Monday, February 22, 2010

Tutankhamun and "Where the Great Akhenaten Lies" : Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Tutankhamun and "Where the Great Akhenaten Lies" : Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Zahi Hawass reports on the great discovery made regarding the identification of Akhenaten among the mummies of Egypt, inter alia writing:
"At a press conference for international media figures held by the Supreme Council of Antiquities last Wednesday at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, I announced that important [archeological] discoveries had been made that shed more light on the dynasty of the golden pharaoh Tutankhamen. These discoveries marked the beginning of a new chapter in using modern techniques and advanced technology in the field of archeological discoveries."
Read the rest here, where it appears quite clearly from the Hawass statements that Akhenaten has been convincingly identified.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Discover the Ancient World in London by Heritage Key and Addison Lee

Here is a novel marketing concept:

The Ancient World in London
"Discover the Ancient World in London is a web series, which means we’re creating more as we speak – and as you suggest (you'll get points for this)."
The website is sponsored by a minicab company in London.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Messages from the Stone Age : Cave Writing Underestimated : 17 February 2010 : New Scientist

Messages from the Stone Age : Cave Writing Underestimated : 17 February 2010 : New Scientist

Kate Ravilious in "The writing on the cave wall" at the NewScientist.com reports:

"While some scholars like [Jean Clottes] Clottes had recorded the presence of cave signs at individual sites, Genevieve von Petzinger, then a student at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, was surprised to find that no one had brought all these records together to compare signs from different caves. And so, under the supervision of April Nowell, also at the University of Victoria, she devised an ambitious masters project. She compiled a comprehensive database of all recorded cave signs from 146 sites in France, covering 25,000 years of prehistory from 35,000 to 10,000 years ago.

What emerged was startling: 26 signs, all drawn in the same style, appeared again and again at numerous sites (see illustration). Admittedly, some of the symbols are pretty basic, like straight lines, circles and triangles, but the fact that many of the more complex designs also appeared in several places hinted to von Petzinger and Nowell that they were meaningful - perhaps even the seeds of written communication."

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

EVIDENCE? Tut Revisited: But is the Evidence so Clear that KV55 is Akhenaten and not Tut's brother Smenkhkare

Mark Rose at Archaeology Magazine in Tut: Disease and DNA News, February 16, 2010, asks however, based on an age estmitaion of KV55 at death as being a younger man, perhaps in his 20's, whether the evidence is so clear that KV55 is Akhkenaten according to the DNA rather than Tut's brother Smenkhkare (Smenchkare).

Who was Tutankamun? The DNA Evidence is Clear: Tut was the Son of Akhenaten (Echnaton) but the Cause of his Death remains Speculative

Who was Tutankhamun and was he murdered by the Philistines?

Nearly five years ago I made a posting to the LexiLine group on the History of Civilization at 33 LexiLine Newsletter 2005 Who was Tutankhamun - Jonathon Aton - The Me'il in which I identified the young "co-regent" Tutankhamun as the son of Akhenaten (Echnaton). Tut was NEVER the Pharaoh himself. My identification has now been proven correct by DNA evidence in a study conducted by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) under the leadership of Secretary General Zahi Hawass, a study published in Vol. 303 No. 7, February 17, 2010 of the Journal of the American Medical Association, of which the following is the Abstract:
"Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family

Zahi Hawass, PhD; Yehia Z. Gad, MD; Somaia Ismail, PhD; Rabab Khairat, MSc; Dina Fathalla, MSc; Naglaa Hasan, MSc; Amal Ahmed, BPharm; Hisham Elleithy, MA; Markus Ball, MSc; Fawzi Gaballah, PhD; Sally Wasef, MSc; Mohamed Fateen, MD; Hany Amer, PhD; Paul Gostner, MD; Ashraf Selim, MD; Albert Zink, PhD; Carsten M. Pusch, PhD

JAMA. 2010;303(7):638-647.

Context The New Kingdom in ancient Egypt, comprising the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties, spanned the mid-16th to the early 11th centuries BC. The late 18th dynasty, which included the reigns of pharaohs Akhenaten and Tutankhamun, was an extraordinary time. The identification of a number of royal mummies from this era, the exact relationships between some members of the royal family, and possible illnesses and causes of death have been matters of debate.

Objectives To introduce a new approach to molecular and medical Egyptology, to determine familial relationships among 11 royal mummies of the New Kingdom, and to search for pathological features attributable to possible murder, consanguinity, inherited disorders, and infectious diseases.

Design From September 2007 to October 2009, royal mummies underwent detailed anthropological, radiological, and genetic studies as part of the King Tutankhamun Family Project. Mummies distinct from Tutankhamun's immediate lineage served as the genetic and morphological reference. To authenticate DNA results, analytical steps were repeated and independently replicated in a second ancient DNA laboratory staffed by a separate group of personnel. Eleven royal mummies dating from circa 1410-1324 BC and suspected of being kindred of Tutankhamun and 5 royal mummies dating to an earlier period, circa 1550-1479 BC, were examined.

