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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.
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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
“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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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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Tom_Mazanec

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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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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #318 on: October 26, 2020, 11:16:43 AM »
Europe's First Industrial Complex Shows the Brilliance of Ancient Engineers
https://www.realclearscience.com/quick_and_clear_science/2020/10/26/europes_first_industrial_complex_shows_the_brilliance_of_ancient_engineers.html
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An international team of scientists has reconstructed the hydraulic operations of the 1,900-year-old Barbegal industrial watermill complex in southern France, revealing the subtle brilliance of antiquity's engineers.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #319 on: October 27, 2020, 11:53:04 AM »
Scientists Reveal What May Be the Largest Flying Bird Ever
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/scientists-reveal-what-may-be-largest-flying-bird-ever-180976128/
Quote
Imagine an albatross with a hacksaw for a mouth. Set that strange creature about 50 million years in the past and you’ve got the image of a pelagornithid, a group of ancient avians that included some of the largest flying birds of all time. And now paleontologists have uncovered in that group what may be the largest known flying birds ever, with wingspans of roughly 20 feet.
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #320 on: October 28, 2020, 09:29:05 PM »
Past Extinctions of Homo Species Coincided with Increased Vulnerability to Climatic Change

Summary

At least six different Homo species populated the World during the latest Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The extinction of all but one of them is currently shrouded in mystery, and no consistent explanation has yet been advanced, despite the enormous importance of the matter. Here, we use a recently implemented past climate emulator and an extensive fossil database spanning 2,754 archaeological records to model climatic niche evolution in Homo. We find statistically robust evidence that the three Homo species representing terminating, independent lineages, H. erectus, H. heidelbergensis, and H. neanderthalensis, lost a significant portion of their climatic niche space just before extinction, with no corresponding reduction in physical range. This reduction coincides with increased vulnerability to climate change. In the case of Neanderthals, the increased extinction risk was probably exacerbated by competition with H. sapiens. This study suggests that climate change was the primary factor in the extinction of Homo species.

https://www.cell.com/one-earth/fulltext/S2590-3322(20)30476-0?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS2590332220304760%3Fshowall%3Dtrue#secsectitle0015
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #321 on: November 06, 2020, 07:38:19 PM »
Early big-game hunters of the Americas were female, researchers suggest
Challenges age-old 'man-the-hunter' hypothesis

...

In 2018, during archaeological excavations at a high-altitude site called Wilamaya Patjxa in what is now Peru, researchers found an early burial that contained a hunting toolkit with projectile points and animal-processing tools. The objects accompanying people in death tend to be those that accompanied them in life, researchers said. It was determined that the hunter was likely female based on findings by the team's osteologist, James Watson of The University of Arizona. Watson's sex estimate was later confirmed by dental protein analysis conducted by UC Davis postdoctoral researcher Tammy Buonasera and Glendon Parker, an adjunct associate professor.

Revealing a broader pattern

The surprising discovery of an early female hunter burial led the team to ask whether she was part of a broader pattern of female hunters or merely a one-off. Looking at published records of late Pleistocene and early Holocene burials throughout North and South America, the researchers identified 429 individuals from 107 sites. Of those, 27 individuals were associated with big-game hunting tools -- 11 were female and 15 were male. The sample was sufficient to "warrant the conclusion that female participation in early big-game hunting was likely nontrivial," researchers said. Moreover, the analysis identified the Wilamaya Patjxa female hunter as the earliest hunter burial in the Americas.

Statistical analysis shows that somewhere between 30 to 50 percent of hunters in these populations were female, the study said. This level of participation stands in stark contrast to recent hunter-gatherers, and even farming and capitalist societies, where hunting is a decidedly male activity with low levels of female participation, certainly under 30 percent, Haas explained.

...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201105083724.htm
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #322 on: November 14, 2020, 01:42:42 PM »
Archaeologists in Golan Heights Unearth Fort Dated to Time of Biblical King David
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/fort-king-davids-time-found-golan-heights-180976279/
Quote
Researchers say the newly discovered site was probably part of the enigmatic Kingdom of Geshur
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oren

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #323 on: November 16, 2020, 10:12:40 AM »
The only problem is that the time of Biblical King David himself has not been determined and verified, while the main bible books were written three hundred years later, with a strong agenda behind them. So the article's title is misleading. (It comes from the source, the IAA, which is to blame).

