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Old December 4th, 2014 #121
Alex Linder
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​Engravings On A Shell Made 300,000 Years Before Humans Evolved



Archaeologist Stephen Munro nearly fell off his chair when he noticed patterns of straight lines purposefully etched on a fossilized clamshell. The engravings were half a million years old, which meant they'd been made by a Homo erectus—an extinct human species that predated Homo sapiens by upwards of 300,000 years.

In addition to the engravings, Munroe and his colleagues found shells that were carefully crafted into specialized tools. Taken together, these discoveries suggest that Homo erectus was far more sophisticated than previously believed and capable of symbolic thought.

"It is a fascinating discovery," says Colin Renfrew, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge. "The earliest abstract decoration in the world is really big news."

The shells, which previously had been sitting in a museum, were collected more than a century ago by Dutch archaeologist Eugene Dubois on the Indonesian island of Java. Dubois had obtained the specimens from the same excavation site where, in the 1890s, he discovered the first-known remains of Homo erectus. In 2007, Leiden University archaeologist Josephine Joordens began studying the shells, looking for clues about what the environment had been like for humanity's ancestors. It was then that her colleague, Munro, noticed the etchings.

In the seven years since, a team of scientists led by Joordens have been studying the shells, confirming their age and that the lines had not been made by animals. The results of their research have been published in Nature.

As NPR reports:

"It's not that we just have this one isolated engraving, but it forms part of a much more extensive and systematic use and exploitation of these freshwater shells," says Joordens.

Many of the shells have one or two holes right at a particular spot. The holes appear to be made with a pointed object like a shark tooth, using a rotating motion. The research team did experiments showing that drilling into this spot would poke the muscle of this shellfish and make it open.

Also, they found one shell that appears to have been shaped to be a tool for cutting or scraping.

And they did extensive microscopic analyses on the apparent engraving. Joordens notes that when the shell was fresh, it would have had a black exterior; the engraver would have produced a striking pattern of white lines on a black background.

"It's very carefully done," says Andrew Whiten, a psychologist and primatologist at the University of St Andrews in the UK. "There is a wonderfully straight section and the [etch] turns in one continuous line. That's not just intentional but careful in what strikes as a very modern way. Apes aren't doing that. It would be staggering if they did."

What the etchings meant is anyone's guess. And other scientists are skeptical.

"Maybe it's not as intentional a design as they imply," says Alison Brooks, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University. She speculates that a Homo erectus child could have picked up a tool a parent used to open a shell, and tried it out.

Still, she says, "It raises the possibility that the development of human cognition — human culture — was a very long process. It was not a sudden development."

http://io9.com/engravings-on-a-shell...ans-1666303398
 
Old December 12th, 2014 #122
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http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-...tic-coin-hoard

big gold torc found in Jersey, and other stuff found almost daily...gold items from long ago

 
Old December 12th, 2014 #123
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Now, that is a truly world-shaking discovery. That Brooks broad....some scientists are as doctrinaire as any ignorant Bahble Thumper....
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Old December 13th, 2014 #124
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found-in-metsamor-armenia-second-millennium-bce.





Excavations at the Metsamor archaeological reserve have been conducted for almost 50 years, mostly under the guidance of Emma Khanzadian. Some of the most remarkable discoveries have been made at the sight, including the world’s oldest metal smelting foundry.
 
Old December 13th, 2014 #125
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December 12, 2014 | 13:09

"Danubian Horseman" artifact recovered at ancient site

Source: Tanjug

BELGRADE -- A relief of the Danubian Horseman engraved in a marble slab has been found in the Viminacium archaeological park in eastern Serbia.



Viminacium was once the seat of the Roman province of Upper Moesia and one of the most significant Roman cities and military camps in the period between the 1st and the 6th centuries.

The cult of the Danubian Horseman is a riddle to researchers and can still only be considered a mystical cult, Viminacium Director Miomir Korac has told Tanjug.

In general, the cult was widespread along the limes, a fortified Roman border on the Danube, but mostly in the Roman provinces of Pannonia Inferior (Lower Pannonia), Moesia Superior (Upper Moesia) and Dacia.

