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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology news updates
    Posted: 01-Feb-2012 at 17:58
Neanderthals see red 200,000 years ago
Neanderthals see red 200,000 years ago
The use of manganese and iron oxides by late Neanderthals is well documented in Europe from  60–40,000 years ago, and although they are often interpreted as being used as pigments the exact function is still largely unknown.

A new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has confirmed the use of significantly older iron oxide finds that constitute the earliest documented use of red ochre by Neanderthals.

Ochre is a mineral pigment and red ochre includes iron oxide (haematite) which produces the red colour. The research team is certain that this material was not found in the locality meaning Neanderthals would actively have had to seek the material out and transport it back to the site. Such actions do imply that the material was used for a specific and (to the Neanderthals) useful purpose, which might have included use as a pigment in creating images or as a ritual material or something more prosaic.

Today modern hunter-gatherer peoples have been seen to use red ochre as an insect repellent, as a method of preserving food, medication and as a means of tanning hides. It’s not known of course if Neanderthals were involved in any of these activities, but it does show the wide range of uses that this material can be used for.

One of the 14 concentrates of reddish material in the silty sand matrix of Maastricht- Belvedere Site C (D23/13, size of fragment c. 1 cm) (Picture by J. Pauptit)

One of the 14 concentrates of reddish material in the silty sand matrix of Maastricht- Belvédère Site C (D23/13, size of fragment c. 1 cm) (Picture by J. Pauptit)

Neanderthal remains have been found in Europe and parts of central and western Asia. They lived during the Pleistocene epoch as early as 600,000-350,000 years ago and are believed to have died out some 30,000 years ago.

These finds of ochre  amounted to 14 small concentrates retrieved during excavations at Maastricht-Belvédère in the Netherlands in the 1980s. The excavations exposed a series of well-preserved flint artefact  and bone scatters gathered in a river valley setting during a late Middle Pleistocene full interglacial period.

Samples of the reddish material were submitted to various forms of analyses to study their physical properties. X-ray powder diffraction analysis by C. Arps in the mid 1980’s showed that these red stains were indeed very probably caused by haematite, which may have entered the sandy sediment in a liquid form, as droplets.

The ochre material found by the team is believed to date back 200-250,000 years ago. Prior to this find, use of manganese and iron oxide by Neanderthals had been seen only as recently as 60-40,000 years ago (which has been interpreted as a use of pigments, though there is as yet no evidence to support such claims).

The team also notes that the time frame of the use of ochre by Neanderthals now coincides with the earliest use of ochre by Homo sapiens in Africa.

The discovery gives a more complete picture of the materials used by the early Neanderthals and of their culture as a whole. We also now know that the use of red ochre was not a specific characteristic of early-modern humans in South Africa, which is what was previously assumed. Of course what exactly the Neanderthals used red ochre for is still unclear.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/01/2012/neanderthals-see-red-200000-years-ago



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 01-Feb-2012 at 18:01
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2012 at 18:04
Evidence suggests Vikings grew grain in south Greenland


Archaeologists from the Danish national museum have finally succeeded in confirming that Erik the Red and his people could indeed brew beer in Greenland when they lived there.

There has long been a question mark over whether or not the southern Greenlandic climate was warm enough in Viking times to grow grain for beer, mead, gruel and bread.

Now Danish archaeologists have found remains of burnt barley in a dunghill from the time when Erik the Red and other Icelanders moved to Greenland. The find is the first evidence of corn cultivation in southern Greenland a thousand years ago.

According to Jyllandsposten, the archaeologists are very proud of their find and are even shipping 300 kilogrammes of the dunghill home to Denmark for further research.

http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2012/01/28/evidence-suggests-vikings-grew-grain-in-south-greenland/#ixzz1krxZq9Mx



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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2012 at 18:08

Archeologist uncovers ancient pottery



A former University of Guam archaeologist has uncovered 3,500-year-old pottery and artifacts in Tinian, a find that could add to theories about how people first came to Micronesia.

Mike Carson, a lecturer at Australian National University, and his wife, Hsiao-Chun Hung, discovered the artifacts at the Taga historical site in early December, according to the Richard F. Taitano Micronesia Area Research Center Archaeological Laboratory at UOG.

The House of Taga, most notable for a set of large, latte stone pillars, has been the site of previous excavations in the mid-20th century. Carson took the digging deeper and discovered a treasure trove of Marianas redware pottery.

