October 31, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:57 pm

Just in time for Halloween Polynesian cemetery unlocks ancient burial secrets

The first people to settle Polynesia went to surprising lengths to honour their dead, archaeologists show.

Remains from the oldest cemetery in the Pacific suggest the Lapita people buried their dead in many different ways, some in “weird yoga positions”, and removed their skulls for ceremonial purposes.

Dr Stuart Bedford and Professor Matthew Spriggs of the Australian National University reported their finds on the Lapita culture in Vanuatu at a recent seminar in Canberra.

“We found for the first time skulls buried in a pot, sealed by a flat bottomed ceramic dish that had been overturned and used as a lid on top of another pot,” Dr Bedford said.

Recent Landslides In La Conchita, California Belong To Much Larger Prehistoric Slide

The deadly landslide that killed 10 people and destroyed approximately 30 homes in La Conchita, California last January is but a tiny part of a much larger slide, called the Rincon Mountain slide, discovered by Larry D. Gurrola, geologist and graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The slide started many thousands of years ago and will continue generating slides in the future, reported Gurrola at the national meeting of the Geological Society of America today in Salt Lake City.

Prehistoric slides present at Rincon Mountain cover an area of about 1,300 acres with a minimum volume of about 600 million cubic yards, said Edward A. Keller, professor of earth science at UC Santa Barbara. Keller analyzed the landslide complex with Gurrola and Tim Tierney, UCSB research scientist.

Archeological Dig Northwest Of Tucson Uncovers 2,800 Year-Old Settlement

Archeologists are finding the people who lived here three thousand years ago have more in common with us than we might think.

One thing that’s fairly obvious, they came here because water was plentiful.

“You have water coming off of the slopes of the Tortolita and the Tucson Mountains, and this is where the Santa Cruz sort of spreads out, and so this would be a really prime place for agriculture,” explains Michael Cook, Archeology Project Manager for Westland Resources, Inc.

Not too long of an article.

More looting Black Earth, Black Archeology, Black Times

Ukraine’s beleaguered and cash-starved archeologists were entitled to view Viktor Yushchenko’s election to the presidency either as a beacon of hope or a symbol of its problems.

Before he became president, it was Yushchenko’s hobby to spend his free time gluing ancient pots and plates together, which he would then hang on the walls of his house.

But this avid amateur archeologist could also have been seen as a symbol of the crimes of amateurism. Yushchenko admitted that once while visiting the Kazakh place of exile of Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s greatest poet, he ripped off a stone from a local fortress as a memento.

Greenhouse effect occurred 5,000 years ago

It is common sense nowadays that excessive carbon dioxide in the air caused by excessive lumbering leads to global greenhouse effects.

But a team of archaeologists from China and the United States is saying that the greenhouse effect started about 5,000 years ago, much earlier than people might expect.

This is the conclusion reached by a group of Chinese and US archaeologists based on research on the relics excavated from the ruins of a Neolithic site in Rizhao City, east China’s Shandong Province, over the past ten years.

The joint archaeological team of experts from Shandong University and US scholars began its survey at the ruins of the ancient Liangcheng Town in suburban Rizhao in 1995, focusing on the relationship between plants and human activity.

Kind of a weird, disjointed article. No doubt it will get much more play in the western media over the next few weeks.


Stone Age Beer

Five years ago, Calagione and McGovern collaborated on Midas Touch, a beverage informed by the 2,700-year-old remains of a funerary feast discovered in central Turkey and believed to have been that of King Mita, the historical figure behind the Midas legend.

This morning they are pushing further into the murk of alcoholic prehistory. For the past few years McGovern has been analyzing scraps of pottery excavated from a site in central China. Last year he announced that he had detected traces of the oldest alcoholic beverage yet discovered, a Stone Age brew dating back 9,000 years.

THis is just the start of an article available to subscribers only. Pity, we’d like to see what the stuff consists of.

Not archaeology but cool The Map that Changed the World

ust two centuries ago, the world lacked a single geologic map. The chronology of the planet’s history was unknown and effectively invisible to people despite the evidence of rock layers at cliffs and canyons.

Theological maps of the world then depicted such biblical concepts as the Garden of Eden. Some people believed that mountains grew organically like trees.

The study of nature and rocks was a novelty. Thinkers in the early 1800s disagreed over the age of the Earth, with some standing by Bible-based estimates of 6,000 years old.