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #324 on: November 16, 2020, 07:56:33 PM »
Archaeologists Are Just Beginning to Unearth the Mummies and Secrets of Saqqara
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/archaeologists-are-just-beginning-unearth-mummies-and-secrets-saqqara-180976301/
Quote
The sheer number of finds now available also opens up fresh possibilities, such as constructing family trees of the people buried at the site. “We can get a sense of them as a community,” says Price. The results might even shed new light on unidentified artifacts excavated centuries ago. “Now we can see visual similarities between these new finds and unprovenanced items in European museums,” he says. Finding matches with orphaned coffins in Europe might enable researchers to link up long-separated family members.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #325 on: November 21, 2020, 11:21:12 PM »
Shipwreck Exposed by Erosion on Florida Coast Could Be 200 Years Old
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/shipwreck-exposed-florida-coast-could-be-200-years-old-180976351/
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But the discovery also has a dark side: It reflects the growing problem of beach erosion, a natural phenomenon exacerbated by climate change. In a paper published earlier this year in Nature, scientists pointed out that almost half of Earth’s sandy beaches could vanish by the end of the century.
Pat Lee, who lives near the spot where the shipwreck was discovered, tells First Coast News that the ship only became visible due to the massive loss of beach sand in recent years.
“The wreckage there used to be under ten feet of sand,” he says. “In the last three years, we lost it. We lost it all. … It’s very cool to see the shipwreck. It is very disturbing to see the sand leave our beach.”
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #326 on: November 22, 2020, 07:02:13 PM »
Pompeii Dig Reveals ‘Almost Perfect’ Remains of Master and His Slave
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/21/pompeii-dig-reveals-almost-perfect-remains-of-a-master-and-his-slave

The bodies of what are thought to be a wealthy man and his slave, believed to have died as they were fleeing the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79, were found during excavations at a villa in the outskirts of the city, Pompeii archaeological park officials said yesterday.

Their remains, for which casts have been created, were discovered in the same location where a stable containing the remains of three harnessed horses were unearthed in 2017.

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

... like in chess ... at the end of the game, both the King and the pawn end up in the same box.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #327 on: November 25, 2020, 12:18:23 AM »
Rock Art In California Cave Was a Visual Guide to Hallucinogenic Plants
https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/11/rock-art-in-a-california-cave-was-a-visual-guide-to-hallucinogenic-plants/

At a cave in Southern California, archaeologists recently found centuries-old bundles of hallucinogenic plants tucked into crevices in the low ceiling, near a painting that may depict a flower from the same plant, called datura. The painted images may have been a visual aid to help people understand the rituals they experienced in the cave.

University of Central Lancashire archaeologist David Robinson and his colleagues describe the bundles of leaves and stems tucked into the domed ceiling of California's Pinwheel Cave. The five-armed pinwheel that gives the cave its name is painted in red nearby, attended by a bizarre-looking figure with antennae, eyes pointed in different directions, and a long body. Archaeologists have dubbed it the Transmorph, perhaps because it wouldn’t answer to anything else they tried. Based on radiocarbon dates of the bundles, people placed them in the room’s nooks and crannies over several centuries, from about 1530 to 1890.



That matches the age of charcoal from nearby chambers in the cave, where people left behind traces of more mundane activities: cooking meat, grinding seeds and nuts, and making stone projectile points. Whatever rituals happened in Pinwheel Cave, they weren’t hidden away or separate from everyday life.

Using a technique called mass spectrometry, Robinson and his colleagues studied the chemical composition of four of the bundles and found the compounds scopolamine and atropine—the same chemical mixture that’s found in datura. The Chumash people of California call the plant Momay and see it as the embodiment of a supernatural grandmother figure.

The microscopic examination revealed that the ends of the bundles had been crushed and matted together, and some even had tooth marks still pressed into them. Clearly, people had chewed on these bundles of datura leaves and stems before tucking them away into nooks and crannies in the chamber. That matches historical descriptions of Chumash and Tübatulabal people occasionally eating parts of the datura plant for other rituals. Sometimes the goal might be to heal a physical wound; other times it could be supernatural protection, help finding a lost object or looking into the future, or an extra burst of strength for a hunt.

... Prior to the discovery in Pinwheel Cave, archaeologists hadn’t found any clear evidence that people actually used datura at any of the sites where that artwork was preserved on cave walls or beneath rock shelters. That’s part of what makes the Pinwheel find so interesting. The cave paintings, combined with the datura bundles, suggest that art played a role in some of the rituals in which people used datura for trances and visions.

When a datura bud opens into a flower, its five petals unfold in a spiral that looks almost exactly like the five-armed pinwheel in Pinwheel Cave. And Robinson and colleagues suggest that the Transmorph, with its antennae and its strange bug-like eyes, may actually be a hawkmoth, the insect that does most of the work of pollinating datura plants.

