viernes, 30 de mayo de 2014

Artifact Trove at Egyptian Tomb Illuminates Life Before Pharaohs

Archaeologist uncovers human sacrifices and evidence of strife.

3/4. The excavation yielded 54 items in all, including the hippo-topped comb. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY HIERAKONPOLIS EXPEDITION

A recently discovered tomb at a key Egyptian settlement has yielded the largest trove of artifacts ever found in a tomb there—including a young man's burned and scattered bones—and is shedding new light on the ancestors of the pharaohs.

Part of a cemetery complex that predates the formation of the ancient Egyptian state, the find is one of the richest "predynastic" burials archaeologists have ever seen.

The tomb, at the site known as Hierakonpolis, yielded 54 objects, including combs, spearheads, arrowheads, and a figurine made of hippopotamus ivory. Arrayed around the tomb are dozens more burials, including possible human sacrifices and exotic animals.

The latest find, announced earlier this month, is adding to the remarkable story coming out of the Hierakonpolis cemetery, which has been under investigation since 1979.

"It demonstrates the importance of this cemetery, with its high-status burials," says Boston University archaeologist Kathryn Bard. "They have some very interesting secondary burials of humans and animals and wooden structures that are unique to Hierakonpolis."

Hierakonpolis, located on the Nile River about 300 miles (500 kilometers) south of Cairo, was the most important settlement in Egypt's predynastic period, a five-century stretch that began around 3,500 B.C. and preceded the formation of the ancient Egyptian state. [...] news.nationalgeographic.com/

Link 2: Arqueólogos encuentran una tumba de hace 5.600 años en Egipto | LA TERCERA
Dentro del lugar se encontró una momia bien conservada, además de una estatua y varias herramientas.
Un equipo de arqueólogos ha encontrado en el sur de Egipto una tumba y una momia bien conservadas de hace 5.600 años.
Según anunció el ministerio egipcio de Antigüedades, la tumba es anterior al reinado de Narmer, fundador de la Primera Dinastía, que unificó el Alto y Bajo Egipto en el siglo 31 a.C.
En el lugar, arqueólogos encontraron la estatua de un hombre con barba, hecha con marfil, y la momia, que parecía haber muerto en la adolescencia, según el ministerio.
También fueron hallados peines de marfil, herramientas, cuchillas y puntas de flechas.
El buen estado de conservación de la tumba permitirá obtener información sobre los rituales funerarios predinásticos, destacó Renee Friedman, al frente del equipo arqueológico multinacional que llevó a cabo las excavaciones.
La tumba se encontró en la región de Kom al-Ahmar, entre Luxor y Asuán, donde se hallaba Hierakonpolis, la principal ciudad y capital del reino del Alto Egipto. En este mismo lugar, hace tres años, se hallaron las tumbas de los reyes Narmer y Ra, un faraón predinástico que facilitó la unificación de Egipto.

Domestication of Dogs May Explain Mammoth Kill Sites and the Success of Early Modern Humans


1/2. A fragment of a large bone, probably from a mammoth, Pat Shipman reports, was placed in this dog's mouth shortly after death. This finding suggests the animal was according special mortuary treatment, perhaps acknowledging its role in mammoth hunting. The fossil comes from the site of Predmosti, in the Czech republic, and is about 27,000 years B.P. old. This object is one of three canid skulls from Predmosti that were identified as dogs based on analysis of their morphology.

A new analysis of European archaeological sites containing large numbers of dead mammoths and dwellings built with mammoth bones has led Penn State Professor Emerita Pat Shipman to formulate a new interpretation of how these sites were formed. She suggests that their abrupt appearance may have been due to early modern humans working with the earliest domestic dogs to kill the now-extinct mammoth -- a now-extinct animal distantly related to the modern-day elephant. Shipman's analysis also provides a way to test the predictions of her new hypothesis. Advance publication of her article "How do you kill 86 mammoths?" is available online through Quaternary International.

The "mammoth cemetery." The Siberian site of Berelekh is home to thousands of mammoth bones. P. N. Kolosov, Natural Resources, 5, 3 (2014)

Spectacular archaeological sites yielding stone tools and extraordinary numbers of dead mammoths -- some containing the remains of hundreds of individuals -- suddenly became common in central and eastern Eurasia between about 45,000 and 15,000 years ago, although mammoths previously had been hunted by humans and their extinct relatives and ancestors for at least a million years. Some of these mysterious sites have huts built of mammoth bones in complex, geometric patterns as well as piles of butchered mammoth bones. [...] science.psu.edu

Entrada relacionada (2011)

Actualización: Los perros ayudaron a los primeros humanos a cazar mamuts, sugiere un estudio
Un nuevo análisis de yacimientos arqueológicos europeos que contienen un gran número de restos de mamuts y viviendas construidas con los huesos de estos animales ha llevado a Pat Shipman, una investigadora de la Penn State University de Estados Unidos a formular una nueva interpretación del papel de los perros en la historia más antigua de la humanidad.

Shipman sugiere que la repentina aparición de estos asentamientos podría tener su origen en la cooperación entre los primeros humanos modernos y los primeros perros domesticados.

Esa colaboración habría potenciado la caza de los mamuts, una especie ya extinta lejanamente emparentada con los elefantes actuales. El análisis de Shipman también proporciona una manera de probar las predicciones de su hipótesis...