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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Archaeology news updates
    Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 01:27

When dinosaurs roamed, fire as threatening as foe, researcher says

Written By Jennifer Welsh-Published April 02, 2012-LiveScience


Fierce dinosaurs may not have had to contend with many predators, but intense and frequent wildfires may have been a real threat during their reign, new research suggests. Wildfires seem to have left their mark on the archeological record in the form of charcoal deposits.

The researchers discovered these abundant and widespread fires by analyzing the amount of charcoal in the fossil record. They created a global database of charcoal deposits during the Cretaceous Period (the period from 145 million to 65 million years ago). Many of these charcoal deposits were associated with beds of dinosaur fossils.

"Charcoal is the remnant of the plants that were burnt and is easily preserved in the fossil record," study researcher Andrew C. Scott, a professor from Royal Holloway University of London, said in a statement.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/02/when-dinosaurs-roamed-wildfire-was-foe/#ixzz1qx606vie



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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 02:32
http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2012/03/28/roman-statues-rescued-in-spain/
"...A PAIR of first century bronze statues about to be sold on the black market have been recovered by police in Jaen.
The Roman figures, valued at six million euros each, were taken from the ancient Roman site of Sacilis Marcialis and are believed to form part of the Castor and Polix sculpture in Cordoba.The statues, 1.50m and 1.30m in size, depict two naked males, with each piece weighing about 30 kilos and in a good state of conservation, although one has lost part of his chest and the other his genitals...."

Roman statues rescued in Spain
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 02:34

Archeologists Find Gold Ornaments in Bulgaria's Sozopol


"...A massive gold ring and a gold leaf from a royal crown are the latest archeological discoveries in the Bulgarian Black Sea town of Sozopol, site of the ancient town of Apollonia.

The discoveries have been made by Bulgarian archeologists Dimitar Nedev and Tsonya Drajeva during excavations funded by the National History Museum. The precious finds were located in front of the ancient fortress gate of Sozopol.

The ring is has a semiprecious stone and most likely dates from the Roman era, the 1st – 4th century AC, according to the Director of the National History Museum, Bozhidar Dimitrov.

The gold crown leaf is from the 4th – 3rd century BC. This was the time when Sozopol was called Apollonia, and was an independent State, but its democratic form of government excludes the possibility that its rulers and leaders adorned themselves with gold crowns.

As is known in the Greek city-states produced gold crowns for the Thracian Kings with whom they had mutually beneficial political and economic contacts. Thus, this could be the most likely explanation for the find, according to experts...."

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=138127

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 02:59
"...

Chicago – Once again, science and anthropology have teamed up to solve questions concerning the fascinating, brilliantly hued pigment known as Maya Blue. Impervious to the effects of chemical or physical weathering, the pigment was applied to pottery, sculpture, and murals in Mesoamerica largely during the Classic and Postclassic periods (AD 250-1520), playing a central role in ancient Maya religious practice. This unusual blue paint was used to coat the victims of human sacrifice and the altars on which they were dispatched.

For some time, scientists have known that Maya Blue is formed through the chemical combination of indigo and the clay mineral palygorskite. Only now, however, have researchers established a link between contemporary indigenous knowledge and ancient sources of the mineral.

In a paper published online in the Journal of Archaeological Science on March 16, 2012, researchers from Wheaton College, The Field Museum of Natural History, the United States Geological Survey, California State University of Long Beach, and the Smithsonian Institution, demonstrated that the palygorskite component in some of the Maya Blue samples came from mines in two locations in Mexico's northern Yucatan Peninsula

Research on sources for palygorskite has been ongoing since the late 1960's. Through a combination of ethnographic research and mineralogical analyses, Dean E. Arnold, Professor of Anthropology at Wheaton College, and now Adjunct Curator of Anthropology at The Field Museum, discovered that palygorskite was well known among indigenous potters of Ticul, Yucatán. These contemporary Maya used palygorskite as a key component of pottery and also prescribed the mineral for medicinal purposes. Indigenous knowledge further extends to sources of palygorskite: potters extracted the mineral from two mines in Yucatán – one in Sacalum and the other near the city of Ticul at a location called Yo' Sah Kab.

