miércoles, 8 de enero de 2014

El Periódico de Atapuerca nº 31 (Enero 2014)

En este periódico haremos un repaso de las acciones internacionales que la Fundación ha emprendido en los últimos meses y que pretende continuar este año. En relación a las investigaciones sobre Atapuerca, os hablaremos de tres nuevas tesis doctorales que se han presentado en la Universidad de Burgos... Ver todo

El MEH y el ILCYL celebran la 'Semana de la Ciencia' con talleres sobre los grabados y grafías

Vídeo YouTube por museoevolucionhumana el 8/01/2014

Estos talleres se celebraron del 12 al 15 de diciembre en ambos centros y fueron gratuitos. Estuvieron destinados a niños y niñas desde tercero de EPO hasta cuarto de la ESO.

En este vídeo, Andrés Abajo, monitor-educador del MEH, explica uno de los talleres diseñados con motivo de esta semana 'Paleomapas' en el que se muestran las diferentes técnicas con la que nuestros antepasados realizaron los primeros grabados.

A Missing Genetic Link in Human Evolution

 Humans have multiple copies of a gene known as SRGAP2, which is thought to be involved in brain development. Chimps and orangutans have only one copy. Dennis et al., Cell 2012 
About 8 million to 12 million years ago, the ancestor of great apes, including humans, underwent a dramatic genetic change. Small pieces of DNA replicated and spread across their resident chromosomes like dandelions across a lawn. But as these “dandelion seeds” dispersed, they carried some grass and daisy seeds — additional segments of DNA — along for the ride. This unusual pattern, repeated in different parts of the genome, is found only in great apes — bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and humans.

“I think it’s a missing piece of human evolution,” said Evan Eichler, a geneticist at the University of Washington, in Seattle. “My feeling is that these duplication blocks have been the substrate for the birth of new genes.”

Over the past few years, scientists have begun to uncover the function of a handful of genes that reside in these regions; they seem to play an important role in the brain, linked to the growth of new cells, as well as brain size and development. In September, Eichler’s team published a new technique for analyzing how these genes vary from person to person, which could shed more light on their function. [...] simonsfoundation.org

Ancient cosmetics revealed in Cyprus

Archaeologists have unearthed a unique 4,000 year-old workshop of cosmetics dating to the early Bronze Age at the Pyrgos-Mavroraki archaeologigal site in Limassol.

All previous discoveries elsewhere have been of cosmetics for personal use, head of the Italian archaeological mission working at Pyrgos, Maria Rosaria Begiorno told The Cyprus Daily.

"This is a unique discovery as in Egypt, palettes were found but they were linked to tombs and were therefore evidence that they were cosmetics for personal use."

"At Pyrgos the palettes for cosmetics were linked to a workshop which means the cosmetics were produced for sale and not for personal use. This is the most recent archaeological site at Pyrgos," she added.
"There is no evidence that the cosmetics were used in the late Bronze Age so it is believed they date around 2,000 BC in the early Bronze Age," Belgiorno explained.

The finds were presented during a seminar in Nicosia earlier this month and will appear in the prestigious Italian magazine "Archeo" in January.

Addressing the seminar entitled "Archeometry (dealing with the dating of archeological specimens) and Charm: Copper, Gender and the Music of Silk," University of Cyprus archaeology professor Demetris Michaelides described the excavations at Pyrgos as a "complete surprise."

According to a news release issued on the seminar, during the 2012 excavation season, a workshop of cosmetics, documented by the presence of 70 stone palettes to mix the ingredients, 50 pestles and ochre nuggets was found in a peculiar building, displaying an unusual inner court.

"In the same room a rare workshop for trinket jewellery made of picrolite and shell, including 37 different pieces of picrolite and 58 shells was identified."

Archeometry investigations revealed that the processed minerals and substances came from the surrounding area and that, within the limits of the samples examined, there were few ingredients coming from abroad."
The excavations have brought to light the industrial area of an Early-Middle Bronze age settlement, which was in a dominant position overlooking the village.

"In fact, the structures brought to light belong to laboratories and workshops that produced prestigious products such as perfumes, medicines, bronzes, textiles and wine," the release said. incyprus.philenews.com  (B&W3)

6000-Year-Old Skeleton Shows Woman Was Buried Pregnant in Bulgaria

January 1, 2014. Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a woman that appears to have been buried pregnant 6000 years ago.

The found – described as highly unusual - was made in a newly discovered necropolis in the famous village of Svestari in north-east Bulgaria.

A total of five skeletons were discovered in the necropolis, all of them buried in unusual position – with their legs bound and their heads facing southwards, the BGNES news agency informs.

The buried woman had exquisite pearl ornaments, according to Professor Diana Gergova, who led the dig.

Located in north-eastern Bulgaria, Razgrad region, the Sveshtari site, also known as Sboryanovo, hosts a great many remains of the Getae, a Thracian tribe whose major city of Helis is also thought to have been located nearby. novinite.com (B&W3)