New Evidence Suggests Neanderthals Organized Their Living Spaces
Dec. 3, 2013 — Scientists have found that Neanderthals organized their living spaces in ways that would be familiar to modern humans, a discovery that once again shows similarities between these two close cousins.
The findings, published in the latest edition of the Canadian Journal of Archaeology, indicate that Neanderthals butchered animals, made tools and gathered round the fire in different parts of their shelters.
Language and Tool-Making Skills Evolved at the Same Time
Sep. 3, 2013 — Research by the University of Liverpool has found that the same brain activity is used for language production and making complex tools, supporting the theory that they evolved at the same time.
Researchers from the University tested the brain activity of 10 expert stone tool makers (flint knappers) as they undertook a stone tool-making task and a standard language test.
Brain blood flow activity measured
They measured the brain blood flow activity of the participants as they performed both tasks using functional Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound (fTCD), commonly used in clinical settings to test patients’ language functions after brain damage or before surgery.
The researchers found that brain patterns for both tasks correlated, suggesting that they both use the same area of the brain. Language and stone tool-making are considered to be unique features of humankind that evolved over millions of years.
Darwin was the first to suggest that tool-use and language may have co-evolved, because they both depend on complex planning and the coordination of actions but until now there has been little evidence to support this.
Dr Georg Meyer, from the University Department of Experimental Psychology, said: “This is the first study of the brain to compare complex stone tool-making directly with language.
Tool use and language co-evolved
"Our study found correlated blood-flow patterns in the first 10 seconds of undertaking both tasks. This suggests that both tasks depend on common brain areas and is consistent with theories that tool-use and language co-evolved and share common processing networks in the brain."
Dr Natalie Uomini from the University’s Department of Archaeology, Classics & Egyptology, said: “Nobody has been able to measure brain activity in real time while making a stone tool. This is a first for both archaeology and psychology.”
The research was supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the Economic and Social Research Council and the British Academy. It is published in PLOS ONE.
Neandertals Made the First Specialized Bone Tools in Europe
Aug. 12, 2013 — Modern humans replaced Neandertals in Europe about 40,000 years ago, but the Neandertals’ capabilities are still greatly debated. Some argue that before they were replaced, Neandertals had cultural capabilities similar to modern humans, while others argue that these similarities only appear once modern humans came into contact with Neandertals.
"For now the bone tools from these two sites are one of the better pieces of evidence we have for Neandertals developing on their own a technology previously associated only with modern humans," explains Dr. Shannon McPherron of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. He and Dr. Michel Lenoir of the University of Bordeaux have been excavating the site of Abri Peyrony where three of the bones were found.
Archaeologists: We found piece of Jesus’ cross
Archaeologists working at an ancient church in Turkey think they’ve unearthed a piece of the world’s most famous cross, the one used to crucify Jesus.
They found a stone chest during excavation at a 1,350-year-old church, and the chest had a number of relics inside believed to be associated with the crucifixion, a historian at Turkey’s Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts tells the Hurriyet Daily News.
"We have found a holy thing in a chest," she says. "It is a piece of a cross," and they think it’s from the cross.
The entire chest is now undergoing lab tests, reports NBC News. Researchers aren’t sure who owned the chest, but it was probably a religious person of some importance, and that person apparently believed the cross relic was the real deal.
The lab tests should shed some light on the possibility, though NBC adds a little context courtesy of theologian John Calvin. He once joked that if all the supposed pieces of the cross in the world were collected in one place, “they would make a big shipload.”
I’m not too fond of publicity stunts. I’m even less fond of religiously motivated publicity stunts. Piece of a cross? How do they know that? Ultimately, this isn’t new.
Relics linked to Jesus’ cross can be found in many churches, including the Shrine of the True Cross and the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Texas (read more).
This is just nonsense attempting to inject the semblance of life into something that’s been long dead.
Not so fast! Compare the article given the above title at Christiannews.net (read here) to this article at phys.org (read here). One would think that they’re talking about two different findings! But they’re not. This is why Christians—especially fundamentalists—buy the sham that is Bible Archaeology. The article at Christiannews.net is relating the findings to verses in the Bible! The discovery is “unequivocal evidence of kingdom”; no, what was actually said is that the findings are “unequivocal evidence of a kingdom.” Note that it doesn’t say which kingdom; therefore, the title is misleading. The conclusion, as stated by this article, is not even tentative—though that should be the case. Christians are magnifying the importance of these findings because David is important to Christianity; Jesus is said to be the seed of David and heir to the throne of David. Let’s just go with the even-handed article that presents these findings as tentative rather than conclusive; that article, which is the latter of the two up top, said the following:
Critics said the site could have belonged to other kingdoms of the area. The consensus among most scholars is that no definitive physical proof of the existence of King David has been found.
Biblical archaeology itself is contentious. Israelis often use archaeological findings to back up their historic claims to sites that are also claimed by the Palestinians, like the Old City of Jerusalem. Despite extensive archaeological evidence, for example, Palestinians deny that the biblical Jewish Temples dominated the hilltop where the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third-holiest site, stands today.
In general, researchers are divided over whether biblical stories can be validated by physical remains.
Safe to say Christiannews.net or any other pro-Christian site for that matter won’t share this with their readers. This is bias without shame. Also, I find this pretty interesting:
Using carbon dating, the archaeologists traced the site’s construction to that same period. Garfinkel said the team also found a storeroom almost 15 meters (50 feet) long, suggesting it was a royal site used to collect taxes from the rest of the kingdom.
