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Wed, 06 Dec 2023
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A 3,400-year-old pyramid from the Scythian-Saka period found in Kazakhstan

Kazak Pyramid
© Dr. Aibar Kassenali
A pyramid belonging to the Scythian-Saka period was found in the Karaganda region of Kazakhstan.

Experts announced that the Karajartas mausoleum belongs to a ruler from the Begazı Dandibay period, which was the last phase of the Andronovo period.

The pyramid, which was excavated over the course of four excavation seasons by archaeologists from Karaganda University, is situated atop a hill overlooking the Taldy River in the Shet district of Karaganda.

From the National Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Dr. Aibar Kassenali made the first evaluation of the discovered pyramid to TRT Haber.

Dr. Aibar Kassenali announced that according to the results of carbon 14 analyses carried out on the finds, the pyramid structure was dated between the 14th and 12th centuries before Christ (BC).

Dr. Kassenali explains the meaning of this dating: "The presence of multiple pyramidal stepped mausoleums detected in the region shows that the Taldı River valley, located in the Sari Arka steppes, was used by the Andronovo communities in the Bronze Age as the valley of kings where their great leaders were buried, like the Nile Valley in Egypt. " he explained with his words.

Dr Aibar Kassenali said that when the findings in the burial chamber were examined, the steppe pyramid may have been built on behalf of a local ruler who ruled the Kazakh steppes during the Andronovo period.

Dr. Aibar Kassenali said, "Looking at the cut stones found in the pyramid, the size of the mausoleum, and the fact that such a huge structure was built in the Bronze Age in a very arid region such as the steppe is an indication of the high understanding of art and rich spiritual beliefs that the Begazi Dandibay communities have reached."

Blue Planet

Nutrient-rich seaweed was staple of European diet for thousands of years, study of dental plaque reveals

© Karen Hardy
Some of the remains used in the study were found at Isbister Chambered Cairn, a 5,000-year-old tomb, located in South Ronaldsay, Orkney, Scotland.
Virtually absent from most present-day Western diets, seaweed and aquatic plants were once a staple food for ancient Europeans, an analysis of molecules preserved in fossilized dental plaque has found.

Evidence for this hitherto hidden taste for the nutrient-rich plants and algae was hard to detect in the archaeological record, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications. Previously when researchers uncovered evidence of seaweed, they explained its presence as a fuel, food wrapping or fertilizer.

Prior research had suggested that the introduction of farming, starting from around 8,000 years ago, prompted ancient humans to largely stop eating seaweed. In Europe, by the 18th century, seaweed was regarded as a famine food or only suitable for animal feed.

Comment: And the poor health of people in the 18th century perhaps reflected this loss of knowledge.

Comment: See also:

Blue Planet

Rare 2,100-year-old gold coin bears name of obscure ruler from pre-Roman Britain

pre-roman coin britain
© Spink
This rare gold coin was minted in the time between Julius Caesar's unsuccessful invasions and Roman emperor Claudius' successful invasion of Britain.
A gold coin minted by a little-known ruler in ancient Britain — an Iron Age man who said he was as "mighty" as a god — has been found by a metal detectorist and auctioned off in England.

The rare coin was discovered in March 2023 in Hampshire county and was auctioned Sept. 28 for 20,400 British pounds ($24,720), Spink auction house said in a series of statements.

A Latin alphabetic inscription on the coin bears the name "Esunertos," which can be translated as "mighty as the god Esos," (also spelled Esus) the statements said. The name itself is Gaulish, a language commonly spoken in the region at the time, John Sills, an archaeologist at the University of Oxford's Institute of Archaeology who examined the coin before it was auctioned, told Live Science in an email.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Who was Jesus? Examining the evidence that Christ may in fact have been Caesar!


Archaeologists discover 7,000-year-old tiger shark-tooth knives in Indonesia

Ancient Shark Tooth
© M.C. Langley
Scratches and a ground section on the tip of a shark tooth indicate its use by people 7,000 years ago.
Excavations on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi have yielded an incredible find: two tiger shark teeth that were fashioned into knives and are thought to be approximately 7,000 years old.