Most often, the cult is interpreted as having a local origin, but it also features influences from oriental religions, mithraism in particular.

The image in the relief is divided into two sections - the upper section is not completely preserved and it most likely represented the celestial world, including busts of Sol and Luna.

In the middle is an image of an unknown goddess standing in the central position, between two horsemen.

The marble plate was painted in red and ochre, which is very rare, and the find is extremely significant for all future interpretations of this cult, Korac said.

Nearly all depictions of the Danubian Horseman found so far were cast in lead and bronze, with only one in marble.

Judging by the mark on the back, the relief was most likely attached to the wall of a building, possibly even a temple.

Inside the area of the Viminacium archaeological park, several buildings have been found that point to temples once built in honor of Fortuna, nymphs (a stele marking the site of a nymphaeum was found last year), and, as suggested by the most recent find, the Danubian Horseman.

Two weeks ago, archaeologists working at Viminacium found two exquisitely crafted marble slabs and a gold necklace from the ancient Roman era.
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Old March 7th, 2015 #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
...Since then, the ancient mummy has undergone a slew of examinations from which scientists have gleaned bits of information about the man’s last steps on Earth, ranging from his last meal (unleavened bread and meat) to the cause of death. The most recent verdict is the Iceman died of head trauma...
Since then, scientists have identified the bacteria flora whose DNA make-up has remained better intact than that of the Iceman's himself:

https://www.google.nl/search?q=badis...l%3B1024%3B669

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Old June 11th, 2015 #127
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Default Wandering to and from Black Forest/Denmark teenage girl's Bronze age grave discovered on Danish Island - 4 photo gallery:

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/m...a-1035067.html

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Old August 9th, 2015 #128
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Default Me 262 dug up late last year. Has anybody known this happened, since then?:

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Old August 13th, 2015 #129
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Default Bronze Age skeletons unearthed, during German railway excavation:

http://www.n-tv.de/wissen/Stuttgart-...e15636901.html

Quote:
...Die drei Gräber mit Skeletten könnten aus der Zeit zwischen 5500 und 2000 vor Christus stammen und damit aus der Endphase der Jungsteinzeit...
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Old June 1st, 2016 #131
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UK's oldest hand-written document 'at Roman London dig'


Roman tablets discovered during an excavation in London include the oldest hand-written document ever found in Britain, archaeologists have revealed.

The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) said it had deciphered a document, from 8 January AD 57, found at the dig at Bloomberg's new headquarters.

The first ever reference to London, financial documents and evidence of schooling have also been translated.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-36415563
 
Old August 11th, 2016 #132
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Archeologists find what may be world's oldest gold artifact

Bead was dug up from Bulgarian site dating back to time when metals were being used for 1st time


It may be just a tiny gold bead — 4 millimetres (1/8 inch) in diameter — but it is an enormous discovery for Bulgarian archaeologists who say they have found Europe's — and probably the world's — oldest gold artifact.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/ol...714734?cmp=rss
 
Old August 17th, 2016 #133
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Divers find wreck of 18th century sloop in depths of Lake Ontario


ALBANY, N.Y.—The second-oldest confirmed shipwreck in the Great Lakes, an American-built, Canadian-owned sloop that sank in Lake Ontario more than 200 years ago, has been found, a team of underwater explorers said Wednesday.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/...e-ontario.html
 
Old September 13th, 2016 #134
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Unique female sculpture found in Turkey's Çatalhöyük


Archaeological excavations in the Central Anatolian province of Konya’s Çatalhöyük, headed by Professor Ian Hadder, have unearthed a well-preserved female figurine from the Neolithic era of 8,000-8,500 B.C.

The figurine has all parts of its body intact and has been defined as “unique.”

The 17-centimeter and 1-kilogram figurine was not found in a garbage field as usual but under a platform along with volcano-made glass.

With the shape of head, hair style, hands under chest and small feet, the figurine is a typical Çatalhöyük artifact, but is distinguished for its fine details.

