Category Archives: WORLD

5.7 Million-year-old Human Footprints Fossil May Challenge History of Human Evolution

5.7 Million-year-old Human Footprints Fossil May Challenge History of Human Evolution

The established narrative of human early evolution can be tested by newly discovered human traces from Crete. The footprints are about 5.7 million years old and were made at a time when previous research puts our ancestors in Africa — with ape-like feet.

The origin of the human race has been thought to be in Africa after fossils of Australopithecus were found in South and East Africa during the middle years of the 20th century.

More recent fossil discoveries in the same region, including the iconic 3.7 million-year-old Laetoli footprints from Tanzania which show human-like feet and upright locomotion, have cemented the idea that hominins (early members of the human lineage) not only originated in Africa but remained isolated there for several million years before dispersing to Europe and Asia.

A trail of 5.7 million-year-old fossil footprints discovered in Crete could upend the widely accepted theories on early human evolution. The new prints have a distinctly human-like form, with a similar big toe to our own and a ‘ball’ in the sole that’s not found in apes

The discovery of approximately 5.7 million-year-old human-like footprints from Crete, published online this week by an international team of researchers, overthrows this simple picture and suggests a more complex reality.

Human feet have a very distinctive shape, different from all other land animals. The combination of a long sole, five short forward-pointing toes without claws, and a hallux (“big toe”) that is larger than the other toes, is unique.

The feet of our closest relatives, the great apes, look more like a human hand with a thumb-like hallux that sticks out to the side. The Laetoli footprints, thought to have been made by Australopithecus, are quite similar to those of modern humans except that the heel is narrower and the sole lacks a proper arch.

By contrast, the 4.4 million-year-old Ardipithecus ramidus from Ethiopia, the oldest hominin known from reasonably complete fossils, has an ape-like foot.

The researchers who described Ardipithecus argued that it is a direct ancestor of later hominins, implying that a human-like foot had not yet evolved at that time.

The new footprints, from Trachilos in western Crete, have an unmistakably human-like form. This is especially true of the toes. The big toe is similar to our own in shape, size, and position; it is also associated with a distinct ‘ball’ on the sole, which is never present in apes.

The sole of the foot is proportionately shorter than in the Laetoli prints, but it has the same general form. In short, the shape of the Trachilos prints indicates unambiguously that they belong to an early hominin, somewhat more primitive than the Laetoli trackmaker.

They were made on a sandy seashore, possibly a small river delta, whereas the Laetoli tracks were made in volcanic ash.

‘What makes this controversial is the age and location of the prints,’ says Professor Per Ahlberg at Uppsala University, last author of the study.

At approximately 5.7 million years, they are younger than the oldest known fossil hominin, Sahelanthropus from Chad, and contemporary with Orrorin from Kenya, but more than a million years older than Ardipithecus ramidus with its ape-like feet.

This conflicts with the hypothesis that Ardipithecus is a direct ancestor of later hominins. Furthermore, until this year, all fossil hominins older than 1.8 million years (the age of early Homo fossils from Georgia) came from Africa, leading most researchers to conclude that this was where the group evolved.

However, the Trachilos footprints are securely dated using a combination of foraminifera (marine microfossils) from over- and underlying beds, plus the fact that they lie just below a very distinctive sedimentary rock formed when the Mediterranean sea briefly dried out, 5.6 million years ago.

By a curious coincidence, earlier this year, another group of researchers reinterpreted the fragmentary 7.2 million-year-old primate Graecopithecus from Greece and Bulgaria as a hominin. Graecopithecus is only known from teeth and jaws.

During the time when the Trachilos footprints were made, a period known as the late Miocene, the Sahara Desert did not exist; savannah-like environments extended from North Africa up around the eastern Mediterranean.

Furthermore, Crete had not yet detached from the Greek mainland. It is thus not difficult to see how early hominins could have ranged across south-east Europe and well as Africa and left their footprints on a Mediterranean shore that would one day form part of the island of Crete.

‘This discovery challenges the established narrative of early human evolution head-on and is likely to generate a lot of debate. Whether the human origins research community will accept fossil footprints as conclusive evidence of the presence of hominins in the Miocene of Crete remains to be seen,’ says Per Ahlberg.

World-first Temple? Ancient site older than Gobeklitepe may have been unearthed in turkey

World-first Temple? Ancient site older than Gobeklitepe may have been unearthed in turkey

According to a Turkish university rector, new archeological excavations have uncovered an old site older than Gobeklitepe, regarded as the oldest temple in the world.

