The events of July 16th to 22nd 1994, when the remnants of a fragmenting comet, P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, bombarded the surface of Jupiter causing fireballs many times the size of our own planet, were an abrupt wake-up call even for those who were aware of them. The historical sciences generally, and Archaeology in particular, have collectively painted a picture of the past as if our planet stands alone in empty space. Nothing could be further from reality. Our resilient planet exists in a solar system that has experienced a very dynamic history over the past 20 to 30 millennia, and it is only from this wider solar system perspective that the true history of human civilisation will ever be fully understood. The Morien Institute archive therefore contains relevant material from many disciplines.

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Image of a revolving globe showing current sea levels since the last ice age, before which many ancient societies like Atlantis flourished all over planet Earth on what are now sunken lands.

Archaeology News Headlines
January 01 to March 31 2019

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Morien Institute News Headlines Archive
2019
April 01 - June 30 | July 01 - September 30 | October 01 - December 31


Marine Archaeology News 2019 | Astro-Archaeology News 2019

 

 

 Today is  

February 2019 News Headlines



"Origin of Newgrange, Stonehenge and other sites pinpointed to one region"
Silicon Republic (Ireland)

"Ancient Tsunami Tied to Volcanic Flank Collapse in Italy"
Eos (USA)

"Neolithic tools found at dig"
The Telegraph (India)

"Bone cancer found in Triassic turtle ancestor's fossilised femur"
ABC Science News (Australia)

"Ancient European Stone Monuments Said to Originate in Northwest France"
The New York Times (USA)

"Archaeologists Find Evidence Of Human Habitation In The Rockies Stretching Back 9,000 Years"
KNUC (USA)

"2,200-yr-old turquoise mining site unearthed in Xinjiang"
XinhuaNet (China)

"Trail of feathers to the Neanderthal mind"
Nature Review (UK)

"Divers Find Hundreds of Ritual Offerings in Lake Sacred to the Maya"
Ancient Origins (Australia)


"A taste for fat may have made us human, says study"
Popular Archaeology (USA)
"Long before human ancestors began hunting large mammals for meat, a fatty diet provided them with the nutrition to develop bigger brains, posits a new paper* in Current Anthropology.

The paper argues that our early ancestors acquired a taste for fat by eating marrow scavenged from the skeletal remains of large animals that had been killed and eaten by other predators.

The argument challenges the widely held view among anthropologists that eating meat was the critical factor in setting the stage for the evolution of humans.

'Our ancestors likely began acquiring a taste for fat 4 million years ago, which explains why we crave it today', says Jessica Thompson, the paper's lead author and an anthropologist at Yale University.

'The reservoirs of fat in the long bones of carcasses were a huge calorie package on a calorie-poor landscape. That could have been what gave an ancestral population the advantage it needed to set off the chain of human evolution.'"

[Read The Full Story]

[This is a really excellent story from Popular Archaeology! The whole hypothesis makes perfect sense, and the author is of course correct that eating meat without its fat can cause a dangerous level of protein poisoning - something ancient peoples would have soon realised.

But the methods used to get fat from marrow while scavenging dead animal bones by breaking them with rocks make perfect sense as well, and let us hope this paper will trigger more investigations along this line.

It's well worth a visit to read the full story. You can access the original paper here - Ed.]


"Was the Lost African City of Kweneng Linked to Gold Trading?"
Ancient Origins (Australia)

"A taste for fat may have made us human, says study"
Popular Archaeology (USA)

"Polish archaeologists discovered several hundred artefacts in the holy lake of the Maya"
PAP (Poland)

"‘Discoveries at Bhamala stupa opened new chapter in history’"
Dawn (Pakistan)

"Hundreds of Mysterious Stone Structures Discovered in Western Sahara"
Live Science (USA)

"Egyptian archaeologists discover 50 mummies at ancient burial site"
ABC News (Australia)

"Remains of ancient warrior & erotic object found in Peruvian tomb"
RT (Russia)

"Shedding new light on the lost civilisations of the Sahara"
News.com (Australia)

"Egypt unveils ancient burial site containing 50 mummies"
The Irish Times (Republic of Ireland)


"KU team unearths early Harappan artefacts"
The Hindu (India)
"Artefacts believed to be around 5,000 years old, dating back to the early Harappan phase, have been unearthed during an excavation jointly being held by archaeologists from the University of Kerala and Kachchh University in Khatiya village of Kutch in Gujarat.

