Stone Lord: The Legend Of King Arthur, The Era Of Stonehenge by J P Reedman
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Forum: Stones Forum|
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Respond to: New Sites and Finds in Asia
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from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2013-03-08 20:04  |
No, this is not the same site; different locationm. (Although it sounds like a similar type of site.)
[ This message was edited by: bat400 on 2013-03-08 20:06 ]
| New Message Posted!2013-03-07 17:45  |
Does this belong here?
from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2013-02-19 03:05  |
Urn burial site discovered near Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
A vast urn-burial site has been found at Mandapam village, near Aarpakkam intersection, about 14 km from Kancheepuram. The importance of the site, archaeologists say, is that it belongs to a period earlier than the Megalithic Age or Iron Age in Tamil Nadu.
They estimate that the site is datable to 1,800 BCE to 1,500 BCE, that is, 3,800 to 3,500 years before the present.
The site, however, has been ravaged by quarrying for blue-metal. Earth-movers have sliced the big urns and smashed into pieces ritual pottery, bowls and terracotta plates inside the urns. Quarrying has reduced the site to small lakes with deposits of blue metal jutting out and broken urns protruding in places. A stone-crushing machine is filling the air with dust.
Villager P. Mani, who discovered the site, reported it to V. Arasu, Head of the Department of Tamil, University of Madras, and S. Elango, lecturer in Tamil, Madras University. Dr. Elango, who visited the site a few times, said the flat/conical bottomed urns were buried only one or two feet below the soil surface. While some had ritual pottery and terracotta plates inside, others were empty. There were disintegrated human bones in several urns. More importantly, there were no cairn circles on the surface of the graves to mark them. There were no graffiti marks on the urns.
The site could be as ancient as the Adichanallur site, another urn-burial site in Tamil Nadu, Dr. Elango suggested.
Cairn circles are big stones, i.e., liths, placed in a circle on the surface of the soil and urns are kept below them. The urns are also kept inside cists, which are compartments made of granite slabs. Since big stones/liths mark the urn burials below, they are called Megalithic Age burials.
The Iron Age and the Megalithic Age are contemporaneous in south India. Archaeologists say the Iron Age in south India was extant from 1,000 BCE to 300 BCE.
While urn burials with cairn circles could easily be located, the discovery of urn burials without megaliths on the surface was mostly accidental. Such sites, without cairn circles, were not uncommon in Tamil Nadu. They included the Adichanallur site.
When the Adichanallur site was re-excavated by Dr. Satyamurthy in 2004 and 2005, he found 185 burial urns there, including 90 intact and 36 with complete human skeletons inside.
Among the artefacts discovered were red ware, black ware, copper bangles and ear-rings, iron spearheads, daggers and swords.
“If the railway line between Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur, cutting across the mounds at Adichanallur had not been laid by the British, Adichanallur would not have to come to notice,” he said.
The Mandapam site was analogous to the Adichanallur site in many ways, Dr. Satyamurthy said.
In both the cases, the urn burials were not associated with stone monuments; the urns were kept a couple of feet below the earth's surface, above a natural rocky outcrop; in both, it-lines were absent; the urns were covered with lids; the urns and associated pottery had no graffiti marks; and while Mandapam is located between Palar and Cheyyar rivers, Adichanallur is located on the banks of Tamiraparani. (The pottery found in the habitatational site at Adichanallur, however, had graffiti).
Thanks to coldrum for the link. For more, see: http://www.thehindu.com
[ This message was edited by: bat400 on 2013-02-19 03:08 ]
from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2012-08-29 18:45  |
'Red Deer Cave people' may be new species of human
The fossilised remains of stone age people recovered from two caves in south west China may belong to a new species of human that survived until around the dawn of agriculture.
The partial skulls and other bone fragments, which are from at least four individuals and are between 14,300 and 11,500 years old, have an extraordinary mix of primitive and modern anatomical features that stunned the researchers who found them.
Named the Red Deer Cave people, after their apparent penchant for home-cooked venison, they are the most recent human remains found anywhere in the world that do not closely resemble modern humans.
The individuals differ from modern humans in their jutting jaws, large molar teeth, prominent brows, thick skulls, flat faces and broad noses. Their brains were of average size by ice age standards.
"They could be a new evolutionary line or a previously unknown modern human population that arrived early from Africa and failed to contribute genetically to living east Asians," said Darren Curnoe, who led the research team at the University of New South Wales in Australia.
"While finely balanced, I think the evidence is slightly weighted towards the Red Deer Cave people representing a new evolutionary line. First, their skulls are anatomically unique. They look very different to all modern humans, whether alive today or in Africa 150,000 years ago," Curnoe told the Guardian.
