Oldowan behavior and raw material transport: perspectives from the Kanjera Formation
by thomas plummer, Laura Bishop, and David Braun
The archaeological record of Oldowan hominins represents a diverse behavioral system. It has been suggested that exploitation of lithic resources by Oldowan hominins was simplistic and represented mostly use of local sources of stone. Here we investigate the raw material selection and transport behaviors of Oldowan hominins reflected in the stone artifact assemblages from the Kanjera South Formation, South Rachuonyo District, Kenya. Using geochemical methods (ED-XRF) artifacts are linked to primary and secondary source outcrops throughout southwestern Kenya. These data show that...
DownloadBookmark Sonja Conference: Entangled Worlds. Network analysis and complexity theory in historical and archaeological research
by Sonja Dünnebeil, Stefan Eichert, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, and Mapping Medieval Conflict
Entangled Worlds. Network analysis and complexity theory in historical and archaeological research International Conference, April 13th-15th 2016 (Vienna) Venue: Institute for Medieval Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna Organisers: Institute for Medieval Research (IMAFO), Austrian Academy of Sciences (project MEDCON) - Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI) Outline: While the term “network” has been used abundantly in historical and archaeological research in the last years, the actual number of studies taking into account the methodology...
DownloadBookmark László 1999 (with co-authors). Kompolt-Kistér: újkőkori telep. Újkőkori, bronzkori, szarmata és avar lelőhely. Leletmentő ásatás az M3 nyomvonalán (A Neolithic, Bronze age, Sarmatian and Avar site. Rescue excavation at the M3 motorway). Eger.
by László Bartosiewicz and Eszter Banffy
The 73 Neolithic features excavated at Kompolt 14, North Eastern Hungary, suggest the presence of a settlement that had significant dimensions. This is especially so, if on the basis of the settlement's layout one presumes that the path of the planned motorway probably runs along the edge of the prehistoric village, i. e. the centre of this settlement probably lay to the south. The features were arranged along an empty space, probably a road. Eight Neolithic graves, with red ochre and spondylus jewellery (beads and also a pendant) were also found. The assemblage at Kompolt 14 shed light of...
DownloadBookmark Barbara Relational Networks and Religious Sodalities at Catalhoyuk
by Barbara J Mills
DownloadBookmark Aren Frumin, S., Maeir, A.M., Horwitz, L.K. and Weiss, E. 2015. Studying Ancient Anthropogenic Impacts on Current Floral Biodiversity in the Southern Levant as reflected by the Philistine Migration. Scientific Reports 5:13308 | DOI: 10.1038/srep13308
by Aren Maeir, Suembikya (Sue) Frumin, Ehud Weiss, and Liora Kolska Horwitz
In this study it is demonstrated that with the appearance of the Philistine culture in Canaan, not only did new species of plants appear, species which originate in different parts of the eastern Mediterranean, but new modes of utilization of various plants species already existing in the Levant can be seen. This not only strengthens previous evidence of the multiple origins of the Philistine migrants, but also shows that the Philistine culture had new and different food patterns and agrarian traditions. In addition, it demonstrates the applicability of an “invasion biology” perspective in...
DownloadBookmark Aren Studying Ancient Anthropogenic Impacts on Current Floral Biodiversity in the Southern Levant as reflected by the Philistine Migration
by Aren Maeir, Suembikya (Sue) Frumin, and Ehud Weiss
Human migrations across geographic boundaries can facilitate the introduction of new husbandry practices and dispersal of plants and animals, resulting in changes in biodiversity. As previously demonstrated, the 12th century BC Philistine migration – to the southern Levantine littoral, involved the transportation of pigs from Europe, engendering long term genetic displacement of local Near Eastern haplotypes. Building on this, and combining biogeographical methods of Floral List comparisons with archaeological data, we have elucidated the Philistine impact on Southern Levantine floral...
DownloadBookmark Enrico R. An ABC of Lithic Arrowheads
by Enrico R. Crema, Stephen Shennan, and Kevan Edinborough
If archaeology is to take a leading role in the social sciences, new theoretical and methodological advances emerging from the natural sciences cannot be ignored. This requires considerable retooling for archaeology as a discipline at a population scale of analysis. Such an approach is not easy to carry through, especially owing to historically contingent regional traditions; however, the knowledge gained by directly addressing these problems head-on is well worth the effort. This paper shows how population level processes driving cultural evolution can be better understood if mathematical...
DownloadBookmark Avraham Faust, A., 2009, Review of Rudolph Cohen and Hannah Bernick-Greenberg, Excavations at Kadesh Barnea (Tell el-Qudeirat) 1976-1982, Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority, 2007, American Journal of Archaeology 113.2 (on-line publication)
by Avraham Faust
Review of Rudolph Cohen and Hannah Bernick-Greenberg, Excavations at Kadesh Barnea (Tell el-Qudeirat) 1976-1982, Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority, 2007,
DownloadBookmark Konstantinos The King's Household, Royal Gifts and the International Trade in the Amarna Age
by Konstantinos Kopanias
The Amarna Letters seem quite puzzling to the modern reader, because they refer mostly to private affairs of the kings, while matters of diplomacy and trade are discussed only very briefly or not at all, as if the kings were not interested in the foreign policy of their states. In this paper it is argued that this was just a façade, designed to keep up the pretext that the countries of the Great Kings were self-sufficient from the military and economic point of view; economic and diplomatic requests needed to be made in a way that none of the involved parties would ‘loose face’. The...
DownloadBookmark Cagan A Birder's Guide to Turkey
by Cagan Sekercioglu
At the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Turkey has tremendous biological (not to mention cultural and historical) wealth that is often underappreciated. This is a combination of three of world’s 37 major plant zones meeting in Turkey and various mountain ranges further dividing the country into a diversity of biomes. These range from temperate rainforest along the Black Sea, where tea, hazelnuts and oranges are grown and Caucasian Grouse and Caspian Snowcocks thrive under the protective shadow of Caucasus mountains, to sub-desert scrub in the southeast where Nile monitors and striped...
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Coastal foraging : Burmese macaques use stone tools to open oysters, chimps use stones to break mongongo nuts
63001intertidal stone use in Mac.fascicularis
Marine prey processed with stone tools by Burmese long-tailed macaques Michael D Gumert 2012 AJPA 149:447-457
Mac.fascicularis feed opportunistically in many habitats. The Burmese subspecies M.f.aurea inhabits coastal areas in SW-Thailand & Myanmar, some of their populations have adapted lithic customs for processing encased foods in inter-tidal habitats.
We investigated their diet in Laemson Nat.Park (Thailand), we identified the variety of foods they processed with stones. 36 shore surveys studied tool sites following feeding activity: we counted the minimum nr of individual (MNI) food items found at each site.
We identified 47 food spp (43 animals, 4 plants) from 37 genera. We counted 1991 food items during surveys: - 1924 were mollusks, - the 67 others mostly crustaceans & nuts.
The 2 most common foods composed 80 % of our sample: - 1062 rock oysters Saccostrea cucullata & - 538 nerite snails Nerita spp.
Macaques selected a wide variety of foods, but heavily concentrated on those that were - abundant, - easy to access & - sufficiently sized.
Their stone-processed diet (which focuses on intertidal marine prey) differs from Sapajus & Pan, who use stones primarily for encased nuts & fruits. In terms of diversity of foods exploited, coastal stone-based predation by macaques resembles the diet of coastal-foraging humans H.s.sapiens.
Central Europe Violence 7ka lower limbs, torture(post-deluge 7.7ka)
The massacre mass grave of Schöneck-Kilianstädten reveals new insights into collective violence in Early Neolithic Central Europe Christian Meyer cs 2015 PNAS doi 10.1073/pnas.1504365112
The Early Neolithic massacre-related mass grave of Schöneck-Kilianstädten presented here provides new data & insights for the discussions of prehistoric warfare in C-Europe. Although several characteristics gleaned from the analysis of the human skeletal remains support & strengthen previous hypotheses based on the few known massacre sites of this time, a pattern of intentional mutilation of violence victims identified here is of special significance. Adding another key site to the evidence for Early Neolithic warfare generally allows more robust & reliable reconstructions of the possible reasons for the extent & frequency of outbreaks of lethal mass violence, and the general impact these events had on shaping the further development of the C-European Neolithic.
Conflict & warfare are central, but also disputed themes in discussions about the European Neolithic. Although a few recent population studies provide broad overviews, only a very limited number of currently known key sites provide precise insights into moments of extreme & mass violence & their impact on Neolithic societies. The massacre sites of Talheim (Germany) & Asparn/Schletz (Austria) have long been the focal points around which hypotheses concerning a final lethal crisis of the first C-European farmers of the Early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik Culture (LBK) have concentrated.
With the recently examined LBK mass grave site of Schöneck-Kilianstädten, we present new conclusive & indisputable evidence for another massacre, adding new data to the discussion of LBK violence patterns. At least 26 individuals were violently killed by blunt force & arrow injuries, before being deposited in a commingled mass grave. Although the absence & possible abduction of younger females has been suggested for other sites previously, a new violence-related pattern was identified here: the intentional & systematic breaking of lower limbs. The abundance of the identified peri-mortem fractures clearly indicates torture or mutilation of the victims. This new evidence for unequivocal lethal violence on a large scale is put into perspective for the Early Neolithic of C-Europe. In conjunction with previous results, it indicates that massacres of entire communities were not isolated occurrences, but rather were frequent features of the last phases of the LBK.
