The events of July 16th – 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 archæology 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 had a very dynamic history over the past 20,000 years or so and it is only from this wider solar system perspective that the true history of human civilisation can ever
be fully understood. Therefore, The Morien Institute archive contains information from many disciplines
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“Finds unearthed in southeastern India offer a cutting-edge revision of hominid migrations out of Africa more than 1 million years ago that spread pivotal tool-making methods.
Makers of a specific style of teardrop-shaped stone hand ax, flat-edged cleavers and other implements that originated in Africa around 1.6 million years ago (SN: 1/31/09, p. 11) reached South Asia not long afterward, between 1.5 and 1 million years ago, say archaeologist Shanti Pappu of the Sharma Center for Heritage Education in Tamil Nadu, India and her colleagues.
Rather than waiting until around 500,000 years ago to head into South Asia, as many researchers have thought, the African hand ax crowd wasted relatively little time before hightailing it to India, Pappu’s team concludes in the March 25 Science.”
“A new study by Baylor University geology researchers shows that Native Americans’ land use nearly a century ago produced a widespread impact on the eastern North American landscape and floodplain development several hundred years prior to the arrival of major European settlements.
“New finds at the pre-Neolithic site of ‘Rhoudias’, situated in the south foothills of the Troodos Mountains in the Paphos district next to the Xenos river indicate the site was repeatedly visited by groups of hunter-gatherers, the Antiquities Department said yesterday.
It said the hunter gatherers in question remained in the area for an unknown period each time.
The site was part of a route from the coast to the mountains and vice-versa.”
“A Tamil-Brahmi script on a pot rim, reading “a ma na”, meaning a Jaina, has been found at Pattanam in Ernakulam district, Kerala, establishing that Jainism was prevalent on the west coast at least from second century CE (Common Era).
The script can be dated to circa second century CE.
The Tamil-Brahmi script with the letters “a ma na”, meaning Jaina, found at Pattanam in Kerala.
The letters are followed by two megalithic graffiti symbols which could not be identified
P.J. Cherian / The Hindu
The three Tamil-Brahmi letters are followed by two symbols generally called Megalithic graffiti and these two symbols could not be identified.
This is the third Tamil-Brahmi script to be found in the Pattanam excavations.”
“High in the wind-swept mountain ridges of northern Greece, archaeologists have made a surprising discovery: hundreds of prehistoric stone tools that may have been used by some of the last Neanderthals in Europe, at a time when hunter-gatherers were thought to have kept to much lower altitudes.
The two sites used between 50,000 to 35,000 years ago were found last summer in the Pindos Mountains, near the village of Samarina — one of Greece’s highest — some 400 kilometers (250 miles) northwest of Athens.
At an altitude of more than 1,700 meters (5,500 feet), the Pindos Neanderthal sites are the highest known so far in southeastern Europe, although that’s probably because nobody thought of searching so high before, archaeologist Nikos Efstratiou said Wednesday.”
“Primitive stone tools found on California coastal islands are evidence of seafaring and island colonization 12,000 years ago by Paleoindian peoples, according to a new report in Science magazine co-authored by Humboldt State University Professor of Anthropology Todd Braje.
Primitive artifacts, including barbed points and abraded bone tool fragments, were uncovered at archaeological sites on the Channel Islands, a shell midden (mound) on Santa Rosa Island and at the Cardwell Bluffs sites on San Miguel Island. They herald prehistoric coastal migrations into the Americas from Asia.
According to Braje, “The lives of these early coastal foragers seem to have been those of shellfish gathering, bird hunting, fishing and the production of a unique set of maritime hunting equipment.”
These settlers’ way of life was very different from that of the prehistoric Big Game Hunter peoples previously thought to have been the first to enter the New World via the Bering Strait.”
“Spend a little time with Dr. Richard Freund of the University of Hartford, and you might be convinced that the lost city of Atlantis is buried deep within a swamp in southern Spain.
Freund, who directs the university’s Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, worked with a team of Spanish, American and Canadian scientists to examine a muddy swamp in Spain that was first noted as a possible location for Atlantis by a German scientist looking at satellite photos in 2003.
Freund’s 2009 expedition and his team’s findings are outlined in the new National Geographic Channel film called “Finding Atlantis,” which has its premiere on March 13 at 9 p.m.
In advance of the premiere, the Greenberg Center will host a screening of the film at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, at the university’s Wilde Auditorium, and the public is invited.”
“Shortly after the conquest of Cuzco, Peru, in 1533, the conquistador Francisco Pizarro placed a young Inca nobleman, Manco, on the throne. In 1537 Manco rebelled against his Spanish overlords and fled into the mysterious and remote regions of Vilcapampa, speculated to be anywhere from 100 to 180 miles northwest of Cuzco.
From his hidden refuge Manco and his warriors, estimated to be from 50,000 to 80,000 strong, launched successful attacks against the Spanish supply routes. Several counter-strikes launched by Pizarro failed to dislodge Manco.
Following Manco’s death in 1545 at the hands of a Spanish deserter, the rebellion continued under Manco’s sons: Sayri Tupac, Titu Cusi and Tupac Amaru, the latter finally being captured near the River Urubamba, taken to Cuzco and executed in 1571. Thus ended the shortlived Inca revolt.
The two principle cities used by the late Incas, Vitcos or Uiticos, which means hidden or out-of-the-way in the Quechua language of the Incas, and Vilcapampa or Huillcapampa in Quechua, which means a neo-state or late-kingdom in the vicinity of a pampa or plain, were never found by the Spanish.”
“Every day about 100 tons of meteoroids – fragments of dust and gravel and sometimes even big rocks – enter the Earth’s atmosphere. Stand out under the stars for more than a half an hour on a clear night and you’ll likely see a few of the meteors produced by the onslaught.
But where does all this stuff come from? Surprisingly, the answer is not well known.
Now NASA is deploying a network of smart cameras across the United States to answer the question, What’s Hitting Earth?”
[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]
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