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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology news updates
    Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 18:57

Stunning face hidden for thousands of years: Wooden sarcophagus is unearthed at Egyptian necropolis

Encased in soil, this extraordinarily delicate face emerges into the sun for the first time in thousands of years.

The wooden sarcophagus was unearthed by archaeologists at the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in Aswan, Egypt.

Believed to contain the body of a person of some rank, it boasts extraordinarily delicate features, well-preserved by the sands of time.

High rank: The wooden sarcophagus was found at the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in Aswan, Egypt

High rank: The wooden sarcophagus was found at the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in Aswan, Egypt

Spectacular: The necropolis at Qubbet el-Hawa just outside the modern city of Aswan where the sarcophagus was found

Spectacular: The necropolis at Qubbet el-Hawa just outside the modern city of Aswan where the sarcophagus was found

The piece was found by a team from the University of Jaen, in Spain, who have been carrying out digs at the site since 2008.

Since starting a fresh excavation in January, they have also discovered 20 mummies and uncovered a tomb dating from around 1830BC.

The dig is being led by Professor Alejandro Jiménez Serrano, who is working alongside 16 staff from Jaen, as well as universities in Granada and London. 

He said that his team came from a number of different disciplines which allowed a broad focus.

It had also allowed them 'to develop new techniques such as RTI or scanning in 3D which helps read hieroglyphic texts with greater accuracy,' he added.

The team had already found two smaller tombs in earlier digs.

Qubbet el-Hawa necropolis was in use from 2250BC and provided a last resting place for some of the country's most important officials.

A string of 40 tombs cut into a rocky cliff face, the burial ground also forms one of the best vantage points of the city of Aswan.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2102035/Wooden-sarcophagus-dug-Aswan-tombs-Qubbet-el-Hawa.html



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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2012 at 01:26

Russians resurrect 30,000-year-old frozen flower

Published February 21, 2012-Associated Press


MOSCOW –  It was an Ice Age squirrel's treasure chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. From the fruit tissues, a team of Russian scientists managed to resurrect an entire plant in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species.

The Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.

The experiment proves that permafrost serves as a natural depository for ancient life forms, said the Russian researchers, who published their findings in Tuesday's issue of "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" of the United States. "We consider it essential to continue permafrost studies in search of an ancient genetic pool, that of pre-existing life, which hypothetically has long since vanished from the earth's surface," the scientists said in the article.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/21/russians-resurrect-30000-year-old-frozen-flower/#ixzz1mzkySBBh



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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2012 at 01:28
Originally posted by TheAlaniDragonRising

Stunning face hidden for thousands of years: Wooden sarcophagus is unearthed at Egyptian necropolis 


I always marvel at what is discovered. The chance to find new discoveries is exciting in knowing
that everything hasn't been found yet. 
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2012 at 17:09
Four unknown shipwrecks found
Four previously unknown shipwrecks have been discovered some 30 kilometers off the Bay of Irakleio, Crete, in recent underwater exploration conducted by the ephorate of underwater antiquities.
 
The new finds comprise two Roman era shipwrecks, one containing 1st and 2nd-century Cretan amphorae and the other containing 5th-7th century post-Roman era amphorae, and two shipwrecks containing Byzantine amphorae, dated from the 8th-9th century and later.
 
The finds, which were made south and east of the Dia islet, which lies 7 nautical miles north of Irakleio, were documented and taken ashore for further analysis.
 
Three more recent shipwrecks were also discovered, as well as four other areas with archaeological material of various eras and origin which, due to their immense research interest, will be further explored in 2012 by the ephorate.
 
The exploration was conducted to locate and record underwater antiquities in the wider area of the bay of Irakleio, as well as the Gulf of Yera of Lesvos island and the island of Tilos.
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2012 at 00:28

'Chinese Pompeii' 300m-year-old forest Preserved in Ash

Preservation of the forest, just west of the Inner Mongolian district of Wuda, has been likened to that of the Italian city of Pompeii. The researchers were able to "reconstruct" nearly 1,000 sq m of the forest's trees and plant distributions. This rare insight into how the region once looked is described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The excavations sampled three sites across a large expanse that was covered with about a metre of ash.