Because it offers some of the earliest evidence of shark teeth being used in composite weapons worldwide, this discovery is significant. Until now, the oldest such shark-tooth blades found were less than 5,000 years old.

Attributed to the enigmatic Toalean culture, these blades hint at rituals and warfare from an era before Neolithic farmers reached Indonesia.

These weapons, as reported in the journal Antiquity, are not just older but more advanced than any previously discovered shark-tooth blades, which were at least 2,000 years their junior.

Using a combination of scientific analysis, experimental reproduction, and insights from modern human societies, the Australian and Indonesian scientists deduced that these teeth had been attached to handles, transforming them into blades. They were most likely used during rituals or battles.

Both of these shark teeth artifacts are attributed to the Toalean culture, a group that inhabited southwestern Sulawesi for several millennia. These enigmatic hunter-gatherers inhabited the island before Neolithic farmers from mainland Asia ("Austronesians") spread into Indonesia around 3,500 years ago.


Ancient rock carvings revealed by receding Amazon river waters re-emerge amid drought

rock carvings amazon drought emerge
© Suamy Bedoun/Reuters
Ancient stone carvings on a rocky point of the Amazon river that were exposed after water levels dropped to record lows near Manaus, Brazil
Human faces and other figures believed to be up to 2,000 years old exposed as Brazil river level hits record low

Human faces and other figures etched in stone up to 2,000 years ago have been revealed on Amazon riverbanks as a historic drought in the Brazilian region has brought water levels to unprecedented lows.

The petroglyphs, which include animals and other natural forms, have been revealed on the shores of the Rio Negro, at an archeological site known as the Ponto das Lajes, or Place of Slabs.

Researchers estimate the markings to be between 1,000 and 2,000 years old.

The carvings had previously been sighted during a severe drought in 2010, when the Rio Negro's water levels dropped to 13.63 metres, then an all-time low.

Better Earth

Climate change impacted human population numbers in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, study suggests

bronze age mound
© Johannes Müller, CC-BY 4.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
The Schneiderberg near Baalberge (Saxony-Anhalt, Germany) is a burial mound built in the Neolithic period which was enlarged several times. One extension took place around 2000 BCE and contained a strikingly richly furnished burial. It is one of a whole series of burials of this kind in the region around the Harz Mountains, dating from a period of unfavorable climatic conditions. The linking of data on demographic development with regional climate data and actual archaeological finds in the study provides new insights into the interconnectedness of climate fluctuations and social changes in Central Europe between 5,500 and 3,500 years ago.
Human populations in Neolithic Europe fluctuated with changing climates, according to a study published October 25, 2023 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Ralph Großmann of Kiel University, Germany and colleagues.

The archaeological record is a valuable resource for exploring the relationship between humans and the environment, particularly how each is affected by the other. In this study, researchers examined Central European regions rich in archaeological remains and geologic sources of climate data, using these resources to identify correlations between human population trends and climate change.

The three regions examined are the Circumharz region of central Germany, the Czech Republic/Lower Austria region, and the Northern Alpine Foreland of southern Germany.

Comment: For more on the global cooling that's occurring, see: Also check out SOTT radio's:


When did humans start burying their dead?

Ancient caves mark the beginning of recorded burial rituals, but there's still so much we don't know about the history of human graves.
Paleolithic ritual burial in France.
© CM Dixon/Print Collector/Getty Images
An example of a Paleolithic ritual burial in France.
Many cultures around the world choose to honor deceased loved ones through burial. The ceremonies that accompany this ritual are steeped in history and tradition and can vary from culture to culture. But when was the first human burial?

There's no definitive answer because not all burial sites are preserved, let alone discovered and studied. But the earliest evidence so far points to the Middle Paleolithic (around 300,000 to 30,000 years ago).

"By at least 120,000 years ago we have what we believe are deliberately buried human bodies," Mary Stiner, a professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, told Live Science.

