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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Primates originally from Asia?

Did Primates originate in Asia and not Africa?

A Team of researchers has published a new study on the discovery of four species of anthropoid primate found in the Sahara desert. It is believed they are around 39 million years old and that it they represent the members of a primate migration from Asia. 
Dr Christopher Beard, of Carnegie Museum of Natural History and author of the new paper states in the UK's Daily Mail, "If our ideas are correct, this early colonization of Africa by anthropoids was a truly pivotal event—one of the key points in our evolutionary history.  It led to a period of flourishing evolutionary divergence amongst anthropoids, and one of those lineages resulted in humans. If our early anthropoid ancestors had not succeeded in migrating from Asia to Africa, we simply wouldn’t exist." (Source)
The three clades that the primates belonged to have not been found in early deposits in the region, despite over 100 years of dedicated fossil collection in Africa.  Thus the team feels the evidence clearly points to the recent discoveries being recent arrivals, overseas travelers from Asia. (Source)
Dr. Bear reports, "This extraordinary new fossil site in Libya shows us that 39 million years ago there was a surprising diversity of anthropoids living in Africa, whereas few if any anthropoids are known from Africa before this time. This sudden appearance of such diversity suggests that these anthropoids probably colonized Africa from somewhere else. Without earlier fossil evidence in Africa, we’re currently looking to Asia as the place where these animals first evolved." (Source)
The new study is published in Nature.
More articles:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Way back Wednesday

This week i will be looking at The stone tower Zendan e soleyman

The ruined monument which appears as a tall tower is severely damaged. It stands at a height of 14m.

Surroundings the building is a number of features and structures.

The ruins originally consisted of an almost square, 4-meter-high tower in which a single, raised room that was accessed by a projecting monumental stone staircase. 

The plaque at the site:

I hope my Way Back Wednesday was enjoyable!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Big Amber Find / Vampires / Ancient Roman Shipwreck

Prehistoric creatures discovered in huge Indian amber haul

Fossil hunters find 150kg of amber in Gujarat province containing over 700 arthropod specimens

Amber combo
Photographs: University of Bonn/David Grimaldi/AMNH
Hundreds of creatures have been found in amber (150kg) excavated in western India. These creatures include ancient bees, spiders, termites and ants etc. More than 700 arthropods have been identified.
"They are so well preserved. It's like having the complete dinosaur, not just the bones. You can see all the surface details on their bodies and wings. It's fantastic," Rust told the Guardian. The remains of two praying mantises were also found.

Michael Engel, curator of entomology at the University of Kansas, said: "What we found indicates that India was not completely isolated, even though the Cambray deposit dates from a time that precedes the slamming of India into Asia. There might have been some linkages."

Demystifying the history of vampires

The Penn Museum hosted a discussion on monsters in the Ancient World.
See article here:

Ancient Roman shipwreck

Just for illustration
A sunken warship has recently been found in the Mediterranean Sea. It might point to a major ancient battle in which Rome trounced Carthage.


Monday, October 25, 2010

CT scanning a Fossil / Tombs Discovered in Egypt

CT scan to determine outback fossil find

An Ancient fossil embedded in a rock has been found near Winton, north-west of Longreach. It is estimated at about 98 million years old.
Spokesman David Elliot says it is still determining if it could be a pterosaur, which is a flying reptile, or another animal. Mr Elliot says the bones were put through a CAT scan at Mackay's Mater Hospital and will now be digitally pieced together.

"It entails a very specific ... computer software to convert the CT scan back into digital images and then transform those images then into what the bones [are] supposed to be," he said. (Source)

Discovery of 4 300 year old tombs in Egypt

A new double tomb has been discovered in Saqqara near Cairo, it is also said to have had vivid wall paintings. The tomb also has two false doors.
Egypt's antiquities chief, Zahi Hawass, said the new finds were "the most distinguished tombs ever found from the Old Kingdom," because of their "amazing colors." He said the area, if excavated, could unveil the largest cemetery of ancient Egypt. (Source)
The paintings on the false doors identified Shendwas and Khonsu as royal scribes and "supervisors of the mission," meaning they were in charge of delegations overseeing the supply of materials used for pyramids construction. (Source)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Way back Wednesday

Today I will look at The wind catcher of "Dowlat-abad"

The city of Yazd dates back more than 3,000 years to the Median Empire. The city's name derived from Yazdegerd I, a Sassanid ruler. 

