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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology news updates
    Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 06:45
"...

The Church of the Nativity is located in Bethlehem and is the largest tourist attraction in the Palestinian Territories. The church’s Grotto of the Nativity has been considered Jesus’ birthplace since ancient times, and the traditional precise spot of the birth of Jesus is marked by a 14-pointed silver star in the floor. Nada Atrash, of Bethlehem’s Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation, told CNN* reporters that adding the Church of the Nativity to the UNESCO World Heritage List would be “a Palestinian dream, and as a reward of 11 years of work in the field of preserving the cultural and natural heritage in Palestine.”

The Church of the Nativity in BethlehemThe Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, sacred to Christians as the traditional location of Jesus’ birthplace, may become the first Palestinian UNESCO site...." http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/news/jesus%E2%80%99-birthplace-nominated-for-unesco-world-heritage-list/?mqsc=E3251877
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 06:46
"...

Uranium-series dating reveals Iberian paintings are Europe's oldest cave art

The practice of cave art in Europe thus began up to 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, indicating the paintings were created either by the first anatomically modern humans in Europe or, perhaps, by Neanderthals.

Fifty paintings in 11 caves in Northern Spain, including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Altamira, El Castillo and Tito Bustillo, were dated by a team of UK, Spanish and Portuguese researchers led by Dr Alistair Pike of the University of Bristol, UK.

As traditional methods such as radiocarbon dating don't work where there is no organic pigment, the team dated the formation of tiny stalactites on top of the paintings using the radioactive decay of uranium. This gave a minimum age for the art. Where larger stalagmites had been painted, maximum ages were also obtained.

Hand stencils and disks made by blowing paint onto the wall in El Castillo cave were found to date back to at least 40,800 years, making them the oldest known cave art in Europe, 5-10,000 years older than previous examples from France.

A large club-shaped symbol in the famous polychrome chamber at Altamira was found to be at least 35,600 years old, indicating that painting started there 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, and that the cave was revisited and painted a number of times over a period spanning more than 20,000 years...."http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-06/uob-udr060612.php

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 06:48
http://phys.org/news/2012-06-roman-empire-historical-mystery.html
"...

The Bergen-based archaeologists approached the problem from a novel angle – instead of examining the city itself, they studied an enormous expanse of land just to the north. Along with their Syrian colleagues from the Palmyra Museum and aided by satellite photos, they catalogued a large number of ancient remains visible on the Earth’s surface.

“In this way,” explains Professor Meyer, “we were able to form a more complete picture of what occurred within the larger area.”

The team detected a number of forgotten villages from ancient Roman times. But what finally solved the riddle of Palmyra was the discovery of the water reservoirs these villages had utilized.

Researchers solve historical mystery
Enlarge

The archaeologists located this and other reservoirs used nearly 2 000 years ago...."

Not a desert

Professor Meyer and his colleagues came to realise that what they were studying was not a desert, but rather an arid steppe, with underground grass roots that keep rain from sinking into the soil. Rainwater collects in intermittent creeks and rivers called wadi by the Arabs.

The archaeologists gathered evidence that residents of ancient Palmyra and the nearby villages collected the rainwater using dams and cisterns. This gave the surrounding villages water for crops and enabled them to provide the city with food; the collection system ensured a stable supply of agricultural products and averted catastrophe during droughts.

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 06:51
"...The genetic analysis showed that the bones were from the same person, a man who most probably came from the Middle East....""When I first heard this story in 2010 I thought it was a bit of a joke, to be honest," said Tom Higham of the University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, one of the world's top laboratories for carbon dating of archaeological material.

(/Reuters) - Bulgaria's claim to have unearthed six bones belonging to John the Baptist has received a boost from scientists who have concluded after dating them and analyzing their genetic code that they could indeed be relics of the man who baptized Jesus.

The remains, which include a molar and a piece of cranium, were found in July 2010 in a marble sarcophagus in the ruins of a medieval church on the island of Sveti Ivan, or Saint John, off Bulgaria's Black Sea coast near the resort of Sozopol.

