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Oldest metal object in Middle East discovered in woman's grave

Copper Awl
© PLOS ONE
A copper awl was discovered at the archaeological site Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley of Israel, dating to 5100 B.C. to 4600 B.C.
A copper awl is the oldest metal object unearthed to date in the Middle East. The discovery reveals that metals were exchanged across hundreds of miles in this region more than 6,000 years ago, centuries earlier than previously thought, researchers say.

The artifact was unearthed in Tel Tsaf, an archaeological site in Israel located near the Jordan River and Israel's border with Jordan. The area was a village from about 5100 B.C. to 4600 B.C., and was first discovered in A.D. 1950, with digs taking place from the end of the 1970s up to the present day.

Tel Tsaf possessed large buildings made of mud bricks and a great number of silos that could each store 15 to 30 tons of wheat and barley, an unprecedented scale for the ancient Near East. The village had many roasting ovens in the courtyards, all filled with burnt animal bones, which suggests people held large events there.

Moreover, scientists had unearthed items made of obsidian, a volcanic glass with origins in Anatolia or Armenia, as well as shells from the Nile River in Egypt and pottery from either Syria or Mesopotamia. All in all, these previous findings suggest this community was an ancient international center of commerce that possessed great wealth. [See Photos of the Ancient Settlement and Metal Awl]

Archaeologists discovered the cone-shaped awl in the grave of a woman who was about 40 years old when she died, and who had a belt around her waist made of 1,668 ostrich-egg shell beads. Several large stones covered the grave, which was dug inside a silo, suggesting both the woman and the silo were considered special.
USA

U.S.-German secret treaty means Berlin is Washington's vassal until 2099


Gerd-Helmut Komossa
Ex-head of MAD reveals shocking details of the 1949 US-German secret treaty

Top intelligence officers rarely reveal secret strings, pulling the nation's political mechanism. Publication of a book like The German card. The obscure game of secret services, authored by Gerd-Helmut Komossa (Gerd-Helmut Komossa. DIE DEUTSCHE KARTE. Das verdeckte Spiel der geheimen Dienste. Ares-Verlag, Graz 2007. - 230 S.), is an exceptional occurrence. Raising very sensitive issues, the author appeals to the core of German identity that had been deliberately suppressed for decades by the United States and its allies.

The book is focused on contradictions between the United States and Germany, sometimes very strong but not supposed to be discussed in public. It was published in Austria, and its distribution in Germany may encounter certain difficulties today. Still, the very fact of its appearance indicates that the German intelligence community is increasingly dissatisfied with the role of a vassal of the United States (the definition applied to Europe by Zbigniew Brzezinski), imposed on Western Germany after World War II.

Comment: This is why the US sued for unconditional surrender; it sought total control. TOTAL control.

See also:

Former German intelligence chief: In 1949 West Germany signed up to become United States vassal, NATO contemplated false-flag nuclear attack to 'cement' deal

USA

Former German intelligence chief: In 1949 West Germany signed up to become United States vassal, NATO contemplated false-flag nuclear attack to 'cement' deal

The former head of the West German Military Intelligence has issued a book revealing secret details of a 1949 US-German treaty, alleging America and its allies have been deliberately suppressing the nation's sovereignty.

Twenty years after the Berlin Wall fell and the most painful wounds have healed, there seems to be no more uncomfortable truths left for Germans.

Yet some still manage to come up with hot potatoes - and the biggest these days is from the former head of the intelligence service in West Germany.

In Gerd-Helmut Komossa's book The German Card: The Hidden Game of the Secret Services, he claims Germany has, until now, been controlled by the United States and its allies, and was even viewed as a possible target.

"At a NATO meeting, I realized that a possible plan was for the alliance to hit the largest dam in West Germany with a nuclear bomb. If strikes had taken place, a great number of civilians would have died," Gerd-Helmut Komossa says in his The German Card book.


Comment: There you have it, the US acts like it owns Germany... because it does actually own Germany.

The book is available for purchase in German here.