Evidence of massacre found in Neolithic Germany 18.8.15
Violent conflicts in Neolithic Europe were held more brutally than has been known so far. A recent anthropological analysis of the 7-ka mass grave of Schöneck-Kilianstädten (PNAS) shows that victims were murdered & deliberately mutilated.
It was during the time when Europeans first began to farm. To what degree conflicts & wars featured in the early Neolithic (5600-4900 BC), esp.in the Linear Pottery culture (Linearbandkeramik LBK) is a disputed theme. Were social tensions responsible for the termination of this era? So far, 2 mass graves from this period were known to stem from armed conflicts: - Talheim Germany, - Asparn/Schletz Austria.
Researchers now report new findings after analyzing the human remains of the mass grave of Schöneck-Kilianstädten, a massacre site discovered in 2006: the prehistoric attackers used unprecedented violence against their victims. The team examined & analyzed the bones and skeletons of at least 26, mainly male, adults & children: most exhibited severe injuries.
Torture & mutilation
Besides various types of (bone) injuries caused by arrows, they also found many cases of massive damage to the head, face & teeth, some inflicted on the victims shorty before or after their death. The attackers systematically broke their victims' legs, pointing to torture & deliberate mutilation. Only few female remains were found: women were not actively involved in the fighting, and were possibly abducted by the attackers.
The authors presume that such massacres were not isolated occurrences, but represented frequent features of the early Central European Neolithic. The Neolithic massacre sites examined so far are all located in some distance to each other, this further underlines this conclusion. The goal of this massive & systematic violence may have been the annihilation of entire communities.
Human body shape/size change since 430,000 yrs ago
Study reveals four stages of human body evolution. 31.8.15
Research into 430-ka fossils in N-Spain found that the evolution of the human body's size & shape has gone through 4 main stages. Arsuaga, Quam cs (2015 PNAS) studied the body size & shape in the human fossil collection from Sima de los Huesos, Sierra de Atapuerca. This site (c 430 ka) preserves the largest collection of human fossils found to date anywhere in the world.
They found that the Atapuerca individuals were rel.tall, with wide muscular bodies & less brain mass rel.to body mass compared to Neanderthals. The Atapuerca humans shared many anatomical features with the later Hn not present in Hs, and analysis of their post-crania indicated that they are closely related evolutionarily to Hn. Rolf Quam: "... it suggests that the evolutionary process in our genus is largely characterized by stasis (i.e. little to no evolutionary change) in body form for most of our evolutionary history."
Comparison of the Atapuerca fossils with the rest of the human fossil record suggests that the evolution of the human body has gone through 4 main stages, depending on the degree of arboreality (living in the trees) & bipedalism (walking on two legs). The Atapuerca fossils represent the 3rd stage: tall, wide & robust bodies & an exclusively terrestrial bipedalism, with no evidence of arboreal behaviors. This same body form was likely shared with earlier members of our genus (e.g. H.erectus) & some later members (e.g. Hn). Thus, this body form seems to have been present in the genus Homo for over a million years.
It was not until the appearance of Hs, when a new taller, lighter & narrower body form emerged. Thus, Quam cs suggest that the Atapuerca humans offer the best look at the general human body shape & size during the last million years before the advent of Hs.
Schoningen Germany - ancient spears 300ka found at ancient lake (later bog) - possible "hunting or caching on lake-ice". [use of ice to store foods?] (horse fossils with spears) [This area is far north of the 40ka lion/ess figurine at Ulm]
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The depositional environments of Schöningen 13 II-4 and their archaeological implications Mareike C Stahlschmidt, Christopher E Miller, Bertrand Ligouis, Paul Goldberg, Francesco Berna, Brigitte Urban & Nicholas J Conard 2015 JHE doi 10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.07.008 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.07.008> <http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2015.07.008>Get>
Geo-archaeological research at the Mid-Pleistocene site of Schöningen 13 II-4 ("Speerhorizont") has focused on describing & evaluating the depositional contexts of the well-known wooden spears, butchered horses & stone tools. These finds were recovered from the transitional contact between a lacustrine marl & an overlying organic mud.
It was originally thought to be a peat that accumulated in place under variable moisture conditions: the original excavators proposed - that hominin activity (incl. hunting & butchery) occurred on a dry lake-shore, - that this was followed by a rapid sedimentation of organic deposits that embedded & preserved the artifacts.
Our geo-archaeological analysis challenges this model: we present evidence that these sediments were deposited in a constantly submerged area of a palaeo-lake. We cannot exclude the possibility that the artifacts were deposited during a short, extreme drying event, but there are no sedimentary features indicative of surface exposure in the sediments.
Accordingly, this paper explores 3 main alternative models of site formation: - anthropogenic disposal of materials into the lake, - a geological relocation of the artifacts, - hunting or caching on lake-ice.
These models have different behavioral ramifications concerning hominin knowledge & exploitation of the landscape & their subsistence strategies.
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"Until recently it was thought they bypassed New Guinea and just migrated via outlying islands but [this find] suggests the Austronesian-speaking peoples developed ties with people living in the New Guinea Highlands on their way from South-East Asia to colonise remote Oceania," Gaffney says.
The Lapita people left Southeast Asia and entered the Western Pacific 4000-3000 years ago. About 300 years later they started heading east to become the first people to settle on the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji, moving later to Samoa and Tonga.
Evidence of their settlement is found in the remains of intricately patterned pottery used for rituals.
Gaffney says the study, published today in PLOS One, is based on analysis of a number of pottery sherds excavated from Wanelek in the Kaironk River valley, in the New Guinea Highlands in the 1970s.
The research team returned to the excavation site recently and, using carbon dating technology, were able to date the site of the find to around 3000 years ago. Chemical analysis of the clay and temper on the pottery also revealed its manufacturing origin.
Gaffney says three technological factors - manual tempering, red slip, and paddle and anvil technique - found on the samples were indicative of Austronesian manufacture.
Eleven of the 12 pottery fragments analysed were made from materials found in inland New Guinea and then "traded up" into the Highlands. However one piece was manufactured along the northeast coast of New Guinea.
Environmental significance of Upper Miocene phosphorites at hominid sites in the Lukeino Formation (Tugen Hills, Kenya) Sedimentary Geology 327:43-54 doi 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2015.07.005 Perrine Dericquebourg, Alain Person, Loïc Ségalen, Martin Pickford, Brigitte Senut & Nathalie Fagel 2015
The Lukeino Fm contains an important sedimentary & fossiliferous record of the late Miocene (6.095.68 Ma), it has yielded the fossil remains of the oldest E.African bipedal hominid, Orrorin tugenensis.
This fluvio-lacustrine sedimentary succession crops out in the Kenyan part of the E.African Rift. It is mainly composed of clay to sandy clay deposits, intercalated with volcanic ash horizons, and localized layers of carbonates & diatomites. A detailed sedimentological & mineralogical study of the Lukeino Fm was conducted, to throw light on the hominids' environmental conditions.
[3gb = wagy, a festival of Egypt, possibly linked to Ijebu/Jebus/Egypt?] - - -
"The Wagy festival was not celebrated at Giza (you're undoubtedly thinking of Abydos.) The Wagy festival honored the deceased ancestors and, like the flood, it arrived at each village. They didn't have to go anywhere to experience it."
> "Inundation" was simply a colloquial term that was > used to describe an immersion through rising water > whereas "3gb" was a scientific term that applied > to a specific cause of inundation
LONDON—In a remarkable technical feat, researchers have sequenced DNA from fossils in Spain that are about 300,000 to 400,000 years old and have found an ancestor—or close relative—of Neandertals. The nuclear DNA, which is the oldest ever sequenced from a member of the human family, may push back the date for the origins of the distinct ancestors of Neandertals and modern humans, according to a presentation here yesterday at the fifth annual meeting of the European Society for the study of human evolution.
Ever since researchers first discovered thousands of bones and teeth from 28 individuals in the mid-1990s from Sima de los Huesos (“pit of bones”), a cave in the Atapuerca Mountains of Spain, they had noted that the fossils looked a lot like primitive Neandertals. The Sima people, who lived before Neandertals, were thought to have emerged in Europe. Yet their teeth, jaws, and large nasal cavities were among the traits that closely resembled those of Neandertals, according to a team led by paleontologist Juan-Luis Arsuaga of the Complutense University of Madrid. As a result, his team classified the fossils as members of Homo heidelbergensis, a species that lived about 600,000 to 250,000 years ago in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Many researchers have thought H. heidelbergensis gave rise to Neandertals and perhaps also to our species, H. sapiens, in the past 400,000 years or so.
But in 2013, the Sima fossils’ identity suddenly became complicated when a study of the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from one of the bones revealed that it did not resemble that of a Neandertal. Instead, it more closely matched the mtDNA of a Denisovan, an elusive type of extinct human discovered when its DNA was sequenced from a finger bone from Denisova Cave in Siberia. That finding was puzzling, prompting researchers to speculate that perhaps the Sima fossils had interbred with very early Denisovans or that the “Denisovan” mtDNA was the signature of an even more ancient hominin lineage, such as H. erectus. At the time, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, who had obtained the mtDNA announced that they would try to sequence the nuclear DNA of the fossils to solve the mystery.
After 2 years of intense effort, paleogeneticist Matthias Meyer of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology has finally sequenced enough nuclear DNA from fossils of a tooth and a leg bone from the pit to solve the mystery. The task was especially challenging because the ancient DNA was degraded to short fragments, made up of as few as 25 to 40 single nucleotides. (Nucleotides—also known as base pairs—are the building blocks of DNA.) Although he and his colleagues did not sequence the entire genomes of the fossils, Meyer reported at the meeting that they did get 1 million to 2 million base pairs of ancient nuclear DNA.
