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Study: Man Did Not Evolve from Apes

© UPI Photo/St. Louis Zoo
Gorillia found dead at St. Louis Zoo
A U.S. biological anthropologist says he's determined humans did not evolve from apes, but, rather, apes evolved from humans.

Kent State University Professor C. Owen Lovejoy, who specializes in the study of human origins, said his findings came from a study of Ardipithecus ramidus, a hominid species that lived 4.4 million years ago in what now is Ethiopia.

"People often think we evolved from apes, but no, apes in many ways evolved from us," Lovejoy said. "It has been a popular idea to think humans are modified chimpanzees. From studying Ardipithecus ramidus, or Ardi (a partial female skeleton) we learn that we cannot understand or model human evolution from chimps and gorillas."

Ardi is "not a chimp," paleoanthropologist Tim White of the University of California-Berkeley, told the San Jose Mercury News. "It shows us what we used to be. It bridges a gap."


"Hobbit" Just a Deformed Human?

Hobbit Skull?
© Richard Lewis / AP Photo
A tiny skull - but a big argument for anthropologists.
Homo floresiensis, dubbed the 'hobbit' of Indonesia, is once again igniting debate. A skull-scanning study supports the idea that the diminutive individual was not a separate species, but simply a stunted human.

The study is published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.1 But other anthropologists are far from impressed with the analysis, claiming that 'hobbit politics' is yet again clouding the debate.

The 18,000-year-old fossil stunned the anthropology community when it was discovered in a limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. The young adult female lived relatively recently, yet was unlike any other hominid species known - she was only a metre tall, with long limbs relative to her torso and a tiny cranium compared with the modern humans living elsewhere on the planet at the time. She was reported in Nature as a new and completely unexpected species of human: H. floresiensis.2

Researchers have since clashed over whether the skull really does represent a different species or merely a deformed Homo sapiens - perhaps the result of dwarfism or microcephaly, a developmental disorder that results in a very small skull and brain.


Israel: Crusader city emerges under Akko port

© AP
Workers clean stones in arched passageway underground
'It's like Pompeii of Roman times,' says Israeli archaeologist, calling Ottoman-era town 'one of the most exciting sites in the world of archaeology'

Off the track beaten by most Holy Land tourists lies one of the richest archaeological sites in a country full of them: The walled port of Akko, where the busy alleys of an Ottoman-era town cover a uniquely intact Crusader city now being rediscovered.

Preparing to open a new subterranean section to the public, workers clean stones in an arched passageway underground.

Etched in plaster on one wall was a coat of arms - graffiti left by a medieval traveler. Nearby was a main street of cobblestones and a row of shops that once sold clay figurines and ampules for holy water, popular souvenirs for pilgrims.


New battle erupts over 'Sweden's Stonehenge'

swedish stonehenge
© Jorchr/Wikipedia
A new archaeological examination of Ales stenar, a massive stone relic perched atop a cliff in southern Sweden, has sparked a heated crossfire between scientists about the origins of the famed stone ship.

Speculative argument over the astronomical, geometrical, geographical and mythological significance of the 67-metre long stone ship has a long history.

Now, in direct contrast to previous studies, a group currently digging at the site in Kåseberga on Sweden's southern coast, has reported finding no evidence linking the 59 large sandstone boulders to the Iron Age and Viking era, putting previous theories about the site into question.

"No wonder," Swedish archaeologist Martin Rundkvist told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

"They aren't even digging in the right place."

Ales stenar, sometimes referred to as "Sweden's Stonehenge" is located about 10 kilometres southeast of Ystad in Skåne overlooking the sea.

The 1.8-tonne boulders are set in the shape of a large ship and, according to Scanian folklore, a legendary king named King Ale lies buried there.

Most stone ship settings are believed to be burial monuments, and many found in Scandinavia do indeed contain one or more graves.

Yet no grave has ever been positively identified at Ales stenar, a limited geographical area given its position atop a cliff.


Going underground: The massive European network of Stone Age tunnels that weaves from Scotland to Turkey

*Evidence of tunnels has been found under hundreds of Neolithic settlements

*That so many tunnels have survived after 12,000 years shows that the original network must have been enormous

Stone Age man created a massive network of underground tunnels criss-crossing Europe from Scotland to Turkey, a new book on the ancient superhighways has claimed.German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch said evidence of the tunnels has been found under hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over the continent.

