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Keyword: pleistocene

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  • How the discovery of an ancient mastodon ignited debate over humans’ arrival in North America

    12/22/2017 10:34:31 AM PST · by PIF · 42 replies
    LA TIMES ^ | Dec. 22, 2017 | Thomas Curwen
    Accidental find that could revolutionize North America Archeology "Jim Paces, a geochronologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, took dozens of slices from a rib and two femurs. Each slice, no wider than a millimeter, was dissolved in nitric acid. "The resulting solution contained trace amounts of uranium and thorium, which Paces extracted. After measuring those concentrates in a mass spectrometer, Paces concluded that the bones were 130,700 years old, plus or minus 9,400 years." "The conclusion seemed clear: Hominids, wandering through Southern California, had found a mastodon carcass and gone to work. They hauled cobblestones to the site...
  • Earth Barraged By Supernovae Millions Of Years Ago, Debris Found On Moon

    Researchers then scoured the globe for thin layers of radioactive isotopes in rock strata and in 1999 struck figurative gold: Samples from beneath the ocean revealed some hard metallic layers, known as ferromanganese crusts that form slowly over millions of years, containing iron-60, an isotope with a half-life of 2.6 million years -- so short that the material must be much younger than Earth. The iron-60 was in a stratum laid down 2.2 million years ago. Similar layers of iron-60 have since been found elsewhere in the oceans. Astronomers have also been scouring the skies for groups of stars that...
  • Did a supernova two million years ago brighten the night sky and give our ancestors cancer?

    06/17/2016 4:22:29 PM PDT · by rickmichaels · 39 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | June 17, 2016 | Cheyenne Macdonald
    Millions of years ago, a series of nearby supernovae sent radiation and debris raining down to Earth. The events left traces of radioactive iron-60 embedded in the sea floor and even on the Moon, and now, researchers are saying they may have had life-altering effects on the early inhabitants of our planet. At just hundreds of light-years away, two major stellar explosions may have spurred changes to the environment, and even increased the rates of cancer and mutation.
  • Supernovae showered Earth with radioactive debris

    04/06/2016 3:50:53 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 27 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 4/6/2016 | Australian National University
    An international team of scientists has found evidence of a series of massive supernova explosions near our solar system, which showered Earth with radioactive debris. The scientists found radioactive iron-60 in sediment and crust samples taken from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The iron-60 was concentrated in a period between 3.2 and 1.7 million years ago, which is relatively recent in astronomical terms, said research leader Dr Anton Wallner from The Australian National University (ANU). "We were very surprised that there was debris clearly spread across 1.5 million years," said Dr Wallner, a nuclear physicist in the ANU Research...
  • Archaeologists Discover Ancient Bison Bones in Vero Beach

    05/14/2016 11:55:23 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 39 replies
    Florida Atlantic University ^ | May 11, 2016 | Gisele Galoustian
    The bone was found below a layer that contained material from the Pleistocene period when the last ice age was thought to have occurred. The archaeologists identified the bison using an upper molar, which is thought to be representative of a Bison antiquus, a direct ancestor of the American bison that roamed North America until it became extinct. Because bison was a grassland-adapted animal, nearly 100 percent of their bones disintegrated after death unless they were preserved in some way. "This finding is especially significant because of the meticulous documentation that has been involved," said James M. Adovasio, Ph.D., principal...
  • Seafaring in the Aegean: new dates

    03/02/2012 6:23:34 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies
    Stone Pages ^ | January 21, 2012 | Journal of Archaeological Science
    Seafaring before the Neolithic -- circa 7th millennium BCE -- is a controversial issue in the Mediterranean. However, evidence from different parts of the Aegean is gradually changing this, revealing the importance of early coastal and island environments. The site of Ouriakos on the island of Lemnos (Greece) tentatively dates to the end of the Pleistocene and possibly the beginning of the Holocene, circa 12,000 BP... Obsidian, or 'volcanic glass', has been a preferred material for stone tools wherever it is found or traded. It also absorbs water vapour when exposed to air -- for instance, when it is shaped...
  • Site in Germany yields human presence over 1 million years ago

