Hughes, J. K.; Valdes, P.; Mithen, S.; Sellwood, B.
At present the number of well dated early hominin sites (Homo ergaster, Homo erectus etc.) is insufficient to reconstruct the patterns of dispersal and occupation within the Old World. Many questions still remain therefore about the dominant factors influencing the patterns of arrival and their timing. In order to understand these dispersal patterns a modelling framework has been developed, for the late Pliocene, early Pleistocene period (2Ma to 0.5Ma). This time period corresponds to what is believed to be the first expansion of hominin out of Africa. The framework integrates data sets of vegetation patterns, land mass configuration, climate, and orography. In order to estimate vegetation patterns during the simulation a simple method has been developed to combine benthic foraminifera ocean core data with snapshot climate model simulations. The climate estimate produced can then be used to simulate global vegetation patterns using a global vegetation model. The dispersal of hominin is then simulated and the predicted dispersal patterns compared to existing hominin finds.
Guiducci, Dario; Burke, Ariane
Wayfinding, or the ability to plan and navigate a course over the landscape, is a subject of investigation in geography, neurophysiology, psychology, urban planning, and landscape design. With the prevalence of GPS-assisted navigation systems, or "wayfinders," computer scientists are also increasingly interested in understanding how people plan their movements and guide others. However, the importance of wayfinding as a process that regulates human mobility has only recently been incorporated into archeological research design. Hominin groups were able to disperse widely during the course of prehistory. The scope of these dispersals speaks to the innate navigation abilities of hominins. Their long-term success must have depended on an ability to communicate spatial information effectively. Here, we consider the extent to which some landscapes may have been more conducive to wayfinding than others. We also describe a tool we have created for quantifying landscape legibility (sensu Gollege), a complex and under-explored concept in archeology, with a view to investigating the impact of landscape structure on human wayfinding and thus, patterns of dispersal during prehistory. To this end, we have developed a method for quantifying legibility using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and apply it to a test case in prehistoric Iberia. PMID:27312185
Breeze, Paul S.; Groucutt, Huw S.; Drake, Nick A.; White, Tom S.; Jennings, Richard P.; Petraglia, Michael D.
The timing and extent of palaeoenvironmental connections between northeast Africa, the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula during the Middle and Late Pleistocene are critical to debates surrounding dispersals of hominins, including movements of Homo sapiens out of Africa. Although there is evidence that synchronous episodes of climatic amelioration during the late Middle and Late Pleistocene may have allowed connections to form between northern Africa and western Asia, a number of palaeoclimate models indicate the continued existence of an arid barrier between northern Arabia and the Levant. Here we evaluate the palaeoenvironmental setting for hominin dispersals between, and within, northeast Africa and southwest Asia during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 7-5 using reconstructions of surface freshwater availability as an environmental proxy. We use remotely sensed data to map palaeohydrological features (lakes, wetlands and rivers) across the presently hyper-arid areas of northern Arabia and surrounding regions, integrating these results with palaeoclimate models, palaeoenvironmental proxy data and absolute dating to determine when these features were active. Our analyses suggest limited potential for dispersals during MIS 7 and 6, but indicate the formation of a palaeohydrological corridor (the 'Tabuk Corridor') between the Levant and the Arabian interior during the MIS 6-5e glacial-interglacial transition and during MIS 5e. A recurrence of this corridor, following a slightly different route, also occurred during MIS 5a. These palaeohydrological and terrestrial data can be used to establish when proposed routes for hominin dispersals became viable. Furthermore, the distribution of Arabian archaeological sites with affinities to Levantine assemblages, some of which are associated with Homo sapiens fossils, and the relative density of Middle Palaeolithic assemblages within the Tabuk Corridor, are consistent with it being utilised for dispersals at various times.
Perry, George H; Kistler, Logan; Kelaita, Mary A; Sams, Aaron J
Nuclear genome sequence data from Neandertals, Denisovans, and archaic anatomically modern humans can be used to complement our understanding of hominin evolutionary biology and ecology through i) direct inference of archaic hominin phenotypes, ii) indirect inference of those phenotypes by identifying the effects of previously-introgressed alleles still present among modern humans, or iii) determining the evolutionary timing of relevant hominin-specific genetic changes. Here we review and reanalyze published Neandertal and Denisovan genome sequence data to illustrate an example of the third approach. Specifically, we infer the timing of five human gene presence/absence changes that may be related to particular hominin-specific dietary changes and discuss these results in the context of our broader reconstructions of hominin evolutionary ecology. We show that pseudogenizing (gene loss) mutations in the TAS2R62 and TAS2R64 bitter taste receptor genes and the MYH16 masticatory myosin gene occurred after the hominin-chimpanzee divergence but before the divergence of the human and Neandertal/Denisovan lineages. The absence of a functional MYH16 protein may explain our relatively reduced jaw muscles; this gene loss may have followed the adoption of cooking behavior. In contrast, salivary amylase gene (AMY1) duplications were not observed in the Neandertal and Denisovan genomes, suggesting a relatively recent origin for the AMY1 copy number gains that are observed in modern humans. Thus, if earlier hominins were consuming large quantities of starch-rich underground storage organs, as previously hypothesized, then they were likely doing so without the digestive benefits of increased salivary amylase production. Our most surprising result was the observation of a heterozygous mutation in the first codon of the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor gene in the Neandertal individual, which likely would have resulted in a non-functional protein and inter-individual PTC
Maddy, D.; Schreve, D.; Demir, T.; Veldkamp, A.; Wijbrans, J.R.; Gorp, van W.; Hinsbergen, van D.J.J.; Dekkers, M.J.; Scaife, R.; Schoorl, J.M.; Stemerdink, C.; Schriek, van der T.
Anatolia lies at the gateway from Asia into Europe and has frequently been favoured as a route for Early Pleistocene hominin dispersal. Although early hominins are known to have occupied Turkey, with numerous finds of Lower Palaeolithic artefacts documented, the chronology of their dispersal has lit
Thomson, Vicki A; Lebrasseur, Ophélie; Austin, Jeremy J; Hunt, Terry L; Burney, David A; Denham, Tim; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Wood, Jamie R; Gongora, Jaime; Girdland Flink, Linus; Linderholm, Anna; Dobney, Keith; Larson, Greger; Cooper, Alan
The human colonization of Remote Oceania remains one of the great feats of exploration in history, proceeding east from Asia across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Human commensal and domesticated species were widely transported as part of this diaspora, possibly as far as South America. We sequenced mitochondrial control region DNA from 122 modern and 22 ancient chicken specimens from Polynesia and Island Southeast Asia and used these together with Bayesian modeling methods to examine the human dispersal of chickens across this area. We show that specific techniques are essential to remove contaminating modern DNA from experiments, which appear to have impacted previous studies of Pacific chickens. In contrast to previous reports, we find that all ancient specimens and a high proportion of the modern chickens possess a group of unique, closely related haplotypes found only in the Pacific. This group of haplotypes appears to represent the authentic founding mitochondrial DNA chicken lineages transported across the Pacific, and allows the early dispersal of chickens across Micronesia and Polynesia to be modeled. Importantly, chickens carrying this genetic signature persist on several Pacific islands at high frequencies, suggesting that the original Polynesian chicken lineages may still survive. No early South American chicken samples have been detected with the diagnostic Polynesian mtDNA haplotypes, arguing against reports that chickens provide evidence of Polynesian contact with pre-European South America. Two modern specimens from the Philippines carry haplotypes similar to the ancient Pacific samples, providing clues about a potential homeland for the Polynesian chicken. PMID:24639505
Wilson, B; Pyatt, F B
The vicinity of an ancient abandoned copper mine located on the Isle of Anglesey was assessed for the dispersion of copper, zinc, lead, and cadmium into the surrounding environment. Extraction of soil, lichens, cattle feces, and Calluna vulgaris L. (ling) tissue, using aqua regia, was carried out and together with water samples, these were analyzed using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. Atmospheric dispersion and dilution was plotted from the workings to the coast and the resultant dilution ascertained. Evidence of bioaccumulation by plants and animals is presented and partitioning within plants highlighted. The results suggest that atmospheric dispersion has ceased but residual metal concentrations in the soil remain persistent and could present health hazards to animals and humans in the past and in the future. PMID:16618505
Alice A Storey
Full Text Available Data from morphology, linguistics, history, and archaeology have all been used to trace the dispersal of chickens from Asian domestication centers to their current global distribution. Each provides a unique perspective which can aid in the reconstruction of prehistory. This study expands on previous investigations by adding a temporal component from ancient DNA and, in some cases, direct dating of bones of individual chickens from a variety of sites in Europe, the Pacific, and the Americas. The results from the ancient DNA analyses of forty-eight archaeologically derived chicken bones provide support for archaeological hypotheses about the prehistoric human transport of chickens. Haplogroup E mtDNA signatures have been amplified from directly dated samples originating in Europe at 1000 B.P. and in the Pacific at 3000 B.P. indicating multiple prehistoric dispersals from a single Asian centre. These two dispersal pathways converged in the Americas where chickens were introduced both by Polynesians and later by Europeans. The results of this study also highlight the inappropriate application of the small stretch of D-loop, traditionally amplified for use in phylogenetic studies, to understanding discrete episodes of chicken translocation in the past. The results of this study lead to the proposal of four hypotheses which will require further scrutiny and rigorous future testing.
Bokma, Folmer; van den Brink, Valentijn; Stadler, Tanja
Recent studies indicate that Neanderthal and Denisova hominins may have been separate species, while debate continues on the status of Homo floresiensis. The decade-long debate between "splitters," who recognize over 20 hominin species, and "lumpers," who maintain that all these fossils belong to just a few lineages, illustrates that we do not know how many extinct hominin species to expect. Here, we present probability distributions for the number of speciation events and the number of contemporary species along a branch of a phylogeny. With estimates of hominin speciation and extincton rates, we then show that the expected total number of extinct hominin species is 8, but may be as high as 27. We also show that it is highly unlikely that three very recent species disappeared due to natural, background extinction. This may indicate that human-like remains are too easily considered distinct species. Otherwise, the evidence suggesting that Neanderthal and the Denisova hominin represent distinct species implies a recent wave of extinctions, ostensibly driven by the only survivor, H. sapiens. PMID:22946817
Larick, Roy; Ciochon, Russell L
Island Southeast Asia covers Eurasia's tropical expanse of continental shelf and active subduction zones. Cutting between island landmasses, Wallace's Line separates Sunda and the Eastern Island Arc (the Arc) into distinct tectonic and faunal provinces. West of the line, on Sunda, Java Island yields many fossils of Homo erectus. East of the line, on the Arc, Flores Island provides one skeleton and isolated remains of Homo floresiensis. Luzon Island in the Philippines has another fossil hominin. Sulawesi preserves early hominin archeology. This insular divergence sets up a unique regional context for early hominin dispersal, isolation, and extinction. The evidence is reviewed across three Pleistocene climate periods. Patterns are discussed in relation to the pulse of global sea-level shifts, as well as regional geo-tectonics, catastrophes, stegodon dispersal, and paleogenomics. Several patterns imply evolutionary processes typical of oceanic islands. Early hominins apparently responded to changing island conditions for a million-and-a-half years, likely becoming extinct during the period in which Homo sapiens colonized the region. PMID:26478140
Der Sarkissian, Clio; Allentoft, Morten Erik; Avila Arcos, Maria del Carmen;
The past decade has witnessed a revolution in ancient DNA (aDNA) research. Although the field's focus was previously limited to mitochondrial DNA and a few nuclear markers, whole genome sequences from the deep past can now be retrieved. This breakthrough is tightly connected to the massive sequence...... increasing the number of sequence reads to billions effectively means that contamination issues that have haunted aDNA research for decades, particularly in human studies, can now be efficiently and confidently quantified. At present, whole genomes have been sequenced from ancient anatomically modern humans......, archaic hominins, ancient pathogens and megafaunal species. Those have revealed important functional and phenotypic information, as well as unexpected adaptation, migration and admixture patterns. As such, the field of aDNA has entered the new era of genomics and has provided valuable information when...
Almathen, Faisal; Charruau, Pauline; Mohandesan, Elmira; Mwacharo, Joram M.; Orozco-terWengel, Pablo; Pitt, Daniel; Abdussamad, Abdussamad M.; Uerpmann, Margarethe; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; De Cupere, Bea; Magee, Peter; Alnaqeeb, Majed A.; Salim, Bashir; Raziq, Abdul; Dessie, Tadelle; Abdelhadi, Omer M.; Banabazi, Mohammad H.; Al-Eknah, Marzook; Walzer, Chris; Faye, Bernard; Hofreiter, Michael; Peters, Joris; Hanotte, Olivier
Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies in arid landscapes and for long-distance trade across hostile hot terrains for 3,000 y. Today they continue to be an important livestock resource in marginal agro-ecological zones. However, the history of dromedary domestication and the influence of ancient trading networks on their genetic structure have remained elusive. We combined ancient DNA sequences of wild and early-domesticated dromedary samples from arid regions with nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial genotype information from 1,083 extant animals collected across the species’ range. We observe little phylogeographic signal in the modern population, indicative of extensive gene flow and virtually affecting all regions except East Africa, where dromedary populations have remained relatively isolated. In agreement with archaeological findings, we identify wild dromedaries from the southeast Arabian Peninsula among the founders of the domestic dromedary gene pool. Approximate Bayesian computations further support the “restocking from the wild” hypothesis, with an initial domestication followed by introgression from individuals from wild, now-extinct populations. Compared with other livestock, which show a long history of gene flow with their wild ancestors, we find a high initial diversity relative to the native distribution of the wild ancestor on the Arabian Peninsula and to the brief coexistence of early-domesticated and wild individuals. This study also demonstrates the potential to retrieve ancient DNA sequences from osseous remains excavated in hot and dry desert environments. PMID:27162355
Almathen, Faisal; Charruau, Pauline; Mohandesan, Elmira; Mwacharo, Joram M; Orozco-terWengel, Pablo; Pitt, Daniel; Abdussamad, Abdussamad M; Uerpmann, Margarethe; Uerpmann, Hans-Peter; De Cupere, Bea; Magee, Peter; Alnaqeeb, Majed A; Salim, Bashir; Raziq, Abdul; Dessie, Tadelle; Abdelhadi, Omer M; Banabazi, Mohammad H; Al-Eknah, Marzook; Walzer, Chris; Faye, Bernard; Hofreiter, Michael; Peters, Joris; Hanotte, Olivier; Burger, Pamela A
Dromedaries have been fundamental to the development of human societies in arid landscapes and for long-distance trade across hostile hot terrains for 3,000 y. Today they continue to be an important livestock resource in marginal agro-ecological zones. However, the history of dromedary domestication and the influence of ancient trading networks on their genetic structure have remained elusive. We combined ancient DNA sequences of wild and early-domesticated dromedary samples from arid regions with nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial genotype information from 1,083 extant animals collected across the species' range. We observe little phylogeographic signal in the modern population, indicative of extensive gene flow and virtually affecting all regions except East Africa, where dromedary populations have remained relatively isolated. In agreement with archaeological findings, we identify wild dromedaries from the southeast Arabian Peninsula among the founders of the domestic dromedary gene pool. Approximate Bayesian computations further support the "restocking from the wild" hypothesis, with an initial domestication followed by introgression from individuals from wild, now-extinct populations. Compared with other livestock, which show a long history of gene flow with their wild ancestors, we find a high initial diversity relative to the native distribution of the wild ancestor on the Arabian Peninsula and to the brief coexistence of early-domesticated and wild individuals. This study also demonstrates the potential to retrieve ancient DNA sequences from osseous remains excavated in hot and dry desert environments. PMID:27162355
The chemical composition of ancient pottery can shed light into provenance of raw materials for ceramic production and determine the technological processes related to pottery manufacture. The determination of the chemical composition of pottery is a means of exploring its origin and relevant issues. Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) was used to determine the major and trace element composition of ancient potteries recovered in and around Arcot city, Vellore dist, Tamilnadu. Fourteen (14) elements namely Si, Al, Ca, Fe, K, Ti, Cu, Zn, Pb, La, Co, V, Cd and Cr have been quantified. The experimental procedure adopted for elemental analysis was standardised. The results of the standard analysis show good agreement. From the analysis, it is found that pottery composition depends both in the clay source and in the recipe used to prepare the clay paste.The variation of chemical composition of potsherds may imply pottery from different production sites or reflect the natural inhomogeneity of local clay deposits and the application of different manufacture processes in local workshops. (author)
Larrasoaña, Juan C.; Roberts, Andrew P.; Rohling, Eelco J.
Astronomically forced insolation changes have driven monsoon dynamics and recurrent humid episodes in North Africa, resulting in green Sahara Periods (GSPs) with savannah expansion throughout most of the desert. Despite their potential for expanding the area of prime hominin habitats and favouring out-of-Africa dispersals, GSPs have not been incorporated into the narrative of hominin evolution due to poor knowledge of their timing, dynamics and landscape composition at evolutionary timescales...
van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Li, Bo; Brumm, Adam; Grün, Rainer; Yurnaldi, Dida; Moore, Mark W.; Kurniawan, Iwan; Setiawan, Ruly; Aziz, Fachroel; Roberts, Richard G.; Suyono; Storey, Michael; Setiabudi, Erick; Morwood, Michael J.
Sulawesi is the largest and oldest island within Wallacea, a vast zone of oceanic islands separating continental Asia from the Pleistocene landmass of Australia and Papua (Sahul). By one million years ago an unknown hominin lineage had colonized Flores immediately to the south, and by about 50 thousand years ago, modern humans (Homo sapiens) had crossed to Sahul. On the basis of position, oceanic currents and biogeographical context, Sulawesi probably played a pivotal part in these dispersals. Uranium-series dating of speleothem deposits associated with rock art in the limestone karst region of Maros in southwest Sulawesi has revealed that humans were living on the island at least 40 thousand years ago (ref. 5). Here we report new excavations at Talepu in the Walanae Basin northeast of Maros, where in situ stone artefacts associated with fossil remains of megafauna (Bubalus sp., Stegodon and Celebochoerus) have been recovered from stratified deposits that accumulated from before 200 thousand years ago until about 100 thousand years ago. Our findings suggest that Sulawesi, like Flores, was host to a long-established population of archaic hominins, the ancestral origins and taxonomic status of which remain elusive.
Full Text Available Over the past two decades, several fungal outbreaks have occurred, including the high-profile 'Vancouver Island' and 'Pacific Northwest' outbreaks, caused by Cryptococcus gattii, which has affected hundreds of otherwise healthy humans and animals. Over the same time period, C. gattii was the cause of several additional case clusters at localities outside of the tropical and subtropical climate zones where the species normally occurs. In every case, the causative agent belongs to a previously rare genotype of C. gattii called AFLP6/VGII, but the origin of the outbreak clades remains enigmatic. Here we used phylogenetic and recombination analyses, based on AFLP and multiple MLST datasets, and coalescence gene genealogy to demonstrate that these outbreaks have arisen from a highly-recombining C. gattii population in the native rainforest of Northern Brazil. Thus the modern virulent C. gattii AFLP6/VGII outbreak lineages derived from mating events in South America and then dispersed to temperate regions where they cause serious infections in humans and animals.
A portable type of energy dispersive X-ray diffraction and fluorescence (ED-XRDF) spectrometer was developed, whose operation mode is completely different from that of an X-ray diffractometer commercially available. The former is operated in energy dispersive mode but the latter in angle dispersive mode. The performance of the ED-XRDF spectrometer was tested in the field, i.e. in the tomb of Amenhotep III, built in 1364 B.C. or earlier in Egypt. The crystal structure and chemical composition of ancient plaster and pigments were successfully determined in the field using the spectrometer. The same areas investigated by the ED-XRDF spectrometer were also examined with an optical microscope. The plaster is found to be composed of anhydrite, calcite and quartz. White and yellow pigments were identified as huntite and orpiment, respectively. Egyptian blue and goethite were found in the green colored parts
Uda, M. E-mail: email@example.com
A portable type of energy dispersive X-ray diffraction and fluorescence (ED-XRDF) spectrometer was developed, whose operation mode is completely different from that of an X-ray diffractometer commercially available. The former is operated in energy dispersive mode but the latter in angle dispersive mode. The performance of the ED-XRDF spectrometer was tested in the field, i.e. in the tomb of Amenhotep III, built in 1364 B.C. or earlier in Egypt. The crystal structure and chemical composition of ancient plaster and pigments were successfully determined in the field using the spectrometer. The same areas investigated by the ED-XRDF spectrometer were also examined with an optical microscope. The plaster is found to be composed of anhydrite, calcite and quartz. White and yellow pigments were identified as huntite and orpiment, respectively. Egyptian blue and goethite were found in the green colored parts.
Wood, Bernard; K Boyle, Eve
In this review of the evidence for and against taxic diversity within the hominin clade, we begin by looking at the logic and the history of simple "ladder-like" interpretations of the hominin fossil record. We then look at the hominin fossil record in a series of time intervals and use current published evidence about the first and last appearance dates of each taxon to decide whether a species or specimens should be included in one, or more, of the intervals. Within each time interval, we consider the strength of the evidence that more than one hominin species is sampled. Decisions about whether taxonomic diversity exists depend on what alpha taxonomic hypotheses are used and although we use a relatively speciose interpretation of the hominin fossil record, we also explore what impact more inclusive interpretations of alpha taxonomy would have on assessments of hominin taxic diversity. With the exception of the oldest (7-5 Ma) all of the other time intervals have in our judgment at least one well-supported example of taxic diversity and several have multiple examples. In summary, not all new hominin taxa are created equally, but while taxic diversity may not be as prevalent as some have claimed, it is a feature of the hominin clade from 4 Ma until c.40 ka years ago. Am J Phys Anthropol 159:S37-S78, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26808110
Quam, Rolf M.; de Ruiter, Darryl J.; Masali, Melchiorre; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Moggi-Cecchi, Jacopo
The middle ear ossicles are only rarely preserved in fossil hominins. Here, we report the discovery of a complete ossicular chain (malleus, incus, and stapes) of Paranthropus robustus as well as additional ear ossicles from Australopithecus africanus. The malleus in both early hominin taxa is clearly human-like in the proportions of the manubrium and corpus, whereas the incus and stapes resemble African and Asian great apes more closely. A deep phylogenetic origin is proposed for the derived ...
Full Text Available In the present study concentration of trace elements in ancient potteries collected in Vellore Dist of Tamilnadu, India, was determined using ED-XRF technique. The analysed shreds are belong to the 18th century. Fourteen elements have been determined in 56 pottery fragments. These elemental concentrations were processed using multivariate statistical methods, principal component analysis and cluster analyses to determine similarities and correlation between the various samples. Chemical composition of examined shreds revealed the type of clay (Calcareous/Non-Calcareous. The statistical results revealed patterns of trade between these communities. The 56 shards had been classified into three major groups based on variations in composition.
Gorgé, Olivier; Bennett, E Andrew; Massilani, Diyendo; Daligault, Julien; Pruvost, Melanie; Geigl, Eva-Maria; Grange, Thierry
The development of next-generation sequencing has led to a breakthrough in the analysis of ancient genomes, and the subsequent genomic analyses of the skeletal remains of ancient humans have revolutionized the knowledge of the evolution of our species, including the discovery of a new hominin, and demonstrated admixtures with more distantly related archaic populations such as Neandertals and Denisovans. Moreover, it has also yielded novel insights into the evolution of ancient pathogens. The analysis of ancient microbial genomes allows the study of their recent evolution, presently over the last several millennia. These spectacular results have been attained despite the degradation of DNA after the death of the host, which results in very short DNA molecules that become increasingly damaged, only low quantities of which remain. The low quantity of ancient DNA molecules renders their analysis difficult and prone to contamination with modern DNA molecules, in particular via contamination from the reagents used in DNA purification and downstream analysis steps. Finally, the rare ancient molecules are diluted in environmental DNA originating from the soil microorganisms that colonize bones and teeth. Thus, ancient skeletal remains can share DNA profiles with environmental samples and identifying ancient microbial genomes among the more recent, presently poorly characterized, environmental microbiome is particularly challenging. Here, we describe the methods developed and/or in use in our laboratory to produce reliable and reproducible paleogenomic results from ancient skeletal remains that can be used to identify the presence of ancient microbiota. PMID:26791510
Larrasoaña, Juan C; Roberts, Andrew P; Rohling, Eelco J
Astronomically forced insolation changes have driven monsoon dynamics and recurrent humid episodes in North Africa, resulting in green Sahara Periods (GSPs) with savannah expansion throughout most of the desert. Despite their potential for expanding the area of prime hominin habitats and favouring out-of-Africa dispersals, GSPs have not been incorporated into the narrative of hominin evolution due to poor knowledge of their timing, dynamics and landscape composition at evolutionary timescales. We present a compilation of continental and marine paleoenvironmental records from within and around North Africa, which enables identification of over 230 GSPs within the last 8 million years. By combining the main climatological determinants of woody cover in tropical Africa with paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic data for representative (Holocene and Eemian) GSPs, we estimate precipitation regimes and habitat distributions during GSPs. Their chronology is consistent with the ages of Saharan archeological and fossil hominin sites. Each GSP took 2-3 kyr to develop, peaked over 4-8 kyr, biogeographically connected the African tropics to African and Eurasian mid latitudes, and ended within 2-3 kyr, which resulted in rapid habitat fragmentation. We argue that the well-dated succession of GSPs presented here may have played an important role in migration and evolution of hominins. PMID:24146882
Ziccardi, William; Zhao, Chongjian; Shepelev, Valery; Uralsky, Lev; Alexandrov, Ivan; Andreeva, Tatyana; Rogaev, Evgeny; Bun, Christopher; Miller, Emily; Putonti, Catherine; Doering, Jeffrey
Human alpha satellite (AS) sequence domains that currently function as centromeres are typically flanked by layers of evolutionarily older AS that presumably represent the remnants of earlier primate centromeres. Studies on several human chromosomes reveal that these older AS arrays are arranged in an age gradient, with the oldest arrays farthest from the functional centromere and arrays progressively closer to the centromere being progressively younger. The organization of AS on human chromosome 21 (HC21) has not been well-characterized. We have used newly available HC21 sequence data and an HC21p YAC map to determine the size, organization, and location of the AS arrays, and compared them to AS arrays found on other chromosomes. We find that the majority of the HC21 AS sequences are present on the p-arm of the chromosome and are organized into at least five distinct isolated clusters which are distributed over a larger distance from the functional centromere than that typically seen for AS on other chromosomes. Using both phylogenetic and L1 element age estimations, we found that all of the HC21 AS clusters outside the functional centromere are of a similar relatively recent evolutionary origin. HC21 contains none of the ancient AS layers associated with early primate evolution which is present on other chromosomes, possibly due to the fact that the p-arm of HC21 and the other acrocentric chromosomes underwent substantial reorganization about 20 million years ago. PMID:27430641
Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan
ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair......ancient DNA, palaeontology, palaeoecology, archaeology, population genetics, DNA damage and repair...
Van Den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Li, Bo; Brumm, Adam;
Sulawesi is the largest and oldest island within Wallacea, a vast zone of oceanic islands separating continental Asia from the Pleistocene landmass of Australia and Papua (Sahul). By one million years ago an unknown hominin lineage had colonized Flores immediately to the south, and by about 50 th...
Energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis has been widely used for the analysis of works of art because it is non-destructive, multi-elemental, simple to utilize, and relatively inexpensive. In the last few years, miniaturized and portable X-ray tubes and high-resolution semiconductor detectors have been developed. This progress allowed the design and construction of portable equipments that can be easily transported all over the world, for use in museums, excavations, etc. In this work, these portable systems will be described and their usefulness demonstrated in the analysis of objects of archaeological value. First, we present the analysis of a lot of gold prehispanic jewels from the Museo del Templo Mayor in Mexico City; in the second place we present the results of analysis of the golden altar of St. Ambrogio in Milan, which is considered one of the most important goldsmith's works ever realized and the gold pigments from the fresco 'The chapel of the Scrovegni' by Giotto. In the third place we give a brief account of Mycenaean and pre-Mycenaean gold objects from the Museum Benaki in Athens. Finally, the results of bulk nuragic copper based ingots from the nuragic village of St. Imbenia are presented. (Author) 19 refs., 5 tabs., 8 figs
Robson, Shannen L; Wood, Bernard
In this review we attempt to reconstruct the evolutionary history of hominin life history from extant and fossil evidence. We utilize demographic life history theory and distinguish life history variables, traits such as weaning, age at sexual maturity, and life span, from life history-related variables such as body mass, brain growth, and dental development. The latter are either linked with, or can be used to make inferences about, life history, thus providing an opportunity for estimating life history parameters in fossil taxa. We compare the life history variables of modern great apes and identify traits that are likely to be shared by the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and those likely to be derived in hominins. All great apes exhibit slow life histories and we infer this to be true of the last common ancestor of Pan-Homo and the stem hominin. Modern human life histories are even slower, exhibiting distinctively long post-menopausal life spans and later ages at maturity, pointing to a reduction in adult mortality since the Pan-Homo split. We suggest that lower adult mortality, distinctively short interbirth intervals, and early weaning characteristic of modern humans are derived features resulting from cooperative breeding. We evaluate the fidelity of three life history-related variables, body mass, brain growth and dental development, with the life history parameters of living great apes. We found that body mass is the best predictor of great ape life history events. Brain growth trajectories and dental development and eruption are weakly related proxies and inferences from them should be made with caution. We evaluate the evidence of life history-related variables available for extinct species and find that prior to the transitional hominins there is no evidence of any hominin taxon possessing a body size, brain size or aspects of dental development much different from what we assume to be the primitive life history pattern for the Pan-Homo clade. Data for
Marzke, Mary W.