Main Outcome Measures Microsatellite-based haplotypes in the mummies, generational segregation of alleles within possible pedigree variants, and correlation of identified diseases with individual age, archeological evidence, and the written historical record.

Results Genetic fingerprinting allowed the construction of a 5-generation pedigree of Tutankhamun's immediate lineage. The KV55 mummy and KV35YL were identified as the parents of Tutankhamun. No signs of gynecomastia and craniosynostoses (eg, Antley-Bixler syndrome) or Marfan syndrome were found, but an accumulation of malformations in Tutankhamun's family was evident. Several pathologies including Köhler disease II were diagnosed in Tutankhamun; none alone would have caused death. Genetic testing for STEVOR, AMA1, or MSP1 genes specific for Plasmodium falciparum revealed indications of malaria tropica in 4 mummies, including Tutankhamun’s. These results suggest avascular bone necrosis in conjunction with the malarial infection as the most likely cause of death in Tutankhamun. Walking impairment and malarial disease sustained by Tutankhamun is supported by the discovery of canes and an afterlife pharmacy in his tomb.

Conclusion Using a multidisciplinary scientific approach, we showed the feasibility of gathering data on Pharaonic kinship and diseases and speculated about individual causes of death."

The results of the study were released within the last 24 hours (February 16/17, 2010) to the public and have already been summarized in part at the Wikipedia:
"Scholars had not reached consensus on the identity of Tutankhamun's parents. An inscription calls him a king's son [emphasis added], but it was not clear which king was meant. An extensive DNA analysis whose results were publicized in February 2010 confirmed that he was the son of Akhenaten and Akhenaten's sister (also his wife).[8]

At one time Tutankhamun had been thought to be a son of Amenhotep III and his Great Royal Wife Queen Tiye [added insert from us: the hieroglpyh from which this erroneous idea came actually reads "ancestor" rather than "father"]. Instead, he has been confirmed as their grandson, child of their son and daughter.[9] Later research claimed that he may have been a son of Amenhotep III, although not by Queen Tiye. She would have been more than fifty years old at the time of Tutankhamun's birth.

DNA results released in February 2010 confirm Tutankhamun as the biological son of Akhenaten and grandson of Queen Tiye. Tutankhamun's mother has been confirmed as Mummy KV35YL, a sister of Akhenaten. Her identity as of this date is still unidentified.[10]

A common hypothesis held that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten, also known as Amenhotep IV, and his minor wife Queen Kiya. Queen Kiya's title was "Greatly Beloved Wife of Akhenaten" so it is possible that she could have borne him an heir. Supporting this theory, images on the tomb wall in the tomb of Akhenaten show a royal fan bearer standing next to Kiya's death bed, fanning someone who may be a princess. Researchers also thought the figure was a wet nurse holding a baby, considered to be the boy king-to-be.

Professor James Allen [link added: President of the International Association of Egyptologists] argued that Tutankhamun was more likely to be a son of the short-lived king Smenkhkare rather than Akhenaten. Allen argued that Akhenaten chose a female co-regent named Neferneferuaten as his successor, rather than Tutankhamun. He thought that would have been unlikely if the latter were his son.[11][12] Smenkhkare appears when Akhenaten entered year 14 of his reign. Scholars believe that during this time Meritaten married Smenkhkare. Smenkhkare, as the father of Tutankhamun, would have needed at least a three-year reign to bring Tutankhamun to the right age to have inherited the throne. However, if there had been lengthy co-regency between Amenhotep III and Akhenaten, Amenhotep could have been Tutankhamun's father (later disproved by DNA testing).[12][13]

Recently, Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced the recovery of a part of a limestone block depicting Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenamen, along with text. These identify both Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhesenpaaten as "children of the king's body" or the biological son and daughter of Akhenaten. This shows the repetition of marriage between royal siblings."

The junk that the mainstream media have written about the new - mostly DNA evidence - is further proof that mainstream academia and mainstream journalists feed the clueless public with more-or-less pablum nonsense, concentrating not on important matters of the identity of Pharaohs but rather on the speculatively sensationalistic question of Tut's cause of death, whereas the identity question is far more important to Egyptology and the reconstruction of man's ancient history. The mainstream media and Egyptologists have already announced that the cause of Tut's death is clear, whereas the actual study says:

"These results suggest avascular bone necrosis in conjunction with the malarial infection as the most likely cause of death in Tutankhamun."

That "suggestion" is pure IDLE speculation given the fact that 4 of the 11 mummies examined showed signs of malaria and that Tut's foot malformation must have been of very long standing.

As written at Why Evolution is True in What killed King Tut?

