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Farming started in several places at once - origins of agriculture in the fertile crescent

For decades archaeologists have been searching for the origins of agriculture. Their findings indicated that early plant domestication took place in the western and northern Fertile Crescent. In the July 5 edition of the journal Science, researchers from the University of Tübingen, the Tübingen Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment, and the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research demonstrate that the foothills of the Zagros Mountains of Iran in the eastern Fertile Crescent also served as a key center for early domestication.

© Simone Riehl
Excavations in the Fertile Crescent: Tübingen archaeologists found evidence of early agriculture at Chogha Golan (1)
Archaeologists Nicholas Conard and Mohsen Zeidi from Tübingen led excavations at the aceramic tell site of Chogha Golan in 2009 and 2010. They documented an 8 meter thick sequence of exclusively aceramic Neolithic deposits dating from 11,700 to 9,800 years ago. These excavations produced a wealth of architectural remains, stone tools, depictions of humans and animals, bone tools, animal bones, and -- perhaps most importantly -- the richest deposits of charred plant remains ever recovered from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic of the Near East.
Beaker

DNA shows Irish people have more complex origins than previously thought


The red-hair gene is most common in Irish blood.
The blood in Irish veins is Celtic, right? Well, not exactly. Although the history many Irish people were taught at school is the history of the Irish as a Celtic race, the truth is much more complicated, and much more interesting than that ...

Research done into the DNA of Irish males has shown that the old Anthropological attempts to define 'Irish' have been misguided. As late as the 1950s researchers were busy collecting data among Irish people such as hair colour and height, in order to categorise them as a 'race' and define them as different to the British. In fact British and Irish people are closely related in their ancestry.

Research into Irish DNA and ancestry has revealed close links with Scotland stretching back to before the Ulster Planation of the early 1600s. But the closest relatives to the Irish in DNA terms are actually from somewhere else entirely!
USA

Who really wrote the Declaration of Independence?

A true character taught about liberty in the 1990s, Andrew J. Galambos. Harry Browne wrote about him:
[H]e had a profound effect on thousands of individuals who took his courses - who in turn affected others. Undoubtedly the ripples from the stones he dropped eventually touched some of today's leading libertarians.

He was a fascinating mixture of contrasts. He combined a brilliant mind with an ungracious personality. He was an astrophysicist who taught social science. He preached the importance of respect for intellectual property, but freely lifted the ideas of others without giving them credit. He was dishonest, but he inspired others to be more honest. He disdained the word "libertarian" while turning thousands of people into libertarians. He was an insensitive teacher, and yet he apparently changed the lives of most of the people he taught.
The entire obituary of Galambos written by Browne is must reading. Browne says a lot of negative things about Galambos, but at the end of reading the obituary, the thought lingers: Who was this guy? And the next thought is: Boy, I wish I could have sat in on one of his courses. They aren't any notes of his class. Browne reports, Galambos was very protective of his ideas and never put anything in writing. Indeed, Browne tells us:
He required every student entering one of his courses to sign a contract agreeing not to divulge any of the course ideas without permission from Galambos - and not even to use the ideas, in business or elsewhere, without permission.
Info

Ancient Native Americans' living descendants revealed

Ancient Native Americans
© L. Brian Stauffer
Molecular anthropologist Ripan Malhi has used DNA analysis to tie ancient Native American fossils to living descendants in Northern British Columbia
Ancient people who lived in in Northern America about 5,000 years ago have living descendants today, new research suggests.

Researchers reached that conclusion after comparing DNA from both fossil remains found on the northern coast of British Columbia, Canada, and from living people who belong to several First Nations tribes in the area.

The new results, published today (July 3) in the journal PLOS ONE, are consistent with nearby archaeological evidence suggesting a fairly continuous occupation of the region for the last 5,000 years.

