History In the News - Part IX
Melde dich bei LibraryThing an, um Nachrichten zu schreiben.
Dieses Thema ruht momentan. Die letzte Nachricht liegt mehr als 90 Tage zurück. Du kannst es wieder aufgreifen, indem du eine neue Antwort schreibst.
Ancient patches of a giant seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea are now considered the oldest living organism on Earth after scientists dated them as up to 200,000 years old....
Not a great write-up from a science POV, but this is the Telegraph, after all.
High-resolution genome sequence of ancient human ancestor released online
I don't know if this is truly 'ancient' history. I suppose it depends on how accurate the research is. But Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech has been publishing papers and now a book about "drawn from 16 years of research, revealing a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks."
Much like the experience of Wehr's subjects, these references describe a first sleep which began about two hours after dusk, followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.
Needless to say, I'm way too old to get by on only 4 hrs.
edited because I just noticed that I typed 'to' instead of 'too'. A mistake I abhor and deplore.
In the winter time, that is from the Calends of November until Easter, the sisters shall rise at what is calculated to be the eighth hour of the night, so that they may sleep somewhat longer than half the night and rise with their rest completed. And the time that remains after the Night Office should be spent in study by those sisters who need a better knowledge of the Psalter or the lessons.Of course, in their practice, there was no "second" sleep, as the time between the night office and matins was taken up with individual prayer, etc.
From Easter to the aforesaid Calends of November, the hour of rising should be so arranged that the Morning Office, which is to be said at daybreak, will follow the Night Office after a very short interval, during which they may go out for the necessities of nature. (From http://www.osb.org/rb/text/rbefjo1.html#chap8)
9>>Feicht, do you notice a change in productivity levels if you are on a mini-sleep regimen?
btw Josh, I am THE-pam, not the "a" Pam :p
(The little one is the male)
Anywho, I think when I do the "mini-sleeps", i.e. two in one night, I actually end up being less productive overall, because it leads to me waking up later into the day, and I tend to be most productive early in the morning.
Am I seeing text on it?
The DailyMail has a description here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2108250/Mystery-remarkable-2-600-...
Peacocks, lions and snakes... oh my!
They are talking about it as if it was actually used. And I thought it was interesting that it was apparently hammered out of a single sheet of metal and then gold plated. A lack of seams I suppose would mean that it was stronger.
I'd love to watch one of these helmets made. I assume it would involve more than one artisan.
And from Fox News...
All hail the new king: New ancient Egyptian pharaoh discovered... Senakht-en-Re!!!
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/08/all-hail-new-king-new-king-ancient-egy...
"Although we still do not know exactly where they came from, we do know that the Red Deer Cave people survived until relatively recently. Some of the newly described fossils are just 11,500 years old, suggesting that unlike Neanderthals they made it through the height of the last ice age."
The recent dates of these folk is staggering. It may well be that only a few tens of thousands of years ago, we had five species of hominid roaming the Earth. H. sapiens, Neanderthal, Denisovans, H. floresiensis, and now Red Deer Cavers. Well, the Flores folk didn't exactly roam...
To be accurate, no one is ready to pronounce these people a new species. Many paleoanthropologists think it's likely these findings have been overhyped and that they are variant group of Homo sapient.
Brief snippet about the Swiss Füllinsdorf Hoard, a cache of Celtic coins plowed up in some farmer's field. As a hopeless nerd who is fascinated by things like Mediterranean contact with the "indigenous peoples" in ancient Europe, I've always found things like this interesting, for instance how Celtic coins were usually made with Greek writing, including Greek inflectional endings on the names of local chieftains.
And no, I have no date for this Saturday night, but thanks for asking ;-P
Cross-cultural contacts are fascinating to me too
"I've always found things like this interesting, for instance how Celtic coins were usually made with Greek writing, including Greek inflectional endings on the names of local chieftains. "
Never knew that. Wow.