"... Hawass, with his usual penchant for publicity, is going around telling reporters, with no reservations, that malaria definitely killed the young king. Well, maybe, but falciparum malaria isn’t always fatal. Two of of Tut’s great-grandparents had it, and, as the authors note, they died in their 50s, and the infection might have been chronic, or suppressed by their immune systems."
Already in the year 1923, as can easily be seen from a photograph of Tut's body, which is reproduced at page 297 of the 1996 British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (reproduced there courtesy of the Griffith Institute), it was well known already nearly 87 years ago that Tut had suffered a broken leg in his life and that there was a serious problem with his unequally sized feet - as can be seen from our cut-out and coloring of the lower half of that image (our added red circles show the leg break and the foot malformation):


The notion that the new DNA and CT study dispells the possibility that King Tut met a violent death is sadly mistaken - it proves nothing, merely adding the malaria element to an already shaky theory.

As written at TourEgypt.net in Who Killed King Tut? by The Government of Egypt and edited by Jimmy Dunn:
"The possibility that Tutankhamen did not die of natural causes was first raised 28 years ago when an X-ray analysis of his mummy was made by the anatomy department of the University of Liverpool. It revealed that the king may have died from a blow to the back of his head.

Early this year, a new X-ray analysis cast more light on the subject, this time suggesting that Tutankhamen may have been murdered in his sleep. The examination was conducted by a trauma specialist at Long Island University, USA, "The blow was to a protected area at the back of the head which you don't injure in an accident, someone had to sneak up from behind," said the specialist.

X-rays also show a thickening of a bone in the cranium which could occur only after a build-up of blood. This would indicate that the king might have been left bleeding for a long time before he actually died. In short, scientists suggest that the king was most probably hit on the back of his head while asleep and that he lingered, maybe for as long as two months, before he died....

[O]n the pedestal of one of Horemhab's statues is a text in which he left a message to all Egyptians, indicating that he was not the man who committed the crime. He declared in writing that he was loyal to his king and carried out all his orders faithfully. He also warned any Egyptian who may read the text, against 'normalizing' relations with foreigners and told them never to trust them: "Egyptian brothers, don't ever forget what foreigners did to our King Tutankhamen", Horemhab wrote."

Why the mainstream scholars continue to ignore other evidence and seek to force a speculative interpretation upon the public is something that we can not understand. But it is typical for Egyptology.

To recall our own article, 5 years ago at 33 LexiLine Newsletter 2005 Who was Tutankhamun - Jonathon Aton - The Me'il:
"I recently received a letter asking me for an illustration of the robe or Me'il of the Cohen Gadol, the Hebrew High Priest, and also asking me who in my opinion Tutankhamun was. The two questions are inter-related.

See the following website for one interpretative drawing of the Cohen Gadol's priestly garments http://messianic-torat-chayim-sg.org/Torah/kohengadol.html. That is pretty much a fantasy drawing, but a good attempt.

Actually, the robe of the Cohen Gadol will not have been substantially different than that worn by the Pharaohs of Egypt, based on the following example ramsesIII.jpg of the garment of Ramses III which I have [also] uploaded to our LexiLine files at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LexiLine/files/Egypt/


You can see there both the top and bottom robe, the ephod, the belt in layers, as well as the tassels on the robe, some of which, also on Ramses III, appear to be small bells - as allegedly also on the robe of the Cohen Gadol in descriptions of the me'il. This picture is a scan from a superb book by Peter A. Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames and Hudson Ltd., London, 1994, available at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0500050740/. The book is a must buy for anyone in this field as the best book of this kind in Egyptology (i.e. it is an understandable overview of all the pharaohs and their reigns according to the mainstream views). No other book comes even close. I use it all the time, even though it of course carries forward many mainstream errors in Egyptology.

Remnants of the Hebrew High Priest's robe were in my opinion found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Such a robe would have been far more Egyptian in nature than the drawing above and the Cohen Gadol would not have had a beard - quite the contrary, priests were bald: (quoted from http://snipurl.com/fetq viz.
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/egypt/dailylife/hairstyles.html.
"Priests were required to keep their entire bodies cleanly shaved.
They shaved every third day because they needed to avoid the danger
of lice or any other uncleanness to conduct rituals. This is the
reason why priests are illustrated bald-headed with no eyebrows or
lashes."
In addition, both the bearded Asiatics (Assyrians, etc.) and the black peoples were arch enemies of the clean-shaven Pharaohs, as shown at the Tomb of Tutankhamun on the prow of a miniature ship. In discussing the origin of the Pharaohs, it is rather remarkable that such important pieces of evidence are ignored by Egyptology.

For an extensive review of the items found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun, see generally
http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi80.htm and more specifically
http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi25.htm and also
http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi600.htm
The identity of Tutankhamun can be explained as follows:

In my opinion, the evidence is incontrovertible that King Saul =Echnaton (Akhenaten), King David = Sethos and King Solomon = Ramses II with Shishak = Ramses III.