Then along came the map that changed the world.

It’s about William (“Strata”) Smith’s first geological map of Britain. Definitely worth looking at if you’re in the neighborhood, and probably will be checked out by man, many geologists.

October 30, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:17 pm

Web site alert From Brian Hunt, who is associated with Lehner’s Giza project:

This is an announcement of the 28 October launch of AERAWEB, the
official Web site of Dr. Mark Lehner and the Giza Plateau Mapping
Project. Mark Lehner’s large, international team is very excited to have
their work presented to the world in this new format.

Visit the new site at http://www.aeraweb.org

Included on the website are links to artifacts, the Giza Field School,
and articles about the projects that comprise AERA’s work in Egypt over
the past decades.

I hope you’ll take time to view and read the pages in the days and
months ahead.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:50 am

Lucifer’s Hammer: 13k BP Scientist: Comets Blasted Early Americans

A supernova could be the “quick and dirty” explanation for what may have happened to an early North American culture, a nuclear scientist here said Thursday.

Richard Firestone said at the “Clovis in the Southeast” conference that he thinks “impact regions” on mammoth tusks found in Gainey, Mich., were caused by magnetic particles rich in elements like titanium and uranium. This composition, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist said, resembles rocks that were discovered on the moon and have also been found in lunar meteorites that fell to Earth about 10,000 years ago.

Just plain a weird story. First of all, if there were a supernova — apparently of our sun? — we, um, you know, wouldn’t even BE HERE. Second, ” comets struck the solar system during the Clovis period” is just plain silly, since there are comets all over the solar system. Other than that, there’s little to go on. There’s also mention of some stuff Goodyear present on his Topper site, but not much.

More here. Though this outburst from Michael Collins: Michael Collins called the idea that the first inhabitants traveled by way of a land bridge from Asia “primal racism.” Instead, Collins said, they arrived by water, because “the rich marine environments” along the northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts are “very attractive regions for human exploitation.” we feel is a bit too trendy. Let’s face it: When some actual sites are discovered that show this supposed water route, it’ll gain some currency. Until then, it’s mostly speculation.

World’s earliest observatory discovered in China

Chinese archaeologists said they have found the world earliest observatory, dated back to some 4,100 years ago, in north China’s Shanxi Province.

The ancient observatory in the Taosi relics site in Shanxi Province is at least 2,000 years older than the 1,000-year-old observatory built by the Maya in central America, said He Nu, a research follow with the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He told Xinhua on Sunday that the observatory, built at the endof the primitive society, “was not only used for observing astronomical phenomena but also for sacrificial rites.”

Sex! Gluttony! Violence! Apart from vomitoriums and orgies, what did the Romans do for us?

The best way to judge a modern recreation of ancient Rome – in film or fiction – is to apply the simple “dormouse test”. How long is it before the characters adopt an uncomfortably horizontal position in front of tables, usually festooned with grapes, and one says to another: “Can I pass you a dormouse?”

The basic rule of thumb is this: the longer you have to wait before this tasty little morsel appears on the recreated banquet, the more subtle the reconstruction is likely to be. On these terms Rome, the new joint HBO-BBC series, does not do badly. It is not until at least 30 minutes into the first episode that anyone pops the dormouse question.

Kind of an interesting article on the current (and long-time) fascination the West has with Rome. Obviously it played a big part in Christianity and formed part of the revered Classical world that the Renaissance sought to glorify. It’s an interesting view from the British perspective, vis a vis Rome vs. Greece, in that Romans were actually in Britain, while the Greeks were not. But, let’s face it, Rome is endlessly fascinating for the very reasons the article lays out: They were enough like “us” to be familiar, but different enough to set ourselves out in contrast (to our betterment, obviously).

We’ve heard, but cannot substantiate, that the movie Caligula portrays the Roman Empire the most accurately of almost any film. Probably requires some field research at some point.

Mummy update
Mysterious mummy lays in Geology Hall

Although now at home in the Rutgers Geology Hall, the female mummy that resides on the Old Queens campus building spent many years in a far more undignified place: one of the closets of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

That’s right, mummy.

Few students here are aware of the opportunity to catch a rare glimpse into the burial ceremony of a foreign and strange culture.

Of course, other than its resting place, there is very little known about the mysterious mummy.

“We know it came from Northern Egypt, but that’s about it,” said William Selden, the collections manager of the Geology Hall.