They scanned this DNA for unique markers found only in Neandertals or Denisovans or modern humans, and found that the two Sima fossils shared far more alleles—different nucleotides at the same address in the genome—with Neandertals than Denisovans or modern humans. “Indeed, the Sima de los Huesos specimens are early Neandertals or related to early Neandertals,” suggesting that the split of Denisovans and Neandertals should be moved back in time, Meyer reported at the meeting.
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Denisovans had more genetic variation than all Neanderthals put together. - - -
"Now a new report by the news site of journal Science states that analysis on the Denisovan finger bone and molars as well as cave material shows these little-known ancient people 'occupied the cave surprisingly early and came back repeatedly'.
The young female 'lived at least 50,000 years ago and that two other Denisovan individuals died in the cave at least 110,000 years ago and perhaps as early as 170,000 years ago'.
This showed that 'the Denisovan inhabitants in that one cave were not closely related. They had more genetic variation among them than all the Neanderthals so far sequenced, although Neanderthals are known to be similar genetically'.
The team sequenced 'their entire mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genomes and placed them on a family tree. Then they counted the number of mtDNA differences between individuals and used the modern human mutation rate to estimate how long it might have taken those mutations to appear. They concluded that the girl with the pinky finger was in the cave roughly 65,000 years after the oldest Denisovan, who was there at least 110,000 years ago and possibly earlier'.
The saga of giant viruses (i.e. visible by light microscopy) started in 2003 with the discovery of Mimivirus. Two additional types of giant viruses infecting Acanthamoeba have been discovered since: the Pandoraviruses (2013) and Pithovirus sibericum (2014), the latter one revived from 30,000-y-old Siberian permafrost. We now describe Mollivirus sibericum, a fourth type of giant virus isolated from the same permafrost sample. These four types of giant virus exhibit different virion structures, sizes (0.6–1.5 µm), genome length (0.6–2.8 Mb), and replication cycles. Their origin and mode of evolution are the subject of conflicting hypotheses. The fact that two different viruses could be easily revived from prehistoric permafrost should be of concern in a context of global warmingPosts: 1818 | From: Miami | Registered: Aug 2014
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Evaluating the Photoprotective Effects of Ochre on Human Skin by In Vivo SPF Assessment: Implications for Human Evolution, Adaptation and Dispersal Riaan F Rifkin ... Francesco d'Errico 2015 PLoS doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0136090
Archaeological indicators of cognitively-modern behaviour become increasingly prevalent during the African Middle Stone Age (MSA). The exploitation of ochre is viewed as a key feature of the emergence of modern human behaviour, but the uses to which ochre & ochre-based mixtures were put remain ambiguous.
Here we explore the efficacy of ochre as a topical photo-protective compound, through the in vivo calculation of the sun protection factor (SPF) values of ochre samples, obtained from Ovahimba women (Kunene Region, N-Namibia) & the Palaeozoic Bokkeveld Group deposits of the Cape Supergroup (W-Cape, SA). We characterise ochre samples, using - visible spectroscopy, - energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF), - X-ray diffraction (XRD) & - granulometric analyses.
We confirmed the capacity of ochre to inhibit the susceptibility of humans to the harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation, we identified the mechanisms implicated in the efficacy of ochre as a sun-screen.
Did the habitual application of ochre represent a crucial innovation for MSA humans, by limiting the adverse effects of UV exposure? Did this facilitate the colonisation of geographic regions largely unfavourable to the constitutive skin colour of newly arriving populations?
Basically a portable religious manuscript, the more than 4,000-year-old roll, contains depictions of divine and supernatural beings which predate the famous drawings found in the Book of the Dead manuscripts and the so-called Netherworld Books from the New Kingdom onwards (1550 B.C. onwards).
Religious spells, formulated in the first person singular, also abound there.
“They were likely recited by a priest,” Sherbiny said.
It is known that priests used to carry leather rolls to reference while reciting sacred texts during religious rituals. - - -
The first Egyptian to obtain his PhD in Egyptology in 2008 from the Leuven University in Belgium, Sherbiny specializes in the ancient Egyptian religious texts and is preparing the full publication of the unique leather roll.
The Akhbār al-zamān is a treasury of medieval lore about the world before the Flood and the wonder of Egypt before and after the Deluge. This text has long been considered the earliest extant account of these myths, but its exact origins and provenance are unknown. Based on internal evidence and the dates when manuscripts were copied, it appears that the text was composed no earlier than 904 CE and no later than 1140, though it is clearly based on much older sources, including the work of Abu Ma‘shar, dating to 840-860 CE, and Christian chronographic material, likely the chronography of Anianus, dating back to Late Antiquity. Its author is unknown. Tradition, and one manuscript, attribute it to al-Masʿūdī (c. 896-956 CE), who wrote a thirty-volume encyclopedia with the same title. Close similarities in language, and an ascription on a 1211 CE manuscript now in St. Petersburg, suggest that the author might have been the mysterious figure known as Ibrahim ibn Wasif Shah, a presumed twelfth century writer. The question of the true author remains open.
This valuable book of lore is the earliest surviving form of stories better known to the West from their appearance in Murtada ibn al-‘Afif’s thirteenth century Prodigies of Egypt and al-Maqrizi’s fifteenth century Al-Khitat. I have made the following translation from the French edition of Baron Carra de Vaux, published in 1898 as L’abrégé des merveilles. I have tried to be as literal as possible. Words and phrases in parentheses are explanatory notes, adapted from those of Carra de Vaux. Material in square brackets are lines that do not appear in all four of the manuscripts Carra de Vaux used in preparing his text. Bracketed lines marked as variant are alternative readings to the preceding sentence appearing in a single manuscript.
In the name of God, clement and merciful, Abu al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī, ibn ʿAbd Allah al-Hodali al-Masʿūdī said:
We begin by giving glory to God by thanking him for his blessings, by invoking his blessings on all his prophets and all his angels, especially on our Lord and Prophet Muhammad and on his wives and his companions. We will present what we know of the secrets of nature and the different types of creatures, limiting ourselves to what relates to our design. We will append the traditions concerning the kings of the earth, the wonders they made, and the description of the different wonders that the different countries contain, magical instruments, talismans, temples, laws, countries, and inscriptions on stones. We will discuss all the things which have been reported. We will also discuss what is known about the ancient laws and pagan doctrines, as well as what was transmitted by the sages of old. May God be our guide!
I have titled my book: The Book of the History of Time and That Which Was Destroyed by Revolutions, the Wonders of the Countries, of the Seas, and of the Lands. I therefore say:
God, whose glory is great and whose names are holy, has created without need; he made his creatures grow without his need for them, but he created them only so that they might serve him and glorify him, that they might thank him for his blessings. That is why he said: “I created the djinn and mankind only that they might serve me. I did not need them to feed me” (Quran 60:56-57). For God himself is the sustenance of all things, and all power comes from him. His creation does not grow by even the weight of an atom, nor does their loss reduce its grandeur by even a hair. It is unchanging: it does not generate power, and its power is diminished neither by the days, nor by night. He endowed his creatures with hearing, sight, intelligence, so that by these faculties they might know the true and the false, the useful and the harmful. He gave them the earth as an expanse that they might walk therein by spacious roads (Quran 71:19-29), and the sky as a solidly built roof (Quran 21:32); He has sent down from heaven the clouds, which pour out rain and fertility. He set the course of the moon in the night and that of the sun during the day, so that they in turn serve a useful function; he gave them the night as a rest (Quran 6:96) and the day as a time for action (Quran 78:11). He made the sign of the night and made the sign of the day; both were established to enable people to know the times (Quran 17:12) of their different obligations, prayer, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage, and so they can calculate the years and the maturities of their debts. God the Almighty said: “They ask you about the new moons. Answer them that they are used to measure the time for men and to regulate the pilgrimage” (Quran 2:189). He also said: “It is God who placed the sun as a torch and the moon as a light, and measured their houses to calculate years and time. He has created these things in view of justice” (Quran 10:5).
Sa‘id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas this tradition: The world lasts for one week of the other world; and these weeks are comprised of days of a thousand years. Six thousand years and many hundreds of years more have already passed. There are still a few hundred years to come. — Nāfi‘ told from the son of Omar: “I heard the Prophet of God say ‘You have come through the report of past nations as in the space of time between the prayer of ‘aṣr and sunset.’” — Abu Hureyrah said: “The Prophet of God said: ‘My mission and the time of the end of the world are like these two fingers,’ and he pointed to the index and middle finger.” — A tradition taken from Sahl ibn Sa’d al-Sa’idi holds that the Prophet of God said, “Time and I, we are like two racehorses struggling near the end of the race.”
According to Ibn ‘Abbas, the Prophet would have said: “The first creature of God is the Qalam (reed pen); He created it from light. Its length is five hundred years of operation.” He then created the preserved tablet, from a white pearl, and it gave it an edge of red hyacinth. Its width equals the distance between heaven and earth. He created them before creatures, before heaven, and before earth. He told the Qalam, “Write.” The Qalam replied, “What shall I write?” He said, “Write everything I know of creation until the day of resurrection.” Then the Qalam inscribed on the tablet all that had to happen until the day of resurrection, and all that was in the knowledge of God. God Almighty looks at this tablet three hundred and sixty times each day, and then he creates, he develops, he gives life, and he causes death; he performs everything he wishes to do and he executes all he has decided.
