Tag Archives | Archaeology

9-Foot ‘Butcher Crocodile’ Likely Ruled Before Dinosaurs

A life reconstruction of the giant crocodile ancestor (Carnufex carolinensis) that lived some 231 million years ago in what is now North Carolina. Credit: Copyright Jorge Gonzales. Open access

A life reconstruction of the giant crocodile ancestor (Carnufex carolinensis) that lived some 231 million years ago in what is now North Carolina.
Credit: Copyright Jorge Gonzales. Open access

Bad. Ass.

Jeanna Bryner via Live Science:

A 9-foot-tall beast with bladelike teeth once stalked the warm and wet environs of what is now North Carolina some 230 million years ago, before dinosaurs came onto the scene there, scientists have found.

Now called Carnufex carolinensis, the crocodile ancestor likely walked on its hind legs, preying on armored reptiles and early mammal relatives in its ecosystem, the researchers say.

They named it Carnufex, meaning “butcher” in Latin, because of its long skull, which resembles a knife, and its bladelike teeth, which it likely used to slice flesh off the bones of prey, said lead study author Lindsay Zanno, of NC State University and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. “‘Butcher’ seemed a very appropriate way to get that into the minds of people,” Zanno told Live Science in an interview.

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Arabic Engraved Ring Found in Viking Grave

Viking-Islamic-Ring

A ring found in a 9th century grave in Birka, Sweden (home to a Viking trading center) suggests that Vikings had contact with Islamic civilizations. The silver ring, found in a Viking woman’s grave, has a beautiful violet-colored glass gem engraved with “To Allah” or “For Allah” in Arabic. “Ancient texts mention contact between Scandinavians and members of Islamic civilization, but such archaeological evidence is rare.”

h/t Boing Boing.

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Mystery UFO-like Disc Found in Russia

via News.com.au:

Coal miners claim to have discovered a bizarre flying saucer while completing excavation work in Siberia’s Kuznetsk Basin, Russia.

Almost perfectly circular in shape with a diameter of 1.2 metres and weighing roughly 200kg, the unusual object was found hidden 40 metres underground.

Given the position of the finding, it is suggested the object may be older than mammoth bones, which have been discovered in the same location at a depth of 25 metres.

Excavator Boris Glazkov, 40, who found the object, said it stood out because of its distinctive shape and size.

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h/t Unexplained Mysteries.

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Prehistoric High Times: Early Humans Used Magic Mushrooms, Opium

Sonja (CC BY 2.0)

Sonja (CC BY 2.0)

By Agata Blaszczak-Boxe via LiveScience:

Opium, “magic” mushrooms and other psychoactive substances have been used since prehistoric times all over the world, according to a new review of archaeological findings.

The evidence shows that people have been consuming psychoactive substances for centuries, or even millennia, in many regions of the world, said Elisa Guerra-Doce, an associate professor of prehistory at the University of Valladolid in Spain, who wrote the review.

Guerra-Doce’s previous research showed the use of psychoactive substances in prehistoric Eurasia. The new review “brings together data related to the early use of drug plants and fermented beverages all over the world,” Guerra-Doce told Live Science.

For example, the evidence shows that people have been chewing the leaves of a plant called the betel since at least 2660 B.C., according to Guerra-Doce’s report. The plant contains chemicals that have stimulant- and euphoria-inducing properties, and these days is mostly consumed in Asia.

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Decoding the Antikythera Mechanism, the First Computer

"NAMA Machine d'Anticythère 1". Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Antikythera mechanism (Fragment A – front)
NAMA Machine d’Anticythère 1“. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

By Jo Marchant via Smithsonian.com:

After 2,000 years under the sea, three flat, misshapen pieces of bronze at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens are all shades of green, from emerald to forest. From a distance, they look like rocks with patches of mold. Get closer, though, and the sight is stunning. Crammed inside, obscured by corrosion, are traces of technology that appear utterly modern: gears with neat triangular teeth (just like the inside of a clock) and a ring divided into degrees (like the protractor you used in school). Nothing else like this has ever been discovered from antiquity. Nothing as sophisticated, or even close, appears again for more than a thousand years.

For decades after divers retrieved these scraps from the Antikythera wreck from 1900 to 1901, scholars were unable to make sense of them.

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Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Known Gospel

This mummy mask was one of the masks that the researchers took apart to reveal ancient papyri. This mummy mask is similar to the one that contained the first century gospel fragment. Credit: Courtesy of Prof. Craig Evans

This mummy mask was one of the masks that the researchers took apart to reveal ancient papyri. This mummy mask is similar to the one that contained the first century gospel fragment.
Credit: Courtesy of Prof. Craig Evans

Owen Jarus writes at LiveScience:

A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published.

