background preloader

The Olmec Civilization and the Use of Bitumen

The Olmec Civilization and the Use of Bitumen
Geoarchaeological research has identified origin sources of bitumen used by the great Olmec civilization of the tropical lowlands of central America, 3000 years ago. The project, described by Olmec scholar David Grove as a “break-though in source analyzing bitumen in Mesoamerica”, may shed light on the vast trade networks throughout prehistoric North America. Historic and Prehistoric Uses of Bitumen Bitumen is a black, oily, viscous material that is a naturally-occurring organic byproduct of decomposed organic materials. Also known as asphalt or tar, bitumen was mixed with other materials throughout prehistory and throughout the world for use as a sealant, adhesive, building mortar, incense, and decorative application on pots, buildings, or human skin. Archaeologists have been investigating the sources of bitumen, that is to say, from whence came bitumen used in ancient settlements, since the 1980s, beginning with materials from archaeological sites in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Sources

Related:  OlmecOlmecHistory + archeology

Animal Symbolism in Celtic Mythology <editorial date="2007"> This document is readable by you today, almost 14 years after I wrote it and more than 12 years after I put it on the web, because of open formats. In this specific case, the format is HTML 2. Can we say the same thing about word processing documents, spread sheets and other office documents?

Genetic Genealogy DNA analysis is an important new scientific tool increasingly being used by genealogists as an aid to research. DNA testing is not a replacement for traditional documentary research, but can be used in conjunction with the paper records. A DNA test can determine whether two people share a common ancestor within a certain number of generations. DNA can thereby validate (or disprove) genealogical theories about a family's lineage and ancestry. The Germani: Germanic Peoples Origins and History Who were they? The Germani entered Roman consciousness as unknown enemies, suddenly looming from the misty distance. Not that the Romans had a collective ethnic name for the tribes who swooped upon them in 113 BC, driven by the flooding of their own lands to look for a new homeland. Only as the frontiers of the Roman Empire expanded up to the North Sea in the next century were the Cimbri securely located by Roman geographers in Jutland and the Teutones within Germania. 1Plutarch, The Lives, The Life of Marius, 11; Lucius Annaeus Florus, The Epitome of Roman History, book 1, chapter 38; Strabo, Geography, book 7, chapter 2, sections 1-2; Claudius Ptolemy, The Geography, book 2, chapter 10; Res Gestae Divi Augusti, chapter 26; Tacitus, Germania, 37; Pliny, Natural History, book 4, chapter 28. The Germani were not a unified people. But they did have a language in common.

Devetashka - the Bulgarian Cave with 70,000 Years of Human Habitation Devetashka cave is an enormous cave in Bulgaria, which has provided shelter for groups of humans since the late Paleolithic era, and continuously for tens of thousands of years since then. Now abandoned by humans, it remains a site of national and international significance and is home to some 30,000 bats. Devetashka cave, which is known as Devetàshka peshterà in Bulgaria, is located roughly 18 kilometres north of Lovech, near the village of Devetaki. It is a karst cave formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks and characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems. Devetashka Cave, Bulgaria. Minor variations in ice sheet size can trigger abrupt climate change Small fluctuations in the sizes of ice sheets during the last ice age were enough to trigger abrupt climate change, scientists have found. The team, which included Cardiff University researchers, compared simulated model data with that retrieved from ice cores and marine sediments in a bid to find out why temperature jumps of up to ten degrees took place in far northern latitudes within just a few decades during the last ice age. The analysis, led by Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), is published Aug. 21, 2014 in the scientific journal Nature. The research confirms that thicker ice sheets increased ocean circulation and transferred more heat to the north due to a redirection of the prevailing winds. As the north warmed, glaciers retreated, the winds returned to normal conditions, and the north became cooler once again, completing the cycle At present, the extent of Arctic sea ice is far less than during the last glacial period.

Melting Scandinavian ice provides missing link in Europe's final Ice Age story Molecular-based moisture indicators, remains of midges and climate simulations have provided climate scientists with the final piece to one of the most enduring puzzles of the last Ice Age. For years, researchers have struggled to reconcile climate models of the Earth, 13,000 years ago, with the prevailing theory that a catastrophic freshwater flood from the melting North American ice sheets plunged the planet into a sudden and final cold snap, just before entering the present warm interglacial. Now, an international team of scientists, led by Swedish researchers from Stockholm University and in partnership with UK researchers from the Natural History Museum (NHM) London, and Plymouth University, has found evidence in the sediments of an ancient Swedish lake that it was the melting of the Scandinavian ice sheet that provides the missing link to what occurred at the end of the last Ice Age.

Genetic sleuthing helps sort out ancestry of modern Europeans A skeleton dating from almost 10,000 years ago which was found in the Kotias Klde rock shelter in Western Georgia is seen in an undated picture courtesy of the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, United Kingdom. REUTERS/University of Cambridge/Eppie Jones/Handout via Reuters By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) – DNA extracted from a skull and a molar tooth of ancient human remains discovered in the southern Caucasus region of Georgia is helping sort out the multifaceted ancestry of modern Europeans. Scientists said on Monday they sequenced the genomes of two individuals, one from 13,300 years ago and the other from 9,700 years ago, and found they represented a previously unknown lineage that contributed significantly to the genetics of almost all modern Europeans.

Amazon Tribe Creates 500-Page Remarkable Natural Medicine Encyclopedia In one of the great tragedies of our age, indigenous traditions, stories, cultures and knowledge are winking out across the world. Whole languages and mythologies are vanishing, and in some cases even entire indigenous groups are falling into extinction. This is what makes the news that a tribe in the Amazon—the Matsés peoples of Brazil and Peru—have created a 500-page encyclopedia of their traditional medicine all the more remarkable. The encyclopedia, compiled by five shamans with assistance from conservation group Acaté, details every plant used by Matsés medicine to cure a massive variety of ailments.

A Brief History of Ancient Egypt By 5,000 BC the people of Egypt had begun farming. They also wove linen and made pottery. Later they learned to use bronze. About 3,200 BC the Egyptians invented writing. Ancient Turkey Catal Huyuk was one of the world's first towns. It was built in what is now Turkey about 6,500 BC not long after farming began. Catal Huyuk probably had a population of about 6,000.

A Brief History of India The first Indian civilization arose in the Indus valley about 2,600 BC. It actually straddled northwest India and Pakistan. By 6,500 BC the people of the area had begun farming.