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
some news sources require registration but this is usually free
“One of the world’s most important caches of Greek manuscripts is going online, part of a growing number of ancient documents to hit the web in recent years.
The British Library said yesterday that it was making more than a quarter of its 1000 volume-strong collection of handwritten Greek texts available online free of charge, something curators there hope will be a boon to historians, biblical scholars and students of classical Greece alike.
Although the manuscripts – highlights of which include a famous collection of Aesopic fables discovered on Mt Athos in 1844 – have long been available to scholars who made the trip to the British Library’s reading rooms, curator Scot McKendrick said their posting to the web was opening antiquity to the entire world.”
“Neanderthals living in southern Italy 42,000 years ago developed bone and stone tools, decorative ornaments and pigments on their own, not through interactions with Homo sapiens, according to Julien Riel-Salvatore, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado, Denver.
Until now, tools and ornaments used by Neanderthals were thought to have come about because of contact with the species that replaced them.
Neanderthals used tools that they had developed on their own
Julien Riel-Salvatore / The New York Times
But Dr. Riel-Salvatore said his paper in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory ‘counters the persistent idea about Neanderthals and shows that they were really able to innovate.’.
Riel-Salvatore spent several years studying artifacts from Neanderthal communities in southern and central Italy as well as human artifacts from the same time period in northern Italy.”
“Scientists from around the world have tried to understand how the Egyptians erected their giant pyramids. Now, an architect and researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology says he has the answer to this ancient, unsolved puzzle.
Researchers have been so preoccupied by the weight of the stones that they tend to overlook two major problems: How did the Egyptians know exactly where to put the enormously heavy building blocks? And how was the master architect able to communicate detailed, highly precise plans to a workforce of 10,000 illiterate men?
These were among the questions that confronted Ole J. Bryn, an architect and associate professor in NTNU’s Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art when he began examining Khufu’s Great Pyramid in Giza.
Khufu’s pyramid, better known as the Pyramid of Cheops, consists of 2.3 million limestone blocks weighing roughly 7 million tons. At 146.6 meters high, it held the record as the tallest structure ever built for nearly 4000 years.”
“Two enormous heads arrayed with horns are the first striking images of a pair of newly discovered dinosaur species announced today.
The ornate heads belong to Kosmoceratops richardsoni and the Utahceratops gettyi, two species of dinosaur found in southern Utah’s Grand-Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The research team describe them in the online journal PLoS ONE.
Both Kosmoceratops and Utahceratops were plant-eating inhabitants of the long lost continent of Laramidia about 76 million years ago, says Dr Eric Roberts, one of the scientists involved in the discovery, who is now based at James Cook University in Townsville.”
“The remains of seven children apparently killed in a ritual and buried beneath a 500 to 600-year-old building in Peru’s Cuzco Valley have given scientists new glimpses of the sketchily understood Inca practice of sacrificing select children in elaborate ceremonies.
The children were buried at the same time, apparently after having been killed in a sacrificial rite that honored Inca deities and promoted political unity across the far-flung empire, say anthropologist Valerie Andrushko of Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven and her colleagues.
Six children killed in a ritual Inca sacrifice between 500 and 600 years ago were buried together, accompanied by gold, silver and shell figurines of men and llamas
G. McEwan / Wagner College
Chemical analyses of the bones indicate that at least two of the children came from distant parts of the Inca realm, Andrushko’s group reports in a paper published online September 15 in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
Archaeological evidence of Inca child sacrifices has come mainly from youngsters’ naturally mummified bodies found frozen on several Andean peaks. Human figurines and other valuable objects lay near those bodies.”
“For decades scientists believed Neanderthals developed ‘modern’ tools and ornaments solely through contact with Homo sapiens, but new research from the University of Colorado Denver now shows these sturdy ancients could adapt, innovate and evolve technology on their own.
The findings by anthropologist Julien Riel-Salvatore challenge a half-century of conventional wisdom maintaining that Neanderthals were thick-skulled, primitive ‘cavemen’ overrun and outcompeted by more advanced modern humans arriving in Europe from Africa.
‘Basically, I am rehabilitating Neanderthals’, said Riel-Salvatore, assistant professor of anthropology at UC Denver. ‘They were far more resourceful than we have given them credit for.’.
His research, to be published in December’s Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, was based on seven years of studying Neanderthal sites throughout Italy, with special focus on the vanished Uluzzian culture.”
“Archaeologists in Bulgaria have unearthed a circular mound which they believe used to serve as a burial ground for the ancient Bulgars in pre-Christian times, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) said on September 21 2010
The site, unique in South Eastern Europe, was found near the north coast of the Black Sea, where the Bulgars first settled after arriving from the east.
Thus, the scientists have ascribed the origin of the site to the ancient Bulgars, ‘about whom very little is known’ the report said.”
“A rare bronze signet ring with the impression of the face of the Greek sun god, Apollo, has been discovered at Tel Dor, in northern Israel, by University of Haifa diggers.
‘A piece of high-quality art such as this, doubtlessly created by a top-of-the-line artist, indicates that local elites developing a taste for fine art and the ability to afford it were also living in provincial towns, and not only in the capital cities of the Hellenistic kingdoms’, explains Dr. Ayelet Gilboa, Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, who headed the excavations at Dor along with Dr. Ilan Sharon of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
When the ring was recovered from a waste pit near Hellenistic structures, it was covered with layers of earth and corrosion, and the archaeologists had no indication whatsoever that it would reveal the shape of a legendary figure.
