miércoles, 30 de enero de 2013

Skull fragments of million-year-old human ancestor found in Eritrea

 An Italian-Eritrean research team has discovered skull fragments of a human ancestor dating back approximately one million years.

The skull fragment found at Muhuli Amo in Eritrea [Credit: Italian-Eritrean Danakil Expedition]
 The fossils were found at Muhuli Amo in Eritrea, which lies in the Horn of Africa, at an archaeological site where a wealth of early tools have been found.

The international research team, led by paleoanthropologist Alfredo Coppa of Rome's University Sapienza, says the skull fragments belong to the same individual whose remains have been previously discovered by researchers.

This time, the fossil fragments will help researchers put together a larger section of the skull.

That, said Coppa, will lead to a better understanding of man's origins.

"These new findings confirm conclusively that the area that we are investigating is one of the areas with the highest potential for research dealing with the origins of our species 'sapiens', whose direct ancestors appear in the region of about 400,000 years later".

Source: ANSA [January 28, 2013] via The Archaeology News Network

Related post

Actualización 31-01-13. Hallan nuevos fósiles del género Homo -de un millón de años- en el "Santuario de las amigdalas", en Eritrea
Un equipo de investigación de Italia y Eritrea ha descubierto fragmentos de un cráneo de un ancestro humano que datan de aproximadamente un millón de años.

Los fósiles fueron encontrados en Muhuli Amo (Santuario de las amígdalas), en Eritrea, la cual se encuentra en el Cuerno de África, en un sitio arqueológico donde se han encotrado una gran cantidad de herramientas líticas (bifaces)...

Snails signal a humid Mediterranean

(University of York) An international team of researchers has shown that old wives' tales that snails can tell us about the weather should not be dismissed too hastily.

While the story goes that if a snail climbs a plant or post, rain is coming, research led by the University of York goes one better: it shows snails can provide a wealth of information about the prevailing weather conditions thousands of years ago.

The researchers, including scientists from the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre (SUERC), analysed the chemistry of snail shells dating back 9,000 to 2,500 years recovered from Mediterranean caves, looking at humidity at different times in the past.

Their findings, which are reported in the journal Quaternary International, reveal that when the first farmers arrived in Italy and Spain, the western Mediterranean was not the hot dry place it is now, but warmer, wetter and stickier.

The research was led by Dr André Carlo Colonese from York's Department of Archaeology. [...] eurekalert.org

Prehistoric humans not wiped out by comet

Comet explosions did not end the prehistoric human culture, known as Clovis, in North America 13,000 years ago, according to research published in the journal Geophysical Monograph Series.

Researchers from Royal Holloway university, together with Sandia National Laboratories and 13 other universities across the United States and Europe, have found evidence which rebuts the belief that a large impact or airburst caused a significant and abrupt change to Earth's climate and terminated the Clovis culture. They argue that other explanations must be found for the apparent disappearance.

Clovis is the name archaeologists have given to the earliest well-established human culture in the North American continent. It is named after the town in New Mexico, where distinct stone tools were found in the 1920s and 1930s.

Researchers argue that no appropriately sized impact craters from that time period have been discovered, and no shocked material or any other features of impact have been found in sediments. They also found that samples presented in support of the impact hypothesis were contaminated with modern material and that no physics model can support the theory.

"The theory has reached zombie status," said Professor Andrew Scott from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway. "Whenever we are able to show flaws and think it is dead, it reappears with new, equally unsatisfactory, arguments.

"Hopefully new versions of the theory will be more carefully examined before they are published," he concluded. sciencedaily.com/

Actualización 04-02-13. Un cometa no acabó con la cultura Clovis, afirma un estudio

Trino Torres y Grupo Edelweiss serán los Premios Evolución 2013

La Fundación Atapuerca trasladó la propuesta que reconoce la primera excavación del 76

La Fundación Atapuerca quiere reconocer la labor de los pioneros con la propuesta de los Premios Evolución 2013. El relativo a Valores Humanos se propone al Grupo Espeleológico Edelweiss. El reconocimiento a los valores científicos se ofrece a Trinidad (Trino) Torres. Los dos aceptarán el reconocimiento, tal y como han avanzado.

Torres fue el responsable científico de aquellos primeros trabajos que extrajeron la primera mandíbula de la Sima de los Huesos y otra docena de fósiles humanos que llevó a su director de tesis, Emiliano Aguirre. «Aceptaré la propuesta del premio porque es la Fundación Atapuerca, estoy contento por el reconocimiento» asegura el catedrático de Paleontología de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Desde el año 76 no ha vuelto a pisar los yacimientos burgaleses «me imagino que habrán cambiado tanto». [...] Correo de Burgos

Delancey Park Neolithic grave protection plan submitted

A Neolithic grave in Guernsey could be half-buried in soil and grassed-over to preserve it.

Guernsey Museums and Art Galleries has asked for planning permission to conduct the work in Delancey Park and put up an information sign.

States Archaeologist Dr Philip de Jersey said covering part of the stones would hopefully protect them.
He said: "People have lit fires in between them so they crack... there's been graffiti... we want to stop that."
The grave was discovered and excavated in 1919, 1932 and in the summers from 2009-2011.

Dr de Jersey said the "gallery" grave was "the only known example in Guernsey".
He said other Neolithic graves in the island tended to be passage graves with a wider chamber. [...] BBC

Related post

The Origins of Curry

INDIA. Archaeologists at the University of Washington at Vancouver have analyzed human teeth and residue found on pots from the site of Farmana—which dates back more than four thousand years ago and is located roughly 100 miles northwest on New Delhi—and found the first evidence of use of turmeric and ginger in cooking. Farmana was part of the Indus civilization, which once ranged from eastern Iran to modern-day Delhi. Archaeology contributing editor Andrew Lawler reports in Slate that the use of these spices at the site likely constitutes the first known instance of curry being part of a people’s diet—making it also, possibly, “the oldest continuously prepared cuisine on the planet.”