As part of his research, Arnold noted Terminal Classic (800-1000 AD) pottery and other signs of ancient site occupation at both of the modern sources. This suggested that the mines were used by the Maya as sources for the palygorskite used in Maya Blue. However, further tests were needed to convincingly link the present-day mines with the ancient Maya...."

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-04/fm-dot040212.php

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 03:18
"...The incredibly detailed picture of Bronze Age life discovered on the River Nene, at Must Farm quarry, Whittlesey, has everything from well preserved boats, spears and swords to clothing and jewellery as well as carved bowls and pots still full of food, making it one of the most significant sites of its kind ever found in Britain.

Continuing the gallery of images of the fragile remains (see also Part I), Past Horizons has put together a series of photographs featuring the finds, both in-situ and back at base. The images were taken by Cambridge Archaeological Unit photographer Dave Webb as part of the archaeological record.

Site Gallery – Part II : The Finds

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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2012 at 19:40

'Breathtaking' Mummy Coffin Covers Seized in Israel

Written By Jeanna Bryner Published April 03, 2012-LiveScience

Two decorated covers of coffins that once contained mummies have been seized by Israeli authorities, authenticated and dated to thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt -- highlighting a seemingly vast black market for mummies.

Inspectors of the Unit for Prevention of Antiquities Robbery found the artifacts while checking shops in a marketplace in the Old City of Jerusalem. The inspectors confiscated the items under suspicion of being stolen property.  The ancient covers are made of wood and adorned with "breathtaking decorations and paintings of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics," says the Israel Antiquities Authority


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/03/breathtaking-mummy-coffin-covers-seized-in-israel/#ixzz1r1XKiq00
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 02:30

Canaan Canine Faces Threat in Israel


"...First-century rock drawings in the Sinai and more than 700 fifth-century B.C.E. canine skeletons unearthed at the coastal site of Ashkelon* south of Tel Aviv attest to the historical prominence of the Canaan dog, a pointy eared breed that has lived in Israel since Biblical times. The wild breed has faced difficulties over the last few decades due to rabies eradication programs and decreasing numbers of Bedouin camps in the Negev...."
http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/news/canaan-canine-faces-threat-in-israel/
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 12:50

Well-preserved Strawberry-Blond Mammoth Discovered in Siberia


A juvenile mammoth, nicknamed "Yuka," was found entombed in Siberian ice near the shores of the Arctic Ocean and shows signs of being cut open by ancient people.  The remarkably well preserved frozen carcass was discovered in Siberia as part of a BBC/Discovery Channel-funded expedition and is believed to be at least 10,000 years old, if not older. If further study confirms the preliminary findings, it would be the first mammoth carcass revealing signs of human interaction in the region. The carcass is in such good shape that much of its flesh is still intact, retaining its pink color. The blonde-red hue of Yuka's woolly coat also remains."This is the first relatively complete mammoth carcass -- that is, a body with soft tissues preserved -- to show evidence of human association," Daniel Fisher, curator and director of the University of Michigan's Museum of Paleontology, told Discovery News.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/04/well-preserved-strawberry-blond-mammoth-discovered-in-siberia/#ixzz1r5ft6NbQ


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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 21:24
Another proof that the pre-industrial societies were nor less destructive to their enviroment that the modern ones we live in:
"Australian Hunters Wiped Out Megafauna 40,000 years ago"

"...The first Australians hunted giant kangaroos, rhinoceros-sized marsupials, huge goannas and other megafauna to extinction shortly after arriving in the country more than 40,000 years ago, new research claims.

A team of scientists from six universities say they have put an end to the long-running debate about the cause of the sudden disappearance of giant vertebrates from the Australian ecosystem, and the dramatic change to the landscape that followed.

34z9kbnm-1332417435

Soon after the beasts disappeared, there was a rapid shift in vegetation across Australia. Once covered by patches of rainforest separated by areas of open grassland, it was soon smothered by eucalypt forest, the researchers say.The change was caused by a decrease in consumption of plant material by large herbivores, which allowed forest to spread and also resulted in a build-up of dry fuel for bushfires....

