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Saturday Art and Archaeology; Unique Discovery in Pennsylvania Dig

By: Ruth Calvo Saturday September 20, 2014 2:32 am

Appearance of woven material in feature indicates fabric content.

Having access to the site of a dig that produced the rare find of what appears to be at least an 800 year old fabric remnant from late Woodland era tribal inhabitants, our FDL commenter, spudtruckowner, has provided us with pictures he was able to take on the scene and as the artifact was prepared for removal for further study.   The find was covered to protect it from the elements, so was not visible after the original discovery.   In the picture, careful inspection shows a weave that is not part of the material surrounding the artifact, and a material at variance with the earth that surrounds it. The era has produced no other remnant of fabric, and the piece is regarded as a rare and desirable find.   This is the second year of digging at the site, which has produced several pottery and tool artifacts, and may have further layers below those already excavated.

Fabric find, covered and encased in frame of stainless steel and concrete lining, to preserve the material for transport to lab for study.

More standard finds have also been brought out from the site, and some include pottery and tools, as well as charcoal from cooking that has been used to date the era that produced the evidence of life in times before the present, and farther back than the confederate tribes that were here when European settlers arrived on the scene.

Removal of surrounding dirt reveals pottery shape and characteristics, held separately from the pit and remaining shards for picture taking purposes.


An artifact discovered at the site, remnant of a pipestem discovered in the sifting process, to be studied at nearby labs.

Long hours patiently sifting through dirt and checking constantly for relics sometimes yield results that make those times golden, and that happened this summer in a dig in PA.   The archaeological society of Venango County has worked for the past summers on an inhabitated locale that has turned up finds of tribal pottery and tools, evidence of processing and cooking, post holes for lodges, and among those artifacts has produced a remnant of woven appearance now being tested for composition that may be fabric.   If this find proves to be fabric, it will be the only such piece found in this state for the late Woodland period from which these relics date, around 1150 – 1300 B.C.   Charcoal dating has already established that period as the time of inhabitation  from which the excavated relics originate.

Heady times in archaeology sometimes occur with no prior warning, and thanks go to Susette Jolley, who so delicately discovered, recognized, and brought the fabric to the attention of her fellows, so all concerned helped preserve the discovery.  Discovered and preserved, the remnants were collected and removed to study labs at MercyHurst College where they are now being analyzed.   Fortunately, our fellow commenter here at MyFDL, spudtruckowner, was a participant in the dig and worked with his peers to stabilize the large piece of surrounding earth that contains the fabric remnant, to keep from disturbing it, encasing it in steel framing, and then a concrete bastion, so it could be loaded into a truck for removal.

As spud was on the site, the picture at the top was taken by him at its original discovery.   Later sources giving the find media coverage did not have the access he had to it when it first was unveiled in the ’feature’ where it was found.

Not much of the artifact is visible, but based on initial inspection, “it looks like the edge of a carbonized plant fiber-based item – possibly a basket, a mat or some type of woven textile,” according to Edward Jolie, director of the R.L. Andrews Center for Perishables Analysis at Mercyhurst. “We’re cautiously optimistic it is an artifact, but we won’t know for certain until we clean it up.” The time period the object is thought to be from – between AD 1210 and 1280 – is poorly represented in terms of perishable artifacts, according to MAI Director James Adovasio, Ph.D. “The preservation of organic material is a rare phenomenon, not only in Pennsylvania but in the entire world,” Adovasio said. In wet, damp climates such as northwestern Pennsylvania, plant-based artifacts typically decay and few perishable artifacts remain, which is why a find such as this is so unusual. “This could be the only one from that time period in the entire state,” he added. Ironically, the item has endured so well because it was burned. “Once something is burned, oddly enough, it has greater longevity, and it will last thousands and thousands of years,” Adovasio said. In the next few days, students and faculty at MAI will begin analysis on the piece, which will include stabilizing the block of dirt, drawing maps of its surface, removing sediment from around the artifact and radiocarbon dating to determine its age.

The elements of a dig are less than romantic. Along with an abundant supply of drinking water, there will be shovels, axes, wheelbarrows, trowels, hoes, dustpans and whisk brooms for the less delicate removal, lots of buckets for the tons of dirt that will be removed with care.  A seive usually made of wire screen  on a wooden frame will be available for sifting the dirt.   The working area can be all covered by a shade awning if diggers are well equipped and/or lucky.  This is supplemented with items the diggers have for comfort like cushions, their own devisings such as a scoop made from the side of a milk gallon jug (Suzette’s own creation), bandanas and gloves, brushes for the delicate work, and the hats, bug spray and sunblock, boots and of course, old clothes that will never quite come clean again after grubbing for days and days in the dirt.

