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 on: Today at 02:00:07 am 
Started by Mona Sadoff-Eshaghi - Last post by Mona Sadoff-Eshaghi

Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’

A bronze age burial South Uist, in the Outer Hebridean Western Isles

Mass graves were replaced by individual burials for the elite in the Bronze Age showing a shift in social structure  Credit: PA

    Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

25 April 2016 • 6:14pm

Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.

The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.

He was part of a new order which emerged in Europe following the Stone Age, sweeping away the previous egalitarian Neolithic period and replacing it with hierarchical societies which were ruled by a powerful elite.

It is likely his power stemmed from advances in technology such as metal working and wheeled transport which enabled organised warfare for the first time.

Although it is not known who he was, or where he lived, scientists say he must have existed because of genetic variation in today’s European populations.

Dr Chris Tyler-Smith, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, said: “One of the most novel and exciting things we have found in the study is the extraordinary explosion in numbers of males at specific times.

“In Europe there was huge population expansion in just a few generations. Genetics can’t tell us why it happened but we know that a tiny number of elite males were controlling reproduction and dominating the population.

“Half of the Western European population is descended from just one man. We can only speculate as to what happened. The best explanation is that they may have resulted from advances in technology that could be controlled by small groups of men.

“Wheeled transport, metal working and organised warfare are all candidate explanations that can now be investigated further.”

A graphic showing DNA
Studying the genomes of people across the world can show how populations have spread  Credit: Alamy

The study analysed sequence differences between the Y chromosomes of more than 1200 men from 26 populations around the world using data generated by the 1000 Genomes Project.

The Y chromosome is only passed from father to son and so is wholly linked to male characteristics and behaviours. Mutations reveal which are related to each other and how far apart they are genetically so that researchers can build a family tree.

Dr Yali Xue, lead author from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, explained: “This pattern tells us that there was an explosive increase in the number of men carrying a certain type of Y chromosome, within just a few generations.

“We only observed this phenomenon in males, and only in a few groups of men.”

The team used the data to build a tree of the 1200 Y chromosomes. It shows how they are all related to one another. As expected, they all descend from a single man who lived approximately 190,000 years ago.

The most intriguing and novel finding was that some parts of the tree were more like a bush than a tree, with many branches originating at the same point.

The earliest explosive increases of male numbers occurred 50,000–55,000 years ago, across Asia and Europe, and 15,000 years ago in the Americas.

There were also later expansions in sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, South Asia and East Asia, at times between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago. The team believes the earlier population increases resulted from the first peopling by modern humans of vast continents, where plenty of resources were available.

Dr David Poznik, from Stanford University, California, first author on the paper, said: “We identified more than 60,000 positions where one DNA letter was replaced by another in a man with modern descendants, and we discovered thousands of more complex DNA variants.

“These data constitute a rich and publicly available resource for further genealogical, historical and forensic studies.”

The research was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

 on: Yesterday at 07:53:08 pm 
Started by Isis - Last post by Isis

 on: Yesterday at 07:52:30 pm 
Started by Isis - Last post by Isis

Chavín de Huantar,2 kilometers of undgeround tunnels have been discovered by researchers. (Photo:El Comerico)

 on: Yesterday at 07:51:34 pm 
Started by Isis - Last post by Isis

Did Chavín society create authoritarianism?

April 28, 2016

Phillip Orange

New research led by John Rick suggests that authoritarianism may have began with the Chavín civilization.
Did Chavín society create authoritarianism?

Chavín de Huantar,2 kilometers of undgeround tunnels have been discovered by researchers. (Photo:El Comerico)
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There are many forms of governments with different origins and histories, now new research by a professor of anthropology at Stanford University, John Rick is gathering evidence which he believes suggest that authoritarianism originated in Peru, with the civilization known as the Chavín.

Two Chavin gargoyles found in Chaupimarca, Pasco

Chavín culture flourished in the area that we know now as Peru during the period spanning from 900 AD to 200 AD. Research suggests that Chavín society was ruled by an elaborate priesthood and at the most active point of their history, in the capital Chavín de Huántar visitors were subjected to an array of various tricks such as underground tunnels and routes, psychoactive drugs, animal iconography and even the manipulation of light, water, and sound. This was done so the priests could exercise their authority over them.