Stiner doesn't rule out the potential for older burials to exist but said the most convincing early examples for modern humans (Homo sapiens) burying their dead come from the Middle Paleolithic. Some controversial research has suggested that extinct human relatives buried their dead around 300,000 years ago in what is now South Africa, but this is disputed in the scientific community.

The earliest known anatomically modern human burials from 120,000 years ago are in caves such as Qafzeh Cave in what is now Israel. There's also evidence of Neanderthal burials in the same caves dating to 115,000 years ago, according to The Australian Museum. Stiner noted that people used caves a lot during the Middle Paleolithic — living, eating and socializing in them.

Blue Planet

Oxford was murder capital of late medieval England, and students were to blame

medieval murder
© British Library
Detail of a 14th century medieval miniature of Cain killing Abel.
Oxford today is known as a place of learning and elite scholarship. Several hundred years ago, the university town had something of a darker reputation.

A deep dive into historical documents reveals that during the late medieval period in the 14th century CE, Oxford had a per capita murder rate four to five times higher than other high-population hubs like York and London.

And the reason? Bloody students.

Like, quite literally. Newly translated documents list 75 percent of the perpetrators of murders with known background as "clericus", a term most commonly used to describe students or members of the then-recently founded University of Oxford. And 72 percent of the victims were also classed as clericus.

Comment: It's notable that these students would probably have also been considered to be members of the upper class:

Blue Planet

Neanderthals might not be the separate species we always thought, study claims

© Eunostos/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
A Neanderthal skull.
Stoop-backed, heavy-browed, communicating in ape-like grunts, impressions of the Neanderthal as a simple-minded brute a few steps below modern humans on the evolutionary ladder have endured since their discovery in the mid-19th century.

In spite of the myriad of findings detailing their genetic and cultural similarities, our long-extinct 'cousins' are still all too often exiled into their own species, Homo neanderthalensis.

That categorization is due for a change, according to a team of researchers who have spent the past twenty years digging through layers of dust and grit in the central Portuguese cave site of Gruta da Oliveira.

"More than different species, I would speak of different human forms," says University of Trento archaeologist Diego Angelucci, the lead author of a recent study summarizing decades of research on what was home to families of Neanderthal more than 71,000 years ago.

Comment: One aspect has yet to be disputed is how Neanderthal's lifestyle and tool usage remained relatively static over vast stretches of time, and some of these creative practises may have originated with humans, whom they emulated, which, taken together, reflects on their relative lack of ingenuity when compared to humans. By comparison, the evolution of human's tool technology evolved much more quickly: The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction

It seems that this attempt to equate' Neanderthals with humans seems to have its origins more in the woke ideology that has infected academia, than in the evidence itself. Woke ideology wants to promote ideas where everyone and everything is equal, nothing is superior, and everything is subjective.

Other studies haven't escaped this same bent, such as the recent claim that that, throughout history women hunt in majority of foraging societies, and use a greater variety of weapons and tactics as men, except the archaeological data doesn't support this claim, nor do the practises of current foraging cultures.

Blue Planet

'A Neolithic feat of engineering': Orkney dig reveals ruins of huge tomb with 14 skeletons

© National Museums Scotland
Fourteen skeletons were found in one of six rooms surrounding the main chamber at the site. Clues unearthed more than 100 years ago inspired archeologists to locate the 5,000-year-old site.
The ruins of a 5,000-year-old tomb in a construction that reflects the pinnacle of neolithic engineering in northern Britain has been unearthed in Orkney.

Fourteen articulated skeletons of men, women and children - two positioned as if they were embracing - have been found inside one of six cells or side rooms.

The tomb measures more than 15m in diameter and contains a stone structure accessed through a long passage of around seven metres. The excavation was headed by Dr Hugo Anderson-Whymark, senior curator of prehistory (neolithic) at the National Museums Scotland, and Vicki Cummings, professor of neolithic archaeology at Cardiff University.

Comment: See also: