Archaeology Today

But… but… I was told that the ONLY way to keep doing stuff is to write it down!!! /s

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Discovering that ancient peoples were capable of navigation not dependent on being in sight of land (and therefore at the mercy of the tides and prone to being shipwrecked on a Lee shore) gets discovered at about ten times the frequency of the “Hitler and the Nazis were off their bounces on drugs” gets discovered.

It’s like when people recently discovered that medieval knights in full armour could run and jump around the place in it. Despite all the old training manuals explaining how you needed to run and jump around in full armour.

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He added it showed our ancestors were capable of traversing the Mediterranean Sea “without a line of sight to any coast”.

"From this geographical point, only the horizon is visible all around. To navigate they probably used the celestial bodies, by taking sightings and angles of the sun and star positions.”

it was my understanding that we already knew that navigation by stars pre-dated ancient Greek culture? obviously Greeks were familiar with where all the stars lay because we still use the Greek names for all the constellations, but iirc older civilizations studied stars and had their own constellations. if you’re crossing the Mediterranean by sail, wouldn’t that be an overnight trip? surely if you went long-ways? like, start from shore pointing in a good guess at the right direction, and then at night, point the bow to the appropriate star, then correct for the movement of the heavens (actually Earth) by following the next stars as they rise over the horizon. right? humans have known how to do this for a long time, and each different culture seems to have figured it out independently.
I really don’t understand this article. or else I’m really wrong here.

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In fact for the most part the Greek constellations were actually the Mesopotamian ones, just with the names changed into Greek. Like how you could say the Great Bear instead of Ursa Major instead of Ἄρκτος Μεγάλη.

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I think people stick to their myths and stories about ancient peoples because that is what they have always kind of known.

But ultimately there is a political origin for those stories of ancient ignorance. Stephen Jay Gould blamed 18th/19th century liberal enlightened Protestant histories of science (which influenced American school textbooks) for the notion that Cristobal Colon proved that the Earth was round. Which is ridiculous. Flat earthism was not a sensible sea navigation strategy. As far back as we have records of sea travel. Proved every day by Phoenician navigators or Vikings.

As for navigating out of sight of land: they all did it. The greatest being the Pacific Ocean seagoing peoples of course.

Colon fudged his numbers to make his journey to India rather than the Caribbean.

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Yup. For anyone who was told at school he did this because his crew of experienced sailors was afraid of falling off the edge of the disc: Cristoforo Colombo fudged the numbers in his log (which wouldn’t have fooled anyone in his crew) because he navigated a Spanish flotilla in Portuguese waters.1) The World already having been divided between the two powers. Despite not actually knowing what was where to conquer for them overseas. But the deal was brokered2) by the Pope, so…

As to the “Vikings”, that’s another myth that needs to be critically revised. And I say that being related to some of 'em.

1) Coming across a Portuguese patrol would have been a bad day at best.

2) “Guys! Stop killing each other! That’s sinful! There are still lots and lots of brown peoples that need ki… I mean, heathens that need to be converted. Also, I hear they might have treasure. Do we have a deal?” I may be paraphrasing a bit here.

Edit: added four words to increase clarity.

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Obligatory link to Clickspring channel. The channel owner is the major contributor in the article (for those who don’t click through).

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“Unlike other similar studies of Neolithic burials, the Barmaz population appears to have drawn its protein resources from a similar environment, with the same access to resources for adults, whether male or female,” the researchers said in a study recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

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Pompeii and Circumstance.

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I’m going to bet they go back way longer than that.

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What caused to the shift to human consciousness was probably the bra.

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image

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https://www.nytimes.com/2024/07/11/science/humans-neanderthals-out-of-africa.html

As Dr. Akey and his colleagues reported on Thursday, modern humans expanded out of Africa and interbred with Neanderthals between 200,000 and 250,000 years ago.

Dr. Tishkoff and her colleagues compared the genome of a 122,000-year-old Neanderthal fossil with the genomes of 180 people from 12 populations across Africa. Previous studies had found no sign of Neanderthal DNA in African genomes. But Dr. Tishkoff’s group detected tiny pieces of Neanderthal-like DNA scattered across all 12 of the populations they studied.

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