The shifts in climate we're beginning to see are nothing new, as far as Earth - or our ancestors - are concerned.
But while all the talk nowadays focuses on how to change the course of the climate's evolution, a study out today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests shifts in ancient weather patterns may have affected our own species' evolution.
Researchers had long theorized that climate change might have impacted hominin evolution, but the data was sparse.
No good repository of data combined accurate weather data over time with fossil evidence and other archaeological data.
So, the team of geoscientists behind today's paper went out and got that data.
They took core samples from Lake Magadi in southwest Kenya, sampling layers so deep they go back over a million years."
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[An excellent story from Discover! It's always good to see reports of scientists discussing ancient climate change, and especially remarking that what we are observing today are "NOTHING NEW".
This study helps everyone to understand that basic truth, and also to being to question some of the climate change dogma that has reigned supreme, often hysterically so, in recent decades.
It's well worth a visit to read the full story, and do follow the many embedded links - Ed.]
They are hand bones of a Neanderthal child digested by a large bird.
The remains were found in Cave Ciemna (Malopolska).
Until now, the oldest human remains from Poland, also of a Neanderthal, were the three molars from Cave Stajnia in the Kraków-Czestochowa Upland.
Their age was estimated at approx. 52-42 thousand years.
'The bones our team discovered in Cave Ciemna are the oldest human remains from the area of today`s Poland, they are about 115,000 years old' - says Prof. Pawel Valde-Nowak from the Institute of Archeology of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków."
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[Amazing discoveries being made in Poland these days, and this is just the latest. It seems that Poland had a climate that was conducive to human habitation over 100,000 years ago - right through the last Ice Age. Makes you wonder if the size of the ice sheets we are told existed back then may not be accurate. It's well worth a visit to read the full story - Ed.]
"More than 200 tombs unearthed in Yunnan" China.org (China)
"Archaeologists in southwest China's Yunnan Province have unearthed a cluster of 209 tombs believed to be from between the late Neolithic and early Bronze age.
The tombs were discovered during the latest excavation of 100,000 square meters of ruins in Jiangbian Village in Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, according to the provincial archaeology institute.
Wan Yang, a researcher with the institute, said that most of the tombs were earth pits with well-preserved human skeletons lying flat on their back."
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[Another great discovery in China! From discoveries made in recent years it seems that China has a really great prehistory, and this new find adds to our current knowledge of that. There was obviously a lot more going on in that region than we have previously been led to believe. It's well worth a visit to read the full story - Ed.]
By analyzing proteins from residues in ancient pots and jars excavated from the site, the researchers found evidence of foods that were eaten there.
Although previous studies have looked at pot residues from the site, this was the first to use proteins, which can be used to identify plants and animals more specifically.
Using this new approach, the team determined that vessels from this early farming site in central Anatolia, in what is now Turkey, contained cereals, legumes, dairy products and meat. In some cases, the researchers could narrow down food items to specific species.
Çatalhöyük was a large settlement inhabited from about 7100 BC to 5600 BC by early farmers, and is located in what is now central Turkey."
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[Well done The Max Planck Institute and University of York for this innovative approach! And well done PhysOrg for bringing the story to us!
The sophistication with which ancient Anatolian peoples built structures such as those at Çatalhöyük, is complimented by these new discoveries about how they subsisted. The change from hunter-gatherers to farmers was massive in its implications for how humans developed from there on, but no-one sems to be able to answer the unasked question - Why did they make this profound change?
It really is well worth a visit to read the full story and see the images of the finds, and diagrams showing the datasets arising from their investigations - Ed.]
"Possible Evidence of World’s Oldest Fishing Nets Unearthed in Korea" Hakai Magazine (Canada)
"In northeastern South Korea, archaeologists from the Yonsei University Museum unearthed what they claim are Paleolithic net sinkers-the earliest-known examples of the fishing technology, which, if confirmed, would push back the first-known use of fishing nets by roughly 19,000 years.
The 14 stone sinkers were discovered in the Maedun Cave along the coast of the East Sea by a team led by Han Chang-gyun, the director of the Yonsei museum, who has been excavating Paleolithic sites in the region since 1985. (The Paleolithic period was approximately 2.5 million to 12,000 years ago.)