Was stone tool making a factor in the evolution of human hand morphology? Is it possible to find evidence in fossil hominin hands for this capability? These questions are being addressed with increasingly sophisticated studies that are testing two hypotheses; (i) that humans have unique patterns of grip and hand movement capabilities compatible with effective stone tool making and use of the tools and, if this is the case, (ii) that there exist unique patterns of morphology in human hands tha...
Marzke, Mary W
Was stone tool making a factor in the evolution of human hand morphology? Is it possible to find evidence in fossil hominin hands for this capability? These questions are being addressed with increasingly sophisticated studies that are testing two hypotheses; (i) that humans have unique patterns of grip and hand movement capabilities compatible with effective stone tool making and use of the tools and, if this is the case, (ii) that there exist unique patterns of morphology in human hands that are consistent with these capabilities. Comparative analyses of human stone tool behaviours and chimpanzee feeding behaviours have revealed a distinctive set of forceful pinch grips by humans that are effective in the control of stones by one hand during manufacture and use of the tools. Comparative dissections, kinematic analyses and biomechanical studies indicate that humans do have a unique pattern of muscle architecture and joint surface form and functions consistent with the derived capabilities. A major remaining challenge is to identify skeletal features that reflect the full morphological pattern, and therefore may serve as clues to fossil hominin manipulative capabilities. Hominin fossils are evaluated for evidence of patterns of derived human grip and stress-accommodation features. PMID:24101624
Morwood, M J; Jungers, W L
Excavations at Liang Bua, on the Indonesian island of Flores, have yielded a stratified sequence of stone artifacts and faunal remains spanning the last 95k.yr., which includes the skeletal remains of two human species, Homo sapiens in the Holocene and Homo floresiensis in the Pleistocene. This paper summarizes and focuses on some of the evidence for Homo floresiensis in context, as presented in this Special Issue edition of the Journal of Human Evolution and elsewhere. Attempts to dismiss the Pleistocene hominins (and the type specimen LB1 in particular) as pathological pygmy humans are not compatible with detailed analyses of the skull, teeth, brain endocast, and postcranium. We initially concluded that H. floresiensis may have evolved by insular dwarfing of a larger-bodied hominin species over 880k.yr. or more. However, recovery of additional specimens and the numerous primitive morphological traits seen throughout the skeleton suggest instead that it is more likely to be a late representative of a small-bodied lineage that exited Africa before the emergence of Homo erectus sensu lato. Homo floresiensis is clearly not an australopithecine, but does retain many aspects of anatomy (and perhaps behavior) that are probably plesiomorphic for the genus Homo. We also discuss some of the other implications of this tiny, endemic species for early hominin dispersal and evolution (e.g., for the "Out of Africa 1" paradigm and more specifically for colonizing Southeast Asia), and we present options for future research in the region. PMID:19913680
Wynn, Thomas; Coolidge, Frederick L
How did the human mind evolve? How and when did we come to think in the ways we do? The last thirty years have seen an explosion in research related to the brain and cognition. This research has encompassed a range of biological and social sciences, from epigenetics and cognitive neuroscience to social and developmental psychology. Following naturally on this efflorescence has been a heightened interest in the evolution of the brain and cognition. Evolutionary scholars, including paleoanthropologists, have deployed the standard array of evolutionary methods. Ethological and experimental evidence has added significantly to our understanding of nonhuman brains and cognition, especially those of nonhuman primates. Studies of fossil brains through endocasts and sophisticated imaging techniques have revealed evolutionary changes in gross neural anatomy. Psychologists have also gotten into the game through application of reverse engineering to experimentally based descriptions of cognitive functions. For hominin evolution, there is another rich source of evidence of cognition, the archeological record. Using the methods of Paleolithic archeology and the theories and models of cognitive science, evolutionary cognitive archeology documents developments in the hominin mind that would otherwise be inaccessible. PMID:27519459
This four-week fourth grade social studies unit dealing with religious dimensions in ancient Egyptian culture was developed by the Public Education Religion Studies Center at Wright State University. It seeks to help students understand ancient Egypt by looking at the people, the culture, and the people's world view. The unit begins with outlines…
Full Text Available Abstract The recent publication of the draft genome sequences of the Neanderthal and a ~50,000-year-old archaic hominin from Denisova Cave in southern Siberia has ushered in a new age in molecular archaeology. We previously cross-compared the human, chimpanzee and Neanderthal genome sequences with respect to a set of disease-causing/disease-associated missense and regulatory mutations (Human Gene Mutation Database and succeeded in identifying genetic variants which, although apparently pathogenic in humans, may represent a 'compensated' wild-type state in at least one of the other two species. Here, in an attempt to identify further 'potentially compensated mutations' (PCMs of interest, we have compared our dataset of disease-causing/disease-associated mutations with their corresponding nucleotide positions in the Denisovan hominin, Neanderthal and chimpanzee genomes. Of the 15 human putatively disease-causing mutations that were found to be compensated in chimpanzee, Denisovan or Neanderthal, only a solitary F5 variant (Val1736Met was specific to the Denisovan. In humans, this missense mutation is associated with activated protein C resistance and an increased risk of thromboembolism and recurrent miscarriage. It is unclear at this juncture whether this variant was indeed a PCM in the Denisovan or whether it could instead have been associated with disease in this ancient hominin.
J. Michael Plavcan
Full Text Available Whilst reduced size, altered shape and diminished sexual dimorphism of the canine–premolar complex are diagnostic features of the hominin clade, little is known about the rate and timing of changes in canine size and shape in early hominins. The earliest Australopithecus, Australopithecus anamensis, had canine crowns similar in size to those of its descendant Australopithecus afarensis, but a single large root alveolus has suggested that this species may have had larger and more dimorphic canines than previously recognised. Here we present three new associated dentitions attributed to A. anamensis, recently recovered from the type site of Kanapoi, Kenya, that provide evidence of canine evolution in early Australopithecus. These fossils include the largest mandibular canine root in the hominin fossil record. We demonstrate that, although canine crown height did not differ between these species, A. anamensis had larger and more dimorphic roots, more like those of extant great apes and Ardipithecus ramidus, than those of A. afarensis. The canine and premolar occlusal shapes of A. anamensis also resemble those of Ar. ramidus, and are intermediary between extant great apes and A. afarensis. A. afarensis achieved Homo-like maxillary crown basal proportions without a reduction in crown height. Thus, canine crown size and dimorphism remained stable during the early evolution of Australopithecus, but mandibular root dimensions changed only later within the A. anamensis–afarensis lineage, coincident with morphological changes in the canine–premolar complex. These observations suggest that selection on canine tooth crown height, shape and root dimensions was not coupled in early hominin evolution, and was not part of an integrated adaptive package.
Ko, Kwang Hyun
Mitochondrial Eve confirms the “out of Africa” theory, but the evidence also supports interbreeding between Homo sapiens and other hominins: Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo heidelbergensis. This article explains how interbreeding between early H. sapiens and archaic hominins occurred. The availability of edible insects in East Asia aided the spread of the unaggressive, highly cooperative Neanderthals, who interbred with H. sapiens in Asia, resulting in a higher admixture of Neanderthal DNA...
Gómez Robles, Aida; Martinón Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Margvelashvili, A.; Bastir, Markus; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Pérez Pérez, Alejandro; Estebaranz, Ferran; Martínez, Laura M.
Recent studies have revealed interesting differences in upper first molar morphology across the hominin fossil record, particularly significant between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. Usually these analyses have been performed by means of classic morphometric methods, including the measurement of relative cusp areas or the angles defined between cusps. Although these studies have provided valuable information for the morphological characterization of some hominin species, we beli...
Willerslev, Eske; Cooper, Alan
In the past two decades, ancient DNA research has progressed from the retrieval of small fragments of mitochondrial DNA from a few late Holocene specimens, to large-scale studies of ancient populations, phenotypically important nuclear loci, and even whole mitochondrial genome sequences of extinct species. However, the field is still regularly marred by erroneous reports, which underestimate the extent of contamination within laboratories and samples themselves. An improved understanding of t...
Ovchinnikov, Igor V
Africa demonstrates a complex process of the hominin evolution with a series of adaptive radiations during several millions of years that led to diverse morphological forms. Recently, Hammer et al. (2011) and Harvati et al. (2011) provided integrated morphological and genetic evidence of interbreeding between modern humans and unknown archaic hominins in Africa as recently as 35,000 years ago. However, a genetic evidence of hybridization between hominin lineages during the Lower and Middle Pleistocene epochs is unknown and the direct retrieval of DNA from extinct lineages of African hominins remains elusive. The availability of both nuclear and mitochondrial genome sequences from modern humans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans allows collecting nuclear DNA sequences of mitochondrial origin (numts) inserted into the nuclear genome of the ancestral hominin lineages and drawing conclusions about the hominin evolution in the remote past. The mtDNA and numt analysis uncovered a deep division of mtDNA lineages that existed in African hominins in the Middle Pleistocene. The first cluster included the human and Neanderthal-like mtDNA sequences while the second consisted of DNA sequences that are known today as mtAncestor-1, a nuclear fossil of the mtDNA, and the Denisova mtDNA isolated from a bone and a tooth found in southern Siberia. The two groups initially diverged 610,000-1,110,000 years ago. Approximately 220,000 years after the primary split, the Denisova - mtAncestor-1 mtDNA lineages mixed with the mtDNA pool of an ancestral population of Neanderthals and modern humans. This admixture after the profound division is demonstrated by the transposition of the Denisova-like mtDNA sequence into the nuclear genome of an ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans. This finding suggests the matrilineal genetic structure among the Middle Pleistocene hominins as well as the existence of gene flow between African hominin lineages. Through paleogenomic analyses, it is impossible to
Cameron, D W
Over the last half-decade or so, there has been an explosion in the recognition of hominin genera and species. We now have the late Miocene genera Orrorin and Sahelanthropus, the mid Pliocene genus Kenyanthropus, three new Pliocene species of Australopithecus (A. anamensis, A. garhi and A. bahrelghazali) and a sub species of Ardipithecus (Ar. r. kadabba) to contend with. Excepting also the more traditional species allocated to Paranthropus, Australopithecus and early Homo we are approaching around 15 species over 5 million years (excluding hominin evolution over the last one million years). Can such a large number of hominin species be justified? An examination of extant hominid (Gorilla gorilla, Pan troglodytes, and Pan paniscus) anatomical variability indicates that the range of fossil hominin variability supports the recognition of this large number of fossil species. It is also shown that not all hominins are directly related to the emergence of early Homo and as such have become extinct. Indeed the traditional australopithecine species 'A'. anamensis, 'A'. afarensis and 'A'. garhi are considered here to belong to a distinct genus Praeanthropus. They are also argued not be hominins, but rather an as yet undefined hominid group from which the more derived hominins evolved. The first hominin is represented by A. africanus or a hominin very much like it. The Paranthropus clade is defined by a derived heterochronic condition of peramorphosis, associated with sequential progenesis (contraction of successive growth stages) in brain and dental development, but a mixture of peramorphic and paedomorphic features in its craniofacial anatomy. Conversely, Kenyanthropus and Homo both share a pattern of peramorphosis, associated with sequential hypermorphosis (prolongation of successive growth stages) in brain development, and paedomorphosis processes in cranial, facial and dental development. This suggests, that these two clades share an important synapomorphy not
Marciniak, Stephanie; Klunk, Jennifer; Devault, Alison; Enk, Jacob; Poinar, Hendrik N
High-throughput sequencing (HTS) has radically altered approaches to human evolutionary research. Recent contributions highlight that HTS is able to reach depths of the human lineage previously thought to be impossible. In this paper, we outline the methodological advances afforded by recent developments in DNA recovery, data output, scalability, speed, and resolution of the current sequencing technology. We review and critically evaluate the 'DNA pipeline' for ancient samples: from DNA extraction, to constructing immortalized sequence libraries, to enrichment strategies (e.g., polymerase chain reaction [PCR] and hybridization capture), and finally, to bioinformatic analyses of sequence data. We argue that continued evaluations and improvements to this process are essential to ensure sequence data validity. Also, we highlight the role of contamination and authentication in ancient DNA-HTS, which is particularly relevant to ancient human genomics, since sequencing the genomes of hominins such as Homo erectus and Homo heidelbergensis may soon be within the realm of possibility. PMID:25601038
Potts, Richard; Faith, J Tyler
Interaction of orbital insolation cycles defines a predictive model of alternating phases of high- and low-climate variability for tropical East Africa over the past 5 million years. This model, which is described in terms of climate variability stages, implies repeated increases in landscape/resource instability and intervening periods of stability in East Africa. It predicts eight prolonged (>192 kyr) eras of intensified habitat instability (high variability stages) in which hominin evolutionary innovations are likely to have occurred, potentially by variability selection. The prediction that repeated shifts toward high climate variability affected paleoenvironments and evolution is tested in three ways. In the first test, deep-sea records of northeast African terrigenous dust flux (Sites 721/722) and eastern Mediterranean sapropels (Site 967A) show increased and decreased variability in concert with predicted shifts in climate variability. These regional measurements of climate dynamics are complemented by stratigraphic observations in five basins with lengthy stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental records: the mid-Pleistocene Olorgesailie Basin, the Plio-Pleistocene Turkana and Olduvai Basins, and the Pliocene Tugen Hills sequence and Hadar Basin--all of which show that highly variable landscapes inhabited by hominin populations were indeed concentrated in predicted stages of prolonged high climate variability. Second, stringent null-model tests demonstrate a significant association of currently known first and last appearance datums (FADs and LADs) of the major hominin lineages, suites of technological behaviors, and dispersal events with the predicted intervals of prolonged high climate variability. Palynological study in the Nihewan Basin, China, provides a third test, which shows the occupation of highly diverse habitats in eastern Asia, consistent with the predicted increase in adaptability in dispersing Oldowan hominins. Integration of fossil, archeological
Greek colonizers arrived at the Iberian Peninsula at the beginning of the sixth century B.C. and founded a small colony known as Emporion in north-east Spain. By the fifth century B.C., this colony became a small polis with a well-organized administrative structure. In this context, the necessity of coinage was a fact and the first coins were minted. Some of these coins were characterized by using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence equipment. The analytical study focused on the elemental characterization of the coins minted from the fourth century to the first century B.C. and their compositional evolution during this period. The investigation has pointed out a very high fineness of the alloys throughout the time, with an average silver content around 98.32%, and the feasibility of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence as a screening tool for the characterization of the alloys.
Paleoneurologists analyze internal casts (endocasts) of fossilized braincases, which provide information about the size, shape and, to a limited degree, sulcal patterns reproduced from impressions left by the surface of the brain. When interpreted in light of comparative data from the brains of living apes and humans, sulcal patterns reproduced on hominin endocasts provide important information for studying the evolution of the cerebral cortex and cognition in human ancestors. Here, new evidence is discussed for the evolution of sulcal patterns associated with cortical reorganization in three parts of the hominin brain: (1) the parietotemporo-occipital association cortex, (2) Broca's speech area, and (3) dorsolateral prefrontal association cortex. Of the three regions, the evidence regarding the last is the clearest. Compared to great apes, Australopithecus endocasts reproduce a clear middle frontal sulcus in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that is derived toward the human condition. This finding is consistent with data from comparative cytoarchitectural studies of ape and human brains as well as shape analyses of australopithecine endocasts. The comparative and direct evidence for all three regions suggests that hominin brain reorganization was underway by at least the time of Australopithecus africanus (~2.5 to 3.0 mya), despite the ape-sized brains of these hominins, and that it entailed expansion of both rostral and caudal association cortices. PMID:24822043
Full Text Available Paleoneurologists analyze internal casts (endocasts of fossilized braincases, which provide information about the size, shape and, to a limited degree, sulcal patterns reproduced from impressions left by the surface of the brain. When interpreted in light of comparative data from the brains of living apes and humans, sulcal patterns reproduced on hominin endocasts provide important information for studying the evolution of the cerebral cortex and cognition in human ancestors. Here, new evidence is discussed for the evolution of sulcal patterns associated with cortical reorganization in three parts of the hominin brain: (1 the parietotemporo-occipital association cortex, (2 Broca’s speech area, and (3 dorsolateral prefrontal association cortex. Of the three regions, the evidence regarding the last is the clearest. Compared to great apes, Australopithecus endocasts reproduce a clear middle frontal sulcus in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex that is derived toward the human condition. This finding is consistent with data from comparative cytoarchitectural studies of ape and human brains as well as shape analyses of australopithecine endocasts. The comparative and direct evidence for all three regions suggests that hominin brain reorganization was underway by at least the time of Australopithecus africanus (~ 2.5 to 3.0 mya, despite the ape-sized brains of these hominins, and that it entailed expansion of both rostral and caudal association cortices.
Although the early Pleistocene hominin fossils found in East Asia continent are widely recognized as the earliest hominins migrated from Africa, debates remain on the morphology and taxonomy of these fossils. In this study, dental crown shape of the three early Pleistocene hominin teeth (P3, M1, and M1) found in Jianshi, Hubei Province of China was analyzed by means of geometric morphometrics. The comparative samples of fossil hominins from Africa, Asia, and Europe as well as those of modern humans (N=257) were used. The results indicate that the contour, asymmetry, and cusp patterns of these three types of teeth differ obviously between the fossil hominins and modern humans. The crown shape of P3 in most fossil hominins including Australopithecus, African early Homo, and Asian Pleistocene hominins are asymmetric with their crown occlusal contours long and curving elliptic-shaped. The occlusal contour of the fossil hominin M1 is symmetric and rectangle-shaped with no marked cusp protrusion. The crown shape of fossil M1 is characterized by asymmetric contour with slightly projected metaconid and hypoconid. On the contrary, in modern Chinese and some European late Pleistocene hominins, the crowns of P3s show symmetric contours with buccal side wider than lingual side; the crown shape of M1 is asymmetric with lingual cusp distalplaced, especially for hypoconid; the M1 has symmetric and round crown contour. Our study reveals that Australopithecus has wide variations in its crown shape, whereas these dental morphospaces of Asian hominins are closely placed. The crown contour, symmetry, and cusp patterns of these three teeth of Jianshi hominin resemble those of Asian early and middle Pleistocene hominins. No marked difference in dental crown shape is shown between the Jianshi hominin and other Chinese Homo erectus, and there is also no evidence in support of the Jianshi hominin’s closeness to Australopithecus and African early Homo members.
Swamy, Ashwin Balegar
This thesis involves development of an interactive GIS (Geographic Information System) based application, which gives information about the ancient history of Egypt. The astonishing architecture, the strange burial rituals and their civilization were some of the intriguing questions that motivated me towards developing this application. The application is a historical timeline starting from 3100 BC, leading up to 664 BC, focusing on the evolution of the Egyptian dynasties. The tool holds information regarding some of the famous monuments which were constructed during that era and also about the civilizations that co-existed. It also provides details about the religions followed by their kings. It also includes the languages spoken during those periods. The tool is developed using JAVA, a programing language and MOJO (Map Objects Java Objects) a product of ESRI (Environmental Science Research Institute) to create map objects, to provide geographic information. JAVA Swing is used for designing the user interface. HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) pages are created to provide the user with more information related to the historic period. CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) and JAVA Scripts are used with HTML5 to achieve creative display of content. The tool is kept simple and easy for the user to interact with. The tool also includes pictures and videos for the user to get a feel of the historic period. The application is built to motivate people to know more about one of the prominent and ancient civilization of the Mediterranean world.
Plummer, Thomas; Bishop, Laura
The Early Stone Age archaeological record does not become persistent and widespread until approximately 2.0-1.7 million years ago, when Oldowan sites spread across Africa and ultimately into Eurasia. However, good records of hominin behavior from this important time interval are uncommon. Here we describe recent findings from the two million year old Oldowan site of Kanjera South, on the Homa Peninsula of southwestern Kenya. Kanjera South is the oldest Oldowan site with large assemblages of stone artifacts and well-preserved archaeological fauna. Our research indicates that hominin activities were situated in an open habitat within a grassland dominated ecosystem, the first documentation of an archaeological site in such an open setting. Hominins selectively collected and transported stone materials (30% of the lithic assemblage) over longer distances (at least 10 km) than is typical for the Oldowan, reflecting their preference for hard, easily-flaked lithologies unavailable on the northern half of the Homa Peninsula. They deployed different technological strategies to more intensively utilize these hard, non-local raw materials. Artifacts were used for a variety of tasks, including butchering small antelopes probably obtained by hunting, working wood, working soft plant material, and processing underground storage organs. These data suggest that the Kanjera hominins utilized a technological system that allowed them to extract nutrient dense animal and plant foods from their environment. This shift towards the acquisition of nutritious, hard-to-acquire foods in packets large enough to be shared may have facilitated brain and body size expansion in the genus Homo. PMID:27081012
Burbano, Hernán A; Green, Richard E; Maricic, Tomislav; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; de la Rasilla, Marco; Rosas, Antonio; Kelso, Janet; Pollard, Katherine S; Lachmann, Michael; Pääbo, Svante
Several previous comparisons of the human genome with other primate and vertebrate genomes identified genomic regions that are highly conserved in vertebrate evolution but fast-evolving on the human lineage. These human accelerated regions (HARs) may be regions of past adaptive evolution in humans. Alternatively, they may be the result of non-adaptive processes, such as biased gene conversion. We captured and sequenced DNA from a collection of previously published HARs using DNA from an Iberian Neandertal. Combining these new data with shotgun sequence from the Neandertal and Denisova draft genomes, we determine at least one archaic hominin allele for 84% of all positions within HARs. We find that 8% of HAR substitutions are not observed in the archaic hominins and are thus recent in the sense that the derived allele had not come to fixation in the common ancestor of modern humans and archaic hominins. Further, we find that recent substitutions in HARs tend to have come to fixation faster than substitutions elsewhere in the genome and that substitutions in HARs tend to cluster in time, consistent with an episodic rather than a clock-like process underlying HAR evolution. Our catalog of sequence changes in HARs will help prioritize them for functional studies of genomic elements potentially responsible for modern human adaptations. PMID:22412940
Grove, Matt; Pearce, Eiluned; Dunbar, R I M
The course of hominin evolution has involved successive migrations towards higher absolute latitudes over the past three million years. Poorer habitat quality further from the equator has led to the necessity for groups occupying higher latitudes to live at lower population densities. Coupled with a trend towards increasing group size over this time period, this tendency towards expansion has led to exponential increases in the area requirements of hominin groups, and a concomitant need to adjust foraging patterns. The current analyses suggest that the development of increasingly complex, multi-level fission-fusion social systems could have freed hominins of the foraging constraints imposed by large group sizes and low population densities. Analyses of the fossil record suggest latitudinally-driven differences in area requirements of the australopithecines from East and South Africa, and African and Asian Homo erectus. In contrast, chronologically-driven differences appear between H. erectus as a whole and Homo heidelbergensis, and between H. heidelbergensis and the Neanderthals. These results are discussed in relation to studies of the foraging patterns of primates and hunter-gatherers. PMID:22197359
Ko, Kwang Hyun
Mitochondrial Eve confirms the "out of Africa" theory, but the evidence also supports interbreeding between Homo sapiens and other hominins: Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo heidelbergensis. This article explains how interbreeding between early H. sapiens and archaic hominins occurred. The availability of edible insects in East Asia aided the spread of the unaggressive, highly cooperative Neanderthals, who interbred with H. sapiens in Asia, resulting in a higher admixture of Neanderthal DNA in East Asian populations. Geographical variation in degree of interbreeding between H. sapiens and Neanderthals likely contributed to neurological and behavioral differences in modern humans. Similarly, people with Denisovan genetic admixture were better able to dwell in mountainous regions, allowing their genetic legacy to cross the Himalayas and persist in Southeast Asian and Oceanian H. sapiens. In the Sub-Saharan region, unaffected by Denisovan or Neanderthal interbreeding, H. sapiens interbred with H. heidelbergensis, because high humidity militated against fire-making and allowed the survival of these non-fire-making hominins. PMID:27429943
Bae, Christopher J
Traditionally, Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils that cannot be allocated to Homo erectus sensu lato or modern H. sapiens have been assigned to different specific taxa. For example, in eastern Asia, these hominin fossils have been classified as archaic, early, or premodern H. sapiens. An increasing number of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils are currently being assigned to H. heidelbergensis. This is particularly the case for the African and European Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record. There have been suggestions that perhaps the eastern Asian late Middle Pleistocene hominins can also be allocated to the H. heidelbergensis hypodigm. In this article, I review the current state of the late Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record from eastern Asia and examine the various arguments for assigning these hominins to the different specific taxa. The two primary conclusions drawn from this review are as follows: 1) little evidence currently exists in the eastern Asian Middle Pleistocene hominin fossil record to support their assignment to H. heidelbergensis; and 2) rather than add to the growing list of hominin fossil taxa by using taxonomic names like H. daliensis for northeast Asian fossils and H. mabaensis for Southeast Asian fossils, it is better to err on the side of caution and continue to use the term archaic H. sapiens to represent all of these hominin fossils. What should be evident from this review is the need for an increase in the quality and quantity of the eastern Asian hominin fossil data set. Fortunately, with the increasing number of large-scale multidisciplinary paleoanthropological field and laboratory research projects in eastern Asia, the record is quickly becoming better understood. PMID:21086528
Macho, Gabriele A.
The study considers the turnover in hominins, together with carnivorans and other primates, at 3.5 Ma against an environmental backdrop. Communalities are identified between evolving guilds that may directly inform hominin evolution. These are the evolution of (a) dietary generalists and (b) evidence for sociality in carnivores, baboons and hominins. Sociality and behavioural flexibility are regarded advantageous for the procurement of resources while, at the same time, reducing intraspecific competition; in primates it may initially also have served to reduce predation risk. Behavioural flexibility explains the evolutionary success of Panthera leo, Papio and Homo. Viewed within a wider palaeoecological and environmental context, it is possible that sociality in hominins, including allocare, were triggered by abiotic changes at about 3.5 Ma. If confirmed in future studies, this would mark the beginning of hominin life history evolution.
