Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 23 Mar 2023
The World for People who Think

Secret History


Lasers reveal massive, 650-square-mile Maya site hidden beneath Guatemalan rainforest

While conducting an aerial survey of northern Guatemala, researchers detected a sprawling Maya site.

Lidar Scan
© Ancient Mesoamerica
A complex of Maya pyramids in Guatemala as seen via lidar.
Geologists in northern Guatemala have discovered a massive Maya site that stretches approximately 650 square miles (1,700 square kilometers) and dates to the Middle and Late Preclassic period (roughly 1000 B.C. to 250 B.C.).

The findings were the result of an aerial survey that researchers conducted via airplane using lidar (light detection and ranging), in which lasers are beamed out and the reflected light is used to create aerial imagery of a landscape. The technology is particularly beneficial in areas such as the rainforests of Guatemala's Mirador-Calakmul Karst Basin, where lasers can penetrate the thick tree canopy.

Using data from the scans, the team identified more than 1,000 settlements dotting the region, which were interconnected by 100 miles (160 kilometers) of causeways that the Maya likely traversed on foot. They also detected the remains of several large platforms and pyramids, along with canals and reservoirs used for water collection, according to the study, which was published Dec. 5 in the journal Ancient Mesoamerica.

The lidar data showed "for the first time an area that was integrated politically and economically, and never seen before in other places in the Western Hemisphere," study co-author Carlos Morales-Aguilar, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin, told Live Science in an email. "We can now see the entire landscape of the Maya region" in this section of Guatemala, he said.


Prehistoric population once lived in Siberia, but mysteriously vanished, genetic study finds

A genetic study has revealed the existence of a previously unknown hunter-gatherer group that lived in Siberia upwards of 10,000 years ago.

Ancient Skull
© Sergey V Semenov
A skull from one of the individuals analyzed in the new study, which revealed the existence of a previously unknown group of hunter-gatherers living in Siberia more than 10,000 years ago.
Researchers investigating prehistoric DNA have discovered a mysterious group of hunter-gatherers that lived in Siberia perhaps more than 10,000 years ago.

The find was made during a genetic investigation of human remains in North Asia dating from as far back as 7,500 years ago. The study also revealed that gene flow of human DNA not only traveled from Asia to the Americas — as was previously known — but also in the opposite direction, meaning people were moving back and forth like ping pong balls along the Bering Land Bridge.

Furthermore, the team examined the remains of an ancient shaman who lived about 6,500 years ago in western Siberia. This spot is more than 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) west of the group that he had genetic ties with, according to the new genetic analysis.

North Asia, particularly the area stretching from western to northeastern Siberia, was pivotal in humanity's trek across the globe. Previous work has shown that the first people to arrive in the Americas, since at least 13,000 years ago, likely came either across or along the coast of the land bridge that once connected North Asia with North America. This corridor, known as Beringia, is now flooded by the Bering Strait.


Ancient Latin texts written on papyrus reveal new information about the Roman world

Ancient Latin
© Arkeonews Net
Carbonized paper, found with other images in an 1858 published book by Giacomo Castrucci.
Researchers funded by the European Union have deciphered ancient Latin texts written on papyrus. This work could reveal a lot about Roman society and education, as well as how Latin's influence spread.

Although the number of Latin texts found on papyrus dating from the first century BCE to the eighth century CE has grown as a result of new archaeological discoveries, these texts are frequently not given the attention they require. Therefore, they represent a vast untapped source of information and insight into the development of ancient Roman literature, language, history, and society.

Latin texts on papyrus in particular could provide information about the period's literary and linguistic emigration. This might also reveal more about the educational environment, and paint a clearer picture of the Roman economy and society.

Blue Planet

'Bog bodies' were part of a tradition that spanned a millennia, study reveals

Tollund Man
© Sven Rosborn
Tollund Man
Archaeologists have conducted a study of hundreds of ancient "bog bodies" found in Europe's wetlands, revealing that they were part of a tradition that spanned a millennia.

A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog. Due to the highly acidic water, low temperature, and a lack of oxygen, the bogs preserve materials such as skin, hair, nails, as well as the internal organs.

