Canada Unveils ‘Dinosaur Mummy’ Found With Skin And Gut Contents Intact
Scientists hail it as perhaps the best-preserved dinosaur specimen ever uncovered. You can’t even see its bones.
That’s because, 110 million years later, those bones remain covered by the creature’s intact skin and armor.
Indeed, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada recently unveiled a dinosaur so well-preserved that many have taken to calling it not a fossil, but an honest-to-goodness “dinosaur mummy.”
With the creature’s skin, armor, and even some of its guts intact, researchers are astounded at its nearly unprecedented level of preservation.
“We don’t just have a skeleton,” Caleb Brown, a researcher at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, told National Geographic. “We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”
When this dinosaur — a member of a new species named nodosaur — was alive, it was an enormous four-legged herbivore protected by a spiky, plated armor and weighing in at approximately 3,000 pounds.
Today, the mummified nodosaur is so intact that it still weighs 2,500 pounds.
How the dinosaur mummy could remain so intact is still something of a mystery, although as CNN says, researchers suggest that the creature “may have been swept away by a flooded river and carried out to sea, where it eventually sank.
Over millions of years on the ocean floor, minerals took the place of the dinosaur’s armor and skin, preserving it in the lifelike form now on display.”
Although the nodosaur dinosaur mummy was so well-preserved, getting it into its current display form was still an arduous undertaking.
The creature was, in fact, first discovered in 2011 when a crude oil mine worker accidentally discovered the specimen while on the job.
Since that lucky moment, it has taken researchers 7,000 hours over the course of the last six years to both tests the remains and prepare them for display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where visitors now have the chance to see the closest thing to a real-life dinosaur that the world has likely ever seen.
A student found an ancient Canadian village that’s 10,000 years older than the Pyramids
An ancients village dating back to before the Pyramids era was discovered by a team from Canadian Ph.D. students.
CTV reports that a team of students from the University of Victoria’s archeology department has uncovered the oldest settlement in North America.
This ancient village was discovered when researchers were searching Triquet Island, an island located about 300 miles north of Victoria, British Columbia.
The team found ancient fish hooks and spears, as well as tools for making fires.
However, they really hit the jackpot when they found an ancient cooking hearth, from which they were able to obtain flakes of charcoal burnt by prehistoric Canadians.
Using carbon dating on the charcoal flakes, the researchers were able to determine that the settlement dates back 14,000 years ago, making it significantly older than the pyramids of Ancient Egypt, which were built about 4,700 years ago.
To understand how old that truly is, one has to consider that the ancient ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra lived closer in time to you than she did to the creation of the pyramids.
Even to what we consider ancient people, the Egyptian pyramids were quite old.
This newly discovered settlement dates back more than three times older than the pyramids.
Alisha Gauvreau, a Ph.D. student who helped discover this site said, “I remember when we got the dates back, and we just sat back and said, ‘Holy moly, this is old.’”
She and her team began investigating the area for ancient settlements after hearing the oral history of the indigenous Heiltsuk people, which told of a sliver of land that never froze during the last ice age.
William Housty, a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, said, “To think about how these stories survived only to be supported by this archeological evidence is just amazing.”
“This find is very important because it reaffirms a lot of the history that our people have been talking about for thousands of years.”
Researchers believe that this settlement indicates a mass human migration down the coast of British Columbia.
“What this is doing, is changing our idea of the way in which North America was first peopled, said Gauvreau.”
The students hope to continue to search nearby islands for more evidence of this migration.
Researchers Uncover 15,500-Year-Old Weapons, The Earliest Ever Found In North America
A group of scientists in Texas has recently discovered North America’s oldest weapon ever found, and archeologists call into question the history of the early settlers of the continent.
The weapons are ancient spear points which date back 15,500 years. They are around three to four inches long and were excavated from the Debra L. Friedkin site located about 40 miles outside of Austin, T.X.
The researchers recently published their findings in the journal Science Advances, and these record-breaking weapons are raising new questions about the first groups to settle in North America, once believed to be the Clovis people.
“The findings expand our understanding of the earliest people to explore and settle North America,” Michael Waters, a distinguished professor of anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M, said in a statement.
