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Keyword: sahara

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  • Inside the abandoned City of Libraries

    09/02/2015 4:02:19 AM PDT · by the scotsman · 10 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 1st September 2015 | Michael Huniewicz
    'The desert city of Chinguetti, sinking ever-deeper under the sands of the Sahara, is the last place in the world you would expect to find a library. Yet this crumbling outpost in the west-African country of Mauritania is home to around 6,000 rare books and manuscripts, including some of the oldest Koranic texts in existence which date back to the 9th Century. It was once the prosperous and bustling trade centre of several 'trans-Sahara' trade routes. Traders from all over Europe, north-Africa and the Levant would stop in Chinguetti before moving on to sub-Saharan Africa. There, they would rub shoulders...
  • An origin of new world agriculture in coastal Ecuador (12,000 BP)

    02/14/2003 1:34:27 PM PST · by vannrox · 11 replies · 1,547+ views
    Eureka ^ | Public release date: 13-Feb-2003 | Dr. Dolores Piperno
    Contact: Dr. Dolores Pipernopipernod@tivoli.si.edu 011-507-212-8101Smithsonian Institution An origin of new world agriculture in coastal Ecuador New archaeological evidence points to an independent origin of agriculture in coastal Ecuador 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Suddenly, the remains of larger squash plants appear in the record. The Las Vegas site, described by Dolores Piperno of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and Karen Stothert, University of Texas at Austin in the February 14th issue of Science, may predate plant domestication sites in the Mesoamerican highlands. The fertile and amazingly diverse lowland tropics seem like a likely place for agriculture to develop. But...
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the basin

    07/24/2015 10:16:10 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 30 replies
    The Daily Mail ^ | 24 July 2015 | RICHARD GRAY
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • Is the Amazon rainforest MAN-MADE? At least 8 MILLION humans may have lived and farmed the [tr]

    07/24/2015 6:22:31 AM PDT · by C19fan · 35 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | July 24, 2015 | Richard Gray
    It is often held aloft by environmental campaign groups as an example of one of the last remaining regions of unspoiled habitat left in the world. But instead of being a pristine rainforest untouched by human hands, the Amazon appears to have been profoundly shaped by mankind. An international team of researchers have published evidence that suggests the Amazon was once home to millions of people who lived and farmed in the area now covered by trees.
  • Searching for the Amazon's Hidden Civilizations

    01/13/2014 3:40:59 PM PST · by Renfield · 18 replies
    Science Magazine ^ | 1-7-2014 | Crystal McMichael
    Look around the Amazon rainforest today and it’s hard to imagine it filled with people. But in recent decades, archaeologists have started to find evidence that before Columbus’s arrival, the region was dotted with towns and perhaps even cities. The extent of human settlement in the Amazon remains hotly debated, partly because huge swaths of the 6-million-square-kilometer rainforest remain unstudied by archaeologists. Now, researchers have built a model predicting where signs of pre-Columbian agriculture are most likely to be found, a tool they hope will help guide future archaeological work in the region. In many ways, archaeology in the Amazon...
  • Hidden shell middens reveal ancient human presence in Bolivian Amazon

    09/02/2013 8:22:20 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    EurekAlert! ^ | August 28, 2013 | Jyoti Madhusoodanan
    Previously unknown archeological sites in forest islands reveal human presence in the western Amazon as early as 10,000 years ago, according to research published August 28 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Umberto Lombardo from the University of Bern, Switzerland and colleagues from other institutions. The study focuses on a region in the Bolivian Amazon thought to be rarely occupied by pre-agricultural communities due to unfavorable environmental conditions. Hundreds of 'forest islands'- small forested mounds of earth- are found throughout the region, their origins attributed to termites, erosion or ancient human activity. In this study, the authors report...
  • Stone age etchings found in Amazon basin as river levels fall

    11/11/2010 4:47:55 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies
    Guardian (UK) ^ | Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Tom Phillips
    A series of ancient underwater etchings has been uncovered near the jungle city of Manaus, following a drought in the Brazilian Amazon. The previously submerged images -- engraved on rocks and possibly up to 7,000 years old -- were reportedly discovered by a fisherman after the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon river, fell to its lowest level in more than 100 years last month... Though water levels are now rising again, partly covering the apparently stone age etchings, local researchers photographed them before they began to disappear under the river's dark waters. Archaeologists who have studied the photographs...
  • Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years