Street, Martin; Terberger, Thomas; Orschiedt, Jörg
We review the hominin fossil record from western Central Europe in light of the recent major revisions of the geochronological context. The mandible from Mauer (Homo heidelbergensis), dated to circa 500,000 years ago, continues to represent the earliest German hominin and may coincide with the occupation of Europe north of the high alpine mountain chains. Only limited new evidence is available for the Middle Pleistocene, mostly in the form of skull fragments, a pattern that may relate to taphonomic processes. These finds and their ages suggest the gradual evolution of a suite of Neandertal features during this period. Despite new finds of classic Neandertals, there is no clear proof for Neandertal burial from Germany. Alternatively, cut marks on a skull fragment from the Neandertal type site suggest special treatment of that individual. New Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dates of previous finds leave little reliably dated evidence for anatomically modern humans (AMH) in Europe before 30,000 BP; the remains from Hahnöfersand, Binshof-Speyer, Paderborn-Sande, and Vogelherd are now of Holocene age. Thus, a correlation of AMH with the Aurignacian remains to be proven, and the general idea of a long coexistence of Neandertals and AMH in Europe may be questioned. In western Central Europe, evidence of Gravettian human fossils is also very limited, although a new double grave from lower Austria may be relevant. The only dated burial from the German Upper Paleolithic (from Mittlere Klause) falls into a time period (circa 18,600 BP) represented by only a few occupation sites in western Central Europe. A number of human remains at Magdalenian sites appear to result from variable (secondary) burial practices. In contrast, the Final Paleolithic (circa 12,000-9600 cal. BC) yields an increase of hominin finds, including multiple burials (Bonn-Oberkassel, Neuwied-Irlich), similar to the situation in western and southern Europe. PMID:17014890
Wood, B; Aiello, L C
Body mass estimates for fossil hominin taxa can be obtained from suitable postcranial and cranial variables. However, the nature of the taphonomic processes that winnow the mammalian fossil record are such that these data are usually only available for the minority of the specimens that comprise the hypodigm of a species. This study has investigated the link between species mean body mass and the height and width of the mandibular corpus in a core sample of 23 species of extant simians. The slopes of the least-squares regressions for the whole sample and for the hominoid subset are similar. However, the intercepts differ so that for a given body mass, a hominoid will generally have a smaller mandible than a generalized simian. The same mandibular measurements were taken on 75 early hominin mandibles assigned to eight species groups. When mandibular corpus height- and width-derived estimates of body mass for the fossil taxa were compared with available postcranial and cranial-derived body mass estimates, the eight early hominin species sort into four groups. The first, which includes A. afarensis and A. africanus, has mandibles which follow a "generalized simian" scaling relationship. The second group, which comprises the two "robust" australopithecine species, P. boisei and P. robustus, has mandibles which scale with body mass as if they are "super-simians," for they have substantially larger mandibles than a simian with the same body mass. The two "early Homo" species, H. habilis sensu stricto and H. rudolfensis, make up the third group. It has mandibular scaling relationships that are intermediate between that of the comparative simian sample and that of the hominoid subsample. The last of the four groups comprises H. ergaster and H. erectus; their mandibles scale with body mass as if they were hominoids, so that of the four groups they have the smallest mandibles per unit body mass. These results are related to comparable information about relative tooth size
11 samples of ancient Chinese Ru porcelain from Qingliangsi kiln, 23 samples of ancient Chinese Guan porcelain from Jiaotanxia kiln and 4 samples of modern archaized Guan porcelain were obtained to determine the contents of elements in each of them by neutron activation analysis (NAA). The NAA data were further analyzed using fuzzy cluster analysis to obtain the fuzzy cluster trend diagrams for the bodies' samples and the glazes samples respectively. The analysis shows that the raw material origins of the Jiaotanxia ancient Chinese Guan porcelain bodies samples are very concentrated; those of the Qingliangsi ancient Chinese Ru porcelain bodies samples are a little dispersed; those of ancient Chinese Guan porcelain glazes samples are relatively concentrated; those of ancient Chinese Ru porcelain glazes samples are dispersed; and the origins of the raw material of ancient Chinese Guan porcelain glazes samples are obviously different from those of ancient Chinese Ru porcelain glazes samples. The bodies samples and glazes samples of Jiaotanxia ancient Chinese Guan porcelain and those of Qingliangsi ancient Chinese Ru porcelain have some difference but can be compared with each other. (authors)
This project incorporates technology and a historical emphasis on science drawn from ancient civilizations to promote a greater understanding of conceptual science. In the Apps for Ancient Civilizations project, students investigate an ancient culture to discover how people might have used science and math smartphone apps to make their lives…
Larson, Susan G; Jungers, William L; Morwood, Michael J; Sutikna, Thomas; Jatmiko; Saptomo, E Wahyu; Due, Rokus Awe; Djubiantono, Tony
The holotype of Homo floresiensis, diminutive hominins with tiny brains living until 12,000 years ago on the island of Flores, is a partial skeleton (LB1) that includes a partial clavicle (LB1/5) and a nearly complete right humerus (LB1/50). Although the humerus appears fairly modern in most regards, it is remarkable in displaying only 110 degrees of humeral torsion, well below modern human average values. Assuming a modern human shoulder configuration, such a low degree of humeral torsion would result in a lateral set to the elbow. Such an elbow joint would function more nearly in a frontal than in a sagittal plane, and this is certainly not what anyone would have predicted for a tool-making Pleistocene hominin. We argue that Homo floresiensis probably did not have a modern human shoulder configuration: the clavicle was relatively short, and we suggest that the scapula was more protracted, resulting in a glenoid fossa that faced anteriorly rather than laterally. A posteriorly directed humeral head was therefore appropriate for maintaining a normally functioning elbow joint. Similar morphology in the Homo erectus Nariokotome boy (KNM-WT 15000) suggests that this shoulder configuration may represent a transitional stage in pectoral girdle evolution in the human lineage. PMID:17692894
Gómez-Robles, A; Martinón-Torres, M; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Margvelashvili, A; Bastir, M; Arsuaga, J L; Pérez-Pérez, A; Estebaranz, F; Martínez, L M
Recent studies have revealed interesting differences in upper first molar morphology across the hominin fossil record, particularly significant between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. Usually these analyses have been performed by means of classic morphometric methods, including the measurement of relative cusp areas or the angles defined between cusps. Although these studies have provided valuable information for the morphological characterization of some hominin species, we believe that the analysis of this particular tooth could be more conclusive for taxonomic assignment. In this study, we have applied geometric morphometric methods to explore the morphological variability of the upper first molar (M(1)) across the human fossil record. Our emphasis focuses on the study of the phenetic relationships among the European middle Pleistocene populations (designated as H. heidelbergensis) with H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens, but the inclusion of Australopithecus and early Homo specimens has helped us to assess the polarity of the observed traits. H. neanderthalensis presents a unique morphology characterized by a relatively distal displacement of the lingual cusps and protrusion in the external outline of a large and bulging hypocone. This morphology can be found in a less pronounced degree in the European early and middle Pleistocene populations, and reaches its maximum expression with the H. neanderthalensis lineage. In contrast, modern humans retain the primitive morphology with a square occlusal polygon associated with a round external outline. PMID:17599390
Morwood, M J; Soejono, R P; Roberts, R G; Sutikna, T; Turney, C S M; Westaway, K E; Rink, W J; Zhao, J-X; van den Bergh, G D; Due, Rokus Awe; Hobbs, D R; Moore, M W; Bird, M I; Fifield, L K
Excavations at Liang Bua, a large limestone cave on the island of Flores in eastern Indonesia, have yielded evidence for a population of tiny hominins, sufficiently distinct anatomically to be assigned to a new species, Homo floresiensis. The finds comprise the cranial and some post-cranial remains of one individual, as well as a premolar from another individual in older deposits. Here we describe their context, implications and the remaining archaeological uncertainties. Dating by radiocarbon (14C), luminescence, uranium-series and electron spin resonance (ESR) methods indicates that H. floresiensis existed from before 38,000 years ago (kyr) until at least 18 kyr. Associated deposits contain stone artefacts and animal remains, including Komodo dragon and an endemic, dwarfed species of Stegodon. H. floresiensis originated from an early dispersal of Homo erectus (including specimens referred to as Homo ergaster and Homo georgicus) that reached Flores, and then survived on this island refuge until relatively recently. It overlapped significantly in time with Homo sapiens in the region, but we do not know if or how the two species interacted. PMID:15510146
Devès, Maud; Sturdy, Derek; Godet, Nan; King, Geoffrey C. P.; Bailey, Geoffrey N.
more intensively after the disappearance of the elephants. We consider some of the ways in which this regional-scale approach can be further tested and refined, and advocate the development of such studies as an essential contribution to understanding the wider pattern of hominin dispersal.
Meyer, Matthias; Fu, Qiaomei; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Glocke, Isabelle; Nickel, Birgit; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia, Ana; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald; Pääbo, Svante
Excavations of a complex of caves in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain have unearthed hominin fossils that range in age from the early Pleistocene to the Holocene. One of these sites, the 'Sima de los Huesos' ('pit of bones'), has yielded the world's largest assemblage of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils, consisting of at least 28 individuals dated to over 300,000 years ago. The skeletal remains share a number of morphological features with fossils classified as Homo heidelbergensis and also display distinct Neanderthal-derived traits. Here we determine an almost complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos and show that it is closely related to the lineage leading to mitochondrial genomes of Denisovans, an eastern Eurasian sister group to Neanderthals. Our results pave the way for DNA research on hominins from the Middle Pleistocene. PMID:24305051
Amold, Lee J.; Demuro, Martina; Parés, Josep M.; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Aramburr, Arantza; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell i Roura, Eudald
Establishing a reliable chronology on the extensive hominin remains at Sima de los Huesos is critical for an improved understanding of the complex evolutionary histories and phylogenetic relationships of the European Middle Pleistocene hominin record. In this study, we use a combination of ‘extended-range’ luminescence dating techniques and palaeomagnetism to provide new age constraint on sedimentary infills that are unambiguously associated with the Sima fossil assemblage. Post-i...
Julia A Lee-Thorp; Sponheimer, Matt; Passey, Benjamin H.; de Ruiter, Darryl J.; Cerling, Thure E.
Accumulating isotopic evidence from fossil hominin tooth enamel has provided unexpected insights into early hominin dietary ecology. Among the South African australopiths, these data demonstrate significant contributions to the diet of carbon originally fixed by C4 photosynthesis, consisting of C4 tropical/savannah grasses and certain sedges, and/or animals eating C4 foods. Moreover, high-resolution analysis of tooth enamel reveals strong intra-tooth variability in many cases, suggesting seas...
Defends the value and relevance of the study of ancient history and classics in history curricula. The unique homogeneity of the classical period contributes to its instructional manageability. A year-long, secondary-level course on fifth-century Greece and Rome is described to illustrate effective approaches to teaching ancient history. (AM)
Been, Ella; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Kramer, Patricia A
Recently, interest has peaked regarding the posture of extinct hominins. Here, we present a new method of reconstructing lordosis angles of extinct hominin specimens based on pelvic morphology, more specifically the orientation of the sacrum in relation to the acetabulum (pelvic incidence). Two regression models based on the correlation between pelvic incidence and lordosis angle in living hominoids have been developed. The mean values of the calculated lordosis angles based on these models are 36°-45° for australopithecines, 45°-47° for Homo erectus, 27°-34° for the Neandertals and the Sima de los Huesos hominins, and 49°-51° for fossil H. sapiens. The newly calculated lordosis values are consistent with previously published values of extinct hominins (Been et al.: Am J Phys Anthropol 147 (2012) 64-77). If the mean values of the present nonhuman hominoids are representative of the pelvic and lumbar morphology of the last common ancestor between humans and nonhuman hominoids, then both pelvic incidence and lordosis angle dramatically increased during hominin evolution from 27° ± 5 to 22° ± 3 (respectively) in nonhuman hominoids to 54° ± 10 and 51° ± 11 in modern humans. This change to a more human-like configuration appeared early in the hominin evolution as the pelvis and spines of both australopithecines and H. erectus show a higher pelvic incidence and lordosis angle than nonhuman hominoids. The Sima de los Huesos hominins and Neandertals show a derived configuration with a low pelvic incidence and lordosis angle. PMID:24615397
Arnold, Lee J; Demuro, Martina; Parés, Josep M; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Aranburu, Arantza; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald
Establishing a reliable chronology on the extensive hominin remains at Sima de los Huesos is critical for an improved understanding of the complex evolutionary histories and phylogenetic relationships of the European Middle Pleistocene hominin record. In this study, we use a combination of 'extended-range' luminescence dating techniques and palaeomagnetism to provide new age constraint on sedimentary infills that are unambiguously associated with the Sima fossil assemblage. Post-infrared-infrared stimulated luminescence (pIR-IR) dating of K-feldspars and thermally transferred optically stimulated luminescence (TT-OSL) dating of individual quartz grains provide weighted mean ages of 433 ± 15 ka (thousands of years) and 416 ± 19 ka, respectively, for allochthonous sedimentary horizons overlying the hominin-bearing clay breccia. The six replicate luminescence ages obtained for this deposit are reproducible and provide a combined minimum age estimate of 427 ± 12 ka for the underlying hominin fossils. Palaeomagnetic directions for the luminescence dated sediment horizon and underlying fossiliferous clays display exclusively normal polarities. These findings are consistent with the luminescence dating results and confirm that the hominin fossil horizon accumulated during the Brunhes Chron, i.e., within the last 780 ka. The new bracketing age constraint for the Sima hominins is in broad agreement with radiometrically dated Homo heidelbergensis fossil sites, such as Mauer and Arago, and suggests that the split of the H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens lineages took place during the early Middle Pleistocene. More widespread numerical dating of key Early and Middle Pleistocene fossil sites across Europe is needed to test and refine competing models of hominin evolution. The new luminescence chronologies presented in this study demonstrate the versatility of TT-OSL and pIR-IR techniques and the potential role they could play in helping to refine evolutionary
Zink, Katherine D; Lieberman, Daniel E; Lucas, Peter W
Although early Homo is hypothesized to have used tools more than australopiths to process foods prior to consumption, it is unknown how much the food processing techniques they used altered the material properties of foods, and therefore the masticatory forces they generated, and how well they were able to comminute foods. This study presents experimental data on changes to food material properties caused by mechanical tenderization (pounding with a stone tool) and cooking (dry roasting) of two foods likely to have been important components of the hominin diet: meat and tubers. Mechanical tenderization significantly decreased tuber toughness by 42%, but had no effect on meat toughness. Roasting significantly decreased several material properties of tubers correlated with masticatory effort including toughness (49%), fracture stress (28%) and elastic modulus (45%), but increased the toughness (77%), fracture stress (50%-222%), and elastic modulus of muscle fibers in meat (308%). Despite increasing many material properties of meat associated with higher masticatory forces, roasting also decreased measured energy loss by 28%, which likely makes it easier to chew. These results suggest that the use of food processing techniques by early Homo probably differed for meat and tubers, but together would have reduced masticatory effort, helping to relax selection to maintain large, robust faces and large, thickly enameled teeth. PMID:25439707
Spoor, Fred; Leakey, Meave G; O'Higgins, Paul
Geometric morphometric shape analyses are used to compare the maxillae of the Kenyanthropus platyops holotype KNM-WT 40000, the Australopithecus deyiremeda holotype BRT-VP-3/1 and other australopiths. The main aim is to explore the relationship between these two specimens and contemporary Australopithecus afarensis Five landmarks placed on lateral views of the maxillae quantify key aspects of the morphology. Generalized Procrustes analyses and principal component analyses of the resulting shape coordinates were performed. The magnitudes of differences in shape and their significances were assessed using Procrustes and Mahalanobis' distances, respectively. Both KNM-WT 40000 and BRT-VP-3/1 show statistically significant differences in maxillary shape from A. afarensis, but do so in dissimilar ways. Moreover, the former differs more from A. afarensis than the latter. KNM-WT 40000 has a more anteriorly positioned zygomatic process with a transversely flat, and more orthognathic subnasal clivus. BRT-VP-3/1 has a more inferiorly positioned zygomatic process, a slightly retracted dental arcade, but without shortening of the anterior maxilla. These findings are consistent with previous conclusions that the two fossils should be attributed to separate species, rather than to A. afarensis, and with the presence of three contemporary hominin species in the Middle Pliocene of eastern Africa.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298462
Leo Strauss presents at least two distinct accounts of the idea that the authors in the political-philosophical canon have often masked their true teachings. A weaker account of esotericism, dependent on the contingent fact of persecution, is attributed to the moderns, while a stronger account, stemming from a necessary conflict between philosophy and society, is attributed to the ancients. Although most interpreters agree that Strauss here sides with the ancients, this view fails to consider...
Zollikofer, Christoph P E; Ponce De León, Marcia S; Schmitz, Ralf W; Stringer, Christopher B
Mid-late Pleistocene fossil hominins such as Homo neanderthalensis and H. heidelbergensis are often described as having extensively pneumatized crania compared with modern humans. However, the significance of pneumatization in recognizing patterns of phyletic diversification and/or functional specialization has remained controversial. Here, we test the null hypothesis that the paranasal sinuses of fossil and extant humans and great apes can be understood as biological spandrels, i.e., their morphology reflects evolutionary, developmental, and functional constraints imposed onto the surrounding bones. Morphological description of well-preserved mid-late Pleistocene hominin specimens are contrasted with our comparative sample of modern humans and great apes. Results from a geometric morphometric analysis of the correlation between paranasal sinus and cranial dimensions show that the spandrel hypothesis cannot be refuted. However, visualizing specific features of the paranasal sinus system with methods of biomedical imaging and computer graphics reveals new aspects of patterns of growth and development of fossil hominins. PMID:18951483
Kübler, Simon; Owenga, Peter; Reynolds, Sally C.; Rucina, Stephen M.; King, Geoffrey C. P.
Animal movements in the Kenya Rift Valley today are influenced by a combination of topography and trace nutrient distribution. These patterns would have been the same in the past when hominins inhabited the area. We use this approach to create a landscape reconstruction of Olorgesailie, a key site in the East African Rift with abundant evidence of large-mammal butchery between ~1.2 and ~0.5 Ma BP. The site location in relation to limited animal routes through the area show that hominins were aware of animal movements and used the location for ambush hunting during the Lower to Middle Pleistocene. These features explain the importance of Olorgesailie as a preferred location of repeated hominin activity through multiple changes in climate and local environmental conditions, and provide insights into the cognitive and hunting abilities of Homo erectus while indicating that their activities at the site were aimed at hunting, rather than scavenging.
Tocheri, Matthew W; Orr, Caley M; Jacofsky, Marc C; Marzke, Mary W
Molecular evidence indicates that the last common ancestor of the genus Pan and the hominin clade existed between 8 and 4 million years ago (Ma). The current fossil record indicates the Pan-Homo last common ancestor existed at least 5 Ma and most likely between 6 and 7 Ma. Together, the molecular and fossil evidence has important consequences for interpreting the evolutionary history of the hand within the tribe Hominini (hominins). Firstly, parsimony supports the hypothesis that the hand of the last common ancestor most likely resembled that of an extant great ape overall (Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), and that of an African ape in particular. Second, it provides a context for interpreting the derived changes to the hand that have evolved in various hominins. For example, the Australopithecus afarensis hand is likely derived in comparison with that of the Pan-Homo last common ancestor in having shorter fingers relative to thumb length and more proximo-distally oriented joints between its capitate, second metacarpal, and trapezium. This evidence suggests that these derived features evolved prior to the intensification of stone tool-related hominin behaviors beginning around 2.5 Ma. However, a majority of primitive features most likely present in the Pan-Homo last common ancestor are retained in the hands of Australopithecus, Paranthropus/early Homo, and Homo floresiensis. This evidence suggests that further derived changes to the hands of other hominins such as modern humans and Neandertals did not evolve until after 2.5 Ma and possibly even later than 1.5 Ma, which is currently the earliest evidence of Acheulian technology. The derived hands of modern humans and Neandertals may indicate a morphological commitment to tool-related manipulative behaviors beyond that observed in other hominins, including those (e.g. H. floresiensis) which may be descended from earlier tool-making species. PMID:18380869
Leece, A B; Kegley, Anthony D T; Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Herries, Andy I R; Hemingway, Jason; Kgasi, Lazarus; Potze, Stephany; Adams, Justin W
Haasgat is a primate-rich fossil locality in the northeastern part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we report the first hominin identified from Haasgat, a partial maxillary molar (HGT 500), that was recovered from an ex situ calcified sediment block sampled from the locality. The in situ fossil bearing deposits of the Haasgat paleokarstic deposits are estimated to date to slightly older than 1.95 Ma based on magnetobiostratigraphy. This places the hominin specimen at a critical time period in South Africa that marks the last occurrence of Australopithecus around 1.98 Ma and the first evidence of Paranthropus and Homo in the region between ∼2.0 and 1.8 Ma. A comprehensive morphological evaluation of the Haasgat hominin molar was conducted against the current South African catalogue of hominin dental remains and imaging analyses using micro-CT, electron and confocal microscopy. The preserved occlusal morphology is most similar to Australopithecus africanus or early Homo specimens but different from Paranthropus. Occlusal linear enamel thickness measured from micro-CT scans provides an average of ∼2.0 mm consistent with Australopithecus and early Homo. Analysis of the enamel microstructure suggests an estimated periodicity of 7-9 days. Hunter-Schreger bands appear long and straight as in some Paranthropus, but contrast with this genus in the short shape of the striae of Retzius. Taken together, these data suggests that the maxillary fragment recovered from Haasgat best fits within the Australopithecus-early Homo hypodigms to the exclusion of the genus Paranthropus. At ∼1.95 Ma this specimen would either represent another example of late occurring Australopithecus or one of the earliest examples of Homo in the region. While the identification of this first hominin specimen from Haasgat is not unexpected given the composition of other South African penecontemporaneous site deposits, it represents one of the few hominin
Meyer, Matthias; Fu, Qiaomei; Aximu Petri, Ayinuer; Glocke, Isabelle; Nickel, Birgit; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez Mendizábal, Ignacio; Gracia Téllez, Ana; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell i Roura, Eudald; Pääbo, Svante
Excavations of a complex of caves in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain have unearthed hominin fossils that range in age from the early Pleistocene to the Holocene1. One of these sites, the ‘Sima de los Huesos’ (‘pit of bones’), has yielded the world’s largest assemblage of Middle Pleistocene hominin fossils2,3, onsisting of at least 28 individuals4 dated to over 300,000 years ago5. The skeletal remains share a number of morphological features with fossils classifieds Homo heidel...
Leece, AB; Kegley, Anthony D.T.; Lacruz, Rodrigo S.; Herries, Andy I.R.; Hemingway, Jason; Kgasi, Lazarus; Potze, Stephany
Haasgat is a primate-rich fossil locality in the northeastern part of the Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we report the first hominin identified from Haasgat, a partial maxillary molar (HGT 500), that was recovered from an ex situ calcified sediment block sampled from the locality. The in situ fossil bearing deposits of the Haasgat paleokarstic deposits are estimated to date to slightly older than 1.95 Ma based on magnetobiostratigraphy. This places the hominin specimen at a critical time period in South Africa that marks the last occurrence of Australopithecus around 1.98 Ma and the first evidence of Paranthropus and Homo in the region between ∼2.0 and 1.8 Ma. A comprehensive morphological evaluation of the Haasgat hominin molar was conducted against the current South African catalogue of hominin dental remains and imaging analyses using micro-CT, electron and confocal microscopy. The preserved occlusal morphology is most similar to Australopithecus africanus or early Homo specimens but different from Paranthropus. Occlusal linear enamel thickness measured from micro-CT scans provides an average of ∼2.0 mm consistent with Australopithecus and early Homo. Analysis of the enamel microstructure suggests an estimated periodicity of 7–9 days. Hunter–Schreger bands appear long and straight as in some Paranthropus, but contrast with this genus in the short shape of the striae of Retzius. Taken together, these data suggests that the maxillary fragment recovered from Haasgat best fits within the Australopithecus—early Homo hypodigms to the exclusion of the genus Paranthropus. At ∼1.95 Ma this specimen would either represent another example of late occurring Australopithecus or one of the earliest examples of Homo in the region. While the identification of this first hominin specimen from Haasgat is not unexpected given the composition of other South African penecontemporaneous site deposits, it represents one of the few
Grine, Frederick E; Judex, Stefan; Daegling, David J; Ozcivici, Engin; Ungar, Peter S; Teaford, Mark F; Sponheimer, Matt; Scott, Jessica; Scott, Robert S; Walker, Alan
Finite element analysis (FEA) is a potentially powerful tool by which the mechanical behaviors of different skeletal and dental designs can be investigated, and, as such, has become increasingly popular for biomechanical modeling and inferring the behavior of extinct organisms. However, the use of FEA to extrapolate from characterization of the mechanical environment to questions of trophic or ecological adaptation in a fossil taxon is both challenging and perilous. Here, we consider the problems and prospects of FEA applications in paleoanthropology, and provide a critical examination of one such study of the trophic adaptations of Australopithecus africanus. This particular FEA is evaluated with regard to 1) the nature of the A. africanus cranial composite, 2) model validation, 3) decisions made with respect to model parameters, 4) adequacy of data presentation, and 5) interpretation of the results. Each suggests that the results reflect methodological decisions as much as any underlying biological significance. Notwithstanding these issues, this model yields predictions that follow from the posited emphasis on premolar use by A. africanus. These predictions are tested with data from the paleontological record, including a phylogenetically-informed consideration of relative premolar size, and postcanine microwear fabrics and antemortem enamel chipping. In each instance, the data fail to conform to predictions from the model. This model thus serves to emphasize the need for caution in the application of FEA in paleoanthropological enquiry. Theoretical models can be instrumental in the construction of testable hypotheses; but ultimately, the studies that serve to test these hypotheses - rather than data from the models - should remain the source of information pertaining to hominin paleobiology and evolution. PMID:20227747
王頠; 黄超林; 谢绍文; 鄢成林
Five hominin teeth are recently discovered at the Jimuyan Cave in Pingle County, Southern China. The Jimuyan Cave is located at Juntang Village(24° 29' 52. 8" N,110° 50' 0. 79" E) ,20km southeast to the Pingle Town,with 163. 2m above the sea level. Mammalian fauna of the cave consists of eleven species,including: Macaca sp. ,Pongo pygmaeus weidenreichi, Hystrix cf. Subcristata, Ursus thibetanus ,Ahuropoda melanoleuca baconi ,Stegodon orhentalis, Tapirus sinensis,Sus scrofa,Muntiacus sp.,Cervus sp. And Bovidae gen. Et sp. Indet. This faunal assemblage contains four genera that are either extinct or no longer present in this region, including Stegodon, Tapirus, Ailuropoda and Pongo, which is distinctly different from that of Holocene, however similar to that of Late Pleistocene in Southern China. Thus, age of this fauna is dated to Late Pleistocene by biostratigraphy comparison. The hominin teeth in Jimuyan Cave are morphologically different from those of already known Homo erectus and Early Homo sapiens, nevertheless, similar to those of Late Homo sapiens in South China. This finding presents significant fossil evidence for the study of modern hunan origin and evolution in East Asia.The origin of modern humans is a controversial scientific topic at present. Based on fossil evidence of Homo sapiens in Africa are more ancient than that in Eastern Asia. With the results of molecular biology analysis, most of the anthropologists and geneticists support the hypothesis of modern humans originated in Africa. So far,the oldest fossils come from Omo-Kibish and Herto in Ethiopia, with the age of 160ka and 190ka respectively. The characteristics of these fossil skulls are intervenient between Homo sapiens and Homo heidelbergensis. Some of the hominin fossils,dated to 74 ~ 134ka,have been discovered at Klasies estuary in South Africa, but it is difficult to confirm whether these materials belong to modern human. Fossil hominin unearthed at Qafzeh and Skhul in Israel, Middle
Calderón Narváez, G
Using studies on prehispanic and early post-conquest documents of Ancient Mexico--such as the Badianus Manuscript, also known as Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis, and Brother Bernardino de Sahagún's famous work History of the Things of the New Spain, a description of some existing medical and psychiatric problems, and treatments Ancient Aztecs resorted to, is presented. The structure of the Aztec family, their problems with the excessive ingestion of alcoholic beverages, and the punishments native authorities had implemented in order to check alcoholism up are also described. PMID:1341125
Meyer, Matthias; Arsuaga, Juan-Luis; de Filippo, Cesare; Nagel, Sarah; Aximu-Petri, Ayinuer; Nickel, Birgit; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia, Ana; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Carbonell, Eudald; Viola, Bence; Kelso, Janet; Prüfer, Kay; Pääbo, Svante
A unique assemblage of 28 hominin individuals, found in Sima de los Huesos in the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain, has recently been dated to approximately 430,000 years ago. An interesting question is how these Middle Pleistocene hominins were related to those who lived in the Late Pleistocene epoch, in particular to Neanderthals in western Eurasia and to Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals so far known only from southern Siberia. While the Sima de los Huesos hominins share some derived morphological features with Neanderthals, the mitochondrial genome retrieved from one individual from Sima de los Huesos is more closely related to the mitochondrial DNA of Denisovans than to that of Neanderthals. However, since the mitochondrial DNA does not reveal the full picture of relationships among populations, we have investigated DNA preservation in several individuals found at Sima de los Huesos. Here we recover nuclear DNA sequences from two specimens, which show that the Sima de los Huesos hominins were related to Neanderthals rather than to Denisovans, indicating that the population divergence between Neanderthals and Denisovans predates 430,000 years ago. A mitochondrial DNA recovered from one of the specimens shares the previously described relationship to Denisovan mitochondrial DNAs, suggesting, among other possibilities, that the mitochondrial DNA gene pool of Neanderthals turned over later in their history. PMID:26976447
Thompson, Nathan E.; Demes, Brigitte; O'Neill, Matthew C.; Holowka, Nicholas B.; Larson, Susan G.
Human walking entails coordinated out-of-phase axial rotations of the thorax and pelvis. A long-held assumption is that this ability relies on adaptations for trunk flexibility present in humans, but not in chimpanzees, other great apes, or australopithecines. Here we use three-dimensional kinematic analyses to show that, contrary to current thinking, chimpanzees walking bipedally rotate their lumbar and thoracic regions in a manner similar to humans. This occurs despite differences in the magnitude of trunk motion, and despite morphological differences in truncal ‘rigidity' between species. These results suggest that, like humans and chimpanzees, early hominins walked with upper body rotations that countered pelvic rotation. We demonstrate that even if early hominins walked with pelvic rotations 50% larger than humans, they may have accrued the energetic and mechanical benefits of out-of-phase thoracic rotations. This would have allowed early hominins to reduce work and locomotor cost, improving walking efficiency early in hominin evolution. PMID:26441046
Full Text Available Understanding the evolution of humans and our close relatives is one of the enduring scientific issues of modern times. Since the time of Charles Darwin, scientists have speculated on how and when we evolved and what conditions drove this evolutionary story. The detective work required to address these questions is necessarily interdisciplinary,involving research in anthropology, archaeology, human genetics and genomics, and the earth sciences. In addition to the difficult tasks of finding, describing, and interpreting hominin fossils (the taxonomic tribe which includes Homo sapiens and our close fossil relatives from the last 6 Ma, much of modern geological research associated with paleoanthropology involves understanding the geochronologic and paleoenvironmental context of those fossils. When were they entombed in the sediments? What were the local and regional climatic conditions that early hominins experienced? How did local (watershed scale and regional climate processes combine with regional tectonic boundary conditions to influence hominin food resources, foraging patterns, and demography? How and when did these conditions vary from humid to dry, or cool to warm? Can the history of those conditions (Vrba, 1988; Potts, 1996 be related to the evolution, diversification, stasis, or extinction of hominin species?
Young, Nathan M; Capellini, Terence D; Roach, Neil T; Alemseged, Zeresenay
Reconstructing the behavioral shifts that drove hominin evolution requires knowledge of the timing, magnitude, and direction of anatomical changes over the past ∼6-7 million years. These reconstructions depend on assumptions regarding the morphotype of the Homo-Pan last common ancestor (LCA). However, there is little consensus for the LCA, with proposed models ranging from African ape to orangutan or generalized Miocene ape-like. The ancestral state of the shoulder is of particular interest because it is functionally associated with important behavioral shifts in hominins, such as reduced arboreality, high-speed throwing, and tool use. However, previous morphometric analyses of both living and fossil taxa have yielded contradictory results. Here, we generated a 3D morphospace of ape and human scapular shape to plot evolutionary trajectories, predict ancestral morphologies, and directly test alternative evolutionary hypotheses using the hominin fossil evidence. We show that the most parsimonious model for the evolution of hominin shoulder shape starts with an African ape-like ancestral state. We propose that the shoulder evolved gradually along a single morphocline, achieving modern human-like configuration and function within the genus Homo. These data are consistent with a slow, progressive loss of arboreality and increased tool use throughout human evolution. PMID:26351685
Leng, Melanie; Dean, Jonathan; Asrat, Asfawossen; Cohen, Andrew; Foerster, Verena; Just, Janna; Klasen, Nicole; Lamb, Henry; Schäbitz, Frank; Trauth, Martin; Viehberg, Finn; Wagner, Bernd
There are currently few long, continuous, Pleistocene records from East Africa, meaning it has been difficult to establish the relative influence of low- versus high-latitude forcing on East African climate and climatic conditions at the time of anatomically modern human origin and subsequent dispersal. We have been attempting to address these gaps in our knowledge by analysing lake sediments taken from Chew Bahir, an area of playa mudflats in southern Ethiopia close to the site of the oldest-known anatomically modern human fossils at Omo-Kibish. In March 2014, Chew Bahir was cored to a depth of ~40 metres, and the resulting sediment sequence is estimated to cover the last ~115ka. In December 2014, a nearby site was drilled to a depth of ~280 metres as part of the International Continental scientific Drilling Programme - Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP). The oxygen and carbon isotope composition of endogenic calcite and other data from these cores will be presented. The data show some significant changes in water balance variability, the period prior to 70ka appears very unstable with some significant periods of drought and flood. Between 70-20ka the lake was stable and evaporative. The last 20ka years was wetter.
