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Friday, September 28, 2007

Comet Impact Theory Strikes Again!!

"PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — At the end of the Pleistocene era, wooly mammoths roamed North America along with a cast of fantastic creatures – giant sloths, saber-toothed cats, camels, lions, tapirs and the incredible teratorn, a condor with a 16-foot wingspan.


About 12,900 years ago, these megafauna disappeared from the fossil record, as did evidence of human remains. The cause of the mass extinction and the human migration is a mystery. Now a team of scientists, including Brown University planetary geologist Peter Schultz, provides evidence that an asteroid impact likely caused the
sudden climate changes that killed off the mammoths and other majestic beasts of prehistory.


In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the international team lays out its theory that the mass extinctions in North America were caused by one or more extraterrestrial objects – comets or meteorites – that exploded over the Earth or slammed into it, triggering catastrophic climate change.


The scientists believe that evidence for these extraterrestrial impacts is hidden in a dark layer of dirt sometimes called a black mat. Found in more than 50 sites around North America, this puzzling slice of geological history is a mere three centimeters deep and filled with carbon, which lends the layer its dark color. This black mat has been found in archaeological digs in Canada and California, Arizona and South Carolina – even in a research site in Belgium.


The formation of this layer dates back 12,900 years and coincides with the abrupt cooling of the Younger Dryas period, sometimes called the “Big Freeze.” This coincidence intrigued the researchers, led by Richard Firestone of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who thought that the black mat might be related to the mass extinctions.


So the researchers studied black mat sediment samples from 10 archaeological sites dating back to the Clovis people, the first human inhabitants of the New World. Researchers conducted geochemical analysis of the samples to determine their makeup and also ran carbon dating tests to determine the age of the samples.


Directly beneath the black mat, researchers found high concentrations of magnetic grains containing iridium, charcoal, soot, carbon spherules, glass-like carbon containing nanodiamonds and fullerenes packed with extraterrestrial helium – all of which are evidence for an extraterrestrial impact and the raging wildfires that might have followed.


Schultz, professor of geological sciences at Brown and an impact specialist, said the most provocative evidence for an extraterrestrial impact was the discovery of nanodiamonds, microscopic bits of diamond formed only from the kind of intense pressure you’d get from a comet or meteorite slamming into the Earth.


“We don’t have a smoking gun for our theory, but we sure have a lot of shell casings,” Schultz said. “Taken together, the markers found in the samples offer intriguing evidence that North America had a major impact event about 12,900 years ago.”


Schultz admits that there is little decisive evidence about the actual details about the impact and its effects. Scientists suspect that a carbon-rich asteroid or comets were the culprits. The objects would have exploded over North America or slammed into it, or both, shattering and melting ice sheets, sparking extreme wildfires, and
fueling hurricane-force winds – all of which could have contributed to changes in climate that led to the cooling of the Younger Dryas period.


“Our theory isn’t a slam dunk,” Schultz said. “We need to study a lot more sediments to get a lot more evidence. But what is sobering about this theory of ours is that this impact would be so recent. Not so long ago, something may have fallen from the sky and profoundly changed our climate and our culture.”


The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation funded the work.


Editors: Brown University has a fiber link television studio available for domestic and international live and taped interviews and maintains an ISDN line for radio interviews. For more information, call the Office of Media Relations at (401) 863-2476.
Read it at the SOURCE
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dmanisi Hominids More Primitive than Previous Claims

Human Ancestors More Primitive That Once Thought
Science Daily - A team of researchers, including Herman Pontzer, Ph.D., assistant professor of physical anthropology in Arts & Sciences, has determined through analysis of the earliest known hominid fossils outside of Africa, recently discovered in Dmanisi, Georgia, the former Soviet republic, that the first human ancestors to inhabit Eurasia were more primitive than previously thought.


The fossils, dated to 1.8 million years old, show some modern aspects of lower limb morphology, such as long legs and an arched foot, but retain some primitive aspects of morphology in the shoulder and foot. The species had a small stature and brain size more similar to earlier species found in Africa.


"Thus, the earliest known hominins to have lived outside Africa in temperate zones of Eurasia did not yet display the full set of derived skeletal features," the researchers conclude.


The findings, published Sept. 20 in the journal "Nature," are a marked step in learning more about the first human ancestors to migrate from Africa.


The lead author of the paper is David Lordpkipanidze, director of the National Museum of Georgia. Collaborators on the study include Pontzer and researchers from Georgia, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.


