With summer drawing to a close and the weather being so moderate, our Styro-couple has decided to visit the fossil beds. The water is low and there are always unusual and interesting things that have been left behind by the previous inhabitants of this land. On occasion you can find some museum worthy artifacts. Let’s take a look at what today has to offer.
Find # 1 didn’t take very long to come across. With the river receding very tough and hard-weathering objects start to poke their “heads” above the water line. This circular metal artifact must have taken great cunning to fashion. It is now believed that these circular objects ( and they are made of different materials too) were associated with a religious cult and may reference the sun and moon or the changing of the seasons. This area obviously held great significance for them.
There is always life to be found near the water. The Styro-couple moves closer to the beach. Small flocks of shorebirds scatter before them. Holes carved into the limestone by the rushing currents are good catch-alls for objects that have been washed out of the mud. If we get lucky, maybe we will find something of interest? The fun is in discovering the unexpected!
It was about the fourth hole we poked our noses into when we came across this mud-washed object. It’s made from a hard, brittle material and the beach is covered with hundreds of similar fragments. When you hold some of these fragments up, light will pass through them in various colors. It’s rare to find one of these objects intact! So, you can imagine our excitement. In the literature, it is believed these objects may be musical instruments because a scientist observed that when you direct a flow of air over the hole at just the correct angle…an audible tone is created. By adding water inside the instrument, different tones can be produced. The many fragments on the beach suggests these instruments may have been ritually destroyed after use.
Moving from the water’s edge towards a stand of trees near the eastern end of the site, we hope to find artifacts that have been long buried in the soil. The periodic floods that can cover this area stir up the dirt and bring more fragile materials to the surface. Earlier in this year, we experienced just such a flood. It’s been a good day…are we greedy to expect more?
Rain-washed and sitting upon the rocks and driftwood are these two artifacts sitting side by side! It’s every archaeologists dream to find an effigy figure like the one on the right. Both objects are made from an unknown material whose exact chemistry is a mystery. It has been observed that this is also a fragile material that breaks apart if exposed to the sun for very long periods of time. The effigy, it is believed, is made in the likeness of the previous inhabitants. Some are found complete with heads and limbs and others are not. What exactly happened to this race is a matter of speculation. The current theory is that some great climate changing event altered the world to a degree that doomed their civilization. It will take many, many years of further research by our scientists before a consensus develops. In the meantime, we will continue to collect their artifacts and be thankful that we were ready to inherit this beautiful world.