....“But the extinctions followed very soon after the time that people arrived in the region – so it seems that people did it,” Professor Johnson said.“Our study didn’t directly address how people caused extinction, but the most likely mechanism is hunting. Quite a bit of other circumstantial evidence suggests that.”The results also show that the extinctions were quickly followed by massive ecological change...."http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2012/australian-hunters-wiped-out-megafauna-40000-years-ago



Edited by Don Quixote - 04-Apr-2012 at 21:25
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 21:30
"...Skeletons uncovered in Oxford city centre could have been the remains of Viking pillagers rather than settlers killed in a famous massacre...."

"...Now, after chemical analysis and testing on the bones and teeth, staff from Oxford University’s School of Archaeology have put forward an alternative theory.Professor Mark Pollard, director of research laboratory in the School of Archaeology, believes the skeletons might actually be those of Viking marauders who were caught and killed in retaliation, rather than Danish settlers living in the area.

He said: “When the bones were first found by Thames Valley Archaeology, they assumed they were from the massacre because they are from the right date and there was the historical link.“There was evidence of burning on the bones, so it is a possibility. But the research we have done suggests that they were Viking raiders. It seems these were raiders who had come from all over the place. I think it was a collection of ‘freelance warriors’ – a bunch of bad lads basically, but it’s not conclusive.”..."http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/9629462.There_s_no_bones_about_THIS_history/



Edited by Don Quixote - 04-Apr-2012 at 21:30
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 21:34
"...

Archaeological discoveries

Friday, March 30, 2012

In the sacred place of Tenochtitlan, archaeologists from INAH-Conaculta (The Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Mexican National Council for Culture and the Arts), have found 23 tombstones over 550 years old, with etched images of snakes, prisoners, ornaments and warriors, which, as a whole, appears to depict the story alluding to the birth of Huitzilopochtli and the origins of the Holy War between the Mexicas.

The tombstones are located in front of the remains of the Tenochtitlan Templo Mayor (Ancient Temple), in Mexico City's Historic Centre, next to the circular platform adorned with snakes' heads, discovered in September 2011. The tombstones are laid out purposefully along a path consisting of slabs of pink and balsaltic andesite (measuring 16.7 metres in length and 3.3 metres in width). Its height corresponds to the 4th stage of the construction of the Templo Mayor which was built between 1440 and 1469, during the Tlatoani government of Moctezuma I. The location and the layout appear to match the references found in the General History of the Things of New Spain by Bernardino de Sahagún and in The History of the Indies of New Spain, written by Diego Durán and in the Boturini and Chimalpopoca codices...."

http://whc.unesco.org/en/news/863

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 21:37
More on Cardom's Edge Monolith
"...“The stone would have been an ideal marker for a social arena for seasonal gatherings,” said Dr Brown. “It’s not a sundial in the sense that people would have used it to determine an exact time. We think that it was set in position to give a symbolic meaning to its location, a bit like the way that some religious buildings are aligned in a specific direction for symbolic reasons.”.."
Standing Stone Model: Illustration of the stone looking to the south-east in a moment in time (Summer half of the year 2000 BC) just after the north-facing side sees Sunlight for the first time after a brief spell of darkness during midday. The periods of darkness at midday will slowly decrease until around Midsummer when the north-facing side is illuminated during midday as well. Credit: D Brown/Nottingham Trent University.

Standing Stone Model of the stone looking to the south-east in a moment in time (Summer half of the year 2000 BC) just after the north-facing side sees Sunlight for the first time after a brief spell of darkness during midday. The periods of darkness at midday will slowly decrease until around Midsummer when the north-facing side is illuminated during midday as well. Credit: D Brown/Nottingham Trent University.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2012/gardoms-edge-monolith-may-be-astronomically-aligned
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2012 at 21:40

Ancient Egyptian Cotton Unveils Secrets of Domesticated Crop Evolution


"...ScienceDaily (Apr. 2, 2012) — Scientists studying 1,600-year-old cotton from the banks of the Nile have found what they believe is the first evidence that punctuated evolution has occurred in a major crop group within the relatively short history of plant domestication....
...They also studied South American samples from sites in Peru and Brazil aged between 800 and nearly 4,000 years old.

