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8,000 years old fluted stone tools discovered in Arabia

Manayzah Site
© Joy McCorriston, OSU
Manayzah Rockshelter during excavation.
A new paper published in the journal PLOS ONE examines fluted projectile points from southern Arabia, detailing production methods and technical aspects that indicate differences in function from the technology of the Americas, despite similarities in form. Findings from experimentation and comparative analysis suggest that highly-skilled, convergent technologies can have varying anthropological implications.

A new study led by archaeologists from the CNRS, the Inrap, the Ohio State University and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, reports on fluted points from the archaeological sites of Manayzah in Yemen and Ad-Dahariz in Oman. Fluted stone tools are a distinctive, technologically advanced form of projectile points, including spearheads and arrowheads. Fluting is a specific technique that involves the extraction of an elongated flake along the length of a projectile point, leaving a distinctive groove or depression at the base of the spearhead or arrowhead.

Fluting is a distinct technological tradition invented by early human cultures that spread across the Americas. Fluted point technology is very well known in North America, evidenced by finds across the continent dating from 13,000 to 10,000 years ago. As lead author Dr. Rémy Crassard of the CNRS notes, "Until the early 2000s, these fluted points were unknown elsewhere on the planet. When the first isolated examples of these objects were recognized in Yemen, and more recently in Oman, we recognized that there could be huge implications."

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Nested 'DNA' of ancestor that mated with humans discovered

Unidentified Ancestor
© Shutterstock
An unidentified ancestor that interbred with humans may have been Homo erectus (skull shown here).
Today's humans carry the genes of an ancient, unknown ancestor, left there by hominin species intermingling perhaps a million years ago.

The ancestor may have been Homo erectus, but no one knows for sure — the genome of that extinct species of human has never been sequenced, said Adam Siepel, a computational biologist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and one of the authors of a new paper examining the relationships of ancient human ancestors.

The new research, published today (Aug. 6) in the journal PLOS Genetics, also finds that ancient humans mated with Neanderthals between 200,000 and 300,000 years ago, well before the more recent, and better-known mixing of the two species occurred, after Homo sapiens migrated in large numbers out of Africa and into Europe 50,000 years ago. Thanks to this ancient mixing event, Neanderthals actually owe between 3% and 7% of their genomes to ancient Homo sapiens, the researchers reported.

"Our best conjecture is that an early group of anatomically modern humans left Africa then encountered and interbred with Neandertals, perhaps in the Middle East," Siepel told Live Science. "This lineage [of humans] would then have been lost — either gone extinct, or absorbed by the Neandertals, or migrated back to Africa."

Whistle

Lithuania's alleged involvement in 2014 Ukraine Maidan coup

Maidan statue
© DELFI Š.Černiausko nuotr/KJN
Maidan memorial
New scandalous information about the 2014 Maidan coup d'état in Ukraine has emerged that implicates Lithuania's important role in instigating the violent events. David Zhvania, a former Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, revealed on his YouTube channel that the seizure of power in Ukraine was financed in "several ways."

"One of the external sources was the Lithuanian embassy, ​​through which money and weapons were transferred, and the internal channel was Diamantbank. I have documented evidence to support my words," said the former ally of Petro Poroshenko, the previous president of Ukraine.

Zhvania called on Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova to initiate criminal proceedings and to summon him for questioning. According to the former MP, "Ukrainians should finally find out the truth" on who funded Maidan and who was bribed. He then admitted he was a member of a "criminal group that carried out a coup." "To help the conspirators, I used my political influence and my position as head of the State-Building Committee," he said, adding that he would testify against himself, "but with one condition. Please guarantee my security because I know who the people of Poroshenko are. They can easily order me to be removed."

Comment: The horror that was Maidan had many factions propelling its pulse - the least of which may have been the 'struggle by the people for freedom and democracy'.


