While there are ruins in eastern Japan that indicate organized production during the mid-Jomon Period - including the Nakazato shell midden, or mound, which is a national historic site in Tokyo's Kita Ward - it is extremely rare to find one in the Chubu region or further west.
This latest discovery will provide important clues about the culinary lifestyle and economic activities conducted in the Jomon Period."
[Read The Full Story]
[An interesting report on the discovery of a seafood shell midden in Japan showing that, like their counterparts on the northwest Pacific coast of America, the ancient Japanese peoples of the Jomon period were expert at foraging and processing seafood. It may well be that they were also building 'clam gardens' and cultivating them, as did the NW Pacific coastal peoples in the US. I wholely recommend reading the full story - Ed.]
They shaped it into terraces covered with 1,000 tonnes of specially imported gleaming white stone to give it the appearance of a giant stepped pyramid rising from the Aegean: the most imposing manmade structure in all the Cyclades archipelago.
But beneath the surface of the terraces lay undiscovered feats of engineering and craftsmanship to rival the structure's impressive exterior.
Archaeologists from three different countries involved in an ongoing excavation have found evidence of a complex of drainage tunnels - constructed 1,000 years before the famous indoor plumbing of the Minoan palace of Knossos on Crete - and traces of sophisticated metalworking."
[Read The Full Story]
[Another great story from Maev Kennedy at The Guardian. This 'pyramid' must really have been an imposing site in the sunshine from many miles around. It's well worth reading the full article and seeing the images of the site and findings - Ed.]
Giulio Magli, Director of the Department of Mathematics and Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the Politecnico di Milano, has formulated one of the first hypotheses of interpretation.
'Cheop's Pyramid, built around 2550 BC, is one of the largest and most complex monuments in the history of architecture. Its internal rooms are accessible through narrow tunnels, one of which, before arriving at the funerary chamber, widens and rises suddenly forming the so-called Great Gallery.'
The newly discovered room is over this gallery, but does not have a practical function of 'relieving weight' from it, because the roof of the gallery itself was already built with a corbelled technique for this very reason.' So what does that mean?
"There is a possible interpretation, which is in good agreement with what we know about the Egyptian funerary religion as witnessed in the Pyramids Texts. In these texts it is said that the pharaoh, before reaching the stars of the north, will have to pass the 'gates of the sky' and sit on his 'throne of iron'.
We can get an idea of how this object could be, looking at the throne of Cheop's mother, Queen Hetepheres, which has been found in pieces and reconstructed by Harward University. It is a low chair of cedar wood covered with sheets of gold and faience.
Cheops' could be similar, but coated with thin iron sheets. Of course it would not be melted iron, but meteoritic iron that is, fallen from the sky in the form of Iron meteorites (distinguishable due to the high percentage of the element Nickel) and again cited in the Texts.
It is certain that the Egyptians knew this material for many centuries before Cheops, and continued to use it for special items designed for the Pharaohs during millennia: just think of the famous Tutankamon dagger."
[Read The Full Story]
[A really great story in Popular Archaeology showing the analysis of archaeoastronomer Guilio Magli regarding the 'void' discovered in the Great Pyramid.
That meteoritic iron was sacred to the ancient Egyptians is well known, as he points out, and it's possible use as a chair from which the pharaoh could reach the stars by passing the 'gates of the sky' and sit on his 'throne of iron' is a likely interpretation. It's well worth reading the full article - Ed.]
Analyses of human remains from Late Pleistocene Alaska are important to resolving the timing and dispersal of these populations.
The remains of two infants were recovered at Upward Sun River (USR), and have been dated to around 11.5 thousand years ago (ka).
Here, by sequencing the USR1 genome to an average coverage of approximately 17 times, we show that USR1 is most closely related to Native Americans, but falls basal to all previously sequenced contemporary and ancient Native Americans.
[A really great and interesting study published in Nature which brings us a step or more closer to understanding the details of how and when North America was populated by humans. It's well worth reading the full abstract, and the full paper is available for a fee. The references are given and it's well worth following the links - Ed.]
"The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project" Cardiff/Athens Universites (Cymru/Greece)
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.
The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.
In 2006 the journal "Nature" published a letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon - as seen from the Earth: - Ed]