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  • Viking treasure hoard yields astounding finds

    06/28/2002 5:47:42 PM PDT · by vannrox · 45 replies · 1,423+ views
    China Daily ^ | 06/24/2002 | Agencies via Xinhua
    Viking treasure hoard yields astounding finds 06/24/2002 STOCKHOLM: Four years ago, a farmer digging in his fields in Sweden's Baltic island of Gotland came across a Viking coin. He called a friend from the local museum, and together they soon uncovered another 150 Viking relics. But the crops growing in the fields hindered their work and they gave up. The following summer, with crops that year infected by lice, they resumed their search - and on July 16, 1999, came across the biggest Viking-period treasure hoard so far discovered. It had been lying there for about 1,100 years. The Spillings...
  • Ancient Vishnu idol found in Russian town

    01/04/2007 1:29:08 AM PST · by CarrotAndStick · 36 replies · 2,571+ views
    PTI ^ | 4 Jan, 2007 1109hrs IST | PTI
    MOSCOW: An ancient Vishnu idol has been found during excavation in an old village in Russia's Volga region, raising questions about the prevalent view on the origin of ancient Russia. The idol found in Staraya (old) Maina village dates back to VII-X century AD. Staraya Maina village in Ulyanovsk region was a highly populated city 1700 years ago, much older than Kiev, so far believed to be the mother of all Russian cities. "We may consider it incredible, but we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus. This is a hypothesis, but a...
  • Prehistoric wine discovered in inaccessible caves forces a rethink of ancient Sicilian culture

    06/21/2018 12:08:22 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 32 replies
    The Conversation US (Creative Commons license) ^ | February 13, 2018 | Davide Tanasi
    Monte Kronio rises 1,300 feet above the geothermally active landscape of southwestern Sicily. Hidden in its bowels is a labyrinthine system of caves, filled with hot sulfuric vapors. At lower levels, these caves average 99 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 percent humidity. Human sweat cannot evaporate and heat stroke can result in less than 20 minutes of exposure to these underground conditions. Nonetheless, people have been visiting the caves of Monte Kronio since as far back as 8,000 years ago. They’ve left behind vessels from the Copper Age (early sixth to early third millennium B.C.) as well as various sizes of...
  • Large-scale whaling in north Scandinavia may date back to 6th century

    06/17/2018 4:13:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | June 14, 2018 | Uppsala University
    Museum collections in Sweden contain thousands of Iron Age board-game pieces. New studies of the raw material composing them show that most were made of whalebone from the mid-6th century CE. They were produced in large volumes and standardised forms. The researchers therefore believe that a regular supply of whalebone was needed. Since the producers would hardly have found the carcasses of beached whales a reliable source, the gaming pieces are interpreted as evidence for whaling. Apart from an osteological survey, species origin has been determined for a small number of game pieces, using ZooMS (short for Zooarchaeology by Mass...
  • And two became one: ancient American lineages reunited to head south

    06/01/2018 5:58:43 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 12 replies
    Cosmos ^ | 1 Jun, 2018 | Jeff Glorfeld
    A new study suggests a commonly held belief – that the majority of Native North, Central and South Americans derived from one ancestry – is “unrealistically simple”. Earlier research suggested the first people to enter the Americas split into two ancestral branches, the northern and southern, and that the "southern branch" gave rise to all populations in Central and South America. However the latest work finds that most, if not all, of the indigenous peoples of the southern continent retain, deep in their genetic history, at least some DNA from the "northern branch" -- the direct ancestors of many native...
  • Aboriginal Settlement In Australia ‘No Accident’: Study

    05/30/2018 7:17:04 AM PDT · by blam · 24 replies
    The New Daily ^ | 5-29-2018
    Aboriginal settlement in Australia was no accident but the result of large-scale migration by skilled maritime explorers, research shows. Experts have made the finding using wind and ocean current modelling, similar to that deployed in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The process was designed to simulate likely routes between the islands of Timor and Roti and more than 100 now-submerged islands off the Kimberley coast. “There’s always been a lot of speculation about how Aboriginal people made it to Australia and a lot of people have argued that people might have made it here by accident,” study...
  • The Sinister, Secret History Of A Food That Everybody Loves [the Curse of the Potato]

    05/23/2016 4:55:48 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 75 replies
    Washington Post 'blogs ^ | April 25, 2016 | Jeff Guo
    "The Spaniards were much impressed with the productivity of manioc in Arawak agriculture in the Greater Antilles," historian Jonathan Sauer recounts in his history of crop plants. "[A Spanish historian] calculated that 20 persons working 6 hours a day for a month could plant enough yuca to provide cassava bread for a village of 300 persons for 2 years." By all accounts, the Taíno were prosperous -- "a well-nourished population of over a million people," according to Sauer. And yet... lacked the monumental architecture of the Maya or the mathematical knowledge of the Aztec. And most importantly, they were not organized in...
  • Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet

    12/19/2014 11:22:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    University of Otago ^ | Tuesday, 16 December 2014 | Ms Monica Tromp
    Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonised around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai. Otago Anatomy PhD student Monica Tromp and Idaho State University’s Dr John Dudgeon have just published new research clearing up their previous puzzling finding that suggested palm may have been a staple plant food for Rapa Nui’s population over several centuries. However, no other line of archaeological or ethnohistoric evidence supports palm having a dietary role on Easter Island; in fact evidence points to the palm becoming extinct soon...
  • The Lowly Sweet Potato May Unlock America's Past

    03/24/2008 2:24:47 PM PDT · by blam · 24 replies · 921+ views
    The Times Online ^ | 3-24-2008 | Norman Hammond
    From The TimesNorman Hammond, Archaeology Correspondent March 24, 2008 The lowly sweet potato may unlock America’s past How the root vegetable found it's way across the Pacific One of the enduring mysteries of world history is whether the Americas had any contact with the Old World before Columbus, apart from the brief Viking settlement in Newfoundland. Many aspects of higher civilisation in the New World, from the invention of pottery to the building of pyramids, have been ascribed to European, Asian or African voyagers, but none has stood up to scrutiny. The one convincing piece of evidence for pre-Hispanic contact...
  • Drifters Could Explain Sweet-Potato Travel

    05/20/2007 4:28:04 PM PDT · by blam · 33 replies · 1,052+ views
    Nature ^ | 5-18-2007
    Drifters could explain sweet-potato travel An unsteered ship may have delivered crop to Polynesia.Brendan Borrell Where did these come from? How did the South American sweet potato wind up in Polynesia? New research suggests that the crop could have simply floated there on a ship. The origin of the sweet potato in the South Pacific has long been a mystery. The food crop undisputedly has its roots in the Andes. It was once thought to have been spread by Spanish and Portuguese sailors in the sixteenth century, but archaeological evidence indicates that Polynesians were cultivating the orange-fleshed tuber much earlier...
  • Sweet Potatoes Might Have Arrived In Polynesia Long Before Humans

    05/12/2018 1:58:52 PM PDT · by blam · 30 replies
    Science News ^ | 5-12-2018 | Dan Garisto
    Sweet potatoes were domesticated thousands of years ago in the Americas. So 18th century European explorers were surprised to find Polynesians had been growing the crop for centuries. New genetic evidence instead suggests that wild precursors to sweet potatoes reached Polynesia at least 100,000 years ago — long before humans inhabited the South Pacific islands, researchers report April 12 in Current Biology. If true, it could also challenge the idea that Polynesian seafarers reached the Americas around the 12th century. For the new study, the researchers analyzed the DNA of 199 specimens taken from sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) and...
  • Scientists Confirm Earliest Use of Fire and Oldest Stone Handaxe in Europe

    05/06/2018 7:42:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Tuesday, May 1, 2018 | editors
    “We regard its age as quite likely between 865,000 and 810,000 years ago,” said Michael Walker of Spain’s Murcia University, a lead researcher on Cueva Negra. “[Arguably] Until now hand-axes in Europe have not been recorded from before 500,000 years ago,” said Walker. Moreover, he adds, “the evidence of combustion [use of fire] is also the oldest anywhere outside Africa.” The new dating results were acquired through biochronological analysis of small-mammal teeth remains found within the Cueva Negra rockshelter, indicating they accumulated during what is technically called the Matuyama magnetochron, or between 0.99 and 0.78 Ma. Researchers do not yet know...
  • Neandertals, Stone Age people may have voyaged the Mediterranean

    05/05/2018 9:08:13 PM PDT · by Theoria · 55 replies
    Science ^ | 24 April 2018 | Andrew Lawler
    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Odysseus, who voyaged across the wine-dark seas of the Mediterranean in Homer’s epic, may have had some astonishingly ancient forerunners. A decade ago, when excavators claimed to have found stone tools on the Greek island of Crete dating back at least 130,000 years, other archaeologists were stunned—and skeptical. But since then, at that site and others, researchers have quietly built up a convincing case for Stone Age seafarers—and for the even more remarkable possibility that they were Neandertals, the extinct cousins of modern humans. The finds strongly suggest that the urge to go to sea, and the cognitive and...
  • Humans were in Philippines 700,000 years ago

