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World's Oldest Pyramid Found in Crimea?

Simferopil/Aqmescit - A Ukrainian scientist discovered the oldest pyramid in the world. Most interestingly, it was found in the most beautiful corner of the country, in Crimea.

As the ICTV channel reported, the finding was revealed by accident, when during his test alternative methods of finding water Ukrainian scientist Vitalii Goh discovered underground unknown object, which proved to be a giant pyramid of 45 meters in height and a length of about 72 meters. Goh said that the pyramid was built during the time of the dinosaurs.

"Crimean pyramid" has a truncated top, like a Mayan pyramid, but its appearance is more like an Egyptian. It is hollow inside, and a mummy of unknown creature is buried under the foundation.

"Under the foundation is a small body in the form of a mummy long 1.3-1.4 meters with a crown on his head."

"There is a resonance chamber of so-called Sphinx. The pyramids were built in the era of the dinosaurs," says the scientist in an interview with ICTV.

It remains unknown who build the pyramid. The unique building is the oldest on the planet, says Vitalii Goh.
Pharoah

Denisovan Genome: Relationships Between Ancient Denisovans and Present-Day Humans Revealed

Denisovan hominin
© MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology
This is a replica of the finger bone fragment of a Denisovan hominin on a human hand.
Max Planck researchers have described the Denisovan genome, illuminating the relationships between Denisovans and present-day humans.

The analyses of an international team of researchers led by Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, show that the genetic variation of Denisovans was extremely low, suggesting that although they were present in large parts of Asia, their population was never large for long periods of time. In addition, a comprehensive list documents the genetic changes that set apart modern humans from their archaic relatives. Some of these changes concern genes that are associated with brain function or nervous system development.

In 2010 Svante Pääbo and his colleagues sequenced DNA that they isolated from a finger bone fragment discovered in the Denisova Cave in southern Siberia. They found that it belonged to a young girl of a previously unknown group of archaic humans that they called "Denisovans." Thanks to a novel technique which splits the DNA double helix so that each of its two strands can be used for sequencing, the team was able to sequence every position in the Denisovan genome about 30 times over. The thus generated genome sequence shows a quality similar to genomes that have been determined from present-day humans.

In a new study, which is published in this week's issue of the journal Science, Svante Pääbo and his colleagues compare the Denisovan genome with those of the Neandertals and eleven modern humans from around the world. Their findings confirm a previous study according to which modern populations from the islands of southeastern Asia share genes with the Denisovans. In addition, the genomes of people from East Asia, and South America include slightly more genes from Neandertals than those of people in Europe: "The excess archaic material in East Asia is more closely related to Neandertals than to Denisovans, so we estimate that the proportion of Neandertal ancestry in Europe is lower than in eastern Asia," the Leipzig researchers report.

"This is an extinct genome sequence of unprecedented accuracy," says Matthias Meyer, the lead author of the study. "For most of the genome we can even determine the differences between the two sets of chromosomes that the Deniosovan girl inherited from her mother and father." From this the researchers can tell that genetic variation of the Denisovans was lower than in present-day humans. This is likely due to that an initially small Denisovan population that grew quickly while spreading over a wide geographic range. "If future research of the Neandertal genome shows that their population size changed over time in similar ways, it may well be that a single population expanding out of Africa gave rise to both the Denisovans and the Neandertals," says Svante Pääbo, who led the study.
Info

Dating of New Zealand Wreck Suggests Visitors Pre-Dated Cook

Ancient Shipwreck
© Ripiro Beach
One of many shipwrecks along the Kaipara Coast
While speculation may still remain as to the identity of a shipwreck found 30 years ago by locals at Pouto Point, near Dargaville, recent radio carbon dating of wood reveals it is New Zealand's oldest shipwreck.

The preliminary findings suggest the ill-fated ship sank around 1705, pre-dating Captain Cook's voyages by some 65 years .

Speaking at the Dargaville Museum this week, dendrochronologist, Dr Jonathan Palmer cautioned that his findings required further work before his research could be confirmed and published.

The wreck was discovered in 1982 by a local team led by Kaipara shipwreck explorer Noel Hilliam. A portion of a cross-member and rib was salvaged by the team, before the wreck was lost back to the sea under 30 metres of sand.

The wood (complete with iron nails) has been confirmed as teak (tectona grandis) and crepe myrtle (lagerstromei spp), both tropical woods, likely used for refitting at either Genoa or Java.

Dr Palmer said carbon-dating varied due to radio carbon fluctuations in the atmosphere at any given time.