Accordingly, Tutankhamun can only be ATON, i.e. JON-ATHON ("young Aton, young Adonis, "Jaun-(IE)donis"), one of the sons of Saul in the Bible. Saul was Echn-ATON viz. Akhen-ATEN ("old Aton", old Adonis, "Vec-(IE)Donis"). The other brother was Semenchkare, Biblical Ish-Boshet, who served a short time as Pharaoh before being executed. The hieroglyphs which the Egyptologists read as SE-Mench are actually ISH-Boshet. SE = ISH. The other error occurs because there are two alternative readings for the small chisel - one is MNCH (Indo-European e.g. latvian MI(N)CHA), MIEC- "to knead, strike" but the other is B[.....] which is Indo-European viz. Latvian PASIT (=BOSHET) "to strike at". The Egyptologists have chosen the wrong alternative of the two for Semenchkare.

Young ATON (Jon-ATHON) saved David's life and was his best friend, but was killed at an early age - according to the Bible - battling the Philistines, in a battle in which Saul ("old Aton") also lost his life. According to the Bible, the latter's body was mutilated by the Philistines and has thus never been found by the Egyptologists, probably having been buried somewhere in Canaan.

Tutankhamun never served as Pharaoh but was heir to the throne. This explains his having a royal cartouche but being excluded from the ancient lists of the kings of Egypt. He never manned the throne. His untimely death brought his best friend David onto the throne, and so Jonathon was buried in regal style by David, who had become King David = Sethos (Setoy).

Note in this regard that the alleged pharaoh Haremhab viz. Horemhab at this time was actually Hiram (also written Huram), King of Tyre, one of King David's best friends. Horemhab never served as sovereign Pharaoh of Egypt, contrary to the erred opinion of Egyptology, but was only a vice-regent (see http://www.varchive.org/tac/harcrown.htm) later given a royal status - whence the cartouche - by King David. Haremhab built many buildings for David (so the Bible) upon which he also placed his name as the builder of them - but pharaoh himself he was not, but only King of Tyre. The kingly reign attributed to him actually belonged to King David (Sethos viz. Setoy) and this is why in spite of two tombs being attributed to Haremhab by the Egyptologists, his mummy is not found among the mummies of the kings which have been recovered in the mummy depots. The Egyptologists incorrectly read "Tyre" on the hieroglyphs as DJOSER whereas Haremhab's cartouched hieroglyph showing the hand holding an object
is clearly to be read as TUR ("hold") i.e. TYRE and not DJOSER.

Nearly all of the furniture and treasures in the tomb of Tutankhamun are from a later period. The tomb was reopened and the holy vessels of the Mishnayot were hidden there, including the Ark of the Covenant (also called the Ark of the Law, Ark of the Testimony, Ark of God) with the tomb being resealed by the priests and the entrance being covered by tons of rubble - such tomb only having been found in our modern era by Howard Carter as the Tomb of Tutankhamun.

See in this regard
http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi80.htm and
http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi000.htm
for the hiding of the Ark of the Covenant and the holy vessels."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Last UK University Palaeographer? King's College London to Shut Down UK's Only Palaeography Chair : Maybe They Should Read My Blogs

Not much money in studying ancient texts.
Just ask the author of the posting you are now reading.

Hence, we are not surprised to read at The Guardian in Writing off the UK's last palaeographer that:
"The decision by a London university to axe the UK's only chair in palaeography has been met by outrage from the world's most eminent classicists. John Crace on why the study of ancient writings matters – and why history will be lost without it...."
As Crace writes:
"Indus Valley script

Plenty more work to be done . . . palaeographers are yet to decipher the Indus Valley script....

Palaeographers are used to making sense of fragments of ancient manuscripts, but King's College London couldn't have been plainer when it announced recently that it was to close the UK's only chair of palaeography....

Not that palaeography has the answer to everything. No one has still made head or tail of Linear A (dating back to around 1900BC), and the Indus ­Valley script of the third millennium BC is still a mystery.

[Our comment: Maybe the politicians, journalists and academic mainstreamers alike, should first do their homework about the Phaistos Disc and about the Indus Valley Script, before they go into uninformed decisionmaking and propagandizing.

For example, in the Indus Valley Script pictured by Crace -


- as can easily be seen from my graphic at the top of the page of my blog at Indus Valley Script, with the human to be replaced by the upturned arrows and the comparable bow-type symbol
, the Indus Valley script pictured by Crace marks the stars from the Winter Solstice to the Autumn Equinox ca. 2000 B.C. Obviously this a stamp - so the reverse is intended, i.e. from the Autumn Equinox to the Winter Solstice.]

