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Prehistory - still with us

Displaying 1 - 20 of 20
Danny Lewis, Smithsonian • Fri 2016 Jul 1, 1:52pm

…a group of researchers digging through amber mined in Burma uncovered a sample with a pair of tiny bird-like wings frozen inside… At around 99 million years old, these wings are some of the most pristine fossilized feathers ever found.… Astonishingly, the amber preserved every minute detail of the wings. If you look closely enough, you can see traces of hair, feathers, bones, and how they were all arranged. Even the feathers’ color has survived the eons and is still visible.…

Mark Miller, Ancient Origns • Sat 2016 May 7, 12:31am

Experts have discovered a new geoglyph 30 meters (100 feet) long among the Nazca lines on an arid plateau in Peru that experts say depicts an imaginary animal with a long tongue. Archaeologists say the rock carving may date back 2,000 years.…

Ralph Blumenthal, NY Times • Fri 2016 Apr 1, 9:06pm

…satellite technology has found intriguing evidence of a long-elusive prize in archaeology — a second Norse settlement in North America, further south than ever known.… Canadian site… discovered last summer after infrared images from 400 miles in space showed possible man-made shapes under discolored vegetation. …southwest coast of Newfoundland, about 300 miles south of L’Anse aux Meadows, the first and so far only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, discovered in 1960. …

S. Weasel • Fri 2016 Apr 1, 12:23pm

…de Löwenmensch, the Lion Man… a foot tall, carved out of a single mammoth tusk… found in a cave in Germany in 1939 and, owing to some little distractions in the country at the time, forgotten for thirty years. …forty thousand years old, the oldest undisputed representational sculpture found to date.

Andrew Curry, Science • Fri 2016 Apr 1, 12:20pm

About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology. …

Anna Liesowska, Siberian Times • Thu 2016 Feb 18, 8:01pm

…It is intricately made with polished green stone and is thought to have adorned a very important woman or child on only special occasions. Yet this is no modern-day fashion accessory and is instead believed to be the oldest stone bracelet in the world, dating to as long ago as 40,000 years.

Unearthed in the Altai region of Siberia in 2008, after detailed analysis Russian experts now accept its remarkable age as correct.

New pictures show this ancient piece of jewellery in its full glory with scientists concluding it was made by our prehistoric human ancestors, the Denisovans, and shows them to have been far more advanced than ever realised.…

…Denisovans… were known as homo altaiensis, an extinct species of humans genetically distinct from Neanderthals and modern humans… not clear yet how the Denisovans could have made the bracelet with such skill.…

Denisovans… dated back as early as 600,000 years ago…

Michael Greshko, Natl Geographic • Wed 2016 Feb 3, 1:53pm

On a tree in what's now Burma some 99 million years ago, a cousin of today's daddy longlegs… blossomed into full manhood, sporting a penis that grew to nearly half of his body length when erect.… died fully aroused, his tree-side tryst interrupted by oozing resin that entombed his body in what's now a lump of amber.…

Deborah Danan, Breitbart • Mon 2015 Dec 28, 7:40pm

…Galgal Refaim (Hebrew for “wheel of ghosts”) is the largest and oldest stone structure in the Middle East, containing 42,000 basalt stones and dating back 5,000 years – making it a contemporary of England’s Stonehenge.

But curiously, the archaeological site remains shrouded in mystery and experts cannot agree on what it was used for. Situated on the Golan Heights, the structure is comprised of concentric circles in the form of a labyrinth with walls reaching some eight feet high. …

Mairi Mackay, KOCO / CNN • Fri 2015 Oct 23, 10:23am

…a man in Norway… recently stumbled across a 1,200-year-old Viking sword while walking an ancient route. …dates from approximately 750 A.D. and is in exceptionally good condition…

Fox News • Sat 2015 Sep 12, 4:00pm

British researchers said Monday that they had discovered evidence of a larger version of Stonehenge located approximately 2 miles from the famous prehistoric site. …dubbed a "superhenge" containing as many as 90 large stones. …believed the monument was built about 4,500 years ago… stones were located …lying on their sides …under three feet of earth. Some …stood nearly 15 feet high …circular enclosure facing the Avon River that measured nearly a mile wide - making it the largest earthwork of its kind in Britain. …

Owen Jarus, Live Science • Sat 2015 Apr 18, 8:05am

Bronze artifacts discovered in a 1,000-year-old house in Alaska suggest trade was occurring between East Asia and the New World centuries before the voyages of Columbus. …

Fox News Latino • Wed 2015 Mar 4, 4:02pm

…Traveling over boat and foot through the dense foliage of the vast, lightly inhabited 32,000-square-mile Mosquitia region of Honduras – known as Central America's Little Amazon – the team of scientists surveyed and mapped a collection of plazas, earthworks, mounds, and even an earthen pyramid belonging to a culture that thrived between 1,000 and 1,400 AD – paralleling the Mayans – before the culture apparently vanished into the jungle.

