Wednesday, April 28, 2010

[Geology2] Peruvian Mummies, Seashells Share Historical Climate Insight

Peruvian Mummies, Seashells Share Historical Climate Insight
Newswise [USA], 4/19/2010

Shells from mollusks presented to the dead during ancient funeral
ceremonies are keys to helping a geologist gauge ocean movements near
the Peruvian coast from as much as 13,000 years ago. No, really. These
unlikely sources serve almost as historical calendars filled with data
about the conditions of the portions of the ocean in which they lived
– conditions which may well have been vital to the well being of
ancient Peruvian cultures, including the Moche, according to Dr. Fred
Andrus, an assistant professor in UA's geological sciences department.
Andrus and colleagues at the University of Arizona and the University of
Maine, were awarded a $600,000 National Science Foundation grant to
develop a better understanding of a deep ocean phenomenon known as
upwelling and its impact on the climate and the economy of the people
who lived in Peru over the past 13,000 years.


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