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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #250 on: March 17, 2020, 02:16:44 PM »
Tang Dynasty noblewoman buried with her donkeys, for the love of polo

A noblewoman from Imperial China enjoyed playing polo on donkeys so much she had her steeds buried with her so she could keep doing it in the afterlife, archaeologists found. This discovery by a team that includes Fiona Marshall, the James W. and Jean L. Davis Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is published March 17 in the journal Antiquity.

The research provides the first physical evidence of donkey polo in Imperial China, which previously was only known from historical texts. It also sheds light on the role for donkeys in the lives of high status women in that period.

Researchers found donkey bones in the tomb of Cui Shi, a noblewoman who died in 878 AD in Xi’an, China. The presence of work animals in a wealthy woman’s tomb was unexpected, the researchers said.

...

Polo is thought to have its origins in Iran; however, the sport flourished during the Tang Dynasty, which ruled China from AD 618 to 907. During this time, polo became a favorite sport of the royal and noble families, to the point where an emperor used a polo competition to pick generals. This included Cui Shi’s husband, Bao Gao, who was promoted to general by Emperor Xizong for winning a match.

However, the sport was dangerous when played on large horses, with one emperor killed during a game. As such, some nobles preferred to play Lvju, or donkey polo. Although both forms of polo are mentioned in the historical literature, horse polo is the only form depicted in art and artifacts.

https://www.newswise.com/articles/tang-dynasty-noblewoman-buried-with-her-donkeys-for-the-love-of-polo
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #251 on: March 21, 2020, 04:43:57 PM »
Study: Soot From Massive Wildfires Led to Dino-Killing Mass Extinction

...

As to which factor – the low light or low temperatures – contributed the most to the impact winter and the ensuing mass extinction is a matter of debate. New research published in Geophysical Research Letters attributes the low light – as caused by excessive soot in the atmosphere – as the primary factor. The new paper was co-authored by geoscientist Clay Tabor from the University of Connecticut, and his colleagues from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research.

...

Consistent with other research, the models showed that the reduced sunlight caused global cooling at the Earth’s surface. Yes, this cooling was bad, the researchers admit, but not enough to tip the scales towards a mass extinction.

As for the low light impacting on the Earth’s biosphere, that’s another story. According to the models, the soot hung out in the atmosphere for a protracted period of time. And unlike dust and sulfur, soot sucks up the Sun’s life-giving rays like a sponge.

“Based on the properties of soot and its ability to effectively absorb incoming sunlight, it did a very good job at blocking sunlight from reaching the surface,” explained Tabor in a press release. “In comparison to the dust, which didn’t stay in the atmosphere for nearly as long, and the sulfur, which didn’t block as much light, the soot could actually block almost all light from reaching the surface for at least a year.”

Think about that. Our Earth was dark for an entire year.

As a result, photosynthesis on the planet dropped to less than one percent of what it was before the impact. This prevented the growth of organisms at the base of the food web, such as photosynthesising plants, algae, and microorganisms (like phytoplankton). The collapse of the foodweb soon followed, given the importance of these food sources to other animals.

...

https://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2020/03/study-soot-from-massive-wildfires-led-to-dino-killing-mass-extinction/
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #252 on: March 21, 2020, 05:15:58 PM »
And some more good shit.  :)
Also Rat Mittens part 3 (at least)

Unprecedented preservation of fossil feces from the La Brea Tar Pits

...

Today, a team of researchers from La Brea Tar Pits, the University of Oklahoma and the University of California Irvine report the first coprolites – or fossil feces – ever discovered in an asphaltic – or tar pit – context. These hundreds of fossilized rodent pellets were found during the excavation of a parking garage for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Hancock Park in 2016, which had also yielded the more traditional La Brea fossils, such as extinct mammoths, dire wolves and saber-toothed cats.

...

Indeed, radiocarbon dates generated at UC Irvine would confirm the pellets were ~50,000 years old.

Rancho La Brea has been associated with the image of big animals getting stuck in “tar pits,” or shallow, sticky asphalt pools, with carnivores attracted en masse by struggling herbivore prey. But these coprolites tell a new story of how fossils can be preserved at Rancho La Brea.

“The intact nature and density of the fossils require a taphonomic explanation other than entrapment. The preservation is more likely the result of an asphalt seep overtaking an existing rodent nest,” noted Karin Rice, preparator at La Brea Tar Pits.

Using a suite of cutting-edge tools, including stable isotope analysis and scanning electron microscopy, the researchers demonstrated that the fecal pellets were associated with beautifully preserved twigs, leaves, and seeds, apparently as part of an intact nest made by a woodrat. Woodrats – also known as packrats – are well-known in the paleontological community for their hoarding behavior that produces massive nests that can be preserved for thousands of years. Slices of plant material from these nests, in turn, represent snapshots of vegetation and climate conditions of the past.

“This nest provides an unparalleled view of what was beneath the feet of Rancho La Brea’s famous megafauna,” Mychajliw said. “And to me, it emphasizes the importance of studying small mammals, too.

...

https://www.heritagedaily.com/2020/03/unprecedented-preservation-of-fossil-feces-from-the-la-brea-tar-pits/126660
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #253 on: March 27, 2020, 12:37:03 PM »
New Neanderthal seafood evidence:

Neanderthals ate sharks and dolphins

Neanderthals were eating fish, mussels and seals at a site in present-day Portugal, according to a new study.

The research adds to mounting evidence that our evolutionary relatives may have relied on the sea for food just as much as ancient modern humans.

For decades, the ability to gather food from the sea and from rivers was seen as something unique to our own species.

Scientists found evidence for an intensive reliance on seafood at a Neanderthal site in southern Portugal.

Neanderthals living between 106,000 and 86,000 years ago at the cave of Figueira Brava near Setubal were eating mussels, crab, fish - including sharks, eels and sea bream - seabirds, dolphins and seals.

The research team, led by Dr João Zilhão from the University of Barcelona, Spain, found that marine food made up about 50% of the diet of the Figueira Brava Neanderthals. The other half came from terrestrial animals, such as deer, goats, horses, aurochs (ancient wild cattle) and tortoises.

continues on:
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52054653
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #254 on: March 31, 2020, 09:16:04 AM »
Thomas Becket: Alpine ice sheds light on medieval murder

Ancient air pollution, trapped in ice, reveals new details about life and death in 12th Century Britain.

In a study, scientists have found traces of lead, transported on the winds from British mines that operated in the late 1100s.

Air pollution from lead in this time period was as bad as during the industrial revolution centuries later.

The pollution also sheds light on a notorious murder of the medieval era; the killing of Thomas Becket.

...

Becket was beheaded in a brutal attack at Canterbury cathedral on 29 December 1170.

Now scientists have found physical evidence of the impact of the dispute between Henry and Becket in a 72-metre-long ice core, retrieved from the Colle Gnifetti glacier in the Swiss-Italian Alps.

In the same way that trees detail their growth in annual rings, so glaciers compact a record of the chemical composition of the air, trapped in bubbles in the yearly build-up of ice.

Analysing the 800 year-old ice using a highly sensitive laser, the scientists were able to see a huge surge in lead in the air and dust captured in the 12th century.

Atmospheric modelling showed that the element was carried by winds from the north west, across the UK, where lead mining and smelting was booming in the late 1100s.

Lead and silver are often mined together and in this period, mines in the Peak District and in Cumbria were among the most productive in Europe.

The researchers were able to match the physical records from the ice with the written tax records of lead and silver production in England.

Lead had many uses in this time, from water pipes to church roofs to stained glass windows.

But production of the metal was clearly linked to political events according to the authors of this latest research.

