Geology

The Devil’s Tramping Ground

The Devil's Tramping Ground is a clearing in the Chatham County woods where nothing has grown for as long as anyone can remember. The mysterious lack of plants in the area has inspired the legend that the Devil comes to that spot in the night and paces in a circle while planning how to tear down the hearts of men, trampling all the plants in the process. Scientists have yet to determine exactly why nothing grows there, including soil scientist Rich Hayes, who has run several tests on the soil chemistry of the site.

The Butcher and the Knight

Scientists Discover Two New Prehistoric Reptiles in North Carolina
May 19, 2015

 

Getting around Durham was different 230 million years ago. 

On the plus side, you would have had zero chance of getting stuck in traffic on I-85, and finding parking at Duke or at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park would have been a breeze. You would, however, have constantly been on the lookout for the 9-foot-long crocodiles running around on their hind legs trying to eat you.

Digging Dinos

Watch as a paleontologist and her team of volunteer paleontologists uncover the remains of a new type of dinosaur. Evidence suggests that the desert mountains in Utah, where the bones were found, was once a lush wetland. Researchers use specific methods to carefully uncover the details of not only what the world was like in the past but also how this individual lived, died and rotted.

What’s My Story: Archaeologist

In middle school, David Moore read about mysterious giant stone heads on Easter Island and knew he wanted to have adventures with artifacts. Today, Moore practices archaeology with his students at Warren Wilson College as the lead researcher on the Berry Site where the Spanish explorers lost their claim on the Carolinas in a battle with the Cherokee.

Archaeology: The study of human behavior in the past, primarily through the careful recovery, dating, and analysis of the material culture and environmental clues.

Digging For History

In 1567, Spanish explorer Capt. Juan Pardo traveled the Indian trails to a town called Joara, in the NC foothills. He built a fort there. Indians later killed the soldiers and burned the fort. It was a mystery, until archaeologists found evidence of the fort while researching the village. The discovery confirms the first inland European settlement in the new world.

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