(F.) AMERICAN NEANDERTHALS. (AnnalsOfSubmarineResearch.blogspot.com)

(F.) AMERICAN NEANDERTHALS. (AnnalsOfSubmarineResearch.blogspot.com)

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SUBMARINE ARCHAEOLOGY HITS THE ARCHERY BULL'S-EYE. Laboriously extracted from the Monterey Canyon (MC) underwater cave and now partially conserved, the fossilized Neanderthal hunting bow (above, & Figs. 6-7) is apparently an advanced 'recurve' design. Not thought to have been produced until around 3K years BP, somewhere in Central Asia. The bow's innovative configuration has stunned scientists and archery buffs everywhere. PSR's anthropologist, an avid archer himself, George Westcort: "What makes the Monterey Canyon bow so remarkable is not only its futuristic recurve shape. And that it was likely made by the Neanderthal found with it. Moreover, it predates all other unequivocal bow and/or arrow finds by over forty thousand years." Wood decays rapidly, but the MC cave bow became petrified. That allowed it to persist so later humans could one day find it. But it also made it a daunting task to remove the bow with often unwieldy submersibles. No matter how high-tech nor sophisticated those new subs may be. Westcort: "We couldn't carbon date the bow itself because it is completely fossilized. But the skull and probable fireplace charcoal found with it sufficed for dating purposes. Hammering, drilling, and sawing it out from its masonry tomb with the subs' manipulator arms was a formidable and exhausting task. But the right arms on our new subs can do everything. Short of threading a needle. Finally though, the bow came out in several pieces. More like chunks, or sections of a base-relief wall sculpture. Where a good portion of the underlying wall must come out with it. And remain attached thereto forever. To visually isolate the bow's profile from its permanently affixed substrate, we photographed it with blue screen imaging. It's a tricky process, but it eventually produced the black background we desired for pictorial purposes. In other words, it will never be a bow that one can pick up and examine like a bow in an archery store. And much work still has to be done on it towards a reasonably professional exhibit." (NOTE: The complete article describing the history making Monterey Canyon Neanderthal discovery can be read or downloaded at Library items 1 through 4. All other Library selections are IMAGES and text from the original American Neanderthal report at, ANNALS OF SUBMARINE SCIENCE.)

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