"In the 1169-70 period, there was a major disagreement between Henry II and Thomas Beckett and that clash manifested itself by the church refusing to work with Henry - and you actually see a fall in that production that year," said Prof Christopher Loveluck, from Nottingham University.

Excommunicated by the Pope in the wake of the murder, Henry's attempt at reconciliation is detailed in the ice core.

"To get himself out of jail with the Pope, Henry promised to endow and build a lot of major monastic institutions very, very quickly," said Prof Loveluck.

"And of course, massive amounts of lead were used for roofing of these major monastic complexes.

"Lead production rapidly expanded as Henry tried to atone for his misdemeanours against the Church."

The researchers say their data is also clear enough to show the clear connections between lead production rising and falling during times of war and between the reigns of different kings in this period between 1170 and 1220.

"The ice core shows precisely when one king died and lead production fell and then rose again with the next monarch," said Prof Loveluck.

"We can see the deaths of King Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and King John there in the ancient ice."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52095694
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #255 on: April 02, 2020, 02:43:22 AM »
Lets put it here.

Traces of ancient rainforest in Antarctica point to a warmer prehistoric world

Summary:
Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

Researchers have found evidence of rainforests near the South Pole 90 million years ago, suggesting the climate was exceptionally warm at the time.

A team from the UK and Germany discovered forest soil from the Cretaceous period within 900 km of the South Pole. Their analysis of the preserved roots, pollen and spores shows that the world at that time was a lot warmer than previously thought.

The discovery and analysis were carried out by an international team of researchers led by geoscientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany and including Imperial College London researchers. Their findings are published today in Nature.

Co-author Professor Tina van de Flierdt, from the Department of Earth Science & Engineering at Imperial, said: "The preservation of this 90-million-year-old forest is exceptional, but even more surprising is the world it reveals. Even during months of darkness, swampy temperate rainforests were able to grow close to the South Pole, revealing an even warmer climate than we expected."

The work also suggests that the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere were higher than expected during the mid-Cretaceous period, 115-80 million years ago, challenging climate models of the period.

The mid-Cretaceous was the heyday of the dinosaurs but was also the warmest period in the past 140 million years, with temperatures in the tropics as high as 35 degrees Celsius and sea level 170 metres higher than today.

....

The presence of the forest suggests average temperatures were around 12 degrees Celsius and that there was unlikely to be an ice cap at the South Pole at the time.

....

Johann Klages, from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, said: "Before our study, the general assumption was that the global carbon dioxide concentration in the Cretaceous was roughly 1000 ppm. But in our model-based experiments, it took concentration levels of 1120 to 1680 ppm to reach the average temperatures back then in the Antarctic."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200401130825.htm
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #256 on: April 04, 2020, 09:39:57 PM »
Oldest ever human genetic evidence clarifies dispute over our ancestors

Summary:
Genetic information from an 800,000-year-old human fossil has been retrieved for the first time. The results shed light on one of the branching points in the human family tree, reaching much further back in time than previously possible.

...

"Ancient protein analysis provides evidence for a close relationship between Homo antecessor, us (Homo sapiens), Neanderthals, and Denisovans. Our results support the idea that Homo antecessor was a sister group to the group containing Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, and Denisovans," says Frido Welker, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen, and first author on the paper.

...

"Much of what we know so far is based either on the results of ancient DNA analysis, or on observations of the shape and the physical structure of fossils. Because of the chemical degradation of DNA over time, the oldest human DNA retrieved so far is dated at no more than approximately 400,000 years," says Enrico Cappellini, Associate Professor at the Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen, and leading author on the paper.

"Now, the analysis of ancient proteins with mass spectrometry, an approach commonly known as palaeoproteomics, allow us to overcome these limits," he adds.

...

"I am happy that the protein study provides evidence that the Homo antecessor species may be closely related to the last common ancestor of Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, and Denisovans. The features shared by Homo antecessor with these hominins clearly appeared much earlier than previously thought. Homo antecessor would therefore be a basal species of the emerging humanity formed by Neanderthals, Denisovans, and modern humans," adds José María Bermúdez de Castro, Scientific Co-director of the excavations in Atapuerca and co-corresponding author on the paper.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200401111657.htm

The dental proteome of Homo antecessor (PW)
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2153-8
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #257 on: April 08, 2020, 08:04:56 PM »
Earliest humans in the Amazon created thousands of 'forest islands' as they tamed wild plants

The earliest human inhabitants of the Amazon created thousands of artificial forest islands as they tamed wild plants to grow food, a new study shows.

The discovery of the mounds is the latest evidence to show the extensive impact people had on the area. From their arrival 10,000 years ago they transformed the landscape when they began cultivating manioc and squash.

This led to the creation of 4,700 of the forest islands in what is now Llanos de Moxos in northern Bolivia, the team has found. This savannah area floods from December to March and is extremely dry from July to October, but the mounds remain above the water level during the rainy season allowing trees to grow on them. The mounds promoted landscape diversity, and show that small-scale communities began to shape the Amazon 8,000 years earlier than previously thought.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-04/uoe-ehi040620.php
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #258 on: April 13, 2020, 09:29:46 PM »
40,000 year old evidence that Neanderthals wove string

...

An international team, including researchers from the CNRS, have discovered the first evidence of cord making, dating back more than 40,000 years (1), on a flint fragment from the prehistoric site of Abri du Maras in the south of France (2). Microscopic analysis showed that these remains had been intertwined, proof of their modification by humans. Photographs revealed three bundles of twisted fibres, plied together to create one cord. In addition, spectroscopic analysis revealed that these strands were made of cellulose, probably from coniferous trees.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200409110533.htm
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #259 on: April 16, 2020, 06:41:15 PM »
Retreat of Norwegian Ice Patch Reveals Lost Viking-Era Artifacts In Mountain Pass
https://phys.org/news/2020-04-retreat-norwegian-ice-patch-reveals.html

A team of researchers from the Innlandet County Council and NTNU University Museum in Norway and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has found a large quantity of Viking-era artifacts in a long-lost mountain pass in Southern Norway. In their paper published in the journal Antiquity, the group describes the location of the pass, explains why it is suddenly revealing artifacts, and outlines what has been found thus far.

The pass was found back in 2011 on Lomseggen Ridge near a receding patch at Lendbreen glacier. Prior research suggested the reason the artifacts were emerging was because the glacier has been shrinking due to global warming. The team canvased the area over the years 2011 to 2015.

The search resulted in the discovery of a host of artifacts, 60 of which have been dated to between the years 300 AD to 1000. Analysis of the artifacts suggested there were two kinds of travelers through the pass—locals and long-distance trekkers. The researchers suggest locals used the pass to travel between summer and winter homes. Some of the artifacts also suggested that the pass was used mostly during the times when it was covered with snow—the very rocky terrain would have made walking or riding horses difficult. Snow would have smoothed the trail, making traversal less difficult.

The researchers found items such as tunics and mittens, along with horse fittings such as shoes and bits. They also found remnants of sleds, and in one case, the remains of a dog with a collar and leash. Thus far, no human remains have been found in the area and such findings appear unlikely due to the short distance of the pass—it is just 700 meters long.

The researchers also found multiple cairns along the pass—rocks piled in such a way as to provide a guidepost, helping travelers navigate the easiest path through. They even found a small shelter, likely for travelers who found themselves in the midst of a sudden snowstorm.



