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  • Humans shaped stone axes 1.8 million years ago, study says

    09/02/2011 2:05:06 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 33 replies ^ | 08-31-2011 | Provided by Columbia University
    A new study suggests that Homo erectus, a precursor to modern humans, was using advanced toolmaking methods in East Africa 1.8 million years ago, at least 300,000 years earlier than previously thought. The study, published this week in Nature, raises new questions about where these tall and slender early humans originated and how they developed sophisticated tool-making technology. Homo erectus appeared about 2 million years ago, and ranged across Asia and Africa before hitting a possible evolutionary dead-end, about 70,000 years ago. Some researchers think Homo erectus evolved in East Africa, where many of the oldest fossils have been found,...
  • Gardens were important to ancient civilizations

    09/01/2011 4:50:15 PM PDT · by Renfield · 9 replies
    We tend to think of garden design as a relatively new vocation. The truth told by archaeological findings not only lays such thoughts to rest, it tells a tale of a rich and ancient heritage of garden design. One such finding shows a garden of Ninevah, in present-day Iraq, that dates back to 650 BC. There are date palms, trees and shrubs of many types. True, an enemy's severed head is seen hanging from one of the trees, but times were different, or are they? They did like their gardens, however. Our vision of ancient Egyptian temples is one of...
  • Body of infamous Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly found

    09/01/2011 4:43:23 PM PDT · by lowbridge · 14 replies
    Yahoo ^ | Sept 1, 2011
    The headless remains of the infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly have finally been identified, officials said Thursday, solving a mystery dating back more than 130 years. Considered by some to be a cold-blooded killer, Kelly was also seen as a folk hero and symbol of Irish-Australian defiance against the British authorities. After murdering three policemen, he was captured in Victoria state in 1880 and hanged at Old Melbourne Gaol in November of the same year. But his body went missing after it was thrown into a mass grave. The bodies in the grave were transferred from the jail to Pentridge...
  • Christ's 'True Face' Relic Found in Tenn. Thief's Closet

    08/22/2011 5:17:43 PM PDT · by STARWISE · 15 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 8-6-11 | Anugrah Kumar
    Police in a small Tennessee town have salvaged a rare painting of supposedly the true face of Jesus from a thief who was trying to sell it to a church. The 150-year-old painting, a Catholic relic based on the “Veil of Veronica,” had been stolen and dumped in a closet for years by a thief, identified as Kelly Ghormley, before she approached a church in Madisonville to sell it, Daily Mail reported Friday. According to legend, when a follower named Veronica from Jerusalem encountered Jesus on the way to Calvary and wiped sweat off His face with her veil, Christ’s...
  • Italian art experts accused of censoring phallic fresco

    08/22/2011 2:54:17 PM PDT · by woofie · 82 replies · 1+ views
    The Telegraph ^ | Monday 22 August 2011
    Italian art experts who restored a cryptic medieval fresco depicting a tree of fertility have been accused of censoring the work by painting over the numerous phalluses which dangle from its boughs. The unusual 13th century Tree of Fertility fresco was discovered by chance a decade ago in the Tuscan town of Massa Marittima and has recently been subjected to a three-year restoration. The experts who carried out the restoration have been accused of sanitizing the mural by scrubbing out or altering some of the testicles, which hang from the tree's branches along with around 25 phalluses. "Many parts of...
  • Iron Age people gave interiors of dwellings a decorative streak

    08/12/2011 6:57:34 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    The Local ^ | August 8, 2011 | DPA/The Local/djw
    Archaeologists in Saxony-Anhalt have discovered a 2,600-year-old wall painted in bright patterns. It reveals that Iron Age houses were not the drab constructions they were once thought to be. The State Museum for Prehistory in the eastern German city of Halle put part of the prehistoric clay wall on display on Monday. The wall was apparently part of a sprawling, Iron Age human settlement... The dominant colours are red, beige and white. For pigments, the prehistoric painters used substances such as iron oxide, which gives the reddish, ochre colour. The design shows typical ornamental patterns from the Iron Age such...
  • Giant fossil shows huge birds lived among dinosaurs

    08/10/2011 5:21:06 PM PDT · by Renfield · 31 replies
    BBC News ^ | 8-10-2011
    An enormous jawbone found in Kazakhstan is further evidence that giant birds roamed - or flew above - the Earth at the same time as the dinosaurs. Writing in Biology Letters, researchers say the new species, Samrukia nessovi, had a skull some 30cm long. If flightless, the bird would have been 2-3m tall; if it flew, it may have had a wingspan of 4m. The find is only the second bird of such a size in the Cretaceous geologic period, and the first in Asia. The only other evidence of a bird of such a size during the period was...
  • Archaeologists uncover 3,000-year-old lion adorning citadel gate complex in Turkey