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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2012 at 14:04
Water Management and Climate Change in Ancient Maya City
"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

S. T. Friedman


Pilger's law: 'If it's been officially denied, then it's probably true'

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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2012 at 23:54

Fossil footprints Reveal Oldest Elephant Herd

The world's oldest elephant tracks have now been revealed, 7-million-year-old footprints in the Arabian Desert, researchers say.

These prehistoric footsteps, likely the work of some 13 four-tusked elephant ancestors, are the earliest direct evidence of how the ancestors of modern elephants interacted socially, and the oldest evidence of an elephant herd.

"Basically, this is fossilized behavior," said researcher Faysal Bibi, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Museum for Natural History in Berlin. "This is an absolutely unique site, a really rare opportunity in the fossil record that lets you see animal behavior in a way you couldn't otherwise do with bones or teeth."



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/22/fossil-footprints-reveal-oldest-elephant-herd/#ixzz1nB4vmz1B
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 10:21

Archaeologists bringing Jerusalem's ancient Roman city back to life

Excavations of the Roman city Aelia Capitolina, built on the ruins of Second Temple-period Jerusalem, have unearthed a few surprises.


If you look at a map of the Old City of Jerusalem, you'll notice something odd. While the vast majority of the Old City's streets form a crowded casbah of winding alleyways, there are a few straight-as-a-ruler streets that bisect the city from north to south and east to west.

The best known of these straight roads are Beit Chabad and Hagai streets, exiting through the Damascus Gate; David Street, exiting the Jaffa Gate; and the Via Dolorosa.


Western Wall Jerusalem Excavation Roman street -  Emil Salman - 21022012

Excavation site in the Western Wall plaza, Jerusalem, where the remains of an ornate Roman street were discovered.

Like the rest of the Old City's streets, these straight roads are narrow but, unlike the others, they preserve a historical skeleton of sorts that forms the basis of the Old City we know today. This skeleton was created, most archaeologists agree, not during Jewish, Christian or Muslim rule, but during the Roman period, when the city of Aelia Capitolina was built on the ruins of Jerusalem following the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD.

Ironically, it is actually the streets of this imperial and pagan city - which supposedly left behind no cultural or spiritual heritage for modern Jerusalem - that have bequeathed to the city the skeleton structure that has survived to this day.

In the history of Jewish Jerusalem, Aelia Capitolina is the very embodiment of defeat and destruction - a reminder of the humiliation of the Second Temple's destruction, which erected a pagan temple in its place. This image has distanced Aelia Capitolina from the fathers of Israeli archaeology, who were naturally drawn to the ornate, Jewish city that preceded it. "No one concealed Aelia Capitolina, but we wanted to talk about the Second Temple," says Dr. Ofer Sion, of the Antiquities Authority. "Aelia Capitolina was an accursed city, a city from which we were banished. It was more idealistic to excavate the Second Temple."

Almost all of the archaeologists who study Aelia Capitolina call it "an elusive city." As opposed to the Jerusalem of Second Temple times that preceded it, Aelia Capitolina has not been entirely unearthed during the many excavations that have been performed in the city since 1967. The residents of Aelia Capitolina did not leave written texts like the works of Flavius Josephus during the Second Temple era or of Christian travelers in the following period.

It is known that the Roman city was established by Emperor Hadrian between 130 and 140 AD. After the Bar Kochba revolt of 135, Jews were forbidden to enter the city. Its most important inhabitants were the soldiers of the 10th Legion, who would remain encamped in Jerusalem for 200 years.

Salvage operations

Following the latest wave of excavations, which began in the mid-1990s, more and more archaeologists have become convinced that Aelia Capitolina was a much larger and more important city than was once thought, and its influence on the later development of modern Jerusalem was dramatic.

Aelia Capitolina has sprung to life in a significant way through no less than four extensive excavations that have taken place in the Old City area, and in a number of other digs in other parts of Jerusalem. Most of these digs have been rescue excavations by the Antiquities Authority, salvage digs carried out before new construction and development goes ahead. In a few more years, Aelia Capitolina could again be covered over by new buildings.

