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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Turkish site a Neolithic 'supernova'

news.google.com

Turkish site a Neolithic 'supernova'


April 21, 2008


By Nicholas Birch - URFA, Turkey - As a child, Klaus Schmidt used to
grub around in caves in his native Germany in the hope of finding
prehistoric paintings. Thirty years later, as a member of the German
Archaeological Institute, he found something infinitely more
important: a temple complex almost twice as old as anything
comparable.


"This place is a supernova," said Mr. Schmidt, standing under a lone
tree on a windswept hilltop 35 miles north of the Syrian border.


"Within a minute of first seeing it, I knew I had two choices: go away
and tell nobody, or spend the rest of my life working here."


Behind him are the first folds of the Anatolian Plateau. Ahead, the
Mesopotamian plain, like a dust-colored sea, stretches south hundreds
of miles to Baghdad and beyond. The stone circles of Gobekli Tepe, his
workplace since 1994, are just in front, hidden under the brow of the
hill.


Compared with Stonehenge, they are humble affairs. None of the circles
that have been excavated, four out of an estimated 20, is more than
100 feet across. Two of the slender, T-shaped pillars tower at least
three feet above their peers.


What makes them remarkable are the carved reliefs of boars, foxes,
lions, birds, snakes and scorpions that cover them, and their age.
Dated at about 9500 B.C., these stones are 5,500 years older than the
first cities of Mesopotamia and 7,000 years older than Stonehenge.


Nevermind wheels or writing, the people who erected them did not even
have pottery or domesticated wheat. They lived in villages, but were
hunters, not farmers.


"Everybody used to think only complex, hierarchical civilizations
could build such monumental sites and that they only came about with
the invention of agriculture," said Ian Hodder, a Stanford University
anthropology professor who has directed digs at Catalhoyuk, Turkey's
most-famous Neolithic site, since 1993.


"Gobekli changes everything. It's elaborate, it's complex, and it is
pre-agricultural. That fact alone makes the site one of the most
important archaeological finds in a very long time."


With only a fraction of the site opened after a decade of excavation,
Gobekli Tepe's significance to the people who built it remains
unclear. Some think it was the center of a fertility rite, with the
two tall stones at the center of each circle representing a man and
woman.


Urfa's tourist board has taken that theory up with alacrity; visit the
Garden of Eden, its brochures trumpet, see Adam and Eve.


Mr. Schmidt, however, is skeptical. He agreed the site could well have
been "the last flowering of a semi-nomadic world that farming was just
about to destroy" and pointed out that if it is in near-perfect
condition today, it is because those who built it buried it soon after
under tons of soil, as though its wild animal-rich world had lost all
meaning.


However, the site is devoid of the fertility symbols that have been
found at other Neolithic sites, and the T-shaped columns, while
clearly semi-human, are sexless.


"I think here we are face to face with the earliest representation of
gods," according to Mr. Schmidt.


"They have no eyes, no mouths, no faces. But they have arms, and they
have hands. They are makers."


"In my opinion, the people who carved them were asking themselves the
biggest questions of all. What is this universe? Why are we here?"


With no evidence of houses or graves near the stones, Mr. Schmidt
thinks the hilltop was a site of pilgrimage for communities within a
radius of roughly 100 miles. He notes how the tallest stones all face
southeast, as if scanning plains that are scattered with contemporary
sites in many ways no less remarkable than Gobekli Tepe.


Last year, for instance, French archaeologists working at Djade al-
Mughara in northern Syria uncovered the oldest mural ever found — "two
square meters of geometric shapes, in red, black and white — a bit
like a Paul Klee painting," according to Eric Coqueugniot, the
University of Lyon archaeologist who is leading the excavation.


Mr. Coqueugniot describes Mr. Schmidt's hypothesis that Gobekli Tepe
was a meeting point for feasts, rituals and sharing ideas as
"tempting," given the site's spectacular position. He warned, though,
that surveys of the region are still in their infancy and that
"tomorrow, somebody might find somewhere even more dramatic."


