Ancient stone tools and bones have been discovered in CHINA that suggest early humans may have left Africa and arrived in Asia much earlier than thought. The artifacts appear to suggest that early humans settled in East Asia over 2 mya. The artifacts were discovered in the southern Chinese Loess Plateau.
The oldest dates to 2.12 myr making them 270,000 years older than the 1.85 million year old skeletal remains and stone tools found at Dmanisi, Georgia. Until this most recent discovery the artifacts found at Dmanisi were believed to be the oldest evidence for humanity outside of Africa. The stone tools show evidence of having been used and most are made from quartzite and quartz. Finding the stone tools and animal bones shows that early human ancestors dwelt in the area of the Chinese Loess Plateau. At that time the climate of this region was very different from what it is today. Continue Reading
Southeast Asia is one of the most genetically diverse areas of the world and for more than 100 years researchers have been debating which theory of origins of the human population there is correct. One theory holds the view that indigenous Hoabinhain hunter-gatherers populated the area 44 kya and developed farming techniques on their own without input from early farmers from East Asia. The opposing theory holds the view that migrating rice farmers from China replaced the indigenous Hoabinhian people. However, new research and evidence now suggests that BOTH theories are WRONG!! At least neither is completely correct let me say more specifically.
The new study spearheaded by the University of Cambridge has found modern SE Asian people derive their ancestry from at least four ancient populations! Researchers used DNA from human skeletal remains found in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, and Japan dating back to 8 kya. DNA samples also included samples from the indigenous Hoabinhian people and from the Jomon people of Japan. This is all a scientific first, notably, as previously the oldest DNA collected only dated back to around 4 kya.
Twenty-six ancient human genomes were sequenced successfully and compared with modern DNA from people living in SE Asia today. The environment of SE Asia is NOT conducive to DNA preservation so this study is significant for that reason alone. Jungles have few skeletal remains and that’s one big reason we have such a difficult time finding the remains of ancient human ancestors in that area. Continue Reading
This news comes from the Harvard Medical School. Researchers there have completed the first whole-genome analysis of ancient human DNA from Southeast Asia and their study reveals that there were at least 3 major waves of human migration into the region over the past 50,000 years. Each migration helped shape the genetics of the modern people living in the area today.
The study defines SE Asia as being the area east of India and south of China. The ancient DNA was obtained from 18 ancient skeletal remains who lived between 4.1–1.7 kya in what is today Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, & Cambodia.
Results from this study indicate that the first migration took place about 45 kya by people who were hunter-gatherers. Then around 4500 years ago there was a large-scale influx of people from the area of China who brought with them farming. They interbred with the locals already in the region. During the Bronze Age there were more migrations from China into SE Asia. These people brought with them different languages. It’s interesting to note that the same pattern seen in this region echoes that seen in ancient Europe! That pattern is that first came the hunter-gatherers, then the farmers, and then the Bronze Age immigrants. However, there is a major difference because in Europe much of the ancestral diversity has faded due to population interbreeding but in SE Asia the people have retained more variation by far.
Researchers have concluded that the reason for this difference is because farmers arrived in SE Asia much more recently than in Europe around 4500 years ago compared to 8000 years ago in Europe. Thus, populations in SE Asia have not had as long to interbreed as they have in Europe. Continue Reading
800,000 years ago ancestors of Homo erectus were the dominate ancient human ancestor species on the planet. Mainstream science believes H. erectus first came out of Africa and migrated into the Levant and then spread across Asia, Europe, and the Far East (but never in the Americas of course). So is this true or is this some poppycock theory designed to hide the true origins of humanity today? Why do I ask such a question? Because there is apparent evidence that contradicts this theory about H. erectus and all those before them and, for that matter, it contradicts the entire theory of human evolution!
China’s Ming Dynasty & Lady Dai
In 2011 road workers in China uncovered a tomb from the Ming Dynasty period (700 years ago) near Taizhou in Eastern China. Inside the coffin archaeologist found layers of silk and linen covered in some unknown brown liquid and beneath these linens the found the remains of a woman. The remains were almost perfectly intact and well-preserved. Body, hair, skin, clothing, and jewelry we well-preserved and even her eyebrows and eyelashes were perfectly preserved! Researchers still don’t know what the brown liquid was but some have speculated that it may have been ground water that seeped into the coffin at some point. They don’t know what the brown liquid was but it may have been ground water? You mean they can’t identify groundwater????