    05/25/2010 6:22:11 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 73 replies · 1,099+ views
    New York Times ^ | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Sean B. Carroll
    Many botanists did not see any connection between maize and other living plants. Some concluded that the crop plant arose through the domestication by early agriculturalists of a wild maize that was now extinct, or at least undiscovered. However, a few scientists working during the first part of the 20th century uncovered evidence that they believed linked maize to what, at first glance, would seem to be a very unlikely parent, a Mexican grass called teosinte... George W. Beadle, while a graduate student at Cornell University in the early 1930s, found that maize and teosinte had very similar chromosomes....
  • In Amazon, traces of an advanced civilization

    09/06/2010 8:42:43 AM PDT · by Palter · 37 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 05 Sep 2010 | Juan Forero
    To the untrained eye, all evidence here in the heart of the Amazon signals virgin forest, untouched by man for time immemorial - from the ubiquitous fruit palms to the cry of howler monkeys, from the air thick with mosquitoes to the unruly tangle of jungle vines. Archaeologists, many of them Americans, say the opposite is true: This patch of forest, and many others across the Amazon, was instead home to an advanced, even spectacular civilization that managed the forest and enriched infertile soil to feed thousands. The findings are discrediting a once-bedrock theory of archaeology that long held that...
  • Superdirt Made Lost Amazon Cities Possible

    11/30/2008 3:36:23 PM PST · by JoeProBono · 22 replies · 1,067+ views
    Centuries-old European explorers' tales of lost cities in the Amazon have long been dismissed by scholars, in part because the region is too infertile to feed a sprawling civilization. But new discoveries support the idea of an ancient Amazonian urban network—and ingeniously engineered soil may have made it all possible.
  • Paper challenges 1491 Amazonian population theories

    03/07/2007 9:48:27 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies · 337+ views
    Florida Institute of Technology (via EurekAlert) ^ | Tuesday, March 6, 2007 | Karen Rhine
    "These data are directly relevant to the resilience of Amazonian conservation, as they do not support the contention that all of Amazonia is a 'built landscape' and therefore a product of past human land use," Bush says. "Most archaeologists are buying into the argument that you had big populations that transformed the landscape en masse. Another group of archaeologists say that transformation was very much limited to river corridors, and if you went away from the river corridors there wasn't that much impact. That's what our findings tend to support." Bush doesn't expect that his new findings will settle the...
  • Putting the carbon back: Black is the new green

    08/17/2006 6:27:04 AM PDT · by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit · 29 replies · 1,094+ views
    Nature ^ | 9 August 2006 | Emma Marris
    One way to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is to put it back in the ground. In the first of two News Features on carbon sequestration, Quirin Schiermeier asked when the world's coal-fired power plants will start storing away their carbon. In the second, Emma Marris joins the enthusiasts who think that enriching Earth's soils with charcoal can help avert global warming, reduce the need for fertilizers, and greatly increase the size of turnips. J. LEHMANN Drop of the black stuff: terra preta contrasts strongly with normal soil in colour (above) and produces much more vigorous crops (below)....
  • Another ‘Stonehenge’ discovered in Amazon

    06/28/2006 2:09:13 PM PDT · by IllumiNaughtyByNature · 48 replies · 1,371+ views
    MSNBC ^ | June 27, 2006 | Stan Lehman
    SAO PAULO, Brazil - A grouping of granite blocks along a grassy Amazon hilltop may be the vestiges of a centuries-old astronomical observatory — a find that archaeologists say shows early rainforest inhabitants were more sophisticated than previously believed. snip...
  • 'Amazon Stonehenge' found in Brazil

    05/13/2006 4:26:36 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 13 replies · 703+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 5/13/06 | AFP
    RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Archaeologists discovered a pre-colonial astrological observatory possibly 2,000 years old in the Amazon basin near French Guiana, said a report. "Only a society with a complex culture could have built such a monument," archaeologist Mariana Petry Cabral, of the Amapa Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (IEPA), told O Globo newspaper. The observatory was built of 127 blocks of granite each three meters (10 feet) high and regularly placed in circles in an open field, she said. Cabral said the site resembles a temple which could have been used as an observatory, because the blocks...
  • 'Brazilian Stonehenge' discovered