"Second, the very fact they persisted until almost 11,000 years ago, when we know that very modern looking people lived at the same time immediately to the east and south, suggests they must have been isolated from them. We might infer from this isolation that they either didn't interbreed or did so in a limited way."
One partial skeleton, with much of the skull and teeth, and some rib and limb bones, was recovered from Longlin cave in Guangxi province. More than 30 bones, including at least three partial skulls, two lower jaws and some teeth, ribs and limb fragments, were unearthed at nearby Maludong, or Red Deer Cave, near the city of Mengzi in Yunnan province.
At Maludong, fossil hunters also found remnants of various mammals, all of them species still around today, except for giant red deer, the remains of which were found in abundance. "They clearly had a taste for venison, with evidence they cooked these large deer in the cave," Curnoe said.
The stone age bones are particularly important because scientists have few human fossils from Asia that are well described and reliably dated, making the story of the peopling of Asia hopelessly vague. The latest findings point to a far more complex picture of human evolution than was previously thought.
"The discovery of the Red Deer Cave people shows just how complicated and interesting human evolutionary history was in Asia right at the end of the ice age. We had multiple populations living in the area, probably representing different evolutionary lines: the Red Deer Cave people on the East Asian continent, Homo floresiensis, or the 'Hobbit', on the island of Flores in Indonesia, and modern humans widely dispersed from northeast Asia to Australia. This paints an amazing picture of diversity, one we had no clue about until this last decade," Curnoe said.
Much of Asia was also occupied by Neanderthals and another group of archaic humans called the Denisovans. Scientists learned of the Denisovans after recovering a fossilised little finger from the Denisova cave in the Altai mountains of southern Siberia in 2010.
The fossils from Longlin cave were found in 1979 by a geologist prospecting in the area. At the time, researchers removed only the lower jaw and a few fragments of rib and limb bones from the cave wall. The rest of the skeleton was left encased in a block of rock, which sat in the basement of the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology in Kunming, Yunnan, for 30 years. The fossils were rediscovered in 2009 by Ji Xueping, a researcher at the institute, who teamed up with Curnoe to examine the remains.
"It was clear from what we could see that the remains were very primitive and likely to be scientifically important. We had a skilled technician remove the bones from the rock, and they were glued back together. Only then was it clear what we had found: a partial skeleton with a very unusual anatomy," Curnoe said.
Lumps of charcoal uncovered alongside the Longlin fossils were carbon dated to 11,500 years, a time when modern humans in southern China began to make pottery for food storage and to gather wild rice in some of the first steps towards full-scale farming.
Marta Mirazón Lahr, an evolutionary biologist at Cambridge University, is convinced the remains are from modern humans. The unusual features, she said, suggest the Red Deer Cave people are either "late descendants of an early population of modern humans in Asia" or a very small population that developed the traits through a process known as genetic drift.
Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum, London, was similarly sceptical. "The human remains from the Longlin Cave and Maludong are very important, particularly because we do not have much well-described and well-dated material from the late Pleistocene of China.
"The fossils are unlike recent populations of modern humans in several respects, and the mosaic of more archaic features could indicate the dispersal of a poorly known and more primitive form of modern human that left Africa before the main exodus at about 60,000 years. This dispersal could have reached as far as China, surviving there for many millennia, before disappearing in the last 12,000 years."
But he added: "There might be another possible explanation for the more archaic features. Could these alternatively be attributed to gene flow from a more archaic population that survived alongside modern humans? In the case of the Longlin Cave and Maludong fossils, the most likely candidate would be the enigmatic Denisovans who apparently interbred with the ancestors of modern Australasians somewhere in south east Asia. Could these Chinese fossils be further evidence of such hybridisation?"
Thanks to coldrum for the link. For more, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/mar/14/red-deer-cave-people-species-human
[ This message was edited by: bat400 on 2012-08-29 18:48 ]
from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2012-07-31 14:52  |
Archaeological dig in Qatar reveals fascinating material about the terrain and climate of Qatar seven millennia ago.
Carbon dating of ancient organic remains from Wadi Debay’an, a site a few kilometres south of Al Zubara on Qatar’s north-west coastline, has yielded the earliest yet known date for human occupation in Qatar – 7,500 years before present.
This was revealed by Environmental archaeologist Dr Emma Tetlow (Qatar National Environment Record (QNER)) in a presentation to the Qatar Natural History Group on recent investigations at Wadi Debay’an. (QNER is a combined project of the Qatar Museums Authority and the University of Birmingham, UK, directed by Dr Richard Cuttler.)