Tsunami (yes) update Tsunami reveals ancient temple sites

Archaeologists say they have discovered the site of an ancient temple in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

It is the latest in a series of archaeological discoveries in the area struck by December’s tsunami, which desilted large areas of the coastline.

The brick temple dates back more than 2,000 years to the late Tamil Sangam period and was discovered on the beachfront near Saluvankuppam, just north of a famous World Heritage site at Mahabalipuram.

Interesting bit: Apparently the place was destroyed by tsunamis twice before as evidenced by the stratigraphy and building methods. The chronology established here, along with further studies elsewhere along the coast, might help to identify how often these things strike.

October 28, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:36 am

This blog has a picture of the supposed pyramid foud in Bosnia. We’re rather suspicious of this since the researcher is claiming the thing to be anywhere between 12-27k years old (hard to tell which from the text). Since this generally flies in the face of previous evidence, we predict it will probably blow over within a few months.

Non-archaeology, but interesting Big bangs theory blames lava fields for mass extinctions

Vast sheets of prehistoric lava that oozed across the land millions of years ago were probably caused by meteorites slamming into the Earth’s crust, scientists say.

The lava sheets, 10 of which have been discovered around the world, coincide with mass extinctions, suggesting the huge volumes of magma caused global changes in climate that made Earth inhospitable to all but the hardiest species.

The largest lies in Siberia, is roughly the size of Thailand and dates back 252 million years. “We think lava poured on to Siberia for between 100,000 and one million years, leaving the surface covered with four million cubic kilometres of lava,” said Linda Elkins-Tanton, a geologist at Brown University, Rhode Island.

We don’t have a lot to contribute here. We’ve seen this particular theory thrown around before, but we think this is the first time it’s been linked to meteorite impacts.

October 27, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:19 pm

2,000-year-old burial site found

Archaeologists working on Shetland’s most northerly isle have discovered a burial site more than 2,000 years old.

The site at Sand Wick on Unst, thought to date back to the Iron Age, had already been badly eroded by the sea when a team of experts began their work in August.

However, archaeologists from Glasgow University, the Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problems of Erosion Trust (SCAPE) and local volunteers managed to rescue artefacts and a skeleton.

The excavation, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland, was initially aimed at training volunteers how to excavate eroding coastlines.

New Digs Decoding Mexico’s “Pyramids of Fire”

Using picks, shovels, and high-tech forensic sleuthing, scientists are beginning to cobble together the grisly ancient history and fiery demise of Teotihuacán, the first major metropolis of the Americas.

The size of Shakespeare’s London, Teotihuacán was built by an unknown people almost 2,000 years ago. The site sits about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of present-day Mexico City. Temples, palaces, and some of the largest pyramids on Earth line its ancient main street.

Scientists believe Teotihuacán was the hub of trade and commerce in Mesoamerica until the city’s civilization collapsed around A.D. 650. When the Aztecs stumbled upon the metropolis centuries later, they dubbed it the “City of the Gods,” because they believed it was where the Gods met to create the present universe and sun.

Good article. Note this: Spence has also found evidence that the health of Teotihuacán’s population declined in the city’s final century. Residents’ teeth have tell-tale lines that form in childhood during episodes of severe stress, such as malnutrition or infection. Lovell and Whyte found something similar at the Old Kingdom site of Mendes in the Nile Delta. They found that, while not statistically significant, Old Kingdom individuals had a higher incidence of dental enamal hypoplasia which they attributed to prolonged drought and malnutrition. This may indicate that during much of the 6th Dynasty and in the later 5th as well Egypt was suffering the effects of climate change, decreasing the ability of the central government to adequately feed, let alone closely administer, much of the population.

Ref: Lovell, N. C. and I. Whyte
1999 Patterns of dental enamel defects at ancient Mendes, Egypt. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 110:69-80.

Bridge to Mesopotamia

In a glass case stand a dozen carved statues of gypsum alabaster — male figurines with their hands folded at their chests and their shell-and-lapis-lazuli eyes wide open. Dating to around 2500 B.C., the statues were commissioned by wealthy Mesopotamians as proxy worshippers, to stand in the temples of gods and pray in their owners’ absence. “The Mesopotamians saw gods as present all around us,” explains Oriental Institute Museum director Geoff Emberling ’87. The gods were also believed to reside in their cult statues, he says, “so the idea that a person could be present in a statue is not so far removed.” The figurines and their role fascinate him because “they take us out of our way of seeing,” he explains, and provide “a good example of how, with a little understanding, we can glimpse” another world. Emberling, who has studied the ancient Near East for more than 20 years, has always tried to connect with that world.

