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  • 'Eternal flames' of ancient times could spark interest of modern geologists

    05/18/2015 11:51:28 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 15 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05-18-2015 | Provided by Springer
    Seeps from which gas and oil escape were formative to many ancient cultures and societies. They gave rise to legends surrounding the Delphi Oracle, Chimaera fires and "eternal flames" that were central to ancient religious practices - from Indonesia and Iran to Italy and Azerbaijan. Modern geologists and oil and gas explorers can learn much by delving into the geomythological stories about the religious and social practices of the Ancient World, writes Guiseppe Etiope of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy. His research is published in the new Springer book Natural Gas Seepage. "Knowing present-day gas fluxes...
  • Analysis of bones found in Romania offer evidence of human and Neanderthal interbreeding in Europe

    05/15/2015 1:52:19 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 05-14-2015 | Bob Yirka
    A Neanderthal skeleton, left, compared with a modern human skeleton. Credit: American Museum of Natural History DNA testing of a human mandible fossil found in Romania has revealed a genome with 4.8 to 11.3 percent Neanderthal DNA—its original owner died approximately 40,000 years ago, Palaeogenomicist Qiaomei Fu reported to audience members at a Biology of Genomes meeting in New York last week. She noted also that she and her research team found long Neanderthal sequences. The high percentage suggests, she added, that the human had a Neanderthal in its family tree going back just four to six generations. The finding...
  • Will Liquid Mercury Show The Way To King's Tomb In Mysterious City Of Teotihuacan?

    04/25/2015 12:33:02 PM PDT · by Beowulf9 · 45 replies
    http://www.messagetoeagle.com ^ | 25 April, 2015 | unknown
    MessageToEagle.com - A Mexican archeologist hunting for a royal tomb in a deep, dark tunnel beneath a towering pre-Aztec pyramid has made a discovery that may have brought him a step closer: liquid mercury,' according to Reuters' report. In the bowels of Teotihuacan, a mysterious ancient city that was once the largest in the Americas, Sergio Gomez this month found "large quantities" of the silvery metal in a chamber at the end of a sacred tunnel sealed for nearly 1,800 years. "It's something that completely surprised us," Gomez said at the entrance to the tunnel below Teotihuacan's Pyramid of the...
  • Evidence of Pre-Columbus Trade Found in Alaska House

    04/17/2015 5:39:17 PM PDT · by Rebelbase · 61 replies
    Live Science ^ | April 16, 2015 | Owen Jarus
    Archaeologists working at the Rising Whale site at Cape Espenberg, Alaska, have discovered several artifacts that were imported from East Asia. Bronze artifacts discovered in a 1,000-year-old house in Alaska suggest trade was occurring between East Asia and the New World centuries before the voyages of Columbus.
  • Archeologists Detect Ancient Pyramid Buried in Bolivia

    04/06/2015 11:01:12 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 39 replies
    Costa Rican Star ^ | 03-27-2015 | Staff
    La Paz, Mar 27 (EFE).- The government of Bolivia announced it will start exploratory excavations this year at the ancient fortress of Tiahuanaco after a buried pyramid was detected. Ludwing Cayo, director of the Tiahuanaco Archeological Research Center, told Efe that the formation is located in the area of Kantatallita, east of the Akapana pyramid. In a presentation for the media, Cayo outlined a five-year for further research at Tiahuanaco, an archaeological site 71 kilometers (44 miles) west of La Paz that was the cradle of an ancient civilization predating the Incas. Excavations may start in May or June, depending...
  • New instrument dates old skeleton—'Little Foot' 3.67 million years old

    04/01/2015 1:25:58 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 04-01-2015 | Provided by Purdue University
    A skeleton named Little Foot is among the oldest hominid skeletons ever dated at 3.67 million years old, according to an advanced dating method. Little Foot is a rare, nearly complete skeleton of Australopithecus first discovered 21 years ago in a cave at Sterkfontein, in central South Africa. The new date places Little Foot as an older relative of Lucy, a famous Australopithecus skeleton dated at 3.2 million years old that was found in Ethiopia. It is thought that Australopithecus is an evolutionary ancestor to humans that lived between 2 million and 4 million years ago. Stone tools found at...
  • Neanderthals Wore Eagle Talons As Jewelry 130,000 Years Ago