    05/13/2006 12:19:52 AM PDT · by Jedi Master Pikachu · 36 replies · 2,327+ views
    BBC ^ | May 13, 2006 | Steve Kingston
    Brazilian archaeologists have found an ancient stone structure in a remote corner of the Amazon that may cast new light on the region's past. The site, thought to be an observatory or place of worship, pre-dates European colonisation and is said to suggest a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. Its appearance is being compared to the English site of Stonehenge. It was traditionally thought that before European colonisation, the Amazon had no advanced societies. Winter solstice The archaeologists made the discovery in the state of Amapa, in the far north of Brazil. A total of 127 large blocks of stone were...
  • Reproducing the Amazon's black soil could bolster fertility and remove carbon from atmosphere

    02/18/2006 10:15:42 PM PST · by Moonman62 · 44 replies · 1,805+ views
    Cornell ^ | 02/18/06 | Cornell
    ST. LOUIS -- The search for El Dorado in the Amazonian rainforest might not have yielded pots of gold, but it has led to unearthing a different type of gold mine: some of the globe's richest soil that can transform poor soil into highly fertile ground. That's not all. Scientists have a method to reproduce this soil -- known as terra preta, or Amazonian dark earths -- and say it can pull substantial amounts of carbon out of the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, helping to prevent global warming. That's because terra preta is loaded with...
  • Bird's-Eye View Of The Amazon (Airborne Archaeologist Challenges The Myth Of A Pristine Wilderness)

    05/30/2004 5:31:44 PM PDT · by blam · 46 replies · 2,952+ views
    Penn Arts And Science ^ | 5-30-2004 | Ted Mann
    Bird’s-Eye View of the Amazon Airborne Archaeologist Challenges the Myth of a Pristine Wilderness by Ted Mann In the office of a typical archaeologist, you would expect to find things like stone tools, pottery fragments, and maybe even a few Wooly Mammoth bones. But Clark Erickson is no typical archaeologist. Oversize rolls of aerial photographs are stacked into tubular pyramids on a desk and worktable in his University Museum office. They fill up file cabinets and populate a storage room. At last count, he had about 700 giant aerial and satellite images—almost all of them picturing some region of the...
  • Amazonian find stuns researchers

    09/20/2003 6:15:45 PM PDT · by vannrox · 44 replies · 2,918+ views
    The Seattle Times ^ | 9-20-03 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
    Amazonian find stuns researchers Deep in the Amazon forest of Brazil, archaeologists have found a network of 1,000-year-old towns and villages that refutes two long-held notions: that the pre-Columbian tropical rain forest was a pristine environment that had not been altered by humans, and that the rain forest could not support a complex, sophisticated society. A 15-mile-square region at the headwaters of the Xingu River contains at least 19 villages that are sited at regular intervals and share the same circular design. The villages are connected by a system of broad, parallel highways, Florida researchers reported in yesterday's issue of...
  • Rainforest Researchers Hit Paydirt (Farming 11K Years Ago in South America)

    08/30/2002 10:11:59 AM PDT · by blam · 75 replies · 3,580+ views
    University Of Vermont ^ | 8-29-2002 | Lynda Majarian
    Contact: Lynda Majarian lynda.majarian@uvm.edu 802-656-1107 University of Vermont Rainforest researchers hit pay dirt It shouldn't be there, but it is. Deep in the central Amazonian rainforest lies a rich, black soil known locally as terra preta do Indio (Indian dark earth) that farmers have worked for years with minimal fertilization. A Brazilian-American archeological team believed terra preta, which may cover 10 percent of Amazonia, was the product of intense habitation by Amerindian populations who flourished in the area for two millennia, but they recently unearthed evidence that societies lived and farmed in the area up to 11,000 years ago. As...
  • Human settlements far older than suspected discovered in South America.

    04/21/2002 5:41:59 PM PDT · by vannrox · 20 replies · 2,367+ views
    DISCOVER Vol. 23 No. 5 (May 2002) ^ | (May 2002) | By John Dorfman
    DISCOVER Vol. 23 No. 5 (May 2002)Table of Contents The Amazon Trail Anna Roosevelt's ventures into the jungles of South America have turned up traces of human settlements far older than archaeologists ever suspected By John Dorfman Photography by Jennifer Tzar Archaeologists visiting remote sites in Brazil must rely on the skills of local pilots to locate—and land on—small airstrips in the rain forest. "The pilots here are very good," says Roosevelt, a veteran Amazon explorer, because the mining industry depends on them. "When I have a goal," says Anna Curtenius Roosevelt, her voice emphasizing the word, "everything else is...
  • The Wodaabe wife-stealing festival: Stunning images from the world's vainest tribe [tr]

    07/07/2015 5:21:02 AM PDT · by C19fan · 10 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | July 7, 2015 | Flora Drury
    It’s the world’s most spectacular beauty pageant – that is more fiercely contested than Miss World. At stake? The chance to go down in folklore – and to win the heart of a new wife. Because this competition is not for women, but for the men of the Islamic polygamous Wodaabe tribe - an ancient group of nomadic cattle herders who are the vainest and most beautiful people on earth, so they say.
  • Saharan silver ants can control electromagnetic waves over extremely broad spectrum range

    06/18/2015 12:42:53 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 33 replies
    Phys.Org ^ | 06-18-2015 | Provided by Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
    Nanfang Yu, assistant professor of applied physics at Columbia Engineering, and colleagues from the University of Zürich and the University of Washington, have discovered two key strategies that enable Saharan silver ants to stay cool in one of the hottest terrestrial environments on Earth. Yu's team is the first to demonstrate that the ants use a coat of uniquely shaped hairs to control electromagnetic waves over an extremely broad range from the solar spectrum (visible and near-infrared) to the thermal radiation spectrum (mid-infrared), and that different physical mechanisms are used in different spectral bands to realize the same biological function...
  • Another global warming catastrophe: the Sahara Desert is actually getting greener

    06/03/2015 7:16:51 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies
    Hotair ^ | 06/02/2015 | Jazz Shaw
    This story is actually quite fascinating and it obviously has something to do with changes in the climate, but just how to explain it all remains a subject of contention. You would think that increasing temperatures would make things worse in the deserts of the world, but in a rather counterintuitive instance of planet watching, it appears that the Sahara desert may actually be shrinking. A few thousand years ago, a mighty river flowed through the Sahara across what is today Sudan. The Wadi Howar—now just a dried-out riverbed for most of the year—sustained not just fish, crocodiles, and...
  • TERRIBLE NEWS FOR CLIMATE CATASTROPHISTS: THE SAHARA IS GETTING GREENER

    06/02/2015 8:52:21 AM PDT · by Hojczyk · 30 replies
    Breitbart ^ | June 2,2015 | JAMES DELINGPOLE
    Good news: the Sahara desert is getting greener because of “climate change.” Climate change has achieved what Bob Geldof and Live Aid failed to do by ending the drought in the Sahel region of Africa that killed more than 100,000 people in the 1980s, a study has found. Rising greenhouse gases caused rains to return to the region south of the Sahara, from Senegal to Sudan, boosting crop yields since the 1990s and helping the population to feed itself without relying on foreign donations. The study, in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that Sahel summer rainfall was about 10...
  • Terror triumvirate: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram training together in Mauritania: analyst

    03/24/2015 11:22:17 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 9 replies
    Fox News ^ | March 23, 2015 | Malia Zimmerman
    The world’s three most infamous terrorist organizations are working together at Al-Qaeda-run training camps in the Sahara Desert in Mauritania, where dozens of recruits from the U.S., Canada and Europe are being indoctrinated into violent jihad and training for attacks that could expand the so-called caliphate across North and West Africa, according to analysts. ISIS, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda all have links to two camps in the remote sands of the expansive North African country, according to Veryan Khan, editorial director for the Florida-based Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium, which tracks international terrorism and had a source on the ground...
  • Jeep Thread

