jueves, 1 de mayo de 2014

Amesbury in Wiltshire confirmed as oldest UK settlement

Amesbury - including Stonehenge - is the UK's longest continually-occupied settlement

A Wiltshire town has been confirmed as the longest continuous settlement in the United Kingdom.

Amesbury, including Stonehenge, has been continually occupied since BC8820, experts have found.
The news was confirmed following an archaeological dig which also unearthed evidence of frogs' legs being eaten in Britain 8,000 years before France.

Amesbury's place in history has also now been recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.
David Jacques, from the University of Buckingham, said: "The site blows the lid off the Neolithic Revolution in a number of ways.

"It provides evidence for people staying put, clearing land, building, and presumably worshipping, monuments.
"The area was clearly a hub point for people to come to from many miles away, and in many ways was a forerunner for what later went on at Stonehenge itself.

"The first monuments at Stonehenge were built by these people. For years people have been asking why is Stonehenge where it is, now at last, we have found the answers."
Mr Jacques said the River Avon, which runs through the area, would have been like an A road with people travelling along it.

"They may have had the equivalent of local guides and there would have been feasting," he added.
"We have found remains of big game animals, such as aurochs and red deer, and an enormous amount of burnt flint from their feasting fires." [...] bbc.com

Actualización 11-05-14: Descubren quién erigió el monumento megalítico de Stonehenge
Científicos de la Universidad de Buckingham creen haber resuelto el misterio

¿Podría haberse resuelto de manera definitiva el misterio de Stonehenge? Pues eso es lo que aseguran haber hecho investigadores de la Universidad de Buckingham con el famoso monumento megalítico ubicado en el Reino Unido.

Estos científicos defienden que Stonehenge, a diferencia de lo que se creía, fue construido por indígenas británicos que habían vivido en la zona durante miles de años. Teorías anteriores sostenían que el monumento fue construido por migrantes de Europa continental, según relata la versión digital de The Huffington Post.

En octubre de 2013, un equipo de científicos liderado por el arqueólogo David Jacques llevó a cabo una excavación arqueológica a unos 2,5 kilómetros del afamado monumento en la que se hallaron herramientas de pedernal y huesos de uro, animales ya extintos parecidos a los toros que servían de alimento para los pueblos antiguos.

La datación de carbono de los artefactos mostró que hoy en día Amesbury, un área que incluye el lugar de excavación y el propio Stonehenge, han sido continuamente ocupados desde el 8820 a.C., lo cual lo convierte en la zona continuamente ocupada más antigua del Reino Unido.

"El sitio arroja luz sobre la Revolución Neolítica de varias maneras", declaró Jacques en un comunicado, haciendo referencia a la hipótesis de que esos migrantes impulsaron la transición de Gran Bretaña de un cazador-recolector a una sociedad agrícola en el siglo VI a.C. "Proporciona evidencia de la gente que se quedaba en un sitio, limpiaba la tierra, construía y posiblemente veneraba los monumentos", explica el arqueólogo.

Según los investigadores, antes de levantar Stonehenge, la gente que habitaba la zona instaló entre 8820 y 6590 a.C. unas gigantescas maderas, precursoras del monumento. "El área fue claramente un punto central para que la gente llegara desde muchos sitios a kilómetros de distancia, y en muchos sentidos fue un precursor de lo que más tarde sería el propio Stonehenge", apostilla Jacques.

Hot Stew in the Ice Age? Evidence Shows Neanderthals Boiled Food

An ancient diet expert suggests our early cousins knew how to boil their meals.

Neanderthal cooking likely wouldn't have won any prizes on Top Chef, but a paleontologist suggests that our ancient cousins knew how to cook a mean stew, without even a stone pot to their name.

"I think it's pretty likely the Neanderthals boiled," said University of Michigan paleontologist John Speth at a recent meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Austin, Texas. "They were around for a long time, and they were very clever with fire."

Neanderthals were a species of early humans who lived in Europe and the Near East until about 30,000 years ago. Conventional wisdom holds that boiling to soften food or render fat from bones may have been one of the advantages that allowed Homo sapiens to thrive, while Neanderthals died out.

But based on evidence from ancient bones, spears, and porridge, Speth believes our Stone Age cousins likely boiled their food. He suggests that Neanderthals boiled using only a skin bag or a birch bark tray by relying on a trick of chemistry: Water will boil at a temperature below the ignition point of almost any container, even flammable bark or hides. [...]  news.nationalgeographic.com

Prehistoric North Sea 'Atlantis' hit by 5m tsunami


A prehistoric "Atlantis" in the North Sea may have been abandoned after being hit by a 5m tsunami 8,200 years ago.

The wave was generated by a catastrophic subsea landslide off the coast of Norway.
Analysis suggests the tsunami over-ran Doggerland, a low-lying landmass that has since vanished beneath the waves.

"It was abandoned by Mesolithic tribes about 8,000 years ago, which is when the Storegga slide happened," said Dr Jon Hill from Imperial College London.

The wave could have wiped out the last people to occupy this island.

The research has been submitted to the journal Ocean Modelling and is being presented at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna this week.

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This animation shows the evolution of the wave - the red shows the height and the blue colour the depth of variation in the sea surface

Dr Hill and his Imperial-based colleagues Gareth Collins, Alexandros Avdis, Stephan Kramer and Matthew Piggott used computer simulations to explore the likely effects of the Norwegian landslide.

He told BBC News: "We were the first ever group to model the Storegga tsunami with Doggerland in place. Previous studies have used the modern bathymetry (ocean depth)."

As such, the study gives the most detailed insight yet into the likely impacts of the huge landslip and its associated tsunami wave on this lost landmass. [...] bbc.com/