jueves, 12 de septiembre de 2013

Dating of beads sets new timeline for early humans

Beads from the site of Ksar Akil. Credit: Katerina Douka and Natural History Museum London
An international team of researchers led by Oxford University has new dating evidence indicating when the earliest fully modern humans arrived in the Near East, the region known as the Middle East today.

They have obtained the radiocarbon dates of marine shell beads found at Ksar Akil, a key archaeological site in Lebanon, which allowed them to calculate that the oldest human fossil from the same sequence of archaeological layers is 42,400–41,700 years old. This is significant because the age of the earliest fossils, directly and indirectly dated, of modern humans found in Europe is roughly similar.

This latest discovery throws up intriguing new possibilities about the routes taken by the earliest modern humans out of Africa, says the study published online by the journal PLOS ONE.

Body or clothes decoration 

The research team radiocarbon dated 20 marine shells from the top 15 metres of archaeological layers at Ksar Akil, north of Beirut. The shells were perforated [...] pasthorizonspr.com


Actualización 13-09-13. Nuevas dataciones de Ksar Akil cuestionan la procedencia de los europeos modernos


Actualización 16-09-13. Los humanos modernos llegaron a Oriente Medio y a Europa al mismo tiempo
Un grupo de arqueólogos dirigidos desde la Universidad de Oxford han encontrado nuevas pruebas de que los humanos modernos llegaron a Oriente Medio más o menos al tiempo que a Europa, en ambos casos procedentes de África. Para ello, han datado con carbono-14 cuentas de conchas marinas usadas como adornos. Este hallazgo abre el debate de cuáles fueron las vías de llegada de los humanos modernos a Europa...

Las celebraciones del Sol en Los Dolmenes de Antequera. Equinoccio de Otoño 2013

Domingo, 22 de septiembre de 2013
Contacto y reservas:
952712206, 952712207
visitasdolmenesdeantequera.ccd@juntadeandalucia.es
Actualización 09-10-13. El Equinoccio, una decisión humana: La Expresión de un espacio simbólico. Dólmenes de Antequera.

Equinoccio 360º

Signs of civilisation in Purulia for last 1 million years

A recent archaeological study has found signs that there was human habitation in the hilly and forested tracts of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts — regions that almost coincide with the modern day jangalmahal — for the last one lakh years.

The discovery is significant because in the prehistoric period, human settlements were rare as men led nomadic lives moving from one place to another depending on the availability of food.

“During our project over the past couple of years, we have found the existence of a micro blade industry in and around the Ayodhya hills area, which takes the history of the area back to the Late Pleistocene period,” Bishnupriya Basak of the department of archaeology at Calcutta University said at a seminar at the Indian Museum on Wednesday.

In archaeological terminology, micro blade signifies small stone tools that were typically chipped off from stones and used for various purposes from hunting to digging the earth.

The Late Pleistocene period commenced between 20,000 and 10,000 years BC. This was the time when humans started making and using small tools made of stones. Earlier, relics of large size stone tools of the early stone era, which date back to 80,000 and 1,00,000 years, were found in Purulia.

According to experts, the discovery of these two types of tools makes the crucial connection that prehistoric men settled down in this region and perhaps did not migrate.

Basak and her team discovered relics of human civilisation in the Ayodhya hills of Purulia in 2011-12. [...] hindustantimes.com

The discovery of an early henge at Norton, Hertfordshire by local archaeologists

The story begins in 1936. Major Allen, a pioneer of aerial photography in Britain, flew over a field to the east of the young Letchworth Garden City and spotted a large ring in the crop, which he duly photographed.

Figure 5/6 The Middle Neolithic house foundations found in 2013
Like so many such cropmarks in North Hertfordshire, it was long assumed to be the traces of a ditch that would have formed a quarry for material to make an earlier Bronze Age burial mound. Subsequent photographs taken during the 1960s and 70s appeared to confirm this supposition.

Then, in 1994, there was a proposal to locate a new cemetery in this field. Because of the known archaeological sensitivity of the area, a geophysical survey was commissioned; owing to the technique used, magnetometry, only the north-western half of the field could be surveyed, as the south-eastern end of the field is crossed by high-tension power lines. Nevertheless, this monument was covered by the survey, which revealed what was described by the surveyors as a “double ring ditch”. [...] heritagedaily.com

7000-year-old defensive wall emerges near Bulgaria’s Shoumen



The dry spell blanketing Bulgaria for the past two months has resulted in an unexpected archaeological discovery, with the remains of a 7000-year-old defensive wall emerging from the waters of the Ticha accumulation lake near the town of Shoumen in northeastern Bulgaria.