He says ancient fishers from about 29,000 years ago would have used the sinkers-rounded rocks with a central groove-to hold ropes or nets underwater to trap fish.
Using nets would have allowed ancient fishers to catch more fish than would have been possible using earlier fishing technologies, such as carved bone fishing hooks or stone-tipped spears.
Based on preliminary radiocarbon dating of the soil in which they were found, the weights-as well as additional stone tools and fish bones found alongside them-fit soundly in the Paleolithic, 19,000 years earlier than all other stone sinkers previously discovered."
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[This is a really important discovery brought to us in a great story story from Hakai Magazine!
That ancient peoples had mastered the art of fishing in many forms 30,000 years and more ago isn't surprising, and it's good that timelines are being pushed back yet again and challenging the mainstream archaeological paradigms. Ancient peoples worldwide were far more inteligent and capable of problem-solving they have consistently been denied credit for.
It really is well worth a visit to read the full story and see the image of the finds - Ed.]
"The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project" Cardiff/Athens Universites (Cymru/Greece)
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.
The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.
In 2006 the journal "Nature" published a letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon - as seen from the Earth: - Ed]
"Researchers have many questions regarding both the Great Flood and Atlantis: Which areas were flooded? Where did the flood waters come from? What caused the flooding? How was Atlantis destroyed? Where was Atlantis located?
The short answers: Noah's Flood was caused by tsunami waves that covered all the costal areas around the Atlantic Ocean.
They also flooded the Mediterranean Basin temporarily raising sea level above 600 feet.
The tsunamis were created by comet fragments that landed in the ocean and within the Americas.
Some estimations claim that over 500,000 comet fragments hit the Americas. The craters are called Carolina Bays.
These craters are concentrated along the Atlantic seaboard within the coastal states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and as far away as Nebraska.
Atlantis was part of Plato's boundless continent, North America. Plato: '. . .and the surrounding land may be most truly called a boundless continent."
"In this provocative collaboration from two Egyptology outsiders, Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., and Robert Bauval combine their decades of research to show how the Sphinx is thousands of years older than the conventional Egyptological timeline and was built by a long forgotten pre-Pharaonic civilization.
They examine the known history of the Sphinx, contrasting what Egyptologists claim with prominent historical accounts and new research, including updates to Schoch’s geological water weathering research and reanalysis of seismic studies.
Building on Bauval’s Orion Correlation Theory, they investigate the archaeoastronomical alignments of the monuments of the Giza Plateau and reveal how the pyramids and Sphinx were built to align with the constellations of Orion and Leo.
Analyzing the evidence for a significantly older construction phase at Giza and the restoration and recarving of the Sphinx during the Old Kingdom era, they assert that the Sphinx was first built by an advanced pre-Pharaonic civilization that existed circa 12,000 years ago on the Giza Plateau, contemporaneous with the sophisticated Göbekli Tepe complex."
"The 2300 BC Event takes a new look at an old puzzle: what happened
at this date to cause the various advanced societies on the Earth to simultaneously collapse?
Civilizations in Anatolia and Greece, through Egypt and the Middle East, and eastward to India and Central Asia were at their height. The collapse of these civilizations due to earthquakes and climatic changes has been mirrored by similar interruptions on all continents, in the Arctic, and extending to the Pacific.
The discontinuities have long puzzled archaeologists and historians. New religions and accompanying mythologies appeared at this time in all cultural regions describing bombardment and flooding from the skies.
Strangely, the dominant aspect of the mythologies, however, is the observation and worship of a ring appearing to surround the Earth, oriented to the two Ursa (Bear) constellations."
"Some time around 2300 BC the Earth encountered a dense clustering of space debris, the early Southern & Northern Taurid meteoroid stream. The result was an intense fall of meteoroids, some of them sufficiently large to cause surface destruction.
Simultaneous with the meteoroid fall was a huge downpouring of water which caused flash flooding. Extensive destruction and loss of life resulted. An astonishing aspect of the event was the formation of a ring surrounding the Earth, reflecting sunlight during the day, hiding some stars at night, and moving around the sky through a 24-hour period.
Following the 'main event', there were crustal movements which shifted the location of water sources, and caused earthquakes which destroyed settlements. Abrupt severe climate changes occurred."