    03/13/2015 9:39:56 PM PDT · by blam · 40 replies
    Live Science ^ | 3-14-2015 | Megan Gannon
    Megan Gannon March 14, 2015The eight eagle talons from Krapina arranged with an eagle phalanx that was also found at the site. (Luka Mjeda, Zagreb) Long before they shared the landscape with modern humans, Neanderthals in Europe developed a sharp sense of style, wearing eagle claws as jewelry, new evidence suggests. Researchers identified eight talons from white-tailed eagles — including four that had distinct notches and cut marks — from a 130,000-year-old Neanderthal cave in Croatia. They suspect the claws were once strung together as part of a necklace or bracelet. "It really is absolutely stunning," study author David Frayer,...
  • Mysterious Jade May Have Been Offering to Gods [...or not]

    03/11/2015 2:02:44 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    discovery.com ^ | Mar 11, 2015 09:30 AM ET | by Owen Jarus, LiveScience
    The jade artifact, which has cleft rectangles, incisions and a cone at its top, was discovered underwater in Veracruz, Mexico. Photo courtesy Professor Carl Wendt A mysterious corncob-shaped artifact, dating to somewhere between 900 B.C. and 400 B.C., has been discovered underwater at the site of Arroyo Pesquero in Veracruz, Mexico. Made of jadeite, a material that is harder than steel, the artifact has designs on it that are difficult to put into words. It contains rectangular shapes, engraved lines and a cone that looks like it is emerging from the top. It looks like a corncob in an abstract...
  • Alexander the Great-Era Treasure Found in Israeli Cave

    03/10/2015 6:20:38 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 27 replies
    discovery.com ^ | Mar 9, 2015 07:00 PM ET | by Rossella Lorenzi
    A rare cache of jewelry and silver coins, minted during the reign of Alexander the Great, has been discovered in a stalactite filled cave in northern Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Monday. The 2,300-year-old treasure was found by three members of the Israeli Caving Club who wriggled through a narrow passage at the entrance of the stalactite cave and wandered inside for several hours. Stashed inside a niche, one of the spelunkers, Hen Zakai, spotted two ancient silver coins. On one side of the coins was an image of Alexander the Great, while the other side portrayed...
  • Paid sick days and physicians at work: Ancient Egyptians had state-supported health care

    02/22/2015 9:14:50 AM PST · by Red Badger · 16 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 02-16-2015 | by Anne Austin, The Conversation
    We might think of state supported health care as an innovation of the 20th century, but it's a much older tradition than that. In fact, texts from a village dating back to Egypt's New Kingdom period, about 3,100-3,600 years ago, suggest that in ancient Egypt there was a state-supported health care network designed to ensure that workers making the king's tomb were productive. Paintings on the walls of King Merneptah’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Workers living in Deir el-Medina would have worked on tombs like this. Credit: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters Health care boosted productivity on the royal tombs...
  • Israel unveils its largest find of medieval gold coins

    02/22/2015 8:07:05 AM PST · by Red Badger · 2 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 02-18--2015 | by By Ariel Schalit
    Kobi Sharvit of The Israel Antiquities Authority Fatimid period gold coins that were found in the seabed in the Mediterranean Sea near the port of Caesarea National Park in Caesarea, Israel, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. A group of amateur Israeli divers have stumbled upon the largest collection of medieval gold coins ever found in the country, dating back to the 11th century and likely from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit) Israel on Wednesday unveiled the largest collection of medieval gold coins ever found in the country, accidentally discovered by amateur divers and dating back about a...
  • How Humankind Conquered the World (Tree of Knowledge Mutation)

    02/18/2015 5:29:30 PM PST · by Maelstorm · 13 replies
    http://www.wsj.com ^ | Feb. 2015 | By CHARLES C. MANN
    ... The book’s title is Mr. Harari’s reminder that, long ago, the world held half a dozen species of human, of which only Homo sapiens—thee and me—today survives. The trajectory of our species, Mr. Harari says, can be traced as a succession of three revolutions: the cognitive revolution (when we got smart), the agricultural revolution (when we got nature to do what we wanted), and the scientific revolution (when we got dangerously powerful). Humanity, Mr. Harari predicts, will see one more epochal event. We will vanish within a few centuries, either because we’ve gained such godlike powers as to become...
  • Chinese mummy suggests brain surgery was carried out 3,600 years ago...

