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Natural Environment How Human History has been impacted by the environment, science, nature, geography, weather, and natural phenomena


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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:14 PM   #331

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Sumerian Language & Climate: Long Drought Killed Off Ancient Tongue, Research Suggests
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A 200-year-long drought 4,200 years ago may have killed off the ancient Sumerian language, one geologist says.
Because no written accounts explicitly mention drought as the reason for the Sumerian demise, the conclusions rely on indirect clues. But several pieces of archaeological and geological evidence tie the gradual decline of the Sumerian civilization to a drought.
The findings, which were presented Monday (Dec. 3) here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, show how vulnerable human society may be to climate change, including human-caused change.
"This was not a single summer or winter, this was 200 to 300 years of drought," said Matt Konfirst, a geologist at the Byrd Polar Research Center.
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The ancient Sumerians invented cuneiform, shown here on a clay tablet documenting barley rations issued monthly to adults and children. The language may have died out as a result of a 200-year drought 4,200 years ago.
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Old December 4th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #332

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Scientists discover oldest dinosaur yet | Fox News
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An arm bone and a handful of vertebrae have yielded a surprising truth: The age of the dinosaur began earlier than anyone ever suspected.
A new bone analysis of fossils collected in Tanzania in the 1930s reveal that Nyasasaurus parringtoni -- a creature the size of a Labrador retriever with a five-foot-long tail -- may be the earliest dinosaur on Earth, plodding across the planet some 243 million years ago.

The findings mean that the dinosaur lineage appeared 10 million to 15 million years earlier than fossils previously showed, originating in the Middle Triassic rather than in the Late Triassic period, according to Sterling Nesbitt, a University of Washington postdoctoral researcher in biology and lead author of a paper published online Dec. 5 in Biology Letters.

"If the newly named Nyasasaurus parringtoni is not the earliest dinosaur, then it is the closest relative found so far," Nesbitt said.
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Artist rendering of Nyasasaurus parringtoni, either the earliest dinosaur or the closest dinosaur relative yet discovered. Nyasasaurus parringtoni was up to 10 feet long and weighed perhaps 135 pounds. (Natural History Museum, London/Mark Witton)
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Old December 4th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #333

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Gladiator's Tomb to Be Reburied : Discovery News
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The tomb of the ancient Roman hero believed to have inspired the Russell Crowe blockbuster "Gladiator," might be returned to oblivion four years after its discovery in Rome.
A lack of fundings is forcing Italian archaeologists to bury again the large marble monument of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, a general and consul who achieved major victories in military campaigns for Antoninus Pius, the Roman emperor from 138 to 161 A.D., and Marcus Aurelius, emperor from 161 to 180 A.D.

Unearthed in 2008 on the banks of the Tiber near the via Flaminia, north of Rome, the tomb, complete with the dedicatory inscription, was hailed as "the most important ancient Roman monument to come to light for 20 or 30 years."
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Old December 4th, 2012, 05:59 PM   #334

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Archaeologists Explore Colombia's Lost City
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A team of archaeologists are uncovering remains of an ancient city that, until recently, had been unknown to most of the outside world for centiuries. Known today as Ciudad Perdida (or Teyuna), Spanish for "Lost City", it is one of Colombia's most spectacular heritage sites, despite the fact that relatively few of the world's travelers have even known of its existence. Inhabited by the Tayrona people until the end of the 16th century and tucked away within the lush jungles of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta not far from the Colombian coastline, it is made up of hundreds of stone terraces and rings, which archaeologists believe were used as foundations for temples, dwellings and plazas. Although the Tayrona built more than 250 towns across a 2,000 square mile area, few are as large or as impressive as Ciudad Perdida, which is believed to have been a regional center of political, social and economic power, home to around 3,000 people.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 08:56 PM   #335

