martes, 3 de abril de 2012

Community Interview with Milford H. Wolpoff

MILFORD H. WOLPOFF is Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. His work and theories on a "multiregional" model of human development challenge the popular "Eve" theory. His work has been covered in The New York Times, New Scientist, Discover, and Newsweek, among other publications.

Milford will answer your questions on the GrahamHancock.com messageboards, so please share your questions for him on his thread on the messageboards. Once we've collected the questions, we'll post them up here with Milford H. Wolpoff's answers to them...

Grahamhancock.com/

03-04-12. Questions and Answers

Taiwan find may throw light on Pacific settlers

Taiwanese archaeologists working on an islet off China have unearthed the remains of a Stone Age male who may provide clues about ancient people who eventually dispersed throughout the entire Pacific.

This photo, taken last December and provided by Chen Chung-yu, shows a complete skeleton of a stone age male his archaeological research team had unearthed from a tiny Taiwan-controlled Liang island off China.
The man, who was about 35 when he died nearly eight thousand years ago, may be a remote relative of Taiwan's aborigines who today make up about two percent of the island's population, according to the head of the team, Chen Chung-yu.

"Judging from the way the body was buried, it could be a person from what we now call the Austronesia language family," said Chen, a research fellow at Taiwan's Academia Sinica institute.

Taiwan's aborigines belong to the same language family, as do the people who migrated across the Pacific as far as Eastern Island off the coast of Chile in prehistoric times.

Chen and his team of three excavated the remains -- a nearly complete skeleton -- on Liang Island, a tiny Taiwanese-controlled islet 30 kilometers (19 miles) off China's southeastern Fujian province, in December.

The burial site had emerged purely by chance, as the Taiwanese military was digging up the soil to prepare for the construction of a road on the 1.4-kilometre (0.9-mile island).
...
physorg.com

"Sota terra" descobreix un fogar de dimensions considerables a la Cova de les Teixoneres

L’equip de “Sota terra” ha posat al descobert un fogar de dimensions considerables, (d’aproximadament uns 75 cm de diàmetre) al fons de la Cova de les Teixoneres durant els tres dies de treball realitzat a les Coves del Toll, a Moià (Barcelona), amb motiu de la filmació del capítol Coves de Toll: hienes, ossos i neandertals de la segona temporada de la sèrie que es va emetre per primer cop diumenge 1 d’abril per TV3. A l'espera de continuar l’excavació aquest estiu, i poder-ne saber la seva funcionalitat, sembla que la troballa fa trontollar una mica les hipòtesis que fins ara es teníem d’aquesta cavitat, ja que només s’havien trobat indicis de presència de neandertals a l'entrada de la cova.
...
El bloc de les activitats de l'IPHES

Entrada relacionada: 31-03-12. Sota Terra: "Coves del Toll: Hienes, óssos de les cavernes i neandertals"

Sudáfrica. Nuestros ancestros usaban el fuego 300.000 años antes de lo pensado

La entrada de cueva Wonderwerk, Sudáfrica. EurekAlert!/H. Ruther
MADRID, 2 Abr. (EUROPA PRESS). Un equipo de científicos de la Universidad de Toronto y la Universidad Hebrea de Jerusalén ha identificado la evidencia más antigua conocida del uso del fuego. Las trazas microscópicas de ceniza de madera, junto con huesos de animales y herramientas de piedra, fueron encontrados en una capa de hace un millón de años, en la Cueva Wonderwerk, en Sudáfrica.

Este hallazgo, publicado en 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences', determina que los ancestros del ser humano usaban el fuego 300.000 años antes de lo que se pensaba.

La Cueva Wonderwerk, donde se produjo el hallazgo, tiene un gran tamaño y está situada cerca del borde del desierto de Kalahari, donde ya había realizado excavaciones Peter Beaumont y había descubierto un extenso registro de ocupación humana.

Ahora, el proyecto de investigación ha estado haciendo un análisis detallado del material de la excavación de Beaumont y el análisis de los sedimentos ha revelado restos de plantas incineradas y fragmentos de huesos quemados. Los investigadores también encontraron amplias pruebas de decoloración de la superficie, lo cual es típico de la quema.

El antropólogo de la Universidad de Toronto, Michael Chazan, ha indicado que "el control del fuego habría sido un importante punto de inflexión en la evolución humana". Además, ha explicado que "el impacto de la cocción de alimentos está bien documentado, y el impacto del control del fuego habría tocado todos los elementos de la sociedad humana". "Socializar en torno a un fuego, podría ser un aspecto esencial de lo que nos hace humanos", ha apuntado.

