It just sank in this morning that the paper on the shell middens in Bolivia’s Llanos de Moxos that is in the news is from a completely different research team that I posted about back in 2005. (It’s weird to realize that was eight years ago.)
Archive for the ‘archaeology’ Category
This article suggesting how war is not necessarily ingrained in human culture piqued my interest, but something seemed off. Oh yeah, John Horgan… the guy who proposed there are no more big ideas in science remaining. Anyone proposing that doesn’t merit my trust. I went back to the comments thread on Reddit to see there was already some decent critical discussion.
The story teases of a great trade network across the Indian Ocean, which I believe is absolutely true, but because these African minted coins were found with some comparatively recent Dutch East India Company coins, the story being pitched doesn’t seem to be the one being told by these coins. If the Portuguese sacked and looted Kilwa, pushing this story of the older trade network based on these coins seems a little outlandish. Hopefully something interesting could still result from the investigation though.
This paper is interesting, but with those new dates pushing back the Iberian Neandertals, makes me hesitate now, as a lot of this paper addresses avian bones from a Gibraltar site after 50k. That date was picked because:
“The prevailing paradigm among Palaeolithic archaeologists today is still one which regards flying birds to have been difficult prey to capture and beyond the capabilities of all hominins prior to 50 kya and non-modern hominins (including the Neanderthals) even after the 50 kya threshold. The corollary, which has been applied to the Neanderthals for the period after 50 kya, is that they only targeted birds once easier prey (presumed to be energetically less costly to obtain than birds) were exhausted.”
If all of the Neandertals were already dead though..
I skimmed the paper, missing any mention of carbon dating of the avian bones. The bones were associated with Neandertal sites. Maybe the whole paradigm about flying birds being difficult prey prior to 50k years ago is wrong? Or are these sites really associated with Neandertals?
Some articles reporting these new datings of Iberian Neandertals placing them 10,000 years earlier then they were previously are also insisting then there is no way modern humans interacted with Neandertals as modern humans were not in the same place at the same time. (That Nature article isn’t one of them, but this EurekAlert does.) That’s nice, but the genetics studies already show Neandertals and humans did interact, perhaps not in Iberia, but somewhere. I reckon that it’s just science journalists who haven’t accepted the genetics proofs are just ahead of the curve of the fossil evidence.
There’s another study arguing earlier dates for modern humans out of Africa than 60,000 years ago, in multiple dispersals. (via Dienekes.) Even if Neandertals all went extinct earlier than thought, not just the ones in the Iberian peninsula, they still had the opportunity to interact with modern humans, as they were already in Europe.
Hasankeyf might be as important as Göbekli Tepe, except it might be older and has been continuously inhabited. Turkey apparently has been wanting to build a reservoir here for decades (with an Austrian company as the constructor) and seems finally to be moving ahead. It’s a Kurdish area and it’s Turkey, so there’s almost certainly an element of ethnic persecution in play here. It seems that there are now 3,000 people now at work prepping. Not all elements of the Turkish government are hellbent on this idiotic scheme, as according to this original news story (in Spanish,) “The Turkish State Council ordered the suspension of works at the request of the Bar Association and Engineers, since there was no environmental impact assessment.”
The construction of this damn seems as wantonly destructive and callous as the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas or the attempted destruction of the manuscripts of Timbuktu, except in this case, because someone is making a financial profit, it’s not being as universally reviled. This site was one of the most important points in the creation of Western Civilization. Yeah, let’s just flood it.
((There is an English subtitles switch on the YouTube toolbar.))
When the agricultural revolution swept into Europe, the area around the western Mediterranean was a lot more humid than it is today. The chemistry of snail shells from Mediterranean caves dating from 2,500 to 9,000 years ago are proving this.
I await the inevitable Nature paper that tells us the carpark skeleton was just another fucking lemur. #RememberIda
— Ed Yong(@edyong209) February 4, 2013
- Thanks for reminder, Jen. [↩]
Homo erectus using fire is old news now, but possible evidence of Peking Man using leather as clothing is new to me.