But just days before King's made the announcement, its sister London institution, University College, was boasting how two of Ganz's former students, Dr Simon ­Corcoran and Dr Benet Salway, had pieced together 17 fragments of parchment that form an important ­Roman law code – believed to be the only original evidence yet discovered of the Gregorian Codex (a collection of constitutions upon which a substantial part of most modern European civil law ­systems are built) that had been thought lost for ever." [emphasis added]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

THE TREASURES OF ANCIENT SYRIA - DISCOVERY OF THE KINGDOM OF QATNA

Current Exhibition in the Altes Schloss in Stuttgart, Germany
"17th October 2009 – 14th March 2010 in the Württemberg State Museum, Old Castle, Stuttgart

More than 3500 years ago, the Syrian Kingdom of Qatna, which had grown rich through trade, was one of the most prosperous metropoles of the ancient Orient. Around 1340 BC, a withering attack by the Hittites led to the destruction of Qatna. In 2002 came the archaeological sensation: an international team of researchers discovered beneath the King’s palace in Qatna a royal burial chamber that had remained undisturbed by grave robbers.

The treasures recovered are being exhibited in Europe for the first time in the Württemberg State Museum. Under the patronage of Günther H. Oettinger, Minister President of Baden-Württemberg, and Ing. Mohammad Naji Ottri, Minister President of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Kingdom of Qatna can be rediscovered in the Altes Schloss in Stuttgart. The presentation of exhibits will be supported by modern media and reconstructions."

The Baltic Amber Lion of the Royal Tomb of Qatna (ca. 1340 BC, today in Syria) has Amber Connections to Mycenae, Ugarit and the Tomb of Tutankhamun

Baltic Amber in the Royal Tombs of Qatna, Mycenae, Ugarit and the Tomb of Tutankhamun?


THE EXHBITION
"The Treasures of Ancient Syria – Discovery of the Kingdom of Qatna”

is of interest in this regard.

Having started October 17, 2009 and running until March 15, 2010
"one-of-a-kind objects from the royal cript are displayed together with finds from the royal cities of Ebla, Mari, Ugarit and Alalakh. “The Treasures of Ancient Syria – Discovery of the Kingdom of Qatna” will run through March 14, 2010 at the Württemberg State Museum in Stuttgart."
The Wikipedia writes about Qatna:
Qatna (Arabic قطنا, modern Tell el-Mishrife, Arabic المشرفة) is an archaeological site in the Wadi il-Aswad, a tributary of the Orontes, 18 km northeast of Homs, Syria. It consists in a tell occupying 1 km², which makes it one of the largest Bronze Age towns in western Syria. The tell is located at the edge of the limestone-plateau of the Syrian desert towards the fertile Homs-Bassin....

Historical geography and trade

In the 2nd Millennium BC trade routes developed connecting Mesopotamia with Cyprus, Crete and Egypt. Qatna was then situated near the end of the road connecting the middle Euphrates valley, for example Mari by way of Tadmor/Palmyra to the Mediterranean. Another route started from Aleppo, left the Euphrates at Emar and led via Halab, Qatna and Hazor to Egypt. The valley of Homs formed a connection to the Mediterranean near the port of Byblos and Tripoli, running between the Lebanon and the Ansari-mountains. Qatna is mentioned in the tin trade, which went from Mari via Qatna to the Mediterranean, Cypriote copper was transported in the other direction. The Mari texts mention cloth, clothing, a certain kind of bows, jewellery, woods, wine and two-wheeled chariots as trade goods reaching Mari via Qatna and partly going on to Babylon. Recent scientific investigation has determined that a carved hollow lion head vessel (circa 1340 BC) found at Qatna was made from amber imported from the Baltic region.[2] This type of amber has also been found in the Mycenae region from the same time period."

See at FindArticles.com in general, The Qatna lion: scientific confirmation of Baltic amber in late Bronze Age Syria, Antiquity, March 1, 2008 by Anna J. Mukherjee, Elisa Rossberger, Matthew A. James, Peter Pfalzner, Catherine L. Higgitt, Raymond White, David A. Peggie, Dany Azar, Richard P. Evershed, where it is written:
"The combined findings of FTIR, py-GC/MS and radiocarbon analysis confirm the Baltic origin of the amber used to fashion these artefacts....

The quantity of amber in the Royal Tomb of Qatna is unparalleled for known second millennium BC sites in the Levant and the Ancient Near East. In Syria, to date, amber beads have only been discovered in small numbers in private graves at Alalakh (Woolley 1955: 203, 208), Mari (Jean-Marie 1999: 119, 120, 122, 144, 151, 153, 158, 162) and at the royal palace of Ugarit where 14 beads were found together with 'Mycenaean objects' (Schaeffer 1939: 100; Caubet 1998: 106). Except for the latter, these have neither been chemically analysed nor discussed in detail making their identification uncertain.

