Most significant discoveries in 2014 in history, anthropology and paleontology - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 December 2014 16:37

At the bottom of a dry well in the depths of the tropical jungle, in the cramped corridors of the ancient abandoned temple in the middle of a hot desert or in dusty storerooms of the museum storage - historians this year in both figuratively and literally dug everywhere, and now it's time to sum up.
Old new pharaoh
"Cartouche" French can be translated as "kulёk." It bags for gunpowder once imagined European military when they first arrived in Egypt, saw the mural. Cartouche in ancient Egyptian writing looks like an oval contour with a straight bar, framing characters and is used to indicate the name of the pharaoh. It is a cartouche with the inscription Senebier Kai archaeologists have the name of the pharaoh, whose tomb was discovered at Abydos.

According to the dating of the remains belong to the so-called transition period in the history of ancient Egypt, when the kingdom was invaded Asian Hyksos tribes. The tomb with the body of Pharaoh gives reason to believe that this part of the territory has not been occupied by the invaders.

Cartouches with the name of the Pharaoh (photo MSA).

In ancient Egypt keep track of time using a Sundial, but still remains archaeologists lot of questions about the work of these seemingly clear devices. Thanks to scientists from Russia, was able to learn how to use not only the oldest in the world of watches from Egypt, but also the oldest Sundial Russia.

Sundial of the Valley of the Kings (photo Vodolazhskaya LN).

domestic achievements
Incidentally season of excavations in Russia also went well. On both sides of the Urals were found artifacts of different eras. So, on the islands of the Ob reservoir was discovered a whole village, the age for a thoUSAnd years, and in Kaliningrad find a rich collection of ancient medieval rarities Koenigsberg.

A separate place among the monuments of the Middle Ages hold books. And if the book is written in a rare language and conducts its origin from Africa the early Middle Ages by European standards ... The content of this tome is made superstitious Copts, managed to translate Australian historian.

Folio begins a long series of flowery prayers, which are then replaced by drawings and spells (photo Effy Alexakis, copyright Macquarie University Ancient Cultures Research Centre).

Tropical mazes
In Teutiuakane continuing study of mystical tunnels, discovered in 2003 under the pyramid of the Feathered Serpent. The indigenous people of the ancient Mesoamerican city have left no written language and were stingy on artifacts, so the crops produced in the catacombs, historians promises new and important knowledge. By the way, in the other hemisphere, but also in the tropics, namely in the famous temple of Angkor Wat has its mysterious labyrinth. A careful study of the temple walls were discovered by scientists unnoticed by anyone before images of deities, animals, buildings and ships.

Long narrow corridor runs under the central part of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpent (photo INAH).

cyclopean architecture
The heaviest (literally) this year was for specialists of the German archaeological Institute. On the territory of present-day Lebanon, near Baalbek, known since antiquity as Heliopolis, they dug up the most difficult in the world building block. Mahina weighing 1,650 tons and remained lying on the territory of the quarry and probably intended for the foundation during the construction of the temple.

Limestone is located half a kilometer from the temple complex and monoliths of the discovery, and has not been delivered to the construction site (photos Deutsches Archäologisches Institut)

traces of history
Among the traces of human activity are found and the actual human foot prints. So, on the shore of the Baltic Sea in one of the bays parched scientists in 2014 discovered the fossilized footprints of 42 th and 36 th the size of the age of 4-7 thoUSAnd years. And in the territory of the North Sea Norfolk frozen sand and mud preserved prints, which altogether 850-950 thoUSAnd years. Traces of Britain were so ancient that forced historians to revise the time of arrival of the first people in Europe.

Traces on the Baltic Sea left feet 42 th and 36 th sizes (Photo Museum Lolland-Falster).

Vanished population
More evidence of the presence of one of the ancient human migration are located in Russia. In Siberia was discovered human leg bone Paleolithic. The decoded the genome of the owner of the fossils showed that this person belonged to populations who had left the African continent, and without a trace "solution" to the east of Eurasia about 50,000 years ago.

Bone representative extinct human population of Siberia (photo Bence Viola, MPI EVA).

prehistoric art
In 2014 was put an end to half a century of debate about the ancient cave paintings on the island of Sulawesi. As part of the sediment flowing down the walls of water droplets were found Uranium atoms, which scientists have learned that the age of the drawings varies from 39 thoUSAnd to 27 thoUSAnd years, with the oldest - a template image of a human hand.

