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 restless 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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Due to the continuing spinal problems of our Web Editor updates for the News pages and SkyWatch Calendar will be sporadic for the few weeks until we can find a temporary replacement. We apologise for any inconvenience …
News Headlines Digest Period Ending Tuesday November 30 2010
“The reconstructed version of the 5,000-year-old skeleton was unveiled during a ceremony attended by head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Hamid Baqaei and Iran’s ambassador to Italy Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Hosseini.
The woman, whose face has been reconstructed by a group of Iranian and Italian researchers, is famous for carrying the first prosthesis to have been used by man, ISNA reported.
A 5,000-year-old female skeleton wearing an artificial eyeball was found in Iran’s Burnt City archeological site in December 2006
Press TV, Iran
This is a great scientific achievement which shows that Persians used innovative medical equipment 5,000 years ago, Baqaei said during the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
The unique discovery was the result of excavations in the Burnt City in 2006, when archaeologists found an artificial eyeball on a 1.82-meter- tall female skeleton, much taller than ordinary women of her time, and dated back to between 2900 and 2800 BCE.”
“Scientists analyze tunes from 3,000-year-old conch-shell instruments for insight into pre-Inca civilization.
Acoustic scientists put their lips to ancient conch shells to figure out how humans used these trumpets 3,000 years ago.
New research has reconstructed what the instrument would have sounded like inside the religious site’s ceremonial chamber
Jyri Huopaniemi / Science News
he well-preserved, ornately decorated shells found at a pre-Inca religious site in Peru offered researchers a rare opportunity to jam on primeval instruments.
The music, powerfully haunting and droning, could have been used in religious ceremonies, the scientists say. The team reported their analysis November 17 at the Second Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics in Cancun, Mexico.”
Academic archaeologists and historians are publicly confident that they understand all aspects of prehistory. When and where the first settled communities appeared. When and where agriculture began. And they paint a picture of a gradual development from small hunter-gather tribal groups to the eventual big cities of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
But numerous discoveries being made all over the world are questioning this established wisdom. The 12,000-year-old megalithic complex at Göbekli Tepe is just one of them …
There are many more short Flash Videos about Göbekli Tepe in many languages on the YouTube site. Just click on any of those above to access them …
News Headlines Digest Period Ending Sunday November 14 2010
“According to the head of the national archeological mission working at the site Thayer Yerta, carved panels and archeological findings dating back to the beginning of the agricultural revolution in the 10th Millennium B.C. were unearthed at Tel al-Abar 3 site, left bank of the Euphrates River.
The panels are made from chlorites (green precious stone) with different engravings and figures.
a bowl dating from the 10th millennium BC found in Syria
He added that “one of these panels portrayed an eagle with wings spread wide and snake-form sculptures on the two sides. Another panel has an abstract sculpture of three eagle sculptures spreading their wings behind which the sun appears.”
A building with decorated terrace was also uncovered inside a hole at a depth of 130 cm and a diameter of 750 cm.”
An undated handout picture made available on 10 November 2010 by the Aleppo Antiquities Department shows a stone jar shaped like a bull recently discovered, along with other finds, at Tel al-Abr near Aleppo in northern Syria. The jar dates back to the tenth millennium BC.
“Ancient seafarers who launched one of the world’s swiftest migrations, settling the virgin islands of remote Oceania 3,000 years ago, have brought their story to Paris for an unprecedented new exhibit.
The Lapita, as the ancient Oceanic people are known, were all-but-unheard of just a few decades ago.
But since the mid-1990s the discovery of a body of highly-distinctive potteries, spread across some 250 sites, has shed light on how the Lapita set out over uncharted waters, bringing their language and culture with them.
Now, for two months starting on Tuesday, the Quai Branly museum of tribal arts in Paris is hosting what is being billed as the first ever comprehensive exhibition on the people’s artefacts and history.”
“IT has long been recognised that the Iberian peninsular is a treasure trove of historical wonders.
Its wealth of prehistoric sites boast some of the most important finds in Europe and new discoveries from the age of the dinosaurs and prehistoric man come almost by month.
FOSSIL: Skull found in Atapuerca
The Olive Press, Spain
The most recent came in Teruel, when researchers at the now world-famous Dinopolis Foundation found a femur – the largest ever found – that would have belonged to a giant Turiasaurus Riodevensis that lived 145 million years ago.
Making the animal 98 feet tall – or as large as a house – it is further proof that Spain really is the land that time forgot.”
“When it was created by a low earthen dam in 1965 by the Ziegler family, Ziegler Reservoir became a sparkling little lake that partially filled a shallow bowl of earth, surrounded by low hills covered in scrub oak and aspen trees.
But before the Zieglers built that dam, there was once an ancient glacial lake in the natural depression below the Snowmass Ski Area.
The lake, apparently created as the glaciers from the last ice age retreated, had filled in over time filled with clay, peat, and beautifully laminated silt over a bed of red and rocky glacial moraine.
And as the Snowmass Water and Sanitation sought to dig out the reservoir so it could store more water behind a new dam, the huge beasts that stalked the edge of the lake at least 12,800 years ago have been brought back to life in the collective imagination of Snowmass Village.”
“Stone Age humans were only able to develop relatively advanced tools after their brains evolved a greater capacity for complex thought, according to a new study that investigates why it took early humans almost two million years to move from razor-sharp stones to a hand-held stone axe.
Researchers used computer modelling and tiny sensors embedded in gloves to assess the complex hand skills that early humans needed in order to make two types of tools during the Lower Palaeolithic period, which began around 2.5 million years ago.
The cross-disciplinary team, involving researchers from Imperial College London, employed a craftsperson called a flintnapper to faithfully replicate ancient tool-making techniques.
Reporting in the online journal PLoS ONE, the team say that comparing the manufacturing techniques used for both Stone Age tools provides evidence of how the human brain and human behaviour evolved during the Lower Palaeolithic period.”
“The excavation site of a half-circle dragon-shaped topaz object, the first dragon-shaped art object in China, was recently identified by archaeologists from the Ongniud Banner Museum and the Inner Mongolia Archaeological Team from the Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) after two years of field investigations.
The academic question as to where the topaz object was unearthed was finally answered after puzzling archaeologists for more than 20 years.
The topaz object was donated to the Ongniud Banner Museum in 1987, and later listed among Class A relics under state protection.
Generally regarded as the first dragon-shaped art object in China, the object has been the subject of great attention from domestic and foreign archaeologists who are interested in Hongshan Culture. ”
[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]
More news stories and websites about The Antikythera mechanism