The new evidence shows how this species had the anatomical and behavioral capacity to be successful across a range of environments and expand out of Africa, said Pontzer, who studies how the musculoskeletal anatomy of an animal reflect its performance, ecological niche and evolutionary history.


"This research tells us that the limb proportions and behavioral flexibility which allowed this species to expand out of Africa were there at least 1.8 million years ago," Pontzer said.


Dmanisi is the site of a medieval village located about 53 miles southwest of Tbilisi, Georgia on a promontory at the confluence of the Mashavera and Phinezauri rivers. Archaeological exploration of the ruins began in the 1930s, but systematic excavations were not undertaken until the 1980s. Pontzer has been studying the site for more than six years.


Source: Washington University in St. Louis

Dmanisi Hominids
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Earliest Evidence of Rice in China Unearthed

Those Chinamen! An interesting discovery, but it's funny how they fail to mention that evidence of 14,000 year old rice cultivation has been found in Vietnam.

7,700 Year Old Rice Cultivation in China
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On Retaining Primordial Instincts and Phobias in the Human Species

Human beings are still more attentive to movements of animals than to the movements of vehicles, despite the fact that vehicles now kill far more often. Phobias of particular animals, such as dogs, spiders, or snakes, are quite common, and phobias of inanimate things are much more rare. What does this suggest to researchers?
Here's the link:

Modern Humans Retain Caveman Instinct
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Endurance Gene

Mutant endurance gene in some races of Homo Sapien.

The Endurance Gene
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200,000 Year Old Bar-B-Q Restaurant Found in Israel!

Them Natufians sure did know how to whup up some b-b-q wings and shishkabobs!
Here's the link:

200,000 Year Old B-B-Q
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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Homo habilis; Homo erectus; Allopatric Speciation


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Prehistoric Beasts Lost Scenes


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The Mystery Of The Human Hobbit 1/5


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John Tolkien on


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The Mystery Of The Human Hobbit 5/5


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The Mystery Of The Human Hobbit 4/5


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The Mystery Of The Human Hobbit 3/5


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The Mystery Of The Human Hobbit 2/5


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The Mystery Of The Human Hobbit 1/5

For those of you who missed it, I thought I'd post the 60 Minute "Hobbit" Video from YouTube in light of the recent discoveries. Here you go!


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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Did prehistoric Homo Sapiens Originate in Israel?


Haaretz Archeological Finds
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Comet Impact at 10,000 BC


Comet Impact Theory:

What killed the megafauna at 10,000 BC?

The Ice Age?
There had been 21 Ice Ages before that, and nowhere near as many mefauna died.

Man the Hunter?
Then why with guns, germs, and steel have we not been able to kill as many species in all the time since then as our ancestors did with only flint weapons in only a few thousand years?

Maybe some new studies have the answers:


USC News on The Cataclysm
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Home Flores Definitely Not Human!!


"The Primitive Wrist of Homo floresiensis and Its Implications for Hominin Evolution



Whether the Late Pleistocene hominin fossils from Flores, Indonesia, represent a new species, Homo floresiensis, or pathological modern humans has been debated. Analysis of three wrist bones from the holotype specimen (LB1) shows that it retains wrist morphology that is primitive for the African ape-human clade. In contrast, Neandertals and modern humans share derived wrist morphology that forms during embryogenesis, which diminishes the probability that pathology could result in the
normal primitive state. This evidence indicates that LB1 is not a modern human with an undiagnosed pathology or growth defect; rather, it represents a species descended from a hominin ancestor that branched off before the origin of the clade that includes modern humans, Neandertals, and their last common ancestor."





Scientists: Hobbit Wasn't a Modern Human By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID


WASHINGTON (AP) - Scientists, wringing their hands over the identity of the famed "hobbit" fossil, have found a new clue in the wrist. Since the discovery of the bones in Indonesia in 2003, researchers have wrangled over whether the find was an ancient human ancestor or simply a modern human suffering from a genetic disorder.

(.....)
The wrist bones of the 3-foot-tall creature, technically known as Homo floresiensis, are basically indistinguishable from an African ape or early hominin-like wrist and nothing at all like that seen in modern humans and Neanderthals, according to the research team led by Matthew W. Tocheri of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.


That indicates that it is an early hominin and not a modern human with a physical disorder, they contend.


"It seals the deal," Tocheri said in a telephone interview."

Dean Falk of Florida State University said the new report helps confirm that conclusion.


"This is exciting and should help settle things," she said. "The authors are to be congratulated, not only for describing important new details about 'Hobbit,' but for shedding light on the evolution of the wrist and how it might have related to tool production."








