“A human skull fragment recently unearthed at Manot Cave in Israel provides strong evidence that both anatomically modern Homo sapiens and Neanderthals inhabited the southern Levant during the late Pleistocene and could have interbred 55,000 years ago, about ten millennia earlier than previously thought.
Discovered in 2008 during construction activities, Manot is a prehistoric cave with an impressive archaeological sequence and spectacular speleothems.
Around 30,000 years ago, the roof of the cave collapsed and sealed the archaeological layers until the 21st century.
The cave is situated along the only land route available for ancient humans to travel out of Africa to the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
The most spectacular finding was made on an elevated shelf within a small chamber – a well-preserved calotte (the upper part of a braincase) of an anatomically modern human who lived between 60,000 and 50,000 years ago.
The finding of Neanderthals living at other sites in the region places the two species in the same area at about the same time.”
“The first known prehistoric human from Taiwan has been identified and may represent an entirely new species that lived as recently as 10,000 years ago, according to a new study.
The newly discovered big-toothed human, ‘Penghu 1’, strengthens the growing body of evidence that Homo sapiens was not the only species from our genus living in Europe and Asia between 200,000 and 10,000 years ago.
Anthropologists have learned that Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo floresiensis (aka. the ‘Hobbit’) lived in Europe and Asia within that time frame.
Penghu 1, which is described in the latest issue of Nature Communications, adds to that already impressive list and might have co-existed – and even interbred – with our species.”
“Precious scrolls blackened by the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in AD 79 may become readable again, thanks to 21st century technology, scientists said on Tuesday.
Hundreds of papyrus scrolls believed to have been authored by Greek philosophers were found in the Roman town of Herculaneum, which was hit in the same eruption that destroyed the town of Pompeii.
Whereas Pompeii was buried under a thick layer of ash, nearby Herculaneum met a somewhat different fate – it was exposed to a roiling blast of volcanic gas.
The furnace-like heat burned its citizens alive and turned the writings into pitch-black, brittle rolls.
The carbonised manuscripts, part of the only library to have survived from the classical world, were found 260 years ago in the ruins of a huge villa believed to have been owned by a wealthy Roman statesman, Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus.”
“In a historical move, Greenpeace has provided Peru with names of four of its activists involved in the Nazca Lines protest.
Greenpeace gave Peru the names of four of its activists involved in the protest that left damage at the 1,500-year-old archaeological site, the Nazca Lines.
The organization provided the names and addresses of four foreign activists that were responsible for the stunt that caused international uproar for damaging a World Heritage Site located in southern Peru.
The remaining names of the (estimated) 20 activists were not included in the report.
The organization explains that as the activists were not fully informed of the circumstances and that they were entering a prohibited zone, they have not revealed their identities.”
“Newly-published research into ancient land use on Rapa Nui or Easter Island shows the collapse of society there wasn’t as dramatic as first thought.
A multi-national team of scientists and archaeologists has come up with the first empirical evidence of changes in land use on the island which reveals how the slowly changing environment influenced people’s living and farming patterns.
Theories up until now have centred around people starving to death due to slashing and burning the land for agriculture and the introduction of disease after contact with Europeans.”
“The 3,000 year-old ruins and foundations of the largest known fortress in Egypt were unearthed at the ancient fortified city of Tell Habua near the Suez Canal, said Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al- Damaty Saturday.
The fort, also known as the Wall of the Prince, was part of a defensive line in the form of a series of fortresses and military cities.
The fortress is one of other fortifications that have been discovered earlier in the site of Tell Habua, the old Tharu, as mentioned in the inscriptions of Pharaoh Seti I at Karnak temple, describing the Horus Military Route, said Damaty.
‘The discovery is significant as it reflects the details of the ancient Egyptian military history.’
‘It is a model example of Ancient Egypt’s military architecture, as well as the Egyptian war strategies through different ages, for the protection of the entirety of Egypt’, chief of the excavation team archaeologist Mohammed Abdel-Maqsoud told The Cairo Post Saturday.” [Read The Full Story]
” A rock inscription portraying the rare transfer of two obelisks from a quarry has been unearthed at Gebel el Silsila, Egypt’s largest sandstone quarries located to the north of Aswan, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty announced Monday.
The discovery is the result of the Gebel el Silsila Survey Project, an epigraphic survey mission of Lund University, Sweden that has been active in the site since early 2014, according to the statement.
Scenes depicting the phases and the technique of detaching blocks, loading them in sailing boats before sending them to their destinations through the River Nile, have been also discovered in the site.
‘The work technique shows a notable cooperation among the workers and the workshops at the quarry. The scenes of the rocks, which were precisely cut, confirm the advanced skills of ancient Egyptian labor’, Director General of Aswan Antiquities Department Nasr Salama said.” [Read The Full Story]
“Scattered across an isolated, flat plain in Shaanxi Province, near the ancient capital of Xi’an, lie dozens of spectacular pyramid mounds that are little known outside China.
Mixed in with the reality of these impressive tombs, is a legend of an enormous 1,000-foot white, jewel-capped pyramid that would outshine even the Great Pyramid of Giza.
While some researchers believe that aerial sightings of the ‘White Pyramid of Xi’an’ actually refer to the Maoling pyramid, tomb of Emperor Wu of Han, others maintain that the legendary pyramid is yet to be found.
‘The Maoling pyramid is about 155 feet high, falling far short of the grand structure of the legendary white pyramid.” [Read The Full Story]
[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
Antikythera Mechanism Research Project
2000-year-old analog computer recreated
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