Carbon dating? So it’s good enough to tell you the age of David’s supposed palace, but it isn’t good enough when used in science—especially when used by paleontologists. Why not question its results in this case? The cognitive dissonance is quite obvious. Ultimately, Christiannews.net does its readers an injustice; the article is simply a lie because it makes a tentative conclusion seem more concrete than it actually is. Unfortunately, the unquestioning fools are probably going to post this redundantly. If I see this floating around the atheism tag, I’ll share the other side of the story with them.
More evidence that Neanderthals made jewelry and art
Neanderthals have a reputation as grunting dimwits who lived animalistic lives in caves. But modern scientific discoveries have changed this picture dramatically. The latest discovery to overturn this myth offers evidence that Neanderthals painted shells like this one, and kept them as art or jewelry.
Anthropologists have made several finds in recent years that reveal how Neanderthals made shell art, and that they may have buried their dead with ceremonial objects. But the problem is that we have found so few materials left by the Neanderthals who lived in Europe from roughly 350 to 40 thousand years ago. Much of what we do know comes from late in the Neanderthals’ reign, at a time when they would have shared territory with early Homo sapiens. And it’s impossible to say whether artifacts from this period were made by Homo sapiens or Neanderthals — or even by Neanderthals influenced by Homo sapiens.
Sadly for all Christians, their Holy Savior Jesus Christ (as a good Jew) swallowed this baseless Jewish myth hook-line and sinker! What we now find exposed is the fact that this all-knowing Son of God was little more than a wandering ignorant Jewish bigot (if he ever existed).
The Myth of an Exodus Exposed:
A. By the Bibles own chronology, the year of the Exodus fell during Egypt’s heyday under the 18 Dynasty during the imperium of the puissant Thutmosis III (1490-1436 BCE). It is simply impossible - as so many have said - that the Hebrew slaves attained liberation at the very apex of Egyptian power.
B. The absence of any recognizable Israelites in the Amarna letters, tablets which describe in detail the conditions in 14 century BCE Canaan (See William Moran, The Amarna Letters, John Hopkins Press, 1992).
C. Most scholars would place Israelite origins in the late 13 century BCE or the beginning of the Iron Age where we fine hundreds of new settlements in the hilly Israelite heartland (Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred ). From exactly the same period, Pharaoh Merneptah’s victory stele boasts of his “eradication” of a group called “Israel” (see Ancient near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, pp 376 -378).
D. A greater problem is that the new highland settlements in Canaan from the 13 – 12 centuries BCE show very little connection with Egyptian material culture. Similarly, the Hebrew language is a purely Canaanite dialect with only Egyptian borrowings of trade words such as found throughout the Near East (see Thomas Lambdin, Egyptian Loan Words in the Old Testament and Muchiki, Egyptian Proper Names and Loanwords in North-West Semitic). Much more Egyptian words and culture should be present in the highlands of Canaan if the Israelite did indeed spent 400 years living in Egypt and then resettled in Canaan.
E. Another problem is the Bible’s complete silence on the Egyptian forays into Syria-Palestine in the late 13 to early 12 centuries BCE under Merneptah and Ramses III. Had the Israelites completely forgotten these inconvenient facts?
F. Even if we re-date the Exodus in favor of a conquest in the early Iron Age, our problems still remain. All the cities the Bible cites as being present during the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites (Kadesh Barnea, Gibeon, Heshbon and Dibon along with the kingdoms of Moab and Edon) did not exist until well into the later Iron Age (William Dever, Who Were the Israelites and Where did They Come From? The same problem is evident in Joshua’s purported conquest; virtually none of the cities he is said to have conquered shows any evidence of any occupation for the appropriate period. (Dever, 37-71).
G. While the Biblical Book of Exodus claims that the Israelites left Egypt at about 2 million strong (Numbers 1:46 gives a more precise total of 603,550. The 600,000, plus wives, children, the elderly, and the “mixed multitude” of non-Israelites would have numbered some 2 million people) and wondered in the Sinai Wilderness 40 years, archeologists have found no settlements or any other artifacts to support this story (William Dever, Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Biblical Research).
H. One excellent example is the series (now on Youtube) The Bible Unearthed 2. The Exodus. Those who accept the Biblical Exodus as a factual historical event will do themselves an educational favor to watch this video, especially the video’s 20 – 28 minute mark as the Exodus is discussed by one of the foremost experts in Egyptology, Donald B. Redford
Any Christian who wants to reject such facts MUST deal with William H. C. Propp’s 2 volume commentary on Exodus in “The Anchor Bible” series.
Propp’s final conclusion: The Exodus story is a Romantic myth based on fantasy (see: The Historicity of the Exodus from Egypt, vol. 2, pp. 735 -756).
Why Early Human Ancestors Took to Two Feet
May 24, 2013 — A new study by archaeologists at the University of York challenges evolutionary theories behind the development of our earliest ancestors from tree dwelling quadrupeds to upright bipeds capable of walking and scrambling.
Neanderthal Culture: Old Masters
The earliest known cave paintings fuel arguments about whether Neanderthals were the mental equals of modern humans.
In a damp Spanish cave, Alistair Pike applies a small grinder to the world’s oldest known paintings. Every few minutes, the dentist-drill sound stops and Pike, an archaeologist from the University of Southampton, UK, stands aside so that a party of tourists can admire the simple artwork — hazy red disks, stencilled handprints, the outlines of bison — daubed on the cave wall tens of thousands of years ago. He hopes that the visitors won’t notice the small scuff marks he has left.