Now if we could just find an English translation...

Cow Skull

Treasure trove of extinct prehistoric mammals: Hundreds of Ice Age fossils found in ancient sinkhole in Wyoming

Treasure trove of extinct prehistoric mammals including North American lion and American cheetah dating back 25,000 years found in cave.
© AP
Bureau of Land Management cave specialist rappels into Natural Trap Cave in north-central Wyoming- the cave, which is just 15-foot wide, was first discovered by paleontologists in the 1970s
A treasure trove of hundreds of large Ice Age-era prehistoric mammals has been unexpectedly discovered in a cave in Wyoming.

The ancient sinkhole is believed to have opened up 25,000 years ago, trapping a large number of unsuspecting creatures who fell into it over the course of thousands of years and whose remains were preserved in the cool, dark conditions.

Many are large animals which became extinct tens of thousands of years ago, including the North American lion and American cheetah.

Smaller mammals have also been unearthed, such as fully preserved skeletons of tiny rodents best studied under a microscope.

The find in Natural Trap Cave, at the base of the Bighorn Mountains in northern Wyoming, had gone unexplored for more than 30 years, and scientists had no idea of the scale of the remains they would find when they began digging at the end of last month.
Newspaper

Humans did not wipe out the Neanderthals, research suggests

neanderthal face
© Mauro Cutrona
Neanderthals went extinct in Europe about 40,000 years ago, giving them millennia to coexist with modern humans culturally and sexually, new findings suggest.

This research also suggests that modern humans did not cause Neanderthals to rapidly go extinct, as some researchers have previously suggested, scientists added.

Neanderthals are the closest extinct relatives of modern humans, and lived in Europe and Asia. Recent findings suggest that Neanderthals were closely related enough to interbreed with ancestors of modern humans - about 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the DNA of anyone outside Africa is Neanderthal in origin.

It has long been uncertain when Neanderthals went extinct, and there has been much debate over whether interactions with modern humans might have driven their disappearance. Neanderthals entered Europe before modern humans did, and prior studies had suggested the last of the Neanderthals held out there on the Iberian Peninsula until about 35,000 years ago, potentially sharing the region with modern humans for millennia. However, more recent findings suggested that some Neanderthal fossils from Europe might be thousands of years older than previously thought, raising the possibility that Neanderthals went extinct before modern humans arrived in Europe starting about 42,000 years ago.
Health

It finally reaches mainstream: Researchers argue 'Black Death' was due to Ebola, not Bubonic plague

© Getty Images
Public health advocates stage street theater to attract people to attend an Ebola awareness and prevention event on August 18, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia.
A new book titled Biology of Plagues: Evidence from Historical Populations, argues that the "Black Death" may not have been caused by the bubonic plague, as history textbooks would suggest, but rather, an Ebola-like virus.

The authors, Christopher Duncan and Susan Scott of the University of Liverpool, claim that the bubonic plague could not have spread across Europe at the rate in which the Black Death did.

Duncan says, "If you look at the way it spreads, it was spreading at a rate of around 30 miles in two to three days. Bubonic plague moves at a pace of around 100 yards a year."

Duncan and Scott also analyzed the symptoms described in historical texts. Autopsy reports detail the internal organs of victims having had dissolved along with the appearance of black liquid. The liquidization of internal organs is a trademark of the Ebola virus and causes its victims tremendous pain.

Comment: The fact is, this information isn't new, and learning from history, including learning about possible protection measures, is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our loved ones.

Info

Neanderthals and humans overlapped for 5,400 years

Neanderthal family
© JPL/NASA
A recreation of a Neanderthal family.
The situation might not have been pretty, but Neanderthals and Homo sapiens were both living in Europe at the same time for around 5,400 years, according to a new study that has many other implications.

For starters, it's now possible that Neanderthals and our species mated and otherwise interacted for some 20,000 years.

