the Anzick site which is named after the family who own the land. The site was discovered in 1968 by construction workers, who found the human remains and stone tools which include Clovis spear points and antler tools. It is the only known Clovis burial site and is associated with Clovis stone and antler artifacts.
“One thing that has always been a problem has been the accurate dating of the human remains from the site,” explains Waters.
“The human remains yielded a younger age that was not in agreement with the ages from the antler artifacts which dated older than the human remains. If the human remains and Clovis artifacts were contemporaneous, they should be the same age.” To resolve the issue, the team used a process called Specific Amino Acid Radiocarbon Dating, which allows a specific amino acid, in this case hydroxyproline, to be isolated from the human bones.
“This amino acid could only have come from the human skeleton and could not be contaminated,” Waters adds.
“The other previous ages suffered from some sort of contamination. With the new method, we got very accurate and secure ages for the human remains based on dating hydroxyproline. As a test, we also redated the antler artifacts using this technique.”
The results prove that both the human remains and antler Clovis artifacts are of the same date.
“The human remains and Clovis artifacts can now be confidently shown to be the same age and date between 12,725 to 12,900 years ago,” Waters notes. “This is right in the middle to the end of the Clovis time period which ranges from 13,000 to 12,700 years ago.
“This is important because we have resolved the dating issues at the site. Some researchers had argued that the human remains were not Clovis and were younger than the Clovis artifacts, based on the earlier radiocarbon dates. We have shown that they are the same age and confirmed that the Anzick site represents a Clovis burial.”
While not the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, Clovis is the first widespread prehistoric culture that first appeared 13,000 years ago. Clovis originated south of the large Ice Sheets that covered Canada at that time and are the direct descendants of the earliest people who arrived in the New World around 15,000 years ago. Clovis people fashioned their stone spear tips with grooved, or fluted, bases. They invented the “Clovis point,’ a spear-shaped weapon made of stone that is found in Texas and other portions of the United States and northern Mexico, and these weapons were used to hunt animals
The researchers say the findings will also help geneticists in their estimates of the timing of the peopling of the Americas because the Anzick genome is critical to understanding early settlements and the origin of modern Native peoples.