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Friday, November 2
by Jessica E. Saraceni
November 2, 2012

Navy archaeologist Steve Schwartz thinks he may have found the San Nicolas Island cave where a woman of the Nicoleño tribe lived for 18 years during the mid-nineteenth century. Her story was the inspiration for the children’s novel, Island of the Blue Dolphins. Other researchers have found two boxes fashioned from redwood and tar that held stone blades, harpoon points, bone fishhooks, and other tools that may have been left behind by the Lone Woman, as she became known. Schwartz and his team of scientists are planning further investigations of the cave using ground-penetrating radar. “We’re 90 percent sure this is the Lone Woman’s cave,” he said at the California Islands Symposium.

The Archaeological Conservancy has purchased the sites of two sixteenth-century Cayuga villages  in New York’s Finger Lakes region. One of the villages had been surrounded by a palisade that may have been constructed during a time of conflict among the members of the Iroquois Confederacy and other ethnic groups. “There aren’t a lot of (Iroquois) sites in New York State that have intact earthen features. This site does,” said Andy Stout, eastern regional director for the Archaeological Conservancy. The other site contains traces of longhouses.

Thousands of Rome’s stray cats have been cared for and sterilized by volunteers in an illegal building at the ancient site of Torre Argentina, where Pompey’s theater and three temples once stood. The city’s archaeological authorities say the illegal structure has to go, but the cats can stay. “It is amazing how the city authorities in all these years allowed such an obviously illegal structure like this in an area of huge historical importance,” said Adriano La Regina, a former head of the archaeological authority.

Satellite images of Egypt show holes from illegal digging near the Great Pyramids in Giza and in Luxor to the south. Such systematic looting has become a problem at Egypt’s great archaeological sites, and the country’s new government is struggling to catch up with stricter laws in the face of many pressing challenges. “In this critical moment we need the help of the international community to return Egypt’s treasures,” said Osama El Nahas of the Antiquities Ministry.

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