    02/03/2015 2:28:29 PM PST · by Red Badger · 28 replies
    www.dailymail.co.uk ^ | Updated: 16:13 EST, 3 February 2015 | By Victoria Woollaston
    A skull that's more than three and a half millennia old has revealed signs of an early form of brain surgery. The perforated skull belongs to a mummified woman found in the Xiaohe tomb in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Experts said that the hole, which measures around 2 inches (50mm) in diameter, was most likely an early form of craniotomy. A craniotomy involves temporarily removing a 'flap' of bone from the skull to give surgeons access to the brain. The amount of skull removed depends on the type of surgery being performed, and the flap is later replaced using...
  • Fossil Found In Asia Could Be A New Species Of Human

    01/28/2015 10:26:09 AM PST · by blam · 77 replies
    BI - Livescience ^ | 1-28-2015 | Charles Q. Choi
    Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience January 27, 2015An ancient human fossil discovered from the seafloor near Taiwan reveals that a primitive group of humans, potentially an unknown species, once lived in Asia, researchers say. These findings suggest that multiple lineages of extinct humans may have coexisted in Asia before the arrival of modern humans in the region about 40,000 years ago, the scientists added. Although modern humans, Homo sapiens, are the only surviving human lineage, others once walked the globe. Extinct human lineages once found in Asia include Neanderthals, the closest extinct relatives of modern humans; Denisovans, whose genetic legacy may...
  • Coolest Archaeological Discoveries of 2014 [CHEESE!]

    12/30/2014 1:54:56 PM PST · by Red Badger · 10 replies
    www.livescience.com ^ | December 25, 2014 06:10am ET | by Megan Gannon, News Editor
    Thanks to the careful work of archaeologists, we learned more in the past year about Stonehenge's hidden monuments, Richard III's gruesome death and King Tut's mummified erection. From the discovery of an ancient tomb in Greece to the first evidence of Neanderthal art, here are 10 of Live Science's favorite archaeology stories of 2014. 1. An Alexander the Great-era tomb at Amphipolis [snip] 2. Stonehenge's secret monuments [snip] 3. A shipwreck under the World Trade Center [snip] 4. Richard III's twisted spine, kingly diet and family tree [snip] 5. A teenager in a "black hole" [snip] 6. Syria by satellite...
  • Cultural Diffusion From East To West? (Sundaland)

    12/15/2014 7:42:15 AM PST · by blam · 13 replies
    RAJAARASABLOG ^ | 12-15-2014 | RAJA ARASA RATNAM
    (A few years back, Professor Stephen Oppenheimer wrote a book titled "Eden In The East" where he proposed that our culture flowed from east to west instead of west to east. Here's a rebuttal)Cultural diffusion from East to West? 2014/01/12 Oppenheimer’s theory is that “ … the roots of the great flowering of civilisation in the fertile crescent of the Ancient Near East lay in the sinking shorelines of Southeast Asia. The Sumerians and Egyptians themselves wrote about the skilled wise men from the East, a fact often dismissed as the embellishment of a fertile imagination.” Purely as an aside,...
  • Amphipolis skeleton from Alexander's time found in Greece

    11/12/2014 10:41:24 AM PST · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    BBC ^ | 11/12/2014 | By Giorgos Christides
    Archaeologists in northern Greece have found a skeleton inside a tomb from the time of Alexander the Great, during a dig that has enthralled the public. The burial site at Amphipolis is the largest ever discovered in Greece. The culture ministry said the almost intact skeleton belonged to a "distinguished public figure", given the tomb's dimensions and lavishness. Chief archaeologist Katerina Peristeri said "the tomb in all probability belongs to a male and a general". The excavation has fascinated Greeks ever since Prime Minister Antonis Samaras visited the site in August 2014 and announced it amounted to "an exceptionally important...
  • Ancient DNA shows earliest European genomes weathered the Ice Age

    11/07/2014 1:36:13 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    phys.org ^ | Nov 06, 2014
    The study also uncovers a more accurate timescale for when humans and Neanderthals interbred, and finds evidence for an early contact between the European hunter-gatherers and those in the Middle East – who would later develop agriculture and disperse into Europe about 8,000 years ago, transforming the European gene pool. Scientists now believe Eurasians separated into at least three populations earlier than 36,000 years ago: Western Eurasians, East Asians and a mystery third lineage, all of whose descendants would develop the unique features of most non-African peoples - but not before some interbreeding with Neanderthals took place. Led by the...
  • Ten years On, Scientists Still Debating The Origins Of Homo Floresiensis—The 'Hobbit'