The researchers suggest the pass fell into disuse as economic conditions changed amid colder winters in the 14th century, and then as the bubonic plague led to restricted travel.

http://dx.doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2020.2
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #260 on: April 19, 2020, 01:02:26 PM »
Arkaim is an archaeological site on the steppe of the Southern Ural near the village of Amursky in Russia.
Arkaim consists of a fortified settlement from the Middle Bronze Age, constructed around 3.8-4000 years ago. Arkaim was a circular stronghold that housed 1,500 to 2,500 inhabitants with concentric bastions, constructed using adobe, a building material made from earth and organic materials.

...

Arkaim is attributed to the early “hypothetical” Proto-Indo-Iranians who are assumed to have lived in the late 3rd millennium BC, and are often connected with the Sintashta culture of the Eurasian Steppe and the early Andronovo archaeological horizon.

...

More than twenty other structures built according to similar patterns have been found in a larger area spanning from the southern Urals’ region to the north of Kazakhstan, forming the so-called “Land of Towns”.

https://www.heritagedaily.com/2020/04/arkaim/127669
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karl dubhe2

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #261 on: April 20, 2020, 12:20:44 AM »
Oldest ever human genetic evidence clarifies dispute over our ancestors

Summary:
Genetic information from an 800,000-year-old human fossil has been retrieved for the first time. The results shed light on one of the branching points in the human family tree, reaching much further back in time than previously possible.

...

"Ancient protein analysis provides evidence for a close relationship between Homo antecessor, us (Homo sapiens), Neanderthals, and Denisovans. Our results support the idea that Homo https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200401111657.htm

The dental proteome of Homo antecessor (PW)
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2153-8

Not the oldest DNA, it's a study that talks about the proteins found on ancient teeth.   Sorry, but this story is just bad reporting according to Aron Ra, anyhow.



kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #262 on: April 20, 2020, 04:35:33 PM »
Nothing in post #256 states it is the oldest DNA.

Who is this guy anyway?
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Mozi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #263 on: April 20, 2020, 05:00:12 PM »
Thanks for posting these articles, I find them very interesting! :)

karl dubhe2

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #264 on: April 21, 2020, 03:01:29 PM »
Nothing in post #256 states it is the oldest DNA.

Who is this guy anyway?

That's a vid by Aron Ra, he's one of the youtubers who's been posting sciency videos.  Did an excellent series on creationism and evolution.    I saw him refer to the story a few days ago, in other versions of the story the dna was stressed as being the oldest ever; 800 k years.   But that wasn't quite right.   

My bad.   I didn't read your story's source, just presumed it was one of the erroneous ones.

Pmt111500

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #265 on: April 21, 2020, 04:45:32 PM »
Nothing in post #256 states it is the oldest DNA.

Who is this guy anyway?

So many ways to get a DNA sequence from a protein doesn't sound too believable,  on the other hand it is Nature, so maybe they've used only the conserved nucleid acids in their analysis, which is the minimum requirement for claiming something of translating the proteome back to DNA.

SteveMDFP

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #266 on: April 21, 2020, 11:20:24 PM »
Nothing in post #256 states it is the oldest DNA.

Who is this guy anyway?

So many ways to get a DNA sequence from a protein doesn't sound too believable,  on the other hand it is Nature, so maybe they've used only the conserved nucleid acids in their analysis, which is the minimum requirement for claiming something of translating the proteome back to DNA.

The issue is that a protein is not genetic material.  While a specific sequence of DNA does code for a specific sequence of amino acids, it's not possible to reverse this.  Multiple codons can determine a single amino acid.  See:

The Universal Genetic Code and Non-Canonical Variants
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/genetic-code

"Thus 61 codons are available for 20 amino acids, and hence the genetic code is degenerate. In the case of leucine, serine, and arginine, there are as many as six codons, whereas methionine and tryptophan have only one codon."

Pmt111500

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #267 on: April 23, 2020, 06:51:32 AM »
Nothing in post #256 states it is the oldest DNA.

Who is this guy anyway?

So many ways to get a DNA sequence from a protein doesn't sound too believable,  on the other hand it is Nature, so maybe they've used only the conserved nucleid acids in their analysis, which is the minimum requirement for claiming something of translating the proteome back to DNA.

The issue is that a protein is not genetic material.  While a specific sequence of DNA does code for a specific sequence of amino acids, it's not possible to reverse this.  Multiple codons can determine a single amino acid.  See:

The Universal Genetic Code and Non-Canonical Variants
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/genetic-code

"Thus 61 codons are available for 20 amino acids, and hence the genetic code is degenerate. In the case of leucine, serine, and arginine, there are as many as six codons, whereas methionine and tryptophan have only one codon."

If you get familiar with that you'll notice the first two nucleid acids in a codon stay much the same with the respective amino acids.

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #268 on: May 11, 2020, 11:20:40 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/may/11/humans-and-neanderthals-co-existed-in-europe-far-longer-than-thought


Humans and Neanderthals 'co-existed in Europe for far longer than thought'


Cave objects suggest modern humans and Neanderthals shared continent for several thousand years

Quote
Modern humans were present in Europe at least 46,000 years ago, according to new research on objects found in Bulgaria, meaning they overlapped with Neanderthals for far longer than previously thought.

Researchers say remains and tools found at a cave called Bacho Kiro reveal that modern humans and Neanderthals were present at the same time in Europe for several thousand years, giving them ample time for biological and cultural interaction...
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #269 on: May 13, 2020, 08:47:19 AM »
Geometry Guided Construction of Earliest Known Temple, Built 6,000 Years Before Stonehenge
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-geometry-earliest-temple-built-years.html

The sprawling 11,500-year-old stone Göbekli Tepe complex in southeastern Anatolia, Turkey, is the earliest known temple in human history and one of the most important discoveries of Neolithic research

Researchers at Tel Aviv University and the Israel Antiquities Authority have now used architectural analysis to discover that geometry informed the layout of Göbekli Tepe's impressive round stone structures and enormous assembly of limestone pillars, which they say were initially planned as a single structure.

Three of the Göbekli Tepe's monumental round structures, the largest of which are 20 meters in diameter, were initially planned as a single project, according to researchers Gil Haklay of the Israel Antiquities Authority, a Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University, and Prof. Avi Gopher of TAU's Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations. They used a computer algorithm to trace aspects of the architectural design processes involved in the construction of these enclosures in this early Neolithic site.

... Certain planning capabilities and practices, such as the use of geometry and the formulation of floor plans, were traditionally assumed to have emerged much later than the period during which the Göbekli Tepe was constructed—after hunter-gatherers transformed into food-producing farmers some 10,500 years ago. Notably, one of the characteristics of early farmers is their use of rectangular architecture.

... "Our new research indicates that the methods of architectural planning, abstract design rules and organizational patterns were already being used during this formative period in human history."

Their findings were published in Cambridge Archaeological Journal in May.


Geometric pattern underlying the architectural planning of a complex at Göbekli Tepe. A diagram superimposed over the schematic plan

Gil Haklay et al, Geometry and Architectural Planning at Göbekli Tepe, Turkey, Cambridge Archaeological Journal (2020)
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal/article/geometry-and-architectural-planning-at-gobekli-tepe-turkey/2CBAF416E33AFE6496B73710A2F42FF9
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #270 on: May 16, 2020, 03:13:11 AM »
 ;D
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #271 on: May 27, 2020, 10:58:17 AM »
Dinosaur-Dooming Asteroid Struck Earth at 'Deadliest Possible' Angle
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-dinosaur-dooming-asteroid-struck-earth-deadliest.html



... Drawn from a combination of 3-D numerical impact simulations and geophysical data from the site of the impact, the new models are the first ever fully 3-D simulations to reproduce the whole event—from the initial impact to the moment the final crater, now known as Chicxulub, was formed.

