In the seventh millenium BC
the Balkan Peninsula was a gate through which farming, animal husbandry and
generally Neolithisation spread to Europe from Anatolia and the Near East. App.
1000 years later in the very beginning of the fifth millennium BC prehistoric
population in Central and Eastern Balkans turned known metal-processing technologies
into an industry for the first time in human history (The World oldest copper
mines are found near Rudna glava, Serbia and Mechi kladenets/Ai bunar near
Stara Zagora, Bulgaria). Archaeological evidence shows that in the fifth millennium
BC these prehistoric cultures enjoyed a constant raise of population and wealth
meanwhile experiencing social stratification due the intensive trade with metal
products, salt and other goods with the rest of prehistoric Europe and Asia. These
Balkan Copper age cultures had all characteristics of the first civilizations including:
the very first urban settlements in Europe (Tell Yunatsite, Durankulak and Provadia
in Bulgaria), dense network of settlements, “industrial” proportions of
production of goods, esp. metal products and salt, developed trade, distinguished
social and professional stratification, pictograms and characters interpreted by
some scholars as the World’oldest script (Gradeshnitsa tablet for instance dates
back to the sixth or early fifth millennium BC) as well as precious artifacts made of gold,
pottery, bone and stone (the World oldest gold treasure found in the Varna
Copper age necropolis). This very first civilization in Europe was Pre-Indo-European
and emerged for not more a millennium covering large parts of the Balkans, NW
Anatolia and Eastern Europe. It collapsed around the end of the fifth millennium
under the pressure of both drastic climatic changes and invasion of Early Indo-Europeans.
The period of study of this very first civilization in Europe has been quite
short – about 40 years have passed, since the excavation of the Varna Copper age
necropolis brought to light the first certain evidences about its existence. Nowadays scholars
from all over the World are still discovering new facts and adding new data
about the “lost” first civilization in Europe.
Monthly Archives: December 2012
It was recently shown that rhythmic entrainment, long considered a
human-specific mechanism, can be demonstrated in a selected group of
bird species, and, somewhat surprisingly, not in more closely related
species such as nonhuman primates. This observation supports the vocal learning hypothesis
that suggests rhythmic entrainment to be a by-product of the vocal
learning mechanisms that are shared by several bird and mammal species,
including humans, but that are only weakly developed, or missing
entirely, in nonhuman primates. To test this hypothesis we measured
auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) in two rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta),
probing a well-documented component in humans, the mismatch negativity
(MMN) to study rhythmic expectation. We demonstrate for the first time
in rhesus monkeys that, in response to infrequent deviants in pitch that
were presented in a continuous sound stream using an oddball paradigm, a
comparable ERP component can be detected with negative deflections in
early latencies (Experiment 1). Subsequently we tested whether rhesus
monkeys can detect gaps (omissions at random positions in the sound
stream; Experiment 2) and, using more complex stimuli, also the beat
(omissions at the first position of a musical unit, i.e. the ‘downbeat’;
Experiment 3). In contrast to what has been shown in human adults and
newborns (using identical stimuli and experimental paradigm), the
results suggest that rhesus monkeys are not able to detect the beat in
music. These findings are in support of the hypothesis that beat induction
(the cognitive mechanism that supports the perception of a regular
pulse from a varying rhythm) is species-specific and absent in nonhuman
primates. In addition, the findings support the auditory timing dissociation hypothesis,
with rhesus monkeys being sensitive to rhythmic grouping (detecting the
start of a rhythmic group), but not to the induced beat (detecting a
regularity from a varying rhythm).
The specific mentions to Iruña-Veleia are at the end of the video.
- Iruña-Veleia Congress: papers and synthesis
- Edward Harris on the Iruña-Veleia affaire
- Category: Iruña-Veleia
|Modern oscypki cheese from Poland
(CC by Pawel Swiegoda)
While today it is maybe France the most famed cheese-making and cheese-eating region on Earth*, we knew very little about cheese-making origins… until now.