"Significant interbreeding between Neanderthals and early modern humans had probably already occurred in Asia more than 50,000 years ago, so the dating evidence now indicates that the two populations could have been in some kind of contact with each other for up to 20,000 years, first in Asia then later in Europe," Chris Stringer, research leader in Human Origins at the Natural History Museum in London, explained.

"This may support the idea that some of the changes in Neanderthal and early modern human technology after 60,000 years ago can be attributed to a process of acculturation between these two human groups," Stringer said.
Family

A look behind the thick façade of civilization

[This is a guest post by Capt. Ray Jason. To read more of his essays, please visit his blog. (And to read more of mine, please buy the book I just published.)]

Shoshoni Tipis
© Unknown
Most of the sky was clear and starry, but ten miles out to sea there was a cluster of clouds filled with lightning. I was anchored peacefully behind a low island that afforded me a perfect view of this dramatic spectacle. Sitting on the foredeck with my back against the mast, I sipped some hot sake and marveled at this exquisite display. Each burst of sky fire was contained within an individual cloud. Some would erupt in amber-colored brightness and others would shimmer in soft silver or lavender. The almost Japanese lantern quality of the clouds sparked a memory within me that I struggled to recall. A second cup of sake unlocked the remembrance vault, and the incident drifted back. It was a good one.

About a year earlier AVENTURA was nestled in a pristine cove with a few Indio houses scattered on the shore. One afternoon I heard the nearby children chattering enthusiastically about something. I took my binoculars topside and aimed them towards the commotion. The father was draping a fresh snakeskin over the low branch of a tree. My guess was that the kids were so excited because they would have fresh snake for dinner that evening. But my guess was delightfully wrong.
Map

Ancient Mayan cities found in jungle of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula

© Ivan Sprajc
The monster mouth doorway at Lagunita. Note the stylized eye of the earth monster and fangs along the doorway jamb.
A monster mouth doorway, ruined pyramid temples and palace remains emerged from the Mexican jungle as archaeologists unearthed two ancient Mayan cities.

Found in the southeastern part of the Mexican state of Campeche, in the heart of the Yucatan peninsula, the cities were hidden in thick vegetation and hardly accessible.

"Aerial photographs helped us in locating the sites," expedition leader Ivan Sprajc, of the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), said.

Sprajc and his team found the massive remains as they further explored the area around Chactun, a large Maya city discovered by the Slovenian archaeologist in 2013.

No other site has so far been located in this area, which extends over some 1800 square miles, between the so-called Rio Bec and Chenes regions, both known for their characteristic architectural styles fashioned during the Late and Terminal Classic periods, around 600 - 1000 A.D.
Question

How did an ancient Chinese palace end up in Siberia?

Siberia
© Reuters
Dotted with archaeological sites, Siberia may be the final piece of an ancient Chinese puzzle.
Siberia is known from many things: Gulags, unmitigated cold, and more recently, a treasure trove of natural resources. A luxurious Chinese palace, however, would throw just about anyone.

But that is just what road crews found outside the city of Abakan, capital of the Russian Federation republic of Khakassia, not far from the northern borders of Mongolia. Clearing a track from Abakan to the village of Askyz, workers stumbling upon the buried foundations of a ruined building. The area is well known for tombs buried under mounds of earth called kurgans, and archaeologists were quickly called in.

What they found was the equivalent of a palm tree on Mars. The site revealed a huge compound far bigger than any kurgan, nearly 5000 feet combined. As unlikely as it was, the structure was the remains of a palace.

Even more unlikely, it was a palace typical of the Han Empire in China, which flourished from 206 BC to 220 AD. Topping it off was the fact the find was several hundred miles from the known borders of the Han Empire, in a the region controlled by the Xiongnu Khanate, a mysterious people with whom imperial Han forces often fought in open, bloody warfare.

Fully excavated in 1940, the site yielded up numerous luxury items from bronze ware to pottery all reminiscent of Han glory, sparking a lively debate as to just how the palace, and its obviously high-ranking occupants, came to live not only only far from the Han homeland, but in enemy territory to boot.
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