The Worked Bone Research Group, part of the International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ) has just published the proceedings from the 10th Meeting of the WBRG, held in Belgrade in 2014. The book contains over 40 articles on worked bone from both prehistoric and historical archaeological sites.
The book, Close to the Bone, is edited by Selena Vitezovic and can be downloaded for free at the WBRG site.
Pure Oil Gas Station, Cape Charles, VA. Source: LamokaLedger
On the corner of Mason Avenue in the bayside town of Cape Charles, Virginia, is this abandoned Pure Oil gas station. Pure Oil designed these cottage-like filling stations in the late 1920s, and variations on this theme were constructed for several decades. This shows the design at its most simple form. The station still has the original “Pure Oil Blue” roof and most of its original features (compare it with the two historic photos from Pennsylvania and New York below). The three-bay garage on the side is likely a later addition.
Carl August Petersen created this Tudor Revival/English Cottage design in 1927 with the goal of presenting their Pure Oil as a safe, clean, and welcoming place to get gasoline. The standardized design also served to identify their brand to consumers, no matter where they were traveling.
The Pure Oil company was bought by Union Oil in the 1960s, and by the early 1970s, Pure Oil gas stations were rebadged as Union 76 stations. The Mason Avenue station remained in use as a gas station until fairly recently. A second Pure Oil building survives on the outskirts of Cape Charles. Many other Pure Oil stations have been repurposed into restaurants or for other uses, and several have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including a 1937 station in Geneva, Illinois. More examples can be seen at RoadsideArchitecture.
Pennsylvania, c. 1927. Source: http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/gas.html
1928 Pure Oil Gas Station, Binghamton, NY. Source: Petroleum News/Fill ‘er Up: An Architectural History of America’s Gas Stations. D.I. Vieyra, 1979
Freitag’s Pure Oil Service Station, Monroe, WI. Source: By SJC Burch – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21826664
1976 International Scout II. Source: blog.hemmings.com
So two guys wrote an encyclopedia about International Harvester’s Scout SUV/truck/jeep competitor and it’s 384 pages long. On of those guys is 4WD historian Jim Allen, and the other is John Glancy, a Scout collector who also owns the rights to the Scout name (?!?).
The book is International Scout Encyclopedia: The Authoritative Guide to IH’s Legendary 4×4 More on the book here.
The South Riverwalk Park, or Deck Park, was built on top of the Route 29 Tunnel along the Delaware River in Trenton, New Jersey. The design of the park was informed by the archaeological and historical research conducted prior to construction of the tunnel. A series of arches made of different materials (Steel, iron, brick, wood) represent each century of historic occupation of Trenton. The first arch evokes the construction techniques used by Native Americans for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. Plaques inset into the ground record the many milestones of local history. The south end borders Riverview Cemetery; at the North end, steps lead down to Waterfront Park, the home of the Trenton Thunder, the AA affiliate of the New York Yankees.
Arches at Trenton South RiverWalk Park
Detail of arch at Trenton South RiverWalk Park
Detail of arch at Trenton South RiverWalk Park
Delaware River at Trenton South RiverWalk Park
Plaque at Trenton South RiverWalk Park
Bungalow near South RiverWalk Park
Newspapers from 1836 to 1922 will be digitized and made available through the Library of Congress thanks to a grant from the NEH:
Rutgers to bring newspapers alive
So what’s the new thing I learned from the recent DNA-and-other-scientific-techniques analysis of the infamous Piltdown hoax fossils? Some people use the word “caveat” as a verb.
There it is, in the middle of the nicely open access article:
However, we caveat this by emphasizing that Bornean orang-utans have suffered from habitat loss and range fragmentation, two processes that can result in rapid shifts in the geographical distribution of genetic lineages (p. 7)
The internet helpfully tells me that the use of caveat as a verb in modern usage is considered awkward, and is most closely associated with Alexander Haig of “I am in control here” fame. Haig was a decade or two ahead of his time in his tendency to turn nouns into verbs.
There are a few caveats (“noun: a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations” -the OED) that may be worth keeping in mind regarding de Groote and colleagues’ article.
- The DNA analysis of the orang-utan and human bones that comprise the “Piltdown Man” fossils was mostly unproductive, the only positive result being evidence that two of the orang-utan teeth likely came from the same individual ape, who likely lived in western Borneo (that’s the conclusion that they caveated – now I’m doing it, too).
- Traditional morphometry (i.e, measuring the actual fossils) was more successful in confirming that the fossil teeth are actually from an orang-utan, and not from a different species of ape. I did not realize this was considered uncertain (there has been no doubt that the teeth are not hominin since the mid 1950s), and in fact a 1982 article in Nature they reference is titled “Piltdown Jaw Confirmed as Orang” but since the ape teeth were deliberately modified by the hoaxer, it’s good to get additional confirmation of the species identification
- This is kind of nifty:
In combination, the geometric morphometric analyses link the Piltdown I mandible and Piltdown II molar; traditional morphometrics link the mandible with the canine, and ancient DNA analysis links the canine and Piltdown II molar. Therefore, given the nature of the context, we consider it highly likely that the Piltdown hoaxer(s) used a single orang-utan specimen originating from southwest Sarawak to construct parts of both Piltdown I and II (p. 7)
- Radiocarbon dating attempts were a complete failure (contamination and other issues – probably not a big surprise).
- Microscopy and μCT scans provide some new details on modifications that were made to the bones.
- All this new research doesn’t really change anything about what was already known about the Piltdown hoax. The authors accuse Charles Dawson of being the sole perpetrator, but, as they acknowledge, Dawson has been “the prime suspect since the fraud was exposed in 1953.” (p. 12) Despite headlines like Human Ancestor Hoax At Piltdown Finally Solved and Study reveals culprit behind Piltdown Man, their new analysis doesn’t provide any evidence that incriminates Dawson any more or less.
DeGroote, I., et al.
2016 New genetic and morphological evidence suggests a single hoaxer created ‘Piltdownman’. R.Soc. Opensci.3:160328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160328
This vintage Toyota Land Cruiser spotted on the Eastern Shore of Virginia looks like a late 1980s FJ62. Two-tone blue, snorkeled, and aside from the mismatched wheels, not bad looking.
The special commemorative 50th-anniversary issue of the journal Post-Medieval Archaeology is available free online for a limited time via Taylor & Francis:
Table of Contents:
Editorial: ‘The greatest of these is charity’; 50 years of Post-Medieval Archaeology Alasdair Brooks
A short history of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Harold Mytum
The medieval to early modern transition in a digital age: new developments relevant to the study of domestic buildings David H. Caldwell & Catriona Cooper
Globalization and the spread of capitalism: material resonances Audrey Horning & Eric Schweickart
Cities in the modern world
Peter Davies & Greig Parker
The archaeology of industry; people and places Marilyn Palmer & Hilary Orange
The post-medieval rural landscape: towards a landscape archaeology?
Jemma Bezant & Kevin Grant
The material culture of the modern world Mary C. Beaudry & Natascha Mehler
Standing buildings and built heritage
Adrian Green & James Dixon
Where the battle rages: war and conflict in Post-Medieval Archaeology Natasha N. Ferguson & Douglas Scott
The contemporary in post-medieval archaeology Laura McAtackney & Sefryn Penrose
The archaeology of post-medieval death and burial Layla Renshaw & Natasha Powers
Obituary: Lawrence Butler (1934 – 2014)