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Friday, 9 April 2010

Vibrations from the past, literally, 04. 2010

Today:

  1. Genetic 'map' of Asia's diversity
  2. Ancient Chinese statues believed to be Eros: archaeologist
  3. Previously undiscovered ancient city found on Caribbean sea floor
  4. Ancient Temple Architects May Have Been Chasing a Buzz From Sound Waves
  5. New research suggests Neanderthals weren't stupid
More:
  1. Dynasty of Priestesses
  2. In Syria, a Prologue for Cities

Genetic 'map' of Asia's diversity

The Human Genome Organisation's (HUGO) Pan-Asian SNP Consortium carried out a study of almost 2,000 people across the continent. Their findings support the hypothesis that Asia was populated primarily through a single migration event from the south.

The researchers described their findings in the journal Science.

They found genetic similarities between populations throughout Asia and an increase in genetic diversity from northern to southern latitudes.

The team screened genetic samples from 73 Asian populations for more than 50,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

These are variations in pieces of the DNA code, which can be compared to find out how closely related two individuals are genetically.

The study found that, as expected, individuals who were from the same region, or who shared a common language also had a great deal in common genetically.

But it also answered a question about the origin of Asia's population. It showed that the continent was likely populated primarily through a single migration event from the south.

Previously, there has been some debate about whether Asia was populated in two waves - one to South East Asia, and a later one to central and north-east Asia, or whether only a single migration occurred.

Edison Liu from the Genome Institute of Singapore was a leading member of the consortium.

"It seems likely from our data that they entered South East Asia first - making these populations older [and therefore more diverse]," he said.

"[It continued] later and probably more slowly to the north, with diversity being lost along the way in these 'younger' populations.

"So although the Chinese population is very large, it has less variation than the smaller number of individuals living in South East Asia, because the Chinese expansion occurred very recently, following the development of rice agriculture - within only the last 10,000 years."source

My comment: Ok, is it just me or 2000 people are really quite a few when we speak of a continent having billions of people?! I don't think they study is complete enough. And what I find even stranger is...how come Asia was inhabited from South East? Africa is to the West, not to the East! Where those people came from? Australia? It certainly has something weird in this statement. Especially if we don't consider Mesopotamia's part for South, which I think it is not. Very very interesting...

Ancient Chinese statues believed to be Eros: archaeologist

2009-12-01 15:48:21

GUIYANG, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The two mysterious bronze statues unearthed in central China's Henan Province in the 1980s was found to be Eros, the Greek God of Love, an archaeologist said here Tuesday.

The two statues, which can be dated back to around 500 A.D., were about 5 centimeters high, each with two holes on both sides, suggesting that they may have been used as pendants.

The statues bore apparent similarity with Eros in appearance as they both featured baby-faced boys with wings, said Huo Hongwei, a scholar with National Museum of China.

British archaeologist Aurel Stein proved in 1907 that several winged angels in the mural paintings in a monastery in west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region were drawings of Eros at around 200 A.D.

Huo argued that similarity in details between the statues and the paintings prove that the statues are made after the image of Eros.

The statues' wings lift upward at the tips, which is very unusual among Chinese gods but the same with those of the Eros on the mural paintings, Huo said.

The curly hair of the statues and that of the Eros on the paintings were almost identical, he added. source

My comment: ROFL! Seriously, it's strange to have Eros in China. Very funny. I wonder how those statues got there, though if I remember correctly Eros was one of the gods that Greeks took from Thracians. In which case, it may not be so strange after all. It would be quite cool if they find more statues around Asia.

Previously undiscovered ancient city found on Caribbean sea floor

By Jes Alexander on December 9, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC (Herald de Paris) - EXCLUSIVE - Researchers have revealed the first images from the Caribbean sea floor of what they believe are the archaeological remains of an ancient civilization. Guarding the location’s coordinates carefully, the project’s leader, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time, says the city could be thousands of years old; possibly even pre-dating the ancient Egyptian pyramids, at Giza.

