Gihon Spring, just downhill from the ancient city of Jerusalem, was crucial to the survival of its inhabitants, and archaeologists had uncovered the remains of a massive stone tower built to guard this vital water supply. Based on pottery and other regional findings, the archaeologists had originally assigned it a date of 1,700 BCE. But new research conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science provides conclusive evidence that the stones at the base of the tower were laid nearly 1,000 years later. Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/06/jerusalem-tower-younger-than-thought.html#uZIs24uyMhMvVW61.99
The date revealed by this radiocarbon dating was sometime around 800-900 BCE. That is nearly 1,000 years later than thought, and it moves the building of the tower to another historical period entirely, from the Middle Bronze Age to the Iron Age.
To complete the study, Boaretto and her team asked whether any explanation could allow the tower to have been built earlier -- repairs, for example -- but the presence of the large boulders sitting above layers of earth containing the remains of everyday activities would appear to be fairly conclusive evidence that the later date is the correct one. Boaretto: "The conclusive, scientific dating of this massive tower, placing it in a later era than was presumed, will have repercussions for other attempts to date construction and occupation in ancient Jerusalem."
Alina is the name of a people mentioned in the Rigveda.(RV 7.18.7) They were probably one of the tribes defeated by Sudas at the Dasarajna, and it was suggested that they lived to the north-east of Kafiristan, because the land was mentioned by the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang.
About Alinas, I checked in Mayrhofer, and he's wondering if this is connected to the name Arya. Yes like the Alans
I didn't know about the 'Turanian Dânus'; Saha is also a name of a turcic people, I think (Yakut area). 'Danaoi' is often stated as an argument for the Kurgan hypothesis, obviously as connected to some rivers' names in that region (Danube, Don, Dniepr etc).
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Note: Ituri, Itoro, Ekale are rivers in Congo that share intial E/I of river name, as in E-den, E.DeN.
Errata: re. 300ka mtDNA Mbo should be Y DNA Mbo. - - -
Ancient Japanese basket & square base found:
A mystery that long puzzled archaeologists may have been solved with the first discovery of a finely woven basket complete with a square wooden footed stand, believed to be from the late second century
Note: the basket shares form with sieve(xyua), comb(xyuamb), combine/copina(Aztec), container-kantong(Malay)-canada(Iroquois)-canastros(Greek:cane basket) and when inverted became conical straw hat, and tipi(Dakota) and honai(Papua Yali Pygmy men's hut of poles), link to horn & cornucopia. The square base indicates wood planing. TANN
Abstract: The population history of Aboriginal Australians remains largely uncharacterized. Here we generate high-coverage genomes for 83 Aboriginal Australians (speakers of Pama–Nyungan languages) and 25 Papuans from the New Guinea Highlands. We find that Papuan and Aboriginal Australian ancestors diversified 25–40 thousand years ago (kya), suggesting pre-Holocene population structure in the ancient continent of Sahul (Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania). However, all of the studied Aboriginal Australians descend from a single founding population that differentiated ~10–32 kya. We infer a population expansion in northeast Australia during the Holocene epoch (past 10,000 years) associated with limited gene flow from this region to the rest of Australia, consistent with the spread of the Pama–Nyungan languages. We estimate that Aboriginal Australians and Papuans diverged from Eurasians 51–72 kya, following a single out-of-Africa dispersal, and subsequently admixed with archaic populations. Finally, we report evidence of selection in Aboriginal Australians potentially associated with living in the desert.
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The paper is published alongside a larger study which analysed 300 genomes from 142 diverse populations, homing in on groups underrepresented in existing research.
This study, also published in Nature, suggests that the rate of genetic mutations among non-African populations has increased by 5% since diverging from African populations.
On a 2011 hike through the Indonesian rainforest, Topher White stumbled across a rogue logger cutting down a tree. The man was working just a short distance from the ranger station, but the din of chirping birds and buzzing insects obscured the sound of his chainsaw, keeping him hidden in plain sight.
This gave White an idea. The San Francisco-based engineer dreamt of a device that could listen for chainsaws and report their whereabouts to park authorities.
White, now 35, learned that parts of the rainforest boast remarkable mobile phone service. Cell towers abound, even where roads and power lines are scarce. Locals can make calls and send texts from the outskirts of the forests, where illicit loggers do their work.
On a subsequent trip to Indonesia, White installed a handful of cell phones around a gibbon reserve. The phones would notify park rangers when they heard the putter of chainsaws. Shortly after setting up the system, White received an email notification from one of his phones. He told the rangers, who followed the faint sound of a chainsaw through the woods. They caught a band of loggers in flagrante. - - -
Same thing can be done in Congo rainforest and Amazon rainforest.
Don't blame the poachers - loggers, they need to eat too. It is our economic system that is to blame.