Science Magazine

APN News



Newsweek

BBC News
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The 10,000 BC Movie

Every time I come up with a great idea, somebody else seems to think of it independently and then somehow gets it out there before I do. Such is the case with the upcoming movie 10,000 BC. It could explain the reason why inventions in history often seem to arrive independently in many different parts of the world at the same time. Oh well, I still have a couple tricks up my sleave, but I better publish fast.

View the exciting new preview on my last blog post!
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10,000 B.C. - trailer


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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Four Georgia Hominids Found at Strata Dating to 1.8 Million Years


A team of scientists working in Georgia has unearthed the remains of four human-like creatures dating to 1.8 million years ago. The bones reveal a mixture of primitive and advanced features, team leader David Lordkipanidze explained.

The remains uncovered at the town of Dmanisi consist of the partial skeleton of an adolescent individual associated with a skull, and the "post-cranial" remains of three adults.
...
In many respects, the well-preserved fossils resemble Homo erectus, a species from the genus Homo that first appeared in Africa some two million years ago and quickly spread throughout Europe and much of Asia.


They have remarkably human-like spines and lower limbs that would have been well suited for long distance travel. Their feet had well-developed arches.


An apparently small difference in the size of males and females also puts them in the same company as Homo erectus and Homo sapiens.


However, they also have relatively small brains and primitive upper limbs, traits which they share with the earlier Homo habilis, and even with the more primitive Australopithecus, which first appeared in Africa some four million years ago.

The BBC Story
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rest in Peace Robert Jordan


It's a sad day for fantasy in that Robert Jordon passed away today at the young age of 58.
Ironically, I have never read the Wheel of Time books and have only been exposed to Jordan's writing through the Conan stories, in which he revived Robert E. Howard's famed hero for a new generation. But just two days ago I picked up the first Wheel of Time book at a library used book sale and was already planning to read it soon.
rest in peace, Robert, and God bless; the fantasy world will miss you.Robert Jordan's Official Blog
BBC News
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Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Technology To Read Closed Documents Soon To Reveal Ancient Secrets and Histories!

Soon the most ancient texts will be reveiled!
The unopened documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed!
The tombs of ancient magic cast open for all to see!
Here's how, From BBC:

The Super-Scope
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Friday, September 7, 2007

Two More Articles on the Fishing Villages of Homo erectus!

Stone Dwellings of Homo Erectus


A Translation of a German Press release From Usenet:


Ziegert is professor at the Hamburg University, having worked in Africa for decades. He has published his research and dicussed it with other German palaeolithic top researchers.


At the side of a former lake in what is now the central Sahara mighty layers of ashes were found, probably from the burning of reeds. A 14C date was tried for the ashes, there was no 14 C detected, meaning the layer is more than 70.000 years old. In the layers ostrich egg pearls were found by sieving (more than 40) and in situ in mud from the lake. The date for the oldest mudlayer with pearls is estimated at 200.000 years, when the lake was still open ( my hasty translation from:


http://tinyurl.com/2xy2ho

All the arguments can be found here:


Müller-Karpe, Herrmann, Karl Dietrich Adam, Thomas Bargatzky, Reinhard Bernbeck, Peter F. Biehl, Henri J. M. Claessen, Christoph Elsas, Lutz Fiedler, Miriam Noël Haidle, Svend Hansen, Winfried Henke, Joachim Herrmann, Christoph Huth, Heribert Illig, Rolf Löther, Hans Mohr, Felix Müller, Hansjürgen Müller-Beck, Heinz Jürgen Niedenzu, Thomas Terberger, Helmut Ziegert 2005: Geschichtlichkeit des paläolithischen Menschen. Fakten und Anschauungen. Erwägen Wissen Ethik 16/1,2005, 85-146.


Seems like "everyone in the world" will have a lot to talk when Ziegerts work has been translated into English, even though it may take a decade or so. With all the important mooring holes and runestones it will just have to wait. :-)


have fun


Uwe Mueller

Tiny URL Link
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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Homo Erectus: The Father of Civilization and Oceanic Travel!!

MINERVA JULY/AUGUST 2007 (VOL 18.4)


MINERVA WORLD EXCLUSIVE A New Palaeolithic Revolution


The 'Rangki Papa' ('Father of all Rafts') built using Palaeolithic technology and approaching the coast of Komodo, Bali, having succeeded in crossing from Sumbawa, 7 October 2004. The vessel travelled 36.4km in 9 hours 22 minutes,


Jerome M. Eisenberg, Ph.D. and Dr Sean Kingsley


For decades archaeologists have rightly respected the Neolithic period c. 8500 BC as a revolutionary era of the most profound change, when the wiring of mankind's brain shifted from transient hunter-gathering to permanent settlement in farming communities. Hearths, temples, articulated burials, whistling 'wheat' fields and security replaced the uncertain ravages of seasonal running with the pack. Or so stereotypes maintain.