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Fit for a King: Largest Egyptian Sarcophagus Identified - Yahoo! News
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The largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus has been identified in a tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, say archaeologists who are re-assembling the giant box that was reduced to fragments more than 3,000 years ago.
Made of red granite, the royal sarcophagus was built for Merneptah, an Egyptian pharaoh who lived more than 3,200 years ago. A warrior king, he defeated the Libyans and a group called the "Sea Peoples" in a great battle.
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The lid of the second sarcophagus bearing an image of Merneptah. This would have been completely enclosed by the outer sarcophagus box and lid.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #336

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Hamilton's War of 1812 shipwrecks 'an archeologist's dream' - Hamilton
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The Hamilton and the Scourge — two wooden ships from the War of 1812 — are aging well at the bottom of Lake Ontario, according to surveyors who have been studying the wrecks.
The American schooners, which sank in 1813, lie 90 metres below the surface of the lake, about 10.5 kilometres off Port Dalhousie. The ships have been owned by the City of Hamilton since 1980, but a partnership with Parks Canada allows surveyors to map out every inch of the boats.
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The figurehead on the bow of the schooner Hamilton, which sank in Lake Ontario in 1813. (Courtesy City of Hamilton)
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:52 AM   #337

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Originally Posted by okamido View Post
Sumerian Language & Climate: Long Drought Killed Off Ancient Tongue, Research Suggests
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The ancient Sumerians invented cuneiform, shown here on a clay tablet documenting barley rations issued monthly to adults and children. The language may have died out as a result of a 200-year drought 4,200 years ago.

I don't think the draught finished the Sumerian culture. In fact, this is not a case as the Mayan one or the Mycaenean one. It wasn't a societal collapse, since we can clearly see the slow evolution of Sumer into a winder Mesopotamian civillization.

The ethnic shift was caused by a growing Semitic settlement in southern Mesopotamia that had begun to take place centuries before the demise of Sumerian language.

However, it's true that Sumer experienced an economy decline, as Egypt suffered and also the Levantine area. The migration of Amorean peoples into civilized areas is probably linked to those problems, and this migration strengthened Semitization of Sumer.

The civillization, however, remained.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 08:24 AM   #338

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I don't think the draught finished the Sumerian culture. In fact, this is not a case as the Mayan one or the Mycaenean one. It wasn't a societal collapse, since we can clearly see the slow evolution of Sumer into a winder Mesopotamian civillization.

The ethnic shift was caused by a growing Semitic settlement in southern Mesopotamia that had begun to take place centuries before the demise of Sumerian language.

However, it's true that Sumer experienced an economy decline, as Egypt suffered and also the Levantine area. The migration of Amorean peoples into civilized areas is probably linked to those problems, and this migration strengthened Semitization of Sumer.

The civillization, however, remained.
I think that some of these reports/ hypothesis are truly crafted to coincide with current politics.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 08:25 AM   #339

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Bulgarian archaeologists find golden treasures in ancient Thracian tomb | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered bracelets with snake heads, a tiara with animal motifs and a horse-head piece in a hoard of ancient golden artefacts unearthed during excavations at a Thracian tomb in the north of country.
The artefacts have been dated to the end of the fourth or the beginning of the third century BC. They were found in the biggest of 150 ancient tombs of the Getae people, a Thracian tribe that was in contact with the Hellenistic world. The hoard also yielded a golden ring, 44 female figure depictions and 100 golden buttons.
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A golden horse-head, one of the artefacts among the Thracian treasures recently unearthed near Sveshtari, Bulgaria. Photograph: Bgnes/AFP/Getty Images
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Old December 7th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #340

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Researchers find evidence of early man in caves near Naples - ANSA English - ANSA.it
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Researchers are poring over thousands of tiny artifacts - including a child's milk tooth - found in a southern Italian cave that appears to have been shared by both Neanderthals and early man.

The caves of Roccia San Sebastiano, which overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Naples, are being combed for traces of those who once lived there.

On the slopes of the medieval fortress of Montis Dragonis, near Mondragone in Caserta province, researchers say they've uncovered layers of history, rich in early historical finds.

The discovery is telling them "a story of the evolution that goes from 40,000 to 20,000 years ago, when the cave was used for uninterrupted time by Neanderthals and Sapiens," says prehistoric archaeologist Carmine Collina.
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