Work site with great view of the dirt you get up close and personal with.
Discovery just emerging from the earth, which needs to be carefully dug out with delicacy and care as the individual pieces are removed.
Pottery shard showing complex design is from later time period and shows habitation in later times, early Mississippian like the nearby McFate site.

Pull Up a Chair: Kiddie Lit

By: Elliott Friday September 19, 2014 11:38 pm

What’s your favorite children’s book(s)?

I’ve always loved One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. May be the first book I could read my own self. But is there an unbeloved Dr. Suess book?

Also loved reading Winnie the Pooh books and A. A. Milne’s kiddie poetry, especially fond of “Alexander Beetle” and:

“Now We Are Six”

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
now and forever.

My mother would read us fairy tales from “My Book House,” a multivolume set compiled by Olive Beaupré Miller, I suspect her mother read to her from the very same volumes. Classic illustrations.

My grandmother always gave us books at Christmas, I still have my Lonely Doll books, (that Edith!). I remember coming home from a visit with Timid Timothy: The Kitten Who Learned to be Brave, we must have gone to a library sale because it still had the pocket in the back. And I still have the book.

This is but a few off the top of my head. What books and authors did you enjoy growing up?

What books would you give a little kid today?

Cartoon Friday: Count Duckula

By: Kit OConnell Friday September 19, 2014 7:38 pm


I may not be working for Firedoglake anymore but … It’s STILL Cartoon Friday!

During my two years at Firedoglake I turned the Watercooler — MyFDL’s end of the night wrap up post — into something I looked forward to assembling every night. Partway through that process, I realized I could do almost anything I wanted with the feature. And between that and my love of cartoons, Cartoon Friday was born.

If you’re new or want to review past installments, here’s a retrospective of Cartoon Friday 2013 and a bunch of more recent installments.

Tonight’s selection is the Count Duckula episode, “There are Werewolves at the Bottom of our Garden.” It originally aired in November of 1990.

Duckula is a British cartoon which spun off from another popular series that also saw syndication in the United States, Danger Mouse. In the original series, Duckula was a fearsome villain — at least relatively speaking when you remember the main characters of the original series were a mouse and a mole.

For his feature series, he was reimagined as something far less fierce.

A colorful Mandarin duck

Ok, a bit more fierce than that.


Perhaps because Danger Mouse dispatched Duckula in the original, Duckula finds himself revived through an ancient and mystic rite — only Nanny, a clumsy hen and one of the vampire duck’s closest allies, substitutes ketchup for blood. Now the mighty warrior is much closer to an Inspector Gadget-like figure: he becomes a hapless vegetarian that survives primarily through the aid of his friends and servants like the tireless but cynical butler, Igor.

So curl up with a favorite libation and get ready to get silly — from the very first moments. Oh, they don’t make theme songs like that anymore.

Thank God.

Seen any good cartoons lately?

House Bans War Powers Resolution Actions

By: David Swanson Friday September 19, 2014 7:27 pm

The U.S. House of Representatives has not just left town, but prior to leaving passed a rule preventing any member from using the War Powers Resolution to force Congress to return and vote on war.

Here’s a video of Congressman Jim McGovern denouncing the rule (or read the transcript here):

[attempted to put video here]

If you watch the video, following Rep. McGovern’s remarks two of his colleagues run their mouths. The first is Congressman Pete Sessions nonsensically replying to McGovern. The second is Congresswoman Virginia Foxx on an unrelated topic. If you jump ahead to 10:25 McGovern replies to Sessions. It’s well worth watching.

In addition, Congressman McGovern and five other Democrats and six Republicans have asked Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote on war. Here’s their letter: PDF.

MH-17 still exactly where it fell – two months after crash – with no investigation of wreckage

By: operationmindcrime Friday September 19, 2014 7:03 pm

The US media and the Dutch Safety Board have been saying that it is unsafe to investigate the wreckage of MH-17, however, this video proves otherwise, and shows that the only people that attempted to make the site unsafe at any time were the Kiev military which is proven by the type of munitions embedded in the ground close to the site. If your interested in examining the wreckage yourself, this is a good video to watch. It’s hard to believe 60 days have passed and EVERYTHING is still uninvestigated and uncollected by the investigating body delegated to do so. Keep in mind that in the history of plane crash investigations there has never been one like this, where the investigating authorities decided to actually not investigate. If that doesn’t reek of a coverup….I don’t know what does.

Considering that Kiev is a Nazi regime as proven by the threads below……and they had the means, motive, opportunity, and benefitted from the shoot down…..and they have conducted numerous false flag attacks previously…..there is a very strong probability there is a coverup being conducted.

There is a very strong probability that the new Kiev coup government shot down MH-17 and killed all those innocent people……including 80 children. The links below prove they have been killing innocent civilians for the last 6 months. The links also prove the American media has lied and covered up much of what has been going on.