Vecihi Ozkaya, the director of a dig at Korpiktepe, on the Tigris
River 120 miles east of Urfa, doubts that the thousands of stone pots
he has found since 2001, in hundreds of 11,500-year-old graves,
qualify as such.


Nevertheless, his excitement fills his austere office at Dicle
University in Diyarbakir.


"Look at this," he said, pointing at a photo of an exquisitely carved
sculpture showing an animal, half-human and half-lion. "It's a sphinx,
thousands of years before Egypt. Southeastern Turkey, northern Syria —
this region saw the wedding night of our civilization."
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Appeal for Stan Gooch


AN URGENT APPEAL TO HELP
THE ACCLAIMED AUTHOR,
STAN GOOCH
by Brent Logan

brentlogan@mindspring.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE IGNOBLEST PRIZE
Prodigious visionaries rarely gift us, even more so when their concepts are grounded in prolific research, compelling lines of reason, and lucid expression: From the merely good, greatness arises. However, too often history has been hard with these resources, and the plight of Stan Gooch is an immediate example.

Highly praised by authors such as Jacquetta Hawkes, Colin Wilson, and Brian Aldiss, the Literary Review has called him ?one of the most formidable and consistent thinkers alive today.? With more than a dozen books (see menu above)--and some two million published words--all proposing novelty like few writers of his generation or after, Stan Gooch, now age 70, is living in the most reduced circumstances . . . through nothing but an ironic fate.

Despite powerful media esteem for his controversial volumes, nothwithstanding a ceaseless workload investigating the dual nature of Homo sapiens, after an impoverished existence this dedicated cultural asset remains virtually destitute--even though the establishment that consistently pilloried him is finally coming around to his profound ideas. While some conclusions may at first seem outlandish, it is impossible to fault the spadework, methodology, and sheer ingenuity Stan Gooch has brought to a wide range of sciences.

In 1976, after being overwhelmed by the originality and rigor of his masterwork, Total Man: An Evolutionary Theory of Personality, I approached the author, and an aspiring writer was rewarded by a very generous critical boost; while I have been sorely derelict in contacting him no more than a few times since (but always receiving kindly replies), perhaps my own seniority has heightened conscience, hence this plea. My sincerest hope is that in small measure good will can be returned to one who has aided so many . . . probably our leading cultural and anthropological psychologist, recalling Joseph Campbell, congruent with William Irwin Thompson.

I implore any open mind to review the following record--an astonishing performance--then roadtest a book by Stan Gooch (www.InnerTraditions.com and www.crowstreetpress.com have reprinted some, www.amazon.com offers several, www.abebooks.com many more, or try local libraries), yet know that he has been marginalized to a rented caravan in a nearly abandoned Welsh trailer park--with neither telephone nor computer, his correspondence inked on the backs of galley proofs, and scarce personal contact--wholly lacking family, right at life's raw edge.

No one, certainly not a global treasure whose brilliance has inflected our deepest understanding of what we are, deserves this. All he wants is the opportunity whereby a final opus by him can draw together everything he has written; please help give him that chance. Monetary contributions or correspondence alone would be a godsend, his heartfelt acknowledgement returned by mail:



Mr. Stan Gooch
36 Oakland Park
Ystrad Road
Fforestfach
Swansea SA5 4BY
Wales, U.K.


Click Here for the Source Site
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Dream Culture of the Neanderthals: Guardians of the Ancient Wisdom

Reading this book was like a validation for many ideas I've had about our prehistoric past. Finally I have found a scholar who sees what I see in the depths of prehistory! Woodwoses, ogres and trolls.... dwarves, sidhe and fay...all come from real encounters some 35,000 to 10,000 years ago. And Neanderthal was not completely exterminated from the face of the Earth, but did indeed breed with homo sapien. Only the most extreme neanderthals, the classic neanderthals of inner europe, actually became extinct.
Though the book is somewhat dated, a student of modern anthropology can easily gain great insight by allowing that Gooch's definition of "neanderthal" is much broader than what we currently define as such.