Remains of Lady Dai, China
Ok nothing really mysterious about this find but it’s interesting nevertheless and obviously the Ming Dynasty had some highly skillful burial and preservation techniques. But then there is Lady Dai…………. Lady Dai is also known as Xin Zhui and the Marquise of Dai. Here ASTOUNDING remains were first found in 1971. She was the wife of Li Cang the Marquis of Dai during the Western Han Dynasty. Her tomb was discovered inside a hill in Hunan, China. The remains along with several artifacts and documents are now in the care of the Hunan Museum. The remains of Lady Dai are so exceptionally preserved that it is nothing short of astounding! Continue Reading
The following information is from the weblog of Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks:
Paleoanthropologist Dr John Hawks, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Luc Doyon and colleagues document several pieces of bone that were used in the process of removing fine, small flakes from the edges of stone artifacts, called “retouchers”
“These artefacts represent the first evidence from Eastern Asia for the use of bone as raw material to modify stone tools.”
“The Lingjing bone retouchers and the behavioural consistencies their analysis highlights show that in spite of the apparent simplicity of lithic reduction sequences identified at the site , Lingjing hominins integrated in their behavioural repertoire the use of bone fragments to shape stone tools.”
“These results corroborate the view that early Late Pleistocene cultural adaptations from China must be understood as reflecting original cultural trajectories whose degree of complexity cannot be evaluated solely through the study of lithic assemblages.” Continue Reading
Heidelberg Man (Homo heidelbergensis) recreation at Atapuerca
Homo heidelbergensis (aka: Heidelberg Man) was just an archaic Neanderthal and was NOT a common ancient ancestor for H. sapiens and Neanderthals even though some people still seem to think so.
The OOA (Out of Africa) theory holds the view that Heidelberg Man is an ancestor of modern humans and Neanderthals, however. That theory claims this hominin species was present in Africa, Europe, and Asia 600-200 kya. Their skulls have features of both Homo erectus and Homo sapiens and their brain size is almost as large as H. sapiens. Yet, keep in mind that Neanderthals had slightly larger brains than modern humans do. This species was first discovered in 1907 near Heidelberg, Germany.
Further, mainstream theory (OOA) says that Neanderthals, Denisovans, and H. sapiens all descended from Heidelberg Man who appeared in Africa around 700 kya where it is known as Homo rhodesiensis. Fossils have been found in Ethiopia, Namibia, and South Africa and the theory holds that somewhere between 400-300 kya a group of this species migrated into Europe and western Asia by unknown routes and that they evolved into the Neanderthals in Europe. Another group migrated out of Africa and into Asia and they evolved into the mysterious Denisovans. Those who remained in Africa (H. rhodesiensis) evolved into anatomically modern humans sometime between 300-200 kya according to conventional OOA theory. They then migrated in a second wave into Europe and Asia between 125-60 kya. And so that is basically what the OOA says but is it so?
Artistic depiction of Homo erectus
Some paleoanthropologists and others believe H. heidelbergensis is nothing more than a variant of H. erectus! Others hold the view that it was an archaic Neanderthal but not a common ancestor of Neanderthals and archaic modern humans, H. sapiens. So, again, the waters are muddied and everything is uncertain and foggy!! That is, unless you consider the following FACTS! Continue Reading
The pyramids of Mesoamerica are the most prominent part of Mesoamerican architecture and the most fascinating! Many are similar both in shape and form and are of the step pyramid form with temples on top of them. They’ve been compared to the Egyptian pyramids but, in fact, they most resemble the ziggurats of Mesopotamia more than the pyramids of Egypt. The largest pyramid in the world in terms of volume if the Pyramid of Cholula in Puebla, Mexico, incidentally.
The two most famous people of this region are the Aztecs and Maya and both of them built pyramids. Others in the region who also built pyramids were the lesser known Purepechan people and the mysterious builders of Teotihuacan not far from Mexico City. The Toltec also built pyramids and we used to think they built the magnificent pyramids at Teotihuacan but today that is a question mark because we really do not know who built them. The Zapotec people were also pyramid builders as well as several others. Not only did these people build pyramids but they also build magnificent ball courts, fortresses, and palaces.