Tut the Boozer update King Tut Drank Red Wine, Researcher Says

King Tutankhamen drank red wine, says a researcher who analyzed very dry traces of the vintage found in his tomb.

Maria Rosa Guasch-Jane, who briefed reporters Wednesday at the British Museum, said she had invented a process which gave archaeologists a tool to discover the color of ancient wine.

Guasch-Jane also discovered that the most valued drink in ancient Egypt, shedeh, was made of red grapes.

“This is the first time someone has found an ancient red wine,” said Guasch-Jane, who earned her Ph.D. in pharmacy from the University of Barcelona in September.

We may have blogged this some time ago. Another story on it here.

Obituary Marshall Clagett, 89, Scholar on Science in Ancient Times, Is Dead

Marshall Clagett, a scholar of science in ancient Egypt and Greece and the way it was received in medieval Europe, died on Oct. 21 at a hospital in Princeton, N.J. He was 89 and lived in Princeton.

His death was announced by the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he was a professor emeritus in the Department of Historical Studies. He arrived to teach in 1964 and took emeritus status in 1986, but continued to publish, and at his death was working on the fourth and final volume of his “Ancient Egyptian Science,” the institute reported.

Dr. Clagett’s major work was his five-volume “Archimedes in the Middle Ages,” published over 20 years starting in 1964. It covered the range of work and the influence of Greece’s most famous mathematician and inventor, about whom little is known.

We admit we’ve never heard of him.

Not archaeology but interesting Woolly Mammoth’s Childhood Revealed

Raising a mammoth wasn’t an easy task and required huge quantities of mother’s milk, according to a study of the nursing habits of a young woolly mammoth that died thousands of years ago.

Analysis of the young mammoth’s relatively intact tusk revealed that the calf nursed from its mother for four or more years, apparently depending on the calorie-rich milk to survive in harsh, arctic conditions.

Carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota and the Wrangel Island State Preserve in Siberia, the study was presented at a meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) in Mesa, Ariz.

Very clever set of analyses.

Toe Bones Reveal World’s Earliest Shoe-Wearers

A new analysis of toe bones suggests that ancient people from Europe and the Middle East were the first to adopt supportive footwear—most likely primitive sandals—around 30,000 years ago.

Before that time, most humans went barefoot—regardless of their environment.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, found that humans at the end of the Old Stone Age had weaker small-toe bones than their ancestors but no corresponding loss of leg strength.

The finding suggests that the ancient humans were using footwear for support for the first time in history.

And yet another story from NG on mummy eyes!

Out of Africa and on to California Study: Modern Humans Reached Americas Last

Modern humans left Africa in waves and colonized the Mideast first and then Europe, according to a new study that traced early human migration patterns through variations in DNA.

The study, which supports the “Out of Africa” theory that humans first emerged in Africa before migrating to other parts of the world, determined that South America was the last settled region.

“In (the) dataset (we studied), genetic diversity is highest in Africa and then decreases in the following order with diversity being the lowest in the Americas: Mideast, Europe, Asia, Oceania (the Pacific Islands), America. This indicates what the order of the human expansion might have been,” said Sohini Ramachandran, lead author of the study, which is published in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Update on a story from a few days ago.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:56 pm

More pyramids! Archaeologists find European pyramid

A team of American and Bosnian archaeologists claim to have found two new pyramids buried under hills in Central Europe.

The scientists say they found ancient labyrinths and other sand stone buildings under two unusually shaped hills in central Bosnia.

They believe the ruins indicate the hills were once human settlements, probably built by a stone age “super” civilisation tens of thousands of years ago.

They are now trying to locate ancient stairs that would lead them to the entry of the pyramids.

Either there is some odd translating going on, or Erich Von Daniken is doing their copy editing. At any rate, the real story ought to eventually come out. That’s the whole thing, too.

Burial site discovered in Riverhead

Last week’s stormy weather uncovered what experts said may be an important early American Indian burial site at Indian Island County Park in Riverhead.

The site was spotted by a park supervisor after the Peconic River bank was eroded early last week by heavy rains and high wave action, said Suffolk County Parks Commissioner Ronald Foley.