The Prophet was asked, “Where was God before our master created humanity, heaven, and the earth?” He said that he had been in a cloud, having only air above him and air below him. He then created his tabernacle on the water. — We asked Ibn ‘Abbas: “What does the water sit upon?” He replied: “On the back of the wind; and when the Creator wished to produce the creatures, he gave to the wind power over the water, and the water swelled in waves, splashed with foam, and sent vapor over itself. And these vapors remained high above the water, and God called this heaven. The foam solidified and became land. The earth was placed on a fish [and fish on a bull].”
This is discussed in the book of God, where it says: “N...” [There is a lacuna in the text, which likely referenced Quran 68:1: “Nun. By the Qalam and what is written thereby.”] The Qalam and that which was written thereby place the fish in the water and the water upon on a rock and the rock on the back of the wind. The earth shook, and God ordered the waves to rise above it in steep mountains, and the waves arrested themselves in this position and remained stable. This is what the Almighty says: He has been established firm places on earth. “We have established,” he said, “on earth, solid mountains, that they might they secure your home” (Quran 16:15).
Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Jews came to the Prophet and asked about the origin of the world. He answered them that God created the earth on Sunday and Monday. He created the mountains along with that which they contain on Tuesday. He created the water, trees, towns, and fertile fields on Wednesday. Such is his word: “Do not disbelieve him who created the Earth in two days,” up to the words “also to all those who ask” (Quran 41:9-10). On Thursday, he created the sky, the planets, the fixed stars, and the angels. On Friday, he created heaven and the fires of hell, and Adam, on whom may there be salvation. “And after?” asked the Jews. After that, Muhammad said he stood balanced on his throne (Quran 7:54). The Jews answered, “You would have spoken well if you had finished by saying: ‘And then he rested.’” The Prophet of God was very angry with this remark, and he received revelation of this verse: “We created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days, and we have not felt fatigue. Be patient over what they say” (Quran 50:38-39).
We read in a tradition of Asad ibn Musa that God Almighty commanded the skies to rise and they rose; he ordered the earth to spread and to descend as it spread; God spread it around the location of the holy house. — The Prophet said: “The world is hollow and pushed back; if it were not so, the sun and moon would burn the earth and everything on it. In between one heaven and the next heaven there is a space of five hundred years of walking, and between the seventh heaven and the throne, a space of one thousand years.”
The Prophet says of God: “He is the first, and there is nothing before him; and the last, and there is nothing after him.” — Zorarah ibn Abu Aufa reports that the Prophet said: “I asked Jibril (the angel Gabriel): ‘Have you ever seen your Lord?’ Jibril was confused and said, ‘O, Muhammad, between me and him there are seventy thousand veils of light. If I approached one of those veils, I would be burned.’”
After God decided to create Adam, he ordered Jibril to descend onto the earth and take up a handful of the earth, with which he would create man. But the earth said to Jibril: “I beg you in the name of God not take anything from me.” And Jibril returned to God, saying, “The earth implored me in your name.” God sent Israfil, who returned with the same message. Then he sent the angel of death, and the earth still implored him in the name of God; but the Angel of Death answered: “I come by order of my Lord, and I beg you not to allow me to return to him without executing his command.”
Many traditionalists say that God first infused the spirit into Adam in the head and eyes, before infusing it in the rest of the body. Adam, before seeing the fruits of paradise, wished to move to reach them, before the spirit had started his legs, so he could not. That is why God said, “Man is overly hasty” (Quran 17:11).
When Adam was created, the angels were amazed at him, and God ordered them all to bow down before him. They bowed in obedience, except for Iblis (the devil), who was filled with pride and became animated by a spirit of hatred and revolt. [“I am better than him,” he said to God, “for you created me from fire whereas you created him from mud.”] God became irritated with Iblis, the accursed: this was the cause of his fall to the earth, [and he became evil].
The ancient sages say that God gathered the stars in Aries. He gave them the Sun for a king; Mercury assumed the place of secretary; Jupiter was the judge; Mars, the guardian who carries weapons; the Moon was the treasurer; Venus, the wife, and Saturn, the counselor. The nodes (i.e. the points where the ecliptic crosses the equator) were employed in the operation of the celestial sphere.
The ancients reported that there were on earth twenty-eight races of creatures endowed with spiritual powers and strength, corresponding to the twenty-eight houses (of the moon). They believed that past nations were under the direction of the fixed stars. There are one thousand and twenty fixed stars, each of which runs through the zodiac over thirty-six thousand years. It is they who produce all operations and direct all world affairs.
Some traditionalists say God created the celestial spheres out of sea water and after the water had been inflated, it solidified. The spheres are seven in number; on top of them is placed the Inhabited House; this house has three hundred and sixty doors, each of which opens onto a degree of the sphere. All blessings and all graces flow from these open doors onto the signs (of the zodiac), and those are the stars which transmit them to the Earth. — The traditionalists further say: God created a substance that fills his kingdom and is called the mind. Above are the veils, and above all this is placed the throne. That is why God said, “He has expanded his throne above the heavens and the earth.” The throne and everything in it are themselves placed in the tabernacle; the tabernacle and everything in it are contained in the knowledge of God.
The highest of the seven wandering stars is Saturn. Below it, Jupiter is placed, followed in order by Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon. — Several among the ancient sages believed that the stars were angels, each having a share in the administration of the world. This is why they glorified them and worshiped them.
Some think that the higher creatures, which are the angels, are divided into twelve classes corresponding to the twelve signs of the zodiac, and that God’s commands are transmitted from one class to another. God gave these angels their strength and various faculties. Some may assume a figure so colossal that it would fill the earth; others may assume one so small it would pass through the eye of a needle; they penetrate into the depths of the earth, in the seas, in the mountains, and no one can stop them. There are angels which have wings in pairs of two, three, or four; it is of them that God says, “They travel in a flash to the ends of the earth.” There are some that are made of light; others are azure like the flame, and still others are resplendent. Some angels are carriers of the grace of God, while others function as guards and supervisors; these originate from water vapor; they have lovely faces, but dark in color. They are occupied solely in the service of God, and they have various forms to infinity.
Physicists teach that, after the creation of the spheres, the spheres played the role of the body in relation to the stars, and the stars played the role of spirits relative to the spheres.
Hermes said: “After creating the signs of the Zodiac, God divided time among them. He gave to Aries the presiding role for twelve thousand years; Taurus assumed it for eleven thousand years; Gemini assumed it for ten thousand years, [nine thousand to Cancer], eight thousand to the Lion, seven thousand to the Virgin, six thousand to Libra, five thousand to Scorpio, four thousand to Sagittarius, three thousand to Capricorn, two thousand to Aquarius, and one thousand to Pisces. The full tour of the entire celestial sphere is seventy-eight thousand years. The planet Saturn has dominated for fifty-six thousand years; the remaining time is shared between the other planets. During the time that the world was under the signs of Aries, Taurus, and Gemini, there were no animals. This lasted the duration of thirty-three thousand years; there were no longer any spiritual being on earth. When the turn of Cancer came, there appeared sea monsters and the giants of the earth. When Leo had taken the presiding role, quadrupeds appeared on earth. When it was the turn of the Virgin, there were born the two humans, Adamānūs and Hīwāūs. The birds appeared during the reign of Libra.”
Here is what physicists think of the size of the stars: The Sun is one hundred and sixty-three times as big as the Earth; Saturn, ninety-one and a half times as big as her; Jupiter, eighty-one times; Mars, seventy-three times; Venus, sixty and a bit more times; Mercury thirty-three and a third; Moon, twenty-seven times and a quarter. The Sun is, as we have said, the king of the planets.
There are philosophers who think that the planets are alive, endowed with reason and senses. According to some of them, the planets have the senses of hearing, sight, and touch, but not those of taste and smell, which would be useless for them. Many say that the celestial sphere is alive, and that it distinguishes all that is in it and that has corporeal form. They say that the Moon borrows its light from the Sun, because when these two stars meet, the Moon loses its light. According to some of them, the world was created, but it will never end because it is the work of wisdom and the work of wisdom cannot perish. On the length of time, they express different opinions, of which we will report only that which has a wonderful character, without worrying about the truth. The book of Sindhind (i.e. Siddhānta, or Indian philosophy), from which were made the Almagest and several tables, teaches that the orbit the Sun, from its starting point in Aries, will only be completed in the space of 1,400,020,000 rounds, each of which is one year, being the year of three hundred sixty-five days and a quarter. They say that the measure of the cycle is 4,320,000,000 rounds, each comprising one thousand years. The traditionalists report that the age of the world up to Adam was seven thousand years. Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari says, as we reported earlier, that from Adam until the end of the world seven thousand years must pass; and he tells us that before the end of time, the sun will rise in the West. Some people say that when the Heart (Antares, in Scorpius) reaches the fifteenth degree of the Lion, there will be a deluge of fire that will consume the world, leaving no living being in the sea or on land. After that God will restore such creatures as he pleases. Aristotle believed that time has neither beginning nor end and that nature is eternal.