"Mice homozygous for a knock-out allele exhibit hypopigmentation and ocular albinism"
found in KhoiSan, European-Caucasian, Ethiopian
"It's under selection all over the place: Europe, Ethiopia, and now among the Bushmen. The advantage can't be more vitamin D, nor is it associated with agriculture. It does have other effects. Next, the haplotype is very long, yet has been around a long time." https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/slc24a5-yet-again/ - - -
Old Asians (Melanesian)
Posted on July 10, 2017 by gcochran9
There is reason to believe that Australo-Melanesians used to occupy a much larger area than they do today. Let’s define them by their genetic affinity to that odd genetic trace in Amazonian Amerindians: those related include Papuans, Aboriginal Australians, Andaman Islanders ( closest), and Negrito groups in Southeast Asia and the Philippines.
Skeletal evidence says that they used to occupy all of Southeast Asia (probably at least as far north as southern China, fairly recently), and have been largely replaced by people from further north over the past few thousand years. Same is the case for the Philippines & most of Indonesia.
In fact, even further north than that: a skeleton from Tianyuan cave, not far from Beijing, shows the same genetic trace. From about 40,000 years ago. So it’s more plausible that there was a potential source population in a more geographically felicitous area ( for settling the New World) at the proper time ( ~20k BC).
Ardipithecus ramidus and the evolution of language and singing: An early origin for hominin vocal capability HOMO - J compar human Biol doi 10.1016/j.jchb.2017.03.001
Did the early hominin Ar.ramidus have vocal capabilities far exceeding those of any extant non-human primate? We argue that erect posture combined with changes in cranio-facial morphology (reduced facial & jaw length) - provides evidence for increased levels of pro-sociality, - increased vocal ability.
Note: The eyes (lens) have non-nucleated cells that cannot breathe, unlike other cells which are oxygenated, this explains why the beneficial bacteria survived in an oxygen-depleted incubator, they would be out-competed in normal oxygenated incubator since they grow slow. Note that the author does not confuse pathogens with beneficial bacteria. -
To confirm that certain microbes actually call the eyes home, scientists need to demonstrate living bacteria. So, a team of researchers swabbed the eyes of mice and rubbed the samples onto petri dishes to see what would grow. Most of the dishes came up blank, but one was accidentally left for a week in an oxygen-depleted incubator. When the researchers realized their mistake and went to clear the forgotten dish, they found thin streaks of a slow-growing bacteria—which they claim is the first confirmed species of the mouse ocular microbiome.
The species was identified as Corynebacterium mastitidis, a bacteria known to live on human skin. However, the bacteria looked a bit strange—it grew in thin threads called filaments, distinct from its usual rod-like shape. The team suggested this may be due to stress, although they didn’t run experiments to conclusively determine this. It’s possible these bacteria find the eye environment somewhat hostile, even though they’re able to survive.
”We know that C. mastitidis must be a ‘permanent resident’ as opposed to a ‘guest’ because it has to be instilled onto the eye, or acquired from the mother in infancy,” said Anthony St. Leger, lead study author and postdoctoral research with the National Institutes of Health. “It does not transfer from one adult mouse to another in the same cage, even after weeks of co-housing.” - Note: One possible function of weeping - to share eye microbes & tears? - By removing and studying resident C. mastitidis from some mice, scientists demonstrated that its presence helped fend off eye infections. Tears from mice with C. mastitidis were more lethal to pathogenic strains of the fungi Candida albicans and bacteria Pseudomonas than the tears of mice lacking the bacteria.
The scientists think the bacteria plays a beneficial role by turning on immune pathways which keep the eye awash with antimicrobials and pathogen-killing immune cells. The idea came from a special strain of mice that lack the immune molecule IL-17. Without it, the mice are prone to nasty ocular bacterial infections—what we know of as pink eye. The scientists hypothesized that IL-17 is a key player in ocular defense, and wondered if bacteria living on the eye might trigger the molecule to be expressed. In tissue culture experiments, they showed that C. mastitidis induces IL-17 production in ocular immune cells. And when mice lacking the bacteria were inoculated with it, they began producing more IL-17, and became resistant to eye infections. --- Gizmodo: Your Eyeballs May Be Covered in Disease-Fighting Bacteria. http://google.com/newsstand/s/CBIwhM-BtjU
Eyes have a symbiotic bacteria which prevents pathogens from infection.
New species of fossil bird discovered in New Mexico Posted: 10 Jul 2017 05:30 AM PDT
Bruce Museum Curator Dr. Daniel Ksepka has published a research paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science announcing the discovery of a new species of fossil bird in New Mexico. Artist’s rendering of Tsidiiyazhi abini [Credit: Sean Murtha]The fossil is important because it is the *oldest tree-dwelling species among modern bird groups*. It lived just a few million years after the dinosaurs went extinct. Live-in grandparents helped human ancestors get a safer night's sleep - - -
A sound night’s sleep grows more elusive as people get older. But what some call insomnia may actually be an age-old survival mechanism, researchers report. A Hadza man sleeps on the ground on an impala skin in northern Tanzania [Credit: David Samson]A study of modern hunter-gatherers in Tanzania finds that, for people who live in groups, differences in sleep patterns commonly associated with age help ensure that at least one... ... In between, they roused from slumber several times during the night, tossing and turning or getting up to smoke, tend to a crying baby, or relieve themselves before nodding off again.