They are on display in a church in Sozopol where thousands of worshippers have flocked to view them, untroubled by questions about their authenticity.

Higham's team dated a knuckle-bone to the first century AD, when John the Baptist would have lived, while geneticist colleagues from the University of Copenhagen established the full DNA code of three of the bones...."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/15/us-britain-bulgaria-bones-idUSBRE85E0U220120615

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 06:53
"...A team of experts from the Archeological Institute of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences (SANU) and the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade have discovered the necropolis. It is located at the Manište dig in the village of Ranutovac, three kilometers north of Vranje, on the route of Corridor 10.

Aleksandar Bulatović, the coordinator of a project of archeological research and preservation on the Corridor 10 route, told Tanjug the necropolis contained remains of the deceased who were burned in funeral pyres.

"The necropolis dates back to the Early Bronze Age - based on our initial assessments between 2,000 and 1,800 BC, and it is significant because it is the only fully preserved necropolis from this period in the central Balkans," he explained.
“It is the most important discovery made to date on the Corridor X route,” he added. ..."
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2012&mm=06&dd=16&nav_id=80796
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 11:28

Archaeologist Finds Oldest Rock Art in Australia

Published June 18, 2012|Associated Press



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/06/18/oldest-rock-art-in-australia/#ixzz1y9vOpYkp
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 11:30

US demands Smuggled Tyrannosaur Be Turned Over to Mongolia

By Wynne ParryPublished June 19, 2012LiveScience



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/06/19/us-demands-stolen-tyrannosaur-be-turned-over-to-mongolia/#ixzz1y9vlYu3Q
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 11:34
Pre-Historic Human Skeleton Discovered in Sri Lanka
Mon, Jun 18, 2012, 12:23 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.


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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jun-2012 at 11:36

What the Amazon Looked Like Before Columbus

By Wynne Parry|Published June 19, 2012|LiveScience



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/06/18/what-amazon-looked-like-before-columbus/#ixzz1y9xOpvxT
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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Jun-2012 at 09:50
China Unearths Over 100 New Terracotta Warriors
"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 TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jun-2012 at 07:57
How Easter Island Statues Walked
Did Easter Island's famous statues rock, or roll? After doing a little rocking out themselves, researchers say they're sure the natives raised the monumental figures upright, and then rocked them back and forth to "walk" them to their positions.

Their findings mesh with a scenario that casts the Polynesian island's natives in the roles of resourceful engineers working with the little that they had on hand, rather than the victims of a self-inflicted environmental catastrophe.

"A lot of what people think they know about the island turns out to be not true," Carl Lipo, an archaeologist at California State University at Long Beach, told me today.

Lipo and University of Hawaii anthropologist Terry Hunt lay out their case in a book titled"The Statues That Walked" as well as July's issue of National Geographic magazine. Their story serves as a counterpoint to a darker Easter Island saga, detailed in "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," a better-known book by UCLA scientist-author Jared Diamond............

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/19/12302614-how-easter-islands-statues-walked?lite



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 21-Jun-2012 at 08:03
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jun-2012 at 08:07

Talisman of Ancient Googly-Eyed God Discovered

The gods tongue is sticking out, his eyes are googly and he is wearing a crown of feathers.
The god's tongue is sticking out

A newly identified googly-eyed artifact may have been used by the ancient Egyptians to magically protect children and pregnant mothers from evil forces.

Made of faience, a delicate material that contains silica, the pale-green talisman of sorts dates to sometime in the first millennium B.C. It shows the dwarf god Bes with his tongue sticking out, eyes googly, wearing a crown of feathers. A hole at the top of the face was likely used to suspend it like a bell, while a second hole, used to hold the bell clapper, was apparently drilled into it in antiquity.

Carolyn Graves-Brown, a curator at the Egypt Centre, discovered the artifact in the collection of Woking College, the equivalent of a high school for juniors and seniors. The college has more than 50 little-studied Egyptian artifacts, which were recently lent to theEgypt Centre at Swansea University where they are being studied and documented. [Gallery: Amazing Egyptian Discoveries]

Graves-Brown told LiveScience in an interview that at first she didn't know what the object was. It wasn't until she learned of a similar artifact in the British Museum that she was able to determine that it is a faience Bes bell, one of a very few known to exist.