Chapter 2: The Nations Created before Adam
It is said that God created twenty-eight nations corresponding to the heavenly mansions inhabited the moon, because this star was the attendant, by the permission of God, of the government of the earthly world. These races were created using different mixtures of elements: water, air, fire, and earth, and the individuals in them had various forms. There is a race where the individuals are tall and very agile and have wings, and whose language is formed by the snapping of fingers. In another race, the individuals have the bodies of lions and birds’ heads, covered in hair and having long tails, and their language is a buzzing. In another, they have two faces, one in front and one behind, and several feet; their language is similar to that of birds. These nations are the djinn; there is among others a kind of djinn which has the form of dogs, complete with tails; their language is an incomprehensible growl. In another of these races, individuals resemble men except that they have their mouths in the middle of their chests and speak by whistling. Another race is similar to long snakes provided with wings, legs, and tails; others are like halves of men, having only one eye, a hand, and a foot and walking by jumping and bounding; their language resembles that of cranes. Others have the faces of men and loins covered tortoiseshell like turtles; they have claws for hands, long horns on their heads, and their language is similar to the howling of wolves. Others have two heads with two faces like the heads of lions; they are great and speak an incomprehensible language. Others have a round face, white hair, tails like oxen, and they spit fire from their mouths. Others look like women, with hair and breasts; there are no males in this race; these women are made pregnant by the wind, and they bring forth that individuals who resemble them; they have lovely voices and they attract many people of other races by the charm of their voices. Others are shaped like reptiles and insects. Although they are tall, they eat and drink like cattle. Still others are like the beasts of the sea; but they have tusks like wild boars and long ears. The rest of these twenty-eight breeds are of various forms, and all have a wild appearance.
They say that these nations interbred, and that the number of distinct races grew to one hundred and twenty.
The Djinn, Their Tribes, and the Their Kinds They asked the emir of the believers, Ali ibn Abu Talib, if before Adam there existed on earth creatures capable of serving God. He replied: Yes; God created the earth, and then he put onto it races of djinn who celebrated ceaselessly his glory and holiness. They flew into heaven, they met with the angels, they greeted them, and they received from them the knowledge of good and of the disasters that that would arrive from heaven. But some of the djinn rebelled, rejecting the authority of God and filling the earth with injustice. Some elevated themselves above the others; they shed blood, and they displayed corruption and contempt for divine things. The rest of the djinn persevered in religion and in obedience and broke the rebels. They, because of their submission, could continue to fly up to heaven.
Angels, as we have said above, are spiritual creatures, equipped with wings that enable them to fly where God sends them. They live between the levels of heaven, and there they praise God and proclaim his holiness tirelessly until they are called for a mission. The angel closest to God is Israfil (Raphael); Mikhail (Michael) comes after him, then Jibrail (Gabriel). [The revelation is passed from one to another until it reaches us.]
The Indians, the Persians, and the Greeks treated the genealogy and tribes of the djinn and gave the names of their kings, and they believed they were divided into twenty-one tribes. When their empire had lasted five thousand years, they appointed a king from among themselves and called Shāma’īl, son of Aras. Then they divided and named five kings, and they stayed a long time in this state. At the end, some of the djinn attacked each other, and there were a great number of battles and terrible wars.
Iblis (the Devil) is a djinn. He has many names, varying with languages; his name in Arabic is al-Harit, and his nickname, Abu Murrah (Father of Bitterness). He was a very powerful creature; he ascended into heaven, stood in the middle of the angelic orders and served God with great zeal. When discord broke out among the djinn and these wars took place among them, he came down to earth with an army of angels and defeated and massacred the djinn; then he established his empire on earth. But he swelled with pride and prevarication. One of his sins was his refusal to prostrate himself before Adam, as God tells us in his book. His form was changed into a hideous one, a figure of great repulsiveness, and all the tribes of djinn disowned him and moved away from him in horror. Seeing this, he fixed his abode on the sea. God made him raise a throne on the water. Later, he fathered a lineage, as Adam did. But the deformity of his race was manifested even in the act of reproduction; his descendants were similar to birds in this, and hatched from eggs.
The scholars have mentioned the types of the djinn. According to them, there are thirty-five tribes of satans, fifteen tribes of djinn that fly in the air, [twenty-five tribes of djinn who walk on land, twenty tribes of djinn that live in the water, twelve tribes of djinn who run in storms,] ten tribes of djinn who run in the flame, thirty tribes of djinn occupied with the magic of sounds. The kings of these tribes are responsible for protecting them against danger.
It is reported that there is a kind of fairy that assumes the form of beautiful women and marries men. This adventure happened, they say, to Sa‘id bin Jubayr. He married one of the women-fairies, without knowing what she was. She stayed close to him and gave him children. One night while she was with him on a terrace overlooking the countryside, plaintive voices of women were heard in the distance. She was troubled and told her husband, “Do not you see the fairy lights? I leave to your care your house and your children.” And she flew away and did not return.
There is also a kind of djinn that sets upon a man when they find him alone in the rocks or in ruins; they take him by the hand, forcing him to dance until he falls down, dizzy, and they suck his blood.
There are some which are no different snakes; sometimes men kill them and die immediately; [if the killer is a child, his father dies, or someone even more powerful.] It is said that a young Ansarian (companion of the Prophet), being close to getting married, asked the Prophet for permission to celebrate the wedding and reunite his family at a feast during the Battle of the Ditch. The Prophet allowed him to do so. Back at his home, this Ansarian found his wife standing at the door; he conceived a great jealousy, and made the gesture of directing his spear against her; but she stopped and said: “Abandon this thought, and instead enter and see what is on your bed.” He entered and saw on the bed a great snake. He killed it with a spear, and instantly he died.
The Arabs report the next adventure as having occurred to ‘Abīd ibn al-Abraṣ. He left with some men to visit Syria. At one point along the way, he saw a shojā’ serpent panting with thirst, and behind him, a black [saudā] serpent which was chasing it. He dismounted and killed the black serpent; then untying his water-skin, he sprinkled water on the shojā’, which crawled under a stone. ‘Abīd went on his way, and he finished his business in Syria. As he was returning, he fell asleep in a deserted place, and he saw, when he awoke, that his camels were lost. Not knowing the way, he remained in the same place; but, when night had already enveloped all in shadow, he heard a voice saying:
“O, master of the young camel, you who have lost your way and have with you no guide to lead you, I offer you a young camel; climb up on him; and when the darkness of the night is dissipated, and the morning will be near and the star will shine, removes his saddle from him and let him go free.”
When he heard these words of the voice, ‘Abīd turned and caught sight of a camel of surpassing beauty. He climbed up on it and traveled the rest of the night. In the morning, he found himself in front of himself; yet the day before he was twenty-one stations from his home. He descended from the camel and began to speak.
“O young camel, I am here thanks to you saving me from a mortal peril. I was a traveler in the night without a guide. Return covered in the praise I heap upon you, so that the good you did to me is returned to you at night or in the morning.”
The camel replied saying, “I am the shojā’ serpent whom you met in distress and dying of thirst. You gave me water without thinking about yourself, and you did not reason like the men with hard hearts. Goodness persists long; evil is the worst provision that you can put in your travel bag.” The camel said, “The black snake that was following me is one of my slaves who sought to kill me. You removed me from his evil designs, and you quenched my thirst. This good deed will not be lost; God will count it.”
Ibn ‘Abbas said: Most tame animals are types of djinn. Dogs, among others, are djinn. When they see you eat, throw them some of your food because they have souls; that is to say that they understand what they see with their eyes.
The Arabs report that a man riding a camel the size of a ram appeared in the market of ‘Okāz and said, “Who will give me eighty camels both the white and brown?” Seeing that no one answered him, he struck his camel, and it flew between heaven and earth with the speed of lightning. The crowd was amazed and a man from among them recounted this fact: “I once met,” he said, “in a desert a character mounted on an ostrich; he had both eyes split across the width of his face. At first I was afraid of him; then I asked him to stop and I said: ‘Do you know some poems?’ — ‘Yes,’ he said. — ‘Recite them for me, then.’ He began to recite the poem that begins with this line: ‘Will Kitami finally abandon her coquetry, or will she always remain stingy with greetings and words?’
“And he went through to the end. I told him, ‘Excellent! But the brother of the son of Dhubyan (i.e. al-Nābighah al-Dhubiyānī) wrote these verses before you.’ He replied, ‘O my brother, I have, by God, uttered these very words in the market of ‘Okāz four hundred years before him.’”
It is said that God created one thousand and twenty nations, according to the number of fixed stars. There are six hundred in the sea and four hundred and twenty on the continents. Of all these races, the human race is the most beautiful, the most perfect, the most beloved of the Creator, [and the human form is the one in which the proportions are most admirable]. Man was created in the image of Israfil, who is the angel closest to God. It is written in the Torah (Bible): God created man in his image; and a tradition holds: Do not hit faces because they are in the likeness of Israfil; another holds: Do not stop gazing on the faces of beardless youths because they throw glances like those of black-eyed houris. They also say that there is something of all other creatures in man; that is why he is above other animals, mastering, hunting, and enslaving them. God has prepared for his food plants and animals; he has prepared for him all sorts of pleasures, and made him capable of performing any kind of work through his hands. Man has the power of speech, laughter, reflection, intelligence, and the capability of invention; and it is with him that the Creator communicates; it is he who orders and defends, he who invented the arts, who developed science, who builds tools, who digs mines, who extracts the hidden wonders in the depths of the seas, and who rules over all.
Among the wonderful creatures, one must mention the Nasnās. The Nasnās is built like half a man; it has one hand and one foot; he walks by jumps and he runs with great speed. Once it was found in Yemen and sometimes in non-Arab countries. The Arabs hunted and ate it. An Arab legend says that one day some travelers arrived in a country where there were many Nasnās. They cornered one, and it killed, and roasted it, yet it was very fat. When they had sat down to eat, one traveler said, “How did the Nasnās grow fat?” Another Nasnās who was hiding near there in a tree began to respond:
"He ate mastic (Pistacia lentiscus), which is what made him fat.” The hunters, tipped off by this explanation, seized that nasnās and killed him. Another then said, in a tree where he was hiding, “If he had presence of mind, he would have been talking to himself instead of you.” The hunters took him in turn and killed him. At that moment, a fourth Nasnās, hidden in a hole in the ground, shouted: “I am cleverer, so I will say nothing!” He was immediately seized and put to death like the first. Travelers were thus provided with food. They say the Nasnās feed on fruits and plants and they are able to withstand thirst.