The results showed that even over the relatively short timescale of a millennia and a half, the Egyptian cotton, identified as G. herbaceum, showed evidence of significant genomic reorganisation when the ancient and the modern variety were compared.However closely-related G.Barbadense from the sites in South America showed genomic stability between the two samples, even though these were separated by more than 2,000 miles in distance and 3,000 years in time....

...This divergent picture points towards punctuated evolution -- long periods of evolutionary stability interspersed by bursts of rapid change -- having occurred in the cotton family....

...There has long been uncertainty as to whether ancient Egyptians had imported domesticated cotton from the Indian subcontinent, as had happened with other crops, or whether they were growing a native African variety which had been domesticated locally.The study's findings that the Qasr Ibrim seeds were of the G. herbaceum variety, native to Africa, rather than G.arboreum, which is native to the Indian subcontinent, represents the first molecular-based identification of archaeobotanical cotton to a species level.

Dr Allaby said the findings confirm there was an indigenous domestication of cotton in Africa which was separate from the domestication of cotton in India."The presence of cotton textiles on Egyptian and Nubian sites has been well documented but there has always been uncertainty among archaeologists as to the origin of these.

"It's not possible to identify some cotton varieties just by looking at them, so we were asked to delve into the DNA."We identified the African variety -- G. herbaceum, which suggest that domesticated cotton was not a cultural import -- it was a technology that had grown up independently."..."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402093938.htm




Edited by Don Quixote - 04-Apr-2012 at 21:42
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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2012 at 17:40

Warm and fuzzy T. rex? New evidence surprises

Published April 04, 2012-Associated Press


LOS ANGELES –  The discovery of a giant meat-eating dinosaur sporting a downy coat has some scientists reimagining the look of Tyrannosaurus rex.  With a killer jaw and sharp claws, T. rex has long been depicted in movies and popular culture as having scaly skin. But the discovery of an earlier relative suggests the king of dinosaurs may have had a softer side.  The evidence comes from the unearthing of a new tyrannosaur species in northeastern China that lived 60 million years before T. rex. The fossil record preserved remains of fluffy down, making it the largest feathered dinosaur ever found.  If a T. rex relative had feathers, why not T. rex? Scientists said the evidence is trending in that direction.

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  Quote tjadams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Apr-2012 at 01:38

3,200-year-old Mummy Mask Can Stay in Mo., Rudge Rules

Published April 06, 2012-Associated Press


ST. LOUIS –  A St. Louis museum can keep hold of a 3,200-year-old mummy's mask, a federal judge has ruled, saying the U.S. government failed to prove that the Egyptian relic was ever stolen.

Prosecutors said the funeral mask of Lady Ka-Nefer-Nefer went missing from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo about 40 years ago and that it should be returned to its country of origin. The St. Louis Art Museum said it researched the provenance of the mask and legitimately purchased it in 1998 from a New York art dealer.

U.S. District Judge Henry Autry in St. Louis sided with the museum.

The U.S. government "does not provide a factual statement of theft, smuggling or clandestine importation," Autry wrote in the March 31 ruling.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/04/06/3200-year-old-mummy-mask-can-stay-in-mo-judge-rules/#ixzz1rKWByd65



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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2012 at 13:54
1,500 Old Altar for Human Sacrifice
"...A group of Peruvian archaeologists found a 1,500-year-old altar for human sacrifices on the top of a hill in the northern region of La Libertad, the daily El Comercio reported Tuesday.The structure is located 3,250 feet high on Campana Hill and was cut by the Moche culture into a rock at the site with three steps leading to a small platform....."
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/04/04/1500-year-old-altar-for-human-sacrifices-found-in-peru/#ixzz1rZD95YNC
ancient altar peru.jpg