In his book - Secrets Of The Underground Door To An Ancient World - he claims the fact that so many have survived after 12,000 years shows that the original tunnel network must have been enormous.
© Europics
Evidence of Stone Age tunnels has been found under hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe - the fact that so many have survived after 12,000 years shows the original tunnel network must have been huge


Sudan: Remains of Ancient Palace Discovered

Ancient Palace
© Royal Ontario Museum
Only a small portion of the structure, possibly an ancient palace, has been excavated so far (part of it can be seen in the photo's bottom foreground) in central Sudan beneath another ancient palace. The structure may be the oldest building ever found in the ancient city of Meroë.

Hidden beneath an ancient palace in what is now central Sudan, archaeologists have discovered the oldest building in the city of Meroë, a structure that also may have housed royalty.

The capital of a vast empire that flourished around 2,000 years ago, Meroë was centered on the Nile River. At its height, the city was controlled by a dynasty of kings who ruled about 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) of territory that stretched from southern Egypt to areas south of modern-day Khartoum.

People of Meroë built palaces and small pyramids, and developed a writing system that scholars still can't fully translate today. Although Meroë has been excavated off and on for more than 150 years, archaeologists are not yet clear on how it came to be. The city seems to have emerged out of nowhere.

"In the region of central Sudan, we have an interesting research problem," said team leader Krzysztof Grzymski, a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada.

"We are acquainted with the prehistory cultures, from Stone Age all the way through Neolithic, let's say until about 3000 (or) 2500 B.C." But after that "we have nothing, then out of the blue in 800 B.C., we have Meroë culture," Grzymski told LiveScience.

In addition to filling this gap, the presence of such an ancient building at Meroë suggests that an early temple dedicated to Amun, a highly regarded Egyptian god, may have existed as well. Archaeologists have speculated on its existence but have never actually found it.


England's Western-Most Roman Town Uncovered

© unknown
Roman coins found by two local men led to the discovery of a town
A chance discovery of coins has led to the bigger find of a Roman town, further west than it was previously thought Romans had settled in England.

The town was found under fields a number of miles west of Exeter, Devon.

Nearly 100 Roman coins were initially uncovered there by two amateur archaeological enthusiasts.

It had been thought that fierce resistance from local tribes to Roman culture stopped the Romans from moving so far into the county.

Sam Moorhead, national finds adviser for Iron Age and Roman coins for the PAS at the British Museum, said it was one of the most significant Roman discoveries in the country for many decades.


Fate of Indian village abandoned in 1200 puzzles Tennessee scientists

© Unknown
Here once was the home of American Indians with a culture far removed from the tepees, wigs and wigwams of TV Indians.

A village slowly being unearthed on the Ames Plantation was a distant neighbor to Memphis' Chucalissa Indian Village. The residents were among hundreds of Mississippian Culture villages along the waterways of the Mississippi River Valley.

"In many ways their surroundings would be like a church today," says Ames cultural resource manager Jamie Evans.

A multitheistic society, the American Indians worshipped the sun, trees, land and water. In the end, they may have been punished by the same forces and driven away.

Their fate is one of the questions University of Memphis archaeology professor Andrew Mickelson ponders when he brings students to the site beside the north fork of the Wolf River for field work each summer. The students dig, scrape and filter soil through mesh screens in search of any shard or fragment that might hold a clue to how the Indians lived and why they left.

The eight-acre site had been used for cash crops at Ames until Mickelson asked to visit in 2009. He knew of a mound complex with four mounds discovered at the site in the 1960s and suspected there must be more.


US: Blackbeard's anchor recovered off North Carolina coast

Archaeologists say artifact belongs to Queen Anne's Revenge, which sank in 1718

Archaeologists recovered the first anchor from what's believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard's flagship off the North Carolina coast Friday, a move that might change plans about how to save the rest of the almost 300-year-old artifacts from the central part of the ship.


Panama: Captain Morgan's Lost Fleet Found?

It may not be a $500 million golden hoard, but underwater archaeologists are nevertheless excited about finding what they believe are traces of the five ships that British privateer Henry Morgan lost off the coast of Panama in 1671.

The discovery was made at the mouth of Panama's Chagres River, near another underwater site where six iron cannons were found. Taken together, the evidence suggests that the three-century-old story of Captain Morgan's lost fleet is finally near its conclusion.