Carson couldn't be reached for this article, but John Peterson, a UOG archaeologist, confirmed the find. Marianas redware is thin-walled pottery with a characteristic red hue and distinct geometric patterns, Peterson, said.

While a little bit of this type of pottery has been found in the Marianas before, including at the House of Taga site, the recent find adds a significant amount to the collection.

"There is a massive amount of material now to document," Peterson said.

Migrations

As the theory goes, about 3,000 to 3,500 years ago, sea levels around Asia began to drop, Peterson said. The main road in Tumon, for example, would have been completely under water 6,000 years ago.

Coastal Asian people, those around the south coast of China, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, were sea-faring and nomadic, so when the sea level started dropping, people had to travel further to find necessities, historians have said. The changes could have wiped out mangrove habitats, a food source for the nomads, so they started making wider migrations, eventually ending up in the Marianas, Peterson said.

While the notion of trekking days on end in handcrafted boats seems foreign to us now, it was common practice for these ancient men and women, Peterson said. They could pick up a coconut on a beach and guess how far it had traveled just by the condition it was in.

Based on linguistic studies and excavations, experts believe that it's likely there were multiple migrations to the Marianas from the Philippines over thousands of years, said Don Farrell, an author and historian who lives on Tinian. The people developed a common language and culture that became Chamorro culture.

"We're gradually learning this was a very extensive network of settlement," Peterson said.

Carson and Hung also discovered post holes for stilt houses and fireplaces at House of Taga, said Peterson. This suggests people might have actually been staying long-term in the Marianas earlier than historians previously thought.

Farrell said Carson's and Hung's work can't fully be validated until they have the opportunity to analyze their findings, but the find would certainly "establish a huge database that all researchers will be able to use in the future."

The artifacts will be property of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and likely will be curated in a Tinian collection or Saipan museum, Peterson said.

http://www.guampdn.com/article/20120130/NEWS01/201300308



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 01-Feb-2012 at 18:09
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2012 at 18:12

Origin of Ancient Jade Tool Baffles Scientists

The discovery of a 3,300-year-old tool has led researchers to the rediscovery of a "lost" 20th-century manuscript and a "geochemically extraordinary" bit of earth.

Discovered on Emirau Island in the Bismark Archipelago (a group of islands off the coast of New Guinea), the 2-inch (5-centimeters) stone tool was probably used to carve, or gouge, wood. It seems to have fallen from a stilted house, landing in a tangle of coral reef that was eventually covered over by shifting sands.

The jade gouge may have been crafted by the Lapita people, who appeared in the western Pacific around 3,300 years ago, then spread across the Pacific to Samoa over a couple hundred years, and from there formed the ancestral population of the people we know as Polynesians, according to the researchers.

Jade gouges and axes have been found before in these areas, but what's interesting about the object is the type of jade it's made of: it seems to have come from a distant region. Perhaps these Lapita brought it from wherever they originated.......

http://www.livescience.com/18153-ancient-jade-tool-mystery.html

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2012 at 18:15

DNA Turning Human Story Into a Tell-All

The tip of a girl’s 40,000-year-old pinky finger found in a cold Siberian cave, paired with faster and cheaper genetic sequencing technology, is helping scientists draw a surprisingly complex new picture of human origins.

The new view is fast supplanting the traditional idea that modern humans triumphantly marched out of Africa about 50,000 years ago, replacing all other types that had gone before.

Instead, the genetic analysis shows, modern humans encountered and bred with at least two groups of ancient humans in relatively recent times: the Neanderthals, who lived in Europe and Asia, dying out roughly 30,000 years ago, and a mysterious group known as the Denisovans, who lived in Asia and most likely vanished around the same time.

Their DNA lives on in us even though they are extinct. “In a sense, we are a hybrid species,” Chris Stringer, a paleoanthropologist who is the research leader in human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, said in an interview.

The Denisovans (pronounced dun-EE-suh-vinz) were first described a year ago in a groundbreaking paper in the journal Nature made possible by genetic sequencing of the girl’s pinky bone and of an oddly shaped molar from a young adult.

Those findings have unleashed a spate of new analyses.

Scientists are trying to envision the ancient couplings and their consequences: when and where they took place, how they happened, how many produced offspring and what effect the archaic genes have on humans today.

