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Archive for April, 2011

Topic: New Books

My Birthday was last Sunday-no don’t ask how old I am a lady never tells!

I did however get a couple of new food books which I will read and report back…

The  first is The Pharoah’s Kitchen, by Magda Mehdawy and Amr Hussein. Second is Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers by Stephen Buhner.

Both look interesting but we shall see–stay tuned!

I just looked at amazon.com for the book jackets below.

Judging from a couple of reviews;I’m going to have a lot to say on the authenticity oF Pharaohs Kitchen.

 
 

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That’s it for the weekend-More on Monday-
Ft Clatsop  and the Chinook Indians
Joanna Linsley-Poe
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Bamboo tool-making study shines light on East Asia’s Stone Age tool scarcity (SMU Research)#more.

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UC pioneers research on environmental practices of ancient Maya.

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     Topic: I wonder what he ate?

This image shows the skull of Daemonosaurus chauliodus, narrow and relatively deep, measuring 5.5 inches long from the tip of its snout to the back of the skull and has proportionately large eye sockets. The upper jaw has large, forward-slanted front teeth.

Not exactly about food but very interesting and the fossil was found at Ghost Ranch in NewMexico-a very cool place that I would love to go and see. I love all the works of Georgia O’Keeffe.

WASHINGTON — The surprising discovery of a fossil of a sharp-toothed beast that lurked in what is now the western U.S. more than 200 million years ago is filling a gap in dinosaur evolution.

The short snout and slanting front teeth of the find — Daemonosaurus chauliodus — had never before been seen in a Triassic era dinosaur, said Hans-Dieter Sues of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Sues and colleagues report the discovery in Wednesday’s edition of the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Sues, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the museum, said the discovery helps fill the evolutionary gap between the dinosaurs that lived in what is now Argentina and Brazil about 230 million years ago and the later theropods like the famous Tyrannosaurus rex.

Features of the skull and neck of Daemonosaurus indicate it was intermediate between the earliest known predatory dinosaurs from South America and more advanced theropods,” said Sues. “One such feature is the presence of cavities on some of the neck vertebrae related to the structure of the respiratory system.”

Daemonosaurus was discovered at Ghost Ranch, N.M., a well-known fossil site famous for the thousands of fossilized skeletons found there, notably the small dinosaur Coelophysis. Ghost Ranch was more recently the home of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who was known to visit the archaeological digs underway there, Sues noted.

Having found only the head and neck of sharp-toothed Daemonosaurus, the researchers aren’t sure of its exact size but they speculate it would have been near that of a tall dog. Its name is from the Greek words “daimon” meaning evil spirit and “sauros” meaning lizard or reptile. Chauliodus is derived from the Greek word for “buck-toothed” and refers to the species’ big slanted front teeth.

“It looks to be a mean character,” commented paleontologist Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago, who was not part of the research team. “I can’t wait to see if they get any more of the skeleton.”

This fits in quite nicely between the dinosaur groups, Sereno said, even though its face is unlike anything that would have been expected in these early dinosaurs, which tended to have more elongated snouts.

This find shows there is still much to be learned about the early evolution of dinosaurs. “The continued exploration of even well-studied regions like the American Southwest will still yield remarkable new fossil finds,” Sues said.

Original Article:

By Randolph E. Schmid, AP Science Writer

4/14/2011

usa.com

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Persian Gazelle

 

Desert Kites in Syria-Ancient Corrals

 Topic: Stone Corrals for mass hunting

Texas barbecue has nothing on the ancient Near East.

A mass gazelle slaughter unearthed in northeastern Syria may give clues to the region’s “desert kites,” strange stone corrals that many researchers consider among humans’ first mass-scale snares. In a single massacre 5,500 years ago, hunters appear to have herded at least 93 gazelles into a kite and then killed the animals, an Israeli and U.S. team reports online April 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Roundups like these may have been the beginning of the end for many game animals in the northern Levant region. Like infamous and mysterious crop circles, Westerners first spotted desert kites from the air. These horseshoe-shaped rock corrals, with arms sometimes a kilometer long, were mysterious indeed.

Historical accounts and rock art suggest that the corrals weren’t for flock safety but for slaughter, says study coauthor Melinda Zeder. She thinks ancient hunters and their dogs may have scared entire herds of gazelle, wild asses and even ostriches into these enclosures, then narrowed in for the quick kill. “It must’ve been a heck of a roundup,” says Zeder, an archaeozoologist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

But this roundup left behind few barbecue pits. Near East hunters, or maybe time, cleaned up, and kites today are scant in bones or artifacts of any kind. An excavated town called Tell Kuran, which sits within 10 kilometers of several kites, however, may provide the first hint of where all that meat wound up. In one ghastly layer dated to the fourth millennium B.C., archaeologists uncovered about 2,600 Persian gazelle bones, mostly feet. Forensic analyses, too, show that the feet came from gazelle of all ages and sexes, suggesting that they represent a single herd taken out in one fell swoop. Researchers would expect exactly that sort of swoop from the nearby kites, which some studies date to around the same time, Zeder says.

Since domestic animals abounded at the time, kite hunting may have been less about food and more of a social pursuit among the region’s upper class. Gentleman’s sport or not, these hunts could have helped to kick off the Persian gazelle’s “long, slow death march to real extirpation,” Zeder says. Kites sat across proposed game migration routes from Saudi Arabia north to Syria, sometimes in long chains. A drain on herds may have been too much for Persian gazelle and wild asses, which have now nearly vanished from northeastern Syria.

“Those hunters were farmers, were herders,” says study coauthor Guy Bar-Oz, an archaeozoologist at the University of Haifa in Israel. “They lost the way of hunting.”

But hunting isn’t the only possible culprit in the gazelles’ demise, suggests Liora Kolska Horwitz, an archaeozoologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At the time when gazelles began dropping off, Horwitz says, human settlements and agriculture were growing, and the deserts were drying out.

Original article:

sciencenews.org

April 18, 2011

By Daniel Strain

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Topic: 3,ooo year old  Olmec sculpture-Corn God?

Ancient Mesoamerican sculpture uncovered in southern Mexico.

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Topic: Bronze Cooking pot

Bronze cooking vessel

Ancient cooking pot

XI’AN – Archeologists in the northwestern Shaanxi province confirmed Thursday, after weeks of lab work, that the bones they found in a bronze cooking vessel from a 2,400-year-old tomb belonged to a male dog under a year old.

Altogether 37 bones were found in the cooking vessel, which was unearthed in November 2010 from a tomb near the Xianyang International Airport in the suburbs of Xi’an, said Liu Daiyun, a researcher with the Shaanxi Provincial Archeological Institute.

“When we opened the 20-cm tall cooking vessel, we were shocked to find  bones and soup inside,” said Liu.

The bones and soup had all turned greenish, similar in color to the bronze container, he said. 

Cooking vessels were a typical offering Chinese once presented to their deceased ancestors, said Liu.

The custom became prevalent around the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC), the time Liu and his colleagues believed this dog stew was offered.

Hu Songmei, a researcher who did most of the lab work to identify the bones, said they found the bones were “strikingly similar” to four complete sets of canine skeletons preserved at the institute’s lab.

The newly found bones, however, were smaller, indicating the dog was just a pup, said Hu.

Hu said further lab work was needed to tell the exact species of the canine. “Dogs were domesticated by humans at least 10,000 years ago, but the early dog species that evolved from wild wolves could be very different from today’s pet dogs.”

Besides the dog bones, experts also found a wine-like liquid in another  airtight kitchen ware from the same tomb. “Whoever the tomb owner was, he must have loved liquor and meat, so his sons wished he could still enjoy the feast in his grave.”

Original Article

chinadaily.com

3/2011

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