In the rear section of the Western Wall plaza, in the spot where the Western Wall Heritage Foundation intends to erect a large building that it calls "the Core House," Antiquities Authority researcher Shlomit Wexler-Bedolah discovered an ornate and broad Roman street, complete with shops on each side. This is the eastern cardo, along whose path Hagai Street would later be paved.

Three hundred meters to the south, another Antiquities Authority researcher, Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, discovered the place where the Roman street apparently ended. The corner of the street is adjacent to the Givati parking lot at the top of the Silwan valley - the spot where the Elad organization intends to build a large visitors center. In a large rescue excavation at this location in recent years, Ben-Ami exposed a large, fancy Roman villa unlike any other structure from its time in the entire country. He estimates that the villa he uncovered was the home of the regional governor or some other central authority.

In another excavation, in the tunnel under the Western Wall, Wexler-Bedolah and archaeologist Alexander Onn re-estimated the dating of a large bridge leading to the Temple Mount. As with other ancient monuments this too turned out to be of Roman origin and not from the Second Temple period. Another example is the Roman bathhouse and swimming pool discovered by Sion a year and a half ago. "It's a tremendous spa, a country club," Sion says, comparing the bathhouse to similar facilities found in other parts of the Roman Empire.

This increasing number of Roman-era discoveries strengthens the notion that the Temple Mount, even after its destruction, did not lie totally barren, but was used for pagan worship rites.

But not only the Old City and its immediate surroundings have turned up new findings from Aelia Capitolina. Excavations made a few years ago in the area near the Binyanei Ha'uma international convention center, carried out in preparation for the expansion of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, uncovered a large pottery-workers village that served as the legion's central clayware manufacturing plant. Along the route of Jerusalem's new light-rail, remains of a large water facility serving the legionnaires were discovered, and in the area of Shuafat, a Jewish settlement from the same period was discovered.

The latest excavations give archaeologists much greater insight into Aelia Capitolina than was possible even a decade earlier. Experts agree the city was planned extraordinarily well, based as it was on designs of other cities in the empire and according to orders that came directly from the emperor. It included broad streets, numerous and magnificent entrance gates, temples and infrastructure, and it even housed a new elite of army officers and free soldiers who turned Aelia Capitolina into a thriving city.

"When I began to study the history of the Roman city, it was a barren field," says Prof. Yoram Zafrir, one of Israel's most veteran archaeologists. "Today, it is clear that the basic structure of Jerusalem is that of Aelia Capitolina." Zafrir describes the process by which, after the Roman period, beasts of burden replaced wagons, the central government became weak and streets became "privatized." This process led to the city that we know today.

"Similarly to the British Mandate, which lasted just 31 years but had a significant impact on modern Jerusalem, from the perspective of architecture, the Roman period established a whole new, imperial language that still holds sway today," archaeologist Dr. Guy Stiebel concludes. Stiebel even notes the irony of history: "Aelia Capitolina effectively saved Jerusalem. It raised her once again onto the stage of history. She returned like a phoenix from the ashes."

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/archaeologists-bringing-jerusalem-s-ancient-roman-city-back-to-life-1.413874

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 12:02
Norse settlement may help us adapt to global changes
Climate scientists have been examining the past environments and archaeological remains of Norse Greenland, Iceland and North Atlantic Islands for several years. They have been particularly interested in the end period of the settlements in the early part of the Little Ice Age (1300-1870 CE) and have been able to analyse how well the Norse responded to changes in  economy, trade, politics and technology, against a backdrop of changing climate.

They found that Norse societies fared best by keeping their options open when managing their long-term sustainability, adapting their trade links, turning their backs on some economic options and acquiring food from a variety of wild and farmed sources. Researchers say their findings could help inform decisions on how modern society responds to global challenges but also warns of inherent instabilities that do not directly link to climate.

Walrus Ivory. Image: Travis S. (Flickr, Creative commons Licence)

Walrus Ivory. Image: Travis S. (Flickr, Creative commons Licence)

In the middle ages, people in Iceland embraced economic changes sweeping Europe, developed trading in fish and wool and endured hard times to build a flourishing sustainable society. In Greenland, however, medieval communities maintained traditional Viking trade in prestige goods such as walrus ivory.

