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Revised dating reveals 'hobbits' were separate human species, living 10K years before homo sapiens in the region

© Smithsonian Digitization Program Office/Liang Bua Team
The “hobbit” fossils were discovered in 2003 in the cathedrallike Liang Bua cave, on the Indonesian island of Flores.
In 2003, scientists made a startling find in a remote cave on the Indonesian island of Flores: The skull and skeleton of an adult female hominin, a group consisting of modern humans and extinct human species, who stood only about a meter tall. That discovery sparked a fierce debate about whether the hominin—officially dubbed Homo floresiensis but often called the "hobbit"—was a separate species or a diseased modern human. Now, many of the same scientists who made the discovery have radically revised their estimate of the fossils' age, based on an exhaustive new analysis of the cave's geology. Instead of living 18,000 years ago, as they originally reported, the hobbit lived between 60,000 and 100,000 years ago—some 10,000 years before H. sapiens arrived in the region.

That new, much older date range for H. floresiensis makes it "impossible to argue that it is a pathologically-dwarfed modern human," says Russell Ciochon, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Iowa in Iowa City who was not involved in the study. "In my opinion, this paper drives the final nail in the coffin" of that hypothesis.

A chief argument underpinning the diseased Homo sapiens hypothesis was the original 18,000-year age of the fossils—long after H. sapiens arrived in southeast Asia and Australia. However, that 18,000-year-old date was based on only a geological analysis of the fossils' surroundings and not on direct analysis of the bones themselves. And the complexity of the cave's geology initially misled the scientists, says Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and a member of the discovery team.

Comment: Further reading:


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Scientists discover ruins of ancient township and legendary shore temples of Mamallapuram, India


Lion statue that appeared after the December 26, 2004 tsunami on the beach of Mahabalipuram, India.
When the shoreline receded during the 2004 tsunami, tourists in Mamallapuram swore they saw a long row of granite boulders emerge from the sea, before it was swallowed again as the water hurtled forward. More than a decade later, a team of scientists and divers have uncovered what eyewitnesses saw on that fateful day - vestiges of an ancient port.

In a discovery that could lead to more underwater explorations off the historic town of Mamallapuram, a group from National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has found the remains of a port or ruins of one of the six shore temples which, according to legend, went under water. The 10-member team, comprising divers, geologists and archaeologists, found a 10m-long wall, a short flight of stairs, and chiselled stone blocks scattered on the seabed. They were found 800m from the shoreline at a depth of nearly 27ft.

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DNA study confirms devastating impact of European colonization on American indigenous populations

© Johan Reinhard
Llull Maiden: DNA of The Doncela (The Maiden) Incan mummy found at Mount Llullaillaco, Argentina, in 1999, was used in the study.
The first largescale study of ancient DNA from early American people has confirmed the devastating impact of European colonisation on the Indigenous American populations of the time.

Led by the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), the researchers have reconstructed a genetic history of Indigenous American populations by looking directly into the DNA of 92 pre-Columbian mummies and skeletons, between 500 and 8600 years old.

Published today in Science Advances, the study reveals a striking absence of the pre-Columbian genetic lineages in modern Indigenous Americans; showing extinction of these lineages with the arrival of the Spaniards.

"Surprisingly, none of the genetic lineages we found in almost 100 ancient humans were present, or showed evidence of descendants, in today's Indigenous populations," says joint lead author Dr Bastien Llamas, Senior Research Associate with ACAD. "This separation appears to have been established as early as 9000 years ago and was completely unexpected, so we examined many demographic scenarios to try and explain the pattern."