"If you try to rattle it much it would (have) broken easily," she said..........

http://news.yahoo.com/talisman-ancient-googly-eyed-god-discovered-154851461.html

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jun-2012 at 08:11

Mammoth field found at Serbia coal mine 'great find for Ice Age knowledge'

Mammoth from Kostolac mine, Serbia
A mammoth recovered from the 'mass grave' at the Kostolac open-pit coal mine about 50 miles east of Belgrade.

Archaeologists have unearthed at least five mammoths at a site inSerbia. The discovery last week at Kostolac coal mine, east of the Serbian capital of Belgrade, is the first of its kind in the region and could offer important insights into how the ice age affected the area now known as the Balkans. Miomir Korac, of Serbia's Archaeology Institute, said: "There are millions of mammoth fragments in the world, but they are rarely so accessible for exploration."

"A mammoth field can offer incredible information and shed light on what life looked like in these areas during the ice age." The remains were found during coal excavations about 20 metres below ground. Korac said the mammoth field stretched over nearly nine hectares (20 acres) of sandy terrain. In 2009 a well-preserved skeleton of a much older mammoth was found at the same site. The female skeleton, nicknamed Vika, is up to a million years old and belonged to the southern mammoth type which lacked dense fur.

The newly discovered bones are likely to belong to the woolly mammoth,Mammuthus primigenius, which disappeared about 10,000 years ago, said Sanja Alaburic, an expert on the animals, based at Serbia's Museum of Natural History. Korac said Serbian archaeologists had contacted colleagues in France and Germany for consultation about the find. He said at least six months of work would be needed before all the bones are unearthed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/20/mammoth-field-serbia-kostolac-mine?INTCMP=SRCH

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jun-2012 at 08:19

Archaeologists Excavate Massive Timber Structure at Site of Ancient Roman Fort

A team of archaeologists, students and volunteers led by Newcastle University's Professor Ian Haynes and Tony Wilmott has returned to continue excavations at the site of a massive ancient timber complex associated with the 2nd century Roman military fort complex in Maryport near the coast of northwestern Britain.

Part of the groundplan of the timber structure (or structures) was unearthed in 2011, raising questions and providing new clues related to the discovery of Roman altar stones uncovered there over 140 years ago. 

Said Haynes: "Until last year's excavation it was accepted by Roman scholars worldwide that the 17 Maryport altar stones excavated in 1870 at the site - Britain's largest cache of Roman altars - had been buried as part of a religious ceremony.  It turns out they were re-used in the foundations of a large Roman timber building or buildings."

The altar stones represent Britain's largest cache of Roman altars. As a popular tourist attraction, they have been exhibited in the Senhouse Roman Museum at Maryport since 1990. The town of Maryport was first established as the Roman fort Alauna in about 122 AD. It was a command and supply base for the Roman coastal defencework of Hadrian's Wall at its western end. Last in a series of forts that stretched south from Hadrian's Wall on the coast, its remains are substantial. Recent surveys have shown a large Roman settlement likely associated with the fort, and excavations have revealed evidence of a second, earlier and larger fort next to and partially under the current remains. 

"This year we're excavating over a larger area than last year - about 400 square metres - and for twice as long, which means we can involve more local volunteers, and learn more about the number of timber structures, their size and date", added Haynes. "We need to find out what the buildings were used for and whether they and the curved ditch we discovered in 2011 have any relation to each other.".........

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/june-2012/article/archaeologists-excavate-massive-timber-structure-at-site-of-ancient-roman-fort



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 21-Jun-2012 at 08:19
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jun-2012 at 08:31

Welsh people could be most ancient in UK, DNA suggests

A depiction of early man for The Story of Wales series
A depiction of early man for The Story of Wales series

Welsh people could lay claim to be the most ancient Britons, according to scientists who have drawn up a genetic map of the British Isles.

Research suggests the Welsh are genetically distinct from the rest of mainland Britain.