The wind tower was developed from early 'wind scoops' first built about 2,000 years ago in Iran (then Persia). The same technique can be found in examples of Persian ice houses to help control temperature.

The wind catcher of "Dowlat-abad" in Yazd, Iran, one of the tallest extant wind catchers; used in many parts of the Middle East.

The "canal" extends a long way!

Windcatchers are a common architectural feature in Yazd, owing to the extremely hot summers.

Hope you enjoyed my Way back Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ancient skeleton found in Golden shroud


An Ancient female skeleton has been found by Greek archaeologists in a 7th century grave in Crete. But what makes this skeleton so interesting is that it was found covered with more than 3000 pieces of gold foil. The foil is thought to have been sewn onto the robe.

The grave also contained a second skeleton, pottery, perfume and tons of beads. But the most significant find was a pendant in the form of a bee goddess.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Fossil Spider

Jurassic Spider

Image: Paul Selden

This find was showcased in this year’s best finds of National Fossil Day. The Spider was found in China and dates to the middle Jurassic era and was preserved in fine volcanic ash. 

Personally it gives me the creeps :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Funny Friday

Strange Ancient Fish like creature found in South Africa

The T-Rex of fish?

First off, i don't know if this a hoax played by someone, but experts are looking into it and it seems real, so hopefully we will know soon!

A strange looking fish has been found on Longbeach in Noordhoek, Cape Town, South Africa.

Prof. Paul Skelton, Director of SAIAB said he thought it was a mamal of some kind at first. It looks similar to Anarrhichthys ocellatus but is not found anywhere near South Africa.

The teeth look like some kind of predator, but at this point there are many options.

Dr. Jurie van den Heever (Paleontologist) says it might be some type of seal, but the teeth are strange. He also doesn't think it can be a fish.

Specialist are now being sought to unravel this mystery.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Way back Wednesday

Today i will be looking at my trip to The Chak Chak Zoroastrian Fire Temple!

"The village of Chak Chak, also known as Pir-e Sabz, consists of a shrine perched beneath a towering cliff face in the desert of central Iran. It is the most sacred of the Zoroastrian mountain shrines. Located near the city of Ardakan in Yazd province, Chak Chak serves as a pilgrimage point for pious Zoroastrians"

Now let me just tell you this was one hell of a climb!

Just a bit up the mountain

View from the top

Inside the Fire Temple

Me looking gloomy and the view :)

I hope everyone enjoyed this weeks Way back Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ancient invalid / Stonehenge skeleton / Trampling of Artifacts

The first known ancient invalid cared for by Hunter-gatherers

 Just for illustration

An ancient Hunchback that lived 500,000 years ago is the most elderly ancient human ever found (45 years old when died). He has been named "Elvis" after his pelvis and lower backbone were found in Spain. 
"His spine was bent forward so, to keep an upright posture, he possibly used a cane, just like elderly people today," says Alejandro BonmatĂ­ of the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. (Source)
More on this topic:

Stonehenge skeleton came from Mediterranean

It is said that the "The Boy with the Amber Necklace" (he was wearing amber beads) buried near the Stonehenge monument came from the Mediterranean. He is dated to 1,550 B.C. and believed to be from a rich family.
"The find adds considerable weight to the idea that people traveled long distances to visit Stonehenge, which must therefore have had a big reputation as a cult center," Timothy Darvill said. "Long distance travel was certainly more common at this time than we generally think." (Source)
More on this:

What happens when a Artifact gets Trampled? 

Just for illustration © Copyright Bill Boaden
Around the world, the hooves of water buffaloes, goats, and other large animals may have propelled countless Stone Age artifacts back in time, at least as far as archaeologists are concerned. In wet areas, wild or domestic animals' heavy footfalls can push stone artifacts deep into the ground, making them seem older than they really are—in some cases, thousands of years older—according to a new study. (Source)
This is fascinating! Read here how to identify such a site and all the implications of this! There is also a picture of this study in India!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dinosaurs Not So Fierce After All / Small Fossil footprints / Giant penguin fossil

New Fossil Suggests Dinosaurs Not So Fierce After All

Sarahsaurus is a genus of basal sauropodomorph dinosaur as depicted above

ScienceDaily (Oct. 5, 2010) — A new species of dinosaur discovered in Arizona suggests dinosaurs did not spread throughout the world by overpowering other species, but by taking advantage of a natural catastrophe that wiped out their competitors. (Source)
The above mentioned dinosaur species is called Sarahsaurus. Sarahsaurus was 14 feet long and lived 190 million years ago.