And yeah Stellar, I guess it makes a certain sort of sense when you think about it. Just like there are examples of Native Americans aping certain aspects of Euro-culture they were confronted with along the frontier, the "barbarians" kind of did the same with the Mediterraneans'. Not having a literate tradition themselves, they apparently copied what they came in contact with. As far as I know, Greek was more prevalent, but 1) I could be wrong... haha, though 2) it would make sense since Greeks were early traders up the rivers into Gaul, and I'd imagine by the time the Romans made sufficient inroads, the Greek alphabet was already a standard of sorts (even among the Romans, to a certain extent), and well, the Romans were busy incorporating them into provinces rather than trading, so by definition they weren't really "barbarians" in the classic sense anymore, and would be using Roman currency with Roman consuls/emperors on it now, as opposed to local Celtic chieftains (though I'm sure this could vary on a case by case basis).
Anywho, I shall now retire to the nerdery, where we nerds do our nerding.
Remember that there were Greek settlements in southern Gaul, chief of them Massalia/Massila/Marseille, long before the Romans amounted to anything much.
Who knows how different history *may* have turned out of the Celts had developed their own literary society before large-scale Roman intrusion; but as it stands now, quite a bit of what we know about them 1) has to be inferred from later Celtic societies that DID write things down, 2) gleaned through what contemporary literary societies--Greeks and Romans--said ABOUT them, or 3) the spotty record of archaeology.
Understaement of the week. What a discovery!
I'm having a little difficulty with this. As I understand it, people (or horse-using culture) moved into new areas with domesticated mares, turned them loose into wild herds to breed, then cut them and their foals back out of the wild herds. It sounds a pretty difficult way of going about it. Anybody here have any experience of interacting with herds of truly wild horses?
I saw a piece on telly, a week or so back, about capturing and moving a herd of British wild ponies. That was a pretty difficult undertaking: lots of manpower, the ponies - certainly more familiar with humans than the ancient herds - were pretty jumpy and elusive, and they were capturing the whole herd - not trying to separate just one or two from the main herd, which must conflict with the animals' basic instincts.
"By scaling up the digestive wind of cows, they estimate ..."
Obvious question - to which I don't know the answer: how much methane do cows produce compared to wild animals eating their natural food in their natural habitat?
ETA - That cloud of dust immediately behind the brontosaurus in the headline picture ... um ... seems a bit Rabelaisian for the BBC ... I suppose it could be caused by it shuffling its feet ...
No releasing domesticated mares into the wild in the hope of later tracking down mother horse and foal. That would be quite cumbersome.
Not that catching wild mares would be such an easy thing to do though.
Which wild animals? You'll get different results if you compare domestic cattle to wild cattle or to kangaroos, and you'll get different results again if your domestic cattle are grazed on the pampas or industrially fed.
There is no guarantee the same herbivore biomass results in the same methane production. It depends on the particular herbivores concerned and on the plants they eat. And of course, we don't know if herbivore biomass in the late Jurassic was similar to today's. The estimate in the article is a wild guess.
If you integrate, say, 3-4 wild mares into a domestic herd of 15-20 they will gradually adopt the characteristics of the domestic animals. Not completely - you wouldn't be able to ride one and it would be some time before you could get close enough to physically handle them but they'll take their cue from the herd, become desensitized to Human contact and fit in reasonably well after a few weeks - a few months at most.
The one exception to the above would be if one of the wild mares established herself as the dominant female. Then you'd have a problem and you better get rid of her. Highly unlikely this would happen though. Even a naturally dominant animal will usually behave submissively in a new environment and once the pecking order's established it takes quite a bit to change it substantially.
A friend of a friend of mine (the latter being an animal trainer) had been boarding wild mustangs on her farm. The owners stopped paying board, essentially abandoning them. She was stuck with horses she couldn't catch and couldn't handle. She couldn't even get close enough to read their brands, much less give them hoof care and other things they needed. My friend Claire the trainer suggested clicker training them. With much skepticism, she started working with a clicker. In a surprisingly short amount of time, she was able to not only approach them, but to halter them.
