Recently I had a DNA analysis done and most of the ethnic results I expected except for one. I was surprised to learn that 5% of my ethnic DNA comes from the Caucasus region located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Traditionally, the Caucasus Mountains are the dividing line between Asia and Europe. This is a today a very diverse region in terms of religion, linguistics, culture, and ecologically and looking at some of the history of this region it has apparently always been such. Today it is home to over 50 ethnic groups and is one of the world’s 34 biodiversity hotspots, that is, this region is home to a large number of diverse plants and animals which are threatened by human encroachment. The region also has a lot of history ranging from the Mongols to the Huns to Cyrus the Great and a host of other notable historical people and cultures.
Location of Dmanisi site in Georgia Republic
The Caucasus region is also home to the wonderful Dmanisi skulls and that is what fascinates me and, now, my personal connection to this area!! Around 45,000 years ago modern humans (Homo sapiens) entered into the Caucasus region and the surrounding area from somewhere in the Middle East. Farming was introduced and it spread throughout the region during the Neolithic Period. Evidence suggests that around 800 years ago the Mongols invaded the region and left behind descendants such as the Nogay people. Ironically, the Caucasus region seems to have rarely been the source of migrations out of the area. In other words, human populations came to the region and stayed. Continue Reading
The CDC has put something interesting out lately pertaining to heat related deaths. According to their data about 600 Americans die every year due to heat related causes. In contrast, double that amount of Americans die due to COLD related causes. The CDC estimates are noted below.
Here’s something else. The planets temp has risen 1 degree in the last 100 years and life expectancy has doubled in the last 100 years. So is heating bad? Likely not. And one other little item……..cold seems to love diseases while heat tend to kill them. So the colder it is, the more disease is likely, while the warmer it is, the less likely disease outbreak is.
Make of the CDC statistics what you will but one thing I see for sure is that cold is much more dangerous to human life than warmth. And what would happen to much of human life should Earth suddenly plunge into a new ice age? I think we can safely say that there would be a lot of death due to disease outbreak, exposure, and famine. Continue Reading
Many Native American legends often speak of the giants who lived in the Americas before their ancestors arrived but there are also other historical accounts of giants in the Americas. One of those accounts comes from the expedition of the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto who explored around the area of Tallahassee, Florida. De Soto recorded meeting a “giant” Indian chief in this area. He described him as a “man of monstrous proportions.” The Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco Coronado also recorded and encounter with giants during his expedition into the American Southwest during his search for the elusive “Seven Cities of Cibola.” In fact, Coronado and his men came upon SEVERAL tribes of giants!
Pedro de Casteneda who was with Coronado kept a history of the expedition and he is the one who actually recorded the expeditions encounter with several tribes of giants. In one passage Casteneda wrote of the expeditions encounter with the Seri people. The Seri people are a Native American tribe in the Mexican state of Sonora. These were a semi-nomadic people of hunter-gatherers who lived both inland and along the Gulf of California. The Seri are NOT related to the Yaqui or other native people in the region, strangely. They were renowned for their fierce warriors who put up a good fight against the Spanish who tried to subdue them. They call themselves the “Comcaac.” Castaneda wrote that these people were so large that the largest Spaniard only came up to their chest! “Don Rodrigo Maldonado,” Castaneda wrote, “…..brought back with him an Indian so large and tall that the best man in the army reached only to his chest and it was said that other Indians were even taller on the coast.” Giant Indians were not only found among the Seri but also by other Spanish explorers in Texas, Florida, and the tip of Cape Horn in South America where they were called the “Patagonia Giants.” The Spanish weren’t sure what to make of these people but they had a reputation for being fierce.
Back in the 1800s seven giant skeletons were found in Alaska by James Perkinson who was an American miner. Five of the skeletons were almost complete. One of these measured over 7 feet tall!! Two others were almost 7 feet tall Continue Reading
Recently I have spoken with some Native Americans in southern California and southern Arizona who have told me their Bigfoot stories. They call this hominid “Yucca Man” while others call them “Sun Devils.”
As with everything else in the desert these Yucca Men (and women) are shorter and leaner than their counterparts found in the northern regions. However, these odd desert dwellers tend to be more aggressive and fierce than their cousins in the north for some reason.
Alleged photo of a Yucca Man taken in southern California desert. Photo taken in 1990s by a hiker in Joshua Tree National Park, CA
The deserts of the American Southwest are filled with cactus and sagebrush and to glimpse at the region one would think nothing lives there but you could not be more wrong. There is plenty of wildlife in the desert and most of that wildlife is nocturnal I suppose due to the extreme temperatures during the day time hours.
One Native American man told me a story about this Yucca Man. He and his family were deer hunting and camping for a few days in the desert of southeastern Arizona towards the end of October. They had their tents set up and a campfire going and they were listening to some music. Suddenly, one of the family members noticed something standing in the brush just out of the campfire light. At first they thought it was a person, perhaps an illegal migrant or another hunter, but it wasn’t as they soon found out. Continue Reading