However, when combined with tree ring sequencing (which gives a better idea of the dates), a series of radio carbon dating on each wood over 10-year periods, the calibration of wiggle matches of the carbon dating, the time allowed for sapwood to be removed and building and rebuilding of the ship, dates become more definitive.

He said the evidence highlighted the possibility of the area being frequented earlier than previously thought.
Magnify

Rare Find: Feathered Dinosaur Feasted On Flying Food

© Xing et al
Holotype of Sinocalliopteryx gigas.
University of Alberta researchers found evidence that a feathered, but flightless dinosaur was able to snag and consume small flying dinosaurs.

The U of A paleontology team found the fossilized remains of three flying dinosaurs in the belly of a raptor-like predator called Sinocalliopteryx. Sinocalliopteryx was about two meters in length and roughly the size of a modern-day wolf.

Sinocalliopteryx's flying meals were three Confuciusornis. Confuciusornis was one of the earliest birds and had a crude version of a modern bird's skeleton and muscles. The researchers say such primitive birds were probably limited to slow take-offs and short flights.

According to the researchers, this is the first time a predator has been linked to the killing of multiple flying dinosaurs.

Scott Persons, a U of A paleontology student and research coauthor, says Sinocalliopteryx may have used stealth to stock the flyers. "Sinocalliopteryx didn't have wings or the physical tools needed to be an adept tree climber," said Persons.

Persons explains Sinocalliopteryx had feathers or hair-like fuzz covering its body creating a level of insulation that helped maintain a warm body temperature and high metabolism that required a lot of food to fuel.
Bomb

German Authorities Detonate 550-Pound WWII Bomb In Munich

Explosives experts in Germany have detonated the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich. The dapd news agency cited a police spokesman as saying the bomb was successfully destroyed Tuesday evening. Still, burning debris caused fires in several nearby buildings that had been evacuated after the bomb was discovered Monday in the Schwabing district.

Efforts to defuse the bomb failed and experts decided to pack it with explosives and detonate it rather than risk an uncontrolled explosion. Allied airplanes dropped millions of tons of ordnance on Germany during World War II in an effort to cripple the Nazi war machine. Tens of thousands of unexploded bombs are believed still to be lying in the ground in Germany.
© AP Photo/dapd, Simon Aschenbrenner
This combination photo taken from a video shows the controlled detonation of the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. Efforts to defuse the bomb failed and experts decided to pack it with explosives and detonate it rather than risk an uncontrolled explosion.
Info

Archeologists Find Rare Stone Age Figures

Ancient Ram
© Yael Yolovitch, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
This limestone figurine of a ram, found in Israel, is about 9,500 years old.
The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) said archaeologists have uncovered two 9,500-year-old animal figurines in excavations just outside of Jerusalem.

Found at the Tel Moza site, one of the Neolithic figures is a limestone ram with precisely carved spiral horns. The other is a more abstract sculpture of a wild bovine fashioned from dolomite, according to the IAA. Both are about 6 inches (15 centimeters) long.

The figurines were found near the remains of an ancient, round building, dating back to a dynamic time in the region's history when humans were transitioning from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to one of farming and settling in villages.

The animal figurines then may have been associated with the process of animal domestication, an IAA statement said, though one excavator at the site, Hamoudi Khalaily, believes they may have been "good-luck statues" to ensure hunting success.

Excavations at Tel Moza are taking place ahead of the expansion of Highway 1, the main road connecting Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Arrow Up

Slavery Is Detroit's Big, Bad Secret. Why Don't We Know Anything About It?

Campau
© Deadline Detroit
Joseph Campau was one of many wealthy Detroiters who owned slaves during the city's first 120 years.
Metro Detroiters love to celebrate their local history, especially when it involves the noble, magnificent and world-class chapters of the past: The auto industry. Motown Records. The Underground Railroad. Diego Rivera. Coney Islands.

On the other hand, local history has its crazy uncles. Those are chapters that are fascinating and important, yet rarely discussed, hidden in the back room. Henry Ford's anti-Semitism, the Free Press' 19th Century racism and the auto companies' early abuse of workers come to mind.

Then there is the granddaddy of all forgotten local history. The subject no one talks about, virtually ever. The most overlooked topic of them all.

Slavery.

Slavery in Detroit has remained an enormous secret. It is an essential chapter in Detroit's 311-year story, but it has been pushed back into archives and covered up by decades of neglect and denial. Few people, even well-informed college graduates, know anything about it. Yet slavery is a phenomenon that played a key role in the growth of Detroit, and it lasted about 120 years, more than a third of Detroit's existence.

When metro Detroiters talk about slavery, they talk about black men and women picking cotton in Georgia and Mississippi because that is what students in southeastern Michigan learn in school.