Other scientists are trying to learn more about the Denisovans: who they were, where they lived and how they became extinct.

A revolutionary increase in the speed and a decline in the cost of gene-sequencing technology have enabled scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, to map the genomes of both the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.

Comparing genomes, scientists concluded that today’s humans outside Africa carry an average of 2.5 percent Neanderthal DNA, and that people from parts of Oceania also carry about 5 percent Denisovan DNA. A study published in November found that Southeast Asians carry about 1 percent Denisovan DNA in addition to their Neanderthal genes. It is unclear whether Denisovans and Neanderthals also interbred.

A third group of extinct humans, Homo floresiensis, nicknamed “the hobbits” because they were so small, also walked the earth until about 17,000 years ago. It is not known whether modern humans bred with them because the hot, humid climate of the Indonesian island of Flores, where their remains were found, impairs the preservation of DNA.

This means that our modern era, since H. floresiensis died out, is the only time in the four-million-year human history that just one type of human has been alive, said David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School who was the lead author of the Nature paper on the Denisovans.

For many scientists, the epicenter of the emerging story on human origins is the Denisova cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, where the girl’s finger bone was discovered. It is the only known place on the planet where three types of humans — Denisovan, Neanderthal and modern — lived, probably not all at once.

John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, whose lab is examining the archaic genomes, visited the cave in July. It has a high arched roof like a Gothic cathedral and a chimney to the sky, he said, adding that being there was like walking in the footsteps of our ancestors.

The cave has been open to the elements for a quarter of a million years and is rich with layers of sediments that may contain other surprises. Some of its chambers are unexplored, and excavators are still finding human remains that are not yet identified. The average temperature for a year, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, bodes well for the preservation of archaic DNA.

Could this cave have been one of the spots where the ancient mating took place? Dr. Hawks said it was possible.

But Dr. Reich and his team have determined through the patterns of archaic DNA replications that a small number of half-Neanderthal, half-modern human hybrids walked the earth between 46,000 and 67,000 years ago, he said in an interview. The half-Denisovan, half-modern humans that contributed to our DNA were more recent.

And Peter Parham, an immunologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has used an analysis of modern and ancient immune-system genetic components — alleles — to figure out that one of the Denisovan-modern couplings most likely took place in what is now southeastern China. He has also found some evidence that a Neanderthal-modern pair mated in west Asia.

He stressed, however, that his study was just the first step in trying to reconstruct where the mating took place....

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/science/gains-in-dna-are-speeding-research-into-human-origins.html?_r=2


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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Feb-2012 at 20:24

Stonehenge Precursor Found? Island Complex Predates Famous Site

Scotland's Ness of Brodgar excavation pit has so far uncovered only about 10 percent of the ancient site.

On an island off Britain's northern tip, new discoveries suggest a huge Stone Age ritual complex is older thanStonehenge.

But age is only the half of it. Researchers say the site may have in fact been the original model for Stonehenge and other later, better-known British complexes to the south.

First discovered in 2002, the waterside site—called the Ness of Brodgar ("Brodgar promontory")—lies on Mainland, the largest of Scotland's Orkney Islands (map).

According to recent radiocarbon dating of burned-wood remains, the Ness was first occupied around 3200 B.C. and went on to include up to a hundred buildings within a monumental walled enclosure.

By contrast, the earliest earthworks at Stonehenge date to about 3000 B.C. And it would be roughly another 500 years before the first of the famous stones were set on Salisbury Plain. (Interactive time line: "Stages of Stonehenge.")

In addition, ritual gatherings at the Ness of Brodgar may have foreshadowed feasts Stonehenge and similar sites such as Avebury.

"Orkney is one of the keys to understanding the development of Neolithic religion," said site director Nick Card of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology.

Massive Final Feast

The idea of Orkney as a font of Stone Age culture isn't completely new.

It's been suspected, for example, that so-called grooved-ware pottery, which became dominant in Neolithic Britain, originated in Orkney and spread south. According to Card, it now appears that the crockery style may have ridden a cultural wave that included notions of stone circles and henges—ritual grounds enclosed by low earthwork "walls".

Despite its apparent influence, the Ness wouldn't last in this incarnation forever.

The dating of animal bones found around the finely crafted temple indicates that a huge feast ceremony was held in about 2300 B.C., after which the temple was effectively "decommissioned," Card said.