Gooch understands that we're hybrids, and bolsters the arguement for multiregionalism. If one were to change his Neanderthal 1 to Heidelberg and Sons, (Heidelberg, Idaltu, Neanderthal, Classic Neanderthal, etc) and his Neanderthal 2 to Erectus and Sons (the asian ones, not ergaster), and his Northern Indian cro-magnon ancestors to Antecessor and Sons, then we might have a more updated version of the theory. Personally, I'd like to add that all of the above could have very easilly been hybrids; not just us.
Hybrids of hybrids of hybrids. Because erectus was mating with antecessor was shagging ergaster was loving habilis, and they might even invited rudolphensis every third month on the full moon. We are a species that likes to do other species, and not even always just primates, so it shouldn't be so surprising to these scientists. It's going to happen, and every once and a while it's gonna work in a reproductive sense, because all these species of hominid are very close to one another. We just had too many chances for it not to work sometimes with one brand of hominid or the other.
What's more we're pack animals; nomadic, sometimes even herding. We've been migrating out of Africa along the coast to Sundaland and then getting flooded out and sent back to Africa for millions of years, and to Europe and back for almost as long do to the shifting glaciers. Europe and Sundaland were and are natural evolutionary machines.

Yes, somewhere there was a bottleneck, and some other as of yet unknown anomalies, that make it hard for us to figure out the genetic trail. But if our mother is only 180,000 years old, then she had at least a little bit of all of the above in her. When genetics discounts neanderthal man, it doesn't account for any crossover before 180,000. It doesn't consider that only one sex of a species may have survived. When comparing modern man's DNA to that of a 27,000 year old hominid, they don't consider that traces which are extinct today may not have been extinct 1000 years ago, or 10,000. Genocide happens repeatedly throughout history.

But this book is not so much anthropological as cultural and psychological. The author provides us with observations that only one of his varied disciplines could summon. For in addition to brilliant sociological, archeological, and anthropological insights, Gooch provides us with excellent insights into the ancient religion of the Neanderthals, as well as the origin of many of our more well-known fairy tales, myths and legends. Painstakingly researched and innovative in its understanding, this is an essential book for those who are curious about the true origins of our culture and species.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Archaeological finds dated to 35,000 years

Archaeological finds dated to 35,000 years


Jan Mayman
April 7, 2008Advertisement


ANCIENT Aboriginal tools found on a Pilbara mine site in Western
Australia have been dated at 35,000 years -- among the oldest so far
discovered in Australia.


Archaeologists believe the dig could yield material up to 40,000 years
old, comparable with the internationally famous Lake Mungo Man
discovery in NSW.


The prehistoric dwelling place is on the multibillion-dollar Hope
Downs iron ore mine site about 160 kilometres from the outback town of
Newman and 310 kilometres south of Port Hedland. It is jointly run by
international mining giant Rio Tinto and Gina Rinehart's Hancock
Prospecting.


Archaeologists hired by the Aboriginal traditional owners have
released the results of radiocarbon tests indicating that it is one of
the oldest-dated sites in Australia and internationally significant as
a prehistoric record of humanity.


"We have always known this is an important part of our history, that
our ancestors lived here," said a senior elder of the Martidja
Banyjima people, Slim Parker.


"Our stories and songs tells us this. It is a good feeling to know
archaeologists have proved what we say is true. It makes us feel
strong. Now we want this place preserved. It is part of our heritage
and our culture."


The discovery shows Mr Parker's ancestors lived in the area for more
than 1000 generations.


The Banyjimas' consultant archaeologist Neale Draper said: "We are
thrilled at the test results. This is a major scientific discovery. It
contains a large number of stone tools and it is one of the most data-
rich ancient sites in Australia, with an exceptional amount of
information about climate change through the last ice age, the
earliest occupation of the Pilbara and North-West Australia."


Discussions are now under way between the company and the traditional
owners, who want the sensitive areas protected from mining.


Melbourne University's Professor Jim Bowler, who discovered bones on
the shores of Lake Mungo in the late 1960s -- later estimated to be
40,000 years old, making them the oldest human remains found in
Australia -- said: "This appears to be a very, very important find. It
seems likely to write a new chapter in the history of Aboriginal
Australia."


Another eminent scholar, Dr Ian Crawford, former curator of
archaeology and anthropology at the West Australian Museum, said:
"Further work on this site is most important."


Dr Crawford said the discovery of ancient tools was especially
significant. Analysis of seed remains on the artefacts might be able
to settle a long debate among archaeologists about the date that
grinding implements were first used by Australia's indigenous people.


"It will be very interesting to see if this work can be related in any
way to rock engravings in the area," he said.


So far, no human remains have been found near the the dig site, but
the archaeologists and Aboriginal elders have found other caves in the
area that appear to have been deliberately walled in, and could be
burial places.


"Some of these niches are empty. They are being investigated with
great care and respect," Dr Draper said.


The sheer antiquity and quality of the material was amazing, he said.
"This is a forensic record of the history of indigenous Australia,
especially in the Pilbara.


"The cave is a rock shelter measuring 10 by eight metres, with a roof
1.5 metres high. The 1.5-metre excavation pit goes down 2.2 metres to
the bedrock below, and there is evidence of Aboriginal occupation down
to two metres deep," he said.


Twelve other sites in the area have also yielded archaeological
evidence such as stone tools, fireplaces and dateable charcoal as well
as plant remains such as seeds and bark. Another 20 have still to be
excavated.


Most of the stone tools are small cutting implements. Some were found
beside a fireplace containing charcoal dated as 25,000 years old.


Traces of organic material on the tools could provide evidence of
prehistoric food supplies and climate change when further testing is
complete.


"The most significant artefacts we found are a core (piece of stone)
and two flakes (from it) at the site layer dated to 35,000 years ago,"
Dr Draper said.


"The reason these are significant is because the flakes refit onto the
core. This demonstrates the way early Aboriginal peoples manufactured
stone artefacts."


Since these artefacts refitted together, it showed that the site had
not been previously disturbed. "We now hope Rio will redesign the mine
to protect this site, so that we can begin a major salvage operation,"
he said.


Dr Draper is managing director of Australian Cultural Heritage
Management Ltd, a national consultancy. He said carbon dating of
artefacts was done at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, which
has state-of-the-art carbon dating equipment.


The dig was supervised by a leading US archaeologist W. Boone Law, who
said it was the most significant project he had ever worked on.


"The oldest-dated stone artefacts are a core and associated flakes
that have a radiocarbon age estimate of 35,000 years," he said.


"There are at least 12 stone artefacts buried up to 10 centimetres
below the 35,000 year date, inferring the site is much older. We do
not know the age of the earliest artefacts, but based on the rock
shelter stratigraphy, it is likely around 40,000 years.


"When we were excavating, we recovered most of the artefacts below the
charcoal we dated to 25,000 years BP -- before present."


Mr Law said ancient campfires like the one in the cave shelter were
identified by observing the outline of old hearths during digging.


"The outline of the campfires are defined by a dense concentration of
ash, charcoal and burnt rock surrounded by unburnt soil," he said.
"The soil surrounding the hearth will be a lighter colour. Often there
is burned rock at the base of a campfire, demonstrating that the fire
burned in place or in situ."


He said the site was of great international importance. "I know that
the scientific value of this rock shelter will be emphasised across
the wider academic community, but for me personally, my memories of
excavating this site will always be tied to working with the Banyjima
people," Mr Law said.


"A team of elders and young men worked alongside ACHM staff throughout
this project, and their field observations added a new dimension to
our research."


"Their perspectives on the archaeological record and natural
enthusiasm for looking after country are forever linked to the history
of this place."


This story was found at:

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Oldest European

Why are scientists so devoid of common sense?
Here we've got some beakers saying that because they've found a homo antecedent 900,000 years old in Western Europe, that he must not be our ancestor.
However, earlier reports claimed that antecedent's face is closer to ours than any other species of hominid, even heidelbergensis and neanderthal
They are saying that since he's so old, he could have been Neanderthals ancestor but not ours.
Remember that Neanderthal was born only 150,000 years before we were, and that we're talking a million years of time here, or more. Hmmm...homo erectus is 2 million years old...does that mean we couldn't have evolved from them? I guess we did come from outer space!
Sigh...
And what about Heidelberg, huh? The previous theory was that Heidelberg seperated into Neanderthal and Modern. Are they gonna try to sweep that under the rug with "evolutionary dead end" or try to say H. is the sole progenitor of HSS? Better not do that- Heidelberg was in Europe and they want the origin of mankind to be in Africa! In any case, it would be really bad to have it in Europe.