In an interview given by Mr. Rick he stated, ““I was fascinated with the evidence we have for this idea of manipulation of people who went through ritual experiences in these structures. They needed to create a new world, one in which the settings, objects, actions, and senses all argue for the presence of intrinsic authority—both from the religious leaders and from a realm of greater powers they portray themselves as related to.”

Little evidence has been found that the common people were involved in worshipping but instead pilgrims that came from all over the Andes, usually in pursuit of elevating their status and their control on various parts of society.

Professor Rick also suggests that clear proof of manipulation can be seen in the architecture, 2 kilometers of undgeround tunnels have been discovered by researchers and they believe that they were intentionally created to give the feel of confinement making it easy to manipulate those that entered. Also another difference by the Chavín that makes them stand out from other cultures is that they carved their history in stone while others used wood and paper. Some stone carvings suggest the use of psychoactive drugs and their effects on people. All this gave the impression that the priests of the day possessed supernatural powers.

Rick summed up the interview by saying, “such places gave rise to “complex, highly authoritarian, communications-driven, sometimes charismatically led societies.”

Rick will present some of his research in his book Innovation, Religion and the Development of the Andean Formative Period.

 on: Yesterday at 06:12:22 pm 
Started by Amber - Last post by Amber

 on: Yesterday at 06:12:11 pm 
Started by Amber - Last post by Amber
Source: PLOS ONE press release.


*Daujeard C, Geraads D, Gallotti R, Lefèvre D, Mohib A, Raynal J-P, et al. (2016) Pleistocene Hominins as a Resource for Carnivores: A c. 500,000-Year-Old Human Femur Bearing Tooth-Marks in North Africa (Thomas Quarry I, Morocco). PLoS ONE 11(4): e0152284. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152284



Read more in-depth articles about archaeology with a premium subscription to Popular Archaeology Magazine.



 on: Yesterday at 06:11:56 pm 
Started by Amber - Last post by Amber
While the appearance of the marks indicated that they were most likely made by hyenas shortly after death, it was not possible to conclude whether the bone had been eaten as a result of predation on the hominin or had been scavenged soon after death. Nonetheless, this is the first evidence that humans were a resource for carnivores during the Middle Pleistocene in this part of Morocco, and contrasts with evidence from nearby sites that humans themselves hunted and ate carnivores. The authors suggest that depending on circumstances, hominins at this time could have both acted as hunter or scavenger, and been targeted as carrion or prey.

Camille Daujeard notes: "Although encounters and confrontations between archaic humans and large predators of this time period in North Africa must have been common, the discovery ... is one of the few examples where hominin consumption by carnivores is proven."

 on: Yesterday at 06:11:36 pm 
Started by Amber - Last post by Amber

Tooth-marks on a 500,000-year-old hominin femur bone found in a Moroccan cave indicate that it was consumed by large carnivores, likely hyenas, according to a study published April 27, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.  Credit: C. Daujeard

 on: Yesterday at 06:11:03 pm 
Started by Amber - Last post by Amber

 on: Yesterday at 06:09:42 pm 
Started by Amber - Last post by Amber

Hominins may have been food for carnivores 500,000 years ago

Wed, Apr 27, 2016

Tooth-marks on Pleistocene Moroccan femur indicate hominin hunting or scavenging by large carnivores.
Hominins may have been food for carnivores 500,000 years ago

PLOS ONE—Tooth-marks on a 500,000-year-old hominin femur bone found in a Moroccan cave indicate that it was consumed by large carnivores, likely hyenas, according to a study* published April 27, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Camille Daujeard from the Muséum National D'Histoire Naturelle, France, and colleagues.

During the Middle Pleistocene, early humans likely competed for space and resources with large carnivores, who occupied many of the same areas. However, to date, little evidence for direct interaction between them in this period has been found. The authors of the present study examined the shaft of a femur from the skeleton of a 500,000-year-old hominin, found in the Moroccan cave "Grotte à Hominidés" cave near Casablanca, Morocco, and found evidence of consumption by large carnivores.

The authors' examination of the bone fragment revealed various fractures and tooth marks indicative of carnivore chewing, including tooth pits as well as other scores and notches. These were clustered at the two ends of the femur, the softer parts of the bone being completely crushed. The marks were covered with sediment, suggesting that they were very old.

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