    03/25/2016 5:53:52 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Spring 2016 Issue | Journal of Human Evolution
    The late Early Pleistocene site near Untermassfeld, in Germany, is now well known for a rich array of fauna dating back to about 1.07 million years ago, including simple 'Mode 1' (or Oldowan-type) stone tools evidencing early human occupation. Now researchers Günter Landeck and Joan Garcia Garriga report, for the first time, evidence of early human butchery in the form of cut marks on animal bones and intentional hammerstone-related bone breakage. These human-modified bones were recovered in a small faunal subsample excavated from levels with simple 'Mode 1' stone tools. The butchered assemblage was found during fieldwork and surveying of...
  • Mystery invaders conquered Europe at the end of last ice age

    03/23/2016 6:35:44 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 36 replies
    New Scientist ^ | February 4, 2016 | Colin Barras
    Europe went through a major population upheaval about 14,500 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, according to DNA from the bones of hunter-gatherers. Ancient DNA studies published in the last five years have transformed what we know about the early peopling of Europe. The picture they paint is one in which successive waves of immigration wash over the continent, bringing in new people, new genes and new technologies. These studies helped confirm that Europe's early hunter-gatherers - who arrived about 40,000 years ago - were largely replaced by farmers arriving from the Middle East about 8000...
  • 1.1-Million-Year-Old Stegodon Tusk Unearthed in Pakistan

    02/16/2016 10:19:58 AM PST · by nickcarraway · 8 replies
    Discovery ^ | FEB 16, 2016
    A team of Pakistani researchers claims to have unearthed a 1.1 million-year-old stegodon tusk in the central province of Punjab, potentially shedding new light on the mammal's evolutionary journey. They've finally found a fossilized mosquito full of prehistoric blood! So a real "Jurassic Park" is right around the corner, right? Stegodonts, distant cousins of modern elephants, are thought to have been present on earth from around 11 million years ago until the late Pleistocene period, which lasted until the end of the last Ice Age around 11,700 years ago. The tusk measures some eight feet (2.44 metres) in length and...
  • DNA evidence uncovers major upheaval in Europe near end of last Ice Age

    02/08/2016 11:24:59 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | February 4, 2016 | Current Biology, Cell Press
    DNA evidence lifted from the ancient bones and teeth of people who lived in Europe from the Late Pleistocene to the early Holocene -- spanning almost 30,000 years of European prehistory -- has offered some surprises, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Feb. 4, 2016. Perhaps most notably, the evidence shows a major shift in the population around 14,500 years ago, during a period of severe climatic instability... The researchers pieced this missing history together by reconstructing the mitochondrial genomes of 35 hunter-gatherer individuals who lived in Italy, Germany, Belgium, France,...
  • Hunter-gatherer diet caused tooth decay

    01/12/2014 3:03:25 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | Tuesday, January 7, 2014 | Natural History Museum
    ...The results published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) also suggest tooth decay was more prevalent in earlier societies than previously estimated. The results also suggest that the hunter-gatherer society studied may have developed a more sedentary lifestyle than previously thought, relying on nut harvesting. Dental disease was thought to have originated with the introduction of farming and changes in food processing around 10,000 years ago. A greater reliance on cultivated plant foods, rich in fermentable carbohydrates, resulted in rotting teeth.High level of decayNow, the analysis of 52 adult dentitions from hunter-gatherer skeletons found in a cave...
  • For Evolving Brains, a ‘Paleo’ Diet Full of Carbs

    08/13/2015 9:17:17 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 48 replies
    The New York Times ^ | AUG. 13, 2015 | Carl Zimmer
    You are what you eat, and so were your ancient ancestors. But figuring out what they actually dined on has been no easy task. There are no Pleistocene cookbooks to consult. Instead, scientists must sift through an assortment of clues, from the chemical traces in fossilized bones to the scratch marks on prehistoric digging sticks. Scientists have long recognized that the diets of our ancestors went through a profound shift with the addition of meat. But in the September issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, researchers argue that another item added to the menu was just as important: carbohydrates,...
  • Ancient nanostructures found in Ural mountains are out of place and time.