It also turned out, once she could get close enough to find the identifying marks and contact BOM, that the owners who had abandoned them had them illegally.
Anyway, besides the fact that I think Claire is a clicker genius, it would suggest that with the right approach wild horses could be integrated into a domestic setting easier than one might think.
Cambridge University archaeologists today (May 10) announced the discovery of a previously unknown 2,500-year-old language in Turkey – as reported in CWA 50.
It also makes me think about how--despite what a force in European history they were--we really don't know much about ancient Celtic/Gallic languages, for very similar reasons; we know a few words here and there and some names transliterated into Greek/Latin on coins, but that's about it..... even though these were the people who sacked Delphi, colonized the Anatolian interior, and brought early Rome to its knees, influencing its "barbarian policy" for the next 600 years or so.
It isn't just one of those 1000 word "blips" you get from discovery.com; a handful of real experts were interviewed to weigh in on the matter, including one of my personal favorites, David Anthony. Definitely worth the time to read!
Still a bunch of stuff out there waiting to be found/refound/catalogued.
This article is, I think, more fair:
Of course we can't absolutely rule out some Roman sailing to Japan - or vice versa - but we shouldn't start speculating on "lack of evidence - so maybe - you never know". Let's leave that to the Dan Brown's of this planet.
(And that coming form me. I'm currently reading the Oera Linda book which "clearly explains" how almost all civilization started with the Frisians. I bet none of you guys would have guessed that the etymology of Neptune would lead to an ancient sea-king nicknamed "Neef Theunis" (Cousin Tony). Sheesh, what a load of crock, but highly amusing.)
It's known that goods moved back and fore between Rome and China along the Silk Road. I'd assume Roman goods would be rarer in ancient Japan because of the greater distance, but, given the contacts between Japan and China, would the presence of Roman goods in ancient Japan really be that surprising, especially in high-status burials?
Oh, definitely - so intriguing. I'd love to be able to go back in time and find out what the owners actually believed about the origins of these 'exotic' objects. I imagine there'd have been a fair amount of myth-making involved as they passed from hand to hand across the vast distances.
How limited we are not to have the science fiction writer's array of tools: I'd be in a time machine looking around for myself!
And this is just the literary record; who even knows what the people themselves sounded like, so chances are that even as late as Shakespeare, a modern observer would have a good deal of difficulty in processing what the hell people in the street were saying.
Of course, all this just makes me want to time-travel EVEN MORE :-D
First paragraph of the entry for "Salzburg" in German vs. Bavarian:
Die Stadt Salzburg liegt an der Salzach mitten im Salzburger Becken. Sie ist die Landeshauptstadt des gleichnamigen Bundeslandes und mit 148.000 Einwohnern nach Wien, Graz und Linz die viertgrößte Stadt Österreichs. Der Nordwesten der Statutarstadt Salzburg grenzt an Freilassing im Freistaat Bayern, das übrige Stadtgebiet an den Bezirk Salzburg-Umgebung.
Såizburg (Hochdeitsch: Salzburg) is de Hauptståd vo dem östareichischn Bundeslånd, wås à Såizburg hàßt. Gemeinsåm mid'n Bezirk Såizburg-Umgéwung is's da Flåchgau, da nördlichste vo de fünf Gaue vom Lånd Såizburg. In da Ståd Såizburg wohnan 147.571 Leid (Stånd vom 1. Jänna 2010); damid is s'de viertgresste Ståd vo Östareich (nåch Wean, Gràz und Linz). In da gånzn Stådregion (Agglomarazion) sand's zirka 210.000 Leid.
I guess if you don't know German it's not as obvious, but they both say pretty much the same thing... it's just that the latter is spelled more how southern people talk.... and therefore is a lot more difficult to understand :-D
(In my native Swedish, it sounds like High German 'o'.)
Sounds just like home. I've given up on even trying to spell Dutch officially correct in 1997 (which wasn't the last reform either - argh). I'll do with the rules I was taught as a kid.
