Taxonomy term

new mexico

Turkey DNA reveals Mesa Verde denizens moved to New Mexico

The Mesa Verde region of southern Colorado was home to as many as 30,000 Puebloans through the middle of the 13th century, until severe drought drove them south into New Mexico, ending the cliff dwellers’ reign. In a new study, researchers have charted this mass migration using mitochondrial DNA from a novel source: turkey bones from the domesticated birds kept by Puebloans in both Mesa Verde and northern New Mexico.

28 Dec 2017

On the trail of treasure in the Rocky Mountains

In 2010, collector Forrest Fenn filled a bronze chest with gold, jewelry and artifacts valued at $1 million to $2 million, which he then hid somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, N.M., leaving clues to its location in a mysterious poem. Thousands of treasure hunters — including the author, one of EARTH's roving correspondents — are on the trail, but no one has found it yet. 

15 Feb 2015

A tantalizing treasure

The contents of Forrest Fenn’s chest are not completely known, but Fenn has listed enough of the treasure to make the hunt truly tantalizing: 20 troy pounds of gold coins, gold nuggets the size of a man’s fist, pre-Columbian Incan and Mayan animal figures, a 17th-century Spanish gold-and-emerald ring, a bracelet with more than 250 rubies, diamonds and Ceylon sapphires, and two hand-carved Chinese jade masks.

 
15 Feb 2015

Witnessing geology in action: A rockfall in the garden of the gods

In lieu of doing a "year in review" issue this year, EARTH asked our staff and some frequent contributors to write a short commentary on something that grabbed their attention in 2013. We gave everyone carte blanche. What follows is a collection of extremely varied, often very personal insights into how the planet impacted each individual. In this commentary, EARTH's roving reporter Mary Caperton Morton muses on on how witnessing a rockfall made her think about geologic time.

21 Nov 2013

Santa Fe impact crater discovery: A series of fortunate events

In the ancient pink and orange hills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Thornton “Tim” McElvain, a retired petroleum geologist, leads me over a concrete highway barrier to a towering granite road cut. McElvain steps onto a rock pile and points to a meter-long block of granite, the freshest offering to fall from the rock face. One side of the block tapers roughly to the shape of a cone, with grooves coming together to form a point.

“This is the best shatter cone example I’ve seen here,” McElvain says.

07 Oct 2011

Benchmarks: July 4, 1054: "Birth" of the Crab Nebula

On July 4, 1054, Chinese and Japanese astronomers observed a new, iridescent yellow point of light in the constellation Taurus. This “guest star,” said to be as bright as the moon, failed to disappear with the rising sun — for a month, it shone both night and day. Even after fading during daytime, it remained in the night sky for nearly two years, by some accounts. Historians and scientists think that this event was likely the supernova that created the Crab Nebula, one of the most spectacular and rare astronomical features in the known universe.
 
04 Jul 2009