Although adapting to severe weather, the Norse in Greenland became increasingly specialised, and in the 15th century changes in trade links and cultural contact with the Inuit, in conjunction with climate change led to the society’s downfall. It is clear from the Íslendingabók (the Book of the Icelanders) that the purpose of Erik the Red’s initial colonisation was farmland and settlement, however the emphasis rapidly shifts to a hunting economy, based on, for example, walrus ivory, only supported by a subsistence economy.  This subsistence economy, becomes vulnerable, not as much to the climate, but to external pressures.

The land which is called Greenland was discovered
and settled from Iceland. Eirik the Red was
the name of a Breidafjord man who went out there
from here and took land in settlement at the place
which has ever since been called Eiriksfjord. He
gave the land a name, and called it Greenland,
arguing that men would go there if the land had a
good name. . . .

Íslendingabók, Priest Ari Þorgilsson,early 12th century.

Deserted Norse farmstead, Greenland. Image: ilovegreenland (Flickr, Creative commons Licence)

Deserted Norse farmstead, Greenland. Image: ilovegreenland (Flickr, Creative commons Licence)

Studies of past environments offer valuable insights into the relationships between people and climate change, and offer instructive examples of previous outcomes.

Thresholds of catastrophe can actually be crossed even in the presence of “sustainable” and responsive management strategies where changes are unpredictable and environmental impacts are not immediately apparent. Climate change may affect one part of  the complex interconnecting system – such as the trade from Greenland through Iceland and into Europe – and have cascading effects outside the areas actually affected by the changing weather itself.

Commercial changes in Europe could have been key in creating sensitivities to climate change  in Norse Greenland where the  market shifted away from walrus ivory from Norse Greenland to  Mediterranean trade routes and the re-introduction of elephant ivory on the European market.

The Norse Greenland settlements did not fail due to a lack of adaptation to harsher climatic conditions, but because of other external stresses, thus unfavourable economic changes and falling populations might actually have been the key factors in increasing the vulnerability to extinction. Adapting to climate change should not be seen as a specific and isolated issue, as the studies show, the need is to look at global changes as a whole and how each action may affect the wider world.

Professor Andrew Dugmore, of the University of Edinburgh, is presenting the findings as part of a symposium on ‘Climate Change and the long-term sustainability of societies’ at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, Canada.  He concludes  “Our future will in part be shaped by climate change, and to prepare for it we can learn valuable lessons from how societies of the past have adapted and even flourished amid a backdrop of difficult conditions. Most importantly we can understand how a combination of climate and non-climate events can lead to a ‘perfect storm’ and trigger unexpected and dramatic social change.”

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/02/2012/norse-settlement-may-help-us-adapt-to-global-changes


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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 14:30

Scientists create dinosaur robots using 3D printed bones

Published February 23, 2012 Innovation-News Daily


Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara is looking to print out some robot dinosaurs.

He wants to use a 3-D printer to create dinosaur bones, based on real fossils, to use in scaled-down robo-saurs. In the same way that document programs can shrink a page to 50 or 20 or 2 percent of its original size, a 3-D printing program can shrink a blueprint for 100-foot-long skeletons to a more manageable size for study. 

The assembled dino-bots will help Lacovara, who is based at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., study how 60- to 80-ton sauropods stood, walked and mated. "It's great," he said, "because I physically can't lift up [and piece together] the bones." "It's this new frontier in paleontology," he told InnovationNewsDaily.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/23/scientists-create-dinosaur-robots-using-3d-printed-bones/#ixzz1nEdShq87





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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 14:37

Triceratops no slouch, New forelimb Study Reveals

Written By Wynne Parry-Published February 23, 2012-LiveScience


The three-horned dinosaur Triceratops may have had a more upright, athletic posture than thought, new anatomical evidence suggests.

Researchers say Triceratops' forelimbs may have resembled those of a large mammal, kept closer to its body than the forelimbs of reptiles and amphibians that typically have a lower, more sprawling posture.

The key is in the elbow, according to the researchers, Shin-ichi Fujiwara from the University of Tokyo and John Hutchinson from the Royal Veterinary College of the University of London.