The evidence is overwhelming the American people are being lied to and that Russia is being framed for what the US implemented in Ukraine. Note that the US has claimed they have satellite surveillance footage of the BUK missile that shot down the plane….yet they have never shown it. Note that they claim Russia has invaded 5 times yet they have never proven it. Note that no matter what Russia does they still get sanctioned. Note that there is the possibility that there are parts of victims bodies under these large parts of unmoved plane wreckage yet the wreckage still just sits there even though it is easily possible to access the site and conduct a proper investigation.

Even Conan Doyle would wonder “why is it that a party who is a suspect in a criminal investigation of a mass atrocity, is given a completely free pass, and a say, in whether the investigation related to themselves and an additional party is released to the public. The Dutch Safety Board and the British authorities are working in collaboration with Kiev even though it is a proven fact that Kiev, themselves, lied about their own BUK missile systems in the conflict/shoot-down zone. They were filmed with BUK systems near Slavyansk on July 4th by the Associated Press. Links here: Note that the rebels have no planes. therefore the Ukrainian military would have no normal need for these BUKs…..unless, of course, they intended to shoot down a plane.

Verifiable AP links here:
and here:

Multiple threads proving Kiev are Nazis (backed up by mainstream US media news websites) and multiple videos of Nazi atrocities they have conducted including numerous false flag attacks:

Duplicate thread-


The Ukrainian Crisis in Totality- February thru September – Extensive video evidence related to all major atrocities, false flags and coverups conducted by the Kiev regime against innocent civilians.

Ukraines grassy knoll (Graphic) evidence police weren’t the only snipers.

The Odessa Massacre – May 11th referendum

Odessa victims/walkthrough

The Mariupol Massacre- video evidence clearly shows US supported troops killed innocent civilians

Bombing of civilians in Slavyansk

Odessa one month later

Lughansk bombing

Krasny Liman

Mariupol one month later

Continued bombing of civilians of Slavyansk

Killing of civilians by US financed nazis

Where is the US anti-war left on Ukraine?

The US backed Ukrainian nazis killing in HD.

Malaysia Airlines MH-17

Shocking revelations about MH-17 shoot down

Duplicate thread-

Duplicate thread-

The US media wall of coverup and deception of the Ukraine crisis is breaking down.

Ukrainian TV channel financed by US openly calls for genocide of the people of east Ukraine.

Telegraph UK- Ukraine crisis: the neo-nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists -Graphic Warning

The Ukrainian army marches in Kiev

Duplicate thread-

Duplicate thread-

Duplicate thread-


View NFL Player Crimes in Interactive Graphical Form

By: spocko Friday September 19, 2014 2:23 pm

Can’t keep track of which NFL player has committed what crime? Want to avoid filling in your Fantasy Football League with past or current domestic violence felons?

Sort by your favorite team, crime or position!

Here’s a nifty website (Link) that takes the data from USA Today’s updated arrest list and lets you sort and display the info by crime, team or position.

Note: No commissioners, NFL staff or team owners are on the list.

Think Goodell should resign? Ultraviolet petition here.


Killed by Congressional Cowardice

By: David Swanson Friday September 19, 2014 9:28 am

We tend to think of war as resulting from an excess of aggression or disorderliness or rebellion. Western academics hunt in the genes of foreigners and study chimpanzees to find the root of the nastiness.

But one would be hard press to count the number of people who have lost their lives to an excess of cowardice in the halls of the United States Congress. “This chamber reeks of blood,” said Senator George McGovern, who would have been shocked anew this week.

On Constitution Day, the House of Representatives — followed the next day by the Senate — decided to put off until after the next U.S. elections in November any possible consideration of the new U.S. war already underway in Iraq and Syria, but voted in the meantime to approve of shipping weapons over to Syria to fuel the violence.

Here’s a website that tells you how your Representative and Senators voted and lets you send them an appropriate message with one click.

Said Congressman Jim McDermott, who voted No: “This amendment, which is valid only through early December, serves as nothing more than a faux authorization designed to get Congress through the election season.  Moreover, it addresses only one aspect of the strategy the President outlined last week.  That is not a responsible way to conduct public policy.”

So, the President announced a three-year war, based on no timetable anyone has produced other than that of U.S. presidential elections. And Congress declared that it would consider looking into the matter after the next Congressional election.  But it’s not as if we don’t all know that they are allowing the war to go on and worsen each and every day. Numerous Congress members denounce Congress for what they themselves call a shameful act of cowardice. But which of them are protesting their “leadership”? Which of them are moving a discharge petition to force a vote? Which of them are using the War Powers Resolution to compel a vote regardless of what the “leadership” wants?

Back on the 25th of July the House overwhelmingly passed the McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution which required the President to seek Congressional authorization before sending troops to Iraq. The President went ahead and ignored that. Will Congress cut off the funding? Censure? Impeach? Nope. Congress voted to approve weapons and training for Syrians who are closely allied with the forces Obama is already waging an air and ground war against in Iraq.

