Earliest known cave art by modern humans found in Indonesia

© Ratno Sardi/Griffith UniversityThe drawings are nearly twice as old as any previously known narrative scenes. Cave art depicting human-animal hybrid figures hunting warty pigs and dwarf buffaloes has been dated to nearly 44,000 years old, making it the earliest known cave art by our species. The artwork in Indonesia is nearly twice as old as any previous hunting scene and provides unprecedented insights into the earliest storytelling and the emergence of modern human cognition. Previously, images of this level of sophistication dated to about 20,000 years ago, with the…

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Roman shipwreck from around 1BC carrying thousands of wine amphorae is found on the Greek seafloor

The ship’s cargo, around 6,000 Roman pots, is in good condition despite the wreckage dating as far as 1 BC A Roman shipwreck that dates from the time of Jesus Christ has been discovered in Greece, with a cargo of around 6,000 amazingly well-preserved pots used for transporting wine and food. The 110-foot-long ship and its cargo, discovered off the coast of the Greek island of Kefalonia, could reveal new information about the shipping routes taken by Roman traders across the Mediterranean. The wreckage was found using sonar equipment and…

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FLASHBACK: The first US-led Iraq war was also sold to the public based on a pack of lies

Then Vice President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, arrive in New Orleans for the 1988 Republican National Convention Polls suggest that Americans tend to differentiate between our “good war” in Iraq — “Operation Desert Storm,” launched by George HW Bush in 1990 — and the “mistake” his son made in 2003. Across the ideological spectrum, there’s broad agreement that the first Gulf War was “worth fighting.” The opposite is true of the 2003 invasion, and a big reason for those divergent views was captured in a 2013 CNN…

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BEST OF THE WEB: The Afghanistan Papers: A secret history of the war

© Moises Saman/Magnum PhotosKonar province, 2010 A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable. The documents were generated by a federal project examining the root failures of the longest armed conflict in U.S. history. They include more than 2,000 pages of previously unpublished notes of interviews with people who played a…

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SOTT FOCUS: MindMatters: Ordinary Men: What Makes Normal People Do Monstrous Things

© SOTT Are killers born or made? Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a variety of responses: all humans are good – it’s only the ‘environment’ or ‘society’ that makes them do bad things; anyone who engages in murder must be a cold-blooded psychopath, born to kill. But simple explanations come from simple minds. It’s not a matter of either/or. Some people are born that way, like psychopaths. Some have the strength of character to resist the impulse to conform. But most people are somewhere in between, easily swayed…

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Exceptional 23,000 year old “Venus” discovered in Amiens, France

© DENIS CHARLET / AFP.This picture taken on December 4, 2019 shows a 4 centimeters high paleolithic statuette named “Venus of Renancourt”, in Amiens. A small paleolithic statuette, from the series called “Venus of Renancourt”, exceptionally well preserved, was discovered last July in a prehistoric site in Amiens (northern France), constituting a rare testimony of the gravettian art typical of hunters – gatherers, revealed the Inrap on December 4. The prehistoric site of Renancourt, in Amiens, has been known for many years and long remained one of the few sites…

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George H. Walker Bush: The Bush family and the Mexican drug cartel

President George Bush wanted to show America what crack cocaine looked like at his first Oval Office address on Sept 5, 1989 Donald Trump has offered to intervene in Mexico, i.e. “to go after the Drug Cartels” following “the brutal killing of an American family in Mexico”. The Mexican president has turned down Trump’s generous offer. In a recent interview, President Trump confirmed that his administration is now considering categorizing “drug cartels” as “terrorists”, akin to Al Qaeda (with the exception that they are “Catholic terrorists”). They would henceforth be…

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Ostrich eggshell beads reveal 10,000 years of cultural interaction across Africa