"We are perhaps looking at the remains [almost exclusively shin bones] of 600 individual cattle, which in anybody's book is a massive feast."

(Also see "Stonehenge Partiers Came From Afar, Cattle Teeth Show.")

The Height of Stone Age Decor

The new date is based on excavations at the Ness of Brodgar in 2011, when researchers made a slew of discoveries inside the complex's temple, which was first unearthed in 2008.

The 82-foot-long (25-meter-long) building, which has 16-foot-thick (5-meter-thick) outer walls, contains an "inner sanctum," where Card's team found stone shelved furniture, or "dressers," placed against each wall.

"We have four of these stone dressers, which are almost at the cardinal points of the compass," Card said. "They probably functioned like an altar."

Made of red and yellow sandstone, the Stone Age furniture was "beautifully finished" and represented "the very top end of the market" for their time, the archaeologist noted.

The 2011 excavation also found further examples of mysterious geometric stone carvings that decorate the complex as well as evidence for the production of paints. Traces of orange, red and yellow paintwork were first detected on walls in 2010.

"There's a small chamber where there was evidence of different colors of ochre and little grinding stones with little hollows in them, where the pigment had obviously been ground up," Card said.

"I think we've always envisaged that Neolithic man would have used color, maybe as a makeup or for dying clothes, but this is the oldest evidence in northern Europe of the use of color on the walls of buildings," he said.

Other major finds from 2011 include an extremely rare, crudely wrought Neolithic human figure fashioned from clay.

"It's got a head with two eyes and a body and has been nicknamed the Brodgar Boy," Card said. "It was in the rubble of one of the smaller structures."

(Also see "Britain's Oldest Toy Found Buried With Stonehenge Baby?")

World Heritage Site

Bounded by a 13-foot-thick (4-meter-thick) stone wall, the Ness of Brodgar is located between two other important monuments, the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness—all part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UN World Heritage site.

Archaeologist Mark Edmonds thinks that thousands of years ago, the Ness was a place where Orkney's Neolithic farming communities gathered in large numbers for seasonal rituals and to commemorate the dead—a pattern likely later repeated farther south.

(Related: "'Tomb of the Otters' Filled With Stone Age Human Bones.")

"What begins to happen at these sites in the later part of the Neolithic does seem to reflect the influence of ideas that are first brought into focus in Orkney," said Edmonds, of the University of York, who wasn't part of the 2011 excavation.

The Ness, Stonehenge (pictures), Avebury, and so on "are clearly ceremonial centers that bring lots of people together on a scale that you just wouldn't see at any other time and place" in late Stone Age Britain, the archaeologist added.

The complexes also all appear to share a common layout, roughly speaking.

"We get the impression that they not only have places where the dead are congregated and where the ceremonial events take place, but there are also places where the living congregate," he said.

(Related: "Stonehenge Was Cemetery First and Foremost.")

The Ness of Brodgar "has the potential to transform our understanding of the later Neolithic in Britain," Edmonds added.

"I think it will help us to understand the nature of belief systems at the time," he said. "It will give us a far better insight into the social and political context in which these ceremonies and rituals took place."

Site director Card agreed, and pointed out that less than 10 percent of the Ness complex has been excavated.

"We're still really just scratching the surface," he said.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/120127-stonehenge-ness-brodgar-scotland-science/

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  Quote Centrix Vigilis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Feb-2012 at 00:38
"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: 02-Feb-2012 at 00:47

Study Reveals Possible New Key to Human Evolution



For the first five years of life, human cognition slowly comes to fruition, receiving and storing information and experience from the environment and enabling humans to advance beyond the capabilities of their primate cousins, according to a study published online in Genome Research.  An international team of researchers have identified extended synaptic development in the prefrontal cortex of the human brain that sheds new light on the evolution of human cognition and suggests another reason why the human family diverged from other primates 4-6 million years ago.

"Why can we absorb environmental information during infancy and childhood and develop intellectual skills that chimpanzees cannot?" asks study author Dr. Philipp Khaitovich of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. "What makes the human brain so special?"