Boat

Lost Viking waterway found in Orkney revealing Norse impact on local economy

Orkney
© St Andrews University.
The lost Viking waterway likely connected farms on Orkney Mainland to the power bases of the Norse earls on the north west coast at Birsay.
The route was discovered after a series of Old Norse place names in the centre of the mainland, which were connected to sea and boats despite being many miles from the sea, attracted interest from researchers.

Now it is believed that Vikings were using a route from Harray in the central mainland through the Loch of Banks to a portage at Twatt before reaching the Loch of Boardhouse and ultimately the coastal powerbases of the Norse Earls at the Brough of Birsay, a tidal island off the very tip of the north west coast.

The waterway network would have provided a shallow route through which the Vikings were able to haul both their boats and heavy goods, such as grain.

Comment: See also:


Bomb

Atomic bombings at 75: John Pilger says another Hiroshima is coming - unless we stop it now

NY Times article Hiroshima
© New York Times
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of premeditated mass murder unleashing a weapon of intrinsic criminality. It was justified by lies that form the bedrock of 21st century U.S. war propaganda, casting a new enemy, and target - China.

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and her silhouette were burned into the granite.

I stared at the shadow for an hour or more, then I walked down to the river where the survivors still lived in shanties. I met a man called Yukio, whose chest was etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He described a huge flash over the city, "a bluish light, something like an electrical short", after which wind blew like a tornado and black rain fell.
"I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no skin or hair. I was certain I was dead."
Nine years later, I returned to look for him and he was dead from leukemia.

Target

America's 'Days of Rage': A look into the extensive left-wing bombings & domestic terrorism of the 1970s

The Weathermen
© David Fenton—Getty Images
Leaders of the radical American student group the Weathermen, (left to right) Jim Mellen, Peter Clapp, John Jacobs, Bill Ayers, and Terry Robbins, march in 1969 at the van of a group of demonstrators during the 'Days of Rage' actions organized by the Weathermen to protest the trial of the Chicago Seven and 'to bring the war home.'
As the summer of 2020 dawned, left-wing radical groups began rioting and taking over parts of America's cities. While this specific form of left-wing violence is new, left-wing violence itself is far from new in the United States. Indeed, one of the most hidden and concealed parts of recent American history is the extensive left-wing violence that began in the late 1960s and continued into the 1980s.

At first, one might think that these were isolated incidents of small-scale "protest" or even minor violence. However, upon even brief examination, we find out that the outpouring of leftist violence over this time period was anything but minor. The most likely explanation for why you have never heard of this until now is that the events of these years have been consciously buried by those who would prefer you not know about them.

As the left once again ratchets up both its rhetoric and its physical violence, it's time to re-explore this period of American history. What started as a non-violent student movement quickly escalated into a campaign of terrorism against the American people. And while the similarities may not be terribly striking yet, astute readers of this article will quickly see the world in which we live more and more closely resembling the Days of Rage.

Info

Figurines found at ancient dig site may depict face of God, says Israeli archeologist

Hebrew God
© CLARA AMIT, ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY
Figurines allegedly depicting the face of the Hebrew God.
The professor studying the figures believes they may have been used at pilgrimage centers to form a kind of metaphysical connection between God and Man, "a contact between earth and heaven, the core of the religious experience."

Dr. Yosef Garfinkel, a veteran archeologist from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has proposed a fascinating theory which suggests that a series of three small clay figurines recently discovered at the archeological sites of Khirbet Qeiyafa and Moza, and two similar antiquities previously put on display at the Israel Museum, may in fact be depictions of Yahweh, the God of the Israelites written about in the Hebrew Bible.

