prehistoric site


Cors y Gedol Burial Chamber, near Barmouth, North Wales, 31.12.16. In the last few minutes of daylight of 2016, I managed to take a walk through the fog to photograph this burial chamber once again in North Wales. It was eerily quiet except for the fast flowing stream nearby. The chambered cairn is over 84ft long and most of the stones that originally formed the chamber lie behind the capstone and the remaining upright stone. The site was first sketched in 1766 and ordinarily the view of the whole bay from the site is impressive. Along with the cromlech at Dyffryn Ardudwy, this is one of the earliest constructed tombs of the British Isles, dated from well before 4000BCE.

Unsurprisingly, there weren’t any other people around. It’s probably my last prehistoric site of 2016; Happy New Year people!


The Dingonek is a scaly, scorpion-tailed, saber-toothed cryptid found in the African Congolese jungles. At the Brakfontein ridge, Western Cape in South Africa is a cave painting of an unknown creature that fits the description of the Dingonek, right down to its walrus-like tusks

It is said to be exceedingly territorial and has been known to kill any hippos, crocodiles and even humans, who have had the misfortune of wandering too close to their aquatic nests.

Said to dwell in the rivers and lakes of western Africa, the Dingonek has been described as:

  • Being grey or red.
  • 3 to 6 metres in length.
  • Square-like head.
  • Sometimes a long horn.
  • Saber-like canines.
  • Tail complete with a bony, dart-like appendage, which is reputed to be able to secrete a deadly poison.
  • Covered in scaly, mottled epidermis.

The description by John Alfred Jordan, an explorer who said that he actually shot at this unidentified monster in the River Maggori in Kenya in 1907, claimed this scale-covered creature was as big as 18 feet long and had reptilian claws, a spotted back, long tail, and a big head out of which grew large, curved, walrus-like tusks. A shot with a .303 only angered it.


Rhoslan Burial Chamber, nr. Criccieth, North Wales, 21.1.17. I stopped at this sizeable chamber on my walk back from visiting the Ystum Cegid Isaf Passage Grave. The capstone of this chamber is massive and is marked by what might be a single example of rock art in the form of a ‘cup’ and a elongated groove atop the capstone. The orthostats are cracked in several places and stones along the periphery of the field that have been displaced for farming must surely have once formed part of the chamber. It is easily accessible and a much overlooked prehistoric site.

Stonehenge Diagram.

No place has generated so much speculation and wild theories as the standing stones of Stonehenge. After driving for miles through the rolling hills and plains of the English countryside the sight of this unusual structure makes people gasp. A walk around it only provokes more strange feelings. There’s a sense that this is something very important. It taunts us with its mystery. For over 5000 years it has stood silent vigil over the earth. It has been excavated, x-rayed, measured, and surveyed. Yet despite all that has been learned about its age and construction, its purpose still remains one of the great mysteries of the world.

Mexico - Day 4

The plan for the day was to visit nearby Teuchitlán Springs where Phase I of the Tequila Splitfin (Zoogoneticus tequila) reintroduction project is underway. This project is run by Dr. Martina Medina and students from the Aqualab. Afterwards we would explore the prehistoric site of Los Guachimontones. During breakfast Claire and Citlalli from the Universidad de Guadalajara joined us and would be tagging along for the day.

We arrived at the town of Teuchitlán and after a brief talk about the recovery status of the river we started a short walk upstream to the springs.

An interesting site in the river.

Once we reached the springs we got to hear more about the Tequila Splitfin project and saw the initial pool where Phase I was being implemented.

The Tequila Splitfin Pool (Photo by Ben)

Afterwards we went to the lower pools, which were swarming with hundreds of Butterfly Splitfins (Ameca splendens). In short order I caught both a male and female.

Species #190 - Butterfly Splitfin female

Species #190 - Butterfly Splitfin male

There were a few Blackfin Goodea (Goodea atripinnis) and Two-Spot Livebearer (Heterandria bimaculata) in the pool as well. Also heard rumors of La Luz Splitfin (Zoogoneticus purhepechus), but none were caught.

I started fishing in the river outside the protected pools and managed to catch this baby Blue Tilapia (Oreochromis aureus). First Tilapia of the trip, but as you will see it was not the last.

Ben also caught a Blue Tilapia, which was a new species for him.

Ben on the hunt for Tilapia.

After awhile we headed to nearby Los Guachimontones, which is pretty interesting prehistoric site which consists of circular stepped pyramids surrounded by circular building complexes. Additionally, there were also ball courts where prehistoric games were played.

One of the stepped pyramids (Photo by Ben).

Los Guachimontones

After our tour of the site and museum we stopped by a local restaurant on the lake which was built around a spring and allowed fishing. It was a very neat experience. After our meal was done, we fished for awhile and caught dozens and dozens of Tilapia which filled the pool and loved tortillas.

Sign says something along the lines of “The fishing rod is the responsibility of the user to avoid accidents”.

View of the spring in the restaurant and the lake in the background.

Overall it was an interesting day and we returned to Guadalajara for the night.  

anonymous asked:

So I came across this site called Prehistoric Wildlife, and its basically where all the silhouette size comparison things came from, and I was wondering, does it provide relatively accurate information?

It can be touch and go, but to my knowledge it’s generally good as to size. Although the art leaves a lot to be desired…


‘The Devil’s Arrows’ Neolithic Standing Stones, Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, 8.8.16. The three millstone grit standing stones are aligned with other prehistoric sites and are of a notable size. They are unusual in their naturally corrugated peaks and hence have been named ‘The Devil’s Arrows’.

