Big Woman with a Distant Past: Stone Age gal embodies humanity’s cold shifts
A 260,000-year-old partial skeleton excavated in northwestern China 22 years ago represents our largest known female ancestor, according to a new analysis of the individual’s extensive remains.
This ancient woman puts a modern twist on Stone Age human evolution, say Karen R. Rosenberg of the University of Delaware in Newark, Lü Zuné of Peking University in Beijing, and Chris B. Ruff of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. The fossil individual’s large size and the apparent adaptation of her body to cold conditions are “consistent with the idea that patterns of human anatomical variation that we see today have deep evolutionary roots,” Rosenberg asserts.
2200-year old graveyard of children discovered in Inner Mongolia
Chinese archaeologists have found a 2200-year-old graveyard containing the remains of children in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
According to Chen Yongzhi, vice director of the regional archeological research center, nearly 20 tombs at the 100-square meter graveyard were unearthed at the ruins of ancient Tuchengzi Town in Helinger County.
The archaeologists spotted many earthenware jar-shaped coffins for housing the children’s remains inside the tombs, which date back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – 24 AD).
Qasr’e Shirin’s 6,000-Year-Old Mystery
Discovery of some clay relics from Obeid Site (an ancient site in Mesopotamia and current Iraq belonging to the 4th Millennium BC) in the city of Qasr’e Shirin has laid the origin and destination of this city�s migrants about 6,000 years ago under ambiguity.
Archeologists want to know whether these migrants came to this region from Mesopotamia or they were traveling among different regions of Zagros Mountains. “Continuation of the surveys and identifications in this city led to the discovery of 75 ancient sites most of which belong to the Obeid Site,” said Ali Hajbari, head of archeology team in Qasr’e Shirin.
“Archeologists are also trying to find out whether these clays are indicators of a kind of economic and cultural connection between this region and Mesopotamia,” added Hajbari.
Power of the Internet, Part 4,397 Ancient maps to soon go online
While they may study places and people that are thousands of years old, scholars at UNC are at the forefront of modernizing antiquity.
Researchers long have had to dip into hefty and static atlases to study the stomping grounds of Alexander the Great or the Roman emperors, but they soon will be able to do so on a comprehensive, open-source database on the Internet — thanks to UNC’s Ancient World Mapping Center.
The group started the project this month with the help of a $390,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Mapping center leaders hope the online project will serve as a template for other humanities scholars to incorporate technology into their research.
Desert site holds centuries of culture
On Tammera and Clay Walker’s property east of Bend, a shallow wash bracketed by basalt walls suggests nothing more than a typical desert draw.
But closer inspection reveals a legacy of at least 13,000 years of human habitation, documented by more than 200 panels of rock art, obsidian tool bits and potential burial sites. Northern Paiute tribal members, who still worship at the site, consider it sacred ground.
The Walkers want to place the site, which experts call the most important archaeological site in Deschutes County, on the National Register of Historic Places.
Towers of stone – the brochs of Scotland
Today they provide some of our most impressive archaeological remains, yet they still retain an air of mystery – there is a lot to learn about brochs.
Brochs comprise circular stone towers, apparently built to house the elite of a community and also to provide safety for everyone in a time of need. There is an element of display in their size, as well as an element of defence. They developed out of a tradition of circular stone dwellings, enhanced by master builders who knew exactly how to make the most of local stone resources.
Yet another object/strucure I’d never heard of.
Bronze Age Sky Disc Deciphered
A group of German scientists has deciphered the meaning of one of the most spectacular archeological discoveries in recent years: The mystery-shrouded sky disc of Nebra was used as an advanced astronomical clock.
The purpose of the 3,600 year-old sky disc of Nebra, which caused a world-wide sensation when it was brought to the attention of the German public in 2002, is no longer a matter of speculation.
A group of German scholars who studied this archaeological gem has discovered evidence which suggests that the disc was used as a complex astronomical clock for the harmonization of solar and lunar calendars.
Aha. Well, this is how it is proposed to operate: The Bronze Age astronomers would hold the Nebra clock against the sky and observe the position of the celestial objects. The intercalary month was inserted when what they saw in the sky corresponded to the map on the disc they were holding in their hands. This happened every two to three years.
I like that. Fairly simple.