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  • #61
    6,000-year-old monument offers a tantalising glimpse of Britain’s neolithic civilisation

    https://theconversation.com/6-000-ye...lisation-87730

    It has long been assumed that Neolithic long barrows are funerary monuments; often described as “houses of the dead” due to their similarity in shape to long houses. But the limited evidence for human remains from many of these monuments calls this interpretation into question, and suggests that there is still much to be learnt about them.
    In fact, by referring to them as long barrows we may well be missing the main point. To illustrate this, our excavations at Cat’s Brain failed to find any human remains, and instead of a tomb they revealed a timber hall, suggesting that it was very much a “house for the living”. This provides an interesting opportunity to rethink these famous monuments.

    The timber hall at Cat’s Brain was surprisingly large, measuring almost 20 metres long and ten metres wide at the front. It was built using posts and beamslots, and some of these timbers were colossal with deep cut foundation trenches, so that it’s general appearance is of a robust building with space for considerable numbers of people. The beamslots along the front of the building are substantially deeper than the others, suggesting that its frontage may have been impressively large, monumental in fact, and a break halfway along this line indicates the entrance way.
    Timber halls such as these are an aspect of the earliest stages of the Neolithic period in Britain, and there seems little doubt that they were created by early pioneer Neolithic people. Frequently, they appear to have lasted only two or three generations before being deliberately destroyed or abandoned. These houses need not be dwellings, however, and given their size could have acted as large communal gathering places.
    Jo Bowyer
    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

    Comment


    • #62
      Human evolution was uneven and punctuated

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1116132657.htm

      Neanderthals survived at least 3,000 years longer than we thought in Southern Iberia -- what is now Spain -- long after they had died out everywhere else, according to new research.
      Jo Bowyer
      Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

      Comment


      • #63
        Neanderthal hunting strategies inferred from mortality profiles within the Abric Romaní sequence


        http://journals.plos.org/plosone/art...l.pone.0186970

        Abstract


        Ungulate mortality profiles are commonly used to study Neanderthal subsistence strategies. To assess the hunting strategies used by Neanderthals, we studied the ages at death of the cervids and equids found in levels E, H, I, Ja, Jb, K, L and M of the Abric Romaní sequence. These levels date between 43.2 ± 1.1 ka BP (14C AMS) and 54.5 ± 1.7 ka BP (U-series). The degree of eruption and development of the teeth and their wear stages were used to determine the ages of these animals at death, and mortality profiles were constructed using these data. The equids display prime dominated profiles in all of the analyzed levels, whereas the cervids display variable profiles. These results suggest that the Neanderthals of Abric Romaní employed both selective and non-selective hunting strategies. The selective strategy focused on the hunting of prime adults and generated prime dominated profiles. On the other hand, non-selective strategies, involved the consumption of animals of variable ages, resulting in catastrophic profiles. It is likely that in the selective hunting events were conducted using selective ambushes in which it was possible to select specific prey animals. On the other hand, encounter hunting or non-selective ambush hunting may have also been used at times, based on the abundances of prey animals and encounter rates. Specific hunting strategies would have been developed accordance with the taxa and the age of the individual to be hunted. The hunting groups most likely employed cooperative hunting techniques, especially in the capture of large animals. Thus, it is not possible to uniquely associate a single mortality profile with the predation tactics of Neanderthals at Abric Romaní.
        Jo Bowyer
        Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
        "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

        Comment


        • #64
          Strong-armed women helped power Europe’s ancient farming revolution

          https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...ing-revolution

          Previous investigations underestimated the intensity of ancient farm women’s manual labor, the researchers contend online November 29 in Science Advances. Those studies compared women’s bones with those of male contemporaries and men today. But due to hormonal and other biological factors, male bones generally undergo faster and more beneficial shape changes in response to regular physical exertion than female bones do. To better gauge how women’s skeletal strength has changed over time, Macintosh’s team compared bones of ancient farm women with those of living women, including different types of athletes.
          Evidence that ancient farm women in Central Europe had especially strong arms suggests the women were largely responsible for grinding grain. This task involved using a handheld stone to crush grain on large, curved slabs of stone. This example of these grinding stones, called a saddle quern, comes from a 5,000- to 6,000-year-old farming site in Wales.
          112917_BB_ancient-farm-women_inline_370.jpg