Professor Peter Donnelly, of Oxford University, said the Welsh carry DNA which could be traced back to the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago.

The project surveyed 2,000 people in rural areas across Britain.

Participants, as well as their parents and grandparents, had to be born in those areas to be included in the study.

Prof Donnelly, a professor of statistical science at Oxford University and director of the Wellcome Trust centre for human genetics, said DNA samples were analysed at about 500,000 different points.

After comparing statistics, a map was compiled which showed Wales and Cornwall stood out.

Prof Donnelly said: "People from Wales are genetically relatively distinct, they look different genetically from much of the rest of mainland Britain, and actually people in north Wales look relatively distinct from people in south Wales."

While there were traces of migrant groups across the UK, there were fewer in Wales and Cornwall.

He said people from south and north Wales genetically have "fairly large similarities with the ancestry of people from Ireland on the one hand and France on the other, which we think is most likely to be a combination of remnants of very ancient populations who moved across into Britain after the last Ice Age.

"And potentially also, people travelling up the Atlantic coast of France and Spain and settling in Wales many thousands of years ago".

Mountains

He said it was possible that people came over from Ireland to north Wales because it was the closest point, and the same for people coming to south Wales from the continent, as it was nearer.

However he added: "We don't really have the historical evidence about what those genetic inputs were."

The geography of Wales made it more likely that ancient DNA would be retained.

Because of its westerly position and mountainous nature, Anglo-Saxons who moved into central and eastern England after the Romans left did not come that far west, and neither did the Vikings who arrived in around 900AD.

The professor said modern people from central and southern England had many genetic similarities to modern people in Denmark and Germany.

The mountains were also the reason why DNA may have remained relatively unchanged, as people would have found it harder to get from north to south Wales or into England compared with people trying to move across the flatter southern English counties, making them more likely to marry locally and conserve more ancient DNA.

"In north Wales, there has been relative isolation because people moved less because of geographical barriers," Prof Donnelly said.

He added that some of these factors also held true for the extreme edges of Scotland, while the Orkney islands showed DNA connections to Norway.

The next stage of the research will looking at physical similarities between different groups, in which the team will use photographs of people and make 3D models to measure quantitative similarities between related groups.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18489735

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Jun-2012 at 08:40

"Emergency" Gold Treasures Found in Holy Land

Gold picture: from Israel treasure discovery gallery -- rings

"Among the Most Valuable"


Though separated by a thousand years, two newfound "emergency hoards" from Israel—including gold jewelry and coins—may have been hidden by ancient families fleeing unknown dangers, archaeologists say.

Revealed late last month, these 3,000-year-old rings (foreground) and earrings, from the older hoard, were found in a ceramic jug among the ruins of a house. Though unearthed in 2010, the vessel concealed its cargo until late last year, when scientists began molecular analysis of the contents.

The valuables likely belonged to wealthy Canaanites—a Semitic people who inhabited ancient Palestine and Phoenicia beginning about 5,000 years ago—according to Tel Aviv University archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, who led the excavation.

Discovered near Megiddo—the biblical site of Armageddon—the trove is, according to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "among the most valuable ever found from the Biblical period."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/06/pictures/120618-emergency-gold-treasures-israel-science-jewelry/

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jun-2012 at 23:25

New deglaciation data opens door for earlier First Americans migration

A new study of lake sediment cores from Sanak Island in the western Gulf of Alaska suggests that deglaciation there from the last Ice Age took place as much as1,500 to 2,000 years earlier than previously thought, opening the door for earlier coastal migration models for the Americas.

The Sanak Island Biocomplexity Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, also concluded that the maximum thickness of the ice sheet in the Sanak Island region during the last glacial maximum was 70 meters – or about half that previously projected – suggesting that deglaciation could have happened more rapidly than earlier models predicted.

Results of the study were just published in the professional journal, Quaternary Science Reviews.

The study, led by Nicole Misarti of Oregon State University, is important because it suggests that the possible coastal migration of people from Asia into North America and South America – popularly known as "First Americans" studies – could have begun as much as two millennia earlier than the generally accepted date of ice retreat in this area, which was 15,000 years before present.