The Maya built their pyramids out of adobe bricks and then covered them with limestone. They actually built two types of pyramids. One was built and intended to be climbed and others were not. Some of them had very steep staircases with temples at the top used for sacrificial rituals we think. It’s believed that the Maya started building pyramids about 3 kya. Then for no apparent reason around 900 AD the Maya and others began to abandon their cities and pyramids. There are many theories as to why but nothing is known for certain. Also, I must mention that the Maya and other pyramid builders often claim they did NOT build the pyramids or the cities but they simply found them abandoned so they moved in. Some scholars believe many of these sites may have been built by an earlier people known as the Olmec (aka: the “rubber people”). The Olmec are believed to have been the “mother culture” of Mesoamerica.
Pyramid structures can also be found in such odd places as Florida and Georgia in the US. Some people think that they were built by the Maya. There are rumors of a great red Maya style pyramid somewhere in Arizona near Flagstaff in Arizona that is yet to be discovered and I’ve posted about this before. Pyramids are also found in China and other parts of the world so, in fact, pyramids and pyramid building was something common not rare.
The Pyramid of the Sun at the Teotihuacan site is massive! People climbing up its steps look like ants from down below on the ground. This pyramid is the largest structure at the site. Although we don’t know who built this site for certain we do know that the pyramid was likely NOT called the Pyramid of the Sun as we call it today. That is a modern name for it. It is 738 feet across and 246 feet high. That makes it the third largest pyramid on the planet that we know of. It was covered with a lime plaster when it was built and painted with colorful murals that have long disappeared mostly. The temple that once stood atop this pyramid has long been destroyed by natural elements and people in the area.
As I mentioned before the pyramids of Mesoamerica more closely resemble the ziggurats of Mesopatamia than they do the pyramids of Egypt. Both are step-style structures where those in Egypt are smooth with no staircases. In fact, the pyramids of China are more like those in Egypt than those of Mesoamerica.
All sorts of theories have been put forth about what pyramids were actually used for from claiming they were mainly burial chambers to power plants. We don’t really know what they were used for. What we do know is that they are found all over the world and they all have similar features. And btw satellite images indicated that there are many more sites with pyramid structures not yet excavated in Mesoamerica and China still covered with dirt and vegetation.
A paper that came out in September 2017 by Professor Ulfur Arnason calls for a new paradigm and it’s making some waves. Professor Arnason is a neuroscientist at the University of Lund in Sweden and in the paper he places the LAST COMMON ANCESTOR of Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans) and the Neanderthals somewhere in EURASIA, not Africa. Professor Arnason argues that the ancesotrs of the African KhoeSan and Mbuti people formed the first exodus of modern humans INTO AFRICA out of ASIA AND EUROPE. If he’s right then his research calls the Out of Africa theory (OOA) into question, once again, as so much research is now doing but it’s all being ignored, summarily!
A simplified view of Hss migrations. The shaded area signifies an undefined Asian(Eurasian) area from which Hss dispersed. The red track shows the potential routes of KhoeSan, Mbuti and Yoruba outside the Hsnn range. KhoeSan and Mbuti may have diverged before their migration into Africa. The arrow-headed lines between Mbuti and Yoruba mark potential genetic exchange. The green track represents the common Asian origin of indigenous Australians, Papuans-New Guineans and the Andamanese (Mallick et al., 2016). Altai shows the location of the genetic contribution of Hss into Hsn (Kuhlwilm et al., 2016) and Daoxian Cave the location of the palaeontological Hss finds described by Liu et al. (2015). Image credit: Úlfur Árnason
Common belief is that the ancient human ancestors of modern humans lived somewhere in Africa and Homo sapiens evolved there first and migrated out of Africa to Europe and Asia. Most scientists hold the belief that the exact dating of this emergence out of Africa of our ancient ancestors remains to be resolved but they are ever so sure they will discover a date soon. However, the research of Professor Arnason suggests that the origination of Homo sapiens sapiens was in EURASIA NOT IN AFRICA!
Neanderthals and modern humans seem to have parted ways, at least genetically, sometime before 500 kya (thousand years ago). Arnason argues that this date places the first of our species somewhere in Eurasia and he adds this to what we know about the geographical range of Neanderthals.
Professor Arnason said, “The EXCLUSIVE occurrence of Neanderthals in EUROPE and ASIA and their ABSENCE from Africa restricts their origins to EURASIA,” and indeed it DOES! He went on to also say, “As a consequence, the origin of their sister-group (Homo sapiens sapiens; modern humans) should be placed in the SAME CONTINENT (ie: EURASIA).” He goes on saying that this hypothesis would then be in “compliance with the LCA (last common ancestor) understanding that the LCS of any two sister groups CANNOT be separated, neither in time nor space.” Amen to that!! Continue Reading