A 47-member team comprising researchers and postgraduate students stumbled upon several pieces, including mud pots, conch-shell bangles, beads, and stone blades, during the excavation, being undertaken in burial sites in the region.

'The pottery shards recovered bore similarities with the ones unearthed from ancient settlements in Harappan sites, including Kot Diji and Amri of Pakistan, and Nagwada, Santhali, Moti Pipli, Datrana, Surkotada, and Dhaneti in North Gujarat', says S.V. Rajesh, Assistant Professor, Department of Archaeology, University of Kerala, one of the coordinators of the excavation.

The project is believed to be the first such excavation to be undertaken at Harappan sites by a university based in south India."

[Read The Full Story]

[It's always good to hear of more investigations into the very ancient Harappan civilisation which was likely far more influential in its time than is generaly appreciated.

Well worth a visit to read the full story and see the image of the site- Ed.]


"Egyptian Antiquities Ministry announces new archeological discovery in Minya"
Egypt Independent (Egypt)

"Uncovering history: 4,000-year-old artefacts found near Khanpur"
The Express Tribune (India)

"Ancient fortress reveals how prehistoric civilizations of Central Asia lived"
EurekAlert (USA)

"No Queen of Sheba Involved! Great Zimbabwe Ruins and Those Who Fought for the Truth"
Ancient Origins (Australia)

"Kurdistan police arrest group for stealing hundreds of archaeological artifacts"
Kurdistan 24 (Kurdistan)

"New map of Beringia 'opens your imagination' to what landscape looked like 18,000 years ago"
CBC News (Canada)

"Hellenistic and Roman treasures uncovered at ancient Kition site in Cyprus"
Neos Kosmos (Cyprus)

"Outrage after British Museum director says theft of Parthenon Marbles was a ‘creative act’"
RT (Russia)

"Mysterious human relatives moved into penthouse Siberian cave 100K years earlier than thought"
The South African (South Africa)


an image of a meteor flashing through the sky


January 2019 News Headlines



"The battle for the future of Stonehenge"
The Guardian (UK)

"Mysterious human relatives moved into penthouse Siberian cave 100K years earlier than thought"
Science Magazine (USA)

"Earth's magnetic poles are on the move, but it's nothing to flip out about"
ABC Science News (Australia)

"Dating of hominin discoveries at Denisova"
Nature (UK)

"Archaeologists have figured out when and where appeared the first reasonable man"
The Mice Times of Asia (Singapore)

"Ancient Carved 'Drums' Give Exact Stonehenge Measurements, Say Archaeologists"
Live Science (USA)

"Millennia-old skeletons to get 'medical diagnosis'"
XinhuaNet (China)

"Digging deep overseas"
The Star Online (Malaysia)

"Sati may have existed among megalithic people"
DNA (India)

"Another archaeological site unearthed in Munshiganj"
Dhaka Tribune (Bangladesh)

"Spectacular fabric from Greek 'Dark Ages' unearthed in Evia and displayed in Athens"
Tornos News (Greece)

"Why the ancient Treasure of Guarrazar was ditched in a field in Spain"
The Olive Press (Spain)


"Climate change and the evolution of us"
Archaeological Institute of America (USA)

"New species belonging to the genus Homo are discovered more and more frequently.

Paleoanthropological research has revealed that our own family lineage is far more complex than once thought, yet it is also true that through time this diversity has been whittled down to one remaining species, Homo sapiens.

Understanding why our species has survived when others did not is key to determining what makes us "human" and where we fit into the natural world.

Reconstructing landscapes use patterns, hunting, and foraging behaviors, and the mobility of early modern humans and our closest fossil relatives the Neandertals can help tease apart ecological factors that contributed to our success."

[Read The Full Story]

[This is a notice of a conference in Denver, Ohio, USA, held on January 23 2019. We put this link up as the material to be discussed is of great importance for our understanding of why our species, Homo Sapiens sapiens, survived whilst other branches of early hominid species did not.

The answer seems to have been ancient climate change.

Something we may be able to learn from given current climatic changes evident not only on Earth but also other planets and the larger moon of the gas giants.

We highly recommend reading the short introduction and please visit the conference program site for further details- Ed.]