Well-established archaeology sites at Monte Verde, Chile, and Huaca Prieta, Peru, date back 14,000 to 14,200 years ago, giving little time for expansion if humans had not come to the Americas until 15,000 years before present – as many models suggest.

The massive ice sheets that covered this part of the Earth during the last Ice Age would have prevented widespread migration into the Americas, most archaeologists believe.

"It is important to note that we did not find any archaeological evidence documenting earlier entrance into the continent," said Misarti, a post-doctoral researcher in Oregon State's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. "But we did collect cores from widespread places on the island and determined the lake's age of origin based on 22 radiocarbon dates that clearly document that the retreat of the Alaska Peninsula Glacier Complex was earlier than previously thought."

"Glaciers would have retreated sufficiently so as to not hinder the movement of humans along the southern edge of the Bering land bridge as early as almost 17,000 years ago," added Misarti, who recently accepted a faculty position at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

Interestingly, the study began as a way to examine the abundance of ancient salmon runs in the region. As the researchers began examining core samples from Sanak Island lakes looking for evidence of salmon remains, however, they began getting radiocarbon dates much earlier than they had expected. These dates were based on the organic material in the sediments, which was from terrestrial plant macrofossils indicating the region was ice-free earlier than believed.

The researchers were surprised to find the lakes ranged in age from 16,500 to 17,000 years ago.

A third factor influencing the find came from pollen, Misarti said.

"We found a full contingent of pollen that indicated dry tundra vegetation by 16,300 years ago," she said. "That would have been a viable landscape for people to survive on, or move through. It wasn't just bare ice and rock."

The Sanak Island site is remote, about 700 miles from Anchorage, Alaska, and about 40 miles from the coast of the western Alaska Peninsula, where the ice sheets may have been thicker and longer lasting, Misarti pointed out. "The region wasn't one big glacial complex," she said. "The ice was thinner and the glaciers retreated earlier."

Other studies have shown that warmer sea surface temperatures may have preceded the early retreat of the Alaska Peninsula Glacier Complex (APGC), which may have supported productive coastal ecosystems.

Wrote the researchers in their article: "While not proving that first Americans migrated along this corridor, these latest data from Sanak Island show that human migration across this portion of the coastal landscape was unimpeded by the APGC after 17 (thousand years before present), with a viable terrestrial landscape in place by 16.3 (thousand years before present), well before the earliest accepted sites in the Americas were inhabited."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-06/osu-ndd061912.php


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jun-2012 at 23:29

Research finds Stonehenge was monument marking unification of Britain

Stonehenge Riverside Project team
Stonehenge Riverside Project team

After 10 years of archaeological investigations, researchers have concluded that Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference between eastern and western Britain.

Its stones are thought to have symbolized the ancestors of different groups of earliest farming communities in Britain, with some stones coming from southern England and others from west Wales.

The teams, from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth and University College London, all working on the Stonehenge Riverside Project (SRP), explored not just Stonehenge and its landscape but also the wider social and economic context of the monument’s main stages of construction around 3,000 BC and 2,500 BC.

“When Stonehenge was built”, said Professor Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield, “there was a growing island-wide culture – the same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast. This was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries. Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labour of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them. Just the work itself, requiring everyone literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification.”

Stonehenge may have been built in a place that already had special significance for prehistoric Britons. The SRP team have found that its solstice-aligned Avenue sits upon a series of natural landforms that, by chance, form an axis between the directions of midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset.

Professor Parker Pearson continued: “When we stumbled across this extraordinary natural arrangement of the sun’s path being marked in the land, we realized that prehistoric people selected this place to build Stonehenge because of its pre-ordained significance. This might explain why there are eight monuments in the Stonehenge area with solstitial alignments, a number unmatched anywhere else. Perhaps they saw this place as the centre of the world”.

Although many people flocked to Stonehenge yesterday for the summer solstice, it seems that the winter solstice was the more significant time of the year when Stonehenge was built 5,000-4,500 years ago.