Dutch has changed more than German though, because c. 1950 we decided to do away with most of the case and gender related language problems.
And by the way, is there some kind of rule that you guys all have to be accomplished linguists? It seemed like everywhere I went, everyone spoke at least 3 other languages. I distinctly remember visiting the Valkhof museum in Nijmegen, and after a pathetic sounding "goedendag" at the service desk, I told the guy (in English) that I needed one student price ticket, or whatever. He responds in exquisite American English that he just needs to see my student identification card if I have one. So I hand him my Uni Salzburg ID card, and he without missing a beat resumes the transaction in perfect Hochdeutsch. My head was still spinning from all this as I thanked him and walked away, and the two old French people from the line behind me start asking the same guy a bunch of stuff in French, which he apparently understood because he was speaking French back to them, haha....
Anyway, not quite sure how it works now, but back when we all had Dutch, English, French and German in high school - plus in my case Latin and ancient Greek. And when I became an art history student I was obliged to also learn Middle Dutch and Italian. Needless to say, not everybody did those subjects with the same amount of success though.
(And please note: in my case most of these got rusty through lack of use).
Oh and speaking of linguistic fun, I just got this from a friend who will be teaching English in Austria this fall:
It's a list of sentences with English homophones/homonyms which is probably a good test of one's English-fluency... even though I had to stop and think about a couple of them for a second haha :-D
I suspect this is so, but the publishers are marketing them a little differently.
You guys know me by now. Yes: I'm academically
But grammar and syntax are pretty much the same, only simpler from the English language perspective - since we mostly did away with cases and genders and all that.
P.s.: And, if you wish, you have a native speaker willing to try to help you out.
I was thinking of auditing a Dutch class at Minnesota if they let me. I just kind of figured starting out at "Dutch for Beginners" would bore the everliving piss out of me. Hell, even Russian 101 was mostly pointless for me because so much of the first semester was just teaching Americans what a grammatical case is, plus the alphabet, but I pretty much had it down from the start because of Greek.
I'd thought of just emailing the Dutch professor and asking her (in German) if she thought I could skip ahead to 300-level Dutch, and see what happens :-P
But yeah, I know what you mean about words with shifted meaning, and false cognates and all that. One of our favorites in Austria was how "Gift" in German means "poison" instead of... you know... "gift"; going the other way, "bekommen" means like "to receive", as opposed to "to become". Most awesome of all, I probably heard Austrians (in English) talk about "becoming a gift" (i.e. for X-mas) at least half a dozen times Mind = blown:-D
Of course for the Americans, in some situations, knowing other English dialects or older English could help with this problem. For instance the German verb "finden": it can mean "to find" as in like, discovering something, but more often it had more of the meaning of like... well I can't think of a good way to explain it! haha... almost like, you'd use it to ask if something was pleasing to you, as in "How did you find your stay here at our hotel?", and Germans/Austrians use it that way in English too, since it's interchangeable with German in that instance. But Americans don't really say that, so if you have a Tirolean asking you in a heavy accent "How did you find our town?", my first instinct was always "Um, with a map..."
Anywho, enough linguistic jibberjabber... this has nothing to do with the news, haha...
Ancient life-size lion statues baffle scientists: 5-ton pieces were created between 1400 and 1200 B.C. in Turkey — but why?
It's fascinating, but a bit daunting, to know I'm trying to get my head around stuff that is still very much up in the air. Tommy Lee Jones keeps buzzing round my head - "Imagine what you'll know tomorrow" - um ...
If reported correctly, “For half of Africa we really have no fossil record to speak of, so I think it’s quite likely there were surviving archaic forms living alongside modern humans.” makes me shudder though. "Quite likely", on the basis of lack of evidence? Doesn't sound like good scholarship to me.
On the other hand paleo-anthropologists should get a grip of the fact that fossils - even though there are "a lot" of them now - are still relatively rare and far between. So it's no real basis to actively contradict findings in other fields.
But again, I have no real knowledge of these fields myself. My objections to both teams are about method.