Comment: Genocidal history lesson: Christopher Columbus' invasion of America


Gold Seal

Rising up against the Evil Empire: The legacy of Easter 1916


Irish rebellion leader Padraig Pearse
With the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising fast approaching (24-29 April 2016), the events of that awesome week will be celebrated throughout Ireland with parades, bunting and speeches with an emphasis on those who gave their lives in the cause of liberty. Politicians will, as ever, line up to be photographed and, by association, linked to the men who fell. 1916 was a year of atrocious bloodletting across the battlefields of Europe, but there is an essential difference between those millions sacrificed to an Empire's war in a determined drive to crush Germany and those who took part in the uprising in the expectation that they would sacrifice their lives for Ireland. Indeed the Proclamation which Patrick Pearse read out in front of the General Post Office in Dublin invoked the readiness of Ireland's children 'to sacrifice themselves for the common good'.1 It was an overt choice, a clear decision pledged to Ireland's freedom from the British imperialist yoke. The consequent loss of life in Ireland cannot be compared to the horrendous carnage in the battles of attrition over the Somme from July 1916,2 but its significance was to prove far greater than contemporary British historians and commentators have recorded.

The Secret Elite and their imperial guard in the press, the foreign and the colonial offices, the war office and the great money houses in London and New York, made every effort to downplay the actions taken by James Connolly, Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Sean Mac Diarmada, Eamonn Ceannt, Joseph Plunkett and the men and women who fought by their side. Because he represented an intellectual and dangerous challenge to the Empire, they promoted a devastating tirade against Roger Casement based on allegedly sexually explicit diaries which were circulated secretly to influence pro-Irish Americans.

Comment: The extent to which Ireland today is 'independent' is debatable. The country is under management by the Western banking cartel (the same Secret Elite described above). It must accept US torture and refuelling planes for said Elite's war machine. And it remains cut off from its 6 northeastern counties, which are under British occupation to this day.

Nevertheless, Docherty and Mcgregor's assessment of the Irish Uprising in Easter 1916 is spot-on.

If you haven't read it yet, their Hidden History book rips the Western fairytale origins of World War One to shreds, exposing the real aggressors and revealing the scale and drive of their ever-present quest for total world domination.


Info

Ancient Viking site in North America discovered using satellites

© Greg Mumford
Childs and Parcack dig at the site in question.
Thanks to satellite technology and the efforts of an intrepid group of archaeologists, evidence of a second Viking settlement has been discovered in North America, documentaries set to air next week on PBS in the US and BBC One in the UK will reportedly reveal.

According to BBC News and National Geographic reports, University of Alabama-Birmingham archaeologist Sarah Parcak, Douglas Bolender from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and their colleagues discovered a stone hearth used for ironworking at a remote peninsula in Canada, several hundred miles from the only confirmed Viking settlement in the New World.

Evidence of human activity at the site, a remote peninsula that runs from southern Newfoundland to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, was originally discovered last summer thanks to satellite data, which uncovered signs of previous human activity in the region. After a long and dangerous hike across bogs and bear-infested forests, Parcak and Bolender turned to more traditional techniques such as the use of trowels and brushes to make what the BBC calls a potentially "seismic" discovery.

While digging at Point Rosee, hundreds of miles south of the only previously known Viking outpost known as L'Anse aux Meadows, the researchers found the iron-working hearth partially covered by what appears to have been a wall made from turf. The artifacts found indicate the use of metal working that is not associated with the native people of the region, the New York Times reported, and radiocarbon dating places them firmly during the Norse era.

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Mysterious bent trees are actually Native American trail markers navigating the forests

Next time you go hiking through the forest keep an eye out for some pretty strangely-shaped trees. These trees are quite unique in that they bend in very unnatural angles. Sure, some trees are just weirdly-shaped, but there's something special about these bent trees.

Native Americans would bend trees in order to create trail markers that formed an early routing system, which served multiple purposes. From indicating that water and food was nearby, to warning travelers of rough country ahead, these landmarks were important features in navigating the early Americas.

Document

German historian: Associated Press supplied American newspapers with Nazi propaganda

A German historian has unearthed an extremely troubling formal relationship between the Associated Press (AP) and the Nazi party in the 1930's, in which propaganda produced by the Hitler regime was supplied to American newspapers in exchange for continued access to Germany

After the Nazi party came to power in 1933, they began a campaign of strict image control, which encompassed the banning of almost all international media within Germany. By 1935 most media outlets were forced to close their German bureaus after persistent persecution due to their continued employment of Jews within their agencies.