Professor Parker Pearson said: “We can tell from ageing of the pig teeth that higher quantities of pork were eaten during midwinter at the nearby settlement of Durrington Walls, and most of the monuments in the Stonehenge area are aligned on sunrise and sunset at midwinter rather than midsummer. At Stonehenge itself, the principal axis appears to be in the opposite direction to midsummer sunrise, towards midsummer sunset, framed by the monument’s largest stone setting, the great trilithon.”

Parker Pearson and the SRP team firmly reject ideas that Stonehenge was inspired by ancient Egyptians or extra-terrestrials. He said: “All the architectural influences for Stonehenge can be found in previous monuments and buildings within Britain, with origins in Wales and Scotland. In fact, Britain’s Neolithic people were isolated from the rest of Europe for centuries. Britain may have become unified but there was no interest in interacting with people across the Channel. Stonehenge appears to have been the last gasp of this Stone Age culture, which was isolated from Europe and from the new technologies of metal tools and the wheel.“

Previous theories have suggested the great stone circle was used as a prehistoric observatory, a sun temple, a place of healing, and a temple of the ancient druids. The Stonehenge Riverside Project’s researchers have rejected all these possibilities after the largest programme of archaeological research ever mounted on this iconic monument. As well as finding houses and a large village near Stonehenge at Durrington Walls, they have also discovered the site of a former stone circle – Bluestonehenge – and revised the dating of Stonehenge itself. All these discoveries are now presented in Parker Pearson’s new book Stonehenge: exploring the greatest Stone Age mystery published by Simon & Schuster. The research was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, National Geographic and many other funding bodies.

http://www.shef.ac.uk/news/nr/stonehenge-monument-unification-britain-1.188608

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Roman jewellery found in ancient Japan tomb

Glass jewellery believed to have been made by Roman craftsmen has been found in an ancient tomb in Japan, researchers said Friday, in a sign the empire's influence may have reached the edge of Asia.

Tests have revealed three glass beads discovered in the Fifth Century "Utsukushi" burial mound in Nagaoka, near Kyoto, were probably made some time between the first and the fourth century, the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties said.

The government-backed institute has recently finished analysing components of the glass beads, measuring five millimetres (0.2 inches) in diametre, with tiny fragments of gilt attached.

It found that the light yellow beads were made with natron, a chemical used to melt glass by craftsmen in the empire, which succeeded the Roman Republic in 27 BC and was ultimately ended by the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The beads, which have a hole through the middle, were made with a multilayering technique -- a relatively sophisticated method in which craftsmen piled up layers of glass, often sandwiching gold leaf in between.

"They are one of the oldest multilayered glass products found in Japan, and very rare accessories that were believed to be made in the Roman Empire and sent to Japan," said Tomomi Tamura, a researcher at the institute.

The Roman Empire was concentrated around the Mediterranean Sea and stretched northwards to occupy present-day England. The finding in Japan, some 10,000 kilometres (6,000 miles) from Italy, may shed some light on how far east its influence reached, Tamura said.

"It will also lead to further studies on how they could have got all the way to Japan," she said.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8488215


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DNA clues to Queen of Sheba tale

Man with donkey in Ethiopia
Modern day Ethiopians show great cultural, linguistic and historical diversity

Clues to the origins of the Queen of Sheba legend are written in the DNA of some Africans, according to scientists.

Genetic research suggests Ethiopians mixed with Egyptian, Israeli or Syrian populations about 3,000 years ago.

This is the time the queen, mentioned in great religious works, is said to have ruled the kingdom of Sheba.

The research, published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, also sheds light on human migration out of Africa 60,000 years ago.

According to fossil evidence, human history goes back longer in Ethiopia than anywhere else in the world. But little has been known until now about the human genetics of Ethiopians.

Professor Chris Tyler-Smith of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK, a researcher on the study, told BBC News: "Genetics can tell us about historical events.

"By analysing the genetics of Ethiopia and several other regions we can see that there was gene flow into Ethiopia, probably from the Levant, around 3,000 years ago, and this fits perfectly with the story of the Queen of Sheba."...........

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18526428

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