A new study by the Uppsala University et. al. has pushed the emergence of modern humans back to at least 300 kya and possibly even to 350 kya. Funny how not so long ago we used to think our species emerged 100 kya, then 200 kya, and now 300-350 kya isn’t it? Frankly, I think even newer research will soon push our emergence back even further! You can read the whole story at the link below.
Artistic bust of Peking Man
So consider this in perspective………. Homo erectus is believed to have went extinct around 143 kya so if modern humans emerged 300-350 kya then that means that these two species COEXISTED for at least 100-150 thousand years! And there was a time when H. erectus, modern humans, Heidelbergensis, and Neanderthals coexisted! And you don’t think all of these human species interbred? Think again LOL!!
Regarding Neanderthals two new studies have emerged. One suggests Neanderthal-Denisovans almost disappeared after separating from modern humans and that find challenges the conventional theory about all three species! Another study has revealed diet may be the blame for the Neanderthals demise in contrast to the diet of modern humans which enabled us to survive. Perhaps. I’m sure diet was important just as it is today but, again, I assert that the Neanderthals didn’t go extinct at all. They interbred with modern humans and produced viable offspring hybrids! In my mind what appears to have happened is (borrowing a line from Star Trek) modern humans came along and for all other species resistance was futile! These other species didn’t go extinct. We had sex with them and produced hybrid offspring capable of breeding and producing more hybrids! And that’s how we mods became the Mutt People we are today!!! Sorry…no pure races left and no pure human species left (if there was ever) and there hasn’t been for a long time. Want personal proof? Research your own ancestry and it will become as clear as day to you. Continue Reading
Reconstructed face from Paleoindian skull named “Naiia” who lived about 13-20 kya in the Americas. This face shows some very obvious Oriental features!!
Back in April I posted about the fossil remains of Luzia Woman found in Brazil. Most anthropologists, including myself, believe she was a Paleo-Indian who may well have been part of the first wave of migrants into South America. The fossil remains have been dated at about 11.5 kya and in terms of all things anthropological that’s not that long ago. In fact, it was towards the end of the last glaciation. You can find my original post at the link below. Continue Reading
I have many interests that go beyond just anthropology and one of those interests is in Russian history especially the tsarists era prior to the Soviets. Something that I find interesting is that most people don’t know much about the first Romanov Tsar Mikhail I and, in fact, most Russians don’t know much about him either outside of his having been the first Romanov monarch of Imperial Russia.
Some people assume Mikhail was a manly warrior and conqueror who took over Russia from the Rurik dynasty which was a VIKING dynasty. Rurik is regarded by many as the founder of Russia. He was a Viking who founded Kiev in the Ukraine and established the Rurik dynasty which was before the Romanov’s came along. Back then Russia was known as “Kievan Rus” because Rurik was a member of the Rus tribe.
Tsar Mikhail I was a youth of 16 years old
In fact, Mikhail was only 16 years old when he was ELECTED tsar! At the time he was elected it was the end of what is known as the “Time of Troubles.” That was a period in Russian history when everything was in a state of turmoil and when many declared themselves as tsars. It was a time of great internal conflict and hardship for the common folk, the peasants. Mikhail was elected in 1613 A.D. and he was a rather unusual choice for being tsar.
The Romanov’s were an old boyar (noble) family from Moscow and their first ancestor recorded was named Andrey Kobyla in the first half of the 14th century. They were actually related to the Rurik dynasty and sister of Mikhail’s grandfather (his great aunt) Anastasia happens to have been the first wife of the legendary Ivan the Terrible. This fact strengthened the election of Mikhail to the throne over all others vying for the coveted crown of Russia.
It may sound unusual today but back in the times of Mikhail and prior it was common for monarchs to be elected rather than via inheritance. Mikhail was elected by a body known as the “Zemsky Sobor” which was an “Assembly of the Land” which was kind of like a forerunner to modern parliaments we see today. Nobles and peasants alike participated in the election and during his reign the Zemsky Sobor was convened yearly. Yet, in Europe this was a period of absolutism and of the “divine right of kings.” So this parliament and this democratic election process was unusual for the times! Continue Reading
Egyptologists have long debated just how the ancient Egyptians transported the heavy stone blocks from 500 miles away to the site of the pyramids at Giza and now it appears the mystery may well be solved. The stone blocks weigh about 2 1/2 tons and are made of limestone and granite. One of the pyramids is known as the Tomb of Khufu or as the Pyramid of Khufu which was built around 2600 BC. Researchers have recently found a papyrus, a ceremonial boat, and remains of what appear to be ancient waterworks that are helping to solve the mystery as to how the Bronze Age Egyptians transported these massive stone blocks.