The site was found using advanced satellite imagery, and is not in any way associated with the alleged site found by Russian explorers near Cuba in 2001, at a depth of 2300 feet. “To be seen on satellite, our site is much shallower.” The team is currently seeking funding to mount an expedition to confirm and explore what appears to be a vast underwater city. “You have to be careful working with satellite images in such a location,” the project’s principle researcher said, “The digital matrix sometimes misinterprets its data, and shows ruins as solid masses. The thing is, we’ve found structure - what appears to be a tall, narrow pyramid; large platform structures with small buildings on them; we’ve even found standing parallel post and beam construction in the rubble of what appears to be a fallen building. You can’t have post and beam without human involvement.”

Asked if this city is the legendary city of Atlantis, the researchers immediately said no. “However, we do believe that this city may have been one of many cities of an advanced, seafaring, trade-based civilization, which may have been visited by their Eurocentric counterparts.”

It is unknown at this time how the city came to be on the sea floor, and not on dry land. “We have several theories.”source

My comment:This story is very suspicious. But if true, it would be awesome show to watch. I hope they are right.

Ancient Temple Architects May Have Been Chasing a Buzz From Sound Waves

Sarasota, FL (PRWEB) December 1, 2009 -- Six-thousand-year-old ancient temples are giving up acoustic clues for modern scientists. Intriguing new research on ancient temples in Malta and highlighted by the Old Temples Study Foundation is resonating through international archaeology and interdisciplinary classics research. Reaching beyond the scope of traditional archaeology, a multi-disciplinary approach has opened a new dimension for the study of the ancient world.

Science Officer at the Hypogeum, Joseph Farrugia describes unusual sound effects in the UNESCO World Heritage Site: “There is a small niche in what we call ‘The Oracle Chamber’, and if someone with a deep voice speaks inside, the voice echoes all over the hypogeum. The resonance in the ancient temple is something exceptional. You can hear the voice rumbling all over.”

A consortium called The PEAR Proposition: Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research are pioneers in the field of archaeo-acoustics, merging archaeology and sound science. Directed by Physicist Dr. Robert Jahn, the PEAR group set out in 1994 to test acoustic behavior in megalithic sites such as Newgrange and Wayland‘s Smithy in the UK. They found that the ancient chambers all sustained a strong resonance at a sound frequency between 95 and 120 hertz: well within the range of a low male voice.

In subsequent OTSF testing, stone rooms in ancient temples in Malta were found to match the same pattern of resonance, registering at the frequency of 110 or 111 hz. This turns out to be a significant level for the human brain. Whether it was deliberate or not, the people who spent time in such an environment were exposing themselves to vibrations that impacted their minds.

Dr. Ian A. Cook of UCLA and colleagues published findings in 2008 of an experiment in which regional brain activity in a number of healthy volunteers was monitored by EEG through different resonance frequencies. Findings indicated that at 110 hz the patterns of activity over the prefrontal cortex abruptly shifted, resulting in a relative deactivation of the language center and a temporary switching from left to right-sided dominance related to emotional processing. People regularly exposed to resonant sound in the frequency of 110 or 111 hz would have been “turning on” an area of the brain that bio-behavioral scientists believe relates to mood, empathy and social behavior. source

My comment: I don't know if you remember, but there was similar article in New Scientist but for the pyramids in Mexico resonating raindrops. I think that's quite a coincidence to have so many structures having similar resonances. And continuing with the same line - a book on pyramids in Egypt claimed that they were resonant structures dedicated to turning seismic vibration into energy. Very interesting, right? Maybe some of the structures really had psychotropic action but is this all?

The Map that changed the world

New research suggests Neanderthals weren't stupid

January 11, 2010
(PhysOrg.com) -- Neanderthals used makeup and jewellery challenging the idea that they were cognitively inferior to early modern humans, according to research published in the Proceedings in the National Academy of Sciences today. Radiocarbon dating by researchers at Oxford University suggests that pigment-stained and perforated marine shells were almost certainly used as pendants by Neanderthals in Spain 50,000 years old.