It is said that in the east of the world, toward the sea, there is a breed that is both human and wild beast. Individuals have a wide face and are hairy like the lion, have round and shiny eyes, sharp teeth, long tails and long ears; but they have the bodies of men, except the extremities are provided with large curved and sharp claws. There are more nations beyond that; they serve as food for the animals of the sea.
One of the races that is most similar to man is that of the Wāḳwāḳ. These individuals hang from branches by their hair; they have breasts and sexual organs similar to those of women, and they have a ruddy complexion; they constantly shout “Wak Wak!”, and if one of these females is captured, it goes silent and falls dead.
We read in the Book of Treasure that the traveler who passes by this nation comes to another race entirely of women, greater than these and more beautiful in the face and the rest of the body. These, after being captured, survive a little over a day. Many times those who took them used them for their pleasure; they are similar to women, but they have a pleasant smell and they provide the most delicious pleasures. The atmosphere of this country is more fragrant than camphor. This race does not comprise thousands. We do not know anything else of them except that given in the accounts of sailors who have been driven to that country.
Another wonderful breed is that of marine women called water girls. They have the appearance of beautiful women with flowing hair; they are provided with developed sex organs and breasts, and they speak an incomprehensible language accompanied by laughter. Sailors have recounted that they had been thrown by the winds against an island where there were forests and freshwater rivers, and there they heard shouts and laughter. They approached unseen and surprised two women whom they tied up. They remained with those who had captured them. The sailors visited them all the time, and they found very great pleasure in them. One of them made her his mistress and took off her chains, but immediately she ran into the sea and he never saw her again.
The other remained captive to her master; she became pregnant by him and gave him a son. The sailor took her to sea with the child; having seen in the ship that she did not wish to be separated from her son, he had pity on her and removed her bonds; immediately she abandoned the child and jumped into the sea. The next day she showed herself to the sailor and threw him a shell that contained a precious pearl.
[Al-Masʿūdī said:] We have spoken of the celestial spirits from what we have learned, — but God knows his creation best! — and of other things, looking for wonderful legends and not the exact truth. Whoever reads our book will have to guard against the stories we report herein. In God we find our strength, salvation, and duration.
Chapter 3: The Earth and What It Contains cont'd....
A study published last week in the journal Science reported that the ancestors of the Inuit evolved unique genetic adaptations for metabolizing omega-3s and other fatty acids. Those gene variants had drastic effects on Inuit bodies, reducing their heights and weights.
Rasmus Nielsen, a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, and an author of the new study, said that the discovery raised questions about whether omega-3 fats really were protective for everyone, despite decades of health advice. “The same diet may have different effects on different people,” he said.
As the Inuit people spread across the Arctic, they developed one of the most extreme diets on Earth. They didn’t farm fruits, vegetables or grains. There weren’t many wild plants to forage, aside from the occasional patch of berries on the tundra.
For the most part, the Inuit ate what they could hunt, and they mostly hunted at sea, catching whales, seals and fish. Western scientists have long been fascinated by their distinctly un-Western diet. Despite eating so much fatty meat and fish, the Inuit didn’t have a lot of heart attacks.
In the 1970s, Danish researchers studying Inuit metabolism proposed that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish were protective....But recent trials have failed to confirm that the pills prevent heart attacks or stroke. And now the story has an intriguing new twist.
A study published last week in the journal Science reported that the ancestors of the Inuit evolved unique genetic adaptations for metabolizing omega-3s and other fatty acids. Those gene variants had drastic effects on Inuit bodies, reducing their heights and weights. ...
Even more intriguing was the fact that one of these gene variants was present in almost every Inuit in the study. It is much less common in other populations: About a quarter of Chinese people have it, compared with just 2 percent of Europeans.
Natural selection is the only known way this gene variant could have become so common in the Inuit. Dr. Nielsen said this adaptation might have arisen as long ago as 20,000 years, when the ancestors of the Inuit were living in the Beringia region, which straddles Alaska and Siberia.
To uncover the effect of this variant gene, the scientists compared the Inuit in their study with others with more European ancestry. Some had inherited a European version of the variant. People with two copies of the Inuit gene had different blood levels of fatty acids than people without them, the researchers found.
It’s possible that with so much extra omega-3 in their diet, the Inuit evolved a way to bring blood levels of fatty acids back into a healthy balance. “It seems that a genetic adaptation has counteracted the high intake of omega-3 fatty acids,” said Marit E. Jorgensen, an author of the new study from the University of South Denmark. .. The adaptation did more than just change blood levels of fatty acids, the scientists found. Inuit who carried two copies of the variant gene were on average an inch shorter and 10 pounds lighter than those without a copy.
“That’s quite extreme,” said Dr. Nielsen.
Indeed, it’s rare to find a single gene that can influence height and weight so drastically. In recent years, scientists have run a number of large studies pinpointing hundreds of genes that affect height and weight, but each one played a minuscule role in the variation from person to person.
Those studies missed this influential gene variant because they focused mostly on people of European ancestry. So Dr. Nielsen and his colleagues also investigated how it affects Europeans. As it turns out, the gene variant is linked to a drastic drop in height and weight in that population, too.
The idea that the Inuit adapted to eating fatty food was very plausible, said Anthony G. Comuzzie, a geneticist at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio who was not involved in the study. But he cautioned that natural selection might not have favored the FADS variant but a neighboring, as yet unknown piece of DNA that conferred evolutionary advantages.
As that gene spread through the Inuit population, the FADS variant might simply have been passed down with it.
Dr. Nielsen and his colleagues are planning to investigate the long-term health effects of the gene variants they’ve found. They may help explain why some of us metabolize fats more effectively than others, and why omega-3s haven’t been the heart panacea once hoped. - - -
Note: They probably got it backwards - dome living is more common in full-blood eskimos than in mixed-blood eskimos, so stronger selection for small body size. (Nappy hair isn't associated with Inuit dome living as it is in Pygmies due to cold).
Note: Igloo(Inuit) = mongolu(Mbuti dome hut built by females) - mother/mbua/mo = igloo built by men/hunters.
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We present here evidence for an early Holocene case of decapitation in the New World (Burial 26), found in the rock shelter of Lapa do Santo in 2007. Lapa do Santo is an archaeological site located in the Lagoa Santa karst in east-central Brazil with evidence of human occupation dating as far back as 11.7–12.7 cal kyBP (95.4% interval). An ultra-filtered AMS age determination on a fragment of the sphenoid provided an age range of 9.1–9.4 cal kyBP (95.4% interval) for Burial 26. The interment was composed of an articulated cranium, mandible and first six cervical vertebrae. Cut marks with a v-shaped profile were observed in the mandible and sixth cervical vertebra. The right hand was amputated and laid over the left side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the chin and the left hand was amputated and laid over the right side of the face with distal phalanges pointing to the forehead. Strontium analysis comparing Burial 26’s isotopic signature to other specimens from Lapa do Santo suggests this was a local member of the group. Therefore, we suggest a ritualized decapitation instead of trophy-taking, testifying for the sophistication of mortuary rituals among hunter-gatherers in the Americas during the early Archaic period. In the apparent absence of wealth goods or elaborated architecture, Lapa do Santo’s inhabitants seemed to use the human body to express their cosmological principles regarding death.
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A New Model of Human Dispersal Trevor Underwood1 Independent researcher
This presentation examines previously unpublished allele counts obtained from the French-San-Neanderthal-Chimpanzee alignment of the high quality DNA sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains . This analysis indicates the existence of an unidentified third archaic ancestor of present-day Europeans, which diverged from its common ancestor with sub-Saharan Africans and Neanderthals around 900 thousand years ago. It also shows that the relative proportions of derived alleles of Neanderthals versus sub-Saharan Africans versus the third archaic ancestor, in the 0.0826% the European genome that is not shared with the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzee, are 13.6%, 32.3% and 54.2%, respectively. In addition, analysis of the also unpublished allele counts from the alignment of the 45 Kya fossil from Ust’-Ishim in western Siberia  and of the alignment of the 36.2 Kya Kostenki 14 (Markina Gora) fossil from Kostenki-Borshchevo in European Russia  show similar relative proportions, suggesting that these individuals were closely related to the ancestor of present-day Europeans. These results differ significantly from previous estimates of the proportion of Neanderthal ancestry in present-day Europeans which range from 1.3% to 2.7% [1, 4, 5]. This presentation also identifies a mathematical error in the derivation of the admixture proportion estimators used to generate the previous estimates which explains this difference. The analysis of the allele counts together with anthropological and archaeological evidence suggests a new model of human dispersal based on a Eurasian lineage in the Levant, which admixed with Neanderthals between 250-55 Kya as they expanded eastward, and subsequently with members or descendants of the African mtDNA haplogroup L3 after their emergence from Africa between 84-63 Kya. This was followed by radiation from a basal admixed population in the Levant from around 55-50 Kya, with no subsequent major contribution to the European genome. Ancestors of the Ust’-Ishim individual, a member of mtDNA haplogroup R, probably went northeast from the Levant into western Siberia around 47 Kya; and ancestors of the Kostenki 14 individual, a member of mtDNA haplogroup U2, probably moved northward from the Levant into the Central European Plain between 40-36 Kya. It is likely that other members of these hybrid populations with a morphology similar to present-day Homo sapiens, including mtDNA haplogroups N, R, U, U2, U8 and JT, expanded westward into Europe along the Danube and Mediterranean coast and replaced the already dwindling Neanderthal populations between 45-35 Kya, rather than newly emerged sub-Saharan Africans as has been assumed. This analysis indicates the existence of an unidentified third archaic ancestor of present-day Europeans, which diverged from its common ancestor with sub-Saharan Africans and Neanderthals around 900 thousand years ago. Posts: 1818 | From: Miami | Registered: Aug 2014
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Scientists warn that similar event to collapse of volcano on Cape Verdean island of Fogo 73,000 years ago poses major threat to nearby islands
The sudden collapse of a volcano caused a tsunami that created waves up to 240 metres (800ft) high 73,000 years ago, scientists have discovered.