AbstractThe introduction of dairying was a critical step in early agriculture, with milk products being rapidly adopted as a major component of the diets of prehistoric farmers and pottery-using late hunter-gatherers1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The processing of milk, particularly the production of cheese, would have been a critical development because it not only allowed the preservation of milk products in a non-perishable and transportable form, but also it made milk a more digestible commodity for early prehistoric farmers6, 7, 8, 9, 10. The finding of abundant milk residues in pottery vessels from seventh millennium sites from north-western Anatolia provided the earliest evidence of milk processing, although the exact practice could not be explicitly defined1. Notably, the discovery of potsherds pierced with small holes appear at early Neolithic sites in temperate Europe in the sixth millennium bc and have been interpreted typologically as ‘cheese-strainers’10, although a direct association with milk processing has not yet been demonstrated. Organic residues preserved in pottery vessels have provided direct evidence for early milk use in the Neolithic period in the Near East and south-eastern Europe, north Africa, Denmark and the British Isles, based on the δ13C and Δ13C values of the major fatty acids in milk1, 2, 3, 4. Here we apply the same approach to investigate the function of sieves/strainer vessels, providing direct chemical evidence for their use in milk processing. The presence of abundant milk fat in these specialized vessels, comparable in form to modern cheese strainers11, provides compelling evidence for the vessels having being used to separate fat-rich milk curds from the lactose-containing whey. This new evidence emphasizes the importance of pottery vessels in processing dairy products, particularly in the manufacture of reduced-lactose milk products among lactose-intolerant prehistoric farming communities6, 7.
|Cuajada or mamia
* Actually Greeks eat quite more cheese per capita than the French, but they are the only ones.
|Depictions of the Wondjina rain spirits
(CC by Whinging Pom)
AbstractThe Kimberley region of northwest Australia contains one of the World’s largest collections of rock art characterised by two distinct art forms; the fine featured anthropomorphic figures of the Gwion Gwion or Bradshaw paintings, and broad stroke Wandjina figures. Luminescence dating of mud wasp nests overlying Gwion Gwion paintings has confirmed an age of at least 17,000 yrs B.P. with the most recent dates for these paintings from around the mid-Holocene (5000 to 7000 yrs B.P.). Radiocarbon dating indicates that the Wandjina rock art then emerged around 3800 to 4000 yrs B.P. following a hiatus of at least 1200 yrs. Here we show that a mid-Holocene ENSO forced collapse of the Australian summer monsoon and ensuing mega-drought spanning approximately 1500 yrs was the likely catalyst of this change in rock art. The severity of the drought we believe was enhanced through positive feedbacks triggered by change in land surface condition and increased aerosol loading of the atmosphere leading to a weakening or failure of monsoon rains. This confirms that pre-historic aboriginal cultures experienced catastrophic upheaval due to rapid natural climate variability and that current abundant seasonal water supplies may fail again if significant change in ENSO occurs.
The recent explosion in available genetic data has led to significant
advances in understanding the demographic histories of and relationships among
human populations. It is still a challenge, however, to infer reliable
parameter values for complicated models involving many populations. Here we
present MixMapper, an efficient, interactive method for constructing
phylogenetic trees including admixture events using single nucleotide
polymorphism (SNP) genotype data. MixMapper implements a novel two-phase
approach to admixture inference using moment statistics, first building an
unadmixed scaffold tree and then adding admixed populations by solving systems
of equations that express allele frequency divergences in terms of mixture
parameters. Importantly, all features of the tree, including topology, sources
of gene flow, branch lengths, and mixture proportions, are optimized
automatically from the data and include estimates of statistical uncertainty.
MixMapper also uses a new method to express branch lengths in easily
interpretable drift units. We apply MixMapper to recently published data for
HGDP individuals genotyped on a SNP array designed especially for use in
population genetics studies, obtaining confident results for 30 populations, 20
of them admixed. Notably, we confirm a signal of ancient admixture in European
populations—including previously undetected admixture in Sardinians and
Basques—involving a proportion of 20-40% ancient northern Eurasian ancestry.
The relevant graph is this one:
- The dig [by Gil, Filloy et al.] was performed correctly
- Chain of evidence has been broken – as the judge has not controlled it
- Iconography and most graffiti are coherent
- Controlled local digs were not performed to contrast with the findings
- The archaeometrical datings now being performed in Madrid should have been the first thing to do
- Graffiti on bone are easy to date [but was not done either]
- It is only logical that Iberian signs are found among the rest
- So far 19 reports have declared the graffiti genuine
- The Advisory Commission did not do anything of what they should have done
If Iruña-Veleia would be a house, datings would be the foundations, controlled digs the first floor, auditions the first floor, history the second, philology the third… Therefore when the Advisory Commission “began building the house by the ceiling” and that is why we are now just as the beginning, because the datings required by Eliseo Gil were never performed.
See also: category Iruña-Veleia for further details.