Senator Tim Kaine had been leading the charge to demand that Congress vote before any new war. (As noted, the House did, and the Senate did not follow suit.) Now Kaine says a discussion of that following the U.S. Congressional elections will be sufficient. Until then, the United States will fuel the violence on both sides of a complex war, while repeating incessantly “There is no military solution” and deploying the military and military weaponry in a counterproductive effort to find a solution.

Remarked Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who voted No on weapons to Syria: “The consequences of this vote will be a further expansion of a war currently taking place and our further involvement in a sectarian war. . . . What is missing from this debate is the political, economic, diplomatic and regionally-led solutions that will ultimately be the tools for security in the region and for any potential future threats to the United States.”

Also missing was an organized opposition. Republicans voted yes and no, as did Democrats, as did the so-called Progressive Caucus, as did the Black Caucus. These people need to hear the message that cowardice is not a campaign strategy. They must be confronted with the demand that they stop this war, just as they were a year ago, when scary ISIS videos weren’t manipulating Americans into once again doing the bidding of terrorists who gain strength from U.S. attacks.  A year ago we spoke up. We confronted Congress members at town hall meetings. We stopped them.

Now they’ve literally cut and run. They’re taking a two-month vacation in order to pretend they have nothing to do with the escalating violence. They need to hear from us in person. But we can start by sending them a note to let them know what we think.

Remember, their duty is not to vote approval for a new war, which will then somehow make everything OK. Their duty is to uphold the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the U.N. Charter, the wisdom of most of the world, the lessons of the past decade, and basic common decency by stopping the war.

Over Easy: Are Privacy Concerns Generational?

By: msmolly

On Monday I came across a post at Techdirt about the reaction to Apple putting a U2 album in iCloud users’ storage space. The post described how after a backlash, Apple created a bit of code that would allow iPhone users to delete the unwanted freebie.

A bit of background: On September 9th, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the mega-band U2 decided to release its latest album free on iTunes.

U2 surprised the world today by releasing Songs of Innocence, their first album in five years, as a gift from Apple, available for free immediately to anyone with iTunes. The band made the announcement with Apple CEO Tim Cook at a Cupertino press conference for the new iPhone 6, capping the event with a performance of the album’s first single, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).”

A free gift might not be a “gift” at all for people who never asked for or wanted (or knew about) this promo but suddenly found the band’s album in their iTunes cloud account. After I read the Techdirt item, I promptly loaded the “music” app on my iPhone and scrolled through the albums, and voilá, Songs of Innocence appeared with the little iCloud icon beside it, indicating that it was available for me to download. As Techdirt put it,

The problem wasn’t that the album was free, but that the album appeared unbidden in the repository for a service that feels quite personal to the consumer. These were our cloud accounts that Apple invaded to leave their free stuff. You know what it’s called when someone leaves you something you didn’t want for free in your domain? It’s called litter. And, in this case, it was litter that you couldn’t even clean up.

So in response to the backlash, Apple wrote code to enable its customers to delete the “gift,” which, until that happened, was unremovable, though you could hide it.

I look at Facebook briefly once or twice a day (if that), just to see what my family or friends might have posted, and I rarely post anything myself other than an occasional comment on someone else’s post. But I posted an item about the Apple/U2 unwanted album, and was a bit surprised by the reaction.

My daughter’s (age 45) first comment was,

Oh the crime! A free album! So terrible!

When I pointed out that it was “my” iCloud space and I felt “invaded” by this unwanted deposit, a techie friend (former co-worker, in his 30s) chimed in,

It’s not your cloud space. It’s on iTunes server. If you want it, go claim it, if not then don’t. At best, it’s like having a receipt for something someone else bought you. It’s not in your space. It’s not taking up any space, it’s just a link to download it. That’s all. They gave you a link to download it if you want. (and a way to delete the link if you don’t want to see it.) I’m just trying to remain factually accurate here.

My daughter, again,

To me this iCloud thing is like getting one of the many free apps that come with the iPhone. The difference is that is already on my phone when I buy it and very often there is no way to delete it off the device, even if I don’t want it. This album at least I had the option. I don’t care if it was in my purchased list – it was free. And since I share an iTunes account with my husband and kids, there are lots of things in my purchased list that I don’t like/want. I don’t have to download them so no worries here! And I love U2 so of course I downloaded it

The reason for including the foregoing extended conversation is to ask a question of the assembled “dinerzens” this morning. Is my unhappiness at this “free gift” and my feeling of having my personal space and privacy infringed a generational thing? My mid-40s daughter and my mid-30s former co-worker didn’t seem to see any problem at all. Would this bother you? Or am I just an old(er) woman out in her yard yelling at iClouds? Opinions welcome!