Çatalhöyük is one of the earliest large human settlements in the world and provides important evidence of the transition from settled villages to urban agglomeration.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/uni...&NewsCatID=375
 
Old November 18th, 2016 #135
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Italian archaeologists find 'world's oldest dentures'


Stumbling across someone else's used dentures might not normally be a cause for celebration, but a group of archaeologists were delighted with the discovery in Lucca this week.

The team, made up of paleopathologists (scientists specializing in the study of historical diseases) from the university of Pisa, discovered a set of centuries-old dentures in an ancient family tomb.

http://www.thelocal.it/20161117/ital...eology-history
 
Old March 4th, 2017 #136
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Default The incredible interactive map of every fossil found on Earth

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...sil-Earth.html

https://paleobiodb.org/navigator/

Paleobiology Database encompasses all known dinosaur species, with more than 2,000 types represented
Interactive map allows users to explore nearly 8,000 discovery sites, with information on over 15,000 fossils
Dots of different colours are scattered around the globe, representing different periods in Earth’s history

By Cheyenne Macdonald For Dailymail.com

Scientists have created a massive database of fossils discovered all around the world in a painstaking project that covers 165 million years of dinosaur evolution.

The Paleobiology Database encompasses all known dinosaur species, with more than 2,000 types represented across every continent on Earth.

And, it’s steadily growing, as researchers continue to discover new dinosaurs ‘to the tune of a new species every month or two.’

A remarkable interactive map visualizing the data allows users to explore nearly 8,000 discovery sites, revealing information on what could be as many as 25,000 dinosaur fossils.

https://paleobiodb.org/navigator/

Dr Matthew Carrano, Curator of Dinosauria at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, first began contributing to the database in 2000 – and, the work continues to grow today.

‘Right now there are about 7,900 localities with dinosaur fossils represented,’ Carrano told Dailymail.com in an email.

‘That means 7,900 holes in the ground where someone has found a dinosaur fossil and published a scientific paper documenting that.’

So far, this accounts for more than 15,000 individual fossils – but, according to Carrano, it’s likely ‘more like 25,000.’

‘Many localities have just a single dinosaur fossil, but others are very rich bonebeds of thousands of fossils,’ Carrano explained.

In the map, dots of different colours can be seen scattered around the globe, representing different periods in Earth’s history.

The data, which for now excludes birds, covers the Middle Triassic through the latest Cretaceous periods, about 235 to 66 million years ago.

Users can choose to browse based on a particular type of fossil or era, or simply choose a location and zoom in to learn more.

Zooming in on New York City, for example, reveals the discovery of a type of clam that dates back to the Pleistocene.
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Old October 24th, 2017 #137
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Prehistoric menhir found near Bern


Archaeologists in the canton of Bern have discovered a large stone that they believe to be a menhir that would have been part of a place of worship during the Bronze Age.

The stone – two metres long and 1.3 metres wide, and weighing up to three tons – was found as part of excavations of a known Bronze Age site at Breitenacher near Kehrsatz on the outskirts of Bern, said the cantonal authorities in a press release.

https://www.thelocal.ch/20171024/bro...ound-near-bern
 
Old November 8th, 2017 #138
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Archaeologists uncover rare 2,000-year-old sundial during Roman theatre excavation


A 2,000-year-old intact and inscribed sundial – one of only a handful known to have survived – has been recovered during the excavation of a roofed theatre in the Roman town of Interamna Lirenas, near Monte Cassino, in Italy.

http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/a...tre-excavation
 
Old January 27th, 2018 #139
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Default Archaeologists Find 10k Year Old Crayon in Scarborough

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-y...shire-42831463

"An ochre crayon thought to have been used to draw on animal skins 10,000 years ago has been found by archaeologists.

The crayon, which is just 22mm long, was discovered near the site of an ancient lake which is now covered in peat near Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

An ochre pebble was found at another site on what would have been the opposite side of the lake.

The area is near one of the most famous Mesolithic sites in Europe, Star Carr.."

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