Only after the ring was cleaned up at the Restoration and Conservation laboratory at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology, was the profile of a beardless young male with long hair, clean shaven and adorned with a laurel wreath, revealed.”
“A team of Peruvian archaeologists have discovered two ceremonial temples more than 4,000 years old in Peru’s northern jungle, which makes them the most ancient in the country and identifies them with the Bracamoros culture, the daily El Comercio said on Saturday.
On both sites were found 14 burial vaults that typically contain the skeletons of newborns and adolescents placed there as offerings at different times in the course of the 800 years these buildings were in use, the newspaper said.
The Bracamoros culture occupied part of the current Ecuadorian province of Zamora Chinchipe and the Peruvian regions of Amazonas and Cajamarca, where the temples were found, the daily said.”
“Ancient Aboriginal people may have been the world’s first astronomers, a CSIRO study says.
Professor Ray Norris, who will deliver his findings at an astronomy, space and science lecture in Townsville in north Queensland today, says Indigenous Australians used the rising and setting of particular stars to read tides and harvest food.
He says they may also have been the first to explain solar eclipses.”
“The Egyptian Ministry of Culture on Wednesday announced that archaeologists had discovered a 2600-year-old burial chamber while restoring the tomb of a priest of the ancient Egyptian god Amun on the west bank of Luxor, some 700 km south of the capital.
The chamber, which was discovered by an Egyptian-American archaeological mission, belonged to a priest by the name of Car-Akh-Amon who lived during the 25th dynasty (755-656 BC).
Amun–god of the sun, wind and fertility–was one of the chief deities in the ancient Egyptian pantheon. His name means ‘The Invisible One’.”
“As the last ice age was ending, about 13,000 years ago, a final blast of cold hit Europe, and for a thousand years or more, it felt like the ice age had returned.
But oddly, despite bitter cold winters in the north, Antarctica was heating up.
For the two decades since ice core records revealed that Europe was cooling at the same time Antarctica was warming over this thousand-year period, scientists have looked for an explanation.
A new study in Nature brings them a step closer by establishing that New Zealand was also warming, indicating that the deep freeze up north, called the Younger Dryas for the white flower that grows near glaciers, bypassed much of the southern hemisphere.”
[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
“To the untrained eye, all evidence here in the heart of the Amazon signals virgin forest, untouched by man for time immemorial.
Archaeologists, many of them Americans, say the opposite is true: This patch of forest, and many others across the Amazon, was instead home to an advanced, even spectacular civilization that managed the forest and enriched infertile soils to feed thousands.
The findings are discrediting a once-bedrock theory of archaeology that long held that the Amazon, unlike much of the Americas, was a historical black hole, its environment too hostile and its earth too poor to have ever sustained big, sedentary societies.
But scientists now believe that instead of stone-age tribes, like the groups that occasionally emerge from the forest today, the Indians who inhabited the Amazon centuries ago numbered as many as 20 million, far more people than live here today.
Outside, Manaus, Brazil, Eduardo Neves, a renowned Brazilian archaeologist, and American scientists have found huge swaths of ‘terra preta’, so-called Indian dark earth, land made fertile by mixing charcoal, human waste and other organic matter with soil.
In 15 years of work that is still ongoing they have also found vast orchards of semi-domesticated fruit trees, though they appear like forest untrammeled by man.
Along the Xingu, an Amazon tributary in Brazil, Michael Heckenberger of the University of Florida has found moats, causeways, canals, the networks of a stratified civilization that, he says, existed as early as A.D. 800.
In Bolivia, American, German and Finnish archaeologists have been studying how pre-Columbian Indians moved tons of soil and diverted rivers, major projects of a society that existed long before the birth of Christ.”
“A reinterpretation of the fossil record suggests a new answer to one of evolution’s existential questions: whether global mass extinctions are just short-term diversions in life’s preordained course, or send life careening down wholly new paths.
Some scientists have suggested the former. Rates of species diversification — the speed at which groups adapt and fill open ecological niches — seemed to predict what’s flourished in the aftermath of past planetary cataclysms.
But according to the calculations of Macquarie University paleobiologist John Alroy, that’s just not the case.
‘Mass extinction fundamentally changes the dynamics. It changes the composition of the biosphere forever. You can’t simply predict the winners and losers from what groups have done before’, he said.”
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 …
“Throughout most of evolution humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground, largely oblivious that the surface of the Earth contains limitless healing energy. Science has discovered this energy as free-flowing electrons constantly replenished by solar radiation and lightning.
Few people know it, but the ground provides a subtle electric signal that maintains health and governs the intricate mechanisms that make our bodies work-just like plugging a lamp into a power socket makes it light up.
Modern lifestyle, including the widespread use of insulative rubber or plastic-soled shoes, has disconnected us from this energy and, of course, we no longer sleep on the ground as we did in times past.
Earthing introduces the planet’s powerful, amazing, and overlooked natural healing energy and how people anywhere can readily connect to it. This eye-opening book describes how the physical disconnect with the Earth creates abnormal physiology and contributes to inflammation, pain, fatigue, stress, and poor sleep.
By reconnecting to the Earth, symptoms are rapidly relieved and even eliminated and recovery from surgery, injury, and athletic overexertion is accelerated.”
“In this landmark book, Robert O. Becker, M.D., a pioneer in the field of bioelectric science, presents a fascinating look at the role electricity plays in healing, challenging the traditional mechanistic model of the body. Colorful and controversial, this is a tale of engrossing research, scientific and medical politics, and breakthrough discoveries that offer new possibilities for fighting disease and harnessing the body’s healing powers.