It is at the beginning of the Mycenaean period (early sixteenth century BC) that Baltic amber, almost exclusively in the form of beads, reached the central Mediterranean, occurring in large numbers in the famous Shaft Graves of Mycenae and in a few other high-status burials on the Peloponnes (Harding & Hughes-Brock 1974: 147-8; Harding 1984: 69-87). It remains a matter of debate as to how they came to be in the Aegean and whether amber reached ancient Greece as a raw material or finished product (Harding & Hughes-Brock 1974: 154; Hughes-Brock 1993: 219, 221). While restricted to high status burials in the Mycenaean core area during this period, amber beads were distributed more widely in the fifteenth-thirteenth centuries BC, although the numbers present in any one single burial reduced dramatically (Harding & Hughes-Brock 1974: 149-52). In the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BC some amber beads reached the Eastern Mediterranean, notably Cyprus, Egypt, Syria and Palestine (Harding & Hughes-Brock 1974; Hughes-Brock 1993; Hood 1993; Todd 1985; 1993). The 41 amber beads found in the Uluburun shipwreck off the Turkish coast, dating to the late fourteenth century BC, can either be interpreted within a context of trade, of gift exchange between royal elites, or as the personal belongings of high-ranking Mycenaeans onboard the vessel (Pulak 2005). A reputed amber bead necklace consisting of around 60 short biconvex to lentoid beads and various other putative amber objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun (Hood 1993), roughly contemporary with the latest phase of use of the Royal Tomb at Qatna, may hint at the high prestige value that was attributed to the material in Egypt at this time."
"

Astronomy, Cosmology, and Rock Art : California Tree Carvings - Arborglyphs of the Chumash - Could Respresent the Stars - TIME

TIME reads:
California Tree Carving Hints at Early Chumash Astronomy.


graphic by Rick Bury linked from the TIME article

Matt Kettman in his TIME report titled A Tree Carving in California: Ancient Astronomers? writes inter alia about an article published by paleontologist Rex Saint Onge in the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology:
"It became increasingly obvious to Saint Onge that the arborglyph and related cave paintings weren't just the work of wild-eyed, drug-induced shamans — which has been a leading theory for decades — but that the ancient images were deliberate studies of the stars and served as integral components of the Chumash people's annual calendar."
See in this regard:

Hudson and Underhay: Crystals in the Sky: An Intellectual Odyssey Involving Chumash Astronomy, Cosmology, and Rock Art, review by Albert B. Elsasser.

For a sceptical view of the astronomical interpretation, see: Philosophy of Science Portal - Saint Lucia Mountains yields an arborglyph with astronomical graphics

There is little doubt in our mind that Saint Onge is correct, but an arborglyph of this nature - standing alone - is most certainly not as conclusive a proof as the figures found carved into stone systematically over larger territorial areas. See my book Stars Stones and Scholars.

Co-author of the Chumash arborglyph article with Saint Onge was anthropologist John Johnson of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, who was quoted as saying:
" "Whether we're right or not, I don't know, but we keep finding things that strengthen the idea," says Johnson. "And if we keep finding ethnographic support for it, I feel we're on safer ground.
Not just ethnographic support, but much other evidence is also available. People publishing in this field of archaeoastronomy should first read my book, consult my many related websites, including Megaliths.net, and also look at the decipherment FILES (left column menu there) at the LexiLine group on the History of Civilization (slowly being moved to the LexiLine Journal, or its mirror here).

Tutankhamun: Hawass of Egypt Supreme Council of Antiquities to reveal King Tut DNA at February 17 Press Conference: Discovery News

Who was Tutankhamun really?

Only DNA can tell.

In one week, reports Rossella Lorenzi of Discovery News in her article
Hawass To Announce King Tut DNA Results,
we are surely going to have a much better idea about Tut's true identity.

Paul Schemm of the Associated Press on January 31, 2010 wrote at the Washington Post
in Egypt to soon announce King Tut DNA test results
- in an article accompanied by an excellent photo slide show which can only be seen at that website -
that:
"... Zahi Hawass said he would announce the results of the DNA tests and the CAT scans on Feb. 17."
DNA examinations like those of Tutankhamun are to conducted in the future on the mummies of the Pharaohs and other important personages from the Pharaonic era.

Bioarchaeology and Dental Evidence : DOHaD : Ancient human teeth show that stress early in development can shorten life span

From ScienceDaily.com, dental evidence favors the Barker hypothesis of DOHaD (Developmental Origins of Health and Disease):

Ancient human teeth show that stress early in development can shorten life span

Ancient human genome sequence of an extinct Palaeo-Eskimo : Article : Nature

Ancient human genome sequence of an extinct Palaeo-Eskimo
Nature 463, 757-762 (11 February 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08835;
Received 30 November 2009; Accepted 18 January 2010

Abstract
"We report here the genome sequence of an ancient human. Obtained from ~4,000-year-old permafrost-preserved hair, the genome represents a male individual from the first known culture to settle in Greenland. Sequenced to an average depth of 20×, we recover 79% of the diploid genome, an amount close to the practical limit of current sequencing technologies. We identify 353,151 high-confidence single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which 6.8% have not been reported previously. We estimate raw read contamination to be no higher than 0.8%. We use functional SNP assessment to assign possible phenotypic characteristics of the individual that belonged to a culture whose location has yielded only trace human remains. We compare the high-confidence SNPs to those of contemporary populations to find the populations most closely related to the individual. This provides evidence for a migration from Siberia into the New World some 5,500 years ago, independent of that giving rise to the modern Native Americans and Inuit."

