What's new with Neanderthals?
In praise of… Neanderthal man - finally people realise how wrong they were about Neanderthals.
65,000-Year-Old Language Goes Extinct - look at the picture on the site. There's something amazing in this woman!
Alok Das/ Survival International
- Modern Behavior of Early Humans Found Half-Million Years Earlier Than Thought
- Genetic studies show modern humans on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 21,000 years ago
- Mummy mystery GMC geology professor to dig into Chilean burial methods
- Iranians celebrate ancient Persian fire fest
- Ancient hominids may have been seafarers
Modern Behavior of Early Humans Found Half-Million Years Earlier Than Thought
Analyses of the spatial distribution of all these finds revealed two activity areas in the layer: the first area is characterized by abundant evidence of flint tool manufacturing.
In the second area, identified evidence indicates a greater variation of activities -- all of which took place in the vicinity of a hearth. The many wood pieces found in this area were used as fuel for the fire... source
My comment: I don't know if people realise how much 500 000 years difference are! This is very very serious number. If we thought that humans needed 250 000 years to develop a civilisation, that makes 2 civilisations! On the other side, I think this is maybe more a negative news - it means that we needed more than 750 000 years to develop to our stage. But then, maybe this were different kind of "we". After all, nothing stops other species or tribes to be more advanced. Even now, there are humans that don't know what civilisation is and we're talking only about 2-3000 years!
Genetic studies show modern humans on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau 21,000 years ago
KUNMING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have found through genetic studies that modern humans had successfully colonized the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the Late Paleolithic Age, at least 21,000 years ago.
The plateau, with an average altitude above 4,000 meters and known as "the Roof of the World" in southwestern China, is one of the most challenging areas in the world for human settlement due to its environmental extremes, such as extreme cold and low oxygen levels.
"Based on studies of their mitochondrial DNA genome variation, our results confirm the vast majority of Tibetan matrilineal components can trace their ancestry to Epipaleolithic and Neolithic immigrants from what is now northern China, or about 10,000 years ago, which accords with previous studies," Zhao said. "Unlike Tibetan matrilineal components inherited from north China immigrants, M16 branched off directly from the genetic components of the ancestors of modern Eurasians," Zhao said.
"M16 has an ancient age of at least 21,000 years, based on calculations through various dating methods in genetics," she said.
"Its nearly exclusive distribution in Tibetan populations and ancient age suggest that M16 may represent the genetic relics of the Late Paleolithic inhabitants on the plateau," she said.
Archaeologists have discovered Paleolithic human hand and footprints near Lhasa, the heart of the plateau, and reckoned they dated back about 20,600 years to 21,700 years, she said. sourceMy comment: Very interesting. I had no idea Tibetans live there for so long. And luckily for the geneticists, they probably didn't mess with other populations thus preserving their genes clean for examination. Very very nice. It's cool how their haplogroup is so unique. Unfortunately, I have no idea what this might mean for the bigger picture.
Mummy mystery GMC geology professor to dig into Chilean burial methods
The Chinchorro would skin their dead, disassemble the bodies, make a frame for them from reeds and then sew the skin back on. Then they would cover them with clay. The clay they used contained manganese, which is where Van Hoesen comes in.
"There's absolutely no manganese anywhere near the sites where they buried these bodies," he said.
The nearest known manganese deposits are 60 to 80 kilometers away from the site. Van Hoesen said most archeologists believe the Chinchorro would not have traveled more than 40 kilometers. In the arid landscape, they would have had to carry water with them.
Van Hoesen will do chemical comparisons between the manganese on the mummies and at the remote sites. If they match, Van Hoesen said, it will lend credibility to the theory that the Chinchorro were highland people who moved to the coast.
sourceMy comment: It really is weird that those people would go so far just to mummify their dead. In that case, the whole ritual should be very "expensive", because it would take their best men, to go all the way to get the resources, then to get back, consuming food and not working or fighting for the tribe. I think it's more likely that they were involved in some trade.
Iranians celebrate ancient Persian fire fest
Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity and Islam and is believed to have influenced those faiths — and Judaism as well — being one of the first religions with a strong notion of good and evil.
Ancient hominids may have been seafarers
Several hundred double-edged cutting implements discovered at nine sites in southwestern Crete date to at least 130,000 years ago and probably much earlier, Strasser reported January 7 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Archaeology. Many of these finds closely resemble hand axes fashioned in Africa about 800,000 years ago by H. erectus, he says. H. erectus had spread from Africa to parts of Asia and Europe by at least that time.
Until now, the oldest known human settlements on Crete dated to around 9,000 years ago. Traditional theories hold that early farming groups in southern Europe and the Middle East first navigated vessels to Crete and other Mediterranean islands at that time.
Other researchers have controversially suggested that H. erectus navigated rafts across short stretches of sea in Indonesia around 800,000 years ago and that Neandertals crossed the Strait of Gibraltar perhaps 60,000 years ago.
sourceMy comment: Now this is news. I think it's amazing how theories that lasted for decades can change for a year. But that's real science. Everything else is fanaticism. And I never thought that H.erectus was that developed intellectually. But hey, that makes science exciting!