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Cow Skull

300,000-year-old nearly complete elephant skeleton found in Germany

© Jordi Serangeli, Schöningen Research Station
Excavator Martin Kursch uncovers one foot of the elephant.
Elephants ranged over Schöningen in Lower Saxony 300,000 years ago. In recent years, remains of at least ten elephants have been found at the Palaeolithic sites situated on the edges of the former opencast lignite mine. Now, archaeologists from the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen, in cooperation with the Lower Saxony State Office for Heritage, have recovered for the first time in Schöningen an almost complete skeleton of a Eurasian straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus). The animal died on what was then the western lakeshore — what exactly happened and what the biotope surrounding the area was like 300,000 years ago is now being carefully reconstructed by the team. The preliminary study will be published in Archäologie in Deutschland and will be first presented at a press conference in Schöningen on Tuesday the 19th of May.

Björn Thümler, Minister of Science of Lower Saxony, says: "The former Schöningen open-cast mine is a first-rate archive of climatic change. This must be made even clearer in the future. This is a place where we can trace how humankind went from being a companion of nature to a designer of culture."

Comment: See also:


Tomb of jewelry-clad Iron Age 'princess' unearthed in France

iron age princess france
© INRAP/ Jean-Michel Treffort
An ancient tomb, dating back to the early Iron age, has been unearthed in France, revealing the resting place of an upper-class woman buried with a treasure trove of jewelry and other fancy trinkets.

Stumbled upon by accident during construction works at a burial site near Saint-Vulbas - some 32km (20 miles) from Lyon - one of the tombs contained remains of an evidently upper-crust woman who lived in the 8th century BC. She was found inside an oak coffin, carved from a log, along with other signs of her high status - perhaps royalty, even - according to researchers from the National Institute of Preventive Archaeology (INRAP).

"Inside the coffin, the deceased, a middle-aged woman, was laid on her back, arms beside her body, dressed and adorned with her jewelry," the institute said in a press release.

Comment: See also:


2,000-year-old underground rooms found by Jerusalem's Western Wall

Western wall jerusalem
© Yaniv Berman/Israel Antiquities Authority
Old City of Jerusalem's Western Wall, May 2020.
A singular two-millennia-old subterranean system of three rooms has been uncovered near the Western Wall. The three-room complex — painstakingly chiseled by hand out of bedrock prior to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE — is the first evidence of everyday life gone underground in the ancient city.

"This is a unique finding. This is the first time a subterranean system has been uncovered adjacent to the Western Wall," said Israel Antiquity Authority co-directors Dr. Barak Monnickendam-Givon and Tehila Sadiel in a press release Tuesday.

"You must understand that 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem, like today, it was customary to build out of stone [blocks]. The question is, why were such efforts and resources invested in hewing rooms underground in the hard bedrock?" said the archaeologists.


Double helix of masonry revealed as the secret of Italian renaissance domes

Santa Maria del Fiore
© Mark Boss on Unsplash
Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy, a World Heritage site, is the largest masonry dome standing today. Through computational methods, researchers from Princeton and the University of Bergamo have mathematically proven the structural physics at work in domes of this type.
What can modern engineering learn from an erstwhile jeweler who built the largest masonry dome in existence?

The construction of the Florentine duomo by Filippo Brunelleschi has been an engineering marvel for more than 500 years, showcasing ancient techniques that still hold valuable insights for modern engineering. Until now, it has remained a mystery how the master goldsmith and sculptor managed to build the masterpiece that pushes the limits of what is possible to construct even with modern building technologies, and how the masters who followed Brunelleschi carried on the tradition.

In a collaborative study in the July 2020 issue of Engineering Structures, researchers at Princeton University and the University of Bergamo revealed the engineering techniques behind self-supporting masonry domes inherent to the Italian renaissance. Researchers analyzed how cupolas like the famous duomo, part of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, were built as self-supporting, without the use of shoring or forms typically required.

Comment: It's rather incredible that such important knowledge, and from what seems to be only our recent past, could have been lost. And yet it is but one of the many stunning reminders that this forgetting seems to be part of a repeating pattern:


Global cooling 4,200-years ago spurred rice's evolution

© Getty Images
A major global cooling event that occurred 4,200 years ago may have led to the evolution of new rice varieties and the spread of rice into both northern and southern Asia, an international team of researchers has found.

Their study, published in Nature Plants and led by the NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, uses a multidisciplinary approach to reconstruct the history of rice and trace its migration throughout Asia.

Rice is one of the most important crops worldwide, a staple for more than half of the global population. It was first cultivated 9,000 years ago in the Yangtze Valley in China and later spread across East, Southeast, and South Asia, followed by the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In the process, rice evolved and adapted to different environments, but little is known about the routes, timing, and environmental forces involved in this spread.

In their study, the researchers reconstructed the historical movement of rice across Asia using whole-genome sequences of more than 1,400 varieties of rice — including varieties of japonica and indica, two main subspecies of Asian rice — coupled with geography, archaeology, and historical climate data.


The Head of the Hydra: Rise of Robert Kadlec

Kadlec and syringe
© unknown
Robert Kadlec

Last Friday, a group of Democratic Senators "demanded" that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Robert Kadlec, "accurately disclose all his personal, financial and political ties in light of new reporting that he had failed to do so previously" after it was revealed that he had failed to note all "potential conflicts of interest" on his nomination paperwork.