© Hans SellA string of modern ostrich eggshell beads from eastern Africa. Ostrich eggshell beads are some of the oldest ornaments made by humankind, and they can be found dating back at least 50,000 years in Africa. Previous research in southern Africa has shown that the beads increase in size about 2,000 years ago, when herding populations first enter the region. In the current study, researchers Jennifer Miller and Elizabeth Sawchuk investigate this idea using increased data and evaluate the hypothesis in a new region where it has never before…

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The Habsburg jaw: Facial deformity in royal dynasty linked to inbreeding

King Charles II of Spain was the last in the Habsburg line and one of the most afflicted with the facial deformity. The “Habsburg jaw”, a facial condition of the Habsburg dynasty of Spanish and Austrian kings and their wives, can be attributed to inbreeding, according to new results published in the Annals of Human Biology. The new study combined diagnosis of facial deformities using historical portraits with genetic analysis of the degree of relatedness to determine whether there was a direct link. The researchers also investigated the genetic basis…

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How radar detected prehistoric footprints beneath White Sands National Monument

© ROB PONGSAJAPAN/CC BY 2.0Modern footprints speckle the Alkali Flat Trail at White Sands—and around the area, oodles of prehistoric footprints are buried beneath the sand. Today, White Sands National Monument in New Mexico is studded with dune fields, which are constantly being shuffled and sculpted by the wind. Visitors can hike across the soaring, powdery mounds of gypsum, or even barrel down them on a sled. The dunes seem to go on forever: They stretch for hundreds of square miles, and as the sand whips past, it’s easy to…

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Elizabeth I revealed as translator of historic Tacitus manuscript

© Lambeth Palace Library/Getty Images A manuscript written by Queen Elizabeth I has been discovered after lying unnoticed for more than a century. A literary historian from the University of East Anglia made the startling find in Lambeth Palace Library in London. He turned detective to piece together a series of clues to establish that the queen was the author of the writings. The work is a translation of a book in which the Roman historian Tacitus wrote of the benefits of monarchical rule. © Lambeth Palace LibraryThe manuscript contains…

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Ancient Egyptian High Priest hid mummies from grave robbers during Kingdom’s decline

© AFP 2019 / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED The Valley of Kings and Queens is visited by hordes of tourists annually, and it appears there is at least one person to thank for sheltering King Ramses’ remains from greedy 10 century BC tomb raiders. Bettany Hughes’ Channel 5 show Egypt’s Great Treasure has revealed a stunning story of the so-called TT320 – the ancient Egyptian tomb located in close proximity to Deir el-Bahri, just opposite Luxor. It is believed to have initially been the last resting place of High Priest of Amun…

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1,400 years ago Bamburgh Castle was center of ‘Northumbrian enlightenment’, hosting visitors from as far as North Africa

While most of Britain was in the ‘Dark Ages’ one area was playing host to visitors from across Europe, researchers studying bones uncovered near Bamburgh Castle claim While most of Britain was in the ‘Dark Ages’ one area was playing host to visitors from across Europe and having its own local ‘enlightenment’, researchers studying bones uncovered near Bamburgh Castle claim. Over the past 20 years, experts from Durham University have been studying the remains of 110 Anglo-Saxons found buried near the Northumberland castle. They were found between 1998 and 2007…

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The Harappan script: An enigma from the ancient world

Despite the thousands of archaeological artefacts excavated from more than a thousand settlements, a wholesome perspective of the civilisation still remains elusive. © Financial ExpressIn the 1920s, when the Harappan civilisation first came into limelight owing to the efforts of the then leading archaeologists of British and Indian origin, it was little expected that the civilisation would prove to be a mystery for a such a long time. A standing offer of $10,000 prize money remains open from 2004, donated by an anonymous donor and valid as long as Steve…

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No humans needed: Neanderthals possibly responsible for their own extinction

Neanderthals may simply have been unfortunate to have lived in small numbers. Scientists remain puzzled by the sudden extinction of Neanderthals, some 40,000 years ago. New research by scientists from Eindhoven University of Technology, Leiden University and Wageningen University now suggests we might have been too quick in attributing the demise of Neanderthals to invasions by members of our species, Homo sapiens. Relying on models from conservation biology, the researchers conclude that the downfall of Neanderthals may have been the result of their small population size alone. The study has…

