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Fri, 26 Feb 2021
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Evidence for a massive paleo-tsunami at ancient Tel Dor, Israel

Tel Dor
© T. E. Levy
Geoprobe drilling rig extraction of a sediment core with evidence of a tsunami from South Bay, Tel Dor, Israel.
Underwater excavation, borehole drilling, and modelling suggests a massive paleo-tsunami struck near the ancient settlement of Tel Dor between 9,910 to 9,290 years ago, according to a study published December 23, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Gilad Shtienberg, Richard Norris and Thomas Levy from the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology, University of California, San Diego, U.S., and colleagues from Utah State University and the University of Haifa.

Tsunamis are a relatively common event along the eastern Mediterranean coastline, with historical records and geographic data showing one tsunami occurring per century for the last six thousand years. The record for earlier tsunami events, however, is less defined. In this study, Shtienberg and colleagues describe a large early Holocene tsunami deposit (between 9,910 to 9,290 years ago) in coastal sediments at Tel Dor in northwest Israel, a maritime city-mound occupied from the Middle Bronze II period (2000-1550 BCE) through the Crusader period.

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Pompeii 'street food shop' emerges from the ashes with some food still in pots

pompeii shop
Two ducks hanging by their feet, a rooster, a dog on a leash, all of them looking like they were painted in 3D. The almost intact premises of a Thermopolium, a street food shop, with dishes of all kinds, from snails to a sort of "paella", return to light in Pompeii.

A discovery, says the archaeological site director Massimo Osanna to ANSA, who "returns an incredible photograph of the day of the eruption", and opens up new studies on the life, uses and nutrition of the Pompeians, "It will be an Easter gift for visitors", announces. Italy's Culture Minister Dario Franceschini applauds the find, calling it "a virtuous example for the recovery of the country".

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Ancient DNA tells new story of Caribbean's first people

Carribean Peoples
© Florida Museum
The history of the Caribbean's original islanders comes into sharper focus in a new Nature study that combines decades of archaeological work with advancements in genetic technology.

An international team led by Harvard Medical School's David Reich analyzed the genomes of 263 individuals in the largest study of ancient human DNA in the Americas to date. The genetics trace two major migratory waves in the Caribbean by two distinct groups, thousands of years apart, revealing an archipelago settled by highly mobile people, with distant relatives often living on different islands.

Reich's lab also developed a new genetic technique for estimating past population size, showing the number of people living in the Caribbean when Europeans arrived was far smaller than previously thought - likely in the tens of thousands, rather than the million or more reported by Columbus and his successors.

For archaeologist William Keegan, whose work in the Caribbean spans more than 40 years, ancient DNA offers a powerful new tool to help resolve longstanding debates, confirm hypotheses and spotlight remaining mysteries.

This "moves our understanding of the Caribbean forward dramatically in one fell swoop," said Keegan, curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History and co-senior author of the study. "The methods David's team developed helped address questions I didn't even know we could address."

Better Earth

America's prehistoric Clovis people made tools only during 300-year period at time of climatic upheaval

Discovery sites of Clovis fluted points

Discovery sites of Clovis fluted points
Clovis spear points from the Gault site in Texas. Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M There is much debate surrounding the age of the Clovis — a prehistoric culture named for stone tools found near Clovis, New Mexico in the early 1930s — who once occupied North America during the end of the last Ice Age. New testing of bones and artifacts show that Clovis tools were made only during a brief, 300-year period from 13,050 to 12,750 years ago.

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Sweet-toothed Canaanites imported exotic food from India and Southeast Asia to Israel 3,600-years ago

Excavations in Megiddo (Area K, where some of the investigated graves were discovered)
Bronze Age cuisine in Israel included exotic foodstuffs, such as bananas, soybeans and turmeric, according to a new study published in the journal PNAS. It pushes back the evidence for these foods by centuries.

The conclusion is based on analysis of micro-remains and proteins preserved in the tooth tartar of individuals who lived in Megiddo and Tel Erani during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

"Human dental calculus is wonderful material, full of information about past food habits," Prof. Philipp W. Stockhammer said. "By studying calculus from Bronze and Iron Age [remains] at the Levant, we are able to trace otherwise often invisible food and can get insights into individual nutrition."

Comment: Evidently there have been times in the past where civilizations were much more connected, and advanced, than we've come to believe: And for more on Megiddo:


Discovery of 66 new Roman Army sites gives more clues about one of the empire's most infamous conflicts

© romanarmy.eu
(click to enlarge) Roman military presence in Castile view more
Discovery of 66 new Roman Army sites shows more clues about one of the empire's most infamous conflicts

The discovery of dozens of new Roman Army sites thanks to remote sensing technology has revealed more about one of the empire's most infamous conflicts.

Analysis of the 66 camps shows the Roman army had a larger presence in the region than previously thought during the 200-year battle to conquer the Iberian Peninsula.