The Anadolu Agency’s Ibrahim Ozcosar, the rector of Mardin Artuklu University, said the Boncuklu Tarla (Beaded Field) discoveries in Gobeklitepe, a prominent archeological site in the southeastern Sanliurfa region of Turkey and even 1,000 years older.

Work on archaeological digs began in 2012 in the neolithic Boncuklu Tarla district in Dargecit.

Throughout the years Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Hittites, Assyrians, Romans, Seljuks, and Ottomans have been known to have been home to the city.

“It is possible to consider this as a finding that proves the first settlers [in the area] were believers,” Ozcosar said.

“This area is important in terms of being one of the first settled areas of humanity and shows that the first people settling here were believers,” he added, pointing to the similar discoveries in Gobeklitepe and Boncuklu Tarla.

Ergul Kodas, an archaeologist at Artuklu University and advisor to the excavation area, told Anadolu Agency that the history of the Boncuklu Tarla is estimated to be around 12,000-years old.

“Several special structures which we can call temples and special buildings were unearthed in the settlement, in addition to many houses and dwellings,” Kodas said.

“This is a new key point to inform us on many topics such as how the [people] in northern Mesopotamia and the upper Tigris began to settle, how the transition from hunter-gatherer life to food production happened and how cultural and religious structures changed,” he added.

According to Kodas, there are buildings in the area similar to those in Gobeklitepe. Boncuklu Tarla is almost 300 kilometers east of Gobeklitepe.

Göbeklitepe

“We have identified examples of buildings which we call public area, temples, religious places in Boncuklu Tarla that are older compared to discoveries in Gobeklitepe,” he added.

Gobeklitepe, declared an official UNESCO World Heritage Site last year, was discovered in 1963 by researchers from the universities of Istanbul and Chicago.

The German Archaeological Institute and Sanliurfa Museum have been carrying out joint excavations at the site since 1995.

They found T-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic era towering 10-20 feet (3-6 meters) high and weighing 40-60 tons.

During excavations, various historical artifacts, including a 26-inch (65-centimeter) long human statue dating back 12,000 years, have also been discovered.

2400-Year-Old Ancient Bunkers and Nuclear War Shelters Found in India

2400-Year-Old Ancient Bunkers and Nuclear War Shelters Found in India

In recent times, India has strengthened its reputation through some phenomenal finds made in a number of caves in the Bihar region. India is one of the oldest cultures in the world.

India is the country where you discover every day a lot of temples and artifacts that are so advanced for the era in which they were built that scientists cannot explain.

Remember the Padmanabhaswami temple or the Weerahhadra temple where a 2000-year-old image of a bicyclist can be seen carved on one of the walls? Two artificial bunkers were recently discovered in Barabar and Nagarjuna, both located in the Bihar area.

According to the researchers, these bunkers were made 2600 years ago.

According to the inscriptions found inside these bunkers, it appears that some sort of ascetic Buddhist or Hindu would have been sheltered there.

The details regarding the construction of these bunkers are extremely interesting. The finishes are perfect. Perfect cuts and angles in stone.

Considering the huge age of these bunkers, they were almost impossible to build with the technology of that time. These details, I’m thinking of technology unknown to the people of that time.

Maybe even assuming that these bunkers could be built with extraterrestrial technology.

Researchers argue on the purpose of these bunkers, but my question is who built them?

Scottish Farmer Discovers 5,000-Year-Old Lost City

Scottish Farmer Discovers 5,000-Year-Old Lost City

Scotland is full of vivid, complex history, as is the case for other European compatriots. And no, it’s not all the violent headlines that Braveheart sees — though there is a great deal of war in the country’s rearview mirror.

Nonetheless, not so long ago, a farmer discovered something amazing about ancient Scotland buried in the sand dunes of one of the northernmost islands of the country The kicker? He found this amazing discovery behind something unbelievably ordinary…

Around 1850 a Scottish farmer passed through the sand dunes of the western shore of the island of Orkney. There he pushed a rock aside and discovered something that had been hidden for thousands of years.

At first, he saw what looked like a simple hole, but when he peered inside, he couldn’t believe his eyes: it was a passageway that appeared to be a part of an entire labyrinth of rooms and corridors. An entire ancient city was hidden behind an ordinary slab of stone that whole time!

The settlement, it turned out, was the remains of Skara Brae, a neolithic city. Researchers believed that the ancient settlement might’ve been over 5,000 years old, making it more ancient than even the Egyptian pyramids.

Luckily, because the city had been covered by the sand dunes, it remained preserved for centuries until the farmer found it, untouched by other humans and hidden from the wear and tear of the passage of time.

Researchers believed that this was one of the oldest permanent settlements in Great Britain.