To find answers to these questions, Khaitovich and his colleagues applied microarray and RNA-sequencing technology to explore the changes in how genes are expressed as the postnatal brain develops during the first years of life for humans, chimps, and the more distantly related macaques. The group found that the time duration of these changes in humans differed markedly from that of other primates. By sampling the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that scientists have long thought was much more highly developed in humans, and the cerebellum, a more ancient and basic brain region related to motor control, they found that the synaptic genes of the prefrontal cortex reached their peak expression after the first five years, in contrast to first-year-of-life peak expression for the other sampled primates. This was not observed in the cerebellum.  

"Among all developmental changes specific to the human brain, one process – synaptogenesis – clearly stood out," said Khaitovich. "Our findings suggest that the human brain remains extremely plastic and susceptible to environmental input during the first five years of life." 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Structural and functional brain imaging analyses, combined with computational analyses, reveal highly connected, centrally located regions of the human cortex (front part of the brain) that form a “structural core” of the brain.  Liza Gross, Wikimedia Commons  

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Synaptogenesis is critical for learning and memory in the developing brain, a process that involves the formation, strengthening, and elimination of certain synaptic connections, providing the foundation for the more advanced cognitive (thinking) skills characteristic of humans. A synapse is a structure in the nervous system that permits a neuron to pass an electrical or chemical signal to another cell in the brain.....

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/december-2011/article/study-reveals-possible-new-key-to-human-evolution



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 02-Feb-2012 at 00:47
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Feb-2012 at 09:13

Scan Unwraps Mummy’s Secrets

SHE was spirited to Scotland by a forward-thinking Egyptologist who made an unusual decision not to unwrap the mummified remains of a young woman to find any “treasure” lying beneath.
Now, more than 150 years later, the secrets of what is under the black-tarred linen surrounding the “Rhind Mummy” has been revealed in a series of CT scans.An Edinburgh University team of radiologists and forensic pathologists have identified the remains as those of a 2,000-year-old Egyptian woman, aged 25-29, with a plate of metal, probably solid gold, in the shape of a flying scarab, placed on her skull.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/edinburgh-east-fife/scan_unwraps_mummy_s_secrets_1_2057068




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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Feb-2012 at 09:15

Ancient Mummy Had Prostate Cancer

CAIRO -- A professor from American University in Cairo says discovery of prostate cancer in a 2,200-year-old mummy indicates the disease was caused by genetics, not environment.

The genetics-environment question is key to understanding cancer.

AUC professor Salima Ikram, a member of the team that studied the mummy in Portugal for two years, said Sunday the mummy was of a man who died in his forties.

She said this was the second oldest known case of prostate cancer.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/30/researchers-find-cancer-in-mummy_n_1240756.html

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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2012 at 21:29

THE EARLIEST COPY OF MONA LISA FOUND



Conservators at Madrid's Prado museum have identified what they believe is the earliest copy of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Brighter faced and younger than the original which hangs in the Louvre in Paris, the lady in the portrait has long been standing against a black background.

Art historians thought it was just one of dozens of replicas produced in the centuries after Leonardo's death.

But as paint layers were stripped away during recent restoration work, a landscape much similar to the original backdrop in Da Vinci's masterpiece, emerged.

NEWS: Nude, Mona Lisa-Like Painting Surfaces

Intrigued, the curators turned to infrared reflectography, a technology which enables to see beneath the painted surface. They compared images obtained in 2004 from the original Mona Lisa with the Madrid copy.

"In the under-drawing you can see changes which are only apparent underneath the surface of the Louvre painting," said Gabriele Finaldi, deputy director of conservation at the Prado Museum.

The discovery suggests the picture was being produced at the same time as Leonardo was painting his masterpiece.

NEWS: Was Mona Lisa a Dude?

"The artist of this picture was making the same changes Leonardo was introducing into the original," Finaldi said.

Listed in the 1666 inventory of Madrid’s Alcazar Palace, the painting, which is close in size to the original Mona Lisa, enjoyed much attention in the past. Attributed to Leonardo himself, it was copied by various artists, such as Gaspare Sensi, known as Gaspar Sensi y Baldachi (1794-1880).

According to Alessandro Vezzosi, director of the Museo Ideale in Vinci, where Leonardo was born in 1452, the discovery is extremely important.

The curator of the exhibition Leonardo Da Vinci and His Idea of Beauty, which will open in March in Tokyo, Japan,  with more than 20 Mona Lisa inspired works, Vezzosi believes that the author is a Spanish artist.

BLOG: The Story Behind the Mona Lisa Heist

Indeed, many Da Vinci inspired artworks spread in Spain at that time.

