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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sumbawa Rediscovered

Sumbawa Rediscovered

Despite shrubya's onslaughts, science doesn't seem to be faring so poorly this year. First, they found new species in Indonesia; now they've uncovered a "lost kingdom" that was buried by a volcano.

Scientists announced today the discovery of a small "kingdom" on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa thought to have been obliterated by the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history.

The eruption of the volcano Tambora in 1815 killed 117,000 people in Southeast Asia, including those believed buried under ten feet (three meters) of pumice and ash in the recently discovered village.

The team, led by University of Rhode Island volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson, hailed the discovery as the "Pompeii of the East."

..."[The Tambora discovery] gives us a window of the culture at that time that we couldn't get any other way," Sigurdsson said.

...The design and decoration of the artifacts suggest that the Tamboran culture was linked through trade to Vietnam and Cambodia, Sigurdsson said.

...Peter Lape, an anthropologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, said the discovery should add insight into a part of the East Indies before it came under the influence of Western colonists.

"[The Dutch] were trying to regulate shipping [in the East Indies], but they hadn't made much impact on the local political structure," he said. "So for places like Sumbawa, there's not much historical record."


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