"Our simulations provide compelling evidence that the asteroid struck at a steep angle, perhaps 60 degrees above the horizon, and approached its target from the north-east. We know that this was among the worst-case scenarios for the lethality on impact, because it put more hazardous debris into the upper atmosphere and scattered it everywhere—the very thing that led to a nuclear winter."

The results are published today in Nature Communications.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15269-x
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #272 on: May 27, 2020, 05:25:37 PM »
Yes that is one really bad hit (good for us though).

Worst possible impact angle and worst possible type of rock to hit too.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #273 on: May 28, 2020, 11:01:03 AM »
It was also the worst possible place to hit. The composition of the bedrock made the ejection material especially harmful.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #274 on: May 29, 2020, 10:56:30 AM »
New Research Reveals Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Biblical Arad
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-reveals-cannabis-frankincense-judahite-shrine.html

Analysis of the material on two Iron Age altars discovered at the entrance to the "holy of holies" of a shrine at Tel Arad in the Beer-sheba Valley, Israel, were found to contain Cannabis and Frankincense, according to new article in the journal, Tel Aviv.

Past excavations revealed two superimposed fortresses, dated to the 9th to early 6th centuries BCE, which guarded the southern border of biblical Judah. Highly important Iron Age finds were unearthed, including a well-preserved shrine that was dated to ca. 750-715 BCE.

Two limestone altars (the smaller altar is 40 cm high and about 20 × 20 cm at the top; the larger is about 50 cm high and 30 × 30 cm at the top) were found lying at the entrance to the "holy of holies" of the shrine.

Evidently, they had played an important role in the cult practices of the shrine. An unidentified black solidified organic material was preserved on the altars' surfaces. Past analysis of these materials failed to identify their content and this dark material was recently submitted to organic residue analysis by modern methods.

The study reveals that on the smaller altar cannabis had been mixed with animal dung to facilitate heating, while the larger altar contained traces of frankincense that was mixed with animal fat to promote evaporation.

These unique findings shed new light on cult practices in biblical Judah, suggesting cannabis was used here as a deliberate psychoactive, to stimulate ecstasy as part of cultic ceremonies.

Lead author Eran Arie from The Israel Museum in Jerusalem commented, "This is the first time that cannabis has been identified in the Ancient Near East; Its use in the shrine must have played a central role in the cultic rituals performed there."



Eran Arie et al, Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad, Tel Aviv (2020).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03344355.2020.1732046
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #275 on: May 29, 2020, 12:14:07 PM »
Dozens of Prehistoric, Roman and Medieval Sites Discovered by Archaeology Volunteers Working at Home During Lockdown
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-dozens-prehistoric-roman-medieval-sites.html


A probable Iron Age or Roman enclosed settlement (red arrows) and associated field system (blue arrows) revealed by LiDAR data but hidden today beneath woodland

Digging may be on hold due to the pandemic, but the team have found parts of two Roman roads, around 30 prehistoric or Roman large embanked settlement enclosures, around 20 prehistoric burial mounds, as well as the remains of hundreds of medieval farms, field systems and quarries. Those leading the project believe they will make many more discoveries in the coming weeks.

The team, led by Dr. Chris Smart from the University of Exeter and working as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Understanding Landscapes project, are analysing images derived from LiDAR, or light detection and ranging, data. This laser technology is used during aerial surveys to produce highly detailed topographical maps. Modern vegetation and buildings can be removed, allowing archaeologists to look at the shape of the land surface to find the remains of archaeological earthworks. The data, obtained from the Tellus South West project and the Environment Agency, is being systematically examined and cross-referenced with records of known archaeology and historic maps, meaning the total of new discoveries regularly changes.

When the worst of the pandemic is over the team intend to undertake geophysical surveys at a number of the newly identified sites as part of the Understanding Landscapes project.

http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/archaeology/research/projects/understandinglandscapes/

----------------------------------

Italy Unearths Roman Mosaic After Century-Long Hunt
https://phys.org/news/2020-05-italy-unearths-roman-mosaic-century-long.html



Archaeologists have discovered an exquisitely preserved Roman mosaic under a vineyard in northern Italy after a century of searching, the local mayor said on Thursday.

The brightly coloured geometric design, partly unearthed outside Negrar di Valpolicella near Verona, is thought to have been part of a villa archaeologists first started looking for in 1922.

"When I saw the mosaic it was very impressive because of the quality, the well-preserved colours, the preservation of the mosaic itself," mayor Roberto Grison told AFP.

Locals have known for years there were Roman artefacts in their part of the famous wine region, a survey and some initial digging a century ago hinted at what lay beneath—and the area of the discovery is called Villa, said Grison.

But until now there had not been any big finds. ...
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #276 on: June 06, 2020, 06:01:01 PM »
Archaeologists Discover the Largest, Oldest Maya Monument Yet

The structure, believed to have served as a ceremonial center 3,000 years ago, was discovered in Tabasco, Mexico.

...

we’re only starting to appreciate how extensive Maya civilization was and how drastically Maya farmers and engineers reworked the Mesoamerican landscape. Over the past few years, lidar surveys have revealed an ancient landscape previously hidden beneath vegetation and features that are too large-scale to recognize from the ground. Aguada Fenix, a newly discovered monument site, is the latter.

“A horizontal construction on this scale is difficult to recognize from the ground level,” wrote University of Arizona archaeologist Takeshi Inomata and his colleagues. The earthen platform is 1.4 kilometers (0.87 miles) long and 10 to 15 meters (33 to 49 feet) tall, with raised earthen causeways connecting it to groups of smaller platforms nearby. Based on excavations at the site, it served as a ceremonial center for the Maya.

"This area is developed—it’s not the jungle, Inomata said. "People live there, but this site was not known because it is so flat and huge. It just looks like a natural landscape. But with lidar, it pops up as a very well-planned shape.”

...

It’s also much older than any other Maya monument, old enough to suggest that the Maya started working together on huge construction projects much earlier than modern archaeologists had suspected. According to radiocarbon dates of charcoal fragments mixed in with the layers of dirt that make up the platform, people started building Aguada Fenix by around 1000 BCE (although Inomata and his colleagues can’t rule out the idea that construction started even earlier).

That came as a surprise, because most of the evidence up to this point seemed to say that around 1000 BCE, people in the Maya Lowlands were just beginning to settle in small villages, where they relied much more heavily on the maize their ancestors had domesticated thousands of years earlier. They also started using pottery. The whole process looked a lot like what archaeologists who study other parts of the world call the Neolithic Revolution—except that the Maya had been farming maize for millennia before they decided to settle down and make a whole lifestyle of it.

As far as we had determined, it took another few centuries, until around 350 BCE, for those early Maya villages to coalesce into the large city-states of the Classic Period. These were political, economic, and ceremonial centers that dominated the surrounding farmland and smaller communities, ruled by elite classes and boasting tall pyramids. Before that, nobody had gotten around to organizing enough labor and resources to start building monuments in the Maya Lowlands—or so we thought.

Aguada Fenix tells a different story. People had been living at the site for some time before construction started; Inomata and his colleagues found pottery, bones, and shells on the rise of bedrock beneath the earthen platform itself, dating to between 1250 and 1050 BCE. By around 1000 BCE, they had started the first phase of building.


and much more:

https://www.wired.com/story/archaeologists-discover-the-largest-oldest-maya-monument-yet/

The mismatch in dating probably comes from them using building only with materials that are not preserved.