    03/19/2015 6:01:22 PM PDT · by SkyPilot · 281 replies
    Free Republic ^ | 19 March 15 | Jeep
    This is a Jeep thread, for all Jeep owners and Jeep lovers. Contribute as you wish or are driven. Long live Freedom. May God Bless You!
  • A Carpet of Stone Tools in the Sahara

    03/14/2015 4:01:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 34 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | March 11, 2015 | editors
    A new intensive survey of the Messak Settafet escarpment, a massive outcrop of sandstone in the middle of the Saharan desert, has shown that stone tools occur "ubiquitously" across the entire landscape: averaging 75 artefacts per square metre, or 75 million per square kilometre. Researchers say the vast 'carpet' of stone-age tools -- extracted from and discarded onto the escarpment over hundreds of thousands of years -- is the earliest known example of an entire landscape being modified by hominins: the group of creatures that include us and our ancestral species. The Messak Settafet runs a total length of 350...
  • Sahara sands shift to reveal WWII bag

    12/01/2007 3:24:16 PM PST · by Daffynition · 12 replies · 38+ views
    The Telegraph ^ | 30/11/2007 | Nick Britten
    Lying under a thin veil of desert sand, a bag belonging to a Second World War soldier has been discovered intact 65 years after he dropped it. Its contents, buried for decades under the Sahara sun, have remained in remarkable condition, providing a fascinating insight into a bygone era. There are letters written by family who have long since died, photographs and personal belongings. Now Alec Ross's family are hoping to have the bag returned to England. Mr Ross was a despatch rider in the 8th Army when he lost the backpack in Egypt in 1942. It was found recently...
  • Mineral dust plays key role in cloud formation and chemistry

    05/10/2013 11:29:47 PM PDT · by neverdem · 12 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 9 May 2013 | Simon Hadlington
    Scientists flew a plane into high up cirrus clouds and used a sampler that resembled a hair dryer to examine cloud formation © Karl FroydMineral dust that swirls up into the atmosphere from Earth’s surface plays a far more important role in both cloud formation and cloud chemistry than was previously realised. The findings will feed into models of cloud formation and chemistry to help produce more accurate assessments of the role of clouds in climate change.Relatively little is understood about the formation of cirrus clouds, wispy ‘horsetails’ that are made of ice crystals and form at extremely high altitudes...
  • Climate Key To Sphinx's Riddle

    01/08/2007 11:27:02 AM PST · by blam · 44 replies · 1,890+ views
    Scotsman ^ | 1-7-2006 | Jeremy Watson
    Climate key to Sphinx's riddle JEREMY WATSON GLOBAL warming is one of the greatest threats to present day civilisation but work by a team of Scots scientists suggests the ancient Egyptians may have been earlier victims of climate change. The pharaohs ruled their empire for hundreds of years, spreading culture, architecture and the arts before it collapsed into economic ruin. Why that happened is one of the great mysteries of history. Now a team of scientists from Scotland and Wales believe the answer lies beneath the waters of Lake Tana, high in the Ethiopian Highlands, and the source of the...
  • Geology Picture of the Week Extra: GoogleEarth searcher finds pristine impact crater in Egypt

    07/23/2010 9:11:02 PM PDT · by cogitator · 31 replies · 2+ views
    Space.com ^ | July 22, 2010 | Clara Moskowitz
    The header link goes to the article on space.com. Basic story is that an Italian guy who sounds like a hobbyist (former curator of a science museum) found the feature while tooling around on GoogleEarth. Since it's in the remote desert, it's hardly changed since impact -- even has ejecta rays. There's a problem here; most models indicate that an object the likely size of this object should disintegrate in the atmosphere. This one obviously didn't. Abstract in Science magazine (you'd have to pay to read the whole thing) The Kamil Crater in Egypt Fresh crater in Egypt -- increases...
  • Ancient Egypt was destroyed by drought, discover Scottish experts

    08/04/2011 5:51:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 68 replies
    Scotsman, Tall and Handsome Built ^ | Tuesday, August 2, 2011 | Lyndsay Buckland
    ...the fall of the great Egyptian Old Kingdom may have been helped along by a common problem which remains with us now -- drought... a severe period of drought around 4,200 years ago may have contributed to the demise of the civilisation. Using seismic investigations with sound waves, along with carbon dating of a 100-metre section of sediment from the bed of Lake Tana in Ethiopia, the team were able to look back many thousands of years. They were able to see how water levels in the lake had varied over the past 17,000 years, with the sediment signalling lush...
  • Massive Underground Water Supply Found In Desert African Country (Supply could last 400 years)