It's simple. Hybrid-origin Multiregionalism, people. Since every science but genetics says so with preponderous amounts of evidence, it is time to re-evaluate how accurate our genetic tools are and how we are choosing to interpret their data.


I just read Stan gooch and he's the closest to right I've seen, except
I'd change his Neanderthal 1 to Heidelberg and Sons, (Heidelberg,
Idaltu, Neanderthal, Classic Neanderthal, etc) and his Neanderthal 2
to Erectus and Sons. His Northern Indian cro-magnon ancestors I'd
instead call Antecessor and Sons. And then I'd like to propose that
all of the above could have very easilly been hybrids; not just us.
Hybrids of hybrids of hybrids. Because erectus was shagging ergaster was banging habilis was balling antecessor, and they might have even invited rudolphensis on full moon threesome night. We are a species that likes to do other species, and not always just primates. It's gonna happen, and every once and a while it's gonna work. What's more we're pack animals; nomadic, sometimes even herding. We've been migrating out of Africa along the coast to Sundaland and then getting flooded out and sent back to Africa for millions of years, and to europe and back for almost as long do to the shifting glaciers. Europe and Sundaland were and are natural evolutionary machines. And somewhere there was a bottleneck, and some
other as of yet unknown anomalies, that make it hard for us to figure
out the genetic trail. If our mother is only 180,000 years old, then she had at least a little of all of the above in her.


Here's the article:


Humans in Europe At 1.2 mya Options


An analysis of an ancient jaw and teeth has confirmed that humans reached Western
Europe well over a million years ago, far earlier than previously thought.


The prehistoric fossils were excavated last June at Atapuerca in northern Spain,
along with stone tools used for butchering meat.
...
The individual has been labeled a Homo antecessor—a species first named in 1997
based on other human fossils found at Atapuerca. The sex isn't known, but the new
human was likely aged between 30 and 40 at the time of death.


The new findings suggest that H. antecessor was most probably unique to Europe,
the researchers say.
...
For example, 32 stone flints also excavated from the cave date to the same age as
the fossils, according to dig co-director José Maria Bermúdez de Castro of the
National Research Center on Human Evolution in Burgos, Spain.


The flints include simple tools that were likely used by the early humans to hack
up mammal carcasses and get at bone marrow, as evidenced by cut marks found on
nearby limb bones belonging to unidentified herbivores.


"They used the stone tools to take meat off animals, cut the muscles, and break
their bones," Bermúdez de Castro said. "The bones show the marks of these
implements."


Remains of other close-by animals—including rhinoceroses, deer, bison, lynx, wolves,
and bears—were also used to help date the fossils, the study said.


"Since we now know those fossils date to 900,000 [years ago], the time difference
is not great, and, provisionally at least, I think it's logical to assign the
mandible to Homo antecessor," Bermúdez de Castro said.
...
The Spanish-led team adds that the new fossil human likely marks the beginnings of
a native European species represented by the younger finds at Atapuerca.


"We see that these fossils are different from other populations in Asia or in
Africa," Bermúdez de Castro said.


"We think that when populations come to an extreme part of a continent, or to an
island, a process of speciation usually occurs," he added. "This is very normal in
the animal world."


The Atapuerca researchers in 1997 had suggested Homo antecessor as a possible
ancestor of modern humans. But the age of the new fossil find makes this theory
less likely, Bermúdez de Castro admitted.


"Homo antecessor may be very, very old in Europe, and modern humans came from
Africa," he said, making the previous theory "difficult to support."


More likely, Homo antecessor gave rise to Neandertals (often spelled Neanderthals)
in Europe, he said, adding, "it's a good hypothesis to test in the future."