Previous to the work of the QNER, the application of environmental archaeology and geoarchaeology to sites in Qatar has been limited, but now geomorphological and sedimentological data are being used to establish sites which would have been favourable for human occupation. Applying analytical techniques to pollen, macroscopic plant remains and those of insects – Tetlow’s special field of research – is revealing fascinating material about the terrain and climate of Qatar seven millennia ago.
“In Europe,” observed Dr Tetlow, “waterlogged deposits are perfect retainers of ancient organic material, ideal for carbon dating – being anaerobic the contents of these deposits decay very slowly and can survive for thousands of years.
“When I came to Qatar I thought – well, this is a desert – we are not going to find any waterlogged deposits here. How wrong I was! At Wadi Debay’an we are using an electrically powered auger, known as an Atlas Copco Window Sampler, to drill deep beneath the surface terrain of loose stones and sand and the layer of concrete-like gypsum that lies under it, into layer upon layer of organic deposits containing vast quantities of material.”
Among the organic remains is that of a midden – an accumulated pile 2.5m thick where people dumped their rubbish, including thousands of fish bones. By identifying the bones, especially tiny ear bones known as otoliths, specialists can determine which species were found in the Arabian Gulf at the time and which formed preferred fish catches.
There are also sea shells, including those of pearl oyster shells and murex, and bivalves which have been pierced for use as ornaments, flint tools and fragments of pottery.
The 41 lithics (stone tools) found so far date to the late Neolithic period of around 6000 years ago and are finely worked. Some are made from a beautiful chocolate-coloured tabular flint. There are also 141 sherds of painted Ubaid pottery, made in Mesopotamia in what is now modern Iraq, at the same period.
Evidence of trade routes that covered thousands of kilometres, is borne out by the discovery of a deposit of obsidian, which has been sourced from the Taurus Mountains in Turkey. It is clear that these fish-eating inhabitants of Qatar were not living in isolation but as part of a wide pattern of settlements throughout Asia.
What may prove to be a post-hole for a dwelling has been excavated; evidence that at least for part of the year people were staying beside their main food source rather than leading a purely nomadic existence. A hearth near the post-hole yielded the earliest date of 7,500 years ago.
Dr Tetlow said that carbon dates have revealed evidence of continuous occupation of the Wadi Debay’an sites from the Neolithic right through to the Bronze Age, covering a span of some 5000 years.
Recently, deep within a trench, the archaeologists came across what looked like a wall built of stones. They now think that this is possibly a fish trap, of the type that was constructed around Qatar’s shores until very recently. Many can still be seen – long lines of stones stretching out into the shallow water at right angles to the shore, on which nets would have been fastened to trap fish as the tide went out.
Organic remains of insects, plants, wood and diatoms yield a wealth of information once under the microscope. From these experts can learn much about the climate at the time, the vegetation coverage and the fauna.
Excavations and research at Wadi Debay’an will continue through 2011 into 2012, and more discoveries at this remote and lonely site, on the surface so apparently barren but so rich in evidence of the lives of the ancestors of the Qatari people, will continue to shed light on ancient Qatar.
Thanks to coldrum for the link. For more click here: http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=468921&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16
[ This message was edited by: bat400 on 2012-07-31 15:00 ]
from charleston, sc usa
| New Message Posted!2012-07-17 16:30  |
wow!! thank you soooo much for posting so much fascinating information about asian history, this is very helpful to me!! love to all at the mp
| New Message Posted!2012-07-12 02:55  |
What Ho, Rune.
Thanks your reply - should've known MP would have covered this site.
I am astounded by the estimated age of occupation - 5k years before Malta sites? Yikes.
from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2012-07-11 15:51  |
Ancient skeleton in Taiwan linked to Polynesia
A human skeleton formally buried almost 8000 years ago on a small strategic island off China's coast is creating excitement that it may represent a direct line to the world's youngest race - New Zealand's Maori and Polynesians. Genetic evidence has long suggested Polynesians - including their youngest branch the Maori - derived from Taiwan's aboriginal people.
Now the link may be made in the skeleton found on 400 square metre Liang Island, part of Taiwan controlled Matsu islands, within shelling range of China's Fujian Province.
The skeleton was discovered by the Taiwanese military who were building a road on the unpopulated island. Taiwan's Council for Cultural Affairs says more scientific investigation is need after a local archaeological team exhumed the remains, believed to be 7900 years old.
The bones are thought to have belonged to a male, around 167 centimetres tall, who was between 30 and 35 years of age at the time of his death.
"We will send the remains to the US and Germany for more professional accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating and DNA biochemistry analysis," the Council said in a statement.
"Judging from the way the body was buried, it could be a person from what we now call the Austronesia language family," said Chen.