In what is speculated to be an offering to the gods, the scientists say that the find of a non-looted and pristine site is incredibly rare. … • Fri 2011 Aug 19, 4:55pmA man herding reindeer in Russia's Arctic found the perfectly-preserved, 40,000-year-old body of a baby woolly mammoth. The creature's carcass was sticking up out of the permafrost
volcano • Mon 2009 Jun 1, 3:09pmA previously unknown giant volcanic eruption that led to global mass extinction 260 million years ago has been uncovered. • Mon 2009 May 18, 3:11pm

An Albuquerque archeologist and his team have returned with artifacts from a dig site near the Dead Sea which they believe reveals the lost city of Sodom. ... • Wed 2009 May 13, 4:31pm

A remarkable ivory carving is arguably the oldest sculpture of a human figure yet found ... The distorted object, which portrays a woman with huge breasts, big buttocks and exaggerated genitals, is thought to be at least 35,000 years old. ... • Fri 2009 Apr 24, 11:24pm

An ancient script that's defied generations of archaeologists has yielded some of its secrets to artificially intelligent computers. Computational analysis of symbols used 4,000 years ago by a long-lost Indus Valley civilization suggests they represent a spoken language. Some frustrated linguists thought the symbols were merely pretty pictures.... used between 2,600 and 1,900 B.C. in what is now eastern Pakistan and northwest India, belonged to a civilization as sophisticated as its Mesopotamian and Egyptian contemporaries. However, it left fewer linguistic remains. Archaeologists have uncovered about 1,500 unique inscriptions from fragments of pottery, tablets and seals. The longest inscription is just 27 signs long. ... used pattern-analyzing software running what's known as a Markov model, a computational tool used to map system dynamics. They fed the program sequences of four spoken languages: ancient Sumerian, Sanskrit and Old Tamil, as well as modern English. Then they gave it samples of four non-spoken communication systems: human DNA, Fortran, bacterial protein sequences and an artificial language.... When they seeded the program with fragments of Indus script, it returned with grammatical rules based on patterns of symbol arrangement. These proved to be moderately ordered, just like spoken languages. As for the meaning of the script, the program remained silent.... • Wed 2009 Apr 22, 2:16pm

Scientists have found the first skeleton of a land-dwelling relative of seals, sea lions, and walruses. The 20-million- to 24-million-year-old Arctic fossil sports webbed feet instead of flippers, providing a long-sought glimpse of what such animals looked like before they dove into the sea. • Tue 2009 Apr 14, 10:19pm

The legend is that the great rulers of Canaan, the ancient land of Israel, were all men. But a recent dig by Tel Aviv University archaeologists at Tel Beth-Shemesh uncovered possible evidence of a mysterious female ruler.... an unusual ceramic plaque of a goddess in female dress, suggesting that a mighty female "king" may have ruled the city.... may be an artistic representation of the "Mistress of the Lionesses," a female Canaanite ruler who was known to have sent distress letters to the Pharaoh in Egypt reporting unrest and destruction in her kingdom.

Fishy • Wed 2009 Mar 25, 10:54pmHurdia victoria was originally described in 1912 as a crustacean-like animal. Now, researchers from Uppsala University and colleagues reveal it to be just one part of a complex and remarkable new animal that has an important story to tell about the origin of the largest group of living animals, the arthropods. ... Although the first fragments were described nearly one hundred years ago, they were assumed to be part of a crustacean-like animal. It was not then realised that other parts of the animal were also in collections, but had been described independently as jellyfish, sea cucumbers and other arthropods. ... had a segmented body with a head bearing a pair of spinous claws and a circular jaw structure with many teeth. But it differs from Anomalocaris by the possession of a huge three-part carapace that projects out from the front of the animal's head.