Since in ancient times, in all human cultures, children transfered from biological parents to parents that want them to create family, for political alliances, for inheritance, for a future marriage, or to care for elderly parents. The practice of adoption was fairly common in different places and periods. Adoption is mention on Bible and Quran. Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Babylonians had adoption systems.
Hughes, J Donald
The image of the classical Mediterranean environment of the Greeks and Romans had a formative influence on the art, literature, and historical perception of modern Europe and America. How closely does is this image congruent with the ancient environment as it in reality existed? In particular, how forested was the ancient Mediterranean world, was there deforestation, and if so, what were its effects? The consensus of historians, geographers, and other scholars from the mid-nineteenth century through the first three quarters of the twentieth century was that human activities had depleted the forests to a major extent and caused severe erosion. My research confirmed this general picture. Since then, revisionist historians have questioned these conclusions, maintaining instead that little environmental damage was done to forests and soils in ancient Greco-Roman times. In a reconsideration of the question, this paper looks at recent scientific work providing proxy evidence for the condition of forests at various times in ancient history. I look at three scientific methodologies, namely anthracology, palynology, and computer modeling. Each of these avenues of research offers support for the concept of forest change, both in abundance and species composition, and episodes of deforestation and erosion, and confirms my earlier work. PMID:20669043
LIJIANG is a small city onthe Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in southern Chinawith an 800-year history.Word of its ancient language and music, and unique natural scenery has spread over the decades, and Lijiang is now known throughout the world. It was added
Turk, Laraine D.
"Ancient Egypt," an upper-division, non-required history course covering Egypt from pre-dynastic time through the Roman domination is described. General descriptive information is presented first, including the method of grading, expectation of student success rate, long-range course objectives, procedures for revising the course, major course…
This teacher resource book provides information on ancient Egypt via short essays, photographs, maps, charts, and drawings. Egyptian social and religious life, including writing, art, architecture, and even the practice of mummification, is conveniently summarized for the teacher or other practitioner in a series of one to three page articles with…
The open-ended activities in this book are designed to extend the imagination and creativity of students and encourage students to examine their feelings and values about historic eras. Civilizations addressed include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mayan, Stonehenge, and Mesopotamia. The activities focus upon the cognitive and affective pupil…
which plied between Kalinga and south east Asian countries. Nanda Raja, is said to have attacked Kalinga with the intention of getting access to the sea for the landlocked Kingdom of Magadha (Bihar). The ancient texa Artha Sastra (3rd-4th century B...
Gómez-Robles, Aida; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado-Simón, Leyre; Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Lower molars have been extensively studied in the context of hominin evolution using classic and geometric morphometric analyses, 2D and 3D approaches, evaluations of the external (outer enamel surface) and internal anatomy (dentine, pulp chamber, and radicular canals), and studies of the crown and root variation. In this study, we present a 2D geometric morphometric analysis of the crown anatomy of lower first, second, and third molars of a broad sample of hominins, including Pliocene and Lower, Middle, and Upper Pleistocene species coming from Africa, Asia, and Europe. We show that shape variability increases from first to second and third molars. While first molars tend to retain a relatively stable 5-cusped conformation throughout the hominin fossil record, second and third molars show marked distal reductions in later Homo species. This trend to distal reduction is similar to that observed in previous studies of premolars and upper second and third molars, and points to a correlated reduction of distal areas across the whole postcanine dentition. Results on lower molar variation, as well as on other postcanine teeth, show certain trends in European Pleistocene populations from the Atapuerca sites. Middle Pleistocene hominins from Sima de los Huesos show Neanderthal affinities and strong dental reduction, especially in the most distal molars. The degree of dental reduction in this population is stronger than that observed in classic Neanderthals. Homo antecessor hominins from Gran Dolina-TD6 have primitive lower teeth that contrast with their more derived upper teeth. The evolutionary implications of these dental affinities are discussed in light of recent paleogenetic studies. PMID:25840859
Pobiner, Briana L; Rogers, Michael J; Monahan, Christopher M; Harris, John W K
Reconstruction of early Pleistocene hominin carcass acquisition and processing behaviors are necessarily based at least in part on butchered fossil bones. This paper provides zooarchaeological and taphonomic analyses and behavioral interpretations of three approximately 1.5 million-year-old archaeofaunas from areas 1A and 103 in the Okote Member of the Koobi Fora Formation, northern Kenya: FwJj14A, FwJj14B, and GaJi14. These sites are all located in similar paleoenvironmental contexts, near shallow water with swampy, seasonally flooded areas, and some evidence for more wooded or gallery forest settings. Both individual specimen--and assemblage-level analyses of butchery-marked bones indicate that the hominins appear to have practiced similar butchery strategies at all of these sites, with butchery (defleshing, disarticulation, and marrow extraction) of both high- and low-ranked skeletal elements with no apparent preference for prey size, skeletal region, limb class, or limb portion. Only four tooth-marked specimens, including one likely crocodile-tooth-marked bone, are preserved in all three archaeofaunas. A paucity of limb epiphyses suggests that bone-crunching hyenids may have deleted these portions subsequent to hominin butchery. Strangely, there are no stone tools preserved with the 292 cut-marked and 27 percussion-marked faunal specimens (out of a total of 6,039 specimens), suggesting that raw material availability may have conditioned hominin lithic discard patterns at these locales. These assemblages increase our knowledge of the dietary behavior and ecology of Homo erectus, and provide support for variability in early Pleistocene hominin carcass foraging patterns. PMID:18514259
Bennett, Matthew R; Harris, John W K; Richmond, Brian G; Braun, David R; Mbua, Emma; Kiura, Purity; Olago, Daniel; Kibunjia, Mzalendo; Omuombo, Christine; Behrensmeyer, Anna K; Huddart, David; Gonzalez, Silvia
Hominin footprints offer evidence about gait and foot shape, but their scarcity, combined with an inadequate hominin fossil record, hampers research on the evolution of the human gait. Here, we report hominin footprints in two sedimentary layers dated at 1.51 to 1.53 million years ago (Ma) at Ileret, Kenya, providing the oldest evidence of an essentially modern human-like foot anatomy, with a relatively adducted hallux, medial longitudinal arch, and medial weight transfer before push-off. The size of the Ileret footprints is consistent with stature and body mass estimates for Homo ergaster/erectus, and these prints are also morphologically distinct from the 3.75-million-year-old footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania. The Ileret prints show that by 1.5 Ma, hominins had evolved an essentially modern human foot function and style of bipedal locomotion. PMID:19251625
Braun, David R.; Harris, John W. K.; Naomi E. Levin; McCoy, Jack T.; Herries, Andy I. R.; Bamford, Marion K.; Bishop, Laura C.; Richmond, Brian G.; Kibunjia, Mzalendo
The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enj...
Reynolds, S.C.; Bailey, Geoff; G. C. P. King
We examine the links between geomorphological processes, specific landscape features, surface water drainage, and the creation of suitable habitats for hominins. The existence of mosaic (i.e. heterogeneous) habitats within hominin site landscape reconstructions is typically explained using models of the riverine and gallery forest settings, or the pan or lake setting. We propose a different model: the Tectonic Landscape Model (TLM), where tectonic faulting and volcanism disrupts existing pan ...
Warinner, Christina; Speller, Camilla; Collins, Matthew J.; Lewis, Cecil M.
Very recently, we discovered a vast new microbial self: the human microbiome. Our native microbiota interface with our biology and culture to influence our health, behavior, and quality of life, and yet we know very little about their origin, evolution, or ecology. With the advent of industrialization, globalization, and modern sanitation, it is intuitive that we have changed our relationship with microbes, but we have little information about the ancestral state of our microbiome, and therefore, we lack a foundation for characterizing this change. High-throughput sequencing has opened up new opportunities in the field of paleomicrobiology, allowing us to investigate the evolution of the complex microbial ecologies that inhabit our bodies. By focusing on recent coprolite and dental calculus research, we explore how emerging research on ancient human microbiomes is changing the way we think about ancient disease and how archaeological studies can contribute to a medical understanding of health and nutrition today. PMID:25559298
Gupta, Patrick Das
The Indo-aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times for sacrificial rites ordained by vedas. It is but natural that they would have recounted in the vedic texts about comets. In Rigveda ($\\sim $ 1700 - 1500 BC) and Atharvaveda ($\\sim $ 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Varahamihira in 550 AD and Ballala Sena ($\\sim $ 1100 - 1200 AD) have described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, Garga, etc. In this article, I conjecture that an episode narrated in Mahabharata of a radiant king, Nahusha, ruling the heavens, and later turning into a serpent after he had kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.
Quam, Rolf; Lorenzo, Carlos; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis
We performed 3D virtual reconstructions based on CT scans to study the bony labyrinth morphology in 14 individuals from the large middle Pleistocene hominin sample from the site of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) in the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins represent early members of the Neandertal clade and provide an opportunity to compare the data with the later in time Neandertals, as well as Pleistocene and recent humans more broadly. The Atapuerca (SH) hominins do not differ from the Neandertals in any of the variables related to the absolute and relative sizes and shape of the semicircular canals. Indeed, the entire Neandertal clade seems to be characterized by a derived pattern of canal proportions, including a relatively small posterior canal and a relatively large lateral canal. In contrast, one of the most distinctive features observed in Neandertals, the low placement of the posterior canal (i.e., high sagittal labyrinthine index), is generally not present in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins. This low placement is considered a derived feature in Neandertals and is correlated with a more vertical orientation of the ampullar line (LSCm PPp), and third part of the facial canal (LSCm < FC3). Some variation is present within the Atapuerca (SH) sample, however, with a few individuals approaching the Neandertal condition more closely. In addition, the cochlear shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins is low, indicating a reduction in the height of the cochlea. Although the phylogenetic polarity of this feature is less clear, the low shape index in the Atapuerca (SH) hominins may be a derived feature. Regardless, cochlear height subsequently increased in Neandertals. In contrast to previous suggestions, the expanded data in the present study indicate no difference across the genus Homo in the angle of inclination of the cochlear basal turn (COs < LSCm). Principal components analysis largely confirms these observations. While not
Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Dean, M Christopher; Ramirez-Rozzi, Fernando; Bromage, Timothy G
Early hominins formed large and thick-enamelled cheek-teeth within relatively short growth periods as compared with modern humans. To understand better the developmental basis of this process, we measured daily enamel increments, or cross striations, in 17 molars of Plio-Pleistocene hominins representing seven different species, including specimens attributed to early Homo. Our results show considerable variation across species, although all specimens conformed to the known pattern characterised by greater values in outer than inner enamel, and greater cuspal than cervical values. We then compared our results with the megadontia index, which represents tooth size in relation to body mass, for each species to assess the effect of daily growth rates on tooth size. Our results indicate that larger toothed (megadont) taxa display higher rates or faster forming enamel than smaller toothed hominins. By forming enamel quickly, large tooth crowns were able to develop within the constraints of shorter growth periods. Besides daily increments, many animals express long-period markings (striae of Retzius) in their enamel. We report periodicity values (number of cross striations between adjacent striae) in 14 new specimens of Australopithecus afarensis, Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, and show that long-period striae express a strong association with male and average male–female body mass. Our results for Plio-Pleistocene hominins show that the biological rhythms that give rise to long-period striae are encompassed within the range of variation known for modern humans, but show a lower mean and modal value of 7 days in australopithecines. In our sample of early Homo, mean and modal periodicity values were 8 days, and therefore similar to modern humans. These new data on daily rates of enamel formation and periodicity provide a better framework to interpret surface manifestations of internal growth markings on
Lacruz, Rodrigo S; Dean, M Christopher; Ramirez-Rozzi, Fernando; Bromage, Timothy G
Early hominins formed large and thick-enamelled cheek-teeth within relatively short growth periods as compared with modern humans. To understand better the developmental basis of this process, we measured daily enamel increments, or cross striations, in 17 molars of Plio-Pleistocene hominins representing seven different species, including specimens attributed to early Homo. Our results show considerable variation across species, although all specimens conformed to the known pattern characterised by greater values in outer than inner enamel, and greater cuspal than cervical values. We then compared our results with the megadontia index, which represents tooth size in relation to body mass, for each species to assess the effect of daily growth rates on tooth size. Our results indicate that larger toothed (megadont) taxa display higher rates or faster forming enamel than smaller toothed hominins. By forming enamel quickly, large tooth crowns were able to develop within the constraints of shorter growth periods. Besides daily increments, many animals express long-period markings (striae of Retzius) in their enamel. We report periodicity values (number of cross striations between adjacent striae) in 14 new specimens of Australopithecus afarensis, Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis and Homo erectus, and show that long-period striae express a strong association with male and average male-female body mass. Our results for Plio-Pleistocene hominins show that the biological rhythms that give rise to long-period striae are encompassed within the range of variation known for modern humans, but show a lower mean and modal value of 7 days in australopithecines. In our sample of early Homo, mean and modal periodicity values were 8 days, and therefore similar to modern humans. These new data on daily rates of enamel formation and periodicity provide a better framework to interpret surface manifestations of internal growth markings on
Grove, Matt; Lamb, Henry; Roberts, Helen; Davies, Sarah; Marshall, Mike; Bates, Richard; Huws, Dei
The numerous dispersal events that have occurred during the prehistory of hominin lineages are the subject of longstanding and increasingly active debate in evolutionary anthropology. As well as research into the dating and geographic extent of such dispersals, there is an increasing focus on the factors that may have been responsible for dispersal. The growing body of detailed regional palaeoclimatic data is invaluable in demonstrating the often close relationship between changes in prehistoric environments and the movements of hominin populations. The scenarios constructed from such data are often overly simplistic, however, concentrating on the dynamics of cyclical contraction and expansion during severe and ameliorated conditions respectively. This contribution proposes a two-stage hypothesis of hominin dispersal in which populations (1) accumulate high levels of climatic tolerance during highly variable climatic phases, and (2) express such heightened tolerance via dispersal in subsequent low-variability phases. Likely dispersal phases are thus proposed to occur during stable climatic phases that immediately follow phases of high climatic variability. Employing high resolution palaeoclimatic data from Lake Tana, Ethiopia, the hypothesis is examined in relation to the early dispersal of Homo sapiens out of East Africa and into the Levant. A dispersal phase is identified in the Lake Tana record between c. 112,550 and c. 96,975 years ago, a date bracket that accords well with the dating evidence for H. sapiens occupation at the sites of Qafzeh and Skhul. Results are discussed in relation to the complex pattern of H. sapiens dispersal out of East Africa, with particular attention paid to the implications of recent genetic chronologies for the origin of non-African modern humans. PMID:26472274
GAN Fuxi; CHENG Huansheng; LI Qinghui
The earliest Chinese ancient glasses before the West Han Dynasty (200 BC) from different regions are studied. The glass samples were unearthed from Hunan, Hubei, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangdong and Xinjiang of China. The chemical composition of these glasses samples is analyzed by proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) technique, energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) method and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). It is shown that the glass chemical compositions belong to barium-lead silicate BaO-PbO-SiO2, potash soda lime silicate K2O (Na2O)-CaO-SiO2 (K2O/Na2O>1), soda potash lime silicate Na2O (K2O)-CaO-SiO2 (K2O/Na2O＜1) and potash silicate K2O-SiO2 glass systems, respectively. The origins of the earliest Chinese ancient glasses are discussed from the archaeological and historical points of view. These four types of Chinese ancient glasses were all made in Chinese territory using local raw materials. The glass preparation technology was related to the Chinese ancient bronze metallurgy and proto-porcelain glaze technology. The glass technology relationship between the East and the West is analyzed at the same time.
Laios, K; Tsoukalas, G; Kontaxaki, M-I; Karamanou, M; Androutsos, G
The theme of suicide appears several times in ancient Greek literature. However, each such reference acquires special significance depending on the field from which it originates. Most of the information found in mythology, but the suicide in a mythological tale, although in terms of motivation and mental situation of heroes may be in imitation of similar incidents of real life, in fact is linked with the principles of the ancient Greek religion. In ancient drama and mainly in tragedies suicide conduces to the tragic hypostasis of the heroes and to the evolution of the plot and also is a tool in order to be presented the ideas of poets for the relations of the gods, the relation among gods and men and the relation among the men. In ancient Greek philosophy there were the deniers of suicide, who were more concerned about the impact of suicide on society and also these who accepted it, recognizing the right of the individual to put an end to his life, in order to avoid personal misfortunes. Real suicides will be found mostly from historical sources, but most of them concern leading figures of the ancient world. Closer to the problem of suicide in the everyday life of antiquity are ancient Greek medicines, who studied the phenomenon more general without references to specific incidents. Doctors did not approve in principal the suicide and dealt with it as insane behavior in the development of the mental diseases, of melancholia and mania. They considered that the discrepancy of humors in the organ of logic in the human body will cause malfunction, which will lead to the absurdity and consequently to suicide, either due to excessive concentration of black bile in melancholia or due to yellow bile in mania. They believed that greater risk to commit suicide had women, young people and the elderly. As therapy they used the drugs of their time with the intention to induce calm and repression in the ill person, therefore they mainly used mandragora. In general, we would say
Bermúdez de Castro, J.-M.; Martinón-Torres, M.; Gómez-Robles, A.; Prado, L.; Sarmiento, S.
We present a comparative study of the Tighennif (Algeria) and Gran Dolina-TD6 (Spain) hominin mandibles, which represent two geographically near and contemporaneous populations separated by the Mediterranean sea, in order to test the hypothesis that these populations belong to the same evolutionary lineage, as it has been suggested by some authors. The Tighennif mandibles show a clear primitive structural pattern, derived in some features with regard to the oldest Homo specimens from H. habil...
Lucas, Peter W.; Omar, Ridwaan; Al-Fadhalah, Khaled; Almusallam, Abdulwahab S.; Henry, Amanda G.; Michael, Shaji; Thai, Lidia Arockia; Watzke, Jörg; Strait, David S.; Atkins, Anthony G.
The wear of teeth is a major factor limiting mammalian lifespans in the wild. One method of describing worn surfaces, dental microwear texture analysis, has proved powerful for reconstructing the diets of extinct vertebrates, but has yielded unexpected results in early hominins. In particular, although australopiths exhibit derived craniodental features interpreted as adaptations for eating hard foods, most do not exhibit microwear signals indicative of this diet. However, no experiments have...
Lague, Michael R
The coexistence of multiple hominin species during the Lower Pleistocene has long presented a challenge for taxonomic attribution of isolated postcrania. Although fossil humeri are well-suited for studies of hominin postcranial variation due to their relative abundance, humeral articular morphology has thus far been of limited value for differentiating Paranthropus from Homo. On the other hand, distal humeral diaphyseal shape has been used to justify such generic distinctions at Swartkrans. The potential utility of humeral diaphyseal shape merits larger-scale quantitative analysis, particularly as it permits the inclusion of fragmentary specimens lacking articular morphology. This study analyzes shape variation of the distal humeral diaphysis among fossil hominins (c. 2-1 Ma) to test the hypothesis that specimens can be divided into distinct morphotypes. Coordinate landmarks were placed on 3D laser scans to quantify cross-sectional shape at a standardized location of the humeral diaphysis (proximal to the olecranon fossa) for a variety of fossil hominins and extant hominids. The fossil sample includes specimens attributed to species based on associated craniodental remains. Mantel tests of matrix correlation were used to assess hypotheses about morphometric relationships among the fossils by comparing empirically-derived Procrustes distance matrices to hypothetical model matrices. Diaphyseal shape variation is consistent with the hypothesis of three distinct morphotypes (Paranthropus, Homo erectus, non-erectus early Homo) in both eastern and southern Africa during the observed time period. Specimens attributed to non-erectus early Homo are unique among hominids with respect to the degree of relative anteroposterior flattening, while H. erectus humeri exhibit morphology more similar to that of modern humans. In both geographic regions, Paranthropus is characterized by a morphology that is intermediate with respect to those morphological features that differentiate
Prang, Thomas C.
The longitudinal arch is one of the hallmarks of the human foot but its evolutionary history remains controversial due to the fragmentary nature of the fossil record. In modern humans, the presence of a longitudinal arch is reflected in the angular relationships among the major surfaces of the human talus and calcaneus complex, which is also known as the rearfoot. A complete talus and calcaneus of Australopithecus sediba provide the opportunity to evaluate rearfoot posture in an early hominin...
The greatness and harmony of ancient Greece has had an impact upon the development of the Western European culture to this day. The ancient Greek culture has influenced contemporary literature genres and systems of philosophy, principles of architecture, sculpture and drama and has formed basis for such sciences as astronomy and mathematics. The art of ancient Greece with its penchant for beauty and clarity has been the example of the humanity’s search for an aesthetic ideal. Despite only bei...
Full Text Available Despite uncontested evidence for fossils belonging to the early hominin genus Australopithecus in East Africa from at least 4.2 million years ago (Ma, and from Chad by 3.5 Ma, thus far there has been no convincing evidence of Australopithecus, Paranthropus or early Homo from the western (Albertine branch of the Rift Valley. Here we report the discovery of an isolated upper molar (#Ish25 from the Western Rift Valley site of Ishango in Central Africa in a derived context, overlying beds dated to between ca. 2.6 to 2.0 Ma. We used µCT imaging to compare its external and internal macro-morphology to upper molars of australopiths, and fossil and recent Homo. We show that the size and shape of the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ surface discriminate between Plio-Pleistocene and post-Lower Pleistocene hominins, and that the Ishango molar clusters with australopiths and early Homo from East and southern Africa. A reassessment of the archaeological context of the specimen is consistent with the morphological evidence and suggest that early hominins were occupying this region by at least 2 Ma.
Hernandez-Aguilar, R Adriana
This paper reports on a 20-month study of chimpanzee nesting patterns in Issa, Ugalla, western Tanzania. Ugalla is one of the driest, most open, and seasonal habitats where chimpanzees are found. The methods used were ethoarchaeological, as the chimpanzees were not habituated and behavioural observations were rare. Systematic data on the spatial and temporal distribution of nests are presented. Places with no nests at the beginning of the study, despite being suitable for nesting, were used as controls. Similar to other chimpanzee study sites, nests were highly concentrated in some parts of the landscape. Issa chimpanzees preferred to nest on slopes. They extensively used the woodland vegetation type of their habitat for nesting throughout the annual cycle. Ninety percent of nest sites were used repeatedly throughout the study period, but none of the control places had nests during this period. The results indicate that chimpanzees ranged more widely during the dry season, when food abundance was lowest, food was available mainly in open vegetation types, and when drinking water was restricted to a few sources. Early hominins in similar habitats may have followed the ranging strategy of Issa chimpanzees. As with a previous study, the distribution of nests was spatially similar to archaeological distributions in early hominin sites. Hominin topography and vegetation type preferences may be misrepresented in the archaeological record. Nest sites may have been the antecedents of carcass processing sites. PMID:19744699
Norton, Christopher J; Gao, Xing
The ability of archaic Homo sapiens to survive in more northerly latitudes was contingent on securing a regular source of animal fat and protein. We present a taphonomic study that examines how successful these hominins were at acquiring these food sources during the latter part of the Early Paleolithic in Northeast Asia. This study focuses on the long bone midshaft surface modifications observed on the faunal remains from Xujiayao, a middle-late Pleistocene open-air site located at 40 degrees latitude in the western Nihewan Basin, northern China. The faunal assemblage is dominated by equid remains. Analysis of the percussion, tooth, and cut mark frequencies on the long bone midshafts demonstrates that the Xujiayao hominins had primary access to high utility (meat-bearing and marrow-rich) long bones. Investigation of the dual-patterned (tooth-marked and butchery-marked) bone fragments suggests that hominins were under little pressure from competing carnivores to abandon their kills. The lack of significant differences between the size of fragments with only percussion-marks and those with only tooth-marks supports these findings. Fragmentation ratios indicate that forelimbs were more intensively processed than hind limbs. Based on the water rounding and abrasion data, the Xujiayao assemblage is likely of autochthonous origin. Since the age of Xujiayao is still in question, we can only conclude that archaic Homo sapiens were successful predators of large game in Northeast Asia some time during the latter part of the Early Paleolithic. PMID:18387651
Constantino, Paul J; Lee, James J-W; Morris, Dylan; Lucas, Peter W; Hartstone-Rose, Adam; Lee, Wah-Keat; Dominy, Nathaniel J; Cunningham, Andrew; Wagner, Mark; Lawn, Brian R
The large, bunodont postcanine teeth in living sea otters (Enhydra lutris) have been likened to those of certain fossil hominins, particularly the 'robust' australopiths (genus Paranthropus). We examine this evolutionary convergence by conducting fracture experiments on extracted molar teeth of sea otters and modern humans (Homo sapiens) to determine how load-bearing capacity relates to tooth morphology and enamel material properties. In situ optical microscopy and x-ray imaging during simulated occlusal loading reveal the nature of the fracture patterns. Explicit fracture relations are used to analyze the data and to extrapolate the results from humans to earlier hominins. It is shown that the molar teeth of sea otters have considerably thinner enamel than those of humans, making sea otter molars more susceptible to certain kinds of fractures. At the same time, the base diameter of sea otter first molars is larger, diminishing the fracture susceptibility in a compensatory manner. We also conduct nanoindentation tests to map out elastic modulus and hardness of sea otter and human molars through a section thickness, and microindentation tests to measure toughness. We find that while sea otter enamel is just as stiff elastically as human enamel, it is a little softer and tougher. The role of these material factors in the capacity of dentition to resist fracture and deformation is considered. From such comparisons, we argue that early hominin species like Paranthropus most likely consumed hard food objects with substantially higher biting forces than those exerted by modern humans. PMID:21474163
Full Text Available We describe a fragmentary, yet significant, diminutive proximal ulna (DNH 109 from the Lower Pleistocene deposits of Drimolen, Republic of South Africa. On the basis of observable morphology and available comparative metrics, DNH 109 is definitively hominin and is the smallest African Plio-Pleistocene australopith ulna yet recovered. Mediolateral and anteroposterior dimensions of the proximal diaphysis immediately distal to the m. brachialis sulcus in DNH 109 yield an elliptical area (π/4 *m-l*a-p that is smaller than the A.L. 333-38 Australopithecus afarensis subadult from Hadar. Given the unusually broad mediolateral/anteroposterior diaphyseal proportions distal to the brachialis sulcus, the osseous development of the medial and lateral borders of the sulcus, and the overall size of the specimen relative to comparative infant, juvenile, subadult and adult comparative hominid ulnae (Gorilla, Pan and Homo, it is probable that DNH 109 samples an australopith of probable juvenile age at death. As a result of the fragmentary state of preservation and absence of association with taxonomically diagnostic craniodental remains, DNH 109 cannot be provisionally assigned to any particular hominin genus (Paranthropus or Homo at present. Nonetheless, DNH 109 increases our known sample of available Plio-Pleistocene subadult early hominin postcrania.
For more than half of humanity, rice is life. Rice is a grain which has shaped the history, culture, diet and economy of billions of people in Asia. In Thailand, it is the essence of life. Archaeological evidence revealed that rice had been planted in northeastern area of Thailand more than 5,500 years ago which is earlier than in China and India. The ancient rice grains were found in various archaeological sites in Thailand such as Nakhon Nayok, Suphan Buri and Prachin Buri Provinces. In this work, the ancient black rice from Nakhon Nayok Province was elementally analyzed using scanning electron microscope coupled with energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, proton induced X-ray emission spectroscopy and micro-beam energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy was also used to study the chemical composition and bio-molecular structure. The grains were oblique in shape with a rough surface. Three major elements (Si, Ca and Al) and other trace elements were detected. The IR spectra provided some information about the presence of molecular bonds. (author)
Gnomon shadow measurement was one of the most fundamental astronomical observations in ancient China. It was crucial for calendar making, which constituted an important aspect of imperial governance. A painted stick discovered from a prehistoric (2300 BC) astronomical site of Taosi (see Chap. 201, "Taosi Observatory", 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_215") is the oldest gnomon known of China. From second century BC onward, gnomon shadow measurements have been essential part of calendrical practice. Various historical measurements are discussed in this chapter.
Climate, and human responses to it, have a strongly interconnected relationship. This when climate change occurs, the result of either natural or human causes, societies should react and adapt to these. But do they? If so, what is the nature of that change, and are the responses positive...... or negative for the long-term survival of social groups? In this volume, scholars from diverse disciplines including archaeology, geology and climate sciences explore scientific and material evidence for climate changes in the past, their causes, their effects on ancient societies and how those societies...
More than a history of mathematics, this lively book traces mathematical ideas and processes to their sources, stressing the methods used by the masters of the ancient world. Author Tobias Dantzig portrays the human story behind mathematics, showing how flashes of insight in the minds of certain gifted individuals helped mathematics take enormous forward strides. Dantzig demonstrates how the Greeks organized their precursors' melange of geometric maxims into an elegantly abstract deductive system. He also explains the ways in which some of the famous mathematical brainteasers of antiquity led
Kelley, David H
Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers—events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Explori...