As a result, moments when everyone was out cold at once were rare. Out of more than 220 total hours of observation, the researchers were surprised to find *only 18 minutes when all adults were sound asleep simultaneously*. On average, more than a third of the group was alert, or dozing very lightly, at any given time.
“And that’s just out of the healthy adults; it doesn’t include children, or people who were injured or sick,” said Samson, now an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga.
Yet the participants didn’t complain of sleep problems, Samson said.
The findings may help explain why Hadza generally don’t post sentinels to keep watch throughout the night -- they don’t need to, the researchers say. Their natural variation in sleep patterns, coupled with light or restless sleep in older adults, is enough to ensure that at least one person is on guard at all times.
Note: Dome huts of woven branches & grass are derived from rainforest branches & broad leaf dome huts which evolved from domeshields which derived from ape bowl nests.
Analyses of 40,000 year old ochre finds in Ethiopia's Porc-Epic Cave point to symbolic use
Posted: 11 Jul 2017 12:00 PM PDT
The EU-funded TRACSYMBOLS project, which closed in 2015, investigated archaeological sites in South Africa for early use of symbols by homo sapiens, examining painting kits, spear points, beads and *ostrich egg shell engravings* [DD: !hxaro]. They also studied the usage of the reddish iron-rich rock, ochre. And it was to ochre that members of the project team have more recently returned. View of Porc-Epic Cave [Credit: A. Herrero] - - -
Lena River Siberia fish meal 9ka - harpoon, net floats of birch bark, preserved bones
Note: I found a giant conch at my swimming hole, might cook it up some day, or might let it go. - - - Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency in expectant mothers during pregnancy has a negative effect on the social development and motor skills of pre-school age children, a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition reports.
Examining data gathered from over 7,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the University of Surrey, and the University of Bristol, discovered that pregnant women who were deficient in vitamin D (less than 50 nmol per litre in blood) were more likely to have children with low scores (bottom 25 percent) in pre-school development tests for gross and fine motor development at age 2½ years than children of vitamin D sufficient mothers. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170712074457.htm
Tom Wolfe, Kingdom of Speech Dan Everett, Don't Sleep, There are Snakes
Per Everett, the Piraha tribe of Amazon have an unusually simple language, fewest letters, no colors, no counting, no recursion (inserting a phrase into a sentence eg. "I saw him in the park". would be: I was in the park. I saw him.
I found this of interest: A tonal language can not be whispered, but can be whistled. Piraha has two tones, as does Yoruba, Piraha is indeed whistled, and sung, as well as spoken, but not written except in translation.
Everett was a missionary, eventually he converted out, became a linguist.
Wolfe wrote about Everett's story and Noam Chomsky's reaction.
"Don't sleep, there are snakes" is the equivalent to saying "Good night, sweet dreams".
Note: Moetherium - 37ma semi-aquatic ancestor of elephantidae, somewhat similar to manatee (but with rear limbs), distinct from Hyrax & elephant shrew (much larger). It consumed river & swamp plants.
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John Hawks blogs about new DNA elephant study, which finds that the EurAsian straight tusked elephant descended from African Forest Elephant, and that the Forest elephant hybred with mammoths and mastodons.
"All four of the P. antiquus mitochondrial lineages are on the same branch as living forest elephants, and in fact some forest elephants have mtDNA genomes that are closer to P. antiquus than to some other forest elephants. In other words, the mitochondrial genomes of P. antiquus fall within the variation of L. cyclotis."
"In humans, mtDNA is markedly less diverse than most parts of the nuclear genome, and mtDNA types occur across wide geographic areas. Elephants are the opposite. Their mitochondrial DNA exhibits substantially greater variation among populations than the average for the nuclear genome, because female elephants very rarely transfer between groups. Most gene flow in elephants is male-mediated, and male elephants sometimes disperse over very long distances."
Note: Elephant herds with females and young are always led by matriarchs (as are bison).
"What they found was that P. antiquus mitochondrial genomes are not related to Elephas at all; they’re related to forest elephants:
Surprisingly, P. antiquus did not cluster with E. maximus, as hypothesized from morphological analyses. Instead, it fell within the mito-genetic diversity of extant L. cyclotis, with very high statistical support (Figure 2). The four straight-tusked elephants did not cluster together within this mitochondrial clade, but formed two separate lineages that share a common ancestor with an extant L. cyclotis lineage 0.7–1.6 Ma (NN) and 1.5–3.0 Ma (WE) ago, respectively.