Each house had been sunk into middens, mounds of waste used to stabilize the structure and insulate those insides from Scotland’s brutal climate.

Though only eight houses now remain, it is believed the settlement was once much larger.

Researchers estimated this ancient lost city could have been home to between 50 and 100 people.

All of the houses were connected using a tunnel system, but those tunnels could be closed off and separated with large, sliding stone doors.

Early citizens would then be able to travel throughout the city, but close off their homes for privacy when they needed to.

Each hut contained multiple bedding areas; in most of the huts, researchers discovered, one of the bedding areas was typically larger than the others. These rooms were presumably reserved for the heads of the house—kind of like ancient master bedrooms.

The houses also contained a waterproof storage bin. Researchers believed this could’ve been an indication that these early people stored fresh fish in the huts. If that was the case, fish was likely their main source of food.

There are still questions to be answered about this hidden city and its people. Nevertheless, there is so much we can learn from ancient cities like this.

For many years, archaeologists thought that every important Egyptian discovery was already found. But that all changed recently.

Luckiest man in India? Lottery winner unearths pot of 2,500 antique coins

Luckiest man in India? Lottery winner unearths pot of 2,500 antique coins

A fortunate man has made an amazing discovery in India. He recently won large sums of money in a local lottery, and decided to buy property from his windfall – and discovered buried treasure on this plot

The lucky person found a hoard of coins over a century on the surface.

Mr. B Rathnakaran Pillai (66), is a former saw-mill worker and was an active member of his ward in the town of Kilanoor, in Kerala in south-west India. Last Christmas he had a stroke of great luck when he won Rs 6 crore ($842,000) in a local lottery.

According to The News Minute, Mr. Pillai ‘had always prided himself on his green thumb and decided to use a part of his lottery wins to buy land to grow vegetables’. He bought a small plot of land a few miles from his home.

This land is near an old temple dedicated to the Hindu god Krishna. One day while Mr. Pillai was digging in the soil in order to plant some tapioca, his spade struck something hard.

He removed some topsoil and unearthed a pot. The News Minute quotes Pillai as stating that “I pulled out an earthen pot. Inside this were thousands of copper coins .”

The gardener examined the hoard he had found and discovered he had an amazing amount of coins. In total, the hoard weighed over 40 pounds (18.14 kg).

Mr. Pillai knew he had found something very important and immediately alerted the relevant authorities, which is required by law. The local authorities now have possession of the coins.

Upon his discovery of the buried treasure, Mr. Pilla immediately alerted the relevant authorities.

Over 2500 coins were found and they were identified as coming from ‘the defunct kingdom of Travancore, which ruled Kerala for hundreds of years,’ according to BBC News.

The coins date from the reign of two Maharajahs of Travancore. One was Sree Mulam Thirunal, (1885 and 1924) and the other Sree Chithira Thirunal Bala Rama Varma (1924-1949), who was the last ruler of Travancore. These Maharajahs ruled their territory as quasi-independent rulers but were under the influence of the British prior to Indian independence.

Before the first independent Indian government introduced the modern currency system, the rulers of Travancore had a monetary system known as Fanam, which had been in use for centuries. In the local Malayalam language, this word means ‘wealth’ or ‘money.’

The rulers of Travancore had a monetary system known as Fanam.

The copper coins are known as chuckrams and four types of them were identified. Further examination showed that some silver and gold coins in both low and high denominations were also in the pot.

The container that held the coins had the traditional symbol of Travancore, a conch shell on one side and the image of the last Maharajah on the other side.

Some coins show the traditional symbol of Travancore, a conch shell, on one side and the image of the last Maharajah on the other side.

It is believed that the coins date to the late 19th century. This naturally led to the question as to why so many valuable coins were buried in the earth and left there for over a century. It is possible that they were owned by a local healer whose house once stood in the area where the coins were found.

The healer could have buried the treasure in his home. Mr. Pillai told The News Minute that “we unearthed the pot from the room which is the Kanni Moola (southwest corner) of the healer’s house.”

The south-west corner of a dwelling is considered sacred in Hindu architecture. The healer may have placed his wealth in the sacred area of his home to keep it safe.

At present, the coins are at the Conservation Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram. Many of the “the coins have oxidized and the copper oxide which looks green is stuck to the surface” and needs to be removed, according to Rajesh Kumar R, of the local Archaeology Department. Once cleaned the coins are going to be valued by a committee of experts.

Many of the coins in the treasure hoard have oxidized.

Mr. Pillai is not entitled to the coins and he is simply happy to have found the buried treasure. However, it is expected that the lucky man will be rewarded for his find by the local government and will most likely receive a portion of the total value of the coins.