"Leonardo had several Spanish apprentices, and one of them was in Florence at the beginning of 1500. He was called Ferrando, and has been identified either as Fernando Yáñez de la Almedina or in Fernando Llanos," Vezzosi told Discovery News.

Mentioned in Leonardo's "Manuscript H," Ferrando is also recorded in a 1505 document which enlists the artists working with the master at the now lost fresco The Battle of Anghiari.

"It says that 'Ferrando the painter' was paid 5 fiorins, while Tommaso Masini, also known as Zoroastro da Peretola, was paid 1 fiorin to crush the colors," Vezzosi said.

Expected to be unveiled at the Prado museum later this month, Mona Lisa's earliest copy will then be lent to the Louvre as an addition to the exhibition Leonardo’s Last Masterpiece: The Sainte Anne.

http://news.discovery.com/history/copy-mona-lisa-prado-120202.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 03-Feb-2012 at 21:30
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Feb-2012 at 21:34

Japanese archaeologists find pottery with 

ogre's face



A team of Japanese archaeologists has found a piece ofpottery painted with the face of ogre

 which dates back to the 12th century in NaraPrefecture in western Japan.


The earthenware was excavated from a well built in the early 12th century at ShindoRemains

 in Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture, where once Japan's capital was located,Japan's Nippon Hoso

 Kyokai (NHK) public broadcaster reported Friday.


The excavation team said that the pottery is round shape with about 10 centimeters indiameter,

 noting that a face of ogre was drawn on its surface in ink. In particular, theteam stressed, bold 

lines are clearly shown for his eyes, eyebrows and tusks from hismouth, making the face quite

 humorous and impressive.


It is believed that the discovery of pottery is the first time in Japan.

The team started the excavation in June 2010 and also found in the same site otherpieces of 

pottery which seem to be used as dishes or saucers for ritual ceremony in the era.


Japanese archaeologist Shinichi Sagawa in Gangoji Institute for Research of CulturalProperty 

was quoted by NHK as saying that it was widely believed during the MiddleAges, possibly by 

legend from China, that picturing or imaging of ogre was one of thepopular methods to protect

 people's daily life from enemy, evil and illness.


The pottery will be on display at Kashihara Municipal Senduka Museum from thisSaturday to the

 end of March

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/202936/7719196.html



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 03-Feb-2012 at 21:48
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: 04-Feb-2012 at 12:13

Archaeologists uncover history in South Carolina backyard

By Mary Quinn O'Connor

Published February 02, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Columbia, SC –  When you think of an archaeological dig, your backyard probably doesn’t come to mind. And neither does an intersection in your town. But for two South Carolina archaeologists, what started out as research for a doctorate degree turned into a treasure trove of history that lay right beneath the dirt on a downtown street corner.

“We started digging, very limited digging, just to test for significance,” archaeologist Jakob Crockett told FoxNews.com. “We expanded on areas where we started to find artifacts and eventually we opened up very large block excavations.”



Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/02/02/archaeologists-uncover-history-in-backyard/#ixzz1lQxHaMUZ



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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2012 at 12:27

Leonardo da Vinci may have copied the 'Vitruvian Man'

Published January 31, 2012| LiveScience

Leonardo da Vinci's drawing of a male figure perfectly inscribed in a circle and square, known as the "Vitruvian Man," illustrates what he believed to be a divine connection between the human form and the universe. Beloved for its beauty and symbolic power, it is one of the most famous images in the world. However, new research suggests that the work, which dates to 1490, may be a copy of an earlier drawing by Leonardo's friend.



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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2012 at 12:30

Man finds Mammoth Remains in Backyard

Published February 01, 2012| Associated Press

CARNEGIE, Okla. –  A man has discovered mammoth remains on his property south of Carnegie, in Oklahoma.A research archaeologist at the University of Oklahoma says the mammoth jaw and tooth were likely washed around in a stream for many years before they became lodged in a gravel bar. Archeologist Lee Bement tells the Lawton Constitution that the remains likely belonged to a young mammoth. The jaw fragment is about a foot and a half long and the tooth is about eight inches long.