Archaelogists said yesterday that the site contained bones from at least two people believed to be Indians buried during the Early Woodland period, from 800 BC to AD 800. It also contained artifacts including a pipe and fragments of a bowl.

News from the EEF (Note the new web address, by the way)

“Tebtunis papyri returned to UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library decades after their discovery”
“Just a few weeks ago, three tins of ancient papyri belonging to
the University of California, Berkeley, finally arrived home, shipped
across the Atlantic [from Oxford] more than a century after they
were collected in Egypt. (…) Among the new materials are fragments
of (…) an ancient medical handbook, and papers from an influential
prophetess of the local crocodile god, as well as a family priest’s
writings that trace that a family’s history over eight generations.”
Comments by the staff of the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri:

“Aqueducts, Darius’ Gift to Egyptians”
“Following the arrival of Darius the Great the Achaemenid king, in Egypt,
Egyptians who were proud of the water of the Nile River and their country
springs, imitated the technique used by Iranian aqueduct diggers to provide
water for their dry lands. Historian Parviz Shahryari believes that aqueduct
diggers went to Egypt with Darius to teach the Egyptians the method of
digging aqueducts. According to Shahryari, it was Walter Hinz, the German
archeologist and Iranologist, who found out this issue for the first time.”
[Is this idea correct? Darius is of course known for his involvement in the
Nile-Red Sea canal, but..? ]

“The basement of the Egyptian Museum will be opened to visitors”
“Zahi Hawass (..) declared that a contract has been signed with a
state-owned company to insure and reorganize the Egyptian Museum’s
basement before making it accessible to visitors. The decision comes
after several items from the basement storage area have been “lost”
or stolen in the past year, to the embarrassment of those responsible.”

Dr Zahi Hawass’s “Dig days” column:
“Adventures in the Step Pyramid”
About a year ago I had another great adventure inside the Step Pyramid.
(..) With difficulty I was able to see two beautiful alabaster sarcophagi
made for the burial of Djoser’s daughters. The two sarcophagi were
masterpieces, and it is hard to explain their incredible beauty. We
know that the Step Pyramid is the only Old Kingdom Pyramid where
the queens were buried within the king’s pyramid. “

Press report: “New law on the way. Can the new antiquities
law [in Egypt] put an end to the antiquities trafficking business?”
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/766/he1.htm [Eds. We doubt it.]

Online article: “Cardiology in Ancient Egypt” by Eugene V. Boisaubin,
MD, in: Texas Heart Institute Journal 1988, 15(2): 80-85. In PDF
(1,7 MB) or as seperately scanned pages.

Online article: “Egyptian contributions to cardiovascular medicine”
by J. T. Willerson and R. Teaff, in: Texas Heart Institute Journal 1996,
23(3): 191-200. In PDF (1,9 MB) or as seperately scanned pages.

Online article: A. T. Sandison, “Degenerative Vascular Disease in
the Egyptian Mummy”, in: Medical History 1962 January, 6(1): 77-81.
In PDF (1,7 MB) or as seperately scanned pages.

The New York Public Library’s Digital Gallery:
Pick “History&Geography”, and then search for, e.g.,
“Ancient Egypt”, and you will get many lithographs
and old photographs of temples etc.

End of EEF news

October 25, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:58 pm

Applied archaeology Cultural testing gives all-clear to car race

An archaeologist’s report has given the go-ahead for a car race around Lake Buloke in south-west Victoria.

The Buloke Shire spent $2,000 testing the cultural value of Aboriginal sites around the lake, ahead of the first planned off-road race next month.

Mayor Reid Mather says some modifications will be made to the circuit to avoid sensitive sites.

“There are some areas that are culturally sensitive around Lake Buloke, but if it’s a problem we just don’t race in that area, we go round that area and that what it’s highlighting [is] that we’re not going to hurt those areas of cultural significance,” he said.

That’s the whole thing.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:45 am

The Archaeology Travel Channel A trip archaeologists, golfers, whiskey fans can agree on

A famous signpost at the Scottish village of John O’Groats marks it as the farthest tip of mainland Britain – 874 miles from Lands End in Cornwall, the country’s most southerly settlement.
But getting here is just the beginning of a journey that takes visitors more than 5,000 years back in time.