People were buried in bogs as early as the prehistoric period, with the oldest known bog body being the Koelbjerg Man from Denmark, who has been dated to 8000 BC during the Mesolithic period. Several bog bodies are famous for being extremely well-preserved, such as Lindow Man from the United Kingdom, Tollund Man from Denmark, or Yde Girl from the Netherlands.

Comment: See also:

Bizarro Earth

Ivan Timofeev: In 2022, the world as we knew it ended. Decades of conflict lie ahead

2022 2023
© Getty Images/erhui1979
The Leap
In 1989, the 'short 20th century' concluded with the 'end of history' - the victory of the Western capitalist world over the Soviet socialist project. At that time, there was not a single country, or community, left in the world which offered a realistic alternative to the US-led view of the organization of the economy, society, and the political system.

The Soviet bloc dissolved itself. A large part of it quickly integrated into NATO and the European Union. Other major world players had begun to integrate organically into the Western-centered world system long before the end of the Cold War. China retained a high level of sovereignty in terms of its domestic order, but quickly moved into a capitalist economy, actively trading with the US, EU, and the rest of the world.

Beijing, meanwhile, shied away from promoting the socialist project abroad. India had avoided claiming global projects of its own, although it has, to this day, also maintained a high level of identity in its political system and has so far shied away from joining blocs and alliances. Other major players also remained within the rules of the 'liberal world order' game, avoiding attempts to challenge it.

Star of David

New history challenges Israel's hold on western imagination

© Kluger Zultan/Store Norske Leksikon
Soldiers from the nascent Israeli army 8th brigade, Palestine war, October 1948
One of the greatest triumphs of Zionism is to have neutralized reaction to its genocidal expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948, the Nakba. Even after Israel's own "New Historians" exposed the irrefutable facts, in the 1980s, the Western world's fixation on "Israel's right to exist" scarcely budged. Backed by such mantras, Zionists only had to ease back on their beloved version of Israel's "War of Independence" (David versus Goliath, etc.) and make a few concessions to the grim realities of war. They correctly calculated that peoples' hearts were still with the Holocaust survivors, struggling in the fog and fear of a hard-fought war to create a safe haven for the Jewish people. Sensitive souls might shed a few tears over the tragic excesses ("on both sides") but they could cling to Israel's basic goodness and necessity - and still trust it to find a solution to the "plight of the Palestinians."

A good example of this neutralization is Ari Shavit's 2013 book, My Promised Land: The Triumph and the Tragedy of Israel, in which he "courageously" confronts painful facts, such as the war crime expressly ordered by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and executed by future prime minister Yitzhak Rabin to expel the inhabitants of Lydda (now Lod) in 1948. Shavit admits to himself the truth: "If Zionism was to be, Lydda could not be." In a final cri de coeur he declares, "I'll stand by the damned. Because I know that if it wasn't for them, the State of Israel would not have been born." The book received awards, and rapturous reviews as proof of Israeli sensitivity and moral courage.


Steve Bannon and China's deep state

© Carlo Allegri/Reuters
Guo Wengui and Steve Bannon
"I consider Xi Jinping the most dangerous enemy of open societies in the world. -George Soros, 2021

"China has emerged as the greatest economic and national security threat the United States has ever faced" -Steve Bannon, 2019

How to Overthrow the Communist Party of China

On June 4, 2020, purged billionaire deep state operative Guo Wengui (aka: Miles Guo), now operating from New York City, established a new organization called 'The New Federal State of China' with a shiny new flag, constitution and cheesy anthem - devoted entirely to the overthrow of the Chinese government... which will undoubtedly happen any day within Guo's wildest imagination.

When this project was unveiled, Steve Bannon and Guo stood shoulder to shoulder on the Asian millionaire's $28 million yacht in the New York harbor with the statue of liberty featured in the background and planes carrying flags announcing the new Federal State of China flying overhead.