"That’s not a small difference. Living Asian and African elephants came from a common ancestral population more than 6 million years ago, during the Late Miocene. They are about as different from each other genetically as humans and chimpanzees. The fossil story was just wrong–and it’s as big a difference as misidentifying a Neanderthal as a fossil chimpanzee."
A widespread extinct species of elephant, which on morphological grounds was interpreted as an Asian elephant relative, is actually related to forest elephants within Africa. Forest elephants today are a relative island species in central Africa, surrounded by savanna elephants. So from today’s standpoint, forest elephants look like a geographic and phylogenetic relict of a much more diverse lineage that once existed."
Note: Dr. Hawks unfortunately confuses today's Ituri Rainforest elephants as a "relict" population of EurAsian straight tusked elephants. Actually the Ituri rainforest is the SOURCE population of both; as it is also the source of long-necked open plains giraffes from Ituri Okapi and tall AMHs open plains people from Ituri Pygmies. Principles of Parsimony & Continuity should not be ignored in accurate scientific explanation. - - - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6913934.stm
"The [2007 DNA] tree has the African elephant diverging from both the Asian elephant and the mammoth about 7.6 million years ago. Then, at 6.7 million years ago, the Asian elephant and the mammoth also go their separate ways. That took place in Africa in the same place where humans, chimps and gorillas diverged."
Note: Elephants split at same place and same time as hominins from apes, Congo.
"The cool thing about the mastodon is that we know pretty exactly from the fossil record when it diverged from the elephant and the mammoth," said Dr Michael Hofreiter of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and one of the lead researchers.
"So using that time point and the genetic data, we could date when the African elephant, Asian elephant and mammoth diverged from each other," Dr Hofreiter explained.
"That took place in Africa in the same place where humans, chimps and gorillas diverged." The fact that it is now judged that the elephants went their separate ways in the same place and at about the same time we humans diverged from our ape brethren may of course be a coincidence.
Or, as Dr Hofreiter suggests, there may be a common environmental or climatic event which set both elephants and humans on their eventual evolutionary course. " - - - [Errata: Straight tusked elephants hybred with mammoths and Asian elephants, not mastodons.] - - -
"Hybridization has already been found to be widespread among the varieties of mammoths, and it continues to occur between savanna and forest elephants despite what appears to be a multi-million year separation. We might expect the same of other extinct elephant species. When Eleftheria Palkopoulou presented on some of these data at a conference in 2016, she did talk about hybridization. Ewen Callaway reported on that conference presentation at the time: “Elephant history rewritten by ancient genomes”.
"Palkopoulou and her colleagues also revealed the genomes of other animals, including four woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) and, for the first time, the whole-genome sequences of a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) from North America and two North American mastodons (Mammut americanum). The researchers found evidence that many of the different elephant and mammoth species had interbred. Straight-tusked elephants mated with both Asian elephants and woolly mammoths. And African savannah and forest elephants, who are known to interbreed today — hybrids of the two species live in some parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere — also seem to have interbred in the distant past. Palkopoulou hopes to work out when these interbreeding episodes happened."
Note: The Mbabaram Pygmies of North Coast historically made wood shields & spears. Their word for dog is kutaka/gudaga/dog.
Ground stone axes, use of ochre and micah (mirrors?)
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The following article confuses the pattern, Pygmies first to the North coast rainforest 65ka, some continued southward along the coasts (Tasmanian Pygmies had no fire-starters), while their inland descendants gradually moved into the drier open plains along gallery forests and intermittent stream valleys to become the conventional taller Aborigines who specifically hunted open plains animals to extinction with spear-thrower/atlatls & likely fire (with fire-starters). - - - "Previously it was thought that humans arrived and hunted them out or disturbed their habits, leading to extinction, but these dates confirm that people arrived so far before that they wouldn't be the central cause of the death of megafauna," Marwick said. "It shifts the idea of humans charging into the landscape and killing off the megafauna. It moves toward a vision of humans moving in and coexisting, which is quite a different view of human evolution."
"Our research traced the evolution of an important mucin protein called MUC7 that is found in saliva," he says. "When we looked at the history of the gene that codes for the protein, we see the signature of archaic admixture in modern day Sub-Saharan African populations."
The research was published on July 21 in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. The study was led by Gokcumen and Stefan Ruhl, DDS, PhD, a professor of oral biology in UB's School of Dental Medicine.
A tantalizing clue in saliva
The scientists came upon their findings while researching the purpose and origins of the MUC7 protein, which helps give spit its slimy consistency and binds to microbes, potentially helping to rid the body of disease-causing bacteria.
As part of this investigation, the team examined the MUC7 gene in more than 2,500 modern human genomes. The analysis yielded a surprise: A group of genomes from Sub-Saharan Africa had a version of the gene that was wildly different from versions found in other modern humans.