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Art and Art Handling : Moving Art, e.g. Large Stone Objects : You Have to Understand the Object

art and art handling
"Art handling is all about balance, understanding the physical presence of the object/ Art and recognizing how to touch it."

Guardian: Men from Britain and Ireland are Descended Mostly from Ancient Farmers and the R1b Haplogroup is shared with Continental Europe & Chad

Most British men are descended from ancient farmers. Ian Sample, science correspondent for The Guardian. Sample writes:
"The first farmers to arrive in Britain outbred the native hunter-gatherer men and have left their mark in modern males' Y chromosome....

... more than 60% of British men, and nearly all of those in Ireland, can trace their Y chromosome back to the agricultural revolution....

The farmers' Y chromosome becomes more common in the west of England and reaches a national peak of 78% in Cornwall, scientists found.....

Men with surnames including Titchmarsh and Haythornthwaite are among the most likely to carry the farmers' Y chromosome, known as R1b1b2. The Y chromosome is passed down the male line only, from father to son.

Researchers led by Jobling collected DNA samples from more than 2,500 men across Europe. Around 80% of the men had the R1b1b2 type of Y chromosome, making it the most common lineage on the continent."
Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA) has been described as follows in the Wikipedia:
"In human genetics, Haplogroup R1b is the most frequently occurring Y-chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe. R1b is also present at lower frequencies throughout Eastern Europe, Western Asia, Central Asia, and parts of North Africa. R1b is also very common amongst speakers of Chadic languages in Sub-Saharan Africa. [emphasis added]

Within Europe, which has been much studied, R1b's frequency is highest in the populations of Atlantic Europe and, due to European emigration, in North America, South America, and Australia. In Ireland and the Basque Country its frequency exceeds 90% and approaches 100% in Western Ireland. The incidence of R1b is 70% or more in parts of northern and western England, northern Spain, northern Portugal, western France, Wales, Scotland. R1b's incidence declines gradually with distance from these areas but it is still common across the central areas of Europe. For example, R1b is the most frequent haplogroup in Germany, but not in neighboring Poland."
The Chadic connection is intriguing and suggests to this author the possibility of an influx of European blood into this region through ancient seafarers - for the oldest boats found in Africa are in the Chad region.

It is hard to explain the high incidence of R1b among Chadic speakers by presuming a land route, along which there is no evidence of R1b migration.

We give little credence to the land route solution proposed recently in Viktor Černý et al., Migration of Chadic speaking pastoralists within Africa based on population structure of Chad Basin and phylogeography of mitochondrial L3f haplogroup, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 2009, 9:63 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-9-63, who write in their conclusion, based only on mitochondrial (mtDNA, female) rather than Y-haploptype (male) evidence, that:
"We provide genetic support for an Early Holocene migration within Africa. A high-resolution phylogeny of haplogroup L3f based on whole mitochondrial genome sequences shows several clades that are unevenly distributed throughout Africa and Near East. Specifically, clade L3f3 is geographically limited to the Chad Basin where it reaches high frequencies especially in Chadic-speaking groups while almost absent in Niger-Congo and Nilo- Saharan people. Within the Afro-Asiatic language phylum, the Chadic branch is linguistically close to the East African Cushitic branch although they are separated by ~2,000 km of territory in which different Semitic and Nilo-Saharan peoples live today. We show that only northern Cushitic groups from Ethiopia and Somalia are genetically close to Chadic populations. Thus, the archaeologically and linguistically supported route of proto-Chadic pastoralists via Wadi Howar to the Chad Basin may have genetic support. Moreover, our molecular genetic date for the Chadic-specific L3f3 clade is consistent with the suggested Holocene dispersal."
A similar conclusion is found via Nature.com in the Europpean Journal of Human Genetics, which abstracts the idea as follows:
"European Journal of Human Genetics (6 January 2010) | doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.231

Human Y chromosome haplogroup R-V88: a paternal genetic record of early mid Holocene trans-Saharan connections and the spread of Chadic languages


by Fulvio Cruciani , Beniamino Trombetta , Daniele Sellitto , Andrea Massaia , Giovanni Destro-Bisol , Elizabeth Watson , Eliane Beraud Colomb , Jean-Michel Dugoujon , Pedro Moral & Rosaria Scozzari