The Orkney Islands are at once remote and mysterious, yet sophisticated – transformed by the economic boom following the discovery of oil in the North Sea. Yet the islands also have archaeological wonders around every corner, along with spectacular scenery, wildlife and some incredible modern history.

We rather like that particular trifecta. The Orkneys contain quite a few interesting archaeologucal sites, some of which are described in the article. Less famous than Stonehenge, the stone circles there have still been the subject of some study.

More from Scotland Discovery in Shetlands dates 2,000 years old

ARCHAEOLOGISTS on a remote Scottish island have uncovered a burial site and building believed to be more than 2,000 years old, it was revealed today.

The site at Sand Wick on Unst, Shetland’s most northern isle, has suffered from severe erosion. The team of archaeologists say their discovery is quite significant.

A skeleton was found lying on its back with a polished stone disc found inside its mouth. Near the arm was a tiny ornament formed of rings of copper alloy and bone which the team believes was some kind of pendant.

Uhhhhhhh. . . . Mole’s grave found at last

ARCHAEOLOGISTS yesterday uncovered the lost grave of philanthropist Joseph Williamson for just a few hours, before burying the tomb once more.

Local historians from the Friends of the Williamson Tunnels have been searching for the exact location of the grave for the past 10 years and said the find came at the 11th hour.

It was the third time archaeologists had searched for the grave of the “Mole of Edge Hill” who created a labyrinth of tunnels under Liverpool in the 1800s.

Apparently not the small furry type.

Experts excavate oldest worked metal in Europe

Archaeologists found the oldest worked metal in Europe while excavating an early Neolithic village near the village of Dzhulyunitza in central Bulgaria, state TV reported Sunday.

The 3 metal finds are 8,000 years old. The experts found signs of cold treatment during which the metal pieces were transformed into beads. The extraordinary find gives a new direction in the research of the prehistoric people who lived on Bulgarian territory. Only the worked metal pieces found in Anatolia, which is the Asian part of Turkey, is older (11,000 years) than the find in Dzhulyunitza.

Not much in that article, but we’ll probably hear more of it.

More on the Dwarf of Kerman Sensations Rise around 25-centimeter Dwarf of Kerman

The 25-centimeter dwarf near Shahdad city of Kerman province and the rumors of the existence of an ancient dwarf city in Kerman province has brought a lot of questions to archaeologists and caused great sensations among the public.

Kerman’s Police Department and the provincial office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) have asked for the clarification of the situation of the discovered mummified corpse in Shahdad to settle the issue as soon as possible.

Two months ago, illegal excavations in the historical fortress of Gudiz in Kerman province near Shahdad city, which dates back to the Sassanid era, led to the discovery of a 25-centimeter corpse known as the “mummified dwarf” facing archaeologists with a mystery since then.

With a picture!
Dang, can’t seem to link to it. Hard to tell. It doesn’t look obviously fake, but just looking at the skull structure in that picture it doesn’t look 16-17 years old either.

October 23, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:18 am

Early Humans Settled Globe Gradually, Gene Study Says

If all modern humans originated in Africa and only later migrated around the globe, as theory holds, the paths of our ancestors’ wanderings may still be visible in our genes.

A new genetic study supports just such a scenario and suggests that early Africans colonized the planet gradually through a series of small migratory steps.

Results of the worldwide genetic sampling project show a strong correlation between genetic diversity and geographic distance. The closer modern people live to one another, as measured along the ancient migration routes that led humans out of Africa, the more similar is their DNA.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 11:12 am

Oh my! Research reveals the secrets of lions locked up in the Tower of London

Scientists from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and the Natural History Museum (NHM) have dated lion skulls discovered at the Tower of London back to the 13th century. As well as giving insights on the lives of England’s early monarchs, the research may also provide useful guidance for the modern conservation of zoo animals.

LJMU’s Dr Hannah O’Regan, who led the research, said: “These lions were potent symbols of monarchy at the time of the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses. Our research provides important information on some of the earliest lions seen in Northern Europe since they became extinct at the end of the last Ice Age. It also sheds some light on the conditions and health of animals in one of the world’s longest running menageries.”

The lions are thought to have been housed in the Tower’s Royal Menagerie. Established by King John (1199-1216), the Menagerie is known to have held lions, bears and other exotic species. It was finally closed in 1835, on the orders of the Duke of Wellington, and the remaining animals were moved to the Zoological Society’s Gardens in Regent’s Park, now better known as London Zoo.

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