This makes quite a big difference. When i visited Delphi they had a reproduction of the ruins from the temples with also the town next to it. The normal houses were not made of stone so you can see nothing of them. Now if you only build huge earthen mounds you will fly under the radar for a  while but luckily we have Lidar now.  :)
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #277 on: June 09, 2020, 02:50:09 AM »
Ground-Penetrating Radar Reveals Entire Ancient Roman City
https://gizmodo.com/ground-penetrating-radar-reveals-entire-ancient-roman-c-1843955472

For the first time ever, archaeologists have used ground-penetrating radar to map an entire city while it’s still beneath the ground.



The researchers were able to document the locations of buildings, monuments, passageways, and even water pipes—all without having to pick up a single hand trowel. In addition to documenting these previously unknown architectural features, the scientists were able to chronicle changes to the city over time and discern unique elements not seen elsewhere in ancient Rome. The new research was published today in the scientific journal Antiquity.


A map of Falerii Novi, created with data from ground-penetrating radar.

Equipped with their radar scans, the archaeologists documented a bath complex, a market, a pair of temples along the periphery, an outdoor theatre, atrium homes, and a shopping area. They also discovered a large public monument consisting of two structures facing each other in a configuration not seen elsewhere in ancient Rome.



“Part of the importance is that our survey is showing us an ordinary Roman town in Italy, not a special town—but it is extremely impressive to see this level of architectural detail across the whole site,” said Millett.
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #278 on: June 13, 2020, 08:45:57 PM »
Discovery of oldest bow and arrow technology in Eurasia

New archaeological research demonstrates earliest projectile technology in the tropical rainforests of Sri Lanka

...

The origins of human innovation have traditionally been sought in the grasslands and coasts of Africa or the temperate environments of Europe. More extreme environments, such as the tropical rainforests of Asia, have been largely overlooked, despite their deep history of human occupation. A new study provides the earliest evidence for bow-and-arrow use, and perhaps the making of clothes, outside of Africa ~48-45,000 years ago -in the tropics of Sri Lanka.

The island of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, just south of the Indian subcontinent, is home to the earliest fossils of our species, Homo sapiens, in South Asia. It also preserves clear evidence for human occupation and the use of tropical rainforest environments outside of Africa from ~48,000 to 3,000 years ago -- refuting the idea that these supposedly resource-poor environments acted as barriers for migrating Pleistocene humans. The question as to exactly how humans obtained rainforest resources -- including fast-moving food sources like monkeys and squirrels -- remains unresolved.

...

evidence for the earliest use of bow-and-arrow technologies by humans anywhere outside of Africa. At ~48,000 years old, these tools are earlier than the first similar technology found in Europe. Clear evidence for use on the preserved bone arrowheads shows that they were likely used for hunting difficult-to-catch rainforest prey. Not only that, but the scientists show that other bone tools may have been used for making nets or clothing in tropical settings, dramatically altering traditional assumptions about how certain human innovations were linked with specific environmental requirements.

...

European cultural products in the form of cave art, amazingly detailed bone carvings, bone tool technologies, and tailored clothing have been frequently held up as the pinnacle of Late Pleistocene human cultural development. There, symbolic and technological innovations have been seen as key survival mechanisms equipping expanding populations to face cold northern climates. Meanwhile, discoveries of older bow-and-arrow technology and artistic or symbolic behaviors in open grassland or coastal settings in Africa have framed 'savannah' and marine environments, respectively, as key drivers behind early hunting and cultural experiments by Pleistocene humans in their evolutionary homeland.

...

Michelle Langley of Griffith University, the lead author of the new study, is an expert in the study of microscopic traces of tool use and the creation of symbolic material culture in Pleistocene contexts. Applying cutting edge methods to the Fa-Hien Lena material confirmed the researchers' hypothesis. As Langley states, "the fractures on the points indicate damage through high-powered impact -- something usually seen in the use of bow-and-arrow hunting of animals. This evidence is earlier than similar findings in Southeast Asia 32,000 years ago and is currently the earliest clear evidence for bow-and-arrow use beyond the African continent."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200612172238.htm
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #279 on: June 14, 2020, 10:05:18 AM »
Mixture and migration brought food production to sub-Saharan Africa

https://phys.org/news/2020-06-mixture-migration-brought-food-production.html
  by Max Planck Society


  A Complex Mosaic of Interactions

While the spread of food production led to the gradual replacement of local foragers in most parts of the world, foraging lifeways have persisted in several regions of contemporary Africa among populations such as the San in the south, the Hazda in the east and the Mbuti of the central African rainforest. However, the present study shows that, thousands of years ago, the ancestors of these groups once formed an overlapping genetic cline that stretched across much of eastern and southern Africa.

"We are still at a point where we learn a lot from every individual," Steven Goldstein adds, "the interactions between hunter-gatherers, pastoralists, and farmers were more complex even into recent centuries than we previously understood."



To better understand these interactions and their impact on subsistence strategies, the researchers focused their investigations on key groups and regions previously identified as significant contributors to changes in food production: eastern and southern forager groups, eastern African Pastoral Neolithic and Iron Age groups, and Iron Age groups related to present-day Bantu speakers.

  Mixture and migration during the Pastoral Neolithic

Genomic analysis of the six individuals here reported from Kenya's Pastoral Neolithic period (between 4,500 and 1,200 years ago) revealed greater ancestral complexity than previously reported individuals from the same region, supporting previous studies that have proposed early herders migrated south along multiple simultaneous but geographically distinct routes.



"In such a scenario," Dr. Emmanuel Ndiema of the National Museums of Kenya explains, "a single base population in northern Africa may have branched into many as some herding groups moved along the Nile corridor, some through southern Ethiopia, and possibly some through eastern Uganda."

Along the way, migrating pastoralists would have encountered different populations and formed varying inter-community relationships, ultimately resulting in varying integration of diverse ancestries. This model may explain why archeologists observe stark differences in material culture, settlement strategies and burial traditions between Pastoral Neolithic populations whose ancestries are in fact closely related.

  The Iron Age and the Bantu Expansion

Some of the most exciting findings come from the site of Kakapel Rockshelter in western Kenya, where the National Museums of Kenya and the MPI-SHH have teamed up to investigate early farming in the region.

Genomic analysis revealed that the 900-year-old individual had close affinity with Dinka populations, but also showed influence from West-Eurasian or North-African groups, suggesting that the population that this individual represents formed between Pastoral Neolithic-related herders and incoming Nilotic (Nile Valley) agropastoralists—not from a major migration of groups with western African ancestries.

Similar evidence is detected from Botswana, where analysis detected the first archaeogenetic support for the hypotheses that herders from eastern Africa spread to southern Africa before the arrival of Bantu-speaking farmers. Despite raising questions about the uniformity of the Bantu Expansion, the current study documents the arrival of people with Bantu-related ancestry in Botswana during the first millennium CE and their subsequent admixture with eastern African pastoralist and southern African forager populations.

"We identified Bantu-related ancestry in Uganda, western Congo, Tanzania and Kenya, which is consistent with the well-documented genetic homogenization caused by the Bantu expansion," says Stephan Schiffels of the MPI-SHH, "but we also see highly variable patterns of Bantu admixture with regional forager and pastoralist populations in southern Africa."

"While supraregional studies can help reveal population interactions on a continental scale," says Schiffels, "we want to emphasize the importance of regionally focused studies to better understand local patterns of cultural and population changes in the future."
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #280 on: June 18, 2020, 03:47:36 AM »
First-Degree Incest: Ancient Genomes Uncover Irish Passage Tomb for Dynastic Elite
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-first-degree-incest-ancient-genomes-uncover.html

Archeologists and geneticists, led by those from Trinity College Dublin, have shed new light on the earliest periods of Ireland's human history.