Taiwan's aborigines belong to the same language family, as do the people who migrated through Melanesia, as the Lapita people, and out across the Pacific, reaching as far as Hawaii, Rapanui and New Zealand.
Chen told AFP the body was buried in a foetal position like the one used by Taiwan's aborigines as late as the 20th century.
The find, if proven, could link all Polynesians and Taiwanese aboriginal people to southern China.
Thanks to coldrum for the link. For more, see http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/6700701.
from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2012-07-10 20:51  |
West Asian Bead Found in Anhui Provence Ancient Tomb
A West Asian dragonfly-eye-shaped bead was found in a 2,000-odd-year Chinese tomb in Dangtu, Anhui province, indicating noblemen living in China's Warring States period (475 BC-221BC) were exposed to West Asian civilization.
Excavated from the roughly 400-sqm tomb were more than 40 cultural relics, of which most were potteries and celadon wares. Judging from those possessions, the occupant is expected to be an aristocrat of Yue, one of the seven major countries in the Warring States period, archaeologists said.
The most eye-catching burial object is a glass bead resembling a dragonfly eye in appearance. Such kind of jewellery was made by nomadic tribes in Mediterranean countries in the 10th century BC and believed to keep misfortune away from the wearers as well as to play the role of money, Gong Xicheng, deputy director of the provincial archaeological institute said.
Much contact between nomadic tribes of West Asia and China enabled the dragonfly-eye-shaped jewellery to take off in Chinese privileged class in the Warring States period, Gong said.
Thanks to coldrum for the link.
from South Central Indiana, US
| New Message Posted!2012-07-01 06:22  |
Prehistoric man emerges from Haldummulla, Sri Lanka
A special team led by Prof. Raj Somadeva recently made spectacular findings on a series of excavations which underpin the idea that Sri Lankan Culture is not something borrowed from any country or region. The excavations carried out in Haldummulla and Ranchamadama of Embilipitiya on Walawe valley offer a convincing picture of prehistoric man's transition to agricultural mode from hunting culture.
According as Prof. Raj Somadeva says, the generalised view that the arrival of Aryans in Sri Lanka [created] Sri Lankan culture [fails] as [signs] of a well organised prehistoric culture and civilisation begin to come- out from the earth. Considerable evidence of the hunting life of prehistoric man were earlier found in minor excavations and caves at Belilena, Pahien lena of Bulathsinhala, Batadomba lena of Kuruwita. What made him to leave high lands (such as Horton Plains) and settle down in lower regions of the country?
Dr. Shiran U. Deraniyagala believes that Horton Plains where Sri Lankan prehistoric man had inhabited was hit by a large scale drought that virtually left Horton Plains scorched and rendered it unfit for human habitation. The man migrated to the lower regions such as Haldummulla and Ranchamadama of Embilipitiya - regions which from time to time presented archaelogical riddles but concrete proof that prehistoric man lived there.
The expedition headed by Prof. Raj Somadeva is excavating in a site near Haldummulla town - a few metres off the Tamil school in Badulla district. This freezing region of excavation is situated 835 metres above sea level on the Southern Platform of central hills and is the oldest recognisable human settlement at a geographically staggering height. [They are] discovering earliest graves and tools.
According to Prof. Raj Somadeva, this evidence represents the man's transition to agricultural lifestyle from hunting in stone age and what has been unearthed, will create a cross-section of man's evolution with social customs around 3000 years back.
Comments Prof. Raj Somadeva further, "We excavated the graves on the way to Tamil Mahavidyalaya of Haldummulla in the year 2010. Above all, these finding belong to a period some 3750 years ago. This is the grave discovered from the highest elevation thus far (near the famous world's end). However, the excavated grave provided limited picture of the human settlement as it revealed only the facts about funeral rites. We excavated the sites in Haldummulla and found remains of human habitation which lay adjacent to the graves and which included tools and pottery resembling to what was found in graves..."
"These houses have been built on foundations made of unhewn stone. The foundation had long been covered by a huge stones that had rolled down from atop the mountain. On the excavations of these houses, we found painted pots, some tools of iron, a ring and some beads made from clay. These remains speak volumes for the prehistoric man's enthusiasm for fashionable living. At the sametime, the prehistoric man has skillfully used iron for various purposes. They have uncovered blackish red fragments of pottery and stone tools among the remains..."
He is of the view that the fundamental factor for building a civilisation is the knowledge of bronze technology and the works of prehistoric man uncovered in the Haldummulla excavations proves prehistoric man's expertise in bronze technology.
Thanks to coldrum for the link. For more, see http://www.sundayobserver.lk and http://www.presstv.ir. Haldummulla