    08/09/2011 11:01:56 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 11 replies ^ | 08-09-2011 | Provided by University of Toronto
    Archaeologists leading the University of Toronto's Tayinat Archaeological Project in southeastern Turkey have unearthed the remains of a monumental gate complex adorned with stone sculptures, including a magnificently carved lion. The gate complex provided access to the citadel of Kunulua, capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina (ca. 950-725 BCE), and is reminiscent of the citadel gate excavated by British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in 1911 at the royal Hittite city of Carchemish. The Tayinat find provides valuable new insight into the innovative character and cultural sophistication of the diminutive Iron Age states that emerged in the eastern Mediterranean following...
  • Michigan Copper in the Mediterranean

    08/06/2011 4:11:06 PM PDT · by Renfield · 85 replies ^ | 8-2011 | Jay Stuart Wakefield
    The Shipping of Michigan Copper across the Atlantic in the Bronze Age (Isle Royale and Keweenaw Peninsula, c. 2400BC-1200 BC) Summary Recent scientific literature has come to the conclusion that the major source of the copper that swept through the European Bronze Age after 2500 BC is unknown. However, these studies claim that the 10 tons of copper oxhide ingots recovered from the late Bronze Age (1300 BC) Uluburun shipwreck off the coast of Turkey was “extraordinarily pure” (more than 99.5% pure), and that it was not the product of smelting from ore. The oxhides are all brittle “blister copper”,...
  • King Tut and half of European men share DNA

    08/04/2011 7:57:05 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 57 replies ^ | 08-03-2011 | Staff
    According to a group of geneticists in Switzerland from iGENEA, the DNA genealogy center, as many as half of all European men and 70 percent of British men share the same DNA as the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut. For a film created for the Discovery Channel, scientists worked to reconstruct the DNA of the young male King, his father Akhenaten and his grandfather Amenhotep III. They discovered that King Tut had a DNA profile that belongs to a group called haplogroup R1b1a2. This group can be found in over 50 percent of European men and shows the researchers...
  • Ancient Sacrificer Found With Blades in Peru Tomb?

    08/01/2011 12:35:48 PM PDT · by Renfield · 6 replies
    National Geographic News ^ | 7-28-2011 | Ker Than
    ~~~snip~~~ The new tomb discovery was made during excavations of a section of Chotuna-Chornancap that was used to perform crop-fertility rituals, according to the team. The skeleton belonged to a male between 20 and 30 years old, and that the tomb was built sometime in the late 1200s or early 1300s A.D., toward the end of the Sicán period, they say. The cause of death of the tomb's inhabitant is unknown, but based on the kind and quantity of artifacts buried with him—including ceramic pots, a skirt made of copper disks, and ornate copper knives—the team thinks he was a...
  • Why Dr Hawass Resigned [ Egyptian Minister For Antiquities !!! ]

    07/17/2011 7:03:56 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 55 replies
    Dr. Hawass' weblog ^ | Sunday, July 17, 2011
    "I am leaving because of a variety of important reasons. The first reason is that, during the Revolution of January 25th, the Egyptian Army protected our heritage sites and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in the last 10 days the army has left these posts because it has other tasks to do. The group now in charge of the protection of these sites is the Tourist Police, but there are no Tourist Police to do this either. Therefore, what happens? Egyptian criminals, thieves (you know, in every revolution bad people always appear…), have begun to destroy tombs. They damaged...
  • Dorset pliosaur: ‘Most fearsome predator’ unveiled

    07/11/2011 12:55:09 PM PDT · by Renfield · 27 replies
    BBC News ^ | 7-8-2010 | Rebecca Morelle
    A skull belonging to one of the largest "sea monsters" ever unearthed is being unveiled to the public. The beast, which is called a pliosaur, has been described as the most fearsome predator the Earth has seen. The fossil was found in Dorset, but it has taken 18 months to remove the skull from its rocky casing, revealing the monster in remarkable detail. Scientists suspect the creature, which is on show at the Dorset County Museum, may be a new species or even genus. ~~~snip~~~ "It was probably the most fearsome predator that ever lived. Standing in front of the...
  • New facilities added to Vore Buffalo Jump historic site