For endless solitude and stargazing, plan a visit to Whitney Pocket in Nevada. Whitney Pocket is located at the intersection of the Gold Butte Backcountry Byway and Whitney Pass Road. It contains a cluster of sandstone outcrops with cultural resource sites, including prehistoric habitation and rock art. Makes for amazing day and nighttime views.

Photo by David Walker, BLM Nevada photo contest

Thanks to Dr. James Theler for this week’s post - 

The bones of the American beaver are found at many archaeological sites throughout the Midwest and are fairly common at late prehistoric Oneota sites in the La Crosse area. The beaver was an occasional food item in the diet of Native peoples in historic times and in the past. The most common beaver bones from La Crosse sites are portions of the upper and lower jaws each of which once held a reddish-orange colored front tooth or incisor. These incisors were desired for use as tools, of course beavers are amazing woodworkers with their razor-sharp incisors, a fact apparent to Native peoples. The jaws of harvested beavers appear to have been saved or “curated” (thus found in larger numbers compared to other bones) and the incisors removed and used for woodworking or as other tasks. That the incisors were used as tools is indicated by grinding striations found on the business-ends of the incisors in efforts to resharpen the cutting edges. In the upper right of the photo are worked incisor fragments from La Crosse Oneota sites and in the lower right a right mandible of a beaver showing the fractured interior margin that resulted from an incisor removal. On the left is a side view of a modern beaver skull showing the incisors.

Prehistoric Massacre Site Hints at War Among Hunter-Gatherers

The remains of 27 individuals have been recovered along the shore of Lake Turkana in Kenya. The remains are roughly 10,000 years old, and may be one of the first discovered instances of organized warfare and mass-slaughter in hunter-gathering society.

The remains showed unmistakable signs of violent deaths. Many of the skeletons had large blows to the back of the head and other parts of the body. Others had deep cuts to the forehead jaws and hands possibly caused by stone blades. The bones were scattered in no particular order and the positions of the bodies suggested that there was no effort at a burial. One individual was even positioned in a manner which suggests that their hands and feet might have been tied up. 

The origins of war is a topic that is highly debated among archaeologists. It is the consensus that warfare was a concept that came after the Neolithic period and the rise of agriculture and permanent settlement. The site at Lake Turkana has revealed no evidence for  fortifications, settlements in a defensible location, artistic depictions of war, or specialized weapons - all of which are classic signs of ancient warfare. The competition for territory, however, is a typical condition that leads to warfare. It is believed that the population of the area at the time was expanding, causing new conflict as newer groups arrived and sought territory. The stone remnants found among the remains were obsidian, a material that’s rare in the area, suggest that the attackers may have came from somewhere else.

If the massacre site was indeed the result of war, it could shatter the belief that warfare was a concept that emerged after the Neolithic period.

Kicking off the holiday weekend with a moonlight shot of the petroglyphs at Agua Fria National Monument near Phoenix, Arizona.

The Agua Fria National Monument contains one of the most significant systems of late prehistoric sites in the American Southwest. Managed by the BLM’s National Conservation Lands, the Monument includes approximately 71,000 acres and at least 450 prehistoric sites.   

Photo by Bob Wick, BLM


Sharing the snow-capped Agua Fria National Monument!

On this day, President Bill Clinton established the Agua Fria, Grand Canyon-Parashant, and California Coastal National Monuments by Presidential Proclamation in 2000.  

Adjacent to rapidly expanding communities, the 70,900-acre Agua Fria National Monument is approximately 40 miles north of central Phoenix. The area is located on a high mesa semi-desert grassland, cut by the canyon of the Agua Fria River and other ribbons of valuable riparian forest, contributing to an outstanding biological resource. 

The diversity of vegetative communities, topographic features, and a dormant volcano decorates the landscape with a big rocky, basaltic plateau. The Agua Fria river canyon cuts through this plateau exposing precambrian rock along the canyon walls. Elevations range from 2,150 feet above sea level along the Agua Fria Canyon to about 4,600 feet in the northern hills. This expansive mosaic of semi-desert area, cut by ribbons of valuable riparian forest, offers one of the most significant systems of prehistoric sites in the American Southwest. In addition to the rich record of human history, the monument contains outstanding biological resources.

Photos by BLM Arizona. 


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Prehistoric site is found at Cave Hill in Belfast

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Archaeologists have discovered what is believed to be a prehistoric ceremonial site on Cave Hill in north Belfast.

It follows a community excavation involving more than 400 people at the site of Ballyaghagan cashel on the Upper Hightown Road, which had never before been unearthed.

Dr Harry Welsh, an archaeologist with Queen’s University, which led the Big Dig project, said some of the earliest items on the site dated back to 3,500 years BC.

He said:“Before we started the dig we thought there would be no big mystery.

"It was a cashel and we would just be in and out again.

"But after a few days we started to see that this site does not conform to all the features of a cashel.

"The medieval lecturers at Queen’s are especially excited by what has been found. Read more.


‘The Nine Ladies’ Bronze Age Stone Circle, Stanton Moor, Derbyshire, 7.5.16. The stone circle is traditionally believed to depict nine ladies who were turned to stone because they were caught dancing on a Sunday. Stanton Moor is a notable complex of prehistoric sites and a scheduled heritage site.