ETA - Not the least interesting was the question of how they managed to catch the birds.
I'm sure there's a "better" source for this on the internets somewhere, but this is the one I have open in my browser :-P
In a nutshell, they've finally excavated a Roman fort in western Germany near the French border that was likely used during Caesar's Gallic terror campaign.
He was bringing civilization to those pants-wearing savages!
Kidding. I'm kidding.
Pretty decent evidence for ritualized human cannibalism in Britain 14KYBP. Among the points are 1) human bones with human toothmarks all over them, in addition to the (relatively common) evidence of de-fleshing, and 2) skulls and bones were not smashed open to get at the nutritious innards as you might expect expect from animals or a starving individual.
"A genetic mutation that occurred thousands of years ago might be the answer to how early humans were able to move from central Africa and across the continent in what has been called "the great expansion," according to new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center."
In a nutshell, our African ancestors underwent a genetic mutation that allowed them to obtain from plant matter the requisite chemicals for higher brain function, increased brain size, etc, rather than solely from fish/shellfish as before, enabling them to bust outta town and conquer the world.
Digging for an underground railroad has unveiled Hadrian's arts center, buried under one of Rome's busiest roundabouts. Archaeologists and RR officials are negotiating subway stops. Another Italy story about current budget woes affecting sites: a general's tomb is decaying.
As you can see, it really is smack dab in front of and a little to the east of the Vittorio Emmanuele monument -- i.e. right in the middle of one of the main traffic paths.
Which is why I'd actually support trying to find ways to put in the new subway stops -- if you get a robust enough subway line, you might actually have a shot at being able to close or at least reduce the size of that godforsaken road.
Plus, if you closed that road, which heads southeast from the Piazza Venezia, i.e. out the left background of the photo in 125, it would reduce the congestion in the piazza and make the excavations of the Athenaeum that much easier to cope with.
They're excavating the villa of Ovid's patron and finding thingses.
I saw a great one this morning myself:
Essentially, an upcoming PhD thesis out of Norway connects the collapse of Rome in the west with the rise of "guerrilla warfare" in the Nordic countries. The idea is apparently that Roman battle tactics were copied by "free Germans" all the way up into Scandinavia, but as Roman power waned, so did the prestige (and practicality?) attached to their style of warfare. The societies broke up into smaller units of continuously warring bands, and in the end were using much simpler weapons for "hit and run" style tactics, perhaps designed to take out rival chieftains in one go instead of drawing up into larger battles.
I'm not sure I buy it 100%, but it is a fascinating hypothesis.
Seems to be more of a "proto-Viking formation" theory than a Fall of Rome theory and I'm not familiar enough with the sources for that region and period to comment.
As for Climate Change, a recent article with a LOT of information is, "Climate Change during and after the Roman Empire: Reconstructing the Past from Scientific and Historical Evidence" in the Fall, 2012 Journal of Interdisciplinary History by Michael McCormick, et. al. Buckets of information which - surprise - doesn't clearly point to much of anything but is quite interesting. I think you could read it either in support of climate change having a huge impact on the end of the Empire, or not having much at all, depending on how you want to read it. Tthe real temperature drops seem to have happened around 530-40 but while climate was fairly good from 300-530 it wasn't as good from 100BCE-200CE and there was a bad 3rd century stretch.
There is some info in this article discussing a severe, extended drought from 338 to 377 which might have gotten the Steppe folks(Huns, Avars) moving West. In the end, this may be the most significant impact of all.
The article is mostly rubbish. First of all, hill forts were not new to the period, nor were they all abandoned at the end of it. They are also not usually considered to be some sort of castles for iron age robber knights, but rather sanctuaries for farming communities, to be used in a crisis. Secondly, the suggestion that the warbands of petty kings used Roman tactics is simply preposterous. If the idea that the upheaval on the continent affected Scandinavia is "Ystgaard’s main theory", her advisor should be ashamed - I don't think you'd find one archaeologist who would dispute that this is what destabilised the reason and led to the upswing of hill forts. It's the accepted framework for interpreting these features of the period.