          My generation of nursing and physiotherapy staff were noted for our upper body strength, there was a lot of lifting and manual handling when I started, few hoists, and pain control was rudimentary. Many of the younger nurses with whom I worked had 22" waists, despite a stodgy diet.
          Jo Bowyer
          Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
          "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

          Comment


          • #65
            Why do we tell stories?Hunter-gatherers shed light on the evolutionary roots of fiction

            https://theconversation.com/why-do-w...20of%20fiction
            Jo Bowyer
            Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
            "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

            Comment


            • #66
              On the origin of modern humans: Asian perspectives

              http://science.sciencemag.org/conten...et_cid=1711347

              The traditional “out of Africa” model, which posits a dispersal of modern Homo sapiens across Eurasia as a single wave at ~60,000 years ago and the subsequent replacement of all indigenous populations, is in need of revision. Recent discoveries from archaeology, hominin paleontology, geochronology, genetics, and paleoenvironmental studies have contributed to a better understanding of the Late Pleistocene record in Asia. Important findings highlighted here include growing evidence for multiple dispersals predating 60,000 years ago in regions such as southern and eastern Asia. Modern humans moving into Asia met Neandertals, Denisovans, mid-Pleistocene Homo, and possibly H. floresiensis, with some degree of interbreeding occurring. These early human dispersals, which left at least some genetic traces in modern populations, indicate that later replacements were not wholesale.
              Jo Bowyer
              Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
              "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

              Comment


              • #67
                The locomotion of hominins in the Pleistocene was just as efficient as that of current humans

                https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1215105146.htm
                Jo Bowyer
                Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                Comment


                • #68
                  Europe’s 5000-year-old frozen man gets his own movie—but don’t expect to understand what he says

                  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/...et_cid=1735262
                  Jo Bowyer
                  Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                  "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Was trading by nomads crucial to the rise of cities?

                    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/...et_cid=1743825

                    Jo Bowyer
                    Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                    "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      It’s not that your teeth are too big: your jaw is too small

                      https://aeon.co/ideas/its-not-that-y...7d8c1-69418129

                      Other animals tend to have perfectly aligned teeth. Our distant hominin ancestors did too; and so do the few remaining peoples today who live a traditional hunting and gathering lifestyle. I am a dental anthropologist at the University of Arkansas, and I work with the Hadza foragers of Africa’s great rift valley in Tanzania. The first thing you notice when you look into a Hadza mouth is that they’ve got a lot of teeth. Most have 20 back teeth, whereas the rest of us tend to have 16 erupted and working. Hadza also typically have a tip-to-tip bite between the upper and lower front teeth; and the edges of their lowers align to form a perfect, flawless arch. In other words, the sizes of Hadza teeth and jaws match perfectly. The same goes for our fossil forebears and for our nearest living relatives, the monkeys and apes.
                      So why don’t our teeth fit properly in the jaw? The short answer is not that our teeth are too large, but that our jaws are too small to fit them in. Let me explain. Human teeth are covered with a hard cap of enamel that forms from the inside out. The cells that make the cap move outward toward the eventual surface as the tooth forms, leaving a trail of enamel behind. If you’ve ever wondered why your teeth can’t grow or repair themselves when they break or develop cavities, it’s because the cells that make enamel die and are shed when a tooth erupts. So the sizes and shapes of our teeth are genetically pre-programmed. They cannot change in response to conditions in the mouth.

                      But the jaw is a different story. Its size depends both on genetics and environment; and it grows longer with heavy use, particularly during childhood, because of the way bone responds to stress. The evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman at Harvard University conducted an elegant study in 2004 on hyraxes fed soft, cooked foods and tough, raw foods. Higher chewing strains resulted in more growth in the bone that anchors the teeth. He showed that the ultimate length of a jaw depends on the stress put on it during chewing.

                      Selection for jaw length is based on the growth expected, given a hard or tough diet. In this way, diet determines how well jaw length matches tooth size. It is a fine balancing act, and our species has had 200,000 years to get it right. The problem for us is that, for most of that time, our ancestors didn’t feed their children the kind of mush we feed ours today. Our teeth don’t fit because they evolved instead to match the longer jaw that would develop in a more challenging strain environment. Ours are too short because we don’t give them the workout nature expects us to.

