viernes, 4 de marzo de 2016

Hace miles de años un pequeño venado isleño de Panamá fue cazado hasta su extinción

Bones of dwarf deer show butchering marks. Credit STRI

Hace unos 8,500 años, las Islas de las Perlas en Panamá se aislaron del continente cuando el nivel del mar se elevó, debido a que los casquetes polares se derritieron al final de la última edad de hielo. Un reciente estudio realizado por un equipo arqueológico que incluye un científico del Smithsonian muestra que miles de años después, en una isla llamada Pedro González, los colonos precolombinos cazaron hasta su extinción a un venado enano que la habitaba.

Los primeros colonos indígenas llegaron a la isla de 14 hectáreas por mar hace 6,200 años. Permanecieron por un máximo de ocho siglos, cultivando maíz y tubérculos. También se dedicaron a la pesca, la colecta de frutos de palma y mariscos, además de la caza de venados, zarigüeyas, ñeques, iguanas y culebras de gran tamaño - los principales depredadores. [...] EurekAlert!

Link 2: Tiny island deer in Panama hunted to extinction thousands of years ago | EurekAlert!
As polar ice caps melted at the end of the last Ice Age about 8,500 years ago, the global sea level rose and Panama's Pearl Islands were isolated from the mainland. A new archaeological study by a team including a Smithsonian scientist shows that several thousand years later pre-Columbian colonists hunted a dwarf deer to extinction on an island called Pedro González... 

Hunting weapons made from BONES found in Chinese cave

The ability of our ancestors to create their own tools was thought to be one of the key skills that set us apart from other early human species, and the rest of the animal kingdom.

Now some of the oldest sophisticated bone tools to be discovered outside Africa have been unearthed in a cave in China.

The sharp points, awls, harpoons and wedges were carefully carved out of bone up to 35,000 years ago.

They are helping to provide new insights into the technology used by stone age humans as they colonised the globe.

Archaeologists discovered the 17 exquisitely carved and polished tools at a Palaeolithic site known as Ma'anshan Cave close to Zunyi city in Guizhou province in southern China.

The tools appear to have been made over a period dating from between 35,000 years ago to 18,000 years ago, charting the changes in technology and the food the people who created them were eating.

Among them were six spear points dated to around 34,000 years ago which may have been used for hunting animals.

However, several barbed points, which were likely to be harpoons, were found in deposits dating to between 23,000 and 18,000 years ago, suggesting they switched to a diet which included fish.

Dr Shuangquan Zhang, a palaeontologist at the Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who led the research, said the harpoons were the oldest to be found outside Africa. [...] Daily Mail Online

Reference: Shuangquan Zhang et al. Ma'anshan cave and the origin of bone tool technology in China, Journal of Archaeological Science (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2015.11.004

Link 3: Las herramientas de hueso de Cueva Ma’anshan (China) hace entre 35.000 y 18.000 años
Las herramientas sobre hueso, en función de los hallazgos que conocemos, son un desarrollo más o menos tardío, que apenas se conoce fuera de África, y dentro de ella se le atribuye una antigüedad de unos 45.000 años. Los investigadores de Cueva Ma’anshan, en el sureste de China, acaban de presentar el estudio de un repertorio de 17 herramientas con diferentes acabados, y una antigüedad de entre 35.000 y 18.000 años, que incluye las puntas con aletas más antiguas conocidas fuera de África. El repertorio muestra una riqueza evolutiva que la industria lítica de los yacimientos paleolíticos chinos no refleja...

Austria to reconstruct Stonehenge as part of an exhibition

The 4000-year-old monument, the purpose and construction of which has baffled scientists for centuries, is being reconstructed to scale in MAMUZ Museum Mistelbach in Lower Austria.

Although it is not know for sure how the original stones - some weighing up to 50 tonnes - were moved from locations around Britain to the site in Wiltshire, west of London, researchers have suggested it would have taken hundreds of men and a complicated rope pulley system.

In 2016, Austrian researcher opted for a more up-to-date solution and re-constructed the site using 3D laser technology.

Visitors will be able to get up close and personal with the seven-metre-tall stones and even touch them, an experience that has been banned at the original Stonehenge due to fears that it would destroy the monument.

The exhibit, which opens March 20th, will also feature information about discoveries made in Lower Austria that archaeologists have described as much earlier versions of Stonehenge, which show how the region transitioned between the Stone and Bronze ages. [...] The Local

Rock Art Reveals Prehistoric ‘Serengeti’ in the Caucasus

An auroch, or extinct wild ox, scraped into the limestone of Gobustan National Park. Photograph by Paul Salopek
When aurochs moved across the plains and "talking" drums rang out.

Paul Salopek is walking the global trail of the first humans who migrated out of Africa in the Stone Age. His continuous 21,000-mile foot journey, called the “Out of Eden Walk,” is recorded in dispatches... (Audio) Out Of Eden Walk

Related post

What these ancient statuettes of obese people say about Paleo diets

Venus of Willendorf. Wikimedia Commons

Long celebrated as one of the oldest known works of art, the "Venus of Willendorf," provokes a sense of wonder: How did the Stone Age sculptor render obesity that was so life-like?

While other ancient artifacts are mere stick figures or stylized images, the Venus of Willendorf, believed to be more than 28,000 years old, gives people the sense that it was drawn from real life. So, too, do other figurines of obese women recovered from Paleolithic sites.

"She has a quite unformalized vitality," the archaeologist and historian Nancy Sandars wrote in her book, Prehistoric Art in Europe of the Venus of Willendorf. "She does not impress us as an abstraction, an idea, or ideal of the female and the fecund; rather one feels in spite of facelessness and gross exaggeration, that this is actual woman."

In an era when countless advocates of a "Paleo" diet argue that the Paleolithic way of life was optimized for human health, it's worth wondering what these figurines are telling us: Could some of the "cavemen" have been fat?

To be sure, no one knows why these images were carved. Were they related to fertility gods or beliefs, as some have suggested? A hope for plentiful food? Or are they, as some have proposed, a form of Paleo porn? The answers so far seem to be a matter of speculation. But whatever the purpose of the figurines, their anatomical correctness indicates that the sculptors must have seen fat people, some experts say, meaning that obesity was not unknown to the Paleolithic peoples, however harsh their lives may have been in general. [...] The Washington Post

Contenido relacionado: PaleoVenus