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Happy New Year

Happy NewYear to all and a wishing you all…as the Ancient Egyptians would…health and prosperity in the coming year!

Joanna Linsley-Poe

 Findings may help illuminate understanding of plant domestication and cultivation in the Andes Mountains. Josue Hermoza, Wikimedia Commons

Findings may help illuminate understanding of plant domestication and cultivation in the Andes Mountains. Josue Hermoza, Wikimedia Commons

Original Article:

popular-archaeology.com

Researchers provide evidence for the early cultivation and use of potato (Solanum tuberosum) at an archaeological site in the Andes Mountains of south-central Peru. Studying the domestication of the potato, an important crop in the high Andes, could help illuminate the development of highland Andean culture, but limited direct botanical evidence of potato domestication in the region has hindered research efforts. Claudia Rumold and Mark Aldenderfer* collected microbotanical samples from groundstone tools from Jisakairumoko, a site situated in the western Titicaca Basin of Peru that reflects a transition from sedentism to food production. On 14 groundstone tools, the authors found 141 starch microremains, and microscope photographs and subsequent taxonomic identification revealed that 50 of the starch granules were of Solanum origin. The potato starches were similar in size to modern potato starches, and anthropogenic wear on the starches was consistent with culinary processing methods. The findings might help us understand the development of food production in Jisakaurumoko, and more broadly, illuminate plant domestication and cultivation in the Andes Mountains.

 

Fort Rock Cave

the first words below should be “I thought” instead of Without but the editor will not let me change it so…..

 

My Niche in Time

index-cfmWithout the information below would be interesting in light of my previous post on Fort Rock.

Fort Rock Cave:

The Fort Rock Basin has served as a vital part of the Native American lifestyle. Fort Rock Cave is near Fort Rock State Natural Area, and is the site of an archaeological discovery of several 9,000 to 11,000 year-old sagebrush sandals. This property serves as a reminder of the rich cultural heritage that has shaped so much of Oregon’s history. The story of the Fort Rock Basin is told by the artifacts left behind and by the rich oral tradition of the tribes who claim the area as home. Fort Rock Cave is a National Heritage site and is open only by a state park guided tour (see below). The location is not available here on the website.

Formerly known as Menkenmaier Cave, Cow Cave, and Reub Long Cave, Fort Rock…

View original post 155 more words

Fort Rock,Central Oregon

For you Rita…Sandals found in a nearby cave are the oldest ever discovered, dating back around 9,000-13,000 year.

Fort Rock Cave:

Formerly known as Menkenmaier Cave, Cow Cave, and Reub Long Cave, Fort Rock Cave is an archaeological site located near Fort Rock. In 1938, archaeologist Luther Cressman of the University of Oregon explored the cave and discovered several sandals made of sagebrush dating back more than 9,000 years—at the time, the oldest human artifacts found in North America. They were covered in volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt. Mazama, which formed Crater Lake. Fort Rock Cave was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961; it is also a National Heritage site. Fort Rock Cave and the nearby land that is now Fort Rock State Natural Area were donated to the State Highway Commission in 1962 by ranchers Reuben and Norma Long, and subsequently transferred to OPRD from ODOT in 1996. In 2000, OPRD purchased an additional parcel of land around the cave from the Oregon Archaeological Conservancy for $12,000 with money donated by Cycle Oregon to the Oregon State Parks Trust, now the Oregon State Parks Foundation.

Fort Rock oregonstateparks.org

My Niche in Time

Fort Rock is a volcanic landmark called a tuff ring, located on an ice age lake bed in north Lake County, Oregon, United States.[3] The ring is about 4,460 feet (1,360 m) in diameter and stands about 200 feet (60 m) high above the surrounding plain.[4] Its name is derived from the tall, straight sides that resemble the palisades of a fort. The region of Fort Rock Basin contains about 40 such tuff rings and maars and is located in the Brothers Fault Zone of central Oregon’s Great Basin. William Sullivan, an early settler in the area, named Fort Rock in 1873 while searching for lost cattle.[5][6]

The above is from wikipedia.org

These two photos below are from Google to show what the entire structure  of Fort Rock is.

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Below are photos I took at Fort Rock in 2015

Fort Rock from the Car Fort Rock from the Car

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Fort Rock is an amazing place…

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Just a quick post 

Just a quick post wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and New Year.

One of The benifits of life in New Mexico at Christmas is the the Luminaries displayed on the Holiday.

From Wikipedia :

Traditional Christmas Eve luminarias are said to originate from Spaniard merchants. They were impressed with the Paper lanterns from the Chinese culture and decided to make their own version when they returned to New Spain; particularly during the Christmas season. They decided to use more “hearty” materials.[3] Traditionally, luminarias are made from brown paper bags weighted down with sand and illuminated from within by a lit candle. These are typically arranged in rows to create large and elaborate displays. The hope among Roman Catholics is that the lights will guide the spirit of the Christ child to one’s home.
In recent times they are seen more as a secular decoration, akin to Christmas lights. Strings of artificial luminarias, with plastic bags illuminated by small light bulbs and connected by an electrical cord, are also available, and are common in the American Southwest, where they are typically displayed throughout the year-end holiday season. These are beginning to gain popularity in other parts of the United States.[4]
Santa Fe and Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico, are well known for their impressive Christmas Eve farolito displays.[5] Farolito displays are common throughout New Mexico, and most communities in New Mexico have farolitos in prominent areas such as major streets or parks. Residents often line their yards, fences, sidewalks, and roofs with farolitos. Similar traditions can now also be found in many other parts of the nation.

Christmas Eve you can drive or walk around Old Town or the country club neighborhood of Albuquerque and enjoy the lights and decorations from this yearly tradition.

The photos are a bit dark but you will get the idea.

