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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #300 on: July 14, 2020, 04:50:44 PM »
Cool stuff.

But when did people learn the art of riding? This question and analysis has always been uneasy. There is evidence of horse domestication as early as two millennia B.C., but “breeding horses” does not mean “riding.” Most likely, the most ancient horse breeders bread them as a status symbol.

I am 100% certain that people were riding them from an early age but without stirrups chariots could be more efficient in battle.

But i bet they rode them as we race anything we can.
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nanning

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #301 on: July 15, 2020, 05:37:00 AM »
I know riding horses (and using dogs) has been very normal for ages in civilisation and therefore humans can't see it for what it is. Here I give the alien 'outside' perspective:

Take another (baby) mammal from their herd and not for food. Abuse it; control it by force and sit on it, enslave it. Furthermore: Set aside the natural selection process and 'breed' it into something humans prefer because civilisation humans think they know better than nature.
The San Tribes don't ride horses or use dogs

This is a good example of SUPREMACY over other lifeforms.

Take a look at how living nature is doing under our continuing violent domination and control? Are we still sure we know best?
mass extinction and ecosystems collapse

Perhaps domination/supremacy was a wrong idea in hindsight seeing how far it has come now and what's left of
Earth's living nature? Please consider that supremacy is really making insane. It is high time, and still not too late, to change our view on all other lifeforms.

Do you think that humans really are the supreme lifeform such as is deeply embedded in civilisation?
The answer to above question has humongous consequences.


edit: removed last word "Repent!"
« Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 05:04:41 PM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #302 on: July 29, 2020, 10:30:00 PM »
Mystery Solved: Scientists Trace Source of Stonehenge Boulders
https://phys.org/news/2020-07-mystery-stonehenge-iconic-boulders.html

A study published Wednesday found that most of the giant stones—known as sarsens—seem to share a common origin 25 kilometers (16 miles) away in West Woods, an area that teemed with prehistoric activity.

The finding boosts the theory that the megaliths were brought to Stonehenge about the same time: around 2,500 BCE, the monument's second phase of construction, which in turn could be a sign its builders were from a highly organized society.



... Lead author David Nash, a professor of physical geography at the University of Brighton, told AFP he and his team had to devise a novel technique to analyze the sarsens, that stand up to nine meters tall (30 feet) and weigh as much as 30 metric tons.

They first used portable x-rays to analyze the chemical composition of the rocks, which are 99 percent silica but contain traces of several other elements.

"That showed us that most of the stones have a common chemistry, which led us to identify that we're looking for one main source here," said Nash.

Next, they examined two core samples from one of the stones that were obtained during restoration work in 1958 but which then went missing until resurfacing in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

They performed a more sophisticated analysis on these samples using a mass spectrometry device, which detects a bigger range of elements at a higher precision.

The resulting signature was then compared to 20 possible source sites for these sedimentary rocks, with West Woods, Wiltshire found to be the closest match.



Only the 17th century English natural philosopher John Aubrey had previously postulated a link between "Overton Wood," probably a former name for West Woods, and Stonehenge.

Previous work has found that Stonehenge's smaller "bluestones" came from Wales, about 200 kilometers (160 miles) to the west, and the new study says that they and the sarsens were placed at the same time



Just how the early Britons were able to transport the boulders weighing up to 30 tons a distance of 25 kilometers remains unknown—though the prevailing idea is they were dragged along sleds. The site's significance also remains mysterious.

D.J. Nash el al., "Origins of the sarsen megaliths at Stonehenge," Science Advances (2020).
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/31/eabc0133
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pikaia

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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #304 on: August 24, 2020, 04:59:15 PM »
Massive Stone Structures in Saudi Arabia May Be Some of Oldest Monuments In the World
https://www.livescience.com/amp/mysterious-stone-structures-saudi-arabia-oldest.html

They number in the hundreds, can be larger than an NFL football field and are found across Saudi Arabia, including on the slope of a volcano. Sprawling stone structures reported in 2017 now appear to be some of the oldest monuments in the world, dating back some 7,000 years, archaeologists now report.

A new study of the mysterious stone structures — once called "gates" but now referred to as "mustatils," the Arabic word for "rectangle" —suggests they were used for rituals; and radiocarbon dating of charcoal found within one of the structures indicates people built it around 5000 B.C., a team of researchers report in an article recently published in the journal The Holocene.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0959683620950449

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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #305 on: September 14, 2020, 08:50:04 PM »
Beautifully Preserved Cave Bears Emerge from Siberian Permafrost
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/09/beautifully-preserved-cave-bears-emerge-from-siberian-permafrost/

Reindeer herders on the Siberian island of Bolshoy Lyakhovsky recently stumbled across the frozen carcass of a cave bear. Nearby, on the Siberian mainland of Yakutia, a tiny, beautifully preserved cave bear cub recently emerged from another patch of melting permafrost. It’s the first time in 15,000 years that humans have come face to face with a cave bear in the flesh—until now, we’ve known the species only from bones, tracks, and abandoned nests.