This is significant because until now the practice of body ornamentation has been widely accepted by archaeologists as evidence for modern behaviour and symbolic thinking in early modern humans and not .

The international research project, led by Bristol University, focused on two Neanderthal-associated sites in the Murcia province of south-east Spain (Cueva de los Aviones and Cueva Antón). Alongside the shells were lumps of red and yellow pigments, which researchers believe were used in cosmetics.

A spondylus gaederopus shell contained residues of a reddish pigment made of lepidocrocite mixed with ground bits of hematite and pyrite (which, when fresh, have a brilliant black, reflective appearance), suggesting they were applied ‘for effect’.

The choice of a spondylus shell as the ‘makeup container’ may relate to the attention-grabbing crimson, red, or violet colour and the exuberant sculpture of these shells, which have led to their symbolic- or ritual-related collection in a variety of archaeological contexts worldwide.

A concentration of lumps of yellow colorant from Cueva de los Aviones (most certainly the contents of a purse made of skin or other perishable material) was found to be pure natrojarosite - an iron mineral used as a cosmetic in Ancient Egypt.

While functionally similar material has been found at Neanderthal-associated sites before, it has been explained by stratigraphic mixing (which can lead to confusion about the dating of particular artefacts), Neanderthal scavenging of abandoned modern human sites, or Neanderthal imitation without understanding of behaviours observed among contemporary modern human groups.

Accurate dating of shell and charcoal samples from Cueva de los Aviones and Cueva Antón was crucial to the research. The dating was undertaken at the University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.

Dr Thomas Higham, Deputy Director of the Radiocarbon Unit in the School of Archaeology said: ‘Dating samples that approach the limit of the technique, at around 55,000 years before present, is a huge challenge. We used the most refined methods of pre-treatment chemistry to obtain accurate dates for the sites involved by removing small amounts of more modern carbon contamination to discover that the shells and charcoal samples were as early as 50,000 years ago.' source

My comment: WOW! I mean WOW! 50 000 years ago?! Did I say WOW! Seriously, that's amazing discovery. I hate when people (scientists) underestimate happily Neanderthals when it becomes clearer and clearer that they were smart enough to compete with Modern Humans. Ok, it's a mystery why they disappeared but you don't solve a mystery by simply assuming stuff.

More:

Dynasty of Priestesses - Orthi Petra at Eleutherna on Crete(2 800 years ago). Now, two unprecedented discoveries since 2007--three lavish jar burials that contained the remains of a dozen related female individuals and a monumental funerary building where a high priestess and her protégés, also all related, were laid to rest--are adding to our knowledge of Eleutherna's women, and forcing the scholarly community to reevaluate their importance and role in the so-called "Dark Ages" of Greece - "Dark Ages of Greece" my ass. There was no Greece at that time! There were other civillisations (Minoans, the Mycenaeans, the Dorians) that have absolutely nothing in common with Greece! The news is however quite interesting. Priestess...obviously, the religion they had on Crete was very similar to that in Thrace (Thrakia). I keep on thinking that maybe those ancient civilizations were actually one.
In Syria, a Prologue for Cities - "Tell Zeidan, a robust pre-urban settlement on the upper Euphrates River. People occupied the site for two millenniums, until 4000 B.C..

Scholars of antiquity say that Zeidan should reveal insights into life in a time called the Ubaid period, 5500 to 4000 B.C. In those poorly studied centuries, irrigation agriculture became widespread, long-distance trade grew in influence socially and economically, powerful political leaders came to the fore and communities gradually divided into social classes of wealthy elites and poorer commoners." See the pictures on the site. Very very interesting. And the mounds...they very very much resemble Thracian's ones. Certainly one civilization. We just can't yet see the big picture. (And I just checked the Wikipedia page on Thrace and Thracians, I see that Greek guys did perfect job in undermining Thracian culture. What they forget however is that you cannot destroy the truth. You can hide it for a while, but not destroy it!)

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