Monday, 25 July 2022

Humans Have Been In The Arctic For Over 40,000 Years – New Discoveries Reveal

Scientists have found evidence the first humans to inhabit the Arctic appeared about 40,000 years ago, at the beginning of the Late Paleolithic.

The discovery was made by scientists from the Siberian Section of the Russian Academy of Sciences (СО РАН) conducted radiocarbon analyses of reindeer antler fragments found at the Kushevat Paleolithic site in the Lower Ob region.

Humans Have Been In The Arctic For Over 40,000 Years – New Discoveries Reveal
Credit: Adobe Stock – anibal

In addition to the antler bones, scientists also examined a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), a steppe bison (Bison priscus), Elk (Alces alces), deer (Cervus elephus sibiricus), and, potentially, a musk ox (Ovibos moschatus). Analyses of the bones dated them back to a series of 20 different radiocarbon dates, all ranging from the period between 20 and 40 thousand years ago.

Although this finding solely points to animals, and not humans, inhibiting the Arctic region 40,000 years back, the discovery has now become the basis of further analyses, which currently date human activity in the Ob region back to 40,000 years ago. This is because two reindeer antlers held traces of human activity amongst this group of bones, which have only recently been analyzed.

The question of the initial settlement of the Arctic and Subarctic by an ancient man of the modern type (Homo sapiens sapiens) has long been of interest to scientists. The valley of the Ob River is often considered a potential migration route for Paleolithic man.

It is believed that modern man came to Europe and Asia 50,000 -60,000 thousand years ago.

What is still unclear is where the modern man lived before and how he crossed the Urals? For a long time, the hypothesis prevailed that 12,000 -30,000 years ago, the north of Western Siberia was covered by a large glacier (just like the north of America and Europe). To the south of this glacier was a dammed basin reaching 130 meters. For this reason, it was believed that looking for archaeological sites dating back to the period of 30-40 thousand years ago in the north was pointless. It was confirmed by the almost complete absence of finds (tools, sites, organic matter).

Humans Have Been In The Arctic For Over 40,000 Years - New Discoveries Reveal
Fragment of reindeer antler with traces of anthropological impact.
Illustration source: “Archaeology, Ethnography and Anthropology of Eurasia” (vol. 49, no. 1 – 2021)

“Thanks to the international research program using AMS dating and optical-stimulating luminescence, our colleagues from Europe and Russia proved that there was no ice cover in the north of Western Siberia 12,000 – 30,000 years ago. It was much earlier: 90,000 -60,000 years ago north of Salekhard. The level of the ice-dammed basin in the Ob valley did not exceed 60 meters.

This is an entirely different paleogeographic picture. For thirty years, I was convinced that in the north of Western Siberia, there were all the conditions for the existence of an ancient person. Now we had the opportunity to try to prove it: to find traces of Homo sapiens in the north of the Ob 30,000 – 50,000 years ago “, – the project manager, head of the laboratory of the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy named after V.I. V.S commented in a press statement.

As reported by the Barents Observer “the analysis suggests that Homo sapiens and not only Neanderthals inhabited the Arctic Circle in the Upper Paleolithic age. About two decades ago, it was only certain that Neanderthals, and not Homo sapiens, were occupants in the region during the period. This was discovered by radiocarbon dating a set of bones unearthed in 2001 at the Yakutia site. The radiocarbon analysis suggested that the Neanderthals had found themselves in the region approximately 28,500–27,000 years ago.

The new AMS analysis has hence provided two major breakthroughs. The first one being that Homo sapiens, as well as Neanderthals, inhabited the Arctic circle during the Paleolithic Age. And the second find being that Homo sapiens lived north of the Arctic circle already 40,000 years ago.”

Article source -

Friday, 22 July 2022

From the Pyramids to Stonehenge – were Prehistoric People Astronomers?

From the Pyramids to Stonehenge – were Prehistoric People Astronomers?
All Giza Pyramids in one shot. ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Ever since humans could look up to see the sky, we have been amazed by its beauty and untold mysteries. Naturally then, astronomy is often described as the oldest of the sciences, inspiring people for thousands of years. Celestial phenomena are featured in prehistoric cave paintings . And monuments such as the Great Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge seem to be aligned with precision to cardinal points or the positions where the moon, sun or stars rise and set on the horizon.