There is considerable evidence from iconographic and documentary sources that musical lip-reed instruments were important in the early celtic communities of Scotland and Ireland. In recent years several studies have been undertaken with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the musical nature of these ancient horns, and of their place in the life and culture of the time. A valuable source of tangible evidence is to be found in the archaeological remains deposited across Scotland and the whole of Ireland. A project is now under way, under the auspices of the Kilmartin House Trust and the general direction of John Purser, which has brought together an international team of musicians, craftsmen, archaeologists, musicologists and physicists with the aim of analyzing ancient musical artifacts, reconstructing some of the original instruments, and analyzing the sounds they produce. This paper describes acoustical studies carried out on a number of recent reconstructions of wooden and bronze instruments, and discusses the role of acoustics in this type of investigation. [Work supported by Sciart and EPSRC.
Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske
Ancient DNA studies represent a powerful tool that can be used to obtain genetic insights into the past. However, despite the publication of large numbers of apparently successful ancient DNA studies, a number of problems exist with the field that are often ignored. Therefore, questions exist as ...
Gómez-Robles, Aida; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Prado, Leyre; Sarmiento, Susana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis
This article is the third of a series that explores hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometrics. After the analysis of the lower second premolar and the upper first molar crown shapes, we apply the same technique to lower first premolar morphology. Our results show a clear distinction between the morphology seen in earlier hominin taxa such as Australopithecus and African early Homo, as well as Asian H. erectus, and more recent groups such as European H. heidelbergensis, H. neanderthalensis, and H. sapiens. The morphology of the earlier hominins includes an asymmetrical outline, a conspicuous talonid, and an occlusal polygon that tends to be large. The morphology of the recent hominins includes a symmetrical outline and a reduced or absent talonid. Within this later group, premolars belonging to H. heidelbergensis and H. neanderthalensis tend to possess a small and mesiolingually-displaced occlusal polygon, whereas H. sapiens specimens usually present expanded and centered occlusal polygons in an almost circular outline. The morphological differences among Paranthropus, Australopithecus, and African early Homo as studied here are small and evolutionarily less significant compared to the differences between the earlier and later homin taxa. In contrast to the lower second premolar and the upper first molar crown, the inclusion of a larger hominin sample of lower first premolars reveals a large allometric component. PMID:18639917
Malliya Gounder Palanichamy
Full Text Available Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade.
Palanichamy, Malliya Gounder; Mitra, Bikash; Debnath, Monojit; Agrawal, Suraksha; Chaudhuri, Tapas Kumar; Zhang, Ya-Ping
Recent analyses of ancient Mesopotamian mitochondrial genomes have suggested a genetic link between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamian civilization. There is no consensus on the origin of the ancient Mesopotamians. They may be descendants of migrants, who founded regional Mesopotamian groups like that of Terqa or they may be merchants who were involved in trans Mesopotamia trade. To identify the Indian source population showing linkage to the ancient Mesopotamians, we screened a total of 15,751 mitochondrial DNAs (11,432 from the literature and 4,319 from this study) representing all major populations of India. Our results although suggest that south India (Tamil Nadu) and northeast India served as the source of the ancient Mesopotamian mtDNA gene pool, mtDNA of these ancient Mesopotamians probably contributed by Tamil merchants who were involved in the Indo-Roman trade. PMID:25299580
Timekeeping was essential in the agricultural society of ancient China. The use of sundials for timekeeping was associated with the use of the gnomon, which had its origin in remote antiquity. This chapter studies three sundials (guiyi 晷仪) from the Qin and Han dynasties, the shorter shadow plane sundial (duanying ping yi 短影平仪) invented by Yuan Chong in the Sui Dynasty, and the sundial chart (guiyingtu 晷影图) invented by Zeng Minxing in the Southern Song dynasty. This chapter also introduces Guo Shoujing's hemispherical sundial (yang yi 仰仪). A circular stone sundial discovered at the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an is also mentioned. It is dated from the Sui and Tang dynasties. A brief survey of sundials from the Qing dynasty shows various types of sundials.
Gong, Y. X.; Geng, L.; Gong, D. C.
Tripitaka is the world's most comprehensive version of Buddhist sutra. There are limited numbers of Tripitaka currently preserved, most of them present various patterns of degradation. As little is known about the materials and crafts used in Tripitaka, it appeared necessary to identify them, and to further define adapted conservation treatment. In this work, a study concerning the paper source and dyestuff of the Tripitaka from approximate 16th century was carried out using fiber analysis and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The results proved that the papers were mainly made from hemp or bark of mulberry tree, and indigo was used for colorizing the paper. At the end, we provide with suggestions for protecting and restoring the ancient Tripitaka.
Van Kolfschoten, Thijs; Buhrs, Elfi; Verheijen, Ivo
The locality Schöningen (Germany) is an important source of knowledge about Lower Paleolithic hominin subsistence. The locality includes a series of sites dated to the late Middle Pleistocene with a Holsteinian (MIS 11) and Reinsdorf Interglacial (MIS 9) age. One of the youngest sites is Schöningen 13 II-4, the Spear Horizon site also known as the Horse Butchery site. The organic remains excavated here are exceptionally well-preserved as they were embedded in anaerobic, waterlogged sediments in an area where the groundwater is rich in calcium carbonate. The fossil assemblage is ideal for the study of patterns in hominin interference with the mammalian species encountered at the site. The vertebrate record is extensive and very diverse. The fossil larger carnivore guild of the Spear Horizon faunal assemblage includes saber-toothed cat, fox, and wolf. Herbivores are represented by an elephant species, two equid species, two rhinoceros species, two cervid species, and two large bovid species. Evidence of hominin interference presents itself as either marks on skeletal remains related to the use of bones as knapping tools or hammers, or as marks that indicate butchering activities such as skinning, dismembering, defleshing, filleting, and marrow extraction. The humerus of the saber-toothed cat clearly shows that the bone has been used as a knapping tool. The fossil remains of the other larger carnivores do not show any signs of hominin interference or exploitation. This also applies to the limited number of elephant and rhinoceros remains found at the site. The large horse Equus mosbachensis dominates the larger mammal record and played a major role in hominin subsistence. Marks on the horse bones indicate that a large number of carcasses have been butchered. Traces on the fossil remains of both red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the large bovids also indicate exploitation by Lower Paleolithic hominins. PMID:26607346
Simonia, Irakli; Jijelava, Badri
This chapter discusses the role of recurrent heavenly phenomena in the formation of ancient cultural traditions. Artifacts bearing witness to astronomical and calendrical practices in the ancient Caucasus are described and we analyze the significance of the "boats of the sun" petroglyphs at Gobustan in Azerbaijan, the solar station at Abuli in Georgia, and the "sky dial" at Carahunge in Armenia. Similarities and differences between the ancient cultures of the region are discussed. Finally, we present the results of the latest field research and new facts and hypotheses.
“The Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project: Second Millennium BCE” was intended and funded as a three-year project (2013-2016) to explore the world of Ancient Egyptian demons in the 2nd millennium BC. It intends to create a classification and ontology of benevolent and malevolent demons. Whereas ancient Egyptians did not use a specific term denoting “demons”, liminal beings known from various other cultures such as δαίμονες, ghosts, angels, Mischwesen, genies, etc., were nevertheless described ...
Rodríguez, Laura; Carretero, José Miguel; García-González, Rebeca; Lorenzo, Carlos; Gómez-Olivencia, Asier; Quam, Rolf; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana; Arsuaga, Juan Luis
Complete radii in the fossil record preceding recent humans and Neandertals are very scarce. Here we introduce the radial remains recovered from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) site in the Sierra de Atapuerca between 1976 and 2011 and which have been dated in excess of 430 ky (thousands of years) ago. The sample comprises 89 specimens, 49 of which are attributed to adults representing a minimum of seven individuals. All elements are described anatomically and metrically, and compared with other fossil hominins and recent humans in order to examine the phylogenetic polarity of certain radial features. Radial remains from SH have some traits that differentiate them from those of recent humans and make them more similar to Neandertals, including strongly curved shafts, anteroposterior expanded radial heads and both absolutely and relatively long necks. In contrast, the SH sample differs from Neandertals in showing a high overall gracility as well as a high frequency (80%) of an anteriorly oriented radial tuberosity. Thus, like the cranial and dental remains from the SH site, characteristic Neandertal radial morphology is not present fully in the SH radii. We also analyzed the cross-sectional properties of the SH radial sample at two different levels: mid-shaft and at the midpoint of the neck length. When standardized by shaft length, no difference in the mid-shaft cross-sectional properties were found between the SH hominins, Neandertals and recent humans. Nevertheless, due to their long neck length, the SH hominins show a higher lever efficiency than either Neandertals or recent humans. Functionally, the SH radial morphology is consistent with more efficient pronation-supination and flexion-extension movements. The particular trait composition in the SH sample and Neandertals resembles more closely morphology evident in recent human males. PMID:26767960
Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Pérez-González, Alfredo; Martinón-Torres, María; Gómez-Robles, Aida; Rosell, Jordi; Prado, Leyre; Sarmiento, Susana; Carbonell, Eudald
We present the description of a new mandibular specimen, ATD6-113, recovered in 2006 from the TD6 level of the Gran Dolina cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. A detailed study of the lithostratigraphy of the top sequence of this level, the section from where all human remains have been recovered so far, is also presented. We have observed that the hominin stratum, previously defined as Aurora Stratum, represents a condensed deposit of at least six layers, which could not be distinguished in the test pit made in 1994-95. Therefore, the human fossil remains were probably deposited during a discrete and undetermined time period. The new mandibular fragment exhibits a very similar morphology to that of the most complete specimen, ATD6-96, which was recovered in 2003 from a different layer. This suggests that both specimens represent the same biological population. The two mandibles, as well as the small mandibular fragment ATD6-5 (which constitutes part of the holotype of Homo antecessor), present a morphological pattern clearly derived with regard to that of the African early Homo specimens usually included in H. habilis and H. rudolfensis, the mandibles D211 and D2735 from Dmanisi, and most of the early Pleistocene mandibles from Sangiran. The TD6 mandibles also exhibit some derived features with regard to the African early Pleistocene specimens included in H. ergaster (or African H. erectus). Thus, the TD6 hominins seem to represent a lineage different from other African and Asian lineages, although some (metric in particular) similarities with Chinese middle Pleistocene mandibles are noted. Interestingly, none of the apomorphic mandibular features of the European middle and early late Pleistocene hominins are present in the TD6 mandibles. PMID:18657300
Xing, Song; Sun, Chengkai; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Han, Fei; Zhang, Yingqi; Liu, Wu
In 1981-1982, some hominin fossils, including a relatively complete skull and seven isolated teeth, were recovered from the Middle Pleistocene site of Yiyuan in Eastern China. In the present study we provide a detailed metric and morphological comparison of the Yiyuan dental sample in order to characterize better the variability of the human populations that inhabited China during the Middle Pleistocene. Aside from taxonomic and phylogenetic questions, the lack of understanding and/or knowledge about the morphological variability of these populations have caused concern about the human versus non-human nature of some of the hominin dental remains found in East Asia during the Early and the Middle Pleistocene. Thus, our study aims to present a detailed description and comparison of the Yiyuan isolated teeth to 1) discuss and support their human nature and 2) to explore their taxonomic affinities with regard to other penecontemporaneous populations from Asia. Our results clearly differentiate the Yiyuan sample from Pongo specimens and support a human attribution for the Yiyuan material. Our analyses also suggest that the Yiyuan teeth form a morphologically coherent group together with samples from Zhoukoudian, Chaoxian and Hexian. They are different from the more derived specimens from Panxian Dadong, suggesting a pattern of biogeographic isolation and different evolutionary trends between northern and southern China during the Middle Pleistocene. In addition, and despite sharing a common morphological bauplan with Homo erectus sensu stricto (s.s.), the Yiyuan, Zhoukoudian and Hexian teeth are also different from the Indonesian Early Pleistocene samples. In particular, the expression of a highly crenulated or dendritic enamel-dentine surface could be unique to these groups. Our study supports the notion that the taxonomy of the Pleistocene hominins from Asia may have been oversimplified. Future studies should explore the variability of the Asian specimens and
Watts, David P
Chimpanzees regularly hunt a variety of prey species. However, they rarely scavenge, which distinguishes chimpanzee carnivory from that of some modern hunter-gatherers and, presumably, at least some Plio-Pleistocene hominins. I use observations made over an 11-year period to document all known opportunities for scavenging encountered by chimpanzees at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, and describe all cases of scavenging. I also review data on scavenging from other chimpanzee research sites. Chimpanzees at Ngogo encountered scavenging opportunities only about once per 100 days and ate meat from scavenged carcasses only four times. Scavenging opportunities are also rare at other sites, even where leopards are present (Mahale, Taï, Gombe), and scavenging of leopard kills is known only from Mahale. Feeding on prey that chimpanzees had hunted but then abandoned is the most common form of scavenging reported across study sites. For example, several individuals at Ngogo ate meat from a partially consumed red colobus carcass abandoned after a hunt the previous day. Such behavior probably was not common among Oldowan hominins. Ngogo data and those from other sites also show that chimpanzees sometimes eat meat from carcasses of prey that they did not see killed and that were not killed by chimpanzees, and that scavenging allows access to carcasses larger than those of any prey items. However, chimpanzees ignore relatively many opportunities to obtain meat from such carcasses. Scavenging may be rare because fresh carcasses are rare, because the risk of bacterial infections and zoonoses is high, and because chimpanzees may not recognize certain species as potential prey or certain size classes of prey species as food sources. Its minimal nutritional importance, along with the absence of technology to facilitate confrontational scavenging and rapid carcass processing, apparently distinguishes chimpanzee foraging strategies from those of at least some Oldowan hominins. PMID
Falk, Dean; Zollikofer, Christoph P E; Morimoto, Naoki; Ponce de León, Marcia S
The type specimen for Australopithecus africanus (Taung) includes a natural endocast that reproduces most of the external morphology of the right cerebral hemisphere and a fragment of fossilized face that articulates with the endocast. Despite the fact that Taung died between 3 and 4 y of age, the endocast reproduces a small triangular-shaped remnant of the anterior fontanelle, from which a clear metopic suture (MS) courses rostrally along the midline [Hrdlička A (1925) Am J Phys Anthropol 8:379-392]. Here we describe and interpret this feature of Taung in light of comparative fossil and actualistic data on the timing of MS closure. In great apes, the MS normally fuses shortly after birth, such that unfused MS similar to Taung's are rare. In humans, however, MS fuses well after birth, and partially or unfused MS are frequent. In gracile fossil adult hominins that lived between ∼3.0 and 1.5 million y ago, MS are also relatively frequent, indicating that the modern human-like pattern of late MS fusion may have become adaptive during early hominin evolution. Selective pressures favoring delayed fusion might have resulted from three aspects of perinatal ontogeny: (i) the difficulty of giving birth to large-headed neonates through birth canals that were reconfigured for bipedalism (the "obstetric dilemma"), (ii) high early postnatal brain growth rates, and (iii) reorganization and expansion of the frontal neocortex. Overall, our data indicate that hominin brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns. PMID:22566620
Full Text Available Anatomical asymmetries of the human brain are a topic of major interest because of their link with handedness and cognitive functions. Their emergence and occurrence have been extensively explored in human fossil records to document the evolution of brain capacities and behaviour. We quantified for the first time antero-posterior endocranial shape asymmetries in large samples of great apes, modern humans and fossil hominins through analysis of "virtual" 3D models of skull and endocranial cavity and we statistically test for departures from symmetry. Once based on continuous variables, we show that the analysis of these brain asymmetries gives original results that build upon previous analysis based on discrete traits. In particular, it emerges that the degree of petalial asymmetries differs between great apes and hominins without modification of their pattern. We indeed demonstrate the presence of shape asymmetries in great apes, with a pattern similar to modern humans but with a lower variation and a lower degree of fluctuating asymmetry. More importantly, variations in the position of the frontal and occipital poles on the right and left hemispheres would be expected to show some degree of antisymmetry when population distribution is considered, but the observed pattern of variation among the samples is related to fluctuating asymmetry for most of the components of the petalias. Moreover, the presence of a common pattern of significant directional asymmetry for two components of the petalias in hominids implicates that the observed traits were probably inherited from the last common ancestor of extant African great apes and Homo sapiens.These results also have important implications for the possible relationships between endocranial shape asymmetries and functional capacities in hominins. It emphasizes the uncoupling between lateralized activities, some of them well probably distinctive to Homo, and large-scale cerebral lateralization itself
Jock M. Agai
Literatures concerning the history of West African peoples published from 1900 to 1970 debate�the possible migrations of the Egyptians into West Africa. Writers like Samuel Johnson and�Lucas Olumide believe that the ancient Egyptians penetrated through ancient Nigeria but Leo�Frobenius and Geoffrey Parrinder frowned at this opinion. Using the works of these early�20th century writers of West African history together with a Yoruba legend which teaches�about the origin of their earliest ancesto...
Iordanidis, Andreas; García Guinea, Javier; Karamitrou-Mentessidi, G.
Several analytical methods were applied for the study of ancient pottery from Aiani, ancienf upper Macedonia, northern Greece, Mycenaean and matt-painted pottery sherds, dated form Late Bronze age, were analysed with the help of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy, coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray sysrem (ESEM-EDX). morphological, chemical and mineralogical characteristics of both types of ancient pottery indicated a rather loca...
In ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser, circa 2650 BC, the Step Pyramid was constructed by Imhotep. He was later worshiped as the God of Medicine. One of his contemporaries was the powerful writer Hesy who is reproduced on a panel showing a rebus of a swallow, a tusk and an arrow. He is therefore looked upon as being the first depicted odontologist. The art of writing begun in Egypt in about 3100 BC and the medical texts we know from different papyri were copied with hieratic signs around 1900-1100 BC. One of the most famous is the Papyrus Ebers. It was purchased by professor Ebers on a research travel to Luxor in 1873. Two years later a beautiful facsimile in color was published and the best translation came in 1958 in German. The text includes 870 remedies and some of them are related to teeth and oral troubles like pain in the mouth, gingivitis, periodontitis and cavities in the teeth. The most common oral pain was probably pulpitis caused by extreme attrition due to the high consumption of bread contaminated with soil and/or quern minerals. Another text is the Papyrus Edwin Smith with four surgical cases of dental interest. The "toothworms" that were presumed to bring about decayed teeth have not been identified in the medical texts. It was not until 1889 W.D. Miller presented a scientific explanation that cavities were caused by bacteria. In spite of extensive research only a few evidence of prosthetic and invasive treatments have been found and these dental artifacts have probably been made post mortem. Some of the 150 identified doctors were associated with treatments of disorders of the mouth. The stele of Seneb from Sa'is during the 26th dynasty of Psamtik, 664-525 BC, shows a young man who probably was a dental healer well known to Pharaoh and his court. Clement of Alexandria mentions circa 200 AD that the written knowledge of the old Egyptians was gathered in 42 collections of papyri. Number 37-42 contained the medical writings. The
Full Text Available Chaos theories developed in the last three decades have made very important contributions to our understanding of dynamical systems and natural phenomena. The meaning of chaos in the current theories and in the past is somewhat different from each other. In this work, the properties of dynamical systems and the evolution of chaotic systems were discussed in terms of the views of ancient philosophers. The meaning of chaos in Anaximenes’ philosophy and its role in the Ancient natural philosophy has been discussed in relation to other natural philosophers such as of Anaximander, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Leucippus (i.e. atomists and Aristotle. In addition, the fundamental concepts of statistical mechanics and the current chaos theories were discussed in relation to the views in Ancient natural philosophy. The roots of the scientific concepts such as randomness, autocatalysis, nonlinear growth, information, pattern, etc. in the Ancient natural philosophy were investigated.
Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.
In this work, four ancient monuments of astronomical significance found in Athens and still kept in the same city in good condition are presented. The first one is the conical sundial on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The second one is the Tower of the Winds and its vertical sundials in the Roman Forum of Athens, a small octagonal marble tower with sundials on all 8 of its sides, plus a water-clock inside the tower. The third monument-instrument is the ancient clepsydra of Athens, one of the findings from the Ancient Agora of Athens, a unique water-clock dated from 400 B.C. Finally, the fourth one is the carved ancient Athenian calendar over the main entrance of the small Byzantine temple of the 8th Century, St. Eleftherios, located to the south of the temple of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the modern Cathedral of the city of Athens.
Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Willerslev, Eske
DNA studies have now progressed to whole-genome sequencing for an increasing number of ancient individuals and extinct species, as well as to epigenomic characterization. Such advances have enabled the sequencing of specimens of up to 1 million years old, which, owing to their extensive DNA damage and...... contamination, were previously not amenable to genetic analyses. In this Review, we discuss these varied technical challenges and solutions for sequencing ancient genomes and epigenomes....
Background — Ancient Egypt might be considered the cradle of medicine. The modern literature is, however, sometimes rather too enthusiastic regarding the procedures that are attributed an Egyptian origin. I briefly present and analyze the claims regarding orthopedic surgery in Egypt, what was actually done by the Egyptians, and what may have been incorrectly ascribed to them. Methods — I reviewed the original sources and also the modern literature regarding surgery in ancient Egypt, concentra...
Gómez-Robles, Aida; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Prado-Simón, Leyre; Arsuaga, Juan Luis
This paper continues the series of articles initiated in 2006 that analyse hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometric techniques. The detailed study of both upper premolar occlusal morphologies in a comprehensive sample of hominin fossils, including those coming from the Gran Dolina-TD6 and Sima de los Huesos sites from Atapuerca, Spain, complement previous works on lower first and second premolars and upper first molars. A morphological gradient consisting of the change from asymmetric to symmetric upper premolars and a marked reduction of the lingual cusp in recent Homo species has been observed in both premolars. Although percentages of correct classification based on upper premolar morphologies are not very high, significant morphological differences between Neanderthals (and European middle Pleistocene fossils) and modern humans have been identified, especially in upper second premolars. The study of morphological integration between premolar morphologies reveals significant correlations that are weaker between upper premolars than between lower ones and significant correlations between antagonists. These results have important implications for understanding the genetic and functional factors underlying dental phenotypic variation and covariation. PMID:22047673
Dennell, Robin W.; Martinón-Torres, María; Bermúdez de Castro, José M.
We propose a population model for Middle Pleistocene Europe that is based on demographic "sources" and "sinks". The former were a small number of "core" or populations in glacial refugia in southern Europe from which hominins expanded northwards in interstadial and interglacial periods; occupation outside glacial refugia would have been restricted to warm or temperate periods, and populations at the northern limit of the Middle Pleistocene range would have been "sink" populations in that they depended upon recruitment from source populations further south. Southwest Asia would also have been a likely source of immigrant, source populations. We argue as an alternative to an "ebb and flow" model in which groups retreated to refugia when conditions worsened that local extinction outside refugia would have been frequent. In extreme situations, Europe may have been a population "sink" (i.e. unpopulated) that was replenished from source populations in Southwest Asia. We suggest that this pattern of repeated colonisation and extinction may help explain the morphological variability of European Middle Pleistocene hominins, particularly Homo heidelbergensis and its apparent non-lineal evolution towards Homo neanderthalensis.
Hillson, S W; Parfitt, S A; Bello, S M; Roberts, M B; Stringer, C B
In 1995-1996 two isolated hominin lower incisors were found at the middle Pleistocene site of Boxgrove in England, with Lower Palaeolithic archaeology. Boxgrove 2 is a permanent lower right central incisor and Boxgrove 3 a permanent lower left lateral incisor. They were found separately, but close to one another and appear to belong to the same individual. The Boxgrove 1 tibia discovered in 1993 came from a different stratigraphic context and is thus believed to represent a different individual. This paper describes the morphology of the incisors, which is similar to other middle Pleistocene hominin specimens and, as with the tibia, suggests that they could be assigned to Homo heidelbergensis (recognising that the taxonomic status of this species is still a matter of debate). The incisors show substantial attrition associated with secondary dentine deposition in the pulp chamber and clearly represent an adult. They also show extensive patterns of non-masticatory scratches on the labial surfaces of both crown and root, including some marks which may have been made postmortem. The roots were exposed in life on their labial sides by a large dehiscence, extending almost to the root apex. This is demonstrated by deposits of calculus, polishing, and scratching on the exposed surfaces. The dehiscence may have been caused by repeated trauma to the gingivae or remodelling of the tooth-supporting tissues in response to large forces applied to the front of the dentition. PMID:20828787
Martinón-Torres, M; Bastir, M; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Gómez, A; Sarmiento, S; Muela, A; Arsuaga, J L
Mandibular premolars are increasingly used in taxon-specific diagnostic analyses of hominins. Among the principal difficulties in these evaluations is the absence of discrete, discernible, and comparable anatomical structures for rigorous quantitative assessment. Previous research has addressed either internal crown surface features (such as cusps and fossae) or the morphology of the crown outline. In the present paper, we integrate both types of information in the examination of morphological variation of lower P4s (n = 96) among various fossil hominin species with an emphasis on genus Homo. We use a set of 34 2D landmarks combining coordinate data from four classical dental landmarks on the occlusal surface and 30 sliding semilandmarks of the crown outline. Our results indicate that external shape variation is closely related to the configuration of the occlusal morphological features and influenced by dental size. The external and internal shapes of P4 are polymorphic but still useful in depicting a primitive-derived gradient. The primitive pattern seems to have been an asymmetrical contour with a mesially displaced metaconid, development of a bulging talonid, and a broad occlusal polygon. The trend toward dental reduction during the Pleistocene produced different morphological variants with a reduced occlusal polygon and decreased lingual occlusal surface in later Homo species. Homo heidelbergensis/neanderthalensis have fixed plesiomorphic traits in high percentages, whereas in modern humans a symmetrical outline with a centered metaconid and talonid reduction evolved. PMID:16472839
David J Daegling
Full Text Available Morphology of the dentofacial complex of early hominins has figured prominently in the inference of their dietary adaptations. Recent theoretical analysis of craniofacial morphology of Australopithecus africanus proposes that skull form in this taxon represents adaptation to feeding on large, hard objects. A modern analog for this specific dietary specialization is provided by the West African sooty mangabey, Cercocebus atys. This species habitually feeds on the large, exceptionally hard nuts of Sacoglottis gabonensis, stereotypically crushing the seed casings using their premolars and molars. This type of behavior has been inferred for A. africanus based on mathematical stress analysis and aspects of dental wear and morphology. While postcanine megadontia, premolar enlargement and thick molar enamel characterize both A. africanus and C. atys, these features are not universally associated with durophagy among living anthropoids. Occlusal microwear analysis reveals complex microwear textures in C. atys unlike those observed in A. africanus, but more closely resembling textures observed in Paranthropus robustus. Since sooty mangabeys process hard objects in a manner similar to that proposed for A. africanus, yet do so without the craniofacial buttressing characteristic of this hominin, it follows that derived features of the australopith skull are sufficient but not necessary for the consumption of large, hard objects. The adaptive significance of australopith craniofacial morphology may instead be related to the toughness, rather than the hardness, of ingested foods.
Prang, Thomas C
The longitudinal arch is one of the hallmarks of the human foot but its evolutionary history remains controversial due to the fragmentary nature of the fossil record. In modern humans, the presence of a longitudinal arch is reflected in the angular relationships among the major surfaces of the human talus and calcaneus complex, which is also known as the rearfoot. A complete talus and calcaneus of Australopithecus sediba provide the opportunity to evaluate rearfoot posture in an early hominin for the first time. Here I show that A. sediba is indistinguishable from extant African apes in the angular configuration of its rearfoot, which strongly suggests that it lacked a longitudinal arch. Inferences made from isolated fossils support the hypothesis that Australopithecus afarensis possessed an arched foot. However, tali attributed to temporally younger taxa like Australopithecus africanus and Homo floresiensis are more similar to those of A. sediba. The inferred absence of a longitudinal arch in A. sediba would be biomechanically consistent with prior suggestions of increased midtarsal mobility in this taxon. The morphological patterns in talus and calcaneus angular relationships among fossil hominins suggest that there was diversity in traits associated with the longitudinal arch in the Plio-Pleistocene. PMID:26628197
Dirks, Paul H. G. M.; Berger, Lee R.
This paper provides constraints on the evolution of the landscape in the Cradle of Humankind (CoH), UNESCO World Heritage Site, South Africa, since the Pliocene. The aim is to better understand the distribution of hominin fossils in the CoH, and determine links between tectonic processes controlling the landscape and the evolution and distribution of hominins occupying that landscape. The paper is focused on a detailed reconstruction of the landscape through time in the Grootvleispruit catchment, which contains the highly significant fossil site of Malapa and the remains of the hominin species Australopithicus sediba. In the past 4 My the landscape in the CoH has undergone major changes in its physical appearance as a result of river incision, which degraded older African planation surfaces, and accommodated denudation of cover rocks (including Karoo sediments and various sil- and ferricretes) to expose dolomite with caves in which fossils collected. Differentially weathered chert breccia dykes, calibrated with 10Be exposure ages, are used to estimate erosion patterns of the landscape across the CoH. In this manner it is shown that 2 My ago Malapa cave was ˜50 m deep, and Gladysvale cave was first exposed; i.e. landscape reconstructions can provide estimates for the time of opening of cave systems that trapped hominin and other fossils. Within the region, cave formation was influenced by lithological, layer-parallel controls interacting with cross-cutting fracture systems of Paleoproterozoic origin, and a NW-SE directed extensional far-field stress at a time when the African erosion surface was still intact, and elevations were probably lower. Cave geometries vary in a systematic manner across the landscape, with deep caves on the plateau and cave erosion remnants in valleys. Most caves formed to similar depths of 1400-1420 mamsl across much of the CoH, indicating that caves no longer deepened once Pliocene uplift and incision occurred, but acted as passive
Jock M. Agai
Full Text Available Literatures concerning the history of West African peoples published from 1900 to 1970 debate�the possible migrations of the Egyptians into West Africa. Writers like Samuel Johnson and�Lucas Olumide believe that the ancient Egyptians penetrated through ancient Nigeria but Leo�Frobenius and Geoffrey Parrinder frowned at this opinion. Using the works of these early�20th century writers of West African history together with a Yoruba legend which teaches�about the origin of their earliest ancestor(s, this researcher investigates the theories that the�ancient Egyptians had contact with the ancient Nigerians and particularly with the Yorubas.Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: There is an existing ideology�amongst the Yorubas and other writers of Yoruba history that the original ancestors of�the Yorubas originated in ancient Egypt hence there was migration between Egypt and�Yorubaland. This researcher contends that even if there was migration between Egypt and�Nigeria, such migration did not take place during the predynastic and dynastic period as�speculated by some scholars. The subject is open for further research.