"We're finding links that tie maternal lineages from as far back as the mid-Holocene 5,000 years ago to living descendants living today in Native American communities," said study co-author Ripan Malhi, a molecular anthropologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Bomb

Nuclear fallout worse than first thought

Nuclear Fallout
© Reuters
Boom: A mushroom cloud forms over the South Pacific atoll of Mururoa during one of numerous atmospheric tests France conducted in the region between 1966-1974.
Newly declassified French military documents have revealed that nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll were far more deadly than has previously been admitted with plutonium fallout at much higher levels and over wider areas.

The documents cover the 46 atmospheric nuclear tests conducted at Mururoa and Fangataufa in French Polynesia between 1966 and 1974 and reveal that warships near the tests were hit by higher levels of radioactivity than known.

A New Zealand Labour Government in 1974 sent two warships, HMNZS Canterbury and HMNZS Otago, to monitor the Mururoa tests. It was not believed, at the time, that they may have received nuclear dusting but these new documents reveal there were much higher levels of radiation than were known.

A 1974 test, code named Centaur, dumped 500 times the maximum allowed level of plutonium fallout on Tahiti, 1250 kilometres away, the documents show.

There were also 140 more incidents of nuclear fallout above the 209 incidents already known. Tahiti, home to around 178,000 people, was hit 37 times by fallout.

Radiation levels frequently rose in New Zealand 4700 kilometres away following each test. Opposition to the testing was a key political issue in New Zealand, not only prompting the despatching of warships, but also a successful International Court of Justice case against France.

In 1985 French secret agents sank a Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, as it was preparing to leave Auckland for Mururoa. One man was killed.

Today in French Polynesia the 47th anniversary of the first nuclear test at Mururoa (a plutonium fission bomb code-named Aldebaran) is being marked.
Info

Ancient white man's skull has Australians reconsidering their origins

Ancient Skull
© Agence France-Presse
Australian National University's Dr Stewart Fallon holds a skull found in northern New South Wales in late 2011, in Canberra, July 1, 2013.
The centuries-old skull of a white man found in Australia is raising questions about whether Captain James Cook really was the first European to land on the country's east coast.

The skull was found in northern New South Wales in late 2011, and police initially prepared themselves for a gruesome murder investigation.

But scientific testing revealed that not only was it much older than expected, but possibly belonged to a white man born around 1650, well before Englishman Cook reached the eastern seaboard on the Endeavour in 1770.

"The DNA determined the skull was a male," Detective Sergeant John Williamson told The Daily Telegraph.

"And the anthropologist report states the skull is that of a Caucasoid aged anywhere from 28 to 65."

Australian National University expert Stewart Fallon, who carbon-dated the skull, pulling some collagen from the bone as well as the enamel on a tooth, said he was at first shocked at the age of the relic.

"We didn't know how old this one was, we assumed at first that it was going to be a very young sample," he told AFP.
Info

Archaeologists seek to unearth mysteries at Aztalan State Park

Aztalan State Park
© Wikimedia Commons
Steps on the side of a platform mound at Aztalan State Park in Aztalan, Wisconsin.
Aztalan State Park is deceptively bucolic. On a sunny day, it's a field of green grass on sculpted mounds of earth. The sweltering silence carries whispers of wind and the nearby Crawfish River. Occasionally, a cry of a peacock from a nearby farm pierces the air.

But 1,000 years ago, Aztalan was a hub of activity, a northern outpost of the Mississippian culture that spanned what's now the American Midwest. It was likely a vibrant, thriving community, full of people and children, scented with the smoke of cooking fires, noisy with the sounds of its inhabitants going about their daily work.

And while Aztalan left a physical mark on the landscape of Wisconsin, it was abandoned long enough ago that there is little to no cultural memory or oral tradition about the site among any of Wisconsin's American Indian groups.

Instead, archaeologists such as University of Wisconsin-Madison's Sissel Schroeder and Michigan State University's Lynne Goldstein must look to buried clues to reconstruct a picture of the society that once flourished at Aztalan. That's why they, along with the University of Northern Iowa's Donald Gaff, spent the last five weeks leading an archaeological dig at the site.

Evidence shows that Aztalan's inhabitants "seriously altered, modified and created the landscape that they needed," said Goldstein, who is now a professor at Michigan State but spent the first 21 years of her career at UW-Milwaukee.