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2012 at 13:57

Archaeologists Excavate Ancient Phoenician Port City


"...Known today as Tel Achziv, its remnants have been explored and excavated before, by Moshe Prausnitz from 1963 through 1964 and, in the vicinity of the site, by E. Ben-Dor, M. Prausnitz and E. Mazar, who uncovered large-scale Phoenician cemeteries. Anciently, it was a fortified Canaanite harbor city protected by a massive rampart, rising to prominence as a major Phoenician port for maritime commerce, connected to a coastal road for trade. The city flourished under the Phoenicians during the ninth century, was conquered by King Sennacherib of Assyria at the end of the eighth century, and continued to function as an important port city during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The city was mentioned in the writings of Josephus Flavius, who referred to it as the place where Herod's brother was captured, and was also referrenced by Plinius (23-79AD) and appears in the Claudius Ptolemy World map (~150AD). It functioned later as an administrative center during Crusader times. ..."
http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/march-2012/article/archaeologists-excavate-ancient-phoenician-port-city

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2012 at 14:01

Were Ancient Fossil Bone Marks Made by Stone Tools or Biting Animals?

"...That's a question that deserves more careful consideration than it may have garnered in the past, according to Jackson Njau, an assistant professor at Indiana University Bloomington Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences....

...He maintains that the lack of agreement on interpreting fossil bone marks has resulted in uncertainty and controversy over when early hominids (early humans and early relatives of humans) began to use tools to kill and butcher animals, an important benchmark development in human evolution. He points to estimates of the earliest use of stone tools that vary by nearly 1 million years. For example, many scientists today accept the assertion that the earliest evidence of tools associated with butchered animal fossils come from findings at Gona, Ethiopia, establishing a date of 2.6 million years ago. But other researchers have argued that fossil bones found at Dikika, Ethiopia, dated to 3.4 million years, showed tool markings. Moreover, although generally used criteria today distinguish tool marks from other kinds of marks as V-shaped cuts or pits and grooves containing microscopic striations, Njau has shown through experimentation that crocodile teeth, for example, can create bite marks very similar to tool marks. ...."

http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/march-2012/article/were-ancient-fossil-bone-marks-made-by-stone-tools-or-biting-animals

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2012 at 14:06
An ancient skeleton found in China is linked to Polynesia:
"...A human skeleton formally buried almost 8000 years ago on a small strategic island off China's coast is creating excitement that it may represent a direct line to the world's youngest race - New Zealand's Maori and Polynesians.Genetic evidence has long suggested Polynesians - including their youngest branch the Maori - derived from Taiwan's aboriginal people.

Now the link may be made in the skeleton found on 400 square metre Liang Island, part of Taiwan controlled Matsu islands, within shelling range of China's Fujian Province.The skeleton was discovered by the Taiwanese military who were building a road on the unpopulated island.

Taiwan's Council for Cultural Affairs says more scientific investigation is need after a local archaeological team exhumed the remains, believed to be 7900 years old.The bones are thought to have belonged to a male, around 167 centimetres tall, who was between 30 and 35 years of age at the time of his death...."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/6700701/Ancient-skeleton-linked-to-Polynesia

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Apr-2012 at 14:08
Paleolithic rock art in Egypt:
"...15-20.000 years ago the waters of the Nile were much higher than today. The broad Wadi Abu Subeira may have been a small “fjord”, reaching several kilometres into the Eastern Desert: A great habitat for wildlife in the otherwise hyperarid environment and a great place for humans to stay – to fish and hunt – and to access the interior of the desert and perhaps the Red Sea.
/click here to see the picture/
This superbly made auroch is part of the Late Palaeolithic rock art in Subeira

This superbly made auroch is part of the Late Palaeolithic rock art in Subeira

It seems that it was along this “fjord” that the Late Palaeolithic humans made their art. They pecked many aurochs (wild ox), hartebeest, fish, hippopotami and even a very large, beautifully executed Nubian ibex, which publication is forthcoming. Over the millennia erosion along the slopes of the wadi has probably destroyed many pictures, and most are now found on boulders and slabs. However, some are still in-situ, implying that it is possible to reconstruct site distribution...." http://per-storemyr.net/2012/04/06/wadi-abu-subeira-egypt-palaeolithic-rock-art-on-the-verge-of-destruction/



Edited by Don Quixote - 09-Apr-2012 at 14:09
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