Dean, M Christopher
An important question in palaeoanthropology is whether, among the australopiths and the first fossil hominins attributed to early Homo, there was a shift towards a more prolonged period of growth that can be distinguished from that of the living great apes and whether between the end of weaning and the beginning of puberty there was a slow period of growth as there is in modern humans. Evidence for the pace of growth in early fossil hominins comes from preserved tooth microstructure. A record of incremental growth in enamel and dentine persists, which allows us to reconstruct tooth growth and compare key measures of dental maturation with modern humans and living great apes. Despite their diverse diets and way of life, it is currently difficult to identify any clear differences in the timing of dental development among living great apes, australopiths and the earliest hominins attributed to the genus Homo There is, however, limited evidence that some early hominins may have attained a greater proportion of their body mass and stature relatively earlier in the growth period than is typical of modern humans today.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298465
Landeck, Günter; Garcia Garriga, Joan
The late Early Pleistocene site of Untermassfeld, dated to the Jaramillo subchron (ca. 1.07 millions of years ago), is well known for its rich Epivillafranchian fauna. It has also recently yielded stone artefacts attesting hominin occupation. Now, we report here, for the first time, evidence of hominin butchery such as cut marks and intentional hammerstone-related bone breakage. This probable subsistence behaviour was detected in a small faunal subsample recovered from levels with Mode 1 stone tools. The butchered faunal assemblage was found during fieldwork and surveying in fluvial riverbanks (Lower Fluviatile Sands) and channel erosion sediments (Upper Fluviatile Sands). The frequent occurrence of butchery traces on bones of large-sized herd animals (i.e., Bison) may imply a greater need for meat in seasonal habitats characterised by a depletion of nutritive plants in winter. Early access to carcasses, before their consumption by carnivores, provided hominins with sufficient quantities of meat. This access was acquired with a Mode 1 lithic industry, to ensure food procurement and survival at high latitudes in Europe. Stone tools and faunal remains with signs of anthropic intervention recovered at Untermassfeld are evidence of the oldest hominin settlement at continental mid-latitudes (50° N). PMID:27178458
Gómez-Robles, Aida; Bermúdez de Castro, José María; Martinón-Torres, María; Prado-Simón, Leyre; Arsuaga, Juan Luis
The study of dental morphology by means of geometric morphometric methods allows for a detailed and quantitative comparison of hominin species that is useful for taxonomic assignment and phylogenetic reconstruction. Upper second and third molars have been studied in a comprehensive sample of Plio- and Pleistocene hominins from African, Asian and European sites in order to complete our analysis of the upper postcanine dentition. Intraspecific variation in these two molars is high, but some interspecific trends can be identified. Both molars exhibit a strong reduction of the distal cusps in recent hominin species, namely European Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens, but this reduction shows specific patterns and proportions in the three groups. Second molars tend to show four well developed cusps in earlier hominin species and their morphology is only marginally affected by allometric effects. Third molars can be incipiently reduced in earlier species and they evince a significant allometric component, identified both inter- and intraspecifically. European Middle Pleistocene fossils from Sima de los Huesos (SH) show a very strong reduction of these two molars, even more marked than the reduction observed in Neanderthals and in modern human populations. The highly derived shape of SH molars points to an early acquisition of typical Neanderthal dental traits by pre-Neanderthal populations and to a deviation of this population from mean morphologies of other European Middle Pleistocene groups. PMID:22840714
Braun, David R; Harris, John W K; Levin, Naomi E; McCoy, Jack T; Herries, Andy I R; Bamford, Marion K; Bishop, Laura C; Richmond, Brian G; Kibunjia, Mzalendo
The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enjoyed access to carcasses of terrestrial and aquatic animals that they butchered in a well-watered habitat. It also provides the earliest definitive evidence of the incorporation into the hominin diet of various aquatic animals including turtles, crocodiles, and fish, which are rich sources of specific nutrients needed in human brain growth. The evidence here shows that these critical brain-growth compounds were part of the diets of hominins before the appearance of Homo ergaster/erectus and could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineage. PMID:20534571
Braun, David R.; Harris, John W. K.; Levin, Naomi E.; McCoy, Jack T.; Herries, Andy I. R.; Bamford, Marion K.; Bishop, Laura C.; Richmond, Brian G.; Kibunjia, Mzalendo
The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enjoyed access to carcasses of terrestrial and aquatic animals that they butchered in a well-watered habitat. It also provides the earliest definitive evidence of the incorporation into the hominin diet of various aquatic animals including turtles, crocodiles, and fish, which are rich sources of specific nutrients needed in human brain growth. The evidence here shows that these critical brain-growth compounds were part of the diets of hominins before the appearance of Homo ergaster/erectus and could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineage. PMID:20534571
Cohen, A.; Campisano, C.; Arrowsmith, R.; Asrat, A.; Behrensmeyer, A. K.; Deino, A.; Feibel, C.; Hill, A.; Johnson, R.; Kingston, J.; Lamb, H.; Lowenstein, T.; Noren, A.; Olago, D.; Owen, R. B.; Potts, R.; Reed, K.; Renaut, R.; Schäbitz, F.; Tiercelin, J.-J.; Trauth, M. H.; Wynn, J.; Ivory, S.; Brady, K.; O'Grady, R.; Rodysill, J.; Githiri, J.; Russell, J.; Foerster, V.; Dommain, R.; Rucina, S.; Deocampo, D.; Russell, J.; Billingsley, A.; Beck, C.; Dorenbeck, G.; Dullo, L.; Feary, D.; Garello, D.; Gromig, R.; Johnson, T.; Junginger, A.; Karanja, M.; Kimburi, E.; Mbuthia, A.; McCartney, T.; McNulty, E.; Muiruri, V.; Nambiro, E.; Negash, E. W.; Njagi, D.; Wilson, J. N.; Rabideaux, N.; Raub, T.; Sier, M. J.; Smith, P.; Urban, J.; Warren, M.; Yadeta, M.; Yost, C.; Zinaye, B.
The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to understand the environmental history side of this equation have centered around the study of outcrop sediments and fossils adjacent to where fossil hominins (ancestors or close relatives of modern humans) are found, or from the study of deep sea drill cores. However, outcrop sediments are often highly weathered and thus are unsuitable for some types of paleoclimatic records, and deep sea core records come from long distances away from the actual fossil and stone tool remains. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) was developed to address these issues. The project has focused its efforts on the eastern African Rift Valley, where much of the evidence for early hominins has been recovered. We have collected about 2 km of sediment drill core from six basins in Kenya and Ethiopia, in lake deposits immediately adjacent to important fossil hominin and archaeological sites. Collectively these cores cover in time many of the key transitions and critical intervals in human evolutionary history over the last 4 Ma, such as the earliest stone tools, the origin of our own genus Homo, and the earliest anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Here we document the initial field, physical property, and core description results of the 2012-2014 HSPDP coring campaign.
The promise associated with early 'ancient DNA' results has not been translated into routine techniques of value to archaeologists. The reasons for this are partly technical - ancient DNA analysis is an extremely difficult technique - and partly practical - ancient DNA analysis is often an 'after thought' to an archaeological project. In this paper ancient human DNA analysis is briefly reviewed paying particular attention to specimens originating from Greek archaeological contexts. Problems commonly encountered during ancient DNA research are summarised and recommendations for future strategies in the application of ancient DNA in archaeology are proposed. (author)
Thompson, Jessica C; McPherron, Shannon P; Bobe, René; Reed, Denné; Barr, W Andrew; Wynn, Jonathan G; Marean, Curtis W; Geraads, Denis; Alemseged, Zeresenay
Two fossil specimens from the DIK-55 locality in the Hadar Formation at Dikika, Ethiopia, are contemporaneous with the earliest documented stone tools, and they collectively bear twelve marks interpreted to be characteristic of stone tool butchery damage. An alternative interpretation of the marks has been that they were caused by trampling animals and do not provide evidence of stone tool use or large ungulate exploitation by Australopithecus-grade hominins. Thus, resolving which agents created marks on fossils in deposits from Dikika is an essential step in understanding the ecological and taphonomic contexts of the hominin-bearing deposits in this region and establishing their relevance for investigations of the earliest stone tool use. This paper presents results of microscopic scrutiny of all non-hominin fossils collected from the Hadar Formation at Dikika, including additional fossils from DIK-55, and describes in detail seven assemblages from sieved surface sediment samples. The study is the first taphonomic description of Pliocene fossil assemblages from open-air deposits in Africa that were collected without using only methods that emphasize the selective retention of taxonomically-informative specimens. The sieved assemblages show distinctive differences in faunal representation and taphonomic modifications that suggest they sample a range of depositional environments in the Pliocene Hadar Lake Basin, and have implications for how landscape-based taphonomy can be used to infer past microhabitats. The surface modification data show that no marks on any other fossils resemble in size or shape those on the two specimens from DIK-55 that were interpreted to bear stone tool inflicted damage. A large sample of marks from the sieved collections has characteristics that match modern trampling damage, but these marks are significantly smaller than those on the DIK-55 specimens and have different suites of characteristics. Most are not visible without magnification
Buhmann, Stefan Yoshi
In this book, a modern unified theory of dispersion forces on atoms and bodies is presented which covers a broad range of advanced aspects and scenarios. Macroscopic quantum electrodynamics is shown to provide a powerful framework for dispersion forces which allows for discussing general properties like their non-additivity and the relation between microscopic and macroscopic interactions. It is demonstrated how the general results can be used to obtain dispersion forces on atoms in the presence of bodies of various shapes and materials. Starting with a brief recapitulation of volume I, this volume II deals especially with bodies of irregular shapes, universal scaling laws, dynamical forces on excited atoms, enhanced forces in cavity quantum electrodynamics, non-equilibrium forces in thermal environments and quantum friction. The book gives both the specialist and those new to the field a thorough overview over recent results in the field. It provides a toolbox for studying dispersion forces in various contex...
H.A. Hajar Al Binali
Full Text Available The aim of this article is to briefly review the history of night blindness and its treatment from ancient times until the present. The old Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Arabs used animal liver for treatment and successfully cured the disease. The author had the opportunity to observe the application of the old remedy to a patient. Now we know what the ancients did not know, that night blindness is caused by Vitamin A deficiency and the animal liver is the store house for Vitamin A.
Full Text Available In spite of an array of effective antibiotics, tuberculosis is still very common in developing countries where overcrowding, malnutrition and poor hygienic conditions prevail. Over the past 30 years associated HIV infection has worsened the situation by increasing the infection rate and mortality of tuberculosis. Of those diseases caused by a single organism only HIV causes more deaths internationally than tuberculosis. The tubercle bacillus probably first infected man in Neolithic times, and then via infected cattle, but the causative Mycobacteriacea have been in existence for 300 million years. Droplet infection is the most common way of acquiring tuberculosis, although ingestion (e.g. of infected cows’ milk may occur. Tuberculosis probably originated in Africa. The earliest path gnomonic evidence of human tuberculosis in man was found in osteo-archaeological findings of bone tuberculosis (Pott’s disease of the spine in the skeleton of anEgyptian priest from the 21st Dynasty (approximately 1 000 BC. Suggestive but not conclusiveevidence of tuberculotic lesions had been found in even earlier skeletons from Egypt and Europe. Medical hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt are silent on the disease, which could be tuberculosis,as do early Indian and Chinese writings. The Old Testament refers to the disease schachapeth, translated as phthisis in the Greek Septuagint. Although the Bible is not specific about this condition, tuberculosis is still called schachapeth in modern Hebrew. In pre-Hippocratic Greece Homer did not mention phthisis, a word meaning non-specific wasting of the body. However. Alexander of Tralles (6th century BC seemed to narrow the concept down to a specific disease, and in the Hippocratic Corpus (5th-4th centuries BC phthisis can be recognised as tuberculosis. It was predominantly a respiratory disease commonly seen and considered to be caused by an imbalance of bodily humours. It was commonest in autumn, winter and spring
Sala, Nohemi; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Martínez, Ignacio; Gracia-Téllez, Ana
The Sima de los Huesos (SH) site is the largest accumulation of human remains from the Middle Pleistocene known to date. Studies in the last two decades have proposed different hypotheses to explain carnivore activity in the SH human sample. This study provides new data in order to test these different interpretations, and therefore to understand the role of the carnivores in site formation at SH. Carnivores are usually not the origin of large accumulations of hominin fossils in the Eurasian record. The results show that marks of carnivore activity in the SH sample appear very infrequently, which we interpret as indicating that carnivore activity was very sporadic at the site. This is in stark contrast with previous studies. The comparison of bone modification patterns at SH to actualistic carnivore data allows us to suggest that bears were likely to have been the carnivore responsible for the modification observed on both human and bear fossils.
Rubini, Mauro; Cerroni, Vittorio; Festa, Giulia; Sardella, Raffaele; Zaio, Paola
The Fontana Ranuccio hominin teeth (FR, Latium, Italy) are dated to the Middle Pleistocene. In previous studies these teeth were classified as two lower (left and right) second molars, one lower left central incisor and a badly worn incisor crown, the exact position of which could not be determined. In 2012 these remains were acquired by the Anthropological Service of S.B.A.L. (Italian Ministry of Culture) and for this reason re-analysed. In a thorough revision we have reassessed them both morphologically and dimensionally as two lower (left and right) first molars, one lower left lateral incisor and a possible upper left canine. The comparison with penecontemporaneous and diachronic samples shows that the Fontana Ranuccio teeth are morphologically similar to Atapuerca-Sima de los Huesos, Arago XIII and Neanderthal samples. PMID:25440134
Mosquera, M; Geribàs, N; Bargalló, A; Llorente, M; Riba, D
Clear hand laterality patterns in humans are widely accepted. However, humans only elicit a significant hand laterality pattern when performing complementary role differentiation (CRD) tasks. Meanwhile, hand laterality in chimpanzees is weaker and controversial. Here we have reevaluated our results on hand laterality in chimpanzees housed in naturalistic environments at Fundació Mona (Spain) and Chimfunshi Wild Orphanage (Zambia). Our results show that the difference between hand laterality in humans and chimpanzees is not as great as once thought. Furthermore, we found a link between hand laterality and task complexity and also an even more interesting connection: CRD tasks elicited not only the hand laterality but also the use of tools. This paper aims to turn attention to the importance of this threefold connection in human evolution: the link between CRD tasks, hand laterality, and tool use, which has important evolutionary implications that may explain the development of complex behaviour in early hominins. PMID:22550466
Understanding Malaria Fighting an Ancient Scourge U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Understanding Malaria Fighting an Ancient Scourge U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ...
... Section CAM Acupuncture From Ancient Practice to Modern Science Past Issues / Winter 2009 Table of Contents For ... of Progress / Acupuncture From Ancient Practice to Modern Science / Low Back Pain and CAM / Time to Talk / ...
William J Rink; Mercier, Norbert; Mihailović, Dušan; Mike W Morley; Thompson, Jeroen W.; Roksandic, Mirjana
Newly obtained ages, based on electron spin resonance combined with uranium series isotopic analysis, and infrared/post-infrared luminescence dating, provide a minimum age that lies between 397 and 525 ka for the hominin mandible BH-1 from Mala Balanica cave, Serbia. This confirms it as the easternmost hominin specimen in Europe dated to the Middle Pleistocene. Inferences drawn from the morphology of the mandible BH-1 place it outside currently observed variation of European Homo heidelbergen...
Lepre, Christopher J.
Prior research has correlated the formation of Plio-Pleistocene lakes in East Africa to global/regional climate changes and interpreted the lacustrine basins as significant settings of hominin evolution. Paleo-Lake Lorenyang from the Turkana-Omo rift is important to these issues, as its marginal deposits contain some of, if not the earliest currently known specimens of Acheulian stone tools and African Homo erectus. Magnetostratigraphic and sedimentological evidence indicates that the oldest preserved paleo-Lake Lorenyang deposits are dated at 2.148-2.128 Ma and derive from the NW Turkana basin, predating those from the Omo basin by ˜100 kyr and the NE Turkana basin by ˜190 kyr. Apparently, the lake expanded asynchronously in the rift, potentially due to a volcano-tectonic influence on the location of drainage networks, depositional slopes, or topographic elevation differences within and between the basins at the time of flooding. The onset of the lake temporally coincides with the eruption of basalt lava flows dated to 2.2-2.0 Ma that blocked the southeast outlet of the Turkana basin. This provides a plausible mechanism for hydrologic closure and lacustrine basin formation through volcano-tectonic impounding. It also points to a non-climatic cause for the initial formation of paleo-Lake Lorenyang at ˜2.14 Ma. First appearances for African H. erectus (˜1.87 Ma) and Acheulian tools (˜1.76 Ma) in the Turkana-Omo rift postdate the lake's initial formation by about 270 kyr and 380 kyr, respectively. Such timing differences contrast with studies that correlate all three to the 400-kyr-eccentricity maximum at 1.8 Ma. Although the Turkana-Omo rift is just one example, it does provide alternative insights to views that link climate, hominin evolution, and lake formation in East Africa.
Andersen, S. Ry
Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification......Ophthalmology, History of ophthalmology, eyes in the Ancient Egypt, eye disease in Ancient Egypt, porotic hyperostosis, mummification...
LI Guangxue; LIU Yong; YANG Zigeng; YUE Shuhong; YANG Wenda; HAN Xibin
Based on the data of high-resolution seismic profiles, an ancient river channel system of the last glaciation occurred along the Zhedong and Xihu depression in the southeast of Hupijiao rise. The distribution of the channel fill system shows that the ancient Changjiang River went through the Changjiang depression into the low land plain of the outside continental shelf during the low sea level cycle of the last glaciation. The big channel fill into Okinawa Trough is not found due to the depletion of the river kinetic energy in the low land plain. The river discharge dispersal was of an important role to the dilution of the northern Okinawa Trough sea at that time. Six ancient river channel systems (A―F), which are main distributaries of ancient Changjiang in the East China Sea continental shelf during the last glaciation, may be buried off the modern Changjiang estuary. The distribution of these channels coincides with the zonal elevations in the sea floor.
Zuskin, Eugenija; Lipozencić, Jasna; Pucarin-Cvetković, Jasna; Mustajbegović, Jadranka; Schachter, Neil; Mucić-Pucić, Branka; Neralić-Meniga, Inja
Different aspects of medicine and/or healing in several societies are presented. In the ancient times as well as today medicine has been closely related to magic, science and religion. Various ancient societies and cultures had developed different views of medicine. It was believed that a human being has two bodies: a visible body that belongs to the earth and an invisible body of heaven. In the earliest prehistoric days, a different kind of medicine was practiced in countries such as Egypt, Greece, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, Tibet, China, and others. In those countries, "medicine people" practiced medicine from the magic to modern physical practices. Medicine was magical and mythological, and diseases were attributed mostly to the supernatural forces. The foundation of modern medicine can be traced back to ancient Greeks. Tibetan culture, for instance, even today, combines spiritual and practical medicine. Chinese medicine developed as a concept of yin and yang, acupuncture and acupressure, and it has even been used in the modern medicine. During medieval Europe, major universities and medical schools were established. In the ancient time, before hospitals had developed, patients were treated mostly in temples. PMID:18812066
@@ The famous painting,Along the River During Qingming Festival,impresses visitors at the China Pavilion not iust because of the animated figures in the electronic version of the painting but because it shows a prosperous view of Kaifeng,capital of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).It also showcases the wisdom of city planning in ancient China.
Revision of Freud's theory requires a new way of seeking dream meaning. With the idea of elaborative encoding, Sue Llewellyn has provided a method of dream interpretation that takes into account both modern sleep science and the ancient art of memory. Her synthesis is elegant and compelling. But is her hypothesis testable? PMID:24304762
Two activities for grades 3 through 8 explore species adaptation and forestry issues in the North American rainforests. In one activity, students create imaginary species of plants or animals that are adapted for life in an ancient temperate rainforest. In the second activity, students role play groups affected by plans to log an area of the…
Reynolds, Sally C; Bailey, Geoff N; King, Geoffrey C P
We examine the links between geomorphological processes, specific landscape features, surface water drainage, and the creation of suitable habitats for hominins. The existence of mosaic (i.e., heterogeneous) habitats within hominin site landscape reconstructions is typically explained using models of the riverine and gallery forest settings, or the pan or lake setting. We propose a different model: the Tectonic Landscape Model (TLM), where tectonic faulting and volcanism disrupts existing pan or river settings at small-scales (∼10-25 km). Our model encompasses the interpretation of the landscape features, the role of tectonics in creating these landscapes, and the implications for hominins. In particular, the model explains the underlying mechanism for the creation and maintenance of heterogeneous habitats in regions of active tectonics. We illustrate how areas with faulting and disturbed drainage patterns would have been attractive habitats for hominins, such as Australopithecus, and other fauna. Wetland areas are an important characteristic of surface water disturbance by fault activity; therefore we examine the tectonically-controlled Okavango Delta (Botswana) and the Nylsvley wetland (South Africa) as modern examples of how tectonics in a riverine setting significantly enhance the faunal and floral biodiversity. While tectonic landscapes may not have been the only type of attractive habitats to hominins, we propose a suite of landscape, faunal, and floral indicators, which when recovered together suggest that site environments may have been influenced by tectonic and/or volcanic activity while hominins were present. For the fossil sites, we interpret the faulting and landscapes around australopithecine-bearing sites of the Middle Awash (Ethiopia) and Makapansgat, Taung, and Sterkfontein (South Africa) to illustrate these relationships between landscape features and surface water bodies. Exploitation of tectonically active landscapes may explain why the
Northover, S.M., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Materials Engineering, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Northover, J.P., E-mail: email@example.com [Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Parks Rd, Oxford OX1 3PH,UK (United Kingdom)
The microstructures of modern cast Sterling silver and of cast silver objects about 2500 years old have been compared using optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis (EDX) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). Microstructures of both ancient and modern alloys were typified by silver-rich dendrites with a few pools of eutectic and occasional cuprite particles with an oxidised rim on the outer surface. EBSD showed the dendrites to have a complex internal structure, often involving extensive twinning. There was copious intragranular precipitation within the dendrites, in the form of very fine copper-rich rods which TEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD), SEM and STEM suggest to be of a metastable face-centred-cubic (FCC) phase with a cube–cube orientation relationship to the silver-rich matrix but a higher silver content than the copper-rich β in the eutectic. Samples from ancient objects displayed a wider range of microstructures including a fine scale interpenetration of the adjoining grains not seen in the modern material. Although this study found no unambiguous evidence that this resulted from microstructural change produced over archaeological time, the copper supersaturation remaining after intragranular precipitation suggests that such changes, previously proposed for wrought and annealed material, may indeed occur in ancient silver castings. - Highlights: • Similar twinned structures and oxidised surfaces seen in ancient and modern cast silver • General precipitation of fine Cu-rich rods apparently formed by discontinuous precipitation is characteristic of as-cast silver. • The fine rods are cube-cube related to the matrix in contrast with the eutectic. • The silver-rich phase remains supersaturated with copper. • Possibly age-related grain boundary features seen in ancient cast silver.
Brown, Samantha; Higham, Thomas; Slon, Viviane; Pääbo, Svante; Meyer, Matthias; Douka, Katerina; Brock, Fiona; Comeskey, Daniel; Procopio, Noemi; Shunkov, Michael; Derevianko, Anatoly; Buckley, Michael
DNA sequencing has revolutionised our understanding of archaic humans during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. Unfortunately, while many Palaeolithic sites contain large numbers of bones, the majority of these lack the diagnostic features necessary for traditional morphological identification. As a result the recovery of Pleistocene-age human remains is extremely rare. To circumvent this problem we have applied a method of collagen fingerprinting to more than 2000 fragmented bones from the site of Denisova Cave, Russia, in order to facilitate the discovery of human remains. As a result of our analysis a single hominin bone (Denisova 11) was identified, supported through in-depth peptide sequencing analysis, and found to carry mitochondrial DNA of the Neandertal type. Subsequent radiocarbon dating revealed the bone to be >50,000 years old. Here we demonstrate the huge potential collagen fingerprinting has for identifying hominin remains in highly fragmentary archaeological assemblages, improving the resources available for wider studies into human evolution.
Rahsepar, Shokouhalsadat; Smit, Martijn P.J.; Murk, Albertinka J.; Rijnaarts, Huub H.M.; Langenhoff, Alette A.M.
Chemical dispersants were used in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, both at the sea surface and the wellhead. Their effect on oil biodegradation is unclear, as studies showed both inhibition and enhancement. This study addresses the effect of Corexit on oil biodeg
Glass has been used as ornaments and decorations in Thailand for several hundred years. The archaeological resources suggested that the ancient glass beads excavated in southern Thailand were made more than 1300 years ago. Initial findings revealed that there were number of difference in shade between the glass beads of difference colors. Energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS) system attached with scanning electron microscope (SEM) and particle-induced X-ray emission spectroscopy (PIXE) were firstly used to study the surface corrosion of the samples. SEM micrographs showed more corroded and flaked microstructure. These were contributed to the interaction of both the ground water and its dissolved chemical compounds.
Lee-Thorp, Julia A; Sponheimer, Matt; Luyt, Julie
The environmental contexts of the karstic hominin sites in South Africa have been established largely by means of faunal associations; taken together these data suggest a trend from relatively closed and more mesic to open, drier environments from about 3 to 1.5 Ma. Vrba argued for a major shift within this trend ca. 2.4-2.6 Ma, an influential proposal that posited links between bovid (and hominin) radiation in Africa and the intensification of Northern Hemisphere Glaciation. Yet faunal approaches often rely on habitat and feeding preferences of modern taxa that may differ from those of their extinct predecessors. Here we explore ways of extending (13)C/(12)C data from fossil mammals beyond denoting "presence" or "absence" of C(4) grasses using the evolution of open environments in South Africa as a case study. To do so we calculated the relative proportions of C(3)-, mixed-, and C(4)-feeding herbivores for all the hominin sites for which we have sufficient data based on (13)C/(12)C analyses of fossil tooth enamel. The results confirm a general trend towards more open environments since 3 Ma, but they also emphasize a marked change to open grassy habitats in the latest Pliocene/early Pleistocene. Mean (13)C/(12)C for large felids also mirrored this trend. PMID:17920103
Bunn, Henry T.; Pickering, Travis Rayne
The world's first archaeological traces from 2.6 million years ago (Ma) at Gona, in Ethiopia, include sharp-edged cutting tools and cut-marked animal bones, which indicate consumption of skeletal muscle by early hominin butchers. From that point, evidence of hominin meat-eating becomes increasingly more common throughout the Pleistocene archaeological record. Thus, the substantive debate about hominin meat-eating now centers on mode(s) of carcass resource acquisition. Two prominent hypotheses suggest, alternatively, (1) that early Homo hunted ungulate prey by running them to physiological failure and then dispatching them, or (2) that early Homo was relegated to passively scavenging carcass residues abandoned by carnivore predators. Various paleontologically testable predictions can be formulated for both hypotheses. Here we test four predictions concerning age-frequency distributions for bovids that contributed carcass remains to the 1.8 Ma. old FLK 22 Zinjanthropus (FLK Zinj, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania) fauna, which zooarchaeological and taphonomic data indicate was formed predominantly by early Homo. In all but one case, the bovid mortality data from FLK Zinj violate test predictions of the endurance running-hunting and passive scavenging hypotheses. When combined with other taphonomic data, these results falsify both hypotheses, and lead to the hypothesis that early Homo operated successfully as an ambush predator.
Foote, Andrew David; Hofreiter, Michael; Morin, Philip A
such as bone, tooth, baleen, skin, fur, whiskers and scrimshaw using ancient DNA (aDNA) approaches provide an oppor- tunity for investigating such changes over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Here, we review the application of aDNA techniques to the study of marine mammals. Most of the studies have...... focused on detecting changes in genetic diversity following periods of exploitation and environmental change. To date, these studies have shown that even small sample sizes can provide useful information on historical genetic diversity. Ancient DNA has also been used in investigations of changes...... in distribution and range of marine mammal species; we review these studies and discuss the limitations of such ‘presence only’ studies. Combining aDNA data with stable isotopes can provide further insights into changes in ecology and we review past studies and suggest future potential applications. We also...
Full Text Available A review of the literature regarding psychiatric thoughts in ancient India is attempted. Besides interesting reading, many of the concepts are still relevant and can be used in day-to-day practice especially towards healthy and happy living. Certain concepts are surprisingly contemporary and valid today. They can be used in psychotherapy and counselling and for promoting mental health. However, the description and classification of mental illness is not in tune with modern psychiatry.
Marking bread was an old practice performed in different parts of the old world. It was done for religious, magical, economic and identification purposes. Bread stamps differ from other groups of stamps. Accordingly, the aim of this article is to identify such stamps, displayed or stored, in a number of Jordanian Archaeological Museums. A col-lection of twelve ancient bread stamps were identified and studied. Two of the stamps were of unknown provenance while the others came from al-Shuneh, D...
Buck, Bruce A.