    10/28/2014 10:53:04 AM PDT · by blam · 22 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Bob Yirka
    Oct 23, 2014Bob Yirka Homo floresiensis adult female - model of head. (Phys.org) —It's been ten years since the bones of Homo floresiensis, aka, the "hobbit" were uncovered in Liang Bua, a cave, on the island of Flores in Indonesia, and scientists still can't agree on the diminutive hominin's origins. This month, the journal Nature has printed a comment piece by Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London and two pieces by Ewen Callaway, one a retrospective with interviews with the central players, and the other a podcast with the four principle scientists involved in the find—Bert Roberts,...
  • Mystery of 4,000-year-old ‘CD-ROM’ is solved

    10/26/2014 7:04:29 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 38 replies
    uk.news.yahoo.com ^ | Fri, Oct 24, 2014 | Rob Waugh –
    A mysterious symbol-covered disc which was found in Greek ruins in 1908 has finally revealed its secrets after archaeologists battled to decode it for more than a century. The Phaistos Disc - described as the ‘first Minoan CD-ROM’ is covered in 241 images, thought to be fragments of 45 mysterious symbols. The language used is unknown, and the technology behind the disc is equally mysterious. The disc was created in 1,700 BC - using pre-printed symbols to press a mysterious message into clay. The disc pre-dates the printing press by thousands of years, but uses a similar technology - which...
  • Oldest complete human genome sequenced

    10/23/2014 4:19:36 PM PDT · by Fractal Trader · 17 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 23 October 2014 | Sarah Griffiths
    Scientists have sequenced the oldest complete human genome. The DNA comes from an anatomically modern man who roamed Western Siberia 45,000 years ago. It provides experts with a more accurate timeline of when modern humans mated with their Neanderthal cousins as they moved from Africa into Europe, between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago. Scientists have sequenced the oldest complete human genome. The DNA comes from an anatomically modern man who roamed Western Siberia 45,000 years ago. His remains were fund near the settlement of Ust’-Ishim in western Siberia in 2008. The male lived around the time the populations of Europe...
  • Oldest DNA ever found sheds light on humans' global trek

    10/22/2014 2:15:19 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 52 replies
    www.centnews.com ^ | 2014-10-22 18:00:08 | Richard INGHAM
    France - Scientists said Wednesday they had unravelled the oldest DNA ever retrieved from a Homo sapiens bone, a feat that sheds light on modern humans' colonisation of the planet. A femur found by chance on the banks of a west Siberian river in 2008 is that of a man who died around 45,000 years ago, they said. Teased out of collagen in the ancient bone, the genome contains traces from Neanderthals -- a cousin species who lived in Eurasia alongside H. sapiens before mysteriously disappearing. Previous research has found that Neanderthals and H. sapiens interbred, leaving a tiny Neanderthal...
  • Archeologists unearth 3,300 year old complex in Israel

    10/17/2014 8:17:28 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    PHYS.ORG ^ | 10/16/2014 | Bob Yirka
    A team of archeologists working in Israel's Tel Burna dig site have unearthed the remains of a large stone complex dating back approximately 3,300 years. Information about the finding was presented at the recent European Association of Archaeologists' meeting held in Istanbul. Initial examination of the ruins suggests the site was an ancient cult complex—a rather large one at that with side walls measuring up to 52x52 feet. Thus far archeologists have uncovered mask fragments (parts that covered the nose), connected cups (their purpose has yet to be discovered), scarabs (stone representations of the beetle typically used as an amulet)...
  • Large mosaic in ancient tomb uncovered in Greece [Amphipolis update]

    10/13/2014 11:11:55 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 10/12/2014 | by Demetris Nellas
    Archaeologists digging through a vast ancient tomb in Amphipolis in northern Greece have uncovered a floor mosaic that covers the whole area of a room seen as the antechamber to the main burial ground. The mosaic, 3 meters (10 feet) long and 4.5 meters (15 feet) wide, depicts a horseman with a laurel wreath driving a chariot drawn by two horses and preceded by the god Hermes. According to a Culture Ministry announcement on Sunday, Hermes is depicted here as the conductor of souls to the afterlife. The mosaic is made up of pebbles in many colors: white, black, gray,...
  • Stunning finds from ancient Greek shipwreck [Antikythera]