    07/21/2012 12:25:47 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 51 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 07/21/2012 | Michael Kelley
    A newly discovered water source could supply half of Africa's driest sub-Saharan country with 400 years of water, reports Matt McGrath of BBC. The new aquifer – called Ohangwena II – flows under the border between Angola and Namibia, covering an area of about 43 miles by 25 miles on Namibia's side. The water is up to 10,000 years old and cleaner to drink than many modern sources. Project manager Martin Quinger told BBC that the stored water could last 400 years based on current rates of consumption. Currently the 800,000 people living in the northern part of the country...
  • EARTH was a BAKING LIFELESS DESERT for 5 MILLION years

    10/19/2012 9:11:14 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 35 replies
    The Register ^ | 10/19/2012 | By Brid-Aine Parnell
    Boffins have discovered that "lethally hot" ocean temperatures kept the Earth devoid of life for millions of years after the mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago. The global wipeout that ended the Permian era, before dinosaurs, wiped out nearly all of the world's species. Mass extinctions like these in Earth's history are usually followed by a "dead zone", a period of tens of thousands of years before new species crop up. But the early Triassic dead zone lasted millions of years, not thousands. Boffins now reckon that the extra-long five million year dead zone was caused by screaming...
  • Space Data Unveils Evidence of Ancient Mega-lake in Northern Darfur

    03/29/2007 1:33:28 PM PDT · by blam · 17 replies · 233+ views
    Physorg.com ^ | 3-28-2007 | Boston University
    Space Data Unveils Evidence of Ancient Mega-lake in Northern Darfur Researchers at the Boston University Center for Remote Sensing used recently acquired topographic data from satellites to reveal a now dry, ancient mega-lake in the Darfur province of northwestern Sudan. Drs. Eman Ghoneim and Farouk El-Baz made the finding while investigating Landsat images and Radarsat data. Radar waves are able to penetrate the fine-grained sand cover in the hot and dry eastern Sahara to reveal buried features. Segments of the lake’s shoreline were identified at the constant altitude of 573 ± 3 meters above sea level. Ghoneim incorporated these segments...
  • Ancient drought 'changed history'

    12/08/2005 3:58:46 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 42 replies · 1,607+ views
    BBC ^ | 12/07/05 | Roland Pease
    Ancient drought 'changed history' By Roland Pease BBC science unit, San Francisco The sediments are an archive of past climate conditions Scientists have identified a major climate crisis that struck Africa about 70,000 years ago and which may have changed the course of human history.The evidence comes from sediments drilled up from the beds of Lake Malawi and Tanganyika in East Africa, and from Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana. It shows equatorial Africa experienced a prolonged period of drought. It is possible, scientists say, this was the reason some of the first humans left Africa to populate the globe. Certainly,...
  • Climate and Drought Lessons from Ancient Egypt

    08/18/2012 11:29:28 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Thursday, August 16, 2012 | United States Geological Survey et al
    Ancient pollen and charcoal preserved in deeply buried sediments in Egypt's Nile Delta document the region's ancient droughts and fires, including a huge drought 4,200 years ago associated with the demise of Egypt's Old Kingdom, the era known as the pyramid-building time... said Christopher Bernhardt, a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey... "Even the mighty builders of the ancient pyramids more than 4,000 years ago fell victim when they were unable to respond to a changing climate," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "This study illustrates that water availability was the climate-change Achilles Heel then for Egypt, as it may well...
  • Before they left Africa, early modern humans were 'culturally diverse'

    08/21/2014 9:55:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 31 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | August 18th, 2014 | Oxford University
    Researchers have carried out the biggest ever comparative study of stone tools dating to between 130,000 and 75,000 years ago found in the region between sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. They have discovered there are marked differences in the way stone tools were made, reflecting a diversity of cultural traditions. The study has also identified at least four distinct populations, each relatively isolated from each other with their own different cultural characteristics. The research paper also suggests that early populations took advantage of rivers and lakes that criss-crossed the Saharan desert. A climate model coupled with data about these ancient water...
  • Violence and climate change in prehistoric Egypt and Sudan