Hutchinson and Fujiwara knew that the bones of the elbow joint would look different depending on an animal's posture, because, for example, an animal with more-sprawling forelimbs would rely on different muscles to support its elbow than would an animal with a more upright posture. Animals, like, say a dog or an elepant, with more upright forelimbs rely on their triceps and have a prominent "funny bone" that acts as lever enabling the muscles to keep the elbow from bending too much. Meanwhile, animals, such as lizards, with sprawling forelimbs rely on muscles called adductors to pull the elbows toward the body.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/23/triceratops-no-slouch-new-forelimb-study-reveals/#ixzz1nEf689Nf
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Feb-2012 at 08:42

STONE AGE PEBBLE HOLDS MYSTERIOUS MEANING

engraving
The engraving consisted of a more complex geometric pattern that looks like the letter “X” repeated in a connected series. Click to enlarge this image.

A colorful pebble bearing a sequence of linear incisions may be the world's oldest engraving.

The object, which will be described in the April issue of the Journal of Archaeology, dates back approximately 100,000 years ago and could also be the world’s oldest known abstract art. It was recovered from Klasies River Cave in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.........

http://news.discovery.com/history/engraving-oldest-122302.html

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 07:42

Scientists find 4500-year old temple in Ur in Iraq

Iraqi and foreign archaeologists have uncovered a temple at the Sumerian city of Ur, which dates back to about 2500 B.C., the head of the Antiquities Department says.

 

So far the scientists have uncovered one of the walls of the temple along with numerous graves from the same period, said Hussein Rashid.

 

Ur is one of ancient Iraq’s most fascinating cities. It has given the world priceless treasures from the Sumerian civilization that flourished in southern Iraq.

 

The Sumerians, whose ethnic and linguistic stock is still a mystery, invented writing and established a civil system of government in southern Iraq more than 5000 years ago.

 

“An Italian excavation team in coordination with their Iraqi counterparts have uncovered the wall of a temple dating to 2500 B.C. at Tel Abu Tabeer in the ancient city of Ur,” said Rashid.

 

Rashid said there were three foreign excavation teams currently working in Iraq. It is the first team of foreign archaeologists to be working in the country for more than two decades.

 

Rashid said an American team was to arrive in Iraq to excavate ancient mounds in the southern city of Nasiriya, the capital of Dhi Qar Province where the richest and most ancient Mesopotamian ruins are found.

 

Rashid also said another Italian group will be arriving in the country to excavate the ancient Assyrian military capital, Nimrud, in the northern Province of Nineveh.

 

The Italian team in Ur is closely cooperating with scientist at Dhi Qar University. Rashid said Italian scientists will be lecturing on Iraq’s ancient civilizations and languages in English.

 

Ur is the dream place for foreign scientists specialized in Near Eastern studies. It is often referred to in the literature as “the world’s Archaeological Museum” for its great number of ancient sites.

http://www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news2-02-23kurd.htm

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 07:46

Rethinking the social structure of ancient Eurasian nomads: Current Anthropology research

Prehistoric Eurasian nomads are commonly perceived as horse riding bandits who utilized their mobility and military skill to antagonize ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Persians, and Greeks. Although some historical accounts may support this view, a new article by Dr. Michael Frachetti (Washington University, St. Louis) illustrates a considerably different image of prehistoric pastoralist societies and their impact on world civilizations more than 5000 years ago.

In the article, recently published in the February issue of Current Anthropology, Frachetti argues that early pastoral nomads grew distinct economies across the steppes and mountains of Eurasia and triggered the formation of some the earliest and most extensive networks of interaction in prehistory. The model for this unique form of interaction, which Frachetti calls "nonuniform" institutional complexity, describes how discrete institutions among small-scale societies significantly impact the evolution of wider-scale political economies and shape the growth of great empires or states.

Around 3500 BC, regionally distinct herding economies were found across the Eurasian steppes. In some regions, these societies were the first to domesticate and ride horses. Over the next 2000 years, key innovations introduced by steppe nomads such as chariots, domesticated horses, and advanced bronze metallurgy spread across the mountains and deserts of Inner Asia and influenced the political and economic character of ancient civilizations from China to Mesopotamia, Iran, and the Indus Valley.