Today, we seem to struggle to imagine how ancient people could build and orient such structures. This has led to many assumptions. Some suggest prehistoric people must have had some knowledge of mathematics and sciences to do this, whereas others go so far as to speculate that alien visitors showed them how to do it.

But what do we actually know about how people of the past understood the sky and developed a cosmology? A scientific discipline called “archaeoastronomy” or “cultural astronomy”, developed in the 1970s, is starting to provide insights. This subject combines various specialist areas, such as astronomy, archaeology, anthropology and ethno-astronomy.

Simplistic Methods
The pyramids of Egypt are some of the most impressive ancient monuments, and several are oriented with high precision. Egyptologist Flinder Petrie carried out the first high-precision survey of the Giza pyramids in the 19th century. He found that each of the four edges of the pyramids’ bases point towards a cardinal direction to within a quarter of a degree.

But how did the Egyptians know that? Just recently, Glen Dash , an engineer who studies the Giza pyramids, proposed a theory . He draws upon the ancient method of the “Indian circle” , which only requires a shadow casting stick and string to construct an east-west direction. He outlined how this method could have been used for the pyramids based on its simplicity alone.

So could this have been the case? It’s not impossible, but at this point we are in danger of falling into a popular trap of reflecting our current world views, methods and ideas into the past. Insight into mythology and relevant methods known and used at the time are likely to provide a more reliable answer.

From the Pyramids to Stonehenge – were Prehistoric People Astronomers?
Stonehenge sun. (Image: simonwakefield CC BY 2.0 )

This is not the first time scientists have jumped to conclusions about a scientific approach applied to the past. A similar thing happened with Stonehenge. In 1964, the late astronomer Gerald Hawkins developed an intricate method to use pit holes and markers to predict eclipses at the mysterious monument. However, this does not mean that this is how Stonehenge was intended to be used.

Way Forward
To start understanding the past we need to include various approaches from other disciplines to support an idea. We also have to understand that there will never be only one explanation or answer to how a monument might have been aligned or used.

So how can cultural astronomy explain the pyramids’ alignment? A study from 2001 proposed that two stars, Megrez and Phad, in the stellar constellation known as Ursa Major may have been the key. These stars are visible through the entire night. Their lowest position in the sky during a night can mark north using the merkhet - an ancient timekeeping instrument composing a bar with a plumb line attached to a wooden handle to track stars’ alignment.

The benefit of this interpretation is that it links to star mythology drawn from inscriptions in the temple of Horus in Edfu . These elaborate on using the merkhet as a surveying tool – a technique that can also explain the orientation of other Egyptian sites. The inscription includes the hieroglyph “ the Bull’s Foreleg ” which represents the Big Dipper star constellation and its possible position in the sky.

From the Pyramids to Stonehenge – were Prehistoric People Astronomers?
The use of the two stars Megrez and Phad of Ursa Major to line up with the cardinal north direction (meridian indicated in orange) as simulated for 2562BC. Daniel Brown

Similarly, better ideas for Stonehenge have been offered. One study identified strange circles of wood near the monument, and suggested these may have represented the living while the rocks at Stonehenge represented the dead. Similar practices are seen in monuments found in Madagascar , suggesting it may have been a common way for prehistoric people to think about the living and the dead. It also offers an exciting new way of understanding Stonehenge in its wider landscape. Others have interpreted Stonehenge and especially its avenue as marking the ritual passage through the underworld with views of the moon on the horizon.

See also: Alien Artifacts From Ancient Egypt Found In Jerusalem & Kept Secret by Rockefeller Museum

Cultural astronomy has also helped shed light on 6,000-year-old passage graves – a type of tomb consisting of a chamber of connected stones and a long narrow entrance – in Portugal. Archaeologist Fabio Silva has shown how views from inside the tombs frame the horizon where the star Aldebaran rises above a mountain range. This might mean it was built to give a view of the star from the inside either for the dead or the living, possibly as an initiation ritual.

From the Pyramids to Stonehenge – were Prehistoric People Astronomers?
Fieldwork at one of the passage graves in Portugal, Dolmen da Orca. Next to the stone structure is a replica tent to simulate the view from inside of the passage grave. Daniel Brown

But Silva also drew upon wider supporting evidence. The framed mountain range is where the builders of the graves would have migrated with their livestock over summer. The star Aldebaran rises for the first time here in the year – known as a helical rising – during the beginning of this migration. Interestingly, ancient folklore also talks about a shepherd in this area who spotted a star so bright that it lit up the mountain range. Arriving there he decided to name both the mountain range and his dog after the star – both names still exist today.

