Tag Archives: Archaeology

Breakthroughs in imagination

When thinking about human history, it’s tempting to see some developments as inevitable.  Some certainly were, but the sheer amount of time before some of them took place seem to make them remarkable. The human species, narrowly defined as Homo … Continue reading

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When were the earliest parts of the Bible written?

The NY Times has an interesting article about a study which purports to show that literacy may have been far more prevalent in pre-Babylonian exile Judah than many had thought.  The implication, it’s believed, is that Biblical minimalist scholars who thought … Continue reading

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Why the Exodus, as commonly understood, probably never happened

At the urging of one of my relatives, I watched Ridley Scott’s ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings‘.  This relative, knowing my skeptical nature, thought I might enjoy Scott’s naturalistic (mostly) take on the events in the story.  I’m sorry to say that I … Continue reading

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World’s Oldest Art Identified in Half-Million-Year-Old Zigzag

I’ve noted before that I think capabilities like human language didn’t pop into being 50-75 thousand years ago, but developed over hundreds of thousands of years (if not millions).  Well, it looks like another piece of behavioral modernity may predate … Continue reading

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How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization

Annalee Newitz has a fascinating article at IO9 on early neolithic societies: How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization. Roughly 9,000 years ago, humans had mastered farming to the point where food was plentiful. Populations boomed, and people began moving into … Continue reading

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Genes show mysterious Paleo-Eskimos survived 4,000 years until sudden demise

Genetics seems to have really come into its own in recent years, shining light on many prehistoric mysteries: Genes show mysterious Paleo-Eskimos survived 4,000 years until sudden demise – The Washington Post. New genetic research on ancient bones reveals that a … Continue reading

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Ancient baby boom holds a lesson in over-population

Along the lines of last week’s discussion of Jared Diamond’s book ‘Collapse’: Ancient baby boom holds a lesson in over-population — ScienceDaily. Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long … Continue reading

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Neanderthals ate their veggies

We know this because: Found: Oldest Known Poop From a Human Ancestor | RealClearScience. Archaeologists in Spain have dug up the oldest known feces from a human ancestor. Their find is detailed inPLoS ONE. Retrieved from El Salt, an open-air site … Continue reading

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On theories of why civilizations collapse and our own times

After my post on the Bronze Age collapse and resulting discussion, I looked at other material about the collapse of civilizations, but after doing that, realized that I have some thoughts about what might be necessary for developing a theory about … Continue reading

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The collapse of the Bronze Age civilizations

A while back I did a short post on the collapse of civilizations, noting that history pretty much shows that all civilizations, sooner or later, end.  (I also expressed skepticism that ours is necessarily anywhere near this point.) The quintessential example … Continue reading

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