Among their incredible findings is the discovery that the genome of an adult male buried in the heart of the Newgrange passage tomb points to first-degree incest, implying he was among a ruling social elite akin to the similarly inbred Inca god-kings and Egyptian pharaohs.



Older than the pyramids, Newgrange passage tomb in Ireland is world famous for its annual solar alignment where the winter solstice sunrise illuminates its sacred inner chamber in a golden blast of light. However, little is known about who was interred in the heart of this imposing 200,000 ton monument or of the Neolithic society which built it over 5,000 years ago.

"I'd never seen anything like it," said Dr. Lara Cassidy, Trinity, first author of the paper. "We all inherit two copies of the genome, one from our mother and one from our father; well, this individual's copies were extremely similar, a tell-tale sign of close inbreeding. In fact, our analyzes allowed us to confirm that his parents were first-degree relatives."

Matings of this type (e.g. brother-sister unions) are a near universal taboo for entwined cultural and biological reasons. The only confirmed social acceptances of first-degree incest are found among the elites—typically within a deified royal family. By breaking the rules, the elite separates itself from the general population, intensifying hierarchy and legitimizing power. Public ritual and extravagant monumental architecture often co-occur with dynastic incest, to achieve the same ends.

... Remarkably, a local myth resonates with these results and the Newgrange solar phenomenon. First recorded in the 11th century AD, four millennia after construction, the story tells of a builder-king who restarted the daily solar cycle by sleeping with his sister. The Middle Irish place name for the neighboring Dowth passage tomb, Fertae Chuile, is based on this lore and can be translated as 'Hill of Sin'.

A dynastic elite in monumental Neolithic society, Nature (2020)
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2378-6

(... sounds like Cersei and Jaime Lannister getting it on. See Game of Thrones)
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nanning

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #281 on: June 18, 2020, 06:42:55 AM »
^^ I observe again that supremacy (over other humans in this case because of hierarchy) -> insanity (inbreeding, deified, monuments/obscene constructions)-> destruction

This is from the same brain process as with the much earlier start of supremacy over living nature of which humans should be an integral part -> insanity (conquering, violence, higher technology, hierarchy, civilisation) -> destruction
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #282 on: June 22, 2020, 12:37:16 PM »
Vast Neolithic Circle of Deep Shafts Found Near Stonehenge
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jun/22/vast-neolithic-circle-of-deep-shafts-found-near-stonehenge

A circle of deep shafts has been discovered near the world heritage site of Stonehenge, to the astonishment of archaeologists, who have described it as the largest prehistoric structure ever found in Britain.

Four thousand five hundred years ago, the Neolithic peoples who constructed Stonehenge, a masterpiece of engineering, also dug a series of shafts aligned to form a circle spanning 1.2 miles (2km) in diameter. The structure appears to have been a boundary guiding people to a sacred area because Durrington Walls, one of Britain’s largest henge monuments, is located precisely at its centre. The site is 1.9 miles north-east of Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, near Amesbury, Wiltshire.



Prof Vincent Gaffney, a leading archaeologist on the project, said: “This is an unprecedented find of major significance within the UK. Key researchers on Stonehenge and its landscape have been taken aback by the scale of the structure and the fact that it hadn’t been discovered until now so close to Stonehenge.”

He added: “I can’t emphasise enough the effort that would have gone in to digging such large shafts with tools of stone, wood and bone.”

The Durrington Shafts discovery, announced on Monday, is all the more extraordinary because it offers the first evidence that the early inhabitants of Britain, mainly farming communities, had developed a way to count. Constructing something of this size with such careful positioning of its features could only have been done by tracking hundreds of paces.

The shafts are vast, each more than 5 metres deep and 10 metres in diameter. Approximately 20 have been found and there may have been more than 30. About 40% of the circle is no longer available for study as a consequence of modern development.

... As the area around Stonehenge is among the world’s most-studied archaeological landscapes, the discovery is all the more unexpected. Having filled naturally over millennia, the shafts – although enormous – had been dismissed as natural sinkholes and dew ponds. The latest technology – including geophysical prospection, ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry – showed them as geophysical anomalies and revealed their true significance.

Gaffney said: “We are starting to see things we could never see through standard archaeology, things we could not imagine.”



Gaffney, V. et al. A Massive, Late Neolithic Pit Structure associated with Durrington Walls Henge, Internet Archaeology 55 (2020)
https://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue55/4/
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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greylib

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #283 on: June 23, 2020, 03:36:41 AM »
Fascinating.

I grew up near Stonehenge, before it became infested with tourists. At ten years old, I could walk the mile or so to the Stones, and sit there surrounded by silence. Nobody around at all, all the way to the far-distant horizon. Wonderful!

It looks as if they placed the holes by starting at Durrington Walls and walking in a straight line, counting their paces. That would explain why the shape deviates from a perfect circle to the south. The land's flatter; their paces would have been longer; they'd have covered more distance. Quite an impressive piece of counting – maybe they weren't as backward as people think.

Why did they do it? Digging one hole would have meant raising around a thousand tons of chalk (heavier if they were digging clay). They don't seem to have just taken it out of the hole and dumped it – no sign of raised edges. How many barrowloads would that be? (Plus, they didn't have wheelbarrows!) And they didn't just dig one hole. At least forty, the experts say. I'd like it to be 56, to match the number of Aubrey holes circling Stonehenge:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_holes

Some sort of religious thing? That's the easy, obvious answer, so I'm going to reject it. My theory is that they're there for economic and political reasons. The local bosses had gathered a massive workforce to build Stonehenge. Now it was done, so what do you do with the people? You can't just pay them off and tell them to go away. Left to themselves, they'd start some sort of trouble – maybe even a revolution. So give them some make-work. Armies all over the world have been doing it for a long time: dig holes, fill them in, dig them again... maybe the idea's older than anyone thought!
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wili

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #284 on: June 23, 2020, 04:30:12 AM »
Good point about how pacing would actually account for the irregularity. I had thought that maybe they constructed a very, very long rope to get an exact circle. Rope technology is quite old, as I recall. But your account does make good sense.

I used to live near some fairly impressive mounds in Macon, Georgia, US. There were also pits dug around these, but in more irregular patterns, I think, and not as far away.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #285 on: June 23, 2020, 08:19:31 AM »
Eruption of Alaska's Okmok Volcano Linked to Period of Extreme Cold In Ancient Rome
https://phys.org/news/2020-06-eruption-alaska-okmok-volcano-linked.html

An international team of scientists and historians has found evidence connecting an unexplained period of extreme cold in ancient Rome with an unlikely source: a massive eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano, located on the opposite side of the Earth.


Alaska's Umnak Island in the Aleutians showing the huge, 10-km wide caldera (upper right) largely created by the 43 BCE Okmok II eruption at the dawn of the Roman Empire.

Around the time of Julius Caesar's death in 44 BCE, written sources describe a period of unusually cold climate, crop failures, famine, disease, and unrest in the Mediterranean Region -impacts that ultimately contributed to the downfall of the Roman Republic and Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Historians have long suspected a volcano to be the cause, but have been unable to pinpoint where or when such an eruption had occurred, or how severe it was.

In a new study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), a research team led by Joe McConnell, Ph.D. of the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nev. uses an analysis of tephra (volcanic ash) found in Arctic ice cores to link the period of unexplained extreme climate in the Mediterranean with the caldera-forming eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano in 43 BCE.