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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2012 at 12:45

First 'vampire' bat fly fossil discovered

By Joseph Castro-Published February 04, 2012| LiveScience

A one-of-a-kind fossil shows that so-called bat flies — tiny vampire insects that survive on the blood of bats — have been parasitizing the winged mammals and spreading bat malaria for at least 20 million years, scientists report in a pair of studies Friday.  "Bat flies are a remarkable case of specific evolution, animals that have co-evolved with bats and are found nowhere else," George Poinar, a zoologist at Oregon State University who led the studies, said in statement.



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  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2012 at 16:56
I bought some amber once that I cleaned and polished.  There, however, was nothing like that in my pieces.

Edited by Cryptic - 04-Feb-2012 at 16:57
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  Quote TheAlaniDragonRising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2012 at 17:02
Jade mask found inside Pyramid of the Sun

Archaeologists discovered a series of deposits in the interior of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan in Mexico. The team of researchers announced their findings after exploring the 65-metre high pyramid from 2008 to 2011.

Using the 116 metre long tunnel excavated in the 1930s by archaeologist Eduardo Noguera, the Pyramid of the Sun Project, directed by Alejandro Sarabia, stratigraphically excavated 59 trenches and created 3 short tunnels in order to reach the natural rock level and verify the presence of burials and offerings.

“We knew that if the builders of  Teotihuacan placed something inside the monument it would have been done at the base level, so we made a vertical shaft at the end of the tunnel and a short horizontal tunnel to reach the centre of the pyramid, since the original tunnel was cut approximately 6 metres to the west of the centre of the monument”, commented team member Perez Cortes.

A tunnel into the heart of the pyramid

Over the course of the exploration three architectural structures were discovered, constructed prior to the current Pyramid of the Sun. Seven human burials, including  children, were also recorded as having been buried before the construction of the building. In addition, two votive deposits were recovered.

One of the votive offerings was discovered inside the original foundation material, so it is certain it was deposited as part of a consecration ceremony of the structure, probably at the beginning of its construction more than 1900 years ago.

Foundation offering with Jade mask. Image INAH

Foundation offering with Jade mask. Image INAH

The deposit, which contained an outstanding greenstone mask was part of several layers of artefacts.

A considerable number of of obsidian artefacts including projectile heads and small knives were recovered, an anthropomorphic eccentric artefact and three anthropomorphic figurines with shell and pyrite eyes.

Among the three greenstone sculptures found, the mask carved from a single stone is, according to studies conducted by Dr. Jose Luis Ruvalcaba, from the National University Physics Institute (IF UNAM), “the only greenstone mask discovered in the ritual context of Teotihuacan.”

The small 11 cm high mask is different to other Teotihuacan types because of it’s size; it is possible that it was a portrait. A seashell was found next to the sculpture.

The offering also contained eleven Tlaloc vessels, (dedicated to the God of Rain) most of them broken, placed in the middle of the whole deposit. Further objects include three pyrite discs, one with a 45 cm diameter and mounted on a slate slab – the largest ever recovered from Teotihuacan.....

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/02/2012/jade-mask-found-inside-pyramid-of-the-sun



Edited by TheAlaniDragonRising - 04-Feb-2012 at 17:03
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 medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Feb-2012 at 17:02
This was founded beneath the earth's surface as it looks.Next time "cut" under.Smile
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Feb-2012 at 01:42
"...
Pottery from 1900 BCE discovered in India

Hallmark pottery dating back to 1900 BCE has been discovered during the recent excavations in Rupnagar (Punjab, India). The Archaeological Survey of India, which recently started excavating the site after a gap of 56 years, has recovered fragments of geometrical designs dating back to the Harappan era.
     Ropar is situated on a high ancient mound overlaying the Shiwalik deposition on the left bank of the river Satluj where it emerges into the plains. It has yielded a sequence of six cultural periods or phases with some breaks from Harappan times to the present day. The first excavations at the site were carried out by Dr. Y.D. Sharma of the Archaeological Survey of India. The migration of people from Harappa to Ropar has been postulated through the lost Saraswati River to the Satluj as both rivers once belonged to
     After more than five decades, archaeologists say further digging may allow them to discover typical Harappan culture findings. "We have so far found the contemporary, regional elements, but there is a possibility of discovering typical Harappan culture items," said superintending archaeologist V.N. Prabhakar.
     Experts say once the excavations are over, they will use scientific methods to establish the dietary pattern of the Asian population that lived there...."

http://www.stonepages.com/news/archives/004710.html
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