The discovery of camps of different sizes - used for training and shelter - has allowed experts to map how soldiers attacked indigenous groups from different directions and to learn more about the footprint of the Roman military presence in the northern fringe of the River Duero basin - the León, Palencia, Burgos and Cantabria provinces.

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Stories about the Pleiades may date back 100,000 years

© NASA / ESA / AURA / Caltech
In the northern sky in December is a beautiful cluster of stars known as the Pleiades, or the "seven sisters". Look carefully and you will probably count six stars. So why do we say there are seven of them?

Many cultures around the world refer to the Pleiades as "seven sisters", and also tell quite similar stories about them. After studying the motion of the stars very closely, we believe these stories may date back 100,000 years to a time when the constellation looked quite different.

The sisters and the hunter

In Greek mythology, the Pleiades were the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas. He was forced to hold up the sky for eternity, and was therefore unable to protect his daughters. To save the sisters from being raped by the hunter Orion, Zeus transformed them into stars. But the story says one sister fell in love with a mortal and went into hiding, which is why we only see six stars.

A similar story is found among Aboriginal groups across Australia. In many Australian Aboriginal cultures, the Pleiades are a group of young girls, and are often associated with sacred women's ceremonies and stories. The Pleiades are also important as an element of Aboriginal calendars and astronomy, and for several groups their first rising at dawn marks the start of winter.

Close to the Seven Sisters in the sky is the constellation of Orion, which is often called "the saucepan" in Australia. In Greek mythology Orion is a hunter. This constellation is also often a hunter in Aboriginal cultures, or a group of lusty young men. The writer and anthropologist Daisy Bates reported people in central Australia regarded Orion as a "hunter of women", and specifically of the women in the Pleiades. Many Aboriginal stories say the boys, or man, in Orion are chasing the seven sisters - and one of the sisters has died, or is hiding, or is too young, or has been abducted, so again only six are visible.


Early humans may have hibernated to weather harsh winters

© Rex Features
Queen Sofia of Spain visiting the Atapuerca archaeological site in 2009
Early humans could have hibernated to survive harsh winters like some modern animals do, researchers have suggested.

Scientists came to the conclusion after examining fossilised human remains found in a cave burial chamber known as Sima de los Huesos - or the "Pit of Bones" - at the Atapuerca archaeological site near Burgos in northern Spain.

Using microscopes and CT scanning, the academics discovered that the bones, which are roughly 430,000 years old, had lesions and other bone damage similar to those seen in animals that hibernate.

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Evil Rays

Today's China espionage scandals revive the Gouzenko Hoax that unleashed the Cold War

Today, a new coordinated psychological operation has been sprung to convince every living patriot across the Five Eyes sphere of influence that the enemy of the free world who lurks behind every conspiracy to overthrow governments, and western values is...China.

Over the past weeks, a surge in slanderous, and often conjectural stories of Chinese subversion has repeatedly been fed to a gullible western audience desperate for an enemy image to attach to their realization that an obvious long-term conspiracy has been unleashed to destroy their lives. While the left has been fed with propaganda designed to convince them that this enemy has taken the form of the Kremlin, the conservative consumers of media have been fed with the narrative that the enemy is China.

The reality is that both Russia and China together have a bond of principled survival upon which the entire multipolar order is based. It is this alliance which the actual controllers of today's empire wish to both destroy and ensure no western nation joins... especially not the USA.

Every day we read that secret lists of millions of Chinese communist party members have infiltrated western national governments or that espionage honey pots have targeted anti-Trump politicans in California, or that Chinese military are conducting operations in Canada, or that China intentionally created COVID-19 and deployed it around the world to subvert the western liberal order.


Mummified baboons hint at mysterious civilization of Punt

© Disney
Eden. Atlantis. Punt. These long-lost places have existed mostly in myth and legend rather than on a map, but an unlikely creature is now revealing the ghost of one of them.

The exact location of Punt has been a mystery for over 150 years. Mummified baboons from ancient Egypt — which are not endemic to Egypt — are telling scientists more about where this exotic land where they came from. Tracing the baboons' geographic origins by analyzing chemicals in their mummies is showing the path to Punt, which used to trade luxuries like spices and resins (and baboons) with Egypt. Ancient Egyptian reverence for these animals is already known from funerary art showing them as pets in life and even deifying them in death.

What led the Egyptians to worship an animal that didn't even originate near the life-giving waters of the Nile is still a mystery, though the sun god Ra may have had something to do with it.

"There is no evidence but some speculation," anthropologist Nathaniel Dominy, who led a study recently published in eLife, told SYFY WIRE. "Some Egyptologists have argued that Baboons vocalize toward the rising Sun at dawn, which would have resonated with Egyptian religious practices. It is possible that ancient Egyptians witnessed this natural behavior and distinguish them as worthy of veneration. When you look closely at the status of baboons in Egypt, they are always facing east towards the rising Sun with arms raised, which is called the posture of adoration."