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Stunning prehistoric art discovered in the Altai Mountains of Siberia

The Heritage Trust

The Saldyar Valley in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia were archaeologists have discovered a stunning alfresco gallery of prehistoric art
The Siberian Times
Will Stewart, writing for the MailOnline, reports on the stunning prehistoric art that has been discovered by archaeologists in the Altai Mountains of Siberia –
Archaeologists in Siberia have begun uncovering an extraordinary alfresco gallery of prehistoric art high in the 4,506-metre tall Altai Mountains. While the region is famed for petroglyphs (rock engravings), new finds are being made in the hidden and rarely-visited Saldyar valley, close to the fast-flowing Katun River. Here beneath the densely-wooded slopes they are discovering remarkable rock pictures dating back 5,000 years, close to Russia’s border with China and Mongolia.
The Altai Mountains in southern Siberia are one of the great undiscovered tourist destinations, featuring breathtaking lakes and peaks, with many signs of the ancient lost world, such…

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430,000 Year Old Shell Engravings By Homo Erectus from Trinil, Java

Wim Lustenhouwer/VU University Amsterdam. A shell found on Java in the late 1800s was recently found to bear markings that seem to have been carved intentionally half a million years ago. The photograph is about 15 millimetres wide. Wim Lustenhouwer/VU University Amsterdam. A shell found on Java in the late 1800s was recently found to bear markings that seem to have been carved intentionally half a million years ago. The photograph is about 15 millimetres wide.

The engraved shell pictured come from a freshwater mussel species that were collected in the 1890s by the Dutch paleontologist Eugène Dubois, from Trinil. The first H. erectus calvarium was also found there. Duboid brough home many other artifacts as well and were stored away in Leiden, Netherlands.

Henk Caspers/Naturalis. The shell, from a freshwater mussel, shows a hole made by a member of Homo erectus. Henk Caspers/Naturalis. The shell, from a freshwater mussel, shows a hole made by a member of Homo erectus.

Josephine Joordens from Leiden University opened these boxes to work on a project about marine life at Trinil, a site 80km insland. She found some perforations made with a sharp object suggesting someone used tools to crack these shells open. A visiting colleague photographed the shells and…

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Print Edition Now Available

Available now on Amazon is the print edition of HEARTS IN RUIN. Lyn Taylor, the cover artist for the eBook edition, also completed the beautiful artwork for this print paperback. It is available in a nice 6×9 trade paperback format and comes to just 174 pages. The retail price is $8.99, plus shipping, and it is available for free shipping on Amazon orders over $35.00.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

The eBook is, of course, still available for $4.99 in all known electronic-book formats as well, as published by Liquid Silver Books. You can purchase it at most major outlets, including Amazon. But the one place you can certainly get it in any format you desire is from the publisher at THIS LINK.

About Liquid Silver Books

As an author, I want to again say that my experience with Liquid Silver Books continues to be wonderful. The editors, staff and other authors are all very supportive, and Liquid Silver Books has created a positive community around its catalog of eBooks. I also want to thank Editorial Director Terri Schaefer for her supportive response about my interest in making the print edition available, and Marketing Director Michelle Hoppe for encouraging me to keep working on my next book.

For those of you with e-Readers, the eBook is still the best deal in town, and I highly recommend you acquire the book that way. But if you don’t have an e-Reader and/or don’t like reading books that aren’t physical paper books, there is now another option.

The CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

With respect to actual production, it was my responsibility to set the book to print. (Liquid Silver is one of the most established eBook publishers out there, and its focus is appropriately on that market.) This was my first foray into a type of independent publishing, so I chose CreateSpace (Amazon’s independent publishing platform), used by many other Liquid Silver authors. CreateSpace has been the launching platform of some other projects involving my work, and I found its interface to be very user friendly.

So I now have physical copies of HEARTS IN RUIN which I can sign for readers that want signed copies and/or submit to contests requiring hard copies.

The paperback is available from Amazon at

The eBook is available from Liquid Silver Books in any format you need at

Or at:

And other major outlets. See it also on Goodreads at

Find Your Summer Dig

Not everyone’s vacations are the same. In fact, many archaeology students and others interested in the field look forward to spending their summer vacation months in the dirt at an archaeological dig, sponsored by universities, museums, and historical societies all over the planet. Most trips are organized through universities or university-related programs. In HEARTS IN RUIN, a Southwestern university initiates a dig as an instructional site for a number of years and then abandons the project. That summer, a Midwestern college takes up the project to continue the dig. Following is an excerpt of HEARTS IN RUIN, providing just a taste of the project and the conflicts in play. Following that is a list of some of the archaeological digs expected to be conducted in the West and Southwest this summer.


The following scene takes place as routines are beginning to set in at the dig. Andrea and Daniel have had an intimate moment recently, but have not discussed it since. Andrea is skeptical of Daniel’s theories about the age of the site. But in this scene, Andrea discovers something she does not expect–in fact, something far outside her expectations that changes the course of conflicts in the story.

Under the mid-morning sun, Andrea helped Chloe and Courtney with an interesting shard. She noted the position and strata evidence and corrected Chloe’s photographic technique. But the item seemed, even though the evidence was sound, to be in the wrong place.

She scanned the area. The strata was clear. She decided to check it against the vertical. Daniel was there, lost in thought. “You mind?” she interrupted.

He looked slightly startled. “No, of course not.”

Andrea stepped past him.

He jotted notes in a field book, closed it, and walked away toward the lab tent.