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A 1970 law led to the mass sterilization of Native American women. That history still matters

© Bettmann/Getty ImagesA Navajo woman walks towards her hogan on the Navajo Indian Reservation between Chinle and Ganado, Ariz., in August of 1970. Marie Sanchez, chief tribal judge on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, arrived in Geneva in 1977 with a clear message to deliver to the United Nations Convention on Indigenous Rights. American Indian women, she argued, were targets of the “modern form” of genocide — sterilization. Over the six-year period that had followed the passage of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, physicians sterilized perhaps…

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A 1970 law led to the mass sterilization of Native American women. That history still matters

© Bettmann/Getty ImagesA Navajo woman walks towards her hogan on the Navajo Indian Reservation between Chinle and Ganado, Ariz., in August of 1970. Marie Sanchez, chief tribal judge on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, arrived in Geneva in 1977 with a clear message to deliver to the United Nations Convention on Indigenous Rights. American Indian women, she argued, were targets of the “modern form” of genocide — sterilization. Over the six-year period that had followed the passage of the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970, physicians sterilized perhaps…

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Long-lost overpainted portrait reveals young Queen Elizabeth I

© BonhamsThe portrait dates from 1562 and it may have been painted in Steven van der Meulen’s workshop. A mysterious portrait of an unknown woman has been identified as a rare depiction of a young Elizabeth I projecting power, confidence and suitability for marriage. The discovery was announced by the auction house Bonhams, which said the California owners of the painting had no idea who the sitter was until they had it cleaned. The procedure revealed the picture had been overpainted, probably in the 19th century. The original subject appeared…

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8000-year old stone structure unearthed in Turkish island

© Anadolu Agency Canakkale, Turkey – A monument believed to be around 8,000-year old was unearthed in northwestern Turkey, according to the head of an excavation team. “During this years’ excavation work, we have found a structure that we believe dates back to around 6,000 B.C.,” Burcin Erdogu from Trakya University, archeologist and head of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday. Excavations in the Ugurlu-Zeytinlik mound in the northwestern province of Canakkale’s Gokceada district had earlier unearthed a 7,000-year-old structure complex. Erdogu said the new excavation will through…

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8000-year old stone structure unearthed in Turkish island

© Anadolu Agency Canakkale, Turkey – A monument believed to be around 8,000-year old was unearthed in northwestern Turkey, according to the head of an excavation team. “During this years’ excavation work, we have found a structure that we believe dates back to around 6,000 B.C.,” Burcin Erdogu from Trakya University, archeologist and head of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday. Excavations in the Ugurlu-Zeytinlik mound in the northwestern province of Canakkale’s Gokceada district had earlier unearthed a 7,000-year-old structure complex. Erdogu said the new excavation will through…

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8000-year old stone structure unearthed on Turkish island

© Anadolu Agency Canakkale, Turkey – A monument believed to be around 8,000-year old was unearthed in northwestern Turkey, according to the head of an excavation team. “During this years’ excavation work, we have found a structure that we believe dates back to around 6,000 B.C.,” Burcin Erdogu from Trakya University, archeologist and head of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency on Thursday. Excavations in the Ugurlu-Zeytinlik mound in the northwestern province of Canakkale’s Gokceada district had earlier unearthed a 7,000-year-old structure complex. Erdogu said the new excavation will through…

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100 years ago, a gigantic meteor shook Michigan on Thanksgiving eve

© Associated PressIn this frame grab made from a dashboard video camera, a meteor streaks through the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. A century ago, on Thanksgiving eve, people across Michigan saw something that would mark Nov. 26 in their memories for years to come. Fog and rain rolled across the Great Lakes region, when just before 8 p.m. something unusual cut through the dark. “The road, trees, houses and even ourselves were bathed in a blinding phosphorescent-like glow which had its center in a bright streak…

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Divers discover fully intact medieval sword wedged in underwater stone in Bosnian river

