BP Oil-Spill Cleanup Reveals Ancient Artifacts

The BP oil spill in the Gulf is currently the greatest ecological disaster in human history – devastating wildlife and gulf-based businesses alike. However, one surprising positive (of the very few) to come out of this tragedy has been that the clean-up has sparked and unprecedented number of archaeological discoveries. Animal bones, weaponry, pottery, and more, attributed to pre-historic native settlements, have been identified.

So far, teams of archaeologists hired by the oil giant have visited more than 100 sites and sent back a growing list of finds to labs for radiocarbon dating and other tests, though extensive excavations haven’t been done. Scholars have also accompanied cleanup crews to make sure they don’t unwittingly throw away relics.

To read more about the archaeological studies in the Gulf, check out the article at the Seattle Times.


3 thoughts on “BP Oil-Spill Cleanup Reveals Ancient Artifacts

    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      I guess there’s always a ‘silver lining’? Wonder what we’ll uncover with Fukushima…

  1. Mike Franklin

    Back in the middle/late 1970s, the beach area of Tybee Island, Georgia (US) received a makeover compliments of the US Army Corps of Engineers. Millions of tons of sand were dredged and then pumped along the shore to recreate the beach that had eroded away.

    The coarser sediment that didn’t make it through the screens and filters were dumped along the Skidaway River, a few miles away, near an easily accessible bridge crossing.

    Along with my best friend of the day, we roamed and sifted this sediment, in numerous piles as high as a two story building, over a period of two years and found incredible riches of fossils in the way of the onyx-black shark’s teeth, shellfish fragments and nearly intact crab legs, etc.

    When I was last in the area in 2003, the remnants of a few of those heaps were still there… though much eroded, overgrown and many now part of the widened road bed.


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