The Bolshoy Lyakhovsky bear and the Yakutia cub have basically been in an anoxic deep freeze for the last 22,000 to 40,000 years, and their muscles, skin, fur, and organs are well preserved—right to the tips of their noses. That means we get to see what a fully fleshed, furry cave bear actually looked like, but it’s also a treasure trove of information about each bear’s eating habits, its health, its microbiome, and more.

... Most cave bear fossils have been found inside caves, and paleontologists think these bears probably lived in the caves full-time, rather than just popping in for a quick four-month nap. Across Europe and Asia, bears and people probably competed for the same real estate for around 300,000 years; it probably wasn’t much of a contest, though. These lumbering Ice Age giants stood 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) high when they reared up on their hind legs, and the largest males weighed up to 600 kilograms (1,320 pounds). That’s about the size of a large polar bear or Kodiak bear today. You wouldn’t want to meet one in a dark cave.

... Finds like the Bolshoy Lyakhovsky bear may actually help ecologists mitigate some of the damage. Several studies in recent years suggest that massive herbivores like mammoths and woolly rhinos acted as “ecosystem engineers” to maintain the grassland steppes on the Pleistocene tundra and to protect the permafrost that’s now melting across much of the Arctic. According to geophysicist and ecologist Sergey Zimov and his colleagues, the animals’ heavy footsteps compacted the permafrost in the winter, keeping it frozen hard enough to withstand more of the summer melting cycle.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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

kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #306 on: September 15, 2020, 01:40:19 PM »
Nice find. Funny last paragraph since they are not really massive herbivores.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #307 on: September 15, 2020, 03:41:59 PM »
I'm reminded of The Clan of the Cave Bear and the other books in the Earth's Children series which my daughters devoured when first published (well, they devoured the first 3 or 4, anyway, as they were published when they were still 'young') and I read last year (entire series).  Author Jean M. Auel certainly indicated these bears were vegetarian.  But now I'm curious ...

Concerning cave bear diet, Wikipedia says
Quote
Although the current prevailing opinion concludes that cave bears were largely herbivorous, and more so than any modern species of the genus Ursus, increasing evidence points to omnivorous diets, based both on regional variability of isotopic composition of bone remains indicative of dietary plasticity, and on a recent re-evaluation of craniodental morphology that places the cave bear squarely among omnivorous modern bear species with respect to its skull and tooth shapes.
Now that we have a 'real' cave bear to study, we'll see what's in its belly.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

nanning

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #308 on: September 15, 2020, 05:59:20 PM »
There will be academics who will go wild at the idea of getting its DNA and growing a clone via a live female bear.
"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?

kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #309 on: September 20, 2020, 11:15:59 AM »
Stone Age Humans Were Sleeping On Comfy Grass Beds 200,000 Years Ago

Living in a cave may not be luxurious, but the ancient inhabitants of southern Africa did their best to make their homes as snug as possible by creating soft beds out of ash and grass. According to a new study in the journal Science, this mixture allowed for a good night’s sleep as it provided soft bedding while also helping to repel insects, and was already in use some 200,000 years ago.

Previously, the oldest known use of plant bedding was from a 77,000-year-old site called Sibudu in South Africa, where researchers discovered layers of sedge interspersed with ash and medicinal plants that they believe were used as rudimentary mattresses. Yet this latest finding pushes back the date of the earliest use of bedding by over 100,000 years.

The discovery was made in Border Cave, which is also located in South Africa and is known to have been occupied intermittently from about 227,000 years ago. Using a range of microscopic and spectroscopic techniques, the study authors were able to identify grass in a layer of white ash that has been dated back to the cave’s early years of human occupation.

...

This theory is supported by the fact that the researchers were able to identify the remains of camphor leaves among the bedding. Given that this aromatic plant is still used as an insect repellent in East African bedding to this day, the study authors are fairly confident that Border Cave’s earliest tenants were indeed using plants to create comfortable, bug-free sleeping spaces.

While the act of collecting soft leaves to sleep on may not seem all that impressive, the kind of cognitive complexity that is required for this sort of innovation is generally thought to have developed in humans about 100,000 years ago. That this discovery significantly predates that threshold suggests that the potential for a sophisticated material culture was very much present at the dawn of man.

https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/stone-age-humans-were-sleeping-on-comfy-beds-200000-years-ago/
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #310 on: September 29, 2020, 06:29:48 PM »
New Evidence Suggests It Was Matter Ejected From the Chicxulub Crater That Led to Impact Winter
https://phys.org/news/2020-09-evidence-ejected-chicxulub-crater-impact.html

A team of researchers from the U.S., Australia and the U.K. has found evidence that suggests material thrown into the atmosphere by the asteroid that struck the Earth approximately 66 million years ago, and not massive wildfires, led to a mass extinction event. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of sediment from the Chicxulub crater and other ocean areas and what it showed them.

In this new effort, the researchers suggest that while some of the material in K–Pg boundary records is likely burnt material from massive wildfires, most of it came from material ejected from the crater at the impact site.