The Sub-Saharan variant was so distinctive that Neanderthal and Denisovan MUC7 genes matched more closely with those of other modern humans than the Sub-Saharan outlier did.
"Based on our analysis, the most plausible explanation for this extreme variation is archaic introgression -- the introduction of genetic material from a 'ghost' species of ancient hominins," Gokcumen says. "This unknown human relative could be a species that has been discovered, such as a subspecies of Homo erectus, or an undiscovered hominin. We call it a 'ghost' species because we don't have the fossils."
Given the rate that genes mutate during the course of evolution, the team calculated that the ancestors of people who carry the Sub-Saharan MUC7 variant interbred with another ancient human species as recently as 150,000 years ago, after the two species' evolutionary path diverged from each other some 1.5 to 2 million years ago.
The team notes, for instance, that in addition to contributing to sociability, the variations in WBSCR17 may represent an adaptation in dogs to living with humans. A previous study revealed that variations in WBSCR17 were tied to the ability to digest carbohydrates — a source of energy wolves would have rarely consumed. Yet, the variations in domestic dogs suggest those changes would help them thrive on the starch-rich diets of humans. Links between another gene related to starch digestion in dogs and domestication, however, have recently been called into question (SN Online: 7/18/17).
Professor Martin Jones, Head of Cambridge's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, is far more interested in a group of around 20 species of small-grained cereals that are generically termed millets. They look like wild grasses, don't need much water, grow quickly and have a good nutritional balance. Yet, until recently, they have been largely overlooked by the Western world as a food source for humans, and are most commonly found in packets of birdseed.
Now Jones has brought attention to this ancient grain as a means of mitigating against the boom–bust nature of harvests. His work has contributed to a growing market in Asia for high-quality millet from Aohan, Inner Mongolia, and the cereal's potential is attracting interest from big multinational companies.
All of this has come from Jones' archaeological interest in ancient farming practices. Searching for evidence of millet in the Neolithic, he discovered two key species – broomcorn and foxtail millet – in the prehistoric crop record in Europe, despite both being botanically East Asian. By piecing together the archaeological evidence, it became clear that Asian millets were coming into Europe, and that wheat and barley from Europe were moving into Asia.
"This wasn't a time when farming was transitioning from hunter-gathering to agriculture," says Jones. "What we were seeing was a move from single-season, single-crop agriculture to multi-season, multi-crop agriculture." Hundreds of years ago the Asian millets were being used in flexible and innovative ways, and became among the most geographically widespread crops in the world. By using crops from other regions, the farmers could add another growing season and significantly increase their yields.
Jones' archaeological work took him to a new site in Aohan when evidence emerged of local millet cultivation in Neolithic times. There, his Chinese colleagues found carbonised particles of foxtail and broomcorn millet dating from 7,700 to 8,000 years ago, which proved to be the earliest record of their cultivation in the world.
But it was his conversations with local farmers that radically altered his perception of the grains. "When we first visited Aohan it could sometimes be hard to tell whether the millet was growing as a crop or as a weed. We asked the locals, and rather than tell us it was a stupid question – that it was irrelevant whether it was crop or weed – they politely answered a different one. They told us what it tasted like and when they last ate it. These people had lived through hard times, famines, so to survive they had developed more open ideas. I realised then that I'd come with concepts that seemed universal but just weren't relevant to the lives of people in contemporary northern China."
"The results suggest the possibility that human terrestrial life began inside a forest rather than in the savannah."
"Why did our hominin ancestors descend from the trees to the forest floor?"