Now, from the remote shores of Budrinna on Lake Fezzan in Libya, and Melka Konture on the banks of the River Awash in Ethiopia, a series of stunning discoveries are set to challenge the originality of the Neolithic Revolution. After 39 years of surveys and excavations, Professor Helmut Ziegert of Hamburg University presents his results as a world exclusive in Minerva (pp. 8-9). In both African locations he has discovered huts and sedentary village life dating between an astonishing 400,000 and 200,000 Before Present - if correct, literally a quantum leap in our understanding of man's evolution. Near aquatic resources, and not alongside agricultural fields, Professor Ziegert contests that our ancestors settled down for the first time in small communities of 40-50 people.


This sensation just scratches the surface of one of prehistory's most incredible revelations: from Choukoutien in China to Bilzingsleben in Germany, Ziegert claims to have identified 35 other Lower Palaeolithic villages with comparable huts and even cemeteries. A pattern prevails. After decades of fieldwork and contemplation, Helmut Ziegert is convinced that future discoveries will uphold his conclusions. His
discoveries have nothing to do with luck, he maintains, but are a matter of applying problem-oriented research. Where evolutionary biologists have typically hunted ancestral humans bones exclusively to understand adaptations to mankind - missing links - as an archaeologist Professor Ziegert has asked more specific, holistic questions of the wider evidence.


At the heart of this new Lower Palaeolithic 'out of Africa' village theory are two world-changing ideas. First, that Homo erectus, Upright Man, had far more modernistic tendencies than previously believed; and second, that as unique as the farming villages of Jericho in the West Bank and Catalhoyük in Turkey are, their occupants were not the brains behind the origins of sedentism. The innovative capacity of Homo erectus has challenged scholars for decades and remains a scholarly cauldron. Anthropologists such as Richard Leakey have long insisted that Upright Man was socially more akin to modern humans than to his primitive predecessors because the increased cranial capacity coincided with more sophisticated tool technology. Other scientists contend that Homo erectus was sufficiently advanced to have even
mastered maritime transport. Yet both this assertion and the very idea that he ever got to grips with controlled fire are still considered controversial.


Only three years ago, however, Nira Alperson of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem discovered the oldest evidence of fire management at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov on the banks of the Jordan River in Israel's northern Galilee. The team analysed over 50,000 pieces of wood and nearly 36,000 flints from two hearths associated with a Homo erectus settlement dating back 790,000 years.


More contentiously, Robert Bednarik is convinced that Upright Man ushered in the dawn of trans-ocean travel between 900,000 and 800,000 years ago as part of a wider revolution, usually attributed to the anatomically modern Homo sapiens, that included communicating with a spoken language and eventually carving and painting art 400,000 to 300,000 Before Present. To test his theory, Bednarik built a 17.5m-
long, 2.8-ton bamboo raft, Nale Tasih 4, and crossed the 29km-wide stretch of sea from the east coast of Bali to the neighbouring island of Lombok. The results have convinced Bednarik that 'Between 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, hominins are also known to have crossed to at least two islands in Europe, Corsica, and Sardinia. This is soundly demonstrated, but in addition it is possible that much earlier they
managed to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. Unfortunately, that cannot be proved conclusively, because the alternative of reaching Europe by land has always existed'. Stone Age 'seafaring appears to have been possible', agrees anthropologist Tim Bromage of Hunter College of the City University of New York, who has identified 30cm-wide South-east Asian bamboo as providing a versatile material for building rafts with simple stone tools.


So, Professor Ziegert's 'Out of Africa' aquatic model for the rise of village life in the Lower Palaeolithic does not emerge out of a cultural and intellectual void. As a veteran of over 81 archaeological surveys and excavations from Germany to Ecuador, ranging in date from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Islamic period, Ziegert is nothing if not scientifically cautious, which makes the current revelation all
the more exciting. Between 2007 and 2010 he will be back in the field, returning to Budrinna and Melka Konture to fine-tune his life's work. To delve in greater depth into the mystery of the ecology, function, structure, and economy of these villages, he plans to search out cemeteries (complementary signs of fixed settlement) and use potassium argon isotopic dating, stratigraphy, and tool typology to measure the ebb and flow of village life in this dizzy, distant prehistoric past.