The question is, why? And what do these manipulations of the land tell us about how the land was used?

Goldstein, Schroeder and Gaff's dig, which ended Saturday, focused on two areas, referred to as the palisade extension and the gravel knoll.
Arrow Down

Hollywood helped Adolf Hitler with Nazi propaganda drive, academic claims

Nazi's and Hollywood
© The Independent, UK
Hollywood is not widely thought of as providing much support to Hitler's regime, instead producing a wealth of anti-Nazi films during the Second World War, ranging from Casablanca to The Great Dictator.

But now a young historian says that in the years before the war, Tinseltown was marching to a very different tune. Ben Urwand, 35 has written a book, The Collaboration: Hollywood's Pact With Hitler, in which he cites documents that prove, he says, US studios acquiesced to Nazi censorship of their films actively cooperated with the regime's world propaganda effort.

"Hollywood is not just collaborating with Nazi Germany," Urwand told the New York Times. "It's also collaborating with Adolf Hitler, the person and human being."

Urwand, reportedly a folk musician from Australia who has become a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard, said his interest was first aroused as a student in California when he read an interview with the screenwriter Budd Schulberg referring to meetings between the MGM boss Louis Mayer and a representative of the Nazi regime to discuss cuts to his studio's films.

Comment: Try reading 51 Documents by Lenni Brenner to get some idea of the extent of Zionist-Nazi collaboration.

Psychopaths, like water, always find their level...

Info

Kazakhstan to rebury ancient warlord, fearing 'curse'

Buried Treasure
© RIA Novosti/Dmitriy Korobeinikov
Jewelry found in the burial mound of the first “Golden Man” in 1970.
Moscow - Ever heard about the curse of the pharaohs? Well, how about the curse of a 2,500-year-old chief of a nomadic Scythian tribe that brings about floods, droughts, livestock decimation and high atmospheric pressure?

Though the curse of the pharaohs has repeatedly been debunked as myth, the Scythian curse is very real, say locals in a remote area of eastern Kazakhstan where the chieftain's remains were discovered - and where they will be reinterred this weekend to appease his spirit, to the chagrin of archeologists.

In 2003, an archeological expedition dug up a burial mound in the Shiliktinskaya Valley to find a Golden Man - a presumed leader of the Saka tribe, a branch of the Scythian nomads that populated Central Asia and southern Siberia in the 1st millennium BC.

The pagan Saka fought the ancient Persians and Indians, and grew rich through trading across the great steppes of Central Asia. Some of their wealth ended up in the tombs of their chieftains, who were buried wearing jewelry and gold-plated armor - like the man in the Shiliktinskaya mound, the third such find in Kazakhstan since 1970.
People 2

The death of gender-neutral clothing: New book details the history of when blue and pink became gender synonymous

Pink & blue

Gender in America: University of Maryland Professor Jo B. Paoletti has been studying the meaning of children's clothing for 30 years
It's easy to spot the newborn girls from the newborn boys in any hospital nursery - the pink and blue blankets are a dead giveaway. But it wasn't until rather recently that those two colors were relegated to the sexes.

Jo B. Paoletti, a historian at the University of Maryland, has studied the meaning of children's clothing for 30 years. Later this year she will release her latest study of children's clothing, a book called Pink and Blue: Telling the Girls from the Boys in America.

In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Paoletti says: 'It's really a story of what happened to neutral clothing.'

It was only in the 1940s when children's clothing began to change, and become specific to gender. Gender-neutral clothing had always been the norm with boys wearing the same crisp white dresses as girls until age 6 or 7.

'What was once a matter of practicality - you dress your baby in white dresses and diapers; white cotton can be bleached - became a matter of "Oh my God, if I dress my baby in the wrong thing, they'll grow perverted,"' Paoletti says.

While pink and blue and other pastel colors were introduced as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, it wasn't until just before World War I that they had any gender specificity. And not until much later that they were set in stone like today. Paoletti, says that it easily could have gone the other way - with pink being for boys, and blue for girls.
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