Humans in Europe At 1.2 mya Options
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Thursday, April 3, 2008

OLDEST BIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF FIRST AMERICANS FOUND

Archaeologists in Oregon have found fossilized human feces that appear
to be the oldest biological evidence of humans in North America. The
feces or coprolites in archaeological terms date back to 12,500 BCE,
pre-dating the Clovis people by 1000 years. DNA analysis of the
coprolites show the folks who lived in a cave in Oregon at 12,500 BCE
are closely related to modern Native Americans and come from Eastern
Asia. The coprolites were uncovered at Paisley Caves, 220 miles from
Portland.

There is some controversy in the findings since there were traces of
wolves, coyotes and foxes found in the coprolites as well meaning that
there could be some question about the actual age of the human DNA in
the coprolites.

Seattle Times

Mike Ruggeri
Clovis News
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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

'Sodom and Gomorrah' asteroid

Cuneiform clay tablet translated for the first time
Press release issued 31 March 2008

A cuneiform clay tablet that has puzzled scholars for over 150 years has been translated for the first time. The tablet is now known to be a contemporary Sumerian observation of an asteroid impact at Köfels, Austria and is published in a new book, A Sumerian Observation of the Köfels’ Impact Event.
The giant landslide centred at Köfels in Austria is 500m thick and five kilometres in diameter and has long been a mystery since geologists first looked at it in the 19th century. The conclusion drawn by research in the middle 20th century was that it must be due to a very large meteor impact because of the evidence of crushing pressures and explosions. But this view lost favour as a much better understanding of impact sites developed in the late 20th century. In the case of Köfels there is no crater, so to modern eyes it does not look as an impact site should look. However, the evidence that puzzled the earlier researchers remains unexplained by the view that it is just another landslide.

This new research by Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines Ltd and Mark Hempsell, Senior Lecturer in Astronautics at Bristol University, brings the impact theory back into play. It centres on another 19th century mystery, a Cuneiform tablet in the British Museum collection No K8538 (known as “the Planisphere”). It was found by Henry Layard in the remains of the library in the Royal Place at Nineveh, and was made by an Assyrian scribe around 700 BC. It is an astronomical work as it has drawings of constellations on it and the text has known constellation names. It has attracted a lot of attention but in over a hundred years nobody has come up with a convincing explanation as to what it is.

With modern computer programmes that can simulate trajectories and reconstruct the night sky thousands of years ago the researchers have established what the Planisphere tablet refers to. It is a copy of the night notebook of a Sumerian astronomer as he records the events in the sky before dawn on the 29 June 3123 BC (Julian calendar). Half the tablet records planet positions and cloud cover, the same as any other night, but the other half of the tablet records an object large enough for its shape to be noted even though it is still in space. The astronomers made an accurate note of its trajectory relative to the stars, which to an error better than one degree is consistent with an impact at Köfels.

The observation suggests the asteroid is over a kilometre in diameter and the original orbit about the Sun was an Aten type, a class of asteroid that orbit close to the earth, that is resonant with the Earth’s orbit. This trajectory explains why there is no crater at Köfels. The in coming angle was very low (six degrees) and means the asteroid clipped a mountain called Gamskogel above the town of Längenfeld, 11 kilometres from Köfels, and this caused the asteroid to explode before it reached its final impact point. As it travelled down the valley it became a fireball, around five kilometres in diameter (the size of the landslide). When it hit Köfels it created enormous pressures that pulverised the rock and caused the landslide but because it was no longer a solid object it did not create a classic impact crater.

Mark Hempsell, discussing the Köfels event, said: “Another conclusion can be made from the trajectory. The back plume from the explosion (the mushroom cloud) would be bent over the Mediterranean Sea re-entering the atmosphere over the Levant, Sinai, and Northern Egypt.

“The ground heating though very short would be enough to ignite any flammable material – including human hair and clothes. It is probable more people died under the plume than in the Alps due to the impact blast.“

The full translation of the tablet together with the analysis supporting these conclusions can be found in the book, A Sumerian Observation of the Kofels’ Impact Event published by Alcin Academics, ISBN 1904623646, priced at £12.99.


Source Article
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