Current work carried out by myself in collaboration with Silva has also shown how a view from within the long, narrow entrance passages to the tombs could enhance the star’s visibility by restricting the view through an aperture.

But while it is easy to assume that prehistoric people were analytic astronomers with great knowledge of science, it’s important to remember that this only reflects our modern views of astronomy. Findings from cultural astronomy show that people of the past were indeed sky watchers and incorporated what they saw in many aspects of their lives. While there are still many mysteries surrounding the meaning and origins of ancient structures, an approach drawing on as many areas as possible , including experiences and engaging in meaning is likely our best bet to work out just what they were once used for.

Article source -

Monday, 18 July 2022

Hidden Inca Water System Beneath The Machu Picchu Jungle Discovered By LIDAR

There is much evidence the Incas were skilled in regard to water engineering. One of their greatest accomplishments is the Incamisana water temple at Ollantaytambo in Peru that was “constructed for the worship of deities who gave the Inca people water and water itself. Even today in our modern terms, the structure represents the Inca’s masterpiece of both civil engineering and construction. It was designed to focus on religious ceremonies and offerings.

Hidden Inca Water System Beneath The Machu Picchu Jungle Discovered By LIDAR
Machu Picchu. Credit: Pixabay – 4758892 – Public Domain

It’s definitely a truly remarkable achievement especially if we consider the region’s harsh weather and the altitude of 2,792 m (9,160 ft) above sea level.” 

Now, thanks to LIDAR scientists have learned more about the Incas knowledge of hydraulic systems.

Lidar, or Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth and has been lately helpful to archaeologists to study areas that were once too dangerous or inaccessible. Archaeologists have in recent years discovered many fascinating ancient structures with help of LIDAR. The recent satellite images have revealed a hidden Inca water system beneath the Machu Picchu Jungle.

Read also: Ancient City Machu Picchu Was Originally Called Huayna Picchu By The Incas – Study Of The Name Reveals

In the study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Polish researchers write,” the Chachabamba archaeological site contains a unique water complex erected and modified by the Incas. Based on archaeological investigations within the ceremonial sector, it has been established that the function of this water complex was strictly ceremonial. Moreover, hydrodynamic studies of the water supply canals have verified the previous findings.

Hidden Inca Water System Beneath The Machu Picchu Jungle Discovered By LIDAR
Credit: Sieczkowska Dominika – Journal of Archaeological Science

Due to the complex characteristics of the site, which is largely overgrown by dense vegetation, we employed a methodology not previously applied in the region. Three-dimensional documentation techniques were used to produce hydrodynamic analyses of the site, which facilitated the preparation of appropriate models that are key to understanding the function of the entire water system.”

Hidden Inca Water System Beneath The Machu Picchu Jungle Discovered By LIDAR
Credit: Sieczkowska Dominika – Journal of Archaeological Science

According to Dominika Sieczkowska, deputy director of the organization and development of the Centre for Andean Studies at the University of Warsaw, who led the research “only very privileged people could get to Machu Picchu, because it was a very special place,” she says. “When you went there, you had to stop in Chachabamba to take a spiritual bath to be clean and pure to get to Machu Picchu.”

Hidden Inca Water System Beneath The Machu Picchu Jungle Discovered By LIDAR
Incamisana Water Temple. Credit: Adobe Stock – videobuzzing

“The discovery is about a dozen small structures that supplied water to the archaeological and ceremonial complex of Chachabamba. It is located on a mostly flat terrain in the Vilcanota valley in southeastern Peru (2170 m.a.s.l.). The stone archaeological monuments that make it up are the main altar and fourteen surrounding baths. The investigations of the hydraulic system have shown that the fourteen stone bodies exercised the unique role of ceremonial purification baths in relation to the ceremonial character of the site.

The Chachabamba water system was specifically for rituals. It is fed by the Urubamba River, called Willkamayu and considered sacred by the Incas,” the Arch Daily reports.

The Inca’s design of water systems was influenced by their strong beliefs in power of water.