Archaeologists have shown that ancient man developed the ability to produce cutting blades of an extreme degree of sharpness from volcanic glass. The finest of these prismatic blades were produced in Mesoamerica about 2,500 years ago. The technique of production of these blades was rediscovered 12 years ago by Dr. Don Crabtree, who suggested possible uses for the blades in modern surgery. Blades produced by Dr. Crabtree have been used in experimental microsurgery with excellent results. Anima...
In the study, chemical compositions of 48 fragments of ancient ceramics excavated in 4 archaeological kiln sites which were located in 3 cities (Hangzhou, Cixi and Longquan in Zhejiang Province, China) have been examined by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) technique. Then the method of SOM was introduced into the clustering analysis based on the major and minor element compositions of the bodies, the results manifested that 48 samples could be perfectly distributed into 3 locations, Hangzhou, Cixi and Longquan. Because the major and minor element compositions of two Royal Kilns were similar to each other, the classification accuracy over them was merely 76.92%. In view of this, the authors have made a SOM clustering analysis again based on the trace element compositions of the bodies, the classification accuracy rose to 84.61%. These results indicated that discrepancies in the trace element compositions of the bodies of the ancient ceramics excavated in two Royal Kiln sites were more distinct than those in the major and minor element compositions, which was in accordance with the fact. We argued that SOM could be employed in the clustering analysis of ancient ceramics.
Full Text Available The palaeobotanical record of early Palaeolithic sites from Western Europe indicates that hominins settled in different kinds of environments. During the "Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT", from about 1 to 0.6 Ma, the transition from 41-ka to 100-ka dominant climatic oscillations, occurring within a long-term cooling trend, was associated with an aridity crisis which strongly modified the ecosystems. Starting from the MPT the more favorable climate of central and southern Italy provided propitious environmental conditions for long-term human occupations even during the glacial times. In fact, the human strategy of territory occupation was certainly driven by the availabilities of resources. Prehistoric sites such as Notarchirico (ca. 680–600 ka, La Pineta (ca. 600–620 ka, Gaudo San Nicola (ca. 380–350 ka or Ceprano (ca. 345–355 ka testify to a preferential occupation of the central and southern Apennines valleys during interglacial phases, while later interglacial occupations were oriented towards the coastal plains, as attested by the numerous settlements of the Roma basin (ca. 300 ka. Faunal remains indicate that human subsistence behaviors benefited of a diversity of exploitable ecosystems, from semi-open to closed environments. In central and southern Italy, several palynological records have already illustrated the regional and local scale vegetation dynamic trends. During the Middle Pleistocene climate cycles, mixed mesophytic forests developed during the interglacial periods and withdrew in response to increasing aridity during the glacial episodes. New pollen data from the Boiano basin (Molise, Italy, attest to the evolution of vegetation and climate between OIS 13 and 9 (ca. 500 to 300 ka. In this basin, the persistence of high edaphic humidity, even during the glacial phases, could have favored the establishment of a refuge area for the arboreal flora and provided subsistence resources for the animal and hominin communities
Campisano, C. J.; Feibel, C. S.
Central to the debate surrounding global climate change and Plio-Pleistocene hominin evolution is the degree to which large-scale climate patterns influence low-latitude continental ecosystems and how these global influences can be distinguished from regional tectono-volcanic events and local environmental effects. These isolated factors must then be compared to trends or events in the hominin fossil or archaeological record. The Pliocene Hadar Formation preserves a high-resolution record of hominin paleoenvironments from roughly 3.5 to 2.3 Ma. The chronostratigraphic framework at Hadar, often divisible into sub-50,000 year intervals, provides temporal resolution relevant to evolutionary change within hominins and other taxa. Combined with a high sedimentation rate and abundant faunal remains, this tightly controlled stratigraphic framework allows Hadar to be compared to detailed climate proxies such as marine core isotope, dust, and sapropel records. Preliminary analyses from Hadar suggest that these comparisons can be used to distinguish local versus regional and global environmental change, determine the overall sensitivity of the Hadar system and its fauna to such change, and how this level of sensitively compares to other East African localities. Consistent cycling observed both between and within fluvial and lacustrine depositional environments prior to 2.9 Ma at Hadar appears to be dominantly climatic in nature. However, a significant change in depositional facies after 2.9 Ma to sequences dominated by conglomerate cut-and-fill cycles indicates a strong tectonic signature related to regional developments in the Main Ethiopian Rift (MER). While specific events seen in marine proxy records may have parallels in the Hadar environmental archive, their overall patterns of high versus low variability may be even more relevant. For example, periods of relatively high amplitude climate oscillations between 3.15 and 2.95 Ma may be linked to noted morphological
Yarmohammadi, Hassan; Zargaran, Arman; Vatanpour, Azadeh; Abedini, Ehsan; Adhami, Siamak
Since the dawn of medicine, medical rights and ethics have always been one of mankind's concerns. In any civilisation, attention paid to medical laws and ethics depends on the progress of human values and the advancement of medical science. The history of various civilisations teaches that each had its own views on medical ethics, but most had something in common. Ancient civilisations such as Greece, Rome, or Assyria did not consider the foetus to be alive and therefore to have human rights. In contrast, ancient Persians valued the foetus as a living person equal to others. Accordingly, they brought laws against abortion, even in cases of sexual abuse. Furthermore, abortion was considered to be a murder and punishments were meted out to the mother, father, and the person performing it. PMID:24304111
Full Text Available The quality of spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of scientific infrastructure. The European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes.
In a total of 284 samples from 224 different locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, 68 gastropod species, with 50 of them (= 73.5% being endemic, could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the proportion of endemics increases, and (iv the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity. Moreover, gastropod communities of Lake Ohrid and its feeder springs are both distinct from each other and from the surrounding waters. The analysis also shows that community similarity of Lake Ohrid is mainly driven by niche processes (e.g. environmental factors, but also by neutral processes (e.g. dispersal
Hauffe, T.; Albrecht, C.; Schreiber, K.; Birkhofer, K.; Trajanovski, S.; Wilke, T.
The quality of spatial analyses of biodiversity is improved by (i) utilizing study areas with well defined physiogeographical boundaries, (ii) limiting the impact of widespread species, and (iii) using taxa with heterogeneous distributions. These conditions are typically met by ecosystems such as oceanic islands or ancient lakes and their biota. While research on ancient lakes has contributed significantly to our understanding of evolutionary processes, statistically sound studies of spatial variation of extant biodiversity have been hampered by the frequently vast size of ancient lakes, their limited accessibility, and the lack of scientific infrastructure. The European ancient Lake Ohrid provides a rare opportunity for such a reliable spatial study. The comprehensive horizontal and vertical sampling of a species-rich taxon, the Gastropoda, presented here, revealed interesting patterns of biodiversity, which, in part, have not been shown before for other ancient lakes. In a total of 284 samples from 224 different locations throughout the Ohrid Basin, 68 gastropod species, with 50 of them (= 73.5%) being endemic, could be reported. The spatial distribution of these species shows the following characteristics: (i) within Lake Ohrid, the most frequent species are endemic taxa with a wide depth range, (ii) widespread species (i.e. those occurring throughout the Balkans or beyond) are rare and mainly occur in the upper layer of the lake, (iii) while the total number of species decreases with water depth, the proportion of endemics increases, and (iv) the deeper layers of Lake Ohrid appear to have a higher spatial homogeneity of biodiversity. Moreover, gastropod communities of Lake Ohrid and its feeder springs are both distinct from each other and from the surrounding waters. The analysis also shows that community similarity of Lake Ohrid is mainly driven by niche processes (e.g. environmental factors), but also by neutral processes (e.g. dispersal limitation and
Schaebitz, F.; Asrat, A.; Lamb, H. F.; Trauth, M. H.; Foerster, V. E.; Junginger, A.; Raub, T. D.; Gromig, R.; Viehberg, F. A.; Roberts, H. M.; Cohen, A.
Chew Bahir, a saline mudflat today, is one of the five sites in East Africa, drilled within the framework of HSPDP (Hominin Site and Paleolakes Drilling Project). It is also one of the key sites of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC-806) "Our way to Europe" aiming at the reconstruction of environmental conditions in the source region of modern man (H. sapiens). It is suggested that a changing environment could have triggered the mobility and dispersal of modern man. The oldest known fossils of anatomical modern humans (~195 ka BP) were found in the Omo basin, not more than 90km westwards of our drill site. The deposits in the tectonic basin of Chew Bahir in southern Ethiopia were cored in Nov. 2014 in two boreholes down to 280 m and 260 m below surface respectively. The overlapping long cores (drilled ~20 m apart from each other), were opened, scanned, described and sampled in low resolution in April 2015. The recovered sediments mostly contain green-greyish to light coloured and brown to reddish clays and silty clays, interbedded with some laminated mica-rich sand layers and occurrences of carbonate concretions and nodules, which decrease upcore. Here we will present a first set of results on the composite core, comprising mainly lithology and magnetic susceptibility (MS). Based on known sedimentation rates from pre-studies performed on short cores across the basin, we anticipate the deep drilled cores to cover at least 500 ka BP. Moreover, new insights into the role of post-depositional alteration, especially of clay minerals and zeolites, will be presented as a contribution to an improved understanding of formation processes. The results support the identification of wet and dry climate periods in the past. Those pronounced variations of moisture availability, are thought to have influenced the evolution and mobility of Homo sapiens sapiens.
Foerster, Verena; Asrat, Asfawossen; Cohen, Andrew S.; Gromig, Raphael; Günter, Christina; Junginger, Annett; Lamb, Henry F.; Schaebitz, Frank; Trauth, Martin H.
In search of the environmental context of the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens and our close relatives within and beyond the African continent, the ICDP-funded Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) has recently cored five fluvio-lacustrine archives of climate change in East Africa. The sediment cores collected in Ethiopia and Kenya are expected to provide valuable insights into East African environmental variability during the last ~3.5 Ma. The tectonically-bound Chew Bahir basin in the southern Ethiopian rift is one of the five sites within HSPDP, located in close proximity to the Lower Omo River valley, the site of the oldest known fossils of anatomically modern humans. In late 2014, the two cores (279 and 266 m long respectively, HSPDP-CHB14-2A and 2B) were recovered, summing up to nearly three tonnes of mostly calcareous clays and silts. Deciphering an environmental record from multiple records, from the source region of modern humans could eventually allow us to reconstruct the pronounced variations of moisture availability during the transition into Middle Stone Age, and its implications for the origin and dispersal of Homo sapiens. Here we present the first results of our analysis of the Chew Bahir cores. Following the HSPDP protocols, the two parallel Chew Bahir sediment cores have been merged into one single, 280 m long and nearly continuous (>90%) composite core on the basis of a high resolution MSCL data set (e.g., magnetic susceptibility, gamma ray density, color intensity transects, core photographs). Based on the obvious cyclicities in the MSCL, correlated with orbital cycles, the time interval covered by our sediment archive of climate change is inferred to span the last 500-600 kyrs. Combining our first results from the long cores with the results from the accomplished pre-study of short cores taken in 2009/10 along a NW-SE transect across the basin (Foerster et al., 2012, Trauth et al., 2015), we have developed a hypothesis
Ravisankar, R; Naseerutheen, A; Annamalai, G Raja; Chandrasekaran, A; Rajalakshmi, A; Kanagasabapathy, K V; Prasad, M V R; Satpathy, K K
Analytical investigations using Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Powder X-ray Diffraction (PXRD), Thermal Analysis (TG-DTA), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (EDXRF) were carried out on ancient pottery fragments from Kaveripakkam, in order to outline manufacturing skills, technology information, firing condition and temperature of potteries. The whole set of data showed the firing temperature in the range of 800-900°C. The analytical characterization of the potsherds, by different complimentary techniques has allowed to identifying the raw materials and technology applied by the ancient artisans. PMID:24287055
Full Text Available Fragmentary long bone material from fossil Carnivora is rarely considered to support palaeoenvironmental reconstructions. Here, we use morphometry of the radius in extant carnivorans of the dog family (Canidae to reconstruct the palaeobiology of extinct canids from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania (Bed I and II and Koobi Fora, Kenya. We use radius morphometrics to predict adaptation to prey size and introduce a new method for quantifying canid habitat adaptations based on the geographic distributions of the extant species sampled. Linear Discriminant Function Analyses (DFA and cluster neighbour-joining algorithms are employed to investigate radial morphometrics as described by 29 linear measurements. Results of our analyses suggest that a phylogenetic signal is present in radial morphometrics, even if it does not allow us to accurately discriminate among genera. A binary prey size categorisation of “small-medium” versus “large” prey can be more accurately predicted than a habitat categorisation scheme (Open, Mixed, Closed. The East African fossil specimens examined show morphometric affinities with the golden jackal (Canis aureus and coyote (Canis latrans and are likely attributable to the genus Canis. Fragmentary fossil specimens from Olduvai Gorge are predicted as habitat generalists (Open for Bed I and Mixed for Bed II adapted for hunting small-medium prey, whereas the specimen from Koobi Fora was predicted as inhabiting mixed habitats and adapted for killing large prey. This study supports the inclusion of fossil Canidae in palaeoecological analyses attempting to clarify the palaeoenvironment of early hominin fossil sites.
Cunha, E; Rozzi, F Ramirez; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Martinón-Torres, M; Wasterlain, S N; Sarmiento, S
This study presents an analysis of linear enamel hypoplasias (LEH) and plane-form defects (PFD) in the hominine dental sample from the Sima de los Huesos (SH) Middle Pleistocene site in Atapuerca (Spain). The SH sample comprises 475 teeth, 467 permanent and 8 deciduous, belonging to a minimum of 28 individuals. The method for recording PFD and LEH is discussed, as well as the definition of LEH. The prevalence of LEH and PFD in SH permanent dentition (unilateral total count) is 4.6% (13/280). Only one deciduous tooth (lower dc) showed an enamel disruption. Prevalence by individual ranges from 18.7-30%. The most likely explanation for the relatively low LEH and PFD prevalence in the SH sample suggests that the SH population exhibited a low level of developmental stress. The age at occurrence of LEH and PFD was determined by counting the number of perikymata between each lesion and the cervix of the tooth. Assuming a periodicity of nine days for the incremental lines, the majority of LEH in the SH sample occurred during the third year of life and may be related to the metabolic stress associated with weaning. PMID:15386251
Today, gorillas and chimpanzees live in tropical forests, where acid soils do not favor fossilization. It is thus widely believed that there are no fossils of chimpanzees or gorillas. However, four teeth of a 0.5-million-year (Ma)-old chimpanzee were discovered in the rift valley of Kenya (McBrearty and Jablonski, 2005), and a handful of teeth of a 10-Ma-old gorilla-like creature were found in Ethiopia (Suwa et al., 2007), close to the major sites of Homo discoveries. These discoveries indicate that chimpanzees and gorillas once shared their range with early Homo. However, the thousands of hominin fossils discovered in the past century have all been attributed to the Homo line. Thus far, our family tree looks like a bush with many dead-branches. If one admits the possibility that the australopithecines can also be the ancestors of African great apes, one can place Paranthropus on the side of gorilla ancestors and divide the remaining Australopithecus based on the brain size into the two main lines of humans and chimpanzees, thereby resulting in a coherent family tree. PMID:25041944
Fernández, Peter J; Holowka, Nicholas B; Demes, Brigitte; Jungers, William L
During bipedal walking, modern humans dorsiflex their forefoot at the metatarsophalangeal joints (MTPJs) prior to push off, which tightens the plantar soft tissues to convert the foot into a stiff propulsive lever. Particular features of metatarsal head morphology such as "dorsal doming" are thought to facilitate this stiffening mechanism. In contrast, chimpanzees are believed to possess MTPJ morphology that precludes high dorsiflexion excursions during terrestrial locomotion. The morphological affinity of the metatarsal heads has been used to reconstruct locomotor behavior in fossil hominins, but few studies have provided detailed empirical data to validate the assumed link between morphology and function at the MTPJs. Using three-dimensional kinematic and morphometric analyses, we show that humans push off with greater peak dorsiflexion angles at all MTPJs than do chimpanzees during bipedal and quadrupedal walking, with the greatest disparity occurring at MTPJ 1. Among MTPJs 2-5, both species exhibit decreasing peak angles from medial to lateral. This kinematic pattern is mirrored in the morphometric analyses of metatarsal head shape. Analyses of Australopithecus afarensis metatarsals reveal morphology intermediate between humans and chimpanzees, suggesting that this species used different bipedal push-off kinematics than modern humans, perhaps resulting in a less efficient form of bipedalism. PMID:27464580
Pobiner, Briana L
For decades, the 'hunting-scavenging debate' has been an important research focus in Plio-Pleistocene hominin behavioral ecology. Here I present new data on potential scavenging opportunities from fresh carnivore kills on a conservancy in central Kenya. This ecosystem is dominated by felids (mainly lions) and has a different carnivore guild than in many earlier studies of scavenging opportunities that took place in areas such as Ngorongoro and Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya, where lions face high levels of inter-specific competition from bone-crunching hyenas. I found that while scavenging opportunities vary among carcasses, most carcasses retained some scavengeable resources. Excluding within-bone resources, even the scavengeable meat on 'defleshed' larger sized prey carcasses is usually substantial enough to meet the total daily caloric requirements of at least one adult male Homo erectus individual. I argue, as others have before me, that scavenging opportunities in a particular ecosystem will vary in part due to carnivore taxon, density and guild composition; prey size, biomass and community structure; and habitat (e.g., vegetation, physiography). We should expect variability in scavenging opportunities in different locales and should focus our research efforts on identifying which variables condition these differences in order to make our findings applicable to the diversity of ecological settings characterizing the past. PMID:25563408
Gowlett, J A J
Percussion makes a vital link between the activities of early human ancestors and other animals in tool-use and tool-making. Far more of the early human actions are preserved as archaeology, since the percussion was largely used for making hard tools of stone, rather than for direct access to food. Both primate tools and early hominin tools, however, offer a means to exploring variability in material culture, a strong focus of interest in recent primate studies. This paper charts such variability in the Acheulean, the longest-lasting tool tradition, extant form about 1.7 to about 0.1 Ma, and well known for its characteristic handaxes. The paper concentrates on the African record, although the Acheulean was also known in Europe and Asia. It uses principal components and discriminant analysis to examine the measurements from 66 assemblages (whole toolkits), and from 18 sets of handaxes. Its review of evidence confirms that there is deep-seated pattern in the variation, with variability within a site complex often matching or exceeding that between sites far distant in space and time. Current techniques of study allow comparisons of handaxes far more easily than for other components, stressing a need to develop common practice in measurement and analysis. The data suggest, however, that a higher proportion of traits recurs widely in Acheulean toolkits than in the chimpanzee record. PMID:26483536
Raman Nair, R.
The paper puts forward and substantiates the view that the concept of free public library service goes back to ancient times. Governments of those days were aware of their responsibility to provide to all citizens free information service. The study observes with reference to ancient Indian records that educational facilities and libraries were accessible to people of Ancient India without any discrimination based on economic status, caste, religion or geographical boundaries. Scholars handl...
Bubka Sergej Nazarovich
Full Text Available The paper focused on the phenomena of sport in Ancient Greece along with history, traditions, religion, education, culture and art. Economic and political conditions are analysed which promote or hamper development of Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. Exceptional stability of Ancient Olympic games during more than eleven centuries are noted as well as their influence on the life of Greek polices of those days. Hellenistic period needs of individual consideration.
tool it is important first to comprehend the interpretation process involved in reading ancient documents. This is not a linear process but rather a recursive process where the scholar moves between different levels of reading, such as ‘understanding the meaning of a character’ or ‘understanding......How can Decision Support System (DSS) software aid the interpretation process involved in the reading of ancient documents? This paper discusses the development of a DSS prototype for the reading of ancient texts. In this context the term ‘ancient documents’ is used to describe mainly Greek...
The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy combines new scholarship with hands-on science to bring readers into direct contact with the work of ancient astronomers. While tracing ideas from ancient Babylon to sixteenth-century Europe, the book places its greatest emphasis on the Greek period, when astronomers developed the geometric and philosophical ideas that have determined the subsequent character of Western astronomy. The author approaches this history through the concrete details of ancient astronomical practice. Carefully organized and generously illustrated, the book can teach reade
Knapp, Michael; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Hofreiter, M.
For a long time, the analysis of ancient human DNA represented one of the most controversial disciplines in an already controversial field of research. Scepticism in this field was only matched by the long-lasting controversy over the authenticity of ancient pathogen DNA. This ambiguous view on ancient human DNA had a dichotomous root. On the one hand, the interest in ancient human DNA is great because such studies touch on the history and evolution of our own species. On the other hand, beca...
Like other traditional Chinese sports, the ancient Chinese football, which used to be called “cuju”, has some differences from several sports in western countries concerning cultural and hamanist purport as well as metal aspiration, although it was similar with modern football to some extent, such as a leather-made ball with a bladder, rectangle sports ground, referee, goal and certain competitiveness. The author tries to talk about such difference in cultural and humanist purport as well as mental aspiration by making a comparison between “cuju” and modern football.
Yadav, B S
This book presents contributions of mathematicians covering topics from ancient India, placing them in the broader context of the history of mathematics. Although the translations of some Sanskrit mathematical texts are available in the literature, Indian contributions are rarely presented in major Western historical works. Yet some of the well-known and universally-accepted discoveries from India, including the concept of zero and the decimal representation of numbers, have made lasting contributions to the foundation of modern mathematics. Through a systematic approach, this book examines th
Okuda, Jun; Natsume, Yohko
The study of the ancient history of Indian medicine has recently been revived due to the publication of polyglot translations. However, little is known of ancient Indian pharmacy. Archaeological evidence suggests the Indus people lived a settled life approximately in 2500 B.C. Their cities were enjoying the cleanest and most hygienic daily life with elaborate civic sanitation systems. The whole conception shows a remarkable concern for health. Then, the early Aryans invaded India about 1500 B.C. and the Vedic age started. The Rgveda texts contain the hymns for Soma and those for herbs. The term Ayurveda (i.e., science of life) is found in some old versions of both Ramāyana and Mahābhārata and in the Atharvaveda. Suśruta had the credit of making a breakthrough in the field of surgery. The Ayurveda, a work on internal medicine, gives the following transmission of sages: Brahmā-->Daksa-->Prajāpati-->Aśivinau-->Indra-->Caraka. On the other hand, the Suśruta-samhitā, which deals mainly with surgical medicine, explains it as follows; Indra-->Dhanvantari-->Suśruta Both Caraka and Suśruta were medical doctors as well as pharmacists, so they studied more than 1000 herbs thoroughly. The Ayurveda had been used by his devotees for medical purposes. It eventually spread over Asia with the advanced evolution of Buddhism. PMID:21032887
Bayer, Chris N; Luberda, Michael
Incomprehension and denial of the theory of evolution among high school students has been observed to also occur when teachers are not equipped to deliver a compelling case also for human evolution based on fossil evidence. This paper assesses the outcomes of a novel inquiry-based paleoanthropology lab teaching human evolution to high-school students. The inquiry-based Be a Paleoanthropologist for a Day lab placed a dozen hominin skulls into the hands of high-school students. Upon measuring three variables of human evolution, students explain what they have observed and discuss findings. In the 2013/14 school year, 11 biology classes in 7 schools in the Greater New Orleans area participated in this lab. The interviewed teacher cohort unanimously agreed that the lab featuring hominin skull replicas and stimulating student inquiry was a pedagogically excellent method of delivering the subject of human evolution. First, the lab's learning path of transforming facts to data, information to knowledge, and knowledge to acceptance empowered students to themselves execute part of the science that underpins our understanding of deep time hominin evolution. Second, although challenging, the hands-on format of the lab was accessible to high-school students, most of whom were readily able to engage the lab's scientific process. Third, the lab's exciting and compelling pedagogy unlocked higher order thinking skills, effectively activating the cognitive, psychomotor and affected learning domains as defined in Bloom's taxonomy. Lastly, the lab afforded students a formative experience with a high degree of retention and epistemic depth. Further study is warranted to gauge the degree of these effects. PMID:27513927
Bullough, Vern L.
The article concludes that the whole question of sexual life in ancient Mesopotamia is difficult to reconstruct and fraught with many uncertainties. Nevertheless, it seems certain that the ancient Mesopotamians had fewer prohibitions against sex than our own civilization, and regarded as acceptable many practices which later societies condemned.…
As the source of western philosophy, ancient Greek philosophy had a profound influence on western philosophy. Ancient philosophers were hard to reach a consensus on the existence of all the things in the world. They tried to grasp the profound understanding of the world, which is the clue of the history of philosophy.
Mutimer, Brian T. P.
Although it has been said that the women in Ancient Egypt enjoyed a reasonable state of social and professional equality with men, this paper presents an alternate theory--that women were second-class citizens whose physical prowess was secondary to their role as sex objects. It appears that men and women in Ancient Egypt often participated in the…
Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina
Rangefinders are instruments used for ballistics and for surveying in general. Here we propose a discussion of some of them, ranging from the ancient Rome to the modern methods. Using an ancient roman artefact as a model, we can pre-pare a rangefinder at no cost for teaching surveying methods to students of engineering and military schools
This book presents a unique approach for studying mechanisms and machines with drawings that were depicted unclearly in ancient Chinese books. The historical, cultural and technical backgrounds of the mechanisms are explained, and various mechanisms described and illustrated in ancient books are introduced. By utilizing the idea for the conceptual design of modern mechanisms, all feasible designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain members and joints that meet the technical standards of the subjects’ time periods are synthesized systematically. Ancient Chinese crossbows (the original crossbow and repeating crossbows), textile mechanisms (silk-reeling mechanism, spinning mechanisms, and looms), and many other artisan's tool mechanisms are used as illustrated examples. Such an approach provides a logical method for the reconstruction designs of ancient mechanisms with uncertain structures. It also provides an innovative direction for researchers to further identify the original structures of mechanisms...
Li Ning; Chen Dan
Ancient Chinese characters, typically the ideographic characters on bones and bronze before Shang Dynasty (16th—11th century B.C.), are valuable culture legacy of history. However the recognition of Ancient Chinese characters has been the task of paleography experts for long. With the help of modern computer technique, everyone can expect to be able to recognize the characters and understand the ancient inscriptions. This research is aimed to help people recognize and understand those ancient Chinese characters by combining Chinese paleography theory and computer information processing technology. Based on the analysis of ancient character features, a method for structural character recognition is proposed. The important characteristics of strokes and basic components or radicals used in recognition are introduced in detail. A system was implemented based on above method to show the effectiveness of the method.
Foley, Robert A
Humans are uniquely unique, in terms of the extreme differences between them and other living organisms, and the impact they are having on the biosphere. The evolution of humans can be seen, as has been proposed, as one of the major transitions in evolution, on a par with the origins of multicellular organisms or the eukaryotic cell (Maynard Smith & Szathmáry 1997 Major transitions in evolution). Major transitions require the evolution of greater complexity and the emergence of new evolutionary levels or processes. Does human evolution meet these conditions? I explore the diversity of evidence on the nature of transitions in human evolution. Four levels of transition are proposed-baseline, novel taxa, novel adaptive zones and major transitions-and the pattern of human evolution considered in the light of these. The primary conclusions are that changes in human evolution occur continuously and cumulatively; that novel taxa and the appearance of new adaptations are not clustered very tightly in particular periods, although there are three broad transitional phases (Pliocene, Plio-Pleistocene and later Quaternary). Each phase is distinctive, with the first based on ranging and energetics, the second on technology and niche expansion, and the third on cognition and cultural processes. I discuss whether this constitutes a 'major transition' in the context of the evolutionary processes more broadly; the role of behaviour in evolution; and the opportunity provided by the rich genetic, phenotypic (fossil morphology) and behavioural (archaeological) record to examine in detail major transitions and the microevolutionary patterns underlying macroevolutionary change. It is suggested that the evolution of the hominin lineage is consistent with a mosaic pattern of change.This article is part of the themed issue 'Major transitions in human evolution'. PMID:27298474
Plummer, Thomas W; Ferraro, Joseph V; Louys, Julien; Hertel, Fritz; Alemseged, Zeresenay; Bobe, René; Bishop, L C
The Shungura Formation in the lower Omo River Valley, southern Ethiopia, has yielded an important paleontological and archeological record from the Pliocene and Pleistocene of eastern Africa. Fossils are common throughout the sequence and provide evidence of paleoenvironments and environmental change through time. This study developed discriminant function ecomorphology models that linked astragalus morphology to broadly defined habitat categories (open, light cover, heavy cover, forest, and wetlands) using modern bovids of known ecology. These models used seven variables suitable for use on fragmentary fossils and had overall classification success rates of >82%. Four hundred and one fossils were analyzed from Shungura Formation members B through G (3.4-1.9 million years ago). Analysis by member documented the full range of ecomorph categories, demonstrating that a wide range of habitats existed along the axis of the paleo-Omo River. Heavy cover ecomorphs, reflecting habitats such as woodland and heavy bushland, were the most common in the fossil sample. The trend of increasing open cover habitats from Members C through F suggested by other paleoenvironmental proxies was documented by the increase in open habitat ecomorphs during this interval. However, finer grained analysis demonstrated considerable variability in ecomorph frequencies over time, suggesting that substantial short-term variability is masked when grouping samples by member. The hominin genera Australopithecus, Homo, and Paranthropus are associated with a range of ecomorphs, indicating that all three genera were living in temporally variable and heterogeneous landscapes. Australopithecus finds were predominantly associated with lower frequencies of open habitat ecomorphs, and high frequencies of heavy cover ecomorphs, perhaps indicating a more woodland focus for this genus. PMID:26208956
Wershow, H.; Janssen, R.; Vonhof, H.; Lubbe, J. V. D.; Joordens, J. J.; Koutamanis, D. S.; Puspaningrum, M. R.; de Vos, J.; Reijmer, J.