It appears that the Egyptians built waterworks and diverted water from the Nile River inland to the site of where the pyramids were being built. What they apparently did was to build a systems of canal-like waterways and floated the huge blocks on boats to the building site.
If this theory is right then the ancient Egyptians were pretty ingenious but this still doesn’t solve the mystery of how they actually lifted the stones to build the pyramids. Likely they used pulleys and I, frankly, don’t think that they hauled them up dirt ramps as some people believe. Pulleys can do wonders when it comes to constructing large structures as any builder knows. Continue Reading
Winter is here and it’s a month early! It’s snowing in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah and according to the LA Times Mammoth Lake in the Sierras got about 3 inches of snow yesterday and the plows had to be called out to clear the road. This comes on top of snow from last winter in the Sierras that didn’t melt causing the ski resorts to remain open all summer. Forecasters say warmer weather is expected this weekend with highs in the 50s and lows in the 20s (if you want to call that warmer weather).
North Lake Tahoe, Sept 22, 2017, Placer Co Sheriff
The snow has come about a month early just as the aspens are turning colors and residents have not forgotten last winter when snow also came early and pounded them with 40 FEET of the white stuff! Yesterdays early snowfall also reached north Lake Tahoe leaving a couple of inches.
A few days ago I was reading an editorial by a noted meteorologist who noted that when we look back at the planet’s ancient weather we find that the warming periods have lasted about 12,000 years. The last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago so if this time frame is correct we can expect a return of the ice at any time now. Some researchers are already warning that we are on the verge of entering a possible “mini ice age” but they don’t know for certain. Is it nothing at all but hype? Will it be a mini ice age? Or will it be a full blown major ice age that will end human civilization as we know it? And btw they are saying tiis mini ice age is due in 2019.
The early snowfall in the Sierras is not unusual nor unheard of as it has happened before but what is significant is that much of last winters snow didn’t melt so now there is snow on top of snow and that is how glaciers form. Tioga Pass on the eastern entryway to Yosemite National Park was closed due to snow yesterday temporarily along with a few other roads in the area. NBC reported the snow as a “dusting” but Mammoth residence say it was MORE than just a dusting and that’s to be expected as NBC has a political agenda to push “global warming.” Continue Reading
Nestled in the heart of Santa Fe, New Mexico is America’s oldest church known as St Miguel Chapel. It was built by the Spanish in 1610 and was completed in about 1626. The original adobe walls and altar were constructed by Tlaxcalan Indians from Mexico. It is a Franciscan chapel and it is also known as St Miguel’s Mission.
Photo of San Miguel Mission taken in 1928
1680 brought what is known as the “Pueblo Revolt” in the Spanish colony of New Mexico. The Pueblo people frustrated with Spanish rule decided to drive the Spanish from what is today New Mexico and they did just that, for a time. This event is also known as “Pope’s Rebellion.” The Pueblo not only drove out the Spanish but they killed about 400 Spanish. At that time there were about 2000 Spanish in New Mexico. But the victory of the Pueblo was short-lived because 20 years later the Spanish returned and reoccupied New Mexico. And, surprisingly, they encountered very little resistance! During the revolt the chapel was damaged and in 1710 the Spanish rebuilt the church. For a time it served as a military chapel for the Spanish soldiers stationed in Santa Fe but eventually was opened to the public. Continue Reading
It’s not uncommon to find odd objects after hurricanes have washed them onshore but in this case what was found is significant. Randy Lathrop a fine arts photographer was riding his bike this past Monday morning looking at some of the damage left behind by Hurricane Irma in the coastal community of Cocoa which is east of Orlando. He spotted an odd shaped object on the banks of the Indian River and text a friend to come help him take the object. That friend just happened to be a specialist in underwater archaeology.
The pair struggled in waist high water but eventually got the canoe onto a truck. Turns out the object is a canoe 15 feet long and weighing about 700 pounds hallowed out of tree trunk. The canoe also has square iron nails in its construction so it’s not prehistoric but it’s still significant. It may have been made and used by early pioneers during the 1700s. The canoe is presently in the custody of the State and carbon dating is being done to determine its age.
The “Indian River Canoe” found last week in Florida after Hurricane Irma 2017
Luckily this guy was observant and didn’t just pass it off as nothing and pass it by. I think most likely it is a canoe once used by pioneers on the Indian River. I’ll be interested to see what the C14 analysis comes up with for age. Save for the square iron nails it looks pretty much as hallowed out canoes have always looked. Even those from prehistoric times. Funny how some things never change and some only slightly change over the eons of time. Continue Reading