Robinson and his colleagues used portable X-ray fluorescence to study the layers of paint on the ceiling of Pinwheel Cave. They found that the pinwheel—the datura flower, probably—had been repainted and touched up many times over the centuries. Generations of people had maintained it, and generations of people had looked up at it as they chewed bundles of datura and slipped into the world of visions.

Datura quids at Pinwheel Cave, California, provide unambiguous confirmation of the ingestion of hallucinogens at a rock art site, PNAS, (2020)
https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/11/18/2014529117
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #328 on: November 26, 2020, 01:27:43 PM »
Ireland’s first-ever dinosaur fossils confirmed
https://www.zmescience.com/science/irelands-first-ever-dinosaur-fossils-937683455/
Quote
The two fossils were discovered by Roger Byrne, a late fossil collector and schoolteacher, who donated them (among many other specimens he’s gathered) to Ulster Museum. Researchers were able to confirm that they hail from the early Jurassic, based on where they were discovered — rocks in Islandmagee, on the east coast of Northern Ireland.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #329 on: November 27, 2020, 08:23:40 PM »
6,000 Years of Arrows Emerge From Melting Norwegian Ice Patch
https://phys.org/news/2020-11-ice-patch-norway-reveals-large.html
https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/science/2020/11/6000-years-arrows-emerge-melting-norway-ice-patch

Archaeologists in Norway have discovered dozens of arrows—some dating back 6,000 years—melting out of a 60-acre ice patch in the county’s high mountains.


Viking-age arrow from Langfonne features an iron arrowhead with sinew and birch-bark lashings.

Expeditions to survey the Langfonne ice patch in 2014 and 2016, both particularly warm summers, also revealed copious reindeer bones and antlers, suggesting that hunters used the ice patch over the course of millennia. Their hunting technique stayed the same even as the weapons they used evolved from stone and river shell arrowheads to iron points.

Now the research team is revealing the finds in a paper published today in the journal Holocene. A record-setting total of 68 complete and partial arrows (and five arrowheads) were ultimately discovered by the team on and around the melting ice patch–more than archaeologists have recovered from any other frozen site in the world. Some of the projectiles date to the Neolithic period while the most “recent” finds are from the 14th century A.D. ...

Lars Holger Pilø et al. Interpreting archaeological site-formation processes at a mountain ice patch: A case study from Langfonne, Norway, The Holocene (2020)
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0959683620972775

https://secretsoftheice.com/news/2020/11/25/prehistoric-arrow-bonanza/

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Secrets of the ice: unlocking a melting time capsule
https://amp.theguardian.com/science/2020/nov/01/secrets-of-the-ice-unlocking-a-melting-time-capsule-archaeology-glaciers
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #330 on: November 29, 2020, 11:00:55 PM »
'Sistine Chapel of the Ancients' Rock Art Discovered In Remote Amazon Forest
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/nov/29/sistine-chapel-of-the-ancients-rock-art-discovered-in-remote-amazon-forest

... Hailed as “the Sistine Chapel of the ancients”, archaeologists have found tens of thousands of paintings of animals and humans created up to 12,500 years ago across cliff faces that stretch across nearly eight miles in Colombia.


Many of the painting are very high up, some so high they can only be reached by drones.

Their date is based partly on their depictions of now-extinct ice age animals, such as the mastodon, a prehistoric relative of the elephant that hasn’t roamed South America for at least 12,000 years. There are also images of the palaeolama, an extinct camelid, as well as giant sloths and ice age horses.

These animals were all seen and painted by some of the very first humans ever to reach the Amazon. Their pictures give a glimpse into a lost, ancient civilisation. Such is the sheer scale of paintings that they will take generations to study.



The site is in the Serranía de la Lindosa, Colombia where, along with the Chiribiquete national park, other rock art had been found. The documentary’s presenter, Ella Al-Shamahi, an archaeologist and explorer, told the Observer: “The new site is so new, they haven’t even given it a name yet.”

The discovery was made last year, but has been kept secret until now as it was filmed for a major Channel 4 series to be screened in December: Jungle Mystery: Lost Kingdoms of the Amazon.



... “When you’re there, your emotions flow … We’re talking about several tens of thousands of paintings. It’s going to take generations to record them … Every turn you do, it’s a new wall of paintings.

“We started seeing animals that are now extinct. The pictures are so natural and so well made that we have few doubts that you’re looking at a horse, for example. The ice-age horse had a wild, heavy face. It’s so detailed, we can even see the horse hair. It’s fascinating.”