The work involved analyzing sediment samples from within the Chicxulub crater and from other ocean sites near the crater. In their analysis, the researchers focused on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which can provide evidence of a source of black carbon. In so doing, they found that the samples came from a fossil source, not from burned material from wildfires. They also found that the characteristics of the PAHs showed they came about due to rapid heating, which, the researchers note, was consistent with rocky material ejected from an impact crater. The researchers also found small amounts of charcoal in the samples, indicating that some small amount of burned biomass had also made its way into the atmosphere. They conclude that the material in the K–Pg boundary records came mainly from material ejected from the crater and not from wildfires.



Shelby L. Lyons et al. Organic matter from the Chicxulub crater exacerbated the K–Pg impact winter, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020)
https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/09/22/2004596117

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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #311 on: September 29, 2020, 08:13:29 PM »
New Data On a Volcanic Eruption that Scattered Ash Across Maya Lands
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/09/new-data-on-a-volcanic-eruption-that-scattered-ash-across-mayan-lands/

In a recent study, Oxford University archaeologist Victoria Smith and her colleagues used tree rings from a stump caught in a pyroclastic flow, along with data from polar ice cores obtained more than 7,000km (4,300 miles) away. These dated the eruption to 431 CE, the early part of the Maya Classic Period. The date may help future archaeologists and climate researchers better understand the impacts of the eruption on Central America and the rest of the world.

... The Tierra Blanca Joven eruption blasted a plume of ash and dust 45km (28 miles) into the sky. Winds spread the ash over a broad swath of Central America and out over the Pacific Ocean. A dusting of ash even fell across the Maya lowlands, hundreds of kilometers to the north. Some of that ash, along with aerosolized particles of sulfur and other chemicals, made it into the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, where currents carried them nearly 7,800km to the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica.

Closer to the volcano, the towering plume collapsed under its own weight, sending swift, deadly currents of hot gas, ash, and pumice—pyroclastic flows—racing across the ground for 50km or more. A layer of ash and pumice up to 70m (230 feet) deep choked some of the valleys nearest the volcano, and a layer 2m (6 feet) deep blanketed hundreds of square kilometers of Maya farmland.

With no written accounts and only limited archaeological evidence, we don’t know how many people died, how many homes were leveled, or how much warning people had.

But there’s no question that the eruption was devastating. At around the same time as the Tierra Blanca Joven eruption, ceramics made in El Salvador stop showing up in the archaeological record at Maya sites. “We think the lack of ceramic production in the general area is because people were not there,” Smith told Ars, “as much of it was uninhabitable for many years, and it would have taken decades for the landscape to recover.”



The magnitude and impact of the 431 CE Tierra Blanca Joven eruption of Ilopango, El Salvador, PNAS (2020)
https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/09/22/2003008117
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #312 on: October 07, 2020, 07:39:22 PM »
Archaeologists unearth remains believed to be of Anglo-Saxon warlord
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/oct/05/archaeologists-unearth-remains-believed-anglo-saxon-warrior
Quote
“We know from later historical sources and bits of archaeology that [this sweep of the Thames that runs through Marlow and Maidenhead] was a kind of borderland. At various periods in the Anglo-Saxon centuries it was contested between neighbouring kingdoms,” Thomas said.

“What this burial suggests is that [this area] had its own identity as a powerful tribal unit before these kingdoms muscled in.”
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #313 on: October 16, 2020, 05:11:51 PM »
Melting Alpine Glaciers Yield Archaeologic Troves, But Clock Ticking
https://phys.org/news/2020-10-alpine-glaciers-yield-archaeologic-troves.html

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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #314 on: October 16, 2020, 07:43:02 PM »
Three Leather Balls Represent Oldest Evidence of Ancient Eurasian Ball Game
https://www.insidescience.org/news/three-leather-balls-represent-oldest-evidence-ancient-eurasian-ball-game
Quote
The hair-filled balls were discovered in a 3,000-year-old cemetery in northwestern China.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #315 on: October 17, 2020, 11:45:07 AM »
Ruins of Eighth-Century Pagan Temple Found in Norway
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/norse-godhouse-site-found-norway-180976075/
Quote
The structure—built to honor Norse gods like Thor and Odin—is the first of its kind discovered in the country

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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #316 on: October 21, 2020, 01:00:56 PM »
Long-Lost Medieval Monastery Discovered Beneath Parking Garage in England
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/long-lost-friary-found-under-parking-garage-180976090/
Quote
Carmelite friars established Whitefriars in 1270, but the religious site was destroyed during the Protestant Reformation
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #317 on: October 23, 2020, 04:12:40 PM »
Impressive Water Purifcation System Found at Ancient Maya City
https://www.realclearscience.com/quick_and_clear_science/2020/10/23/impressive_water_purifcation_system_found_at_ancient_maya_city.html
Quote
More than 2,000 years ago in the ancient city of Tikal in northern Guatemala, Maya people apparently utilized a mineral called zeolite to purify their drinking water. The discovery, published in the journal Scientific Reports by anthropologists from the University of Cincinnati, represents the oldest known example of water purification in the Western Hemisphere.
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