1. On the question of, Is he just making up this term?, apparently not. “An ichnotaxon is ‘a taxon based on the fossilized work of an organism’, i.e. the non-human equivalent of an artifact. Ichnotaxa comes from the Greek ίχνος, ichnos meaning track and ταξις, taxis meaning ordering. Wikipedia”

  2. And plastic microbeads are a real thing. The plastic we leave in the environment breaks down into ever smaller pieces until they are tiny fragments that show up in soil, water, and plant and animal tissue wherever you look. A truly ubiquitous “mark” of human habitation.

  3. Not just the ocean, I’m afraid. Plastic microbeads have been found on the top of Mt Everest and at the bottom of the deep ocean trenches, and pretty much everywhere inbetween. Not to mention in our own bodies.

  4. As other posters have alluded to, I think there is a comment here on the damage we’re doing to our environment (‘environments’, if you include Mars) with plastics. However, I’m not so sure why the grey robot would think it’s a coincidence finding it in both places that humans have been.

  5. I subscribe to BBC History Magazine. Over the past year some issues have articles on ancient clothing that has been found, as well as other ancient items and articles on other items which have been found from hundreds to thousands of years ago in graves – going way back beyond the second millennia BCE and sometimes back beyond the first ditto. (I would mention some specific items, but the magazines are stored upstairs and I am down after a long day of Robert having his eyeglasses adjusted – a major problem to him – this is the 4th time with this pair since he got them less than 2 months ago, so not going to climb the stairs tonight.)

    It is truly amazing what can be determined from what was put into graves, including items that people owned, how children were treated by adults, and how the bodies were treated when buried.

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