Article source -

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Has A 12,000-Year-Old Underwater City Been Discovered Off The Coast Of Louisiana?

At present, more than 80% of the ocean remains unexplored. In recent years, underwater archaeologists have discovered magnificent, ancient ruins and startling prehistoric artifacts. Scientists are confident more underwater treasures will be found in the future.

Still, some discoveries, like this one, are truly spectacular. George Gelé, an amateur archaeologist claims there is a 12,000-year-old underwater city off the coast of Louisiana. It sounds almost too good to be true, but anything is possible if we keep an open mind.

Has A 12,000-Year-Old Underwater City Been Discovered Off The Coast Of Louisiana?
Is there an ancient underwater city off the coast of Louisiana? Credit: Adobe Stock – Rob

Gelé has put forward an interesting theory suggesting there are mysterious granite mounds off the coast of the Chandeleur Islands in the Gulf of Mexico, 50 miles east of New Orleans. Experts have so far not backed his theory, and it’s fair to say the jury is still out there on this one.

This is by no means an ordinary ancient city. According to Gelé, there is a pyramid in the middle of the city, and it emits such a strong energy that sailors’ compass malfunction.

In an interview with WWL-TV, local shrimper Ricky Robin stated the compass on his boat spun completely around when he was in the vicinity of the place where the alleged underwater pyramid is located.

“What’s down there are hundreds of buildings that are covered with sand and silt and that are geographically related to the Great Pyramid at Giza,” Gelé told local CBS affiliate WWL-TV.

Has A 12,000-Year-Old Underwater City Been Discovered Off The Coast Of Louisiana?
Are these ruins natural or ma-made? Credit: WWLTV

“Everything will go out on your boat, all your electronics,” Robin said.

“Like as if you were in the Bermuda Triangle. That’s exactly what we got here.”

Robin said the area has been a point of local discussion as fishermen reported catching strange square rocks in their nets over the years.

“I thought right away it was pieces of the pyramid because it was right around where that compass spun,” Robin said.

“Somebody floated a billion stones down the Mississippi River and assembled them outside what would later become New Orleans.”

“The existence of this site has long intrigued Isleño fishermen and mariners familiar with the area,” The St. Bernard Voice wrote ahead of a lecture by Gelé in January.

“Who could have constructed a solid granite structure roughly the size of the Caesar’s Superdome in these waters, now covered with silt?

“Mr. Gelé has interesting theories about the origin, age, and purpose of this pyramidal structure.”

Gelé, who calls the enigmatic underwater site Crecsentis says scientists should pay attention to the fact granite is not found naturally in Louisiana or Mississippi. If these are granite mounds, who raised them, and where did the builders get the granite?

Has A 12,000-Year-Old Underwater City Been Discovered Off The Coast Of Louisiana?
Where did the granite come from? Credit: WWLTV

According to Gelé, this ancient underwater mystery could be solved with the help of modern sonar technology and satellite imaging.

Gelé’s discovery has made some scientists curious, and though they acknowledge something is “down there,” they have different theories attempting to explain this underwater mystery.

In the 1980s, a Texas A&M study proposed the underwater granite was from shipwrecks or piles of ballast stones thrown from old vessels, WWL-TV reported. It is possible the rocks were dumped from Spanish or French ships to lighten the boats as they entered shallow waters on the way to New Orleans.

LSU archaeology professor Rob Mann has previously suggested that granite stones were placed at this spot in the 1940s when an attempt to build an artificial coral reef was made.

Has A 12,000-Year-Old Underwater City Been Discovered Off The Coast Of Louisiana?
Egyptian Sphinx and Pyramids underwater. Credit: Adobe Stock – Maurizio

In an interview with The Advocate Mann said:” I think simply searching underwater at this point won’t give us any more answers. When the historical archive work is done, looking at records and newspapers, that’s when we will know what it is.”

Mann stated it is vital to find out why the barge loads of stone were dumped at this particular site.

Gelé is aware his controversial theory has been met with skepticism, but he is still confident “something” is hidden underwater, and in his opinion, it is a structure built by an ancient lost civilization.

“All I know is somebody built a city 12,000 years ago and it’s stuck out in Chandeleur,” Gelé claimed.

“Whether or not they had someone on their shoulder who flew in with a UFO, I don’t know.

All I know is they left a whole lot of granite rocks out there,” he says.

Article source -