Fuente: EUROPA PRESS
Link 2: Quest for Fire Began Earlier Than Thought
Link 3: 04-03-12. Valoración del hallazgo de sedimentos en Sudáfrica que demuestran el uso del fuego hace ya un millón de años, por Jordi Rosell, investigador de l’IPHES

Journal Reference: Francesco Berna, Paul Goldberg, Liora Kolska Horwitz, James Brink, Sharon Holt, Marion Bamford, and Michael Chazan. Microstratigraphic evidence of in situ fire in the Acheulean strata of Wonderwerk Cave, Northern Cape province, South Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 2, 2012 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1117620109

Canarias. El misterio de las hachas de jadeíta

El arqueólogo José Farrujia sostiene que Gregorio Chil y Naranjo hizo pasar por canarias unas hachas de Puerto Rico para emparentar a los aborígenes con los cromañones

Foto: Las cinco hachas del Museo Canario. Las tres en primer término son las de Puerto Rico, según Farrujia. i JOSÉ CARLOS GUERRA

Ahí, sobre un papel crudo, brillantes, perfectas. Su color es difícil de describir. En un primer golpe de vista parecen negras, pero los rayos del sol que entran curiosos por la ventana se empeñan en extraerles tonalidades verde oscuro que las hacen aún más exóticas. Son hachas de jadeíta. Su periplo hasta esa mesa, en medio de la Biblioteca del Museo Canario, es digno de un episodio del torturado Sherlock Holmes.

Durante décadas, desde finales del siglo XIX hasta hace unos ocho años, estos hermosos objetos arqueológicos estuvieron expuestos como originales de la Isla, pero el arqueólogo e investigador José Farrujia sostiene que proceden de Puerto Rico. Los técnicos del Museo decidieron retirarlas cuando comenzaron a dudar, para evitar confusión, coincidiendo con la publicación de la tesis de Farrujia. Ahora esperan pacientes y mimadas a que alguien saque de sus entrañas la muestra de que, una vez, un antillano las convirtió en lo que son.
...

La Provincia - Diario de Las Palmas vía Noticias de Historia Antigua y Arqueología
Link 2: ´Chil sabía clarísimamente de dónde eran las hachas´

8,000-year-old footprints to be displayed at İstanbul museum


The İstanbul Archeological Museum will be exhibiting casts of hundreds of footprints dating back 8,000 years that were discovered during ongoing archeological digs at Yenikapı, the site of work for a key transfer hub in İstanbul's metro system.

A total of 390 footprints have emerged since the first footprint discovery was made in September of last year. The prints were discovered eight meters below sea level. Archaeologist Sırrı Çömlekçi told press at the weekend that while casts of 88 of the prints were made last year, the majority will be transferred to the museum in the next few months when temperatures at night are at least 10 degrees.

“We haven't been able to work on making casts of the prints due to the cold winter temperatures. At present the weather is still very unpredictable, but we hope to recommence our work as soon as temperatures stabilize a little,” he said, commenting that the prints are a fascinating sign of civilization thousands of years ago.

Çömlekçi told reporters that the process of making casts of the prints is a delicate one -- first involving careful measuring, photographing and drawing of the prints and an analysis of whether, for example, those who had left the marks were carrying bags on their backs or were walking with bare feet -- followed by a process of molding and casting to make copies of the prints to be displayed to the public.

“People walked in the mud here thousands of years ago and left footprints, which dried to leave clearly defined marks,” Çömlekçi said, explaining that there was an old riverbed running alongside the site where the footprints were left. “When the riverbed flooded the footprints were covered first in layers of fine sand and then gravel and clay,” he said, adding that the layering of materials that don't mix allowed the footprints to be preserved over time.

The excavations at the 58,000-square-meter Yenikapı site began eight years ago, during which period thousands of centuries-old artifacts have been unearthed, including the fourth century Port of Theodosius, the remains of Byzantine ships and skeletons.

Today's Zaman

Australia. Ancient Aboriginal rock art to be catalogued

AUSTRALIA'S greatest ancient Aboriginal rock art detailing kangaroos, turtles and humans on boulders in the remote Pilbara area will be studied under a US$1.1 million deal announced Monday.

Tens of thousands of the indigenous works, which are scattered over the mineral-laden region, will be researched and catalogued under a six-year agreement between the University of Western Australia and miner Rio Tinto.

Although one of the world's richest collections of Aboriginal art, the carvings which lie on the National Heritage-listed Dampier Archipelago, about 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) north of Perth, have never been fully documented.

"It's surprising that we don't know what is there but that is very much the case for everywhere in Australia, everywhere that we have rock art," said Australian rock art expert Jo McDonald.

"The Sydney region is a very good example of that. We've probably only documented about 25 percent of the engravings in Sydney 200-plus years later.

"It's a very time consuming process and there's a lot of it."

The rock art in Western Australia's Pilbara is thousands of years old and includes images of thylacines, the "Tasmanian tigers" which became extinct on the Australian mainland an estimated 3,500 years ago.
Among the most significant panels are those showing human faces and activities and what some experts believe are mythical figures.

Also amidst the boulders on the Burrup peninsula of the Pilbara, one of the country's major industrial hubs for resources, are archaic faces which McDonald said could be among some of the earliest documented images of humans.

"The Burrup includes some of what we think is the earliest art in Australia," said McDonald, who will become the first Rio Tinto Chair of Rock Art Studies at the University of Western Australia.

"But it also records the changing climate.

"So the sea level rose to where it is now about 7,000 years ago and a lot of the art there has been produced after that time, so we've pictures of turtles and fish and sharks and other marine animals that obviously record that phase."

The government placed the Burrup rock art on the National Heritage List in mid-2007 but campaigners fear that threats to it have intensified in recent years as mining and energy companies drain the region of iron ore, natural gas and other resources to feed the huge demand from Asia.

theaustralian.com.au/