The discovery was initially made last year in DRI's Ice Core Laboratory, when McConnell and Swiss researcher Michael Sigl, Ph.D. from the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern happened upon an unusually well preserved layer of tephra in an ice core sample and decided to investigate.

https://www.dri.edu/labs/trace-chemistry-laboratory/

New measurements were made on ice cores from Greenland and Russia, some of which were drilled in the 1990s and archived in the U.S., Denmark, and Germany. Using these and earlier measurements, they were able to clearly delineate two distinct eruptions—a powerful but short-lived, relatively localized event in early 45 BCE, and a much larger and more widespread event in early 43 BCE with volcanic fallout that lasted more than two years in all the ice core records.

The researchers then conducted a geochemical analysis of the tephra samples from the second eruption found in the ice, matching the tiny shards with those of the Okmok II eruption in Alaska—one of the largest eruptions of the past 2,500 years.



"The tephra match doesn't get any better," said tephra specialist Gill Plunkett, Ph.D. from Queen's University Belfast. "We compared the chemical fingerprint of the tephra found in the ice with tephra from volcanoes thought to have erupted about that time and it was very clear that the source of the 43 BCE fallout in the ice was the Okmok II eruption."

Working with colleagues from the U.K., Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Alaska, and Yale University in Connecticut, the team of historians and scientists gathered supporting evidence from around the globe, including tree-ring-based climate records from Scandinavia, Austria and California's White Mountains, and climate records from a speleothem (cave formations) from Shihua Cave in northeast China. They then used Earth system modeling to develop a more complete understanding of the timing and magnitude of volcanism during this period and its effects on climate and history.



According to their findings, the two years following the Okmok II eruption were some of the coldest in the Northern Hemisphere in the past 2,500 years, and the decade that followed was the fourth coldest. Climate models suggest that seasonally averaged temperatures may have been as much as 7oC (13oF) below normal during the summer and autumn that followed the 43 BCE eruption of Okmok, with summer precipitation of 50 to 120 percent above normal throughout Southern Europe, and autumn precipitation reaching as high as 400 percent of normal.

"In the Mediterranean region, these wet and extremely cold conditions during the agriculturally important spring through autumn seasons probably reduced crop yields and compounded supply problems during the ongoing political upheavals of the period," said classical archaeologist Andrew Wilson, D.Phil. of the University of Oxford. "These findings lend credibility to reports of cold, famine, food shortage and disease described by ancient sources."

"Particularly striking was the severity of the Nile flood failure at the time of the Okmok eruption, and the famine and disease that was reported in Egyptian sources," added Yale University historian Joe Manning, Ph.D. "The climate effects were a severe shock to an already stressed society at a pivotal moment in history."

Volcanic activity also helps to explain certain unusual atmospheric phenomena that were described by ancient Mediterranean sources around the time of Caesar's assassination and interpreted as signs or omens—things like solar halos, the sun darkening in the sky, or three suns appearing in the sky (a phenomenon now known as a parahelia, or 'sun dog'). However, many of these observations took place prior to the eruption of Okmok II in 43 BCE, and are likely related to a smaller eruption of Mt. Etna in 44 BCE.


parahelia "sun dogs"

Although the study authors acknowledge that many different factors contributed to the fall of the Roman Republic and Ptolemaic Kingdom, they believe that the climate effects of the Okmok II eruption played an undeniably large role—and that their discovery helps to fill a knowledge gap about this period of history that has long puzzled archaeologists and ancient historians.



Joseph R. McConnell el al., "Extreme climate after massive eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano in 43 BCE and effects on the late Roman Republic and Ptolemaic Kingdom," PNAS (2020).
https://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.2002722117
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 08:36:31 AM by vox_mundi »
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oren

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #286 on: June 23, 2020, 01:27:35 PM »
Thanks for posting the updates in this thread.  The last few articles were extremely interesting.

johnm33

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #287 on: June 23, 2020, 09:59:42 PM »
Stonehenge/Durrington walls henge. Looking at their animation and reading that there were local flintmines i suspect the southern holes may have been moved out of the circle by water introduced by the excavations into old workings causing a collapse and slump southwards. A simple core should show a discontinuity or not.

kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #288 on: June 26, 2020, 02:26:58 PM »
Sledding dogs are far older than previously thought, enabling man to hunt hibernating polar bears

Remains from the Zhokhov island in the East Siberian Arctic show trained sled dogs existed almost 10,000 years ago.

...

DNA from dog bones from Zhokhov Island indicates that domesticated sled dogs were used by man in the Siberian Arctic at least 9,500 years ago, some 6,500 to 7,500 years earlier than many scientists had believed.

The genome of the Zhokhov dog is directly related to the iconic modern-day Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute and Greenlandic sledge dog, but can also be traced back to Siberian wolves from 33,000 years ago.

‘We were able to conclude that modern sledge dogs and the Zhokhov dog share a common origin in Arctic Siberia more than 9,500 years ago. Until now, we have thought that sledge dogs were only about 3,000 to 2,000 years old’, said lead author Mikkel Sinding, of the Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

For lots of details see:

https://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/sledding-dogs-are-far-older-than-previously-thought-enabling-ancient-man-to-hunt-hibernating-polar-bears/
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #289 on: June 28, 2020, 10:16:10 AM »
Old pine trees witness the rewilding in Mediterranean mountain forests in consequence of late-medieval pandemics

Subalpine ecosystems are natural laboratories to study the evolution of global warming, since their dynamics are particularly sensitive to temperature changes. However, the impacts of past pandemics and land-use changes on mountain forest dynamics are still overlooked. An international study based on the establishment date of pine trees shows that a large-scale rewilding occurred after the late-medieval Black Death pandemic and successive pandemics, which led to a profound landscape transformation in southern European mountains. This evidence helps to understand the long-term human legacies on mountain forests.

...

https://phys.org/news/2020-06-trees-witness-rewilding-mediterranean-mountain.html


And

The millenial pre-colonial cultural influence is evident in the Amazon forest

Before the arrival of European colonizers, the Amazonian Indigenous peoples cultivated their food - cassava, corn, pineapple, peppers and squash, among other things. The food of the ancient civilizations of the Amazon also largely consisted of the fruits of palm and Brazilian nut trees. The protection and management of trees across generations have affected the diversity of the rainforest right up until the present time.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200626114805.htm
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #290 on: June 29, 2020, 09:35:37 AM »
Non-tobacco plant identified in ancient pipe for first time

People in what is now Washington State were smoking Rhus glabra, a plant commonly known as smooth sumac, more than 1,400 years ago. The discovery marks the first-time scientists have identified residue from a non-tobacco plant in an archeological pipe.

...

Unearthed in central Washington, the Native American pipe also contained residue from N. quadrivalvis, a species of tobacco not currently grown in the region but that is thought to have been widely cultivated in the past. Until now, the use of specific smoking plant mixtures by ancient people in the American Northwest had only been speculated about.

...

The discovery was made possible by a new metabolomics-based analysis method that can detect thousands of plant compounds or metabolites in residue collected from pipes, bowls and other archeological artifacts. The compounds can then be used to identify which plants were smoked or consumed.

"Not only does it tell you, yes, you found the plant you're interested in, but it also can tell you what else was being smoked," said David Gang, a professor in WSU's Institute of Biological Chemistry and a co-author of the study. "It wouldn't be hyperbole to say that this technology represents a new frontier in archaeo-chemistry."

Previously, the identification of ancient plant residues relied on the detection of a limited number of biomarkers, such as nicotine, anabasine, cotinine and caffeine. Gang said the issue with this approach is while the presence of a biomarker like nicotine shows tobacco was smoked it doesn't distinguish which species it was.

...

In addition to identifying the first non-tobacco plant smoked in an archaeological pipe, the WSU researchers' work also helps elucidate the complex evolution of tobacco trade in the American Northwest.

