Some Nerdishness

new&nerdlyThey’ve discovered a Mycenaean palace near Sparta, complete with “archaic inscriptions.” Always love when new inscriptions are found.  One thing, though:

…excavations in the area have unearthed inscriptions on tablets detailing religious ceremonies and names and places in a script called Linear B, the oldest script to be discovered in Europe. It first appears in Crete from around 1375 BC….

I thought Linear A, also written in Crete, was older than Linear B.

A new study talks about how much more diverse large mammals would be, outside of Africa, if humans never existed. Think about it. In North America alone we had, just off the top of my head, two species of mammoths, at least one of mastodon, and three of bison plus horses and camels, two or three species of lions, cheetahs, dire wolves, cougars, jaguars, short-faced bears, and sloths. Of all of those only cougars, one or two jaguars in Arizona, and one species of bison remain. And the jaguars are a recent development.

Apparently those odd boulder mortars of the Natufian culture served a funereal function similar to modern church bells. Not sure I entirely agree with this.

A huge cache of some 500 cave lion bones belonging to 5 or 6 beasts has been found in a Siberian cave along with a giant cave bear skull pierced with a spear. There were also a few weapons, all Mousterain (a Stone Age tool technology usually associated with Neadertals), found in the cave, but no evidence that people actually lived in it. It’s likely that this cave had some sort of religious significance. Preliminary, guesstimated, dates between 30,000 and 60,000 years ago.

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