Acquisition of terrestrial life by human ancestors influenced by forest microclimate Hiroyuki Takemoto 2017 Scientific Reports 7:5741 doi 10.1038/s41598-017-05942-5
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I've been saying for years: Original hominins were chimps that about 5ma began adaptation of living on the rainforest floor, moving from the standard great ape forest canopy bowl nest, and did not live on grassland open plains until recently. Hominins made ape-like bowl nests portable ((food)BASKET/(predator)SHIELD/(rain)SHED/(sun)SHADE/SHUTTLE) of sharp-tipped pliable sticks & broad-leaves, and moved along the rainforest floor in nomadic groups, sleeping beneath these shields / shallow-dome huts near crystalline streams devoid of crocs. - - - (article, with comments from MV & DD)
The common ancestor of the Pan and human lineages is thought to have been an arborealist,(aquarborealist --mv)/(H/P arborealist with seasonal flooding DD) and all early hominin fossils have been found in forest patches or environments close to forests.(wetland Reed 1997 JHE --mv)/(mostly forest DD) Fossils of Ardipithecus ramidus, an early-stage human ancestor(?? --mv)/(yes, cf. canine teeth with fused roots cf Greicopithecus 7.2ma DD) after divergence from the Pan clade 4.4 Ma, prove that it adopted conditions involving terrestrial upright bipedality, and foraging in trees. Ar.ramidus thus demonstrates(?? --mv)/(yes, cont'd from Morotopithecus DD) that the human lineage never experienced knuckle-walking like that of modern chimpanzees or gorillas. Modern ape locomotion studies have shown that bipedalism can happen in an arboreal context to enable reaching flexible branches, although modern ape bipeds are not accompanied by anatomical specializations for upright bipedal locomotion. The above evidence may indicate that bipedalism, terrestriality & open habitat are not necessarily linked; and a partially terrestrial lifestyle in early hominins started in the time period when forests were still the main habitat for humans. IOW, the beginning of terrestrial life will be explained independently from the establishment of bipedalism or expanding into open habitat. However, there have been no reports about the ecological factors contributing to the transition from arboreal to terrestrial life inside forests during the course of human evolution. Why did our hominin ancestors descend from the trees to the forest floor? - - -
The origins of the Malagasy raise questions about ancient connections between continents; moreover, because ancestors are fundamental to Malagasy society, Malagasy origins is also a heated topic around the country, with numerous proposed hypotheses. This study provides a comprehensive view of genomic diversity (including maternal lineages, paternal lineages, and genome-wide data) based on a sampling of 257 villages across Madagascar. The observed spatial patterns lead to a scenario of a recent and sex-biased admixture between Bantu and Austronesian ancestors across the island. Moreover, we find geographical influences creating subtle signals of genetic structure that are independent of the Bantu/Austronesian admixture, suggesting that recent history has a role in the genomic diversity of the Malagasy.
The Mikea are the last known Malagasy population reported to be still practicing a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Earlier writers thought the Mikea were descended from ancient forager groups who have maintained their way of life up to the present. However, our analyses show that the Mikea are not a remnant population and, to the contrary, derived from a recent admixture of two agriculturalist populations: the Bantu (from Africa) and the Austronesian (from east-Asia). Thus, it is probable that the Mikea have adopted their hunter-gatherer way of life through a recent cultural reversion
Malaria therapy, experimental, and epidemiological studies have shown that erythrocyte Duffy blood group-negative people, largely of African ancestry, are resistant to erythrocyte Plasmodium vivax infection. These findings established a paradigm that the Duffy antigen is required for P. vivax erythrocyte invasion. P. vivax is endemic in Madagascar, where admixture of Duffy-negative and Duffy-positive populations of diverse ethnic backgrounds has occurred over 2 millennia. There, we investigated susceptibility to P. vivax blood-stage infection and disease in association with Duffy blood group polymorphism. Duffy blood group genotyping identified 72% Duffy-negative individuals (FY*BES/*BES) in community surveys conducted at eight sentinel sites. Flow cytometry and adsorption–elution results confirmed the absence of Duffy antigen expression on Duffy-negative erythrocytes. P. vivax PCR positivity was observed in 8.8% (42/476) of asymptomatic Duffy-negative people. Clinical vivax malaria was identified in Duffy-negative subjects with nine P. vivax monoinfections and eight mixed Plasmodium species infections that included P. vivax (4.9 and 4.4% of 183 participants, respectively). Microscopy examination of blood smears confirmed blood-stage development of P. vivax, including gametocytes. Genotyping of polymorphic surface and microsatellite markers suggested that multiple P. vivax strains were infecting Duffy-negative people. In Madagascar, P. vivax has broken through its dependence on the Duffy antigen for establishing human blood-stage infection and disease. Further studies are necessary to identify the parasite and host molecules that enable this Duffy-independent P. vivax invasion of human erythrocytes.
During malaria fever therapy trials, performed to treat neurosyphilis (1920s to 1960s) and in experimental field trials, it was consistently demonstrated that Africans and African-Americans were highly resistant to Plasmodium vivax blood-stage malaria when challenged with human blood or mosquitoes infected with limited numbers of P. vivax strains (1–3). Following identification of the Duffy blood group (Fy; reviewed in Zimmerman, 2004) (4), population studies showed that individuals of African ancestry expressed neither Fya nor Fyb antigens and were classified as Duffy negative, Fy(a−b−) (5). Following on observations that vivax malaria was rare in Africa (6), Miller et al. performed definitive in vivo studies to show that Duffy-negative people resisted, whereas Duffy-positive people were susceptible, to experimental P. vivax blood-stage infection following exposure to infected mosquitoes (7). This seminal work, and related Plasmodium knowlesi in vitro studies (7–9), established the paradigm that malaria parasites invade erythrocytes through specific “receptor”-based interactions and that the Duffy blood group was the receptor for P. vivax.
Despite heavy armor, new dinosaur used camouflage to hide from predators
Date:August 3, 2017 Source:Cell Press
Summary:Researchers have named a new genus and species of armored dinosaur. The 110-million-year-old Borealopelta markmitchelli discovered in Alberta, Canada belongs to the nodosaur family. Now, an analysis of the 18-foot-long (5.5 m) specimen's exquisitely well-preserved form, complete with fully armored skin, suggests that the nodosaur had predators, despite the fact that it was the 'dinosaur equivalent of a tank.'
I predicted this one linguistically: Bali = Yali(Papuan Pygmies) = Bari(Australian Pygmies) = Yali (Thai Negritos) = kembali(Malay) come home Mbo(Balinese) mother(dome) = Jambu(Malay) attract = Jambo(Africa) mate.r
They were Pygmies from African rainforest in bowl boats (inverted dome huts/domiciles/dome shields which had been inverted ape nests)
Mt Toba blew 73.5ka killing many in India, but allowing migrations through new territory Papua, Australia, Andamans, Jomon.
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Real Evidence: 65-73ka human tooth on the tectonic tidal island of Sumatra
Two ancient teeth found in an Indonesian cave hint that our species had arrived there as early as 73,000 years ago – and may have had to deal with the biggest supervolcano eruption of the last few million years and also adapt to the challenges of living in thick rainforest.
Many archaeologists were puzzled by the recent discovery of 65,000-year-old stone tools and other artefacts in northern Australia. According to traditional thinking, early members of our species, Homo sapiens, were just beginning to venture out of Africa at this time.
To get from Africa to Australia, H. sapiens would also have needed to march across mainland Asia, then sail across the sea. The route should have included a stopover on the islands of Indonesia and Timor, but no H. sapiens artefacts older than 45,000 years had been found on these islands, until now. Kira Westaway at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and her colleagues have discovered that H. sapiens probably did set foot in these islands more than 65,000 years ago.
The team took another look at two teeth dug up by Dutch archaeologist Eugène Dubois in Lida Ajer cave on the Indonesian island of Sumatra in the late 19th century. Partly through comparisons with orangutan fossils found nearby, they confirmed the teeth belong to our species – and using a modern dating technique known as electron spin resonance dating, they dated them between 63,000 and 73,000 years old.
But the archaeology hints that the first members of our species to reach Sumatra faced a tough life. They may have been present in Sumatra when the island’s now-dormant supervolcano – Toba – gave rise to one of Earth’s biggest known eruptions, perhaps about 71,000 years ago according to recent estimates.
If that didn’t wipe out the early population, they would have had to adapt to Sumatra’s rainforest environment – very different from the savannahs of Africa where humans evolved. [HaHaHa SAVANNA! Mucho Stupido!]
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—Kira Westaway of Macquarie University and her colleagues have found evidence of the presence of Homo sapiens on the Indonesian island of Sumatra dated to between 63,000 and 73,000 years ago, according to a report in New Scientist. “This is a significant finding because it supports emerging ideas that modern humans left Africa and reached Australia much earlier than we thought,” said Michelle Langley of Griffith University. The evidence came in the form of two teeth, discovered by Dutch archaeologist Eugene Dubois in a cave on Sumatra in the late nineteenth century. The researchers confirmed the teeth belonged to Homo sapiens by comparing them to orangutan fossils found near the cave, and then dated them with electron spin resonance dating. Scientists could now look for traces of early human habitation in the rainforest, such as evidence of cooking and stone tool use
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Urban sea snakes have more melanin, shed heavy-metal skins.
Animals living in polluted areas can pick up toxic metals like lead and zinc from their diet. But these toxins bind to melanin, a pigment that many animals produce to create brown and black colors. So in theory, a dark-colored animal could use melanin to sequester these toxins, and even slough them off with its skin. Researchers tested this idea in turtle-headed sea snakes (Emydocephalus annulatus, pictured), in which some individuals are striped, and others are jet-black. Sure enough, when studying museum specimens and surveying areas in the South Pacific, reefs near cities and other polluted sites had far more black snakes: On average, four out of five snakes in these sites were black, compared with fewer than one in seven in pristine reefs, the team reports today in Current Biology. And the discarded skins of urban sea snakes—particularly the dark colored bands—were chock-full of heavy metals, further supporting the idea that dark snakes might shed pollutants along with their skin. Dark-colored pigeons (Columba livia) appear to get a similar advantage in cities, so this process may be widespread: One more for the list of ways in which animal species have rapidly evolved to cope with humanity.
The Domuztepe Habitation Excavation Leader Professor Halil Tekin from Hacettepe University told Anadolu Agency that they found the "core" of Sumerians at the site.
Tekin noted that the settlement was the largest in the Near East in the Late Neolithic period, measuring around 49.4 acres. The settlement is thought to had been occupied between 6,200 B.C. and 5,450 B.C.
The people of the period did not have permanent settlements, meaning that there was no sufficient land suitable for agriculture near the settlement, the professor said, adding that their main sources of nutrition included goats, sheep and boars.
"[The settlement mound] was made out of a circular clay structure 6 meters in diameter, which indicates that they did not have a strong sense of a permanent structure," Tekin said, adding that their settlement was semi-permanent.
Tekin also highlighted that the people of the settlement lived peaceful lives for around 2,000 years and may have been forced to move as a result of climate change and other natural factors.
"The figures on pottery found here indicate that these people came from Asia… We knew around 100 to 150 years ago that Sumerians were also Asian," Tekin said, adding that they hope Domuztepe will enable researchers to connect crucial links in human history.
The Domuztepe settlement mount is located in Kahramanmaraş's Pazarcık district, near Kelibişler neighborhood. Excavations at the site have been led by professor Tekin since 1996.
The latest findings at western Georgia's Pichvnari excavation site have given historians material to enrich their studies of ancient Black Sea settlements following a series of recent discoveries in the region.
the findings unearthed by archaeologists include ceramic pieces, decorative objects and farming instruments.
In particular, experts noted a floor surfaced with bassanite material and a stone-made sinker used in farming, unveiled among remains of the settlement dating back to the 6th-4th centuries BC.
On the site of a nearby burial ground, archaeologists excavated golden beads, a terracotta ceramic piece featuring a wild boar illustration and "imported" clay vessels.
Beside the settlement and burial site remains, archaeologists are also working at a nearby site of a 5th century BC Greek necropolis in Pichvnari, with "contours" of burial sites found at the upper layer of the excavation site.
Decorative, farming and household items were among findings on the Pichvnari site [Credit: Adjara Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport] Located 10km north of the seaside town Kobuleti, Pichvnari is the contemporary name for an ancient settlement which first presented archaeologists with findings of 4th century BC silver drachma coins in 1951.
Further findings on the site included nearly 300 coins dating back to the 6th to 4th centuries BC and representing the Colchis ancient Kingdom.
Planned excavations started in the area in 1955, with further digs following in the 1960s. Suspended in the early 1990s, works were restarted in 1998 within the joint British-Georgian Pichvnari Expedition and continued in the 2000s.
The works carried out at Pichvnari since the mid-20th century have revealed an advanced industrial society in the area by the 1st century BC.
There have only been about five confirmed Trelleborg fortresses discovered in Denmark to date. They were all built in a curiously short period between 975 and 980 CE, during the reign of King Harald Bluetooth. They are massive, circular structures typically between 140 to 250 metres in diameter.
"They posed a real enigma about the Viking Age when they were first discovered," Sindbæk said. "The Vikings were perceived to be a society of local petty kings competing over power."
This kind of organised control was usually associated with much later medieval kingship. The fortresses represented a surprising degree of organisation and centralisation that was not easily found in other surviving aspects of Viking culture. So how did such large and expensive structures suddenly appear in the Danish landscape around the year 975?
[Kara'ites in Crimea were Jews, might link to Kara.khan.ids.]
The Karakhanids were the first Muslim Turkish state beyond the Syr Darya. The most important work from the period is "Qutadghu Bilig", written by Yusuf Khass Hajip in the 11th century for the Prince of Kashgar. The text has stories about the author and his society's beliefs, feelings and practices with regard to many topics, and depicts interesting facets of various aspects of life, as well as state issues in the Karakhanid Empire. It has often been described as a Central Asian version of the Mirror for Princes genre. Read more at https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/08/karakhanid-tomb-unearthed-in-kyrgyzstan.html#PHLZ8YtvZLguA6Bu.99
Pleistocene footprints show intensive use of lake margin habitats by Homo erectus groups Scient Reports 121 doi 10.1038/srep26374 Neil Roach, Kevin Hatala, Kelly Ostrofsky & Brian Richmond 2016
Reconstructing hominin paleo-ecology is critical for understanding our ancestors' diets, social organizations & interactions with other animals. Most paleo-ecological models lack fine-scale resolution, due to fossil hominin scarcity & the time-averaged accumulation of faunal assemblages.
Here we present data from 481 fossil tracks from NW-Kenya, incl. 97 hominin footprints attributed to H.erectus. These tracks are found in multiple sedimentary layers, spanning c 20 ky. Taphonomic experiments show: each of these trackways represents minutes to no more than a few days in the lives of the individuals moving across these paleo-landscapes. The geology & associated vertebrate fauna place these tracks in a deltaic setting, near a lake-shore, bordered by open grasslands. Hominin footprints are disproportionately abundant in this lake margin environment, relative to hominin skeletal fossil frequency in the same deposits. Accounting for preservation bias, this abundance of hominin footprints indicates repeated use of lake-shore habitats by H.erectus. Clusters of very large prints moving in the same direction further suggest these hominins traversed this lake-shore in multi-male groups. Such reliance on near water environments & possibly aquatic-linked foods may have influenced hominin foraging behavior & migratory routes across & out of Africa. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303372868_Pleistocene_footprints_s how_intensive_use_of_lake_margin_habitats_by_Homo_erectus_groups