HOMO ERECTUS ON MINERVA
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Sunday, September 2, 2007

Technologically Advanced Gauls?

Revealedix: the Gaul of Asterix was no joke


By Justin Stares in Brussels, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:17am BST 02/09/2007


Fighting with his bare fists, and massively outnumbered, France's
cockiest Gaul, Asterix, led a brave rebellion against the Roman
occupier.


Not only was his little village encircled by Julius Cæsar's troops, it
was up against an expanding empire - unequalled in the art of warfare
and determined to civilise a backward people who worshipped druids and
believed in magic potions. Or so it was thought until now.


But a discovery in central France has led to a significant
reassessment of the Gauls, who were, it transpires, much more advanced
than previously thought.
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Telegraph - Menswear/Shoes


Rather than the random gatherings of rudimentary thatched huts
illustrated in the Asterix books, first published in 1961,
archaeologists now believe the Gauls lived in elegant buildings with
tiled roofs, laid out in towns with public squares or forums.


They also crafted metalwork just as complex as anything produced by
the Romans, even before the Roman invasion in 52BC.


The findings have been made at a dig in Corent, near Lyon, where
archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the palace of
Vercingetorix, the last military leader of all Gaul.


After the Romans arrived, Vercingetorix, a prince who also appears in
the Asterix volumes, was taken prisoner, held in a prison in Rome and
garroted several years later to celebrate Caesar's triumph.


"What we have found here proves that the Gauls were much more
civilised than we thought," Matthieu Poux, the archaeology professor
who is heading the dig, told The Sunday Telegraph.


"The Asterix albums will need to be completely rewritten, as they are
based on the typical image of the Gauls which has been passed down
through the centuries, one of a prehistoric man who lives in the
forest. We have discovered that they had not only complex military
structures, but civilian and trading structures too.


"Until now Gauls for the French were people who lived in huts among
the trees, frightening people. Parents would threaten to send their
children to the Gauls if they did not go to sleep.


"But we have discovered large buildings and public spaces which prove
there were Gauls of considerable social standing.


"Very high magistrates or nobles lived here, possibly even
Vercingetorix. We think we are working on the site where he was given
leadership over all of Gaul in order to fight the Roman invasion."


Mr Poux's team has uncovered previously unknown building techniques,
elaborate foundations and tiled roofing which together suggest that
the architecture in Gaul was just as advanced as that in Rome around
80 to 70BC.


Evidence of a Roman-style forum for public gatherings and a gallery
housing boutiques and workshops has also been discovered, together
with ironmongers' tools, coins and scales. The dig, which has until
now concentrated on small, localised sites, will now be expanded by
several miles in the hope of unearthing an entire city.


Gaul's leaders, it would seem, were a far cry from the buffoon cartoon
character Abraracourcix (Vitalstatistix in the English version), the
chief of Asterix's tribe. His main worry, other than finding food, was
that the sky would fall on his head.


However, perhaps not surprisingly, there is resistance to the idea of
revising the Asterix stories to reflect the new historical findings.


"I have read about the new discoveries, but to be honest I don't think
we will be reworking the Asterix stories," said Florence Richaud, a
spokesman for Albert René, publishers of the series of albums. "The
illustrator Albert Uderzo did try to make it authentic, but rather
than educational material these are stories designed basically to make
children laugh."


Mr Uderzo, 80, who has illustrated all of the Asterix adventures, is
working on his memoirs and has no plans to give new life to his
ferocious, moustached creation.


Eric Stevens

Gauls Vs. Romans
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Saturday, September 1, 2007

New Nessie Footage

Though the possible existence of Bigfoot doesn't seem all that impossible to me, I've always been really skeptical of the existence of The Loch ness Monster. Well, I shouldn't say always: I'm sure I believed in it whole heartedly when I was in elementary school. But compared to the Himalayas or the Rocky Mountains, Loch Ness is a relatively small place, and they've really done some serious searching in it in order to prove or disprove the myth, only to come up with a couple of wierd sounds and a possible photo of a flipper of some kind. But now, when it seemed that the investors and scientists searching the Loch had almost given up hope on the ol' lake and it's monster, one of the best vids of the monster is reported by major news sources.

Is this MSN video real footage of Nessie, is it a hoax, or is it something else? Likely we'll be hearing more in the months to come to help us try and guess.

MSNBC Nessie Video
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Chupacabra Found outside of San Antonio!


Here's the link:Chupacabra
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