In an article in the Biblical Archeology Review published on Friday, Dr. Garfinkel specified that the figures, believed to have been created between the tenth and ninth centuries BCE, a thousand years before the birth of Christ, may have served as representations of God in religious ceremonies.
"During our excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, only one figure was found in the early tenth-century BCE fortified city...Made of clay, the figurine's surviving head measures about 2 inches in height....With a flat top, the head has protruding eyes, ears, and a nose," the academic wrote.
Three of the five figures are said to represent a rider on a horse, with two horse figurines found near the mysterious heads at the Moza site. Garfinkel pointed out that the concept of God riding on horseback is mentioned repeatedly in the Biblical scriptures of Deuteronomy, Kings, Psalms, and Isaiah, and in the Ugaritic texts discovered in Syria and written between the 13th and 12th centuries BCE. "The Canaanite god Baal is described as rkb 'rpt, 'rider of the clouds', 16 times in various Ugaritic texts," the scholar pointed out.

Solar Flares

The Solar Minimum superstorm of 1903

A photo of the sun on Oct. 31, 1903, from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich

Above: A photo of the sun on Oct. 31, 1903, from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. [ref]
Don't let Solar Minimum fool you. The sun can throw a major tantrum even during the quiet phase of the 11-year solar cycle. That's the conclusion of a new study published in the July 1st edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"In late October 1903, one of the strongest solar storms in modern history hit Earth," say the lead authors of the study, Hisashi Hayakawa (Osaka University, Japan) and Paulo Ribeiro (Coimbra University, Portugal). "The timing of the storm interestingly parallels where we are now-near Solar Minimum just after a weak solar cycle."

The 1903 event wasn't always recognized as a great storm. Hayakawa and colleagues took an interest in it because of what happened when the storm hit. In magnetic observatories around the world, pens scrabbling across paper chart recorders literally flew offscale, overwhelmed by the disturbance. That's the kind of thing superstorms do.

So, the researchers began to scour historical records for clues, and they found four magnetic observatories in Portugal, India, Mexico and China where the readings were whole. Using those data they calculated the size of the storm.

Comment: See also:


Colosseum

Pompeii's recent finds reveal new clues to city's destruction

pompeii
© ESTUDI LLIMÓS
The excavation of Region V, wedged between Via del Vesuvio and Via di Nola and covering an area of roughly half an acre, led to the discovery of an upscale housing district with extraordinary frescoes and artifacts. The west side of Region V, from Via del Vesuvio to Alley of the Balconies, can now be seen by the public. Future excavations will focus on Region VIII, a determination made by a pressing need for safety and conservation work.
Since its discovery several centuries ago, few archaeological sites have fascinated the world as has the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. After the first major excavations in more than 50 years, Pompeii is revealing a surprising abundance of buried treasures. The new finds are coming from intensive work in a small sector known as Region V that has nevertheless yielded giant insights into the final days of the doomed city.

Along with the complete excavation of two houses — the House of the Garden and the House of Orion — the dig has yielded frescoes, murals, and mosaics of mythological figures in gorgeous colours, skeletons with stories still to be unravelled, coins, amulets, and show horses in the stable of a wealthy landowner.

The new finds are also sparking debate about Pompeii's tragic story. Just before Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79 and buried the city under a mantle of ash and rock, a local worker scrawled an inscription on a wall. Along with a joke (roughly translated as "he ate too much"), he wrote the date: October 17. The discovery of this inscription may confirm the view that the eruption took place in October, and not August, as some scholars maintain.

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Archaeology

Mexico cave with evidence of early humans closed to visitors to prevent DNA contamination

Chiquihuite Cave early humans north america mexico
© Thomas L.C. Gibson
Located in the mountains, Chiquihuite Cave is unusually high compared to other archaeological sites in the Americas
Tourists or locals visiting a cave in north-central Mexico could endanger what is purported to be some of the earliest evidence of human presence in North America, archaeological authorities said Thursday.

Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said the remote Chiquihuite cave in Zacatecas state has been declared off-limits to visitors.

Scientists "are looking for the DNA of ancient humans in the sediments (of the cave floor), thus human presence could contaminate strata that has been preserved intact for thousands of years," the institute said.