My best to all! Thank you for your interest and support of my blog .

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The Sima del Elefante site. Image: University of York

Original article:

New research conducted by scientists at the University of York and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona reveals for the first time that Europe’s earliest humans did not use fire for cooking, but had a balanced diet of meat and plants – all eaten raw.

Studying dental plaque from a 1.2 million year old hominin (early human species), recovered by the Atapuerca Research Team in 2007 in Sima del Elefante in northern Spain, archaeologists extracted microfossils to find the earliest direct evidence of food eaten by early humans.

These microfossils included traces of raw animal tissue, uncooked starch granules indicating consumption of grasses, pollen grains from a species of pine, insect fragments and a possible fragment of a toothpick.

All detected fibres were uncharred, and there was also no evidence showing inhalation of microcharcoal – normally a clear indicator of proximity to fire.

Fiery debate

The timing of the earliest use of fire for cooking is hotly contested, with some researchers arguing habitual use started around 1.8 million years ago while others suggest it was as late as 300,000-400,000 years ago.

Possible evidence for fire has been found at some very early sites in Africa. However, the lack of evidence for fire at Sima del Elefante suggests that this knowledge was not carried with the earliest humans when they left Africa.

The earliest definitive evidence in Europe for use of fire is 800,000 years ago at the Spanish site of Cueva Negra, and at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel, a short time later.

Taken together, this evidence suggests the development of fire technology occurred at some point between 800,000 and 1.2 million years ago, revealing a new timeline for when the earliest humans started to cook food.

Diet implications

Dr Karen Hardy, lead author and Honorary Research Associate at the University of York and ICREA Research Professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, said: “Obtaining evidence for any aspect of hominin life at this extremely early date is very challenging. Here, we have been able to demonstrate that these earliest Europeans understood and exploited their forested environment to obtain a balanced diet 1.2 million years ago, by eating a range of different foods and combining starchy plant food with meat.

“This new timeline has significant implications in helping us to understand this period of human evolution – cooked food provides greater energy, and cooking may be linked to the rapid increases in brain size that occurred from 800,000 years ago onwards.

“It also correlates well with previous research hypothesising that the timing of cooking is linked to the development of salivary amylase, needed to process cooked starchy food. Starchy food was an essential element in facilitating brain development, and contrary to popular belief about the ‘Paleodiet’, the role of starchy food in the Palaeolithic diet was significant.”

Dr Anita Radini, PhD student at the University of York said: “These results are very exciting, as they highlight the potential of dental calculus to store dietary and environmental information from deep in the human evolutionary past. It is also interesting to see that pollen remains are preserved often in better conditions than in the soil of the same age. Overall this is a very positive step in the discipline, in terms of preservation of material in the calculus matrix.”

Diet and environment 1.2 million years ago revealed through analysis of dental calculus from Europe’s oldest hominin at Sima del Elefante, Spain is published in Naturwissenschaften. To read, visit: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00114-016-1420-x

 

wheat-produce

 

Cereals were domesticated in Syria long before they appeared in Iraq or Iran.

Ancient plant remains suggest that the domestication of cereals, which led to the beginning of agriculture, appeared at different times in the Levant and in the eastern Fertile Crescent. Some countries, such as ancient-days Turkey, Iran and Iraq, saw Neolithic populations exploiting legumes, fruits and nuts long before they cultivated cereals.

Past studies have highlighted two main hypotheses to describe and explain the beginnings of plant domestication. In the 1990s, the belief was that domesticated plants had first appeared in Turkey, and that this was a rapid process that spread to the neighbouring regions in a short space of time.

In contrast, the recent dominant theory is that cereal domestication was a protracted process that developed all over the Middle East from 11,600 to 10,700 years ago. However, it remained unclear whether domestication happened at the same time in the different countries or if there was regional diversity.

In the new research, published in PNAS, researchers have tried to answer this question. They have shown that the cultivation of cereals during the Neolithic was only common in the southern-central Levant – such as in southern Syria. It took more time to arrive in other regions of the eastern Fertile Crescent – such as Iraq, Iran and southern Turkey.

Legumes rather cereals

The researchers started working at the archaeological Neolithic site of Tell Qarassa North in southern Syria. There, plant remains suggest that by 10,700 years ago cereals such as barley were being cultivated in important proportions. The study presents it as one of the earliest sites in the Middle East with evidence of morphologically domesticated wheat and barley.

But when the scientists from the University of the Basque Country and the University of Copenhagen looked at the evidence from sites located in the eastern Fertile Crescent, they found no evidence of similar practices at this time.

Their analysis suggests that domesticated-type cereals only appeared around 400 to 1,000 years later in Iraq, Iran and southern Turkey. Legumes, fruits and nuts likely dominated people’s diets until then.

“It was surprising to discover that despite being considered very important, and despite their dominant role in our agriculture, domesticated cereals might not have been so important in Neolithic times, in many regions” study author and archaeobotanist Amaia Arranz Otaegui told IBTimes UK.

“On most of the archaeological sites, researchers usually focus on cereal remains despite the archaeological often being quite poor. I would like to shift this focus and have us look at the record for other plants, because that may help us better understand ancient cultures and better characterise their agriculture”.

The study thus emphasises the need to re-assess the importance that scientists attribute to cereals such as wheat and barley and to investigate past exploitation of other plants such as lentils, beans and peas because they were potentially crucial to the diets of people living in the eastern Fertile Crescent more than 10,000 years ago.

The site of Tell Qarassa North where researchers found evidence of cereal domestication.Juan José Ibañez

The site of Tell Qarassa North where researchers found evidence of cereal domestication.Juan José Ibañez

 

Original Article:

ibtimes.co.uk

By Léa Surugue December 5

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