Since escaping arrest from China in 2014, Guo soon partnered up with Steve Bannon, financing his War Room broadcast, and co-founding several media platforms and foundations such as GTV, Gnews, the Rule of Law Foundation and Rule of Law Society.


Possible cave "proto-writing" challenges theory of slow evolution of human consciousness

proto writing cave
© Don Hitchcock, donsmaps.com, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons.
La Pasiega Cave: proto-writing by early cave dwellers?
London-based wood carving conservator Ben Bacon has, with academic colleagues, shaken up Ice Age paleontology by demonstrating that the marks on the 20,000-year-old cave paintings of animals found across Europe could be interpreted as a lunar calendar timing reproductive cycles:
Prof Paul Pettitt, of Durham University, said he was "glad he took it seriously" when Mr Bacon contacted him.

"The results show that Ice Age hunter-gatherers were the first to use a systemic calendar and marks to record information about major ecological events within that calendar."

— "Londoner solves 20,000-year Ice Age drawings mystery" AT BBC (JANUARY 5, 2023)

The paper is open access.


Mass production of stone bladelets shows cultural shift in Levantine paleolithic

Stone tools found at the Al-Ansab 1 excavation site are witnesses to the technological change happened 40.000 years ago / publication in the Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology.
unmodified bladelets

Analysis of stone tools attributed to the Ahmarian, the first Upper Palaeolithic culture of the Near East (dated approximately 40,000 to 45,000 years ago) shows that small, elongated, symmetrical objects (bladelets) were mass-produced on-site. Such a standardized production is in line with what archaeologists have already suggested being linked to the bow and arrow introduction. The most typical Ahmarian tool is the el-Wad point, a blade or bladelet made of flint that has an additional, intentional modification, a so-called retouch. They are one of the widespread variants of shaped spear or arrow tips of the early Upper Palaeolithic. The new findings suggest that el-Wad points in Al-Ansab 1 likely resulted from attempts to re-shape bigger, asymmetrical bladelet artefacts to reach quality standards of the unmodified bladelets, which are small, elongated and symmetrical. This is the main result of the analysis carried out by Dr Jacopo Gennai, Marcel Schemmel and Professor Dr Jürgen Richter (Department of Prehistoric Archaeology, University of Cologne). The authors propose that the southern Ahmarian had already fully completed the technological and cultural shift to the preferred use of small bladelets, used as spear or even arrow tips. The article "Pointing to the Ahmarian. Lithic Technology and the El‑Wad Points of Al‑Ansab 1" has been published in the Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology.

The site of Al-Ansab 1, located approximately 10 kilometres south of the well-known ruin city of Petra in Jordan, has been excavated since 2009 by a team from the University of Cologne led by Jürgen Richter. The site is important as it is one of the best-preserved pieces of evidence of the Ahmarian technocomplex recorded in an open-air context. The funding to excavate the site and to analyse the material was provided in the framework of Collaborative Research Centre 806 "Our Way to Europe", which was funded from 2009 to 2021 by the German Research Foundation at the Universities of Cologne and Bonn as well as RWTH Aachen University. From 2018 to 2021, a representative part of the excavated material was re-analysed by Jacopo Gennai, the lead author, to understand how the production methods of similar bladelets were within the extent of the early Upper Palaeolithic. Moreover, Marcel Schemmel, a student member of Richter's team, produced a new analysis of the el-Wad point, constraining its definition to more precise typo-metrical criteria.

Blue Planet

Earliest evidence for clothing discovered on bear bones dated to 300,000 years ago

bear skin
© Volker Minkus
Detail of the precise and fine cut marks on the cave bear's foot bone.
Archaeologists in Germany have uncovered some of the earliest evidence of the use of clothing, with newly discovered cut marks on a cave bear paw suggesting the prehistoric animals were skinned for their fur some 300,000 years ago.

The discovery in Schöningen, northern Germany, is exciting because - despite the depictions of cave men and women draped in furs in popular culture - very little is truly known about how early humans clothed their bodies and survived harsh winters.

Fur, leather and other organic materials typically don't preserve beyond 100,000 years, meaning that direct evidence of prehistoric clothing is scant.

Comment: See also: