Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by GRW, Jan 19, 2009.
Ah, see what you mean now. A tad short.
A good piece on evidence for the presence of Justinian Plague in Britain, previously only conjectured (full article)-
"The first historically documented pandemic caused by Yersinia pestis began as the Justinianic Plague in 541 within the Roman Empire and continued as the so-called First Pandemic until 750. Although paleogenomic studies have previously identified the causative agent as Y. pestis, little is known about the bacterium’s spread, diversity, and genetic history over the course of the pandemic. To elucidate the microevolution of the bacterium during this time period, we screened human remains from 21 sites in Austria, Britain, Germany, France, and Spain for Y. pestis DNA and reconstructed eight genomes. We present a methodological approach assessing single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ancient bacterial genomes, facilitating qualitative analyses of low coverage genomes from a metagenomic background. Phylogenetic analysis on the eight reconstructed genomes reveals the existence of previously undocumented Y. pestis diversity during the sixth to eighth centuries, and provides evidence for the presence of multiple distinct Y. pestis strains in Europe. We offer genetic evidence for the presence of the Justinianic Plague in the British Isles, previously only hypothesized from ambiguous documentary accounts, as well as the parallel occurrence of multiple derived strains in central and southern France, Spain, and southern Germany. Four of the reported strains form a polytomy similar to others seen across the Y. pestis phylogeny, associated with the Second and Third Pandemics. We identified a deletion of a 45-kb genomic region in the most recent First Pandemic strains affecting two virulence factors, intriguingly overlapping with a deletion found in 17th- to 18th-century genomes of the Second Pandemic."
"An 'exceptional' sandstone tablet covered in engravings of animals and geometric designs has been unearthed from the Angoulême region of southwest France.
Featured on the stone are five animals, mainly horses, one of which is drawn with considerable detail, especially in the features of the animal's legs.
Archaeologists have dated the stone back to 12,000 years ago, making it a product of the Azilian culture of southern France and northern Spain.
It is rare to find such figurative art from this culture, which typically favoured exclusively abstract iconography.
The stone was found along with a number of rudimentary fireplaces, animal bones and the remains of a flint carving station.
The prehistoric stone was unearthed by researchers from the French National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap).
They had been excavating a site located near the station in Angoulême, a district to the north of Bordeaux."
"Scientists have unveiled the severed head of a huge Ice Age wolf baring its teeth, which dates back more than 40,000 years.
The snarling beast with its brain intact was found preserved in permafrost in the Yakutia region on Siberia.
The head is almost 16 inches long, nearly twice the size of the head of its modern-day descendant, the Gray wolf, at 9.1-11 inches.
It was discovered above the Arctic Circle by local man Pavel Efimov in summer 2018 near the remote Tirekhtyakh River but the find was only now revealed.
The reason the wolf's head was severed is not known, but it's unlikely to have been the trophy of an ancient hunter since early man only started to arrive in this part of northern Russia around 32,500 years ago, it is believed.
Russian scientist Dr Albert Protopopov said: 'This is a unique discovery of the first-ever remains of a fully grown Pleistocene wolf with its tissue preserved.
'We will be comparing it to modern-day wolves to understand how the species has evolved and to reconstruct its appearance.'"
I wouldn't trust the "early man only started to arrive" - A story yet to be written will put that date further back...and doesn't account for travelers orexplorers moving through the area...the severed head is the "most " likely scenario...probably hacked off in a bit of a hurry, as the fur and meat would have been all the person was after. Quickly butcher into carry-able pieces and move on.
Or some proud hunter brought it back to the yurt and his wife glared at him and said "a LITTLE head, you idiot."
Hate to see the rest of of the body if the head is 16 inches long.
Primitive hunters would probably have eaten the brain and just kept the skull for a trophy. Not sure that most stone weapons would have an easy time severing the head either. Of course that leaves the question of what did. Wonder if there's enough evidence left to get any idea on that.
Scientists give the thumbs-up for Anthropocene epoch
Scientists give the thumbs-up for Anthropocene epoch
If they could cut wood with a stone axe and butcher with stone/bone knives, they can cut the head off.
I was thinking of something that would happen in the course of killing the animal. Given enough time and a dead animal I agree they wouldn't have too much trouble decapitating the wolf.
I climbed a mountain made of obsidian that had been visited by man for 1000's of years. The piece of the obsidian "rock " I took home can slice paper as easily as a razor.
Having seen wolves take down adult bison at Yellowstone I'd be disinclined to participate in that experiment. But I would go through your pockets afterwards. No sense letting good money go to waste.
Read an article a few years ago about them making scalpels out of glass/obsidian now due both how sharp they could be and how well they held an edge. That doesn't mean it's easy to take the head off a large animal though. Even people who practiced it as a profession found it non trivial to do with a human who wasn't struggling from what I've read.
We aren’t talking execution style...just butchery style...just treat the neck like a bow of wood...doesn’t have to be one or two hacks, just get it off.
It could be that it was killed by any number of animals, may even have been injured and just died...with a lack of ants and other insects, it is conceivable that an animal or animals consumed most of the body and left the head...I’ve seen lions do the same sometimes...but if this was the case one would expect to find more heads.
But the way it was found would suggest it wasn't "butchery style". Indeed it would suggest that the head was discarded if cut off by human hunters and that doesn't seem likely.
I guess it's possible that some sort of trap, perhaps one designed for larger prey could have done it.
The Aztecs used obsidian in their swords.
Good timing. Filmed this yesterday in Yellowstone. It IS true. You can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd.
BTW, the sword above was used to decapitate a horse, just to test it.