    10/10/2014 12:12:50 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 10/09/2014 | Provided by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
    A Greek and international team of divers and archaeologists has retrieved stunning new finds from an ancient Greek ship that sank more than 2,000 years ago off the remote island of Antikythera. The rescued antiquities include tableware, ship components, and a giant bronze spear that would have belonged to a life-sized warrior statue. The Antikythera wreck was first discovered in 1900 by sponge divers who were blown off course by a storm. They subsequently recovered a spectacular haul of ancient treasure including bronze and marble statues, jewellery, furniture, luxury glassware, and the surprisingly complex Antikythera Mechanism. But they were forced...
  • Scientists say Indonesia cave drawings the same age as those in Europe

    10/09/2014 6:36:18 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    www.foxnews.com ^ | 10-09-2014 | Staff
    WASHINGTON – Ancient cave drawings in Indonesia are as old as famous prehistoric art in Europe, according to a new study that shows our ancestors were drawing all over the world 40,000 years ago. And it hints at an even earlier dawn of creativity in modern humans, going back to Africa, than scientists had thought. Archaeologists calculated that a dozen stencils of hands in mulberry red and two detailed drawings of an animal described as a "pig-deer" are between 35,000 to 40,000 years old, based on levels of decay of the element uranium. That puts the art found in Sulawesi,...
  • Ancient 'moon god' monument unearthed in Israel

    09/17/2014 11:02:24 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 47 replies
    www.telegraph.co.uk ^ | 12:55PM BST 17 Sep 2014 | By Inna Lazareva, Tel Aviv
    A structure once believed to form part of an ancient town is identified as a 5,000 year old monument believed to have been used to honour the Mesopotamian moon god 'Sin' A stone monument in the shape of a crescent moon found in northern Israel is more than 5,000 years old, archaeologists have said. The structure, known as Rujum en-Nabi Shua'ayb or Jethro Cairn, is located near the Sea of Galilee and predates the construction of Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid in Egypt, as well as the writing of the Bible. It was initially discovered in the early part of the...
  • Roman Treasure Hidden from Boudicca's Army Discovered in Colchester [UK]

    09/04/2014 1:43:26 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 26 replies
    International Business Times ^ | September 4, 2014 15:12 BST | By Hannah Osborne
    A hoard of Roman treasure believed to have been hidden from Boudicca in the first century has been discovered by archaeologists in Colchester. The collection, including fine gold and silver jewellery, had been buried for safekeeping during the early stages of Boudicca's Revolt, Colchester Archaeological Trust said. It represents the first hoard of precious metals ever found in Colchester town centre and is thought to have belonged to a wealthy Roman woman, who stashed the treasure under her house when she heard the vengeful queen's armies were approaching. The archaeologists said the hoard was found under the floor of a...
  • World's Oldest Weather Report Found on 3500-Year-Old Stone in Egypt

    09/04/2014 12:56:44 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 41 replies
    International Business Times ^ | April 4, 2014 14:51 BST
    A 3,500-year-old inscription on a stone block found in Egypt is what archaeologists say the oldest weather report of the world. The inscription on a six-foot-tall calcite stone, called the Tempest Stela, describes rain, darkness and "the sky being in storm without cessation, louder than the cries of the masses," according to Nadine Moeller and Robert Ritner at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute who have translated the 40-line inscription. The stela's text also describes bodies floating down the Nile like "skiffs of papyrus." "This was clearly a major storm, and different from the kinds of heavy rains that Egypt...
  • Study claims cave art made by Neanderthals

    09/03/2014 12:51:29 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 17 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 01 SEP 2014 | by Frank Jordans
    A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought. The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham's Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because it indicates that modern humans and their extinct cousins shared the capacity for abstract expression. The study, released Monday by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined grooves in a rock that had been covered with...
  • Study Claims Cave Art Made By Neanderthals

    09/01/2014 10:46:10 AM PDT · by blam · 31 replies
    SF Gate - AP ^ | 9-1-2014 | FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press
    FRANK JORDANS, Associated PressMonday, September 1, 2014 BERLIN (AP) — A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought. The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham's Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because it indicates that modern humans and their extinct cousins shared the capacity for abstract expression. The study, released Monday by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,...
  • Historian Claims The Louvre Museum Holds Ancient Amphipolis Tomb Treasures