    07/10/2011 10:04:53 PM PDT · by ApplegateRanch · 6 replies
    KEVN-Black Hills Fox News ^ | 10 July 2011 | Al Van Zee
    Facilities are being added at the Vore Buffalo Jump Historic site west of Beulah, Wyoming, to make the site more accessible to visitors. And this summer marks the first time scientists working at the site have been protected by a shelter built last year. The Vore Buffalo Jump is one of the most important archeological sites in the Black Hills area. It provides some of the most graphic evidence we have of how Native tribes living in the Black Hills area survived before the coming of Europeans and their horses. There are thousands of individual buffalo bones at the bottom...
  • Remains of 60th mammoth found in Hot Springs; Mammoth Site could hold as many as 100

    07/10/2011 9:52:05 PM PDT · by ApplegateRanch · 31 replies
    Daily Journal ^ | July 10, 2011 | none listed
    The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs recently yielded the remains of a 60th mammoth, the giant, extinct creatures that once roamed the continent. [just a teaser--AP story]
  • The Mysterious Minaret of Jam

    07/10/2011 6:48:16 PM PDT · by Palter · 21 replies
    DRB ^ | 02 July 2011
    The 12-Century Wonder and Mystery of Afghanistan Built back in 1190s by the once great Ghorid empire, this enigmatic and intricately-ornamented ancient "skyscraper" stands like a missile pointing at the stars - a 65-meter high minaret, the second biggest religious monument of its kind in the world. Originally it was topped by the lantern - making it a sort of the dry land lighthouse (!), surrounded by the 2400m high mountains: (Note a white jeep crossing the river in photo above: there was a bridge before, but it was destroyed during wartime...) Amazingly, this imposing structure was standing forgotten for...
  • Earliest Europeans Were Cannibals, Wore Bling

    07/10/2011 7:44:31 AM PDT · by Renfield · 28 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 7-6-2011 | Jennifer Viegas
    * The earliest known modern humans from southeast Europe wore shell and mammoth jewelry. * The same early humans also likely practiced cannibalism. * The cannibalism was tied to funeral rituals, since the bones were not butchered like meat. Early humans wore jewelry and likely practiced cannibalism, suggest remains of the earliest known Homo sapiens from southeastern Europe. The remains, described in PLoS One, date to 32,000 years ago and represent the oldest direct evidence for anatomically modern humans in a well-documented context. The human remains are also the oldest known for our species in Europe to show post-mortem cut...
  • "Tomb of the Otters" Filled With Stone Age Human Bones

    07/10/2011 7:35:41 AM PDT · by Renfield · 19 replies
    7-7-2011 | James Owen
    Thousands of human bones have been found inside a Stone Age tomb on a northern Scottish island, archaeologists say. The 5,000-year-old burial site, on South Ronaldsay (map) in the Orkney Islands, was accidentally uncovered after a homeowner had leveled a mound in his yard to improve his ocean view. ~~~snip~~~ The underground grave consists of a 4- by 0.75-meter (13- by 2.5-foot) central chamber surrounded by four smaller cells hewn from sandstone bedrock. Capping the central chamber are large water-worn slabs supported by stone walls and pillars. At least a thousand skeleton parts belonging to a mix of genders and...
  • Fierce, fashionable Vikings filed their teeth and ironed their clothes

    07/08/2011 11:43:14 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 36 replies ^ | 07-08-2011 | Staff
    A mysterious cache of dozens of humans skulls discovered earlier this year in Dorset, England belonged to Viking raiders. Anthropologists figured this out when they examined the teeth, and found that elaborate patterns had been filed into them. That's right — the Vikings filed their teeth, and probably put pigment into the designs to make them look even more badass. No other European groups were known to file their teeth at the time these Vikings were beheaded about a millennium ago, though it was a common practice in Africa and Paleoamerica. Were the filed teeth these Norsemen's attempt to make...
  • In Israel, diggers unearth the Bible's bad guys

    07/08/2011 5:19:43 AM PDT · by SJackson · 83 replies
    TEL EL-SAFI, Israel At the remains of an ancient metropolis in southern Israel, archaeologists are piecing together the history of a people remembered chiefly as the bad guys of the Hebrew Bible. The city of Gath, where the annual digging season began this week, is helping scholars paint a more nuanced portrait of the Philistines, who appear in the biblical story as the perennial enemies of the Israelites. Close to three millennia ago, Gath was on the frontier between the Philistines, who occupied the Mediterranean coastal plain, and the Israelites, who controlled the inland hills. The city's most famous resident,...