The mega-tsunami took place near the Cape Verde islands off west Africa when the slopes of the volcano gave way – a process known as a “flank collapse” – and some experts fear a similar collapse could present a real threat today, especially around volcanic islands.
The ancient collapse occurred at the Cape Verdean island of Fogo, one of the world’s largest and most active island volcanoes, which towers 2,743 metres above sea level.
An estimated 167 cubic km (40 cubic miles) of rock fell into the ocean, resulting in a wave that engulfed an island more than 30 miles away.
By comparison, the largest known recent tsunamis, which devastated Indian Ocean coasts in 2004 and eastern Japan in 2011, attained maximum heights of about 30 metres. These tsunamis were triggered by undersea earthquakes rather than volcanic collapses.
Clues left by the mega-tsunami include boulders the size of lorries that had been carried up to 600 metres inland and nearly 200 metres above sea level on Santiago island, 34 miles from Fogo.
A huge boulder found on Santiago island carried more than 30 miles by the tsunami.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest A huge boulder found on Santiago island carried more than 30 miles by the tsunami. Photograph: Ricardo Ramalho/Columbia University/PA The boulders, weighing up to 770 tonnes, matched marine-type rocks ringing the island’s shores and were quite unlike the volcanic terrain on which they were found.
By calculating the energy needed to hurl the boulders such a distance, the scientists were able to estimate the size of the wave. Their findings are reported in the journal Science Advances. Prof Bill McGuire, a tsunami expert from University College London, believes such mega-tsunami events occur once every 10,000 years.
He said: “Nevertheless, the scale of such events, as the Fogo study testifies, and their potentially devastating impact, makes them a clear and serious hazard in ocean basins that host active volcanoes.”
With the help of Andrew George, associate dean of languages and culture at SOAS and translator of "The Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation" (Penguin Classics, 2000), Al-Rawi translated the tablet in just five days. The clay artifact could date as far back to the old-Babylonian period (2003-1595 B.C.), according to the Sulaymaniyah Museum. However, Al-Rawi and George said they believe it's a bit younger and was inscribed in the neo-Babylonian period (626-539 B.C.).
Al-Rawi and George soon discovered that the stolen tablet told a familiar story: the story of Gilgamesh, the protagonist of the ancient Babylonian tale, "The Epic of Gilgamesh," which is widely regarded as the first-ever epic poem and the first great work of literature ever created. Because of the time period when the story was written, the tale was likely inscribed on "tablets," with each tablet telling a different part of the story (kind of like modern chapters or verses).
What Al-Rawi and George translated is a formerly unknown portion of the fifth tablet, which tells the story of Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and Enkidu (the wild man created by the gods to keep Gilgamesh in line) as they travel to the Cedar Forest (home of the gods) to defeat the ogre Humbaba.
The new tablet adds 20 previously unknown lines to the epic story, filling in some of the details about how the forest looked and sounded.
"The new tablet continues where other sources break off, and we learn that the Cedar Forest is no place of serene and quiet glades. It is full of noisy birds and cicadas, and monkeys scream and yell in the trees," George told Live Science in an email.
In a parody of courtly life, the monstrous Humbaba treats the cacophony of jungle noises as a kind of entertainment, "like King Louie in 'The Jungle Book,'" George said. Such a vivid description of the natural landscapes is "very rare" in Babylonian narrative poetry, he added
Other newfound lines of the poem confirm details that are alluded to in other parts of the work. For example, it shows that Enkidu and Humbaba were childhood buddies and that, after killing the ogre, the story's heroes feel a bit remorseful, at least for destroying the lovely forest.
"Gilgamesh and Enkidu cut down the cedar to take home to Babylonia, and the new text carries a line that seems to express Enkidu's recognition that reducing the forest to a wasteland is a bad thing to have done, and will upset the gods," George said. Like the description of the forest, this kind of ecological awareness is very rare in ancient poetry, he added.
The tablet, now mud-free and fully translated, is currently on display at the Sulaymaniyah Museum. A paper outlining Al-Rawi and George's findings was published in 2014 in the Journal of Cuneiform Studies.
Wally: " In fact, the Arabic terms for Blacks or Africans (aswad;sud;sooda) seem to derive directly from Egyptian words: Egyptian: "Sut";sedge swamps > Arabic: "Sudd" > as_sud > a-swad > aswad
Yes, and the "Sedge Country" was southern Egypt and the Sudan, ie, the noted "Sedge swamps" of Sudan...
Also note that the king of Lower or Northern Egypt's title was "Biti" (bee) and his ideogram was that of a bee, and the northern kingdom was represented by the "Papyrus swamps" or the marshes of the Delta. It's totally complementary in concept. And so you have the title for the king of both "Upper and Lower Egypt" as "NsuBiti"
(I wonder what if any relationship this (NsuBiti) has with the Nsibidi people of Nigeria) " - - -
Wally: "Pharaoh"- Great Double-House, also means the king; "Pharaoh" too.
~ double house = 2 breasts of mother = mbuangualua
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Theories that Hn buried their dead with flower-filled funeral rites have been called into question by new research: natural processes are still depositing pollen in the same way in the same caves.
In the 1950s & 60s, pollen analyst Josette Leroi-Gourhan found clumps of pollen & flowers in a Hn burial in Shanidar Cave in Iraq, she deduced from their variety & concentration that animals were unlikely to have placed them there: they must have been part of a ritual.
Ralph Solecki (excavation leader, "Shanidar, The First Flower People" 1971): "With the finding of flowers in association with Hn, we are brought suddenly to the realization that the universality of mankind & the love of beauty go beyond the boundary of our own species. No longer can we deny the early men the full range of human feelings & experience."
The difficulty of digging in Iraq in the intervening time has made it difficult to re-examine the site, but John Moores cs (2015 Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology) made the trip recently: they found similar buildup of pollen to that found in the burial on the surface, which they attribute to the action of bees: the similar pollen found under the surface by the Solecki expedition is simply bee-pollen & wind-blown vegetation, that has been covered up over the last 60 ka since the burial.
It is still evident from the Shanidar burials & other sites that Hn took considerable care over the internment of the dead: They kept them safe from scavengers & marked the sites with carved stone ornaments, but sadly the poetic image of flower-laden prehistoric graves seems to be far less likely now.
Te(Mongol) clear sky She(Chinese) sun Khoi(KhoiSan) ? Xy(Paleo) open sky/shine/skin/she.ltr/shi.eld
Circuit/Cycle/Sequence/Circle relate to sun's/moon's path through the sky; it is also applied to the circuitous route of Hunting/Gathering Nomadic tribes as well as later pastoralists following herds seeking fresher fields.
Tien(Chinese) high peaks Zion(Hebrew) high peaks Sandwe(Khoi-San) ? only KS clan with conical huts
Te(Mongol) clear sky She(Chinese) sun Khoi(KhoiSan) ? sky? open-sky people? Xya(Paleo) open sky/shine/skin/she.ltr/shi.eld
Circuit/Cycle/Sequence/Circle relate to sun's/moon's path through the sky; it is also applied to the circuitous route of Hunting/Gathering Nomadic tribes as well as later pastoralists following herds seeking fresher fields.
Tien(Chinese) high peaks Zion(Hebrew) high peaks Sandwe(Khoi-San) ? only KS clan with conical huts
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80,000 yr old teeth of AMH H sapiens at Cave near Tangbei village, Lefutang town, Daoxian County, Southern China
The hominin record from southern Asia for the early Late Pleistocene epoch is scarce. Well-dated and well-preserved fossils older than 45,000 years that can be unequivocally attributed to Homo sapiens are lacking . Here we present evidence from the newly excavated Fuyan Cave in Daoxian (southern China).
The Daoxian sample is more derived than any other anatomically modern humans, resembling middle-to-late Late Pleistocene specimens and even contemporary humans. Our study shows that fully modern morphologies were
present in southern China 30,000–70,000 years earlier than in the Levant and Europe
Notably, although fully modern humans were already pre-sent in southern China at least as early as 80,000 years ago, there is no evidence that they entered Europe before 45,000 years ago. This could indicate that H. neanderthalensis was indeed an additional ecological barrier for modern humans, who could only enter Europe when the demise of Neanderthals had already started
A nearly complete right hand of an adult hominin was recovered from the Rising Star cavesystem, South Africa. Based on associated hominin material, the bones of this hand areattributed to Homo naledi. This hand reveals a long, robust thumb and derived wrist morphologythat is shared with Neandertals and modern humans, and considered adaptive for intensiﬁed manual manipulation. However, the ﬁnger bones are longer and more curved than in mostaustralopiths, indicating frequent use of the hand during life for strong grasping during loco-motor climbing and suspension. These markedly curved digits in combination with an otherwisehuman-like wrist and palm indicate a signiﬁcant degree of climbing, despite the derived natureof many aspects of the hand and other regions of the postcranial skeleton in H. naledi. - - -
Human ancestors/relatives sleeping in forest canopy bowl nests, before dome hut inversion.