Yet slavery is very much homegrown. What has been called the "national sin" is also Detroit's sin. It is the origin of our racial crisis, our peculiar institution, our "necessary evil." Slavery belongs to Detroit just like slavery belongs to Charleston, Monticello and New Orleans.

Many roads, schools and communities across southeast Michigan carry the names of old, prominent families that owned slaves: Macomb, Campau; Beaubien; McDougall; Abbott; Brush; Cass; Hamtramck; Gouin; Meldrum; Dequindre; Beaufait; Groesbeck; Livernois and Rivard, among many others.

Detroit's first mayor, John R. Williams, the namesake of two streets in Detroit - John R and Williams - owned slaves. The Catholic Church in Detroit was heavily involved in slavery - priests owned slaves and baptized them, and at least one slave worked on the construction of Ste. Anne's Church around 1800. The men who funded the founding of the Free Press in 1831 were ex-slave owners, and the paper supported slavery during the national debate before the Civil War.

The work of slaves was a key to Detroit's growth. And just like in the South, slavery in Detroit was reinforced by violence. Slaves worked without any pay for their entire lives, under threat of the lash and death.

Owners used their power over slaves to steal their labor and enrich themselves. Slaves arrived in Detroit stripped of their identity, culture, family and often their name. They were frequently maimed from torture.

Slaves died, often young, and were buried in graveyards that were soon forgotten, and then paved over by later generations of Detroiters, and their bones remain underfoot in America's blackest big city, and their stories continue to be unknown in a region where race always has been a consuming issue.
Magnify

Mexican archaeologists excavate 850-yr-old human skeleton

Washington: Human skeletons estimated to be about 850-years-old have been found by a group of excavators at an archaeological site in Mexico.

The skeletons were found at an archaeological site at Sierra Gorda in the central state of Queretaro during consolidation work of a pre-Hispanic structure - Building 17 of Huastec complex.

Jorge Quiroz, head of the excavation project, said the skeletons can be as old as 1150 DC, about two centuries after Tancama had been vacated by pre-historic locals.

"People who already lived in other places, came back to this city to deposit their dead in some of its structures (necropolis). This hypothesis might only be corroborated with further studies," Quiroz was quoted saying by Artdaily.
Magic Wand

English language is descended from ancient Turkey, experts claim

English is descended from a language that emerged in Turkey 8,000 and 9,500 years ago, new research suggests.

Scientists traced the origin of languages classed as Indo-European to Anatolia, an ancient region of western Asia which covers most of modern Turkey.

English is part of the Indo-European language family, which includes more than 400 languages and dialects such as German, French, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Persian, Hindi and ancient Greek.

© Unknown
Birthplace of the English language: Anatolia is the historical name for the most western part of Asia - roughly two-thirds of western modern-day Turkey
It is believed that these languages evolved from a common ancestor.

Experts think Indo-European languages spread out from the Middle East along with agriculture.

Scientists led by Remco Bouckaert, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, traced the origins of Indo-European languages using a method borrowed from evolutionary biologists.

Instead of comparing DNA from different species, the researchers looked at 'cognates' - which are words with a common origin.
Info

Ancient Poem Praises Murderous Roman Emperor Nero

Papyrus
© Image courtesy Egypt Exploration Society
The back of the newly deciphered papyrus. It wasn't unusual in the ancient world for texts to be written on both sides.
A just-deciphered ancient Greek poem discovered in Egypt, deifies Poppaea Sabina, the wife of the infamous Roman emperor Nero, showing her ascending to the stars.

Based on the lettering styles and other factors, scholars think the poem was written nearly 200 years after Nero died (about 1,800 years ago), leaving them puzzled as to why someone so far away from Rome, would bother composing or copying it at such a late date.

In the poem, Poppaea ascends to heaven and becomes a goddess. The ancient goddess Aphrodite says to Poppaea, "my child, stop crying and hurry up: with all their heart Zeus' stars welcome you and establish you on the moon..."

Nero was one of the most infamous rulers who ever lived. Ancient writers say that he killed his own mother, Agrippina, and his first wife Octavia.

He is also said to have killed Poppaea herself with a kick to her stomach while she was pregnant. If that wasn't enough, the well-known line - "Nero fiddles while Rome burns" - is an apocryphal phrase related to a great fire that ravaged Rome for six days during his reign.

Poppaea herself is also depicted in a less-than-positive light by ancient writers. When Octavia was killed, Poppaea was said to have been presented with her head. Some sources also speculate that she was the power behind the throne that encouraged Nero to murder his mother.
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