Saturday Scenes

Thu 1 March 2012

Alas, Poor Yorick

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 21:51

On the 25th of of February in 1866, a skull was discovered in a mine at a depth of 130 feet, beneath a layer of lava known to be over a million years old. The “Calaveras Skull” was just what geologist Josiah Whitney was looking for. A year previously, he published a paper that humans, mastadons and elephants coexisted and the skull gave him the evidence he was looking for. He announced that it was the oldest known record of humans on the American continent at the California Academy of Sciences in July 1866.

However, there was immediate controversy. The shape and form was said to be modern and suspiciously similar to Native American skulls dug up in a nearby burial site. One of the miners admitted to a minister that the skull had been planted in the mine as a practical joke. Whitney stood behind the skull but Smithsonian archaeologist William Holmes stated that the human remains did not share the great geological age of its supposed surroundings. It was clear to Holmes that the skull had been placed in the mine.

Calaveras Skull – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The miners of the Sierra Nevada apparently did not care much for Whitney (“being an Easterner of very reserved demeanor”) and were “delighted” to have played such a joke on him. Furthermore, John C. Scribner, a local shopkeeper, claimed to have planted it, and the story was revealed by his sister after his death. Radiocarbon dating in 1992 established the age of the skull at about 1,000 years, placing it in the late Holocene age.

Meanwhile, these photographs of Saturday were discovered on Twitter and every single one has been carbon dated and is authentically from the 25th of February in 2012:

Take a moment to say hello to the people who made history by taking a photograph:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url and the location
  4. Bookmark for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph in the next edition!

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