“The peopling of the Americas during the end of the last Ice Age was a complex process and this complexity is seen in their genetic record. Now we are starting to see this complexity mirrored in the archaeological record.”
These small weapons were made from stone and feature a triangular, lanceolate (leaf-shaped) point. Their fluted base allowed them to be easily attached to the end of a spear.
The weapons were found buried under several feet of sediment and amongst many Clovis and Folsom “projectile points.” The Clovis people date back between 13,000 to 12,700 years ago and the Folsom came after that.
Thus, for many years, the Clovis people were believed to be the first to venture into the continent, but these newly discovered spear points pre-date that group by thousands of years.
The researchers point out that stone tools from before the time of the Clovis people have been found, but these are the first weapons that pre-date the Clovis to ever be discovered.
“There is no doubt these weapons were used for hunting game in the area at that time,” Waters said. “The discovery is significant because almost all pre-Clovis sites have stone tools, but spear points have yet to be found.”
Clovis-style spear points, aptly named the “Clovis point,” have been discovered in Texas, parts of the U.S., and in Northern Mexico, but they are around 2,500 years younger than these spear points most recently found at the Friedkin site.
“The dream has always been to find diagnostic artifacts — such as projectile points — that can be recognized as older than Clovis and this is what we have at the Friedkin site,” Waters said.
This momentous discovery has answered many long-held questions from archaeologists about tools and weapons used by early Americans. However, as with all major discoveries, many new questions have popped up as well.
Who made these weapons? Did these tools inspire the other projectile points that came after? Or were they brought to North America during a migration?
Despite the remaining questions, these ancient weapons have unlocked countless secrets about the lives of those who came before us in North America.
Derinkuyu: the advanced underground city in Turkey using ventilation shafts that could date as far back as 15th century BC
Derinkuyu is the deepest excavated underground city in Cappadocia in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. A beautiful natural wonder with impressive fairy chimneys and eroded caverns, Cappadocia is an amazing geological spectacle.
It is also riddled with extensive subterranean dwellings and secret tunnel passages that various people utilized for shelter across the centuries.
There are hundreds of these homes in the region, and Derinkuyu is the most famous. At a depth of more than 250 feet with a capacity of up to 20,000 people, this multi-leveled city contained everything an entire population would need to survive a history riddled with invasions.
Formation and Discovery
Several million years ago, volcanic eruptions spewed layer after layer of ash, called tuff or tufa. Over time the tuff cemented into a soft, easily carvable, yet relatively stable rock. Inhabitants of ancient Anatolia realized that they could carve out their homes right into the hillsides and underground. Derinkuyu is one of the many rock-cut dwellings in the region, however, it is the deepest one to date.
The discovery of the subterranean dwellings occurred in 1963 during the renovation of a surface home. When a wall caved in, an underground room that led to a subterranean passageway opened up. Upon exploration of the passageway, the workers realized that it led even further into a deep labyrinth. It was an astonishing find.
Features of Derinkuyu
Within the enormous eighteen levels of the city (only eight are accessible), researchers found kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, food storage rooms, oil and wine presses, wells, weapons storage areas, churches, schools, tombs, and domestic animal stables.
There were rooms of varying sizes for different needs. Small spaces turned out to be rock-cut tombs, while large spaces provided the ideal rooms for community meetings and schools.
It is evident that the people planned to be completely self-sufficient. More than fifty ventilation shafts brought in the air from above, while thousands of smaller ducts distributed that air throughout the entire city.
Some archaeologists believe that an 8-kilometer long passageway connects Derinkuyu to another amazing underground city in Kaymakli. This suggests that there was some degree of cooperation between the various civilizations of the Cappadocia region.
What is the Age of Derinkuyu and Who Built It?
The age of Derinkuyu and who built it is uncertain. It is known that the Hittites dominated the Anatolia region from about 1600 BCE to about 1200 BCE.
After this period, the Hittite Empire collapsed into smaller groups, possibly due to multiple invasions and wars. Subsequently, the Phrygians migrated to the area from the Balkans. Thus, if the Hittites built the dwelling, as a number of scholars believe, it may have been well before 1200 BCE.
Other experts theorize that the Phrygians built the subterranean city, which could have taken place between 1200 BCE and 800 BCE. Later, Persians, Macedonians (Alexander the Great), Greeks, Armenians, Syrians, and many other groups had a presence in Cappadocia.
The earliest known mention in writing of underground cities in the Cappadocia kingdom came from a Greek historian-soldier named Xenophon in 370 BCE. Xenophon spent time and traveled throughout the region. In his work, Anabasis he says:
The houses here were underground, with a mouth like that of a well, but spacious below; and while entrances were tunneled down for the beasts of burden, the human inhabitants descended by a ladder. In the houses were goats, sheep, cattle, fowls, and their young; and all the animals were reared and took their fodder there in the houses.
Uses as a Shelter
The people who built Derinkuyu designed it with safety features, which indicates that the underground dwellings served as refuges. Doors consisted of a rollable disc-shaped stone with a small hole in the middle that covered entrances and passages during raids.
Some people speculate the hole allowed soldiers to shoot arrows out, or perhaps a strong beam through the hole allowed users to open and shut the door more easily.
It may also have served as one of the first “peepholes.” Because the doors only opened and closed from the inside, the inhabitants within the complex had complete control. It was much easier to defend the village through a small opening versus a large opening through which anyone could easily walk.
Each level connected to the next level by a hallway with a similar stone door. Additionally, narrow passages forced people to go through in single file. Again, this made it much easier to defend against incoming soldiers.
The underground city had a water containment system that also took safety as a consideration. It appears that one of the main ventilation shafts also served as a large well.
However, the wells within the city did not all link together, nor did they all go to the surface. This protected inhabitants from invaders who might think to poison the entire water system from the outside.
The Most Beautiful Dead: Jeweled Skeletons Unearthed From the Catacombs Of Rome!
A relic hunter dubbed ‘Indiana Bones’ has lifted the lid on a macabre collection of 400-year-old jewel-encrusted skeletons unearthed in churches across Europe.
Art historian Paul Koudounaris hunted down and photographed dozens of gruesome skeletons in some of the world’s most secretive religious establishments.
Incredibly, some of the skeletons, said to be the remains of early Christian martyrs, were even found hidden away in lock-ups and containers.
They are now the subject of a new book, which sheds light on the forgotten ornamented relics for the first time.
Thousands of skeletons were dug up from Roman catacombs in the 16th century and installed in towns around Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on the orders of the Vatican.
They were sent to Catholic churches and religious houses to replace the relics destroyed in the wake of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s.
Mistaken for the remains of early Christian martyrs, the morbid relics, known as the Catacomb Saints, became shrines reminding of the spiritual treasures of the afterlife.
They were also symbols of the Catholic Church’s newly found strength in previously Protestant areas.
Each one was painstakingly decorated in thousands of pounds worth of gold, silver, and gems by devoted followers before being displayed in church niches. Some took up to five years to decorate.
They were renamed as saints, although none of them qualified for the title under the strict rules of the Catholic church which require saints to have been canonized.
But by the 19th century, they had become morbid reminders of an embarrassing past and many were stripped of their honours and discarded.
Mr. Koudounaris’ new book, Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs, is the first time the skeletons have appeared in print.
Mr. Koudounaris, from Los Angeles, said: ‘I was working on another book looking into charnel houses when I came across the existence of these skeletons.
As I discovered more about them I had this feeling that it was my duty to tell they’re a fascinating story.
After they were found in the Roman catacombs the Vatican authorities would sign certificates identifying them as martyrs then they put the bones in boxes and sent them northwards.
The skeletons would then be dressed and decorated in jewels, gold, and silver, mostly by nuns.
They had to be handled by those who had taken a sacred vow to the church – these were believed to be martyrs and they couldn’t have just anyone handling them. They were symbols of the faith triumphant and were made saints in the municipalities.
One of the reasons they were so important was not for their spiritual merit, which was pretty dubious, but for their social importance. They were thought to be miraculous and really solidified people’s bond with a town. This reaffirmed the prestige of the town itself.’
He added: ‘It’s impossible to put a modern-day value on the skeletons.’