Secret HistoryS

Cow Skull

US: Today in Arizona History - Feb 17th

© Unknown
Thursday, Feb. 17

On this date in 1865, William Wrightson, who brought the first printing press to Arizona, was killed by Apaches in the Santa Rita mountains. Mount Wrightson is named for him.

On this date in 1908, Mrs. Ellen Lynn was appointed as the first woman mail carrier in Tucson. Lynn covered Rural Route 1, which circled the entire town of Tucson, in a horse and buggy.
On this date in 1909, Geronimo died at Fort Sill, Okla.

On this date 1913, a prehistoric graveyard was unearthed along Sycamore Creek near Prescott containing the skeletons of people who appeared to have been at least 8 feet tall.


China: 3000-Year-Old Tomb Group Found in Xinjiang

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
© WikipediaXinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

The Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology reported on Feb. 14 that it discovered an ancient tomb group covering an area of more than 10,000 square meters 100 kilometers south of Hami City in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. This is the first time that a tomb group dating back 3,000 years has been found in Hami region.

Chinanews reported that the tombs group has a large scale and a dense distribution. It was also the first time that a tomb with a sacrificial altar was found in the Xinjiang region. Most burial objects were made of pottery and wood, but some objects made from stones, bones, horns, bronze and iron were also found here.

The director of Hami's Cultural Relics Bureau said archaeologists had already excavated more than 150 ancient tombs in the last two months.


Skull-Cups Found in a British Cave Conjure an Ancient Rite

© Natural History Museum of LondonA skull-cup found in Gough’s Cave in Somerset, England.

The three human braincases, two from adults and one from a child, were carefully skinned and cleaned with flint tools. The soft tissue was removed and probably consumed, leaving a well-shaped cup, perhaps made for use in some sort of ritual.

This is not a scene from a horror movie. British paleoanthropologists report their discovery of these skull-cups in the current issue of the journal PLoS One. The 14,700-year-old cups were found in Gough's Cave in Somerset, England, and are the oldest directly dated skull-cups known, based on radiocarbon analysis.

"It shows, really, how skilled these people were in shaping the skull, and also the fact that it was a very complex ritual," said Silvia Bello, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London and the study's lead author.


Humans Living in East Africa 200,000 Years Ago Were as Complex in their Behavior as Humans Living Today

© Unknown
In a paper recently published in Current Anthropology, SBU Professor John Shea disproves the myth that the earliest humans were significantly different from us. The idea that human evolution follows a progressive trajectory is one of the most deeply-entrenched assumptions about Homo sapiens evolution. In fact, archaeologists have long believed that modern human behaviors emerged tens of thousands of years after our species first evolved. And while scientists disagreed over whether the process was gradual or quick, they have agreed that Homo sapiens once lived who were very different from us.


Olmec Sculpture Uncovered in Mexico

Olmec Statue_1
© Past HorizonsMap showing the location of Ojo de Agua, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

The main character in the sculpted relief of a newly discovered stone monument has one arm raised and a determined scowl, but John Hodgson, a University of Wisconsin-Madison archaeologist feels that we may never know who he was or indeed, the true meaning of the sculpture in its entirety.

The stone monument was discovered in 2009 at a site called Ojo de Agua in the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico, and is described in the cover article of the current issue (December 2010) of Mexicon.

Monument 3 is the second sculpted relief to be found in Ojo de Agua. Monument 1 was discovered by accident when a local farmer hit it with a plough in the 1960s and Monument 3 was a similarly fortuitous find, uncovered in the process of digging an irrigation ditch. (Monument 2 is a large boulder with a flat surface but with no visible carving, found by Hodgson in 2005).

Hodgson was fortunate to be working in the area and was told of the find just a few days after its discovery. Rushing to the site he was still able to see the impression of the carving in the sides of the trench and he could record the layers where it had been buried, gaining a wealth of information that is usually lost in chance discoveries such as this.
"Usually sculptures are first seen by archaeologists in private art collections and we normally have no good idea where they came from. The depictions of figures and the motifs change in form through time so you can get an approximate date by comparing styles," he said. "But we were able to date the new monument by where it was found to a narrow 100-year window, which is very rare."

Cow Skull

Introduction of the Agriculture: Northern hunters slowed down advance of Neolithic farmers

© Unknown
One of the most significant socioeconomic changes in the history of humanity took place around 10,000 years ago, when the Near East went from an economy based on hunting and gathering (Mesolithic) to another kind on agriculture (Neolithic). Farmers rapidly entered the Balkan Peninsula and then advanced gradually throughout the rest of Europe.

Various theories have been proposed over recent years to explain this process, and now physicists from the University of Girona (UdG) have for the first time presented a new model to explain how the Neolithic front slowed down as it moved towards the north of the continent. The study has been published in the New Journal of Physics.