"Ancient tombs discovered in Nile Delta"
Egypt Independent (Egypt)

"'Ancient' Aberdeenshire stone circle found to be replica"
BBC News (UK)

"What the mysterious 'Nebra Sky Disk' tells us about ancient German history"
The Local (Germany)

"Neanderthal hunting spears could kill at a distance"
Nature World News (USA)

"Tests find human skull age exceeds 10,000 years"
China.org (China)

"Cosmic Power of the Shaman and Symbols at Göbekli Tepe - Part II"
Ancient Origins (Australia)

"2,000-year-old coin workshop excavated in central China"
Borneo Bulletin (Brunei Darussalam)

"What happened 4,000 years ago in the Urals?"
Heritage Daily (UK)

"Seventh century Ganga Dynasty idol excavated at Talakad"
Star of Mysore (India)

"11,500-year-old animal bones in Jordan suggest early dogs helped humans hunt"
Popular Archaeology (USA)

"Rare ground-painting found in ancient Chinese tomb"
XinhuaNet (China)

"Nazca Revelation: How ancient Incas used astronomical knowledge in major breakthrough"
Express Online (UK)

"Göbekli Tepe Shamans and their Cosmic Symbols – Part I"
Ancient Origins (Australia)

"Unearthing the ancient traces of China-Saudi Arabia exchanges"
CGTN (China)


"Strange carvings greeted early West Virginia explorers"
West Virginia Explorer (USA)
"When pioneers and other explorers first ventured into what would become West Virginia, they encountered artifacts of a much earlier age - carvings, burial mounds, and stone walls, the origins of which natives could not explain with certainty.

Petroglyphs inscribed in rock and featuring human and animal figures were perhaps the most striking and inexplicable finds.

Mounds and earthworks could be practically accounted for as defensive or monumental - but carvings? They were certainly communications.

With whom were the creators attempting to communicate and why? Were the carvings inspired by ritual or sheerly as human expression?

Archaeologists can only speculate. Without written records, we may never know with certainty."

[Read The Full Story]

[A brilliant story in the West Virginia Explorer! The petroglyphs were 'obviously' created to communicate something. and it is such a great pity that the stone itself is now drowned in the Ohio River so that further exploration is difficult if not impossible.

This means we may never know what they represent, but the fact that local indigenous peoples also have no idea who created them suggests there were peoples in that area long before current archaeological paradigms have even suspected.

It will be worth local people monitoring developments.

We highly recommend reading the full story and seeing the images of the petroglyphs - Ed.]


"How the Kerala floods unearthed a site filled with ancient terracotta figures"
The Hindu (India)

"'Incredibly rare' find in Western Isles prehistoric forest"
BBC News (UK)

"The Perplexing Purpose of the Gigantic Pulemelei ‘Pyramid’ Mound of Samoa"
Ancient Origins (Australia)

"Roman tombs discovered in Egypt's Dakhla Oasis"
Ahram Online (Egypt)

"5,000-year-old Settlement Identified In Central China"
UrduPoint News (Pakistan)

"Uncovered: Secret piece of Vakataka history on a Vindhya hill"
The Times of India (India)

"Robot reveals how ancient reptile ancestor moved" - video
Nature (UK)

"Chinese Academy of Social Sciences releases list of Top 6 major 2018 archaeological discoveries"
Global Times (China)

"Archaeologist uses new approach to understand Mexico’s ancient cultures"
Mexico Daily News (Mexico)

"Dendera Temple to be converted into an open museum"
Egypt Today (Egypt)

"Fire And Feces May Reveal An Early Human Presence In Alaska"
Forbes (USA)

"Algeria's Ancient Pyramid Tombs Still Shrouded In Mystery"
UrduPoint News (Pakistan)


"Xinjiang has been multicultural since ancient times, new archaeological evidence finds"
Global Times (China)
"Wang Yongqiang, researcher with the Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, can never forget the day in June 2015 when he was excavating an ancient tomb in Ili prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

When he was carefully sweeping off dust from layers of earth around the tomb, he noticed coal dust.

In the same tomb, he saw terra-cotta chips that date back to the Bronze Age, according to Guangming Daily.

'According to historical records, people in the Han Dynasty had been making use of coal for production and in their daily life. But it was incredible to see coal at a Bronze Age site', Wang recalled to the newspaper.

As the excavation continued, coal dust, cinder and a coal pile were discovered. Carbon-14 dating showed the site is 3,600 years old."

[Read The Full Story]

[An excellent story reported in Global Times! It would be surprising if ancient peoples had not noticed the properties of coal when lightning strikes set it ablaze, so it is unsurprising that its use is now confirmed much earlier than previously believed.