Although the mobile societies that fueled these networks came to share certain ideological and economic institutions, in many cases their political organization remained autonomous and idiosyncratic. Still, these regional economic and social ties forged between neighboring mobile communities helped new ideologies and institutions propagate over vast territories, millennia before the fabled "Silk Road."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/uocp-rts022412.php

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 08:53

Copper beads spring a surprise in Megalithic excavation

Jewellery unearthed near Ramakkalmedu in Idukki

As part of the second phase of excavation of the Megalithic sites in the district, more earthen burial urns (nannagadis) have been unearthed near Ramakkalmedu.

The excavation is being done as part of the “Discovering Idukki” project of the district panchayat to preserve the historical remains in a heritage museum to be opened at Painavu.

A major discovery at the excavation done on Saturday by a team led by T. Rajesh, historian, was the finding of copper beads near the main urn at a cell joined by stone slabs with a capstone.

“This was the first time copper beads were found in a Megalithic site. The general perception was that the Copper Age (Chalcolithic Age) was just after the Iron Age. That there was no such discovery from a Megalithic site so far has highlighted the importance of further studies on different Megalithic sites in the district,” Mr. Rajesh said.

He said the beads excavated were fine jewellery. Archaeologists and historians had a common perception that the latter period of the Neolithic Age was immediately followed by the early Iron Age in South India. The new discovery contradicted that perception, and the beads gave a clear idea that copper was made during the period.

He said the jewellery showed the presence of a civilised society in the Megalithic period. It proved the artistic skill of a society which was cut off from the mainstream and a rhythm of life completely different from that of other societies of that period. The interaction with the world outside was evident from the new discovery. The beads were of the same size and shape. The holes inside the beads were fine-tuned to make jewellery in a period when life was more on a survival level when engagements in artistic works were impossible.

It showed that the transition of culture from the Neolithic to the Iron Age was a gradual one. The Neolithic-cum-Chalcolithic cultures in the Deccan plateau had further extended to the south throughout the second millennium BC, Mr. Rajesh said.

He said the same lifestyle could be seen here. The megalithic pottery could be broadly divided into two groups — unpolished, large, receptacles of funerary deposits, the burial urns, and well-fired highly polished small pottery. The old black-finished pottery was wheel-turned. The clay was finally ‘litigated,' making it a smooth and plastic paste, though it was not uniform in texture. The polish or glaze exhibited a capacity to withstand a fairly high temperature and a black colouring clay was applied, acting as a flux at high temperatures.

During the preceding Neolithic-Chalcolithic times, the knowledge of metals was almost non-existent in South India. In all probability, the copper beads were imports from the central Indian Chalcolithic regions. The copper beads pointed to a culture link with the Harappan civilisation.

Along with the beads around the main urn, there were nine small pottery pieces of various sizes. There were artistic skills in making pottery as evident from the decorative work on the main urn. The size and shape of the pottery showed the skill and the technological advancement in the Megalithic period. The pottery was thin and black. It was well finished and with a glossy surface. It was made using potter's wheel. The row clay used for making the pottery was found inside the cellar. The gap between the stone slabs used for making the cellar was filled with the same clay used for making pottery. A bunch of clay was left on the southern corner of the cellar near the main burial urn. The presence of clay in the raw form proved that the pottery was made there. The site which was on the top of a small hill was surrounded by low plains with marshy soil. The site was near an ancient trade route to low-lying areas of the present Tamil Nadu.

The excavations done as part of the project in other places showed differences in the living style of a society in this part of the district. There was no iron remains found on the site, but at Parathodu, around 55 km from here, iron remains, including two swords, were unearthed earlier.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/kerala/article2935549.ece

What a handsome figure of a dragon. No wonder I fall madly in love with the Alani Dragon now, the avatar, it's a gorgeous dragon picture.
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Feb-2012 at 02:09

Finder of 'Lost Tomb of Jesus' details ancient evidence of Jonah

Published February 28, 2012-FoxNews.com


The researchers behind a 2007 documentary detailing “The Lost Tomb of Jesus” have uncovered evidence in a first-century Israeli tomb of the Biblical figure of Jonah, who was famously swallowed whole by a whale in the Book of Jonah. The prime evidence: an ossuary, a box or chest built to contain human remains. It was examined by a robotic arm and a "snake camera" in the modestly sized, carefully carved rock tomb typical of Jerusalem in the period from 20 BCE until 70 CE.