"The model shows that the farmers' dispersal and reproduction was limited by the high density of hunter-gatherers in northern Europe", Neus Isern, a physicist at the UdG and lead author of the study, tells SINC.

By between 8,000 and 9,000 years ago, the first farmers from Asia were already cultivating land in what is now Greece, but in the areas today occupied by the United Kingdom, Denmark and Northern Germany this did not happen until around 3,000 years later. This can be seen from archaeological remains.


Jericho's Tower: World's first skyscraper sought to intimidate masses, promote agriculture?

© Travelujah
Constructed 11,000 years ago, Jericho tower was aimed at promoted the farming life, archeologists say.

The world's first skyscraper was built by early farmers, who were frightened into erecting a solar marker by mankind's early bosses, archaeologists say.

Long before its Biblical walls came tumbling down, Jericho's residents were being enticed to give up hunting and gathering and start farming for a living. They settled in this oasis next to the Jordan River and built a mysterious 8.5-meter (28-foot) stone tower on the edge of town.

When discovered by archaeologists in 1952, it was dated at over 11,000 years old, making it the first and oldest public building even found. But its purpose and the motivation for erecting it has been debated ever since.

Now, using computer technology, Israeli archaeologists are saying it was built to mark the summer solstice and as a symbol that would entice people to abandon their nomadic ways and settle down.

"The tower was constructed by a major building effort. People were working for a very long time and very hard. It was not like the other domestic buildings in Jericho," said Ran Barkai of the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, who was part of a team that did the computer analysis.

Comment: From the Superluminal Communication session dated 02 November, 1994:

Q: (L) Who were the original inhabitants of the city of Jericho?
A: Aramaic.
Q: (L) There was a stone tower at one of the lower levels, what was it built for?
A: Energy disbursement. Attempt to duplicate tower of Babel and Atlantean crystal towers.

Also read Origins of Agriculture - Did Civilization Arise to Deliver a Fix? to understand how introducing agriculture contributed to the gradual decline of our civilization.


Jewish ritual bath found in Baltimore may be oldest in U.S.

© Algerina Perna
Archaeologists peeling back layers of history beneath the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue in East Baltimore have uncovered what is believed to be the oldest Jewish ritual bath complex in the United States.

Hints of the presence of the 1845 bath, or "mikveh," were first detected during excavations in 2001. But further digging this winter has revealed about a quarter of a five-foot-deep wooden tub, and linked it to a related cistern found in 2008, and to remains of a brick hearth once used to warm the bath's water.

"The idea of a ritual bath complex helps fill out the history of Jewish religious practice in this country," said Avi Decter, executive director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, of which the old Lloyd Street Synagogue is now a part. "This is a very ancient practice, going back thousands of years."

The 1845 mikveh is just a few feet away from a pair of more modern, tile-lined baths, built and used by the Shomrei Misheres Orthodox congregation that used the building after 1905.


"Wildest Mammoth in the West" Found?

While researchers in northern Colorado dig up the bones of giant Ice Age mammoths (see gallery), others nearby in southeastern Utah are looking at a very different record of these extinct creatures.

High on a cliff overlooking the floodplain of the San Juan River, rock art specialists Ekkehart Malotki and Henry Wallace have examined several highly stylized images carved into the rock face including what they believe to be the first example of prehistoric Native American rock art to show a mammoth. While such images are common in the caves of Europe, they are surprisingly unknown in the New World.

© Ekkehart MalotkiThis image from 15 feet up a cliff face in southeastern Utah shows two overlapping engravings, including one interpreted by researchers as a mammoth.
To be sure, many other American mammoth images have surfaced in the past two centuries, but until recently all had either disappeared or been shown to be forgeries. In 2009 however a bone from Vero Beach, Florida surfaced with a detailed engraving of a mammoth, and several tests and expert opinions have so far supported its authenticity. Here too though, further tests are needed before a final verdict is reached. (Read more about the Vero Beach mammoth.)

Well aware of this history of promise and disappointment, Malotki and Wallace set out to verify this most recent find.


US: In Pacific Discovery, Traces of Nantucket and 'Moby-Dick'

Remains of an 1800s Nantucket whaling ship with a poignant tie to the book Moby-Dick have been discovered on a remote reef almost 600 miles northwest of Honolulu.

The Two Brothers is the first wrecked Nantucket whaler to be discovered, and the chance find illuminates an era when close to 150 whaling ships from this tiny island set out across the world's oceans in search of the lucrative oil extracted from blubber and left behind the near-extinction of many whale species.

While marine archeologists are ecstatic at the information they hope to glean from the coral-encrusted cooking pots and blubber hooks, the artifacts also complete the tale of a famously cursed captain: George Pollard Jr., who had commanded the Essex, the whaler from Nantucket that was sunk by an enraged sperm whale and inspired Herman Melville to write his classic novel.