The enormous geoglyphs number in the thousands and portray everything from animals and plants to seemingly mythical beasts and geometric patterns.
Now, researchers have found some of Peru's massive creations depict non-native birds.
Among the 16 massive bird carvings in the Nazca desert of southern Peru are a hermit (a forest species) and a pelican (a coastal denizen), according to new research published yesterday (June 19) in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports."
[Another good story from Live Science! Many other animals depicted in geoglyphs at Nazca also not native to the area - the monkey geoglyph is a species only found in jungle areas much further east of the desert. It's worth reading the full story to access images and diagrams- Polly.]
Until now, it was commonly accepted that anthropoid apes, the closest species to humans, shy away from water and shun aquatic creatures in their diet.
The finding offers pointers on how man's distant ancestors came to feast on aquatic creatures."
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[Interesting discovery about dietary habits of chimps. Perhaps they are correct that this suggests man's distant ancestors also ate aquatic creatures a very long time ago, but the real lesson from this ia that nothing should be taken for granted as so many cherished paradigms regarding our prehistory are being overturned almost daily. It's worth reading the full, short story - Ed.]
The last of the Neanderthals, the closest extinct relatives of modern humans, disappeared from Europe about 40,000 years ago.
Previous research estimated that at its peak, the entire Neanderthal population in both Europe and Asia was quite small, totalling 70,000 at most.
Scientists have long debated whether the dispersal of modern humans across the globe helped kill off Neanderthals, either directly through conflict or indirectly through the spread of disease.
'The disappearance of the Neanderthal population is an exciting subject - imagine a human group that has lived for thousands of years and is very well-adapted to its environment, and then disappears', study senior author Silvana Condemi, a paleoanthropologist at Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France, told Live Science.
'For a long time, it was thought that Homo sapiens had simply killed the Neanderthals. Today, thanks to the results of genetic analysis, we know that the encounters between Neanderthals and sapiens were not always so cruel, and that interbreeding took place - even today's humans have genes of Neanderthal origin.'"
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[A great story from Live Science! Could the warming conditions during interglacials have affected Neanderthals fertility? Who Knows? But ongoing research promises an answer.
Dewhurst quotes from newspaper articles gathered during the course of his research into reports from those times and up to the mid 1900s, and includes many photographs taken and published in those reports. He also details the legends of native Americans peoples about such giant peoples.
What happened to those giant skeletons of ancient people 10-12ft in height? Are they in the Smithsonian basement out of sight - and if so, why?
It's well worth a visit to read the transcript and listen to the audio - Ed.]
Using ground-penetrating radar, the researchers found that the monumental stone circles of Avebury, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Stonehenge, were centred on an early Neolithic habitation, with the concentric stone circles and large earthen embankment being built around it probably centuries later.
They say the Neolithic house at Avebury was built sometime after 3700 B.C. - but centuries before the creation of the larger rings of stone at Avebury and the megalithic monument at Stonehenge, which research shows were built after 3000 B.C."
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[The area around Salisbury plain which contains the Avebury and Stonehenge complexes was obviously used for many millennia more than has previously been acknowledged. Now the use of ground-penetrating radar is showing much more usage of the area in prehistoric times than was expected. It will be well worth watching developments. Do read the full story - Ed.]
The discovery has implications for ideas about early hominin evolution and dispersal from Africa.
Homo sapiens is the only living species of a diverse group called hominins (members of the human family tree who are more closely related to each other than they are to chimpanzees and bonobos).
Most extinct hominin species are not our direct ancestors, but instead are close relatives with evolutionary histories that took a slightly different path from ours.
This newly identified species was found in the Philippines and named Homo luzonensis after Luzon, the island where bones and teeth from individuals of this species were excavated from Callao Cave.
Specimens of H. luzonensis were dated to minimum ages of 50,000 and 67,000 years old, which suggests that the species was alive at the same time as several other hominins belonging to the genus Homo, including Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo floresiensis."
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[What an amazing new discovery! It seems another precious paradigm needs to be urgently reviewed, and it makes you wonder how many others are waiting to be discovered.
"Marawah Island Uncovers Abu Dhabi History With New Findings" UrduPoint (Pakistan)
"The latest archaeological excavations on Marawah Island, carried out by specialist teams from the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, have shed new light on Abu Dhabi's earliest known settlement, which dates back 8,000 years.
The most recent excavations, which took place over a period of five weeks in February and March, have uncovered stunning new evidence on the architecture, art and technology of Abu Dhabi's Neolithic inhabitants.
Marawah lies around 100km to the west of the city of Abu Dhabi, and approximately 25km northwest of the port of Mirfa.
The dig site is situated on top of a rocky limestone plateau located just to the west of Ghubba village in the southwestern part of the island.
First discovered in 1992 during an archaeological survey of the island, the site consists of at least seven mounds that appear to be the remains of collapsed Neolithic stone structures."
[Read The Full Story]
[It's good to have an update on thr excellent work that's been going on for many years in the Persian Gulf region. Evidence of urban remains dated 8,000 years ago is significant, especially in that region.
Not too far away in NW India urban remains the site of Manhattan Island were found just offsore in shallow waters of the Gulf of Khambat (Cambay) in 2001, and the discoverers suggested they stretched out towards the Persian Gulf and Arabia and possibly right up to southern Iraq. Sadly, a lack of funding and closed archaeological minds stifled further investigations.
There's a great picture of the remains and it's well worth reading the full story - 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]
"In this provocative collaboration from two Egyptology outsiders, Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D., and Robert Bauval combine their decades of research to show how the Sphinx is thousands of years older than the conventional Egyptological timeline and was built by a long forgotten pre-Pharaonic civilization.
They examine the known history of the Sphinx, contrasting what Egyptologists claim with prominent historical accounts and new research, including updates to Schoch’s geological water weathering research and reanalysis of seismic studies.
Building on Bauval’s Orion Correlation Theory, they investigate the archaeoastronomical alignments of the monuments of the Giza Plateau and reveal how the pyramids and Sphinx were built to align with the constellations of Orion and Leo.
Analyzing the evidence for a significantly older construction phase at Giza and the restoration and recarving of the Sphinx during the Old Kingdom era, they assert that the Sphinx was first built by an advanced pre-Pharaonic civilization that existed circa 12,000 years ago on the Giza Plateau, contemporaneous with the sophisticated Göbekli Tepe complex."