Well worth a visit to read the full story - Ed.]


"Harappa grave of ancient 'couple' reveals secrets"
BBC News (UK)

"A Madrid mummy is found to be a pharaoh’s eye doctor"
El Pais (Spain)

"Horses rather than mares were buried with Icelandic Vikings"
Iceland Monitor (Iceland)

"Ancient tomb group unearthed in Shaanxi"
XinhuaNet (China)

"Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why"
Nature (UK)

"Europe’s Largest Hoard of Copper Age Axes, Ax Hammers Discovered in Northeast Bulgaria"
Archaeology in Bulgaria (Bulgaria)

"Kyoto museum solves mystery of who carved ancient statues"
The Asahi Shimbun (Japan)

"Ancient Mongolia was a good place to live—if you could survive the horse falls"
Science Magazine (USA)

"Polish archaeologists discover a unique Mayan bath in Guatemala"
PAP (Poland)

"Archaeologists find 8,000-year-old artifacts Iranian Kurdistan"
Rudaw (Iranian Kurdistan)

"Egyptian Child’s Greek Homework from 1,800 Years Ago Goes on Display"
Ancient Origins (Australia)

"Where Indians Come From, Part 2: Dravidians and Aryans"
The Diplomat (India)


"How climate change caused the world's first empire to collapse"
PhysOrg (USA)
"Gol-e-Zard Cave lies in the shadow of Mount Damavand, which at more than 5,000 metres dominates the landscape of northern Iran.

In this cave, stalagmites and stalactites are growing slowly over millennia and preserve in them clues about past climate events.

Changes in stalagmite chemistry from this cave have now linked the collapse of the Akkadian Empire to climate changes more than 4,000 years ago.

Akkadia was the world's first empire.

It was established in Mesopotamia around 4,300 years ago after its ruler, Sargon of Akkad, united a series of independent city states."

[Read The Full Story]

[Of the 30+ carvings they found most were of 'recurring geometric patterns' and others of 'monstrous faces'. These are recurring themes in the petroglyphs of many ancient cultures worldwide, all clustered within the same period 3,500 - 1500 BC, and would seem to represent celestial phenomena witnessed globally by those ancient peoples.

Well worth a visit to read the full story, and follow the links embedded in it. The original paper published in PNAS is listed immediately below - Ed.]


"Precise timing of abrupt increase in dust activity in Middle East coincident with 4.2 ka social change"
PNAS (USA)

"'Golden Man' shines light on the gold techniques used in the moors of Kazakhstan"
Daily Sabah (Turkey)

"Sisi commissions Egyptian government to develop Saqqara area"
Egypt Independent (Egypt)

"The first evidence in Europe that man was hunting mammoths discovered"
PAP (Poland)

"Cultur will renew light and sound show in Uxmal"
The Yucatan Times (Mexico)

"Decapitated skeletons found during archaeological dig in Suffolk"
East Anglian Daily Times (England)

"Seagrass Safeguards Human History"
Hakai Magazine (Canada)

"Why archaeology is so much more than just digging"
The Sofia Globe (Bulgaria)

"Why archaeology is so much more than just digging"
MENAFN (Jordan)

"Yellow rock art in Medak caves dates back to Stone Age"
The Times of India (India)


"China’s beastly bronze designs found in stone carvings at prehistoric settlement"
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
"The distinctive, often beastly, patterns found on classical Chinese bronzeware may be thousands of years older than first thought, archaeologists said after finding similar designs carved into the stone walls of a prehistoric settlement in the country's northwest.

A team working at the Shimao archaeological site in Shaanxi province made the discovery during a recent excavation of the city's Neolithic ruins, which are thought to date back to about 2,000BC, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Monday.

'The beast-face patterns found in Shimao might have had a significant influence on the motifs of China's Bronze Age', Sun Zhouyong, president of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, said in the report."

[Read The Full Story]

[Of the 30+ carvings they found most were of 'recurring geometric patterns' and others of 'monstrous faces'. These are recurring themes in the petroglyphs of many ancient cultures worldwide, all clustered within the same period 3,500 - 1500 BC, and would seem to represent celestial phenomena witnessed globally by those ancient peoples.

It's well worth a visit to read the full story - Ed.]