At present, the oldest surviving copies of the gospel texts date to the second century (the years 101 to 200).

This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy. Although the mummies of Egyptian pharaohs wore masks made of gold, ordinary people had to settle for masks made out of papyrus (or linen), paint and glue.

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Grimerica Continues Talking with Randall Carlson; Sacred Geometry, Catastrophism, and More

Via SacredGeometryInternational.com and Grimerica.ca

Randall_Profile_Meme
Randall Carlson is back in Grimerica to once again smash your paradigm with sacred geometry, catastrophist theories, renegade scholarship and much much more. He’s on the quest for the Cosmic Grail.

It is the mission of Sacred Geometry International and The Cosmographic Research Institute to investigate and document the catastrophic history of the world and the evidence for advanced knowledge in earlier cultures; through educational programs to advance a deeper understanding of the implications of this knowledge for both past and the future of planet Earth and Human civilization upon it; and to promote strategies for successfully coping with the inevitable change that is to come.

The guys chat about alternative history – ancient archaeology pre and post ice age. And what a delicate culture we really are with the potential catastrophe via natural planetary disaster or asteroid impact. Throw in a little bit of sacred geometry and anti Al Gorian climate change talk.… Read the rest

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Archaeoastronomy: The Stars and the Stones

SeAnAm

[disinfo ed.’s note: Excerpted from Secrets of Ancient America: Archaeoastronomy and the Legacy of the Phoenicians, Celts, and Other Forgotten Explorers by Carl Lehrburger]

Archaeo—What?

Even though astrology and astronomy were essentially the same discipline in ancient Egypt, Greece, and India, they have since the eighteenth century come to be regarded as completely separate fields. Today, astronomy is the study of objects and phenomena originating outside of Earth and is considered a scientific discipline. On the other hand, astrology uses the apparent positions of celestial objects as the basis for psychological experiences, the prediction of future events, and other esoteric knowledge. While the most important astronomers before Isaac Newton were professional astrologers (including Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei), interest in astrology declined after Newton with the rise of the Cartesian “mechanistic” outlook during the Enlightenment.*

*The term Cartesian is derived from the Latin form of Descartes, and it refers to the philosophy of the seventeenth-century philosopher Rene Descartes (1596–1650).… Read the rest

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Million-Mummy Cemetery Unearthed in Egypt

This image is of a child, around 18 months old, who was wrapped in a tunic and buried with a necklace and two bracelets on each arm. The jewelry makes the team think that the mummy is a girl but they cannot be sure. Credit: Photo courtesy Professor Kerry Muhlestein

This image is of a child, around 18 months old, who was wrapped in a tunic and buried with a necklace and two bracelets on each arm. The jewelry makes the team think that the mummy is a girl but they cannot be sure.
Credit: Photo courtesy Professor Kerry Muhlestein

via Live Science:

TORONTO — She’s literally one in a million.

The remains of a child, laid to rest more than 1,500 years ago when the Roman Empire controlled Egypt, was found in an ancient cemetery that contains more than 1 million mummies, according to a team of archaeologists from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

The cemetery is now called Fag el-Gamous, which means “Way of the Water Buffalo,” a title that comes from the name of a nearby road. Archaeologists from Brigham Young University have been excavating Fag el-Gamous, along with a nearby pyramid, for about 30 years.

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Amphibious Ichthyosaur Fossil Found in China Fills Evolutionary “Missing Link”

Ichthyosaur-fossil

via Inhabitat:

A team in China led by researchers from the University of California, Davis have discovered the first fossil of an amphibious ichthyosaur. Ichthyosaurs were dolphin-like marine reptiles that thrived for around 150 million years during the Age of the Dinosaurs. The discovery dates to the Lower Triassic period and marks the creature’s transition from land back to the sea. As the first evidence linking the marine ichthyosaur to its terrestrial ancestors it fills a significant gap in the fossil record.

The discovery of the fossil, named Cartorhynchus lenticarpus, is described in a paper recently published in the journal Nature. The fossil is about 248 million years old and measures roughly 16 inches (40 cm) long. UC Davis professor Ryosuke Motani and his colleagues discovered the specimen in China’s central-eastern Anhui Province. Unlike the later ichthyosaurs that were fully adapted to living in the sea, the fossil has unusually large flippers with flexible wrists, which could have allowed it to move around on land like a seal.

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