    08/26/2014 10:56:38 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 10 replies
    greece.greekreporter.com ^ | Aug 26, 2014 | by Daphne Tsagari
    A prominent Greek historian claims that it is possible for the Louvre Museum in Paris to possess artifacts from the ancient Greek tomb currently being excavated by archaeologists in Amphipolis, Greece. The fame of the ancient Greek treasures allegedly hidden in the Amphipolis tomb has recently raised concerns whether the monument will be found intact, or if it had been looted in the past. Historian, Sarantis Kargakos, speaking to Antenna TV, said that the tomb has been looted in the past and that the monument’s interior won’t be intact. “At the spot where Ancient Amphipolis is found, a village named...
  • Greek archaeologists enter large underground tomb [Amphipolis update]

    08/26/2014 10:13:43 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 19 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 08/25/2014 | Staff
    Archaeologists excavating an ancient tomb under a massive burial mound in northern Greece have entered the underground structure, which appears to have been looted in antiquity. The Culture Ministry said Monday that archaeologists have partially investigated the antechamber of the tomb at Amphipolis and uncovered a marble wall concealing one or more inner chambers. However, a hole in the decorated wall and signs of forced entry outside the huge barrel-vaulted structure indicate the tomb was plundered long ago. The excavation will continue for weeks. The tomb dates between 325 B.C.—two years after the death of ancient Greek warrior-king Alexander the...
  • Neanderthals Died Out 10,000 Years Earlier Than Thought, With Help From Modern Humans

    08/21/2014 10:35:33 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 50 replies
    Nationalgeographic.com ^ | 08-20-2014 | Dan Vergano
    New fossil dates show our ancient cousins disappeared 40,000 years ago. The Neanderthals died out about 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, new fossil dating suggests, adding to evidence that the arrival of modern humans in Europe pushed our ancient Stone Age cousins into extinction. (Read "Last of the Neanderthals" in National Geographic magazine.) Neanderthals' mysterious disappearance from the fossil record has long puzzled scholars who wondered whether the species went extinct on its own or was helped on its way out by Europe's first modern human migrants. "When did the Neanderthals disappear, and why?" says Tom Higham of the...
  • Wyoming cave dig unearths bones of ancient horses, cheetahs and bison

    08/09/2014 2:33:26 AM PDT · by blueplum · 31 replies
    Reuters ^ | August 8, 2014 5:23pm EDT | LAURA ZUCKERMAN
    (Reuters) - Scientists excavating an ancient Wyoming sinkhole containing a rare trove of fossils of Ice Age mammals have unearthed hundreds of bones of such prehistoric animals as American cheetahs, a paleontologist said on Friday. The two-week dig by an international team of researchers led by Des Moines University paleontologist Julie Meachen marked the first exploration of Natural Trap Cave at the base of the Bighorn Mountains in north-central Wyoming since its initial discovery in the 1970s. Meachen said the extensive excavation that began late last month uncovered roughly 200 large bones of animals like horses that roamed North America...
  • The Foul Tornado: On the centenary of World War I (Outstanding Read)

    07/14/2014 12:17:39 PM PDT · by mojito · 46 replies
    The American Spectator ^ | July/August 2014 | Peter Hitchens
    To say that that the First World War was the greatest cataclysm in human history since the fall of the Roman Empire is to put it mildly. The war destroyed so many good things and killed so many good people that civilization has not recovered and probably never will. Long after it officially ended, it continued to cause millions of deaths and tragedies, most obviously during its encore performance of 1939-45. But it did not stop even then. Many of its worst consequences came during official periods of peace and are unknown or forgotten, or remain unconnected with it in...
  • Fossilized Human Poop Reveals The Real Paleo Diet (Neanderthals)

    06/26/2014 7:54:45 PM PDT · by blam · 72 replies
    BI - Reuters ^ | 6-26-2014 | Will Dunham
    Will Dunham, Reuters Jun. 26, 2014 Don't laugh, but the discovery of the oldest known human poop is offering valuable scientific insight into the life of Neanderthals who lived in Spain some 50,000 years ago. Scientists said on Wednesday they found five samples of human fecal matter at an archeological site called El Salt, in the floor of a rock shelter where Neanderthals once lived. Analysis of the samples provided a new understanding of the diet of this extinct human species, offering the first evidence that Neanderthals were omnivores who also ate vegetables as part of their meat-heavy diet, they...
  • Here's The Fascinating Origin Of Almost Every Jewish Last Name