    07/21/2014 10:50:52 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    British Museum ^ | Monday, July 14, 2014 | Renée Friedman, curator
    Among the most exciting of the new acquisitions are the materials from the site of Jebel Sahaba, now in northern Sudan, which were donated to the Museum by Dr Fred Wendorf in 2002. Excavating here in 1965–66, as part of the UNESCO-funded campaign to salvage sites destined to be flooded by the construction of the Aswan High Dam, Dr Wendorf found a cemetery (site 117) containing at least 61 individuals dating back to about 13,000 years ago. This discovery was of great significance for two reasons. First, as a designated graveyard, evidently used over several generations, it is one of...
  • Mysterious Earthen Rings Predate Amazon Rainforest

    07/10/2014 12:35:30 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 44 replies
    Live Science ^ | July 07, 2014 03:37pm ET | Stephanie Pappas
    Carson and his colleagues wanted to explore the question of whether early Amazonians had a major impact on the forest. They focused on the Amazon of northeastern Bolivia, where they had sediment cores from two lakes nearby major earthworks sites. These sediment cores hold ancient pollen grains and charcoal from long-ago fires, and can hint at the climate and ecosystem that existed when the sediment was laid down as far back as 6,000 years ago. An examination of the two cores — one from the large lake, Laguna Oricore, and one from the smaller lake, Laguna Granja — revealed a...
  • Giant stone-age axes found in African lake basin

    09/12/2009 5:44:18 PM PDT · by decimon · 55 replies · 1,886+ views
    PhysOrg.com ^ | September 10, 2009 | Unknown
    Four giant stone hand axes were recovered from the the dry basin of Lake Makgadikgadi in the Kalahari Desert. Oxford University researchers have unearthed new evidence from the lake basin in Botswana that suggests that the region was once much drier and wetter than it is today. They have documented thousands of stone tools on the lake bed, which sheds new light on how humans in Africa adapted to several substantial climate change events during the period that coincided with the last Ice Age in Europe. Researchers from the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford...
  • Amazon rainforest ‘could become a desert’

    07/24/2006 4:44:22 AM PDT · by voletti · 50 replies · 1,004+ views
    daily times pakistan ^ | 7/24/06 | daily times monitor
    LAHORE: The vast Amazon rainforest is on the verge of being turned into desert, with catastrophic consequences for the world’s climate, alarming research suggests. And the process, which would be irreversible, could begin as early as next year. Geoffrey Lean and Fred Pearce, writing for The Independent on Sunday, quote studies conducted by the blue-chip Woods Hole Research Centre in Amazonia as concluding that the forest cannot withstand more than two consecutive years of drought without breaking down. “Scientists say that this would spread drought into the northern hemisphere, including Britain, and could massively accelerate global warming with incalculable consequences,...
  • Sahara Dust Cloud heads for Florida!

    07/23/2005 10:27:21 AM PDT · by luknskill · 24 replies · 2,115+ views
    The cloud heading this way is almost as big as the United States, Lushine said. Thought this was out of the ordinary. The size anyhow. http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/nationworld/story/5040423p-4596815c.html
  • Strange Ancient Crocodiles Swam the Sahara

    11/19/2009 11:21:14 AM PST · by decimon · 23 replies · 1,657+ views
    Live Science ^ | Nov 19, 2009 | LiveScience Staff
    Paleontologist Paul Sereno and his colleagues unearthed a bizarre bunch of crocodile remains in the Sahara. The crocs sported snouts and other traits that resembled some modern-day animals and inspired nicknames, including SuperCroc (weighed 8 tons), BoarCroc (upper right), PancakeCroc (lower right), RatCroc, DogCroc and DuckCroc. Credit: Photo by Mike Hettwer, courtesy National Geographic. From a crocodile sporting a boar-like snout to a peculiar pal with buckteeth for digging up grub, an odd-looking bunch of such reptiles dashed and swam across what is now the Sahara Desert some 100 million years ago when dinosaurs ruled. That's the picture created by...
  • Ancient bone fragments help describe diet, health of Saharan ancestors