Even more loud find - drawings of Gibraltar caves. This cliff creativity - the same age as figures from Indonesia, however, is supposed to belong to the hand of our kindred species - namely, the Neanderthals. Nakhodka once again raises the debate about mental development of the species Homo neanderthalensis and its holdings of abstract thinking.

Rock paintings of Indonesian cave (photo Maxime Aubert, Griffith University, Australia).

Herbivores or carnivores
Another "hello" from Neanderthals may not please the modern aesthetes and people with weak digestion. Studying fossilized faeces (coprolites) of Spain, archaeologists have learned that the menu close relatives Homo sapiens included not only meat but also plant foods. Results of the study are the first direct evidence that Neanderthals ate not only meat (although the meat they ate significantly more modern humans).

Reconstruction of the exterior of the adult Neanderthal (artist John Gurche / Photo Chip Clark).

Stone jellyfish Ediacaria
If traces of life of Neanderthals can tell people about the evolution of tens of thoUSAnds of years ago, fossilized muscle tissue from Canada contains the secrets of the evolution of multicellular planet. The find is dated hundreds of millions of years, and is supposed to have belonged essentially resembles a jellyfish.

The oldest rocks in the muscles, which more than half a billion years (photo Alex Liu).

Fearless Titanosaurs from South America
Fans of discoveries of new types of "terrible lizards" can rejoice, because in May 2014, paleontologists announced the discovery in Argentina supermassive dinosaur of the Cretaceous period. Giant, which weighed about 60 tons at the time of his death, was twice the size of Tyrannosaurus rex and eight times heavier than the largest Indian elephants. Because of the size of the animal could not be afraid of predators, and partly for this reason that in its Latin name includes the word Dreadnoughtus, that is "fearless."

Paleontologist Kenneth Lakovara and nine-tail titanosaur (photo Robert Clark, Excel Magazine, Drexel University).

The first amphibious ichthyosaur
Although natatorial lizard skeleton is found in the Yangtze River basin, can not compare in size with Titanosaurs from Argentina, he attracted much more attention to the person paleontologists. The fact that this amazing creature lived at the beginning of the Mesozoic era, a few million years after the Permian-Triassic extinction event.

Named Cartorhynchus lenticarpus new species is a transitional form between land and aquatic reptiles, and is an example of the early evolution of dinosaurs.

Reconstruction of an ichthyosaur amphibian (illustration Stefano Broccoli / Universita degli Studi di Milano).

experiments evolution
By the way, with regard to the Permian extinction, which is supposed to have occurred 252 million years ago, it might have been provoked by another mass extinction that occurred over 8 million years before.

Such a discovery made a scientist from the UK, who studied the fossil brachiopods in the Arctic zone, in the territory of Svalbard and Greenland. Great put an end to the extinction of trilobites, which flourished for 270 million years. Reptiles such as Dimetrodon or dinotsefaly disappeared. Their place was taken by the birds, pterosaurs, crocodiles and the first mammals. It is possible that the earlier Permian extinction made ecosystems are extremely vulnerable, and led them to the boundaries of death.

ancient parasite
Massive ancient extinction, it seems, does not touch the parasites usually appear as the last most tenacious. So, as part of coprolites herbivores Cynodont age of 240 million years, American researchers have identified alien grain of sand, which was pinworm eggs, parasitic nematodes.

Also in 2014 paleontologists from China recognized the three insects from Liaoning Province bugs feed on the blood "owner" who lived 130 million years ago. Both findings have been instrumental in paleoparazitologii and may help to establish evolutionary relationship between the type of host and parasite.

One of the strangest paleontological findings, the steel mysterious Precambrian organisms, found in China. Creatures, age about 600 million years, the Earth was inhabited by over 180 million years before land plants appeared first (dramatically changed the landscape of the earth and create new habitats), and for 599 million years before our ancient ancestors evolved anatomically similar to human primate.

Researchers do not know exactly what is in his lifetime was this unusual organism that looks like a pomegranate, and the conditions in which he lived. It is expected that the results being - early group of animals that did not develop further and can not be the common ancestor of all living inhabitants of the earth.

Multicellular creature garnet age 600 million years (photo Lei Chen, Shuhai Xiao).

Time - a special dimension for those who work in the past. The outgoing year has expanded temporal boundaries of scientific knowledge and put new questions to scientists. The answer to these questions - in the future.



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