The report in question, published last Monday by The Washington Post, detailed the ties of Kadlec to a man named Fuad El-Hibri, the founder of a "life sciences" company first known as BioPort and now called Emergent Biosolutions. Kadlec had previously disclosed his ties to El-Hibri and Emergent Biosolutions for a separate nomination years prior, but had failed to do so when nominated to head ASPR.

Though The Post does note Kadlec's recent failure to disclose these connections, the article largely sanitizes Kadlec's earlier yet crucial history and even obfuscates the full extent of his ties to the BioPort founder, among other glaring omissions. In reality, Kadlec has much more than his ties to El-Hibri looming large as "potential conflict of interests," as his decades-long career in shaping U.S. "biodefense" policy was directly enabled by his deep ties to intelligence, Big Pharma, the Pentagon and a host of corrupt yet powerful characters.

Thanks to a long and deliberate process to introduce biodefense policy, driven by Robert Kadlec and his sponsors, $7 billion dollars-worth of federally-owned vaccines, antidotes and medicines - held in strategically arranged repositories across the country in case of a health emergency - are now in the hands of one single individual. Those repositories, which compose the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), are the exclusive domain of HHS' ASPR, a post created under Kadlec's watchful eye and tailored over the years to meet his very specific requirements.


King Arthur: A legend felled by archaeology and DNA

king arthur
© Pixabay / juliacasado1
Imagen ilustrativa.
Another fascinating program, King Arthur's Britain: Truth Unearthed

As a boy, I read in children's books that after the Romans evacuated Britain early in the fifth century the indigenous peoples fell into warlike anarchy and only came together again under the leadership of King Arthur to confront the new invaders from Europe, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, who had driven the Britons back to the western part of the isles.

Just like the biblical story of King David, I am almost certain that the literary legends are fantasy. Archaeology and DNA, in their current state, appear to leave no room for such scenarios of mass invasions, displacements or a heroic King Arthur rising to save such a day.


Bizarro Earth

Remembering Mount St. Helens eruption: 40 years later

Mount St. Helens spews smoke, soot and ash into the sky in Washington state following a major eruption on May 18, 1980
Mount St. Helens spews smoke, soot and ash into the sky in Washington state following a major eruption on May 18, 1980.
May 17, 1980, 40 years ago today, was a beautiful day on the mountain in southwest Washington. It was also the most significant day of Carolyn Driedger's life.

She and a colleague had traveled to the active volcano Mount St. Helens to drop off equipment at a U.S. geological station. They planned to stay the night, but geologist David Johnston, tasked with monitoring the mountain, warned them against it.

"He said, 'Let's just have as few people here as possible,'" Driedger recalled. "We were very disappointed that we were not going to spend the night looking at this beautiful volcano. The sun was just starting to set. We stopped and I took a couple of last photos of Mount St. Helens."

The next morning, at 8:37 a.m., Mount St. Helens erupted - a disaster unlike any other in American history.

The news reported it as "the most violent eruption of this volcano in 32,000 years."

"The energy that came out of Mount St. Helens that day is bigger than any nuclear weapon than we have in our arsenal," said Steve Olson, author of "Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens" (W.W. Norton). "The whole northern flank of the volcano collapsed into this valley," he said, "and that let out this burst of pressure that had been building up inside the volcano."

The blast triggered the largest landslide in recorded history, flattening trees for 220 square miles, with a cloud of smoke, ash and pumice. In all, 57 people died.

Comment: Scientist reveals molten rock 'rising five metres a day' at Mount St Helens, Washington


Feast of gazelle, pig and snails sheds light on Hellenist life in ancient Galilee

The remains of a Hellenist banquet dating back to 2,200 years ago recently uncovered by a group of archaeologists from the Tel Aviv University (TAU) have helped to shed light on the everyday life of Greek settlers in the land of Israel before the Galilee was conquered by the Hasmonean Kingdom.

The pit was revealed during excavations at Tel Bet Yerah, headed by TAU Prof. Rafi Greenberg and Dr. Sarit Paz. Read More Related Articles

As explained to The Jerusalem Post by Miriam Pines, one of the authors of the article, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies, the project was conducted "within inter-discipline research aimed at discovering the small forgotten things of the past societies in this land."

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: The Truth Perspective: Interview with Russell Gmirkin: What Does Plato Have To Do With the Bible?


A perfect storm: How early Christian farming in the Negev collapsed

© Yotam Tepper
Shivta, an early Christian farming settlement in the Negev that did spectacularly well, until it didn't any more
The Negev Desert isn't the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about agricultural abundance, yet beginning over 2,000 years ago and up to about 1,500 years ago very roughly, slightly less inhospitable parts of the desert were intensively farmed. From early Roman times, villagers in the Negev worked the bitter land.

By the early Byzantine era, which began in 324 C.E., the farmers were flourishing by dint of remarkable water management and by strategically locating towering dovecotes in agricultural fields. The people grew olives, grapes and subsistence crops in the nutrient-poor loess soil, literally fertilized by the birds' copious emissions.

And then they were gone. What happened to the ancient dryland farmers of the Negev and when it happened - before or after the advent of the early Islamic period - has been a mystery. Some have thought agriculture disappeared in the late Byzantine period, which ended in 638 C.E., while others thought it persisted well into the Islamic period, to the 10th or 11th century.

Comment: One of the driving factors to all the disasters mentioned in the article above, and recorded by many peoples of the time - although strangely absent from the article - are cometary events. For more see Pierre Lescaudron's: The Seven Destructive Earth Passes of Comet Venus

See also: And check out SOTT radio's: