Re: Episode Seventy-Seven - Talking Archeology with Matthew
Was it in annoyance at my conflating "people who dig stuff out of the ground" part near the beginning? I feel kind of dumb for that.
Well I wanted to clarify several things. Paleontologists don't just study extinct organisms, we study "ancient life". Something can be old and still survive in some capacity. Crinoids are pretty damn old and they still exist today.
In my case I'm interested in Pleistocene animals and many of the species I'm interested in still exist such as wolves, bison, bears, etc. We also study ancient ecosystems and the evolution of species and their relation to each other.
Paleontology, like archeology is incredibly varied and nuanced. You can be a functional morphologist, phylogonist, paleoecologist, paleobotanist, etc.
I've already said that if PFTD is ever interested in discussing paleontology I'd be more than happy to step up and talk about what I know.
Hell, an archeologist and paleontologist could discuss the ecosystems and species in an area and how that would affect the societies living there. Large and dangerous predators might warrant some form of fortifications around living spaces, pest species would affect the survival of societies (such as the spread of disease or consumption of their food supply), and some animals would provide the basis of the society.
There are fossilized sites of mammoth material that have been stacked into huts. The Mezhirich
site in the Ukraine is a great example of paleontology and archeology intertwined.
There are fossil sites of massive animal kills that have evidence of human presence there from knife fragments and scoring on the bones showing that these animals were butchered by humans. Something like a bison is incredibly hard to kill and quite dangerous but if a group was able to drive them off of a cliff then they remove a lot of risk of injury from themselves.
A feat like that would require advanced communication and cooperation amongst the people involved and the ability to process all or most of the meat acquired that way could indicate a society large enough to need it, an environment that is bountiful enough to excuse the waste, or an explanation to a contributing factor of species extinction.
It's like they kicked logic in the balls then molested its family in front of it.
Musings of a Female Geek: My blog discussing nerdier pursuits.