"Powerful Icelandic Vikings were buried with stallions"
Heritage Daily (UK)

"Angkor hosts 2.6M visitors"
The Phnom Penh Post (Cambodia)

"Jordan Retrieves 58 Smuggled Antiquities from Canada"
Asharq Al-awsat (Saudi Arabia)

"Archaeologists flying from Haverfordwest discovered 200 sites in Wales this summer"
Western Telegraph (Cymru)

"Stone circle found on Aberdeenshire farm"
Deeside Piper & Herald (Scotland)

"Ancient Inscription Rediscovered on Greek Island"
Archaeology Magazine (USA)

"How ancient DNA may rewrite prehistory in India"
BBC News (UK)

"Archaeologists have found ancient tools"
The Mice Times of Asia (Singapore)


"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]


Part of the Antikythera Mechanism
an image of Part of the Antikythera Mechanism, which is also a clickable link directly to the Lichfield Blog story
Copyright © 2006
Antikythera Mechanism Research Project



2000-year-old analog computer recreated



More Antikythera Mechanism Information & Commentary:

"Human Skeleton Found on Famed Antikythera Shipwreck"
Scientific American (USA)

"Scientists decipher purpose of mysterious astronomy tool made by ancient Greeks"
CBC News (Canada)

"Beyond the Antikythera mechanism"
Nature Blogs (UK)

"Archimedes’ legendary sphere brought to life"
Nature News (UK)

"Discovery about the Antikythera Mechanism reveals surprising advances in early Greek science"
University of Puget Sound (USA)

"World's oldest computer is more ancient than first thought... "
The Daily Mail Online (UK)

"New international mission ready to explore Antikythera shipwreck"
eKathimerini (Greece)

"Return to Antikythera: Divers revisit wreck where ancient computer found"
The Guardian Science Blog (UK)

"In search of lost time"
Nature (UK)

"World’s First Computer Displayed Olympic Calendar"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)

"Antikythera Mechanism - World's earliest existing analogue computer"
HotnHit News (India)

"In search of lost time"
Nature (UK)

"Imaging the Antikythera Computer"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)

"Decoding an Ancient Computer: Greek Technology Tracked the Heavens"
Scientific American (USA)

"2,000 Year Old Computer Yields Her Secrets"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)

"Watch a video explaining the Antikythera mechanism"
Nature (UK)

"Antikythera mechanism"
Wikipedia (USA)

"World's First Computer Rebuilt, Rebooted After 2,000 Years"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)

"Antikythera: A 2,000-year-old Greek computer comes back to life"
The Guardian Science Blog (UK)

Google image search results for The Antikythera mechanism
Google (USA)


 


"The Smart Neanderthal:
Bird catching, Cave Art, and the Cognitive Revolution"


by

Clive Finlayson

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com

"Since the late 1980s the dominant theory of human origins has been that a 'cognitive revolution' (C.50,000 years ago) led to the advent of our species, Homo sapiens.

As a result of this revolution our species spread and eventually replaced all existing archaic Homo species, ultimately leading to the superiority of modern humans.

Or so we thought.

As Clive Finlayson explains, the latest advances in genetics prove that there was significant interbreeding between Modern Humans and the Neanderthals.

All non-Africans today carry some Neanderthal genes.

We have also discovered aspects of Neanderthal behaviour that indicate that they were not cognitively inferior to modern humans, as we once thought, and in fact had their own rituals and art.

Finlayson, who is at the forefront of this research, recounts the discoveries of his team, providing evidence that Neanderthals caught birds of prey, and used their feathers for symbolic purposes."

Get This Book From:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


"Origins of the Sphinx: Celestial Guardian of
Pre-Pharaonic Civilization"


by

Dr Robert M. Schoch
and
Robert Bauval

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com

"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."

Get This Book From:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


"The Maya Forest Garden:
Eight Millennia of Sustainable Cultivation of the Tropical Woodlands"


by

Anabel Ford
and
Ronald Nigh

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com

Get This Book From:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


"Machu Picchu's Sacred Sisters: Choquequirao and Llactapata: Astronomy, Symbolism, and Sacred Geography in the Inca Heartland"

by

Gary R. Ziegler

and

J. McKim Malville

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com

Get This Book From:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


"The Memory Code: The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments"

by

Lynne Kelly

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com

Get This Book From:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk


"Stolen Legacy"

by

George G. M. James

an image/link direct to this product at amazon.com

Get This Book From:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Morien Institute News Headlines Archive
2019
April 01 - June 30 | July 01 - September 30 | October 01 - December 31


 

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