                      There’s plenty of evidence for this. The dental anthropologist Robert Corruccini at Southern Illinois University has seen the effects by comparingurban dwellers and rural peoples in and around the city of Chandigarh in north India – soft breads and mashed lentils on the one hand, coarse millet and tough vegetables on the other. He has also seen it from one generation to the next in the Pima peoples of Arizona, following the opening of a commercial food-processing facility on the reservation. Diet makes a huge difference.
                      Jo Bowyer
                      Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                      "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        A brief history of Polari: the curious after-life of the dead language for gay men

                        https://theconversation.com/a-brief-...or%20gay%20men

                        It wasn't just for gay men and female impersonators, it's a London thing. I have heard market traders and old ladies use it.


                        The secret gay language you’ve probably never heard of...

                        http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/item/7...d-5ecc8640bc13

                        Jo Bowyer
                        Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                        "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Ol’ Man River – how gendered language shapes the way we see the world

                          https://theconversation.com/ol-man-r...%20the%20world




                          Does poor spelling really mean Donald Trump isn’t fit to be president?

                          https://theconversation.com/does-poo...be%20president


                          Trumpslation: why Donald Trump’s words give translators so much trouble

                          https://theconversation.com/trumpsla...much%20trouble



                          Jo Bowyer
                          Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                          "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Americas peopled in a single wave, ancient genome reveals

                            http://science.sciencemag.org/conten...et_cid=1771554

                            Summary


                            A rare smidgen of ancient DNA has sharpened the picture of one of humanity's greatest migrations. Some 15,000 to 25,000 years ago, people wandered from Asia to North America across a now-submerged land called Beringia, which once connected Siberia and Alaska. But exactly when these ancient settlers crossed and how many migrations occurred are hotly debated. Now, researchers have sequenced the oldest full genome from an ancient American, an 11,500-year-old infant from the site of Upward Sun River in central Alaska. The child's genome suggests that some settlers stayed in Beringia while another group headed south and formed the population from which all living Native Americans descend. That supports the idea that Asian migrants lingered in Beringia and became genetically isolated, the so-called Beringian standstill model.
                            Jo Bowyer
                            Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                            "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Population genomics of Mesolithic Scandinavia: Investigating early postglacial migration routes and high-latitude adaptation


                              http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology...l.pbio.2003703

                              Abstract


                              Scandinavia was one of the last geographic areas in Europe to become habitable for humans after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). However, the routes and genetic composition of these postglacial migrants remain unclear. We sequenced the genomes, up to 57× coverage, of seven hunter-gatherers excavated across Scandinavia and dated from 9,500–6,000 years before present (BP). Surprisingly, among the Scandinavian Mesolithic individuals, the genetic data display an east–west genetic gradient that opposes the pattern seen in other parts of Mesolithic Europe. Our results suggest two different early postglacial migrations into Scandinavia: initially from the south, and later, from the northeast. The latter followed the ice-free Norwegian north Atlantic coast, along which novel and advanced pressure-blade stone-tool techniques may have spread. These two groups met and mixed in Scandinavia, creating a genetically diverse population, which shows patterns of genetic adaptation to high latitude environments. These potential adaptations include high frequencies of low pigmentation variants and a gene region associated with physical performance, which shows strong continuity into modern-day northern Europeans.
                              Jo Bowyer
                              Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                              "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                The evolution of modern human brain shape

                                http://advances.sciencemag.org/conte.../eaao5961.full

                                Abstract


                                Modern humans have large and globular brains that distinguish them from their extinct Homorelatives. The characteristic globularity develops during a prenatal and early postnatal period of rapid brain growth critical for neural wiring and cognitive development. However, it remains unknown when and how brain globularity evolved and how it relates to evolutionary brain size increase. On the basis of computed tomographic scans and geometric morphometric analyses, we analyzed endocranial casts of Homo sapiens fossils (N = 20) from different time periods. Our data show that, 300,000 years ago, brain size in early H. sapiens already fell within the range of present-day humans. Brain shape, however, evolved gradually within the H. sapiens lineage, reaching present-day human variation between about 100,000 and 35,000 years ago. This process started only after other key features of craniofacial morphology appeared modern and paralleled the emergence of behavioral modernity as seen from the archeological record. Our findings are consistent with important genetic changes affecting early brain development within the H. sapiens lineage since the origin of the species and before the transition to the Later Stone Age and the Upper Paleolithic that mark full behavioral modernity.
                                Jo Bowyer
                                Chartered Physiotherapist Registered Osteopath.
                                "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,there is a field. I'll meet you there." Rumi

                                Comment

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