Wednesday, 04 December 2013 04:20
Government Prohibits diving on the Samabaj site
Yesterday we were informed that the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture and Sports issued an order that prohibits SCUBA Diving on the Samabaj archaeological site, on Lake Atitlan, Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, because the government does not yet have an adequate management plan of the place.
After that resolution was issued entities involved in the management of the Lake conducted a workshop for the creation of this plan.
Adriana Segura, the Directorate General of Cultural and Natural Heritage, said that the aim is to identify problems affecting the archaeological site and take into account the local Indian authorities.
Indigenous mayors of Santiago Atitlán expressed discomfort because they have not been taken into account, noting that they have knowledge and documents containing information about this place, including the ground that the name is Pa'Jaibal '.
They asked that the management plan will be suitable and especially the revenue generated in any way directly benefit the conservation of the site and the local population.
The ruins were first discovered by a local diver back in 1996, and archaeologists showed little interest in the site until just recently.
Once archaeologists realized the size and scope of the submerged Mayan ruins they decided to keep the location a secret in order to prevent any looting of the site.
In July of this year, a team from TreasureWorks, led by explorer and treasure hunter Tommy Vawter successfully located the lost Mayan City of Samabaj and spent several days diving on and exploring the site.
View the video
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 05:49
By Chuck Brittain
A former Westmoreland County man who made national headlines claiming to have found lost treasure off the Florida coast was found dead Tuesday in Ligonier Township after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The Westmoreland County Coroner's office identified the victim as Jay E. Miscovich, 54, of Key West, Fla.
Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone said Miscovich was found in the yard of an unoccupied house owned by Dr. Donald Ray of Greensburg.
Zappone described Miscovich as a “drifter” who once lived in the house. Coroner Ken Bacha pronounced him dead at the scene at 5:15 p.m. Miscovich shot himself with a 12-gauge shotgun.
Miscovich, a self-proclaimed “thrill seeker,” claimed that he discovered 154 pounds of emeralds worth untold millions in the Gulf of Mexico, about 40 miles off Key West, Fla., in 2010, according to court documents.
Miscovich, a Latrobe native, his partner and their company, JTR Enterprises, were awaiting a court decision from a federal judge in Florida after they were sued for fraud by rivals for the shipwrecked treasure.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 06:47
Taking portable XRF into the field to survey for geochemical indicators of human occupation
Obsidian, naturally occurring volcanic glass, is smooth, hard, and far sharper than a surgical scalpel when fractured, making it a highly desirable raw material for crafting stone tools for almost all of human history. The earliest obsidian tools, found in East Africa, are nearly two million years old, and obsidian scalpels are still used today in specialized medical procedures.
The chemistry of obsidian varies from volcano to volcano, and the chemical “fingerprints” allow researchers to match an obsidian artifact to the volcanic origin of its raw material. The chemical tests often involve dedicated analytical laboratories, even nuclear reactors, and take place months or years after an archaeological site has been excavated.
The new process uses an analytical technique called portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF), which involves a handheld instrument about the size, shape, and weight of a cordless drill. This portability enables archaeologists to identify the origins of stone tools in the field rather than having to send off artifacts to a distant lab. The newly developed method, which saves time and money, will first be used to study obsidian tools made by early humans, including Neanderthals and Homo erectus, tens of thousands of years ago.