The wall is more than five meters tall, made of rocks that are being held together by clay. The wall has an arrowslit and appears to be better built than other fortifications dating back to the same period in this part of Europe, historian Stefan Chohadjiev from Veliko Turnovo University told Bulgarian National Television.

On the southern approach of the hill, the fortification is at its strongest, with three parallel lines of defence built to repel attackers. The inhabitants of the stronghold appear to have been a frequent target of attacks, this being the most likely reason why its defences have been built up, instead of featuring only the more traditional moat, according to Chohadjiev.

Remains of a village that had been inhabited for several centuries can be found inside the wall – most likely, it was the stronghold of the local warlords who ruled the surrounding vale, Chohadjiev said. The items found on the site, including luxury items (marble and jade jewellery) and military equipment, appear to confirm such a hypothesis, he said.

The wall had been rebuilt at least once, after parts of it collapsed inward, likely as a result of an earthquake, destroying several nearby homes. sofiaglobe.com/

Ríos antiguos en el Sáhara propiciaron migraciones humanas

Tres sistemas de ríos antiguos, ahora enterrados, pueden haber creado rutas viables para la migración humana a través del Sahara hacia la región del Mediterráneo hace unos 100.000 años, según un estudio publicado este miércoles en la revista 'Plos One' por Tom Coulthard, de la Universidad de Hull, en Reino Unido, y colegas de otras instituciones.

   Mediante una simulación de paleoclimas de la región, los investigadores encontraron evidencia cuantitativa de los tres principales sistemas fluviales que probablemente existieron en el norte de África hace entre 130.000 y 100.000 años, pero que ahora están enterrados en gran medida por los sistemas de dunas en el desierto.

   Cuando fluían, estos ríos probablemente constituían un hábitat fértil para los animales y la vegetación, formando "corredores verdes" en toda la región. Por lo menos, un sistema de ríos se estima que tuvo unos 100 kilómetros de ancho y gran parte de vegetación perenne. El río Irharhar, el más occidental de los tres identificados, pudo representar una ruta de migración humana en la región.

   Además de los ríos, las simulaciones de los científicos predicen enormes lagunas y humedales en el noreste de Libia, algunas de las cuales abarcan más de 70.000 kilómetros cuadrados. "Es emocionante pensar que hace 100.000 años hubo tres grandes ríos abriéndose paso a través de mil kilometros del desierto del Sáhara hasta el Mediterráneo y que nuestros antepasados ?odrían haber caminado junto a ellos", señala Coulthard.

   Estudios anteriores han demostrado que las personas viajaron a través de las montañas del Sáhara hacia las regiones mediterráneas más fértiles, pero el debate se centra en cuándo, dónde y cómo lo hicieron. La evidencia existente apoya la posibilidad de una sola migración a través del Sáhara, muchas migraciones a lo largo de una vía o varias migraciones a lo largo de diferentes caminos.

   La existencia de "corredores verdes" que proporcionaron recursos hídricos y comida eran probablemente fundamentales para estos eventos, pero no se conoce su ubicación y la cantidad de agua que llevaban. Las simulaciones de este estudio tienen por objeto cuantificar la probabilidad de que estas rutas pueden haber sido viables para la migración humana en toda la región. europapress.es

Paleorivers Across Sahara May Have Supported Ancient Human Migration Routes
Three ancient river systems, now buried, may have created viable routes for human migration across the Sahara to the Mediterranean region about 100,000 years ago, according to research published September 11 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Tom Coulthard from the University of Hull, UK, and colleagues from other institutions. [...] sciencedaily.com

Simulated probability of surface water during the last interglacial. (Credit: Coulthard TJ, Ramirez JA, Barton N, Rogerson M, Brücher T (2013)

Journal Reference:
Tom J. Coulthard, Jorge A. Ramirez, Nick Barton, Mike Rogerson, Tim Brücher. Were Rivers Flowing across the Sahara During the Last Interglacial? Implications for Human Migration through Africa. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (9): e74834 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074834