By looking at the Sarahsaurus species scientist maintain that:
Dinosaurs did not spread throughout the world by overpowering other species, but by taking advantage of a natural catastrophe that wiped out their competitors. (Source)
"We used to think of dinosaurs as fierce creatures that outcompeted everyone else," said Rowe. "Now we're starting to see that's not really the case. They were humbler, more opportunistic creatures. They didn't invade the neighborhood. They waited for the residents to leave and when no one was watching, they moved in." (Source)

Fossil footprints point to dainty dinos

Just for illustration - Source - Author: Jeff Kubina

In Poland tiny footprints of dinosaurs (Prorotodactylus mirus) have been found. They are believed to be the forerunners of triceratops and brontosaurus and they were four-footed. The tracks are around 249 to 251 million years old and are only two to four centimeters across and They were four-footed.


Giant penguin fossil gives evolutionary clues

Illustrations of penguin bones produced for James Hector's 1872 article on fossil penguins.
LIMA (Reuters) - The preserved feathers and scales of a giant fossilized penguin discovered on Peru's central coast provide a glimpse of Peru's Eocene period, and how the species evolved to its modern state, paleontologists say. (Source)
The ancient penguin was around 1.5 meters  and is date to 36 million years ago. The penguin was named "Inkayacu paracasensis," which means "emperor of the water" in Quechua.
"Without doubt this is the most complete specimen of ancient penguins that exists," said Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi, the lead paleontologist and the head of the University of San Marcos' Museum of Natural History in Lima. (Source)
The findings were first revealed in the September 30 issue of Science.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

quote of the day Pictures, Images and Photos

"Archaeology is the peeping Tom of the sciences. It is the sandbox of men who care not where they are going; they merely want to know where everyone else has been."
- Jim Bishop

Funny Friday

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Way back Wednesday

Today i will show some pictures i took at the glass museum in Iran. Don't ask me which one, i went to too many museums lol. But i want to share these pictures because these items are exquisite!

I wish i took pictures of each one!

Glass wide-mouthed jug
Free Blown
9th - 11th Century A.D. Gorgan

So Strange

Love this one!

I hope everyone enjoyed this weeks Way back Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fossil discovered / Pirates booty / Aryan city found

 7 year old finds dinosaur jaw bone

A 7 year old boy found a dinosaur jaw fossil from a juvenile meat-eating dinosaur at a dinosaur park. The fossil dates to around 116 million years ago. It is also significant because it is the first jawbone to be found in Maryland from a meat-eating dinosaur.
More on the subject:

Artifacts to be recovered from Blackbeard's flagship

The Capture of the Pirate Blackbeard by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1718

Archaeologists are continuing an effort recover artifacts from the wreck believed to be Blackbeard's flagship. The flagship is called Queen Anne's Revenge and was believed to have sunk in 1718 near Beaufort, N.C.

There are cannons, anchors and other artifacts that can be removed. This expedition marks the first serious excavation in two years on this ship.

More info:

Aryan city discovered in Russia  

Russian archaeologists have found 20 spiral-shaped settlements that they believe was built by the original Aryan race about 4,000 years ago. They found this in southern Siberia bordering Kazakhstan.

These settlements could house up to 2000 people, and tons of artifacts, including pottery and make-up equipment has been found.
Evidence of ritual horse burials were found at the site which ties in with ancient Aryan texts that describe the animals being sliced up and buried with their masters.

Hughes, a visiting research fellow at King's College London, said that "ancient Indian texts and hymns describe sacrifices of horses and burials and the way the meat is cut off and the way the horse is buried with its master".

"If you match this with the way the skeletons and graves are being dug up in Russia, they are a millimetre-perfect match." (Source)
More info:

Read more at:

Monday, October 4, 2010

A new statue of Amenhotep III found

No the statue that was found

Amenhotep III was Tutankhamun's grandfather and a statue of him has been found on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt at the pharoah's mortuary temple.

The statue is around 3,400 years old and made of limestone. Amenhotep III is depicted wearing the double crown of Egypt and sitting next to the god Amun.