    09/18/2014 11:38:17 AM PDT · by BO Stinkss · 32 replies
    http://www.ancient-origins.net ^ | 6 September, 2014 | Leonardo Vinti
    An Oopart (out of place artifact) is a term applied to dozens of prehistoric objects found in various places around the world that, given their level of technology, are completely at odds with their determined age based on physical, chemical, and/or geological evidence. Ooparts often are frustrating to conventional scientists and a delight to adventurous investigators and individuals interested in alternative scientific theories. In 1991, the appearance of extremely tiny, coil-shaped artifacts found near the banks of Russia’s Kozhim, Narada, and Balbanyu rivers brought about a debate that has continued to this day. These mysterious and minuscule structures suggest that...
  • 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...
  • Prehistoric animal remains discovered in U.S.

    08/09/2014 12:18:58 PM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 12 replies
    abc 25 wpbf ^ | 8-9-2014 | By Jareen Imam
    The cave is cool and damp -- prefect for preserving prehistoric remains, Meachen says. "It's like a refrigerator in there, and probably has been for 20,000 years," she said. "Some of the bones we're finding there have collagen in them. That is where you could get the ancient DNA." The scientists saw bones falling out of a part of the cave, and decided to start digging there. "That was the fossil layer," she said. "There is so much to dig. We have two more years for funding that we can be out there, so we are going to try to...
  • West US cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

    07/27/2014 1:48:24 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | July 24, 2014 | unattributed
    For the first time in three decades, paleontologists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of ancient fossils: The bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave. Natural Trap Cave in Wyoming is 85 feet (25 meters) deep and almost impossible to see until you're standing right next to it. Over tens of thousands of years, many, many animals—including now-extinct mammoths, short-faced bears, American lions and American cheetahs—shared the misfortune of not noticing the 15-foot-wide (4 meters) opening until they were plunging to their deaths. Now, the U.S. Bureau...
  • Comet theory false; doesn't explain Ice Age cold snap, Clovis changes, animal extinction

    05/17/2014 12:06:11 PM PDT · by Renfield · 44 replies
    Science Codex ^ | 5-13-2014
    Controversy over what sparked the Younger Dryas, a brief return to near glacial conditions at the end of the Ice Age, includes a theory that it was caused by a comet hitting the Earth. As proof, proponents point to sediments containing deposits they believe could result only from a cosmic impact. Now a new study disproves that theory, said archaeologist David Meltzer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Meltzer is lead author on the study and an expert in the Clovis culture, the peoples who lived in North America at the end of the Ice Age. Meltzer's research team found that nearly...
  • North America's Oldest Skeleton Discovery: 13,000-Year-Old Body of 'Naia' Discovered in Mexico

    05/16/2014 3:41:26 AM PDT · by Candor7 · 14 replies
    International Business Times ^ | 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............... ...................... 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 without any soil. Her pristine preservation enabled our team to extract enough DNA to determine her shared genetic code with modern Native Americans," she added. The skeleton, which is now covered in water, is estimated to be between 12,000 and 13,000 years old, suggesting Naia lived in the...
  • Scientists reveal a first in Ice Age art

    06/21/2011 11:16:04 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 67 replies
    PhysOrg.com ^ | 06-21-2011 | Provided by Smithsonian
    Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida have announced the discovery of a bone fragment, approximately 13,000 years old, in Florida with an incised image of a mammoth or mastodon. This engraving is the oldest and only known example of Ice Age art to depict a proboscidean (the order of animals with trunks) in the Americas. The team's research is published online in the Journal of Archaeological Science. The bone was discovered in Vero Beach, Fla. by James Kennedy, an avocational fossil hunter, who collected the bone and later while cleaning the bone, discovered the engraving. Recognizing...
  • Old Vero Man Site History

    06/04/2012 6:29:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    Old Vero Ice Age Sites Committee ^ | obtained Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 | unattributed
    In 1913 the Indian River Farms Company was dredging the Main Relief Canal in Vero Florida, in preparation to handle an expanding population. (It was not called Vero Beach until 1925.) The workers on this project kept seeing fossilized bones in the walls or banks of the freshly dredged canal. Some of these bones were presented to the state geologist, Dr E.H. Sellards. Dr. Sellards suggested that they also look for human bones during a visit to the site. In 1916 Dr Sellards, working with Frank Ayers, Isaac Wells, and others found more human bones in the strata known as...