Analysis of a second pipe that was used by people living in Central Washington after Euro-American contact revealed the presence of a different tobacco species, N. rustica, which was grown by native peoples on the east coast of what is now the United States.

"Our findings show Native American communities interacted widely with one another within and between ecological regions, including the trade of tobacco seeds and materials," said Shannon Tushingham, an assistant professor of anthropology at WSU and co-author of the study. "The research also casts doubt on the commonly held view that trade tobacco grown by Europeans overtook the use of natively-grown smoke plants after Euro-American contact."

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200626114814.htm
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #291 on: July 01, 2020, 09:26:39 PM »
Aboriginal Artifacts Reveal First Ancient Underwater Cultural Sites in Australia
https://phys.org/news/2020-07-aboriginal-artifacts-reveal-ancient-underwater.html

In a study published today in PLOS ONE, the ancient underwater sites, at Cape Bruguieres and Flying Foam Passage, provide new evidence of Aboriginal ways of life from when the seabed was dry land, due to lower sea levels, thousands of years ago.

The submerged cultural landscapes represent what is known today as Sea Country to many Indigenous Australians, who have a deep cultural, spiritual and historical connection to these underwater environments.



The dive team mapped 269 artifacts at Cape Bruguieres in shallow water at depths down to 2.4 metres below modern sea level. Radiocarbon dating and analysis of sea-level changes show the site is at least 7000 years old.

The second site at Flying Foam Passage includes an underwater freshwater spring 14 metres below sea level. This site is estimated to be at least 8500 years old. Both sites may be much older as the dates represent minimum ages only; they may be even more ancient.

... "Australia is a massive continent but few people realise that more than 30% of its land mass was drowned by sea-level rise after the last ice age. This means that a huge amount of the archeological evidence documenting the lives of Aboriginal people is now underwater."

"At one point there would have been dry land stretching out 160 km from the current shoreline. That land would have been owned and lived on by generations of Aboriginal people. Our discovery demonstrates that underwater archeological material has survived sea-level rise, and although these sites are located in relatively shallow water, there will likely be more in deeper water offshore" says Chelsea Wiseman from Flinders University who has been working on the DHSC project as part of Ph.D. research.

Benjamin J, O'Leary M, McDonald J, Wiseman C, McCarthy J, Beckett E, et al.  Aboriginal artefacts on the continental shelf reveal ancient drowned cultural landscapes in northwest Australia. PLoS ONE 15(7): e0233912.  (2020)
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0233912
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #292 on: July 01, 2020, 11:41:39 PM »
Nice about Australia.
Will a "phoenix" civilization in 10020 AD have archeologists exploring ruins and artifacts of our society left underwater by Sea Level Rise?
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #293 on: July 02, 2020, 01:55:09 PM »
Nobody knows but we have under researched the continental margins so far.

I don´t know if you could do a lidar type survey with submersibles but that might be an interesting start.
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #294 on: July 06, 2020, 06:52:50 PM »
Practical archaeology or building a castle with 13 century methods.



I like the threadmills and wood splitting and furniture building and of course also the tools used for building the big thing.

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #295 on: July 07, 2020, 04:37:52 AM »
Thank you kassy. I find that very interesting and have bookmarked it for watching. I like that sort of stuff about old techniques and tools. They had no buttons to press. No machines, all human (& horse) power. These things show me what humans are able of with working together and having deep knowledge and understanding of 'low' technology. I still wonder at the skills necessary to make all the beautiful things I see in old buildings.There is so much knowledge and skill lost.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #296 on: July 07, 2020, 02:05:30 PM »
nanning:
About lost skills, ever hear of the Society of Creative Anachronisms?
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #297 on: July 09, 2020, 03:35:08 AM »
Polynesians, Native Americans Made Contact Before European Arrival, Genetic Study Finds
https://phys.org/news/2020-07-polynesians-native-americans-contact-european.html

Through deep genetic analyses, Stanford Medicine scientists and their collaborators have found conclusive scientific evidence of contact between ancient Polynesians and Native Americans from the region that is now Colombia—something that's been hotly contested in the historic and archaeological world for decades.

Before this study was conducted, proponents of Native American and Polynesian interaction reasoned that some common cultural elements, such as a similar word used for a shared agricultural staple, hinted that the two populations had mingled before Europeans settled in South America. Those who disagreed pointed to studies with contrasting conclusions and the fact that the two groups were separated by thousands of miles of open ocean.

This new study is the first to show, through conclusive genetic analyses, that the two groups indeed encountered one another, and did so before Europeans arrived in South America. To conduct the study, Ioannidis and a team of international researchers collected genetic data from more than 800 living Indigenous inhabitants of Colombia and French Polynesia, conducting extensive genetic analyses to find signals of common ancestry. Based on trackable, heritable segments of DNA, the team was able to trace common genetic signatures of Native American and Polynesian DNA back hundreds of years.

... Before the study brought scientific evidence to the debate, the idea that Native Americans and Polynesians had crossed paths originated from a complex—both in its structure and origins—carbohydrate: the sweet potato. It turns out the sweet potato, which was originally domesticated in South and Central America, has also been known to grow in one other place prior to European contact. That place is known as Oceania, which consists of many islands, including Polynesia.

"The sweet potato is native to the Americas, yet it's also found on islands thousands of miles away," Ioannidis said. "On top of that, the word for sweet potato in Polynesian languages appears to be related to the word used in Indigenous American languages in the Andes."

The overlap in culture made some archaeologists and historians think it was not only feasible, but likely, that the potato's arrival in Polynesia was the result of the two peoples mingling.

The researchers believe that the Polynesians landed in what is now Colombia. It is also possible, though less likely due to their coastal travel norms, that one or two ships carrying Native Americans could have sailed off course and run into Polynesia, Ioannidis said.

... Ioannidis' team took a different, big data approach, analyzing the DNA of hundreds of Polynesians and Colombians. Before collecting any samples or conducting genetic analyses, the researchers visited the communities to explain the study, gauge interest in participation and ask for consent. The scientists then collected saliva samples from 807 participants on 17 Polynesian islands and 15 Native American groups along the Pacific coast of the Americas from Mexico to Chile, conducting genetic analyses to look for snippets of DNA that are characteristic of each population and for segments that are "identical by descent," meaning they are inherited from the same ancestor many generations ago.

"We found identical-by-descent segments of Native American ancestry across several Polynesian islands," Ioannidis said. "It was conclusive evidence that there was a single shared contact event." In other words, Polynesians and Native Americans met at one point in history, and during that time people from the two cultures produced children with both Native American and Polynesian DNA. Statistical analyses confirmed the event occurred in the Middle Ages, around A.D. 1200, which is "around the time that these islands were originally being settled by native Polynesians," Ioannidis said. Using computational methods developed as part of Ioannidis' graduate work, the team then localized the source of the Native American DNA to modern-day Colombia.

Native American gene flow into Polynesia predating Easter Island settlement, Nature (2020)
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2487-2

-------------------------------
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Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Pmt111500

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #298 on: July 10, 2020, 04:05:52 PM »
A figure of a face found in 1989 in Vantaa, near Helsinki, has finally been dated. While not very old compared to central European finds, this is one of the oldest human figures found in Finland. Dated to about 3500 BC

https://www.is.fi/hs-vantaa/art-2000006567929.html

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #299 on: July 14, 2020, 04:01:36 PM »
Archaeologists Discover Ancient Horsemanship
https://communalnews.com/archaeologists-discover-ancient-horsemanship/
Quote
A new discovery by Russian and Kazakh archeologists uncovered evidence of horsemanship. The discovery is very valuable, as it is 700 years earlier that was recorded previously.
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