It has a four-line Greek inscription that refers to God “raising up” someone. A carved image found on an adjacent ossuary shows what appears to be a large fish with a human stick figure in its mouth -- interpreted by the excavation team to be an image evoking the biblical story of Jonah.



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/28/tomb-jonah-discovered-finder-lost-tomb-jesus-claims/#ixzz1nkhaQDzb



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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2012 at 10:03

Scientists say giant fleas feasted on dinosaur blood

Fossils show oldest known fleas grew to nearly an inch; good thing they didn't jump

WASHINGTON — In the Jurassic era, even the flea was a beast, compared to its minuscule modern descendants. These pesky bloodsuckers were nearly an inch long. New fossils found in China are evidence of the oldest fleas — from 125 million to 165 million years ago, said Diying Huang of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology. Their disproportionately long proboscis, or strawlike mouth, had sharp weaponlike serrated edges that helped them bite and feed from their super-sized hosts, he and other researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.Scientists figure about eight or more of today's fleas would fit on the burly back of their ancient ancestor. "That's a beast," said study co-author Michael Engel, entomology curator at the Natural History Museum at theUniversity of Kansas. "It was a big critter. I can't even imagine coming home and finding my miniature schnauzer with one or more of these things crawling around on it."
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2012 at 10:06

T. Rex Bite Strongest Ever on Land—Ten Times Greater Than Gator's

Dinosaur still no match for prehistoric "megatooth" sharks.




Once the largest known carnivore on land, Tyrannosaurus rex also had the most powerful bite of any terrestrial animal of any time period, a new study suggests. Much conventional wisdom about the world's most famous dinosaur species has been called into question in recent years—for instance, whether the 40-foot-long (12-meter-long) T. rex species could run or only plod alongLikewise, some have contended that the supposedly mighty predator actually had a modest bite, limiting T. rex to scavenging. To see how forcefully T. rex could bite, biomechanicists involved in the new study used laser scanners to digitize juvenile and adult T. rex skulls. The team then used computer models to reconstruct the dinosaur's jaw muscles and analyze bite performance. The models suggest that an adult T. rex was capable of a maximum bite force of 35,000 to 57,000 newtons at its back teeth. That's more than four times higher than past estimates and ten times as forceful as the bite of a modern alligator.

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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2012 at 10:09

Giant Prehistoric Penguins Revealed: Big but Skinny

Birds lived on small New Zealand islands 25 million years ago.




Scientists finally have the skinny on two extinct species of giant "svelte" penguins that lived in New Zealand 25 million years ago, a new study says. (For decades, study co-author Ewan Fordyce, a paleontologist at New Zealand's University of Otago, had been happening across bones of the species while searching for fossil whales and dolphins.  Only recently, though, has a team reconstructed a full skeleton. This composite—created using a model of a modern-day king penguin—represents both species, which were quite similar.

The result is "quite a streamlined animal—it wouldn't look like any penguin that's alive today," said study leader Dan Ksepka, an avian paleontologist at North Carolina State University.  Instead of a modern penguin's rotund shape, each of the newly named species had a narrow chest; long, tapering flippers; and a narrow beak—a body specialized for hunting fish.


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/02/120227-new-giant-penguins-species-science-ksepka-new-zealand/


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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Mar-2012 at 20:41

Iceman mummy may hold earliest evidence of Lyme disease

The 5,300-year-old ice mummy dubbed Ötzi, discovered in the Eastern Alps about 20 years ago, appears to have had the oldest known case of Lyme disease, new genetic analysis has revealed.  As part of work on the Iceman's genome — his complete genetic blueprint — scientists found genetic material from the bacterium responsible for the disease, which is spread by ticks and causes a rash and flulike symptoms and can lead to joint, heart and nervous system problems.  The new analysis also indicates the Iceman was lactose intolerant, predisposed to cardiovascular disease, and most likely had brown eyes and blood type O.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/29/iceman-mummy-may-hold-earliest-evidence-lyme-disease/#ixzz1oCbwJJLI
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