    06/18/2014 11:04:47 AM PDT · by blam · 40 replies
    BI - Slate ^ | 6-18-2014 | Bennett Muraskin
    Bennett MuraskinJan. 8, 2014 Richard Andree's 1881 map of the Jews of Central Europe. Ashkenazic Jews were among the last Europeans to take family names. Some German-speaking Jews took last names as early as the 17th century, but the overwhelming majority of Jews lived in Eastern Europe and did not take last names until compelled to do so. The process began in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1787 and ended in Czarist Russia in 1844. In attempting to build modern nation-states, the authorities insisted that Jews take last names so that they could be taxed, drafted, and educated (in that order...
  • 3000 year old trousers discovered in Chinese grave oldest ever found

    06/12/2014 10:39:48 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 35 replies
    phys.org ^ | Jun 03, 2014 | by Bob Yirka
    (Phys.org) —A team of researchers working in the ancient Yanghai graveyard in China's Tarim Basin has uncovered what appears to be the earliest example of trouser wearing. The research team has published a paper in the journal Quaternary International describing the pants and why they were likely developed to assist with riding horses. The Tarim Basin in western China is host to the famous Yanghai tombs, a large ancient burial ground that dates back thousands of years—thus far over 500 individual gravesites have been excavated. In this latest find, two adult males (believed to be herders and warriors) both approximately...
  • Prehistoric Europeans Took Poppies and Mushrooms in Prayer

    05/17/2014 12:09:18 PM PDT · by Renfield · 24 replies
    It’s not much of a stretch to believe that getting stoned in the Stone Age was as popular among prehistoric Europeans as it is now. However, new evidence suggests that marijuana, mushrooms, alcohol and other mood-altering substances were used for more than zonking with Zonk – they played crucial roles in spiritual practices, especially burial rituals and communications with the after-world.Elisa Guerra-Doce of the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain has documented the cultural contexts in which forms of alcohol and drugs were used in prehistoric Europe. The forms she looked for were fossilized leaves and seeds of psychoactive plants, residues...
  • North America's Oldest Skeleton Discovery: 13,000-Year-Old Body of 'Naia' Discovered in Mexico

    05/16/2014 10:02:19 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 33 replies
    www.ibtimes.co.uk ^ | May 15, 2014 19:00 GMT | Lydia Smith
    One of the oldest human skeletons in North America has been discovered by a team of international scientists in an underwater Yucatán Peninsula cave. Named "Naia", the teenager fell to her death in a large pit called Hoyo Nego, meaning "black hole" in Spanish. Patricia Beddows, a cave-diving researcher from Northwestern University, said: "The preservation of all the bones in this deep water-filled cave is amazing - the bones are beautifully laid out." "The girl's skeleton is exceptionally complete because of the environment in which she died -- she ended up in the right water and in a quiet place...
  • Archaeologists find 5,600-year-old tomb in Egypt (Update)

    05/09/2014 1:49:04 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 18 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | May 07, 2014 | Staff
    Egypt said Wednesday archaeologists have unearthed a 5,600-year-old preserved tomb and mummy predating the pharaonic First Dynasty, a discovery that will shed new light on the pre-dynastic era. The tomb was built before the rule of king Narmer, the founder of the First Dynasty who unified Upper and Lower Egypt in the 31th century BC, the antiquities ministry said in a statement. The tomb was discovered in the Kom al-Ahmar region, between Luxor and Aswan, on the site of ancient Hierakonpolis, the city of the falcon, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Upper Egypt. The archaeologists found an...
  • Tomb of ancient Egyptian beer brewer unearthed

    05/09/2014 1:39:22 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 36 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | Jan 03, 2014 | Staff
    Egypt's minister of antiquities says Japanese archeologists have unearthed the tomb of an ancient beer brewer in the city of Luxor that is more than 3,000 years old. Mohammed Ibrahim says Friday the tomb dates back to the Ramesside period and belongs to the chief "maker of beer for gods of the dead" who was also the head of a warehouse. He added that the walls of the tomb's chambers contain "fabulous designs and colors, reflecting details of daily life ... along with their religious rituals." The head of the Japanese team, Jiro Kondo, says the tomb was discovered during...
  • Tomb dating back to 1100 B.C. found in Egypt (Images)

