Interesting article with a vague archaeological connection Transhumanism: The Most Dangerous Idea? by Ronald Bailey. Relevant portion:
In his Foreign Policy article, Fukuyama identifies transhumanism as “a strange liberation movement” that wants “nothing less than to liberate the human race from its biological constraints.” Sounds ominous, no? But wait a minute, isn’t human history (and prehistory) all about liberating more and more people from their biological constraints? After all, it’s not as though most of us still live in our species’ “natural state” as Pleistocene hunter-gatherers.
Human liberation from our biological constraints began when an ancestor first sharpened a stick and used it to kill an animal for food. Further liberation from biological constraints followed with fire, the wheel, domesticating animals, agriculture, metallurgy, city building, textiles, information storage by means of writing, the internal combustion engine, electric power generation, antibiotics, vaccines, transplants, and contraception. In a sense, the goal toward which humanity has been striving for millennia has been to liberate ourselves from more and more of our ancestors’ biological constraints.
Kind of an interesting article, if you’re into that sort of thing. We bring it to your attention because the idea of “extending the phenotype” is the basis for a particular branch of archaeological theory, evolutionary archaeology.
Fairly good historical review here. The essence of the analogy used to bridge biological and “cultural” evolution is that artifacts — tools, clothing, cars, etc. — can be treated as aspects of the human phenotype. Thus, one can explain the differential transmission of certain kinds of artifacts or traits of artifacts in much the same way. This is way too complicated for a humble blog entry, so we direct the reader to the various links embedded herein.
Dave Mathews’ tour bus in the news again First Toilet And Sewer System Of Prehistoric Period Found In Van
The first toilet and sewer system of prehistoric period was found in an Urartian castle in Gurpinar town of eastern province of Van.
In an interview with the A.A correspondent, Istanbul University Eurasian Archaeology Institute Director Prof. Dr. Oktay Belli said on Saturday that they had unearthed a toilet in the western part of Cavustepe Castle built by Urartian King Sarduri II in 764 BC.
Russian divers, with a little help from a state-of-the-art robot, have reached the wreck of a famous icebreaker that has lain untouched for 70 years at the bottom of Russia’s far-northern Chukotsky Sea, RIA Novosti news agency said on Monday.
The scientific ship Akademik Lavrentyev left the Arctic port of Anadyr, on Russia’s Chukotsky peninsula, last week to reach the spot where the Chelyuskin icebreaker sank in 1934 after becoming trapped in ice.
According to Yevgueny Kupavykh, who heads the scientific expedition, the shipwreck lies 50m under the sea, 250km from Cape Severny and 230km from Cape Uelen, RIA Novosti said.
Okay, 70 years isn’t really “archaeological” but we found this great robot graphic and had to use it. So sue us.
Once upon a time, on a Greek island in the Mediterranean, the mighty thunder god Zeus descended from Mount Olympus to try to win the love of a girl named Europa. When he failed, he visited her in the form of a great white bull.
The result of this mystical union was the birth of the demigod Minos, the king of Crete who took his throne at the age of 9 and built a great empire with a palace of wonders in its center.
The ruins of the Palace of Knossos lie three miles west of Heraklion, Crete’s largest city, with roughly 170,000 residents. The legend of the Minoan king born of a bull is alive in the stone, wood and dust of the ruins: More than 4,000 visitors are drawn every day to this place where myth and reality collide.
A Cal Poly archaeology professor is taking a fresh look at thousands of Chumash food remnants in hopes of gaining a better understanding of the lives of the Central Coast’s earliest residents.
Using a federal grant of $34,000, Terry Jones is examining more than 20,000 animal and fish bones unearthed 36 years ago at Diablo Canyon in an effort to learn more about how the Indians lived and what effect they had on the ocean.
“I want to see what their dietary preferences were and how they might have changed over time,” he said.
Excellent use of resources and older data.
More tombs from Egypt Ancient tomb uncovered in Cairo suburb
A domed Pharaonic tomb dating back to the 7th century BC was uncovered in a residential Cairo suburb, officials at the Supreme Council for Antiquities said on Wednesday.
SCA Secretary-General Zahi Hawass told reporters that the tomb was made for a priest during the 26th dynasty.
The tomb was found during the construction of a house in the neighbourhood, which is known to hold ruins underground.
Next time we’re in Cairo, we’re diggin’ up the back yard.