Is he trying not to talk?

Andrea shrugged it off. She reviewed the strata and crouched at the two-thirds point. A strata mix caught her eye. Where the lines should have continued consistently from one side to the other, a gap appeared, line after line, creating a very thin column of earth-tone that interrupted the lines. It appeared to be a hole—a hole that had been carefully dug and filled ages ago. Only the smallest part of it showed. The vertical trench had either almost completely dug up what had been the fill in the ancient hole, or, if she was lucky, had only barely sliced into it. She scraped slightly. The column broadened. Most of the hole and its fill were still there, intact. Yes! These were the nuggets of the past archaeologists lived for. She took photos and notes, meticulously recording all pertinent data, and then traced the column to its bottom, searching for whatever had been, hopefully, buried there.

In her experience, not many things were buried during the Clovis period. She might find remains. That would be a score. She might find trash. Also a score from an archaeological perspective. But when she located the bottom, she noted an object that might not be either. She brushed away at it, taking notes and photos as she progressed.

Finally, the nature of the small object was clear. A small vessel. A bowl. It was wrapped in something, leaves, large leaves, something organic. But the entire setup was puzzling. Even the top of the hole was too low according to Daniel’s numbers. But there it was. There were clear, unbroken strata directly above it. The hole had been dug unbelievably early. Pre-Clovis.

She studied the artifact in place. It appeared to have artwork, but also…no, that wouldn’t be possible, not for something this old. It had to be something else. But its markings had the unmistakable characteristics of…written language?


Many of the following digs continue from year to year. Some are certain to take place again this summer, while a few are merely highly probable. This list focuses on the west and southwest. But there are digs all over the United States and the world and it would not be hard to find a dig close to you, wherever you are, with a little diligent internet searching.

Chaco Stratigraphy Project (New Mexico)
University of New Mexico. Chaco was the center of an unprecedented cultural development between ca. AD 800 and 1200 known as the “Chaco Phenomenon.” During this period, people living in and around the canyon experienced an explosive episode of economic growth that culminated in the construction of large masonry buildings called “great houses.”

Cooper’s Ferry (Idaho)
Oregon State University. Cooper’s Ferry is an early Paleoindian site in the Salmon River valley of Idaho since 2009. The site has a long record of repeated human occupation, beginning with a Western Stemmed Tradition/Paleoarchaic artifact assemblage. See the article Fieldwork in Focus: Cooper’s Ferry for additional information.

Crow Canyon Archaeology Adventures (Colorado)
The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center continues its on-going research on ancient Pueblo Indian communities with weekly dig programs for adults, teens, families, teachers, and other groups.

Greater Yellowstone (Montana)
Indiana University. This field school is a holistic, field-based program in the social history and human ecology of the Northwestern High Plains and Middle Rocky Mountains with a special emphasis on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. If you like camping, hiking, and archaeology, this field school is for you

Rock Art Ranch (Arizona)
University of Arizona. Rock Art Ranch contains some of the most spectacular rock art in the Southwest, dating from 6000 BC to AD 1400, all of which has been documented. The ranch lies in the high desert at 5100’ elevation, in an area used over the past eight thousand years by mobile hunting and gathering groups, early farmers, and later, after A.D. 500, by more sedentary farmers representing archaeological cultures of the adjacent Mogollon Rim and Colorado Plateau regions.

Totah Archaeological Project (New Mexico, USA)
San Juan College and B-Square Ranch. The Totah Archaeological Project Field School is being offered and supported by San Juan College in partnership with Tommy Bolack and the B-Square Ranch. The goal of the project is to provide archaeological educational opportunities for San Juan College students, local community members, and visitors to the region, and to contribute to research on the Anasazi culture in the Totah area.

Wind Wolves (California)
Institute for Field Research (UCLA). Since 2005, the Enculturating Environments Project has been investigating rock-art, habitation, and special-purpose sites throughout the Wildlands Conservancy’s Wind Wolves Preserve. This field school will continue this work throughout the preserve with particular focus on the only known Chumash cache cave having extensive perishable material remaining in situ.


Following is what some of the early readers of HEARTS AND RUIN have to say about the archaeology in the story:

  • “…a realistic view of the challenges involved with an archaeological dig”
  • “…a wonderful portrayal of sexy archaeologists doing a legitimate archaeological dig.”
  • “This is an entertaining and informative novel where the author has taken us on a dig with him. Never had an idea of how complex this is as a long, arduous task where dedication and discipline (and some times years) is required.”
  • It is that rare combination read of intelligence, suspense, and a building love story(ies) that makes you snarl at family members who break in on your reading time because it’s time to fix dinner. It also made me chew over my life choices as to why I didn’t become an archaeologist and is it too late to start a new career.”
  • Use of details about how a dig comes about and is managed entertain and move us through the plot to become an integral part of the story.”


Cover Design for Hearts in Ruin

Liquid Silver Books has finalized the cover design of my debut novel, Hearts in Ruin, scheduled for release in early May 2014. The artwork was created by talented digital cover artist, Lyn Taylor.

LSB Cover Art Template for PhotoShop

Lyn Taylor designs wonderful book covers for a variety of publishers and authors. At Lyn Taylor’s blog – Musings of a Cover Artist, you can see some of her latest covers read brief rundowns on how she created the cover.

She also has a Digital Art page at Deviant Art.

Here is just a very small sampling of some of Lyn Taylor’s wonderful other covers:


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