A shabono (also xapono, shapono, or yano) is a hut used by the Yanomami Amerindians of extreme southern Venezuela and extreme northern Brazil. Used as temporary homes, traditionally constructed mainly of thatched palm leaves and wood. Shabonos are built in clearings in the jungle, using the wood cleared to build a palisade with a thatched roof that has a hole in the middle
Actually Tibetan wolves were isolated on Phu Quoc Island south of Cambodia, Pygmies in coracles (mongolu/harigolu) found them and domesticated them 45ka but deliberate breeding for traits began 15ka with incipient agriculture and territorial sedentary advantages.
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<http://www.amazon.com/Handedness-Brain-Asymmetry-Right-Theory/dp/184169104 6> Some researchers still in 2002 claimed to support the monogenic theory, suggesting that handedness is determined by a single genetic locus with 2 alleles. But with the advent of advanced molecular & genetic techniques, the foundation of monogenic theories has become increasingly shaky, not just for handedness, but for many complex traits, e.g. for skin color & height, some cancers & other multifaceted diseases. Clyde Francks : "Many human traits that are continuous in nature in the population (e.g. height, weight, blood pressure, aspects of brain lateralization) are likely to have complex contributions to their variability, both genetic & environmental. As neuroscientists, we are very puzzled that there is this weird link between left-handedness & cerebral organization."
Even with the knowledge that traits as complex as brain lateralization & hand preference were unlikely to have a simple genetic foundation, Somers admits that he sought the elusive single gene that could explain the well-established behavioral distribution: "I was hoping to find the major gene that linked language lateralization & handedness."
So a few years ago, he & colleagues tracked down families in a Dutch village that had a bizarre demographic trait: disproportionately large numbers of southpaws, going back generations. Somers cs studied the genetic makeup of 355 people from 37 large families that comprised generations of lefties, performing genetic linkage analyses of left-handedness, atypical lateralization & degree of language lateralization in the brain. Although they identified genome regions that were linked to all of those phenotypes separately, none of the regions overlapped. J Neurosci 35:8730-36, 2015 <http://www.jneurosci.org/content/35/23/8730.short>, The finding "overturns this older idea of a shared gene," and serves as strong evidence that monogenic theories of handedness or language lateralization are incorrect: "It is more complicated, and it is more in line with many recent findings that traits are composed of many genes rather than single genes."
Determining the timing, identity and direction of migrations in the Mediterranean Basin, the role of “migratory routes” in and among regions of Africa, Europe and Asia, and the effects of sex-specific behaviors of population movements have important implications for our understanding of the present human genetic diversity. A crucial component of the Mediterranean world is its westernmost region. Clear features of transcontinental ancient contacts between North African and Iberian populations surrounding the maritime region of Gibraltar Strait have been identified from archeological data. The attempt to discern origin and dates of migration between close geographically related regions has been a challenge in the field of uniparental-based population genetics. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) studies have been focused on surveying the H1, H3 and V lineages when trying to ascertain north-south migrations, and U6 and L in the opposite direction, assuming that those lineages are good proxies for the ancestry of each side of the Mediterranean. To this end, in the present work we have screened entire mtDNA sequences belonging to U6, M1 and L haplogroups in Andalusians—from Huelva and Granada provinces—and Moroccan Berbers. We present here pioneer data and interpretations on the role of NW Africa and the Iberian Peninsula regarding the time of origin, number of founders and expansion directions of these specific markers. The estimated entrance of the North African U6 lineages into Iberia at 10 ky correlates well with other L African clades, indicating that U6 and some L lineages moved together from Africa to Iberia in the Early Holocene. Still, founder analysis highlights that the high sharing of lineages between North Africa and Iberia results from a complex process continued through time, impairing simplistic interpretations. In particular, our work supports the existence of an ancient, frequently denied, bridge connecting the Maghreb and Andalusia.
Possible link of H erectus to Lake Turkana and coastal migrations (Java/Dmanisi-Georgia 1.8ma)?
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Freshwater stingrays from the Plio/Pleistocene of the Turkana Basin, Kenya and Ethiopia Craig S Feibel 2007 Lethaia 26:359-366 doi 10.1111/j.1502-3931.1993.tb01542.x
The fossil freshwater stingray from the Turkana Basin of Kenya & Ethiopia is re-described & re-assigned to Dasyatis africana on the basis of extensive new collections. The ray apparently evolved into an endemic freshwater species, derived from a stock which entered the Turkana Basin from the Indian Ocean at c 1.9 Ma. At that time, the ancestral Omo River system flowed through a major lake, and exited to the SE. A fluvial corridor (the Turkana River) connected the Turkana Basin with the Indian Ocean. Once established in the basin, the rays flourished & persisted for > 1/2 My. Their extinction has been placed subsequent to 1.3 Ma, it likely reflects the changing environmental & tectonic conditions, recorded in subsequent strata. The fluvial corridor which formed the route of migration into the Turkana Basin has important implications for modern & past African bio-geography.
Hypn <https://disqus.com/by/hypn/> <https://disqus.com/by/hypn/>12> 12 days ago <http://ncse.com/blog/2015/10/cave-homo-naledi-textbook-example-how-to-do-s cience-0016693#comment-2319909560> <http://ncse.com/blog/2015/10/cave-homo-naledi-textbook-example-how-to-do-s cience-0016693#comment-2319909560>I>
I am a member of the club who made the discovery of the Naledi Fossil. The article above creates the incorrect impression of the cave. The cave itself has been known to us and visited frequently for as long as I have been a member of the club. It has indeed been well surveyed and what initially started as three different cave systems were all eventually interconnected to create one large system. The fossils were discovered in a section knows as the Dragons back. This section was visited and surveyed and has never seen visitors since the survey was first created (I stand to be corrected but I believe 1980s).
A new adventurous member of the club - Steven - set out to re-explore the cave. His visit to the chamber was met with the discovery of the first mandible which had collapsed from the breccia above. It was more a matter of good luck and 20 years of nature's impact that led to the discovery. At least three of the surveyors are alive today, and I will gladly pose any questions readers might have.
Some preliminary findings. (Note also that Celtic languages and Fula language have in common consonant mutations). Many of the Fula words have a suffix (eg. -gol, -ugol); so try to disregard the suffix and look at the main part of the word to observe the similarity with the Celtic words. Examples included from Proto-Celtic; Breton; Cornish; Welsh; Old Irish; Irish; Scots Gaelic; and Manx.
According to Bantu oral history, Lake Malawi had only Aka-Fula Pygmies living there when Bantus arrived. - - -
If Fula(ni) language is linked to Aka-Fula pygmies of Lake Malawi(East Af. Rift valley) then we see a clear link:
kutiru(Aka-Fula) dog (Pygmies Africa)
kutaka(Mbabaram) dog (Australian Pygmies at Queensland coast) ---
ola(Spanish: wave) ~ o-na.mi(Japanese:big wave)
ololoa(Aztec) = wear(E) = end.u.erre(Latin: to put on) = Chu.q(Hmong) ~ (chuck(E) to throw/toss)
(Ainu)=doorway/entrance/gateway/the open mouth of a river as looked at from the sea,= apan(N)=river,=apanne(Ainu)=edible kind of mussel,=tlapatlaxintli(N)=square/cut on 4-sides,= patlaxima(N)=patla/swap shave/xima(N/E)=shim/shimmy(E)=wedge/dance." iueli/iaxi blog
apa(Ainu) doorway = opening of hut/clam/sea
apa(Mbuti) fire in front of doorway of dome hut, at center hub of camp/chum/cabin
bon(fire)(E) fire, from gr/m/bound fire
Xyambua.tlay = Smo.key/Sham.an.Ki = xmbo.Keyhole to enter Chum/cone/honai = KeMet.ankh'
The ankh, also known as breath of life, the key of the Nile or crux ansata (Latin meaning "cross with a handle"), was the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read "life", a triliteral sign for the consonants ꜥ-n-ḫ.
note: xmbo = KMT(Egypt) and Jambo(Afr: (gr/m)eet/(gr/m)ate) ~ Botai
Upper Palaeolithic genomes reveal deep roots of modern Eurasians
We extend the scope of European palaeogenomics by sequencing the genomes of Late Upper Palaeolithic (13,300 years old, 1.4-fold coverage) and Mesolithic (9,700 years old, 15.4-fold) males from western Georgia in the Caucasus and a Late Upper Palaeolithic (13,700 years old, 9.5-fold) male from Switzerland. While we detect Late Palaeolithic–Mesolithic genomic continuity in both regions, we find that Caucasus hunter-gatherers (CHG) belong to a distinct ancient clade that split from western hunter-gatherers ~45 kya, shortly after the expansion of anatomically modern humans into Europe and from the ancestors of Neolithic farmers ~25 kya, around the Last Glacial Maximum. CHG genomes significantly contributed to the Yamnaya steppe herders who migrated into Europe ~3,000 BC, supporting a formative Caucasus influence on this important Early Bronze age culture. CHG left their imprint on modern populations from the Caucasus and also central and south Asia possibly marking the arrival of Indo-Aryan languages.