Archaeologists from Tübingen report they have found parts of five figurines from the Ice Age at Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany. The figurines were carved from ivory and are of woolly mammoths, date to 35,000 years ago and count among the oldest and most impressive examples of figurative artworks from the Ice Age.
A particularly spectacular find is the first entirely complete figurine from the Swabian Jura depicting a finely carved mammoth. The figurines also include well preserved remains of a lion, a fragment of an additional mammoth and two as yet unidentified representations.
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A major question in evolutionary studies today is how early did humans begin to think and behave in ways we would see as fundamentally modern?
One index of ‘behavioral modernity’ is in the appearance of objects used purely as decoration or ornaments. Such items are widely regarded as having symbolic rather than practical value. By displaying them on the body as necklaces, pendants or bracelets or attached to clothing this also greatly increased their visual impact. The appearance of ornaments may be linked to a growing sense of self-awareness and identity amongst humans and any symbolic meanings would have been shared by members of the same group.
Neanderthal man was not as stupid as has been made out says a new study published by a University of Leicester archaeologist.
In fact Neanderthals were far removed from their stereotypical image and were innovators, says Dr Terry Hopkinson of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History in a paper published in Antiquity.
Neanderthals were the sister species of Homo sapiens, our own species, and inhabited Europe in the Middle Palaeolithic period which began some 300,000 years ago. This period has widely been thought to have been unremarkable and undramatic in cultural or evolutionary terms.
Ancient records always referred to a vast powerful "Kingdom of Kush." Robert E. Howard had his barbarian hero, Conan, run into 'Kushites' a number of times. The New Testament referred to all of Nubia as Kush, because Kush was the name of one of the sons of Ham who settled northeast Africa.
As it turns out, not only has there been more evidence discovered about those ancient people in Sudan, there's even enough gold to make a Cimmerian warrior take notice.
At sites like Kerma, evidence of a sophisticated culture still exists. This Nubian land, long dominated by Egypt, is being discovered still today.
Conan The Barbarian. Copyright: Robert E. Howard Estate.
The discovery of small perforated sea shells, in the Cave of Pigeons in Taforalt, eastern Morocco, has shown that the use of bead adornments in North Africa is older than thought. Dating from 82 000 years ago, the beads are thought to be the oldest in the world.
As adornments, together with art, burial and the use of pigments, are considered to be among the most conclusive signs of the acquisition of symbolic thought and of modern cognitive abilities, this study is leading researchers to question their ideas about the origins of modern humans.
For the first time, a text has been found in Old Persian language that shows the written language in use for practical recording and not only for royal display.
The text is inscribed on a damaged clay tablet from the Persepolis Fortification Archive, now at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. The tablet is an administrative record of the payout of at least 600 quarts of an as-yet unidentified commodity at five villages near Persepolis in about 500 B.C.
“Now we can see that Persians living in Persia at the high point of the Persian Empire wrote down ordinary day-to-day matters in Persian language and Persian script,” said Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute.
The peculiar pose of many fossilized dinosaurs, with wide-open mouth, head thrown back and recurved tail, likely results from the agonized death throes typical of brain damage and asphyxiation
, according to two paleontologists.
A classic example of the posture, which has puzzled paleontologists for ages, is the 150 million-year-old Archaeopteryx, the first-known example of a feathered dinosaur and the proposed link between dinosaurs and present-day birds.
An Italian-Swiss research team, including Dr. Frank Rühli of the Institute of Anatomy at the University of Zurich in Switzerland proved the cause of death of the Iceman (“Ötzi,” 3300 BC) by modern X-ray-based technology. A lesion of a close-to-the-shoulder artery has been found thanks to a CT scan or multislice computed tomography, finally clarifying the world-famous glacier mummy’s cause of death.
The cause of death was ascertained without an autopsy (Zurich University)
Researchers of the Group of Recent Prehistory Studies (GEPRAN) of the University of Granada, from the department of Prehistory and Archaeology, have taken an important step to determine how life was in the Iberian Peninsula in the Bronze Age.
Credit: Motilla del Azuer archaeological site -- Bronze Age.
The Library of Congress has no shortage of reading materials with more than 134 million items in its collection. This summer, a Florida State University chemist will use his knowledge of cellulose, a key component of paper, to help the world’s largest library find ways of preserving its vast treasure trove of books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers and pamphlets, many of which are irreplaceable.
André Striegel, an assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at FSU, has been invited to serve as the first Preservation Research and Testing Professor in Residence at the Library of Congress’ Preservation Research & Testing Division.