Nerdishness

new&nerdlyA couple of 6,000 year old temples have been discovered. The first in Israel, possibly dedicated to Baal or Anat…

6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered – Phys.org
October 16, 2014

… the second in what is now Ukraine.  This temple is located within a large settlement that was part of the Trypillian cultural sphere.  I think the remarks about similarities between this complex and temples in Eridu are a bit far fetched and based on superficialities.  Unless, of course, those similarities go deeper than those this article implies.

6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered – Live Science
October 20, 2014

There’s an interesting, very sciency, article in the online journal Nature Communications about cultural transitions in the Greater Hungarian Plain and corresponding changes in the genetic makeup of the population.  What most of the less technical sites got out of it was that Europeans drank milk and ate cheese long before they developed the genetic mutation that lead to lactose tolerance, allowing for maximum use of the nutrition provided by dairy products.

Lots of coverage of, and different spins on, genomic data gained from a 45,000 year old thigh bone of an anatomically modern human found in Siberia.

In other genomic news, there is evidence that the Polynesian inhabitants of Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island, interacted, and interbred, with people from South America at a surprisingly early date.  Just as intriguing, was another discovery mentioned in the article:

… a second article that will appear in the same issue of Current Biology by Malaspinas along with Eske Willerslev and their colleagues examined two human skulls representing the indigenous “Botocudos” of Brazil to find that their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component at all.

Genomic data support early contact between Easter Island and Americas – Phys.org
October 23, 2014

A genetic mutation allowing for the efficient use of fatty animal protein that proved advantageous to people of the Arctic during and just after the Ice Age is now having a negative impact on those same populations, leading to a high rate of hypoglycemia and high mortality.

Gene that once aided survival in Arctic found to have negative impact on health today – Science Daily
October 23, 2014

I remember reading about this super-eruption of Campi Flegrei a few years ago.  Now they’re saying that the impacts of the eruptions on the areas inhabited by Neadertal populations was minimal.  Comparable to the environmental impacts of the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora on the same areas.  Which, to my mind, seeing as how both eruptions rate 7 on the VEI scale, how Campi Flegrei is considered a super-eruption, and Tambora is not.

Supervolcano Cleared in Neanderthals’ Demise – Live Science
October 24, 2014

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of Ukek, the capital of the Golden Horde.  This Mongol capital is difficult to excavate because it lies beneath a modern city, but they are finding interesting things, regardless.

Ancient City Ruled by Genghis Khan’s Heirs Revealed – Live Science
October 24, 2014

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