    05/04/2018 7:12:12 AM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 43 replies
    CNN ^ | May 4, 2018 | Ashley Strickland
    About 709,000 years ago, someone butchered a rhinoceros using stone tools on the Philippine island of Luzon. That may not seem remarkable -- except that humans weren't supposed to be in the Philippines so long ago. Before this discovery, the earliest indicator that early humans, or hominins, were even on those islands had been a single foot bone from 67,000 years ago, uncovered in the Callao Cave on Luzon. That's quite a time jump. Research says that the new findings push back the date for humans inhabiting the Philippines by hundreds of thousands of years. A study published Wednesday in...
  • Indiana Legend Says Welsh Settlers Arrived in the 12th Century

    05/01/2018 12:23:08 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 67 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | September 3, 1989 | Jodi Perras
    On a rugged bluff overlooking the Ohio River, known locally as "Devil's Backbone," centuries of overgrowth obscures a secret of history... In 1799, early settlers found six skeletons clad in breastplates bearing a Welsh coat of arms. Indian legends told of "yellow-haired giants" who settled in Kentucky, southern Indiana, southern Ohio and Tennessee -- a region they called "the Dark and Forbidden Land." Archeologists debunk the legend. They say that evidence indicates that the natives of the region once conducted a vigorous trading network nearby and buried their dead on the bluff... Upstream about 14 miles from Louisville, Ky., the...
  • The unique architecture of Jewish India

    04/26/2018 6:26:32 AM PDT · by Cronos · 9 replies
    Mosaic ^ | 26 April 2018 | Alexander Charlaphyman
    span class="dropcap">Last October, Sandeep Chakravorty and Dani Dayan, consuls general in New York of, respectively, India and Israel, introduced the authors of a recently published book about Indian Jewish architecture.Indian Jewish architecture? The existence of such a thing would surely be as much a surprise to many readers as it clearly was to Consul Chakravorty. But in fact some of the most noteworthy sites in IndiaÂ’s major cities bear Jewish names, and a remarkable collection of historic architecture, built by and for an Indian Jewish community dating from pre-Roman times, still survives.Kenneth X. RobbinsÂ’s and Pushkar SohoniÂ’s Jewish Heritage...
  • Arabian Artifacts May Rewrite 'Out of Africa' Theory

    12/01/2011 7:11:53 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    LiveScience ^ | Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | Charles Choi
    Newfound stone artifacts suggest humankind left Africa traveling through the Arabian Peninsula instead of hugging its coasts... stone artifacts at least 100,000 years old... more-than-100 newly discovered sites in the Sultanate of Oman apparently confirm that modern humans left Africa through Arabia long before genetic evidence suggests. Oddly, these sites are located far inland, away from the coasts. ...in the Dhofar Mountains of southern Oman, nestled in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula... of a style dubbed Nubian Middle Stone Age, well-known throughout the Nile Valley, where they date back about 74,000-to-128,000 years... Subsequent field work turned up dozens...
  • An Icelandic Epic Predicted a Fiery End for Pagan Gods, and Then This Volcano Erupted

    04/15/2018 8:46:33 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies
    Livescience ^ | March 20, 2018 | Laura Geggel
    A series of Earth-shattering volcanic eruptions in Iceland during the Middle Ages may have spurred the people living there to turn away from their pagan gods and convert to Christianity, a new study finds. The discovery came about thanks to precise dating of the volcanic eruptions, which spewed lava about two generations before the Icelandic people changed religions. But why would volcanic eruptions turn people toward monotheism? The answer has to do with the "Voluspa," a prominent medieval poem that predicted a fiery eruption would help lead to the downfall of the pagan gods, the researchers said. Historians have long...
  • Why archaeologists are arguing about sweet potatoes

    04/13/2018 9:30:13 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 78 replies
    www.popsci.com ^ | 04/13/2018 | Staff
    A Japanese variety of sweet potato Pixabay _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ At some point, sweet potatoes crossed the Pacific. This much we know. As for the rest—How? When? Why?—we’re just not sure. Or, to be more clear, some people are sure they’re sure, and others disagree. Sweet potatoes have been at the center of a massive archaeological debate for many decades now, and a new paper in Current Biology has only stoked the flames. It uses genetic data from sweet potatoes and their relatives to establish a phylogenetic tree of their evolution, thereby demonstrating that the tubers existed in Polynesia before humans lived...
  • Pirate legend’s £200m treasure trove to be recovered live on TV

    05/22/2007 12:04:55 PM PDT · by Renfield · 25 replies · 1,283+ views
    Times (UK) Online ^ | 5-19-07 | Helen Nugent
    A hoard of pirate’s treasure worth £200 million at today’s prices is to be raised from the seabed. The notorious pirate ship the Whydah, which was captained by Devon-born “Black Sam” Bellamy, sank in heavy storms in the Atlantic off the coast of Massachusetts in April 1717. When the ship went down she was laden heavily with ingots of gold, valuable gem-stones and dozens of tusks of precious ivory. The booty was so vast that each member of the 180-man crew was entitled to 50lb (23kg) of the haul by weight......