    04/01/2014 3:46:43 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies
    Phys dot org ^ | Marcj 27, 2014 | University of Cambridge
    To describe the ancient Saharan diets, the researchers are measuring the levels of chemical entities called isotopes in the remains. Biological tissues are reservoirs for elements such as carbon and oxygen, which arrive in the body through the food we eat and the environment we live in, and which have variants (isotopes) that can be measured. "Tooth enamel is formed in the very early years of life and the chemical fingerprints within it don't change throughout life," explained O'Connell. "So whatever isotope signals the teeth contain are a result of the geographical area where individuals spent their childhood and the...
  • The Green Sahara, A Desert In Bloom

    10/03/2008 11:55:57 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 43 replies · 837+ views
    Science News, ScienceDaily ^ | September 30, 2008 | Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel
    Reconstructing the climate of the past is an important tool for scientists to better understand and predict future climate changes that are the result of the present-day global warming. Although there is still little known about the Earth's tropical and subtropical regions, these regions are thought to play an important role in both the evolution of prehistoric man and global climate changes. New North African climate reconstructions reveal three 'green Sahara' episodes during which the present-day Sahara Desert was almost completely covered with extensive grasslands, lakes and ponds over the course of the last 120.000 years. The findings of Dr....
  • Study Confirms Ancient River Systems in Sahara 100,000 Years Ago

    09/12/2013 7:21:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | editors
    "Previous spatial analysis of the regional topography has shown there are major watersheds that are dry today but which would drain north from these [the Ahaggar and Tibesti ranges in the south] mountains towards the Mediterranean," says Coulthard, et. al. "Satellite imagery reveals traces of major river channels linked to these watersheds, now partially buried under sand dune deposits." It "provides the first strong quantitative evidence for the presence of three major river systems flowing across the Sahara during MIS 5e [Marine Isotope Stage 5e, or 130,000 years ago]".* "Whilst we cannot state for certain that humans migrated alongside these...
  • ‘Beelzebub inhabits hearts in this country’ (no, it's not talking about the US)

    07/23/2013 2:38:14 PM PDT · by markomalley · 2 replies
    Catholic Herald ^ | 7/23/2013 | JONATHAN LUXMOORE
    When rebel forces, led by Arab-speaking Muslims, seized control of the Central African Republic this March, it deepened fears that a co-ordinated Islamist insurgency could now be spreading through swathes of the continent. Four months on, the landlocked country is living through a reign of terror, largely directed against its Christian minority.“Churches have been routinely robbed and pillaged here, while Muslim mosques have been left untouched,” Mgr Cyriaque Gbate Doumalo, secretary-general of the Central African Republic’s Catholic bishops’ conference, told me in an interview. “Our public institutions aren’t functioning and our hospitals have been ransacked, leaving the sick and destitute...
  • Deserts set to expand (Climate Change barf alert)

    06/17/2005 8:40:21 AM PDT · by GreenFreeper · 10 replies · 366+ views
    Nature ^ | 6/16/2005 | Michael Hopkin
    World's poorest must change lifestyles as Earth dries up.Many of the world's dry regions, currently home to some 2.1 billion people, are in danger of becoming useless for growing food, according to the latest in a series of reports on the world's ecosystems. It blames climate change and human activities. The report's authors estimate that 10-20% of these 'drylands' have already lost some plant life or economic use, and they say the situation is getting worse. Hundreds of thousands of people will be in need of new homes and lifestyles over the next 30 years, they estimate. The report, titled...
  • World's land turning to desert at alarming speed, United Nations warns

    06/15/2004 1:47:08 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 76 replies · 412+ views
    WCCO 4 ^ | 6/15/04 | Chris Hawley - AP
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) The world is turning to dust, with lands the size of Rhode Island becoming desert wasteland every year and the problem threatening to send millions of people fleeing to greener countries, the United Nations says. One-third of the Earth's surface is at risk, driving people into cities and destroying agriculture in vast swaths of Africa. Thirty-one percent of Spain is threatened, while China has lost 36,000 square miles to desert an area the size of Indiana since the 1950s. This week the United Nations marks the 10th anniversary of the Convention to Combat Desertification, a plan aimed...