Speculating on whether the paintings had a sacred or other purpose, he said: “It’s interesting to see that many of these large animals appear surrounded by small men with their arms raised, almost worshipping these animals.”



Al-Shamahi added: “One of the most fascinating things was seeing ice age megafauna because that’s a marker of time. I don’t think people realise that the Amazon has shifted in the way it looks. It hasn’t always been this rainforest. When you look at a horse or mastodon in these paintings, of course they weren’t going to live in a forest. They’re too big. Not only are they giving clues about when they were painted by some of the earliest people – that in itself is just mind-boggling – but they are also giving clues about what this very spot might have looked like: more savannah-like.”
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #331 on: November 30, 2020, 02:14:52 AM »
Quote
Such is the sheer scale of paintings that they will take generations to study.
I hope we will have the ability to study these petroglyphs, including such technology as drones, for multiple generations and not to lose them in a Collapse.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #332 on: November 30, 2020, 02:00:59 PM »
That looks great. Would be nice if they film it so you can look at them via the net.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #333 on: November 30, 2020, 06:14:00 PM »
Seemingly Ordinary Fossils May Be Hiding Some Major Clues to the Past
https://gizmodo.com/seemingly-ordinary-fossils-may-be-hiding-some-major-clu-1845075323
Quote
Molecular paleobiologist Jasmina Wiemann has been on the forefront of this exciting research since 2018, co-authoring papers that reveal elements of fossils that cannot be immediately seen with our eyes but can be detected through a series of complex chemical and statistical analyses. Her recent paper, published this summer with Jason Crawford and Derek Briggs, builds upon other, similar research from the past two years. She and her co-authors claim they can determine the chemical signatures of skin, bone, teeth, and eggshell. Even better, they can train anyone else in the field within approximately 20 minutes to find these ancient traces using their techniques. It’s an opportunity they hope will be widely used within museum collections the world over.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #334 on: December 02, 2020, 03:18:48 PM »
Storegga Slide: Sediment Cores from Dogger Littoral Suggest Dogger Island Survived Ancient Tsunami
https://phys.org/news/2020-12-sediment-cores-dogger-littoral-island.html


Map showing the Storegga Slide and sites where tsunami deposits have been found; b) ‘Europe's Lost Frontiers’ project coring locations, with ELF001A highlighted

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.K. has found evidence that suggests the ancient Dogger Island survived a tsunami approximately 8,150 years ago. In their paper published in the journal Antiquity, the group describes their analysis of core samples taken from the sea bed where Dogger Island was once located and what they found.

From approximately 110,000 to 12,000 years ago, the Earth experienced a glacial period—the ice buildup led to falling ocean levels, exposing land around the globe. One of those land areas was a fertile plain located in what is now the southern part of the North Sea—it connected Europe and England and has been named Doggerland. As the planet warmed and the ice melted, Doggerland began to disappear beneath the sea to the extent that by approximately 8,200 years ago, almost all of it was below the sea. The exception was Dogger Island and its surrounding archipelago.

Then, approximately 8,150 years ago, an underwater slide occurred off the coast of what is now modern Norway, which created a tsunami that reached what had once been Doggerland. Prior research had suggested the giant wave inundated Dogger Island and the archipelago and left it permanently underwater. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence that much of the island survived the tsunami, which then disappeared many years later due to rising ocean levels.

The work involved collecting core samples from the sea bottom in areas that used to be part of Dogger Island (now called Dogger Littoral) and looking for evidence of the tsunami. The researchers found traces of material pushed around by the tsunami, such as broken shells. But this evidence was only found in low-lying parts of the island. Cores taken from the higher parts of what had once been an island had no such debris, indicating that the tsunami had not washed over the whole island. The researchers suggest that higher elevations of the island survived the tsunami—it was only the lowlands and valleys that were covered. And this suggests the island existed longer than previously thought, possibly impacting the movement of Neolithic farmers from Europe into England.

James Walker et al. A great wave: the Storegga tsunami and the end of Doggerland?, Antiquity (2020).
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/great-wave-the-storegga-tsunami-and-the-end-of-doggerland/CB2E132445086D868BF508041CC1B827
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #335 on: December 02, 2020, 07:02:52 PM »
Shaped for the times
https://cosmosmagazine.com/people/anthropology/shaped-for-the-times/
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Researchers offer new theory on Venus figurines.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #336 on: December 02, 2020, 09:54:34 PM »
A geologist's view of Doggerland and the Storegga tsunami
Earthlogs.org

Quote
... Any Mesolithic people living on what was left of Doggerland would not have survived. But quite possibly they may already have left as the climate cooled substantially
shortly before this catastrophic event.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.