The New York-based AP was the only international media outlet that was able to maintain operations under the Nazi regime, continuing to operate until the U.S. entered World War II in 1941. This created a paradigm in which the AP became virtually the sole hub of information about Nazi Germany being disseminated to the rest of the world.

Comment: Navigating the news - Or how to cut through media lies


Info

Inscriptions on sandstone slab may offer clues to the mysterious Etruscan people

© Mugello Valley Project
This inscribed stone was found embedded in the foundations of an Etruscan monumental temple.
Archaeologists have unearthed an inscribed sandstone slab in Italy that features what may be a rare sacred text written in the mysterious Etruscan language.

The finding promises to yield a wealth of new knowledge about one of the ancient world's most fascinating and mysterious civilizations.

Weighing about 500 pounds and nearly four feet tall by two feet wide, the slab was unearthed at Poggio Colla, some 22 miles miles north-east of Florence in the Mugello Valley.

The stone had been buried for more than 2,500 years in the foundations of a monumental temple at the Etruscan site. It was heavily abraded and chipped, with one side reddened possibly from burning.

According to archaeologist Gregory Warden, co-director and principal investigator of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, which made the discovery, the 6th-century B.C. slab has at least 70 legible letters and punctuation marks.

"Now if we could only unravel that text," Warden, professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, told Discovery News.

He explained that it will probably take months of study by Rex Wallace, a noted expert on the Etruscan language at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, before the researchers can say anything definitive about the text written on the stele, as such slabs are called.

"At this point we have just finished cleaning the stele, and Professor Wallace is working from photos. He will return to Italy in June to continue to work on it," Warden said.

Warden speculates the text may refer to a goddess that was worshiped at the site.

"The center of worship was an underground fissure that was ritually treated after the destruction of the temple," Warden said.

He explained the ritual included placing a temple block in front of the fissure, along with a gold ring and a textile embroidered with gold.

"Underground cults of this type were often associated with female divinities," Warden said.

Gem

Isaac Newton's recipe for 'philosopher's stone' rediscovered in 17th-century manuscript

© Chemical Heritage Foundation
This 17th century manuscript contains instructions that Newton copied from an American alchemist's writings, as well as descriptions of one of Newton's own experiments
One of Isaac Newton's 17th-century alchemy manuscripts, buried in a private collection for decades, reveals his recipe for a material thought to be a step toward concocting the magical philosopher's stone.

The "philosopher's stone" was a mythical substance that alchemists believed had magical properties and could even help humans achieve immortality.

The manuscript turned up at an auction at Bonhams in Pasadena, California, on Feb. 16, where the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) in Philadelphia bought it. The alchemy text will be available in an online repository for those interested in the history of modern chemistry, according to James Voelkel, the CHF's curator of rare books.

The handwritten document contains instructions for making "philosophic" mercury that Newton copied from a text by another known alchemist. Written in Latin, its title translates to "Preparation of the [Sophick] Mercury for the [Philosophers'] Stone by the Antimonial Stellate Regulus of Mars and Luna from the Manuscripts of the American Philosopher."

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Russian Tsar Alexander I may have faked his death to live secretly as a monk in Siberia

© Vesti Tomsk


Now analysis suggests strong similarities between the handwritings of Alexander I and the monk.
Rumours have long suggested that emperor Alexander I staged his death in 1825 and became holy man Feodor Kuzmich, also known as Feodor Tomsky.

A theory was that he wanted forgiveness for any role he may have played in the assassination of his father Pavel I in 1801, or in benefiting from the work of others in slaying the tsar.

Now analysis by Svetlana Semyonova, president of Russian Graphological Society, suggests strong similarities between the handwritings of Alexander I and the mysterious monk. 'I was given a handwritten by Alexander I at the age of 45, and also another handwritten sample by Feodor Kuzmich,' she said. 'As a graphologist, I have noted an unusual style of both handwritings.'