martes, 5 de julio de 2016

Una investigación se centrará en el papel del Homo antecessor en la evolución

Ilustración de un 'antecessor' en el libro 'El chico de la Gran Dolina'.

04/07/2016 / EFE.- La Fundación Caja Rural Burgos financiará un proyecto de investigación del Equipo Atapuerca que podría permitir aclarar el mapa evolutivo europeo y la función en el mismo del Homo antecessor, desde el punto de vista de posible ancestro común del sapiens y el neandertal.

Con una dotación de 14.000 euros, la financiación viene de la mano de un convenio de colaboración firmado hoy con la Fundación Atapuerca, gracias al cual se concederá una beca a la doctora Laura Martín-Francés.

La investigadora del Equipo Atapuerca trabaja en un estudio sobre la proporción de los tejidos dentales en la especie Homo antecesor, cuyas conclusiones pueden arrojar luz al mapa evolutivo europeo.

La directora del proyecto, la doctora María Martinón-Torres, ha asegurado que el estudio consolida una línea de investigación muy novedosa, al analizar fósiles con técnicas no destructivas.

Sin embargo, lo más destacable de la investigación es que podría contribuir a responder preguntas universales sobre la humanidad.

Y es que Martinón-Torres ha afirmado que tienen una oportunidad "única" para ratificar que en el yacimiento de Gran Dolina está el mejor candidato posible del ancestro común de sapiens y neandertal.

Laura Martín-Francés ha recordado que ahora se sabe que el grosor de los tejidos dentales es específico de cada especie.

De este modo, al analizar los fósiles de antecessor localizado en Gran Dolina no solo se caracterizará una especie, sino que se podrán establecer comparaciones con otras especies homo. Martín-Francés espera poder "aclarar" el mapa evolutivo europeo después de que el ADN nuclear hallado en Atapuerca, con 430.000 años de antigüedad haya vuelto a poner al Homo antessor en el "juego" de la evolución como ese posible ancestro común.

Gibraltar. Neanderthal research to bring more archaeological students from UK

Gorham cave

Eyleen Sheil. A new research collaboration agreement with the Gibraltar Museum and the Liverpool John Moores University will mean more archaeological students from UK will be able to work on the annual digs at Gorham’s and Vanguard caves. Making the announcement on site yesterday, Professor Clive Finlayson, together with senior lecturer from the university Dr Richard Jennings, said archaeological students will now have the opportunity to visit Gibraltar more frequently and both study and assist, in the work undertaken in the Neanderthal complex of caves.

Speaking to the media during this year’s visit to the site, Professor Finlayson, highlighted the latest artefacts discovered by the team dating back around 48,000 years ago including tools as well as evidence of shellfish being cooked by the Neanderthal’s in Vanguard’s Cave.

The reporters were also able to see at first hand the latest safety measures being introduced in order to access the area. Towards the middle of the month Gibraltar will know whether its ‘Gibraltar Neanderthal Caves and Environment’ bid for UNESCO World Heritage status has been successful. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee meets in Istanbul as from next week... (Print) Gibraltar Chronicle

Related post (2015)

Actualización: Gorham’s Cave Neanderthal ‘Barbecue’ Revealed In Striking Detail
Picture the scene: around 48,000 years ago, a small group of Neanderthals sought refuge in Gorham’s Cave on the eastside of the Rock. With them, they brought the day’s kill: an Ibex.

They butchered the beast with sharp stone tools and placed chunks of meat on a small fire fuelled by wood and pine cones.

While they waited for the fire to get going, they sharpened their tools, ready for another hunt, another mammal carcass that needs carving. A later visit would see them feast on a rabbit. Welcome to the Neanderthal barbecue…

The traces left by such a scene – bones, flints and a clear layer of charcoal sediment – have now been unearthed in Gorham’s Cave at the start of the Gibraltar Museum’s dig season.

Professor Clive Finlayson says he is amazed by the how well preserved this latest find is, revealing a level of detail which is rarely encountered...

Evidence of trepanation found in 7,000 year old skull from Sudan

1/4. he grave of a man subjected to trepanation. Photo: M. Jórdeczka
One of the oldest known cases of trepanation of the skull in North East Africa - about seven thousand years ago - discovered Poznań archaeologists working in Sudan. The research project leader Dr. Maciej Jórdeczka told PAP about the discovery.

29.06.2016. The discovery was made during excavations in the Neolithic settlement (V-IV millennium BC) in Omdurman in Sudan.

"The dead were then buried within the settlement - it was a widely practiced custom" - told PAP Dr. Maciej Jórdeczka from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) PAS in Poznań.

Trepanation is a procedure consisting in making a hole in the skull for medical or magical-religious purposes. Scientists are not able to clearly determine why the procedure had been performed on the person, whose remains they found during excavation. The hole in the skull in this instance was circular, with a diameter of approx. 2 cm.

Surprise for the scientists was "advanced" age of the deceased: 55-65 years. The average age 7 thousand years ago in Sudan it was in fact much lower. Hardly anyone lived to such "venerable" age - experts note. [...] Science & Scholarship in Poland / Link 2 

Actualización: Caso de trepanación con 7000 años de antigüedad en Sudán | Arqueología Paleorama en Red
Se ha descubierto uno de los casos más antiguos conocidos de trepanación en el cráneo al norte del África Oriental. Los restos de unos 7000 años de antigüedad fueron descubiertos por arqueólogos polacos del Instituto de Arqueología y Etnología PAS (IAE) que trabajan en Sudán. Suponen que los conocimientos médicos en esta zona debieron ser avanzados para la época porque una de la mayores sorpresas para los investigadores ha sido la "avanzada" edad de los difuntos, que en muchos casos alcazaban los 65 años, algo nada común para el Neolítico... 

Denmark. Rock art in the Bornholm is older than previously thought

2/3. Stone decorated with recesses - carvings were made 5 thousand years ago. Photo by Bartłomiej Kurda
Rock art on the island of Bornholm is older than previously thought - indicate discoveries made during the June excavations of Warsaw archaeologists in the sun temple in Vasagard. 

22.06.2016. The enthusiasm of archaeologists was triggered by the discovery of a small stone with a series of carved flat recesses.

"This completely changes the existing theories about the rock engravings on the island of Bornholm" - told PAP Anna Bucholc, research project participant from the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Warsaw (IA UW). Until now it was thought that such manifestations of art appeared a thousand years later. Meanwhile, the unusually decorated object comes from the Neolithic period, i.e. approx. 5 thousand years ago.

Bornholm is the only place with such accumulation of rock engravings, which are attributed to the Bronze Age and dated to more than 3-4 one thousand years ago - archaeologists believe. Recent excavations of Polish archaeologists moved the history further back. Now researchers are trying to properly document the important discoveries. On their basis, head of 3D Scanners Lab at IA UW Marta Bura develops the methodology that will contribute to recording similar findings. [...] Science & Scholarship in Poland / Link 2