Abstract


Although human Y chromosomes belonging to haplogroup R1b are quite rare in Africa, being found mainly in Asia and Europe, a group of chromosomes within the paragroup R-P25|[ast]| are found concentrated in the central-western part of the African continent, where they can be detected at frequencies as high as 95|[percnt]|. Phylogenetic evidence and coalescence time estimates suggest that R-P25|[ast]| chromosomes (or their phylogenetic ancestor) may have been carried to Africa by an Asia-to-Africa back migration in prehistoric times. Here, we describe six new mutations that define the relationships among the African R-P25|[ast]| Y chromosomes and between these African chromosomes and earlier reported R-P25 Eurasian sub-lineages. The incorporation of these new mutations into a phylogeny of the R1b haplogroup led to the identification of a new clade (R1b1a or R-V88) encompassing all the African R-P25|[ast]| and about half of the few European|[sol]|west Asian R-P25|[ast]| chromosomes. A worldwide phylogeographic analysis of the R1b haplogroup provided strong support to the Asia-to-Africa back-migration hypothesis. The analysis of the distribution of the R-V88 haplogroup in >1800 males from 69 African populations revealed a striking genetic contiguity between the Chadic-speaking peoples from the central Sahel and several other Afroasiatic-speaking groups from North Africa. The R-V88 coalescence time was estimated at 9200–5600|[thinsp]|kya, in the early mid Holocene. We suggest that R-V88 is a paternal genetic record of the proposed mid-Holocene migration of proto-Chadic Afroasiatic speakers through the Central Sahara into the Lake Chad Basin, and geomorphological evidence is consistent with this view.
European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 6 January 2010; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.231."
The R1b haplogroup contradicts the above analysis, because the R1b haplogroup is otherwise strongest in Europe, and not in Africa.

Quite the contrary, the high presence of the R1b haplogroup in Chadic language speakers helps to draw attention to the megaliths of the Central African Republic and raises again the question of who put them there and when. We allege that these were European seafarers in ancient days. See Scribd, Das Tanum System – ein alteuropäisch-afrikanisches Vermessungssystem? DOC, pp.34 et seq.

At the John Hawks Blog in the posting The worm in the fruit of the mitochondrial DNA tree
he writes:
"François Balloux (2009) has a polemic in the online access area of Heredity presenting references about mtDNA selection, and arguing that the use of this single genetic marker is no longer warranted without support from other loci.

Yay! I've been saying that both here, and in peer-reviewed articles, for several years. I think serious workers know that one gene is not enough; two genes (mtDNA and Y chromosome, for example) aren't enough -- we have to integrate information across every possible source, genetic, skeletal, and anthropological, to really test hypotheses about the past."

At Dieneke's Anthropology Blog, Aaron - in our view correctly - wrote in the comments:
"From what I remember the study found trace amounts of U5 and U6 in North Cameroon, and the rest the female lines were L1, L2..etc Linguistics is a whole other can of worms, but the data supports northern origins of this ethnic group."
Haplogroup U (mtDNA) is described as follows:
"U5 had a common ancestor with its sister group, U6. What's interesting is that U5 and U6 are "sister mtDNA groups" with a common ancestor in N. Africa. Each mtDNA group has a sister group. A large proportion of Canary Islander are U6. The medieval Guanches of the Canary Islands also had U6. There was a lot of interbreeding in paleolithic times between U5 and U6. The Berbers are high in U6 mtDNA today.

Haplogroup U6 is a group of people who descend from a woman in the Haplogroup R branch of the Genographic tree. It is common (around 10% of the people) [1] in North Africa and the Canary Islands. It is also found in the Iberian peninsula and British islands due to ancient gene flow from North Africa."

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Peopling of the World via the Journey of Mankind : A Virtual Global Journey at the Bradshaw Foundation via an Animated Map

John Hawks Weblog has it right:
"It is really not worth looking at, but I couldn't stop laughing, so I have to point it out....

This is what we get when there is not enough critical science of human dispersals. We're not seeing history here, we're making it up."
Many conceivable maps of human migrations can be made based on the genetic and climatological evidence currently available. The map-animated virtual global journey at the Bradshaw Foundation Journey of Mankind : The Peopling of the World is one admirable attempt - at least from the graphics side - to provide such a map.

However, the graphics are where the fun ends - and the erroneous content begins, especially because of all the overstretched and unsupported climatological - and other - hypotheses....

Especially disturbing in terms of the available evidence is the idea that mankind first moved up the Nile Valley out of Africa - and then allegedly became extinct. A new subsequent group of humans - luckily kept in reserve in Africa in the interim - then allegedly reached Asia and Europe via the Arabian peninsula in a topographically navigational miracle and from there spread throughout the globe. A very unlikely scenario.

For a much more likely version of human migrations, see the National Geographic Genographic Project. And even there, great caution is advised. Too many details still need to be unraveled.

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America


Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
,
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    ,
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.

    -----

    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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