Posts tagged with ‘prehistory

850,000 year old human footprints uncovered in Britain

You read that correctly— preserved in silt and sand on the beaches of Norfolk in Great Britain are the oldest human footprints ever discovered outside of Africa. Scientists say the footprints appear to have been from an adult male and a couple small children, probably walking along the old banks of the Thames nearly a million years ago.

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Hard-carved javelin spear tips pre-date the origins of humans by 80,000. Probably aliens.

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The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been found in Ethiopia, clocking in at around 280,000 years old. That’s about 88,000 years older than Homo sapiens. We know that we were not the only intelligent, tool building hominids— there were ones that came before us and existed at the same time as us, and this new find confirms that the rise of abstract intelligence was a long, slow process that occurred through many different hominid species over time. We weren’t the first, and we probably won’t be the last either.

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Archaeologists have been digging for clues about the origins of Stonehenge in the wrong place for 90 years

In order to try and determine the origin of the stones used to make Stonehenge, archaeologists have been digging at a site in Wales, where it was thought the rocks originated from. And they were in the general area, kinda sorta… using x-rays of the rocks, it turns out the rocks actually originated a mile from where everyone’s been swinging their picks for 90 years.

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Stone Age farmers and hunters generally kept their distance from one another

In human history, people didn’t go from all hunters and gatherers to settled farmers any more than there’s one way that humans today live. In the Stone Age, there were some that were beginning to see the benefits of agriculture, but hunters and farmers coexisted in the world just as farmers and bankers do today. But not side by side— new research shows that hunters and farmers rarely met and interbred. One had their thing, the other group had their thing.

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Archaeologists discover the world’s oldest calendar in Scotland

Humans have been watching and tracking the heavens for a long, long, long time, but a recently discovered lunar calendar in Scotland pushes that date back by several thousand years. Dated around 10,000 years old, the ancient moon calendar is older than a bronze calendar from Mesopotamia by several millenia.

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Cheese making dates back at least 7000 years

How long have human beings been making cheese? A hell of a lot longer than previously thought as it turns out. Apparently, we’ve been turning dairy into cheese for at least 7000 years, which is pretty close to as long as we’ve streaming out of Africa.

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Obama’s secret weapon in the South? Plankton.

This is a fascinating read about why Obama has strange swath of strong supporters in the South that happens to exactly mirror the coastline of the southeast corner of America during the Cretaceous era, 129 million years ago. Yes, ancient geology still plays a role in modern American politics.

Link

Ancient spider captured forever in amber, just as it’s about to have dinner
This is a spider, which was encased in tree sap while in the act of attacking a wasp. The sap turned to amber, leaving an incredible preserved scene, with even individual strands of silk from the spider’s web remaining unbroken for 100 million years.
Via

Ancient spider captured forever in amber, just as it’s about to have dinner

This is a spider, which was encased in tree sap while in the act of attacking a wasp. The sap turned to amber, leaving an incredible preserved scene, with even individual strands of silk from the spider’s web remaining unbroken for 100 million years.

Via

The earliest split in modern humanity was 100,000 years ago

It’s already known that the Khoe-San people of southern Africa are one of the earliest distinct groups of Homo sapiens, but exactly how old are they? New research, examining the genomes of 220 different people from 11 different southern African populations shows that this first split happened around 100,000 years ago.

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A geological time scale that would make sense to Creationists

In case you were wondering exactly what the known scientific geological time scale looks like compared to the 4000 year truncated version laid out by Creationists, the internet delivers.

See the full size version here

The earliest evidence of ancient dentistry we have is an amazingly detailed dental work on a mummy from ancient Egypt that archaeologists have dated to 2000 BCE.

The work shows intricate gold work around the teeth. This mummy was found with two donor teeth that had holes drilled into them. Wires were strung through the holes and then around the neighboring teeth.

via metalonmetalblog

Neanderthal dental tartar reveals evidence of medicine

When you think of Neanderthals, yeah sure they had basic leather and fur clothing and some really basic tools, but medicine? Apparently so. New evidence from the dental tartar of Neanderthals shows they also had a basic knowledge of herbal medicine.

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First known assassination was done with an arrow 5300 years ago

As long as humans have been humans, we’ve been finding ways to fuck over our fellow man. A new report published in The Journal of Royal Society’s Interface has confirmed that the first assassinated man in history was killed by an arrow, shot into his back, 5,300 years ago. Et tu Ugg?

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Otzi the ice man was lactose intolerant, has relatives in the Mediterranean region

In 1991, the Tyrolean Iceman, also know as Otzi, was discovered frozen in the Alps and has since been invaluable in giving scientists a look at what human life in central Europe might have been like 5300 years ago. Even though Otzi’s body has been studied for the past 20 years, he still yields new secrets— like how apparently he was lactose intolerant and has modern day relatives living in the Mediterranean region.

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