    05/09/2014 1:34:37 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 12 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | May 08, 2014 | by Laura Dean
    Archeologists have found a tomb dating back to around 1100 B.C. south of Cairo, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry said Thursday. Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said that the tomb belongs to a guard of the army archives and royal messenger to foreign countries. Ibrahim said the Cairo University Faculty of Archaeology's discovery at Saqqara adds "a chapter to our knowledge about the history of Saqqara." Ola el-Egeizy of Cairo University said the tomb contains "very nice inscriptions" of the funerary procession and the afterlife of the deceased. The tomb was found near another one dating back to the same period belonging to...
  • Egypt Archaeologists May Have Found Alexander the Great’s Tomb

    05/03/2014 5:08:39 AM PDT · by blam · 52 replies
    Greek Worls Reporter ^ | Nikoleta Kalmouki
    Egypt Archaeologists May Have Found Alexander the Great’s Tomb Nikoleta Kalmouki April 30, 2014 In Egypt, a team of archaeologists and historians from the Polish Center of Archaeology have revealed a mausoleum made of marble and gold that might be the tomb of Alexander the Great. The site is situated in an area known as Kom el-Dikka in the heart of downtown Alexandria, only 60 meters away from the Mosque of Nebi Daniel. The monument was apparently sealed off and hidden in the 3rd or 4th century AD, to protect it from the Christian repression and destruction of pagan monuments...
  • Birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper identified in Mexico

    04/18/2014 9:49:58 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 51 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 04-18-2014 | by Pat Bailey AND Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Central-east Mexico gave birth to the domesticated chili pepper—now the world's most widely grown spice crop—reports an international team of researchers, led by a plant scientist at the University of California, Davis. Results from the four-pronged investigation—based on linguistic and ecological evidence as well as the more traditional archaeological and genetic data—suggest a regional, rather than a geographically specific, birthplace for the domesticated chili pepper. That region, extending from southern Puebla and northern Oaxaca to southeastern Veracruz, is further south than was previously thought, the researchers found. The region also is different from areas of origin that have been suggested...
  • Antiquities Robbers Caught Selling Rare Ancient Burial Chests

    03/31/2014 1:09:05 PM PDT · by BlueDragon · 9 replies
    Arutz Sheva ^ | 3/31/2014 | Ari Yashar
    Some of the 11 Jewish ossuaries from Second Temple period still held bones, featured Hebrew script listing names of those interred. The Antiquities Authority and police cooperated last Friday to arrest suspects who allegedly stole ornate stone ossuary burial chests, which were used by Jews in Israel during the Second Temple period roughly 2,000 years ago. The suspects were caught while in possession of eleven ossuaries, some of them still containing skeletal remains. The suspected grave robbers, who were arrested and brought in for questioning, came from the Arab village of Abadiyah in Judea, located near Bethlehem, as well as...
  • Ancient Egyptian Soldier's Letter Home Deciphered

    03/07/2014 12:05:46 PM PST · by Red Badger · 54 replies
    Live Science ^ | March 05, 2014 10:18pm ET | Owen Jarus
    A newly deciphered letter home dating back around 1,800 years reveals the pleas of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe. In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them and that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see them. Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: "I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance...
  • Ancient graves hint at cultural shift to Anglo-Saxon Britain

    02/17/2014 1:08:17 PM PST · by Renfield · 31 replies
    Phys.org ^ | 2-14-2014 | Alex Peel
    Human remains dug up from an ancient grave in Oxfordshire add to a growing body of evidence that Britain's fifth-century transition from Roman to Anglo-Saxon was cultural rather than bloody. The traditional historical narrative is one of brutal conquest, with invaders from the North wiping out and replacing the pre-existing population. But a new study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, hints at a more peaceful process. Dr Andrew Millard, from Durham University, is one of the study's authors. 'The main controversy over the years has centred on how many Anglo-Saxons came across the North Sea,' he says. 'Was...
  • The Viking’s Jötunvillur Runic Code is Solved

    02/12/2014 6:45:06 PM PST · by P.O.E. · 48 replies
    On this stick from the 1200s found in Bergen, two men named Sigurd and Lavran have written their names both in code and with regular runes. This helped runologist Jonas Nordby to solve the Jötunvillur code. For the first time, the Jötunvillur runic code is cracked. It can help to solve the mystery of the Vikings’ secret codes. Why did the Vikings use codes when they wrote runes? Was it a secret message or other reasons that they encrypted runic texts? This, we still know little about. But runologist Jonas Nordby think he may be one step closer to the...