© Ivana PandzicThe 700-yr-old sword was found embedded in rock at the bottom of the river. In Bosnia’s Republika Srpska, the Vrbas River has held a secret for around seven centuries. A medieval sword was recently discovered stuck in a stone thirty-six feet down at the bottom of the river. Divers from the RK BUK, a boating and dive club in Banja Luka, found the sword in relatively good condition considering the amount of time spent underwater. Republika Srpska Museum historian, Janko Vracar, announced that an analysis of the blade…

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7,000-year-old burial of female “shaman” in Sweden was one of the last hunter-gatherers

© Photograph by Gert Germeraad, Trelleborgs MuseumResearchers used skeletal remains and ancient DNA to reconstruct the burial of a woman who lived in what is now southern Sweden 7,000 years ago. To the archaeologist who excavated her remains, she’s Burial XXII. To the staff at the museum where she will be displayed, she’s known as the “Seated Woman” (for now, at least, though they’re open to other suggestions). And to the artist who reconstructed her life-size image and imagined her piercing stare, she’s the “Shaman.” Her real name was likely…

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Two lion cub mummies discovered in Egypt for the first time

© Khaled Desouki/AFP via Getty ImagesThis cat statue, along with many others, was discovered in a tomb at Saqqara in Egypt Two mummified lions, dating back about 2,600 years, have been discovered in a tomb full of cat statues and cat mummies in Saqqara, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced today (Nov. 23) at a press conference. “This is the first time [that a] complete mummy of a lion or lion cub” has been found in Egypt, said Mostafa Waziri, the general secretary of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, who…

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Were other humans the first victims of the sixth mass extinction?

© Smithsonian National Museum of Natural HistoryA Neanderthal skull shows head trauma, evidence of ancient violence. Nine human species walked the Earth 300,000 years ago. Now there is just one. The Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, were stocky hunters adapted to Europe’s cold steppes. The related Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus lived in Indonesia, and Homo rhodesiensis in central Africa. Several short, small-brained species survived alongside them: Homo naledi in South Africa, Homo luzonensis in the Philippines, Homo floresiensis (“hobbits”) in Indonesia, and the mysterious Red Deer Cave…

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FLASHBACK: The ‘mosque to commerce’ – ISLAMIC architectural features were incorporated into World Trade Center destroyed on 9/11

We all know the basic reasons why Osama Bin Laden chose to attack the World Trade Center, out of all the buildings in New York. Its towers were the two tallest in the city, synonymous with its skyline. They were richly stocked with potential victims. And as the complex’s name declared, it was designed to be a center of American and global commerce. But Bin Laden may have had another, more personal motivation. The World Trade Center’s architect, Minoru Yamasaki, was a favorite designer of the Binladin family’s patrons —…

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US DOJ ignored allegations that Cheney’s Halliburton paid bribes to obtain Venezuelan oil contracts

Spurred by the recent U.S. attempt to overthrow the government of Venezuela, Lucy Komisar offers a never-told story about the international corruption of state oil company PdVSA many years ago, under a pro-business administration in Caracas. Part of the ongoing U.S. demonization of the Nicolas Maduro government of Venezuela is to accuse it of corruption. In 2017, for example, U.S. prosecutors charged five former Venezuelan officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) with soliciting bribes in exchange for helping vendors win favorable treatment from state oil company PdVSA from…

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US DOJ ignored allegations that Cheney’s Halliburton paid bribes to obtain Venezuelan oil contracts

Spurred by the recent U.S. attempt to overthrow the government of Venezuela, Lucy Komisar offers a never-told story about the international corruption of state oil company PdVSA many years ago, under a pro-business administration in Caracas. Part of the ongoing U.S. demonization of the Nicolas Maduro government of Venezuela is to accuse it of corruption. In 2017, for example, U.S. prosecutors charged five former Venezuelan officials under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) with soliciting bribes in exchange for helping vendors win favorable treatment from state oil company PdVSA from…

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