Climate plays a prominent role in ecosystem development in the biodiversity hotspot Sundaland (Malaysia and western Indonesia) throughout the Quaternary. Recurrent isolation and connection of the islands to mainland Asia due to sea level fluctuations has enabled repeated biotic migrations and encouraged genetic speciation. These migration waves also brought Homo erectus to Java. Together with extensive and well-documented collections of other terrestrial species, these hominin fossils form faunal assemblages of which the paleoenvironmental and paleogeographical background is poorly known. Using carbon, oxygen and strontium isotopes, we have reconstructed the paleoenvironmental and paleoecological conditions of several Holocene and Pleistocene fossil sites on Sumatra and Java, Indonesia. Carbon (∂13C) and oxygen (∂18O) isotope analysis of well-preserved herbivore teeth enamel reveals a marked contrast between C3-dominated diets in warmer periods, and C4-dominated diets in cooler periods, reflecting the distinct changes in Sundaland vegetation cover between glacials and interglacials. These isotope patterns allow us to assign the appropriate climatic background to some of the older fossil assemblages from Java, for which dating uncertainty does not allow direct assignment to glacial or interglacial conditions. The stable isotope signatures of herbivores from Trinil and Sangiran, sites well-known for the fossil occurrence of Homo erectus, indicate glacial conditions. The isotope data of several H. erectus fossils from these sites seem to be in line with such an interpretation. Furthermore, we applied strontium (87Sr/86Sr) isotope analyses to a sample subset. The preliminary data show distinct Sr-isotope ratios for different sites, providing clues for the applicability of this isotope technique in detecting climate-related mobility of Sundaland fossil faunas.
Maria Rosso, Ana
In Ancient Egypt, light and fire, which were closely related to the Sun God Ra, were the sources of life and well-being, while the dark meant danger and death. Similar to death, darkness drops on human beings in deep sleep and they enter a space inhabited by shadows. Dreams were believed to reveal an unknown world, to give the sleeper a glimpse into the future. Vision attracts distant objects and their light, on the other hand, can hurt the eyes like a burning flame. Eyes were the most important organ in Egyptian thought, as they allowed perception of the real world. Their importance has been immortalised in the myth of the Eye of Horus that explains the role of either eye. One represents the moonlight, which disperses the darkness of the night, and the other represents the sunshine, which creates life, and both could also represents the power of human intellect. Blindness, in turn, congenital or disease-related, was considered a divine punishment. A man, thus handicapped, would sink in a state of uncertainty and darkness. To protect the eyes from blindness, people used drops and ointments, which were believed to chase away all kinds of insects and demons that threatened with a variety of eye infections. Egyptian eye doctors or physicians, carried a special kit that contained green chrysocolla and a black kohl makeup, highly appreciated as prophylaxis because they personified Osiris' humours or body fluids. These products were offered to Gods to restore the brightness of divine glance and incite sun and moon to spread their beneficial light. PMID:21192112
Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Overballe-Petersen, Søren; Ermini, Luca;
DNA obtained from environmental samples such as sediments, ice or water (environmental DNA, eDNA), represents an important source of information on past and present biodiversity. It has revealed an ancient forest in Greenland, extended by several thousand years the survival dates for mainland...... woolly mammoth in Alaska, and pushed back the dates for spruce survival in Scandinavian ice-free refugia during the last glaciation. More recently, eDNA was used to uncover the past 50 000 years of vegetation history in the Arctic, revealing massive vegetation turnover at the Pleistocene....../Holocene transition, with implications for the extinction of megafauna. Furthermore, eDNA can reflect the biodiversity of extant flora and fauna, both qualitatively and quantitatively, allowing detection of rare species. As such, trace studies of plant and vertebrate DNA in the environment have revolutionized our...
Archimedes (287-212 BC), who is famous for shouting 'Eureka' (I found it) is considered one of the most brilliant thinkers of all times. The 10th-century parchment document known as the 'Archimedes Palimpsest' is the unique source for two of the great Greek's treatises. Some of the writings, hidden under gold forgeries, have recently been revealed at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory at SLAC. An intense x-ray beam produced in a particle accelerator causes the iron in original ink, which has been partly erased and covered, to send out a fluorescence glow. A detector records the signal and a digital image showing the ancient writings is produced. Please join us in this fascinating journey of a 1,000-year-old parchment from its origin in the Mediterranean city of Constantinople to a particle accelerator in Menlo Park.
XU Yi-zeng; BI Zhen; Xiao Yuan-chun
This paper reviews twenty-eight Chinese medicine books with complete prescriptions prior to the Qing Dynasty, and analyzes the characteristics of acupoint selection and needling manipulations from the perspective of apoplectic symptoms. It is concluded that,in ancient times, apoplexy is often treated on the basis of its symptoms and a great number of acupoints are employed; hemiplegia is mainly treated by the acupoints of the Large Intestine Meridian and Gallbladder Meridian,with two key acupoints; coma is mainly treated by first-aid acupoints and qi-supplementing acupoints, with seven key acupoints; wry mouth and convulsion are mainly treated by the local acupoints; as for needling manipulations, moxibustion with moxa cones is principally used, while needling is less used.
A state of a single particle can be represented by a quantum blob in the corresponding phase space, or a patch (granule) in its 2-D subspace. Its area is frequently stated to be no less than, implying that such a granule is an indivisible quantum of the 2-D phase space. But this is generally not true, as is evident, for instance, from representation of some states in the basis of innately discrete observables like angular momentum. Here we consider some dispersed states involving the evanescent waves different from that in the total internal reflection. Such states are represented by a set of separated granules with individual areas, but with the total indeterminacy . An idealized model has a discrete Wigner function and is described by a superposition of eigenstates with eigenvalues and forming an infinite periodic array of dots on the phase plane. The question about the total indeterminacy in such state is discussed. We argue that the eigenstates corresponding to the considered EW cannot be singled out by a...
Russel, W. B.; Saville, D. A.; Schowalter, W. R.
The book covers the physical side of colloid science from the individual forces acting between submicron particles suspended in a liquid through the resulting equilibrium and dynamic properties. The relevant forces include Brownian motion, electrostatic repulsion, dispersion attraction, both attraction and repulsion due to soluble polymer, and viscous forces due to relative motion between the particles and the liquid. The balance among Brownian motion and the interparticle forces decides the questions of stability and phase behavior. Imposition of external fields produces complex effects, i.e. electrokinetic phenomena (electric field), sedimentation (gravitational field), diffusion (concentration/chemical potential gradient), and non-Newtonian rheology (shear field). The treatment aims to impart a sound, quantitative understanding based on fundamental theory and experiments with well-characterized model systems. This broad grasp of the fundamentals lends insight and helps to develop the intuitive sense needed to isolate essential features of technological problems and design critical experiments. Some exposure to fluid mechanics, statistical mechanics, and electricity and magnetism is assumed, but each subject is reintroduced in a self-contained manner.
The species problem is one of the most complex and enduring problems plaguing evolutionary biology in general and human paleontology in particular. In the past 50 years, conceptions of species have diverged and speciated analogous to the present, largely accepted view of the hominin phylogeny. Conventional wisdom supports a "bushy" hominin phylogeny. However, chaos reigns because there is no agreed-upon methodology used to delimit species taxa in paleontology. This dispute is complicated by the ever-present intraspecific and interspecific morphological variation, which is itself exacerbated by other types of variation, including behavioral, ecological, geographical and temporal. When two or more of these forms of variation are used to delimit "new" extant or fossil species, any decision arrived at might be construed as arbitrary. This paper proposes that temporary cessation in assigning new names should be considered based on several critical problems: (1) the explosion of conceptions of a "species" arising from disagreements regarding species definitions, (2) differing interpretations of population variation, which lead to difficulty in interpreting hybridization in nature, leading in turn to the underestimation or overestimation of species, (3) the problem of modes of speciation being confounded with criteria used to distinguish among species, e.g., punctuated equilibrium posits high-speciation rates, and (4) the most common of all human traits, vanity. PMID:19573870
Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Martinón-Torres, M; Sarmiento, S; Lozano, M; Arsuaga, J L; Carbonell, E
This study presents quantitative data on the rates of anterior tooth wear in a Pleistocene human population. The data were obtained for the hominin sample of the Sima de los Huesos site in Atapuerca, Spain. The fossil record belongs to a minimum of 28 individuals of the same biological population, assigned to the species Homo heidelbergensis. We have estimated the original and the preserved crown height of the mandibular incisors (I1 and I2) of 11 individuals, whose age at death can be ascertained from the mineralization stage and tooth eruption. Results provide a range of 0.276-0.348 and 0.288-0.360 mm per year for the mean wear rate of the mandibular I1 and I2, respectively, in individuals approximately 16-18 years old. These data suggest that incisors' crowns would be totally worn out toward the fifth decade of life. Thus, we expect the life expectancy of this population to be seriously limited. These data, which could be contrasted with results obtained on hominins at other sites, could be of interest for estimating the death age of adult individuals. PMID:14528001
de Castro, J. M. Bermúdez; Martinón-Torres, M.; Sarmiento, S.; Lozano, M.; Arsuaga, J. L.; Carbonell, E.
This study presents quantitative data on the rates of anterior tooth wear in a Pleistocene human population. The data were obtained for the hominin sample of the Sima de los Huesos site in Atapuerca, Spain. The fossil record belongs to a minimum of 28 individuals of the same biological population, assigned to the species Homo heidelbergensis. We have estimated the original and the preserved crown height of the mandibular incisors (I1 and I2) of 11 individuals, whose age at death can be ascertained from the mineralization stage and tooth eruption. Results provide a range of 0.276–0.348 and 0.288–0.360 mm per year for the mean wear rate of the mandibular I1 and I2, respectively, in individuals ≈16–18 years old. These data suggest that incisors' crowns would be totally worn out toward the fifth decade of life. Thus, we expect the life expectancy of this population to be seriously limited. These data, which could be contrasted with results obtained on hominins at other sites, could be of interest for estimating the death age of adult individuals. PMID:14528001
Juan Manuel Jiménez-Arenas
Full Text Available Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates.
Hebsgaard, Martin Bay; Phillips, Matthew J.; Willerslev, Eske
Studies continue to report ancient DNA sequences and viable microbial cells that are many millions of years old. In this paper we evaluate some of the most extravagant claims of geologically ancient DNA. We conclude that although exciting, the reports suffer from inadequate experimental setup and...... insufficient authentication of results. Consequently, it remains doubtful whether amplifiable DNA sequences and viable bacteria can survive over geological timescales. To enhance the credibility of future studies and assist in discarding false-positive results, we propose a rigorous set of authentication...... criteria for work with geologically ancient DNA....
Edwards, M. E.; Alsos, I. G.; Sjögren, P.; Coissac, E.; Gielly, L.; Yoccoz, N.; Føreid, M. K.; Taberlet, P.
Knowledge of how climate change affected species distribution in the past may help us predict the effect of ongoing environmental changes. We explore how the use of modern (AFLP fingerprinting techniques) and ancient DNA (metabarcoding P6 loop of chloroplast DNA) help to reveal past distribution of vascular plant species, dispersal processes, and effect of species traits. Based on studies of modern DNA combined with species distribution models, we show the dispersal routes and barriers to dispersal throughout the circumarctic/circumboreal region, likely dispersal vectors, the cost of dispersal in term of loss of genetic diversity, and how these relates to species traits, dispersal distance, and size of colonized region. We also estimate the expected future distribution and loss of genetic diversity and show how this relates to life form and adaptations to dispersal. To gain more knowledge on time lags in past range change events, we rely on palaeorecords. Current data on past distribution are limited by the taxonomic and time resolution of macrofossil and pollen records. We show how this may be improved by studying ancient DNA of lake sediments. DNA of lake sediments recorded about half of the flora surrounding the lake. Compared to macrofossil, the taxonomic resolution is similar but the detection rate is considerable improved. By taking into account main determinants of founder effect, dispersal vectors, and dispersal lags, we may improve our ability to forecast effects of climate change, whereas more studies on ancient DNA may provide us with knowledge on distribution time lags.
Zeininger, Angel; Patel, Biren A; Zipfel, Bernhard; Carlson, Kristian J
Australopithecus africanus has been interpreted as having a rigid lateral foot. One mechanism contributing to a rigid foot during push-off in humans is a calcaneocuboid joint (CCJ) with limited dorsiflexion and a "close-packed" talocalcaneal joint (TCJ). In contrast, apes likely have a greater CCJ range of motion and lack a close-packed TCJ. Differences in tarsal arthrokinematics may result in different joint loading environments. In Homo sapiens, we tested the hypothesis that dorsal and plantar CCJ and the TCJ show evidence of predictable habitual loading. In Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, Gorilla beringei, and Papio ursinus, we tested the hypothesis that only the dorsal CCJ shows evidence of predictable loading. Specifically, we predicted similarity in trabecular properties across the dorsal and plantar CCJ in H. sapiens, but dissimilarity in non-humans. Additionally, we investigated trabecular properties of an A. africanus calcaneus (StW 352) to evaluate joint loading patterns in this hominin and ultimately address the evolution of these properties in H. sapiens. Contrary to predictions, the H. sapiens dorsal CCJ has a significantly higher elongation index, bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, and trabecular number than the plantar CCJ, while trabecular properties in non-humans do not always differ as predicted between regions. H. sapiens exhibits trabecular morphology indicative of less variable TCJ loading than other groups, having the most anisotropic and rod-like struts oriented in line with predicted principal loads. Multivariate analysis shows that the StW 352 dorsal CCJ matches P. ursinus best, while the plantar CCJ matches G. beringei best and the TCJ matches that of G. gorilla best. Overall patterns suggest that the StW 352 calcaneus experienced more variable loading than H. sapiens, but less variable loading than P. troglodytes, G. gorilla, G. beringei, and P. ursinus, consistent with a large range of foot movements, probably
The aim of this paper is to identify the relevance and implications of ancient accounting practices to the contemporary theorizing of accounting. The paper provides a synthesis of the literature on ancient accounting particularly in relation to issues of human accountability, identifies its major achievements and outlines some of the key challenges facing researchers. We argue that far from being an idiosyncratic research field of marginal interest, research in ancient accounting is a rich an...
Full Text Available INTRODUCTION : Schwannoma is a common benign tumour of nerve sheath. Degenerating type of schwannoma is called ancient schwannoma. Ancient schwannomas of scalp are rare and are often misdiagnosed as sebaceous cyst or dermoid cyst. CASE REPORT : We present a thirty two year old male presented with scalp swel ling of eight years duration. X - ray showed no intracranial extension. He underwent excision of the tumour and histopathology was reported as ancient schwannoma. DISCUSSION : Histopathologically , ancient schwannomas charecterised by cellular Antoni type A ar eas and less cellular Antoni type - B areas. 9 th , 7 th , 11 th , 5 th and 4 th cranial nerves are often affected and may be associated with multiple neuro fibramatosis (Von - Recklinghausen’s disease. Impact : Case is presented for its rarity and possible pre - operative misdiagnosis
Melchior, Linea; Lynnerup, Niels; Siegismund, Hans R;
locations was similar to that among extant Danes, the diversity at four sites was considerably higher. This supports previous observations for ancient Britons. The overall occurrence of haplogroups did not deviate from extant Scandinavians, however, haplogroup I was significantly more frequent among the...... ancient Danes (average 13%) than among extant Danes and Scandinavians ( approximately 2.5%) as well as among other ancient population samples reported. Haplogroup I could therefore have been an ancient Southern Scandinavian type "diluted" by later immigration events. Interestingly, the two Neolithic...... samples (4,200 YBP, Bell Beaker culture) that were typed were haplogroup U4 and U5a, respectively, and the single Bronze Age sample (3,300-3,500 YBP) was haplogroup U4. These two haplogroups have been associated with the Mesolithic populations of Central and Northern Europe. Therefore, at least for...
Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina
Faiences are ancient Egyptian ceramic materials, considered as "high-tech" products. The paper discussed the method by which the faiences were produced and the application of SEM and Raman spectroscopy to their analysis
The art of opthalmology was well developed in ancient India and was known as Nimi Tantra. In this paper the author presents the main features of Nimi Tantra an authoritative treatises written by Nimi, a prominent opthalmologist of his time.
Hoffman, Kenneth A.
Discusses the question posed by some that the earth's magnetic field may reverse. States that rocks magnetized by ancient fields may offer clues to the underlying reversal mechanism in the earth's core. (TW)
Fike, David A.; Bradley, Alexander S.; Rose, Catherine V.
The sulfur biogeochemical cycle integrates the metabolic activity of multiple microbial pathways (e.g., sulfate reduction, disproportionation, and sulfide oxidation) along with abiotic reactions and geological processes that cycle sulfur through various reservoirs. The sulfur cycle impacts the global carbon cycle and climate primarily through the remineralization of organic carbon. Over geological timescales, cycling of sulfur is closely tied to the redox state of Earth's exosphere through the burial of oxidized (sulfate) and reduced (sulfide) sulfur species in marine sediments. Biological sulfur cycling is associated with isotopic fractionations that can be used to trace the fluxes through various metabolic pathways. The resulting isotopic data provide insights into sulfur cycling in both modern and ancient environments via isotopic signatures in sedimentary sulfate and sulfide phases. Here, we review the deep-time Î´34S record of marine sulfates and sulfides in light of recent advances in understanding how isotopic signatures are generated by microbial activity, how these signatures are encoded in marine sediments, and how they may be altered following deposition. The resulting picture shows a sulfur cycle intimately coupled to ambient carbon cycling, where sulfur isotopic records preserved in sedimentary rocks are critically dependent on sedimentological and geochemical conditions (e.g., iron availability) during deposition.
Patterson, Nick; Moorjani, Priya; Luo, Yontao; Mallick, Swapan; Rohland, Nadin; Zhan, Yiping; Genschoreck, Teri; Webster, Teresa; Reich, David
Population mixture is an important process in biology. We present a suite of methods for learning about population mixtures, implemented in a software package called ADMIXTOOLS, that support formal tests for whether mixture occurred and make it possible to infer proportions and dates of mixture. We also describe the development of a new single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array consisting of 629,433 sites with clearly documented ascertainment that was specifically designed for population genetic analyses and that we genotyped in 934 individuals from 53 diverse populations. To illustrate the methods, we give a number of examples that provide new insights about the history of human admixture. The most striking finding is a clear signal of admixture into northern Europe, with one ancestral population related to present-day Basques and Sardinians and the other related to present-day populations of northeast Asia and the Americas. This likely reflects a history of admixture between Neolithic migrants and the indigenous Mesolithic population of Europe, consistent with recent analyses of ancient bones from Sweden and the sequencing of the genome of the Tyrolean “Iceman.” PMID:22960212
Berghahn, Rüdiger; Bennema, Floris Pieter
Owing to both their special appearance and behavior flatfish have attracted the special attention of people since ages. The first records of humans having been in touch with flatfish date back to the Stone Age about 15,000 years B.C. Detailed descriptions were already given in the classical antiquity and were taken up 1400 years later in the Renaissance by the first ichthyologists, encyclopédists, and also by practical men. This was more than 200 years before a number of common flatfish species were given their scientific names by Linnaeus in 1758. Besides morphology, remarkable and sometimes amusing naturalistic observations and figures are bequeathed. Ancient history of flatfish research is still a wide and open array. Examples are presented how the yield of information and interpretation from these times increases with interdisciplinary cooperation including archeologists, zoologists, ichthyologists, historians, art historians, fisheries and fishery biologist. The timeline of this contribution ends with the start of modern fishery research at the end of the 19th century in the course of the rapidly increasing exploitation of fish stocks.
Annotation to the Doctoral Thesis by Brigita Aleksejeva: The Language of Ancient Greek Philological Texts An Ancient Greek philological text often combined the research of various language-related issues, which are nowadays studied by separate branches of linguistics – such as orthography, phonology, morphology, lexicology, syntax, and stylistics. The language of these texts differs from that of the fictional and non-theoretical texts of the period: since they represent the origins of the ...
History is a reconstruction of past human activity, evidence of which is remained in the form of documents or relics. For the reconstruction of historic period, the radiocarbon dating of ancient documents provides important information. Although radiocarbon age is converted into calendar age with the calibration curve, the calibrated radiocarbon age is still different from the historical age when the document was written. The difference is known as 'old wood effect' for wooden cultural property. The discrepancy becomes more serious problem for recent sample which requires more accurate age determination. Using Tandetron accelerator mass spectrometer at Nagoya University, we have measured radiocarbon ages of Japanese ancient documents, sutras and printed books written dates of which are clarified from the paleographic standpoint. The purpose is to clarify the relation between calibrated radiocarbon age and historical age of ancient Japanese document by AMS radiocarbon dating. This paper reports 23 radiocarbon ages of ancient Japanese documents, sutras and printed books. The calibrated radiocarbon ages are in good agreement with the corresponding historical ages. It was shown by radiocarbon dating of the ancient documents that Japanese paper has little gap by 'old wood effect'; accordingly, ancient Japanese paper is a suitable sample for radiocarbon dating of recent historic period. (author)
Blain, Hugues-Alexandre; Agustí, Jordi; Lordkipanidze, David; Rook, Lorenzo; Delfino, Massimo
Dmanisi is currently the oldest Early Palaeolithic site discovered out of Africa. It has produced over 40 hominin remains, including a set of very informative skulls, in direct association with faunal remains and numerous lithic artifacts. Given the relevance of this locality, every effort is being made to reconstruct the landscapes where these hominins once lived. Amphibian and reptile remains from Dmanisi are here described for the first time and used as paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental proxies. They comprise at least six taxa: a green toad (Bufo gr. Bufo viridis), the Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca), a green lizard (Lacerta gr. Lacerta viridis), a four-lined snake (Elaphe gr. Elaphe quatuorlineata), an indeterminate colubrid and a water snake (Natrix sp.). As these taxa are not extinct and their ecology can be directly studied, they can contribute to the reconstruction of the landscape and climate. The application of the Mutual Climatic Range method provides quantitative data indicating that during the hominin presence at Dmanisi climate was warm and dry, similar to the present-day Mediterranean climate. In comparison with today climate of Dmanisi, estimated mean annual temperature was 3.1 °C higher, with a greater increase of temperature in summer (+7.1 °C) than in winter (+4.7 °C). The mean annual precipitation was slightly lower (-65 mm) than the current level, with precipitation higher than current one during winter (+104 mm) but strongly lower during the other seasons, suggesting a stronger contrast in the rainfall regime during the year. From a paleoenvironmental point of view, fossil amphibians and reptiles all suggest the predominance of arid environments, from steppe or semi-desert to open Mediterranean forest, with stony or rocky substrate and bushy areas. The presence of permanent aquatic environments is also documented. These results mainly agree with those for large mammals, small mammals and the archaeobotanical analysis that indicate an
Russon, Anne E; Compost, Alain; Kuncoro, Purwo; Ferisa, Agnes
This paper presents new evidence of fish eating in rehabilitant orangutans living on two Bornean islands and explores its contributions to understanding nonhuman primates' aquatic fauna eating and the origins of ancestral hominin fish eating. We assessed the prevalence of orangutans' fish eating, their techniques for obtaining fish, and possible contributors (ecology, individual differences, humans). We identified 61 events in which orangutans tried to obtain fish, including 19 in which they ate fish. All the orangutans were juvenile-adolescent; all the fish were disabled catfish; and most were obtained and eaten in drier seasons in or near shallow, slow-moving water. Orangutans used several techniques to obtain fish (inadvertent, opportunistic and deliberate hand-catch, scrounge, tool-assisted catch) and probably learned them in that order. Probable contributing factors were orangutan traits (age, pre-existing water or tool skills), island features (social density, water accessibility), and local human fishing. Our review of primates' aquatic fauna eating showed orangutans to be one of 20 species that eat aquatic fauna, one of nine confirmed to eat fish, and one of three that use tools to obtain fish. Primate fish eating is also site-specific within species, partly as a function of habitat (e.g., marine-freshwater, seasonality) and human influence (possibly fostered eating fish or other aquatic fauna at most sites, clearly induced it at some). At tropical freshwater sites, fish eating occurred most often in drier seasons around shallow water. Orangutan and primate findings are generally consistent with Stewart's (2010) reconstruction of the origins of ancestral hominin fish eating, but suggest that it, and tool-assisted fish catching, were possible much earlier. PMID:25038033
Eichel, Kaleigh Anne; Ackermann, Rebecca Rogers
Hybridization is increasingly proving to be an important force shaping human evolution. Comparisons of both ancient and modern genomes have provided support for a complex evolutionary scenario over the past million years, with evidence for multiple incidents of gene exchange. However, to date, genetic evidence is still limited in its ability to pinpoint the precise time and place of ancient admixture. For that we must rely on evidence of admixture from the skeleton. The research presented here builds on previous work on the crania of baboon hybrids, focusing on the nasal cavity of olive baboons, yellow baboons, and first generation (F1) hybrids. The nasal cavity is a particularly important anatomical region for study, given the clear differentiation of this feature in Neanderthals relative to their contemporaries, and therefore it is a feature that will likely differ in a distinctive manner in hybrids of these taxa. Metric data consist of 45 linear, area, and volume measurements taken from CT scans of known-pedigree baboon crania. Results indicate that there is clear evidence for differences among the nasal cavities of the parental taxa and their F1 hybrids, including a greater degree of sexual dimorphism in the hybrids. There is also some evidence for transgressive phenotypes in individual F1 animals. The greatest amount of shape variation occurs in the anterior bony cavity, the choana, and the mid-nasopharynx. Extrapolating our results to the fossil record, we would expect F1 hybrid fossils to have larger nasal cavities, on average, than either parental taxon, with overall nasal cavity shape showing the most profound changes in regions that are distinct between the parental taxa (e.g., anterior nasal cavity). We also expect size and shape differences to be more pronounced in male F1 hybrids than in females. Because of pronounced anterior nasal cavity differences between Neanderthals and their contemporaries, we suggest that this model might be effective for
Haberle, Robert M.
Today Mars is a cold, dry, desert planet. The atmosphere is thin and liquid water is not stable. But there is evidence that very early in its history it was warmer and wetter. Since Mariner 9 first detected fluvial features on its ancient terrains researchers have been trying to understand what climatic conditions could have permitted liquid water to flow on the surface. Though the evidence is compelling, the problem is not yet solved. The main issue is coping with the faint young sun. During the period when warmer conditions prevailed 3.5-3.8 Gy the sun's luminosity was approximately 25% less than it is today. How can we explain the presence of liquid water on the surface of Mars under such conditions? A similar problem exists for Earth, which would have frozen over under a faint sun even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Attempts to solve the "Faint Young Sun Paradox" rely on greenhouse warming from an atmosphere with a different mass and composition than we see today. This is true for both Mars and Earth. However, it is not a straightforward solution. Any greenhouse theory must (a) produce the warming and rainfall needed, (b) have a plausible source for the gases required, (c) be sustainable, and (d) explain how the atmosphere evolved to its present state. These are challenging requirements and judging from the literature they have yet to be met. In this talk I will review the large and growing body of work on the early Mars climate system. I will take a holistic approach that involves many disciplines since our goal is to present an integrated view that touches on each of the requirements listed in the preceding paragraph. I will begin with the observational evidence, which comes from the geology, mineralogy, and isotopic data. Each of the data sets presents a consistent picture of a warmer and wetter past with a thicker atmosphere. How much warmer and wetter and how much thicker is a matter of debate, but conditions then were certainly different than
Ancient ceramics are the most abundant artifacts that have been studied to improve our knowledge of past societies. Archaeological research based on the examination of ware shape, style, color, decoration and overall fabric; provide a wealth of information concerning typological and functional issues, chronology and provenance. In recent years, the characterization of ancient pottery to determine its provenance has involved the development, exploration, and testing of a large number of analytical techniques in order to compile and extract relevant compositional information. Spectroscopic and archaeomagnetic dating technique is the important scientific tool to find out the elemental analysis as well as to predict the age of the artifacts. The rich quantity of clay minerals especially iron oxides were found in bricks which help for predicting the ancient geomagnetic field intensity. In the present work, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) and archaeomagnetic dating studies have been performed on archaeological pottery samples collected from Sankari Durg archaeological site to estimate the ancient geomagnetic field intensity measurement. The mean paleointensity value of the sample is found to be 45.2 ± 0.9 μT and the estimated archaeomagnetic dating of Sankari Durg pottery samples are 18th Century; it has good agreement with the age predicted by the archaeologist. (author)
Evers, Kasper Grønlund
model is outlined which takes into account the different economic behaviours revealed by the tablets and attempts to fit them together into one coherent, economic system, whilst also relating the activities to questions of scale in the ancient economy; moreover, the conclusions drawn in the study are......, the aim is to investigate how best to comprehend the economic system attested at Vindolanda and to consider the wider implications for studies of the ancient economy in general. This is accomplished by a three-step approach: first, the nature of the Vindolandan evidence is assessed, and the state of...... research on both studies of the ancient economy and the economy of early Roman Britain is accounted for, so as to highlight the value of the Vindolanda Tablets and lay the ground for the interpretations which follow. Secondly, the economic activities attested by the tablets are analysed in terms of market...
For years, scientists have developed several new techniques to read texts of Herculaneum scrolls without destroying them. Recently, the use of a custom built high-resolution CT scanner was proposed to scan and then virtually unroll the scrolls for reading. Identification of any unique chemical signatures in the ancient ink would allow better calibration of the CT scanner to improve the chances of resolving the ink from the burned papyrus background. To support this effort, we carried out one pilot study to see whether the composition of the ink can be obtained from an ancient scroll sample using PIXE technique. PIXE data were collected and analyzed in two different regions of the ancient scroll sample (ink and blank regions). This preliminary work shows that elemental distributions from the ink used in this scroll mainly contained Al, Fe and Ti as well as minor trace amounts of Cr, Cu and Zn. (author)