Researchers in southern England are preparing for the launch of a boat built to Bronze Age specifications.
"Most Ancient Romans Ate Like Animals"
This webpage was made for debunking commercial genetic ancestry testing; but it's made things a lot clearer to me on what genetic testing can and cannot tell us about human history. It's a good crib sheet.
The ax is probably the oldest type of hafted weapon, dating back to the Old Stone Age. Hardly sounds like an innovation to me, either with or without stone fortifications. Of course war has its fashions just as do other forms of human endeavor, but creating a theory of conflict based on a weapon type seems entirely guesswork. Someone could as easily argue that the ax design indicates a switch to splitting firewood rather than burning entire logs.
Ystgaard is simply offering guesswork based on flimsy partial evidence. Nor does she accurately describe Roman tactics and weaponry of a time when most of the fighting was done by allies and auxiliaries. Besides, this was the period when Thiudareiks ruled the Western Roman Empire, and people like the Franks and Vandals were rampaging all over--hardly a time of "guerrilla warfare."
And isn't that also a bit like George Washington, one of the tallest men on his horse and surely an easy target, always in battle, had horses shot out from under him, but he himself was never injured?
In those days, people did think their kings or leaders were "above" them--so I'm just wondering if that explains it.
I guess archaeology, like history, starts yesterday.
When my son was 10 or 12 (thirty years ago), we went to the Art Institute & looked at a display of medieval weaponry. I'm reading all the labels, while he's just telling me what everything was, how it was used, and all sorts of trivia about it. "How did you learn all that?" "From games."
Not to get off subject, really, but this finding makes me think of the wonderful (at least to me) song "The Story of Chess," in that stellar British musical, "Chess," which was later disastrously moved to Broadway and closed. Even the extensive excerpts from the London version on YouTube don't include a decent version of this song--am I the only one who was crazy about it?-- where the chorus tells the somewhat obscure history of chess; only then the game seemed to "date" to 1500 years ago.
Um ... I think that's some sort of hoax. Couldn't find any other reports of it. Couldn't find any more on 'Professor James Milbury', either by Googling or on the University of Memphis site. So I snipped and Googled the picture and found it here - http://www.archeurope.com/index.php?page=roskilde-6 - bottom pic.
ETA: Here's the Disclaimer from their website: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/disclaimer/
All news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental, except for all references to politicians and/or celebrities, in which case they are based on real people, but still based almost entirely in fiction.
Based on the article you have the skeleton of a wealthy middle-age male who rode horses, may have suffered a battle wound, and, at least sometimes, had respiratory issues. I'd feel more comfortable with the identification if they had some inscriptions. You could be talking about a landowner who had military service, an officer, or another royal family member.
I'm certain there's more evidence than what's in the brief article but based on that alone, this could fit a relatively large number of individuals.
Yes! -- or a little higher up than a courtier, or at SOME exotic court well-known to Westerners. I always wondered why nobody ever
had their previous life in
14th century Myanmar or
17th century Thailand. Those countries must have had a considerable population back then.
"A Kurdish official revealed on Tuesday evening that the ISIS organization had bombed large parts and tracts of the ancient Nineveh wall, indicating that such an act violates the right of human culture and heritage. The media official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Mosul, Saed Mimousine said in an interview for IraqiNews.com, “ISIS militants blew up today large parts and expanses of the archaeological wall of Nineveh in al-Tahrir neighborhood,” explaining that, “The terrorist group used explosives in the process of destroying the archaeological fence.” Mimousine added, “The Wall of Nineveh is one of the most distinctive archaeological monuments in Iraq and the Middle East,” adding that, “The fence dates back to the Assyrian civilization.” Mimousine stressed that, “Bombing the archaeological monuments by ISIS is a flagrant violation of the right of human culture, civilization and heritage,” calling the international community to “take a stand to curb the destruction of historic monuments.”"